The first in its class of four ships, the 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit debuted in 2001 and feels downright cozy compared to the line’s newer ships. The fun and festive Spirit mixes marble, tile mosaic, wood veneers, buttery leathers, textured fabrics, copper and bronze, and all kinds of glass lighting fixtures to create exciting, bordering-on-wacky décor that definitely takes passengers far, far away from home.
Music and entertainment venues line Decks 2 and 3 from bow to stern and include an Asian-themed piano bar with paper-lantern lighting fixtures, Chinese silk walls and a red lacquer piano. There’s a two-story barrel-shaped disco done up in a paint-splattered, Jackson Pollock–inspired motif, plus a large sports bar, jazz and karaoke club, and a café where you can buy fancy coffees.
A bustling lobby bar anchors the nine-deck atrium that’s trimmed like a Christmas tree with shiny baubles and bright colors. The three-level theater is a show in and of itself with its flamboyant Egypt theme featuring brightly painted gold-and-blue King Tut–style sarcophagi and hieroglyphics.
You can dine in the two-story, 1,300-seat formal dining room, the indoor-outdoor buffet restaurant for a little bit of everything, or the more intimate and high-end (and extra-cost) American-style steakhouse high up at the top of the atrium—which unfortunately can be a little loud due to funnel vibrations and ambient atrium noise. There’s also a sushi bar and 24-hour pizza.
In the well stocked playroom, kids can experiment with sand art and a candy-making machine, or play on a handful of iMacs and PlayStations. A huge video arcade has dozens of machines, including air hockey and foosball.
The ocean-view multilevel gym is adjacent to the Greek-inspired spa, with white-fluted columns and images of Greek gods on the walls. Spirit has a total of four pools, several hot tubs and a three-deck-high spiral water slide.
Spirit’s roomy standard cabins measure 185 square feet and offer relatively large bathrooms and stocked, pay-as-you-go minifridges. There are robes for use during the cruise as well as extra-thick mattresses and bedding. Most cabins have a small sitting area with a sofa and coffee table.
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