13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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 d├ęcor 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
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
28 Helpful Votes
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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