11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Dec 2 - 10: Noumea, Mare & Isle of Pines Another great Carnival cruise! Travelled with my son. Departure - always smooth at the OPT, 12pm boarding an up the gangway by 12.15pm. Cabin - inside 6307, plenty of space for two, ... Read More
Dec 2 - 10: Noumea, Mare & Isle of Pines Another great Carnival cruise! Travelled with my son. Departure - always smooth at the OPT, 12pm boarding an up the gangway by 12.15pm. Cabin - inside 6307, plenty of space for two, handy to stairs/elevators, easy to duck down for dinner, and dash up to Serenity. Activities - we do the occasional trivia (always fun), took part in the Christmas activities (carols, lighting the tree - great for kids), and, of course, watch the Dr Seuss character parade/photo's (great fun). There is plenty to do, or nothing to do...you chose! Favourite place - Serenity Adults Area (aft deck 9). Love this place! Don't reallt care about getting a pod (get there early if you want one all day!), just love finding a comfy spot so I can relax, read a book, go for a swim, grab a sun lounge and catch some rays, take a spa, have a cocktail or 3. I spend most days here, just wander inside to Plays's Buffet and grab lunch, or up to Guys Burgers or Blue Iguana Cantina to get something yummy to eat. Perfect place if you love to cruise to do nothing and escape the rat race. No kids allowed! Ports - we don't get off at the Islands anymore, enjoy the quiet day on board (this is usually when I grab a pod in serenity all day!). We do LOVE Noumea and do our own thing. We get local currency before we travel so no problems, great patisseries (Le Petit Choux), chocolate shop (Chocolat Morand), wander and shop, use the free wi-fi in the park, hop-on hop-off bus around to Lemon Bay...always a fabulous day. Noumea is looking and smelling so much cleaner than it has in the past (there's a new Mayor and she's making a difference!), if you have been avoiding it I encourage you to give it another go. beautiful place. Ship - she's getting a little tatty, but still glorious - so clean! Going for a refurb in May 2018 so that will spruce her up a bit. We love her; there are NO little kids in our family (all adults over 21!) and we have no issues - just note that we don't spend any time on mid-ships pool or travel in school holidays *yikes* Fave Bar - visit the Piano Bar (deck 3 forward, above red Frog); if there's a good pianist on board it can be lots of fun. Alchemy (deck 2 aft, near the MDR) is our fave spot for a before and after dinner cocktail. Give it a whirl ;) Overall great value, already have the next 3 cruises booked and they are all Carnival! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Always wanted to do a Melbourne Cup cruise but won't bother again as the crowds are horrendous. Ended up at the Melbourne casino where I could actually put a bet on, get a drink and even get to a toilet without a drama. As for the ... Read More
Always wanted to do a Melbourne Cup cruise but won't bother again as the crowds are horrendous. Ended up at the Melbourne casino where I could actually put a bet on, get a drink and even get to a toilet without a drama. As for the ship. The staff try hard but there are just not enough staff working the bars especially when it is busy. I like the gaudiness of the ship while I know others don't, but it is something a little different than the cookie cutter ships they are churning out now that all look the same. The food however was a major let down. The buffet is worse than a RSL club in my opinion with the quality and variety an embarrassment. Aussies like a pie and snag but every day, seriously that is a joke. Most other meat offerings were of the stew, casserole variety. Hardly inspiring. I think I saw a carvery only twice, once was so called prime rib and another there was what looked like pork.The main restaurant had an extremely limited menu, so much so that we only ventured in there once the whole cruise. The Steakhouse was however excellent quality food and service. But at $45 per person extra not something we wanted to do every night. Entertainment was average although the band that played in the Red Frog pub were great Alterband was their name. A great bunch of guys that made the nights we spent there fun. Have not done a Carnival cruise for a number of years but the cutbacks and quality reduction was very noticeable. Sadly they all seem to be headed in the same direction so until people stop cruising as much it will continue the downward spiral. Still had a reasonably good time as we make the most of crappy situations Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise as a fun and easy way to go to the Melbourne Cup. It was but the ship itself is awful. When I first stepped onto this ship all I could smell was deep fat frying. Our friends that we were travelling with also ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a fun and easy way to go to the Melbourne Cup. It was but the ship itself is awful. When I first stepped onto this ship all I could smell was deep fat frying. Our friends that we were travelling with also mentioned the same thing, unprompted by us. It's not a good start. All I could see when we stepped on was people getting plastered at the "Pub". Also not a good look. Maybe because it was a Melbourne Cup cruise... The good things: lamb cutlets/chops at Nouveau were the best I've ever eaten, the Melbourne Cup transfers to and from Flemington were impeccably organised. It's downhill after that. Food was very average. Edible but nothing special. Drinks were restaurant prices and average tasting. We had a glass of sparkling wine one night that tasted like eucalyptus juice! There was also a bit of substitution going on. Part of our package was a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. It was substituted with a cheaper champagne. Veuve was available as it was on the restaurant wine list. As we had guests to the cabin for drinks we didn't make a fuss - but it was remembered. This cabin has lots of space and storage. Two people can fit in the bathroom at one time and it has...double sinks! The decor is hideous but I understand that a refit is on the cards so let's hope they do something tasteful. It really does look like a Las Vegas Casino from the old days. The common complaint about the stairs is true. However they were rarely used and only in port. I think they were not too much of a problem. I wouldn't travel on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I went on this ship three years ago and in my opinion it has gone down hill a bit. The food is not of very good standard on the buffet and the restaurant has the same food as the buffet with only one soup offered each day. The only ... Read More
I went on this ship three years ago and in my opinion it has gone down hill a bit. The food is not of very good standard on the buffet and the restaurant has the same food as the buffet with only one soup offered each day. The only good thing was the free pizzas which are the same. They do not force people to wash hands before going to the buffet as other ships do which is a huge health issue. The cabins don't get sheets changed anymore and we went for 12 nights and no more turn down service and chocolates and no change of towels in the evening if needed. The adults area have had half the cabanas taken away replaced by lounge chairs so it is hard to get one till late afternoon. The table tennis tables are outside on the deck for the wind to blow the balls to the pool deck below and they must have a room for adults to play table tennis tournaments which they don't have. The pool table is in the casino area and charge $10 a hour to play should be free. The tender service was a joke with only 4 tender boats and one way in and out so slowed the process down to a wait of 1 hour to 1.5 hours not fair on parents of children. The shows in the Palace was 10 out 10 every night was exceptional best i have seen so far. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Went on this cruise after being recomended by a friend. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and ran well. Cabin staff were excellent and nothing was too much bother for them. The ship for it's size had a poor selection ... Read More
Went on this cruise after being recomended by a friend. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and ran well. Cabin staff were excellent and nothing was too much bother for them. The ship for it's size had a poor selection of shops, dinning areas were adequate, with 3 different dinning areas, but food was no better than average. Entertainment and activities, were focused on kids, evening entertainment consisted of a 1hr show, bingo, card games, or just drinking in the bars with music that was too loud to be able to communicate with our company or bar tenders. Overall service was average at best, finding plces on the ship was not clearly signed or publicised, and the first 2 or 3 days was spent trying to find things to do, and were they were rather than enjoying the cruise. Shore excursions were also hit and miss, an explanation of what to expect or do on each island would have been nice, the shore excursions book told us a little, but did not always live up to expectations. More information at time of booking, regarding disembarkation, airport transfers and tours available enroute to airport would have been a help, as the ship had to be disembarked at 9am and our flight was not till 7pm, so we had to store our luggage at our expense to be able to enjoy the Sydney sights. Read Less
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We just got back from another 10 day cruise on Carnival Spirit. This time we went with friends who were on their first cruise and they were, like us the first time, very sceptical. They came off the ship having loved every minute. We ... Read More
We just got back from another 10 day cruise on Carnival Spirit. This time we went with friends who were on their first cruise and they were, like us the first time, very sceptical. They came off the ship having loved every minute. We booked to go on this ship again simply to see crew members who have now become good friends. The service was exceptional from everyone as normal. The food in Empire had improved with more choices. In Nouveau and the Chef's Table the food was outstanding. We were very lucky with the weather with hardly any clouds and always plain sailing which is always a bonus. Whether you are a first time cruiser, or like us have done many, I think this ship offers great value for money. Yes, there are better and more 'fancy' and expensive cruise ships out there ( which we have been on) but we would not have been on this ship four times if we did not enjoy it. Carnival is all about fun, with fantastic friendly service and I think Spirit is slightly nicer than Legend, being brighter with a couple of extra places to go. The only slight downside was the position of the cabin, aft extended balcony, which I will review separately. I can be noisy when the ship is at full speed. Otherwise, just as good if not better than before! 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise ever and first real family holiday. My husband and I walked randomly into a travel agent's office one day just playing the idea in our head for a family holiday and within two days, had booked the cruise. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and first real family holiday. My husband and I walked randomly into a travel agent's office one day just playing the idea in our head for a family holiday and within two days, had booked the cruise. We have 4 children, aged 13, 11, 8 and 4. To be honest, I was a little nervous about a cruise vacation. But we are now hooked. We've caught the cruising bug and can't wait to go on another holiday. The kids absolutely loved every single minute. From just being on the Ship, to the onboard activities, to the shore excursions and particularly the 24 hour icecream. I came away from the holiday so very proud of all of them. It was a fantastic time. Because of our large family, we had to book two staterooms but that didn't end up bothering us at all. We were only in them to sleep anyway. My husband was in one room with two of our kids and I was in the other room with our other two kids. We loved the waterslides and I even braved the Green Thunder. The entertainment was great, although I wish there was a little more earlier entertainment for young children. But after a day or two, I worked out it was easy to put our youngest in her PJ's and then go to the shows. She slept through most of the late shows on my lap. The dining options were good. I found the main Empire the best for getting the kids what they wanted each night. But we generally stuck to Lido Buffet for Breakfast and Lunch each day. On shore days, we'd do an excursion in the morning, then return back to the Ship for lunch and then go back onto shore for the rest of the day. The worked really well for us and we didn't have to outlay extra for meals on shore. The entertainment in the dining room each night was great and the kids loved the singing and dancing waiters. The waiters would often entertain the kids with one on one magic tricks or teaching them to fold napkins. The staff were lovely and friendly. My youngest kids loved the kids club and begged to go there whenever they could. My oldest went once but preferred to hang around with us or do his own thing from time to time. We can't compare Carnival Spirit to any other ship, as this is our first. But we did thoroughly enjoy our vacation and can't wait to cruise again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was a short cruise to celebrate our anniversary. Unfortunately we had terrible weather which was not Carnival's fault obviously. We are in our 50s and definitely the wrong demographic for Carnival. Dining room and buffet were ... Read More
This was a short cruise to celebrate our anniversary. Unfortunately we had terrible weather which was not Carnival's fault obviously. We are in our 50s and definitely the wrong demographic for Carnival. Dining room and buffet were very chaotic experiences. We did have a lovely dinner in the Nouveau Restaurant but the food in the dining room was very average. Only one room clean per day where most cruise lines are morning and evening. Cabin was old and in need of repair, particularly the mouldy bathroom. Lovely adults area, Serenity, unfortunately it is right below the Waterworks so constant screaming children which negates the serenity! The staff were friendly but mostly looked dishevelled and tired. Our biggest complaint was the smoking areas which are huge and right near the main pool area where family and children spend their day. Smoking areas should be well away from the main public areas, very unpleasant to walk around those decks, constant clouds of smoke. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I happened to walk into the Cruise specialist TA and ask if there were any good deals around for a cruise out of Sydney. A balcony room for 2 people for 11 nights at a total cost of $2,300 seemed like a good deal, so I accepted. ... Read More
I happened to walk into the Cruise specialist TA and ask if there were any good deals around for a cruise out of Sydney. A balcony room for 2 people for 11 nights at a total cost of $2,300 seemed like a good deal, so I accepted. Embarkation worked well. We were on the 12 - 12:30pm check-in and onboard about 12:45pm. Decoration is a matter of personal taste - think Vegas Casino and you won't be far wrong. Dining - Don't miss the Nouveau Restaurant if you like good food. We went the first night as they were offering a free bottle of wine that night. All the food was a very high standard, the steaks were exceptional. Servings were large, so go there starving - we had trouble getting through it all. The free bottle of wine was also quite reasonable, better than I was expecting. We ate at the MDR most of the time. We requested the Your Time Dining, but failed to get that. Not really a fan of the fixed dining times, but I guess at this price point it's the most efficient for Carnival. Staff were all friendly and helpful. Food was fairly bland, even the "spicy" food - adequate but not exciting as I guess you have to expect. My wife is Gluten Free, and she wasn't all that impressed. Compared to her experiences on the P&O Dawn and Aria, Spirit didn't really try very hard. Like P&O, in the MDR, she would get the next day's menu at dinner. The idea was she could pick any menu item and they would modify it to take out the wheat. P&O didn't have any difficulties with that, often providing really great dishes. Carnival Spirit managed OK sometimes, but other times we arrived for dinner to be told "couldn't do that" - only option was to then find a gluten free item on the menu. We bought the $185 wine package. Worked well and provided a reasonable saving on the price if ordered separately. One negative - they crossed off two wines that were listed on the Carnival web page and on the paper sheet we received after purchasing the package in the MDR. One wine crossed off was the only sparking, so that probably upset a few people. Music & shows - we enjoyed the music in the bars. Music Manila were good, especially when playing music from my vintage. Liked the Epic rock show, others were a bit ordinary. I was pleasantly surprised by the Chippendale Library. I expected a small pile of ancient blockbusters, but many were 2016/17 editions and some I even wanted to read. Quite few USA centric books about people I'd never heard of, but really not bad at all. Overall - pleasant enough cruise for what we paid. 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
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise line for a family cruise, for us, our children and grandchildren in July 2017. We are experienced cruisers, as we have done several previously with other cruise lines. Having read some of the reviews of this ship, I ... Read More
We chose this cruise line for a family cruise, for us, our children and grandchildren in July 2017. We are experienced cruisers, as we have done several previously with other cruise lines. Having read some of the reviews of this ship, I cannot believe we traveled on the same ship!!!!! The food was strictly boarding school quality, frankly it was dreadful and uninteresting. The serving staff often seemed reluctant to serve some of the food. The opening hours of the buffet dining room were also very limited, and it is not well set out. The wine offered on board was even worse. After tipping several glasses of wine bought from the bars on board down the sink, we found the Lolly Shop sold bottles of wine. We bought two bottles for $95 and tried those to see if they were drinkable - they weren't. One bottle costing $45 was a 2011 Yalumba Viognier, that turned out (when I checked later) to be a $15 bottle of wine with a recommended drink by date of 2014. Both bottles bought for $95 were tipped down the drain as they were undrinkable. One positive note, the cabin was quite spacious and well set out, but the housekeeping staff were not very thorough. Of our 4 cabins, only two had water bottles and beach towels when we arrived, and our cabin went three days without being serviced on one occasion. Lastly the shore excursions were dull and boring - we wondered why they bothered stopping in some of the places. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
sailed july 17 2017 we just got back from our cruise on the carnival spirit and I have to say it was amazing,starting from our cabin which was spotless every day the lunch buffet was fantastic and the empire restaurant was unbelievable ... Read More
sailed july 17 2017 we just got back from our cruise on the carnival spirit and I have to say it was amazing,starting from our cabin which was spotless every day the lunch buffet was fantastic and the empire restaurant was unbelievable 5 stare quality food every night and the staff were fantastic, and if you want to enjoy listening to a great band the Red Frog Pub is were to be at night we were there every night dancing or just listening to these brilliant musicians who entertained us every night they are very friendly and funny they play a viariety of music for all age groups the bands name is Music Manila so please go and listen to them they come and interact with you every night and Albert we love you you are the most friendliest and humble guy I know you woul all great us every time we walked in. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were very nervous first time cruisers but we could not have been happier with our trip. Nothing was too much trouble for every staff member we came in contact with and our room was kept very clean with the minimum of fuss. Very cute ... Read More
We were very nervous first time cruisers but we could not have been happier with our trip. Nothing was too much trouble for every staff member we came in contact with and our room was kept very clean with the minimum of fuss. Very cute towel animals on our bed each day thank you Marte! Food was plentiful and good quality but it was the wonderful staff and nightly fantastic entertainment from Manila Music in the Red Frog Bar that made this trip so memorable. We ate in the dining room often and loved the singing and dancing staff but we were always keen to get back to hear Manila Music to finish our night off with a great tune! Shore excursion to beautiful Mare was also a highlight and we were blessed with amazing weather. Transport between ship and islands was extremely efficient and we never had to wait for more than a few minutes for our tender. Thanks to everyone who took such great care of us, would highly recommend this trip, especially if you are lucky enough to sail with Manila Music! Lisa xoxo Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
It was my first time cruising with my best friends and we definitely had a great time. I can't express enough how lovely and friendly all the staff were, from cabin crew, waiters/waitresses, performers, photographers, bar tenders, ... Read More
It was my first time cruising with my best friends and we definitely had a great time. I can't express enough how lovely and friendly all the staff were, from cabin crew, waiters/waitresses, performers, photographers, bar tenders, event managers and all the way to the captain!!! There are countless of things to do during sea days and island days. The theme nights were also great fun. The photos that came out from those theme nights were ones that will go down in memory lane in years and years to come. I advised for people to go all out!!!! Every day and every night were jam packed with activities that everyone can participate in. If you're the type to relax, there are also numerous of beautiful places in the ship that you can just sit in and enjoy. How I missed the food, it ranged from really good burgers to fine dining, ALL DAY!!! There is something for everyone! If you're contemplating on doing a cruise, don't! Just go!!!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was a surprise trip from my family. Can't fault the staff on board excellent service in all areas. We had breakfast and dinner in the dining room which was a wonderful experience and the 3 guys, Gary, Geoffrey & Lomel who ... Read More
This was a surprise trip from my family. Can't fault the staff on board excellent service in all areas. We had breakfast and dinner in the dining room which was a wonderful experience and the 3 guys, Gary, Geoffrey & Lomel who looked after our table at Dinner were absolutely excellent and great fun. We also had 2 dinners in Noveau Restaurant which were great together with some very good quality champagne. Loved the serenity area. I also had my hair done and had a relaxation massage which was great. Boarding and disembarkation went very smoothly as did the shore excursions. The onboard entertainment was varied and the shows put on in Pharoahs Palace were fantastic. Also there were varied bands and singers in the bars and we loved the Red Frog Pub and the band Manila which played most nights there. A great time was also had in the Shanghai Piano Bar with Kevin on the piano taking requests from the guests and everyone singing along. We also had a good time in the funshops onboard. There was varied entertainment and activities during the day as well as the evening. There was definitely something for all ages on board. The youngster who is 10 had a great time in kids club. Loved the ship with all its different areas. You could do as much or as little as you wanted. This was my first cruise, wasn't seasick and I absolutely loved it. Will definitely cruise again. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Second time on Carnival and we enjoyed ourselves again. Family of three, one teenager doing 8 days south pacific. Stopped Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines. Highlight was captain alerting us to whales alongside ship. Great crew and ... Read More
Second time on Carnival and we enjoyed ourselves again. Family of three, one teenager doing 8 days south pacific. Stopped Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines. Highlight was captain alerting us to whales alongside ship. Great crew and everything went really smoothly. Sixteen yo made most of O2 and had a ball. Went to Nouveau and it was worth every cent. Would not bother again with buffet for dinner, we only did it once because we didn't feel like dressing up on formal night but next time I will make the effort. Dining room meals were also great. We did 2 shore tours. Segway in Noumea at the forest park and it was really good and we also did guided tour of Isle of Pines as on other trips we have just snorkelled and wanted to do something different. That was really good fun too. Snorkelling on Isle of Pines is really good and the water on Mare is so clear although the snorkelling not quite as varied as Pines. Would recommend Spirit as a good family ship with lots to do if you are happy with a relaxed feel with a varied clientele. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I'd never considered going on a Carnival cruise before this trip. Perhaps the snob in me said it was too down market and there were better alternatives around. The price however was right as was the timing so we said 'why ... Read More
I'd never considered going on a Carnival cruise before this trip. Perhaps the snob in me said it was too down market and there were better alternatives around. The price however was right as was the timing so we said 'why not' and I'm glad we did. All our preconceptions were blown away from the moment we boarded. The Carnival Spirit is such a unique ship. I must admit the interior takes some getting use to and the best way I can describe it is gaudy! Not very faltering but it is a little different and you learn to like its quirkiness. The experience itself was fun. The whole ship has this happy vibe and a lot of the credit must go to the staff who really were exceptional. The evening shows were first class and the comedy shows topped off most nights. The food was varied and of good quality where ever we went to eat and the 24 hour pizza counter was never empty. This was my sixth cruise and it delivered exactly what I wanted; something a little different. It was both relaxing and entertaining. If you wanted to participate in the themed nights and have a good time you weren't alone. A fair percentage of the passengers got involved in the parties and made an effort to dress up and dance. Those that didn't had ample places to relax in the lower decks. All in all an enjoyable cruise and one I'll repeat in a few years time. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have enjoy cruising on other shipping lines, when we were invited to join friends on Carnival we thought sure. Haven't been on carnival before. First time for everything. Overall the food is plentyful, with lots of variations, ... Read More
We have enjoy cruising on other shipping lines, when we were invited to join friends on Carnival we thought sure. Haven't been on carnival before. First time for everything. Overall the food is plentyful, with lots of variations, Pizza, Mexican, BBQ, Dinning room food is truly delicious. If you have children then this cruise is for you, as they have great water slides and activities for children. Take note: extra activities will be additional costs. Eg build a bear, paint a beach bag to take home to mention a few. Children can play bingo, and the lucky youngsters have also won... $$ on our cruise. If you like a drink, it's not duty free. It's standard bar prices. Other cruise ships we have travelled on have duty free cheaper drinks and cocktails on board. Serenity section for adults only is great, but you need to get in early for a pod, unfortunately it is below the children's water slides, so you will hear squealing children. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise for its price the line had some specials going and as we are now pensioners price is paramount. We had not cruised with Carnival before but had cruised with little sister P&O and two of Royal Carribean. I had ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its price the line had some specials going and as we are now pensioners price is paramount. We had not cruised with Carnival before but had cruised with little sister P&O and two of Royal Carribean. I had imagined that Carnival would be much better then P&O but didn't find to much difference except size of ship being much bigger. I did prefer the food in the buffet area on Spirit compared to Aria as at least they had proper seating but like Aria the food was not always hot. However the availability of fresh cooked pizza 24/7 meant that Carnival is way way out in front as well as free icecreams great for late snacks. We scored well in the cabin as we paid for starter fare and got 4th deck in a obstructed view cabin it was fab as it had french doors that fully opened giving fresh air. There was good storage and although the bathroom is quite small it served us well water was hot and strong. The cabin staff were hard working and our cabin was always left clean. The main dining was good and on Spirit each night staff serenade diners I had just lost my Mum and the first time I heard this little show one of the waiter sang Hallelujah I had tears in my eyes is was so moving. This man Simon should be a permanent entertainer he is fabulous. Entertainment I would have liked more bands especially on deck instead of just DJ who by the way is a very nice man but as it was in the enclosed area it was a bit loud. I think on summer cruises this would be fine with the roof open but in winter it is a bit overwhelming but because of cool winds we just went with the flow adults area to cool this time of year with winds. I am not into just solo singers or duos unless they are vibrant and sing upbeat songs most of the entertainment other then Red Frog were this type. Loved the Manila boys they were fun friendly seemed to deliver what fans wanted and understood Aussie mindsets ACDC etc. Two of the night big shows were fabulous but the rest were kinda OK but nothing write home about please stop using magicians they belong in nursing homes and yes I did say we are pensioners. We had great service from all staff there were no complaints at all. Only used on port excursion it was the transport to the beach on Mare a must as the island doesn't have much beach it seems more rocky cliff type swimming. Would I go again yes if price was right but next time in warmer weather as the sea days were long without good deck conditions. I would like Carnival to introduce alcohol packages as drinks were very expensive I think they could make good value. 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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