Cruise was 14 Jan to 23 Jan, but we spent a week prior to that in Palm Springs. Drove back to San Diego on the 14th, to the Hertz location, they had a special shuttle to the cruise ship pier, which worked out great.
Had no embarkation problems, went smoothly, and were in our room by 2:30. Bags came within the next hour. That night, we had dinner at the Nouveau Steakhouse. They were giving all diners a free bottle of wine, mine lasted most of the cruise. After your dinner, you either take it with you, or they obtain it from the wine cellar, which was what I did. Meal was good, service excellent.
I always give a cash tip, for services earned right then, rather than the 10 dollars per person per day they debit from your account. Since they deduct automatically, you can adjust it on the day before debarking the ship. You then have to bring envelopes of cash for meal tips, room service, and the cabin steward.
We always use the soda plans, and always had the staff asking us if we wanted refills even though they were not then getting any gratuities.
We then had two days at sea. We were on the starboard side aft, and always used the aft pool area, which was never really crowded. No babies in the pool or jacuzzi. The starboard side is their smoking area, so we stayed on the port side at the pool. I had to tell one fellow that he needed to use the starboard side.
We used the Empire Dining Room, anytime seating, except for one other time at the steakhouse. Only had to wait one time more than 25 minutes, the rest was getting seated immediately. The time we had to wait, the next day we had pastries delivered to our cabin. Our waiters were Walter, Ramona, Edwardo, and Kostadin. All were efficient, pleasant, and friendly. I had multiple entrees several times, never a problem.
Our room steward, Victor, and his team were always receptive to our needs. Room was squeaky clean at all times. We always have room service breakfasts, to avoid all the people and food in the buffet.
Carnival Spirit had a "Luggage Express" program, for $20 pp. They picked up our three bags the night before we got back to San Diego, the next time we saw them was on the baggage carousel in Liberty Newark. Great program Carnival.
All in all, this was a nice cruise. There were no problems, except coming back to the snow in NY.