This was our 2nd cruise with Carnival. We traveled with 18 family members this year, including our daughters, ages 17 and 15 and their friend also age 15. My husband and myself had 1 cabin and the girls had the next one to ours. First things first--Due to booking procedures, we booked the 2 cabins as 1 adult in each room, with 1 daughter in with me and the other 2 girls with my husband. I wanted to get an extra card for my husband to get into my room, so off we went to the pursers desk--major problems erupted. We had put money in each account,so the brand new purser emptied one account instead of just giving me extra card. After 45 minutes, she assured me that the situation was fixed. My husband then goes to buy a drink and of course, his card was no good. He was furious. After another 45 minutes, he was given another card and no apology.
Cabin: We had french balcony rooms. We loved our cabin and our steward, Buddy. He took great care of our whole family, giving special attention to our girls. He always brought them cookies for their evening snack. Rooms were large enough for all of us, plenty of storage space and the bed was comfy. Last year we had an interior room my husband still calls the cave. He prefers the cave to any other room. Our room lock did break and we were locked out of the cabin for over an hour one night at midnight. Although, the maintenance guys came to fix it pretty quickly.
PORTS OF CALL: We loved Puerto Rico last year, but this year was awful. There was construction everywhere. It was not fun. St. Thomas is beautiful. We took a snorkeling excursion and it was just ok--last year was much better. Tortola was AWFUL. We were not there very long, but we found it dirty, the people were very pushy and extremely cagy about money. We observed the shop owners not very attentive unless you were actually showing them money. I would NOT go there again.
FOOD: As usual, it was a food feast. We ate like crazy and on the whole, everything was pretty good. We did eat in the dining room most nights, and we did go to Nick and Nora's, the supper club. I can highly recommend going there for the dining experience. We celebrated my brother's 50th birthday there and it was great. The buffet was good most days, but we would've preferred a bit more of a selection. It can be very limited in choices. Drinks were basically good and fairly strong. My husband did have 1 bad experience with almost raw turkey--the cook seemed not to understand why we didn't want to eat it. Very strange....
I have one MAJOR complaint. This particular cruise was OVERRUN with kids--over 700 according to the pursers desk. All ages, from infants to teens, and most were not supervised. This was a HUGE problem. The kids were amazingly rude, running wild all over the ship and had NO supervision. This was VERY disturbing, especially when a group of young teen girls began harassing my daughters. Things ended up in a physical altercation and one of my daughters was actually hit by 2 other girls. I called security. They made me feel like I was bothering them, although they acted professional. They assured me that the trouble makers would be dealt with, but no actual plan or explanation was given to me. I was extremely dissatisfied with this. I would NOT take my daughters on another cruise with that many kids again. This was NOT the only incident that happened to my girls.
Overall, I do like the Carnival cruise lines and I'm sure I would go again. But, in saying that, I would MOST definitely plan better to avoid these types of situations. I am disappointed in this particular trip and would not travel again with that many kids on board.