My family and I have been cruising for the past 6 years and slowly the cruise group has gone from parents to friends to neighbours and so on. We booked this trip one year in advance because of the itinerary. The one thing I like about Carnival is the variety of itineraries that they have. We went to Fort Lauderdale on the Thursday before the cruise just to start the vacation a little early. I was the cruise director for this trip, which meant that I planned the whole trip from airfare to transportation from Canada to the airport and back!! ( will not do that again ). First beware of what you book on line for hotel rooms. We stayed at the Best Western Inn in Dania Beach. Good location with plenty of shopping and restaurants around. What i didn't check is when i booked the rooms it said smoking rooms. I thought that I had booked non smoking. The hotel itself is not bad for the price, but the rooms smelled terrible!! Its my fault so i cant blame anyone but me !!. I had also arranged transportation from the hotel to the pier for 21 people. When I booked VIP transportation they assured me that they could accommodate 21 people at the same time. This was not the case as a van that could only take 11 people came and the same van would come back and take the rest. This is not acceptable in my book as my 17 year old niece had to sit on my lap in order to accommodate everyone and the luggage!!! More on the return from VIP
Embarkation was a little like herding the cattle!! we all got separated and missed the group photo( not a big deal ). I do like that fact that Carnival allows you to bring on a 12 pack of pop per person this is a wonderful option. We just had to guard it with our life because everyone was asking where we got the pop. Once we were on the ship I noticed that they keep the doors to the cabin area closed till 130 and then you can bring your carry on luggage to the room. Our luggage arrived by 330 very impressed Carnival!!
Since this was March break for most Canadians we knew the ship would be full as we had teens our self on board. We have a 15 yr son and 17 yr daughter who acted better than most adults! I don't mind kids having fun , but when I see them disrespect the people who work so hard to make our experience a great one it made me ashamed to be a Canadian!!! Parents just watch you kids don't let them run up and down the hall way knocking on doors at all hours of the night and treat the staff with respect!!!.
The ports of Call: We are beach people so not much on the excursions can I talk about. I do love the beach at Grand Turk it was so pretty and right where the ship docked ! Dominican was different we did not get off the ship. we were told if you didn't have an excursion then not to go into town. We stayed on the ship and had a great time ! No chair hogs and had great seat in the back of the ship!
Curacao was very pretty! you have to walk across the floating bridge nice place to take photo's as well. We just shopped and walked around.
Aruba: We went to Eagle Beach . This beach is rated number 2 in the world and I can see why. You can walk for miles on the beach, beautiful sand very clean as well.
We have been on several cruises on Carnival and on this one we noticed some of the changes or maybe cuts! We did have a good cabin attendant Javier who tried his best and for the most part our room was clean. Our servers were the best we have ever had Ihar and Stephen were amazing and we were amazed that the first night they knew our names !!!We had a party of 21 That is a lot of names to remember ! The food was very good with a good variety each night. Our CD was great as well Brad from Canada was very friendly and always said hi to us when we saw him ( he even knew our names as well). We really like the comedians instead of the shows. They had new comedians on every couple of days which we really like.
Debarkation: This was the easiest and fastest i have ever been off a ship. We did the self assist and I would highly recommend it if you have a early flight!! Before I end this review, I must get back to our transportation. I will never take this company ever again !! Vip did not do what they promise. Again when we asked them for the return trip to the airport they assured us that they would have enough room to accommodate 16 people in one car. Not the case, they even had the time wrong and told us that we were too early ! I will not get into all the details just be careful when you book it just might be easier to take a taxi! All in all we all had a great time and totally awesome weather and are looking forward to the next cruise experience