We are an older couple in our late 50's and living in Baltimore thought it would be nice to try cruising from our home port for a change. We loved that we did not have to fly and the transition of getting on the ship was even smoother at the Baltimore Cruise Terminal than we had experienced in Manhattan or Tampa. We were on the ship and eating lunch within an hour of arriving.
The decor on the ship is not to my liking, renaissance, dark depressing colors, totally vintage decor. The formal dining room was not as elegant as other ships we had been on. We did get the early dinner seating that we requested and were seated in a booth with a very nice couple our age.
We had paid extra for the extended balcony which turned out to be the same size as regular balcony on the princess ship that we previously went on. The room was not a bad size but our first night in the cabin the toilet stopped working which was very traumatic considering I had food poisoning from either lunch More
on the ship or something I had eaten the day before at a local restaurant. They did come and fix it when we called. One thing we found really irritating is that whenever an announcement would come over the intercom from our cruise director announcing something special that was going on within the ship, we would hear the chime to let us know the announcement was coming on but could only hear the announcement if we opened our cabin door and listened in the corridor. This was very annoying having to run from our balcony or room each time an announcement was made. Our dinner companions said they could hear the announcement from their cabin so we spoke with the people at the service desk and they assured up that we were not supposed to hear it in our cabin because they did not want to disturb us. Seriously? We were disturbed having to run our of our cabin several times a day? All other cruise ships we have been on we could hear the announcements right in our cabin.
As for the food I have no complaints. It was plentiful and delicious. There was one evening at dinner when I could not make up my mind between 2 entrees. On the princess ship they brought me both entrees. This Carnival ship offered to give me a smaller portion of one entree to make it my appetizer and then bring me the other entree (minus the ribs which I did not want). I found this a little skimpy on their part and felt that I was not being spoiled as on other ships. Also on the other ships at the buffet there were always people there offering to help you with your drink or carry something to the table for you, give you refills. I did not experience any of that on this ship. In fact many times the ice or cups was empty and we had to go to another area to get iced tea or iced water. Our first night in the dining room we were not offered iced tea, only water but we did ask the 2nd night and from that night on they gave it to us automatically.
The younger people on this ship were also not supervised as well as previous ships. They were touching food on the buffet that they had no intention of eating. Children were running at times which could have caused an accident to them or someone else. I did enjoy the adults only area on upper deck which had a pool, lounge chairs and hammocks for the adults. You had to get there super early to get a spot though.
As for the entertainment I felt it was not quality entertainment. Every show we attended that had the dancers was distasteful because the female dancers all had thongs on with their bottoms exposed. These shows were attended by children of all ages and I did not feel this was appropriate. I feel like they are using sex to sell the show which to me targets the show to a specific audience. After seeing this I was hesitant to attend the adults comedy show so we did not go.
At times the ship seemed overly crowded, mainly around the pool areas and at the buffet. You were constantly almost bumping into people. I will say our cabin steward was on the ball with keeping our room fresh and the wait staff in the dining room were very nice.
Our ship had 3 ports of call, Port Canaveral, Nassau & Freeport. Just an FYI there is literally nothing in Port Canaveral so you will have to either do a shore excursion or take public transportation to get out of that area. Overall I felt a little disappointed with this Carnival Cruise and next time would pay a bit more to do Royal Caribbean or Princess again. Less
We paid extra for an extended balcony which turned out to be the same size as a regular balcony that we had on a Princess cruise. I feel sorry for the people with a regular balcony. There was probably not enough room to turn around in.
We opted to walk about a mile to the BCC Hilton Hotel where we purchased beach passes. The pass was $55 per person and included use of their beach, pool, beach chairs, cabanas, a towel and $30 food credit per person. Very good deal. We enjoyed the beach for a few hours and at at their beach cafe. Avoid the straw markets here during hot weather. Very, very crowded and the locals harass you to buy. I chose to buy a conch shell right on the docks from a local who had just pulled up in his boat with them.