Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Spirit
Sailing Date: February 21st, 2005
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera
This was my/our first cruise ever. San Diego, our departure port has normally GREAT weather this time of year, but this winter, they have been getting more rain/storms then Seattle where we are from. Due to ongoing storms at seas in the California area during our departure, the ride outside of San Diego Bay southbound toward Mexico was a little bumpy the first night and the report was quite a few "landlubbers" got seasick, thank goodness it is a big ship.
As we cruised more south overnight and part of a day....it smoothed out real nice. Cool 65 degree weather hung around until the 2nd day at sea....then as we passed by the Cabo San Lucas area, we were up in the 70's and sun, about half way from there to Acapulco, we seemed to be in the 80's and by the time we reached Acapulco....pure heat and it felt good.
Acapulco is a "rockin" city fro the young at heart and I was there twice before way back in my early years in the late 60's. The town is exciting and a lot to do and see for all ages, but like in the late 60's....it STILL has alot of hidden poverty that can be seen even on the main street that borders the bay....sad to see...also...still there from time to time even from the 60's that I remember, the lingering smell off and on of sewer along the main street by the bay.....seems they should have that fixed by now....otherwise, a fun town and alot of sun and heat and friendly locals.
The Spirit is beautiful and magnificent. It was clean as a whistle and the crew was always working on things to keep it well maintained and pristine. The ONLY thing I noticed were some of the upholstered lounge chairs off the main reception bar area in the atrium near the ship's windows were getting a little worn on the arms from alot of use I am sure....and might need to be replaced.
Our stateroom was awesome and we had a nice balcony outside with the water and wind going by, very refreshing and the LIGHT action of the waves for MOST of the trip caused me to have the BEST 8 nights sleep I have had in a long time...truly relaxing which is why I decided to try a cruise. The bed was hard, but for me...that is what I prefer.
Forgive me for not remembering our female cabin steward's name, but she was a sweetheart and very nice and always courteous, not to mention her animals she made for us each night out of towels. A real STAR for Carnival and a credit to Carnival.
The slot machines.....well....let's just say they were really TIGHT...do not plan on making a fortune anytime soon on a slot machine on any cruise ship. If you hit one....believe me...YOU ARE LUCKY!!!! I did not mind losing $300 over the 3-4 times we were in the casino, but I lost it FASTER then any casino I have ever been in....not good when you lose $30 in 10 minutes over 2- 25 cent machines and all you won total was 1 cherry on 3 individual spins 3 times...at least allow me to win a couple of small pots to get me excited and stay in the game longer, even if I am going to lose anyhow. This went way to quick for my way of thinking...beware !!
The entire service staff was nothing but friendly and polite and were always there in a timely fashion no matter if in the bar or at dinner. I was impressed. Most all of the staff come from about 50 different countries, which is nice and allows you to talk to them about their backgrounds and where they are from....more of an international flavor that we liked alot.
The food on the LIDO deck in the LaPlaya Grill was "middle of the road".....some was pretty good...some was not so good....but it kept you from getting hungry at mid-day and in general...it was OK. I have to admit, the giant hotdogs and the fruit punch drinks were really pretty darn good and pretty tasty if you are into such things. Some of the other meat selections at times, I found some gristle or a little added fat content in them that seemed more then normal......but again in general...OK.
The main dining room I will rate as above average for eating....pretty decent food and the service was top notch. There are two floors of the main dining room, the lower one where we were seated was pretty noisy and loud...like eating in a mess hall....the upstairs section I was told by other passengers was a lot quieter. The service crew did some dancing and singing each night and all of us joined in....it was a lot of fun.
We went to the TOP NOTCH Nouveaux supper club twice, and it was outstanding, you were not rushed at all...it was quiet, great view outside, a nice dance floor and a two person group, one a singer and one on keyboards that played really great music for dinner or dancing. The service BOTH times was awesome. Caution, unlike the main dining room where you can order as much as you want of any entree, in this supper club.....the extra entree WILL cost you an added fee...otherwise it is a $25 per person fee only for the reservations...which is a good deal as the food was TOP of the shelf....you are given about 3 hours to eat so you can take your time and enjoy.....the side dishes and deserts were great. We felt we had a meal worth $600 for 4 people the first night and we tipped as such. The second time...was also great except I changed to a 24 OZ Porterhouse steak from a filet that I had the first time, the Porterhouse seemed a little tough and not as tasty.....otherwise a great adventure. Do it!
The Captain of the ship was quite the guy.....very nice man and very sociable and informative each day as to how the weather and cruise was going, he even got us into Acapulco 2 hours early....so more shore time for all. He also showed some humor and had fun with his crew who seem to really respect him.....a fully capable skipper who made us all feel we were in safe hands all the way. I am still amazed at how that huge ship docks itself without tugboats....amazing thruster/propeller technology...these guys are good at what they do!!!
The ship has several pools, and when you get into the hot climate...that sun beats down on the upper deck flooring which is kind of a tan in color...so it absorbs the sun's rays and the deck does get really hot....so wear some footwear on deck when you go for some sun or you will burn the bottoms of your feet.
Mike Mullane.....the cruise director is a HOOT!!!!!! I do not know how the guy does it, he must be loaded with energy to be able to do the same stuff cruise after cruise without much time between tells me he is something special. It has to be monotonous, but he never seems to show it. He certainly seems to really like people a lot. He runs a lot of the shows, the talent show was great....the "Newly Wed" game was a blast and really funny...he does all the announcements and gives you all the info on each port and generally holds the whole cruise together.....you will see and hear him alot on the PA system or the TV in your room....he is truly a GREAT asset to the Carnival team and he is really a fun (and funny) guy, I do not know what he makes...but I say double it!!!.....he will even bar hop with you on board the last couple nights of the cruise visiting the various lounges that the Spirit has....make sure you meet him......he has to be English as his voice is English sounding of course and I always wondered where I had heard that voice before.....now it hit me.....he sounds just like the voice of C3PO on the Starwars movies....and that is a compliment.
The only question I have of the Carnival Spirit is why they told us the fancy supper club was "full and they had no room due to reservations being full" on our second attempt to go there, yet when we got there......70% of the seats and tables were wide open....how does that work?
Overall....a great time...good service and I would travel Carnival again....hopefully have the same crew....but I am sure others are very good too on their many other ships.....next trip....the Caribbean for me.