1,115 Carnival Spirit Cruise Reviews

Not really much to review because they did everything pretty much perfect! Can really put this in perspective as waited until after Royal Caribbean cruise to make reviews so could compare the two, Carnival is a million times better! ... Read More
Not really much to review because they did everything pretty much perfect! Can really put this in perspective as waited until after Royal Caribbean cruise to make reviews so could compare the two, Carnival is a million times better! Great food, entertainment and super friendly service. Ship is looking fantastic with the refurb, Blue Iguana's mexican and Guy Fieri's burgers (both included with fare) are super tasty and fun staff. Only small things I could pick up is that some of the new production shows aren't the best, just singing songs and a bit meh compared to the old shows on Spirit, "Epic Rock" is the only one that is better than average. Could do with just a little bit more going on through the day. Can't go wrong with the Spirit! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First time on a cruise and we had an absolute blast. Could not find one thing wrong the entire cruise. The staff were excellent and went out of their way to be helpful and friendly, food both in the buffet and the restaurant was excellent, ... Read More
First time on a cruise and we had an absolute blast. Could not find one thing wrong the entire cruise. The staff were excellent and went out of their way to be helpful and friendly, food both in the buffet and the restaurant was excellent, entertainment was extremely professional and entertaining, cruise director Josh was one of the hardest working people I think ive ever met, room was above average very comfortable and clean, the kids loved the waterslide and the movies at night with the free popcorn. Like Ive said I could not fault one aspect of the entire cruise and will definitely be back.A big thankyou to our room steward Ramon and our waiter Kit who both made our holiday that much more enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As a family we had not cruised before. I had cruised over 25 years ago on a much smaller ship and was very sick at the time, but remember enjoying myself. In our group were 3 Adults and 2 children. I loved the experience from the ... Read More
As a family we had not cruised before. I had cruised over 25 years ago on a much smaller ship and was very sick at the time, but remember enjoying myself. In our group were 3 Adults and 2 children. I loved the experience from the second we boarded the ship. The staff were very friendly, mostly American's greeting us with their larger than life welcomes, but I liked that. I know many think the decor is gaudy but I found it charming. I found the food sometimes challenging, I am a "clean" eater and the buffet was tricky, but I was never hungry and it was only for 7 days so I wasn't fussed. The kids club was great, a fabulous mix of activities for our kids. They didnt spend everyday there because I was on holiday with my kids, I didnt want them in kids club all the time. We went to Isle of Pines and Noumea. They were nice. I wouldn't go back to them other than perhaps on another cruise, but they weren't terrible either. The entertainment was great. Disembarkation was well organised. What I was most impressed with was the Carnival Spirit team. Every single person we interacted with in any capacity was friendly, fun and happy. Considering how many hours they work and for how long they are on the ship away from their families I was so incredibly amazed and inspired by their willingness to serve us and make sure we had a good time. Well done Carnival Spirit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first cruise ever. Our cruise started on 25/09/2015 and was fantastic from the very start to the very end. We had originally booked for 5/8/15 but told after booking that the ship was in dry dock and had to reschedule. I ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever. Our cruise started on 25/09/2015 and was fantastic from the very start to the very end. We had originally booked for 5/8/15 but told after booking that the ship was in dry dock and had to reschedule. I purposely didn't book the first two cruises after dry dock because I wanted any problems with the refurbishment to be ironed out, and reading the reviews I did the right thing. Our cabin on deck 7 number 7212 which is midship and very close to the stairs and lifts was fantastic, very quiet and very clean. We mainly ate in the Empire dining room which was fantastic, we had any time dining which was great. We had the same waiter team each night (Joel and Anamaria and their team) were the best. We would ask their recommendations on the food and they were pretty well on the ball. They sometimes even brought us an extra serve so we could both try. The last night we payed extra and dined in the nouveau restaurant, we were a bit disappointed with the food as the lobster we bought on Mystery Island was so tasty and fresh we expected the lobster in the nouveau restaurant to be just as good and it wasn't. The comedians were a little disappointing but the stage shows were fantastic and having multiple shows of each every night was great. The different activities each day during fun at sea days were well organised and ran well, including the ice sculpture demonstration, the pamper session, the cooking demonstration in the nouveau restaurant we even got to sample the cooking, and many other activities. The one criticism I have is there was only one table tennis table on board and a few more would have been good as we didn't get to have a go at table tennis. We did play a lot of mini golf which we did enjoy each day. During our cruise because of the amount of great food we ate we decided to only take the stairs when moving about on the ship. We only left the lifts for the first and last days when we had our hand luggage. This was a great choice for us as we didn't put on much weight during our cruise. We also kept moving during the cruise going from one activity to another, we didn't lounge around much at all. We only booked 3 on shore excursions through carnival because most were expensive. The first we bought was on Vila the Cascade waterfalls which was worth the money, we later found out that others went there with a taxi that they payed for after leaving the ship and was cheaper but they had to pay extra after arriving at the falls to enter. Mystery Island my husband payed for a fishing trip from an islander that he payed $40 for instead of $170 or more from carnival on other islands, he didn't catch any fish but he may not have caught anything on the ship booked fishing trip either. We bought a lobster from the islanders for $40 which was the freshest and tastiest we have ever tasted the same size lobster in Adelaide would have costed us $130. Mare we payed $20 for a shuttle to the beach through carnival this is a must and the beach was beautiful and worth the money. Isle of pines we organised a tour when we got off the ship. We payed $15 each and the islander took us around the island showing us most of the same destinations that the carnival tour did. He was very friendly and informative and the tour took about 50 minutes. The rest of the day we walked around the markets and the shore. Noumea we booked a tour at the tourist building where we got dropped off we ended up having a private tour around Noumea including the lookouts. The guide was very informative, he told us to take our time every time he stopped at a sight, the van he drove was fairly new and we were very happy we waited and bought this tour off the ship. The last tour we booked through carnival was back in Sydney after we finished the cruise. This tour was meant to take us around Sydney and show us Bondi beach. We are not from Sydney and this would have been a good way to see Sydney and then get dropped off at the airport after the tour. Unfortunately due to a medical emergency and the delay in arriving in Sydney the tour got cancelled. However due to the cancellation Carnival placed us straight on to an airport transfer which we absolutely appreciated. The night time entertainment on the whole was fantastic however some of the comedians weren't all that funny. The on stage performances on the other hand were fantastic we thoroughly enjoyed them. We were a little concerned after realising we had booked our cruise during the school holidays and it was just the two of us. The first and last day we noticed a lot of children running around however every other day the kids clubs seemed to keep them busy or the parents had them well controlled we are not sure but we barely saw the kids during the cruise and we didn't even spend much time in the adults only area. The kids we saw were well behaved and kurtosis to us oldies (almost 50 years old) Well done kids. The one thing that we have realised was that the weather does play a big part in having a great cruise. On our cruise the first couple of days were a little rough and a few people we talked to later felt like jumping over board due to sea sickness however we both suffer from motion sickness so came prepared and pre purchased Phenergan from the pharmacy prior to boarding and we took this each night before bed which gave us a great sleep and we didn't feel sea sick at all. The rest of the cruise was smooth sailing and beautiful weather. All in all this cruise was fantastic and would love to do another cruise someday. We just need to save up our pennies as we would love to do the Alaska cruise. Thank you Carnival Spirit for a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Have just returned from the 9 day cruise to New Caledonia aboard Carnival Spirit. Despite the shore visit to Isle of Pines being cancelled due to rough seas, it was a great time (and our first cruise). Here's my thoughts on cruising ... Read More
Have just returned from the 9 day cruise to New Caledonia aboard Carnival Spirit. Despite the shore visit to Isle of Pines being cancelled due to rough seas, it was a great time (and our first cruise). Here's my thoughts on cruising aboard the Spirit. Pros - • The staff were amazing, especially with kids. They always greeted us by name, remembered food/drink preferences and seemed genuinely interested in us. I really can't speak highly enough of them. We didn't have a single less-than-perfect encounter with staff. • The food was great. Definitely recommend eating in the Empire room at a specific time each night (prebooked either 5:30 or 7:30) that way you get the same table and staff. Good variety of options off the menu. The smorgasbord was also good, and was our preference for breakfast and lunch. Cocktails were good value and very potent! • The overall organization of the ship and events was outstanding. Getting on/off was seamless, and regularly ahead of schedule. Everyday there were plenty of different activities to participate in if so desired. Cons - • Kids Club was disappointing. The staff didn't seem to encourage kids to participate in activities, as a result our 4 1/2 year old just watched TV or played by himself, and didn't want to go back (he went for a total of 4 sessions - each about 2 hours). • No "playground". It was extremely difficult with our very active 18 month old as he was too young for kids club but there was limited safe places for him to play freely. Some area that all kids could play/run/climb would be great - even something along the lines of a McDonalds playground. • A daily news-sheet would be great, with brief current affairs, weather report (for home and upcoming port) as Internet was slow and expensive. • LOUSY water pressure in our shower - when I turned the shower head face up, there wasn't even enough water pressure for the water to come out at all. General comments - • We had a balcony cabin, queen bed, 4 1/2 year old in a top bunk and 18 month old in a porta-cot. It was "cosy" but manageable and well organised. • This was one of the last cruises before the Spirit undergoes a $44million refurb, would love to see it afterwards! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After a stressful morning at the airport with delayed flight from Melbourne to Sydney we finally arrived at Circular Quay with 45 minutes to spare until final embarking time closes. After we went through the stages of customs, priorty ... Read More
After a stressful morning at the airport with delayed flight from Melbourne to Sydney we finally arrived at Circular Quay with 45 minutes to spare until final embarking time closes. After we went through the stages of customs, priorty boarding etc we made our way to our balcony room. After throwing our luggage into our room we were excited to explore the ship so we walked around and were stunned at the size of the ship and what they had on board for entertainment.relaxation or fitness. It was easy to get lost for the first couple of days but once we got accustomed to it we just never stopped! Our room cleaner remembered our name from the first day and made sure our room was clean and made gorgeous animals from towels that was put on the bed every day. Our host Edwin who looked after our table at the Pharoah dining room was absolutely amazing! he treated us like VIP's every time and made sure we were happy with our meals. They also had entertainment every night with a waiter getting up singing and dancing and making the evening extremely happy and relaxing. The night entertainment was brilliant with singing and dancing or a comedy show or they had a Q&A night or an informative talk from the director Josh. Josh was very entertaining as well and always had time to have a chat after a session. There is heaps for the kiddies to do with 2 water slides (one for older kids) pools,spas and I believe they have a kids club for the youngies. There is also Bingo, Casino and bars if you want to just veg out and have a drink. I actually went with my daughter who was on a work related trip so didn't get a chance to experience everything but I can definately say it was the holiday I will NEVER forget and will definately go again. AN AWESOME CRUISE!! Totally recommend it for anyone needing a stress free holiday! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall positive experience. Traveled with a group of girlfriends. EMBARKATION • Leaving Sydney is easy, train or bus to circular quay and 5-10 minute walk if you are not carrying a lot of luggage. • Waiting time was ok. ... Read More
Overall positive experience. Traveled with a group of girlfriends. EMBARKATION • Leaving Sydney is easy, train or bus to circular quay and 5-10 minute walk if you are not carrying a lot of luggage. • Waiting time was ok. SHIP OVERALL& SERVICE • Standard décor and easy to navigate. • Happy cheery staff who sang and danced in the main dining room. Our waitor was a funny man. CABIN • Had balcony room for 3 people. The interior was okay but the actual balcony was small. It was not possible for 2 people to lay down. FOOD • Chicken schnitzel was amazing! A must try • Main dining room was pretty good, steward was cheery and encouraged us to try more food, generous portions. • Buffet breakfast was great, we lived right under the buffet so it was very convenient. • Drinks – paid ones were good, but the free soda/lemonade tasted very bland. ENTERTAINMENT • Green thunder was a great experience, but I must admit, is scary at countdown… • Mini golf on board, appears to be good for families. PORTS • N/A this was a sampling cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Can I start off by saying, thank god I didn't listen to all the negative feedback that I read before I went on our cruise!. This was such a great trip, and Carnival were wonderful. They really look after there passengers. The ... Read More
Can I start off by saying, thank god I didn't listen to all the negative feedback that I read before I went on our cruise!. This was such a great trip, and Carnival were wonderful. They really look after there passengers. The ship was very Clean all the time, Food is unbelievable, so much of it. There is always something to do for everyone. Thank you Carnival for such a great Trip, And will definitely will do this again. A special mention to Paul, Zofie and I made for there extra service that was given to us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Thanks to all the staff and everyone else involved with in and around the Carnival Spirit. My friend and I had the most relaxing, but busy if we wanted to be trip. Everything is very well organized and nothing seemed to be of any trouble ... Read More
Thanks to all the staff and everyone else involved with in and around the Carnival Spirit. My friend and I had the most relaxing, but busy if we wanted to be trip. Everything is very well organized and nothing seemed to be of any trouble . Embarkation and Disembarkation on and off the ship at all ports run like clock work but in a very relaxed manner. Every night you new what was on for the next day, as it was left on your bed when the staff had prepared your room for the night. Plenty of activities to keep all ages busy. Plenty of food and also nice cold drinking water with plenty of ice. Plenty of coffee machines with fancy one's at the coffee shop, which was reasonable priced. Dining was easy at all places, and the service was great. Great Gym, Slides, staff amazing in all areas, even the Pool towel service was easy. Well done. Be proud of what you do for everyone on board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
my sister and I travelled aboard the Carnival Spirit as first time cruisers. For their 7 days to New Caledonia cruise travelling to the Isle of Pines and Noumea. Starting with the embarkation which was easy to understand well sign posted ... Read More
my sister and I travelled aboard the Carnival Spirit as first time cruisers. For their 7 days to New Caledonia cruise travelling to the Isle of Pines and Noumea. Starting with the embarkation which was easy to understand well sign posted and their were many staff who were able and willing to assist the embarkation was quick as well. the service was incredible all the staff were happy and ready to help with your every query or problem not that there were any problems and the service in the restaurants was also very very good with all orders being taken and all meals being delivered very quickly and very well, the housekeeping service was also very good with both cleaning and turn-down service being done quickly, efficiently and very well. the ship was very easy to navigate with ship deck plans being posted at all main elevator areas on all decks as well as a deck plan being provided during embarkation with your stateroom number posted on the front. the activities provided on board were fun and easy to find out about with the FUN TIMES newsletter being brought to your stateroom at turn-down service each night for the following day with all activities, shows and general port information when needed being listed inside. the shore excursions were easy to find out about with talks being conducted by the cruise director and also a special desk dedicated to shore excursions right next to the customer services desk at the Spirit Atrium located on Deck 2 making bookings easy as well. the cabin was roomy and very well organised and maintained both the window and the bathroom in the room were a fair size providing enough room for the necessities in the bathroom and well and truly enough room for two people to look out the window at the vast ocean views or the land as it passes you by. as previously mentioned the dining was very enjoyable with multiple different ways to dine in many different locations on Decks 2, 3, 9 and 10. the entertainment was also very enjoyable with shows being provided each night at 7:30 and 9:30 with only one show only being shown at the 9:30 time slot that show being the Game Of Love which was very amusing and entertaining with three married couples being asked a series of questions about each other with some of the questions and answers being very very amusing. the disembarkation process was also very easy with a talk once again being conducted by the Cruise Director as well as a Q&A again being hosted by the Cruise Director as well as a group of other entertainment staff. to summarise both my sister and I were very impresses and have seriously considered going on multiple future cruises on board the Carnival Spirit. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
In April this year I went on my first ever cruise. I live in Queensland but chose to go to Sydney to cruise on the Carnival Spirit, as I had heard a lot of good things about them. I boarded on 9th April and our first stop was to be Mare ... Read More
In April this year I went on my first ever cruise. I live in Queensland but chose to go to Sydney to cruise on the Carnival Spirit, as I had heard a lot of good things about them. I boarded on 9th April and our first stop was to be Mare but before we could get there we were informed that there was a cyclone and the ship would change course and head to Fiji. Captain Adriano Binacchi was great in keeping us informed. The staff/crew on board were absolutely fantastic, always smiling, and I just loved the little towel animals that were in my cabin, which was an inside cabin and had plenty of room, with the bed, coffee table and chair, tv, wardrobes and ensuite. The bed was very, very comfortable. Most of the meals I had in the dining room and there was plenty of choice for meals, every single one of which was delicious. A couple of times I also ate on the Lido deck where the Buffet was and a good variety of food to choose from. I am amazed at how the staff/crew remembered people's names and would always greet us with a smile. There was plenty of entertainment every day, I went to see the comedians, bands, art show, joined in games etc etc Lazed around on the Serenity deck from time to time. Our first Port was Denarau and I went on one of the excursions, to a Fijian Village, that Carnival had available. The experience I had in the village was great and the people just beautiful. The following day we went to Suva and again I went on an excursion booked on the Carnival Spirit. Again we went to a village, Sawani Village. Again the people were just beautiful and the experience lovely. I did buy souvenirs in both the villages I visited. After Fiji we went to the Isle of Pines, which was glorious. The lifeboats from the ship were used to ferry us from the ship to the Island. Again the people were beautiful and the experience beautiful. Our last Port was Noumea and I enjoyed my tour around there and some shopping. We headed back to Sydney but, due to a storm, were unable to have the pilot come on board. We countered 15+ metre waves. This meant another day at sea. We had to cruise down the coast for awhile. The Captain was keeping us informed along the way and when it was time for us to turn around and head back to Sydney ready for the pilot to come on board, weather permitting, the Captain told us that as the ship turns it would list slightly and not to worry as this was normal. There was no chaos, even tho'the timetable had been disrupted. The staff/crew were fabulous, I just cannot praise them highly enough for all that they did. I enjoyed my cruise so much I would have gone cruising with them again the next day. As it is I have booked again for a November 2015 Cruise on the Carnival Spirit and will continue to cruise with them for as long as I am able to. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
The Carnival Spirit is a fantastic Cruise Ship. This was my first time cruising as an adult (mid 20s) and had previously been on cruise ships as a child. My partner and I enjoyed our time on the cruise ship and will definitely be back ... Read More
The Carnival Spirit is a fantastic Cruise Ship. This was my first time cruising as an adult (mid 20s) and had previously been on cruise ships as a child. My partner and I enjoyed our time on the cruise ship and will definitely be back again. The aim of our cruise was to relax as well as have fun. Afterall, it was the NYE cruise. We always had something to do (we did spend a lot of time relaxing on a deck chair or reading. We enjoyed the trivia session as well as the comedy shows. We had an inside cabin which was serviced twice a day with the infamous towel animals. The steward and his crew were super friendly and attentive. Food was very good. A couple of times I did send something back, but I really didn't have too many complaints. We participated in the Chefs Table event where you are served 10-12 courses. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It started with champagne and a tour of the galley. This provided us an insight into how many 1000s of meals are served of a night and you truly appreciate the hard work that the chefs and table waiters put in! We didn't choose any tours through Carnival as I always do my research before holidays and choose something to do that isn't listed on the suggested itinerary. Something to be aware of. Boat tenders. Just relax. The first 1 or 2 ports, people line up forever trying to get their sticker to get on shore. We were one of the very last and we didn't get to shore until midday in Mare. But as long as we got the last bus to the beach, it did not bother us. Something I think Carnival may need to review, but I assume this occurs on a lot of cruises. I utilised the fitness facilities on a daily basis and they are great. I wish there were more free weights and a larger space for these as I don't like to use machines but thats my personal preference. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Firstly, let me say I am SO glad I did not let the negative reviews I read here prevent me from booking this cruise! I have just returned from an 8 night South Pacific cruise with my husband and two children, aged 15 and 10. Yes, I have ... Read More
Firstly, let me say I am SO glad I did not let the negative reviews I read here prevent me from booking this cruise! I have just returned from an 8 night South Pacific cruise with my husband and two children, aged 15 and 10. Yes, I have cruised before - on a P&O ship, so am able to judge this one comparatively. All of us had an amazing time and can't speak highly enough of the staff who made it such an amazing experience. The embarking process in Sydney was very smooth - no mean feat getting 2,600 people on-board! From the moment we stepped into the terminal until the moment we left we felt important and valued. Of the literally hundreds of staff on the ship we had dealings with there were only 2 who weren't as friendly as the others and who weren't as committed to making the guest experience so amazing. The theme is 'fun for all and all for fun' and you see this in all that they do. The range of activities available for guests is impressive - you can choose to be busy all the time or to do absolutely nothing! Both of my children enjoyed the activities offered in their respective kids' clubs although some of the activities for the 9-11 year old group seemed a bit young and did not interest my son. The 02 program for 15-17 year olds was amazing, resulting in us hardly seeing my 15 year old! I am quite fussy about my food, and I found it quite good. Bottom line is, they are feeding 2,600 people at a time! I read reviews about cold food - ours was never cold, or even close. Sometimes the selections were more appealing than others, but that will always be the case. The wait staff in the restaurant were amazing - always referring to us by name and being extremely attentive. The entertainment in the dining room each night is good fun! The wait staff dance and sing and encourage all diners to participate - if this is not your thing, either don't get up or choose another cruise line - simple!! Our cabin steward was the best! Our room was always spotless and nothing was too much for him. He was not intrusive by any means but was always available. The towel animals were a highlight upon return to our cabin each evening!! My husband and I did the 'Behind the fun' tour on the second last day which was great! Almost 3 ours of walking the ships and seeing all the usually unseen areas such as the kitchens, laundry, engine control room and the bridge - where we met the Captain! This is $95 each but well worth it. You must book as soon as you board or it will be sold out. Overall, we loved it - even more than the P&O cruise we had done previously. The water slides and kids' pool areas were excellent. If you do not want to go on a cruise with lots of families, and therefore children, then don't go on this ship! We found it a lot of fun and would recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My two children (ages 13 & 14) and myself have recently returned from the 8 night South Pacific Cruise on Carnival Spirit and had THE BEST time!!! We were in suite 6203 which was nice and roomy with a lovely, spacious balcony. I would ... Read More
My two children (ages 13 & 14) and myself have recently returned from the 8 night South Pacific Cruise on Carnival Spirit and had THE BEST time!!! We were in suite 6203 which was nice and roomy with a lovely, spacious balcony. I would totally recommend the balcony as it is simply paradise to slip away to in the middle of the day when you feel like a little peace and quiet, lay on the deck chair and read a novel whilst hearing the incredibly soothing sounds of the sea….it was just magical and more relaxing than I could ever have imagined. The staff were fantastic, the food was wonderful, activities were great and the atmosphere was so friendly. We really wanted a fun holiday with a touch of relaxation and that's exactly what we got. I would recommend a suite absolutely - it is worth every extra penny for the extra space and of course, the balcony. The overall decor on board was a little dated but the cleanliness was excellent and all of the positives totally shifted the focus away from some of the twee decor. 100% recommendation from us! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We have just returned from the Carnival Spirit trip that departed 10 December 2014 from Sydney. I will be honest; I was not looking forward to going on a cruise. I was worried about sea sickness, a rough ocean, other sickness, too many ... Read More
We have just returned from the Carnival Spirit trip that departed 10 December 2014 from Sydney. I will be honest; I was not looking forward to going on a cruise. I was worried about sea sickness, a rough ocean, other sickness, too many people etc etc. Also I will say that it was just my husband and I cruising with no kids, finally at a stage where we can leave the kids at home. My husband was absolutely obsessed with getting a good price for this cruise and spent months keeping an eye on the prices and the availability of rooms. Eventually about 3 months before cruising, we booked and paid about $900.00 each for a balcony stateroom. I think the starting price was around $1800.00 per person for that cabin so we got a good deal. Some people say you are hardly in your room and you don’t need a balcony or window but we wanted one and I’m glad we had one. This amount also included tipping so there was no obligation to tip staff on board – although we did tip a couple of staff who provided exceptional customer service. There were 2600 passengers on our ship + 900 staff. The ship had 3 pools – 2 up the front for all passengers and one at the back of the ship for adults only – the Serenity bar. This is where we spent all our time because (for us) it was a blessing to be away from kids. The ship also had 2 water slides, a yellow one and a green one. When it got too windy, the green one got shutdown for safety reasons which is understandable. The Serenity Bar area was heavenly and we had the best bar man – Christida -who tended to our every need. Around the outskirts of this area were many very large wicker pod chairs that could comfortably seat 2-3 people and could be maneuvered around so you didn’t have to be in the full on sun. If you got these pods in the mornings, it was too easy to sit in one all day and just spend the day gazing at the ocean, reading a book or having a cocktail. This area also had plenty of hammocks, sun lounges and lounges in the shade – the perfect child free area. The embarkation process - organised chaos but hopefully will improve once the new terminal is finished. The whole thing only took about 30 mins and then we were on board and heading up to the 9th deck for lunch. Hint – there was only one power point in the cabin so pack a power board but keep it in carry on luggage because they will want to inspect it. Ours got taken off us because it appeared old and we were told we could get it back at the end of the cruise but then it appeared in our cabin the next day - I assume after it was tested – so maybe just buy a new one. Disembarkation was a breeze - very organised - basically we just handed over our entry card on the way out the door. Our room - was much better and bigger than I anticipated. We usually stay in 4-5 star accommodation when we travel and whilst our room was not at that standard, it was perfectly fine and comfortable, particularly the bed. We had a balcony stateroom around the middle of the 4th floor. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of our room. The bathroom was a little on the small side but very functional and practical. There was plenty of storage and hanging space - much more than I expected. Our room steward was wonderful and every night when we returned to our room, the bed had been turned down, chocolates left and a towel animal was left on the bed. Hint - bring extra coat hangers if you want to hang most of your clothes and your own laundry powder if you don't want to pay $3.25 for a one-use pack. There is a small laundry on each floor but it services a lot of rooms. In saying that, I used it twice and had no problems getting access to the washing machine. There are no irons in the rooms so if you have to iron, you need to go to the laundry and use the one provided. It is set on a timer - I assume in case you forget to turn it off, it will turn itself off. You are told at the initial safety briefing, fire is the biggest thing to avoid on a ship and that is why you are not allowed to have one in your room. If you pack one, they will take it off you and fair enough I think. Also, if you are a bit paranoid like me about air borne sicknesses, pack a can of Glen 20 and spray around the air con vents. Also pack hand sanitizer for use in your room - although there are plenty of them around the ship for general use. The food - there is the buffet area on the 9th floor, the Empire Dining Room on the 2nd and 3rd floors and the Nouveau Restaurant on the 10th floor plus coffee shops etc etc. I'm not going to be too detailed here except to say if you don't enjoy the food on board, then you are probably being a bit fussy. We signed up for anytime dining which means we could turn up for dinner whenever we got there. So the buffet area - provided lots of different food and you could have as much or as little as you wanted. After a couple of days, we actually found the omelettes on the 9th floor were better than the ones made in the Empire Dining room so we went back to the buffet for breakfast. This was a great area for families and also convenient if you are sitting in the Serenity Bar (the adults only bar), you can just go into the buffet area when you were hungry and not lose your seat outside. The Empire Dining Room was fantastic and this is where we mostly ate at night. The menu has 2 sides - one side is the same every day and the other side changes every day. You are able to order more than just one meal at a time so if you want 2 entrees and one main meal, that is no problem. The staff also provided some entertainment towards the end of the night – Jimmy Barnes from the Philippines made an appearance one night and he was just fantastic. We had two meals at the Nouveau Restaurant – this is not included in the price of the cruise. The cost is $40.00 per person and is worth every extra cent. The food was fabulous. Steak is prominent on the menu but the seafood was to die for. Try the lobster ravioli, the seafood chowder, the chocolate plate dessert and the cheese platter. Yum!! As for entertainment, there are plenty of bars on board, nightly shows with early and late seatings, a casino, a nightclub, adult only parties in the Serenity Bar, other party events at the front end of the boat, a kids club (which I cannot comment on), plenty of day time activities like bingo, trivia, golf competitions etc etc. You could do a lot or you could do not much, completely up to you. There are also shops on board – one for duty free purchases of alcohol which you buy and then get given back the night before you return, souvenirs, a lolly shop and a shop that has duty free jewellery, make up and perfume sales – watch out for the crazies down there at certain sale times!! I also visited the fitness centre a few times. It was well equipped and offered various different types of classes if you wanted to sign up for them. There was a day spa but I did not bother to go there. As for drinks, if you like to drink then yes you will probably spend a lot of money just on alcohol. At the end of the day for some people, this will just be a big booze cruise. Expect to spend about $8.00 a beer, $10.50 for the cocktail of the day, $15.50 for a cocktail in the cocktail cup of the day, $9.00 for a small glass of sav blanc and $36.00 for a bottle of sav blanc. You can get a soft drink package for the whole cruise for about $50 or $60 but that can’t be used in drinks if you like a rum and coke for instance. My husband and I like to drink and we would have spent about $1500 for the 8 nights and I don’t think we really went overboard like others. There is no drinks package on this ship so you need to be aware that you can rack up a large bill very quickly. As for the day tours, although you could book private trips and tours, we booked on board for safety purposes. Yes it probably cost us a bit more but at least we didn’t get left behind anywhere. I’m not going to go into the tours because there is already enough said about them but I will say it was disappointing we were in Noumea on a Sunday when most of the town is closed. Swimming and snorkeling at Mare and Isle of Pines was just magical. In summary, we got through the cruise with no major weather events, no roughness and no illness and we had a great time. Personally I don’t feel I need to do this type of cruise again but others you speak to cruise 2 or 3 times a year. We found the ship to be exceptionally clean and the staff were lovely. We were also pleased to see that most people made an effort to dress for dinner and not just go out in shorts and thongs (although I’m sure the buffet area would have been quite casual). There were 2 elegant nights where the ladies made an extra effort and the men wore sports jackets. On our last night, we decided to give the cruise a rating out of 10 and we all agreed it was an 8. However an unfortunate problem since our return – last week I found on my Mastercard statement a $70 international transfer fee had been charged. We had never been advised of the possibility of that charge and there is no mention of it in the fine print. I phoned the cruise company and they said it was a bank charge. I went to the bank and they said it was because the cruise company processed the charges through their London office. I phoned the cruise company again from the bank and the lady told me this had happened a couple of times on this particular cruise, to send a copy of my statement to the email address for the Australian cruises (which she gave me) to organise a refund which I did only to receive an email from the company’s American office that basically says I have to pay it. I’m not going to and I have put a stop on the payment with my bank and I think I am about to have a fight with this cruise company which is a shame. If these fees are payable, we should be advised upfront.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my very first cruise alongside my partner, his parents and brother. After reading multiple reviews, I went along not expecting the greatest of experiences, but my mind has definitely changed. I would most definitely come back! ... Read More
This was my very first cruise alongside my partner, his parents and brother. After reading multiple reviews, I went along not expecting the greatest of experiences, but my mind has definitely changed. I would most definitely come back! Our cruise went for 8 nights and if anything, it was just the right amount of time to fully experience everything within the ship. There were three stops: Mare, Isle of Pines and Noumea. As far as I know, embarkation went pretty smoothly, the only times we were held up consisted of receiving and putting money into our Sail and Sign cards. The ship left the dock on time. Dining: From all the times I went to the main buffet (La Playa Grille), most of the food was pretty disappointing. The iced tea was tasteless and the lemon squash was pure syrup. The pizza, however, was great! Freshly made and open 24/7. Perfect for a midnight snack. The only downside is the waiting time, there were many hungry teenagers there at all hours of the day/night. We basically ate at Empire everyday at either breakfast, lunch or dinner (sometimes all three). It was always exciting to see what the menu of the day had to offer but it was basically a hit or miss. A must try is the brunch-style Mac and Cheese with Fried Chicken and the Banana Cream Pie. If you like High Tea, also visit them during their Tea Time hour. Fat Jimmy's BBQ was one of my favourites also. It didn't have a huge selection like La Playa, but if you love anything grilled and barbecued, this is the place for you. Noveau was definitely one of the highlights. The $40 add-on fee was worth every penny. Everything was cooked to perfection. The only downside was the fact that it aggressively shook and vibrated wherever we sat (not sure if there were rough seas or if the engine was directly below us). It's not a problem if you're used to the constant motion but we ate there during our second night where we were still adjusting to the whole 'sea sickness' thing. The Taste Bar is also a good little addition. They give out little tasting plates during sea days, perfect for some snacks before dinner. Louis XIV Casino: Everyone in our party didn't mind the occasional gamble sesh, so we were often here every once in awhile. The decor isn't at all appealing, but the high tech blackjack, poker and roulette tables (no dealers needed) seemed to take the attention off its dull atmosphere. It was considerably busy every night, most of the dealers were lovely but if you're a serious gambler, forget it, plenty of fresh 18yo's will ruin your game. Activities: There's literally something for everyone, you'll definitely find something to suit you. I particularly loved the Digital Scavenger Hunt where we had to run around the ship taking photos of everything on the list. If you're bored you can also go to the Monarch's Room at any time, they have a huge selection of board games available. Entertainment: I only watched a couple of shows. The singer for Poperratic (his name has escaped me), was amazing! From pop songs, oldies, opera, he nailed every single cover. The comedy shows were a hit or miss. I viewed only the adult comedy shows, two were good (quick-fire shots at all topics across the board), two were average (they both only spoke about one joke the entire hour and both were of the same sexual act). The magic shows were pretty entertaining. The table artist wasn't too bad but the flow of his acts were pretty slow. The illusionist show was pretty darn amazing filled with lights, pyrotechnics and the whole shebang, but my side view seating did give away some of her tricks. Port & Shore Excursions: Just for the record, we did not purchase any shore excursions with Carnival except the $20 transfer fee at Mare to and from Yujele Beach. Unless there's a tour that you really want to attend, I think you can explore most of the islands by yourself OR purchase a tour on the island for a lot cheaper. Mare is perfect to just spend the day at the beach on. Isle of Pines offer 1-2hr tours of the entire island for about $20-30 (our tour guide was very friendly but didn't know much English, the tour basically consisted of photo ops). I do believe you should find a tour for Noumea either with Carnival or at the Welcome Centre they drop you at. The side of the island they drop us off at isn't very explorable unless you know exactly where you're going. Duty Free Shopping: The Fun Shops aren't huge, but good enough for basic needs and souvenirs. They also offer alcohol, cigarettes (very very cheap compared to Aus prices), perfumes, cosmetics, jewellery, watches and clothing. Just also hold a few one-day sales so look out for them. The only electronics they sell are cameras, so if you're after an iPad or something, forget it. Service: I had a pleasant experience with 90% of the staff members on the ship. The other 10% went particularly rude or anything, it just seemed like they've had enough of their jobs. Anywhere you go, most staff members will smile and greet you. Majority of them are also impeccably great with names, after you introduce yourself they'll remember you for the rest of you time there. Our housekeeper/steward and our waiters (we had the same team of four nearly every dinner) offered the best service in my opinion. They took the time to get to know us and responded to all our needs. I'll always remember them! Disembarkation: Pretty smooth I guess. We chose the option to leave our luggages outside our rooms the night before and pick them up at the terminal on the day of arrival. The queues to leave the ship are somewhat long but if you haven't declared anything in customs, you're pretty much good to go. Summary: Overall, it was an amazing first cruise experience! While I'd like to try other cruise lines, I would definitely consider going back with Carnival again! If you're the kind of person who's relaxed, goes with the flow and travels with an open mind, this cruise will not disappoint you whatsoever. I will highly recommend this to all my friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just recently finished the 11 day cruise to Pacific Islands and had a ball. The excursions organised by Carnival were well organised and fully covered. While I believe that not only was the cruise great value (I had an aft cabin with ... Read More
Just recently finished the 11 day cruise to Pacific Islands and had a ball. The excursions organised by Carnival were well organised and fully covered. While I believe that not only was the cruise great value (I had an aft cabin with extended balcony), the variety of food was fantastic. But even more important, the level of service by staff was beyond expectations. From the cabin staff, waiters, bar and restaurant staff, to the entertainment and cruise directors (either Eli and Giggles are very good actors or they really love their job), it was really you who made the cruise so great. To you all, a very great thank you. I have put a low mark against the embarkation, but that is not Carnival's fault but the reconstruction of the terminal. Look forward to it being finished by the time I go on cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our first cruise so of course read multiple reviews good and bad but went on board with an open mind. The ship we thought was easy to navigate, the food sensational where the reviews the food was cold, bland etc came from I have ... Read More
This was our first cruise so of course read multiple reviews good and bad but went on board with an open mind. The ship we thought was easy to navigate, the food sensational where the reviews the food was cold, bland etc came from I have absolutely no idea. The food was fresh, hot, varied and always easy to access be it in the buffet or the Empire restaurant. We went to Empire every night if we were hungry or not as it was always fun and the kids loved show time. Lariana and Avito were such fun we loved being served by them and whether it was morning or night always had a smile on their faces. Bare in mind these staff work seven days a week for months at a time so their standard of service and their friendliness each and every day was incredible. The boat was spotless the cabins fine the variety of things to do to fill the days plentiful. We also enjoyed all three islands Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines with certainly the Isle of Pines the stand out. Boarding on and off seamless. Any negative reviews ignore them this cruise ship is a great holiday. It would be wrong not to mention Kids club to. Our girls are 6 and 7 and were so well looked after each visit. Times we did not put them into kids club we were in trouble. Wonderful service lovely supervisors with great activities we felt guilty taking them out most evenings. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First of all, we are both in our late 60's and celebrated out 45th Wedding Anniversary on the Ship, on the first night of sailing. Friday 17th October, 2014 I don't want to go over all the information that has already been said, ... Read More
First of all, we are both in our late 60's and celebrated out 45th Wedding Anniversary on the Ship, on the first night of sailing. Friday 17th October, 2014 I don't want to go over all the information that has already been said, because if you are like me and have never been on a ship of this size, I hope this bit of information and explanation help you prepare for your trip. EMBARKATION You pick your own time to board the ship from the times allocated, if your early you have to wait, so what you pick is what you get. First of you drop your luggage of then go through a pre-boarding tent just to make sure you have all your papers filled in, imigration, passports, boarding passes, etc, once that is down you then proceed to the Carnival Cruises reception desks, where they process all you information and give you a sail and go card, more on this later. Then to imigration, every person from Carnival asks to see your papers etc as you pass them before imigration so if you have not got something properly done, you will not get very far. Next you go through imigration, where you produce your passport and imigration card. Finally up the plank and into the ship, you are met by the Carnival Ship Crew, produce you sail and go card, they swip it and thats it your away on your cruise, find your cabin, drop of what you dont need, thats everything except your sail and go card, put your passports and all papers purses etc in the safe, you dont need them anymore. SAIL AND GO CARDS The ship is a cashless ship, there is no need for money once on board because everything is done with this card, ok.....when you first go to the Carnival Reception where they issue you with the card, you have the option of either using cash up from or a credit card. If you use cash and dont spend it all you get the balance back in cash on the Friday afternoon from guest services, if you use a credit card, you must nominate how much you want to put down, they them place a hold on this amount, at the end of the cruise they balance up and you get charged for what you use, it is far more convienient to use cash. You can keep a check of what you have spent on the Folio Review on the TV in the cabin, if you see that your using to much you can add more at the guest services desk on the ship......For Info only I put down $500.00, way to much.....had a great time and got lots back until my wife said, goody goody presents money for her. FOOD AND DRINKS If you go hungry then thats your fault, there is far to much food some good some bad, so just dont eat what you dont like the main eatery is deck 9, this is the Lido Deck everything is buffett style, the other place are the Empire dinging room, and there are others all around the ship, I will not spoil it for you but have fun looking they are all over the place, including a full B-B-Q called fat Jimmys, you find it. For those people who have children, there is enough drinks of various types to fill them up all free, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUy THE DRINKS CARD AT $60.00 there is no need....Beer is about $8.00 and cocktails are about $10.00........in your cabing there is a mini bar 1.25 litres of water is $4.50, cans of soft drink are all about $2.50 if you want them but on deck 9 its all free 24 hours a day. TOURS You can book Tours on the ship, the prices are inflated, the ship has to make money and the vendor has to make some, or you can choose your own tours in Noumea, the ship docks at a large container warf where free busses take you to the other terminal or into town if you want, The Ship Tours leave from the ship and bring you back in time, if your making your own arrangements make sure you are back before time cause the boat will not wait and you will become a resident or have to swim real quick. DAILY INFORMATION Each day you get what they call the Daily News for the next day, you can see whats happening and at what time, what you do is up to you, its all there, if you just want to lay by the pools then fine. SERENITY DECK At the back of the Lido Deck Deck 9, there is an adults only area for over 18 ( strictly adhered to ) there is a pool and bar and all that, they even have entertainment in there. STEAK HOUSE This is the high class Restaurant on the ship, its apppreciated if you get dolled up, if you are going to have a meal in here, its $40.00 per head but worth it with the quality of food you get, so if you get on board credit from Carnival or your Travel Agent, think about using it here. CABINS The cabins are reasonably large in area, comfortable after all you are just sleeping there, the room guru keeps it spotless, they will not come into your room if you are there, the bathroom facilitis are quite good and roomy, your suitaces fit under the bed, there are draws and shelves and warbdrobes for hanging gear, dont over pack with cloths, you can wash them yourself in the laundy or you can roll up you stuff and send them out to done for your at $18.00 per bag, if you roll them up you get more in of course. FINALLLY I see no reason why I wouldnt want to go back on the Carnival Spirit, or Legend in the future, and say this.....If there is something that you dont like politely tell someone, it will get fixed dont carry on like a pork chop, also we had nearly 500 chilren of various ages on our cruise you would have thought there was none, they were great, they get looked after by the Carnival Team so mum and dad can have the time of there life. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Review of Carnival Spirit Sydney to New Caledonia 17 October 2014 Reason for cruise: coincided with a birthday, and the price was brilliant for a ‘guaranteed’ balcony. We have sailed 7 times before on P&O Australia, Royal ... Read More
Review of Carnival Spirit Sydney to New Caledonia 17 October 2014 Reason for cruise: coincided with a birthday, and the price was brilliant for a ‘guaranteed’ balcony. We have sailed 7 times before on P&O Australia, Royal Caribbean and the longest was 5 weeks on MV Discovery (a very small ship in comparison, under 800 passengers) Our concern was how to deal with 2600 passengers, a vast number of whom were kids of all ages: would it be a case of being confined to our cabin to escape the screaming hordes? *** Overall , Carnival Spirit delighted us *** I have edited & loaded this review on TripAdvisor Carnival Spirit forum where I have loaded cabin photos PROS Cabin 7153 balcony starboard aft – D category Excellent cabin, would book this one if we travel on Spirit again. It is unusual in that it and 7155 are two cabins ‘back’ or ‘indented’ from the rows of balcony rooms next to them. In our case, this meant there was an extra balcony wall belonging to 7151 which gave us a great wind break and more privacy on that side. The cabin was bright and spacious. There are a number of reviews already on the layout of this type of cabin so I will not go into it. The beds were the best we have had on a cruise ship, just the right amount of firmness, no sagging, with two decent square pillows and what appeared to be feather filled doonas. We took the advice from others and took along an occy strap and it worked a treat to keep the door open. We had a deck chair, an adjustable chair which turned into a ‘banana lounge’ style lie down, and a small table. Our cabin was attended morning and night (and numerous times during the day!) and was always spotless (we are not the type to leave clothes lying around, unmade beds, or pile up food and drink containers etc so keeping it clean and tidy was pretty easy for our steward). Embarkation and debarkation were professional, like clockwork, best of all the cruise lines we have travelled on. An extremely well run ship: for the amount of people onboard, queues were minimal anywhere, including tendering and the buffet. Cleanliness all over was excellent. Staff: Cruise Director Emma was professional, friendly, and approachable. Not very many blaring announcements made either which was good. Her staff, who ran the games, karaoke, and other activities all were approachable, fun, friendly and professional. Dining room staff and buffet staff were like the entertainment staff, in fact, like every staff member we encountered (except for casino croupiers): approachable, fun, friendly and professional. In the buffet they constantly removed plates and drinks, cleaned tables, mopped floors, refilled machines etc all with good grace. In the dining room service was professional and friendly but not over the top smarmy and no sob stories about the families they were supporting etc like we encountered each time on Royal Caribbean. The food in the dining room for dinner every night was delicious* and the servings were a good size too (and we occasionally requested a second dessert if they were particularly tasty). Initially we were taken aback by the singing and dancing which took place after the main course each night but after a couple of nights we got into it too. The maitre d’ was very inclusive and spoke on a number of occasions highly of her dining room staff which was nice: every other maitre d’ we have encountered on other ships stands on his/her little platform for the entire evening with no interaction. *Tip: don’t bother ordering the cheese platter: it is pathetic Activities were many and varied, and there was something for all ages. The trophies ‘ships on sticks’ were highly sought after!! The best prizes we have come across, beat pens and caps.. lots of fun! The only times we encountered the 100s of kids en masse was when walking past the two pools where they and their families congregated: forget swimming in those two pools and sitting in the two spas unless you want to sit with 20 kids: I had no idea so many could fit into a spa! The adults only area has a very small pool (highly chlorinated) and a spa, and the Gym has a spa too. Lots of little ones spent their days in the various kids’ camps and you would see them all sitting in their own area in the buffet for dinner: very cute. There were plenty of areas to go for adult company. We are not drinkers so I cannot comment on the bars though there were plenty of them. We also don’t gamble but I did want to learn how to play Blackjack; however, the croupiers were very snooty and lessons were not forthcoming; either play with money and learn as you go (lose) or don’t play. The Library shares its small space with the computers; some chairs and some lounges and a decent selection of books; however, unlike the other ships we have been on, the library cupboards were locked and only opened twice a day for an hour and books had to be physically booked out by a staff member. If you are a reader, best to take a few of your own. The Donations section had only a selection of bible pamphlets and two old quilting magazines. We watched one day as the duty staff member collected and looked through the day’s donations and turned them into ‘owned by the ship’ books. CONS Food quality and layout of the buffet: Other reviewers have commented on the food and layout of the La Playa buffet and I agree with the negatives: too much on the bland, fried side, very little fresh fruit or salads offered. Unless you got to a food station when the food had just been put into the warming trays hot, you ended up with lukewarm meals. The layout was disorientating, even by day 8 we were still backtracking at times. The made on the spot omelettes were the only things we saw cooked on the spot, with the exception of the 24 hour pizza. Interestingly there were no huge queues at any time we visited the buffet, except for the chocolate fondue one day when the queue was enormous and interestingly I saw fruit on skewers offered that I had not seen before; they were for dipping in the molten chocolate along with the fried donuts, marshmallows etc. Cereals were available during breakfast, and also orange juice and a fruit cocktail juice in addition to the 24 hour tea, coffee, water and the icky sweet lemon cordial. Production shows Were okay. The singers and dancers put their hearts and souls into their productions but they were disjointed and with no discernible story lines: Royal Caribbean have that part of a cruise down pat. The adults only comedy club was hit and miss, according to what comedian was on. We had 4 over the 8 night cruise : comedy is personal, of course, but we found the first two (Tahir and Michael) very good – funny, but not outright smutty and not relying on constant four letter words, but the other two on the return journey were more suited to the old Smoko/men’s night outs: a few of us thought that if you have to have every second word a four letter one, then that detracts from the jokes, and there were some rather derogatory jokes about larger women and as there were quite a few larger, younger women on board and at the shows, I saw some of them were upset by the jokes. Overall, yes we would go on Carnival Spirit again, or try Carnival Legend, but only after comparing other cruise lines visiting the same destinations: with us, at this stage of our life, (recently retired) price is our main factor when choosing a cruise line.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
my family and I have been on the Carnival twice already and both times our cruise were most memorable. In 2013 we were on a 14 night cruise and then again in 2014 a shorter 9 night cruise and our kids loved every bit of it. from the ... Read More
my family and I have been on the Carnival twice already and both times our cruise were most memorable. In 2013 we were on a 14 night cruise and then again in 2014 a shorter 9 night cruise and our kids loved every bit of it. from the amazing balcony cabin on deck 8 to the vast expanse and choice of food. the kids especially loved the kids club and we barely got to see them throughout the cruise because they loved the kids activities that much. which meant that hubby and I felt as if we were on our honeymoon all over again:) The friendly crew and cast array of things to do from shopping in the duty free shops to just lounging on the serenity deck sipping a cocktail you could never go wrong going on such an amazing experience. In fact we love cruising with Carnival so much that we have convinced friends and their family to go on a cruise as well and we are all so excited that we are going booked in December this year with our friends on yet another memorable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We were unsure if cruising was our kind of holiday so decided there was only one way to find out we booked a deal on Carnival Spirit. Six of us booked (3 couples) and with great excitement embarked in Sydney ready for our island get away. ... Read More
We were unsure if cruising was our kind of holiday so decided there was only one way to find out we booked a deal on Carnival Spirit. Six of us booked (3 couples) and with great excitement embarked in Sydney ready for our island get away. Embarking was relatively painless as was finding our cabin. The cabin was great (extended balcony) roomy with lots of storage and lovely comfy king bed. TIP take your card with deck layout with you when venturing out this may save walking around and finding your self at the wrong end of the ship. Food was great and we enjoyed the buffet and the Empire restaurant was fabulous both the food and the service was top notch. TIP if you can eat either a little early or late this will avoid queue's at the buffet and walking round and round hoping to find free table. Tea and coffee machines were always crowded at main dining times. Process to get on and off at ports was a bit tedious if you don't like cues and waiting, glad the tender rides were short as the sea was a bit rough. Not a lot to do in Islands if you don't book a tour. Our weather was not great so no sitting on beach getting a tan. Weather was overcast most of cruise and the 2 days leaving and returning to Sydney the sea was very rough particularly the return trip. Walking in the ship was a challenge in the conditions. Carnival of course cannot control that. When we boarded I had a head cold as did I think about 30% of the 2000 passengers. That figure went up to about + 50% over the 9 days. TIP Doctor visit minimum $125.00 just to see the doc, seeing nurse is cheaper. To sum up the ship and crew were great and you can do as much or little as you like on a cruise but just remember it will be you and all the other passengers doing it so it can be frustrating finding a space or waiting in line.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
In August 2014, my fiancé and I boarded Carnival Spirit for a 9 night cruise to the South Pacific to attend a friend's 40th birthday. There were 16 of us in the group and the party was themed 'Come as your favourite Superhero ... Read More
In August 2014, my fiancé and I boarded Carnival Spirit for a 9 night cruise to the South Pacific to attend a friend's 40th birthday. There were 16 of us in the group and the party was themed 'Come as your favourite Superhero and we will take over the ship'. My fiancé wasn't terribly interested in the South Pacific as a destination but we certainly enjoyed the cruise with a large group of people. Having set the bar high with our first cruise ever on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas in 2012, we were also interested to see what other cruise lines could offer and how their ships measured up. Travel to embarkation Port + Embarkation As we travelled from interstate to Sydney, we flew in on the morning of the cruise. After a slight hiccup when our carrier decided to cancel our early morning flight (which caused me to go into a minor panic momentarily), we flew out on the next available flight to Sydney. As we did on our last cruise, we caught the train directly from the airport to Circular Quay where the ship was docked. The train service is quick and easy to use with services at very regular intervals during the day. A one way trip on the train costs AUD$17.00 for an adult fare. Once at the Circular Quay OPT (Overseas Passenger Terminal), we dropped our bags at the baggage drop off tent which was very quick and painless. I made sure all of our paperwork was in order well before we left so we had no problems. Our last experience of the OPT was very disappointing as embarkation took us 2 hours so we were really hoping that this scenario wouldn't happen again. We had chosen the earliest embarkation time of 12.30pm and despite our delayed flight, we made it there right on 12.30pm. The OPT was in the middle of being renovated so there was a lot of work being done (and it looks unsightly) but despite this, our embarkation this time was relatively quick and painless. From the time we started waiting in line to when we walked up the gangway of the ship, it took approximately 30 minutes (including the obligatory 'welcome' photo!). Ship Information Carnival Spirit is an interesting ship with lots of (some people might call it gaudy!) décor and decorations. I thought this added to the character of the ship and I wasn't disappointed or offended by the surroundings. There were plenty of places just to sit and relax or hide away if you wished. The ship itself is quite well laid out and we had no problem navigating our way around. Once you did a few laps, it was pretty clear where to find everything. The public areas were always kept clean and tidy. I must admit, I missed going up to the front of the ship like I could on Radiance but it wasn't really a big deal. The Serenity adults only area was a great idea but certainly not big enough. Most of the time, especially if the weather was good, it was very difficult to find a 'pod' in this area and I didn't see any time limits enforced. It was a good area for a quiet drink and the entertainment was also reasonable, at least you could find an area to get away from the noisy kids in the main pool area. One afternoon, while sitting near the main pool area, the noise from the kids was so loud it could have pierced your eardrums! Unfortunately, the whirlpools in this area were also clogged with kids 90% of the day so there was no way that adults could get in and enjoy their holiday peacefully. This ship has been 'Aussified' for it's new home port of Sydney so everything was in Australian Dollars (except in the Casino where I think transactions were done in USD) and this meant no tipping (yay!). The Carnival staff are good at what they do and we didn't encounter an unfriendly staff member during our cruise, although some of the staff could have performed their jobs better. Our cabin steward we didn't see much of but she was great, unobtrusive and serviced our cabin very well. The Cruise Director (Giggles) was always visible in one way or another, you could always hear her laughing around the ship, whether it was on the TV or in real time. I don't know how she manages the energy sometimes! I was also pleased to see that the Captain was more visible on this cruise than I expected - our group was lucky to get a few photos with him and he even managed to come and perform the 'ice bucket challenge' on one of our group on one of the sea days. The muster drill seemed to go on for longer than what it should have but it is a necessary part of the cruise so we didn't mind too much. Cabin We had a Premium Balcony cabin (Cat 9B) on this cruise and it's really a Suite cabin without the cost! What a great cabin if you can get it as there are only 8 of these on the ship (2 with an obstructed view). The cabin was quiet, well located and we had a huge amount of room. In the cabin, there was a large queen/king bed, a desk + chair, couch, coffee table, bar fridge (with drinks & snacks you could purchase), safe, 2 good size wardrobes with drawers and the bathroom was also a good size with a good size shower. The pressure and water temp of the shower was also good and we had no problem with any flooding or plumbing. The panel behind the toilet was quite unsightly though, having been accessed and slapped back on with silicone everywhere but this was a minor detail and everything functioned as it should on our cruise. There is only one Australian power point in the cabin so make sure you take one or two universal converters (I'm pretty sure all the other plugs were European). The TV was a flat screen but not much in the way of programming on it. There was a news channel or two, documentary channel, movie channel and the ship's information channel. You could also check your account balance and transactions on the TV. The balcony was a reasonable size for the cabin type with two chairs, a table and a lounger. We took a bungee cord to keep the balcony door open if we wanted some fresh air. Dining To be honest, the food was pretty reasonable if you knew what to get. I didn't care much for the layout of the La Playa Grille buffet. Most of the time, just getting to the different stations was an effort with lines of people everywhere you went. Getting a coffee in the morning from the machines was quite a challenge at times. We didn't eat a lot from the pre-prepared food stations; the quality of the food from these stations were on the poor side and the temperature of the hot food was generally lukewarm or cold unless you managed to score something freshly made. As we tended to sleep in quite late each morning on sea days, I usually went for the freshly made omelette station for breakfast which was an absolute gem. The chef was always friendly and accommodating of your customised omelette request. The other great thing about the grill was the pizza station and we used this frequently. If you weren't too worried about paying for a decent coffee, the coffee shop next to the pizza station served up a reasonable brew. In fact, the coffee on Spirit was much better than we had on Radiance. I also had a fresh made toasted sandwich from the deli one day which was also very good. One other thing that was very noticeable on Spirit which we didn't have a problem with on Radiance was the ship's vibration while seated in the grill. The first day or so on a ship we usually have to adjust gaining our sea legs and the vibration made us both feel awful on the first morning of the cruise. The waiters and staff clearing away plates and walking around with water and a selection of drinks were wonderful. They were always friendly and it wasn't hard to find them, it was harder trying to find a decent free table though, especially at peak times. The Empire restaurant The food and service in the restaurant is top notch! We had opted for My Time dining but as we were a large group, we normally opted to book and sit together at dinner time most nights. A special mention must go to the Maitre d, Dessi Kostova! Her exceptional service and finding us a table every evening was certainly much appreciated by all of us in the group. If a table wasn't available, we took a buzzer and headed out to the Artist's lobby for a drink at the bar but we never had to wait long. Dessi's nightly cry (or whisper) of 'It's Showtime!!' during dinner prepared us for the dinnertime entertainment and we all participated in the dancing antics. The food was plentiful, the right temperature and there was a great selection as well. Our waiters were always on hand, although sometimes they were very busy and took a little longer to get what we wanted. Sometimes we waited quite a long time to order our drinks or for them to arrive but otherwise we had no complaints. Nouveau Steakhouse On our first sea day, we all went to the Nouveau Steakhouse for dinner. Unfortunately, I must say that I was disappointed with the food. The steak was overdone and I think that the $35 pp cover charge was certainly not worth it. In my opinion, Royal Caribbean does this much better. The staff weren't impressed with our group as some of them had a little too much to drink during the day so were quite rowdy. I think that this detracted from our overall experience because the staff were on edge and I felt like they were trying to get rid of the group as soon as they could (and I guess rightfully so!). The ship vibration was amplified quite significantly in the restaurant for some reason so neither my fiancé nor myself felt really great during dinner. Other Dining One night, my fiancé and I tried a burger and chips (which we paid for) from the outdoor grill near the main pool (can't remember the name of the place) and although a little greasy, it was very quiet there when we ate and the burgers were good, very filling. Another place to try which is excellent (also additional cost) is the Fountain Café on the Promenade Deck forward. We went there almost daily for a decent coffee and the Chocolate Layer cake is to die for! There was no way that we could eat a piece of this each so we got one piece to share and we still couldn't finish it! They also had a huge layered carrot cake there as well but we didn't try that one. A few times, we also tried Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ on the Sun Deck aft. The food was good but make sure you get there just as they are opening or you'll have to wait in a huge line to get any food. There are some outdoor stools and tables on each side of the ship to accommodate the Fat Jimmy's diners but beware - if it is a windy sea day, be prepared for your food to be blown all over the place, including off the table! If it is windy, take your food down to the La Playa Grille or near the main pool area where there is undercover seating away from the wind. Activities and Entertainment My fiancé and I aren't really into the shows so much so we only went to a couple of the comedy shows in the 'Punchliner Club' (Versaille Lounge) on the Riviera Deck. The comedians were hit and miss depending on who was doing the show. If you want a seat, make sure you arrive early - we arrived a short time after the show started one night and it was packed with standing room only. The casino is a place that a lot of our group frequented some nights as most of them were hooked on the automatic poker machine! While we didn't take part much, it was fun watching everyone sitting around the table losing their money! There were some machines in the casino where you had to move an arm and fit a shape through a keyhole or similar but beware - these suck you in and unless you set a budget, you could lose your money very quickly! The same goes for the token machine where it pushes tokens and sometimes cards or notes down into the catch area where you get less money for them than what you put in. The interactive activities offered during the cruise were good (eg. trivia, treasure hunt) but beware of the huge number of kids participating in some of these, they'll knock you over in the process to win so choose your activities carefully! The bingo is overpriced and has a high participation rate but ok to pass the time. We found the 'Battle of the Sexes' and other show style activities held in the Pharoh's Palace very funny. Our group decided that the 'ship on a stick' trophies were a very coveted item during the cruise so went all out to get a few of them (and they were quite successful!). A couple of nights at the end of the cruise we discovered the 'Music Manila' band playing in Club Cool. What an awesome band! We found ourselves singing along and getting involved in their music. They were very interactive with the crowd and some of the passengers even got up to sing with them. Carnival really needs to keep this group on their ships for as long as they are available because they are VERY good. We didn't use the video arcade but there were a number of machines in there when we went to look. Likewise the waterslides which were not always working during the cruise but on the good days, there was quite a line of people waiting to jump on. Neither of us utilised the gym but there seemed to be a lot of equipment in there. In addition, we didn't use the spa either as it was pretty pricey. I preferred to wait until I got home and went to my normal beautician at half the price. There was no shortage of things to do and there was lots for both young and old to enjoy. Port & shore excursions During our last cruise, I made the mistake of booking too many shore excursions so this time I didn't book any and decided to make everything up as we went. Our first port of call was Isle of Pines which is a beautiful island. Rather than brave the masses of people snorkelling around in the lagoon, we went for a walk and found a small food place and bar on the foreshore with the ship in view. The service was on 'island time' so they were very slow but the local beer was great even if it was expensive (AUD$15 per bottle!). Our second port of call was Lifou. This island was also beautiful although we were very disappointed that we missed out on the Jinek Bay snorkelling area tour which was booked out not long after we boarded the ship in Sydney. I was particularly annoyed that some people had booked but had either not turned up or spent very little time there when we really wanted to go. You could not buy tickets at the venue and the amount of people allowed was just 100 (out of approx. 2000 on the ship). Instead, we walked past Jinek Bay and up to the church on the hill. The views from the top were quite nice. We then walked back down and right up the beach opposite where the ship was anchored and snorkelled off the beach there. Unfortunately, the water became progressively rougher while we were snorkelling so we decided to go back to the ship after about 2 hours of snorkelling there. We did see a few fish there, but I think that Jinek Bay would have been much better as it was more sheltered. The third stop was Noumea and buses were provided to get us to the information centre in town. We didn't do a shore excursion here so decided to explore the town on our own. Unfortunately we were there on a Monday so almost everything was closed. Noumea town is dirty and really needs to be cleaned up. The locals weren't overly friendly and we were very aware with them around us because quite a few just looked dodgy. We didn't spend long in the town (only about 1.5 hours maximum) before we got the bus back to the ship. It seemed that Carnival saved the best port for last - Mare. What a beautiful and welcoming little island! When we got off the tenders, the local schoolchildren and a singing group greeted us as we came ashore. The schoolchildren were eager to find out where we had all come from and asked plenty of questions in good English. I thought they were very cute. The night before, we decided to pay the AUD$15 pp to take the bus to the other end of the island and go snorkelling from Yejele Beach. Yejele Beach is an absolute idyllic white beach with amazing snorkelling. We spent a lot of time in the sheltered lagoon and discovered a huge array of fish, a turtle (before a young child found it and scared it off) and a moray eel in it's hidey hole (which I think very few other people discovered while we were there). The locals set up small makeshift stalls on the beach selling some drinks, local finger food and hair braiding. We really enjoyed our day at the beach even though it was very busy with the majority of the other cruise passengers also in the same space. This was the only 'shore excursion' available on Mare. Disembarkation The disembarkation process was very quick and we were off the ship and collected our bags within 30 minutes. Carnival had an option of leaving your bags outside your cabin the night before or a 'self service' option where you took them off yourself. It was busy trying to get off and you waited in lines but overall, the process wasn't too painful. Summary We really enjoyed our cruise on Carnival Spirit and we would cruise with this line again given the opportunity. Unfortunately, the weather was not great for the duration of our cruise but that, of course, can't be helped. It was quite rough on the return trip during the sea days in particular (60 knot winds & large seas). There were some things that were done better on Carnival than Royal Caribbean (for example, our room was of a better size for the price we paid) but we only prefer Royal Caribbean as we enjoy their ship layout, dining options and 'wow' activities (rock climbing anyone?) more. That said, there were a few areas where RCL could have improved, for example, the embarkation process was woeful so we hope this improves for our next cruise. Overall though, we could not have asked for a better experience with Carnival - it's a shame that the cruise wasn't longer!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Myself and my family recently went on the Carnival spirit, and being our first cruise i wasn't sure what to expect! All the things i was questioning?? how big is the boat really? Will i get sea sick? will the kids have fun? will it ... Read More
Myself and my family recently went on the Carnival spirit, and being our first cruise i wasn't sure what to expect! All the things i was questioning?? how big is the boat really? Will i get sea sick? will the kids have fun? will it be clean? will the food be nice? will the islands really be as beautiful as the pictures you see? Well let me tell u...... the boat was HUGE i knew it was big but until u actually see it up close u cant even imagine! Once on board it got bigger, if that's possible. There was 11 levels of outstanding decor, the staterooms were amazing and the rest was truly breathtaking. No we did not get sick out of 5 of us! 2 adults and 3 kids aged 4-6-8. We did take Kwills tablets the night b4 and the first day to be sure. The kids had the best fun! they were begging us to go to the kids rooms. They made friends and lots of cool stuff! At one stage my eldest was crying cos i said we were having dinner together!! It was so so so clean! public toilets on the ship were top notch! always being cleaned, to the point of i ran into the cleaners constantly when going in. Staterooms were very cleaned and the turn-down service was very nice :) The food!!!!! what can i say but YUMMO im rather picky and hubby is a chef and we and the kids were very satisfied with the variety in the buffet and the tasts were amazing.The BBQ up top was delicious, amazing pork. The restaurant was great too great food and entertainment each night. Now to the islands.... yes they are just as stunning in person as the pictures. I would definitely suggest to book some on shore excursions with the boat as i did feel better being with our own group.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I are on a limited budget, but this cruise enabled us to travel, to enjoy fine dining, to enjoy the shows and get thoroughly spoiled at a price we could afford. Embarkation was well organised. Our cabin was small but there ... Read More
My husband and I are on a limited budget, but this cruise enabled us to travel, to enjoy fine dining, to enjoy the shows and get thoroughly spoiled at a price we could afford. Embarkation was well organised. Our cabin was small but there was enough space, the food was good, the crew were excellent, the shows were of a much higher standard than I'd been expecting. Dining room, lounge areas and the lido deck were kept clean and tidy, despite some guests leaving things in a mess. We enjoyed the ports, particularly snorkelling at Mystery Island and Isle of Pines. That was amazing. For the most part, the other passengers were friendly. There were a lot of kids on board, but most of the ones we struck were polite and well behaved. The big negative of the cruise was when a crew member was lost overboard. However, the crew handled the situation sensitively and appropriately. We were disappointed to miss Port Denerou, but that was not Carnival's fault. We both experienced more seasickness than we thought we would, but it got better after the first day or two. Would I recommend Carnival Spirit for a holiday? Absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
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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