My fiance and I did the Honolulu to Vancouver cruise on the Carnival Spirit April 2011. This was my second cruise and his first cruise.
We flew into Honolulu a couple days early and stayed at the Ohana Waikiki West for 2 nights prior to boarding the Spirit on April 22/11. We had the distinction of being on the 18th floor with an ocean view, however, the elevator only goes to the 17th floor and the room was very small and quite tired looking. But for the price we paid and the fact we were only there a couple nights it wasn't a big deal, plus hey you have to sacrifice something for the ocean view :o)
Boarding of the ship flowed very well and we were onboard in no time and out luggage arrived very quickly also, only a couple of hours.
The size of the ship was nice as it was very easy to find your way around. It was very clean and tidy.
Food was excellent, wasn't overly impressed with the deli but it wasn't bad just not quite what I'd anticipated I guess after reading others rave reviews, but then everyone has different tastes. The fruit at breakfast was always great especially the pink grapefruit and the salad at lunch was marvelous as well. We did our time dining and only had to wait twice and then only for 20 mins max, and they usually seated us in the same sort of area for most of the cruise so we had the same wait staff most of the time. We also did one of the special order Non-vegetarian Indian Meals in the MDR and it was excellent. I also now have to go on a 12 step program for the chocolate melting cake habit I picked up while on board! lol.
Our room stewart Conrado, was absolutely marvelous. Once he realized we liked to have a fair bit of ice in our room it was pretty much never out during the rest of the trip. He was always very pleasant and quick to smile and greet you in the halls and did a great job on our room.
Our one complaint was the entertaintment. Cruise director Stu reminded us of a used car salesman and he never once came over the PA or stepped up to the mic without trying to flog you something. The cruise I had been on previously had so much to do you wanted to be in 3 places at once. That definitely didn't happen on this cruise, and considering you have 5 whole days at sea one would anticipate there lots planned to do..... There was Bingo twice a day or more, which you pay for, there was the Casino, which you pay for, there was trivia but on the days at sea it's progressive so if you aren't aware of that at the start and you go on the second day...you're kinda outta luck. They played a game show type thing a couple evenings which was entertaining. They had karaoke of course, and ballroom dancing lessons, a "talent show" and a couple shows with their dancers and singers, who were quite good. There were a few stand up comedians and 2 juggler/comedians. There just didn't seem to be much going on during the days. The "Fun Ship" was a bit lacking in the fun department.