What can I say about the perfect vacation except that I wish they were all like this. From beginning to end and everything in between Carnival does everything within their power to ensure that you have a wonderful time. If you don't it's your own fault.
Embarkation was quick and easy. We had priority booking so we were able to get onboard earlier. We were in NYC at 12:30 and on the ship by 1. After a quick stop to the desk to set up our sign and sail account, we were in the room by 1:30. My hubby and son were happy to be eating lunch by 2. I was happy for the pina colada, lol. Our luggage was in the room by 3:30 ish.
I was totally expecting this cotton candy pink coloring throughout the ship because of the reviews I previously read. Seriously? It's not like that at all. There's pink and a lot of other colors too. It's really no biggie. Our room (7312) was big and CLEAN! I mean the bathroom tub is sparkling, like they just put it in. It was so clean that I happily used the Jacuzzi tub (which if you knew me you'd know I never use any tub other than my own like that). So I mean clean. Our cabin steward Clarence is going to be one of if not the nicest man you will meet on the ship. He knew who we were, by name and face, by Monday night. And we just boarded that day!! His pleasant manner, his and ALL of the staff, was just so nice. It added to the perfection of the vacation.
We loved the food. If you can't find something you like than you have a big problem. From healthier choices to those that aren't so healthy, there is something for everyone. My family loved the pizza, deli and grill. My son and I ate the Indian food every day. Pineapple relish and chips, where have you been all my life? We did not eat one night in the dining room and did not do any of the elegant nights. That just doesn't fit our style (plus we did that on our cruise 3 years ago, that was enough for the menfolk). But we did eat at the Pinnacle Restaurant and had a fabulous meal. It is well worth the $35 and enjoyed it very, very much.
The ports of call were wonderful. On Grand Turk we did the Stingray and Snorkel Adventure. Highly recommend it (from Oasis). Besides being able to hang out, touch and yes kiss these graceful creatures, we snorkeled and saw a stringray just hiding out under the sand, a couple of lobsters, colorful fish and we even got to swim with a sea turtle, until he decided he was done with us tourists.
If you've never been to Half Moon Cay-it's heaven on earth. Soft white sand, crystal clear water....ahhh. It's so beautiful Grab a clam shell for $20 and slather on the sunscreen....you'll need both. The bbq is good, lots of choices and it's a nice break from sunning and swimming.
We stayed onboard at Nassau, we're not too impressed with it. But I did have a wonderful hot stone massage at Cloud 9 Spa. Shandra, my masseuse, was great. The treatment was so relaxing. I've had quite a few stone massages, they are my fav and this was in the top 5. I've read that people complained about a hard sell of products afterwards, I didn't get that. She explained what she did, what products she used and just told me there was a 20% discount on another service if I wanted it. That's it. No different from other spas I've been to.
Entertainment onboard it fantastic. Vroom was my favorite show, but they all are good. Marcelo the cruise director, Gary the Assistant CD, Dominic, Graham and the rest of the staff are funny, warm and friendly. We loved to do the trivia contests (3-24karat gold plastic ships on a stick for us). There's so much to do, if you're bored on a cruise, check your pulse!
I mentioned the room being clean, this also goes for the whole ship. We've all been to pools where the bottom is slimy or the hot tub is slippery. Not here. I usually always wear aqua shoes but I didn't feel the need to do that here. It wasn't slippery or gross. The whole ship is clean, someone is always sweeping or vacuuming or dusting. They might need to come to my house for a few hours, lol.
I can't complain about anything. What I will say is pack for every occasion. Even if you feel healthy, pack cold medication....my poor son got a head cold on Wednesday. We went to the store and picked up some Dristan for him. It was $16.00 for a box!!! Even the check out guy was like Holy Crap, lol. It made him feel better so it was worth it but....The table next to us told the story of someone from the ship who needed diapers and went to a store on Grand Turk. They were $65! Add the $35 taxi ride and that's outrageous. So pack for every situation.
I know that Carnival has had some bad luck in the beginning of the year, but don't let that stop you from booking a cruise with them. This is a great ship and everyone is working their butts off so that you will have a memorable and enjoyable experience. These guys work HARD and always have a warm smile and a hello for you. For 8 days, this truly is your home and they make sure you know they think of you as family.