We usually cruise with Princess, but decided to branch out and try other cruise lines.
I am so glad we did. For the money we normally pay on princess we were able to afford a suite on Carnival Spirit. (See cabin review below) 4226.
We arrived at the airport to be greeted by a Carnival rep. We did have to wait an hour for other people to arrive and were ushered to the bus. We were given our boarding cards on the bus and as we had a suite we were given priority boarding. This was extremely quick. We were on the ship in no time. There was quite a queue without priority boarding.
The ship is very loud and a little tackily overdressed. But as the cruise goes on it sort of grows on you.
The food was way below what I am accustomed to, but it was fresh and tasty.
I am used to having wheels of cheese, cut freshly, and deli meats cut fresh (Princess style), not pre cut cubes of cheese and slices of meat. In saying that, I am very fussy, and it all comes down to what you pay for.
The sandwich shop in the cafeteria was very good, also the pizza. The rest I could take or leave it. We did the chefs table, this was a fabulous experience, the food divine, and good wine. The Taste bar also served lovely little snacks as a pre dinner drink every sea day. We did not eat at the BBQ as there were large queues every day. The Empire dining room seemed to serve little pots of food on your plate, meaning to me, that many of the items were kept in an oven and reheated. Overall the food was always fresh and of a serviceable standard. As I said before you get what you pay for.
The Serenity deck was a really nice touch. no children, and pods that protect you from the wind. A lovely way to spend the day. This was my favourite part of the boat. Princess charge extra $15 for this service. I have never used it on a Princess ship as I begrudge paying extra for using a space that in my mind I have already paid for. So big tick Carnival.
All staff were amazing, service was outstanding, especially bar and food staff. Thanks Nancy and Michael for making our holiday a little extra special. I hope you both enjoy Melbourne this week.
The ship was extremely clean, our room impeccable, and noise free. We had water like glass every day, and the water was 25 degrees every day. A perfect time of year to do the South Pacific. We visited Isle Of Pines, we just wandered around and soaked up the serenity, we bought a large half lobster, and sat in a picture perfect bay on some rocks and ate it with our hands. Perfection.
The next stop was Mare, we decided to stay on the ship and only spent an hour on shore as there is nothing to do in Mare. Then Noumea. I love Noumea, we wandered over to the fresh food market (only open in the mornings), then strolled around town, got on a local bus out to the aquarium, then made our way back to town. We went to the local supermarket, and bought some French cheese and baguette. We sat in the gardens on the foreshore and broke off our baguette and Comte, and had a lovely time.
All in all our experience with Carnival was very worthwhile and we will definatley cruise with them again.
Very large cabin with a standard size balcony, was very quiet and suited us perfectly. The spa bath was a nice touch. There is a lot of carry-on in blogs about this cabin. The cabin is perfectly serviceable. There are stairs you can see from inside the cabin if you have the second set of curtains open, but they are hardly used, and you cannot see inside the cabin from the stairs. I would take this cabin again. It is in a great spot, the stairs give you an alternative way of getting around the boat. I really don't know what some people expect, all the negative reviews had me really worried about this cabin I had booked, but after being on board and in the cabin for a week, I believe that the majority of the reviews are over the top and nit picking. Remember you get what you pay for. This is a Junior suite, a large room, with a standard size balcony. Book it and enjoy it