One of the smallest ships in Norwegian Cruise Line's fleet, the 2,018-passenger Norwegian Spirit is in a class by itself, literally — it's the only ship in the Spirit class. Norwegian Spirit is also one of the line's older ships (it was built in 1998) though technical parts of the ship were updated in 2017. And while it doesn't have the amusement park-style attractions of the line's newer vessels, these cruises are a good value, and the ship never feels crowded.
What We Love
Family Inside Staterooms: These rooms easily accommodate parents and kids together, and there’s more than enough space to stow everyone’s essentials. (There's even a spot for that second bottle of shampoo in the shower). It's an affordable way to cruise with a family of four — or more, if you connect with adjoining rooms.
A Range of Itineraries: Depending on the season, you can cruise to the Mediterranean, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, or make a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.
24-Hour-a-Day Munchies: The Blue Lagoon Cafe on Deck 7 has all the American favorites, all the time. You’ll find lots of kid-friendly choices like burgers, fries, hot dogs, and cheese sticks.
Best Known For
The White Hot Party: The cruise director gets everyone involved in this once-per-sailing event — and while you can plan ahead and pack white outfits, who doesn't enjoy seeing bed sheets magically transformed into togas for the night?
Freestyle Dining: With more than a dozen dining options, there's a wide variety to choose from. Besides the two main dining rooms, there are specialty and international venues, including French, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and even a Bavarian-style lunch spot: The Bier Garten Grill. Best of all, you aren't tied to a fixed seating schedule, so you can eat whenever you want.
Bars and Lounges: There's no shortage of nightlife hot spots in which to kick back with a cocktail on this ship, from a Champagne bar to a traditional English pub.
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Who It's Best For
Families With Teenagers: Teens — probably the hardest travelers to please on family vacations — will find Norwegian has gone the extra mile to keep them amused. Look for basketball, golf, a video arcade, air hockey, and a teens-only disco filled with some very happy high school kids.
First-Time Cruisers: The ship's manageable size makes it feel less overwhelming for cruise newbies who want to try out this type of travel to see if it's for them.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There Are No Bells or Whistles: Don't expect to find twisting waterslides, ropes courses, or bowling alleys here. This is a simple, comfortable vessel without the glitz of the line's newest ships.
Nancy Dunn is a Vancouver-based travel writer and a contributor to ShermansCruise.com.
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Norwegian Spirit at a Glance
- Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
- Class: Spirit
- Number of Passengers: 2018
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 1998
- Refurbish Date: 2017