Carnival Spirit is, of course, a member of Carnival’s Spirit-class of cruise ships. Floated out in 2001, the ship has been sailing the waters of the Pacific for quite some time. She initially was used in American cruises from California to the Mexican Riviera and up to Alaska, as well as Hawaii.
After some 2012 refurbishments to the tune of $7 million, Carnival Spirit was transferred to Carnival’s Australia branch, where the ship began sailing the South Pacific regularly. Carnival Spirit received another renovation in 2015 — this one much more extensive and valued at $44 million — and yet another renovation in 2018, at which time Carnival announced that Carnival Spirit would become the first Carnival ship ever to sail from Brisbane, Australia, starting in 2020, with additional future cruises planned for the American West Coast.
Carnival Spirit, at 963 feet in length, carries an average 2,124 cruisers, though total guest capacity can reach 2,610 guests across the more than 1,060 staterooms and 12 guest decks. These staterooms are split up over penthouse suites and regular suites; ocean-view rooms with balconies, without balconies and with windows only; and interior cabins. The majority of the staterooms are ocean-view balconies, with 632 such staterooms.
Carnival Spirit offers 12 different entertainment venues, ranging from show lounges to bars, and seven formal dining venues. There are four different outdoor spaces and recreational areas and eight different children’s programming options. On top of it all, guests also enjoy the ship’s casino, library, conference center for 100, card room and spa.
All in all, Carnival Spirit is known for its sleek size, speedy itineraries and huge atrium, aspects of the ship that you’ll find across all Spirit-class ships.
Ready to explore Carnival Spirit for yourself? Here are 13 things you’ll like about this ship, if you’re considering taking a Carnival Spirit cruise for your next vacation.
1. The Staterooms are Top-Notch
The wide range of staterooms aboard Carnival Spirit means that there are options for every type of traveler, and all of the options are fairly good. As mentioned, there are 632 ocean-view balcony staterooms, so you’re most likely to have one of these, and most cruisers are completely happy with this option.
Ocean-view balcony staterooms give you plenteous space indoors for you and your traveling companions, as well as all your luggage, while also giving you a place to escape outdoors and enjoy the views of the water from comfortable loungers.
2. The Suites are Even Better
However, if you do want to kick things up a notch, the suites are even more desirable. Grand suites are the largest, at approximately 300 square feet indoors and 115 square feet out of doors. Amenities include huge bathrooms with double sinks, bidets and whirlpool tubs.
Suites include sitting areas with sofas and armchairs. There’s even a working space with a desk and ottoman, and a dressing area with its own vanity table. Out on the balcony, you have three chairs and a table.
Throughout all staterooms, though, you can expect modern furnishings that are in good repair and very clean; luxury amenities in your bathroom; and a satisfactory entertainment center.
Your interactive television menus do allow you to book shore tours and look at your onboard account, right there with your remote, which is a nice feature. Interconnecting cabins are also available, great for families or groups of friends traveling together.
(Do note, if you’re traveling from a different region of the world to take a Carnival Spirit cruise, you will need to get a power adapter, as all cabins are outfitted with Australian power ports.)
3. The Dining is Spectacular
You have seven dining options to choose from while aboard Carnival Spirit: The Empire Dining Room (the ship’s main dining room, that fits 1,250 guests at once), Nouveau, La Playa Grille, Fountain Cafe, Napoleon Room, Guy’s Burger Joint and the Sushi Trolley.
You could also consider RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar to be restaurants, as you can get food at these bars, but Carnival technically classifies them as entertainment venues, not restaurants.
At the Empire Dining Room, you can order off an a la carte menu and enjoy a little live entertainment, courtesy of the singing and dancing staff. Nouveau is a steakhouse, for your classic favorites. La Playa Grille is basically a food court, with lots of international options.
The Sushi Trolley is, as you might expect, a sushi bar. Napoleon Room is an annex off the main dining room. Fountain Cafe is a patisserie and then Guy’s Burger Joint, one of the newer restaurants across all of Carnival’s ships, serves an extensive burger menu.
4. There’s Always Something Fun Going On
There are lots of official entertainment venues across Carnival Spirit, but you don’t necessarily have to go to one of these official venues in order to have a great time. Wherever you happen to be, there’s always going to be something fun going on and the staff does truly strive to make sure everyone has a smile on their face.
Activities pop up all the time, so keep your eye out for fun things that you can join in on — from bingo games to trivia, comedy improv to dance classes, live music to poolside movies. There’s always going to be something for every member of your family.
5. The Watering Holes are Top Tier
If you want a great drink, look no further. You can have one in your hand in seconds, no matter where you might be aboard Carnival Spirit. The various pubs, bars and lounges serve up a variety of cocktails. Want a martini? You got it. Beer? Sure. Great wine selections? No problem. Plus, each different watering hole offers its own vibe and feel, so you can get a different experience at each.
Some have live music with professional performers; others allow guests to belt out their very favorite tunes during karaoke sessions. Others are all about the sports, while some try to make things a bit more refined and low-key, perfect for a date night during your cruise and calm conversations over drinks.
6. Getting Active is Fun
If you do want to be active during your cruise, and not necessarily just lounge about at the pool and spa before heading to dinner each day (which we definitely wouldn’t blame you if you did!), you can find lots of space to run and play, whether you’re 5 or 55. Definitely work off some energy outdoors, with Carnival’s own waterpark. The Splash Zone caters to kids who are under 11.
The pools are great for all ages and, believe it or not, it is possible to find some spots that aren’t completely packed. There are various heart-dropping water slides, to get your adrenaline pumping. Then, there are additional game zones with favorite competitive activities like miniature golf, ping pong and basketball, among others.
7. Fitness is at Your Fingertips
And, if you want to get active in a more traditional way, you can always check out Carnival Spirit’s fitness center, or take to the popular outdoor jogging track (just note that the jogging track is most popular in the mornings, but for a good reason — the view is amazing!).
8. The Kids Will Love It, Too
There are so many ways that traveling with kids can go wrong, and it’s so hard to please your tiniest travelers sometimes. However, a Carnival Spirit cruise is the perfect pick for families with kids, as there’s simply so much for them to do. If all of the activities above aren’t enough for them, there are loads of kid-specific activities they can try, too.
There’s a Build-a-Bear workshop, arts and crafts on the regular, gaming rooms and Dr. Seuss-themed activities and breakfasts. Kids will also love a trip to the on-board candy store and the 24/7 ice cream stand.
9. Kid Care Makes Parents’ Lives Easier
If all that sugar in your kids’ systems make you want to scream, you can get a little alone time, too, thanks to Carnival’s kids clubs and babysitting services. Carnival’s Camp Ocean caters to travelers 2 years old to 11 years old, and splits kids into toddler, elementary and pre-teen groups, with activities designed for each.
Circle C is for kids 12 to 14 years old and Club O2 is for older teens. Better yet, all of it is free to you, and there’s always something going on. Plus, a babysitting service is further available until 1 a.m. every night.
10. Relaxation for Parents is at the Forefront
So what are you going to do while the kids are at their various onboard clubs? What about a trip to the spa? The Carnival Spa offers all your favorite classic spa treatments in a relaxing setting.
Just be aware that you can get the best spa deals if you wait to book your treatment on a shore day, when most of the cruisers will be out exploring. You can also get better spa deals if you wait until the end of your cruise to book a treatment.
11. Mom and Dad Even Get Their Own Pool
If you’re not in the mood for a spa day, you can also go to the adults-only pool zone, where the tone is very chill. Lay back on a lounger, enjoy a drink or a dip in the pool, and do it all far away from any splashing or screaming kiddos.
12. The Theatrics are Broadway-Worthy
Carnival Spirit hosts a rotating list of shows, but no matter when you take a Carnival Spirit cruise, you can be assured that the entertainment will be extravagantly well done. The theater itself is gorgeously impressive, with an Egyptian motif, and the seating is highly comfortable, so you won’t find yourself itching to leave before the end of a show.
And in addition to theatrical performances like musicals and plays, you can also find other activities that occasionally take place in the theater, such as game shows (Carnival’s Hasbro events are really popular with families!), comedy, lectures and seminars.
13. Extra Amenities are Everywhere
Yeah, kid care and extra pools and libations at every turn are really nice, but what about the basic amenities that you need to make a trip seamlessly enjoyable? No worries. Carnival has thought of every little thing. There’s self-serve laundry, so you can clean up if you had an accidental spill. There’s dry-cleaning service as well.
Concierges and guest services can help you with any issue you might be having, or anything you’d like to make your stay a little more comfortable. WiFi is available for a fee. If you find yourself looking for some reading material, the library offers that and business amenities, just in case you need to take care of something urgent before you arrive back home. There’s never any reason for you to miss a thing!
So, are these 13 things to love about a Carnival Spirit cruise enough to convince you to book your cruise today? It’s definitely enough to convince us! A Carnival Spirit cruise can be just the thing for the budget-savvy family or couple looking to see the world in style.
Frequently Asked Questions
Carnival Spirit has been refurbished several times over its life. The ship received refurbishments in 2012, 2015 and 2018. The 2018 refurbishment included the addition of SoulPlay, an arts and crafts space for the entire family; a digital photo gallery where guests can purchase physical photos; duty-free shopping; a video arcade for teens; and an updated fitness center.
Carnival Spirit is in the Carnival Spirit-class, which means that it is identical to Carnival Pride, Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend. The Carnival Spirit-class ships were all built at the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard and share a unique funnel design that includes a skylight dome in the ships’ atriums. The ships also have the smallest smoke stacks of all Carnival ships.
The Carnival Spirit ship has 12 decks that are open to guests on the ship. Decks 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are reserved for staterooms. Decks 2, 3, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are social spaces, with drinks, dining and entertainment.