Choose your cruise and let the excitement begin aboard this cruise ship that features great music and dancing, as well as ... More
Spirit of Norfolk Harbor Cruises
Choose your cruise and let the excitement begin aboard this cruise ship that features great music and dancing, as well as bountiful buffets, all while cruising along Norfolk's historic waterways. Lunch and dinner cruises that are second-to-none are also available.
The actual cruising was the best part of this outing. My husband and I decided to do the dinner cruise for our 4th anniversary. My husband is active duty military and this is the first anniversary we have been able to spend together; we were very excited for a nice romantic evening. When we got on the boat we were taken to our table, a 6 top, and informed that the seating is cabaret style. Cabaret seating is when you are sitting with complete strangers. In order to get a table by yourself you would have to buy the romance package, which was an additional $140.00, we had already paid $150.00 for the basic tickets. Nobody informed us of this when we made our reservations. Personally, I do not want to sit with strangers when I am trying to have a nice romantic evening with my husband. Most of the guests on the cruise were celebrating anniversaries and birthdays, therefore I would think that they would change their seating arrangements to smaller tables when so many attendees are celebrating a special event! They then announced that the buffet was open. Probably the smallest buffet I have ever seen with the most basic food, chicken, pork, beef, mashed potatoes, salad bar. The food was good, but not much selection. Finally, we began to set sail and the DJ got the party started, I guess. The staff does karaoke, which was horrible; again trying to have a romantic evening does not include karaoke. My husband and I realized the top deck was the nice quiet place to be and that is where we stayed for the rest of the cruise. Drink prices are too much, $6.00 for a budweiser beer. I definitely would not go on this again. I wish I would have read the reviews prior to making our reservation. Although this cruise was not what we expected I must say that our waiter Joe was great; very friendly and helpful, he even came up to the top deck to check on us.
Since I'm orginally from the area and have been on the cruise several times, it bothers me to read negative comments. I hope the owners will pay attention and do something about the faults and do some improving.
WARNING! DO NOT MAKE A RESERVATION UNLESS YOU KNOW FOR SURE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE IT! IF YOU NEED TO CANCEL/RESCHEDULE, YOU WILL BE CHARGED $20 PER PERSON! YOUR REP MAY OR MAY NOT TELL YOU THIS OVER THE PHONE BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR RESERVATION! OUR REP TOLD US AFTER THE APPT. WAS MADE! SO RIDICULOUS! Most of the food was good. I love tilapia, but didn't eat it because of all the seasoning containing MSG! Pork w/apricots were very good, and so was the chicken. We had both roasted and bbq chicken. Bread was dry and seemed old--it kept falling apart. If you want sweet tea, they only serve unsweetened tea, so you'll have to put the sugar in it yourself. Dessert was yummy! Atmosphere was beautiful with the white tablecloths and decorated buffet. Wait staff was polite, but sometimes took a long time getting to our table. If you sit at the end tables, you might be put off. We could not hear the dinner music during our meal. When I asked what happened to the dinner music, we were told it was on, but we couldn't hear anything where we were sitting. The dance floor is sticky, so if you have rubber soled shoes, be very careful how you step. Photos turned out great, and the package was at a good price of $25. I prefer the inside shots over standing outside with only city buildings in the background. Hopefully, next time we'll get a better background and won't be asked to stand outside in the cold for our picture. We'll give it another try because in the past, we've had better cruises. It's definitely best to go during warm weather and around Christmas! P.S. Bring plenty of $$ for drinks if you want anything other than coffee, tea, or water! They'll charge and arm and a leg for anything else! AND parking is across the street in the city parking garage, which you will have to pay at least $5, cash or credit. If it's cold, wrap up well!!! I WOULD EXPECT BETTER FOR WHAT THEY CHARGE!!!
We took an evening (7:00 pm) cruise in July. We found the cruise and signed up on the internet with no other knowledge of what to expect. We found that the ship is easy walking distance from the Sheraton Hotel where we stayed. Boarding is a two step process -- first to a ticket booth next to the ship, and then board. We encountered friendly staff, no lines and were taken directly to our table. We had purchased the "romantic package" primarily to ensure having a window table for two. Our seating location was nice with a good view, and as I had requested, not too near the sound system. We received an exceptionally nice bouquet of roses and a bottle of very good tasting champagne along with two champagne flutes. Our waitress was very attentive, answered our questions and was very pleasant. She said she was part of the entertainment some nights but not that night. (Several members of the wait staff sang one or two songs (karaoke style) during dinner. They did a good job and it is hard to understand that their short performances would have interfered with their service, as another reviewer commented.) During dinner, the DJ/cruise director stopped by our table and was very friendly, asked what music we liked (answer - ballroom dance music such as waltz, fox trot), and he did mix a few of those in with the range of music he played later. I should note that we are in our 70's and pretty much older than the average of the group that evening. So, it was no surprise that the music was primarily what the younger group prefer and that was fine with us. The music was not too loud and he did play Anne Murray's nice waltz "May I have this dance for the rest of my life" for us. After dinner, the lady who I believe was the manager (in charge of the food and maybe the wait staff) stopped by our table and asked how everything was. She was very pleasant and clearly interested in ensuring we were having a good experience, which we were.
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise very much and found everything to be very pleasant -- no complaints at all. We had fun. It was very obvious to us that most everyone on board was having a good time. We did not order drinks because we had the champagne, but it appeared to me that folks were having no problems with the drink service. The buffet was fine. The deserts after dinner were exceptional!! The boat was clean, the air conditioning was just right even though it was a warm, humid evening outside, and the boat engines were smooth, quiet and not at all noticeable. I bought our tickets, including the champagne, etc., on line so the cost was clear and there were no surprise charges. We incurred zero additional charges on board other than a tip. Thus I can't comment on drink prices. Our opinion is that if you are a couple who enjoy having a good time in company with, in our case, a mostly younger group of ship mates, you will enjoy this cruise. We would enjoy taking this cruise again.
The cruise itself was the best part. The waiter was friendly too. Food was average. It was buffett style. Bang for the dollar was over priced in mine and my wife's opinion.
When we called the fees and taxes were about a thrid of the price. Plus the rep for the added the price of a picture in after we told her no. She did correct it though.
The biggest disappointment was we were not told there was a AAA discount over the phone. This would have saved us $20.00 When we found out at the door it was too late. Prices are final.
We booked in Nov and thought we would have better seats. No-we were in the front of the boat and crowded. The bar was in the back and our waitress, who had 4 other tables of 8, had to do performances in between serving us. Granted all the crew was very friendly and helpful-it wasnt her fault that she had to perform. She should have had tables near the bar or have another server take care of the tables while she was performing. Me and my husband ended up staying down by the bar because it was so much easier.
The DJ was fun and the dancing was great. We ended up going up to the the other decks since the decks had a little bit of a different atmosphere.
The buffet was ok. My sister had fatty meat and the best part of the dinner was the salad and fruit. The salmon was cold and the vegetables were also cold. It was just not what I expected.
By the way, when the price says its 125 + fees the total ends up being over 165 a person. For that price I think we should have warm food and not have some of the dishes run out ( the meatballs-which were very delicious) Maybe that was why they ran out of meatballs- everyone figured out that was the best meat to have on their plate.
The staff was super nice and the open bar was open. I had a hard time getting to my table, trying to weave in between other people while they were eating. They should not have tried to crowd so many people in one little section!
The cruise was an experience and I'm glad we experienced it. Just won't ever do it again.
The staff was great, the DJ was very entertaining and attentive to requests. The food was tasty, however the menu was completely different from what was listed on the website. They changed the menu to a traditional Thanksgiving menu with turkey, ham, collards, stuffing etc.....It would have been great for a Thanksgiving cruise but this was on Dec 5th and I already have been living on Thanksgiving leftovers for 10 days and I was looking forward to some gourmet dining that did not happen....
Did not like waiting 1/2 hour on the dock in 25 F windchill factor and wind coming in from the water. Today I feel like I'm catching a cold. The cruise liner has no waiting facilities whatsoever and did not start boarding until 3:30 PM. They did offer free hot coffee outside on the dock but it did not make up for first bad impression of long wait in freezing weather......Overall it was OK for an one time experience but would definitely not do it again in cold weather.
Paid for a Window seat, however the window was clouded over and you couldnt see through it. Asked the staff and they said some windows cloud over, its hit and miss. Food was decent and out waiter was very good. However walking up the stairs to go up on deck the crew kicked the door open and hit my wife. Just a quick my bad. So much for the huge glass window in the door that they can look in before practicing their Karate Kicks on the door. The ship was dirty and in poor repair. We did other cruises like this in DC and other cities, however the Spirit of Norfolk crew requires better training and the ship needs some basic upkeep.
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