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NCL Spirit Dining Review - Banquet on the High Seas

NCL Spirit Dining Review - Banquet on the High Seas

The Spirit packs a punch when it comes to complimentary dining options even though its one of the smallest ships in NCL’s fleet of mega-liners.

Endless options of scrumptious cuisine necessitate frequent visits to the on-board gym.  The workouts are worth it!

I recently sailed on The Spirit for 11 days in the Adriatic. Here’s my review of the dining options:

Windows

Windows Restaurant - NCL Spirit  Photo; Calvin Wood

Windows Restaurant - NCL Spirit  Photo; Calvin Wood

This is the main, formal dining room on the Spirit and was the most popular on my sailing.

NCL set the scene with a grand piano, elegant table settings, and waiters in white jackets.  This is what most people conjure up when they think about cruising on the high seas.

Windows Restaurant - Seaside Views - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Windows Restaurant - Seaside Views - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

The food was fantastic.  With a wide selection of mains each night – it was hard to choose.  No matter what I picked though, it was plated like a piece of art and tasted like a masterpiece! 

My recommendation:  make sure you try the Seafood Orzo as an appetizer and then the New Zealand Hake as a main!

New Zealand Hake - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

New Zealand Hake - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

The Garden 

The Garden Restaurant - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

The Garden Restaurant - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Grilled Baramundi - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Grilled Baramundi - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

The Garden was the sister dining room to Windows.  It shared the same kitchen and menu – but was a little less formal.  Smaller in size  – it also felt a little more relaxed.  I bounced between the two dining rooms on my voyage just to add some variety. 

My favorites in this venue: the Grilled Baramundi, Cheese Soufflé and Blueberry Pavlova.  Take me back!!

Cheese Soufflé - NCL Spirit

Cheese Soufflé - NCL Spirit

Blueberry Pavlova - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Blueberry Pavlova - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Raffles

NCL-Spirit-Raffles-Court-Calvin-Wood.jpg

Raffles is the buffet venue on The Spirit.   It felt a bit smaller than the cafés on other NCL ships I have sailed on – but it still whipped out great spreads.  

It was busy morning, noon and night, as many passengers seemed to want a quick meal on my cruise.   I went there mainly for the impressive breakfast buffet. They had everything I ever wanted in the morning.

At lunch – they prepared an excellent salad bar.  Super Fresh – and on some days stocked with high-end treats like shrimp!

Salad by the sea in Raffles - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Salad by the sea in Raffles - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Of note: the views. 

Raffles is perched on the 13th floor and has amazing ocean and port vistas.  Even if you don’t like buffets – grab a coffee and a sweet – and take it all in!

Tempting Sweets at Raffles - NCL Spirit

Tempting Sweets at Raffles - NCL Spirit

Shogun

Shogun - Asian Dining - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Shogun - Asian Dining - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

The Spirit has a particularly noticeable Asian design focus. Everything from the carpeting to the art has Far eastern influences.  (This ship used to be part of a fleet catering to the Chinese market – sailing from Hong Kong).

In this environment I expected the ship's asian establishment – The Shogun  – to hit it out of the park.  I have to say though I was a bit disappointed.  The décor felt a bit like a suburban Chinese restaurant – nothing like the mod, hip Asian venues on other NCL ships.  Likewise the dishes were middle of the road.

Chicken Chow Fun & Pepper Shrimp - Shogun Restaurant - NCL Spirit

Chicken Chow Fun & Pepper Shrimp - Shogun Restaurant - NCL Spirit

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon -  Snacks and Quick Fixes - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

The Blue Lagoon -  Snacks and Quick Fixes - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Passengers in search of snacks and quick fixes made a B-line to the Blue Lagoon.  It was open almost any time of the day except the very early morning.

This outpost had a little bit of everything:  sandwiches, salads, hot dogs, and sweets.  The most popular items on the menu though were the chicken wings and chicken tenders. 

I avoided The Blue Lagoon on most of my cruise as it was usually packed with teenagers. I have to admit though, that I did sneak in late at night to sample the tenders–and they were heavenly. I can see why people were lining up for them!

Informal Fare - The Blue Lagoon - NCL Sprit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Informal Fare - The Blue Lagoon - NCL Sprit   Photo: Calvin Wood

My Verdict

Seafood wit Orzo -  NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Seafood wit Orzo -  NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

If you are looking for a non-stop banquet of mouthwatering meals – The Spirit is your ship.  The chef and his team prepared a cornucopia of delightful dishes.

The cuisine on this ship was a hit.  I was worried that after 11 days I might get a bit board of the offering – but that never happened.  Not even remotely. Now it’s time to make an emergency appointment with my trainer!

Baked Scallops - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Baked Scallops - NCL Spirit   Photo: Calvin Wood

Other Reviews on NCL's Spirit

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NCL Spirit Public Space Review - Asian Flare on the High Seas.

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