We always look forward to a cruise as we seek out unique cruise itineraries with no real expectations other than to find a good & pleasant time enjoying the moment of any cruise. Again Carnival exceeded our expectations. This cruise had scheduled to leave at 11:59 at night from Miami. They finally posted boarding time from 1 PM to 11 PM.
Embarkation: Very smooth as we arrived at 11:45 to wait in line to board. Was on board a little after 1 PM & in our room with our luggage arriving after we ate lunch. Went to pre-sail-a-way party on the lido deck pool area & met with our informal "Meet & Greet" CC group get together. Danced To the line dancing & met "Noonan", The cruise director in which we immediately took a liking to.
With 9 days at sea it seemed a challenge to be able to keep everyone busy but our goals were to enjoy the CC group functions planned for us from the "cabin crawl", formal "Meet & Greet", Glow party, Mardis Gras party, daily games, & tea times to keep us More
busy besides the ships daily schedule of events. To our surprise was the number of bands they had on board to dance to. They had a duo "Dimas" that were really good & played & sang many songs we could dance to. Even in the Atrium where there was no dance floor so we made the best of it. They had a Filipino band, a Latin Band & the ship's band that played quite often. We got many dance opportunities even our own little "sock hop" during the afternoon one day at the casino bar entrance. Such Fun! We took sea day afternoon naps so we could dance the night away till 12 PM closing with the bands.
We were assigned to late dining in the Back Universe dining room even though we wanted "anytime dining". To our good was the two wonderful couples we dined with each night. Thanks, to "Thor & Karen" & "Joe & Sue" for an enjoyable meal every night. Carnival needs to address there anytime dining procedures so not to upset all the people that now like to dine when they want. Our room stewards were great & always had our room ready even with our not so normal schedule.
Port #1 Malaga Spain
Since we visited before, we just took a shuttle bus to city center where we took a city bus trip around the city. Ended up walking to the bull ring & thru the parks & back to the ship.
Port #3 Livorna
Took shuttle bus to city center where we picked up bus to train station for a trip to Pisa. We walked to the Leaning Tower area & back to the train station for the ride back to Livorno. Plenty of time to see all we wanted to see. Less
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Value for Money
Cabin review: Interior
Our cabin was tight but comfortable. Not as much storage as other cruise ships. bath was nice. Good size shower. Awkward where toilet was next to shower on a slant. Beds were very comfortable. We both like firmness. Rate our cabin a 4.
Took a taxi to the Paza de Espana to catch a train to Montserrat. For 26.60 Euros we got a ticket that included the 1 hour train ride to the Cremallera Rack railway the ride up the mountain to the Monastary & Balsilica, the Fuiculars ride up above the Monastary to the top of the mountain. This ticket also included the train ride back to Barcelona & the metro to the Columbus statue at the start of Las Rambas. A shuttle for 2.50 Euros back to the ship. A wonderful experience that we managed on our own with doing what we wanted to see without being on a tour. What a great experience. A must when spending time in Barcelona.
7:35 am free shuttle to port entrance where we walked 12 minutes to train station.
Bought a BIRG ticket for 1 hour train ride to Rome. Got off at Vatican stop where we toured St Peters Square, & Basilica before walking the city seeing the fort, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, & all the historical buildings, fountains, churches ending up at the Colosseum where we picked up a metro ride to the nearest train station back to Civitavecchi. Having a nice buttered pizza meal at an outdoor cafe in the heart of Rome. All for a total of 38.50 Euros. Walking tour is a must when in Rome. Can't wait to go back to see what we could not see this time.
Debarkation was smooth. Took People Mover to Plaza Roma where we walked over two bridges to our hotel on the Grand Canal across from the train station. Our hotel, the "Canal Walter" was quaint & our room overlooked the canal was very nice & roomy with a nice bath room. We were up two flights of stairs which we dragged our luggage up to. Walked & rode the Vaparettos all around Venice for a day & a half before our bus ride to the airport for our flight home at 7:25 PM. Good time of year even though it was cold. No water flooding problems at all. Interesting city with St Mark's Square.