EMBARKATION: With Priority Boarding it was easy. We were on board around 11:00AM and our room was ready. This was a new experience walking onto the ship and going straight to stateroom where we unloaded our carry on and refreshed. Went to lunch at Lido at 11:45 and food was reasonably good - actually better than we expected,
My husband and I have cruised 50+ times with many lines, this was #18 with Carnival. We’ve been to the Caribbean many times, so we cruise for the ship sake and not the ports. We are seniors, like really good food, enjoy the theater productions, like shopping and meeting people. We have been on tours in the past so we seldom take the ship tours.
CABIN: We selected COVE BALCONY Room 2381 because we had read that being close to the water was interesting - that you could see fish jump - well, we didn’t see any fish, and we were not on the port side so we couldn’t see the port or people boarding, To us the Cove Balcony was no big More
deal. The room is the same room you would get anywhere else on the ship. The room was kept clean, ice twice a day (at our request), plenty of towels always, duvets were exchanged for blankets at our request. We gave the room steward $20 upon arrival and our service was excellent all week. There was some bumping overhead at night (must be MDR galley) but this was only a slight annoyance.
One cannot walk straight through the ship on decks 3 & 4 and this was an annoyance especially since we were on deck 2. The Crimson Dining Room is in the middle of the ship.
ANYTIME DINING worked quite well, never had to wait for a table in Crimson Dining Room but we always dine early. On sea days there was a brunch in the Scarlet Dining Room. The selection was nearly all breakfast foods that could be found in the Lido. I ate the soup that someone recommended and was very disappointed. The omelets, etc., all looked very high calorie and very ordinary. However, this was a good place to visit with other cruisers since we weren’t going anywhere those days.
The dinners in the Crimson Dining Room were just OK. (5 on a scale of 1-10). The salads were not always crisp, the entrees just OK. Never anything outstanding.
The Gathering (Lido) buffet food was the usual ship food, but one could always find something enjoyable. The ice cream is the only desert worth eating. The coffee is terrible on the whole ship.
The STEAKHOUSE food was wonderful both nights we ate there. We had the lobster, steak, lamb, and sea bass. All were absolutely great - especially the lamb. The cream cheesecake was so excellent the first time that we ordered it again the second time. The chief came by our table and explained why the cheesecake was so wonderful (at my request). Service was excellent, environment wonderful sitting by the sea.
The CHIEF’S TABLE ( $75 per person) included wine and a 5 course meal. This high end dinner was held in the very noisy galley. It was so noisy that the Chief used a loud speaker on his belt; this was absolutely unsatisfactory. We could not easily visit with the other 12 people there. We were served the same 2 wines with each course - a white and a red. On all other ships we have had different wines with each course. The food was artistic but not tasty. We had Tuna on avocado gel, caramelized cornish hen, spinach with green peas and turnips, salmon, short ribs, and mango cake with mascarpone cream. None of this was outstanding. The Chief was very kind and gracious, but he needs some help with this event.
SERVICE: Excellent and friendly. The only time we were unhappy was when we tried to get RedFrog beers in the Lido. Close by bars were closed, finally a waitstaff said he would go and get it. It arrived after we had finished our meal.
PORTS: Mahogany Bay at Isla Roatan was very pretty. There is nice shopping and a beautiful beach within walking distance. I liked being able to use the beach, chairs, hut, snorkel, swim at no cost - just show your keycard when entering the park area. There were restaurants and restrooms there, plus souvenir places.
At BELIZE we had to tender to shore. This was a lot of lines and waiting. The trip to shore for shopping was not worth it.
COZUMEL is a nice shopping port with a good pier.
ENTERTAINMENT: Showtime with the Carnival Dream Dancers was always excellent. The Fun Force Break Dancers were fantastic and performed several times. They performed the last night in the Atrium. This Atium is tiny compared to most ships - a really crowded appearance. We did not attend the comedy shows.
SUMMARY: We enjoyed the week even tho it was not our favorite cruise. In fact, we probably won’t go back on Carnival unless it is with our grandchildren. Less
A good cruise, but not great. The ship layout was poor. I can’t believe they would build this fairly new ship and not have a more open, easy layout. Colors did not blend, no theme. Overall, it gives a crowded appearance. Stateroom was adequate and average. Staff and crew were friendly. Cruise director was good, liked him better as the week went on.