Myself (53) and Mom (76) left on June 18th with some apprehension to say the least. We had read many negative reviews, and Carnival had several mishaps this past winter, that we actually had tried to cancel this cruise but would have lost $600 to do so.
Let me say that I have been on at least 25 cruises over past 10 years, and mom has cruised over 200 times in her life. I believe that our expectations of Moderate Priced cruises are reasonable.
So to our surprise, because of the way we had booked the cruise, we were actually started the trip with a $200 on board credit each. That was very nice!
Embarkation was quick and easy. We arrived about 12:45 having taken the cruise bus down from the Boston area. We went straight to our cabin, which was ready, to drop off our carry on luggage.
There was no problem bringing a couple of bottles of wine onboard in our carry on luggage.
Our room was VERY Clean and our cabin steward, Bagus, couldn't do enough for us. Every request was attended to with efficiency and always a smile and a pleasant demeanor.
Our Cabin 2284 was a window cabin. It was surprisingly very spacious with a great amount of storage space. The bathroom was very nice with a large counter at the sink and again, plenty of shelving for personal belongings.
Dining was also a pleasant surprise. We ate in the Gold Pearl dining room almost every night, 6 pm seating. Our waiter Rodney was attentative and very accomodating. His crew was equally as good in meeting our requests. The food in the MDR was GOOD. I have no complaints about the food. There was a greatly varied selection, it was usually very tasty and always served at the appropriate temperature. We did not dine at the specialty steakhouse restaurant since neither of us care much for red meat.
Up on the lido deck we visited the Tandori and Deli stations repeatedly which were both very good. Burger and Pizza Stations were typical. Many people were always lined up at both the Mongolian and Burrito Stations. Main selections were up to par in comparison to other cruise lines recently traveled.
We had room service delivered daily for breakfast and were pleasantly surprised to find smoked salmon, cream cheese and bagels on the room service menu. Delivery was always on time, and surprisingly we were able to get room service on day of departure.
Entertainment was overall good. The Three Productions shows were excellent, and the costumes and dancers above par. We went to 2 adult only comedy shows which we enjoyed. Many of the singing duos/groups around the ship were good. Only disappointment was the Piano Bar, which was usually relatively empty, and seemed to cater to the teens onboard.
Regarding the pools, we only used the Adults only pool at the back of the ship. While chairs were often full, the deck attendant always found a place in the shade to set up loungers for us. The pool in back is small and was often crowded, but without kids in it, was pleasant enough. The water in the pools is salt water.
The Casino was not paying off at all in my opinion. The nice thing about the casino is there is comfortable seating and music playing to enjoy if someone in your party is playing at the machines or tables.
Disembarkation was delayed due to the ship slowing down in order to evacuate 2 people off the ship for medical reasons the night before. Otherwise the process was smooth and easy.
We had been to all of the ports many times in the past, so I will not take up space discussing them here.
Overall the cruise was Very Nice and certainly much better than we had expected. I would travel on Carnival again.