I will make this short as it can be dreadful to read on and on and on. i have been on two prior cruises to this one and chose to submit a review because i found it soooooo very helpful when planning my vacation. I have been on the Carnival Paradise (LOVED IT) and the Norwegian Dawn (Great)! I traveled with my four children ages 16, 13, 10 and 4 and my mother and my husband! we had three rooms on the upper deck! I will give you the good, the bad and the ugly of this unbelievable ship.
Ok here goes the good:
embarkation was great! FAST AND ORGANIZED!
rooms were fabulous! spacious and clean! I had an obstructed view (wasn't too happy with that, lifeboat right in front of glass couldn't see if you were sitting down :-( oh well that's ok live and learn. Beds were SUPER SUPER comfy and PILLOWS TO DIE FOR. You will sleep! Our room was on the Upper Deck, which i happen to think is the best deck, it is right smack in the middle of the ship and Camp Carnival was located on that deck making it so easy to drop my 4 year old there! ROOM STEWARD WAS GREAT! SO FRIENDLY AND ROOM WAS ALWAYS DONE UP AND CLEAN. Newbon was our room steward! THE ROOMS ARE MUCH LARGER ON THIS MIRACLE BOAT THAN THEY WERE ON THE NORWEGIAN DAWN.
FOOD: In the Bacchus dining room (the only dining room they have) was EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT. I Couldn't wait to eat the next meal there. There was a line if you got there prior to your seating time (ours was 6:00 the early seating because of the kids) but got right in as soon as the doors opened. Now on the Norwegian Dawn they had several dining rooms to choose from instead of just one which bothered my husband but i could care less that there was only one dining room. It was FUN to dress up on formal nights and i actually got a great picture of my family (Photographers are EXCELLENT)22.00 a picture they should be! :-) First Night we were worried about the service as it seemed to take a long time but i guess they needed the first night to work out the kinks as by the second night when we arrived in the dining room our drinks were waiting for us and service was EXCELLENT! Our waitress, NADIA, WAS Great. so friendly and never a hassle if we wanted to send something back or order the whole menu :-) lol (gained five pounds by the way) oops.
CAMP CARNIVAL: If you can get your kids to go in this wonderful camp, it is GREAT. the counselors are wonderful and they keep them so occupied. Took my four year old three days to go in it but when she finally did she LOVED IT!
THE STAFF IS GREAT. VERY HELPFUL AND FRIENDLY.
Not too much bad on this boat, but please remember i am comparing it to the other cruises i have been on.
The breakfast food at Horatio's the buffet was bad. the food always seemed to be cold so we just went to the dining room to eat every morning!
The lunch food at Horatio's was o.k. the deli was the best and the 24 hour pizza was great!
THE SHOWS WERE JUST DOWNRIGHT AWFUL (again in comparison to the other two boats we have been on). Im pretty easy to please but they had like 60's music that was quite monotonous every night. We wound up leaving the shows every night. i kept going hoping they were getting better but they never did. The phantom theater was gorgeous though.
ANOTHER REALLY BAD THING TO THIS SHIP WAS THE POOL. It is a bit small and IT CLOSED EVERY NIGHT AT 8:00 PM. THIS STINKS. i am an early bird when it comes to going to sleep, but cmon 8:00? Carnival really needs to change this. On the Norwegian dawn after our dinner we would go for a dip and relax in the hot tub every night before bed, well on this ship we could not do that. it was VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING. There is no reason for them to have to close the pools so early. Another point was the pools were on the smaller side and very crowded, but we worked with it. Hey you are on a ship with 2,000 people!
AND LASTLY THE UGLY:
Well the only ugly was the DECOR. It was quite ugly! The decor is a bit gaudy but who cares it doesn't affect the good time.
The lounges were no where near as nice as the ones on the Norwegian Dawn.
All in all, it was a great Cruise. I think we will go Norwegian next time but i will travel Carnival Again.
Oh and Ports of Call were great. San Juan (didn't get off the boat), St. THomas GORGEOUS, went to Megan's Bay and LOVED IT and Grand Turk was great too. Loved Margaritaville!
Debarkation was fine, we took our own luggage off which was a great idea so we were off first.
HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME IF YOU ARE TRAVELING ON THIS MIRACLE BOAT.