We were a group of 3 MOMS and 5 teenage girls traveling together. We flew from Providence to Orlando using the airfare arranged by the Cruise line. The flights were noneventful, and we arrived at Port Canaveral at 3p.m.
Check in was quick and easy. We proceeded to our rooms, however our luggage did not arrive until almost 5:30 which caused some anxiety in getting ready for the 5:45 seating.
We were all thrilled with our table for 8 next to a window facing the rear of the ship. The dining room on this ship is beautiful, and we cannot say enough to praise the dining room waitstaff, the food selection, or the views of the sunset each evening.
Our side-by side balcony rooms were spacious compared to previous cruises we had been on, with plenty of storage space, even for the 4 teens sharing one of the rooms. The new line of bedding on Carnival Cruises is to be commended, the linens were soft as can be and the beds were so comfortable.
The layout of the ship though we found very confusing, even after several days I had to think about where I was. It is so difficult to get from one end of the ship to another.
My one big complaint was that the ship was booked solid, and being vacation week probably to be expected. However you could not walk in the public areas without being bumped into. Also the main thoroughfare seems to cut right through the casino area, which was very smokey at times. As a non-smoker I hated to have to walk through there and avoided the casino for that reason.
On the "at sea days" all of the lounges were taken by 9 a.m. so what is this about a "no saving policy"? We had to carry loungers from one area to another just to get 2 together. We saw some loungers with towels on them all day and no people! Also once our kids had someone remove their towels while they were having lunch. The rude passengers stated that the kids (15-18) should not be using them..but we paid the adult fare for them and they should be allowed to use them.
The MOMS were disappointed at the teen activities, as they are not what they are proposed to be. The younger kids were still in the teen disco at 12 and the activities did not occur like they were advertised. Consequently the teens roam the ship in packs, with not much to do.
Our excursions were great, however one day the ship did not provide tickets for 2 of the group, said we did not book them (we did them together at the same time). However one of the kids got sick the night before and a mom stayed with her so it did not become an issue. They are taking it up with Carnival and their travel agent.
The disembarkation was awful, we were out of our rooms by 8:30 as asked, and went to a public area to wait. They turned off the suction and thus no toilets from that point on. We did not get off until 11:00 which is a long time with no bathroom. After customs I inquired about a restroom and was directed to a Port A Potty outside. Guess after you pay up they don't care about you anymore.
All and all it was a good cruise, the MOMS had a great time and so did the kids. We came onto Carnival with the hope of good activities for teens, this did not materialize. We did RCCL last spring with the same complaints. I would not hesitate to cruise with Carnival again for the price, just not during school vacation week.