Stunning design, beautiful architecture and unbelievable views, the Carnival Spirit offers spacious cabins and a sense of luxury that you're unlikely to find on any other vessel. Top of the range amenities and plenty to see and do while you're aboard only add to the feeling of high-class comfort.
And yet there is mystery and intrigue here as well. From the decorations in the show lounge - adorned with Egyptian hieroglyphics and murals - to the Shanghai and "Chinoise" style piano bar, this is a vessel that never fails to surprise. It's certainly a whimsical venue to experience a holiday, and the mixture of styles might appear overwhelming at first. However, a plethora of great feedback about the service and overall uniqueness of the ship only goes to show that the vast majority of cruisers are won over in the end.
The Spirit has benefited from a $7 million refurbishment in 2012, so if you haven't been aboard since then, it's well worth making a return visit. Of the beautiful spaces within, you should check out the Wedding Chapel, which is interesting as weddings have actually been conducted there by the ship's Captain. It's also a beautiful space where it's good to grab some photos.
The Nouveau Steakhouse should be your first port of call, if not for the food (which happens to be top-notch) but for the venue. Situated right at the top of the nine-deck atrium beneath a blood-red stained glass dome, you will find yourself utterly inspired. Excellent cuts of meat, first rate service and a resplendent dining environment complete the already enjoyable picture.
Otherwise check out the Napoleonic splendour of the two-deck Empire Restaurant, which seats 1,300 beneath its extraordinary ceiling domes, from which dangle extravagant crystal chandeliers.
Carnival is renowned for its nightlife and the Spirit is no exception. There are 12 lounges and bars to suit every mood, the majority of which feature live music. Whether you're after jazz, modern dance music, country or old classics, there is somewhere on the vessel that will provide.
As always when on a Carnival cruise, there are plenty of shore excursions that will allow you to experience the local culture of whatever lush and exciting destination you happen to be visiting, even if these tend to be a bit on the pricey side. Overall, though, this is an excellent option for any cruise holiday.