1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Eastern Caribbean Cruises
  4. Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
13,704
6,721
4,351
2,245
1,203
Sail Date: October 2005
I like to start this review with saying that we are long time cruisers. My wife and her family started back in the '70s and between the two of us I guess we have been on 30 plus trips. We booked through an online agency with whom ... Read More
I like to start this review with saying that we are long time cruisers. My wife and her family started back in the '70s and between the two of us I guess we have been on 30 plus trips. We booked through an online agency with whom we booked last year and I think we will do it again. This trip was very enjoyable and relaxing with three days at sea. Only a little rain at the start and a small lightning and rain storm at the very end of the trip during the "Movies Under The Stars", Movie. You should do this at least once during your trip it's very fun. You don't need reservations anymore for the seating now it's first come first serve. They did a great job at looking out for Hurricane Wilma which could have delayed our return trip home. The Captain made a very nice announcement regarding the hurricane's route to Mexico affecting members of his staffs' family in wishing them prayers and a safe recovery. The ship has no real main atrium and no real style of it's own. The shopping is on multiple levels. I think the people who designed the ship did it blind folded and drunk. There was no continuity, no easy flow of traffic, always running the stairs and the very small elevators. You seem to have to go across and over something to get to where you want to go. We like the old way of dining with a fixed time, fixed table, fixed wait staff. We were told that because of our high number on the wait list (329) for a table at main sitting, it would be best to go to the anytime dining room and make reservations for the time that we wanted. On the first night on board ship we went to the Specialty Dining Rooms Sterlings and Sabbatini's and made reservations. We also at that time made reservations for the Palm Dinning Room for 6pm. I didn't know at the time that you needed reservations for every night you wanted to eat there. The food was never HOT and the coffee is good only if its hot, very bitter and oily if it sits for any time. The meal took forever for it to arrive to the table. You sit with new people all the time never really getting to know them. My wife thinks it's like reinventing the wheel every time you sit down for a meal. The ship has three main dining rooms Island, Palm, and the Coral all three rooms are the same size. Why they could not make one very large room is beyond me?? The Coral is very hard to get to, it was behind the Palm so you had to go one floor up over then back down depending on where your state room was. The wait staff was a good mix of national origin some are very friendly like Claudia from the Coral. We met her on the second day of the trip and tried to get her table for lunch since her dinner service was booked for the rest of the trip. Tip for you who read this review is to make your Reservations at the specialty dining rooms first. If you want to have a set table and a set wait staff and if you are on a wait list for the regular dining rooms for all your dinners choose a room and make a permanent reservation as soon as you get on ship you can always change it later. Sabbatini's was OUTSTANDING it's better service,better food,and better coffee the $20.00 (pp) is well worth your time of two hours for dinner. Sterlings was nice but I've had better steaks in Chicago and with better decor and better service. If you miss out on any of the buffets, don't worry you're not going to miss out on much. The food is never very HOT there either. It's also weird how one buffet will close and one will stay open right behind it in the next room. It was also very weird how there is no enter or exit line for the buffet, you get cut in on and run over, there are no manners. The one night sea food extravaganza that they had was a joke. Now for the entertainment on board ship or the lack of it. I thought I was in High School all over again. No major productions, only a one or two man lounge act that dates back to the '70s from an off off off Vegas strip show. If you fall asleep during the show you won't miss much. Timing for the shows was inconvenient with dinner and three other shows going on at the same time are overlapping one another. The Main show room was small and is lacking any kind of decor. I was surprised that the small lounges for dancing closed at 12:30am only the disco Skywalkers was open till 2:30am. The casino was open from 10:30am when at sea and stayed open as long as people wanted to play and I never felt like it was crowded. Your best bet is to play when at sea after breakfast or late in the afternoon after lunch and before dinner. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
Caribbean Princess review 10/8..OR...What does an ALPHA CODE mean? My husband and I were very excited about our sailing on the CB, Oct 8. After a long delay leaving Columbia, SC on Friday due to storms, missing our connection in Atlanta ... Read More
Caribbean Princess review 10/8..OR...What does an ALPHA CODE mean? My husband and I were very excited about our sailing on the CB, Oct 8. After a long delay leaving Columbia, SC on Friday due to storms, missing our connection in Atlanta and arriving in FLL at 10pm instead of 7pm, we were ready for the ship. We never realized that the problem with our flights would be the least of our worries. This was our 9th cruise, 6 on Carnival, 1 on Costa, 1 on RCCL, but first on Princess. Because of that, we knew when to arrive at the port and with minimal stress were in our cabin by 1230pm. The cabin was smaller than our many Carnival trips, but with the balcony, was perfect for the 2 of us. The air conditioning was not quite up to our temperature, but my husband found that the grate could be removed from the ceiling allowing a better flow and cooling the room much quicker. Once our steward understood the reason for it being on the floor, he left it alone. His name was Paul and with a $20 slipped into his palm, became our best friend the rest of the week. We received extra towels and pillows, our robes, and an egg crate for the bed before we set sail from port. We also removed the fridge door from the cabinet door so it would cool better. With that done, we headed to the Cafe Caribe` for some lunch. Wow, what a great place to eat! We had every meal there except 2, Sterling's one night and the DR once. (Will go into details about those 2 experiences later.) The food in the Horizon Court ranged from the ordinary to the extreme. There was never a meal that we were unable to find what we wanted. Even the sugar-free desserts were very tasteful. The French toast at breakfast was the best and my DH loved the different selections of eggs each morning, from Eggs Benedict to Eggs Florentine. But after lunch we headed to the Outrigger Bar to meet up with our CC Roll call group. Really enjoyed meeting all of them and even ended up on a return flight to Atlanta with one couple. We spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking, exploring and getting ready for the "Seafood Extravaganza" for dinner. Little did we know that would be the beginning of an interesting evening. We got to the Cafe Caribe around 7pm and it was beautiful. The servers were all decked out in their tuxes, and with the tablecloths it looked just like a gorgeous restaurant, instead of the simple dining room from earlier in the day. We were both tired so we went back to our room to get ready for the first day at sea, on Sunday. Around 8pm, DH started to complain of some tingling in his throat and some discomfort and swelling. By 845pm, he was wheezing so badly, I thought he was having an asthma attack. Since hot coffee did not help this time, I headed downstairs for Benadryl. On my arrival back in the room, I noticed he had a blue tinge to his lips and his face was becoming very swollen. Plus, he was barely able to breathe. I decided to contact the Front Desk. Unfortunately I got no answer when I called. I decided to hit the button for 911. After one misdial, I reached a nurse in the infirmary that asked if my husband could come downstairs. When I answered no, she immediately headed to the room. After assessing him, she called someone and an ALPHA CODE was issued. I later learned that meant it was "life or death". An announcement was made across the loud speaker and our room was immediately filled with a large crowd. There were 2 doctors, 4 nurses, and assorted support personnel filling the halls. My husband was transported to the infirmary where he was administered emergency care/meds and kept for 3 hours. I was extremely impressed with the abilities of the medical staff, especially Dr. Peter Hibbard and Faye, the nurse. Even though she was off duty, Faye stayed with me the whole time in the room and made sure that I, and the couple traveling with us, was settled in the waiting area. She would not leave until she made sure I was all right. My husband had to go back to see the doctor twice during the rest of the cruise for follow-up. He was monitored closely and we were given all the medical information of his treatment, including a detailed letter, for our family physician. Even though I never thought I would need to use the medical facilities, it is nice to know the staff is highly skilled and very competent. We also found out later that the Cruise Director and the Captain came to our cabin to see if there was anything they could do to assist. Thankfully the medical staff had everything under control. Our next day was spent relaxing in the room and taking short walks around the deck to build up DH's strength. Since so many passengers heard the code, he soon became the "Alpha Man", which delighted him to no end. Once all this excitement was behind us, we were able to settle down and enjoy the rest of the cruise. We watched several movies on MUTS, enjoying ice cream and popcorn. What a fantastic idea for a ship! The special effects were so amazing for one of the movies that we felt the whole deck shake. We never needed tickets for any event and never knew if others made reservations. We just walked to the upper deck and found a couple of empty loungers. I highly recommended it for everyone. The movies during the day were also good and like others have stated, the noise did not carry from the deck area. We dined in the Coral Dining Room one night, just walked up, had no reservations and were seated immediately. We arrived at 7pm. Unfortunately this was not one of our better experiences. The food was not as good as the buffet and the service was sorely lacking. Our waiter only had 2 tables, ours with 4 people and the one next to us with 10. But he seemed to take forever to get each course to us. It took us about 2 hours to complete our meal and had to ask for bread, drinks, or other items many times. Luckily we only had this problem once, as the service through the rest of the ship was great. We used room service a lot, for snacks and breakfast. It was also quick and everything was exactly as we ordered. We also had the Balcony Breakfast and though it included Bagels and Lox, which is not a favorite of mine, there was enough food for 4 people, not just 2. It is well worth the $25 you spend. Now, to the ports of call. We had been to St Thomas 10 years before and were real excited about the stop. We rented a car and ventured over to Red Hook Marina looking for a bar/restaurant that we had dined at previously. We found the exact spot, now called Molly Malone's, and spent several hours there with some locals. It was a great time and the food was fantastic. It is now a typical Irish Pub. We then toured the island, stopping at Mountain Top for a famous Banana Daiquiri and a picture of Megan's Bay, Drake's Seat, Paradise Point to look at the ships, and traveling the tiny streets of Charlotte Amalie. Back to the ship for a nap and dinner. The next day we went to St. Maarten, NA. Both DH and I had been really forward to the stop since everyone talked about how beautiful the island is. There were definitely right. St Martin turned out to be our favorite port. We had also reserved a car, so headed off in the car, with a map and some great suggestions from the Budget girl, Kizzy. She gave such good information on what to see, you would have thought she was in the back seat with us. We visited Cupecoy Beach, Orient Beach, Maho Bay, Marigot and the Marketplace, did some shopping in Phillipsburg, and ate lunch in Grand Case. Grand Case is the smallest village on the island, but has the most restaurants, 52. She suggested we eat at a "lolo". We found one called Germaine's and settled in for a treat. All of the food is served in chafing dishes on tables located outside. The meat and some of the vegetables are cooked right there on a huge barrel grill. We had Barbecue Ribs, red beans and rice, corn on the cob, cole slaw, Johnny cakes, beer and water…enough food for 2 people…for $13.50. What a great deal! We also had the opportunity to stop in a local grocer's shop on the French side. Everything was really cool. All the packaging was in French, with lots of breads, fruit, cheeses and desserts lining the shelves. I bought some recipe cards for my boss, she speaks French. Then we went to a local French bakery, bought Chocolate Croissants and headed back to the port. DH settled down for a beer and I checked out some shopping. We were both tired and, so time for getting back on the ship. Our last port was Princess Cays and I couldn't get over how crowded it was. It felt more overwhelmed with people than the ship. The temp and humidity were really high so after a short visit, I headed back to the ship, while DH settled down for some swimming with some friends. After several hours, it was everyone back onboard and we cast off for home. After arriving back home, we discussed our trip. While we both agreed that the ship is amazing and the food was fantastic, we think the ship was just too big. There were a few things we didn't care for, but overall would recommend the ship to others. Out of a 1 - 10, we gave it an 8+. But for ourselves, we think we might try a smaller Princess ship next time, just to have something to compare. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
We started our trip staying in Amerisuites booked online for $75. It was a great value because they allowed us to leave our car there for the week and provided transportation to the port along with a continental breakfast. Embarkation ... Read More
We started our trip staying in Amerisuites booked online for $75. It was a great value because they allowed us to leave our car there for the week and provided transportation to the port along with a continental breakfast. Embarkation was somewhat disorganized but we were early and met some nice people in line waiting. The ship itself was very nice and in good condition. Our cabin was a balcony on the Aloha deck and it was very nice. Our cabin steward was very friendly and always helpful (Jimmie). We had fresh fruit daily and received our bathrobes which was a nice touch! We ate in the two speciality restaurants Sabitini and Sterling house which were both exceptional. I would recommend them. The other dining venues left little to be desired. I was very disappointed with the food. The first night we went to the Caribe Cafe and it was the seafood buffet. Sounds great right.....the seafood was frozen....I mean there was ice inside the shrimp and crab...not just cold but frozen. We had anytime dining and never had a problem getting a seat in any of the dining rooms but the food was below par. Often the food was cold...even from the breakfast buffet by the time we got our coffee (which we had to get ourselves because service was minimal) our food was cold. With the exception of the speciality restaurants the next best food was room service which was fast and hot! We had two rainy days but it was wonderful just being on the water. In St. Thomas we had made arrangements through Shore Excursions to scuba dive but because of weather they were cancelled. We enjoyed just shopping around St. Thomas most of the day (we had been to the island several other times and have done the sightseeing stuff). St. Marteen was a sunny day but the seas were choppy. We did scuba dive there and it was wonderful. We booked privately through Dive Safari which we have used on previous trips. We did a two tank dive and returned to the ship to clean up and head out again to shop. If anything I would have liked to have a few more hours here. The private island much to my surprise was wonderful. I enjoyed it! We snorkeled at the end of the beach and it was quite good. I had read reviews about it being rocking and was prepared with my scuba booties along with our snorkel gear and it was great. We had a nice lunch and the bar service was very good. I really enjoyed my day there and could have stayed longer but we were pulling out at 3. We went to a few shows and enjoyed walking around the ship but most of all I enjoyed just relaxing. I'm not the kind that needs to be doing something all the time....my work life requires that of me so vacation is relaxing time. Overall we had a wonderful trip. I probably would not cruise on Princess again because I liked Royal Caribbean and Holland America better BUT any day on the water is better than any day on land! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
Having cruised on the Dawn Princess in February of this year, we were so looking forward to this cruise. We'd only cruised on Celebrity before, and while we love them, we'd found the Dawn Princess to be comparable quality but a ... Read More
Having cruised on the Dawn Princess in February of this year, we were so looking forward to this cruise. We'd only cruised on Celebrity before, and while we love them, we'd found the Dawn Princess to be comparable quality but a better value. So...we were SO DISAPPOINTED with this cruise. From start to finish I felt like all the staff had a "get it yourself" attitude. Barely concealed rudeness and disdain when you showed your pop sticker and asked for a soda, trying to find a table in the buffet area and being told by a worker (who was just standing around) "just walk around until you find a place". Dining room servers with no attempt at friendliness, at least not until the last two nights when we had a fantastic server who treated us great (she had JUST been made a waiter that cruise, so I guess the bad attitude pervasive on the ship hasn't tainted her yet). The Fun Zone workers (with the exception of the older woman) were HORRIBLE. It was like a badly run daycare, with the workers sitting around talking and the kids zoning out on video games. My kids usually LOVE the kids area on ships (Celebrity Summit three times, Princess Dawn once), and I couldn't keep my 6 year old in it this time. He would cry when I'd try to take him there, whereas he used to cry when I'd come to take him out of the other programs. The food was excellent, with great sugar-free desserts. We tried to do the Sterling Steakhouse but they were booked solid. Movies under the stars was great, one of the perks of the larger Princess ships. The gym was very nice and we could always get on the equipment. They also have individual tvs with headsets on the aerobic pieces, which was super. Spa workers were barely civil, the guy doing my husband's haircut/facial/scalp massage pointed out my husband's wrinkles, receding hair, ingrown hairs, etc. constantly to him with the hopes of selling product. My pedicure was nicely done but she barely spoke two words to me. My room steward chastised me for not putting out my "service please" card when I left the room in the morning. The shows were quite good, much better than on the Dawn in February. I'm not sure if Princess is improving or if the bigger ships get the better entertainment. The ports were great (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Princess Cays) but their tendering system (to Princess Cays) totally SUCKS. You sit in the theater forever until they herd you out in groups, down the stairs, and out to the tender. Meanwhile cutters sneak into line the entire way, which gets everyone all ticked off. Not a great way to relax! We had already booked a cruise on the Sun Princess for next February several months ago, or else this would have definitely been our last Princess cruise. Having just been on the Celebrity Summit in June of this year to Alaska, the drastic differences in service really stood out. Way better kids program, service, attitude. I know Celebrity offers incentives for workers (days off for so many good comment cards turned in after a cruise, etc.), which may explain the difference. Princess needs to get with the program and get their employees motivated. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
We just got back from the Oct. 4th 2005 sailing to the Eastern Caribbean out of NYC on the Carnival Legend. We were celebrating our anniversary. We have been on RC once and Princess twice. I do not think there is such a thing as a ... Read More
We just got back from the Oct. 4th 2005 sailing to the Eastern Caribbean out of NYC on the Carnival Legend. We were celebrating our anniversary. We have been on RC once and Princess twice. I do not think there is such a thing as a "bad vacation", however you can have "better than others". Overall, we had a good time. Embarkation was long, but I had prepared by reading other reviews and knowing what we were in for. Long lines of people waiting and waiting.. but very organized in my opinion. I have read other reviews of this ship and its itinerary and agree with and disagree a lot of things. Such as, I think the ship's decor is in sync with it's name. I have read about the urn's all over the place and how there are too many and weird. It is the "Legend" and I for one did not spend too much time dwelling on it. I do agree that the people at the purser's desk were incredibly rude. The excursion desk staff were absolutely awful to deal with. I asked a couple of questions about specifics of some of the excursions and literally received answers like "how should I know?" It was like "Do you want these tickets or not? You are wasting my time" sort of thing. It was a tall blonde attractive girl (so watch out)! Most of the food was fantastic. The waiter (Jesus) and his assistant were wonderful. He sang for us twice, and his voice is like cutting into room temp butter with a warm knife. (That's the best way to describe it)! He remembers your name and what you like with everything! We did dine in the supper club one night and it was very good, however I spent that night and next day in bed (I think it was bad lobster). The itinerary could have eliminated San Juan (dirty, scary, and the stores closed at 6-7pm). St. Thomas is dirty as well, although there are some beautiful beaches and lovely sights. Do not go on the shopping/beach tour. Do this on your own. A total waste of $$, trust me. We did the Lambert beach getaway. WOW what an experience! The trip to the beach is an absolute adventure. If you like high adventure, take this trip. Words cannot explain the ride alone. The beach is gorgeous. There were only about 30-40 people on this private beach. To me, it is worth the $$. It is true that there are not that many things to do on this ship. We found ourselves saying "what do you want to do" a lot. The casino is great.. It seems to pay out more than your average casino.. The pools are very small.. We did find the top deck that is for adults only (topless) but we were the only ones up there for the last two days of the cruise. The room steward was terrible, I think he must have been new. I had asked for ice and did not receive it a lot, the glasses were not just dusty, but dust was hanging from the rims, We asked for the minibar to be opened and it took 2 days to do, and so many other little annoyances like that and when they add up, you do not forget them. The cruise director (Brett) does try his best for his company. I do believe that he tries to make people happy. He is a fantastic magician. Yes he does hard selling on some things, but that is a part of his job... do not forget this. His assistant Tory tries too, however she was showing her frustration a lot (especially during disembarking the ship. She was rolling her eyes at people and heavy sighing placing her hands on her hips when people were confused). I absolutely understand being frustrated at people when they just do not have a clue, but she needs to remember to keep it to herself as she does work as an assistant cruise director of Carnival'S Legend... one of the "fun ships". This is acceptable for a clerk on a grocery line, but not for this. Oh yeah, take pictures yourselves and ask fellow cruise mates to take some for you because Carnival (and other cruise lines as well) rip you off with the pictures they take. Some do turn out quite nice, but you can get nice ones too. I do like the fact that the cabins have an ample amount of drawer and closet space. The best part of the vacation is being able to sit out on the private balcony (which we were fortunate to have) and just watch the ocean go by in peace. The worst thing was the bed. Absolutely disgraceful! I wouldn't let a dog sleep on it. It was that bad. It was like sleeping on lumpy concrete. My husband and I are in shape and we felt like were 100 years old every day. Like I said though, overall we had a good time. Will we sail on Carnival again? No, but it seems good for people who have families. (FYI.. I am 36 and a registered nurse. My husband is 50 and in medical sales). Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
Navigator of the Seas review Sail date - Sept. 24th, 2005 Itinerary - Eastern Caribbean Our info. My wife and I are in our Mid 30s our son is 2.5 years. Number of past cruises 12+ Intro -- My wife and I have cruised many times in the ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas review Sail date - Sept. 24th, 2005 Itinerary - Eastern Caribbean Our info. My wife and I are in our Mid 30s our son is 2.5 years. Number of past cruises 12+ Intro -- My wife and I have cruised many times in the past, 4 times with RCL, Grander, Voyager, and Explorer of the Seas so we were pretty familiar with the Navigators' layout given we were on 2 other sister ships. This was our second cruise with our son, the first one being on HAL Zuiderdam last December. We opted for 2 connecting rooms this time rather than one large suite so when our son went down for bed, we could go in the other room and not disturb him. We a suite on the Zuiderdam and although it was big, it was still one large room so when he went down for the night, we had to tip toe around so we didn't wake him. Our rooms were 9520 and 9518. A unique set up given one room had a balcony and one only a port whole, but they had a connecting door between them. Cruise Highs -- Given we were traveling with a 2 year old, we didn't go to the formal dining room, instead we ate in the windjammer cafe most of the time. The service in there was great and we usually didn't have a problem finding a place to sit. Especially for dinner since most of the people were in the main dining room. Our room steward 'group' was excellent and provided great service. They were great to our son and very quick cleaning up the room. The reason I put group down was because it is no longer one person that handles your cabin, rather a group of people which makes things much more efficient. The activities on board were very good even for our 2.5 year old. I was surprised they had activities for his age group. He couldn't go into the regular kids programs, but they did have activities for the parents and children which was nice. The overall condition of the ship was good, however, they had one stairway closed for the entire cruise for maintenance. Not a huge deal, but I would hate to be in one of the cabins close to it because the glue fumes were terrible. Ports of call were ok. We had been to them many times in the past so we didn't do much besides a little shopping. We preferred to stay on board and go to the pool given there were very few people there on port days. This is an unusual thing to mention, but the medical facilities on board were excellent. Our son came down with a respiratory problem and they did a great job at treating him and had everything he needed. It reminded me of a small hospital with separate patient rooms and dr offices. Cruise Lows -- Of course there were some. To start, the embarkation process was horrible or at least, much worse than we remember. We are use to cruise lines staggering the boarding process where the start boarding around 11:00ish until the time the ship leaves. Not this time. Instead, everyone waits outside until 2:00pm in a giant line and they open the doors and attempt to board 3800 passengers in 3 hours. If you happen to be at the end of the line, I have no doubt it would take 3 hours to get on board especially if you didn't do the sign and sail process beforehand. We did arrive around 2:00pm to find a huge line and as we were walking to the back past all of the upset people that have been waiting since 11:00 in the Florida heat, they opened a second set of doors and it only took us an hour and a half to get checked in which was not great, but I really feel for the people that showed up at 11:00 and had to not only wait in line until 2:00, but also had to wait another 2-3 hours to get checked in. Not to dwell on this one issue, but on the 12+ cruises we have been on, this was the worst check in process to date. Not sure where RCCL came up with this one. The food was also not very good. I admit, I really don't expect gourmet food on RCCL, but it seemed unusually bad this time. Usually the Windjammer is at least on par with the main dining room because it is a lot of the same type of food, but this time it really seemed pre packaged for lack of a better way of describing it. It seemed like the had big bags of pre-made food in the back and they were just sticking it in the microwave and dumping it into the troughs. Luckily they had an oriental area within the windjammer which had pretty good food. I pretty much ate that all week. The liquor policy was just stupid. You obviously couldn't buy it in the on board liquor store and take it back to the room. I had already read that, but there wasn't any liquor, beer or wine in the minibar which made no sense to me. You also couldn't order a bottle off the in room menu, you had to order individual drinks. Not sure what the reasoning was other than get you out of your room?? If you wanted a drink, you basically had to go down to a bar and bring it back to your room or order one off the menu and wait 30 minutes to get it. Can't quite figure out why this new policy came about. Summary -- Overall, it was a good trip, but I got the feeling that RCCL is going a little 'down hill' for lack of a better way of describing our experience. Nothing major, we just didn't have as good of a time as we have had on other RCCL cruises. Maybe it was just an off cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
This was our first cruise with RCI having cruised with Celebrity, HAL, NCL and Princess in the past. I am guessing that having cruised with Celebrity just few weeks earlier, my expectations were very high. Embarkation - we arrived just ... Read More
This was our first cruise with RCI having cruised with Celebrity, HAL, NCL and Princess in the past. I am guessing that having cruised with Celebrity just few weeks earlier, my expectations were very high. Embarkation - we arrived just after 12 noon and there were no lines. I heard that after that point the lines were long, so it pays to check in early for this big ship. We were told that cabins wouldn't be ready til 1pm, so needed to either eat or stay around the pool til then (with our carry on luggage!). Food - our waiter at dinner, Catalin, from Romania, was excellent. Whilst he did not get to know anyone's name, he was incredibly meticulous and genuinely concerned he offered great service and he food was up to scratch. Very very professional - well done RCI, you have a good one there! Food was best described as above average. Steaks were very good though. Cabin Service - less good. We had a few cabins between our group and there were constant inconsistencies with the room lay up every day. One day, one had a towel sculpture,the others didn't, some had chocolates some nights, others didn't. Some had ice tongues, some were supposed to use their fingers as the cabin stewardess said they had no ice tongues on the ship! When I complained to her about the inconsistent room lay ups, she told the fellow cruisers next door what I had said! Not professional! Ship - great facilities, too many to mention and each day you were in awe of the Royal Promenade. The 24 hour cafe was a boon, and remember to get the fresh cream cakes each afternoon - they are yummy! Our favourite was the royal crown bar, which we nicknamed the martini bar, the staff there seemed to be more personal and interacted more with the guests. Johnny Rockets was great fun - they had us dancing! The disco was fun, and the busiest nightclub I have seen on a ship, much more suited to a night of dancing than an open lounge atop a ship. Entertainment - the 1 of the shows was excellent, the best I have seen at sea. After that things went down hill and was disappointed. The ice show was excellent -a must see. The parade was average and I wouldn't bother seeing it again. Disembarkation - be prepared for the morning from hell. You'll be out of your cabin by 8am and may have to wait an hour for immigration, The another two hours for your bags, as some of our party did. In all - as advertised, an activity driven ship with lots to do. Food is above average, nothing more, and service is on the whole, average. Disembarkation time makes for a less nice way to end a cruise. Would I cruise with RCI on Explorer again? Honestly, probably not - I think I'm a Celebrity fan through and through. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
We just returned from a 7 day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean on Carnival Victory. This was our first cruise experience and we found it somewhat enjoyable but will probably not cruise again. I read many member reviews before embarkation ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean on Carnival Victory. This was our first cruise experience and we found it somewhat enjoyable but will probably not cruise again. I read many member reviews before embarkation and found them helpful so I have decided to add my experience to this site. Embarkation... We had booked our trip several months ago through an independent travel agent. Upon arriving at the airport very early in the morning to catch our flight we were informed that our flight had been changed to a much later flight. Unfortunately our travel agent failed to inform us of this fact. We arrived in Miami 10 minutes before the cut off time of arrival at the boat. Because we arrived so late there were absolutely no lines and we were on the boat within minutes. Which was good because we were stressed and tired by the time we got there. Then we immediately had to go through the muster drill. Finally we were able to go to our room and relax. We had a balcony suite which was fabulous and well worth the extra money to wake up to the sound of the ocean every day. There was more than enough storage for everything that we brought and our room steward Maila was very attentive and friendly. Dining... The fine dining room was great and we had fantastic service. We ate at the Lido buffet a few times and were continually let down. The lines were long and the food was not worth the wait although we did enjoy the salad bar. The 24 hour pizza and caesar salad were surprisingly good and the hamburgers and hot dogs from the Mediterranean buffet were delicious. I would definitely suggest buying a soda card because the iced tea and lemonade were not of good quality. We ordered room service all but one day for breakfast. The service was prompt and it was wonderful to be able to drink coffee and eat croissants overlooking the ocean in our suite. Entertainment... The entertainment left something to be desired and felt more like high school productions than broadway. There are many activities on board but the "cheesy" factor is quite high and didn't find ourselves partaking. Ports of Call... We stopped at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios. We took the off road jeep/ snorkel excursion in Cozumel and felt ripped off by the end of it. During the snorkeling the tide was extremely strong and we found ourselves battling the waves the entire time with very little to see as far as sea life. The off road adventure amounted to a 15 minute bumpy ride to a beach that had so many rocks I ended up with cuts and bruises all over my feet and knees. Not fun. Grand Cayman we did our own thing and took a taxi to 7 mile beach which was beautiful and relaxing. We also went to the turtle farm which cost $7.50 per person to walk into a small area and look at sea turtles crammed into a pool. Not fun either. Ocho Rios... We went to Dunns River Falls which I was worried would be a complete tourist trap (which it is in many ways) but found ourselves having a great time climbing the beautiful falls. We would have liked to stay and explore longer but were with a tour group and had no choice but to go. Then we had a limited amount of time to shop and were overwhelmed by how aggressive and pushy some of the vendors were. We walked to the downtown Ocho Rios and were propositioned to buy drugs. At that point we felt compelled to go back to the ship. Overall we often found ourselves bored when on the ship and couldn't wait to get off the boat, but then didn't feel like we had enough time to actually experience what each port of call has to offer. We only really got to see the tourist traps and felt rushed to cram as much in as possible. I didn't feel like the food was anything to write home about but we were pleasantly surprised by the great service and staff. We probably won't take another cruise simply because it doesn't fit what we are looking for in a vacation but it is probably worth the money for someone who wants a safe trip where almost everything is taken care of and can taste a small sampling of a variety of different ports. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
This is my 5th cruise, hubby's 2nd. Although a former cruiser of Carnival, first time on Princess. Port Everglades is a large port, and don't get there too early. We got there around 11 and didn't board until 12:30-12:45. ... Read More
This is my 5th cruise, hubby's 2nd. Although a former cruiser of Carnival, first time on Princess. Port Everglades is a large port, and don't get there too early. We got there around 11 and didn't board until 12:30-12:45. Staff was very uneducated about the boarding process. You can "pre-register" online and in the packet you receive in the mail, but that is useless. You will STILL have to fill out all the forms when you get in line, and we were handed the long forms while walking up to the check in counter. Someone finally brought in a bag of pens for cruisers to use, just very very unorganized. Also, be prepared to stand out in the the hot weather for at least an hour before being let into the terminal. They only let in a few at a time. Once onboard, we could go directly to our cabins, and after having a quick lunch in the buffet, were pleased to see that our luggage had been delivered. We were told that due to the weather, our schedule had changed and we would be visiting Princess Cays on Sunday because of "tropical depressions" in the area. No big deal. The ship is beautiful, but don't expect the high-tech knock-you-off-your-feet decor as Carnival. The theater is very small (we tried twice during the week to see a show, but couldn't get seats.) Apparently you have to show up 2 hours early to see anything. Our cabin was small. Very small. Ladies, be prepared to turn into some kind of contortionist to shave your legs. Not a pretty sight. Bring your own shampoo and shower gel, because the few samples you are given we noticed were not replaced very often during the week. And the bars of soap are so small it's ridiculous. Our room steward seemed very helpful and friendly on the first day, and we didn't see much of him until the day of departure (hmmmm, needing a tip?) We requested extra pillows (that took 2 days) and robes (that took 3 days). Sodas in the room are $1.50, not too bad. On Sunday, we were told that we were switching to the Western ports because of hurricanes around St. Thomas. We were set to go to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I have to take this time to say that this is the best ship captain that I have ever had. He was a constant presence on the ship, very friendly, always informing passengers of changes and the reasons for the changes. We were thankful that he kept us safe and made sure we had some sunny ports to enjoy during our trip. Now, just some tidbits on the cruise that might come in handy. Forget the casino. Nobody wins on Princess. Bingo is also very expensive. Good luck finding your photos in the gallery. Always very crowded and crew changes position of the photos daily. Once you do actually find a photo of yourself, buy it or forget it. You'll never find it again. Skip the dining room. Food in the Caribe and Horizon is excellent, with all you can eat lobster on lobster night. The seafood buffet is great, along with all the other specialty nights they offer. Be warned, however, that ice is hard to get in the dining room (usually out) and the only drink options you have are coffee, water and tea. No lemonade, juice or punch like on Carnival. Movies Under the Stars is wonderful. Our cruise didn't require reservations the whole week. We loved the cute movies during the day when we were in the pool. Splash, E.T. Shrek, Grease, Ice Age, etc. We enjoyed Monday Night Football on the big screen as well. (Note to sports fans...don't expect to get any football scores or info while on board. You have to get online at the internet cafe. All football news info is in Spanish, and the sports bar was always playing soccer or Tom Jones in concert). If you want to see a show, get there two hours early. I guess. I never got to see one. Good luck. If you have the chance, visit Sterling's Steakhouse. Head waiter is pretty full of himself, but the rest of the staff is charming. Best steaks in the world. On excursions, book them yourself. I suggest the turtle farm/ rum factory and shopping excursion at Grand Cayman. $20 per person, and all the information you can handle about the island. It was on a great A/C bus and we were sorry to see it end. Took about 2 hours. In Jamaica, go to the Island Village. Don't go to Ocean Village, as it is full of pushy vendors who are very scary. If you're tempted to get a T-shirt onboard, don't. At least not until Friday. Then they put out all these T-shirts in the atrium (better than the ones they carry in the gift shop) and sell them for $11.99-$13.99 each. Much better than the $19.99 and $29.99 price in the gift shop. They even carry the large sizes, up to 3XL. If you have a problem or even a stupid question, visit the Purser's desk. They are all very informed and helpful. Request a printout of your bill on Thursday or Friday, as you will not be given a copy until 5 a.m. on Saturday morning of your departure, and you only have until 7 a.m. to make adjustments. We got a printout on Thursday night, and had our tips removed so we could tip our servers ourselves. We didn't feel the need to tip for dining room service since we only ate in the dining room one night. And the servers in the buffet area are only interested in getting you out of there to get your table. Pool area - chairs are relatively easy to find, most people just used them to hold a towel while they are in the pool. Bar staff at the pool areas are great and not overwhelmingly annoying. Which reminds me, beware of the annoying woman in the buffet area trying to sell you shots, glasses of wine, etc. She was by far the most obnoxious person I have ever met. You can't avoid her, and her voice is so horror-movie piercing it will give you cold chills. Somebody really needs to push her overboard. Okay, that's about it. Getting off the ship was a breeze, no problems. Luggage is very well laid out by deck and color, and we had no problems finding it or getting a reasonable taxi to the airport. But, I'm going back to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
This was our first cruise. My travel agent wholeheartedly suggested Carnival. We booked an extended balcony and were quickly "upgraded". I have no complaints whatsoever about our cabin. It was spacious and the balcony gave us ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My travel agent wholeheartedly suggested Carnival. We booked an extended balcony and were quickly "upgraded". I have no complaints whatsoever about our cabin. It was spacious and the balcony gave us some extra space. Upon arrival at the pier it started...by it I mean the lines. I printed our fun pass from the internet. This was supposed to save us time at embarkation. Apparently, everyone else sailing on the Legend did the same and this did not save us any time. The line to check our documents, then the line for check in, then the line to have our ID pictures taken. Couldn't they have done this at check in? So we were finally on the ship. After a great deal of searching, we found our cabin. Our steward, Pisit introduced himself and we were off to explore. By about 8, all but 1 piece of our luggage had been delivered. We inquired as to where our last piece could be, but no one seemed to have an idea. Stopping my the pursers desk, I noticed some luggage, lo and behold, there was our missing piece. Seems that the tag had fallen off. We headed off to Truffles for our 8:15 dinner seating when it happened again. We were stuck in another line. The same happened the following night. We learned our lesson and from then on we didn't head to the dining room until 8:30-8:45. The next two days at sea were pretty much uneventful. The pools were way too small. I've read a few reviews about children running amuck, but we hung out on the back deck, where small children were no allowed in the pool. As I said, the pools especially the one on the back deck were too small. We attended the excursion talk. How dare they take away an hour of my vacation. An hour I spent a lot of money on. Anyway, they proceeded to inform us that the only safe tours were the ones sanctioned by Carnival. So of course, we booked a tour for each of the 3 islands, and spent another $700. More on that later. The Captain's cocktail party was a farce. They sat us in a theatre, came around with cold hors d'oeuvres and served either wine, champagne or whiskey sours. What if I didn't drink any of the afore mentioned drinks? Our first port was Puerto Rico. We visited the Rain Forest. If you get a chance to visit the Bronx Zoo or the NY Botanical Gardens in NY do so, they're a lot nicer and cheaper than what we did. Next port was St. Thomas. We booked snorkeling on St. John. The beach was beautiful. The day we went was very hot. The captain of the boat we took to get to St. John kept telling us we'd need water and there wasn't any place where we were going to buy some. But they had water and beer for sale. $4 for water, $3 for beer. Go figure. So, after a 45 minute boat ride and a 45 minute cab ride we get to Trunk Bay where there was a concession!! So we snorkeled for about 90 minutes before we were herded back onto the cabs for our ride back. Next day was Tortola where we went to Lambert Beach. We were there for about 3 hours and were served a buffet lunch. Apparently they don't know very much about serving buffet to 100 people. All in all, the only excursion that was worth the money was snorkeling in St. John, but we really didn't have enough time. Travelling to the island and back to the ship took longer than the time we had to enjoy ourselves on the beach. So, now we're headed home. The powers that be call a mandatory disembarkation meeting. At this meeting, they tell us that adults can only bring back 1 bottle of liquor each, unless it was bought on St. Thomas. All along we'd been told 5 bottles for each adult. We bought most of our liquor on the ship. But customs was cool and we weren't hit with any extra duties. Before I forget, I really don't mind tipping, but I think they should include it in your fare. All in all, we've always wanted to cruise and we've done it. Would I cruise Carnival again? I really can't say. As I sit here concluding this post, there are a lot more things to say, but I won't because I don't think they have to do with the ship as they do with the people on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
Any cruise is a good cruise, but this particular cruise on the Legend left a few things to be desired. The good points, the ship is simply gorgeous. The food was superb, with each night better than the next. The Legend was smooth sailing ... Read More
Any cruise is a good cruise, but this particular cruise on the Legend left a few things to be desired. The good points, the ship is simply gorgeous. The food was superb, with each night better than the next. The Legend was smooth sailing all the way. the cabins are extremely large, even the inside ones with plenty of room for everyone. Some of the bad, IMHO. The entertainment was terrible. There was no thought into any shows, comedians who weren't very funny, and a couple of acts that we walked out on. We weren't expecting Las Vegas, but some good shows would have helped. They even have one night where just passengers performed AND that was one of the better shows. The service was adequate, but there was something missing. the crew did their jobs, but they just didn't seem happy about it. NO ONE went past what was required of them, to make the passengers happy. The extra effort was not there and the crew rarely smiled. Several times we literally raised our voices just to get some decent service, as they tend to roll their eyes at you. The children on this ship just ran wild. We were out at 2:00 AM and there were kids running all over the ship (11-14 yr olds), pressing buttons on elevators, knocking on people's cabins and there is NO security in sight. The ship was also messy from these kids, who throw ice cream in elevators, cups and plates are strewn everywhere and they just sit there for hours because no one picks them up. Carnival just seemed to try and cut corners wherever possible. Little things that make a cruise so memorable, weren't there this time. There are no paper towels in the public bathrooms. they leave boxes of tissues there instead. There is food around all the time, but away from dinner hours, it is very very limited (unless you like pizza), in its selections and variety. Also there is very limited inside activities. They have the required trivia contests, but for many hours of the day, if you don't want to be by the pool, there is nothing to do. The Legend is a beautiful ship and the price was right, but I would try not to sail her again, at least not when kids are out of school. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
EMBARKATION: A little chaotic. We first had to wait in a holding area with an employee who was rude and obnoxious. After waiting here, we were directed to another long line for i.d. and ticket checking. Next another long line for security ... Read More
EMBARKATION: A little chaotic. We first had to wait in a holding area with an employee who was rude and obnoxious. After waiting here, we were directed to another long line for i.d. and ticket checking. Next another long line for security gates and finally to the agents who give out Sign and Sail Cards/Room Keys. One last line to get your photo taken for the card. CABIN: Pretty large for cruise cabin. Colors in bathroom are terrible. DINING: Food was delicious and of good quality. Buffet was decent with nice selections daily. Sometimes buffet area and surrounding tables were very crowded and it was difficult to get a table. They also had terrible plastic multi colored cups for water etc. Dinner in the restaurant was excellent. Waiter and assistant waiter were excellent and pleasant. Dining room decor looked like an upscale Greek Diner. ENTERTAINMENT: Shows were not too bad. Some funny comedians and acts. Poolside entertainment was constant with Tropical Fire band and some poolside activities. STAFF: Purser's Desk workers were very rude and nasty. Some of the Casino bosses were very nasty as well. Gift Shop employees were also nasty. They would not allow me to order a cake to my table without 24 hours notice. Sent me on wild goose chase to finally order cake and when they brought it to the table, it was the wrong flavor and had the wrong writing on it. The "bouncer" at the club was also nasty. They think their stupid nightclub in the middle of the ocean is in as much demand as the finest upscale clubs in Manhattan. Other then the wait staff and cabin stewards, no one went out of their way to make the vacation enjoyable. SO RUDE, NASTY and ARROGANT. PORTS: Puerto Rico= Waste, St. Thomas= Nice, Tortola= Replica of St. Thomas. POOL: Too small, kids galore, splashing saltwater into your eyes. Jacuzzi constantly jammed with little children. Whirlpool in Spa is very nice. Pool security did squat to control rowdy children. One child even went to the bathroom in the pool. Disgusting. CRUISE DIRECTOR: Lively and upbeat. ACTIVITIES: Not enough. They play one game of BINGO per day with crappy prizes. DECOR: Once again, looks like a diner. Urns everywhere. Very ornate and busy. Makes you dizzy. OVERALL CRUISE: Food is great. Staff is nasty. Would not sail Carnival again. Cruised on Royal Caribbean in the past and Carnival has a far way to go to compare. Not so fun ship! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
I just returned from the Carnival Legend 8 day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. I have previously sailed on 3 other cruises.. two with Celebrity (Zenith and Mercury) and the other with Royal Caribbean (Explorer of the Seas). Embarkation ... Read More
I just returned from the Carnival Legend 8 day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. I have previously sailed on 3 other cruises.. two with Celebrity (Zenith and Mercury) and the other with Royal Caribbean (Explorer of the Seas). Embarkation consisted of long lines after long lines. Arrived on ship to the atrium. Pretty nice.. however the decor is very busy.. complete with urns everywhere. and the same cheesy border around the whole ship. Weird for me. The first 2 days at sea were ok. The first night at sea the ship was a rockin quite a bit. I know the ship has stabilizers but this was unacceptable, the ship is very narrow which caused it to sway. The 2nd night however was much better. The dining room is way too small and cramped. The waiter and assistant were great. Shinahz from India and Brielad from the Philippines were good. Food was pretty good. I would say even with Royal Caribbean. Loved the dinner shows! The Follies shows were so-so. The pursers desk worker Yekaterina was very nasty and snippy. It didn't seem as if they want to help out.. more of a "well that's the way it goes" kind of attitude.  The pool deck is small and the chairs were constantly breaking. However the pool deck workers were always working hard to keep it clean. The band was good but annoying playing the same stuff. Cruise director was funny and good. The casino, I felt, was full of under age minors sneaking in. Service definitely needs improvement. Carnival needs more activities. Royal Caribbean always had something fun going on. The stateroom was very spacious compared to others. The ports of call were so-so. Puerto Rico was dirty and boring. Nothing to do there. St. Thomas was beautiful, nice beaches and good jewelry shops. Tortola was just a St. Thomas island with one beach.. it was nice though. Had a few incidents and pursers desk could care less. Gave you no satisfaction. The cruise was about a 5 on a scale of 1-10. Not horrible and unbearable, yet it lacked the excellence and perfection and pampering. It was just so-so. Wouldn't recommend this cruise ship or line. I would say Royal Caribbean and Celebrity for me! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
Just back from our 8/6-13 cruise on the Zuiderdam. This was our 12th cruise and first on HAL. We choose this ship because of the itinerary and its advertised reputation. I look forward to cruising mainly because of my many positive past ... Read More
Just back from our 8/6-13 cruise on the Zuiderdam. This was our 12th cruise and first on HAL. We choose this ship because of the itinerary and its advertised reputation. I look forward to cruising mainly because of my many positive past experiences and for the value that cruising has to offer. The more I have cruised the more I have become aware of the positives and negatives of a ship. Of the previous cruises I have taken before the Zuiderdam, there has been very little for me to complain about. Unfortunately, I had many more negative experiences then positive ones on the Zuiderdam. My initial response to our boarding was a bit mixed. The color scheme contrasted so much that I had a difficult time getting into the mood of being on a cruise. One example was the different shades of dark and light blue mixed with black and white on the carpet in the cabin hallways. I also couldn't help noticing in different parts of our hallway the black electrical tape holding down the seams of the carpet that were separating. Our superior verandah suite was the highlight of the ship. It was nicely appointed and more than large enough for the three of us. The beds were firm and comfortable (even the pullout) and the verandah added a pleasant place to sit and view the ocean and harbors. It was never windy to sit there on a sea day. There is a lot of space in the bathroom so you won't have to worry about bumping your elbows constantly when your showering. The biggest disappointment was the food, especially the entrees in the dining room. For me dining is one of the major highlights of cruising, along with the beaches, excursions, the shopping, or just relaxing. Simply, it was glorified diner food for me. Though their main entrees had variety, they lacked substance and didn't make my taste buds say, "WOW, this is good!" Talk about variety. How about these two entrees - turkey and stuffing and MEATLOAF!! They never ran out of the meatloaf. I wonder why? The people sitting at our table did order the meatloaf, but never finished but half. Another night there was smoked ham on the menu, not off the bone, but out of a can. How could I tell? My family is in the meat business. The Lido buffet was ok for breakfast and lunch, but the few times I ate a hot lunch the meat (pork) was dry and lacked flavor. Oh! The ice cream is free and all you can eat. Celebrity and Princess are head and shoulders above when it comes to food preparations. The evening musicals were nicely produced and varied. I'm not a fan of musical productions, but I enjoyed their productions. The lead female singers voice was exceptional. That was the highlight of the musical entertainment, because there was no Caribbean musical band on board. We were told half way through the cruise that they missed the boat and were stuck at home. On Caribbean night we had to listen to some southern duo (Starlites) play country musical. They couldn't hold a tune and there was constant feed back from their instruments, so I only lasted about 15 minutes to that. It would have been a bit nicer to hear some Caribbean music from a cd. To top it off we had no Caribbean music of any kind playing at the main pool. Instead we listen to music I would listen to driving in my car. I guess the staff just couldn't understand or hear it. Also, if you want to swim in the main pool and there are a lot of children splashing and jumping on you, well go to the back pool. Even though there is a sign that looks like there are rules written on it, they are not really rules. After complaining to the head of security about some children jumping on people we were told that it wasn't their job to watch the behaviors of those at the pool and that the sign is for guidance only. Even though it says NO DIVING it's ok to dive and jump onto people because there are no rules and the staff won't intervene. So swim in the back. Half Moon Cay was great. The beach has soft sand and the water is calm and warm. I wouldn't recommend eating the food there, but it is a pain to have to tender back to the ship for lunch. So, I picked at the chicken. Overall, the service was good and we were always greeted with a hello and a smile. For me this was the cruise that tried, but never could. I won't say that I'll never sail a HAL ship again but it will be a long time before I consider it again. I try tp keep an open mind. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
There were 7 of us including my husband, my parents, sister, brother, and grandmother. We chose to sail out of NY because grandma doesn't fly. Never again will we sail out of NY. Rocky waters!! Note that this was my first cruise. ... Read More
There were 7 of us including my husband, my parents, sister, brother, and grandmother. We chose to sail out of NY because grandma doesn't fly. Never again will we sail out of NY. Rocky waters!! Note that this was my first cruise. Second on Carnival for DH, parents have cruised RC twice and sister has cruised Princess so we had a lot to compare to. Embarkation -- Overall, we had a good time. Embarkation was long, but I had prepared by reading other reviews and knowing what we were in for. Long lines of people waiting and waiting.. but organized. The Ship -- The ship itself is downright unappealing. There is no "wow" when you get on. Not enough color for sure! Those "urns" are depressing and ugly. hardly decorative I don't care what the theme is. We thought the food in the buffet was good and the choices were many. Loved the ice cream cones! But the dining room was not up to par. Our waiter and assistant were nice, but not the level of service of food quality I expected. Choices were weak and just not cooked well. I have to say waiters, bartenders were severely lacking in manners and the art of making passengers feel happy. The entire staff seemed unhappy and disinterested in making the passengers see that extra effort. The entertainment was terrible. Shows that were uninteresting and comedians that weren't funny. The cruise director was goofy but funny. There just didn't seem like there was enough to do. We had more days at sea than on land, I expected more to do. It is true that there are not that many things to do on this ship. We found ourselves saying "what do you want to do" a lot. Cabins -- The worst thing was the bed. Horrible. It was like sleeping on lumpy concrete. The balcony was awesome and I wouldn't cruise without it!! The room steward was wonderful-attentive and helpful. My parents had trouble with their toilet and had a hard time getting service throughout the week. They had to come to our room to use our bathroom a lot! Ports -- The ports of call were good except for Puerto Rico. Horrible. Dirty, unappealing, crowded and cramped. When we went out we were told don't stay out after dark and try and walk in groups. Do NOT wear any jewelry off the ship. Is this the place you want to visit on vacation?? St. Thomas is beautiful and snorkeling there was awesome and Tortola was so relaxing-beautiful beach!! Skip San Juan!! The last problem was the way children are just able to run rampant up and down halls in the middle of the night, in the food areas, and pools. We stuck with the adult pool area which was way too small but better than being with a million people. The ship is lacking across the board-appearance, decor, food, activities-there is nothing to look at, nothing to see, nothing to do. Overall we had a good time b/c the family was together and we always have a blast. Will we sail on Carnival again? No way. My parents and sister said RC and Princess were waaaaaay better! We wont be sailing on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
My husband, 3 year old daughter and my parents travelled on the Glory July 9th. I have been reading Cruise Critic since February to familiarize myself with what to expect. I read many posts complaining about children and I would shake my ... Read More
My husband, 3 year old daughter and my parents travelled on the Glory July 9th. I have been reading Cruise Critic since February to familiarize myself with what to expect. I read many posts complaining about children and I would shake my head at their posts, but I will admit, one of my disappointments with this cruise was with the hordes of unsupervised children. During the Justin Illusion show, my mom and I sat behind two rows filled with children, approx 10-15 years old who continually heckled the magician forcing him to stop his act and banter with them. I saw the same group of kids continually alone throughout the trip and it makes me wonder what their parents were thinking. Our room was my other disappointment. We had a balcony cabin, 6445, which was directly above the piano bar. I could not hear the cabins toilets flushing (which were quite loud) on either side of me, or the people talking, but I could hear that piano player and felt the vibrations from the piano and the crowds yelling as if they were directly next to me. We had first seating in the Platinum Dining Room and I can't say enough about how well we were treated. The waiter and waitstaff made a fuss over our daughter every night and took her to dance with them. I felt that the cruise director Mark was excellent and gifted with a sense of humor and a great singing voice. I will cruise again, just not when school is out. Carnival security staff did not have a handle on rowdiness. We stayed before and after the cruise at the Radisson at the Port and it was excellent and I highly recommend it. We met people from the cruise on debarkation day who were the parents' of teenagers and they had the same complaints about kids gone wild and complained to staff after the magician show. There was plenty of chair saving by the pool but I kind of expected that with such a full ship. Bought beautiful jewelry at Cardow in St Thomas. The weather was great and overall we enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2005
I chose an 8A aft balcony for this cruise, based on my positive experiences with this cabin type on other lines. Disappointingly, the balcony was no larger than the standard balcony and their was a noticeable vibration in the cabin while ... Read More
I chose an 8A aft balcony for this cruise, based on my positive experiences with this cabin type on other lines. Disappointingly, the balcony was no larger than the standard balcony and their was a noticeable vibration in the cabin while we were sailing. Ship overall was not well laid out and you could completely cross the ships on only specific decks. Decor was not as loud as on Fantasy and Inspiration, but not particularly pleasing. The stadium style seating in the pool area made for overcrowding and congestion and this same crowding was also a problem in most public areas. There were infants in diapers in the pool and I tended to stick with the aft pool on days when I stayed aboard. Food was ok overall, excellent in the Supper Club where we dined three nights of seven. It was well worth the premium for a quiet dining experience with great food and service. In the main dining room, service was not very good and we had to constantly ask for water refills, coffee, bread, etc. Food was served lukewarm on two occasions and sent back. None of my requests for sauces "on the side" or completely left off could be accomodated. I did not enjoy the music and dancing in the dining room nor did I enjoy listening to long and extended annoucements while I was trying to enjoy my dinner. The buffet lines were hopelessly long on sea days and simply not worth the effort. Personally, I found the selections laden with fat and salt. Wines were overpriced and twice in the "wine bar" I was served spoiled wine at $9 per glass. The public areas are poorly ventilated and smoky. Bars were simply awful. My cabin was kept clean and tidy by my room stewardess for which I was grateful as I spent more time there than on any of my previous cruises. This cruise was most definitely not one of my favorites. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2005
This was our first cruise, our first time to the Caribbean, and our honeymoon! Embarkation: Luckily, we live in Midtown West, so we actually walked to the port on 49th. Security's tight, so get there at least 2 hrs beforehand. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise, our first time to the Caribbean, and our honeymoon! Embarkation: Luckily, we live in Midtown West, so we actually walked to the port on 49th. Security's tight, so get there at least 2 hrs beforehand. The first line is the security line, and the second line is the check-in line. If you're in the Admiral's Club (I can't quite remember if it's really called that), make sure you get into the express line! It only took us about 5 minutes to check in that way. Room: Our room's decor wasn't bad, but the bed was sort of thin and lumpy. If you have mild OCD like I do about hotel beds, bring a cushiony sleeping bag with you. The balcony in our room was my favorite part of the ship, really. So peaceful; I think we were on the Starboard side and it was a lovely view leaving and returning to NYC. They provide shampoo and soap, but no hair conditioner, so do not forget to bring conditioner! The ancient TV gets a few network channels, an eclectic music video channel, and a VCR. Fitzroy was our steward and he was soo nice. Seasickness: I wore a Transderm Scop, and it did work most of the trip, except the first day, when we hit a huge storm. If you have motion sickness, I'd recommend a larger, wider ship, since this one was quite narrow. If you're susceptible to colds, allergies, or other sicknesses, make sure you bring your own medicine since the ship store doesn't have much of a selection, and you'll have to wait until San Juan to get anything decent and reasonably priced. Food: It was ok. The 24-hour pizzeria was the best. Truffles dining wasn't that impressive at all; we stopped going there after the 2nd night (so we actually didn't leave them a tip, though they were nice). Sushi was not bad, and the Mexican was awesome, though Tex-Mex is my fave so I'm biased. We didn't try that ultra-premium dining room though. Weather: I think May's a good time of year to go on this cruise b/c it's still cold in most parts of the US, but it was very warm and tropical at all of our ports and by the 3rd day of the cruise. Also, school's still in session so there were barely any kids on the boat. Ship features: We enjoyed the ship's kitschy, Vegas-style decor. It's not that hard to navigate after a day or two. For only being 2 years old, the ship did seem a bit worn out though . . . lots of stains in the carpet, etc. The computer center is great - flat screen monitors, but it's about $60/hour or something exorbitant like that. The casino is adequate but didn't have Pai Gow and some other games I love. It was also SO smoky. I got a mani/pedi at the spa, and it was like over $100! I enjoyed it, but whoa . . . quite pricey. The fitness room is decent and overlooks the ocean. I was sorely disappointed that none of the ship's pools were lap pools. Basically, if you're athletic and like doing fitness-oriented things, this cruise will likely disappoint you. My husband and I were boring and skipped most of the shows, but played Bingo, which was fun. Ports: If you skip the talks about embarking and shopping at the ports given by Brett, the ship's purser (?), you won't be missing much. The shopping talk basically highlighted a lot of weird costume jewelry that Carnival wants you to buy from certain shops in St. Thomas, etc. We loved San Juan and didn't do an excursion there b/c it was Mother's Day and all excursions were shut down. We walked to the forts in Old SJ and ate at La Cocina de La Fraile. Highly recommend! St. Thomas, we did the St. John/Trunk Bay Snorkeling tour, which was the most memorable vacation experience I have ever had. Trunk Bay was truly what I imagine heaven to be like . . . I'm getting chills just thinking about the blindingly white sand and clear, salty water. Ahhhh. Tortola was gorgeous and we did the Virgin Gorda Bath Tour. Only do this tour if 1. you're physically fit and able to walk a good 20 min to the beach, and then climb barefoot on rocks, and 2. not afraid of snakes. There were TONS of snakeskins on the trail to the Baths . . . my husband, I found out, is petrified of them. A little nerve wracking! Debarkation: Awful. Took us over an hour to get off the ship, which believe me you will want to get off of ASAP. Seriously, just walk across the West Side Highway if you don't have too much stuff/kids/luggage and get a cab in the city. Overall . . . plan to spend at least $1000 on drinks (even water!), tips, excursions, potato chips, etc. Service is adequate, but most of the ship's staff (Brett, etc) is totally smarmy and obnoxious. Really corny, awkward humor. We will not sail Carnival again. Too boring and non-active. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2005
Just returned from a brief 5 day cruise to Ocho Rios and the Grand Cayman Islands aboard Carnival's Imagination. This was our 1st, and probably last, cruise, We are in our 40s - 50s. My observations are as follows: BOARDING - The ... Read More
Just returned from a brief 5 day cruise to Ocho Rios and the Grand Cayman Islands aboard Carnival's Imagination. This was our 1st, and probably last, cruise, We are in our 40s - 50s. My observations are as follows: BOARDING - The lines moved smoothly and the ground staff was friendly and efficient. I had rented a car, and dropped everyone off, returned the car, then shuttled back to the ship. No problems, but Carnival has a sign and sail card that is tied to your credit card, or cash, for spending on the ship. Since I had the credit card, I had to go through some hassle to get everyone's card tied back to my credit card after boarding. THE SHIP - The Imagination is approx. 10 years old. The ship was spick and span. Fresh paint in and out. The carpets were spotless and looked new. All around the ship were staff polishing wood, brass rails and cleaning glass. Our cabin on the Riviera Deck was an outside cabin. It was small for 3 persons, but we managed ok. Our cabin steward did a good job and was always present. The room had a TV, several closets with a credit card swipe-style safe. There was a vanity table and a corner table. I had problems with the shower hot and cold water always fluctuating. My wife didn't, so I wonder if it was the way I was using the shower. Never got an answer on this, just a weird thing. I found the tv didn't have a lot of anything interesting on it. So basically we didn't watch it. FOOD - Good but not great. The dining room food was good to very good, but the buffet's were just ok. They always had something that was very good, but then the rest was blah. The buffet lines were poorly organized with everyone backed up behind the carving or omelet stations, even if you don't desire to use them. There was a limit to the varieties of the buffet service. As usual, there was no shortage of pizza and ice cream. What food that was served was good to very good. In the Horizon lounge, it seemed the cold drink dispensers were always running out, or were broken, leading to more lines. In the hot weather, and with a full ship of "plus sized" persons, this ship was a bit overwhelmed, much to the contrary of previous reviewers. STAFF - We had fair to poor service in the main dining room, but overall the staff is great. THE PORTS - Snorkeled in the Caymans, we went on the reef and stingray tour. The "reef" was poor by snorkeling standards, the stingrays however were awesome fun! Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios. Both were fun and well organized. Also swam with Dolphins at Ocho Rios -> highly recommended! I plan on skipping the cruise and hitting ports like these directly some time. BARS - From Karaoke to music bars, all were clean and usually crowded. The disco (which I only passed by) was always crowded. STORE SHOPS - OK. Didn't bother with the art auction. Every day there was another sales theme, from inches of gold and silver to discount watches. I purchased a ring, but the directions for getting it resized (yes, we knowingly purchased the "wrong" size) were inaccurate. We're working on this as I type this review, so the entire story is not yet complete. ENTERTAINMENT - Fair to poor. The cruise director, Jeff Bronson, was long winded. My gripe with him was that on the night before departure, they were pushing attendance at the lecture for departure instructions. It was at 11 a.m. on a beautiful and sunny day at sea. He could have been much more brief, but he rattled on and on and on. What a waste. They placed all the departure information in your cabin that night and they supposedly played it on the closed circuit TV but our TV never showed it. They were always pushing bingo's before every show/event. Way overdone. The Las Vegas type shows disappointed. The last night, they had a talent show from guests selected while at Karaoke, and that was a bit enjoyable but overall the shows were like poor versions of Atlantic City casino shows, which in themselves seem like poor versions of broadway shows. There was a significant difference in the skill level of the main male and female singers. The female far outclassed the male singer, who was nothing short of awful. In fact, most of the male singers from the "talent show" outperformed the "professional". I will say one thing: the orchestra was outstanding. It was a 7 piece horn/guitar/keyboard/drum band. DEBARKATION - Painless. They allowed early flights, handicapped and those willing to handle their own luggage off early. We chose to take the "express debarkation" -> highly recommended. We were off in 1/2 hr, sailed through customs and went right onto Alamo's waiting shuttle bus. FINAL COMMENTS – I am booked for a cruise this April on a Spirit class ship again. I suppose I like the behemoths over the smaller ships. My wife would be fast to disagree. It was nice not having to wait in lines or waiting for a place in the sun by the pool to open. But I enjoy having a balcony. I enjoy a greater option for eating on the Lido deck. I would however rebook on this class of ship again. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to write me back. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
Who we are: We are a group of moms and kids ranging in age from 20 months - 65 years, staying in cabins from insides to suites. There were 17 in our group. We have all cruised many times before, for me personally, this was a first cruise ... Read More
Who we are: We are a group of moms and kids ranging in age from 20 months - 65 years, staying in cabins from insides to suites. There were 17 in our group. We have all cruised many times before, for me personally, this was a first cruise with Carnival and I was apprehensive about trying them. The week we sailed was a busy school vacation week with many children on board, which we like. Embarkation: What can I say, the worst I've ever experienced. Chaotic, crowded, and extremely LONG! We arrived to the terminal at 11:20 am, and didn't get to our cabin until 12:50, so it took an hour and a half. Needless to say I was not in a mood to put on a happy face for the photographers who were further holding up the endless line by taking embarkation photos before people boarded. I would hope that Carnival would rethink this in an effort to speed things up, but I doubt it as it is one of many revenue generating ploys we would encounter onboard. Cabin: I shared an outside cabin on deck one with my 2 sons. The cabin was the most spacious standard outside I've ever seen, very roomy, nicely decorated with very comfortable beds. They also had a nice little basket of amenities waiting in the bathroom. Our cabin stewards were excellent, they were very unobtrusive and quickly took care of anything we needed. I spent a lot of time on my friend's balcony, she had a suite, and it was nice to get away from the crowds on the upper decks. We ordered snacks from room service several times in lieu of lunch and had them with the wine we brought from home. I also packed a corkscrew. My sister had the crib for my nephew waiting in her cabin, and they had already emptied and opened her refrigerator so she could store milk and juice. They do this whenever an infant occupies a room, it's very thoughtful to have this done without asking. I think the cabins and cabin service where one of the nicest I've experienced, with the exception of the Disney Magic's which are outstanding. Public Areas: This needs improvement, although I don't know how on this densely populated of a ship. The dEcor was a little too Las Vegas tacky for my taste, but the real problem was the lack of quiet seating areas. There was no place to go to escape the crowds and noise, unless you had a large private balcony. This isn't a ship for anyone looking to relax, it's a fun ship, particularly if your idea of fun is loud music, crowds and lots of drinking....live and learn. We did manage to find deck space on the Sun deck where we weren't packed like sardines and that had some shade, that was our saving grace. Also, the blaring music was more subdued there. I actually saw people come out of the Spa area to the Lido pool area and cover their ears, that's how loud it was. You literally couldn't carry on a conversation without shouting. Carnival really needs to lower the volume. I called the purser's desk to ask why it was so loud and was told "because people like it". I told them no one asked me if I liked it, nor did they ask any of the 17 members of our group, none of whom appreciated it. Did they ask you? Dining: The food was better than I expected. The Red Sail had great Deli sandwiches, excellent fresh fruit, and some really tasty fish-n-chips. One of the better buffets I've had, probably because of all the choices. I never ate the actual buffet food, because the options I mentioned were so good. Also, the deli is always open. Breakfast in the buffet was good, I had an omelet made every day. The coffee was lousy though, and I didn't have any the whole week. Juice was available all day, which is nice. Breakfast in the dining room was disappointing and not worth the wait. On other cruises we like to eat breakfast in the dining room because they typically had things like banana pancakes, strawberry French toast, Belgian waffles, etc. that you couldn't find in the buffet. On Carnival there wasn't anything in the dining room you couldn't get in the buffet, not even decent strawberry jam (they only serve strawberry jelly). It takes forever, so in my opinion, it's not worth the wait. They even serve the same "fake eggs" that the buffet does. Don't waste your time. We had dinner in the Platinum room at a great corner table. Our waiter, Michael, was wonderful, it's too bad they paired him with an inept assistant. I can't even recall her name as we saw so little of her. We tipped him extra. I found many things I liked, the prime rib, lobster, filet mignon and penne with eggplant (which could be ordered as an appetizer), rolls and all the fish were great. I can't complain about the food, it was good, and I consider myself to be pretty picky. Entertainment: This is another area that could use improvement. There were only two production shows the entire week. I can't think of any other cruise that I've been on with so few. They were good, but there wasn't much in the way of entertainment the rest of the week. One night we had a good singer, and I heard the late-night comedian was great, but not everyone can stay awake until midnight. Ironically, my kids could stay up for the R-rated show, but we adults could not. Carnival, why not have an earlier comedy show? Four nights of the cruise there was absolutely NO entertainment before midnight in the Amber Palace, unless you count Butch teaching passengers how to dance as entertainment. I call it a cheap way to fill time. You can do better, beef up the entertainment and hold it earlier for the early diners who don't want to gamble and drink until midnight. Even the disco didn't open until 11:00 or 12:00 am. Again, everyone in our group had the same complaint. We can't be the only non-night owls out there. Kids: The older children had a ball, and never used the kids programs. My 12 year-old had his 2 best friends with him on this cruise, they played cards, swam, used the slide, saw the shows, watched movies, played ping-pong, etc. My 15 year old ran into a bunkmate from his camp and I barely saw him the rest of the week, except for dinners. This trip was most disappointing for my little nephews. The kiddie pool was closed the entire week so they were unable to swim, something that would have happily occupied them for hours. We kept asking when it would be open, and got responses ranging from "Oh, it's closed?", to "Maybe there aren't enough kids onboard for them to open it". Huh, it's spring break, the place was crawling with kids. Turns out it was closed for maintenance yet we never once saw anyone so much as look at it. We were parked near it on deck 12 all week and no one cared enough to look into it. We found out it had been closed the previous week, so I can't understand why, if a part was needed, the part was unable to be brought onboard in Port Canaveral. I get the impression it just wasn't a priority, meanwhile, the small kids (who pay full fare) were unable to swim the entire week. This is a cruise with 4 sea days mind you, and really impacted their trip. My 4 year old nephew went to the kids club several times, but didn't love it. I can't really say how it compared to other lines, maybe he was too young or maybe it wasn't as good, but when my children were younger, I couldn't get them away from the kids clubs on Disney and RCCL. Disembarkation: Again, the worst I've ever encountered. In fairness, this was also the largest cruise ship I've been on, but it was very disorganized. We self-disembarked, but the minute we got near the disembarkation deck, there was a bottleneck and a very, very long line. I recommend you either self-disembark and be the first ones off (we apparently waited too long), or sit it out and be one of the last ones off. Otherwise, you will stand in line and wait. And wait. And wait..... Conclusion: I've learned that Carnival probably isn't my first choice of a cruise line. It's a little too loud (both visually and auditory), too crowded, not enough light, open spaces and attracted a different crowd than what I'm used to...the food was good, the service was good, but I think I'm more of a Celebrity/HAL/Princess style of cruiser. Would I cruise them again? Possibly, if it was a price I couldn't refuse on a Spirit class ship, but I have to say I give the edge to other lines. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
Some background on us; we are in our very early 50s and cruise just about twice a year. We have cruise on HAL 11 times prior, Princess 9 times and Celebrity 2 times. This cruise was just supposed to be relaxing after the very hard winter ... Read More
Some background on us; we are in our very early 50s and cruise just about twice a year. We have cruise on HAL 11 times prior, Princess 9 times and Celebrity 2 times. This cruise was just supposed to be relaxing after the very hard winter we have had and we did accomplish this. The weather was fabulous except for the last day at Half Moon Cay it was cloudy and overcast, we watched the tenders going back and forth to the Island and they were really bouncing around. We have been to St. Thomas and Tortola several times so we did not do any excursions, just got off and walked around. We did buy a new Nikon D70 in St. Thomas for an excellent price and I bought a beautiful necklace with blue diamonds for a really great price. It was nice getting off and finding a little outside bar and being able to enjoy a real drink for a reasonable price. We have always been very happy with the service and food on HAL but not this time. The food in the dining room was always cold, presentation was poor, always getting our orders mixed up (we were at a table for 8) and very slow in delivery. We always have a bottle of wine with dinner and every night we had to ask the Head waiter to send over the wine Stewart, our wine usually ended up on the table when they would just be serving our entrEe. The deserts were okay except for the "plastic Jello" (which is what our server called it) it seems to be flavorless. Drink prices were very high and they measured every drink a little less then a full shot and if you asked for a little more they would charge you double for the drink. Lido was not bad the food was well presented but there again the boys that worked behind the line seemed burnt out by passengers. I had ask that I have some fresh tomatoes, basil, spinach and a little garlic on the spaghetti noodles and the server gave me a hard time. The server said "the tomatoes, basil and spinach are for the tortellini and I should have either the Mariner sauce or the Alfredo sauce". When I ask please he did put it all together for me along with 2 full tablespoons of garlic on top, he was very put out by request. By the way they closed the Lido 5 minutes later (2:00 PM). Now on to the poolside dining, the hamburgers and hot dogs were good but then again the server working the grill really wish he was some where else. The condiment bar for the hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza and taco's were always empty, it took them a while to get them filled and then they would leave a mess were they had dump the food into the containers. I found hair in my taco one day, now that was interesting. What I found strange was that a few CEO's from Seattle were on board trying to correct the problems. At one point we did seem them telling a Head waiter to get more staff out at the pool area, he was not happy. The food at the Pinnacle was fabulous. Maybe HAL should charge more and serve the same type of food that they served in the Pinnacle. The only problem we had in the Pinnacle was when they tried to charge us $15.00 corkage fee for a bottle of wine that the ship had given us. When I told the wine Stewart that the ship had given it too us and we had dropped it off the day before to be chilled he told me that "we will investigate this and let you know what we come up with", we also had a free meal in the Pinnacle compliments of the ship. I don't know maybe a lot of people make up stories regarding wine that they bring on but it really made me feel like I was trying to put something over them. We also had arranged a Bridge tour from some one high up in Princess, when I went down to the desk to find out when the tour would be they did not believe me. I had a copy of the email so they took that and told me "we will investigate this a get back to you" I said that will be fine just return the email back to my cabin. The next day the email was delivered back to our cabin and we did not hear until the next day the tour was arranged. Again they made me feel like I was trying to pull something over them. Our cabin steward was okay, not fantastic but okay. We always had to get our own ice, luckily we were right across were the ice machine was so hubby was able to go over and get our own, even with our room Stewart watching him. Our sheets on our bed were never changed the entire week, even in a hotel room they will change them at least twice in a week stay. The balcony floor was dirty, it was sticking like something had spilled on it and it had not been cleaned in a few weeks. I did ask for it to washed but it never was. The showers were another story, one minute it was nice and hot and then the next it was very cold. The toilet seems to work some of the times, always took a long time to get someone to look at it. On our last day we could not get it to work at all. Other people we had talk to on this trip were very unhappy with the same items I have addressed here. The shows were nothing great, the juggler needs to find a new job. Here again one of the CEO's from Seattle was on board to look over the entertainment. The casinos were very tight, I did spend a lot of money but never seem to really hit anything. The staffs in the casino were really nice, there was only one dealer we called her "Iron Woman" she never smiled and was strictly business. It actually became funny whenever she would come to a table and start dealing, everyone would leave. As I said in the beginning we went on this trip to relax and defrost, we did accomplish this. The down side is what is happening to the cruise industry and Holland America? We are set to do a another trip this November on the Westerdam and I have been reading some other reviews on this ship. So we are trying to decided whether to cancel our back to back on this ship and this line. It is sad that on our next trip we would be up to 100 days on HAL and now I do not think that will be happening. I have also forwarded this letter onto HAL headquarters, hopefully they may get back on track and we will be able to sail them again. Any questions please feel free to email me. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
My wife and I sailed on the Valor in late March. We arrived at the port early, around 11:15 and when we checked in, it took us about 45 minutes to complete the process before we were on the boat. This was a nice surprise! However, as soon ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Valor in late March. We arrived at the port early, around 11:15 and when we checked in, it took us about 45 minutes to complete the process before we were on the boat. This was a nice surprise! However, as soon as arrive on the top deck, there were a number of bar staff trying to sell you drinks. I bet we were approached by at least six different staff members twice in the two hours we were on the top deck waiting to get into our room. Once we got to our room, we did not meet our steward until the second day of the cruise. This seemed a bit unusual for us since on other cruises, we had the steward meet us or follow us into our room as soon as we arrived. Then they never provided us with fresh ice the first couple of nights and when we asked for it, it was like we were asking them to do something major that was not part of their duties. Most of the meals were fine but, we felt that the dinner meals in the Washington dining room was below par. The quality and the service was not top notch. We have had better on other cruises. The shows were great! Do not miss them. However, on the last night, they had a talent show for the guest to participate in. While one of the male guest was doing his performance, a male staff member who was a judge for the show was making inappropriate gestures and was trying to pick him up right on stage. THIS WAS NOT PART OF THE SHOW!! I don't care if the guy likes men but he doesn't have to do his thing on stage for others to observe. I am sure the wife of the guest was not happy. I found this very offensive especially for those families with kids observing. This really ticked me off and when I wrote Carnival about this, I never received a response from them. As for the shore excursions, be careful. My wife and I selected two tours while on St. Martin. One tour was butterfly tour and highlight of the city. Our second tour was a island tour. However, the first tour ended up being a butterfly and island tour. We didn't go on the second tour and got a refund. But if I had not asked the bus driver, we would have taken the same tour twice. So be careful when ordering tours. You might be ordering two different tours describing different sight that end up showing you the same sights. One other tour issue. On the Eastern Caribbean, you will first go to Nassau from Miami and then to St. Thomas. When you arrive in St. Thomas, you will have to go through U.S. Customs before you get off the ship. The crew goes through great lengths to organize the process by stating which decks will clear customs in order to get everyone off. However, our deck was one of the first to depart but when we arrived, it was like the show ship was already in line. It moves fast but beware. No one followed the instructions provided by the crew. Finally, I realize that this was a new ship with new crew but after three months, you would think the crew had their duties down pat and working well as a team. However, they need a lot of work before they are a top notch crew. Plus, they made a big deal about how beautiful the ship was. Though it was nice, I have seen much better. For my wife and I, this was our second and last Carnival trip. I think I will head back to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
For a 3 day cruise, the Fantasy is fine. Myself & my 2 nieces, ages 18 & 21 years old, shared a Verandah deck, category ll suite. The cabin was nice, had a pull-out couch & queen bed, and our steward was great. We had a private ... Read More
For a 3 day cruise, the Fantasy is fine. Myself & my 2 nieces, ages 18 & 21 years old, shared a Verandah deck, category ll suite. The cabin was nice, had a pull-out couch & queen bed, and our steward was great. We had a private balcony (more on that later.) There is non stop food, and the beverage fountains provide free 24 hour coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, lemonade, iced tea, punch & apple juice. The desserts were good, especially the chocolate mousse. We liked the casino & the 24 hour pizza parlor. Our shore excursion, Athol Island snorkeling, was fun. There is always something to do, from high tea in the piano lounge to line dancing. There's even a library where you can check out books, but no magazines. The food ranged from good to not so good, your best bet is the seafood. The pasta with garlic & parmesan cream sauce tasted more like flour, water & garlic salt. The prime rib beef was rather tough, but that sauce was good. Note only the two interior dining rooms have table cloths & real china & silver ware; all others have plastic plates & cups. So yes, it's fine for a few days; any longer and the flaws become more obvious, such as inefficient planning, lack of service, & distracted crew. Our first night all the power (lights, elevators, toilets) went out for 1 & 1/2 hours during the fist dinner seating. When power resumed, they announced dinner would be open seating in one dining room only, from 8-10 pm. Needless to say, 2,000 plus people waited in line for an hour. But, we thought, that can happen anywhere. The next day, we were about an hour late getting into Nassau, and getting off the ship took another hour plus. That's because there was only one exit, but worse, the Carnival photographers were stopping each family/group right on the gangplank & taking our picture, (to display & sell us later,) before letting us get off the ship! The 1 1/2 hour delay caused us to miss our 10:00 snorkeling excursion, but we could join the next one at 1:45 (it didn't actually leave until 2:50.) The problem is that because it was Good Friday, all the shops in town were closed (except the open air markets). We originally planned a morning excursion so we could go sight seeing in the afternoon. The snorkeling was fun, very blue water & lots of pretty fish. When we got back from snorkeling, it was after 5:00, and as it was a religious holiday, the town was closed up. Then we waited another 45 minutes in line to get back on the ship. Again, poor planning having just one exit/entrance. The next day each of the 2 pools broke down at different times. The pools a small to begin with, so each was crowded. But again, it's a short cruise, so disappointment is short lived. Our debarkation was another long wait, this time carrying our luggage. Although you can check it the night before & collect it when you get off, the crew encourages you to carry it with you to save time. Sure enough, when we finally got off the ship, there were hundreds if not thousands of pieces of luggage in the port, sorted by deck level. All in all, we had a good time, but I probably won't go on Carnival again. The ambience is kind of low end. Adequate, but not impressive. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
We decided to travel to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and avoid the hassle of morning arrivals. We booked our own hotel, saving over $100.00 over the Princess package at the same hotel. Free ship transfers were provided by the ... Read More
We decided to travel to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and avoid the hassle of morning arrivals. We booked our own hotel, saving over $100.00 over the Princess package at the same hotel. Free ship transfers were provided by the hotel. Embarkation was efficient, only waiting for 10-15 minutes. The cruise staff onboard guiding you to your stateroom was much less helpful than our prior cruise with Princess. We had a balcony stateroom on Baja which was clean and comfortable. The balcony was much smaller and less private than we would prefer, but allowed us to retreat from the bustle on the ship. Our only complaint is that the cabin steward frequently missed the balcony while cleaning our room. The food on our cruise was a disappointment. The buffet had much less variety than our previous cruise, and the quality was lacking. Trying to get a table in the buffet is nearly impossible. Cafe Caribe food quality seemed slightly higher than that in Horizon Court. We chose anytime dining for our cruise. This allowed greater flexibility when selecting our evening's entertainment. With anytime dining, we had the choice between 2 restaurants - Coral & Palm. There was rarely a wait for either restaurant. The service in the Coral dining room was terrible. Soda ordered from the waiter took 25 minutes to be delivered, dinner plate was taken away while I was till eating (literally, still chewing), water glasses were not refilled and several requests were sometimes necessary for water, waiters did not check to see if we were satisfied with the meal until we were finished, and waiters were usually absent during much of our meal. This behavior was observed both early (6:00-7:00) and late dining (9:00-10:00). The Coral dining room was much louder than the Palm dining room. The service in the Palm dining room was very enjoyable, and it's difficult to comprehend that we were even on the same ship. Wait staff in this restaurant were timely, friendly, attentive, personable, and went the extra mile for us. I cannot find anything to criticize about our experience here - just wish we didn't waste 3 nights in the Coral dining room. Regardless of which dining room we were in, the food was just "above average". Both dining rooms are serviced by the same kitchen, so don't expect a difference in menu or quality. The food did not meet expectations on presentation or quality - definitely not what we experienced on the Grand Princess last year. This ship was much too crowded. Princess states that the ship capacity is 3,150, but we had 3,200 passengers on our cruise (700 more than our cruise on the Grand). It’s obvious that Princess has increased the stateroom capacity – not common area and entertainment venues. When we wanted to go above deck for some sun, it took about 45 minutes to find lounge chairs (on average). Long waits for elevators were common. Common areas were teaming with people. Trying to get a seat in the entertainment areas was nearly impossible. Explorers lounge was usually filled beyond capacity – with passengers sitting on floors and railings. Unfortunately, this also prevented waiters from bringing drinks. Long lines were present everywhere – pictures, bars & various other services. Entertainment was good, but crowded. Bert Stratton in Crooners Lounge (Bert’s living room) was very enjoyable. We took the opportunity to see him 3 times and enjoyed the 3rd show as much as the first. Comedians were average to slightly above average – but again, Explorers was too crowded to fully enjoy the show. Princess Idol was OK, really only enjoyable on the last night. “Movies under the stars” was always booked, but the screen quality didn’t appear to be that great anyway. Entertainment on the ship was simply average. We booked the deluxe anniversary package since it included many of the services we would have paid for separately. The wait for “Lotus Spa” was 30-45 minutes past our appointments. They rebooked one of our massages the next day – then told us the wrong time. Went for the rebooked massage, then sat there for 45 minutes (after checking in) and was told that I didn’t have an appointment. After complaining, they rebooked me the following day and we were forced to return to the ship early while in St. Thomas to get my massage. This is a very poorly managed area of the ship. I would not recommend their services. Disembarkation was better than our last experience. Princess now serves soda throughout the process, so you can relax with a drink while waiting to leave the ship. The airport transfer was crowded with poor air conditioning – not sure if it was just our bus or common for the transfers. This ship has too many passengers, and service suffers. We will not be booking on any ships with a capacity greater than 2,600. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
The Victory should be a great ship. Unfortunately, it smelled of smoke in some areas and of sewage in interior areas. The food is uninspired. On the Elation the food was wonderful. Here, the Indian chef did a great job on vegetables but ... Read More
The Victory should be a great ship. Unfortunately, it smelled of smoke in some areas and of sewage in interior areas. The food is uninspired. On the Elation the food was wonderful. Here, the Indian chef did a great job on vegetables but served up rubbery lobster tails, dry lamb shanks, overcooked fish and stringy poultry. The beef was actually the best choice at all meals but who should eat that much beef for a week? Our bathroom had a strong mildew odor. It also had a hair dryer badly mended with duct tape. The sink area was clean. The toilet worked but had a distinct odor at times which were unrelated to use. Our balcony was very nice but the chair was so low to the deck that it was quite hard to get out of. Since our cabin was aft, it vibrated due to the diesel engines turning. Not a pleasant sensation when trying to sleep. We never met the steward in the whole week. Our room was cleaned during first seating dinner at 5:45. Turndown was combined with cleaning. This was in spite of the please make up room card which I placed on the door each morning. The pool area is too small. After 7 a.m. there are no chairs left to sunbathe by the pools. This is very disappointing on at sea days. The ship's announcements are constantly pushing the added cost activities. I was so sick of the daily shop specials and art auctions being drummed into my ears that I boycotted them after a couple of days. I went to the spa as I always do but encountered a much harder sell than on other Carnival ships. My spa bill was $1500. I had a pedicure and was urged to buy $400 worth of products to use at home on my feet. I did like one of the products and said yes to a bottle of milk bath. $90 for 14 ounces. Be careful in this spa as prices are never mentioned. You don't know the costs until you sign your slip. The entertainment in the big room is good. The piano bar was nice but we couldn't stay for more than 3 or 4 minutes without choking from the cloud of smoke. The Ionian room would have been perfect but was also a smoking lounge. We were able to stay there because the smoke wasn't as thick. I would not sail on the Victory again. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise