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Norwegian Spirit


Overview: BecauseNorwegian Spiritis quite a stunning ship that features a wide choice of dining venues, keeping consistency of product delivery depends on the quality of the service staff. There are many extra-cost items in addition to the extra-charge dining spots.


12 Day Grand Mediterranean From Venice. by Brown, Dalkeith

12 Day Grand Mediterranean From Venice.

Overall Rating: 5


Cruise Line:
NCL Cruises
Cruise Ship:
Norwegian Spirit

Reviewed By: on
Ourvery first cruise -ever - was on the Spirit in January this year. Loved it all so much that we booked again for the Grand Mediterranean, leaving Venice on April 29th.
I booked the NCL bus from the airport - £30 for both of us. Cheaper than a taxi. Drop off point for our cases was quite a long way from the ship so, by the time we had trekked there, the idea of retracing our steps had palled somewhat. We stayed put!
It was a delight to see so many of the crew that had been on our Canaries trip. They are the friendliest most helpful people!
Our cabin (9587 - balcony grade BB) was immaculate and very comfortable. Our steward, Jonathan, did a sterling job!
Food was great - as ever. Raffles had plenty of choice - we ate there each morning. We had either snacks or a BBQ lunch at either the Biergarten or by the Tivoli pool. Dinner was at Windows - again a great choice each night with exemplary service. Shows in the Stardust Theatre were middling to say the least. A fabulous Soul group however ( like the Four Tops) and the Elements Show which includes the crew from Captain to Washy-washy girls and boys was also great. The rest weren't worth going to. Didn't take part in any of the organised games/competitions - not our 'thing'. We were there for a restful break from the daily toil so read loads of books and lazed around. There's not that much organised anyway when the ship is in port as most of the passengers are out sightseeing. Nice to have the ship almost to ourselves:)

Now to the ports.

Two ' sea days ' took us to Piraeus. We had booked a tour with Piraeus Express. Excellent! An extremely reasonable €25 for a full day in Athens. Picked up on time in a new Mercedes mini bus - air conditioning/leather seats. Only 11 of us. Maria was a super guide - she spoke excellent English - and gave us all a really great tour. The Acropolis was absolutely heaving with crowds! Gave up queuing and returned to the bus. Be warned --- allow yourself LOADS of time to get back to your ship! You have to go through a long embarkation at the terminal. There were three large cruise ships in port and returning passengers were herded into a huge, stuffy departure hall. Many were almost in tears as they were so worried that they might not make it to their ship on time. The 'officials' came out of their office, looked at the mayhem, went back in again and shut the door. Appalling!! According to the crew, this happens all the time!


Stayed on board enjoying an almost deserted ship so can't comment on tours.


Did our own thing. Blue Mosque had enormous queue lines - we gave up after 40 mins. Other sites were exactly the same - huge crowds. Discovered a lovely quiet and colourful park alongside the Topkapi and enjoyed a brief respite from the noise - and the truly horrendous traffic. A nice meal by the side of the Galata Bridge and then walked back to the ship - quite a trek. Departure was delayed as three of the tour buses were stuck in traffic. A point about taking Turkish Lira. We did but the taxi driver who took us from the ship to the Blue Mosque wanted Euros and was a bit miffed when we said that we hadn't any. The restaurant billed in TL though.


Tendered to the port. Very efficiently done. Just strolled around the harbour area and had a snack in one of the many waterfront restaurants. Nice place.

One more 'sea day' took us to Naples. Took a ship organised morning tour of Pompeii. $89.99 each. Well worth it though as we had an excellent guide who was very informative and helpful. Long walk back to the bus park nearly finished me off as Pompeii is a huge site and involves lots of hoofing it over cobbled streets, steps and hills. I think the afternoon tour would be pretty hectic as the site was really filling up when we left at lunchtime.


Stayed on board so can't comment on any tours.


Ship organised morning trip to Pisa - $89.99 each again. Bus from dock then trolleybus to Miracle Square. (Had to wait ages for the trolley due to police blocking streets in central Pisa for a car show). I wouldn't describe this as a guided tour at all, as we were taken to the Leaning Tower and then left to own devices so not really value for money but, as all we really wanted to see was the Tower, it was ok. Found a nice cafe bar in a fairly quiet side street and enjoyed a €7 bottle of chilled vino - most acceptable!!


Took a little tourist trolley 'train' from the dock for a tour round the sights. €6 euros each - a bargain. Recorded commentary in English. Two hop-on/off stops.

Weather throughout was warm and sunny. Seas were calm except for the journey from Toulon to Barcelona. A bit rough though not really uncomfortable - didn't have to hang onto handrails though some decks were cordoned off and it was impossible to use our balcony as the spray was epic at times.


It was GREAT!!! Have again bought the $250 voucher to use towards a future cruise with NCL. You pay the $250, get an instant $100 off your shipboard account and a voucher for $250 (£160) which you can put towards any voyage over 6 days in length. Voucher lasts for 4 years and is fully transferable to either family or friends if you find that you can't use it. A really good deal - least I think so. As I said, I bought one last time and used it towards this cruise.

One point. The crew told us that we had done the voyage the 'right' way round ie starting from Venice and, therefore, having two sea days to relax before 'hitting' the various ports. They said from Barcelona, you were straight into ports and tours for four straight days and it could be really exhausting - especially for folk who had had long flights from eg The US, New Zealand etc.

We loved it all - hope you do too!! :)
Would we sail with NCL again? Youbetcha!!

Times cruised before: 1-2
Sailed: April, 2013
Age: 65+
Cabin: Balcony

Quality of Food
Mainly Raffles and Windows - had dinner twice in The Garden main restaurant

Four American soul singers and Elements. Other shows were pretty middling.

Shore Excursions

All were fantastic.

Children's Facilities

Onboard Activities


Overall Rating
HILL, Sheffield - Commented on this review

Do you have to pay for tea/coffee are there facilities in your cabin or self service around the ship and how much is water?

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Brown, Dalkeith - Commented on a comment by HILL (24 May 13 12:18)

I sent an answer yesterday but for some unknown reason it has not appeared on the site. Here goes again ----. Coffee maker and ample supplies of coffee/tea in cabin - if there isn't one there then request it from your cabin steward. Free coffee/hot water and tea bags available all day in Raffles buffet and also in the morning -till about 10.30am - in the Cafe Bar located in the Main Atrium. Note - 'Speciality Coffees' are charged to your account. Water is safe to drink from your ensuite taps. Cabin ice bucket is replenished twice daily. Bottled water (still and San Pelligrino)in cabin mini-bar is VERY expensive. Free iced water is available in Raffles - take your own bottle and fill up. You can purchase a 'Water Package' on board if you wish. Hope this info helps.

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Hollylee, BEXLEYHEATH - Commented on a comment by Brown (29 May 13 19:02)

Filling up your bottle at the water dispensers is strictly a no-no on criuse ships as the risk of contamination is very high. It is highly unsociable!b I can't see the point of using hand sanitiser all day and then using the water dispenser after someone has rammed their used water bootle onto the nozzle. I nearly had a stand up fight with a Spanish woman on the Spirit who did this and after telling a very disinterested staff member he stood between the machines to prevent people from doing it. By all means fill your bottles as water ( and ALL drinks) are prohibitively expensive on all NCL ships but please use a glass to transfer the water to the bottle. DON'T SHOVE YOUR BOTTLE ONTO THE SPOUT!

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Brown, Dalkeith - Commented on a comment by Hollylee (29 May 13 20:14)

I completely agree with you. If I had wished to fill up a bottle from one of the dispensers (I didn't) that is exactly the method I would have used and I would expect that any sensible and thoughtful person would do the same without having to spell it out in my 'tip'. Everyone knows - or should - that cross-contamination can be extremely serious. The Spanish lady you mention was obviously a total moron! Mind you, I'm surprised that she managed to get her bottle onto the spout as there is not that much room between spout and the base of the dispenser. Good for you for giving her a blast!

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