Let me state up front this was my first cruise. Left from Baltimore, very convenient, was able to drive there. Port was very nice, near the Inner Harbor. However felt a little "corraled" in the waiting station. (I was told it is not like this at other ports during embarkation) Once they started calling numbers we were able to board quickly. Being my first cruise, had no idea what to do first. Well, they said they were serving lunch on the Lido deck so my husband and I went up to the 9th floor. It was like mass chaos at an Old Country Buffet, people with trays banging into one another. Was hoping this was not how the cruise was going to be! Anyway, grabbed some food and headed to the top deck, found some space and took some pictures. Found a bar and had a drink. Much better.
Stateroom was larger than expected. Nice balcony. Very clean. Excellent steward. Very attentive. Husband was greasing everyone $20's up front so we would get good service during this long cruise and it worked. (Too well I think, Benjamin kept knocking on the door to see if we needed anythingI had to put the do not disturb up, but he was great!) Other cruisers kept pointing out "tips are included". Yes, we know that, but it is only 15%. (people were complaining about bad service, they were falling all over us)
Loved having 24 hour room service, continental bkfast and coffee in the room is definately my speed! A little disappointed the room service is only sandwiches, though (except for the continental breakfast) Ate breakfast in the dining room twice, it was adequate, eggs benedict was okay, not great. Ate lunch in the dining room, it was excellent, had soup, salads, low calorie selections (we are both health conscious). Dinner was very good, small portions, but that is okay with me. Good selections. So glad we picked 8:15, we would Never have made it to the early one! Sat at a booth, supposed to be another couple across from us but ate alone both times. At at David's Supper Club three nights. It was that good, we had to go back! Well worth the extra money! Surf & turfto die for! Service was out of this world. Brought our own champagne. We bought the Dom from back home for $139, it cost $195 in the restaurant, so we saved a little bit there. The wine steward was very knowledgable, she was from Serbia. Waitress was so cute and attentive even if she could speak much english. Tipped everyone well in this restaurant, they deserved it! They had food out all the time in Mermaid Grille, mostly pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, ice cream (no wonder people are overweight) but I found tortilla chips and probably the BEST salsa I have ever had, so I ate that every day. My husband loves sushi, they only had a small sushi bar open a few hours a day and he was disappointed.
Spent time in the casino. I was already warned people on cruise ships do not know how to play the games. Well, they were right. Couldnt even play blackjack with people splitting 10's and doing ridiculous things like that. Very attentive waiters offering drinks every two minutes (you had to pay of course, not like at a real casino where they are free when you play)
Pools on the ship were small but nice. A little dirty from all the people and the guys spilling beer and doing belly flops (can you believe it?) in the ADULT pool. I am no stick in the mud, but come on! They also allowed kids near the adult pool and near the bars, even at night, I was kind of shocked by that. The atrium bar at 11:30 at night and there are children there? I am in heels carrying a martini and have to worry about children running in front of me?
Waitresses and waiters EVERYWHERE pushing drinks. But that's okay I like good service but dont ask me when I am face down sleeping on a deck chair. Drink prices were about the same we pay at home, slightly more. Grey goose & diet for $7,50 but you can get Skyy & diet for $4.75 which is about the same. We carried two bottles on the ship no problem (one vodka, one rum) with no problems. Nice to have them in the room. Brought some Powerade zero & G2 also which we like to drink. Had a calypso band by the pool, and went on shore in Half Moon Cay. By the end of the 8 day cruise got a little tired of the same songs. Same with the piped in music, heard the same Britney spears song 5 or 6 times. Cant they get Sirius?
Will maybe look into another cruise line next time? Like it to be a little more "elegant". Not so many kids and rowdy groups of guys if possible. I was told it would be 50% retired, older people on a cruise That would have been NICE! Kind of hard to relax which was the purpose of my trip. Alot of loud redneck types. Everyone on the DVD from Carnival was dressed attractively and it seemed so relaxing. Yes I know they are paid actors
I thought the ship was very beautiful with the artwork and everything and very clean. Beautiful atrium. I even liked the show we saw "Vroom". Kind of cheesy but in a good way! I was not expecting Broadway! It was really cute!
Got a little seasick (both of us), hit rough waters I guess the first two days. Was on floor 8 toward the front. Liked being toward the front because all the food is in the back and we had to walk. May sound strange but I got alot of exercise and didnt gain an ounce. Forced myself to walk the stairs instead of taking the elevators up and down. Everyone said you will gain weight on a cruise but I didnt Great massage, the BEST I EVER HAD IN MY LIFE! Fantasic! I forget her name though! Asian girl with short hair. Excellent!
Husband paid for them to decorate the room for my birthday, so cute with red and blue stars and flowers! He said it didnt cost much, either.
Dont think I will do Carnival again, may try another line. Tried to make the most of it. Or maybe I am just not a "cruiser"