Since in the weeks and months leading up to our July 1, 2009 cruise on the Carnival Spirit I was constantly searching for new reviews, I was determined to post mine in a timely fashion. Overall, our vacation was fabulous - and this was our 10th cruise. The most amazing thing was the weather! In the 10 days we were in Alaska - we had rain on 2 days - the days we were "at sea" - so it really didn't matter. The only down side of the beautiful weather was that we didn't see as much wildlife as we would have if it had been cold and rainy.
We opted for the "pre cruise tour", which is operated by Holland America - a sister company to Carnival. The land tour was interesting and they did a great job of getting us to everything and delivering our luggage quickly. We flew in to Fairbanks and spent the first night there - we were given the "Governor's Suite" at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel for some reason. It was not as grand as it sounds, since the entire tour group was housed in the older section of the hotel, but still it was nice to have a suite rather than just a room. We were impressed with how efficient things were. We went to a Carnival Cruise line desk at the Fairbanks airport and were given an envelope that contained luggage tags to attach to all our bags, and our room keys. Then we were transported by bus to the hotel, while our bags were trucked to the hotel and waiting at our door when we arrived.
For dinner that night (Sunday, June 28) we walked to a restaurant (Pasta Bella) recommended by a lady we talked to on the plane. Food was good - but expensive as all food is in Alaska. Fairbanks isn't much of a city, though it is the 4th biggest in Alaska.
We were in room 8191 - and the review on that is mixed. The bad first:
There was a very strong urine smell in front of the vanity. I wondered if maybe someone with little kids had been in there the cruise before us. I asked one of the stewards and he said that the carpet had been shampooed before we got on and asked if we wanted it shampooed again. I said that obviously shampooing had not done the trick and asked if they had something they could spray it with to make it less stinky. Shortly after that, the other room steward (obviously the lead one as he was the person that introduced himself) came to see us. He said that the people before were elderly and he had been aware of an odor, but didn't think it was urine. Guess what - there is nothing else that smells that way! In the comments I left I suggested that Carnival invest in large containers of enzyme cleaner and if they couldn't find it elsewhere they could go to any pet store and buy Nature's Miracle which would eliminate those kinds of smells.
The good things about the room were, though we rarely saw the room stewards, the room was always tidy, with fresh ice in the ice bucket and fresh towels in the bathroom. It was the most conveniently located room we have ever had on a ship! Very near both the mid ship elevators and the atrium elevators, and right near the mid ship staircase and just one floor below the Lido Deck and breakfast, pizza, ice cream, hot chocolate, cookies, etc!!!
We loved the balcony and made very good use of that, as the weather was so nice and warm that several evenings we were able to sit out there in shorts and t-shirts, and I didn't wear either of the sweatshirts I brought. We emptied all of the sodas, and beer from the mini fridge and put them along with the large bottle of water in the bottom of one of the closets, and kept the box of wine we brought along in the fridge. Also, when we first got to Whittier, we went and found some Diet Coke and Diet Dr Pepper and put them in the fridge. It was nice to have wine and soft drinks to take out on the balcony and to the nighttime shows!