This being my third cruise, but first on the Carnival cruise line, I had high expectations of spending my first experience in a mini suite with a balcony. The cabin was smaller than I had expected, but turned out to be a lot roomier than the neighbors across the hall in a really tiny inside cabin. Our beds were very comfy ,and having a jacuzzi bathtub was really great after days of walking around in port towns. A warning... this tub was very tiny and I would assume not suited to larger adults.... who may only be able to soak their toes in!
This voyage included a large teen population who appeared to have little to keep them occupied. I heard complaints when disembarking that they had nothing to do.
We had 3 incidences of children gathering outside our cabin doors making loud noise. Door decorations were stolen from 4 of our doors in the course of the week. Security was slow to respond and acted like I was bothering them by calling to report the kids kicking into the doors and swinging from the metal bar in the ceiling.
Meal time was a slight disappointment. We had asked to be seated at a large table and were given a table for 4 that was situated right in front of 2 elevators and a bussing area. We asked to be moved and was told that we would be given a "good window table for 6". This table was right next to another bussing station and the window was about 75% covered with metal. Our servers were wonderful and the company was pleasant so we enjoyed the meals.
Getting a drink was a different story. The bar attendant was always unhappy when asked to get soft drinks for those with funpasses. She was rarely at the table to check on the drink situation and never went out of her way to see that all the people had what they wanted. People with the soft drink passes had trouble all week on the ship getting the waiters to get them Cokes. Once the pass was seen the waiters turned away to get alcoholic drinks for other passengers. Drinks ordered in the theatre were frequently not delivered at all.
As for food, people at our table enjoyed the appetizers and desserts better than the main courses. There were some surprises such as the chateuabriand and beef wellington which were delicious. We didn't find that the $25 plus tip in the Emerald Supper Club was worth the extra money.
We found that the gift shops were not open at convenient times for us. When making our way to the gift shops they were often closed at times we were told they would be open. It was frustrating.
During the week we had red, white, and blue contests among the passengers. This provided fun all around. The crew provided many opportunities for passengers to rack up points for their teams. The layout of the ship was a bit confusing at first. When we did figure out the way to get from one place to another ,we realized there would be a lot of going up and down to get to places across from each other.
Our ship had a propulsion problem at the last port in Progresso. The crew kept us informed as to what the problem was, and when we would be good to leave port.
We arrived back at our home port only 1.5 hours late. Our cruise director John and his partner Wee Jimmy were wonderful. All week they provided laughs and good cheer. Most of the shows were entertaining. We sat through a really bad magic act. I was disappointed on the last night of the cruise that there wasn't a big end to the week.
The main complaint was disembarking! Apparently a new self-disembarkation system was established. Passengers had the option of carrying off all their luggage when their deck number was called. The rest of the passengers waited for their luggage tags numbers to be called. There was no rhyme or reason as to when a color was called. Our neighbors missed their flight due to poor planning. We had not been asked to list our flight times. We docked at 8:30am and I was not off the ship till noon. Sitting and waiting was not fun.