Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Back To Line

Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Spirit

Norwegian Spirit Review

In a curious East-goes-West journey, Norwegian Spirit was originally built for the Freestyle cruising concept and launched as SuperStar Leo for Norwegian Cruise Line's Asian parent, Genting Hong Kong Limited (formerly Star Cruises). In winter 2004, Norwegian's

fledgling Hawaiian venture nearly sank when a freakish storm filled its flagship with water while it was nearing completion in Germany. With a month's worth of bookings and no new ship, arrangements were made to deploy a substitute in Hawaii and transfer SuperStar Leo to fill the gap left in its wake.

Rechristened in spring 2004 and updated to better suit American tastes, Norwegian Spirit still retains fine examples of Asian artwork. The casino is huge, and facilities for children and teens are particularly extensive, only rivaled by the Disney Cruise Line ships and Norwegian’s own newer vessels.

Norwegian Cruise Line (originally known as Norwegian Caribbean Line) set sail in 1966 with an entirely new concept: regularly scheduled Caribbean cruises from the then-obscure port of Miami. Good food and friendly service combined with value fares established Norwegian as a winner for active adults and families. With the introduction of the now-retired SS Norway in 1979, Norwegian ushered in the era of cruises on megasize ships. Innovative and forward-looking, Norwegian has been a cruise-industry leader for four decades, and is as much at home in Europe as it is in the Caribbean.

Noted for top-quality, high-energy entertainment and emphasis on fitness facilities and programs, Norwegian combines action, activities, and a variety of dining options in a casual, free-flowing atmosphere. Freestyle cruising signaled an end to rigid dining schedules and dress codes. Norwegian ships now offer a host of flexible dining options that allow passengers to eat in the main dining rooms or any of a number of à la carte and specialty restaurants at any time and with whom they please. Now co-owned by Genting Hong Kong Limited and Apollo Management, a private equity company, Norwegian continues to be an industry innovator.

From a distance, most cruise ships look so similar that it's often difficult to tell them apart, but Norwegian's largest, modern ships stand out with their distinctive use of hull art. Each new ship is distinguished by murals extending from bow to midship.

Read More

What You Should Know

Pros

  • There is a bridge-viewing gallery in the observatory lounge
  • You may find solitude in the library or writing room
  • More than 300 staterooms connect

Cons

  • Facilities for children are more expansive than the spa and fitness center
  • There are no self-service laundry facilities
  • Some top suites have forward-facing balconies that are too windy for use on sea days
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 949
  • Entered Service 1999
  • Gross Tons 75,338
  • Length 881 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,009
  • Passenger Capacity 2,018 (2,475 max)
  • Width 105 feet

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Service

Food

Décor

Value

Cruise Forums

Have a cruising question? Ask our Fodorite community.

Cruise Deals

Find the best deals in cruises from our partners.

Store

Shop our travel guides on European, Caribbean, and Alaskan cruises.

Back To Top

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.