Carnival Spirit to permanently cruise downunder

Here’s are extracts from a story that I have taken direct from the CruiseMates Newsletter, which is one of my favourite sources of information regarding cruising. The author of this article was not credited.

One of the most popular west coast ships ever, Carnival Spirit, will be moving to Australia permanently to provide year-round cruises out of Sydney starting in early 2012.

Carnival Spirit was the first of the “Vista-class” ships to be introduced into the U.S.-based cruise fleet. Vista is a specific ship design first created by parent company Carnival Corp. and subsequently put unto ships belonging to a number of different cruise lines under the Carnival Corp. umbrella.

The beauty of the Spirit design is that it contains all the amenities of a much larger ships – beautiful modern lines, great crowd flow through two decks of inter-connected public rooms, a soaring atrium, a large and impressive theatre as well as tiny catwalks around the theatre bottom deck right up to the very front of the stage.

Carnival Spirit has been playing a duel role in the last five years; sailing steadily out of San Diego to Mexico every winter, but not offering the typical and boring seven-day itinerary to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.

Carnival Spirit was also the sole cruise ship that Carnival would send to Alaska every summer, where it filled a niche for value-priced family cruising in the great white north. Not only did it offer the best rates in Alaska for balcony cabins all season long, but it was also the best ship to take children upon since it had the great Carnival Club kid’s program onboard.

The current strength of the Aussie dollar is making Australia a more popular destination for cruise ships than ever before. And for as long as that lasts, it is doubtful that Carnival Spirit will be hearing the mariachi horns of La Paz, Mexico, that I can hear blaring right outside my stateroom right now.

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