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Sail Date: March 2015
We have sailed Carnival in the past, a couple times on an Fantasy, once on Freedom and now on Victory. We have also sailed four other lines and none have provided such poor quality. The ship is advertised as refurbished a couple times. ... Read More
We have sailed Carnival in the past, a couple times on an Fantasy, once on Freedom and now on Victory. We have also sailed four other lines and none have provided such poor quality. The ship is advertised as refurbished a couple times. Built in 2000. I hate to think what is was like before the refurb! Our cabin was, shall we say interesting! There was a single nite stand that was shoved under the vanity because the small loveseat next to the bed did now allow sufficient room for the nite stand to be beside the bed - mind you it was only one stand for one side of the bed. Never before have we not had a nite stand on either side of the bed. The chair for the room was in front of the loveseat - so you had to choose to use the chair or the loveseat, not both. The vanity had a small upholstered cube for sitting. Room was packed. The deck had two chairs and a small table - standard equipment. The chairs were nice, they even had a recline function - which you could not use because if you did it would block the door or you would need to put the table inside the cabin and crawl over one another to get in and out. The floor was clean but the area below the rail was rusted, filthy and even had some debris in it. Disgusting. We unpacked and found a couple surprises. First there were no hangers that resembled anything we have seen before. There were five small plastic knobs permanently affixed to the clothes rod in the closet. There was a slit on either side of the knob which accommodated two flimsy, plastic like hanger things with a post protruding out the top (a spike actually). So you had to try to get your flimsy bending plastic hanger to support your garment and then insert the spike in the slots on the knob. Two garments on each side of the knob. Four garments on one knob. The hanger would bend and the shirt, dress or whatever fall in a heap on top of your shoes. No pants or skirt hangers for anything that required clips. When I called to request some I was told I needed to wait till 3 PM when the steward would be on duty and get them from him. Mind you I placed the call at 3:35 - go figure. We finally did get hangers later in the evening so I could hang the few things that needed a clip. Both of the main closet doors had a left hinge which meant you could only open one closet at a time. The third had a right hinge so you had to close everything and shinny by to open the door with the safe inside and hope you could do things without lite since it was then like a cave. The doors opened into the walk way and between the two closet doors the bathroom door opened into the standing space. It was a puzzle to get into the bathroom or the closet without adjusting a couple doors. What a joke for people who are in the business of designing and building ships. My six year old grandson could have done a better job. The bathroom had lots of cracked tiles, caulked areas and black mildew. Smelled of musty and mildew also. It was clear that whenever there had been a cracked tile they just caulked over it without drying out the floor and now I'm guessing if they remove that floor it will be a sheet of black mold. Several areas of the shower had black grout which means they were not properly cared for. We had sufficient counter and shelf space in the bathroom, lots of towels and a corner shower with a curtain that really didn't do much to keep water in but there was a floor drain that was easy to use to dry up the floor. The bedding is superior quality. Bed was comfortable also. We unpacked and went to put our suitcases under the bed. Well we couldn't because they had an extra bed, collapsed, mattress and all under our bed. Never had that before. This is like the three stooges designed and equipped the cabins. The temperature control was interesting. We kept looking for a thermostat but couldn't find it. Then when I was lying in bed I saw a blue half circle blue arrow on the air vent in the ceiling. I got out a chair and stood on it so I could reach the vent. Sure enough, there was a small plastic lever on the vent that would open and close the air flow - thus it allowed you to adjust the cabin temp. Chair or stool REQUIRED! We thought the dining room, buffet area and most of the public lounge areas were well cared for and clean.The pool areas are the exceptions which needs serious work. Lots of rusted areas around the pool and in the adults only pool they don't bother to clean out the stuff that blows in like napkins, candy wrappers, umbellas from drinks etc. By the third day you see all sort of debris sweeping around the drains in the bottom. Not very inviting and few people were in the water more than just getting wet to cool off. Nobody would actually swim. Insufficient number of chairs. Towel desk was mid ship so you had to go search. Not an easy task on a boat that has obstructions that prevent you from going from one area to the next without going up or down a deck. Most areas had obstructions that would not let you get to the area. You would walk along and run into a wall. You had to go up a deck, walk a bit, then go back down because they built a kitchen, a lounge or some equipment room in the middle of the deck. Dumb design. Food was good. No complaints there. We had great table service and fun table mates. The buffet area food was good as well. Good selection and comfortable seating. Several other areas to get food as well at the pizza and burger counters near the pool and the deli. This minimized the crowding. Lots of options. Dining room rules were posted and ignored. Never did we see anyone tell the jerks in flip flops, short shorts, sleeves Tshirts, baseball caps and ragged clothing to go dress properly - even on formal nite. Slobs were plentiful. Who wouldn't like to look at all the prison quality tattoos on legs, arms and torsos while dining at a formal event? Seems like a no brainer to have the matre'de who wants to be tipped every night to stand at the door and enforce the rules - at least for the elegant/formal evening. We had about 1/3 of the ship spring breakers. Again, it would not take a brain surgeon to put them all in one area of the ship so they can party hardy and disturb one another and not the rest of the ship. when you get three or four 20 something's booking an inside cabin in March it would be a pretty good bet that this is a party crowd and if you are in doubt it could be confirmed by the mess the stewards find in the morning. Again, no enforcement of the common sense rules. Entertainment was the Carnival song and dance crew every nite. The comedy club had two comedians, one was quite good the other so so. No other entertainers. Every nite the show as watch the dancers change costumes and do the same stuff to a different song. The last nite was a talent show of passengers that didn't start till 10:30. Really the nite before debarkation the show starts at 10:30! Did they really not think folks were packing and getting their bags outside. This is really ignoring the needs of the paying passengers. We wanted to go listen the only live music band but they put them in the smoking area at the end of the casino. so if you wanted to listen then you had to stand in the blue haze and have everything you wore smell like an ashtray and let your eyes water. There was a single guitar player at one bar who was average. Those were your options. Pathetic! On Elegant/formal nite we were solicited to come take part in the new Pixels offering. The photographer actually came up to us as we waited for a particular background and asked us to come try out the new black and white photos - we thought she was talking about the black and white backdrops. Not so. We followed her to another studio and she took about 25 shots of us together and individually and made an appointment for us to see them the next evening. We came back to the studio and she had them ready for viewing on a big screen TV. Turns out you can buy the package, the disk and the photos on vinyl or add $100 and they will print them on metal for the bargain price of $1200.00. A single photo was $499! I think $1200 I could nearly get a wedding photographed! If I were really going to spend that kind of money on a photo I would have my make up and hair done professionally and carefully pick out my attire. These guys are just plain nuts! We chuckled, told them it was crazy and too expensive and left! The day we stopped at Half Moon Cay we were late arriving. Scheduled to dock at 9:30 - why so late nobody knows but we came from Grand Turk which is not a long haul. The tenders were delayed because they had to take supplies over for lunch. Finally at nearly 1:00 our number for the tender was called. (you had to go to the theatre and wait for your number to be called before you could go to the gangway). Generally 90 to 120 minute wait. We got there and there was not a chair to be had on the island. Now this is their own island and they know how many passengers are on the ship so they should know how many chairs they need. Lots of folks with no place to go. Want a drink then walk half the beach (and carry your stuff because there is no chairs to park your stuff) to the bar or pay the bar servers the $12.95 for the drink in the wonderful hurricane glass. This drink was usually $9.15 on the ship (which was already a rip-off).Those are the options. Victory goes to dry dock after next week. It needs it. I really don't think it will improve much, the rooms have old TV's that are 18" thick, beach towels are ragged and faded but my guess is they will only invest what they absolutely can't make work any longer and call it refurbished. Clearly they are about making as much money as they can rather than providing a cruise experience. Not much concern in the area of providing a quality experience - just the bottom line is important. We are not likely to be frequent Carnival cruisers.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband and I wanted to take our 4 year old son on his first cruise. We waited until about 3 weeks prior to decide this, so finding a reasonably priced cruise was a bit more challenging. Add to this the fact that DH and I did not want ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to take our 4 year old son on his first cruise. We waited until about 3 weeks prior to decide this, so finding a reasonably priced cruise was a bit more challenging. Add to this the fact that DH and I did not want to go to Nassau (again!), and did not want to spend a fortune as we were not sure that son would like it, and it became more difficult. I found a 4 night cruise to Key West and Cozumel for the three of us for around 1000.00 and decided to go for it. The cruise was aboard the Carnival Victory. I was skeptical at this point, and nervous, as Carnival has a bit of a bad rep for being a party boat. I also recalled thinking their boats were way rockier on the waves when I cruised them last, 3 years ago. But we decided to give it a go! The first challenge I encountered (and I will leave a review in the correct section as well) was parking. DH and I live in Florida, and though we live in a major port town, usually cruise out of Canaveral. Park and ride is easy there, and we like that. Miami, not so much. The terminal is 20.00/night, and I immediately ruled that out. I then looked at shuttles/hotel combinations, but those were high as well. I finally decided on Premier Parking, after reading reviews here (the one on 2nd ave). Our GPS took us right to the garage (they do caution on their site that it may not). The parking was VERY full, but we did manage to secure a covered spot (they are NOT all! The top level is open). We took our keys with us, and the shuttle took us to port. I was comforted by the fact that no once could move our car, and the cars next to us were on the same boat, so they wouldnt be moving either. The vans were a bit older and rougher, but I would say it took 20 min or less to get loaded up and off to port. The ride was short, 15 minutes or less. The total cost was 42.00, 1/2 of what the terminal charges. Once at the port, it did take a while to board, as the lines were quite long. With RC, we usually are in the Gold line and go right through, but Carnival did not have it set this way. A small annoyance, no big deal. Once on board, we made our way to the welcome buffet. The lines for hot dogs and burgers was long, so we went in. The inside buffets are average, with a chinese food window, (very) small salad bar, fruit, and some hot foods that are nothing special. There are not many of those, either. The desert table is also small compared to other ships. Only lemonade and tea were offered, which is typical. There is another small grill on the other side of the buffet, on Lido deck, as well as a pizza and deli pick up. The pizza is sub par, but that is also typical. The cabins were actually spacious compared to previous cruises on RC. The bed was a full King, with a twin set up for our toddler, and there was plenty of closet space, counter space, and the bathroom had sink space! Much better for us. The TV actually had several cable channels too, not just cheesy cruise replays. This was a huge positive over RC for us. Our steward was great, he always remembered our names, and did a great job for us. We also received our luggage by 4:00, which was great. There was a water slide on board, and several smaller pools- no large center pool. I did not like this as well. There were several hot tubs also, and a kids pool. The kids pool was small, and did not have nearly enough chairs. Nor did the adult area we visited while our child was in camp.Finding chairs was a battle, and there were not enough pools for the kids- and there were ALOT of kids on this boat, which we liked since we brought ours. I would also have enjoyed this boat had we not brought him, it is good for families and singles. I did not feel as entertained as I have on RC. The show and activity times were a bit off. Some shows were pushed so late that we did not make them and some were spread too far apart- think one game show at 5, then the next comedy at 9:30. The Love and Marriage game show was cute, and the Pat G. comedian was funny, but Lester (the comedian) at the 9:30 show was not even amusing at all. I walked out. He laughed at his own jokes even when no once else did. It was awkward. Another thing I noted is that drinks were slighter higher priced than other cruises. RC often had drink specials for 5.95, with others for 7-8.00 (mixed drinks). I usually get the drink packages, but did not this time, as the specials make it more affordable. Not this time. The cheapest special was 7.95, with most costing 8.95 or more. Each time my husband and I both got a drink, it was 23.00 or more with tax and gratuity.We were going to buy a package (Cheers) for him, as he would use it more than I, but if one of us purchased, we were both required to. I was told that even if I had had a medical condition that precluded me from drinking, I had to buy it if he did. There are lots of lounges and bars on board, if you like to drink and hang out. The casino is a bit small, but fun. I did win some money :) I hate the smoking though, it was miserable to be surrounded by clouds of cigarette smoke. The gangway is easy to access and we did not have to wait long to debark at ports, which was nice. Camp Carnival was available for our son, and we did use it some. I was disappointed to see it not open at all the first day of departure- our son was amped up and ready, only to be sent out. During the day time, the kids do not do a lot, but in the evenings they did face painting, t shirts, cereal necklaces, etc. You have to pick up by 10:00 not to be charged. You can also choose to take your kids to dinner, or let them eat with the Camp. Overall, our son enjoyed this service. Photo gallery was a mess, many pictures were not put up on walls and were in big bins we had to dig through. I doubt I saw 1/2 of ours- not that I wanted to buy, they were poorly shot, and in hideous poses. Dinners were a pleasant experience for the most part. We were seated with another couple who had a 6 year old son, which was nice. The food was good most nights (not all!), actually better than RC was on our last trip. Each night featured multiple different appetizers and main courses to try, as well as a staple menu with "safe" choices. They did have Lobster, Prime Rib, Sushi, Ribs, crab cakes, salmon,and several other really good choices that I enjoyed. The shrimp are very small in the app and the meals, and DO NOT ORDER THE MEATLOAF. Other than that, it was not bad. The deserts were always good. They did do a "show" during meals, but I did not see it as we were on the 2nd floor. We also ate breakfast here- it was decent, better than the buffet, as the food was fresher and hotter. They were a bit stingy with the pastries and juice, whereas RC leaves these out as a buffet even in the dining room for breakfast. We attempted to settle our bill on the kiosk with a different credit card, and received a receipt, but were charged on our original card anyway, which was annoying. One word of warning: If you use a credit card, the cruise line places a hold on your card for every dime you spend, AS WELL as charges you for your total bill. The holds have stayed on our card for 7 days now. I called American Express today, and was told after 8 days the charges fall off if the merchant (carnival) does not pursue payment. We are expecting them to be off tomorrow. We purchased alcohol on board, and received it around 7pm our last night. Our luggage was picked up later, with no issues. Debarkation went smoothly, with no big hold ups. The boat was rockier than RC- that did not change, but did not bother me as much. The people were not partying too ridiculously, and there were lots of families. We only had one irritating group near us who woke me shouting at 3am one night. Our shuttle picked us up after about 20 minutes or so. We arrived back at our car without incident. Our car was safe and untouched, and we had no problems. The best part: NO QUINCENIERAS this time or tour groups!!!   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our 9th Carnival cruise and once again we had a fabulous time. It is true that Carnival has made cutbacks through the years and we miss things like the grand buffet and welcome basket. This time the famous Carnival chocolates were ... Read More
This was our 9th Carnival cruise and once again we had a fabulous time. It is true that Carnival has made cutbacks through the years and we miss things like the grand buffet and welcome basket. This time the famous Carnival chocolates were even missing from our beds at night. However, the staff on this ship was some of the best we've ever encountered and we had another wonderful time. The waits at the buffet line were not as bad as we expected. The food was delicious as always and plenty warm enough for us. I personally loved the nautical decorations. The cruise director, Marcello, was hilarious and approachable and the shows were hands-down the best we've seen on any ship. If you are a high maintenance person, this is not the ship for you. It is missing the specialty restaurants we've come to love on other ships, and the room we were in had a worn out bulky television with terrible color and no mini fridge. The ship is showing plenty of wear if that's what you want to focus on. If you are an easy going person that wants an affordable fun cruise, you will love the Victory. It has everything you could possibly need for a wonderful cruise. The activities and people truly make up for anything the ship is lacking and you'll pay less than you would for the fancier ships. Debarkation was not as smooth as it should have been. We carried our own bags and did self debarkation and there was a lot more congestion than there has been on other ships. We still were in our vehicle heading home at 9:30. In Jamaica, we did the Dunns River Falls and Horseback Riding with Swim excursion. The falls are so much fun to climb! The horseback riding was not that great, but riding on the horses swimming in the ocean was well worth it. In Grand Cayman, we just took a taxi to a beach where we could do water sports. This was our third trip to the island and we had already seen the stingrays and dolphins, etc. YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO MISS THE SHOWS AT NIGHT!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
4 day cruise from 2-12 to 2-17. My husband and I had a great time. We are VIP so on the boat first, room ready (7348) balcony. Room dated but clean and we had plenty of room. Are steward Muhammad was awesome !!!! First port Keywest had a ... Read More
4 day cruise from 2-12 to 2-17. My husband and I had a great time. We are VIP so on the boat first, room ready (7348) balcony. Room dated but clean and we had plenty of room. Are steward Muhammad was awesome !!!! First port Keywest had a great time on Duval St. lunch at fogerty's drinks at Sloppy Joe's. Second port Cozumel went to Mr. sanchos beach too crowded. Been to Cozumel before Paradise beach much better. We did anytime Dining it worked out ok. Service was Ok nothing to brag about. Overall we were on this boat 10 years ago it is dated but clean. We enjoyed the warm weather as it was 20 below at home. We also won in the casino added bonus. One last comment I have is we did the Cheers program for drinks we felt it was well worth it. :). Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Just returned from a wonderful five day cruise on the Carnival Elation. This was my fourth cruise but only the second for my husband. His first was the exact cruise last July and he loved it so much that I booked this one and surprised him ... Read More
Just returned from a wonderful five day cruise on the Carnival Elation. This was my fourth cruise but only the second for my husband. His first was the exact cruise last July and he loved it so much that I booked this one and surprised him at Christmas!! We love the Elation!! We enjoy the smaller size and entire staff is always friendly and helpful. We only live a couple of hours from New Orleans so we drive down the morning of the cruise. We do get Faster to the Fun and it is well worth the $50. We had an ocean view cabin, U66, on the Upper deck. It was close to the elevators and stairs. We loved it and never were bothered by noise. We enjoyed the dining room each night and several days for breakfast. They were very accommodating. Food was mostly very good. Of course the warm chocolate melting cake is to die for!! The Grill has a good variety and we ate lunch there most every day. We opted out on excursions. We did go into Cozumel and do a little shopping and used the free WiFi at Fat Tuesdays. We stayed aboard the Progresso day and enjoyed a less crowded ship! We enjoyed the pingpong tournament, lots of trivia, bingo, art auctions, and various fun in the Mikado show lounge. With Faster to the Fun disembarkation is a breeze. Our only complaint was actually during embarkation. After going thru security several times you should not have to stop and show your paperwork to about five different people while proceeding through the lines! Overall we had a wonderful time and will definitely sail the Elation again!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I booked a cabin window so I could see out the window and it was dirty and you couldn't see out it, which I consider unusable why would I pay for something that I wouldn't be able to use. I'm extremely disappointed. The ... Read More
I booked a cabin window so I could see out the window and it was dirty and you couldn't see out it, which I consider unusable why would I pay for something that I wouldn't be able to use. I'm extremely disappointed. The casino and smoking area was smack in the middle of the ship and that was the only way to get to either side of the ship. This was a party boat and not kid friendly, should be advertised this way. Not enough family friendly activities. The photo's are a rip off and outrageous, it's disgusting what is charged. It's not fair when you have a children who really want their photo. Put them on cd's so they can all be purchased at a reasonable price especially since they are thrown out! The pool is too small for the amount of people on board. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I have been on many cruises, cruise lines and left from many different ports. I'd have to say the Dream was my most disappointing cruise. Maybe it was because of high expectations, since this is one of Carnival's newest and ... Read More
I have been on many cruises, cruise lines and left from many different ports. I'd have to say the Dream was my most disappointing cruise. Maybe it was because of high expectations, since this is one of Carnival's newest and largest ships. I'd prefer the Liberty or Freedom any day over the Dream. Upon arrival at the New Orleans Port we waited in line for about two hours to board the ship. There was some kind of mandatory 6-month inspection of the ship, which was compounded by the ship arriving in port late due to fog. These things happen and if the inspection make the ship and trip safer, I'm all for them. A little communication would have been nice though. The embarkation process seemed very chaotic from that point on. Upon entrance to the ship, it was what I expected, grand and beautiful. We had a premium vista balcony stateroom and it was everything I thought it would be. The balcony was huge and the room had the illusion of being much bigger than it was. The room was a little noisy the first night due to partying going in the public areas below us. We were on deck 6. After night one, it settled down. Our cabin steward was nowhere to be found during our stay but our rooms was always serviced timely and our cooler always filled with fresh ice. Can't complain about that. However we did miss the personal interactions with the cabin steward that we are so used to. They are some of the friendliest people on earth. Food - we very rarely use the main dining rooms. We are room service and buffet kind of people. The room service was excellent (decent selection, fast service, good quality food). The buffet selection and setup were not so good. The quality of the food also left a little to be desired. Dirty dishes stayed on the tables for long periods of time. Forget trying to move around the dining room. They had those tables so squeezed in there, you really had to plan a route to get to a table. They also did not use the traditional type steam pans to hold the food on the buffet. They had warming platters and pyrex type pans. Every time you went to spoon something out of the pan, the pan would spin/move and end up out of reach. Just a really bad design. The desserts where also in the middle of the buffet line instead of in an area by themselves. Again, I'm not real picky about food. Room service and buffets normally work fine for me, but this did not meet my standard. Another pet peeve, no buffet food from 3:00 to 5:30. Getting off the ship was also a challenge at the tender port. You had to meet in the Burgundy lounge, to pick up a tender ticket, and then you were escorted to the entire opposite of the ship to the gangway. The entertainment was OK. They did have to stop one of the premier shows within the first 5 minutes because of technical issues. The flew a technician into the next port to work on the issue. That show was rescheduled for later in the week. The cruise director, Henni, was great. We laughed just looking at the guy. The casino was large and had a nice selection of slots. I love Carnival. In fact, I already have another trip booked. However, I did not like the Dream.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We are long-time Carnival cruisers and enjoy sailing with Carnival. Therefore, I want to say that the staff and crew were excellent; the ports were good; and for the most part, the weather was great. So, what was wrong? Two things! 1. The ... Read More
We are long-time Carnival cruisers and enjoy sailing with Carnival. Therefore, I want to say that the staff and crew were excellent; the ports were good; and for the most part, the weather was great. So, what was wrong? Two things! 1. The Lido Dining Facilities: Whoever designed the remake of the Destiny to the Sunshine really goofed up. There is not enough seating available and lines are long as there are not enough food stations. Yes, you can go into the Havana Bar to sit, but it is also always extremely crowded and the tables are very close together. And, it's not the most "user friendly" place for lunch. My husband decided he would go in there and get spaghetti one day at lunchtime, but found out that he had to first place an order and then they would give him a "buzzer." He was instructed to go find a seat and when his buzzer went off, his order would be ready. On most ships in the Lido Dining Area, you can simply walk up to any station, get in line and get your food and then go sit down and enjoy your meal. And, yes, there is the Blue Iguana Cafe out around the pool, along with Guy's Burgers; however, I don't care for the Blue Iguana food and I can only eat Guy's burgers about two times on a 7-day cruise. 2. The Show Lounge: How could anybody think that this lounge, which was reduced in size from what it was on the Destiny, would be sufficient for the number of guests on the Sunshine? Due to its size, we only attended one event -- the VIP party -- and there were not many empty seats even for this small group. In addition, the seats on the floor are removable chairs that are crammed very close together. We sat in these at the party, but there were no tables on which to sit your drinks, so it was very uncomfortable. Very poor planning by the designers of this ship's makeover. Sometimes it is better to leave well enough alone.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
First I would like to say that I am a repeat guest of carnival ( I am a gold member).  I just got off the Fascination in October 2014 for Halloween cruise it was wonderful.  I had no complaints it was fun. So I decided to give my ... Read More
First I would like to say that I am a repeat guest of carnival ( I am a gold member).  I just got off the Fascination in October 2014 for Halloween cruise it was wonderful.  I had no complaints it was fun. So I decided to give my daughter the cruise experience for her 24th birthday ( her first cruise ever). Before my arrival in Jacksonville Carnival called me every day prior to boarding. When I booked this cruise I spoke to several people about my daughter and this being her birthday cruise so my expectations are high. Well on December 6, 2014 the morning we're scheduled to board emails about the ship being delayed due to the fog and not to got to the port this was at 8:45 am . So I requested late checkout from my hotels. Then I received another text saying arrive at 4 pm. When I arrive they said 5 pm gave us directions to a mall until boarding time. Returned at 5 pm only to be sent to parking lot 5 out in no mans land. They stated that they were sill disembarking previous cruisers.  My daughter had three seizures while we waited. Around about 7 pm it was time for my daughters seizure, I was livid. The parking lot security did not want me to leave but I told home her Ativan is in my bag and unless he was willing to unload and unpack and help me search for her meds then let's do it he told me to go onto the boat he would radio ahead. Long story short they boarded me and my family ahead of other guest for medical reasons. My daughter had to be placed in a wheel rolled aboard because she was so out of it. And they still charged my cousin $75.00 to self park. On the boat it got worse. On Monday my daughter complained of her leg itching and it was bleeding so I bandage it with a band-aid by Wednesday that is when I discovered the bed bugs.  I found the shedded skin in my dresser drawers, that Wednesday morning grossed out I looked under the bed closets and I packed every piece of clothing we had back into our into our luggage. When I went to check the bed that is when I saw the bedbugs.  I pulled it off with piece of tissue to make sure I was seeing what I was looking at.When I pulled it off there was blood on my sheets. Well my daughters blood. I Immediately took the tissue with the shedded skin and bed bug to the pursers desk/ guest services. They said the were sending sanitation. They said I had to clear out of my cabin and with no help I moved all my luggage, my sleeping daughter and wheelchair with no help from the stewards or sanitation.  They finished no one called me to follow up and when I moved my daughter and luggage back into my room again with no help. My pillow cases were still dirty and grimmy. So I took both of them to guest services. The housekeeping supervisor was called and for the third time that day all by 3pm my ed sheets were changed again.. When I got home and called carnival Friday morning. The customer service informed me that they found no bedbugs. She was the first to inform me about this and I did not leave the shop till Thursday. But I have pictures, the bloody bandage from my daughters leg and the sheet that has the blood stain on it. I am very disappointed in Carnival and being a repeat guest I feel they did not fix or made me feel like an important VIFP( very important fun person) like my sail and sign card states. Feeling some kinda of way about carnival right now.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I have been on 5 cruises. This was the WORST cruise I have been on. To start with the food was terrible I had to order room service everyday to get a decent meal that consist of BLT sandwich and chips. Fine dining took at least 1 hour to ... Read More
I have been on 5 cruises. This was the WORST cruise I have been on. To start with the food was terrible I had to order room service everyday to get a decent meal that consist of BLT sandwich and chips. Fine dining took at least 1 hour to get our food and when we did get it was cold and under cooked. I understand that some people like steak med rare but when you order chicken and blood is running on your plate its time to leave and go order room service. The shows were terrible to much CURSING in the FAMILY shows. The deli bar that served sandwiches were horrible, the ham was slimey and the cheese was horrible. I hope you like baked beans because that is what was served for breakfast every morning along with cold grits, nasty old sausage and eggs covered in onions that was under cooked. You were lucky to get an omlette after waiting in line for 45 min. They did serve hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken every single day on the deck. They tasted terrible, it was always cold and over cooked. The salad bar might have had 6 vegetables to choose from, that included lettuce, beans, red cabbage, tomatoes, carrots and sometimes cucumbers. The dressing for the salads were terrible they had lots of water added to them. The sweet bar was terrible. The hall ways always had a terrible smell. The air in our room was terrible we had to ask for a fan it took them 2 calls to the front desk to get a fan. The crew members were not friendly, they had a total of 920 crew members and only a hanfull of them could speak English. We did have Two crew members that were nice. Over all I would rate this cruise a BIG FAT ZERO. It got us from point A to point B. I did enjoy our day at Mexico.. If you do go to Mexico, go to Paradise Beach. Look it up its Great. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We sailed on the Carnival Conquest December 2014 over Christmas and needless to say it was below par. Boat is outdated Not kept very clean Kids clubs are horrible if you have tweens. Shows consist of a person singing with a digital ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Conquest December 2014 over Christmas and needless to say it was below par. Boat is outdated Not kept very clean Kids clubs are horrible if you have tweens. Shows consist of a person singing with a digital background behind them. Food was horrible. Not kept properly cooled or heated. Food staff were not friendly. Long lines for food. Took forever getting off the boat at ports because they wanted to take a picture of every person getting off - never been on a ship that was so desperate for money that the tried getting photo opp's getting off the ship. I don't recommend going on this ship. Maybe their newer ones are better, but Conquest was a dive.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Listen up folks. I am a long time cruiser and did cruise with Carnival one previous time. This trip was 8 nights out of NYC on the Splendor and there were 18 of us, 5 of them children. We chose Carnival because the price was right for the ... Read More
Listen up folks. I am a long time cruiser and did cruise with Carnival one previous time. This trip was 8 nights out of NYC on the Splendor and there were 18 of us, 5 of them children. We chose Carnival because the price was right for the majority of our party but this trip has proved the reality in that saying "you get what you pay for!" Let me start by saying that we booked our trip 10 months in advance with Carnival and I had confirmed on several occasions with our "vacation planner" that we would be seated at 6pm dining altogether and worst case scenario would be that we would be at 2 round tables side by side, which we were ok with. For many of you experienced cruisers, you probably know that when you cruise with a large party you rarely see everyone during the day and often dinner is the only time you are all together, so this was extremely important to us to sit together. Fast forward to embarkation day, none of us were seated together and in fact we weren't even seated in the same dining room! I did speak to the maître d, who was rude and never once made eye contact with me who stated "there is nothing I can do". After going back a second time to him, he slid a form my way and said he could try to get us 8:15 seating together. Well he gave us that seating, but no one was happy with it. We sucked it up and took it b/c it allowed us to spend time together and break bread like we had planned but NONE of the children (ages 2-5) ate with us once because it was too late. This resulted in the parents having to spend 4 hours of their evenings feeding kids and then themselves. I subsequently went to guest services 3 times in hopes they would try and assist me in some way, but again, "there is nothing we can do for you". Nothing? Really. The food was terrible on this boat, my meals were often served to me cold and a few nights I opted to skip dinner completely b/c the cold lousy food coupled with the mediocre service I had experienced wasn't worth my time. At times, we found ourselves scouring the ship for a place offering food but often pizza was the only thing available. It was "decent" and to say we ate pizza for majority of our meals, is the unfortunate truth. But here's the thing, when I cruise on my favorite cruise line, the staff is usually falling over themselves wanting to ensure that you as their guest are enjoying yourself; knowing you by name, knowing what you drink, willing to listen if there is a problem and finding a way, no matter the cost, to fix that problem. Repeatedly on Carnival this was not the case. We were never treated as guests and felt a burden to most of the staff. A few times, when I asked a staff member where something was, I was told, "I don't know, go ask someone else." What??? It begs the question, has the automatic gratuity comprised the service once provided to cruisers? In regards to their Cheers package, all adults in the same stateroom must get it in order for one person to enjoy it. This was a problem! Not everyone drinks, or at least not excessively enough to want to spend the money on a drink package, but yet some did want it but could not get it b/c their roommate did not drink that much. Bogus. I will say with most certainty that we will never chose to sail with Carnival again and will be sure to let anyone who asks know of our experience. I will say the Camp Carnival staff was amazing, my kids had a great time and they were great with the kids and had many many activities that were truly enjoyed! Other than the camp staff and my room steward, this boat left a lot to be desired. If you are looking to cruise but need to save money by using Carnival, I would suggest you postpone your trip a little longer and keep saving and splurge a little more on the price. Trust me it's worth it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My husband and I just returned today from a 7-night cruise on the Carnival Dream. We were on the Dream 2 months ago with our son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren. Everything on that cruise was wonderful. Carnival offered us a ... Read More
My husband and I just returned today from a 7-night cruise on the Carnival Dream. We were on the Dream 2 months ago with our son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren. Everything on that cruise was wonderful. Carnival offered us a complimentary cruise on one of a number of ships and we decided to return to the Dream. We stayed in cabin # 8447. We had no air conditioning the entire cruise. I am writing this to warn anyone booked on the Dream that they may have the same problem as we spoke to a number of people who did. When we boarded the ship last Sunday, our cabin was hot. The air conditioning vent cover had been removed and it was under the dresser. Carnival had to be aware of the problem and should not have put us in the room. We reported the problem to our cabin steward the first day and she got someone to check the ac. It was no better the second day. We went to guest services once or twice everyday to no avail. They sent technicians to the room. They all said the temperature was "outside of standard." No one ever gave an explanation of the problem nor fixed it. We were told that there were no other cabins to which we could move. My husband finally got the guest services supervisor to come to the room. The man was unbelievably condescending and wouldn't even acknowledge that there was an issue. I finally said that they should not rent out our cabin for future cruises until they fixed the problem. He didn't respond to that. My husband then said that we will let future guests know about the issue. He said "what are you going to do leave a note in the room?" I said no - Carnival has a blog and Cruise Critic is another way we can let people know. We were told everyday that they would give us some sort of compensation. I told them that we didn't want compensation we just wanted to be cool. Frankly, we probably had what was in our opinion the best cabin steward in the fleet - Sladanna. She loaned us her personal fan and checked on us constantly. She was so kind. She made an impossible situation bearable. Carnival Dream has the number-one-rated staff in the fleet. I can vouch for that fact other than for guest services. All other aspects of the cruise were wonderful. We had Your Time Dining for the first time and we loved it. We went to the Steak House 2 nights since it was such a wonderful experience. I hope to be on the Dream again one day, but not before this ac problem is fixed. Carnival can't fix a problem if guest services denies it exists. In the end Carnival gave us 15% towards our next cruise and a meal in the Steak House, but that won't erase the feeling that they knew of the problem and put us in that cabin anyway.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
If you are expecting a quiet vacation aboard a ship with quality service while you sail across pristine ocean waters. Forget this one. We are first time cruisers who usually vacation on land at all inclusive resorts. We have heard only ... Read More
If you are expecting a quiet vacation aboard a ship with quality service while you sail across pristine ocean waters. Forget this one. We are first time cruisers who usually vacation on land at all inclusive resorts. We have heard only wonderful things about cruises from our friends and family and we decided to finally try it. When a good deal for a 4 night cruise to Bahamas on the carnival sensation came up we took the plunge. This is my review in a nut shell. A few things you should know you're getting into: -screaming kids -1 pool and 2500 cruisers, make for a standing room only pool -almost no personal service! -excessive drinkers and smokers -all you can eat buffet style food (not good) -unfriendly staff that speak very little English -beach excursion a rip off! (Told not to drink the fountain water, then wanted to charge us 5.00 for 1 bottle of water) 4.5 hours trip n offered us no water! I know this is petty but you should also know: -a lot of exposed hairy bellies n tattoos -Un supervised kids -70's disco style ship decor..I really don't know what the decorative theme was On the positive: -nice passengers -teenagers seem to be having a ball! -quick n easy getting on n off boat Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Carnival Fantasy vs. Carnival Fascination, Port Charleston vs. Port Jacksonville, Little Stirrup Key vs. Half Moon Cay. Three months apart in the Summer / Fall of 2014, we took two similar but different Carnival cruises. They were on ... Read More
Carnival Fantasy vs. Carnival Fascination, Port Charleston vs. Port Jacksonville, Little Stirrup Key vs. Half Moon Cay. Three months apart in the Summer / Fall of 2014, we took two similar but different Carnival cruises. They were on virtually the same ships (sister ships Fantasy and Fascination), from two very nearby ports (Charleston, SC and Jacksonville, FL), to almost the same Bahama destinations (Nassau x 2 then Little Stirrup Key or Halfmoon Cay), with almost the same people (just wife and me, then us w/ our twin boy/girl 12 year olds). If you want to cruise from the SE US and not drive down to at least mid-Florida, these are the only two ships from the only to ports you can go on. I read a LOT of reviews here and I found them very helpful. So, I'll try to write a detailed helpful review comparing the two cruises to pay it forward. We were not experienced cruisers but we enjoyed the first one so much that when I found a last minute deal during our kids’ fall break few months later, we jumped at the chance to go again. We booked the first cruise for two w/ a window room about six months in advance then the second cruise for four in interior about two weeks in advance. They cost about the same total amount. They say all their ships sail at full capacity. Apparently, this is because they gradually drop the price to no-margin as embarkation approaches. So, you can save money by waiting but you might not get all you want. The "Fun" Ships and their crews. First, it's clear that the number one concern of Carnival and its employees is that you have a good time. I cannot think of the staff of any other company that works as hard and long to make sure your experience is positive. Many of the complaints I have read on here seem like they would have been resolved had they just spoken up e.g. if your burger isn't hot, ask for one straight off the grill and I can't imagine them not giving you a hot patty or whatever else. Really, I can't say enough about the crew. I feel they’re more than fair at resolutions and bend over backwards to make you happy almost all the time.On both trips, their eagerness and hard work is what really makes these cruises such a great bargain. Second, it's clear that the number two concern of Carnival and its employees is to upsell you into spending more money. At every single turn, they tempt you to spend more money. The cruises are such a fantastic bargain that I believe your ticket only covers Carnival's costs and they don't make any money on you until you purchase some of the add-ons. The prices for them are high but so is the general quality. If you don't want to spend anymore money, then you don't have to. But, what they're offering is often too good to pass up. Good drinks for almost $10 and nice photos with lots to choose from are super nice but not cheap (and I don’t gamble so no extra $$ there). It’s an arrangement that works. Ticket Prices and Rooms We bought our first tickets six months in advance so we paid near full fare. Afterwards, I started monitoring for good deals from nearby ports (we live near Atlanta / Athens Georgia). Two weeks before my kid's fall break from school, I found a great deal so we decided to go on a whim. Four people in an interior room for a five night cruise was only $260 per person all-in. I was on the phone about to confirm the trip when I flipped over to Carnival's website with their low-price-guarantee and indeed found the same cruise for $10 less per person. Hung up and booked w/ Carnival for almost $50 less. A couple of days later, Carnival called and offered to upgrade us from an interior room to one with a balcony for $180. I asked for a better price a couple of times during the call but he was firm on $180 so we took them up on it. Our first trip had a room with a window. The final night of the trip had a big electrical storm outside and it was very cool to watch it over the ocean from our room. So we were glad to have had a window. Having a balcony was a real joy. The first trip, we felt obligated to stay out of the room and at least be up on deck enjoying the ocean. With the balcony, it was like being on a chair on deck except in the privacy of our own outdoor space. It'll be tough to go again without paying extra for a balcony. The ships: Carnival Fantasy vs. Carnival Fascination These are "sister" ships i.e. they were originally built just like each other so the deck layouts are exactly the same. They're not brand new ships but they have been renovated and both are kept very clean. Overall, they're very similar but the Fascination has a slightly more elegant interior. However, the "Comedy Club" of the Fantasy seemed like a converted conference room whereas the Fascination's was much more like a high-end comedy club bar venue. We enjoyed many live comedy acts on both trips (wife's favorite: Lester Biggs) so this tips it in Fascination's favor. Winner: Carnival Fascination by a comedy club bar How to beat the lines My number one tip is to show up early and you won't ever have to wait long. We arrived at port at 11am sharp both trips, barely had to wait, and were on-board having drinks at the pool by 11:30. Want a good seat at any event? Get there 10-15 minutes early and it's no problem. To visit the Cay ports, you have to take a tender to the island i.e. you take a boat from ship to the shore. The first cruise we were first in line and had no wait. The second cruise we went and returned during the most crowded time. The length of the line to get on the tender to go to the island was literally the entire length of the ship below deck. However, it only took 45 minutes from the very back of the line until our feet touched sand. So, still not unreasonable. IMHO, Faster to the Fun would not be worth it if you’re punctual. The ports: Charleston SC vs. Jacksonville FL We got dropped off by friends / relatives for both trips right around their opening times of 11am. Embarkation was easy, quick and pleasant from both places. However, Charleston was two hours of drive time closer to Atlanta / Athens Georgia and all other points north. All else being equal, to save four hours total back and forth drive time, I'd rather depart from Charleston. What we want now is to take one of the bigger, nicer, newer cruise ships. BUT, the ports in Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville can't accommodate anything larger than these mid-size ships. Whoever deepens their ports first is going to eat up a large portion of the cruise traffic. Winner: Charleston, South Carolina since it’s four hours less driving time The Food The food was always good to very good. Really, how does $260 per person cover 5 nights of high-end restaurant quality food plus steak and eggs or eggs benedict every morning plus lunch plus snacking all day and night? Seriously, you can order as many appetizers and main courses as you want e.g. unlimited lobster tails. My wife and I are moderate foodies and I made a big pig of myself. The evening dining room meal every night was always excellent with many very, very good dishes and very few misses. If you like to eat, you'll be happy on these cruises. Winner: No difference Set Dining Time vs. Your Time Dining You can either have a Set Dining Time where you eat at the same time with the same people every night which we did the first cruise, or, Your Time Dining where you can go eat anytime from 5:45 to 9:15 which we did the second cruise. The biggest differences between the two dining time methods was the length of time the meal takes and flexibility. The set dining time seemed to be quicker and took ~1.25 to 1.5 hours vs. 1.5 to 2 hours for dinner. For set dining time, they know how many people are coming and when, so they're ready. Plus, they have to feed, clear, and re-set the dining room for the second seating so they keep it moving. However, with set dining times, we missed several scheduled events like the shows that we would have attended if we weren't eating at that time. On Your Time Dining, we were almost always seated immediately (showed up first in line for lobster tails on Elegant night which is the only time we saw a big line). We weren't worried about an extra 15 to 30 minutes over being able to go eat when it was convenient for other activities. Winner: Your Time Dining. Nassau: Junkanoo Beach vs. Hilton Royal Carribean day pass We're middle class and are frugal and price conscious so we were looking for the best bang for our buck. Both trips, we were mainly looking for some relaxing beach time. We looked around and weren't happy with the shopping in Nassau. We didn't love the Straw Market which mostly all had the same stuff at not inexpensive prices. In the city, the prices were also tourist level for jewelry / alcohol / trinkets. So, we went back to the ship, put on our bathing suits, and headed for the free public beach. Junkanoo Beach: Get off the ship, turn right, hug the coastline, and right past the Hilton is a public beach. Ten minute walk at most. The people on the beach are a mix of locals, local tourists and cruise ship tourists. There's a beach side bar playing music, selling cheap local Bahama beer, rum drinks in cocoanuts, and great conch fritters. The beach is soft white sand and the water is clear blue. It's not perfectly clean but we saw no broken glass or excessive trash. There are rentable chairs but no bungalows or accommodations. It is public so expect to decline hair braiders and others more than once. We felt safe and comfortable overall but there are some seedy elements so we kept a close eye on our stuff. Overall, it was terrific and very inexpensive. Hilton Royal Carribean day pass: Our kids were with us on our second cruise that stopped in Nassau. I felt like we needed a Nassau beach experience that was safer and nicer so we went with a day pass to the local Hilton hotel's pool and private beach. It wasn't cheap at $60 per adult and $40 per kid but it included credit for food and drinks at $40 per adult and $20 per kid or $180 for family of four w/ $120 bar / food credit. Sound like a good deal? I thought so too. Until we tried to order and found the prices to be much higher than even the high prices on the ship. Seriously, $18.50 for a bacon cheeseburger and $16 for a drink. Even the local Kalik beer were $6.75! So, $120 barely covered a decent lunch for four!! And it gets worse. The service was terrible. Otis and Beatrice were working hard but it was just too many people for them and the bar staff. You'd think at these prices, they'd at least have enough people to take your money but almost everyone there from the cruise ships had already paid so I assume since they already had our money, they didn't care if you couldn't spend your credit. Once we did order food, it took over an hour to get and still wasn’t right. I saw more than one upset person who had given up on getting served. After coming off the cruise ship where they fall all over themselves to make you happy, the higher priced / below par service was a shock to the system. Winner: Junkaroo beach by a long shot. Little Stirrup Key vs. Half Moon Key Both of these stops are small islands owned by the cruise ships. They're beautiful, clean, private beaches. That said, Half Moon Key is MUCH better than Little Stirrup. Little Stirrup has a large bay that is only about a foot deep so you're able to walk way out into the surf and check out all the wild life under foot. There's a fairly large inflatable-type water park in the bay. Other than that, there's very little else there. Half Moon has a large deeper bay with large swimming areas roped off all along the shore. All along the shore are many bungalows, and structures w/ bars and bathrooms and life guards. If you're choosing between cruises stopping at these to points, it's no contest. Winner: Half Moon Cay. So the overall winner would be The Fascination sailing out of Charleston SC (which it doesn’t do) going to Half Moon rather than Little Stirrup the public beach on Nassau and eating on on My Time Dining. But they were both great and I’m sure we’ll cruise again. Just somewhere different this time and hopefully on a larger ship. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
My family and I went on this cruise with an open mind. We were traveling with another couple and it was their first cruise. I have cruised 7 times with Carnival and twice with 2 other lines. I have always enjoyed Carnival more than other ... Read More
My family and I went on this cruise with an open mind. We were traveling with another couple and it was their first cruise. I have cruised 7 times with Carnival and twice with 2 other lines. I have always enjoyed Carnival more than other lines until this last experience. We live in West Palm Beach about an hour away from the Miami Cruise Port. We parked our car in a lot (Port of Miami Parking) http://www.portofmiamicruiseparking.com/ for $6 per day and $7 for a round trip shuttle to and from the port. We arrived at the port around 11am and went through security with our carry on water with no problems. We had purchased Faster to The Fun for an additional $50 (for the entire family) and we were immediately escorted to the front of the line! NICE!! We would’ve boarded faster had it not been for the slow as molasses counter clerk we had. She took forever to give us out sail and sign cards. She had no register so I had to wait in another line to deposit cash to my sail and sign account. But finally we were on our way, stopping for our welcome aboard pic and off to our room (faster to the fun also pays for having our room ready when we board!) We dropped off our water and off to the Lido deck for lunch. Dinner was very nice. We had 3 fabulous waiters, Luis from Columbia and Ferdinand, and Sasa (pronounced Sasha) from Croatia. They were attentive to our needs, always calling us by our first names. Dinner every night was nice but the food wasn’t that great. The service was very slow, but we enjoyed having a nice sit down dinner every night with the same wait staff and enjoyed the shows they performed for us. It was getting a bit annoying having a photographer interrupt our meal EVERY SINGLE NIGHT to take pictures at the table. One night they scared the living daylights out of me when someone put a knife to my throat! It was a “pirate” for a picture! Good grief! We had a balcony on the Empress Deck Room 7354. I must say that I was very disappointed with my room. Like I stated before, I have cruised with Carnival before and I got pretty used to certain things like an immaculate room. Thank God I took Clorox wipes with me and I sanitized the counters and bathroom sink and toilet. I always had a bowl in the bathroom with free trial size items but this time there was nothing, zilch, nada. This was the first time I did not tip my stateroom steward extra. He did not go above and beyond at all. The other couple that was traveling with us experienced an embarrassing moment with their stateroom steward the first night as they were getting ready for dinner. They were in the shower and heard a noise. They were drying themselves when a stranger opened their bathroom door! There they were NAKED and this man whom they’d never seen before was standing in front of them! It was the stateroom steward who had entered their room without knocking! I guess he didn’t hear the shower running! They were in room 7386 also on the Empress Deck. What an embarrassing experience for these first time cruisers. They kept their “I’m Snoozing” sign up on their door the whole cruise because they were afraid he’d barge in again. The Entertainment: The cruise director was Marcelo. He was hilarious! But I think the shows were a bit corny. The welcome aboard show was literally 3 minutes of singing and dancing and the rest was Marcelo calling 6 people from the audience up on stage to embarrass them (which was pretty funny) but nothing compared to the shows they used to do. The Not so Newlywed Game was as always hysterical! The Talent show where the guests perform was very short. Only about 3 or 4 guests performed. The lobbies were full of photographers (deck 5 and deck 3) that you could hardly walk. The pictures are pretty outrageous. $21.99 for an 8x10, $15.99 for a 5x7 portrait , and $9.99 for a 5x7 pic taken at dinner or at a port. The canvas portraits are $59.95 and you receive the 8x10 of the pic “free”. I paid $40 for a canvas on the Imagination ship. So they are really charging you for the 8x10 picture. I did buy 2 8x10 photos and 1 canvas. My daughter’s picture made it on THE WALL OF FAME and she received her 8x10 FREE!!! The buffets: The buffets left a lot to be desired. This was the first time I went to the buffet and it was CLOSED! They would close it at 2:30pm every day. Only the lido pool buffet was open with the same burgers, hotdogs, and fries available which I did not want. Pizza was really good but there was always a wait because they only make one pie at a time which seems pretty stupid when you have 3000 passengers on board. The ice-cream cones were always delicious. Pool/Hot Tubs: We did get in the hot tubs twice and they were great. The pools were small but there were 4 pools. Can’t get used to the salt water pool though. Only lasted 10 minutes in their because your eyes begin to sting very bad. The night before we were to arrive in Ocho Rios, they slipped a note under my door that the balcony would be cleaned while we were in port so as to make sure we had no belongings on the chairs. Great I thought; A clean balcony because it was so dirty. When we got back on board I checked the balcony and it was as dirty as it was when we boarded the ship. I guess to them cleaning a balcony means hosing it down with water. But they did not “clean” all the filth nor did they clean the glass below the rails. Whatever, not a big deal but worthy of noting because their service has scaled down over the years. They are catering more to a party crowd. I have NEVER experienced anything like this on any other cruise. The first 2 nights, at 1am, 3 young women decided they were going to walk down the hallway of the Empress deck yelling at the top of their lungs, cursing, and yelling “Lets Get The Party Started!” 2 nights in a row they did the same thing and got away with it. On the 3rd night, “someone” ran down the hallway banging on every door at 2 am! The last night, (Wednesday) we noticed a young black male was following us. He would not stop no matter where we went. Finally I turned around and asked him if I could help him with something and he said no. But he continued to follow us to our rooms, but of course we did not go in our rooms because we were afraid. I don’t know if he was trying to steal our jewelry or the expensive camera my friend was carrying. Thank God he have up. All in all, the cruise was enjoyable but it was just so different from my previous cruises. But I really think I am going to stick with Royal Caribbean because Carnival is catering to wild crazy people who obviously have no self-control and no manners and probably have criminal records! Excursions Done: Ocho Rios: Chukka River Tubing - Was very enjoyable but not too exciting. Pictures are taken by employees and sold on a dvd. We purchased 20 pics for $50. Bus ride was very interesting and a bit scary!! Grand Cayman: We only shopped and boarded the ship early to get in the pool without the crowd.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
This was a family reunion ,my Sister in-law and her husband live in New Orleans and the rest of us live in Surrey BC .The only ones who have cruised before are My husband and myself ,my daughter and two grand daughter haven't I am so ... Read More
This was a family reunion ,my Sister in-law and her husband live in New Orleans and the rest of us live in Surrey BC .The only ones who have cruised before are My husband and myself ,my daughter and two grand daughter haven't I am so disgusted and disappointed with Carnival cruise ,the staff was very rude and not helpful at all ( there were two or three staff members that were nice ) out of the whole ship .( it was my granddaughter's 8th birthday ,online my daughter ordered and paid for her cabin to be decorated so when we came back from our outing, so my granddaughter would be surprise for her birthday .the only thing there was a card and a present she went to information desk ( they tried to tell her it was only done after dinner , but would listen to her ,was not helpful at all ,my daughter told then it would be to late to decorate the room now so told then she wanted a refund .she didn't get it ,they decorated the cabin after dinner it was to late .we were not impressed . the ship it self smelled moldy and musty in and around our cabin ,there was water leaking water into buckets .. The quality of food was terrible, in the dinning room the food we received was cold ,three people at out table sent back ,when they replace it was not much better . We are so unhappy with Carnival ,the rest of the family are turned off of cruising ,I am so sad because I was the one who made the arrangements and This was the first time my granddaughters would meet the Aunt ,This was a very upsetting holiday and reunion , I would NOT recommend Carnival cruise to anyone .There are a lot of cruise lines to chose from ,so please beware of the one .if you don't want to waste your money. holidays and your memory's from unhappy and sad travelers   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
As far as the ship goes I really didn’t think the ship ever felt crowded…nor did I think it felt as BIG as I expected. It helps that they’re all pretty much laid out the same way. Plenty of chairs and spaces in which you can relax. ... Read More
As far as the ship goes I really didn’t think the ship ever felt crowded…nor did I think it felt as BIG as I expected. It helps that they’re all pretty much laid out the same way. Plenty of chairs and spaces in which you can relax. I LOVED our dining room staff and food. I thought it was better than my previous Cruise on Conquest (which I had no problem with either). I will say our head Waiter (Divan) was overwhelmed with too many large tables, but he did an amazing job, as did our assistants Toki and Adi. Toki is probably in training to become a Head Waiter, and will be great. The buffet food kind of seemed sparce…I feel like there used to be more options than there were. The Pizza was UH-MAZ-ING!!!!! Cant tell you how many I ate. The Pasta Bar was pretty nifty, too. I really really really missed Guys Burger joint though. Our room steward on the other hand was atrocious. She never introduced herself to us, and our first conversation was basically consistent of her telling us when she worked and that she didn’t know if she could get me an extra ice bucket. They few times we saw her, she never talked or smiled, unlike the guys who had the next block of rooms. They were great. I almost tipped them extra solely because of that. I don’t really want much out of a room steward, but I really just didn’t care to have the feeling that we were bothering her. She needs some re-training. We did the Discover Mexico tour in Cozumel, and I highly recommend it for $25. My mom has MS, and was struggling a bit walking, and our tour guide volunteered to get her a wheelchair and push her. (which was amazing that she agreed, because in the 9 years she’s had MS she has NEVER agreed to get in one). Faster to the Fun as probably the best money we spent all week. Well worth $50 per room. I love Embarkation and Debarkation in New Orleans. We've been through there twice, and it was awesome both times. All in all, it was a great cruise. We’re looking at booking the Eastern leg on the Dream next year. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I was really dismayed with the food, personel, and entertainment on the Carnival Breeze this spring. I thought on a previous cruise on the Carnival Dream that I just didn't like that particular ships food, personel, and entertainment, ... Read More
I was really dismayed with the food, personel, and entertainment on the Carnival Breeze this spring. I thought on a previous cruise on the Carnival Dream that I just didn't like that particular ships food, personel, and entertainment, but I see now that it is a Carnival problem overall. The first morning of the cruise on the Breeze the bananas were brown. By day 2 and on you couldn't get a banana anymore or any other kind of fruit than mostly melons (which I don't like). I had apples the rest of the trip. Once there were grapes placed in the salad bar, and I went to take some (I was sick of apples after a while) and was yelled at by a food server who said the grapes were only for decoration and not to eat. I already had some on my plate so I ate what I had. The shrimp in the shrimp cocktails at dinner were very small and not cold. Very dismal looking. We stopped ordering them. The main dinner menu had a section with the same food listed every night. The dining room photographer never came over to take a picture of my family (even on formal nights) whether we were with a group of passengers we didn't know or when we switched to a table of our own. That was a first! Most of the shows were boring. We stopped going. Not into Doo Wop either. Everyone crowded the Comedy shows, because it was the only show that was half way decent. We did the trivia as well. It was good and it was something to do. The Piano Bar guy thought he was funny and had the same sticht each night. He won't play your song unless you pay him a lot of cash! Ridiculous! The personel was okay, but not overly friendly or helpful. My sail in card was screwed up from the beginning of our trip and took a while to straighten out. We were given free drink tickets, but you could only use them during breakfast or lunch when we weren't in the dining room and when you don't want to drink because we were going on excursions. They wouldn't honor them at dinner our last night like we were told they would by the Customer Service desk worker. The movies at night by the pool are old. They should play more recent flicks. The young adults on our cruise were drinkers, loud, and always in the way of any walk through by the pool. I wish Carnival would put pools in the Adults only decks (Solariums), so I wouldn't have to just lay and sweat just to have some peace laying out. All in all I will pay more and cruise Royal Caribbean for my future Caribbean cruises. Far better experiences with them. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our 3rd cruise. We had read many bad reviews about the Sunshine, but we decided to book it anyhow because we know people will complain about the smallest things. Well, this time the bad reviews were right. The sewage smell on the ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise. We had read many bad reviews about the Sunshine, but we decided to book it anyhow because we know people will complain about the smallest things. Well, this time the bad reviews were right. The sewage smell on the 4th floor where the Picture gallery is was so bad at times, we couldn't go see our photos for a couple of days. Going down to the gangway to get off the ship in the ports was awful. You had to cover your nose from the awful smell. The food in the buffet was the same food everyday and not much of a variety at all. The dining room had a great menu selection every day and the service is always excellent. Also, on the top floor there are only lounge chairs. The only tables and chairs are in the eating areas. We didn't want to lay on loungers, we wanted to sit outside at a table with chairs. That might seem petty, but we are not sunbathers and we like to sit on chairs with a table so you can see. The service and staff were excellent as always. We didn't care for the Cruise Director. She didn't spend any time out on the pool deck area where there were a few activities. She hosted the game shows, the morning show and a few parties, but we didn't see her out and about. Not a big deal that she wasn't around I guess. The previous cruises we took, the CD was all over mingling with the guests. The thing that really topped it off was when the CD was hosting a game show, she made a joke about the missing Malaysian plane. NOT FUNNY. One of the contestants chose the plane for her Monopoly piece. When asked by the CD why she chose the plane, the girl replied " We flew in from San Diego and the airlines lost our luggage" The CD laughed and responded "well at least you didn't originate from Malaysia" Twice she made disrespectful comments about the Canadian flag. I guess it was an inside joke, but we didn't get it. It was rude and there were many Canadians on the ship. Lastly, there was a Murder Mystery. It was played out for about 8 days of the cruise. You had to get clues from the suspects and solve cryptograms. This took quite a bit of time to do. On the morning that the winner was to be announced, she decided that because so many people got the answer wrong, nobody got it right. She blatantly lied and said no one got it right. There were 2 correct conclusions. One was from a woman who entered 17 times (disqualified because we were only allowed one entry per cabin) The other was our family, but she would not admit it. What a waste of our time!!! So, it wasn't a terrible cruise because the service is good, the ship is clean and the rooms are clean, but I will never sail on the Sunshine again.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Before I start, this might be a lengthy review. We are a family of 5 (37, 35, 12, 11, 8). We flew from Toronto, ON to Miami, FL. We were on a 8 day cruise. We had balcony rooms #2388 & #2392. The Embarkation was very smooth. We had ... Read More
Before I start, this might be a lengthy review. We are a family of 5 (37, 35, 12, 11, 8). We flew from Toronto, ON to Miami, FL. We were on a 8 day cruise. We had balcony rooms #2388 & #2392. The Embarkation was very smooth. We had the Faster to the Fun pass so we got in before many people. First lets start with the basics. The Service- THE PEOPLE WERE AMAZING!! I heard many reviews before I left and heard that the people were rude and all that fun stuff. But, that's a lie. I can't even talk. We had 2 stateroom stewarts. 1 was Rohan from India and the other no clue of. After, dinner when we use to enter our bedrooms we had towel animals, which I LOVED!!! - Food/Dining: We had the Blush Dining Table #512. The people were so nice like Astawan, Redana & Budy. If you see them do say Hello! The food was delicious. Tandoor: If you haven't tried Indian food... YOU MUST. Steakhouse Farenheit 555: Its pricey but totally worth it. Cucina Del Capitano: That's where you will find real Italian Food. There are many in the Lido, & they're just out of this world amazing! -Ports/Shore Exursions: Grand Turk: The water is beautiful, the pool is amazing & YOU HAVE to go on the Water Ride its a lot of fun! La Romano: As soon as you get off, you go to the taxi services and your off to a tour. I thought LR was very boring, I'd say don't waste your money. Curacao: I hated the tour for this one because, they took us to a Liquer Factory and nothing else. Really? With kids... If you wanted to go to the beach you have to come back in a taxi. Which sucks. But, what I loved was that there was Starbucks with FREE-WIFI. Aruba- We didn't take a tour here, we went straight to the beach. All I'll say is when you shop do buy a dress, because whoever you see after you sail will be wearing a dress from Aruba. At the beach we went on the BananaBoat but if you go on, you should wear goggles cause the salty water will go in your eyes. Entertainment/Activities: There wasn't a lot of shows but you will enjoy the Family Friendly Comedy Show & Hasbro the GAME SHOW. But, the Mardi Gras party in the lobby was FUN! Especially, the prizes! The Blue Iguana and Red Frog parties were OUT OF THIS WORLD FUN. Dancing & having fun was the goal. Disembarkation: They call everyone by the Muster Stations. It was easy. It looks like LOOONG line, but its very fast. It's sad because, your getting out of heaven. Summary: I think if your planning to going on the perfect vacation, then Carnival is your solution. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
We are a married couple who decided to take our 18th cruise out of Charleston on the Carnival Fantasy. We drove from Atlanta to Charleston and spent the night at the airport Hampton Inn. The hotel was very nice and a short 15 minute drive ... Read More
We are a married couple who decided to take our 18th cruise out of Charleston on the Carnival Fantasy. We drove from Atlanta to Charleston and spent the night at the airport Hampton Inn. The hotel was very nice and a short 15 minute drive to the port the next morning. The port of Charleston is a little different from most ports because it is an old, small one level cruise terminal near the historic downtown area. The terminal is so small that the same area is used for luggage claim and registration, so they have to totally finish with debarkation then redo the terminal for embarkation. Parking is in old warehouses, but is secure and protected from the weather. When you arrive you drive through a serpentine path with different stations for document checks, parking payment and luggage drop off before being directed to the warehouse for parking. While it sounds difficult, it was very efficient. We took my stunningly beautiful young wife’s car, which has handicap tags, so parking was free. Normally parking is $85 for a 5 day cruise. We arrived about 11:40 AM and they started checking documents just a few minutes before noon. After parking it was a quick shuttle ride to the terminal. Registration was quick and we were on the ship by 12:30. We are platinum, so our cabin was ready for us. We dropped off our luggage and went to lunch. The Carnival Fantasy is Carnival’s oldest ship at 24 years, but it has been meticulously maintained and is in like new condition. Everything in the ship looked like it was new and was in top operating condition. In fact, the carpet in our stateroom looked brand new. We were in cabin U88, which is a suite with a balcony. The cabin was spotlessly clean, bright and inviting. This cruise had 2 ports: Nassau and Freeport. We spent a little time shopping and had lunch in Nassau. At Freeport we took a taxi to Port Lucaya and did some shopping. I was pleased to see there is now shopping and restaurants at the port, with more construction underway. There is so much available right at the port that I do not see a reason to go to Port Lucaya for shopping on future visits – many of the same items were available right at the port. This cruise had two sea days, and there was a plethora of activities, with something for everyone. The entertainment staff seemed to be everywhere ensuring everyone had a good time. The food onboard was outstanding. While the Lido buffet is smaller than on some of the newer ships, there was a good selection of food and the hot food was good and hot. The Mongolian Wok was popular for lunch, but the line was never too long (usually a 5 minute wait) and the food was excellent. My stunningly beautiful young wife has some food allergies, and it seems like the entire food and beverage department went out of their way to ensure she had great food that she could eat. For example, she cannot eat many of the desserts, so the hostess asked the chef to prepare a special dessert for her each night, which she totally enjoyed. Everyone we encountered on the ship was pleasant, helpful and fun. The Carnival Fantasy has a genuinely happy crew, which is a testament to the senior officers. Among this stellar crew, there are a few individuals who stood out: Bernie, our Team Head Waiter in the dining room. He took my stunningly beautiful young wife’s food order for the next night to accommodate her food allergies. The chefs prepare food for folks with allergies in a separate area of the kitchen to ensure no cross contamination. This made extra work for Bernie and his team, but they maintained a very high level of service, and my stunningly beautiful young wife was always served with the rest of us at the table (table of 10). Natasha, the dining room hostess. She took my stunningly beautiful young wife’s dinner order the first day during the dining inquiries time (a good time to inform the staff if you have food allergies) and noticed that she did not order a dessert due to her allergies. She worked with the chef for special desserts every night that were delicious. Simply amazing customer service. Napassaporn and Supawadi, the staff at the Bistro coffee shop. We went to the coffee shop once or twice a day, and these two are amazing. Efficient, friendly, and with an incredible memory of what we ordered. They would be waiting on the customer ahead of me and take my order non-verbally, literally serving two different customers at the same time. Wally, the assistant cruise director. He was engaging, friendly, funny, high energy and memorable. A true pleasure to be around. He has a great future with Carnival. Jocelyn “Shorty” Blandford, the cruise director. Shorty may be diminutive in stature, but she is big on fun. She has a great stage presence and uses her high energy brand of fun to make the cruise more enjoyable. We saw her often around the ship, always cheerful and smiling, very accessible to the guests, ensuing everyone had a great time. We have cruised with her before when she was an assistant cruise director, and we are very pleased to have her as cruise director on our cruise. Debarkation was smooth and efficient. It appeared that a lot of folks did self debarkation, so there were fewer bags for zone debarkation. As platinum we had priority debarkation, which was a breeze. They took folks with disabilities down the elevator, avoiding the long ramp, which was an unexpected courtesy. Customs and the shuttle back to parking was quick and we were on the road before 8:30 AM. In summary we were very satisfied with this wonderful ship and wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Overall- a good time with family and friends on the Freedom. We were a group of 21. Embarkation was quick we were asked to not show up until 2pm but showed up around 11:30am. I had three ,carnival gift cards, presented them at check-in ... Read More
Overall- a good time with family and friends on the Freedom. We were a group of 21. Embarkation was quick we were asked to not show up until 2pm but showed up around 11:30am. I had three ,carnival gift cards, presented them at check-in they weren't sure how to enter them so it slowed down the process slightly. Overall not much of a wait. The ship is nice, there are 2 dining rooms one for your time dining and one for the scheduled time dining. Our group thought we had a scheduled time but somehow it hadn't happened. New showed early at e chic dining room and they seated us together so it all worked out. The ship is a little gaudy but it seems to work after all we were there for fun. The service was good, our room steward was very nice and helpful as were the wait staff and the front desk staff. Our statement was hard to follow with the credits for the gift cards and onboard credits but again they were helpful in explaining it all so that I felt comfortable. The sail an sign kiosks were also awesome to help track on board spending, you could add cash to your account if you had a cash account at the kiosk instead of standing in line at the desk. The entertainment was good, the freedoms dancers and band were entertaining as we expected. The Motown entertainer was good but maybe not as much as the others. Good comedians and Thor punch-liner comedy club was well attended..packed actually. Food- the lido buffets were okay nothing outstanding but nothing awful either. I thought the food overall was not as good as it had been on a previous cruise on the Miracle. The dining room had a lot to offer but again the food was okay, not fabulous but good. We didn't use room service but saw a lot of others using it. Quite a few in our group loved the pizza. St. Thomas - fun we did a shore excursion to St. John which was beautiful Antigua- port was a little intense but once away from Roadtown beautiful Tortola- our overall favorite, beautiful, friendly Cane Garden Bay was outstanding Nassau the Bahamas- better than I expected, Ardastra gardens was low key and the foliage was lush. Felt relatively safe in port area. The cruise director prepared cruisers for nassau with safety tips. Disembarkation- we booked the Everglades tour after the cruise since we had a long wait for our plane. Exited the ship as one of the first groups off,gathered our luggage, boarded a bus and off to the Everglades on a well organized tour. A nice end to our vacation. There were a lot of activities, friendly staff, ok food, awesome ports and good weather. My only complaint was our room due to its location..under the lido dining room- very noisy and irritating. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Ok your reviews have helped me so hopefully my review may help someone. My 14 year old daughter and I sailed on 1/15/14 on the fantasy. Day one, getting into port for parking and customs is very easy and fast. You go to the first stop and ... Read More
Ok your reviews have helped me so hopefully my review may help someone. My 14 year old daughter and I sailed on 1/15/14 on the fantasy. Day one, getting into port for parking and customs is very easy and fast. You go to the first stop and show your boarding pass, next stop is passport and to make sure you have everything you need to board, next stop is luggage drop off, then you park inside a warehouse. A shuttle then picks you up and drives you to the entrance to customs/ship. The first stop in customs is the X-ray machine. They did open my case of soft drinks and check them and shook my bottled water. After this you go to the desk to get your sail and sign card and then you board the ship. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. We then went to the lido deck for a great cheeseburger and fries. we were able to get in our room at 130. We had 3 bags checked and one bag was waiting for us at 130 when we went to our room. We got the remaining ones before we left the port. We we're is room E154. The room was very clean. The ship for that matter was very clean, saw staff constantly cleaning the ship. Day two was a little rocky at sea, the capt advised there was 5 foot swells. Neither my daughter nor I got sick luckily. My daughter made numerous friends and was having a great time. I found my favorite spot on the ship, the promenade outside the forum in a chaise with a large window looking out into the water. Great place to curl up with a good book. Day three, balmoral island, my daughter did the dolphin swim. She said that the encounter is nice but the swim is not. The dolphins will not let you touch them during the swim, the encounter is more hands on. They took great pictures of her with the dolphin.we bought them all. I did the deluxe beAch day. It was relaxing, the music is a little loud but if you sit close to sandals resort it is quieter. They do beach volleyball, and dancing and contests. I had a cheeseburger and fries, it was a little dry but ok. It is big enough to split with two people. I would do this excursion again. The beach is very clean and they are still adding to it as we'll to make it nicer. Day four is Freeport, we stayed on the boat. We were late leaving port due to a death on the boat, port authority had to do their investigation and clear us to leave. Never found out what happened. Didn't leave until almost 730pm. Day five the boat was rocking worse than the other day at sea. My daughter felt a little nausea but was ok. A lot of people getting sea sick this day. People were holding on to the walls to walk straight. Ok positives and negatives of the ship: if you are someone that needs to be entertained then you are not going to like this ship. I loved it because I am a homebody that likes to relax with a good book. The entertainment is lacking. The food was always hot and delicious. I ate omelets every morning. They are made to order. For lunch I had pizza, burgers, and had speghetti one day in the dining room brunch. A little warning the speghetti is spicy. I had your time dining in the celebration dining room and never had to wait. The dining room staff was very attentive. The chocolate melting cake was out of this world. The only thing I didn't like about my room was it is right under the galley and you hear rolling carts, pot and pans and dishes all night long. I take sleep meds so it wasn't too bad for me until about 3am when the meds starting wearing off. I saw Tim young one of the comedians and he was funny. The has to game shows were cute. There is a man that plays a guitar and piano, he is very good. Shorty the cruise director is very nice and entertaining. My cabin steward was very nice and did a great job toweling our room clean. The staff on the boat was very friendly and I never had any negative experience. I had a Swedish massage in the spa and OMG bongile ndubane has magic hands. I carry all my tension in my neck and shoulders and she got them to relax. Definitely worth every penny. I would definitely sail the fantasy again and my daughter said she loved it as well. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was my 3rd cruise in the last 3 years. It was my first with Carnival and I was blown away. The ship is in great condition and it has a great energy. The staff were all very easy going and aim to please. The list of positives far out ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise in the last 3 years. It was my first with Carnival and I was blown away. The ship is in great condition and it has a great energy. The staff were all very easy going and aim to please. The list of positives far out way the negatives, however it's important to share a few things. The cruise director is atrocious. His comedic timing is laughable in a very bad way. It was like watching a SNL skit as they poke fun at lounge singers. His "team" follow their leader as well and it's embarrassing. The girl who "warms" the crowd at the comedy shows is brutal. In addition the karaoke hostess makes you want to sing the blues. In my opinion a stronger cruise staff would make this ship a 10/10. They do take it down a notch. The DJ's couldn't be any further apart. DJ Spike is awesome. He really plays off the crowd and is energetic. We enjoyed his sets regardless if it was on the lido or in the club. DJ Flo-Rin is lost. His sets are repetitive. It was to the point you knew which songs were coming next. Tried to speak to him but was basically told to mind my business. The dining room is spot on, guy's burgers (boom!), the red frog and blue iguana are great watering holes. Overall, I'll be returning to cruise with Carnival again. They have won me over. Read Less
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