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663 Carnival Sydney (Australia) Cruise Reviews

My wife and I booked directly with Carnival in April, 2012 for the First Cruise on 20 October, 2012. Entertainment : Fabulous ! Our daughters are dancers so we were really looking forward to the Shows. They were amazing. 4 great ... Read More
My wife and I booked directly with Carnival in April, 2012 for the First Cruise on 20 October, 2012. Entertainment : Fabulous ! Our daughters are dancers so we were really looking forward to the Shows. They were amazing. 4 great singers, amazing dancers and the band never missed a beat. There were 2 other bands performing onboard. The band 'Hi-lux' that performed on the Lido Deck were awful. Good songs but they couldn't sing and their singing was 'flat'. It was painful to listen to. The other band were fantastic. Name unknown but they performed in 'Club Cool' Food : Sadly we were disappointed with the Food. It ranged from Excellent to Awful. It was really inconsistent. We wondered if we were being too fussy. No, we spoke to at least 4 other couples who said the same. These were meals from the Empire Dining Room. For the first 3 nights we were given the menu and weren't asked if we wanted a drink. Our table 'battled' to get drink service. We finally got a drink after the meal was over. This did improve towards the end of the cruise We also had dinner one night at the 'Nouveau' restaurant. Absolutely sensational ! Unlike any dining experience. Serenity Lounge : Nice place to relax. The 'Pods' that they had were very difficult to get. We were told that people were claiming them at 5 am to ensure they got one for the day. We also found that on the last day at sea, many were being used by people who'd been partying all night and they'd gone straight there and slept. Shopping Arcade : Too much Duty-Free Booze and Cigarettes, not enough 'Spirit' souvenirs. Staff : So excellent. Dedicated, friendly and helpful. Cabin : Beautiful. We had a Balcony Room and it was great. Plenty of room to relax. Summary : An enjoyable cruise. We're not sure that Carnival completely understands the Australian market and what we want. They tried. I hope Carnival will learn. Would we cruise with them again ? NO. The food was a HUGE let-down. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was our seventh cruise. Previous cruises have been with Star Cruises, Princess Cruises and Holland America. We stayed in an aft balcony at what we thought was a very good rate. But the bottom line is - you get what you pay for. ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise. Previous cruises have been with Star Cruises, Princess Cruises and Holland America. We stayed in an aft balcony at what we thought was a very good rate. But the bottom line is - you get what you pay for. While we really enjoyed the cruise, you could see why it didn't cost as much as our previous cruises. What was good: The itinerary. Four stops in Vanuatu and a day in the Isle of Pines were all excellent. Plus five days at sea to enjoy the cruising life. The service at dinner. This was our first time we had done fixed time dining and couldn't believe how good the service was. The entertainment. Well above average for a cruise ship. The female singers and dancers were the best we have seen on a ship, and we loved the band with a brass section in the jazz bar. The specialty restaurant. Worth the extra $35 a head. Expresso coffee machines in the dining room. A very well equipped fitness club. Travelling with Australians. Much less rudeness and pushing in than other cruises. Water slides and mini golf for kids - our 10 year old loved it, and also loved the kids club. What was not so good: The food was really ordinary. Worst buffet I have seen by a long way. You could see were they were saving costs - it was four days into the cruise before they trusted us to get our own bacon. Very little seafood and very small servings in the main dining room. "Prawns" one night totalled one. (Although eggs and steaks were both well done, as was the sea-side barbecue and the all day hamburgers. So you could still eat well if you were careful). Desserts were terrible. Decor was just awful and/or inappropriate. Much of it was completely amateurish. We had an explicit painting of a naked 14 year old in our room above our son's bed. The ship is designed to help you forget you are on a ship. No big lounge where you can sit and look at the water. On the deck areas outside where there were uninterrupted views of the water, they refused to put out deck chairs, even on the promenade deck. When I get on a ship I want to be able to sit and look at the water, but apparently I am in the minority. Coffee from the coffee shops was diabolical. Staff confirmed to me that claims by Carnival they were specially trained for Australia just wasn't true. Shore excursion sold out within a day. There weren't anywhere near enough for the numbers of passengers on the ship. General levels of service and maintenance. You could tell they had a lot less staff than more expensive ships. You need to bring your own shower and shampoo. What was provided in the cabins was terrible. No news or weather forecasts provided. In fact the cruise director thought it was funny to give incorrect forecasts. No sail-away parties. In fact we were three hours late and it was dark by the time we left Sydney, which was very disappointing. I love cruising and enjoyed the cruise, but will go back to paying for a four star ship in future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
EMBARKATION. * Well organised but should have rung alarm bells when we saw so many kids !!!!! * Luggage was prompt delivery. * Departure was very late. They should know how long it takes to load the ship. CABINS. * Just ordinary. ... Read More
EMBARKATION. * Well organised but should have rung alarm bells when we saw so many kids !!!!! * Luggage was prompt delivery. * Departure was very late. They should know how long it takes to load the ship. CABINS. * Just ordinary. Poor toiletries. Plenty of storage space. * Cabin attendant was not the friendliest of people, not up to standard of previous cruise liners. LIBRARY. * Absolutely pathetic. Attended by the show staff (Dancers, etc.) Not computerised and books are hidden by computer terminals in front of book cases. COMMUNICATION. * Very poor. * Still haven't seen the Captain and only heard him once give a ship's update. * We had no idea where we were. * Ship's navigation map was pathetic. KIDS. * Ran amok, yelling and shouting and generally disturbing what little peace could be found. * No supervision by either ships staff or (in many cases) parents. CASINO. * How can kids be allowed in the Casino??? and right at the tables. * Is this not against the law????? SECURITY STAFF. * Conspicuous by their absence. They had it easy on this cruise. * Why weren't they out controlling the kids???? DECK CHAIRS. * No deck chairs on the promenade deck. FOOD. (WHAT?????) * The Nouveau was very good and staff excellent. * Very poor in all other venues. DRINKS AND BEVERAGES. * Coffee was poor and served in PAPER!!!!!!CUPS at coffee shops. * Alcoholic beverages were average cruise prices. ENTERTAINMENT AND PRODUCTION SHOWS. * Entertainment was very poor when compared to other cruises. * Comedy Club was smutty. ACTIVITIES. * Nothing suitable. Mostly only Trivia. Not what we are used to. * No guest speakers. TENDERS AND ISLAND LANDING. * Tendering was very good. * Ship's arrival and departure times should be extended to allow more time ashore. ON BOARD SHOPS. * Clinique prices very good. (Wife Happy). PHOTOS. * Excellent. Best setup of any cruise we have been on. CRUISE DIRECTOR (WHAT??????). * Completely useless. DISEMBARKATION PROCEDURE * Excellent. Quickest we have ever gotten off a ship. CRUISE REVIEW FORMS. * None to be had. Are Carnival afraid of bad feedback????? Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Starting with the good,our stateroom attendant was 10/10, eating at the Portifino Restaurant was A1 (BUT YOU HAD TO PAY)The ice show was a 10 /10.The Art auctions 10/10. And thats it with the good. The bad, no coffee is supplied to ... Read More
Starting with the good,our stateroom attendant was 10/10, eating at the Portifino Restaurant was A1 (BUT YOU HAD TO PAY)The ice show was a 10 /10.The Art auctions 10/10. And thats it with the good. The bad, no coffee is supplied to your room so take your own, the coffe that is made on board is like tar.On average 70% of staff can understand english, but can not answer to what you are saying. Room service can take 10 minutes for them to understand "I want a hamburger and chips" this will be delivered 40 minutes later.. First 2 days you couldnt get reception desk so you lined up with everyone else to get an answer to a question.. which could also take up to 10 minutes because no body knew anything.. Some staff had been with the boat for 3 weeks. Too many days of cruising,, with very little to do..The picture theatre had people sitting in the isles.. ice skating rink is open for 2 hours a day,, and if you havent booked days in advance,,you cant do..the shows we arrived at were booked out so once again you didnt stay. Alchol prices vary from day to day> 1 day a glass of wine is $8 then $13.Shopping on board is limited to bags and jewellery. My advise in booking tours (after spending well over $2000.00 on them) Do it yourself on the day you arrive in the said Port,,, with exception to the Queenstown tour which was worth every cent... It can take up to an hour to get off/on the boat in each Port (unless you have booked a tour with the ship)The food averaged a 3/10 but on a good day 6/10. The negatives go on and on. I met no one that enjoyed this cruise. My advise use another ship as all my prior cruises rated a 9/10. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Hubby and I sailed 16/11/2012 on Carnival Spirit from Sydney for 11 nights. Had done 6 other cruises. This one was very disappointing. I am writing to advise others of more senior years, (over 55 years) do NOT consider this cruise line. ... Read More
Hubby and I sailed 16/11/2012 on Carnival Spirit from Sydney for 11 nights. Had done 6 other cruises. This one was very disappointing. I am writing to advise others of more senior years, (over 55 years) do NOT consider this cruise line. The allocation for children you find on other lines does not apply to Carnival. We sailed with (official figures) 2460 passengers of that 900 were children. This is a family ship I was told. However I would never have sailed had I known. The entertainment during the day was family and children based. The shows were very average and had to search for seats where children were not yapping and running amok. Security was scarce, children running along hallways, through the dining room, down the stairs, in the lifts, in gangs, was common. Children in the pool in nappies never drew attention from staff, running on the decks didn't either. The food in the dining room (very relaxed attire) was excellent as were the staff. The buffet was very ordinary, having to queue at 3-4 different counters to get a variety, then eat cold food. The staff load up the trays with food, then put more on top, thus cold meals and very little variety. The sweets were average and the same all the time. In comparison The Rhapsody of the seas was 10 star. The Serenity deck was a joke, hard to get a seat unless you are up at dawn. Smokers are not encouraged, 2 small deck areas, one under cover the other not and at the front of the ship away from all activity and music etc. A pool in this area with children galore close to the smokers. The cabin was great and staff excellent. Unfortunately I was longing for home after day 3 for some peace and relaxation. Ports were changed due to bad weather, and only visited 4 instead of 5. So please be warned, if you want time away from the kids or don;t want the disruption choose another shipping line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We have been on many cruises on various cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Star Cruises, P&O and Princess. We have found that on every cruise there are things that are done really well and there are ... Read More
We have been on many cruises on various cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Star Cruises, P&O and Princess. We have found that on every cruise there are things that are done really well and there are areas for improvement. We also find that the more cruises that we have done the more we tend to compare every aspect of the cruise with previous cruises which is not something that we like to do but find it hard not to do. I guess it is just human nature to compare and critique. We cruised to the South Pacific for 8 nights from 8 November 2012 to 16 November 2012. We were in a balcony cabin on deck 5 (5220). The cabin itself was very comfortable for the 3 of us (myself, my wife and our 2 year old daughter). The annoying thing was the air conditioning. It was very noisy. We new it was not normal because we had relatives staying in a balcony cabin on the same level and their air conditioning was whisper quiet. We mentioned it to our room attendant Dennis (who was excellent) and a mechanic came up to have a look. We were told that the noise was coming from the unit above the roof and there was nothing that could be done. Walking along the corridor we noticed that about every 10th cabin had the same noise above the cabin door. Just a word of warning when you book your cabin to ask about the location of the air conditioning unit. Carnival have undertaken an extensive advertising campaign over the past 12 months to inform the Australian public that the Spirit was homeporting in Sydney for the next few years and they have really promoted the ship to be something very special. Having cruised with Carnival in the US we were really looking forward to having a Carnival ship based in our home town of Sydney. Well let me just say that Carnival US and Carnival Australia are like chalk and cheese, particularly when it comes to the quality of the food. The buffet food on the Carnival Spirit was very average both in quality and presentation. I think that Carnival have cut costs and have foolishly assumed that the Aussies just want their own Aussie beers on board and as long as they have their beer they don't care about the food. Afterall we have been used to P&O quality food for the past 30 years (which is very hit and miss) so Carnival's assumption seems to be that anything better than that is going to satisfy us Aussies. We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet and most dinners in the Empire Dining Room apart from one night when we went to the Nouveau Steakhouse which we also thought was way overated. We have been to Chops Grille on Royal Caribbean ships and regard Chops as an exceptional dining experience. On all levels the Nouveau Steakhouse is no where near the dining experience of Chops Grille and certainly not worth the $35 cover charge. Anyway I won't bore you all and go into depth about every aspect of the cruise. In summary, we found the good aspects of the cruise to be: The entertainment staff were excellent and there was always some activity happening that was fun. The Empire Dining Room staff were very very good and nothing was too much trouble. They fussed over our 2 year old daughter and cleaned up her mess night after night. The entertainment was excellent. We loved the Punchliners Comedy Club, particularly the Adults Only Comedians. The Green Thunder Waterslide is great fun and the Water Works area is great for the kids. We also liked the 2 swimming pools although they were cold early in the day and did not warm up until the afternoon. The gymnasium was very good and had all the weights and machines you find in a gym on land. The Kids Club was excellent. We have a 2 year old and she loved it. The staff are very caring and lots of fun. You can see they really love their jobs Our room attendant Dennis. He was was great and made a towel animal every night for our daughter. Nothing was too much trouble for him. The things we didn't like: As previously mentioned, the Nouveau Steakhouse was disappointing and not worth the $35 cover charge. Poor service and the steaks were nothing special. Desserts were ordinary. The drinks were expensive at minimum $6.95 for a beer and $11 for a glass of reisling. It was cheaper to buy a cocktail than a glass of wine. The buffet food as mentioned previously. The design of the buffet was also very cumbersome and confusing. Food stations were spread out about 30 metres apart at either end of the buffet. By the time you queued for different types of food and finally got back to your table your food was cold. To get a slice of pizza was almost impossible. You had to order a whole pizza and wait up to 15 minutes for it to cook. That system may work at 3am when there are not many people around but at 1pm when the buffet is crowded with people and you just want one slice to have with the rest of your lunch it really did not work. There were too many dark and dingy areas of the ship and the fact that there was dark timber and decor everywhere did not help. The atrium was also very dark and not attractive at all. The in-cabin television was pathetic. Very little to watch (I know they want you out of your cabin spending money not watching TV). Old movies and terrible news service. Nowhere on board could you find a weather report for the current day or the next day. You had no idea what the weather was going to be. Would be an idea to include it on the Daily Canival "Fun Times" like other cruise lines do. Stu the Cruise Director was boring. Every morning he would say the same thing "welcome to another beautiful day in paradise" even when it was cloudy, cold and blowing a gale outside. He really had very little personality at all. I have a 2 year old child and love kids but there were too many kids on board. We were told there were 1500. Apparently a bunch of teenagers were out jumping on the twister waterslide in the middle of the night and cracked the plastic so it was not working from day 3 for the remainder of the cruise. The kids took over the Jacuzzis. I counted 26 of them in one Jacuzzi one afternoon. There was no feedback survey form for us to complete at the end of the cruise. Maybe they really don't care what the guests think? I'm hoping they email us a survey form so I can provide both positive feedback and some constructive criticism. Despite all the above issues we still enjoyed the cruise but very much doubt that we will cruise on the Carnival Spirit again. There are too many better options to choose from such as Royal Caribbean, Princess or Celebrity that now cruise out of Sydney. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was our 9th cruise, and our 3rd out of Australia. We had previously been on Carnival Spirit, and were attracted by the itinerary, as it visited islands we had not seen before. However, due to bad weather to the north of Vanuatu the ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise, and our 3rd out of Australia. We had previously been on Carnival Spirit, and were attracted by the itinerary, as it visited islands we had not seen before. However, due to bad weather to the north of Vanuatu the itinerary was changed and we ended up revisiting ports. The weather was very good after we turned south, and we were pleased about that. The embarkation was perfect, possibly the quickest ever. The ship was quite amazing, the theme was art deco and art nouveau, and we loved the glass themes, there was fantastic blown glass from Italy everywhere. The atrium was quite different to the usual light, bright,lots of windows that are on Princess and Royal Caribbean, but it was beautiful in it's own way, especially at night. Our cabin was an Ocean Suite, and it was the best cabin we have ever had. The service in the cabin was wonderful, it was always immaculate. The food in the Empire Dining Room was good, but with some variation in quality. However our wait staff were brilliant, and were happy to exchange anything that we weren't happy with. There was fun entertainment in the dining room every night, which we really enjoyed. The attention to my partner's special diet (non-gluten) was excellent, and the Maitre D' - Dessi - was the best ever. The food in the Lido Grill buffet was also very good, there were heaps of choices. There were different "stations", and we found the best way to deal with the crowds was to eat at a non-peak time, and to visit each station separately. (Who wants to combine Asian and Italian on the same plate anyway? )The outdoor food areas were good too, for burgers, and for Jimmy's Grill. There was a different chef's theme every day, and we never tired of the food. The Asian was particularly good, featuring different cuisines each day also. The gym facilities were great, and the Serenity area for adults only was also good - we spent some time there as there were over 500 kids on board. The rest of the ship was quite noisy and chaotic at times. The Ports were nothing special, and we did not partake of any ship's excursions. The only real let down for us was the entertainment. The cruise director Stu was only just passable, and the quality of the production shows was just not up to the usual standards.Only the last show was really up to scratch. The comedy was ok, but became boring. We found that there were less things to do on board during the day too - and as there were 6 sea days this was quite disappointing. Overall the cruise was enjoyable and relaxing , and we had a great time. I think Carnival should do well in Australia, particularly for families, the facilities for kids seemed great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We have been on a couple of cruises before but we are not comparing this cruise to others - we are just assessing it on the value from our perspective. Embarkation was very quick and painless with lots of staff to register you and then ... Read More
We have been on a couple of cruises before but we are not comparing this cruise to others - we are just assessing it on the value from our perspective. Embarkation was very quick and painless with lots of staff to register you and then customs was also quick. We were very pleased with our cabin. A lot of room really and of course a wonderful balcony albeit quite small. We also discovered that the ship had laundries which was a bonus so we could wash and dry clothes for about $7.50 a load. We would warn everyone that this is a family ship and if you don't want to encounter kids running around don't take this ship. There is a big water slide which of course kids and adults enjoyed but we thought that many of the kids were not supervised and ran riot. There is an adults area at the rear of the ship called the Serenity Lounge and a lot of people take advantage of this and a lot more would have, if they had more chairs available. Unfortunately on one evening a group of adults felt they needed to bring their own Greek music into the lounge and although we like to see people have a good time, this group had no consideration for others that would like to listen to the music being played in the lounge. The food on the ship is fine with the option of the buffet (which is a bit disjointed)or the formal Empire Room. The only negative we would have with the food is that lunch goes off at 3pm and then dinner starts about 6pm. The only food available in this "off time" are fresh made pizzas (which take a bit of time to make) and fresh sandwiches which also have to be made. We thought it would be a good idea if there were crackers and cheese and other nibblies available while having predinner drinks. Also late in the evening we didn't necessarily feel like pizza or a sandwich. The staff were fantastic - very friendly and helpful. We could not fault any of them. The shows were OK although we didn't go to all of them. We feel that some people are hard to please when it comes to shows! We noticed there were no rubbish bins around which seemed strange. You had the choice of dropping rubbish (which we saw some had done) or finding a waiter's station. We thought the prices of alcohol were very good so we ended up buying 2 bottles (1125ml each)of Johnny Walker Blue Label Scotch for $74 total and also 2 x 1125 Tanqueray Gin for under $50. We usually have an interior cabin, so now we have been spoiled with a balcony cabin thanks to the affordable price - don't know how we can ever return to the "black hole of Calcutta" type cabins now! This review is being typed while we are on the last day of our cruise, in the Serenity Lounge listening to some relaxing live music by "Guy" sipping a Margarita - no complaints here! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
The good bits: - Speciality restaurant is great. Best steak I have ever eaten! - Overall food is great with some shell fish almost every lunch/dinner - 2nd last show is the best you will see (Bourbon St) - Good sized rooms - ... Read More
The good bits: - Speciality restaurant is great. Best steak I have ever eaten! - Overall food is great with some shell fish almost every lunch/dinner - 2nd last show is the best you will see (Bourbon St) - Good sized rooms - Fantastic atmosphere with some amazing detail in the decorations, for a ship from 2001 it still looks fantastic! - Salt water pools - Excellent embarkation and debarkation processes - great crew, very informative - Comedians were decent but repetitive - Great shops with very good and helpful staff - No tips to give, unless you really want to, no pressure. The bad bits: - Crew can be a bit too informative (long presentations on debarkation for example) - Have to pay for room service - Way to many kids for our liking (800 I believe on our cruise!) - Entertainment was a bit "cruiser based" rather than "entertainer based". Lots of game show type activities rather than shows. - Expensive shore excursions ($65 for a bus that takes you to a beach and back again? Please!) - Few niggling issues like slamming doors next to the Serenity deck (not so serene if you get my gist) - Weak daily cocktail (needs more rum!) Overall we came away with a positive experience. Considering 2 people died on board, they had to change schedules due to a cyclone, and there were 2 major medical emergencies, the crew did a great job in keeping the show on the road. I would go again if the deal was good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We started our holiday with a fantastic price for a balcony room. Met our friends from Queensland, we are from Melbourne, in Sydney airport. We had a very quick and easy checkout- I couldn't believe how easy it was.I had cruised on ... Read More
We started our holiday with a fantastic price for a balcony room. Met our friends from Queensland, we are from Melbourne, in Sydney airport. We had a very quick and easy checkout- I couldn't believe how easy it was.I had cruised on P&O in 2011 and it was terrible checking in, out and in and out of ports- not with Carnival!We walked in and headed to the Adults Only Serenity area. Kids were around but hey, we'll give them a break because it was the best view for leaving Sydney Harbour!Serenity was gorgeous but not enough of tha cabana lounges- apparantly the staff were getting onto that for the future. Probably too many kids on the cruise and staff acknowledged this. Kids in the Casino- should have been a no no!! Likes- Staff were fabulous and I mean everybody- they couldn't do enough for you!We still keep in contact with some of the dining and entertainment staff. - Chef's Table was fantastic I would suggest everybody do it but not everybody can. It gives you an insight on just how much work goes into food preparation on the ship and i think it should be compulsory for anyone of the winging cruisers who complain about the food!! - Aaron and the Dining staff brought out a lovely cake and sang to us on our wedding anniversary- thankyou to them all. - Drinks were reasonably priced and non alcoholic drinks were easily accessed and included in the price. Massages and the Gym were fantastic. - We loved the ports and getting to know the locals. - We booked a photoshoot with Francis at Dreams Studio and all the photos turned out fantastic. So happy with the final product and a lovely keepsake as it was our 20th wedding anniversary. - Guy and Mikey were excellent entertainers. Overall Carnival Spirit was Fantastic !!! We will return!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
As a family we enjoy cruising and we have done a few in Australia and overseas! The cruise we took this year with Carnival Spirit to South Pacific on the 27th of December 2012 was the worst we ever had. The only happy moment was the ... Read More
As a family we enjoy cruising and we have done a few in Australia and overseas! The cruise we took this year with Carnival Spirit to South Pacific on the 27th of December 2012 was the worst we ever had. The only happy moment was the embarkation that I have to admit was very quick! After that the feeling of the boat, the lack of style in the theme of the decoration allover started from the Lido-buffet restaurant deck that was decorated in something that came out of the 70s!! The very busy decoration and the extremely low Decks that mixed Tahitian Ladies -an imitation of Gauguin's painting- and a Pharaoh's palace !!! (can you imagine it)as the theme for the main entertainment area/theater/bingo place/information centre, were doubled by the lack of areas where one can read quietly!! First time ever I saw in a cruiser the areas where one could read located in the corridors/walkways were 2500 were walking constantly! What else?? let me start counting because it was not really only the taste of decoration that disappointed me... 1. To begin with we paid good money and opted Spirit over the cruise in the same area offered by The Radiance because me and few others were silly enough to trust magazines like Woman's Day that claimed that was the best cruise ever... that their water slide -the Green thunder was the best entertainment in the sea!! As a mother of a 13 yo girl I opted it because my daughter was thrilled with the idea and we have already experienced an amazing cruise last year with radiance of the Seas , so we said lets try this one that in PAID ads was promoted as amazing!!! BIG MISTAKE DONOT REPEAT IT. The Green thunder worked for 4 days out of the 12, mainly because it could not function during the sailing time since all the carbon dioxide from the chimney and the ships engines were going straight to the children's lungs!!!Not only this... mechanical problems were stopping the proper function of all the water features -water buckets etc!!!!So my child while sailing for 8 never ending days could not use the feature that attracted us to the ship!!! So her other option was to join the kids club called C-ircle 2. the children club... Boring not existing, not organised, unsupervised all the time, there was no communication of the events, hardly ever a person was in the C-circle the 12 to 14 age group area. The activities organised were located in the Dance!!!Disco area I think 3 of the 8 nights we were sailing...that brings me to my 3rd issue why on earth I was so silly to choose 8/12 days in the sea? 3. The sea days...Well, actually the cruise I booked had five ports of call-2 of which included New Caledonia (Noumea and Isles of Pines!!)Yet the "horrific" Cyclone Freda was promoted to us that we were enclosed in the ship as a major threat and hence "for our safety" the boat had to cancel the two new Caledonian ports! On the flip side Radiance of the seas that delayed the departure due to the same cyclone!!! managed eventually to arrive to their destination while we were cruising the pacific at 10 knots pour passe les temps....to spend our days! I personally read the NASA satellite info re Freda and everyone knew by the 1st of Jan that freda was not even a tropical storm! I read the info from the french government meteorology department and the info was the same....Dear Freda died and moved AWAY from caledonia. When I contacted the service deck where they has "INFO" with 2 posters one colourful with Freda on top of New Caledonia and the other in Gray scale with the location of the ship and the gray FREDA very close to us and AWAY from caledonia and I asked them to DATE the 2 different posters, their response was to REMOVE both posters!!! So what did we do instead of visiting Caledonia? we visited SVELTO and Lugenville!!! (one port instead of 2, significantly cheaper port fees I might add!) A welcoming dance was performed all day in the wharf in front of us, where the naked girls dancing were so embarrassed they ere holding their hands in front of their breast and that made me feel 10 more times more embarrassed!! because they were forced to do this... 4. So many days in the sea...HOW DID WE SPEND OUR TIME???? we try to entertain ourselves with lets say ...BINGO?? OK lets discuss the Bingo farce!! we participated in the bingo the last 3 endless sea days. During ALL of them the screen stopped working and the second day ...picture this the brought out the BINGO basket and were pulling the numbers manually!!! Yeah back to the future!!! is this really according to the BINGO standards???? I bet you don't believe me...Ask the other 500+ people who witnessed it because they didn't have anything else to do!! By the way are children allowed to play bingo???? because at least 2 (8-9 y.o) won few stakes!!! one of them was next to me and I saw the little child using his bingo dapper and good luck to him but.... exactly! 5. Our cabin!...yeah A triple share *F category stateroom with balcony on the last floor that had cabins was according my judgement an excellent choice. We paid after all 7600AUD just for the cabin... What was the problem??? the air condition and the fan in the cabin was malfunctioning, so I called once the service they came they measured the temperature they decided it is too hot!!! and they sent the A?C boy who said that he had to get up in between the next deck and the ceiling of our cabin to fix the A?C because there was no cool air coming out! We got out of the cabin, he claimed he fixed it and he did, the room was cool at night! BUT next morning while sleeping around 5 am I woke up with metallic taste in my mouth and the smell of petrol and exhaust in the cabin! I called the service they sent an officer -a lady with blocked nose and no equipment to SMELL the room.She said I cannot smell anything!!! and started playing with the A/C! I remind you that my daughter and husband were sleeping in the same cabin and all of us were coughing as crazy. The lady requested a higher officer!!!!... He came he said he cannot smell anything and he was rude as if I was crazy! I asked him to measure the temperature of the room and sent a technician but as "the authority" he decided that nothing was wrong! I insisted because my professional expertise are related to mechanics and engine function and I knew the problem was that the filter was removed and all the engines' fumes were coming into our room! I removed my family from the room, asked for incidence report and to contact the captain and ONLY then they decided to sent a technician!! The gentleman came and he admitted that there was no record of the previous repair! So he got up in the roof and saw that the problem was the missing filter (yeah I was right and ALIVE) and he fixed it. Thank you Gabriel! So we survived...Ah not to forget... they dared to offer me $100 credit in my expenses account!I called them and I said "..NO Thanks!I am not willing to accept a bribe" Eventually, every time the boat stopped in a port, the fumes were still intruding in our CABIN!! 6. Entertainment!!...Everyone I read critiquing this specific cruise line agree that the head of entertainment need to LEARN his job...primary school level! the band cheap the songs the same again...the new years celebration boring! except for those drinking! And the best of all!! Santa finally was of Asian background, young short and thin! Yap!!I have just started a new learning curve, as of German background I missed very much this year my fat old smiley Santa Claus with his read robe...this year Santa had white beard...glasses of course, black eyebrows and WHITE robe...!!!Decoration???? the old Christmas one, new years buffet? nothing special!Last year in Royal caribbean they worked all night to offer us a buffet that I will never forget!As you understand the comparison was constant! What else...what else...Ah Not to forget...on the 30th of December (after leaving SUVA)we hear an announcement .."your security and safety yadda yaddda above all ....the spa is closed because there was a circuit malfunction...Donot use the front elevators the terrible smell will be shorted out soon" I donot know if someone was "cooked" in the spa...you know boiling water and human soup like the Pirates of Caribbean _just joking_ but the event was a fact. All the massage and spa area was closed, bookings were cancelled fees were returned. I had mother daughter massage booked for the next day...that was cancelled. The food was mediocre nothing compared to Radiance! Here after they ask me a port review...sorry none of the "ports" we visited is in the list!!! 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 December 2012
We did the same cruise with P&O last year but were Keene on trying a new ship. The room was excellent, we had an extended balcony which was roomy with a huge deck, the tv was small and the only small thing we didn't like about the ... Read More
We did the same cruise with P&O last year but were Keene on trying a new ship. The room was excellent, we had an extended balcony which was roomy with a huge deck, the tv was small and the only small thing we didn't like about the room. The entertainment was horrible not even b cruise ship standards. The duo was a Thai duo who sang the same CCR song every night(very karaoke), the band was from Manila and not very good, the piano guy sang same old Elton John, Celine Dion songs, shows were not worth going to but the comedians were good. We tried to do the trivial pursuit but we were greeted by a grumpy hostess who open with "why are there more people here than yesterday! Don't they know its a progressive game and they can't play! " so we left. They put a big band in the deco lounge which blasted everyone out. They had heaps of room to cater for families, couples and elderly but failed to cater for any one group properly. The cruise director has been doing his job for 15 yrs and on one level it shows that he is complacent and on another level surprising he can't speak properly over the PA. Our last cruise director made him look like a child. The food as always was plentiful but quantity doesn't make up for the lack of Quality. Plenty of choice though so you do usually find something. The restaurant you pay for a quality experience is a compete waste of money they only did steaks that were no better than the main dining room compared to P&O who had a celebrity chef which was worth every penny. The say the ship was refurbished but you couldn't tell same American tacky Vegas decor. The serenity area was ok but still the kids run through on the way to the slides and when they get to the top they then yell at their parents who are trying to get a break from them. The pods in the adult only serenity area are usually all gone by 6:00 am and is the only shade on the deck apart from tables and group chairs. They also shut the bar early. We tried a few times to have adult drinks in serenity but once we got kicked out because the staff where having a party on Xmas eve! Most nights what looked like minors where drinking there and when we complained the officer asked for Id and they left. The shore executions are double the price of arranging yourself which is fair enough for convience. We made sure we had a good time and most people would but out of three cruises two being the same this was by far the worst and if it was my first I would not do another. I can't believe P&O and Carnival are run by the same company when the results are so different. They haven't asked for feedback either which P&O where very interested and provided many channels to ensure they know what's happening. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
In starting this review it must be pointed out that not all things on the Carnival Spirit were bad or poorly managed, however the negatives on this ship far outweigh the positives. I will attempt to lay out the pros and cons using a ... Read More
In starting this review it must be pointed out that not all things on the Carnival Spirit were bad or poorly managed, however the negatives on this ship far outweigh the positives. I will attempt to lay out the pros and cons using a timeline starting with the boarding process and ending with disembarkation. BOARDING Pros The boarding process was quite smooth and event free although the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal is not really suited to this purpose Cons - There was barely enough room between check-in counters to enable the process to be complete. People were pushed into and against each other to get to the counter to have their photos taken and cards issued. - There were no crew members on hand to guide people to their respective areas of the ship (at 1pm) and therefore it was a bit hit and miss - whilst you can board from 1pm you are not able to access your cabin to leave your bags until 1:30pm or later Sail-away Pros - muster went well with little inconvenience Cons - the drill was poorly managed with very few crew demonstrating how to put on a life vest. - the bar staff and lido deck was not prepared or welcoming of passengers, there were no drink stations set up, no lanyard selling locations for your sail and sign card ( in fact you could not buy one until the shops opened some 2 hours after sailing) - there was no sail-away party or celebration and the cruise director was not on the lido deck to kick of the 'fun' as described by Carnival. Entertainment Pros - Some great shows with fantastic special effects, props, dances and singers. - The hypnotist was simply brilliant and he performed to a packed show lounge Cons - Some of the shows were very ordinary e.g magicians and comedians - A complete lack of entertainment for passengers on the Lido deck, on NYE the band stopped playing for the hour before midnight, so from around 10:30pm to 11:30pm there was NO music at all - Children activities were so limited that kids were bored our of their heads and this led to some kids resorting to other ways to amuse themselves. - NYE was generally hailed as a failure for Carnival on this cruise. Stu the cruise director completely stuffed up the whole countdown and overall most saw the event as an anti climax. - Stu announced mid way through the cruise that "due to passenger requests, the band would play on the lido deck during the day" This reviewer believes the number of complaints made it impossible to ignore their general lack of any day time entertainment Children In general, Carnival pretty much allowed all children to do whatever they wanted for the first few days, this involved running amok on all decks, lifts and stateroom areas. Security failed to stop children from being in and interacting with the Casino gaming machines and in some cases children were roaming decks in packs. Carnivals initial response was to put the responsibility back on the parents but this soon changed with the huge number of complaints they were receiving from passengers. Security was beefed up but still failed to control unruly behavior. It is clear that Carnival will need to follow P&O Australia's lead and limit the number of children on each cruiseTender Operations Pros - most of the passengers did manage to get ashore within 2 hours and back to the ship by sailing Cons - the tenders for Spirit appear to have been built for colder climates and have no sliding windows to allow cool air to circulate. This resulted in some near medical emergencies due to the high heat and humidity many passengers endured on the longer tender trips in Fiji. - Not all of the ships tenders were launched and used in tender operations and this led to huge backlogs of people waiting to get back to the ship. Mystery Island queues often lasting for up to an hour. Stu at one stage announced that all tenders would be used to assist at Port Denarau in Fiji as well as a large hired catamaran. In fact only two of the four tenders were launched and the wait times to get both ashore and back were extensive. Over 200 passengers were still ashore at sail time due to the lack of tenders. - each tender was packed tight and with temperatures at times nearing 40c in the tender, I believe carnival were lucky to avoid a medical situation. As a health and safety person I was concerned at the risk taken by Carnival on this occasion Food and Beverages Pros - The food overall was very good and to a high standard. - There was sufficient variety and at times exceeded the variety seen on other cruise ships. - The operation of the restaurant and bistro areas worked quite well with little to no waiting to be seated. - a good variety of cocktails, beers and spirits that really suits the Aussie market - the bottomless bubbles package is very good value for those who drink a lot of soft drink Cons - Food was often cold when served - Service was a bit hit and miss. Most of the time service was fast and friendly but at other times it could take 2 hours to eat a standard meal - the specialty restaurant (Noveau)was nice for one visit but not really worth the additional money paid. - there was a lack of bar staff in the restaurant and NO bar service to tables in the bistro. This was a surprise as other ships have waiters to pour coffee or serve drinks to tables. This was not the case in the bistro and severely limited in the restaurant - Cocktails were very strong on day one of the cruise and became weaker as the cruise progressed. The ship also served all soft drinks out of cans and filled 80% of each cup with ice. On the second last day the ship ran out of coke and lemonade as well as Bourbon.Staterooms Pros - the suites were a reasonable size with some good amenities - a nice touch with the towel folding animals each day - the room is cleaned in the morning and then receive a turn down service with chocolates in the evening Cons - some cabin stewards did only the basics and nothing more whilst others went out of their way to assist their guests. All service from the cabin stewards ceased at 12:30pm and recommenced at 5:30pm. - bar fridges were locked on the evening before departure with no warnings provided Disembarkation Pros - the system was a good in theory and the collection of luggage from staterooms was excellent. Cons - Allowing so many passengers to take off their own luggage proved to be a real issue and resulted in long lines and confusion - to many passengers were allowed to leave at one time and no one appeared to be monitoring who left when? Overall The ship is of a nice design but the decor is dated with dark colors. The atrium is small by most standards and most describe it an unappealing. Little to no preparation appears to be done for each new cruise as is often done with other cruise lines e.g cocktails in various mobile locations, sale of lanyards for sail and sign cards, music and fun for sail-away. Departure time is very late compared to other cruise ship departures and this can conflict with dinner arrangements and show times. The ship has way to many children on-board with very lax security. Parents should face heavy fines for their child's actions due to being unsupervised, drinking underage, gambling (bingo etc). There were several fights on the Lido deck and it has been alleged that 4 people were removed from the ship in Suva. Whilst this review has focused on the issues and concerns, it must be pointed out that it was in no way the cruise from hell. But when compared to P&O, Princess and RCCL, Carnival have a lot of work to do. Basic things like calling Jelly, Jello simply demonstrate a lack of attention to details. Showing American sports and TV in staterooms and sports bars also demonstrates a lack of initiative to suit the market. This reviewer was informed that Stu was sent to P&O to "see how they do it". It would appear that Stu may not have been paying too much attention and the ship is still not changed over from the American state it arrived in back in October 2012. I would not recommend this ship to other cruisers Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This is the first cruise me and my family have ever done and overall we had a good time. But their were quite a few people that I had spoken to on board who were disappointed with their cruise. This is what I thought on a whole. ... Read More
This is the first cruise me and my family have ever done and overall we had a good time. But their were quite a few people that I had spoken to on board who were disappointed with their cruise. This is what I thought on a whole. Showtime: Showtime needs to improve, the shows lacked variety, different singers and Class Magicians. Bingo: Queues for buying tickets!!! Everyone complained about this. Other ships sell bingo tickets from all over the ship. Not carnival. The prizemoney was lacking as well, other cruisers claimed that P&O have prizes ranging from $5000 to $14000 well above the $1000 Carnival offered. Kids Club: This was probably the most disappointing for us my 8yr old son and 9yr old daughter both lasted only 2hr in 2 different clubs. They need to improve their kids clubs badly. Supervision: Children roamed the ship at will running down corridors and knocking on people's doors at will. Other Parents left their kids in the pool or spa and went and did their own thing. They advertise kids must be supervised but it is not policed. Internet: This was another big disappointment for me, Basic internet is shocking and not worth even $30. I bought a $65 package that finished on day 11 but is advertised as for the whole cruise. False Advertising. Sports bar: Mostly empty on my cruise and no wonder why. If carnival spirit wants to advertise itself as Australian it needs to start acting Australian. Australians don't want to watch American sports in the sports bar. ESPN in not Australian, it shows American sports 80% of the time. Even the AFL Grand Final was not shown in the sports bar let alone the Cricket. To the good points now..... Service: I thought the overall service was excellent. People went out of their way to help me...... with a smile. Got to know a lot of staff and I was sad to leave them. Food: I thought the food was also excellent. From Fat Jimmys, Lido deck the Empire and the Nouveau. We dined in the Empire nearly every night. Well above my expectations. I gained nearly 5kgs in 12 days. Gym: The best Ive ever seen. Alcohol: Was very reasonably priced. Less than what I expected. Cleanliness: I thought the boat was kept very clean. Overall I had a good time but yet again I had nothing to compare it to. My next cruise will be on a larger boat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarkation Was superb and very quick. Bags were delivered in a prompt manner. Stateroom We had a balcony on level 6 and we were pleasantly surprised with the size of the room. No free water in the room. Ships facilities They ... Read More
Embarkation Was superb and very quick. Bags were delivered in a prompt manner. Stateroom We had a balcony on level 6 and we were pleasantly surprised with the size of the room. No free water in the room. Ships facilities They were pretty good especially the adults only serenity section at the back of the boat which was free of charge. As carnival have no limit on children it was greatly needed as they were running riot. air con way too cold in common areas, requested to turn down but told that they are unable to, many people were getting sick as it was too cold. Gym was modern but weights all in pounds and extremely small weights area. Dining Empire dining room was fantastic. Dinner buffet absolutely appalling, choice between salad, sandwiches, pizza, chips and pies same every night. lunch buffet was good. loved the seaside bbq for a healthier option. Nouveau restaurant was brilliant and worth the $35 cover charge. early dinner seating 530 was too early, and late time 745 was way too late. Staff & Service Room attendant and dining room staff fantastic, bar staff and guest services not so great, hardly speak English. staffs lack of knowledge of promotions (every classic cocktail you have take your reeipt to the casino for a $5 voucher to bet at casino) Dj duh dork in the nightclub would play rap every night (same playlist) from about 1230am, was rude and threatened us when we asked for something different. One night he left the club for half an hour and let fhe music play and it sounded awful like the speakers were going to blow! Dj travis not much better, he would play requests sometimes but was also rude. Entertainment entertainment options lacking, not all nights had shows and most shows we're not up to scratch Shore Excursions Only did one in Fiji and it was fantastic, we went to savanna island for a day trip including lunch and drinks. Disembarkation Quicker than anticipated and easy to get a taxi. Summary Overall enjoyable cruise but a few things need to be less americanised and more Aussie. Green thunder not open during sea days due to high wind, open on port days. Maybe had one sea day where it was open. Probably would not cruise carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Spirit on 27.12.12 to celebrate New Years Eve. We were in a group of 14. We had a good time overall as we made our own fun. Compared to other cruise ships we have sailed on carnival Spirit was the ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Spirit on 27.12.12 to celebrate New Years Eve. We were in a group of 14. We had a good time overall as we made our own fun. Compared to other cruise ships we have sailed on carnival Spirit was the worst. We have sailed on 9 cruises with 4 different cruise lines. I understand this is a family ship and we were sailing in school holidays and children will be children. But many of them were out of control and ran amok along the hallways, stairs, and dining room and in and out of the lifts. They were in the Casino and in the Bars and I noticed underage drinking. Knock and run and ringing staterooms all hours of the day. I should say night. As I said children will be children and I don't hold them totally responsible. We have children and grand children. They have to be supervised by their parents and the staff of Carnival spirit. So if you want to take your children away and leave them unsupervised and no security while you wander off in the opposite direction, this cruise is for you. Food and Beverage. I would rate the food 3 out of 5. Quantity but not quality. In the bistro the food was very ordinary queuing up at different counters and then eating fatty and stodgy lukewarm food. The salad and fruit were good. The Empire dining room overall was very good but on a few occasions we did receive food that was not up to par. The dress code in the Empire dining room was not enforced. No one was encouraged or enforced to use the sanitizer in any of the food outlets. Price of beer. $7.00 for a can or bottle. $8.00 for a draught. In the pool areas and the Serenity area (adults only) "some times" a can or bottle of beer was poured into a plastic cup resulting in flat beer. Cocktails and wine were reasonably priced. No packages or happy hour for alcohol. With the exception the bar staff need to smile and appear to be happy even if there not. More training needed. Cleanliness. There were no garbage bins on the ship. There was food, cups and bottles in the lifts, stairs and hallways. Sports bar: Mostly empty on this cruise and I know why. No Aussie sports. All the sports were American gridiron, baseball and basketball. When I first walked in I noticed there were 6 different beers on tap 4 on one side and 2 on the other side. Guest what the 4 taps together on one side never worked. On the other side only 1 of the 2 worked on most occasions. Stateroom. Our stateroom was a balcony of good size with plenty of cupboard space with good amenities. Entertainment. The hypnotist was great had everyone in the audience laughing. Dancers and singers were very good. The magician and comedian were very, very ordinary. Bingo, what a joke, $30.00 a ticket and the major prize $1000.00. There must have been 300 or more people in the lounge. You do the sums. Gym. Excellent except for the unsupervised children. Lucky no one was injured that I know of. Serenity Deck. Unless you got up at the crack of dawn you had no hope of getting a pod, hammock or a partly shaded lounge. Other lounge chairs in the full sun were hard to get at most times. People would leave their towels, shirts or some other apparel on the lounge to reserve the seat. The staff tried hard by placing stickers on the seats after about 40 minutes but unfortunately this did not work. In my opinion if you are planning a cruise and there is another ship cruising in the same or similar direction as Carnival I would sail with the other ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Decided to go with Carnival after all the media hype about how great this was and unfortunately it did not meet up to all its claims. Embarkation: was great, we were through the doors and into our cabin in a matter of around 20 minutes, ... Read More
Decided to go with Carnival after all the media hype about how great this was and unfortunately it did not meet up to all its claims. Embarkation: was great, we were through the doors and into our cabin in a matter of around 20 minutes, no fuss, no hassles...nice and smooth. Cabin 5156: Was advertised as an obstructed view cabin, we were expecting not to have a view so we were delighted when we entered and found that the obstruction was only a tender which came up to the rails and that we actually had great views for the price we had paid. Rooms were beautifully clean, a good size with plenty of storage. Our room steward Gusti was fantastic, always remembered our names, left us towel animals every night and turned our beds down then left us chocolates on the pillow, there was nothing that was ever a bother to him. Sail away party: huh? to me this is one of the highlights of a cruise but it was non existent on this cruise. Muster was long and drawn out, standing on the deck for ages before it started, this proved to be pretty hard especially for young Mothers holding babies and older passengers who find standing for long periods difficult. Kids: Oh my!!! Kids everywhere!!! 800 I believe on this cruise. Knocking on doors, knocking people sideways as they run down the stairs, knocking on cabin doors at all hours of the morning, forcing their way into elevators as people were trying to get off. It was like parents had gotten on the ship and forgotten that they had a responsibility towards supervising their kids and many (of course not all) parents seemed to believe that their children were more entitled than anyone else on the ship and were allowed to be rude, disrespectful and say and do what ever they wanted. Security: Another huh? Security either do not know anything about managing incidents or the fact that there seem to be so few it is safer for them just to walk away, this is something I witnessed on 3 occasions when drunks and children were being hostile and verbally abusive to others, unfortunately this meant that the general population who security was supposed to be protecting were left to their own defenses which I can not blame them for and there seemed to be so few and there appeared to be no backup for them. It was rare to actually see them. Many females I spoke to in the smokers area commented about not feeling safe at night on deck by themselves due to drunk, inappropriate young men and with no security in sight. People continue to get served alcohol even when their intoxication levels are obviously extremely high. Casino.....lots of signs saying adults only but parents and staff don't seem to be able to read, one young chap around 13 was the lucky winner of $300 and on many occasions the kids were sitting at poker machines with their parents or in groups with their peers and no one said anything. Serenity lounge was lovely but again the no kids rule was not enforced so we didn't bother after our first visit there. Dining: reasonable amount of choice in the buffet, the dining room was pretty good. I would not rave about the food but I would not have a lot of negatives to say either, it was basic and plentiful. Drinks: pretty reasonably priced, ran out of coke on the second last day but no biggie unless you wanted a mixed drink with coke. Day spa: There was a fire in the spa on our cruise so it needed to be shut down till things were under control, I had a bamboo massage which was lovely, the prices are pretty high compared to on land. Tours: we went on the WW2 tour at Santo which was great, although didn't take any other Carnival tours due to the high price tags. Entertainment: Water slides only operate when in port. While there are lots of activities listed for you to do while on board they cater mainly to.......well I don't really know who they cater to, I was going to say kids but I don't think kids would bother with towel folding, paper plane making, napkin folding....a lot of activities were what I would describe as trivial and meaningless to the majority of people. Bingo was fun although the machines did not work on most sessions or broke down, time for a new computer considering how much money bingo must make the cruise line. The shows were ok and entertainers were enthusiastic. Stu the entertainment director was boring, spoke to people like they were all 5 years old...he was not very entertaining. The piano bar in a must do, the piano player is awesome, very entertaining and really knows how to connect with the people he is entertaining...if you decide to go make sure you go and sit around his piano with him for a sing along. Staff in general are a credit to the cruise line, they work hard all the time, the majority and friendly, smile and great you every time they see you. They are constantly cleaning although I think that there should be some bins around the ship as unfortunately these staff have to pick up rubbish off the floor constantly that guests have discarded due to there being no bins anywhere. Disembarkation: We had carnival transfers which were great, we were out the door, on the bus and on our way to our terminal in no time at all. Overall: We went with our main objective being to relax and unwind and while we certainly came back feeling refreshed the negatives outweighed the positives on this ship for us. The lack of activities for intelligent adults was frustrating. While I really like kids (got a couple of my own) and understand their need to have some freedom, on this cruise there were just too many with not enough supervision on board. Security or lack of was very concerning for me and many other women on board. Drunk underage teenagers and kids in adult areas was also concerning so with that in mind I would not cruise with Carnival again and to be honest I would not recommend Carnival to anyone I know as I think it is only a matter of time before Carnival has a major incident because of the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was our first ever cruise and didn't quite know what to expect. Our intention was to have a good relaxing time and that's exactly what we did. I've been reading some of other people's posts which many of the ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and didn't quite know what to expect. Our intention was to have a good relaxing time and that's exactly what we did. I've been reading some of other people's posts which many of the complaints seems unwarranted. Firstly, I'd like to state that it was promoted as a family cruise, which is what it was, there were quite a few kids, which did not bother us at all. The ship is huge and there seemed to have been plenty of space for everyone, except at meal times when everyone seemed to be hungry at the same time. MEALS: plenty to go around, the sight of so much food turned me off eating. The quality was okay, and you could get a bite any time of the day as the Pizza bar and gourmet sandwich stand were always open. I was impressed with the variety, Asian, Indian, Continental, salad bar, BBQ, and not to mention an array of daily deserts. ALCOHOL: The daily cocktails specials were a hit amongst many, including myself. I did think the drinks were very pricey. Beers $7 Cocktails between $8.50 & $10.00. I was suprised they didn't have a happy hour or something. It's true some of the bar staff were not very friendly, but they were innandated most of the time. I got the impression they weren't prepared for the aussie drinking spirit. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows were fantastic. I loved the Showband and comedians etc. My highlight was Trevor the Piano Man at the Shanhai Lounge every night. The main band however was mediocre. My only beef was STU. Stu is the boss so to speak of the day to day stuff. He made daily announcements that were not only boring but repetetive and unprofessional. His facts were near misses. I also felt that there should be more entertainment choices, especially throughout the day. There was daily trivia, Bingo and gambling. Gambling seemed to occupy many people. ROOMS: We had an extended balcony room that we were very happy with. The room was seen to twice a day, which i felt a little too much, but never the less, one can't complain about an over abundance of service. SMOKING: As a smoker in an anti smoking world, I was surprised that such a large comfortable area was dedicated to us. The areas was to the back of the 9Th floor by the pool with both under cover and outdoor seating. Sun decks for smokers were also available to the right side of the 10Th floor. Fantastic!!! SHOPPING: Duty Free alcohol, ciggies perfumes and jewelry. Clothing and souvenirs were reasonably priced but not a great variety. DEPORTATION: Probably needed to be organised a little better, I recommend that people get ready early to avoid queues. Like I said I can't compare with other cruises but we had a lovely time sunbathing in lounge chairs by the pool sipping on our never ending array of cocktails. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We sailed from Sydney and visited Vanuatu, Noumea, Lifou and Isle of Pines. The cruise was excellent - I cannot fault the ticket prices, the organisation, the food and the overall service. The shows were probably the weakest point, but ... Read More
We sailed from Sydney and visited Vanuatu, Noumea, Lifou and Isle of Pines. The cruise was excellent - I cannot fault the ticket prices, the organisation, the food and the overall service. The shows were probably the weakest point, but that doesn't really worry me. Here are some tips to make your cruise even better / cheaper: - The duty--free prices on the boat are ok , but they are even better on the islands. Luckily Carnival offer a price guarantee -- if you see an item cheaper on the islands, they will match the price. You can either show them a photo, or just quote the price you saw. This way I got two bottles of Baileys for $44 versus the original price of $56. - If you want to buy some jewellery, wait until the last few days, when the price tumbles by up to 50% (if you are prepared to haggle). We got a tanzanite ring down from a ridiculous $1000+ to $599. - At the international cruise terminal in Sydney, there is a GST refund desk on the way out. I was kicking myself for not bringing a tax invoice for my newly-bought IPad. I could've gotten a 10% refund right there on the spot. - Carnival offered a reasonably priced internet plan for $140 for unlimited access for the whole cruise. Or rather, that would be reasonable if the wifi worked properly. There is no guarantee that it will connect at any given time, and it was sometimes shockingly slow. One crew member told me that Carnival are still using a US-based service provider, and that may account for the slowness. An easy way to reduce the price is to split the internet with another cruiser. We made a deal with another family: we'll only use the internet during even hours, you can have it during odd hours. This also ensured that our kids were not on for too long. - I don't want to shock anyone, but the ship excursions are obscenely overpriced! I wouldn't mind paying a little extra if they offered something unique, but all Carnival does is act as agent for local tour operators, and whack 100% on top. I recommend you do a little research on the internet in the weeks before your cruise and organize your own tour through email. We booked a tour in Vanuatu for $40 pp that was (I heard) far superior to the ships' offering for $80 pp. And it was done through the exact same local tour company! I won't mention their name in case Carnival tries to exact revenge... - On the other hand, beware of booking local tours on the spot. You don't know what you are going to get. Our friends booked a tour in Lifou and spent 45 minutes in a tiny car with a tour guide who spoke no English. - In Noumea we booked a 2.5 hour bus tour for $20 pp, $10 for kids. I can't remember what Carnival was charging, but no doubt it was at least double. This tour was arranged on the spot, after we decided against renting a car. - None of the ship's fact sheets warn you about this, but if you are going to New Caledonia's smaller islands (which include Lifou and Isle of Pines), you really should buy some Pacific Francs (XFP) before you sail. I recommend $100 - $200 worth. You cannot buy them onboard, or on the small islands. Of course the locals on Lifou will accept dollars, but they hit you with a 50% markup (I often saw prices like '1000F / $15'). You can use ATMS in Noumea to get francs as well. - If you are left with a few francs too many, approach one of the local vendors before you board the ship. A lovely French lady on Isle of Pines was quite happy to change Francs into Dollars for me at a reasonable rate (100 for 1). After all, the locals can't really use the dollars themselves, and it costs them money to get them changed at the bank - I recommend learning a few basic French phrases before you go to New Caledonia. The locals love it and you might even see them smile! Even if it's just: bonjour / parlez vous anglais / c'est combien? / merci / au revoir. - Even if you are sailing the South Pacific in the middle of summer, pack a jumper/sweater. Carnival likes to crank up the airconditioning, especially in the restaurants. Maybe they could tone it down for the Australians, who perhaps don't weigh/sweat as much as your average American? - In the restaurants I think they purposely serve American-style percolated coffee (which tastes bland and is not very hot) in the hope that you will order a 'real' coffee and pay $3 or $4. But I found that the free coffee machines on level 9 could brew up a very decent cuppa. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
From the start of the cruise, I loved the attention and friendliness of all the staff (except for one lady at the information desk who was quite grumpy. Our Steward Katut was great and so helpful. Our Balcony cabin was excellent and we ... Read More
From the start of the cruise, I loved the attention and friendliness of all the staff (except for one lady at the information desk who was quite grumpy. Our Steward Katut was great and so helpful. Our Balcony cabin was excellent and we spent a lot of time out there. The food was lovely and the waiters could not do enough for us. My mother who is elderly and had a walker was treated with the utmost respect. The ship was huge and we spent a lot of time exploring the decks and visiting the shops. The only downer was the fact that the Shore Excursions could only be booked on board, which meant if you boarded later in the afternoon, a lot of the excursions were booked out. The excursions we did go on were great, but I wish the ship could spend longer in port, so the visits would not be so rushed. Would definitely use Carnival again, in fact we have booked on the Carnival Sunshine for a Mediterranean Cruise in July this year, and I am really looking forward to it.The Bay of Islands was lovely and so was the Luncheon Tour of the Bay. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I booked this cruise knowing full well it was going to be family orientated. I travelled with my 16 year old son hoping he would enjoy the O2 club and meet new people. The club style and atmosphere didn't suit him (and quite a few ... Read More
I booked this cruise knowing full well it was going to be family orientated. I travelled with my 16 year old son hoping he would enjoy the O2 club and meet new people. The club style and atmosphere didn't suit him (and quite a few kids we met of the same age said the same thing) so we spent time together and he eventually met up with kids his age outside of the O2 club which was fine. We met up with other families and had a great time socially and on our own. There were reportedly 471 kids on this trip and if that was true they were quite well behaved with just a few "runners" and "lift button pushers" but on the whole they were just kids having a great holiday and enjoying themselves. One or two foul mouthed teens tried their best to shock fellow passengers with expletives or inappropriate conversations, but you will find these types where ever you go - nothing to do with the ship. We just moved on out of their way. There were no kids running amok, lying wet in the lifts, fighting, no under age drinking etc. as has been reported on previous cruises - so no complaints there. Just be aware this cruise is for families, if you don't like kids, choose another ship - preferably one that doesn't have a water slide and certainly don't cruise in the school holidays. If you have a family and want a fun time this ship is for you. You will love it. Singles - look elsewhere! We had an Ocean View cabin with an extended balcony. Well worth the money with loads of space, separate dressing room/walk-in robe with dressing table with Hollywood lights. Bathroom had a spa bath with a glass shower screen (big plus, no plastic curtain) and double vanity - all in marble. The cabin also had a settee, table and chair, more cupboard space,lots of mirrors, bar with fridge, beautiful big balcony,and excellent black out curtains which kept us in complete darkness in the morning - fantastic. The pillows are to die for (duck down I believe)and the beds are fabulous - mega comfort, so good - ahhhh. The entertainment was quite good especially the comedians in the Versailles Lounge - they were really funny. Unfortunately they weren't on every night which was a shame. Trevor the pianist in the Shanghai Piano Bar was fantastic playing sing-a-long requests with a huge crowd each night- great fun. Can't guarantee that he will be on any other cruises though. I didn't make all the shows but those I saw were not bad. They had a roaming magician in the dining room as well - he was very good. Bingo was the biggest attraction during the day, drew a huge crowd though the prize money wasn't fantastic considering the numbers - biggest prize was $1,100.00. But it was all in good fun. The food was plentiful in the Laplaya buffet on the Lido deck and so were the crowds so it was best not to eat at peak times when the lines were very long, especially at the Asian food counter. Freshly prepared stir fries often with seafood was the attraction there I think. Equally popular (maybe too popular judging by some of the passengers) was the desert bar - Wow they had some good stuff and fruit salad as well. On the last day they had a chocolate extravaganza with a chocolate fountain - the queue was out the door! The only complaint was they had very prompt closing times - not a minute over curfew, so don't leave it too late or you will miss out. Mind you 24 hour Pizza was available and the Deli which had excellent toasted sandwiches and wraps was most of the time. My main complaint was with the food in the main dining room - the Empire - we had anytime dining so I don't know if that was the problem but the food was, more often than not, just luke warm. Also the steak I ordered one night was inedible, it was cold and oddly didn't taste like steak at all, I had to send it back - a first for me! And they had some very strange food combinations that just didn't sit well with each other - so a few problems with the menu as well. The fish was generally overcooked, dry and had bones in it so I stopped ordering that. What they did excel at was the Indian dish on offer every night - spot on! Oh and lets not forget the Chocolate Melting Pudding for desert every night - yum yum. Service was very prompt - both drinks and food - no waiting. If the food had been hotter it would have been perfect. I didn't get round to trying the Nouvelle Steak Restaurant ($35.00 each) as my son isn't a big steak eater so it would have been a waste of money. I was tempted by the menu and most other passengers said it was great and worth the extra money. After all that food it was time to hit the gym - which was excellent - but my son was disappointed that they didn't have any barbells (whatever they are) just dumbbells - so he had to make to with the machines, but he was pretty happy with that as they had so many of them. I did the circuit class - on every day at 5 - not that I went every day, but we had a regular group and it was fun, free and vigorous. So that leaves us with trying to get a sun lounge - very hit and miss. I absolutely gave up on the "Serenity Lounge" impossible to find anywhere to sit with some people lying fully stretched out on the lounges leaving no space for anyone else. Don't even think about getting to try the hammock! Also not a lot of shade available here either. Around the two pools it was also very busy with most spaces taken up on a sunny day, but you could find something every now and then. The two spas were always full - not very appealing to me but obviously everyone else thought they were great. Also the two pools (salt water) were very popular as were the water slides. Not that I tried them but my son did and was very impressed with the Green Thunder which was open most days. I was impressed with the queuing system here as they kept the kids off the open stairways (out of the sun) until it was nearly their turn to go on the slide - now that's thinking! But of course it gave the impression that the queue wasn't very long - it was - you just couldn't see it. We had some wonderful shore tours - only booked one through the ship at Noumea to Duck Island. Got there on a Zodiac which was fun. The others we just "winged" it. The best was the jet skiing we booked when we got off the ship at Port Denerau - a bus picked us up and took us to the Sheraton Resort where the jet skis were and then we spent the rest of the day at the resort. We used their pool, had lunch and probably had the best shore day ever apart from Lifou. You must check out the "cave" at Lifou where you jump into an impossibly dark fresh water pool only guided by locals with torches. Much fun - but quite hard work getting down to the "cave". So overall we had a great time and would highly recommend this ship for families with kids of all ages. Staff were great as were the facilities. Always difficult to leave such indulgences and return home to reality! Oh and did I mention the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail - do try one (or two)highly recommended! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
THE GOOD - The ship was pleasant, kept clean and tidy, plentiful food (just hard to fight your way to). Ports were lovely and staff approachable. THE BAD - Not much to do on sea days, the same offerings for activities just repeated ... Read More
THE GOOD - The ship was pleasant, kept clean and tidy, plentiful food (just hard to fight your way to). Ports were lovely and staff approachable. THE BAD - Not much to do on sea days, the same offerings for activities just repeated over and over. Bored of bean bag toss etc. THE UGLY - Never seen so many dreadfully behaved children. Parents need to be approached, for the comfort of other people, and advised to discipline or at least keep watch on their children, not to let them go crazy all over the ship. The teens and younger just formed little gangs, and were in the lovely phaoroahs palace standing on the tables, jumping over furniture and putting their shoes up on the glass screens, whilst we waited for bingo to begin. Parents let 5 year olds roam the stairs and lifts, all with 2500 strangers on board. Witnessed a young girl with her mother, who tried to enter a glass lift, and knocked over a glass of coke, spilling it everywhere. Two young boys found it amusing to sit in the lifts and ride them up and down, sitting on the floor with their drinks. The poor little girl ran out crying as she thought she would be in trouble. The teen girls also were in gangs, and they completely ruined my and my daughters holiday. They were staring, pointing and whispering and laughing at other young girls who weren't in their gang. My daughter was victimized and it deeply upset her, as she is a very shy girl. THE EXCELLENT - The staff that I dealt with were wonderful, from guest relations to the room steward. They work so hard for so little pay or rest, and they put most aussies to shame. They leave their families for 7 or so months, and they have to clean those rooms, waiting for people to leave, and then do it again in the evening, with very little time off. I can only imagine the state of the rooms that they would have to deal with. The entertainment staff were also terrific and hardworking. Stu gets a bad rap, as he never seemed to sleep! I did this cruise with my 12 year old, quiet, and now most obviously well-brought up daughter, for my 50th Birthday. We had previously started with two p and o cruises, and then did the radiance of the seas. I would go on the radiance again in a heartbeat, much better behaved adults and children, just can't compare carnival in any way to royal carribbean, as they are worlds apart. What should have been a fun and wonderful time, was so sadly disappointing. I thought that being in school holidays, it would be a great time for my daughter to have fun and make some friends. The circle c group was always abandoned, and these young kids were also in gangs roaming the ship. Met a few really nice people, and really enjoyed the shore tours, especially the flying fox in suva, although they were all, as previously stated, highly overpriced. Stu did a great job, always affable and smiling, probably under extreme duress at times, and he never stopped. He is obviously a nice guy all round, even out of work times, as I saw him in my local newsagency in my small country home town, and he was just as pleasant and willing to chat as he appeared onboard. Gayve tried so hard to keep the kids in the bingo lounge under control, good luck with that Gayve, and he even endured the computer breakdown again and happily did the bingo the old fashioned way. That's about it for now, live and learn I guess (and spend way too much money). Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Firstly,let me say that everyone deserves to have fun on a cruise. And families with children seemed to do just that. But sailing in the school holidays is not for the elderly. The only reason we took this cruise is that it was a family ... Read More
Firstly,let me say that everyone deserves to have fun on a cruise. And families with children seemed to do just that. But sailing in the school holidays is not for the elderly. The only reason we took this cruise is that it was a family cruise with my daughter, husband and grand children.And Having said that we heard several young couples with children saying that they would not cruise again in the school holidays. And the fact that we had huge numbers of the rudest,bad mannered children on board didn't help either. Now, for the ship itself. It is a smart looking ship with some very nice areas including the Serenity, Atrium and the main auditorium. With the exception of the main auditorium the decor was shabby.We had an extended balcony which was quite large but the cabin didn't have that "Wow" factor. The bathroom was quite dull and with none of the usual toiletries present. And as a small tip, if you are considering buying an extended balcony keep it in mind that there is no privacy at the rail as all the other balconies above are looking down onto yours. The dining was a mixed bag going from one extreme to another. The Nouvelle Specialty restaurant was something special but would want to be at $35 pp, but it was a treat to get away from the crowds. The main dining was okay. Pretty quick service and some nice meals were had there. Fat Jimmy's BBQ was good on the few time it was open But now what about the LaPlaya Grill ( buffet), easily the most dis functional buffet of any ship I have been on.Long queues unless you went outside of peak times but then most of it was shut down. In the evening the buffet consisted of a two metre long Bain- Marie of hot food and a salad bar. The only 24/7 food was the Pizza bar. And if you like room service, forget it.No room service from the dining room and as an example, if you wanted a hamburger and a cup of tea in your cabin that will be $8 thankyou. As for entertainment, there wasn't much to rave about. Five comedians, a singer and a magician was all. Movies on demand in your cabin were an outrageous $11 each and not to mention the most annoying singer in the casino while I was trying to concentrate loosing money as usual. Sorry Keith, you were horrible. And as for the Casino I think Carnival will have to address the issue of children in that area. Children were witnessed pressing buttons on poker machines. And almost finally,there was no deckchairs on the promenade deck. And the most outrageous beer prices ever. $6.95 for a XXXX To sum up. Don't be sucked in with the cabin credits as you will need these to compensate for higher than normal prices for beer, room service , movies and I almost forgot, $10 to play pool. And 1.5 percent charge on your debit card. Maybe they should slap a big P&O on the side and make it another "booze cruiser" So, if this is the best Carnival can do RCCL,Princess and the others have nothing to worry about Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Just arrived back from our 12 day South Pacific Cruise on the Carnival Spirit. We booked this holiday for our honeymoon as we had read great reviews about the cruise. While we cannot fault the impeccable and friendly service staff, we are ... Read More
Just arrived back from our 12 day South Pacific Cruise on the Carnival Spirit. We booked this holiday for our honeymoon as we had read great reviews about the cruise. While we cannot fault the impeccable and friendly service staff, we are truly disappointed with our quality of sleep during the cruise. We paid top dollar for a deck 8 balcony cabin as we wanted the most comfortable room we could afford. We could hear thumping foot steps, dragging chairs and trolleys being wheeled on the lido deck above our bed late into the night and very early in the morning (prior to 7am). To make things worse, the room had a very loud creaking noise that was relentless. After the first night we mentioned this to our room steward who suggested that we purchase ear plugs from the gift shop. Unfortunately they did not have any available at the time. We have been looking forward to coming home just to get a good nights sleep. Had we known we would be in such a noisy cabin we would have saved the extra expense and stayed on a lower and cheaper deck. To make matters worse we were double charged the cc convenience fee and have had to pay a foreign transaction fee on our Mastercard as Carnival use an overseas bank account. After several emails to guest care we were later reimbursed the convenience fee but initially told there had been no error. Some tips for new cruisers; -If you have any concerns with the service or any thing on board the cruise report it to the guest services straight away "not the cabin steward" -Use the on board cash sail and sign card if possible to avoid any unnecessary fees on your cc -If you are a light sleeper don't purchase a room underneath the main deck, save your money All in all a very memorable cruise but for all the wrong reasons. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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