Carnival Spirit

Before it arrived in Sydney in 2012, Carnival Spirit was modified for the local market, so it has a distinctly Aussie feel with Australian power points, an outdoor barbecue area and plenty of great classic rock. The Carnival Cruise Line ship sails to the South Pacific year-round, visiting New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. Here are five Carnival Spirit cruise tips to make sure you have the best time possible.

Tip 1: Don't stop the music, Manila

The Music Manila band has been a constant on Carnival Spirit since the ship's arrival in Australia. Management is reluctant to let them leave -- for good reason. Without doubt, this is the best rock band at sea, and they have done a fantastic job learning Aussie favourites, from Working Class Man to Beds are Burning.

Carnival Spirit - Serenity

Tip 2: Love that Serenity

If you need to escape the children, either yours or anyone else's, head to Deck 9 for some adults-only time at Serenity. With a pool, hot tub and bar, this area feels different to the rest of the ship. It's more modern, more elegant. Grab a cocktail and marvel at the 180-degree ocean views.

Tip 3: Make friends with the barista

Carnival Spirit has a great coffee culture. A lot of time and effort has gone into lifting the standards of coffee-making on board, with crewmembers sent to onshore classes for training. At breakfast time, the Lido Cafe can get busy, but if the barista knows your order, it always arrives quicker.

Carnival Spirit - Spa

Tip 4: Book the Spa on a port day

Be on the lookout for some good spa deals for days when the ship is visiting port. By the time you relax on the heated chairs and indulge in a massage or facial, you will be feeling like a new person. The treatments are more expensive than on land, but why not enjoy? You are on holiday, after all.

Tip 5: Don't miss the waterslide

If you want some serious bragging rights, make sure you slip and slide down scarily steep Green Thunder early on your cruise. It doesn't matter how brave you are; your knees will start to tremble as soon as the countdown begins. But don't worry: You are travelling at 65 kilometres per hour on the world's fastest water slide at sea, so it's all over in seven seconds.