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Randy Flagg

Okay Here It Is Spirit Review 11/19-11/30

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I am going to try a little bit of a differnent format here and break the review down into separate sections and give a descriptions as well as my individual opinions. You will all see what I mean below.

 

First off, some backgroud, My wife and I are around 30yo and have been married for 3 years. I am a Project Manager in NYC and my wife is an Accountant. We live in PA and have for most of our lives. We have traveled together to Italy for a 12 day 3 city tour for our honeymoon as well as various cities in the US. I have traveled extensively for work (250 nights a year) and have stayed at some of the better hotels and resorts around the country. Due to my extensive travel rewards when we travel for pleasure it is usually at the higher end hotels and resorts. We also love great restuarants and have eaten at many of the great ones in Philly, NYC, and around the country.

 

I thought it was important to provide this information so you all could get an idea of where the opinions in our review are coming from.

 

DISCLAIMER: As I have already stated this review is about our OPINIONS. Please do not jump all over me because you think I should have a different a opinion for whatever reason. Everybody responds to every situation differently.

 

Okay, I know I haven't covered much yet but I don't want to lose what I have typed. So I will cut it off here. I will start the next section in a couple of minutes.

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Embarkation Good to Very Good

 

The embarkation was very smooth in General. We took a car service (Carmel) from the NW Philly suburbs. The driver arrived promptly and we were at the port in appoximately two hours. One little issue was that I reserved the car with one credit card and paid the driver with another. This is apparently a bad thing. So, when we were trying to figure out where to go at the terminal I was getting frantic calls from the driver and dispatcher trying confirm the correct CC. This is really my fault since the dispatcher warned me about this when I reserved.

 

One major issue with debarkation is that there really wasn't any clear directions on where to go for debarkation of your ship outside the terminal. We arrived at the port around 11:30 but the Spirit and the Dawn were embarking and debarking so it is quite the madhouse. Once we figured out which terminal to enter things went much smoother.

 

I was very worried about the the form that we were supposed fill out and send back to NCL 14 days from to leaving. As I said in an earlier thread I was not happy with our TA for not warning us that we needed to do this. I also thought that NCL could have worded or presented this better. They label the form Advanced Registration and three lines down in a smaller print it states that all passengers were required to fill out the form and send it back in. I had some serious pre-cruise frustration when I realized this. I think NCL could avoid this issue by putting the form in an evelope that states that the form must be filled out by all passengers and sent back to NCL no later than 14 days prior to departure. I ended up spending 20 minutes on hold with NCL to find out that this wasn't a big deal and that I could hand the form in when we registered. I was still worried about this when we got to the port but I simply handed to the form to the registration person and she didn't even bat an eye.

 

We entered the main embarkation hall and sat down on the folding chairs around 11:45. I would say we were probably on the ship around 12:45. The process was very smooth and simple. Once on the ship we explored a little bit until we were allowed in our staterooms at 2:00 promptly. Our bags arrived around 4:30 and we were off and cruising.

 

Once again, besides the direction outside the terminal I really don't think this could be done much better.

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. I was very worried about the the form that we were supposed fill out and send back to NCL 14 days from to leaving. As I said in an earlier thread I was not happy with our TA for not warning us that we needed to do this. I also thought that NCL could have worded or presented this better. They label the form Advanced Registration and three lines down in a smaller print it states that all passengers were required to fill out the form and send it back in. I had some serious pre-cruise frustration when I realized this. I think NCL could avoid this issue by putting the form in an evelope that states that the form must be filled out by all passengers and sent back to NCL no later than 14 days prior to departure. I ended up spending 20 minutes on hold with NCL to find out that this wasn't a big deal and that I could hand the form in when we registered. I was still worried about this when we got to the port but I simply handed to the form to the registration person and she didn't even bat an eye.

 

I do recall your original thread regarding your pre-registration.

 

You dealt with a TA not NCL...TA should have completed the form for you or advised you to do it.

NCL does not send an envelope to you when you use a TA:)

 

Glad it all worked out;)

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If you sail out of NYC again...

Go to nypst.com to find your exact pier and berth.

Find the Port Calendar link and look up your date and ship. It will say something like "Pier 90 Berth 3"

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Cosmo and Shawnee,

Thanks for the info and this helps for next time but my point in the review is that a first time cruiser should not have to look up this information. When you go to the airport there are signs with your airline and what terminal they are in. Then when you enter the terminal there are monitors showing what gate you flight is at. That was the kind of info that I was looking for.

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As I am considering Cruise Critic part of my cruise experience I am goint to give it a quick review as well.

 

My experience with CC was Very Good to Excellent. There is a tremendous amount of important information here that I enjoyed reviewing in the months before my cruise. I particularily enjoyed the reviews and port information. Once on board and at the ports, I felt as if I had already been on the ship and been to the ports. This gave me a feeling of comfort that allowed me to enjoy this vacation even more. I really can't thank the people of CC enought for this.

 

Now the bad part. I understand that it takes a certain amount of passionate people to make something like this work. I simply think people take it a little bit too far. Some posters are very quick to tell people that they are wrong in their opinions. This is not the end of the world but it does create some extremely long flamer threads that take away from the great information that is buried among the threads.

 

The second bad experience is with our roll call. Again, back to the passionate people thing. It was nice at some level to talk to all the people who were going on our cruise but some people take it a little too far. I ending up bagging the Meet and Greet because I was afraid I wouldn't get a moments rest while in public with some of the posters. I was correct in guessing that the ship is really a small place and you see people over and over again. My worst fear would have been that we were sitting at a bar and restaurant and had a constant stream of CC people bothering. I certainly enjoyed talking to all the people we met on the cruise but I liked the fact that the meeting of these people was a more ogranic thing and less forced because we happen to have posted on CC together.

 

I am sure there were plenty of great people in the Roll Call but I was scared of meeting what I considered some of the overzealout people.

 

Again, in closing, great experience with CC. Highly recommended to any cruisers but I am not sure I will ever be at a CC meet and greet.

 

 

Next Part.

 

Ship in General. Very Good to Excellent

 

I felt that the condition of the ship and the decore(sp?) were great. The asian theme and well appointed public areas were beautiful. I felt like I was in a higher end Asian Themed Las Vegas hotel. All of the public areas we visited were very clean and in good condition. All the wood railings were being re-varnished while we were on board including our balcony. I noticed the railing before they worked on it and it didn't look like they needed to be redone. We saw the workers varnishing another section of railing later in the week and we joked that the workers jobs were probably to just varnish railings all week. Chances are this was the truth.

 

There were some areas of the ship where you could see that small areas needed some touch up paint. I didn't take any points off for this. To understand the environment that this ships sails in day in and day out I was amazed the the paint and everything held up so well. Someone in another thread said something about the lions on the promenade being in bad shape. Again, I saw the lions before and after being repainted and I didn't really think they needed to be painted again.

 

The ship was constantly being cleaned. Every night they were cleaning the rugs in the stairwells and hoseing down the promenade.

 

The only negative I can even think of are the rugs in the stairwell. They seemed to be a little worn and the colors and patterns seemed much. I am sure they are at end of life and will be replaced again.

 

Again, beautiful ship, public areas were very luxurious, and everything was kept very clean. I am not mentioning the individual area because I will review them on an individual basis.

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We agree. The ship was beautiful and clean. We noticed the rugs on the stairs as well, but we got over that. The rest was clean, pretty and fine.

We had been on 10 previous cruises (3 with NCL)..Dawn, Dream and Westward.

We liked the size of the ship..easy to find your way...and loved the itinerary......the ports were wonderful!!

as for the "rest" of the review..we will write more after we unpack and do our many piles of laundry!!!:eek:

MONTY

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I also felt the ship was kept pretty clean. They crew were always painting or cleaning. They even varnished the balcony railings of our staterooms. I was surprised how small the balcony rooms were and the lack of storage space. It was ok for 2 but I can't see how we could have put a 3rd person in there. I'll be doing my review soon. Also Randy, i went to the cc meet and greet, I was about a 1/2 hour late, b/c of the black jack tourney. Everyone was real quiet, not like on the boards. we were invited to dine with the captian, but I was with 16 family members, so I said no thank-you. I wanted to meet all the ppl with teens, as we were with 6 in our family. It was a great time and I do miss her, Cathi

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about the meet and greet. I think you would have found that it was pretty casual and there was never any obligation to do anything more than say hi. Everyone I met was great. It was nice to have a few familiar faces to say hello to once in a while.

 

Cathy - I have to tell you that I think part of your group was in the cabin next to us. If they haven't already told you we were forced (at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning) to call reception to have someone come up and tell them to shut it down for the night. Teens will be teens I suppose.

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about the meet and greet. I think you would have found that it was pretty casual and there was never any obligation to do anything more than say hi. Everyone I met was great. It was nice to have a few familiar faces to say hello to once in a while.

 

Cathy - I have to tell you that I think part of your group was in the cabin next to us. If they haven't already told you we were forced (at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning) to call reception to have someone come up and tell them to shut it down for the night. Teens will be teens I suppose.

 

The day we disembarked.

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Yeah I heard about that. It was actually my sister's son, step-son, and bro-in-law. They were a little misbehaved the whole cruise. I had to go searching for one of them at 2am on like the 4th night. They are good kids, just 16yr boys. Sorry about that, I would tell my sis, but I don't think it would help. It was hard travling with the teens, they were trying to get into the casino and the clubs. I actually saw pics of the 3 boys with the bruleask (sp) girls. It was funny, b/c my sis thought the boys were in at curfew, hubby and I knew different, and then that party where the pics were taken was at 2am, humph, how could that be....There also were three boys right acroos the hall from my kids, they were hitting on my girls, had to keep an eye on that. All in all I think the kids were pretty good. There were 80 teens signed up for the teens club on the 2nd night. But I have to say next time, it's me and hubby...For like the first 5 nights I couldn't get my kids out of their cabin, they were bored. Kids, eh. Oh well next year my oldest daughter will be away in college, darn, lol Cathi

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Randy, we're also from NW Philly area. (near lansdale exit on NE Ext. of turnpike). I assume the car service picked you up also. How did that go? I'm leaning towards driving because I don't want to have to wait for a ride on the way home.

 

Gregg

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Yeah I heard about that. It was actually my sister's son, step-son, and bro-in-law. They were a little misbehaved the whole cruise. I had to go searching for one of them at 2am on like the 4th night. They are good kids, just 16yr boys. Sorry about that, I would tell my sis, but I don't think it would help. It was hard travling with the teens, they were trying to get into the casino and the clubs. I actually saw pics of the 3 boys with the bruleask (sp) girls. It was funny, b/c my sis thought the boys were in at curfew, hubby and I knew different, and then that party where the pics were taken was at 2am, humph, how could that be....There also were three boys right acroos the hall from my kids, they were hitting on my girls, had to keep an eye on that. All in all I think the kids were pretty good. There were 80 teens signed up for the teens club on the 2nd night. But I have to say next time, it's me and hubby...For like the first 5 nights I couldn't get my kids out of their cabin, they were bored. Kids, eh. Oh well next year my oldest daughter will be away in college, darn, lol Cathi

 

Having been no angel myself during my teens, I was a little surprised that 3 boys that age would be staying on their own. You can't blame them for getting into a bit of trouble. Almost like an invitation really.

 

All in all, as far as we were concerned they didn't bother us except for the last night. By the sounds of it they didn't spend much time in their cabin. Ha!

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Yeah I heard about that. It was actually my sister's son, step-son, and bro-in-law. They were a little misbehaved the whole cruise. I had to go searching for one of them at 2am on like the 4th night. They are good kids, just 16yr boys. Sorry about that, I would tell my sis, but I don't think it would help. It was hard travling with the teens, they were trying to get into the casino and the clubs. I actually saw pics of the 3 boys with the bruleask (sp) girls. It was funny, b/c my sis thought the boys were in at curfew, hubby and I knew different, and then that party where the pics were taken was at 2am, humph, how could that be....There also were three boys right acroos the hall from my kids, they were hitting on my girls, had to keep an eye on that. All in all I think the kids were pretty good. There were 80 teens signed up for the teens club on the 2nd night. But I have to say next time, it's me and hubby...For like the first 5 nights I couldn't get my kids out of their cabin, they were bored. Kids, eh. Oh well next year my oldest daughter will be away in college, darn, lol Cathi

 

 

Real nice of y'all to hijack this thread. Maybe while you are disciplining your offspring we can get back to Randy's thread huh?:confused:

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Travel - I am sure it would not been an issue but when someone badgers you and everybody else for their real names so they can make a list for the meet and greet (why was there a need for real names for this list anyway?) i begin to get worried.

 

Gregor - we actually had a friend pick us up. I bet the car service pick up wouldn't be an issue. That is what they do and most of them advertise that there is no charge for waiting on flights/cruises etc. For the price it was the way to go.

 

sea level - Thanks for putting this back in the right direction. I promise I will post the next section tomorrow.

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Randy, we're also from NW Philly area. (near lansdale exit on NE Ext. of turnpike). I assume the car service picked you up also. How did that go? I'm leaning towards driving because I don't want to have to wait for a ride on the way home.

 

Gregg

 

Gregg ~

 

We always use a car service going to and from the pier.

 

We always give him our return date and time.

He checks the AM of our arrival to be sure the ship is in.

He has our cell number and we have his.

 

He parks on the side street and waits in his car until he sees the ship disembarking and calls our cell.

 

We have always had priority disembarkation and somehow he manages to leave the car, come into the terminal and is there as soon as we pass the customs agents.

 

The only time we had a problem was when we returned on the Dawn in the Noreaster last year.

I called his cell and informed him that we had to book a hotel overnight. The roads to our home in the mountains were not plowed.

He picked us up the next AM at the hotel in NY.

 

Hope this helps:)

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Hi Randy. Thanks so much for the review. In on of your posts you listed the number for the car service you took. Can you give me that again? I can't find that post. I live in PA too and tried to find a service but had no luck.

 

Thanks!

 

Patti

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Hi,

Me & my wife will be on the 1/23/07 sailing of the Spirit. This will be the 1st time on NCL and have booked a suite (Cat. AC).

My wife was curious to know if anybody knows the size of the hottub in the cat. AC suites? Is it big enough for two people?

Thanks

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WOW!!!!!! I must not have been on the same ship I'll keep saying it: Ship, crew (most not all), and food were TIRED!!!! I don't want to get beat up either but you can refer to 10-29 review started by Shawnee Indian. Good luck all. Prefer the Dawn. Hands down.

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Year - Carmel limo is 212-666-6666. The cost was $160 one way not including tax and tolls. It ended up being around $200 for everything.

 

Gomez - What crew members did you find tired? Where did they work? Also, where did you find bad food? I haven't reviewed the food yet but I am interested in what your defintion of "tired" is.

 

Sorry for the delay in the review all. I promise to get the next part out. I am pretty busy today getting read for our company X-mas party.

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I am using tired for some (majority) of the staff because I could not accurately describe their temperment. I understand that all of us have a bad day every so often. But to me and my wife it seemed that too many staff in all areas did not seem happy EVERY DAY. There of course were some that ALWAYS greeted us with a smile. When we were on the Dawn 11-04 it seemed like the whole staff just hit the lotto. Using tired for the food can only be explained as not good-not bad. Prime rib like a shoe, send it back and get another shoe. Most beef dishes were bland. Chicken seemed overcooked. Fish was surprisingly very good. Using tired for the ship: we get in our room 1st thing and we see sand on carpet (how did this happen, the last port day was 3 days before), balcony glass is filthy (in and out), balcony chairs were broken and half broken, and railing had maybe 10% varnish on it. You know what they say about 1st impressions. Public restrooms were usually sub par in the cleanliness department. No trays in raffles. Now it really sounds like I'm on a negative roll BUT try to have a plate and a bowl and silverware and reach for some food while the only thing to rest all of them on is a 3 rail tray holder. IMPOSSIBLE. And DO NOT get out of line as it is so backed up because the waffle and omlette stations are at the very end of the line. On the Dawn they were placed seperately. As I have said before, every day I got up and assured my wife that it could only get better. Did not get worse but did not get better. After our experience on the Dawn, I guess we raised the bar a little too high.

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We had a similar experience with our cabin. Kept finding things, like a hair elastic, receipts from others who were in our cabin on previous cruises, sand in the bottom of the shower. I never really felt like it was being cleaned completely, just the garbage emptied and the bed either made up or turned down without a sheet change.

 

I agree, Raffles is a disaster. By the end of the trip I was almost too frustrated to bother to eat breakfast there.

 

All in all, we had a good cruise, simply because I don't let small things ruin my vacation. It wasn't the best cruise I've been on, but certainly it wasn't the worst either.

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