First Cruise and LAST!: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by wjamjeff

Carnival Spirit 2
Member Since 2012
1 Forum Post

Overall Member Rating

First Cruise and LAST!

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Los Angeles
I would like to share my experiences and thoughts about my recent cruise with Carnival.
This was a significant celebration for me as I turned 50 years old. Achieving this stage of my life commanded an extraordinary trip. In my plans, I wanted to do something exciting and new, therefore, a 15 day Carnival Cruise to Hawaii was a perfect. The main reason for choosing Carnival was for its reputation of being a fun and energetic cruise line. Well, I have never been so disappointed in my life, what a way to celebrate a milestone in my life.


The San Pedro port was something to desired. We were herded like cattle! I was traveling with a person who had VIP status(18 cruises on Carnival). There was no VIP treatment at this port. All the so called VIP's were placed in a small room with Nothing to Drink or Eat for hours! I do understand the ship was delayed due to weather, but Carnival needed to address that issue and did nothing! I felt as if I was being More segregated for processing at a concentration camp. A general announcement about boarding was made and there was a mass rush to the boarding area. There was no representative from Carnival to escort us (VIP's)to the ship. We were in the middle of mass chaos with no organized leader. I was never so disillusioned by a company that is known for its reputation of being fun and exciting. This gets the letter grade F.


I do have to say the staterooms were very clean and our cabin steward was very friendly. Grade A.


The food was average but the wait staff was excellent, very friendly and accommodating. C+


This cruise was clearly geared toward a senior group. There was nothing for a younger crowd. Making luggage tags or putting puzzles together during the Sea Days were the activities for the day. As for the Cruise Director, the only time he was seen was on stage at night. He needed to work a bit harder to keep the passengers busy during the bad weather days that kept us from enjoying the sun on the deck.

As for the time on the Islands, there was clearly not enough time. There should have been at least two over night stays. Very rushed, not my idea of a vacation! Grade F.

Staff & Service

My unpleasant experience continued the first night in the cabin. I did not sleep at all that night due to a very annoying agitating high pitch whistle coming from the balcony door. The door was warped and not making a complete seal, allowing air to enter the cabin causing the whistle. In addition, because there was air coming into the cabin through the balcony door, it also permitted cigarette smoke from adjacent balconies to fill the cabin with toxic cancer causing smoke.
It took nine days for the whistle from the balcony door to be fixed, 8 days of high pitch whistle all night long with the smell of cigarette smoke filling the room. We had to endure the smell of cigarette smoke for the entire 15 day cruise, this was unacceptable. As you can see in the picture #1, I had to have a large supply of Benadryl (which I purchased on board at 3 times the retail price!) in order the prevent myself from going to the infirmary for my severe allergic reaction to cigarette smoke. When I made a statement to Guest Services about the cigarette smoke, they told me that nothing could be done. I find it disturbing that the health of a passenger is so easily dismissed and the rights of the smokers take precedence.
With all of the current smoking regulation I am disappointed to see that Carnival gives priority to smokers on their ships. Dividing the ship in half does not prevent the smoke from blowing into the faces of the nonsmokers on the other side of the ship. In addition, the intake for the HVAC system is drawling the smoke directly into the ship and this should be addressed and changed, ( suggestion, make the fantail the smoking area, this way the smoke will blow behind the ship and not affect the non-smoking passengers.
Although, Joan Sterling wanted to give us a down grade in room location (room in the back of the boat that was very noisy with vibration from the engine room or a room below the noise of the Lido Deck.
We booked a balcony cabin on this deck in order to be quiet and convenient. Downgrading was not an option, again, this was only offered after the fourth day of my continuing complaint. We did receive a small rebate on the room, however, it did not make up for the aggravation and loss of valuable vacation time.
On one occasion, the Stateroom Supervisor taped up the door to balcony.

I spent 7 hours of my valuable and special vacation visiting the Guest Services Desk, talking to the Stateroom Floor Supervisor and calling before Joan Sterling did anything to correct the problem. Spending my valuable vacation time dealing with this issue made me very angry, agitated and tense, preventing me from relaxing and enjoying my vacation. I felt like I was working at my Job dealing with engineering problems.

This gets a triple F!

In fairness the staff worked very hard keeping the ship very clean and the dining staff and bar staff were very friendly. Grade A.


The evening shows were average to below average. There was one evening that there was nothing scheduled. They get a C- .

Shore Excursions

Did not book through the ship, prices were overpriced. Booked our own, saved 75%. Grade F


Disembarkment, very disorganized, took hours to get off the ship, again, VIP status meant nothing, corralled in the Cool Lounge, very hot, one passenger was smoking a cigar in the Cool Lounge, this should be Smoke Free during disembarkment, here again, the non-smokers rights have been violated. Grade F


In conclusion, I am very disappointed in Carnival Cruises. My 50th birthday celebration was flawed with multiple short comings caused by the lack of attention to details, disorganization, and the unconcerning attitude for the rights of nonsmokers.

I will never go on a Carnival Cruise again.

Carnival has Failed! Less

Published 01/24/12

Cabin review: 8A7145 Balcony

Cabins were clean, lots of room. If we didn't have a broken balcony door that whistled all night and allowing cigarette smoke to fill our cabin from adjacent balconies, the room would have been perfect,

Read All Balcony (8A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

What a nice Mexican town! Not much time there, but had a great time. Would have been better to see it during the day.
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Helicopter ride over the volcano was very exciting and fun.
Read 444 Hilo Reviews

Another great Island, need more time, so much to do. Will definately go back for a longer visit. Great Beaches!
Read 504 Honolulu Reviews

Least favorite island, nothing to do, although very beautiful will not be back.
Read 407 Kauai Reviews

Nicer side of the Big Island of Hawaii, wish I had a longer stay, a few hours was not long enough. Great beaches here too! And of course fantastic COFFEE!
Read 292 Kona Reviews

Great Island, wish I had mor time on this fantastic Island. I need to go back! Great beaches!
Read 477 Maui Reviews
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Read Cruise Critic’s Carnival Spirit Review >>
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