Sail Date: July 2019
We needed a break, but without flying half way across the world. We are Kiwis, with about 10 cruises under our belt. We love Princess. Unfortunately, at this time of year, there is only Carnival sailing out of Aussie, we had a break in ... Read More
We needed a break, but without flying half way across the world. We are Kiwis, with about 10 cruises under our belt. We love Princess. Unfortunately, at this time of year, there is only Carnival sailing out of Aussie, we had a break in work pressure, so it was now or 6 months time. We are an extremely middle aged husband and wife. We scored a good two-for-one deal, and we didnt find out until we were about to leave NZ that our balcony had been upgraded to a suite! We were quite excited about that. A quick look on the deck plans showed it was a large suite, over the back of the boat. The first disappointment with Carnival is there lack of info. We couldnt find out what, if any extras you got with a suite. No information on what we could take aboard (bottled water, for instance), alcohol packages, port excursion costs, how to book a set time dining, were toiletries supplied, you know, just basic stuff. We fly to Sydney and eagerly wait the next day. We stayed the night a couple of hundred meters away for the terminal at Circular Quay, so next morning, after a bit of shopping, we head down. We dropped out bags at the bag drop and then went back to the shops, returning a few hours later. We were a bit early from our designated time, but were told as we were suite, we could go straight on (again, would have been good to know, as we were basically mooching round, killing time). Embarkation was the usual, but the worse things were the passengers! I could not belive the amount of people that had to stop and take selfies every few steps! This was not the young either, and why oh why could they not wait until they could step aside and let the queue behind them through??? do you really need five of the walk up to the gang plank, one on the gang plank and one as you put your first foot on the boat?? are you really going to look at these photos again?? So yes, I was the grumpy person that rudely pushed past you. Have some consideration people! We found our floor, then the room. Some better signage would have helped. They could also use Princess's trick of different colour carpet on port and starboard side. It didnt really matter too much to us, as we were along the back, and you could walk right round, but it would have made things a little easier. We found our room, which was a different setup to what we were use to. You walked along a narrow part which had a desk on one side, then to a wider part that had a couch with a chair in front of the couch (really, really surplus to requirement, it just took up room), I assume the couch probably folded out to a bed, but as there were only the two of us, we never found out. The couch was quite comfy. After the desk (with its own chair)there was another table that had the fridge under it. If you sat on the couch, you would be looking at about a 16 inch TV set into about a 26 inch cabinet with another table underneath and a cupboard. No mini bar! In the middle of the cabin was the bathroom, which was a decent size and not too bad a layout. It did have a shower over the spa bath. I would have loved a bath, but it just looked a bit, well, gungy. Between the bathroom and a passage way that led to the bedroom was a small dressing room. It was like they didnt know what to do with the space, so there was a table (with a stool) and mirror there. There was also a make up mirror in the bathroom, I guess this is what makes a suite a bit different from a balcony cabin, I dont know. Then you walked into the bedroom. On one side was a double sliding door wardrobe, the same sort of TV set up in the middle and another door leading the dressing/make up room. We didnt use this door, as it opened into the room, causing a barrier that in the middle of the night you would have walked into. The cabin, while not tatty, did have a lot of wear marks, worn areas, etc. Again, it certainly felt a little gungy. There was a picture on the bedroom wall, of a pre adolescence Venus and Cupid, naked in a sexual pose. While some may have called it art, I actually found it quite offensive (and I am no prude). The murals on the walls in the corridors were of a Roman/Greek style and to me, they just did not look appropriate on a family type ship. A lot of the decor looked like the kids had gotten carried away in the crayon box. So there were heavily patterned walls and squiggly patterned carpets. It was a bit claustrophobic. The general layout of the ship was not overly difficult to find your way around, if you got off the lifts there were usually the names of the areas in bright different coloured lights above the door ways leading to the public areas. The cabins were all on some floors and the entertainment/food areas on others, so everything was grouped together. We did a couple of trivia events, but apart from the Red Frog, there didnt really seem to be any seperate areas like we were use to. The Trivia was just down one side of the boat and you couldnt really hear, unless you were close. The middle of the ship was hollow for about 7 or 8 floors, so the noise carried quite a bit. It was all a bit noisy and busy. Before cast off, we had the usual safety briefing. If you thought the rapping Air New Zealand one was bad, this was worse. We had to all go to the muster stations, which were outside, along the decks. Then we all had to line up, shoulder to shoulder, about 5 deep. Straight lines please. We then had to stand there for about 30 minutes while they (did something, I assume). We were scanned in, so I guess it was looking for those that hadnt arrived, I dont know. The usual talk took about 3 minutes, they we had to all fight our way back in. Thankfully we didnt have to take our life jackets, but it was a very degrading experience. Dinner that night was pretty disappointing. We ate at the main dining room (we were booked for 7.45, but managed to get it changed to 5.30 thereafter). I had a prawn cocktail with a nice sauce (I think it may have been bourbon flavoured?). it was a tasty sauce, I remember that much! The steak was also from the every night menu and was very average. Dessert was their "signature" dish, a chocolate cake in a ramakin with a chocolate sauce inside and some vanilla ice cream. Again, very average. I have had that dessert at a local restaurant. Still, it was only night 1 and it takes a day for everything to settle. We had an early night, as we were tired from travelling and all the excitement of getting on board, etc. Watched a little TV and a good nights sleep. The bed was reasonably comfy and it was great to have a top sheet, instead of just the duvet. The pillows were a little flat, but Hubby likes that. The next morning, we were up the the old buffet style for breakfast. There were lots of stations set up with different things. A quick walk around to see what was available and which stations to avoid (remember the old cruise joke about going on as a passenger and leaving as luggage) I found some water melon and put that on a plate, there were no trays supplied, so I useed a larger plate to hold the smaller plate. Then I found the eggs bene (the quality varied from day-to-day), further round some nice french toast, then some wee pots that you put in the butter, maple syrup, etc (or sauce or jam or whatever). By the time I had queued for each of these and found a table, it was cold. The idea is good, but it was just too hard, without jumping up and down every few mouthfuls to get the next course to have it hot. Very disappointing. I finished unpacking and sorting the cabin. The young lad had been in the day before and asked what time would we like the cabin serviced. Again, this was a little disappointing as it was a suite. With Princess, they come when you are not there, morning and evening. He hadnt come at the agreed time (we gave him a couple of hours), but did come later and we got it right for the rest of the cruise. Toiletries were not replaced as they were used, shampoo and conditioner were a dispense container on the wall. Fortunately, we had bought our own. Tea that night was better, but again the selection was pretty average. I also dont consider a mince pie find dining. Tonight, the wait staff not only had to do a great job (which they did pretty good at) serving the meal, but there were expected to do two dances between main and dessert courses. Yes, it was fun but come on Carnival, these guys had a lot to do anyway. I cant remember how big the dining room was but it was over two floors. The downstairs was booked dining and upstairs anytime. The tables were all laid out with about 3 waiters per 4 or 5 tables. Again, Princess has this better with each waiters tables set in little alcoves where they can serve the meals/drinks from. This was again very noisy with a lot of kids yelling and screaming. There were even some sitting on the tables! Yes, there had also been some at the late time the night before. I didnt make it to much of the entertainment or the outside pool decks, etc. Partly because we had our own balcony, which was the best I have ever had. It was quite wide and wrapped around to the side of the cabln. Probably had something to do with the shape of the boat. It was very, very spacious and the furniture appeared to be in good nick. There was a lot of rust on the metal parts of the ship. Unfortunately, we did have about 24 hours of 6m swells and that kept me very cabin bound, not enjoying the cruise much! That was no ones fault, but the risk you take with cruising. I do enjoy a bit of gentle rocking usually (esp at night when you are going to sleep), but this was rather excessive! Would I pay for a suite? No. For us, a balcony represents better value for money. We do tend to spend a lot of time in the cabin. We dont use the pools, so it is nice to have that fresh air. This suite did not have great views of the sea, as the windows were not all floor to ceiling and they were broken up with panals that probably had something to do with the structure of the ship. There were no other gains (apart from getting on faster) that we could ascertain from having a suite. About three days out, the disembarkation notice came round. We were expected to take our own bags off, Those needing assistance could opt for that. Again, it felt very cheap and we felt unloved. There was some info came round with shore trips, but by then we had made our own arrangements. See below. Overall, it is definitely designed with families in mind. If you like a more peaceful cruise, or something a little more refined, then this is not the line for you. We did the hop on hop off bus at Noumea. There really was nothing to see, a couple of arcade type malls, no good shopping and an expensive ice cream! A market with about 10 stalls, not very inspiring. Most people just went round and back to the boat. Ship docked at container terminal and you could not wander round. Straight off ship and onto bus or tour. AU$25pp. but the ticket on board (charge to room) before disembarking. Didnt get off a Mare as the weather was wet and not that warm. A lot of those that did, came straight back on again. Tender port. Isle of Pines was nice, nice beach that we swum at. Locals had small market with local and coconuts food for sale. Could have paid AU$50 each to go to another beach that had turtles, etc, but the local one was nice. Plenty of fish to see if snorkling. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose the 3 night four day Carnival Cruise out of Sydney because it was my first cruise and I wasn't convinced I was a 'cruising' kind of person. I was right. I'm not. At least I'm not a Carnival Cruise kind of ... Read More
I chose the 3 night four day Carnival Cruise out of Sydney because it was my first cruise and I wasn't convinced I was a 'cruising' kind of person. I was right. I'm not. At least I'm not a Carnival Cruise kind of person. The embarkation was horrific. Loaded like cattle, they crammed us all into the buffet area because their determination to get in and get out as fast as possible means they get you on board before your rooms are ready. EVERYONE - and I mean every 2,124 passengers - are crammed into the buffet area waiting for their rooms to become available. There's not enough seats and tables. People are pushing and shoving. It was horrendous. That was bad enough but then we had to do the muster. Unlike other cruise lines that 'muster' in lounges in a calm and serene fashion, Carnival herded us onto decks. They forced us to stand in 34 degree heat, shoulder to shoulder FOR AGES until blasting a horn and letting us free. More shuffling in long queues as again we depart our muster locations like herded cattle. Still the rooms aren't available. The lifts aren't available either because of the baggage being brought on board so it's all stairs (with a torn meniscus so that just added salt to the wound). I'll summarise the rest because the first day was by far the worst but not the only disappointment. The spa massage was a constant up-sell. Even mid-massage so not exactly relaxing. The chat app (which isn't free) wouldn't work properly and we had to queue (again) to get help from guest services. I say help but "it's probably just your phone" wasn't that helpful. The son never managed to get his phone connected but I still paid the $9 - YES NINE - to NOT be able to chat with him while on board. Unless you're a kid or an adult with no personal space requirement DO NOT EXPECT A SWIM! There aren't pools on the boat. There are oversized spas masquerading as pools. Look closely. The promise is luxurious. The reality is the pools are TINY. They make them LOOK big buy surrounding them with overflow areas twice the size of the pool. Day two they closed one of them so that left us with 2,000 people and one 18+ pool and one family pool. Do the math! Disembarkation is the reverse order of the unpleasantness getting on. We had to rush breakfast, rush packing and rush to get off the boat by 8am. Why? Because they're ready to cram on the next load of victims of course. We left a phone in the room in our rush to get out on time. How we lost something in a room that was 2m x 1m I'll never know. The highlight was the dining room. The food was first class. Really amazing. There was a little wobble on the last night with a couple of dishes that were below their unusually high standard. If it wasn't for the food, I'd be demanding my money back. The staff are 97% wonderful. A couple of individuals who probably shouldn't be cruising but the vast majority are friendly, professional, helpful and the saving grace of Carnival Cruises. Clearly some people have no problem being crushed, and queued and rushed. I don't. I like space. I like peace and quiet and I expect a pool bigger than a spa bath.The images on their website are mis-leading. I'll post pictures of the pools. Judge for yourself. It was extremely hard to find anywhere with a calm, relaxing environment. The Sun Lounge area was my version of hell on earth. Loud DJ music, people and kids running around everywhere and everyone jammed into close quarters. Don't go expecting to have a comfy sun lounge in a quiet corner of the boat somewhere. The rear of the boat was largely devoid of crowds but there was nowhere to sit and relax so that was yet another disappointment. There simply isn't enough boat and there's too many people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Having cruised before we are totally disgusted with many things whilst traveling with Carnival cruise lines. Before our journey began we notified the booking office to inform them of our health issues with food and mobility. We felt ... Read More
Having cruised before we are totally disgusted with many things whilst traveling with Carnival cruise lines. Before our journey began we notified the booking office to inform them of our health issues with food and mobility. We felt assured we would be treated kindly regarding these. However we were talked into purchasing a Faster to the Fun package which would help us erase the delays with lining up and disembarking. This package was purchased with by my sister to whom I was traveling with as we both have similar health issues. When boarding the ship we were pleased to see we went direct to board .Well done. However we were under the understanding that our luggage would be ready in our room upon boarding, it never took place. We were not able to go into our cabin until approx. 4pm and then this was when the luggage was delivered to the passage. Not inside as lead to believe. Our cabin fridge was minus a tray or shelf and we asked the cabin assistant to find us one as the fridge was actually leaking moisture inside and medication needed to be stored .To this day we still never received it. In regards to the mustering station we do understand these are high priority and we respect that. However . found it extremely hard to stand for such a long time as I suffer from a foot problem and I was forced to stand for approx. 30 minutes or more. The briefing was very short and I was left feeling the need to medicate for pain after this. This was pathetic for others like us with disabilities. This needs to change as it does not offer the elderly any consideration at all. The day of boarding we headed to the main restaurant to set up the food allergies we both have and felt happy in knowing our needs would be met. We were not offered or informed of any food options in the Lido deck. We were only offered the menu to book in for the evening dining only at this stage. It was during the day I went to the Lido deck for a snack and when I started to eat a hot chip I realized it was garnished with seasoning, even though I had asked previous to this if it contained garlic, my allergy. I was ill within no time at all and was unable to enjoy my first night of dining at the main dining area. I then went on to spend my night and the following morning vomiting and was so ill I had to dial for The Medical Centre who offered wheelchair assistance to go to the A deck Medical team . I incurred a $637:50 account in which I feel should not have been a fault or miss judgment by myself. The day of discharge from the ship Medical Centre I was left feeling unable to eat in the main restaurant as pre planned and when I phoned to see if the set meal could be delivered to the cabin I was told they couldn’t do that, but she would ring us back to confirm. It was some time later that the meal arrived with no one informing us. It was unfortunate I had to phone room service to order a coffee to be sent to cabin as I was not able to order with my meal. This was added to my account.. It wasn’t until we asked at the service desk for assistance with eating in the lido lounge the service desk paged LORETO the head chef He was shocked to hear of us being unable to eat with limited options being available and he was more than happy to assist us with anything we requested during dining in the lido deck. This was day 3 LORETO cooked for us and we were happy knowing our food could be tailored to our allergies. In regards to the main dining room Waiters and Waitresses were unable to offer us anything different from the menu list, no varieties given only the option to take the garlic or pepper from the food out, often leaving this boring and tasteless. There were times we asked for alternative food to be added e.g. gravy, bacon etc......................................... it never came. It was on the second last night of dining we asked why we had not been offered a Cheese Platter like those dining around us. After asking we were finally offered one .We finally had something more appetizing to enjoy. We would dearly like to ask what we gained in purchasing our Faster to the Fun package as we found the disembarking on a gangway for entry to and from ports too long from gateways etc .We found that there was no priority given and we often found ourselves standing in line just like everyone else. This money spent prior to sailing is misleading and a total rip off. As we stated above this is not the first cruise either of us has taken and never have we experienced the lack of control by staff in regards to rules for children and never seen such lack of respect to those either elderly or disabled as children were allowed to run through the casino. Bars and corridors quite often unattended by parents…… this we found to be huge hazard many times during our cruise We often look forward to the joy of being able to attend the day spas. Never have we left feeling like we were not worthy of being there. The service was great and we do understand the needs for up selling of your products but we take offense to staff telling us we have either to lose weight or to look after ourselves better. We never came on this cruise to be judged by your staff (doing their job the way they are encouraged to do by the rules which you govern your cruise liner). We don’t always have the best of everything but we don’t need to feel awkward either. Yes we felt we had to purchase some of the products but even when we were told they would be delivered the following morning to the cabin this still took 3 days. We do not understand why we had to sign 2 receipts when we don’t agree with the gratuities as this is not even offered as an option. We honestly feel we have no choice but to be honest in saying this was not the cruise trip we thought it was going to be. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this cruise because I hadn't tried the Carnival brand yet. I have cruised 37 times now, across 7 different brands. I had been warned about the dark decor, and yes, the majority of the ship has dark decor. There is a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I hadn't tried the Carnival brand yet. I have cruised 37 times now, across 7 different brands. I had been warned about the dark decor, and yes, the majority of the ship has dark decor. There is a webcam on the midship Lido pool, that streams live into all the cabins - like the ship's webcam at the front. I thought this was VERY weird and unnecessary. It also meant that people avoided this pool, and the rear pool was busier. The BEST thing about this ship IMO was the new dedicated arts & craft room "Soul Play". I've never seen a dedicated craft room on board a ship and it had some great activities and it seemed to be well attended. I had a balcony cabin and it was clean and comfortable. Bathroom seemed a little more spacious than most cabin bathrooms. Sadly the Maitre'Ds didn't enforce the dress code and we saw men in shorts and thongs, in the MDR on "Elegant". When MDR staff don't enforce the dress code on the 3-5% of pax who don't want to adhere to it, they are upsetting the 95-97% who do want the dress code upheld. Most cruise companies are guilty of this these days, which is a real shame. Apparently the shows were by "Playbill Productions" but I think it actually may have been "Playboy Productions". I don't want to go to a show and see 4" of some dancers bum cheek, and then have her lean provocatively over a stage prop, basically flashing her vagina at the audience. After the first 2 shows I stopped going. And others at my dinner table did also. Other pax on my dinner table said they walked out of the comedy act one night, also. Why does the CD schedule an island night on a sea day...? No one's been ashore to get their hair braided, buy a floral shirt, dress or coconut bra, from one of the local island communities who are so dependent on the tourism $$. Late night deck parties scheduled before port days (twice), then just Dive in Movies, on nights before sea days..... First cruise where some of the crew struggled with English. Atleast 3 crew I spoke with couldn't understand what I was saying, this included MDR crew. The Spa was VERY noisy, so after paying top dollar for 2 treatments, I didn't bother having anymore. The good part about the Spa was only 5% gratuities on treatments. On board shops were disappointing, as were the crew working in them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The embarkation process was efficient but the security checking staff need to improve their manners and consideration of elderly passengers, and try to emulate their counterparts at airport security checks. Dining in Empire rooms ... Read More
The embarkation process was efficient but the security checking staff need to improve their manners and consideration of elderly passengers, and try to emulate their counterparts at airport security checks. Dining in Empire rooms unsatisfactory, queues to get in, noisy loudspeaker announcements and meat and fish dishes sometimes tortured. Exactly the same dishes available in better condition in La Playa grill. Price of wine unreasonably high cf my previous cruises, $14.25 per glass. The La Playa grill was well run with pleasant and efficient staff I was told there was no longer alibrary on board, a deprivation The cabin was good and steward efficient and pleasant The electronics for allocating places on tenders to go ashore at Ile des Pins broke down leading to delays, confusion, and yet more queuing. Someone at breakfast first day out warned me to “expect the atmosphere of visiting your local RSL club in Sydney “ - a very perceptive remark. Sorry to be so negative but the senior management of Carnival needs to improve Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise as a short break to a place we'd always wanted to go... Tasmania. The fact that there was one day in Port Arthur followed by two in Hobart (the ship overnighted there) offered us more time in ports we wanted to go ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a short break to a place we'd always wanted to go... Tasmania. The fact that there was one day in Port Arthur followed by two in Hobart (the ship overnighted there) offered us more time in ports we wanted to go to than other Tassie cruises we considered. We'd cruised on Carnival Spirit 3 times in the past: to Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands before the ship made Australia it's home port, and then to the S Pacific soon after it moved to Australia. We loved all those cruises and had no hesitation in booking this time. This was our 18th cruise. We've cruised with P&O in the early 2000's, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean. I love any cruise and all have some more positive features and some more negative. I don't nitpick as I feel we're fortunate to actually be able to cruise. Someone who hasn't cruised before, or who has only cruised on Carnival out of Australia, is probably going to rate a cruise differently than someone who has cruised more and on various cruiselines. I am writing this review from the point of comparing to the 3 other Spirit cruises we've done, and comparing to other cruiselines' offerings. The staff and service on Carnival Spirit still impressed me. There's a happy friendly vibe, especially in the main dining room. Our cruise director Gary was also a standout - he was temporarily replacing Eli, the regular cruise director and was pretty new at the job, but he was brilliant. On sea days I try to go to the gym so I was able to go twice on this cruise. I don't use the equipment, but do my own pilates mat routine. The gym is bright and at the front of the ship, and seems to have plenty of equipment though my husband complained to me that none of the bikes were working on either day. What I found a pest was that there was no real floor space for mat work. You have to find a little corner or thoroughfare and plonk your mat down there, hoping you won't be in anyone's way. I'm used to finding in ship gyms an entire alcove or room that's devoted to fitness classes or seminars and being able to workout there. I know I'm in the minority as most people seem to head to the gym to use the bikes or treadmills but some dedicated floor space would be wonderful. I was underwhelmed by the entertainment. Some nights there wasn't even a show and this was incredibly unusual from my experience. Having cruised on NCL for our last 4 cruises I guess I'm influenced by the NCL entertainment which is top notch, with superb dancing, large variety of production shows, various "fly-in" entertainers, etc. The nightly entertainment is something we usually seek out but on this ship it was disappointing. By day there were the usual trivia sessions, bingo, pool area activities, etc, but so many slots in the programme were devoted to sessions such as "Improve your metabolism", "Hair tips and tricks", "Look younger in 5 minutes", "Detox". These were actually Spa selling sessions! This seems to be the trend on many cruise ships, not just Carnival, but it would be nice to have some genuine sessions that provided information and fun and not presentation of the Spa's products. It was disappointing that the Versailles Lounge was no longer used for dancing. On my S. Pacific cruise there was regular dancing in that lounge, with a versatile group playing there on many nights. As dancers we loved that. Now it seems to just be used for the comedy club. Perhaps the fact that our cruise was only 6 nights didn't show us the full range of possibilities... I hope so as last year we also booked on the Carnival Spirit for its 19 night cruise to Singapore in May this year. Now I'm actually a little worried and hoping I'll have a different experience from this time. My other real peeve was the food! Dining room food was okay, but only okay. Once again I'm probably comparing to past cruises, but I'm also comparing to past Spirit cruises and the quality and range has definitely dropped. Dinner is something I usually happily anticipate but not so this time; it was average. The service in the dining room, though, was very good and there was a fun vibe there. As for the Lido buffet, what on earth has happened there!!??? Back when I last cruised on this ship, mid 2013, I was as happy as I'd been when I cruised on the Spirit when it was still sailing in international waters. Then there was heaps of choice and no vast snaking queues waiting to reach the food counters. I don't know why this happens... you can wait in a queue for what seems like 20 minutes and probably is, just wanting to grab one item and move on. But you have to stand and wait whilst every person in front of you deliberates about what they want on their plate and - sometimes painstakingly - fills their plate. I might want only one item but naturally I wouldn't push in so the only alternative is to stand in those queues. I keep puzzling why the queues. In all my other cruises it wasn't such torture to get food. Sometimes on this cruise I gave up! No chance of weight gain there! I'm used to food bars where you can approach without inconveniencing anyone, get your food item, and leave. It's easy to see the choices and easy to access them. You might have to wait for an occasional person to make their choice but that's not a problem; you don't have to wait for a huge line of people to serve themselves at a small food area. To new cruisers or those who have only cruised out of Australia on Carnival: It doesn't have to be this way! Pizza... I'm not fond of it but my husband decided to have pizza one lunchtime. You firstly place an order and then join the throng at the other end of the counter who are waiting for their orders. Carnival, why? I suppose the idea is that you are getting pizza as fresh as it comes, but you can still get that by having large pizzas cooked, sliced and laid out on a decent sized accessible foodbar. That way you can get a single slice if you want (I woudn't mind a single slice but not a WHOLE pizza). Pizza is popular so when I've seen it done this way, those already cooked pizzas are gone before they have time to cool or dry out, but they are constantly being replaced by more pizzas. I think Carnival should look at other cruiselines and how they do it. Norwegian cruiseline, for example, and RCI. I can only hope that the configuration and procedures in the Lido buffet will be upgraded when the ship is in for refurbishment. Why isn't "washy washy" being encouraged? There are hand sanitising stations here and there, but this is the first cruise I've done in years where there isn't a staff member stationed at the entrance and requesting hands be sanitised upon entry. So the positives for this ship: Cruise Director Gary, staff and service, roomier cabins. Negatives: Lido buffet and food in general. Only average entertainment. I can't comment on the ship's tours as we always organise our own tours prior to a cruise, or pick one up when we disembark. It's cheaper that way and you're more likely to get an individualised and happy experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was a six night cruise to Tasmania from Sydney. Compared to the other 10 + cruises we have been on: Buffet food was very poor. The food choice seemed to include a lot of sloppy stuff with little variety. Not even any roast meat ... Read More
This was a six night cruise to Tasmania from Sydney. Compared to the other 10 + cruises we have been on: Buffet food was very poor. The food choice seemed to include a lot of sloppy stuff with little variety. Not even any roast meat carvery. Luckily the salad bar was OK. Long lines at buffet and poorly organised food serving made it very frustrating. Dining room food was hit and miss. No encouraged hand sanitising like on other ships. It seemed like they were into cost cutting. There seemed to be less staff than any other ship we had been on doing things like cleaning tables in the buffet and serving drinks at the venues etc. Staff were very good though and entertainment was still OK. Overall we still had a good time. We traveled on this ship about five years ago and that was the best cruise we have ever been on. Chalk and cheese compared to what this ship provides now. 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
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
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: May 2017
By mistake! We did not notice the "Family Friendly" statements. I have never seen so many overactive kids on any previous cruise. Families would find this ship ideal to allow their kids let their hair down while they relax in ... Read More
By mistake! We did not notice the "Family Friendly" statements. I have never seen so many overactive kids on any previous cruise. Families would find this ship ideal to allow their kids let their hair down while they relax in the Serenity deck area. The staff members were great and always helpful and relaxed. The food was good in the 'formal' Empire restaurant, but varied at times elsewhere. Dress standards, although specified at the Empire entrance, were more often ignored than observed, particularly on the formal Eloquent evenings. The cabin and balcony were both quite ok and were clean and tidy. Our cabin was very noisy due to slamming balcony doors and the weight lifting equipment directly above it. The activities were typically fun-filled but if you wanted more serious activities, you were disappointed. As I said, great for younger families. Stage entertainment was quite good, and one singer in particular was marvellous. The Adult Joke nights were fine if you liked crude, rude and continuous swearing. The four shore excursions were excellent for escaping the ship and all islands provided a great day out. Would we travel on Carnival again? No. Would we recommend Carnival Spirit to our friends? Not if we want to keep them! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We thought that it would nice to spend an Easter break on a cruise and had never been with Carnival Lines before. Previously, we had always been with P&O for cruise getaways, we wish that we had stuck to what we knew. Firstly, we ... Read More
We thought that it would nice to spend an Easter break on a cruise and had never been with Carnival Lines before. Previously, we had always been with P&O for cruise getaways, we wish that we had stuck to what we knew. Firstly, we left 50minutes late because of the way they execute their muster drill, we were un fortunate enough to be on the sunseting side of the boat for 45minutes cramed like sardines and it got hot. The food was nowhere near the choices & quality of P&O, let alone that more often than not it was served cold and had to be sent back. The entertainment was poor, Saturday night was get into your formal wear, but the little show they had was over by the time we ate because we were on the later seating, so, all dressed up with nowhere to go.However they want to take your photo and charge you an arm and a leg for it. The onboard TV is more about them with little choices, however you could buy a movie that came out over 10 years ago. Sorry, it's back to P&O for us next time. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this ship because we were taking (grown up) Grand Daughter and Great Grandson for their first cruise and thought the facilities would be more their liking than our 'usual' ships - Princess, Holland America, Royal ... Read More
We chose this ship because we were taking (grown up) Grand Daughter and Great Grandson for their first cruise and thought the facilities would be more their liking than our 'usual' ships - Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean & Celebrity. We are experienced cruisers (over 30 plus cruises) so had no great expectations, knowing that this ship is geared towards families and 'budget' (?) prices. We were not disappointed! Good things first. Embarkation was excellent, organized and fast. The Cabin was also very good and cleaned well. The bed was made up as a King instead of the requested Twin but that would have been lack of communication with the Steward. Our Steward was excellent and did a great job. When the Steward first came to introduce himself was when we got our first shock. He asked when we would like our cabin cleaned, morning or night. My stunned look prompted him to ask if maybe I would like him to attend morning and night - to which I replied 'yes please'. Never, ever have we been asked that question on any cruise - even P&O - always been a turn down service as well as cleaning in the morning. Don't look for a chocolate on your pillow though - there won't be one! While on the subject of the cabin and service, we had to ask for everything - a new soap (I prefer the soap in the shower,not their gel) I only ever got the one extra, which, as they do, ended up a jellied mess, but still wasn't changed. Also had to ask for a shower cap. Nothing is provided in the cabin except shower gel and shampoo. No lotions etc., so take your own. The fridge didn't work so before I ordered ice (from housekeeping - the stewards don't supply this as on other ships) I had to get the fridge seen to. Took 3 phone calls to customer service and all day but early evening the fridge was changed. Ice was ordered and came in a huge plastic open bucket (the sort used to hold 6 beers). Needless to say there was no way this would sit in the fridge so it sat on the dressing table and melted. Other ships use small,proper ice buckets that fit in the fridge. The Dining room. We had a table for 4 and plenty of empty tables so the staff were not overworked. However our head waitress managed to mix up two courses of meals the first night. No real problem we sorted them but all the staff seemed to be in a hurry, courses were almost thrown at you one after the other, plates moved as soon as one finished (no waiting until all at the table finished which would have been correct); then we found out why. After the main course is designated to be finished, the lights dim and the voice of the (female) Maitre D' calls out "helloo, helloo you beautiful people", the music starts. the wait staff start dancing around and before you know it, grabbing diners for a conga line. Eventually, when they have had their 'fun' you get your dessert. This happens every night - not the conga line, the music and dancing by staff (diners too if you want) and a couple of nights staff singing. They were good. As for the rest I would sooner have my dinner in peace. Others may enjoy this. The wine never got topped up, this was a do- it -yourself. Only white bread rolls are served at dinner. We had a lovely young Asian waiter who got us some wholemeal bread for a few nights - until the kitchen ran out. Elegant night - isn't - in the dining room. The table next door had a male in a football jumper and sneakers. When mentioned to the 'head waitress' she remarked that maybe that was his idea of 'formal'! No one said anything to him or all the other diners who had not adhered to the dress code. NO point in having 'rules' if they are not enforced. Do not expect 'silver service' because you won't get it (not at our table anyway). The food itself was ordinary OK to good. The Buffet. A ;little bit too spread out and the food at the "Good Eats' section is very small in selections of dishes. A good pizza section, all freshly made. Salad selections, OK fairly basic. Pies and snags, quite good. Desserts, mainly just cakes/cookies and jellies. There is also the Mexican and the Hamburgers outside the buffet area which are good, although the 'extras' section gets very messy. There is also a help yourself ice cream machine. Mainly manned by small children with sticky fingers! No hand sanitizers in sight there. In fact hand sanitizers are not even actually right outside the entrances to the buffet area, they are more near the lifts which is not much use when people don't know what they are for and children/adults are not encouraged to use them. There is no one policing them either at the buffet OR the dining room. I figure it is a Norovirus outbreak just waiting to happen unless action is taken to ensure that ALL are encouraged to use the sanitizers. Entertainment. The nightly shows. The first night and three other nights consisted of the passengers playing some 'game shows', including the 'marriage game. There were 3 production shows which were very good and congratulations to the singers and dancers. The other night we had the one and only guest artist - Miss Houdini and that too was excellent. Disappointing that the passengers had to provide the entertainment the other 4 nights. Many people go on cruises for the nightly entertainment - not to be the entertainment. Service from the staff overall on the ship was fairly good. Take your own books, the Library is not. There are very few books and even less in the English language. We didn't go on any shore excursions so cannot comment. Music on deck was far too loud, drowned out everything. Carnival seem to equate 'loud' with 'fun'. Not so. Weather wasn't too good at the beginning of the cruise and the water slides and the mini golf were closed down but the weather did improve and these facilities were able to be used so Grand Daughter and Great Grand Son were happy. The Trivia was popular and provided entertainment. Movies on deck were great for the children and there was one indoors that we saw that was good for the adults. Hooray! The ship itself is gaudy and garish with no set theme but eventually I guess you get used to it. Just think "American". Would WE go again. Not if we were paid! BUT if you are a young family and haven't cruised before you will probably enjoy your time. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Thought we would try another cruise line for a change. Carnival Spirit had a small five day cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island,and return. First the good news. Getting from the airport to the ship was made easy by electing to use ... Read More
Thought we would try another cruise line for a change. Carnival Spirit had a small five day cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island,and return. First the good news. Getting from the airport to the ship was made easy by electing to use the Carnival airport to ship bus transfer, the unexpected bonus was the priority boarding pass which enabled a quick painless boarding procedure. Good one Carnival, very impressed. The ships decor is something to behold. If the pharaoh's statues and ancient Egyptian history is your thing you will love it, actually after the initial shock and working out that it is very Los Vegas casino style you begin to like it. The thing is Carnival call it the fun ship and this is IMO the general theme, don't take it too seriously and have fun, get into the swing of things. The staff and very friendly, nothing being too much trouble. We had a balcony cabin and it was good, very good in fact and well maintained. Under way there was little if any movement and there are more than adequate places to find a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the passage. The food in the dining rooms was average, in the buffet not so good. Being aimed at the family market the pool decks was overcrowded with children, the same for the buffet. Entertainment onboard was at best high school standard, Pay TV if you wanted a movie, drinks reasonably priced, shopping mall stocked with overpriced jewellery and watches, the clothing store has either no stock of quality items on popular sizes or poor quality goods in plentiful supply. The sweet (confectionery) shop however is a winner, obviously aimed at the kids and parents pockets. Basic question, would we travel with Carnival again? No. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
What a poor cruise. May be good for families with kids, but as an older couple who went outside of school holidays, this was a disaster. Over 400 kids. We were expecting a few younger kids but not this number. As a result all pools were ... Read More
What a poor cruise. May be good for families with kids, but as an older couple who went outside of school holidays, this was a disaster. Over 400 kids. We were expecting a few younger kids but not this number. As a result all pools were full and the over 18 area was full unless you got there before 9am. If you want not to be jostled/hassled by kids, I would check how many are going. The food was really poor. Cold when it got to you and only fair quality. Yes there was a lot of it, but mostly it was not of a standard that you would expect of a cruise ship. A lot of wastage with kids grabbing heaps of food and just leaving it. Dining room was just the same as the bistro and served on nicer plates. Had to sent the food back on a number of occasions in the dining room. As an example I did not think that ham steaks and cornbeef and cabbage were great food! There were other selections but not much better. We did however go to the Nouveau restraurant which costs an extra $45. Well worth the money. The food was fabulouus and plenty of it. The waitress we had, Hannah was a delight. As it was not very busy on the night when we went she spent some time talking with us. Cabin was good and clean and the animal towels they did each day were delightful, but ship was often messy. Lots of drunks and yobbos on this cruise so a mess tended to be left everywhere. Do not know how the crew put up with this as they seemed to have the patience of saints. This was one good aspect. The crew were great. Entertainment and activities were poor. Very little to do on sea days (we had 5, 2 going out and 3 coming back) unless you wanted 15 minute trivia (about 5 time a day) or bingo (you had to pay for) or constant shopping exhibitions to get you to spend your money. Shows were average, with some good and some very poor. Crew seemed to try with these, but didnt quite make it. I would never go on a Carnival cruise again. Would much prefer a higher quality cruise and would be prepared to pay extra for it. Having said that the price of this was reasonable without being cheap. We payed for 3 shore excursions but went ashore at each stop. We rode Segway in Noumea was just wonderful. At 60 and 54 years we had a ball and it was easy to learn how to ride them with help from two lovely young ladies. would reccommend this to all. On Mare there is only a bus trip to the breach but what a beautiful beach $20 well spent. On Mystery Island we didn't book a shore excursion but just went across to the island on the tender. Once there we walked around explored the local markets and had a swim on a beautiful beach. If you wanted you could purchase a whole lobster for between $30-$50. We paid to go to the Vanilla house after reading good reviews. What a disappointment. 1/2hour to get there a 10 min maybe 15 minute tour with not mich to see then we waited 1/2 hour for the bus to return then the 1/2hour drive back to the beach. This was stated as 2hour tour and cost about $79 each so we were very disappointed. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Our party consisted of myself, my boyfriend and his two teenagers. We had cruised before, around the Hawaiian Islands on the Pride of America, so were looking forward to another great cruise. However, overall I was really disappointed. ... Read More
Our party consisted of myself, my boyfriend and his two teenagers. We had cruised before, around the Hawaiian Islands on the Pride of America, so were looking forward to another great cruise. However, overall I was really disappointed. What I didn't like: First night on my boyfriend and I booked an expensive massage each, which was a real luxury for us. It was pretty good, but at the end they bring in the products and virtually keep you prisoner (still lying on the bench naked), while you have to listen to their selling spiel. I soon found out this was the way with everything they offer, and that they do this on other cruise ships as well, so I will be the wiser in future. The gym: lots of great equipment but the touch screens don't work! I tried four different bikes and couldn't budge the level, and as I am a skinny barely fit person I couldn't cope with level 20, I needed about a 5. And the weights area was way too small, as a woman it was far too intimidating for me to go there. Also at the gym I booked a body analysis after listening to a health talk, and my hear sank when I sat down to have the test as there on the table were the products they were selling, and that was all they were trying to do. How much time did I get for my money? Turns out some medication I am on has contraindications for their product so he couldn't sell it to me, so my session was very brief and really over once he read my medical history. I missed a short excursion as I did not understand the man (his pronunciation) who was calling it. Mostly ship booked shore excursions leave from the theatre and you have to be there 15 minutes prior, which I was I am ALWAYS punctual. After a while of this guy with the board floating around and laughing and joking with other staff, he got a message on his two-way and called a couple of things, but I sure as heck didn't hear my tour. I thought he we would repeat everything but he didn't. Ten minutes later he did another call for a tour missing most of its people, they were still in the theatre and probably didn't understand what he said either. Then he came over to me and said my tour had been called, so I ran down to the bus but it had just left. They wouldn't call it back. This was the only tour I booked so I was NOT happy. I got my money back, but as I was on my own for the day I really wanted the tour. They should understand French is not a second language for Australians - if you have a French name for a tour I have no idea how it would sound except in ENGLISH. Do all cruise ships have a constant motor shaking, like jarring? I remember the motor on the Pride of America was like a hum, and it did not cause a constant clunking vibration like there was a cog missing, it even affected the bed which could not be still. I suffer from migraines and as soon as I felt it I knew I was going to be in trouble. And I was. Third night out I woke at 1am with the worst migraine I have ever had in my life. My boyfriend had to virtually carry me to the Medical Centre, where they gave me a couple of shots. They did not help the severe pain in my head but the doctor had such a great bedside manner - "That's all I got for you" he said! Don't they have saline drips on boats? Guess you have to be dying! Too bad you are on holiday. The Serenity over 18s area was overcrowded and there was no way of enforcing the age limit. There were quite a few teenagers there taking up valuable real estate in the pool, the spa and the lounges. I don't know why they don't give everyone under 18 a different coloured card, so it is easy to tell who shouldn't be where. For those who gamble: in poker, the house takes 25% of every hand; and the roulette wheel has two 0s! A lot of time there was not enough options at the buffet, with a lot of sections closed, especially on formal and party nights. Room service is not free (it is on the Pride of America). The free 24/7 pizza was the worst. I thought they did that on purpose so you don't keep going back for more. The wait was far too long as well, with no system for calling people - I saw someone jump in front of a couple of kids and take their pizza - what can they say? If you don't like to drink or gamble, there's not much to do on a rainy day at sea. The bingo was appalling - too many kids. And a couple of movies they played were for kids or weren't current. Even if the sun is shining there are only so many hours you can be in the sun. I read a large book in 4 days. The library has nothing except travel books, so take your own. Being hassled for photos, usually twice on the gangway. A lot of staff were just over it, and their accents were too hard to understand and it seemed they like it that way. The youth club for our son who turned 13 on the cruise was too young with their activities for him. As a result he spent a lot of each day laying in bed watching tv. What I did like: The whole afternoon in Sydney harbour on a beautiful day before we set sail - awesome! The shows were fantastic, with a very talented group of performers. I would have loved to have bought a DVD copy of them - you think they'd know they could make money on that, seems they have thought of everything else to skin you. The hamburgers from Guys were sensational, so were the Burritos and Tacos. I'm still salivating over those hamburgers. Our cabin stewards were fantastic. The beds were pretty good, and I'm a tough critic. Loved not having to cook or clean. Loved the islands (New Caledonia and Vanuatu). So in summary, the holiday I looked forward to for 11 months was a let down for me. After our last stop I couldn't wait to get off. I will never go on another cruise from Sydney again. I'd definitely do Hawaii again though! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
WE have been on this ship before but as the prices have dropped so have the amenities - the entertainment was non existent, two shows worth watching, pre recorded music, nothing whatsoever to do during the day, never spent so much time in ... Read More
WE have been on this ship before but as the prices have dropped so have the amenities - the entertainment was non existent, two shows worth watching, pre recorded music, nothing whatsoever to do during the day, never spent so much time in my cabin EVER. Was bored stiff, will never go on Carnival again. So many unsupervised kids, and although they say no shorts, thongs, t-shirts at dinner, no one took any notice of that nor were they refused entry even on dress uo nights. People used the hands to pick up food in the buffet -no-one to check or enforce any of the rules. Worst than an RSL club Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Well this is my third cruise all with different cruise ships This is a list of things that I found during by time on board. I was travelling with my grandchildren as well so I'm not an old crumply lady if my children can control ... Read More
Well this is my third cruise all with different cruise ships This is a list of things that I found during by time on board. I was travelling with my grandchildren as well so I'm not an old crumply lady if my children can control their children so should others parents and respect the other passengers. 1) Children running everywhere uncontrolled by parents. 2) People walking in from outside not using hand wash not supervisor my crew. 3) Children pressing all the buttons on the lifts then running away. 4) Children playing in the rest rooms unsupervised, we were seating across from the toilets and with the curtains across the doorway so you could not see inside, what a joke. Parents finial can and got their children with out washing hands. 5) Children running up & down the walk ways till late at night. 6) Toilets blocked or out of order all around the ship. 7) Pool area unsupervised by crew children vomiting in the pool with out being cleaned. 8) Green Thunder not going for three days, this was not because of bad weather. 9) Serenity will have a child-free pool, spas, sun lounges and a bar great. Dinning 10) Food warm, scrammed egg & bacon well what can I say, just have an omelette. Service 11) Looking for someone to get you a drink while you have your lunch or dinner on level 9 it was like a looking for needle in haystack. Dinning 12) The Empire room has good service and great food, waiters great. 13) The Nouveau Restaurant well this is well worth it food is out of this world. 14) Service excellent. MUST GO Port & Shore excursions 15) Well what a joke waited 1halve hours to get a number to exit then another hour foe the tender. We started our trip at 10am if was not till 12:30 that we arrived at the Ile of Pines, one person giving out tags what a joke. 16) We disembarked at a freight terminal then had to coach a bus to the heart of the city Noumea, then make our way to our tours. This might be OK for people that can move around and walk great, makes it very hard for someone that has shortness of breath (this should have been told in the travel documents) with all the things just to go in to Noumea just made life very hard. Cabins 17) We had cabin 6229 it was very nice service great can not complain. Entertainment 18) Well not a lot if you done like trivia. Only two shows these were great OK if you like R-rated comedy Cabins 19) DO EACH CABIN GET a gift amenity basket in its bathroom I didn't? Children's Club 20) Junior teens at Circle “C”, started at 10pm this is far to late for a 13yr old and by other grandchild is even younger this is to lake, should be earlier. Disembarkation 21) Great run well. Summary Furniture needs updating (chairs around red frog) chairs dirty need a good clean. Toilet need to be cleaned more. After being on other cruise ships I way very disappointed with the way of the Hygiene on this ship after being on other cruises. I had a CARNIVAL cruise booked for Feb 2016 for 12 days I'm thinking of cancelling this as I don't need any Hygiene problems as I have terminal cancer & thought this would be great to have a cruise with my son & family before I could not do it again. Well I did have a good cruise but it sounds like I didn't, just keep your children under control & the crew to enforce some rules then everyone would be happy Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
"The Dome pool is so named as it has a retractable roof, which can be slid across during inclement weather." Rubbish. We had such bad weather the slides, golf, sports area and single ping-pong table were closed for most of the ... Read More
"The Dome pool is so named as it has a retractable roof, which can be slid across during inclement weather." Rubbish. We had such bad weather the slides, golf, sports area and single ping-pong table were closed for most of the trip, and it too windy and cold for the pools to be used except by the most hardy, yet the roof was not closed. When asked, the service desk said the roof cannot be closed. The cruise director announced during one of his TV shows that the roof can only be closed when the ship is not moving as the ship does not have enough power to do it otherwise. We were stopped at least twice during bad weather. It was windy and raining so much the Isle of Pines excursion was cancelled (too dangerous to tender), but the roof was STILL not closed. All the 'dive-in' movies were a wash out with barely anybody able to stand the weather. The kids clubs left both of my kids (11 and 7) bored and upset. The 11 year old especially found it tedious, with such entertaining games as 'flinch' (a game where you pretend to throw a bean bag at another kid's face and if he flinches he is out) and 15 (if you say the number 15 you are out) sad. The splash bucket in the kids area did not work once, making it a very pedestrian water playground for the little ones. You have to be under 1.2 meter's tall so my 11 year old could not go play with his 7 year old brother there. In-cabin entertainment was almost non-existent (Movies and TV were rubbish. a couple of ten year old movies on perpetual repeat). Thankfully there were a few board games that were complete enough to play. The organization of getting off the boat at the end of the cruise was ridiculous. Why call five groups of people at a time, making the queue run the entire length of the boat and giving everyone a 40 minute wait in the line? Use your brain and call smaller groups more frequently instead. Returning from Mare had us standing in a line for over an hour. Four tender boats in the water, but only one in use! I think this was because everybody came back a lot earlier than expected (due to the bad weather), but why didn't somebody pay attention and get the other boats making runs instead of sticking to the schedule that only had all the boats running AFTER most people had returned? Food was mostly good with lots of selections, but not great. Guy's burger joint was far and away the best. The adult comedians we got to see were about as funny as a guy in a pub after a few pints - not what I expected as a professional show. The shows were mostly brilliant only the 80's pop one being a fizzer - off key and out of step. Emily Collins the magician and acrobat was fantastic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
My husband and I are in our late 40s. We traveled with kids 13 18 19 and 20 and had two cabins. The only one that enjoyed this cruise was our 13 year old the 3 young adults all have said they would never cruise again. My husband and I ... Read More
My husband and I are in our late 40s. We traveled with kids 13 18 19 and 20 and had two cabins. The only one that enjoyed this cruise was our 13 year old the 3 young adults all have said they would never cruise again. My husband and I have never crusised befour and I can only say I never will again. This ship never stops vibrating my 18 year old and myself felt sick the entire time. The food in the buffet was not good. Plastic supper large plates and plastic green cups made for a 3 star experience. The empire dinning room did have very good service and food that was improved on the buffet. Our toilet blocked up every day we had to call room service once to twice a day for this issue. One night it overflowed out into the cabin. They had to clean the Capet at 11pm at night. Due to weather we missed a port not really Carnivals fault. On the way back a engine stopped working it effected our cruising speed and we were late into port had to rebook flights.. Carnival did reimburse us. Pool in the serenity area is very small the other two pool were used by the kids and always crowed. We all come home with bite marks all over us we think bed bugs. I must say the staff are all very nice and work hard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
The cruise was cheap until we boarded the ship. My wife and I have had many cruises in Europe and unfortunately i am copmparing the Carnival spirit to them. The up side was that the room was great and very clean. SAhower and ammenities ... Read More
The cruise was cheap until we boarded the ship. My wife and I have had many cruises in Europe and unfortunately i am copmparing the Carnival spirit to them. The up side was that the room was great and very clean. SAhower and ammenities worked well. The down side was: Food was very poor in quality and temparature in the buffet The restaraunt paying a extra $40 for a meeal was very good but you paid for it The disappointing thing was you have to pay fior seafood on the ship as a extra The drnks were overpriced We did ask for a drink pakage and was told no there is none The snack bars were not open when people were hungry The entertainment was pathetic The spa where you are to relax and stay calm was below the kids club were they were playing basketball/ soccer and the thumping noise came through the ceiling Beware of the cost in the spa There was no adult entertainment during the day that 1 didnt cost money or 2 there was not enough seating in the area. 2 dsys prior to returning to Stdney I sat on deck 9 and when a waiter got there I order a carlton Draught beer, I was told that the ship had run out of that brand ( Thinking that a lot of carlton drinkers must be on board) so I said can I have a tooheys extrs dry and he informed me that there was none either. I said what beer is there and he answert a fruit punch beer or you can go to deck 3 to see if there is any beer left in the bars downstairs. Disappointed I asked can I have a can of Coke ( You guessede it ) Sorry we are out of coke, diet coke and coke zero. I asked what he is mixing the alchol with in miver drinks and he showed me caffine free coke.I asked the waiter how can a ship this size run out of these things and his answer was ( We did lastr trip as well) I then went and made a coffee. The photoes are overpriced extremely The day tours we found are aditional 40% extra than what they are on shore but if you have not been there before it may take time to organise The gym is very well equiped but dont expect any trainers to assist If you are a smoker you will be confined to 14 tables on deck 9 right next to the kids swimming pool. The cost for the trip and on the boat my wife and I ciuld of gone to Europe for 4 weeks Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Never again will I sail on Carnival if Carnival Spirit is any indication of the rest of the ships. The ship is old and tired and very much in need of refurbishment. The décor is old and jaded and the upholstery on the chairs, stool and ... Read More
Never again will I sail on Carnival if Carnival Spirit is any indication of the rest of the ships. The ship is old and tired and very much in need of refurbishment. The décor is old and jaded and the upholstery on the chairs, stool and couches is worn and dirty. If that is not bad enough the towels in our stateroom were grey and worn instead of white. We had one small cake of soap for two people for 8 days!!!!! Fortunately I bought a cake along. The food in the Empire Room was cold and the drinks eg beer wine and cans of mixes were hot. I asked for a can of Zero and it came back hot - when I enquired for a cold one they said they didn't have any. There is limited access to food between 2.30pm and 5.30pm unless you like pizza and ice cream every day. The uniforms of the staff looked like they needed a good whitening and left the crew looking like second hand roses. We have sailed on two Princess cruises and this ship is not a patch on the quality and presentation. If there was positive at all - the entertainment was very good. We were very disappointed in the value for money on this cruise which sailed Sydney to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
I won’t talk about the embarkation process or the cabins or any of that stuff because it’s all been gone over many, many times before. However, what I will do is give first-timers a heads-up on what to expect if they, like me, have an ... Read More
I won’t talk about the embarkation process or the cabins or any of that stuff because it’s all been gone over many, many times before. However, what I will do is give first-timers a heads-up on what to expect if they, like me, have an aversion to any and all forms of douchebaggery. Before we get to that, I just want to point out that the Carnival Spirit was absolutely spotless. There were hand sanitisers everywhere, all public sitting areas were neat and tidy, even in the Free For All the buffet areas, tables were swooped upon with offending dishes removed and tables wiped clean. In the public restrooms, there were paper dispensers on the backs of the doors leading outside for you to open the door handles with. I cannot fault the Spirit for its standards of cleanliness. Also, before I take the piss out of the Carnival Spirit – the Kmart of cruise ships – I also want to say that I did enjoy myself. I went to all the shows performed by the Spirit dancers, all the comedy shows, ate in all the restaurants, met some really lovely people etc. I even bagged myself a pod in the Serenity area! Big high five to me! If, like me, you are a person of larger proportions and you’ve picked a cabin with a deck, you won’t fit in the outside deck chairs comfortably. I squished myself in and then when I stood up, the chair came with me! Also in the library, the chairs will dig into you. Which hurts. Which is a good thing in a way because you’ll be so uncomfortable, you’ll want to leave quickly – which means that you won’t spend too much on the exorbitantly expensive WiFi. Note: you are at sea so the WiFi is slooooooow. People tried to logon and then get too frustrated with how slow it was and logged off again. If you get fed up of all the cashed up bogans on board – and there are lots – a good quiet spot that nobody sits in, is the Safari Lounge area which is right next to the Pharaoh Lounge. It’s a bizarre little spot, almost like Carnival had extra room and didn’t know what to do with it. Most people who find it, just walk down one side and back up the other and leave again. So if you’re feeling like you need quiet time, you can always hide there. If I was travelling on my own, I would have eaten in the Nouveau Restaurant every night. It was quiet, the staff were professional and the food – delicious!! But at $40 a pop combined with two scotch & cokes at $10 each, that’s $66. My sister-in-law poo-pooed the idea of $66 per night on dinner. How unreasonable! Which brings us to the Empire Dining Room – Cringe Factor 101. Desi likes to whisper into the microphone “it’s showtime” to give all the diners fair warning of what is about to happen. When the music starts up, a lot of diners start swinging their serviettes about their head and woo-hooing. I looked around in astonishment. Then … wait for it … the opening notes of The Nutbush. Another night was the Macarena and let’s not forget Gangnam Style. I know that the Spirit is the Fun Ship but seriously, I just want to eat dinner without being jostled by other diners and waiters crashing about between tables to Gangnam Style. I’m funny like that. The shows that are on each night are absolutely fantastic. I can’t rate the Carnival Spirit dancers highly enough. Any cringe factor on the rest of the ship stops right here. The dancers were professional and polished, the shows were bright and colourful and just amazing. I cannot fault the shows or the dancers – well done to all of them. One thing I will mention because I didn’t know about it – you may end up on the TV. After our first port stop at Isle of Pines, I was back in the cabin preparing for bed and flipping through the TV channels and I was very surprised to see people on the cruise on the TV! I never saw the cameraman myself but obviously one of the ship’s photographers wanders around the ports taking videos of everyone and then goes back to the ship, edits it all together and uploads it to the ship’s TV. So there you are – on TV for thousands of people to see and instead of looking windswept and interesting, you are looking sunburnt with bedraggled hair and yelling at your kids! You will also end up on Spirit TV if you are called up on stage. A lot of people that we spoke to were very disappointed with the weather. But it was August. It’s still winter in New Caledonia. Even though the sun only made a very rare appearance and it was overcast the whole cruise, I didn’t mind it because it was actually quite comfortable. It was about 22 or 23 degrees and a bit muggy. In summer, it would have been unbearable. Another thing I should mention – buy your shore tours THE NIGHT YOU LEAVE SYDNEY. My sister-in-law wanted to do the Behind The Scenes tour. I told her it was popular and she should book it tomorrow (first day at sea). Well after dinner, we happened to be wandering past the Tour Desk so we decided that now was as good a time as any to book our tours. And a good thing we did – she got the last ticket!! And this was the night we left Sydney. As part of that tour (which I didn’t do) it goes for 3 hours and 45 minutes, you get a group photo, your photo with the ship’s captain, and that night when we got back to our room, there was a plate of little cupcakes for my sister-in-law that was part of the tour. She highly recommends it. So if you want to have a look at what happens behind the scenes on the Spirit – DO NOT DELAY or you will miss out. The same goes for snorkelling at Jinek Bay in Lifou. There were loads of people who missed out. I didn’t and it was fantastic! I highly recommend the snorkelling at Jinek Bay. It was just wonderful. If you want fantastic photos of your holiday – DON’T USE A MOBILE PHONE! A simple “point & click” camera will do a much better job of capturing the memories than any mobile phone will ever do. How do I know this? Because so many people, my sister-in-law included, missed opportunities because their phones shut down on them. She was forever staring into her phone, stabbing at the screen like it killed her family and almost throwing the phone at the wall out of exasperation. Eventually, she stopped bothering and I took all the photos on my camera. While at Amedee Island, one of the passengers got up on stage for a coconut husking demonstration and he asked someone to take his photo with his phone. Of course, the phone shut down. There was a group of people on board who all dressed up in full costume as Duffman, Jack Sparrow, Yoda, the Incredible Hulk, etc and I offered to take their photo. Duffman handed me his mobile and you guessed it, it shut down. So I took a photo of them on my camera and told Duffman I would put it up on Carnival Australia’s Facebook page for them. I don’t know if they found it. I hope they did. So if you want great photos of a relaxing holiday, relying on your mobile phone to take the photos will cancel out any peaceful feelings you might have at the time. Don’t do it to yourself – just buy a “point & click” camera. Much less stressful and much better photos. One thing the Spirit does need is a mini-pharmacy and I was very surprised that it didn’t have one. A few times on board at around 4pm, I felt like a having drinky-poo and some chippies just to keep the munchies at bay. I didn’t want a full meal, I just felt a bit “snacky”. I hadn’t thought about it before but when I went looking for a little shop selling Pringles, chips, crackers etc, I couldn’t find one! I later discovered that in one of the shops that sells t-shirts and Carnival memorabilia, there is a small (and I mean miniature) wall with crisps etc. but keep in mind that on port days, the shops aren’t legally allowed to open until 6pm. So where do you go to buy tampons, Panadol, bandaids etc? Mare was the island that made a lot of effort to welcome us. Isle of Pines, Lifou and Noumea did not. Maybe those ports are sick to death of Australian cruise passengers. I enjoyed the snorkelling on Mare and Yejele Beach is beautiful. But because of the weather, almost all of us went back to the boat early. Coming back to Sydney, the ocean was rough!! So rough that on the last night, the farewell show by the Spirit dancers had to be cancelled because it was too dangerous. And the crew had to lock all the doors to the decks in case anyone got blown overboard. This is when Kwells come in handy! I had caught a cold by then so I slept through most of the to-ing and fro-ing of the ship but my sister-in-law didn’t. She was packing her bag when she had to make a mad dash for the bathroom to throw up. The Cruise Director for our cruise was Emma Dixon (?) who was referred to as Giggles. Now whilst I agree that she was fairly annoying with her constant "lovely jubbley" and forced giggles, to be a Cruise Director is a tough gig. To have to be constantly "up" from 6am one morning right through to 1am the next is a big ask. On a few port days, she sounded close to losing her voice as she was announcing the tenders. I felt a bit sorry for her. A lot of people were slagging her off but I felt she was a nice girl who was a bit awkward and hasn't really found her feet in how to deal with thousands of cruise passengers. Anyway, I will sign off here. All up, I did have a good time, I did enjoy myself, I took great photos and made new friends. But I wouldn't do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Let me start by saying the kids loved it. Let me continue by issuing a word of warning - just because your kids love it doesn't mean you will. If you do not like crowds, queues, kitsch, or corny entertainment, and you do not drink ... Read More
Let me start by saying the kids loved it. Let me continue by issuing a word of warning - just because your kids love it doesn't mean you will. If you do not like crowds, queues, kitsch, or corny entertainment, and you do not drink copious amounts of alcohol, then this is not the holiday for you. We went out of school holidays but the boat was full of people and there were lots of kids. This wasn't so much of an issues as long as you don't mind waiting in long queues for breakfast with people you would be convinced have not eaten for a month (judging by the size of their plates), but you know that can't possible be so (judging by the size of their bodies). The food itself was good, but there was so little else to do on the boat that didn't require additional charge, that eating itself became the entertainment and there were times we groaned when 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock came around. There is a gym, however, that was quite good (if you overlooked half of the treadmills breaking down after day 3). And I recommend the spin classes. But you need to book on day 1 and there is an additional payment. The deck is not runnable, even though it is sold as a 'running track'. And walking sometimes feels like you are in downtown Tokyo, it is so full. Choose the right time of year as well. We had huge swells and high winds, resulting in some upper decks being closed. It was so cold the kids didn't use the water slides once. The swells were exciting, but not so the green-gilled children in the dining hall. Because of the bad weather we spent a lot of time in our cabin. Look at the photo in the brochure and then shrink that considerably. We had a stateroom. I hate to think how parents in a non-stateroom dealt in their little cage. Thank god for the kids' club. Speaking of the kids' club. They close from 11.45am to 2p.m (right when you need them) and again 4pm to 6pm (right when you need them). But the kids loved it, although for children above 5 (I think) you don't get a pager and they can't check themselves out. So, you either have to check back regularly, or choose to be a masochist and just leave them there with a potential grump (there was one guy whose name I have forgotten who has obviously spent too much time on board because he was a real GRUMP). Mind you, some of the kids were so feral maybe his grumpiness was justified (we witnessed one 10yold push another down a flight of stairs when he didn't get his hat back - and they weren't even brothers exclaimed my kids). The stop overs where forgettable, the entertainment OK, the entire cruise was too long for us and we spent many hours discussing what type of holiday we should have booked.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
My wife and I have cruised at least 15 times but first on Carnival Spirit Upon reading the brochure for the Spirit,we decided to give a try. The ship is magnificent the first impression was wow. Unfortunately there wee too many children ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised at least 15 times but first on Carnival Spirit Upon reading the brochure for the Spirit,we decided to give a try. The ship is magnificent the first impression was wow. Unfortunately there wee too many children on board without any supervision running in passage ways at all hours and in the Casino We had dinner in the dining room a couple of nights unfortunately our waiter was heavily overworked and our meals were late therefore missing the show we then chose to dine in La Playa restaurant which had a bigger variety but we did not like the setup of the different stations by the time you picked an item from one station then went to another your meal got cold. We also found that there was not many things for adults to do during the day other than Trivia, bingo and Casino As for the Serenity unless you went at 8am you could not find a seat as they were taken by people sleeping in them   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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