1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
It had been a few months between holidays and, getting restless, Kirsten suggested a last minute cruise she’d seen on sale. I started dreaming of all the meals we’d be eating without needing to prepare, shop, cook or clean up and ... Read More
It had been a few months between holidays and, getting restless, Kirsten suggested a last minute cruise she’d seen on sale. I started dreaming of all the meals we’d be eating without needing to prepare, shop, cook or clean up and without much hesitation, I was in. The cruise was a 12-day South Pacific jaunt aboard the Carnival Spirit, departing and arriving back to our home city of Sydney which we believe to be one of the most gorgeous ports in the world. I must admit we were both cautiously optimistic about our decision. We’d seen the likes of P&O, Carnival and various equivalents leave Sydney packed with Aussies, and having experienced a luxury European river cruise on Scenic and an upmarket Cunard cruise aboard Queen Elizabeth, we weren’t sure if the ‘big fun ship’ was our style. Thinking ahead wistfully about the work and housework we’d enjoy NOT doing for 12 whole days and nights, we were totally on board (so to speak) with the trip to Noumea, Mystery Island, Denarau, Suva and finally Mare aboard a floating hotel. Apart from Fiji, these were new discoveries for us, some new world experiences for these two travel lovers. The Carnival Spirit, playfully referred to as the Fun Ship, holds approx. 2400 passengers and 930 crew. We boarded at around midday on what can only be described as a dream experience of Customs, going straight from being dropped off directly outside the passenger terminal at Circular Quay, to getting our bags taken off our hands before entering the building and breezing through the customs checks and scanners, a quick check in to our room and onto the ship. We could then go straight to our booked Stateroom where our room keys were sitting in a box at our door waiting for us. The best in Sydney, I’d say. We were all feeling festive and ready to escape the city on our adventure at sea. Once we’d slowly exited Sydney Heads, and waved goodbye to the pilot boat from our love-cabana for two, we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner, and discovered a slight glitch in the merriment – my bag was held up because I had a power board and apparently they are a no go onboard. We had to line up in some lower part of the ship along with all the other people with power boards, irons, or alcohol, all of which are not permitted, so we could open the locked bag and hand over the bugger. We were told we could request one of the ship’s own power boards should we need one, which we did. Go figure. You couldn’t take your own, but you could borrow one at no charge. We experienced our first dinner in the main dining room and took ourselves on a tour of the Carnival Spirit. It’s hard to describe her interior as it’s not completely one style. It’s sort of a mish-mash of themed rooms, somewhat like the special hotel rooms you could hire back in the 80’s. Carnival calls it ”The World’s Great Architectural Styles”. You have the Empire Dining Room which is Egyptian with lots of gold and rich colours, and the Pharoah’s Room where the main shows are performed (also Egyptian themed). The Lido (buffet area) feels like sideshow alley and then there’s a jungle-themed walk, a Chinese themed bar (without Chinese food, or any food for that matter), a Japanese restaurant, an 80’s disco, and a couple of leadlight glass and dark wood detailed areas giving an old English pub feel. The main lobby and bar was small but packed a glitz punch of gold everywhere you looked, fresco’s on the ceiling and 3 glass elevators. It was like being in the Sistine Chapel inside Harrods. To top off our self-guided ship tour, we discovered the Casino, shopping alleys and picture viewing galleries all there to entice those precious dollars from your pocket on a day at sea, which of course didn’t feel like you were really spending because you were using a plastic room card to pay. We were fairly happy to find that the cocktails, beer and wine were all very reasonably priced, at pub prices rather than an upmarket bar or restaurant prices. However, if you didn’t want VB, Tooheys New or a couple of other Aussie beers, you were pretty much out of luck. They used to provide all-inclusive alcohol packages on this ship, or so we were told, but these days you can only buy an all-inclusive soft drink package. Not quite the same. I’m guessing that all-inclusive alcohol served to Aussies is a bad financial deal for the cruise line. In the evenings there is always a show to go to after dinner. While we were ready to be wowed delighted, the entertainment proved disappointing. There’s an onboard entertainment team which do their best but it’s a bit too “High School Musical” for this writer and his travel lover. They also have a Comedy Club inside the Versaille room. We dropped in for a PG performance and sadly we’ve never seen anyone bomb so badly, and we left before he finished his set. The Carnival Spirits best entertainment is from the wait staff, they are really fantastic and dance and sing every night while having dinner. It’s not uncommon for a dancing train to weave its way around the dining room, filled with both wait staff and fellow passengers. Even the Captain was most entertaining with a wry sense of humour and Eli, the cruise director, was brilliant. He’s a Kiwi and knows how to find the ironic and joke in situations. His ships talks were worth sitting in on. Sea days are always a good way to test a ships’ boredom factor. Luckily the Carnival Spirit have an adults-only area called “Serenity” at the rear of the ship as I previously mentioned. We’d get there just after breakfast to claim one of the round cane cabanas for 2, and while away many hours keeping shady and reading books while facing out to sea and feeling the fresh sea air. All good while the weather was fine. But after our Mare stop was cancelled due to a cyclone we couldn’t go to our haven and had to endure 4 straight days at sea, mostly indoors. We started to consider the possibility of swimming to shore. Any shore. These days proved difficult and consisted of towel folding demonstrations, bingo, trivia, secrets to a flatter stomach, and blackjack, not to mention more trips to the buffet out of sheer boredom – pretty common cruise activities. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We did enjoy our cruise but found the ship to be rather tired, especially in the hallways. The pods on decks 9 and 10 were nice to lay in with a book if you could get one, but I always would put a towel down 1st as the cushions and the ... Read More
We did enjoy our cruise but found the ship to be rather tired, especially in the hallways. The pods on decks 9 and 10 were nice to lay in with a book if you could get one, but I always would put a towel down 1st as the cushions and the mat you lay on were stained and a bit grubby! It was nice to have the Serenity adults only area to get away from the kids that were often left to run wild over the ship (no fault of the Carnival! ) Another thing I feel I have to mention is a big annoyance to me is the ever increasing amount of cruisers who find it acceptable to "reserve seats" for their family or friends! This is againts many cruise liners policies but always never enforced! In Europe it is quite common in a resort to find 50 + chairs with towels draped over them and not a soul in sight as theyre all out shopping etc.... I find it the height of rudness and very un Australian! I found the food on the ship very hit and miss, in the Empire dining room sometimes there were fantastic meals being served up and the next night quite the opposite, much the same for me with the buffet upstairs too, there was an amazing layered shoe string pastery with blue berrys and cream for lunch one day and then 2 consecutive days following that there were just cup cakes on offer! The shows at night were ok ( no orchestra ) and the dancers were full of energy. We also found that many of the on board activities during the day were had $ symbols! When we checked into our cabin the shower had not been cleaned and there was a razor and used soap in there! staff were mostly friendly bit not trained to a standard of some other ships I have been onn for example I found myself walking around or stepping aside of some of them instead of the other way around. In all honesty I can only rate my experience as very average compared with others I have sailed on. It was our 1st time on Carnival and I won't be returning. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I chose this cruise for my Birthday and after 16 cruises this would be my first where I would actually have a cake and celebrate it on the day. I also chose Carnival as I had in the past had such great times. Embarkation was smooth ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my Birthday and after 16 cruises this would be my first where I would actually have a cake and celebrate it on the day. I also chose Carnival as I had in the past had such great times. Embarkation was smooth although I found the staff a bit abrupt saying it was too early and what time was on my form. We were made to stand in a line for about 45 minutes till there was no one left in the other que even though there was not that many to begin with they just kept coming filing past us, Never had this happen to us before. I did request an early embarkation as this was the only time our bus company offered us for this cruise. So we waited. Once allowed in everything went relatively smoothly and we boarded the ship in no time. Our room was ready and all went well. We chose an inside room and found the beds to be twin not together, we decided to leave it this way as it gave the room so much more space. The room was a little warn and old looking, en suite was spacious as was the wardrobe space and extra hangers. I was a bit confused though when our room steward asked us what time would prefer our room done, It seems now Carnival only do your room once a day. Inconvenient for us as we like to shower in the afternoon just before dinner. If we pick PM it's done while we are at dinner but the beds stay unmade all day till then also if we wish to re shower after a big night out no clean towels. The days of constant Ninja stealth house keeping has gone it seems. The choices in the dining room had also dropped and I found that most of my meals consisted of Caesar salad as not much more appealed, I also found the desserts not as good as before. This was cruise No 4 with Carnival and 2 on the Spirit 48 cruise nights all up. On the 2nd sea day I slipped on a freshly mopped floor and damaged my knee. It seems My Dr Scholl orthopedic shoes with synthetic auto grip soles stood no chance. The boy, mop in hand was very apologetic. It took passengers not crew to help me up, after more apologies from the boy he then put out the caution wet floor sign and got his supervisor who asked me if I was OK. He then kept asking if I needed a medic but as I was in shock and considerable pain could not quite grasp what I needed to say. a Kind lady passenger then came with some Ice and helped me telling me clearly I needed a medic. A wheel chair was ordered and down I went to have x-rays done where my husband was given a form to state he would meet all costs of the consultation which he signed. No sign of a break but could hardly walk and it had started to swell. I was told to stay off it and take panadol or nurefen all I has was codine and he said that was fine. I spent the rest of this cruise limited to my room or sitting. Sadly my snorkeling and all Island tours had to be cancelled, they did refund all our money as I could not leave the ship and sadly not like our last cruise to Hawaii on the Legend never off the dance floor.. We also could not buy anything as we did not know how much the medic would cost so no Fathers day or birthday presents purchased on board. Trying to let any of these incidents get to us we made the best of the ship. All of the crew bar 1 were fantastic, the bar staff went out of their way to make us feel special, the stage shows were for the most part repeats, costumes and stage unbelievably great but the show singers and dancing not so much. Red Frog and Shanghai bar were great both the Piano guy and Manila Band entertained brilliantly Comedy club was quite funny in the beginning but found the new arrivals not so funny and a bit crass. The bar staff in the Atrium were my favorite but it was too close to call, they were all fabulous bar 1. We had a run in with a Bar tender in the Pharaoh's Lounge - well to be honest not a run in as much as we placed and order with him and he did not bring it. Later that night in the comedy club he saw us again and avoided us. Next night he took the order of people sitting next to us turned and walked in the other direction then delivered their drinks from row behind so as not to come near us again. We found this confusing and a little funny and always managed to get drinks from other bar staff till we were asked to separate on one of the shows, ladies on one side men on the other. I sat in between 2 other groups of women. He came and stood directly in front of me blocking my view of the stage and I just looked away feeling a bit threatened but I told myself to stop being silly, he then served the women on either side of me then walked off. He returned with their drinks and again stood directly in front of me I found this very confronting and decided to look at him and found him glaring at me and I was quite shaken. What it did though was give me a chance to read his name tag.. Very tall and bald and Asian in appearance. When I settled down I got up and returned to my husband and we left the show. I thought about a formal complaint but have heard how staff close rank and did not want this to spoil my birthday day. The next day my husband started to get sick, Flue like symptoms, bad sinus and headache. He took antibiotics and we confined ourselves keeping away form other people. We noticed though that this was not just him, it seemed to be every where we looked, people couching and sneezing. Last day of cruise and we are off to dinner for my birthday. My husband says to our waiter it's my birthday and he says oh I'll organize something, we sat for ages after our meal and the girls that shared the table said they would make him get a cake, They waved and called out to them but they just turned their heads. If you have to make someone do it - it's just not the same. They did not come anywhere near us till we got up to leave, as we were walking off they magically stepped out in front of us when we were in the corridor and shook our hands obviously looking for their tip. $50.00 which we kept in lieu of the cake which they seemed to not provide along with NO Happy birthday or apology for disappearing after dinner. Another co-incident is that in 3 out of 4 cruises with Carnival we have come off with this really bad bronchial pneumonia - cruise cough. It also seems that you have to take your own luggage off the ship now unless you are physically unable ie in a wheelchair. So this was my cruise - A Very Sad And Not So Happy Ann Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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: May 2015
The embarkation was fast and efficient. Once on board we were directed to the Buffet on deck 9. The food was very average, no choice of breads, they did have gluten free bread. The salad bar was very small and yet they had large areas for ... Read More
The embarkation was fast and efficient. Once on board we were directed to the Buffet on deck 9. The food was very average, no choice of breads, they did have gluten free bread. The salad bar was very small and yet they had large areas for junk food. Our cabin was on level 7 with a balcony, no complaints at all, our steward was fantastic. Luggage took forever, but it did arrive. The decor of all the public areas are in desperate need to be remodelled, they are dark and need bright colours. The Atrium is small and dingy. The Shanghai bar was freezing and no service when trivia was on. The main dining room, The Empire Room reminded us of a very tacky Las Vegas Casino in the sixties.it should have been remodelled years ago. It was so dark and over decorated for the type of cruises that Carnival offer. Fellow passengers went the dining room in shorts and joggers. Twice we had to ask for clean wine glasses, as they still had bright pink lipstick on them. Our waiters were fantastic, Ljidia and Lilly. The food in the was O.K. with some really great dishes and some not so good. The waiter who sings there each evening was brilliant. The Buffet was a mixed bag. Breakfast was fine, choice was good. At lunch the soup was never hot. Some of the dishes were good and others terrible. One thing we could always get a table and a cup of tea or coffee. The Pizza Pirate, the Pizzas were fantastic. Did not try the Fat Jimmies, Freshies or the other grill place. A must to do is the Chefs Table, it was well worth the money, $72.00 for 7 courses. The food was the best. The presentation amazing. You get to tour the galley whilst it is in full service. Nouveau was excellent, food and service was great. There is a fee of $40.00 for 4 courses. The price of wine was the same as any restaurant, Cocktails were reasonably priced and beer was $7.50 plus for a bottle. Entertainment. None worth mentioning, Nikki Bennett was the one exception. The trivia was good, except some of the hosts could speak enough English, so it was very hard to follow the questions. The two main entertainment areas need a make over. Movies, they only showed 5 movies in one of the show rooms. The Jungle is so tacky. This is my biggest complaint, smoking. They do have areas for smokers, but these areas are near the main pool and children. They should only have smoking on level 10, out in the open and not under cover, so as the smoke can blow away easily. We are waiting for a company to ban smoking, not going to happen any time soon. The Gym and Spa were very good and modern. The equipment was clean and in very good condition. The shops were O.K, let's face it you go away to see the ports of call. The crew on Carnival Spirit are really fantastic and extremely accommodating. There was always someone there to assist and help you if needed. The dress codes should be enforced in the main dining room, and lessen the smoking areas for the sake of all passengers. No one tried to up sell us to anything. The best is no tipping, you can if you wish, we did, but there was not this obligation to do so. We are not sure if we would do another cruise with Carnival, would depend on the destination. For families Carnival is fantastic, they offer so much for children of all ages. The children we saw were all having a ball. There were families of 3 to 4 generations, who all seemed to be well catered for. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Well folks as all my previous reviews I will try to keep it real with the good and the bad from our cruise. First I would like to state that in my opinion this is not a cruise to take for your wife/girlfriend for a romantic cruise. It ... Read More
Well folks as all my previous reviews I will try to keep it real with the good and the bad from our cruise. First I would like to state that in my opinion this is not a cruise to take for your wife/girlfriend for a romantic cruise. It really is totally designed for families. I am sure if you are a couple with a few kids you will love it! if you are a couple you may hate it! Couples I suggest carefully reading the reviews especially around school vacations before booking. I booked this cruise for my 35th anniversary, I deliberately booked it when all schools were back thinking "how many adults will take their kids out of school for a cruise?" Upon check in I got my answer HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS, I was pretty shocked and knew at check in this would impact our cruise. We had a long stressful check in at the best part of an hour. We intended to have a long lunch at the main restaurant to relax only to find it was closed. Everyone had to eat at the buffet restaurant and it was crowded behond belief. Seemed very disorganised with long queue's everywhere and lots of folks walking around stressed trying to find a seat, It was not a pleasant start to the cruise but I am afraid to say it got worse. After waiting (get used to queues and long waits on this cruise) 25 mins for our booked 5.30pm evening table for 2 we heard 4 people in the queue who were obvious friends deciding whether to change their booking for 4 to two tables for 2, they spoke to the Maitre-d who obliged them. I never really gave this a second thought as we had confirmed in writing that we had a booking for a table for 2 at 5,30 each night. We were then shown to a table for 10 people, 4 adults and 4 kids engaged in "shoot em up" games on their I Pads. We immediately returned to the Maitre-d stating politely we had a booking for a table for 2 not 10. he was completely unhelpful, repeatedly stating he had no tables for two left and advising us to return at 7.45 sitting but even then he advised you may be sent away with a buzzer! totally unacceptable Carnival! I personally feel for Carnival to accept a booking for 2 and then reject it was a breach of contract/trust and outrageous , the Maitre D then made the matter worse by stating that the table for 10 was our allocated table for the entire cruise and could not be changed!! , at this my wife, after a stressful day burst into tears. To defuse the situation I decided to go to Nouveau to get a table for 2. and calm down. The only credit I can give this Maitre d is that he moved us to anytime dining, not what we booked but solved the problem. Unforgivable start Carnival. It could only get better! I must also add here that anytime dining staff also seemed to be surprised? annoyed? when we repeatedly asked for a table for 2 each night, several times asking us if we wanted to join a table for 6/8/10. Why could staff not remember our request from each evening before? this was annoying. OK to stick for the bad for now (and there is good) the ship constantly felt crowded, we could not find a quit spot at any area of the ship. Due to numbers it is very impersonal, only once by our cabin steward were we addressed by name and not cabin number. Due to the number of kids the pool areas and spas were out of bounds, even the pool areas resembled a kids playground, the noise alone made them intolerable, if I had a dollar for every unsupervised kid running around the ship my next few Princess cruises would be free!, I shudder to think what this cruise must be like during school holidays, a definite no-no for couples. SANCTUARY OK by now some folks would be thinking "if kids were that bad why didn't they just go into Sanctuary adults only section, for those who have never stepped on board let me sum up Sanctuary in one line, think 1000 adults wanting to use a space that only has space for 100 adults. People were so desperate to sunbake here I was totally convinced some folks were actually sleeping in the pods since early dawn! or even the night before! My wife and I managed only ONCE in 9 days to sunbake here. You could walk out here and see a sea of towels and no people! the 40 min sunbed rule is a joke! On the first of our last 2 sea days we walked out and was pleasantly surprised with free sunbeds galore, we soon found out why, when at sea they are constantly hit by a wet drizzle coming from the kids water chutes above, you literally could not sit here. I think Carnival desperately needs another adults only section. Empire Credit where credit is due we found all our meals here very good with excellent service, due to a medical condition my wife requires Gluten Free food and Carnival made sure all her food was Gluten Free. We both enjoyed the entertainment "interludes" here. All staff were very pleasant and attentive. But by mornings the service becomes tedious, seems a totally different staff in the mornings, getting T or coffee takes forever, service is poor, the breakfast will arrive when your T is finished, your T will arrive when breaky is over, several occasions requested toast never arrives. expect to be here an hour plus which you have to factor in for early excursions. We could not use the buffet as if you are Gluten Free your order must be placed the night before, this still does not speed up the service! Buffet Food was good but always crowded with queue's, on two occasions when my wife asked what was Gluten Free she was told by chef " all vegies" in this day and age I think the chefs should be able to prepare a Gluten Free dish every day. It isn't rocket science. We also have to join with other reviewers by stating we had concerns at the temperature of the food here, on one occasion on board I fell ill, I had eaten a salmon slice that I thought could have been hotter. Should have trusted my instincts, luckily I was OK after a day. Nouveau Due to the Carnival screw up on our first night we ended up here 3 nights, I cant compliment the staff here enough and the food was just incredible a "must do" experience. Gym This is excellent for a cruise ship and I worked out every day, at peak times several hogged every cardio machine for hours on end, despite a 30 min useage rule I never saw a member of staff for 9 days. On the subject of fitness I would like to give Kudos to Shannon Ponton for his enjoyable morning walks and my wife was very impressed by his motivational talk. Entertainment Mostly aimed at 70+ and most not to our liking, HOWEVER I do want to give major kudos to one singer/songwriter on board who made our cruise. Her name is SARAY RZEK her shows on acoustic guitar were terrific, we regard her as a future star and regarded it as a privilidge that we got to see her perform so many times for free. The best on the cruise, do not miss her as next time you will have to probably pay to see her, extremely talented. Thanks Sarah!! Excursions We enjoyed all our excursions apart from the tenders, they were so unpredictable, one was literally 10 mins and one was 1hr and 50 mins, go figure! some of the islands are very nice. Other reviews pretty much has this covered. Room Service As we like to end our evening with a few on the balcony we used room service most days, allow 45mins or longer for service, on our first day I ordered a 6 pack of Stella beer, after 90 mins I gave up and went to bed. It arrived after 2 hrs and I was wakened out of bed to receive it! and all this without a bottle opener, so had to call room service again, staff arrived to open said beer, but could not leave the $1 bottle opener! advised calling room service each time to open a beer, Carnival what a waste of staff time and mine, I do not want to steal your ugly $1 bottle opener, this is just silly, next day I had to purchase a bottle opener from the shop. Carnival management what are you thinking? Bars Bar service was always very good with friendly staff, we did not think the drink was overpriced but reasonable compared to Sydney. I particularly liked the Thirsty Frog beer. Overall I state again, in my opinion this cruise is not suited for couples, it is designed for families and extended families, If you have a young family I think you will have a great time. The kids will love it. For us despite all the above comments we made the most of the cruise and did enjoy it. It is great value for money but I do not think I would do it again. so many other ships better designed for couples.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2013
We touched down at Sydney at 1315hrs and went downstairs to the train station and went to Circular Quay. Our embarkation time was 1430 - 1500hrs and we arrived at 1430 where embarkation process was very fast and were on board for 1445hrs. ... Read More
We touched down at Sydney at 1315hrs and went downstairs to the train station and went to Circular Quay. Our embarkation time was 1430 - 1500hrs and we arrived at 1430 where embarkation process was very fast and were on board for 1445hrs. The first thing we did was to go to the service desk to put cash down on our sign and sail card. We had a lady who was not happy to see us and told us that we should use the machine that was available rather than come to the desk! Very friendly - NOT! She did not really give us eye contact and when we asked about a ship tour, she told us that it wasn't her are we would have to go to the other desk. We asked what desk and she pointed to a closed desk! Very helpful - NOT! We went across to the other desk and saw the time it opened so we came back later when it was open and had a very friendly gentleman :) We had a safety drill that was excessive as we stayed outside shoulder to shoulder for 40 minutes! We still did not really know what to do in an emergency except come to the spot we were in. We found that the food halls had very long lines and the food was not piping hot. Husband wondered if it was because of children and not wanting to burn them with hot food, but still it just didn't seem right to be eating warm food. We did go to the restaurant for the formal night and found we were pounced on at all angles by photographers. As we don't dress in formal-ware often we did go with the flow and thought we might purchase a photo later. When we got to dinner we found lots of people don't actually dress up, and we felt uncomfortable at having dressed up. So we ate and left to change back into casual clothes. The photos that were shown the next morning were lovely, but the price was way too much! $35 for each photo without a frame - NO WAY! I thought that a board said that we could get smaller photos for $10 each, but when I asked about this I was told that you had to buy the $35 photo and then you could get the $10 ones - what the? We decided even though the photos were lovely, we could not afford them :( It seems a waste to see them printed and then to throw them out. This cruise line definitely caters to the family and not to the couple. We told children off for running in the corridor and knocking on doors, as we were close to the stairs and lifts. These children had no parents with them and were aged from about 10yrs and up. Even though there was an adults only area, it was below the water slides and still was not quiet enough for us. It was hard to get a spot that was in the shade and so we ended up spending more time on our balcony rather than anywhere else. We did look for quiet deck places about the ship, and when we found them (and there were lots of places) there were no chairs or lounges to be able to take advantage of these spaces. I do not think we will travel on board The Spirit again as it was great for families but not for couples. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Firstly I would like to point out that this is our 20th cruise, (7th Christmas cruises) but first time with Carnival. We were both looking forward to sailing on the Spirit as we were informed that it was higher star rating then the ... Read More
Firstly I would like to point out that this is our 20th cruise, (7th Christmas cruises) but first time with Carnival. We were both looking forward to sailing on the Spirit as we were informed that it was higher star rating then the Princess Line and Royal Caribbean, but this is not the case -Too many out of control children as it appears no restriction on number of children on board and no curfew time .Parents need to be more responsible for their whereabouts. Parents just let there children run wild. If you are a family then this is the cruise ship for you. We reported to security about the behaviour of the children on board twice, in one case I was in the gym and witness young children indecently exposing themselves through the window above the spa in front of people that were using the spa. It appeared there was underage drinking on board, as we seen on numerous nights teenagers affected by alcohol which we also reported to security. -No enforcement of passengers using sensitizer in the buffet and restaurant areas -No staff in buffet area worn gloves in handling food -Dress code in Restaurant was not enforced, e.g.; shorts, thongs (other cruise ships at night makes you feel like you are in a different world. -Although not everyone is a smoker, (but I do) there was restricted areas that you were allowed to smoke, Deck 9 & 10 fwd (Deck 10 is open area so no good if raining or windy, Deck 9 is in pool area with children around) Other cruise liners you have promanade deck, I felt I was always at the back of the boat and had to go up to the front of the ship to enjoy a smoke. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We have been on the Spirit before. It has always been mediocre, but traveled where and when our lives permitted. The ship just returned from a two week drydock and it showed. The gym has been totally reconfigured and outfitted with state ... Read More
We have been on the Spirit before. It has always been mediocre, but traveled where and when our lives permitted. The ship just returned from a two week drydock and it showed. The gym has been totally reconfigured and outfitted with state of the art Life Fitness equipment. There is a new 21 and over pool and sun area that is just wonderful. Quiet (means no kids) and pretty at the back of the ship. These new improvements are wonderful and great additions to the ship. The rest of the ship is the same old mediocre Carnival product. The food is a disgrace. Folks in prison eat better quality and variety than Carnival offers. They don't even have enough good ingredients to make a good salad. Having been on other lines this is is normally a simple task, not on Carnival. Healthy choices are just plain bad. IF all you are looking for is fried food, burgers, chicken fingers and pizza you will be in heaven. There is a reason many guests exceed 300 pounds and keep cruising. If good healthy food is your goal, forget it on Carnival. The shows were ok, but nothing special. The Cruise Director "Stu" is from Australia and screams on the intercom all the time. The problem is that you can't understand most of what he says due to this thick accent. As a result, we just "tuned out" Stu. Carnival staff is totally indifferent to guests and guest requests. Carnival now assesses tips to guests. The employees essentially get the same tips whether they kill themselves or perform the bare minimum to keep their jobs. The bare minimum is the best effort you ever get. Any special request is usually followed by rolled eyes and a 50-50 chance it will actually happen. Kind of like socialized tipping. Everyone gets the same regardless of the output or effort. Because Carnival wants to sell drinks and each on commands a 15% automatic tip, drink service is amazing! Carnival is cheap and mediocre. Nothing bad, but certainly nothing above average at any level. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
My husband and I took this cruise to avoid the holiday same ol same ol. We left the 23rd of December and returned January 1st. It worked! All in all we had a very good time. We were lucky to meet some new friends that I believe we will ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise to avoid the holiday same ol same ol. We left the 23rd of December and returned January 1st. It worked! All in all we had a very good time. We were lucky to meet some new friends that I believe we will have for years to come. In fact we have all booked another adventure together on Holland America. Having said all this let me move on to the problems Carnival is having with their ship the Spirt. Leaving San Pedro went very well, coming back into San Pedro again no problems. Luggage was handled (6 pieces) without issue coming and going. Loved our balcony room. Took advise from another review and brought a small nylon rope to hold the door open so we could hear the ocean all night. Our #1 problem was food. Where to start.....If you enjoy your coffee as we do you will be spending lots of ship $$ at the coffee stands. The coffee they serve is vile and cold. We even tried ordering it in room still cold and horrible. First morning we stood in one of the omelet lines to watch them pour eggs from previously frozen then, defrosted milk like containers . I tried to tell the man that was making the omelet that I did not want the outside crispy but to no avail. Each and every omelet was served crispy and over cooked. Day 2 I grabbed oatmeal I mean how can that be wrong. If was 7:30 and the oatmeal was room temp. My husbands sausage and potatoes were the same. This is something that went on 9 days. Food on the buffet is not held at a proper temperature. The only hope of hot food from the buffet was the Asian food line where they cook in a wok right in front of you. Which from the length of the line each day at lunch was the conclusion many of the other guests felt too. I asked one of the buffet servers why the steam tables they were serving from were not hot he just looked at me and shrugged. I ate the very stale ½ a bagel the rest of the trip for breakfast it was the least of the evils. We looked forward to leaving ship to get a meal! We did open seating for dinner and loved it. You have the opportunity to meet so many interesting and fun people. Food here was better. 50/50 chance of it being eatable. We found food here to be better than a Denny's and not as good as chilies. Trying to give a comparison I don't eat at either but gives you an idea. I asked others at our table if this food was served in a restaurant in your town would you go back. The answer was usually no. We did not purchase any tours with Carnival since reading others on here pointed out you pay 50% more than waiting till you get to port and buy them on the dock. By the way there is a great little hole in the wall cafe in Puerta Vallarta called Joe & Jacks it is yummy! It is located in the old part of the city over the bridge. My only negative was the last port in Manzanillo. What were you thinking Carnival? This is a toilet! The town is dirty and the whole place smells of urine. We ran back to the ship. I had read on here other people saying this was a must miss, but I thought they were being cranky no, they were being nice! I had no problem with smoke. I know many people have posted that they did. I went to all the public rooms, clubs and Bars and never had any problem. We are both non smokers. Our room never smelled like smoke so I was really happy about that. We saw a couple of the comedy shows for adults they were good. I thought Carnival handled the Xmas very well. It was not in your face. They decorated with a winter land kind of theme so that all people could enjoy the season. I would have liked them to change the music tapes after December 25th . We had another week or so of Xmas theme music playing in the background. The employees seemed mega stressed. They work very hard. With the exception of the buffet all were very kind and curtous. The buffet area you can get run over, pushed , shoved etc. Its a war zone of guest verses employees. This area has a huge problem with language verses communication . All in all again we had fun. I don't know if I would choose carnival again. The up side is I came home with a only 2 lb weight gain for 9 days! Yippie Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We started our 12 days in Vancouver and it took forever to board the ship. I now how cattle must feel being hearded into a pasture. They had computer problems but didnt tell anyone what was going on until we had been sitting for over an ... Read More
We started our 12 days in Vancouver and it took forever to board the ship. I now how cattle must feel being hearded into a pasture. They had computer problems but didnt tell anyone what was going on until we had been sitting for over an hour and half. Finally three hours later we boarded and got settled. Our room was nice but it looks tired and dated. The balcony we had was amazing. It was super long and it was extended as well. Cabin # 7258. You could have fit a party of 10 on it easily! We dined alot at the formal dining room. It was good food and always great service. The buffet is okay we mostly had breakfast there. The sushi bar was great had that a few times. The shows are good but when we sailed NCL five years ago it was way better. We had good weather in Mexico but was disappointed that we lost a day in Cabo. Carnival said it was because of Hurricane Hilary but we easily could have had one more day there. Disney arrived in Cabo same time we did and they had two days there and arrived just after us in San Pedro?? I would like to know why they were so lucky? I feel like Carnival ripped us off in a sense!! We enjoyed Puerto Vallarta. We did a Tequila tasting tour and would say it was the highlight of our trip. The tour guide Pedro was hilarious and made the trip alot of fun. Ariba Mass Tequila!! Disembarking went okay. When we got off to find our shuttle we were easily directed to our bus. Over all the cruise was nice but they didnt Wow us. Will try something different next time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
We took the Carnival Spirit the day after Thanksgiving to avoid so many children. Time boarding at the port was fast and well handled. We were on board in less than 30 min. Cabins were not ready so if you have carry on you must take it ... Read More
We took the Carnival Spirit the day after Thanksgiving to avoid so many children. Time boarding at the port was fast and well handled. We were on board in less than 30 min. Cabins were not ready so if you have carry on you must take it with you and that makes the Lido deck crowded. We had an aft balcony for the first time and will not do this one again. Soot from the smokestacks is all over the chairs and if you aren't careful your clothes are covered too. Our wonderful cabin Steward Clemente put new robes out for us every day. These cabins are also a little hard to find too. We will not be on top cabin deck again as there is lots of noise from the Lido deck day and all night and it starts early in the AM. Our cabin steward and his assistant were the best we have had so far. If we needed it we had it. Room service was fast and done well. They had a laundry special and it is worth using if you are not going straight home. Food was very good on all dining options. We ate in the steakhouse one night and it is worth every bit of the extra money!!! Food and service were fantastic. Our dining room staff Svetlana and Anita were wonderful but at times has too many guests to give personal service. The ports are not ones we will visit again. Alcapolco port is far from most stuff so book a tour or pay for a taxi. City is very dirty. Zihuantanejo was a fun place to go.. Plenty of stuff to do close to pier and no fear walking around the area. Manzanillavery disappointing, You dock in a shipping port so to get anywhere to shop or sightsee is quite a walk and the shopping specialist does not even have a map of the area and they do not recommend wandering on your owm. Casino needs better supervision as children apx 6-7 yrs were playing the slots with their parents. Hot tubs had many unsupervised children even adult only. Capitan even announced one day that children were not to be unsupervised on Lido deck at any time.Over all we had a good time and the ship was SMOOTH. No rocking at all. We would do this ship again as we were treated well and made to feel very welcome. Read Less
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

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