My wife and I decided that for our 20th and my parents 50th Wedding Anniversaries we would all take a cruise with our children (ages 13,16). I searched and found a cruise I really liked, the Western Caribbean sailing on the Carnival Dream August 4, 2012. I picked this cruise because of the stops in Roatan Honduras, Costa Maya, and Belize. My wife reseached these ports and excursion in these ports, mainly because we had been to Nassau and Freeport and vowed never to return, or so we thought. We had booked excursion to go cave tubing in Belize and a private all day snorkeling trip in Roatan.
We watched the track of Ernesto while prepping for the trip. On the Friday before sailing on Saturday it was obvious to me that we needed to be rerouted. Watched for information from Carnival, called them, nope, everything was as scheduled. Checked with them again Saturday morning, everything as scheduled. After our first port of call in Cozumel we got back on board to the news we were being rerouted. In Carnival's defense, it was absolutely necessary for us to be rerouted. I was not surprised that people complained they rerouted when we learned of the ports we would be visiting. Any ports would have been better than Progresso, Nassau, and Freeport. Lets see Galveston, Key West, Jamiamca, St. Martin, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Turks and Cacicos, hell New Jersey would have been better and probably safer than the three ports choosen be Carnival.
What I lost with the rerouting was the chance to intro my kids to cave tubing and snorkeling. This may have been the last chance to do this type of trip with my kids and more than likely it is the first and last time my parents will ever go on a cruise. It was like getting drunk in Cozumel and then waking up shanghaied on the Carnival Nightmare.
Progresso looked like a war zone, if you did not have a booked excursion you wasted your time taking the free bus ride into town, should have stayed on the boat. Freeport, was just like we remembered it, a nasty industrial wasteland in the Bahamas. We went to the beach but there was debris in the water and they wanted to charge $10 to use a lawn chair. So we ended up doing a little shopping and returning early to the Carnival Nightmare. When we reached Nassau it was very rainy so excursions and Atlantis were out of the question. So you think lets go shopping again, oh but wait in Carnival's infinite wisdom they had 4 cruise ship descend upon this port on the same day so shopping was like going to the mall the day after Thanksgiving, we returned again early to the ship.
My other complaint was just with the food service. They advertise a sushi bar but you can get better sushi at an $8 all you can eat Chinese restaurant. There was only bland rolls and the "nigiri" looked like ground hamburger and the sushi bar was only opened about 2 hours a day. In the dining room food was normally lukewarm, drink glasses not refilled in a timely fashion, etc. The buffets were cold and repetitive.
The room steward was excellent and took great care of us, and the crew was friendly. The room was very nice. A TIP TO ANYONE GOING ON A CRUISE TAKE A POWER STRIP, there was only 1 outlet in the room, that includes the bathroom. Think about it, phones, cameras, ipods, radios, and of course curling irons.
We enjoyed the Adult Only "Serenity" section of the deck - the chairs were cushioned better. The pizza was nasty, the Mongolian grill and deli were pretty good but the lines were normally very long. The entertainment was like like watching an 80s variety show every night, boring singing and dancing.
We didn't make the comedy club 3 times and enjoyed these shows and they did have a family show which was nice, but in order to go we had to skip dinner and go to the cold nasty buffet.