One walk around Carnival Spirit and you’ll get the feeling pretty quickly that many of the different dining and entertainment options identify to one of two opposing colour groups. Whether red or blue, you’ll find enjoyment in everything, however there’s a good chance your favourites may fit on one side or the other.
Let’s take a look at both colours, what products and options you might find under each umbrella. Will you take sides or remain on the fence?
Guy’s Burger Joint
The brainchild of award-winning and ultra-flamboyant American chef Guy Fieri, Guy’s Burger Joint is a popular feature on Carnival’s US ships but was added for the first time to the Australian market during a refurbishment of Carnival Spirit in August 2015.
Aussies are known for loving a good burger and while the selection at Guy’s is a little on the light side, the core premise behind the concept is to give you a well grilled beef patty with cheese and a side of fries. Behind you is a toppings bar loaded with condiments and sauce, and this is where you can turn your basic burger into a truly customised creation to enjoy.
RedFrog Rum Bar
After grabbing one of Guy’s burgers, spin around and you’ll see RedFrog Rum Bar on the other side of the Lido Pool area. The story of Red the Frog is quite the tale, so take some time to familiarise yourself with how this mascot came to find its name attached to a range of quirky and delicious rum-based cocktails and drinks.
A totally different venue with a familiar name and featuring some similar decor – the RedFrog Pub is a Caribbean-style beach bar on Deck 2. A much bigger venue than the poolside Rum equivalent on Deck 9, this is more of a night scene and features a good sized dance floor right next to where the band plays, plenty of seating and classic pub games like foosball.
You’ll want to get in early here to set yourself up for your evening party, as when the crowds flow from the theatre at the end of the evening’s shows, RedFrog Pub fills up.
Pharaoh’s Palace Theatre
Just a little further towards the front of the ship from RedFrog Pub, the Pharaoh’s Palace Theatre is where you’ll find all of Carnival Spirit‘s major productions performed each evening. Shows are often repeated to cater to both of the scheduled dinner seatings (early for the late diners and vice versa).
As the name indicates, this theatre is decorated in a classic Egyptian style, with sphinxes, tombs and hieroglyphs dotted around the room. This theatre is laid out with long curved couches on the lower floor and small tables to rest your drinks, while the upper tier has individual seats separated with armrests.
BlueIguana Mexican Cantina
On the other side of the ship from Guy’s Burger Joint, you’ll find BlueIguana Mexican Cantina. Similar to Guy’s with its speed but dishing up Mexican favourites, this venue has two different service areas – one offering soft tacos and the other a burrito bar. The former is a very simple process where you literally choose your meat and how many tacos you’d like (two fit on a plate easily), turn around and head to the salsa bar to add all your condiments.
Alternatively, over at the burrito side it is a more structured process. All of the ingredients available are posted on the wall and you simply dictate the fillings you like, which is then made in front of your eyes by one of the cantina staff. Very simple and super delicious.
BlueIguana Tequila Bar
Like the RedFrog Rum Bar, this venue is also found at the Lido Pool, directly across from the BlueIguana Mexican Cantina. And like its neighbour, it is based around its namesake mascot, which also comes with a background story and lends its name to an array of creative drinks, albeit based on tequila.
Skybox Sports Bar
If you’re a sports fan, this is where you’ll want to be. It’s open 24 hours and behind the bar is an entire wall of television screens showing live and delayed sports from around the world, ranging from global football contests, rugby league, AFL, Formula 1 and much more.
At the back of the room are four booth style seats where your group can pack into to watch one of the nearby televisions. Each booth also offers an iPad style sports game where you can test your coordination and try and beat the high scores. Each afternoon, you can also test your sports knowledge and win a prize by taking part in the daily sports trivia contest.
Punchliner Comedy Club
The only dedicated comedy club at sea in Australia, Punchliner takes place each night in the Versailles Lounge at the front of the ship on Deck 1. It’s a quaint venue even if it can cater to a huge number of patrons, but seats fill up quickly so you’ll want to be early. Comedy shows are timed to begin about 20 minutes after the main theatre performance, so you can catch both if you move directly between the venues after one show ends.
Some of Australia’s best comedians appear on every Carnival cruise, and there are usually two to three shows per night – the earliest being family friendly, with no bad language and jokes for all ages, including children. The later shows are more blue however, and are not designed for younger minds. However these take place much later in the evening.
So which colour do you identify with most? Red or Blue? Or do you just want to experience it all. Let us know in the comments below.