Embarkation: We arrived at 11:00 AM and went through the embarkation process it took about 25 mins to get through the line and into the waiting area. We were presented with a number and began getting on the ship at 12:00 PM. It was a smooth process and they had big screen TVs in the waiting areas showing the Super Bowl Pregame. On the ship they served a buffet lunch and our room was ready at about 1:30.
Superbowl: On embarkation day we had the Super Bowl Party. There were great appetizer stations set up and the game was available all over the ship. Some people took sides but others just enjoyed the drink specials. It was a great atmosphere to watch the game. The nice thing is that we got to skip the mandatory safety meeting until the next morning so we didn't have to miss part of the game. After the game our luggage had already arrived and the sea out of San Diego became choppy.
Food: People who complain about the food on cruises usually only show up for the first meal in the dinning room and then make other plans. The first day meal is always the worst it will be for the rest of the cruise. This dining service is fantastic the food is well prepared and tasty. The menu is broken into 3 categories (starters, main courses, and desserts). However, we had a 5 course meal every night (starter, salad, soup, entree, dessert) almost every night. You are not limited to just 3 items. The food was fantastic on this cruise. My advice is to eat in the dinning room whenever you can including lunch and breakfast. The buffet is okay, but the dinning room has better prepared food and it is easier to portion control.
Sea Days: For people who are used to the calm relaxing motion of the Caribbean you might want to bring some sea sickness pills, bands, or patches. The Pacific Ocean has strong currents that can cause some rolling waves. Specifically near San Diego the waves are rollers and the ship moves to the point where everyone on the ship will notice. Neither my wife or I got sick but there were some times that we noticed others who did. One night out of Manzanillo we hit a storm that brought 45 mph + winds and the Lido Pool began to splash water out. On the way down to Acapulco the ship has to be close to max speed the duration of the trip. People with aft cabins will notice vibration from the propellers. Bring Binoculars because you will see many dolphins and whales (especially near Cabo) on this trip. I would suggest getting a balcony or hanging out at the aft pool during the afternoons. There is lots to see if you are looking for sea-life.
Entertainment: The dancers on the Carnival Spirit are okay but it would be tough to tell how good they are since difficult moves are an issue because the ship is moving. The singers are talented, especially the ladies. Stu isn't the best cruise director but he isn't bad either. There are many fun activities during sea days and the comedians will have you rolling during the late night sets. I was not impressed by the piano bar singer however. The disco was interesting to say the least on nights we went. It seemed like the crew utilized this space more as a private singles bar then it was for the guests to enjoy themselves. The Mexican night show in Acapulco is not to be missed.
Ports: Acapulco has cleaned up in recent years. It is a really nice town to be at during the evening. Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo is absolutely beautiful. We were there during Carnival and the town and the people were dressed up and enjoying themselves. Manzanillo isn't too fun unless you take and excursion. We went deep sea fishing. The only guy on our boat to catch a fish was from San Diego and could go deep sea fishing any day. He caught a close to 100 lb sailfish. Even though we didn't catch a fish we enjoyed the day along the cliffs and shoals there are lots of dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays and even a whale made an appearance.
Debarkation: This is a breeze. Eat breakfast in the Dining room or Lido Buffet and wait for Stu to call your number. You will be off the ship and with you luggage in about 15 minutes.