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Efisio

Spirit Review - from 8 Oct. 2006 (very long)

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To give you a little backgound. I am male 45, British and a Professional Gambler (Horse Racing, not Casino Games).

 

I booked this vacation many months ago, partly as a Christmas Present to my 75 year old Dad. I had Aries Suite 10022 (AC) accompanied by my Girlfriend, and Dad was in adjoining Balcony Stateroom 10020 (BB).

 

The package included flights from London to New York, and a three night Big Apple Stay.

 

Firstly let me say a huge thanks to everybody who contribute to these boards. They proved absolutely invaluable to me and my fellow travellers.

 

Pre Cruise we stayed in The Crowne Plaza near The United Nations. The hotel is well located, just a few blocks from Grand Central Station.

The rooms were comfortable and clean and we had a great time in New York.

 

Sailing Day

 

Transportation was arranged by NCL to meet us at the hotel at 12.45 pm.

We decided to make our own way to the terminal, as I in particular wanted to take full advantage of priority embarkartion for suite passangers, and get on board as soon as was allowed. A twenty minute Taxi ride for $20 put us at the terminal by 11.00 am.

 

Arrival @ The Terminal

 

Having unloaded our luggage from the Cab, we were instantly met by a Porter who took our cases and pointed us in the direction of an NCL Rep.

I explained I had a Suite, and asked where I should go. She directed me to the main hall.

 

There were around 50 passengers in the hall at this time. We followed the roped walkway to where two other NCL Reps were standing, and I again asked about priority embarkation. We were told to sit in the main hall seating area, which is very sparse with plastic stacking chairs arranged in rows, theatre like.

 

Having done my research through these boards, I figured I was not in the right place for any sort of priority embarkation. I noticed at the rear of the hall there was a long enclosed counter (desk), with two more Ladies dressed in NCL uniforms. I asked again about priority embarkation, and they said they had never heard of it. However as luck would have it, yet another NCL lady was walking by at the time, overheard my query. She said we should sit upstairs, in the area reserved for Latitudes members, and she would call us when it was time for embarkation.

 

There were no signs to inform anybody that this area was reserved for Latitudes or Suite passangers, and anybody could sit there.

 

Coffee and biscuits were available free of charge.

 

 

Embarkation

 

We sat in the upper seating area for around 1 hour. Somebody came upstairs and told everybody it was time to embark. There was quite a rush, which we didn't bother getting involved in, and merely sauntered to the embarkation lines. There were two lines at this point, one for US Citizens, and one for Non-US Citizens. I told a rep I was non US and had a suite. I was directed around the outside of the line, effectively to the front of the queue, and to the last lady sitting at a long line of check in computer terminals. She took our Cruise Tickets and Passports, swiped our credit cards for onboard purchases and directed us to another desk to the left, about 25 yds away. We passed another smartly dressed lady sat at another desk, seemingly not very busy.

I was asked for our names, and the young lady at the counter proceeded to search through what I think were all the boarding passes. She looked bemused and eventually called another official for help. "Oh they're VIP's. Come with me". We were taken to the well dressed lady at the desk that we had passed a few moments earlier.

This turned out to be our Concierge Lisa Meyer. She was very welcoming, and at last we seem to have found somebody who was in tune with procedure. She gave us lots of information and made it very clear that she was always available for us to contact her with any problems or queries.

She gave us our boarding cards, which also act as your room key, and wished us a pleasant vacation whilst directing us to the ship.

 

Following the obligitory 'welcome on board' photo, we boarded the gleaming and awesome vessel Norwegian Spirit.

 

By this time it was 12.45.

 

 

On Board

 

We were greeted at the top of the gangway by a crew member, who swiped our embarkation cards, and welcomed us on board.

We found the the rooms would not be ready until 2.00 pm, and you couldn't get a sneak preview because, the corridors leading to all passengers cabins were closed, and signs on them indicating no entry until 2.00pm.

 

We made our way to the Cafe at the foot of the Atrium, Port side. I know what your thinking, but beleive me it was by pure luck than any skill on our parts that we found it.

 

(I'm going to post this now, because I'm scared stiff of my computer crashing, and I don't seem to be able to save my work).

 

 

To be continued................

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Damn, I knew that would happen. Just spent over an hour typing the next bit, pressed submit, and got the message Service Unavailable. Hit the back button, all work lost :mad:

 

Here I go again.

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You might want to type it in Word (or something like it) and then copy/paste it in to your posting...just a thought.

 

Thanks Deb I'll do that. Computers never was one of my strong points.

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Continued.................

 

 

Two O'Clock finally arrived. By now there was already a queue at the Speciality Restaurants Reservations Desk. I figured I should be OK, my Concierge Lisa, gave me a sheet to fill out all my reservations, and she also made the suggestion that I could ring her with my requests.

 

The three of us made our way to the lifts in the atrium. Three glass cocoons that seem to float up this beautiful space like champagne bubbles rising up a flute. A piano stands on a glass platform above the lower part of the twin curved staircases that lead to the Shopping Gallery, and what seems the aptly named Champagne Charlies. Beneath the platform illuminated dancing fountains encircle the gleaming ebony Piano.

All that is missing is the Candleabra and Liberace twinkling away.

 

As the lifts transport us to our chosen destination, deck 10, it is with awe that we gaze back down to the floor below, and up to the stained glass dome that adorns the ceiling above.

 

We step out of our carriage. We notice the walls to the left and right have deck plans on them. Just as well for you could end up who knows where without them.

 

We are on Starboard side, that's the right as you look towards the bow (front).

 

Although the atrium lifts are midships, the corridor seems endless with a constant stream of blue stateroom doors either side of the spotless passageway.

 

Eventually we reach a space where the forward lifts are. The doors now change to Gold (poetic licence, they are a sort of mustardy yellow really).

Then I see it...

 

 

Aries Suite 10022

 

There is a large circular plaque at head height on the door, upon which is the Zodiac Symbol for Aries, and of course the name Aries Suite, surrounded by moulded screws that give an impression of a porthole.

 

Next to, and to the right of the door is a quaint doorbell, which could easily be on the front of an English Country House.

 

There is also a small metal box on the wall , again to the right of the door. It has the suite number engraved on it, and a cut out window, behind which is the word 'welcome'. There is a thumbwheel to change the wording, to 'make up room', 'turn down room', or 'do not disturb'.

 

The doorknob is plain, round, metal with a slot beneath to insert your key card.

 

I couldn't wait any longer , the anticipation was killing all of us. The tiny green light was the signal that the door was now unlocked and my girlfriend turned it, slowly, as if opening the box on Deal Or No Deal, though this box was to reveal a prize every bit as good as anything you could wish for on a gameshow.

 

As the door opened there was only one word that passed our lips. "Wow".

 

I stood there looking at the polished mahogany, the bottle of complementary bubbly standing in the silver ice bucket and the painting hanging in the living room area above the two seater settee that formed part of a gold coloured three piece suite, and the coffee table with a flower arrangement thereon. My thoughts went back to my Senior School, and my History Teacher, Mr Huddart, who told me I'd never make anything of myself. I left School with no formal qualifications of any sort after I told them to stick there exams as I didn't need them, but that's a story for another forum somewhere.

 

This was like a child opening a christmas present. In front of us was the living room. Apart from the seating and the coffee table, there was also an Entertainment Centre which housed a DVD player and a Cable for internet connection to a laptop (not provided). On top of the unit stood a 26" television, and a book containing a list of DVD's available upon request.

 

At the far end of the room the sliding patio doors were covered with fine net curtains, and luxury drapes, tied back to reveal the balcony.

 

The balcony itself is quite narrow, at a guess I'd say maybe 4' deep. There is a wooden lounger, which could only really be used side on to the rail. However I found it was not adjustable for upright sitting and soon had it changed for a plastic adjustable chair with padded cushion. There is also a small wooden square coffee table and a built in bench seat.

I have read on here that people have taken breakfast on the balcony. If they have they must have eaten standing up. However I loved this peaceful haven, and spent many a long hour here, bliss.

 

Back inside the suite, to the right of the entry door is the dining area. This comprises a dining table and four chairs. In an 'L' shape around this is the bar area. A lovely feature of highly polished mahogany, with an illuminated mirror and shelving, housing a nice array of glassware, as the backdrop. Here you will also find a coffee maker, and sugar, milk etc.

The lower half looked like cupboards. In fact one narrow cupboard pulls out at a 45 degree angle to reveal a usefull wastebin. Next to which is another cupboard, which conceals the refrigerator.

 

Between the dining/bar area and the lounge are two mirrored sliding doors. Pull them aside and you could be forgiven for thinking you are entering a Boudoir, or even a Persian Harem.

 

Directly in front of us stood a double wardrobe, with ample space for clothes. Two safes are also located in here.

 

To the left is an illuminated dressing table. Further left is the bathroom area. A blue tiled floor is skirted by the twin marble vanity basins. Again there is a huge mirror above the basins, which again are illuminated. In the left hand corner of this area is the Jacuzzi, with the large picture window behind. Pure luxury.

 

The shower is next to the Jacuzzi. Be careful, the power could knock you through to the next stateroom.

There is a toilet with a clear glass door, which could be embarrasing. Personally I would have prefered a bit more privacy when sitting on the presidential throne.

 

At the opposite end of this part of the suite, is the bedroom. A queen size bed is snugly tucked away behind a pair of drapes, which you would normally leave tied back. At the head of the bed is a painting, which fills the back wall. There is only just enough room to walk sideways around the sides of the bed, but this, rather than being problematic, just makes the room cosy. The mirrored ceiling is rather grand, and there is also a televison, above a built in chest of drawers.

 

The Suite is really magnificent, a mahogany and mirrored paradise. It is the finest suite I have seen so far at sea. I didn't get to view the AB or AA suites, but this AC is a little cracker.

 

 

To be continued.................

 

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Thank you for the great review. We will have your suite soon! I have 2 questions; is there a door to get into the bathroom, between the bathroom and the bed area? Also, is there a TV in the sleeping area?

Glad you and your Dad had a ball!

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Thank you for the great review. We will have your suite soon! I have 2 questions; is there a door to get into the bathroom, between the bathroom and the bed area? Also, is there a TV in the sleeping area?

Glad you and your Dad had a ball!

 

Hi, thanks for your kind coment.

 

There are double sliding doors between the main area and the bedroom/bathroom area. There are no doors between the bathroom area and bedroom. The toilet is at an angle facing away from the bedroom, and actually faces the Jacuzzi. The bottom half of the toilet door is slightly opaque due to a fanciful design.

 

There is a television in the bedroom area.

 

Hope this helps.

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I was in a AD Penthouse, whis is aft and has a bigger balcony, but slightly smaller inside.

I loved it as well and I actually liked it to sit on the kings throne and watch the waves. There is a curtain (very heavy) deviding bathroom and bedroom, who was as well a good block of noise in the aft suites.

 

I know Lisa (Concierge) is wonderful!

 

Yes you call the Butler's on your phone and they provide basically room service. I had many nice breakfasts in the suite and on the balcony!

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Aries Suite 10022

 

We really enjoyed your review of the Aries Suite, "Efisio" (I always wonder about the derivation of some of the more cryptic nicknames). It is a pity, though, that you could not work up a touch more enthusiasm. (LOL)

 

We sailed the Caribbean for two weeks last year in the Phillipines Suite -- up front, middle. Since our butler was Arnie, from the Phillipines, we felt ourselves well out of Miami from the moment we entered the suite.

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Hi - just had to jump in. We stayed in the Gemini Suite for a 5-day. Lisa was our concierge as well and she is top notch! She visited with us for 30 minutes and took our specialty restaurants ressies.

 

Maxi was our butler and was wonderful as well. I am officially spoiled now having lived the life of luxury for 5 days!

 

Great review, if you weren't a gambler you have a future in writing!

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Sorry - the suite was Capricorn not Gemini #10012.

 

Fab time and wonderful cabin, plus the daily goodies, plus the VIP cocktail party with suite guests/officers/ and captain.

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Hi Efsio,

Been waiting for your review as we are off to NYC on thursday.

The suite sounds fab,did you get a chance to see any of the other AC suites ?we are staying in 10008 starboard same as you .

Think we may make our own way to the port instead of waiting for the NCL pick-up.Did you just ring the number on the voucher and tell them you were making your own way ?

Is there more review ? Before thursday please !!!!

kathy

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Hi Efsio,

Been waiting for your review as we are off to NYC on thursday.

The suite sounds fab,did you get a chance to see any of the other AC suites ?we are staying in 10006 starboard same as you .

Think we may make our own way to the port instead of waiting for the NCL pick-up.Did you just ring the number on the voucher and tell them you were making your own way ?

Is there more review ? Before thursday please !!!!

kathy

 

Hi Kathy

 

I hope to add more soon, with completion scheduled for Wednesday at the latest.

I didn't get a look at the other suites as they were all occupied. You are in 10006? You are aware that this is not a suite? It is a BB balcony stateroom. Identical to the room my Dad was in, and absolutely fine.

 

As for making your own way to the Pier, I think that's a good move. We were on the Ship before the bus arrived at the Hotel to pick up. We left word at reception to be passed on to the driver, but really would have liked to have told any other passenger staying at the hotel, but couldn't find anyone.

Have a great Holiday, and keep checking back for continuation of the review.

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Hi Efsio, yes my mistake we are staying in suite 10008 (too many 0's puts me off).

Sounds like you had a great time,getting excited,cases everywhere !!!!!!

I take it the hotel was ok then? Was the room good ?

Kathy

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Review continued.......................

 

Stateroom 10020 (BB balcony)

 

My Dad is 75 this was to be his first ever cruise. I suppose you could say he was a little nervous of being on a ship, getting lost, the protocol etc. I decided he would be happier next to us and luckily I was able to get this adjoining stateroom.

 

The room was spotless.

 

According to NCL's website, BB's have two lower beds. In fact this one was made up as a Double. That maybe because the room was only single occupied, I don't know.

 

There is a coffee maker, and a small television. The shower and toilet are compact but perfectly adequate. The balcony is the same size as that of the AC suites, but has two small plastic chairs instead of a lounger.

 

I can't comment too much about the room as I was hardly ever in it, suffice to say my Dad was very comfortable and happy whilst in there.

 

 

The Butler

 

Having been in our suite about ten minutes, the doorbell rang. We didn't realise it was the doorbell, and I told the others to be quiet whilst we await the public anouncement!

 

It was in fact our Butler, Randy Aquino. Dressed immaculately

in a grey morning suit and crisp white shirt, he seemed a little shy as he introduced himself. He was very pleasant and portrayed a warmth that is rarely seen these days.

 

Let me say right now that this man was totally fantastic.

 

He conducted his duties with the utmost courtesy, and nothing seemed too much trouble for him.

 

Each morning we had breakfast brought to the room by Randy. He would arrive at the requested time (time slots are 15 mins, i.e you could order breakfast for say 9.00 - 9.15).

He would ring the bell, I would answer the door, and he always greeted me with a cheerful "hello, how are we this morning". Then he would set the table.

 

The food was always as ordered, never an error, just perfect. We even ordered things that wasn't on the menu card, Fried Eggs, Sliced Pineapple, Honey. Nothing seemed to cause a problem.

 

He brought me beers for the refrigerator, a basket of fruit and at around 5.30 each afternoon, a selection of Hors D'Oeuvres. I won't spoil it, but if you are staying in a suite, you are in for some real treats.

 

There is also a 24 hour suite room service menu. We tended to use this after coming back to the ship having been in port. I can highly recommend the New York Steak Sandwich. Again this was usually delivered by Randy.

 

Randy also ensured that my Dinner Suit for formal night was ironed, and returned to the room when needed.

 

I have nothing but praise for this great fellow, and would certainly request him again if I am fortunate enough to cruise again.

 

 

to be continued...........

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Hi Efsio, yes my mistake we are staying in suite 10008 (too many 0's puts me off).

Sounds like you had a great time,getting excited,cases everywhere !!!!!!

I take it the hotel was ok then? Was the room good ?

Kathy

 

For us the hotel was fine. They tried to find adjoining rooms but couldn't. The computers went down whilst we were checking in and they couldn't allocate rooms. It took about half an hour whilst we stood in the hotel lobby.

 

This turned into our advantage.

 

They gave my Dad a nice room, but we got a Suite, complete with four poster bed, and french windows leading to a private roof terrace with wrought iron garden table and chairs. Given the nice weather this was a real bonus.

 

 

The hotel is 1930's in style, very Art Deco. We found it very comfortable and enjoyed our stay.

 

 

I did however overhear a couple on the coach after we disembarked the ship, saying how poor they thought the hotel was, and were going to complain to NCL when they got back. I don't really know what they didn't like, but I thought it was fine for the purpose.

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Efisio, thanks for the great review. Looking forward to the next installment.

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Damn, I knew that would happen. Just spent over an hour typing the next bit, pressed submit, and got the message Service Unavailable. Hit the back button, all work lost :mad:

 

Here I go again.

 

Thanks for posting. That happened to me once. Now I do the review on word and copy to CC's. It's better to be safe then sorry. LOL

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I must say your review is awesome....you sure your a gambler and not a writer? Your descriptions bring very clear pictures to mind as if I am right there with you seeing what you see. Awaiting more?

 

Linda

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I must say your review is awesome....you sure your a gambler and not a writer? Your descriptions bring very clear pictures to mind as if I am right there with you seeing what you see. Awaiting more?

 

Linda

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