Testing The Waters On The New & Improved Carnival Spirit
When offered a two-day cruise from Brisbane to Sydney aboard Carnival Spirit, I jumped at the chance. I had never been on a cruise before and what better way to whet my appetite than on a short stint with Carnival.
Then I found out Carnival Spirit was newly revamped with a slew of brand new features and that sealed the deal.
Needless to say, I was anticipating a great weekend on board and I was not disappointed. It may have been only 48 hours, but I was determined to make the most of it.
Filled with food, fun and even more food, here is what I learned from my recent trip aboard the new Carnival Spirit.
- Ship Name: Carnival Spirit
- Entered Service: 2001 with a refurbishment in 2015
- Height: 53 metres above the waterline
- Length: 293 metres
- Gross Tonnage: 88,500 gross tons
- Passenger Capacity: 2,680 with 1062 available staterooms
- Passenger Decks: 12
- Crew: 930
So Much Room For Activities
When I boarded in Brisbane, I was immediately taken aback by the size. Sure she's mid-range when it comes to cruise ships, but at 293 metres long and 32 metres wide, there's enough room to run three footy fields across each deck.
So what do you do with all of this room? Fill it up with stuff to do, of course!
My time on board was somewhat limited, but I packed in bingo, mini golf, sun deck lounging, the Serenity Lounge (adults only), a spa tour, poolside dining, shopping and I managed to catch a glimpse of the newly added kids club. I also enjoyed live music at the new RedFrog Pub, while the rest of my group took in a hypnotist show.
Along with a sweep of on board facilities, there are more than 45 activities scheduled for each day that range from seminars to sporting events. There is even a newly added outdoor cinema experience and the Green Thunder waterslide!
The best part about it all is that you can fill your days with as little or as much as you like, allowing you the flexibility to customise your holiday as you see fit. So, if you're in the mood for a little relaxation in the sun or you're keen to learn how to fold a towel into an elephant, you'll always find something new to try.
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Food, Glorious Food!
I think it's been pretty well established that cruising is all about food; though, nothing could have prepared me. If I had eaten any more, they would have had to roll me off the ship in Sydney.
Seven new bars and restaurants were added in the multi-million dollar refit, including the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Cantina and Tequila Bar and the Alchemy Bar where personalised cocktails are prepared to your very own specifications.
From all you can eat pizza and ice cream to fine food and wine at Nouveau Restaurant, it's not an exaggeration to say there is a dish to tempt every tastebud on the ship.
There are a total of 10 different restaurants available. This doesn't include the Lido Restaurant, which in itself features 10 different international food stations. There's also 24-hour room service, ensuring a good meal is never far away no matter what time of day.
Of course, it would have been impossible for me to try everything, but I did give it the ol' college try. I started off at Bonsai Sushi where the steaming bowls of miso soup and Wagyu Kakuni were to die for. Then it was on to a three-course meal at the Empire Dining Room topped off by Carnival's famous melting chocolate cake.
I can say with confidence that Guy's Burger Joint (the delicious brainchild of famed US food personality Guy Fieri) does a mean cheeseburger and that The Chef's Table degustation is a must for anyone that appreciates the technique that goes into creating a fine meal.
The sheer variety is enough to satiate any eater, from the fussy to the discerning, and leave something new for the next time you're on board.
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