Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by JaneMS: Overall an OK cruise - but some very dissapointing bits
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Overall an OK cruise - but some very dissapointing bits
First cruise for my daughter and I and 2nd for husband. 15 year old daughter loved it. Loved the kids club and made nice friends. Husband and I annoyed that so much room is dedicated to smokers. Smoking area being at the front of the ship meant the smoke travelled down the ship as it sailed. Meaning you could not sit on deckchairs anywhere on the smoking side of the ship. And even got whiffs of smoke on the other side of the ship. The partly enclosed smoking area near one pool, meant you could not enjoy that pool or the area around it at all without being smoked out. The smoke also travelled slightly to the non smoking pool, which of course was overcrowded with non-smokers trying to enjoy fresh air.
The advertised talk about shopping in the ports, was mainly about advertising the shops and the deals they had, not much about the ports. They even told us the best places to shop in Noumea but being a Sunday everything was closed. As was the beach we were touring as they had a More triathlon. The shore tour desk should have known that and advised us. No reason the cruise could not have been done in reverse, as it wouldn't matter what day you visited Lifou and Mystery Island. Got sick of photographers demanding you stop for a photo. They take 5000-100,000 photos a day we were told, so it shows how much they are in your face. We were not interested but often had no choice. Yes the meals, entertainment and accommodation are included in your cruise, but the rest felt like a money making exercise, push push push to get you to spend on board.
The "huge sale" of Bella Perlina braclets down from around $100 to $19.95 was a scam as you would imagine. Able to get brand new ones on ebay for similar price to the cruise sale price. And it seems that the only place you can buy these is on a cruise ship. Can't find them anywhere for $100. Maybe the price is for a Pandora equivalent but not a Bella Perlina brand.
As for the guests:-
Would have loved to enjoy the adults only section a little more, but people hogged the chairs and pods all day so unless you got there at dawn, forget it.
Wish the cruise staff would enforce the dress rules in Empire. They say no singlet shirts, thongs, baseball hats, but each day we saw people dressed that way and nothing said to them. Didn't affect us, but disappointing. Same happened on elegant night. Thongs, jeans, shorts, singlet shirts. sloppy joes.
And as for parents of younger children, you are mean to supervise them. The ship is not a crèche. Kids running around corridors. Writing on walls. In the buffet, kids as young as 5 trying to serve themselves when they couldn't even really reach the spoons let alone see what was in the tray. Parents nowhere to be seen. And what is it with some people that stack their plate to the sky then leave half of it behind!! And some people just laving their empty glass or plate in a corridor, in or near a lift. Seemed it was too hard to leave in their cabin or take back to the restaurant. Pity the crew that have to run around cleaning up after the lazy people.
As for the positives. The room was great. Having a balcony was great. It might feel a bit cooped up in an internal cabin. Plenty to eat. Crew were always very friendly. Loved the towel animals. Loved the Behind the Fun Tour. If you want to do this tour book it the first day or you might miss out. We booked it the first night and 1 day of the 2 days the tour is offered were booked out. So good to see behind the scenes and gives you a better appreciation for what the crew and staff do to keep you safe and happy.
Having the Sail and Sign card meant buying drinks and anything else was easy. You can keep an eye on your expenditure on your TV or at kiosks, but so easy to just swipe the card and not really think about what you are spending so be careful.
Bottomless Bubbles deal for kids or adults was great My daughter loved it.
Google 'Carnival Cruise Tips' and there is a handout that gives some great information and things you don't think about. They were great.
If you can, get a cabin near the middle of the ship. Less movement than if you are at the front or the back of the ship. Try not to get one above or below an entertainment area or too close the lifts. It will be quieter.
Yes a few negatives, and many positives, not all listed here, but wanted to give you all a good overview of what to expect. Less
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Nice Family Cruise
Great value and great service
Never again Carnival Spirit