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This was the first non-Carnival cruise my partner and I have been on, out of nine prior voyages. We were excited to try another cruise line as the destinations Carnival offers are limited, and have heard excellent feedback concerning NCL. The new ships NCL deploys each year, the itineraries, and the Free at Sea specials initially had us regretting years of exclusive loyalty to another company. However, NCL failed to live up to even our most basic of expectations and here is why. Our first negative interaction with the company was in regard to the "Free at Sea" specials. My partner and I selected an inside cabin on a lower deck as we are rarely inside of our cabin, and appreciate the lower decks as it mitigates the risk of sea sickness. We selected this voyage based on the substantial number of ports offered, and at the time felt comfortable with the cruise fare as we assumed the Free at Sea specials provided an excellent deal. However, the Free at Sea specials are not available to every cabin category, and this can only be discovered by reading through the terms and conditions. In addition, their online booking system allowed us to select the Unlimited Drinks package, which should not have populated as an option in the first place. When we called to confirm our promotion selection, we were told we would have to upgrade our cabin in order to qualify which due to the price and misrepresentation opted not to do. Embarking the vessel was one of the smoothest experiences we have ever had, and we had literally no wait at any point. I will give NCL credit for managing the embarkation process, as is the passenger's first impression of the vessel. Once on-board, I quickly realized how much the ship was in need of either of an overhaul or scrapping. The first blemish I noticed were the huge water stains on the carpet in numerous locations throughout the ship. As other reviewers mentioned, multiple buckets were positioned to catch the slow drops of water originating from pipes in the ceiling. Several faucets I used outside of my cabin in public-use restrooms supplied brown water from the sink faucets. None of the outlets in our cabin worked, and other small abnormalities stood out. Finally, I felt myself continually comparing NCL to Carnival, fully aware that both are separate entities and as such have the right to operate however they feel is best. However, if the overpriced cocktails on NCL was not enough to draw a conclusion, the "fun" and plethora of activities Carnival offers their passengers that was missing on NCL certainly made up my mind. As another reviewer mentioned, there is virtually nothing to do after the last performance which means going to sleep no later than 10:30. This voyage was the highest price point of any trip I have ever invested in, and my expectations were regrettably unmet. I realize that we all have our experiences, and what I interpret as acceptable and unacceptable is based on my opinion. However, I cannot imagine that too many of my fellow passengers on this journey felt any better about investing their hard-earned money on a vacation of this level.

First and last NCL cruise

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by nickwehr88

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Inside
This was the first non-Carnival cruise my partner and I have been on, out of nine prior voyages. We were excited to try another cruise line as the destinations Carnival offers are limited, and have heard excellent feedback concerning NCL. The new ships NCL deploys each year, the itineraries, and the Free at Sea specials initially had us regretting years of exclusive loyalty to another company. However, NCL failed to live up to even our most basic of expectations and here is why.

Our first negative interaction with the company was in regard to the "Free at Sea" specials. My partner and I selected an inside cabin on a lower deck as we are rarely inside of our cabin, and appreciate the lower decks as it mitigates the risk of sea sickness. We selected this voyage based on the substantial number of ports offered, and at the time felt comfortable with the cruise fare as we assumed the Free at Sea specials provided an excellent deal. However, the Free at Sea specials are not available to every cabin category, and this can only be discovered by reading through the terms and conditions. In addition, their online booking system allowed us to select the Unlimited Drinks package, which should not have populated as an option in the first place. When we called to confirm our promotion selection, we were told we would have to upgrade our cabin in order to qualify which due to the price and misrepresentation opted not to do.

Embarking the vessel was one of the smoothest experiences we have ever had, and we had literally no wait at any point. I will give NCL credit for managing the embarkation process, as is the passenger's first impression of the vessel. Once on-board, I quickly realized how much the ship was in need of either of an overhaul or scrapping.

The first blemish I noticed were the huge water stains on the carpet in numerous locations throughout the ship. As other reviewers mentioned, multiple buckets were positioned to catch the slow drops of water originating from pipes in the ceiling. Several faucets I used outside of my cabin in public-use restrooms supplied brown water from the sink faucets. None of the outlets in our cabin worked, and other small abnormalities stood out.

Finally, I felt myself continually comparing NCL to Carnival, fully aware that both are separate entities and as such have the right to operate however they feel is best. However, if the overpriced cocktails on NCL was not enough to draw a conclusion, the "fun" and plethora of activities Carnival offers their passengers that was missing on NCL certainly made up my mind. As another reviewer mentioned, there is virtually nothing to do after the last performance which means going to sleep no later than 10:30.

This voyage was the highest price point of any trip I have ever invested in, and my expectations were regrettably unmet. I realize that we all have our experiences, and what I interpret as acceptable and unacceptable is based on my opinion. However, I cannot imagine that too many of my fellow passengers on this journey felt any better about investing their hard-earned money on a vacation of this level.
nickwehr88’s Full Rating Summary
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