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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We picked this cruise because we've always wanted to do a Mexican Riveria cruise and this one worked for our time off from work. We did not travel with any children or anyone else...just the husband and myself!! The Miracle is a ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we've always wanted to do a Mexican Riveria cruise and this one worked for our time off from work. We did not travel with any children or anyone else...just the husband and myself!! The Miracle is a smaller ship compared to the other ships we've sailed on, but it was still an amazing vessel. The cabin crew, wait staff, and all other employees were very helpful and friendly! Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. This was the first time that we purchased FTTF and it was worth it. We had a balcony room and it was nice to see the sea whenever we wanted from the comfort of our own room. It was also nice to see the sunsets/sunrise plus ports. The food on the ship was amazing. Most of our table had 3 lobsters on Christmas!! The entertainment was amazing. This cruise we also went to a couple of art auctions, it was a great experience and something that we will now look forward to on any future cruises! The ports we went to were: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Cabo: We did a third party excursion of whale watching and snorkeling around Land's End. The time difference between local time and ship time made us a bit late so we took a water taxi to catch up to the sail boat. We had a fun time and we were able to see some whales! Lands End is really pretty. The snorkeling...lots of people were in the water but it was very cool to almost cold water. I don't do cold water so I ended up staying on the boat. I prefer Caribbean water as it is warm. Mazatlan: Here we did the hop on/off bus and we had a great time! We got off first in old town and went and took pictures of the Cathedral We walked around a bit of the city and had fun. The next stop was new town and had shopping and eating places by the ocean. Went to a shrimp place and had the best shrimp!! Third stop was to see the cliff divers...I would skip this as there isn't much to see or do at this stop. I would spend my time at the other to stops. Puerto Vallarta: If you want to sit back and relax, go to Marriott resort. We hung out poolside and had drinks and food all day plus got to play in the inifinty pool. Although it was fun to see the areas and explore Mexico we definately like the caribbean better with the warm beautiful blue/green waters! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We decided to do this as a Christmas cruise with my parents as well as to celebrate their anniversary and my mom's birthday. This was my 8th cruise with Carnival so I kind of know what to expect in terms of how things go. I was ... Read More
We decided to do this as a Christmas cruise with my parents as well as to celebrate their anniversary and my mom's birthday. This was my 8th cruise with Carnival so I kind of know what to expect in terms of how things go. I was pleasantly surprised by the embarkation process. They now put your room keys in your mailbox on the ship so there were no lines and simply needed to flash our boarding pass and Since this was a "Journeys" cruise, we were expecting more in terms of exposing us to the different foods and cultures of the islands/ports we would be visiting, as advertised. We sort of got that, but let me just say, the food in the dining room for dinner was horrid just about every night. The most exciting part of dinner..dessert was an even bigger disaster every night. If you saw the pie crust they used for their pie of the day every night, you would weep in sorrow. It was like the pie filling sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard. I kid you not. The cafeteria (lido deck) at lunch time would be your best bet for food and I would always enjoy their BBQ upstairs. Desserts in lido were also way better than in the dining room. Breakfast in the dining room was a plus actually. They offered things like avocado toast and broken egg sandwiches Seaday Brunch was not a highlight, however, as these items weren't on that menu and I'd usually go with the steak and eggs but they almost always overcooked my fried eggs! But I will note, I never starved on the ship or anything, but the food almost always left something to be desired, especially dinner in the dining room. I believe quality has diminished because I do not recall it being this lackluster in all of my other Carnival cruises. The worst part was the entertainment. I agree with another review here that said it reminded them of a high school production. I mean, the singing and dancing was very sub-par. I don't know what happened! There also was only one variety act in the entire cruise and my last cruise I went on in 2016, we only had to endure something like two of the Carnival dancers productions and the rest was variety acts like jugglers, magicians, etc. That was enjoyable! I went to one comedy show and he was okay. Overall, there was a serious decline in the quality of the entertainment overall was not good. We actually found ourselves heading back to our room and watching movies on TV after dinner most nights and on seadays..well, there wasn't much to do other than the Academy of Fun sessions. Not a lot going on that didn't require you to spend more money. Way too much BINGO lol Anyway, I have to say, after this cruise, we are thinking of trying a more "upscale" cruise line. I'm just disappointed that it seems quality has diminished from Carnival and it wasn't like we're talking the best of the best of cruise lines either. They didn't have too far to go to be at the bottom and well, now, they are getting closer to that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The ships seemed to be a little short handed in crew or very over booked. There was a lot of mess ups on the schedule of when things were going on. Like elegant night was a big mess up, I heard lots of compliants on it. The shows were ... Read More
The ships seemed to be a little short handed in crew or very over booked. There was a lot of mess ups on the schedule of when things were going on. Like elegant night was a big mess up, I heard lots of compliants on it. The shows were messed up on schedule. A lot of peoples clothes were wet. My husband spend 12 bucks to dry his laundry the first night. A lot of complaint people didn't get luggage till 9 that night. There was not as good chooses on the food menu as usual. One night of cheesecake and one night of cream boulea. Our room was hot all the time so not much sleep. Not a lot to do but shop and play bean bag toss and go to the spa events on ship days. The best part by far was the New Years Eve Party. It was great. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We had a wonderful vacation on the 11 Journey cruise from NYC to Miami over Thanksgiving. It was just myself (43 year old mom) and three sons (15, 13 and 10 yr). This was our third Carnival family vacation, but I have sailed on a dozen ... Read More
We had a wonderful vacation on the 11 Journey cruise from NYC to Miami over Thanksgiving. It was just myself (43 year old mom) and three sons (15, 13 and 10 yr). This was our third Carnival family vacation, but I have sailed on a dozen cruises on multiple lines. We had an Ocean Suite and it worked for us. The room had plenty of storage and was well arranged to make the most of the space. The bathroom was also very spacious. We didn't hear any noise (room 7353) and this was a great location. We never used the elevators. I only wish the room would have been a little cooler. I got hot a lot while sleeping and it couldn't be turned down and further. We had early dining and I thought food was very good. Not every meal was a hit, but certainly not bad and some things we excellent. We had excellent waiters and servers who worked very hard. Drink service was slow so I usually grabbed a drink before coming in the dining room. The Steakhouse was amazing!!! Food was outstanding. I was a little disappointed in the service. I had to ask for a second glass of wine (not on Cheers program) and for water to be refilled. Other than that, it was the best meal of the trip. We ate lunch at the Italian restaurant. It was good. We liked Guys Burgers and Blue Iguana. Lido deck was good for breakfast and lunch. I was surprised at how easy it was to find seats and how there weren't a lot of lines. Pizza had the longest lines so I only got it once. It isn't my favorite. We enjoyed room service a few times for snacks and lunch. The new Pig and Anchor was also good. There are so many places to eat that even in 11 days we didn't get to try them all. The salads in the serenity area were wonderful but the line is very slow. I would have had that more often if it didn't take so much time. Variety of options was outstanding! Yes the two main show lounges were horribly designed with moving chairs and obstructed views. Hopefully this will eventually be corrected or at the very least not repeated on any future ships. We didn't try the Imax or the Thrill theater. We loved the Skyride and Ropes courses. So much fun! We never had trouble finding chairs around the pool. Sometimes we had to go up a few levels but I preferred that anyway. The sports zone was awesome. Best mini golf on any of the ships I have been on and we enjoyed playing shuffle board, ping pong and the other games. Nicely done! The areas to sit outside were more then plentiful. Something for everyone. Casino. I didn't spend any time here. Too smoky to make it enjoyable so I spent my money elsewhere. I was surprised at how much I loved the Atrium. I didn't think I would like the LCD centerpiece but it was really cool. They could use some better shops. These were basic and boring. The live music was also amazing in the Atrium. They had a violinist playing popular music. Even my kids wanted to stop and hear them play night after night. And they had real steel drums at the pool. Yay!!! Keep that up. Shows I thought were a little lacking. The one production of Flick was amazing but didn't really care to see a lot of the others. The comedians were good. I don't mind rated R shows but it did seem like a lot of the humor was not very funny compared to my past Carnival trips. The outside movies were great. I found the crew to be very friendly and had no complaints on the service. I did hear some passengers complaining about the most ridiculous stuff. I think the reason why most ships don't get higher marks is because there are a lot of experienced cruisers on these ships. I heard conversations like "I like the booths in the dining room on such a such ship better" and I liked the décor better on "such and such" etc. They have so much experience that they will always have had a better experience somewhere else but not all the best experience on any one ship. Just my opinion. Many repeat cruisers on this ship and it had only launched 6 months ago! My kids were in each of the different age kid centers and loved it. They didn't always stay in the center, but would meet up with kids and then go play in the arcade or get food etc. Try to encourage your kids to visit it on the first day so they can make friends. My kids only want to cruise now because they get to meet people as opposed to going to a resort and being stuck with mom at night. :) I did not do the cheers program and think it was the right call for me. I did really enjoy the Alchemy bar. It was so fun to sit there and watch them make drinks and light things on fire. You could just give them a suggestion and they would make something up for you. I would say I want something light and not very fruity. Voila, a drink would be concocted. I did learn to bring a drink into the comedy shows because bar service was spotty. They only had 2 waiters working and depending upon where you were in the lounge they may not have gotten over to you. Grand Turk - We enjoyed Jack's Shack and Margaritaville. Bonaire - We loved the SeaCow excursion. We had all snorkeled before but we really enjoyed this trip. Aruba - I booked Jolly Pirate on my own and the kids and I had a blast! Snorkeling was only so but my kids loved the rope swing. St. Martin - We were here on Thanksgiving with 7 ships. I booked Robinson Boat Tours and we had a 6 hour 14 person speedboat that took us to both sides of the island including lunch, snorkeling stops and Moho Beach. It was the best excursion we have EVER taken. Highly recommend and they were great when Carnival changed our itinerary two days before and then changed it back the day before our sailing. Dismemberment was a breeze. We had the best vacation. Yes there are things we could find to complain about but why bother. We were on vacation. Great memories made! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
This is our third Carnival cruise and first time out of New Orleans. As many have said, Elation is an older ship, but she's a great value for the money we spent. The public areas were very clean and comfortable. The decor seems much ... Read More
This is our third Carnival cruise and first time out of New Orleans. As many have said, Elation is an older ship, but she's a great value for the money we spent. The public areas were very clean and comfortable. The decor seems much more subdued than her sister ships Paradise and Ecstasy. I really wish they could find a better way to vent cigarette smoke, because it sometimes became overpowering when the bars/casino were busy. Embarkation Easiest embarkation yet! New Orleans Port Parking was simple and the porters were friendly and very helpful. We arrived at 1030 am and boarded at 1130ish. Our room was ready by 1230. Our luggage arrived just before muster. Stateroom We had a porthole room on the Main Deck. M 14. The room was very large. We had a lot of motion, but it wasn't really a problem. The ship moved quite a bit everywhere. The water was rough and we had some 50 mph winds. Entertainment We probably spent 75% of our time in the Comedy club. We loved both comedians. They showed college and NFL playoff games on the big screen in that room. They provided football clappers and poms. I wish they would have had popcorn and/or munchies, but it was a great place to watch a game. We enjoyed several trivia games and won a ship on a stick. The shows were okay. Food As long as they continue to serve warm chocolate melting cake, I'll always give the food good reviews. I prefer the main dining room over the buffet, but both were good. I really loved the pumpkin soup and lobster. Breakfast in the dining room was good as well. I would have eaten the buffet more, but the wind was really strong, making our preferred outdoor seating impossible. Service The service was just okay on this cruise. Our cabin steward wasn't around as often as we've come to expect from our previous cruises. He was nice, but he seemed to just be going through the motions. I called about ice the afternoon of the second day and he kind of snapped that he was off duty and I'd have to call room service. I was ok with the room service referral, but the attitude was a little off putting. I asked for extra glasses and he looked at me like I was asking for something impossible. The girl assisting him was very friendly. Most members of the dining staff were great. The customer service desk was very helpful. Cozumel I love Cozumel. We booked Mr Sanchos All Inclusive for the second time. They provide great service! Our waiter, Erizel, gave us a cabana and table away from everyone. He was always around for yummy drink refills and food. We left Sanchos and spent a few hours shopping at port. Disembarkation This was not my favorite disembarkation. They call so many groups down together, it created very long lines. Why have zones at all if you're going to lump them all together? Overall I really enjoyed this cruise. My experience on the ship was mostly great. I believe it was well worth the money we paid. I would go again tomorrow if I could!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Just got off the Carnival Victory 4 days Western Caribbean (12-18/12-22), our 7 cruise in the last 24 months, 6 on Carnival, 1 on Royal Caribbean. I am a firm believer of having a consistent user experience that is what Carnival has ... Read More
Just got off the Carnival Victory 4 days Western Caribbean (12-18/12-22), our 7 cruise in the last 24 months, 6 on Carnival, 1 on Royal Caribbean. I am a firm believer of having a consistent user experience that is what Carnival has delivered so far. Second time on the Victory. Comparing Carnival to my sailing in Royal Caribbean, simply no comparison, maybe I took the wrong ship with Royal (Vision of the Seas) on a Western Caribbean sailing back in October for Halloween (2014). Let me share some highlights… Excellent cruise director Marcelo, second time with him (different ships), great activities on-board, good entertainment especially for kids during the Holidays and the adult comedy is always great. I am trying to understand why I see comments from people complaining about the food, to me and my wife it was great, and at the Pacific dining room we had Reynaldo, great host to our table, very attentive to all of our request. Jeffrey our cabin attendant was great and very personal greeting us by name all the time. Bar staff with Benedicto by the pool on Lido deck was great; Ayu as well on the pool bar was great. Kelly from the Netherlands in Guest Services was excellent attending to my requirements. If you are on a budget an interior cabin is the way to go, we had 2342 on Deck 2, main deck, tough we felt some movement, and it was just perfect!!!! If in Cozumel as for taxi#50, Alex you will not regret it! A Happy Carnival customer and fan!     Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Carnival was not "up front" with it's guests for this cruise. A lot of us didn't realize until it was too late, that the Miracle has been having propulsion problems since early this year, and decided to continue ... Read More
Carnival was not "up front" with it's guests for this cruise. A lot of us didn't realize until it was too late, that the Miracle has been having propulsion problems since early this year, and decided to continue operation of the vessel, which is now scheduled to go into dry dock in early 2015. Because the ship couldn't cruise at normal speed, we had a multitude of itinerary changes. We arrived late a some ports and in the case of Maui (the highlight of the trip), we totally missed it and we were compensated with 1/1/2 hour in Kona and a $200 credit. The stop off at Ensenada at the end of the cruise was at 8 pm rather than 3 pm. The ships crew blamed everything on the "weather"...which none of us could believe. 2 of our 4 excursions were canceled and debarkation as well as the tendering process was a gaggle!! It also appears as if Carnival is also cutting back on service personnel. We had to go to the bar most of the time (whether inside or outside) to get our own drinks...on previous cruises we could barely turn around when someone was asking to wait on us. Not to mention the internet and TV service were totally unreliable. When we asked about it, the cruise director said that there was no "satellite service" in the ocean???? REALLY......most folks on this trip were seasoned cruisers, so we knew better. We spent $50 just trying to confirm our upcoming airline flights on the internet...but they did refund us for that. It's just a hassle to stand in line for 2 hours at guest services to try and get anything taken care of. I will say our cabin steward was top notch...but they always are. It was truly a disappointment, especially since we had booked the cruise a year in advance. We realize that things come up and if it had happened that way it would be different, If they had just been "up front" with us in advance, we wouldn't have had a problem with it. They definitely made the wrong call!! This is really the first bad experience we've had with Carnival....just wish it hadn't have been on such a long trip. It's the first time I couldn't wait to get off of the ship and go home!!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We've been on many Carnival cruises. This was the first on the Carnival Magic. We began our trip at the Hilton Galveston, which offered free parking for the duration of the cruise. The Hilton provides a shuttle to the port, but it ... Read More
We've been on many Carnival cruises. This was the first on the Carnival Magic. We began our trip at the Hilton Galveston, which offered free parking for the duration of the cruise. The Hilton provides a shuttle to the port, but it fills up early, and it is difficult to get a cab when there are ships in port. Get on the list early or make reservations to park at EZ Cruise. We arrived at the port a bit early and were on the ship sipping a pina colada around noon. The Carnival Magic is large, and has the general Carnival feel. It was decorated for Christmas and Hanukkah, which added an extra festive atmosphere. We very much enjoyed the Serenity Deck, the workout room, and the daily tea time- try the dreamy biscuits with clotted cream. We attended the ceremonial lighting of the menorah each evening before dinner, but there was a cultural miscommunication- the kitchen provided breakfast pancakes rather than traditional potato latkes which we all found more amusing than annoying. Service in the dining room was superb. The wait staff took care to accommodate every request. As always, the photographers on board are talented and provide some of the best portraiture around. The most notable thing about this cruise was the smoke. I'm not sure if it is the ship design or Carnival's smoking in the casino rule, but it was difficult to find a place on the Promenade Deck from the casino back to the dining room that did not have a smokey essence. The casino itself was unbearably smokey. On previous cruises, we spend time and money each day in the casino. On this cruise, once was enough. A little non-smoking emblem on a slot machine is no match for the row of chain smokers a few feet away. My eyes burned and my clothing reeked after 20 minutes at a slot machine. We spent the money normally spend in the casino in the ports- Carnival's loss. 18% of adults smoke. It seems rather unwise to drive the other 82% percent away from an income stream. I'm not allergic to smoke or an anti-smoking cruise-aider (pun intended) but until there is decent ventilation, the smoking in the casino rule will keep us from spending time and money there. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I'm usually not one for posting reviews. However, after this cruise I had to give our highlights. My family & I have taken numerous cruise before but this was by far the best cruise we had to date. The main reason....The ... Read More
I'm usually not one for posting reviews. However, after this cruise I had to give our highlights. My family & I have taken numerous cruise before but this was by far the best cruise we had to date. The main reason....The Entertainment staff under the Cruise Director, Eversen Bevelle aka Dr. E. This entertainment team was by far the best we have experienced on Carnival. I wish I could take Dr. E and his entertainment team on every cruise we take with Carnival. We stayed at Marriott hotel the night before which was approximately 20 minutes from the port. We used Premier Parking USA which offered a free shuttle to the port. The location for parking was great but the staff at the parking lot weren't very organized. I'm not sure if I would use them again, We left out of the Port of Miami on a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise December 2014. It was a smooth embarkation and the port itself was very modern and nice. The ship was nicely decorated with Christmas ornaments and the tree in the lobby was amazing. Carnival really put on a lot of nice Christmas activities so you didn't feel like you missed out on the holiday spirit. Each day there were fun activities to do. Dr E kept you laughing, dancing and really excited about everything happen around the ship. My family and I aren't usually one for the shows, but we did get involved this cruise. The Motown review, Hasbro Game Show and Welcome Abroad show and Name that Tune were our absolute favorite. The White Heat was great. DJ Devine played good music each and every night for each age group. The Dive In Movies were also a big hit with our children because they showed movies for each age range. Our only complaint would be the activities available in the Camp Carnival program. Our son is in the Circle C (12-14) age range. He wish they had more opportunities to play the game with each other. Most of the activities in this age group were after leaving the ports (4pm). However, during sea days they had a variety of activities all day. They still weren't very exciting to our child in particular. Carnival Glory had good cuisine and variety in the dining room and on the Lido Deck. Our favorites were Guy Fieri's burgers, the Blue Cantina, Pizza and Fish and Chips. Fish and Chips is actually a hidden gem many people miss. It is located above the Home Kitchen eatery. Take the staircase in the middle near the Sweet Spot. It's only open during lunch hours. Our favorite bar for drinks was the Red Frog Rum Bar. It also seemed to be the favorite for most of the cruise passengers. The pool area in the back of level 9 (near the pizza and deli) is adults only and we didn't get a chance to use it. If you are looking for a quiet area you will probably enjoy it. You could not hear any of the music from the Lido deck activities which was a tad boring for my husband and I. We like the liveliness of being in the middle of the action. There is a bar back there as well so you don't have to miss out on drinks. Elegant nights were very laid back for the most part. We found that the picture backgrounds were better on casual nights. Most people on this particular cruise dressed up for Christmas and not for the first elegant night. The wait for Your Time Dining was very short when we went between 7:30-8:30pm. All in all this was a very exciting cruise. More details about the ports is listed below.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My family have been on several Carnival Cruises; however, this is our first time on Victory. The crew was nice, our cabin guy Wilfred was very attentive. Room service was prompt and courteous. We stayed in cabin 1015, which was a balcony ... Read More
My family have been on several Carnival Cruises; however, this is our first time on Victory. The crew was nice, our cabin guy Wilfred was very attentive. Room service was prompt and courteous. We stayed in cabin 1015, which was a balcony on the top floor. Cabin was snug for 3 people. Our son is 13, and he is 5 ft 2 in. and his legs were longer than the twin bed provided. The ship is false advertising so many things to the point that I cannot list them all. But to name a few: the sushi bar is no longer on the ship, the cabins are very much smaller than they look, and the food was the worst I've ever had on a cruise. The portions are very small, most nights we had to order two dinners. The shrimp cocktails were so wrong...baby flimsy,shrimp. The wait staff was rushed. The bartender in the Atlantic dinning room was sweet and attentive. I ate at the buffet on the Lido deck on my first day and my last morning. My last morning the breakfast buffet was hot with lots of choices. My family and I have been on 4 Disney Cruises and I must say that I cannot see myself on another Carnival cruise. You should pay the extra money and go on Disney. The teenage activities are so very limited. If your children are not into swimming each and every day, they find themselves roaming the ship in little groups trying to find something to do. So, here is the thing that really, really took the fun out of my days...the lines on day one to board, to eat, to get on and off the ship at ports, to debark. The best day was on the private island...which was ruined because they shut down everything at 2pm with the last ferry taking you back to the ship at 3:15. We waited in line for an hour just to board the ferry. Each port was cut shorter and shorter as the days went on. The island of Freeport which has the least amount of things to do, you guested it, is were we docked until 6:30 pm. Other days we were required to return by 4:30. And to make matters worst, we docked in Nassau on day before the big Junkanoo parade, which was on December 26th. We should have been in Nassau for the islands biggest event of the year. I hope this was helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
The Ecstasy is an older ship, even though it had a recent upgrade with painting and carpeting changes. But it is old. Nothing in the cabin lavatory works correctly. toilet does not clear everything, Sink lights are burnt out. No glassware. ... Read More
The Ecstasy is an older ship, even though it had a recent upgrade with painting and carpeting changes. But it is old. Nothing in the cabin lavatory works correctly. toilet does not clear everything, Sink lights are burnt out. No glassware. Hardly any storage space. Sink stopper when activated, will not release. Don't turn shower up to 50 degrees, you will not be able to turn it back to a normal temperature. Other then these inconveniences the room was ok. A bit small. No refrig. No ice bucket. Did have a safe. Little storage space. But comfortable. Some sound from thrusters when docking. Occasional wave sounds hitting the sides. 2 Portholes give good light and vision. I don't know if it was the Xmas holiday, or if it was normal, but the main entertainment was pretty poor. Singing and dancing was not good (maybe these were holiday substitutes). And the shows were inconveniently schedules between the main dining seating times. Other on board entertainment was good, lots of variety for everyone, and the adult comedy shows seemed to be the best attended. Food in general was just OK. Breakfast: bacon was as thin and greasy as can be. Take the ham instead. Eggs were good. Stay away from any potatoes. Pastries must have been purchased a week ago. Everything else was so-so. Ice Cream was a big breakfast hit for the kids. Main dining dinners had limited selections, and the meats had little taste. Nothing to write home about. Deserts were not spectacular and had little taste. Lunch: fresh deli sandwich were always great, as well as the 24hr. Pizza. Lunch Cuisine varied daily French, American, Asian, etc. but had little variety. Hamburgers and Hot Dogs and Chicken Strips were always popular by the pool. Key West was ... Key West. It has not changed much. Just enough time in port to get off, do some shopping, walk around the old town and to Hemingway's House, then time to get back on the ship and depart. Cozumel was a long stay, but docket after noon. Little time to take a long tour to the ruins as sundown was just a few hours away, so had to stay close. Walked and shopped around town, and spent some time at Senor Frogs for some good food and a big drink. Ship was unable to leave the dock. It tried for about 5 minutes, but the winds were too strong and kept us at the dock. Three hours later, with all propellers and thrusters at peak, we were able to back out of the port, and kept going backwards for quite sometime, until we were able to turn around without drifting into something !! 50 mph head winds kept the waves hitting the sides, and the ship rocking and rolling slightly. As it was past midnight when we left, it was very nice sleeping. As it was Xmas, there was lots of caroling in the main lobby, Songbooks were passed out, and everyone participated. Very well done. All in all, a memorable trip.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We had a very enjoyable week. This was our 5th Carnival cruise and most of our expectations were delivered. Firstly we do not use the Spa or the premium steak restaurants so we cannot comment on those. The Sunshine could easily have ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable week. This was our 5th Carnival cruise and most of our expectations were delivered. Firstly we do not use the Spa or the premium steak restaurants so we cannot comment on those. The Sunshine could easily have been mistaken for a new ship. We have been on several previous cruises on new ships and this one compares. The embarking and disembarking experiences were excellent as expected. The food was just Okay. the breakfast buffet was the same every day which became a little boring. You do have the option of the burrito bar which was good. Again the lunch buffet seemed to be similar each day which became a little boring. Food quality was Okay. We did try the stir fry which was excellent (which explains the lunchtime lines), and the pasta bar which was good. Also, the Burger bar was excellent and very popular as was the Pizza bar. Dinner was again acceptable but not excellent quality. Maybe what you would expect from carnival as compared to a cruise line that would be more upmarket. The showtime experience on the sunshine was not quite up to the level that we have come to expect from Carnival. The stage looks smaller and there is no orchestra pit. This is to cater for the theater doubling as night club where they want the extra dancing space. The other entertainment experiences were up to the standards that we have come to expect from carnival. Overall, a very enjoyable week. I would recommend the Sunshine and would have no problem recommending it to others. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We surprised our grand daughters (whom we are raising) with this as their Christmas present! Emma, age 16 and MC age 8 were ecstatic! We were on our 25th cruise, but only the third with Carnival. Years ago, we went on two short cruises on ... Read More
We surprised our grand daughters (whom we are raising) with this as their Christmas present! Emma, age 16 and MC age 8 were ecstatic! We were on our 25th cruise, but only the third with Carnival. Years ago, we went on two short cruises on Carnival's older, smaller ships, and were not impressed by comparison to the Royal Caribbean and Princess cruises we had previously gone on. BUT, since the four of us could drive, thus savings $$$ in airfare, and because the Dream was so much larger and newer, we thought we'd give it a try. We had a great time, the girls loved their various activities, MC wanted to go to Camp Carnival every day. Emma was shy about going to Club O2 by herself the first night, but then met a few kids, and they ran around together in a pack all week. We had a very good cabin steward, he was in there at least twice daily, keeping the ice bucket filled, bringing us fresh beach towels, robes, and anything else we requested. Our main dining room servers were super friendly, remembering us by name each night. The food was typical cruise ship quality, mostly very good with a few exceptions each night. We were surpised to see that Carnival still serves lobster and escargot, and some other "fancy" foods that some of the lines had cut out. We dined one night at the Chef's Table steakhouse, and it was superb. Emma ordered lobster and it came with not one, but three tails! The desserts were to die for. We thought the production shows were good, but not over the top. The dancers were talented, the male singer was quite good, female just OK. And, yes, "family friendly" is a matter of opinion...a lot of sexy dancing in very skimpy costumes. The entertainment around the ship was sub-par, the singers in the atrium were pretty terrible and they were LOUD. We didn't care for the comedian either. I don't understand why, what with all the fantastic talent out there, the cruise line would hire such marginal acts. We did Faster to the Fun, and would do it again...for 50.00 for the whole group it makes embarkation a whole lot easier, and, on the last night, we went down to guest services and there were about 30 people in line but the FTTF line had only two ahead of us. There was a lot of smoking on this ship, the whole deck five around the casino area reeked of it. The kids loved the water slides, the mini golf, and we all watched a "Dive'In" movie, that was pretty special! All in all, a good cruise for our family, but if it was just the two of us, Carnival would not be my pick. This ship was VERY crowded and we like a more elegant atmosphere. (They actually announced in the dining room, that, on "elegant" night, men were not allowed to wear flip flops and wife-beaters, and no ball caps!) One other tip: If you are driving to the port, park at the Fulton Street garage, it was less than half of the price of the one at the port! It is only two blocks away, and they have a shuttle bus with porters to help with your luggage.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Hi all, just done two weeks on Liberty around the East and West Caribbean. Good information to start the cruise from Carnival and the simple booking in system meant a minimum of delay on getting on board. We did two days in Cocoa Beach to ... Read More
Hi all, just done two weeks on Liberty around the East and West Caribbean. Good information to start the cruise from Carnival and the simple booking in system meant a minimum of delay on getting on board. We did two days in Cocoa Beach to help reduce the jetlag and found a wonderful place called, 'Fat Kahunas' which gave us one of the nicest meals we have ever tasted, so good, we booked for the day we came back from the cruise. Our cabin was spotless and our steward immaculate on both weeks, becoming almost a friend in their quest to assist. Son aged 14 enrolled into Circle C and we didn't see much of him apart from the trips and formal dinners - there seemed much for him to do. Probably had nothing to do with the teenage girls on the cruise either but hey ho. We ate in anytime dining and were extremely well looked after by the front of house team, their smiles brightened up the evening; we never bother where we sit as long as we can get food so putting us at a table wasn't too difficult. We had a bit of a wait one night when the battery failed in the bleeper and we received some lovely chocolates in the room by way of a not necessary apology. Praise Point: The staff are what makes this ship tick, they are simply outstanding and so hard working, a pleasure to be with them at this festive time. Development Point 1: Entertainment; we sailed on Liberty last year and the entertainment was nothing like what we found then. Fortunately, we are not drinkers nor massive on the entertainment side but we were slightly put out at the poor showing. We took a couple of excursions to the Mayan ruins on Cozumel which at St Gervaise were superb and Mike the guide, took us last year and was as outstanding on this years trip. Another asset to his culture and Carnival. We also did the trip on Roatan to the Marine biology centre which was brilliant, the rum cake 'factory' which was a shack near the lighthouse and I do not give my recommendation to a visit there as it seemed to be a quick take a small piece, decide and then buy. I prefer a laid back approach which wasn't abundant there. The Cameo visit was superb and an education, so laid back I did not realise that things were for sale there and had to ask - they were so lovely and dedicated to their craft, one of only two places in the world that does this work and well worth seeing. Development Point 2: The ship published details of armed robberies on this Island but when we asked the locals, they claimed that the robber had been severely dealt with and was in prison. Not sure how accurate or timely that advice was. The food on the ship was excellent and plentiful; I sent two dishes back, one an Eggs Benedict that had rock hard yolks (I was promised soft and runny!!) and no sauce apart from a yellow coating (I insisted I did not receive another!) and the second one was the mussels of which two were closed,,,,,,, not a good sign when mussels are closed. Other than that, the food was varied and as good as we can taste anywhere. Development Point 3: On Deck 6 where we were, there was a strong smell of faeces occasionally, I don't think it was someone with wind but it was very whiffy on more than one occasion. In addition, there was a noticeable list in the ship on its way back to Canaveral and vibration from what one Mariner on the cruise thought, a bent propeller. Either way, it could probably have been mentioned. Afternoon tea was another highlight on sea days and a chance to catch up, two Veterans meeting hours each week were really good, well supported and nice of Carnival to put on tea and coffee. Development Point 4: Someone insisted on putting coffee into the jugs and not washing them properly and the taste permeated each jug, as a result, I stopped ordering tea from room service and I took a cup at the Vets meeting and the taste of rancid coffee in the water was really strong and disgusting. As a retired military logistician, I think the people who do that ought to be made to drink it!! no point in mentioning it as the damage was done. The smell of smoke was creeping further than it should from the casino area, often being smelt on the promenade deck in the shops, I wonder if the extractors need a bit more ooommfff? Disembarkation was quite a simple process and was a pleasure until,,,,,,,,,,,,, we got ashore. Port Canaveral was a shambles. There were 5 ships in and a new terminal opening and no one from Carnival or the Port thought it a good idea to tell us. The taxi firm is literally only one company with limited cars and were overwhelmed so the lady wasn't ordering any taxis for anyone else other than her firm and strangers like us didn't know how to get to the hire car place. That is another story, National only sent one bus to our terminal and nearly two hours later, another had not appeared. We waited another 40 minutes for a taxi and went down to collect the car. A simple note to make sure that pickup was previously arranged would have prevented us spoiling our day and missing out on the trip to Kennedy Space Centre. A shambles and I probably wont be going back to Canaveral and couldn't recommend it I am afraid. Two hours and a bit to clear the port after disembarkation is not good. In summary, Liberty was fun, the crew amazing and did their best to make us welcome and share their Christmas away from their families with us. We have the usual lovely memories, it was an excellent place to be at this time; would we sail on her again? Almost certainly but we might even try a sister ship to compare but Carnival need to really address the entertainment side of things and up their game in that direction. We didn't go on a trip in Belize but I understand that some passengers were delayed by lack of tenders, it is probably little comfort to them that we waited for the rush to finish as suggested and walked onto a tender with no wait having breakfasted in slow time. It must have been quite serious as we got $50 per person as a shipboard 'sorry' from the skipper which was really nice but I am sorry to hear others were very inconvenienced. Cant wait until the next cruise with Carnival   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Ship information - Elation is one of the older ships in Carnival's fleet (1998) and it shows. Out toilet would not flush one night but was fixed soon after we called. At night you hear groans and noises from the older ship. There was ... Read More
Ship information - Elation is one of the older ships in Carnival's fleet (1998) and it shows. Out toilet would not flush one night but was fixed soon after we called. At night you hear groans and noises from the older ship. There was not a running track that encompassed the ship. There was ample deck seating and 2 pools. There was a small water slide for people taller than 48 inches. Activities - Standard cruise activities. Offered kids and teen camps. Adult only (Serenity) area existed but was not very large (80 people max) and had only 2 hot tubs and no pool. Serenity area was at back of ship but not secluded as multiple decks over looked the area. Mini-golf course, VB, and basketball courts where also present. Port & shore excursions - Standard cruise excursions. We booked the Progreso excursion off ship and had a great private tour with Lawsons. Booked local tequila tour in Cozumel with Carnival that was pretty bad. 3 of the 4 local tour guides called in sick...seems the had too much to drink on Christmas Eve. Carnival did contact the your company and got refunded 50%. Better then nothing. Travel to embarkation Port - New Orleans has a $14 flat rate tax ride from airport to port. This is kinda lame since many other cities have a flat rate for the cab of around $20. I guess we have to pay for pumps to keep the city from being flooded ;) Try to pick a hotel with free airport shuttles and then taxi to port from there. Cabin - Our 4A cabin showed its age but actually was a bit more spacious than other ones in this class. Non of the room had mini-refrigerators. You could call and get a blow driers if desired since none were there initially. Cabin stewards as always where friendly and accommodating. No balconies rooms exist on the side of the ship. Dining - Main dining was good but not as great as on other ships. We had meals each night where we needed to order other entries since the initial one was lacking. They did have creme brulee the last night but the desserts were prep'ed too early and the topping was soggy (like oatmeal). Also the ship being older did not have any themed up-charge restaurants so the main dining menu had a small up-charge section where you could get $20 lobsters and such. The buffets were good and had specialty sections but did close at times during the day. Children's clubs - Children and teen clubs existed. our granddaughter went to camp carnival from time to time but did spend more time with us then in the club. Not sure if this was because she was the only kids on the trip or the club was not exciting. Entertainment - I've have taken several cruises in the past 5 years and Carnival has been my favorite. What impressed me about Carnival has been the value of the entertainment. The combo of exciting nightly feature acts and George Lopez comedians has been a winner for me. Unfortunately on the 12/22/2014 cruise on both Christmas eve and Christmas Day (both port days) the main entrainment was non-existant / very, very sub standard. To be exact on 12/24 the Mikado (main room) event was 7:45pm Michael Jackson Trivia and 8:15pm Michael Jackson Thriller dance contest, followed by bingo. Then at 11pm one comedy event happened (not the 4 that usually happen nightly). Then on 12/25 at 8pm "Guess that song 90's" and 8:30 "disco dance class" with no comedians at all. To be honest these are 2pm shows on sea days NOT main event on holidays. In essence on the 2 biggest nights of the cruise there was nothing substantial to do and it was noticed my all 14 of us on the trip. This experience has left a very sour taste in my mouth and makes me doubt Carnival a lot now. Also the comedians were not switched out during the cruise. Usually when at a port (like Cozumel where different Carnival ship where docked) the comedians are swapped to make it better for both ships. This did not happen and added to the entertainment disappointment. Disembarkation - Standard practices followed. Carnival offered early self disembarkation for people with needs. This process helped us so we were in taxi's by 8:30 and at the airport by 9. Summary - My least favorite cruise of all 6 that I've done. The lack of decent main entertainment ruined it for me. Did anyone else experience on a past Elation cruise? Was the entertainment on 12/24 and 12/25 normal for the Elation or were the crew given the nights off? --> If this was the normal cruise then I do not think the cruise was worth the value. --> If the staff had time off over the holidays then I doubt the cruise director. The people on the cruise (me) paid a 2x or 3x premium to be here over Christmas. They could take the extra money they made and hire temporary entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Very disappointed in this ship. It was smelly - former smoking areas have not been cleaned of smoke smell - several areas smelled musty. The cruise director acted very unprofessional; he was loud, obnoxious, spoke unclearly, and there was ... Read More
Very disappointed in this ship. It was smelly - former smoking areas have not been cleaned of smoke smell - several areas smelled musty. The cruise director acted very unprofessional; he was loud, obnoxious, spoke unclearly, and there was huge gaps in entertainment times. The Christmas show was put on very, very late (10:00) which included young children in the show, and the so-called Christmas story read by the entertainment director was terrible and not something that the children seemed to enjoy. Entertainment on this ship was not very good and we were somewhat bored. The ports were wonderful, as were the staff in the Platinum (lower) dining room (Ioan and Vlad - two thumps up). Our cabin steward was very friendly and accommodating. Overall, we did not find the staff very friendly. I will definitely never cruise on this ship again and am not overly thrilled with Carnival. One of the pieces of our luggage arrived with a broken wheel to which the staff sent us a letter saying that if we have it fixed within 30 days they will CONSIDER repayment. Also, getting off the ship in Costa Maya was horrendous - elevators letting people off into a crowd where the hallway and staircases emptied into one stairway was disastrous with pushing, shoving, yelling and stepping on toes! Also, I was upset over 4 things that I wanted to do that were listed in the Fun Times daily and were actually held on different days (one was for a Scotch tasting.) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Having just come off a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise in a suite aboard the Norwegian Star, I wasn't expecting much from our 4 day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada in an ocean view cabin on one of the oldest ships in the Carnival ... Read More
Having just come off a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise in a suite aboard the Norwegian Star, I wasn't expecting much from our 4 day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada in an ocean view cabin on one of the oldest ships in the Carnival fleet. I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed the cruise. We spent the night at the Residence Inn downtown which is about a mile to the cruise terminal. There is a free bus which stops at the hotel and it took us into downtown Long Beach and we walked over to Enterprise Rental car on Ocean and the following day we returned the car and they dropped us off at the cruise terminal. Residence Inn doesn't provide a shuttle bus to the cruise terminal. The free bus doesn't stop at the Residence inn on the way back. Take the bus all the way to the Queen Mary stop (end of line) and catch the next bus (or the same bus a few minutes later) heading back towards Long Beach. I recommend staying the night on the Queen Mary as it is right next door to the Carnival cruise ship terminal. My wife was extremely bothered by the outdated decor (especially the atrium) but I didn't mind one bit. The food, even in the buffet, was very good and met all of my expectations (except for the sea day brunch). The meal choices were excellent except for one night when the selections for dinner was poor. The Christmas dinner printed on a special menu was very nice but I absolutely HATE the sea day brunch because you have to use the same menu for breakfast and lunch and select from the lousy offerings. I tend to wake up early and have an early breakfast and lunch at noon so having the same menu for both breakfast and lunch is boring. One of the best things about the ship is the fantastic water pressure-it was the best shower I've had in years due to the low flow showerheads found in most homes. Embarkation was managed quite nicely by Carnival at Long Beach. We were aboard with a minimum of fuss and delay and even received our bags within a hour. Disembarkation took a bit longer but still nicely managed. The line for American citizens went much faster than the line for non U.S. citizens so I was happy about that. As far as entertainment goes, I don't know how Carnival managed to find the worst comedian in the world-whoever hired him needs to be fired. The other comedian was very funny and made up for the worst comedian in the world. Catalina and Ensenada are excellent ports. Catalina is clean and safe and it was a pleasure to be able to buy a copy of the New York Times and the L.A. Times after having spent a week at sea on my cruise the week before. Getting simple Chinese food at Mr. Mings was a good antidote to the rich, cruiseship cuisine. We travelled overnight and arrived in Ensenada the following morning. Ensenada is walkable and easily managed in one day. I recommend getting off the ship as early as possible and walking along Lopez Mateo before all of the hawkers wake up (the hawkers are bad in this town especially close to Hussong's cantina and Papas and Beer) Going to the fish market is a fascinating experience to see what kind of seafood is caught locally. Going to Mexican supermarkets simply to browse and buy drinks is also an interesting experience. I met one Mexican guy at the supermarket who had lived in L.A. for 27 years before he was deported and he told me about how hard it was to make a living in Mexico where the average daily wage is $8/day when he made that much money per hour back in the United States. We left Ensenada that night and went about 1 mph back to Long Beach and spent an entire day at sea before arriving the following morning. We caught a Carnival sponsored bus back to LAX for $30/person. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Recently, my boyfriend and me took a Carnival cruise on the Paradise during December 22-27 , 2014 . I was thinking , it's would be a perfect little vacation getaway. Usually we book balcony cabin, but this time we had inside cabin( ... Read More
Recently, my boyfriend and me took a Carnival cruise on the Paradise during December 22-27 , 2014 . I was thinking , it's would be a perfect little vacation getaway. Usually we book balcony cabin, but this time we had inside cabin( booked cabin 2 weeks prior cruising) . Instead my boyfriend got very sick ( we think , from poor air circulation and mold ). We complained for 3 days, that it's very hot in the cabin, only on day 3 did the technician finally unscrewed the air vent, witch was full of mold and solid black in color. In fact, most everyone staying on the empress deck was sick and coughing like my boyfriend. With regard to what is supposed to be the reason we all cruise (the superb food) Carnival Paradise's food was simply awful. Specifically the eggs were not real (seemed to be made from powder), the coffee and tea were not brewed. They both were made from syrup and water and tasted horrible. The juices were not made from juice. They use Vitality which is more like a juice drink full of added sugar. The ship was dirty and proper sanitation procedures were not used. Servers not wearing gloves and taking dirty plates away and serving food right after without cleaning hands or wearing gloves. Needless to say we would not recommend the Carnival brands and will never book with them again. They want to charge full price and provide 2nd class service. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival so we knew what to expect going in. We arrived at the port in Miami around 11am. You had to find someone to take your luggage, so we were a little disappointed on the small number of porters ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival so we knew what to expect going in. We arrived at the port in Miami around 11am. You had to find someone to take your luggage, so we were a little disappointed on the small number of porters available for luggage drop off. After finally finding a porter, we went through the basic security checkpoint fairly quickly. Make sure you do not arrive to the cruise port until around noon because we waited a good hour and a half to even board the ship. The ship itself is beautiful, modern, clean, and well laid out. It was definitely a full ship and you could really tell come lunch at the lido marketplace. The options at the lido buffet were pretty limited and we were underwhelmed with the dessert options, but Guy's burger, pizza, and the Blue Iguana Cantina provided great food all cruise long. The shows on board were a little disappointing aside from the Latin Nights show. The singers weren't the best, but the digital screens used frequently were appealing to the eye. The cruise director, Matt, was fantastic and engaging. He was definitely the best cruise director we'd ever had. We liked watching the movies outside on the lido deck big screen, and the popcorn and blankets were a nice touch. The casino was also a hot spot but was of course pretty smoky at times. Red Frog Pub is a great place and we spent some time there as well and enjoyed the love music. Personally I think the musicians that played out in the public areas were far better than the ones that were in the main production shows. The ports we visited were Grand Turk, La Romana, Curaçao, and Aruba. We did not feel safe getting off the boat in La Romana so we just stayed on the ship and essentially had a day at sea with a half empty ship. If you visit La Romana in the future it is probably wise to book an excursion. The other three ports were fantastic and we especially enjoyed beach days in Grand Turk and Aruba. All in all it was a fantastic cruise and we loved our vacation away from the cold in the north. Christmas in the Caribbean was definitely a great experience and we'd definitely consider going on the breeze in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was a beautiful and clean ship. It had everything anyone would want. The guys burgers were very good and easily accessible. The blue iguana burritos and tacos were also very good. The steakhouse was good but a little too fancy for us, ... Read More
This was a beautiful and clean ship. It had everything anyone would want. The guys burgers were very good and easily accessible. The blue iguana burritos and tacos were also very good. The steakhouse was good but a little too fancy for us, however the main course (lobster and steak) was fantastic. The dining room food was OK and kind of bland. No good desserts in the mdr. Shows were very very good, which is a step up from my last cruise. Comedy shows were ok too. Cruise director, Wee Billy is awesome! Very funny and gets you involved. Pool area was nice, they enforced the "no saving" chairs by putting a time stamp on your chair if it was empty. It had a big screen over the pool which was nice for evening movies or early morning news. Drinks were easy to get and did not have to wait too long for them. It was nice to have the options to purchase the Cheers program. It allowed us to try different drinks. Alchemy bar - very friendly mixologists. Great drinks. Embark and debark went extremely smooth for us, very well organized. We had inside cabins, 3 in one and 2 in the other. They were spacious and had built in dressers with enough room to fully unpack your suitcase. Overall, I would recommend Freedom and go on it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
My husband and I have been on 8 cruises. We've not cruised on Carnival in about 10 years. We always defended Carnival when people said they were the "Wal-Mart" of cruising. In the past, the food and service were always ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 8 cruises. We've not cruised on Carnival in about 10 years. We always defended Carnival when people said they were the "Wal-Mart" of cruising. In the past, the food and service were always excellent. Not so this time. We decided to take our daughter and son in law on their first cruise for Christmas. We booked 2 balcony spa cabins which was a blessing as it was quieter and less crowded than other parts of the ship. The service in the dining room was extremely slow and we had to ask for wine each night…it was not offered. Many times we did not get the wine until we were 1/2 way through our meal. The wait staff was not as friendly as in the past. I have to eat gluten free and they would take my order the night before. Every time I ordered beef medium rare, it came well done. The waiters did not understand "gluten free" as they brought me things that were gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and taste free. The dining room seemed very disorganized and there were nights that we were late to the show because we hadn't finished eating. I had heard how "magical" Christmas cruises were…how some people decorated their doors, their cabins and balconies so I purchased SOLAR outdoor Christmas lights and strung them on our balcony. The next morning there were a bunch of crew members outside our door telling us we had violated some rule with the solar Christmas lights. I offered to take them down and put them in my suitcase under the bed, but no…they had to confiscate them. They made me feel terrible. Picking the lights up the morning of debarkation was another nightmare. The quality of the food has gone downhill in my opinion. The entertainment, however, was excellent! The cruise director, Malcolm, was probably the best cruise director we've ever had and the singers/dancers were fabulous. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
All in all it was a good cruise; would I choose the Conquest again? No. There wasn't anything wrong with the ship, except that it's missing a serenity deck. My husband is not one to sit around and enjoy the sun on the pool ... Read More
All in all it was a good cruise; would I choose the Conquest again? No. There wasn't anything wrong with the ship, except that it's missing a serenity deck. My husband is not one to sit around and enjoy the sun on the pool deck... he needs constant activity, and these smaller ships just don't have enough things to do! There were also very few activities planned, the majority of the random contests and activities were scheduled during port times. We did play some of the trivia which was fun, and tried our hand at the scavenger hunt. We really enjoyed the Epic Rock Show. A few of the other shows were good, but I didn't know too many of the songs. The comedians were rather funny too. I know Conquest recently went through the 2.0 upgrade, but it's really showing it's age. Needs a thick coat of paint and some new carpet. The movies they played on the big screen were pretty good, we sat for a few of them, and they served popcorn at the bar. The food was basically the same menu everyday, bland and just generally bad. Probably the worst food of the 5 cruises we've been on. Guys burgers and Blue Iguana Tacos were really good though. Your best bet for breakfast was one of the omelet stations, they were pretty good. The pictures weren't great this time either, they were either in a hurry or the printer quality was cheaper - something was off and the majority of the photos they put up on the wall for purchase needed some serious photoshop help. A few of ours were so dark you could barely see our faces. Made it really easy for me to toss them in the trash - I usually struggle to pick out a few and end up buying them all for a small fortune. We enjoyed the ports. St. Thomas is the only one that was new to us. Nassau - we did the catamaran sail and snorkel - SO much fun! St. Thomas - we went to Coral World and did the helmet dive. It was pretty cool, we also fed the birds, visited the touch tanks, and had a drink at the bar. The transportation too and from Coral World is ridiculous though - they aren't very organized. We also went to Magic Ice Bar - AWESOME! We went in with the jackets on, looked at all the ice sculptures, had our free shot of rum and after putting our jackets up decided to go back in and have a few more shots. No jackets, just shorts and tank top - it was pretty cold but after a few shots you didn't really notice. San Juan - it was Christmas day so there weren't too many places that were open. We walked the path around the outside of the wall, through the red gate down to El Morro and back. After noon or so a few places started opening up, we had lunch at a small local restaurant, walked to Pigeon Park, awesome place - buy some bird seed and the pigeons will flock to you! We walked passed the other fort and down to a small beach. Grand Turk - We did the helicopter ride. The island is beautiful, but from the air it's breathtaking! We saw some stingrays from the air, an old ship wreck, private islands, he flew us over the cruise ships. They also have their own private beach that you can chill on if you want! After that we spent the afternoon at Jack's Shack! Best place in the Caribbean! Good food, good drinks, shaded chairs and tables and a gorgeous piece of beach!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our second time on the Glory. The ship has the 2.0 upgrades and we enjoyed the new bars and places to eat. Guys Burgers and fries is such a AMAZING addition to these ships. The food was wonderful and we ate there each day. Buffets ... Read More
This was our second time on the Glory. The ship has the 2.0 upgrades and we enjoyed the new bars and places to eat. Guys Burgers and fries is such a AMAZING addition to these ships. The food was wonderful and we ate there each day. Buffets were just buffets and nothing to write home about. Kids ate at the Qdoba like place and said it was ok just not Qdoba. We always love the pizza place.....Quattro pizza there is the best. This was the first time they made to order the pizzas and I was not impressed with that. The wait was TOO LONG and staff there not to friendly. However, the pizza was good. This trip let us down with both service and dining room food. Very disappointed but were able to get pizza if we needed it. Deli was delicious each time we had it . I normally love the piano bar, the new entertainer was on his second week...... He was below average. I was super disappointed with him, he wasn't too friendly and wasn't engaging. Oh we'll, plenty of other music around the ship. Loved Jess I think her name was. She played acoustic guitar and sang all over the ship. She was good and played plenty of requests. There was also a GROUP who played in the casino bar often that were very good as well. Wish I could remember their name. Not impressed with shows. Comics were funny :) Favorite place to hang was the EA Sportsbar. Be sure to visit Andrei he was awesome. They have xbox games available for the teens and young adults. Enjoyed time in the casino as always. Personally we dislike all the smoke at the casino bar........YUCK!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
The traffic in Miami was horrible! My son dropped myself, his wife and son at terminal about 1:00 pm, went to park car and almost missed the cruise! We actually got on the ship at last minute. Very stressful! I was supposed to have cabins ... Read More
The traffic in Miami was horrible! My son dropped myself, his wife and son at terminal about 1:00 pm, went to park car and almost missed the cruise! We actually got on the ship at last minute. Very stressful! I was supposed to have cabins near each other but ended up on different decks. Wasn' t too happy about that since we had an 8 year old with us. Ship was pretty and decorated nice for the holidays. My grandson had a great time with camp Carnival. The cruise director was fantastic and the band that was on there really good. Guy Fieri's hamburgers were awesome . Can't say much about the buffet. ....not enough choices. I have never seen a buffet that didn't have macaroni & cheese, broccoli, green beans.....things that kids eat....and me too. We ate in the dining room every night which was just OK. Nothing spectacular there. I thought it was very hard to find rest rooms around the ship. We all had a good time with our shore excursions. Had to be back on the ship early in Mahogany Bay, so that was a short day! We carried our own baggage off, so disembarkation was easy. All in all, not the best cruise I've been on, but not the worst either!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Fascination Christmas cruise 12/24/14 for myself, wife and three daughters. All experienced cruisers. Due to differing work schedules we only had time for a 5-day cruise. We also needed non-stop flights from three different cities. ... Read More
Fascination Christmas cruise 12/24/14 for myself, wife and three daughters. All experienced cruisers. Due to differing work schedules we only had time for a 5-day cruise. We also needed non-stop flights from three different cities. Jacksonville worked out best, so off we went on Fascination. Embarkation. Jaxport is a one-story tin-roof warehouse affair that looks like it was thrown together in about 3 months for $100,000. Extremely no-frills. But from the time we arrived at 11:30, dropped off our luggage with the porters, parked in the fenced-in lot ($75 parking fee for 5 days) and made it through check-in, we were on the ship in less than one hour. With that kind of performance, I couldn’t care less if the facility is made of sticks and a thatched roof! The Ship. Fascination is the forth oldest in the Carnival fleet. We’ve sailed on Fantasy class ships before, so we knew what we were getting. On the plus side, the ship is in great shape for her age. Clean, little sign of wear and we don’t mind the smaller size. The crew was constantly cleaning, polishing and maintaining as always. All that said, this ship is in desperate need of the 2.0 upgrades. Aside from the last dry dock where they glued a bunch of balconies onto the hull, cruising Fascination is a lot like cruising in the 90’s. The décor is noticeably dated. We missed things like Guy’s, Red Frog and Alchemy. The Serenity Deck has no bar and no restrooms. Again, we picked this ship because it best met our needs and knew what we were getting. Fascination heads into dry dock in March 2015 for the 2.0 upgrades and that should make it a much better experience. If they could only do something about that ridiculous design flaw on every Fantasy class where the lifeboats totally block the view from the pool decks . . . Cabin. We had two interior cabins on Deck 6 (Upper.) We stopped buying balconies a few years ago when we realized we never spend any time in the cabin and the dollars could be better spent elsewhere. Typical Carnival cabins. Spacious enough with plenty of storage. Temperature and maintenance both fine. Our cabins were both in a “sideways” configuration where you enter on the long wall rather than the short wall. This is a little bit awkward and the beds didn’t fit quite right, but who cares? Crew. Pleasantly impressed. This crew was among the best we’ve experienced on any Carnival cruise. Universally friendly and attentive. Our cabin steward Oscar introduced himself in the first hour, kept the cabins neat and greeted us in the hallway by name. Our dinner waiter Hugo (late seating; Imagination Dining Room) was also excellent. He knew our names and our likes on the second evening. His two assistants were also pleasant and efficient. The bartender in the Atrium Bar, Andreea, was maybe the overall best Carnival employee we’ve ever enjoyed over the years. Food. Again, pleasantly impressed. We ate breakfast each morning in the Sensation Dining Room. Good service, better food and no lines (the line for omelettes in the Lido Buffet was always 20 people long.) More folks should take advantage of the fancy dining room for breakfast. The Sunday Brunch steak and eggs was the single best meal I had on the ship. We never once sat in the Coconut Grove Lido buffet. Grabbed a snack here and there and ate by the pool or on the Serenity Deck. Dinner ranged from OK to very good. Appetizers always interesting (small portion size, but they’ll bring as many as you want.) Entrees were hit and miss. I had a filet from hell one night, but an excellent Chateaubriand the next. If your waiter offers advice on what to eat and what to avoid, take it. Hugo was always spot on. Drink. All five of us bought the Cheers program. The initial price is a bit of a punch in the gut, but we figured we’d break even at about 6-7 drinks per day. Since we enjoy a drink before dinner, a glass or two of wine with dinner and a cocktail before bed, breaking even is not difficult. Maybe the best thing for us is that Cheers allowed us to try drinks and wines we probably would not have tried otherwise. Don’t like it? No big deal. Wait five minutes and order something else. If you enjoy drinks on your cruise, Cheers is worth the cost. Shows and Such. None of us attended a single show. Hate them. The girls went to one late night comedy show and gave it a C-. The lobby bar entertainer Robbie was talented, but his classic rock repertoire did not fit the venue. One major complaint. We’re finding the increasingly urban hip-hop vibe on the pool deck (DJ Irie, Carnival calls it) not to be to our liking. We all agreed that alone would be enough to seriously consider another cruise line when we next have time for a full 7-day adventure. Cruise Director. I’ve never understood the absorption with cruise directors and couldn’t care less about them, but this guy (Jason “Jase” Apps) was more annoying than usual. Extremely frequent and painfully long announcements. Must be getting one beauty of an incentive on Carnival MasterCard sign-ups because he talked about it all cruise long. Just wished he would jump overboard. Ports. Spent a couple of hours on Half Moon Cay just to get our toes in the ocean. Tendered over, walked the entire length of the beach (about three miles round trip) and tendered back. Did not eat there or use any of the amenities. Our other stop was Nassau (our 6th visit to Nassau at least) but the girls had been only once before. We walked to the Queen’s Steps, then all the way over to Fish Fry for lunch (Goldie’s – excellent,) then to John Wattling’s Distillery. That’s more than 5 miles of walking, but we’re a pretty fit bunch. Never once felt unsafe on Nassau. Keep your wits about you and stay on the port side of the hill and you should be fine. Overall. A good cruise. We’re a tight-knit family and usually have a good time anywhere we go. This cruise was no exception. The time we got to spent together was in and of itself great for us since our family is now geographically spread out a bit. Carnival continues to offer a good value, plenty of home ports and a nice variety of cruise lengths. Without Carnival, a cruise would not have been possible for us this Christmas. That said, as our family grows older we decided we’re going to branch out a bit. My kids loved Carnival as teenagers, but we think other lines may better fit us at this point. We’ll see. But we would recommend this cruise – and Carnival – to anyone.   Read Less
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