This was our 9th cruise aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship. Seeing as it was an inaugural cruise from Dover and we live about 45 mins away it was ideal. The Ship was a magnificent site when coming down the hill to the harbor. We missed the christening by Myleene Klass and because of this our rebooked parking was taken up by the media, we were sent of to nearby parking and ferried back to the Ship.
The embarkation went very smoothly as we had pre-registered on-line and had our fun pass. We found our cabin which I must say is very spacious. We were on the Carnival Freedom last summer in the Med and had a balcony cabin and this compare equally, there was 3 wardrobes, plenty of drawer space and a flat screened TV on the wall. The only difference we found with Carnival Freedom was that the dome over the swimming pool made it very claustrophobic, but seeing as this is built with Europe in mind the dome did not open on the 3 days we were on board, the weather was cold and raining.
The decoration of the Ship was very Mickey Mouse, take for instance in the Gold Pearl Dining Room the ceilings had what looked like fried eggs running around the whole of the dinning area, and what seemed like large trumpets with balls coming out of them in the swimming pool area.
The first night we had our dinner in the Buffet, this was very good almost everything you could image to eat. We went for a stir fry which we helped ourselves to ingredients and then had them stir fried. The only complaint was that the coffee in the machine was awful, and the hot chocolate machines were always out of order, seeing as this is a 'new' Ship this might just be teething troubles. We went to the Gold Pearl Restaurant for our main meal on the following evening and met up with our table companions, the starter was very nice, but the main course on all four of us came up cold, we all had something different. It was not as if the area was packed with people there was about 6 tables occupied, this was replaced but the veggies was still cold, we ended up at the buffet for the last night, better food choice.
Activities. We did not have enough time to join in the activities as we sailed at 7 pm and next morning we arrived in Amsterdam and did not leave until 10 pm so it only left one day. The shows are Jazzy and Blues, on their smaller ships we have seen much better shows.
On the last day we got up early and by 6.30 am the announcement came over the pa system that we could disembark the Ship, as we were allowed to take our own luggage off with us, which I must say is a blessing, no hold ups whatsoever. it was a joy to get into our car and drive out of the port and not have to have a 9 hour flight ahead of us.
We have tried different cruise companies as we have cruised about 18 times but I must admit we always come back to Carnival. I think the Ships are getting too big and impersonal. My ideal size is Victory/Elation.