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Carnival Spirit Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,126 Reviews

Melbourne Cup Extravaganza 2016

Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by erikaks

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2016
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite

This Cruise was booked so we could tick one off our Bucket List the "Melbourne Cup Carnival". What better way to travel in style to the Cup than by a Beautiful Big Luxurious Ship.

My husband generally drives to our holiday destination, this time he was able to sit back and travel in style. We travelled to the port via a train journey and exited the train at Circular Quay where we were greeted by our Ship which had a gigantic spider on her bow. A short walk to the port terminal allowed us to drop our bags off at the terminal and proceed to board.

We had booked a Vista Cabin Suite which gave us priority boarding tickets. We did not need to wait in line and we were escorted up to the terminal check in stations within a few minutes. There we were checked in and assigned our sail and sign cards and told to proceed through the port security before boarding. The whole boarding experience would not have lasted more than ten minutes. The cabins were not ready until 1:30pm, but we walked down to see were our cabin was positioned and our cabin steward allowed us to deposit our hand luggage into our rooms.

The whole ship experience was perfect. All family members had a ball and we would highly recommend Carnival to anyone that asked.

Our Vista Cabin 8273 was magnificent. The balcony had plenty of room to stretch out and relax. We grabbed a bottle of wine, some beers, soft drinks and some nibbles and sat out on deck watching our Cruise depart and sail out of Sydney Harbour. Just magic.

We had booked Anytime Dining, this option comes highly recommended. Between the hours of 6:00pm - 9:00pm you can turn up with your part and be assigned a seat for dinner.

It meant we didn't need to plan our day around our dining time.

The food in the main dining room was delicious, the food in La Player Grill, was delicious and plentiful. If you couldn't find something tasty to eat you a certainly a hard person to please. The fact I didnt have to cook, wash up or clean our room was a bonus in my book.

The cruise line organised our return transport to the Melbourne Cup. The Cup experience was a thrill, the horses were fantastic to watch, but the people watching was the best entertainment. The thrill to listen to the crowd erupt when the race starts and watching the horses thunder down the straight to the finish line is heart thumping excitement at its best.

The salon staff worked hard that day with a 3:30am start, our hair appointment was booked in at 5:30am. They had many appointments to accomodate the hundreds of cruise travellers who wanted to look their best for the fashion displays. I compliment them all they had a hard cruise, three consecutive days of early starts to attend to our hair needs.

Carnival also supplied tickets to Oaks Day, but not as many people took them up on this offer.

After the Cup we had booked a cycling tour around Melbourne with another company, as Carnival did not provide this type of tour activity to us. We had the best time, our guide was so informative and our legs were feeling a bit tired after 3 1/2 hours of cycling around the sights.

We also booked a tour from the Old Melbourne Goal "Hangmans Tour" which was informative, historical and a tad bit scary..... Well worth it.

The last day at port, we spent our day doing a bit of shopping in Melbourne which was lovely.

I expected my daughter to go on the slides, what I didn't expect was to go on the Green Thunder and the yellow slide myself. That was heart stopping, my daughter laughed as I didn't open my eyes until I reached the bottom.

If you want a holiday that gives you a variety of activities and food choices. Carnival Cruises are the way to go.

erikaks's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite
Cabin VS 8273

This type of cabin comes highly recommended. The cabin gives you fantastic balcony space as well as a dressing room area to do your hair and make up. We also took advantage of the spa bath which relaxed our muscles after some hard days of activity and sight seeing.

It had two tv's in both rooms with a very comfortable king bed, and a lounge which converted to a comfy King Single.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We took port excursions that were not affiliated with the ship as they didn't offer what we were looking for.

We took a cycling tour around Melbourne which was informative whilst adding a bit of fitness into the mix..... Cycling Tours Melbourne. This comes highly recommended.

The second tour was at the Old Melbourne Goal. We booked the 'Hangman Tour'. This tour was historical as well as a little bit scary. They do not recommend anyone under 12yrs of age to take the tour.

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