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What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Brisbane, Australia
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5 posts
121 reviews
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What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Carnival Spirit

today, 17:29

Firstly, this is ALL positive! We had a wonderful time (having disembarked yesterday) with 17 in our extended group ranging in age from 7 to 60. We all loved it. If you are hesitating about it all, just do it says my 10 year old, who did not 'need' kids club at all, he says. Too much going on elsewhere.

I read extensively on the forum and took a lot of advice that was worthwhile. I'll try not to repeat too much:

WHAT I WOULD NOT DO AGAIN:

Kids bottomless bubbles: Rather give them the $5 a day to spend. There is free colddrink with at least 2 flavours available on deck 9 and water everywhere.

Take my own teabags and coffee: what was available on level 9 was wonderful I loved the hot choc.

Book any land trip on board.

Don't take food for the islands - they ask you not to, the food the locals offer is cheap, safe and good and our custom is a very needed source of income - esp Lifou and Mare.

WHAT I WOULD DEFINITELY DO THE SAME OR NEXT TIME:

Stretch for a balcony - ours was an even number which got us the Opera house in Syd and the welcome song and dance at Noumea, great to have fresh air all day and night.

Go for dinner at Nouveau Restaurant - $40 dinner, $30 lunch and you will not get better food anywhere. If you go on the first night, you may get a free bottle of wine - and let's be honest, where else can you dine on Sydney's harbour for that price?

Do the Chef's Table....$75.00 each including wine and a tour of the kitchen. If I had to choose this or dinner at Nouveau though, I would do Nouveau.

There is also a tour of the navigation deck which others said was excellent for about $100.00.

High tea on the High seas...a very discreet "3.00pm Tea Empire room" will be on your daily list each sea day. A lovely experience with a cart of sweets and savouries to choose from with your tea or coffee. No extra charge.

Cooking Demonstration - happened only once on our cruise and it was amazing - up in Nouveau. You get to try samples of the food as the chef is recreating it for you. Again, this was not heavily advertised and no charge.

Take breakfast to your loved ones whilst they are still in bed...no one minds at all if you walk out of deck 9 with a plate full of brekky.

Get lots of photos taken by the professionals - if you are planning a family portrait - wait until you are on board. They cost $30,00 a photo (big size) which is cheaper than going to a portrait place here. You can only buy one if you want - or many, in all different settings, over different nights, in different outfits, on the islands. And of course, they are wonderful reminders of a wonderful holiday. No pressure to buy - you can view them over the entire cruise and decide on the last day or buy as you see them.

Eat in the Empire every night I wasn't in Nouveau - the food is good, service excellent and the singing beautiful.

We opted for Your Time dining and would do this again - the only advantage I could see in pre-set times was that you got to know your wait staff well.

Take additional clothes hangers - worth it, ladies and moms.

There is a library on board that you can get books from.

Buy your choice of alcohol duty free early - I nearly missed my best friend Smirnoff for $38 for 2 litres.

Do the towel animal demonstration - they are easier than you think!

Include the kids in the theme nights - I thought they'd be asleep by 930 (Caribbean night) but they had a ball and all ages were there. 1030 for the Mexican night was a bit too late and we didn't make it.

Play the games - trivia, scavenger hunt, murder mystery, all the deck 9 little fun games.

Walk the stairs - help maintain the figure.

Do the stretch class (no charge)

Do the biggest boot camp if Shannon is there - it is not hard at all.

Use the steam room, spa and sauna in the gym every afternoon, wonderful to do and you will meet some lovely people. No charge.

Check out the movies, some good ones were on whilst we cruised. No charge.

Ladies, pack what you want, dress up every day if you like, change outfits as often as you like, dress down if you prefer, always have a wrap or jumper or jacket.

ON THE ISLANDS

Book Lifou's Marine reserve permit immediately upon boarding. Limited to 100 people in the morning and same again in the afternoon.

Do the cave in Lifou - if the man with the sign is not at the church, do not go passed it - walk to the back towards the right hand side and you will see the little gateway - well worth the $10.

Try get French Pacific Francs if you can - exchange rate was very variable and we all felt that the deal was better in their local currency.

Try the local foods - none of us were any the worse for it.

Someone took a surf kite/kite board and seemed to have a great time on yedjele beach - so if there is something you want to do differently, go for it, no one will think twice.

Nelson Bay...
Destination Expert
for Penang
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70 reviews
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1. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Thanks for your great report. We also enjoyed our cruise on Spirit last year.

Gaja

Sydney, Australia
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89 posts
98 reviews
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2. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Thank you. Great tips. I sail on the carnival legend in sept for 12 days. Goes same places as spirit.

Can you not book shore excursions before you get on board? What were the other good shore excursions? What ports is it just worth having a walk or taxi around and not bother with excursion.? Can I buy duty free booze on the ship and have in my room? Do the rooms have plenty of glasses and cups?

Sydney, Australia
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89 posts
98 reviews
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3. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Thank you. Great tips. I sail on the carnival legend in sept for 12 days. Goes same places as spirit.

Can you not book shore excursions before you get on board? What were the other good shore excursions? What ports is it just worth having a walk or taxi around and not bother with excursion.? Can I buy duty free booze on the ship and have in my room? Do the rooms have plenty of glasses and cups?

Brisbane, Australia
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5 posts
121 reviews
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4. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

For me personally, there were no excursions that I really really wanted to do - but you can book any that the ship offers before you even board. My choices were Noumea - Duck island but you can buy the ticket to get over there at the terminal. Lifou walk to the cave or do the marine reserve otherwise the beach is right there where the tender brings you in and Mare - there is only the beach excursion. None of these involved bookings, other than getting the permit once aboard for Lifou and paying for your transfer to Yidjele beach on Mare (each of these cost about $20.)

Duty free is available on board - but they keep it and deliver it to your room the night before you disembark, so you can't drink it on board. The rooms have plenty of glasses for water, but no cups. There are no kettles in the cabins. You can collect whatever you want from the dining area and take it to your room though. Hope the Legend is as wonderful as it sounds!!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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5. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Thanks for the great report and tips ... did you / could you book another cruise on board ?

Brisbane, Australia
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5 posts
121 reviews
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6. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Doug, last year on a P&O cruise I went to go book THIS cruise onboard as I was under the impression that you got discount for doing that. There was no one on board P&O who could book for me. Which in retrospect was good because Carnival was better suited to the kids and we landed up going with them. Because of that experience, I didn't even ask on Carnival about booking again. Guest services did ask me when I would cruise again but did not offer to make a booking so I will assume it is not a big push from their side?

Geelong...
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for Geelong, Great Ocean Road
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7. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

A very good report we have booked a trip on the CS next year, not so much for the destinations but to experience the ship. Your report has made us look forward to it even more.

Safe travels.

Sydney, New South...
1 post
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8. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

I have just done an 8 day cruise on the Legend. staff were wonderful and polite and friendly. Please check carefully before you book for the local public holidays. we arrived in Noumea on Remembrance Day which is a Public Holiday for them so no shops were open. Check the local weather we missed Lifou due to high winds and choppy seas so the ship could not anchor safely to use the tender boats.This is a huge ship and is too large for many passenger terminals so has to anchor out to sea and use the tender boats

I would also take your own snorkels and goggles like we did they are very expensive to hire.

The Lido Deck 9 where the pools are gets wet and very slippery make sure you are careful walking through.

Having said that we had a fantastic time and there is always plenty of activities to do or you can just relax in a deck chair and do nothing.

AUSTRALIA
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18 reviews
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9. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Isnt it funny how different people find the same cruise and ship Good or Bad.

Parents did the Carnival Spirit around the Pacific Islands a couple of months ago and would not step back on this ship again. Hated the food and kids were apparently running in numbers all around the ship unsupervised. They have completed quite a few cruises and found this one to be by far the worse. Not telling anyone not to go on this ship however this is the other side of the coin. ( only a different opinion ).

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: What I learnt or missed on Carnival Spirit

Thanks Avy67 .... we are taking our first cruising holiday with an 8 and 10 year old next April. Your report on the cruise was extremely helpful.

Did anyone do the Bottomless Bubbles, and if so was it worth it?