Royal Caribbean Diamonds try Carnival for 25th Anniversary!: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by kgrassel

Carnival Spirit 5
Member Since 2003
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Royal Caribbean Diamonds try Carnival for 25th Anniversary!

Sail Date: April 2010
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Honolulu
Our only other Carnival cruise was 15 years ago, a 4 day to the Bahamas. Decided to "jump ship" from Royal Caribbean because of price and itinerary. We got 2 more days and one more port for abour $1000 less per person. Didn't know for sure if we would regret it or not.

No regrets! The ship is smaller that what we are used to, and the decor seemed dark, but I quickly got used to it. Preferred it to the neon you see on some other Carnival ships.

Embarkation was a breeze once we got past the long line outside the terminal where we had to schlep our own luggage along for about a half an hour. Didn't like that.

Our cabin was clean and spacious with an extended balcony. The cabin smelled fresh, no odor of leftover smoke. There was the occasional smell of food being prepared ( We were under the La Playa noise, though).

We had numerous maintenance issues that were resolved by contacting our excellent steward, Michael, or guest services. Our More A/C was not working the first night and one lamp was stuck on "on" On our first sea day night, we were awakened by a horrible smoke smell that was coming through the A/C vents in the middle of the night. It was contained to our deck(8) and the aft of the ship. After a fair amount of apprehension among ourselves and our neighbors, it was finally explained that no, there was no fire, and yes, the situation was under control. We were told that the garbage incinerator vent had become plugged and it backed up into the A/C system.

I was concerned about the smoking issue, having been warned that Carnival attracts smokers because of their more lenient policies. I HATE smoke and am very sensitive to it. Other than the casino, which stunk worse than any ship casino I've been in, there were no problems. They REALLY should try to do something about the ventilation in there. There were some down times, though, when it wasn't too bad, so we could play and DH and I managed to walk out in the plus column for a change!

The one thing I thought was sub-par was the food. We are not "foodies" by any means, but do have a certain expectation of cruise ship food. My biggest complaint is that the food was frequently cold, both in the main dining room and at the buffet. Our waiter, while friendly and hard working, seemed inexperienced. On many ships, you barely have to think about what you might need and it magically appears. Not here. Extra requests were always greeted with a positive attitude, but sometimes never happened. Like the extra scoop of stuffing that showed up with my dessert.....

Loved the 24 hour ice cream and the 3pm banana splits on the Fantail Deck on sea days! Also loved the deli's reuben sandwiches!

Entertainment was really fun, loved the Cruise Director Stu and the Ass't Cruise director Weezie. They had a morning show on TV that was really a dorky you had to love it....think of Regis and Kelly in Mayberry. You could call in to win prizes...I think hardly anyone was watching because we came home with a picture frame, an under water camera, and a Carnival terry robe. The production shows were really good, the comedians were pretty good, and the show band was one of the best we've ever cruised with. Truly outstanding. We don't really pay much attention to the show band...they're kind of just "there", but they were really great.

On board dance band "High Rise" was also really good..played a wide range of music and the lounge was non=smoking. Perfect!

Internet was very slow, but what do you expect out in the middle of the Pacific. Used my Blackberry in ports so I don't know how it was then.

Debarkation in Vancouver was super easy. MUCH more relaxing and easy than anything I have experienced on Royal. We could stay in our cabin until 9am, then we left and hung out in the buffet until they called us around 9:30. We were off the ship in no time, and luggage was very easy to find. Customs was a breeze and we were walking around checking out Vancouver by 10:30am. Less

Published 05/12/10

Cabin review: 8K8229 Extended Balcony

Good location, one deck up the stairs and you are at the buffet and the Fantail Bar. Extended balcony. If you look directly down you can see lifeboats, but it is not considered an obstructed view. I thought it might bother me but it didn't. This is one of the cabins that was flooded out on the previous cruise, and the carpet had to be replaced. It looked like something out of a sideshow fun house. You kind of look at it and say, "oh, my" :) I'm sure they will fix that as soon as they can.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Roberts Tours to Volcanoes National Park. Great tour, very interesting. The Lava Tube was cool. Highly recommend this tour!

Read 445 Hilo Reviews

Arrived in Honolulu 3 days before boarding. Used VIP transportation from the airport and to the pier. They were great as far as being on time, etc. Driver from the airport was a little shady, talked about stuff that made him sound racist, etc. Really inappropriate conversation. Should have been talking about the city or something. Stayed at Hyatt Regency Waikiki (Priceline, $105. They gave us a bottle of champagne for our anniversary and a Diamond head view which also gave us a pretty view of the beach and the mountainside. Really nice! Did not make it up to the north shore this time. Did the USS Missouri, Pearl Harbor, walking tour or historic sights. Enjoyed a great happy hour at Don Ho's at Aloha Tower after boarding and settling in on the ship. Used the city bus for and kind of fun.

Read 506 Honolulu Reviews

Booked Roberts Tours to Fern Grotto because it was less expensive than Carnival's tours. Enjoyed it but wouldn't do it again.

Read 409 Kauai Reviews

Rented a car with Budget. They do NOT have a shuttle from the pier, contrary to info I've seen online and confirmed on the phone. Drove to Parker Ranch to find it closed. Drove back to Kona and visited the painted church. Really cool. Advice: If you rent a car, head SOUTH to the beaches. Wish we had done that instead.

Read 295 Kona Reviews

Rented a car from offered a cheap upgrade to a Mustang convertible, so we took it! Drove half way to Hana, hiked to waterfalls, enjoyed a pineapple smoothie made with actual pressed sugar cane, and some awesome fresh baked banana bread from Uncle Harry's. Turned around at Uncle Harry's and made the easy drive down to Lahaina. Loved it there! Second day we took the Roberts tour up to the crater. (10,700 ft) It was freezing cold, but very cool to see. Awesome views. Corkscrew like road wasn't too bad on the way up but I got carsick on the way down the mountain. Returned to the ship and walked to a nearby beach to watch the wind and kite surfers.

Next time, we will rent the car for both days and spend more time in Lahaina!

Read 480 Maui Reviews
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Member Since 2003
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