Embarkation Arrived in Baltimore a day early with the family (husband and 2 girls ages 7 and 10) so we would not be pressured by time to get to the Port of Baltimore. Came from Massachusetts using Amtrak as transportation mode. Really good decision on our part no delays or concerns and inexpensive given the school vacation week. Embarkation was well-organized. We got the the pier around 12:30 and waited about 1 hour prior to boarding the ship. This seemed reasonable.
Ship decor was fine...yes many pictures of naked men and woman but all art like except I must say the enormous picture of the naked woman in the hallway right before the Normandy Restaurant (trust me you will know what I mean). The David statue was a bit much too but beyond that the rest of the ship was very tastefully done. We felt the ship was laid out well with the exception of getting to Camp Carnival which was hidden away on deck 5 down cabin hallways with no real easy access. We wondered if that was for security though and like that this was thought about. Loved that there was large spaces to relax in and talk or watch the beautiful ocean. Pools were nice. Unlike the last cruise I was on we had no trouble finding at least 2 deck chairs to stay on. This was school break so I think that families are less likely to stay in one spot. Serenity deck was only mediocre in my opinion. Honestly, the adults there were more rowdy then the children in the other pools and they hoarded the whirlpool...we stayed away from that area.
Stateroom was great. We were in an ocean view cabin and plenty of room for family. The window was huge with a lip in front to sit on and look at the water. The shower was great in temperature and pressure. I must say the steward service was amazing. This woman had the best customer service I have ever encountered. She knew us by name and really related to the girls. She kept our room immaculate.
I like that they have this service for families. I will say that they do not do many activities for the kids out of the Camp Carnival room during the day so if the kids go they will miss the pool area etc...so we decided to use it after dinner from about 7-10pm. This was a great break for my husband and I and the girls loved it. We paid one for the Camp Owl service from 10-12...they had a great time....would not send them during the day if it is nice out.
The food was excellent overall. Not a big fan that we were seated with another family...would have rather been just with our family but I do know this is how they do things. The buffet food was fine. Pizza was good. The best part was the Deli where they could make anything a panini. There was so much food all the time which is a little beyond what my family is used to. We are not the type that eat between meals or have multiple courses...for us there was too much...but I'm sure that doesn't make a difference to most. We did go to David's one night. This was an excellent experience! I would recommend it. I do feel it is too pricey though and gratuity is not included so for a dinner for 2 it will cost you about $85 and that is without drinks.
Port Canaveral Florida was fine if you book an excursion. We went on the Airboat Alligator ride. Very nice time and great educational experience for the girls. However, not a big fan of Florida as a port...feel like it would be a nice change to take this off the itinerary.
Nassau Bahamas: Loved this island. Took the Catamaran Sail and Snorkle. This was a great day...beautiful snorkeling, great ride and free all you can drink rum fruit punch or reg fruit punch on way back. My 7 and 10 year old did great.
Freeport Bahamas: Took advice of someone on-line and took a cab($10 pp round trip) to Port Lucaya to the Grand Lucayan resort and bought a day pass ($15 per adult). Got to use their pool, spa and beach. Great time. So beautiful. (There is free beach access too...if you don't care about the pool). Not a fan that Carnival is only at this port until 1p.m. had to rush back and get up super early. Would have preferred staying at Nassau for 2 days.
Shows on Ship
Only a fair rating for the shows. The dancers and singers were fair but not as impressive as other ships. The other entertainment was great. Love the piano bar and some of the folks organizing activities near the pool
This was a pretty easy process with one exception. We were able to be the 1st off as we were on Deck 1 and were lugging our luggage. We had to wait in the casino and it was so smoky. The casino was always smoky and not great when you are a non-smoker. Doesn't matter that there is a smoking section it is throughout the Casino. We had to wait an additional 45 minutes for some sort of delay...after that it all went smoothly.