Norwegian Spirit

Norwegian Spirit Ship Review

The Asian-influenced Norwegian Spirit is in a class of its own. Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Launched in 1999 as the SuperStar Leo of NCL’s parent company, Star Cruises, the 77,000-ton, 1,966-guest vessel was transferred to NCL’s fleet in 2004 and renamed Norwegian Spirit. She offers a festive atmosphere, great entertainment, a slew of restaurants, awesome children’s centers and outdoor play spaces, fun decor, and comfortable staterooms, all at a fair price.

From Spirit’s bow, festive streamers and dancing dolphins painted on the hull add a playful touch that was designed to say, “Hey! Come aboard. We have fun in here.”

Public Rooms & Entertainment On Norwegian Spirit

Take a load off and enjoy the views from the forward-facing Galaxy of the Stars. Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Inside, the mood continues from the moment you step into the atrium lobby, with its cityscape vibe. Throughout the public rooms, decor mixes fun, nearly fantastic decor with a dash of contemporary and art deco styling. Top of the fun pyramid is Maharini’s, a lounge/nightclub that combines Indian Bollywood themes with velvety fashion-world curtains and daybeds scattered among mood-lit nooks.

Like all the NCL ships, Spirit shines when it comes to entertainment. The multi-deck Stardust Theater seats almost 900 guests for some of the best production shows in the cruise world, as well as performances by the great Second City comedy troupe. Up on Deck 12, the Galaxy of the Stars observation lounge hosts late-night music and dancing. Gamblers head to the expansive Maharajah’s Casino on Deck 7, while folks with a taste for sophistication lounge stylishly at Champagne Charlie’s Champagne Bar.

Beer lovers have three great options: Henry’s Pub, a British-themed bar with dart boards, a big-screen TV for sports, and tasty fish and chips; the Shanghai Bar, a sports bar with an Asian twist; and the Bier Garten and Grill outdoors on Deck 13, stocked with German pilsner, hefeweizen, and wheat beers, and serving lunchtime foods like bratwurst and sauerkraut.

Other public rooms include a library, an Internet center, a card room, and a writing room.

Family Cruising On Norwegian Spirit

Kids get the huge, bright Charlie’s Child Care Center in the stern on Deck 10, outfitted with cozy TV rooms, a huge climbing maze, and great crafts, play, and computer areas. Just outside, there’s a fantastic, pirate-themed kids’ pool area with a paddling pool, water slides, and a kid-size Jacuzzi. Teens get their own hangout space called the Celebrity Teen Disco, way up on Deck 13.

Dining On Norwegian Spirit

Norwegian Spirit’s Windows main dining room. Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

At dinnertime, guests can choose among 10 different restaurants:

  • The main dining rooms, called Windows and the Garden Room
  • Le Bistro, the most formal restaurant onboard, serving French and continental cuisine
  • The Shogun Asian restaurant
  • The Teppanyaki Room, where chefs prepare your meal at a tableside grill, Japanese style
  • A sushi and sashimi bar
  • Cagney’s, a classic steakhouse
  • La Trattoria, serving casual, family-style Italian meals
  • The Raffles Court buffet restaurant
  • The casual Blue Lagoon, serving comfort food 24 hours a day

There are also the usual outdoor grills and indoor snack spots during the day, plus room service, and you can even order pizza 24 hours a day for $5 per pie, delivered to you anywhere on the ship.

Pools & Fitness On Norwegian Spirit

Outdoors, Spirit’s resort-like Tivoli pool deck has a European look, and is centered around a large pool and five hot tubs. Up in the bow on that same deck is the ship’s spa, with its multiple treatment rooms, steamrooms and saunas, beauty salon, and indoor Aquaswim jet pools for doing laps in place. A fitness center is next door, and there’s a basketball/volleyball court and golf driving net outside. In the stern, beautifully tiered decks look down over the kids’ pool area.

Staterooms & Suites On Norwegian Spirit

Standard staterooms are comfortable if not plush, decorated in a pleasingly modern style with woody paneling and accents. The rooms are pleasant and livable, with TVs, and somewhat more than a third of them offer private balconies. Outsides range from about 157 to 201 square feet.

At the high end, the ship offers three different categories of suites, including the Aft-Facing Owner’s Suite with its separate bedroom and living/dining room, huge bathroom with whirlpool tub, and large aft-facing balcony.

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