We cruised out of NY for the first time to the Eastern Caribbean. Embarkation was pretty effortless. We were dropped off by my parents and were on the ship in 20 minutes. We went straight up to Lido for lunch which of course was mobbed!
I didn't expect as much this time around as this was our first cruise with our 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 7 months. We did have a very enjoyable cruise with a few snags.
Our stateroom was spacious enough with nice size balcony. No tub but using the hand held showerhead was actually easier when washing my kids. Our stateroom attendant was awful!! He never introduced himself. I didn't see him until the end of the second day. He didn't come to refresh out stateroom the whole second day. We had to call to get him to come! He didn't even offer a crib to us and he knew we had an infant in our room. Thank god we didn't actually need one as my son sleeps with me. He then had the audacity to try and sell us beach towels and bathrobes so he can "look good". Needless to say his tip was greatly reduced!
Service at the Lido deck was mostly non existent. My husband actually asked a waiter for a spoon as there weren't any at the ice cream station and the waiter rudely told him to go inside and get one! He asked another one and that waiter got him a spoon but that came with some attitude. My 3 year old only ate yogurt the whole cruise and most waiters on Lido deck were nice enough to get us some except one. He kept coming up with excuses as to why he could get us the yogurt even after another waiter was kind enough to get us some. What a joke!
Our waiters at dinner were exceptional! Our head waiter Shutanka even played with my daughter nightly and even tried to engage my crabby 3 year old with some tricks. Our team waiter Agus was also great and got all our preferences down pretty quickly. The food was ok. I truly loved the desserts.... especially the bread pudding.
Nick and Nora's was delicious and service was also exceptional.
I got a deep tissue massage at the spa which was very good. i thought the therapist was lacking some personalty but at least her hands made up for it!
My husband was very disappointed with Maguires, the sports bar on the ship. This was the first football Sunday of the season and the bartenders had no interest in changing the station to find the football games. They finally did after everyone started to get up to leave! How can Carnival call this a sports bar? Football should be showing in the sports bar!! Especially on the first Sunday if the season! There were many disappointed football fans on this ship!
I didn't get to enjoy most of the nightlife because of my young kids. I did see Ticket to Ride which was so much fun. My husband and inlaws enjoyed the Love and Marriage show and the casino. My husband actually made out really well!
Camp Carnival was a big hit with my oldest. She was always asking me when it was time to go to camp. My crabby 3 year old enjoyed it most times. I wish it started a little earlier. 10am is so close to lunch then they miss early afternoon activities because of nap time. My kids need to nap! They are not great dinner guests if there is no nap! It was nice to have a place to send them right after dinner so I could enjoy a little of the early evening activities.
We loved Grand Turk! Nice pool for young kids to swim in. me and me my daughter loved Half Moon Cay! Beautiful beach and perfect swimming temperature! We did Ardastra Zoo and Gardens which was nice but the weather was soo hot and humid. I almost wished we purchased a day pass at the nearby Hilton to make a beach day out of it.
Debarkation was such a mess this time around. We couldn't even get to the Phantom Lounge to relax because the self assist line was soo long. There wasn't much staff to direct the masses so there was quite a bit of chaos. We did eventually get off and found our bags pretty quickly.
We did like the ships layout. It took no time to learn how to navigate the ship. The kids enjoyed the pools and my father in law took full advantage of the numerous hot tubs.
All in all we had a good time and will cruise with Carnival again as a family. You just can't beat the price and the kids loved the camp. Cruising for just me and my husband will probably be with Royal Caribbean or another line. We are cruising as a couple only next year on Celebrity. It will be nice to see the difference.