CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Spirit Alaska August 28, 2004

WE CHOSE NCL because of its itinerary to and from Alaska. They advertised they cruised the Inside Passage from Seattle to Alaska and back by the same route. This made having a balcony cabin very attractive. Unfortunately, on the return trip they went out to sea, no land in sight for 24 hours and the water was rougher. When we inquired why the change, no one could or would give us an answer.

FREESTYLE DINING on NCL is the pits. They advertised 7 dining rooms, but only 3 of them were included in your cruise price! The other 4 were specialty restaurants that cost anywhere from $15 more per person on top of your "all inclusive" cruise price. Of the 3 dining rooms remaining that were available to you, one was a very over crowded cafeteria (serve yourself and try to find a table), while the other 2 were very nice sit down and be served dining rooms (no reservations allowed, wait in the hallway for a table) but the menu at both restaurants was exacting the choices. As for the food selection, the chef was obviously catering to the Asian appetite and not versed in other American styles (used Marinara sauce for salsa). Very limited 'free' drink selection, only coffee, tea, iced tea, water and milk offered all day. And if you wanted coffee at one of the outdoor bar areas - they charged you $1.50! All sodas, alcoholic drinks and juices were extra (juice offered free only at breakfast time).


THE SHIP was very clean and well maintained, the cabin attendants and waiters/waitresses were very efficient and friendly, but the cocktail/bar waiters were very busy pushing you to buy drinks all the time.

THE CABINS were well designed but the beds were very hard and uncomfortable. The balcony in our room was delightfully roomy - 2 people could easily sit in chairs and enjoy the view.

THE SHIPBOARD ENTERTAINMENT left a lot to be desired. The production company was loud and not very entertaining. The best entertainment came on 'Ship Crew Talent Night'. I think the 'crew' had more variety of talent than their 'production' company. OVERALL, I would not recommend NCL to any of my friends or family because of the food and drink situation. We certainly did not expect to have to line up in the hall to wait to eat every night. Maybe if the specialty restaurants were opened up and included, the situation would have been better.

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