I am booked on the NCL Spirit October 23-30 out of NOLA. I have read that it will be dry docked in September. Just out of curiosity, what do they do to a ship when it is dry docked?
Also, have I made a mistake booking this trip? I am now a little nervous because I have read some horrible reviews on NCL and on the Spirit, especially about service and food???
NCL is one of my favorite cruise lines, so I wouldn't be concerned about that. I haven't been on the Spirit, so no direct information for you.
Dry-docks are scheduled regularly (every 2 - 3 years) for ships to do maintentance that isn't possible while they are sailing. (like maintaining parts that are normally underwater). While out of the water, they generarlly do quite a bit to guest areas as well, since there are no guests. On occassion lines will plan major renovation projects, but no necessarily so.
I wouldn't pay too much attention to the complaints. My husband and I recently booked a cruise with NCL on the Sky to the Bahamas for this november. I also read a lot of negative reviews and was concerned if that was a mistake. When I talked to other people who have taken the cruise as well, they said they had a blast and that I would love it! I think some people just like to complain. As the saying goes, they'd complain if they were hung with a new rope.
I think the most important part is to keep an open mind. If you go in with extremely high expectations you may be disappointed. But if you're willing to roll with the punches, as they say, I think it will turn out to be an extremely enjoyable experience.
I just returned from a cruise on the Spirit. I will give you a review both good and not so good. Cabins are tiny on NCL but we managed. I'm used to Carnival's large cabins. Food was hit or miss but one will never go hungry I didn't like the fish one night it was so salty so I returned it and ordered another entry no problem. Plenty to choose from at the Buffet. I enjoyed the Sushi restaurant one of the one's with a service charge, since I was with a singles group who ate in one of the free dining rooms each night I didn't get to try more of the restaurants but would have liked to.I find the staff to be friendlier on Carnival but there were some exceptions. A guy called Happy Happy and another one called Naughty Naughty were so fun and funny, they were usually greeting people outside the buffet. The ship is beautiful I've never been on one with fountains before and I loved the Asian decor. The service was decent but some times our room steward didn't bring wash cloths and forgot our beach towels one night so we had to call. The shows were very good featuring ariel dancers, magician, comedians from Chicago's own Second City. The pool deck is lovely while there is only one large pool for adults it actually has a deep end rare on cruise ships. There are 4 hot tubs, and they are open till 11pm another bonus! Cruising down the river is cool don't miss the sunsets. NCL's shore excursions were good, and I enjoyed the ports very much! Have fun!
Carnival Mardi Gras 1987 (Bahamas)
Carnival Legend 2005 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Costa Mediterrenia 2005 (Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Pride October 2006 (Mexican Rivera)
Carnival Legend 2007 (Western Caribbean)
Carnival Glory 2009 Western Caribbean
Carnival Liberty 2011 Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Spirit 2011 Western Caribbean Carnival Miracle 2012 Southern Caribbean
Where have you read these horrible reviews may I ask. The Spirit usually gets very good reviews. If we look hard enough we can always find the bad, but I don't think I would worry about sailing her.
From what we have been told they will most likely replace carpet and linens (though they did this just about 3 years ago) they are going to clean the balconies and other areas and paint were needed. That is one thing that is needed. There is a lot of rust around the balconies and a few other places.
We sailed her 5 months ago, we were a family of 13 and not one person was disappointed. We enjoyed the food, the service was outstanding (maybe the best I have had in all my years of cruising) our 4 year old greatgranddaughther loved the kids camp and the kids pool. The entertainment was good, maybe not outstanding but good and the ports are fun. The only negative we found other than some rust was the pool is very small. It was our second time on the Spirit, both times we commented on the pool size.
Typical drydock jobs done Sandblast and repaint hull. Lower both anchors and chains,blast and coat with fish oil. check propellers, polish and repair any damage. inspect all safty gear (lifeboats,fire supression systems fire safty doors watertight doors smoke detection systems.etc. Overhaul main diesel engines as per hours in use since last overhaul. Inspect all boilers both auxillary and waste heat, inspect all electrical systems,switchboards, motors for grounds and or defects. test operation of steering system,rudder and steering gear. inspect bow and stern thruster systems (if installed).Test all navagational equipment in wheelhouse (radar,Sat nav system,radio comminication system including emergency radio sets.There is a lot more this will get you started.