We travelled to Sydney from interstate, we arrived two days prior to sailing,firstly so we could sightsee Sydney and secondly to make sure we did not miss the ship due to air flight cancellations or some unforeseen circumstance.
After all this was mine,my wife and two teenagers first cruise and we did not want to let the excitement of our upcoming adventure,not to mention our savings spent paying for this cruise,be wasted due to missing the boat,so to speak.
We had researched this ship extensively,looking at most info on you tube and speaking to people locally we knew who had experienced a cruise with her. Once our mind was made up we found ourselves a good travel agent and things were set in motion.
We arrived at embarkation early and lined up to be processed,however when we reached the counter there was a computer problem (unusual hey) however the staff after a period of trying to remedy the problem decided to process people manually until a tech could be found. This event I thought would be stressful for passengers and staff however I found the opposite , staff were excellent explaining the problem and getting on with the job.
Once on board my wife and I found our way to the serenity area at the stern of the ship,this was an adults only area were we stayed, lounging around and enjoying refreshments until nearly cast off. This was when we first encountered the first class service from the Carnival staff and it continued for the rest of the voyage.
The 2 teenagers spent this time exploring the ship and amazingly not wasting time made some friends in the process.
We met in the cabin just as we were pulling out of circular quay,this was the first time we had seen the cabin and we were extremely pleased with what we saw. Our cabin was situated toward the bow of the ship we had a balcony, king size bed, tv that had dedicated channels to the ships activities,the washroom facilities were very good and my wife was very happy with the clothesline above the shower bay.(we did use the excellent laundry facilities later in the cruise where good washers and dryers were in situ and the cost for their use was reasonable, however I thought the laundry powder a bit expensive.
We had an interior door leading to our children's room were we found two single beds and good amenities the same as our room. Their room could also be accessed from the hallway however they did not have a balcony. Access from the hallway was important as they sometimes,actually quite often, arrived back to the room late after enjoying their friends company in the children's club.
Once we were settled in our room and unpacked I did need to contact our room attendant as I had messed up the coding,on the in room safe, this was corrected without any trouble.
We found the children's clubs to be excellent our children made many friends who they still keep in contact with, the activities were well supervised and the young man in charge of this particular group of children was well liked.
The adult entertainment was first class. We attended three shows a night, one Cabernet type show and two comedy shows,of course if you wanted to just sit in one of the many lounges and do nothing then you could do that also.
During the sail days there were plenty of activities to keep you occupied or you could just lay around the pool. Or you could spend some time in the casino they actually still have some of my money must get it back next time I cruise.
The ports we visited we tended to do our own thing as far as arranging tours etc,we found it less expensive that way than booking through the ship tour desk however I understand that through the ship booking you have some comeback if things go wrong however we had no trouble.
I left the food comments until last because you always leave the best til last.
It was fantastic.
It did not matter if we eat at the buffet or the dining room the quality and service was first class. The entertainment by the waiting staff in the dining room was excellent and kept up the premise of the fun ship.
Our teens took to the opportunity of eating in a restaurant environment every night by experiencing foods they would not normally eat such as frogs legs and snails.
We did pay for one evening meal in the al a carte restaurant as it was my wife's birthday and we decided to do something special. Spkecial it was, the 4 meals were superb.
Unfortunately the cruise came to an end and we arrived back in Sydney,I imagined disembarking with all the cases and people would be a nightmare however like everything else on the cruise it was well managed and well executed. The staff were friendly,helpful and nothing was any trouble.
In summary we had a fantastic time and told anyone who would listen how good it was.
We are now saving for our next cruise.