What a wonderful cruise! 2 adults, 14, and 12 yr olds. Not perfect (mostly us!) so I am posting some random things I hope will help others.
Missed the transfer connection hostess at baggage claim but an airport employee was very helpful in finding it.
Effortless embarkation except 2 bottles of wine confiscated because of check vs carry on. Next time, separate them at the airport or ignore the bus driver's suggestion of checking all our luggage for the ship. Otherwise, the service was convenient. No satisfactory reason from Guest Services why it mattered.
Liked the scheduled disembarkation but with a late time slot, we opted for the self service option. Our floor was called earlier then was posted, so listen up to the announcer!
Walkie talkies worked very well.
Lanyards were an excellent suggestion, especially for the kids.
$1 bills for tips to the drivers, etc.
So many flyers (i.e. for spa) on 1st day, overlooked the daily itinerary and missed the Camp C sign up that night and other important news.
Not obvious there were separate dining rooms for scheduled times & any timers.
Didn't know the dress code was not applicable to the latter, people were wearing shorts; no formal dress required.
Chocolate melting cake really is that good; Should have listened!
Order 2nds or espresso right away - staff disappears as soon as dessert is served.
Bar waitress too pushy the last night but did the best on getting sodas and espresso we ordered.
First day, the server at the Lido deck bar was also too aggressive.
Most of the food was delicious and but, some, not so much. In which case, most of us found something better.
Fried chicken, pizza, and other kid staples didn't taste good so the 12 yr old was frustrated with the meals.
Getting a slice from the station seemed oddly complicated. Even with a long line, pizza guy kept acting surprised and put out, as each person ordered a slice. We couldn't figure out if he was disappearing to make pizza between orders or just hiding. It was just strange.
Ice tea was instant, everything else too sweet, but they had coffee and an assortment of teas.
The bubble pass worked well for the kids.
Loved the salad bar; plenty of fruit and assortment of tasty salads.
Dessert bar always looked marvelous. For every bad dessert, there was always another, better one to try.
Skipped the deli but Panini sandwiches sure smelled good.
No excursions for us beach lovers but I can see why others complained about lack of the things to do.
At Nassau, we paid $4 pp, each way, for the water taxi, than hiked to Cabbage Beach. Found out later, for the same price, a land taxi would have dropped us right at the beach.
Chair and umbrella at the beach are well worth the money.
Extra things for fun: high tea in the Neon bar, sushi, towel animal lessons and stopping to watch the 'game' shows for a few minutes.
The day at sea was crowed, especially the pool. And with all those towels sleeping away the hours on the deck chairs, it was difficult to find a free spot near the pool. But eventually found a quiet place with an incredible ocean view for reading my book.
Some of the issues referenced in the negative complaints were valid.
Of the ship itself, we saw some exposed rust, sloppy paint jobs that took a something away from the general appearance from the beautiful ship.
The staff was friendly and helpful, especially those taking care of the rooms. I don't need them to be chipper 100% of the time; no one was rude or did anything to mar our trip.
Guess we missed out on all the rude, drunk, tattooed 'Walmart' passengers mentioned in a review. (Of course, there was the occasional irritating kid and clueless adult, but aren't they everywhere?)
I don't think we were cheap in going with the less expensive Carnival cruise, we just didn't pay more for what we didn't care about. We won't hesitate to go with Carnival again.