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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Spirit

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Spirit 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.

Spirit-class vessels may seem to be a throwback in size, but these sleek ships have the advantage of fitting through the Panama Canal and, with their additional length, include all the trademark characteristics of their larger fleet mates. 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 originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • The enclosed space located forward on the promenade deck is quiet and good for reading
  • For relaxation, his-and-hers saunas and steam rooms have glass walls and sea views
  • Complimentary self-serve ice-cream dispensers are on the Lido deck

Cons

  • These are long ships, and some cabins are quite far from elevators
  • Connecting staterooms are relatively scarce
  • The video arcade is almost hidden at the forward end of the ship
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 930
  • Entered Service 2001
  • Gross Tons 88,500
  • Length 960 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,062
  • Passenger Capacity 2,124 (2,667 max)
  • Width 105.7 feet

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