83 Carnival Spirit First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Terrible customer service. Had to line up in huge lines for food everyday, lines for kids club (waited about 45 minutes the first day and they tried to pass me someone else's child to pick up). My Children hated the kids club, they ... Read More
Terrible customer service. Had to line up in huge lines for food everyday, lines for kids club (waited about 45 minutes the first day and they tried to pass me someone else's child to pick up). My Children hated the kids club, they barely interact with the children. Terrible food and not much variety. I will never go on another cruise again. We paid for a suite which was quite expensive and wouldn't say the trip was worth it. Didn't cater for my Gluten Free child, I ended up having to walk back and forth between the restaurant and buffet to ask someone to cook my child something GF and every time they passed it off to someone else and said we cant do that for you. We disembarked at port villa and flew home as the customer service, food and overall state of the boat was terrible. Will not be recommending carnival to any friends or family. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
As it was my first cruise I did not know what to expect. I found the whole experience a joy. The ship is well set out with everything easy to locate. The cabin was quite roomy & well maintained with friendly & courteous staff. The ... Read More
As it was my first cruise I did not know what to expect. I found the whole experience a joy. The ship is well set out with everything easy to locate. The cabin was quite roomy & well maintained with friendly & courteous staff. The main dining room was a bit crowded at times but with over 2,300 guests it was still great. The Matre'd and wait staff were great, friendly fun it was a pleasure to dine there the food was great. We also dined at the neuvou restaurant where once again the service was fantastic the menu was varied & the food first class, portion sizes perfect for $45.00 great value. Entertainment was generally good. One particular band "The Band of Shipsie's" was fantastic with a great & varied playlist. Other activities were good. I could not fault the service provided by all levels of staff. The ports & shore excursions were good with local guides very knowledgeable & humorous. We did not travel with children but they seem well catered for. As this was my first cruise I would not hesitate in going again. Once again a great experience! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our cruise was the first for my wife and I, and our first time away from the kids so our first holiday as just a couple again. My folks are massive cruisers, they do 2 or 3 a year all over the world so we had a wealth of advice to draw ... Read More
Our cruise was the first for my wife and I, and our first time away from the kids so our first holiday as just a couple again. My folks are massive cruisers, they do 2 or 3 a year all over the world so we had a wealth of advice to draw from. We chose a South Pacific cruise on the Carnival spirit as the dates suited and we got a great rate on an Ocean Suite. The cruise visited Noumea, Mare and the Isle of pines. The itinerary wasn't as much of a consideration for us as we were looking forward to just enjoying each other and relaxing. One thing I will say is that the itinerary next time will be a be a big consideration. Port days are busy, 3,4 or 5 in a row will be hectic, look for a day at sea or two in between a couple of ports. We found the days at sea the most enjoyable and relaxing! Embarkation was smooth and quick, obviously helped by having priority boarding with an Ocean Suite. One thing about the décor on the Spirit is that it's out there and probably takes a little time to get used to, but I think that adds to it's charm in a way. I overheard another passenger describe it as "Like an RSL on steroids" that made me laugh as it is a very appropriate analogy. Had no problems with the restaurants and the food was good. We had anytime dining which suited us so we usually didn't go to dinner until about 8pm. Obviously if you have kids then an earlier set time would suite.Service was great and the staff attentive and polite. We made use of the fine dining restaurant, Nouveau a couple of times and it was well worth it! There were quite a few kids on board but generally they were well behaved and no issue really. We did make use of the adults only area called Serenity on the rear deck of the ship quite a bit but if you want to get a Pod or deck chair you have to get in early. The spirit is known as a family orientated ship so don't whinge about the kids on board, you should know that well before booking anyway if you research properly. I won't say much about the ports other than they were pleasant and pretty. Noumea was pretty boring as we arrived on a sunday and nothing was open! The bus tour we did was Ok! The choo choo train seemed popular and those we spoke to said Aimadee Island was worth the money! We made good use of the comedy club, some great comics had me in stitches (adults only sessions) and we used the bars a bit but not a lot. Didn't catch any of the shows but stuck our heads in once or twice, seemed ok and well attended. Our Cabin stewards were amazing, especially Mr G (Glorioso) polite and attentive and knew everybody on the deck by first name! In summary, a wonderful, relaxing holiday. The ship does not pretend to be high end, but what it does offer is a value for money holiday, if you have higher expectations then maybe book with Princess or Celebrity or similar. If you have a good idea what to expect and understand the general demographic of passengers you will appreciate Carnival and the ship. We will be looking to cruise again with Carnival with the kids next time! We learned that a cruise is what you make of it, if you go with preconceived ideas you may end up disappointed, if you go with an open mind you will likely end up pleasantly surprised. Can't fault the cruise line, the ship or the crew! A great cruise, we loved it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My grandmother used to go on cruises all the time and as kids, we would go down to circular quay to see her off. So, of course i always wanted to go on a cruise. The opportunity finally arrived and I had 4 set criteria when booking. It ... Read More
My grandmother used to go on cruises all the time and as kids, we would go down to circular quay to see her off. So, of course i always wanted to go on a cruise. The opportunity finally arrived and I had 4 set criteria when booking. It didn't matter where the boat travelled, how long it was for and no thought was given to any drinks deal or shore excursions or mini bar or private bathroom or if there was a swimming pool or anything else. I wasn't thinking about anything else but these . Must be within my budget - Absolutely must depart from the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay. - Absolutely must have a balcony - Absolutely must have a double bed. From reading, I already had the idea that there was only single beds but they could be put together to form a double bed. This thought nearly backfired. To get the best deal possible, I chose guaranteed balcony, thinking it didn't matter about the room as it would have a balcony and I could have the beds put together and the boat would depart from Circular Quay so everything met. Unfortunately, after I had already paid the money for the cruise, the paperwork came through and said guaranteed balcony room, "Twin Beds Do Not Convert to Queen". The paperwork also noted that my room number may not be allocated until day of boarding. About 2 days later though, a room upgrade notice came through with my room number 6149 and noted on the paperwork "Convertible Twins" Multiple people on board told me that Carnival is good but P&O is better but to appreciate the difference, I needed to travel on P&O. I also met multiple other people on board who had sailed on many other ships and had found their home at Carnival. It was my first cruise. I was happy with my room, happy with my balcony and happy with the ship. Embarkation was easy. I had chosen 1pm to 1.30pm. As usual, I arrived hours early. I was there at about 11.30am. Saw the luggage drop off point. As I walked into the drop off area, a man approached me and took my bag off me. i was then able to go and eat lunch with my sister while we waited for the check in. At about 12.45 or so, when I was getting ready for my 1pm, the lady at the door said i could go in now. There was a huge queue to go through immigration but the queue moved very fast. Then the next queue was the check in again a huge queue that moved very fast. Because I had already checked in online, all they had to do was give me my sail and sign card. When I walked onto the ship, there were people milling around every where. I had no idea what to do so just went and found my cabin. My luggage was at the door. I opened the door put the luggage on the bed and started filming the room Because of comments online, I had made a decision before boarding that I would not be using the internet as it is too expensive and slow. Well it was way too expensive in my opinion so i never used it. Some people told me they used it mid cruise to keep in touch. Pay for 24 hours, use it in the afternoon then check for replies the next morning. I had this idea that with more than 2000 passengers on board I would never get into a swimming pool or a spa bath but in the serenity area (for 18 yrs and over), although there were always people in the spa bath, there was hardly anyone in the pool. Then 2 times out of 4 visits to the gym (for 18yrs and over), there was no one in the spa bath there. I paid for bottomless bubbles but would not do it again. $79.75 for the 11 day cruise ($7.25 per day). A can of soft drink was only $2.75. I only averaged about 2 cans a day and only then because I had paid for the bottomless bubbles. There was really no need for any soft drinks because - For free in the morning there was juice at the lido deck buffets - For free all day from the lido deck buffets, there was ice, water, real lemonade, iced tea, coffee, hot tea, dairy milk, soy milk and hot chocolate. - The lido deck buffets used special cups which you saw being used all over the ship in places such as the fountain cafe and the Pharaohs Palace. So obviously other passengers were not wasting money on drinks If you still wanted a can of soft drink, you could just pay for a soft drink at one of the bars I laughed my head off in the comedy club. Some one on cruise critic complained that they used the F word in the comedy club. Well I guess there should have been plenty of warning. The shows were rated PG and 18+. In the 18+ comedy sessions, you should expect way more than the F word. I enjoyed every show I saw in Pharaohs Palace. The best show for me was the lady Magician. I think it was called Miss Houdini. I like trivia competitions and there were about 5 trivia competitions every day including a super trivia that ran the whole tour. Our team came third in the super trivia. The prize for each trivia competition was a piece of shi(p) on a stick I enjoyed playing mini golf, when it was available. There was often a sign stopping access to deck 11 saying too windy. This also where the exercise track is. Not that I would jog on an exercise track but I do like to walk for exercise so deck 10 became my exercise track. I am guessing a complete circuit is about 250 metres. As I was walking on deck 10, I would sometimes be passed by joggers. There was so much to do on board that there was not enough time to do all the things I wanted, especially at night. So, I had to prioritise and leave out the least most favourite things. I read a review on cruise critic where some one complained about weight challenged men gorging themselves on the Lido deck. I thought of that every time I filled my plate at the Lido deck buffets. There was a lot to choose from, and If I could eat it, I did. I made sure I got my moneys worth! I had issues but they were all sorted. 1. It was raining when I dropped off my bag. When it arrived at my room, it looked like it had been for a swim. I don't know where they put it after i dropped it off but the drop off was under cover. Other people had issues with wet luggage too. All clothes in the top of the bag were "partially" wet. So, I hung them up in the room to dry and emptied everything out of the bag so it could dry out too. I am not sure how it came in in conversation at the Guest Services but they immediately offered me free laundering, including ironing, for all the affected clothes. But I declined and told them the clothes would be dry in the morning anyway. 2. On the second morning, after exiting the bathroom, there was water in the room near the front door. I rang Gerald the room steward who came immediately and arranged for the problem to be fixed. When I arrived in the room later that day, I had a note appologising and a free fruit basket with wine and cheese. 3. On the third morning I had water in the room again. This time they gave me $125 credit to my account. 4.I am lactose intolerant. Breakfast and lunch dining were not an issue at all. There were way more choices than i could eat. It was just an issue in the evening. I advised carnival before hand and before sailing received an acknowledgement on a Gift and Services summary noted as follows "01 5504 Lactose Intolerant" Naturally, I assumed that on my first evening in the dining room, they would already know about this. They didn't. The waiter went through the menu with me and told me what I could and couldn't eat and I made my selections. He said that the next night, I would have a separate menu. The next night with the same waiter, his comment in question form.... Oh, you have an allergy sir? No special menu and we went through the same thing again. What was actually happening is that all the food i wanted, i couldn't eat and all the food i could eat, i didn't want. When on the third night my meal was a bland pork steak with nothing to help it go down, I decided that was it. I would just dine at the lido deck. This did not turn out as expected. My second or so night dining on the lido deck instead of dining room, as often happened, the servers behind the counter would put the food on the plates. So a very pleasant and helpful gentleman says to me try some of these balls, they are very nice. I asked if they have milk or cream. Sorry sir yes. So, I said well lets start with some rice. The next item. sorry sir. The next item some peas. Then the next then the next then the next and so on every single item at the buffet had milk or cream in it. I ended up with a plate of rice and peas. I went down to guest services to ask them where I could find food to eat that i did not have to pay for. The lady at guest services gave me a free $10 drink voucher and asked me to take a seat at the bar while they sorted it out. When they got back to me, they asked me to see the maitre De in the dining room. I said I would rather not. They then said go straight back up to the lido deck and ask for the assistant Maitre De. Which I did. He was very helpful. he arranged for some food for that night then brought out the dining room menu for the next night and said tell me what you want to eat and they will make it for me without and milk products. There was nothing on the menu i wanted to eat. I thanked him for his time and said I would look after myself. The assistant Matre De did follow up with me every time I saw him after that to make sure I was getting on OK I already knew about Guy's burger joint. I already knew it closed at 5.30pm but 5.30pm was an acceptable dining time for me. So for every other night, except for the last night, I ate at Guy's Burger Joint. I got the plain burger from Guys Burger Joint then filled it with toppings from the toppings bar. The toppings bar had mushrooms, raw onions, fried onions, bacon pieces, lettuce, tomato etc. I was very happy. However, if I still felt a bit hungry afterward, I would wander into the buffet and see what there was to fill up on Filling up is where the maitre de from the dining room found me on the second to last night. She said she had tried to contact my room. which was true, there was a message on the phone which I had not retrieved. Then after no contact with me by phone, she decided to look for me in the ship. She said she contacted the assistant maitre de to see if he knew where her James was and the assistant maitre de had said your James is here. The Maitre De from the dining room said If I came back to the dining room, she would cook me what ever i wanted. Starting that night. I was already full but we agreed I would dine in the dining room the next night. I asked for calamares as the entree and pork adobo as the main meal. There was so much squid in the bowl when it came out it was a meal in itself. They had run out of pork but brought out the most delicious chicken adobo I have ever tasted. 5.I was twice charged for things I never had. Because some one had complained on cruise critic about over charging, I decided to check charges on my account every night when i got back to my room. This was easy enough. Turn on the TV, choose check account from the menu, enter folio number from sail and sign card, confirm name. Then every transaction since day 1 was shown, including the balance. So on about the first night the comedy club was open, there was my drink I ordered followed by a charge for a drink I didn't order. You have to sign for all the drinks. However, at the comedy club, the waiter does not take your sail and sign card, he just notes the folio number off the card. So i presume at the register, they inputed my folio number by mistake for some one else drink. Anyway, it was instantly refunded by guest service. 6. The next time there was an extra charge on the account, I went to guest services. They said it was for a can of coke and a glass of wine in the dining room. I informed them that I had bottomless bubbles so had no need to pay for a can of coke and that I had stopped using the dining room and the Assistant Maitre De could confirm that. They instantly refunded the money but I believe this also triggered action with the Dining room Maitre De. Everytime I had an issue, Guest services would follow up to ensure that the matter had been resolved satisfactorily You don't have to use the shore excursions offered by carnival spirit. But if you are late back from a trip arranged by yourself, you wave goodbye to the ship. If you are late back on an excursion arranged through the ship, they hold the ship. I liked the Jewell of Fiji tour but checking on line, it appears I could have done it for about aud$50 less than the cruise charged me. There was no choice but visit the beach on Mare. And even then, we were told not to swim or snorkel because there were stinging jelly fish that day.The Noumea in a nutshell tour is a complete waste of space. On arrival in Noumea, there was an announcement that for anyone who had not arranged a tour, there is an 8 stop aud$20 tour you could do. I would have much preferred that. Disembarkation was way easier than i expected. We were asked for our preferences near the start of the cruise. We had to indicate if we had flights to meet, if we wanted to take off our own luggage or if the would do it ourselves. We had to Indicate a preferred time to disembark between about 7am and 9am. I said I wanted 9am and would take off my own luggage. When the assignment came through. It was 8.30 with a departure zone they would call out when it was time. There was also a set of instructions. I was a bit disappointed with the time but when i attended the disembarkation briefing, they said they hoped to have every one off by 9.15 so obviously they would not want people getting off at 9am. In the end, I was walking to the pre departure area about 8.20am when i heard my zone called and instead of getting to sit and wait, walked straight off the ship. In the terminal, they only wanted my landing card and did not even look at my passport. Too bad if i was a terrorist. After exiting the passenger terminal, i took the travelator back up to the level where the taxis are and caught a taxi. I looked at my phone as we drove off in the taxi. It was 8.36am 99 percent of the crew I encountered offered excellent service. Would I travel on Carnival Spirit again? Most definitely!! I had difficulty finding pricing before I left, for those who are interested in pricing on board, I made a post at reply number 8 in this thread on trip advisor https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10703-k9322763- Carnival_Spirit_pricing_on_board-Cruises.html Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
What a great cruise we had to New Zealand on the Carival Spirit. I was travelling with 3 other adults & 2 kids. The staff on this ship are amazing!! giggles Emma the cruise director was very welcoming as was Desi the Matried in the ... Read More
What a great cruise we had to New Zealand on the Carival Spirit. I was travelling with 3 other adults & 2 kids. The staff on this ship are amazing!! giggles Emma the cruise director was very welcoming as was Desi the Matried in the Empire restaurant. Our stewards & dinner waiters were exceptionally great, we sure will miss their friendly & professional & prompt service....oh & the guys at the burger joint always made sure I got my vegetarian burger! We loved Desi's 'showtime' at dinner & the kids looked forward to a dance with the waiters every night. The staff really get to know you by name & you leave feeling like you are part of the Carnival family. Nothing was ever too much trouble for anyone. Just like to mention some exceptional Customer Seevice: Our team head waiter Goran in the Empire Restaurant was very professional, friendly and nothing was ever too much trouble. From the moment I mentioned I was vegetarian he was straight on to it and always looked after me & my fellow travellers... We asked to be seated at his table every night and were pretty sad when we didn't have him as our waiter if our usual table was occupied. Our stateroom steward, Glorioso ("Mr G") was very polite, friendly and professional. Our rooms were always kept beautifully clean and tidy and we loved getting a nice surprise every day - a animal made from a towel. The little surprise really brightens up your day and is so clever & the kids loved it. Thanks all for everything you did for us! I will definatley be cruising on Carnival again! Hope to cruise with you all again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We went on a 5 night Sydney to Tasmania cruise with myself, my partner and our 3 year old son. This is the first cruise I have done. Although it was a okay experience overall, there are a few reasons why I would not cruise like this again ... Read More
We went on a 5 night Sydney to Tasmania cruise with myself, my partner and our 3 year old son. This is the first cruise I have done. Although it was a okay experience overall, there are a few reasons why I would not cruise like this again (or at least not in the immediate future). 1. Our 3 year old was not really accommodated for. Carnival Spirit has excellent facilities for teens and older children, but not really anything for under 5s. Our son refused to attend Camp Ocean as they did not let parents in and he was scared as he didn't know anyone there. This is normal for his age and other parents on the cruise had similar issues. However, outside of this, there was nothing else much for him to do. Although there was an outdoor water park that he loved the first day, it was closed much of the cruise and too cold the other part. There were no designated play areas that we could attend as a family and no play equipment. The other passengers and staff were excellent though and he was treated very well by everyone on board - but no facilities on the ship were for him. Even a small local shopping center will usually have a designated play area for children with some play equipment or toys. 2. The on-board charges were excessive and were not transparent (the prices of extras were not available on the website that I could see prior to boarding). Another review from Dec 2015 also complained about this and said that beers were $7.50. Not true for us - it was $8.25 per beer. Wine was also expensive (around $9 per glass). Cocktails were reasonably priced, however there was not much alcohol in them and some were also 'pre-mixed'. A box of chocolates that the RRP is $13 for were selling for $29 on board. The day spa was also $$$ with 'bargains' being offered at $170 for a 75 min treatment package (in the real world, our university-trained professionally qualified masseuse charges $125 for a 90min massage). You also need to pay for 'real' coffee, $3.75 (again too expensive) and this was also bad quality and tasted weak. It would up being very expensive for us taking all these extra charges into consideration. 3. The main restaurant was poor. The 'Empire' restaurant is one of the restaurants that is included in the price, however the food was very poor. We only ate their 2 times - once for breakfast and the other for dinner. I had steak for dinner and the texture of it was so strange that I wasn't sure if it was reconstituted or not. It also appeared that a significant portion of the food was imported from the US with bright yellow cheese being served and the portions being presented in a very US style. The coffee was undrinkable. On the positive side, the ship was clean, the room was clean and it was not 'bad' in any way. Although the experience was 'ok' and I am glad that we did it, it was a once off for me. I wouldn't rush to go back. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Firstly I would like to say we had a great time on the cruise but now we've ticked that box would be unlikely to do this again. Perhaps we will try a shorter cruise. I am worried that this will become the new 'Bali Bogan ... Read More
Firstly I would like to say we had a great time on the cruise but now we've ticked that box would be unlikely to do this again. Perhaps we will try a shorter cruise. I am worried that this will become the new 'Bali Bogan Holiday' for some. Thank god there were no Bintang singlets on board. Although a couple of families had us thinking! FOOD - Food in the buffet on the Lido deck was really good. Choices were many. The problem that I had was watching some very weight challenged cruisers overeat it was a real turn off. The amount of food wastage was criminal. The Empire Restaurant was great we ate their every night the service was excellent. Plenty of variety of food and the Chocolate Melting Cake was a favourite at our table. ROOM - We were in an Internal Quad Room with four in the room the bunks were dropped from the roof but we had enough room it wasn't too bad. The beds were really comfortable. The room was pitch black so you could sleep in for half the day and you wouldn't have a clue about the time. The small ensuite was tight but did the job. If I did do another cruise a room with a balcony would be my choice. Our Room Service guy was great he was such a friendly and professional guy. Loved the towel animals. ENTERTAINMENT - Variety Shows, Bingo, Trivia, Karaoke, Comedy & Art Auction just to name a few there was something for everyone. Our favourite had to be the Marriage Show were 3 married couples were on the stage answering questions, some of the couples were hilarious. This show was only a once off show for the cruise and if it had been a daily event I would have definitely gone everyday. The comedy on the ship was top notch our favourite comedians were a guy called someone Whitely and a long haired Irish guy. Very funny! FAMILIES - Most people on board were very nice and friendly. Others were rude & loud. Some parents could control their children better. Comedians attempting to do a show had to cope with the interruptions from children who would just wonder on to the stage - not sure where the parents were. Most comedians subtly dropped jokes about 'Bogan Children' but the parents didn't seem to get it! Kids club was fantastic for parents with young children and I'm sure they had a ball. SMOKING - Why? INTERNET - No Internet unless you want to pay $159 for 480min. The connection was very slow. I personally found the break from Internet refreshing. No Facebook is always a healthy option. SERENITY DECK - Over 18yrs only. A great area to go for a break. Get in really early to get a Pod. Plenty of lounge chairs and a few hammocks. A daily entertainer sang and they had some really good singers. The only issue that I had in the Serenity area was there was one family who would reserve at least 3 pods many sun lounges and the hammocks. Some of these would remain vacant for at least 3 hours - this I found very selfish. But the people running this area were beautiful. ISLAND STOPS - Mystery Island - Lovely little Island snorkelling was good. LIFOU - Great Snorkelling, beautiful church on the hill had great views. This little Island had it's own very short runway. We were lucky enough to see a plane arrive and take off. No WHS here and that is what makes it special. Noumea - Not a very nice place I recommend taking a tour to Duck Island or Amadee Island. These Islands were apparently well worth it but get in early as they are booked out quick. There is a bus that you can catch around Noumea getting on and off as you please - take a look at the Aquarium it was worth it! There is also a little train that travels around to show you different parts of Noumea. Vila - I found this port stop a little intimidating, as you step off the ship there are locals vying for your business. We settled on 1 local who organised for us to take a tour to a couple of different destinations in Vila, we travelled through a village, showed us some local tourist spots and took us to Cascade Falls. Cascade Falls although nice was overpopulated and a little dangerous. I would not recommend this to anyone who is frail. STAFF - I could not fault staff they are the friendliest and most professional people. Always polite and nothing was a problem. If you do go on a cruise please treat these people with respect. The staff appear to work very long hours, they are away from their families for months at a time so I hope that they are rewarded well for their efforts by Carnival. EMMA - The Cruise Events Manager - to be honest when we first heard her voice we thought OMG we have to listen to this woman for 10 days! However Emma works really hard and is really talented with what she does. She hosted many shows and was entertaining. We came home with a few little sayings like 'Lovelies' & 'Lovely Jubblie'. We take our hat off to you Emma. MEDICAL CENTRE - Unfortunately we had reason to see the staff at the medical centre. One of our group grew quite sick and the ships doctor decided that it was time to send the young man to hospital. Day 5 and he and his dad were medically evacuated. The medical staff were fantastic and followed up on his condition often. The ship crew and captain showed concern and handled the situation professionally. Thankyou Medical and Ship staff. By the way there is a Gym on board, I was going there everyday before I left. I went there once! My review is written from the heart and we truly enjoyed our vacation Thanks Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
It's hard to know where to begin. The overall experience was very good. Carnival Spirit is a big ship with plenty for adults and children to do. STANDOUT GOOD POINTS: The food is excellent in all areas. Service is ... Read More
It's hard to know where to begin. The overall experience was very good. Carnival Spirit is a big ship with plenty for adults and children to do. STANDOUT GOOD POINTS: The food is excellent in all areas. Service is friendly, attentive and smooth. The ship is well maintained and clean. STANDOUT BAD POINTS: We were at the back of the ship, so the diesel fumes made our balcony an unappealing option to hang out. Drinks are terribly over-priced. $7.50 AUD for a tap beer, no matter where you are or what time, is ridiculous. Yeah, I know I should expect to pay more than down at the pub, but I've already paid thousands for the trip. Perhaps there should be a scale of prices: in the restaurant, pay 7.50; in the public areas, pay 5.50 or 6.00. A bottle of pretty average wine was $32. The same, or similar, bottle would be about $12 in my local bottle shop. My daughter stuffed a teddy bear at the kids' club and it cost $40 to keep the thing. Photos are about $25 each from the gallery and the ship's photographers are a little too insistent on taking your picture. The English language skills of much of the crew are terrible. Eventually, I started saying, "Sorry, but I can't understand you." The Captain, an Italian, was almost unintelligible. This is on a ship sailing almost exclusively from Australian ports. Some of the entertainers are excellent; others are just rubbish. One comedian made such liberal use of the F word that I walked out. In the piano bar, where my wife and I were expecting some classy songs, the musician was playing a portable keyboard with awfully loud backing tracks, and singing terribly - the complete opposite of what the venue required (IMO). There were so many good pianos on the ship, and not one of them was used effectively. That said, two of the guitarist-vocalists were probably as good as you'll find anywhere, including the pop charts. General comments: As a first-timer (and an inland dweller), I found myself fascinated by the sea, sitting for long periods just looking at it. I did some things, like the Green Thunder water slide, that I'm glad about. We had some wonderful food in the reasonably-priced Nouveau Restaurant. My daughter also loved the Sushi cafe. Carnival did put on some free drinks for the "meet and greet" with the senior officers. My attitude was "If Carnival is giving something away, I'm taking it." We thought Mare Island was a dump, and we weren't paying the $56 to get the shuttle bus to the main beach. We got to Noumea on New Year's Day when every single shop and business was shut, so I have no idea what the place is like when it's up and running. Isle of Pines, however, was beautiful. I'd like to go back there one day, but I almost certainly won't. The Pacific islands don't hold much attraction for me. The main action is on the ship. My daughter (almost 11) had the time of her life. Some days we hardly saw her, as she darted off to the Sharks club every day. The slides and pools are great for the youngsters. The Empire Dining room was great. The staff were lovely and we got to know them pretty well. We also sat each night with a mum and her two boys from Sydney, who were also lovely company. Even though the ship was crowded in certain places (the Lido deck buffets, especially), you could always, without fail, get a deck chair on the top at any time of the day or night. The NY Eve party on board was a lot of fun. Embarking took no longer than half an hour; disbarking, no longer than 10 minutes. This was fantastic. Carnival employees mingle around the passenger terminal, making sure you have the right documents and know exactly where to go. We found this to be extremely helpful. On-board shops: being first-timers, we got lots of little trinkets to bring home. I considered buying a GoPro camera duty-free, but I had no idea what the saving (if any) would have been. You know, take away the import duty and GST, but then add Carnival's high mark-up, and you might end up paying the same price as you would at your local K-Mart. I didn't have any way of finding this out, as the 45 minutes of internet I purchased (for only $29) was mostly spent waiting for pages to load. In the end, it was the people that made it worthwhile. Carnival does have a happy, professional crew and my fellow passengers were generally courteous and friendly. I'd go again, but maybe with a different cruise line to different locations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
So grateful for this amazing experience being our first ever cruise and something that we have wanted to do ever since we left Africa. It is a massive ship with plenty to do for all ages or time to just chill out and relax. The staff ... Read More
So grateful for this amazing experience being our first ever cruise and something that we have wanted to do ever since we left Africa. It is a massive ship with plenty to do for all ages or time to just chill out and relax. The staff were amazing, loved the different animal shaped towels on our bed every evening, lots of attention to detail. Emma, our entertainment hostess was like a bottle of champagne, bubbly, full of life and perfect for her job. The shows were nothing less than spectacular, had to pinch ourselves, sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean watching world class shows was incredible. Art show and auction -great, health seminars -fantastic, bingo - fun, and cocktails, delicious. All in all a great time, just went far too quickly. A great family holiday. Thank you again to all the staff for your dedication, attention to detail and professionalism. If we are able to cruise again, would love a balcony room to lie in bed and watch the ocean go by. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Had wonderful time on New Caledonia cruise. 2 parents with 17,15,12 year old boys. Room with balcony great, interior room with 2 beds good size. Friends had 4 bed interior cabin too cramped. Worth extra money for better room. Stage shows ... Read More
Had wonderful time on New Caledonia cruise. 2 parents with 17,15,12 year old boys. Room with balcony great, interior room with 2 beds good size. Friends had 4 bed interior cabin too cramped. Worth extra money for better room. Stage shows great very talented singers/dancers, punchliner comedy v.funny especially Kim, Dave & shaq. Hubby loved casino. 15 year old had a ball in O2 club. Slides great. Only downer was price of shore excursions and alcohol. Buy soft drink package for kids $38 dollars for all soft drink for entire trip. Alcoholic drinks I.e beer wine cocktails range between 8 and 13 dollars each. Take nice clothes for evening dining in empire dining room. Food there was awesome didn't have the same main course twice. All staff on board were so helpful and friendly always smiling. If going on cruise to noumea the area where the ship docks is very industrial. Need to go to other areas of the island. Got great deals on watches & braclets in gift shop. Different specials different days so don't pay full price at start of trip. Was great going with group of friends except no mobile phones so spent a lot of time looking for one another. Walkie talkies excellent idea. Best thing for sea sickness was motion wrist bands that work on pressure point in wrist. If looking for family holiday go carnival but budget for spending money to get the most out of it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First time cruisers, We are a family of 4 , we brought along our 20 and 17yr old and they had their own cabin. We flew from Adelaide to Sydney and had pre booked the ship transfers from the airport which is highly recommended as by ... Read More
First time cruisers, We are a family of 4 , we brought along our 20 and 17yr old and they had their own cabin. We flew from Adelaide to Sydney and had pre booked the ship transfers from the airport which is highly recommended as by doing this you get a "Priority Boarding card" and this allows you to jump queues at the embarkation point at the ship. Our cabin was on level 7 (Verandah ), which was a standard balcony room , room service excellent, we paid our room man $20 on the first day as this was recommended by friends and he looked after us like royalty after that. We loved our balcony as in the evening before dinner we sat out there with a bottle of wine and it was peaceful and quiet. We had just a standard balcony but found this adequate Food average as always just warm, the easiest dining option is on level 9 in the La Playa Grille which is a serve yourself buffet area BUT you share that with the noisy kids on board. The best recommendation for breakfast, lunch and dinner is by far the Empire dining room where you are treated by an Ala Carte menu and awesome staff to take care of your every need. Also treat yourself at least once to the Nouveau Restaurant on level 10, the food was out of this world and it costs only $40 per person for a 4 course meal. The kids had little to no supervision from cruise staff.. The staff did nothing to stop kids running around on decks, or being in bars, or just being really loud. I assume the cruise thought the parents would supervise their own children and in many cases this was great but by the end of the cruise when they had found their way around the ship, there seemed to be kids running everywhere. On our deck they would run up the corridors knocking on all the cabin doors at all hours of the night. The entertainment on board seemed to be more targeted at the kids than the adults. We were personally very disappointed in the entertainment, Bingo, Melbourne Mug and the Comedy show were on nearly every day. We thought we would have a caberet or show every night but that just didn't happen. I think I counted 2 shows in the whole 10 days- one called "Epic Rock" was amazing. For a quiet place to get away from all the kids, the only place to go was the Serenity bar (18+) on level 9, here you could relax with other couples and we found ourselves here almost everyday. We met many people here and this bar was one of the highlights of our trip. Shore excursions were extremely well organised and you were kept in the loop all the time, we did not do the ship excursions on offer as our friends said you could save money doing them yourself on land, BUT having said that I think for a little more money doing excursions through the ship before arriving on land is much better and way less stressful. Mare Island was incredible- the local people were lovely, we spent our whole time snorkeling here and the girls got very burnt, so put sunscreen on and them some more. Noumea was my biggest disappointment as the language barrier is very difficult, we paid for the "hop on, hop off" bus service which in theory was great but half the ship had the same idea and the lines at each bus stop were long,I would highly recommend picking an excursion on board before you get off as it is a nightmare on land waiting for busses to pick you up to take you to the next stop. Next was Lifou Island which was sensational, but a tip here is to use the beaches on the right side of the jetty as the water is clearer and there aren't any Kayaks to run you over. Get your hair braided on Lifou, they even offer massages in their little tents they set up by the beach. WE just spent the whole day on the beach under the shade of a coconut tree, and 3 of us walked to the secret cave in the middle of the island which you pay a small sum to bathe in but well worth it as it is very refreshing. Last stop was Vanuatu- on leaving the ship you were bombarded with local taxi drivers trying to get your buisness, It is actually quite scary as they hang off the fences and all are yelling at the same time to get your attention. My tip here is to go to the drivers wearing green shirts as they are registered and have done courses through the Australian embassy. They and their cars are all legal, and we were lucky enough to find Stanley who became our driver for the day, we paid him in Vatu ($20,000 which is around $200 AU) and you can get this out of any ATM on the island, the ATM will convert your dollars into Vatu. Stanley also became our tour guide and took us to so many places, we had an air-conditioned Corolla which was a blessing as it was so hot and humid on Vanuatu. This is where we saved alot of money as the on board excursions took you to one place only and were quite dear (most were $89 per person), so I would recommend getting your own driver for the day. Stanley took us to the lookout, the cascade waterfall, the coffee bean farm, the secret garden, hideaway island, and duty free . We were so lucky, and he waited for us at every stop. if you want to pre book Stanley he is on facebook , Stanley Maltape and you can arrange to have him waiting for you on Vanuatu. You won't regret it. Disembarkation was again really well organised by staff, our bags were packed and placed at our cabin door the night before. we woke on disembarkation day, went to breakfast in the Empire room as it opened early, then waited in our designated area for our turn to leave . WE then went through customs before leaving the terminal and on to our bus to go to the airport. Would definitely cruise with Carnival again but not in school holidays, over all was a great experience but could have been excellent if 900 kids had stayed at home. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First time cruiser, level 7 balcony room excellent, room service excellent, food average as always just warm, main concern was the 900 kids on board that had little to no supervision. Staff did nothing to stop kids running around on decks, ... Read More
First time cruiser, level 7 balcony room excellent, room service excellent, food average as always just warm, main concern was the 900 kids on board that had little to no supervision. Staff did nothing to stop kids running around on decks, or being in bars, or just being really loud. The entertainment on board seemed to be more targeted at the kids than the adults. The only place to go was the Serenity bar (18+) on level 9, but you were sharing this with most of the guests even the parents of the rowdy kids would come here to get away. Bingo was a nightmare as the kids just ran all over the place and you couldn't hear a thing. Empire dining staff were the best people. We dined at 7.45pm when most of the younger kids were already fed and it was the best time to dine. Would definately cruise with Carnival again but not in school holidays, over all was a good experience but could have been excellent if 900 kids had stayed at home. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We travelled as a family of 4 to celebrate a 40th birthday, our kids are 9 and 12 years old. My review is a list of things I wrote down that nobody told me would be ideal or necessary on your first cruise. So I hope it is helpful. Some ... Read More
We travelled as a family of 4 to celebrate a 40th birthday, our kids are 9 and 12 years old. My review is a list of things I wrote down that nobody told me would be ideal or necessary on your first cruise. So I hope it is helpful. Some are common sense other items you may not have thought of.... Items you have at home... 1.Lanyard (everyone gets an individual sail and sign card that you should wear on a lanyard as ID , as well as charging to your room for anything purchased) You can buy them on the cruise too, but if you have some at home it is a good idea to take it) 2. TOILETRIES ..Take your favourite Shampoo and Conditioner.. the on board options are very limited. there is not much in the room, I think there was only one brand that you could buy at the shop. Same goes for moisturiser cream, sunblock, hair products, shower cap etc. there is not much of a selection. Shaving cream, soap, take all your favourite toiletries!! 3. Take a few scoops of your favourite laundry detergent if you have a preference, they do sell individual packets in the laundry rooms, but the best one is always SOLD OUT. 4. DON"T forget your HAT and Sunglasses because it is very sunny everywhere you go on destinations. 5. Light blanket like an aeroplane blanket for an afternoon nap in your room, the blankets we found were quite warm. great at night but for a nice nap if you enjoy it take one with you. 6. Snorkel Gear , there is snorkelling every island you go to, and it is absolutely beautiful. we saw turtles and beautiful fish and coral, if it's your thing it is a good idea to take it, hiring is available and costs $49.95 for the whole 10 days, or $69.95 to purchase. ( they are good quality snorkelling packs) 7. Shoes for the water, these you can't purchase or hire. It's best to take them with you for the islands, some places have very sharp coral in the sand. 8. Aeroguard, take this for island trips, mosquitoes are big and all around in the tropical weather. 9.Walkie - Talkie's ... this one is great if you are travelling with kids and want to keep in touch as your mobile phones do not work and they have fantastic activities for the kids you may want to communicate with them if you are not all in the same place. 10. UNDERWATER camera.. we used our Olympus underwater camera and took some fantastic photos. they sell this camera on the cruise for approx $AUD399. 11. Toilet Spray...we were in a balcony cabin and still needed the toilet spray for some of those moments! ... no need for explanation if you are sharing your room with a family member lol 12. Hand held FAN..this is a big one. It is super humid everywhere off the boat. You will thank me for this one. 13. Music player for you room... blue-tooth music player is a good idea to have some tunes in your room. they only have a few music channels from the TV's in the room and it's not that great. 14. Chewing Gum... if you like gum take it with you as they don't sell it on the boat. ( for the sake that kids don't stick it to things I guess) 15. Motion ease oil for behind your ears is sold onboard, I was very seasick only the first day. It helped wonderfully. You can also take those Kwells motion sick pills half hour before you get onboard. 16. ANTI- GAS pills... if you are tempted to be eating more than usual because they have so much food put out to entice you to eat continuously haha, these may come in handy. 17. OUTFITS...this one is more for woman perhaps that like to dress up or not be seen in the same clothes too often. Usually when travelling you take a few changes of clothes, but on this 10 day cruise 2 of the nights were formal (BLACK TIE and evening gowns or cocktail dress) and the other nights you still had to dress smart. You really do need an outfit for every night as you see the same people each day and it feels like you are eating out in a nice place each day! So no ladies this time you can't have too many outfits!! TIPS... 1. You can book your off-shore tours from your TV inside your room as soon as you get on board. so you don't need to line up in guest services line. These are good but also more expensive than getting a native to take you on the same or similar tour especially in Vanuatu. you can save money by waiting to book at the destination. Drivers wait on the docks waiting for tourists so you don't need to go far. 2. COFFEE.. if you are a serious coffee drinker you will be a little disappointed, but the coffee shop on level 2 in the Carnival Spirit is the much better option than level 9. 3. Cigarettes... If you are a smoker you can buy 10 packets of cigarettes on board for approx $25. YES!! so cheap. 4. DO NOT take beach towels, they are in your room and you are allowed to take them off the boat on shore days. 5. 24 Hour PIZZA... the pizza is fantastic. 24 hour ice ream soft serve. 6. Contrary to what I was told by my travel agent,,, the 3 meals are FREE on the ship in the main eating rooms ...There is a choice of a fancy place you pay $40 per head if you want premium stake and a sushi joint that is quite cheap, $19 for 2 people a whole lot of food. Otherwise you only pay for alcohol and soft drinks. they also have a soft drink deal for kids you must pay by 2nd day to get unlimited soft drinks for kids. 7. Nightclub.. take your dancing shoes, they play great music there if you like a boogie. 8. PACK your bags for excursion the night before as it is much faster to leave in the morning, you only have from 7am to 4pm each day on shore days. Hope this HELPED a little! ENJOY YOUR CRUISE!! you really feel pampered and refreshed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I was very reluctant to go on any cruise, but went out of family obligation. It was surprisingly good. The international crew do a magnificent job, calling you by name whenever they can. There are great shows with music and dancing and ... Read More
I was very reluctant to go on any cruise, but went out of family obligation. It was surprisingly good. The international crew do a magnificent job, calling you by name whenever they can. There are great shows with music and dancing and lights, comedies, films. The ship is well designed so there is always a huge variety of spaces to experience. The food was excellent - choice of restaurants, lots of buffet stations on lido deck so no wait more than a few minutes or if you are willing to walk around - no queue at all. Big variety of food. Many stations with free coffee and tea, cordial, iced water. Empire restaurant huge and everyone had their own table they went to every night so after the first day there was no waiting, you just walk to your regular table. Service was excellent, three course menu with 10 options for entrees, then 10 for mains, 5 always the same 5 always different. Chef's table was magnificent. Nouveau restaurant 5 star and fabulous. Art auctions were a rip off - mostly prints with exquisite frames (frames not included!). Lots of marketing to entice you to buy anything and everything from diamonds to cocktails, but with restraint, you need not buy anything at all. Shore excursions were a rip off. We did lonely planet do it yourself adventure in Noumea and it was fabulous. On Mare my kids and I did an awesome snorkelling adventure one and a half hours for only $40 AUD for all three of us, just booked it off the beach with locals - all well organised - info in English. My 10 year old refused to go to boring kids club. My 12 year old tried it once and found it boring and spent the rest of the time with us or with grandparents. Kids were disappointed with tiny pools, but loved the movies in the cabin and on upper deck, and the shows. Sauna was great, gym was good. Serenity good if you get up at 7am to get a spot. Our cabin 1132 was noisy under the Red Frog Pub, loud music until 1am most nights. Ear plugs and pillows on both ears still not enough. We complained daily and were only allocated new cabins on day 6, and an $800 credit. We drank heaps of coffee to stay awake, and were cranky at times, but our bill at the end of the cruise for all four of us was only $37! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We had a fantastic time on our cruise on board the Carnival spirit. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children aged 5 and 10, The Embarkation process was a little daunting for the kids as it did take a little while waiting in line,but ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on our cruise on board the Carnival spirit. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children aged 5 and 10, The Embarkation process was a little daunting for the kids as it did take a little while waiting in line,but apart from that everything ran smoothly and was organised. The safety instructions and everyone heading to their muster stations again was abit of a long process and the kids really struggled to stay still!. We stayed in deck 8 (panorama deck), We were a bit apprehensive being on deck 8 as we had heard all the stories of sea sickness and really feeling the rock of the boat being up higher...in our experience we didn't feel much at all and we love being up higher, there was some noise from the above Lido deck that however didn't bother us as we are all usually early risers. Our cabin stewards Budi and Edy were absolutely fabulous, the kids loved the little towel animals. One of the first things we did was book shore excursions and the Cat in a hat breakfast as they tend to sell out rather quickly . Carnival offers a wide variety of activities and shows on board the spirit and for the most part we were impressed, The shows they have at night are good but my husband and i felt like they were a tad repetitive on some occasions. Dining on board was absolutely delicious!. We dined most of the time at the empire restaurant and were very impressed by the service and food there!. Kids club was great when it was open, that was the main let down i guess, Camp ocean has certain times where you have to drop them off and pick them up throughout sea days,Shore excursions were great and really enjoyable. Travelling on the tenders to and from the boat was really organised no stress at all. Disembarkation was really smooth, we selected the self assist option which was really easy and it was so organised we had no issues at all. Overall we loved the cruise and would definitely recommend carnival especially to families! We are already planning our next cruise with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
First time on a cruise and we had an absolute blast. Could not find one thing wrong the entire cruise. The staff were excellent and went out of their way to be helpful and friendly, food both in the buffet and the restaurant was excellent, ... Read More
First time on a cruise and we had an absolute blast. Could not find one thing wrong the entire cruise. The staff were excellent and went out of their way to be helpful and friendly, food both in the buffet and the restaurant was excellent, entertainment was extremely professional and entertaining, cruise director Josh was one of the hardest working people I think ive ever met, room was above average very comfortable and clean, the kids loved the waterslide and the movies at night with the free popcorn. Like Ive said I could not fault one aspect of the entire cruise and will definitely be back.A big thankyou to our room steward Ramon and our waiter Kit who both made our holiday that much more enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
"The Dome pool is so named as it has a retractable roof, which can be slid across during inclement weather." Rubbish. We had such bad weather the slides, golf, sports area and single ping-pong table were closed for most of the ... Read More
"The Dome pool is so named as it has a retractable roof, which can be slid across during inclement weather." Rubbish. We had such bad weather the slides, golf, sports area and single ping-pong table were closed for most of the trip, and it too windy and cold for the pools to be used except by the most hardy, yet the roof was not closed. When asked, the service desk said the roof cannot be closed. The cruise director announced during one of his TV shows that the roof can only be closed when the ship is not moving as the ship does not have enough power to do it otherwise. We were stopped at least twice during bad weather. It was windy and raining so much the Isle of Pines excursion was cancelled (too dangerous to tender), but the roof was STILL not closed. All the 'dive-in' movies were a wash out with barely anybody able to stand the weather. The kids clubs left both of my kids (11 and 7) bored and upset. The 11 year old especially found it tedious, with such entertaining games as 'flinch' (a game where you pretend to throw a bean bag at another kid's face and if he flinches he is out) and 15 (if you say the number 15 you are out) sad. The splash bucket in the kids area did not work once, making it a very pedestrian water playground for the little ones. You have to be under 1.2 meter's tall so my 11 year old could not go play with his 7 year old brother there. In-cabin entertainment was almost non-existent (Movies and TV were rubbish. a couple of ten year old movies on perpetual repeat). Thankfully there were a few board games that were complete enough to play. The organization of getting off the boat at the end of the cruise was ridiculous. Why call five groups of people at a time, making the queue run the entire length of the boat and giving everyone a 40 minute wait in the line? Use your brain and call smaller groups more frequently instead. Returning from Mare had us standing in a line for over an hour. Four tender boats in the water, but only one in use! I think this was because everybody came back a lot earlier than expected (due to the bad weather), but why didn't somebody pay attention and get the other boats making runs instead of sticking to the schedule that only had all the boats running AFTER most people had returned? Food was mostly good with lots of selections, but not great. Guy's burger joint was far and away the best. The adult comedians we got to see were about as funny as a guy in a pub after a few pints - not what I expected as a professional show. The shows were mostly brilliant only the 80's pop one being a fizzer - off key and out of step. Emily Collins the magician and acrobat was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I are in our late 40s. We traveled with kids 13 18 19 and 20 and had two cabins. The only one that enjoyed this cruise was our 13 year old the 3 young adults all have said they would never cruise again. My husband and I ... Read More
My husband and I are in our late 40s. We traveled with kids 13 18 19 and 20 and had two cabins. The only one that enjoyed this cruise was our 13 year old the 3 young adults all have said they would never cruise again. My husband and I have never crusised befour and I can only say I never will again. This ship never stops vibrating my 18 year old and myself felt sick the entire time. The food in the buffet was not good. Plastic supper large plates and plastic green cups made for a 3 star experience. The empire dinning room did have very good service and food that was improved on the buffet. Our toilet blocked up every day we had to call room service once to twice a day for this issue. One night it overflowed out into the cabin. They had to clean the Capet at 11pm at night. Due to weather we missed a port not really Carnivals fault. On the way back a engine stopped working it effected our cruising speed and we were late into port had to rebook flights.. Carnival did reimburse us. Pool in the serenity area is very small the other two pool were used by the kids and always crowed. We all come home with bite marks all over us we think bed bugs. I must say the staff are all very nice and work hard. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first cruise. The ship is HUGE and luxurious. There were over 2,000 passengers on board, and over 900 staff, so the staff:passenger ratio is excellent. You rarely ever felt crowded. There are plenty of great areas for adults ... Read More
This was our first cruise. The ship is HUGE and luxurious. There were over 2,000 passengers on board, and over 900 staff, so the staff:passenger ratio is excellent. You rarely ever felt crowded. There are plenty of great areas for adults to chill during the day, such as the Serenity area for 18+ with lounges, pool, spa, bar, and couches and chairs. There is also so much variety of bars, cafe, restaurants, seating areas, even a library, games room, chapel, games room, shops, casino, pools and water slides. There are specific kids and teenagers areas and activities so families with kids are well catered for. We never felt over run with kids, and everyone was relaxed and happy. The 2 story gym, spa, massage, sauna and health area is phenomenal, as is the sidebar the 2 story theatre and large separate comedy club. The 3 best places to eat are the Empire Restaurant, Bonsai Japanese restaurant and Nouveau restaurant. First Class!! Sensational service and quality of the food. The Lido deck serves a large variety of buffet food in a more casual, family environment, but this can get noisy and crowded. The quality of service of the housekeeping staff is just TOP CLASS, not only did they service the room twice a day, they even left artistic towel sculptures in the room in the shape of various animals, and the attention to detail with regard to cleanliness is excellent. You don't get this level of care and attention in any 5 star hotel! Our room steward Nyoman from Indonesia is a star! The cabin (we had a stateroom with balcony) was modern, spacious and stylish. Josh, the cruise director was a bundle of energy, casual, enthusiastic but always informative. The award for the best bar goes to the Alchemy Bar staffed by the competent and super professional, friendly staff of Nicola, Miro and Helena. They really mix the most magical taste sensations. Some downsides? The satellite internet is expensive, slow and unreliable. Our ship had an engine fault so we were delayed 8 hours on return to Sydney. We also missed the Isle of Pines shire excursion due to high waves/swell. For any Australians used to good quality espresso, lattes, flat whites etc., you will definitely not find them on this ship. Carnival should employ Australian-trained Batista's, because the quality of coffee was mediocre at best. For every other aspect of this holiday cruise, if you want a pampered holiday, excellent quality and variety of food and top class facilities and entertainment, Carnival Spirit is HIGHLY recommended! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Was worried about some reviews but as this was our first cruise we had nothing to base it on so we just went for it. Food was very good and service in the MDR was fantastic as they make you and your kids very welcome. Buffet was not bad ... Read More
Was worried about some reviews but as this was our first cruise we had nothing to base it on so we just went for it. Food was very good and service in the MDR was fantastic as they make you and your kids very welcome. Buffet was not bad and plenty to choose from. Water slides were all working but water a little cold but kids don't care. Our room was cleaned twice every day and nothing was to hard for them and always called us by name which was nice. We did not pay for any tours as these are highway robbery so we just went out on our own and had a ball and went to most places for less than half the price of the ship.The shows on board were great and comedy was funny. We would definately come on this ship again and all the staff were very happy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise ever. Our cruise started on 25/09/2015 and was fantastic from the very start to the very end. We had originally booked for 5/8/15 but told after booking that the ship was in dry dock and had to reschedule. I ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever. Our cruise started on 25/09/2015 and was fantastic from the very start to the very end. We had originally booked for 5/8/15 but told after booking that the ship was in dry dock and had to reschedule. I purposely didn't book the first two cruises after dry dock because I wanted any problems with the refurbishment to be ironed out, and reading the reviews I did the right thing. Our cabin on deck 7 number 7212 which is midship and very close to the stairs and lifts was fantastic, very quiet and very clean. We mainly ate in the Empire dining room which was fantastic, we had any time dining which was great. We had the same waiter team each night (Joel and Anamaria and their team) were the best. We would ask their recommendations on the food and they were pretty well on the ball. They sometimes even brought us an extra serve so we could both try. The last night we payed extra and dined in the nouveau restaurant, we were a bit disappointed with the food as the lobster we bought on Mystery Island was so tasty and fresh we expected the lobster in the nouveau restaurant to be just as good and it wasn't. The comedians were a little disappointing but the stage shows were fantastic and having multiple shows of each every night was great. The different activities each day during fun at sea days were well organised and ran well, including the ice sculpture demonstration, the pamper session, the cooking demonstration in the nouveau restaurant we even got to sample the cooking, and many other activities. The one criticism I have is there was only one table tennis table on board and a few more would have been good as we didn't get to have a go at table tennis. We did play a lot of mini golf which we did enjoy each day. During our cruise because of the amount of great food we ate we decided to only take the stairs when moving about on the ship. We only left the lifts for the first and last days when we had our hand luggage. This was a great choice for us as we didn't put on much weight during our cruise. We also kept moving during the cruise going from one activity to another, we didn't lounge around much at all. We only booked 3 on shore excursions through carnival because most were expensive. The first we bought was on Vila the Cascade waterfalls which was worth the money, we later found out that others went there with a taxi that they payed for after leaving the ship and was cheaper but they had to pay extra after arriving at the falls to enter. Mystery Island my husband payed for a fishing trip from an islander that he payed $40 for instead of $170 or more from carnival on other islands, he didn't catch any fish but he may not have caught anything on the ship booked fishing trip either. We bought a lobster from the islanders for $40 which was the freshest and tastiest we have ever tasted the same size lobster in Adelaide would have costed us $130. Mare we payed $20 for a shuttle to the beach through carnival this is a must and the beach was beautiful and worth the money. Isle of pines we organised a tour when we got off the ship. We payed $15 each and the islander took us around the island showing us most of the same destinations that the carnival tour did. He was very friendly and informative and the tour took about 50 minutes. The rest of the day we walked around the markets and the shore. Noumea we booked a tour at the tourist building where we got dropped off we ended up having a private tour around Noumea including the lookouts. The guide was very informative, he told us to take our time every time he stopped at a sight, the van he drove was fairly new and we were very happy we waited and bought this tour off the ship. The last tour we booked through carnival was back in Sydney after we finished the cruise. This tour was meant to take us around Sydney and show us Bondi beach. We are not from Sydney and this would have been a good way to see Sydney and then get dropped off at the airport after the tour. Unfortunately due to a medical emergency and the delay in arriving in Sydney the tour got cancelled. However due to the cancellation Carnival placed us straight on to an airport transfer which we absolutely appreciated. The night time entertainment on the whole was fantastic however some of the comedians weren't all that funny. The on stage performances on the other hand were fantastic we thoroughly enjoyed them. We were a little concerned after realising we had booked our cruise during the school holidays and it was just the two of us. The first and last day we noticed a lot of children running around however every other day the kids clubs seemed to keep them busy or the parents had them well controlled we are not sure but we barely saw the kids during the cruise and we didn't even spend much time in the adults only area. The kids we saw were well behaved and kurtosis to us oldies (almost 50 years old) Well done kids. The one thing that we have realised was that the weather does play a big part in having a great cruise. On our cruise the first couple of days were a little rough and a few people we talked to later felt like jumping over board due to sea sickness however we both suffer from motion sickness so came prepared and pre purchased Phenergan from the pharmacy prior to boarding and we took this each night before bed which gave us a great sleep and we didn't feel sea sick at all. The rest of the cruise was smooth sailing and beautiful weather. All in all this cruise was fantastic and would love to do another cruise someday. We just need to save up our pennies as we would love to do the Alaska cruise. Thank you Carnival Spirit for a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The ship was late getting to port from dry dock. Getting onto the ship in Singapore was a lengthy process just getting through the port process. We were held up for an extended period with no information as to why the delay. The gangway ... Read More
The ship was late getting to port from dry dock. Getting onto the ship in Singapore was a lengthy process just getting through the port process. We were held up for an extended period with no information as to why the delay. The gangway was very hot; water would have been nice. There were reports of heat exhaustion among some passengers. Apologies and an explanation came the next along a refund. The crew particularly the waiters and cabin stewards were excellent. The standard of the food on board was patchy and varied from excellent to just edible. There were lots of glitches with equipment on board like inefficient toasters, inoperable laundry equipment, faulty exercise gear and others. The accommodation was very good our room had just one issue, the air con was too noisy. We heard of issues with cabins from blocked toilets to flooding due to a burst pipe. Entertainment was from great to useless. As first time cruisers we had no benchmark to compare with but will cruise again with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We had saved and dreamed about this holiday and came from the UK.we booked a suite which was terrible, holes in curtains dirty stains and holes on chairs electric sockets hanging off wall and the bath, well I was too scared to use the ... Read More
We had saved and dreamed about this holiday and came from the UK.we booked a suite which was terrible, holes in curtains dirty stains and holes on chairs electric sockets hanging off wall and the bath, well I was too scared to use the jacuzzi because the stains on the jets,I wouldn't like to think what might come out, there was rusty stains all over the sealant and the plug area was covered in pit marks and stained an orange? The whole boat was falling apart with duct tape holding it together in many places, the pools were fealthy with used plasters and stains and rust. Even the showers had the same used plasters and hair and dead inspects in the Bottom for three days in a row. Myself and children all got rashes from the pool and didn't use it once I realised how dirty it was.the food was mostly slop breakfast was quite good but the evening meal was half made up of the day before left overs made into a curry and all closed by 9pm we had to live on pizza at least we knew that was cooked fresh. Worst of all was the tours these cost us thousands and everyone was messed up by the staff. Instead of seeing all these amazing places we dreamed of carnival ruined it all they gave wrong information on all trips were late,cancelled half the trip on the day totally unorganised just terrible. I came very close to leaving the boat in Bali and flying home as I was at my wits end. I felt we were so close to our dream destinations but carnival stopped us from seeing these places. Please do not go on this boat I hope I can help people from not ruining their dreams and wasting a lot of money. This was terrible please do go on it even if it's free! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Cabin size was good and kept clean. I loved my balcony, it was my haven. The cruise director (Josh), the cabin crew and waiter and waitress in the Empire were very friendly. We only had breakfast in the Lido lining up for fresh ... Read More
Cabin size was good and kept clean. I loved my balcony, it was my haven. The cruise director (Josh), the cabin crew and waiter and waitress in the Empire were very friendly. We only had breakfast in the Lido lining up for fresh made coffee and again for fried eggs at breakfast in the Lido restaurant not good. Otherwise most of the food it served was good. The Food served up to us for all other meals in the Empire Restaurant was good on all occassions. The evening entertainment shows (mainly song and dance - American style) were entertaining and glamorous but nothing to write home about. The adult comedy club shows were an excellent way to wind up the day. BUT the big disappointment was the 700 children on board (after the school holidays had ended), that's not good. Even though they had their own areas, they still felt it their right to encroach upon areas that should have been set aside for adults. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
IGNORE ALL the negative reviews if you have never been before. First cruise for our family of 5. I have never had any interest in cruising as I like to walk around and enjoy the ambience of my destination and exploring streets and places ... Read More
IGNORE ALL the negative reviews if you have never been before. First cruise for our family of 5. I have never had any interest in cruising as I like to walk around and enjoy the ambience of my destination and exploring streets and places to eat etc. I was also worried about getting seasick (We took Travacalm and were all fine). Where to start? Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. The Spirit is impressive in size and quite beautiful - the decor is a little gawdy in places but I think that can a part of her charm. The rooms were fantastic in size and had enough room to store everything plus some. The cleanliness was second to none and the surprise towel animals on the bed each night were enough to always bring an extra smile. Service for the most part is above average and the crew work VERY hard to make you feel welcome. Considering the number of passengers they have to feed, the food overall was good. The selection was always varied and you will truly never go hungry. Seriously, if you can't find something you fancy eating, I suspect you're very hard to please and should sail the QE2 instead. The Empire Dining room has a lovely ambience and the food is great for breakfast and dinner. The bars were great and I ended up with a couple of favourite spots to go. The cocktails are worth a mention for their value for money and sometimes potency. Hygiene on the ship seems to be taken seriously and hand sanitisers are almost everywhere. The Nouveau Restaurant did not disappoint and I would highly recommend it to anybody. There are plenty of activities on - all day every day. Fun on deck day and night. Musicians and bands were all exceptional. The shows were just OK. The comedy is of a high caliber and this became a must for every night of the cruise. Having said that, even though there were over 2000 passengers on our cruise, there was always somewhere quiet to sit and watch the ocean or read. Our two (sometimes shy) boys aged 12 & 14 went to 'Circle C' club everyday. By the third day we barely saw them and they were happy to be with peers. There were many supervised activities for them and they had a going away party in the nightclub on the last night. The 12 year old cried as he wanted to live on the ship 'forever'. A couple of small complaints. Safety briefing took too long whilst we waited over 20 minutes for the stragglers. Getting a tender to the Isle of Pines was joke (2 hour wait). Under 18's policy not adhered to on the adults only 'Serenity' lounge. Also too much reserving of pods in the same area and staff would do well to police this. Ultimately, I am surprised by my new found interest in cruising. The ship itself is a destination and did not disappoint. It's important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Carnival is not a 5 star provider so if that's what you're looking for you won't find it here. Go with an open mind and what you'll find is a great destination and a crew who go above and beyond to accommodate you. I had planned to go Vietnam next year…..Instead I got off the Spirit and booked another cruise on her 3 days later!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
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

Find a Carnival Spirit Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click