Let me start by saying,I am not one who writes reviews, but I used this site regularly to see what everyone said about this cruise. The last time I was on a cruise was our honeymoon almost 17 years ago on Royal Caribbean. I was a little hesitant of sailing Carnival because of the issues they had and that I thought of it more of a party line.We chose this particular cruise because it is only a few hours from home and we could save on airfare.
First, I have to agree with a lot of reviews on a few points:
1. Embarkation- Quick and Pain free! We pulled up,unloaded our luggage, and parked. The lines moved very quick and before we knew it we were on the ship.
2. The ships condition- The decor is okay and makes for painful discussions when you travel with a 9 year old. Also quite a few areas where carpeting is ripped.
Now the positives of the cruise:
1. The hosts and events! For the most part they were great. Autumn was amazing! Sassy was funny and always at the events. Nathan who is the comedy club manager was alot of fun.There was only one host who was not that pleasant and I heard her say she had been sick the week before so I will give her a past. We did a lot of comedy shows(both the family and the adult. We saw 3 different comedians and 2 of them were really funny. We also went to a lot of the trivia contests a few of the shows(they were mediocre at best)some of the adult events late in the evenings were a great time. One of the things that I saw often that I had to disagree with was that people did not see Josh(The Cruise Director)We saw him often during the week, and since our last day which was at see was miserable we went to an event with both Josh and Sassy about the behind the scenes and life on The Pride Q and A. I told him that I felt, the hosts, are what made the cruise for my family.
2. Ports- So our ports were not bad. Port Canaveral was the only disappointment as the night before Kennedy Space Center had a water main break and we could only see some of it. We booked it on our own and not through Carnival. That allowed us to still go and see what we were able too. Carnival cancelled their tour forcing people to either find something else to do or hang around the ship.
Nassau we had nothing planned, so it was just a nice day walking around. In Freeport we did the Dolphin encounter.AMAZING. We all agreed that it was something we will never forget, even though it was expensive. We took a bus to the other end of the island and then a 20 minute boat ride with Captain Carl(he was very knowledgeable and a lot of fun). Once there we got to spend time with 2 great dolphins along with some Macaws, Cockatoo, a few turtles, and left with great memories.
3. Rooms-not huge but serve its purpose. Our room steward was great, room was always clean with fresh towels and pool towels, and great towel animals to amuse us each night. Only had one problem with our sink and it took a few calls to get someone out to fix it.
3. Debarkation- We did the Sail and Go. We were the first group who could leave if we did sail and go which is taking your own luggage off the ship on your own or we would have been the last group off if we did the conventional mode. Needless to say we were off the ship by 8:30 and in the car before 9:00am. It was the way to go.
Negative-One big negative was that the charge for the cheers card which is all you can drink alcohol was a little steep. It was $51 per day per person plus tax and if one adult in the room does it, all have to.
The next is not a negative but a disappointment
First before I comment on the food, the staff was excellent.Lizette especially was great all the way down to the person who filled water and brought coffee. They all could not do enough for you.We had anytime seating so we were not always in the same area so we saw a lot of the dining room staff, but we had Lizette for dinner a few times and she was especially great. The dancing and shows that they did during dinner made it extra special.
The food was my only point of contention. I will start with breakfast. The first few days we had breakfast on the Lido deck, and it was okay. Scrambled Eggs were okay(although the omelets were good) Waffles and pastries were mediocre. Pancakes and french toast were a little bit better. Breakfast in the dining room was better although waffles were still not good. Lunch was upstairs on the Lido deck everyday. Could always find something to eat. The problem is that it was not really good. Had deli sandwiches a few times from the deli station and that was good. and the pizza was really good. The chicken tenders were great. There were a few items that were good, but more items were just okay.
Now for dinner. We ate in the main dining room every night. Portions were tiny at best, food was okay. I remember on my first cruise that there were usually multiple appetizers, main courses and desserts that I wanted each night. On this cruise there was usually 1 and understand that I am not a picky eater. I will eat or try anything at least once. Just that it seemed very boring. With that being said my two kids 15 and 9 loved the food every day and always found something that was okay especially all you can eat ice cream on the Lido deck and my wife thought it was pretty good. Maybe my expectations were too high!
All in all I was very happy with our cruise and would sail with Carnival again.