This was our second Carnival Cruise of 2007, lucky us!! My 12th and my families 3rd cruise in total. We are a family of 4 with 2 daughters 12 and 14. We were really looking forward to what promised to be a beautifully decorated ship, to be very disappointed, it was hardly noticeable! Some fellow passengers brought things to decorate their doors, so it was a nice atmosphere, besides you are out of the cold on a cruise, who cares about decorations! Well, the staff was not their usual selves as I imagine they were all wishing they were some where else! It was not the usual funship!! Our cabin steward was snippy with us almost immediately telling us we had no business closing our door it was his cabin until he was done. OOOPS SO SORRY!! I sure found the cabin on my credit card statement!! The dining room staff was great the first 2 nights, but then all of a sudden things went south and we waited until 10pm one night for our dinner, we had an 8:30 time. One breakfast in the diningroom one of the waiters said it was very difficult for them, they all really missed their families. So, we were fine about it all and actually felt bad for them and tried not to bother them or get upset over bad attitudes.
We get two cabins one balcony and one inside across the hall for the girls, makes a great vacation for all! There were a lot of kids on this cruise being family time, so they had a blast, we never saw them. The ship did a great job with activities and entertaining the guests.
I have one horn to toot and that is Decio!! Yeah Decio!! We cruised on Destiny in March of 2007 and Decio was also on that ship as the shopping director. It was also my anniversary on this cruise and I was promised a new ring on this cruise. I went to all Decio's port talks and his diamond seminar. Very informative and I told him I wanted to get a ring in St Thomas. He met me at Diamonds International and guided us the whole time. I found the perfect diamond and the perfect setting and Decio brought it back to the ship for me, I didn't have to go back and get it later. It's not the first diamond I have bought at Diamonds International and not the first shopping director from Carnival to help, but Decio really went above and beyond the call of duty on this one! Thanks Decio!! Even shopping in St Maarten other jewelers thought I got an amazing deal!!
The islands were beautiful as usual and snorkel is what we really like to do, after buying my ring in St Thomas we found our faithful tour guide Ali. He took us to Coki Beach, the best snorkeling on the island! 2 hours later he took us around for a bit of a tour and back to the Havensight for a little more shopping, this time for the girls! We just love St Thomas!
Next was St Maarten, my husband and I got off early in the morning and took the water taxi to shop while the girls slept in. We bought a few more things, got our free sapphires and upgraded to 3 rings and also got free topaz and upgraded to pendants, just beautiful! Of course picked up the charms from Diamonds International. For any of you that don't know what I am talking about, go to the shopping talks, they give you tons of free stuff, you go to the islands and some stores give free 1 carat sapphires and then you can buy them in a ring either yellow or white gold for $29.95! The Caribbean topaz is just gorgeous and we had them made into pendants and with a gold chain came to $80 each, really a beautiful gift for someone special.
Christmas night we arrived in San Juan, just in time to get the cell phones out and call family and friends. We got off the ship for an hour or so to get any free stuff offered and got to Del Sol for the usual souvenirs. We spent a week in San Juan in March, so we didn't feel we needed to spend much time at this port.
As usual with Carnival we had a great time! The price is great and the service well had been better and the food was good most days, of course as long as you ate in the diningroom, the buffet was not great at all, worse then usual I would say! Carnival is a funship and you must say to yourself that those little attitudes you encounter will not ruin your vacation!!