18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We were 1st time cruisers,2 adults and boys 19 and 15, easy to board as all crew were helpful , luggage delivered 1 hrs after. dinner at Norveau rest 1st night, food was so delicious and the desserts were delicious but had chocolate ... Read More
We were 1st time cruisers,2 adults and boys 19 and 15, easy to board as all crew were helpful , luggage delivered 1 hrs after. dinner at Norveau rest 1st night, food was so delicious and the desserts were delicious but had chocolate sampler that was heaven, We had breakfast some days at empire rest or lido deck, but coffee I paid for as I prefer good coffee, Tried burritos, bbq area, burgers for lunch yum, night we had empire restaurant food was ok but you did not have to stick to entree ,main and dessert, my 19 year old had two main meals and dessert on last night, by the way the desserts are very good Did cooking demo at Norveau and absolutely loved this as we sampled Loved trivia, did the shows, boys went to comedy show and magic show My only thing is that my 2 boys found entertaining themselves during day was limited as 1st days waterslide not working and arcade was not their thing, Disembarked and only took 5 mins Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Got a great price for balcony room. Cabins bigger than expected and serviced beautifully. Dining room - awesome food & service and entertainment mid dinner was fantastic. The ship was awesome, clean and friendly staff. ... Read More
Got a great price for balcony room. Cabins bigger than expected and serviced beautifully. Dining room - awesome food & service and entertainment mid dinner was fantastic. The ship was awesome, clean and friendly staff. Entertainment needs a bit of a shakeup. The sound needs seriously looking at during performances in Pharoahs Lounge. The oncrew singers sounded dreadful most of the time. Dancing and stage effects were great. Some of the comedy was great. The serenity area (adults only) too small (couldn't get a lounge in sun - taken mainly by adults with young children on board) and directly under the noisy screams of kids using the waterslides. Maybe need to bring in entry to adults area by sail card and if children under 13 assigned to your room - no entry. Would never go on this ship during school holidays (unless with my own grandkids) Cost of drinks too high. Bingo far too expensive and 3 games - line only, 1 game - 2 lines, 1 game - full house. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our second trip on the Spirit, first was three years ago. She has had a refit since then and has new eating options. Main atrium, dining and theatre are still the same. Embarkation was painful as always and things weren't helped ... Read More
Our second trip on the Spirit, first was three years ago. She has had a refit since then and has new eating options. Main atrium, dining and theatre are still the same. Embarkation was painful as always and things weren't helped by a computer system breakdown. If they say 2.30-3.30 they mean it. People were asked to leave the line because they tried to board early. Embarkation took approx. 90mins. Great staff on the Spirit almost without exception especially Eli (cruise director) and Loyd (comedy club manager), who is great at 'keeping it real'. Shows in the Pharaohs Palace were fantastic and better than anything on our previous cruises. I was dubious about the hypnotist but it was an absolute blast. Comedy shows most evenings with PG offerings early and r18 late.....like 11pm. Serenity deck (adults only) still very popular and you will need to grab a pod before 10am on sea days. Port days are much less crowded because most people go ashore. New eating options (free) such as Guys Burgers and Blue iguana were great and the Backyard chicken at Fat Jimmys BBQ is awesome. The ship is well stocked with bars and cocktails generally run $11.50 while beers $7-9, so it's easy to build a decent tab over 12 days. One irksome thing is the coffee which is still rubbish. The lido cafe and fountain cafe both have baristas where you can buy coffee but both offerings were burnt so I gave up and drank tea. Every evening the room service staff give you a program for everything that is happening the following day - take a highlighter. The movie screen at the main pool was new for us and something we really enjoyed on other cruises. Really enjoyed our second time round on the Spirit, and if they offered a Papua New Guinea itinerary we would be booking our third. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We have done three P and O cruises and felt it was time for a change. Carnival seemed like a good option as we are sailing with a shy 12 year old. The cabin was a premium balcony and very spacious. There was plenty of room for our ... Read More
We have done three P and O cruises and felt it was time for a change. Carnival seemed like a good option as we are sailing with a shy 12 year old. The cabin was a premium balcony and very spacious. There was plenty of room for our clothes, both in wardrobes and draws. The bed was very comfortable. The couch, which was my sons bed was plenty big enough and very comfortable. The cabin stewards kept the room very clean and the beds were made everyday, twice a day and turned down at night. The only fault in the cabin that I could find was that there was dust on top of and below the fridge, but that is being really picky. Most breakfasts and lunches we had in the buffet. The food was pretty good, although my son, who did not eat lunch and dinner with us, has since told us, he did not know that there was roast meat most days. At night, we tended to eat in the main dining room, the food was really nice. Akar and Irene, at the bar near the customer service area, were really fantastic. After the second day, they remembered my name and what I drank, and the same for lots of other passangers. We could not fault the service of any of the staff. Embarkation in Sydney was a bit of a problem, we were due to embark at 11.30, and were at the end of the line so they bought in the 12.30 embarkers, they put through the 12.30 priority boardings before us, unfair, they should have waited until all of the 11.30 boarders had boarded. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
we had 4 children with us and we wanted them to experience a fun filled cruise. the cabins were well equipped and our cabin stewards Carlos and Edwin were the best, the dining room staff were great, they were very helpful with the ... Read More
we had 4 children with us and we wanted them to experience a fun filled cruise. the cabins were well equipped and our cabin stewards Carlos and Edwin were the best, the dining room staff were great, they were very helpful with the children. While there was plenty to choose from in the buffet, it was a bit repetitive, but the pizza was a big hit with the boys. there needed to be better or more choices of cold beverages the ice tea wasn't good, the lemon squash was aweful and that was the choices. Lemonade or cordial would have been better. The ports of call were good. noumea was disappointing and we missed the isle of pines which was a shame because everyone was looking forward to seeing it. We had a medical emergency for one guest requiring the ship to return to Suva, there was a storm in Nadi, we circled the ship for an hour before we could board, tenders were swamped and one got lost but everyone was ok and we had great stories to tell when we got home. Cheers to the crew and staff for making it enjoyable despite the" hiccups". To conclude our cruise we and half the ship came down with the flu, glad it was at the end of the trip. We like cruises because everything is there for you and would go again if there was an incentive, like a discount!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We are a couple in our late 50's who wanted to taste our first ever cruise. The Carnival Spirit was the one recommended to us by friends. We had booked a balcony cabin 7239 mid-ship close to the lift. It was very quiet and yet we ... Read More
We are a couple in our late 50's who wanted to taste our first ever cruise. The Carnival Spirit was the one recommended to us by friends. We had booked a balcony cabin 7239 mid-ship close to the lift. It was very quiet and yet we were very central to everything. The ship itself had everything from basic food to fine dining. We dined at the Nouveau Restaurant the first night and received a complimentary bottle of wine. The food and service was excellent. We also had lunch there on the second last day of our cruise. You need to book early to dine there on the first night. We had also booked the "Chef's Table". That is not to be missed if you want to be spoiled with fine wine and dining. Only 15 places available. The Chief Chef from the Empire Restaurant takes you behind the scenes into the Galley where it all happens. You are then lead into another area where you will enjoy a seven course menu. Hats off to Ahjay, Bharat and the crew for a wonderful night. We ate most nights at the Empire Room. We often had breakfast in the Lido Room. It is very much hustle and bustle and a good meeting point for families and friends to catch up. The Lido caters for all tastes of food including late night pizzas. Kid free Serenity is a great place to relax and chill out soaking up the sun, in the pool or spa, or soaking up the music on offer. You would have to be hard to please to say you didn't like any of the music on board. They had everything from classical violinists - piano bar - 60's - 70's - 80's - folk music to hard rock and heavy metal at the Red Frog. They even offer Karaoke down at the piano bar. We also went to a few of the shows. One of the funniest we saw was the hypnotist. Mystery Island was very enjoyable for snorkeling near the reef and having a massage. After my partner had spent about $150 with an on-board massage, we paid $30 for both of us to have a half hour massage on the island. The shore excursion at Noumea was very informative on the Choo-Choo Train. We decided to do an excursion once we reached Suva. Be prepared to be bombarded with all sorts of tours by the locals. We went on a bus trip to one of the villages. The village was a great cultural experience for us and we managed to buy a dress and shirt from them at very reasonable prices. It was only 27 degrees but extremely humid. We didn't do any shopping in the CBD as we preferred to get back to the ship and have a swim. Be prepared for disappointments. Initially our first port of call was supposed to be the Isle of Pines. However, that was put back to last as there was a mechanical problem that needed to be done at Noumea. We went there first. After Suva, Port Denarau was the next port. Unfortunately bad weather developed in the morning which meant snorkeling was out for us on one of the excursions to Bounty Island. The final disappointment was when we were told by the captain that during the night we had to turn back to Suva because of a life threatening situation with an 18 month old child and therefore would not be going to the Isle of Pines. Instead we would spend 4 days at sea and our next port would be Sydney. The Captain made the right choice. Life must come first. We will definitely cruise on the Carnival Spirit again. If you like a drink, be prepared to pay $7.50 for a can of beer and at least $13 for a cocktail or spirits. Over 12 days, it all adds up. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose a cruise as our first international family holiday because we wanted it to simply be easy. Family of 5, Children aged 13,11 and 9. Embarkation took a while as there was a problem with their computer system. Our scheduled time ... Read More
We chose a cruise as our first international family holiday because we wanted it to simply be easy. Family of 5, Children aged 13,11 and 9. Embarkation took a while as there was a problem with their computer system. Our scheduled time was 11.30am and we didn't get on board until 2.30pm. I was a little disappointed in the cleanliness of our room as the bathroom hadn't been wiped over properly and had dust and toothpaste on the shelves. The bed was a king size and quite comfortable with the pillows being very soft. Our children had an adjoining room and both were balconies which was wonderful to sit out on and get some fresh air. Our 13 year old spent every sea day at circle c club with his new found friends. Our 11 and 9 year old were very reluctant to attend their kids club and ended up only attending the club twice. We found that dining at the lido deck buffet for breakfast was a better system for us. My husband can be quite fussy so he enjoyed the buffet over the Empire although I would have liked to dine at the Empire a bit more myself as we only dined there twice. It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the buffet and feel a bit civilised. The wait staff were amazing at the Empire aswell. Guy's burgers were a big hit with the family as were the 24 hour pizza place which came in handy for a late night snack after a few drinks. I'm not a huge icecream fan but the rest of my family enjoyed the 24/7 icecream although they did say the consistency wasn't always great. My husband and I are spirit drinkers and we quickly discovered that if you are planning on having more than one drink, it pays to buy doubles straight up! $10.50 for a single or $15.50 for a double. The entertainment on board was great and the shows were amazing! The comedy club was good with the kids being able to enjoy the early PG rated shows. The serenity bar was a wonderful, peaceful place for adults to escape the kids for a drink, swim, spa or just to relax and listen to some great live music in the afternoons. Every night the mail arrives at your cabin giving you all the entertainment for the next day so you know exactly what is going on. The pools are not heated and some days were too cold for the kids to want to swim in. The dive-in movies were great for the family and great that they had popcorn too. The kids enjoyed the slides although they didn't spend a whole lot of time there as they are away from the pools. Our first port of call was Noumea, which we didn't find all that great. We paid $10 each for a hop on hop off bus ticket. We stopped at a market and then visited some beaches. We went into the city but found the people not very friendly, basically we weren't impressed. Mystery Island was our second port of call and it was wonderful! We bought some snorkels on the Island $20.($80 on the ship). The family went snorkelling and I highly recommend water shoes which we took with us. My husband and I paid $15 each for a 30 minute massage which was simply amazing! The locals boat over to the Island to set up a market and they are all really friendly. Our third port of call was Suva. We paid the ship for an onshore excursion( the only one we did through the ship as they are more expensive). We visited a local village where we were welcomed with traditional dancing and a karva ceremony. We then took a long boat to a local School and visited a Church. On the way back in our long boat the local driver asked my husband for money, be wary of this, my husband gave him $5 as his family was in the boat. We then went into town where we visited a local market. Boy was this an eye opener! They know the meaning of hustle! Our fourth Port of call was Port Denarau. We took a sail boat out to a reef and snorkelled for an hour then sailed back in pouring rain. This was fine however we were told initially that we were sailing to two different Islands where we could get off the boat for an hour and half each to walk around and snorkel?! Our fifth Port of call, Isle of Pines did not happen as after Port Denarau we had to make an emergency medical stop back to Suva. So the last 4 days were spent on the ship. My last two days were spent in bed as I came down with a full on flu and then passed it onto my family. All the staff on the ship were wonderful! So kind, so helpful and they make you feel like royalty. To summarise it was a very good experience. If you want a break, with not a worry in the world, then a cruise is for you. You don't need to worry about cooking, cleaning, you have plenty to entertain you and you are treated like royalty. However, be aware that you are limited to your days on shore. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Ok... Where to start? This is my second, and my partner's first cruise. I had previously sailed with P&O out of Brisbane around 18 months ago, and while (for the most part) I enjoyed that cruise, I was not confident that my ... Read More
Ok... Where to start? This is my second, and my partner's first cruise. I had previously sailed with P&O out of Brisbane around 18 months ago, and while (for the most part) I enjoyed that cruise, I was not confident that my partner would enjoy this type of holiday. I can say though that comparing P&O with Carnival is like apples and oranges, each has its strengths and weaknesses. They are both budget options, but Carnival seems to attract a more vibrant crowd, is certainly more colourful, perhaps even gawdy. P&O attracted more walking frames and seemed less organised. Anyway, about THIS experience... Embarkation was a breeze. Our luggage was taken away at the kerbside the very moment we arrived. We spent no more than 30 minutes in the checkin queue and were aboard in no time. Just a note for smokers at this point - pick a later boarding time as there is a chance that smoking will be prohibited onboard until the ship pulls away from the wharf at 6:30pm. It would also interest smokers to know that you can buy cigarettes onboard very cheaply with cartons of 200 starting at just $20 (yes, $20! Not a typo) although the selection is very narrow. Food... Food... Food... I can't understand all of the negative comments about the food offerings. I am an extremely fussy eater, but I had no trouble finding things to eat. We ate in the Emipre Dining Room every night (except one) at our assigned table at our assigned time. While it is true that the variety here is a little lacking, the atmosphere was fantastic. We formed a relationship with the staff who quickly discerned our preferences and anticipated our needs. The staff will drop tools and give a little performance about an hour into service which is fantastic. Do not miss a waiter called Sheward singing "Hallelujah". More Food... The burgers on Lido are amazing, as are the pies and pastries. 24 hour pizza is ok, but most times the wait was too long and I gave up - some people asked that the base be made a little thicker, giving a smaller pizza with a more substantial bite, this was happily accommodated. Keep away from the soft-serve ice cream, it is gritty and the machines are covered in the snot of demon kids whose parents were who-knows-where. Once I figured out the self-serve automatic coffee machines, I was very happy with it... do two shots of short black and then press the button for latte or whatever. Even More Food... Do not miss Nouveau, it is worth twice the $45 additional and if you go on the first night, they throw in a free bottle of wine and allow you to dress casual. Entertainment & Activities... There is always something to do, especially trivia. We played bingo once - it is on the expensive side. They play five games, a full card costs $45, 3-box card is $35, and a single box is $25 (they say this is cheap)! Prize money for the last game was $800. The entertainment in Pharaoh's Palace each night was good - not Broadway quality but no reasonable person should expect that. They've spent a lot of time and thought dressing the shows up with visual effects which is what saves them. WARNING... This is not the ship for you if you cannot stand demonic, snotty, unruly children. They turned me into a seething ball of rage - especially towards the end of the cruise. They run everywhere, play in the elevators, barge past, scream, push in, throw food and they do it 24 hours a day. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Booked directly with Carnival next time I think I will use a travel agent. Two adults and two children under 10. This ship is targeted at the family market. Sailed July 2016 check in was relatively easy on line which saved time at ... Read More
Booked directly with Carnival next time I think I will use a travel agent. Two adults and two children under 10. This ship is targeted at the family market. Sailed July 2016 check in was relatively easy on line which saved time at terminal. Arrived just prior to allocated check in time. Once we were in the terminal it took approximately half an hour until we were on the ship. Weather was really good and the seas were calm with the exception of two nights. The ship has a mish mosh of decor but you quickly get used to it and the ship is easy to navigate. We had two balcony staterooms which were ready when we arrived. Food in the Buffet on Deck 9 had some really good and some not so good meals. There is a good variety at each sitting. Some of the clearing staff are a little too conscientious and take plates and drinks before you have finished. The Maitre d, Vanburn is warm, professional and friendly. His happy disposition is infectious. Dining room food especially evening meals were restaurant quality and there was a good selection. Wait staff service was excellent. There is a good variety of shows and a good standard of singers and musicians in the bars. Courtney sang and played acoustic guitar in a variety of venues and was very easy to listen to. Dive in movies were good and the kids enjoyed the popcorn. 24 hour pizza and icecream was a hit with the kids too. Hubby enjoyed "Guys Burgers". Thankfully the Green Thunder was back in operation by day three and there were alot of happy people. Pools and the Waterpark were good and well used. The Serenity Pool and bar area is adults only. Using tender boats to access the islands was a relatively easy process and staff are there to assist you on and off. We did our own thing but there are a number of tours you can book on the ship. Hop on hop off bus in Noumea was good and we visited the morning market, aquarium and museum. You need Pacific Francs in some locations including the museum. Smoking is still allowed on deck 9 beside the pool but there are those who despite it being banned, continue to smoke on their balconies. Makes it hard for those of us who dont smoke to enjoy sitting out there. It has been banned for the dangers it imposes to all. Should be greater penalties for those that breach this regulation. Disembarking was reasonably quick and easy. Would have been better if people waited until they were called. The number of que jumpers was substantial and slowed the process for others who were doing what was asked. I considered this cruise to be good value for what was offered and would be happy to cruise again on Carnival. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was the first cruise that we had done as a family of 2 children aged 7 and 13. It was an easy enjoyable holiday and very different to our usual complicated itinerary, multiple destination holidays that we normally embark on. ... Read More
This was the first cruise that we had done as a family of 2 children aged 7 and 13. It was an easy enjoyable holiday and very different to our usual complicated itinerary, multiple destination holidays that we normally embark on. Embarkation and Disembarkation Compared to air travel - it was fast and an absolute breeze! Staff were friendly and helpful every step of the way. The Cabin - extended balcony 8140 Great size cabin with excellent storage. I wanted an extended balcony so I could escape any potential madness what with a full ship and school holidays. I shouldn't have worried. Apart from the craziness in the buffet at times, the ship was surprisingly uncrowded and there was enough space for all. The balcony was great and I would recommend it highly. It was lovely to sit outside in the fresh air. There was noise from the Pool Deck - it bothered me more than the rest of my family who thought I was being OTT. I found that there was dull thudding most of the day if we were in the cabin and also this often ran into the night. In saying that, I did love being so close to the stairs and level 9 & 10 where we spent most of our time. We only used the laundry once to iron and had our washing done - at $25 per bag, I think it was good value for money. Our cabin stewards were fantastic - always helpful and with a smile on their face. In fact, I couldn't fault any of the staff - they were great. Dining The food was pretty good - you pay for what you get. I found most of what we had was tasty and enjoyable. Buffets are not really our thing and although we had all breakfasts and most lunches in this area, we tended to head to the Empire Dining Room which served a la carte and also Nouveau (which had a $45pp supplement). Nouveau served excellent food and the Dining Room also served some good dishes although some were a little hit and miss. The children loved the Burgers and Blue Iguanas - it was a shame that both of these places didn't open for dinner. The drinks were resort prices and as long as your sole intention wasn't to drink your way through your holiday then it was pretty affordable - beers were $8-9, cocktails $11.50, wine per glass $9+. Serenity Lounge We visited most evening for a childfree drink or two and this was lovely and mostly uncrowded. Kids Club The 7 year old LOVED Kid's Club - she was difficult to extract! I must say that they do need to find a better system on the first day - we had registered the day we boarded so went down the next morning assuming that we could check our daughter in quite quickly and easily - this was not the case - the queues were huge and it was chaotic as there were a mixture of people newly registering and those who had already done so...in any case after the fist day, it was fine and they were exceptionally strict on entering and exiting. The 13 year old was more reluctant and so I can't report on the activities for this age group. As it was, she thoroughly enjoyed relaxing, reading and just hanging out. Entertainment We didn't really get to see much as it was too late most of time..sad I know but some shows started at 10:30pm-11pm and that was way past my bedtime most nights! We saw an amazing Illusion show - that was great and a number of movies at the Dive In Theatre - although I found the acoustics terrible - if there were people talking in the Bar at the back it made it extremely difficult to hear the movie. On shore days they had movies showing downstairs - this would have been a much better option and even if they had of done that during the day as well would have been great. Ports Noumea Having been to Noumea a number of times, we did enjoy taking the Tchou Tchou Train around the city and then out to Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons.The City Centre hasn't changed much over the years and still reminds me a sleepy country town - heading out to the bay areas are the best. Mystery Island This was changed from Mare and it was a great day stop. Good swimming and snorkelling plus some markets - it really should have provided something for everyone. Isle of Pines Most beautiful water colours and sand - really fantastic. We took a bus - Glimpse of the Island which in hindsight I wish we had of stayed on the beach as really there was little of great interest - it was also raining so this hampered our enjoyment. Service The staff really do an amazing job. They make the process of embarking, disembarking, shore excursions so easy, seamless and stress free for the holiday maker. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We mainly picked his cruise because of the price & the fact that we had never sailed with Carnival before. This is our 6 th cruise, so we compare cruise lines. PROS: Large rooms, roomy bathroom, nice spa in gym, entertainment ... Read More
We mainly picked his cruise because of the price & the fact that we had never sailed with Carnival before. This is our 6 th cruise, so we compare cruise lines. PROS: Large rooms, roomy bathroom, nice spa in gym, entertainment crew were brilliant, they should have done every show. Didn't seem crowded even though ship was full, could always find a seat in Serenity & in the lounges. Good variety of cocktails. Great outdoor cinema with free popcorn, good sales in the shops. Staff very friendly, cute cocktail of the day cups. Shipsies band were good, about the only place to dance besides disco. Good variety of activities during the day. Quick embarkation and debarkation process. CONS: No sail away party on deck, Food in buffet was a bit ordinary, same, same every day. Could do with themes perhaps. Other entertainment was ok, but not really memorable (besides the entertainment crew). No happy hour with cocktails. Food in restaurant was nice, but not photo worthy. Photos are a ripoff, we asked if we could get our pix on a usb, but we were told that we had to buy 10 hard copies first & they would give us copies on usb for $10. Beautiful dance floor in Versailles room, but only used for comedy etc, not dancing, waste of a floor IMO. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Have been on carnival spirit and legend, we find the spirit to be a better boat, food selection is still below par in the bistro at night which is a shame but during the bay, there is more selection. Liked Guys burger joint, & fat ... Read More
Have been on carnival spirit and legend, we find the spirit to be a better boat, food selection is still below par in the bistro at night which is a shame but during the bay, there is more selection. Liked Guys burger joint, & fat jimmys, not sure why they Close these so early. Would be good if open during the evening. Desi puts on a good show in the restaurant at night, which is a must to see. The selection on the menu becomes a bit stale after a while, with the same items on one side of the menu, but the other does side changes every night. The updates on deck 9 pool area looks nice and fresh, but really the whole ship could do with a full refurb. Including the rooms. Would we sail on spirit again, yes we would. We are starting to find a lot more older people are heading on to carnival. Yes it's still a kids ship, and older people need to understand this. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Embarkation: To my surprise embarkation was a breeze compared to other Carnival cruises I have been on. Literally within 10 min of getting to the Overseas Passenger Terminal we were on the ship. Make it easier if purchased a suite or have ... Read More
Embarkation: To my surprise embarkation was a breeze compared to other Carnival cruises I have been on. Literally within 10 min of getting to the Overseas Passenger Terminal we were on the ship. Make it easier if purchased a suite or have high vifp status. Ship: We had sailed on the Spirit before it left to Australia back in 2012 and may I say it wasn't all that. But WOW! this time around it seemed like a completely different ship! From the paint of the outside to the carpet inside. The only thing that could have been changed is the overall decor. I think it is a little bit old fashioned and should be concentrated to a more modern feel like Celebrity and Royal Caribbean's newer ships. Food: We are mostly buffet eaters and rally don't go to the dining rooms. Once again back in 2012 the food was mostly disappointing. It made our day to find out that on the Sep 2015 renovation they added the burger joint and the blue iguana catina which to us quiet good plus Fat Jimmys too. Only thing about Jimmy was that the menu was pretty much the same everyday. There was really never a variety. I though that the overall quality of the food was by far better the Carnival USA is. Everything tasted more natural and better prepared including the soft serve. Cabin: We had ocean suite 6327 which aft. Overall it was a good room. Our week experienced some bad weather so the pitching movement was very bad. It was so bad that even for a person like me that rarely get sea sickness, could feel a bit weird. The bed was comfortable and the sofa bed was actually much longer than of the regular rooms. There is a lot of closet space for 3 or 4 people since its a dressing room with space. The jacuzzi in the tub was added plus. Advantage to this ocean suite is that it has a longer balcony which if you peak out you have an aft type view which was nice especially with some of the spectacular sunsets that we had towards the last few days of our cruise. Overall a good room if you are willing to take the risk with being that aft. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My wife (28) and I (27) took this crusie as part of our honeymoon. We booked this cruiseline knowing that Carnival target families, but had hoped that being well out of School holidays it wouldn't be too bad. Unfortuantely, there were ... Read More
My wife (28) and I (27) took this crusie as part of our honeymoon. We booked this cruiseline knowing that Carnival target families, but had hoped that being well out of School holidays it wouldn't be too bad. Unfortuantely, there were loads of kids! I must say the ship is fairly well equipped for families/children, but i wish parents would respect other travellers by LOOKING AFTER THEIR KIDS AND NOT LET THEM RUN WILD! Not Carnivals fault, but I do wish that staff would speak up when kids are running around through the buffett etc. Both Embarkment and Disembarkment went smoothly and was efficient. Real easy to get to/from the ship via the Train. The ship is not bad, a little bit over the top with the decorations! They do grow on you though! The food onboard was a mixuture of really good, good and really average. The main points with the food are; Buffet food was always only just warm, never hot - this was a disapointment. Temperature aside, some dishes were tasty and some a bit bland. There was a lot of choice so you should find something reasonable here. The 24hour Pizza - WE LOVED THIS - freshly made bases are the key to great pizza and thankfully Carnival did not disapoint. Main dinning room - Staff were awesome, I would class the food mainly as good 3 star type dishes with the odd dish being closer to 4 star and the odd disapointment. So if your expecting the best quality food, you wont find it on this line. If your expectations are not extremely high then the food will be fine. I must say, I thought Carnival hit the mark with Drink Prices onboard. They are typical bar prices really and considering if you want a drink there are no other options.. Beer $7.50 - $8.50, Cocktails (which were really nice) $11.50 each, Bottle of White wine started at $35 or $8ish/glass. The cabin was comfortable and apart from the odd kid running up and down the hall, it was quiet. In saying that, the last night was really loud. We were on deck 1 and I assume that the noise was from staff below collecting and arranging the luggage for disembarkment. We had an Oceanview room and it was a nice large window. The bed was really comfortable! I loved the Comedy shows that were onboard, generally there was a PG rated show at 8.30pm and then R18 shows at 10.30pm and another at 11.15pm. We enjoyed both types of shows. The entertainment each night in the theature was a mixutre of average, above average and a couple of really cool shows. My wife would disagree but I thought they had to many nights were it was the onboard dancers and singers performing. A bit more variety would have been great. The Adults only area is great, but it can be slightely hard to get a spot.. guess it comes down to lucky timming. One thing we did not like with Carnival, but Im sure most lines do it, was when arriving on the wharfs from the tender boats they would have photogrophers lined up along the wharf trying to take your photo - Thats fine, but there is not enough room to walk around these guys if people do want to stop for a photo. They charge way too much to buy these so we were not interested in actually having the photo taken but had numerous times where we had to stop and wait for them to take photos of people in front. Would I crusie Carnival again?? I dont think so, not until we have kids at least. Would I reccomend it?? YES and NO. Yes to families but No to couples. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first time on the Carnival Spirit and cruising as a family (travelling with my husband and 2 year old son). 5 years ago my husband and I did a fantastic cruise around the Greek islands, so we had high hopes. The Carnival ... Read More
This was our first time on the Carnival Spirit and cruising as a family (travelling with my husband and 2 year old son). 5 years ago my husband and I did a fantastic cruise around the Greek islands, so we had high hopes. The Carnival Spirit did exceed some of our exceptions but some elements were a bit disappointing. All in all, it was a very good value family holiday. We took a Carnival transfer from the airport, this was fantastic, the service was friendly and they could not do enough to help us. Our bags were fully taken care of, the staff put them on the bus and then we saw them again in our cabin. Most importantly it entitles you to VIP queue for embarkation, so we bypassed all lines (this was a god send with an over tired toddler!). The ship is easy to navigate and very clean. The mid section of the ship, which was recently refurbished, is lovely however the rest of the ship is bit tired. We spent most of our time on level 9 and 10. My son loved the pools and splash zone. Unfortunately, like many other families with young children, my son did not like the kids club (he cried if we walked past it!) which made it hard because there is no play area on the ship, would be great if there was a play area outside the kids club. Families with older children (roughly 3+) had a very different experience, their kids refused to leave the kids club as they had so much fun... so there is hope for us! Our first few visits to the dinning room were terrible, the service was bad and our food was 'hit and miss'. Luckily on our 4th night we were sat in Sheward's section, Sheward and his team Dewr and Karl completely turned our dining experience around. Nothing was too much of a hassle, they would go our of their way to make sure we were 100% happy, we could not have asked for better service. Sheward is also a very talented singer, my son would get so excited when he performed that he almost jumped off the balcony! The Blue Iguana was our favourite place for breakfast and lunch, lots of fresh salad options to choose from which is much needed after a few days of eating rich foods. The Neuvou restaurant was simply amazing, the atmosphere, service and food were 5 star. Excellent value for $45pp. We didn't get to many shows, it was hard to go out past 8pm with a toddler. But the few we saw were excellent. The illusionist and hypnotist are a must see. We also saw a few bands at the Red Frog Bar who were also very talented. All in all, we had a good time and the cruise was excellent value for money. However I think we will wait a year or 2 until our son is a bit older before attempting this cruise again so we can take advantage of the kids club. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We are family of 4 with 2 kids (they are 4 and 7) and we went on Carnival Spirit during April 2016 for a 10 day trip to South Pacific Islands including Lifou Isle, Mystery Island, Mare and Noumea. This is our first time to go on a cruise ... Read More
We are family of 4 with 2 kids (they are 4 and 7) and we went on Carnival Spirit during April 2016 for a 10 day trip to South Pacific Islands including Lifou Isle, Mystery Island, Mare and Noumea. This is our first time to go on a cruise ship, so we do not know what to expect. Embarkment: it went very smoothly, we just need to book a time for embarkment online when we did check-in online and I chose the earliest time which is 12:00-12:1230 . We just need to line up when we were at Sydney port and the whole process was very quick, we were on the ship around 12:15 and once we were on the ship, we can check out the ship or go to Deck 9 to have some lunch buffet. We were advised that our room will be ready by 12:30 but it wasn't, I would suggest to allow more time for the room steward to clean the room first because although we have the beds and bathroom ready, there were still some bottles and comb from the previous cruise passangers left in the room and they didn't clean it out even on the last day of our cruise as I think they assumed that those things were ours. All facilities were open during our trip including green thunders and waterparks. It was a Fun ship for the kids. There are lots of activities for kids, even though my kids didn't join the kids club as they are in different age group. For those who love Dr Seuss Cat in the Hat, we had the parade and story time in the theater on the 3rd day of the cruise. And then on the 6th day of the cruise we had a chance to take photos with the characters like Cat in the Hat, Sam-I-Am and Thing 1&2. On the 2nd last day of the cruise, there were 2 session of the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast 8:15 and 9:45am (at $10 per person which you need to book in advance) and you also can take photos with all the characters during the breakfast. My kids are so happy to see them and have interactions with them. Dining: We spent most of our time on Deck 9, Lido which is where you can have buffet and it opens most hours. Every day they have different dishes so you won't get bored with it. There was also a 24 hour pizza place which is quite good as well. The Guy's joint burger wasn't as good as we expected, we had some good burgers in Sydney which I reckon are better. For dinner, we went to the 5:30pm session at Empire restaurant. The service was excellent from the friendly team who served us and the food was better than the buffet . You can also order some of the Nouveau restaurant dishes from Empire at an extra cost of $25 per dish. We had the lobster tail and it was delicious . I also tried the prawn burrito at the BlueIguana Cantina, which was quite good as well. The Fat Jimmy's BBQ was another alternative food that I reckon is quite good. Entertainment: lots of entertainment for elderly like Bingos (at extra cost) and 60s, 80s shows. The playlist productions like the Epic rock and the magic show were good. There were different shows almost every night which are quite good but it gets boring sometimes when you watch the same groups of singers and dancers every night although they are in different costumes and settings. There were different movies at the dive-in movies every night which was great. There are lots of other activities which I didn't get a chance to go because we had the little kids but I'd like to see the comedy shows and some trivia games. The cruise director Eli was very funny and he had a nice voice so it's quite pleasant to listen to his announcements and talk shows every day. Another pro for this cruise was that we had Shannan Ponton's boot camp which was quite fun, yes it was fun and not hard at all. Shopping: duty-free shops are not good, only have some unknown brands and Swarovski which is over-priced. Also most of the cosmetics are not duty-free price and only have limited range. I only spent some money on souvenirs as there is not many souvenirs to buy at the ports (because they are mostly made in India or Vietnam). Ports and Shore excursions: 1.Lifou - snorkelling at Jinek bay marine reserve is a must-do. Need to book early (limit to 200 per day) and I saw people try to buy ticket at the spot but they got turned down. The beach was quite nice as well but you need a pair of reef shoes to walk around and in the water. 2. Mystery Island: lots of shops selling souvenirs. The day we went was raining in the morning, so there were blue bottles at the sea so we did not swim. There were people dare to swim and I saw at least 4 people got stung by the blue bottles and I heard screams and cries from them. There were crew members walking around the beach with vinegar spray in case people get stung by the blue bottles and there was a first aid station at the beach as well. We bought some coconut juice ($3-4 each) and lobster (range from $40-80) for lunch. 3. Mare: This is the most beautiful beach I've ever been! White soft sandy beach and turquoise clear water. We need to purchase the return shuttle bus tickets at the ship for the cost of $19.99 per adult and $15.99 per child. There is nothing to see at the port where we got off the tender boat, so we had to hop on a bus for a short trip (about 10-15 mins) to the Yejele beach, it was beautiful and we spent 4 hours there. They also have some stall to sell BBQ fish and drinks at the beach. You can snorkel at this beach as well. 4. Noumea: We booked the Amedee Island tour at Carnival for $189.99 per adult and $119.99 per child. We got off the terminal at Noumea and got on a tour bus (5mins drive) to catch the Mary D cruise transfer to Amedee Island. The ride on Mary D was quite bumpy and my kid got seasick from it, so take some seasick tablets before you go. The transfer took about 45 mins. The itinerary for the day was quite busy. Once we got there at 10am, we chose our seats at the beach and everyone will get one because only people who joined the tour will be there. We were allocated to the 10.30am session of the glass bottom boat (for 30mins) and then hopped on back to the Mary D cruise at 11am to go to the outer reef (for another 30-45mins). Then we had our buffet lunch with entertainment at 12pm), the food was ok. And then we will have our free time. We were lucky to have access to the lighthouse which was built in 1865 (It was closed for renovation in the past 2 years? I think), we bought the tickets to the lighthouse $4 per adult and $2 per child). The lighthouse was beautiful as well as the scene on the top of the lighthouse. It was a very relaxing day with not so many people at the island which was great! I also bought a postcard at the shop and put it into the little mail box at the beach. (I am back in Sydney and still waiting for it to arrive=) Note. this beach is really good that you can see little fish by just walking into the water, if you want to see more fish or turtle, you will need your snorkelling gear. Disembarkement: We chose self assist which was very quick and smooth, they start from 7am and we were back on the land by 8.20am. They have buffet breakfast at Deck 9 from 6am, so we can still have time to have a breakfast and then leave the ship on time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was the first opportunity my wife and I have had to get away as a couple since having the kids, just as a couple enjoying each others company without distractions. A first time cruise for both of us, however we were well informed ... Read More
This was the first opportunity my wife and I have had to get away as a couple since having the kids, just as a couple enjoying each others company without distractions. A first time cruise for both of us, however we were well informed as my folks are huge cruisers and do 2-3 each year so plenty of advice was on offer. We decided to sail with Carnival as the timeframe suited my leave and the value for money was attractive. (I couldn't believe we got an ocean suite for so little compared to other cruise lines). Embarkation was quick and relatively easy, priority boarding obviously helped there. We spent a little while exploring the ship and having some lunch. Our cabin was ready by 2pm and we made use of the balcony straight away and relaxed away from the building crowds. Leaving Sydney just after dusk was wonderful, a spectacular port to leave at night time. We were lucky with the seas the whole trip, I think at worst it may have been a three metre swell on the first couple of days, nothing in reality! We dined most nights in the main dining room, perfectly great food, selection of dishes was a little limited though, and service was efficient and friendly. We chose anytime dining as we anticipated not wanting to eat till later and that suited us, usually dining around 7.45 to 8pm. Had to wait 10-15 minutes on a couple of occasions. We also dined a couple of nights in the fine dining restaurant, Nouveau. The food, presentation and service were fantastic! We also made use of the 24 hour pizza bar, very handy for a late night bite to eat. The three ports we visited were ok, 1. Noumea, the ship docked at the container wharf but that is common for all the larger ships. Noumea on a Sunday was very boring, nothing much open but interesting enough to walk around and we also did a bus tour which in reality was pretty boring.(Amadee Island was apparently worth the money from what other passengers said) 2. Mare, nothing really much to do unless you book a bus to Yejele Beach. Others said they enjoyed snorkelling etc. 3. Isle of Pines, very beautiful place, locals friendly with plenty of stalls set up to wander around. We also took a bus tour which included the old French convict prison which was interesting. As for fellow passengers, a lot of families (to be expected) the kids were generally well behaved, however the kids did tend to take over the pools and spas! I did not notice any issues with any trouble from sometimes over exuberant drinkers. Everyone seemed happy and relaxed! Loved the comedy club, we went almost every night. The bars were good however we were more than content to just sit up on deck, have a few drinks and enjoy each others company. Didn't attend any of the shows, poked our heads in a couple of times and they seemed ok! The adults only part of the back top deck (serenity) is a nice touch and a nice relaxing atmosphere free of kids, although a little difficult at times to get a lounge! The staff were all friendly, hard working and were more than happy to assist where they could. Our cabin steward, Glorioso (Mr G) was sensational, very attentive, polite, happy and knew everyone's first name on his section of the deck (impressive). I had to laugh on the first night of the cruise as I overheard someone describe the décor on the ship as "Like an RSL on steroid's". That is probably the most accurate description anyone could offer on the Sprit's décor! But I think at the same time that adds to it's appeal, it's out there, it's different, it's definitely interesting. I have nothing else to compare it to but seen plenty of pics from my folks of the interiors of Princess, Celebrity and RC ships! In summary I think you have to constrain your expectations. If you're paying for a 3 star hotel you don't expect Gold plated crockery with a full lobster sitting atop it. The ship was what we were expecting and the cruise gave us a wonderful relaxing holiday that easily met our expectations. We have absolutely no complaints in regards to anything during the cruise, we thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. For us Carnival offered a wonderful experience and importantly, value for money. We are already considering taking the kids next time on Carnival in a couple of years. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Fantastic 8 night cruise with 2 family's of 4, children's ages 6,8,12 & 16. Embarkation was smooth and easy and on time. Before we knew it we were having lunch up in La Playa Grille (buffet) for lunch. Were able to access our ... Read More
Fantastic 8 night cruise with 2 family's of 4, children's ages 6,8,12 & 16. Embarkation was smooth and easy and on time. Before we knew it we were having lunch up in La Playa Grille (buffet) for lunch. Were able to access our room quite early at around 2pm and our bags were already waiting for us outside our room. Departed on time at 6:30pm out of the lovely Sydney Harbour....a beautiful city to sail out of at night. Once out of the heads we headed down to the buffet for dinner, there wasn't a huge amount on offer maybe because most people were in Empire Dining room but as we were first sitting at 5:30pm we would have missed sailing out of Sydney. Overall, the whole cruise went really well, no hiccups and all staff friendly and professional with cruise director Jaime a huge stand out....she seriously made the cruise extra special with her passion for her job. Ship : ship mid sized and getting around was easy. Decor very 'old Vegas' in style but it was an American based ship but you learn to kinda like the style after awhile! Some newly renovated areas such as Alchemy Bar and Red Frog Pub which are much more modern. Pools good sized and considering school holidays not too busy. Cabin : we had a quad balcony cabin which was moderately sized. King sized bed was lovely and bed comfy. Sofa turned into a single bed and pull down bunk. Balcony was great and good sized. Bathroom had good sized shower and water pressure was great and always plenty of hot water. Toilet was combined in bathroom. There is only one Australian power outlet and a couple of American outlets so if you have an American adaptor take it with you. All power boards are confiscated at bag drop!! There is a hairdryer provided but not high powered so I suggest you take your own! Towel animals appear every night which is cute and the norm for most cruise lines. Dining : the main dining room Empire Room had lovely food, good choices that changed nightly along with a menu that stayed the same each night such as chicken schnitzel and their famous chocolate melting cake which we had most nights as delicious. Only ate at buffet a couple of times as much prefer al a carte!! Burgers were amazing and we all had several!! Pizza is 24hrs and also a must have!! Overall.....food outstanding and exceeded expectations. Ate once at Nouveau Restaurant and for $40/head it's worth every cent. Probably one of the best steaks I've ever had. Definitely worth the extra cost. Entertainment : the nightly shows were exceptional. Cast were amazing and first class. Would have paid extra to go to a couple as were so good. Don't miss them. Went to a couple of comedy shows and Smiley Joe Riley was outstanding, had us doubling over with laughter at both the PG show and adults only show....were sad when he got off the ship, could have listened to him every night. Ports : Noumea.....second time there, not really that much to do from our opinion! Got on the hop on hop off bus at main terminal, was $20 adults and $15 children. Being a Sunday a lot of places closed!! Markets average and beach not that amazing. If cruise here again will stay in ship!! Both Mare and Isle of Pines were tender ports and were both beautiful. You need to buy bus transfers on the ship for Mare to take you to the main swimming and snorkelling beach but it is just beautiful. White sands and turquoise waters and great snorkelling opportunity. Isle of pines you can just walk to both swimming beaches so no need to do any shore excursions if you want to save money. Take small AUS$ notes to buy local produce such as coconuts and chicken satays etc. Service : all staff very friendly and amazing at what they do. All seem to be happy at what they are doing. We were lucky to have cruise director Jaime Dee as she was simply amazing. It was her last cruise before heading back to USA. She will be missed. Everyone in our party loved the cruise and I would definitely cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My grandmother used to go on cruises all the time and as kids, we would go down to circular quay to see her off. So, of course i always wanted to go on a cruise. The opportunity finally arrived and I had 4 set criteria when booking. It ... Read More
My grandmother used to go on cruises all the time and as kids, we would go down to circular quay to see her off. So, of course i always wanted to go on a cruise. The opportunity finally arrived and I had 4 set criteria when booking. It didn't matter where the boat travelled, how long it was for and no thought was given to any drinks deal or shore excursions or mini bar or private bathroom or if there was a swimming pool or anything else. I wasn't thinking about anything else but these . Must be within my budget - Absolutely must depart from the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay. - Absolutely must have a balcony - Absolutely must have a double bed. From reading, I already had the idea that there was only single beds but they could be put together to form a double bed. This thought nearly backfired. To get the best deal possible, I chose guaranteed balcony, thinking it didn't matter about the room as it would have a balcony and I could have the beds put together and the boat would depart from Circular Quay so everything met. Unfortunately, after I had already paid the money for the cruise, the paperwork came through and said guaranteed balcony room, "Twin Beds Do Not Convert to Queen". The paperwork also noted that my room number may not be allocated until day of boarding. About 2 days later though, a room upgrade notice came through with my room number 6149 and noted on the paperwork "Convertible Twins" Multiple people on board told me that Carnival is good but P&O is better but to appreciate the difference, I needed to travel on P&O. I also met multiple other people on board who had sailed on many other ships and had found their home at Carnival. It was my first cruise. I was happy with my room, happy with my balcony and happy with the ship. Embarkation was easy. I had chosen 1pm to 1.30pm. As usual, I arrived hours early. I was there at about 11.30am. Saw the luggage drop off point. As I walked into the drop off area, a man approached me and took my bag off me. i was then able to go and eat lunch with my sister while we waited for the check in. At about 12.45 or so, when I was getting ready for my 1pm, the lady at the door said i could go in now. There was a huge queue to go through immigration but the queue moved very fast. Then the next queue was the check in again a huge queue that moved very fast. Because I had already checked in online, all they had to do was give me my sail and sign card. When I walked onto the ship, there were people milling around every where. I had no idea what to do so just went and found my cabin. My luggage was at the door. I opened the door put the luggage on the bed and started filming the room Because of comments online, I had made a decision before boarding that I would not be using the internet as it is too expensive and slow. Well it was way too expensive in my opinion so i never used it. Some people told me they used it mid cruise to keep in touch. Pay for 24 hours, use it in the afternoon then check for replies the next morning. I had this idea that with more than 2000 passengers on board I would never get into a swimming pool or a spa bath but in the serenity area (for 18 yrs and over), although there were always people in the spa bath, there was hardly anyone in the pool. Then 2 times out of 4 visits to the gym (for 18yrs and over), there was no one in the spa bath there. I paid for bottomless bubbles but would not do it again. $79.75 for the 11 day cruise ($7.25 per day). A can of soft drink was only $2.75. I only averaged about 2 cans a day and only then because I had paid for the bottomless bubbles. There was really no need for any soft drinks because - For free in the morning there was juice at the lido deck buffets - For free all day from the lido deck buffets, there was ice, water, real lemonade, iced tea, coffee, hot tea, dairy milk, soy milk and hot chocolate. - The lido deck buffets used special cups which you saw being used all over the ship in places such as the fountain cafe and the Pharaohs Palace. So obviously other passengers were not wasting money on drinks If you still wanted a can of soft drink, you could just pay for a soft drink at one of the bars I laughed my head off in the comedy club. Some one on cruise critic complained that they used the F word in the comedy club. Well I guess there should have been plenty of warning. The shows were rated PG and 18+. In the 18+ comedy sessions, you should expect way more than the F word. I enjoyed every show I saw in Pharaohs Palace. The best show for me was the lady Magician. I think it was called Miss Houdini. I like trivia competitions and there were about 5 trivia competitions every day including a super trivia that ran the whole tour. Our team came third in the super trivia. The prize for each trivia competition was a piece of shi(p) on a stick I enjoyed playing mini golf, when it was available. There was often a sign stopping access to deck 11 saying too windy. This also where the exercise track is. Not that I would jog on an exercise track but I do like to walk for exercise so deck 10 became my exercise track. I am guessing a complete circuit is about 250 metres. As I was walking on deck 10, I would sometimes be passed by joggers. There was so much to do on board that there was not enough time to do all the things I wanted, especially at night. So, I had to prioritise and leave out the least most favourite things. I read a review on cruise critic where some one complained about weight challenged men gorging themselves on the Lido deck. I thought of that every time I filled my plate at the Lido deck buffets. There was a lot to choose from, and If I could eat it, I did. I made sure I got my moneys worth! I had issues but they were all sorted. 1. It was raining when I dropped off my bag. When it arrived at my room, it looked like it had been for a swim. I don't know where they put it after i dropped it off but the drop off was under cover. Other people had issues with wet luggage too. All clothes in the top of the bag were "partially" wet. So, I hung them up in the room to dry and emptied everything out of the bag so it could dry out too. I am not sure how it came in in conversation at the Guest Services but they immediately offered me free laundering, including ironing, for all the affected clothes. But I declined and told them the clothes would be dry in the morning anyway. 2. On the second morning, after exiting the bathroom, there was water in the room near the front door. I rang Gerald the room steward who came immediately and arranged for the problem to be fixed. When I arrived in the room later that day, I had a note appologising and a free fruit basket with wine and cheese. 3. On the third morning I had water in the room again. This time they gave me $125 credit to my account. 4.I am lactose intolerant. Breakfast and lunch dining were not an issue at all. There were way more choices than i could eat. It was just an issue in the evening. I advised carnival before hand and before sailing received an acknowledgement on a Gift and Services summary noted as follows "01 5504 Lactose Intolerant" Naturally, I assumed that on my first evening in the dining room, they would already know about this. They didn't. The waiter went through the menu with me and told me what I could and couldn't eat and I made my selections. He said that the next night, I would have a separate menu. The next night with the same waiter, his comment in question form.... Oh, you have an allergy sir? No special menu and we went through the same thing again. What was actually happening is that all the food i wanted, i couldn't eat and all the food i could eat, i didn't want. When on the third night my meal was a bland pork steak with nothing to help it go down, I decided that was it. I would just dine at the lido deck. This did not turn out as expected. My second or so night dining on the lido deck instead of dining room, as often happened, the servers behind the counter would put the food on the plates. So a very pleasant and helpful gentleman says to me try some of these balls, they are very nice. I asked if they have milk or cream. Sorry sir yes. So, I said well lets start with some rice. The next item. sorry sir. The next item some peas. Then the next then the next then the next and so on every single item at the buffet had milk or cream in it. I ended up with a plate of rice and peas. I went down to guest services to ask them where I could find food to eat that i did not have to pay for. The lady at guest services gave me a free $10 drink voucher and asked me to take a seat at the bar while they sorted it out. When they got back to me, they asked me to see the maitre De in the dining room. I said I would rather not. They then said go straight back up to the lido deck and ask for the assistant Maitre De. Which I did. He was very helpful. he arranged for some food for that night then brought out the dining room menu for the next night and said tell me what you want to eat and they will make it for me without and milk products. There was nothing on the menu i wanted to eat. I thanked him for his time and said I would look after myself. The assistant Matre De did follow up with me every time I saw him after that to make sure I was getting on OK I already knew about Guy's burger joint. I already knew it closed at 5.30pm but 5.30pm was an acceptable dining time for me. So for every other night, except for the last night, I ate at Guy's Burger Joint. I got the plain burger from Guys Burger Joint then filled it with toppings from the toppings bar. The toppings bar had mushrooms, raw onions, fried onions, bacon pieces, lettuce, tomato etc. I was very happy. However, if I still felt a bit hungry afterward, I would wander into the buffet and see what there was to fill up on Filling up is where the maitre de from the dining room found me on the second to last night. She said she had tried to contact my room. which was true, there was a message on the phone which I had not retrieved. Then after no contact with me by phone, she decided to look for me in the ship. She said she contacted the assistant maitre de to see if he knew where her James was and the assistant maitre de had said your James is here. The Maitre De from the dining room said If I came back to the dining room, she would cook me what ever i wanted. Starting that night. I was already full but we agreed I would dine in the dining room the next night. I asked for calamares as the entree and pork adobo as the main meal. There was so much squid in the bowl when it came out it was a meal in itself. They had run out of pork but brought out the most delicious chicken adobo I have ever tasted. 5.I was twice charged for things I never had. Because some one had complained on cruise critic about over charging, I decided to check charges on my account every night when i got back to my room. This was easy enough. Turn on the TV, choose check account from the menu, enter folio number from sail and sign card, confirm name. Then every transaction since day 1 was shown, including the balance. So on about the first night the comedy club was open, there was my drink I ordered followed by a charge for a drink I didn't order. You have to sign for all the drinks. However, at the comedy club, the waiter does not take your sail and sign card, he just notes the folio number off the card. So i presume at the register, they inputed my folio number by mistake for some one else drink. Anyway, it was instantly refunded by guest service. 6. The next time there was an extra charge on the account, I went to guest services. They said it was for a can of coke and a glass of wine in the dining room. I informed them that I had bottomless bubbles so had no need to pay for a can of coke and that I had stopped using the dining room and the Assistant Maitre De could confirm that. They instantly refunded the money but I believe this also triggered action with the Dining room Maitre De. Everytime I had an issue, Guest services would follow up to ensure that the matter had been resolved satisfactorily You don't have to use the shore excursions offered by carnival spirit. But if you are late back from a trip arranged by yourself, you wave goodbye to the ship. If you are late back on an excursion arranged through the ship, they hold the ship. I liked the Jewell of Fiji tour but checking on line, it appears I could have done it for about aud$50 less than the cruise charged me. There was no choice but visit the beach on Mare. And even then, we were told not to swim or snorkel because there were stinging jelly fish that day.The Noumea in a nutshell tour is a complete waste of space. On arrival in Noumea, there was an announcement that for anyone who had not arranged a tour, there is an 8 stop aud$20 tour you could do. I would have much preferred that. Disembarkation was way easier than i expected. We were asked for our preferences near the start of the cruise. We had to indicate if we had flights to meet, if we wanted to take off our own luggage or if the would do it ourselves. We had to Indicate a preferred time to disembark between about 7am and 9am. I said I wanted 9am and would take off my own luggage. When the assignment came through. It was 8.30 with a departure zone they would call out when it was time. There was also a set of instructions. I was a bit disappointed with the time but when i attended the disembarkation briefing, they said they hoped to have every one off by 9.15 so obviously they would not want people getting off at 9am. In the end, I was walking to the pre departure area about 8.20am when i heard my zone called and instead of getting to sit and wait, walked straight off the ship. In the terminal, they only wanted my landing card and did not even look at my passport. Too bad if i was a terrorist. After exiting the passenger terminal, i took the travelator back up to the level where the taxis are and caught a taxi. I looked at my phone as we drove off in the taxi. It was 8.36am 99 percent of the crew I encountered offered excellent service. Would I travel on Carnival Spirit again? Most definitely!! I had difficulty finding pricing before I left, for those who are interested in pricing on board, I made a post at reply number 8 in this thread on trip advisor https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10703-k9322763- Carnival_Spirit_pricing_on_board-Cruises.html Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just returned from 9 nights on Carnival Spirit to New Caledonia. Travelled with 12 others aged 13,16,18,21,22, 50, 52, 56, 57, 61, 63, 80 and 83 including one disabled wheel chair young adult. It was the best family holiday for all ... Read More
Just returned from 9 nights on Carnival Spirit to New Caledonia. Travelled with 12 others aged 13,16,18,21,22, 50, 52, 56, 57, 61, 63, 80 and 83 including one disabled wheel chair young adult. It was the best family holiday for all ages. Weather was perfect.Cabins were comfortable and larger than expected. 4 Adjoining Cabins with balconies on deck 7 which we could open up to create a shared balcony was excellent. A couple of interior cabins opposite for convenient access for everyone. The ships decor is busy, kitsch and quirky but at the same time created an interesting atmosphere. All indoor and outdoor furniture and fittings were of a high quality. Lots of seating and lounging options. Casual and more formal dining options with an abundance of food choices and good quality. We mostly ate in the Empire formal dining room for breakfasts and dinner and at the many options for lunch or snacks.We opted for anytime dining which gave us great flexibility. Lots of activities and great range of entertainment. Two outstanding entertainment acts was the Manila Band and Lacey in the Piano Bar. Amazing talent. Comedy club was good most nights. We often found that we wanted to be in two places at once. All staff were polite, extremely helpful and fun. Processes for embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. If arriving in Sydney by plane on day of departure recommend the $20 per head shuttle. Extremely convenient and gives priority embarkation which means no queueing. All our shore stops provided opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. Recommend bring your own snorkleing gear to save hiring costs (pick up a set from Kmart around $25 each). We didn't buy any shore excursions from the ship. However recommend for Lifou island buy the Jinek Bay Marine pass about $18 - this provides access to the marine national park for snorkelling and is limited to 100 people in the morning and 100 in the afternoon. Buy the pass as soon as you get on the ship because they sell out. It was a short 15 minute walk to the park and the best snorkelling of the trip. Suitable for all ages. The only other pass we bought was shuttle bus to Beach on Mare Island ($20 return and worth it). Drink prices are similar to club prices. Recommend you budget for, drinks, spa, shore activity, bingo, etc so you can relax and really enjoy the trip. We allowed around $500 per head (including kids) for the nine nights and overall it was fairly spot on for each of the families. Obviously this would vary a lot depending on what you do but we had a great time and didn't hold back. Overall it was an excellent family/group holiday and we would all do it again (and with Carnival). Happy to answer any questions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Embarkation was a simple, quick process, with plenty of helpful staff to look after us. I'm elderly, and took my 3 grandsons, aged 4, 7, and 9 on a 5 night cruise. Our stateroom was cosy but cramped for 4 people. For a longer ... Read More
Embarkation was a simple, quick process, with plenty of helpful staff to look after us. I'm elderly, and took my 3 grandsons, aged 4, 7, and 9 on a 5 night cruise. Our stateroom was cosy but cramped for 4 people. For a longer cruise I would go for an adjoining room but it was ok for 5 nights. Cleanliness on the boat was oustanding, as was the service, whether it be in the eating areas, public rooms or housekeeping. Friendliest crew I have ever met on any liner. The food on offer was equal to Princess, HAL, Oceania, and RCL. Excellent quality, choice and presentation. But where Carnival really excels, is their Kids Clubs (KC). Outstandingly organised, with age appropriate activities in a safe, secure environment with caring, friendly staff. My boys had dinner every night with KC, leaving me free to enjoy a peaceful dinner with fellow singles. The boys would pop into KC for an hour or two each day, depending on the activities on offer. On fine weather days they would swim with the new friends they'd made at KC. Debarkation was breeze: we were guided through each step, into a waiting taxi, and onto the Harbour Bridge within 20 minutes of leaving our cabin. Certainly will do it again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I’m an older experienced cruiser who took 3 young grandsons, ages 4, 7, and 9 on a 5 night cruise to Hobart. We shared a quad balcony room: a king bed and bunks for the older boys. Embarkation: Very efficient, and welcoming. ... Read More
I’m an older experienced cruiser who took 3 young grandsons, ages 4, 7, and 9 on a 5 night cruise to Hobart. We shared a quad balcony room: a king bed and bunks for the older boys. Embarkation: Very efficient, and welcoming. Plenty of staff to escort us on-board. Total time 23 minutes. Our cabin: Too cramped for 4 people on a long cruise but fine for our 5 night cruise. General cleanliness: Our cabin was immaculately maintained throughout the cruise. All public areas were of the same high standard. Dining: Superior. Equal to anything I’ve experienced on Princess, HAL, and RCL. High quality, with something for every taste. BUT the hamburgers and chips out near the pool were divine, a real must try. Staff: Friendly, helpful and reliable. Obviously people who love their jobs and it shows. The Kids Club: My 3 boys attended various activities each day, every day. With them preferring to take dinner with the children at night, in preference to the formal dining room which was my preference. Carnival sets the benchmark for cruising happily with children. They have developed a children’s program which I couldn’t fault. Upon enrolling, I was given a different program for each child’s age group. The boys studied the following day’s activities and picked which they wanted to attend. It was strictly present your cruisecard id, sign your child in, and out, whereby they were taken into the play area which was safe and secure. The staff so obviously love children. And my boys popped in for an hour, or whenever they wanted to catch up with new friends. I was only a phone call away on a Carnival provided mobile phone (which I carried with me at all times). Entertainment: Given that I had 3 little boys, I had no opportunity to access on-board activities/entertainment. Disembarkation: Again very efficient. The boys and I were off the ship and into a taxi in less than 15 minutes. We were guided by staff, who even escorted us to a taxi. The only problem I faced was the boys’ long faces, they found the cruise to short, and want to do a Carnival 10 night next time. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife and I wanted to Visit NOMA museum in Hobart and decided to take are young 16year old and his mate along We took a Grand Suite for ourselves and originally booked cabin view room for the kids but weekend and upgraded them to Balcony ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to Visit NOMA museum in Hobart and decided to take are young 16year old and his mate along We took a Grand Suite for ourselves and originally booked cabin view room for the kids but weekend and upgraded them to Balcony for extra $200.00 for the 5 days. As you would expect during school holidays there were a lot of families onboard and the self serve Lido deck always busy. We had booked the early sitting for dinner 5:30 - 6:00 which suited us as we are early eaters. The food and staff were without fault. For a budget cruise it was exceptional every meal. My wife and I did the Chefs Table which for $70.00 extra was an extravagant molecular gastronomy equal to anything Heston Blumanthal could do and well worth it. (Book Early) I also partook of the Pasta Master Class with Massimo Mele who was guest celebrity chef on board. We made the pasta for ravioli and then all sat down to massive 4 course meal afterwards again well worth it. The grand Suite was very roomy and comfortable with huge balcony and even when kids visited us there was plenty of room with 4 of us in there. We spent most of the time in Serenity "No Kids" area that was very comfortable and quieter. All in all a great cruise, we did not socialize much enjoyed the spectacular shows at night and the live music in the bars were fantastic whether it be acoustic guitar or Philippine Rock Bands all were fantastic. For a value for money cruise especially with family well worth it. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Firstly I would like to say we had a great time on the cruise but now we've ticked that box would be unlikely to do this again. Perhaps we will try a shorter cruise. I am worried that this will become the new 'Bali Bogan ... Read More
Firstly I would like to say we had a great time on the cruise but now we've ticked that box would be unlikely to do this again. Perhaps we will try a shorter cruise. I am worried that this will become the new 'Bali Bogan Holiday' for some. Thank god there were no Bintang singlets on board. Although a couple of families had us thinking! FOOD - Food in the buffet on the Lido deck was really good. Choices were many. The problem that I had was watching some very weight challenged cruisers overeat it was a real turn off. The amount of food wastage was criminal. The Empire Restaurant was great we ate their every night the service was excellent. Plenty of variety of food and the Chocolate Melting Cake was a favourite at our table. ROOM - We were in an Internal Quad Room with four in the room the bunks were dropped from the roof but we had enough room it wasn't too bad. The beds were really comfortable. The room was pitch black so you could sleep in for half the day and you wouldn't have a clue about the time. The small ensuite was tight but did the job. If I did do another cruise a room with a balcony would be my choice. Our Room Service guy was great he was such a friendly and professional guy. Loved the towel animals. ENTERTAINMENT - Variety Shows, Bingo, Trivia, Karaoke, Comedy & Art Auction just to name a few there was something for everyone. Our favourite had to be the Marriage Show were 3 married couples were on the stage answering questions, some of the couples were hilarious. This show was only a once off show for the cruise and if it had been a daily event I would have definitely gone everyday. The comedy on the ship was top notch our favourite comedians were a guy called someone Whitely and a long haired Irish guy. Very funny! FAMILIES - Most people on board were very nice and friendly. Others were rude & loud. Some parents could control their children better. Comedians attempting to do a show had to cope with the interruptions from children who would just wonder on to the stage - not sure where the parents were. Most comedians subtly dropped jokes about 'Bogan Children' but the parents didn't seem to get it! Kids club was fantastic for parents with young children and I'm sure they had a ball. SMOKING - Why? INTERNET - No Internet unless you want to pay $159 for 480min. The connection was very slow. I personally found the break from Internet refreshing. No Facebook is always a healthy option. SERENITY DECK - Over 18yrs only. A great area to go for a break. Get in really early to get a Pod. Plenty of lounge chairs and a few hammocks. A daily entertainer sang and they had some really good singers. The only issue that I had in the Serenity area was there was one family who would reserve at least 3 pods many sun lounges and the hammocks. Some of these would remain vacant for at least 3 hours - this I found very selfish. But the people running this area were beautiful. ISLAND STOPS - Mystery Island - Lovely little Island snorkelling was good. LIFOU - Great Snorkelling, beautiful church on the hill had great views. This little Island had it's own very short runway. We were lucky enough to see a plane arrive and take off. No WHS here and that is what makes it special. Noumea - Not a very nice place I recommend taking a tour to Duck Island or Amadee Island. These Islands were apparently well worth it but get in early as they are booked out quick. There is a bus that you can catch around Noumea getting on and off as you please - take a look at the Aquarium it was worth it! There is also a little train that travels around to show you different parts of Noumea. Vila - I found this port stop a little intimidating, as you step off the ship there are locals vying for your business. We settled on 1 local who organised for us to take a tour to a couple of different destinations in Vila, we travelled through a village, showed us some local tourist spots and took us to Cascade Falls. Cascade Falls although nice was overpopulated and a little dangerous. I would not recommend this to anyone who is frail. STAFF - I could not fault staff they are the friendliest and most professional people. Always polite and nothing was a problem. If you do go on a cruise please treat these people with respect. The staff appear to work very long hours, they are away from their families for months at a time so I hope that they are rewarded well for their efforts by Carnival. EMMA - The Cruise Events Manager - to be honest when we first heard her voice we thought OMG we have to listen to this woman for 10 days! However Emma works really hard and is really talented with what she does. She hosted many shows and was entertaining. We came home with a few little sayings like 'Lovelies' & 'Lovely Jubblie'. We take our hat off to you Emma. MEDICAL CENTRE - Unfortunately we had reason to see the staff at the medical centre. One of our group grew quite sick and the ships doctor decided that it was time to send the young man to hospital. Day 5 and he and his dad were medically evacuated. The medical staff were fantastic and followed up on his condition often. The ship crew and captain showed concern and handled the situation professionally. Thankyou Medical and Ship staff. By the way there is a Gym on board, I was going there everyday before I left. I went there once! My review is written from the heart and we truly enjoyed our vacation Thanks Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
It's hard to know where to begin. The overall experience was very good. Carnival Spirit is a big ship with plenty for adults and children to do. STANDOUT GOOD POINTS: The food is excellent in all areas. Service is ... Read More
It's hard to know where to begin. The overall experience was very good. Carnival Spirit is a big ship with plenty for adults and children to do. STANDOUT GOOD POINTS: The food is excellent in all areas. Service is friendly, attentive and smooth. The ship is well maintained and clean. STANDOUT BAD POINTS: We were at the back of the ship, so the diesel fumes made our balcony an unappealing option to hang out. Drinks are terribly over-priced. $7.50 AUD for a tap beer, no matter where you are or what time, is ridiculous. Yeah, I know I should expect to pay more than down at the pub, but I've already paid thousands for the trip. Perhaps there should be a scale of prices: in the restaurant, pay 7.50; in the public areas, pay 5.50 or 6.00. A bottle of pretty average wine was $32. The same, or similar, bottle would be about $12 in my local bottle shop. My daughter stuffed a teddy bear at the kids' club and it cost $40 to keep the thing. Photos are about $25 each from the gallery and the ship's photographers are a little too insistent on taking your picture. The English language skills of much of the crew are terrible. Eventually, I started saying, "Sorry, but I can't understand you." The Captain, an Italian, was almost unintelligible. This is on a ship sailing almost exclusively from Australian ports. Some of the entertainers are excellent; others are just rubbish. One comedian made such liberal use of the F word that I walked out. In the piano bar, where my wife and I were expecting some classy songs, the musician was playing a portable keyboard with awfully loud backing tracks, and singing terribly - the complete opposite of what the venue required (IMO). There were so many good pianos on the ship, and not one of them was used effectively. That said, two of the guitarist-vocalists were probably as good as you'll find anywhere, including the pop charts. General comments: As a first-timer (and an inland dweller), I found myself fascinated by the sea, sitting for long periods just looking at it. I did some things, like the Green Thunder water slide, that I'm glad about. We had some wonderful food in the reasonably-priced Nouveau Restaurant. My daughter also loved the Sushi cafe. Carnival did put on some free drinks for the "meet and greet" with the senior officers. My attitude was "If Carnival is giving something away, I'm taking it." We thought Mare Island was a dump, and we weren't paying the $56 to get the shuttle bus to the main beach. We got to Noumea on New Year's Day when every single shop and business was shut, so I have no idea what the place is like when it's up and running. Isle of Pines, however, was beautiful. I'd like to go back there one day, but I almost certainly won't. The Pacific islands don't hold much attraction for me. The main action is on the ship. My daughter (almost 11) had the time of her life. Some days we hardly saw her, as she darted off to the Sharks club every day. The slides and pools are great for the youngsters. The Empire Dining room was great. The staff were lovely and we got to know them pretty well. We also sat each night with a mum and her two boys from Sydney, who were also lovely company. Even though the ship was crowded in certain places (the Lido deck buffets, especially), you could always, without fail, get a deck chair on the top at any time of the day or night. The NY Eve party on board was a lot of fun. Embarking took no longer than half an hour; disbarking, no longer than 10 minutes. This was fantastic. Carnival employees mingle around the passenger terminal, making sure you have the right documents and know exactly where to go. We found this to be extremely helpful. On-board shops: being first-timers, we got lots of little trinkets to bring home. I considered buying a GoPro camera duty-free, but I had no idea what the saving (if any) would have been. You know, take away the import duty and GST, but then add Carnival's high mark-up, and you might end up paying the same price as you would at your local K-Mart. I didn't have any way of finding this out, as the 45 minutes of internet I purchased (for only $29) was mostly spent waiting for pages to load. In the end, it was the people that made it worthwhile. Carnival does have a happy, professional crew and my fellow passengers were generally courteous and friendly. I'd go again, but maybe with a different cruise line to different locations. Read Less
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

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