We were so pleasantly surprised on many levels with our recent cruise on the Carnival Spirit.
Check in at Circular Quay was faultless and quick. We were allocated a boarding time and I think this made a huge difference to crowd control. Disembarkation was also very quick as they encouraged 'self assist' - taking your own luggage off. This is something that we would do again.
Friendly Carnival staff were everywhere ensuring a smooth flow of people.
All staff on this ship ship are super friendly from the word go. The friendliest overall that we have yet encountered. They all work very hard to engage with the passengers despite working hard and being away from family. They like being on a ship full of Aussies. I can't say enough about well they work as a team.
The ship itself is ornate - which we enjoyed. Everything was clean, beautifully maintained and functional. There are many lounge areas to sit in: nooks and crannies everywhere. A two tiered theatre where you could always find a seat. A comedy club that was great fun - there it was hard to get a seat.
The dining experience was fantastic. Great variety of dishes and styles of eating. Desserts were not too sweet - a big hit. Wonderful wait staff. Lots of attentive waiters that did their job so well.
Our cabin was ocean view mid ship - generous in size for 3 adults. Very nice decor. Lovely, large (for a cruise ship) bathroom that was squeaky clean and in as new condition.
We travelled to Fiji to avoid a low pressure trough in Vanuatu - great idea. We had 11 days of smooth sailing.
During the day we mainly read, walked, talked to people. There are lots of trivia games and activities that you can go to. No guest lecturers but Stu the cruise director gives great port talks.
Evenings are filled with wonderful shows, comedy club, piano bar, dancing bars.
One great thing that we didn't have to do was change our clocks. We stayed on Sydney time the whole trip. What a sensible idea that was.
Lots of families, young adults, older people. A real mix.
Will we cruise again on the Spirit ? For sure!