This my 7th cruise and my first with Carnival Cruise Lines. Over the years I wanted to try Carnival however my travel agent strongly objected and stated that I would hate it. Well, I no longer use that travel agent and had a wonderful time. I have sailed on HAL, RC and Celebrity. I am still a Celebrity fan by far and have done the bulk of my cruises with them. Carnival is a different cruise line. The fares are less expensive however they do sell you while on the boat. For instance, I have never had my picture taken so many times. On the other lines I think I may have bought one picture ever. The pictures were great and we bought several. The drink prices seem higher as well. Overall I can control those areas. The clientele is different however no one was stuffy and by far there were no fashion models as I am not as well. Extreme comfort level with everyone on board.
Embarkation was little long however it must be realized that the Port of Baltimore does maybe 2 cruises a week. The building is small and I am sure it is all part time help. We arrived at 2pm (which is what the cruise line told us to do) and we were on the boat in 90 minutes. We were most likely one of the last to get on the ship.
Our rooms were good. They were clean and other than some minor items they were in good shape. We had 5108 and 5106. This is a little different configuration as 5108 is extended balcony and 5106 is an inside room. THis has a connecting door which remains opens. I know other cruise lines the door has a spring on it however this actually remains open. So, it was like a two bedroom suite with two bathrooms. Great location although once we could hear the music from the THeater. No big deal. Kids CLub is down the hall however that was ok. I would say if you go when the kids are out of school this may not be a good choice. We really did not make any real contact with our cabin stewart. He was there however we passed him in the hall. I think that his work load if higher than other cruise lines. We usally did not get service until late morning vs other cruise lines where when we went out to breakfast the room was either completed or they were coming. Overal good.
The Food is different. If you are a foodie this may be a sticking point. My family and I are ok with hot dogs and chicken fingers for lunch. The lunch is more of the area where I was disappointed. There are options however it just seemed that nothing suited me. Breakfast was fine and dinner was better. Evening dinner service with Joseph was great. THe service was wonderful. We ate in the Steak House and enjoyed it. Far too much food. The Sea Day Brunch got old after the first Sea Day. I would recommend a Brunch BUffet.
The entertainment was very good. We went to one show in the theater and most if not all of the comedy club shows. Most of the comedians were great. You need to arrival early when there is only one adult show. Later in the week when they have multiple shows it is easier to find a seat. Trivia was good and we did most of the Trivia. I would say that this ship had more Trivia than other cruise lines however do not look for it early in the week.
In Port Canaveral we went to UNiversal. We went off season and there was still a crowd although we did everything in Islands of Adventure. When in season I would stay away from the parks. In the Islands we did not do an excursion because of the expense. Freeport there is absolutely nothing at the port. We were there to relax so this was not a big deal.
Weather was ok except it was cooler than what we wanted but that is not the fault of Carnival. :)
We overall had a good time.
Debarkation was long and while I will not complain about it I have to think they could do a better job. We waited in the theater from 8:30am until almost noon. The ship had not even docked and we were asked to leave our rooms. I have sailed on other cruise lines where I walked off the ship with no lines at 9am.
I would recommend this cruise out of Baltimore. I hope to do another Carnival Cruise in the future and check out another ship.