This review will mostly be positive, but to be completely honest, there were a few glitches. The beginning of the cruise was chaos. We had a transfer from LAX to the Port of Long Beach and we were told because of some issues we would not be able to board at the normal time. Carnival did message us and let us know which we appreciated. So we got to the port quite late and that is where chaos reigned. There was a shipful of people in a LONG line and we waited and waited. The worst part of being in a line of people like that for 2 hours or more was there was no place to sit. There were a lot of people who were physically challenged and it was a shock that there wasn't seating. That issue should be rectified. The security people were rude and I realize they were stressed also, but it was not a pleasant experience. My husband and I got up to our room after walking up four flights of stairs and less than 5 minutes before they called Muster, We were not happy campers. Carnival did give each us a $15 credit on our account for the inconvenience. Thankfully the rest of the cruise met or went above our expectations.
This was my 5th Carnival Cruise and this was the smallest ship, but it was a beauty. We loved it and have many happy memories of our 15 days. We always get a balcony and they are all the same, but we are more than pleased with the accommodations. Our room steward ,Srinivasan Varadachari, and and his assistants went above our wants and needs and I cannot tell you how much we appreciate all they do. My husband had gotten me a vase of beautiful flowers and after a few days they were looking sad, so I requested they be taken from the room and disposed of. Vasan brought them back to life and made them last the whole cruise. That is just one example of their superior service. The Bacchus dining room was in a very fun design and since this was a cruise with 8 1/2 sea days, I tried to notice the detail and the whole ship was well done. There is a lot of detail put into theses ships and I don't think most of us really appreciate it. We ate every meal at night in the dining room except for the night we were at a luau and the night we ate at Nick and Nora's which is there extra price( $35) restaurant. More on that later.
Our dining room experience every evening was something we really looked forward to. There was a great variety of food and we enjoyed most of it. We had a service Team of Ramoncito, Bernice, and Agus who made dining such a fine experience, we probably would've been satisfied even if the food hadn't been so good. They had all of our names and special wishes known by the second day. I'll always remember them. We had a window seat which was very nice, but it was dark most evenings, so probably any place would've been okay for seating.
Their specialty restaurant, Nick and Nora's was outstanding, but there were very few people there the night we went. I think people balk at the extra charge. It truly is worth it, but I think maybe a charge in the $20 to $25 would bring more guests in to enjoy the very fine dining experience offered there.
The production shows were spectacular as far as I was concerned. The Beatles Tribute Show was especially memorable and wish I could see it again. I went to see the Naturalist speak every day and learned a lot from her. The theater was FREEZING COLD though.
We did a craft every day at sea and that was a lot of fun. We met a lot of nice people there and we probably drove our teacher, Bobbi, nuts but she had a lot of patience. It was nice to see both men and women there also.
We made shore excursions through Carnival at every port except for Hilo, where we rented a car for the day. They all met our expectations and more. We have never had a bad experience with the shore excursions. Carnival really excels in that area. I really think Carnival can't be beat for their cruises. I have been on a premium line also and I'll take Carnival any day. I just wish they offered a few more varied itineraries. I think they may be working on that issue. Can't wait for my 6th Carnival Cruise which is already scheduled in February. Happy Cruising.