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linsue1231

Spirit Review Nov 9th-19th 2006

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Just back from our 10 day Spirit cruise. DH and I are in our very early 40’s and this was our 3rd NCL cruise.

First let me just say we had a great vacation, so anything that may sound negative in no way diminished our vacation. Any thing that may seem negative is not a put down towards NCL, but things we found not up to par with our prior NCL sailings or what we believe NCL standards usually are.

Embarkment

 

This was so very easy and simple for us. DH works on 46th and 10th avenue. He took our luggage down during the week to his office, so the day of sailing I just had to bring down an overnight bag and one of those hang in the bathroom bags.

I opted not to work that day, so I left my house in the Bronx, NY at 930 AM. Hopped on the 4 train to Grand Central Station and caught a 10 minute cab ride to his job. I arrived there by 10 AM and we headed to the pier at 10:45 AM. A quick 15 minute walk (6 blocks) and we arrived.

We were directed to the Latitudes waiting area and by 11:30 we were taken to check in. By noon we were on the ship.

First Step onto the Spirit

 

When I first stepped off the gangway and into the atrium I was somewhat disappointed. This was my fault. I have read many times not to compare the Spirit to the Dawn. This is like comparing apples and oranges. Though they may both be fruit, they are both different in taste, color, texture…etc. My advice is if you have sailed the Dawn and are about to sail the Spirit wipe your mind free of the grand scale of the Dawn and open your mind to a very charming ship with its own identity.

I know its been said time and time again….yes the ship has an Asian theme. Black’s, Gold’s, Red’s and neon colors adorn every inch of space. There is Asian décor, art, statues everywhere and are worth the effort to find them. On every half level of the stairs there sits some kind of work of art.

After my initial disappointment I changed my frame of mind and saw the beauty before me. And it was time to use the many tips I have learned on Cruise Critics.

I rushed to make my dinner reservations. This took a while, not because there was a long line (there was one person in front of me.) but the computers they were using kept going off line. Finally they just took it by hand and told us to come back for our slips and confirmations.

Next stop windows for lunch. Our server was Martina, and I recommend her to everyone. She was just great and put us in our vacation mode after all the anxiety of getting ready for vacation. When we finished lunch I went back to the reservation desk to retrieve our slips for the 4 nights of specialty restaurants and to make reservations for windows the other nights with Martina. If anyone has her for a server please give her a hug from Linda & Louie.

With it only being 130 PM we still had a ½ hour to wait until allowed into our rooms. We headed to deck 12 and the 65-degree weather we were so lucky to have for our sail off.

The atmosphere was electric. People laughing, taking pictures, carrying helmets of beer and drinks with umbrellas. The music was blasting to the enjoyment of everyone, some already dancing with the mind frame of “ I don’t know anyone here, will never see them again so I’m letting it all hang out.” They were on vacation and no one was going to miss a second of it.

Finally about 215 PM we headed to our room where our bags were already there awaiting us. I quickly unpacked, set-up our tripod and video camera on the balcony and cracked open a bottle from our bar set-up.

When we passed the bridge it was time to get ready for our first night. We had dinner reservations in Cagney’s. What can I say the food was great. Had a nice bottle of wine with dinner and DH surprised me with a beautiful bracelet from Tiffany’s. It was quite funny as he placed the little Tiffany’s box on the table and waited for me to notice it. He kept peeking out the side of the menu and I was just yapping away. I finally noticed it when I went to grab my glass of wine. Needless to say I gave a squeal of delight and caught the attention of other diners. Hey what girl wouldn’t want a surprise like that?

With all the rushing around the night before, I forgot to take my bonnie. I wasn’t to worried; look at the great weather we had for our sail away. Oh how wrong I was. We hit a bit of rough seas and well I was not the only one getting rid of my dinner from the same hole I put it in. That put an end to our evening as I hit the bed for the night.

To be continued……

Up coming review sea days, room description and our Meet & Mingle.

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I love reading reviews of people's trips on the Spirit. It brings back such great memories of when I was on her this past April. I can't wait to go on her again.

 

Can't wait to read the rest of your review, Linsue1231.

 

I grew up in the Bronx...great place.:)

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With all the rushing around the night before, I forgot to take my bonnie. I wasn’t to worried; look at the great weather we had for our sail away. Oh how wrong I was. We hit a bit of rough seas and well I was not the only one getting rid of my dinner from the same hole I put it in.

 

WOW, Linda you are quick. I was the same way that first night. I've NEVER gotten sick on all my cruises but this one was different and I was on the Spirit before in July.

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Room Description

 

We resided for 10 days in stateroom 10090. This is a balcony, mid-ship, on the 10th floor. The room is similar to a balcony on the Dawn. The few differences are as follows. There were sliding closet doors instead of the ones you pull open. I liked them better, but there is no light inside the closet, which the Dawn has. The safe is at the bottom of the closet, not in a separate space like the Dawn.

The vanity is like a desk near the balcony doors and the lighting there is very limited in the evening. The blow dryer is not connected to the vanity, like on the Dawn, but in the bathroom.

If you remember this ship was made for the Asian market and the room seems just ever so slightly smaller than a balcony stateroom of the same category on the Dawn. The balcony itself seemed smaller.

This is where my second disappoint occurred. At first glance the balcony seemed fine. I always get a balcony, as I like to spend time on it at all hours of the day. Watching her pull into a port, leaving a port, in the wee hours when all is quite and millions of stars are twinkling in the endless sky, and listening to soothing sounds as the ship pushes through the ocean.

The balcony dividers are falling apart, the ceiling panels are falling off. Actually one was missing from our balcony. We soon found it in the corner of the balcony behind the broken lounge chair. We found out the chair was broken not by sitting on it, but by looking at the armrests on both sides hanging off. DH wanted me to tell the room steward, James, to change it, but I wanted to see if he would do it without us telling him to. It was plain to see it was useless to us, but it stayed there for our entire cruise, along with the 2x4 metal panel from the ceiling.

Imagine my surprise when a fellow Cruise Critic member invited us up to see the gift the up-sell fairy bestowed upon him; one of the owners suites, and seeing one of his balcony panels missing as well. I am sure it did not take away any of the grandness of the suite, but in my opinion the spirit is in dire need of an exterior make over.

Okay back to my little balcony room. Before we left there was a post about bed bugs. I searched and I am happy to say there were none in our room. The bed was comfortable with the foam egg thingy, but I think it might not have been without it. This next issue about the bed is from my DH, as it never happened to me. The headboard is kind of short and every time he turned in bed he would hit his head on the top ledge.

Now the bathroom has the same set-up as the Dawn, but smaller. I got a good laugh out of the toilet though. Everything was smaller, but for some reason the toilet was high. I am 5 feet 5 inches and when sitting on it I was on my tippy toes. It is not very comfortable.

There is no fridge. The colors of the room were very nice and we liked them. The last two days the water was coming out yellow from the sink and after you flushed the bowl’s water was yellow as well. There was a slight lingering odor in the bathroom on all days. Some days it was stronger than others. Our room was not really cleaned, if you know what I mean. At first glance the room looked clean, but at closer inspection there was dust everywhere. I don’t mean a little dusty, I mean running your finger across and it coming up with dust balls. The room ceiling was also very dusty from the A/C vent.

Our room steward was nice and polite. But I believe they are short staffed and this is causing the lack of excellence in maintaining the room, or maybe he is just not doing his job. He informed me we could not get the robes to use during our stay as they are only for suites.

None of the above changed the out come of our vacation. These are just honest observations of my stateroom.

To be continued…….

Up coming reviews, Sea Days and Meet & Mingle.

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I had the same problem with the balcony ceiling tiles on my cruise. I awoke one morning to a crashing thud on the balcony. I thought a seagull had crashed onto the balcony. When I got out of bed to check it out, I noticed a ceiling tile had fallen onto the floor. It had fallen with one of its pointy sides down and laid rested against the chair leg. If anyone had been sitting on that chair they would have been injured.

 

When we got into port that morning I telephoned the operator to tell her that one of the tiles had fallen from the ceiling and expressed my concern that a serious injury could have occurred. I know it wasn't her fault but I was annoyed. She told me she would get maintenance to fix it. We were in port all day and I was off the ship all day but was surprised and annoyed again to see the tile still in the positon where it had fallen.

 

I called the operator again and told her what had happened and that this was the second request I had put in. She apologized and said she would send someone right over. Within a few minutes someone from maintenance called and said they would be right over. About ten minutes later a guy came over and fixed the tile. When I complained to him he said that this happens all the time and that during the previous cruise he had to change all the ceiling tiles in several cabins.

 

When I came back home and reviewed my cruise here on this web site I made mention of this situation. People responded that they had never heard of this situation happening. Maybe it is getting worst. Or maybe NCL wants you to purchase one of those beer helmets so that you can wear it on the balcony.

 

If I have to keep looking up at the ceiling tiles everytime I go on the balcony I might as well go with a windowed cabin and save myself the money. Still can't wait to get back on that ship, though.

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I'm not going to worry about balcony tiles...I have an ocean view cabin.;)

My question is who currently is the cruise director? I was on the Spirt in June and enjoyed Ricky the then current cruise director.

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I'm not going to worry about balcony tiles...I have an ocean view cabin.;)

My question is who currently is the cruise director? I was on the Spirt in June and enjoyed Ricky the then current cruise director.

 

you will be happy then to know it is indeed Ricky.

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Meet & Mingle

 

We had our M & M on the first sea day in Henry’s Pub. The turn out was great, a mixture of adults and children totaling 60. Henry’s was so packed there was standing room only.

Captain Hammerin, Hotel Director Hugo Vanosmael, F & B Director Tony Rosa, Asst. Hotel Director Richard Janicki, Group Services Coordinator Angelina Belleza, and The Great Cruise Director Ricky Matthews, all made an appearance.

We named our group Caribbean Pirates, so the themes of our activities were based on this. We had a Door Decoration contest. The prize was a bottle of wine. All who partook in this did a great job; so much so I could not chose a winner. I picked one of the kids to pull a room number out of a bag. Next we had a trivia contest two winners were giving a pirate theme prize. A grab bag brought loads of goodies. There was also loads of pirate dodah’s for the kids. Eye patches, pirate masks, bags of chocolate gold coins, bubbles, coloring books, pirate flags, pirate tattoos, yo-yo’s and just loads of other goodies for them. The kids had a great time.

But the best part for me was putting faces to the names of people I have been chatting with for months. It was great to host the M & M.

Hugo came up to me and informed me if anyone was interested in attending the Officers dinner to give him room #’s and we would be in. I will talk about this later.

First Sea Day

 

After the M & M I had plan on going to the famous Martini tasting, which was held at Champagne Charlie’s deck 8 at 2PM. Then to the Daiquiri tasting at 3pm, also at Charlie’s, but I got detoured and missed them. But not to worry I made the Margarita tasting at Beir Garten. I joined Bob and Joanne there and had a blast. When we got up to leave the Beer Tasting was starting.

The weather was a bit windy, but the diehard sun worshipers were out catching the rays.

The first sea day is also the first optional formal night and also lobster night. We ate dinner at Windows with Martina as our server. A lot of people were having the duck and it got rave reviews. We enjoyed the Lobster.

Did not hit the show that night, but hit the casino where I won $400 and called it a night.

Second Sea Day

 

Windows for breakfast; which became the norm for us. The French toast was yum yum as well as the eggs benedict. We found the OJ tasted watered down, but drinkable. After eating we headed up to the pool area. Weather was better but still windy.

We really did nothing but relax and people watch until lunchtime. You must try the hotdogs and burgers at Bier Garten, they were very good, which was a surprise. On the Dawn last year they were not good at all and we stayed away from them. We watched the games being played at the pool area and as there was really no other activities, which were of interest we head to the room.

I found the activities lacking or not scheduled at a great time. Bingo cost too much so I did not partake in any of the games this trip. I found I had more fun at the casino and spent a lot of my after dinner time there.

To be continued…

 

Up coming, St. Thomas, Antigua.

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Great reviews so far - looking forward to more!

 

We sail on the Spirit on Jan. 2 for our honeymoon (11 nights). Were there 2 formal nights on your 10 day itinery? Good to know about the Lobster on the first sea day! Also glad to hear that Ricky is back as CD.

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Great reviews so far - looking forward to more!

 

We sail on the Spirit on Jan. 2 for our honeymoon (11 nights). Were there 2 formal nights on your 10 day itinery? Good to know about the Lobster on the first sea day! Also glad to hear that Ricky is back as CD.

 

Yes there were two formal nights. One on the first friday and the other on the second friday.

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