From the start all I can say is that the bad reviews written by previous cruisers leads me to believe they must be very difficult, hard to please or just whining whinging nightmare tourists. Went on the Carnival Spirit with my Wifey, Daughter and Number One Son In Law (N1SIL). Had cabin 7292 which is on the Port Aft side (N1SIL is in the Navy and that's what he called it) with a balcony. In a word AMAZING. Guste (pronounced Goosty) was our cabin steward so he and his crew cleaned our room every day and always had a cheerful word for us. He was there in the morning and there at night when we retired to our cabin turning down the bed covers and leaving little chocolates. Pande was our waitress in the restaurant with her crew and their attention to detail was exceptional. They remembered our names after the first night, my daughter has food allergies but Pande personally spoke with her every night to advise her on her menus choices and even the waiters knew when we did not which foods she could have. If I had a problem deciding a meal Pande would advise me and a couple of times she managed to slip in the second choice for me to compare. The Nouve Restaurant was excellent fine dining with a 5 course meal for $40.00 per head !1 Where are you going to get that quality for that price!! I had the Lobster which was great and the rest of the family had the steak so I then had food envy. I got to try some of my daughters fillet mignon which she could not finish and it was without the best steak I have ever had anywhere and believe me when I say this because in Australia I eat a lot of great quality steaks! The entertainment was first class and they put a lot of effort into the show stage and costumes so it is well worth watching. The comedian was strictly adults only and hilarious plus I had a crack at Bingo which I had never played and it was a laugh with big cash prizes to be won. Food on the ship was plentiful, wide in variation, freshly prepared with the staff always cheerful and helpful. We discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch, lunch and afternoon tea and then dinner!!! Soft drinks package was $7.00 per day if you brought it on day one that entitled you to 24 hour free soft drinks plus my Wifey likes Lemon Lime and Bitters as a drink which was also included. The Casino was a laugh even though I lost my $30.00 before I knew it playing Black Jack It probably would have been easier if they just kicked me in the nuts and I handed half the money over but N1SIL did better and won. Alcohol is expensive compared to Club prices but hey if you do not drink your laughing. Got off at Noumea and it was OK. Wifey said next time we would do Lemon Bay but I'm thinking I'd stay on board and get a half price Spa Deal that happens in ports. Mare was beautiful and The Isle of Pines was the most beautiful place I have ever been.
Boarding and Disembarking was flawless and no problem what so ever. The Cruise Director Stewart (Big Stew) is Australian and he regularly has information session and hand tips plus he has 3 and 5 kilometre walks on deck if you need to walk it off and trust me you will... I put on 3 kilos in 9 days and I did not let loose on the food available because Wifey was in my ear. We had a awesome trip, we are in our 50's and our kids in their 20's, there was as much as or as little as you wanted to do. The Serenity Bar is an adult only area which is great trust me as there are no kids allowed and they enforce it. There are plenty of other areas for kids on the boat to enjoy. The semi enclosed sun pods are awesome for a day on the deck but you have to get there early to get one and you can not leave it for more than 40 minutes because they are so popular the staff regularly check on them to ensure they are used. We have been on P & O which was nice but Carnival are a cut above. I tipped Pande and Guste at the end of the cruise because their wages are low, they work extremely hard and did whatever they could to make our holiday fantastic. Wifey and I are planning our next one because we had value for money and I rated it as the best holiday I have ever had. Forget the bad reviews because those people are just to hard to please. Do yourself a favour and just do it!!!