We left the day before and arrived in Ft Lauderdale 6 hours late because the plane broke down, took a taxi to the hotel ($30 to go 4 miles). We stayed at the Bahia Mar right on the Ocean it's an old Doubletree hotel and the rooms were clean everything was rather pricey but for one night it was fine. Took another Taxi to the ship this one was $21 for a mile. Taxis in Ft Lauderdale are expensive!
Embarkation -- This was a breeze, DH has VIP status and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. Right after we got settled on the Lido deck the skies opened up and it poured with rain; there were bags all over the parking lot getting soaked along with passengers who were trying to hide under a flimsy canopy. It rained so hard that the starboard side of the Lido deck started flooding with water and within a few minutes was several inches deep. Finally the crew found the drain and it receded.
Cabin -- The only good thing about this cabin is the location. The Room steward was the worst we have ever had, we had no bathrobes, beach towels, Ice bucket and there was never a bottle of water in the cabin. He wouldn't put enough towels in the room even though we asked more than once in the end the towel animal dried my hair every morning. The shower flooded the bathroom every time we used it and overnight the toilet would fill up to the top with water (I learned after the first night to look before I sat) The door handle on the balcony door didn't work so the only way to lock it was at the top but we got a whistling noise when the ship rocked from the wind. When seas were active there were really loud creaking noises that kept us awake half the night. The plus is you couldn't hear the music from the lobby bar. I loved being on the Lido deck just wouldn't do that cabin again.
Ship- the ship was clean, but a little boring its sister ship the Conquest was much prettier, they stressed hand washing constantly (they did forget to mention they had Noroviris onboard a few weeks before) The Serenity area smelled terrible, sweaty bodies anyone? I don't think they clean the cushions too often, it was also rather shabby looking, the Legend has a much smaller but nicer area than the Freedom.
Food-Lido Deck Okay so whenever I read a review about the food being terrible I thought people were just a bunch of whiners... well not so much! The Lido deck was naff, the food was spicy and just plain weird more than once the bread rolls were burned on top and yet they still put them out for passengers to eat. The dessert buffet was good but the selection seams to dwindle with every cruise we take. They did have the burger bar which there was always a 30 minute wait in line for hmmm you would think that Carnival would take the hint that the rest of the buffet food was lacking... They also had a Indian food buffet yay more spicy stuff and ugh they had a sushi bar...Seams like carnival is trying to do more with less I saw a lot of head waiters\ team waiters working the Lido deck during the day and then in the Dining room at night. No wonder they were all grumpy, I would be too if I worked 12 hours a day.
The Dining Room -- we had the 8.30 sitting and after 2 nights with the most obnoxious people I have ever met (4 appetizers, 3 main courses and 2 desserts each. Yes I did say EACH!) I requested another table, I was sad to leave our head waiter Sylvia she was a sweetheart but I just couldn't take sitting for 2 1\2 hours waiting on the other people to eat. My food was stone cold by the time they were done with appetizers. THE waiters we had were so -- so there was one that always had a smile but the others pretty much ignored us until 2 days before the cruise ended, it's funny how the grumpy ones cheer up just before the cruise is over.. can you say gratuities? The selections on the menu were lacking, I don't like Fish and I am not a vegetarian so there would be maybe one dish that I could eat, thank goodness they still had the flat iron steaks, The waiters seamed over worked with the amount of tables they had and by the time we got our food it was either barely warm or cold.
Despite the bad food and dodgy cabin we did make the most of the cruise and when the sun finally came out on day 3 things got a lot better, we enjoyed most of the Islands and would go back to three of them in a heartbeat. Carnival does need to wake up and stop with the cutbacks, they are very noticeable, I know they are out to make money but they seemed more concerned with trying to get people to buy Vodka at 9am than they were the comfort of their passengers. We love cruising and we have always gone on Carnival however, losing weight on a cruise is not a good thing ?