Let me preface by saying I have been all over the carribean the past 10 years, but via all inclusive and thought I would try a cruise with 8 of my other friends. I am very much a beach, off the beaten path kind of traveler. I like to see the culture and stay busy while sunning. It has been the MOST expensive trip I have been on ever.
Embarkation: Well, Im pretty sure this is quick with so many people for a reason. They have it figured out. We were in a huge line and on the boat in no time. Very efficient and our bags were right at our room door.
Room: Well we asked for a king bed twice and even requested it on the website and through our booking agent. Nope, twin beds. But thankfully they remedied this quickly.
Rooms: They are very small. Having some window or balcony is definetely a good thing. I went into my friends room which was an inner room, and Im not sure I could handle that small size...even if Im not claustrophobic and don't spend much time in there. But the room was clean and loved the towel animals daily. I was not a fan that our pool towels were not restocked after the 3 rd day. We even tipped. Not a fan with this.
Pool: Terrible. There were only two for 3500 people and they were hotter than the hot tubs themselves. Especially the last day. It was so hot, barely anyone could get in the water? I had to spend most of my time on board taking a shower beside the pool to stay cool? I honestly can do that at home. And it was my fault b/c kids is predominant on a Carnival versus Princess, but they were everywhere and parents did not watch them at all. jumping on top of our heads, barely able to touch bottom handing on me? It was miserable. The towel game? Yea, you can't hold a chair longer than 40 minutes? Such a waste. People just laid their towels down and basically left. Ridiculous really. Overall the POOL was TERRIBLE. Why not have an adult pool, small as it may be and provide cooler water? We told the cruise director the last day how hot the water was that last day, and he seemed surprised? I have a hard time believing we were the only ones' whom noticed.
Food: Dining was actually great. Even if you have to pay extra for italian, steak, and sushi; they were delicious. Even if the servcie was slow, they waiters and waitresses were very nice. Our waiter at our table nightly was great too. Shout out to Keepak, Samuel. They were great. It was great to get vegetarian plates too for my friends.
Overall, the food was probably the only thing I haven't a complaint about and the friendly cruise director Matt. He was great and entertaining.
We very much enjoyed the ladies down at the 3rd floor bar. They were amazing and provided such great service this ended up being our meeting point everyday.
Beers/ cheers program: Pay for water and soda? Hmmmm. 15 drinks per day unless you do buckets or order alcohol in the room. Honestly, on excursion days I didn't hardly touch more than 4 drinks so it was kind of a waste. limiting and having to carry that card around for drinks? Was very cumbersome. I find this part very inconvenient actually. But we had some people who drank alot so, this program is really a must for them.
Nightlife: It was good a couple of nights. I found the latino music is great and mixing DJ to this is great sometimes, but it would have been nice to spin tunes that cater to everyone? The red frog had a girl that sang nightly and she was great.
Casino: It was clean and pretty busy. no complaints there. But I am not much of a gambler.
Ports: They were okay but honestly, there just isn't enough time to explore what I wanted to and I didn't enjoy feeling I was on a schedule those days. That I will say is my only complaint. Getting off the boat was quick and efficient. Back on was the same.
Overall, this was my first cruise. I can go to a all inclusive resort and relax with no cards, bands or towel games and have top shelf beverages and spend all that money I felt was ridiculous on the cruise, tipping my servers. They are the one's who deserve that money. I could go to the most expensive resort I have stayed at plus 1500 pp on what we spent on this trip. It was mind boggling. I just felt at every corner they wanted more money, for you to spend more money, and I was miserable in their hot pools 2 out of the 6 days. I had a great time with the company with me but can say I am not sure I will ever travel by boat again; if I do, It will likely be to try another cruise line.