1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We had the best time on this five day cruise to Tasmania. Everything about our holiday was first class. Our balcony cabin was spacious, clean and had a comfortably sized bathroom. Our cabin steward was excellent , friendly and helpfu, the ... Read More
We had the best time on this five day cruise to Tasmania. Everything about our holiday was first class. Our balcony cabin was spacious, clean and had a comfortably sized bathroom. Our cabin steward was excellent , friendly and helpfu, the different animals he made daily were really appreciated. The meals in the dining room were varied and delicious and the wait staff very attentive. always remembering our names. The Serenity pool area was a very pleasant and relaxing spot to sit, especially in a cabana with a strawberry daiquiri. Children are not allowed in this area so it stays peaceful. The Mexican food bar provided delicious burrito bowls with large prawns which were a very enjoyable lunch. The entertainment in the Pharaohs Palace lounge was amazing, professional and thoroughly enjoyable. We are regular cruisers having travelled on Cunard, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity in the past. We will definitely cruise on The Carnival Spirit again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
To be honest I didn’t even know what carnival was like when I first booked. It had a 3 days flash sale on and I jumped in as the prices looked too good. I literally had to google where noumea was after I paid for the cruise. I went with ... Read More
To be honest I didn’t even know what carnival was like when I first booked. It had a 3 days flash sale on and I jumped in as the prices looked too good. I literally had to google where noumea was after I paid for the cruise. I went with my partner and it was truly an awesome cruise. First and foremost we got the faster to the fun programe and it probably took us 10 mins to get on board through customs immigrations etc. Took us about 5 days to get familiar with the boat, there was so much to do. The activities keeps you busy from 8am in the morning till 11pm or late. The cruise director Eli went above and beyond to make things comfortable for all of us. From embarkation to tenders to every shows, he was there to talk us through. Drinks prices were reasonable. We had both the Mad Hatter’s tea and Green Eggs and ham breakfast for $10 each per event. Which was super cheap given the amount of food there was. The staff remembered our names by heart. Trivias, a live game of cluedo, hasbro family games, comedy shows and playlist productions kept us on our toes all day long. All tendering process was smooth and pleasant. Would go on carnival again and again. And last but not the least, the islands were like little paradise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We booked this cruise as the time was suitable, Great Staff and service, food was of poor quality compared to other cruises, buffet was fair to good. Overall the Carnival shows where the best, the outfits were amazing. Our room ... Read More
We booked this cruise as the time was suitable, Great Staff and service, food was of poor quality compared to other cruises, buffet was fair to good. Overall the Carnival shows where the best, the outfits were amazing. Our room upgrade was also fantastic. Thank you for upgrading upgrading us we weren't expecting that but it was an amazing suprise our room was great. Thank you so much we greatly appreciate it. We had a great time and we will return again. we also had a $400 dollar credit, that was more than ample for our 8 night cruise On the Carnival Spirit. The Captain Vittorio, was very approachable, as well as the cabin staff. Speaking of the staff, The night dinning room staff, At table 216 Where fantastic at the 7 45 pm sitting, head waiter lgusti was fantastic. To Some up a fantastic cruise with great staff, buffet was good, the Main dinning food was poor at times. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Exceeded my expectations, the accommodation was spotlessly clean, the staff were very friendly and the overall atmosphere was very laid back. The amenities on board were excellent and the gym & entertainment provided was more than ... Read More
Exceeded my expectations, the accommodation was spotlessly clean, the staff were very friendly and the overall atmosphere was very laid back. The amenities on board were excellent and the gym & entertainment provided was more than sufficient to pass away the time. The food was excellent and there was plenty of food variety if you look around and try the different options available. The ship is massive and a lot of time can be spent just walking around it. Ports of Call Isle of Pines was beautiful. The locals sold food at stalls and there is a resort where you can rent kayaks and paddle boards. The snorkelling is very good as well and the beach lovely. Noumea is the capital and a proper city. Most things were closed when we arrived. We took the water taxi to Duck Island. There was beautiful snorkelling here but the beach is basically broken coral. There is a restaurant/resort on the island but it is extortionate and they struggled with peak service for people. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first cruise with Carnival. We chose this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. We were very happy with the choice for the following reasons * value for money * friendly and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Carnival. We chose this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday. We were very happy with the choice for the following reasons * value for money * friendly and enthusiastic staff throughout the ship * fantastic dining experience in the Empire Restaurant with good quality food, correct and friendly service and amazing entertainment by staff * comfortable, well appointed cabin * relaxing Serenity adults only area * smooth embarkation, disembarkation and shore excursion processes * good quality evening entertainment - not outstanding but pretty good as part of the overall experience. * clean and well maintained public areas * not only the acknowledgement of our special occasions by staff but the genuine joy in helping us celebrate * the efforts to cater for children. There were a number of children on the cruise but as elderly guests we were able to avoid them Really our only complaint was the expectation to pay for room service meals that were available free elsewhere on the ship. In summary the Carnival Spirit is marketed as a "fun ship". This is exactly what you get in spades. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Our travel agent suggested we cruise with Carnival Australia and are we pleased we did. Transfer from sydney airport circular key was great , met by a friendly lady from Carnival at airport after she was happy that we had all our ... Read More
Our travel agent suggested we cruise with Carnival Australia and are we pleased we did. Transfer from sydney airport circular key was great , met by a friendly lady from Carnival at airport after she was happy that we had all our baggage we were transported ship.Saved ourselves a bundle using there service rather than a taxi. Embarkation went really smooth and took about 20minutes and as we had a 12.30 to 1300 check in time slot we had time to explore our new home.. We were advised by check in staff that there would be 1 hour delay befor our cabin was ready wich was fine with us as we were peckish so decided to seek out some lunch on Lido Buffet deck 9 which had just opend. After reading a few gripes about the food maybe some of the critics need to be realistic.. The Food and choices for lunch in the Lido buffet was "Outstanding" . What a gereat start and we were still in port. We had decided to spoil ourslves and get a Balcony cabin 4158 on the main deck and it was woth every cent..As per brochure.. We went to the Empire restaurant for dinner and the service food and general running was absolutely first class. Numerous choice of food available in all eating places .AND SO CLEAN If you like bautifull food served by happy people and being well looked after you will love this ship.. Entertainment on board in tth Pharrohs Palace was excellent with a differant show each night Numerous places to go for a drink depending on your tastes . Had a wee plaly in the casino but was not my night allgood. Lots and lots of things to do on sea days with organised things happening around the ship Shore excursions well organised interesting Our room steward Sabina kept us well informed and couldn't do enough for us .so Be Generous at the tail end. We had portaits taken by "Donald the photographer from India" and wow it was money well spent much cheaper than a studio sitting on land, Ask for Donald l from India if you are wanting specilal moments All the staff on the Carnival Spirit are absolutely Marvelous so remember To reward there efforts to make your cruise as good as ors Can't say enough about this cruise ,would we do it again YES YES YES. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
our kids did it for us was not keen at first my wife and i are hooked will be doing another cruise with carnival spirit loved everything about the ship, the service to our cabin was excellent thank you and Wini ,Almen and Gill looked after ... Read More
our kids did it for us was not keen at first my wife and i are hooked will be doing another cruise with carnival spirit loved everything about the ship, the service to our cabin was excellent thank you and Wini ,Almen and Gill looked after us well in the emperor lounge the dinning was tops big thank you. The Entertainment and activities certainly kept us entertained right through out the whole cruise, you could not fault the service, the food even up at Level 9 the buffet bars was great loved the shore excursions even riding in the tender boats the whole experience was something else even docking in Noumea being welcomed by the locals with their traditional dance even the my Children and grandchildren enjoyed it and are looking forward to doing another cruise with Carnival spirit the highlight of the trip is meeting so many new friends and my wife meeting a couple and their family finding out that they were related it was awesome ... big thank you to everyone on Carnival Spirit and we will be seeing you ...... The Maxwell Tribe Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise as it is known for really good value for money, a good medium size ship and had good reviews. The food was so good. There is so much to choose from as the dining room alone changes its menu every night. And it's 3 ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it is known for really good value for money, a good medium size ship and had good reviews. The food was so good. There is so much to choose from as the dining room alone changes its menu every night. And it's 3 course every night too! Then there is 24 hr pizza, there is the best burgers ever and also the buffet - which is really nice. Great variety. Also cater very well for dietary requirements (I am gluten intolerant). If you have dietary restrictions you can order ahead in the dining room and they make almost any of the dishes to suit. Buffet breakfast most mornings were great - toast, poached eggs, grilled tomatoes, bacon - plus there was fruit, cereal, pastries, yogurt, juice, coffee etc. We often didn't even have lunch and I never normally miss a meal!!! The best part of the cruise was snorkelling at the islands. Yejele Beach was the best!!! It is a shore excursion well worth going on - the bus takes you to paradise!!! Go down toward the end of the bay and there are other little bays that you can snorkel to. We are not experienced snorkelers at all and we managed fine. The water is not deep so you feel so safe. The water is so clear. It is the best. Also the Tchoo Tchoo train in Noumea. Isle of Pines nice too. We had a balcony cabin on the 7th floor in the middle of the ship. It was great. Clean (everywhere is so clean), very nice cabin. Worth getting a balcony for the amazing views. Especially sunrise and also when you are coming in to a new destination!! Forget sleep - this was too exciting!!! and you can see on the TV (map channel and also forward view channel where you are all times. The shows that the production crew put on are fantastic. Lots of singing and dancing - but very modern. I loved hanging out at the Red Frog Pub sometimes just listening to the band. They were great. There are quiet places too - to just sit and watch the view or get a drink. It was fun getting our photos taken. You don't have any pressure whatsoever to buy any of them. It is fun to get your photo taken and then view them the next day. I say go for it!!! Just as long as you have willpower to not buy them all!!! The staff were so friendly. Especially the stewards. So nice and helpful. It seemed like we were away for weeks. I loved it so much. I want to go again but take the kids next time. My husband went on an anniversary cruise so the first time in 20 years that we were away for longer than a weekend and I missed the kids like crazy. It was very very relaxing though. And we went on the green thunder! It was so scary but we did it!! Such a fast waterslide. The kids around us loved it. The adults serenity area was nice - it is close to the waterslides though so you can hear some screams and kids etc. Nice place to take your food out to if the buffet areas are too busy (and if you don't have kids with you). We didn't get sea sick at all (and I am notorious for getting motion sickness). I find the waves and slight rocking relaxing. You get days that you hardly notice you are moving and some rockier days. On those days we mostly stayed in bed and relaxed watching movies. You try to stay away from the front and back areas of the ship. So I would pick a cabin in the middle of the ship. We found that to be a good decision. But out of 10 days only two were a bit rocky. Thanks Carnival for an amazing trip. We loved it! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Everything from the staff and crew, accommodation, food, entertainment, shore excursions, embarking and debarkation, was awesome. Our first cruise and there wasn't one thing we weren't over the moon about. Our cabin was ... Read More
Everything from the staff and crew, accommodation, food, entertainment, shore excursions, embarking and debarkation, was awesome. Our first cruise and there wasn't one thing we weren't over the moon about. Our cabin was totally beyond our expectations. So much room, a whirlpool spa in the our ensuite, double sinks, all spotless. Dressing room, private balcony with plenty of furniture, such a comfortable mattress and the softest pilllows on the kingsize bed, numerous towels, including a different towel animal everyday, large couch and lovely comfy reading chair. Huge amount of cupboard and drawer space for clothes, cases and shoes. Lots of lights for every occasion, soft and romantic, spotlight for bedtime reading, bright lights for dressing and general use. Ample fridge, plenty of glassware and fresh water everyday. Meals and dining staff were incredible. Food was delicious, wasn't one thing we ate that we didn't enjoy, staff Kostigan, Wayan and the other dining staff in that group, went over and beyond to look after us. Dining room entertainment was awesome, especially, Cathy, the waitress who sang on three of the nights on our cruise. We think Cathy could sing anywhere in the world and get the same standing ovation she got in the Empire Room. Entertainment was great, from the fantastic shows in the Pharaoh's Palace theatre,to the comedian's in the Versailles Lounge, all the soloists and duos around the various bars and the Atrium were wonderful. Loved all our excursions, Mare, Mystery Island, Lifou and Noumea all held their own charm. The staff on the tenders were helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. Our Steward, Fredie, went out of his way to be helpful and informative in his quiet respectful way, our suite was always impeccable and the bed made perfectly everyday. Can't wait to go on our next cruise with Carnival and can't recommend them highly enough. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
1st time with carnival previously on other carrier , whether couples or fa, ily this is a floating theme park , very well decorated , staff will spoil you rotten if yiu show them some kind manners ! Really if you cant enjoy this ship ! ... Read More
1st time with carnival previously on other carrier , whether couples or fa, ily this is a floating theme park , very well decorated , staff will spoil you rotten if yiu show them some kind manners ! Really if you cant enjoy this ship ! Then please lock yourself at home and spare society your misery ! Value for money is uncomparable , well done carnival food is very acceptable, entertainment great and the decor is in great condition and very classy , these reviews dont need to be this long but thems the rules so what more can I say! Dont hesitate this is the trip for fun loving people, sure there will be a few wowsers but it is so big they will get lost! Not that its crowded cause its not ! For adults thete is the serenity deck No kids and has its own pool , spa and live music and bar , enjoy and ships ahoy Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first cruise and we loved it. Embarkation went pretty smoothly and we did not have to wait for long. The ship was beautiful and clean.The luggage was delivered to the room before 5 pm. Our room steward Rick was great. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it. Embarkation went pretty smoothly and we did not have to wait for long. The ship was beautiful and clean.The luggage was delivered to the room before 5 pm. Our room steward Rick was great. The Cabin was excellent, we opted for a balcony room and it was spacious and clean. There was a lot of room and enough drawers and hangers etc. We loved it but we felt that the air conditioning was not working properly. The dining room on deck 9 was great. There was a lot of variety and food was good. At breakfast it was a bit crowded and people were looking for a place to sit down with plates in their hands. We chose to go for late breakfast :) The shows were good and we enjoyed the comedy shows and the rock show as well. Brilliant performances. The service was great. The crew was excellent. everyone was great and they left no room for error. Every day we found our room pretty clean and found that cute towel animal. We loved the serenity deck and the bar was great there. Although the pools were always full. The Empire dining room was great and crew there was amazing. Food was delicious and they have wide variety to choose from. Loved the desserts. It was excellent overall. Though this was our first cruise and we loved most of the things but there were some things that we didn't like - Wastage of a lot of food. - they should introduce some scheme with pictures. They were expensive Like $30 for a single picture. and if you are not buying all of them, they are going to the bin. I mean why so much wastage!! include something like buy 2 get 1 free or buy 3 get 2 free... Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
The cruise was a 21st Birthday present I purchased for my Boyfriend a few months ago. I personally have traveled on this Ship two time's previous too this holiday. Personally I love the ship. I love the layout and I have never ... Read More
The cruise was a 21st Birthday present I purchased for my Boyfriend a few months ago. I personally have traveled on this Ship two time's previous too this holiday. Personally I love the ship. I love the layout and I have never had a bad thing to say about the staff. But sadly on this cruise I found the staff a little less enthusiastic compared to other holidays I had been on. The last cruise was in 2015, Since then they have changed their staff around and a few refurbishments have been done. SHORE EXCURSION: Highly recommend NOT doing the Dolphin Feeding! My boyfriend and I did not do this tour but friends of ours did and they said it was the biggest disappointment. If you have the money to do the Dolphin Feeding.. Save it and do the 12 Min Helicopter ride over the island! It is Incredible!! and in the afternoon continue with shore excursions and take on the Guided Snorkeling Tour of the Shipwrecks! The staff were amazing! Just be sure you are a strong swimmer. If you are like me and scared of swimming in the ocean they can give you a noodle to float around on. But don't bother hiring the "sea scooter" its just extra money to hold a big fan in-front of your face for the same amount of time the normal swimming snorkeling tour takes. The walk from the Wharf to the shipwrecks is about 2 km so it took us about 30 mins each way. The swim from the beach to the Shipwrecks is very deceiving. If you are letting your kids swim from the beach to the ships, please keep an eye on them as the swell is very bad even if you cant see it and a lot of people will have their boats and jet skis in the water also. There is a lot of places to hire snorkeling gear on the island but defiantly worth taking you own, as a lot of people have probably put their mouths on the snorkels. There is a few spots to eat on the island but your looking at about $40-$50 for two meals and drinks. As well as a little gift shop. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
24/5/2016 Just got back from the Carnival Spirit Fiji trip, Isle of Pines, Mystery island, Suva,Port Danarau, Noumea. The best holiday we have ever had. The level of crew professionalism and service is first class, the food and ... Read More
24/5/2016 Just got back from the Carnival Spirit Fiji trip, Isle of Pines, Mystery island, Suva,Port Danarau, Noumea. The best holiday we have ever had. The level of crew professionalism and service is first class, the food and entertainment superb, and the entire experience left us wanting to come back again. 900 crew comprised of over 60 nationalities supporting a passenger group comprising about 2400 means they are serious about looking after you well. We didn't book any shore excursions, preferring to make arrangements when we got there and that worked well. The balcony cabin 8170 was excellent, the views from the balcony were terrific and well worth the extra. We had a minor issue which was responded to by guest services quickly and professionally. Thankyou Carnival, and especially Lloyd the mexican comedy lounge manager, Eli the cruise director, the entertainment ensemble and the musicians who brought such life and fun to the experience. Would I recommend it ? Absolutely. We will be back. 5 stars. 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 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
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
Sail Date: December 2014
The Carnival Spirit is a fantastic Cruise Ship. This was my first time cruising as an adult (mid 20s) and had previously been on cruise ships as a child. My partner and I enjoyed our time on the cruise ship and will definitely be back ... Read More
The Carnival Spirit is a fantastic Cruise Ship. This was my first time cruising as an adult (mid 20s) and had previously been on cruise ships as a child. My partner and I enjoyed our time on the cruise ship and will definitely be back again. The aim of our cruise was to relax as well as have fun. Afterall, it was the NYE cruise. We always had something to do (we did spend a lot of time relaxing on a deck chair or reading. We enjoyed the trivia session as well as the comedy shows. We had an inside cabin which was serviced twice a day with the infamous towel animals. The steward and his crew were super friendly and attentive. Food was very good. A couple of times I did send something back, but I really didn't have too many complaints. We participated in the Chefs Table event where you are served 10-12 courses. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It started with champagne and a tour of the galley. This provided us an insight into how many 1000s of meals are served of a night and you truly appreciate the hard work that the chefs and table waiters put in! We didn't choose any tours through Carnival as I always do my research before holidays and choose something to do that isn't listed on the suggested itinerary. Something to be aware of. Boat tenders. Just relax. The first 1 or 2 ports, people line up forever trying to get their sticker to get on shore. We were one of the very last and we didn't get to shore until midday in Mare. But as long as we got the last bus to the beach, it did not bother us. Something I think Carnival may need to review, but I assume this occurs on a lot of cruises. I utilised the fitness facilities on a daily basis and they are great. I wish there were more free weights and a larger space for these as I don't like to use machines but thats my personal preference. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
We cruised on the Carnival spirit for an 8 night cruise visiting Noumea, Mare and Isle of pines. booked a guaranteed balcony cabin and were very happy with our selection. The ship seemed huge to me and the tacky Las Vegas type décor ... Read More
We cruised on the Carnival spirit for an 8 night cruise visiting Noumea, Mare and Isle of pines. booked a guaranteed balcony cabin and were very happy with our selection. The ship seemed huge to me and the tacky Las Vegas type décor does grow on you after a while!! Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship within 30 minutes of our 4.30pm embarkation time. We had dropped our bags off to the luggage check in earlier in the day to avoid the hassle of carrying while sightseeing and when we boarded they were waiting outside our room. The food was generally satisfactory. the buffet had a good selection of hot and cold items for breakfast, as well as Asian , Indian and roast meat at dinner times. We chose to dine in the buffet for breakfast and lunch and chose anytime dining in the MDR. We were usually able to get a table for two but did have to share with a group once. If you do not want to share a table with strangers I suggest you book a set dinner time. Two of our ports were tender and were on a tender boat within 30 minutes of getting our tender number. The ship has a feeling of grandeur and opulence but in some areas can feel cheap and tacky. I would recommend the carnival spirit and would not hesitate to travel on her again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
We just finished our cruise and everything was fantastic-lucky weather and calm seas.Getting aboard was a breeze as was disembarking.We had the choice to take our own bags off(self-assist) We were able to deposit our bags on arrival but we ... Read More
We just finished our cruise and everything was fantastic-lucky weather and calm seas.Getting aboard was a breeze as was disembarking.We had the choice to take our own bags off(self-assist) We were able to deposit our bags on arrival but we didn't know we could eat as soon as we were on board as the food goes on all day.Impossible to complain about food as there is so much and so much choice. Service is impeccable and there are lots of things to do.I wouldn't go during school holidays as kids hog the spa and slides and generally aren't well supervised as the security is low key. Shows are sufficient and deck parties are off the hook.There is a steam and sauna room as well as 3 pools and spas.8 nights was enough especially with good weather and lots of sun.Cocktails are fun and wine is cheaper by bottle.Shops are basic but offer bargain stuff and having the card is so easy to use. Muster was a bit of a drag I would prefer after sailing in a lounge and no sail away party but a good time to hang out in serenity area where adults only area is because head to get a lounge pod or hammock. Overall an awesome experience with attention to details.The ship has a beautiful decor and inside room was good value.I worked on cruise ships years ago and have sailed with P&O and I was blown away with everything.My only criticism is casino should be behind doors not open for everyone to walk through. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2012
After reading posts on Cruise Critic we decided to get into Seattle a day early and stayed at the Westin in Downtown Seattle. The Westin is a perfect place to stay. It is centrally located for all the touristy things to do in Seattle. ... Read More
After reading posts on Cruise Critic we decided to get into Seattle a day early and stayed at the Westin in Downtown Seattle. The Westin is a perfect place to stay. It is centrally located for all the touristy things to do in Seattle. The roms are very confortable and with our room in the north tower, an excellent view of the Space Needle. The Carnival Spirit is a beautiful ship. All the staff was very friendly. Once we found out room we started to unpack and there was more than enough space to hand everything. ( You may need to bring a few extra hangers). We booked an 8K extended balcony which was mid ship in the starboard (right) side, which could not have been better. After the unpacking the exploring began, and believe me there is a lot to explore. Lido deck (9th) had the buffet and other eating areas which were very clean and also the Serenity area for adults only. We took the tour of the ship offered by the cruise lines with Cassie. She was very informative. The Empire room ( Main dining room ) was very elegant and the waiters were very friendly and seem to really enjoy meeting the new weekly group of people. The ship was very clean and since it was just recently remodeled, was very up to date, other than the ugly birds statue overlooking the pool. Overall we did mostly walking from deck to deck as the stairway was very beautiful with all the woodwork. The showroom was excellent and the two shows were equal to or above Las Vegas standards. The lights and music were excellent and any seat was good to vie the happenings. The punch liner comedy lounge, although a bit small, was excellent with good service. Overall I would take another cruise in a heartbeat on this ship and this line Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
I would suggest this particular cruise to anyone looking for adventure and ready to go with the flow, especially for those amateur photographers. We enjoyed every port. I have 2 suggestions: 1-If you do one of the first couple of ... Read More
I would suggest this particular cruise to anyone looking for adventure and ready to go with the flow, especially for those amateur photographers. We enjoyed every port. I have 2 suggestions: 1-If you do one of the first couple of Alaskan cruises in the season, bring lots of layers that are thin and easy to add or stash in a "port" bag 2-Plan ahead before you leave and excursion for each port. We did this and it made it so much easier to navigate the ports. Plus, we had the advantage of seeing more than the port itself. We did not book through the cruise line but small local businesses we found online. The Nouveau steakhouse was delicious. We went the first and last night of the cruise. We received a free bottle of wine with our dinner on the first night, which we asked our server NOT to open (which we enjoyed later in the cruise). The escargot, surf and turf, lamb chops, cowboy ribeye, lobster tail, and cheesecake were tasty. TIP: Ask your server for a cheese plate (with extra crackers) "to go" to take back to your room, yummy! The comedy shows, hypnotist shows and the big jazz show were all very entertaining. If you want to truly enjoy glacier bay, I would suggest getting a balcony for your room. Then on that day order room service for breakfast and lunch (45 mins before you actually want it). Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This was mine and my husbands 5th cruise, 4th with carnival. We have only been to Mexico due to us living in Utah, it is more fees-able. This was our second balcony room, though this one was a surprise for my husbands birthday. It was hard ... Read More
This was mine and my husbands 5th cruise, 4th with carnival. We have only been to Mexico due to us living in Utah, it is more fees-able. This was our second balcony room, though this one was a surprise for my husbands birthday. It was hard to keep it a surprise though since he tries to be involved. I had been planning this vacation since about September of 2011 with two days prior in San Diego. We were road tripping from Utah to San Diego, about a 800 mile trip. We stopped about half way in Vegas. We have been to Vegas many times and have stayed in just about every hotel on the strip. This time was strictly business however since we were on a mission to sunny California! So i decided to book an off the strip hotel, South Point. It was FABULOUS! My first taste of steak n shake, umm hello deliciouness. We arrived the following day into San Diego and had a 2 night reservation at the Best Western Island Palms. OK just a preface: i am a research fanatic. I devote a TON of time into researching everything that goes into a cruise including pre and post. Let me just say that the Best Western Island palms exceeded our expectation 10 fold and definitely held up to their great reputation on Trip Adviser. We reserved the snooze and cruise package since we needed parking. This is one of the only hotel that will allow you to park more than 7 nights with no additional charges. I had the Marina King view in rm 530. LOVED IT!!!! We did the typical touristy things in san diego including sea world. Before we knew it it was 3/2..... EMBARKATION: I only have long beach cruise terminal to compare to but I cannot imagine another cruise terminal being more dis organized and hectic. Everything was rush, rush, rush. People yelling at you to go one way while other tell you the opposite. VERY chaotic however fast enough that it was to big of a bother. We arrived at 10am and were on the ship by 11:30am. SHIP: I have read numerous reviews on the spirit class ships and all have the same common opinion of the layout, wonderful. Well I will probably be one of the first reviews to say that I did not care for the layout one bit. It is so choppy. the lido is in two sections, the corridors in the cabins are chopped up rather than long hallways ( like a maze), and the atrium is not in view from every floor like most ships but rather only from a couple decks above. Other than that though, the ship is the most GORGEOUS I have ever been on. So ornate and rich in decor. Serenity was also a great place when you could find a chair. We snagged a clam shell chair for sail away and it was perfect. STATEROOM: I had room 7241, a balcony on deck 7 directly by the elevators and stairs. Let me just lay to rest those rumors of extra noise or foot traffic. It was so conveniently located and so quiet. I am a very light sleeper also. This sailing was sold out too so i know it was lack of people either. I would book this same room again. PORTS OF CALL: Manzanillo we decided to take a taxi to Las Hadas resort. We used their facilities for free and just paid as we went. BEAUTIFUL!!! highly recommended. Puerto Vallarta we had the Las Caletas excursion booked through the ship. It was just mediocre honestly. they said open bar on the boat ride to and from and while at las caletas. what they fail to mention is HOW OFTEN a server will fulfill your drink order or come by period. The sand there is very rocky and not the easiest to walk on. also if you have any mobility issues this is not for you. It is a little bit of a hike to get to the beach from the boat but what i never read in a review was the hike if you had to use the restroom. no fun. Plus the "mexican buffet" was not very mexican, very limited options for a picky eater. Cabo was GREAT!!!! We got off the ship and went straight off the dock and bought an excursion. We went snorkeling and whale watching for 4 hours, a REAL open bar on the boat, GREAT service, for 35pp on the Oceanus. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. After 2 days in Cabo we had a stop in Ensenada but we just did some shopping. As far as activities on sea days go we often found ourselves with nothing to do. For us though that was ok because we spent that open time simply relaxing. I didn't feel rushed or like I had 5000 things I wanted to do. The service on the ship was ok, not above and beyond any other cruise. Stu, the cruise director got on my last nerve. He just has an arrogance about him that I couldn't get around. Also most of the lounge singers were pretty bad. and the revues were mediocre. FOOD: I am a picky eater and most of the food even in the buffet has a gourmet flare to it. I never went hungry though so they were doing something right! We had anytime dining which was great but you just don't get the same attention or personalization. The best food we have every eaten was had in the Nouveau steakhouse. So worth the money! All in all after 9 nights we got used to the layout and the ship itself and had THE BEST CRUISE YET. There are positives and negatives to all in life but the pros heavily out weighed the cons. This was such a memorable cruise and i would recommend the Carnival spirit to all. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
DH and I arrived into Seattle greeted by wonderfully blue skies the morning before our cruise. Our luggage secured, we were met by the Town Car service which we had prehired, Metropolis Town Cars for $45.00. The driver, while quiet, ... Read More
DH and I arrived into Seattle greeted by wonderfully blue skies the morning before our cruise. Our luggage secured, we were met by the Town Car service which we had prehired, Metropolis Town Cars for $45.00. The driver, while quiet, answered any questions we had about the area and the car was clean en route to our hotel for the evening; Inn at the Market. I cannot say enough fabulous things about this quaint hotel steps away from Pike Place Market. We arrived to be told that we had been upgraded to an water view room, however it was not quite ready which we had figured since it was only 11am. They offered refreshments and to store our luggage and told us they would call us as soon as it was ready. We first headed to the rooftop deck of the hotel and caught a glimpse of the Puget Sound with the ferries and other boats before heading into the hubbub of the market. Walking around Pike Place and seeing the sights was fabulous. We love to People Watch, and this was the place to do it. Stopping at one stand for some Fish & Chips, our phone rang and it was the hotel telling us our room was ready, so we headed back where we retrieved our keys. Entering our room, we were surprised by a complimentary cake from the hotel for our anniversary. It was chocolate wonderfulness which we discovered later that evening after dinner. We walked over to Pioneer Square and decided to do the Underground Tour. While very historical and funny at times, our guide was just okay. Following the tour, we went over to Smith Tower and went up to the Chinese Room to see the sights of the city. It offers the same heights as the Space Needle at 1/3 the cost and by doing the UT first, they further discounted the cost. After walking back to the hotel, we decided to freshen up before heading to dinner. DH had gotten a recommendation from a co-worker before our trip about Cutter's Bayhouse which is near the north end of Pike Place just past the park. While the views were spectacular, the food was just okay. We walked back to our room, stopping at the Original Starbucks. Waking the next morning early due to the time difference, we discovered that the sunny skies had been replaced by the typical Seattle grey gloom. We decided to walk to the Space Needle which was 1.5 miles or so away. I was a bit surprised that even at 6:30, there were not many coffee shops or restaurants open. Seeing a landmark in the distance and deciding to walk to it, took us up many streets that we probably wouldn't have picked, but we never felt unsafe. We walked back towards the waterfront and spoke to people who were carving a Memorial Totem for someone. After seeing jellyfish in the water and taking several pictures of the sights we climbed the stairs at Harbor Steps and headed back to the Market to see them open. I didn't realize that the non permanent vendors have to take their wares home each evening, and bid on a stall each morning prior to setting up-- it was very interesting to watch. Getting to Beecher's just as they were opening, we watched them pump the milk into the store from a truck and start a batch of cheese and ordered the perfect breakfast: Macaroni & Cheese which beat out Bobby Flay on his food challenge show. After stopping for a post card to mail to our kiddo back home, we walked back to the hotel to check out and head over to Smith Cove Terminal. Checking out of the hotel, they called a taxi for us to get to the terminal which cost $15.00 with tip. Taking our luggage into the building with us, we handed everything over to the porters who refused our tip, before going upstairs towards security which was a breeze at 11am. There was no line at all. Our carry on bags placed on the conveyor, we passed through the metal detector and headed to VIP to get our sign and sail cards. After answering the prerequisite health questions and confirming our cash account we were set. We chose to take the pre boarding photo which they had set up in the waiting area and after sitting for around 20 minutes while the wedding parties were boarded, we stepped up to get our mug shots to get on the ship. Once on board, we went to the Lido area where we ate lunch and mingled with a couple we had been talking to prior to boarding. Finishing our meal, we decided to explore the ship that we would call home for the next week. I've decided that whoever chose the ships decor was obviously on crack. Each of the elements were beautiful in their own right, but nothing ever went together. From the dark wood and leaded stain glass lighting with it's intricate iris' inlays in one area to the mummies in the lounge area or the villages in the comedy club. The lido was bright and a bit garish, but would fit in with the upbeat feel for a tropical cruise. The piano bar was decked out like an over the top Asian restaurant. The sushi bar area looked to be an afterthought as it was just a cart pushed in the corner near the casino. The shopping area was okay. I know that the ship depends on Duty Free sales, however I thought that the mega pack of cigarettes adorning the windows were tacky. Discovering that our room was ready at 1:00, we headed that way to check out our suite. The cabin was roomy, with a ton of closet space. The one outlet for the room is in the dressing area, so our plug extender came in handy. Though we didn't use the tub, it was nice it was there just in case. Our bags were delivered by 2:30 and we unpacked prior to sail away and we met Manuel, our room steward. There was a chocolate cake from Bon Voyage sent by our PVP along with anniversary decorations and chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne was on ice in the bucket... After heading to the Muster Drill, we went back to our own balcony to watch as we pulled away from the pier. The seas that night were a bit rough and continued into the next morning. We literally were like the balls in a pinball machine bumping into walls at times and I was thankful I was wearing the Scopolamine patch for motion sickness. We had chosen Your Time Dining and loved it. For the most part we had a table for two right by the window except one night(day 4) when we decided to eat with a group, which was a bit awkward since they were Mormon and we each had a drink, however we made the most of it and still had a good time. We got to see the dinner shows a couple times, so I guess we just planned it right. Being formal night, we took several pictures. It was our actual anniversary so the waiters sang to us which reminded me of the waiters in a Christmas Story movie at the end. Each night we headed for our nightly 5:00pm sushi appetizers before changing for dinner. After dinner we went and watched the karaoke and adult comedy each night. We caught the one "big" show, but I honestly fell asleep in it, so it wasn't not very memorable. Now for the Ports/Excursions: Tracy Arm Fjord~ after reading fabulous things about this excursion, I decided that we were going to do this and I am so glad that we did. We chose the afternoon excursion, but even if you choose to stay aboard the Spirit, the sights were truly breathtaking as we finagled our way towards Sawyer Glacier. The water is a milky jade color from the glacial silt. The mountains springing up from the water climbing towards the heavens... I just cannot say enough about it. We were able to see whales, seals and bald eagles from our balcony. After the morning group got back on board, we got on the catamaran and headed right up to the glaciers. The boat captain idled along the way in photographic areas and they even brought a bit of an iceberg on board for people to taste/feel. Hot chocolate was provided along with smoked salmon and on the way back to the ship, a humpback breached right in front of us which we managed to capture with the camera--yay!! Skagway~ We decided that we would horseback ride in the Dyea Valley. It was beautiful. This is a quaint town that doesn't even have a stop light. We were able to buy a charger for my camera here though since I packed the wrong one, which was great since our other camera had bit the dust. We walked through the local grocery store and was amazed at the prices of things-- hotdogs were over $6.00 a package and milk exceeded $5.00 a gallon. We were at this port the longest, even though it was the smallest. Juneau~ We chose the Guide's Choice Glacier Hike. It was marvelous. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the history, animals and plants of the area. While at a leisurely pace, this excursion is still not for the out of shape. At one point we had to climb 300 stairs. We went from sea level to 1000 feet in elevation seeing the moss draped woods, waterfalls, the Mendenhall Glacier along with salmon spawning. It was a warm day, we even went back to the ship and donned our swimsuits and laid out. Ketchikan~ At the last minute, we decided to do an excursion which was the Orca Beach boat ride/Hike combo. The beautiful weather the two ports prior had left and we were met with a foggy mist. Of all of the excursions, we liked this one the least. After getting in a van for 45 minutes, we boarded a blow up raft type boat, and while we did see two eagles nesting and a fur seal with her baby, the hike was lame. It was on an island where we had to stay on wooden planks that had roof shingles laid on them for traction. Our guide was a college student who had just come up literally two weeks prior and really didn't have much to offer. After walking the mile loop and seeing the trees that had fallen, we were escorted to their camp area where we were offered drinks and Ritz Crackers with salmon. Finally back on the little boat towards their pier we had to wait as someone else had parked in their slip. Thankfully, the van was waiting for us so we could go back towards the ship, since we were pushing time before our departure. Victoria~ Since we were here the least amount of time and it was our final night on board, we decided that we would not disembark and instead made reservations at the steakhouse. It was a good thing, too, since this port had been cancelled due to cross winds. We sat in Victoria Bay all night though before pulling away around 1:00 am. Disembarking & Final Thoughts: Be forewarned, the ports are 90% jewelry stores. We were told that they are owned by the cruise lines collectively, but we aren't sure if that's true, so if you aren't doing an excursion, it could be hard to just see the real towns. I felt that being in both Juneau & Ketchikan were rushed and they could do a better time of balancing the time in the ports. We were suckered into collecting the coin set and charms from the towns which meant that we had to go to 9 jewelry stores and try something on. If you have the will power to say no, you can get two souvenirs for free. The cost of pictures were shocking. The 8x10's are $21.95 and they don't offer other sizes to choose from, plus looking each day at the walls for the pictures is very very cumbersome. I think they would do much better if they did it like WDW, where you give your card to the camera guy and then everything is electronic and you can choose to print it and download it from a website. The naturalist Michelle came on the PA quite frequently and indicated when we would see sights. Instead of opening your door, constantly, you can tune your TV to channel 5 to hear her. Stu the Cruise Director wasn't too bad, however before disembarking the wake up call was pretty annoying, especially since he told us we were in Hawaii. I was looking for a luau and was greeted by Seattle fog :( Even though we were given group 1, we did self assist disembarking and were off the ship by 8:35. Customs was a breeze, I guess since we didn't actually make a foreign port. We gave our passports to the agent and literally walked on through. Our bags weren't checked, nor were we questioned. We took almost 800 pictures and had a great anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We were refugees from one of the canceled Splendor cruises and were happy to rebook on the Spirit 9 day!! This was our 2nd time on the Spirit and since we live in San Diego this embarkation port is especially nice for us!We DID start out ... Read More
We were refugees from one of the canceled Splendor cruises and were happy to rebook on the Spirit 9 day!! This was our 2nd time on the Spirit and since we live in San Diego this embarkation port is especially nice for us!We DID start out late because of the Tsunami but because we carryon our own luggage it was still easy to get onto the ship. We got to the port at about 12:30PM and were in group #7 to board. They didn't start boarding until about 1:45. So by the time we got to our cabin it was all ready for us!Our cabin steward was there to introduce herself and we found her very friendly and helpful throughout our trip!It is interesting to me how different folks rate things differently.WE think the decor of the Spirit is quite nice! We like looking at the glass sculptures on each deck and we really like the layout.We enjoy the walking track on deck 10and the easy way to avoid the smoke in the casino by crossing the ship on Deck3 and using the winding staircase down from the library to get back to Deck2. We also spend a lot of time in the adult only section at the aft pool/bar.We like the layout of the areas in the food court but on this voyage we thought the selections in the buffet were less interesting than the last time.We really enjoyed the food in the Main Dining Room and even ate breakfast there a few times. We had Your Time Dining and usually got there early. By the 3rd night we found a wait staff group we liked and so continued to use them for the rest of the trip. We had fine service throughout!I think that besides the change in itinerary our main disappointment was with the entertainment. There were several nights that had NO entertainment! I don't count listening to fellow travelers sing, as entertainment!! The Comedy Club was only open on the first 2 nights and the last 2 nights. One of the comedians told folks not to bother coming to other shows the 2nd night because his act would be the same!!! I have never heard of a comic that had only 1 set to perform!!The weather was absolutely fantastic with temps in the 80s and water temps in the 70s!! We especially liked our time in La Paz on the Sea of Cortez! The town was charming and my excursion to kayak at Bandera Beach was delightful!!The only bad weather was the day we returned to San Diego when we managed to get in before a big storm!We are very sad that the Spirit will be leaving San Diego to go to Australia!!We will miss her very much!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
My wife and I are 49/52 and this was our 6th cruise, 2nd on Canival, and 1st to Mexican Riviera.We flew in and nearly missed the ship d/t bad weather in San Diego.Very quick shuttle to port. $5 pp,and we were quickly on board.So here ... Read More
My wife and I are 49/52 and this was our 6th cruise, 2nd on Canival, and 1st to Mexican Riviera.We flew in and nearly missed the ship d/t bad weather in San Diego.Very quick shuttle to port. $5 pp,and we were quickly on board.So here goes. EMBARKATION:very quick d/t late arrival.Ship left late d/t many late flts into airport.We were on the ship in about 15 min w/ no hassles. SHIP:easy to get around on.Only 1 main dining room.Generally well kept and maintained.Nice decor we thought.Spent alot of our time on fantail. CREW:very helpful,always smiling,waiters,cabin stewards were exceptional. CABIN:what we expected except for firm mattress and no thick luxurious comforters,pillows,mattress top like we had on the Valor.Bathroom plenty big enough for 2 and plenty of storage space.Only 1 110 v outlet. PUBLIC AREAS:nicely furnished and nice decor.No non-smoking sports bar to watch games.Would be nice to offer non-smoking area of casino as well. FOOD:very good w/ very good variety in main dining room.We did any-time dining and so had a window seat for 2 EVERY night.Buffet area had very good buffet style meals w/ very good variety as well.Ate at steakhouse 1 night and this was exceptional and well worth the extra fee.Sushi bar area is very tiny but had good sushi.Simply put: very good food we thought. ENTERTAINMENT:very good comedians.Theater shows some of the best we have seen.The 2 man live band at pool side we thought were good as well. DISEMBARKATION:sloooow and boring.There HAS to be a better way.2 1/2 hrs sitting around before we were off the ship.Another cheap quick shuttle to the airport though and we were headed home. COMPLAINTS:the ship did not stay in port in Cabo.We were forced to tender back by 5:30 so ship could open casino out to sea.Had we known, we would have booked room in town so we could have enjoyed/sampled the night life and not had to tender in the next morning again.My wife had cold showers 3 mornings in a row.Each day the plumber stated there was a problem and it was finally repaired on the 3rd day.But then the service desk called and informed my wife there had been no problem and it was her fault for not knowing how to use the faucet.Go figure?? SUMMARY:we are simple and easy to please people.We were both pleasantly surprised at how good a time we had that we plan to do same itinerary/ship again and this w/ my wife not caring for Carnival much. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Sailed aboard the Carnival Spirit, departed San Diego on Sunday, 28 November, 2010. We had Cabin 5133, standard balcony on the upper deck. This was our second cruise, the first being on the Elation in July of 2008. Arrived at the ... Read More
Sailed aboard the Carnival Spirit, departed San Diego on Sunday, 28 November, 2010. We had Cabin 5133, standard balcony on the upper deck. This was our second cruise, the first being on the Elation in July of 2008. Arrived at the terminal at 1300 (1 PM), joined the cattle call into the "loading chutes" and waited. Each "chute" has parallel rows of bench seats facing each other, and there are 6 or 7 chutes in total. They would "unload" one chute at a time, in sequential order, into the queue for customs/security. All things considered, our total wait time until we were walking up the brow (gangway) and boarding the ship was about an hour! Pretty efficient. Once aboard, headed to the elevators and to our deck and cabin. I had already printed out the plans to the ship and so knew where to go. Our cabin was ready and waiting for us! Enjoyed the view from the balcony of San Diego and the action on the terminal below. The ship was supposed to get underway at 1700 (5 PM), but it was 90 minutes late. Found out later that this seems to be a frequent issue with the Spirit, for some reason or other. So, I missed getting some sunset pictures of the city as we sailed out of the bay. :-( About our cabin: I use a CPAP machine, which came with a rather short power cord (36 inches). Fortunately I had the foresight to bring along an extension cord, as the AC power outlet was on the opposite side of the room, away from the head of our bed. This could have made for a bad situation, as I don't know if I would have been unable to obtain a loaner from the room steward. Second item: I am a former smoker, and am extremely sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke in my proximity. Unfortunately, the folks in the cabin forward of us were smokers, and every time they lit up on their balcony, I was "smoked" off of mine. NOTE TO CARNIVAL: As I realize that non-smoking cruise ships are money losers, how about limiting the smokers to specific cabins and/or decks, so that those "downwind" from their cabins can enjoy the fresh sea air on their balcony's, instead of stepping out and smelling "a Camel!" :-) NOTE TO CARNIVAL: We could not hear the announcements from the cruise director or the Captain, in our cabin, without having to run to the door and hold it partway open, sometimes for some rather lengthy announcements. How about adding a speaker in the cabin, equipped with a volume/mute control? Another cabin note, had to ask to have the mini-bar unlocked. Also the beds did not seem as comfortable as those on the Elation. All other observations about the cabin are positive. Plenty of drawer and hanger space. The two at-sea days on the way to Acapulco were enjoyable. Had dinner the second night in the Nouveau Steak House. Paid $30 per person extra, but the steak was melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Worth a try. The view would be spectacular - if it weren't dark outside! Couldn't see a blessed thing. Pity they aren't open for lunch! :-) Maybe we should have booked for a night when we were in port??? The rest of the meals were consumed in the formal dining room (Empire room), or in the La Playa Grill. I grabbed burgers and hot dogs/fries a couple of times from the grill by the pool. NOTE TO CARNIVAL: Several times the wife and I got our food and went to find a place to sit (La Playa), only to discover that all of the tables were taken; however, many of the 6 and 8 person tables were being used by one or two people, thereby wasting the other seats. On one occasion we finally "invited" ourselves to join a couple sitting at a table for 6. On another occasion, we were so frustrated searching for a table that we ended up setting our trays down, food and all, and just leaving. We ended up going down to the Empire room and ordering lunch there. Perhaps the tables should be reconfigured to allow for more "couples" seating, thereby freeing up more seating room? At any rate, we figure that next time there is 'no room at the inn' we will just load our trays for traveling, and take our meals back down to our cabin! Yes, there is always room service, too! :-) On the second night, I found that the forward observation decks and the jogging track were closed due to high winds. Give me a break! Both of these decks are closed-in behind 6 foot high Plexiglas wind screens! At worst someone might loose their hat! I enjoy going to the forward part of the ship at night, away from the ship lights, to watch the stars! ACAPULCO: Late arriving, rushed to get off the ship and then waited for about an hour on the pier for everyone else on our tour to show up! What a zoo! The traffic in the city is crazy! And I thought traffic in the Philippines was bad! Fortunately, we booked a tour through Carnival to the Tehuacalco Archeological zone, and so our only exposure to Acapulco was driving through it! Rode in a 15 passenger van - a tight fit. The wife and I were unable to sit next to each other due to the layout of the seating, and other passengers boarding first. Also heard from the folks in the very back of the van that they had no air conditioning! It was a long drive there - about 70 minutes. The last section was on a narrow, winding road that buses would be unable to traverse (thus the need for the vans). Very enjoyable tour, our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. Well worth the money. On the trip back, although we were within two blocks of the ship, we "had" to make the obligatory stop at the sponsored jewelry store, even though we were running late. Another couple on the tour had also booked the "Cliff divers at night" tour, and ended up missing their event. We heard later aboard the Spirit that Carnival has canceled further port visits to Acapulco, due to the increasing violence in the city. Not a city to wander around on your own! IXTAPA/ZIHUATANEJO: Took the city cultural tour. Air conditioned buses. Very pleasant, worth the money. MANZANILLO: Arrived about 0600 (6 AM). Kept waiting to hear that the gangway was open, but never did. Our tour was supposed to meet at 0815 on the pier, so finally about 0800, the wife and I made our way down to A deck and discovered that passengers were already leaving! If we had waited in our cabin for an announcement, we would have missed the tour! Took the tour into Colima, about a 90 minute bus ride in air conditioned comfort. Bus had a rest room aboard, which was nice. Excellent lunch at a restaurant in Colima. Visited the archeological ruins on the outskirts of the city. Long day, but again, a very nice tour and well worth the money! On a side note, on both our tour to Tehuacalco and our tour to Ixtapa, we noticed that there was a small pick-up truck loaded with five Federales, heavily armed with M-16 automatic rifles and side-arms. Rather, each day was a different truck. We were a little nervous at first, as they would appear at every stop we made, sometimes in the company of an ambulance. We asked our tour guide about them and were told that their presence was "just a coincidence" and not to worry. This worked for the first day, but when a new batch showed up on the second day, we knew something more was happening. They were stand-offish and never bothered us, and at one point later in the day, we began waving to them and they waved back. We finally figured out that they were "shadowing" us to keep us safe. This makes sense, as the tourist money coming in is very important to the local economies. A health note: We purchased metal water bottles aboard the ship, filled them with water (Spirit water :-)) and crushed ice, and took them with us on our tours. Did not want any troubles with Montezuma, and none occurred! The two at-sea days on our return to San Diego were pleasant. The first time I heard the cruise director on the loud speaker, I thought his voice sounded familiar. Later, we ran into the cruise director as we were re-boarding the ship from a tour. I asked him if he was the cruise director aboard the Elation in July of 2008, and he replied that he was. Stewart Dunn is his name - a very fun individual. I hope to run in to him again! Our room steward was named Heru, and he did an outstanding job for us. Really attentive. Loved the towel animals. The wife was hoping to keep them until the last night, when we could line them up and take a group photo! Alas, they were recycled each day! :-) NOTE TO CARNIVAL: You really need to get some pretzels or cocktail peanuts in the bars! They have salt, you know, and salt makes people thirsty. Thirsty people drink more, etc. etc.! Sure would be nice (and, they're cheap!) :-) Maybe I will just bring some myself next cruise! IN SUMMARY: We had a very enjoyable cruise. The ship is very clean and well maintained. I had to laugh when I read some reviews of the Spirit that noted that the ship was now 10 years old! They made it sound like the ship was a relic, ready for the breakers! On the contrary, the only damage we saw was done by some morons and cretins, who carved their names into the inside elevator doors in several places - hardly Carnivals fault! While larger than the Elation we sailed aboard previously, we found the size of the Spirit just right for us. Well planned layout, easy to get around. In fact, we decided to take advantage of the $200 ship-board credit offer and booked a 15 day voyage aboard her to Hawaii in April of 2012. We "upgraded" to an extended balcony on the 7th deck, in the middle of the ship. Really looking forward to the trip! So, THANK YOU, CARNIVAL for a very enjoyable 30th anniversary! :-) See you in 16 months! 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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