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Carnival Spirit

Image © Carnival Cruises

Weekend getaway on the Carnival Spirit

Gemma Kightly and beau leave the kids behind to experience Carnival Spirit getaway to Moreton Island

It’s the classic gag when people come across our magazine, Holidays with Kids: How about Holidays without Kids? Well, all you loving parents out there, rejoice! New research by Carnival Cruise Line shows couples with older children are increasingly leaving the kids behind to spend quality time together.

These adults-only adventures offer couples time to reconnect and build new memories, promoting longer lasting and more satisfying relationships. And this serves to make better parents. They’re known as ‘honeyboomers’.

With this philosophy in mind, James and I leave our little one, Murphy, with his grandparents and pack our bags to reconnect on an idyllic four-night cruise from Sydney to Queensland’s Moreton Island on Carnival Spirit.

Image © Gemma Kightly

Activities abound

With tasty cocktails in hand, we head straight to the Serenity Adult Only Retreat (the name says it all) to depart Sydney Harbour with the sun setting behind us and to soak up the best views on the ship.

As the city fades into the distance we decide to explore the ship, making a mental note to return to Serenity as soon as possible for more cocktails by the pool. With more than 45 activities a day, 16 lounges and bars, four swimming pools, an adrenaline-pumping water slide that’s as much fun for adults as kids, live entertainment venues, cocktail bars and restaurants, cruising on Carnival Spirit feels like we’ve stepped into Vegas at sea.

We spend an afternoon learning about the history of alcohol during the Alchemy Mixology Class and enjoy an evening of fine dining at the Chef’s Table, a once-in-a-lifetime taste explosion that showcases the talented multicultural chefs on board. And, of course, we find time to share an intimate couple’s massage at Spa Carnival where we connect via synchronised sighs over the skills of our respective massage therapists.

Sand, scooter and shipwrecks

We are having so much fun on board that we almost forget we are heading somewhere until we awake at Moreton Island. We grab a quick breakfast at the Breakfast Grill and then board one of the ship’s tenders for the journey to the island. We spend our day exploring the Tangalooma shipwrecks via Sea Scooter, which is like a cross between snorkelling and quad biking under water. We twirl around and shoot down to the ocean floor on our scooters, on the lookout for wobbegongs and the 175 species of fish that call these wrecks home. It’s a perfect day of sun, sand and sea and we return to the ship happily exhausted from our adventures.

We’re welcomed back on board for more fun. From the room steward to the ship’s hosts and entertainment staff right through to Captain Vittorio Marchi, each and every member of the 930-strong crew goes above and beyond to make our escape a magical one. Their enjoyment of their work is contagious and it is with huge smiles that we delve back in to enjoy more of its 12 decks of floating fun.

This article appeared in volume 54 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

Image © Tourism Queensland

4 tips for the perfect Carnival Spirit honeyboom

1. Happy kids make happy parents
Whether they’re staying with a grandparent, a nanny or a family friend, ensure your kids will be comfortable, settled, safe and fully supervised by trusted carers while you are away, so you can enjoy your time away free of worry.

2. Planning is key
Before booking a honeyboom, talk to your partner about what you both want from the holiday. Do you want to relax by the swimming pool with a cocktail or explore a new culture? Make sure you plan a trip packed with shared experiences you’ll both enjoy.

3. Try something new
Don’t be afraid to get out there and experience something neither of you have tried before. It could be embracing a new hobby or just taking the plunge on the cruise’s heart-pumping Green Thunder slide to keep things exciting.

4. Make time for togetherness
Make sure you don’t pack your itinerary too full so you can make the most of the kid-free time to relax and reconnect.

Hot tip

Make sure you download the Carnival Cruise app before boarding. This is the best way to stay up to date with all the incredible organised activities on board.

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