1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a yearly holiday with my sisters, our second Cruise, first on the Spirit. We had the best time, the ship was in great condition, our cabin was cosy but comfortable and very clean, thanks to Cristina and Moh. The staff were very ... Read More
This was a yearly holiday with my sisters, our second Cruise, first on the Spirit. We had the best time, the ship was in great condition, our cabin was cosy but comfortable and very clean, thanks to Cristina and Moh. The staff were very friendly. The dining in the Empire Room was amazing, we had excellent service with Kaur, I Madi and Goran, the food was delicious, there was not one meal we weren't happy with. The Showtime at 7 o'clock was so much fun and a Highlight. The dining in other areas was also excellent and the Serenity Bar was the place to go away from the kids (although we didn't have a problem with any of the children, most were very well behaved and polite). The staff all over the ship were very friendly, we only came across one grumpy one, he must have been tired and don't blame him as they all work so hard and long hours, we only saw him the once. The Ports and excursions were fantastic, except for one, the Mare Island was not one we would bother to go to again. Mystery Island seemed to be everyone's favourite. Loved all the Entertainment, (there was plenty of it, there's no way you could be bored). We met many new friends, including the Staff I have mentioned, we laughed, ate, drank and have great memories. We were sad when the cruise ended and are looking forward to our next Cruise as soon as possible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
A last minute choice as we would normally do a road trip to Queensland this time of year (Australian Winter). Had only done 2 cruises previously 1 on Azamara Journey....Athens to Barcelona and 2 Celebrity Millenium Singapore to Hong Kong. ... Read More
A last minute choice as we would normally do a road trip to Queensland this time of year (Australian Winter). Had only done 2 cruises previously 1 on Azamara Journey....Athens to Barcelona and 2 Celebrity Millenium Singapore to Hong Kong. Price for this local cruise was a big factor and we weren't disappointed with anything. Boarding was very smooth and efficient all tendering and disemarkation very well managed. Delighted with our Guarantee balconcy cabin 4231 at rear of ship...plenty of storage space and layout very good...great bathroom. Cabin steward always happy and remembered our names and cabin beautifully clean. Dinner a Empire dining room was excellent and very attentive waiters. Lido buffet area always clean and food very good. Bar staff always helpful and mostly knew our regular order. Alround nice ship and staff and good value. Not the same demographics of passengers as previous cruises but a very lovely crowd. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Embarkation and access was easy and smooth. Cabins were not ready but that was to be expected. Went straight to the pool and bar while waited for rooms to be ready. The weather was perfect every day and just hung at the serenity bar away ... Read More
Embarkation and access was easy and smooth. Cabins were not ready but that was to be expected. Went straight to the pool and bar while waited for rooms to be ready. The weather was perfect every day and just hung at the serenity bar away from screaming kids. Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mare Isle were great snorkeling excellent. Food in all areas was good Main restaurant and Lido deck there was always plenty of variety and choice. In general the fish wherever you were was excellent and perfectly cooked. The cabin "Grand Suite" was very comfortable and steward Dennis very obliging. All in all a very good value cruise if you are on a budget. This is our second Carnival cruise it just happens to be 1/2 price of same excursion with Celebrity which would have been our preferred choice. We wanted to go to Isle of Pines and that is what we did. Celebrity is a great choice if you have kids and want value for money. Though they try and gouge you at every corner so watch your bill. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Last Cruised in - 1980 , P & O Oriana, Catch up with friend on short cruise from back then. Find out what Cruising in 2018 Was like. Excellent time on Carnival Spirit, All Service was good , ship was good , Crew Good, ... Read More
Last Cruised in - 1980 , P & O Oriana, Catch up with friend on short cruise from back then. Find out what Cruising in 2018 Was like. Excellent time on Carnival Spirit, All Service was good , ship was good , Crew Good, Ship was easy to get around on , to all relevent facilities.food in buffet area very good. Especially enjoyed made to order Omletes for breakfast, Empire Restaurant excellant with Your Time Dining option. Drinks a little bit expensive side , but what heck most pubs in Sydney charge too, Carnival bars catered for Aussie Beers , on Tap , which was a plus , Tooheys , VB , xxxx, Plus their own brew Thirsty Frog. ALL bars had table service for lazy time people , Only one disapointment, was Shore Excursion to Cascade Brewery facility was not operating, but was a Saturday. $100.00 ouch. Cost of cruise was good. Good time had will cruise again. On Carnival or P& O etc Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We were hesitant about carnival but it suited for a quick trip after 5 days in sydney we did the same cruise 11yrs ago on a P&O ship but spirit was much better, we weren't planning on doing shore excursions due to the cost and ... Read More
We were hesitant about carnival but it suited for a quick trip after 5 days in sydney we did the same cruise 11yrs ago on a P&O ship but spirit was much better, we weren't planning on doing shore excursions due to the cost and we had previously been there. Only got off in noumea to get free WiFi it is very expensive on ship. We had a minor issue with seating at emerald dining room as we wanted a table for 2 but it was quickly sorted out. For my husband's birthday we booked nouveau Restaurants it was the most amazing meal best steak hubby has ever had side dishes, dessert and service was top class it was worth alot more than $45 each. All other times we ate at emerald dining room we could not fault the food, service or atmosphere, we were very very blessed to have a private tour and tasting in galley for emerald it was amazing something l had always wanted to see CYRIL the chef was lovely and explained all the ins/outs of the kitchen, produce and training we loved the opportunity and really made it special many thanks to isabella from dining room for selecting us.. The shows were great and always little activities if you wish to do them, oncecagain many thanjs to all for a wonderful job. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was our first cruise and we chose Carnival because of the price and that it covered our birthdays. Our trip started well with the shuttle from the airport it was easy to use,( they found us) quick and our luggage was well taken care ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose Carnival because of the price and that it covered our birthdays. Our trip started well with the shuttle from the airport it was easy to use,( they found us) quick and our luggage was well taken care of at the port. Our cabin was a pleasant surprise comfortable and very clean. Later we found it to be well appointed. We sailed out of Sydney and the views from the ship were outstanding. We used most of the dining options, and enjoyed all of them. The Empire being our favourite not just because of the great food, but because of Dessi and her marvelous team who not only feed us each night but entertained us. Our waiter Godfrey sand and danced for us each night. We enjoyed the Red Frog Pub and again our waiter Eka gave us personal attention. The stops at the islands were wonderful, some with not a lot of touristy things which was nice. Our cabin stewards Turi and Andi keep our cabin in very good order and went out of their way to help us celebrate our birthdays with messages in colour pens on the mirrors. We found that all the staff we came in contact with remembered our names and made us feel like we were special. Lastly the young people who put on all the shows, Wow what talent. The comedy club, very entertaining. We travelled from Adelaide to join the ship, We are a couple late 60's and early 70's. We disembarked with ease, no rush, shuttle to the airport in time for our flight. Would we do it again...........in a heart beat. Thank you Carnival. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Cabin: 7147. Conveniently located to the Forward lifts. Right above Pharaoh and Versailles venues and the children/teen venues so perfect in the late evening. A five minute walk to the Empire Dining Room located Aft. Only noise was the odd ... Read More
Cabin: 7147. Conveniently located to the Forward lifts. Right above Pharaoh and Versailles venues and the children/teen venues so perfect in the late evening. A five minute walk to the Empire Dining Room located Aft. Only noise was the odd inconsiderate neighbour or rowdy person walking past but that happens anywhere. No noise from staff trolleys. Dining: Oh my! Chef's Table. $AUD $90 per person and every dollar well spent. An amazing degustation experience. The Empire Dining Room is great value for a quality food experience. Staff are attentive and knowledgable of ingredients (I am coeliac - see my extensive positive review elsewhere). The entertainment around 6:30pm for the early sitting diners was always a lot of fun too. The plating was superb: artistic and caring. The Lido: If the more serene or higher class environment of the Empire is not to your liking or you require huge quantities of food then the Lido is for you. Plenty of buffet food. The Pizza Pirate pizzas are much worse then Pizza Hit but available in the wee hours of the morning so you can't really complain. The Blueiguana Cantina: great mexican style food. Embarkation: Absolutely no problem as there are staff every several metres to guide you along. The Government officers are also very chill, very unlike the airport experiences we all loath. You will be on board and holding a buffet tray in no time. Any queue moves along continuously so there is never the sense of frustration from slowness. Enrichment Activities: I was too busy for any of that. Entertainment: We had two comedians most nights. A singing (miming) and dancing production number most nights. A magician on other nights. Keyboard player plus singer at various locations such as the Atrium every night and the Alchemy bar and the list goes on and on. The resident band is your typical small group of older musicians with an obviously very extensive repertoire of hits through all the rock decades. If you are well travelled through Asia you will be used to the dodgy enunciation of lyrics but with the "rock" standards their guitar playing says it all as they were always great fun to dance to. Movies show in the pool area and are freely available on multiple channels in your stateroom from 12 and every 2 hours after 24/7. Or on demand for an extra cost. Tons of TV channels but availability depends on ship and satellite position. At times more extensive than the usual range of free options throughout the world. The daily bulletin, delivered to your room nightly, lists most but not all entertainment. Get out and explore. I discovered the entertainment at the Alchemy Bar in this manner. Trivia: I was too busy for any of that but it was extensive, varied and very frequent. Fitness & Recreation: The gym does NOT have a bench press. Nice collection of bells. Spin is well catered. The Green Thunder (renamed Brown Thunder after my first plunge hehehe) and the sedate yellow slide are set apart from the main pool area. Pity that as they are both under utilised beyond the first day or two. When standing in the Green Thunder, take a deep breath before the floor drops away. Just as you would if anticipating getting dumped while body surfing in a two metre swell, for example. Mini golf I didn't do. Onboard Experience: The fact I searched for upcoming cruises the moment I got home says it all. Public Rooms: From toilets to dining to the library and chapel to any public area: always clean or in the process of being cleaned. The copper paint in the Atrium is gaudy I know but I am so glad the decor themes were not uniform throughout. If uniform then the experience would get stale quickly. Well maintained. Something broken? You can count on a repair person in overalls arriving shortly! Service: The staff are well trained and knowledgeable. The Lido staff were occasionally and obviously trying to take a shortcut to avoid having to go back-room to prepare or fetch something to fulfil a request but you get that anywhere. You only need to directly ask once and they will fulfil a special request. Shore Excursions: The available literature pointed to our day in Mare as being the ONLY beach day. So I paid for a bus trip to take us to an okay coral beach. The next day, at Isle of Pines, right in front of our ship was an amazing yellow sand beach which stretched for hundreds of metres. And all free. Lesson learnt. Price wise, there is less price gouge with Carnival than with RCCL by a long way. Value for Money? Very much so. Will go again on this ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Got a great price for balcony room. Cabins bigger than expected and serviced beautifully. Dining room - awesome food & service and entertainment mid dinner was fantastic. The ship was awesome, clean and friendly staff. ... Read More
Got a great price for balcony room. Cabins bigger than expected and serviced beautifully. Dining room - awesome food & service and entertainment mid dinner was fantastic. The ship was awesome, clean and friendly staff. Entertainment needs a bit of a shakeup. The sound needs seriously looking at during performances in Pharoahs Lounge. The oncrew singers sounded dreadful most of the time. Dancing and stage effects were great. Some of the comedy was great. The serenity area (adults only) too small (couldn't get a lounge in sun - taken mainly by adults with young children on board) and directly under the noisy screams of kids using the waterslides. Maybe need to bring in entry to adults area by sail card and if children under 13 assigned to your room - no entry. Would never go on this ship during school holidays (unless with my own grandkids) Cost of drinks too high. Bingo far too expensive and 3 games - line only, 1 game - 2 lines, 1 game - full house. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Having done two previous cruises we were offered a great deal for this cruise This was supposed to take us to Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Suva, Port Denerau and then Noumea. Our first stop became Noumea, owing to a mechanical issue. ... Read More
Having done two previous cruises we were offered a great deal for this cruise This was supposed to take us to Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Suva, Port Denerau and then Noumea. Our first stop became Noumea, owing to a mechanical issue. I am not fond of Noumea, but we went to The Aquarium, I had not been there on the previous two visits. It is a must see in my view. Mystery Island was beautiful We did a glass bottom boat tour. I highly recommend it. Suva, went on a scenic tour that included the farmers market. I did not like the market, but getting outside of Suva was good. Port Denerau was great also. Loved Fiji, but the tour guy on the Suva tour, shook hands with every one expecting tips..not good. We missed out on the Isle of Pines, owing to a medical emergency as we had to go back to Suva. I wish we could have stayed in Suva for the day. Four days ship bound is not great in my books Overall it was a good trip We ate most of our meals in the Empire. I was put off Lido as people dropped utensils at the salad bar, picked them up and put back for reuse ( urghhhhh ) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Overall positive experience. Traveled with a group of girlfriends. EMBARKATION • Leaving Sydney is easy, train or bus to circular quay and 5-10 minute walk if you are not carrying a lot of luggage. • Waiting time was ok. ... Read More
Overall positive experience. Traveled with a group of girlfriends. EMBARKATION • Leaving Sydney is easy, train or bus to circular quay and 5-10 minute walk if you are not carrying a lot of luggage. • Waiting time was ok. SHIP OVERALL& SERVICE • Standard décor and easy to navigate. • Happy cheery staff who sang and danced in the main dining room. Our waitor was a funny man. CABIN • Had balcony room for 3 people. The interior was okay but the actual balcony was small. It was not possible for 2 people to lay down. FOOD • Chicken schnitzel was amazing! A must try • Main dining room was pretty good, steward was cheery and encouraged us to try more food, generous portions. • Buffet breakfast was great, we lived right under the buffet so it was very convenient. • Drinks – paid ones were good, but the free soda/lemonade tasted very bland. ENTERTAINMENT • Green thunder was a great experience, but I must admit, is scary at countdown… • Mini golf on board, appears to be good for families. PORTS • N/A this was a sampling cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Thanks to all the staff and everyone else involved with in and around the Carnival Spirit. My friend and I had the most relaxing, but busy if we wanted to be trip. Everything is very well organized and nothing seemed to be of any trouble ... Read More
Thanks to all the staff and everyone else involved with in and around the Carnival Spirit. My friend and I had the most relaxing, but busy if we wanted to be trip. Everything is very well organized and nothing seemed to be of any trouble . Embarkation and Disembarkation on and off the ship at all ports run like clock work but in a very relaxed manner. Every night you new what was on for the next day, as it was left on your bed when the staff had prepared your room for the night. Plenty of activities to keep all ages busy. Plenty of food and also nice cold drinking water with plenty of ice. Plenty of coffee machines with fancy one's at the coffee shop, which was reasonable priced. Dining was easy at all places, and the service was great. Great Gym, Slides, staff amazing in all areas, even the Pool towel service was easy. Well done. Be proud of what you do for everyone on board. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
The Big Easy is a salute to New Orleans. I couldn't believe how much energy the performers brought to the stage and the production values that are invested in the show: pyrotechnics, dynamic lighting, multiple sets and costumes. The ... Read More
The Big Easy is a salute to New Orleans. I couldn't believe how much energy the performers brought to the stage and the production values that are invested in the show: pyrotechnics, dynamic lighting, multiple sets and costumes. The ten-piece band is even blocked into some of the scenes and everyone has a rollicking good time. You've got to see the "House of the Rising Sun" scene with it's dancing bats, explosions, and aerial vocals. The jazz show band: piano, drums, bass, guitar, trombone, two trumpets, and three saxes, give a memorable performance whether in the pit, on stage, or in the lounges when the theater is dark. There's even an opportunity for karaoke cruisers to sing with the band. The Nouveau Steakhouse is worth every bit of the $30 surcharge. Climb a glass staircase above the grand atrium and you enter the dining room below a glass-paneled ceiling at the top of the ship. It's the most exclusive space on board. The food is not cooked before you sit down and the service is impeccable. They've added an adults-only pool area at the back of the Lido deck with basket-weave cabanas. There are two new water slides, one that launches you vertically by dropping the floor away. The cruise director, Stu Dunn, is a hoot. He is a fountain of funny stories and a master at finding new ways and reinvigorating old ways for cruisers to have fun on board. We took a Mexican Riviera cruise: Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada, but the Spirit is relocating to Australia. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We had a good time on this cruise - not a spectacular time, but a good and relaxing time. We were aboard the Spirit for this same cruise last September and had a wonderful time. After learning the Spirit is moving to Australia later ... Read More
We had a good time on this cruise - not a spectacular time, but a good and relaxing time. We were aboard the Spirit for this same cruise last September and had a wonderful time. After learning the Spirit is moving to Australia later this year, we decided to repeat the cruise. We purchased future cruise certificates while on board and received a great rate from our PVP so we booked this cruise immediately after returning home. This was our tenth Carnival cruise. We flew in from Kansas City on the 15th. We originally had reservations at the Holiday Inn directly across from the cruise terminal but our sons came down from Los Angeles for dinner and there were no more rooms available so we changed to the Residence Inn which is also very close to the cruise terminal. The hotel shuttle picked us up at the airport and provided transportation to the ship on the 16th. The Residence Inn is a good hotel. We had dinner on the 15th at Il Fornaio on Coronado Island - it was very good. Since our sons were with us, we were in no hurry to board on the 16th, so we had lunch at Anthony's. The service was very good and the food was okay - maybe a little expensive for the amount of fried seafood we received, but hey, it's San Diego and on the water - nice view. Embarkation - We last cruised from San Diego in 2008 and were expecting to embark at the new cruise terminal but embarkation occurred at the old terminal. We heard several stories about the new terminal - it was too small, they ran out of money, so we don't know. A HAL ship was also embarking so it was a bit confusing. There was a Carnival VIP line but then it merged with the normal Carnival & HAL lines to get through security. Once through security, things moved very quickly until we arrived at the line for the welcome aboard photograph and then the line to activate your sign & sail card which was taking place on the dockside rather than on the ship. All in all, it took about an hour and fifteen minutes to board after arriving around one o'clock. As first-time platinum cruisers we were handed VIP express signs which were basically useless - we just stood in line. Perhaps had we arrived earlier - say at 11am or so, platinum status would have been helpful. Our PVP had pre-arranged for a wheel chair for my wife but she didn't need it. I am not sure if the VIP luggage tags made a difference, but when we arrived at our cabin two of our bags were already there and the third arrived shortly. A room steward passing by told us that "somebody likes you." The ship looked great, we thought. We were in the same cabin (5124) we had been in during September and it was very clean. It was an extended balcony which is what we normally travel in on Spirit class ships. During the last evening when the Carnival legends show began we could faintly hear the music from the Pharaoh theater. We thought the crew did a great job of keeping the ship clean throughout the cruise. The muster drill went by smoothly and quickly and we were on our way pretty much on time. We had dinner the first night in the Steakhouse and it was very good. We even thought the service had improved over the excellent service we received during September. We had crab cake, lobster bisque, lobster ravioli, and cheesecake. They still provide a complimentary bottle of wine with dinner during the first evening. When we made our reservations on line, we requested a specific table and Dora honored that request. We also bought a wine package of 8 bottles for $208 which included the 15% gratuity. Carnival has changed their wine selection - many of the lower priced bottles have screw-off tops rather than corks. Some of the selections are okay and some just so-so. The weather during the first two sea days was overcast and windy so we spent most of our time on the balcony relaxing, reading, and sleeping. Once we arrived at Manzanillo the weather was fantastic. My wife had knee replacement surgery during January so we weren't very active - only briefly leaving the ship in Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo - we did enjoy our time on the sun deck. Throughout the cruise, there was never any difficulty finding deck chairs. At Ensenada, we took the scenic coast or golden coast tour which consisted of a 45 mile or so drive up the Baja coast. It was inexpensive and a good tour to just see the countryside. There was a nice one hour stop at a seaside restaurant. We found the San Adreas fault area interesting. We thought that for the most part, the food was pretty good. There were a couple of occasions the food seemed cold. We dined during the 8:15 seating and it seemed as though it was left over from the early seating - I don't know. Our black bean enchiladas seemed "dried out" as if they had been under a warming light. The last night, I ordered prime rib and my wife ordered the mac n' cheese. Niether of the entrees was very good. The prime rib almost tasted as though it had been canned meat. However, all the starters were very good. Our wait staff team was very attentive. Overall, however, we were pleased with the food. Our breakfast and lunch meals in the Lido and main dining room were good. The more I cruise, the easier I am to please when it comes to food - I ate a hot dog for lunch twice and a turkey wrap sandwich twice as well. The lido buffet did become quite hectic on the last sea day before Ensenada and then for lunch at Ensenada as people were returning to the ship. Our table was a booth for four. We were surprised how many vacant tables there were during the late seating - I saw at least six tables for two that seemed to be vacant during the entire cruise. I would imagine anyone requesting a table for two during late seating should be able to have one. We were surprised at the demographics during this cruise. We thought of this cruise as a "spring break" cruise but there weren't that many young people aboard - maybe because it was 9 days. The ship generally didn't feel crowded. We tipped both our wait staff and cabin steward's team in addition to the auto-tips. We thought the entertainment was pretty good. There was a very good two person reggae/steel-drum type combo playing on the lido deck that we really enjoyed. One night the regularly scheduled show was cancelled due to electrical problems and another show substituted. Debarkation was a breeze. Platinum cruisers met in the Sports Bar at 8:30am and we were off the ship and through customs in 15 minutes. I was surprised they didn't ask for any ID. Once again, this was a good cruise and a good vacation at a fantastic price. There were a few glitches but nothing to spoil a cruise. Our next cruise is on the Carnival Miracle repositioning cruise from New York through the Panama Canal next March. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
The first time we did a cruise it was a 9-day Mexican Riviera on the Spirit. This time it was on the Spirit again, but with the 5 kids ages 16, 15, 15, 13, and 12. Also with 3 grandparents, 2 nieces, and 1 sister-in-law. My wife and two ... Read More
The first time we did a cruise it was a 9-day Mexican Riviera on the Spirit. This time it was on the Spirit again, but with the 5 kids ages 16, 15, 15, 13, and 12. Also with 3 grandparents, 2 nieces, and 1 sister-in-law. My wife and two girls stayed in room 4195 which was on level 4 with french doors and an obstructed view. We could see a little between the life boats in this room. Having fresh air is a MUST for me when I cruise. I love to have the door open at night to hear the sounds and smell the air. The Spirit allows for this pretty cheaply with the obstructed view. You can't walk out on to anything, but you do get the fresh air. When researching I noticed that manly of Carnival's ships don't have this obstructed view. You can get a window down lower, but the window doesn't open. The room had the double twin beds pushed together with a Pullman style bed pulled down and the couch made up as a bed. My 13 and 12 year old daughters occupied these. There is PLENLY of enough storage room in the cabin. Between the two closets with hangers, the wardrobe thing, the drawers, and under the bed we had more than enough room. I should have brought additional hangers though. My three sons, 16, 15, and 15 were 2 doors down from us in two twin beds separated and a Pullman style bed above the couch. Two grandparents and a niece were on level 4 as well, but further down and had a balcony. The sister-in-law and another niece where farther down on the opposite side. They were in an accessible cabin. She had a scooter type wheelchair. This room was plenty wide enough at the front door and the bathroom door. There is extra room in the cabin and bathroom. She had a window that didn't open with an obstructed view as well. This was GREAT for her and allowed her to cruise. There are a very limited number of these rooms, PLEASE don't book one of these unless you really use the wheelchair to get around. The last grandparent was up on the 8th level in an extended balcony cabin. It did have an adjoining door that locked. The sound came through the door a little and the neighbors where noisy from time to time, but this grandparent was hearing impaired so it didn't matter. This room was the same type of room my wife and I had the first time we cruised on the Spirit. We did not have a locked adjoining door in our room and never heard our neighbors. If it were me I would try not to get an adjoining door if I didn't need it. I am sure that you will find the rooms basically the same for all the Spirit class ships (Spirit, Pride, Legend, and Miracle) Well that is the room report and experience. Being a spring break cruise it had good parts and bad parts. Firstly, and most importantly, being spring break we were actually able to go on the cruise seeing the kids had school. Another good thing was that the kids has plenty of "friends" to play with in Club O2 and Circle C. Club O2 is for 15 to 17 year olds and Circle C is for 12 to 14 year olds. The kids were able to check themselves in and out of there as they wanted to and used it as they wanted to. The bad thing about spring break were all the college age kids getting smashed and puking on the decks. Ok, I only saw that once. But the college age kids seemed to think everything was about them and were often rude in their behaviors. They were crazy down on the beach in Cabo San Lucas. One of the kids workers told me that security was caught off guard the first few nights with they college kids and that they were "out of control." It wasn't a drunken orgy fest, but it kicked the stress factor up a little and made the cruise a little less relaxing. The shows were ok, nothing super special, but you can find some good stuff according to your taste. They really push this big New Orleans dance thing that I really didn't like, nor did anyone else in my group. I didn't like it the first time I saw it on the last cruise. They need to come up with something else. The direct service staff couldn't have been better. The room steward was great and from the first meeting he knew who we were and called us by our names. He must have studied the security photos they take when we get on, or he has a GREAT memory. Andrea in the dinning room and Putu her assistant where the BEST. My kids wanted her to come home with us. I feel like whatever I write will not do her justice. If you are on the Spirit get seated for breakfast or lunch with tall Andrea from Romania. We purchased quite a bit of Inch of Gold in the shops. I know it isn't all gold, but it looks just as good, it is stronger and much cheaper. No gambling this time, we lost too many quarters on our first cruise. The ship recently came out of dry dock for some upgrades. Things added in the year since our first cruise? The new 21 or older only Serenity area. This is out on the old fantail back deck. They said they don't even allow kids to go find their parents there. They have to send a message with a crew member. There is a new water slide that is very exciting. You get in this vertical tube that closes, you hear this count down from 3, then the bottom drops open, you get "flushed," you circle around in this tube (out over the edge of the boat) and end up in a landing area. One of the crew members told me it is the fastest water slide on any cruise line. There is also a whole water experience up where this slide is. Lot of water splashing around with buckets dumping for the kids. I am sure more things where done to the ship, but nothing that I noticed. The food was good during our dinning time and in the buffet area. Better than I normally eat at home. I am NOT a food snob so everything, except the scrambled eggs on the buffet, was great. We didn't do the Carnival soda program and that was fine as our family only drinks water at home. You get lemonade, unsweetened tea, water, hot tea, and coffee anytime of they day. You get fake orange juice and some other corn syrup juices at breakfast in the buffet area. You can get real juice in the sit down dinning room. This ship does not have a movie theater. I understand some of the larger classes of Carnival ships have outdoor movies. This is something that I would enjoy. Come September the Spirit is headed to Australia, never to return so if you are going to cruise on it you better do it soon. The Pride is out of Baltimore, and the Legend and Miracle are out of Florida. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Back once again from our latest adventure. We choose the Carnival Spirit sailing to the Mexican Riviera over Thanksgiving holiday! As usual everything was delightful. Since our last sailing in April of 2011, there has been a couple ... Read More
Back once again from our latest adventure. We choose the Carnival Spirit sailing to the Mexican Riviera over Thanksgiving holiday! As usual everything was delightful. Since our last sailing in April of 2011, there has been a couple changes. In the staterooms there is a placard with your room steward listed. Which is nice. You always know who to contact. The menu in the main dining room has been changed up a little. There is no "spa" selection any longer, the good for you meals are now designated with a "heart" to the right of the entree. The food was not as delicious as normal, not bad, but not I remembered from past cruises. One of my favorites desserts is the souffle and after getting through the top, the filling was as delicious as I remembered. The service, as always, is the highlight of the cruise. Everyone always going out of their way to make you feel comfortable and welcome. We were seated next to the chronic complainers in the main diningroom, whom sent their selected entrees back nightly; but with all drama, the dining room staff went our of their way to make the chronic "b"ers happy - it didn't work, but you have to give it to the staff for trying. KUDOs to you!The drinks prices have been raised $1 per drink. The higher the drinks go, the lower my sign and sail account. I guess that is perspective. I just have to say that I enjoy sailing with Carnival - the overall experience is always wonderful. Stu the cruise director was very funny and it was nice to see him out amongst the people. We already booked for our next cruise in May 2012. Thank you so much for a delightful time once again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
I want to relate on what a great cruise we had when at one point just a few years ago, we were unsure if we would ever be able to take extended vacations again due to my 6 y/o's epilepsy and autistic conditions. I originally ... Read More
I want to relate on what a great cruise we had when at one point just a few years ago, we were unsure if we would ever be able to take extended vacations again due to my 6 y/o's epilepsy and autistic conditions. I originally booked through the travel agency through USAA, but then found out about a program geared toward travelers like my son called Autism on the Seas. They can be reached at www.autismontheseas.com. Through this program, they took care of everything including priority embarkation, private muster drill away from the large crowds, private dining table in a quiet corner of the dining room, coordination with the ships medical staff regarding the condition and camp carnival. We arrived a day early into San Diego and settled into our favorite hotel, Best Western Island Palms, which is located on quiet Shelter Island. We were able to do the snooze and cruise package and took the hotel shuttle to the ship at 11:30am. 15 minutes later we got in the handicapped area and were immediately assigned a person to take us through the line. As our son is autistic, he is not the best in handling long lines. We were able to get to the front of the line and then we were handed off to another Carnival employee who got us our pictures taken and then escorted on to the ship. Once onboard, we met with a woman (Alena) from guest services who was aware we were coming. She gave us a private safety drill and took us to our muster station and then guided us to our room. We were in our room by 12:30. We met our room steward (Xiomara) who was very friendly and related our requests (extra bathrobe, ice, clearing out the refrigerator, etc) and she gave us her phone number and times she would be available. I gave her a prepaid Amex card as a tip upfront. We then went to the Lido deck and grabbed lunch on the pool deck. There was a 2 peice raggai band playing and they were good. We then went to Camp Carnival at the front of deck 5 to get our son checked in to the program. We met Leeann from South Africa who was the director. My son gave her a hug and kiss right away. They were already aware of his condition thanks to the communications beforehand by Autism on the Seas. Even though he was 6, our son was able to be with the 2-5 kids there. We were also issued an onboard cell phone to use while onboard. That way they could communicate with us if anything was wrong and also we were able to use this anywhere in the ship to keep tabs on each other. It was nice to not have to use walkie talkies even though we had brought them. We had the early seating at the Empire Dining Room. We were greeted by the Maitre D who showed us to our area in the back corner of the dining room next to a large window. This was nice as our son can get noisy at restaurants, but the secluded location was also calming for him too. We were intorduced to our dining staff of Nina (Bulgaria) and Jasmina(Macedonia) who were some of the kindest and detailed people I have ever met. They knew that we had a special needs child onboard and treated him like a king. They had his meal already set up (chicken fingers and french fries). They were very good at what they did in that the women at the table were greeted first and orders taken and then the men. The ordering was always done over the shoulder and not across the table. The meal choices were very tasty and I ordered double portions on 2 evenings. We were also able to have our unfinished bottle of wine held over to the next night. The following day, our son became sea sick from the motion of the ship. I ran into Nina who was serving lunch and she asked me about our son by name and I told her that he was sea sick. She said that apple sauce is a good cure and that's what the crew eats when queasy. She said that apple sauce was not on the menu, but would have the kitchen specially prepare it for our son each meal. That was the trick as he did great from then on. This was the first time that I had ever gone with a balcony stateroom and when I was offered an upgrade due to trying to get my fare repriced (fare on our cabin had dropped quite a bit), I was offered a catagory 8k extended balcony. Unfortunately, that was under the Lido deck so I initially passed and then I checked Carnival's site again to see what cabins were available for upgrade. On the Spirit class ships, there are about 5-6 cabins on the port side that have a storeroom for the cabin stewards next to them. As a result, there is no stateroom there and the resultant balcony space behind the storeroom is available for the 2 adjoining rooms. My balcony was approximately 30 feet long by 6 feet wide. We had 2 lounge chairs, 3 regular chairs and 2 tables. That is the most you can have without getting a suite. We spent a lot of time out there. I brought some bungee cords to hold the door open when we were out there. (Just don't open the inside door at the same time as you will develop a wind tunnel). Before our trip, I contacted John Heald, who is the senior cruise director for Carnival. I asked him if he could arrange a special photo op for our son and some of the ship's officers. Our son loves people in uniform and that would be a cherished event for him. John quickly agreed and set that in motion. Our first day onboard, we received a phone call from guest services that the Captain wanted to meet with our son and gave us some times that evening he would be available on the atrium deck. We got a great picture of the Captain, Hotel Director, and our son. The Captain related that he had seen other autistic kids really light up with that kind of encounter and he wanted to do this. The Hotel Director later told me that the ship wanted to do something special for our son and had me take my camera card to the photo lab and they would print out the pics we had taken with the Captain and Fun Ship Freddy and had them blown up to 8x10 and signed and presented to us in leather portfolios along with a large Fun Ship Freddy stuffed animal signed by each of the counselors at Camp Carnival. We had 2 days in Cabo and did the Exclusive Beach Resort the first day and I went scuba diving the second. They have a great dolphin program that we will do next time. It was crowded in town as we had a NCL ship along with the Splendor also moored along side of us. The entertainment was superb. I really enjoyed the show band who had a lot of power and was very musically adept. The dancers sometimes seemed out of sync, but we were really impressed by the band and singers. The adult comedy onboard was very funny. The Versailles lounge was always crowded. I did the Fun Behind the Scenes tour on the last sea day. A little pricey at first, but well worth the money. Our guide Melita, was a a staff trainer so she had extensive knowledge of all areas of the ship. The tour was highlighted by visits to the engineering control room and the bridge with a personalized picture with the Captain standing at the helm. I was disappointed (only bad thing on this ship) with the condition of some of the fitness machines. Several of the cardio machines were missing parts or needed other repairs. We were set to be docked by 7 am on Friday morning, and I arose early at 5am to watch us pull in. I noticed that we had turned to the left and were now going at high speed. I switched on the channel on the tv that shows the position and track and saw that we were now heading at 20kts going due west into deep water. That told me that there was an emergency going on (another ship in distress or a tsunami). I turned on CNN and saw the devastation in Japan and the warnings for the West Coast of the US. The best place to be in a tsunami is in deep water. The Captain did not make his first announcement until 6:30 and made regular announcements thereafter along with the CD to assure us that we were not in any danger and inviting us to relax and we could stay in our state rooms instead of packing out for debarkation. They played a movie in the Versailles Lounge and put CNN on in the main theatre. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Despite 2 ID checks in less than 30 paces, a baggage check screening, and 5 minutes of signing in for the Sail & Sign cards the total time from being dropped off at the pier entrance to opening our cabin door was less than 20 minutes! ... Read More
Despite 2 ID checks in less than 30 paces, a baggage check screening, and 5 minutes of signing in for the Sail & Sign cards the total time from being dropped off at the pier entrance to opening our cabin door was less than 20 minutes! Although we're experienced cruisers this was our first fantail balcony. As previously noted in other Cruise Critic reviews, there was soot residue in the mornings on the seats and railing. But, for us, only twice in 8 days. At 6pm the stewards start piling the deck chairs up against the railings of the Lido Deck so you have complete privacy from above throughout the night until 7:30am when they unstack the chairs. The fantails are definitely more roomy and offer great views for sunrises, sunsets, and sail-aways. Specialty coffees were reasonable. A tall coffee went for $1.50 (plus 15% grat.) Dinners in the Empire Room were consistently good in quality and taste. The wait for anytime dining (table for 4) was 10 min. or less. Free ice cream sundaes and banana splits were certainly popular on at-sea days. Free drinks with munchies and entertainment on Carnival's repeat guest night was also very popular. Free sushi was offered every evening, as well. Main stage entertainment was above average all week, with the Friday night's song & dance tribute to New Orleans a must see. Music fans will appreciate Carnival adding two additional musicians to the orchestra's normal 8 members. A 10 piece creates a much better sound. Disembarking the 2100+ passengers took a total of about 80 minutes. Well, done Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
We departed San Diego on March 11, 2010 and had perfect weather all 8 days. The ship was beautiful and well maintained and staff was very helpful and friendly. The itinerary was two sea days, Acapulco, Zihuatenejo, Manzanillo and then two ... Read More
We departed San Diego on March 11, 2010 and had perfect weather all 8 days. The ship was beautiful and well maintained and staff was very helpful and friendly. The itinerary was two sea days, Acapulco, Zihuatenejo, Manzanillo and then two sea days. The food served was very good overall. Now there was a meal or two that just did not wow me but considering the kitchen is feeding over 3,000 mouths continuously they still nailed more dishes than they missed. On a scale of 1 to 10 I give the food an 8.5. The cruise director and her staff did a fine job keeping veryone entertained throughout the days. Though not the best I've had they still did fine. On the scale I give them a 7. The weather as I said was perfect..10 on the scale and the wait staff around the pools I also give a 10. Acapulco hs become a bit seedy over the years but Zihuatenejo was great. Stayed on board and had the ship nearly to ourselves in Manzanillo. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
We received a flyer in the mail, advertising continuing education credits available on a 12-day cruise to Hawaii. Thinking this would be a good way for my husband and I to get a vacation in while renewing our clinical laboratory ... Read More
We received a flyer in the mail, advertising continuing education credits available on a 12-day cruise to Hawaii. Thinking this would be a good way for my husband and I to get a vacation in while renewing our clinical laboratory technologist license education requirements - we signed up. It was also an opportunity to have the entire family along so we included our 20 and 22 year old daughters. The cruise started in Ensenada so we flew to San Diego where Carnival had a bus to take us to the Port of San Diego and then on to Ensenada. Luckily we were there early and had someone pick us up at San Diego Airport. We arrived around 9:30am.  Buses weren't going to start running from SAN > the port of SD until 11. There were over a hundred people already waiting. Our friend picked us up and took us to the Port. At the Port, Carnival gave us a 'zone' number and told us to sit until our zone was called ... probably starting around 1pm. So we walked to Seaport village, had lunch and came back. Our zone boarded a bus around 1:30pm. Carnival had lemonade, water and coffee available under the 'tent' while we waited. There were over 50 zones ... So - zone 2 is called and we board the bus. Carnival provided bottled water for the bus ride. And a security escort over the border. There is no problem crossing the border from the US > Mexico. They were really stacked up crossing from Mexico into the US. This is definitely the route to take. No delay at all. We were in Ensenada by 3:30ish. The cruise ship was there - in a special, fenced in area where no local people can come. Very secure. The bus drove us in there and we could board the ship immediately. There were also shuttles into Ensenada if you wanted to go into town - which we did not. Ensenada is not anything worth risking purses or communicable diseases to visit. Our rooms were very nice. My husband and I had an extended balcony - large bed, sofa, lots of closet room and the extra space on the balcony was worth the cost. The regular balcony's are pretty small. Our daughters had an inner room, across the elevators from us: 4C. They had two single beds and plenty of storage. The bathrooms were very similar in size. We both got towel animals on our beds each night and fresh ice throughout the day. The room stewards got to know us and they were fantastic. Excellent service and attitude. Friendly yet reserved. The food - well - since we hadn't been on a cruise in over 25 years, we didn't realize that formal meant formal, not just dressy. While ladies, you might be able to get away with pretty much any dress, my husband was not considered dressed up enough in a nice hawaiian shirt, slacks and dress shoes. He needed a jacket and tie. As such, we could never take part in the formal nights, not dine at the 'extra cost' nice restaurant. The menu in the dining room was good - not too varied but relatively above average. The grill - where we ate breakfast and lunch and many dinners or snacks - was very good. From cheeseburgers to chinese food to sushi to Indian - there was always a good variety. Lots of fruit and salads. More than enough food. Activities - incredible shows. We did not expect the quality of the dance/music shows. Truly A++++. The comedians - not so good. One comedian continually made fun of the older people and different ethnic groups. I was surprised this was allowed given the 'politically correct' era we appear to be in. While some is ok - this guy went over the top - and was really offensive and rude. Definitely not funny. Bingo, horse racing, crafts - there was always something to do.Caveat - 85% of this cruise was over 75 years old. My husband and I are 52/54. I have to be honest - I would have liked to been with more of my own age group. Many of the passengers needed help getting around and were very overweight. As such, there was virtually no participation in 'active' activities - which meant were did a lot of stuff alone.  Part of the fun of a cruise is having people share activities ... there was no one dancing - salsa or otherwise, no one doing aerobics .. maybe 10 of us walked the walking deck around the top of the ship - which was fantastic, by the way. I guess the good thing was that any port activities that involved anything more than riding a bus had plenty of openings. There were many 5 families with children under 10. A few had teenagers. This was one of the 'negatives' with cruising ... it is a very inactive vacation. At the airport I spoke with a couple who were going on a Disney cruise. That would definitely be a younger cruising population so pick your cruises carefully!All in all - I don't care for the restrictions of cruising. I want more time in port to see the area and experience the people, tours, etc. Having 6 hours to see an area that could easily take a full week - is not my idea of leisurely vacation. Tendering in was a real hassle. Waiting for embarking and disembarking - it's like being at an airport for hours and hours. Too much time was wasted standing in lines or waiting. We'll pass on any future cruises for the next 20 years - then maybe we'll try again. It's the ideal vacation for people who are limited as far as mobility or only want to shopping at different stores around the world. It you actually want to see the area, cruising is not the way to go.Feel free to contact me for any questions you have. It was definitely a positive experience and I'm glad we did it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2008
My family (husband and I plus our two boys 7 and 11) went on this cruise with our in laws and another family (husband wife and 7 year old son) on April 6th. It was spring break for the kids and for my mother in law, who is a teacher. ... Read More
My family (husband and I plus our two boys 7 and 11) went on this cruise with our in laws and another family (husband wife and 7 year old son) on April 6th. It was spring break for the kids and for my mother in law, who is a teacher. Husband and I are Carnival veterans, this was our 8th cruise. However, this was our first time leaving from San Diego. Embarkation: We drove down to San Diego and left our cars in a park in ride. A shuttle at the park and ride provided a free shuttle to the cruise terminal. After a short ride to the terminal, I noticed a huge amount of people at the terminal all scattered about. I though, "how unorganized! This is going to take hours!". I was wrong! Despite all the people and a computer problem (they could not process our paperwork or activate our expense accounts) we on the ship in 30 minutes. Food: In the 10 years we have been cruising with Carnival, they have not changed their menu, which isn't necessarily a bad thing! I look forward to their wonderful cold soups (gaspatcho, mango crea, strawberry) every cruise, as well as lobster and bread pudding. The dining room service has always been spectacular, but this time it was just horrible! The dinner service was the low point of the cruise. Our waitress was really bad. She wasn't rude or unpleasant,just really inept! We were getting out appetizers while other diners were getting their desserts! She would bring items out and leave on the tray for up to 15 minutes before she served them. Dinner service the first night took 2 hours. We complained to the head waiter, but the poor service continued all week. The Supper Club service was great and the food was good. The bartender was a chatty Slovenian girl who was very heavy handed with with the vodka in her martini's! You definitely got what you paid for! Lido dining had a large variety of items, but the lines were long. Long lines, however, are to be expected when you travel during spring break. Cabo: There were 5 ships in port, which is a lot for a small town like Cabo. The tenders took forever! We had booked a shore tour through another agency and had to cancel because they were running late. Shopped for about an hour, then got an early tender back on the ship. No big, I've been to Cabo 4 times before, so I wasn't missing out. Mazatlan: Did the Stone Island tour. Great beach, but the vendors can get quite annoying. You buy one thing, then the others's swarm you. Not much can be done since all of Mexico's beaches are public. La Paz: Hired a taxi and spent the day at a local beach. The water is crystal clear, but very cold! Downtown was quaint, not much was open. On board activities: Bingo, at $20, was a rip off. I enjoyed the trivia games won some medals and a "plastic ship on a stick". My 11 year old loved karaoke. He really didn't participate much in the kids club due to the fact that he was at the tail end (he was 2 months from turning 12) of the 9 to 11 kids club. My 7 year old and his friend had dinner everynight with the kids club. The past guest and captains party were wonderful. Waiters walked around with cocktails and appetizers. The shops were overpriced, but I did get a good deal on Absolut vodka, 2 bottles for $18! I avoided the art auction like the plague since I spent $395 on a painting on my last cruise and never even hung it up! We didn't check out the shows. We all find them to be very cheesy and can't stand the over the top, exaggerated singing! They are produced well, but not really our cup of tea! Debarkation: Our steward was kind enough to let us stay in cabin until they called our group. Getting off the ship was a snap and before we knew it we were on our shuttle to the parking garage. We hopped in the car and head home planning our next cruise the entire 2 hours that it took to get home! Final thoughts: I am a believer that the most important thing to take with you on vacation is an open mind. Keep in mind that you are on a Carnival ship, the most affordable cruise line out there. Keep that in mind anytime you question the clientele or the food quality. You are also an adult and are perfectly capable of locating your own room. You aren't royalty or a super celeb, so don't expect champagne to be handed to you. Again, if you desire services such as room escorts and champagne service, then book a Crystal cruise. If you feel like you don't fit in, book at Holland America. Kids bother you? Don't go on a cruise during spring break, if you don't have a choice, book a cruise that is geared towards an older crowd or couples. Treat the staff like you would want to be treated. If you are condescending or belittling, expect to be treated just as bad. I go on Carnival knowing I am NOT going to get white glove treatment. I know I am going to encounter some "trashy" people and mediocre food. Why do I go? Because Carnival fits my family and friends' budgets to a tee. I know what to expect, I get what I pay for and sometimes evenmore! By the way, we will be going on our 9th Carnival Cruise on Aug 25th! Read Less
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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