First time solo cruising: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by seasand1

Carnival Spirit 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

First time solo cruising

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: San Diego
Before embarking on my first solo cruise, I had read some negative things about the Carnival Spirit, including embarkation issues, so I was pleasantly surprised that conditions had dramatically improved since the Hawaii/Ensenado/San Diego cruise.

I took the short cab ride from the San Diego airport to the ship and was aboard 1/2 hour later. Quickest embarkation I ever experienced. Of course, I had to wait for my cabin to be ready, but it wasn't a long wait and passengers were encouraged to go to the Lido deck for lunch in the meantime. Muster was carried out before the ship ever left the dock, and we didn't have to wear our life jackets, which I have had to do on all other cruises to date. The staff was efficient and friendly.

This was not only my first time cruising solo (hubby said he was burnt out on cruises and so stayed home to pet sit) but it was my first time in an inside cabin. I thought I'd be claustrophobic, but the room was not cramped and I had no More problem. My room steward was a friendly little fellow and attentive to his job.

On this trip I participated in activities I normally would not have done if traveling with my husband, and had a wonderful time. I even went to a little kids' talent show which was a hoot, and joined some trivia teams and played Bingo. Despite the fact the casino got a substantial portion of my kids' inheritance, it was a lot of fun winning, while it lasted. Something that really impressed me was an invitation I received to a cocktail party for former passengers. Drinks were free and plentiful and I got in a lot of elbow-bending without signing one chit. Then, there was another farewell cocktail party later on in the cruise and I was kept supplied, once again, with more than adequate bubbly....again free.

I liked the food......I like any food I don't have to spend time planning, shopping for, preparing, and cleaning up after. There were even a couple of unusual (to me) dishes (a pickled butternut squash appetizer and something called Indian Milk (dessert)that I tried to duplicate when I got home. Both of these were part of the buffet on the Lido deck. I only ate in the dining room once (on lobster tail night) and was disappointed.

Cabo was wonderful, of course, and the shuttles to shore were well organized and went extremely well. I was somewhat surprised that the swimming pools aboard ship were both small, but it was fun watching people go through the water tube slides. One thing I could suggest that, if you are flying in to San Diego, you can take a taxi considerably cheaper to the pier, than taking Carnival's shuttle. The airport is only just 3 miles away and you can see it from the ship. I was among the first people disembarking when the cruise was over, and then had to sit on the shuttle bus until they had everyone on their list aboard the bus. I could have slept in. All in all, I was very happy with the Carnival Spirit and would cruise with her again. I see where she will be making the Alaska roundtrip from Seattle (my home base)this spring, so may just take hubby next time.....or not. :-) Less

Published 03/14/12

Cabin review: 4A1177 Interior

Cabin 1177 is an inside cabin with a queen-sized bed. It has 3 closets, ample drawers, a chair and little table, plus a dressing table with good lighting surrounding the mirror. The bathroom is typical of all cruise ships, however, it comes with some nice little samples of toothpaste, snore-strips, etc. There are 2 bathrobes in the closet, however one of them was torn when I was there. There is a phone and, interesting enough, it is cheaper to call home from your room than it is to call from your cell phone. The thermostat worked great for both heat and cool air. The safe is locked and unlocked by swiping a credit card (although no charges are made to your card). I didn't like that feature because you always have to have your credit card on your person along with your ship card, unless you don't mind just leaving it in your room somewhere.(Not a good idea.) There is a wet bar, and the room steward leaves a big bottle of water in your room (for which there is a charge if you use it). The room is mid-ship so it is the same distance to the bow as it is to the stern. Decent room. No complaints. Even though it was relatively quiet, I used ear plugs at night.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Beautiful and, compared to other parts of Mexico, I felt completely safe there.
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Member Since 2012
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