My wife and I, my parents and my two teenage kids took this cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Since mom and dad paid for the trip as a gift to us I opted for Carnival for the exceptional value they offer- did not want to break dad's bank.
Getting to the ship at the pier in NY was a breeze and embarking the ship was oh so easy and smooth.
The boat is very beautiful and we were so impressed with the layout.
The crowd from NY- was let's just say interesting.
Our balcony room was very nice and larger then we had imagined. Our parents had a balcony too and the kids were in an inside cabin. Let me say that if you can afford a balcony- go for it!!!! An inside cabin is simply not the same experience- you will pay more but it is totally worth it.
OK, the food. We all liked the food. The buffet was consistently good. They could have had a better selection of fruit but what they did have did the job. We ate dinners in the main dining room, Bacchus. The service was excellent and overall the food was good- not gourmet food- but you are not paying for that on this cruise. Everyone liked breakfast and believe me nobody looked hungry on this ship - nuff said.
You have to have dinner in the steakhouse- Nick and Nora's- it is well worth it!!!!
As far as the dress- it seemed people wore what they wanted too- some wore shirts and some wore a suit!!!!!
The pool area was not our scene- it was kiddyville and this was due to the time of the year of the cruise- we hung out on the serenity deck or on the 10th deck away from the noise and enjoyed these areas quite a bit. . We also took advantage of many other nice non-pool areas that you will find throughout the ship.
Or 15 and 17 year olds made many friends and had a blast.
The shows were quite enjoyable for us and we also enjoyed the comedians. The casino was very nice but as many of you already know the smoking is a huge issue in that it can be a problem if you find smoke disgusting and so I did not gamble on this cruise. I just don't get why they allow so much smoking on these cruises. They don't allow smoking where the big show is but they do in some of the smaller nightclubs and so I had to avoid those areas as well for the most part.
The house rock band was awesome but the lounge musicians were mediocre at best. They have DJ's on the deck which was fine but it would be nice to have a live band out there as well.
The activities on the boat were good and they have a very nice gym, Internet lounge and some other stuff to keep you busy while out at sea- but for me reading and resting was more then enough.
The ports were nice- we helmet dove in St. Thomas, We took a tour on a bus for $10.00 when we got to San Juan- no need to book this on the ship- and we rode horses in Grand turk- lot's of fun.
We all had a great time and will miss this trip.
If your expectations are realistic you will enjoy this type of a cruise- we did!!!