Many modern cruise ships are often described as floating cities, which is not too far from the truth. This is largely based on the array of activities any particular ship may offer its passengers to help them pass the time en route to their chosen destination.
If you’re cruising from Australia on Carnival Spirit, it’s a virtual certainty you will have at least one, if not as many as three days at sea prior to reaching your first scheduled port-of-call. If you’ve never cruised before, initial thoughts on how you might be able to pass this time might be limited to trivia, karaoke or just sitting by the pool reading a book. These may be enjoyable endeavours, but it must be said that the activity selection on most major vessels is far more extensive than this.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the lesser known sea day action you’ll find around the decks on Carnival Spirit.
Golf Chipping Contest
While there is a nine hole mini-golf course on the top deck, Carnival Spirit carries more clubs than just the putter, with several opportunities to test your short game at different times of the day.
Using a pitching wedge and some plastic golf balls, you can test your short game by trying to chip the ball into a nearby bucket. It’s more difficult than it looks and is free of charge, so step up and give it a go. There is a novelty prize on offer for people with pinpoint accuracy. The Chipping Challenge is conducted by the ship’s entertainment team and held on most sea days off to the side of the Central Atrium.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to head up to Carnival Spirit‘s gourmet steakhouse Nouveau by the time this activity takes place, you will most certainly get your taste buds going if heading along to a cooking demonstration in this restaurant, up on Deck 10.
One of the ship’s master chefs is on hand with a mobile cooking station and takes guests through the preparation of four speciality dishes served in Nouveau, imparting some of their cooking secrets which you can take home and try for yourself. Often these will include an appetiser or two, a main course or two and a dessert.
During our visit, the dishes in the demonstration included the soupy Mushroom Cappuccino, a Baby Leaf Spinach & Mushroom Salad, with a main course of Broiled Free Range Chicken and concluding with an ubiquitous favourite Tiramisu. As well as picking up some handy skills, the best part is that at the end of each demonstration, a team of waiters emerge from the kitchen with pre-prepared bite-size samples of each dish for you to sample on the spot.
Casino Gaming Tutorials
A ship’s casino is one of those areas which requires great self-control and for the most part, this is ably demonstrated. However, if you’re in the mood to try something new or are keen to add something to a future dinner party, Carnival Spirit hosts occasional demonstrations and tutorials on some of those table games which may be a little intimidating or difficult.
If you’ve always wanted to learn the basics or the more advanced nuances of Texas Hold-Em Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette or something else, it may be worth heading along to these short sessions, which are free of charge.
Later in the cruise, there will be opportunities to try your hand with a tournament (good for beginners as it limits your financial outlay) or if you’re feeling really confident, head back whenever the casino is open and try your luck.
Irrespective of your age, the somewhat eccentric writings of Dr Seuss has brought joy and laughter to generations, and Carnival Spirit brings this to life with its Seuss At Sea program, which is not just limited to the Kids Club.
Keep your eyes on the daily newsletter to find out when Seuss-A-Palooza takes place as it’s well worth catching even if you don’t have children. Usually held in the Central Atrium around lunch time, the session begins with popular Seuss characters Thing 1, Thing 2 and Sam I Am dancing and guiding kids and parents through to the Pharaoh’s Theatre where a Dr Seuss story time adventure is ready to go, along with chances to meet more characters.
Kids and parents are then invited up on stage to sit and listen to a reading of the classic story ‘The Cat in the Hat’. This is highly interactive, with opportunities to dress up as the characters in the book and act out scenes on stage, with a real life Cat in the Hat.
The classic game is so popular on Carnival Spirit, it is usually held in the theatre where the most people can be seated. However, there are some things which you should know.
Check your daily schedule as there will be several windows in which you can purchase your Bingo cards. These generally happen at various points of the cruise, but it’s important you attend one of these in advance to get your card well in advance of the actual game as there is a limited stock, and once they’re gone, they’re gone.
The actual Bingo game usually takes place towards the end of the cruise, sometimes even as late as the last sea day. Make sure you arrive early to get a good seat. You’ll also need to be on your toes as the game goes reasonably fast and numbers can often not be repeated as the drawing is all automated. But if you’re a Bingo fan, it’s a great way to spend some time and a chance to walk off the ship with a big wad of cash or prizes.