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I happened to walk into the Cruise specialist TA and ask if there were any good deals around for a cruise out of Sydney. A balcony room for 2 people for 11 nights at a total cost of $2,300 seemed like a good deal, so I accepted. Embarkation worked well. We were on the 12 - 12:30pm check-in and onboard about 12:45pm. Decoration is a matter of personal taste - think Vegas Casino and you won't be far wrong. Dining - Don't miss the Nouveau Restaurant if you like good food. We went the first night as they were offering a free bottle of wine that night. All the food was a very high standard, the steaks were exceptional. Servings were large, so go there starving - we had trouble getting through it all. The free bottle of wine was also quite reasonable, better than I was expecting. We ate at the MDR most of the time. We requested the Your Time Dining, but failed to get that. Not really a fan of the fixed dining times, but I guess at this price point it's the most efficient for Carnival. Staff were all friendly and helpful. Food was fairly bland, even the "spicy" food - adequate but not exciting as I guess you have to expect. My wife is Gluten Free, and she wasn't all that impressed. Compared to her experiences on the P&O Dawn and Aria, Spirit didn't really try very hard. Like P&O, in the MDR, she would get the next day's menu at dinner. The idea was she could pick any menu item and they would modify it to take out the wheat. P&O didn't have any difficulties with that, often providing really great dishes. Carnival Spirit managed OK sometimes, but other times we arrived for dinner to be told "couldn't do that" - only option was to then find a gluten free item on the menu. We bought the $185 wine package. Worked well and provided a reasonable saving on the price if ordered separately. One negative - they crossed off two wines that were listed on the Carnival web page and on the paper sheet we received after purchasing the package in the MDR. One wine crossed off was the only sparking, so that probably upset a few people. Music & shows - we enjoyed the music in the bars. Music Manila were good, especially when playing music from my vintage. Liked the Epic rock show, others were a bit ordinary. I was pleasantly surprised by the Chippendale Library. I expected a small pile of ancient blockbusters, but many were 2016/17 editions and some I even wanted to read. Quite few USA centric books about people I'd never heard of, but really not bad at all. Overall - pleasant enough cruise for what we paid.

Pack and Go Deal

Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by Peal

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2017
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I happened to walk into the Cruise specialist TA and ask if there were any good deals around for a cruise out of Sydney. A balcony room for 2 people for 11 nights at a total cost of $2,300 seemed like a good deal, so I accepted.

Embarkation worked well. We were on the 12 - 12:30pm check-in and onboard about 12:45pm.

Decoration is a matter of personal taste - think Vegas Casino and you won't be far wrong.

Dining -

Don't miss the Nouveau Restaurant if you like good food. We went the first night as they were offering a free bottle of wine that night. All the food was a very high standard, the steaks were exceptional. Servings were large, so go there starving - we had trouble getting through it all. The free bottle of wine was also quite reasonable, better than I was expecting.

We ate at the MDR most of the time. We requested the Your Time Dining, but failed to get that. Not really a fan of the fixed dining times, but I guess at this price point it's the most efficient for Carnival.

Staff were all friendly and helpful. Food was fairly bland, even the "spicy" food - adequate but not exciting as I guess you have to expect.

My wife is Gluten Free, and she wasn't all that impressed. Compared to her experiences on the P&O Dawn and Aria, Spirit didn't really try very hard. Like P&O, in the MDR, she would get the next day's menu at dinner. The idea was she could pick any menu item and they would modify it to take out the wheat. P&O didn't have any difficulties with that, often providing really great dishes. Carnival Spirit managed OK sometimes, but other times we arrived for dinner to be told "couldn't do that" - only option was to then find a gluten free item on the menu.

We bought the $185 wine package. Worked well and provided a reasonable saving on the price if ordered separately. One negative - they crossed off two wines that were listed on the Carnival web page and on the paper sheet we received after purchasing the package in the MDR. One wine crossed off was the only sparking, so that probably upset a few people.

Music & shows - we enjoyed the music in the bars. Music Manila were good, especially when playing music from my vintage. Liked the Epic rock show, others were a bit ordinary.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Chippendale Library. I expected a small pile of ancient blockbusters, but many were 2016/17 editions and some I even wanted to read. Quite few USA centric books about people I'd never heard of, but really not bad at all.

Overall - pleasant enough cruise for what we paid.
Peal’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8D 7117
With the Pack and Go deal all we had was a guaranteed balcony, so was not expecting much. However this cabin was fine. About 5 cabins from the bow and the bridge. I thought we might get a bit of up and down motion due to the location, but on the one rough day we had it was no problem at all. One plus was the lack of noise - being a dead end, there were little foot traffic, and a fair way from the lifts.
No complaints about the cabin. Everything worked, you can adjust the air conditioning temperature, & the beds were two single joined together and quite comfortable. Also room under the bed for our two suitcases.
Negatives - entry door needs a bit of force to open. Balcony door has a normal door latch, plus a sliding latch above that - this can be difficult to open but it does stop the wind whistling through any gaps.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins