Sail Date: October 2017
My first Carnival experience, and whilst I had a nice cruise with friends, the whole experience left me a little underwhelmed. The ship is getting a little tired around the edges and me thinks it's time for a makeover! The ... Read More
My first Carnival experience, and whilst I had a nice cruise with friends, the whole experience left me a little underwhelmed. The ship is getting a little tired around the edges and me thinks it's time for a makeover! The dining room was disorganised and we were nearly last out of there every night as we didn't get our main course usually until 9.15pm. This became annoying as we wanted to go to the shows. The buffet on Lido was better than the dining room, as at least the food was hot. The highlight of the cruise was "Chef's Table" which was a 7 course degustation menu with a tour of the ship's galley. The food and service were both sensational which goes to prove that it can be done, so why not show some consistency throughout the ship's restaurants. The shows and comedy club were great. The ship's entertainment crew were great and the shows we did get to were very professional and entertaining. The fun crew were great, so Trivia was very popular. The things people will do for a "ship on a stick" :) Embarkation was slick and easy, as was disembarkation. I liked that you could self disembark with your luggage, rather than putting your luggage out the night before. Overall it was an average cruise with below average food and poor table service. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first cruise with children and therefore our first with Carnival, we usually go for more upmarket ships but had reset our expectations for this cruise. Overall it was a good holiday and the kids had a good time, but the age of ... Read More
This was our first cruise with children and therefore our first with Carnival, we usually go for more upmarket ships but had reset our expectations for this cruise. Overall it was a good holiday and the kids had a good time, but the age of the ship and cost cutting, especially in food, took the edge of the experience. Overall the public areas of the ship are much better than expected; I was concerned that the interior had been described as garish but in fact is pretty nice with a consistent colour palette if brown, orange and gold. The public rooms are in good condition and the MDR is really very pleasant. The cabins have a good layout and pleasant fit out, but are worn everywhere - the carpet is stained, the woodwork scratched, it just needs to be renovated soon. However, the exterior of the ship is getting very worn - rust everywhere, peeling paint, worn areas on deck and peeling varnish. The ship however does live up to the 'fun ship' tag - the pool areas in particular are well laid out have a great atmosphere. The water park is a huge hit and at many times were not that busy - Green Thunder is a great ride for adults! Overall we liked all the public areas of the ship. We thought the entertainment was well above average - five 'production' shows in 10 days is a huge effort and there was kids and adults comedy almost every night as well. The cruise staff were energetic and engaged. However, the dreaded cost cutting has taken over, especially in the buffet, which is just awful. I am usually very tolerant of cruise food but this is honestly terrible - the most shocking thing is the very limited choice in all areas. It is all very basic, badly cooked, low quality ingredients, bad layout, queues everywhere and not very hot. As a result, the MDR gets a big workout. The service here is great but the food just average - the entrees have almost no ingredients that would cost any money (e.g. soup, salad, not much else) and the mains highly variable. We did Nouveau on two occasions - it is OK but not worth the highest cover charge I have ever seen ($45 each!) - it is a very basic menu, just a steakhouse with reasonable quality food but nothing memorable. Dessert was a low spot across the whole ship with mass produced cakes the order of the day. On the plus side the poolside burgers are great and so are the pizzas, but there were major queues for each. I also noticed that there was a lot of staff shortages - getting a drink at the pool almost always involved queuing up as there was one roaming server doing the whole deck. In the theatre there as no drinks service at all upstairs and downstairs was very slow and overworked. Having said that, the kids had a great time and we enjoyed it as well. However the cost was not cheap (school holiday pricing) and therefore not acceptable value given the cutbacks, and we would not travel Carnival again unless the fix the buffet at the very least. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I wanted a short break to get away between work commitments, and this was our first cruise on the Carnival line because it was the only cruise that suited both of our available dates for travel. We booked a suite at the back ... Read More
My husband and I wanted a short break to get away between work commitments, and this was our first cruise on the Carnival line because it was the only cruise that suited both of our available dates for travel. We booked a suite at the back of the ship (8268) because it had a huge balcony, and we like relaxing out there. We had priority boarding which made getting onto the ship a breeze. We had no line just before midday and walked straight up to the counter, had our photos taken, cleared security and boarded in less than 15 minutes. The fastest board time ever! We loved the beautiful classic wooden decorative features aboard the ship. My husband described it as pirate ship-ish, and that does suit it well. I adored the winding glass staircase between deck 9 and the specialty restaurant- Nouveau, though my husband refused to look down while he was on them, as he's not fond of heights. You can see all the way down to what I believe was the 3rd floor. Our room was ready by 2pm, and although it's a strange shape we saw that as a novelty. A hallway leads to a small lounge area with a coffee table, then there are 2 avenues to the bedroom. One sliding door leads past the bathroom and walk in wardrobe through a large dressing room area to another door, which opens into the bedroom. The other pathway is past the door to the balcony, then open the door to the bedroom. The bed is placed to look out through 2 back windows and one side window to the ocean. The bathroom is generously sized for a cruise ship. Both my husband and I could comfortably stand at the 2 basins. There's a dual shower, bath and basic amenities provided. Unfortunately we expected more from the cost of a suite. At just over $700 per night before extras (ended up calculating at $960 per night for the two of us after we factored in drinks, specialty restaurant, photos etc) this line is terrible value for money. There is a bar fridge, but you need to stock it yourself, suite guests have no priority when on board (we pay A LOT extra, so usually all that extra scrimping and saving pays off in terms of priority services on board, pre-stocked complimentary mini bar etc.). The customer service people are abrupt and very rude when asked simple questions, and were difficult to deal with when we queried a couple of charges on our bill. We visited Nouveau, the specialty restaurant, on our first evening aboard, and were given a complimentary bottle of wine as it was the opening night of our cruise. The whole process felt very rushed. The food was brought quickly and wasn't cooked as carefully as you'd expect. The chefs special was a tiny hamburger on a toothpick that was novel, and tasted nice, however there was nothing special about it. Our entrees arrived swiftly and I can't even recall what they were. They were unseasoned and had no flavour, and the plates were removed as soon as we put our cutlery together on them. The mains arrived less than 2 minutes after we had our plates removed, and my lobster tails were dry, over cooked and tasteless. My husband's surf and turf was the same. We spoke to the server, but she didn't seem to understand the issue, so we gave up and ordered dessert. The desserts were bland and not memorable. I had the apple tartlet and my husband had a cheesecake. We left them unfinished, skipped the coffees and left. The whole experience was over within half an hour. It was very disappointing. My husband likes a peppermint tea after dinner. These cost extra on this ship. The only tea included is basic black tea and green tea. All others are charged. The pizza was nice and made to order from the pizza bar. The buffet selection had a good variety. The burger bar was great. The Mexican bar was quite nice. The soft serve ice creams were a bit too dense for me but the kids on board seemed happy with them. The Epic Rock show was quite professional for a cruise ship and definitely worth seeing. The comics on board were funny, and worth seeing. The trivia was ok, the mini golf was fun, and never so busy that we couldn't stop by and have a quick game. This was our first and last trip with Carnival, as we save hard to afford a suite, and this line doesn't offer value for money. This would be a great ship for families with kids. The water slides and onboard activities are quite family oriented. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the Grand Suite (6215). Only benefit with paying top dollars was the 'Priority boarding', that's it, no priority boarding for tenders, no chocolates on bed nothing like on other cruise lines. Cabin stewards we ... Read More
We chose the Grand Suite (6215). Only benefit with paying top dollars was the 'Priority boarding', that's it, no priority boarding for tenders, no chocolates on bed nothing like on other cruise lines. Cabin stewards we never saw, but our room was always clean. Make sure you book a table for dinner before you board. We chose 5:30pm, only had to line up the first night after that we just went to the same table each night. Any time diners had to line up every night. The food and service was excellent. Bought wine package, 5 bottles for approx $185. I saved $35. Bottle of wine at the bar $44, glass $11.50, cocktails $10.50, VB $8.50. Buy a bucket (4 beers) you save $2. No jackpot prize on last day for BINGO. $30 for 5 games 1st game a single line, 2nd game 2 lines, 5th game all out. Last day 5th game prize was $750. Saw so many people slip over each day from water on floor, be careful. Saw 20 children in the spa at one time. Carnival is not a line I would choose again. You could never hear the captain speaking. Please only book shore tours through Carnival (I know its dearer) but for peace of mind its worth it. Our ship was held up for 5 hours as a family had an accident sitting on the back of a ute (thats where they put you). When in Vila go by water taxi $5 per person one way to the 'yellow building' for duty free. I bought 2 x 1ltr Johnny Walker (green) $120-back home there $85ea. If a smoker, people bought at the gift shop on board, 1 pack 25 Pall Mall $8, ctn $30. You can smoke these while on the ship on deck 9 & 10. Loved Mystery Island. Take plenty of $5 notes. Didn't like the buffet at all, same food and then you had to find a table. Didn't like Noumea, plus the markets are dearer than the other islands. Enjoyed the making new friends, but too many children for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because the site boasted a promising family experience with plenty on board for little ones. In actual fact if it's too cold for swimming and your little ones are too shy for the kids club then there is very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the site boasted a promising family experience with plenty on board for little ones. In actual fact if it's too cold for swimming and your little ones are too shy for the kids club then there is very little to pass the time. The kids club won't let adults get their kids sorted and settled so unless your child is willing to enter a strange room full of people they don't know without a backward glance to their parents, then chances are they won't stay. There is also very little on the menu for kids, again if your child is happy with the kids club they can eat off the 'kids club only' buffet, otherwise they have to make do with the grownup buffet. The food itself was pretty average and there is a lot more choice at lunch than dinner, so I advise to fill up at lunch and don't expect too much choice at night. The restaurants ended up filling up pretty quick as people realised the buffet wasn't great. We went to the restaurant once and to be honest it was the same quality of food but at least with the buffet we could pick our own. We didn't try the other restaurant as you had to pay extra and the concern of paying for the same average quality outweighed our curiosity. One thing i would plead to the cruise line is to incorporate vegetables into the menu! There were always fried potatoes and sometimes the odd bit of pumpkin but hot veges would have been nice! One big disappointment was the wine. I am pretty sure the cruise line have offered to buy old vintages that couldn't sell as one of the more expensive bottles we ordered ($54 AUD) was a 2011 vintage and was well past its drinkable stage. After trying various wines by glass and then spending $98 (AUD) on two bottles of the 'premium list' we gave up. The cocktails are about the same price as wine and spirits so a lot of people had those instead, but be wary if you have favorites check how they make them because they can be vastly different to what you are used to. The quality also varies from bar to bar. When looking for activities on your island stops, don't rely on the tour desk as it seems they have not visited the islands, or are trying to push you into their pre-arranged tours. Once we landed we found loads more to do than we had been told to expect. and somewhat cheaper. The shows were entertaining if not a little cheesy, the hypnotist was not a favourite. One thing I can't fault is the service, people are friendly and diligent in their duties especially the cabin stewards whose towels animals on the beds were a welcome delight for the kids. The cruise line also have their embarkation and disembarkation procedures down pat; it was smooth to get on and off the boat on all occasions. All in all i believe we pretty much got what we paid for, the tickets were cheaper than other cruise lines. As a first time cruiser I wasn't sure what to expect so was open to everything, but to be honest i think if i was to cruise again i would pay the little extra and go for a more upmarket cruise line. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We went on this cruise as a family group of 10 ranging in age from 2.5 years to 73. As noted in other reviews, this ship is incredibly gaudy and over the top in terms of decorations, so a little hard on the eyes! Having cruised before on ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a family group of 10 ranging in age from 2.5 years to 73. As noted in other reviews, this ship is incredibly gaudy and over the top in terms of decorations, so a little hard on the eyes! Having cruised before on several other lines (Holland America, Princess, Norwegian), there were a few things that I felt didn't stack up to other cruises I've been on. 1. I felt the food was well below par both in terms of variety and quality - it was fine but that was about it. Also outside of mealtimes at the buffet and restaurant, the only (free) food available (or between meals) was pizza and soft serve ice cream - no healthy options at all. Room service was all subject to extra charges, as were a couple of other options like sushi and the coffee shop which offered the types of things which on other cruises tended to be included as part of the food offering. 2. No drinks package was disappointing, especially as unlike most cruises there were no happy hours and the pricing was around what you would pay in a normal bar on land which I felt was excessive given the captive options. The wines available on the wine packages were very average and several of the listed ones weren't actually available - there were no pinot noir wines available at all in the bars. 3. Activities and entertainment were ok but quite repetitive and quite a few things cost extra to participate as opposed to other cruises where it seems like paying more is the exception rather than the rule. Some of our group went to the Nouveau Restaurant for dinner one night and thought it was fantastic food, and also good value for money at $45 for a 4 course meal. The taco bar was really good as well. The ports are very minimalistic and basic - nice beaches and snorkelling, but be prepared for minimal facilities (toilets, food, shops). We didn't do any shore excursions other than the Yejele Beach transfer, but the snorkelling there and at Lifou was really good. The toddler splash area and water slides were great, but unfortunately on this cruise at this time of year, the 4 days at sea are too cold to use them so a bit wasted. Same for the mini golf - it's good fun for the family, but located at the top front of the boat so gets very windy and cold on sea days. On a positive note, the staff were lovely, especially dealing with a large group and a toddler. They went out of their way to cater for us and really made a big difference in the overall experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose this cruise as was eager to visit the Islands of Lifou, Mystery Island and Mare. Dining was unbelievable. Ate in The Empire Room most evenings, had a celebration meal in the Nouveau Restaurant, both these area were super. The ... Read More
Chose this cruise as was eager to visit the Islands of Lifou, Mystery Island and Mare. Dining was unbelievable. Ate in The Empire Room most evenings, had a celebration meal in the Nouveau Restaurant, both these area were super. The dining area on Level 9 was great, for breakfast and lunch, but on more than one occasion was over-run with ill mannered teenagers, who pushed in. Entertainment for +18 was fun and enjoyable, casino was a place to have a flutter. Service was wonderful, especially George who was our Waiter in the Empire Room, and also in the mornings in the dining room L9. Thoroughly enjoyed the shore excursions, and loved meeting the people on Lifou & Mystery Islands. Was very disappointed to find that the smoking area was on L9 next to the childrens pool. Would have preferred a smoking room to have been an area for adults only. Would not travel on the Spirit again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this ship and cruise as Len's sister and husband were sailing on her. The ports of call were of no consequence as we had been to them all before but we wanted to experience another cruise line. We found the entertainment ... Read More
We chose this ship and cruise as Len's sister and husband were sailing on her. The ports of call were of no consequence as we had been to them all before but we wanted to experience another cruise line. We found the entertainment lacking in physical activities and in our opinion there was not a lot to do in the afternoon and evening, except the singing dancing shows which were always too loud to enjoy. We did, however, enjoy the magic show. In the evenings there were comedians in the Versailles lounge which were good. They had PG shows and adults only shows. We never made it to the adult shows as they were always packed, standing room only, but were told that they were great. We also found that the children on board dominated the whole cruise so we never ventured into the covered pool and the adults only pool was outside, small and rather cool. We would have liked some areas to be for adults only and quiet. (I sound old and grumpy). There were uncontrolled children at the late and midnight movies and they were most annoying. We chose a Grand Suite for a bit of luxury, but it was just a bigger cabin. No luxuries. The bathroom was in essence very nice but needed rethinking. The shower was over the spa bath, there was a bidet and 2 washbasins. I'd suggest take out the bidet and one basin and put in a decent shower. So, if you are travelling with children, fantastic, if not think about it, you can't get away from them. The ship really caters for the little people. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Carnival Spirit is a good ship to cruise on. Good public rooms and cabin fine. Kept very clean and tidy, But I made the mistake of choosing a cruse in school holidays - not a cruise for the solo traveler over 60. The food in the Empire ... Read More
Carnival Spirit is a good ship to cruise on. Good public rooms and cabin fine. Kept very clean and tidy, But I made the mistake of choosing a cruse in school holidays - not a cruise for the solo traveler over 60. The food in the Empire dining room was very good but the buffet catered to those who are used to fast food outlets. The entertainment was not of the kind I like but other passengers seemed to enjoy it. The internet could be slow at times. The staff were very courteous and obliging. The shore excursions in new Caledonia were well organised. Aamadee island the best but take your own drinks from the ship as there is only one shop on the island and they charge over $5 per drink and only give change in local currency. Snorkelling was wonderful and the glass bottom boat trip was a real highlight with turtles and schools of coloured fish. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Having only sailed P&O we were excited to see a cheap deal that was difficult to pass up. We loved that Carnival had luggage helpers curbside, out suitcases were taken straight from the taxi. With the hubby having mobility issues we ... Read More
Having only sailed P&O we were excited to see a cheap deal that was difficult to pass up. We loved that Carnival had luggage helpers curbside, out suitcases were taken straight from the taxi. With the hubby having mobility issues we were able to skip the line and go straight to the assistance desk. While we pre registered you could just walk up, and the staff actively pulled people from the main line who had walking sticks and encouraged them to use the service. This was great but did contribute to significant waiting to get a "pusher" for the wheelchair. They only had two people doing this which wasn't enough for the demand. Carnival reached out a number of times during the cruise to ensure that the hubby had everything he needed. We also had access to a specially assigned customer service rep who was responsible for facilitating special assistance. Our one small issue was the muster drill, it would have been nice if this could have been done sitting down - either in a lounge or chairs on the deck for those who have issues standing. Even allowing us to wait in a lounge until the drill was about to start would have helped. It was a very long time on deck. Also giving those with mobility issues a head start after the drill would have been another way that this could be improved. The wait for the lifts dragged the standing out even longer. It was great that we didn't have to take the life jackets. The evening shows weren't shows as much as songs grouped to a theme. There was no plot or storyline, it was just songs. They were visually spectacular and there was up to 10 set changes in each one and pyrotechnics. The entertainment crew performed five times across the nine nights. The remaining nights had either guest performers (Miss Houdini was amazing) or cruise staff doing activities. We didn't like the Hasbro Game night but did love the love and marriage game. We did feel that most of the entertainment was party focused and mainly in the evening. The day had mainly bingo and trivia and there were long gaps with nothing but self directed activities. We missed live music throughout the day, this was very limited and mainly in the evening. We really struggled with food on this cruise. We prefer the MDR for all our meals but this was closed most days for lunch or it was brunch. The menus seemed very unbalanced with limited options. For example one day had two prawn starters, two soups and two salads. Then the main choices also had a prawn dish. Really limiting if you don't like prawns. I don't understand why they couldn't spread the dishes out across a number of nights and have the good ol one choice beef, one seafood, one chicken, one vegetarian etc. The standby of steak was also not appealing here. They used a very thin cut of meat that was not to our liking. Vegetables were also missing, most meals didn't come with veggies apart from maybe beans which were the main option. Service was great - one of the best things onboard. The Hub app was great, it was so handy to have so you could plan your day, get reminders for booked events and check your account in real time. The highlight of the cruise was the behind the fun tour. For $95 this was value for money as in addition to the 3.5hours of behind the scenes you got two group photos (in the galley and with the captain) and a individual shot with the captain. There was also a bag, cap and wrist band. The tour was great and we had refreshments (hot cookies in the galley, muffins and juice in the staff bar and champagne at the end). I learnt a great deal and particularly enjoyed the chief engineers well prepared information (with display charts and videos) on the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was my 7th cruise but our first one with Carnival. We found the standard of food was far worse than other ships. The choice of food in the buffet for dinner was incredibly restricted -only about 5 dishes were on offer ! The service ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise but our first one with Carnival. We found the standard of food was far worse than other ships. The choice of food in the buffet for dinner was incredibly restricted -only about 5 dishes were on offer ! The service in the main dining room was so rushed that waiters would remove your dinner plate whilst you were still eating. The live music in the bars was so bad, that we actively sought places to sit where we could not hear it. The cabaret shows were of a good production standard and the stand up comedians were quite good too. We bought the Chef's Table experience ($90pp) which was very good and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise but Carnival seriously need to address their standard and variety of food and service. Also, they need to engage musicians that are of a much higher standard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The ship was great and the service from the carnival staff was exceptional from the wait staff, drink staff to the cabin stewards, (especially Moses and the other bar staff at the Red Frog Rum Bar). While the twenty four hour pizza was ... Read More
The ship was great and the service from the carnival staff was exceptional from the wait staff, drink staff to the cabin stewards, (especially Moses and the other bar staff at the Red Frog Rum Bar). While the twenty four hour pizza was very well liked there was not much of a variety in the buffet, ( 3 Stations serving virtually the same food out of 6 with the pizza bar taking one and the seafood taking another.) Food in the Empire was beautiful and so was the mexican bar. Carnival is definitely aimed at the young family demographic which they hit the mark with. And families seem to be well catered for, The entertainment via the shows were quite good with the hypnotist and the illusionist definitely putting on a great performance. And the comedy club was standing room only for the shows that we went to so they must have been doing something right. Alcoholic drink packages would also be a good optional draw card for the future. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
In 2001, my family thoroughly enjoyed an earlier cruise around the Caribbean on Carnival Triumph which had fantastic food, first grade entertainment and an absolutely brilliant Cruise Director who was all over the ship organising amazing ... Read More
In 2001, my family thoroughly enjoyed an earlier cruise around the Caribbean on Carnival Triumph which had fantastic food, first grade entertainment and an absolutely brilliant Cruise Director who was all over the ship organising amazing activities ... sadly all of this was lacking on the Carnival Spirit from Sydney on an 8 day cruise to 3 ports in New Caledonia ! It seemed apparent that, on this cruise, Carnival could not be bothered providing the same quality of service, entertainment or food to Australians that it provides to its American passengers departing from Miami and Fort Lauderdale which would indicate that the Cruise Line is either totally complacent about the cruises in the South Pacific or has a little bit of contempt for Australia/NZ and Australian/New Zealander passengers. If Carnival thinks/believes that they can provide a highly expensive but second-rate product to passengers from Downunder, then they should think again because I heard quite a few "seasoned" cruise travellers on the ship complaining about the lack of attention to detail, the poor quality of food and the overcharging for watered- down alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and poor quality photographs which was rather blatant and very annoying. Also, the reduced cash prizes for Bingo was disappointing compared to the huge cash prizes offered on cruises departing from America - and we pay a lot more for the tickets into the bargain. My husband and I have been on more than 20 cruises on many different ships from a wide variety of Cruise Lines visiting ports all around the world over many years, so we feel we have the experience to make an informed comparison. The entertainment crew were less than average and many of the organisational and administrative staff were Americans who could not relate to Australia or Australians in any way. It is highly recommended that Carnival should employ talented Australian entertainers as they do on the Princess and P&O lines that depart from Australian ports. However, we must give kudos to the brilliant performance by Miss Houdini and her back-up dancers on the last night of the cruise - their combined magical/dance show was absolutely fabulous and their professional performance outshone the lacklustre Carnival entertainers who, despite being fairly good dancers, were very poor vocalists. One of the most disappointing and irritating aspects of this Cruise was the appallingly unprofessional head photographer (initials BP) from so-called Dreams Studio whose rude, abrupt manner towards us, as paying passengers, we all found very offensive. Instead of getting our family to pose in front of one of the Carnival backdrops, he moved us onto a busy stairwell, the main thoroughfare of the Ship, with people constantly walking in front of the camera when we would be forced to re-do so many failed shots. He made no effort to cordon off the area or to move us to a quieter, more appropriate section of the Ship! We had a young and, eventually, tired and disgruntled 16 months old baby with us whilst he spent ages fiddling with his camera, then barking out orders for us to stand in ridiculous, stilted and awkward poses! We were really looking forward to getting a professional photograph of our whole family together but, instead, had real trouble finding ONE single worthwhile group shot of us where we were ALL facing the camera at the same time! The end-result was incredibly disappointing and the outrageous charge of more than $42 per photo (which, after some negotiation, he dropped down to a price of around $33 per photo) was still exorbitant considering the low quality of his work. Despite the very unfortunate experience we had with this unprofessional photographer, there are members of the Carnival staff who richly deserve our high praise. My family of 11 want to give our utmost praise to our wonderful cabin staff on Deck 4 who kept our cabins spick and span 24:7. Also, our amazingly talented table staff who were so kind to our grandchildren and so entertaining. Thanks to them, they really made our cruise enjoyable. Insofar as the entertainment, quality of food and, especially, the shipboard photography is concerned, however - CARNIVAL SPIRIT .... LIFT YOUR GAME !!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Cruise number 14 for us, a quick last minute (3 days prior to sailing) booking on a 4 day cruise to Moreton Island. Price was better than land accommodation for the same time period. Have sailed once before on the Spirit on its first ... Read More
Cruise number 14 for us, a quick last minute (3 days prior to sailing) booking on a 4 day cruise to Moreton Island. Price was better than land accommodation for the same time period. Have sailed once before on the Spirit on its first Sydney season and some things have changed most obviously that the ship is definitely now geared for families. Have never seen so many kids on a cruise ship and was not expecting it, given it was not school holidays. Food in the buffet and dining room was fine overall, we have had a lot worse on some English cruiselines. As long as you went for lunch after 2pm and dinner after 7pm both areas were not totally manic. If you walked through the buffet between 11-1pm and 4-6pm, it was an assault on your ears due to running, pushing, yelling, crying, shouting kids and parents. Thank goodness for the Sanctuary at breakfast time, too. all the Spirit crew we encountered were polite, efficient and gracious under the pressure of hyped up kids all over the place. There were a few quiet places to escape to, namely the Jungle Walk and the Library. Spirit is doing a very good job in offering Australians a kids/family Disney like cruise ship. Four days was plenty long enough for us, though. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise as we only wanted to do a short cruise this time, and as we had been on the Spirit before and enjoyed it so much. This time was very disappointing as far as the food and service in the dining room was very ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we only wanted to do a short cruise this time, and as we had been on the Spirit before and enjoyed it so much. This time was very disappointing as far as the food and service in the dining room was very disappointing compared to other cruises we have been on. For this reason we feel it will be some time before we choose the Spirit again. The entertainment on board was ok, drink prices were good value. We feel this ship has dropped its standards as far as encouraging people to use the hand wash before entering eating areas, most other ships are very pro-active at the entry to dining areas. Boarding and disembarking was excellent, tender operation for shore tour was well organised. Cabin was clean and well serviced, you could choose if you wanted once a day or twice daily, we chose once a day and had no problems. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I chose this cruise for my Birthday and after 16 cruises this would be my first where I would actually have a cake and celebrate it on the day. I also chose Carnival as I had in the past had such great times. Embarkation was smooth ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my Birthday and after 16 cruises this would be my first where I would actually have a cake and celebrate it on the day. I also chose Carnival as I had in the past had such great times. Embarkation was smooth although I found the staff a bit abrupt saying it was too early and what time was on my form. We were made to stand in a line for about 45 minutes till there was no one left in the other que even though there was not that many to begin with they just kept coming filing past us, Never had this happen to us before. I did request an early embarkation as this was the only time our bus company offered us for this cruise. So we waited. Once allowed in everything went relatively smoothly and we boarded the ship in no time. Our room was ready and all went well. We chose an inside room and found the beds to be twin not together, we decided to leave it this way as it gave the room so much more space. The room was a little warn and old looking, en suite was spacious as was the wardrobe space and extra hangers. I was a bit confused though when our room steward asked us what time would prefer our room done, It seems now Carnival only do your room once a day. Inconvenient for us as we like to shower in the afternoon just before dinner. If we pick PM it's done while we are at dinner but the beds stay unmade all day till then also if we wish to re shower after a big night out no clean towels. The days of constant Ninja stealth house keeping has gone it seems. The choices in the dining room had also dropped and I found that most of my meals consisted of Caesar salad as not much more appealed, I also found the desserts not as good as before. This was cruise No 4 with Carnival and 2 on the Spirit 48 cruise nights all up. On the 2nd sea day I slipped on a freshly mopped floor and damaged my knee. It seems My Dr Scholl orthopedic shoes with synthetic auto grip soles stood no chance. The boy, mop in hand was very apologetic. It took passengers not crew to help me up, after more apologies from the boy he then put out the caution wet floor sign and got his supervisor who asked me if I was OK. He then kept asking if I needed a medic but as I was in shock and considerable pain could not quite grasp what I needed to say. a Kind lady passenger then came with some Ice and helped me telling me clearly I needed a medic. A wheel chair was ordered and down I went to have x-rays done where my husband was given a form to state he would meet all costs of the consultation which he signed. No sign of a break but could hardly walk and it had started to swell. I was told to stay off it and take panadol or nurefen all I has was codine and he said that was fine. I spent the rest of this cruise limited to my room or sitting. Sadly my snorkeling and all Island tours had to be cancelled, they did refund all our money as I could not leave the ship and sadly not like our last cruise to Hawaii on the Legend never off the dance floor.. We also could not buy anything as we did not know how much the medic would cost so no Fathers day or birthday presents purchased on board. Trying to let any of these incidents get to us we made the best of the ship. All of the crew bar 1 were fantastic, the bar staff went out of their way to make us feel special, the stage shows were for the most part repeats, costumes and stage unbelievably great but the show singers and dancing not so much. Red Frog and Shanghai bar were great both the Piano guy and Manila Band entertained brilliantly Comedy club was quite funny in the beginning but found the new arrivals not so funny and a bit crass. The bar staff in the Atrium were my favorite but it was too close to call, they were all fabulous bar 1. We had a run in with a Bar tender in the Pharaoh's Lounge - well to be honest not a run in as much as we placed and order with him and he did not bring it. Later that night in the comedy club he saw us again and avoided us. Next night he took the order of people sitting next to us turned and walked in the other direction then delivered their drinks from row behind so as not to come near us again. We found this confusing and a little funny and always managed to get drinks from other bar staff till we were asked to separate on one of the shows, ladies on one side men on the other. I sat in between 2 other groups of women. He came and stood directly in front of me blocking my view of the stage and I just looked away feeling a bit threatened but I told myself to stop being silly, he then served the women on either side of me then walked off. He returned with their drinks and again stood directly in front of me I found this very confronting and decided to look at him and found him glaring at me and I was quite shaken. What it did though was give me a chance to read his name tag.. Very tall and bald and Asian in appearance. When I settled down I got up and returned to my husband and we left the show. I thought about a formal complaint but have heard how staff close rank and did not want this to spoil my birthday day. The next day my husband started to get sick, Flue like symptoms, bad sinus and headache. He took antibiotics and we confined ourselves keeping away form other people. We noticed though that this was not just him, it seemed to be every where we looked, people couching and sneezing. Last day of cruise and we are off to dinner for my birthday. My husband says to our waiter it's my birthday and he says oh I'll organize something, we sat for ages after our meal and the girls that shared the table said they would make him get a cake, They waved and called out to them but they just turned their heads. If you have to make someone do it - it's just not the same. They did not come anywhere near us till we got up to leave, as we were walking off they magically stepped out in front of us when we were in the corridor and shook our hands obviously looking for their tip. $50.00 which we kept in lieu of the cake which they seemed to not provide along with NO Happy birthday or apology for disappearing after dinner. Another co-incident is that in 3 out of 4 cruises with Carnival we have come off with this really bad bronchial pneumonia - cruise cough. It also seems that you have to take your own luggage off the ship now unless you are physically unable ie in a wheelchair. So this was my cruise - A Very Sad And Not So Happy Ann Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
COMPARED TO P & O Service ========== AVERAGE Food ============ BELOW AVERAGE Ship ============ SLOW Cabin =========== GOOD Ports =========== ONE BAD ONE Entertainment ==== BELOW AVERAGE Service on deck was ... Read More
COMPARED TO P & O Service ========== AVERAGE Food ============ BELOW AVERAGE Ship ============ SLOW Cabin =========== GOOD Ports =========== ONE BAD ONE Entertainment ==== BELOW AVERAGE Service on deck was close to non existent,above deck floors very slippery, there is a place called Serenity for the adults on but you couldn't smoke there, the only place to smoke was at the forward pool of which had children all around it. Morning coffee on deck was noisy, music was blaring from the speakers and it was Reggie or rock music, not good for morning relaxation and a chat. Buffet didn't have enough variety asp per P & O and didn't agree with a lot of patrons on board. Too many days at sea not enough ports on the cruise, at times the ship was only doing 12 Knots. Showroom was OK but audio guys need to learn how use there equipment at times singers voices defining. Drinks way to expensive. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Fantastic value for money - we paid less for the cruise and flights from NZ to Australia than one week in a hotel in Fiji without food and airfares. This value comes at a price of course...the food is largely 3 star standard whereas ... Read More
Fantastic value for money - we paid less for the cruise and flights from NZ to Australia than one week in a hotel in Fiji without food and airfares. This value comes at a price of course...the food is largely 3 star standard whereas the ship is more 4 star. Loved our suite stateroom...well worth whatever extra we paid..so comfortable and spacious, and two balconies which were delightful. Loved Carlos the cabin steward who was without doubt the nicest most proactive service person I've ever met! He played a significant role in making our cruise easy and he took care of a number of minor issues that arose along the way, plus makes the best towel animal creations ever! Loved the Serenity deck with its chillax music, lovely basket cabanas, hammocks and loungers, cocktails from the bar and a lovely feel day and evening. Loved Nouveau Restaurant -worth every penny to eat in such luxury, fillet mignon, lobster tail....just gorgeous! Didn't love so much the scramble in the Playa Grill each day jostling for position with hundreds of other cruisers, but eventually moved to eat in the Empire which, considering its size, was excellent. The ship is fabulous, crew superb, and I hope Carnival are paying Eli the Cruise Director lots of money as he's worth his weight in gold. And finally a word to Miss Houdini - she's great and the show is pure Vegas! Overall it was a great holiday experience and we'd go again but need more interesting ports of call...Noumea is dull dull on a Sunday, Mare didn't happen and Lifu was average. Isle of Pines was out of this world...I'd have stayed an extra day there. Oh...musn't forget the incredibly impressive team who manage the almost impossibly efficient embarkation and disembarkation process.....a well oiled courteous machine! Thanks Carnival...our first family cruise and might not be our last.... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Cabin 5243 was in a sorry state - 3 star motel at best. The bathroom door was peeling badly, the shower was in desperate need of regrouting to get rid of ingrained mould, the sink drained slowly, the carpet was stained and the sheets were ... Read More
Cabin 5243 was in a sorry state - 3 star motel at best. The bathroom door was peeling badly, the shower was in desperate need of regrouting to get rid of ingrained mould, the sink drained slowly, the carpet was stained and the sheets were thin and pilled (better ones were found on complaint). The TV was faulty. If this cabin was refurbished it would be marvellous as it is large. The obstructed view was fine as your view is over the top of the life boats. There was no noise from the lift. The ship is garish but there is plenty of public space and seating and it doesn't feel crowded. The dining room choices are limited. Hygiene seems to be less of a focus than we are used to so I felt uncomfortable and at risk. No staff suggested using the hand cleaner when entering food areas so consequently few used it. Evening shows were the best we have experienced. Every cast member was very talented and the staging and costumes marvellous. There are 3 comedy shows every night - some a bit hit and miss. Day time entertainment was very limited. No interesting lectures in the theatre ( eg port history and environment etc.) Very good news - coffee is better. Not Melbourne standard but there are free espresso machines for passable caffeine and you can buy a better barista made coffee albeit with an inferior bean. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise as other family members were also going on it. sadly it didn't live up to our expectations. The ship itself was nice very clean and comfy furniture, it was the whole experience that was disappointing, from the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as other family members were also going on it. sadly it didn't live up to our expectations. The ship itself was nice very clean and comfy furniture, it was the whole experience that was disappointing, from the food to the entertainment it was very budget. We found the food at the buffet was very budget the soups were either so salty or spicy you couldn't eat them, the burgers out by the pool were nice, but you can't eat burgers for 10 days, also they closed buffet stations down when the place was packed so there would be long lines everywhere, also if you were unlucky enough to feel like a piece of toast the toasters are so old it took about 5 minutes to cook your toast, the best meal we had in 10 days was the steak we paid $25 ea to have!!!! Entertainment: The cast entertainment was fantastic very professional they looked like they were having a good time, however the nights the cast weren't on and they had other entertainers what a low class budget act one Mr&Mrs Smith they were so pathetic people just walked out. The comedy club entertainers were funny and good value. For daytime entertainment unless you are into trivia in a big way there's not much else to do. The Cruise director Eli falls very short of being fun we got the impression he does just what he has to no more !! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Short break. As expected, crew was friendly and efficient. Use of passenger name in conversation is a nice touch that pervades interactions. The refresher intent of the cruise was marred by unsupervised children in the Lido dining ... Read More
Short break. As expected, crew was friendly and efficient. Use of passenger name in conversation is a nice touch that pervades interactions. The refresher intent of the cruise was marred by unsupervised children in the Lido dining areas,running the corridors and stairs. Additionally, the location of this cabin adjacent to one with a double plus bunk layout that makes children next door an inevitability. This has implications for the use of the balcony as a restful spot. Normal, active kids generate noise. The outside aluminium furniture on the balcony deck are impossible to move without a fair bit of clanking. Something I'll put wariness of being next to a bunk lay-out cabin in the same category as elevators and laundries when I next choose a cabin. The dining room experience is typically enjoyable, especially the staff entertainment involving children. It would be good to see a change in menus, though. They've become predictable. Entertainment this time ranged from excellent (stage shows) to mediocre (solo guitarist). Use of a larger catamaran from the resort made ferrying passengers to and from Moreton Island faster. I'll cruise with Carnival Spirit and its crew again: but it would be great if it had a makeover beforehand. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was my 9th cruise across six cruise lines. A good cruise is always a combination of various things. The service, the ship, the itinerary, the food and the other guests. The service. At a staff level was very good, especially ... Read More
This was my 9th cruise across six cruise lines. A good cruise is always a combination of various things. The service, the ship, the itinerary, the food and the other guests. The service. At a staff level was very good, especially since there is no expectation of tipping. The restaurant staff were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. Our cabin staff even found time to entertain our neighbours kids by teaching them how to make towel animals. In contrast at an organisational level the service is poor. The access to food had definite faults. Over 11 nights I think we only had a couple of times we didn't have to queue for any time dining. Unlike other cruise lines they seem to have a convoluted system where you give your cabin number ( in our case two numbers) and they print a ticket before you can be seated. I can only imagine it's for their own data collection and to allow the wait staff access to names and user preferences. From our perspective it was tedious and unnecessary. On one occasion after waiting in line for five minutes we got to the front to be told there were no tables for four and we were given a pager and sent away. On some sea days they had no breakfast and instead served brunch, but with no rhyme or reason on other sea days they served breakfast and it finished early, so we missed it and had to eat in the buffet. There the stations all seemed to keep random hours, so you'd find the restaurant closed and find half the buffet closed as well. The only thing consistently open was the burger joint. While they made stellar burgers it wore thin when they became the default option. The ship. Not one of my favourites as the interior design is a mixture of Moorish, Ancient Greek, Egyptian and Faux Art Nouveau. All done fairly badly, but the murals especially so (think monkey Jesus). That mixed with tropical fake bamboo and the garish buffet area leaves me wondering if the architect was on acid. While the ship has a promenade deck it doesn't have deck chairs on it, so it's a huge waste of space that could be used (as on other ships) for shady relaxing, something the ship seriously lacks. A fantastic area of the ship is the theatre, it, the stage effects and the performers were impressive enough that you were left wondering how it could be arranged at sea. Another great area is the comedy lounge below the main theatre. Combined they're the best I've seen in terms of layout. The rest of the ship feel cramped for such a large ship. A lot of bars are abandoned during the day and due to the walkway placements you often feel like you are sitting in a hallway. Trivia is conducted in one of these spaces and you are hard pressed to hear what's being said. The itinerary. For this cruise it was average but we chose it based on school holidays so knew what to expect. The food. More often than not the food was pretty good. There were some exceptions such as the abysmal pizza joint or the shoe leather steaks on the fixed menu but I generally enjoyed it and some things like the Indian food options were exceptional. What did detract was a common theme of value adding, where they upsold items normally included with other cruise lines. I rapidly got sick of this and the only "extra" we paid for was the chef's table. This meal included a galley tour and was well worth the money. The other annoyance was having the macarena and other equally repulsive songs played loudy during dinner while the wait staff and other diners danced past your table. The other guests. All ships have different demographics and Carnival have targeted the lower cost family segment. As a consequence you get far more unruly kids and big family groups. Great if you want a cheap family oriented getaway with things for the kids to do. Less great if you aren't keen on hearing other people parent poorly or like me have no tolerance. Overall. It obviously wasn't for me but I can see why some people would love it. I'm happy just to be cruising and watching the world go by so I don't need a ship to look like a circus. The things they did well made up for the deficiencies but in the end it's not my demographic. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Recently my girlfriend and I went for a trip on the Ship - "Carnival Spirit" - my experience on the boat was for the most part excellent. Entertainment was very similar with the three acoustic style acts - rather bland whilst all ... Read More
Recently my girlfriend and I went for a trip on the Ship - "Carnival Spirit" - my experience on the boat was for the most part excellent. Entertainment was very similar with the three acoustic style acts - rather bland whilst all reasonable/good players - Band in the main bar was also playing some good tunes whilst they looked like they had only been together for this cruise - very tentative and especially the lady who seemed uneasy every night they played - overall they did their best with the unrehearsed band. Captians Plate was " out of this world " - world class cuisine and the whole boat was a five star experience... service to match - brilliant ! My only criticism was the area for over 18 was a smallish area at the back of the boat small pool and you really had to get up very early to get a "Cabana" .. I also found it really off putting that there was no piano bar pre dinner - with Jazz and music to suit older age groups and with a packed boat there is seriously not enough areas for child free restful time without being cramped and in a tiny pool ... summing it up - lovely boat - not enough room for adults - music was too similar - great food - great service .. probably wouldn't choose this boat again way to many kids and not anywhere for adults to speak of to get away from them .. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We went on a 5 night Sydney to Tasmania cruise with myself, my partner and our 3 year old son. This is the first cruise I have done. Although it was a okay experience overall, there are a few reasons why I would not cruise like this again ... Read More
We went on a 5 night Sydney to Tasmania cruise with myself, my partner and our 3 year old son. This is the first cruise I have done. Although it was a okay experience overall, there are a few reasons why I would not cruise like this again (or at least not in the immediate future). 1. Our 3 year old was not really accommodated for. Carnival Spirit has excellent facilities for teens and older children, but not really anything for under 5s. Our son refused to attend Camp Ocean as they did not let parents in and he was scared as he didn't know anyone there. This is normal for his age and other parents on the cruise had similar issues. However, outside of this, there was nothing else much for him to do. Although there was an outdoor water park that he loved the first day, it was closed much of the cruise and too cold the other part. There were no designated play areas that we could attend as a family and no play equipment. The other passengers and staff were excellent though and he was treated very well by everyone on board - but no facilities on the ship were for him. Even a small local shopping center will usually have a designated play area for children with some play equipment or toys. 2. The on-board charges were excessive and were not transparent (the prices of extras were not available on the website that I could see prior to boarding). Another review from Dec 2015 also complained about this and said that beers were $7.50. Not true for us - it was $8.25 per beer. Wine was also expensive (around $9 per glass). Cocktails were reasonably priced, however there was not much alcohol in them and some were also 'pre-mixed'. A box of chocolates that the RRP is $13 for were selling for $29 on board. The day spa was also $$$ with 'bargains' being offered at $170 for a 75 min treatment package (in the real world, our university-trained professionally qualified masseuse charges $125 for a 90min massage). You also need to pay for 'real' coffee, $3.75 (again too expensive) and this was also bad quality and tasted weak. It would up being very expensive for us taking all these extra charges into consideration. 3. The main restaurant was poor. The 'Empire' restaurant is one of the restaurants that is included in the price, however the food was very poor. We only ate their 2 times - once for breakfast and the other for dinner. I had steak for dinner and the texture of it was so strange that I wasn't sure if it was reconstituted or not. It also appeared that a significant portion of the food was imported from the US with bright yellow cheese being served and the portions being presented in a very US style. The coffee was undrinkable. On the positive side, the ship was clean, the room was clean and it was not 'bad' in any way. Although the experience was 'ok' and I am glad that we did it, it was a once off for me. I wouldn't rush to go back. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My father invited us to join him on a 10 day cruise to the South Pacific, which we happily accepted. Having cruised on the Queen Mary 2 and Norwegian Jade, we'd had very good experiences on both ships. We had high expectations of ... Read More
My father invited us to join him on a 10 day cruise to the South Pacific, which we happily accepted. Having cruised on the Queen Mary 2 and Norwegian Jade, we'd had very good experiences on both ships. We had high expectations of the Spirit, however it did not live up to our expectations. The disappointment stated at check in when we had been advised that even though our check in time was 2.30pm, we were assured by Carnival that we could check in at anytime (due to our circumstances). However upon arriving, we were very forcefully told that we had to wait till 2.30pm, NO EXCEPTIONS, even after trying to explain our situation. Cabin - Probably the most disappointing part of the cruise. The cabin was old and outdated. We had cabin 6264 which was the cabin that faced to the back of the boat. The cabin was so loud from the engine and shakes so badly, it was nearly impossible to sleep. The bathroom door rattled all day and night. We had to put a face washer between the door and the lock to stop it rattling. If you have any sort of sea sickness, do not book this cabin. It probably shakes and rocks the most out of any area on the ship. Dining - Food was fine and we enjoyed it. Our food host at dinner was delightful and couldn't commend him enough. Good variety at the buffet and restaurant. Ports - The ports were enjoyable, even in some bad weather that we encountered. The Captain did a fabulous job at navigating the bad weather to give us an enjoyable trip. Kids Club - The highlight of our trip. After having a very bad experience with the Kids Club on the Norwegian Jade, the Carnival kids club was excellent. A great program and can't recommend it enough. Entertainment - Entertainment was fine (what we saw of it). We enjoyed the evening shows that we attended and our Cruise Director, Emma was great. We were very disappointed to learn on the boat that our balcony door could not be opened between our cabin (6264) and my extended families cabin (6333). We were never informed of this pre sail (even after enquiring with Carnival), so this was also disappointing. However Guest Services were very apologetic and offered a gesture of good will, which we gratefully appreciated. Would I cruise Carnival again? Yes, but in a mid cabin. Read Less
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

Find a Carnival Spirit Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise