I had never cruised with Carnival America before.
It took quite a long time to board this ship, lots of elderly passengers having to wait in long lines to board the ship.
I'm not used to having to give up my passport to a cruise company until we were ready to get off the ship,but I got over it in the end:)
Our cabin on deck 1 was the biggest that I have stayed in so far for an inside cabin, the cabin steward was nice, but forgetful.
Food was nice, chopsticks in the buffet on Lido deck 9 was the most popular place to choose food from, the queues always went around the corner.
The buffet was one of the worst set out ones that I have come across on a ship, it was too spread out in different directions, the elderly passengers would of not liked it.
The food was quite spicy, but tasty.
I really loved the free specialty coffee machines on the ship, they were on deck 9 and had, flat white, cappuccino and beautiful hot chocolate in them.
If you wanted supper after the show, you would be sadly disappointed with the choices available, no cake or cookies.
I was a little disappointed with the shows on the ship, comedians, hypnotists are not what I would call entertaining for an evening show, the vocalists who were flown in for the cruise were entertaining, especially Patrick McMahon, he was very good.
Sometimes there was only one show and it would not start until 10pm.
The spirit band and dancers were fantastic.
The captain was a lovely man and I looked forward to listening to his updates at 12 noon each day.
The big screen movie screen was a pull down projector screen in one of the downstairs lounges, some of the movies were very old and they showed them at least twice, other passengers who boarded the ship in Vancouver told us that they saw the same movies and they repeated them too.
The old movies were the castle, strictly ballroom and Ned Kelly.
There were not many children on the ship during our cruise, we were told that they only had 30 on the ship, most children were well behaved.
The self serve laundries were very small, $3 a wash and dry and $1 for soap powder, you do not need coins as you need to swipe your set sail pass to use the machines.
The casino was always busy, it opened at 7 AM on sea days, at night it was very busy and smelly from cigarette smoke:(
The shops were the usual, jewelry, clothing, sweets, carnival keep sakes, duty free alcohols and cigarettes.
The photo people were always around wanting to take photos as they are on all ships.
The Internet was the slowest that I have ever used on a ship, I had my iPad and iPhone with me, I purchased a 2 hour plan that cost $89, it was go very quickly.
I never played bingo on board, other passengers said that it was too expensive to play $20 a card for 2 games and it always started at least 25 minutes late , they also had nighttime bingo as well, all bingo was played in the main show theatre.
The ship is quite elegant, I loved the glass lifts in the atrium, the busiest decks were deck 2, this has the casino, theatre, main bar, passenger services desk, shore tours, puzzle area, Empire dinning room too. Deck 9 had the buffet, pool and stage, deck 10 was the sun lounge deck.
Our cabin stewardess was nice, she was forgetful though, we had organized a copy of our passports to be delivered to our cabin on the morning of our first shore tour, by 8.45 it had still not arrived so we contact guest services.
They said that all passport copies were given out by our stewards by 8 am, so we went back to our cabin and tried to locate the stewardess, we found her and she had a few in her pocket in envelopes, she said that she had no idea what was in the envelopes.
The cabin safe is huge enough to fit in a handbag and an iPad, you need to use your credit card or American drivers license to lock and open it, it's annoying that only one person can open and close it.
We did not think that Stu made a good cruise director, his off sider the assistant cruise director was very entertaining, polite and so friendly, but Stu was the cruise director, he made a lot of announcements during the cruise, we were tired of hearing his voice by the end of the cruise.
They have machines on the ship that you can use to manage and check on your set sail account, you can also use the tv in your cabin to check on your purchases, book shore tours and check menus.
The TV in the cabin was not useful as a TV as such as a lot of the time there was no signal so we could not get any news from home:(
The weather was fantastic while we were away, seas were also calm too:)
The ports were pretty, tendering was not good, even though the Spirit had never been to these ports before, there should of been more research and training done on the tender process, an elderly passenger fell over because the tender boat rope was not secured to the dock close enough, another elderly passenger was frightened and had to sit down on a bench near the tender boat before they could board their tour as they were very shaken up.
I witness another elderly passenger fall on one of our tours that was meant to be an easy walking tour, we had to climb up high onto some uneven stone steps to see a waterfall and she fell while climbing the steps, there were a lot of elderly passengers on shore tours.
The prettiest port was Bora Bora, highlights of Bora Bora in the blue open air buses is an interesting tour to do and the hand made sarongs are so pretty and only $10 to buy, there is a video on You tube, just type in Tahitian Sarong making into the you tube website and you will see our lady tour guide in the video.
The soda package was ok if you drink a lot of soda, I think that princess has the best ever non alcoholic drinks package by far.
The dinning room was rather entertaining, especially with the singing waiter, he was FANTASTIC, service was slow if you did not drink alcohol, which we didn't, I ordered a coke and waited 20 minutes for it to arrive, we noticed that it you ordered alcohol it came to your table promptly.
We will sail again in the future on the Spirit, it will be interesting to read her Australian reviews:)
I hope that the Carnival Spirit enjoys her new home here in Australia.