Unlike many people who you will see review this ship I try not to stay mad and look forward because as they say, a bad day on a ship is better then a good day at work!
This was the first cruise of the year out of Boston and they definitely did not have their stuff together at embarkation but I am going to back up a bit. We booked during the whole time change for getting on the ship due to the whale migration. It is understandable....I mean we can not control mother nature and anyone who cruises needs to remember that things can change at anytime and it is in the cruise contract. Well our ship was delayed again on the day of embarkation due to heavy fog. Some of the ship staff said they could not even see their hands when they were extended in front of them because of the fog coming in. We did not have a problem with the delay because they emailed us about it and we had a car and so we took the opportunity to see even more of MA oh and carnival said they were giving each More
person $50 on board credit so go and have a nice dinner : ) .
Embarkation was dreadful because the ground staff/security was new and seemed to lack organization. Embarkation started at 10:30 and we got on the ship at 11:30. I know people were taken to the Westin so that they did not have to wait in the cold and sprinkling weather which I thought was nice. Honestly, I think some of the people should have rented a car or done something instead of sitting for the ship all day. I mean come on some people were waiting since noon and originally we were set for embarkation at 6:30 so come on it is your fault if you waited forever. Oh and another thing when your cruise and take a plane never back your meds in your suitcase. They should always be in a carry on. There were people of course complaining that they could not take their meds because they were in their come on people keep that stuff on you that is your own fault not Carnivals.
After we got on they had the buffets open and I got a burrito made to order like Chipotle and it was goooood! We also explored the ship a bit and then went to bed.
Now because they came in late and the winds were horrible we stayed in port for the night and did not leave till 11am. So they changed our port dates but that was no problem we just had one of our days at sea the first day. I had a great bamboo massage that morning and was ready to have a great day but people were so grumpy. Passengers not staff. I even went to the cruise critic meet up to meet others and it was on our daily schedule so other people came to check it out and one of the other passengers who organized the meet up started out by saying "cruise critic is for people who want to complain about stuff!" No kidding, this lady just had a bad attitude so I walked out. Come on there is more to cruise critic then complaining and we kept seeing this lady around the cruise and she just looked like a bitter person in general never smiling. Things happen people try to make the best out of it. We even changed tables that night because someone was complaining once again about the time change for embarkation.
I think changing our table was one of the best decisions we ever made on a cruise ship. We got a great table with the best waiter ever. Our food was always perfect and delish. I mean cruise food can go either way and the key to getting good hot food that is cooked to your liking is a great waiter and wait staff and Jose was excellent.
I like to swim and go in the hot tubs and they were very nice. All of the pools were heated so if you wanted to go into one of the pools mid lido deck you would enjoy it. The kids were primarily there since the covered indoor aft lido pool is adults only which is nice by the way. the serenity deck is wonderful and snuggling up to your honey under a clam shell is so nice! I wish the weather would have been a bit more sunny and less rainy but that is the weather up there this time of year and like I said before you can not control mother nature.
I do think there could have been better entertainment the shows are kind of cheesy but I think that on all the ships. Love the adult comedy shows so I am at all of them. One thing that would have been nice was to have drinks that were themed for our destination instead of fruity drinks from the Caribbean. One person told me in NS that they drink dark and stormys because that is what it is like up there most of the year. I think because it was chilly the could have served hot chocolate with creme Bailey's or something. Or a Hot Toddy. Many people would have bought I betcha.
The crew was a bit off the whole time but I think it was because of the weather change from Caribbean to Canada. I think they needed to prepare them more and as staff they need to suck it up and still make it good for us and not whimper.
The Captain seemed nice when I saw him but he could have gotten to the ports on time. We were late to all of them. So it was quite frustrating to those who had excursions.
This cruise may have seemed like a great price when I booked but beware that when you are not cruising in the Caribbean the money you spend during the day is a lot more. Plan on $100 per person per day for excursions or whatever when at port on average.
Overall I had a great time. I was with my husband and once I ignored all the grumps who complain all the day and can not get over anything I had a good time. I am giving this ship an overall of a 3 due to they just did not have all there stuff together but hopefully that has changed since they have had a few more under their belt since we were on.
Sydney, NS. We rented a car and did a little of the Cabot Trail. It was amazing!!! My husband and I have said that we would go back to NS and go to Halifax and drive up to the trail and enjoy ourselves. You can only see about 1/3 of the trail because of your limited time. We got in an hour late so that is what we got to do. BEAUTIFUL!
The rental car agency had a van to pick people up but only the driver could go and would have to come back and pick up the rest of their clan. Kind of annoying for some but my husband and I were both driving so it did not make a difference. People who walked the little town of Sydney had to walk up a hill and it could be long for some.
Plan on $100 per person if renting a car doing the trail. Which I recommend totally. There is a ship excursion which did some of the the trail as well and if you do not want to mess with the rental car I would do that as well. They stopped for pictures and seemed to have a great time.
The 4 is because we had a blast but the rental car thing was a pain but there is nothing in the port and if we did not plan anything it would have been a 2. Less
Carnival's inside cabins have great room and great closets. One with 4 shelves and two with big closets. You can store your luggage under the beds.
There is also a small fridge/bar in the room with room for your own water and stuff.
$50 per person and you did go around the city but when we came home my husband said we saw that there was a free bus in the city of Halifax we could have taken. Not sure of the name but I would have done that to save money.
You have to try a pub when you are in Halifax and we went to the Man's Mustache I think and it was great. A PB burger yummo, fries amazing, and beer cheese soup delish. Great micro brews as well.
The 3 is for the fact that i would have loved to have known about the free bus because I like to save money and would have liked to have heard more about the history from the tour guides.
Plan on $100 per person for this port as well.
BTW talking with one of the tour guides if you are doing a leaf peeping tour do not plan to go till the very end of October because the colors do not change till then because the water keeps them warmer and hence the leaves change later.
Be sure to check out the Portland Head Lighthouse! It is beautiful and you can do some mild hiking there and great picture taking. We took a cab out there and he stayed out there while we looked around. It was about $40 dollars but if you want to hike you could probably cut a deal or ask the cab to come back.
If you want to see some of the islands near Portland you can take a ferry for $14 or so around all of them with narration. We did not do this but we wanted to.
The whole reason I gave this port a 4 was because it is pricey for everything. Even the Lobsters that I heard were cheap here were inflated because the ship was in town. Plan on around $100 per person for this port if you want to eat and see a few things on your own and need a cab and such.
Purchase a ship excursion! I can not say this enough. You can wander around town but to find out about the history of the town you should do the hop on hop off bus.
The Hopewell Rocks look like they would be beautiful but they are 2 hours away and if your ship gets in late you might miss the low tide and then you paid the money for nothing. I personally would stay in the city and maybe do a whale watching tour or the hop on hop off bus.
Plan for at least $100 a person if doing stuff on your own I think we spent $60 because we had lunch and walked around but if you like to buy stuff or get tours plan for the $100 per person.
I gave this port a 2 because if you just get off the boat there is not much to do but shop. I guess we could have walked around more but it was spitting rain and windy the whole time.