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HelenLA October 5th, 2010 03:10 AM

Any tip for first time cruise on Spirit?
Hello, a newbie cruise traveler here planning for western Caribbean trip out of New Orleans port. (We're flying in from L.A.) If you have any feedback/advice on how to get to the port, Norwegian Spirit ship, what to pack and any useful cruise tips, we would really appreciate it. Is it worth upgrading to a balcony view room and what excursions are worthwhile at Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, etc?

Our other option is eastern Caribbean trip on Pearl but it's more expensive. We would like to travel in Jan or Feb of next year hoping it's not crowded. We're in our mid 30's looking for a quiet and relaxing time away from home. :)

milesarcher33 October 5th, 2010 02:39 PM

Spirit tips
Congrats and enjoy your cruise.

The Spirit is a wonderful ship. We were on her just after she was transferred from Star Cruises (NCL's parent line) to NCL. She was built and sailed as the Superstar Leo in the Oriental market and much of the ship (before she was refurbished reflected that) She has a unique Bridge viewing area accessed from an upper deck lounge which is interesting. The food, as I recall, was wondeful. In fact, the food was so good that the food in the main dining rooms was on par with the a la carte restaurants. If you do choose to go to an a la carte restaurant, be sure to book your reservations as early as possible, perhaps as soon as you get on board. The Shepherd's pie in the Blue Moon cafe is a nice touch as is the Old English wood paneled Pub.

As far as eastern vs. western Carribean, in general, there seems to be better shopping and more places of interest in the eastern Carrbean and more hands on, athletic experiences in the western Carribean. (Just my observations) But that said, Cozumel has some of the best shopping in the entire Carribean and Costa Maya is beautiful. In Belize, go on the cave tour where you float on inner tubes through a cave. In Cozumel, Tulum is interesting and worth seeing. Chickenitza (sp?) is fascinating, but it is a long way from the ship. Your limited tme in Cozumel should encourage you to do something other than tour Chickenitza, i.e go toTulum and come back to Cozumel to do something else.

Starward 1987
Seaward 1990
Regent Star 1991
Tropicale 1993
Regent Spirit 1994
Discovery II 1994
Song of Norway 1995
Costa Victoria 1996
Galaxy 1997
Noordam 2001
Carnival Spirit 2001
Grand Princess 2002
Carnival Glory 2003
Norwegian Spirit 2004
Carnival Legend 2005
Radiance of the Seas 2006
Norwegian Jewell 2007
Carnival Liberty 2007
Norwegian Majesty 2008
Star Princess 2008
Diamond Princess 2009
Norwegian Dawn 2010
Royal Princess 2010

2011 Diamond Princess

PaulBolter October 5th, 2010 05:22 PM

-Get to Port EARLY!!!
-The Upgrade is well worth it to some but really you are never in your cabin much it depends, you mentioned you wanted to relax. Does that mean room service diners on your balcony? If you are going to get up early and leave your cabin to the port/ship not necceasairy.

HelenLA October 5th, 2010 07:58 PM

Thank you for the detailed feedback. Now I'm hearing E. Caribbean cruise on the Pearl is a better choice. We have one of those discount vouchers so I have to check on the upgrade prices and the flight info before making the final decision.

HelenLA October 5th, 2010 08:00 PM

Thank you Paul. Is Miami port much nicer than New Orleans? Where do most people stay prior to the departure? (We will have to arrive a day early.)

Queen of Diamonds October 7th, 2010 08:55 PM

In Miami we generally stay at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. It is a $24 ride from the airport. It is directly across from the Bayside Marketplace, which is a nice place to spend a pre cruise evening, lots of shops, restaurants, bars all set around a marina. Bayside Marketplace - Outdoor Shopping Mall in Downtown Miami, Florida Featuring Top Dining & Entertainment
You can get a room overlooking the port if you ask, and watch your ship come in. :)

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