Sail Date: September 2011
Transfer to port from hotel/ airport: I strongly suggest you take Seattle Express shuttle service from your hotel to cruise port. Seattle Express is cost $12 per trip which is much cheaper compare to cruise shuttle service. Their website ... Read More
Transfer to port from hotel/ airport: I strongly suggest you take Seattle Express shuttle service from your hotel to cruise port. Seattle Express is cost $12 per trip which is much cheaper compare to cruise shuttle service. Their website is http://www.seattleexpress.com/. You also can take this service from port to airport. Cruise Cabin: Cabin in middle of ship is more convenience compare to cabin located in back or front ship. Middle of ship is near to Autrium which is more convenience to access to restaurant, lounges, disco, casino..... Food in cruise considered very good. There have buffet, restaurant, 24 hours room service, and some food also available 24 hours. Only steakhouse restaurant, you need to pay $30 per pax. For beverage, if you are interest to soda, you can buy soda card which is $6++ per day, unlimited. Their plain water, hot drinks all are free. Carnival Camp: Carnival Camp is a childcare service which are available in cruise. This is the only concern I feel no comfortable. Their childcare are not welcome baby who are under age 2. They are even not allowed baby who are under age two to use their childcare facilities. They allow a very limited of time for baby and parents to use their childcare facilities. When we were going to excursion, I handed my infant who are age 18 months in childcare. Carnival Camp's staffs seems very uncomfortable to my baby behaviour because she keep crying. One of staff even look fierce and she seems very unwilling to take care of her. Baby are unfamiliar to new environment and staffs, Carnival Camp staff should use their love and passion to comfort baby, such parents are able to go excursion. Staffs in Carnival Camp didn't try their best to comfort baby, they just want push back baby to parents. Juneau: If you only intend to visit Mendenhall Glacier and Visitor Center in Juneau, you no need to book excursion from cruise or any private tour. From cruise port, walking distance take about 5 minutes time, you can get a booth name MGT's Blue Glacier Express service. MGT website is http://mightygreattrips.com/. You can buy your ticket online as well. Round trip from cruise port/ dwontown to Mendenhall Glacier is just cost $16.00, 14 miles. Transportation run every 30 minutes. I also suggest you visit Mendenhall Glacier in early morning. Mendenhall Glacier is face to east, morning sun will made Glacier look very beautiful. You probably need 1.5 - 2.5 hours to visit glacier and visitor centre. Ketchikan: If you don't wish spent too much money on tour and excursion, you no need to buy any tours. Ketchikan has two area, downtown and new town. You can get a map of downtown, walk just need spent about 2.5 hours to see whole downtown. There is nothing in new town to see. Skagway: Skagway is just resemble a cowboy town you watch in film. There is a lot of shop in Skagway compare to Juneau and Ketchikan. There is a famous train depart from cruise port to WhitePass and Yukon. The round trip ticket is about $170+-, approximately time is 3 hours. I didn't take this train because price is too expensive. You can get some tours to go up summit by car/ van/ bus which price are much cheaper. Victoria: We arrived Victoria as our last port. There have many public transport service send you from port to Victoria downtown. It probably take 15 minutes time from cruise port to downtown. I suggest you take CVS bus service which cost USD/ CAD7.50 for round trip. Victoria is a pretty city, you can visit parliament building, harbour, Fairmont Express Hotel...... As cruise arrived Victoria already 7.30pm, most of the visitors place have closed. 2-3 hours should be enough to see all downtown. Unfortunately, we do not have enough time to go Butcher Garden and palace. 80% of passengers in cruise are senior, their age is around 45 to 80. Obviously, Alaska Cruise didn't attract much young people. This is because the price of Alaska Cruise is more expensive if compare to Carribean or Mexico Cruise. Additionally, children who are under age 2 absolutely no interest to see glacier, to visit an old and quiet town in Alaska. If you are really choose Alaska Cruise, go in May to July will be the best timing. Otherwise, weather in August and September might be cool and turn to raining season. You may miss the chance to see glacier in Tracy Arm. Conclusion, Alaska is suitable to couple without children. Romantic couple who prefer to see glacier. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
 My wife is 63 and I'm 66.  We have cruised several times before - the last time on the Glory in 2008.  We've cruised the Inside Passage twice (NCL Spirit and NCL Star) and enjoyed both of these.  We booked several months in ... Read More
 My wife is 63 and I'm 66.  We have cruised several times before - the last time on the Glory in 2008.  We've cruised the Inside Passage twice (NCL Spirit and NCL Star) and enjoyed both of these.  We booked several months in advance with Ashley at MOAA, and booked our excursions with CCL after comparing prices and finding very little significant difference. We flew Delta from Atlanta to Salt Lake City to Anchorage on Monday  the 15th.  We used FF miles and booked Business Class the whole way.  A good breakfast on one flight and a decent lunch on the other.  We arrived in Anchorage at about 2:15 pm, and the view from the plane was gorgeous as we approached.  The sky was nearly clear of clouds, and my wife got beautiful phone pictures of the glaciers. We got a cab and proceeded to the Westmark downtown (it's where the Delta flight crews stay).  The cost of the taxi with 20% tip was $23.00.  We have a friend who lives in Anchorage, so we took her to dinner, and she drove us to several of the sites around the city.  On the drive we saw 4 doll sheep (two within 30 feet) and a cow moose less than 100 feet away in a bog area.  We finally got to sleep about  4:00 am Atlanta time (midnight). On Tuesday, we rented a car from Avis - pickup point was 4 blocks from the hotel.  The Camry was comfortable and roomy for our planned trip to Seward.  The drive was beautiful along the Turnagain Arm and through the mountains.  We stopped at Portage Glacier and Exit Glacier before arriving in Seward.  We had lunch in town - we had never had rockfish before and it was great.  At 3:30 pm we boarded a boat with Renown Tours for a 3-hr nature watching tour.  We got beautiful pictures of the Bear Glacier (mammoth), whales, puffins, sea otters, sea lions.  We've never seen so many birds in one place.  The captain was very informative and funny on the trip.  We picked up some wine at the Safeway there for onboard, and then drove back to Anchorage and crashed for the night. Wednesday morning, we had breakfast in the hotel and walked around downtown Anchorage, hitting all the souvenir shops.  Alaska Cruise Transfers and Tours picked us up at 12:30 pm for the drive to Whittier - the cost was $45/person and had a wonderful narrative along the way.  We had a 30 minute wait at the tunnel, and arrived at the pier at 3:15 pm.  It took us about 20 minutes to get onboard, and our luggage arrived at the door 15 minutes after we did.  We had a balcony cabin midship on the port side Upper Deck.  We went to dinner at about 7:00 pm and were seated immediately (anytime dining).  They asked if we would mind sharing a table, so we sat at a table for six - no one sat with us and I had definitely showered that day.  The meal was good, and the service was excellent (each meal in the dining room we asked to share a table - it was a wonderful way to meet new people each time we dined).  We went back to the room and sat on the balcony relaxing.  The tunnel was closed for 1.5 hours due to a motorcycle wreck and there were delayed arrivals, so the ship didn't sail until about 10:15 pm. Thursday was College Fjord and a sea day.  Beautiful scenery.  Dinner that night was cruise elegant, so I wore a coat and tie and my wife dressed fittingly and beautifully.  We noted  that many men wore just dress shirt and tie - some wore jeans.  Also, cowboy hats in the dining room really turn me off. Friday we arrived in Sitka.  We had not been there before.  The tenders seemed to take forever to get from ship to dock.  It was an interesting town.  We walked the town and saw the major attractions in town, and then decided to walk to the Raptor Center.  On the way, we went in a beautiful little church (St Peter's by the Sea),  had beautiful views of the Spirit through the harbor, stopped at the fish hatchery, viewed the totem poles, walked through the National Forest, and arrived at the Raptor Center.  Worth the price of admission.  What these people do for injured raptors is truly amazing with the ultimate goal of releasing them back to the wild.  Up close with eagles (bald and golden), hawks, peregrine falcon, owls, etc is a rewarding experience.   We walked back to town, and had a late lunch (halibut) at the Westmark hotel restaurant.  No excursion there - just a nice walkable town. Juneau was on Saturday.  We walked around town seeing all the jewelers and had a mandatory drink in the famous Saloon.  We walked back to the dock and boarded a bus to take us to our 1:00 pm whale watching excursion and salmon feast we had booked through CCL.  The boat was a two-level craft with lots of open space.  Within 40 minutes, we saw a mother humpback and her calf cavorting in the waters.  They were surface feeding and breaching for the full 30 minutes we were allowed to stay with them.  Interestingly, Capt Larry was there at the same time.  I believe the considerably higher boat we were on allowed a better angle for much better viewing and photography with no noticeable crowding at the rails.  We photographed two other humpbacks, sea lions, eagles, and awesome views of Herbert and Mendenhall glaciers.  We went back to Juneau for the salmon eat and were not disappointed.  Salmon and chicken grilled perfectly with all the side dishes you could want.  The area was picturesque with a beautiful waterfall - reminded us of Liarsville in Skagway. Sunday morning we arrived in Skagway.   On our previous trips we had ridden the White Pass Railway up the mountains to Fisher in British Columbia (a must if you've never done it), so this time we rented a Camry from Avis and drove to the Yukon.  The drive is beyond awesome - nothing compares to the scenery you view.  We stopped in Carcross for ice cream at Matthew Watson's - an interesting store and good ice cream.   It was Aboriginal Day in Carcross,, so we were fortunate to see many people in Native attire and the Mounties were in full dress.  We drove on to Emerald Lake with a stop at the sand desert area along the way.  The drive back to Skagway was similarly stunning scenery.  If you do this drive, watch the speed limit.  We saw 4 Skagway police radar units on the descent from British Columbia to Skagway.  We got back to Skagway around 2:30 pm, walked the town, and easily got back on the ship with plenty of time to spare.  It was extremely windy on the walk back.  When we departed, the Captain said that the wind was 30 knots and we were travelling 20 knots directly into the wind, so the actual wind on the balcony was in the neighborhood of 50 knots.  Once again, great scenery and the naturalist Michelle had interesting tidbits of info along the way to Ketchikan. We arrived in Ketchikan at 11:00 am on Monday.  We really like Ketchikan in spite of all the souvenir and jewelry stores.  It's quaint.  We visited the downtown stores and picked up all the freebies from the merchants.  We walked back to the pier at 1:00 pm and boarded the bus to the George Inlet Lodge and Crab Feast excursion.  When we got to the Lodge, we donned wet weather gear and went on a boat to pull up some crab pots.  The first pot was filled with huge Dungeness crabs and a couple of starfish which we all handled before releasing them back in the water.  Our guide, Paul, was very interesting and knowledgeable.  When we returned to the lodge, they served all-you-can-eat crab.  Our table overflowed the shell waste container, and the crab just kept on coming.  On the return bus ride, we saw more bald eagles and huge salmon forcing their way up one of the creeks.   We walked to Creek Street, the old brothel street, and watched a young man catching crab off the bridge - he caught three keepers while we were there.  We then walked back to the ship, sort of dreading the fact that we would only have one more day aboard. The Inside Passage was on Tuesday.  Once again, the scenery was beautiful.  We passed quaint lumbering towns, lots of fishing and sail boats, and some gorgeous oceanview homes.  I did see two humpback whales from the balcony that were close enough to photograph. Vancouver, Wednesday, debarkation.  We had breakfast in the buffet, and departed our cabin reluctantly at 8:15 am.  The cabin stewardess had told us we could stay til 8:30 without causing her any delay.  Since we were staying in the city one night, we didn't need an early debarkation number.  Ours was 28, and we were off the ship and on our way to the Park Inn at 9:45.  We checked in and then walked to Granville Island in the light rain.  This was the first day that was rainy.  Granville Island is an interesting collection of fish and produce markets.  We had our last halibut fish and chips for lunch on Granville Island and a great Indian dinner near the hotel. Home on Thursday.  We took a cab to the airport for our return Delta flights to Atlanta.  It's nice to clear US Customs in the Vancouver airport.  We had a short flight to Salt Lake City and then, with a 40 minute turnaround, on to Atlanta, with a very good dinner and wine in Business Class. Service on the Spirit was very good.  The dining room wait staff was exceptional - seemed to have time to talk and give advice.  Our cabin stewardess was nearly invisible, but efficient; and, the towel animals were appreciated as always. Food on board was also very good.  We had breakfast in the room, at the buffet, and in the dining room - all very nice.  Surprisingly, we never saw a crowded buffet area and never waited for a table in the dining room using anytime dining.  Dinners at both the buffet and dining room were also good.  The prime rib in both was very good, cooked medium rare the way it's supposed to be done.  My wife thought the crème brulee was good, and she's a connoisseur when it comes to that dish. The Entertainment started off poorly but got better as the week progressed.  The first show routine was very poor - no energy, poor choreography.  Then we went to the Blues Brothers show.  Chris (the cruise director) and Mark (assistant) gave the best performance of the week - it was outstanding.  Then, the final dance show was much more memorable.  The comedians and so forth were average.  And, the Legends Show was a great topping on the cruise. Looking back, it was a great cruise - relaxing, fun, entertaining, and certainly memorable.  The weather was unbelievably beautiful.  We love Alaska, and the Carnival Spirit was a great way to visit. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
If you are expecting variety, pleasant atmosphere, entertainment, luxury, relaxation, or well maintained facilities, EVEN wifi, you'll be in for a nasty shock. This was our first cruise. We will NOT be going back to Carnival ... Read More
If you are expecting variety, pleasant atmosphere, entertainment, luxury, relaxation, or well maintained facilities, EVEN wifi, you'll be in for a nasty shock. This was our first cruise. We will NOT be going back to Carnival cruises ever again. Our cruise was just a 4 dayer to Moreton Island. It's fortunate my husband and I can entertain ourselves, because this cruiseline is geared towards a) little children who don't know any better b) people who like to be in bars for 26 hours a day c) those with bad hearing d) dummies who would pay for things that should be freely available and e)....ah...shall I say less than your average sort of person. BOARDING: We had priority boarding. It went quite well. We arrived at 11am and boarded at 11.10. The problem was, our room was supposed to be one of the first ready, and it wasn't. No where near. We had nothing to do for 2 hours + while it was sorted. In fact, doors to accommodation were closed, with signes on Do Not Enter, until 1.30. Even then, ours was still locked and incomplete with no card to get in. Apparently we should have been able to get in early. So we had to hang around, lucky Sydney was so pretty to look at. CABIN: Our room was nice, we'd paid extra for a vista suite, one of the most roomy cabins in the ship, aft. Very nice, and nice and clean thanks to our very nice lady, Sunny, who was one of the few highlights of the cruise. The balcony was dirty and glass filthy. Don't expect a roomy suite, it's still a little cramped, but to be expected. It has a very nice balcony, wrap around the stern. Worth the money for the view and the 'get away from it all'. It had a delicious bed,...that's one of the 'dot' ratings. Pillows annoying, but the bed was lovely. The room had curtains on rails which swung and squeaked after every trough and wave. Try that when you're going to sleep??? Door to the bathroom kept swinging too. The lights, which dimmed if held pressed, were a nightmare to navigate. all over the place and which ones did which was a mystery. Plenty of hanging space and drawers (if you need that sort of thing), a big bathroom, if you need THAT sort of thing. Stupid shower water mixer, obviously people are scalded by it, because there was a sign on the wall. I hate combo faucet/shower heads where you have to press or pull the button to choose. A small lounge area with TVs, one chair had back wheels missing, never could work out if on purpose so it leaned back, or not. Lounge was diabolical. FAR to wide to sit leaning back, and vinyl, so you slipped when you tried. No cushions. If you're only 157cm, (5'2") it was ridiculous. Bottles of water cost $4.50 each. Not even one for free. Hmmmm. I'm beginning to start to wonder. DECOR: of the ship......oLD FASHIONED TACK. oh me..oh my. Think a cross between a bad Buckingham Palace / Titanic / Op shop - and you'll get my drift. (pardon the pun). ANY level surface was patterned with faux 1930s patterns. Nauseating carpet patterns, golden cupids and fat GOLD heads, swirls and glass and pretend copper and brass, wood veneer, and giant chandeliers and claw footed furniture. Oh, and my personal favourite.....the fake frescos of nude gods, goddesses, angels and just...well just naked people badly painted ...actually really HORRIBLY painted, all over the ceilings and on multiple rondels around the walls. Add to that the framed artwork...matching I'll add....of (yes you guessed it) more naked people, very ordinary artworks of things like greek gods. In our suite, Venus was being fondled by Cupid. It was pedophilic. I can't understand why someone let that be hung in a room! You've no idea how off-putting it was to wake up to that huge poster every morning. the artist should be shot. So should the decorator. It was the most hideous attempt at vintage glamour I've ever seen. TACKY. Ostentatious Tack. MAINTENANCE: The outside of the ship was not much better. I was literally scared that the balcony of our room might fall off, there was so much rust under the paint. The RAILING was stuck on top of the old one, which was warped, peeeling and rusted. The glass along the railing was absolutely filthy, as were our cabin windows. That's a shame since you could see nothing when inside the cabin, looking through dirty windows and a dirty glass railing. aLL throught the ship I noticed peeling veneer, broken foam faux gold leaf cupids etc, In our suite I found it ludicrous that a fairly nice birds eye veneer was used on cupboards and drawers and then old 1980s gold tone plastic handles attached which colour was worn off. Wardrobe door would not slide. Looking at the interior of other ships, this one was a decor disaster, and I'm not even fussy! SAFETY DRILL - i WAS pretty annoyed when we were hearded out onto the deck (though the temp was nice) and made to stand there for 20 minutes, while nothing happened, then a ridiculously simple safety blurb - how to put on a life jacket. (really??) and then stand there for a nother 10 minutes whjile nothing happens. Then a very loud horn (there go a few more of my aural cilia) and we're apparently allowed to go. FOOD: tHERE are 3 main areas to eat. a) the communal eat what you want, as much as you want, wheneve you want. (Except you can't, because it's not open all the time, only the pizza, tea and coffee is.) b) The posh restaurant upstairs. c) the main restaurant comprising of 2 levels. The food was ok. Pretty good, acceptable. I don't want to make it sound great. It was fresh enough,a nd there was plenty of it. We ate at all 3 places. POSH RESTAURANT; we booked in very early. Months ago. When we arrived we were annoyed that there was not a window table as we'd asked. "Sorry, we don't do that' he said. Why book then?? He said first come first served. Again...why book then? Food was nice, but my lobster was way overcooked. I'd say in a warmer or something for a while. It was even tough to cut. (It was my one splurge dinner.) Sides were ordered. Broccoli. 2 tiny pieces of broccoli. (If I'd known that I would have order 4 serves!!) and mash with wasabi for my husband. About 2 tablespoons of mash with no wasabi. I couldn't taste any. He couldn't taste any. So I'm saying the sides were a waste of effort. Big steak though. And tender. And we were asked "All OK?" "All good?" "Is food ok?" so many times, I lost count. Literally 20 times by 3-4 different people. It was sooooooo annoying. I had a mushroom entree which was delicious. Then the overcooked lobsters. Then a chocolate sphere, which I understood to be filled with something else..., actually it was all just chocolate, melted with melted chocolate, and with chocolate inside and chocolate smeared on the edge. ERgh. I love choc. But no counterpoint to give some contrast it was sickly. Hey chef, ever heard of raspberries? or orange? or even cream? Meals are $55 for choice of 3 courses. EMPIRE RESTAURANT: (THE middle one) Staff are tremendous. Work like trojans serving all the hundreds of people, sitting at decadently decorated tables in the ostentatious huge dining room. They're quick, efficient, and super friendly. The menu is not anything special. It has most of the food that is also served upstairs at the posh restaurant (for an exctra $30), and all of the food from the serve yourself buffet, but put on a plate for you. (free). You can choose what you want, multiple times if you want. So it's really like a buffet, but you can't see the food and someone else gets it for you. It's ok food though. Except I had bouillabaise last night which was just a broth with a few teeny bits of seafood chucked in at the last minute. And a cooked apple with lime pie inside, the apple was so tough I couldn't cut it, obviously not cooked enough, and my husband had one too, but it was only half the size!!! Breakfast is also held in this room. BUFFET: Welcome to cattle class. In many respects. Pushers, shovers, pigs. (sorry, but true. - I guess this style attracts it.) I enjoyed my couple of visits to the buffet as the food was fine, it was the people who weren't. Also, Carnival, your set up...organisation of food stations is abysmal. Identical lines of food from both sides, both converging inwards to the same place is ridiculous. Especially when that place is also the coffee and tea station. I enjoyed a cantina outside which did taco type things. It was fresh and interesting. There's an all day pizza place, but other than that, only tea coffee hot choc and something they called lemonade, but to us (Aussies) it's very strong sweet lemon cordial. It was hideous. Really, no soft drinks or even WATER!!! No juice either. I suppose you could get it from the bar if you wanted to. BARS: Speaking of bars...the inumerable multiple bars all over the ship. You couldn't escape them. Clearly the focus of attention for designers. 2/3 of the public areas ...at least...were bars. Maybe you like that.. I didn't. Why on earth would you drink inside a ship, when you could ...well...drink outside of one? And why is there a need for 7 or more bars? Bar people will not make drinks to order. One day, I went to get a cocktail. I wanted one without orange juice as I'm allergic to it. I asked for a cocktail off the list, but substitute the oj for coconut milk or something, as I like it creamy. Barman said no. I thought he was joking. He said can't do. I said 'What?" he said can't leave out orange juice. I said I don't want oj. He said I can't do. People around me are shaking their heads...what? why? pick something else. OK...pina colada but no ice. No. Can't do. (pina colada's aren't made like dacquiri, they're not icy, and he was making them like that.) No can't do. I asked him why, he just shook his head. I said, but I'm paying for it!!! So I had to make a complaint. I never ever complain. Long stoir short. Dep Head Barman explained. They won't make drinks to order. Too many people on board. (I'm thinking, why would you hire barmen that can't make drinks to order? the bars are never crowded because there's so many of them.) Also, apparently no coconut milk. Really? on a tropical cruise? They use pina colada mix. No pineapple juuice, no coconut cream. Just a stodgy looking mixture. ergh. NO WIFI - unbelievably, there is no wifi on the ship. (I'm not an idiot, I can work out why. - they do not want passengers on their phones or tablets for free, instead of bars and restaurants, casino and shops where they would be spending money.) For this reason also, there is NO NEWSAGENT, NO BOOKSHOP etc on board. They don't want you reading, when you could be drinking or gambling or otherwise spending more money!!! So after leaving sydney and my 4g carks it, I start to wonder. Where is the wifi. I get the Carnival Hub,a nd to my dismay it costs $72 PER PERSON to get 4 day cruise long middle of the road wifi. (not hispeed and not all sites, eg no youtube). You can switch devices, but not at the same time. So husband and I could not be on wifi at once unless we had two accounts. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Even aeroplanes have wifi. Coober Pedy, in the desert of South Australia has wifi and that's 850 kilometres away from the nearest city. And you're telling me acruise ship, 10kms off coast, can't give wifi? It's because it's another cash grab. Pay for wifi, or pay to do something else. No entertainment for free on this ship. So we bought ONE wifi account, swapping devices, and only one of us using it at a time, when we needed to. however. IT WOULDN'T WORK IN OUR BEDROOM OR ON OUR BALCONY. Wifi is garbage on the ship. It's slow, and I don't know about you, I like lying in bed looking at emails whenI'm on hols. And I had to sit on the bed, as I couldn't sit on the slide wide sofa. But I couldn't get wifi in the bedroom. Soooooo annoying when I'd paid $72 for it. That's more than 2 months worth of wifi I pay at home! ENTERTAINMENT: As you may have observed, I'm not a fan of 24 hour drinking, gambling or eating. I naively expected there to be entertainment on board. Adult entertaiment. Not "ADULT" but for adults. Not bean bag tossing. Not the hairy chest competition. :/ NOT a lecture about ...wait for it....wrinkles. I didn't want to have my photo taken, I can do that. I would have played trivia or even bingo in a pinch, but these more fun games were held in random spaces in side passages in a few seats in a cafe with people filing past and talking through them. It was impossible. Adn it wasn't for grown ups so kids were running around and talking. Seriously? Think about it. Can't hear the question, can't hear the answer. No point. So...THINGS TO DO. Virtually nothing. Unless you like drinking eating or gambling or spending money on rubbish. There are shops (jewellery, souvenirs, photos.) tHAT'S it. There are theme nights, if you're willing to risk your hearing. An 80s night for this cruise. Nothing else going. So if it's raining or windy, be aware. You will be very very bored. No internet, no books, tiny pools, no activities worth doing. Just a thought...Carnival. Try some FREE activities. What about a 'get fit' class on the deck. What about an 'All about Moreton Island' exhibition for 2 days ont he way there, and an 'all about the ocean' exhbition on the way back. What about a singalong, a talent show, a cooking exhibition. What about a FREE tour of the engine room (you had to pay). What about a mini borrow-library? A music room? A makeup show. The activities were pathetic and cash grabs, and here's the worst of them. ART AUCTION: There was the most bizarre art show I have ever witnessed. And being an artist myself, I have witnessed plenty, including some pretty odd ones. The organiser was a woman who spoke 3.75 x the speed of sound. Even when she was speaking 'normally'. People were sniggering behind their hands at her. She needs to take something to slow her up a bit. Around 30 minutes of blurb on how, why, who and when, would have been soporific, but for the voice of Speedy Gonzales. she informed us that SHE would determine the starting price, NOT the buyers who usually start an auction. (OK....), and SHE would put in bids whenever she felt necessary. (??? OK......) And the starting bid for the first piece of work was $6000. Six Grand. Did I hear correctly? or have my ears lost 75% hearing due to the ridiculous noise of the music in all the bars? You might not flinch at that. But the 'work', was done in highlighter and permanent marker. In fact, I have never seen such a flagrant upsell, overqualifying sales pitch for such utter rubbish in all my life. The 'works', were clearly up to 20 years old, absolutely revolting pictures, sad huge old gold tone wooden frames bashed and beaten, and reused over and over agiain, with the work begin recycled for cruise after cruise, until some idiot buys it. at $6000. I would say none of the work was painted in Australia. It6 looked like 1980s American junk store stuff. Oh boy. To add insult to injury, a 'free' glass of champagne and orange was offered just before the auction to soften the wallets of the numbskulls who were considering a hefty purchase. Only to be outbid by the seller, who could put in a bid over you to bid you up. Leaving you bidding against yourself. They called it 'collecting'. You can collect art from your cruises. People. People. Do yourself a favour. Go to Saint Vincent de Paul op shop. Pick up the same type of thing for $4 and be done with it. Or better, go to the art show of a local community Art Society and pick up a beautiful artwork recently painted, with genuine provenance, and the blessing of the artist, in a clean and modern frame. $500 should buy you a real cracker! PUBLIC AREAS: did I mention the music? No relaxing music, just super loud, aggravating ear pounding music. In all the bars, and pool areas. All the time. Even the accoustic guitar guy, who was the best of them, was sooooooo loud I wouldn't have put my children in the pool near him. No relaxing anywhere there. Nup. SPEAKING OF POOLS: Not pools. small spa style areas. They LOOK like pools in the pictures because of the huge overflow areas, like paddle areas about 1" deep, but which take up 2/3 of the pool area. The pools themselves are minute. About 4-5 metres long adn 2-3 metres wide. It would fit 20 people in max. No self respecting adult is going to get into a pool that small with 100 kids trying to get in. There is a 'serenity' area which has an even smaller pool. Think about it. Thousands of people. tiny tiny pools. I didnt travel with my older chldren, thank goodness. they would have been bored out of their trees. MORETON ISLAND. We loved it. We took our snorkel gear and walked the 2kms or whatever it is up to the wrecks and swam around on them looking at the gorgeous sea life. Then found a quiet sushi bar and bought an Asahi and a sushi. OH! I almost forgot. THE SHUTTLE BOAT. How could I forget that. It was an exciting experience to say the least. The WAITING: We were told we could o over at any time. We left at 9.50. We didn't ACTUALLY leave until 11.10am. Why? because there were tiny shuttle boats, and so few of them, and we were all herded into the auditorium with numbers, waiting our turn. It took over an hour for our turn. Really? There has to be a better way. The cruise director made it sound like we were SOOOO lucky to be getting on "Now for lucky 38. If you're 38 you can go to the island!!" It was ridiculous. At least have some entertainment for the 400 or so people all waiting to leave. the DRIVER: Picture this. You give your $150,000 car to your 14 year old to drive up to the shops and back. That's what it felt like. On the return trip, our boat driver was so pitiful it beggared belief. My husband is a Master 5 ticket holder, meaning he can drive BIG boats. He felt like he should go and offer assistance he was so pathetic. First, he zigzagged his way through the passage with reverse thrusters every time he needed to slow or turn. (use twice as much fuel and spin the boat around erratically, over steering to compensate.) It took 10x longer to get back than it did to come over. Worst, when we came alongside the ship, he tried to reverse it again, it should have taken around 12 seconds, with maybe 3 manouvres. It was a fairly calm sea. He botched it so badly the boat spun around 360 degrees TWICE! another boat came in, instead, probably to show the driver how to do it. (aka don't reverse up, just drive up to it!!) our driver still did not do that, mucking around over steering and reversing, and ultimately going forward, but so poorly he crashed into the SHIP!! All the passengers screamed, and while I knew nothing would happen, the sound was tremendous and the other passengers scared. Crew were standing on the ship watching the pitiful attempt, in disbelief. There was even a small vessel coming in, a bumpered vessel like a 'pusher', to help 'push' the shuttle into position. It was atrocious. And terrible of Carnival to hire boat drivers in charge of their passengers who have no skill and put lives at risk. They should be ashamed. You may have figured this kind of cruise is not for me. I have done many things like this, and don't get seasick. But I was dismayed at this cruise. It was a cash grab pure and simple. Only the staff saved it. Most of them anyway. They were helpful and worked hard. Probably don't get paid enough for the hard work they do. Most were overseas workers from the Philippines or Russia. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Hi, Just some word of advice, you need to be very careful before you decide to cruise with Carnival. The Spirit is in poor shape, in cabin furniture falling apart, gym equipment not working, mini golf course in tatters, broken doors and ... Read More
Hi, Just some word of advice, you need to be very careful before you decide to cruise with Carnival. The Spirit is in poor shape, in cabin furniture falling apart, gym equipment not working, mini golf course in tatters, broken doors and glass. Be careful if your intending to bring a bottle of Alcohol along, it was my Wife's birthday and we intended to celebrate on board with a bottle of liquor, this was confiscated and was promised to be given back at the end of the cruise, instead they so called disposed of the bottle. Food is deplorable and un hygienic especially in the buffet areas. Unused food is recycled from day to day. We experienced food that was well passed its use by date, unfit for consumption, we also found foreign objects in our food which the staff found amusing. Food is poorly designed, lacks flavour and is based on quantity rather than quality. Vegetarians will be extremely disappointed, every day the same, tinned vegetables and heavy unhealthy dressings, food is out of refrigeration for far too long. There is not a great deal of entertainment available, very predictable, nothing spectacular, this is very boring especially when you sale at sea for a number of days. Alcohol prices are extremely high, considering they purchase alcohol at duty free prices. Sneaky unethical up selling is rampant, customer care staff don't care. Spa staff are rude and entrap you to buy longer periods or products. Sorry, but you need to know. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
4 hour delay for boarding, left waiting in hot terminal, no water and over 2000 people. No communication. Tender process was terrible, people missed their tours due to lack of organisation and communication from staff. No water in ... Read More
4 hour delay for boarding, left waiting in hot terminal, no water and over 2000 people. No communication. Tender process was terrible, people missed their tours due to lack of organisation and communication from staff. No water in pools, spas or waterslides for 2 days. Ship was filthy from day 1 to last day. Constant upgrades being worked on during whole cruise. Sushi bar opened in last few days, jims bbg didnt open at all, some deck areas closed until disembarking day. Food in empire was good, food in la playa was very mediocre at best and unsafe (in our opinion) at worse. Food kept during service, barely warm. If you font like chinese or indian or greasy food then you are out of luck. Deck chairs on serenity deck are mouldy and very dirty, tours cancelled but not notified until late night before when all suitable tours booked out. They ran out of arts and craft supplies after 4th day. Shows are very very poor quality compared to p&o cruise 4 years ago. Hypnotist who couldnt hypntise anyone, magician whose biggest trick was to remove someones watch and link 3 rings, On one of thevtenders at yorkeys knob when the seas were getting rough, the driver thought it would be fun to try to race another tender boat to the ship, children were screaming and crying, an older man fell off the seat and i banged my head hard against the side, some were vomitting. My good dressed was ruined when i hung it in the shower to steam creases out and rusty water dripped from rust spots on ceiling of shower, We had to do maintenance on bathroom door ourselves as the door was too heavy to open, after adjusting struts it was ok, we tried contacting customer services but after 5 attempts we gave up. Very little variety of activities to do on board, plenty of trivia but jot much else. We contacted carnival whose response was basically we will pass on your comments. We will never cruise with carnival again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our fourth cruise flying from the Gold Coast to board the ship in Sydney so as to experience the departure from Sydney Harbor which was worth it. Previously we have done the 7 nights South Pacific on the Pacific Dawn an ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise flying from the Gold Coast to board the ship in Sydney so as to experience the departure from Sydney Harbor which was worth it. Previously we have done the 7 nights South Pacific on the Pacific Dawn an excellent cruise and would recommend, 10 nights around the Eastern Mediterranean on the Crown Princess, another lovely cruise that we would highly recommend with beautiful food, 12 nights around the Western Mediterranean on the Norwegian Jade a bright fun ship again with excellent services and food and we were looking forward to, This next 15 nights around the East Coast of Australia and on to Singapore, as my wife was recovering from a Breast Cancer operation on the Carnival Spirit. Leaving from Sydney and going to Singapore (we were notified after departing, that it was for some minor upgrades and resteraunt renovations) via Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Darwin, Lombok, and Bali (wherein all the passengers, including children, whether going ashore or not, were automatically charged $50 each for being in Indonesian Waters). On boarding our first comment was she is old and in need a major renovation but thought it was still to be the fun ship. The meals at best were only very average, and not all the restaurants were operating. It is the only time I consistantly received burnt, or at least over cooked Eggs Benedict for breakfast and the free coffee from the Buffet area had a tannin taste to it, so we bought espresso which was ok. After waking and showering on the first morning of the cruise, I noticed little flea like bite marks on my chest but thinking it must have just been bed louse did nothing about it. Other people on board were complaining of sore throats and so again, just thought it was a bug going around, then on hearing of others who had gone to the doctor who had prescibed antibiotics with little if no benificial effect, further believed it was a virus that would run its course in a few days. Around ten days later I came down with a severe fever and was to ill to leave the cabin but still believing it to be a virus battled on. We eventually disembarked at Singapore and was then admitted to the Raffles Hospital on an emergency basis, gravely ill, with Typhus fever (this bug I am told, for people over 60, has a fatality rate world wide of around 60% and is transmitted by bites from rat fleas and is not air borne and has an incubation period of 7 to 10 days). On our return home I wrote to Carnival Guest Relations to advise of my experience and further advise that I had also been advised that a friend had overheard whilst in an Emergency department of her local hospital, of another patient in the cubicle next to her, who was being tested for Tyfus Fever, she evidently had also just come off the Carnival Spirit after a cruise to Singapore that departed Sydney on the 1st of August. There reply was to say, sorry we wern't happy with the cruise, but regrettably they cannot be held responsible for illnesses incured whilst on board. I should also add, that another guest broke their ankle while going on the water slide $3,200 in onboard medical fees was the figure that did the rounds. The ship did have all the basic offerings: Kids Club, Casino, Theatre, Shops, Shore excursions etc. and the staff were really nice trying their best to make the trip enjoyable. Don't get us wrong we love cruising and will again but we will NOT cruise with Carnival again. We had already booked another trip on the Carnival Ledgend to Hawaii but this has since been cancelled as a result of our first and only experience with Carnival, which was a shame, as a first timer could wrongfully prejudge other cruise lines by this ship and the attitude of Carnival, which would be grossly unfair!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
I know that the captain nor anyone could do anything about the weather, but we missed one port because the captain did not wish to put his passengers at ANY discomfort. On the way back to Sydney we were stuck in a holding pattern in the ... Read More
I know that the captain nor anyone could do anything about the weather, but we missed one port because the captain did not wish to put his passengers at ANY discomfort. On the way back to Sydney we were stuck in a holding pattern in the middle of the roughest seas I have ever experienced. Parts of the ship were damaged and both crew and passengers were tossed around like clothes in a washing machine. So much for passenger comfort. The food was cold and repetitive the entire trip unless you wanted to pay the money for more upmarket dining, but I was told there was not much difference. The stewards were great, but the rest of the staff were indifferent verging on rude. The shops had little to choose from, and I would like to have seen more choice, like electronics or something, they had plenty of space, and there was not much else to do on-board in between ports. We have been on similar cruises with P&O which were five star plus, and we were told Carnival was supposed to be better, well, we did not think so. If you could give the Spirit a minus number for the review, I would have. They promised us all sorts of things for compensation, but to date have not received or heard a thing. Utterly disappointing, and to top it off, when we made it back to Sydney, they just loaded up with the next passengers and continued on, even though the ship had a lot of damage to it. They seem to care more about money than the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
I must congratulate Carnival Cruises Australia on their marketing concept to point out the strength of P & O Cruises. We have just returned from a cruise on the Carnival (possible better named Circus) Spirit, supposedly four star ... Read More
I must congratulate Carnival Cruises Australia on their marketing concept to point out the strength of P & O Cruises. We have just returned from a cruise on the Carnival (possible better named Circus) Spirit, supposedly four star ship, it is hard to do something in your life without expectation and without making comparison, but usually there is always a balance by which you find satisfaction. I must point out that my wife and I had a great holiday, as we always ensure ourselves of, but the experience of the ship and its provisions of quality, hygiene, services and overall ambiance left a lot to be desired. Information as per daily Newsletter to our cabin comparable to what we have experienced on P&O and Princess lines was miserable. Allow me to be more specific, I have never been on a cruise ship with the ratio of under 18's as this, it was quoted to us as more than 30%, and other than the Serenity area there was not one area in which adult comfort could be achieved during the majority of the period of the day, (UNLESS THE FABULOUS WATER SLIDE WAS OPERATING WHICH CAUSES A RAIN STORM ON SERENITY) We have cruised in the past with our grand child and appreciated the limitations that were placed on her, and the overall decorum of the cruise was sensational, oh it was a Carnival owned line, to be more specific Pacific Pearl. 800 odd children, dirty elevator buttons smeared with food staff, sticky hand rails and hand prints on most surfaces that weren't table tops, no requirement to ensure hand sterilisation and no sign of staff cleaning the issues as you would constantly see on other lines. Children in bars, the Casino area, sitting at the bar during cocktail tasting and presentation, children playing music over the top of solo artists playing, children of all ages unsupervised at all times of night and obviously uncared for. The entertainment, the several production shows that were on were outstanding, the other nights it was as though one was to amuse ones self or attend bars that were orientated to "family" entertainment, which was poor, the comedy was hit and miss which is standard for that style as everybody has a differing view but it was the limit of adult content and only because of the f bombs it was believed to be for adults. (get real the kids drop them more often than the comedians). But entertainment creates the atmosphere of fun and the euphoria is lifted, and on every cruise and every event i have been involved in its at the start it counts. Getting on Spirit was as boring as it gets, I was shocked, after the gang way photographer it was over. But being used to the upper deck poolside party for sail out of a port we went searching to find a personality lacking JD playing "some" music to a miffed group of people who had to use the smoke of bush fires to provide a memory. There were a couple of good acts around the ship, but the ship and the management of the acts did not make an impression. So it was to the Atrium Bar to have a drink, where we found the tour information available to us, and Noumea being the only stop we hadn't experienced recently we decided to book some activities straight up. we were not told though there was a minimum number required to book for our major choice, and yes they did not get enough and so at the last minute we were advised it was cancelled, and left with no other option. Wonderful people staff the ship, but Carnival advised they have made the ship more "Aussie" and that means they have taken away the need to tip, which has broken the need for the staff to engage and because of the normal culture they are used too the staff feel as though Aussies don't appreciate them, it cruel's the relationships.The staff just never looked happy or enjoying themselves or even wanting to be there. Then comes casino operations, bingo was as boring as I have seen, but the hold by the ship of 70% of ticket sales I find to a level of greed that is amazing, and the Melbourne Mug game was only driven by two guys who participated for the final day! And it goes on, double zero roulette, zeroed progressives on Slots from the previous cruises!!!!!!!!! Food, dining room great and the staff sensational our people at tables 316 & 318 where we constantly managed to dine added to Chef Daniel's works, chef's table, as good a degustation you could desire. The feature steak house, just, if Carnival only knew how good Salt is on P&O ships! The buffet is merely satisfactory in its range and service methods.Bar prices are higher than Sydney CBD bars!!!!!! And a Charge for room service???? Our cabin, could not complain, and Renzi was always there for us. Carnival again? ......no way ..... they have sold me on the other lines!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We can't blame the cruise line for the bad weather, however we have been on smother riding trains than this ship. In the MDR even in smooth seas there was always vibration including the silver and china (as if the screws were out of ... Read More
We can't blame the cruise line for the bad weather, however we have been on smother riding trains than this ship. In the MDR even in smooth seas there was always vibration including the silver and china (as if the screws were out of balance). We could even feel the vibration in our cabin at night (mid ship deck 6). It was obvious the staff has been cut as the dining service really suffered. Our cabin was fine and well maintained by our steward Gusti however the chairs on our balcony had dried paint all over them. Of course the minibar took up the whole refrig so we put the cans overpriced soda, water and beer in a cabinet so that WE could use the fridge. The food was the absolute worst we have ever experienced on a cruise!!!! Most of the MDR dishes were beautiful to look at, but horrible to eat. (Prime rib covered in a brown gravy that was NOT au jus; desserts that were for the most part tasteless.) Many of the same items were repeated several times. It's pretty telling when we looked forward to being in port so that we could get a descent meal (even fast food was better). Lack of entertainment and interesting things to do added to our displeasure. However, one of our biggest complaints besides the food was the MOB of photographers wanting to pose us to sell hundreds of VERY COSTLY pictures. (It reminded us of the gauntlet of booths at tourist spots trying to get you to buy their wares.) Longer stays in port would have been better as well; the short stop in Kona where passengers had to be tendered on the lifeboats was a real waste of time. Some overnight stays would be better and give you some real time to see these Beautiful Islands... Read Less
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First time on Carnival cruises. Not disappointed at all. Rated excellent for service,entertainment and cleanliness. Every stop was on time.Weather was great (August) and that's the best time to visit these islands with lower temps and ... Read More
First time on Carnival cruises. Not disappointed at all. Rated excellent for service,entertainment and cleanliness. Every stop was on time.Weather was great (August) and that's the best time to visit these islands with lower temps and humidity. Only onboard on top decks we need some extra warmth. Could not fault staterooms with excellent stewards. A good surprise was the Carnival Hub app that simply works so well. Text to your friends anywhere onboard for $9pp is fair. It also has 'what happening' for the whole cruise with the ability to notify 15 mins before what you choose. The app contains details of event locations with maps plus ship time. You don't have to pay for internet use for this...just as well as the cheapest deal is $120 that only gives Facebook/Messenger (no calls but pic and vid work) and very limited Google. No emails at this price either...have to pay $60 more for that. Entertainment was high standard with excellent showrooms. Soft drink package is $82.50 but I should have considered paying separately as were only $1.75 each. Great free coffee,Pizza and ice cream all 24 hours. Coffee included cappuccino and hot chocolate with frother. Pizza was OK but not fabulous. Same as ice cream. Gym etc was very modern and well equipped with steam room sauna and spa in a private atmosphere. Restaurants had beautiful decor nice meals with excellent service. Felt that meals repeated with limited choices but themes were a nice touch. Every night the staff added a few minutes of dancing that we looked forwarded to. They also dressed for theme nights. We did not dine at extra cost restaurants so cannot comment on these but they seemed enticing. The burger bar and Tacos were a nice option. Did not try the topside grille but it smells nice when passing. Finally saw Mystery island after previous cruises could not get there. We thought they underrated it. Beautiful clear waters with nice beaches to snorkel free. Good tracks as well that avoids getting bogged in sand. Plenty to do in a nice surroundings. Mare island wasn't much but still was enjoyed as long as you can walk a few Klms. Vila doesn't change but there's still plenty to do and the only place to shop duty free. Lifou is still lovely. 9 years ago we snorkeled in Janeck bay free - now it's $30pp! The cave trip is definitely worth the $10 but it's around 2k walk and not sold on ship. A lovely trip overall only slightly spoilt by rough weather on way back. Big swell of 6-8 meter waves rocked the ship forward to aft but the great stabilisers reduced the sideways movement. Some passengers over dramatised the movements after a few plates were broken and thought they were going to die so contacted the media for their fame - but most knew they were in good hands and returned on time. I've been in much worse when the harbour was closed for 2 days and nobody was even injured! Accolades to Carnival's Captain and all staff for a great trip. I would rank Carnival above some other brands. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose to get away from the hustle & bustle of Christmas preparations and relax with the family (kids & grand-kids) on a Christmas cruise. The children went to kids club, some enjoyed it, some didn't. If you don't like ... Read More
We chose to get away from the hustle & bustle of Christmas preparations and relax with the family (kids & grand-kids) on a Christmas cruise. The children went to kids club, some enjoyed it, some didn't. If you don't like lots of kids then this is not a cruise for you. There was plenty to do (if you want to) things like trivia, dance lessons, crafts, games,swimming, water slides, shows, parties. The food choice is very good. We ate breakfast mostly in the buffet which we found better than in the main dining room. Evenings we preferred the main dining room. The Nouveau Restaurant, for that extra special gourmet food was excellent. The staff everywhere were generally friendly and offered great service. We had a couple of things wrong in our cabin which our cabin steward got the maintenance crew to fix within an hour. The entertainment was very good with a good variety of entertainers (jugglers, magicians, comedians, acrobatics, dancers, singers. The ports were all tender ports (using lifeboats not a wharf to disembark). At Lifou we chose the Jinek Bay Marine Reserve excursion for great snorkeling. Numbers are limited so need to book as soon as you can after boarding ship. $26 p.p. There is no beach at Jinek Bay so not suitable for children unless they can swim/snorkel. Isle of Pines is beautiful where you land there are white sandy beaches within a short walk with lots of sea life (turtles, coloured fish, coral. Where you land on Mare there is not much, a few market stalls no nice beach. There is only has one excursion, a bus journey to Yejele beach for $25 per adult, $20 per child (aged 3 - 12 years). On a previous cruise there were lots of stingers on the beach and in the water. It's a beautiful beach but we didn't get off the ship there this time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Loved a Trans-Pacific I done in 2015 on legend, so after 12 cruises on Spirit & timing was right, so went ahead.. The ship had just been refurnished, I found some upgrades good, but not enough, still had rust around my Balcony.. Food ... Read More
Loved a Trans-Pacific I done in 2015 on legend, so after 12 cruises on Spirit & timing was right, so went ahead.. The ship had just been refurnished, I found some upgrades good, but not enough, still had rust around my Balcony.. Food was good.. Loved having entertainment starting at 3:00 with 2 bands in Main Bar & having a afternoon comedian in "The Punchliner" on Sea - Days. Wish they change up the stage shows a bit... The customer service was great Bar staff; Waiters & room Stewards.. Carnival is renowen for this... The price of there cruises are very low, The drinks low also. unless you want a drinks package with other lines. The daily activities where great & Bad. They had a professor talking about the ports themselves (Culture, Food&Drink, History) eg Komodo Is & Phuket. The miss was the trivia (had too many people cheating) they policed it if they where giving away Alchoal etc. The Biggest issue was the age demo of this cruise 2000 above the age of 60 & only under 140 below under18.. Carnival is normally a family cruise line, this cruise looked more like a Princess. As one other cruiser just under 50 said 'looks like a boat going to heaven or a retirement village. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
It was a great fun relaxing cruise enjoyed the stops, staff was fantastic and friendly as always. The cabin was great mid ship deck 4 with obstructed views, when ever we cruise we always pick this category as we still get the daylight ... Read More
It was a great fun relaxing cruise enjoyed the stops, staff was fantastic and friendly as always. The cabin was great mid ship deck 4 with obstructed views, when ever we cruise we always pick this category as we still get the daylight from outside would recommend a 4k to anyone that does not want to spend heaps on a cabin that you may only be in there to sleep and get changed. Was a little disappointed in the live entertainment as it was the same we had seen the past 3 cruises we were on, but in saying that we ended up spending time in the adults only serenity pools we basically had the pool to our self as everyone was at the shows. If i had to say anything negative at all it would be the entertainment as the shows were the same as our previous 3 cruises. 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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