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11 night Vanuatu and New Caledonia cruise. Second time on the Spirit. Went on her when she first came to Aussie about 5 years ago. Said we wouldn't go on Carnival again; but my Brother and his partner ha recently been on and enjoyed it and we were keen to travel with them. It was a real mixed-bag. Embarkation went very smoothly. Muster is a dogs-breakfast though. Why they need to line everybody up like POW's at roll-call, out on the promenade without shade, packed in like sardines is a mystery. On most Princess cruises we've been on, Muster has been in the theater or one of the lounges. The ship is an interesting mix of decors. We had a Balcony Room. Room was tidy and had a fridge. Beds were ok; but not the luxury you get on Princess. Cruise was outside of school holidays, so there wasn't a lot of kids on-board. The ship didn't feel crowded and there was always somewhere quiet you could go. Service levels fluctuated a bit. Never bad.. but not always great. Sadly, we had a jumper on the 3rd night and the ship was required to return to the area to search. That meant we didn't make it into Port that day. The Captain did an amazing job re-jigging the Itinerary so that we still got to 5 Ports and didn't lose one (and arguably, some would say he gave us an improved itinerary). Mystery Island is always a crowd favourite and didn't disappoint. Port Vila always has many varied options and of course, the cheapest duty-free. We've been to all the Ports before, up to 5 times in some cases; so did our own thing for shore-tours. Entertainment was good. The live band that replaced Music Manila were good musicians (and less corny). There were a couple of good solo entertainers and a good trio of violinists playing their take on some pop and rock classics. There was an MOR sequenced duo (and they had good voices). Saw some good shows including a Freddie Mercury impersonator and entertainment was good. To top it off.. they have the Adults Comedy up to 3 times a night which was great. R18. Some of the comedy was very funny (although def Adult only). Usual trivia most days. The unfortunate let-down is the food. It's bland. MDR service ranged from poor to good (first time we had done anytime dining.. maybe that doesn't help). Felt like they were trying to rush you through.. often serving mains to the table while some of us were still eating our entrees. Constantly having to ask for extra butter.. or even bread rolls. Water empty.. no drink orders taken. Very hit and miss and not of the standard you would see on other lines. The food itself and the menus - very average. Usually only luke-warm. Uninspiring. In the past cruises, we had always looked forward to dinner as one of the highlights of the day. On Carnival.. you eat because you have to. The food is poor and you feel like they're trying to get rid of you. Buffet food was very average. Buffet and all food options close by 9pm except the Pizza which is not a great pizza. No other options for a snack later at night. I guess you get spoiled on Princess with 24 hour International Cafe, buffet open till 11pm, free room service (you have to pay extra on Carnival). Breakfast in the dining room - don't think they got the order right once. The burgers and fries closed super early (and were not great anyhow). The BBQ that they had up on top deck sometimes was good though. Coffee was disappointing. If I want to pay for a decent Espresso coffee; I want a cup and saucer.. not a plastic cup. Disembarking was fine. Pools are salt-water. Not my cup of tea (although admit some prefer them over chlorine). All-in-all, a very mixed bag. Fun to be had.. but the food was such a let down that we will have the fun on a different brand that does things right!

Yeah-nah

Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by Over from NZ

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Trip Details
11 night Vanuatu and New Caledonia cruise. Second time on the Spirit. Went on her when she first came to Aussie about 5 years ago. Said we wouldn't go on Carnival again; but my Brother and his partner ha recently been on and enjoyed it and we were keen to travel with them. It was a real mixed-bag. Embarkation went very smoothly. Muster is a dogs-breakfast though. Why they need to line everybody up like POW's at roll-call, out on the promenade without shade, packed in like sardines is a mystery. On most Princess cruises we've been on, Muster has been in the theater or one of the lounges. The ship is an interesting mix of decors. We had a Balcony Room. Room was tidy and had a fridge. Beds were ok; but not the luxury you get on Princess. Cruise was outside of school holidays, so there wasn't a lot of kids on-board. The ship didn't feel crowded and there was always somewhere quiet you could go. Service levels fluctuated a bit. Never bad.. but not always great. Sadly, we had a jumper on the 3rd night and the ship was required to return to the area to search. That meant we didn't make it into Port that day. The Captain did an amazing job re-jigging the Itinerary so that we still got to 5 Ports and didn't lose one (and arguably, some would say he gave us an improved itinerary). Mystery Island is always a crowd favourite and didn't disappoint. Port Vila always has many varied options and of course, the cheapest duty-free. We've been to all the Ports before, up to 5 times in some cases; so did our own thing for shore-tours. Entertainment was good. The live band that replaced Music Manila were good musicians (and less corny). There were a couple of good solo entertainers and a good trio of violinists playing their take on some pop and rock classics. There was an MOR sequenced duo (and they had good voices). Saw some good shows including a Freddie Mercury impersonator and entertainment was good. To top it off.. they have the Adults Comedy up to 3 times a night which was great. R18. Some of the comedy was very funny (although def Adult only). Usual trivia most days. The unfortunate let-down is the food. It's bland. MDR service ranged from poor to good (first time we had done anytime dining.. maybe that doesn't help). Felt like they were trying to rush you through.. often serving mains to the table while some of us were still eating our entrees. Constantly having to ask for extra butter.. or even bread rolls. Water empty.. no drink orders taken. Very hit and miss and not of the standard you would see on other lines. The food itself and the menus - very average. Usually only luke-warm. Uninspiring. In the past cruises, we had always looked forward to dinner as one of the highlights of the day. On Carnival.. you eat because you have to. The food is poor and you feel like they're trying to get rid of you. Buffet food was very average. Buffet and all food options close by 9pm except the Pizza which is not a great pizza. No other options for a snack later at night. I guess you get spoiled on Princess with 24 hour International Cafe, buffet open till 11pm, free room service (you have to pay extra on Carnival). Breakfast in the dining room - don't think they got the order right once. The burgers and fries closed super early (and were not great anyhow). The BBQ that they had up on top deck sometimes was good though. Coffee was disappointing. If I want to pay for a decent Espresso coffee; I want a cup and saucer.. not a plastic cup. Disembarking was fine. Pools are salt-water. Not my cup of tea (although admit some prefer them over chlorine). All-in-all, a very mixed bag. Fun to be had.. but the food was such a let down that we will have the fun on a different brand that does things right!
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