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snoopy_leogirl

My review of the SPIRIT (July 24-July 31 Sailing) part 1

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I tried to post a formal review, but this is the message that I got but posted below, is my review:

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My Review (finally!):

Since this is my first cruise ever, I have nothing to compare it with so I guess I was a bit too optimistic/positive while experiencing everything and this reflected in my review. My first ship choice was the Sapphire or Diamond Princess but they were all full. So, we picked the Spirit instead of the Star and we decided to stick with it, no matter what and experience it. But, going into the cruise I felt as if it wouldn’t enjoy it as much since many people have complained a lot about many things which is okay because they are probably more experienced cruisers. I can say that this was an amazing, exceptional experience of a lifetime and the ship itself was stunningly beautiful. There is always room for improvement but I think that the staff did everything that they could for the most part to please their customers. I would most definitely sail on NCL again if I get the chance to and would recommend it to anyone.

July 23 – Left home early, (at 8:30 am) and boarded American Eagle to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Reached there, went to Domino’s for lunch (which is close to gate 3) and had some pizza (shouldn’t have done this though because we were sitting in Business class on our next flight and they gave us a HUGE meal!) Our next flight was to Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. Took us about 5 hours and 30 minutes and we finally reached Dallas. We reached kind of late and only had about 30 minutes to run from one gate to another (somewhere in terminal A all the way to terminal C) which were very far apart and the airport was so crowded! We practically ran to the next gate but on the way there, we found out that our flight to Seattle was delayed by almost 1 hour so we were happy that we could take it a little easy. We finally reached our C gate and set off for Seattle. Arrived in Seattle around 10 pm and picked up the luggage right away and went to our hotel for the night which was Holiday Inn Express SeaTac. It was actually a nice hotel.

July 24 – First Day of cruise – Seattle
When we got up in the morning, we went to breakfast in the lobby which was crowded with people since breakfast is complimentary. It was a nice meal with quite a bit of variety though all the food was basically cold stuff (cereal, muffins, bagels, coffee, juices, fruit). We then took a cab to Holiday Inn on Dexter Avenue to drop off some of our suitcases which we would not be needing on the cruise (we were traveling for 2 more weeks after the cruise). After that, we went straight to Pier 66. I enjoyed the drive from the Airport side to the city side. The city of Seattle reminds me a lot of San Francisco because of all of the dips going up and down in the roads. Before we even got to Pier 66, we saw two other ships at an earlier pier (Diamond Princess and one of the HAL ships). Pier 66 was bustling with people all over the place. The boarding process was pretty simple. We stood in line outside first with all of our luggage. We reached a point where a woman checked all of our passports and cruise tickets and then sent us front to place our luggage on the x-ray conveyor belt. We then walked out of the building and reached to the escalator and rode up, and entered an area where there was a HUGE line that moved slowly. Another NCL official checked our tickets and passports and told us to stand in the appropriate line. Lucky enough for us, we are not American Passport holders so we stood in the International visitors line and our line was completely empty. Yaay! Others were in line for a long time. Our group consisted of 7 people. Myself, my younger sister (17 yrs old), my parents, my uncle and aunt and their young daughter (7 years old). After getting our id cards for the cruise we then stood in another short line which led us to the ship. Before we got up to the ramp, we took out embarkation pictures and then we were finally on the ship after they swiped our cards for the first time. At the reception desk on deck 7, there was a sign that said “No rooms can be altered due to full capacity.” So I guess the ship was really full, plus every website that I visited before we left said our date was sold out. We did the life drill at around 3:40 which was when we were starting to assemble and we stood there till about 4:05 which was when we were told that the sail-away party would start in a few minutes. We basically ran from deck 7 to our cabin to put the life vests back and went up to the deck 12/deck 13 area. There were drinks, a live band and barbecued food and boy was it HOT! We were told that the heat was a record breaking 91 degrees! We finally sailed away. The Diamond Princess was right behind us all the time. After a while, I kind of got tired outside as it was so hot, so we decided to go inside. A few hours later, it was cold outside! I guess heading up to the inside passage the weather got chilly. Earlier that day, we had Raffles for lunch and it was good, but at dinner, the food was pretty bad so we went to Blue Lagoon instead and had some stir fried noodles and fried rice. Good food. After dinner, we decided to explore the ship a bit and took a nice walk around the public areas to know what’s where and then called it a night. Oh by the way, if you can’t find your room the first time, its okay because once you know where it is, you’ll get used to it right away. When we first went to our cabin, we were lost for a few minutes because we had 3 cabins for the 7 of us but eventually we found our way around. That night, the ship rocked quite a bit but it actually put me nicely to sleep. I forgot to mention that some time on this day, I attended a shore excursions lecture at the Moulin Rouge Theater hosted by Jamie who tried to also provide some comical relief as well as inform us since the lecture got pretty boring but there were quite a bit of people in attendance, though generally, people kept coming and going.

July 25 – Second Day of cruise – At Sea
I first woke up at 7 am but finally got out of bed at 8:30 because I was so tired. I actually wanted to relax and explore the ship a bit more today. We had breakfast at Raffles which was good, the food was fine. I then went to deck 13 to take a brisk walk but it was really cold and windy so after about 3 laps, I decided to stop. Lunch was at Windows. This place is really nice. Very crowded, big, nice views but it was a great atmosphere. Our waitress was a fellow Indian Sonali. She was really nice and patient with our requests since over half of our party is completely vegetarian. I had the onion and bacon quiche with the apple fritters and ice cream for dessert. Good food. After lunch, we went to Galaxy of the Stars to play bingo. You have a choice of manual cards of the electronic machine. The manual cards cost $29 for 2 sets and the electronic machine was $39. We also bought a few krack-its and won practically nothing. Galaxy of the Stars during Bingo time is a crowded place. So many people, including my sister and I, sat on the floor. But seriously, I love it here because its big, pretty and the scenery outside is amazing from here, especially if you sit all the way at the front or on the bridge. During Bingo, we passed through a very narrow passage as the captain was explaining. Its actually a native village and it was pretty nice to look at. Later on, we went to the aft (where the amphitheater is) to play ping-pong but we had to wait our turn since there were so many people playing. Later on, I took my little cousin to Buccaneer’s Wild and while I was standing and gazing at how beautiful and calm the ocean is, I spotted a whale in the water! I was so excited. During the evening, we walked through the Lobby and saw so many couples and groups taking out formal pictures since it was Formal Night. So many people were dressed so nicely. We didn’t dress up though. This vacation was truly for us to relax, explore new places and de-stress so we didn’t want to dress up formally. Ate again at Raffles and it was pretty good. Seriously! After that, we went to the production, “A Night on the Town.” at Moulin Rouge Theater. The show was good. Very colorful, good singing, pretty costumes, good themes. But if you want to compare it to the shows you see in Las Vegas, you’ll be bored here but I liked it. It was good to see once especially if you like live singing, dancing and music. After the show, we stepped out on the deck because it was so crowded there and we noticed that people were looking at whales spouting water/air, and porpoises! The porpoises were amazing…there were two of them jumping around playfully together and they were almost like synchronized swimmers. Beautiful! I was pleasantly surprised.

continued ---

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Thanks for posting! It brings back great memories from our cruise on the Spirit. It's amazing how much marine life is in the Inside Passage. We saw so many animals!

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