Norwegian Cruise Line: Spirit
Avg. Customer Review (1.0 Palms):
True 1 1 1.0 Palms
Number of Reviews: 1

Review Type: Cruise Ship
Dedicated GF: No
Phone: 866-234-7350


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Flex-Dining turned into a flexible disappointment,
November 04, 2009

1.0 Palms
1.0 Palms
I booked a 7-day NCL Spirit trip after hearing how amazing NCL is on accommodating special requests, etc. and I couldn't have been more disappointed. I arranged the trip through a professional travel service and was hoping they could help me "sail" through the levels in order to make my trip gluten free but she was unable to help guarantee any gluten free dining. NCL did have a list of items they offer but when on-board, if I didn't give them at least 2-3 days notice that I needed a bagel, I didn't get it -- apparently they were "down below" and "frozen." I ate the same breakfast, lunch and snack every day. And by the way, have you heard about the midnight chocolate event they're so famous for??? Stay in your room. Can't participate. There's about 500 items with chocolate but don't even bother. By the way, who knows they want to eat a bagel 2-3 days in advance? I'm as anal-retentive as it gets and I don't know what I'm going to be eating for lunch today, regardless 2-3 days from now. I tried to pre-book my meals before I got on board, but they wouldn't accept my requests but promised me the staff would "do what they could." Now for the kudos. Having been completely frustrated with breakfast and lunch, my husband and I found that with a day's notice, I could eat WHATEVER I wanted off the main dining room menu with 24hours notice. The main maitre'd and his assistant on this cruise were completely amazing. Each night I would go up for dinner and before I sat down, they gave me the exclusive right to look at the next night's menu, order ANYTHING I wanted (even if I wanted the whole darn thing) and they would make it gluten free. We ate there as much as we could and we can't thank the maitre' d team enough for their flexibility. But what was really surprising about this was they were actually surprised to have me on board! As much as they helped me for dinner, once I announced I was gluten free most of the ships food prep team would say, "really? oh, there's nothing for you here." Nice, huh? One day I found peace on the dinner buffet (my 6th time there trying to find "the" meal that I could eat) when the wok chef saw me peering at the fresh chicken and vegetables that he was about to prepare with soy sauce for the main buffet area and said, "hello, can I help you?" (oh boy I was thinking)...I asked him if he could make me a meal with those ingredients and as if I was asking for some drugs, he looked around for his boss, put his face closer to mine and whispered, "if you come back in about 20 minutes, I'll clean this and make a stir-fry with whatever you want." (but don't tell the boss kind of whisper) embarrassing!.... But hey, who's not hungry for a nice fresh stir fry! P.S. By the way, the one palm rating on this isn't for the overall ship experience (that would be a 0), it's for the main dining room maitre'd staff who went out of their way to make all the gluten free meals I wanted for dinner. One night they also brought me a hot fudge sundae (the day after the chocolate buffet that I couldn't eat and complained I was eager for something chocolate) with a regular wafer cookie display in the middle. Hey, they tried! (but in all fairness, my husband took this sundae because he couldn't let it go to waste and they did make me another one!). I would give them a 5 for their service, but I didn't want the 5 palms on the top of this review to look like I actually recommend this ship, just the maitre'd team.

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Businesses marked with a Dedicated Gluten Free icon are DEDICATED GLUTEN FREE ESTABLISHMENTS.