Our party consisited of 4 adults and 3 children and we all had a wonderful time. This was our first cruise so I cant compare the Spirit to other ships but I thought the interior was fantastic.
Most of the reviews have been on the money, especially about the number of children on board which was around the 1000 mark for this particular cruise. I must say they were generally well behaved, and I personally encountered no problems with them. Sure, you had the odd child doing handstands in the spa and splashing everybody else (probably while their parents, if that's what you can call them, were getting pissed somewhere), but, hey, they are children.
If you have seen the movie Walle... the part on the spaceship where the people are transported around on floating mats due to their poor physical condition, then that is what you will encounter on deck (minus the floating mats). I have never seen a bigger collection of obese people in one place ever, and it was pretty sad to witness.
Special mention also to the dance studio on board, who surely had to be from Western Sydney. Think cross between Housos and Dance Mums, but without the talented kids.
Fantastic, the real stars of the cruise. From room attendants to dining room staff they were so friendly and happy. Dining in the Empire dining room each night was a real treat and my children are still greeting everyone with "Helloooooooo". (fellow cruisers will know what i mean).
Lots of it and lots of options. People who complain about this must be used to eating in 5 star restaraunts every night. Make sure you go to the stakehouse, it is worth the extra money.
Luckily the boat stopped at all of them. Noumea and Suva are dumps. Do a tour or visit a resort at these stops. Mytery Island and Isle of Pines are great, do your snorkling here. And if you go to Port Denarau, go to South sea Island, it will be the highlight of your trip!
Various and of a high standard. Jugglers, magicians, singers and dancers, hypnotists...... something for everyone, and we enjoyed all of the shows. And if you like trivia, you will be happy to know that there is a lot of it on board, especially on sea days. Didn't do bingo but it was popular, even if it was a rip off. Golf chipping comps at midday in the atrium were very popular, and good fun.
Cruise Director Willie was great and must have had very little sleep for the 12 days we were at sea, but was always full of life and friendly.
Our 2 youngest, aged 7 and 4 both loved it. They were not together, so was a bit worried how they would go, but half the time we went to pick them up they didn't want to leave. Big thanks to all of the staff who did a great job. We never forced them to go if they didn;t want to, unlike some parents on board who left their kids in tears as they walked off.
SERENITY ADULTS ONLY:
Due to travelling with children, my wife and I only made it out to this deck on 3 occassions. We scored a pod the first time, deck chairs on the second, and a hammock on the third, so no problems getting somewhere to sit for us, but maybe we were just lucky. I renamed this section "The Heart Attack Waiting To Happen" deck, and that had nothing to do with the age of the people.
Very good. Get there early (it opens at 6:00am) and have a run on a treadmill as you look out to sea. Great way to start the day but if the sea is a little rough be prepared to balance youself as you run. Aslo, use this spa if you want some peace, as the 2 spas at the pools are packed with kids all day.
Had a balcony on Main deck (deck 4) and it was fine. a little squashed but we did have 4 people in it. If your tossing up weather to get a balcony or not, do it... we loved sitting on it as we arrived and departed each port. Coming back through the heads of Sydney Harbor as the sun came up was great.
All 7 of us had a great time, so much so that we are already looking at booking a cruise aboard Carnival Legend late next year. It is a family ship, so if you don't have young children I would go on a different ship.
Sitting arounfd the pool you will feel like you are in Rooty Hill RSL, so if the thought of that bothers you maybe go for a RC cruise.