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Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first cruse. Just the two of us in our 40’s. Left Sydney on a nice night with flat seas, was a great start. Had a balcony room which was bigger than we thought it would be. Room was really nice lots of room to put clothes ... Read More
This was our first cruse. Just the two of us in our 40’s. Left Sydney on a nice night with flat seas, was a great start. Had a balcony room which was bigger than we thought it would be. Room was really nice lots of room to put clothes away. Bathroom small but ok. I have a bad back but found the bed to be very good. Good choice of dinning opinions and all that we had were great. Entertainment and activities on days at sea kept us so busy it was hard to keep up with what was on when at times. They sure know how to keep you busy! Enjoyed our couple of days in port with a few excursions though it’s always hard to know which excursion is best to do and had rain one shore day but was still fun. This cruse was 8 days which seems about right as we were looking forward to getting off by the 8th day. The fact that we ran into a storm and 5 meter waves did not help I guess but was still fun. The thing that really stands out is the crew. They are all so friendly and happy to chat. Makes you feel like your at home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is ... Read More
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is perfect for you. However, if you are an experienced cruiser with expectations for anything above the bare minimum I would absolutely avoid this ship and this cruise. Long version: this was the first time my wife and I had ever cruised with P&O and it will be the last. We paid a little bit more with Holland America but we had a much better experience! I can't say anything was really TERRIBLE about P&O and the Pacific Dawn but there was nothing above the bare minimum either. There was rust in our cabin and on the outside of the ship. The ship is 28 years old and it is dated and worn out. Half way through our cruise some of the toilets on the lower decks started to back up and smell really bad. Our bed was nice but the pillows we were given were terrible. The crew were nice enough and were never rude but most of them never went out of their way to learn our names or give us anything above the bare minimum. The food was not bad but it was very average. We were not impressed. P&O also charges 5 dollars or more for all the extras (ice cream, hamburgers, hotdogs etc) the only food they don't charge extra for is the food served at breakfast, lunch or dinner The on board entertainment was not bad but again, it was very average. Their "library" is a mobile book cart and the selection is extremely limited. The TV in our room wasn't on demand. If you wanted to watch something you had to plan your day so you wouldn't miss the movie. Now for the positives: P&O does not charge that daily gratuity fee which is very refreshing. Additionally, not every show or every meal were terrible but overall, both the shows and the meals were just average. They did offer a free kitchen gallery tour which many other cruise lines charge upwards of 50 dollars for. That was neat. Also our room stewards really did a good job taking care of us. Some of these complaints might seem petty but as experienced cruisers we just expected more and were disappointed. But as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for". P. S. Full disclosure, after we disembarked in Singapore P&O claims they are putting the ship in dry dock for 12 days and renovating everything. Unfortunately we weren't on board the ship again to see the results. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be going on a cruise, Brisbane to Singapore, with stops at Port Douglas, Darwin, Timor Leste, Komodo Island and Benoa Bali. I had read some bad reviews and also some good reviews about the Pacific Dawn and I decided to go with the the good reviews. I booked an interior room and were surprised to have been given a complimentary upgrade to cabin 8107, obstructed view. The first night we noticed our floor vibrating, then the loud noise from the band, then karaoke (help me please). We made the decision to not come back to our cabin till after 11.30 to avoid this. We had a great few days enjoying the ship. The decor is very modern, and we soon settled in to ship life. Day 2 my partner came down with very bad head congestion and rough cough. By Day 6 I also had it. So we did not contaminate others, we lay low and and hid in our cabin. That’s when we noticed the little laneway outside our cabin carrying all kind of engineering/ seamen past our cabin window. One whole afternoon they were grinding metal outside our windows. So curtains closed during the day, and noise till 11.30 pm each night. As we disembarked in Darwin to head to the chemist for medication, we noticed a couple of 100 more people with the same problem cough. After we were feeling a little better and not contagious we ventured out. One night in the Marqee lounge, the chorus of coughing was louder than the entertainment. My guess would be that the air conditioning on this ship is very sick. We washed our hands thoroughly, used the sanitiser, I sanitised our cabin twice a day with eucalyptus spray. You can’t catch it through the food handling as the staff handle all the food. So I am guessing if you go on this ship get a balcony cabin so you can have fresh air. I am sitting by the pool right now and it is a chorus of coughing. Now down to the sewerage problem. The first couple of days all was fine, then a massive sewerage smell started sweeping over the ship. Staff outside the Marquee were spraying air freshener on to the carpet to try to cover it up. The smell was very dominant around deck 7,8,9 and 11. This is not good enough P&O. This is a major health risk to your staff and your passengers. I do hope that this is your major priority of your 2 week dry dock in Singapore. Getting off the ship at tender ports. It is so slow. Arrive Bali at 8.00am, still trying to get off at 12pm. Not complaining as I can see the problem, but just be aware if you book tours privately. Promenade bar is a great spot to get a serious drink and unwind before dinner. A very big Thank-you to John and Bella for looking out for us. Orient Bar Too noisy for me, always trivia, games, karaoke going on , but way to loud for my tastes. The Pantry Food acceptable, the only problem for me was if I wanted butter with my toast, I had to line up in 2 queues, as the butter did not live with the toast. A good concept of a food court style. Stops germs spreading. Food was ok, service was excellent. The Waterfront Gone are the days of having the same table for dinner every night. But it was ok, we got used to it. The food was of an acceptable standard and the service was efficient. Salt Grill What a disappointment We had dined here previously 10 yeas ago on the Jewel. It was brilliant back then. I ordered sashimi scallop. There was more potato on the plate than scallop, and covered in a green herb sauce that totally over powered the delicate taste of the scallop. I had a steak that was a little on the tough side for main. I had the cheese for dessert, which was the smallest serving of cheese I have seen on a platter. All in all very bad value for money at $59 per head. Nice wine list though. We also had the afternoon tea at Salt Grill which was very good at $29. I wish they would change the menu as I would have liked to this again. Chefs Table Pre dinner canapés with Australian Sparking, followed by a 7 course degustation. This was a lovely meal, the standout dish for me was the lobster bisque We had Tuna Lobster Bisque Barramundi Strawberry Daquiri Steak Mango dessert Cheese platter All dishes had accompanying Australian wines. It was a very well balanced out menu Shell & Bones Thanks Kylie for a wonderful night. The food was what I expected and the prices reasonable. We ended up esting here Twice The Grill Perfect Pizza, excellent. The Spa Did not go to the spa as the prices were off the charts. I really wanted a masssge but not at those prices. I wonder how many people would book treatments if the prices were not so high. Our Cabin 8107 Very clean, our steward James was fantastic looking after us in every possible way. Hot water is magically hot and pressure is the best. But as above, do not book this if you want privacy or peace and quiet. The Orient bar runs all day and concludes at 9.45 and some nights 11.45pm. All access tour. I really wanted to do this, it was something I was looking forward too. We had the access all area’s tour booked, but we are both so sick and we don’t want to affect anyone else’s holiday. The staff are amazing, they go above and beyond any request possible. If it were not for the bad cabin and illness I would rate this a really good cruise. Day Trips Port Douglas Too rough to tender. Darwin Went to the Darwin cup, the buses run for free from the city service. The set up on the day is great, Hundred of long tables under cover for the public. Timor Leste We chose to tour privately with Timor Adventures. The tour was great, but we were pushed for time due to the tender process getting off the boat. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 9am, but it did not leave until 11am, whilst we waited for people to get off the boat. We drove out to the old fort, stopped at an old gaol, seaside lunch, Cristo Rei and the cemeteries where the massacre was. We learnt a lot about the struggles of the people of Timor Leste. Komodo Island We booked a private tour here with Beyond Komodo Tours. It was the highlight of my trip. We had a small group tour of the dragons, sighting 7 in total. We then went on a boat to Pink Beach where we were given snorkelling gear and were dropped straight on the the reef. It was spectacular, beautiful corals and a multitude of fish. Then we were served a delicious lunch of prawns, calamari, chicken, eggplant and stir fry with rice and noodles. Thankyou Leo from Beyond Komodo. This made our trip. Bali Another private tour in a car to Ubud, we visited the monkey forest, a traditional housing compound and a Lewakcoffee house. As we struggled to get off the ship again due to tended, we missed 4 hours of our tour. We used Hire Bali Driver. Leo was very good trying to fit in as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Fiji Princess as it fitted our itinerary for Fiji. Also Blue Lagoon Cruises offered a two for one deal which made for a very competitive deal. When we boarded from Port Denarau we were made most welcome and indeed the friendly ... Read More
We chose Fiji Princess as it fitted our itinerary for Fiji. Also Blue Lagoon Cruises offered a two for one deal which made for a very competitive deal. When we boarded from Port Denarau we were made most welcome and indeed the friendly service was maintained through out the voyage. Nothing was a bother and the ships company were well organised. Meals were somewhat average with reasonable choice. However, there were a number of issues which detracted from the overall cruise. 1/ The Fiji Princess is an aging ship and in parts needs renovation. 2/ There was a air con leak in our cabin which lead to mold growth in the carpeted corner. 3/ The air con unit was noisy. 4/ The shower head was partially blocked with salts and sprayed water every where leading to excessive towel use. 5/ The on board Still Vacuum Cleaners when in use in the hallways and cabins produced a very high whine that could be heard over the entire ship. The sound was very unpleasant especially when reading etc. 6 Finally the beach afternoon was set up well with refreshments on an Island most likely used weekly by the Fiji Princess passengers and staff. We were surround by washed up plastic waste on the beach and behind the camp. Some off us made a pile of plastic to be collected. The Crew had no intention of taking the rubbish back. I believe Blue Lagoon Cruises has a responsibility to do so for the environment, the use of the beach and to keep tourist happy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit ... Read More
this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit small, but our room stewards couldn't have been better. Every day there were great activities on for the whole family, which varied from White parties to Gatsby dance classes. The food in the pantry was pretty good, but could have been better if there was a bigger range. The pizza restaurant on level 8 served amazing food, and so did Dragon Lady (level 5), the only disappointing part was that it cost more to eat at these places.Our cruise travelled to Noumea, Maré, Lifou and Isle of Pines. This trip had been going smoothly until day 6 when the weather in Maré was miserable, as it was raining all day, when we reached Isle of Pines the following day (the last island) we were told that we weren't going to be getting off the ship due to the swell. The rocking of the boat was definitely noticeable throughout most of the trip but sailing with P & O Pacific Explorer was great!. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our 1st cruise and I booked P and O because of their $1 deposit. I've seen and heard many negatives ,particularly the Pacific Dawn. I couldn't fault our cruise at all - and I can be hard to please. But I really think some ... Read More
Our 1st cruise and I booked P and O because of their $1 deposit. I've seen and heard many negatives ,particularly the Pacific Dawn. I couldn't fault our cruise at all - and I can be hard to please. But I really think some people just like to complain and whine about nothing. From our boarding to disembarking the crew were fabulous. I found the food great (if I didn't like what I got , I went and tried something else). The people that looked after our room were warm and friendly, basically at your beck and call They remembered mine and the kids names after 1st meeting us. Waiters serving us pre dinner drinks remembered from the 1st night what cocktail I liked. The evening shows are world class. I thoroughly enjoyed them every night. The activities, whether family orientated or for myself were plentiful and fun. I absolutely was in awe of everything. These holidays are really what you put in and make of it. My family and I had a fantastic time. The best value holiday ever. And if P and O is an entry level cruise , I can't wait to try another cruise line. But I would also book another p and o without hesitation My only and biggest regret...... I didn't book one long enough. As soon as I boarded I knew 4 nights was not going to be long enough. New cruise addict here! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We needed a break, but without flying half way across the world. We are Kiwis, with about 10 cruises under our belt. We love Princess. Unfortunately, at this time of year, there is only Carnival sailing out of Aussie, we had a break in ... Read More
We needed a break, but without flying half way across the world. We are Kiwis, with about 10 cruises under our belt. We love Princess. Unfortunately, at this time of year, there is only Carnival sailing out of Aussie, we had a break in work pressure, so it was now or 6 months time. We are an extremely middle aged husband and wife. We scored a good two-for-one deal, and we didnt find out until we were about to leave NZ that our balcony had been upgraded to a suite! We were quite excited about that. A quick look on the deck plans showed it was a large suite, over the back of the boat. The first disappointment with Carnival is there lack of info. We couldnt find out what, if any extras you got with a suite. No information on what we could take aboard (bottled water, for instance), alcohol packages, port excursion costs, how to book a set time dining, were toiletries supplied, you know, just basic stuff. We fly to Sydney and eagerly wait the next day. We stayed the night a couple of hundred meters away for the terminal at Circular Quay, so next morning, after a bit of shopping, we head down. We dropped out bags at the bag drop and then went back to the shops, returning a few hours later. We were a bit early from our designated time, but were told as we were suite, we could go straight on (again, would have been good to know, as we were basically mooching round, killing time). Embarkation was the usual, but the worse things were the passengers! I could not belive the amount of people that had to stop and take selfies every few steps! This was not the young either, and why oh why could they not wait until they could step aside and let the queue behind them through??? do you really need five of the walk up to the gang plank, one on the gang plank and one as you put your first foot on the boat?? are you really going to look at these photos again?? So yes, I was the grumpy person that rudely pushed past you. Have some consideration people! We found our floor, then the room. Some better signage would have helped. They could also use Princess's trick of different colour carpet on port and starboard side. It didnt really matter too much to us, as we were along the back, and you could walk right round, but it would have made things a little easier. We found our room, which was a different setup to what we were use to. You walked along a narrow part which had a desk on one side, then to a wider part that had a couch with a chair in front of the couch (really, really surplus to requirement, it just took up room), I assume the couch probably folded out to a bed, but as there were only the two of us, we never found out. The couch was quite comfy. After the desk (with its own chair)there was another table that had the fridge under it. If you sat on the couch, you would be looking at about a 16 inch TV set into about a 26 inch cabinet with another table underneath and a cupboard. No mini bar! In the middle of the cabin was the bathroom, which was a decent size and not too bad a layout. It did have a shower over the spa bath. I would have loved a bath, but it just looked a bit, well, gungy. Between the bathroom and a passage way that led to the bedroom was a small dressing room. It was like they didnt know what to do with the space, so there was a table (with a stool) and mirror there. There was also a make up mirror in the bathroom, I guess this is what makes a suite a bit different from a balcony cabin, I dont know. Then you walked into the bedroom. On one side was a double sliding door wardrobe, the same sort of TV set up in the middle and another door leading the dressing/make up room. We didnt use this door, as it opened into the room, causing a barrier that in the middle of the night you would have walked into. The cabin, while not tatty, did have a lot of wear marks, worn areas, etc. Again, it certainly felt a little gungy. There was a picture on the bedroom wall, of a pre adolescence Venus and Cupid, naked in a sexual pose. While some may have called it art, I actually found it quite offensive (and I am no prude). The murals on the walls in the corridors were of a Roman/Greek style and to me, they just did not look appropriate on a family type ship. A lot of the decor looked like the kids had gotten carried away in the crayon box. So there were heavily patterned walls and squiggly patterned carpets. It was a bit claustrophobic. The general layout of the ship was not overly difficult to find your way around, if you got off the lifts there were usually the names of the areas in bright different coloured lights above the door ways leading to the public areas. The cabins were all on some floors and the entertainment/food areas on others, so everything was grouped together. We did a couple of trivia events, but apart from the Red Frog, there didnt really seem to be any seperate areas like we were use to. The Trivia was just down one side of the boat and you couldnt really hear, unless you were close. The middle of the ship was hollow for about 7 or 8 floors, so the noise carried quite a bit. It was all a bit noisy and busy. Before cast off, we had the usual safety briefing. If you thought the rapping Air New Zealand one was bad, this was worse. We had to all go to the muster stations, which were outside, along the decks. Then we all had to line up, shoulder to shoulder, about 5 deep. Straight lines please. We then had to stand there for about 30 minutes while they (did something, I assume). We were scanned in, so I guess it was looking for those that hadnt arrived, I dont know. The usual talk took about 3 minutes, they we had to all fight our way back in. Thankfully we didnt have to take our life jackets, but it was a very degrading experience. Dinner that night was pretty disappointing. We ate at the main dining room (we were booked for 7.45, but managed to get it changed to 5.30 thereafter). I had a prawn cocktail with a nice sauce (I think it may have been bourbon flavoured?). it was a tasty sauce, I remember that much! The steak was also from the every night menu and was very average. Dessert was their "signature" dish, a chocolate cake in a ramakin with a chocolate sauce inside and some vanilla ice cream. Again, very average. I have had that dessert at a local restaurant. Still, it was only night 1 and it takes a day for everything to settle. We had an early night, as we were tired from travelling and all the excitement of getting on board, etc. Watched a little TV and a good nights sleep. The bed was reasonably comfy and it was great to have a top sheet, instead of just the duvet. The pillows were a little flat, but Hubby likes that. The next morning, we were up the the old buffet style for breakfast. There were lots of stations set up with different things. A quick walk around to see what was available and which stations to avoid (remember the old cruise joke about going on as a passenger and leaving as luggage) I found some water melon and put that on a plate, there were no trays supplied, so I useed a larger plate to hold the smaller plate. Then I found the eggs bene (the quality varied from day-to-day), further round some nice french toast, then some wee pots that you put in the butter, maple syrup, etc (or sauce or jam or whatever). By the time I had queued for each of these and found a table, it was cold. The idea is good, but it was just too hard, without jumping up and down every few mouthfuls to get the next course to have it hot. Very disappointing. I finished unpacking and sorting the cabin. The young lad had been in the day before and asked what time would we like the cabin serviced. Again, this was a little disappointing as it was a suite. With Princess, they come when you are not there, morning and evening. He hadnt come at the agreed time (we gave him a couple of hours), but did come later and we got it right for the rest of the cruise. Toiletries were not replaced as they were used, shampoo and conditioner were a dispense container on the wall. Fortunately, we had bought our own. Tea that night was better, but again the selection was pretty average. I also dont consider a mince pie find dining. Tonight, the wait staff not only had to do a great job (which they did pretty good at) serving the meal, but there were expected to do two dances between main and dessert courses. Yes, it was fun but come on Carnival, these guys had a lot to do anyway. I cant remember how big the dining room was but it was over two floors. The downstairs was booked dining and upstairs anytime. The tables were all laid out with about 3 waiters per 4 or 5 tables. Again, Princess has this better with each waiters tables set in little alcoves where they can serve the meals/drinks from. This was again very noisy with a lot of kids yelling and screaming. There were even some sitting on the tables! Yes, there had also been some at the late time the night before. I didnt make it to much of the entertainment or the outside pool decks, etc. Partly because we had our own balcony, which was the best I have ever had. It was quite wide and wrapped around to the side of the cabln. Probably had something to do with the shape of the boat. It was very, very spacious and the furniture appeared to be in good nick. There was a lot of rust on the metal parts of the ship. Unfortunately, we did have about 24 hours of 6m swells and that kept me very cabin bound, not enjoying the cruise much! That was no ones fault, but the risk you take with cruising. I do enjoy a bit of gentle rocking usually (esp at night when you are going to sleep), but this was rather excessive! Would I pay for a suite? No. For us, a balcony represents better value for money. We do tend to spend a lot of time in the cabin. We dont use the pools, so it is nice to have that fresh air. This suite did not have great views of the sea, as the windows were not all floor to ceiling and they were broken up with panals that probably had something to do with the structure of the ship. There were no other gains (apart from getting on faster) that we could ascertain from having a suite. About three days out, the disembarkation notice came round. We were expected to take our own bags off, Those needing assistance could opt for that. Again, it felt very cheap and we felt unloved. There was some info came round with shore trips, but by then we had made our own arrangements. See below. Overall, it is definitely designed with families in mind. If you like a more peaceful cruise, or something a little more refined, then this is not the line for you. We did the hop on hop off bus at Noumea. There really was nothing to see, a couple of arcade type malls, no good shopping and an expensive ice cream! A market with about 10 stalls, not very inspiring. Most people just went round and back to the boat. Ship docked at container terminal and you could not wander round. Straight off ship and onto bus or tour. AU$25pp. but the ticket on board (charge to room) before disembarking. Didnt get off a Mare as the weather was wet and not that warm. A lot of those that did, came straight back on again. Tender port. Isle of Pines was nice, nice beach that we swum at. Locals had small market with local and coconuts food for sale. Could have paid AU$50 each to go to another beach that had turtles, etc, but the local one was nice. Plenty of fish to see if snorkling. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have cruised P&O many times from Brisbane as we do not have a lot of options for local ships - until 2020 at least. We were blown away by the service of almost all groups on this ship. The folks running the Edge program are ... Read More
We have cruised P&O many times from Brisbane as we do not have a lot of options for local ships - until 2020 at least. We were blown away by the service of almost all groups on this ship. The folks running the Edge program are AMAZING, and everyone we encountered in the dining rooms / stateroom attendants/ restaurants were fantastic. Sadly there were too many issues with this cruise to recommend anyone travel on the Pacific Dawn. The water supply to our cabin was polluted (*see cabin info below). The food was ordinary at best - with the exception of Salt Grill which was amazing. My wife has coeliac disease, and sadly the labelling on items in the buffet was either incomplete or factually incorrect. An example was a soup at the asian area that said Gluten Free - but when I quizzed the staff I was told no - there is soy sauce in this. The waterfront restaurant made attempts to modify some dishes (dinnertime only) and these were of an ok standard. We had a lot of photos taken as part of a photo package, sadly when we checked the USB drive once at home only a fraction of the photos we selected were actually on this USB disk. This was heartbreaking as we had some wonderful dress-up shots taken of our children. I can only put this down to lazyness of the staff in the photo area. The ship is rusty and tired (it was sad seeing the rust hastily whitewashed over when in lovely Pacific Island ports) the eateries never have enough seating space and have comparably short open hours compared to Royal or Princess. Whilst the waterslides are great, they do not make up for the tiny pool or limited deck chairs on the Lido deck for a cruise with 500 children onboard. Unless you can only afford a 3 day trip from Brisbane or have never cruised before - steer clear of this ship. I took a $600 hit to the pocket by cancelling another cruise I had booked rather than sail on the Pacific Dawn - or probably with P&O - ever again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose this cruise as Fiji, Mystery Island & Mare were destinations not previously been to. Whilst the weather cant be controlled by P&O the destinations & experiences are controllable. Upon arrival in Suva on a Sunday the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as Fiji, Mystery Island & Mare were destinations not previously been to. Whilst the weather cant be controlled by P&O the destinations & experiences are controllable. Upon arrival in Suva on a Sunday the tour guide on the bus informed us that on Sundays most attractions are closed but at the end of the tour would take us to the only establishment open on a Sunday being the local souvenir establishment. It doesn't make sense that P&O would schedule a cruise to arrive at a major destination in Fiji on a Sunday when venues are closed. Would have thought adjusting the sailing schedule by 1 day to arrive on a Monday is a simple solution to this disappointment. All other aspects of the cruise were amazing, cabin staff were outstanding as was the entertainment with special mention to Joanna & Rory from the entertainment team & food on offer was excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Booked this cruise for a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids aged 12 & 14) to celebrate my 50th birthday. We’d never cruised before so we weren’t at all sure what to expect, but loved the idea of Island hopping whilst taking ... Read More
Booked this cruise for a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids aged 12 & 14) to celebrate my 50th birthday. We’d never cruised before so we weren’t at all sure what to expect, but loved the idea of Island hopping whilst taking the hotel with you. The Spirit really is a unique experience. From the wild mix of decor to the excellent crew and entertainment, it really is a great and at times overwhelming experience. Thank god for Serenity and well-priced cocktails!!! Our cabin was a 4K obstructed view quad with tender/water shuttle partly obscuring our view - until we got to tender ports, where we had unobstructed views. This was particularly cool at Mystery Island. The cabin was roomier then we expected. The beds were ridiculously comfortable and the pillows are spectacular! I can see why so many people rave about them. Circle C kids club - our kids went there on the first night as a meet and greet and were very reluctant. Boy, were they in a for a surprise! They met so many kids there, they barely ended up in there at all, they were so busy being teenagers together all over the ship. They’re still friends with the kids they met, having regular post-cruise vide chats with kids from all over Australia (and we live in NZ). We barely saw them when we were on the ship. It gave us a chance to have a great holiday of our own (which, as anyone with kids will know, is not always easy on a family holiday). Drinks and food were great. Buffet lines could be long at times but there was always plenty of food and of course there was the restaurant to eat in if you didn’t feel like buffet food. Guys Burger Joint was a personal highlight. As was the BBQ that was running on the odd day (not every day). Personally I’ve become a cruise convert: I’m not sure I’d go straight back on the Spirit - I’ve been there and done that, time to check out another ship. Would I recommend the Carnival Spirit? Yes. Yes I would. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Decided to find out why Australia loves cruises so much at the moment. So, we took the plunge and went on our first cruise. Would it be our last? Overview: We booked on a “special” offered by Carnival. As it turned out we seemed to ... Read More
Decided to find out why Australia loves cruises so much at the moment. So, we took the plunge and went on our first cruise. Would it be our last? Overview: We booked on a “special” offered by Carnival. As it turned out we seemed to have got a great deal as our special turned out to be an upgraded room and also instant Carnival Red Status (this may have been as we called Carnival to ask a few queries prior to the cruise and the lady in the US was excellent and was eager to help out). Boarded early at 11:30 on Friday. We found embarkation to be surprisingly quick and efficient. However, we did see from the ship that there were longer queues as the day progressed. Departed right on time at 4 p.m. Leaving Sydney Harbour on a big ship was on my wife’s “to do” list so this was excellent. Sydney is a magnificent harbour and we were lucky that the weather held just enough to make it spectacular. We then spent Saturday and Sunday at sea as you cruise up the Australian East coast. Monday morning, we were up early at 5:30 a.m. to see the return trip into the harbour. Again, this was worth getting up for albeit the sun had not really woken up yet to greet us. The ship docked at 6:30 a.m. and by this time the sun had begun to shine through. We were fortunate (for us anyway) to be assigned to a later disembarkation time meaning we could watch the arrival into port, go back to the room and shower and have breakfast and a coffee and not have to rush anywhere or stand in any long queues. Weather: Friday was overcast. Saturday was overcast, rainy and a little breezy causing some methodical rocking of the boat but nothing too dramatic. Only real downside with this is that everybody is inside making it feel a little cramped and busy onboard. Sunday saw the sun come out and change the whole mood of the ship and the feeling of space increased dramatically as people spread out into the open sunny areas on deck. Room: The room was far more spacious than we expected. It is a little dated but was more than adequate, especially as we did not really spend much time in the room. The balcony was also a usable size which came as a bit of a surprise and was a great place to sit and have some quiet time. There was also plenty of storage space. Only a couple of issues for us. The pillows were really, really soft. The walls are not the thickest. One room above us had people in it who were up early each day and would be stomping around the cabin. It was a bit annoying and inconsiderate. Similar with those getting back to their rooms early in the morning and staggering along the corridors talking a lot louder than they realise. Life on a ship I guess. Food Stations: Better than expected but we did not have high hopes in this department. There certainly is enough for everyone and many people seemed to enjoy (no really, really enjoy) the unlimited freedom to eat almost non-stop through the day. Food stations ranged from the beer absorbing pie and snag station to a very tasty and healthy salad bar. Did seem to be something for everyone. There was also a dessert bar and unlimited self-serve cones in vanilla and chocolate. A number of the food stations are around the pool area so you could swim, drink and listen to the DJ/watch movies. Main Dining: For a slightly more sedate experience we dined at the main restaurant in the evenings to enjoy their 3 course dinners. On two of the three nights we found the food to be very tasty and of a good quality. However, the Mexican theme night seemed to be a bit lazy. The flavour was fine, but it was really just the same as the Mexican food station out by the pool and certainly not up to the standard of a good quality Mexican restaurant. Each evening we had a bottle of wine with our dinner (at extra cost). The wine was reasonably priced with a relatively small wine list trying to cover most tastes. We had lunch in the dining room on one of the days and it was by far and away our worst meal of the cruise. A couple of the dishes presented did not accurately represent the words on the menu which was odd. Also, there is a fine dining restaurant for an additional surcharge of $55 per person but we did not feel the need to try it. Bars and Casino: There are plenty of places to get a drink. Everything from a piano bar to a pub and sports bar type places. And for a captive market they were reasonably priced. 500ml can of Heineken A$8.5. Most cocktails were around the A$13 mark. There was a “cruise special” full drink double for A$5. In other words, a double JD and (double) coke was approx. $13 but 2 JD and cokes were $18. There was a reasonable selection of spirits depending on which bar you were in. There was a lot of people drinking a lot of grog. Clearly a large chuck of the Carnival profit for this type of cruise would be from bar sales. There were many groups of birthdays, bucks, hens and other celebrations and some people were having a bit too much. We found it a little odd that being on the ship seemed to be a great place for some of these groups to get a bit plastered, especially as the majority were drinking responsibly. However, as one of the cruise comedians put it, the afternoon drinkers look like they are going to get really messy but by 7 p.m. they are generally tucked up in bed Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have dropped with much cheaper food lines. You can definitely see where cut backs have been made to the food which is presented. This was very dissapointing and would possibly prevent us from sailing with P&O in the future. Even in the sit down dining restaurants it was difficult to find something descent to eat. We also thought the ship could do with a good scrub down. The main viewing windows on the ship in the dining areas & restaurants were green from algie and looked disgusting. Surely there must be a way these can be cleaned as they bought the whole ship standard down. The staff were all pretty good though. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The price was considerable compared to the value. The food was always cold with only one choice smothered in French creamy Sauces. Plaster was the only offering six days in a row. Eggs were not available every second day. The Scranbled ... Read More
The price was considerable compared to the value. The food was always cold with only one choice smothered in French creamy Sauces. Plaster was the only offering six days in a row. Eggs were not available every second day. The Scranbled eggs was like sloppy porridge.. The Marquaseas offered no Swimming or Snorkeling opportunities. The Islands were dry and Barron and uninteresting. The staff were very patronising to the point of rudeness when asked for something different. Asked for Playing Cards and received a pack with multiple of one cards and deficient others. We sat in an open area on the Veranda for dinner one night and were asked to move because the French wanted our spot out of the wind. We refused to move and the next night the staff refused to serve us at dinner. When we complained the Supervisor sided with the stars. Surprise surprise. Avoid at all cost. Take Windstar Wind Spirit instead. We have done it twice and it’s amazing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is now our third cruise, our second (and last) with P&O. Our first cruise was with P&O on our own and we weren’t impressed, but it was our first and a few years ago now so we thought we would give them another try. The money ... Read More
This is now our third cruise, our second (and last) with P&O. Our first cruise was with P&O on our own and we weren’t impressed, but it was our first and a few years ago now so we thought we would give them another try. The money grab of the century is probably the easiest way to explain it, no happy hours for drinks, no coffee card and the cocktails were so watered down that having 2 of them back to back had no effect at all, just lolly water. The ship is tired with outdated decor. The food was just ok, the Pantry (or pigs trough as we called it) was ordinary, little variety and didn’t change. The Waterfront was ok, but always rushed with a small menu which also didn’t change much. The language barrier was an issue at times also and when asking for certain items to be added or subtracted from a meal it was a bit of a lucky dip. The ship was so crammed with people it was very difficult most times to get a seat to watch any of the entertainment. We decided to try out the Salt grill, which was about $100 extra per couple, the food was very good, but the service was poor, getting the cooking of our steaks wrong and reaching across us often during service. (The Luke Mangan blurb in the menu also had spelling and grammatical errors, he would not be happy) We were unable to stop at 2 out of the 5 islands, I know this is out of their control, but at Conflict Islands the ship left immediately once the decision was quickly made at 9am, then sailing back slowly because of the extra time which made for a very bumpy ride. Many seasick for that next day. I had to go back twice where extra drinks were put against my cruise card, when challenged about it they said they yelled out to me but I walked away, mind you I then sat in the lounge where the bar was for the next hour or so, but nobody came over to me even though the same person was floating around taking drink orders, I had to sort it out, dishonest is a word which comes to mind. Ok, ok, ok, it can’t be all bad I hear you thinking! Well the production shows were very good, but because the Marquee theatre is so dated, their electronic screen, which is a big part of their show is stepped back behind the curtains and unless you sit in the front area, you can’t see it. This was often an issue because of the amount of people crammed onto this boat. Overall a terrible experience, my son and daughter in law came with us and have now asked us not to invite them on another cruise because of how bad this one was. Avoid at all costs, go for another cruise line if you can. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Orana, We arrived two days prior to departure to allow our bodies to acclimate to the time change. We chose May as this is the start of the winter season, which means less rain and kids still in school. Time difference was only 3 hours, ... Read More
Orana, We arrived two days prior to departure to allow our bodies to acclimate to the time change. We chose May as this is the start of the winter season, which means less rain and kids still in school. Time difference was only 3 hours, but if traveling from east coast would highly recommend doing this. We arrived late, 10:10 pm. We arranged through Paul Gauguin to stay 2 nights at the Intercontinental Resort. Transportation was provided to the resort and then to cruise ship terminal. Pape’ete was 5 mi from resort, Too difficult to walk. We spent our first morning in town, then afternoon at the pool. The resort had a nice restaurant and bars, so really no need to leave. Boarding the ship was easy. Can’t get onboard until after 3pm so no need to arrive early. Once onboard the food and drink experience begins! We stayed in a balcony room 622 - port side. Having a balcony came in handy to dry out all our wet things from rain and water excursions. If we didn’t have a balcony we would have taken advantage of unlimited laundry service they offered, I think for only $200. Our room was centrally located, close to everything - using the stairs as only 2 elevators. Room was adequate size. Lots of storage. Have plenty of both 220 & 110 plugs available, no need to bring converter. The shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel seemed cheap or diluted. No lather noticed when used. Other cruisers who had rooms on the 6th floor more forward, above the Le Salon, said they heard the evening shows from their room each night. They said it was very loud. Our cabin stewardess Clara, was wonderful. Very helpful! Day 2 in Variao-Tahiti Iti. Paul Gauguin is the only Cruise ship to come here. Not much to offer for excursions. We did Boat to Teahupoo surf site, exciting to see surfers in action with great photos, then we went to a snorkeling site. Few fish, not great, but fun to be in the water. Day 3 -Huahine -We took a Safari tour in am. It was very humid, so going early was good. We toured Huahine Nui. Roads all paved and in good shape. Went to Pearl/Pottery farm by boat, vanilla farm, sacred sites and few other good photo op spots including a Belvédère. Guide Josefina was very informative. We used bug spray for all land excursions and didn’t get any bites. Day 4- Paul Gauguin Motu. We didn’t do an excursion this day as all was provided. Take first or second tender over to claim a spot & lounge chair. We snorkeled here, saw more than in Vairao. You could kayak as well. The BBQ was excellent and again unlimited drinks. Many local people selling their wares including pearls. I thought they were a little pricey. Day 5 - Bora Bora We took the Safari Jeep Tour 4x4 in the morning. It rained all morning, jeep trail was rough going up mountain. We Toured around the island, visiting World War 2 Artillery sites, a plantation with a view while watching an artist painting a pareo. In the afternoon we walked around the small town. Went to Tahitian Pearl Market and bought a pendant and earrings. (FYI: We attended the Pearl Lecture offered on the ship which was very informative. We have a whole new appreciation for pearls) I picked my own pearls to be mounted. They give you a certificate of authenticity and duty free price. This was fun and fair priced compared to others we saw. Day 6 - Bora Bora Went scuba diving twice. First site Tapu was lovely. Lots of coral, fish and a few reef sharks. Second dive was Anau- it was awful! Low visibility and saw nothing! A Rare fish and little coral. That afternoon we hired a local as wanted to see more sharks and rays. (M/S PG excursions book up fast for this and rightfully so) Got to see lots of reef sharks and manta rays. It rained on and off all day. Make sure you have a waterproof bag to protect your phone and camera. Day 7 - Moorea Beautiful island. Went scuba diving in the morning to “The Ledges”. This was our best dive. Got to see turtles, reef sharks, lots of fish and coral. In the afternoon took the slow paced E-bike tour. We rode over 20 miles! Thank goodness for the electric support which made it much easier. Went to top of a Belvédère for great photos, Stopped at agricultural school for treats, as well as a pineapple farm. Thought I would be sore the next day but pleased I was not! That night we set sail for Pape’ete and arrived back in port early that evening. Lots of activities to do on ship. We didn’t partake during the day as always off the ship enjoying island sites. Every morning we went up to deck 8 at La Pallette to view our new port. Phillip would make us a yummy juiced beverage and a cappuccino to start our day. We always came back to ship at lunch. Each day in La Verranda they had a themed lunch (Italian, Mexican, Asian, etc) Such variety! Each afternoon as the ship set sail the Santa Rosa Band played around the pool. It was great to sing along and have a refreshing beverage. They were awesome! We loved to go to the piano bar to meet up with new found friends and have a pre dinner drink/appetizer. Anthony always was prepared for us! We played different trivia games, which were hard, but thankful for my husband/friends, we won 3 out of 4 nights! (We shared our prizes with second place teams as we only needed one pen and magnet). We only saw 2 of the shows at night. A tribute to the Beatles by the Santa Rosa Band was great and the Variety Show (not so good). They started each night at 9:30 - difficult for us to stay awake. We heard the crew show was great! The restaurants were all different- L’Etoile - main restaurant, menu changes daily. Always something good to choose from. No reservations needed. La Verranda- came here for breakfast and lunch on most days. Lovely view! Have same menu for dinner which was Okay but not favorite. Must make a dinner reservation. Le Grill - must make a reservation here for dinner also. Same menu nightly. It was outdoors, no a/c, so warm for lunch. Departure- we didn’t fly out until midnight so had a day room arranged by Paul Gauguin to go to La Ora Resort in Pape’ete. In the morning, we got to stay onboard the shop and enjoy all amenities including lunch. We departed at noon, went by bus on a 2 hour tour of town, then to the resort. Again, it was cloudy and rainy, but lovely grounds to walk about. Rooms were comfortable. Pool side restaurant served dinner and had local band. We were able to relax, shower, then taken back to airport. If you have access to internet would check in for your flight home. Even though we had assigned seating, the check in process would have been much faster if we had pre- checked before arriving at airport, allowing us to go through much shorter line. Air Tahiti Nui service was great! We were served 2 meals each way. All beverages were free including alcohol. Offered over 40 movies and many video games to choose from. Made for a “quick” 8 hour flight to LAX. We chose the 240 hr internet package on board the ship. Make sure you logout fully as directed. Many passengers didn’t and lost all their hours overnight! We quickly checked our emails once a day. At end of cruise we still had over 100 hours to use! All and all, our experience with Paul Gauguin was wonderful, a trip that will never be forgotten! Hope this post was informative and helpful. Happy cruising!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise because of the price and that I had never been on carnival before. Staff were excellent and always happy and helpful. A few went above and beyond. Very, very clean ship. Cabin stewards did a wonderful job and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the price and that I had never been on carnival before. Staff were excellent and always happy and helpful. A few went above and beyond. Very, very clean ship. Cabin stewards did a wonderful job and were very thorough. I really had a wonderful time and did not want to leave. The cruise director Chloe was amazing and got involved in everything. She was so genuinely friendly and such a beautiful person inside and out. Plenty to do on sea days and plenty of entertainment. Food was excellent in the buffet and in the dining room. The Nouveau restaurant was absolutely fantastic with large servings and the food was served in beautiful and amazing ways. I truly enjoyed the cruise and would definitely sail with carnival again. My only suggestion would be if we could book and pay for shore excursions before the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This is our third Windstar cruise in the past 5 years and it was amazing. 140 passengers, 102 crew members that spoiled us for 11 days. Our trip included airfare and all the ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This is our third Windstar cruise in the past 5 years and it was amazing. 140 passengers, 102 crew members that spoiled us for 11 days. Our trip included airfare and all the transfers during the trip. We were met at the airport and taken by bus to the Intercontinental Hotel for our overnight stay. This hotel is a lovely oasis with a variety of pools, a lagoon and beach with plenty of water sports activities. All the transfers were smooth and efficient. The check in process at the ship the next afternoon was smooth and fast. Our cabin was mid ship on the first level. The cabin is small, but very well appointed. Plenty of space for our bags, our clothes and snorkeling gear. The cabin steward kept the cabin clean and neat throughout the trip. We purchased the laundry plan and each morning a bag of dirty clothes were picked up and at the end of the day clean clothes were waiting for us in our room. It allowed me to pack all the clothes I need for an 11 day cruise including my snorkel and mask in a single carry-on suitcase! My wife has some food allergies and wait staff on board made sure that her food was prepared in a manner to not allow any cross contamination that might impact her health. Breakfast and lunch were served with the choice of indoor or outdoor seating. Breakfasat included a nice spread of fruits, fresh baked goods, buffet style eggs, bacon, sausage, etc or you could order a made to order omelet, or a choice of about a half dozen other entries that were varied each day. (Pancakes, french toast, eggs benedict, ....). Lunch included a choice of salads, a handful of buffet style entries and a fresh food station that varied each day (tacos, pasta, roast). The wait staff provided excellent service. Dinner was served most nights in the large indoor dining room, and one night on deck in the open air. Each night the menu offered an amazing variety of starters, main courses and desserts. The dinner on deck featured grilled seafood, steak, pork and chicken options. We took a number of tours that were arranged thru WindStar. The Blue Lagoon tour on Fakarava was sold out before the cruise, so we took the Snorkeling at Pufuna tour. There was a strong current that afternoon and this tour was probably our least favorite of the cruise. Book the Blue Lagoon if you can, the people that took that tour said it was very good. On Rangiroa we took the Snorkeling at the Aquarium Coral Garden trip. It was a short boat trip to the coral reef and water was teaming with colorful fish. That afternoon we took the tender into the dock and walked around the island. We had a very pleasant stop at Josephine's overlooking the pass. The day at Motu Mahaea was excellent. We did not do an excursion that day. We swam in the waters off the private beach, enjoyed the excellent bbq lunch and strolled around the island. It was a fantastic day. The two days at sea were a little rocky. I would recommend getting the seasick patches beforehand. On Huahine we took the Sacred Sites & Cultural Walk. Our guide Manu was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the Polynesian people. The hike up to one of the sacred sites was not for people with mobility issues. Bora Bora was fantastic. We booked a trip via Trip Advisor with Tohora Bora Bora that was outstanding. We also booked the Shark and Manta Ray encounter with WindStar. Swimming with the sharks and rays was a highlight of the trip! For my money, Moorea was the most beautiful of the islands. My wife booked the Dolphin outing and had a great time. I booked the photo tour with Eyes of Moorea. Reno took us up to Magic Mountain and the Belvedere lookout and gave us some great tips on how to shot interesting travel photos. Overall, the tours and excursions that we took really added to our enjoyment of the cruise. Since this ship is smaller than most, it can anchor in areas away from the larger cruise ships. In fact, we only had one day out of 11 where we saw another cruise ship at the same port as we were visiting! We enjoyed the back of the ship sports deck and equipment a number of times. My friend took out the sailboat and kayak and we found that swimming behind the ship was a great way to relax after a morning of visiting one of the islands. This cruise is a great way to see French Polynesia. Excellent service, food and activities. My wife and I have traveled extensively over the years and I have to say that this trip is one of the highlights of all our travels. I look forward to returing to these islands again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to ... Read More
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to commence the sound was painful. This also continued at the same level for the singers and dancers shows Several people were unhappy and I spoke to the Cruise Director about it but was ignored. I also asked the sound engineer to turn it down a little and he said his instructions were to be loud as it encouraged people to join in. Unfortunately it just meant that after 10 minutes with my fingers in my ears I could not take any more and had to leave One Theatre show was actually offensive and I do not know how anyone can think that the background of a dirty padded cell with a bed and a woman tied to it being interfered with by several 'doctors' is at all funny Avoid the slumber show it stinks Other shows I had seen previously which was lucky as I could not take the much higher decibel level this cruise The cabin staff were great even when one was off ill the other did an excellent job. Tendering was hit and miss calling us down to join the queue when there was no tender there or in site meant we were an hour standing on the stairs instead of waiting in the lounges Dining was 'different' We always use the dining rooms but twice had to leave as there was nothing on the menu which we could eat and had a good meal in the pantry. The menu shows strange mixes of ingredients so instead of a fish or meat dish you would find evidence of the other item mixed in Unfortunately the one evening we both had the roast lamb it was awful, strings of grissle and fat and no meat whatsoever. Sadly after 8 or 9 cruises with P&O Australia I do not think I can risk my hearing again and will continue with the other companies instead Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
5 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship can hold a maximum of 326 or so passengers; there were 260 passengers, 226 crew on our trip. Pretty good crew-to-passenger ratio. Passengers: Mostly English speaking couples, some French, a few Japanese and Spanish (south ... Read More
The ship can hold a maximum of 326 or so passengers; there were 260 passengers, 226 crew on our trip. Pretty good crew-to-passenger ratio. Passengers: Mostly English speaking couples, some French, a few Japanese and Spanish (south American.) There were three young (5-ish) children, from three different families that did not previously know each other. They were well-behaved. Once in a while a bit energetic and rowdy, but in places where this wasn't inappropriate. We only briefly glimpsed one of the families; of the other two, I don't think the children spoke English, but that also wasn't a factor. Most were m/f couples around 45-70, but there was a smattering of everything, including grown kids helping their parents, all types of couples and everything from extreme goths to men who wore dinner jackets with shorts. Cellular Service The ship does have cell service through Maritime. Which is not covered by AT&T Passport. Unlike some other lines, no package available. I didn't use the Maritime coverage. Throughout French Polynesia, Vini is the local cell service. AT&T was definitely confused on the concept of Tahiti vs French Polynesia - I called and they thought they only supported Tahiti, not Bora Bora or Moorea. Post-cruise, I can confirm that AT&T Passport over Vini was covered in all three islands. Vini coverage was fine. The Pool There is a mandatory pool atop the ship. It's pretty small; you wouldn't do laps in it. They drain it for cruising, refilling it (with salt water from the ocean) every morning. Food: The food was mostly very good. Dinners were 50% amazing, but 50% mediocre for a good restaurant. Seafood was reliably fantastic, vegetarian dishes were consistently poor. Drinks were good and as strong as you wish. We didn't have any whisky, but the vodkas and rums were quality, including Grey Goose, Titos and Sky. (Didn't check on others.) Weirdest Shipboard Experience: The hours-long rooster-apacalypse early in Moorea, tons of crowing in the distance for at least an hour. Sounds like a bit of a sports event. Not too loud, but funny. Excursion and Docking information Just in case you weren't aware... excursions are cheapest from the provider. The hotels (e.g. the Intercontinental) mark them up 37%. (Yes, that's the number. Not sure why, but I did verify it.) The Paul Gauguin seems to have an even higher mark-up. e.g. €70 (US$78) for the Blue Lagoon Day vs $109 from the hotel and $139 from the ship. That's nearly double for doing it from the ship (in this case; the ship markup seems to vary.) But it is far more convenient, especially considering... Two of our excursions were cancelled, one due to port change, the other due to weather. We rolled with it. In one case, the "travel concierge" on deck four was able to get us onto a replacement that showed fully booked, when I requested it. (She picked up a phone and spoke in exceedingly fast French for several minutes, hung up and said something like, "It is done." Straight out of a movie.) Snorking quality varies immensely. If you regularly dive or snorkle, you already know this. But if not, just realize that just because snorkling is offered, doesn't mean there's anything interesting to see there. If you're used to using the PGCruises.com "Manage My Trip"... well, they don't keep it up-to-date. (As a rule, the Gauguin technology seems at least a decade behind.) We had two excursions cancelled... change of docking location for one, weather for the other. These aren't removed from the web page. In theory, according to the Travel/Concierge on Deck 4, the T.V. (ironically, their brand-new "ITV System") is kept up-to-date, but it really isn't... our Moorea docking was moved from Oahapanu Bay to Cook's Bay (because a Princess Cruise will be coming on Friday) but the T.V. information wasn't updated. There are detailed schedule sheets. They're pretty useful. But most useful was simply going to the Concierge, who knows what's going on and can sometimes squeeze you in anyhow. Scuba French Polynesia is fantastic for scuba diving. We did several dives. Another passenger referred to this as "Princess Diving", because the equipment (BCD, regulator, tank, weights) are provided and checked for you, they help you strap them on if desired, you flop over the side and then at the end, hand them up and climb aboard unencumbered. It's much easier than the beach drysuit diving we'd mostly done before. You do have to check in with the dive master to schedule dives; he checks your logbooks and medical certificate. You don't have to use the PGCruises medical cert; I brought a copy of my last doctor sign-off, and I believe they can check you there anyhow. But this gave my nervous SO a chance to talk about the dives before deciding. The Zodiac (they have several) leaves from the 3rd-floor boat marina. We brought our own masks, snorkles, fins and computers, but some people used boat-issued ones. Dives were in groups of four, each with a guide. It was a really great time. You don't need to scuba to swim with the sharks and rays; Shark City is a shallow (perhaps a meter) deep area better for snorkling. But we saw much larger sharks, and a lot of other great life, diving. ATV Tour of Huahine Nui We took the Hauhii ATV tour around the island. The highlight was, sadly, the driver in front of me crashing into the driver in front of him. No injuries, but it was exciting. We also did some shore riding, which allowed us to get a better view of the tidal life than we could on foot, because the rocks are simultaneously super-sharp and super-slippery, not a problem for a 4WD ATV but dangerous on foot. We also saw several of the stone marae (temples, basically), the river-eels, a lot of backyards and residents. This gave us a deeper and closer look at the real island than any of the other tours, but that may not be what you really want... because the island's economy really isn't all that great. (My trip notes stated "Third world back alleys.") BBQ on the Motu: This is the excursion, not the "private island" day on Motu Mahana in Bora Bora... covered below. TL;DR: Skip this one. This wasn't all that close to where the Gauguin was docked, so the ride out was long. That may be unusual; our dock was changed because a Princess Cruise was going to need Oahapanu Bay, the larger bay, so the Gauguin docked at Cook Bay instead. On the way, we stopped at Shark/Stingray City, an area out several hundred meters in meter-deep water where the rays and sharks have been fed for decades. This was fantastic and fun. All these large carnivorous fish swimming around you and expecting contact. Definitely do this, but there are other ways to do it than the BBQ excursion. Then we got to the Motu. This one had a lot less going on than Motu Mahana. You're there for hours, but no food or drink for the first several. It's heavily wooded, limited sun. The food is grilled right there, still limited drinks - just beer and water. And not really that great for snorkling either. Eventually, you're glad to leave. Waverunner & Snorkeling Adventure This was a longish ATV ride in very choppy water. Apparently, we were right on the cusp of where they would cancel the excursion, except that two days had already had cancellations due to changed docks. So the ride was a bit brutal. But the scenery was amazing. Snorkling was pretty good, but keep in mind that it may have been more impressive to people who weren't doing scuba dives. The view of the overwater bungalows (and how many resorts have them) was really neat. The guide also prepped some bananas, coconut and grapefruit for us. The bananas and coconut were amazing. We weren't fans of the grapefruit, but it was neat to experience. Motu Mahana This is included with the cruise. It's the "Gauguin Private Island" day. And it's a blast. Imagine it's just past the halfway mark of the cruise. You now have a bunch of friends (it's a small ship, remember? And a self-selecting set of passengers.) The island has wonderful white sand, perfect trees, a huge BBQ buffet, unlimited good drinks, some served in coconut shells (which are greener than you expect from watching Gilligan's Island, apparently not the most accurate documentary.) The water is warm, and even the rain doesn't dampen things. Plenty of chaises, the water is wading-deep for quite some distance, full-plumbing facilities. Really, no downside. Well, one downside. There's an encampment on the other side of the Motu that resembles a homeless camp. I asked about it; apparently one of the local families has "an arrangement." You'll see it if you walk around the Motu (and if they're still there), but if you just stay in the resort-area, you won't. Tip: Don't bother bringing your snorkle gear to the Motu. Despite the description, there's not much to see, especially compared to some other stops. Excursions we heard about: The "Le Truck" excursion disappointed the passengers we chatted with. They didn't see much, were stuck on the road, it seemed aimed at getting them to spend money at local businesses and they just didn't enjoy it. The "personal submarine"/Aquabike's had passengers raving. NOT scuba passengers, but scuba takes prep, training and equipment. It seemed everyone who did the Aquabike loved it. Extras: Get the laundry Service. We booked this electronically well before the trip. It's completely worth it. Just make sure you accurately count your items going out; my SO got it wrong (twice!), with them rejecting the order as a result. Perfectly reasonable, not a big deal. You can't order the internet package in advance; it must be done from on-ship. And it was spotty. The ship's equipment is not a match for today's expectations. This isn't a French Polynesia issue; my cellfone had better coverage and speed than the best of the boat, and large portions of the boat and even some of the cabin had dead zones. But still, it's not expensive and is very convenient. Just realize you won't be doing any streaming or VOIP calls. This had no impact on me other than surprising me. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having been very spoilt on our first cruise with the Regal Princess, I guess I should have expected the standards to be heaps lower. The ship is old and rusty and having had a refurbishment 2 years ago I can't see where the money has ... Read More
Having been very spoilt on our first cruise with the Regal Princess, I guess I should have expected the standards to be heaps lower. The ship is old and rusty and having had a refurbishment 2 years ago I can't see where the money has gone. Our shower had 2 temperatures... hot as the sun and cold as ice. The toilet flushed occasionally and a few times my husband and I had to resort to using water from the tap in a glass to try and flush away anything that went in there. The balcony was tiny and you couldn't leave the door open to listen to the waves. Good luck getting out there to sit on the chairs anyway. On the plus side our room attendants were great and our room was always neat and tidy every day. The food was average. Being a sweet tooth I didn't even eat the dessert. The food was basically the same everyday and felt more like RSL food than a buffet. The staff were hit and miss. Some amazing and some completely uninterested. The mocktail package we bought was fine as long as you didn't mind getting in line for 15 minutes everytime you wanted a drink. The coffee on the other hand was great. Nice flavour and consistent. Bingo was fun... the staff for this were good and Tony was hilarious. The entertainment dancers on the last night of the cruise looked bored and you can tell they don't want to be there. Protege were great, some of the other bands were a bit karaoke style. James in Charlie's bar was amazing and always friendly and happy. He is an asset and if all the staff were like him the ship would be great. Information on shore excursions was pretty limited. The big screen tv has pixelated pieces and you can't see the whole thing. Every restroom I went to had at least one toilet out of order. Sorry P&O but I won't cruise with you again unless you up the level on your ships. We heard a lot of the same from other people who we just overheard. It's a shame because it could be great. Read Less
6 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

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