Monday, June 01, 2009

NCL Spirit Cruise Review – by Michelle Pachomski

As I stepped onboard the Norwegian Spirit, I was handed a glass of champagne (…it was a good way to start my cruise). We were heading to Bermuda on a seven-night cruise from Boston.

Ship Decor

The Grand Centrum, the atrium area of the ship, was very pretty with a curved staircase leading up to the next deck. This ship had an Oriental theme to it and the color scheme was more subdued than other NCL ships with jewel tone colors throughout.


Our staterooms were not yet ready so we headed to the pool deck and found a lounge chair to relax on. Lunch was being served in Raffles buffet and we took our plates out by the pool to enjoy the beautiful day. There is a separate kid’s pool, which had a pirate theme to it and was very popular with the younger crowd.

Our balcony cabin was ready at approximately 2pm. It was nicely decorated. There were only four drawers in the cabin for your clothes, but the closet had shelves on one side. I would suggest bringing some extra hangers as those were limited. There is a coffee maker in each stateroom, which was a great surprise. There is only one 110-volt outlet in the cabin that cannot accommodate a hairdryer over 500 watts. The beds were very comfortable and one of my favorite things about this cruise was falling asleep at night with the balcony door open listening to the waves.


The shows in the evening were all enjoyable. There was a musical montage of several different Broadway shows one night. The Second City improv group performed another night. There was also an Illusionist who had us guessing how he performed all of his magic tricks. On the last evening at sea, there was a staff variety show. Several members of the crew either sang or danced for us. The amazing finale included the Captain and many of the crew members on stage.

The casino was quite lively, with many different game tables as well as slot machines. I am sorry to say I did not win anything, but I had fun anyway.


There are two main restaurants, “Windows” and the “Garden Room”. Both serve the same menu, but the “Windows” restaurant is very pretty with beautiful windows, an elegant atmosphere and enchanting décor. It was one of the nicest areas of the ship. The dress code is “resort casual”. Passengers are not permitted to wear shorts in any of the dining rooms during dinner and this rule was enforced. Guests wishing to wear shorts are permitted in Raffles buffet, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Soft serve ice cream is served in the afternoon, and at approximately 3pm, hand scooped ice cream is available as well.

Weather permitting, there is a barbeque on the pool deck with hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and salad all served in the afternoon. On several occasions, another type of food was served as well. Paella was served alongside the BBQ buffet and another day it was tacos with all the fixings. The Blue Lagoon is a great place for a snack day or night. My favorites were the chicken wings and the spinach artichoke dip. Seating is limited, but worth the wait.

If you are in the mood for a pretzel, the Biergarten is the place to go. It is located just above the pool deck and serves burgers, hot dogs, knockwurst and sauerkraut. If you don’t want to leave your cabin for food, you can order room service. I would recommend the BLT and chips.

There are several specialty restaurants that have a per person fee. We ate at Cagney’s Steakhouse one evening and the food was superb! There is a $25.00 per person fee but we felt the price was well worth it. My prime rib was cooked to perfection and accompanied by potatoes au gratin and creamed spinach. The other specialty restaurant we chose to eat in was Teppanyaki, a hibachi style restaurant. The food and the chef were terrific. I had the Land and Sea, filet mignon and shrimp. All entrees are served with miso soup, seaweed salad, and vegetables. This specialty restaurant also had a $25.00 per person fee.


Champagne Charlie’s is a great place to meet before or after dinner for a drink and to listen to music. The Galaxy of the Stars lounge is a great place to find entertainment. This is where bingo is held; some of the shows are performed here as well. This lounge also hosts an entertaining game show for adults called Quest which involves members of the audience and, of course, the White Hot Dance Party. This party is not to be missed. Everyone wears something white to the Galaxy of the Stars lounge for this party. Members of the staff wear angel wings and are on the dance floor with the guests. The DJ was great and the dance floor was always full. Henry’s Pub offers drinks, karaoke and freshly popped popcorn.

Our Destination – Bermuda

Bermuda is a beautiful island. The ship arrived at the Royal Navy Dockyard. There are many things to see and at the Dockyard (including some nice shops) and, if you didn’t want to walk around the Dockyard, there is a free trolley car. A Maritime Museum and Dolphin Quest were also within walking distance. Snorkel Beach was a nice little beach with music. The sign posted stated it was the best snorkeling in Bermuda and many people snorkeling here. You can bring your own snorkel gear or rent it here. You can also rent chairs, floats and umbrellas. There is also easy access to the ferry or bus to reach other areas of the island. I would highly recommend Horseshoe Bay for beach-lovers. It is a pink sand beach that was absolutely gorgeous. To the right side of the beach is a small lagoon area where kids could splash about. You can rent chairs for $10.00 per day plus a $5.00 deposit. There is a small snack bar to purchase burgers, drinks, etc.

We took the bus to Hamilton and toured the shops. There are many different shops offering everything from souvenirs, liquor, linens, and glasswork to books. The shop owners were very friendly and helpful. There was truly something for everyone.

We didn’t get to see St. George (Bermuda’s 3rd major port) because we simply ran out of time. Well, maybe next cruise!

Overall Experience

This cruise was both relaxing and fun. My onboard experience was terrific and I cannot wait to get back to Bermuda.

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