1,115 Carnival Spirit Cruise Reviews

Having just come back from our 12 day cruise on Carnival Spirit Pacific Islands ;the bottom line is we are truly relaxed. This is always our intention when we are on any ship regardless of whatever line we travel with. To start with ... Read More
Having just come back from our 12 day cruise on Carnival Spirit Pacific Islands ;the bottom line is we are truly relaxed. This is always our intention when we are on any ship regardless of whatever line we travel with. To start with wife and myself are both mid sixties .We knew what to expect with the Spirit with "most things " on board ; although some we did find hard to be comfortable with. The ship itself is a great ship the way it is laid out .We loved the variety of lounges and bars especially the more intimate ones suited to the "mature' age group such as Shanghai Piano bar with the sing-alongs and the Sports Bar and Club Kool. These all suited us The decks are great for exercising doing laps etc and my favourite was the Promenade deck on deck 3 which was broad and open .Not too many people use this deck for exercising The Dining venues on board .Empire dining room great; and quality of food good at most times The Buffet on the lido deck (La Playa) was not really for us. Quality of healthy food was limited if you are like us. If you are not like us and like the 2 out of 3 adults on board who were overweight then this is probably your style. I have never seen so many people load their plates like there was going to be a food shortage on board. The La Playa buffet was nearly always crowded no matter what time you went there. We definitely preferred the Empire Dining room. A very elegant room with excellent staff and service. We favoured a couple of Stewards at Anytime dining and we did tip them as they deserved it The entertainment on board was good for the 4 or 5 shows we saw and the theatre was a great venue where the shows were performed with great acoustics as well. Never a problem getting a seat for us Drinks on board were not outrageous in price to us and the on board credit helped as well The Adults only Serenity area was good if you could get a seat. One particular day when the sun was out we could not get a seat (sun lounge) anywhere even the Lido or Sun decks I suppose this was due to the fact that the ship was fully booked around 2600 on board with an accurate count of 640 kids.The other ships we have been on with Princess and Celebrity P&0 have not been as great in numbers which we prefer. Our Cabin steward "Imade" was excellent .They really work hard .Nothing was too much trouble for him. Our cabin was on deck 4 and looked out between 2 lifeboats. Previously we have had balconies; but it did not worry us for a shorter cruise. Even though it was classified as an inside cabin; there were 2 French doors which opened. We paid a great fare for booking more than a year in advance for this cabin The kids on board were mostly well behaved and just full of energy. But having said that parents should refrain their kids from running up and down corridors early morning around 7 am or earlier .Consider others who want to sleep in. We do have grandkids ourselves One thing that we did find offensive is the swearing from some groups of people that were on this ship. I do not think it is warranted but I guess there are all types of people on this ship; including borderline bogans from what we saw. We made some lovely friends in our age group as we always do on ships. It would be correct to say that majority were families probably one in five were retirees like us The ports of call were okay .We travelled just for the cruise not the ports; so the ports just broke up the sea days for us. I hate tenders (stuffy) so we virtually let just about everyone else go and take our time getting off the ship. Bit past queuing up. Isle of Pines and Mystery Island were our favourites. The weather was average with probably only 3 sunny days in all; but that's what you get in the Pacific in their winter; nothing is guaranteed. In summary. We liked the Carnival Spirit and I am glad we travelled on her; a wonderful ship well maintained considering her 14 years age Would we travel again on her. Unlikely. We will try HAL next year as I think that will appeal more to our age group as Princess & Celebrity do Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our second cruise and both cruises have been on Carnival Spirit. We chose to do a sampler cruise with another couple to do something a bit different over a long weekend and our friends advised that after a few nights at sea you ... Read More
This was our second cruise and both cruises have been on Carnival Spirit. We chose to do a sampler cruise with another couple to do something a bit different over a long weekend and our friends advised that after a few nights at sea you come back feeling relaxed and as though you have been away for much longer. I have to agree that it was relaxing and it did feel like we have been away for longer than 3 nights. As we had previously travelled on Carnival Spirit almost two years earlier it was great being back on a familiar ship and it was almost like we have never left. It is starting to show its age but all areas were well maintained and everything was always kept clean. The majority of the ship is well laid out but La Playa Grille (Deck 9) always seems congested and the flow of people seems odd at times, maybe because this is possibly one of the busiest parts of the ship. As this was 3 nights without stopping there were no port visits or shore excursions to write about, it was 2 full sea days which allows everyone to do as little or as much as they want to do. Cabin: 7186 port side A balcony room which was spacious enough for 2 people. Plenty of storage areas for our clothes so we could unpack our suitcases and there was plenty of room to put our bags in the wardrobe to get them out of the way. The bathroom was adequate and it only had a shower and it was an ok size. Activities; Loads of activities for everyone onboard and you can do as little or as much as you like onboard. I was surprised at the vast array of activities and there always seemed to be something happening at any time. We played Bingo on both days which was fun, the first day was chaotic and didn't start on time as everyone onboard must have decided to participate as the queue for tickets seemed to be constant for 90 minutes which caused the late start. Art auction was also fun and we managed to pick up some art which we wanted to hang up at home. I was pleased with the process and also pleased with how much i paid for the pieces as some of the art they were asking for some crazy amounts of money for. It was worth the visit even if you just want to take a look and have a glass of free champagne and who knows you may end up buying something for your home. Serenity deck - very popular and were we spent most of our time on our previous cruise, this time we found it difficult to get a seat out there but it wasn't a problem as there wasn't many children onboard this cruise so the deck chairs were just fine. Steam room and Sauna - a relaxing thing to do before getting ready for dinner. Dining; We ate mostly in the Empire restaurant for breakfast and dinner and only ventured into La Playa Grille for lunch on our first day, finish our lunch (Fat Jimmy's BBQ) on second day to escape the rain, enjoy some pizza on our third day. Breakfast on all 3 days in the Empire restaurant was good quality and enjoyable and loads of choice available. Service varied but you're on holiday so there was never really any urgency, even on our last day when it was possibly the slowest when everyone did have to leave the ship. Dinner on all 3 nights was in the Empire restaurant also. We didn't eat at Nouveau as we had previously dined there and whilst it was good value and great food we chose to eat in the Empire restaurant. Always a fun dining experience eating there with the evening "Showtime" event taking place which often includes passenger participation if they choose to join in. The food was good quality and tasty and plenty of choice. Service was very good on the first two nights and disappointing on the last night as everything just to take time, drinks took forever to arrive and the whole evening seemed to take longer than it needed to. Entertainment; The shows were good in the main theatre (Pharaoh's Palace) although having cruised before we had seen them before and only made it along on the first night. The comedian in the Versailles lounge was very funny and this was a great way to end the evening. Second night we went to the sing-along in the Shanghai Piano bar which was great and another good way to end our evening. The last night we decided to call it quits after dinner and just walk around the ship and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the deck as the moon came up over the Tasman sea. Disembarkation seemed orderly and straight forward and after vacating our room we were soon off the ship and in a taxi heading home. A great way to spend a long weekend and great value for money having everything included. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I would like to mention how good my cruise was All around the cruise was very good all aspects including the food the cleanliness the performences and especially the staff The food was very good compliments to all the chefs on ... Read More
I would like to mention how good my cruise was All around the cruise was very good all aspects including the food the cleanliness the performences and especially the staff The food was very good compliments to all the chefs on board although the food could sometimes be warmer but i do understand there are so many people to cater for and that can be pretty hard I would like to say a special thanks to rattana, wayana, idewa, joel, ireno, inyoman, Enrie and Argie for there amazing exceptional service but in saying that all the staff were absolutely amazing and will go to any length to make you happy so thankyou so so much I would recommend this cruise to all ages although i would prefer it with less kids but thats just me Thanks again Carnival Spirt Family for an excellent cruise Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We travelled on the Carnival Spirit from the 22nd April 2015 from Sydney to New Caledonia with our 3 boys aged 7 and 5 year old twins. This cruise was scheduled to depart on the 21st April, however due to terrible weather in Sydney, our ... Read More
We travelled on the Carnival Spirit from the 22nd April 2015 from Sydney to New Caledonia with our 3 boys aged 7 and 5 year old twins. This cruise was scheduled to depart on the 21st April, however due to terrible weather in Sydney, our departure was delayed by one day. Carnival handled this set back professionally offering a full refund if you wanted to opt out. We decided to go ahead with the revised itinerary of a 7 day cruise, which included some on-board credit and a refund to the value of one night. This seemed to have worked out in our favour as this cruise didn’t seem to be very busy and we never had any trouble with queues for food or finding a pool lounge, even in the adults only serenity area at the rear of the boat. This was a wonderful family holiday, especially for 3 very energetic boys. Kids club was amazing and the kids did not want to leave when we went to pick them up. The staff were extremely good and the program was run very well. Typically, kids club ran from 9am to 11.45am with a break for lunch then from 2pm to 4pm. A couple of times a parent was required to attend during this session to participate in some activities with their child. You could then drop your kids off at 5:30pm for dinner upstairs, or from 6:30pm back at the normal Kids club area. The evening session finished at 9:45pm. If you needed longer they offered “Night Owls” til 1am at $8 per child per hour. We did not have a problem signing the kids in and out of kids club, perhaps because our cruise was not at capacity, but there certainly seemed to be a lot of kids attending the program. We were also lucky enough to have all our 3 boys attend the 6-8 year old group, as the twins were only 7 weeks off turning 6, so it was very good to have them all together. We found kids club to be packed full of entertainment and was an absolute hit with our boys they never wanted to leave. We mainly used kids club for the morning session while my wife and I took some time out relaxing in the adults only area, and then again in the evening so we could eat dinner without the kids. After lunch we would normally hang out with the kids on one of the pool decks while they went from the pool to spa and back again. They also really enjoyed the water park/water slide, although it was often windy and a bit cold to stay for too long. The kids also enjoyed playing mini golf. For dinner, we only used the kids club dinner once when my wife and I went to the Nouveau Steak restaurant which I highly recommend. Most nights we took the boys to the Empire dining room for dinner (we opted for the dine-anytime option) as they preferred to choose their own meal, the kids club dinner was a set menu that did not really suit them. Again, we never had to wait for a table. The staff were amazing and couldn’t do enough to help you. We would order for the kids and they would eat first and then my wife would drop them at kids club and then upon her return, we could eat in peace. They staff were very accommodating to this process and would quickly re-do our table setting. We had two stops during our cruise, Isle of Pines and Noumea. Mare was cancelled due to the reduced itinerary. Unfortunately, the weather was not crash hot at the Isle of Pines, quite wet and dull. It was such a shame as the island is so very beautiful. We took a bus ride the Le Meridian Hotel which included lunch. It was such a beautiful resort, with private beach, access to the swimming pool, paddle boats, kayaks, snorkelling etc. We enjoyed our time here, but were disappointed with the weather. The weather in Noumea was perfect and we had such a wonderful day. We took the Zodiak boat ride out to Duck Island. The kids really enjoyed the boat trip, especially on the way back as we were given quite a ride! Duck Island was beautiful and we had a swim, but the beach is full of broken coral, so reef shoes are great! We were allocated beach chairs and an umbrella as well as part of our package to the island. 2 hrs was not long enough before we had to make way back. It would be worth looking into getting a water taxi over to the island and then staying as long as you liked. The afternoon in Noumea was the best on-board experience. The view was stunning (away from the port) and there was hardly any wind. The kids had a great play at the waterpark and waterslide and were then happy to go to kids club to watch the volcano erupt (they had been working on it for days) and my wife and I again enjoyed the Serenity area. We picked the kids up in time to watch the ship sale out of Noumea. Over all, cruising on the Carnival Spirit was a wonderful experience it was a very good balanced holiday for our family. Kids club allowed us the adult time we desired, as well as plenty of family time together. The kids had a ball! Here are some tips you might find handy: • Kids Club age groups 2-8 years is on Deck 5. Our rooms were on deck 5 and was very convenient. • We had interconnecting staterooms which worked really well for the kids, with them in one room and my wife and I in the other. • You can get some great family photos, especially if you dress up on one of the elegant nights. Photos are $30 each, but you can get some cheaper photos at other times. There are many “backdrops” to have your photo taken. • Drinks also sting the pocket a bit. Most Aussie beers are available at $7.50 to $8.25 Carlton, VB, Tooheys Extra Dry and XXXX Gold are all on tap. Cocktails $10.75 and a glass of wine anywhere from $8.75 to $13. • NRL and AFL shown in the sports bar. • Take a brand new un-open powerboard with you as only one power point in the room. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Just got back from a ten day cruise on the Carnival Spirit. Sydney – South Pacific – Sydney sailed March 30th and thought I’d share my views on the cruise, if that’s ok. Now my ever suffering wife thinks I’m a bit of a winger, ... Read More
Just got back from a ten day cruise on the Carnival Spirit. Sydney – South Pacific – Sydney sailed March 30th and thought I’d share my views on the cruise, if that’s ok. Now my ever suffering wife thinks I’m a bit of a winger, I like to think of myself as a fair and reasonable consumer, someone prepared to call a spade a spade so to speak. Having said that let me begin. First of all, our one and only reason for taking the cruise was the price, we got a great bargain in a 24 hour sale. To our pleasing surprise we were assigned a great stateroom one across the rear of the ship on deck 4 with an extended balcony, for the price we paid we really only expected to get one of those obstructed view balcony rooms. All credit to Carnival for that and a big thank you. The boarding and dis-embarking procedure was very professional and relatively quick. Our stateroom was spacious and well designed compared to some other cruise ships we’re been on in the same price class. The entire ship was the cleanest were been on, and maintained as such for the entire cruise, 10 / 10 Carnival. The staff were friendly and respectful, unfortunately we got the impression that most if not all the staff in the main dining room were new on board, not being too sure as to restaurant seating layout, we had to find our own table in the end, and they were a little confused and lost in the serving of the meals but not enough to spoil the dining. Now for the down side. First of all my views should be viewed just as that... My Views and may not be shared by others. I personally found the quality and variety of meals in both the main dining room as well as the buffet to be little more at best than that of a basic club or pub bistro. We were continually being encouraged to pay the $40 p/p to dine in the Nouveau Steakhouse Restaurant, from viewing the menu for the meals on offer they were little more at best than that once standard fare in the main dining room, they were the days! It appears to me that each new cruise I go on the included food / meals are getting of a lesser quality and variety. I’m guessing it’s in response to the ever increasing competitiveness of basic cruise pricing packaging, if it keeps going this way I guess we’ll be having to take our own packed lunches soon. The opening times of the buffets seemed a little restrictive and for the most caused a bit of a feeding frenzy, we quickly started to refer to the buffet as “ the trough ” Thank God for the 24 hour Pizza Bar. The quality and variety of the on board entertainment was the worse I’ve ever encountered on any cruise I’ve taken. Very little in the way of interesting daytime entertainment, any daytime talks for the most were no more than a sales marketing pitch. The so call stand-up comics with the excepted of one were embarrassing. The main evening shows were poorly sound mixed, it felt like the sound mixing guy just had both the band and singers up on full volume creating more of a noise fest than a professionally produced show and not really allowing the singers to be at their best, well I hope that wasn’t their best! In closing I have to say on balance we had a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise and good value for money. Carnival Spirit is a well laid out and functional design, the best maintained and clean cruise ship we’ve been on for awhile. We just wish that there was better food and entertainment options. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Me and a girlfriend stayed in cabin 7321 on deck 7.The room had a balcony and twin beds. She doesn't pack light but the room was definitely large enough to cater for all our clothes and makeup etc.Beds are very comfortable. We both ... Read More
Me and a girlfriend stayed in cabin 7321 on deck 7.The room had a balcony and twin beds. She doesn't pack light but the room was definitely large enough to cater for all our clothes and makeup etc.Beds are very comfortable. We both took our own pillows because I didn't like them last time. Service is great. 99%of staff are friendly and the other guests are what make a cruise fun. All up we had a great time and would do it again and again. We used NouméaShore Tours whilst in noumea highly recommended. We hired a taxi in santo $20 each x 7 of us to go to the beach and the blue hole heaps better value then booking through carnival. The service is great on deck 9 where we spent most of our time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Just got back from a ten day cruise on the Carnival Spirit. Sydney – South Pacific – Sydney sailed March 30th and thought I’d share my views on the cruise, if that’s ok. Now my ever suffering wife thinks I’m a bit of a winger, ... Read More
Just got back from a ten day cruise on the Carnival Spirit. Sydney – South Pacific – Sydney sailed March 30th and thought I’d share my views on the cruise, if that’s ok. Now my ever suffering wife thinks I’m a bit of a winger, I like to think of myself as a fair and reasonable consumer, someone prepared to call a spade a spade so to speak. Having said that let me begin. First of all, our one and only reason for taking the cruise was the price, we got a great bargain in a 24 hour sale. To our pleasing surprise we were assigned a great stateroom one across the rear of the ship on deck 4 with an extended balcony, for the price we paid we really only expected to get one of those obstructed view balcony rooms. All credit to Carnival for that and a big thank you. The boarding and dis-embarking procedure was very professional and relatively quick. Our stateroom was spacious and well designed compared to some other cruise ships we’re been on in the same price class. The entire ship was the cleanest were been on, and maintained as such for the entire cruise, 10 / 10 Carnival. The staff were friendly and respectful, unfortunately we got the impression that most if not all the staff in the main dining room were new on board, not being too sure as to restaurant seating layout, we had to find our own table in the end, and they were a little confused and lost in the serving of the meals but not enough to spoil the dining. Now for the down side. First of all my views should be viewed just as that... My Views and may not be shared by others. I personally found the quality and variety of meals in both the main dining room as well as the buffet to be little more at best than that of a basic club or pub bistro. We were continually being encouraged to pay the $40 p/p to dine in the Nouveau Steakhouse Restaurant, from viewing the menu for the meals on offer they were little more at best than that once standard fare in the main dining room, they were the days! It appears to me that each new cruise I go on the included food / meals are getting of a lesser quality and variety. I’m guessing it’s in response to the ever increasing competitiveness of basic cruise pricing packaging, if it keeps going this way I guess we’ll be having to take our own packed lunches soon. The opening times of the buffets seemed a little restrictive and for the most caused a bit of a feeding frenzy, we quickly started to refer to the buffet as “ the trough ” Thank God for the 24 hour Pizza Bar. The quality and variety of the on board entertainment was the worse I’ve ever encountered on any cruise I’ve taken. Very little in the way of interesting daytime entertainment, any daytime talks for the most were no more than a sales marketing pitch. The so call stand-up comics with the excepted of one were embarrassing. The main evening shows were poorly sound mixed, it felt like the sound mixing guy just had both the band and singers up on full volume creating more of a noise fest than a professionally produced show and not really allowing the singers to be at their best, well I hope that wasn’t their best! In closing I have to say on balance we had a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise and good value for money. Carnival Spirit is a well laid out and functional design, the best maintained and clean cruise ship we’ve been on for awhile. We just wish that there was better food and entertainment options. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We were sailing to New Caledonia however ended up in Melbourne and Hobart before retuning to Sydney thanks to Cyclone Pam (category 5) that slammed into Vanuatu leading to mass devastation and many deaths. Our Captain decided to head south ... Read More
We were sailing to New Caledonia however ended up in Melbourne and Hobart before retuning to Sydney thanks to Cyclone Pam (category 5) that slammed into Vanuatu leading to mass devastation and many deaths. Our Captain decided to head south for the safety of the Ship, Passengers and Crew. Great decision. Even though a number of passengers were disappointed this was a brave and correct decision and generously the passengers were given a $150 credit each for the inconvenience. This was our 6th cruise, the first on Carnival, have been on Cunard twice and smaller ships. The ship itself was very glitzy but had a great vibe, the dining rooms over the top but most enjoyable and provided private seating cubicles, any time dining fantastic, waiters outstanding, buffet was quick and efficient offering plenty of choice, afternoon tea in the Empire dining was a waste of time if you wanted something to eat, best to go back to the buffet area. The balcony stateroom was spacious for a ship, had plenty of storage area, good air con and a large bathroom plus a very comfy bed. The serenity pool area was a great place to chill out. The Nouveau Restaurant sensational for $40 per head. Outstanding entertainment and overall excellent value for money. Looking forward to going again with our Grandchildren. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My partner and I were first time cruisers. We were given the cruise as a present (Lucky! I know!) and we went feeling unsure of whether it would be something we would enjoy. We were all so excited seeing the massive ship at the docks ... Read More
My partner and I were first time cruisers. We were given the cruise as a present (Lucky! I know!) and we went feeling unsure of whether it would be something we would enjoy. We were all so excited seeing the massive ship at the docks in Sydney and service staff were incredible in allowing us to embark ahead of time due to my mother's ill health. Lining up at customs looked like it would take forever but was surprisingly quick. Everything was super organised, took your picture, explained and linked your cruise cards and then we were boarding the ship!. From the moment we stepped on board staff were amazing, smiling, happy and super helpful. Mum was a second time cruiser and had us lining up for drinks packages and excursions straight away, which was a blessing because we managed to score the Chef's table dinner and the Behind the Fun tour as well as Bottomless Bubbles. Kids were beyond excited and served themselves an ice cream from Lido deck on our first exploration on the way to the rooms. Rooms were great, door was heavy which is great because noise was reduced. I was worried sound would come through ceiling but it didn't, even with kids running around like hooligans. And I should note that was were the deck below Lido and there was only once we heard noise which was a huge party night. Once sailing the ship was so large that all passengers dispersed and you didn't feel crowded at all. Food was good, better than I expected (having worked in hospitality/kitchens) and the sheer quantity of plates they prepared was staggering. General food wasn't 5 star, but again was impressive knowing the work gone into it. Lido deck for food was great, loved this for lunch and breakfast always seating, plenty of food and easy access to Serenity adults only to grab a drink from the bar (empty at these times). Had breakfast once in main dining which was good for the experience but dinner there as awesome. Our waiter was incredible, nice, fun and always up for a joke. Picked out what my brother liked to eat and brought him extra every night (Prawns). No request was too big or too small. My brother (13) LOVED the 24 hour pizza, he made friends on the first day and we never saw him. He was with the other teens constantly. I loved the quizzes held on Deck 3 (?) and my partner and I developed a 4pm appointment at the bar in the great lobby. Bar Tenders there were great and remembered our names, orders and the bar tender also noticed I don't drink alcohol, but loved the cherries so she'd always serve my drink with a cocktail pineapple, cherry and umbrella. I was 25 and this was awesome. The shows were pretty good, I thought they might be better but they were good. I liked the ones that had the audience involved. Bingo was a bit of a rip off, but the games in the casino were varied so if you like gambling or arcades this was a place to waste money! The Behind the Fun tour was interesting, very glad we did it. The Chef's Table dinner was superb, absolutely fantastic. 10/10 would recommend to anyone on Carnival. They even catered to my 15y/o sister's vegetarianism. We had a couple of queries for staff which were always dealt with promptly. Room service was impeccable. Our steward made up the room everyday with new towel animals (so cute) and we left him a gift at the end of the cruise. The shops on board were cool, particularly the Carnival branded items which were very cheap and perfect seeing as I didn't pack a jumper and needed it! The photos were expensive and not worth it- maybe just one family memento snap. The only negative I had for the entire cruise was the cruise director, Stu, who got incredibly annoying and was frankly rude to some guests. I was also worried about seasickness (I get motion sick easily) and I was surprised that I hardly had any ill effects. Once I felt a little sick and that was in fairly rough weather, I gave some of the medication (for seasickness) I'd packed to several people who were suffering. We've booked the same cruise for a friend's 60th next year and can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My review of Carnival Spirit cruise, travelling as a solo, balcony room, South Pacific in November, 2014. I was not prepared for the number of children on board. I know that Carnival has a big family base but I thought that as I was ... Read More
My review of Carnival Spirit cruise, travelling as a solo, balcony room, South Pacific in November, 2014. I was not prepared for the number of children on board. I know that Carnival has a big family base but I thought that as I was travelling out of all states' holiday periods that I would see few kids on the cruise. I was wrong; cruise was about 40% kids. As my balcony room was near a stair/elevator area, this affected my quality of sleep as kids would be running around at early hours...no sleep-in for me !! Embarkation was not good; NOT Carnival's fault as Sydney Terminal is being refurbished and many areas were closed. Disembarkation pretty good...again, work happening at the terminal. Food, on the whole was acceptable. In the buffet, there was no real "zing" to the food and I got the feeling that a lot was reheated. Salads were not as bad as some have posted but fruit range was limited. Fruit salad was basically melon and a little pineapple. Some folks have posted about sugary cereals: I also saw some reasonable alternatives: I get the feeling that Carnival have got the message and are trying to appeal to an Aussie crowd. Little tip, they normally have a few vege curries in bistro and these were good. I never had cold or poor quality food but, as I said, never anything "flash." The one -night special "chocolate buffet" looked great but crowds were way to much for me. Empire Dining was fine: I've had better but, again, never any major disappointments and I can recommend the grilled Salmon. Specialised eating was very good. "Nouveau " Restaurant was, IMHO. well worth the extra $40. Tip: ;"Freshies" Seafood on the Lido Deck has excellent fish and chips for $7.00.....such a serve would cost U much more in Oz and the tempura-style batter was superb. Gym was very good. Lots of gear of all types, two levels, sun-drenched, water and towels freely available BUT 1 big issue...... Many of the displays on the aerobic machines were not functioning. I use identical machines here in Sydney so I know what I'm talking about....the touch display simply wasn't working on many of them. In that general area, steam rooms, sauna, showers etc were all fine BUT hard to find. Ask the friendly staff to assist U with that one. Entertainment was mixed. The Carnival shows were all very professional but not to my taste. Some of the feature acts were very good. Foyer entertainment, with the exception of the excellent House Jazz band was pretty ordinary. The House Rock Band was fun and knew how to entertain. NOTE: Carnival have really embraced the Aussie thing and the band did MANY Aussie numbers. Natalie in the Piano Bar was well received but getting drink service there was wishful thinking. I found the nearby Sports Bar an excellent place for a quiet drink. The Comedy room was good. A pleasant venue with a good range of comedians. It was ADULT...don't take the kids to the late shows ! Stand outs were Tahir and Steve Whiteley..........highlights for me. Shore tours that you could buy on board were fine and, compared to some cruises , the price was not a rip-off. When disembarking in small ports, I chose to use the tender later in the day and I had no problem: always a reasonably quick transit, going and coming. Folks, you may have read that during dinner in the Empire Dining Room, there will be a call for such a dance as the Nutbush, YMCA etc......it's true.Staff, and many passengers will do this. Sorry Carnival, doesn't work for me but obviously many enjoy it. The coffee bars where you could purchase coffee and cake were "safe". By that I mean coffee was bland as were the cakes. Some folks have mentioned that Trivia questions were the repeated. Now THAT I will agree with. I enjoy music trivia and some questions were repeated, in one case, twice in one day. Tip, "Tears of a Clown" by Smoky Robinson is a popular question ! Re Room: I booked late and I was sold Disabled Balcony Room. It was fine, everything worked. Doors stayed closed at night, no squeaks or obvious damage but I did miss some of the little luxuries I've found on other ships. 1 single bar of soap??no toiletries? Others have mentioned dirty balcony and, yes, I had an issue there too. Balcony furniture had white paint flecks that had fallen from rusty bits on ceiling. Guys, how hard would it be to brush that off before new passengers get on board? Staff, on the whole , were very good. My expectations were exceeded on a few occasions although a few staff members just seemed to be going through the motions. Like the others, I enjoyed Serenity Pods IF I could get one........I think I managed to do that twice in 11 days. Cleanliness all round was good and housekeeping did a good job on my room. Thank you Olecksi. Would I choose Carnival again ? No....I prefer an older age group with less kids and I like such "fineries " as lectures and maybe a classical duo which you don't get on Carnival.. I WOULD recommend Carnival to some of my younger friends and families.   Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date October 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 August 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 June 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 May 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 April 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 February 2014
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 December 2013
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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