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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any ... Read More
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any future cruises. If you have the money for a suite, it is 100% worth it. EMBARKATION- Being a suite guest, you have your own entrance and get escorted to your own personal attendant. My family and I were checked in via a tablet, had our pictures taken, and were on the boat in under 10 minutes. Fantastic. I was also carrying a bit of an injury and was limping about, but was very delighted that I was offered assistance by at least 6 people making my way to the ship. MUSTER DRILL- A note on everyone's favorite muster drill. I have been on 6 cruises all on different ships and the muster drill on the Harmony of the Seas was by far the worst of all. Most of the muster stations are located on the promenade level and not even in actual locations (i.e. the Casino or MDR). They are just located in "areas" of the promenade (mine was near the bionic bar), and they cram so many people in these "areas" and they want you to watch an instructional video on 40" TVs. The video also was made to "entertain" as you are following a spy across the ship and on the mission, the spy comes across "tips" to follow in the event of an emergency. I would assume it was not very easy to follow for most and due to the noise level of all the guests around you crammed into these stations, it is not easy to hear. Knock on wood that there is never an emergency on the Harmony, because I have the feeling it would be a disorganized mess. DEBARKATION- Another suite guest perk is that you meet in the fabulous coastal kitchen at 3 pre-determined meeting times. There was breakfast or hors d'oeuvre being served by 7am and then groups are personally escorted by the concierge all the way down in a priority elevator which makes no stops to the luggage pick-up location. Probably took us 10 minutes to get off the ship. SHIP - I have also sailed on the Oasis of the Seas and if you have been on that ship, you have been on the Harmony. Sure the Harmony has a few more amenities and entertainment, but it honestly didn't feel like I was on a completely different ship. Elevators can be a problem on Embarkation and Debarkation (if not a suite guest) and immediately after shows or events as all guests filter out of them. I didn't ever feel like the ship was crowded at all, even in the pool areas on sea days (the pools are another story). I also mentioned to my wife that I didn't think the boat was anywhere near capacity either, so that could have been why. There need to be more pools or the pools need to be bigger. On sea days the pools are packed, so basically you are just standing in the water. My son likes to move around in the pool, so he didn't enjoy them as much and spent most of his time in the kids water area. I stayed away from the pools because I don't need to be in a pool with 50 people all with drinks in their hand which they are probably spilling. I'll pass. Another perk of being a suite member is that you can get towels without scanning your seapass card. Other guests must scan their seapass to get a towel and if not returned, you get charged $25. Suite gets get as many towels as needed and don't need to worry about returns (although we always returned ours). ENTERTAINMENT - Only caught two shows as we chose to relax on sea days. Did see the ice skating show 1887 which I liked, but wasn't very interesting according to the wife and son. The Line water show was great and we even ran into some of the performers on the non-performance days. KIDS CLUB - Hours are 9-12, 2-5, 7-10, and after hours which you pay $7 an hour for. My son who is 6 enjoyed the activities and was even asking us to take him on sea days! Must be good! FOOD - Suite guests get access to the coastal kitchen and to my family the Coastal Kitchen was the star of the cruise. They serve Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hors d'oeuvre and there is a happy hour between 4:30 and 8 where select alcohol is free. Let me repeat this for all my alcohol consumers, there is FREE alcohol on a cruise ship. To me, that alone was worth having access to the Coastal Kitchen and my family had dinner there every night. It is also a more relaxing environment as there are 100x less people dining there as in the MDR. Breakfast and Lunch are your standard fare and the selection is the same everyday. But the dinner menu changes nightly and the food was very good. There was lamb, filet mignon, lobster, duck, salmon, you name it. There really was no need for us to eat in the MDR. The Coastal Kitchen was also were we met the service star of the cruise Rico. Wow, Rico was one of the best servers I have had the pleasure to meet anywhere. Knew everyone's name and beverage of choice on Day 2. Never let your glass hit empty before the next drink was on your table, gave excellent recommendations to eat. Rico is a treasure on this ship. Sorrento's - Decent "fast food" pizza. Johnny Rockets - Breakfast is free and the food is good. Serve omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, and pancakes. Windjammer - Horrible. Cold, Bland, Tough, all adjectives you don't want associated with your food. STAY AWAY! Park Cafe - Decent selection of "healthier" options like panini's, salads, pre-made sandwiches and salads. Nice eating area in Central Park Boardwalk Dog House - Pretty good dogs, that tasted fresh. I went with the Coney Island Dog with onions and sauerkraut. EXCURSIONS- Perfect Day at CocoCay was great. We were the only ship in port and as I stated earlier, I don't even think our ship was at capacity, so the island did not feel crowded at all. My family rented a cabana in the Water Park, which was very nice and convenient with a personal waiter, locker, and plenty of water as it was HOT. I was able to get on all the water slides (note that two of them get long lines the slingshot and the daredevil's peak (the tallest slide). My advice is to hit these slides right when you get off the ship or right at the end of the day or else you will be waiting in a long line. There was a storm off the island that caused the park to shutdown for about an hour, so many guests left back to the ship as Royal was refunding half day passes. My family also went up in the Hot Air Balloon which was cool, but not worth the money for the 10-15 minutes you are up there. Note for those with kids that 48" is the magic number to get on most of the slides. My son is 44" so he was limited on the slides he could get on, but he LOVED the wave pool. It was HOT, but being in the water felt great. San Juan - We did the El Yunque Natural Rainforest walking tour from El Yunque Tours which is a bit a ways from the ship. There is a 45 minute narrated bus ride to the site, where the guide gives you background on the history of Puerto Rico, the impact of the hurricane, and the El Yunque site. When you get to El Yunque, you have four stops. A brief 15 minute stop at an observation tower, which gives you great views and picture taking opportunities, a 5 minute stop at a waterfall on the side of the road to take a group photo, a stop to gear up where you are provided with backpacks, bug spray, water, snacks, umbrellas, and towels. Very high marks for the tour company for providing all these items. They say they are the "one stop shop" operation. Last stop is a good walk to a natural river pool to swim swim for about 20 minutes before heading back to the ship. High marks for Angel, Jorge, Michelle, and the owner Mike who are very knowledgeable and informed about the island. Returned to do a bit of shopping around the port. Shopping is better in Saint Maarten. St. Maarten- I did the Snuba Adventure through Snuba SXM. Great team of 3 (Sheldon, Mitch, Jonas (captain), are very laid back, but very knowledgeable. They stated that the hurricane had damaged 90% of the coral on the island and you could tell. I have done Snuba on 3 other occasions in different locations and I saw the least amount of fish in Saint Maarten. The water is nice and clear though and they have the staged helicopter and shipwreck underwater you can see. Still fun. My wife and son did the Pinel Island excursion and said they had a great time on the white sand beach. Iguanas everywhere that you can feed, my son loved that!. Did some shopping at the shops in the port area and found great deals on souvenirs, alcohol, and jewelry. Better deals than seen in San Juan for sure. Overall, the family had a great time and my son was asking if we could stay on the ship for a few more days. I have always been a fan of Royal Caribbean and we are looking to do a Mediterranean cruise next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is ... Read More
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is only about two soda machines accessible and most of the time one is closed your forced to go to the one at the pizza restaurant. Also, I would recommend longer hours for things such as food places etc. if you don't make it to dinner your stuck eating the same thing late night m, your two options are pizza or this small sandwich spot across from the pizza place thats all... on a cruise you expect there to be things like food places open for a much later time with much more options. Also, ice cream spots are very limited as well at close at 7pm so if you want some later on in the evening its not open. Now on to other things the ship itself is very nice and new we loved the ship. I do recommend more pools as it gets very packed on sea days. Staff all around has been amazing. Our house keeping lady Nancy is truly the kindest person ever!!! She always checks in with us and greets us at all times & helps us with anything we need she is amazing!!! Thank you Nancy! Your hard work is truly appreciated. For entertainment we saw the Greece show which was awesome! We also saw the Aqua show that was one awesome show as well very talented actors. Over all it was an amazing cruise with a few changes it would be the best cruise. I do recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is ... Read More
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is amazing, and the Hiro Show was spectacular. Pros: Gorgeous ship, like a Miami hotel. Very friendly staff. Lots of specialty restaurants. Very nice app that allows you to see your schedule. AmIng entertainment in the evening. They are VERY serious about hand washing, and everyone Moves through a handwashing station before they go in to the food area. During the day there are a lot of options for food that is included in the price of the cruise. Great adults on the area at the front of the ship. Cons: Room 14-723 is under the Flowrider attraction. At night the water that is stored for the attraction sloshes loudly, dampening an otherwise great stateroom experience. There is barely anything to eat after 11:00pm. If you are used to the open buffets and little food places on Carnival, you won’t find that here. Although there are a number of restaurants, most of them close after 10 or 11 PM, leaving one small place on the main deck. It has a very limited selection of sandwiches and some desserts. We always enjoyed the option of having ice cream and pizza or hotdogs on carnival, the ship does not have any of that available late night. We also enjoyed trivia, but the place where they have the trivia is called the honor bar, it has very limited seating, probably less than 50 people can fit in there. This does not work for a ship that contains over 7000 passengers. So we often find ourselves with nothing to do on the ship, and we head back to the room and just read. It seems like the smaller ships have a lot more options for food and activities during the day, I simply don’t wanna look at overpriced diamonds and watches all day, I want other things to do. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We normally do Celebrity cruises, but this time was all about my 13 year old son and making sure there was enough fun for him. So we went on Royal Caribbean and were very pleased. Here is a comprehensive review: Cabin - we were two ... Read More
We normally do Celebrity cruises, but this time was all about my 13 year old son and making sure there was enough fun for him. So we went on Royal Caribbean and were very pleased. Here is a comprehensive review: Cabin - we were two people in a balcony cabin - plenty of storage space, shower was great, no signs of wear, bed was very comfortable. We had another cabin with a balcony facing the inside boardwalk which was a refreshing change of pace. Beware though, because it does get loud. Dining - dinner in the dining room was consistently good. I am vegan and the options were wonderful and delicious. People who had the lobster and steak raved. We had breakfast in the dining room a few times as well and were pleased with the choices. Yes breakfast is what you get at Windjammer, but you can customize and get made to order omelets so that's nice. Pastries are not great, but that's a good thing because I didn't need a daily tempting of a bread basket. Waffles are a winner. Embarkation and Disembarkation - both easy peasy with no complaints.They have it down to a science Activities and Entertainment: varied and really fun - you can't be bored here - kids loved the flow rider and the sushi making class. Something for everyone. Just walking around and meeting people is exciting. Casino though is lackluster. Not a lot of activity, but that might be the makeup of the people of the ship. It wasn't lively at all. Other than that, lots of fun things to do. One thing to remember: there are no water slides on this ship. That's important to some families, so please take note. Fitness: the fitness center had plenty of machines and things to do. The running track is in a great location. On Celebrity the track is up high and very windy so this was a nice change having it on Deck 5 (I think Deck 5). Public rooms: All the public areas are lovely and we enjoyed the many different bars and dance areas. Everything was well kept. We never felt we were stepping into someone else's mess or anything. Shore excursions - we didn't do any. Service - This I will say overall is meh. On Celebrity the service is stellar. You never felt like people were tired otherwise put upon. On Royal Caribbean, many of the crew seemed overwhelmed and impatient. I chalked it up to taking a step down in service, so I understood. Value for the Money - Here is what Royal Caribbean does: everything is extra. It's not a good feeling. I might be paying more on Celebrity, but I don't want to feel like I am. I feel like there are gimmes and gotchas everywhere. We had beverage packages, which make you feel less like that, but if I still really noticed it, then Royal Caribbean has to step up and start including some things in the price, even if they increase the cost just so you aren't constantly taking out your charge card. Side Note: People were complaining on Cruise Critic that there were too many people. Our ship was sold out, and I didn''t feel there were too many people. We are usually on Celebrity which are much smaller ships, but we didn't feel bombarded at all when there was nearly twice the people aboard. Also, regarding feel of the ship, my daughter usually requires dramamine for her experience, but because the ship is so big and well designed, there was minimal swaying and she didn't need dramamine at all. Overall: We would sail Royal Caribbean again. It was a different experience than we were accustomed, but it was a different kind of trip. If you want lots to do, do the Allure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I’m a travel agent and this trip was a personal trip although used it to meet captain, cruise director crew, and experience the ship it first hand After reading & watching al sorts of pro & con reviews of this ship,I walked ... Read More
I’m a travel agent and this trip was a personal trip although used it to meet captain, cruise director crew, and experience the ship it first hand After reading & watching al sorts of pro & con reviews of this ship,I walked in with an open mind. I was truly impressed. The Haven Lounge nightly activities & music was the best! The family night delish spread of snacks & deserts. Main dining meals were a hit & miss - my waiter wasn’t as attentive as if he was bothered to serve us Room steward Christian was very courteous & attentive Need More varied teens activities Italian night after tasting food in the MD went to buffet better pasta & seafood ; noticed that people were eating more at the buffet Overall my son & I enjoyed ourselves ; I would recommend it to my clients & we would go again but we’ll wait for newer ships The cruise critic meet & mingle was super! viva Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We usually cruise in the fall or winter, but were joining friends who wanted to go on this particular date. We are platinum cruisers, so embarkation was quick and our room was ready when we boarded at 11:30a.m. I won't repeat what ... Read More
We usually cruise in the fall or winter, but were joining friends who wanted to go on this particular date. We are platinum cruisers, so embarkation was quick and our room was ready when we boarded at 11:30a.m. I won't repeat what most others have said about the ship itself, but will comment on our experience this cruise. It was very hot and humid, as to be expected, everywhere. The chair hogs were out again in full force which is disappointing especially those in the shade. Chairs were empty for hours with towels. This also happened in Grand Turk with the free chairs. We went to St. Maarten, we didn't take a tour, just hung out at the port this trip. The shop keepers were annoying, we really didn't shop here because of that. A young couple with a child were stung by a jelly fish at the beach in port. All were ok. Next stop was St. Kitts. We took a tour with the ship which was great (10 Best of St. Kitts). I would recommend this tour. San Juan, we didn't tour here, just stayed at the port (tstorms hit shortly after we got off ship). Last stop was Grand Turk. We went to the beach at the port and enjoyed our day there. We've been to all of these ports numerous times, so we didn't do much mostly because of the heat and humidity. We ate in the dining room most nights (6pm). Service and food was amazing. We did have lunch on the Lido, was ok. The Deli was a bust...hard to get service, long lines. Breakfast on the Lido had long lines as well. I don't think I've seen so many long lines, maybe the time of year as we don't usually cruise when school is out. Dress code in the dining room was not enforced, not that I cared, but lots of shorts and tshirts, flip flops...not cruise casual and formal night many wore shorts and tshirts into the dining room. We didn't attend too many shows, they were just ok. We liked the Red Frog Pub, the Sea Monkeys Band on Deck 5 and the Lobby Bar. The entertainment there was pretty good. Simon London was the cruise director, very entertaining for sure. There was always lots to do if you wanted to be busy or entertained. We had a cabin on the Riviera Deck, Inside. It was good, clean and our room steward was great. No complaints except for the late night doors slamming and kids running in the hall and yelling. The cruise was nice, but there were alot of rude people, kids running through the halls late at night and long lines for food. I don't think I would cruise again in the summer and especially not when school is out. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I sailed on Seaside 8/3/19 for our 20 year anniversary.  It was our first time cruising so we weren't sure what to expect.  I scoured the message boards here to prepare myself the best I could prior to the cruise.  I ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on Seaside 8/3/19 for our 20 year anniversary.  It was our first time cruising so we weren't sure what to expect.  I scoured the message boards here to prepare myself the best I could prior to the cruise.  I was able to get a lot of helpful hints that came in handy.   Our boarding time wasn't until 2 pm but after reading the boards, we decided to show up at 10;30 am and we were on the ship before noon.  We immediately went and got our wristbands, registered our credit card and found the maitre d' to request a table for 2 in the dining room (which was granted) to avoid the lines later.  We then went and had lunch at the buffet and then found a cozy spot in the Seaview lounge and had a drink.   I"m so glad I found those recommendations here because they really saved us time later.   One thing I have read on cc from many people is how rude the staff is.  That was not our experience at all.  We felt the staff went above and beyond for us.  We had the easy drink package and my favorite wine wasn't on it.  No biggie, I made due with what was available to me.  However, when we showed up for dinner on the night of our anniversary, a bottle of my favorite wine was chilling at the table and we weren't charged for it.  At the end of our meal, about 10 waiters showed up and they all sang "I swear" by All for one.  The entire song.  It was embarrassing and amazing at the same time.  lol   This is just one example and there are so many more.   We did encounter 2 staff members that were a little rude but we just avoided them after that.   We paid for the 1 day pass for the thermal spa and felt that it was really overrated.  We ended up spending 2 hours there before leaving. There just wasn't enough to do to spend the whole day there.  We each got a massage as well.  My husband said his was amazing while I felt mine was just ok.   Even before getting off the massage table my therapist was trying to sell me other services.  It was very annoying.  After telling her no about 5 times, she gave up.  There are staff walking around the ship trying to sell different services and dinner add-ons but saying no once does the trick.   We saw 3 shows while on board.  The Beer comedy one for families, Butterfly and the starwalker (the Michael Jackson one in case I didn't get the name correct).  The comedy was hilarious, the Michael Jackson one was phenomenal and Butterfly wasn't for us (just not opera fans I guess).  We had the Bella package and upgraded our stateroom to a balcony room.  The balcony really made the room in my opinion.  We enjoyed sitting out on it in the evening with a drink before bed.   We felt there were enough hangers for our clothes and enough space for all of our other items.   The pool areas were very loud and crowded.  People would sit around the edge of the pool making it very difficult to even get in.  It wasn't for us so we would find a lounge chair in another part of the ship and relax in peace .   We only scheduled one excursion with the ship and that was in St. Thomas. It was ok but not worth the money. All in all, we had a good time. The service was exceptional and if we were to ever sail with MSC again, that would be the reason. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My family and I typically sail with Princess or Carnival and I had been on one RC cruise to the Bahamas several years ago but my husband and I decided to try Allure of the Seas based on its reputation, destination (eastern Caribbean), and ... Read More
My family and I typically sail with Princess or Carnival and I had been on one RC cruise to the Bahamas several years ago but my husband and I decided to try Allure of the Seas based on its reputation, destination (eastern Caribbean), and that our friends were planning to join us. The ship itself lives up to expectations. Simply stated, she's a magnificent vessel. This was my 10th cruise and I have never have seen anything like Allure. Her sheer scope took my breath away - and it never got old. The ship's neighborhood feel provided a sense of community - I saw familiar faces in my neck of the woods (deck 8), which included the glorious Central Park, outdoor bar, and Dazzles (a favorite evening hangout). Bartenders and servers knew our names, our orders, and consistently greeted us with a warm heart. The service all over the ship was superior. Dwayne (Deck 8 Starboard) our room steward, was exceptional. He addressed a several concerns on our first day aboard (see my critiques below) and did so with good humor and grace. We just loved him! Also a big shout out to Shaka at the Solarium Bar - dude can make a mean drink. Honestly, I could shower all of the staff with compliments and gratuities. They were simply the best. The specialty restaurants, including Giovanni's Table, 150 Central Park, and Izumi's (ate at all three) were genuinely superb and highly recommend trying at least Izumi - a hibachi grill and sushi bar that was not only scrumptious (the steak was butter) but the entertainment is hilarious and memorable. Speaking of entertainment, the ice skating show was my favorite. I couldn't stop smiling and walked out feeling so much joy. The outdoor water show is amazing - you can't see anything like it at sea - so I recommend checking it out. I screamed out loud - it's that thrilling. Lastly, the stateroom was generally clean, the dining and buffet food was generally good (I especially enjoyed the international options) and I'll give a small shout out to the Park Cafe, which is where we had our coffee and breakfast most mornings. They have excellent little breakfast burritos that our whole party craved and enjoyed. Now for our critiques. First and foremost, we paid an additional fee for a "larger" balcony (50 sq feet). It's not worth the extra fee. Honestly, it felt like a rip off. I was expecting extra chairs on our balcony to at least receive our friends for a champagne toast. Our steward Dwayne went the EXTRA mile and not only did he find us two more chairs, he brought 2 loungers, which from my perspective, should be part of the larger balcony package. As a result, I felt a little less peeved that I had been sold a clunker. The room also was not clean upon our arrival. The mini fridge contained the previous guests' food and drinks, the vanity and tables were sticky, and the balcony ledge had not been wiped down. The initial experience was not up to standard. The anytime dining experience in the American Icon dining room was mediocre. The service was outstanding, food decent, but the noise everywhere and lack of organization in the lobby left much to be desired. And would it be too hard to not dance and play loud music during dinner time? Isn't that what the other venues are for? Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned but the dinner "entertainment" bordered on obnoxious. A conga line and and dancing waiters throughout the dining room while you're in the middle of dessert? No thank you very much indeed. As a general note, the entire cruise director's staff were not funny and not much fun. Jame - Z was the one exception. The lines during peak times at the Windjammer and to board the ship in San Juan were also obnoxious. Opening more entrances on the gangway would have been very helpful. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, our strongest critique is of the itinerary. Several weeks prior to embarkation, we received notice from Royal Caribbean that our call in San Juan would be shortened several hours due to an engine issue. We would have likely cancelled at that time if we hadn't made the final payment. Sadly, we were only in San Juan from 8a - 1p, which did not allow for much of any sight seeing, shopping, or a sharing a meal. With the truncated call to San Juan, we essentially had 4 sea days. Three planned days, part of day one and part of day 5 (San Juan). The ship is great and all but really too much time on board and not enough time experiencing the cultures of the region. And to add salt to the wound, on the 7th day (sea day) we were moving at about 12 mph up the coast of Cuba to the home port of Ft. Lauderdale. If you happened to be awake at 1am, as my husband was, you would see the ship docking for its final time prior to disembarkation several hours later. I'm sorry, but I would vote for those precious hours being returned to us in San Juan. To sum this all up, we enjoyed the ship, especially the service and food at the specialty restaurants, but felt like Royal Caribbean sold us a few duds. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This is our fourth Carnival cruise and second time with our teenagers. The ship seemed very well maintained and clean. It clearly showed how hard working staff they have on board to keep the ship clean and enjoyable. My husband and I were ... Read More
This is our fourth Carnival cruise and second time with our teenagers. The ship seemed very well maintained and clean. It clearly showed how hard working staff they have on board to keep the ship clean and enjoyable. My husband and I were also impressed at how thorough the staff was in cleaning the upper pool deck area each and every night. The extent of the staff draining the pool water nightly and literally scrubbing the entire pool and pool area was so good to see. We felt very welcome and most all staff was always smiling and very helpful. Our cabin was very clean and I always looked forward to coming back in the evening to a new towel animal lol. I cannot say enough about our stateroom stewardess Vasy and we hope this compliment makes it to her. She was very welcoming and thorough. She made us feel very comfortable and went out of her way to accommodate us and our teens which stayed in a seperate cabin. Dinner was amazing. There were many choices each night from your appetizer to the main dish followed by dessert. Another shout out to our service team in the dining room. Team Headwaiter Aldie,team waiter John and assistant team waitress Pascual. They were all so polite and thorough. We cannot say enough about them and again hope they see this and deserve a high five for all their hard work and pleasing the customers. My husband Tony and my son Nick and daughter Marissa as well as myself Bobbie Jo thank them all for a wonderful and memorable experience aboard Carnival Elation!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I choose Carnival because I have always had a great experience, I am a third time cruiser and I enjoy the activities that are set in place, the way Carnival has you feeling like family, the restaurants are great, there is so much to do, ... Read More
I choose Carnival because I have always had a great experience, I am a third time cruiser and I enjoy the activities that are set in place, the way Carnival has you feeling like family, the restaurants are great, there is so much to do, the shows are amazing, the dancing and singing, it is sooo much to do one can never get bored, and I half to say, the cruise director Christopher Williams is such a phenomenal individual, knowledgeable, smart, kool, nice, happy and he keeps everyone going... he’s just the best at what he does, he keeps people entertained and makes everyone life happy regardless of what is going on in they personal lives... I am literally crying as I write this review, I will never cruse another cruise line but Carnival, to see is to believe, experience the love for yourself, it is the best feeling in the world.. thank you Carnival for making my wife and I experiences with your cruse lone the absolute best... Christopher Williams, thank you for all the great memories, videos and photos we have.. when I get down and need a pick me up.. I play a video and feel really good, until I can book again... Happy Sailing ⛵️ Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise for my grandson's 16th birthday celebration. As we live in NJ, a NYC departure was a no-brainer for convenience and, as repeat Carnival cruisers, my wife and I were looking forward to a typical Carnival cruise ... Read More
Booked this cruise for my grandson's 16th birthday celebration. As we live in NJ, a NYC departure was a no-brainer for convenience and, as repeat Carnival cruisers, my wife and I were looking forward to a typical Carnival cruise experience. My daughter and son-in-law and our three grandchildren had a less than satisfactory cruise with NCL last year and we assured them that Carnival would provide a much more satisfying and fun experience. Carnival did not disappoint with anything but the ship itself. Having heard about the expensive renovations being done to the ship, we expected to sail upon a relatively pristine cruise ship. While one can understand that companies need to maximize profits, it was apparent the "renovations" were not to the ship's systems for additional passenger's comfort. Rather, they were simply for additional passengers. The ship clearly shows it's age. More rust shows on her than I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Our cabin door had a damaged balcony door handle which physically needed to be positioned properly to latch. Our shower head fell onto my head while showering, requiring a maintenance visit. Closet motion-activated lights did not work. None of this was a deal breaker but one expects a Grand Suite to be, at the very least, grand. We worked around it. Not sure what the problems were with the air conditioning, but it was sweltering throughout most of the ship for the first day and a half and marginal after that. There was no relief from the heat sailing out of New York. Throughout the entire cruise, we got not one drop of cold water from our sink and water pressure was sufficient but not what we are used to aboard other ships. It is impossible to overstate the crowded conditions on board and the apparent lack of thought given to the design with which the movement of that number of people would be handled. Navigating most Carnival ships is fairly straightforward for passengers. Not on this ship. Two major choke points exist on the Lido deck between the interior tables and the pool area. To make things worse in these areas, coffee and drink dispensers are located therein. So, in an area through which two people might barely pass, lines formed for drinks, making it almost impossible to get through. As experienced cruisers, we know to avoid the Lido during peak times and that was especially important aboard the Sunrise. Seating seemed very difficult to find. We chose to avoid the buffet most days due to it's limited size and the resultant incredibly long lines. The dining room for breakfast was our preference and the specialty fast food venues like Guy's Burgers, the Deli and Lucky bowl were lunchtime choices. Everyone in our group was more than happy with the selection and quality of food served in the dining room. My grandson has a deadly food allergy and he was given special consideration in that he was able to see the following day's menu and select those dishes which interested him. The chefs then prepared his meals separately and he had a very enjoyable dining experience throughout the cruise. The seating in the Limelight and Liquid lounges seemed adequate for the numbers of folks we observed attending the shows. Bar areas had plenty of seating and the Red Frog's size was a pleasant surprise. You might think by now that we didn't enjoy our cruise. Nothing could be further from the truth. My wife and I had a wonderful time and my daughter's family swear they will cruise Carnival again. My grandchildren said it was one of the best vacations they have ever taken. Carnival's secret weapon is their people. Folks like Chris Williams, the cruise director and his fun squad, the dining room personnel and bar staff, room stewards and other ships personnel make Carnival our choice. We find the vast majority of ship's complement with whom we interact to be welcoming, smiling and friendly. I have read some reviews in which ship's personnel are described as rude and unresponsive. We have had absolutely zero experiences like that. However, there might be an explanation for some crew frustration: Pat and I normally cruise in late spring (April-May). Young people are still in school at that time of year. By necessity, we cruised in July this year. Never again. During this cruise, we were witness to some of the most arrogant and disrespectful behavior we have ever seen. Teenagers running down hallways and pounding on stateroom doors as they went, wrestling and throwing things at each other in elevator waiting areas, verbally abusing ship's personnel, sitting and blocking stairwells while eating and refusing to move to let people by, leaving their plates of unfinished food on the stairs, screaming obscenities, etc. I don't think we would ever cruise the Sunrise again but we would certainly cruise Carnival without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We really enjoyed our cruse on the Carnival Freedom. The crew was very nice and everything was very clean. The main pool and water slides are also fun. The ship is not huge so the number of people on board is not crazy. So the lines are ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruse on the Carnival Freedom. The crew was very nice and everything was very clean. The main pool and water slides are also fun. The ship is not huge so the number of people on board is not crazy. So the lines are not to crazy. If you happen to go to their private island, Half Moon Cay the line to get back on the tender will be very long at the end of the day. So either stay on the beach till they tell you to leave or get back to the ship early. I would stay on the beach, it's amazing. Be careful on on the back adult pool though. The smoke stack drops something red and it will get on your cloths. However, if you bring it to guest services they will remove the stains and no charge. The food was good, the shows were awesome but be sure to read my review on our room, cabin 6368. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and ... Read More
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and deserve the gratuities. Many pros/ cons and key recommendations to help plan your trip! First the positives: 1) Download and use the carnival app. It’s a great way to communicate (chat plan) with your party and source for the daily activities, restaurant hours, and ability to monitor your daily portfolio spend. $5pp for entire cruise a bargain! 2) Excellent room upkeep and service! Room steward will quickly know your names on day 1. Offer to clean your room 2x a day or 1x a day, your choice (and you note this on form day 1). 1x in the morning was fine for us. Tip them! 3) Cruise director / Emma is great. “Hello lovelies” will stick with your after this cruise. It’s really funny when she laughs at herself with this unique chuckle and then the audience laughs at that. She is really fantastic. Oh yeah, she is from England. 4) Food in restaurants is pretty good! Dinner and breakfast. Now the negatives: 1) Entertainment for most part sub-par compared to other cruises. They do work hard and try, but seems budget is limited. Limited to comedians, lip-sync, customer engaged event shows, and few production dancing shows. The 80s show was fantastic and a must see! Finally some better comedians came onto the ship last few days. Emma cruise director is doing a fantastic job trying! 2) Very noisy areas in main pool area and much of the ship in general. Loud speakers, kids running, etc. This is more of a kids ship and hard to find quiet areas for adults, but there are some hidden areas. See below. 3) Expect long waits for: Restaurants if you do ‘any time dining’ we waited 45min average given our large party of 10. Expect shorter for 4 or less parties. 4) Long lines at: Pizza Pirate near the adult pool. Expect 30 people plus waiting and 1 worker making pizza. Priority goes to the $5 delivery person so expect a wait for 30-45min to pick-up your slice of pizza. Late night pizza lines given limited food options. To management, can you not add another person making fresh pizzas to cut down this line? Tips & Recommendations 1) Install/ use the Carnival app. A bargain for $5 per person for entire cruise. Have everyone in your party do this and you can chat on the ship for meet-ups and know the hours for restaurants and daily activities for entertainment. 2) Bring your own cups (e.g. YETI) to fill with water, lemonade, tea, etc. at the 9th floor deck. The larger the cups the better. Fill them at breakfast and bring to your room. The little green and yellow cups they provide hold about 6 oz. of liquid. Ice is plentiful. Water refill at buffet area, poolside, or bars. Even keeps your beer colder longer! 3) Bring a 3-prong power socket extender. There is ONLY 1 power outlet in your rooms (well, another behind the TV and used for that). You will need to charge multiple phones etc. Or bring a portable charger for your phones. 4) Bring binoculars if you wish to see passing boats, distance, shore excursions, beach, dolphins, etc. 5) Bring a case of water or buy on day 1. You get 2 large bottles day 1 and that will go quick. 6) Wine/ Wine package. Bring your bottle of wine onto ship day 1 only, why not? Else, cost is $35 bottle average. The wine beverage package (3 bottles for $80 with auto-tax) is worth it comes to $26 bottle for standard wines (given auto gratuity) or higher price for premium wines. 7) Best quiet spot for a book or just snooze in the breeze. 3rd floor outside deck under the life boats. There is also the ‘Serenity deck’ for age 21 and up top floor front of ship. Can be crowded there. 8) For large parties eating together at ‘anytime dining’ send someone down to put your name down and get a pager. Will cut your time down for waiting from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. 9) Alcohol in general. Gratuity of 18% auto added to every adult beverage., expect $10 drinks average. The carnival craft brew was great. Value of getting $18 beer pitchers. 10) Teenagers can visit the sports deck for volleyball, basketball and hanging out with others. 11) Auto applied Gratuities for your team members: Vary by cabin, but example $112 pp in cabin allocated to restaurant staff ($55), room service ($35), and group for all others ($22). Posted 2 days before end of cruise, and you can make adjustments at the front desk +/- and allocation % to your preference. 12) Unless you buy/ plan for roaming leave all phones in Airplane mode. Friend charged $3000 prior trip by AT&T and even though I requested all our family to keep in airplane mode, daughter still activated for a few hours and AT&T sent us email for international data of ~$200 for Bahamas temporary use of her social media. Food options 1) Avoid the daily buffet (there is MUCH better options with the restaurant, else Guys Burgers, B-Que). My view is more of poor food quality and lacking taste at buffet and sanitary conditions. Do you really want to touch the tongs that everyone else on the ship is using to server their food including all the kidos! 2) Use the restaurants, they are excellent for breakfast and dinner. From salmon bagels cream cheese capers to steak (filet mignon) and eggs. Yumm. Brunch menu. Dinner options have extensive menu options. 3) Dinner Formal nights. Lobster on the menu for one night and filet mignon the other. Yes, you can get as many lobsters as you can eat! 4) Lunch: Recommend Bque restaurant on 10th floor. Across from steakhouse. Many don’t know about this place given a bit hidden. 5) Lunch. Recommend Guy’s burgers and pizza take out. Pizza is actually very good. 6) Lunch: The sandwich window, excellent meatball sandwich. All are actually great. 7) Breakfast: Eat at the dining room or order room service. 8) Free drinks stations at the buffet areas. Ice, Water, Lemonade, ice tea, coffee. Found the coffee was surprising good and strong. There is a custom coffee shop for $5 coffee, but my view is standard coffee is fine in dining rooms. You can also get coffee delivered room-service! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had a great time, but there could /should have been more for the teen age group to do. For example there was a dodgeball tournament , but for adults. Kids ran around the ship a lot, unsupervised. There were several fights in the ... Read More
We had a great time, but there could /should have been more for the teen age group to do. For example there was a dodgeball tournament , but for adults. Kids ran around the ship a lot, unsupervised. There were several fights in the arcade that lasted long enough for my son to video and security knew nothing about it. There were tons if activities for adults and they were all great. The staff is excellent, very helpful, friendly and accommodating. The room was nice, clean and our steward Mudi, was great! At night, the room temp was warm and the air did not seem to be working at its fullest, but not terrible. Getting on and off was very easy for the cruise as well as for the excursions. Food was good and there was plenty of options and choices. Our cruise director marQ was awesome and heand many of the cruise staff learned and remembered many of the guests names. This made it very personal and fun as well. Excursions: amber cove- we did the horseback riding at Seahorse ranch and it was great. Horses are beautiful and Fausto, our guide was very informative on our way there. San Juan: the rainforest and Old SanJuan, very nice and interesting St. Thomas: snorkeling sea turtle cove, this was beautiful and we wish it would have lasted longer Grand Turks: the beach had a lot to do for everyone the water was beautiful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I have sailed on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. By far RCCL is my favorite. Excellent service, great food, activities and entertainment. On this cruise we booked a balcony (#8572) and was able to book all our meals, activities ... Read More
I have sailed on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. By far RCCL is my favorite. Excellent service, great food, activities and entertainment. On this cruise we booked a balcony (#8572) and was able to book all our meals, activities and shows (The Gift, Spectra, We Will Rock You) ahead of time on the cruise planner. We were also able to book another viewing of We Will Rock You while on board through the app. Entertainment: All the shows were fantastic and started on time. Although I really did not know the story line to The Gift, I really found the performers to be quite talented. Spectra’s Cabaret did not disappoint and we saw We Wil Rock you twice! Schooners Bar also provided great piano/vocals and acoustic guitar. Comedians were very enjoyable and age appropriate. We also had a surprise performance by ReVoiced (acapella group). All in all, we enjoyed live entertainment every day. Food: We enjoyed most our meals in the Windjammer and especially liked all the options! Regional meals were exceptional. We also had dinner in the main dining rooms and found those meals just as good as at the Windjammer. Beverages: We chose the refreshment package and enjoyed frozen mocktails, soft drinks, juices, bottled water and Starbucks coffee and lattes the entire cruise. Not all the refill stations were up and running, so we just went to a nearby bar for refills. Room: We booked an ocean view balcony (#8572) with Josie as our steward. Josie was absolutely wonderful. I requested a contour pillow (which she provided) and she always kept our ice bucket full. She also made sure we had clean wine glasses each day. Our bathroom was immaculate and our room always tidy and clean. She respected our privacy and always seemed to be right there when we needed her. Josie you rock! Activities: We participated in a scheduled wine tasting (5 samples, but I found the samples to be small) and we had scheduled the All Access Tour of the ship, but cancelled a couple days ahead of time due to one of us not having long pants. Make sure you have long pants or at least pants that go past your knees! It was no problem to cancel and we were given a credit. Embarkation/Disembarkation: We traveled from New Haven, Connecticut via Amtrak to Penn Station Newark and then an Uber (Uber XL $17) to port. Embarkation was a breeze. Dropped off our bags, checked in and was on board within 30 minutes. We headed to the Windjammer and had lunch at 11:30. Our room was not ready until 1:30 after lunch we relaxed in Two70’s with a frozen mocktail and got to know the IQ App. Disembarkation was not has short as embarkation. We had the mindset to expect lines so we were not surprised that it took longer. It was about 45 minutes to disembark and go through US Customs. It was another 30 minutes to wait for an Uber (Uber XL $19 due to traffic) and then another 20 minute ride to Penn Station Newark. Fitness: Walked on the outdoor track nearly every morning with the exception of 2 mornings when it was too windy. I also went to the fitness center each day. Very clean facility and no wait on any equipment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise first because it was to cruise out of Cape Liberty. The second reason we chose it was because it was a 9-day trip. We had cruised on a 7-day and a 9-day before having children. Last year, we cruised on the Adventure ... Read More
We chose this cruise first because it was to cruise out of Cape Liberty. The second reason we chose it was because it was a 9-day trip. We had cruised on a 7-day and a 9-day before having children. Last year, we cruised on the Adventure of the Seas with the children (for the first time) and they loved it, so we thought a few extra days would be great. We had a really great trip and the children (ages 7 and 9) enjoyed it, too. Their favorite part was going to Adventure Ocean. We did not take advantage of the specialty dining, spa, or similar opportunities, due to our budget. In order for us to travel every year, we have to be conscious of our spending. The only stressful part of our vacation was the pool area. It is a much smaller area than other ships we have been on. It was difficult to find chairs in safe proximity to the children's location, so my husband and I took turns staying at the chairs (that were very far from the pools). The chairs were reserved from early morning with towels and unless we watched the people like hawks, it was hard to find any in the pool areas. Other than that, we can't complain about the trip. The food was great, there were lots of opportunities to attend events on the ship. In regards to the Seaplex, in order to be able to attend the events there, it was important to arrive before the start time. We learned that early on. We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experiences. We went to the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch daily. There were many options, including salads, soups, and desserts. The food was of great quality. We chose the 5:30pm dining option. We would begin each night with an appetizer and our children would eat dinner. At 6:40pm, our children would go to Adventure Ocean and we would complete our meal in the dining room. Our waiters were amazing. They were not only very particular with all their tasks, they were also very friendly! After dinner, we would either see a show or watch a movie by the pool. The shows were all very good, especially the comedy shows. We also attended The Gift and We Will Rock You. The Gift is hard to follow without any background information. We Will Rock You was great. We love anything involving music. We also thoroughly enjoyed the farewell performance. We didn't shop much. The Anthem has a different shopping concept compared to other ships. It felt very crammed and quite frankly many items were not affordable. We tried to purchase some t-shirts; however, there wasn't much of a selection in the sizes we were looking for (Youth Small, Youth Medium, Adult Small, Adult 3X). Overall, we enjoyed our vacation on the Anthem of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Carnival Pride because the departure city of Baltimore is about an hour away, so no airfare required. Drove to the harbor and had to wait maybe 20 minutes for luggage drop-off and parking. Check-in went quickly at our appointed ... Read More
We chose Carnival Pride because the departure city of Baltimore is about an hour away, so no airfare required. Drove to the harbor and had to wait maybe 20 minutes for luggage drop-off and parking. Check-in went quickly at our appointed time. The walk up the gangplank is a bit of a hike if you're out of shape and lugging much carry-on. We splurged on this cruise because we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and were really happy with our Grand Suite, except the lack of outlets. See below for cabin review. But I will add that we LOVED having a nice big balcony, so there was no need to compete for space around the pools, all of which were extremely crowded, including the Serenity area. If I had wanted to be in the pools, I would have found that very annoying. Dinner every night was in the main dining room, where we took the late seating. Initially assigned to a table for 4, our dining partners moved to a table with a window, so we had the table to ourselves all week - yay! Wait staff was friendly and efficient, and brought us a special little dessert for our anniversary. Once hubby found out he could pick and choose entrees and sides, have dessert as an appetizer and take another dessert back to the cabin to eat later, he was a happy camper! I enjoyed sampling the more adventurous options - but overdid it at the start of the week and by the end of the week was keeping it simpler. I was a little disappointed that a number of guests did not comply with the dining room dress codes at all, even on the formal nights (a few wearing shorts, t-shirt, and baseball cap). I appreciate that the ship doesn't want to be clothing police, but it would be nice if people understand that it brings the experience down for other diners if they're dressed like they went to McDonalds. At least a polo shirt and slacks would have been a decent compromise (even though that's technically what's expected the rest of the week at dinner, right?) We mostly enjoyed our cabin, balcony, and casino. Line dancing on Lido deck was fun. Dr. Dre was outstanding as cruise director - so much energy and humor! But we didn't really partake of other entertainment or activities this time around - just wanted relaxation. Port #1 - Grand Turk: Excursion Deep Sea/Reef Fishing - We had a blast. Six cruisers on the boat, and we caught 3 baracuda! Had the option to stop trolling and go bottom fishing to catch more, but we were all having fun so we kept trolling for the big guys! Port #2 - Half Moon Cay: No excursion. Rented snorkel and enjoyed a little self-guided exploration. Port #3 - Freeport: Excursion - Ocean Swim with Dolphins! YES! This was so much fun - I highly recommend, even though it's pricey. It was a bucket list item. Swimming in the lagoon would be better for people not comfortable swimming in deep ocean with fins. Back on the ship - our steward Farry was really nice, and did a great job taking care of us. We asked for ice twice a day, and there it was! We blew up an extension cord (oops) and he got a replacement. Very efficient and thoughtful. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but not to Labadee and we’re eager to explore San Juan. The ship is beautiful and embarkation was a breeze. The ship is tastefully decorated and a welcome relief from the garish decor of the Carnival ships. There is lots to do and we took advantage of all of it - the pools, slides, carousel and the zip line. We chose a boardwalk view cabin to save on cost. The room was small but had good storage. The bathroom was small but adequate. The balcony is teensy. There was a partial ocean view. We did not partake in much of the entertainment but what we did see was top notch. The bars were all very good but beware of high drink prices - think $13 Mojitos. Basic beers are $8 plus the high tips just makes the drinks even more expensive. We did not buy the drink packages and our final tab confirms we did not drink enough to justify it. We like to stay in shape and the fitness center was well equipped but sometimes very crowded. There is access to a very nice jogging track. I like to use the sauna to detox and relax but there is none - except in the spa for a fee. :-( The food was hit or miss. I had high expectations with RCL but was frankly disappointed. The Windjammer was fine good choices and mostly tasty but the food in the main dining room consisted of over cooked seafood or grisly steaks. My wife, a vegetarian was lacking in choice as there we nearly none. Desserts were blah. Service was spotty as well. The cabin steward was ok but we received towel animals only two nights where on Carnival it’s every night. My kids get a kick out of it. In the main dining room we chose my time dining due to the lack of information on the babysitting service prior to sailing.. I didn’t realize My Time meant waiting 30-45 minutes for a table! All this while paying for child care. :-( Ports: LABADEE We loved Labadee so many activities and very nice. Wish we were provided a list of activities or a map beforehand we could have planned it better. The zip line looked real fun. SAN JUAN We didn’t go due to protesters in San Juan. i understand the reasons for safety sake, but no alternative ports offered as well as no credits. Not good customer care if you ask me. ST MARTIN We took an independent excursion to the beach it was just ok. The island is very dry right now and recovering from the hurricane. PROS: Our kids loved the ship my toddler especially loved the carousel. The camps and baby services were excellent. The pools and amenities were really good, lots to do. Entertainment was top notch. Good and varied bars. CONS: Average food especially in the MDR. High drink prices, and the TIPS. Oh my you are now paying $58 per cabin for a family of 4 PER DAY! Plus drink tips! Yikes. I also felt that RCL should have offered something for the loss of one port. We got nothing. Wait times in the MDR were ridiculous. Would I sail RCL again? Probably not, at least for a while. They charge a premium over the other lines such as Carnival and NCL, presumably for better food and service. But the gap is closed and I don’t see the need to spend the extra $$. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We spent 3 nights in Fort Lauderdale at a beach hotel prior to the cruise, and on the morning of departure we took a quick taxi to Port Everglades. The terminal was very busy but the lineups moved quickly and check in was fast and ... Read More
We spent 3 nights in Fort Lauderdale at a beach hotel prior to the cruise, and on the morning of departure we took a quick taxi to Port Everglades. The terminal was very busy but the lineups moved quickly and check in was fast and efficient. Our room was ready when we boarded the ship around 1:00 PM. The Caribbean Princess has been modernized, and we noticed the newer rugs, new pictures in our stateroom, and newer look to the ship in general. There is a new splash pad zone on the upper deck for kids, with several lounge chairs (some with clamshell type covers) nearby. We went ashore in Princess Cays, Bahamas, which is a busy beach with lots of room to spread out. We booked a cabana for the day, and it was nice to have a spot to regroup, cool down, or just take a break either indoor with the ac or outside on the shaded lounge chairs. We also went ashore in St. Thomas and took a bus tour & beach break. In St. Maarten we took a similar tour but spent more time on a beach with an included lunch. The weather cooperated the entire week and it was sunny and hot each and every day. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise very much. Our room steward did a good job, the wait staff in the restaurant (Club Class Dining) were very attentive, the front desk and shop staff were also very friendly and helpful. The ship is easy to navigate, and we found using the aft elevators very handy because they were less busy as compared to the midship elevators. The pool areas were a bit crowded on sea days but there was often a few chairs available in which to sit. We didn’t eat in the Marketplace cafeteria more than a few times; the sit down dining rooms provided a table, wait service, and less of a rush so it was more relaxing for us to eat in those venues when we could. For breakfast we generally ordered room service - one of our favourite ways to start the day! Our room was well laid out and spacious, with two windows & close to the water with very little noise or movement from the ship. The location couldn’t be beat: close to the Piazza, front desk, shops, and Coral Dining Room. Overall, a great week on the Caribbean Princess! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the ... Read More
We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the shower, though. At 6'1", my "wingspan" in the shower was much more important than having six superfluous feet of closet space in which to hang a handful of dressy clothes.) The food was amazing and we very much enjoyed the shows and activities offered on the ship. Our excursions were top notch. Our girls spent most of their onboard time in the teen room, and had a blast with the planned activities. However, we had major problems with the Medallion system from the moment of embarkation. For some reason, my daughters and I were issued Medallions, but my husband was issued a key card. I still have no idea why ... I did nothing unusual with his booking process. We were told at embarkation that his Medallion would be ready by dinnertime. At dinnertime, no Medallion. Then we were told that it would be ready first thing in the morning. In the morning, no Medallion. We grew increasingly frustrated as we fell into a pattern of checking in at the service desk every 6-8 hours to be repeatedly told that his Medallion was still being processed. At one point, he asked what would happen if one of our girls lost her Medallion; he was told that a new one would be issued immediately. When he asked why such service couldn't be granted for him, we discovered that the key-card and Medallion databases were entirely separate entities, and he would have to be "created" as a new passenger in order to receive a Medallion. This finally did occur; he received his Medallion ... halfway through the cruise. Once his Medallion was activated, both he and our older daughter were able to track all of us, but my younger daughter and I could not track him. Ever. In addition, for a period of 36 hours, our younger daughter's Medallion dropped off the system and she was un-trackable as she moved about the ship. She was unable to do anything without being accompanied by her sister, with a properly working Medallion, as that was the only way we could ensure that we were able to keep tabs on where she was. When we raised this issue at the service desk, the clerk logged in to his iPad and showed us where she was at that moment. "See? She's perfectly safe!" he told us. We walked him over to the nearest public kiosk and showed him that his information was useless to us, as we couldn't see it ourselves. We felt like we weren't being heard. Not being able to verify her safety was only part of the problem; the larger issue was a faulty tracking system, completely out of our control. I had a scary moment, once both girls' Medallions were back online, when I went to track them and discovered that they were on different floors. The younger one was on a floor which contained only private cabins. She had no business being on such a floor. I raced down to her tracking location to discover that she wasn't there. I climbed six flights of stairs in a panic to find my older daughter in the teen room and ask where her sister was; I found both of them sitting together. I walked to the closest kiosk and logged in; my younger girl, sitting 15 feet away from me, was still registering as being on a cabin-only floor six levels below. Her Medallion location only reset when she logged herself into the kiosk. The Medallion system definitely gives great benefits ... when it works. Obviously the system has a lot of kinks to be worked out. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We live in Florida and Port Lauderdale in convenient for a quick getaway. We chose Princess because we have always had overall positive experiences on Princess Ships and this cruise was no exception. Because we have cruised the Caribbean ... Read More
We live in Florida and Port Lauderdale in convenient for a quick getaway. We chose Princess because we have always had overall positive experiences on Princess Ships and this cruise was no exception. Because we have cruised the Caribbean on numerous previous occassions we booked this crusie primarily for the on board experience so shore excursions and ports of call did not have much enfluence on our choice of cruises. We picked this sailing because it met our schedule and was convenient in that it sailed form Lauderdale. On our last several crusies we have opted for the Suite level cabins and in all honesty have become spoiled. The additional ammenities while costly make for a much more enjoyable experience. The suite (L106) was pretty spacious but a little dated in decor especially in the bathroom. The balcony was especially specious and included 2 chaise lounge chairs which allowed us to escape the crowds on the pool deck and have some real solitude. The food on the cruise was very good with the exception of the World Market Buffet. We noticed that the quality of the buffet offerings was significantly reduced from our experiences on previous Princess cruises. We ate there for lunch on 4 occassions but only because it was convenient to the pool deck and allowed us to dine without changing out of our swim wear. Noticibly from the buffet absent was the steam ship round (roast beef) sea food i.e., boiled shrimp, oysters, clams, and other upgraded fare we have enjoyed from the buffet on other Princess cruises. With the exception of the buffet the food was very very good boardering on excellent the other exception being the Crown Grill again the quality of the food there was not nearly as good as we've had from the Grown Grill on other Princess ships. The service was outstanding across the board especially in the Club Class dining venues. Over all we enjoyed the cruise a great deal and would describe it as better that what we experiened on other cruise lines but a little short of what we have come to expect from Princess. If you visit Princess Cay don't waste your money on the $225 bungalow we made that mistake while there in January 2019 and felt ripped off even at a lower cost of $199. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because it was a time my family could come (9 people in 3 cabins) and Ft Lauderdale was convenient to get to for all. I had heard the Allure was a great ship but I was a bit disappointed that there were no water slides ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a time my family could come (9 people in 3 cabins) and Ft Lauderdale was convenient to get to for all. I had heard the Allure was a great ship but I was a bit disappointed that there were no water slides and that RCL no longer had the Dreamworks characters or any substitution. Also, there was no parade on this cruise though they were rehearsing one for the future. Still, everyone had loads of fun with the activities on board. We landed in Ft Lauderdale on the day before (which we usually do) and got on board at 11:15 AM. There were plenty of people to help us learn about the ship and there even was a talk about the ship on embarkation day- though it could have been better. Our luggage was delivered on time though we went to the dining room in shorts and our "special" family t-shirts. The ship is due for changes (retrofitting) and it needs it. There were places where it was showing it's age. Also, as stated before, there were no water slides which almost all ships now seem to have. The service was excellent throughout. We had some issues (like a toilet that stopped working) that were resolved quickly. There were many venues and choices of entertainment and fun that were easy to get into- even without a reservation- and the quality of the entertainment throughout the ship was excellent- especially the orchestra. My wife got sick while on board and had to see the doctor. They took good care of her, allowed her to access movies and room service without charge and even gave us something special at the end of the cruise. Our cruise critic meet and mingle was not attended by as many as should have come. The crew accommodated us and provided a couple of bottles of champaigne for prizes The food was excellent though somewhat salty at times. The menu had enough choices though only 3-4 change daily while 4-5 are served every day. I was not happy to see that you could pay more for a "premiere" steak or full lobster but understand that it would save $40-50 from going to a specialty restaurant- which we never do and don't recommend. Only Chops Grill is actually worth it if you decide to partake. Service throughout was excellent as all of our wants and needs were quickly met and our waiters and cabin personnel were very attentive. The shore excursions were a bit disappointing though the Yunke rainforest tour in Puerto Rico was excellent. The tour of St Martin could have had 1-2 more stops rather than spending 30 minutes at a shopping area. In Labadee, there were not enough trams to handle the crowd at the end of the day and my daughter-in-law and family had to hustle to get back to the ship on time. Most of my family were never on a cruise before and they had a great time. One even booked an open cruise that she can use within one year. The kids enjoyed the mini-golf, trivias, sports court and, of course the food though my 5 year old grandson chose to spend time with his parents rather than go to Adventure Ocean. He was very close to 6 but had to stay with the 3-5 year olds and was not crazy about that. The teens did not spend much time in the lounge but explored other things like the zipline and rock climbing. I always enjoy karaoke and they had that daily. It will be interesting to see the Allure after she is retrofitted and cleaned up. She is a fun ship and there wasn't as much "selling" as I was led to believe. Oh, they do sell but it wasn't pushy- at least to me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest. First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest. First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was friendly, and there was plenty to do. Out of all of the cruises Ive taken this one has had the best food so far I really enjoyed Guy's Burgers, deli, BBQ, and the 24 hour ice cream. The dining hall food was really great as well. Every drink I had was great! They keep the entertainment live on this ship. Emma the cruise director kept the energy alive the whole 7 days. She is awesome. The first stop was Keywest. There is really nothing to do here in my opinion. All we did was walk Duval St. We ended up renting a golf cart to get around the island but that was a waste of money. We only did it to make it easir on my parents so they wouldn't have to walk around. The second stop was Freeport Bahamas. We booked an excursion off the boat. Which is much cheaper than booking with Carnival. I suggest booking with tour guide Brice. He was very informative while taking us around Freeport. Then he took us to a really nice beach where the water was beautiful and not too crowded. The weather was hot but beautiful. We visited a candle factory and also sampled rum cake. Brice took us to a local market where you can buy homemade souvenirs that the local made themselves. Our last stop was Nassau Bahamas. It was cloudy and scattered showers. We booked tour around the city once we got off the boat. We visited the Queens staircase which is beautiful and historic. It was also a marketplace there where you can buy souvenirs that the locals made themselves. We also visited hotel Atlantis. Which all we did there was walk around the lobby and they have an aquarium along the perimeter off thr lobby. If you want to visit the aquarium you will have to pay an additional cost for that. We didnt bother to go to the beach this day due to the weather conditions. We also went to a rum cake factory and tasted samples of rum cake. And we went to a tea factory and sampled tea, which was really tasty. The shows were okay. The comedians at the comedy club was really funny. Everything was a blast and smooth sailing up until the last day and half of the cruise. We got caught up in Hurricane Barry. And the boat was rocking so bad you could hardly walk. People were getting sick everywhere due to the motion. It was not a fun day or night. Most of my family were 1st time cruisers and that pretty much ruined any chance of them getting on a ship again. Overall we had a blast. It would have been perfect if it was not for the hurricane. I would definitely cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are not new to cruising, but this was our first Celebrity cruise. We are sold on the brand. Despite the fact that we can't wait to sail with Celebrity again, five stars would be an indication that there is no room for improvement ... Read More
We are not new to cruising, but this was our first Celebrity cruise. We are sold on the brand. Despite the fact that we can't wait to sail with Celebrity again, five stars would be an indication that there is no room for improvement or growth. If I could, I would rate our overall experience 4.5. We enjoyed three aft concierge class balcony cabins on the ninth deck. The adjoining/connecting cabin feature on the Equinox is refreshing and has a cool factor. You cannot enter or exit through the interior of the rooms. Instead, there are double doors that serve as a foyer of sorts. When the double doors are closed, you are the "connecting" cabins are encased. If you leave the door to each connecting cabins propped open or unlocked, occupants can freely move between each cabin. You access the double doors with your stateroom key. Aft balconies that "connect" to a sky suite enjoy access to their cabins through a single door that open into a spacious hallway. You control your level of privacy. We also loved how swiftly our request to unlock the partisans of our balconies was honored. It was like we had one huge, extended balcony all to ourselves. We received five-star cabin and room service. Our cabin steward was marvelous and ready to accommodate. Every dining experience, whether in the main dining room, in the cafe or at specialty restaurants, was also five-star. The staff you encounter daily understand the concepts of professionalism and customer-centered service. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel like we were genuinely on vacation. Celebrity deserves an A+ in those areas. However, Celebrity ranks poorly when it came to a customs matter. Unlike previous sailings with other cruise lines, we were led to believe that we did not need to complete any customs forms or declare purchases in writing. The day before we returned to Ft. Lauderdale, my husband -- to my own pleasant surprise and initial shock -- bought our college sophomore a pair of chocolate diamond earrings. It is not the first time he has paid thousands of dollars on a cruise ship for diamonds, so questions were asked upfront. The manner in which my husband was approached as we disembarked was disturbing. (Hence, the less than five stars). A member of the Equinox staff approached my husband in a covert way and asked him to come with her --- no explanation or clue as to why. It all happened quickly and in the confusion, he ended up getting separated from our group. My husband says he expressed his concerns and received an apology for the manner that he was escorted to customs. Nevertheless, it should not have happened. Much has been written about expansive renovations that will take place among the Celebrity fleet. The Equinox was fresh off a dry dock, but it is my understanding that some areas of the ship benefited more than others. There are beautifully appointed restaurants, sitting areas and other public spots throughout the ship. I specifically asked a veteran member of the staff about the staterooms. The Equinox did not get the major "revolutionized" renovation many expected. Based on previous pictures, however, I could tell that the new beige and blue color schemes for the drapes, bedding and carpet was an improvement for the cabins, giving ours a relaxing feel. We booked about 60 days until sailing, which I consider last minute. I considered it a blessing to find three concierge class balcony staterooms next to each other. The perks -- especially the expanded room service menu -- were wonderful. I am thankful for the fast and reliable Internet service. We selected the complimentary Internet package as one of our promotional offerings. I had no issues completing some graduate course assignments by deadline. I also appreciated the ability to make reservations for any-time dining in the upstairs main dining room. The food was delicious, the service was consistently outstanding and the atmosphere was pleasing. Our servers were professional and personable, but never intrusive. Tuscan Grille allowed us to break the monotony of our evenings. Everything about Tuscan Grille fits the definition of fine dining at its best. An overview of our port experiences: I have given up on shore excursion offerings in the Caribbean. Celebrity partners with Private Journeys, which was no help. After an initial response from an agent and my follow-up question, I did not get another email until just days before sailing. The agent's email stated that a lead did not work out and she was unable to help after all. It turns out that we were a million times better off researching and planning day trips on our own. We had an amazing time at a resort in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. For $30 a person plus taxi fare for the four of us, I was able to book one of the most memorable and fun day trips of my life. A The scenic BVI, followed by St. Thomas, was the highlight of our port experiences. Magen's Beach in St. Thomas was crowded with guests from the Equinox and two other cruise ships, but we found a spot to set up beach chairs and umbrellas, which must be rented from the gift shop. We have been to Nassau, Bahamas countless times. We did not leave the ship. As for Puerto Rico, this was my second and last time giving it a chance. We went there about a week before the protests. We had no idea a political uprising was brewing, but we knew something was way off and talked about it. The atmosphere was tense. With the exception of a hostess standing outside a bar, no one seemed friendly or helpful. You know something is off when cabs are lined up along the port but you have to initiate conversations to get a ride. I observed many fellow cruisers returning to the ship after a brief venture out. We walked to Walgreens and made our way back to the ship. We did not make it to any of the shows or participate in enrichment activities. I enjoyed the solitude of the library, however. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise for the Ports. We first stopped over in St. Maarten, which was a very nice Port and the people were very friendly. They seem to be a little more "layed back" than some other Caribbean places. Second stop was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the Ports. We first stopped over in St. Maarten, which was a very nice Port and the people were very friendly. They seem to be a little more "layed back" than some other Caribbean places. Second stop was St. Kitts, same atmosphere with a little more "hustle and bustle" but not to the point of being "annoying". And thirdly was Grand Turk, we always love this port. It has gotten alot of tourism. The Beaches at all of these places were just beautiful; relaxing; comfortable and calm. The Magic itself, is a big ship with room enough for everyone. It is a very "plain" looking ship. Some nice decour. The food either on the Lido Deck or one of the ship's (free)restaurants, was just Delicious. Also, we went to the Italian Restaurant(De Capitana), the service was xcellent; waiter was great and the food was "bellissimo". The Entertainment should've been much better, it lacked MotorCity; Bway shows and other Musical show. I've seen better shows on other Carnival Ships and this was the worst. But "all in all" we had a GREAT Cruise and beautiful weather all around. But the Parents should talk to their Teens before Cruising, about how to Cruise because alot of people don't know how to Cruise with other people. I will Cruise again, and I will enjoy the Cruise again. Read Less

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