VIDEO TOUR: Port Canaveral Ship Spotlight Features the ‘Norwegian Spirit’
By Go Port Canaveral // December 14, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: Originally launched in 1998 as Superstar Leo the lead ship of Star Cruises Leo class. Its transfer to Norwegian Cruise Lines and refit and rebirth as the Norwegian Spirit resulted from an storm in Germany that hit the Lloyd-Werft shipyards and partially sank the nearly completed Pride of America.
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Originally launched in 1998 as Superstar Leo the lead ship of Star Cruises Leo class. Its transfer to Norwegian Cruise Lines and refit and rebirth as the Norwegian Spirit resulted from an storm in Germany that hit the Lloyd-Werft shipyards and partially sank the nearly completed Pride of America.
To meet the reservations for the delayed Pride the Leo was transferred to Norwegian and after a two week refit emerged as the Spirit.
The Spirit still retains the East Asian theme and décor from when it cruised the Western Pacific as the Leo. An interesting factoid was that as the Superstar Leo she inspired the name of a racehorse of the same name.
Superstar Leo the mare would later lose a place to Invincible Spirt the stallion before being retired.
Statesroom and Suites
There is no getting around the fact that the fact that the Spirit is a smaller ship, and its cabins are accordingly tiny. They have been upgraded since the ship’s refit, and feature quality linens and touches that are higher class than the norm. The cabins are still somewhat cramped. Oddly, the bathrooms aboard are larger than normal. The showers are large, and the toilets are in a cubby that can be closed off from the rest of the bathroom for privacy.
The ship also features over 300 interconnecting staterooms. Combined with Norwegian’s excellent childcare services and activities this makes the Spirit surprisingly family friendly in spite of the smallish cabins.
Staterooms start on Deck 4 and with nothing above but more cabins these staterooms are some of your best bets for finding quiet aboard the ship. Two of the staterooms on this deck have odd shapes and, as a consequence, more space than normal.
Inside stateroom 4479 is larger than average, and Oceanview cabin 4498 is close to being double the size. Deck 5 has many oceanview cabins, and most of them have nothing above but more staterooms.
This makes Deck 5 another good choice for cruisers who like a view, but mind their budgets. A word of caution though, the main dining room is directly above the aft cabins on the fifth deck.
The next deck up, Deck 6 hosts the main dining room aft which may result in sensitive cruisers being disturbed by noise. Cabins towards the bow of the ship on Deck 6 are underneath the casino. A source of noise at all hours’ day and night. This is a deck that light sleepers will want to avoid. Deck 7 is mostly given over to the casino and nightclubs without any staterooms to be found. Deck 8 has the same noise problems Deck 6 does, this time from below rather than above.
Decks 9,10, and 11 are the upscale neighborhoods on the Spirit. Deck 9 is also where you begin to find balconies. Unusually, most of these balcony rooms are adjoining, making Deck 9 the best choice for family cruises. A trend that continues in a lesser way on the next two decks up. Deck 11 features owner’s suites that adjoin balcony staterooms.
A feature that might be totally unique to the Spirit. It should be noted that Deck 10 is home to the Buccaneer’s Wild Children’s pool and the childcare center. Possibly a source of noise for those on Decks 10 and 9. Deck 11 is also beneath the Lido Deck. Another source of noise.
All together the Norwegian Spirit is a well-appointed, nicely put together, and compact ship that is a cut above average. It just so also happens to be a loud ship with few places to retreat to if you grow tired of the noise. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re out to socialize. If you need a quiet place to read though, we suggest you book a balcony room.
The Spirit will be sailing 7 and 14 day Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises out of Port Canaveral—Orlando and Beaches on the Norwegian website—until April of 2016. After that it will begin making transatlantic passages to Barcelona.
The Spirit will be the only ship making regular transatlantic crossings out of Port Canaveral.
It will be replaced on its regular Caribbean cruises by the Epic. A significantly larger ship.
The transoceanic voyages, and the new ship can be taken as a sign of the growth of the cruise industry, and of Port Canaveral’s increasing importance in it.
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