AHOY SHIPMATES, and possible future Shipmates.
Best place to start is a home and TRANSPORTATION to the ship. We only live 11.5 miles from the port but it's not so simple to get there economically. There is a transportation and PORT "MAFIA" in town. Taxi is $40. each way to ship. Drive my own car and it's $75. for 5 day cruise to park at port. Cheapest is to drive 25 mi. to Park-Easy fly at the Airport and pay $40.inc shuttle to n from ship if done on line. (not the fastest but good) . Only $30. if done in person. ????.
CHECK IN is busy but expedient and very friendly at 1130 , doesn't get real busy till about 1230. Security was efficient and very friendly. I tripped and fell(a real nose dive) and they were all great rushing to see if I was ok etc. I was.
B sure to do pre boarding paperwork and have passport and boarding pass ready and it's a breeze. May help if your wearing a retired Mil. hat.
Rooms weren't ready yet so off to the LIDO for lunch which was being served and very good with lots of choices. COFFEE is terrible but Ice Cream is really good. Best I've had on a cruise ship. Finished lunch and cabins were ready
and people were already receiving their luggage at 1215. When boarding there are several crew stationed by all elevators and stairs who are wearing bright red shirts that say "JUST ASK' they are very helpful to guests try to find the food, pool, cabin etc.
\We had been offered an upgrade from OV to a large Balcony on the fantail for $200. Normally I wouldn't do it but for the large 80sq.ft. balcony I couldn't resist,
Wife loved it so it was worth it. Less than $70. per day each was a good price for the cabin.
FRIENDLY I had been on (solo) for 10 days 3 wks ago and when we went aboard at least 50 staff and crew greeted me by name and welcomed me back, and wanted to meet my wife (glad it was my wife) I've been on several other cruise lines, and never experienced the friendliness that was displayed here.
MAIN DINING ROOM early seating was open on time and excellent food with fast and efficient service .There are two dining rooms with identical menu and service. I have eaten in both and can find no reason to prefer one over the other.
ENTERTAINMENT. I my opinion....really bad, but then I was sober. One male singer played guitar in open areas at various times and was pretty good. The comedians will die of old age waiting for a laugh. Cruise dir has fun doing the game shows . limited audience.
PORTS Nassau is a must see once. not worth the hot walk a second time.
It's a lot of fun staying on the almost empty ship and playing on the giant waterslide . She is enjoying her second childhood(60). The other day was a stop at Little Stirrup Kay or called Cocoa Kay if you are on a Royal Carib. ship.
They serve bbq lunch ashore(free) and the sand is sand, water very shallow,
Tenders from ship to shore are very good and shuttle all day. NEGATIVE thing
is $40. to rent snorkel gear. If you have your own. you are still REQUIRED to rent life vest in order to snorkel. A real ripoff.
AT SEA days. Many activities going on all the time, plenty to do. A popular HAIRY CHEST CONTEST on deck by the pool (no hair required) open to men and women is more of a dance contest. The lady judges could be in danger of sexual harassment charges. Everyone had fun.
CASINO I found it to be user friendly and staff/dealers were more that willing to assist. slots were slots, Crap table had $5.min bet with double odds. The electronic poker table is a no-no, not the ships fault, New house rake is 15% up to $7. each pot.... The table was full most of the time.
DISEMBARKATION was very smooth and done ahead of schedule. those with hand carried luggage began leaving at 0800 and there was no govt. slowdown in the terminal. Customs and Immigration had 4 lines going and wisked us right through. We had a 10 min wait for shuttle to car . that was to be expected.
Wife and I are very experienced travelers and very analytical (not picky)
of the cruises we do. We think CARNIVAL is great for short getaways but will continue to choose HAL for the longer ones. Carnival is by far the best deal for the dollar spent.