Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by Floozama
- Sail Date: December 2019
- Destination: South Pacific
The ship is well setup for families with teens and younger children, and being a holiday cruise there were lots of them - everywhere!
You have to keep in mind, Carnival is a 3 star cruise line, so don't expect the same level of service and amenity you might get with other " relatives" of the Carnival family.
However, it is definitely a fun ship, without some of the hangups you might get with other lines - and overall the crew do a good job of activities and entertaining.
Pacific islands itinerary was pleasant, good snorkelling and swimming at Mystery Island and Isle of Pines. From Port Denaru there are heaps of days trips available once you land on the island, and a good range of restaurants and shops. To get the most out of day in Noumea it's better to take a day trip somewhere.
A day can be spent in Suva if you've not been previously as it's an interesting place - there's also a range of day trips from there. The locals are friendly and accommodating - we negotiated a tour for our large group directly from the pier.
Denaru was a tender port, and unfortunately there were very extended delays getting passengers to the island - tendering procedures did improve for Isle of Pines.
Staff were friendly, and we had a great cabin steward. Cabins are a bit dated, but clean, roomy and comfortable. One of the better balcony layouts I've seen on any ship, lots of storage space, a fridge, sofa and a usable table in the room.
Food - pretty average and IMHO there could be some improvements with quality. The buffet was constantly overrun and there weren't really enough staff to keep up with clearing plates etc. The buffet is only open in 3-4 hour blocks, outside of this the only guaranteed "snack" is a pizza. Burgers close at 5 and cafe around 4 . Although you're never going to go hungry on a cruise ship, it's still nice to be able to get a piece of fruit or a light snack mid afternoon.
Lots of queues all of the time, with (very) extended wait times usual for anytime dining.
There is room service, however there are charges with all items from here - on the positive side room service is easy to access! Dining staff do a good job, and there's nightly entertainment from the wait crew - all good fun!
Internet is very expensive ($44 per day), presenting a good opportunity to go cold turkey on connectivity for a few days!
I did find it annoying that there was a fee associated with the carnival Hub chat app - $9.00 per person - although it's invaluable to communicate between family and group members, charging for it is a bit rough!
Laundry - there are self serve laundry facilities throughout the ship, however each only has 1 or 2 machines, which on a cruise aimed at families or even smaller groups travelling longer than a week presents challenges.
Decor, the ship is dated and very dark, but overall that's not important everything is in place and works well.
Deck chair hogs are alive and well on this ship too - despite best efforts of the crew - it's a passenger expectation thing rather than something the ship can manage to keep everyone happy. Unfortunately some believe they have a right to a deck chair all day, even if they are going to lunch or to play bingo. The solution, book a balcony!
Overall, everyone had a good time, and most of our group are lining up for the next cruise.
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