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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
There were 5 of us on this cruise, all of us in our 60's, 2 first time cruisers and 3 experienced cruisers. My husband and I and been on 6 Carnival cruises - 4 Royal Caribbean and 5 Norwegian cruises. Traveling with us was my sister ... Read More
There were 5 of us on this cruise, all of us in our 60's, 2 first time cruisers and 3 experienced cruisers. My husband and I and been on 6 Carnival cruises - 4 Royal Caribbean and 5 Norwegian cruises. Traveling with us was my sister in one cabin and (first time cruisers), long time friends in another. We parked at the pier, $320 for 8 nights, split 3 ways isn't bad-we traveled together in one vehicle. Embarkation took maybe an hour from start to finish. Relatively simple. On board by noon, headed to Lido for our first Guy's Burger. After lunch I noticed that we had 3 separate tables for the 8:15 dinner service! Our reservations were linked together online and I assumed our dinner seating would automatically be linked like it has in the past when we traveled with others. I immediately went to the dining room and the maitre 'd was not there so we spoke with the girl there who said it was impossible to change for the first night and they might be able to change it the next day. She said the maitre 'd would be available around 6PM so we went back down and saw him then. He was very condescending and outright rude and said he had very few requests to change and it would be impossible to get us a table for 5 for the late seating. He could give us anytime dining which we ended up agreeing to. It worked out, but we had first time cruisers with us and I wanted them to experience the set dining experience with the same wait staff every night and the shows they perform at the end of the dinner service. We liked our servers the first night and tried to get the same wait staff the 2nd night and they said they weren't available. It was disappointing. We had different wait staff every night and different tables every night. I will say, the staff was excellent and the food was the best we've had on a ship. We all had balcony cabins on deck 8, very close to the glass elevators. Very convenient location but we could hear a lot of noise from the lobby at night when the parties were going on. The noise did not bother us, I actually enjoyed listening to it but others might find it annoying. The cabins were fine, standard Carnival. Our room steward was excellent. Always present, always pleasant. We asked for twice a day service, with ice please! I think twice a day is what differentiates a cruise from a hotel. It feels special. Really nice, big, flat screen TVs with on demand movies (some have a fee, most do not), one news channel, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, History Channel (?), Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and a bunch of Carnival channels including a Map Channel. The Lido deck is an absolute disaster. Pools were mobbed all the time, I'm talking a sea of heads. Loud music, too loud. The pathways to the buffet were the absolute worse designed areas I have ever seen! You have Guy's Burgers on one side and Blue Iguana on the other so there are lines of people at each place, then there are drink stations in this tiny passageway AND hand washing stations! It was ridiculous! Once inside the buffet area you have the deli on the Blue Iguana side and Lucky Bowl on Guy's side. Proceed to the buffet which was ALWAYS crowded and s-l-o-w moving people. We always managed to find a table but one of us had to stay with it while the rest attempted to get food. The pizza place was in the way back and the Seafood Shack was back there too. Food - Breakfast/Brunch/Dinner in the Sunshine Restaurant was always very good. We ate most meals here because everything else was very noisy, crowded and the food was just not as good. As stated before, we ended up with Any Time Dining. We always ate around 8:00 and getting a table took less than 10 minutes with the exception of elegant night, which took 30 minutes. Checking in at the desk was easy and using the HUB app was even easier. We believe the food in the main dining room was the best we've ever had on a ship. Hot, tasty and good portions. One in our little group has Celiac Disease and has to be gluten free. The wait staff was aware as she let them know before boarding and they went above and beyond to make sure she was well taken care of. Guys' Burgers were very good. The lines move very fast. Guys' Pig and Anchor - never saw a line. Ate there only once and it was just okay. No desire to go back. Blue Iguana - Always a line but they moved along. Always enjoy the burrito. Pizza place - Always a line, a very slow moving line. I really enjoyed the pizza on the Sunshine and Pride but not this one as much. It wasn't worth the wait. Deli - OMG.....the line might be small, but....we came back from port early and seeing how the line was short, decided on sandwiches for lunch. 5 people in line ahead of us, 5 people working inside. 25 minutes later we had 2 hot dogs and half a turkey wrap. 25 minutes! I really enjoyed that wrap but didn't want to wait in that long again. Buffet - yuck. Long lines ALL the time. People said, oh on go off times and you'll be fine. We tended to eat lunch around 2:00. That's kind of late for lunch and besides, it closes at 2:30. Forget about it! Long lines with the slowest moving people ever. Poorly designed, everything in one long display. One of the port days we got back late and decided to skip the dining room and try the buffet. It wasn't really too crowded. The food sucked. Little variety. Roast beef or what was supposed to be roast beef was inedible. My husband absolutely loves the buffet and wants to eat there most of the time. This night was our one and only dinner there. I ended up waiting in line for pizza after I attempted to eat that beef or whatever. Very disappointing. Makes me wonder how the food in the dining rooms can be so good and the food in the buffet so bad. We did not eat in any specialty restaurants, although we did have breakfast one morning in the Italian restaurant above the buffet area. They have a small breakfast buffet, all the food was ice cold, but they did have made to order omelets and eggs. It was not crowded at all but it was hot in there. Bars - We like to have a few drinks before dinner every night. There were 5 of us and we wanted to sit and chat over cocktails. It's hard to find a "quiet" bar! The Electric Violins played almost every night and they are very good but a bit loud and somber. The Red Frog Pub had karaoke almost every night at that time and that was very loud and carried out to the Alchemy Bar which was our favorite. We ended up sitting in a pretty empty Sports Bar every night because we could hear each other. When there was no karaoke, we went to Alchemy which had the best bartenders and best drinks. We did not do the drink package. Public areas - The ship's layout is very choppy but I had read up on this before hand and knew what to do. I lead my little troop around - elevator down to deck 5 - walk all the way through the shops, casino, Sushi restaurant, bars to the aft elevators to get to the Sunshine Restaurant where we ate twice a day. It really isn't that difficult to get around once you understand the layout. We found pockets of uneven air conditioning all around. The elevators were extremely warm. The buffet was downright uncomfortable. The Italian restaurant was very warm during breakfast. The Liquid Lounge (main theater) is small and uncomfortable. My legs were cramped when we sat in the chairs, they were fine if we were lucky enough to get a bench type seat. There were nights that it was absolutely freezing in there. Casino was comfortable but smoky - I do not understand why they can't do something about that - better smoke eaters - half smoking, half non-smoking...something! We always saw someone cleaning and the ship was pretty darn clean even though people left food and drinks everywhere! An entire bowl of noodles on staircase, smashed cupcakes on the floor near the elevator, a full drink right outside our cabin door that I almost tripped over! Which leads to my next topic - Guests - 95% of the guests we encountered were very friendly and talkative. Then there are those who walked around with their own music blaring, gangs of teenagers running wild (where are the parents?!). Twice someone banged on our cabin door, hard, like startling loud! Once in the afternoon when the snooze sign was out and once at 2AM. Lots of yelling going on. Crew - Fantastic. Everyone was personable, friendly and polite. We did have once exception at brunch - our waiter was obviously very sick. He looked miserable, was sniffling and didn't have any patience with our questions. He took our order and disappeared, we figured he was relived of his duty. Our meals never came and we ended up walking out. Entertainment - CD Chris "The Flying Scotsman" was excellent. Always visible, very high energy and entertaining. His one man show was surprisingly good. That's about it. The 2 "big" production shows of singing and dancing were just okay. One night they had a guest singer - Marcus Anthony, singing Motown. He was excellent, quite the entertainer. I thought the entertainment was sorely lacking on this cruise. Pretty boring. Unfortunately we never made it to the comedy club as the times were always the same with dinner and the shows in the main theater. HUB App is excellent! Kept daily tabs on our on board expenses, selected activities and put them into "My Planner" which reminds you 15 minutes before it starts, put in our request for a table in the My Time Dining part. The weather report was very accurate! I used it constantly! We used the Chat part - for $5 per person for the entire cruise we could communicate with each other via text message. Very convenient! Ports - We had not booked any excursions through Carnival as we had been to 2 out of 3 ports before. Didn't feel a need to. San Juan - we were planning to just walk around old downtown but it was so hot that we ended up taking a tour from the many, many locals trying to get you when you get off the ship. It was $15 per person and lasted almost 2 hours. We thought it was worth it. They drop you off at the top of the shopping area. Amber Cove - Basically an outdoor shopping mall with pools. Next time I would book an excursion. Grand Turk - We've been there several times and sad to say but I think it's going down hill fast. It used to be a relaxing beach day but now the locals have taken over and are aggressively trying to "sell" you beach chairs and umbrellas. There was trash all over and a lot of the buildings were boarded up. We walked as far down the beach as we could to get away from them and the crowds but again the heat got to us and we ended up negotiating 4 chairs and 2 umbrellas for $25. Luckily there was a little snack bar with bathrooms right behind us. I wanted to walk to Jack's Shack but it was just too far for us old timers. The water was beautiful and where we were, the trash wasn't as bad. Two dogs ended up staying with us under our lounge chairs so they brightened up the day! When we left NYC, hurricane Dorian looked like it might cause us some problems. We did receive a paper upon boarding explaining that our ports have been changed around and that they would keep us a safe distance from the storm at all times. Two days later we received another paper update with the arrival times changed but in our opinion, for the better! Slightly less time in San Juan but longer time in Amber Cove and Grand Turk. Carnival did an excellent job of keeping us safe. We had beautiful weather and nearly calm seas the entire trip. I think it might of rained at night once or twice but never saw a raindrop during the day. Even though it sounds like I did a lot of complaining above, all in all it was a great trip. I believe in honest reviews. Not sure if we will sail on the Sunrise again due to overcrowding and the Lido deck setup. Most of our cruises are out of NYC because it is a 2-1/2 hour drive for us. Hopefully Carnival will have a different ship sailing out of there soon. We normally sail in late September/October when kids are back in school. I thought sailing the week of Labor Day would cut back on the amount of kids onboard as most schools start right before Labor Day or that week. Don't get me wrong, I love kids but for some reason they (mostly teenagers) are wild on ships and I do not enjoy that. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We decided to cruise with my brother & sister-in-law when they booked an Alaskan cruise on Legend. We are not first time cruisers...we have cruised a few times before with another cruise line, so we had a chance to compare similarities ... Read More
We decided to cruise with my brother & sister-in-law when they booked an Alaskan cruise on Legend. We are not first time cruisers...we have cruised a few times before with another cruise line, so we had a chance to compare similarities and differences. Overall, I was a little disappointed with Carnival. The cabin was not very clean...you could see where there were stains on the wall where someone splashed something on it, and it was never cleaned up. Also, we found the bottom bed sheet to be stained/soiled...our room steward (who was wonderful) did replace the sheet with a new one. This ship also needs a major decorating overhaul...its decor was dated and gaudy looking. The service on this ship was excellent. Overall, the food was very good, however I just wish they offered more variety of fruits other than melons every day. Our waiters in the dining room were fantastic. The photographers took pics every night in the main dining room, the constant interruption of dinner got to be a little annoying...we finally told them we weren't interested and they did respect that. There was not much of a variety of entertainment to go to. We went to couple of comedy shows, which were not very good. We did go to an Epic Rock presentation that was fantastic...they also provided lectures and presentations from Nancy, the naturalist. on the geology and wild life in the area. We had a blast on our chosen excursions...in Skagway, we booked the Ultimate White Pass & Yukon Route Railway adventure where we rode a train up the White Pass, following the old Klondike Gold Rush route into Caribou Crossing and the town of Carcross, Canada, then back to the US via a coach. Highly recommend this excursion! The Alaskan excursions are very expensive, however...so we just booked a trolley tour in Klondike where we were taken through the city and out to a Totem Pole Park, which was interesting. Then we explored the famous "Creek Street" in Ketchikan on our own. We stayed on the ship in Juneau (it was raining) and in Victoria, Canada. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I rely heavily on reviews when planning my vacations. I tend to start my trip feeling pretty well informed on the good, bad and ugly to expect. I am also not one to complain and would much rather write a 5/5 review than anything ... Read More
I rely heavily on reviews when planning my vacations. I tend to start my trip feeling pretty well informed on the good, bad and ugly to expect. I am also not one to complain and would much rather write a 5/5 review than anything negative. I am going to write todays to hopefully help other first time cruisers be prepared. This is the first time my family of five had been on a cruise ship. We booked to try something new and the price fit our budget well. We had a great vacation and made many happy memories, we enjoyed times on the ship and there were some flaws. I will start with the good. Embarkation/Debarkation and any other typical waiting lines (buffet, shows, guest services) all ran quickly and smoothly for me. I never really felt the crowds kept us from having a good time. We all enjoyed the food. I really enjoyed the breakfast burrito at Blue Iguana and found there was rarely anyone else there so always had quick service. We had the early seating at the Wind Song and I found meals to be good. Our servers were also polite, friendly and helpful. The entertainment kept us busy. My kids had a great time dancing during the parties and always found something to do. Many times we had to choose between one or two activities because they overlapped times. Staff were friendly, I always heard hellos, good mornings and such while walking around. I also always saw staff hard at work cleaning in the early morning. The bad I knew the ship was older and I understood I would see the wear and tear because of that. I just didn't realize how extreme it was. You can definitely see at any area of this ship its age. That said cosmetics are not going to make or break my vacation and we ignored this. My kids did not like the kids clubs (we made them go one morning to try). It may be personality, but my 8 year old stated they made him feel like a baby. My 10 year old said most the video games did not work, and they were not allowed to use the ones that did (age limits), my 16 year old said she was the oldest one there and left right away. We attended a Family Bingo in one of the rooms. Not well set up, a dozen families cramped into a small space, sitting on the floor. Than getting lectured by the cleaning crew because they were blocking doorways. Should have been set up somewhere everyone could fit. People are correct about smells. Not every where and not always. We were on floor 6 near the back of the boat. By day two every time I walked a certain way down the hall to get to our room you would get a garbage smell. By day four there were a few walkways around the pool area that smelled heavily of sewage. The Ugly As I stated I was not going to let the cosmetics of the ship affect our vacation, but it was hard to look past the fact that our bedding was always dirty. Normally I don't have rooms cleaned each day, but for this trip I had housekeeping change things daily. Each day more than one of our five bed linens had stains. This part is on me, I don't like complaining and I hoped each day when they were changed it would be fine. The bugs I could not get past. I fully understand this is an environment where critters can spread easily and its not always 100% fault of the service. When my daughter woke up day 2 covered in spots (she was sleeping in one of the upper bunks) I truly believed it was an allergic reaction. She took allergy meds for the next couple days and we continued on. When night 4 she woke crying that her feet were burning, had more bites and the meds were not helping I knew. I gave her more meds and informed guest services of my concerns. I am not assertive enough, I was asked if she needed medical attention and that was all. The next day was debarkation and we were herded off with no time to return to complain. My poor daughter had more bites, and by this point all of us had a few, but hers were extreme. My entire trip home all I thought of is how they move us out and more in so quickly. Some poor other family or child may end up with the same problem. As soon as I returned home I contacted Carnival on the phone. I felt better that they said they would have the room checked and assessed again and went over the protocol that each room goes through at turn around. Not perfect (obviously) but apparently they try. At least this will help the next family, but did nothing to help my daughter who spent three days of her vacation medicated to stop the itching. Not to mention I am still redoing laundry and quarantined my luggage to be sure we did not bring along these extra souvenirs. So through this all I will say this. Would my family cruise again--I think so Would we use Carnival---I really don't know Will we return to the Ecstasy--Nope Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was for my son and I to spend some time together before he spends all his time with his friends. We had a good time and enjoyed the cruise and time together. Embarkation was very fast and easy. Arrived at 11:15 for a 11:30-12 boarding ... Read More
This was for my son and I to spend some time together before he spends all his time with his friends. We had a good time and enjoyed the cruise and time together. Embarkation was very fast and easy. Arrived at 11:15 for a 11:30-12 boarding time, and were on board by 11:30. Food at buffet was fair, the MDR was very good. We did breakfast in the MDR as well for better food. We were disappointed with the music, heard the macarena 3 times and YMCA 4 times. Felt like a bad wedding reception. Personally, would have liked to hear more classic rock, only 2 hours dedicated to it the entire week. Good thing I brought my ear buds! Service was great everywhere, whether it was the room stewards, MDR, "bus boys", even the "lifeguard" by the pool. Lots of entertainment, from ping pong, chess, board games, trivia, mini golf, etc. They need a lot more chairs by the main pool for movie time. We didn't get off for excursions, but that's what we wanted, to have the pool to ourselves and just relax. Had a great group of table mates for dinner and met up with a very nice family from Cruise critic on day 1. Disembarkation was very slow, but organized. The ship is ok, but a little warn (they were replacing a lot of carpeting in rooms as the week went on). The 4th and 5th decks have a MDR right in the middle of the ship, so navigating for to aft was interesting (can't always pass through). It was fun and great to laugh and relax with my son, but unspectacular and average. The only real negatives would be the amount of drunks and rude people. I know, it's the "fun" ship. The value in relation to cost is great, but I think I need to try another cruise line to see. This ship still doesn't have the pixels program to view your photos from your phone. I can never find the photos of myself in all the mess of photos. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Getting on an off the ship was very time consuming. Overall the cruise itself was an amazing experience. The islands were beautiful, and more than enough time to get off and explore them. The ship had SO many fun activities. There were so ... Read More
Getting on an off the ship was very time consuming. Overall the cruise itself was an amazing experience. The islands were beautiful, and more than enough time to get off and explore them. The ship had SO many fun activities. There were so many things to do every hour it’s impossible to be bored. The food was great! I will certainly miss not having to cook all day. The crew were AMAZING. From the cleaning workers, food workers, etc. they stop whatever they’re doing to talk to you and say hello with the biggest smiles on their faces. I had my 9 month old son and everyone stopped to give him attention also. The people at guest services though not so much. I lost a bag from one of the islands going through security and they did NOTHING to help me whatsoever. When I let guest services know I had lost my items, they basically told me there was nothing they would do but check everyday and hope someone turns it in. No friendly announcements to please check your items after coming off the ship and to turn in anything you might have grabbed that isn’t yours, no checking to see who came in after me, nothing. With as much money as I spent to be there it would have been nice for them to at least try to help me even if it was a lost cause. They are also not friendly as the other crew members are. There are no changing tables in any bathrooms. They need special elevators for people with scooters/strollers as people who don’t need to use elevators will use them, as well as cut in front of people with said needs. So 7 times out of 10 you’ll wait at least 10 to 15 minutes for an elevator. Sometimes with a screaming infant this is no fun at all for me, him, or anyone else. Expect to spend loads more money on the ship. The shops were crazy expensive. Pringles for instance that I can get for $1.50 a can at home were about $7 on board. I get the whole people will buy it because they don’t have it, but that’s a little crazy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We choose this cruise because of convenience. Leaving from New York City was our attraction. There were so many issues I had with the cruise. I can write a book.. Let me start with the housekeeping staff! My room had an smell. The toliet ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of convenience. Leaving from New York City was our attraction. There were so many issues I had with the cruise. I can write a book.. Let me start with the housekeeping staff! My room had an smell. The toliet smelled like bowel and urine. Under the beds had dirt left over from previous guest. I loudly complained. Totally disgusted. They recleaned room. The lady who cleaned our room did not clean the room. She only gave us towels and made up beds. There was gum on sheet and she made up bed to hide gum on sheet. And the list goes on and on. My mother diabete testing stripes were stolen from her room. When she complained was told maybe someone you're with took them. Smoking cigarettes in casino very upset about that so I didn't go there. How about having 2 casinos one being smoke free? So guest like me can enjoy the casino as well. RUDE STAFF. I noticed the Philippines workers were much nicer to non-black guest!!! I personally had 2 encounter's with staff and was given such mean attitude look as if to say did I have permission to speak to this man! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our second trip on the Victory. This sailing was to Key West and Cozumel, while the previous trip was a few years back from NY to Canada. On this most recent sailing, we noticed areas that were dirty, rusted or otherwise ... Read More
This was our second trip on the Victory. This sailing was to Key West and Cozumel, while the previous trip was a few years back from NY to Canada. On this most recent sailing, we noticed areas that were dirty, rusted or otherwise somewhat neglected since the previous sailing. We had the feeling that the crew are letting things slide a bit because they know the Victory is scheduled for a major overhaul in the near future. Nothing too terrible, but wall paneling was worn and stained in our cabin and in some public areas, cushions on lounge chairs were worn out and sometimes missing, toilets and fixtures were stained. None of the issues were so bad that I would avoid cruising on Victory, but just know you're sailing on an old vessel that's ready for an update. And speaking of the need for updates, there are a few areas that really show their age due to old/bad design. For example, the buffet on the Lido deck is organized in such a way that during popular times, lines will run out of the dining room, and there were a couple times with long waits at the buffet. We tried to avoid it when possible, but on both embarkation and debarkation days, as well as when returning from the short day in Key West, there weren't really many other options. Also, while a Guy's Burger was added during a past update, it's location causes some traffic jams and heavy crowds in the small doorway between pool area and buffet area. Finally, if you don't smoke, the casino is an unpleasant place to visit. The ventilation is poor and the entire promenade near the casino becomes full of smoke. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the overhaul, as the smoke on the Victory was worse than on most other ships we've been on. Unfortunately, the biggest issue we had on this cruise was an unusual overabundance of rude, ignorant, entitled fellow passengers. We had guests running and screaming down the hallways at all hours of the night, packs of children congregating/loitering on stairways with no parents or supervision to be seen, guests singing on their balcony, full volume, at sunrise. And finally, there were a few guests that were smoking on nearby balconies, making our balcony an unpleasant spot to just sit and relax. Balconies are all 'no smoking', but it seems that Carnival doesn't (can't?) enforce this. Food: We had 'Your Time' dining. We found the food to be very inconsistent. On the first night, we had great appetizers, but the main entrees were nothing special. On the 2nd night, lobster (extra cost) was over-cooked, creme brulee' was very undercooked, but on the 3rd night, almost everything was cooked to perfection. I know it's tough cooking for 3000 or so guests, but it seems they are missing a bit of quality control in the kitchen. Staff: Our cabin steward was OK - friendly enough, and responsive when we had problems, but on arrival, things were a bit dirty, with some trash still in cans, hair in a couple of drawers, and greasy finger prints on the walls. I suspect this is due to the rush to 'turn over' the ship for the next arriving passengers - but again, like with the food, it seems a bit more quality control is needed here. Our dining staff were, like the meals, inconsistent. We had one group of servers that were excellent (KUDOS to Dino, Dedik, and I Made - they knew our names, refilled drinks, and were pleasant to talk to), and then the next night, we had the worst shipboard service we've ever encountered from a different group of servers, bringing food and drinks very slowly, never checking on us afterwards. Fortunately, we were able to ask for the first night's service crew for our remaining dining visits, so that was appreciated. Ports/Excursions: Since we only had a few hours on Key West, we took the provided shuttle downtown and just strolled to the usual tourist spots (Sloppy Joe's, Southernmost Spot, Hemingway House...). But it was a whirlwind of a tour since time was so short. Most disappointing was how disorganized the return shuttle to the ship was. There was a line stretching down the road of passengers waiting to board the shuttle...and that was an hour before return time, so we lost additional time on this already short visit. Since we've visited Cozumel several times before, we tried the KunChe Mayan ball game (Pok-Ta-Pok) excursion for something different. The tour guide was friendly and informative, and the excursion was interesting, with a bit of culture, a bit of sports, and included meal. Debarkation: We found Carnival's new debarkation procedure to be a bit confusing. They now debark 2 different groups, somewhat consecutively, but it was a bit unclear how it was going to go until groups were called. In short, if you carry off your bags, you're called to leave based on muster station, in reverse order (so muster station A is last). Almost simultaneously, but starting a bit after the 'bag people', are the folks that put bags out the night before. You get called based on tags that you pick up outside of the casino the night before, with an early group and a late group. What wasn't clear is how the early group is called in relation to the muster station groups - and even after going through the process, we're still not quite sure what happened :-) but we had 'early' tags for the luggage assistance group, and we were called after 4 of the muster station groups were called. And when you get to the warehouse to find your bags, be sure to check the 'decoder' sign posted near the bags, because your bag might not be where you'd expect (ie: we were group 9, but our bags were in area 'D' with many other groups). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose a balcony stateroom with the expectation of enjoying fresh air. From the first day we were subjected to our neighbor's smoking. We immediately complained to Guest Services. This was repeated on subsequent days: smoking and ... Read More
We chose a balcony stateroom with the expectation of enjoying fresh air. From the first day we were subjected to our neighbor's smoking. We immediately complained to Guest Services. This was repeated on subsequent days: smoking and complaints. Carnival provides extensive space both in the ship's interior and exterior for smokers. Some smokers want more. Our cabin attendant was friendly and very efficient as was the entire staff. Dining room service was sporadic. Sometimes prompt. Other times service seemed to drag on forever. Food was good and of course plentiful. Guy's Burger Joint has great hamburgers and fries. Pizza had thin crust and lacked the taste you would expect. There were no enrichment activities.The theme of the Cruise was "Fun" which means lots of action and noise at all times. Cruise Director must think himself proud: His announcements were preceded or followed by sounds resembling a stuck pig. I guess some folks thought that was fun. We thought it annoying. Bottom line:If you are looking for non stop action this ship is for you. Just don't look for any enrichment. The smoking issue and lack of enrichment impacted negatively on my, my wife's and our extended family;s overall cruise experience.Perhaps our expectations differed from the focus of the ship. We expected a quality (our definition) vacation but didn't feel we got our full money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We decided to go with Carnival Horizon because we had previously been on it’s sister ship the Vista which was amazing. We expect the same level of service and cleanliness from the Horizon. Everywhere you walked the floor was wet, not ... Read More
We decided to go with Carnival Horizon because we had previously been on it’s sister ship the Vista which was amazing. We expect the same level of service and cleanliness from the Horizon. Everywhere you walked the floor was wet, not from people walking after coming from the pool but there were leaks everywhere. The entrance to the Havana area always had a foul smell specially in the early mornings. The Havana bar offered espresso however you couldn’t order one until 10am which I found a little late..The staff was attentive, I just think upper management didn’t schedule them correctly. Sometimes you’d have a bar full of patrons and only one bar tender, it was the same for the specialty restaurants. We did one of the carnival excursions on Grand Turk with Mark (Marky Mark), he was a great captain made the trip fun and always made sure all guests were comfortable during our snorkeling trip. Our trip was truly made by our room attendant Myat, his friendly smile everyday was just so warm and welcoming. He always accommodated our every request and left all the lovely towel animals. Thank you Myat!! You’re the best! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Cruise on Carnival Sunrise 8/7/2019 thru 8/15/2019 Booked a Suite on Deck 7, Family of 2 Adults and 2 Children. We had 11:30/ 12:00 am Boarding time. When we got to the cruise port it was easy to get into the terminal. First of ... Read More
Cruise on Carnival Sunrise 8/7/2019 thru 8/15/2019 Booked a Suite on Deck 7, Family of 2 Adults and 2 Children. We had 11:30/ 12:00 am Boarding time. When we got to the cruise port it was easy to get into the terminal. First of all, I expected to see a Gorgeous ship after a 200-million-dollar refurbishment. Since we had a Suite, we had priority boarding, which I was told that we would get on the ship as soon as we got there. Then we could proceed to our room once we boarded and it would be ready and that our luggage would be there waiting for us. The room was ready at 1:30 pm and our luggage didn’t arrive until 4:15 PM. We’ve been on numerous cruises and this didn’t surprise me at all. I don’t sweat the small things. Room was nicely decorated, and we had plenty of room for the 4 of us. Bathroom was nice but there was mold around edges of outside of tub. Our Room Stewards name was I Putu, who was always there when you had a question and always Greeting you with a Smile and a Hello. He was the best room steward anyone could ask for. He always had our room spotless and made up and turned down the room very quickly. These stewards always are working very hard throughout the day. Then there’s the Breakfast Buffet in the Lido Deck. I HIGHLY recommend that you stay away from the Lido Deck breakfast lines, it was chaotic any time after 7:30am and for lunch. At lunch It took more than 45 minutes just to get a grilled cheese sandwich from the deli line with only 10 people in front of you. The lido deck buffet is seriously understaffed. These people work their tails off and have people being rude to them, which they don’t deserve. I highly recommend you go to the Sunrise Restaurant for your Breakfast every day. It was nice to sit down for breakfast and not wait in line for 30 minutes or longer. Lunch was the same way, it was like a feeding frenzy every day. We would wait for it to calm down and then go to lunch which wasn’t that bad. Food was good in the Lido Deck every day during lunch time. Guy’s Burgers was the Best, followed by the Blue Iguana Restaurant which had Taco Bowls and other fine Mexican Food, then the Pizza Restaurant. The Guy’s Bar B Queue was also Tasty on Sea Day’s. For Dinner we were in the Sunshine Restaurant at table 617. At first it seemed the workers were overwhelmed and over worked. We had 3 of the best waiters we could of asked for. The head waiters name was Henry C. from the Philippines, Team waiter Jerry Boy Gomez also from the Philippines( JERRY also worked the Italian Restaurant during lunch time) and team waiter Ihram from Indonesia. Once they got stuff together, they were outstanding. Like I said before, this ship is understaffed, and these workers are overworked. The entertainment of the Flying Scotsman was the best I’ve seen. He had so much energy and never stopped working. The guy was unbelievable. I don’t know how someone could do that day in and out with so much enthusiasm. He was just fantastic. The problem with this boat is that they added more passengers and the boat was not originally built for that many people. Forget trying to get into the Lido buffet at lunch time because you had a line from Guys’ Burgers and a line from the Blue Iguana restaurant in the way of getting access to the Lido Restaurant. You actually had to go through the seating areas of these 2 restaurants to get into the Lido restaurant. One last thing, If anyone tells you when you are booking a cruise on Carnival that you have PRIORITY over the other passengers because you booked a Suite OR HIGHER ROOM, DON” T BELIEVE THEM, they are not giving you the correct information. I went down to customer service desk and they said you stand in line with everyone else. The special line is only for the Diamond and Platinum guest only. ONE LAST THING, PRIORITY DISEMBARKATION, DON’T BELIEVE THEM, IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! We had Priority Disembarkation, on the sheet we received the Morning before we were Disembarking, it stated and I quote: arrive at 9 AM in the Liquid Lounge and you will be escorted off the ship by a Carnival Representative, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. We ended up getting off the ship at 10:30 AM and we had a Van waiting for us to get back home. Overall, we had a good time on the cruise, but the ship has a lot to be desired with, the ship was not what I expected. I thought with a 200 million Dollar makeover it would be newer and cleaner. But all they did was add more rooms and 500 more. It’s like taking 100 lbs. of garbage and trying to stuff it in a 10 lb. bag. After all, said and done, you must make the best of what you dealt with. First port of call was Turks and Caicos. Rented a Cabana, (Never did this before) at Margaritaville, what a Waste of time and money. She gave us a buzzer to ask for things that we would like from restaurant. Tried using the buzzer on 4 different occasions, she never bothered to come over, went and ordered from the restaurant ourselves. Finally, when we were ready to leave, (Guess since we weren’t ordering drinks, she didn’t care about us) she came over. She noticed that we had food and sodas and asked why we didn’t buzz her. I replied that we tried to buzz her 4 times. She picked up the buzzer and pushed it and she replied, and I Quote, it works fine when I push it and proceeded to throw the buzzer down on the counter and just walked away from us, continually stating that it worked fine for her. Guess I was lying that we pushed the button 4 times. She had a really bad attitude. I approached the Management from Margaritaville, and they said that they would take care of it. I filled out a survey card that the management asked me to fill out and I guess I won’t hear from them anytime soon. Next port was Puerto Rico: We walked off the boat and took a Taxi for $21.00 for 6 of us to Isla Verde Beach. It took about 20 Minutes or less. The beach was Beautiful, and umbrellas and chairs were very reasonable. Chairs were $4.00 apiece and Umbrellas were $10.00 apiece. Great Beach day, water was beautiful. Last port was Dominica Republic, We stayed at the cruise port and the kids enjoyed the pools and water slides that were available at the pool. We originally booked a resort for the day but with all the issues with the drinks and deaths, we didn’t want to chance anything. Well, that’s about it and we did have a Good Time on our cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose cruise on horizon for family of 5. Day before cruise, get an email from carnival sky ride is closed....... of course my kids really wanted to do that. Ship was new and spotless, crew members and director was also amazing. ... Read More
Chose cruise on horizon for family of 5. Day before cruise, get an email from carnival sky ride is closed....... of course my kids really wanted to do that. Ship was new and spotless, crew members and director was also amazing. Food was absolutely horrible and I really miss the ability to create your own salad from the salad bar (buffet) like on the dream. Guys burger joint went from being good to just okay. Dining room food horrible and if you wanted an edible steak, it costs $20 extra. Flat iron steak sucks! Made reservations in MAY, and had a confirmation email in writing from bonsai teppanyaki and when we showed up for our reservation, there was no record, nor did we have any place to eat that night......... email or not....... screw you.......lord forbid we were going to eat the rancid left overs in the buffet!!!!!! Pizza and ice cream were good. Guys pig and anchor, was good when it was free for lunch.....would NOT pay for it. Seafood shack had good fish and chips for $6......we were so hungry we were desperate for decent food. Any questions please ask. I personally felt nickel and dimed to death, and would not sail on this class of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our fourth cruise, the third one with Carnival. During embarkation, the baggage screener threw out my empty water bottle, while she allowed water bottles for all the other 5 family members with me. That started off my cruise on ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise, the third one with Carnival. During embarkation, the baggage screener threw out my empty water bottle, while she allowed water bottles for all the other 5 family members with me. That started off my cruise on the wrong footing. Guest Services: There was always a long line at guest services. I had to wait more than an hour. For the most part, they had only two people at the desk, at times only one, especially on the first day of the cruise when they would be expecting more guests at the guest services desk. Carnival Hub App: The app is great if it works. I paid extra for the ability to use the Chat feature to be able to communicate with the rest of my family. The chat did not work couple of times. When reported to the guest services, all they could say was that they have made a note of it. How difficult would it be for the technical staff to keep a tab on something as simple as an app and ensure that it is working at all times especially when guests depend on it to communicate Cabin: Cabin was great and the housekeeping crew did a good job. However if the lid on the toilet was kept open it would stink like urine all the time. Dining: The food variety on the Lido deck was mediocre, especially the desserts. The Sensation room dining staff seems to be overworked or busy to interact with guests. Some wait staff were simply rude or uninterested,, whereas others were great.So it was a mixed bag. Entertainment : Entertainment was so-so. The cast and performances lacked quality. Considering the ethnic diversity in the demographics of the guest, the main entertainment cast lacked diversity. Some of the fun staff were rude and acted more like celebrities than fun staff. Port and Shore excursions: The saving grace for us was the number of ports on this itinerary and the shore excursions which were good. Overall, other than the ports and excursions it was a very mediocre experience. We had cruised last year on a different cruise liner to Alaska. We did not feel like leaving that cruise ship, but on this one we were so looking forward to go back home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
So we chose this cruise because I liked the idea that it was refurbished and it looked beautiful with lots to do. We are 5 people in an oceanview room. First, embarkation was fantastic! We parked in the manhattan terminal parking and from ... Read More
So we chose this cruise because I liked the idea that it was refurbished and it looked beautiful with lots to do. We are 5 people in an oceanview room. First, embarkation was fantastic! We parked in the manhattan terminal parking and from the time we parked to the time we got on the ship was maybe 20 minutes all together. Easy! Our room wasn’t ready yet since it was only around 12:15 so they tell you to go hang out near the buffet they are serving lunch. First of all I’m glad we check our luggage and didn’t bring it with us while we waited because the buffet area was PACKED! I mean really bad and my first thought was this is going to be a miserable 8 days with all these people here. We finally found a seat but didn’t bother getting food because the lines were outrageous. Finally our room was done around 1:30. We get to our room after waiting for the excruciatingly slow elevators and we are on deck 2 aft. First thing I notice is our room is very very warm! I like a nice cool/cold room in the summer and this wasn’t even close. We met our room steward and immediately tell him about it thinking he would see if I didn’t have the ac on the proper setting (we did, it was as cool as the ac would go). Ok so I’m thinking once the ship actually starts and we leave it will get cooler in the room and the ac will actually kick in. So we decide to go exploring. The ship is beautiful. But yes extremely crowded. The pool area is WAYYYY too small for the amount of people, that the only times we were able to go and enjoy it was after dinner (we had early 6pm dining) so it wasn’t too crowded at that point. I guess most people were at the later dining or your time dining or at shows. Our youngest loves the pool and was what she looked forward to the most and we didn’t want to disappoint by not going so it was the only time we could really go. Any earlier and there were no seats at all and no room in the pool. The dining room was great our wait staff was fabulous, we thought the food most of the time was wonderful and the chocolate melting cake was insane!! We looked forward to going there every night. Guys pig and anchor located on deck 10 was fabulous as well and barely ever a line. Also guys burgers was great and the line moved fast, the deli always had a long line but worth the wait and also moved pretty fast. Never had too long of a wait. Overall we were pretty happy with most of the food even the room service which always said 45 minutes to an hour wait but it never took that long. We never ate at the buffet the lines were just ridiculous. I mean really bad except for one afternoon right after we got back on the ship from one of the ports we went right up to get lunch and there was hardly a line. The entertainment was great, the casino was fun, the kids enjoyed the game room although expensive and they spent too much money in there. The Dr Suess breakfast was adorable and worth the extra $5 a person. If you have little ones with you def take them to it. Back to the two worst parts of this cruise for us...the ac in the room never got better. It was always warm in the room. They came in twice to to check, had some little device that checked the temp of the room. The first guy just said he will fix it but never did so we complained again. The second time a woman came and said that the device was reading higher than 74 degrees and that she herself felt warm just standing there so she was going to have maintenance fix it and she was going to come Back the next day to check again. She never did. The ac never worked properly the whole cruise. She gave us a fan which I can’t stand but had no choice and used it anyway. After a long hot day of sitting on the beach at the ports or walking around shopping or just about anything, we like to come back to a nice cool comfortable room to unwind and relax before dinner but we couldn’t even do that since it was too warm. My next complaint is the rocking of the ship. I’m sure this is not the fault of carnival since there’s not much they can do if it’s rough waters but man oh man did I feel every single movement on this ship. Constantly feeling like I was swaying or rocking all day and night no matter which deck we were on. Those were the two worst parts for us on this cruise otherwise we had a great time and I would’ve given it a higher rating. We would sail it again if they could guarantee the rooms were cooler and there was less lines especially by the pool areas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise (4 day to Catalina & Ensenada) because we wanted an affordable, fairly short cruise. We had a great time and loved our cabin. The crew was amazing. They were always professional and friendly. We loved our cabin ... Read More
We chose this cruise (4 day to Catalina & Ensenada) because we wanted an affordable, fairly short cruise. We had a great time and loved our cabin. The crew was amazing. They were always professional and friendly. We loved our cabin steward Arnold who even fixed a squeaky door for us. Our waiters, John and Samdani were the best! The comedians and musical shows were top notch. We loved the Buffet - always good food and good service. Food in the dining room - not so good. The Caesar salad dressing had no flavor at all and the fish was terrible. From other cruises, the dining room is usually the best, so I was disappointed in the quality this time. My biggest concern was the on board bathrooms. They were consistently dirty. Not one was being cleaned on a frequent enough basis. I even saw toilet paper on the carpets outside the bathrooms. Service on some of the decks by the buffet wasn't so great. We were on the back deck and observed every table had dirty dishes/food/glasses on them and it took about 20 minutes for someone to clear them up. Then it took another 20 minutes for the same guy to come back to clean them, but he did a lousy job. He didn't use any type of spray/cleaner and on a few tables, only cleaned half the table. The other big concern - the elevators. My daughter got stuck in one and had to pry the doors open to get out. They were constantly broken. There were lots of Trivia & other games, but the prizes are tempting enough to make me want to participate. Maybe offer the winners a free drink or something, not just a plastic ship on a stick. They really need to offer more activities for the 18-20 year old crowd. I don't know if I will cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on this same cruise route before but w a different ship. This cruise w the Carnival Miracle just felt way too crowded compared to the two other cruises that we have had. The layout and the flow of people was way too ... Read More
We had been on this same cruise route before but w a different ship. This cruise w the Carnival Miracle just felt way too crowded compared to the two other cruises that we have had. The layout and the flow of people was way too congested especially around the Buffett and the pool area & to see any shows you had to get there at least 30 min early. When we started out from Tampa to Cayman Islands there was horrible shaking vibrations that lasted almost all night. It was so bad that my granddaughter who is 11 got sick and had to come down to our room to sleep because our room was not as bad as theirs. They were in the room 8238 & we were in 7186. Our room did vibrate, but not as bad as theirs . They also had toilet problems with the toilet overflowing and continuously flushing late at night and no one would answer the phone and They had to go look for someone to help them. The carpet was soaked & water running out into the hall and nobody did anything until the next day to suck up all the water. All of their towels were wet and they did not get any replacements until room was cleaned the next day. Then they finally put a fan on it. Another disappointment was the Deli, On The other two cruises the deli was fabulous. This one was so slow the line was so long and the bread was all dried out and sandwiches were Not hot, the cheese was not even melted even though grilled. The good thing was that our Cabin was clean and was always in good shape. We did not get the early dinner time that we requested so we had to go to dining in a time, but we got really lucky and got a terrific waitress name From Romania. She was one of the hardest working waitresses we have ever had. We did not get the early dinner time that we requested even though we had kids with us, so we had to go to dining any a time, but we got really lucky and got a terrific waitress name Lydia from Romania. She was one of the hardest working & sweetest server-waitress7186 we have ever had on any of the ships. We love cruising but Thank Goodness this was not our first cruise or we would have never cruised again! Also on the last day they tell people to go to the Phantom theater on the third floor. When we got there there at 7:30 for the early flights, There was no one there to help anyone and people were going to the second floor fan in theater and also the third. There was a gentleman that works there that was so hateful to us and told us why would we go into a closed door room and was so hostile about it, I tried to tell him that this is where they told us to go. ( there was probably about six couples waiting also ) he was so hostile to us, We had never been spoken to like that from anybody on the cruise and I was so shocked that I told him that he was not going to ruin my last day of my cruise . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Unfortunately not a lot great to say about Liberty. Getting on board was super easy but having never sailed with carnival nowhere in any of the countdown emails did it give us any info about our sail and sign cards being at our stateroom ... Read More
Unfortunately not a lot great to say about Liberty. Getting on board was super easy but having never sailed with carnival nowhere in any of the countdown emails did it give us any info about our sail and sign cards being at our stateroom once on board our state room was not ready so we swam for awhile until it was. We had selected early dining while our dining staff was awesome and the food generally good the portions were very small. After fist night we decided to try the buffet (big mistake) the lines are super long and the fare is just ho hum. For lunch Guys burgers are awesome but everything has huge lines. Our state room was nice we were on deck 10 forward. Our steward was good. We went on one shore excursion in Nassau to Balmora Island. While not Carnivals fault the staff for balmora and the ferry to get us there was incredibly rude. On the ship the biggest complaint other than lines is not enough pools and the super foul almost raw sewage smell on the lido deck especially noticeable around the rum bar. When attempting to take in a movie on deck at night (in between carnival commercials that were never ending) the smell was almost overwhelming. Overall the liberty is an old ship in need of a port stay for upgrades, painting, etc. A good value for maybe a weekend getaway cruise but I would not recommend it for a vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We left Fort Lauderdale and sailed to Half Moon Cay, then Grand Turk, then Aruba, then Curacao...weather was exceptional the whole time! It was our family reunion cruise and this was the perfect itinerary! We left Fort Lauderdale and ... Read More
We left Fort Lauderdale and sailed to Half Moon Cay, then Grand Turk, then Aruba, then Curacao...weather was exceptional the whole time! It was our family reunion cruise and this was the perfect itinerary! We left Fort Lauderdale and sailed to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. Carnival owns this island. This was the only tendered stop. Nice. We walked around for about an hour and returned to the ship. We then sailed to Grand Turk where we rented golf carts and road all over the entire island which is only 7 miles. We found a place called Jacks Shack and ate jerk chicken and fed all the poor dogs we could. We loved Grand Turk. Then we sailed to Aruba where all we did was shop for very nice jewelry. Aruba is beautiful. Our final destination was Curacao...weather was exceptional the whole time! We went to an ostrich farm where they had tons of baby ostriches, emus, parrots, peacocks and Japanese potbelly pigs and piglets. So wonderful!!! When I spend a lot of money to vacation, I expect to vacation way above the level of which I live day to day! The food was passable...specialty restaurants were EXCELLENT because there were added fees collected for them. The ship is overdue for renovations...rust and dust everywhere. The balcony was just nasty and I had to ask the room steward to spray the curtains which is where I assumed the musty odor was emanating from...sigh...just so that I could sleep comfortably...yes it was the curtains. The bathroom was very nice thank heavens. Entertainment on the ship was -meh- I enjoyed trivia, I enjoyed the casino. The shows were okay. Customer Service was wonderful -- EVERYWHERE!!! Very happy I experienced Carnival, but it's just a bit to "wild party side" for me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I went on cruise with family members and the food was not that good. Guy hamburgers was very good. Nothing to eat but pizza after 11pm. Carnival liberty employees damage my luggage and didnt replace anything. I had just purchased luggage ... Read More
I went on cruise with family members and the food was not that good. Guy hamburgers was very good. Nothing to eat but pizza after 11pm. Carnival liberty employees damage my luggage and didnt replace anything. I had just purchased luggage for my trip and they advise me to get it fix and send them the bill. Where can i get someone to fix my luggage at i dont know. They could have just replaced the bag because they damaged my luggage. They also need better food selection. On sunday evening they closed the mexican resturant down early and wouldnt serve anyone else. It was not what i expected. I will stick with royal carribbean from now on since i havent had any problems with them. Sorry carnival cruise line i tried to get your customer service to fix the problem but they refused. We will have 50 cabins next year cruise and it want be booked with carnival crusie line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We took two grandchildren on the short Victory cruise this week. Miami, Key West, Cozumel and a day at sea. Did the Fast to the Fun and it worked well. Got on board shortly after arriving. We parked at the Port of Miami garage D right ... Read More
We took two grandchildren on the short Victory cruise this week. Miami, Key West, Cozumel and a day at sea. Did the Fast to the Fun and it worked well. Got on board shortly after arriving. We parked at the Port of Miami garage D right across from the ship at only $88. Just walked over. The food in the Lido was limited. Not a great salad selection. It was almost impossible to get wine or beer while seated in the Lido. Good desserts though. The whole Lido experience was like an OK cafeteria. The "Chopsticks" chinese area was only open occasionally. Long lines at the Deli. And the Lido glass walls were filthy. The food in the MDR was much better and service was great. Prime Rib was rare as ordered. The Indian food slection was great. Soups and breads were very good. And Guy Fieri's burgers are delicious. The Blue Agave tacos were also good. We went to two musical shows. Both were pretty good; very energetic. The bad; the pool is so small you couldn't move. Adults drinking in the pool spilling beer and drinks.. Rude and shoving adults. Kids were fine. I'm sorry, but it was a fairly trashy crowd. Women in net bathing suits in the buffet, men with no shirts in buffet, etc. Had a balcony cabin with the bunks for the kids. Worked fine and the steward, Rommel from the Philippines did a great job. My granddaughter did go to and enjoyed on night at her 12/13/14 group activity. But my grandson age 9 hated his one time. I guess they didn't have enough kids in his 9/10/11 age group so they brought in the 6/7//and 8 year olds. He was a little offended and woulndn't go back. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We were offered this cruise last minute because the Vista our of Galveston was canceled. We were offered cruise credit because of the cancellation, so we got a pretty good deal on our first cruise. The boarding process was really simple ... Read More
We were offered this cruise last minute because the Vista our of Galveston was canceled. We were offered cruise credit because of the cancellation, so we got a pretty good deal on our first cruise. The boarding process was really simple and we received our checked luggage in a timely manner. If I had it to do over again, I would not hang out on the Lido deck upon arriving like they suggested we do because the place was so packed that we had to stand along the wall to eat. Overall, we enjoyed our time at each port, but we’ve decided that any future cruises will not include Belize because of the lack of activities they have to offer and the very poor culture that is right at the port...very sad to see and even a little scary in some places. On board there was plenty to do to keep us entertained however we learned from experienced cruisers that the Miracle is the worst that Carnival has to offer. We didn’t have our children with us, but we did go and check out the kids department. I wasn’t overly impressed, but once again I honestly feel like the Miracle just wasn’t up to par like the other Carnival ships claim to be. There’s no outside movie theater or very many activities up top on this ship like the others either. One small mini golf and one water slide. I believe they had 2 pools for everyone and one extra pool for the 21 and over area. The comedy entertainment was just ok and the music shows every night felt like I was at a cheesy Branson, Missouri show. The main attraction of cruising in our opinion as we observed others was drinking and gambling so I guess if that’s your idea of fun definitely go on a cruise. Our best moments were spent just relaxing on an upper deck watching the ocean and sunset and our favorite port was Cozumel. We also loved the fact that we could at any time go and eat on the Lido deck and order whatever we wanted from the dining hall. We found that the food offered on the Lido deck was actually better than the fancier dining hall so the last couple of days we didn’t even step foot in the dining hall except for breakfast because their breakfast was better there. We found that most everything on board in the shops was way overpriced. They seem to really push people to buy their jewelry (which I questioned to myself if it was even authentic or not). They push coupon books by claiming that you’ll receive all these really nice free gifts at each port, but in all reality the freebies are super cheap items made in China. Really what they are doing is getting you in their stores at port to try and sell you outrageously expensive jewelry that feels cheap to the touch. Don’t get suckered in! Don’t waste any of your cruise time sitting in on seminars only to receive a cheap free gift. Save your money to buy authentic souvenirs from each port or to put towards excursions. Speaking of excursions...we noticed that most excursions you could find cheaper at port rather than buying through Carnival. But when buying through independent touring companies you’re risking being left behind if their van breaks down along the way or getting injured and carnival not being responsible. Carnival doesn’t honor their word either by giving you back 110% of your excursion fee if you find the same thing cheaper somewhere else. We encountered this at Chankanaab Park in Cozumel. That’s one excursion that we’d do differently when we return with the children. $38 per adult and I believe $33 per child for the snorkeling and buffet. We were quoted $40 for traveling expenses too. Mind you this doesn’t cover the unlimited alcohol, but when you aren’t a drinker why pay for it? I really had no complaints until it came to the photo studio. Now because this was our first cruise I wasn’t familiar with the fact that the studio is totally separate from the many photo props they have available on the ship. The photo prop stands charge $21.99 per 8x10 which is a little high but doable for a nice photo. However, we were lured into the photo studio and not told the prices beforehand. The photographer did about a 10-15 min session of taking pics then told us to come back the next day to look them over. Here’s the part that really is quite disturbing to me...the photographer printed out all of the pictures on quality water proof type paper and put them into a good sized album for us. She explained to us about how this was “our love story”. The pictures were beautiful and I was so pleased with the quality. THEN, she proceeded to put a music video up on the big screen of “our love story photos”. It was so beautiful that we both cried as we watched it. Mind you, this lady had no clue of our background and what it really took for us to be together and then 10yrs later make our actual honeymoon trip. She didn’t know why we were so over the moon happy to see that video, but she left the room to allow us to finish watching it, then came back later to talk prices. I’m sure the look on my face said it all when I read prices from $1k to $3k! I believe for the photo album and music video was going to be the highest at right over 3k. I asked her if I could purchase one 8x10 of my favorite photo but she denied my request by saying they offer packages only. We walked out very sad knowing that the photo album would be destroyed. I explained to my husband that it wasn’t fair that they play on people’s emotions like that then drop a huge bombshell on them. I found it very cruel and even a bit weird that she would take the time to put the book and video together before we even committed to liking our photos. It’s a waste of their time and money. Even more disturbing was that maybe an hour later, the photographer called our room and expressed how she was sorry about the way our meeting went. It quote, “made her uncomfortable”. Well it would make me very uncomfortable too if I had to do her job day in and day out trying to rip people off and seeing couples like ourselves walk out empty handed knowing that all the photos are going to be destroyed the next day and that they wouldn’t even allow us to buy one photo or to come down on the price for the album. She tried to give us a better deal over the phone which wasn’t much better than the first so I asked my husband to go back and talk to her without me. I didn’t feel like getting upset again seeing the pictures. He said she tried the same play on emotions type tactic by turning the video on again. He asked her to turn it off, made her our final offer for the book which was of course denied and then he politely told her to be blessed and left. We decided that we could get the same type of photos taken at JCPenney for less than a fourth of their price. They’d rather totally destroy someone’s treasured memories than to price bargain with anyone. I told my husband that it was a shame to end such a beautiful vacation on a note like that. I was happy the entire time except for that encounter. It showed me Carnival’s true colors. They are all about the money and nothing else. And maybe this is how most cruise lines are, but I guess I won’t know unless I try out a different one. My advice to first time cruisers is DO NOT get suckered into wasting your money on the ship. If you want a nice memorable photo, go to the photo props but do not step foot inside the separate photo studio. Spend your money ashore on a nice massage and authentic souvenirs while avoiding the many jewelry stores, don’t make eye contact with the jewelry store workers that are standing outside trying to lure you in. Just keep on walking and act like you are French or something by not responding to them. LOL! Price check all excursions before booking them through Carnival and choose wisely which ones would be safe to do through an outside tour guide or going directly to the site to view prices. Call ahead if need be. If you choose Carnival, my advice would be don’t choose the Miracle as we heard other experiences cruisers saying that the Miracle was a joke compared to others. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Before I get into the pros & cons of our cruise let me state that anyone who takes a Carnival Cruise and has a boring time or is left hungry it's your own fault!!! We are just short of being Platinum guests and we have ... Read More
Before I get into the pros & cons of our cruise let me state that anyone who takes a Carnival Cruise and has a boring time or is left hungry it's your own fault!!! We are just short of being Platinum guests and we have experienced many levels of satisfaction on the Carnival ships we have sailed. We have been away from Carnival for two years due a very bad experience (Splendor) and Carnivals lack of concern. We (5 family members) are on the fence about next year. What we missed about Carnival and the reason we booked this cruise was that when you ended your cruise you left family behind. You really get to know your cabin steward, wait staff and ships crew. In this, the Sunshine did not disappoint. PROS We booked two Ocean Suites (7312 & 7314) the cabins were a first time experience as we always book balcony cabins. The cabins were a real treat and the cleaning crew on deck 7 was absolutely fantastic! Dining on the first day left us feeling disappointed, it was not what we were used to aboard a Carnival ship. However, they stepped up their game on the following days! The additions of Guy's Burger Joint and Pig & Anchor Smokehouse was a big plus. Having the option to order from the Steak House in the dining room was a good move! We did not go to any speciality restaurants this cruise due the good food & service in the dining room and we have eaten in them all on other cruises. My only disappointment was that I did not get the opportunity to eat at Bonsai Sushi. Entertainment aboard ship is plentiful and sometimes hard to decide between them all. Cruise Director Chris (The Flying Dutchman) was the best and most likely the top Cruise Director of any ship. CONS All the hype about the renovation of the Triumph into the Sunrise makes you believe that you are sailing on a new ship. Understand that when you book a cruise aboard this ship the renovation was mostly the addition of cabins that left little space for all the guests and many of the guests areas reduced in size. There are plumbing and hardware problems in the cabins. Indicators that much was left alone. Next to us was a Grand Suite that had a balcony door that slammed and a large family that oped and closed the door all through the day and late night. When it slammed close it shook two cabins (4 in total) adjunct to it. Our pleas to fix the door went unanswered. The toilet in our cabin (7312) did not always flush right away. Most of the time it would flush 1 minute after you pushed the button. This too went unanswered. Many of the windows on the ship have paint splashed on them. You would think that a 220 million dollar renovation would include the scraping of the new paint off the glass! On an 8 day cruise we ate at the buffet (Lido Deck 9) once.This was due the agonizing slow and long lines. Trust me, on a cruise you expect to stand in lines but not like these! I timed my time in line and it took me 8 minutes just to reach the plates and another 7 minutes at the food selection. The design of the new buffet area was extremely poor for a cruise line that specializes in moving large numbers of people. We were told that Carnival was aware of the problem and was making corrections. When? Deli was the same, always a very long line and slow service. You could not get a hotdog anywhere on deck 9 except the deli. Yes, I only had one hotdog in 8 days. Stay off deck 9 to eat and go to the speciality restaurants or the dinning room aft. Serenity area for adults was a bust! very small and no shade! Again due to max profit of cabins over the guests comfort or spaces. There is also a noticeable reduction of crew. Fewer bartenders and servers, many bars are closed and only open for short periods. Will we sail aboard the Sunrise again, no. The Carnival Victory is a sentimental ship as it was the first ship cruised from. It too is about to undergo a renovation and come to NYC in July of 2020. I hope Carnival does not make the same mistakes with this ship. Overall, Carnival gives you the best deal for the money you spend. I'm critical only because we are Carnival cruisers and as such see the changes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Ship needs a little tlc. Staff great, service great. Worse cruise so far, due to on board ship entertainment, or lack of it. Victoria was a total waste of time. All of other ports were off the charts fantastic. Food was ... Read More
Ship needs a little tlc. Staff great, service great. Worse cruise so far, due to on board ship entertainment, or lack of it. Victoria was a total waste of time. All of other ports were off the charts fantastic. Food was very good, as was all service. Definitely not a fun ship. May have to return to other cruise lines in future. If you going to Alaska, choose different line. Let's be clear, we are not picky people, just want what we are paying for. We never had a bad vacation, always find a way to have fun. *Only complaint was Victoria, total waste of time...come on Carnival, find another port!!! *Retractable roof above main pool always half closed, not very pleasant. *Entertainment was not up to par. *Public restrooms were not in good order, broken stall locks, unusable criminals, etc. Not the best Carnival experience... We were thinking of Holland on this trip, due to their years of traveling Alaska waters, and decided to go on a fun ship...didn't work out that way. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I was expecting a repeat of the last Carnival cruise we went on which was AHHHHHMAZING. We were a group of 17, 9 adults and 8 kids varying in age from 2-14. Our cabin was great with a friendly steward. First time in an aft room, will ... Read More
I was expecting a repeat of the last Carnival cruise we went on which was AHHHHHMAZING. We were a group of 17, 9 adults and 8 kids varying in age from 2-14. Our cabin was great with a friendly steward. First time in an aft room, will never make that mistake again. You feel everything. Embarking and disembarking were smooth. However, as we arrived on the ship we were ready to be in vacation mode and wanted to grab a drink. There were plenty of drinks being served as well as TOO much upselling being done with no real explanation. What cup can get what refill for what price, it was all just too confusing. I found this to happen throughout the trip. Make your drink a double for $3 more, but not if you have the drink package, buy a bucket of beers instead of 1 get a pitcher at the comedy club...too much upselling with too many rules. The night of the deck party the bars on the lido were closed. The whole drink/bar experience left a bit to be desired. Let's talk food. The breakfast buffet lines were way too long. So we ordered room service 2 days but it only arrived 1 day. As far as room service goes, I distinctly remember the last cruise having a menu with everything included. Now there's a pay side to the menu. The 24 hour pizza is tasty. But from midnight -2ish when people really need a bite after drinking and having fun the line is long. I believe part of the reason is because for $5 you can have pizza delivered to the room. They are so busy keeping up with the deliveries, they cant keep the line short for people to grab and go. Guys burgers are a must! Our dinners in the silver room were good, but not great. The wait staff was nice and friendly. I found it again annoying that they had food options for a $20 charge on the menu. A money grab that Carnival should be embarrassed about. The menu varied each night but it was nothing to write home about. My husband decided on fried chicken from the menu our last night that was dry. Entertainment gets a mixed review. NoNo, the cruise director is fantastic. It's like this job was made for her. The DJ and steel drums by the lido were great. The singers outside the casino also super, the Hasbro game show was super fun. Both comedians on board killed it, could not laugh more if I wanted to. The triva games in the flowers bar area were good too. The show Flick earned 5 minutes of my time. Lyrical dancing to decent songs gave it a big cheese factor so I ended up not going to the America show. The guy playing at the piano bar was not my cup of tea. The deck party was fun, the kids loved it. The hairy chest contest is always big fun. The dinner entertainment is the same they were doing 6 years ago. Guest relations told me since my 12 and 14 year old were already registered they could go to evening activities when they were ready. So I went to comedy show and when they showed up they were not allowed to participate bc they were told they needed to be signed in. In Nassau we just went to a public beach. For $20 we rented chairs that were set up. Nothing special, but a couple hours at the beach was fine then back to the ship. A HUGE disappointment was the Princess Cay, their private island. The beach was nice. The BBQ had overcooked burgers, blah jerk chicken and it was super smokey. It was $2.50 for a can of soda but $3.95 later in the day. I guess they needed to money however they could as the island emptied out. And on a 4 day cruise (or any amount of days for that matter) when you buy the drink package, it does NOT include drinks there which is ridiculous since it is their island. Staff was ok. I'd go with a 70/30 split on friendly and helpful to just there to do a job. The friendliness was not enough to impact cruisers to feel special. Biggest take aways...lots of lines and lots of upselling which felt like a money grab with overall underwhelming experience will definitely impact me to book a different cruise line before booking carnival again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Previously we’d been on Princess 2x, Royal, and Norwegian. First Carnival trip and picked this because the port was convenient. We purchased Faster To The Fun, which was a mixed experience. Check-in was organized but extraordinarily ... Read More
Previously we’d been on Princess 2x, Royal, and Norwegian. First Carnival trip and picked this because the port was convenient. We purchased Faster To The Fun, which was a mixed experience. Check-in was organized but extraordinarily hot - you’re carrying bags from your car, to Bldg 324, on to a shuttle in Charleston in the middle of summer. Got on at 11am with very little waiting and our room was ready. The issue was bags (FTTF says expedited). At 4pm we called and they sounded very concerned we hadn’t gotten them yet. At 4:45 I tracked down a random porter and just saw our bags on a cart. Not the best start. Food. The lido deck offerings for breakfast and lunch were fine, sometimes pretty good. Dinner and late night dining there was terrible. We had two nights of specialty dining (Asian and Italian) and they were both terrific - Carnival clearly wants their guests to spend the money for any nighttime dining. The pizza was just mediocre, with some very long lines depending on time of day. Some hidden gems for dining if you’re already booked on this ship. Guy’s Burgers was very good (warning: closes at 6pm) and the Sandwich Shop at the back of Lido was also great. Casino is the hangout spot for smokers. Bartenders, servers, and staff were very polite and fast for the most part. Piano bar was enjoyable but not a lot of song variety. We used the kids club for our daughter. She enjoyed it, but there was always a wait for either drop-off or pickup. The entertainment options were extremely poor. We’d scan the patter for something to do and it always seemed to be either a shopping presentation or Bingo. We would not go on this ship again, and are very likely going to a previous cruise line in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We did not have a lot of luck with weather this trip but Carnival's crew still managed to entertain us with some cool activities. The fun staff were great; they always had us all laughing and dancing. Some of the activities on the ... Read More
We did not have a lot of luck with weather this trip but Carnival's crew still managed to entertain us with some cool activities. The fun staff were great; they always had us all laughing and dancing. Some of the activities on the itinerary did not look interesting at first but once we got there we always had a good time. The dining experience was pleasant and the staff were great. The food in the dining room could use a little more seasoning though. David's steakhouse was amazing. Our cabin was a little banged up but clean. We had a great view of the ocean from our balcony. We could simply look out and there it was. The only downside was that we always faced the ocean and did not get views of the ports, even as we were leaving. Also a thing to note is that the sunset on the side we were on which was great but also made it a little hot and bright in the evening. Half Moon cay was super disappointing from the standpoint that they no longer have a drink package. In fact I asked at every single bar location and was told numerous times that they have not had that in a very long time (a few said that they have been there between 6-9 months and never heard of it). The same goes for the lobster shack which was not open at all. Staff told me that since they have been there (6-9 months) they have actually never seen it open. This means that your only option for food is the BBQ which is simply put...OK. If I want a burger I will go back on the ship and grab one from Guy's you know. The bird around the BBQ were cool until they weren't. They would attack food without warning. I think the most offensive part of Half Moon cay is the drink prices. Unless you stick to beer they serve everything in these little tiny plastic cups overfilled with ice and the price is the exact same as it is on the ship. Essentially you pay full price for about a half of a normal drink. There was not much to do on the island but chill at the beach and watch the fish, which for some is cool. Carnival's fun staff came out and ensured that we had music and hosted some more beach activities. The debarkation process sucked but only because people do not follow instructions. Embarkation was a breeze. Very fast, simple, and actually fun and exciting. Read Less
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