Aboard Carnival Spirit - The Fun Ship
Seeking a healthy dose of fun on the open ocean, Michelle Sutton from Cruiseabout Howick stepped aboard aboard the Carnival Cruises fun ship - Carnival Spirit.
Carnival Spirit is a ship that is even nicer inside than it appears from outside. It's atrium is 10 decks high with 3 glass lifts and a big open bar area at the bottom. It's definitely a ship for a younger family market, and the facilities onboard reflect this.
We headed to the Serenity area as the ship reversed out of the dock, so enjoyed a great view of the Sydney harbour bridge, lunar park and then the city receding at dusk, all to the soundtrack of a lady singing live music.
My balcony cabin was pretty roomy with good storage, and came with lovely bathrobes to wear on the cruise. Our cabin attendant came and introduced herself before we set sail, asked us our names and actually remembered them throughout the cruise! She also made us towel animals each night; Carnival do take making your cruise 'fun' seriously.
Carnival Spirit has an area that sticks out over the sides, directly above the bridge, which is a great place to look at the stars and moon and the side of the ship lit up.
There is huge choice of bars and entertainment on board, offering different types of cuisine and music. We watched a hilarious hypnotist one night, and there was also karaoke and several bars with different artists performing.
The food was generally great and the waiting staff very efficient and personable. Each night we had a dance item with all the passengers joining in, which was a good laugh. Up on deck 10 is 'Fat Jimmies' BBQ which serves a simple but yummy menu of sausages and burgers - just heavenly with a cold beer!
There are excellent outdoor facilities on the Carnival Spirit, including a small running circuit, mini golf and the half basketball court. The spacious 3-level gym was very impressive, with lots of windows to see out of. Passengers can also relax in the sauna, steam room, whirlpool and relaxation room.
You're never far from water onboard, and for kids there are the Green Thunder and Yellow Twister waterslides right at the top, and a splash zone for smaller kids. For adults the large Serenity adults only area includes a pool, spa, double hammocks and a bar.
There's also a dedicated kids club area called Camp Carnival, which includes the fun Jungle Walk walkway area that leads to the kids video arcade and different age-appropriate spaces.
Having always been interested in finding out about the art auctions they have on some ships, so went along to experience it for myself. I could see that this would be a fun and easy way to buy artwork for some very good deals.
It's possible to do some great shore excursions while on various cruises from Australia, including to the Isle of Pines with its white sandy beaches and interesting rock formation, and to the tiny Mystery Island where friendly locals display their wares and you can enjoy activities like fishing and snorkelling with turtles. We also visited Noumea where we took an overview of the city, enjoyed a French-style lunch and explored the beach area.
We returned into Sydney harbour on a stunning morning. I loved the Carnival Cruises experience, with their the friendly staff and casual atmosphere. It is a great ship for families, couples and young adults, with a strong emphasis on fun. I cant wait to take my kids on this ship!
For more information on Carnival Cruises please contact a Cruiseabout cruise specialist or call on 0800 22 11 00.