Carnival Spirit Review: My Experience On A Carnival South Pacific Cruise

Find out about my experience on a Carnival South Pacific Cruise. In this Carnival Spirit Review, I will be letting you know about the rooms, food, entertainment, ports of call and more!

Taking a little break from our regular backpacking routine, my partner and I decided to mix things up by going on a Carnival South Pacific Cruise. I will give you my Carnival Spirit review from a first-timer who is used to simple holidays.

We booked our Carnival South Pacific Cruise direct on the Carnival website (Australian version), rather than at a travel agent which most cruisers seemed to do. We always book direct and don’t use travel agents while on different adventures. Though if you are wanting a simple and easy experience travel agents are the way to go.

For this Carnival Spirit review, I will be talking about my experience on a Carnival South Pacific Cruise. All their Pacific cruises are on the Carnival website under ‘South Pacific Cruise’, though if you change the dates you will notice the ports of call also change. Our ports of call on the Carnival Spirit were Noumea, Isle Of Pines, Lifou, Mystery Island and Vila. So, it was a mixture of New Caledonia and Vanuatu which lasted 11 days, many of these being sea days.

Carnival Spirit Review: My Experience On Board

on deck 9 of the carnival spirit south pacific cruise

Our Carnival South Pacific Cruise Experience

Twenty something-year-old couples are often not seen on cruises, and I seriously cannot understand why! All in all, we had such a fabulous time. Though I will be going into why exactly further down. Though first of all let’s talk about COSTS.

As a backpacker and a semi frugal traveler, I like to make my money go far. Cruising always seemed like a decent option in regards to this. You can find cruises for less than $100.00 per day. For all entertainment, food, drink and travel expenses this seemed like a pretty decent deal. Especially when the majority of stops in the South Pacific you can just spend your day beachside and your wallet closed.

Luckily for us, this Carnival South Pacific cruise fell right into this section. The cruise itself ended up costing about $70.00 per day and the most we ever spent at a port of call was in Port Vila, Vanuatu where a day tour cost $45.00 including entry fees. We also booked our Carnival Cruise during a period they were having a special sale, giving us $200.00 onboard credit to spend wherever we would like while on the ship.

We always found ourselves super busy on the seven days we spent at sea. This may seem like a lot, though it was a great way to get into cruise life and relax after the ports of call.

The Carnival Spirit departed and arrived in Sydney Australia, and with the international airport, it was super easy to access. We actually arrived a couple of days prior to explore Sydney for the first time and get a taste of the city. Flights from Auckland, New Zealand are relatively inexpensive and on the return, we even managed to book a business class flight on LATAM for the same price as Air New Zealand economy!

inside of the carnival spirit on a south pacific cruise
view on the carnival spirit over the south pacific ocean
departing sydney on the carnival spirit review

Ocean View Cabin 1208 On The Carnival Spirit

We loved our Ocean View Cabin on the Carnival Spirit and actually wouldn’t have upgraded it to a balcony room if we had the chance. It was super roomy, with a queen bed and two couches, providing plenty of seating. Looking in the wardrobe there were 3 life jackets, meaning this is likely a triple room. With the large couch providing the ability to transform into a single bed.

The decor is quite dated, reminding me of a typical house of the 90s with all the peachy tones. Though obviously this is not a major. We had a large window providing a view of all the ocean waves. This provided great night time entertainment, sitting in the dark and watching the white caps of the water pass by.

The bathroom itself was also quite roomy and had plenty of storage space. An airplane-style toilet was a bit noisy when flushing, though that is just cruise ship life. Having a wire running across the top of the shower provided somewhere to dry wet gear, though in all honesty it never dried due to moisture in the bathroom.

Our room was also located right next to the elevators and surprisingly there was absolutely no noise. Even from the neighbors next door we never heard anything! You would just fall asleep to the creaks in the boat driving through the night.

ocean view 1208 bathroom on the carnival spirit
ocean view cabin 1208 on the carnival spirit


We actually originally booked an interior room for our South Pacific Carnival Cruise. Though received an upgrade to an obstructed ocean view room a couple of months before departure, and then another upgrade to our final ocean view room a couple of weeks before departure. I am not sure why or how we received this upgrade. My full name is different from the one I write under and I had not made Carnival aware I was cruising with them. Also, my parents went on the same Carnival Spirit Cruise a month after us and also received an upgrade from their originally booked ocean view room to a balcony room.

The only thing reasoning I can conclude about the upgrades is that you should book directly with Carnival (compared to going through an agent) and secondly, to not choose your exact cabin, just booking the best available fare. Overall allowing Carnival to move you around as needed without third party interference.

ocean view cabin 1208 room on the carnival spirit

Food & Drinks On Our South Pacific Carnival Cruise

As a vegetarian and a super picky eater, I was actually super nervous about the food selection onboard. It is honestly a mission to feed me and I will ALWAYS look up a restaurant menu before going so I know whether I can actually eat there or not. So I must say the variety of food onboard the Carnival Spirit honestly amazed me. There was only one area I couldn’t really eat from the buffet, but instead, there were always plenty of alternatives.

No matter the time of day you could get a meal on board the ship, even at 4am in the morning! This was great as a bedtime pizza can never be a bad idea,

The main dining areas are the Main Dining Room and the Buffet. Both of these are free and included in your fare. Though for more of unique dining experience you can visit the Nouveau RestauRant of Bonsi Sushi, both have additional costs involved.

For 24 hour dining, you can head to Pizza Pirate, serving up delicious fluffy pizzas with an assortment of topping options. You can even get customized pizzas, perfect if you’re dairy-free or vegetarian.

All in all, the is essentially always somewhere open on the ship for a delicious meal or a snack. Even if you’ve missed the main lunch dining hours during a port of call day they have other eating establishments open to refuel you after a busy day exploring. This is a great time to try the Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ or Guys Burger Joint.

buffet dining area of the carnival spirit on a carnival south pacific cruise

Eating In The Main Dining Room

It seemed eating in the main dining room was a popular choice for cruisers, but in all honesty, it was not for us. Table service is nice, but as frequent travelers, I am used to eating at restaurants. Seriously in my first stint around Asia, I ate out at least twice a day for 6 months.

We ate at the main dining room twice, once for dinner and once for breakfast. Traveling as 2 people we were sat at a table with 2 other people, a couple of friends who are frequent travelers. No offense whatsoever to them, but I prefer a more intimate dining experience than being sat with randoms. During breakfast service, we were just shoved at the next free table.

I found that my food arrived at the table cold. Likely because they were serving a large number of people at the same time. I like my food hot and the ability to add little extras as required without asking, So that was basically the main dining room off the list for me.

tiramisu cake served in the main dining room carnival spirit

Eating At The Buffet

On Deck 9 you will find the buffet area serving a mixture of buffet options at particular stations as well as Pizza Pirate, Guys Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, The Carnival Deli, Snags and Pies and so much more.

At the buffet, there is always a soup option, roast meat choice, Indian option and some sort of potato dish, as well as more. There is also a salad bar and dessert area to go alongside your meals.

The majority of the time we actually ate upstairs in this buffet area due to the variety and the ease of serving ourselves. The food was hot, fresh and always the exact same as they serve in the main dining room. Though you can now try a little bit of each dish rather than just ordering one main.

buffet food on the carnival spirit

Entertainment On Board The Carnival Spirit

Being onboard a ship at sea for a considerable length of time it is important that there is enough around to keep you busy. This was seriously a concern of mine as a first-time cruiser who is used to a different type of travel. Though, luckily the Carnival Spirit seemed to always have something on, no matter the time of day. There were a couple of paid entertainment options, though I didn’t do any of these. Therefore I will just be discussing the freebies.

Let’s start off with the nightly shows. These were absolutely freakin amazing and sometimes I went to both seatings as I wanted to see it again! On shorter cruises, you will just have the main entertainment staff singing and dancing in extravagant shows. Though, as we were doing a longer South Pacific Carnival Spirit Cruise, various entertainers would be flown to ports, join the ship for a couple of days, and then fly back home. This was great as it truly gave us a variety in which shows were on each night.

An unexpected highlight for me was actually the comedy shows. Usually, there were 3 of these per day and provided a good opportunity to let loose. They even had comedy for the children which was always a bit of fun with plenty of audience participation.

It was great being able to simply walk around the ship and always be able to find something to do or watch.

pool on deck 9 of the carnival spirit
walking around the carnival spirit at pacific ocean
on the promenade of the carnival south pacific cruise
entry to the pharaohs palace on the carnival spirit

Serenity Adults Only Area

Lucky for us there were not too many kids on our South Pacific Carnival Cruise. Though, this is not always the case so it is good to have the Serenity area. This is adults only and the perfect place to retreat if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet. There is plenty of seating available, a pool, spa and of course a bar!

serenity adults only area on the carnival spirit

Hope you have enjoyed this Carnival Spirit Review. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments!


Find out about my experience on a Carnival South Pacific Cruise. In this Carnival Spirit Review, I will be letting you know about the rooms, food, entertainment, ports of call and more!

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