2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise to go visit Cuba and Key West with my husband. Carnival has found a way to nickel and dime you even when you pay for all such as drink package. No bartenders except in serenity that were eager to serve you. Anton was ... Read More
I chose this cruise to go visit Cuba and Key West with my husband. Carnival has found a way to nickel and dime you even when you pay for all such as drink package. No bartenders except in serenity that were eager to serve you. Anton was awesome and the only one to come back and keep us happy. All other bars you had to go to them and wait! Since they do automatic gratuity you get poor service. Food was ok....best thing was guys cheeseburgers. Tiny cups for water. Soda was flat that was part of my drink package. Not much entertainment during the day. Comedy shows were pretty good. One pool for whole ship. Definitely outdated even though it says remodeled in 2019. Would not recommend. Budget vacation/ budget ship! Very disappointed. We bought alcohol and was told by airport that cruise ship should have given us a bag for carrying it on plane-nope didn’t happen so we lost alcohol at security. Mel the cruise ship director was kind of rude. She didn’t have great things going on to engage cruisers. We could have visited Cuba on Tuesday and spent more time in Key West. Went on Monday to Cuba and all Museums are closed on Mondays...... Had to pay a $75/pp visa to go to Cuba. Our room attendant did a great job! Greeted us by first name every time we saw him! Asked me what I wanted done on a daily basis whether I needed more towels etc. he was always smiling!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My 9 yo son and I took this 7 night cruise while he was out of school on spring break. I've been on half a dozen ships, but this was our first with RCL. We had a blast! We did excursions at every port, dined in the MDR each night, I ... Read More
My 9 yo son and I took this 7 night cruise while he was out of school on spring break. I've been on half a dozen ships, but this was our first with RCL. We had a blast! We did excursions at every port, dined in the MDR each night, I purchased the deluxe drink packaged and VOOM combo, and we went to a couple of shows. The basic rundown: Itinerary/excursions: Key West, Cozumel, Belize, and Costa Maya. We love adventures and this itinerary was amazing! We did the Conch Train tour of KW. Loved it. Fun and informative, lasted about an hour, plenty of time to explore on our own once it was over. Went to Playa del Carmen from Cozumel and did the snorkel/cenote combo excursion. Skip the snorkeling and just go to a cenote. It is unlike anything we've ever done! We loved it! Snorkeled in Belize. The best snorkeling ever. Like swimming in an aquarium. Mayan ruins in Costa Maya. Very cool. I would absolutely do this exact same itinerary again, when it goes to Honduras, and only switch up a couple of excursions. They were that much fun! Ship: Smaller with a little age on her, but the size made it easy to meet and see the same people all week. My son made friends at the pool and we'd see the families every night in the Centrum and talk about our days. The ship and crew had a nice, intimate feel b/c of the size. I enjoyed that. The overall aesthetic of the ship could use a little updating, but that's low on my priority list. Crew: Fabulous, fun, and had a familiar vibe. My son loved the deck games like belly flop and crew vs. guest volleyball. And the dancing. Food: MDR was always delicious. Wine selection was very nice. I found a rose and chardonnay I kept going back to. Windjammer was only so-so. Park Cafe was awesome! Entertainment: The headliners were okay. I wasn't blown away, but nothing was terrible. The nightly music at the various lounges was more fun. Our favorite was going to the Centrum/R bar, listening to music and then participating in the activity/game before our 8pm seating. VOOM: My package included the surf and stream and I never had a single issue with going online or texting. I could post pictures, my son played games, and we even facetimed with family back home. Meet & Mingle: I thought RCL did a great job with the M&M. Nice prizes, got the guests involved, continental breakfast available, and the CD hosted and made it entertaining. Embarkation and Disembarkation: THE fastest I've ever gotten on and off a ship. Hats off to the terminal in Tampa and the RCL staff. They're efficient yet personable. I was very impressed. All in all, one of the best cruises we've been on! We will definitely cruise with Royal again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We did this cruise via a casino coupon and we upgraded to a Junior suite from an inside room . Mistake but I will talk about this in my cabin review. We were two couples in our early 40's and my single friend in her early ... Read More
We did this cruise via a casino coupon and we upgraded to a Junior suite from an inside room . Mistake but I will talk about this in my cabin review. We were two couples in our early 40's and my single friend in her early 40's. The single friend was a first time cruiser and she loved it! The rest of us have been on 5 or 6 other cruises and thought it was up there in our favorite 2. We didn't go in with huge expectations and maybe that is why we had a blast. Embarkation was a breeze. Because I upgraded to a Suite we had priority boarding which meant a really short line compared to the huge line for everyone else. They will let your non suite friends get in the short line with you. We were there at noon and on the ship by 12:20. We all bought the drink package and thank god! We like to drink and some of them got cut off by midnight because they reached their 15 drink max. But hey, drinks get warm, you set them down, you may not like one, they still count so we were glad we bought it. Lunch on the Lido deck we all chose guys burgers and fries and they were all great. We hung out all day by the pool, in the casino, walking around etc. We missed going under the sky bridge in Tampa as we were in the casino (woopsy) . Anyway this boat rocked alot more than other cruise ships I have been on. Sometimes you noticed it, but I just tried to not look out the windows as we moved and I was generally fine. I am also very sensative to sea sickness and I never heard anyone else complain about it. We met for early 6pm dinner in the main dining room Destiny. We sat the 5 of us and 3 lovely ladies from Virginia. Our two waiters were great and our drinks and apps were on the table in 5 min. All our meals in the main dining room were very good! we did all pay $20 extra one night and got the filet and lobster and it did not disappoint. Day 2- arrive in Key west at noon, I really wished we got here sooner as it is very close to Tampa???? I was confused why the itinerary didnt allow more time at this port. Anyway we had a few cocktails on board and waited for the masses to fight their way off. We walked off at 12:50 ish and no lines. It rained all day in Key West but we did a little bar hopping and had fun anyway. Irish Kevins was for sure our favorite spot with the live singer/comedian guy. Got back on the little trolly thing around 3pm and went back to the ship. I will definately be back in Key West as it wasnt nearly enough time here. Got back went to casino (after we were like 12 miles out of course) and made it to the main dining room again for dinner. I say made it because it was a long day of drinking and some people wanted to nap! Food great again! Day 3- woke up around 8am, some ate breakfast (my husband and I don't really eat breakfast) Waited for most to get off the ship in CUBA, we got off around 11 am with absolutely no one in line. Customs took 30 seconds as did money exchange. Just to give an idea of how much you will need in Cuba, most of us took our $80 US and it was too much (for what we did). First of all DO NOT get suckered into buying an excursion if you want to just walk on your own!!!! Carnival will try and tell you that you have to check off "people to people" and book an excursion. We being in Cuba last year knew to check off "support the cuban people" option and you can totally just walk off. We walked to the main square accross from the ship and you will get a few locals asking if you want to pay $1 each and they will walk you around. We said no, but one guy seemed to never leave so what the heck we let him walk us around. He took us to a local John Lennon bar (dive bar but very cool!!) we all go cubra libras (rum and cokes) and were surprised it was $10 a drink!! We had one, felt very buzzed and moved on to the next stop. We walked through beautiful streets, saw the market, other squares, local people living life. It was great. Ernest Hemingway bar right near the port was our fave as it had live cuban music and here a round of drinks for 5 people was $7.50 US. Or $7.50 CUC. Totally cheap and fun here. We danced and walked around some more. We all tipped our guy $25 US and he was more than happy I am sure. Got back on the boat and only 2 made it to dinner.... Day 4 - Cozumel- We arrived at 12:45pm to port and we chose again to wait an hour before getting off to avoid the crowd. We had booked El Cid's for the twilight day pass as our ship was here 1pm to 9pm. No other day pass resorts were offering this late day pass. It was $65 each I think?? MAKE SURE you bring the printed piece of paper with your reservation or they will make you print it at the hotel. We had drinks, food (good food) towels, pool, snokeling, all included. It was a fun day! The shopping area right a the ship is awesome, I thought it was beautiful clean and lots to do. We were back on the ship around 6 as we are wimps of the sun and apparently cannot drink too much in the sun. Day 5- day at sea, usual activities, silly games by the pool, lots of food.... I dont really know as I was burnt from Mexico and did not hang around outside. We were mostly hanging around the casino area/American bar. Now 3 of us were smokers and even as a smoker I will say that this small one side of the bar and in the casino were always VERY smoky.. The air suckers in this area seemed to not work. This was also the area that they had the trivia games which we LOVED!! So much fun. But dang do something with the smoking vents! CASINO!!!!- Ok we hung out here ALOT!!! Like every day for a long time especially at night. We usually go to Greektown Casino in our hometown near Detroit. We usually hit at greektown pretty much every time we are there so we think it is the loosest best slots in the world lol . This casino was pretty close. It is small but it pays good!!! Every single time you sat down people were hitting like crazy! My husband probably won $1000 a day on slots easily. I couldnt believe it . I loved playing roulette with our group. I won one of the pong games in the casino where they called my name and I had to throw one out of ten ping pong balls into a gift bag with money on it. I won $75 it was fun. Overall the wait staff was fantastic, you always had a drink in your hand, we never waited once at any of the bars nor in the casino. Dinner service was fast, we never waited more than 10 min for dinner. I couldn't believe we were on the same cruise that people were ripping on the slow service and crappy food. We did not think this at all. Look , don't expect Ruth's Chris style meals, expect more like outback or Texas Road House lol. Then you will not be disappointed. This boat is small and therefore you won't get lost and everything is easy to get to. Having said that it is small and can sometimes feel like there is not much to do. There is not much craziness going on near the pool, which I like sometimes. We NEVER had a problem getting a chair, there were never any big drunks partying like it was springbreak. There was no more than 20 kids on the whole ship. It was just a great cool crowd of people. Cabin review is next.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I found this ship lacking in many areas. Needs updating and some maintenance as well. The things I didn't care fore were as follows: Lido deck pool area was covered with a glass dome. Only one small panel was open. We are cruising ... Read More
I found this ship lacking in many areas. Needs updating and some maintenance as well. The things I didn't care fore were as follows: Lido deck pool area was covered with a glass dome. Only one small panel was open. We are cruising the Caribbean, not the arctic. I like to get some sun on my pasty white body while lounging by the pool on sea days. The aft-Lido deck pool was more a ditch - not a pool. It was barely 2 feet wide and about 30 feet long with maybe 6 inches of water in it. This is not a pool so why advertise it as such. Cabin entrance was very narrow with a bathroom door on the left and several closet doors on the right upon entering the cabin. You can't open both at the same time and if someone is standing near the closet doors when someone else comes out of the bathroom, someone will get hurt. The tub in the bathroom was also very deep and difficult to get in and oRust was visible here and there and other cosmetic things. The crew, for the most part. was great. Very responsive to customer needs. There were some servers in the buffet at breakfast who were a little cranky and this was also seen at the Sea View Bar a couple of times as well. Otherwise, all were very customer focused. The food was generally very good and Holland Am. has finally fixed their Pizza parlour :) They used to have some sort of odd cornmeal based crust but now have a nice thin crust model. It was very tasty and always made fresh for you. Oddly enough. I found the bed uncomfortable. Not sure why as it felt soft and plush but each morning when I woke up, I felt stiff and a little sore for awhile. The entertainment we saw was quit good. We enjoyed the comedian and the magician shows. Getting on and off the ship was efficient and quick. We didn't really take advantage of any excursions offered through the ship so I can comment on those. Overall, we had a great holiday. We always do but this ship was lacking in a number of areas. I understand it is going to Europe soon and I hope they do a little maintenance work before launching over there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Second spring break in a row doing this particular cruise, same ship, with two of my three kids (this time my 8 and 5 yr old boys) while my wife and daughter attended to family business elsewhere. Picked it again for the same reasons ... Read More
Second spring break in a row doing this particular cruise, same ship, with two of my three kids (this time my 8 and 5 yr old boys) while my wife and daughter attended to family business elsewhere. Picked it again for the same reasons we picked it last year: classic ship feel of the Rotterdam; quiet, clean familiarity of the surroundings; low hassle way to get out on the open sea. Crew did even one better by getting a live feed of the NCAA regional finals, and then doing the muster drills in port in between the two Sunday games. The only downer: Devils losing to Sparty during our first two hours at sea . . . My boys loved it (my 8 yr old's first time aboard, my 5 yr old's second), particularly the pool, and the towel origami from our stateroom attendant Rifky. Ate Lido the entire cruise - given the number of different main courses each night, it is possible to go a seven night cruise and not eat the same thing twice for dinner - and the food as always was top flight for us. Did dolphin watch and snorkel in Key West - got a good up close look at a pod of 6-8 dolphins then did some snorkeling with my boys; we did the waterfall hike and splashed in a couple freshwater pools at the Cerro San Gil Nature Reserve in Guatemala (kids ended up playing with frogs and snails); spent the day at Mahogany Bay Beach in Honduras (my five year old caught what I thought was an eel - till he put it back in the water and it turned back into a sea horse); and did the Mayan adventure water park in Costa Maya. My wife was amazed at how uncrowded everything looked both on the ship and during our excursions. Biggest crowds in fact were in Clearwater, where we spent Saturday doing the marine hospital (made famous by the Dolphin Tale star), then cycling to Clearwater Beach. Spent Sunday before the cruise cycling the Tampa Riverwalk from the Barrymore Hotel to the cruise ship terminal and then back before boarding. Embarkation and disembarkation in Tampa is always easy. Scuttlebutt is that Rotterdam is being repositioned back to Europe at the end of April, and that HA has nothing out of Tampa scheduled for the time being for 2020. I sure hope that changes, because these weeks aboard the Rotterdam have become a true highlight for my children and myself, and I dread having to haul down to Ft. Lauderdale, which I understand is the total opposite of Tampa in terms of ship sizes and crowd density. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose as the dates were right, price was right and we only live 45 minutes from Tampa and so port was right. Great ship, lots to do, lots of bars, entertainment and loads of food! Only bad part was not enough for 12 and 14 year old boy ... Read More
We chose as the dates were right, price was right and we only live 45 minutes from Tampa and so port was right. Great ship, lots to do, lots of bars, entertainment and loads of food! Only bad part was not enough for 12 and 14 year old boy to do. They didn't want to go to the teen hangout and so got a bit bored at the day at sea but still had fun. Loved the food (Especially all the desserts)! Had a great day in Cozumel, we hired a private taxi as there were 6 of us, Tour Plaza. They took us all round the island and stopped at the chocolate factory (my kids favorite), tequila tasting (our favorite), mayan ruins and at a private beach club for lunch and a swim. Just wasn't enough time to enjoy the island enough. Our service on the cruise was excellent. We even coped with our cabin space (4 in a cabin was not exactly spacious but OK for 4 nights). Our waiters in the dining room were great and all went out of their way for us all. Particularly Kevin and Swapneel (I think shortened to Neil)! Would definitely go on another cruise with Royal Caribbean, just maybe with adults next time, or when my kids are a little older and will enjoy hanging out with teens more! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Living close to Tampa, I enjoy being able to jump on a ship just to cruise. The Rotterdam reminded me of why I like HAL. It is a smaller ship with fewer people and more room to just sit and relax. During the day there was always a place ... Read More
Living close to Tampa, I enjoy being able to jump on a ship just to cruise. The Rotterdam reminded me of why I like HAL. It is a smaller ship with fewer people and more room to just sit and relax. During the day there was always a place I could go and sit to read my book. This ship has the old library setup, separate from the Crows Nest. I much prefer this, as it still has books you want to read. The staff has mingled the paperbacks that passengers donated with the hard backed books first set up by The New York Times. Although the Eames chairs are gone, there are six recliners. One was broken but if you got there early, you had a comfortable seat. Of course, games are set up here and it did get a bit noisy. It is spring break and we had lots of children, some rowdy. The Ocean Bar was another quiet place. The staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful. Every morning in the Lido, coffee and juice was brought to the table. Our room steward was very attentive and could not do enough for us. Dinners were good but you never knew what size/portion you would receive. The wiener schnitzel was huge but the scallop brioche was one scallop and two shrimp on rice. Too small! Of course you can always ask for more. The things I miss are shows with singers and dancers, more than just three or four flavors of ice cream on the Lido deck, ice sculptures, and eggs benedict with crab, etc. It seems like HAL is cutting back on the small extras and nice touches from past years. I am getting old, I remember Midnight Buffets! All in all, if you like smaller ships, the Rotterdam will meet your needs. I enjoyed my cruise but will not pay for the Spa's relaxation room again. There were just too many people booked. I could not get a heated lounger twice, and the room only has a small hot tub that is not jetted. I don't use the Steam Room so I don't feel it is worth the cost. I will miss HAL when it leaves Tampa at the end of this year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We decided to book this trip as we had never spent any extended time in the Caribbean. This cruise worked because it coincided with my spring break. Having traveled previously with Norwegian we knew what to basically expect. Embarkment ... Read More
We decided to book this trip as we had never spent any extended time in the Caribbean. This cruise worked because it coincided with my spring break. Having traveled previously with Norwegian we knew what to basically expect. Embarkment was a disaster, never have experienced such confusion, or long lines in our previous four cruises. We arranged for the shuttle from the airport to the dock, via Norwegian, that part of the experience was fine, easy and moved smoothly. The bus dropped us off in front of the line that was wrapped around the street...but we still waited about an hour to get on the ship. During this extended time porters kept coming up to us asking us for tips....it was crazy, as the porters hadn't moved any of our luggage. The porters kept asking their supervisor to tell us to tip them. We are generous tippers but this was outrageous. Thankfully the weather was beautiful but I can only imagine how troublesome this would be if it was raining or cold. For those of you who have cruised with Norwegian before you may want to rethink cruising out of TAMPA. Also Haven members have to wait in this long line as well...as do people who have "priority embarkment privileges". Your priority starts once you get upstairs in the port building. The rest of the trip was fine, and we enjoyed ourselves. We enjoyed our speciality meals at Teppanyaki, and Cagney's. Moderno's was a disappointment but because we weren't paying for it didn't bother us to much. Lunch at Summer Palace was great and not crowded at all, and we also enjoyed lunch at Lotus Garden. As stated earlier we spent a lot of time in OSheehan's watching the NCCA basketball tournament. This was fun but the menu never changed. I never tried the breakfast buffet, lunches at the Great Outdoors was better than those offered at the pool. The pool deck was always packed and some days it was difficult to find a lounge chair. People would get up very early to grab a chair. Tip, put a few personal items on the chair and the pool people cant remove them. There is suppose to be a two hour rule, but it was not enforced. My one complaint was there was always a line at the pool bars and there didn't seem to be enough crew to handle the crowds. On previous cruises with NCL I don't recall this being the case. Internet was spotty, that was to be expected. Shout out to Mark at OSheehan's great bar tender and enjoyed our conversations with him. Shows were OK and musical performers were hit or miss. The comedian was a hoot. Enjoy a cocktail in the Spinnaker's lounge before dinner, such a great spot. This might be out last NCL cruise as I think we enjoy the River Cruises more, better attention, service, decor and food. It is true you get what you pay for...having said that it was still a wonderful vacation and nice to get away from the cold. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I recently cruised on the Carnival Miracle and had a great time. The ship itself is very ornate and gawdy, but that is part of its charm. We found the common areas to be kept up and well maintained. Embarkation was not as ... Read More
My husband and I recently cruised on the Carnival Miracle and had a great time. The ship itself is very ornate and gawdy, but that is part of its charm. We found the common areas to be kept up and well maintained. Embarkation was not as smooth or fast as a Royal Caribbean cruise I had recently taken, but was not horrible. We had a fifth deck balcony cabin that was spacious enough with a comfortable king bed. Our cabin steward, Lasmana, was fabulous and kept our cabin in great shape and was responsive to all of our needs. We ate in the main dining room for all but a couple of lunches and found the food to be consistently good and the waitstaff professional. The food was so good that we felt no need to eat anywhere else. We had chosen "your time" dining and as such, we were able to get to know several other couples over the course of the week. We very much enjoyed the breakfasts in the main dining room and would highly recommend the house made granola which was a great snack to take on excursions (we had brought our own ziplock bags). On sea days, we hung out on the Serenity Deck, over 21 only, and read our books and used the hot tub. We never had any problem getting a seat under the covered portion of the deck as long as we got there by mid-morning. As for entertainment, we really enjoyed the Daft Sailors in the Red Frog Pub and spent most of our evenings there. We did excursions in all four ports and enjoyed them all. We booked none of them through Carnival but all were very diligent about getting us back to the ship on time. We highly recommend Roatan by Land and Sea in Roatan which we booked through Vacations To Go. The only negative I can think of was the muster exercise, only because so many guests selfishly did not show to muster on time, which caused the rest of us to have to stand and wait for them to be paged repeatedly. This was frustrating for those of us who managed to get there as directed. Perhaps Carnival would do well to not open the bars until after muster since so many adults had trouble with this. Definitely take your own luggage off the ship as opposed to putting it outside the cabin door for the crew to take. We used the gym three times but the elliptical machines' touch screens were frustratingly non-responsive and clearly in need of updating, but we made the best of it. The weights portion of the gym was very good. We were often aware of the movement of the ship so would recommend prescription scopolamine transdermal patches if prone to seasickness. We wore them for the entire cruise and had no problem. Overall, we would highly recommend this ship and this itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I was looking for a cruise that was low-key, relaxing, yet helped me check off some things on my bucket list. I was interested in the ports that this cruise took and I'll just say I was not disappointed! The ship itself was very ... Read More
I was looking for a cruise that was low-key, relaxing, yet helped me check off some things on my bucket list. I was interested in the ports that this cruise took and I'll just say I was not disappointed! The ship itself was very nice - the kids had a great time at the pool, they really liked the fun activities and the friendly people at the "Splash Academy" kids club. The food was great - the kids lived on ice cream and pizza while we were able to enjoy some very nice meals at the complimentary and paid restaurants. The shows were great, we always found something to do whether just walking the decks, watching a movie, bowling, shuffleboard, giant checkers. The only complaint I would have is that the pool deck was extremely crowded at all times, but that's to be expected on a sunny cruise. So many people saved their seats on deck and left for lunch or activities and you couldn't take their seats which we didn't think was fair, but that's how it works. Also - getting on the boat and off the boat wasn't great - we waited in line for a very long time (over an hour) to get both on and off the boat. I don't know if that had to do with the cruise line though, or the Tampa port itself, but I didn't remember having to wait that long when we went on our Alaskan cruise through another cruise line. Our shore excursions were definitely the highlight! The bought all of our excursions through the cruise line itself which was the way to go - one of our excursions ran long because our small boat had engine issues so we were late getting back, but we were with a big group from the ship so they waited for us. The staff was very friendly - we enjoyed the entire trip immensely! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the first cruise for our family (mom, dad, and kids ages 12, 15, and 17). It exceeded our expectations in every way and we are looking forward to cruising again with RC. Rhapsody is apparently an older and smaller ship that lacks ... Read More
This was the first cruise for our family (mom, dad, and kids ages 12, 15, and 17). It exceeded our expectations in every way and we are looking forward to cruising again with RC. Rhapsody is apparently an older and smaller ship that lacks most of the amenities of the newer and larger ships in the RC fleet. However, there was plenty to do on board with the shows, pool, and games/activities. The food in the main dining room and buffet was excellent. My wife has a severe wheat allergy and she had no problems finding gluten free food on board. Our waiter went out of his way to accommodate her and there were many good gluten free options at the buffet too. One concern at the buffet was cross-contamination, but this did not turn out to be an issue. Overall, the service was outstanding and the waiters, servers, and staff aboard the ship were friendly and met our every need. Our kids did not like the teen activities aboard the ship, but they did participate in most of the games, trivia, and shows and (of course) swimming and rock climbing. We did not drink alcohol or gamble so I can't comment on that aspect of the cruise. Shore excursions: Kohunlich and Dzibanche Mayan ruins is an excursion from Costa Maya. This is a combined excursion in which you see both sites, not just the Kohunlich site. Our family (including the kids) loved this excursion. The bus ride to the pyramids is about 2 hours, but in the process you get to see a lot of the region including many non-touristy Mexican villages. The guide also provides you with a lot on information about the region and Mayan history and culture. The best part about this trip was that there were so many ruins to explore and so few people at the sites. In most cases, our group of about 20 people were the only people at the sites. I think this is because we did not go on the shorter (Kohunlich only) excursion and the sites were far from the cruise port. We also liked the fact that you can climb the ruins and take awesome pictures. The two sites (which are about a 15 min drive part) are awesome. The tour gives you snacks, a sandwich, and plenty of bottled water which is also nice. Overall, this day long excursion is outstanding and is much better than staying in Costa Maya which seems to be a tourist trap. Barrier reef snorkeling is an excursion from Belize City. You take a tender boat from the ship to a private island about 30 mins away. The island is very small and beautiful. They provide you with snorkeling equipment, split you into groups about about 20-25 and then lead your around the reef. If you are inexperienced (like us), you can use a life vest to float. More experienced snorkelers were separated into a different group. Our group consisted of two guides who pointed out fish, coral, and other sea creatures (e.g., barracuda, sting ray) and sometimes picked them up so we could touch them (e.g., star fish). There are also several people in kayaks watching over us to make sure everyone is safe. Overall, it was a lot of fun. After snorkeling, you can swim, relax on the beach, or drink Belize bottled Cokes. The trip home on the tender as awesome too because everybody got some rum punch. Yes, I do mean everybody! Beach horseback ride and swim is an excursion out of Roatan. You take a small van on a 30 minute ride to the beach on the other side of the island. In the process, you get to see some pretty impoverished areas of Roatan. The private beach itself is absolutely beautiful. Be aware that you will need to bring some money with you to rent a locker ($10) and water shoes ($3) if needed. You may also want money for food and drinks. We spent 1 hour swimming and looking at crabs, fish, and other sea creatures after our horse ride. The horse ride itself is about 45 minutes long and a lot of fun - especially when the horses wade in the water. None of us are expert riders and we had no problem. The guide will walk with you and provide you with any help you need. They offer pictures for $100 (54 pictures total), which is a lot, but the pictures themselves were outstanding. My wife and I agree that this location (and pictures) were the prettiest of the entire trip. The amazing secret river is an excursion offered out of Cozumel. You take a ferry from Cozumel to the mainland (Playa del Carmen) and then a short bus ride to the secret river. The total trip to the Secret River is approximately 45-55 mins. The secret river itself is absolutely beautiful - perhaps the highlight of our trip. We were split into small groups of about 10 people with 1 guide. They provide helmets, wet suits, life vests, water shoes, towels, lockers - everything you need at no additional charge. The views inside the cave are incredible. You can walk on dry land or wade through 1-2 feet of water in most of the cave, but there are portions that you must swim too. You do not have to to be athletic to participate, but you cannot be scared of water or claustrophobic. I am not a good swimmer and I had no problem floating with the life vest. After the hike, they give some Mayan liquor to drink and an excellent Mexican meal at no additional charge. Then, they take you back to Playa del Carmen to shop for about 1 hour and take the ferry back to Cozumel and the ship. Overall, the experience was excellent and the company that ran the secret river tour was second to none. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Bad stuff: The food doesn't change, and the dishes served are butchered horribly. The tip is forced onto you no matter what. Maybe instead of putting the responsibility of sustaining the staff financially on the customers, the NCL ... Read More
Bad stuff: The food doesn't change, and the dishes served are butchered horribly. The tip is forced onto you no matter what. Maybe instead of putting the responsibility of sustaining the staff financially on the customers, the NCL could actually pay their employees. The excursions are ridiculously boring, since everything is staged for wealthy tourist entertainment. You will not see any of the real culture anywhere. The best part is that on top of paying $2000+ for your trip you will not be able to see anything at all unless you are willing to put down another $500-$1000 for the excursions. Day activities were often cancelled due to wind like they don't know that there will obviously be wind in the middle of the Carribean. Good stuff: The gym is excellent. Every new day included group workouts and yoga sessions, as well as open gym time. The equipment is in very good state. The night entertainment is very diverse and the staff is very nice and kind. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 7th cruise 4th on Carnival. It was a great experience. Not the biggest ship and not the smallest. Ship is well kept and food was good. Best part is no lines like others. Our waiter Narcisco was awesome. Our room steward ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise 4th on Carnival. It was a great experience. Not the biggest ship and not the smallest. Ship is well kept and food was good. Best part is no lines like others. Our waiter Narcisco was awesome. Our room steward unfortunately was awful. He was never around and didn't clean during the set times. We are used to twice a day and we received one a day and varied between 11-6. Good comedy act's. Shows were just OK. We brought our college student daughter and she loved everything. Late night activities were good for her. She enjoyed the clubs. Ports and excursions were very good. We were not disappointed. Jolly Rogers in Roatan was the best. We also did snuba in Cozumel it was good but waiting for the boat ride back was a long wait. I really enjoyed the new disembarkation process. Although had to wait on ship thru customs was great. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Our group of 5 made a last-minute decision to book this cruise, and we grabbed what seemed to be one of the last 2 or 3 cabins available about 2 weeks before departure. A few days later, we then added another cabin for 2 grandparents who ... Read More
Our group of 5 made a last-minute decision to book this cruise, and we grabbed what seemed to be one of the last 2 or 3 cabins available about 2 weeks before departure. A few days later, we then added another cabin for 2 grandparents who wanted to join as well. I was shocked that our family of 5 (mom, dad, and kids ages 14, 11, and 7) would be able to fit in one cabin, but we did. We would have happily booked a second cabin if it were possible, but it wasn't; certain cabins are apparently designated for certain sized groups, even though I would later find out that all of the cabins (except for the suites) are essentially the same size. For example, there was a period of several days where we couldn't add the 2 grandparents because the only availability was a 5-person room, even though we told Carnival on the phone that we'd pay for 3 additional "phantom children" in that room if necessary (the kids were only $100 or $200 extra each). Luckily a 2-person room later opened up. Embarkation was a breeze, however I was surprised that most of the employees at the port were not very friendly, except for the porters -- who were very nice. Maybe the other employees were tired by the time we arrived at 12:30pm from having to deal with another cruise's disembarkation that morning, followed by our cruise embarking in the afternoon - but whatever the case, it left me wondering what the level of service was going to be on the cruise. In the end, the embarkation process was very easy, and the crew on board ended up being exceptionally nice. Because we were taking a private tour in Havana led by a Cuban tour guide, we filled out our affidavits by choosing "People to People" under option 1, and then "Support of the Cuban People" under option 2. The cruise itself was fine (2.5 out of 5 stars), but our family probably wouldn't do it again. The Negatives were: *It was very much a Spring Break cruise, with lots of families (like ours) and lots of people in their 20s. During the embarkation day and the 2 sea days, the ship was very crowded. The buffet restaurant, the pool, and the main common areas were almost unmanageable. We tried to join one of the games (a Hasbro trivia game) on the first night, but there were over 100 people who showed up, and the moderator told everyone to split into 4 teams - meaning 25 people per team who would be answering trivia questions; and so we wound up not joining. It got to the point that although I wanted to try the various trivia options and other games each day, we didn't because it was just too crowded. The only thing that wasn't really crowded was the casino (which was nice). *I was disappointed with the prices of most things. Eg., the wifi was expensive and limited to just a single device, and there was no free way to use phones among friends or family members while on board (friend chat was $5). It seemed that everything was an attempt to nickel or dime the passengers. E.g., the Build-a-Bear event was $26 per bear. *The bingo was outrageously priced, and the prizes were very low in comparison to the amount of money Carnival must have collected from card sales - what a cash cow for Carnival. We paid over $100 for 3 of us to play; there were probably 300 people in the room who each paid $30-40 to pay. The 3 prizes ended up totaling $1,000 -- and even if the last winner had achieved a black-out on their card in 49 numbers or less and therefore ended up winning the big prize of $2,000, that still would have been only $2,700 in prize money -- compared to over $10K in board sales for that single session. We did not end up playing the next 2 sessions of bingo. *The food did not meet my expectations. The buffet food was generally unappetizing, and the buffet always seemed to be crowded - with very long lines. I couldn't manage to get pizza during the entire cruise. I finally managed to get a taco salad my last day when the line disappeared for a few minutes, but the food was underwhelming. The dining room was much better, but again, not what I would have expected from the dining room. I thought the quality of the dining room food should have been what was in the buffet, and the dining room food should have been better. The boat doesn't have any specialty restaurants (except for the captain's dinner on a couple of the nights), but we knew that going in. *On the first day and on the 2 sea days, there were chunks of time where our family was left wondering what to do. There weren't a wide array of activities to try or sample. The Positives were: *The 4 Cuba lectures by Heidi Siefkas were incredible. She really enhanced the entire Cuba experience. *Camp Ocean was great for my 7- and 11-year-olds. They went there for a few hours most of the days and had a great time. I was disappointed that during the last sea day, it was closed from 2:30pm until 7pm -- which you would think would be prime time for it to be open. *Carnival waterworks (water slides and splash pad) was fun, but we managed to go only during the Cozumel port day, when most everyone else was off the boat. The swimming pool was very small for the number of people, and as mentioned, it was completely unusable except during the 2 port days because it was so crowded. But on the Cozumel port day, we had a blast using it. *The staff was so incredibly nice - I don't think I saw anybody without a smile or a kind word on board. *The musicians, the production shows, and the comedians were good. Not great by any means, but very enjoyable for the whole family. *Guy's Burgers were excellent. *The buffet offered a vegan burger at every seating - which was much appreciated by the vegan member in our group. The dining room was also excellent about accommodating vegan requests (in advance), and all of the vegan food was apparently delicious. *The Port Day in Havana was awesome - and it was the real reason we chose this cruise. What an opportunity to spend a full day in Havana. (The official shore excursions were outrageously priced, and so we wound up getting a private tour for about 20-25% of the cost.) *The Port Day in Cozumel was great for our family because we stayed on the ship (except for a couple of hours) and had run of the place to ourselves. It was a fun time to use the pool and eat in the dining room without fighting the lines. The Neutrals were: *The boat was quite small, which was a positive and a negative. It was nice to be able to get anywhere in less than 5 minutes. But because it was so small, the ship felt very crowded most of the time. The elevators were very slow except on the 2 port days, and so we took the stairs most of the time. We learned to get to the shows, etc. at least 15-20 minutes in advance to make sure we got a seat. We definitely felt movement from the ship in the water, but some Dramamine helped us from having any real problems. *The stateroom was fine. Most people say that the only thing you do in your room is sleep, and so who cares if you sleep 5 in a single room. Well, that would have been true if there had been more uncrowded activities to try on board. As it was, we did spend some chunks of each sea day (and the first day) in our room, which was quite boring. But at the same time, I don't think we needed a second cabin for our family - the one cabin worked just fine for our family. Disembarkation was very frustrating until we actually got off the ship and into the terminal. I couldn't believe how disorganized things seemed on board. Surely there is a better way to get people off the boat without having them wait in line for 30-45 minutes dragging their bags. Once we actually got off the ship, the process was very easy, and the employee at the port were incredibly friendly (as compared to the employees on embarkation day). Some tips: *At Havana, the passengers with the official shore excursions get to leave the boat first, and the others have to wait. So although our ship arrived at port at 7am, our particular group did not get to leave the boat until about 9:30am. After going through immigration and changing our money, it turns out the 10am meeting time with our private guide was perfect. If you're not taking an official shore excursion, make sure you go to Deck 9 on the morning of Havana port day to get your disembarkation sticker. There are about 100 stickers for each letter of the alphabet; and starting at about 6:15am, they start giving away the stickers, starting with the letter A. One person from your group can go to get the stickers for the whole group. I showed up around 7:30am and got Letter L for all 7 of us. Had I been a Letter A sticker, I would have disembarked at about 8am. As it worked out, Letter L was just fine, as it allowed us to sleep in a bit, and still get breakfast on board before getting off the ship. *We loved the Your Time Dining option rather than the fixed-time dining. Some nights we ate dinner right at 5:45pm so that we could make the 7:15pm show, but one of the nights we didn't eat until closer to 8:30pm. It was nice to have the flexibility. *The library was well stocked with board games (Battleship, Monopoly, Cranium) and books, but no playing cards. *We ended up using the stairs most of the time given that the elevators were so busy most of the time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise as it was during spring break for our kids. The four night cruise had only one Port of call (Cozumel) and two sea days. We prepaid our parking using Park Connect and walked to the ship in less than 15 minutes. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was during spring break for our kids. The four night cruise had only one Port of call (Cozumel) and two sea days. We prepaid our parking using Park Connect and walked to the ship in less than 15 minutes. Embarkation in Tampa was smooth, which surprised us as we were told the Coast Guard was doing an inspection and we could not board until noon. Some of the local security people must have been having a bad day cos they seemed angry and pushy. I assumed that would make it super crowded, which was not the case at all. We were told that Emerald level cabins would be ready when we boarded. This was not true, so just beware. All cabins are ready at the same time. Brilliance is a beautiful ship, the Centrum prettier than many I've seen. Dining room service was excellent; food was pretty good. Maybe I am spoiled, but it seems the food isn't as "special" as it once was (I haven't cruised in over a year) and the meals seemed a bit rushed to me (5:30 seating). Was not thrilled with our time in Cozumel as we booked a private jeep tour of the island. Very disappointed in that, but it was not the fault of RCCL. Greedy vendors at every turn took our time and frankly ruined our day. I did not expect that (should have). If I ever return to Cozumel, I will book excursion through the cruise line. (The jeep tour vendor is a TripAdvisor company so it surprised me it wasn't better!) Debarking was also smooth (we carried our luggage off ourselves) and Customs was a breeze (no more customs forms!! YEAH). All in all, a good cruise - weather was great, thank you Father God! Will I do it again? You betcha! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a good itinerary (Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya Mexico, Roatan Honduras, George Town Grand Cayman) on a nice sized ship for a first cruise. This trip worked well into our schedule as it was during our school March Break so my ... Read More
This was a good itinerary (Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya Mexico, Roatan Honduras, George Town Grand Cayman) on a nice sized ship for a first cruise. This trip worked well into our schedule as it was during our school March Break so my wife was able to take a break without having to book vacation time (very difficult when you work in a school). Lots of activities on board, lots to see and do if wanted, good shore excursions offered and the chance to get away for a week with no worries. Embarkation was a cattle call. I have not experienced something quite so painful in many years, however given the number of guests trying to get on board in such a short time, I guess I should have expected it. The queues for getting through security were way over the top - the terminal in Tampa is not well configured or equipped to handle the number of people going through security. Checking in was a breeze compared to 45 minutes getting through security. Once on board, getting to our cabin was fairly easy, however the maps for the cabin decks have the floorplans reversed which caused us to go the wrong way (this happened frequently when going to a new part of the ship). Accurate / more signage would have been helpful for us first timers, or something sent to us prior to embarkation advising us where we would be getting on the ship and the embarkation process so that we know what to expect. Once we had made it to our cabin, the trip seemed to get better. After the muster call, we toured the ship to orient ourselves and found most of the maps helpful, even though they are sometimes reversed. The weather cooperated well and we had generally calm weather with smooth seas. Entertainment was good, lots of food choice, very few lines and really not much waiting for activities or service. Overall, a very pleasant vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion Was worth every penny! Daniel the Jaguar was a wonderful guide. My husband and I learned so much and Daniel was super fun and knowledgeable. The ruins were beautiful! We took beautiful pictures. The busses ... Read More
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion Was worth every penny! Daniel the Jaguar was a wonderful guide. My husband and I learned so much and Daniel was super fun and knowledgeable. The ruins were beautiful! We took beautiful pictures. The busses to get to and from were georgeous and clean with perfect air conditioning. Salvatore was a great driver. This excursion was very safe and secure. This was the highlight of our honeymoon! The crew on rhapsody was very friendly and accommodating. Shoutout to Max and John the baristas! Also to Adriana, the dining room hostess on the 5th floor, and the servers Dominic and Paul Dan. The ship is smaller, but it’s wonderful for just relaxing, and a little older without all the bells and whistles of the bigger ships. However it’s elegant and charming. I had sinus problems on this cruise probably from something blooming in the jungle in spring, but the medical staff gave me something that really helped. Roatan port is extremely small, but we still had fun. Cozumel was a total blast! Hubby scuba dived in Belize, but I stayed on the ship that day. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise on a non-Oasis class ship, and it did not disappoint! Ship: The ship is beautifully maintained despite how old she is. You can see some rust on the outside but the inside is pretty updated! Obviously the ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a non-Oasis class ship, and it did not disappoint! Ship: The ship is beautifully maintained despite how old she is. You can see some rust on the outside but the inside is pretty updated! Obviously the technology isn’t up to par with her larger sisters, but that’s totally fine! Rooms were nice, pillows and mattresses were comfortable. Cabin: The cabins were smaller than we expected, but we got used to them by the next day. We weren't in them very often anyway. Nicely maintained and our room steward was great! Embarkation/Disembarkation: Super smooth and easy. Seapass cards were given to us at check-in, so they have not updated the process yet like on the larger ships. We self-disembarked as well so getting off the ship was easy too. Food/Bars: Windjammer was decent, MDR was great as always. Bars and bartenders were quick to serve and were personable as well. After day 2, they practically knew you by name and orders! VOOM: My only complaint is how bad the wifi connection was. We were constantly disconnected from it, so much that I had our access code memorized by day 3. We got VOOM to stay in touch on board and with family back at home...made it quite a struggle when we separated and tried to text each other where we were...to get the text 3hrs later when we had already found each other Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This trip was the time of my life. I had a great time. I went for Spring Break and I am in my early twenties. Before the cruise, I had grown skeptical due to the size and age of the ship. I noticed that there weren't as many ... Read More
This trip was the time of my life. I had a great time. I went for Spring Break and I am in my early twenties. Before the cruise, I had grown skeptical due to the size and age of the ship. I noticed that there weren't as many activities as the big ships had. Well, let me tell you, I was wrong. Even though there weren't as many things to do on a bigger ship I found myself occupied at all times. For one, if you drink at all, GET THE DRINKING PACKAGE. If you think you'll spend less money just purchasing the drinks on your own, then you're probably right, BUT it takes the motivation away of even drinking. I purchased the package and drank more than my money's worth and as freely as I wanted due to the fact of me knowing that it was already paid for. I 100% recommend the drinking package. IT IS WORTH IT. GET IT. The ship was nice and I had fun. The library had plenty of games and playing Jenga on a boat was so much fun. The cabin was good for what we paid for. I shared a room with 3 other people (4 in total) so we had two twin beds and two bunks. The beds were absolutely comfortable. Like amazing. The room service that cleaned was great as well, as they clean throughout whatever mess we had. Guy's Burger joint was SO GOOD. Cruise burgers are never great in my experience, however these burgers took the cake. They were great each time. There was also a 24 hour pizza place which was okay at night and great in the day time. The dining room was good. It isn't the best of quality food that you can get but this is a cruise ship. The Seaday brunch is better than the lunch buffet in my opinion even if some of the options are similar. When we got to Cozumel, we booked the trill & chill through carnival. This excursion was fun and tiring. The ropes are high but not as high as if you were to go zip lining in a forest. The snorkeling was fun as well. I also visited Fat Tuesdays and there was a party there. The club at night was very much fun as well. Great vibes and good music. This was a great cruise and I would go again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I spent 4 days on the Norwegian Pearl with a group of 11 other college students. We chose this cruise for its price, and because it would allow those in our group who were under 21 to cruise without their parents (we would have chosen ... Read More
I spent 4 days on the Norwegian Pearl with a group of 11 other college students. We chose this cruise for its price, and because it would allow those in our group who were under 21 to cruise without their parents (we would have chosen Carnival instead had they allowed it, I think). But this ended up being a really nice choice and despite some hurdles we all had a great time. The purchase and online check-in were pretty painless and straightforward. The cheapest option was to split our group into three groups of four in interior cabins. As Florida residents, we weren't interested in spending time in Tampa so we showed up close to departure. The check in process was pretty painless too, except for one member of our group who is in the US on a student visa. The check in desk bungled her process pretty badly and kept repeatedly telling her that her papers were expired even though she had everything together and it clearly said on the front of her papers that they weren't set to expire for quite a while. She spent a good half hour scared that she wasn't going to be allowed to get on the ship. When we got onboard we went straight to our cabins, which were a little cramped but still comfortable. Our room had two twin beds set up when we walked in and when we came back later our luggage had shown up and an attendant had set up a third bed in the middle and pulled a fourth bed down from the wall. Everyone had space to sleep but it was a little tricky managing four people plus four people's luggage in such a small area. It was a little disorienting to wake up at 10am and have your room be pitch black, but that comes with the territory of not having a window. The ship looks like it was decorated at least 20 years ago and some of the carpet is peeling but overall it was clean and nice to explore. The food is plentiful and pretty decent, and all the staff I met were very sweet. There are two pools on the top deck, and four hot tubs with a small covered stage in the middle. They blast music from there from 11 to 1 every day and it's a little obnoxious, but people have a pretty good time to it. The drinks are expensive and light. If you want a spot in a hot tub or a nice spot on the deck you have to get there early or fight for it. There are a lot of people who camp out in the hot tubs for hours and won't leave, and if there are too many in there a lifeguard will come over and tell you to clear out. They spend as much time doing that and patrolling the deck as they did watching the water, which peeved me a little as a lifeguard myself. There wasn't much going on in the pools, though, as they were pretty cold and the weather took a bit to warm up. Also, we didn't find out until we got onboard that this was supposed to be a Trailer Park Boys themed cruise that didn't sell out completely. That explained all the camo people were wearing. Probably about half the ship was there for that, a quarter were students on spring break, and the rest were families. The arcade was great fun and we played a lot of air hockey and guitar hero. We really enjoyed the rock wall too. Most of us only managed to attend one show on board - the magic show - which was cute but overall pretty mediocre. It felt a bit like we were just killing time. We showed up to the Spinnaker Lounge for a scavenger hunt event that seemingly never happened. The club is nice but the music is a bit iffy (a lot of Bruno Mars remixes, for some reason). So overall the entertainment provided was a bit scarce but we made our own fun. And there's plenty of room for it. The decks are great to explore and the ocean is really beautiful, plus you can play shuffleboard or giant chess while you're watching the horizon. The ship seems to shut down at night for cleaning so there are no chairs on deck or anything but the employees don't seem to mind if you're out there. As for the food, we had a dinner reservation at the Summer Palace dining room every night so we could all eat together. Every single night without fail they claimed that our reservation didn't exist. Luckily we had printed out papers that showed otherwise, but it was a bit annoying. We probably could have sat together on most nights without a reservation anyways since it seemed to be pretty empty. The food was pretty good but not great, but there was a lot of it and the staff were super sweet once we were sitting. We had lunch at Lotus Garden one day where the food was a bit disappointing, and had the rest of our meals at Summer Palace or the buffet. The soft serve machines sprinkled through the buffet were a big hit, as were the employees strumming a guitar at the entrance. We were supposed to hit Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island but got diverted due to weather. They automatically refunded our excursion reservations and we didn't have to do anything but wait to arrive somewhere else. We ended up spending about three hours in Freeport instead, where we took a taxi to the beach and had a great time. Most people were angry with how long it took to get off the boat (an extra 4 hours to get to Freeport, plus another 1.5 to set up the gangway) but I'm sure a lot of that was logistical considerations. It would have been nice if it had gone a bit more smoothly, but what can you do? Overall it was a nice first cruise experience and a really good time, especially for the price. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 7th cruise (DIsney, Celebrity, Holland, Royal Caribbean), but our first time with NCL. We are a married couple in our late 50s. We enjoyed the more casual, laid - back, freestyle experience. The Pearl, although not as ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise (DIsney, Celebrity, Holland, Royal Caribbean), but our first time with NCL. We are a married couple in our late 50s. We enjoyed the more casual, laid - back, freestyle experience. The Pearl, although not as "elegant" as some other ships, still is in good shape, clean and modern. The Pearl staff was very friendly and attentive, especially our cabin attendant, Daniella. The restaurants and food variety was good, but not as good as Celebrity or Disney. We ate at 2 specialty restaurants, Cagneys and Moderno. Cagneys was excellent, Modernos not as much (although a great salad bar). We loved the musical entertainment (Avalon, Roxie the guitarist, sing-a-long with Peter, DJ Tazz) and pool entertainment more than other cruise ships. The pool water was a nice temperature, not too cold. We could not go to the only scheduled port, Great Stirrup Cay, due to high winds/weather, but went to Freeport, Bahamas instead. Our time in port was much shorter due to the diversion to Freeport. We had a very negative experience with the excursion desk staff and lack of announcements regarding the port of call change. This cruise had many spring breakers and cruisers that were part of the "Trailer Park Boys" theme cruise, so the atmosphere was younger and more energetic which we enjoyed, but some cruisers could not handle their alcohol. We smelled the strong, persistent odor of marijuana emanating from some of the rooms, hallways and common areas, although we did actually witness any cruisers smoking marijuana. For people with sensitivity to smoke or asthma, it may have presented a problem. We took advantage of the free perk unlimited beverage package (alcohol, soda and juices) although it is not totally free since you are charged a service fee (approximately $160 for 2 adults). The service fee, though, was well worth the package. The theater entertainment was very average (husband and wife magician and a solo singer). There were no big production shows, maybe because the shorter length of the cruise and the "Trailer Park Boys" theme cruise using the theater for special events. If you are looking for a casual, lively and energetic cruise, please consider NCL. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our 3rd cruise (2nd with Carnival). We have done Alaska and Eastern Caribbean so we wanted to do the Western Caribbean. Neither of our kids had been on a cruise so we were taking them, 2 of their friends, and my in-laws over fall ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise (2nd with Carnival). We have done Alaska and Eastern Caribbean so we wanted to do the Western Caribbean. Neither of our kids had been on a cruise so we were taking them, 2 of their friends, and my in-laws over fall break. The cruise itself had many areas where it excelled and many that were absolutely horrible! First, the size of the ship. It seemed to be rather small than other ships we have been on. It allowed you to see the same people all the time and really get to know the other cruisers. We had a lot of fun with our fellow passengers and made some friends. Downfall to the size was we definitely felt the boat rocking!!! We do not get sea sick thankfully but I know a lot of the other passengers did. Food was horrible! I really didn’t enjoy the food on our last carnival cruise either but this time it was downright disgusting. Even the other restaurants where the food cost extra was not that great. The pizza place and cereal was pretty much the only thing we would eat. Every morning the eggs were soupy! At Dinner the lasagna was made with a meat like paste. Tried to stay safe with salad and the dressings had a fishy taste to them. I am definitely not a picky eater by any means! We got off the ship and immediately went to McDonalds cause we were starving. The service was AMAZING! Our dinner servers were the best! They had a plastic cup of chocolate milk waiting for my 3 year old every night. They would even get her things not on the kids menu if she asked for them. They put on a singing and dancing show every night which the kids loved! Our room steward was AMAZING!!! He always remembered our names. When he would make our daughter’s bed he would tuck in her dolly that she slept with every night. Room was always sooooo clean and inviting to come back to after dinner. We had to use the self laundry room one day as one of the kids spilled a drink on their blankie. It was easy to use and fairly inexpensive. I ended up washing everything and now I don’t have to do laundry when I get home! The stops this time were very disappointing as well. The Eastern Caribbean was so beautiful it’s hard to compare to them but the Western side was downright scary! We went to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Grand Cayman. Cozumel was great! Very clean and kid friendly. Lots of excursions available but plenty to do without excursions too. Locals were friendly and helpful. Found some great deals on jewelry there. Belize was the biggest disappointment! The water was so choppy all the excursions were cancelled. We had to dock about 15 minute boat ride from the shore. As soon as we got the shore you are hounded by locals trying to take you on excursions or sell you stuff. We would tell them no thank you and they kept following us and wouldn’t leave us alone. As I was standing with my teenage son we saw a shop owner grab a woman and her daughter by the arms and try to pull them into a shop. The daughter was crying and scared and they would not leave them alone! At one point we got turned around at a shop and came out an exit that put us behind a large fenced off area from the rest of the tourist area. Once we were behind that fence we knew it was unsafe and we were in danger. We had a leash on the back of our 3 year old’s back pack and the locals were trying to get us to let go of her. A man in an obviously fake police uniform was trying to separate me, my son, his 2 friends from my husband and daughter. He said we needed to go into an unmarked building for “security check point” but that my husband and daughter could stay outside and go through a fence. We ended up going into the building as they had guns. It was a room with no security at all and just 2 regular men. They told us to just exit out the back and when we did we were back on the right side of the fence. We put 2 and 2 together and realized they were just scoping us out to see if there was anything they could steal. We went back to the boat immediately following this. Total time on that stop was maybe an hour at most. When we got back to the ship we saw on our Carnival Hub App that there was a “safety warning” posted about Belize. This was not posted before we got off the ship that morning or in any of the reviews about their stops. We would have never got off the boat there if that were the case especially with young kids! When we got to Roatan the winds were so high they couldn’t port the ship at all so we kept moving on. It wasn’t until later that morning that we saw a safety warning come on the carnival hub app as well about Roatan. This would have been well after we were off the boat again if we had stopped. Other than that our cruise was fun!! There was plenty of activities (some that cost extra but mostly free). Camp Ocean for the little one was very trustworthy and my daughter seemed to want to go there more than swim or hang out with her parents. Gave us time to ourselves but also gave her something to do in doors and out of the sun when she needed a break. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
+I had never been on a cruise before let alone out of the United States of America. I chose this exciting cruise because of a combined decision among family members. The ship is not even the biggest ship offered, yet is still really large! ... Read More
+I had never been on a cruise before let alone out of the United States of America. I chose this exciting cruise because of a combined decision among family members. The ship is not even the biggest ship offered, yet is still really large! The state rooms were very clean and the staff members were lovely. Most of my meals were held at the Marketplace. The food had many options- some the same every day but definitely enough variety for me to enjoy the experience and not feel like I am eating the same thing every day. -There were two fires while I was on this ship. One was at 3am. This consisted of staff members and the captain over the loud speaker at 3 o clock in the morning. The way the staff handled the situation was great, however a fire in the incinerator at 3am is not always the best wake up call. The second fire had to do with the A/C units. I don't know how far the A/C outage occurred, but me and my floor did not have air conditioning for a night & half the next day. The last negative I have is that the bathroom toilet in my state room randomly did not have water flowing in it and would refuse to flush. This is gross and not acceptable for obvious reasons. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We went on this Cruise because the ship was just out of dry dock. We decided to try Carnival again ( we went on the Glory Carnival 2014). Our expectations were very low & we were surprised to see how beautiful & clean the ship was. ... Read More
We went on this Cruise because the ship was just out of dry dock. We decided to try Carnival again ( we went on the Glory Carnival 2014). Our expectations were very low & we were surprised to see how beautiful & clean the ship was. The staff everywhere were very helpful, pleasant & always there to help. TIPS: We had the Faster to the Fun- did get you on fast but our luggage wasn’t at the cabin on time. It did also help with disembarkment! We also had the “eat anytime” the lines were very long! ( FTTF) doesn’t work for restaurants on this ship! (Next cruise we’ll do a regular time slot) Do get the drink package & when at dinner ask for your bottle of water for your room or they charge you if you use the bottles in your room. Tell your room steward you want your room done twice a day & ask for a bucket of ice for your water.(we tipped him in the beginning of the cruise) He did a wonderful job! We also always bring singles with us! We tip after our drinks are served & you will see a difference in how you are treated. (This is on all cruise ships) Don’t go on carnival for great food! The food is ok. Nice they put the two new eateries on board. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife (44), 12 year old daughter, myself (45)and my 60 year old neighbor (who acts young for her age) chose this cruise due to the destinations and departure port. My friend who joined us was a platinum member so getting onto the ship ... Read More
My wife (44), 12 year old daughter, myself (45)and my 60 year old neighbor (who acts young for her age) chose this cruise due to the destinations and departure port. My friend who joined us was a platinum member so getting onto the ship was a breeze! We all found our staterooms to be adequate and clean. In a nutshell, the food was just okay in the dining hall, windjammer and room service. All of us had issues at one time or another. I will say our wait staff did their best to make everything right but they can only do so much. I have to lower my expectations because to think I’m going to get high quality food isn’t going to happen unless I am willing to pay even more by going to a restaurant onboard (and I’m not willing to do that). There wasn’t much for us to do on this ship. I felt like we were stuck at a bad wedding reception for 7 days. The entertainment is so outdated. If you want modern music/entertainment you have to stay up till 11 pm or later. The pool deck lacked good entertainment and things to do to engage the guests. The pool party under the stars was so dated! Again, think bad wedding reception! Full of dated line dancing and over the top emcees. We tried to participate but I have to tell you it was an effort. The average age was probably 55 on this ship and the entertainment was geared toward a much older crowd. The teen center was a joke. The 4 people in there on one night were glued to phones. My daughter looked at me with such disappointment it saddened me. She could only do the rock wall so much. The smoking in the casino was killing me!! I could only last a short time and my clothes smelled up my stateroom. The ports however were AWESOME! We enjoyed parasailing, stingrays, Starfish Island in Belize, and a Segway Tour in Costa Maya. We really enjoyed all the excursions. So to sum it up, we had good and not so good. I was happy with the cleanliness of the ship. I always saw people cleaning and sanitizing which gave me comfort. I would sail with Royal again but definitely on a ship geared toward my families interests. Given how much time you spend on the ship, what we (over) paid, what the ship offers is much more important than I originally thought....lesson learned. Finally, getting off the ship was a nightmare. Expect delays!! Read Less

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