Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by mrwastewater
- Sail Date: January 2011
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
- Cabin Type: Extended Balcony
Embarkation: We couldn't have asked for a smoother process. We had purchased the transfers from the cruise line. When we arrived, we were met in the baggage area by a cruise representative who directed us to a waiting area and gave us a health questionnaire to fill out that would be required at the terminal. We only had about a five minute wait before being directed to our bus for transfer to the terminal. Upon arrival at the terminal, we were very happy to have purchased the transfers. While we could have taken a taxi from the airport to the terminal for much less money, everyone arriving by taxi and parking in the lot across the street were in a huge line dragging their luggage with them. Meanwhile, we were delivered to another entrance with no waiting line, we already had our questionnaires filled out, and our luggage was delivered from the bus to the ship directly, no need for us to handle it again. After about a five minute wait, we were called to board the ship. We proceeded to the Lido deck for lunch, took some time to explore the public areas on decks 9 and 10, and went to our room about 1:30. With such a smooth embarkation, I would not hesitate to purchase the transfers again.
Room: We had purchased an Extended Balcony on the Upper Deck (Cabin # 5119, Forward, Starboard). We were very satisfied with the size of the room. We expected small quarters on a cruise, but never felt cramped. The room was very comfortably sized. We loved the extended balcony. We had plenty of room to fully stretch out our legs and relax. We slept very comfortably on the Carnival Comfort bed. We both agreed it was more comfortable than our own bed.
Dining: What a great experience. We had requested early dining but our confirmation showed we were on a waitlist for it. After contacting a friend who works for Carnival (Thanks, John!!) and requesting a table for two, we were happy to see that our request was granted and we had early dining with our table for two. On the first night our maitre d (Desi) introduced herself, said that John had forwarded our request which she was happy to accommodate. She even said she had a table for two that had opened at a better location in the dining room and offered it to us. We checked it out, and moved to it the following night. What a great decision. Here we had a waiter (Demir from Croatia) and his assistant (Budi from the Philippians) that really raised the bar of superior service. We were never at a want for anything, they made sure of it. All cruises should be forewarned, in order to meet our level of service on this cruise, you better bring your "A" game.
On one night we enjoyed the specialty Nouveau Steakhouse. What a meal!! The food and service were excellent. We were celebrating our 25th Anniversary and everything was perfect.
Activities: It seems that there was something for everyone on board. We enjoyed the casino quite a bit. I played Texas Hold'em poker and Blackjack mostly. While I would have preferred a live, dealer dealt poker game, the electronic version was alright. They only had one table, so only 10 people could play at a time. There where times when there were people waiting, so another machine might be in order.
Shows: We attended one show "Jazz Hot" on the first sea day. While the show was a very impressive production, and the dancers and music were all very good, it really wasn't our kind of music. It seemed all the production shows were centered around the Jazz and Big Band theme, instead of a bigger variety of music, so we didn't attend the other shows.
Debarkation: Again, a very smooth process. We left our room about 7:30 to have breakfast on the Lido deck. We found a nice table by the windows to eat and wait our turn. The Cruise Director, Stu did a wonderful job in explaining the process and keeping everyone informed of its progress. We were off the ship about 9:30, collected our luggage, proceeded through customs and were on a bus back to the airport very quickly. Again, it was a good decision to purchase the transfers as there was a very long line of passengers waiting for taxis. I just wish the airport had been a smooth. Long lines at the ticket counters and the security checkpoints, our plane with Southwest had mechanical problems, and we left about a hour late, but hey, not everything in life can go smoothly, right?
Overall Impression: For our first cruise, WE LOVED IT!! We already put money down for a future cruise on Carnival. It took a little getting used to the sounds and movements of the ship, but after a couple of days, we hardly noticed it. Guess we had to discover our 'sea legs'.
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