My 17 yo son and I took this trip together as his sr trip. We had gone on another cruise when he was much younger with the whole family and didn't have the best time. After our initial plans were cancelled due to the Triumph's sad mishaps, Carnival gave us a discount plus 2extra days for this cruise. We did have to go out of New Orleans instead but the discount compensated for our extra travel expenses. We were pleasantly surprised at the size of the room-ok it IS a ship so it's small but very well appointed. The shower was great with plentiful hot water and pressure. Love the robes in the cabin. Can't say enough positive things abt the crew. They constantly work their tails off, are pleasant-I would even say warm, make a real effort to know your names, and strive to make you as comfortable as possible. They deserve every dime they are tipped, so don't jip them. The towel animals are cute. Our room was immaculate although it was difficult to ever catch them cleaning.
The food was pretty good overall and very good in some instances. We had late dining which was unable to get changed, and not the first choice I would have preferred, but our waiters were very attentive, funny, and charming. Again, they work their tails off so unless something bad happens that THEY do, don't take out any pettiness on them. We only had breakfast once in the Renoir, and it was probably the worst service we had anywhere on the ship, but later we had brunch in the same restaurant and it was great, but still a little slow. I felt the buffets and dining choices -our dining was in the Monet were excellent in variety. The pizza is DELICIOUS. Our favorite is room service which we thought had better fruit and desserts than the main areas...we did tip the delivery crw member $2 each time as we had read on other reviews. Idk if that made a difference but each one was very gracious at the gesture. The desserts look good but I didn't love any of them.
We only saw 1comedian but he was hilarious. I saw all the shows,but really didn't enjoy them much. In fact, I actually detested the Divas which I found somewhat edgy if not vulgar in some parts. I am more of a tranquil seeking cruiser, so I went up to the 10/11 floors at the back of the ship to get away from the constant loud music and drinking on the Lido deck, which is great if that's what you like. It is crowded and difficult to get into a hot tub bcuz of all the kids....everywhere....unsupervised. You'll have better luck trying the hot tub at the back of the Lido deck where the pizza is made. The spa is fabulous! The mgr ran a special if you went to the drawing the first afternoon onboard for 1/2 price-$129 for a massage and facial-the BEST facial I have ever had. My son made friends the first fun day at sea and although he didn't really love the club o2 activities (he reported very vulgar dancing and grinding by some of the other older teens), he and his group had a lot of fun around the ship with karaoke, piano bar, etc.
We booked the Seawinds all inclusive beach excursion thru the ship (online before we boarded-sometimes the excursions sell out onboard which is one of the reasons we didn't love our previous cruise) in Jamaica. I was a little freaked out after reading some reviews of Jamaica. I wanted the security of using the ship's contacts for this port. Turned out to be the best decision we could have made. We were escorted to the bus, beach club was behind security gates with security at the gate and along the beach. We were never approached by anyone trying to sell us drugs. They had kayaks and hobie cat sailboats they would take you out in, as well as snorkeling-we brought our own. So much fun!! Reserve the sailboats ASAP when you arrive and make sure you eat when they start lunch. I didn't realize it was only served for a certain amt of time before they clear it away. The food isn't amazing but it's good. Highly recommend this excursion. We heard from MANY others who did not go with us and did not have great experiences while we were there.
We had terrible weather in Grand Cayman and were unable to do our stingray excursion. Disappointing but you can't control the weather. This is a very expensive port. We went to a beach shack restaurant and had a tiny bowl of soup, 4 small hushpuppie sized conch fritters, 2sodas, and a fish blt sandwich with fries for $33 before tip.....and be careful, I forgot to look at the sign before the numbers so it was actually in Cayman money not dollars which is more American money. Also, the ship tenders here which means they drop anchor and you have to ride in smaller boats to shore. I thought it was fun, but the lines to come back to the ship were VERY long-an hour or more wait. Luckily, we had had a bit of frustration and returned to the ship earlier than we planned and didn't run into difficulty getting back onboard. On the bright side, I was finally able to get I to the hot tub!
Cozumel is super fun! We had been before on a snorkel excursion which was the best part of an otherwise disappointing trip. This time my son wanted a chance to shop and explore so we didn't book an excursion. We met another couple riding in the elevator to get off the ship who also wanted to shop, so we shared a taxi ($4 each person) to go downtown. We had the best time! Do get off the street that faces the water and go into the actual town square. We had a fun lunch and great time bargaining and shopping. Most store owners are very nice...a little over zealous sometimes but usually polite. On that note, it is easy to see why so many people from other countries say ugly things about American travelers. We are VERY rude! I heard so many insulting things come out of stupid American redneck mouths, it embarrassed me. A final note about Cozumel, don't even think about trying to drive yourself anywhere here, it is truly frightening, even as a passenger.
Lastly, the best and worst of the cruise is the people. We met the best people to visit and hang out with. The crew is phenomenal. Please ask them how "their" day was and let them tell you about their homes and families. They work 6months on and 2months off, very far away from their homes. The worst part are spoiled undisciplined adults and children who think only of themselves. Sooo loud at all hours of the night and mornings, literally yelling in the hallways and running everywhere, bumping into anyone without any thought for anyone else. Extremely annoying. So, take earplugs, and try to stay at the end of a hall, not in the middle where folks from each end need to walk past your room. Also, FYI, our trip had some pretty rough water. You feel it less in the lower decks, but the worse thing you can do if you do become seasick is to lay in bed. Get up, get some air, take some meds, eat a little, and you'll get used to it. Happy saling.