ALOHA.....Says it all!: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by jlaston

Carnival Spirit 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

ALOHA.....Says it all!

Sail Date: September 2010
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Vancouver
The Spirit is a really great ship. The crew is very attentive to all details and the Cruise Director, Stu, is excellent. But, I'll have to say that, the most entertaining person on board was Captain Volpi! Every day at noon, he would give the Captain's Message over the loudspeaker....he was hilarious! Combine his humor with his Italian accent, and you have a combination that evokes many belly laughs!

The entertainment was top notch and the food was wonderful. If there was a downside, I would have to say that it would be that there really weren't many Polynesian dining choices offered.

The Ports of Call on this cruise are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Our favorites were Kona, Hilo, Maui & Kauai. Of course, Honolulu is beautiful....but, it IS a very big city.

This was our 5th cruise, with 8 other friends, and we can't wait for the next one. All of our cruises have been aboard Carnival and we ALWAYS have a great time. Mahalo, Carnival, for More keeping up the reputation of the Fun Ships! Less

Published 10/06/10

Cabin review: 8K7281 Extended Balcony

Our cabin was in a very nice location.....toward the back of the ship.....away from all of the noise and close to back elevators and stairs....only 2 floors below the Lido Deck!!! The balcony offered nice views, as well.

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Port and Shore Excursions

On Hilo, we used Ricky's Tours ( and, I must say, we were EXTREMELY pleased with our tour. There were 10 of us travelling together and he kept his 15 passenger van just for our group. In fact, he had several people try to reserve his van the morning we docked and, he could have allowed a couple other people to join the tour, but kept it reserved for us. The owner’s name is Ricky Banasan and he was amazing. He is the only tour guide in Hilo that holds the Hawaii State University’s Hawaii State Tour Guide Certification. He was so informative and made the trip very enjoyable, as well. So, if you want to see Hilo and learn about the culture of the Hawaiian People in that area, I highly recommend that you choose Ricky for your excursion. But, it’s only him….so, book him early!!

Read 445 Hilo Reviews

Honolulu……what can I say? It is just another big city and was our least favorite place of all ports. BUT…..there was a LOT of beauty on Oahu. And….you can’t visit Honolulu without making a trip out to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. Yes, it is very moving… actually see the place where the U.S. actually entered WW II. The bay is very beautiful and it’s really hard to believe such a horrible event took place in that beautiful harbor. But, be sure to visit the USS Arizona Memorial and take the time to watch the 20 minute movie that explains exactly what took place. There are many more markers of the ships that went down in Pearl Harbor and it’s quite touching to be there.

After the visit to Pearl Harbor, we visited the Polynesian Cultural Center. We actually went to the Luau, which included the show “HA….Breath of Life”. We were disappointed in the actual Luau….we were expecting more….didn’t expect a buffet line for dinner. BUT, it was definitely worth going to see the different villages and the show. The show was a major production and was EXCELLENT! On Sunday we went to the Swap Meet at the Stadium! There are over 900 vendors selling their wares there and you can find most ANYTHING in the way of souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, etc. It was unbelievable and pricing is the best you'll find anywhere. Be sure to go early and give yourself plenty of time…they are there on Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday and start around 9:00 – 10:00. Then, we checked into our hotel on Waikiki Beach! It’s, supposedly, the most famous beach in the world and, yes, it is beautiful….but, it is crowded with people and very noisy. Also, a lot of homeless people hang out in the little pavilions on the lower part of Waikiki. But, there are some beautiful resorts there and sunset on Waikiki Beach is amazing!

On our last day in Honolulu, we drove to the North Shore and had Fresh Shrimp from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. I have been eating Shrimp my entire life and have NEVER had anything to compare to his! On the way, we saw some incredible scenery…..went around Diamond Head and then up the Eastern coastline……many beautiful bays and rock formations. Then, we headed on up to the Sunset Beach area and watched the surfers….it was awe inspiring to watch….even National Geographic can’t do it justice!

Read 506 Honolulu Reviews

Kauai – what can I say….Jurassic Park!! This is a BEAUTIFUL place and we opted to do the EcoTour Helicopter Excursion through Blue Hawaiian Helicopters (

UNBELIEVEABLE is the only word I can think of to describe this trip. As our pilot said…..”we picked the right thing to do….coming to Kauai without doing a helicopter tour is like going to the Sistine Chapel and not looking up!” I HIGHLY recommend this company and, please ask for Travis. He was our pilot and gave us an incredible ride! In fact, it was so incredible that I wasn’t really frightened (and I have ALWAYS had a fear of flying….couldn’t believe I was getting on the helicopter). And, yes, the copter ride is a little pricey…..but, you go into so many valleys, etc., that you wouldn’t be able to go to in a plane. Plus….we were able to travel very close to the ground and get up close to a lot of waterfalls. It was truly majestic!

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Beautiful little port! When we first got off the ship, we simply walked around the was very quaint and laid back. We stopped by Da Kona Coffee Store where we got to sample some of the best coffee we've ever tasted. If you intend to purchase Kona sure that it is 100% (will be approximately $40+ per pound) and not just a Kona coffee Blend. Then, we had lunch at Stackers. This had been recommended to us as being "The Place" that all of the locals go to when they want really good food. We WERE NOT disappointed. A couple of us had the Fish & Chips and, I must say, it was the best I've ever had!

Then, it was time for our excursion. We used Captain Zodiac for our snorkeling excursion and it was AMAZING! They REALLY went out of their way to make sure we had a phenomenal experience. They took us out to Cook's Bay and we saw some of the most beautiful fish you can imagine. I will have to warn you, though....the ride out there and back is approximately 13 miles on a Zodiac Raft and the ride is pretty rough. So, if you have back/neck issues, I wouldn't recommend it. But, if you don't have any of those issues and are planning to snorkel on Kona, I highly recommend Captain Zodiac (

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Maui was my FAVORITE island. The first day in port, we took The Road to Hana Excursion. WHAT an adventure it was. We used Valley Isle Excursions ( and the trip was more than we could have imagined. Our driver/guide was Pu, a native Hawaiian lady and she was so wonderful. She told us stories the ENTIRE trip (which was approximately 10 hours). From the moment we sat down in the very comfortable 12 passenger Comfort Cruiser, she captivated us and made everyone feel that we were actually a part of the culture. From the Surfboard Fence, to the breathtaking waterfalls, to the “white-knuckle” part of the road and the Hawaiian Language lessons (that’s right…she taught us how to say several things in Hawaiian)… was an adventure we will never forget. I highly recommend that you use Valley Isle for your “Road to Hana” adventure….but, even more than that… sure that you ask for Pu (that’s the short version of her Hawaiian name, which I wouldn’t even attempt to write).

The second day, we rented a car and drove over to LaHaina….what a WONDERFUL little seaside town. We just parked the car and walked through the town… sure to visit the Court House and see the amazing Banyan tree! The views from the back portico of the Court House are amazing! One thing you might miss is the former Palace site of King Kamehameha…’s simply a place in the ground….but, you HAVE to observe the view he had from that place….INCREDIBLE! It was a lot of fun just walking around, seeing local artisans create their beautiful wares….be sure to see “Paul”…..he will be carving Tiki’s and will be happy to customize one for you. Also, there are lots of women creating leis…..and you can find a few ladies actually creating some beautiful pieces of jewelry. Of course, you’ll HAVE to had a cup of Bad Ass Coffee while you’re there! One more HAVE to buy a Maui Gold Pineapple....we actually just went to Safeway and bought one....brought it back to the ship and cut it up.....YUMMMMMM!!!

After that, we drove up to the Ka’Anapali Beach area……that was one of the most beautiful areas I have seen. The drive was really pretty….but, when you get up beyond the resort area….up to the cliffs….and look down on the bay….it is breathtaking!! We saw a lot of snorkelers out and I can understand why…the water was amazing. In fact, we are thinking about going back to spend a week in this area.

Read 480 Maui Reviews
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