Good Cruise for the Price
This was our 3rd cruise, the 2nd on Carnival! We really are people that pick primarily for the ports, not so much for the ship. The ports were really great! Very easy to walk off the ship a short distance and find a taxi/tour for a reasonable price to explore the islands. We loved each port for different reasons!
We were on board by noon and head straight to the Lido for lunch! We were some of the first on board, so there was lots of room. We headed to our room before 2pm and pleasantly surprised to find our luggage already there. We quickly unpacked and headed out to enjoy San Juan for the afternoon.
Our cabin was very comfortable, and more spacious then our previous 2 cruises. I also found it to be clean and that is very important to me. I did not find issues in the bathroom like others have - we did not see our cabin steward very much but he did keep our ice bucket full as requested and we enjoyed our towel animals! We did notice a difference between this More
cruise and our previous one on the Conquest in that we did not receive very much information about our ports and rarely heard from the Captain!
We had the late dining time and had thought of doing "dine anytime" until we met our service staff - they were wonderful and very friendly - and it is so nice to go to the same table every night, to be addressed by name, and for them to know which wine you enjoy and that you want coffee after dinner - without even asking - we love that! Having said that - the food was good - could it be better, definitely - however for the price we paid for this cruise, we were more then satisfied. The appetizers & soups are really, really good - the main meal was hit & miss but mostly for the guys who usually had red meat. They found the cuts to not be the best - but the seafood, pasta and chicken dishes were great! Of course - you cannot beat the chocolate melting cake - any other dessert does not compare! The Lido buffet has decent food for the most part! Like anything else - you get what you pay for - you can take a cruise with Carnival for $600, or take a cruise with Holland for $1000 and have a better quality of food - its your choice!
We always enjoy the adult comedy shows, enjoyed a few of the big productions and also the "piano man"....there really is something for everyone.
I think Carnival is "good value for the money" - if I expected 5 star food & entertainment - I would put out more money for my cruise - this was well worth the price! Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Barbados was to be our beach day and we were going to walk to the Boatyard! Half way there, we met up with a very unhappy local who decided to tell us exactly what he thought of tourists. We gave him absolutely no reason for this and kept walking on - unfortunately this was our introduction to Barbados! Soon though we met up with a very nice man who we negotiated a ride around to see some of the island before being dropped off at Brandon's Beach! Beautiful water, little beachside restaurant, bathroom facilities and a rental place for chairs etc. It is very close to the port which was great and our driver came back for us to drive us back to the ship! We never made it to the boatyard ,and were happy we met up with this gentlemen because we left the island with a better opinion of Barbados because of him.
St. Kitts was the only place where we pre-booked a tour with Greg's Safaris! We had the tour to ourselves - 4 of us plus our very knowledgeable tour guide! We went to a plantation where he was able to tell us about all of the trees & plants, on to some small villages, and then in to the forest - which was amazing and peaceful! We were so excited to be surrounded by monkeys flying through the trees - we then went on to sugarcane fields and to some old sugarcane processing plants - we learned so much about the island. Our last stop was at a little church and then on to our ship. We would highly recommend Greg's Safaris - great day!
What a beautiful island - again, arranged for a tour when we arrived in Port! The 4 of us joined another couple in a comfortable van for a tour up to the Pitons! Along the way, we made many stops for pictures, a little shopping, to see the waterfall & gardens! Our driver was very good and took his time since my sister can get motion sickness - he was very understanding! The roads are very winding - the island, lush, green, tropical - just beautiful! This tour - $25 a person - well worth it!
We took the ferry over to the shopping & beach area! We walked along the streets which are mostly filled with jewellery shops - that is one thing we were disappointed with in many ports was the amount of jewellery - we just wish there was more of a variety of shops like in San Juan - where we could find anything we wanted. We spent the afternoon on the beach in view of our ship. Rented a couple chairs, umbrella, had a bucket of beer thrown in - and we were happy to relax the afternoon away! We would like to see more of St Maarten and will save that for another cruise!
St. Thomas is beautiful! We made one mistake - we took the tram ride up for the view, but for $21.oo a person, this was way over priced. We ended up walking for there to check out the shopping. We then met up with a firefighter who also does tours from his open-air red truck (look for the fire emblem)- think his name was Raymond. His tour is $25 a person, but because we had our tram wristbands on, he offered us the tour for $20 saying he was sorry we wasted money on the tram. We took up his offer and enjoyed about 1 1/2 hour tour with great views and stops - ending with a drop off at a beautiful beach. The water was amazing - we swam for 2 hours! He picked us up and brought us back to the ship - such a great day! You really do not have to pay the price the cruise ships are asking for tours - you can arrange them on your own and save a lot of money! We would love to go back to St. Thomas.