From the moment we booked it was all smooth sailing :) This was my first cruise and I was away with just my girlfriend. We embarked from Sydney and it was seamless. As soon as my family and I arrived helpful staff took my bags and I was able to enjoy my goodbyes without the stress of luggage :)
We had a late boarding time of 4-4.30pm and it was incredibly fast. We were on board in no time and made our way to our room. We had selected an aft balcony room on deck 7. OMG best location no traffic, amazing view, comfortable, beds excellent and our stewards were fantastic. We always returned from dinner and breakfast to our beautifully made up rooms. Super loved the towel animals each night. And I had read reviews saying outside room is noisy but that was not my take I loved everything about my room. Knowing to put my luggage under my bed was a godsend.
Now I was reading every review I could get my hands on for my ship Carnival Spirit and I can honestly say it was UNFORGETTABLY FANTASTIC.
The food was bountiful and soooo many choices. We had brekky on Lido deck everyday and it was fabulous. Eggs benedict my absolute favourite. Lunch again had something for everyone with the Chinese section always popular and yummy :) We had dinner all over the ship, Lido deck for buffet style, Main dining room was more formal but delicious and if serving sizes are a little small for your liking I loved that you could order two. Always full and satisfied with both these options. Desserts were plentiful in both locations BUT you must try the NOUVEA restaurant .......$35 a person and worth every cent actually I would pay more. My steak was melt in your mouth quality and my dessert oozed perfection. Service there was impeccable.
Which brings me to the staff/crew.....FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL WELCOMING HELPFUL and always SMILING. They run the smoothest of ships I must say.
I wanted to do nothing but relax on this holiday and I did!!! I spent everyday in the SERENITY area and it was absolute SERENITY. I always managed to get a pod (highly recommended) but I am a early riser and towards the end of the cruise it got earlier to secure one. The spa was nice but made my bikini change from blue to white and tarnished my jewellery but that was the price you pay for killing those nasty bugs that lurk in spas. So I only went in on first day as it was a bit cool that day but every other day the weather was exceptional so swam in the pool. Loved that this is sea water.
The bars and singers were lovely and the ship never felt crowded and I knew there were about 900 kids on board but it is so spacious. A spot for everyone. I did go to the gym a few times and could have run all day looking out into the horizon. Perfect location but I was disappointed the spa was not working there.
We visited Noumea which was nice. i was lucky to watch a traditional greeting on the dock as we pulled in and I did like that you could purchase gifts with Australian dollars where they drop you off in town. We did a tour but i found they rushed us around and next time I will hop on the shuttle bus and make my own way around. Plenty of time to do and see quite a bit. And I had read a review saying it is SMELLY because we get off in the container yard because the ship is too big to dock at their Overseas passenger terminal but I didn't smell anything nasty???
Next day we had Mare where we snorkelled. Beautiful location,friendly locals, coral and fishes in a very crowded beach. Didn't stay long here I just wanted to get back into my pod on serenity, lol. Unfortunately the next day we didn't get to stop at Isle of Pines as the weather was not favourable as you tender across to the island. That was really disappointing but no ones fault. Just means I need to cruise again to see it :)
We had elegant nights, theme nights and always shows, seminars, stand up, karaoke. Something for everyone.
When it came time to leave disembarkation was just as seamless as getting on. I was out early with self assist option and on my way home by 730am.
What can I say.......this had to be one of the best holidays I've ever had. No dramas, no cooking, no cleaning. Now I need to save up so my family can experience this amazing journey. So beats our usual camping holidays hands down :):):):)