Spirit Mexican Riviera 1/23/09: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by woodey

Carnival Spirit 5
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Spirit Mexican Riviera 1/23/09

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: San Diego
Carnival Spirit January 23rd 2009 Exotic Mexican Riviera

First let me tell you a little bit about me and why we went on this cruise My DB got a group together for this cruise there were 54 sailing in this group of Friends and Family. Plus there was the Cruise Critic /Troublemaker Group of about 40.

We spent the Night in San Diego at The Ramada Hotel Circle the night before, the room was OK not great but it had a shuttle to and from the Port which took us 10 minutes to get there, and they offered free parking for the week we were on the Cruise. we had Lunch At Anthony's Fish Grotto as always it was a great Lunch.

The Embark in San Diego was a lot busier then I had experienced in the past when we originally arrived about 11am there was a long line to check in the bags we waited for about 10 minutes and the outside porters showed up and took our bags then. It would have been 30 plus minutes if we had to wait in that line... we then went to lunch and after More words went to check in for the cruise the line to get past security was about 10 people it was pretty fast... but the line to check in was about 300 plus... My Wife uses a scooter which puts us in the VIP line so we only had a 4 person wait... after we checked in we proceeded to the wait to board line which we where invited on right away they called out Zone numbers and were Boarding on zone 5 and passing out zone 11 tickets so we got on the ship in about a total of 30 minutes... my family took about a hour or so to get the same thing accomplished

Once onboard we went straight to the room to drop off our carry-on our room was open and no Stewart around so we dropped and ran to the Lido...grabbed a DOD and walked around checking things out... Nice ship.... It is our first time on the Spirit or even a Spirit Class Ship...I liked the layout it was easy to maneuver around for my wife in her scooter We sat and talked until 1:30 and then went back to the room. We stayed in cabin 8239 on the Promenade deck. Which is a Handicap room that has a different layout then most room it was more of a square layout with a huge balcony (pictures to follow) we liked the layout it gave us enough room to store to scooter so we did not have to trip over it like we have in other cabins in the past...In fact we stored it in the bathroom which was huge as far as bathrooms go. As far as I am concerned this room fit our needs perfectly Cat.8H...if your HC you will love this room we met our Room Stewart Jana I gave him the upfront $20 and asked to fill up my Ice Chest and keep it filled...I had to ask him a few time to keep it filled and even called room service twice for ice but besides that he did a great job...

Dining Room Opened right at 6pm every night not a minute earlier, which created along line that went all the way through the casino. For those of you who have not cruised Spirit, the Dining room is one the 2nd and 3rd floor (ours 2nd) aft. Our cabin in aft so when we would come down to the dining room the line went on forever... I am not a line cutter but I made the exception after I saw the line it made no since to me. I did stand in line a few times once after the Past Guest party that is how I know it went through the casino... I can also assume it went farther back to the theater....

Our Dining room Staff was the Best I have had... Ida (pronounced Eda ) and AG her Assistant....Great Great Job there ... look for them... We had table 211 which sits 8 all family members and friends Food has been good every night I am not disappointed at all.

Other places to eat have all been good The omelets have been tasty, and they have Great Burgers... I have no very few complaints with the food..... The Pizza was OK for Pizza. I had a good sandwich at the Deli for Lunch one day...My DS tried the Sushi bar and did not like it...

I bought a Soda Card for $48 plus tip on the first day, it is $6 a day... I don't do a lot of Juices but I have noticed that the only Drinks available are Iced tea, Lemonade, and Coffee... The Coffee was the worst I have drank... I have read others complained about the coffee before but my Elation cruise last year I found the coffee to be great. Not this time....I love baileys coffee in the morning to help wake up ...I smuggled some onboard and because of the coffee I will have to smuggle it back off board as well....

The Casino is pretty tight I have not won anything yet...Which I hope to change that soon...(like I said I am writing this onboard) We met the Casino Host Eva My DB and myself received a letter from the Casino welcoming us back and wished to add 500 points to our S&S card plus a free drink so who could say no to a free drink....she was a very nice lady, offering to buy us as well as everyone with us at the time a drink we got a Margarita which they served us in a carnival glass ...Nice touch. Through put the Cruise we ran in to Eva several times and she is a great person...I wrote the Director of Casino Operations and told Him how i felt about her.... We don't really spent a lot of time doing trivia games or contests so I can not report on any of those however I Did watch the newlywed not so newlywed game on TV. Cruise Critic Member Smoo and her DH won ...it was pretty funny... I also watched some of the other contests on TV...like the beanbag toss etc. they looked amusing... but glad I missed them. I am one of the guys who sat on the Balcony and read a book and enjoyed that private time during part of the day... worth every penny of the cruise to do that to me...

Acapulco is a pretty nice place.. I have heard some negative things about it and yes our Driver Oscar even said there are places to stay away from and promised us to stay away from there. We had a group of 18 go with us (2 vans) first stop was the cliff divers we wanted to beat the crowds we saw a practice round for them plus the show about 1:45 we just parked off the side of the road to watch and we had a few drinks while we waited courtesy of Oscar. Oh by the way we negotiated a price with them for $20 a piece for 4 hours and that included drinks and if we wanted to extend that 4 hours we could for $5 more until we finished (which we did ) so with tip it cost us $30 each. From the Divers we drove to the Silver Factory the best part of that is free Margaritas. But I am not a shopper.. they did have some nice stuff and my DW seemed to like the stuff because she walked out with a little less money then she started with. From there we headed to Senor Frogs for lunch and more Margaritas, what a view....great staff there and a lot of fun was had ... From there we toured the Neighborhood where people live... some really nice houses over looking the Bay. Then on to more shopping we stopped at a Farmacia some of my Family members needed some stuff we had a few Spanish speakers in our group and we kept them busy translating.... Imagine about 10 people trying to get various things and not knowing what it is....like my SIL was trying to get some antibiotics ... it would not be a good thing to try to explain it and get something you do not want and take it... Please don't try this without someone helping you if they don't speak English ...The Prices there were great ... I think they have 2 sets of prices one for Americans and one for Mexicans... we got the Mexican Prices my BIL pulled a muscle the day prior and he got a few muscle relaxers (box of 20 ) for $2.50 great price ... but like I said it was with the help of our now close and dear friend Carlos. Lol also other things purchased were at a great price...This RX is located about a mile from port to the left on the main street..

Oscar then Drove us to the local flee market and warned us not to go into certain areas and to stay right on the street portion. At this point it was about 7pm and the store were starting to close so we did not stay there long only about a hour but they did not seem to want to deal a lot so only a few T-Shirts were bought not much else. Then it was time to go back to the ship When we got onboard we played Mini-Golf and hung out a bit...my DW and I went back inside the port for a few minutes they have a Internet Cafe there which was cheap they charge $2 for 15 minutes, $3 for 30, and $4 for a hour, so I went to check email and blog a little.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo is a tender port once again no solid plans there we hung around the ship and had lunch then took the tender in we just walked around the town for a few hours and did a little shopping and had a few beers. Then back to the ship

Manzanillo Port is nothing to really look at, we had a plan here though we went to the sea turtle sanctuary and sea salt plantation, this was not a Carnival tour we set this up prior to Sailing there were 44 of us and we had a large bus Felipe was our guide for the day and he did a pretty good job. Our group got the release 5 turtles back to the wild we all had a great time there... after that we went to town and had lunch and did some shopping Lunch was OK but they took there time serving it... and the vendors were out in force trying to peddle there goods while we were eating.... Then we drove around a bit through the resort area ... there are some very nice place's to stay if you ever want to come here for a week or so... then back to the ship.

The last two sea Days we hung out a lot with friends and Family and stayed very busy with different things. I was never bored on this cruise.... We also did the Susan G Koman walk for the Cure on the last sea day which was a great thing to do there were about 300 people who participated in the event and the $10 was a small price to pay to walk in it.. I did a small fund raiser through the troublemaker/Loco in Acapulco group that went and raised over $700 and donated all the money to them and purchased several T-Shirts and passed them out to the group...Do this if you get a chance! Its just the right thing to do even if you don't walk it you will get a T-Shirt for $10 where else can you get a souvenir for that kind on money that helps in so many ways....

Disembarkation went pretty fast for us as I mentioned my DW uses a scooter and we went off by 8:30 because we were able to use the wheelchair assistance that CCL has. We took a Taxi back to the hotel we stayed at prior to the cruise but we could of called them to shuttle us back we just did not want to wait and it only cost us less then $20

Overall experience was great the Ship was clean and well maintained the staff was always friendly and knowledgeable of there jobs. The Food was pretty good overall most meals were great some were OK the Dining room was always great the Lido food tended to be cold at times for lunch. but the omelets were the best part at breakfast. We watched most of the show or parts of them they were OK not great but we all expect it just to be OK so we were not disappointed in it.

Special notes Eva the Casino Host was great look her up Our dining room staff Ida and AG was the best Chris Roberts the CD did a great Job he seemed to be all over the place doing his job very well... If you have any reservations about the Spirit Don't worry about it just go and have fun! Less

Published 02/10/09

Cabin review: 8H8239

Cabin 8239 is the perfect Cabin for HC cruisers it had plenty of room to store the scooter the bathroom was huge and the balcony had ramps to use....

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