This cruise was the second and last chance for Carnival, as far as I was concerned. I had sailed on the Elation out of New Orleans for my birthday back in November, and was, and this is the nicest way I can state this, overwhelmed with the poor customer service and training of the staff. I understood that this is the affordable cruise line and that you can't expect attention to detail and appointments like that of Disney, but rudeness and defensiveness was not what I was looking for.
But that was then, and this is now. I chose to go solo this time. And got a great deal on one of the larger interior cabins on the Empress Deck (7). Upon arrival, the staff in the terminal was well prepared, friendly, helpful and professional. having prepared my luggage for ease of electronic separation, I was through security, checked in with my Sail and Sign card and rolling up the ramp in less than 5 minutes.. with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. It was the way I wanted my long weekend getaway to start.
When I got to my room, it was prepared: clean, bright, and with a note welcoming me aboard. Before I could even drop my luggage, the steward was there, welcoming me with a smile and asking if there was anything he could do for me right then. I asked for ice and smiling said he would be right back...and he was. I had a small cooler with me and he kept it full for three days. Little things, ya know?
The staff... all of them.. would meet your eye and smile and say good morning/day /afternoon/evening when ever you passed. It was almost "disney-like". The Cruise Director "Wee Jimmy" was a hoot, never failed to stop and talk as well as put on some awesome shows. His team was always up to something, and there was always something going on. In fact, the only regret I had is that I wanted to do the trivia and something else at the same time. The only reason you could find something fun to do, would be because you didn't want to do something.
Great energy on the boat. A good mix of families, young people (20 - 30), middle aged folks like myself (I'm 49) and more experienced folks. I met up with a bachelor party, two bachelorette parties and a wedding party... all out for a good time and finding it. Met a few couples and solo adventurers closer to my age that were fun to hang around with as well. Allowed me to step outside the box a bit, and still have a good time. Pulling into Nassau in the afternoon and being the last ship out that evening made it feel more relaxed than the last time I was there. Good times.
The day at sea was packed full and the food selections were better that day than the two before. Game Show, Love and Marriage Show, Bingo, Trivia, Ice carving demonstration, Groove for St. Jude, and the Hairy Chest Contest made it a full day! (I won two of those...you have to guess which.)
Overall, a wonderful experience, made more so by the people I met and the attitude of the staff. I will definitely be going again.