1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
We usually cruise with Princess, but decided to branch out and try other cruise lines. I am so glad we did. For the money we normally pay on princess we were able to afford a suite on Carnival Spirit. (See cabin review below) 4226. We ... Read More
We usually cruise with Princess, but decided to branch out and try other cruise lines. I am so glad we did. For the money we normally pay on princess we were able to afford a suite on Carnival Spirit. (See cabin review below) 4226. We arrived at the airport to be greeted by a Carnival rep. We did have to wait an hour for other people to arrive and were ushered to the bus. We were given our boarding cards on the bus and as we had a suite we were given priority boarding. This was extremely quick. We were on the ship in no time. There was quite a queue without priority boarding. The ship is very loud and a little tackily overdressed. But as the cruise goes on it sort of grows on you. The food was way below what I am accustomed to, but it was fresh and tasty. I am used to having wheels of cheese, cut freshly, and deli meats cut fresh (Princess style), not pre cut cubes of cheese and slices of meat. In saying that, I am very fussy, and it all comes down to what you pay for. The sandwich shop in the cafeteria was very good, also the pizza. The rest I could take or leave it. We did the chefs table, this was a fabulous experience, the food divine, and good wine. The Taste bar also served lovely little snacks as a pre dinner drink every sea day. We did not eat at the BBQ as there were large queues every day. The Empire dining room seemed to serve little pots of food on your plate, meaning to me, that many of the items were kept in an oven and reheated. Overall the food was always fresh and of a serviceable standard. As I said before you get what you pay for. The Serenity deck was a really nice touch. no children, and pods that protect you from the wind. A lovely way to spend the day. This was my favourite part of the boat. Princess charge extra $15 for this service. I have never used it on a Princess ship as I begrudge paying extra for using a space that in my mind I have already paid for. So big tick Carnival. All staff were amazing, service was outstanding, especially bar and food staff. Thanks Nancy and Michael for making our holiday a little extra special. I hope you both enjoy Melbourne this week. The ship was extremely clean, our room impeccable, and noise free. We had water like glass every day, and the water was 25 degrees every day. A perfect time of year to do the South Pacific. We visited Isle Of Pines, we just wandered around and soaked up the serenity, we bought a large half lobster, and sat in a picture perfect bay on some rocks and ate it with our hands. Perfection. The next stop was Mare, we decided to stay on the ship and only spent an hour on shore as there is nothing to do in Mare. Then Noumea. I love Noumea, we wandered over to the fresh food market (only open in the mornings), then strolled around town, got on a local bus out to the aquarium, then made our way back to town. We went to the local supermarket, and bought some French cheese and baguette. We sat in the gardens on the foreshore and broke off our baguette and Comte, and had a lovely time. All in all our experience with Carnival was very worthwhile and we will definatley cruise with them again.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
After having a gut wrenching experience with our Sea Princess New Zealand cruise being cancelled on 29 September this year (same day it was due to leave), I spent 6 hours on the internet looking for another cruise. I was fortunate enough ... Read More
After having a gut wrenching experience with our Sea Princess New Zealand cruise being cancelled on 29 September this year (same day it was due to leave), I spent 6 hours on the internet looking for another cruise. I was fortunate enough to get my parents and my own family booked on the Carnival Spirit for a 9 day cruise from Sydney to the South Pacific Island return. Thanks to my wonderful Travel Agent. The Carnival Spirit is the biggest ship I have ever seen. It is equivalent of 3 football fields in length. We needed a packed lunch for our 3 day trip from one end of the ship to the other, lol. Absolutely beautiful ship, albeit a bit tired. Architecture was awesome. The crew and staff were fantastic. My Dad has special dietary requirements and he was well looked after. The restaurants were beautiful. The food was awesome on some days but pretty average on others, about 50/50 most of the time. This is a fantastic ship for families with younger children. There are waterslides, mini golf, basketball court, plenty of kids activities. If you are wanting a quieter cruise and want to relax, I would suggest another smaller ship. The entertainment was spectacular. Stu, our cruise director was a funny entertaining guy as were the rest of the entertainment team. However, I felt there could have been a wider range of activities. Pros: Very Kid friendly. Drinks are cheaper 24 hours Pizza, IceCream and Tea/Coffee Kids clubs Entertainment by staff, guests and crew was great Restaurant entertainment each night was brilliant Mini Suite was beautiful for parents (they celebrated 50th Wedding on board) Balcony cabins were nice as well. Cons Will never travel at the back of a ship again. View was great, but the whole cabin shook constantly. Not enough security personal for kids. Very loud Serenity deck (adults only) was not very serene, very loud music and the occasional child The food was 50/50 Kids ran rampant through halls, stairwells and lifts (no supervision by crew or parents) Sail and sign cards are the same for every passenger, no ability to tell an older childs age, especially if they look older than they are. Some young teens were asking for Mocktails and receiving Cocktails instead. If you have problems with motion sickness, travel low down towards the middle of the ship. My hubby had motion sickness after catching a bug on one of the islands. Isle of Pines was our first stop. This required a tender transfer to shore. Sometimes a bit of wait to get there, but absolutely worth it. We went snorkelling, walking and shopping before heading back to the ship. Mystery Island (tender transfer). My parents and my son disembarked at this stop. I was told that it was very beautiful and relaxing. Noumea (dock). Not my favourite place in the world. I have always found it to be dirty. The real people in town are mostly rude. However, going on the tours here is a brilliant idea. The tour guides and very friendly and very knowledgeable. Mare (tender). What a glorious place. Absolutely idyllic. We didn't stay on shore for very long, but it was worth the visit. The locals are gorgeous people and very friendly and helpful. The 'Behind the Fun' tour of the ship was the highlight of onboard experience. Especially visiting the kitchens, backstage and the Bridge, $95 per person for this 3.45 hour tour, but well worth the price. All in all it was an okay cruise for most of us, unfortunately rather stressful for me because of my hubby being so ill. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
After much research, i choose to take a cruise to the south pacific on the spirit. The cabin crew were fantastic; the room was kept clean, well stocked and the attention from the stewards was outstanding. The cabin location allowed for ... Read More
After much research, i choose to take a cruise to the south pacific on the spirit. The cabin crew were fantastic; the room was kept clean, well stocked and the attention from the stewards was outstanding. The cabin location allowed for quick access to the buffet where we went and got breakfast and returned each morning to our balcony to eat in private. A balcony, in my opinion, is essential for privacy and fresh air, as you tend to dry out due to the constant air con. The buffet served average food; my nine-year-old loved the 24-hour pizza!, but I prefer the main restaurant where food was great as well as the entertainment. The nightly shows were great, and I loved the adult only comedy club! I had an allergic reaction from a sea creature; medical staff were great showed concern and took the steps needed to help me quickly. The island excursions were great, make sure that you book your tours as soon as you get on board to ensure you get what you want. The behind the scenes tour is a must! Highly recommended! The kids club was ok, but my nine-year-old was at the older range of the groups and become board, but night owls were good so that I could go to the comedy club. I have booked my second cruise for August next year, looking forward to the experience again Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We are new to cruising and went on Celebrity Solstice in March on a 12 night Cruise around NZ and then to Australia, we fell in love with Cruising so decided to bring our 2 youngest with us on an 8 night Cruise from Sydney to Noumea, Isle ... Read More
We are new to cruising and went on Celebrity Solstice in March on a 12 night Cruise around NZ and then to Australia, we fell in love with Cruising so decided to bring our 2 youngest with us on an 8 night Cruise from Sydney to Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mare. We stayed one night in Sydney beforehand which we enjoyed very much. We could watch the boat coming in on the morning of our cruise from Holiday Inn Old Sydney. Embarkation was easy, as we had a Suite we were straight through and it only took 30 minutes top to get on the ship. However our bags were not delivered as they apparently had things in them that were "not allowed". We had to go stand in the naughty line at 5pm to retrieve our bags. It turned out that they thought our hair straighteners were power boards....no wonder the line was long. My daughter sorted all this out, however it took her about 40 minutes and they sent her to about 3 different locations. Our room was 6181, an Ocean Suite. It was roomy and clean, however a little old and jaded. The pillows were comfortable, the bed was comfortable too, however the sheets were very very old and yellow as were the towels, which had certainly seen better days. Time to purchase new sheets and towels Carnival. The kids had room 8107, which was an inside cabin. It was small but suited their needs. The decor is interesting..very all over the place but amusing. A favourite place to sit was the Fountain Cafe and do the Trivia games. Serenity also was a great place to sit if you could get a lounger. Club Cool was the place to be at night time to watch the Music Manila Band, one of the highlights of the trip. They were amazing! Food was good in the Empire Dining Room and we enjoyed "Showtime". Our Waiter and his team were fantastic and really made dinner time enjoyable. Nester Jnr you are a treasure. We ate at Nouveau Restaurant one night. That was a big disappointment. While the food was good, the service was shocking, when you go to a "5 star Restaurant", you dont expect to have an open grill with all the waiters and waitresses hanging around talking. The wine waiter forgot that I had a bottle of wine and I had to ask to get a second glass. Definately not worth the extra $40 each that we paid. Pizzas were delicious as were the paninis from the Deli. Drinks were very expensive. Noumea was a big disappointment. It was dirty and the people very unfriendly. Mare and Isle of Pines were much better and we enjoyed swimming and sunbathing there very much. We had some rough seas on the way back so the shows were cancelled. The comedy ones in their place were good. The Music Manila Band by the pool was a real highlight and enjoyed by a large crowd. We enjoyed this Cruise, had some real funny moments, and it is the 'fun cruise'. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
Husband and i enjiyed the cruise but bit long as we have never cruised before and had no idea what to expect The staff were very friendly and could not do enough to help you Ship always clean The main dining room best place to have ... Read More
Husband and i enjiyed the cruise but bit long as we have never cruised before and had no idea what to expect The staff were very friendly and could not do enough to help you Ship always clean The main dining room best place to have breaky and dinner The food on the buffett area okay but vety extensive Meet same lovely people Same people commented that very oyt dated ship and very amercian type of food We had a large suite and very comfortable During the day not any activities that would fill in the days at sea The evening shows great and found going dinner then drink bar then show then night club in the cool room was a full evening so really good They do say be careful when going doing island trips and we lucky we got same locals fully trust worthy and great guides and so so cheap   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
I had been wanting to try cruising for years and finally went for my 15th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately we had rough weather and I spent pretty much the whole cruise perpetually dizzy. The rough weather also caused them to cancel the ... Read More
I had been wanting to try cruising for years and finally went for my 15th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately we had rough weather and I spent pretty much the whole cruise perpetually dizzy. The rough weather also caused them to cancel the main show the last 2 nights because it wasn't safe for the dancers - to which I would say just put on the show with the band and the singers then! For me, the highlight of the cruise was the big band. Loved them. My disappointments: - I'm a vegetarian and the vegetarian option in the dining room was Indian every night. With about 3 nights left one of the wait staff finally said told me I was able to request a special meal. Well done that person, shame it didn't happen sooner (though I will acknowledge the Indian was very nice). -Nightclub didn't open until midnight or later - I would have liked to go dancing. Why is it inappropriate for this venue to be open all night? - It would be good if the whole of the buffet food area was open basically 24 hours. On the first day at sea I had taken seasickness pills which knocked me out until 2pm so I missed most of lunch (and certainly what was left open didn't really cater to vegetarians). - Not enough information provided generally. Announcements only audible in public areas, TV channels could have provided things like a weather update for the cruisers, "legends" audition in the daily program with no explanation of what it was - generally I felt that it was geared more to experienced cruisers who knew where to look for information. - Decor in the 'casino' was hugely disappointing. I expected something lavish or outlandish. Decor in general was not as 'lavish' as I expected - probably made worse by the really low ceilings and large amount of dark timber adding to a feeling of lack of space. - Range of duty free items available in the shops - how about some electronics? - Check out process - overcrowded into public areas with mournful music playing. This is your chance to make a great last impression and it was blown. They should have had different performers putting on shows for the guests while we were waiting to be called. Positives - the big band, the islands, crew were generally friendly and helpful, good range of food and drinks for most people most of the time, alcohol reasonably priced, towel animals, cabin stewards. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I have just read a review on here from a person who compared P&O with the Carnival Spirit . There are definitely negatives and positives about both cruise companies but Carnival Spirit stood out in front for me compared to the P&O ... Read More
I have just read a review on here from a person who compared P&O with the Carnival Spirit . There are definitely negatives and positives about both cruise companies but Carnival Spirit stood out in front for me compared to the P&O Pacific Dawn. However I do agree with the negative feedback regarding the food on Carnival. They really need to shift it all up a notch. The main restaurants were the Empire dining room and the La Play Grill so lets start there. The décor in the Empire Room was exquisite and did make you feel the experience would be wonderful. La Play Grille was the smorgasbord with casual dining. The food in both eateries was actually the same but in The Empire it was written on a menu and food presented nicely. However the service was very slow and the food was cold. The wine service was disgusting as it seemed to take forever to actually get the wine from wherever. Too many waiters for each table and they were forever in your face. The food at La Play Grille was very repetitious. The sweets and desserts were definitely superior on the P& O ship. Carnival desserts were as if a packet of cake mix had been mixed up and then different flavours included. For example same recipe as chocolate, orange or whatever cake which was very bland and dry. No cream or custard available. Always the same fruit and just not enough variation. The meat that was offered was often very dry and the pork spare ribs I tried were actually inedible. It seemed to be the same food offered every night with a different name and a different spice added and a lot of leftovers were offered as vegetable tempura or similar names. While you definitely would not starve on this ship the food as boring and repetitious. However I was wrapt with the ship, it was so spacious, the entertainment was of a high calibre, there was always plenty to do. My choice would be Carnival over P&O and maybe I would not put on as much weight as with the latter. All in all a lot of fun and happy memories. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We just returned from the Pacific Islands 10 night cruise (May 2014) on Carnival Spirit, who our two children 8 & 10. First cruise for all of us and we really enjoyed it. Good food, great staff (from waiters, bar staff and Cabin ... Read More
We just returned from the Pacific Islands 10 night cruise (May 2014) on Carnival Spirit, who our two children 8 & 10. First cruise for all of us and we really enjoyed it. Good food, great staff (from waiters, bar staff and Cabin Stewards) and things were very well organised when it came to boarding and disembarking the ship, whether it was the 4 ports of call or when boarding in Sydney and returning. Carnival have staggered check in times where you pick your preferred time to board, (not sure if other ships do it, but I’m told Carnival are the only ones) and it works a treat. We turned up about 45mins before our check in time with our bags already tagged & our luggage was taken off our hands for us outside the Passenger Terminal. That frees you up to walk around for a while without all the main luggage while waiting for your check in time. When that time came it was all very efficient and we were on the ship in under 30 mins. Same with disembarking at the ports of call. There’s a tendering system where you go and collect a numbered ticket when you’re ready to go and they’ll call your number when the tender boat is ready. We never waited more than 20mins. They run about 4 tender boats constantly ferrying people to the islands, you turn up when called and the boat is waiting for you. Food ranged from good to excellent (never had a bad meal) Buffet has a wide variety ( too much to list here, but it’s good quality), you can have anything from the usual hot food right through to a salad bar, fresh Pizzas made to order (24/7) and sandwich bar where they’ll make fresh wraps to order or a simple toasted sandwich. Also 24/7 ice-cream by the pools. Empire Dining room for Main evening meal also good to excellent. Some meals were better than others, but never a bad one. Waiter staff are very attentive and professional. If turning up for a pre-selected dining time (either 5.30 or 7.45pm) you’re looked after straight away. The first night our kids ordered some drinks and the next night when we tuned up, the drinks were already there waiting for them. Little things like that which impressed us. When you do order, it’s never more than 10-15 mins for each meal to come out. Some great entertainment as well during the meal, usually just after everyone’s mains. Some of the waiter staff sang on a number of nights and they were brilliant, with all the waiter staff dancing as well. I’ve read some reviews where people described it as ‘annoying’- some people are obviously hard to please no matter what! What it did offer was a great atmosphere and was never overdone, it made the evening even more enjoyable Breakfast you can also have in the Empire Room (where you’re waited on) or head up to Deck 9 to the Buffet which we did most mornings. Having breakfast at the buffet means being able to enjoy the wide ocean views while having a big breakfast! Once again a large variety as well as fresh omelettes made to order Great deck side BBQ as well (Fat Jimmy’s) at lunch time, with really nice food. We also had dinner one night in the 5 star Nouveau Restaurant up on Deck 10. That’s an additional charge at $40/head, but great value for 4 courses and the food is EXCELLENT. It’s worth doing at least 1 night there. Beer (close to schooner size) average $8 a beer, cocktails around $10, kids Mocktails $6 and softdrinks $2.25 each (large). Best value though is to buy the kids soft drink package at $5.50 day and its unlimited refills. We didn’t let our kids drink soft drink non-stop, but if they had one throughout the day and 1 at dinner, plus the odd extra here and there, the $5.50 day is well worth it. If we fancied a soft drink as well, we’d simply have one of the kids go up and get it for us. You can buy the adult’s soft drink package at $7.50 day, but why bother when you can have one of the kids go on an undercover mission and get you a soft drink as part of their deal! Cabins were serviced twice daily if you leave your little service request thingy on the door, so we always came back to a tidy cabin. Nice hot showers with good water pressure in the cabins as well! Pay the extra and get a balcony, it’s nice to have the fresh air and the ability to sit outside and take in the views in privacy every now and then. Try to avoid booking shore excursions on board the ship and do your own thing, as they’re notoriously expensive. The Mele Cascades for eg is about 20 mins out of Port Villa & is a fantastic must see, however if you book on board you’ll be charged $86 AUD /adult and $56/child to book the ships tour. We caught a taxi when we arrived in Port Villa (they’re all there waiting for you looking for your business) and paid a total $80 Aud for the 4 of us. For that our friendly Taxi driver ‘Max’ drove us through town pointing out some sights and took us all the way to the falls. We did have to pay our entry to the falls when we arrived ($25 AUD/adult, $15/child), but still saved us $120 in total compared to booking an ‘organised tour’ on the ship. He then waited 2.5 hours for us while we walked up and swam, then took us to a local village ( not the one they sell on the ship) where we had our own personal tour and tribal dance. He then took us back into town and dropped us off while we had a look around the local markets. We made our own way back to the ship for $15 for the 4 of us on one of the local mini buses that keep passing through town offering you trips back to the ship. Mystery Island & Lifou mainly consisted of swimming and snorkelling- but both very nice spots. Beautiful clear water. Once again you can pay for some local tours once on the islands, but we didn’t bother. Lifou you can walk up to the old Church as well as a great look out, and then head back to the main beach and swim (for free). There is a coral snorkelling are on the back side of the island which is a protected reserve, which you need to book tickets for on the ship ($18.50/adult), spoke to some people who did it and said it was beautiful. The only tour we booked on board was the yellow ‘Choo Choo’ train tour of Noumea- manly because the kids wanted to do it. This was the only one of the 4 port days where we booked a tour. It was expensive at $199 for the 4 of us, but was actually quite good. It was 2hrs in duration, picked you up and returned you to the ship ( we chose to get off in town on the way back) showed us all of the main sights of Noumea with a couple of ‘look out’ stops and also included fresh pastries and cold drinks at one of the stops. The guide was also informative. BUT—here’s a tip. Get on the free shuttle bus that Carnival operates to take you from the main port (it’s a container terminal) into the Visitors Centre in town ( about a 5min drive) and you can book a ‘green train’ tour from there, that does exactly the same thing for just over half the price! We only discovered that after booking the one on board the ship. The green train tour is a little shorter at 1.5 hours and doesn’t include the snacks as far as I could tell, but is the extra 30mins and snacks worth the extra $$?? We would have done that if we’d known. Otherwise catch the town’s shuttle bus where you can jump on and off for about 10-15 bucks a person I think. On our last day at sea we did the ‘Behind the Fun tour’, which is 3 hours long and takes you through a lot of the restricted areas of the ship (including the theatre, Galley – where you get to enjoy freshly baked pastries, Engine Control room, staff quarters, food stores) and finally the Bridge, where we got to meet the Captain, had our photographs taken with him and had the opportunity to ask questions. At $95/person it is expensive- but worth every cent. If you plan on doing it, book it on the first day, as they’re limited (only 2 tours on the last 2 sea days) and they sell out quick. Would we do another Carnival cruise?- absolutely If you’re high maintenance and need constant entertainment than maybe a cruise isn’t your thing, but if you’re happy to chill out and take it easy for a while, taking in in the cruise experience and slowing down your pace a little while out at sea on the non-port days, then you’ll enjoy yourself. Having said that though, there’s still plenty of activities arranged every day and you can do as little or as much as you want. Eli the Cruise director was very informative & good humoured. Communication on board was always excellent, keeping guests informed on the where, what & how of things to ensure everything ran smoothly. Some fun pool side competitions as well, on our last sea day we had a live ice sculpture demonstration by the pool Complaints? None really. The only minor ones would be the pre-cooked toast at the buffet was like rock! There’s toasters scattered around so you can cook your own toast, but not enough of them. All the fantastic sweets on offer seemed to disappear from the buffet around 2.30-300pm, and then re-appear around dinner time. So if you fancy afternoon tea by the pool later in the day, grab some before the buffet closes. The Empire Room though did have ‘Tea Time’ which was 3-4pm, we didn’t get to that but assume that was a cake/coffee/afternoon tea type of thing. We had a great time and for the money was very good value. We look forward to the next one!   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
This was the first cruise for our family of 5 (two adults, 6yr, 9yr, 11yr old children). There were 4 sea days from Sydney to our first port of call, Port Villa in Vanuatu. The ship was large, with 2500 cruisers (about 950 of which were ... Read More
This was the first cruise for our family of 5 (two adults, 6yr, 9yr, 11yr old children). There were 4 sea days from Sydney to our first port of call, Port Villa in Vanuatu. The ship was large, with 2500 cruisers (about 950 of which were children). There were two main dining options, a buffet type place with perhaps 8 different options, and a sit down 3 course meal restaurant. The food and service at both these locations the food was pretty good. There were a few other miscellaneous options for eating, including a couple of places where you could pay around AU$40 for an extra special meal - I didn't try this so I don't know how good the food was. Because there were 5 of us we had to be split between two cabins (they call them "staterooms" but they are just cabins!), as there were very few cabins available that could hold 5 people. This was ok as we were only about 3 cabins apart. The cabins were fine, but we didn't spend that much time there, lots of other things to do. The entertainment was extensive, with comedy, trivia, dancing, shows, music and many other things. It was certainly enough for me for the first 8 days of my trip, although I have to admit that I was getting a bit tired of it over the last two days - you might want to take a few books with you in case your interest flags. All the staff were excellent and very professional - I think this was the aspect about the whole trip that impressed me the most. Moving onto my brief impressions of the 4 landings we made. Port Villa, Vanuatu - quite poor and run down, big potholes in the roads, we were constantly approached by locals offering services, didn't like it much Mystery Island, Vanuatu - nice place, reasonable snorkeling Lifou - looked like a pleasant enough island, but no taxis available so we were stuck on a sub-standard bus tour (no English spoken, no commentary, just dumped at a couple of locations, then back on the bus) Noumea - arrived on a Sunday, City Centre totally dead, could almost see tumbleweeds rolling down the streets, but we had a great tour on the Tchoo Tchoo train, which showed us some much nicer parts of the City. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
First cruise for my daughter and I and 2nd for husband. 15 year old daughter loved it. Loved the kids club and made nice friends. Husband and I annoyed that so much room is dedicated to smokers. Smoking area being at the front of the ship ... Read More
First cruise for my daughter and I and 2nd for husband. 15 year old daughter loved it. Loved the kids club and made nice friends. Husband and I annoyed that so much room is dedicated to smokers. Smoking area being at the front of the ship meant the smoke travelled down the ship as it sailed. Meaning you could not sit on deckchairs anywhere on the smoking side of the ship. And even got whiffs of smoke on the other side of the ship. The partly enclosed smoking area near one pool, meant you could not enjoy that pool or the area around it at all without being smoked out. The smoke also travelled slightly to the non smoking pool, which of course was overcrowded with non-smokers trying to enjoy fresh air. The advertised talk about shopping in the ports, was mainly about advertising the shops and the deals they had, not much about the ports. They even told us the best places to shop in Noumea but being a Sunday everything was closed. As was the beach we were touring as they had a triathlon. The shore tour desk should have known that and advised us. No reason the cruise could not have been done in reverse, as it wouldn't matter what day you visited Lifou and Mystery Island. Got sick of photographers demanding you stop for a photo. They take 5000-100,000 photos a day we were told, so it shows how much they are in your face. We were not interested but often had no choice. Yes the meals, entertainment and accommodation are included in your cruise, but the rest felt like a money making exercise, push push push to get you to spend on board. The "huge sale" of Bella Perlina braclets down from around $100 to $19.95 was a scam as you would imagine. Able to get brand new ones on ebay for similar price to the cruise sale price. And it seems that the only place you can buy these is on a cruise ship. Can't find them anywhere for $100. Maybe the price is for a Pandora equivalent but not a Bella Perlina brand. As for the guests:- Would have loved to enjoy the adults only section a little more, but people hogged the chairs and pods all day so unless you got there at dawn, forget it. Wish the cruise staff would enforce the dress rules in Empire. They say no singlet shirts, thongs, baseball hats, but each day we saw people dressed that way and nothing said to them. Didn't affect us, but disappointing. Same happened on elegant night. Thongs, jeans, shorts, singlet shirts. sloppy joes. And as for parents of younger children, you are mean to supervise them. The ship is not a crèche. Kids running around corridors. Writing on walls. In the buffet, kids as young as 5 trying to serve themselves when they couldn't even really reach the spoons let alone see what was in the tray. Parents nowhere to be seen. And what is it with some people that stack their plate to the sky then leave half of it behind!! And some people just laving their empty glass or plate in a corridor, in or near a lift. Seemed it was too hard to leave in their cabin or take back to the restaurant. Pity the crew that have to run around cleaning up after the lazy people. As for the positives. The room was great. Having a balcony was great. It might feel a bit cooped up in an internal cabin. Plenty to eat. Crew were always very friendly. Loved the towel animals. Loved the Behind the Fun Tour. If you want to do this tour book it the first day or you might miss out. We booked it the first night and 1 day of the 2 days the tour is offered were booked out. So good to see behind the scenes and gives you a better appreciation for what the crew and staff do to keep you safe and happy. Having the Sail and Sign card meant buying drinks and anything else was easy. You can keep an eye on your expenditure on your TV or at kiosks, but so easy to just swipe the card and not really think about what you are spending so be careful. Bottomless Bubbles deal for kids or adults was great My daughter loved it. Google 'Carnival Cruise Tips' and there is a handout that gives some great information and things you don't think about. They were great. If you can, get a cabin near the middle of the ship. Less movement than if you are at the front or the back of the ship. Try not to get one above or below an entertainment area or too close the lifts. It will be quieter. Yes a few negatives, and many positives, not all listed here, but wanted to give you all a good overview of what to expect.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
we cruised out of Sydney 30th april, and had perfect weather the whole cruise ( although several staff on board had commented that we had been extremely lucky.) embarkation was a breeze!! very little wait, and we did take advantage of the ... Read More
we cruised out of Sydney 30th april, and had perfect weather the whole cruise ( although several staff on board had commented that we had been extremely lucky.) embarkation was a breeze!! very little wait, and we did take advantage of the early bag drop so that we could explore circular quay.. we had a 1.30 boarding allocation and with having to be out of our hotel by 10 am .. the bag drop was a heaven sent.. my DH and I are in our early 40's and had no children with us.. DH had to have his appendix out just 1week before we sailed, so we nearly didn't make the trip at all .. this did also limit the activities that we could take part in.. ..we think that for food, and service, carnival surpass many other lines.. we loved the variety in the buffet, and on some occasions it was the same as what was available in the main dining room without the fancy setting and was nice to be spoilt a little In the specialty restaurant .. ( cost $40 pp )t to the main dining room twice .. just for the change . I purchased a bottomless bubbles pack .. well worth it if you think you will drink more than 2 soft drinks a day. hint .. ask for only a little or NO ice .. otherwise you get more ice than drink. we have cruised on this ship before ( to Alaska out of Seattle ) but that was 4 years ago .. the ship is now showing her age a little ( despite it being upgraded for the Australian clientele ) .. with a persistent creak in our cabin throughout the night, and on occasions I fell asleep covering my ears with a pillow.. we took a 4K cabin 4190 .. outside cabin that is obstructed by lifeboats ) this suited us as we have rarely used the balconies that we have paid for on previous cruises.. but still liked the ability to get natural light and open the doors for breeze when the room felt a bit stuffy .. at the same price as an internal room.. definitely a good choice for us. we were a bit misled by the shore staff about the available activities on the various ports.. like Mystery island .. they will tell you that there is nothing to do but swim or snorkel .. and then charge you $49 to hire snorkel equip ( for the entire cruise ) or $79 to buy a kit on board .. yet we went ashore by tender to find a thriving market, food, and locals selling tours for line fishing , turtle cove swim trips, dug-out sailboat rides .. there was plenty to do .. just nothing that carnival made money off.. at Mare.. well .. not worth the $20 each bus ride to see the beach on the other side of the island .. there are no markets or tours .. just the beach .. there were people selling fruit.. but you couldn't take anything back on board with you so it was pointless..the beach at Mystery island was much nicer.. and the water was warmer at Mystery too .. if you feel the need to get off the ship, I would suggest just getting the tender to land, ( free ) and walking to the local café and past the local school .. the children will happily come to the fence to chat.. on board .. well for the 2 of us .. it was a little bit boring after 2 days at sea .. baring in mind that we had been on this ship before and all of the exploring had long been done ..we were not into bean bag tosses or hairy chest competitions .. and I would have liked there to perhaps be a mid-day show, or cheaper table games in the casino.. even if just on sea days to break up the day ..i am not a drinker, nor am I a reader, so sitting in a bar, or curling up in a corner with a book aren't my thing either, so there wasn't much to keep me occupied after multiple sea days .. bingo lasted all of 25 minutes, at an average cost of $20 - 30 per day .. with trivia, ( free ) there were lots of these, but each lasted less than 1/2 hour.. and when you have around 16 hours of awake time, it was easy to get bored.. we did enjoy the performers that they brought on board, as well as the spirit dancers and big band, althought the constant theme was jazz and blues .. would have liked perhaps a Rock night.. or maybe a theatrical ( acting) night .. we didn't bother going to the legends show as this was just the winners of karaoke ( passengers off the ship ) which you could have seen doing karaoke in the local bar.. if you are going on this trip to relax and do very little .. perfect .. if you are wanting adventure and lots of activities.. not a good choice.. the extended days at sea take the shine off the 2 ports that you can do some exploring or activities .. I hope that this has been helpful.. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
For the most part this was a very nice cruise. We did not partake of all that was on offer, but what we did do was nice. One of the more interesting times was a session on pain given by one of the fitness staff. I thought I would be bored, ... Read More
For the most part this was a very nice cruise. We did not partake of all that was on offer, but what we did do was nice. One of the more interesting times was a session on pain given by one of the fitness staff. I thought I would be bored, but it was presented well and a lot of useful information given. The food was adequate, but my criticism is about the limited seating on the Lido deck for buffet service. Went to the Nouveau Steakhouse for their premium dining experience and have to say it was excellent and well worth the added expense. In all my cruises, I have never had an indifferent cabin steward. On this cruise it was no different. He was always friendly and helpful, and we got a laugh every night with the towel animals. The entertainment in the showrooms was excellent, but the lounge acts did not meet that standard. This is a family ship, and the staff are aware that families want to have fun. I will close by saying more than once I saw ship's officers and staff interacting with families and young children. I applaud them for that. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Having previously only sailed on P&O or Princess lines we found the Carnival Spirit very closed in. I have tried to be polite and say that the décor was ornate but really I found a lot of it just plain tacky. Too much and too varied. ... Read More
Having previously only sailed on P&O or Princess lines we found the Carnival Spirit very closed in. I have tried to be polite and say that the décor was ornate but really I found a lot of it just plain tacky. Too much and too varied. The Carnival is a big ship so there was still plenty of quiet spots to sit out of the traffic, but I found the ceiling felt quite low and the ornate light fittings made me want to duck. My son is 6'5" tall and he barely cleared the ceilings. The food court was amazing with the best pizzas ever, and the deli guy was so helpful when I just wanted some turkey slices to make my own Caesar salad. Desserts were to die for and plenty of drink stations for tea and coffee but found the hot chocolate too sweet. The crew were great especially the Maitre-de in the dining room, she spoke to every table and even after just 5 nights made us feel that we would be truly missed. The entertainment by the waiter in the dinning room is wonderful, wasted talent, he could be in the shows. The magic show was great, the New Orleans night was over the top and maybe the Americans appreciate that kind of thing but we thought it was too much and the wrong songs for the era. The Carnival is truly a family orientated ship with lots of fun things for the kids. We love our Trivia and were disappointed that it was nearly always held in the main walkway, not in one of the show lounges or rooms, as it was so hard to hear the questions. Obviously Carnival don't regard trivia as an important part of their programs. Unfortunately because of rough seas we were unable to visit Port Arthur and spent 2 days in Hobart which is a lovely city and we enjoyed just wondering around. We have visited there before so did not do any trips. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We've been on a number of cruises with four different lines and Carnival Spirit compared well. We are a family of four and book two cabins on our cruises, one for us, one for the boys 14 & 15. We consider it to be our best cruise ... Read More
We've been on a number of cruises with four different lines and Carnival Spirit compared well. We are a family of four and book two cabins on our cruises, one for us, one for the boys 14 & 15. We consider it to be our best cruise yet. Our boys agreed. CABINS We had balcony suites and they were a very good size, with comfortable bed and sofa and very neat bathrooms. The cabin steward was a bit hit and miss, probably the least impressive we've had on our cruises. Hallways were good size width and smelt pleasant! Self serve laundry is excellent and so valuable with a family of four. FOOD The food is available 24hrs, served hot, Excellent selection and service in a hygienic environment. The food in restaurant was well prepared and served very efficiently and pleasantly. Drink waiters were good too. First night fish was inedible, but other than that, great. Buffet was surprisingly good. Lot of choices, and serving stations which eliminated long queues and waits. Deli was great, pizza bar very popular with my teens, and the stations which changed menus on a daily basis made dining here very pleasurable. Would have liked to see more fruit. Limited selection and not very good quality. The Spirit also had burger bars on the pool deck and on the deck above. This gave even more options for hungry teens and relieved pressure on the buffet. We had mixed reviews on The steakhouse ($35 per head). My husband ordered the rubbed steak and swore it was the best in his life. I had the surf and turf and left most of it on the plate. Service friendly and knowledgeable. Not sure about wheeling the lumps of steak up to you to assist your selection when ordering! DRINKS A little pricier than on other cruises. But, the cocktails are consistently good. Beer on tap at Serenity was warm. ENTERTAINMENT ON BOARD This was the one aspect which disappointed. Three shows in the Pharaoh's Lounge (which is really comfortable and a feast for the eyes), First show, billed by the Cruise Director as the best you will see on a ship, was really good - not the best, but very good. The shows decreased in quality from there, frankly they were boring. Have seen the guy doing the comedy act where he 'controls your mind' on another ship. Okay - just. Comedy Club (adult) was good. If you are easily offended, or even not so easily offended, some parts of the shows may have left you feeling a little uncomfortable. The entertainers (read big band, guitar singer, piano singer etc), were all pretty mediocre. The Spirit could do much better here. SPA TREATMENT The spa attendant was very professional and knew her stuff. The waiting room is in the middle of the gym (which doesn't particularly relax you before you begin the treatment) The room itself was very utilitarian with the smell of hot wax near my head making me feel nauseous. A few small cosmetic touches would have enhanced the experience. SERENITY AREA FOR ADULTS ONLY Well laid out around a tiny pool and spa. Became very crowded as adults retreated from the hoards of kids. Having said that, we always found a seat, or a pod, or even a hammock at one point. KIDS CLUB The boys were involved in the 15-17 club and the 12-14 club. Both enjoyed the kids, the activities and thought the staff were very good. They braved the slide and used the main pool on deck. In addition they played putt-putt with friends and had ping-pong competitions on the substantial, well equipped tables. There was an arcade, which they didn't use and an ice-cream, deli bar, and pizza bar which they used incessantly. They said it was their best cruise and have already 'told' us that they want this trip again. GIFT SHOPS Usual array of goods and liquor. Shops were very well fitted out. Prices good. SHORE Spirit doesn't do this well. Tendering is abysmal with waits until lunch time to get off the boat. Sailed into Noumea on a Sunday, which meant EVERYTHING was closed. This is very disappointing. Have been to this port with another line on a week day and hired a car and visited many of the sights and attractions. This time it was a case of walking through a deserted, slightly seedy city center, and then hurrying back to the ship. Isle of Pines is lovely for snorkeling. Make sure you pack snorkel sets with you before setting sail.You can book a tour on the boat (which is usually double the price), or you can decide where you want to go/what you want to see, and instruct a driver in one of the many waiting vehicles. It will cost you considerably less. Mystery Island is still a mystery to us. We are mystified as to why it is a stop!! EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION This was a debacle. Supposed to board at 3.30pm. Still standing quayside at 5.30pm. Apparently the computer systems were down and they couldn't process passengers. Sydney weather meant that we were burned, then we were frozen as sun went in and winds picked up, then we were wet as the rain pattered down. Poorly handled. No shelter, no water as we waited for hour after hour in the elements. Could have been done much better. Captain very apologetic when we finally got on board and offered everybody a free drink! Disembarkation was a totally different story. They couldn't have got us off quicker! OVERALL Loved this cruise. Found it relaxing, which is the main reason we go on holidays, Food choice and quality excellent. Cabins good size and comfortable. Clean, visually surprising and appealing ship. Staff obliging without being fawning. Morale seemed healthy. Captain probably the most visible and approachable of any ship we have been on. Cruise Director seemed a little lost!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Just got back from a 8 night Christmas cruise on the Carnival Spirit - great intro to cruising!! Hard to fault the cleanliness or majority of staff. Cruise was very well organised & no extensive lines or waiting times experienced. ... Read More
Just got back from a 8 night Christmas cruise on the Carnival Spirit - great intro to cruising!! Hard to fault the cleanliness or majority of staff. Cruise was very well organised & no extensive lines or waiting times experienced. Shows were excellent & were always worth the time - good variety & very spectacular. Great room close to lifts but away from noise etc. Only issue was the balcony was locked during the last night at sea due to some rainy weather - would have been great to have been given prior notice just in case you left items on the balcony drying!! I checked & the door was still locked tight until we left the ship in Sydney.  Cabin steward was good & always kept room spotless - earned his tip multiple timers over!!! A couple of issues however were: **Saw several kids & some adults slipping over on the decks near Green Thunder etc. - could do with some anti slip tape. This simple fix may prevent a very painful memory for someone on the cruise. **Was a bit disappointed that smokers had a spot set up near the pools were everyone has to walk through the clouds of smoke etc. - maybe a glassed in section vented to the outside would improve the outlook? In the end I just avoided going through that area to get away from the stench. **Became a battle to get a "pod" or deck recliner in the adults only Serenity Lounge - maybe some sort of booking system to give everyone a fair chance at experiencing this area. Each day you would see the same people trot out very early & stake a claim to a seat etc. & that was considered theirs for the day - never saw any Serenity staff enforcing the 40 minutes towel removal as sign posted.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
There were 17 of us who did this cruise together, 10 adults, 7 kids, good variety of entertainment for everyone, kids had their own table at dinner each night, which made them feel very special, the youngest of the group had a birthday so ... Read More
There were 17 of us who did this cruise together, 10 adults, 7 kids, good variety of entertainment for everyone, kids had their own table at dinner each night, which made them feel very special, the youngest of the group had a birthday so was treated to a cake & special service by the wonderful staff. The kids (5-15) loved the waterslide, the unlimited icecreams & hamburgers, the adults enjoyed the waterslide as well. We had a balcony room which I would highly recommend for views & added space. The room was lovely & service excellent, food was great. I thought there could have been a few more stage shows on offer & maybe more movies, but that is just my opionion as we had a few days of not so good weather. The embarkation & disembarkations went smoothly. The ship sailed very calmly. I didn't do any excursions but used the bus to spend some time in Noumea & see a different side to this town. Last visit was disappointing to Noumea as I only saw the seedy side of it, but this time spent a few hours at Lemon Beach & had lunch at a lovely tapas bar. (very much like Noosa QLD). I recommend the bus as you can hop on hop off & get to see so much more of Noumea, which is really lovely. Sailing out of Sydney & being at port on The Harbour was amazing. We were lucky that our room had a view of the opera house. We spent the night in Sydney before departure & just got a cab straight to port. All in all a wonderful holiday, great for large groups & everything went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was our second cruise as a couple so I haven't got extensive experience but I thought I would share our experience for people with similar experience. Embarkation was smooth and easy we had 12:30 embarkation time and we were on ... Read More
This was our second cruise as a couple so I haven't got extensive experience but I thought I would share our experience for people with similar experience. Embarkation was smooth and easy we had 12:30 embarkation time and we were on board within 20 minutes. The ship was big and I actually liked the decor. The staff were amazing. Our cabin was an extended balcony on deck 8 (stateroom 8144) and it was a good size and was always clean and tidy thanks to our cabin steward who left towel animals and chocolates on our bed every night. The food was great. I had read a lot of reviews saying the food quality was poor and only luke warm...these people must find anything to complain about as we thought for what we paid it was great. We ate at the empire dining room for dinner every night and enjoyed the buffet for breakfast and lunch. We ate at the Nouveau steakhouse the first night and received a complimentary bottle of wine..It was awesome I have never had a piece of meat that melts in your mouth like that ever before. We also did the chefs tabs and I would highly recommend that what an experience!!!!! The main complaint that we had was the lack of activities in the day, we weren't blessed with the best weather so we found ourselves looking for stuff to do inside the ship and we had options of bean bag throwing or bridge...like really??? We didn't take our kids but we heard mixed reviews from other passengers about the kids club some saying their kids loved it or others could not get their kids to go to kids club. Speaking of kids we found them very well behaved on board!!! One strange thing we found was that they had the smoking section right next to the kids pool, such a big ship but yet the smoking area was in the worst place. We didn't do any shore tours as they were expensive, my husband was interested in scuba diving which was advertised on the website shore excursions but when we enquired on the ship they said it wasn't available. We had a very relaxing holiday but I don't think we would cruise with carnival spirit again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
My family (2 adults, 2 children 9-11) recently 27.09.13 took a cruise on the Carnival Spirit out of Sydney. We are regular Bali and Thailand holiday people, first time family cruises. We found the cruise overall a good holiday. Kids had a ... Read More
My family (2 adults, 2 children 9-11) recently 27.09.13 took a cruise on the Carnival Spirit out of Sydney. We are regular Bali and Thailand holiday people, first time family cruises. We found the cruise overall a good holiday. Kids had a ball. Mum was sea sick for the first 3 days even without any swell. I was fairly happy with the cruise except for the alcohol prices (VB, New, Extra dry all $7.50. Pure Blonde, Crown, Corona, Stella all $8.25. Cocktails starting from $10.50). The food was good and plentiful, we ate at the Empire restaurant every night and had breakfast and lunch at the buffet every day. The kids made the most of the 24hr pizza bar and also the 24hr soft serve ice cream. We did not get the soft drink package for the kids thought they would get enough sugar without that, plenty of free water and lemon cordial. The entertainment was awesome the big band, jazz, Michael Jackson tribute shows every night. There were also comedians every night, early shows for the kids and two adult only shows later on. The massages on the ship were very expensive (Starting from approx. $200). One tip I have which we did was to get a massage at Port Villa when we were off the ship. There was a massage place next door to the hotel "Grand Hotel and Casino" cost $40.00 AUD. $5AUD each person for a taxi from the ship into town. We also went and visited Iririki Island, the jetty is also next door to the hotel "Grand Hotel and Casino", for $15AUD adults, $10AUD kids you get the boat across you can use all the non motorised water sports including free hire of snorkel gear at snorkel cove, use of the two large pools and you can also put the $50AUD towards food and beverages you buy on the island. Get your duty free alcohol from Port Villa as well a lot cheaper than on the boat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
Let me say firstly that I commenced my cruise on the Carnival Spirit with an open mind on whether I would enjoy the experience or not. I was sceptical about the decor, concerned about the demeanour of the people I would be trapped on board ... Read More
Let me say firstly that I commenced my cruise on the Carnival Spirit with an open mind on whether I would enjoy the experience or not. I was sceptical about the decor, concerned about the demeanour of the people I would be trapped on board with, worried about the potential for sea-sickness and risks of a ship-wide virus, but excited about the adventure. I needn't have worried Carnival promotes the Spirit as the fun ship and that is what it was the whole way. Yes we were extremely lucky with a fine run of whether for the whole ten days. The ship felt stable and comfortable the whole way with little of evidence of sea-sickness amongst the vast bulk of passengers. We took precautions of the standard pills to ward off sea-sickness and wore the sea-bands for most of the trip. The vast bulk of our fellow passengers were considerate of others, so I had little to worry about on that front. Serenity is a lovely place to chill out and escape the noisier passengers, and there are plenty of other quiet spots on board to spend some chill time. There is also a vast array of activities to entertain you when you need that and the entertainment crew led by Stu are fantastic at their job. The shows, acts, musicians and gaming co-ordinators are highly professional and entertaining day after day. Now the kids on board issues and yes we did go in school holiday time. Mostly it was nice to have their energy and enthusiasm on board saves us old crusties from ourselves. Mostly the young ones were well behaved, but towards the end of the journey a significant proportion seemed to lose the plot with hordes of teenagers and younger charging around the public areas bumping into people. No-one disciplined them neither parents nor staff, and allowed them to take over corridors and public areas. Hey, glad you kids are enjoying yourselves but give some thought to others I guess that's the aussie culture with parents unwilling to discipline their precious children. The food and restaurants exceeded my expectations in the main and offered such a variety, quality, quantity and freshness of produce to satisfy any palate. Yes some of the offerings in La Playa are variable but you could usually find something tasty and wholesome. My only criticism strangely was of the restaurant Nouveau. We felt promotion of this oversold but under-delivered. Why? Yes it was cheap relative to a shore-based restaurant in a city. But the nightly food, service and entertainment in the Empire dining area was that good that we needed to see a differential when paying an extra $35/head, especially with wine charges at $50+/bottle upwards. We did not see that differential the atmosphere in Nouveau was cold and clinical, the food variable, and the wine expensive. The meat was juicy, flavourful and tender but the signature dishes of lobster were tough and lacking in flavour. Two of our party were not well after attending Nouveau so all-in-all I do not recommend it. Alcohol on-board is expensive in the main but hey they have to make a buck somewhere. And there are a lot of sales pitches for products and services - so just avoid those as you choose. The shore excursions were also over-priced and disappointing. A charge for a couple of hours around Noumea at $80/head was expensive and we found better tours at better prices on offer later from the cruise terminal. My suggestion check what is on offer at the cruise terminal. Mare was appalling!. Undeveloped sounds nice except if you are with a large group of cruisers pouring off a ship to no welcome, no cultural experiences, no singing, no dancing, a long line of disgruntled people queuing for transport to the one shore excursion on offer, Yedjele beach. When we finally arrived with hundreds of fellow cruisers the wind-swept beach was overcrowded with few facilities on offer. The whole Mare experience felt sad and that local community needs to do something quickly to offer a better experience for tourists. Perhaps tours to some other attractions like the natural aquarium, or Pede beach, some cultural experiences and better craft and food offerings. I heard many grumblings but little praise for our stop in Mare. The other stops at Mystery Island (fantastic) and Port Vila were well worth it the Ni-van people are naturally friendly and seem to have a way of imparting fun and joy for their visitors. We avoided the ship offered shore excursions at Vila and took ourselves away from most of our fellow cruisers to snorkel at Hideaway a beautiful day and great snorkelling don't tell anyone else want to keep that a quiet secret ïSh One downside to avoid if you can of Vila is the taxi-drivers at the cruise terminal. No Stu, the taxi fee is not $25 for the 5-10 minutes to the town centre it's $25 per head! So the four of us were charged $A150 return to Hideway and back to the ship a huge rip-off. A fellow passenger said she negotiated $A5/head to town with a water taxi nearby so try that or walk the half hour to town. The flag-down red buses in Vila charge $2-5, so let's work collectively to stop the rip-offs by the Vila taxi-drivers who are catching out the aussie tourists off the cruise ships. Some of the shore excursions looked to be good value, such as the Ekasup tours and at least that way you don't pay the terrible taxi fees. All-in-all I loved the cruise experience from whoa to go and will happily book again in the future with Carnival line it really was the fun ship   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
My husband and myself together with two friends arrived at Circular Quay, self drive and embarkation was a breeze with priority boarding. Our cabins, 6283 and 6281 (disability) were clean and comfortable and our room steward, Noli was a ... Read More
My husband and myself together with two friends arrived at Circular Quay, self drive and embarkation was a breeze with priority boarding. Our cabins, 6283 and 6281 (disability) were clean and comfortable and our room steward, Noli was a bright and pleasant fellow from the Phillipines with assistance Parwati a young sweet lady from Indonesia. Our cabins were kept clean and tidy with a different towel sculpture left on our beds each evening. Between leaving our cabins to go to breakfast and returning each morning our beds were made, fresh towels left in bathroom and everything spick and span. On the first morning we discovered that our friends and ourselves had been seated at different tables in the dining room, even though on booking by phone we made it clear that we were travelling together and required seating at the same table. We calmly reported this to the assistant Maitre D who made a note for the Maitre D to try and reseat us. Maitre D, Dessie is a bright and happy lady from Bulgaria who re-organised our seating to a table for four. She was extremely friendly and humorous not only to ourselves but to many others in the dining room. On the final evening when I didn't go to dinner because I was feeling unwell, she sent her assistant with the dining room menu for me to choose from and had my meal delivered to our cabin. There were a number of people who were unhappy with their dining room seating and were demanding of change and treated the Maitre D and her assistants quite rudely, one man even threatened her with violence but she maintained her cool. The four of us mostly ate our meals in the dining room where the quality of food was very good. On port days we had no option but to eat our lunches at the buffet on deck 9 and the food there wasn't of the quality of the dining room. Nor were some of the passengers who filled large oval plates to excess as though they had never had a square meal before and yet there was so much food left on plates to be cleaned up by the service staff. On the whole our fellow passengers were a happy lot. There were 400 children (even though school returned for second term in NSW the day before departure). We were told that during school holidays there can be as many as 1200 children onboard. We weren't that bothered by children on this cruise though some could show some more manners and restraint. (Barging into lifts before people could exit and running wild down corridors, shouting). I have read some complaints about the dEcor on Carnival Spirit but although it is not how most people would decorate their homes it is a cruise vessel and as such was bright and interesting. We did the "Chef's table" (starting with a tour of the galley and first entrees.) The whole 8 or 9 courses were very attractively presented but we four were disappointed that the fish course was cold, and some of the food quite tasteless. The Chef was friendly and described each course in detail, unfortunately because of his Indian accent and speed with which he spoke we only really caught each fourth word so didn't get the full gist of the food. We didn't go ashore at the Isle of Pines as the weather was overcast and light rain fell. Instead we took the opportunity to go to the (adults only) Serenity area which was virtually empty. Mystery Island access was also by tender and I chose to once again go to the Serenity area whilst there were less people on board. At Port Vila we left the ship and found a mini van driver who was prepared to take just the four of us on a 3 hour tour, including duty free shopping. He wanted $50 for the three hours for the four of us which was very cheap and as he gave us such a good tour with commentary we doubled the amount which at $25 a head was much cheaper than booking through the ship. Went ashore at Santo but didn't leave the dock area where Market stalls lined both sides of the area with the same old goods, sarongs, dresses, beads etc. We were going to take a mini bus again but could find no-one prepared to take just the four of us for anything less than $150. The drivers were much more aggressive there than at Vila, At Wala we took a tender ashore and were impressed by the inhabitants and the cleanliness of the island. We were approached by a very polite islander woman who asked if we would like a tour of her village. It was only a short walk and short tour but worth the $5 or so to see it all. On the beach, many stalls were set up, with cold drinks and local beer and children singing (busking). Some passengers went off paddling canoes with locals and others took boat rides. On the first sea day back, bracelets (Pandora style) were reduced by 70% so that they cost from $25 to $40)The store was packed from 9.30am for the 10am start and it was a rush and push to get the bracelets that you wanted. Next day was a watch sale at $20 each (not brand names.) Disembarkation in Sydney was easy enough. We were allocated numbers according to your request for early or late disembarkation and it all went smoothly enough. Deck three, especially around the atrium and the dining room were quite cold. Carnival need to change the airconditioning setting. Drinks. Alcoholic drinks were quite dear in comparison to other cruise lines. I am not a big drinker but my friends and husband enjoyed the cocktails and mixed drinks and I am aware that one shout of three cocktails and one dry ginger ale cost $49. Overall we enjoyed the cruise. It was great to relax with no beds to make or food to cook and there was enough happening on board to keep us amused and entertained.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
This was our first cruise and I was a reluctant cruiser however I have been left wanting to experience more cruise holidays. We travelled with a 5 year old and 3 teenage children during school holidays so the ship was full of families, ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I was a reluctant cruiser however I have been left wanting to experience more cruise holidays. We travelled with a 5 year old and 3 teenage children during school holidays so the ship was full of families, which was fine. The allocated time for Embarkation (3pm) meant we didn't have a massive queue so were on the ship within about 10 minutes. The checkin staff were very helpful on advice regarding our cabin configuration. Our cabins (both on level 1) were quite spacious, the bed was very comfortable, it was well presented and was clean. Our cabin steward was very friendly and serviced our cabin 2 or 3 times a day which was very appreciated. Our meal time in the Empire room was quite late (7.45pm) however we managed to dine together most nights. The staff were excellent (especially Kadek and Tan) however the bar service was a bit slow most nights. The food was pretty good considering the number of meals they were serving. My wife and I dined in the Nouveau restaurant (paid extra $35 per person) one night which was a nice break from the main dining room and the food was great. The buffet was overall pretty good and we always manage to find a table for the 6 of us. Our first stop was at Noumea where the ship docked at the container terminal due to its size so we had to get on shuttle buses to get to the city centre. This was okay as they ran continuously. We did the Chou Chou train excursion which took us on a tour around key places. It was quite expensive as we booked it on the ship. There were plenty of people waiting where the bus pulled up to offer excursions so would probably do that. Second stop was Mare where we had to take a tender to get to as there were no docking facilities. This is a basic island with limited facilities. The only thing you can do is take a bus trip to a beach about 10-15 minutes from where you land. We queued for about an hour to wait for the next bus/mini van to take us to the beach so were dreading the queue we would encounter at the other end when coming back. The snorkelling was okay but it was a hassle lining up at both ends of the excursion.Third stop was Mystery Island which you can walk around in about 30 minutes. Again we used tenders to get on/off the island which worked quite well. The island was a great spot to swim, relax and have a drink (the ship took a bar to the island). Enjoyed the relaxation! Fourth stop was Port Villa where we took an organised snorkelling tour. It was really good and they entertained our 5 year old while we all snorkelled. The city was about a 8 minute cab ride from the ship and there was no shortage of taxis willing to bargain the cost of the trip. Entertainment on the ship was overall very good however some of the bands in the bars were a bit ordinary. There were lots of activities to do daily when we were at sea so no excuse to say you were bored. We managed to get to the over 18 area (Serenity) a couple of times and it was pretty good however being under the water slides meant it was a bit damp some times. Our 5 year old loved kids club as the people were very good and there were plenty of other kids there. It ran till late at night and is part of the cost of the cruise (except after 10pm when it is $8 per hour). The older kids really enjoyed the club however it was a bit hit and miss regarding activities - but they are teenagers so some things weren't 'cool' enough! I paid for wifi access for one device (about $60) so could keep in touch with rest of the world. It worked well although a bit slower than used to. Disembarkation was again well organised so when we were called it only took 10 minutes to get off. we opted to take our own luggage off and nominated a late time. Everyone was off the ship by 9am. Overall the kids all had a fantastic time, as did we. The food was pretty good considering the logistics and most crew were very friendly and helpful. We cant wait to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
I would like to mention a few good points and a few not so good. Firstly, boarding the ship was hassle free and took no time to get onto the ship. Once we were onboard, we were welcomed by half a dozen crew members welcoming us onboard. We ... Read More
I would like to mention a few good points and a few not so good. Firstly, boarding the ship was hassle free and took no time to get onto the ship. Once we were onboard, we were welcomed by half a dozen crew members welcoming us onboard. We departed on time and Sydney harbour looks magnificent. Our cabin was an extended balcony stateroom which was larger than our previous cruise on the P&O Pacific Pearl. The only negative in the cabin is only 1 AUS 240 Volt power point, so I would advise you to take a Power Board with you if you wish to charge Camera / Video or Phones / Tablets etc. batteries. As for the Restaurants, we were extremely happy with the Empire Room & The Buffet section, The Buffet area had a lot more variety of foods compared to P&O, with 24/7 Pizza, Coffee & Ice Cream you could never go hungry. The entertainment could be a little better, but there was still plenty to do on the ship. As for the ports we visited, Isle Of Pines, Mystery Island, Port Vila, Santo & Wala, I loved them all for different reasons and would do them all again tomorrow. The waiters in both eating areas are so friendly and love Australians, they love to talk to you and we were told that there staff come from 50 different countries from around the world. The staff in all the gift shops could not do anything more to help you, they were fantastic. The only negative I have about the ship is our Sail & Sign card was deativated as we tried to purchase a cup of coffee, we were told to go to Guest Services which we did. There I was told that our Bank had declined a $3.45 transaction, this was day 8 of our cruise and everything else had gone through with no hassles. I asked the lady behind the counter to call our bank in Australia as I requested to speak with them. She dialed the number and I explained the situation to my bank and was told that the $3.45 tranaction had been approved by them. I was told to come bank in half an hour and it should be rectified. I did so and nothing had changed, I was then told it was a satellite problem on the ship and it would take around 4 hours to fix, in that time I was unable to purchase anything on the ship, No Gifts that we had on hold in the gift shop, No Alcohol, No Coffee etc. Then after 4 hours, it still wasn't fixed and was told that if we wanted to purchase anything, we had to contact Guest Services and they would contact the area we were at and it had to be processed manually, which wasn't ideal. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise and would certainly do it again, whether it was with Carnival again I am not sure, We did like the ship, Serenity was an over 18's area only which was free, on P&O Pacific Pearl, we had to pay an extra $10 a day to use it. If you have kids, they would love the ship with Camp Carnival and the Water slides and Water Park. A final note, Go with an open mind and you will enjoy your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
Took our very first cruise ever in July 2013 aboard the Carnival Spirit. A party of 6...getting onboard was a breeze and was greeted by many friendly staff who guided us to our cabin...cabin was fine and I was glad to be in the middle of ... Read More
Took our very first cruise ever in July 2013 aboard the Carnival Spirit. A party of 6...getting onboard was a breeze and was greeted by many friendly staff who guided us to our cabin...cabin was fine and I was glad to be in the middle of the ship at the lowest level ... The ship was very opulent with its decorations and the glass lifts really impressed Staff could not be faulted apart from one really awful nasty desk dinner hostess who actually got into an altercation with us ....waiters and waitresses-could not do enough. ...The same for cabin staff...food excellent in the empire room ...Lido deck Buffett was excellent too and if u didn't find something u liked there then there's something wrong with you...the deli was fabulous ( try the corned beef and pastrami on rye...to die for) Serenity lounge would have been lovely if u could have gotten a seat ....I think some people actually slept out there to ensure a seat or a table .... Found there was lots to do but became quite repetitive after a while and no offence but bean bag toss or football passing isn't my thing....perhaps a few less family orientated things to do especially on sea days... Now my biggest gripe...night time entertainment !! It was WOE FULL.....the guy from the piano bar Andy desperately trying to keep people amused and playing the most god awful slow whiny songs I have ever heard elevator music is more easy listening....he killed many songs by playing them "his way" sorry Andy but liven up!! The same can be said actually for the other singers ....especially the Asian duo in the atrium bar...she was the most unenthusiastic singer i have ever seen.....it didn't really matter what bar you went into was as tho they dished out the same mournful go to sleep stuff...shocking!! Bar prices very steep.... But on having said this we all really enjoyed our cruise and would do so again.......maybe not on such a family orientated ship Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Initially we found the surrounds gaudy and overwhelming, but once we got past that we loved the cruise. The staff were fabulous, there were plenty of entertainment options and the food was magic. Why though were there so many Australian ... Read More
Initially we found the surrounds gaudy and overwhelming, but once we got past that we loved the cruise. The staff were fabulous, there were plenty of entertainment options and the food was magic. Why though were there so many Australian children on board during school term? Seeing children sitting at bars on bar stools during school terms begs the question - why were they released from school for this experience? Back to good things, The bottomless bubbles option was worth it. It included Club Soda which was a bonus for people not able to drink sugary drinks. We never had to wait long for the Empire Dining Room and the service and food were both great. The La Playa Grill which was a bit like a food hall style buffet, was also vey good. One section changed its type of food each day - Italian, French, Mexican and so on. All excellent. The only down side in La Playa was the occasional child behavioural issue and the fact that it could get crowded. I am being petty though - it was pretty good and the wait staff cleared tables swiftly. Wonderful that there was always a desert option that was low fat and artificially sweetened. his helps people having o manage blood sugars. Found the health seminars a bit of a hard sell for products that I considered questionable. The seminars were peppered with urban myth. For the record John Wayne had no autopsy yet we were repeatedly told when he died huge amounts o rotting meat were found in his bowel. Nonsense! Also we were told at the seminar that Japan had the best life expectancy because of the consumption of seaweed which segwayed into a detox plan which used - one guess!!!!! Incidentally the Swiss have just as good a life expectancy - could this be the cheese, the sausages????? NO these people weren't selling cheese and sausages so the Swiss were not mentioned. Did they mention that men from Qatar actually have the longest life expectancy - NO. Also overall Australians rate 4th in the world for life expectancy - and America has by far the most people proven to have lived past the age of 112. Not information that was shared as it seemed people were being steered toward seaweed as the reason for longer life. People were warned not to eat microwaved food. There was reference to an experiment comparing fresh water with microwaved water when watering plants. I suggest you check the various myth buster websites for information about this experiment. In one of these "seminars" it was suggested that people use coconut oil as a natural sun block! What??? Wouldn't this help fry the skin? I would love to hear a skin cancer specialist's view of this advice. Attendees were told that water would not hydrate you and that water should never be drunk with a meal as it prevents the work of enzymes and the water makes the food bump around and damage tissue leading to cancer - is this true? Sounds a bit suspect to me. I think Carnival need to monitor the content of the health talks to make sure the information presented is actually correct. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2013
I just returned from the 10 day New Caledonia & Vanuatu cruise and here is my experience as well as some tips. I have special needs (on crutches, limited mobility) and going on a cruise without knowing what would and would not work ... Read More
I just returned from the 10 day New Caledonia & Vanuatu cruise and here is my experience as well as some tips. I have special needs (on crutches, limited mobility) and going on a cruise without knowing what would and would not work was quite interesting. EMBARKATION Fantastic I was taken to a separate area where tables and chairs were provided to complete all forms. Wheelchairs were at hand to take those requiring assistance all the way to their cabins. I had requested this when booking. Hint Please advise beforehand if you need assistance, it is available. If you identify it on the day, you may face delays and/or delay others that have pre-arranged this. Unfortunately there were limited numbers of wheelchairs/assistants to meet the need. CABIN The cabins are great, I had an extended balcony cabin, and the balcony was fantastic. However, the cabin and balcony door are extremely heavy and difficult to open if you are on crutches. I ended up asking for a wedge to keep my door open when I was expecting others to drop in. I had read much about the smell in bathrooms and brought a slow release air freshener with me, never smelled a thing! If you like to hang up your clothes, including t shirts, bring extra hangers. The hangers provided are not shaped to hold a dress or any top with a large opening. I bought collapsible hangers on-line and they saved the day by having the right criteria to hang up dresses etc. Dont bring a bulky bathrobe; there are bathrobes in your cabin. The same goes for beach towels. The beds are like a cloud , I wanted to take my bed home, the same goes for the pillows. Beware the hair dryer. Unfortunately you are not permitted to bring your own, apparently anything with a heating element is prohibited, that would include hair straighteners, kettles, hair dryers etc. You are advised on day 1 that these item will be confiscated if they are in your cabin. There is just a single power point at the dressing table, if you are planning on charging a laptop, phone or iPod, bring a multi board. Beware, the stewards tend to unplug items that are using the power point, check after the cabin has been cleaned. Your cabin steward will make you a towel animal every night; you can also participate in a workshop how to make a towel animal. I tipped my cabin steward twice, once halfway through and then again at the end. HINT Your steward is available 24/7, just press the button on the cabin phone and nothing is too much, just ask. I was a bit reluctant to do this in the beginning, but it's really helpful. ROOM SERVICE Great! Limited menu but ever so cheap. If you order pastries, you get 4 pieces for $3. It seems everything on a cruise comes in multiples. Sometimes you have to wait a while, the distance between kitchen and cabin is big, please be patient. LAUNDRY You will find a paper Laundry bag in the drawer of your dressing table. Wait until the laundry special is offered, around day 3 of the cruise. That means you pay just $15 for a full bag, delivered clean the next day. HINT Roll your items up tightly, that way you can fit more into the bag. POOLS There are 3 pool areas, one undercover, one on the open deck and the Serenity area which is for 18+ only. Unless you are travelling with children I doubt you would enjoy the other 2 pool areas, I will say more about children on the cruise a little later. Unfortunately the Serenity area fills up really quickly, I guess there are a lot of people like myself who are either single or a couple without children that appreciate this child free area. There are never enough sun lounges or even chairs to sit and have lunch. This could have been much better. The spa attached to each pool requires children under 12 to be with an adult, this not happen, the kids own the pools. In the Serenity area it is requested that you leave the spa after 15 minutes in consideration of other guests. Unfortunately 80% of guests did not adhere to this nor the rule NOT to bring any drinks into the spa. SMOKING For those of you who smoke (I am not a smoker) you are not allowed to smoke on your balcony, if you do, you will be charged a refresher fee of $240. The people next to my cabin smoked on the balcony and were respectful enough not to smoke when I was outside. Overall I do think it would be better if people were allowed to smoke on their balconies, providing they only do so when the adjoining balconies are not in use. Here is why: There are 2 designated smoking areas, I totally disagree with one of them hence my comment re smoking on balconies. The designated areas are on Deck 10, no cover, and Deck 9 next to the pool, there are tables and chairs under cover. Here is my beef about that. 1) The smoke is persistent, there are often up to 30 people at any time smoking; the smoke drifts into the adjoining pool and food area. 2) It is just a few metres away from a pool full of children DINING AREAS I will just cover the main areas rather than break it down into individual food stations. EMPIRE DINING ROOM: AMAZING! It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the surroundings are beautiful and all the staff are incredibly nice. I've travelled a fair bit and have never come across staff who are always friendly, go out of their way for you, and make you feel like you have known them all their life. I wanted to take them home, apparently that is a common wish. The Maitre de made an announcement that they belong to her and no, we can not take them home. Breakfast was great every day, lunch was a mixed bag, dinner was mostly great. BREAKFAST & LUNCH at Empire I think the cruise line has adjusted a bit too much to the supposed Aussie palate, when you order Eggs Benedict or anything with bacon, it comes with a slab of meat. The toasted croissant has so much ham in it that you take 70% out. Just a bit over the top. Once you know this, you can avoid particular dishes. The same applies to the Club Sandwich, just too much meat. Of course, if you like this sort of food, you'll be in heaven! The daily lunch specials were all great. Seating for breakfast and lunch is random but you can choose to share with others. This is a great time to get to know some of your fellow travellers and makes going ashore a heap more fun when you travel with people you have gotten to know. During port days there is no lunch on Deck 9 and the Empire runs a brunch from 7 am to 1 pm, meaning you have a combined breakfast and lunch menu plus a few extra special treats, so worth it! The pools are also nice and empty and you can get prime seating around the pool. DINNER at Empire Most of the time dinner was great, lovely everyday menu and when you do not want anything from the daily menu, you can choose from the everyday menu. There are 5 choices for all courses. When the chef gets it right, it is fine dining. When he doesn't, it can be pretty bad. Considering we had 10 dinners and 2 of these were not good, I still would go back because the moment you point anything out, it is fixed in no time. My adult daughter has a range of serious food allergies and it was awesome how they took care of her. Every dinner the Hostess would sit down with her and discuss lunch and dinner for the following day to ensure her needs were met. OUTSTANDING! I am not giving away all the secrets, just know besides eating there is also flash mob type entertainment during dinner.Loved it! LIDO DECK This is on deck 9 and has a vast range of food stations, something for everyone! It is quite casual, expect to wait for a while if you come at a popular time. BREAKFAST Great choice of food, not accessible to me since everything is buffet style and it is not possible to carry a plate when on crutches. I found out towards the end of the cruise that I could ask any of the staff clearing tables to give me a hand. LUNCH Same as breakfast, difficult for me to access, especially since it was very crowded and kids were running wild, several running into me and almost pushing me over. While they had staff on board to ensure that children were not roaming around on their own or running, none of this was enforced. The food was ok, the 3 lunches I had there (I had asked a staff member to assist me) were all luke - warm to cold. Listening to others, that was the case most of the time. BEVERAGES You can purchase a beverage package for $7 per day. This includes all soft drinks but does NOT include water. I drink only water and getting a large bottle of water cost me $9 per day which I was fine with. Coffee and Ice tea are for free, but if you want something other than plain coffee, you pay for it. There is a myriad of alcoholic beverages at a reasonable price. STAFF What can I say 11 out of 10! They are the ones that really made the cruise such an enjoyable experience. PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS Throughout the cruise there are public announcements to advice of going on shore, special events, weather conditions etc. These are only audible on your balcony or in the hallways and public areas. I think this could be done much better, by the time I made it to the hallway or balcony from the cabin, half the announcement was over. There is a system that allows for announcements to be heard in your cabin in emergencies, but it is at the discretion of staff. It would be so much better if all cabins could have an ON/OFF switch to hear public announcements in their cabin which could still be overridden for emergencies. ENTERTAINMENT There are many areas catering offering a variety of music in public areas. These are always next to a bar and dance floor. In most areas the music is incredibly loud, you cannot hear a single word a person sitting next to you is saying and this is repeated throughout the public entertaining areas. The noise levels are way above comfortable and in most of these areas parents are sitting at the bar drinking whilst their children occupy the dance floor. KIDS and PARENTS I would like to sit the parents of all the children down and ask them do they know what the word consideration means. Whilst it is in written information including the daily news sheet, many do not seem to know this word. Throughout the information materials parents are asked to monitor their children, accompany them if they are under 16, and be considerate towards other cruisers by not running etc. 80% of parents failed and nobody enforced the rules. Parents are sitting at bars drinking whilst their children use the dance floor for gymnastics, there are children as young as 5 on their own in lifts, hallways (running and screaming, it wakes you up) and all public areas. Children are also in the casinos, I wonder if that is even legal. Parents, there are clubs where your kids will be entertained and for the remaining time, be PARENTS! The majority of children had zero manners, if you are too interested in having a good time yourself, leave them at home with family. I did come across a lovely young boy in a lift who offered to help my daughter carry something, this was such a breath of fresh air. To the parents of this lovely young man, aren't you concerned that someone could easily take this child? Everyone I met who was there without children was horrified at the total lack of parenting. This included young and middle aged couples as well as singles of any age. PHOTOS Photographers are there on the first night of your cruise, the two elegant nights, and whenever you go ashore to take photos. You only pay if you purchase any of these photos so feel free to have them taken. There are also photographic areas on the ship with varying backdrops for portraits which is a nice idea. All photos are displayed in the photo area as of 4 pm, you just have to find yours in amongst 1000 others, you soon work out how to do this. Photos are expensive but it is worth it if you purchase just the once you REALLY like. I spent $250 on about 15 photos, this included photos of my daughter. It is easy to get carried away, be careful. I saw people purchase albums which start at $500 and honestly, it was not worth it. Leave purchasing any photo albums or picture frames until the last 2 days; many are then reduced by 50%. INFORMATION There are daily information sessions which you can revisit on a TV channel in your cabin. They go forever though and most people were not interested in sitting inside for an hour listening to it. Here is a suggestion; how about you have this information in a written format on one of the TV channels in the form of a continuous dot point scroll. This could include things like weather, swells, activities etc. Cruisers would be able to access the dot points in no time at all. I would also suggest that a directory for those with special needs is compiled, advising those requiring support (such as myself) what is available where, and how to access the different supports. Guest Services, for example, can be really busy and standing in a line for half an hour is not possible for me. There is no alternative; this applies to the self serve food areas as well. I worked out after a few days that it was better to call Guest Services and be placed on hold rather than trying to access the service face to face. It also took me several days to just ask a staff member to assist with accessing lunch. Had I known these and other services, I would have enjoyed my cruise a lot more. SUMMARY I would not take this cruise again simply because it is very much geared towards families with young children and because parents rarely supervise their children. I am saving for my next cruise, making sure it has a different focus. The entertainment was not the greatest unless you are into Hairy Chest competitions or Beanbag Throwing. The alternatives were Trivia and Bingo, which you had to pay for, or else pokies and other gambling. Not my thing. The Entertainment Director thinks that crude equals funny and I, as well as others, found a lot of his so called humour offensive. No, I am not an old grump, I laugh at just about anything, but not when it is at the expense of others. If you are after a family holiday with young children, this is for you, but please consider others. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME The staff made it all worthwhile, I can not praise them enough; it doesn't matter where you go, everyone has a smile and those you connect with regularly call you by name as of day 2. Considering that staff work up to 8 months without a break and mostly work 14 hours with just a couple of hours in between for a rest, they are to be highly commended. I chatted with quite a few, many are from Eastern Europe and Asia and the 2 main reasons why they were working so hard are to provide for their family, or to better their life. One particular member of staff has not seen his family in 8 months and was working to pay for eye surgery for his 9 year old daughter in Indonesia. My heart went out to him; we have it so good here in Australia. I know that tipping isn't part of the Australian culture, but please consider that these are people who do not earn much and yet they provide service with a smile way beyond the call of duty. They are the ones that made this cruise truly memorable!   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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