NCL Norwegian Spirit Overview of my cruise 11-19-05 to 11-27
This is my first cruise ever, and I was thorogughly disappointed.
My husband, my son, age 1 week shy of 2 yrs, and my granmother & I all went on the Nowegian Spirit to St. Thomas, St Maarten & Bermuda. My son was not allowed to go with the other children because he would have had to be 2 by the time we set sail. So, there was absolutely NOTHING that I could do during the day to keep myself from getting bored. Their on board events of the day were not even intersting. Their excursions were minimal as well as sold out the moment we boarded, I still can't figure out how an entire BEACH get sold out! Thanks goodness we travelled with friends who have crusied before & we set up our own excursions before we even borded, so at least we had somehting to do. The food was ok, edible, but nothing to be excited about, I have heard so many times that on cruises you can't stop eating....... I could & did! Thanksgiving dinner wasn't anything spectacular either, I thought they would have at least gone all out for that!They had specialty restaurants that may have been better, but they must have been booked before anyone boarded cause they were all filled by the first night. There was one specialty restaurant I was able to get into, Shogun, Japanese Tappanyaki, Sushi, I loved that! So I would iomagin the other specialty restaurants would have bee great too! Although if you wanted to go to one of these restaurants, they did charge you a fee of $12.00 to $20.00 additional for your meal.
The shopping opn board was limited to alcohol, cigarrettes, jewelry & just a small gift shop. So many people were telling me that n crusies tehre are so many different shops. But there weren't, and again I was disappointed.
With exception of my stewardess, and a few bartenders the crew only smiled when you spent extra money, if you wanted a glass of ice water it took 30 minutes & you got a look, If you ordered a Pina Colada, it came right away along with the bill & a smile.
The make you think that you HAVE to give the $10 per day per person gratuity, you can remove that from your bill. I did and just gave cash to those I felt deserved it!
I wil never use Norwegian cruise lines again, unless the cruise is free and even then I might think about it. There is so much more I can say about this cruise, but I'm so disgusted that I can't even think anymore! Ask any questions you want, I'll try to answer them!
I am sorry you had a bad time. However if you found this site and others like it you could have avoided most of your bad experiences. The NCL web site explains what you would have needed to know about your child. Frankly I would have left him at home with another relative. You were bored, why? Did you not check to see what the activites were before you made your reservations? Most every port has several excursions offered. Perhaps your complaint was you couldn't find any where you could take a 2 year old? I have never been bored on a cruise, usually it is just the oppisite, too many things to do and not enough time. Cruise ship food is not gormet! It is what you would find at a chain resturant (better than Denny's). Everyone says on freestyle dining that if possible you should make your reservations the day you board the ship. or at the very least the morning before the next day you plan on eating. The ship has all the days menus at the front desk. Just look at them and if they are not to your liking make resevations at another resturant.
Did you know you can make reservatons for the tours before your ship leaves port. Again go on the NCL site and look up the excursion site and find your cruise. You can then sign up for them on line and they will be billed to your room. We are leaving on 12/29 for a 10 day cruise and have booked our tours. Don't put NCL down because you had a bad experience. 95% of the reviews you read are positive.
Steve & Donalee
HAL Zaandam 10/07
I too am sorry you were disappointed, but I have to tell you, the 2 year rule is the case on all cruise lines and many have a 3 year old min. so don't blame the line. All lines are very strict about their child care rules, even to the extent that a 12 year old can not stay with his/her 11 year old sibling if the break off is 11 and visa versa.
As for being charged 12 to 20 dollars for the specialty restaurants, most lines are now charging $30. These restaurants have been added to keep the price of cruising down. I bet you were a little bored because of your son not being able to do much. Wasn't it nice you got to sail with him and you were charged nothing for him?
Everyone says you can't stop eating on ships, this isn't a true as it was 10 years ago as cruise rates have remained rather stable so food has been cut back. I agree, but this certainly isn't just NCL. Celebrity was our choice 2 years ago for Thanksgiving week and we too were surprised nother other than serving mediocre turkey was done to remind us of Thanksgiving.
I have yet to be on a ship with really great shopping but I do think NCL has about the worst. The specialty restaurants are not booked prior to boarding, but with this being Thanksgiving week I am sure they all filled up quite quickly. Again, this was our experience on Celebrity, we could not reservations even though the price was $35.00 per person.
Unless the service is totally below par and I mean totally $10 a day is minumum anyone should give. We are happy to have the charge automatic. With freestyle cruising it would be impossible for you to give a fair amount by handing envalopes. You would have to find the wait staff from each breakfast, lunch and dinner plus everyone else that deserves extra in order to tip those who work hard so most can have a good cruise.
Shore excursions do sell out, again you are talking about one of the busiest weeks of the year. It is hard to know what you mean by minimal? If they were sold out you couldn't have experienced any of them. We do always book ours on line prior to cruising or when we arrive on the island. I hate to burst your bubble and come down so hard on you, but several things jump out here: 1, you didn't do any homework prior to cruising so were not prepared for the experience, you didn't really want to spend much money, so extra charges blew you away and last but not least, you may be part of the 10% that isn't cut out for cruising. Not everyone is, so don't blame NCL. Some issues that are brought to the attention of this board are NCLs or other lines fault, not one of yours has anything to do with the cruise line itself but more the expectations you had about cruising.
Hope your next vacation is more to your liking. NMNita