Norwegian Spirit Dining Options
The Norwegian Spirit is smaller than other Norwegian ships; but there are still a number of dining options. There are two main dining rooms, a buffet, and two additional complimentary dining venues. On top of that, there are five speciality (paid) options. If you get the Free at Sea rate, on a 7-day cruise you get two free meals at speciality restaurants.
Main Dining Rooms – Windows and Taste
There are two main dining rooms aboard the Spirit: Windows and Taste. Windows is the larger of the main dining rooms and is at the aft of the ship on Deck 6. It is open for breakfast and dinner, as well as lunch on embarkation and sea days. It has large windows that look out behind the ship. Windows has a set dress code: For women, it includes slacks or jeans, dresses, skirts and tops. For men, it’s jeans or slacks with a collared shirt and closed-toed shoes. Kids 12 and under are welcome to wear shorts in all our restaurants. We want you to be comfortable, but tank tops for men, flip flops, baseball caps, visors and jeans that are overly faded, with holes or tears and worn below the hips are not permitted in main dining rooms or specialty restaurants.
Taste, on the other hand, is only open for dinner. It is located midship on Deck 6. Taste is smaller than Windows and doesn’t have the same dress code.
The menus in both Windows and Taste are the same; though I found the food a bit better in Taste for whatever reason.
Breakfast was consistent; my biggest complaint was that they used powdered eggs for omelets and scrambled eggs. I found the servers were happy to customize your dishes (for example changing omelet ingredients).
Some sample dishes from breakfast in Windows:
Lunch in Windows was a big miss. I ate there on embarkation day and again on one of our sea days and found the main dishes to be comparable to bad fast food. The salads and deserts were good, but the fish and chips were highly processed and I got some sort of Mexican fried chicken rolls that could be from Taco Bell.
I found dinner at both Windows and Taste to be good. The desserts were the highlight, with the Molten Lava Chocolate Cake one of my favorite desserts.
Garden Cafe – Buffet
I only ate at the buffet once; for breakfast on the disembarkation day. I did get soft serve a few times and the buffet was always quite crowded. The food I saw looked like basic buffet food with nothing very appealing. The small space on Deck 12 aft was very popular; I rarely saw empty tables. With never having to wait at any other restaurants on the ship I am not sure why you would pick the buffet unless you were in a big hurry.
The Local – 24/7 Dining
The always open venue on the ship, The Local is located on Deck 7 mid-ship between the atrium and casino. The food is pub food; burgers, pretzel bites, salads, desserts as well as typical breakfast options very similar to what was served in Windows. For lunch I tried the artichoke spinach dip and it had no flavor. The pretzel bites were tasty and a good evening snack.
Located on Deck 7, Silk is a complimentary dinner restaurant with various Asian inspired dishes. It is also the location of speciality dining Teppanyaki and Sushi.
I ate at Silk twice and enjoyed the noodle dishes and dessert. It is nice to have another complimentary dinner option outside of the main dining rooms; but it would be nice if it was open during lunch on sea days.
There are five specialty dining options on the Spirit. I tried two of them with my Free at Sea two specialty dining credits – Onda and Le Bistro. The three additional options are Cagney’s, Teppanyaki, and Sushi.
Teppanyaki is located in the back of Silk and has a few grill tables. Guests sit around the grill and the chef performs as they make the dinner.
The sushi is an add on charge while eating at Silk; though you are able to use your speciality dining credit for the sushi if you choose to do so. There is a sushi bar on one side of Silk where you can see the sushi being prepared.
Cagney’s is the ship’s steakhouse. It is also used as a dining room for guests in suites.
Onda is located on Deck 11 aft, above Spice2O and behind the buffet. It is Italian themed and hands down the best meal I had while on the ship. The setting is very nice with lots of windows, marble and curved wood accents. It is a very small space and feels like a true restaurant rather than a venue on a cruise ship.
The food was all made to order and fresh, including the delicious bread.
Through the speciality dining credit, you are able to order an appetizer (which could include a pizza), main dish with two sides, and a dessert.
Every course I had was delicious.
Le Bistro is located forward on Deck 7 opposite of The Local. It is also a more intimate sized restaurant and appears to be the most formal venue on the ship (the same dress code for Windows applies at Le Bistro).
At Le Bistro you get to choose two starters (typically an appetizer and a soup or salad, I ended up substituting the appetizer for soup), one main, and dessert.
The French Onion Soup and dessert were my favorite parts. The chicken was well cooked but not my favorite flavors.
Serving Starbucks drinks (though not a Starbucks), the Atrium Cafe has coffee beverages for an extra charge (unless you have the premium drink package). They do serve complimentary breakfast pastries in the morning.
Overall I’d give the food on the Norwegian Spirit the letter grade of a C. Specialty dining is the way to go; along with dinner in Taste. All the other food options were pretty unimpressive with lunch being the biggest disappointment.
In comparison to the food on Virgin Voyages, it had a lot to improve on. Given that Norwegian is a value cruise line with the likes of Carnival and Royal Caribbean, I didn’t have high expectations and I would say that the food met what I expected. It was only rarely bad but never completely blew me away.