5 Carnival Spirit Cruise Reviews for Cruises for the Disabled Cruises to Mexican Riviera

The first time we did a cruise it was a 9-day Mexican Riviera on the Spirit. This time it was on the Spirit again, but with the 5 kids ages 16, 15, 15, 13, and 12. Also with 3 grandparents, 2 nieces, and 1 sister-in-law. My wife and two ... Read More
The first time we did a cruise it was a 9-day Mexican Riviera on the Spirit. This time it was on the Spirit again, but with the 5 kids ages 16, 15, 15, 13, and 12. Also with 3 grandparents, 2 nieces, and 1 sister-in-law. My wife and two girls stayed in room 4195 which was on level 4 with french doors and an obstructed view. We could see a little between the life boats in this room. Having fresh air is a MUST for me when I cruise. I love to have the door open at night to hear the sounds and smell the air. The Spirit allows for this pretty cheaply with the obstructed view. You can't walk out on to anything, but you do get the fresh air. When researching I noticed that manly of Carnival's ships don't have this obstructed view. You can get a window down lower, but the window doesn't open. The room had the double twin beds pushed together with a Pullman style bed pulled down and the couch made up as a bed. My 13 and 12 year old daughters occupied these. There is PLENLY of enough storage room in the cabin. Between the two closets with hangers, the wardrobe thing, the drawers, and under the bed we had more than enough room. I should have brought additional hangers though. My three sons, 16, 15, and 15 were 2 doors down from us in two twin beds separated and a Pullman style bed above the couch. Two grandparents and a niece were on level 4 as well, but further down and had a balcony. The sister-in-law and another niece where farther down on the opposite side. They were in an accessible cabin. She had a scooter type wheelchair. This room was plenty wide enough at the front door and the bathroom door. There is extra room in the cabin and bathroom. She had a window that didn't open with an obstructed view as well. This was GREAT for her and allowed her to cruise. There are a very limited number of these rooms, PLEASE don't book one of these unless you really use the wheelchair to get around. The last grandparent was up on the 8th level in an extended balcony cabin. It did have an adjoining door that locked. The sound came through the door a little and the neighbors where noisy from time to time, but this grandparent was hearing impaired so it didn't matter. This room was the same type of room my wife and I had the first time we cruised on the Spirit. We did not have a locked adjoining door in our room and never heard our neighbors. If it were me I would try not to get an adjoining door if I didn't need it. I am sure that you will find the rooms basically the same for all the Spirit class ships (Spirit, Pride, Legend, and Miracle) Well that is the room report and experience. Being a spring break cruise it had good parts and bad parts. Firstly, and most importantly, being spring break we were actually able to go on the cruise seeing the kids had school. Another good thing was that the kids has plenty of "friends" to play with in Club O2 and Circle C. Club O2 is for 15 to 17 year olds and Circle C is for 12 to 14 year olds. The kids were able to check themselves in and out of there as they wanted to and used it as they wanted to. The bad thing about spring break were all the college age kids getting smashed and puking on the decks. Ok, I only saw that once. But the college age kids seemed to think everything was about them and were often rude in their behaviors. They were crazy down on the beach in Cabo San Lucas. One of the kids workers told me that security was caught off guard the first few nights with they college kids and that they were "out of control." It wasn't a drunken orgy fest, but it kicked the stress factor up a little and made the cruise a little less relaxing. The shows were ok, nothing super special, but you can find some good stuff according to your taste. They really push this big New Orleans dance thing that I really didn't like, nor did anyone else in my group. I didn't like it the first time I saw it on the last cruise. They need to come up with something else. The direct service staff couldn't have been better. The room steward was great and from the first meeting he knew who we were and called us by our names. He must have studied the security photos they take when we get on, or he has a GREAT memory. Andrea in the dinning room and Putu her assistant where the BEST. My kids wanted her to come home with us. I feel like whatever I write will not do her justice. If you are on the Spirit get seated for breakfast or lunch with tall Andrea from Romania. We purchased quite a bit of Inch of Gold in the shops. I know it isn't all gold, but it looks just as good, it is stronger and much cheaper. No gambling this time, we lost too many quarters on our first cruise. The ship recently came out of dry dock for some upgrades. Things added in the year since our first cruise? The new 21 or older only Serenity area. This is out on the old fantail back deck. They said they don't even allow kids to go find their parents there. They have to send a message with a crew member. There is a new water slide that is very exciting. You get in this vertical tube that closes, you hear this count down from 3, then the bottom drops open, you get "flushed," you circle around in this tube (out over the edge of the boat) and end up in a landing area. One of the crew members told me it is the fastest water slide on any cruise line. There is also a whole water experience up where this slide is. Lot of water splashing around with buckets dumping for the kids. I am sure more things where done to the ship, but nothing that I noticed. The food was good during our dinning time and in the buffet area. Better than I normally eat at home. I am NOT a food snob so everything, except the scrambled eggs on the buffet, was great. We didn't do the Carnival soda program and that was fine as our family only drinks water at home. You get lemonade, unsweetened tea, water, hot tea, and coffee anytime of they day. You get fake orange juice and some other corn syrup juices at breakfast in the buffet area. You can get real juice in the sit down dinning room. This ship does not have a movie theater. I understand some of the larger classes of Carnival ships have outdoor movies. This is something that I would enjoy. Come September the Spirit is headed to Australia, never to return so if you are going to cruise on it you better do it soon. The Pride is out of Baltimore, and the Legend and Miracle are out of Florida. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
I want to relate on what a great cruise we had when at one point just a few years ago, we were unsure if we would ever be able to take extended vacations again due to my 6 y/o's epilepsy and autistic conditions. I originally ... Read More
I want to relate on what a great cruise we had when at one point just a few years ago, we were unsure if we would ever be able to take extended vacations again due to my 6 y/o's epilepsy and autistic conditions. I originally booked through the travel agency through USAA, but then found out about a program geared toward travelers like my son called Autism on the Seas. They can be reached at www.autismontheseas.com. Through this program, they took care of everything including priority embarkation, private muster drill away from the large crowds, private dining table in a quiet corner of the dining room, coordination with the ships medical staff regarding the condition and camp carnival. We arrived a day early into San Diego and settled into our favorite hotel, Best Western Island Palms, which is located on quiet Shelter Island. We were able to do the snooze and cruise package and took the hotel shuttle to the ship at 11:30am. 15 minutes later we got in the handicapped area and were immediately assigned a person to take us through the line. As our son is autistic, he is not the best in handling long lines. We were able to get to the front of the line and then we were handed off to another Carnival employee who got us our pictures taken and then escorted on to the ship. Once onboard, we met with a woman (Alena) from guest services who was aware we were coming. She gave us a private safety drill and took us to our muster station and then guided us to our room. We were in our room by 12:30. We met our room steward (Xiomara) who was very friendly and related our requests (extra bathrobe, ice, clearing out the refrigerator, etc) and she gave us her phone number and times she would be available. I gave her a prepaid Amex card as a tip upfront. We then went to the Lido deck and grabbed lunch on the pool deck. There was a 2 peice raggai band playing and they were good. We then went to Camp Carnival at the front of deck 5 to get our son checked in to the program. We met Leeann from South Africa who was the director. My son gave her a hug and kiss right away. They were already aware of his condition thanks to the communications beforehand by Autism on the Seas. Even though he was 6, our son was able to be with the 2-5 kids there. We were also issued an onboard cell phone to use while onboard. That way they could communicate with us if anything was wrong and also we were able to use this anywhere in the ship to keep tabs on each other. It was nice to not have to use walkie talkies even though we had brought them. We had the early seating at the Empire Dining Room. We were greeted by the Maitre D who showed us to our area in the back corner of the dining room next to a large window. This was nice as our son can get noisy at restaurants, but the secluded location was also calming for him too. We were intorduced to our dining staff of Nina (Bulgaria) and Jasmina(Macedonia) who were some of the kindest and detailed people I have ever met. They knew that we had a special needs child onboard and treated him like a king. They had his meal already set up (chicken fingers and french fries). They were very good at what they did in that the women at the table were greeted first and orders taken and then the men. The ordering was always done over the shoulder and not across the table. The meal choices were very tasty and I ordered double portions on 2 evenings. We were also able to have our unfinished bottle of wine held over to the next night. The following day, our son became sea sick from the motion of the ship. I ran into Nina who was serving lunch and she asked me about our son by name and I told her that he was sea sick. She said that apple sauce is a good cure and that's what the crew eats when queasy. She said that apple sauce was not on the menu, but would have the kitchen specially prepare it for our son each meal. That was the trick as he did great from then on. This was the first time that I had ever gone with a balcony stateroom and when I was offered an upgrade due to trying to get my fare repriced (fare on our cabin had dropped quite a bit), I was offered a catagory 8k extended balcony. Unfortunately, that was under the Lido deck so I initially passed and then I checked Carnival's site again to see what cabins were available for upgrade. On the Spirit class ships, there are about 5-6 cabins on the port side that have a storeroom for the cabin stewards next to them. As a result, there is no stateroom there and the resultant balcony space behind the storeroom is available for the 2 adjoining rooms. My balcony was approximately 30 feet long by 6 feet wide. We had 2 lounge chairs, 3 regular chairs and 2 tables. That is the most you can have without getting a suite. We spent a lot of time out there. I brought some bungee cords to hold the door open when we were out there. (Just don't open the inside door at the same time as you will develop a wind tunnel). Before our trip, I contacted John Heald, who is the senior cruise director for Carnival. I asked him if he could arrange a special photo op for our son and some of the ship's officers. Our son loves people in uniform and that would be a cherished event for him. John quickly agreed and set that in motion. Our first day onboard, we received a phone call from guest services that the Captain wanted to meet with our son and gave us some times that evening he would be available on the atrium deck. We got a great picture of the Captain, Hotel Director, and our son. The Captain related that he had seen other autistic kids really light up with that kind of encounter and he wanted to do this. The Hotel Director later told me that the ship wanted to do something special for our son and had me take my camera card to the photo lab and they would print out the pics we had taken with the Captain and Fun Ship Freddy and had them blown up to 8x10 and signed and presented to us in leather portfolios along with a large Fun Ship Freddy stuffed animal signed by each of the counselors at Camp Carnival. We had 2 days in Cabo and did the Exclusive Beach Resort the first day and I went scuba diving the second. They have a great dolphin program that we will do next time. It was crowded in town as we had a NCL ship along with the Splendor also moored along side of us. The entertainment was superb. I really enjoyed the show band who had a lot of power and was very musically adept. The dancers sometimes seemed out of sync, but we were really impressed by the band and singers. The adult comedy onboard was very funny. The Versailles lounge was always crowded. I did the Fun Behind the Scenes tour on the last sea day. A little pricey at first, but well worth the money. Our guide Melita, was a a staff trainer so she had extensive knowledge of all areas of the ship. The tour was highlighted by visits to the engineering control room and the bridge with a personalized picture with the Captain standing at the helm. I was disappointed (only bad thing on this ship) with the condition of some of the fitness machines. Several of the cardio machines were missing parts or needed other repairs. We were set to be docked by 7 am on Friday morning, and I arose early at 5am to watch us pull in. I noticed that we had turned to the left and were now going at high speed. I switched on the channel on the tv that shows the position and track and saw that we were now heading at 20kts going due west into deep water. That told me that there was an emergency going on (another ship in distress or a tsunami). I turned on CNN and saw the devastation in Japan and the warnings for the West Coast of the US. The best place to be in a tsunami is in deep water. The Captain did not make his first announcement until 6:30 and made regular announcements thereafter along with the CD to assure us that we were not in any danger and inviting us to relax and we could stay in our state rooms instead of packing out for debarkation. They played a movie in the Versailles Lounge and put CNN on in the main theatre. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
9 Days Sailing Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada Cabin #8234 Handicapped Cabin. My Wife Has MS and Uses a Scooter She has good days and bad days and her scooter is used when alot of walking has to be ... Read More
9 Days Sailing Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada Cabin #8234 Handicapped Cabin. My Wife Has MS and Uses a Scooter She has good days and bad days and her scooter is used when alot of walking has to be done...she is normally able to walk around the cabin or out to the elevator and to the dining room our cabin is Aft so if she wants to go to the Showroom she would use the scooter.. We Live about one hour from San Diego I left home at 12:30 and was in my Cabin before 2:00 I dropped off my Luggage and my DW and parked across the street There was nobody in line so we zipped right through the check in process Parking is $15 per day. The Cabin we booked has a Huge Balcony with Ramps, and is Shaped different then most rooms so I will add pictures so you can see it, I had to Beds split to two Twins but you can keep it as a queen.. It is more square Cabin and has a bigger Bathroom ...Shower has no lip so water goes everywhere and you have to use towels to direct the water to the Drains kind of a pain but I understand why it is that way....of course it has railing everywhere The room itself has a doorbell and a light that flashes when you ring it. Our Room Stewart was Jorge he did a Good Job ...I tipped him $20 up front for Ice but I had to call a few times to room service to have my Ice Chest filled( collapsible one I brought with) I was still happy with him I only saw him a few times and always cleaned well so he received $40 at the end as well and yes I left my Auto tips as well...we only ordered Room Service twice it was there on time and very good.. We had issues with Noise in our room the Cabin is on deck 8 but it is under the Buffet every morning starting at about 4:30am we would be woke up with Chair scrapping this would last until about 6am even though we complained it continued we were also across the hall and next door to storage areas and we heard doors opening and closing all night Ok I know noise happens on ship but this was pretty bad...it kind of seemed like once we complained it got worst like it was deliberate.... well my DW complained enough were they gave us a 20% rebate plus a 15% discount of future Cruise...I was not really that upset but my DW was she needs her sleep to keep active so there was a few days were she did not go out of the cabin much to catch up on her sleep...plus we both ended up in bed early almost every night because we were tired and did not get much good Quality sleep. This is Our 4th Carnival Cruise 5th overall and 2nd time on the Spirit. Over the past few years everyone has noticed a decline in Service this Cruise was no exception to that...I had to ask every night at Dinner for the Cocktail server one night 4 times....our Waiter Santos did a outstanding Job and you could tell he was hustling with not alot of time to talk to us... we ate Breakfast a few times in the Dining Room ..Service always good and we ate Breakfast a few times in the Buffet Omelets were good....I did not have a bad meal while on-board on Valentine's day we ate in the Nouveau Steakhouse It was a good meal I had the Surf and Turf and wanted more...I did not feel full when I left so I was disappointed with that ...My DW'S Cousin ordered the 24oz Porterhouse that looked good and he was full.. Next time I will order that.. I ate once at the La playa Grill...the burger was good...and I had a few Pastrami on Ryes from the Deli....I am craving them as I type this...very good... Stuart Dunn was Our CD he was all over the Place and did a great Job...only issue was the notices over the loud speaker way too many and they just got lost...when there was one that I needed to know I just ignored it...when we left Cabo we changed time back to Pacific time I Understand that Stuart made A announcement but I did not here it and I showed up to the behind the scenes tour one hour early I went back to check the fun times and it was not even posted there....*shrug* o' well I got another hour to read my book on the Balcony. The Behind the Scene tour was great A lot of walking and only a 10 minute break... it lasted from 9:30 to 1:15 but I learned a lot about the Ship and got to meet and talk to a lot of staff including the chef, chief engineer and the Captain Vito Giacalone who by the way is a pretty funny guy. it was worth the $95 to do but only once...I will pass on that next time...it is one of those been there seen it things...the group was not full either only 14 booked for each of the 2 tours ... Our Port Days were all pretty close to the same thing just a different city ...There was a group of 17 of us either 9 or 11 went with us ...we walked off the Ship and rented a Driver and a Van everyday (with exception to La Paz where we just got off took the bus into town and had lunch...then back to the boat)The cost was $20 or $25 add $5 pp for tip and we drove around the City Had lunch shopped enjoyed the City and Company of each other...We did the same things that Carnival offered but a lot cheaper We did the Malecon, Rain forest, and tequila factory in Puerto Vallarta, Which is basically the City & Tropical jungle escape offered through Carnival for $40 pp for 3 hours.. we spent 5 hours for $25 each there...our tour guide was Jessica from the company Professional tour guide service .. she was Charming and spoke perfect English and kept us Entertained the whole time...and yes she had Beer water and sodas in the van for us to enjoy...you can repeat in the other ports.... By the way I had my Baileys confiscated and returned the last night. Overall It was a good Cruise not A great one ...The staff was Friendly and helpful as usual.. better than normal food ..as Much as I love Cruising I think my next few Vacations are going to be land based Vacations...my son lives in Florida so I plan on visiting him there later this year and I think I will do a all inclusive next year in Puerto Vallarta.... Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
My review of our 10/27 Cruise on the Carnival Spirit is written from the viewpoint of someone who is disabled - two different accidents affected the structure of my knee, necessitating the removal of the kneecap and ultimately requiring ... Read More
My review of our 10/27 Cruise on the Carnival Spirit is written from the viewpoint of someone who is disabled - two different accidents affected the structure of my knee, necessitating the removal of the kneecap and ultimately requiring two joint replacement surgeries. While I can walk, I can't go far, and I also can't stand or kneel for long periods. I use an electric scooter to get around, and it lets me live a fairly normal life. Best of all, I can travel without needing a lot of help from family and friends which is nice. I'm always aware of the looks I get from children and I often get them to try out my scooter's horn and talk with them about why I use it to get around not only to be friendly but also to relieve the fears so normal with children in this situation. My review is dedicated to one such young man who celebrated his birthday aboard the Spirit and who was always ready to talk with us and tell us about his day. Happy 7th Birthday again Dillon - we enjoyed meeting you - thanks for the ride! It's also written for the Splendored Spirits, a group who's traveled together before and that we were lucky enough to meet through CruiseCritic's Meet & Mingle boards. When you see them onboard, it's hard to tell who's new and who's a veteran, but one of the best lessons you can learn from them is that what really matters when you cruise is the amount of fun you can have and what YOU can bring to the table as well. There were pre- and post-boarding get-togethers, a dinner for 25 +/- in the specialty restaurant, wines from "home" that were shared the first formal night (and you CAN fit a gazillion people into a cabin if you expand a bit into the hallway). There was a Bingo run, a Poker crawl (literally) and in between, you may have seen some well-decorated cabin doors. There was a simian stowaway named Spank who had a blow-up pal all dressed up. Of all the folks we've met cruising, they're the tops! The moral? Check out a meet and mingle group, even if the cruise line isn't paying. Hopefully, Spirits, you'll get to Italy to visit Tom and Wendy while they're there...and once my back gets back to normal, we'll catch up on the door decorating! Thanks for the great job you did with ours - we were able to earn quite a bit of extra cash running a 24-hour concierge service, and might even have rivaled Carnival's Aleksandar K - not hard to do! There may not be "Spirits" on your next cruise...but you never know! San Diego: our daughter Wendy and her husband Tom lived in Vista, CA at the time of our cruise (they just moved to Italy for the next 3 years) and we fell in love with the area. We took two weeks for this trip, wanting to spend extra time with them. We were able to visit the big black Mouse in Anaheim, and also saw Celtic Thunder in concert there too; we were enthralled by the Pandas and the variety of unusual birds at the SD Zoo; and we spent a morning cruising around the SD Pier area - AMAZING! We followed it up with lunch at Filippo's Italian Market and Restaurant in Little Italy. INCREDIBLE! Wendy and I ate half our meals and took the rest home for Tom, who's well known for his prodigious appetite - even HE couldn't eat it all. (Absolutely the best meal we had, however was brunch at the Beach Break Cafe near Oceanside on Vista Way - try the Banana Crunch French Toast!) We were glad we got to see the Sea Lions on our tour of the pier, because a late sailing due to a medical emergency made it too dark once we actually left. Now down to business! Embarkation: Be sure you turn in at the second entrance, away from the guys with bikes - they'll charge you $10 to drive one of you around the corner to the "real" porters, who'll charge you another $10! We arrived around 1:00 p.m. and someone directed us to the Accessible check-in and then we were on our own. The area wasn't well marked, but we managed. Cabin: Last year (today to be exact!) our daughter got married on the Carnival Legend, a sister ship to the Spirit - read the review if you want. We knew that with an ADA cabin on Spirit, we'd have to park my scooter in the shower or climb over it all week long and there'd be no room for Wendy, so we picked a "regular" cabin, and guess what - we had to climb over my scooter all week long and had to move it again once Wendy climbed into the upper bunk. Our steward, Edgar, was pleasant, but only cleaned the cabin half of the time, although he left plenty of towels. Speaking of towels, he only had a 3-towel-animal repertoire and we missed some of our favorites. Getting into and out of the cabin is a challenge - while someone holds the door and you keep hands and elbows IN, you'll need to go fast to be able to clear the threshold; then stop fast so you don't hit whoever's holding the door. Same problem entering and exiting. Dear Carnival: people who need mobility devices aren't usually able to navigate around them easily; and they also need room to turn them around. Anytime Dining: We waited in line for 25 minutes the first night, just to get a timer to tell us when to return (in 30 minutes). Luckily my husband hadn't taken his pre-meal insulin! They had issues with my scooter so my husband ended up parking it outside the restaurant each night. We had only 2 types of bread, both white, one stale. Portions were adequate, but the menu's insipid and the meats were tough. Each night, one item would drop down into the "also ran" section. Desserts were a disappointment as well. They now offer Chocolate Melting Cake every night - and often it's the only decent selection. I had it 3 times for lack of anything better - first it was cooked so well there was no "melting." Next, it was okay, but barely warm. Last, it was done on top but just barely and the whole thing was melted. There was often way too much time between courses...or just the opposite. You never knew what to expect. We'd enjoyed watching a group on the floor below - they had the cutest little girl with them. Most nights she was beautifully behaved, but one night you could tell she was going to lose it and just after the salads, she did. Rather than let her scream and irritate others, her mom went to take her back to their cabin and asked if one of the others would bring her entrEe to her afterwards. Both the waiter and Maitre 'd had a problem with that and refused to accommodate them. THEY created the scene, not the diners! Dear Carnival: no one wants to hear kids screaming while they're eating; and if a parent is considerate enough to take them out, by all means GIVE THEM DINNER AND LET THEM GO!! Also give them extra points for being considerate travelers. Non-Dining-Room Eating: as one who is seated much of the time, it gets frustrating when I can't see or reach utensils or food. Most of the time, we eat in shifts so that we all get food that's either hot or cold. Carnival employees in these areas were gracious enough to take a tray back to a table; but it's not fair to ask them to go thru the food lines and help me fill my tray. It'd be so nice to be able to see and to do it myself. How hard is it to keep oatmeal hot? ADA Issues and Shore Excursions: In case you don't know, ADA, means Americans with Disabilities Act; and it means that those of us who can't get around have the right to have exceptions and accommodations made so that we can enjoy the same things "normal" folks do. In fact, NCL just lost a major court battle over this. We had time constraints for this cruise and it was just about the only one that we could do, but I was really disgusted to see that NOT ONE shore excursion was ADA accessible, nor did any of the Carnival staff offer to assist me in getting my scooter over the hump in the gangway. We checked on a few private tours but decided just to visit the dock area shops. Aboard the ship, there were countless places where you couldn't see, reach, or maneuver. For example: I like doing the daily puzzles - but they're placed on top of a grand piano surrounded by club chairs. I can't get to them in my scooter, so I have to either get them myself or find someone to help. Same with photos, shops, etc. Dear Carnival: have a Guest Services rep use a scooter all day - not just for a short spell, but all day. You'll see what I mean. It's another area where Princess and RCL excel and Carnival sinks to the bottom of the sea. Acapulco: Again, I had trouble with the gangway and nobody was there to help - in fact, I got yelled at for letting space grow between me and the person ahead. Dear Carnival: I did it so that if I needed to stop, I wouldn't run into them!!! I can't say how aggravated this made me. Once we got out of the building, there were scores of people and tour guides trying to get us to take tours, buy stuff, and "hey lady-ing" to the point where they were grabbing my leg and it got scary. We went back to the ship, same issues gangway wise. T'a and Ixtapa: were even worse. We waited over an hour after people began to tender before my daughter and I left. We weren't even off the lift before a female Carnival rep snarled, "if you can't carry that thing down 10-steps, you can't get off the ship." It wasn't friendly, it was curt and when we tried ask about the logistics of doing it, she said it again, but louder. Wendy went ashore and I went to the Purser's Desk and spoke with Aleksandar Kovacevic where I expressed my disappointment over their compliance with the ADA issues: there wasn't one single shore excursion accessible to those of us with scooters - and if you needed a wheelchair here, you were out of luck. I told him that I was disappointed that there were no ADA Accessible shore excursions, and described my experience moments earlier. His response was to offer me a wheelchair and tell me that there were also 10 stairs at the other end that I would have to navigate, something I couldn't do. That was when he told me he'd provide me with the names and addresses of Carnival people working with ADA issues - and admitted he had no knowledge whatsoever about the NCL case. Two days later, I stopped to see about the names he'd promised. The purser on duty checked the computer and told me that his report read: "I told the passenger that she could have the use of one of our wheelchairs and that settled the matter." I asked again for the letter and got it the next night. No more shore trips for me! Dear Carnival: Don't want disabled passengers? Say so! Oops...you can't do that, can you? We were ready for this cruise to end, and after having a final breakfast with the Splendored Spirits we returned to our cabin and gathered our things. We found the area where we were to report, and were sent to the "regular" lines We made it off the ship, but not before we got bitten AGAIN... It appears that Carnival has a new program whereby you can save time and carry your own baggage off the ship. To do this, it states clearly that you must carry your bags down the ramps saving the elevators for those who need them. Although there were Carnival Agents monitoring the elevators, it took us almost an hour to get one because of all the able-bodied people using them to get their luggage downstairs. My daughter went on ahead to get our bags and found them quickly; but it cost us extra since the porter had to wait so long for us. Lest We Forget: We can't say enough great things about the Captain on the Spirit. He was great about letting passengers know when we encountered whales, dolphins and other creatures of the deep. He's also the first captain we've encountered who doesn't hide away on the bridge. Very often we'd see him walking along and he'd always stop to talk with a passenger. Our daughter Wendy, mentioned that she and Tom were being transferred to Italy shortly and he took the time to ask where they'd be and tell her a bit about it and about the area he was from. Then we have Jen, infamous cruise director. The first time I heard her voice on the Spirit, I told Ed and Wendy that we knew her - she'd been the cruise director last year on the Legend and shortly afterwards, we saw her walking along and I asked if it were so - she said she certainly was and recalled that Wendy's husband was in the Navy! Speaking normally, she was fine, but on the PA's aboard ship, her voice is like nails on a chalkboard - Dear Carnival...please fix the PA. It doesn't come across clearly and it'd be so much easier if we could hear announcements in our cabins instead of having to dash over the scooter the to the door only to get the last 3 words! If you're a traveler who doesn't set off the scanners at airports, feel free to stop reading here. If you've heard about all the issues with the government's new pat-down program, you may want to read on: I should've known something was up when the Houston TSA Agent began talking about new guidelines - I have a titanium knee. My experience, had it been anywhere but there, would have qualified as assault or sexual harassment at the least. While some form of enhanced scanning may be needed for safety reasons; having an unknown person's hands feeling up my legs and cupping my groin, then pulling out the waistband of my pants and peeking in before going under, between, and around my breasts was beyond acceptable. At one point, I asked if they would prefer it if I just dropped my drawers! The "best" part of the experience was that because of my agitation, they never even checked my scooter! If you need an additional pat down, be sure you ask for privacy - although frosted glass isn't all that private - particularly when a man comes in with a question mid-feel. Yep, it happened! When I requested a complaint form, a supervisor was quick to assure me that they used gloves and that things are going to get worse as the John Pistole, the new screening czar implements additional changes, i.e. the scatter machines. On our return from San Diego, they used the scatter machine and all they had to do was pat down my knee - fine with me! I know that safety is critical these days, but this was just way too intrusive for my taste. Now you have it. Will we cruise again? Yes, but probably not with Carnival. We've had too many problems in the past to turn the other cheek yet again (not even stipulating "which cheek!") Will we fly again? Not unless there's no other option. If you're disabled and encounter this type of thing with Carnival - please, do as I did and write a review...then send it to Carnival as well! I am, with thanks to Alex once again! If you want, feel free to contact me on Facebook. I'll be glad to hear from you. Now that you've memorized all this info, I'm sure you wonder whether we had a good time or not. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. As experienced cruisers, we've learned what to get upset about and what to let go, but my input can hopefully help you to have a better trip and perhaps Carnival to do a better job. In truth, we're just glad that we didn't leave the 7th...now THAT was a cruise to write home about! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Carnival Spirit January 23rd 2009 Exotic Mexican Riviera First let me tell you a little bit about me and why we went on this cruise My DB got a group together for this cruise there were 54 sailing in this group of Friends and Family. ... Read More
Carnival Spirit January 23rd 2009 Exotic Mexican Riviera First let me tell you a little bit about me and why we went on this cruise My DB got a group together for this cruise there were 54 sailing in this group of Friends and Family. Plus there was the Cruise Critic /Troublemaker Group of about 40. We spent the Night in San Diego at The Ramada Hotel Circle the night before, the room was OK not great but it had a shuttle to and from the Port which took us 10 minutes to get there, and they offered free parking for the week we were on the Cruise. we had Lunch At Anthony's Fish Grotto as always it was a great Lunch. The Embark in San Diego was a lot busier then I had experienced in the past when we originally arrived about 11am there was a long line to check in the bags we waited for about 10 minutes and the outside porters showed up and took our bags then. It would have been 30 plus minutes if we had to wait in that line... we then went to lunch and after words went to check in for the cruise the line to get past security was about 10 people it was pretty fast... but the line to check in was about 300 plus... My Wife uses a scooter which puts us in the VIP line so we only had a 4 person wait... after we checked in we proceeded to the wait to board line which we where invited on right away they called out Zone numbers and were Boarding on zone 5 and passing out zone 11 tickets so we got on the ship in about a total of 30 minutes... my family took about a hour or so to get the same thing accomplished Once onboard we went straight to the room to drop off our carry-on our room was open and no Stewart around so we dropped and ran to the Lido...grabbed a DOD and walked around checking things out... Nice ship.... It is our first time on the Spirit or even a Spirit Class Ship...I liked the layout it was easy to maneuver around for my wife in her scooter We sat and talked until 1:30 and then went back to the room. We stayed in cabin 8239 on the Promenade deck. Which is a Handicap room that has a different layout then most room it was more of a square layout with a huge balcony (pictures to follow) we liked the layout it gave us enough room to store to scooter so we did not have to trip over it like we have in other cabins in the past...In fact we stored it in the bathroom which was huge as far as bathrooms go. As far as I am concerned this room fit our needs perfectly Cat.8H...if your HC you will love this room we met our Room Stewart Jana I gave him the upfront $20 and asked to fill up my Ice Chest and keep it filled...I had to ask him a few time to keep it filled and even called room service twice for ice but besides that he did a great job... Dining Room Opened right at 6pm every night not a minute earlier, which created along line that went all the way through the casino. For those of you who have not cruised Spirit, the Dining room is one the 2nd and 3rd floor (ours 2nd) aft. Our cabin in aft so when we would come down to the dining room the line went on forever... I am not a line cutter but I made the exception after I saw the line it made no since to me. I did stand in line a few times once after the Past Guest party that is how I know it went through the casino... I can also assume it went farther back to the theater.... Our Dining room Staff was the Best I have had... Ida (pronounced Eda ) and AG her Assistant....Great Great Job there ... look for them... We had table 211 which sits 8 all family members and friends Food has been good every night I am not disappointed at all. Other places to eat have all been good The omelets have been tasty, and they have Great Burgers... I have no very few complaints with the food..... The Pizza was OK for Pizza. I had a good sandwich at the Deli for Lunch one day...My DS tried the Sushi bar and did not like it... I bought a Soda Card for $48 plus tip on the first day, it is $6 a day... I don't do a lot of Juices but I have noticed that the only Drinks available are Iced tea, Lemonade, and Coffee... The Coffee was the worst I have drank... I have read others complained about the coffee before but my Elation cruise last year I found the coffee to be great. Not this time....I love baileys coffee in the morning to help wake up ...I smuggled some onboard and because of the coffee I will have to smuggle it back off board as well.... The Casino is pretty tight I have not won anything yet...Which I hope to change that soon...(like I said I am writing this onboard) We met the Casino Host Eva My DB and myself received a letter from the Casino welcoming us back and wished to add 500 points to our S&S card plus a free drink so who could say no to a free drink....she was a very nice lady, offering to buy us as well as everyone with us at the time a drink we got a Margarita which they served us in a carnival glass ...Nice touch. Through put the Cruise we ran in to Eva several times and she is a great person...I wrote the Director of Casino Operations and told Him how i felt about her.... We don't really spent a lot of time doing trivia games or contests so I can not report on any of those however I Did watch the newlywed not so newlywed game on TV. Cruise Critic Member Smoo and her DH won ...it was pretty funny... I also watched some of the other contests on TV...like the beanbag toss etc. they looked amusing... but glad I missed them. I am one of the guys who sat on the Balcony and read a book and enjoyed that private time during part of the day... worth every penny of the cruise to do that to me... Acapulco is a pretty nice place.. I have heard some negative things about it and yes our Driver Oscar even said there are places to stay away from and promised us to stay away from there. We had a group of 18 go with us (2 vans) first stop was the cliff divers we wanted to beat the crowds we saw a practice round for them plus the show about 1:45 we just parked off the side of the road to watch and we had a few drinks while we waited courtesy of Oscar. Oh by the way we negotiated a price with them for $20 a piece for 4 hours and that included drinks and if we wanted to extend that 4 hours we could for $5 more until we finished (which we did ) so with tip it cost us $30 each. From the Divers we drove to the Silver Factory the best part of that is free Margaritas. But I am not a shopper.. they did have some nice stuff and my DW seemed to like the stuff because she walked out with a little less money then she started with. From there we headed to Senor Frogs for lunch and more Margaritas, what a view....great staff there and a lot of fun was had ... From there we toured the Neighborhood where people live... some really nice houses over looking the Bay. Then on to more shopping we stopped at a Farmacia some of my Family members needed some stuff we had a few Spanish speakers in our group and we kept them busy translating.... Imagine about 10 people trying to get various things and not knowing what it is....like my SIL was trying to get some antibiotics ... it would not be a good thing to try to explain it and get something you do not want and take it... Please don't try this without someone helping you if they don't speak English ...The Prices there were great ... I think they have 2 sets of prices one for Americans and one for Mexicans... we got the Mexican Prices my BIL pulled a muscle the day prior and he got a few muscle relaxers (box of 20 ) for $2.50 great price ... but like I said it was with the help of our now close and dear friend Carlos. Lol also other things purchased were at a great price...This RX is located about a mile from port to the left on the main street.. Oscar then Drove us to the local flee market and warned us not to go into certain areas and to stay right on the street portion. At this point it was about 7pm and the store were starting to close so we did not stay there long only about a hour but they did not seem to want to deal a lot so only a few T-Shirts were bought not much else. Then it was time to go back to the ship When we got onboard we played Mini-Golf and hung out a bit...my DW and I went back inside the port for a few minutes they have a Internet Cafe there which was cheap they charge $2 for 15 minutes, $3 for 30, and $4 for a hour, so I went to check email and blog a little. Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo is a tender port once again no solid plans there we hung around the ship and had lunch then took the tender in we just walked around the town for a few hours and did a little shopping and had a few beers. Then back to the ship Manzanillo Port is nothing to really look at, we had a plan here though we went to the sea turtle sanctuary and sea salt plantation, this was not a Carnival tour we set this up prior to Sailing there were 44 of us and we had a large bus Felipe was our guide for the day and he did a pretty good job. Our group got the release 5 turtles back to the wild we all had a great time there... after that we went to town and had lunch and did some shopping Lunch was OK but they took there time serving it... and the vendors were out in force trying to peddle there goods while we were eating.... Then we drove around a bit through the resort area ... there are some very nice place's to stay if you ever want to come here for a week or so... then back to the ship. The last two sea Days we hung out a lot with friends and Family and stayed very busy with different things. I was never bored on this cruise.... We also did the Susan G Koman walk for the Cure on the last sea day which was a great thing to do there were about 300 people who participated in the event and the $10 was a small price to pay to walk in it.. I did a small fund raiser through the troublemaker/Loco in Acapulco group that went and raised over $700 and donated all the money to them and purchased several T-Shirts and passed them out to the group...Do this if you get a chance! Its just the right thing to do even if you don't walk it you will get a T-Shirt for $10 where else can you get a souvenir for that kind on money that helps in so many ways.... Disembarkation went pretty fast for us as I mentioned my DW uses a scooter and we went off by 8:30 because we were able to use the wheelchair assistance that CCL has. We took a Taxi back to the hotel we stayed at prior to the cruise but we could of called them to shuttle us back we just did not want to wait and it only cost us less then $20 Overall experience was great the Ship was clean and well maintained the staff was always friendly and knowledgeable of there jobs. The Food was pretty good overall most meals were great some were OK the Dining room was always great the Lido food tended to be cold at times for lunch. but the omelets were the best part at breakfast. We watched most of the show or parts of them they were OK not great but we all expect it just to be OK so we were not disappointed in it. Special notes Eva the Casino Host was great look her up Our dining room staff Ida and AG was the best Chris Roberts the CD did a great Job he seemed to be all over the place doing his job very well... If you have any reservations about the Spirit Don't worry about it just go and have fun! Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

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