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I traveled on the Spirit to Alaska on my Honeymoon last year with my husband. It was our first cruise experience. We chose Carnival because they offer a wedding registry program, where your wedding guests can make purchases toward your trip. We found this to be a great way to supplement our costs and it cut down on cumbersome gifts to transport home after our destination wedding. We found the redemption of the honeymoon gift credits a bit clunky as they wanted to send us a check for the total value to reimburse us after we returned from our cruise. We complained via email, as we wanted the value actually applied (as advertised) toward our cruise excursion, rather than to pay up front and be reimbursed weeks later. Carnival was quick to correct the issue and our funds did end up being applied correctly to our cruise balance during the trip. Being as this was our first cruise, we arrived extra early to the terminal as we didn't know what to expect. We found the embarkation process easy and efficient. The line was quick moving and we were checked-in before we knew it. We were pushed through another line for a quick cheesy photo and then we waited to be called for boarding. Since we arrived early, we had a while to wait but with limited seats as the terminal was already filled so we had to sit on the floor. The lack of seating in the terminal waiting area is my only real criticism for the embarkation process, and I'm not sure that is really Carnival's fault. Once we were called, we boarded with ease. It was all very smooth and quick. Upon entering the atrium of the Spirit, I was struck by the overwhelming tackiness of the lobby. I don't mean that in a bad way, it was kind of cool... like a throwback to the glitzy gold Vegas casinos. The atrium had soaring ceilings, with gold framed glass elevators, draped with rows of lights that caught that your eye as they travel slowly up and down. On the other side of the atrium, a bar was nestled between a grand staircase that descended down around each side of it. Whether you like the gaudiness or hated it, it was quite eye catching nonetheless. As we were heading straight for the previously mentioned atrium bar, we we passed a table doing a sales pitch to sell the new all-you-can-drink bar package. I don't recall the exact name of the package, but it was just that... an all you can drink package, where you pay a flat price for unlimited drinks. It was a little spendy but not much over what we had budgeted for drinks... hey, it was our honeymoon so we had budged quite a bit. So, we decided to take the plunge and buy the package. I'm not sure if we "got our money's worth" but we sure had fun trying all the different fancy drinks throughout the cruise. One thing I would recommend when you are considering this deal is not to forget the limited time you will be drinking on board during port days. We figured a certain number of drinks per day to make the package worth it, but forgot that we would have a lot less hours to achieve our "quota" on port days. We had dinner in the main dining room 6 nights and the steakhouse 1 night. The main dining room was a bit drab and could use some freshening up in the near future, lots of big bold patterns competing on various surfaces throughout the space. Our waiters were attentive and recalled our preferences after the first day, which was a nice touch. Our bartender, Tinkerbell (as she went by), was friendly but did seem spread a bit thin. Sometimes it took a little longer than it should have to receive our beverages. The food was good, not great. We tried a variety of items, some were very tasty and others just so-so. We missed lobster day, so I can't speak to that personally but our table-mates said it was good but the size of the tail was on the small side. Dinner at the steakhouse was very good. The decor is a little more contemporary and fresh, compared to other areas of the ship. The restaurant is located on an upper floor and we were seated with a lovely view of the ocean at a quite two-top. The service was excellent, even better than the main dining room. I had the fresh fish and my hubby had NY strip for the main course and I had soup and my hubby had escargot for the appetizer. The meal was memorable and worth the money. We didn't spend much time in the casino. It was really smoky in there and it bothered me, so we pretty much just passed through. We went to two of the comedy shows, unfortunately I don't recall the names of the comedians. One was pretty funny, probably equivalent to a good opener at a good land comedy theater, and the other was terrible, we actually left in the middle of the show. Overall, I wasn't too impressed with the caliber of comedy. We didn't see any of the big live shows during the cruise, but we did attend some of the informational talks given by the on-board naturalist. Those were very interesting and given during the day. We went to one on Alaska wildlife and one on glaciers. I feel that the info we learned helped us better appreciate our experience during our excursions.

Gaudy & Loving It

Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by Mrs_L

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2012
  • Destination: Alaska
I traveled on the Spirit to Alaska on my Honeymoon last year with my husband. It was our first cruise experience. We chose Carnival because they offer a wedding registry program, where your wedding guests can make purchases toward your trip. We found this to be a great way to supplement our costs and it cut down on cumbersome gifts to transport home after our destination wedding. We found the redemption of the honeymoon gift credits a bit clunky as they wanted to send us a check for the total value to reimburse us after we returned from our cruise. We complained via email, as we wanted the value actually applied (as advertised) toward our cruise excursion, rather than to pay up front and be reimbursed weeks later. Carnival was quick to correct the issue and our funds did end up being applied correctly to our cruise balance during the trip.
Being as this was our first cruise, we arrived extra early to the terminal as we didn't know what to expect. We found the embarkation process easy and efficient. The line was quick moving and we were checked-in before we knew it. We were pushed through another line for a quick cheesy photo and then we waited to be called for boarding. Since we arrived early, we had a while to wait but with limited seats as the terminal was already filled so we had to sit on the floor. The lack of seating in the terminal waiting area is my only real criticism for the embarkation process, and I'm not sure that is really Carnival's fault.
Once we were called, we boarded with ease. It was all very smooth and quick. Upon entering the atrium of the Spirit, I was struck by the overwhelming tackiness of the lobby. I don't mean that in a bad way, it was kind of cool... like a throwback to the glitzy gold Vegas casinos. The atrium had soaring ceilings, with gold framed glass elevators, draped with rows of lights that caught that your eye as they travel slowly up and down. On the other side of the atrium, a bar was nestled between a grand staircase that descended down around each side of it. Whether you like the gaudiness or hated it, it was quite eye catching nonetheless.
As we were heading straight for the previously mentioned atrium bar, we we passed a table doing a sales pitch to sell the new all-you-can-drink bar package. I don't recall the exact name of the package, but it was just that... an all you can drink package, where you pay a flat price for unlimited drinks. It was a little spendy but not much over what we had budgeted for drinks... hey, it was our honeymoon so we had budged quite a bit. So, we decided to take the plunge and buy the package. I'm not sure if we "got our money's worth" but we sure had fun trying all the different fancy drinks throughout the cruise. One thing I would recommend when you are considering this deal is not to forget the limited time you will be drinking on board during port days. We figured a certain number of drinks per day to make the package worth it, but forgot that we would have a lot less hours to achieve our "quota" on port days.
We had dinner in the main dining room 6 nights and the steakhouse 1 night.
The main dining room was a bit drab and could use some freshening up in the near future, lots of big bold patterns competing on various surfaces throughout the space. Our waiters were attentive and recalled our preferences after the first day, which was a nice touch. Our bartender, Tinkerbell (as she went by), was friendly but did seem spread a bit thin. Sometimes it took a little longer than it should have to receive our beverages. The food was good, not great. We tried a variety of items, some were very tasty and others just so-so. We missed lobster day, so I can't speak to that personally but our table-mates said it was good but the size of the tail was on the small side.
Dinner at the steakhouse was very good. The decor is a little more contemporary and fresh, compared to other areas of the ship. The restaurant is located on an upper floor and we were seated with a lovely view of the ocean at a quite two-top. The service was excellent, even better than the main dining room. I had the fresh fish and my hubby had NY strip for the main course and I had soup and my hubby had escargot for the appetizer. The meal was memorable and worth the money.
We didn't spend much time in the casino. It was really smoky in there and it bothered me, so we pretty much just passed through.
We went to two of the comedy shows, unfortunately I don't recall the names of the comedians. One was pretty funny, probably equivalent to a good opener at a good land comedy theater, and the other was terrible, we actually left in the middle of the show. Overall, I wasn't too impressed with the caliber of comedy.
We didn't see any of the big live shows during the cruise, but we did attend some of the informational talks given by the on-board naturalist. Those were very interesting and given during the day. We went to one on Alaska wildlife and one on glaciers. I feel that the info we learned helped us better appreciate our experience during our excursions.
Mrs_L’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Our cabin was roomier then I expected. This was our first cruise, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I had really prepared myself for a closet sized cabin and was pleasantly surprised. There was enough space for our things in the closets, although we did have to request extra hangers from our cabin steward. The bathroom was small but with good space provided via several small shelves flanking each side of the vanity. The shower was small and with a curtain only, and it was equipped with some mystery soap that I elected not to use. The balcony was small but nice. Two chairs and a small table, nothing fancy but excellent for seeing the beautiful Alaskan views.
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