A first time cruiser cruising with those in the know! Right from the start I was not impressed with the way the prices bounced up and down hour by hour. But eventually we booked the trip - We planned our journey and worked ourselves up for the family event. (2yr to 73yrs - 9 passengers)
We choose a hotel out of town where we could leave the cars for the duration of the cruise - Dropped the party off at the port and then bussed back in - Certainly an option for us.
Checking in seemed a bit of a muddle clearly a few of the staff frustrated - But the lines moved reasonably well with a larger number of staff checking the passengers in.
Carnival - I really didn't like the indication that the "Welcome aboard" drink was complementary........ A great start when the waiter got upset at me taking a swig and then handing it back as I refused to pay $8 for a "free drink". The waiter actually made quite a nuisance of themselves.
There seemed to be a More
lot of food available but after a few days one found it not to be the case - I wonder why do they clear the buffets at the time passengers are returning from their trips. There was definitely a repetitive streak throughout all the buffets, fruits, breads, fries, meats etc
I have seen several reviews that indicate slow embarkation, I didn't find that part too bad - A few reviews ask "Why did we have to be back on board at 3pm"? - I would suggest is solely about getting your money spent on the ship. A definite feeling of "where will I be ripped off next"?
Spending over $200 on photos and being given my free gift was nice - I received my USB flash drive in the shape of a Carnival Cruise Ship - Well I nearly got my hands on it as the nice chap in the pixels store says we can put all your pics onto the flash drive if you like........ "Oh yes please" I said - Whoops - another apparently free offer that cost me $10
Golden Pearl Dining (Late) upstairs :
Food definitely fits into the "good" category - Services was dreadful one evening but in the main acceptable - Other than it not being served to the entire table all at the same time. Staff did their best I think. Timings of the waiters dance was way off with us still eating our main course where most table downstairs had finished their meal
Scuba Diving (Oasis Divers) at Grand Turks - Fantastic !!!
Half Moon Cay - $25 for a sun shade but other wise all good
Nassau - Atlantis...... Never again - Definitely fits into the totally awful - Very expensive, for little return ......
Overall quite dirty, many patch repairs, flaking paint, poor signage
It starts with having to be in the Theatre in prep for the excursion. We were quite early and sat patiently at the back of the theatre as directed, gradually the space filled up with people still wandering in 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave. Staff commenced distribution of wrist bands from the front of the theatre with the instruction of "Do not fit your own wrist band". More staff arrived to fit the afore mentioned wrist bands and now the late arrivals at the front of the theatre were ready to leave the ship. Me being me and few of the others at the back of the theatre who had now been waiting well over an hour for wrist bands became a little antsy!
In due course we were complete but why on earth would they not check tickets and issue wrist bands as you enter one side of the theatre and have you leave through the other side - Or is that too easy?
We made our way off the ship onto the quay and to the waiting busses - A 5 minute drive and we were at Atlantis. Our youngest member (2years) was keen to get wet so we sat him in the poolside .......... Woooooooo !!! I thought someone had just been shot ! Apparently the park doesn't open for another 30 minutes and no one is allowed in the water. There was no mistake in that instruction!
By 09:57 (Opens at 10am) people were again becoming frustrated at the staff and the apparent disorganization - A large crowd was now gathered at various watersides. At 10:03 a guy (not me) said "F88k you buddy" and jumped in a ring and was quickly followed by a hundred more floating down the lazy river...... The lifeguard just laughed.
Dolphin swim - A must do for the kids - We adults will watch....... $150 odd to get to Atlantis an extra however much for the dolphins and now they want $15 per person to view. No cameras allowed in the swim area....... Why? ........ Because the cheapest way to buy just one photo costs you $120 and you get one 8"x10" print and a cd containing all the photos taken by the "pro photographer" (They were not that good).
The whole point of a cruise, is the ship experience and so they want you on the ship as much as possible spending money on the ship and they definitely find ways to make you spend it.
Couldn't find a baby change table anywhere ! All of our 4 rooms had drainage issues with the shower tray not draining and the balance of gravity pushed the water up through the bathroom drain
Entertainment was Ok and several options to suit various taste - But the "Adult" entertainment suggest the organizers need to get out a little more often - F after F after F is a teenager thing not adult !!
Room stewards - more than good
Security ...... Could make more interaction and clear the bloody towels off the sunbeds, not only around the pools, but everywhere. A huge number of sun loungers and chairs non reserved by bums, most reserved by towels for no reason.
Overall - It was Ok but I was not thoroughly impressed Less