Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by Sea_Legs1972
- Sail Date: January 2018
- Destination: South Pacific
- Cabin Type: Aft-View Extended Balcony
First thing that must be said is the Spirit crew work incredibly hard at keeping the passengers happy. They all do it with a smile on their face. They all seemed very motivated.
The food, particularly in the Empire Room was mostly at the 5 star level. Each day there was different menu set. No mean feat for 12 nights.
Spirit, while aging a little now, was very, very clean. Once again this goes back to the work ethic of the crew. The decor is not as grotesque as some other reviewers have made out. It varies around the ship depending on the theme. Generally it is a combination of Roman and Egyptian themes but that isn't everywhere.
One area of improvement Carnival could work on/change policy on are the pools and controlling teenagers + pre-teens, keeping in mind the PEAK school holiday season. While there are rules about jumping/diving into the pools, they were rarely enforced (with the exception of the Serenity pool where kids were strictly not allowed.)
Too many times we watched kids jumping, bombing into crowded pools, splashing other passengers. It was unruly to say the least and not pleasant at all for our 10 and 12 year old girls plus many other passengers. I got to the point where I had to warn off some of these kids. We managed it overall by swimming earlier in the mornings (7.30am-10am) where the pools were not crowded and were cleaner. Carnival would do well to follow the lead of P&O plus RC where kids are kicked out of pools if they muck up.
At times I thought the kids clubs for the teens could have been better organised with more to do for them. Then again perhaps it was just some of the kids.
Fortunately the water-slides saved the day. Despite being a full capacity ship in the summer holidays, the queues to get on the Green Thunder were not bad at all. At worst we waited 15 mins and that was on day one at sea in the first hour of its opening. There after the max waiting time was just 5 mins.
And for those reviewers complaining about the Serenity area being too close to the slides?? Really? It's like 30 meters away and well above the Serenity deck area. Any screaming heard seemed like miles away. My wife and I loved our time in the Serenity pool and the pods. Watching the open sea go by, the blue sky.. the clouds form and reform.
The passenger demographic was mixed. I was warned the ship would be full of bogans with their tatts well and truly out. And we had some additional trepidation of the Jan school holidays. Well, yes there is an element of "boganism" but there is also an element of the quiet book readers, the well behaved families and good kids, the couples, the retired, the singles, the friends, the refined. Overall, everyone was positive and just wanted a good holiday. It was easy to make new friends.
At times some of the less thoughtful passengers got to us. Some passengers around the bistro had very poor hygiene standards, though I note Carnival has hand sanitisers everywhere and once again, work hard to keep the bistro area clean.
The shore excursions were fun and were well organised. Getting off and on the ship, whether in port or by tender, was stress free. For the first timers, I can vouch it is important to book the shore excursions in well before the ship departs. The best ones will sell out very quickly.
The ship handles high seas well. On our first night we had 6-7 meter swells once leaving Sydney heads. This came from a vicious low hovering in the North Tasman Sea. So as the ship was heading towards Noumea, it was hitting the starboard, aft side of the ship, creating a bit of a roll. But not as much as you would expect given the size of the seas. I guess the large size of the ship helps in this regard. The next days the seas started to ease and the seas remained fine for the rest of the trip.
So there you have it. We loved our time. We will be back. Thank you to the crew of Spirit for making our holiday GREAT.
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Internally there was plenty of room though I think it is time for a refurb. Keep in mind everything was spotlessly clean. I thought the bath/shower was a little small. Overall we miss this cabin and the incredible views each day