She is one of Australia’s favourite ships and Cruise Passenger was lucky enough to take a look onboard after her $44 million refurbishment.
The Carnival Spirit hasn’t just had a new lick of paint and a few extra deckchairs – she now has two new exciting restaurants, two new bars, a massive cinema screen, new pool features, bigger and better entertainment and, for the little ones, a new kids club.
So while Carnival Cruise Line’s Vice President in Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke showed us around the new facilities, she explained that both the Carnival Legend and Spirit have undergone an ‘Aussiefication’.
Two of the biggest attractions, which already seem to be a hit among the guests, are the new Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina and Burger Joint from American celebrity chef, Guy Fieri.
“We’re extremely comfortable at the fact that the ships gone through the ‘Aussiefication’. They are even more ready for the Australian market, especially with our two new restaurants and bars,” said Ms Vandekreeke.
“Burgers and tacos are the big thing at the moment in Australia. These are two food crazes that have swept the nation and now we hope the public love them as much as we do.”
At the Burger Joint, staff decked out in American diner gear, cooked burgers to order.
The Burger Joint has an extensive sauce and toppings bar where you can put anything from grilled mushrooms to pineapple to chipotle sauce on your creation.
“Part of the ‘Aussification’ of Carnival was to include a burger that was specifically for Australians. We were getting heaps of clients asking us, ‘where is the beetroot on the burgers?’ So voila, thus the creation of the Boomerang Burger,” Ms Vandekreeke told Cruise Passenger.
Over on the other side at the BlueIguana Cantina, Carnival has installed a taco making machine that can make 110 delicious shells an hours.
“I love Mexican and because Mexico is one of the most visited destinations for Carnival, we only use the freshest ingredients.”
Like the Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina has a toppings bar where you can pile on lime rice and beans or watermelon salsa onto your fish, chicken or pork taco.
Head chef Clytus Dias has been working with Carnival for 18 years and said this is one of the most exciting culinary developments he has seen in years.
“The food is so good and everything is so fresh. So I’ll have a breakfast burrito in the morning from the cantina and a burger in the afternoon,” he said.
“The style is quite different from anything we’ve seen on Carnival and so far, it’s been a big hit with the passengers. They love the American diner-style food that we are offering.”
Carnival has also introduced a new entertainment program, which includes a show featuring the best of the 80s.
From hits like Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Jitterbug and much more, the colourful show is bursting with explosive routines and neon sets.
The new kids club caters for children aged two to 11. From daytime discos to adventures around the ship, the kids won’t want to go back to their families.
“The children between two to five stay in the kids club, while the older ones get the opportunity to explore the ship with the minders and even go to some of the discos on the lower deck, which is a big hit,” said Ms Vandekreeke.