78 Vancouver Carnival Spirit Cruise Reviews

The weather was beautiful. The ship was immaculate as always. I have never been on a Carnival Ship that they were not always cleaning. The were doing a lot of upgrading the ship for Australia which some of it was inconvenient. The ... Read More
The weather was beautiful. The ship was immaculate as always. I have never been on a Carnival Ship that they were not always cleaning. The were doing a lot of upgrading the ship for Australia which some of it was inconvenient. The entertainment was fantastic. Stu the Cruise Director was awesome. The Gym is always packed but that is normal. The dining room staff were pleasant but our waiter's were a bit slow but it could have been the table of 14 that slowed them down. But I feel it was our head waiter that spent most of his time with that table. A few nights we did not even have our main course yet and they were doing SHOWTIME. The pools and Hot tubs were nice not over crowded. The crew was very friendly and helpful. The tendering port in Kona was a bit chaotic We did not get off the ship until 11:00 and some people were still getting off with their numbered stickers at 1:30. And we had to be back on the ship at 4:30 so that was a bummer for some who especially had excursions. But we found out some of the issue was new regulations. But Carnival did have a wonderful night were they had happy hour for the whole ship for 1hr and half. The sea days were filled with a lot of activities even arts and crafts which were quite fun. All in all It was a great 12 days and I am ready to book my next Carnival transatlantic trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Boarding the Spirit in Vancouver was fast and efficient, then time to have something to eat and check out the ship. We had been told to go to our muster station at 3p.m. and there was another couple waiting there already with the same ... Read More
Boarding the Spirit in Vancouver was fast and efficient, then time to have something to eat and check out the ship. We had been told to go to our muster station at 3p.m. and there was another couple waiting there already with the same instructions. Waited 15 mins. and nothing happened and nobody else came so we took off to look at the ship only to be turned around by an employee at 5p.m.who sent us back; no explanation or apology was given and the 3p.m.couple were still waiting there! We then stood for ages waiting for them to get their act together and were pushed further back in the crowd as it developed with the result being the latecomers got the front row and we saw very little passed all their heads. By the time it was done we wondered why all the fuss; it was just a simple demo that could be done better on the tv and totally unlike our cruises with HAL where everyone had to actually put on their life jacket. Comparing the two I'd rather feel safe when travelling across the ocean but this way I didn't even try on my life jacket so don't know if I could even do it right in a panic situation. Also unlike HAL no roll call was taken therefore I know not all passengers had attended or would know what to do in case of an emergency. Our dinner table mates were a good match; we had all been married for over 50 years and so wondered if this is how people are assigned? Also heard that 90% of the passengers were going on to Australia and will be onboard for 28 days but none of us were. I thought this may have also been a factor although when all was said and done we never met anyone who was going down under so was that 90% fact or fiction? It was unfortunate I thought that our departure from Vancouver was during dinner and all those people missed the photo op of beautiful Stanley Park and sailing under the Lions Gate Bridge. Eventually our departure from ports of call happened during dinner again and again and we missed seeing the arrival or departure or a sunset until we left the ship in Honolulu. Maybe next time we'll take the later seating and see if that helps this budding photographer or perhaps go in a different season or is it possible to ask for a table at a window? WiFi was lousy and a waste of money for me as my purchased time ran out before I even got online but then, maybe as a new Ipad user just didn't understand how to do it; the guy in the internet room was inaccessible because he had long lineups to deal with and I couldn't stand there long enough to hear what may have been a 10 second answer. Pictures were being taken a little too often and then finding those pics was a p.i.t.a. and way too expensive when you did find them. The art auctions were a bust because of the chandeliers glare of shiny lights on the glass of the artworks and crazy seating layouts making an early escape impossible and more often than not there was no air conditioning, no free art was given as advertised not to mention no event ever started on time during this cruise ever and the worst offenders were the bingo and art auctions. The food on this cruise was not great. Once I ordered a vegetarian meal and was served what appeared to be some sort of canned mystery meat and an attempt had been made to disguise it by covering it with sour burned mushrooms. Whatever it was smelled disgusting and the waiter upon seeing me not eat it asked why and when I told him he denied it and insisted it was eggplant! I know my meat from my eggplant! Hubby prefers extra well done beef but it was served to him rare most of the time and sent back and I got a piece of rare chicken once as well. Dinnertime was the only time fresh ice water was available without charge and I was thirsty for much of this cruise as I didn't want to pay the steep price of their warm bottled water or the $74.Coke deal which was $18. On HAL just 2 yrs ago. Ice was not placed in our room as it was several times a day on HAL; of course I could drink tap water but it was never cold enough and not sure if it was safe from the bathroom tap as it smelled funny in there throughout the entire cruise. No way I'd pay so much for a necessity of life so I just went thirsty until dinnertime. My biggest grievance is the smoking in the casino; the stench of it began well before even arriving in the casino and hey, I want to play the poker machines too and I'll feed them plenty so what about us non smokers? There wasn't even ONE day of no smoking out of 12 days! So very unhealthy and it gave me an instant headache and lung cancer maybe as well. When will cruise ships stop allowing the 3% of addicts to ruin it for the many who like us had maybe ditched that filthy habit a long time ago? With Canada being a smoke free country we are just not used to breathing in second hand smoke or dealing with third hand smoke in our hair and clothes and nor should we have to. The casinos in Canada are packed full of people happily playing whilst enjoying great air conditioning which keeps you alive, awake and alert and as a result they stay and play longer, therefore adding more money to Carnivals pot. Why would a ship not want to clean up and grab this added bonus? Everyone wants to play in the casino and the few smokers can easily leave the place and go to a smoking area outside to satisfy their addictions and that's how it should be to run a clean, healthy ship for the majority. Some of the good things: our cabin location, the tons of storage and closet space, nice t.v. veranda, shower and linens, towel art, delicious cold soups and fruit plates at dinner, the "didya" and "everyday" menus but why serve inferior Atlantic salmon; we are on the Pacific so think they could serve B.C's. wild sockeye, self serve ice-cream and frozen yogurt was great, fabulous scary twisted water slide and other fun water toys, the serenity deck, old world golden atrium with it's grand staircases and glass elevators, always quick elevators to everywhere unlike HAL, our waiter Aloha Al, and the singing waiter who should be signed by a big company and become famous, totally awesome entertainment in Pharoahs Palace, the Bingo and pull tabs, Stu our cruise director, self dis-embarking, seeing Hawaii from a different point of view on the opposite side of where everyone wants to go thereby not being an ideal itinerary for first time to Hawaii visitors but ok for those who have been there before. I seriously doubt this experience will have anyone ever wanting to see Kauai again. I saw a Cruise Critics decorated door on my search for the laundromat and was elated thinking maybe they'd know how to get my IPad working. The poster said to come join them at a meet and greet but no time or place was given (had to have WiFi to read it online?)so I left a note which was not responded to. If you don't want to meet anyone why put up a colourful artsy greeting on your door? I went back twice hoping to maybe get in on their cabin crawl or something but nada. The most important thing I hope someone will learn from my experience is to research and choose your cruise by the ports you actually want to see and let them be tender-free otherwise you may end up out in the boonies somewhere at a cargo port watching the longshoremen and women wasting your time and not knowing the difference of where the hot spots are located or the time and effort it'll take for you to get there. This is of course for those who do not wish or cannot book expensive excursions. Having said that above all do not stay onboard while in port; there's absolutely nothing to do on a ship with no shopping, no show, no bingo, casino, spa, nothing but cold, quiet and lonely! Overall this was an ok cruise mainly due to the great entertainment so will overlook the ugly and definitely cruise with Carnival again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Boarding at Vancouver was a breeze. As the length of the cruise was twelve nights additional supplies had to be taken on board that delayed departure but the time was easily made up. Five full days at sea to start the cruise was going ... Read More
Boarding at Vancouver was a breeze. As the length of the cruise was twelve nights additional supplies had to be taken on board that delayed departure but the time was easily made up. Five full days at sea to start the cruise was going to be challenging and unsurprisingly the first two days were not warm so we looked to Carnival to entertain us during these days and they were found wanting. Perhaps the intention was to encourage bored passengers to the casino (more later) or the entertainment staff are just lazy (see later). The next three days were warm so the sun could be enjoyed and time did not drag. The next seven days were spent in ports that were very interesting and a great experience. The ship over nighted twice in Maui and Honolulu and Carnival basically abandoned passengers that stayed on board those evenings by putting on minimal entertainment (a local dance group in Maui) and a singer in Honolulu. Such entertainment finished at 10-30pm and most of the bars were closed. In Honolulu there was plenty of off ship entertainment available to passengers but in Maui, the ship docked in a predominantly industrial area and there did not appear to be any nearby entertainment options. Many passengers felt this unsatisfactory. Onto the entertainment staff. I have never encountered such a lazy bunch. On a twelve night cruise there were only three shows put on by them. During sea days they did a bit of bingo, some trivia and the mandatory hairy chest competition. As previously mentioned, on the overnights they basically abandoned passengers to hit the town partying.During the cruise a lot of work was taking place on board to adapt the ship for Australia including adding beer taps to bars, providing Australian electrical power outlets, providing superior hot drink machines and constructing a barbecue area. This work was carried out in a discreet and thoughtful way and did not inconvenience passengers. Bonus points to Carnival for this! Prior to the cruise the slots in the casinos had been replaced with brand new ones for the Australian market. All I and many passengers can say is be prepared to be robbed Australia in triple quick time! If the slots on board are typical of Australian ones I can't understand why any Aussie would ever participate in this form of gambling. The Ship is eleven years old and is naturally dated by modern standards but is mechanically sound and clean and has been well maintained. Sending a ship to Australia is in cruise terms the first step to the breakers yard and I find that sad having cruised on it twice before with many fond memories. I suspect Carnival have collected their laziest entertainment staff and dispatched them to Australia in the same way as Britain dispatched persons for bad behaviour in the eighteenth century. So if any Australians are reading this don't expect to be over entertained!The bar staff, dining room staff and cabin attendants were all excellent. They worked extremely hard and always smiled (even if they did not feel like doing so). The Maitre D was annoying every evening with her announcements in a weird voice for "showtime" but that apart she did an excellent job organising the dining room and enquiring of passengers' well-being. I understand she will be transferring off the ship when it arrives in Sydney. Despite the failings off the entertainment team this was a very enjoyable cruise with fascinating ports. Hawaii is a once in a lifetime experience for me because it is so damned far from anywhere! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I was so surprised! From embarkation which was a breeze through the lovely dinner that night in the Steakhouse through the next 12 days, I couldn't find a thing to complain about (except my travel companion). I was traveling with ... Read More
I was so surprised! From embarkation which was a breeze through the lovely dinner that night in the Steakhouse through the next 12 days, I couldn't find a thing to complain about (except my travel companion). I was traveling with a shared room companion who was so "Carnival negative" that I finally had to just draw the line. I am from NC and I have heard all about the Carnival party ships during Spring break. But I always always always travel with an open mind and I read all the Spirit reviews, did extensive research and saw the cabin on U-tube and boarded with a sense of "This is gonna be fun!!!!!!!!" And it was. The ship was lovely. Not gaudy, Los Vegas as I was told, but to me, just lovely. I love all the old world open atrium and grand staircases and glass elevators. Just absolutely loved the atmosphere, friendliness of all staff, open floor plan and those quiet corners where I could hide. The cabin was huge and the balcony a delight. I loved the ship and the Carnival philosophy so much I purchased 2 future cruise certificates and would have purchased more if I wasn't broke. How the staff remembered my name I don't know, but they did. They stopped to talk when in the Lido and I really appreciated that as the supervisors weren't harassing the staff to "get back to work" like NCL does when a staff member takes time to answer questions or just share his new baby pictures. We see the staff more as individuals this way, get to know them a wee bit, and of course tip better!!!!!!!!! One of my dinner table mates even bought baby clothes for a new papa ......... The staff are the best ever and just so friendly and sincere. This was my first cruise were nobody got a wee little tummy virus and that is fantastic!! So no saran wrap around the buffet.........ye ha!!!!!! Best entertainment I have seen so far. And the lady who directed the dining room entertainment??? You rock girl!!!!!!! Never seen dancing table waiters before. When Carnival advertises fun, you guys mean FUN! Thank you for an outstanding vacation and experience. I went to the steakhouse where the meal was prepared to perfection, did the behind the scene tour and met Chef Daniel and enjoyed that very much and went to Chef Daniel's grand dinner and ate too much. The Chef does wonders with plating and "dots." He seems to like the "dotting"............I had escargot at several meals, salmon was always available, the cappuccino after dinner was a treat (some other cruise lines are not charging for this.......) and the best potato salad on a salad bar I have ever had and I am a Southern gal weaned on potato salad. There is a cruise line for everyone. For me, I now have more than one favorite and I have literally moved Carnival to the top of the heap. I still adore my HAL cruises and loved Celebrity and NCL, but each is different. Carnival actually had my fat self up on the stage learning the hula and enjoying it and I didn't feel "silly" in the least. I just had a wonderful time. I wanted to hear nothing negative or have any ugly experiences, so I just pulled all the wonderful joy of the ship around me and just had a fantastic vacation. Thank you so much for making my once in a life time trip to Hawaii so memorable! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We booked a 7 day cruise to Alaska last minute. We had cabin class 7A which is a partially obstructed balcony. The obstruction was at the bottom of the balcony and was the top of a life boat. This did not bother us at all and we were ... Read More
We booked a 7 day cruise to Alaska last minute. We had cabin class 7A which is a partially obstructed balcony. The obstruction was at the bottom of the balcony and was the top of a life boat. This did not bother us at all and we were happy to have the savings. Embarkation was not super quick, but we were traveling with a 3 year old and they put us in the expedited line, which was fantastic. I think we were on board in an hour, it wasn't horrible. The food was better than I expected and we ate mostly at the buffet. Made to order omelets in the morning, etc. great salad bar, lots of fresh fruit and good variety in the evening. Hot food was hot, cold food was cold, veges were not overcooked. Room was clean and spacious. I wouldn't say the staff on this ship is overly attentive, but it was fine, and I didn't feel ignored. My 3 y/o daughter LOVED camp carnival, to the point where I could hardly get her off the ship. She made lots of friends and was happy with the activities and staff. My favorite thing was the ship. It never felt crowded, there were lots of neat places to explore. We did not go to any shows, or participate in any activities. Our goal was to read, nap, relax, and recharge. Great bed, quiet room. This was the first ship to Alaska for the season and we saw Glacier Bay, which was excellent. Lots of eagles and whales seen during the cruise. The spirit class is now my favorite ship and I would definitely go on one again. I liked it WAY better than Emerald Princess, and somewhat better than RCCL Mariner of the Seas. Stu the cruise director was fantastic, good information, but not annoyingly intrusive like some cruise directors. Getting off the ship was the best EVER. We got up, went to breakfast and literally were in the middle of breakfast when they called our group to get off. No lines, no waiting in a theater with nothing to do. Dreamy. Very relaxing vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I would suggest this particular cruise to anyone looking for adventure and ready to go with the flow, especially for those amateur photographers. We enjoyed every port. I have 2 suggestions: 1-If you do one of the first couple of ... Read More
I would suggest this particular cruise to anyone looking for adventure and ready to go with the flow, especially for those amateur photographers. We enjoyed every port. I have 2 suggestions: 1-If you do one of the first couple of Alaskan cruises in the season, bring lots of layers that are thin and easy to add or stash in a "port" bag 2-Plan ahead before you leave and excursion for each port. We did this and it made it so much easier to navigate the ports. Plus, we had the advantage of seeing more than the port itself. We did not book through the cruise line but small local businesses we found online. The Nouveau steakhouse was delicious. We went the first and last night of the cruise. We received a free bottle of wine with our dinner on the first night, which we asked our server NOT to open (which we enjoyed later in the cruise). The escargot, surf and turf, lamb chops, cowboy ribeye, lobster tail, and cheesecake were tasty. TIP: Ask your server for a cheese plate (with extra crackers) "to go" to take back to your room, yummy! The comedy shows, hypnotist shows and the big jazz show were all very entertaining. If you want to truly enjoy glacier bay, I would suggest getting a balcony for your room. Then on that day order room service for breakfast and lunch (45 mins before you actually want it). Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Very impressed with the Alaska cruise I took with Carnival. The cruise left from Vancouver, cruising the inside passage of Vancouver Island. The cruise offered inside passage for the first full day (east of Vancouver Island), juneau, ... Read More
Very impressed with the Alaska cruise I took with Carnival. The cruise left from Vancouver, cruising the inside passage of Vancouver Island. The cruise offered inside passage for the first full day (east of Vancouver Island), juneau, glacier bay, skagway & ketchikan. The full day was a return to Seattle in the open waters. Embarkation was not great, and that was for me the low point of the whole cruise. We were all seated in Canada Place, little to no communication from Carnival or the cruise port employees. The one 30 second spiel from a port employee to inform us the reason for the delay consisted of saying the ship had been delayed getting into port due to bad weather (not true, someone from the roll call who was in Vancouver that AM saw the Spirit in port at 8AM) and to sit & wait our turn - don't try to sneak into the line to get on the ship ahead of time because "we'll be watching you. And if we catch you trying to cut the line you'll be sent to the very back of the group & have to wait even longer to get on the ship." That was it for communication, no further updates. We were delayed a couple hours getting on the ship, and sail away was 90 minutes late, which didn't help the informal m&g that was planned for our roll call. But once we were on the ship, our cabins were ready so we immediately dropped off luggage. I loved my cabin, a 9A obstructed view balcony. The cabin was spacious & looked more like a suite than a regular cabin to me. There was a nice bar with granite, granite table & also the bathroom had a granite counter top & floor. It had a nice sitting area & the space was worth it to me to have the obstructed balcony. Cabin also had 3 closets, and a dresser to put clothes into. The one downside that surprised me - safe is basically on the floor in a cabinet underneath the tv. The balcony was big, but gosh yes it was more obstructed than I expected. The lifeboat sat not below the balcony, but more flush with it. So you could see out just fine, but despite having cruised before I forgot how BIG these lifeboats are. In my thinking I was expecting more of large rowboat than the huge roofed thing that could sleep 8 if we were talking private yachts. These boats are huge! After dropping off luggage we had a quick lunch in the lido, stopped at the Italian station & had some really delicious fish, and grilled veggies. There was a baked eggplant & cheese dish that was really good too. Our cabin steward & assistant were great, very helpful. For the most part we only had our cabin done once a day with son usually sleeping in too late. But they had their work cut out for them when they finally did get to the cabin, and always left it looking great with the best towel animals I've seen on any cruise so far. Great job Marcus and Arturo(?) sorry I trashed your name the whole cruise & still probably got it wrong now. The food was good for the most part, dishes I've ordered on other carnival cruises were prepared the best I've had in recent years on the Spirit. Did notice a problem with the radish slices curling up like they weren't fresh on the first day - but in general the food was prepared well & I thought the kitchen did an amazingly good job of putting out so much so well. That was at dinner. I only had breakfast one day in the MDR, really disappointed with the poached eggs I got. Not overcooked but they were cold, yuck! The desserts were quite good, in fact too good in the MDR after dinner. I did try some of the desserts in the lido buffet & was disappointed every time - except for the chocolate rum mousse offered on chocolate day. I was too impatient to stand in line for the chocolate buffet but was able to try the mousse at a line that was more reasonable. Really, really good. The real star of the cruise was glacier bay. We lucked out with decent, albeit cold weather. Some crazy girls were in the hot tub & standing up getting their pictures taken in their bikinis. Don't know how they tolerated it, I hope they didn't catch their death. Ports of skagway & juneau & ketchikan were fun as well, even though the rain was pretty heavy in ketchikan. The naturalist Michelle was great I thought, always watching for wildlife & coming on to announce over the PA system when she saw something of note. Also park rangers came on the ship for Glacier Bay. As far as activities - it seems Carnival is cutting back on what is offered. At least for what is of interest to me. In the past I would have 10 things highlighted a day to take part in. This cruise, there might only be 2 things a day I might want to do. Usually if I found one activity that appealed, like the naturalist giving a talk on the whales - that was also when tea was offered. I noticed that, being very little I wanted to do for activities in a day but if there was something good it was all offered at the same time so you had to choose. But maybe that's because I'm picky, no interest in bingo or the hairy whatever contest. Also, I always try to take part in the fitness activities offered. I wish I were an early riser, because 7 or 8 is when the free fitness classes like stretching, etc, is offered. I did do a pilates class and also a stretching class at 5pm, and a circuit training class. Was surprised at how poorly attended the classes were I went to. The trainer for the pilates class was good & it was a tremendous workout. My abs HURT the next day. There was 1 other lady at the class, and someone who left half way through the class & claimed she did not know it was a pay activity. :( The circuit training class - I was the only one there. Trainer told me to congratulate myself on being the only one on board of 2,000+ cruisers who wanted to work out. I did enjoy the production shows. They were very well done I thought, I was impressed with the quality of the singers & dancers. Also surprised one night the water was really rough, and they did not cancel the show. The dancers all looked great, and they had to have been not dancing full out but only maybe 70% (if that, i.e. holding back quite a bit) considering how bad the ship was pitching. Everyone landed their jumps & no one fell. I was expecting rough water for the return to Seattle, and it was rough the night we left ketchikan. I thought the water was fairly calm the next day though, and there was a fantastic show put on by a pod of Orcas who were swimming next to the ship. All in all a very good cruise for a very cheap price. Also the green thunder waterslide looked awesome, I'm envious of the Aussies who will soon get the Spirit. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
First I would like to thank CruiseCritc.com. My husband and I had never been on a cruise and I really wasn't sure what we were getting into! I read many reviews on CruiseCritic.com, and they really helped me to understand what to ... Read More
First I would like to thank CruiseCritc.com. My husband and I had never been on a cruise and I really wasn't sure what we were getting into! I read many reviews on CruiseCritic.com, and they really helped me to understand what to expect. We set sail on our grand tour of Alaska's Inside Passage on May 1, 2012. Embarkation was very easy and we were in our cabin rather quickly. Bagus, our steward, was wonderful. He was there when we wanted or needed him, but wasn't overbearing in any way. He always referred to us by name! We were so impressed with the look and feel of the ship. Something that really stood out was the cleanliness of the ship. From the hand sanitizing stations all around, to the tissues placed on the back of bathroom doors for use with the handle, Carnival really felt clean. My husband works for the health department and he took the Galley tour, nervous of what he would see. He was very impressed by everything he saw, and by the answers he received from the crew members giving the tour. Good Job, Carnival!! Ports: We traveled to Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. In Juneau, we took the Blue Bus to Mendenhall Glacier. This was a great deal--$7 each way! We enjoyed hiking the trails to Nugget Falls, the magnificent waterfall next to Mendenhall Glacier. This is a beautiful place, just 30 minutes outside of town. Afterwards, we wandered through Juneau, visiting the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and then went shopping. Skagway was our next stop, and my favorite port. This is a cute town with an "old west" feel. The board walk sidewalks and wooden buildings reminded me of Tombstone, AZ. We took the White Pass and Yukon Railway 3 hour roundtrip train trip. This was a beautiful excursion up into the snow. At points, we traveled through 15 foot tall snow drifts. The scenery is magnificent and shouldn't be missed. Ketchikan was our final port. On this day, the weather was terrible---strong winds and rain. Many people never even left the ship and most of the tours were cancelled. We did explore the port and enjoyed the Totem Heritage Site and the Bald Eagle center next to it. We had fun walking the trails up to the Totem Heritage site behind Creek Street. I was really surprised by the number of tourist "junk shops" lining the ports--mostly in Juneau and Ketchikan. You really have to search off the main drag to find actual items "Made in Alaska." Most of the shops carry the same cheap items that were made in China. I will admit, these stores are great for when you have to bring a lot of souvenirs back to co-workers! Glacier Bay--- After Skagway, we sailed Glacier Bay. This was truly a gift and an experience I can't compare to anything else I've done in my life. We picked up the National Park naturalist and first sailed to Marjorie Glacier and Grand Pacific Glacier. The night before, a National Park map was left on our bed (with our cute folded Carnival towel animal)--so we could easily follow along with the naturalist's descriptions of our location. We were very lucky and saw Marjorie Glacier calving! The sound you hear before the ice falls into the sea is indescribable! I've heard it referred to as "White Thunder," and thunder is the closest word to describe it! After visiting Marjorie, we sailed passed Reid and Lumpaugh Glaciers, before heading up to Johns Hopkins Glacier. We couldn't approach Johns Hopkins, due to seal birthing. Johns Hopkins Glacier was fabulous, especially as the skies turned blue at this time of the day. I truly can't say enough wonderful things about Glacier Bay---it felt like we were in a different world. I was so impressed by the Park Service employees, from their commentary, to the slideshow presentation, to the table of information (including animal skins to touch) set up by the pool area. Food-- We had all of our breakfasts and lunches in the La Playa Grill. They were fine. Some were better than others. The "De Chevre" pizza was wonderful! The chocolate buffet--FABULOUS!! The main dining room, however, was a treat to behold! We had "any time" dining, but ended up requesting Nanka from Bulgaria every night we could. She was so friendly and attentive. She really made our evenings very enjoyable. The food itself in the main dining room was Incredible!! The Chateaubriand was very memorable and wonderful. I did try the frog legs----I don't need to try them again. But, I can say that I tried them! I enjoyed my nightly cappuccino that came with dinner. What didn't we like-- The only things that we really didn't like were how much they try to sell you things on the ship. They are constantly taking your photos---which was fine, except that it got a little old every night at dinner. I did attend the art auction---the free champagne was nice. I didn't like the hard-sell pitch before the auction and at some of the other events. I didn't mind the cost of wine---it was comparable to the cost of wine at any restaurant. We really enjoyed the lemonade, so did not purchase the soft drink card. Lemonade, Iced Tea,water, Coffee, and Hot Chocolate were the "included" beverages. The iced tea was syrupy, but the lemonade and hot chocolate were wonderful. Weather--- we had wonderful weather for 90% of the cruise. On the day we sailed between Ketchikan to Seattle, we went around Vancouver Island out into the Pacific. This was a very rough day with 30 foot swells and strong winds. All the decks were closed, but the swimming pool looked like a wave pool, splashing all its water outside of its enclosure! Many people were ill---barf bags suddenly appeared in all the hallways. I was very grateful to my SeaBands and Dramamine. I don't know if this was normal, but it did make me question whether I would cruise again. After about 12 hours, the waves calmed and the sea was again like glass. It was then that we had a pod of orca breaching right outside our balcony window! What a treat!!! I can't recommend this trip enough. I also can't recommend Carnival enough. Granted, this was my first and only cruise, but my husband and I both have lived overseas and traveled extensively. We both really enjoyed this experience. We were very impressed by the cleanliness of the ship and the friendliness of the crew. Thanks Carnival, for giving us memories we will cherish forever! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
DH & I are in our mid-30s and had previously cruised once with Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We boarded the Carnival Spirit in Vancouver, BC and took a 3-night Cruise to Nowhere aka Repositioning cruise to San Pedro, CA. We stayed no ... Read More
DH & I are in our mid-30s and had previously cruised once with Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We boarded the Carnival Spirit in Vancouver, BC and took a 3-night Cruise to Nowhere aka Repositioning cruise to San Pedro, CA. We stayed no the boat and continued on for the 9-night Mexican Riviera cruise with stops in Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada. Overall, it was a good cruise. We wish we would have had another day in Cabo and we learned we aren't really big on too many sea days but nothing went wrong and everything went smoothly. We like Carnival because they make things easy as far as booking, bon voyage, picking a room, general self-help customer service online, etc. It looks like we will be sailing with them again next year, possibly twice. PROS: *We had a balcony room on the 5th floor and had two wonderful men as room stewards. Everything was great with our room and with the service. *The dining room service was EXCELLENT. Can't say enough about the servers and the wonderful maitre d' -- they have it all perfected on this ship! *Room service was good - fast and answered the phone quickly - nothing like the terrible room service I had on Carnival last time. The chocolate cake is yummy! *The ship is absolutely beautiful. It makes for a nicer cruise experience. *They have a wonderful Russian girl who does wine pairings in the Nouveau Steakhouse for $15 per person and we would highly recommend this little bit of fun. The wines were good, the little bites of food were nice, the information was interesting. They do two wine tastings - one New World and one Old World. Frankly, with 9 days and only 4 port days, I wish they would have offered more items like this. *Guest services desk was super friendly and helpful - gave us change, answered questions, etc. Everything was done quickly, efficiently, and with a smile. *The Lido buffet was pretty good. Sometimes, for lunch especially, I wished they had more of a variety. For dinner, however, they put out the good desserts and one night we even found flat iron steak and most of the offerings from the main dining room being offered on the Lido buffet. Wonderful. *The deli is the best place on the ship, IMHO. *They offer Coke Zero everywhere on the ship and I LUV me a good Coke Zero so this was a little thing that made me very happy. *Ice cream and frozen yogurt machines were always clean and always available 24/7. Yummy! *We liked the pizza and the pizza guy was always nice. It wasn't available twice between 3am and 4am, however... they were cleaning the grill or spraying for bugs both times, FYI. *The whirlpools and pools never seemed crowded. We woke-up early and got in the whirlpool on the deck when it was cool outside - it was fabulous. There seemed to be mainly all late sleepers on this cruise so the ship was quiet empty until nearly 9:00 it seemed. *The Game of Love show was hilarious and Marcello, the Assistant CD, was FANTASTIC! This is a don't miss!! *Debarkation went rather quickly and smoothly. CONS: *I had a bad experience with some rude spa employees. They are sorta like a gang of mean girls in there that don't like drinkers, smokers, or overweight people... and I know that because one of the spa employees told me that.. and I'm not kidding. *The Nouveau Steakhouse for dinner was not a good experience for us and several other patrons. The weight between each course was at least 30 minutes with no offers of water, no wine refills, etc. You are given one piece of bread at the beginning of your meal and when you eat it, they take away your bread plate and the butter. No more for the remainder of the meal. We did not have a designated waitress. They are clearly understaffed here. Not worth $30 per person. I would not recommend. *Embarkation was a nightmare for us in Vancouver.. didn't get on the ship until nearly 3:30pm. Terrible. Same thing again for my in-laws in San Pedro. Poor excuses were made both times. *The ship was late arriving in our first two ports, like, almost an hour late. They introduced the ship's captain at the past guest party as the most senior captain in all the fleet... but he sure couldn't get the boat anywhere on time! *They offer late night comedians that are basic slapstick comedy BUT we went to one showing after dinner and then they stopped after the first guy and said the next guy wouldn't start for another 20 or 30 minutes... so everyone left. WHY do that?? If you are going to have two late-night comedians.. have them follow each other?? Seemed odd. *We were on the ship for 12 nights with only four port days. We got bored. We don't like bingo, the casino, or trivia. There isn't much else left to do. This would be my biggest overall "complaint" - but it is our fault, we should have chosen a larger ship with more offerings. I could write forever but basically... any cruise is a good cruise... at least, that has been our experience so far. We definitely enjoyed our time on this beautiful ship and can easily understand why it is the perfect design and size for an Alaskan cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Getting to the port was easy as it was just a cab ride from home... Okay maybe not so easy as it was during the week and traffic was a still an issue. Not to mention that I was blessed with a cabbie that made me regret not having taken out ... Read More
Getting to the port was easy as it was just a cab ride from home... Okay maybe not so easy as it was during the week and traffic was a still an issue. Not to mention that I was blessed with a cabbie that made me regret not having taken out travel insurance. But eventually Mario got me to the Port of Vancouver safe and sound. Going through immigration I saw that fellow friends and cruisers were already at the port. As this was my first solo vacation it made this the first leg of my vacation that much easier. After getting through customs and getting my sign and sail card I proceeded to the waiting area. Thankfully my friends had saved me seat beside them and we waited... and we waited... We eventually found out that the computers were down and everyone needed to be checked in manually. Some tempers got a little flared...not sure why... as you are still on vacation and the DOD will still be there. After we got on board we were able to find our other friends (platinum so they were on board ahead of us) had our quotas of the DOD and lunch on the Lido. At about 2 we went to our cabins to unpack. Though it was such a beautiful day that we went back to the Aft Bar on deck 9 of the Spirit and sat in the sun ? This also where the roll calls meet and greet was to held. And held it was. I think that this was the best roll call that I have ever attended. Only a few didnt show up... and what was so great about it was that we would all meet up for other activities through out the 3 day cruise. As the computers were down the entire day Muster was held late as was our departure from Vancouver. We had been wanting to see the Lions Gate Bridge but had to miss it as we had early seating. My friends had linked my booking to theirs so we already knew that we were sitting together. We sat at a table for 6 with another couple and their solo friend. They were great company. After dinner it was the casino. Then the comedy club. Both were good but nothing memorable happened. 1st sea day I wanted to make sure that I did both my "have you ever"... The first one was the Wine and Food Pairing. Great stuff to know... but it was heavy on the wine and not the food. So we all left a little tipsy. (As this was during lunch... they really should have had more in the way of food) My next "Have you ever"was doing the tea! Our leader from the roll call had contacted JH and had it placed in the "Fun Times" again we had a great turn out from the roll call. Loved the tea... very nice assortment of nibbles would definitely do this again Then it was time to get ready for "Cruise Elegant night" (while getting ready I was standing on my balcony and saw 3 Pacific White Sided Dolphins... what a blessing) It was nice to see that everyone made an effort in dressing even thought this was a shorter cruise. And as always my lobster was amazing! After dinner we went to the comedy club to see the shows. The next morning I meet my friends for breakfast and then received a text message from another friend asking if we wanted to see have a tour of the ships galley with them. What a great learning experience. And it was really enlightening to see how Carnival is trying to be the leader in sustainability. After the galley tour we meet up with others in our roll call for cabin crawl. It was very educating to see the different types of cabins... sorry not sharing any of the secrets I have learnt :p After onto the casino... won $50.00 so i knew it was time to walk away. So I went to art auction. Stayed a few minutes as I knew I wasn't going to buy anything. Then went to the Lido for lunch and came across more people from our roll call. Then onto dinner and the night spent dancing till the wee hours of the morning Dinner that night was again great as we had one of the best dining teams that I have ever had... and all Ladies! Even though this had been a 3 night cruise to no where the staff from the dining room to my cabin Stewart was amazing. I must also commend Guest services as this cruise attracted ALOT of new cruisers to Carnival. On one of my trips to guests' services some one used the VIP line... and others in the regular line yelled at him not bud in... Then more chimed in. And yes they were carrying blue cards. I advised the group that once you have cruised with CCL 10+ times you too can have the same privileges. They stopped... and as the man walked by he showed us his Platinum card. My only comment to Carnival would be educate the new guests better as to what the privileges are when sailing with them. Embarkation was a mess. Neither the port nor the ship was prepared and it left a bad taste in many mouths. As the only place I needed to be was on beach it didnt affect my plans though i do feel for those that flights to catch. Would I do a "Cruise to no Where" again... in heart beat! Especially with the roll call that we had... Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We started our 12 days in Vancouver and it took forever to board the ship. I now how cattle must feel being hearded into a pasture. They had computer problems but didnt tell anyone what was going on until we had been sitting for over an ... Read More
We started our 12 days in Vancouver and it took forever to board the ship. I now how cattle must feel being hearded into a pasture. They had computer problems but didnt tell anyone what was going on until we had been sitting for over an hour and half. Finally three hours later we boarded and got settled. Our room was nice but it looks tired and dated. The balcony we had was amazing. It was super long and it was extended as well. Cabin # 7258. You could have fit a party of 10 on it easily! We dined alot at the formal dining room. It was good food and always great service. The buffet is okay we mostly had breakfast there. The sushi bar was great had that a few times. The shows are good but when we sailed NCL five years ago it was way better. We had good weather in Mexico but was disappointed that we lost a day in Cabo. Carnival said it was because of Hurricane Hilary but we easily could have had one more day there. Disney arrived in Cabo same time we did and they had two days there and arrived just after us in San Pedro?? I would like to know why they were so lucky? I feel like Carnival ripped us off in a sense!! We enjoyed Puerto Vallarta. We did a Tequila tasting tour and would say it was the highlight of our trip. The tour guide Pedro was hilarious and made the trip alot of fun. Ariba Mass Tequila!! Disembarking went okay. When we got off to find our shuttle we were easily directed to our bus. Over all the cruise was nice but they didnt Wow us. Will try something different next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Because this was a repositioning cruse following the Alaska cruise season, the price was right! We booked short notice (less than three weeks) and received a great deal. We were put in an aft facing, extended balcony cabin on the main deck ... Read More
Because this was a repositioning cruse following the Alaska cruise season, the price was right! We booked short notice (less than three weeks) and received a great deal. We were put in an aft facing, extended balcony cabin on the main deck (deck 4). It was wonderful! The roar of the water as the ships screws pushed the ship through the water was great! If you want to sit on a quite balcony and enjoy the view, then don't get an aft facing cabin. You had to raise your voice to be heard. It was worth it because the view and cabin were great! Carnival's entertainment was standard, song and dance shows in the main area and comedy shows in the lounge each night. The embarkation was very slow because the computers in Vancouver were down and everything had to be hand written and verified. We ended on a slow note also in LA because they could not get the brow to setup correctly with the ship. We had to stay on board an extra couple of hours. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I booked this cruise for the itinerary. I had read and heard varying reports about Carnival and, as our only other cruise had been on Holland America, I wasn't sure how much I would like it. However I was pleasantly surprised. The ... Read More
I booked this cruise for the itinerary. I had read and heard varying reports about Carnival and, as our only other cruise had been on Holland America, I wasn't sure how much I would like it. However I was pleasantly surprised. The ship's dEcor wasn't really to my taste and much of it certainly looked like 'Las Vegas on steroids'. The glass elevators in the atrium were fun but I didn't much like the dark interiors of the public rooms on the lower decks and wished the seating looked more out to sea. But the public areas were kept clean and in good order. But I was very pleased with my cabin. I had a port side 7A balcony with an obstructed view over the top of the lifeboats but it was between two lifeboats and was very good value. And I enjoyed sitting out watching the boats being launched to serve as tenders at Kona. However, a tip for this itinerary - a starboard cabin would have been better as twice the port side was docked right up against the tall warehouses at the commercial ports so sitting out on the balcony wasn't that great. I did see inside an obstructed view 5A cabin with full-length windows but no balcony, again between two lifeboats, and was impressed by how light and airy it was. Next time, I'd be happy to settle for one of those. The cabin was spacious with plenty of storage and well laid out. The bathroom was good with, again, plenty of storage and I preferred having just a shower rather than climbing in and out of a small bathtub to have a shower. The bed was rather too firm for me so (having read up on the Carnivals boards) I immediately asked the steward for a foam topper pad which made all the difference. My steward, Lawrence, was excellent. He was always very pleasant, kept the cabin very clean and while I can live without towel animals, some of them were very cute. I really appreciated having a laundry available but putting a proper cover on the ironing board would have been a help and it was somewhat disappointing to find that both machines in the laundry on my deck had broken before the end of cruise. On the whole, service in board was very good with staff always very polite and friendly. The exception was on the Lido deck where tables were often left uncleared for quite a while and cleaning of the tables seemed somewhat perfunctory. With the ever present risk of norovirus, I expected higher standards of hygiene. There seemed to be too few staff looking after the tables and too many bar servers trying to sell drinks. This was the most irritating part of the cruise. On one occasion, on the Fantail deck, I was asked if I wanted to buy a drink 5 times in 15 minutes yet no one came to take away the dirty dishes beside me. Carnival need to stop this pressuring of their customers to buy drinks as I wasn't the only person who found it very annoying. Food on the Lido was reasonable with the Taste of Nations often offering good choices but the pizza was disappointing - too doughy and not enough topping. Breakfast offerings on the Lido were OK but I was dismayed to find one morning that many of the usual selections had already been removed even though breakfast service still had more half an hour to go. I preferred having breakfast in the dining room (but for some reason that wasn't available on port days) or a continental breakfast in my cabin from room service which was always prompt. The smoked salmon and bagel was very generous and the melon selection always nicely presented. One service I really liked was the complimentary soft serve icecream always available and the ice cream parlor open every afternoon on sea days. But why wasn't it offered on port days? Many guests were back on board by later in the afternoon and in the hot weather it would have been very welcome. If this is a cost cutting measure, then it's one that Carnival should reconsider. I had anytime dining and never had to wait for a table. If it looked like there would be a wait, I would offer to share a table and was always taken to one immediately. On one occasion, I was asked to share but feeling tired, I just wanted a quick dinner so asked for a table to myself and was given one right away. The food in the dining room was very good and mostly excellent! And I'm quite picky and like really good food. Service was good AND pleasant. I loved the five sea days on this cruise. The weather was mostly very good and people were out swimming and sunbathing from the start of the cruise. The three pools were great and, even on the warmest days, there were always sun loungers available. There were quite a lot of activities going on. I did enjoy the trivia (and won two of the famous 'ship on a stick') and generally enjoyed watching some of the games and competitions taking place. And the naturalist talks were very interesting and it was good to be able to watch them in the comfort of your cabin. I only went to a couple of shows. The hypnotist wasn't that interesting and a comedian was so lame that I left after 10 minutes. Fortunately there weren't nearly as many announcements from the cruise director as I'd feared and the daily update from the captain on sea days were fun! Though, there was certainly a push to sell spa treatments, excursions etc. I only purchased two ship's excursions - one to the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens at Hilo which was very good and included a pleasant drive passing some sights on the way. The other was the Maui Tropical Plantation and Iao Needle. The plantation had lovely gardens and there was a craft market next door which had local crafts at excellent prices. I had expected to see more private tour operators at the ports but they seemed to be kept out by the strict security. In fact, the security seemed rather excessive and no one could understand why our belongings had to be x-rayed twice every time we re-boarded. In the port areas only a couple of taxis seemed to be allowed into the port area at any time. At Kona, I just walked around and saw the sights on my own. At Kauai, I went over to the taxi area and luckily met up with 5 others looking to hire a taxi. We paid $40 each for a 4 hour tour to the Waimea Canyon and some other sights. It was better value and much more enjoyable than a bus tour. On Maui, I'd done my research and printed the timetable for the public bus from the shopping centre to Lahaina for a dollar. There was a big queue in the sun for the free shuttle to the shopping centre so some of us got together and shared a taxi. Lahaina was delightful and the public bus is a great way to get about on Maui. I was very disappointed that the ship didn't go past the lava flow on the Big Island at night. I had been looking forward to it as a highlight of the cruise and it was even more disappointing to hear that the return cruise to the States was going past the lava flow. No reason was given for the change of itinerary. In conclusion, I still prefer Holland America but this cruise was very enjoyable and Carnival gave good value for the price I paid at the early saver rate. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Spiriting Away for a Hawaiian Lei After 14 months of chatting on the CC boards our group finally met for the Vancouver to Hawaii Sept 14th 2010 Cruise. Having done this cruise in 2006 I was had great expectations & felt more ... Read More
Spiriting Away for a Hawaiian Lei After 14 months of chatting on the CC boards our group finally met for the Vancouver to Hawaii Sept 14th 2010 Cruise. Having done this cruise in 2006 I was had great expectations & felt more relaxed having some ideas of what to expect. We headed out early & got to the Vancouver Port by 10:30 am. No worries on where to go as the Port Staff were there to direct you at every turn. It was so easy & the Porters were friendly & quick to deal with unloading the car & taking our luggage. This part went so fast & efficient last time that I had suggested to my husband that we slow it down & enjoy it more this time. But before you know it we were in line being welcomed to our Carnival Cruise, getting the passports dealt with, going through security, getting pictures taken, & getting our sail and sign card set up, that we were hearing that distinctive sound of that card entering the reader before we knew it. As we had 1 bag more than we wanted to lug around we snuck off to our cabin (the same one as last time) & asked the cabin steward if we could leave it in the room. If something should happen to it we were prepared to say goodbye to it. He graciously allowed it & then we set off to the Lido deck for the Fun Ship Drink & some lunch. At 1:30 we went to our room & unpacked as well as decorated the door & window. The safety drill was done on deck with no life jackets & didn't take that long. Most people paid heed and arrived in a timely fashion. Soon after we set sail under the Lions Gate Bridge in rather breezy conditions, which was much better than the rain that started our last adventure. We choose the late seating & many of the tables had only 1 or 2 couples at them. We did get a card asking us if we would mind changing tables & we said yes. Very glad we did too, as we had a very interesting group of tablemates. Carnival had been especially helpful & gracious in getting us a room to hold our Meet n Greet on very short notice. They offered us a lounge where a group of about 50 met. Servers & bartenders were supplied & we had a great time meeting the people we had been chatting with for so long. The White Elephant gift exchange was a success as well. The weather for the first day or 2 or even 3 is notoriously finicky as you come out of the protection of the Vancouver Harbour. So too this time as it stayed in the mid 60's or 17 Celsius & breezy until our 3rd sea day which warmed up & became sunny. We had a cabin Poker Crawl with a turn out of about 18 people, which was a nice size. The age group on this cruise is mostly 40 & up but this time we did have some newly weds. There were not a lot children. Although the decks were full I never noticed any chair issues. You could always find somewhere to sit. The water slide was a hit. We went to 3 shows, which were comedy & hypnosis. They were entertaining. The food at the Lido deck was tasty & there was a large variety to suit anyone. From burgers & fries to pizza & deli sandwiches. The favourite ice cream bar & the Asian Buffet. There was a chocolate lunch as well as the more traditional fare. The dining room menu was adequate. The waiters always offered more than one serving to those with larger appetites, whether it was appetizers or the main course. The only suggestion here would be to have drinks offered. Unless you had wine no one ever asked if you would like a cocktail or soda. The shipboard activities were of the usual type, Hairy Man Contest, Bingo, Trivia, Towel Making etc. The Past Guest Party was in Pharaoh's Lounge & there were plenty of waiters with drinks & food. Another mention for improvement would be the number of times one is asked if they would like a drink. In the pool areas it became annoying. Too many servers asking the same people just minutes apart. Perhaps one or two servers to an area might help. The last Sea Day was Hawaiian Elegant Night (the 2nd elegant night of the cruise) & there were free cocktails before dinner throughout the Atrium and all bars on that deck. I always enjoy the crowds & dancing & excitement at the Atrium on Elegant Nights. Our Captain needs mention also. He was the same one we had previously & his sense of humour is infectious. The weather is "yucky" and we are "in the middle of nowhere" The Marine Biologist on board gave us daily ocean updates that were peppered by his humour. Good thing she couldn't be phased!. I do wish Carnival had not changed the route for this cruise. We did not pass by the lava fields of the Big Island at night. It was of huge interest to everyone in 2006 & the captain made a 2nd pass so that both sides of the ship could view them. Considering the 6,000+ miles to get there, it seems a waste not to go around the bottom of the island of Hawaii to view the lava flowing into the ocean. Our cabin steward was terrific. There was always ice in the fridge for the medication that needed to be kept cold. She was considerate & helpful. She offered information on places to visit & she had a sense of humour as well as a caring attitude. Our Ports were Kona Hawaii, Nawiliwili Kauai, Hilo Hawaii, Kahului, Maui overnight & Honolulu Oahu overnight making up the 12 day cruise. We did not do any ship excursions or tours. We did rent a car at each port. There were issues with getting the car rental shuttles in a timely fashion on 2 occasions. We did the self assist debarkation & if it is at all possible I highly recommend it. You can leave with your luggage at the time of your choice. We left at 7:30 am before the rush. Our rental car was parked close by & off we went. Would I cruise Carnival again? Yes, keeping in mind it is the itinerary as well as the length of the cruise & the time of the year that determines the type of people, the age group & the overall expectations of each cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
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 ... Read More
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 keeping up the reputation of the Fun Ships! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
There were 8 of us in our group taking this cruise, having gone on Carnival once before on the Splendour from Rome to Ft Lauderdale we were looking foreward to this one. Boarding was very fast at Vancouver and we found our cabins with ... Read More
There were 8 of us in our group taking this cruise, having gone on Carnival once before on the Splendour from Rome to Ft Lauderdale we were looking foreward to this one. Boarding was very fast at Vancouver and we found our cabins with ease. Simliar size to those on Princess & Celebrity. Ours luggage was delivered within 1 hour which was considerably faster than other cruises, after unpacking we decided to have lunch, very good selection in the buffet except that the serving stations were very close to some of the tables and it made moving around with a full tray somewhat difficult. We then 'explored' the ship, quite impressive for a ship a few years old though we later found out that it had been refurbished. Weather was great so we met our friends on deck for a 'few' drinks then watched as we left Vancouver and into English Bay for our trip to Hawaii. We had a table for the late sitting and were shown to our table, the waiter and his assistand seemed very friendly but the wait for the food was over 1/2 hour just for the appetisers. The main course was not bad but still a long wait, needless to say we were not impressed. The following morning I was talking to a fellow passenger who told me that at their dinner (the first seating) the maitr'a d appologised to the passengers for the slow serving of dinner explaining that most of the crew was new for this voyage and they should have all the 'kinks' worked out by the second nite. Sure enough - all other dinners were fine with the service very good. During this cruise, my wife - as she had done in the past on other cruise lines - decided to book a massage at the spa. In Canada most people have extended health insurance which pays approx 80% for massage therapy and when we submit the bill it must have the registered massage therapist's number on it otherwise the insurance company will not pay it. Before having the massage my wife explained to the receptionist of this requirement to which she was told that it would be no problem. After the massage she noticed that this number was missing from the receipt and asked that it be written on it, she was then told that due to privacy laws they were not allowed to put it on, but they have never heard of such a problem with insurance companies. I then went up to the spa & got the same answer, I told them that on Celebrity (who we have travelled with extensively) the number is always there. I then went to guest services who explained to me that Carnival contracts these services out! and that it really has nothing to do with Carnival, but I could always send an e-mail and 'see what happens. We did submit the receipt to our insurance company and they returned it stating that as there was no number on it and the receipt was of very poor quality and was not legible they would not pay it We later found out that the spa service operator uses people from Europe, Australia & South Africa where they are not required to carry state registration, only massage therapists in Canada & US are. Our ports of call were Kona, Kauai, Hilo, Maui (overnite) & Honolul (overnite). As there were 8 of us we had decided and made arrangements before we left Canada to rent a car in Maui, proved the best choice we ever made as the car only cost $100 for the 2 days and we drove and saw everything - the tours that the cruise ship had offered were very high priced. In Kona & Kauai we hired a cab for 3 hours for $100 and were shown all the sights in a much more comfortable way rather than getting on & off a large 40+ passenger bus. It seemed to us that the cost of tours offered by the cruise line were much more expensive than the simliar ones offered in the Caribbean islands. The one tour that we did take that was offered by the cruise ship was the Pearl Harbour tour, 4 hours for $39 per person - very good value indeed. All in all we had a good time, on a scale of 1 - 10 I would put it at a 7. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We recently returned from the first sailing of the season on the Carnival Spirit to Alaska. This was the third day of the season for the ports we visited. This was our second cruise overall but first with Carnival. We had a great time, ... Read More
We recently returned from the first sailing of the season on the Carnival Spirit to Alaska. This was the third day of the season for the ports we visited. This was our second cruise overall but first with Carnival. We had a great time, though some items could be better. Embarkation: We boarded in Vancouver, BC. The cruise port was clean and easily accessible. We actually ported our bags and took a short walk over to the 2010 Olympic cauldron, which is only about 2 blocks west of the Canada Place cruise terminal. The cauldron has ongoing construction around it. They are building a shallow pool under the cauldron and on the bottom will highlight the path the torch took to get to Vancouver. Once back at the cruise terminal we were through security and paperwork in 15 minutes and on board. As it was almost 2pm room were ready and one of our bags was already outside our door. Rooms: Our room was very clean and spacious. I was concerned that the balcony would feel small but I was completely content with it's size. Our room steward was amazing. First time I saw him he was half way down the hallway but he called me and my fiance by name. I honestly don't know how they remember everyone's name especially from so far away. Our room was always clean. He did a great job of learning our schedule and would pop in while we were out and about. Only odd thing about the room was the TV. It always turned on to some random channel that only displayed static. Though when scrolling through the channels it never returned to that channel. Dining: We ate in the main dining room all but one night. Our wait staff was very friendly but not very attentive. We often sat with empty drinks or only water and would usually have to ask for refills. By the last night he learned we drink the small glasses of lemonade way to quickly and started using larger glasses for us. He must have gotten tired of us asking for refills all the time. Our assistant waiter was a ghost as we hardly ever saw her. She would bring bread and then occasionally fixings for the dishes, though I was half way done with my meal one day before she brought the fixing for the baked potato. The food in the main dining room was good. Portions were small and some items arrived lukewarm at best. I expected the small servings so when there was something I really enjoyed, IE prime rib, I didn't hesitate to order a second. We used room service one night because our excursion occupied us and we didn't make it back to the ship in time to get cleaned up for dinner. The room service staff were fast and courteous though the food options were limited. They forgot one of the entrees I ordered so I ended up making a trip up to the buffet to fill myself up. I was hoping that during dinner times they could bring items from the main dining room but was informed they would not. We ate breakfast one morning in the main dining room. The food was good and the service was fine but we quickly realized you can get the same food, faster and in larger quantities in the buffet so we ate breakfast up there every other morning. The buffet food was confusing at best. Instead of an organized long line they have the buffet split into about 7 different sections. Each section offers some different form of food and you have to roam around for 10 minutes looking at each station so you can decide what you want to eat. The seating area and the lines crowd together making walking around a real pain. The food was adequate, basically what I expected from a buffet. Some of the items were cold but most were pretty good. The omelet station in the morning was one of my regular stops as well as the carved meat during lunch. The dessert station had different items every day and the pizza was pretty good. Public rooms: All the public area's of the ship were clean and beautiful. We spent a decent amount of time at the casino. The dealers were all very friendly as they took my money. The Texas hold-em table is a poker pro machine. It was difficult to get people to the table but once you got a few people would fill in pretty quickly. The main show room is very large with comfortable seating and good views from everyplace. I really enjoyed the extra room between rows on the main level of the theatre. The shows were OK. I was hoping for a show that had some sort of story to follow. Instead they were all just random song and dance. Well done shows, yes, but not all that interesting. The show on the final night where the guest sing and perform was rather entertaining. Staff: All the staff I had encounters with were very pleasant and helpful. I only went to the pursuer's desk once, she seemed busy and was kind of abrasive but wasn't rude. The cruise director was rather boring though. He seemed like a nice guy but he was very dry to listen to. He did not appear prepared at all. His PowerPoint's were all messed up and he blamed the computer though it appeared more likely that he did not review them before the show as he did not even seem to know what was coming next. His morning show was brutally painful. Tried to watch it one morning but after 5 minutes he was putting me back to sleep. Maybe it should be replayed at night to help the insomniacs. Overall we had a great time on this cruise. Alaska was beautiful and I did not want to get off the ship. Dining room staff could be more attentive and faster and the buffet could be laid out in a much more organized fashion but overall I have no regrets. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
The Carnival Spirit cruise, leaving Vancouver, BC on May 5th could not have been less spirited, if it had tried. First let me say that we have cruised extensively all over the world and that this was also our fourth cruise to Alaska, so ... Read More
The Carnival Spirit cruise, leaving Vancouver, BC on May 5th could not have been less spirited, if it had tried. First let me say that we have cruised extensively all over the world and that this was also our fourth cruise to Alaska, so it's not as though we didn't know what to expect. And it's a good thing we didn't expect much, because we didn't get much either. To begin, the boarding process in Vancouver went fairly well, although the US Customs clearance was a bit of a hang-up and could have been handled better. In any case, it went as well as can be expected in this day and age of security and inspections. We were directed to our cabin by crew members. First time, I believe, that someone did not escort us. In any case, we were on the back of the ship in an aft-view extended balcony, so headed in that direction and found it with no problem. Cabin was rather plain pipe rack in decor but balcony and view from the stern made up for it. The sitting area had a sofa that became a third bed when booked as a triple or family cabin. It was OK but not terribly comfortable for reading; usually sat on bed to read as it was more comfortable. Cabin crew were friendly, efficient, and cooperative; kept cabin clean and well supplied with towels. Often had coffee in cabin in the morning and it was always on time and hot. Introduction to ship emergency procedures was handled professionally and I think everyone was happy that the bulky life preservers were not required at the briefing. Sound system with instructions could have been better but we all got the idea. Sailing out of Vancouver was lovely and we were ready to have a drink and then proceed to dinner. Carnival now has a dress-down policy in that pretty much anything goes as far as dress is concerned, except for cut-offs and bathing suits in the dining room. The passengers were somewhat younger and uniform for the cruise seemed to be jeans and T-shirts most of the time. Dressier evenings were far more casual than in past cruises, although Alaska cruises do tend to be more casual than other destinations. I suspect the new charges for luggage by the airlines might have some impact on this also, as no one wants to pay extra for luggage when traveling to a cruise ship, just so they can dress up for one or two nights. Decor of the ship was rather schizophrenic in that there was no unifying theme. One area had rather formal, European style decor; another had Egyptian or Middle Eastern feeling; buffet area was a modern melange guaranteed to help you lose your appetite. Someone even remarked that the lamps hanging into the walkways were hazardous to people walking by, since they were at head height and easy to bump into. Dining room was very subdued and seldom full. Most people didn't bother with a set dining time apparently. Many people were seated by themselves at tables for 6-8 people and looked rather lonely. Dining staff often had few passengers to wait on and stood around with not much to do. Still, hot food often arrived just barely warm and cold food arrived lukewarm. Some entrees seemed to have been sitting around awhile before being served. Food choice was good and servings were adequate. Not gourmet dining, by any means, but not bad either. Often times it looked as though the kitchen had really tried to be creative and it was appreciated. Servers were pleasant and seemed well-trained; not overly rushed or careless. Wine selections were good although rather pricey, but that's common these days. We didn't choose this cruise for either the itinerary or because we wanted to be on a Carnival Cruise; we joined friends who were already on the ship from Hawaii, but they also felt that Carnival was not on a par with other lines they had sailed on. Would I take another Carnival cruise? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Vancouver: My adult daughter lives in Olympia, WA so my husband & I flew from Colorado to meet her and then we drove to Vancouver, B.C. The drive was nice until we got to Vancouver - a lot of traffic, but they are gearing up for the ... Read More
Vancouver: My adult daughter lives in Olympia, WA so my husband & I flew from Colorado to meet her and then we drove to Vancouver, B.C. The drive was nice until we got to Vancouver - a lot of traffic, but they are gearing up for the Olympics. We parked right at the pier which ended up costing $200! We later learned we could have taken the train from Seattle but, you cannot always count on the train. Check in very fast and efficient and all bags made it to room by sailing time. We chose a cabin with a window near mid-ship on the Rivera deck. We always chose low and midshid as it rides the best, i.e. not much movement. And, a window cabin has a couch/twin bed (a bit hard) for 3rd person rather than a bunk. Fun to watch all of the float planes, barges and other ship coming and going while leaving the port. Food/Entertainment: We opted for the "Your Time" dining - which was great! We found head waiter, Romeldo - not to be confused with Romualdo - to be the best - lots of personality and service was always faster than any of the other areas where we were seated in. Sometimes we chose to sit with other groups, sometimes alone - never going back to assigned seating if I can help it! My daughter & I enjoyed trying out new fancy foods and deserts every day so we ate in the dining room most of the time while my husband stuck to the buffet. Casual dress, including jeans and tennis shoes was OK, but it was nice to dress up a little or a lot on the 2 formal nights. We also took tea at 3:30 on the days at sea. The shows in Pharoah's lounge were always fun and professional and my daughter went to Karaoke a couple of nights and enjoyed that, too. My husband could be found in the casino most of the time, but the machines were really tight! Room Stewards: Although there were 3 of us coming and going at all times, they managed to sneak in and make up the room or turn down the beds along with leaving cute towel animals every day. Nice people - we always take time to say hi and see what countries all of these folks are from as we pass in the hallways - they are the backbone of the ship! Tips: Since there were 3 of us in the cabin, I usually got up early, worked out in the gym, then showered in the larger facilies of the locker room. I loved the thick terry cloth robes that are provided in the cabins and found many other guests running around in them, too - even for breakfast at the buffet! Also, remember there are laudramats on most of the decks - so to save on luggage, pack for only 4-5 days and do your laundry on one of the days at sea. Cost is $3 for washer and $3 for dryer, bring your own detergent & softener or pay $1 for that, too. Get your quarters from the casino or service desk. There is a minifridge in the room, along with a table, so you can always load up at the buffet and take your dinner back to the room, or stash a dessert in the fridge for late night snack without leaving the room. Return: We all enjoyed a nice breakfast in the dining room (you get a larger choice of fruit juices, made to order eggs, etc. than at the buffet) then our turn came to leave at about 8:30 and were on our way out of Vancouver by 9. We were driving back to SEA-TAC for a 5pm flight - we thought we'd have a lot of time to spare, but U.S. customs took a full hour, so we only had time to stop in Ana Cortes for a late lunch - it's a very pretty town on Hidalgo Island - right outside of Mt. Vernon. Summary: 7 day cruise with only 3 ports was about 1 day too long, especially since it was too cold, windy and/or rainy to do anything top deck. But, Alaska is really beautiful - especially for those who haven't been to the Rocky Mountains and/or lived by seaports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
My husband and I are both retired. We decided that we had the time to go to Hawaii round trip on the Spirit. The cost was not much more than the airfare would have been to fly into or out of Honolulu. We had met lots of other guests on ... Read More
My husband and I are both retired. We decided that we had the time to go to Hawaii round trip on the Spirit. The cost was not much more than the airfare would have been to fly into or out of Honolulu. We had met lots of other guests on the CC roll call...so we felt like to had friends before we began. We arrived in Vancouver the day before. Stayed at the Metropolitan Hotel which was very, very nice. It was 3 blocks from the cruise port so we were able to walk to the ship. Embarkation was very easy, and we were on the ship by 12 noon. Our room steward, Jose, introduced himself and proceeded to be the best for the entire cruise. The ship has been redecorated this year and looked great. We had been on the Spirit for 2 other cruises so could appreciate the job. It was overcast and rain the 1st day out but that was the only day out of 24. We had 2 meet and greet times with our CC roll call group and also a gift exchanged which was a lot of fun. There was also a poker crawl and a door decorating contest. We did not participate in those but did enjoy seeing all the doors that were decorated. Such imagination!! Life on a ship is what you make of it. We try to use the time for relaxing when we can and also to see new and different places. This cruise filled the bill having 5 days on the water to begin and 5 days on the water to end our trip with lots of things to see and do in the middle. The cruise director Chis and his assistant Mark were very good. They are some of the most active people I have ever seen. Their Blues Brothers Show was absolutely the best!! Also, they head a Q&A about what it is like to live on a ship. They very patiently answered questions for 2 hours and it was very informative. Unfortunately they are leaving the ship. The islands were all beautiful with each having their own special features. We rented a car in each port except Honolulu and planned our own tours. In Honolulu the bus system is very good and inexpensive. Since doing back to back cruises we had 3 days to explore Honolulu. The first day we went to Pearl Harbor, 2nd day Polynesian Cultural Center (bus ride was beautiful, following the coastline around the island) and the 3rd day we went to Waikiki beach. The only negative was the food in the dining room did not seem to be the same quality as previous cruises. The Lido buffets were good. I always enjoy their deli. We did eat at the Steakhouse Specialty Restaurant and the meat was unbelievable. THE BEST I HAVE EVER EATEN. This was one of the best cruises we have been on mainly due to our CC roll call friends and the friendliness of the ship staff. Everyone on staff from the bottom up had a smile and a friendly word. One last word about the staff. We had a Medical emergency with a coast guard evacuation. I was so impressed with the care and preparation, no detail was left undone. They practice monthly for this and you could tell they knew what they were doing. It makes you feel more secure being out in the middle of the ocean Carnival does this cruise 2 times a year. I would highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
This was a great cruise! We joined up on the CC Spirit Roll Call and met a lot of wonderful people before we even boarded the ship. We flew into Vancouver the day before embarkation to avoid any problems. It was a beautiful, sunny day, ... Read More
This was a great cruise! We joined up on the CC Spirit Roll Call and met a lot of wonderful people before we even boarded the ship. We flew into Vancouver the day before embarkation to avoid any problems. It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect temperature. Vancouver is a gorgeous city! I would love to spend more time there sometime! Sept 16-Embarkation day- Woke up to overcast, cloudy, nippy day. Went to the port around 10am and dropped off our luggage. Spent about an hour walking around Canada Place and taking pictures. It started to rain and drove everybody inside. Embarkation was a breeze! It was very organized and didn't have to wait in any line until it was time to actually board the ship. They had everyone sit in chairs after you received your sail and sign card. They dismissed by rows to get your embarkation picture taken and then board the ship. We met the first of our CC roll call group while sitting in the chairs and spent the brief wait time telling the people around us about how we met on the CC website. We waited no more than 15 or 20 min in the chairs and then we were on the ship. The ship was beautiful. It was very classy decor. Not the usual "Vegas style" gaudiness that is usually Carnival's decor theme. We were on the ship around 11:30am but couldn't get into our room until 1:00pm so we went to the lido deck and had lunch and then walked around the ship and got to know the lay out. It's a very easy ship to maneuver on. The decks are layed out very simply. Went to our room at 1:00pm and met our room steward Katute (spelling?) He did a wonderful job the entire trip! He was very helpful and always friendly. We never had to go looking for him and our room was always spotless. I wanted to take him home with me. Our dining time was messed up. We told our Expedia travel agent that we wanted late time dining. When we looked up our cruise reservation on Carnival it said we had early dining. We thought about it and decided that was probably better anyway, so we wouldn't be eating so close to going to bed. When we got our sail and sign card it said anytime dining on it. We missed the Maitre'd at embarkation so we talked to the hostess on the first night and asked if we could get a specified time. We told her we preferred early dining, but would take late dining over any time dining. She told us she would give the Maitre'd our message and there would be a note with our dining assignment left at our cabin the following afternoon. It actually took 2 days to get our dining assignment. Any time dining was a mess and the service in the dining room was awful! When we had anytime dining we went to the hostess to be seated. It was always a wait. They gave you a pager like you get at the Olive Garden and when a table was available you were paged. We had to go "hang out" until we were paged and were finally seated. The service was pretty bad. It took at least 15-20min between each course. We constantly had to ask for ice-t and bread. I ordered a ginger-ale the second night from the drink steward. He took the order before we ordered the appetizers and didn't see him again until we were half way through our entree. My husband finally snagged him as he was whizzing by us and asked him about my drink. He said he didn't bring it because we hadn't presented our S&S card to him. My husband told him he hadn't asked for it. He argued with my husband on the point until I told him to not worry about the drink. Water and ice-t would be fine. We went to breakfast in the dining room twice. The first time was ok, but very slow service. The second time ended our breakfasts in the dining room for the rest of the trip. We arrived around 8am. There was an activity we wanted to attend at 9am. I tell you this because by 8:30am we had yet to see our waiter. We stopped the floor manager about 8:15am and asked her if we had a waiter. She said our waiter had a very big station and they were trying to find him some help. By 8:30am we were still sitting there with no coffee, no body had come by to take our order, NOTHING! We decided to leave and have breakfast on the lido so we could make the activity. It was very frustrating. The first day we decided to try the dining room for lunch. We told the hostess we wanted to sit by ourselves, she told the assistant to sit us at a certain table number. The assistant walked us to about the middle of the dining room and then either forgot the table number or didn't know which table it was, so she asked us to wait there while she went back to talk to the hostess. My husband and I were standing in the middle of the dining room with waiters and guests having to step around us. We stood there for probably a good two minutes when the assistant finally came back and pointed to a table that had other people seated at it. My husband told her we had asked for a private table. She rolled her eyes and told us to wait there again. I told her never mind we'd just sit at the table she had previously pointed out. We ended up meeting a lovely couple form Australia, but suffice it to say we were done with the dining room except for diner. We either ordered room service or ate on the lido deck for breakfast and lunch from then on. The food was very good, even on the lido deck. It's hard to keep buffet food fresh and hot, but they did a very good job of it. Diner was always good. Our waitress was Slavtna from Russia and Philip from Africa. They tried very hard and were always friendly and eager to please. Slavtna told us the problem with getting our food so slow was because it was a new menu and the kitchen was having a hard time getting the food prepared. I didn't really buy it. Our asst waiter Philip was pretty much non-existant once the orders were placed. Slavtna said she had to send him to the kitchen to get the food. As long as it took to get our food I think he had to prepare it himself too. We had five days at sea which was a little bit too long. The first day was chilly and overcast and a little rough. I was very sea sick the first day. The second day was a little better, but still felt a little woozy, by day three I was doing pretty good. Day two was beautiful and sunny and everyone hung out around the pool and on deck. Day three was sunny but was pretty chilly. Everyone was a little disappointed. Day four was very exciting! One of the passengers had a medical condition that required medicine that they didn't have on board. They arranged with the coast guard for a medicine drop and then about four hours later had to arrange for a helicopter pick-up to take them to Honolulu. I think the entire ship turned out for both occasions. The Coast Guard was wonderful and everyone applauded and waved when they accomplished both of their missions. The captain got on the loud speaker and thanked the Coast Guard and anyone who had ever served with them. The activities on board were pretty sparse. They had trivia, bingo, and the casino all the time with one or two extra activites spread out during the day. The cruise director, Chris, was not very good in my opinion. I never saw him around the ship the entire cruise. He and the asst cruise director had a morning show that was supposed to be funny but was actually pretty lame. We tried to watch it a couple of times, but just couldn't stand it. Chris's crew was a little disappointing as well. None of the activities or shows ever started on time and when they did show up to start activities they were never prepared. We always had to wait for them to pass out papers, get questions together, get music ready etc. I complained a lot at the beginning of this review, but we really did enjoy the cruise. The people we met on the CC roll call were wonderful! We saw each other all over the ship and had organized some events prior to boarding. We had two meet and greets and a poker crawl. We had a blast! The islands are beyond description. If you've never been to Hawaii you must put it on your immediate to do list! Every port was even more beautiful than the last. We didn't do any Carnival shore excursions until the very last port. We got off the ship and either rented a car or took a shuttle to see the sights. We took a Roberts Hawaii tour in Hilo. They were very professional and inexpensive. The only place I didn't think was absolutely beautiful was Honolulu. It was very commercialized and we saw quite a few places that looked very poor and dirty. It was sad to see people living in dirt in such a beautiful place. We did the Carnival Pearl Harbor, VIP Military Base tour. We saw the Arizona Memorial and then went to Wheeler army base and had lunch. We then went to see Fort Schafter which is where "Pearl Harbor" was filmed. It's exactly the same as it was in WWII. I can see why they shot the film there. They didn't have to change anything to make it look like the 1940's. Out tour guide Bob was extremely knowledgeable and even though I'm a big WWII history buff learned several new things about the war and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. We drove through PunchBowl. Apparently in the 80's tour groups carved their names in the trees and so now tours are not allowed to stop. They can only drive through. We stopped at a small museum called "The Home of the Brave". It's a great little museum that I would recommend looking up if your going around on your own. It's free of charge and the people that run it are great! The Arizona Memorial is very moving. It surprised me how emotional I got. When we first entered the memorial there was a lady off in the corner crying pretty heavily. I assumed maybe somebody she knew had been killed on the Arizona. It's very sad. It seems so wasteful when you look at all the names and realize that they are lives that were cut short. The only thing that was worse was a family that happened to be standing next to me that obviously had no clue about the sacrifices people have made for this country. It was a family of four, mom, dad, son that looked to be maybe 15 or 16, and a daughter that looked about 13. On the back of the ticket for the memorial is a story of someone that was decorated for service during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The mother was reading the story of two different people and asked what the difference between a purple heart and a bronze star was. The son told her the purple heart was for being wounded in combat and the bronze star was for doing something above the call of duty. The mother was still confused and the father tried to help her understand by saying a purple heart "wasn't that big of a deal". That soldiers preferred bronze stars to purple hearts. That the bronze star meant more than the purple heart. They then went on to discuss Dorie Miller's role in the battle of Pearl Harbor and the son stated he didn't understand why they gave him a medal when all he did was shoot a gun. Anyone could have done it. The father told him it was because he was a cook and then the father and son started to joke about Dorie standing on the Arizona using spoons and forks to throw at the Japanese. It was at the end of the tour when we were in line to get back on the boat to return to the museum. I was so mad and offended but decided to keep my mouth shut. The entire family had obviously missed the entire point of the memorial and what it stood for. They were so ignorant about their own country that I knew giving them an earful would only be lost on them. I have never been so angry with perfect strangers. If we hadn't been on the Arizona Memorial I might have at least told them how insensitive they were, but there is a kind of reverence about the memorial that feels almost like a church. I did not want to break the reverence with harsh words. In Maui we rented a car and did the road to Hana. It was amazing! It was so beautiful and inspiring we had to stop about every five minutes and stop to look and take pictures. We only made it half way before we had to turn around. All the people we ran into in Hawaii were very friendly and extremely helpful. They all had suggestions on what to see and the best way to get around. We didn't run into a single rude person on any of the islands. The second day in Maui we went to the Maui Ocean Center. It's a very interesting and informative place. They have people throughout the exhibits ready to answer questions or give you added info on the marine life. They were all very knowledgeable and we saw some amazing fish that I never even knew existed. They had baby sea turtles that had been born a couple of weeks before. It was really amazing to see them so close. They are so graceful in the water. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Kids would love it! They have a hands on exhibit where you can touch sea cucumbers, star fish,and anemones. In Kona we did an independent tour to a coffee mill and saw the Place of Refuge. Both were very enlightening. If you don't know anything about coffee, besides how to brew it you should visit a coffee mill if you ever get a chance. The process from start to finish is arduous and the coffee berries are actually sweet and have a grape like texture. The place of refuge is a must see. You can actually see how the true Hawaiians lived. There's a small cove where the royalty used to come ashore that is full of sea turtles. One actually came up on the beach to rest and everyone got to see him close up. We also had a stop at the painted church. They still hold services there in English and Hawaiian. There are paintings from the 1800's on the walls. All in all this was a wonderful cruise. The ship was beautiful and easy to get around on, the food was delicious, and the other guests made the cruise even more enjoyable. The islands were amazing. The most beautiful place I've ever been. It was not perfect, but nothing happened to ruin the vacation. I would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
We arrived in Vancouver a day early. The weather was fantastic without a cloud in the sky. After about a 45 minute drive from the Airport we arrived at the Vancouver Downtown Delta Suites. The hotel was beautiful and the rooms very ... Read More
We arrived in Vancouver a day early. The weather was fantastic without a cloud in the sky. After about a 45 minute drive from the Airport we arrived at the Vancouver Downtown Delta Suites. The hotel was beautiful and the rooms very spacious. We choose this hotel because we often stay in Delta hotels and were able to use our privilege points for the stay. The Delta Hotel was within walking distance of not only the embarkation port but also many of the attractions around downtown Vancouver. We spent most of the day touring Vancouver's Stanley Park which is an adventure unto itself. A beautiful place that offers beautiful views of the harbour, beaches and majestic walks through huge Redwoods and forest. A perfect way to begin an Alaskan adventure. Embarkation: What can one say about this. Canada Place was beautiful. We woke up early and went for a morning walk down around the port to get a feel for where we had to go. We walked back to the hotel and packed our bags then took a taxi (about 7 dollars) back to Canada Place because the taxi would take us right under ground. When we arrived the porters were there waiting and immediately took our bags and got them ready to be placed on the ship. We went through the Embarkation process and at around 11:30 am. I was amazed at how organized and efficient this process was. We lined up for no more then ten minutes total including our wait time through customs. Once through Customs we headed to get our sail and sign cards and again waited maybe five minutes. We then were asked to sit and wait for our turn to embark. Why they asked us to sit I have no idea because we basically sat down and we were being called. All in all we were on the ship and with drink in hand within 45 minutes from the time we arrived. It was fantastic. The Ship: On this stay we had an ocean view room. We would have preferred a balcony but we had decided to book this trip at the last minute and thus all that was left. For us that was fine. We don't really spend that much time anyway in the room. We stayed on the Riviera deck and had easy access to all areas of the ship. I should also note that we were in our rooms and had our luggage with an hour and half of boarding the ship. The room was fine very well looked after and spacious. The ship itself was beautiful. The interior design was unique and very different from what we have experienced on past cruises and ship. In particular the shopping lane was incredibly nice as the walkway curves left then right along the path. Overall the ship is set up in a way that you never feel crowded and there always seems to be space to mingle and sit in every area. There were a number of bars on board some of which we never even got to. The food in my opinion was fabulous. One always has to keep in mind that these chefs are preparing meals for 2500 -3000 people all day long. A tough go indeed. The buffet was great with lots of options and we never really had to line up. The main dining room was fabulous and the service even better. I am always of the belief that you need to make this what you want it to be. remember things often go a bit complicated at times but how we react is how we will benefit or not. After all, this is a vacation.... We had no complaints about the dining room. We needed some adjustments done to our seating and by the second night all was well. Our servers were not only attentive but they were also entertaining. We only ate dinner in the main dining room and had both breakfast and lunch on the lido deck at the Emile's grill. We also had the late seating which we preferred. The entertainment was ok but not really spectacular. However, for us we do not always enjoy the the shows like others do. We did participate in some other activities and had an enjoyable time doing this and found the staff to be well organized and up beat. I also have to say that we enjoyed the Karaoke Lounge a few times and also the Legends show which I was the lucky draw to be James Brown. The legends show is always one of my favourite parts of a Carnival cruise and I have to admit being a part of it was a blast. I did not find the Cruise director to be all that friendly and seemed to be into himself a bit. But what the heck we are not there to visit the cruise director! I need to give a special shout out to Delroy the Bar guy and his two partners who's names I cant recall right now. These three guys were fantastic and energetic. Once they got to know us they really took good care of us to the point where we would not even need to order a drink they would just bring it over. They were great and deserve some major kudos. We are on the Spirit again in April for Hawaii and I am hoping these guys will still be there. Overall, we were very pleased with the ship and trip in general. I did not find Alaska to be the spectacular place i had always heard it was but it is very beautiful. coming from Canada we see a lot of snow for a good portion of the year so perhaps that was a bit of a block for me. However, we have no regrets and had a great time. The Inside Passage was beautiful however we did see quite a bit of rain Lastly, The College Fjords were absolutely stunning. As we sailed through this area we were treated to many sightings of wildlife including Orca Whales, Otters, Sea lions and more not to mention close to 20 very visible large and small glaciers. I guess as I write this I am realizing that Alaska truly was a beautiful spot to visit despite what I have said above. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
My wife and Myself just returned from our 6th cruise and do enjoy the convenience of many different cities on a single vacation. This is our 2nd time aboard the Carnival Spirit and First visit to Alaska. Let me say that Alaska is a ... Read More
My wife and Myself just returned from our 6th cruise and do enjoy the convenience of many different cities on a single vacation. This is our 2nd time aboard the Carnival Spirit and First visit to Alaska. Let me say that Alaska is a beautiful place and the views are amazing, the cities we visited are very cute and each has is own history that dates back for hundreds of years. Carnival did a good job of providing History Channel programing the was Alaska specific. We did not eat a the buffet,Only in the main dinning room and the Steak House. The buffet just did not seem attractive to us and the lines were pretty long. We had late seating for dinner, No need to arrive on time as every night the doors were opened at least 15 minutes late and from there the line went all the way back, past 2 bars and almost to the casino, No problem as we just adjusted our arrival time to 20 minutes later. The ports were fantastic, great seafood mostly halibut, Crab and Salmon but all very good, a little expensive but worth it overall. They do try to serve some seafood dishes at dinner billed as fresh Alaskan, but just not the same. Don't get too excited about the food on Board. Alaska beer is fresh and good, We like the Alaskan Brewery beers the best, I the White, My wife the amber. Much better than the same beer on the ship as I think it must sit for a while in a war warehouse before Carnival brings it on board,(the Dos XX was the same, a little stale). No problem though as we just confined our beer drinking to the time in port. Pre-cruise and Embarkation- They asked us 3 times what time our Flight home from Anchorage was, Once on the "fun pass registration", once again when I purchased transfers directly from Carnival. and once again on the ship on a form that they leave in your Cabin. I had a flight time Change due to the Airlines from 2:00PM to 11:20 AM, I called my trusty Sales Rep and he did not return my call. I called Customer Service, the first time The lady was of no help and could give me no information about transfers in anchorage, she said that it was handled through a vendor and did not know what time they start embarkation. So I called again, The Rep. this time was very nice and looked up my cruise and told me that they could accommodate airport transfers as early as 11:00 AM, no problem so I booked the Carnival Transfer from Whittier to Anchorage. Sure enough when it came time to Dis-embark that Had us assigned in one of the last groups to get off the ship. They started at 7:00 AM at 8:40, they still had not called my group So I took it upon myself to get off the ship not waiting for them to call our "ZONE#", At the bottom of the ramp the Carnival agent began to question me and I said "look if I don't get on the next shuttle I will miss my flight", She was kind enough to let us board. When the buss arrived at the Airport, We walked strait from the bus and boarded the plane, Not 1 minute to spare. Carnival has gone down hill from the last few times we cruised with them. Service,Food guest relations, just the overall experiance Next year, we are already planning another cruise, This Time we are going to try another cruise line, probably spend a little more but we will see, maybe free style cruising is more our cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
I had booked this cruise 502 days out. At several times it looked like we might have to cancel. But it all worked out in the end. We had a great time. We flew in one day early and stayed at the Best Western Hotel Granville. We ... Read More
I had booked this cruise 502 days out. At several times it looked like we might have to cancel. But it all worked out in the end. We had a great time. We flew in one day early and stayed at the Best Western Hotel Granville. We really enjoyed Vancouver, the hotel and the area. We took the "Big Bus tour" to get an overview of the city. Also we were able to take the new Canada train line from YVR into the city center. Great train. Embarkation was a breeze. We did have V.I.P. because we had booked a Cat 11 aft wrap suite. Due to the economic downturn I did get a good refund before final payment was due. We got at Canada Place by 11:30 and were onboard approximately 12:00. We relaxed with a few drinks and great deli sandwiches from the lido before our suite was ready @ 1:30. We had the same exact room on the Carnival Pride the year before on the Mexican Rivera the year before and this one was in perfect condition. I had to remind myself I was on a different ship. All of our gifts and liquor ordered from the bon Voyage dept. was there. We also had pre orderd Champagne and Canapes for sail away. After a relaxing on our HUGE balcony for a couple hours it was time for boat drill. Our friendly cabin steward Jhoe dropped by to introduce himself and deliver ice. After one of the fastest Boat drills ever it was time for our private sail away party. Our neighbors from the next cabin over peeked arround the corner and said hello. I shared a few of our canapes with them. Carnival does a great job on these. The senerey sailing from Vancouver was just the first of amazing vistas to come. We did the "your choice" dinning. We were seated immediately and had great service. Our trio of eastern European waiters were Great. Elvis, Mladen and, Micheal did a fantastic job. They would take care of us for 3 nights of the cruise. We did Supper Club twice and I ate in town in Junea. We sat in anohter station one night of the cruise but went back to our favorite team. Your choice dining worked great for us. No wait for a table for two. We ate arround 7:00 or a little earlier. Our first sea day I had a good work out in the Roman Spa and came back to a promptly served pre orderd (via card) Room Service Breakfast. We used the free room service a lot, for breakfast and lunch. Excellent lox and bagels. Most of our first sea day was spent looking at the amazing views and relaxing on the balcony. We preordered booze and mixers so we can make our own drinks in cabin. Also did a few room good room service lunches. I really enjoyed all of the shows in the main show lounge. The music singing and dancers are great. I always sit on the lower level and enjoy a nice after dinner drink. "THE BIG EASY" show was so good I went @ 8:45 and came back @ 10:30. Ketchikan we did some shopping and loved the Alaska Queen Steamboat. Friendly crew and tour guides were great. We had lunch at Steamers on the pier (Good Alaska brew and a salmon burger) and hit the local history museum. That night was our first night in the Supper Club. We had great service. Danijelia was especially nice. We had such a good time we booked a second night for Sunday eve. The lamb and fillet mignon were excellent as was the table side prepared ceasar salad. Amazing Deserts!! Juneau we did the City and Mendenthall Glacier tour which was very good. We had a tasty lunch at "El Somberro" family owned Mexican rest. And then I did the mount Roberts Tramway which, even in the rain and fog was a lot of fun. Later I had an excellent Halibut dinner @ the "Gold Room" at the art deco style Westmark Baranof Hotel in town. Skagway looks like a movie set from the old west. After some fun shopping there we went back to the ship for a room service lunch. later we really enjoyed the White Pass and Yukon Railway. Sitka we did the excellent Sitka History and Nature Walk. Our guide "Wolf" a transplant of some 20 plus years had great passion about the town and the local people, plants, animals and history. Lunch was a freshly choclate and nut dipped icecream bar. After four days of off and on rain Mother Nature cut us a break and let us have some sunshine at the end of our day in Sitka and then on our last sea day spent cruising Prince William sound and College fjord. The Harvard glacier was nicely lit up as the sun set. The Scenery was eye popping!! I got to see and hear glaciers calving.  We did luggage express. It was nice to put our bags out our door on the last night of the cruise and not have to worry about them until we got back to LAX. One bag arrived late, but was driven out to our house the early the next day. We did the Carnival tranfer to the airport, which worked well. Overall we really liked the ship and had exellent & friendly service. All food we had onboard was good to excellent. And I work in fine dinning. We look forward to our next Carnival Cruise on Carnival Dream in Jan 2010. All preordered tours, credits, gifts and liqour arrived like clockwork. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
WE headed to Vancouver on July 5th to visit the city prior to boarding Carnival Spirit .Loved our flight non stop  on Air Canada ...NO LUGGAGE FEES 2 bags each !!!! definitely a plus Vancouver is a lovely city .We stayed at the Plaza 500 ... Read More
WE headed to Vancouver on July 5th to visit the city prior to boarding Carnival Spirit .Loved our flight non stop  on Air Canada ...NO LUGGAGE FEES 2 bags each !!!! definitely a plus Vancouver is a lovely city .We stayed at the Plaza 500 -got it on a cheap website .Close to public transportation .First day was sunny We walked to Queen Elizabeth Park it was 20 blocks away .Misled by hotel personnel -it was VERY far and uphill ...next time we will take a bus!!!!Hotel OK not great but shopping plaza in front very convenient.GREAT fruit store in Mall Visited Stanley Park,Chinatown,Granville Island,Gastown -all very nice!!!Vancouver is a MUST to visit ,.Happy we did After Montreal definitely favorite Canadian city .We will return!!!Boarded Carnival Spirit on July 8 for BTB cruise Boarding was a breeze .Canada Place very well set up .Too bad no more Spirit out of Vancouver next year !!!Before going to Alaska I did not understand the attraction for return visits.....now I do Our PVP chose our cabins-  THANKS GREAT CHOICE!!!    !balconies a MUST in Alaska  and chose very well 6309 going 6244 returning .We chose BTB because you cannot see nor do it all in 1 visit and air for this Canuck out of Anchorage was almost as expensive as the cruise itself so we stayed put .VERY SMART MOVE I highly recommend BTB .People on board helped us move ...thank you Renato and Mark -for making it basically painless Northbound we had AMAZING sunny warm weather First I will talk about the ship ..BEAuTIFUL ,CLean ,great staff who took very good care of our needs Because of food allergies Milana the restaurant hostess preordered all my dinners ...now that;s what we call SERVICE .She was wonderful to chit chat with every night .The staff in dining room from Maitre D Prasad to waiter and ass't waiter were the ABSOLUTE BEST .Thank you again Food was good and well presented  Loved our table by the window WOW great views while dining ..What else could you ask for ?Kudos to Dennis on Spirit  and Joan in Florida ...Thanks again GREAT JOB!!!!!!Shows were fun .Dance numbers very energetic We really enjoyed late night comedians Would appreciate SMOKE+FREE NIGHTS IN CASINO .I was told people slept early in Alaska ...not on Spirit Very lively ship Ambiance and decor very nice .Shops are all on same floor very easy to find everything Our cruise along the BC coast  was beautiful Michelle the Naturalist had a very soothing voice and when we heard the signal of her announcements we ran to open the balcony to hear and see what she pointed out . I really liked her and did not find her 'sleepy'at all .LOved her description of College Fjord Captain moved the ship all around for all to see ...VERY NICE       As we approached Ketchican the landscape changed and we literally got swallowed by fog .WOW The ship blew its horn repeatedly and out of no where ...so it seemed ....a pilot came on board .His boat also got swallowed by the fog .It was a UNIQUE experience.......eerie and special at the same time In Ketchican we shopped and walked around to Creek street Married man's Trail and all around .I liked Ketchican Charming town Juneau was GREAT .We went on a city tour Mandenhal Glacier and in Pm whale watching with Capt Larry of Orca .FABULOUS trip I love whales I think they are majestic creatures Got loads of pictures .Capt Larry knew exactly where to go We went twice with him and he was great both times  Missed Tracy arm so must return to do it !!!Sitka is a lovely walking town .Loads of Russian souvenirs and Totem poles in Park .Do not miss Aquarium and fish hatchery .Do the trail in the park .On our second visit did eco adventures with Capt Mitch .Saw cute seals otters in nursery and whales.The scenery around Sitka is GORGEOUS!!!Took loads of pictures of small islands and amazing rock formations seals loved Skagway is a time warp in the gold rush with wooden sidewalks everywhere .Loved the Yukon train We went with Dyea Dave by van to YUKON .WOW !!! He promised a bear sighting and sun and delivered both GOOD JOB DAVE I was up front with him and really enjoyed our chit chat .the YUKON is a must Emerald Lake Stunning Whittier was amazing under the Midnight sun .I took pictures without flash WOW .We did Glaciers on Blackstone Bay with Major Marine  ,WOW WOW WOW !!!!! We saw it calve ,fabulous waterfalls and had a margarita made with glacier ice ..where else but in Alaska ...this is a MUST DO in Whittier .Glad we chose BTB to do this ....All of Alaska and Yukon had a particular odor -pine flowers sea and cool .Nature is GRANDIOSE everywhere in the GREAT WHITE NORTH .I named the first mountain in Yukon MOUNT MICHELE ...so say hello to "my 'mountain when you go by !!!! Dave said too many mountains so no names so I  gave it mine ...how cool is that ????I went to Alaska to find inspiration for my paintings ....I think I found it    and then some     I will always treasure this trip .I hope to start my Alaska /YUKON series on canvas  very soon .I loved the landscapes and hope to do them justice on canvas In summary I loved our cruise made very special by the great staff of Carnival Spirit  .They surpassed all our expectations We had the smoothest ride so BRAVO captain I HIGHLY recommend this cruise .BTB is truly the best BC coast/Alaska and Yukon are truly' Nature;s wonderbox ...go see for yourself go with Carnival you will not regret it Michele Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.5 3.6
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

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