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Old October 12th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Default NCL Spirit

I am taking a cruise on 12/08/05 on the NCL spirit out of New York. I would love to receive any tips from people who have taken this cruise to the southern carribean. I have never taken a freestyle cruise. Could anyone tell me the pros and cons and any other tips that can help to make for a better trip.
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Old October 12th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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I haven't cruised on the Spirit but have done several freestyle cruises and have done the So Caribbean about 3 or 4 times. I will say this right off the bat: my favorite itinerary in the So Caribbean and favorite islands are 3, Barbados, Aruba and Tortolla/Virgin Gorta.

Freestyle is not for everyone, if you have cruised on lines where pampering is the norm you may be a little disappointed. We have always found the service on NCL outstanding but freestyle does offer a little different type of service. Yiu do not have one wait person the entire cruise so you will not necessarily build up a relationsdhip with the waiters and waitresses. This does not mean the service isn't great. BTW you can request the same wait person the entire cruise, but this somewhat defeats the freestyle cruising philosophy or eat when and where you want. Our favorite part of freestyle is the many choices for eating. We enjoy Le Bistro as well as the other specialty eateries.

The choice to dress formal or go more casual on formal nights is another plus: some people think part of cruising is dressing to the nines and many will do just that, but equally as many prefer the casual dress code. It saves on lugguage if nothing else. We usually do a sorta inbetween. DH will wear a nice sports jacket with tie and dress shirt. I usually opt for a dressy sun dress, with or without heels and hose, depending on the wather.

The third advantage to freestyle focuses around the last morning of the cruise. Instead of gathering in some public place with carry on luggage and waiting for debarkation time you can stay in your cabin until the time to depart the ship.

Now for the So Caribbean, the islands are friendlier and most deverse than the eastern or western itineraries and the shopping much better. Virgin Gorta may be the loveliest place I have seen and Barbados offer so much to see and do. I don't know which So islands you will be visiting but all have something special. Dominica is breath taking and the people very friendly as well as St Kitts. I personally did not like St Lucia and may get off the ship if we were to cruise there again. It is the type of island you will love or hate. Hope this helps some, I know ohters that will have advise and opinions as well.

NMNita
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Old October 24th, 2005, 05:48 PM
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We are booked for NCL Spirit on Dec: 8th: Spirit is new to us but have done several cruises with NCL: We make reservations for our evening meal early as we enjoy doing the early show time: We have found by reserving early our longest wait is around 10-15 minutes: ( This is at regular dining room) : We always request dining with others which cuts down on any waiting time:
We have sailed southern cruises several times: St. Johns US Virgin Islands is our favorite: I understand you may schedule part of a day at St.John (as a shore cruise) from St. Thomas US Virgin Island:
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Old November 1st, 2005, 09:52 PM
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I was surprised to see the Norwegian Spirit had been "relocated" to NY. My husband and I took a dinner/over night cruise on Oct 15th out of San Francisco and were very disappointed in the condition of the ship. Apparently, they used our cruise money to fund their renovations which took place the entire time we were on the ship. We returned to our state room several times to find workers in our room and the door propped open. In addition, the kids pool was under construction, the service was mediocre and the following morning the guests were rushing to get off the boat. My hope is that all the renovations that took place during our cruise have prepared the NY guests for a better experience.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 10:36 AM
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Hi,

The whole '' refit-drydock-upgrade'' episode involving the SPIRIT was a pathetic one....A 30 day drydock for complete refit + adding 22 staterooms deck #13 was '' modified'' to a different locale, much shorter period, way way less '' improvements''(at least the ones identifiable....),the addition of questionnable hull art work, two long deadhead sailings from/to Vancouver, no outside paintjob ( the ship on 25th October looked sloppy and unkempt, rust spots,etc etc)......
Now, as these posts revel, they even carried on doing maintenance work while in revenue service....!!!! Shame !!!
The late addition of a couple of '' overniters'' was to '' fill the gap'' between original drydock period and the new one.
A real bush league way of carrying business, IMO....and I tought StarCruises was showing signs of becoming a major league player in a major league market....Not now, no way.

MHO anyways...

CG
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