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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Poor Service. This was my first cruise, and I expected the greatest time of my life on this new ship, the Vista, from reviews online and from my sister (a frequent cruiser on other Carnival ships). I was told that I would be treated very ... Read More
Poor Service. This was my first cruise, and I expected the greatest time of my life on this new ship, the Vista, from reviews online and from my sister (a frequent cruiser on other Carnival ships). I was told that I would be treated very special, akin to a queen, with free food and waiters/butlers EVERYWHERE and at all times. However, neither happened. I had to PAY for everything I wanted, on a supposedly an all-inclusive cruise, spending approx. $1K on the ship for food and a few drinks for my husband and me. My entire group on this cruise (my husband, and two sisters with their husbands) each paid for "Faster to the Fun" (FTTF) perks, and we all found that package was a waste of money, except for when we had to stand in line at Guest Services. I spent most of the trip searching for food, only to find out that the eating places were only open at certain times with small windows (12-2) and everything closed for late night (except for a pizza shop that had thousands of people in the line also searching for a late night snack), including the “specialty restaurants” serving sub-par food during the 2 hours they were open for lunch and then serving better food at a premium price when it re-opened at 5 pm. The main buffet on the Lido was closed most of the time, with long lines and a lack of food variety being served, especially at breakfast. Omelettes served at breakfast with either a bad mix of or unmixed eggs (see photos) in one of only 2 LONG lines serving over 4000 guests. Lunch lines were long where only sandwiches were being served, while the rest of the buffet areas were closed. To top it off, room service only offered a continental breakfast. Furthermore, I had to fetch whatever I needed (i.e., water, condiments, etc.), after being pointed in the direction BY the waiters as where to find whatever I was asking for (when they were even around – typically, we had to walk to find one). We also lounged several times on decks where we had to either find a waiter to order our drinks or go stand in a line to get them ourselves (which was the norm on this cruise), including on the Lido deck and at parties. When we lounged on the 5th floor deck, I NEVER saw a waiter... ever… on any occasion when we were there. Further, I waited forever on hold for Guest Services, using my "dedicated" extension to call them (so long that the call was disconnected each time). Few outlets in rooms, tho the rooms were nice. Lastly, for debarkation, I also had to wait for someone to meet me and my party, as per FTTF instructions provided, for debarkation at the end of the cruise -- a no-show! No one came to escort us off the ship. We eventually left the designated "meeting" location and joined a "general" line outside in another area to debark. I complained to the female cruise director about the debarkation issues when I saw her, while I stood in the long "general" line with others (folks who had not subscribed to FTTF) to exit the ship. She pulled us out of that “general” line and placed us in another shorter line (thanks for that!). My sisters, who both cruise often on other ships, including Carnival, also tried to assure me that this was not the norm for Carnival (they were also disappointed with the service). Needless to say [again], I was extremely disappointed, as my experience did not match the countless reviews that depicted a wonderful life on a cruise. I expressed my dismay to Carnival, but received no response, much less an apology. I will never take a Carnival cruise again, based on my experience on board the Vista. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We went on a short "themed" cruise to Ensenada. We were very excited and we looked forward to our first cruise. What a complete Disappointment The Good: The wait staff and room staff were excellent. The comedy show was ... Read More
We went on a short "themed" cruise to Ensenada. We were very excited and we looked forward to our first cruise. What a complete Disappointment The Good: The wait staff and room staff were excellent. The comedy show was decent The Food was terrible.....the only decent meal was the hamburger, but how many hamburgers can one person eat. The buffet was terrible - breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all below par. The only good items from the buffet were the fresh fruit and chocolate brownies (available after midnight). The food on the ship tastes like its frozen and just reheated. The buffet even messed up the prime rib and carved turkey....The tacos/burritos/ and Mexican breakfasts on the pool deck were horrible. The only good item from the dining rooms was the Escargot (surprise, but it's soaked in garlic, butter, and topped with melted cheese). The Pool is soooooo very small. It's literally smaller than one's pool at your home, but it's supposed to accomodate 2,000 passengers. We were so very disappointed and won't be going on any other cruises after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our very first cruise and there was 15 of us. When we first got onboard the first thing we noticed was the food stations were overflowing with choices: steak, chicken, pasta chinese, bbq. Amazing! Well, that was the last time we ... Read More
This was our very first cruise and there was 15 of us. When we first got onboard the first thing we noticed was the food stations were overflowing with choices: steak, chicken, pasta chinese, bbq. Amazing! Well, that was the last time we saw any of that. Most nights, there was only 1 line open and it offered maybe 2 main dishes which were awful such as Ham or a Chicken dish with all the sides and salad bar. We have always heard of the excellent and abundant food buffets on cruises, but it was't on this ship! The main dining room was much better, but it was the back of the boat and some of our guests felt the ocean moving too much and couldn't eat in there. I also think Carnival needs to decide if they want to be a family ship or a party ship, but you can't have it both ways. One day, around noonish, there was a alcohol inspired game show and the contestants got super crazy, and I'm no prude, but they did this on the side of the ship where water slide pool was located with a ton of kids, including mine. Not appropriate! I also paid into the Bubbles package and it was a huge mistake. There are no soda stations in food buffet areas, so if my kids wanted a soda with their meals or even while sitting around the pool, they had to go to the bar and wait until the server was finished making 20 frozen drinks, all while enjoying the company of the heavy drinkers and fowl language. Also, one morning as I was walking around with my young son on the top deck, I fell harshly down 2 steps. The floor is wood, it had a "slime" residue and I was trying to be very careful. After I fell, there were 2 crewmen close by and they acted as if they could care less. Fortunately there was a nice family who ran over to help. I couldn't believe the crewmen did nothing. As they walked by, they did ask if i was ok, but didn't offer a arm to help me up! I was sore but refused to go to infirmary. I woke up next morning, bruised over the whole right side of my body. Pain was awful, but i was with my family of 15 people and didn't want it to ruin my trip. I iced up as much as I could, and got on with my trip. The rooms were nice, the other food options were good so overall I guess the value was there, but before I would even consider recommending Carnival to anyone, they have some growing up to do! Kim Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Wife wanted to go on her first cruise. So we decided to split the vacation. Sort cruise out of Miami then some time down in the Keys. Cruise started out bad with long 4 hour delay with everyone stuck in the port waiting building. Not ... Read More
Wife wanted to go on her first cruise. So we decided to split the vacation. Sort cruise out of Miami then some time down in the Keys. Cruise started out bad with long 4 hour delay with everyone stuck in the port waiting building. Not allowed on the ship but in this terminal building which was way overcrowded, not enough chairs. People sitting on the floor, only 4 vending machines with one of them not working and the others soon empty. No communication as to what the hold up was or when we would be able to board. Ship was suppose to leave port at 4:30 but we managed to pull out of port at 10:30, well there went on sunset at sea. Now for the food. We ate three dinners in the dinning room and one at the buffet. Did not matter the food was just plain bad. Never once was it hot and at some points downright room temp. We usually ate the appetizer, salad and picked a bit at the poorly made main course. Also if we had a baked potato had to ask several time to receive butter or sour cream which of course potato was not warm enough to even melt. Also days of class must be gone on Carnival. On so called "Elegant dress night" we put on the decent slacks and jacket and the wife a nice dress. Guess most of the guests did not get the memo. Since most were in shorts tanks and less. But since half of your dinner the staff is singing happy birthday or happy anniversary at the top of the off key lungs, what does it matter anyway. We tried the buffet one night and it was if anything even worse, and you had folks who looked like they had not missed many meals but seemed to be of the mindset that this one was there last. The activity's we really not good. They had trivia in a lounge which seemed like it may be fun, until I went and seen that the host could not speak English well enough for anyone to understand the questions. The "house band" I actually took a photo of just so I could show my buddies what the worlds worst cover band looks like. The room was fine. One of the closet doors was falling off but when we told staff the third time someone came in a fixed it. Ship itself is ok but a bit tired around the edges. Noticed some of the hot tubs closed down and looked like they had been for some time. The good. Staff were great, did what they could with what the ship has. The comedy show was really very good (be warned it is adult and somewhat crude) but very funny. If we ever cruise again it will not be with carnival Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I had cabin 12201 Carnival dream, spa balcony cabin. It was our first cruise.Cabin was beautiful .Spa was great ohhh thalosopool how i miss you, and the relaxation room. Everything was wonderful. Scarlett dining room staff ... Read More
My husband and I had cabin 12201 Carnival dream, spa balcony cabin. It was our first cruise.Cabin was beautiful .Spa was great ohhh thalosopool how i miss you, and the relaxation room. Everything was wonderful. Scarlett dining room staff are the tops!!(Iputoo and Bido)not to mention how much fun shoooowtime is!! Very professional and made you feel special.I loved our 815pm assigned dining made you feel very formal and dressy! Very friendly and gracious.The food was delicious, shrimp cocktails,salmon cakes,ceasar salads,prime rib and the lobster tails were great!! We had so many romantic quiet evenings. I didn't think we would like the dive in theater but it was a great way to relax watching Batman snuggled in a blanket. The serinity area was great for sunning and having a pina colada. Show in the encore theater was fancy and enjoyable!! The dream was magnificent!!! I cannot wait to go again!!!! 5 stars and the towel animals were lovely.(husband also misses pizza pirate!!!!!) Excursions : Deluxe beach catamaran and snorkel in Cozumel cannot be missed!!! This crew is very professional and fun!!!! I read so many reviews about bad snorkeling groups, i was worried. Fury Catamaran was the best!!! Organized ride to snorkel spot that was beautiful, coral,schools of fish,good equipment it was fantastic, then the ride to the beach was fun,music,drinks,soda , family friendly, even though we had no kids with us,No one had any troubles, and there was plenty of space to snorkel.It was our first time snorkeling and we did great . I will also add in i have arthritis and there catamaran has stairs that go down into the sea so it was easier to get in and out of the water.Jesus group was great!! Beach was lovely, sea was beautiful i would do this again defintely!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We won a "free" cruise trip through a raffle and booked our first cruise with Carnival Fantasy to the Bahamas. Our trip set sail Friday and returned monday. Overall we had a good experience as first time cruisers. No sea ... Read More
We won a "free" cruise trip through a raffle and booked our first cruise with Carnival Fantasy to the Bahamas. Our trip set sail Friday and returned monday. Overall we had a good experience as first time cruisers. No sea sickness, great hospitality service of the staff of Carnival, plenty of activities to do. Only downfall was the comfort of the beds (but that's understandable since we are on a ship) and some of the patrons were young and rowdy. If Carnival has another trip/line that caters to an older crowd, it'd be a perfect 5/5. Overall though very pleased with our first cruise. Food was good and plenty of selection. The cabins were clean and more space than expected. Bahamas was wonderful and it was great that our trip included staying at the port over night so no worries about rushing back to the boat. I would definitely recommend. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I'm a 52 yo male and this was my first ever cruise. We chose Carnival because we live near NOLA and we thought that a 5 night cruise to Cozumel and Progresso would be a good starter. My wife has been on two previous cruises and we ... Read More
I'm a 52 yo male and this was my first ever cruise. We chose Carnival because we live near NOLA and we thought that a 5 night cruise to Cozumel and Progresso would be a good starter. My wife has been on two previous cruises and we traveled with our 2.5 yo son. Our two daughters, 16 and 23 shared a separate cabin down the hall. The cruise was really for them and the son was along for the ride. The Triumph Everyone knows this ship is a little old and the colors and decor is a little dated. But the bars, deck lounging and seating was plentiful. The pools were crowded. The nightclubs, restaurants, and lounges all had wonderful classy atmospheres and ambiance. The elevators were all functional and timely even though the LED floor/up/down indicators weren't always accurate and were hard to read. You don't see many public restrooms nor trashcans. The corridors get over crowded during photograph viewing and yes Carnival does take plenty of pictures for you to purchase. The Food and Drink We purchased the Cheers drink plan. Bars are plentiful and bartenders are all great mixers. We enjoyed dinner each night at 6PM in the Paris Dining Hall. Here is where Carnival excelled. The food was always served hot and its presentation was wonderful. Our 6PM dine time conflicted with the start of many entertainment shows but that was our choice. Entertainment I do not believe you can enjoy all of the entertainment offered. It is constant, round the clock. Plenty of singing, dancing, comedy, magic, is available all over the ship so plan ahead and squeeze in dining when you can. We don't gamble but the casino is large and offered everything. For the Kids Our son enjoyed about 3 hours of Club Ocean. It appeared safe and engaging for them. I'm sure he had a good time the one day he went but he pitched a fit when we tried to bring him back we think only because he was having a better time running around with us. Our 16yo daughter enjoyed the teenage niteclub nightly. She made some friends there and spent a lot of time with them. The Crew Well you want find any Americans working on this cruise ship. These men and women are the most dedicated, hard working people I have ever had the pleasure of watching work. Its unfortunate of their employment conditions that they labor under. I've read some of the horror stories online since we got back on shore. TIP THESE FOLKS, TIP THEM! The Stops Ok first, God bless America. We left the comfort of our home and ship and stepped into Cozumel and Progresso, a third world country wrought with blight and poverty. So be warned. Summary Overall a extraordinary experience that I would enjoy again and again albeit in more civilized destinations. Our cruise made for a fantastic summertime family vacation whose price was a little more expensive than a week in a condo on a Florida beach but cheaper than a week in Disneyworld. Not only would I cruise again, I would choose Carnival and highly recommend the experience for any first timers considering going whether it be a family vacation or a romantic getaway. Well done Carnival, well done. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first trip and if we didn't have friends with us that had gone on numerous cruises that advised us this was their worst trip and the others were much better.We probably wouldn't ever cruise again. Pros: The ... Read More
This was our first trip and if we didn't have friends with us that had gone on numerous cruises that advised us this was their worst trip and the others were much better.We probably wouldn't ever cruise again. Pros: The staff for the most part were very friendly. We enjoyed dining in the dining room and choices. Enjoyed the shows. Cons: The shower overflowed into the bathroom and the hallway of the cabin. Got bites around my ankles at night in bed as did my daughter (hopefully not bed bugs). The top comforter Very out dated ship with many flaws. I had heard about the fact we could eat at any time of day or night. This was not the case. Most buffets shut down early and had the same old food (hamburgers,hot dogs and chicken tenders.) There was a small pizza place open that had one person working it and he couldnt keep up. Had to wait 20 to 30 mins for 2 pcs of pizza. It was a $20.00 sur charge for lobster and some other higher end steaks.(my friends said this was a first for them that usually its included. Bars didn't have enough bar tenders therefore it took a while to get a drink. Had conflicting stories from the ship personell about what could and could not be placed on my drink pass. Lastly, we were supposed to be going to Cayman and Cozumel but due to a medical emergency we had to return to the Cayman island. Therefore we spent two days there which is too much . The prices are awful on the island. While we understood why we didnt go to Cozumel we felt taht we were owed something but all we rec'd was 9.95 back. One drink in Cayman is that much . Will NEVER cruise on the paradise ever again. May never cruise Carnival again Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We went on the cruise to try to get our love back but I ended up getting food poisioning from the blacken mahi mahi and was confined to my room until Tuesday I finally get a chance to go out with my wife and walk into the hall and smell ... Read More
We went on the cruise to try to get our love back but I ended up getting food poisioning from the blacken mahi mahi and was confined to my room until Tuesday I finally get a chance to go out with my wife and walk into the hall and smell the worst odor that I shouldn't have smelled. The room ac was never up to par especially after the heavy black smoke came from the smoke stack n the captain saying theirs no reason to be alarmed. the service for room service was horriable I got raw uncooked bacon on my BLT and they ran out of things that we ordered. I really was looking forward to this cruise and was very disappointed. I'm sorry for anyone that experienced the same as I did and I will not recommend the carnival dream as a cruise to take on my next journey of my endevours Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
When you are planning and booking the cruise - you need to realize -- EVERYTHING is extra. The prices were not what we expected at all. My 17 year old said this cruise is " for those who drink or gamble" Spent most the ... Read More
When you are planning and booking the cruise - you need to realize -- EVERYTHING is extra. The prices were not what we expected at all. My 17 year old said this cruise is " for those who drink or gamble" Spent most the time in the room because the basketball court was always closed. THe excursions were fun and made the it somewhat worth while but the boat itself is not and also the ship tracer for my family back home to watch where we are currently froze up tonight so they can no longer watch and the web cam at the front and rear of the boat ---photos on the ship have not changed so please don't advertise this if it isn't working. Double charged my debit card one night also for arcade and web charges. The room is amazingly nice thank you because we spent most the time in there Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
First cruise! What a disappointment. First of all I felt the service was wonderful. Our cabin Stewart, Francis was wonderful. Our dinner server Marichu was fabulous. I guess my expectations were high which is why I'm ... Read More
First cruise! What a disappointment. First of all I felt the service was wonderful. Our cabin Stewart, Francis was wonderful. Our dinner server Marichu was fabulous. I guess my expectations were high which is why I'm disappointed with this cruise. Being on a ship for two consecutive days, I would have liked there to be more to do. The first day we sat out in the sun. The pools are very small. The pool is more like a place to cool off and get out. Forget about swimming. There are two bars on either side of the pool. If you like to drink, you'll be fine. The food is near the pool too. Enjoy! I'm not much of a drinker. if your a first time cruiser, pack a refillable drink container with you. You can fill it with lemonade and keep it with you. I did buy the soda package. I used it, but probably didn't need it. Take some kind of lanyard with you as well. You need to put your key in something and have it close by. Thank God for the kids club! My daughter would have been very bored without it. Make sure you utilize this if you have kids. My daughter didn't want to leave. At one point i wanted to stay too. I found the best part of the whole ship was the serenity deck. It's peaceful and it has shade. The food! Well, it's good. Not great. There isn't much of a variety on a daily basis. Yes I am picky. I can say that. After 3 days in a row I couldn't have steak again. I was shocked to see meatloaf on the menu one night. Each night I had shrimp cocktail, steak with a baked potato and warm chocolate melting cake for dessert. We ate in the same dining room each night. Our service was amazing. Breakfast was always the same. I did enjoy the omelet stations. The late night pizza was terrible. Get to the grill before it closes for a sandwich. They were good. We did one excursion and that was on st. Kitts. It was the Dolphin excursion. We loved every minute of it. Wish it was longer. I didn't want to get out of the water. The entertainment on the ship was weak. The shows only lasts door a half hour. We did enjoy the illusionist. The comedians were ok, but only 30 minute shows. I expected more. The activities were almost non existent. The welcome show by the staff was exciting,but that was it. Dr. Seuss is a character on board that was a highlight for my daughter. We enjoyed the breakfast we had, but I don't think we should have had to pay extra for it. Even though it was $5 extra per person. We did enjoy the movies by the pool. All too many times you couldn't find a seat, but keep trying. That was a highlight of the trip. The pictures. Of course you want them all. Each time you buy a picture, you earn something. Afte r3,6,10. I ended up with 10 pictures. Be prepared to get one taken as you walk off the ship at each port, dinner, extra places on the ship. This cruise forced me to relax! I was bored. I read three books, and took a nap almost each day. Most likely I won't cruise again. This was t for me. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
On board the Carnival FunShip Fascination is like living with “Aladdin's Lamp” First time on a cruise which has been postponed for many years, for many reasons. Then this "oh, never on Carnival" comments we ... Read More
On board the Carnival FunShip Fascination is like living with “Aladdin's Lamp” First time on a cruise which has been postponed for many years, for many reasons. Then this "oh, never on Carnival" comments we heard/read from many, put a stop to our wishes to experience a cruise to the destinations we would love to go to. If you're impatient, or bored of reading long reports you can move to the next one, because this is long!!! Although we are beach people, we do many of the "cultural" and exhausting sightseeing vacations too, or sometimes the two together. But, a cruise! 10 years ago was a straight “no”, then it was a “maybe”, for the last 3-4 years “yes, but can we really do it”?… Let me tell you: it's a fact that we're all getting old, and we all want our peace and quiet when vacationing, but, as much as I am not sociable, no more parties etc in my life, I thought I'd rather be on a party cruise than being on a cruise there is only elegant and quiet dining with high profile businessmen & women! And, this is what we heard about Carnival, only the partiers go on this one!! Finally with my vacation period from work (Henry works for himself, so no concerns with his schedule), we only had one option to the destinations we wanted to visit and that was on Carnival Fascination. Reading cruisecritic.com and many other websites, I was expecting a little boat, with lots of noise, a small room, terrible food, terrible staff, terrible service, and only drunk customers around... Well … It was about 3 weeks before the departure date I was able to get my schedule at work for June, and plan/book the trip. Arranging and organizing everything around it, we arrived at our lovely hotel in Barbados about 5 days in advance ... Yes you can call it a "Vacation before vacation". This was not our first time visit to our little heaven Coconut Court Beach Hotel, and returning somewhere we knew, felt awesome (check my report about this place from several years ago on tripadvisor.com, but now it is even better than the last time). But the real worry on our minds was if in 7 days, were we going to find ourselves getting bored on the cruise, or really enjoying it!... We were at the Barbados port right at 11am on the embarkation day, with some other passengers who were staying at Coconut Court as well. The first observation: the employees at the port, who were lovely, fun & helpful, directed us to a shuttle bus between the port and the ship. When we stepped on the ship we were in awe! My first reaction getting out of the elevator was "OMG... This is like visiting a classic Las Vegas hotel". ... So, it was a love at first sight for me! Yup, I love classic Vegas ...new too...but, you know what I mean. That feel of a well established business is always cool ☺ Then we waited for our official check in, when we got our keys in our hands with tons of info, we got kind of nervous... Are we now really trapped in here? By the way, there were many employees everywhere wearing a red t-shirt, with large text on them “JUST ASK”. This was a really nice arrangement and comforting welcome. While heading towards our room, we bumped into many other employees on duty, and all were smiling, working and welcoming us. And the second we opened our room door... Haaaaaa... Shock, a pleasant shock. The size of the room, the balcony, the view from our balcony, and the way our room was prepared. Let me provide this info before we go on: if one finds these rooms small, and complains about them, one should never travel to Japan (my favorite, my #1 destination). The room & bathroom size together is 3 times bigger than any room in Shinjuku (except Hilton & Westin etc with CAD350+ price tags per night). The cleanliness of the room was better than many hotels anywhere in the world including Canada. I travel for work, and stay at different hotels frequently, so I have a slight idea of hotel room cleanliness. Right after our arrival we met our room steward Tri ... He and his team took care of us for the whole 7 days. Because of him specifically, I used the headline I used. Aladdin's Lamp! Every time we walked into or out of our room, Tri showed up to make sure we were ok. If we needed anything, he was available all the time. Every night when we returned back to our room, he had already turned our bed with a magical towel ornament on it!!!! It was different every night, which put a big smile on our faces. After the first impression of all this, we attended an orientation & mandatory safety briefing. We even won a St. Kitts zip-lining voucher but at our age we are not into it, and also we had other plans there (the details are below). So, we showed up at the shore excursion desk to ask an employee if we could exchange the voucher for anything else that was available, at any of the other destinations. Well, the one and only disappointment was this lady, who just shrugged her shoulders, and took the voucher folded up, possibly for recycling. However, her shrugging shoulders behavior has been recovered by ALL THE OTHER Carnival employees that were on the ship. So I will not belabor this point. I, of course, left a little note with the customer service desk suggesting they look into these situations, as the girl at the excursion desk didn’t seem to care, and didn’t attempt to do anything (not even an apology!). We’re not sure if my note was the reason or not, but on day 2 there was a (1 week early) birthday card for Henry with some wonderful gift vouchers. A spa gift card for USD50, another gift card for a bottle of wine (value USD25), and a voucher to be used towards a photo! So, no matter how this happened, this was an elegant way to engage the customers by the Carnival management. Bravo! Because we are very early risers (6-7am even with the time difference – for us it’s 3-4am), we had our breakfast at the buffet except 3 mornings... Also many of the mornings we were either the first to leave the ship, or within the first 5-6 people as per security.... OK, back to the breakfast! The buffet breakfast is for everyone... If you can't find a breakfast item you like or you can’t eat at this buffet, you must carry your own food. Fruits, eggs, omelette made to order, cereals, yogurts, sausages, bacon, pastries, cheese, toast, French-toast, pancakes and many more ... They are all available. The dining room breakfast was with selected items, which were amazing. I also like my coffee in a porcelain mug, and this was available only at the dining room. They are not available at the buffet. Only plastic (reusable kind) cups... But the reasoning behind is understandable. Pretty much each day we left the ship at around 8 am and returned back at around 230-330 pm. Either we ate our lunch at the shore, or we had a snack on board. Then we hit the “million dollar” view gym! The gym/spa area was so attractive we basically wanted to go to the gym. I know, I know! Magical stuff happens on board Our dinner was "your time" dinner, which we loved. We didn’t have to sit with other people at all. It was at the dining room called Sensation. The staff at Sensation worked also at the buffet with different uniforms. So, I have to say the head-waiters/head-waitress, Elias, William, Ayu are rockstars ... We enjoyed their service immensely. Also, Hendra, Richy, Milagres, Ireneo, I Made and many others who work there every single night are fantastic people, fantastic characters, fantastic workers who knew us by name and gave the best service that can be given to the customers. Although, when we were seated in their section, each one of them introduced themselves and their team for the night, Ayu really stood out with her conversation opening introduction. “Hello, good evening! Welcome, my name is Ayu, I’m from Indonesia, and I’ll be serving you tonight with my colleagues … (and she says the names of her team mates)”. After this kind of a welcome, only one thing happens, your heart warms up … and after the first time she welcomes people (for example us) “Hello Idil, hello Henry, welcome back … how was your day today?”. I have never had such an experience in my whole life. I’m 50 and travelled almost around the world. And, the little music/dance break during the dinner is a fantastic idea. So, the music starts and the whole service team stops what they’re doing and starts singing and dancing (all synchronized!). Sometimes they dance with the customers too. What fun every night! Great choice of music too. Service is one thing that we see and judge … but I cannot NOT mention the kitchen folks... the food quality (taste & presentation), the menu choices... Oh my god … It’s 20 out of 10!!! There is an everyday menu filled with fantastic appetizers, main courses (and there is a choice for vegetarians too), then the second page menu changes every day. Again everyday there would be a choice of a vegetarian meal. I am not vegetarian but I read the menu everyday very, very carefully! For sure you will find something that will tickle your fancy, or something you were always curious about would be showing up, and you’d try! Your taste buds will have a major feast! In the end, whoever prepared that menu did one fine job. I'd say the person who suggested and made the final decision to keep the warm melting chocolate cake on the everyday dessert menu should be the President of the Food and Beverage department (perhaps s/he has already been promoted!). It's just out of this world! Almost every night after midnight, I heard my name being called at the buffet area while Henry was having his “before bed” ice-cream treat at the 24-hour self-serve machines... It was always Ayu finishing her shift at the buffet clean up. It is such a casual environment, but, there is always that knowledge & professionalism. I simply loved the style, mentality and the customer approach of this company, and Ayu for being so personable. It is a pure vacation & pure relaxation! Having said all this, hats off to the trainers who train these people all the same: respectful, knowledgeable, very professional, yet very friendly and genuine. Who are the direct & indirect supervisors and managers of these frontline workers? They have to be commended as well. Obviously, there are some people behind the scenes who are doing their jobs just perfectly! Congratulations! And now the Cruise Directors... Always available, always fun, always laughing, mingling with the passengers (customers). So, good looking Felipe is funny, confident (rightfully so!), knows what he is doing (aka Mr. Woohoo!!!), and very comfortable on the stage. I honestly don’t know what other responsibilities he would have, but I’m sure he is good at what he is doing. The assistant Cruise Director... “Kris with a K” is a very special, solid guy with a great smile. Oh my god, he is so charming, he has such a positive disposition (how? I need tips!). He is fun, he FOR SURE is one of the BEST dancers out there (along with the headwaiter William) and his name tag "Kris with a K" is more than brilliant. And, yes, his charm made me spend “a lot of” money at the bingo games he held. I never thought I'd like bingo this much, and we simply can’t wait to be on one of his future cruises. All these guys have their own personalities that reflect to their jobs & positions to make them perfect at what they are doing. My compliments to the hiring department to hand pick these wonderful people. Way to go! So, overall, those who rated this cruise line poorly must have seen something we haven’t. But for us, if/when we are booking our next cruise, Carnival will get the first choice, and if “Kris with a K”, Ayu, William, Tri etc are there, I’ll be on board before anyone. Food - more than excellent +++++++ and at the Sensation dining room, our waiting time was usually 15 to 55 seconds to get in. Very fast, very efficient service! Drinks (to the Carnival food and beverage department - please do not read this part of the report!) - As we were waiting for our check-in on day 1, we were offered the alcohol drink package. For us, it was not a necessary purchase, as we wouldn’t drink more than 1 to 2 glasses of wine or beer at any time and to be honest, unless you’re a heavy drinker, the bar prices are very affordable and/or they were not any different than any bar/pub (if not cheaper) for a drink or two every night. Also, we were advised that we were allowed to bring a bottle of wine or champagne on board if we wanted. We took 2 bottles of wine, and we couldn’t even finish it all! Bogart’s coffee shop was one of the most affordable coffee shops I’ve seen lately (only comparing to Europe/Asia/N. America/Australia) … and the desserts they sell there ….drooooooollll …. Service - more than excellent +++++++ Staff - more than excellent +++++++ Outstanding … Note: Can you believe Tri thanked us coming to his home, and giving him the opportunity to serve us! Yes, I can imagine living on the ship for 6-7 months at a time makes it their home … but thanking us for the visit made me almost cry! Carnival Fascination - for us it was a perfect size floating hotel as this was our first cruise, we felt extremely comfortable navigating around. And, during this vacation, we simply couldn’t sleep as we were so excited all week, we simply didn’t want to waste our time sleeping! It’s one of those things in life. Also, we were not forced to purchase anything on board (as some people commented on that). We were given the information, opportunity, but never felt the high stress sales tactics etc (which would have irritated me)… that was a perfect customer service. The sea day - I thought we'd be bored out of our skulls, but the day went so fast (even though we woke up at 7!). They kept us busy all day long, they really should have had 2 sea days not just one! On board entertainment - I can’t comment much or compare to anything, as this was our first cruise, but we had a fantastic/fun time. There was almost no time to get bored while on board. Production shows, comedy clubs, music, BINGO and if you don’t like any of that stuff, there is the gym/casino/bar/romantic hang out deck “Serenity” etc. And, “Kris with a K” popped out from every corner & made everything even more fun! (I told you Fascination is the Aladdin’s Lamp!)… you see him running up the stairs, then you turn around and he is in the elevator waiving … you turn around again, he is at the Atrium Bar area chit chatting with people or dancing! The one of a kind majestic itinerary by Carnival – Boarding in Barbados > always amazing, always magical (Coconut Court is the place for us to stay, Barbados Blue is the company to go for a snorkeling/scuba diving tour to swim with the turtles!) St. Lucia > such a pretty place … such a lush, green island! We didn’t have any plans other than going to Vigie Beach right by the airport (we love airports). It was a quiet airport, but the setting while swimming and sunbathing was fantastic. When we first got off the ship we were stopped by many cab drivers quoting USD15-20 to go to the Vigie Beach. But one guy asked me “lady, how much do you want to pay?”, I asked back “how long does it take to get to there?” the answer was “5 minutes”, I added “then USD5 it is!” … He looked at me, he told me we were the first getting off the ship, so it would be ok for him to take us for USD5!... Then as we were approaching the beach he asked if we wanted to see the city and a beautiful view from the highest point and perhaps we would take some pictures. So, back and forth, we agreed for USD20, and that also had to include a pick up from the airport beach. Overall, he gave us about 1,5-2 hour touring, on the way he showed us the school he attended to obtain a certificate to be able to drive the tourists around. Then he stopped at different areas in St. Lucia to have us take pictures, look around, and look at the breathtaking views of the island! When we got back to the city centre we picked up his girlfriend in the market area (she was going to some kind of school enrolment process). Then we got dropped off at the Vigie beach. We were not sure if he was going to come back and pick us up, as we paid him the whole amount, but he did show up to pick us up to take us to the city centre where we had to have our Piton Beers and I had to do a little shopping! By the way, while we were at Vigie beach, we walked to the airport terminal building. Facilities are spotless And, the terminal is just so cute ☺ If you’re there, go see it! Driver Winston’s contact info: Winston’s Taxi Service / Cell: (1-758) 486-0397 or (1-758) 284-2187 (no email contact on his card) St. Kitts > The only place we thought we’d make an arrangement to get around. First of all, do not believe every negative comment you read. But, obviously we did believe what we read, that’s why we booked a cab to take us around. And, I believe everything is for a good reason as we met with this fantastic lady, Rose, who we found reading comments about her on tripadvisor.com You will see many people mentioning little monkeys thrown at you and get asked USD20 for it and you get in trouble if you don’t pay them etc etc … It’s not true! There are many people holding the monkeys (unfortunately some monkeys are even dressed up!), if you want, you can go get your photo taken with them, and pay the fee/tip. Personally, I would rather see the animals at their own habitat, and on the way to the beach we saw tons of them running in and around the bushes by the side of the road. They are everywhere, they are every size! Anyway … Our pick up was at 930 at the port, we the early risers, couldn’t sit on the ship, so we decided we’d go out early to look/walk around the port and see if Rose was there a little earlier than 930, so we could get going. As we were walking out, I saw and recognized Rose with her husband (it was a little after 8 am!). It was great … we were able to start our day early. Rose took us to the famous Cockleshell Beach via fantastic wilderness stopping every now and then to take pictures, and we got to listen to her telling us all the story about the area (although she is from the UK, she’s been living there very happily for the last 33 years!). We ended up staying at the Reggae Beach Bar area, which again was poorly rated by many online, but for us they were amazing, courteous, friendly and welcoming … we were one of the first ones at the beach … it was incredible! So peaceful, so lovely. Later they put the music on but nothing disturbing! And, at around 1130 we got a very quick rain (3-4 minutes) then the guys from the bar came out to flatten the sand! I also treated myself to a nice beach-view massage by Shona. She was good, really good ☺ Then we were picked up at 130 pm by Rose who took us back to the port area stopping again at the most magical spots to take some pictures. And, of course after the beach time, it was the shopping and looking around time … The local vendors at the shopping stalls were really nice, but I felt like they were not in a great financial situation. I purchased a handmade all natural soap made by the vendor herself (I should have bought all the supply she had, but I didn’t! Another reason to go back). After I paid her, she made a very sensitive & kind comment “this is me who is making these, one by one, not your usual made in China product, thank you for supporting us” … I’m glad I was able to help a little! Rose’s contact info: http://roseandjimstaxi.com/ You can send them an e-mail via their website and you will not regret you did! St. Maartin > This one destination has been on our list for a long time which we were not able to get to. Actually this was Henry’s one reason to choose this cruise (remember, I said we love airports!). We took the cab from the port as Henry had to visit Maho Beach asap and add more airplane photos onto his photo collection :D No cab bargaining was possible as all the prices were listed on a board at the taxi stand. But, the famous Maho beach got so crowded after 1130-1200 noon, it made us literally gag … the heat, the noise from the people, the crowd at the Sunset Beach Bar area where we rented chairs and an umbrella (the nice guy there provided 3 umbrellas which was great, but also he charged a whooping USD17 for 2 chairs and an umbrella … rip off? Yup … clearly… but we were at his mercy as there was no shade around). It was nice and quiet between 830 and 1130, it was disgusting after that and we left just after 1pm. Would I ever go back to Maho Beach? Absolutely NO… would I go back to St, Maartin? Absolutely YES … the beaches in the town are out of this world. The colour of the sea, the sand, and long and large beaches … Also, with our luck, I think it was the hottest day during that 7 day cruise. By the way, we took the water taxi from the city to the port, which was nice and pleasant. I wish it was a little longer journey though. San Juan > The one and only destination I’ve never thought I’d go! What a mistake! A wonderful place. I should say, a wonderful place, filled with wonderful people. It was one of those things, you disembark, and don’t know what to expect (especially going through the US customs there and it’s not a fast process). We planned to take a cab to the beach called Escambron. But then when we were quoted the fares we were quoted, we gave up on cabs, and looked for a public transport. We met a couple out of the blue on the street from Florida visiting San Juan (they had been there for the last 6-7 days) and told us that there are two routes for two different trams which are free and they run every 15 mins or so. We decided we would take the tram first to find out the lay of the land. Later we hopped on the other one with a different route, as this was really fun way to go around the old city and the historical points of interest. On one of those tram rides there was a couple from our cruise ship, who wanted to go to the beach as well… so sharing a cab with them to the beach which made it more affordable, less than USD4 per person. We took a cab from the Sheraton Hotel, and we asked the cab driver to come and pick us up at 130 pm as we wanted to walk around the old town. However, the couple from our ship no-showed for the return journey from the beach. Either they left earlier, or they decided to stay longer. Never saw them on the ship after that … Back to our journey…. As it was the Father’s day, the beach was packed with families … and apparently almost everything was closed (good that I didn’t have to do shopping for anything particular!). Although it was crowded, and the music was going on from each family’s shed, it was not disturbing at all. Huge beach … enough room for everyone. When Henry decided to go buy some food, a nearby family kindly offered us sandwiches and bbq chicken which of course we declined. But I thought that was the nicest offer ever at a beach! Really nice, really human, really kind … And the “helado” guy! Go find him, he rings a bell, so there is no way not to see where he is! He sells 3 kinds of gelatos. I asked him how much it was, and he told me “una copa” (one cup) 2 dollares … so my thinking, ok one cup per flavor. And, took 6 dollars to pay, as we thought we’d try all three … well … my mistake … He said as long as it’s in the same cup, it’s 2 bucks. Was it my Spanish that failed, or I’ve never purchased such a cheap gelato here in Vancouver, I don’t know ☺ And, I must add, it was delicious. (flavours: rainbow, coconut, and passion fruit) Our cab driver came to pick us up right on time … but we waited for the British couple for a while. Since the driver had to go for a dinner party, he wanted to leave. We had no choice but leave after waiting for about 15 mins … then we asked him to leave us at one of the highest points in old San Juan, so we could walk down to the bottom and see around before we go to the ship. Our walk was amazing! The architecture reminded us very much of old Havana (where we stayed for a week last year) but way cleaner and very well taken care of. The people are similar, happy looking, talkative but more in English than in Spanish (I was hoping to practice my Spanish, but it was almost impossible). We found a little hidden bar in the end of a dark alley and had some punchy mojitos and tasty empanadas. Café El Punto with live music either in an air-conditioned seating area or patio seating. And, we continued walking from one street to another seeing many historical buildings, churches etc … At the end of this little sampling of San Juan, I think I want to go back there to spend more time ☺ Cab driver Bryan’s contact info: Bryan Jimenez (787) 383-6777 vsjchauffeur@hotmail.com St. Thomas > And, this was the destination I wanted to see the most and my reason to go on this cruise! They saved the best for the last. It’s like a little town in the Mediterranean, be it Italy, or Turkey, or France.. it’s like out of the movies ... the cobblestone old streets with steep hills … and the most beautiful views from those street tops. It’s like the history is bursting out of each and every corner. But as every other destination we have been to, our plan was to go to a beach. We chose the beach that was by the airport (I know! Please don’t think we’re crazy!). As per our cab driver it was called the Emerald Beach!... It was so beautiful, so peaceful it should have been called the Zen Beach. We took the cab again from the port. Apparently, the cab prices are dictated by the government, so no negotiating was possible. And, it was a bit expensive for the drive (USD7 per person), perhaps for a no more than 10 minute ride. He also told us he’s been living there for the last 30+ years, and absolutely loving it. Also, he mentioned there are “only” 32 beaches in St. Thomas, and he doesn’t have one favorite one, as that changes as per his mood of the day. After our beach morning, we took a cab from the beach area to the downtown area where I wanted to stay for at least a month or even forever ☺ In one of the little streets we found a cool place to sit down and have some drinks (Greengos Cantina)… It was nice, good food, refreshing drinks (more expensive than the ship!), and awesome ambiance. This was our very last stop on the itinerary. But we were so pleased with everything on our cruise, I think it was in St. Maartin, we checked online if we could book for another week (also because I had my schedule published for July and I happened to get a great surprise having the first week of July off), but the websites I checked showed this cruise was sold out!... I guess, we’ll have to wait for another vacation period to do this all over again. In my opinion the crew on this cruise won our hearts, the itinerary took us to our dream destinations that we couldn’t have afforded otherwise. Until next time we’ll keep dreaming of what we had … Peace! Ps- I will post pictures/videos on imaginairie.wordpress.com and Henry will post his videos on youtube.com (search for airlinehobby.com DVDs) if you want to see these places and cruise from our point of view … Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My extended family decided on this cruise; my aunt & uncle being frequent cruisers. This was mine and my children's first cruise. I must say -- I was thoroughly underwhelmed. The quarters were small but I expected that. The food ... Read More
My extended family decided on this cruise; my aunt & uncle being frequent cruisers. This was mine and my children's first cruise. I must say -- I was thoroughly underwhelmed. The quarters were small but I expected that. The food was mostly bland and most noticeably, the cake served was literally frosting or mousse with cake crumbs added. The room rattled pretty much all day and night -- likely noise from the vents, which by the way, didn't work. The room was constantly stuffy and with a room of four, that definitely did suck. Our steward was super pleasant and thorough, however. The bartender at the Alchemy Bar was outstanding and the waiters and waitresses at dinner were nothing short of wonderful. The ship seemed old and the room fixtures and decor reflected this, especially in the stateroom. I have two children, one teenaged and a six year old. The six year old had a lot of fun at Camp Carnival once we found it. There was no announcement, no map, no nothing. He only got to go two out of the five days. My teenager was rather bored with the lack of structured activities for her age group. The dive-in movies were fun when there weren't legions of splashing, cannon balling, arguing children. I say this as a parent who attended with her children, whereas it appeared that most of these children were there unsupervised. We did two excursions. The all inclusive beach resort excursion in Progreso was tremendously overpriced but my kids enjoyed the beach. The Mayan ruin excursion in Cozumel.... eh. Just okay. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable but I would just recommend going to Chichen Itza-- I wished that I had! The Internet package, even at $25 for a 24 hour period, was basically useless. I couldn't access hardly anything except email. They block and/or throttle everything. Once we got to port, I was able to use my cellular data for free through my provider. Debarkation was just ridiculous. People and their luggage were everywhere -- in hallways, in stairwells, sitting on floors -- booted from their rooms to wait for their deck to be called. Me and my crew decided to self-debark so we had gotten up and we're ready to go before we even got to port. We were called last and basically, could have just done regular debarkation as it saved us absolutely no time at all. We literally got off the ship with people who had checked their luggage. The end of the cruise legit felt like a total money grab -- like get out of the room to hurry up and wait because we have new people coming aboard so you are no longer a valued guest. And I parked with 81st Dolphin St., which I wouldn't do again, nor recommend. There were at least four to five shuttle pickups on either side of us before we even got to get on our no-AC shuttle. We were literally the only line/group of people waiting. My understanding from another family member is that Carnival is the Wal-Mart of cruise lines. I'd be willing to give cruising a shot again but likely not with Carnival. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The entertainment was limited. Nothing started for the adults until 9. The comedy club was not open for 2 nights in a row, so they were really crowded.....The piano bar is not worth even trying. It was the same style music throughout the ... Read More
The entertainment was limited. Nothing started for the adults until 9. The comedy club was not open for 2 nights in a row, so they were really crowded.....The piano bar is not worth even trying. It was the same style music throughout the entire time. The piano players name is Skip and that is totally what I would do. He was really rude both nights I went. Many other passengers were talking about how rude he was though out the week.....The food was NOT good in Rosies café... The pizza was awful...Guys burger place was good, the fries were over done but the burgers where great. The burrito place was good.. Had it not been for those two I would have not eaten anything but bad food the entire time. I kept going back to the buffets hoping for anything worth while. It never happened. Blah is the best way to describe their food. The staff was awesome except for Skip. But overall I really liked their staff. They were friendly, helpful, funny, and a pleasure to be around. Milos was hands down the best bartender we came across. The cucumber sunrise was this trips saving grace. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was my first cruise and it was a "so-so" experience. I'll start with the GOOD: Embarkation process was easy. I got to the port a couple of hours before the posted "Embarkation Time" and it was easy to get ... Read More
This was my first cruise and it was a "so-so" experience. I'll start with the GOOD: Embarkation process was easy. I got to the port a couple of hours before the posted "Embarkation Time" and it was easy to get the bags checked and get onto the boat. There was a line but it moved well. Layout of the ship was confusing me and when I asked an employee about it, she went out of her way to physically walk me to my room which was very helpful. This is considered a small ship and a short cruise but I found there were things to do. They always had seminars going about different things (I even won a "raffle" at one of them and got a nice pearl bracelet) but the seminars are more of a "sales pitch" than a real effort to teach or inform you about something....they're trying to sell you products and services. We were lucky and had good weather for the entire trip so I was able to spend a lot of time outside by the pool or on the decks or in the adults-only deck (that was a lifesaver to get away from rowdy children). They had song/dance shows almost every night and they were as good as some productions I've seen in Las Vegas. I also enjoyed the performers in the Comedy Club and they had different "routines" at each show, including routines for non-adults. The cruise director was funny and entertaining when he spoke and did things. I had several treatments done at the spa and they were awesome...expensive but awesome. *Tip: wait and go to the spa later in the trip. The prices seemed to be highest mid-trip...by the last day they were running much cheaper "specials". Also, beware that the technicians will try to sell you everything they use on you (lotions, scrubs, etc.). Still, they all seemed to know what they were doing and the treatments were top knotch. The casino was well-stocked with machines and games. I booked tour excursions through Carnival at Grand Cayman and Cozymel and enjoyed both. They stopped at major points of interest and let us get out at each and take pictures and walk around a bit on our own. I felt they were a good value---got to see a lot for what I paid. The passengers on board were a good mix of people of different ages, ethnicities and everybody was friendly. Going in the summer, there were probably more kids on this cruise than there would be when kids are in school. Now the CONS: the ship is old and it shows. Very dingy and outdated looking. Carpets were stained, walls had chips and marks, many things (public toilets, elevators, washers/dryers) were broken and not working. The pool area is very small and unimpressive. My cabin was absolutely disgusting. I had an Ocenview but you could barely see out of the window because it was so scuffed. The bed was lumpy and one night, I returned to the cabin and found yellow "stains" on the comforter that looked like urine stains. I called Guest Services to ask for the bedding to be changed. It took 2 hours and 3 phone calls to get that done. I also found a dried blood stain on one of the hand towels, there was strange, sticky "gook" on the desk that was right in your face as you slept, and it looked like there was mold on the ceiling. When I got home, I noticed small bumps developing on my feet and am really hoping I wasn't biten by bed bugs. The shower completely floods the bathroom every time you use it. It literally filled the whole room with 2-3 inches of water and I had to wait about a half hour each time for it to drain. The cabin was so gross that I literally stayed out of it as much as possible. Other areas were dirty, too. I was given a beach towel by the pool that also looked like it had dried blood stains on it, dishes in the buffet were dirty, the beach chairs were all very dirty and grimy, seats in the comedy club had big tears in them. I only ate in the buffet restaurant and the food was awful. Even though they have heat lamps, the food is cold. They do have a good selection but it was very low quality food...examples, I ate fried shrimp one night and it was so "mushy" inside I couldn't even tell it was a shrimp, had a piece of roast beef that was so undercooked and tough I couldn't even eat it, and bbq ribs that were nothing but fat. Service was ok-some staff on board were nice, others were rude. It was very difficult to get questions answered by most of them. They just would blow me off when I would ask about things. They do "nickel and dime" you a lot on the cruise, as well. I felt like everything was "extra". The shopping on board was very limited with just a couple shops and not much selection and everything was very overpriced. Sales clerks (particularly in the jewelry shop) were very pushy. All that said, I did have fun moments and I would do another cruise....but I will definitely book on a "newer" ship and might try a different cruise line. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Maiden cruise for me and wifey celebrating our Silver Wedding Anniversary and what a choice !!!! Staff so friendly, food choice incredible and well presented, stateroom furnished to high spec. Wanted for nothing really. Embarkation ... Read More
Maiden cruise for me and wifey celebrating our Silver Wedding Anniversary and what a choice !!!! Staff so friendly, food choice incredible and well presented, stateroom furnished to high spec. Wanted for nothing really. Embarkation smooth as silk but Debarkation a bit of a bun fight - suggest client types (e.g. "excursions" , "self assist" ) are allocated certain sections of Amber Palace and debark by client type. Additionally more staff required to channel people where to sit - not necessarily at the first seat available which then blocks access to all those following. Shore excursions were great. We swam with Stingrays at HMC, did the Helmet Dive at Coral World in St Thomas and utilized "10 best in Miami" on debarkation as a time filler and taxi to our late afternoon flight from MIA. At San Juan we used the free trolley bus to view the 2 main forts and peruse the centre of the old town, whilst at Grand Turk we simply rented a snorkel each and explored the corals and rocks around the pier terminal. Saw loads of colourful fish - funny how the simple ideas turn out to be the best !!! All in all a wonderful vacation. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise as we were waiting for our children (11,15) to get old enough to remember it and enjoy the port excursions. Our overall experience for first timers was great, but I do have a few negatives to report. First the ... Read More
This was our first cruise as we were waiting for our children (11,15) to get old enough to remember it and enjoy the port excursions. Our overall experience for first timers was great, but I do have a few negatives to report. First the positives: the kids loved having endless amounts of food (especially ice cream) and someone to make their bed up everyday. I loved that they could wonder the ship on their own and I wasn't worried. All of the employees are extremely nice, even calling you by name! My favorite part were the dining room dinners at night. There were 11 of us that cruised together and we didn't see each other much of the day but at 8:15 every night everyone would meet at our dinner table and be greeted by our servers who asked about our day and called us by nicknames. The food at dinner was fantastic! Way better than the buffet and you could still get as much as you want. The rooms were adequate. I have 3 kids who shared a room with 3 twin beds. Our room was right across the hall and had a king size bed. Negatives: The breakfast and lunch buffet's were not that good. Always the same stuff (a few changes here and there). Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of choices, just not very good food. Best thing was the hamburgers at "Guys". Also, they didn't always open the lunch buffet on time and then it was closed from 3-6. Sometimes, because of ship activities or days at port, this was a problem. The biggest problem to me was the lack of family activities for preteen and teens. Of course there are designated rooms they could go to but they would have been split up because of their ages and we like to do things as a family. We enjoyed bingo but it was $20 a person. Kids enjoyed the game room but it was a dollar a game. The pool was always crowded with drunk adults (even though there are several adult only pools) and all the kid appropriate comedy shows happened at night during our dinner time. No shows during the day, although I was given the impression there was to be shows all day long. We went to Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel. I definitely recommend Little French Key island in Honduras and Chankanaab Bay in Cozumel. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
A cruise has always been my dream and I'm thankful and grateful to my sister for making this dream come true. We had interior cabins with no windows which was perfect since Alaska had 19 hours of daylight and this made it so easy to ... Read More
A cruise has always been my dream and I'm thankful and grateful to my sister for making this dream come true. We had interior cabins with no windows which was perfect since Alaska had 19 hours of daylight and this made it so easy to sleep. Noli took care of all our cabin needs and he was amazing. He called us by name and that's important to me. The dining was great, We really enjoyed Maja and Dejan they were our servers, they were the best, prompt service.There was a total of 9 in our group and we were called by our names the whole time. We cried as we said good bye. The service we received was unreal. Everyone is so friendly, all we did was eat, eat, eat. Always had a clean table to go to. Skagway was the best port for me. It rained on all the other ports. But I had a blast with my husband and the rest of the family. Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY ... Read More
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY disappointing, it is in need up a complete overhaul. The crew and staff were wonderful, always friendly and attentive. However, the ship is an older one that is starting to show its age, including one of the elevators that was out of service the entire duration of the cruise. There was construction occurring on the Lido deck every morning then it would be roped off with caution tape all day close to the main pool. The mini-golf course was so lame, my boys didn't even what to play and they LOVE mini-golf. They were even missing a piece on the oversized chess set on deck- really?! The entertainment on the ship was a bit cheesy. A couple of the comedians were good for the family friendly version early in the evening. The Hasbro Game Show was fun! There was an illusionist who performed more of a dance and stretch show than any illusions. It seemed like he was very new performing. The food was consistently bad, though every now and then you'd get something good. The lox and bagel for breakfast in the dining room was excellent. The food in the main dining room was pitiful, the shrimp cocktail looked like airplane food. Most people go on a cruise and gain weight, I ended up losing 3lbs! We had a suite with a balcony and it was the perfect size for 2 adults and 2 kids, we even had a bathtub! We booked our own excursions directly with Calabaza in Barbados and they were SPECTACULAR!!! In St. Maarten we booked an excursion with Captain Alan's and it was phenomenal!!!! In St. Lucia we booked directly with TreeTops and had an awesome time zip lining! The Club C for 12-14 year olds was great, my son loved it. Eddie was the counselor and did a great job connecting and interacting with the kids! The Camp Carnival for 6-11 year olds wasn't great for a 10 year old boy. He thought it was more for girls and totally lame, so he hung out with us while his brother was in Club C. Thankfully, because of the great ports, the shortcomings of the ship were the trade off. I could not imagine more than one day at sea on this ship. Overall, we still a great vacation because of all the amazing islands we visited. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I was a 1st time cruiser and the Carnival Victory did not disappoint!! Embarkation was very organized and went very smooth. The ship was beautiful and clean when we finally got on board. The staff ushered us to pool decks and had lunch ... Read More
I was a 1st time cruiser and the Carnival Victory did not disappoint!! Embarkation was very organized and went very smooth. The ship was beautiful and clean when we finally got on board. The staff ushered us to pool decks and had lunch ready. Our luggage arrived within 2 hours of us boarding, so I was very pleased with that. Our cabin was upper interior (Deck 6) was tiny, but provided anything we could need from a cabin. Everyone traveling with us had very clean and functional rooms each day. The food was perfect for every snack and meal we had. We ate a ton, but stayed so active that I had no problem eating what ever I wanted. There were more activities than I could even attend, although I tried! The live bands and Comedy Club we my favorites. The hospitality was amazing, my drink was never empty and I was constantly smiling. Overall security was also impressive. My 15 year old spent the last two days with new friends that she met in Club 02. The club Manager was very involved with making sure the teens had a blast each day, all while not letting in strange adults. She made it a point to meet and know just about every parent who's teen went there. The ports were great, Freeport was less crowded than Nassau. We went to Tianio Beach in Freeport and did shopping in Nassau. The beach was a 12 mile drive across the Island but again, we had wonderful, local hospitality by our bus/cab driver. Traveling in a group of 10 with one in a Wheelchair and they made it happen so smoothly! My daughter made memories that will last forever. We will definitely cruise Carnival again and again! Everything else like the music, sail off parties, Dive in movie, and ALL of the wonderful staff was just as enjoyable. Can't wait to cruise again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Referred by family and they where correct.! Best B-day ever Best vacation ever. Best bartender I have ever had the pleasure of tipping, would have needed 2 atm's to pay for the awesome service and the "guest's comfort comes ... Read More
Referred by family and they where correct.! Best B-day ever Best vacation ever. Best bartender I have ever had the pleasure of tipping, would have needed 2 atm's to pay for the awesome service and the "guest's comfort comes first attitude" that was displayed. really can not put in words (THANK YOU PACHARIN). This is why and where I will spend my vacation from this point. The wait staff was really good they where always there, I never waited for anything. First time in my life my coffee cup was never empty. The ships crew and captain where also superb. All in all It was a new view of life that I could have missed and now that I have had this time with such beautiful, wonderful, kind people, well, how do you not go back again and again. I would cheat myself of being treated like I have never been before. P.S. No Bernice, I would never forget you either. You guys are the BEST. THANK YOU ; ) Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY ... Read More
This was our first cruise and the ports were spectacular. Each island (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten) was filled with plenty of activities and great beaches. Unfortunately, the ship itself was the VERY disappointing, it is in need up a complete overhaul. The crew and staff were wonderful, always friendly and attentive. However, the ship is an older one that is starting to show its age, including one of the elevators that was out of service the entire duration of the cruise. There was construction occurring on the Lido deck every morning then it would be roped off with caution tape all day close to the main pool. The mini-golf course was so lame, my boys didn't even what to play and they LOVE mini-golf. They were even missing a piece on the oversized chess set on deck- really?! The entertainment on the ship was a bit cheesy. A couple of the comedians were good for the family friendly version early in the evening. The Hasbro Game Show was fun! There was an illusionist who performed more of a dance and stretch show than any illusions. It seemed like he was very new performing. The food was consistently bad, though every now and then you'd get something good. The lox and bagel for breakfast in the dining room was excellent. The food in the main dining room was pitiful, the shrimp cocktail looked like airplane food. Most people go on a cruise and gain weight, I ended up losing 3lbs! We had a suite with a balcony and it was the perfect size for 2 adults and 2 kids, we even had a bathtub! We booked our own excursions directly with Calabaza in Barbados and they were SPECTACULAR!!! In St. Maarten we booked an excursion with Captain Alan's and it was phenomenal!!!! In St. Lucia we booked directly with TreeTops and had an awesome time zip lining! The Club C for 12-14 year olds was great, my son loved it. Eddie was the counselor and did a great job connecting and interacting with the kids! The Camp Carnival for 6-11 year olds wasn't great for a 10 year old boy. He thought it was more for girls and totally lame, so he hung out with us while his brother was in Club C. Thankfully, because of the great ports, the shortcomings of the ship were the trade off. I could not imagine more than one day at sea on this ship. Overall, we still a great vacation because of all the amazing islands we visited. Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We just got back from our cruise on the Elation. There was some good and bad on this cruise. I'll give you the good first: The Good: 1. The cruise director was excellent. He tried his best to provide a variety of entertainment ... Read More
We just got back from our cruise on the Elation. There was some good and bad on this cruise. I'll give you the good first: The Good: 1. The cruise director was excellent. He tried his best to provide a variety of entertainment options - he was thrown a loop when the port was canceled and he had to quickly come up with options. Only complaint on entertainment... way too many trivia games-it got a little boring. 2. The music and comedy were good. I loved hanging out at Dukes Piano Bar with Gilbert - he was very talented. 3. The food was pretty decent. It is institutional food but it was decent. The food staff was pretty courteous. The only complaint on food was the "fancy" restaurant. The wait staff didn't provide very good service. We were only offered water to drink during the meal. The staff only showed up to take the order and bring it to us. 4. The stateroom was actually bigger than I thought it would be. We were on the lowest deck and had an inside stateroom. Our steward was very attentive and cleaned the room twice everyday. He took the time to learn my name, it meant something to me. The Bad: 1. The missed port: The captain announced the canceled port one hour before we were to go. I am a school teacher and I don't earn a lot of money to go cruising. I especially wanted this cruise trip to go to Half Moon Cay because I wanted a quiet day at the beach. I agree with the rowensonthego review about the canceled port. I felt that I missed half the cruise by missing this port. I kind of feel ripped off. I know that I don't have any recourse and that stinks! 2. The drunk passengers: When we were on board, there were some young women who were seriously getting wasted. When the night was young, it wasn't too bad. But as the night progressed, their behavior got worse and worse. I am a parent, and I was worried about them. They could have been taken advantage of or worse, assaulted. The bartenders need to take a page from land bartenders and cut off the booze to excessively drunk people. I blame the "Cheers" program. In order to get your money's worth, you have to drink several drinks during the day. You get the best deal by drinking more. 3. The "Bubbles" program: This program gives you unlimited soda during the cruise. Nice idea - but you can only get the soda from the bars and restaurants. The bartenders acted like they didn't want to serve you. They preferred to serve the customers who were buying alcoholic beverages because the extra tips they would receive. By the way, I'm not going to tip someone for pouring me a soda out of a can!!! Another issue with the bubbles program: Carnival claims to be environmentally friendly, but they pour ALL of their soda from cans. When I said something about it, they said that they recycle, but that doesn't make sense. They could save an incredible amount of money if they used soda fountains instead of cans. 4. The constant sales pitches: I understand that they have to sell stuff to make money for the cruise line, but it felt like they were selling stuff at at least half the activities. It got excessive. I already paid thousands of dollars to ride on the ship, stop selling all that expensive jewelry, perfume and spa services! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
First cruise for my husband and myself. Also our first vacation/trip without any of our children. A gift to ourselves in celebration of 25 years of marriage (even though it's now been 26 years). We traveled with family (sister and ... Read More
First cruise for my husband and myself. Also our first vacation/trip without any of our children. A gift to ourselves in celebration of 25 years of marriage (even though it's now been 26 years). We traveled with family (sister and brother in law) who were also celebrating their wedding anniversary as well. After reading a few bad reviews about The Liberty; it's staff and accommodations, I HAVE to say this was not our experience at all !! We traveled to Galveston, where our ship was in port. It had rained our entire drive and I was convinced it would rain the entire vacation, however shortly after embarkation the rain stopped, the skies lit up and the fun began. Even through embarkation in the rain everyone was very kind, friendly and as helpful as could be. Everything went very smoothly. We stepped aboard to a fabulous welcome with drinks and music. Stress, anxiety and tension...instantly gone ! Thank you Carnival Liberty. Our stateroom was great. Mid-ship-8th floor-Port side-Balcony. Neighboring staterooms/balconies with the couple we traveled with. Our luggage was waiting in our room for us the minute we stepped in. Perfect !! Plenty of room for the 2 of us. Plenty of storage, not only for what we had packed for a 5 day cruise (and I ALWAYS over pack) but also space under the bed and in the closets to store our luggage until we needed it again. Our room stewards were great. Courteous, helpful, went above and beyond and answered any questions we had throughout our trip. They took excellent care of us. They took no time at all opening the partition between our balconies upon our request. Room service was also excellent. Prompt and delivered with a smile and a friendly greeting. Having breakfast, coffee, or a late night snack on our balcony made our trip even more relaxing. It was a great way to start a relaxing day and a great way to end one. Our first night on board we had dinner in the Golden Olympian dining room. Fabulous food, wine, and desert. Caprese salad; flatbread (appetizers) were wonderful. Salmon fillet; Zucchini and eggplant parmigiana (main course) were also delicious. The Carnival chocolate melting cake, and the Creme brulee' were amazing, especially when paired with the delicious Moscato desert wine. Every dish we tried, we loved. My husband ordered the Ribeye (on the $20 menu) and was NOT disappointed. It was cooked to perfection and served beautifully. The best part of the menu was that if you ordered something and it wasn't to your taste, you could simply order something else or even order several of the same thing - such as the shrimp cocktail....we had several of those as well. :) However the best part of our dining experience (and our cruise experience as a whole), the main thing that kept us coming back and requesting the same table every night....our waitstaff team. They. Were. Amazing ! Our waitstaff team; Danijela, our waitress; Anton, the bar waiter; and Indry the "shot guy" made our experience on board very memorable. They were the friendliest, sweetest people we had met. When we would see them out on deck (Anton and Indry) or making the rounds in the buffet area (Danijela), they always went out of their way to make sure we were enjoying our trip. They always made a point to let us know they looked forward to seeing us at dinner. It was never a dull moment with this staff around. It was their friendliness, wittiness and outgoing personalities that kept us coming back every night for dinner. They even managed to get us up and dancing at our table on our last night in the dining room !! It was so much fun !! They made this cruise a most memorable experience. They greeted us every chance they had and made sure to tell us goodbye and gave hugs and shook hands before we disembarked. We would book another cruise simply based on the amazing wait staff we had. They were not only our servers, they quickly became our friends. If we could find a way to give individual reviews for our waitstaff, we would in a second. We give them 5 stars !! Our cruise was a celebration of our anniversaries. A celebration of family, fun, love and laughter....and Carnival liberty and it's AMAZING staff did not disappoint in our celebrations. We are looking forward to our next Carnival cruise....and the same amazing staff. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Here we go. I will begin with... we are not cruisers. This was our first and last cruise to be sure. I thought it would be a great way to see some of Europe, which it was. The ports were fantastic. I traveled with my daughters.The first ... Read More
Here we go. I will begin with... we are not cruisers. This was our first and last cruise to be sure. I thought it would be a great way to see some of Europe, which it was. The ports were fantastic. I traveled with my daughters.The first few hours were fine. The cabin was very nice, except the bathrooms constantly smelled of urine. I cleaned the bathrooms, but the awful urine stench did not go away. We were in a deluxe ocean view cabin on deck 1. Our steward was very nice, but only went through the motions. Which brings me to the crew. I have never seen more distressed, sad, glum and indifferent holiday staff in my life. It really put a damper on the "fun" aspect of our cruise. Everyone looked tired and over worked. The "officers" that loitered everywhere were arrogant an unapproachable. Dinner was a joke. Twice we were handed clickers to alert us when we would be seated and twice we waited an hour and a half. One night was formal night. The staff claimed the clicker thing was not faulty, but they clearly were as I would have never missed the loud sound and vibrating. After that fiasco, we ate on the Lido Deck and one night at Cucina del Capitan which was just awful. My daughters constantly were harassed so severely by security almost every night. They are both over 18 and were always accused of being "drunk" (they were not). Yet when young, underage guys stumbled about, nothing was done. Clearly this is a very sexist and distressing approach to young women. I would not say this was a "cruise from hell", there were some redeeming moments i.e. the ports of call of course. The water park was fun and the ship itself, very pretty. However, the public areas were dirty and I couldn't believe the stain in the carpets of this new ship. The bulk of the passengers were rude and we did our best to stay in the less populated areas. We made some great friends though. All in all, I am really sorry I feel this way. I am very sad this was the outcome. I had such high hopes for this cruise. I don't want anything from Carnival, as we will never be using that line again. Read Less
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