This is a late review of a cruise I took over Spring Break to the Western Caribbean. I know its late but I hope that if you read this the information is still relevent!
Overview: I booked thos cruise with a singles company but I will be reviewing my experiences abard the ship and not critique or rate the events put on by the agency I sailed with!
Embarkation: I arrived with a good sized group of people at @ noon. I t was the first time sailing for a lot of us. The process was very quick and the only hang up was the boarding photos they have you take. When we got on board the rooms were not ready to they had the halls blocked off and the only accessable parts of the ship were the public areas. They had a band playing in the main area and the buffet going on the Lido deck. The rooms were ready about 1 pm and bags were at the rooms by 6 pm. I had two bags and they were delivered seperately. My carry on bag that arrives first and was in my room when they allowed access to the room and my main bag did not arrive until @ 5.30 and was placed outside my door however the steward did not know to let me know that it was there.
The ship: Was completely full. I sailed over Spring break and it was a very young and ruckus crowd which I didn't mind. By the 3rd night Carnival had decided to close the hot tubs down earlier than usual since people wpuld just sit in them until midnight. There were only two "pools" on board both only 4 feet deep. The bars were severely understaffed and I usually had to wait around 10 minutes to get a drink.
My room: Was a balcony. It was well worth the money, I am booked on the Oasis and have an interior balcony, I'm wishing I upgraded to the oceanview now! All my future cruises will be balcony for sure. Yes, you may not be in your room that often but its nice to step out on your own balcony when your in it, especially to watch ports come in, sunrises and sunsets. The room was clean, plenty of storage for 1 person, could get a little "interesting" if you have a second person. The shower does have a tendency to flood the floors even with the towels rolled up against it. also if you sail this ship in particular I suggest the Verandah deck aft. That's were my room was and I was able to take 1 flight of stairs up to the Lido, 2 down to be on the deck with the bars and casino just down the way and 3 down from my room to dinner. It made it way easier when the elevators were conjested!
The food: Was good, nothing to complain about. Nothing to rave about. You won't go hungry and the staff was very quick and fun. I did not eat at the speciality places. The dining room is right above the engine room it seems so there is a tendency to hear the drones of the engines as you dine which wasn't a big deal for me.
Overall experience: I was very satified. Especially since this cruise was just a few weeks after Carnival had three incidences in a row!
Entertainment: People seemed to love the comedy show though I didn't go. People also seemed to enjoy the piano bar. I spent every night at the night club personally. It dodn't seem to pick up till @ 11. The only night the ship entertainment was bland was the deck party night. Everyone on the ship was at that and that crowd was too big for me. A word of advice: if your a moderate to heavy drinker do the Cheers program on the first and second night. It covers all beer, mixed drinks and wines under if i remember $11. You can only order 15 in a 24 hour period and there is a 5 minute wait between drinks but its well worth it. Over my trip I ordered 55 drinks (not all for me, I was buying drinks for ladies at the club) which broke down to $6.50 a drink.
Excursions: I did the bar crawl which was ok. The tour guide was kind of a jerk to me towards the end. I highly recomend Stingray bay at Grand Cayman and Dunn's river in Ochos Rios, both were great. Carnival didn't allow that much time in port and there was confusion on Grand cayman about port time and ship time. On Grand Cayman and Jamicia the time felt rushed in order to get back to the ship on time.
Fitness and Recreation: If your a machine and treadmill person the gym is great. If your free wights like me you might as well take the week off. The track is small and pretty much top deck. When the ship is sailing its very hard to run as the wind either makes it very hard or very easy to run.I say just take the week off, your on vacation, unless you got a run your training for like I was.
Disembarktation: I felt like I was rushed out of my room as soon as we had tied up. I was on one of the top decks so I was one of the first to be announced off. Going through customs was a breeze, a lot easier than I thought it would be.
Summary: I was satified with the cruise, espcially since this was a few weeks after Carnival had its 3rd ship incident. If you have never cruised before I recommend this ship or a ship of its size as it was pretty easy to figure out and there was just enough to keep you occupied but never bored. I will consider Carnival again in the future.