2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a first time cruise for my family and another (10 of us in total). I've travelled a fair bit and worked in resorts, but have never done a cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. To cut to the chase - my wife is coeliac and had ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for my family and another (10 of us in total). I've travelled a fair bit and worked in resorts, but have never done a cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. To cut to the chase - my wife is coeliac and had major issues with the food she was served. We told them she'd need special food (gluten and dairy free) and we were assured she'd be looked after prior to booking/departure etc. Her expectations around food are pretty low, but she's been treated to good coeliac food on other recent holidays we've been on. Really, all she wants is average food that won't set off her immune issues/allergies. It quickly became apparent to us on the cruise that every meal was going to be a gamble. We had a standing table for dinner and the same waiters every night and they quickly got a handle on the situation - however, the odd side dish or dessert would slip through will dairy or gluen in it. And some of the gf/df mains they served were terrible. Overall, dinner was good though. Lunch and breakfast was a different story however. The only coeliac breakfast foods on offer in the restaurant were pancakes and fruit... and the pancakes weren't great. The non-allergen food wasn't really worth the wait there either, so we started eat breakfast at the buffet from day 2. At least the bacon there was gf/df. For me (without food allergies) - the buffet was great. Burgers, Mexican, omelettes and pizza were a highlight for me and I would have been happy to have dinner there most nights. It was a nightmare for my wife however, as just about everything available wasn't gf/df - the pizza place did a decent gf/df pizza, but not something you'd want for every meal. Occasionally, we'd find friendly of sympathetic chef who'd cook a meal specifically for her, but we found that the vast majority of staff would run with the low-risk option of answering 'no' when we asked if something was gluten or dairy free. Only a few of them would actually check. Even though she was as careful as possible, by about day 5, her food allergies were significantly triggered and it put a damper on the whole cruise for us. The only other damper was the ridiculous 'roll call' held on deck about 2 hours after boarding. I've never seen anything like it. If you haven't been through it before, I suggest you do all you can to avoid it. The process consists of lining all passengers up on deck 3 at the 4 evacuation points and standing there, packed in like sardines in the belting sun, for about an hour with no explanation about what is going on. Those who come early are punished by having to stand at the back and by simply being there the longest. After about an hour (or a point where they think enough passengers have turned up perhaps?), they give you a 5-second demonstration of how to put on a life jacket that only about 5% of people can see and then turn you loose. It was like a re-enactment of the roll call at a POW camp - staff told us there was 'no sitting' and people started feeling faint and claustrophobic. Not a great way to start the cruise! Also - the kids club pretty much sucked. We had kids in 3 age groups and the only ones to enjoy it were the 8 year olds. The kids club spaces were stuffy and boring for the older kids. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Embarkation & disembarkation process was extremely easy & smooth. Very comfy cabin. Unfortunately the drink service from waitstaff was minimal when on deck in comparison with previous cruises. We only dined in the dining room 3 ... Read More
Embarkation & disembarkation process was extremely easy & smooth. Very comfy cabin. Unfortunately the drink service from waitstaff was minimal when on deck in comparison with previous cruises. We only dined in the dining room 3 times, once for lunch & twice for dinner. I don’t know if it was because we chose anytime dining but each time we had to wait to get waiters attention to order a drink. The buffet food never changed & they had one side closed off each night & so much of it was cold. We got pizza one night which was obviously someone else’s reject as it lacked any decent amount of topping (pepperoni). Once we discovered the deck bbq, that’s where we chose to eat for lunch. It was absolutely delicious. We chose this cruise for Santo but didn’t get there nor to Maré due to incident on ship. We ended up going to Lifou which we didn’t bother getting off the ship for as we’ve been every other time. Also went to Isle of Pines but because they weren’t expecting us, there were hardly any markets operating. The Casino was a total rip off, put so much money through the pokies with no return ( could’ve gone on another cruise ) which was obviously our choice but just a little run would have been nice. Was very happy with the overall experience of our first cruise on a Carnival ship. Very easy to navigate though the decor seriously needs to be updated. Met some lovely people onboard. Did a great tour while in Vila, going to Raru waterfalls, Blue Lagoon with lunch, Duty free shopping & pub stop with Karaoke. Hopefully we’ll get to Santo one day... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Have to commend the captain as he had some very difficult decisions to make but he managed to still get us our 5 stops. Wasn't very happy with the food. Main dining room menu didn't change very much and food was not as good as ... Read More
Have to commend the captain as he had some very difficult decisions to make but he managed to still get us our 5 stops. Wasn't very happy with the food. Main dining room menu didn't change very much and food was not as good as I have had on other ships. Entertainment wasn't as good either. Loved the daytime trivia, seemed to always be a trivia to go to and Chloe the entertainments manager was great. Thought the evening shows could have been a lot better. Room and bathroom were plenty big enough and always clean. Staff very friendly and always ready to help. Embarkation and disembarkation went without a hitch and used Carnival for transport to airport. Shore excursions were mainly booked privately but all went very well and most enjoyable, must say Isle of Pines is now my favourite island. Loved the outside cinema and watched a few good movies there. Also happy to see a few members of staff moving towels so others could sit down. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
So this cruise was a 5-night Tasmanian domestic cruise. We set sail Friday 22nd March. Check-in was smooth and this was the last time we checked-in where Carnival took our photo for their system. Our Sail and Sign cards were available ... Read More
So this cruise was a 5-night Tasmanian domestic cruise. We set sail Friday 22nd March. Check-in was smooth and this was the last time we checked-in where Carnival took our photo for their system. Our Sail and Sign cards were available reasonably quickly outside our room. We got into our rooms and checked the Funtimes which didn't indicate Port Arthur as a stop. It listed a changed itinerary and an extra sea day. hmm, this was strange. Anyway, we thought they'd make an announcement after everyone boarded. There was no announcement so afterwards, I went to guest services and confirmed the itinerary had indeed changed due to poor weather. I told the guy we never got anything official. He printed out an advisory which we were supposed to have received in our room but didn't. I wasn't upset but just wanted something official in case I'd claim on my insurance for a missed port day. Anyway, due to the missed port day at Port Arthur we stopped at Hobart that day and Carnival put on free buses for those that wanted to travel to Port Arthur. that was an excellent response from Carnival and I'm happy our captain made the decision not hit rough weather for the sake of a day at Port Arthur. The change in itinerary doesn't factor into this review as Carnival are not responsible for the weather but how they deal with it which they did well. I'd never been to Hobart but we did a private tour. Hobart is a great little town. On this cruise, we didn't really watch any of the shows except a few comedy shows. One comedian conceded this was his first cruise and so wasn't all that great. We got to do Nouveau again for not only dinner but also long lunch at sea. Again. great value for dinner but long lunch at sea was so worth it. $35 for long lunch at sea was excellent. We also go the seafood plater thinking it was just an upgrade ($20) but it was actually in addition to the menu which had seafood as well. There was so much food, I don't think I had dinner! The seafood was fresh, delicious and plentiful. I don't eat much lobster, but this was incredible. We also got the matching wines ($20). The staff at Nouveau were excellent and courteous. This was also our first cruise where escargot was no longer offered at Nouveau. This was also the first time we had Your Time Dining in Empire but wouldn't choose it again. Often, we'd need to wait in line just to get a buzzer and then wait again for the pager to go off. We also like to idea of having the same table staff each cruise. I had an issue with a barwaiter who was a little rude but most of the other staff were excellent. I'd also find bar staff would pour the more expensive Chivas Scotch rather than Dewars and not ask my preference. They're just trying to pump up their commissions. Since our last cruise on Spirit (January 2018), we noticed somethings have been refurbished such as new upholstery in La Playa Grille, a coffee shop at Serenity and the Warehouse as an addition. Soul Play has taken over the area where the art auctions were. Our room was clean and as expected. Everything worked as expected without any surprises. Overall, it was a good cruise and we'd done a few things we never got a chance to attend such as the Nouveau cooking demonstration and Behind the Fun. I was sort of glad to have gotten off as I needed a break from all the fun, drink and food! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose to get away from the hustle & bustle of Christmas preparations and relax with the family (kids & grand-kids) on a Christmas cruise. The children went to kids club, some enjoyed it, some didn't. If you don't like ... Read More
We chose to get away from the hustle & bustle of Christmas preparations and relax with the family (kids & grand-kids) on a Christmas cruise. The children went to kids club, some enjoyed it, some didn't. If you don't like lots of kids then this is not a cruise for you. There was plenty to do (if you want to) things like trivia, dance lessons, crafts, games,swimming, water slides, shows, parties. The food choice is very good. We ate breakfast mostly in the buffet which we found better than in the main dining room. Evenings we preferred the main dining room. The Nouveau Restaurant, for that extra special gourmet food was excellent. The staff everywhere were generally friendly and offered great service. We had a couple of things wrong in our cabin which our cabin steward got the maintenance crew to fix within an hour. The entertainment was very good with a good variety of entertainers (jugglers, magicians, comedians, acrobatics, dancers, singers. The ports were all tender ports (using lifeboats not a wharf to disembark). At Lifou we chose the Jinek Bay Marine Reserve excursion for great snorkeling. Numbers are limited so need to book as soon as you can after boarding ship. $26 p.p. There is no beach at Jinek Bay so not suitable for children unless they can swim/snorkel. Isle of Pines is beautiful where you land there are white sandy beaches within a short walk with lots of sea life (turtles, coloured fish, coral. Where you land on Mare there is not much, a few market stalls no nice beach. There is only has one excursion, a bus journey to Yejele beach for $25 per adult, $20 per child (aged 3 - 12 years). On a previous cruise there were lots of stingers on the beach and in the water. It's a beautiful beach but we didn't get off the ship there this time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were offered a very good deal which included Balcony, airfares and $500 spending money at a travel agents mini expo otherwise we wouldn't have chosen to do this cruise. We found it very relaxing but wouldn't want to be on ... Read More
We were offered a very good deal which included Balcony, airfares and $500 spending money at a travel agents mini expo otherwise we wouldn't have chosen to do this cruise. We found it very relaxing but wouldn't want to be on there during school holidays. Eat in the Dining room for breakfast and dinner, staff were fantastic and very talented - the nightly show in the dining room was sometimes better than the theatre production. Loved the Serenity Bar and over 18 area although the pool was way too small. Ports of call, Noumea - was a Sunday so only the markets open, Mare, lovely looking island, next time would do the bus trip to the beach and Isles of Pines was just gorgeous. Could have laid on that beach all day. Embarkation and Disembarkation was very smooth. We liked all the nooks and crannies to sit and read/drink. Bingo was a huge rip off - never paid out more than $700 in the five games, no jackpots and we figured some days they were taking in over $5000 and the staff while fun were too busy having their private jokes. Rust in the Balcony door made it hard to open. Room was nice, spacious. Only went to one seminar (Eat more lose weight) and a stretching class. Stretching class was good but the seminar was misnamed - should have been how to detox to lose weight. Perhaps I am a cynic. Overall came home relaxed and a bit more tanned. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
2nd time cruiser with carnival. No complaints here. Great value for money. Staff are more than happy to accomadate passenger needs with a smile. Food was prepared, made & cooked daily, entertainment was adequate. Giving a variety of ... Read More
2nd time cruiser with carnival. No complaints here. Great value for money. Staff are more than happy to accomadate passenger needs with a smile. Food was prepared, made & cooked daily, entertainment was adequate. Giving a variety of options each night. Plenty of activities to keep anyone occupied during the day no matter the weather. Cocktails were delish. Behind the fun tour I highly recommend, to see how it all works- laundry, kitchen, staff quarters, storage areas & the bridge ( meet the captain ) & more. Cleanliness was of high quality. Staff were consistantly present throughout the ship servicing rooms & cleaning. 1st cruise was with our children, kids club catered for them sufficiently & they loved swimming in the pool & spa. 2nd cruise was myself, husband, a friend his son, nephew & friends who are married. Loads of laughs, good times & memories made. If had the opportunity we would travel with Carnival again. Well done Carnival Tanya & James Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I had been on another cruise from Sydney, but not from Circular Quay and wanted to experience the thrill of sailing out of the Quay, past the Opera House and up Sydney Harbour. I was not disappointed. For the price, I think Carnival did ... Read More
I had been on another cruise from Sydney, but not from Circular Quay and wanted to experience the thrill of sailing out of the Quay, past the Opera House and up Sydney Harbour. I was not disappointed. For the price, I think Carnival did an excellent job. Where else can you get 8 nights accommodation with ocean views, three meals a day, waiter service if you want it, movies, live shows, karaoke, swimming pools and gym for $100AU per day? Despite school holidays having ended a full week prior, there were still hundreds of school age kids. Not sure how that can be so, but they all seemed to have a great time in the pools, water slides and other kids activities. If you want a quiet, adults cruise, I suspect Carnival is not where you’ll find it. For the money, the food was good. You can’t expect any more for the price. I was travelling alone and the single supplement meant that I paid almost the same as two adults. Can’t help that. I booked, through a third party online cruise booking service and it was quite close to the sailing date. At that stage I could get a cabin with an obstructed ocean view. I thought that would suit me fine. About a week before the cruise I received an email with my cabin details and was very pleasantly surprised to find they had put me in a cabin in the aft section of the ship with a full, unobstructed view balcony. Some say mid ships, low down has less movement, but I think the aft section is also good if you are susceptible to motion sickness. There is a 24 hour, free pizza restaurant and the pizzas were actually very good. However, the fellow making the pizzas was completely disinterested and he was making the dough at the counter as well as cutting up and serving the cooked pizzas when they came out. This meant they were sometimes stone cold when they were finally handed over. As the pizzas have a thin crust, they dont stay hot for long and are best if served and eaten straight away. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Went with 10 family members kids and grand parents etc. Fantastic French provincial day core. Glass elevators. Elegant dining room. Rooms were adequate. Had a balcony double bed and 2 bunks. Cupboards and drawers could be better if they ... Read More
Went with 10 family members kids and grand parents etc. Fantastic French provincial day core. Glass elevators. Elegant dining room. Rooms were adequate. Had a balcony double bed and 2 bunks. Cupboards and drawers could be better if they had suitcase space only. Bathroom adequate. Larger then the P&O's Jewel bathroom. Not as good on board activities that we expected. Could have been better like movies should have been on in the theatre instead of just on the open deck where it was raining and noisy. Most of the time no movies were playing throughout the day. In room should have had the better movies playing also. Bad movie scheduling that collided with early diner service also causing people to be late. 7.30 pm dance shows were good. comedy shows good but not enough seats in small theatre. Not as many shops on board as the Jewel also. Most on board activities were geared towards spending big bucks like art auctions that not many people showed up to and had old chipped frames obviously had not sold very often. Come on we paid enough to be there already. Pools were nice with kids shallow bit but could have been heated and needed more spas as overcrowded. Be nice to have an indoor kids playground too for bad weather. Buffets were good and elegant dining and waiters dancing entertainment a plus. Elegant dining was only opened for lunch and breakfast sometimes. 24 hour pizza and ice cream. Needed more ice cream machines in buffet area. Sore excursions were very pricy and the free hop on and off at Noumea was not advertised until the morning of after we had spent hundreds on tours. $530 for 4 for 3 days of tours. The train was good value but not the afternoon bus tour as it doubled up on the look outs we had already been too and beach not as good for snorkelling. Maree was beautiful and only cost $90 for 4 for day for bus transfer. Good snorkelling and local beach food sold. Noumea was a beautiful and clean place but very expensive for currency conversation. $20 for 2 coffees in an ice cream shop. Good shops above ferry terminal that took Australian dollars. P&O pulled up to the Warf where Carnival had bus services as docked in the shipping yard a bit painful. Good kids arcade and kids club activities, but not as good for older kids as the Jewel. Overall enjoyed our cruise and staff were helpful. Excellent frozen cocktails for $10.50 end up. Excellent gym and sauna if you can find it. Gym and adult spa closed for chlorination in the day on a rainy day, bad scheduling. Hardly any fitness classes, only expensive PT sessions. Need yoga and abbs classes on. Spa was extremely expensive minimum $175 a treatment. Mini golf never had any balls, always missing. Fun themed dress up nights, but didn't know it was Halloween until final days before and we purchased the wrong costumes. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My partner and I were looking for a relaxing packaged holiday where we could just put our feet up and relax. As my partner is expecting a baby we were somewhat limited for choice because of the Zika virus, so the decision to join the ... Read More
My partner and I were looking for a relaxing packaged holiday where we could just put our feet up and relax. As my partner is expecting a baby we were somewhat limited for choice because of the Zika virus, so the decision to join the cruise was made. Although we were a little anxious and skeptical about how much we would enjoy it as a cruise is not the usual kind of travel we do, we both thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Carnival Spirit. We both went in with an open mind and not massively high expectations, and came away really pleased with our choice. The aspects that were a highlight to me (in no particular order): - Embarking, Disembarking and tendering were super easy and quick - Service by the wait staff at seated dinner (breakfast was a little more casual though) - Plenty to do if you easily get bored. My partner was happy to read books all day, but I participated in quiz's, went to the fitness centre (and enjoyed the sauna there), watched sport in the sports bar etc. So yes, plenty to do. - The food was good. We have high standards with food choice and it was very good overall considering the ship has to service 2000+ people every day. The sit down dinner was worth it to us and had plenty to choose from. The venison/deer, steak, and melting chocolate cake were standouts. Blue Iguana tacos were great, as were burgers from Guys burgers. - Jinek Bay in Lifou for snorkelling was our highlight. Really was an amazing place. Not so good things: To be honest there weren't many and most were relatively minor. - My biggest bug bear was that we had an obstructed balcony view with the liferafts in front. Now to be honest they dont obstruct you much, but if you were on the balcony often they were a bit of an eye sore. But the frustrating part was that a couple at our table were upgraded from an interior cabin to a balcony cabin free or charge and didnt have an obstructed view, whereas we paid for a balcony cabin (and yes we were told prior it would be obstructed) and were left with the life raft in front. - The AC in the cabin either didnt work (although we did ask for it to be fixed) and was pretty hot to sleep in. Easily remedied with the door left open. Tips: - The Carnival chocolate melting cake is a winner at the sit down dinners. - Get cocktails from Alchemy bar rather than Serenity - Get to Serenity early to get a pod to lie in - Book early to snorkel at Jinek Bay in Lifou Overall: Overall it was a great first cruise experience. It seemed to have something for everyone, and if you approach the cruise with the right attitude it will exceed your expectations. Thanks Carnival and the team on the Spirit. Read Less
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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