Fodor’s Expert Review
First in the new Spirit-class, Carnival Spirit entered service in 2001. In 2012, she was refitted with features designed to appeal to the Australian market, such as an aqua park with a 180-foot twisting waterslide and a new top-deck barbecue venue. Now in her new home “down under,” Spirit offers passengers improved coffee, more beers on tap, and more cabins with connecting doors.Read More
Spirit-class vessels may have seemed like throwbacks in size when they launched, but these sleek ships have the advantage of fitting through the Panama Canal’s original locks and, with their additional length, include all the trademark characteristics of their larger fleetmates. They’re also racehorses with the speed to reach far-flung destinations. Carnival Spirit—for which the class is named—makes its home port in Australia, primarily serving the Australian and New Zealand markets.
A rosy red skylight in the front bulkhead of the funnel—which houses the reservations-only upscale steak house—caps a soaring, 11-deck atrium. Lovely chapels are available for weddings, either upon embarkation or while in a port of call, and are also used for occasional shipboard religious services.
The upper and lower interior promenade decks are unhampered by a mid-ship restaurant or galley, which means that passenger flow throughout the ships is much improved over earlier, and even subsequent, designs.
The world’s largest cruise line—and one of the most widely recognized—originated its “Fun Ship” concept in 1972 and has been launching party-packed superliners with signature red funnels ever since. The line’s ever-growing fleet features entertainment and activities designed for passengers of all ages, from game shows and lip sync competitions to twisting waterslides and mini golf. These ships are a reliable choice for families as well as young singles and couples who want a vacation that won’t break the bank.
Nearly all onboard dining options are included in the fare, as are comedy and production shows, children’s programs, and use of state-of-the-art fitness centers. With some of the most comfortable accommodations at sea, large new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern, while older vessels are updated with popular features, such as the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina, the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, and Guy’s Burger Joint, created with Food Network star Guy Fieri.
- 12 passenger decks
- specialty restaurant, dining room, buffet, ice cream parlor, pizzeria
- Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator
- 3 pools (1 indoor), children’s pool
- fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, sauna, spa, steam room
- 7 bars, casino, 2 dance clubs, library, show room, video game room
- children’s programs
- laundry facilities, laundry service
- Internet terminal
- no-smoking cabins