Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Spirit
Sailing Date: March 6th, 2004
Itinerary: St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique
We had a great experience on this cruise. The decor was pretty tacky, but what do you expect? It's a cruise! The cabin I thought was quite tasteful, and the main dining room wasn't offensive.
I read one review here from a guy who thought that the dinner food in the main dining room was tasteless and horrible, and that the $25 meals at the Nouveau Supper Club were outstanding. My husband and I had the opposite experience. While the presentation of the meals in the main dining room could have used some work, we thought, for the most part, the food was excellent. Our waiter was outstanding and made wonderful recommendations. He was not shy about telling us when a particular dish was lacking, and I didn’t order one thing that I wasn’t pleased with. The Nouveau Supper Club was good, but to me, not as amazing as everyone else seemed to think it was. We both thought that the steak was way too salty, however others on our ship told us their steak was wonderful and definitely not too salty, so, our experience at the Supper Club could have just been the exception rather than the rule. We also thought the food at La Playa Grill was pretty good, especially for a buffet style.
We didn’t think the shows were great, but they did have a pretty good variety. One night there was a comedian/magician/hypnotist that we really enjoyed, even though his humor was cheesy. There was also an excellent singer who did a few songs before the magician guy came out. She got the audience involved and was a great entertainer. The other comedians on the first two nights were pretty funny, especially the female comedian who was hilarious. The other male comedian on the first night was fair. The only show that really disappointed us was the Las Vegas-style show, which was a medley from different broadway shows: The Lion King, Miss Saigon, Phantom, etc., and we had seen several of those shows, so their renditions of them paled in comparison.
The room (a balcony room on the 7th floor) was perfect for two. We had plenty of closet space and the bathroom was quite functional. The bed wasn’t the most comfortable, but my back adjusted after the first night. Our cabin steward was very nice and helpful, and did a great job. Overall, the staff was excellent and very friendly. Having a balcony was wonderful. We had originally booked and inside cabin but they upgraded us for free after the price of our cruise had gone down, and we called to see what they could do for us. The balcony, I’d say, would definitely be worth the slight price increase initially.
The only other disappointment I experienced was in the Spa. I paid $89 (including a $5 tip) for a facial which I was told would include neck and shoulder massage when I signed up, but that was not the case. She did the cleansing, but no massage.
Okay, I lied, one other disappointment –the reggae band that played out by the pool every day was awful. They couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket and the music was loud and annoying. So I just moved to the pool behind the one closest to the stage where they were playing, and it was much quieter. There’s also a lot more breeze and it’s much cooler if you move up to the deck just above the pools, even though you have to walk down the stairs if you want to swim, but no big deal.
We also enjoyed our ports of call. Barbados was our favorite, where we took a sea turtle/snorkeling excursion. St. Maarten had a beautiful beach, the Orient, which was nude, just to warn you, but only a few old men went nude. Just look away. The town of Martinique was dirty, and no one spoke English (however the cab drivers did, which was helpful), and parts of it were very pretty. We took a tour of a rum distillery in the morning which was neat to see, but I was disappointed that we didn’t have time to go to the rainforest side, or see any of the beaches because we had to be back on our ship by 1:30.
Overall we had a wonderful experience, but for variety's sake, we’ll probably try another ship next time.