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Kierste

Spirit review, 11 day Adriatic, July 8-19

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We just got off the Spirit on 7/19, third cruise for us (have also sailed on the Pearl and the Escape), hubby, me and our 14 year old daughter. We flew all the way from Oregon to London a little over a week before the cruise. Spent some time touring London, Paris, Naples and Rome and finally took the train from Rome to Civitavecchia the morning of embarkation.

The train was very easy, but many people were stressed out and on edge. The train we were on went from Rome to Ostiense to Civitavecchia, and onward to Milan. The sign just said Milan. You have to watch the train number and time, and ask if you are confused. Much easier then stressing out that you are on the wrong train. On disembarkation we walked back to the station, walked in and bought our tickets back to Rome and were on the train in 5 more minutes... for 5 euros each. Super easy and no reservations needed (we had reservations pre-cruise.)

The room:

We had 11512, a regular balcony, just forward of the forward elevators. This room has the small couch by the slider. Our steward made the couch up each night for DD. Note, when it is set up as a bed, you have to walk on the bed to get to the slider and go out on the balcony. No big deal for us, but there is not even a spare inch between the bottom of the bed and the desk (or between the sofa bed and the regular bed for that matter). The regular NCL sized balcony had 2 chairs and a small table. We brought boca clips (towel clips) and used those frequently to hold down drying swimsuits and towels to the chairs when we were enjoying the balcony. The bathroom has a shower with adjustable wand and glass door, and a small cubby for the toilet with its own sliding door within the bathroom. I knew that storage was minimal in the room and we used packing cubes on the shelves for undergarments and I also brought a hanging cube style organizer that folds flat for additional items. DD used the drawers under the fridge and we had plenty of room for our things. We kept our luggage under the bed.

We rarely used the “make up room” or “do not disturb” cards you put in the key card slot on the door. But our steward figured out our schedule and the room was always kept up.

Entourage:

DD had enjoyed splash academy on the Pearl and entourage on the Escape, and was looking forward to entourage again this trip. We put the I-concierge app on my phone and her iPod and paid the $9.99 per device to be able to text between them. Our rules were: text on arrival, if you change venues, and when you are headed to the room and no going into other people's rooms. If we had an early port day the next day she had a 11:15 pm curfew (to allow time after the activity ended to get back to the room), sea days the next day she got to stay out till the 1 am kid’s curfew. This was more lenient than we were on the Escape. The reason was the hours for entourage were not consistent in the evening. Splash academy had their normal ship-wide closure times (for lunch and dinner), but entourage was shut from 7-9 or 8-10 or 8:30 to 11... for no apparent rhyme nor reason. So each day we really needed to pay attention to the hours. Frankly, with the late closures, most nights by the time entourage opened, DD was too tired to make the effort to leave the room (we had a very port intensive itinerary.) She did have a pack of friends and they did some of the organized activities together, others they skipped and just hung out with each other. We were told there were about 250 teens on board for our cruise.

Food and drinks:

We had the UBP and the 4 meal dining package. If I ordered a drink for me and a virgin drink for my daughter they did not charge me for my daughter's drink. You were allowed to buy two drinks at a time and we found the rules to be the same on the Spirit as they were on our Escape cruise. Both cruises I had intended to buy my daughter's drinks, but never was asked to pay for one. Galaxy of the Stars was directly above our room, and was our go-to bar at night.

We ate at Le Bistro, La Trattoria, Cagney's and Teppanyaki for our specialty dinners. All were very good and dinner lasted between 90 minutes and 2 hours. I would eat at all of them again. We also ate at Cagney’s for one breakfast and one lunch by special invitation. On the Spirit, Cagney’s serves as the Haven restaurant. Both lunch and dinner were lovely, but not much more impressive than the MDR.

We did Garden and Windows for a couple lunches and a few dinners each. Enjoyed everything we got. Service was good, and we were nearly always done in an hour. 3 dinners we ate at Shogun (which is a free Chinese food venue that is open for dinner). DD loves Chinese food, and we always ordered a variety and told them we were eating family style and they were very accommodating.

Now we do not eat late, all our dinners were between 5:30 and 6 and we only had reservations for the specialty restaurants. The only time we ate later was after Olympia we went to Garden around 7. Every time we were seated with no wait.

Breakfasts were in the buffet (except for our one Cagney’s breakfast). Seating was tricky during "prime time", if you wanted to stay inside. Outside on the terrace there always seemed to be a place to sit. Mart who is one of the omelette chefs was great, seek him out.

Crepe station at night... they ran out of Nutella for half the cruise, this was very sad. They did manage to get single serve packs near the end, which was great. And they would not cut up a banana, if it wasn’t out it wasn’t an option. We still had a couple crepes during the cruise, and that was lovely.

We had lunch and snacks occasionally in Blue Lagoon, easy choice with the same menu as far as I could tell as O’Sheehans.

Straws: I brought my own paper straws. Worked great for slushy drinks. The waiters got a kick out of my bright colored straws.

Entertainment:

DD and I went to the aerial duo show (DD has been doing aerial arts for 6 years), called Sounds of Love or something. The show was good, if you don’t do aerial arts, it looked technically impressive. However, nearly every trick my 14 year old can do. We also went to Elements, which was entertaining. And the encore performance of Tre Amici, three male singers, who were very good. Seating was easy, we showed up 10 minutes before the 7:30 shows for two of them and found great seats. Walked in right at 9:30 for Elements, and found seats, but was definitely harder!

We didn’t really hang out in the public spaces at night. Port days were tiring, even with half-day excursions, we were ready for bed by 9:30 or 10 usually. We did not go in the pool or hot tubs, and if we went looking for a lounge chair, our favorite areas were under the lifeboats on the boardwalk, or in the aft tiered area by the kiddos pool.

I spent a small fortune on a massage in the spa (first and last time I will do that.) Did not appreciate the auto-gratuity of 20% for a massage that was already priced too high. In the states I would not have tipped so much, I thought it was a fine massage but not even in the top 5 I have ever had. I left the gratuity alone. But will comment on my survey.

Ship in general:

Mid-way thru the cruise they replaced the dumb floral carpet in our hallway to the NCL fish carpet (yay fish!) No smell or noise, it was done while we were in port. We were excited to walk on the plush new carpet that night! The ship appears to be well kept. Has funky little touches like fish tiling in the cabin bathrooms. The washy-washy team seemed very diminished. We had one washy-washy girl in the mornings (Maria) that would play... we would say washy-washy and she would sing happy-happy. I missed the antics of the washy teams of old. The staff was very friendly and accommodating.

Join your roll call, go to the meet and greet! I managed the meet and greet, we had 45 people RSVP and only about 25 showed up (even though I delivered reminder cards to nearly everyone the night before.) But it was a great start to the cruise and we met some great people. Also, if you have a complaint mention it while you are on board, they will do what they can to fix it right then. If you wait till after the cruise is over, complaints tend to grow to unreasonable sizes and then there is nothing to be done.

Excursions:

We did more NCL excursions than we have in the past. Sea kayaking in Dubrovnik was our favorite! Slovenia Postojna Caves was amazing, and so nice to be cold for once on a summer day. Olympia and the Beach was fine. Olympia was very hot, but our guide was good. The beach part was nice, except the pushy peddlers bugging you every two minutes. 4x4 jeeps in Malta was a great way to see the island. The commentary was over the radio and hard to hear in an open topped jeep.

 

Overall, if I cruised the Spirit again, I wouldn't really change a thing—except to carry more euros and kuna (for Croatia), we were forever stuck without enough cash on hand and having to find an atm. The European society is not nearly as dependent on plastic as we are in the states, and were were often wandering into shops that took cash only (gelato... daily.) We had never been abroad before and saw so much, we had a great time. It is a vacation after all... what is there to complain about really?

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Thanks for your review!

 

Thanks! It was a great trip, hate to be back at work today!

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Yes, I agree, you were on a great vacation that 99% of the people in the world will never get to do ! How can people complain ? About anything. I'm lucky(although, my Wife and I worked very hard our whole life) enough to be able to play a lot of Golf. When one of friends complain about a bad shot or a missed putt, I always say, " there are 2 little kids hanging on to a boat in the Mediterrean, they wish they had your problems" ! That usually shuts them up ! We'll be on the Spirit in Oct and we won't be complaining about anything ! And we'll be sure to say please and thank you to everyone ! We treat all people the way we want to be treated !!

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Forums mobile app

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Yes, I agree, you were on a great vacation that 99% of the people in the world will never get to do ! How can people complain ? About anything. I'm lucky(although, my Wife and I worked very hard our whole life) enough to be able to play a lot of Golf. When one of friends complain about a bad shot or a missed putt, I always say, " there are 2 little kids hanging on to a boat in the Mediterrean, they wish they had your problems" ! That usually shuts them up ! We'll be on the Spirit in Oct and we won't be complaining about anything ! And we'll be sure to say please and thank you to everyone ! We treat all people the way we want to be treated !!

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Forums mobile app

 

I love your attitude! I wish more people thought this way... don’t sweat the small stuff! :cool:

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Thank you so much, we sail in a couple of weeks, so it was great to read your review.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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