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Old 02-04-2005, 10:14 PM   #1
NYDisneyMom
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Just cruised NCL...if anyone wants a comparison

We got back Sunday night from a 10 day southern caribbean cruise on the NCL Spirit. This is a very nice ship for kids, as long as you're sailing while school is in session. I say that because they do not have the facilities to handle a great number of kids...I think there were probably less than 40 kids total on the ship during our cruise (compared to like 900 last May on the Magic! LOL!)

The pool and 'ampitheather' seating around it on the aft of the ship was great, the kids' club is right near the pool, as is the arcade and buffet. So we pretty much spent most of our time in this area.

The kids' club was okay...my boys are 10 and & and we were also traveling with another child who was 10, so they had their own little group already. The club had things like Survivor Night, Carnivale, Pajama Party, Sports Night, etc. The clubs were only open for certain hours though: 9:00 a.m. to noon, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 and then 7:00 p.m. to 10:00. After 10:00 p.m. you had to pay for the club.

The movie theater on board is absolutely miniscule compared to Disney (so small I couldn't find it!) But again, it's not Disney..so I'm sure not many people even go to the movies. We saw Shark Tales one night and I was very surprised that the movie didn't even start until 10:00 p.m.!!

The food was good...again, not great. There's freestyle dining, which I did like. I hated having to rush to get ready for dinner by 6:00, or on the other hand I'd hate to just be sititng down to dinner at 8:30. So we usually got to dinner around 7:00. You don't have the same waiters, though..so you lose that level of personal attention.

Overall I thought for what the cruise cost (half the price of a 7 day on Disney) we had a great cruise. We did five islands..Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, St. Lucia and Tortola. Fabulous itinerary!!

If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. I know it's hard going from Disney to another cruise line. I think I'm going to try Royal next time!
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:05 AM   #2
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Thanks for the info. I've always wondered about other cruise lines.
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:11 AM   #3
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Not sure we'd like the Freestyle dining, and more importantly, the mandatory set tip added to your bill. My mom cruises them frequently, and loves Freestyle, and hates the tip policy.
We cruised on the Norway twice in the 80's and loved it.....but the industry has changed a lot since then. We didn't have kids at the time, and at that time the Norway's big draw was they had big name entertainers on board (Jack Jones, Norm Crosby, The Fifth Dimension, Shields and Yarnell).
But, any cruise is better than no cruise.
Food I found is highly subjective, I know on our Disney cruise we found the food great, and a guy two tables over was outraged. But he looked like he was right out of the Ozarks, his idea of formal wear on formal night was a sweat suit!!!! I think prior to the cruise he had never eaten anything but steak, chicken and pork, and he was shocked that someone as it put it, could put GRAVY ON A STEAK!!!
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYDisneyMom
We got back Sunday night from a 10 day southern caribbean cruise on the NCL Spirit. This is a very nice ship for kids, as long as you're sailing while school is in session. I say that because they do not have the facilities to handle a great number of kids...I think there were probably less than 40 kids total on the ship during our cruise (compared to like 900 last May on the Magic! LOL!)

The pool and 'ampitheather' seating around it on the aft of the ship was great, the kids' club is right near the pool, as is the arcade and buffet. So we pretty much spent most of our time in this area.

The kids' club was okay...my boys are 10 and & and we were also traveling with another child who was 10, so they had their own little group already. The club had things like Survivor Night, Carnivale, Pajama Party, Sports Night, etc. The clubs were only open for certain hours though: 9:00 a.m. to noon, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 and then 7:00 p.m. to 10:00. After 10:00 p.m. you had to pay for the club.

The movie theater on board is absolutely miniscule compared to Disney (so small I couldn't find it!) But again, it's not Disney..so I'm sure not many people even go to the movies. We saw Shark Tales one night and I was very surprised that the movie didn't even start until 10:00 p.m.!!

The food was good...again, not great. There's freestyle dining, which I did like. I hated having to rush to get ready for dinner by 6:00, or on the other hand I'd hate to just be sititng down to dinner at 8:30. So we usually got to dinner around 7:00. You don't have the same waiters, though..so you lose that level of personal attention.

Overall I thought for what the cruise cost (half the price of a 7 day on Disney) we had a great cruise. We did five islands..Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, St. Lucia and Tortola. Fabulous itinerary!!

If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. I know it's hard going from Disney to another cruise line. I think I'm going to try Royal next time!
I have 2 teenage kids, DD 14 and DS 17. How do you think this cruise would be for them. Do you think they would be bored? I wanted to do this cruise because it leaves out of NY and I wouldn't haved to fly. Debating if the teens would have fun or not. I did Mariner of the Seas Xmas 2003. There were a lot of kids on board but not to much that it bothered me. Good ship for teens.
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the review. We're considering trying your cruise...the itinerary looks great. After our next two DCL trips, I think we'll be ready for some new islands.

FYI...By the way, we sailed RCCL (Mariner) last spring...many great things about the ship and crew, BUT, the food and entertainment were a dissappointment. Every line seems to have their strengths and weaknesses.

Anyway, thanks. Glad to see a DISer enjoyed the next ship we are considering.
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