Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by JessicaC
- Sail Date: April 2016
- Destination: South Pacific
- Cabin Type: Ocean View
Embarkment: it went very smoothly, we just need to book a time for embarkment online when we did check-in online and I chose the earliest time which is 12:00-12:1230 . We just need to line up when we were at Sydney port and the whole process was very quick, we were on the ship around 12:15 and once we were on the ship, we can check out the ship or go to Deck 9 to have some lunch buffet. We were advised that our room will be ready by 12:30 but it wasn't, I would suggest to allow more time for the room steward to clean the room first because although we have the beds and bathroom ready, there were still some bottles and comb from the previous cruise passangers left in the room and they didn't clean it out even on the last day of our cruise as I think they assumed that those things were ours.
All facilities were open during our trip including green thunders and waterparks. It was a Fun ship for the kids. There are lots of activities for kids, even though my kids didn't join the kids club as they are in different age group. For those who love Dr Seuss Cat in the Hat, we had the parade and story time in the theater on the 3rd day of the cruise. And then on the 6th day of the cruise we had a chance to take photos with the characters like Cat in the Hat, Sam-I-Am and Thing 1&2. On the 2nd last day of the cruise, there were 2 session of the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast 8:15 and 9:45am (at $10 per person which you need to book in advance) and you also can take photos with all the characters during the breakfast. My kids are so happy to see them and have interactions with them.
Dining: We spent most of our time on Deck 9, Lido which is where you can have buffet and it opens most hours. Every day they have different dishes so you won't get bored with it. There was also a 24 hour pizza place which is quite good as well. The Guy's joint burger wasn't as good as we expected, we had some good burgers in Sydney which I reckon are better. For dinner, we went to the 5:30pm session at Empire restaurant. The service was excellent from the friendly team who served us and the food was better than the buffet . You can also order some of the Nouveau restaurant dishes from Empire at an extra cost of $25 per dish. We had the lobster tail and it was delicious . I also tried the prawn burrito at the BlueIguana Cantina, which was quite good as well. The Fat Jimmy's BBQ was another alternative food that I reckon is quite good.
Entertainment: lots of entertainment for elderly like Bingos (at extra cost) and 60s, 80s shows. The playlist productions like the Epic rock and the magic show were good. There were different shows almost every night which are quite good but it gets boring sometimes when you watch the same groups of singers and dancers every night although they are in different costumes and settings. There were different movies at the dive-in movies every night which was great. There are lots of other activities which I didn't get a chance to go because we had the little kids but I'd like to see the comedy shows and some trivia games. The cruise director Eli was very funny and he had a nice voice so it's quite pleasant to listen to his announcements and talk shows every day. Another pro for this cruise was that we had Shannan Ponton's boot camp which was quite fun, yes it was fun and not hard at all.
Shopping: duty-free shops are not good, only have some unknown brands and Swarovski which is over-priced. Also most of the cosmetics are not duty-free price and only have limited range. I only spent some money on souvenirs as there is not many souvenirs to buy at the ports (because they are mostly made in India or Vietnam).
Ports and Shore excursions:
1.Lifou - snorkelling at Jinek bay marine reserve is a must-do. Need to book early (limit to 200 per day) and I saw people try to buy ticket at the spot but they got turned down. The beach was quite nice as well but you need a pair of reef shoes to walk around and in the water.
2. Mystery Island: lots of shops selling souvenirs. The day we went was raining in the morning, so there were blue bottles at the sea so we did not swim. There were people dare to swim and I saw at least 4 people got stung by the blue bottles and I heard screams and cries from them. There were crew members walking around the beach with vinegar spray in case people get stung by the blue bottles and there was a first aid station at the beach as well. We bought some coconut juice ($3-4 each) and lobster (range from $40-80) for lunch.
3. Mare: This is the most beautiful beach I've ever been! White soft sandy beach and turquoise clear water. We need to purchase the return shuttle bus tickets at the ship for the cost of $19.99 per adult and $15.99 per child. There is nothing to see at the port where we got off the tender boat, so we had to hop on a bus for a short trip (about 10-15 mins) to the Yejele beach, it was beautiful and we spent 4 hours there. They also have some stall to sell BBQ fish and drinks at the beach. You can snorkel at this beach as well.
4. Noumea: We booked the Amedee Island tour at Carnival for $189.99 per adult and $119.99 per child. We got off the terminal at Noumea and got on a tour bus (5mins drive) to catch the Mary D cruise transfer to Amedee Island. The ride on Mary D was quite bumpy and my kid got seasick from it, so take some seasick tablets before you go. The transfer took about 45 mins. The itinerary for the day was quite busy. Once we got there at 10am, we chose our seats at the beach and everyone will get one because only people who joined the tour will be there. We were allocated to the 10.30am session of the glass bottom boat (for 30mins) and then hopped on back to the Mary D cruise at 11am to go to the outer reef (for another 30-45mins). Then we had our buffet lunch with entertainment at 12pm), the food was ok. And then we will have our free time. We were lucky to have access to the lighthouse which was built in 1865 (It was closed for renovation in the past 2 years? I think), we bought the tickets to the lighthouse $4 per adult and $2 per child). The lighthouse was beautiful as well as the scene on the top of the lighthouse. It was a very relaxing day with not so many people at the island which was great! I also bought a postcard at the shop and put it into the little mail box at the beach. (I am back in Sydney and still waiting for it to arrive=) Note. this beach is really good that you can see little fish by just walking into the water, if you want to see more fish or turtle, you will need your snorkelling gear.
Disembarkement: We chose self assist which was very quick and smooth, they start from 7am and we were back on the land by 8.20am. They have buffet breakfast at Deck 9 from 6am, so we can still have time to have a breakfast and then leave the ship on time.
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