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:
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.
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!
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!!
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!
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!
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.
The Blue Lagoon
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!
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!
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