My family (2 adults, 2 children 9-11) recently 27.09.13 took a cruise on the Carnival Spirit out of Sydney. We are regular Bali and Thailand holiday people, first time family cruises. We found the cruise overall a good holiday. Kids had a ball. Mum was sea sick for the first 3 days even without any swell. I was fairly happy with the cruise except for the alcohol prices (VB, New, Extra dry all $7.50. Pure Blonde, Crown, Corona, Stella all $8.25. Cocktails starting from $10.50).
The food was good and plentiful, we ate at the Empire restaurant every night and had breakfast and lunch at the buffet every day. The kids made the most of the 24hr pizza bar and also the 24hr soft serve ice cream. We did not get the soft drink package for the kids thought they would get enough sugar without that, plenty of free water and lemon cordial.
The entertainment was awesome the big band, jazz, Michael Jackson tribute shows every night. There were also comedians every night, early shows for the kids and two adult only shows later on.
The massages on the ship were very expensive (Starting from approx. $200). One tip I have which we did was to get a massage at Port Villa when we were off the ship. There was a massage place next door to the hotel "Grand Hotel and Casino" cost $40.00 AUD. $5AUD each person for a taxi from the ship into town.
We also went and visited Iririki Island, the jetty is also next door to the hotel "Grand Hotel and Casino", for $15AUD adults, $10AUD kids you get the boat across you can use all the non motorised water sports including free hire of snorkel gear at snorkel cove, use of the two large pools and you can also put the $50AUD towards food and beverages you buy on the island.
Get your duty free alcohol from Port Villa as well a lot cheaper than on the boat.