Just got back from the 6/5 8 day cruise out of NYC. I won't bore you all with day by day stuff, but I'll try to touch on things that stood out, good or bad. And there was very little bad, just one small observation that I did comment on to Carnival. Never want to be one who complains to tons of people, but not tell the people who can make the change. So, here goes...
We are an early 50's couple and have cruised 13 times, recently with Carnival and RCI. Even though you try not to compare, of course you do! Ship is very nice. Went on a CTN on this ship a few years ago when it was brand new. No noticeable ugly wear and tear spots, some little spots in hallways. Other than that, very nice and kept very clean, except a small observation in on the Lido deck tables (my one suggestion to Carnival to be noted later).
Cool weather down there, but we expected this. Interesting note, we had 2 good 'rolls' on the ship --nothing dramatic, but very noticeable and it wasn't in stormy weather. Good to keep in mind that ships move and to always be prepared for it.
We were upgraded from a 5A guarantee to an obstructed balcony. And the 'secret' number on our cruise documents WAS the cabin we ended up with. Got to pier around 11:00. The wait and processing took about an hour. Both calypso bands on Lido were just ok. Liked the piped in music much better!
We decided not to eat in dining room at all this cruise and were pretty happy with the decision. Difference in eating dinner on Lido is that there was one buffet option, the deli and pizza. Would have liked one more buffet option. On this ship there are 3 buffet 'stations' plus the deli and the pizza. Good choices always and the food was very good (yes I know it's all personal taste) Hint: the best coffee is at the newer looking machines with a lot of silver on them. The other machines had terrible coffee IMO. Seemed to be trouble with the drink and ice dispensers too. One was down the whole cruise and at other times, they would fail to provide water with the drink concentrate. YUCK. But when they did work, it was good. Iced tea was very good (not sweetened) A small observation was there didn't appear to be enough staff clearing tables, especially at the tables out by the pool and at the back of the ship. We clear our own tables most of the time (just don't feel right leaving them there and I actually think people should bus their own anyway, but that' s just my own opinion). The other suggestion I made to Carnival was that the tables have a slightly lower lip on them that catches food, crumbs, etc. and these are ignored when the tables are cleaned. I pointed it out to my husband who hadn't noticed it and he thought it was gross too. Unfortunately there was the crumbs, dried food, etc. at each table on that lower portion of the table. Hopefully they will correct it.
Cruise staff were just fine, attentive and friendly. Shows that we saw were good. Cabin was spotless. Had to complain to our room steward that the people directly above us were dropping their cigarette ashes on the lifeboat in front of us. GROSS and DANGEROUS. She was going to alert the fire marshall. The next day they dropped a bagel on the boat. Great mix of people. YES, there were infants! Never saw one crying. Asked a couple of mothers how it was going and they all said it was great.
No chair hogging at all!!! Plenty of front row chairs into mid-morning. Never saw unruly teenagers and only a few school-age kids were running by the pool that made a lot of us very nervous. Only saw one parent tell their kid to slow down after he fell. Note: surface by pools are very slippery. Please tell your kids never run there and stick to your guns!
Ok, the ports were Puerto Rico, didn't really like it. Toured the fort which was interesting. Very hot this day. We got burned. St. Thomas. Just ok for us. Not into shopping and didn't really like the shopping district and people hawking us to go into their stores. Took a taxi to Sapphire Beach. Didn't know it was at a resort. Felt there were more people who were brought in than at the resort. Strange. No restaurant. Still closed. Got beer and snacks at the beach front store right there though. Ok snorkeling. Rented it there. 10 dollars. No undertow, but water got choppy by mid-afternoon.
Tortola was our favorite. Very friendly and we took a taxi to Brewer's Bay. Amazing taxi ride over the mountain to the beach. We were the first there and was a little nervous we would be the only ones! What a great beach this is. It is just beautiful. Perfect for little ones. Fish are plentiful and fun for the little ones as they come quite close to shore! Restaurant, drinks and snorkeling rental here too. We could have spent the whole day here. We were a little surprised at the garbage in St. Thomas and Tortola all along the roadsides. Just didn't expect to see so much of it. The 2 1/2 days at sea back home was a little long, but we lounged by the pool and we truly relaxed.