Carnival Spirit took itself to greater heights as it introduced some firsts for Carnival that have since become standards, including a fabulous steakhouse and a wedding chapel. Moreover, the cruise provides a truly international experience. The Pharaoh’s Palace show lounge is decorated with Egyptian hieroglyphics and murals; the piano bar is a homage to Shanghai; the Artists’ Lobby highlights famed European artists; the Chippendale Library is straight out of an English country manor house; and the Empire Dining Room give a French vibe and has a statue of Napoleon. Great waterslides and plenty of new eateries and bars make this a great ship for everyone from kids to sophisticates. The new dining and drinking venues and family fun attractions such as outdoor movies deliver a great holiday experience.
Carnival Spirit has 1,062 cabins of which almost three quarters are outside cabins overlooking the ocean. Seventeen cabins have been modified for wheelchair access. All cabins have twin beds that convert to a king, new flat-screen colour TVs showing Carnival programming and regular TV, a vanity area with drawers, a safe, a hair dryer, mini-bar and a phone. Cabins are fitted with Australian power points. Closets provide ample storage space. Carnival Spirit has five types of suites: Junior, Ocean, Ocean Quad, Vista and Grand. All suites include separate dressing and sitting areas, double sinks and a bathtub. Many suites have whirlpool or hot tub baths, plus larger balconies with lounge chairs in addition to the regular table and two chairs.
The 1,300-seat, two-deck Empire Restaurant has a Napoleonic finery, with the ceiling domes painted with murals and hung with crystal chandeliers. The grand circular staircase is decorated with a sculpture of Napoleon at his coronation. Menus consist of starters, mains and desserts, with healthier Spa Carnival choices and always-available Carnival Classics dishes such as Caesar salad, French fries, grilled fillet of fish, grilled chicken breast and steak. The International Food Plaza houses 10 food stations serving a variety of food for lunch and dinner, including Asian, carvery meats, deli sandwiches, wraps, salads and desserts.
The Greek-inspired Spa Carnival incorporates Doric columns and hand-painted murals that feature a Greek vase motif and depictions of Olympic events. There are 10 treatment rooms for a variety of therapies ranging from aromatherapy hot stone massages and acupuncture to facials and body wraps. The two-level gym is part of the 1,300-square-metre ocean-view area that includes the spa, beauty salon, locker rooms and steam and sauna facilities.Free fitness classes such as Morning Stretch and Fab Abs are held but these were on at the Versailles Lounge on Deck 1 rather than in the gym. Yoga and Pilates are offered at a cost for about $12 upwards, along with group cycling classes.
Carnival’s complimentary children’s programs cater to all ages, which makes it a terrific ship for families. Not only are there children’s clubs for ages from two to 17 years, but a host of other family-oriented fun activities. In addition to the game shows that are played out on stage in front of enthusiast crowds, there is the Towel Animal Theatre for the little ones. Camp Ocean, a marine-themed kids club is decorated in every shade of blue, giving a serene atmosphere. More than 200 educational activities are offered, many with an ocean theme, such as sea salt art, sea-shell craft, ocean bingo and a make-your-own sailboat workshop. Late-night babysitting also takes place in Camp Ocean for children aged two to 11, until as late as 1am. A fee of about $8 an hour per child is charged. However, there is no in-cabin babysitting.
There’s no need to be bored with entertainment and activities on offer for every age group. A fun family ship.
– Cruise Passenger
“The new dining and drinking venues and family fun attractions such as outdoor movies deliver a great holiday experience.”
– Cruise Critic
“Good for a fun-filled cruise in a contemporary setting.”
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.