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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: September 2019
Embarkation - Terrible: To begin, parking at Long Beach is an absolute nightmare; the staff are extremely rude and unhelpful, and they refused to open the parking structure until after noon (regardless of priority boarding). Once we got ... Read More
Embarkation - Terrible: To begin, parking at Long Beach is an absolute nightmare; the staff are extremely rude and unhelpful, and they refused to open the parking structure until after noon (regardless of priority boarding). Once we got into the terminal, faster to the fun helped to skip most of the lines, but after we checked in and headed to the ship we were stopped at the gangway because apparently the agent who checked us in failed to check in my son, so he had to get his picture re-taken and passport re-verified. The Ship - Average: he Splendor is an older ship with older decor and that was apparent. The staff did a good job of keeping everything clean and presentable. But the upcoming dry-dock should do wonders for this ship. Dining - Mostly good: On the first night my son was having a meltdown at dinner and a waiter from another section came to the rescue getting him a new pizza and a 'milkshake' (strawberry bisque in a cup). This same waiter sought us out on Lido and got my kids 'special' drinks two days later as well. The second night, we did the steakhouse - the staff were darn near rude, basically snatching glasses and menus from us and overall acting as if we were an inconvenience. The remaining nights we ate in the main dining room and requested the 'savior' from night 1. He did little things like getting special cups for the kids, getting them off menu items and boxes of cereal for snacks. he was great. Kids activities - Mostly Good: Camp Ocean was wonderful for our 2 kids (2 and 4). They thoroughly enjoyed the activities, and always wanted to go back. Also, the staff would acknowledge our kids by name even outside in the elevators when they were off the clock; great people. The downside, the camp closes in the afternoon each day for 'family activities'. They didn't do the best job of explaining that you can drop them back off at 6 on Lido for 'kids only dinner', the 'closures' were kind of weird to try and line up dining and or other activities. Cabin - Exactly as expected: We had an inside cabin that fit the four of us just fine. I wouldn't recommend the Pullman for any kids due to an accident that we had. But we were able to fit a crib under the Pullman, next to the king bed. Cabin was clean, quiet, and the steward took great care of us. Entertainment - Disappointing: As far as the fun squad goes, great. The activities around the ship were awesome, and the 'Lip Sync Battle' was awesome. The comedians were decent, some were more interested in laughing at their own jokes than doing their act; definitely had funnier ones on prior cruises. But the production shows were terrible, the dancing was okay, but the singing was absolutely terrible. I am not one that expects Broadway productions, but I think the cast of Glee probably did better covers of some of those songs. Ports and Excursions - The Same: I've been on this cruise before and there didn't seem to be any variety in the excursions from before. We were not able to get off the boat in Mazalan due to an injury, but it appeared to be a very industrial area anyway, but the 'jungle' area across from the port looked very pretty. Cabo seems to be getting more 'Americanized' in the shopping near the port. Less small vendors, but still a ton of guys trying to sell you an excursion. Puerto Vallarta has a mall and a Walmart directly across the street which is convenient if you need anything or want that type of shopping. Walmart has a bunch of the same types of souvenirs as the street vendors. Disembarkation - Okay: Disembarkation was much easier because we had faster to the fun, and self carried our luggage off. However, Carnival packed all of the 'priority' guests into the dining room with all of their luggage to wait for the disembarkation process, this was a total nightmare, no room to move at all. Service - AMAZING: I saved the best for last. I have been on several cruises before and i have never experienced the hospitality and service that I experienced on this cruise. EVERYBODY addressed me and my kids by name, some of which we hadn't met before, which was odd. but everybody seemed to bend over backwards to make our experience special. The medical staff gave my son a build a bear, the dining staff sent cookies to our room, the waiter gave special snacks and cups to my kids... aside from the steakhouse, it truly felt like we were treated better than family while we were on this cruise. The kids had an amazing time and were constantly asking to go to Camp Ocean, and if we hadn't had the couple of mishaps and the injury that we encountered, this would have been the perfect trip. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the ... Read More
This cruise was a little different than my previous cruise, for several reasons. First, Charleston was being evacuated the day we were scheduled to sail due to Hurricane Dorian. We had notice that Half Moon Cay would be removed from the itinerary the day before we left, which was disappointing but understandable. Because of the evacuation, my husband and I decided to leave and head to Charleston a day early to be able to beat the traffic and the road closures and re-routes. Unfortunately, we decided that at 9:30 pm the night before the cruise, so we got to Charleston at about 1 am, got booked at a hotel, slept, and then headed to the port Monday morning. The cruise opened arrival early because of the evacuation and delayed the departure, so we really got a full day on the ship that first day-- we were on by 10 and didn't leave the port until 6. We sped east to move around the hurricane. While it was SUPER rocky due to the speed, and I did get queasy and seasick and had to lie down, we never felt unsafe. The cruise overall was really great. Beautiful weather, great communication from the cruise director about our ports and Charleston, the ship was well-equipped with lots of new features for us (our previous cruise was on a smaller ship), and a wonderful excursion in Nassau. Our steward was really great-- always available, and always had our room ready after dinner (we like evening turndown), but never obtrusive in the way it can sometimes feel. The dining room staff was awesome. Putra and his team are amazing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
My daughter and son-in-law did a Carnival Cruise for their honeymoon two years ago in October and loved it so much they wanted us to join them on a Carnival Cruise. Hurricane Darian caused us to have to leave a day early but we had already ... Read More
My daughter and son-in-law did a Carnival Cruise for their honeymoon two years ago in October and loved it so much they wanted us to join them on a Carnival Cruise. Hurricane Darian caused us to have to leave a day early but we had already planned to arrive in Tampa that day and spend the night, so we just drove from NC as planned and boarded with absolutely no problems despite only having birth certificates and driver's licenses and my having a pacemaker. We got on board, purchased our lanyards and were told that we were going to have a free day due to having to board early and leave the area that night. It meant 2 sea days before an excursion but all drinks and food were covered by Carnival for the 1st day. We ate burgers at the grill (better than any fast food burgers) and when we went to our room, all our luggage was there. Our room had a balcony with a lifeboat just a floor below. The bed and pillows were very comfortable and the shelves in the bathroom and the size of the closets were big enough to easily store our things. I am glad I brought some folding travel hangers and a glow in the dark small flashlight as well as a small plug in extra 3 regular outlets and 2 outlets to charge our cell phones, hair dryer, curling iron and camera batteries. I may purchase a larger one with more outlets before cruising again. Almost every single staff member all over the ship was pleasant and helpful and most remembered our names from the start. Jeniper and Salai our room stewards, were great and Jeniper was especially sweet. Once we had experienced Roxana from Romania as a headwaitress, we asked for her each night at the Bacchus Dining Room. She treated us like royalty and was funny and very good with names. The food was good, especially in the Bacchus. There was a bar tender we liked a lot named Jerry (may not be his spelling) who would even call out to my husband, Tom, as we walked by on our way around the ship because they had an ongoing funny Tom and Jerry routine together. I enjoyed the Marriage Comedy show a lot but not the adult comedy show at Mad Hatter's Ball done by R.T. Steckel--too crass for me. Doug who played the baby grand at Sam's Piano Bar was awesome and the disco night at Frankensteins's We loved the Pixels photo opportunities and bought a good many. Loved earning points for prizes, especially the nice photo album and the Thumb drive. My favorite shore excursions were the VIP La Casa Beach Retreat in Cozumel and the Jolly Roger Catamaran Sailing and Snorkel with Lunch at Roatan. There was plenty of time to snorkel and to eat and to shop in each of those excursions and the people working the excursions were exceptionally friendly and helpful. I ran into a little problem with my own but new full face snorkel mask and the captain of the Jolly Roger was gentle and patient and fixed me right up for my 1st snorkeling experience. The food was delicious and the guys danced with us and were very watchful of us in the water, as well as making sure we all had all to drink we wanted. Jesus at the La Casa Beach House was friendly and the pina coladas there were the best I've ever tasted--not overly sweet like most in America are. The chef made two great salsas and guacamole with chips as we watched. In Belize, we did the River Wildlife Cruise and and Mayan Ruins of Altun Ha in Belize. I loved seeing the dolphins follow the boat, seeing the Howler monkeys, and the iguanas where we had lunch. Our Mayan guide was a good story teller. At 62, I did manage to climb to the top of the Sun god's pyramid and enjoy the view, but it was a bit challenging due to the humidity and the steps being irregular and crumbly. I wish I had had more time to shop in the little row of shops with locally hand carved wood items, but it took most of our time to climb the ruin and some of our party slowed things down before we could start when we had to wait on them to join us. My only complaint about the Grand Cayman Stingray Sandbar, Hell, and Turtle Center experience was that it was rushed. Once again, we had to wait for a family that was late and so our guide had to make up for the lost time. It was fun to handle the turtles and the gift shop at the Turtle Center was a nice one. The water was beautiful where we held the stingrays and it was a fun experience. Hell was rushed but I am glad we got to see it. Disembarkation went smoothly and, although we missed our pets and the rest of our families, we were sad it was all over. We definitely want to go back to Cozumel and go on the Jolly Roger Catamaran again someday! Carnival did not disappoint! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose Carnival because it was budget friendly! It was my husband, myself and our 2 year old and 6 other family members. Went onto the ship with such hesitation as everyone seemed to have terrible things to say about Carnival and I can ... Read More
We chose Carnival because it was budget friendly! It was my husband, myself and our 2 year old and 6 other family members. Went onto the ship with such hesitation as everyone seemed to have terrible things to say about Carnival and I can tell you none of them were true. Our steward Yoga was incredibly kind and thorough. The entertainment staff Adele and Lee made us feel like family and always at home and we were hugging them when we left the ship, they were fun, upbeat, kind and caring! The entertainment was phenomenal. The Cruise Director Mat was incredible, he has the best attitude and is so good at what he does as is everyone else. Cristian and Lauren who both do bar waiting we incredible they are such nice people and made us feel at home. But Tommy the head waiter in the Renoir Dining Room was absolutely incredible! When I say personable and kind I genuinely mean he made us feel so welcomed and we requested him every single night. We had a chaotic family of 9 and he and his team we wonderful. My daughter was looking for him every single day as we walked the ship and the last night she gave him a hug and we all took pictures. He knew every single one of us by name and I hope we get to see him and the others again next cruise, that goes for all the staff. Everyone from housekeeping to fun squad was great. By the end of the cruise we felt like a family on the ship! The only con is the added extras you pay for and they can get pricey but I would do it all over again. My entire family and I have already said this was our best family Vacation we have ever had. The Gaudette Family Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose this cruise because it left from NY. Short hour drive from our home state of RI. Prior to leaving for the trip I was concerned due to all the bad reviews. I knew going in what my expectations were and was not going to let other ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it left from NY. Short hour drive from our home state of RI. Prior to leaving for the trip I was concerned due to all the bad reviews. I knew going in what my expectations were and was not going to let other people's experiences ruin my good time. The cruise overall was very good, even better than expected. Embarkation was quick in NY. We were at the port about 15 minutes before our embarkation time and got on the vessel vey quickly. I would guess from the time we arrived to the port to the time we were on the ship was no more than 45 minutes. Due to the pending hurricane forming in the Bahamas they rerouted our port of calls. The captain did a wonderful job of getting us to all the ports just in a different order. Ports of call were nice. Worst part of all of it was the late people getting on when last call was called to board AT EVERY PORT. I mean come people, you have to plan better. My 8 year old and I would sit on our balcony at every port to see the late people running to the ship. We ate 90% of our meals in the restaurants. Breakfast served in the main dining was average. Dinners served there were very good. Not sure why the food reviews were so bad. Had pizza and burgers for lunch most days. Burgers on board from Guy's were VERY good. Tasted like a 5 guys burger. Pizza was passable. Onboard entertainment was good. The shows were excellent, just not enough of them. Piano bar with Eden was awesome. That guy is an excellent performer. One issue was one of the Fun Crew was a young lady from Jamaica. They put her in charge of a lot of the trivia, but she has a really hard time reading. Why would you make her do that job? Most people could not understand what the heck she was saying and then she would get mad when the crowd corrected her. Main dining room service was excellent for dinner every night. Room steward was great as well. Overall great cruise and would sail on the Sunrise again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose this cruise as an alternative to a 4-day trip to Ocean City, MD. Celebrating the last week of summer vacation for my 8-year old grandson and my Birthday. Fun trip with LOTS of activities going on all day and night! Much more ... Read More
Chose this cruise as an alternative to a 4-day trip to Ocean City, MD. Celebrating the last week of summer vacation for my 8-year old grandson and my Birthday. Fun trip with LOTS of activities going on all day and night! Much more action going on late at night than the last 2 cruises that I booked (Royal Caribbean & Norwegian). This is a cruise for folks that want to be adventurous, dance, sing & see shows. Good family cruise Definitely purchase the "Faster to the Fun" Priority Pass. It is well-worth the $$. Boarding quickly and priority debarkation is awesome! We were literally on & off in 15 minutes each way. Great cruise director - NoNo kept the ship rocking (I mean rocking with her energy & fun dances, etc.) This is the first cruise that I actually can remember the cruise director's name. She is a blast with her Rock the Promenade Party, Dance Contests, Lido Deck Dance Party & Mardi Gras Party. Apparently folks know that she is good and book this cruise specifically to attend her parties. The "Burning Hot Brass" Trio are awesome. They play almost daily/nightly & are sure to entertain those that appreciate the horns. Entertainment shows were well put together, much better than those on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. The singers had a tough time with some of their pitches but the choreography & lighting/sound were great. Deck 5 (Pool Deck) could use some additional shade due to super hot weather experienced by this sailing to The Bahamas. Maybe some beach umbrellas or sail-like canopies could be installed so that folks could actually sit out there and enjoy the pool while not necessarily being IN the pool? This is especially true for parents that want to see their kids play in the pool & watch the folks slide down the curvy slide but just could not handle the oppressive heat. Odors - periodically during the day/evening there were foul sewage odors that were noticeable on this ship. Does the sewage treatment plant need to be replaced on this vessel? I noticed the odor whenever near a bar and its spillage drain on the floor. Smell was also noticeable occasionally on the 7th Deck in the Halls. This is caused by the traps drying out on these drains. Carnival needs to continually dump water down these drains in order to stem the smell or do something else to avoid this situation. Empty cabins on-board also lead to this odor coming up from the shower drains in the staterooms. I dumped a glass of water down our drain every time that I came into the room just to make sure that our room stayed fresh smelling, also traveled with a Glade gel-type air freshener & a small Lysol spray can. Really, something must be done in order to avoid this odor from continually appearing in Carnival Cruise Critic Reviews. This is a multi-million per year business, correct? Camp Ocean was "okay" according to my 8 year old grandson. He really enjoyed the events but was unhappy about the poor behavior being shown by other children at the camp. Fighting among brothers/sisters and among traveling cousins made his experience memorable. He enjoyed the Magic Show and the Pajama Party until he was kicked in the face by another ill-behaved, "bad kid" according to him. Like I said, this was a family cruise and several generations were sailing together. Not all of the parents were "parenting" on this particular trip. I experienced some poor parent behavior myself during drop-off and pick-up. Children that are going to be dropped off need to definitely be pre-registered with a better system. The first 2 days of the trip it was a very lengthy process to drop-off my grandson due to the confusion created by 2 different "drop-off and pick-up lists" maintained by the Camp Ocean staff. All parents should be required to straighten this out during the check-in process at the port. It made the wait sometimes as long as 30 minutes for the other cruising parents/kids. It caused my grandson to miss half of the programs that were offered at their scheduled time due to this delay. Food was better on Carnival than Royal Caribbean or Norwegian. We enjoyed the Food Options provided by Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina (Tacos/Burritos/Taco Salads), Deli, Seafood Shack ($) and Pizza Pirate for lunch and snacks. Ate from the Buffet for Breakfast due to early morning shore excursions and the Golden Olympian Dining Room with "Anytime Dining" for Dinner. Dining Room food was good but portions were small. Order 2 entrees every night in order to fill your plate. Shore Excursions: Nassau Atlantis Beach Day. The actual tour bus ride to the Atlantis was great, once we were allowed to get on! The ridiculous waiting time outside in the broiling sun was horrific. This was the most unorganized shore excursion that I have ever taken. We got off the ship at 8:30 for a 9:15 departure to Atlantis. The tour guide needs HELP! She has 3 different tours actually going on and therefore needs 3 folks helping her. There was no paddle or flag indicating which line to be in for the various Atlantis tours. We ended up all being lumped together and figuring it out for ourselves while waiting in the sun without any shade or benches. This tour needs to be staged on-board the ship in different areas, wristbands distributed and folks called off the ship in groups as the tour buses arrive. The actual port is very dirty where the ships docked. The armed military guards were a little disconcerting at the re-boarding process. Atlantis is a sight to behold. Providing the day-beach goers with a map is necessary!! We wondered around aimlessly, not knowing where to go because we did not have a map. Atlantis itself needs wall-mounted maps spread through-out the park. Marking the various areas with their name (The Cove, etc.) would also be advisable. This is when you know that you are not in the United States - very friendly attendants & Security Guards but really not enough directional signs/instructions given to folks that are used to doing for themselves. Freeport - Dolphin Encounter. The arrival and staging of the excursions was much better at this Carnival owned port. Benches and Tents provided to stay out of the sun until your tour bus departs. Tour Bus ride was SCARY, HOT & DANGEROUS! 26 passengers were crammed into a bus with only seats for 20. Funky "jump-seats" folded down into the aisle in order to accommodate the extra passengers. Definitely not approved transportation in the U.S. Air-conditioning was not working, driver went through the only red-light that we encountered on this 20 minute ride to the other side to the island. This particular van needs to be removed from service. It is barely road-worthy and will definitely breakdown with cruise passengers on-board soon. Dolphin Encounter is run by "The Dolphin Experience" Unexso Grand Bahama Island. Really fun and educational event enjoyed by everyone. The covered boat ride out to the site is an adventure. The dolphins are fun and entertaining. Actually getting in the water with the dolphins was fun. This is sea water and there are small clumps of seaweed/alga in the water. There are other small fish in the water and some of the children were afraid of them. Do this adventure since it is a once-in-a-lifetime event. You will love it. Prepare to get wet by the splashing/playful dolphins. I highly recommend this adventure, but hope that you get on a safer van/bus! Overall, great value for the money. Only real negative was the odor that occasionally was present. The other cruisers on this ship were definitely in the party mood so this was a loud, boisterous cruise. We were looking for fun and this provided it. I do not know if this is typical of the type of cruisers on this ship but it was a blast for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We like to cruise every year my family Husband and two teenage boys. This was our 5th cruise and our second on Carnival. We flew to New Orleans and stayed at the Four Points Sharaton located in the French Quarter ( not recomemended ... Read More
We like to cruise every year my family Husband and two teenage boys. This was our 5th cruise and our second on Carnival. We flew to New Orleans and stayed at the Four Points Sharaton located in the French Quarter ( not recomemended for families as it is located on Bourbon St in the middle of the French Quarter and the Kids will not enjoy the experience. Young Adults who love to party will love it. The cruise from New Orleans was a nice change from other cruises as the first part of the cruise we were able to sit on the Balcony and watched the river it was nice to not be out to sea until well after sunset. Again on the return trip watching the lights along the river was relaxing well worth the balcony. The Embarkation was quick and pain less from the hotel check out to the Lido deck was approx. 30 minutes total. We checked out at 1055 and we were on board at the Buffett by 1130. Dining we were assigned the Upper Golden dining room First off our servers in the dinning room were excellent. Sunu, Myat and Tangkas were friendly and quite fun we enjoyed conversations and had a great time with them. The dancing during table service was fun. However, I do not like the set dining times. I tried to get My time dining and was on a wait list and had the late dining. This is my biggest complaint for Carnival. They seem to try to co-ordinate shows for the various dining times however, I feel I miss something when I have the late dinning times and there is one show. You really have to look at the Fun Times to get the best of everything. I did not have very many hot meals warm but not Hot. The meals were delicious. Soups were usually hot but not the main courses. When you are feeding 1500 people between two dining rooms at one time that can be challenging. The Sea day Brunch was well used on this particular cruise. Line ups when ever we attended. The service was slower but I didn't have to fight the crowds at the buffett. (TIP) Check the Fun Times for the days the dining room is open on Port days there are far fewer people these days in the dining room as most don't realize it is open. The Kids programs My kids were engaged and I rarely saw them one was with the Circle C group and the other was with the O2 and both were gone off to the activites and did not come looking for me what so ever. I was usually in bed before they were. They both loved the cruise. On the first day a parent needs to check them in we did not realize that you could sign them in earlier in the day, and the sign in was at 830 and our dining was at 815 in the middle of our dining time. Our kids rarely ate with us other then the one manditory dinner I make them have with me. The clubs break for dinner if you have an early dining time it works out for you, me not so much. Entertainment We were able to get to one show the Motown it was excellent I have seen this production on another ship and it was still a good show. If you like Motown you will enjoy the show. The Comedy club This seemed to be a hit. It was a packed room every night for the late show at 10:00. We made the 11:15 show once and we made the pg show with our kids at 7:00 a few times. There were four different Comedians and we saw all four they were great. The Sing along with Cassidy-Rae She will be leaving the ship in a couple weeks so If you have the chance go into the Cinn-o-bar and sing along. Cassidy-Rae will try to full fill your requests. She downloaded the song Beth by Kiss listened for a short amount of time and was able to play the song and did an awesome job. Impressive how she is able to figure out the cords and play as quickly as she did. The Art Auctions I enjoy the Art auctions it is entertaing during the day. If anything go for the Champagne. Jade the Auctioneer and his team were excellent he did try to put everyone's request up for bidding. He spent a few minutes describing different pieces and moved along quickly as possibe. He did not completly focus on one artist which was nice. I did not attend the presentations as I had seen the Peter Max and Thomas Kinkade presentations on previous cruises and I was not interested. The Team were quite attentative during a discusion Kayla had picked up that I liked a certain artist and dug deep into the vault to pull out a picture that would not normally have come out on the floor. Which was nice to see they appreciate the cruisers and don't put what they want out on the floor. If you are looking for an artist be sure to ask this team they will find what you are looking for. Ports Montego bay; Grand Cayman; Cozumel Montego Bay there is nothing immediately off the ship. It is quite a walk to the downtown and the beach with the Markets. We decided to do an excursion through the ship as I wasn't sure if I would be left behind with the relaxed Jamaican attitude. Carnival will not leave you if you if you book through them there was a tour who came back late and the ship waited. River rafting and Beach Adventure. The River rafting was excellent had a great time not too physical. be sure to bring along some money to purchase drinks along the way. The Beach portion of the tour, I could have done without. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe Beach it was small and you had to pay extra for the use of chairs and umbrellas on the beach. It was a very small beach and a lot of Jelly fish were in that day. Good thing the beach visit was only an hour. Grand Cayman Lots of shopping right off the ship. We shopped till we dropped and enjoyed the day. Cozumel Again shops right off the ship. I have been to Cozumel before and should have done an exucursion here this time, to enjoy myself. And since this is a popular port with 6 ships in port. Excursions will book up. If you like the markets in Mexico then it wasn't a bad day. Other then it was soooo hot. but, you can't control Mother Nature. Carnival Hub App This is a great way to quickly look up where to eat and the activites of the day. You can track your spending and book excursions. There is also a chat between cruisers for $5 per device. I do recommend downloading the App. (TIP) Read the Fun Times as well. As not all activities are on the App. For example The App stated check in to the Camp Ocean was at various times however, this was also for the older groups as well and I would not have had to go during dinner. I didn't know it referred to all the Kids Clubs. And some repetitive activites are not always on the App. They are getting better with the App and I suspect Carnival will go paperless soon however, it still needs some work. I avoided the Casino and activies near the casino as much as possible since it is the primary smoking area and I don't not enjoy the smell of smoke. Which is hard to do since it is in the middle of the ship. I found there were some ignorant smokers who were smoking practically everywhere. If you can believe one guy was smoking in the elevator. Another on the balcony. The ventilation on the 5th floor is not great and you do smell smoke around the Casino. Most portraits are in this area and I did not wish to be in Elegant dress and walk through smoke. Disembarking We had a late flight and wanted the latest possible time off. We enjoyed breakfast in the dinning room and waited up on the Lido deck until they called our number. The line moved with little wait and the whole process was less than 15 minutes. TIP: Pack a sweater/jacket as the air conditioning works very well on this ship. I often went outside to warm up. All and all my family and I enjoyed our vacation and will cruise again. 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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We had FTTF and at 5PM our bags were not delivered yet. We found them out on a dolly in the mail hall and took them ourselves. Our room steward said we should tell customer service since we paid for that servcie and did not receive it. We ... Read More
We had FTTF and at 5PM our bags were not delivered yet. We found them out on a dolly in the mail hall and took them ourselves. Our room steward said we should tell customer service since we paid for that servcie and did not receive it. We received a call from the service manager the next day and we were refunded FTTF in full and still permitted to use all FTTF perks for the cruise duration. Carinval hub app worked great for me. Had to log out, back in a couple of times, but that was the worst of it. Southern Lights dining room-we requested a large table with strangers-first night we were in a booth alone. Neon and his crew were fantastic. Maitre D switched us to table 628, Mihaela and her assistants; Anom and Komang were our servers for the remainder of the cruise and they did not disappoint. Absolutely fabulous! Set up of ship is disjointed. I've only been on four ships, but liked the layout of this one least. Diffucult to move from floor to floor and aft to forward. In the big pucture of cruising, it's not a 'real' problem. It's just worth warning you about. Food demo at steakhouse-half hour ish. They give you samples to try of each item made and recipes to take home. Great way to sample. Shows were not as good as I'm used to. Also, timing with early dinner was kind of off. We didn't usually get out of dinner until 7:30 ish which is when the shows started-on opposite side of ship. Lip sync show was hysterical though! Basketball courts were closed during all dinner times due to their location and dining rooms-bouncing noise. This was a disappointment to my family who loves basketball. Grand Turk Rainbow Calypso Tour with Austin-If you are looking for a down to earth tour-with the reality of the island, spend the $30 pp and go inland and support the local culture/economy by purchasing a thing or two. Merchandise is similar to what you'd find in a straw market going down the road without the harassing behavior of other islands straw markets (Nassau). Free roaming donkeys, see the light house, and salt marshes. Back at ship, public beach is right there. And walk 500 yards up the beach (to the right if you are facing the ship. Left if you are facing the island), to Jack's Shack for lunch. Super friendly. Go to their website before cruise and sign up for a free rum shot. Half Moon Cay-Splurge on the $600 Beach Villa. You will not be disappointed. If that's too much money for you, find a family to split the expense with-still worth it! Shade from the sun when you want it. AC, hot tub, assorted snacks (fruit, veggies, nachos, dips/salsas) and drinks (sodas, bottled water), cooler with ice, refrigerator, towels, snorkel gear, floating mats, private bathroom with shower. We had Villa 'A' right next to Captain Jack's Bar. Perfect walking distance to grab lunch from BBQ and bring back for family. Right in the midst of the excitement with the privacy and space of the villa. Hair braiding-full head-$60, half $40, per braid $4. FYI the braiders are paid hourly as straw market employees (not Carnival employees) and not paid as the artists they are. They are totally exploited. They do not have to share their tips with the straw market though. My daughter got a full head of 66 box braids for $60 plus a $50 tip and that's still a fantastic deal. Had to skip Amber Cove and go to Nassau because of Hurricane Dorian. Excursion-Blue Lagoon Island Family Beach Day. Cleanest, prettiest island I've ever been to. $80 pp incluedes lunch and access to whole island. Dolphin, sea lion, sting ray interactions extra, but just viewing them and taking selfies-no charge. North Beach was literally empty. We were the only four there! Incredible views. Lunch was tasty too. Lunch server was a sweetheart who insisted we try the BBQ chicken-she was right! It was great and I'm not generally a BBQ chicken fan. I'd get it again. Every single staff memeber was fantastic on board the ship. Reviews that I read complained about constant lines. Thats only sometimes true and lines did move reasonably quickly. Pools always crowded. Aft pool always less crowded than mid. Club O2 was not as good as my daughter was used to. She felt the counselor didn't really do anything. For example, she shwoed up for a scavenger hunt. Counselor told kids to put themselves in groups of three. No one moved. So, no scavenger hunt happened. Several 'events' went this way and never happened. My daughter did make friends and 'hung out' with them, but no organized 15-17 teen activities actually happened. She had loads of fun despite this , but wishes activities happened. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Had a great time on the Victory sailing to Key West and Cozumel. Great medium sized ship, very upbeat vibe and the staff was spectacular. Fastest embarkation and debarkation we have ever had. This is an older ship, so does not have all of ... Read More
Had a great time on the Victory sailing to Key West and Cozumel. Great medium sized ship, very upbeat vibe and the staff was spectacular. Fastest embarkation and debarkation we have ever had. This is an older ship, so does not have all of the bells and whistles of the newer ships, but it has that awesome vintage cruise vibe with lots of fun to be had and very relaxed atmosphere. Food was very good. Guy's Burgers awesome poolside on Lido deck, with no lines. Formal dining room service was excellent and food above average. Coffee bar on Promenade was delicious for specialty coffee and milkshakes. Casino slots loosest I have seen on a cruise. The only complaint I had was the super long wait at guest services. Having to wait on line for an hour in the middle of a beautiful sea day was not ideal. We had a fabulous time overall. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with ... Read More
Although we are seasoned cruisers, this was only our second cruise on Carnival. Last year, we cruised on the Triumph out of NOLA and had a really great time! With the exception of rain we had a great time! We did not fair well with excursions. Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy the cabana that we took on Balmoral due to weather. We also did not get to go on Half Moon Cay. Although some passengers managed to leave the ship, they were brought back due to the bad weather. We watched the tender pull up next to the ship and the captain had to reposition the ship so that the passengers could get back on the ship safely. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 midship. It was probably the roomiest inside cabin I ever had. Lots of closet and drawer space. Mel, our room steward, was wonderful. He made up the room twice a day and made sure we always had ice as we had requested. Food in the dining room was good although somewhat slow. We really enjoyed the seaday brunch....lots of choices! My only issue was that I drink hot tea and when I asked for it, I got the hot water first and then had to wait for the tea bag. Not sure why they just can't bring it all together. We enjoyed Guys...such yummy burgers! We had gotten a gift card to use on Carnival and we decided to go to Fahrenheit 555...the steak house. I can honestly say I have never had such a delicious meal. The service was incredible. A special shout out to Sheetal and Victoria, our servers. They really made the experience! We enjoyed it so much that we made reservations again. Our servers, Ilona and Stanley were awesome as well. An additional comment on the dining room experience. On Cruise Elegant night, someone at the next table was wearing a baseball hat and several people at that table wore shorts (the basketball type). Why these patrons were not asked to leave as the rules state, they enjoyed their dinner in the main dining room. Either adhere to the rules or don't have them. We spent our time on the Serenity deck and enjoyed the relative quiet. I will say that the pool is small but we always managed to find a spot and chairs. From my perspective, the family pool seemed a little on the small side but since I didn't really spend any time there I can't elaborate. Shows... I was not impressed with any of the shows. I didn't find the comedian particularly funny during the adult only show. Maybe he was better on the earlier shows. The singers and dancers were awesome but I felt that each show was the same except for the songs and costumes. Would have liked to see more variety in the shows. The piano player was lots of fun. I don't remember the names of the the singers in the atrium but they were all very good. We are not drinkers so I can't attest to bar service other than to say the bars were always crowded. Overall, we had a great time and although our next two cruises are scheduled on other cruise lines, I would definitely cruise Carnival again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise was amazing! Ports were Amber Cove, St. Virgin Island, PR, and Grand Turk. It took only 45 minutes to get abroad the ship. People were very friendly. The workers are great and always speaking. Not one employee was on a ... Read More
This cruise was amazing! Ports were Amber Cove, St. Virgin Island, PR, and Grand Turk. It took only 45 minutes to get abroad the ship. People were very friendly. The workers are great and always speaking. Not one employee was on a cell phone the entire cruise unless they were high in authority. They work extremely hard. The food was good all over except the dining room food quality food appeared not top notch, which was fine. Plenty of other places to eat...and guess what you can try everything on the menu! The comedy shows were great....Just June and Billy Washington, were funny as heck! There were always plenty of deck chairs on the Lido deck and it was 3742 guest aboard the ship. Our cruise Director MarQ, was great and funny as heck! Some people did not care for him, but heck, who can make up jokes in a second, so kudos to him! From the all white party, to the Serenity Adult Only section, to the "Chicken Sandwich" at the deli, I thought I was eating a Popeye's chicken sandwich that everyone is going crazy over! I will say there were children, but many played in the waterpark and it was not an issue. I just believe Carnival should make the public pools alittle larger and create an adult only pool. They now have lifeguards at each pool which is a plus. The best excursions were St. Thomas, Kon Tik Tik Tour, was great...water was BEAUTIFUl and plenty of rum punch. We opted to take a tour on Grand Turk with a beach excursion and so glad we did, which allowed us to go to a private beach. They served us their island spice cake which was good and complimentary water. A bus was present to take any persons back to the ship when they were ready. I am a beach girl, so I stayed! I loved the Carnival Breeze and is in the process of booking again in August 2021 for a girls trip. However I will say Disembarkation was a mess...only TWO customs workers for 4000 persons....trick...get a porter to handle you luggage...lines move quicker! Great ship, people, food, entertainment, excursions, casinos, movies outside with movie blankets and popcorn! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We have cruised with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and NCL in the past and chose this cruise base on price. This was our second Carnival cruise and was a lot better than our first experience on the Dream. I had a lot of reservations before ... Read More
We have cruised with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and NCL in the past and chose this cruise base on price. This was our second Carnival cruise and was a lot better than our first experience on the Dream. I had a lot of reservations before boarding based on reviews I read here but we did not experience any of the issues I read about. Embarkation was easy and we were on board by 1130. Our cabin was nice and clean and everything worked as it should. Saw a lot of complaints about the air not being cold enough, but our was working great and would cool the room down as much as we needed it to. Our room steward was awesome. One of the best we have had in our handful of cruises. He always made sure the room was clean and stocked with towels and was apologetic anytime we came back and the room was not done up yet. Not that we were concerned, but it was nice to hear he was and tool pride in making sure he did his job well. The ship itself was really nice and didnt experience any issue. The shows we were to were excellent, the comedy club was fun. The pools, even though small, did not seem to be overly crowded whenever we went, even on sea days much to our surprise. The same for the water park as well. The only disappointment we had was to food selection, especially for kids. It was not obvious that you could get chicken nuggets in the Lido. You had to ask for them instead of them having a dedicated area for kid friendly foods like we have experienced on other cruise lines. The Sapphire restaurant was great and the food selection there was nice. We experienced the steakhouse for the first time on this cruise and it was nice as well. Our head server in the Sapphire was awesome. Took care of my kids and made sure they were happy with what they had. We have always been skeptical of Carnival as they have the reputation of being the party boat, but we did not experience this on this cruise for the most part and we really enjoyed it. We have young kids and dont want to deal with all the drunk people all the time. Although there was one night at 2am we were woken up by a group of drunks walking down the hallway screaming and yelling, but thats it. All in all we were really happy with this cruise and will be looking for future Carnival cruises now based on this experience. I guess my advice for those that read this is dont let the negative review ruin your cruise or swade you from trying out Carnival or any other cruise for the first time. You can make you own experience and have your own fun in your own way. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we ... Read More
Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we vacation in OC NJ, this crowd was more from Wildwood. We chose this cruise since we could drive to the port, overall it was a simple process. We parked and off loaded our luggage; and it took less than 10 minutes to get through security and onto the ship. The buffet lines were long for lunch on embarkation day, Guy's burger joint and the mexican place had long lines too (hint: go upstairs above the mexican place and eat at the Pig and Anchor, decent BBQ food and there was no line). You can also get a pizza delivered to you anywhere on the ship, this would be another idea on embarkation day, just use the app the pizza delivery guy will come to you, cost is $5 for delivery but it beats standing in line for 20 minutes. The pizza was awesome! Many other reviews complained really bad about the buffet lines and the 2 choke points...these reviews are accurate but just do you best to avoid those areas and you will be fine. The choke points were crowded but they encompass 10 feet of the entire ship, not the end of the world! Avoid the breakfast buffet line by going to the restaurant for breakfast, no lines! Kids loved the water slides and water splash area! We never really had an issue getting a lounge chair, maybe we were lucky but it was fine for us. We used Anytime dining: perfect with the kids since they wanted to stay outside for a while. I made reservations on the app 5 minutes before we wanted to eat every night and it was not an issue. You have to walk around the casino bar (yes, I agree with everyone else that it is a stupid design to walk through a smoky casino bar right after you grab a shower so I can get to dinner!). Drinks were a bit hard to come by in the restaurant, the waiters are all running around but the service is a bit below average. We grabbed drinks at the Alchemy Bar which is on the way to the dining room. I even ran out to grab drink #2 because it was easier than waiting. **You are allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine on the boat on embarkation day and you are allowed to carry it to your room. Read the alcohol rules, it is permitted. We each brought a bottle. Some night she filled a glass and carried it with her to dinner, it saved about $12/drink. My wife had the salmon and loved it, I had the flank steak (it was more of a sirloin as opposed to a thin flank but it was really good). I ordered multiple meals every night, and usually had the flank steak too. She had the salmon several times and like it. Avoid the seafood medley, seafood was overcooked and it was kind of bland. Several of the mushroom apps were good and there was a mushroom veg entree that my wife really liked. Kids menu was simple, spaghetti, burgers, hotdog, chicken fingers. They like ordering a few desserts each night. The Carnival Hot Lava cake is great every time! On Bermuda day: Get to the buffet early. Everyone is going to the buffet, it was really crowded, I would try to get there by 8am. We arrived around 9:15 and it was jammed. We went to horseshoe beach, take a taxi, it costs about $32. The shuttle bus costs $7/person which is $28. Don't bother renting an umbrella, there was another ship in port with our ship and the beach was jammed. By noon you can grab a vacated umbrella before the staff packs them up. The line for getting back was really long, I stood in line for about 20 minutes while my wife and kids played on the beach. We took a taxi back, same cost of $32. Shuttle bus line was 3x as long. We got our photos taken all of the time on the way to/from dinner. Usually this is annoying, but the kids thought it was a special thing. And honestly, the photos really came out great, my wife ended up buying a few of them. The photographers normally harass you, but these photographers were very friendly and really enjoyed their job. After dinner, we would hang in the Red Frog pub, foosball and shuffle board and board games are hidden in the back and kept he kids busy while we drank beer! The Flying Scotsman was worth the price by himself! Be sure to attend the R&B Night in the lobby bar. There was no lie probably 1,000 people in the bar, stairs, mezzanine, and upper floors looking over the rail. The whole place was singing and he was dancing and singing on the bar. Simply awesome! He does a 1 man show that was pretty good as well, not as crowded as the R&B show, but he sang opera which was pretty neat to see (I like Classic Rock and he did a lot of that too). Our kids did not do Camp Ocean, they wanted to stay on the water slides so I cannot rate the children's activities. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Just to put a few things in context- We are a family from the UK and have only ever done a 2 day mini cruise on Britannia. I'd call us pretty low maintenance! We wanted a short cruise just to break up the Orlando parks and ... Read More
Just to put a few things in context- We are a family from the UK and have only ever done a 2 day mini cruise on Britannia. I'd call us pretty low maintenance! We wanted a short cruise just to break up the Orlando parks and generally to see if we like cruising. Lets be honest that Carnival is the cheapest option for this kind of trip. A 4 day trip with RC would have been almost $900 more!! Over the last few months we were really concerned about the huge number of bad reviews and we seriously considered cancelling! I am so glad we didn't. We had a blast!! I noticed that many bad reviews started "this is our 8th cruise......" or "we wanted a last minute chilled out break.....". If that's the case then this cruise isn't for you (hence the title - do your research!). Its a mini cruise for first timers and extended families who want to eat and drink all day. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship in half an hour. Parked easily on the car park, which was much quieter than I expected. We had an Ocean suite forward. Great location near the lift and stairs. Cabin was great. Good size and very helpful steward - Sherwin! In contrary to many other reviews - absolutely no smell in the room or corridors. Also fairly quiet since this is a busy 'party ship'. Pools very busy but no real issue with sunbeds. Its a party atmosphere. Bars are busy because everyone wants cocktails. I'd suggest a separate bottle bar for beers. Costs are about $6.50 for a beer and $9 for wine / cocktail. Movies or parties every night on the Lido deck. One issue - no bins for waste food. Therefore people leaving uneaten burgers and pizza everywhere and not enough staff to clear them up quickly. Food - Fantastic apart from the buffet. Constantly crowded. I mean all of the time. Just never lets up. Don't think we'll go for a late breakfast and miss the queues. You won't it will still be hammered with people ordering 5 omelettes. We had anytime dining in the Golden Olympic Restaurant. Great food, great staff, quick drinks! Staff are really outstanding. Nothing too much trouble. They always remember your name. Bars - apart from the busy tequila and rum bars, they were great, quick service reasonable prices. Loved the sports bar and lobby bar (where I stormed the rock music quiz!) We really enjoyed the entertainment which was a film based musical and rock show. Only 45 mins but did the trick. OK if you've cruised 8 times and seen Cirque du Soleil on RC you'll be disappointed, but we loved it. Our daughter used the kids club a couple of times and loved it. It allowed us to use the adults only deck. This was OK, just a sun deck, bar and hot tubs without any kids. The cruise was effortless ad you couldn't tell you were moving. But I think this ship moves slowly as we we quickly overtaken by other ship. Nassau was great. Very easy to get off the ship and you're right next to everything. Freeport less so. Not much to do. NoNo the cruise Director is great. She puts the hours in!! This has got us hooked and we're already looking for next year. This is only not a 5 Star review because of the constantly busy buffet and no bins for uneaten food. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had a cabin on deck 8 and it was a balcony. We went to Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel. Embarkation was fast and easy. Arvin was the best steward ever. He helped us with water, extra pillows, mattress pad, and kept things clean. We ... Read More
We had a cabin on deck 8 and it was a balcony. We went to Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel. Embarkation was fast and easy. Arvin was the best steward ever. He helped us with water, extra pillows, mattress pad, and kept things clean. We only requested service once a day because we tend to be in and out of our cabin a lot, and he was great about keeping things tidy while we were away. We got to enjoy towel animals regularly even though we were only traveling with adult kids. No matter the age, we still enjoy the fun stuff! Very nice man! The cruise director and her staff were probably the best we've ever experienced. Emma and Laylay and the gang were lots of fun. Make your way to the atrium lobby for music and dancing (ignore that it says music trivia; it is really about a party time). We loved the Clue game, but we arrived a couple of minutes late to the first event and didn't get all the instructions or starting "book". I tried to check in with the staff about it, but apparently there were not enough copies. I asked about it but I guess I was misunderstood. It would be nice to add the instructions for the game to the hub so that people can join in. There seemed to be enough clues available at the cafe, but one of the in person clues was during our dinner, so we didn't get that one (8:15 first night). My 20 year old enjoyed the clues and the daily sudoku.The hasbro game and love and marriage were really fun to watch. I only saw one comedian. He had some funny stuff, but a lot of it was just so so. I'm not big into disparaging humor. My son really liked it. We were looking forward to some nice photographs, but only bought one. I'm glad we didn't get the package beforehand. Pixel sets up for evening shots in crowded areas. I did find out that in the atrium lobby, there were some backdrops set up without as much crowding. The photo we bought from Pixel had us pretty crowded, so we were not centered with space on either side. I would have stood in line for some of the other spots if I had not set up an appointment with Dreams Studio. Dreams Studio is a great idea if you have the time and stress level to get it done. However, it was not what I imagined. First, the girls (me and my daughter) were running a couple of minutes late, so that affected my stress level which no doubt affected the experience (my bad). However, my husband and son were on time and got their photos done, then my husband and I, then my daughter joined. So really, the photographer did not have stand around waiting for us time. They only schedule for 30 minutes total. We were told when we got there that it would be only the black backdrop photos. We would not have photos taken at any of the pretty places on the ship. I had also asked about beach shots. In the initial emails, he told me that we could check with him once on board. However, when we got on board and asked on the phone, he said that it was too short of a cruise. I would have hired a photographer at port if I had known before that. Heck, even some photos in the Havana room would have been nice with their pretty chairs and window shades. All we were told was that the deck was too windy. They were not upfront about a few things. I asked for pricing starting with emails and kept getting put off on it. So I did not see pricing until our appointment to see the photos on the last day (we had an appointment for two days after our sitting, but we arrived early and were asked if we could put off from our 7:30 appt until 8:00; which we couldn't because of dinner, plus, who wants to run down to the Havana room over and over (it isn't easy to get to)). The $149 package includes only 2 prints. It would be $299 for 3 prints). To get any digital, you have to pay at least $200 for one photo and that includes the release. Packages started at $499 after that. At this point, the photographer was getting pretty testy/abrupt/snarky (which was evident at other times with our interactions as well). We ordered 2 prints for $149. This was our 25th anniversary celebration, so I was hoping for at least something. When we picked them up on the last day, the one of my husband and me was nice, but the one with us and our two kids was very dark with deep shadows on the sides of our faces. That is not how it looked when we saw them in the studio. We asked to speak to the photographer, but admittedly did not remember his name. The other photographer came by and agreed that it looked dark. He tried to contact the one who took our photos, but that one apparently just said they could reprint (for which we would be responsible for finding them to get it before getting off the ship) or we could get a refund. No offer of the other one that printed correctly for a lesser price (I would have paid 80 for just the one). No offer to reprint it correctly and have it sent to our room. No offer to reprint it and mail it to us. All of it was for nothing. Very disappointed. I should have stuck to my usual professional photographer at home. It felt very much like low balling and switch and bait. A waste of our time. I'm glad I took the one with Pixels right after, or I would have nothing to show for all that time. This is of course only our experience. I hope others have had much better. Casino: I like the computer poker table because we can play cash games. The poker tournament was a bit crazy though. $150 buy in. Only 10 people total (so get there early). Only 1st place is paid with $750 and seat in $175,000 tournament on another cruise (cruise not included). 2nd place (me) got a seat to that big tournament. I found out later that we could have both quit at the same time and split the pot at the cage, but didn't know it was possible with the computer set up. Please, note, they did not have a dealer or anyone watching the game, so this costs them no money beyond the computer poker table. The slots are VERY tight. The dealers at table games did well. I did not see any errors and they were always nice and friendly. Bingo includes just 3 games each time at $40 for dauber, 9 cards per game, and pull tab game. You get extra cards for the last game which can win $5000 if blackout in 49 balls. Food really ranged from excellent to average. The carnival cake is wonderful. I had ordered an anniversary cake that was also very good. It was too big to eat the first day, so we found a way to shove it in fridge. They do not provide a box so that you can eat later. Filet mignon, lobster, pizza, french toast, bacon were all good. Bread for dinner was definitely good!!! Salmon was dry, scrambled eggs were runny. Waitstaff was fun. Drinks from the bar were pretty good for the most part. We did not book shore excursions from carnival. Now that they are price matching better, we probably should have. This 6 day cruise made for little time in the ports and they were 3 days in a row--exhausting. The itinerary says 8 hours, but that is not really how much time you have once you dock and so forth. carnival excursions guarantee you will get back on board in time. That is definitely a plus, as we watched arrivals well after the time we were set to leave. Disembarkation was a bit long, but to be fair, we didn't understand to get the luggage tags early (look for them the day before on deck 5 midship). We should have listened to Emma better, lol. I definitely will choose a 7 day over 6 day next time. However, on the Freedom, it does not feel overcrowded (except during photo times) and did not have long lines. It is a trade off to consider when booking your cruise! Overall, I rate it as number 2 out of 5 cruises that I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Dream is a conquest class ship so it has the atrium elevators that hit most floors. It is really a shame they put this extra elevator bank in the Forward of the ship where the elevators are needed the least. They would be much more useful ... Read More
Dream is a conquest class ship so it has the atrium elevators that hit most floors. It is really a shame they put this extra elevator bank in the Forward of the ship where the elevators are needed the least. They would be much more useful mid or aft, especially when they reserve elevators for luggage or repairs (elevators showing floor X). I would say the Dream is close to what I recall Magic being when we went 5 years ago. I prefer parts of the Dream over the Vista we went on a month before. My wife prefers the Vista. I didn't notice any issues with teenagers acting up on either ship like we have seen in the past. A lot has to do with the current passengers for your ship experience as I've noticed from reviews. Entertainment: Piano guy Mike was more friendlier on Dream than the guy on Vista. The 3 violin female group had MUCH better synergy on Dream than the group on Vista. The duo on Dream was better than the duo on Vista. The latin on Dream sounded awesome in the Song room! Not sure if they mixed it well, had a good sound guy, or just themselves had a good sound but they did sound great. Never did have much of a crowd for them though, probably because Song is kind of hidden away in the back of the ship. Dream had 2 comedians whereas the Vista had 2 and then switched for another 2 midway through the cruise, hence, had many, many more performances of comedy. The steel drum female on the Dream I didn't care for nearly as much as the steel drum guy on the Vista. Wish he had sold cds. Apparently Carnival does not rebroadcast the main events on the tv anymore like they use to for ice carving, marriage show, morning show, etc. So we went to see the ones we missed on the Vista but expected to see. The remote controls previous channel button never worked on either ship. Dream still has a lido deck cam whereas the Vista does not. Vista has more cams showing outside the boat. Food: Overall service in the dining rooms was lackluster. Reading other reviews, and previous trip on Vista, it seems this is currently a Carnival norm. I had to constantly ask for refills on tea and waitstaff was usually scarce in the dining rooms (even though there are 3 people assigned to your table). Food was average. I stayed Keto so I stuck to staples (chicken, fish, steak without gravy when it was 'allowed') as all desserts and gravies on Carnival are filled with sugar (even the soups!) and cornstartch thickeners. The dinner waiter said he asked chef about leaving gravy off a number of dishes I asked about and was told it had to be a 'special' request at the start of the cruise. One chicken item was "marinated 2 days" in orange sugar sweet stuff, forgot how it was said exactly. I seriously doubt they have room to marinate food that long unless that is simply how it is stored for the duration of the cruise. I ate breakfast in the dining room so I could ensure my eggs (sunny side up) were real and not from a starch powder or liquid carton like cruiselines use for scrambled/omelettes). Next time I'm definitely taking my own atkins bars to eat as desserts or snacks to make the week more bearable. I'm not going to lie, it was somewhat depressing not eating a lot of the food and getting tacos/burgers and not eating the shell/bun. I got some relief after returning home to see I stayed within a 5 pound range for the week, go me! Room 9302 just under lido deck of rooms was good, and got cold! We actually increased the temp some to get comfortable (and we normally prefer it cool as opposed to luke warm). As for Cozumel and Progresso, we just stayed in the tourist traps and then get back on the boat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We live in NY and chose this cruise as a nice family get away since it left from NY and we would not have to fly to get on the ship. Embarkation was a breeze. We got to port and walked right on to the ship. We ate at Lido deck any by ... Read More
We live in NY and chose this cruise as a nice family get away since it left from NY and we would not have to fly to get on the ship. Embarkation was a breeze. We got to port and walked right on to the ship. We ate at Lido deck any by the time we were done our rooms were ready. We had a Spa balcony on the 10th floor. The room was clean, ample space, great light. The temperature was perfect. Our room steward Constantine was terrific! The spa amenities were amazing! I will admit, I got really nervous prior to the cruise as I was reading all the reviews, but quite honestly, it really isn't that bad. I agree that they redesign of the ship made the Lido marketplace smaller and led to very long lines during peak times. The air conditioning can was hit or miss in different areas. However, there are lots of places to eat on lido or nearby, all quick with no lines. Also, if you altered when you went, even the buffet had short lines. Deck chair availability is the same as I have seen on every ship! You have to be there early to get a pool side seat. I typically came to Lido around 7:30 and never had a problem, even on sea days. The pools were small but not all that much smaller than other ships of this size. I was able to enjoy less crowded pool before lunch time. I never saw dirty dishes. The crew were quick to constantly clean and pick up dishes. Entertainment was great. We went to the shows in the Liquid Lounge most nights. We never had an issue getting a seat. We typically got there about 10-15 minutes before the show. You really can't show up at 7:29 for a 7:30 show an expect prime seating.. and that is on any ship! Chris (the Flying Scotsman), our cruise director was fabulous! This is our second time sailing with him (previously on the Vista) and he always makes it a fun time. We were wait listed for late dining and it did not go through so when we got on the ship, we were given any time dining. After a quick chat with the hostess on the first night, we were given a late dining table for the remainder of the cruise. Our wait staff were terrific, going above and beyond. One member of our party was not feeling well and our waiter took the food from Deck 3 aft to Deck 10 forward (all the way forward!!) for 2 nights so she would not have to wait until we finished our meal! The food was good.. same as on other Carnival ships we've been on. My husband asked for "more authentic" flavored Indian vegetarian and the chefs delivered! They even special prepared some dishes for him. We ate breakfast in the MDR on port days. Always quick and delicious! Other places we ate at were Guys & Blue Cantina, both really good! Service throughout the ship was terrific! Everywhere from Lido, to MDR, to liquid lounge, casino, bars, cabin crew, spa, fun squad... not a single complaint. Always smiling, always helpful. In addition to enjoying the thermal suite ( which was included with our balcony) we went for a few different services in the spa. The massages were amazing!! And all of the spa staff are lovely. We participated in a lot of the activities around the ship, from games to trivia to shows. There is plenty going on around the ship. You can choose to do as much or as little as you want. Ports: Grand Turk: We love this port. We took a quick cab ride to Pillory beach.. one of best beaches on the island San Juan: We've been before so I decided not to disembark and enjoyed having the ship to myself. Amber Cove: Went to the pool for a while but wasn't really crazy about this port. Overall - yes the ship is smaller and older and could have been designed better, but it was clean, great crew and we had a fun and relaxing vacation. Would I go on this shop again? Maybe not, but I would not rule it out if it fit my schedule. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this ship because it was going to Roatan, our favorite port stop. This was our 7th cruise and 2nd trip on the Breeze. The ship itself is starting to show her age. While we traveled on it they were touching up paint (much needed), ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was going to Roatan, our favorite port stop. This was our 7th cruise and 2nd trip on the Breeze. The ship itself is starting to show her age. While we traveled on it they were touching up paint (much needed), and replacing the outdoor tv (missing many pixels). The staff and service onboard was excellent; enjoyed chatting with many of the crew. The ship is lacking allot of entertainment if you have teenagers with you. There were some sporting tournaments; however, they were geared towards adults only. At night you’d see hordes of teens with security not far behind. The buffet was lack luster- same thing for breakfast every morning, and no hash browns at all. The blur iguana is always an excellent choice for lunch and or breakfast. The pizza did not disappoint as I believe they have the best tasting out of any line. The embarkation process was very smooth; however, disembarkation was very poor and slow, compared to other lines we’ve been on. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Platinum cruisers. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and cruise length. Embarkation in Miami was the best we have ever experienced in Miami. Parking garage could use a bit of TLC but overall the experience was good. ... Read More
Platinum cruisers. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and cruise length. Embarkation in Miami was the best we have ever experienced in Miami. Parking garage could use a bit of TLC but overall the experience was good. Arrived at 10:50am and we were on the ship at 11:00am. Cabin was ready so we were able to drop off some carry on items and go to explore the ship. Cabin was a bit small for a balcony. No couch just a chair. Ship is older but overall in very good condition. Lido buffet never seemed over crowded in lines. Most lines were for pizza and the deli. Main dining room dinner service was good...not exceptional. Food in dining room was okay. As was our experience on our last Carnival cruise. Just not feeling the dining room dinner cuisine. Guys Burgers, and the Cantina were great as always. Bar service was quicker to go up to the bar rather than wait for wait service on pool deck, which is fine. Only visited Alchemy Bar one time on this cruise. Entertainment in the main lounge was very good. The shows were good, and the the performers were good. Deon the Cruise Director was always around and did a great job. Our excursions were great and I will review separately. Sea Day Brunch was not as good as previously. Dining Room breakfast was okay...had the avocado toast. We self assisted leaving the ship for the first time and all went very well. Overall this was a great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This is our fourth Carnival cruise and second time with our teenagers. The ship seemed very well maintained and clean. It clearly showed how hard working staff they have on board to keep the ship clean and enjoyable. My husband and I were ... Read More
This is our fourth Carnival cruise and second time with our teenagers. The ship seemed very well maintained and clean. It clearly showed how hard working staff they have on board to keep the ship clean and enjoyable. My husband and I were also impressed at how thorough the staff was in cleaning the upper pool deck area each and every night. The extent of the staff draining the pool water nightly and literally scrubbing the entire pool and pool area was so good to see. We felt very welcome and most all staff was always smiling and very helpful. Our cabin was very clean and I always looked forward to coming back in the evening to a new towel animal lol. I cannot say enough about our stateroom stewardess Vasy and we hope this compliment makes it to her. She was very welcoming and thorough. She made us feel very comfortable and went out of her way to accommodate us and our teens which stayed in a seperate cabin. Dinner was amazing. There were many choices each night from your appetizer to the main dish followed by dessert. Another shout out to our service team in the dining room. Team Headwaiter Aldie,team waiter John and assistant team waitress Pascual. They were all so polite and thorough. We cannot say enough about them and again hope they see this and deserve a high five for all their hard work and pleasing the customers. My husband Tony and my son Nick and daughter Marissa as well as myself Bobbie Jo thank them all for a wonderful and memorable experience aboard Carnival Elation!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our ... Read More
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our steward cleaned our room well but the bad part was that they never changed the sheets. the dining restaurants sunset and sunrise were awesome. i really enjoyed the nightly shows in the Liquid Lounge. the dancers and singer were phenomenal. We went into Half Moon Cay and the water was amazing. it was a nice beach, then let off at Nassau- i wasn’t impressed though but i did buy a bunch of stuff. The only other bad thing was that at night, they would have night clubs for ages 18+ (i’m 19), and whenever they moved the night club to the serenity deck, they were allowed, but during the day when no alcohol was being served on the serenity deck and everything was calm,you had to be 21 to get on the serenity deck, so they kicked us out, it just didn’t make sense to us! why would they let us up there at 2 am with alcohol everywhere but not at 2 pm when everything is calm? just weird. but overall had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We booked this cruise on the Carnival Vista for several reasons: 1) We wanted a 7-day cruise out of Galveston, 2) we enjoyed the cove balcony on the Breeze so much last year we wanted that again, and 3) we wanted to see Grand Cayman ... Read More
We booked this cruise on the Carnival Vista for several reasons: 1) We wanted a 7-day cruise out of Galveston, 2) we enjoyed the cove balcony on the Breeze so much last year we wanted that again, and 3) we wanted to see Grand Cayman instead of Roatan or Belize like last year. Embarkation went pretty well. We had a 1pm appointment and by the time I got back from parking the car it was just after 1. The boarding area was busy but things moved along and we only had to wait a few minutes to get to our cabin at 1:30. We dropped out carry-ons and headed for a pasta lunch on Deck 11 which was very good. After lunch, we met our room steward and asked for evening cabin service. After dinner, we went to Red Frog and decided to order a couple of beer samplers - Cheers wouldn't be activated until the morning after departure. It seemed like from the menu that we could pick any four beers to sample, but apparently it's a fixed set. Neither of us like IPAs but figured as a sample it'd be ok. However, after we put in our order at the table it seemed like our waiter disappeared. The place wasn't that busy, and it was a simple order, but my wife had to hunt down the bartender to get our order. Not a great start. We had your time dining in the MDR. The waiters on our first two evenings were lackluster and service seemed a bit slower than on the Breeze. The food was a bit off in quality also. Later in the week we found a wait staff we liked (head waiter Muliawan) and ate in his area the rest of the week. Muliawan kept us well supplied with bottled water and drinks for our meals and was very engaging with us and the other tables in his area. Sea Day Brunch - I prefer the old menu and not the new one. However, the 12-hour French toast was good. Bacon was also good, and sausage seemed better than last year. Port day breakfast - Waffles were bland and seemed like they had been made well in advance. Pasta and Asian lunch - Both very good. Guy's Burgers - Good and the line always moved faster than I thought it would Pig and Anchor - Not bad, except the brisket was always dried out. Sausage was the best, pork butt good, chicken just OK. Good coleslaw. Shake Spot - Had a regular and a spiked one here. Very good, probably will pay for at least one next time if I don't get Cheers again. Wife and son said steak and miso soup at the sushi bar was excellent and well worth the money. Lido buffet - Only ate the occasional snack or dessert here. Always way too crowded. It was nice they put cereal off to the side so you could get it without a line. Room service breakfast - Forgot one item which they brought about 10 min later. Breakfast sandwich was awful - I had two bites and couldn't finish it. Biscuit was dry and stale. Drinks - Wife and I decided that they had skimpy amounts of alcohol. I walked out of the MDR twice with my fourth glass of wine in under 90 minutes and had a two-glass buzz. I really wonder if Carnival arranges for "special" beer/wine/liquor to be used for their drinks that is underpowered. Generally good bar service from most. Piano 88 - I don't like the new setup. On the Breeze, you could drop by for a couple of songs, or find a seat depending on how long you wanted to stay. With an enclosed room, it's more of a hassle to come in late or leave early. Our piano player was a bit antagonistic towards the crowd, which put them off of singing along, which also didn't help the atmosphere. Limelight Lounge - some idiot on the Carnival design team approved having eight 3-foot pillars in the middle of the lounge. I'd say maybe 30% of the seats had an unblocked view of the stage. Carnival's half-***ed solution was to put two 60" monitors on either side of the stage. I could watch comedy shows on Netflix in the cabin if I wanted to see comics on TV. Saw 18+ shows from two comics - one was a B, the other a C-. Sky Ride - Busted on the third day, down the rest of the cruise. Probably same design team as for the Limelight. Slides - These were pretty good. We stayed on the ship in Jamaica and no lines at all in the early afternoon. IMAX - Saw "Spider-Man: Far from Home" here at a later showing. About 30 in the theater. Good IMAX experience but not sure it was worth filling in the atrium. Internet - Had the middle tier plan which we shared on our devices. Worked well almost everywhere on the ship. Good speeds for email and Twitter - this was an improvement over the Breeze where the speed was barely enough to support text emails. HUB app - Also worked better than on the Breeze last year. Not sure if it was because of better wifi or an improved app. Promenade (and public spaces in general) - It really sucked that the Havana area blocks the deck aft. Also, there is more "stuff" on Vista's promenade and I think more panels to block the wind. I enjoyed taking a couple laps on the Breeze's promenade in the evening or at night, but it was not at all enjoyable on the Vista. The Vista just seemed more crowded in general. Atrium - The Breeze's glass atrium elevators and full-height atrium gave it a very open feel like a high-rise hotel. The Vista's truncated atrium with the pixelated funnel was not a good substitute. Tenders in Grand Cayman worked very well, only short waits on/off. Similarly quick to walk on/off in Cozumel, but both directions we were not with the big crowds. Debarkation was OK. Once our number was called (14), we kept moving along for the most part. Our checked baggage was waiting for us inside. We were through Customs by 10:30 and on the road by 11. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Carnival because it seemed to be the cruise line that appealed to our family in the past. Things have changed in the last 5 years on Carnival. We chose the Horizon because of the timing and because it was a newer ship. The Pros - ... Read More
We chose Carnival because it seemed to be the cruise line that appealed to our family in the past. Things have changed in the last 5 years on Carnival. We chose the Horizon because of the timing and because it was a newer ship. The Pros - New Ship and very clean, the embarkation and debarkation were excellent, Never tried Your Time Dining before and was leary but we would up being ok with it. The Cons - My family hated the elevator system (I used the stairs so it did not effect me often), the food in in dining room was not as tastey, varied, and as plentiful as it used to be, the entertainment was not appealing to us, and the comedians onboard that week were awful. We never paid to eat in one of the extra $ dining rooms, but we did try the Mongolian Wok and Guys Pig and Anchor at lunch when they offered free meals. We liked the Mongolian Wok, but were disappointed in the BBQ options (except for the pulled pork, it was good) The excursions we chose were great. We did an ATV ride in Grand Turk, Dunebuggies and Monkeyland in Dominican Republic (these two excursions were the best we have ever done on any cruise), no excursion in Curacao only walked around town, and De Palm Island in Aruba (this was very nice). The excursion for my husband and son in the Domincan Republic was late getting back to the ship, but as promised the cruise line waited for the group to return (there were only 8 of them on this dune buggy excursion) and did not leave them! The overall experience was a good one, but we were bored a lot of the time while on the ship. Maybe it's because our children are now in their 20s and we have cruised about 9 times. It could just be getting old for us. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise for my grandson's 16th birthday celebration. As we live in NJ, a NYC departure was a no-brainer for convenience and, as repeat Carnival cruisers, my wife and I were looking forward to a typical Carnival cruise ... Read More
Booked this cruise for my grandson's 16th birthday celebration. As we live in NJ, a NYC departure was a no-brainer for convenience and, as repeat Carnival cruisers, my wife and I were looking forward to a typical Carnival cruise experience. My daughter and son-in-law and our three grandchildren had a less than satisfactory cruise with NCL last year and we assured them that Carnival would provide a much more satisfying and fun experience. Carnival did not disappoint with anything but the ship itself. Having heard about the expensive renovations being done to the ship, we expected to sail upon a relatively pristine cruise ship. While one can understand that companies need to maximize profits, it was apparent the "renovations" were not to the ship's systems for additional passenger's comfort. Rather, they were simply for additional passengers. The ship clearly shows it's age. More rust shows on her than I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Our cabin door had a damaged balcony door handle which physically needed to be positioned properly to latch. Our shower head fell onto my head while showering, requiring a maintenance visit. Closet motion-activated lights did not work. None of this was a deal breaker but one expects a Grand Suite to be, at the very least, grand. We worked around it. Not sure what the problems were with the air conditioning, but it was sweltering throughout most of the ship for the first day and a half and marginal after that. There was no relief from the heat sailing out of New York. Throughout the entire cruise, we got not one drop of cold water from our sink and water pressure was sufficient but not what we are used to aboard other ships. It is impossible to overstate the crowded conditions on board and the apparent lack of thought given to the design with which the movement of that number of people would be handled. Navigating most Carnival ships is fairly straightforward for passengers. Not on this ship. Two major choke points exist on the Lido deck between the interior tables and the pool area. To make things worse in these areas, coffee and drink dispensers are located therein. So, in an area through which two people might barely pass, lines formed for drinks, making it almost impossible to get through. As experienced cruisers, we know to avoid the Lido during peak times and that was especially important aboard the Sunrise. Seating seemed very difficult to find. We chose to avoid the buffet most days due to it's limited size and the resultant incredibly long lines. The dining room for breakfast was our preference and the specialty fast food venues like Guy's Burgers, the Deli and Lucky bowl were lunchtime choices. Everyone in our group was more than happy with the selection and quality of food served in the dining room. My grandson has a deadly food allergy and he was given special consideration in that he was able to see the following day's menu and select those dishes which interested him. The chefs then prepared his meals separately and he had a very enjoyable dining experience throughout the cruise. The seating in the Limelight and Liquid lounges seemed adequate for the numbers of folks we observed attending the shows. Bar areas had plenty of seating and the Red Frog's size was a pleasant surprise. You might think by now that we didn't enjoy our cruise. Nothing could be further from the truth. My wife and I had a wonderful time and my daughter's family swear they will cruise Carnival again. My grandchildren said it was one of the best vacations they have ever taken. Carnival's secret weapon is their people. Folks like Chris Williams, the cruise director and his fun squad, the dining room personnel and bar staff, room stewards and other ships personnel make Carnival our choice. We find the vast majority of ship's complement with whom we interact to be welcoming, smiling and friendly. I have read some reviews in which ship's personnel are described as rude and unresponsive. We have had absolutely zero experiences like that. However, there might be an explanation for some crew frustration: Pat and I normally cruise in late spring (April-May). Young people are still in school at that time of year. By necessity, we cruised in July this year. Never again. During this cruise, we were witness to some of the most arrogant and disrespectful behavior we have ever seen. Teenagers running down hallways and pounding on stateroom doors as they went, wrestling and throwing things at each other in elevator waiting areas, verbally abusing ship's personnel, sitting and blocking stairwells while eating and refusing to move to let people by, leaving their plates of unfinished food on the stairs, screaming obscenities, etc. I don't think we would ever cruise the Sunrise again but we would certainly cruise Carnival without hesitation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first cruise and we were up to minute afraid it would not happen due to Barry. We found out 2 days ahead we would actually sail and drove to NOLA on Sunday and spent the night. Convention blvd is pretty torn up around the Port ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were up to minute afraid it would not happen due to Barry. We found out 2 days ahead we would actually sail and drove to NOLA on Sunday and spent the night. Convention blvd is pretty torn up around the Port so that was a bit of a nightmare but boarding on Monday was very smooth and the porters very nice in making sure our luggage and our departure was stress free. The stateroom was a balcony and pleasant, clean and more than we expected. But the lounge area we first entered upon boarding was loud, crazy and the bartenders hassled and not friendly. I would have expected Carnival to allow a larger area for everyone to gather at first. Other than that everything went well. We had a wonderful time and wonderful weather. The crew was nice and gracious. The only thing in the stateroom was a bit of slow drain in shower. Overall a wonderful first experience! Main dining charges for surf and turf lobster and steak and the lobster was over cooked and tough. Not worth the $20 extra bucks for sure. Drinks are pricey so be prepared. Was warned about the spa being a money suck, so did not partake. Love that there were 2 areas for adults only and they were enforced by stewards. Nightly shows were cheezy and not to my taste. The comedian was hilarious but be warned he is VERY adult. Read Less
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