2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a first time cruise for my family and another (10 of us in total). I've travelled a fair bit and worked in resorts, but have never done a cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. To cut to the chase - my wife is coeliac and had ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for my family and another (10 of us in total). I've travelled a fair bit and worked in resorts, but have never done a cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. To cut to the chase - my wife is coeliac and had major issues with the food she was served. We told them she'd need special food (gluten and dairy free) and we were assured she'd be looked after prior to booking/departure etc. Her expectations around food are pretty low, but she's been treated to good coeliac food on other recent holidays we've been on. Really, all she wants is average food that won't set off her immune issues/allergies. It quickly became apparent to us on the cruise that every meal was going to be a gamble. We had a standing table for dinner and the same waiters every night and they quickly got a handle on the situation - however, the odd side dish or dessert would slip through will dairy or gluen in it. And some of the gf/df mains they served were terrible. Overall, dinner was good though. Lunch and breakfast was a different story however. The only coeliac breakfast foods on offer in the restaurant were pancakes and fruit... and the pancakes weren't great. The non-allergen food wasn't really worth the wait there either, so we started eat breakfast at the buffet from day 2. At least the bacon there was gf/df. For me (without food allergies) - the buffet was great. Burgers, Mexican, omelettes and pizza were a highlight for me and I would have been happy to have dinner there most nights. It was a nightmare for my wife however, as just about everything available wasn't gf/df - the pizza place did a decent gf/df pizza, but not something you'd want for every meal. Occasionally, we'd find friendly of sympathetic chef who'd cook a meal specifically for her, but we found that the vast majority of staff would run with the low-risk option of answering 'no' when we asked if something was gluten or dairy free. Only a few of them would actually check. Even though she was as careful as possible, by about day 5, her food allergies were significantly triggered and it put a damper on the whole cruise for us. The only other damper was the ridiculous 'roll call' held on deck about 2 hours after boarding. I've never seen anything like it. If you haven't been through it before, I suggest you do all you can to avoid it. The process consists of lining all passengers up on deck 3 at the 4 evacuation points and standing there, packed in like sardines in the belting sun, for about an hour with no explanation about what is going on. Those who come early are punished by having to stand at the back and by simply being there the longest. After about an hour (or a point where they think enough passengers have turned up perhaps?), they give you a 5-second demonstration of how to put on a life jacket that only about 5% of people can see and then turn you loose. It was like a re-enactment of the roll call at a POW camp - staff told us there was 'no sitting' and people started feeling faint and claustrophobic. Not a great way to start the cruise! Also - the kids club pretty much sucked. We had kids in 3 age groups and the only ones to enjoy it were the 8 year olds. The kids club spaces were stuffy and boring for the older kids. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Travelled 30/04/19 nights to new Caledonia Dad- 40yrs second time on a cruise (first with P&O) Positives Good value Great for kids and young families Plenty to do Photos are an upsell but they do it well Ship ... Read More
Travelled 30/04/19 nights to new Caledonia Dad- 40yrs second time on a cruise (first with P&O) Positives Good value Great for kids and young families Plenty to do Photos are an upsell but they do it well Ship is meticulously clean and well maintained Negatives Some closed spaces funnelling people place to place. No late night stage shows for mum and dads only No alcohol or barista coffee packages. Passive smoking outside in the quiet areas no matter where you go. Can be hard to get your hands on a decent coffee without walking very far. Ships layout and staff setup/designed to get more money out of you. Upsell Upsell Upsell My review Having read some recent negative reviews but still deciding to book a cruise on the carnival spirit I'm still glad I did but personally wouldn't do so again. I still had a good time (not great) even if It's a bit of a mixed bag. I ticked the box for a family cruise and it's mostly what I got. (wife and 2 kids 6/3yr old) Ship - ships decor is old and a very weird mix of styles! You can definitely tell it what once was probably nicely themed is now a miss mash of styles as over the years of refurbishment it now looks tired and does not draw you in to feel like you are somewhere special. Ship went a Australian refit once apon a time but is largely American still with pictures, paintings and even the big screen advertising what's on has lots photos of overseas people enjoying themselves. It just leaves an overseas eclectic impression and taste about it all and nothing home grown about it. Which is a real shame as It would be outstanding, it really needs to bring a southern land flavour. Many times (but not always) i smelt the stacks diesel or cigarette smoke through some of the lifts and corridors which wasn't plesent. (never in cabins) Rooms were spotless and beds comfy. Watersides were a hoot! But you can still smell diesel burning from those iconic fins from them. Guests - guests were mostly Australian and everyone had a great time mixing and getting to know each other and no idiots mucking about. Think good ole RSL crowd..it's mix of kids thru to oldies and young mums and dads. If that's your thing great :) (it was mine) but if your single and looking to score or meet someone special for fun times your on the wrong ship..other wise everyone is a well behaved fun loving crowd. Food - can't fault the food except the free pizza and ice cream. Pizza can be either burnt or very oily and ice-cream runny alot if the time Just roll the dice on those ones... Drinks - SHIP DOES NOT HAVE AN ALCOHOL OR BARISTA BEVERAGE PACK which is WEIRD.. but prices are very reasonable and they don't skimp on LIQUOR when mixing your drink. Negative is that they will mix coke and coke no sugar in the same drink so if aspartame is a bad taste for you then it might be a problem..even if you ask for just coca cola they will still mix them. Barista made coffee is not perfect if you like it strong, and if you ask for an extra shot they look at you strange and tell you to just get the next size up.. Staff - Always professional but many have ZERO personality about them. Don't always expect a warm genuine hello or a big smile, more like a robotic tone.. These folks work very hard 7 days a week for around 7m of the year and many seem tired, you may find about a few dozen of the 900 odd staff onboard that love a chat but not always but when you do its refreshing. One thing I will say is it's very frustrating that many speak broken English so are hard to understand or they find it difficult to understand you it's very frustrating as you have to ask them to repeat what they said. I have even seen the occasional staff to staff chatter they had an issue understanding each other as well as there is a mix of different nationality/languages between them. Please do remember that they are always remain professional and they do their job well. Entertainment - All activities (and there are a lot) are always amazing good ole fun, the DJs are on always point with music a definite credit to them and the fellow acoustic guitar and piano players around the ship are awesome. However the stage shows (which I personally look forward to) are the like high school musicals.. Or rock estedfords. If you have cruised before on P&O knowing how well they are at stage shows you will be very disappointed with carnival. Dancers and acting are good but the shows are designed for family's no wow factor and very cheesy at times in my opinion. Kids, teens will love it tho and they are everywhere but most adults in the crowd like me were pretty bored. The comideans after 10.30pm were OK. The cruise director and various entertainment leaders are all a mix of UK and Americans so you will find themes for their shows that are just a bit too worldly and not really suited for Australians or my tastes anyway.. Water Slides are awesome, even for the adults!! And the kids really loved the Dr suess activities. The 18+ only adult retreat is small and nothing special with a small pool and SPA Main pool deck area is split into 2 areas its honestly its a bit cramped but 1/2 is covered which is handy on rainy days. The second pool area is always quiet but everyone is allowed to light up around one side so it reeks of cigarettes. In my opinion they should make it smoking upstairs on the balcony only. Movies shown on the big screen are great but sound is cranked up waaay too loud noticed by many and pop corn is plain.. (not cinema buttered quality) They have a night owls camp for kids so mums and dads can enjoy a night out but just don't expect anything spectacular on stage for entertainment.... It's pretty ordinary plus they don't deal with toddlers not toilet trained very well.. Just call you to collect or at the first sign of trouble. Shopping - prices good /staff great seemed very popular but it's not my thing so I can't really comment. Rooms - we had a family stateroom Its not large but very well setup and it's really all you need. Beds are super duper comfy. Only negative is aircon barely works. Spa and salon - obviously different strokes for different folks but I found it frustrating as I just wanted a haircut and neck and back massage.. Simple right? Well nope.. I had to fill out a complicated form and was being sold package treatments only that included all the fancy stuff for fingers and toes. Staff just didn't seem approachable on getting something simple and basic. Kids club - kids club seems to be setup very well, just remember that the staff there are babysitters/child minders and not nanny's. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We found the experience very enjoyable from the time of embarkation till disembarkation. The staff were friendly and helpful. Entertainment was of a high standard and was excellent. Our first port of call was Noumea and I was able to ... Read More
We found the experience very enjoyable from the time of embarkation till disembarkation. The staff were friendly and helpful. Entertainment was of a high standard and was excellent. Our first port of call was Noumea and I was able to catch the hop off, hop on bus at a cost of $20. This was arranged through Ports and shore excursions. It proved to be an inexpensive way to view Noumea. A must see is the War Memorial in Noumea. I would highly recommend the Cliffs of Jokin tour on the Isle of Lifou. Included in this tour is a visit to a vanilla growing farm. As this was our second cruise to these islands I would also strongly recommend visiting Jinek Bay which is also on Lifou. The snorkelling at the Bay is a fantastic experience as there is a vast amount of coral which is easily visible and as for the aquatic life, it is amazing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
If you are a family with kids, and have not cruised before, you will have a good holiday, and some elements were handled very well. However Carnival overall simply does not meet the standards set by other cruise lines we have experienced ... Read More
If you are a family with kids, and have not cruised before, you will have a good holiday, and some elements were handled very well. However Carnival overall simply does not meet the standards set by other cruise lines we have experienced EMBARKATION was quicker than other lines, and bags were also at our cabin more quickly. The ship is kept beautifully clean, but the decor is a jumbled cacophony of Art Deco, Egyptian, Chinese, Renaissance, Mexican, and any other theme the drunken decorator could come up with. Layout is easy - most public entertainment areas, bars, dining and activities on decks 2, 3, 9 & 10, and clear guides throughout. CABIN is good - slightly more storage and bathroom space than interior cabins on other ships. Main problem with layout - the Adults Only Serenity Retreat was right below the water-slides: shrieking children are not our idea of serenity! DINING was fine for kids, but not up to the standard we are accustomed to on other lines. I would like to say before I review the food, that our dining room team of three waiters gave fantastic service - nothing was too much trouble for them, and they were wonderful with the kids. The La Playa buffet food was mediocre, and mostly the same menu items day after day after day at breakfast, salad bar, sandwich, pie, sausage and pizza stations. The only variations were at the one outlet serving the meals such as curries or fish dishes, and the sweets bar, with new selections each day. The quality of the food overall there was a little lower than the "All you can eat" at our local club. After hours, the ONLY food available is greasy pizza, unless you want to pay for room service. Not even a crummy pre-wrapped biscuit to have with your cuppa. The Empire Dining Room food was better, but not fantastic. (Example, a "Tower of Leek and broccoli" on the menu, was a couple of overdone pieces squished into a tiny dish). Several times the signature dessert of Melting Chocolate cake arrived at the table as a ramekin of uncooked cake mix. Chef's Table was our main disappointment of the cruise. On every other cruise Chef's Table has been an amazing fine dining experience, with an elegant private dining room, beautiful china and glassware, incredible food with matching wines, and good conversation. In comparison, the Carnival Chef's Table, at the same price as other lines, was a MEDIOCRE JOKE. * Appetisers eaten standing up, served on sharp plastic spoons, and so rushed we barely swallowed one before the next was there. * Entire CT served in the galley, with a tablecloth thrown over a table so big we could not talk to any other guests because they were too far away. We could not have talked to them anyway, because the din, shouting and clatter of the galley meant we could not have heard them. We also could not hear most of what the chef was saying as he explained each course. A galley tour and a CT are two completely different experiences, and do NOT belong together. * Food was good, but not of a standard we would expect from a CT. Pork belly was full of gristle, and the fat not rendered. De-boned quail was overdone and had a bone in it which hurt my husband's tooth (but the staff argued with him and basically told him he was wrong about this!). Meats had not been adequately rested, so plates were swimming in meat juices and blood. Cocoa content was so high in the choc desert it was dry and claggy and not possible to eat a whole serving. The bread, and the citrus dessert, were excellent. The food and presentation in Nouveau Restaurant were far closer to what we expected from a CT experience. * Every other CT has matched wines. CT on Spirit has the cheap house red and house white. As I do not drink, I was left with water, and never offered to obtain even a soft drink for me to go with the meal. We asked the waitress a question about the wine, and she had no clue. Asked if there was a sommelier and she said "What's that ?!" She really had no idea how to serve, and it turns out that the waitress assigned to CT (which is meant to be the pinnacle experience of dining on the ship) was on her first cruise! ACTIVITIES - Carnival is geared to young families, and did well for them. Our grandchildren (girl 7, boy 9) loved Kids Club - however the exorbitant cost of up to $50 for them to stay in the evenings if parents had an activity to attend was excessive - when our own children were with Royal Caribbean Kids Club it continued until 11 pm every night. The water-slides and pools were popular and they loved the Dr Seuss activities. Our adult kids report that many of the games in the Arcade were "stuffed" or faulty. As a family, we love the Trivia and games. These were of a similar standard to other cruises, except for one thing - on other ships, teams exchange papers for marking, while on Spirit, teams mark their own papers. This seems only a little thing, but while most people are honest and play fair, it became obvious that some teams were adding answers and doctoring their scores. This system means that the cheats often win, and those who play fair are penalised, which takes away some of the shine. When we tried to ask the crew member running the game to swap papers for scoring, it was refused, even though we also heard other cruisers making the same complaints about the cheats. Several times answers were wrong, and the quiz master said that "that question is wrong, but the boss won't let us change it", or allowed points for all answers given for those questions, or for teams who protested loudly that their wrong answers were correct. Games need to be fair for all playing. COMEDY CLUB was great overall, with three of the four comedians catering equally well for the PG and adult audiences. Michael Bennett, Jacques Barrett and Stephen J Whitely were outstanding. (The fourth, John Cruickshank, sadly appeared to feel that simply picking on audience members and unleashing a stream of F and C words was enough to make it a funny adult show - it is not.) THEATRE PERFORMANCES - on Royal Caribbean ships, we stay for the show almost every night, and these have been a variety of top class acts which we would be happy to pay full price for back home. A typical cruise would include specialist music acts, professional dance troupes, and variety performers such as hypnotists or magicians. On Carnival Spirit, the show every night was the same 4 male and 4 female dancers, simply singing and dancing a different theme each night - 80's, 90's etc). They worked very hard, but did not come close to the standard of any acts seen on our previous 4 cruises. We tried going to several shows, but lost interest and left again after a few minutes. There was one act of a magician / escape artist which was quite good, I think she was part of the crew as the 8 regular dancers were part of her show. DANCING- hubby and I love to dance, and always seek out the best live music on cruises to dance in the evenings, however Spirit seems to almost actively discourage the idea of couples dancing, even though they promote this on their website. In the Red Frog Pub, there is a very small dance floor, but the music is mostly rock (the 3 man band is very good). So we headed to the central lobby, where a duo plays easy listening tunes and there is another small dance floor. We dance Ceroc (a mix of Swing and Modern Jive) which needs a fairly fast tempo. However, whenever we got up to dance to a quick song, this duo would immediately change back to slow music, even if we were the only couple dancing, and specifically requested some faster songs. A few other cruisers even noticed this happening and commented to us about it. We could occasionally dance to the excellent guitarist at the Alchemy Bar, but the dance floor there is about the size of a dining table! The cruise activities also included a Salsa and a Ballroom dance class, but the instructor (one of the show dancers) pushed the class so fast that even as fairly experienced dancers we struggled to keep up, and most of the guests were hopelessly bewildered. SERVICE was great overall - the majority of staff went out of their way to be welcoming and helpful. However, the few times we raised an issue with a staff member, the response was to argue with us and tell us why we were wrong!! The waiter we spoke to about the bone at Chef's Table took the plate away, then brought it back (without bone chip) and tried to show us that it was just pepper on the plate. When we arrived for a booked lunch in Nouveau, we told the waitress that we would like to try and get to another event after our lunch, and would like to order quickly. We then waited 20 minutes without service, and when we called her over and asked again if we could order, she told us this was Nouveau and we should not expect a quick service or lunch !! SHORE EXCURSIONS - like all cruise lines, the shore excursions are exorbitantly priced, with a minimum 150% mark-up over the same tours booked with local companies. Unless you have mobility issues, or want to go a long way from the ship, and need the guarantee that the ship will wait for you if delayed, do your own thing. There are plenty of affordable and interesting options available, often identical to the ship tours. On Isle of Pines, our $20 local bus tour travelled in convoy with the $50 ship tour bus (and we got an extra stop, as the ship bus was too big to get down the road to Queen Hortense’s Cave). Carnival Spirit is fine for a cheap casual family holiday with young kids, but as discerning cruisers with a love of good food and entertainment we will be returning to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
It was for a family celebration the buffet food was terribly the crew that was serving the food hardly spoken a word and I went I mean hardly spoke a word I don't mean couldn't speak English I mean did not say a word. At least ... Read More
It was for a family celebration the buffet food was terribly the crew that was serving the food hardly spoken a word and I went I mean hardly spoke a word I don't mean couldn't speak English I mean did not say a word. At least they didn't in the buffet areas if you went to get the Mexican all the burgers no hello no nothing they just stared at you like you were idiot, no alcohol packages and the food in the dinning room was the same most night or didn't have much variety and very small portions..... The ship itself was was swarming with kid in all the bars and casino even at 1am with the only place that was supposed to be adults only The Serenity lounge was placed below the water slides at the front of the ship so you can still hear screaming kids the entire time The safety drill at the time of disembarking was very unorganised if you hadn't been on a cruise before you wouldn't even know what you were doing there we stood on the outside of the ship for over an hour just so they can show you how to put on a life vest that was it ridiculous!!!! As for the activities on board there was over 50 activities a day but you could not participate in pretty much anything without children around even in the comedy shows Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We'd just finished our Tasmanian cruise in March and were back aboard Spirit April 11th to New Caledonia. This was 8-nights and we travelled with about 30 friends including their kids. Check-in was much smoother as we found ... Read More
We'd just finished our Tasmanian cruise in March and were back aboard Spirit April 11th to New Caledonia. This was 8-nights and we travelled with about 30 friends including their kids. Check-in was much smoother as we found Carnival no longer takes passengers' photos rather now relying on the passport photo so check-in is smoother. We also found that the Carnival check-in so now closer to the start of process. We were onboard quickly and our Sail and Sign cards were ready reaonably quickly. As we'd been on only a couple of weeks ago, a number of staff recognised us so it was good to know that I'd had a positive impact on some of the staff during my previous cruise. As we were travelling with mostly cruise and Carnival newbies, we'd show our friends around On this cruise, I found Carnival wi-fi to have been flaky often dropping my connection. I don't get an internet package but I always get the chat option for $9 but found it too unreliable this time. We went to the sail away show which was ordinary but the performers must be getting over doing the same shows each week. The island night show was OK which was called Getaway Island or something. I'd probably had too many blanc de blancs to remember. One of our cruise crew made it Lip Sync Battle and that was a great night. We did Nouveau yet again but I booked before boarding and got the confirmation. I went up there to change the booking as we decided to do Nouveau another night and they couldn't find the booking. I showed them the email confirmation. Anyway, no drama. This time we chose 5:30 dining as our friends travelled with children and I hear they like to eat early. This was our first early dining and it turned out pretty convenient actually. There was enough time to go to the shows and even have a quick power nap after dinner. Dinner was great and our wait team was headed by a great guy. Again, food was great all throughout. I had a couple of prawn burritos as well as a turkey BLT wrap from the deli as an example. One things I'd always had concerns for was the slippery tiles when they got wet. Once wet, these tiles turn into an ice-skating rink. I always thought it might have been my shoes causing me to often slide as I'd never seen anyone stack out but on this cruise, one of friends hit the deck in an area where I'd slip only moments beforehand. They were just in the process of cleaning as I went through there but our friend took a tumble monuments after. This was near the lobby bar and because the photographers set up along that area, it act as a choke point. Our friend was a little battered and Carnival had her x-rayed but she hadn't broken anything. We arrived at Noumea on a Sunday and very little is open so I just walked around the town for a bit. Some of the others went on their own activities. I'd been to Noumea a few times before so I didn't feel compelled to do too much. Again, I'd noticed a number of bar staff would pour me the more expensive Scotch and in one case, pour me a double having never asked me what I wanted. I hadn't been served by this one bar waiter so he wouldn't have remembered that I'd have double every now and again. This was also earlier in the day. In any case, there were a few minor issues this cruise but we had pretty smooth sailing. The kids weren't too annoying and guests not too rude. This was also the second cruise where I'd didn't really go to Alchemy, a place I practically lived at on Legend and Spirit last year. I just didn't feel the vibe. Again, the Spirit class ships have a good passenger to space ratio and you'll always find a quiet area. I feel for a lot of the staff as they're on 7 days a week for 7 months have to endure petulant children and adults, the same music being piped in around the ships, the same guitarist for a few weeks and all for very little money. The staff are lucky if they get a few hours ashore. Some of them simply seemed disinterested, wanting to be elsewhere. Carnival have a very thin veil they need to maintain; the ship is supposed to be fun all 'round and when staff don't share those values, that façade quickly deteriorates and we get a glimpse as really how awful some of the staff have it. I'm still booked in for a 3-night June cruise but I'll be a lot more savvy booking future cruises with Carnival based on value rather than timing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
If you are expecting variety, pleasant atmosphere, entertainment, luxury, relaxation, or well maintained facilities, EVEN wifi, you'll be in for a nasty shock. This was our first cruise. We will NOT be going back to Carnival ... Read More
If you are expecting variety, pleasant atmosphere, entertainment, luxury, relaxation, or well maintained facilities, EVEN wifi, you'll be in for a nasty shock. This was our first cruise. We will NOT be going back to Carnival cruises ever again. Our cruise was just a 4 dayer to Moreton Island. It's fortunate my husband and I can entertain ourselves, because this cruiseline is geared towards a) little children who don't know any better b) people who like to be in bars for 26 hours a day c) those with bad hearing d) dummies who would pay for things that should be freely available and e)....ah...shall I say less than your average sort of person. BOARDING: We had priority boarding. It went quite well. We arrived at 11am and boarded at 11.10. The problem was, our room was supposed to be one of the first ready, and it wasn't. No where near. We had nothing to do for 2 hours + while it was sorted. In fact, doors to accommodation were closed, with signes on Do Not Enter, until 1.30. Even then, ours was still locked and incomplete with no card to get in. Apparently we should have been able to get in early. So we had to hang around, lucky Sydney was so pretty to look at. CABIN: Our room was nice, we'd paid extra for a vista suite, one of the most roomy cabins in the ship, aft. Very nice, and nice and clean thanks to our very nice lady, Sunny, who was one of the few highlights of the cruise. The balcony was dirty and glass filthy. Don't expect a roomy suite, it's still a little cramped, but to be expected. It has a very nice balcony, wrap around the stern. Worth the money for the view and the 'get away from it all'. It had a delicious bed,...that's one of the 'dot' ratings. Pillows annoying, but the bed was lovely. The room had curtains on rails which swung and squeaked after every trough and wave. Try that when you're going to sleep??? Door to the bathroom kept swinging too. The lights, which dimmed if held pressed, were a nightmare to navigate. all over the place and which ones did which was a mystery. Plenty of hanging space and drawers (if you need that sort of thing), a big bathroom, if you need THAT sort of thing. Stupid shower water mixer, obviously people are scalded by it, because there was a sign on the wall. I hate combo faucet/shower heads where you have to press or pull the button to choose. A small lounge area with TVs, one chair had back wheels missing, never could work out if on purpose so it leaned back, or not. Lounge was diabolical. FAR to wide to sit leaning back, and vinyl, so you slipped when you tried. No cushions. If you're only 157cm, (5'2") it was ridiculous. Bottles of water cost $4.50 each. Not even one for free. Hmmmm. I'm beginning to start to wonder. DECOR: of the ship......oLD FASHIONED TACK. oh me..oh my. Think a cross between a bad Buckingham Palace / Titanic / Op shop - and you'll get my drift. (pardon the pun). ANY level surface was patterned with faux 1930s patterns. Nauseating carpet patterns, golden cupids and fat GOLD heads, swirls and glass and pretend copper and brass, wood veneer, and giant chandeliers and claw footed furniture. Oh, and my personal favourite.....the fake frescos of nude gods, goddesses, angels and just...well just naked people badly painted ...actually really HORRIBLY painted, all over the ceilings and on multiple rondels around the walls. Add to that the framed artwork...matching I'll add....of (yes you guessed it) more naked people, very ordinary artworks of things like greek gods. In our suite, Venus was being fondled by Cupid. It was pedophilic. I can't understand why someone let that be hung in a room! You've no idea how off-putting it was to wake up to that huge poster every morning. the artist should be shot. So should the decorator. It was the most hideous attempt at vintage glamour I've ever seen. TACKY. Ostentatious Tack. MAINTENANCE: The outside of the ship was not much better. I was literally scared that the balcony of our room might fall off, there was so much rust under the paint. The RAILING was stuck on top of the old one, which was warped, peeeling and rusted. The glass along the railing was absolutely filthy, as were our cabin windows. That's a shame since you could see nothing when inside the cabin, looking through dirty windows and a dirty glass railing. aLL throught the ship I noticed peeling veneer, broken foam faux gold leaf cupids etc, In our suite I found it ludicrous that a fairly nice birds eye veneer was used on cupboards and drawers and then old 1980s gold tone plastic handles attached which colour was worn off. Wardrobe door would not slide. Looking at the interior of other ships, this one was a decor disaster, and I'm not even fussy! SAFETY DRILL - i WAS pretty annoyed when we were hearded out onto the deck (though the temp was nice) and made to stand there for 20 minutes, while nothing happened, then a ridiculously simple safety blurb - how to put on a life jacket. (really??) and then stand there for a nother 10 minutes whjile nothing happens. Then a very loud horn (there go a few more of my aural cilia) and we're apparently allowed to go. FOOD: tHERE are 3 main areas to eat. a) the communal eat what you want, as much as you want, wheneve you want. (Except you can't, because it's not open all the time, only the pizza, tea and coffee is.) b) The posh restaurant upstairs. c) the main restaurant comprising of 2 levels. The food was ok. Pretty good, acceptable. I don't want to make it sound great. It was fresh enough,a nd there was plenty of it. We ate at all 3 places. POSH RESTAURANT; we booked in very early. Months ago. When we arrived we were annoyed that there was not a window table as we'd asked. "Sorry, we don't do that' he said. Why book then?? He said first come first served. Again...why book then? Food was nice, but my lobster was way overcooked. I'd say in a warmer or something for a while. It was even tough to cut. (It was my one splurge dinner.) Sides were ordered. Broccoli. 2 tiny pieces of broccoli. (If I'd known that I would have order 4 serves!!) and mash with wasabi for my husband. About 2 tablespoons of mash with no wasabi. I couldn't taste any. He couldn't taste any. So I'm saying the sides were a waste of effort. Big steak though. And tender. And we were asked "All OK?" "All good?" "Is food ok?" so many times, I lost count. Literally 20 times by 3-4 different people. It was sooooooo annoying. I had a mushroom entree which was delicious. Then the overcooked lobsters. Then a chocolate sphere, which I understood to be filled with something else..., actually it was all just chocolate, melted with melted chocolate, and with chocolate inside and chocolate smeared on the edge. ERgh. I love choc. But no counterpoint to give some contrast it was sickly. Hey chef, ever heard of raspberries? or orange? or even cream? Meals are $55 for choice of 3 courses. EMPIRE RESTAURANT: (THE middle one) Staff are tremendous. Work like trojans serving all the hundreds of people, sitting at decadently decorated tables in the ostentatious huge dining room. They're quick, efficient, and super friendly. The menu is not anything special. It has most of the food that is also served upstairs at the posh restaurant (for an exctra $30), and all of the food from the serve yourself buffet, but put on a plate for you. (free). You can choose what you want, multiple times if you want. So it's really like a buffet, but you can't see the food and someone else gets it for you. It's ok food though. Except I had bouillabaise last night which was just a broth with a few teeny bits of seafood chucked in at the last minute. And a cooked apple with lime pie inside, the apple was so tough I couldn't cut it, obviously not cooked enough, and my husband had one too, but it was only half the size!!! Breakfast is also held in this room. BUFFET: Welcome to cattle class. In many respects. Pushers, shovers, pigs. (sorry, but true. - I guess this style attracts it.) I enjoyed my couple of visits to the buffet as the food was fine, it was the people who weren't. Also, Carnival, your set up...organisation of food stations is abysmal. Identical lines of food from both sides, both converging inwards to the same place is ridiculous. Especially when that place is also the coffee and tea station. I enjoyed a cantina outside which did taco type things. It was fresh and interesting. There's an all day pizza place, but other than that, only tea coffee hot choc and something they called lemonade, but to us (Aussies) it's very strong sweet lemon cordial. It was hideous. Really, no soft drinks or even WATER!!! No juice either. I suppose you could get it from the bar if you wanted to. BARS: Speaking of bars...the inumerable multiple bars all over the ship. You couldn't escape them. Clearly the focus of attention for designers. 2/3 of the public areas ...at least...were bars. Maybe you like that.. I didn't. Why on earth would you drink inside a ship, when you could ...well...drink outside of one? And why is there a need for 7 or more bars? Bar people will not make drinks to order. One day, I went to get a cocktail. I wanted one without orange juice as I'm allergic to it. I asked for a cocktail off the list, but substitute the oj for coconut milk or something, as I like it creamy. Barman said no. I thought he was joking. He said can't do. I said 'What?" he said can't leave out orange juice. I said I don't want oj. He said I can't do. People around me are shaking their heads...what? why? pick something else. OK...pina colada but no ice. No. Can't do. (pina colada's aren't made like dacquiri, they're not icy, and he was making them like that.) No can't do. I asked him why, he just shook his head. I said, but I'm paying for it!!! So I had to make a complaint. I never ever complain. Long stoir short. Dep Head Barman explained. They won't make drinks to order. Too many people on board. (I'm thinking, why would you hire barmen that can't make drinks to order? the bars are never crowded because there's so many of them.) Also, apparently no coconut milk. Really? on a tropical cruise? They use pina colada mix. No pineapple juuice, no coconut cream. Just a stodgy looking mixture. ergh. NO WIFI - unbelievably, there is no wifi on the ship. (I'm not an idiot, I can work out why. - they do not want passengers on their phones or tablets for free, instead of bars and restaurants, casino and shops where they would be spending money.) For this reason also, there is NO NEWSAGENT, NO BOOKSHOP etc on board. They don't want you reading, when you could be drinking or gambling or otherwise spending more money!!! So after leaving sydney and my 4g carks it, I start to wonder. Where is the wifi. I get the Carnival Hub,a nd to my dismay it costs $72 PER PERSON to get 4 day cruise long middle of the road wifi. (not hispeed and not all sites, eg no youtube). You can switch devices, but not at the same time. So husband and I could not be on wifi at once unless we had two accounts. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Even aeroplanes have wifi. Coober Pedy, in the desert of South Australia has wifi and that's 850 kilometres away from the nearest city. And you're telling me acruise ship, 10kms off coast, can't give wifi? It's because it's another cash grab. Pay for wifi, or pay to do something else. No entertainment for free on this ship. So we bought ONE wifi account, swapping devices, and only one of us using it at a time, when we needed to. however. IT WOULDN'T WORK IN OUR BEDROOM OR ON OUR BALCONY. Wifi is garbage on the ship. It's slow, and I don't know about you, I like lying in bed looking at emails whenI'm on hols. And I had to sit on the bed, as I couldn't sit on the slide wide sofa. But I couldn't get wifi in the bedroom. Soooooo annoying when I'd paid $72 for it. That's more than 2 months worth of wifi I pay at home! ENTERTAINMENT: As you may have observed, I'm not a fan of 24 hour drinking, gambling or eating. I naively expected there to be entertainment on board. Adult entertaiment. Not "ADULT" but for adults. Not bean bag tossing. Not the hairy chest competition. :/ NOT a lecture about ...wait for it....wrinkles. I didn't want to have my photo taken, I can do that. I would have played trivia or even bingo in a pinch, but these more fun games were held in random spaces in side passages in a few seats in a cafe with people filing past and talking through them. It was impossible. Adn it wasn't for grown ups so kids were running around and talking. Seriously? Think about it. Can't hear the question, can't hear the answer. No point. So...THINGS TO DO. Virtually nothing. Unless you like drinking eating or gambling or spending money on rubbish. There are shops (jewellery, souvenirs, photos.) tHAT'S it. There are theme nights, if you're willing to risk your hearing. An 80s night for this cruise. Nothing else going. So if it's raining or windy, be aware. You will be very very bored. No internet, no books, tiny pools, no activities worth doing. Just a thought...Carnival. Try some FREE activities. What about a 'get fit' class on the deck. What about an 'All about Moreton Island' exhibition for 2 days ont he way there, and an 'all about the ocean' exhbition on the way back. What about a singalong, a talent show, a cooking exhibition. What about a FREE tour of the engine room (you had to pay). What about a mini borrow-library? A music room? A makeup show. The activities were pathetic and cash grabs, and here's the worst of them. ART AUCTION: There was the most bizarre art show I have ever witnessed. And being an artist myself, I have witnessed plenty, including some pretty odd ones. The organiser was a woman who spoke 3.75 x the speed of sound. Even when she was speaking 'normally'. People were sniggering behind their hands at her. She needs to take something to slow her up a bit. Around 30 minutes of blurb on how, why, who and when, would have been soporific, but for the voice of Speedy Gonzales. she informed us that SHE would determine the starting price, NOT the buyers who usually start an auction. (OK....), and SHE would put in bids whenever she felt necessary. (??? OK......) And the starting bid for the first piece of work was $6000. Six Grand. Did I hear correctly? or have my ears lost 75% hearing due to the ridiculous noise of the music in all the bars? You might not flinch at that. But the 'work', was done in highlighter and permanent marker. In fact, I have never seen such a flagrant upsell, overqualifying sales pitch for such utter rubbish in all my life. The 'works', were clearly up to 20 years old, absolutely revolting pictures, sad huge old gold tone wooden frames bashed and beaten, and reused over and over agiain, with the work begin recycled for cruise after cruise, until some idiot buys it. at $6000. I would say none of the work was painted in Australia. It6 looked like 1980s American junk store stuff. Oh boy. To add insult to injury, a 'free' glass of champagne and orange was offered just before the auction to soften the wallets of the numbskulls who were considering a hefty purchase. Only to be outbid by the seller, who could put in a bid over you to bid you up. Leaving you bidding against yourself. They called it 'collecting'. You can collect art from your cruises. People. People. Do yourself a favour. Go to Saint Vincent de Paul op shop. Pick up the same type of thing for $4 and be done with it. Or better, go to the art show of a local community Art Society and pick up a beautiful artwork recently painted, with genuine provenance, and the blessing of the artist, in a clean and modern frame. $500 should buy you a real cracker! PUBLIC AREAS: did I mention the music? No relaxing music, just super loud, aggravating ear pounding music. In all the bars, and pool areas. All the time. Even the accoustic guitar guy, who was the best of them, was sooooooo loud I wouldn't have put my children in the pool near him. No relaxing anywhere there. Nup. SPEAKING OF POOLS: Not pools. small spa style areas. They LOOK like pools in the pictures because of the huge overflow areas, like paddle areas about 1" deep, but which take up 2/3 of the pool area. The pools themselves are minute. About 4-5 metres long adn 2-3 metres wide. It would fit 20 people in max. No self respecting adult is going to get into a pool that small with 100 kids trying to get in. There is a 'serenity' area which has an even smaller pool. Think about it. Thousands of people. tiny tiny pools. I didnt travel with my older chldren, thank goodness. they would have been bored out of their trees. MORETON ISLAND. We loved it. We took our snorkel gear and walked the 2kms or whatever it is up to the wrecks and swam around on them looking at the gorgeous sea life. Then found a quiet sushi bar and bought an Asahi and a sushi. OH! I almost forgot. THE SHUTTLE BOAT. How could I forget that. It was an exciting experience to say the least. The WAITING: We were told we could o over at any time. We left at 9.50. We didn't ACTUALLY leave until 11.10am. Why? because there were tiny shuttle boats, and so few of them, and we were all herded into the auditorium with numbers, waiting our turn. It took over an hour for our turn. Really? There has to be a better way. The cruise director made it sound like we were SOOOO lucky to be getting on "Now for lucky 38. If you're 38 you can go to the island!!" It was ridiculous. At least have some entertainment for the 400 or so people all waiting to leave. the DRIVER: Picture this. You give your $150,000 car to your 14 year old to drive up to the shops and back. That's what it felt like. On the return trip, our boat driver was so pitiful it beggared belief. My husband is a Master 5 ticket holder, meaning he can drive BIG boats. He felt like he should go and offer assistance he was so pathetic. First, he zigzagged his way through the passage with reverse thrusters every time he needed to slow or turn. (use twice as much fuel and spin the boat around erratically, over steering to compensate.) It took 10x longer to get back than it did to come over. Worst, when we came alongside the ship, he tried to reverse it again, it should have taken around 12 seconds, with maybe 3 manouvres. It was a fairly calm sea. He botched it so badly the boat spun around 360 degrees TWICE! another boat came in, instead, probably to show the driver how to do it. (aka don't reverse up, just drive up to it!!) our driver still did not do that, mucking around over steering and reversing, and ultimately going forward, but so poorly he crashed into the SHIP!! All the passengers screamed, and while I knew nothing would happen, the sound was tremendous and the other passengers scared. Crew were standing on the ship watching the pitiful attempt, in disbelief. There was even a small vessel coming in, a bumpered vessel like a 'pusher', to help 'push' the shuttle into position. It was atrocious. And terrible of Carnival to hire boat drivers in charge of their passengers who have no skill and put lives at risk. They should be ashamed. You may have figured this kind of cruise is not for me. I have done many things like this, and don't get seasick. But I was dismayed at this cruise. It was a cash grab pure and simple. Only the staff saved it. Most of them anyway. They were helpful and worked hard. Probably don't get paid enough for the hard work they do. Most were overseas workers from the Philippines or Russia. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
11 night Vanuatu and New Caledonia cruise. Second time on the Spirit. Went on her when she first came to Aussie about 5 years ago. Said we wouldn't go on Carnival again; but my Brother and his partner ha recently been on and enjoyed ... Read More
11 night Vanuatu and New Caledonia cruise. Second time on the Spirit. Went on her when she first came to Aussie about 5 years ago. Said we wouldn't go on Carnival again; but my Brother and his partner ha recently been on and enjoyed it and we were keen to travel with them. It was a real mixed-bag. Embarkation went very smoothly. Muster is a dogs-breakfast though. Why they need to line everybody up like POW's at roll-call, out on the promenade without shade, packed in like sardines is a mystery. On most Princess cruises we've been on, Muster has been in the theater or one of the lounges. The ship is an interesting mix of decors. We had a Balcony Room. Room was tidy and had a fridge. Beds were ok; but not the luxury you get on Princess. Cruise was outside of school holidays, so there wasn't a lot of kids on-board. The ship didn't feel crowded and there was always somewhere quiet you could go. Service levels fluctuated a bit. Never bad.. but not always great. Sadly, we had a jumper on the 3rd night and the ship was required to return to the area to search. That meant we didn't make it into Port that day. The Captain did an amazing job re-jigging the Itinerary so that we still got to 5 Ports and didn't lose one (and arguably, some would say he gave us an improved itinerary). Mystery Island is always a crowd favourite and didn't disappoint. Port Vila always has many varied options and of course, the cheapest duty-free. We've been to all the Ports before, up to 5 times in some cases; so did our own thing for shore-tours. Entertainment was good. The live band that replaced Music Manila were good musicians (and less corny). There were a couple of good solo entertainers and a good trio of violinists playing their take on some pop and rock classics. There was an MOR sequenced duo (and they had good voices). Saw some good shows including a Freddie Mercury impersonator and entertainment was good. To top it off.. they have the Adults Comedy up to 3 times a night which was great. R18. Some of the comedy was very funny (although def Adult only). Usual trivia most days. The unfortunate let-down is the food. It's bland. MDR service ranged from poor to good (first time we had done anytime dining.. maybe that doesn't help). Felt like they were trying to rush you through.. often serving mains to the table while some of us were still eating our entrees. Constantly having to ask for extra butter.. or even bread rolls. Water empty.. no drink orders taken. Very hit and miss and not of the standard you would see on other lines. The food itself and the menus - very average. Usually only luke-warm. Uninspiring. In the past cruises, we had always looked forward to dinner as one of the highlights of the day. On Carnival.. you eat because you have to. The food is poor and you feel like they're trying to get rid of you. Buffet food was very average. Buffet and all food options close by 9pm except the Pizza which is not a great pizza. No other options for a snack later at night. I guess you get spoiled on Princess with 24 hour International Cafe, buffet open till 11pm, free room service (you have to pay extra on Carnival). Breakfast in the dining room - don't think they got the order right once. The burgers and fries closed super early (and were not great anyhow). The BBQ that they had up on top deck sometimes was good though. Coffee was disappointing. If I want to pay for a decent Espresso coffee; I want a cup and saucer.. not a plastic cup. Disembarking was fine. Pools are salt-water. Not my cup of tea (although admit some prefer them over chlorine). All-in-all, a very mixed bag. Fun to be had.. but the food was such a let down that we will have the fun on a different brand that does things right! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My sister and I travelled on the Carnival Spirit for an 11 day cruise to the Loyalty Islands particularly to visit Santo as many cruise Lines are no longer visiting this port due to the high Port Fees. We both felt that the embarkation ... Read More
My sister and I travelled on the Carnival Spirit for an 11 day cruise to the Loyalty Islands particularly to visit Santo as many cruise Lines are no longer visiting this port due to the high Port Fees. We both felt that the embarkation process was too long and uncomfortable with long periods of standing in the heat without moving. The Carnival Spirit is an older ship that is showing is age and is looking rusty on the outside and tired on the inside decor. The best part of the ship is definitely the crew, particularly the stewards and waiters who go above and beyond the call of duty to care, provide for and entertain everyone. They are amazing. Unfortunately the ship experienced an unexpected tragedy on board on the third night of the cruise which resulted in an extra day of sailing so a decision was made to exclude Santo and Mare from the itinerary which was unfortunate. The captain then agreed to include Lifou and Isle of Pines instead. Unfortunately we were both underwhelmed by the meals in the Main Dining Room compared to a holiday we had on the same ship just twelve months before. The presentation and quality of the meals wasn’t anywhere near as good as the previous trip and there seemed to be obvious cost cutting measures in place. The shore excursions provided by the ship were few and usually double the cost of local providers but this is typical of all cruise lines. The entertainment provided in the nightly shows were usually very good however the Comedians hired on this cruise were well below par. We weren’t travelling with children and felt that most movies and on deck activities were directed at children so other than Trivia, Bingo and the Casino adults had very little to do. We did however feel that the new Cruise Director Chloe did a wonderful job in engaging passengers. Carnival Cruise Lines need to look into refurbishing, rethink the cost cutting and looking into hiring better quality entertainment before we will travel with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise Director Chloe made this cruise amazing!Loved the new menu in Nouveau!behind the fun tour very interesting!room stewards were great and always remembered our name!This ship is really starting to show her age and needs a bit of ... Read More
The cruise Director Chloe made this cruise amazing!Loved the new menu in Nouveau!behind the fun tour very interesting!room stewards were great and always remembered our name!This ship is really starting to show her age and needs a bit of attention!Food mostly good a few meals were a bit average!Sushi restaurant fabulous!overall a great cruise! Shows were amazing usually easy to get a seat!Onboard shops Heinemann do not like new owners of the shops very expensive duty free alcohol was outrageously priced we bought all our alcohol in Port Vila for a fraction of the price!No varietyIf You didn’t want a watch handbag or overpriced junk jewellery!that was about it all I bought in 11 days was a T-shirt!! Really enjoyed trivia would have like more Aussie trivia!music trivia was always so much fun! We participated in the love and marriage show !we were recognised for the rest of the tour for the wrong reasons lol not sure I would do it again I will stick to watching others but fun to do once! Read Less
Carnival Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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