Fourth Carnival Cruise Was NOT The Charm
Carnival Spirit Cruise Review to Mexico
Ship: Carnival Spirit
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 11 years ago
My husband and I (ages mid 50's) had sailed 3 times in the 80's and 90's with Carnival so this was quite a shocking reunion for us. We have sailed on Holland America, NCL, and the defunct Home Lines. This was without a doubt the worst cruise we have ever taken. Carnival was always a good line as far as dining; however, the meals on this ship were far below par. It was so substandard that we were forced to pay $60 per couple, per night to have dinner in the Nouveau Supper Club. Here the steaks and lobster were a definite improvement if only the kitchen would learn how to prepare the cuts of meat to the passengers desire. Rare meant RAW, medium rare also meant RAW, Well done often meant RAW too. After 3 eveings of wasting $60 per night we finally resigned ourselves to the "FREE" dinners in the main dining room. Speaking of which, we have never been told "NO" so many times while at dinner on a cruise. If we requested extra salad dressing - NO. If we requested extra remoulade sauce when they bring the crabcake - "NO"> All of the soups were so watered down, I began to wonder just how much money Carnival saved by getting a few more cups out of each batch they made. Even at $60 per couple, per night the lobster bisque was thin and watery. With regard to desserts, I have never had a dessert that I didn't like. Well, this was definitely a first for us in that there wasn't one tasty morsel of decadence anywhere to be found at any dining venue. One dessert was worse than the last. The evening they served lobster tail in the main dining room was the night I realized one can actually turn lobster into rubber. No one would divulge the method that was used to accomplish this but I shudder to entertain if the unpleasant odor permeating from the lobster had anything to do with it. The best is that when one ordered cocktails or martinis in all of the bars or lounges, they were given the smallest glasses I have ever seen anywhere. And yet, if you were savy enough to order the same drink at the Supper Club's small bar, for the same cost as anywhere else, you received NORMAL sized glassware. Shame on Carnival!!!!! They should also be ashamed of the filthy conditions of the public restrooms. In addition to the obvious lack of maintenance in these locations, there was never any soap in the dispensers. Makes one wonder if that's why there is such a rash of cruise passengers getting ill on board many ships these days.
To be fair, our room steward was one of the best we have ever had. We were quite lucky to have him. We had originally allowed the cruise line to had the $160 gratuities automatically to our bill; but on the 6th day, reversed the request and decided to do our own tips to the ones who deserved it. Open seating for breakfast and lunch was the most unpleasant meals we have ever had on a ship. No "Good Morning" No Smiles - just sour faces and the worst service ever. I don't drink coffee in the mornings and just to get a morning cup of tea was a herculean effort everyday. Overall, the entertainment was fine. Especially the Caribbean band at the pool, the late night comedian, and the guest talent impersonation show. Embarkation process was fairly quick but getting off took forever. The ship was attractive in a glitzy style, which Carnival is known for. However, since the ship was only 5 years old, one would think the ship designer would not have made all of the decks with such a slippery finish around all the pools. Many people fell. Also the steps going up to the hot tubs were black in color and people literally flew up due to the intense heat from the sun on a black surface. DUH!!!
In conclusion, all I can say is that Carnival has seen the last of this family. And my last advice is that no matter how inexpensive they may be - it certainly isn't worth wasting a week of your vacation.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: cabin steward's fabulous service
Cons: The food was awful