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Michael Ramirez

Age: 42

Occupation:Medical Field

Number of Cruises: 7+

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Spirit

Sailing Date: 04-14-2009

Itinerary: Mexico

We did our research about the ship, its ammenities, the time of year and what type of guests would be on board at that time. We also researched our own walking tours since we had already been to two of the ports of call before (Cabo, Mazatlan). We chose this cruise line which was our first time due to the itinerary (we had never been to La Paz) and it leaving from our home town port. We try not to travel with any unrealistic expectations and are fairly easy going travelers, looking at everything as a new adventure or learning experience. We have cruised on other lines numerous times before, to various ports of call and during different times of the year. None of those other trips prepared us for this last adventure aboard the Spirit.

The food in the main dining room was basically the same food that you could get at the buffet. The food was acceptable but not anything to rave about. They had various items that you could choose from that were healthy if you chose to eat that way. The dinning room was loud and bright and the service was unremarkable. They would put dessert menues down before you even finished your entree, put the other courses down before you were finished with what you were eating, give you your red wine in white wine glasses, not come back to see if you might want another glass but deffinitely show up in time to have you sign the bill. And the dinning room was about the same as the buffet because a large portion of the guests wore shorts, flip flops and t-shirts anyway. They interrupted the dinner at times to have the staff dance, they did not look into it and it just made us feel embarrassed for them.
We switched to the supper club and it was fabulous!!! some of the best meals and service that we have ever had in any of our travels. We were surprised that on this ship that that level of dining was availiable. The supper club saved our onboard dinner dining experience. If you take a cruise on the vessel treat yourself to every dinner at the supper club, it is well worth it. It is a very nice atmosphere and the decor and music compliments the dining experience nicely. The staff are very knowledgeable and attentive without being intrusive. It is an excellent way to end a day at sea. I could rave and rave about the supper club.

We had an inside cabin catagory, which was actually an outside cabin with an obstructed view. We chose this cabin for the experience of never cruised in that catagory before. The room was one of the best we have had on various vessels. There was three large closets and a desk/vanity area with plenty of drawers and also a small cabinet to the left of the TV. The head was large and two people could stand in front of the mirror if need be. The shower stall was the largest we have had on any ship. There was never a problem getting hot water, you could get the water so hot out of the tap you could make tea if you wanted to. The bed was comfortable but we have had softer beds on other ships. the pillows however were the best pillows we have ever used in our lives, I am considering ordering some from their web site. The rooms decor was wood tones and rust colors which made it feel very comfortable. The temperature in the room was easily adjusted and they even had a quick cool down button so that when you get back onboard after being ashore you could cool your room down quickly instead fo running the air while you were gone. The airconditioner did make some blowing noise but it was more like white noise and actually blocked out any other noiseThere was also a fairly large couch and a coffee table that did not feel in the way. The cabin steward was pleasant and was rarely seen but the room was alwas made up and turned down in the evening and there was always ice and clean glasses etc. The cabin had floor to ceiling glass doors which was nice to let in the natural light if we wanted and the doors actually opened if we wanted to feel the temperature of the air or to get fresh air. Since it was an obstructed view we had a life boat positioned right outside and infront of the doors but we could still see the water below and the boat was about five to six feet away. All in all we might consider this type of room on another voyage on a different cruise line.

Well..they had the usual activities, art auctions, bingo, bean bag toss on the pool deck, hairy chest competition, shopping talks and shows in the evening, none of which we participated in. We did see a game room and individuals on the computers. They also had wine tasting for a fee and they gave a tour of the kitchen and gave a little talk about it, we did not participate in any of those either. All in all we just kind of do our own thing relax, workout, go to the spa, steam and read. They had some musical entertainment out in the pool area from time to time but it was nothing spectacular but helped to drown out some of the noise from all of the screaming children.

We researched and did our own walking tours of all the ports.

CABO - the first time we just walked around the marina for about 25 minutes and went to medano beach . We brought our own umbrella and towles and kind of sat away from where all of the vendors were congregating but still close enough to get some beers and use the restrooms etc. In front of the office or the mango deck it gets really busy, you can sit in their areas with chairs and umbrellas but it is too crowded for us. The second time in cabo we did our own walking tour of some of the sights, not the new mall of the areas around the marina ( if you want to go to hooters stay in the U.S.) We always stop at the Giggling Marlin for bean and cheese dip and beers, Panchos is also a nice place to get away from the crowds.

MAZATLAN - This is a great city to do your own walking tour. If you are into the diamonds international and the other high end tourist stuff go to the golden zone but it is not worth it. A 25 minute walk from the port entrance will put you in sobado centro or the central market. You can see the big yellow Cathedral from the ship and the market is two blocks from there. Also there is the square just infront of the church. If you walk a little more there is the theater and art area a few more blocks away and four more from there and yopu are sea side with more shops and restaurants close to the shrimp bucket. With some planning and a map its easy and safe.

La Paz - we did our own thing agai and walked along the board walk and checked out the shops and hunted for sea shells on the beach and then had a fabulous lunch at Rancho Viejo, just down from carlos and charlies. Go upstairs and youll get a nice breeze and be away from the cars and pedestrians on the street. Then after lunch head down the street to La Fuentes for the best ice cream, look for the polka dotted painted tree outside the entrance. You will not be dissappointed.

We had a wonderful time in the ports of call, our room was great, the supper club was fantastic and the ships decor was very nice. However... we knew that thre would be kids and young adults onboard for easter break and this was our first and unfortuneately last cruise on this ship because of that. The kids took over every pool onboard, we never saw an adult in the pool unless it was very early in the morning or late (very late) in the evening. And after seeing the masses children in the pools during the day honestly we did not want to go in them. In the evening or during the day the hot tubs were also filled with children or so called young adults. The staff told us at one point "There really are no adult areas, it's a family ship" There was one hot tub and area that was designated for adults but it was the farthest aft and the no children rule was not enforced there either. The kids were running around the pool areas and running in the hallways of the ship. Children were sitting on the floors of the glass elevators in groups just riding up and down and playing in the elevators, pushing all of the buttons and then getting off oe else just dropping their trash or leaving their empty dishes behind. Kids were running the halls and collecting all of the do not disturb signs. In the inside buffett young adults were barefoot and the guys were not wearing t-shirts and the kids were all over the furniture barefoot. There was no place to lounge without the noise unlike places on other cruise lines. Except for the nice things I stated before like the supperclub, room and ports of call ...if you want a floating buffet and all that goes along with that then this might be for you.

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