This was DH and my tenth cruise and it was great...our fourth with Carnival. Sailing out of Baltimore was wonderful. We arrived at the port around 12:30 and boarded around 1:30. We headed to the excursion desk to grab a cabana for Half Moon Cay, but all were gone. Checked in with the dining room to be sure we had our table for two, had a quick bite at the Lido Deck 9, then off the the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. Cabins were ready at 3:30.
At the Meet and Greet we met a wonderful group of people we had been blogging with for the previous months. It was so much fun seeing them throughout the cruise at Bingo, dance classes, trivia games, deck party (so much fun dancing), and shows. Hello to all when you read this. You helped to make this one of our best cruises ever.
Carnival has the happiest, hardest working staff on the seas. Sergiy and Merta kept Cabin 6198 spotless and addressed our needs immediately...thanks guys! Netty and Budita spoiled us every night at dinner...thanks guys! Kirk (CD) and Matt (Asst. CD) and all the crew, Ben, Steven and Joey kept us laughing and smiling all week. Brad did a great job with the dance classes and all of the trivia games were super. Kirk left for vacation and Dennis will fill in for the next 6 weeks, but adorable, funny and extremely helpful Matt will remain. I'm sure he will be a CD before long.
Grand Turk was beautiful and we enjoyed just lounging on the lovely beach under a palm tree, then swimming at the Margueritaville pool after a little shopping. Half Moon Cay is paradise!!! Powdery sand, gorgeous sparkling ocean, a delicious lunch served by Carnival as a treat, and our lounging under a clamshell made it one of our best vacation days ever. Tip: grab a clamshell, one person stand near it waiting for an attendent to set it up while another person goes to the stand to pay for it - $17 on your Sail and Sign Card. Don't need money here...lunch is free, mixed drinks, soda and souveniers go on your Sail and Sign card. Iced tea and fruit punch are free along with many salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled jerk chicken and desserts...great brownies. Lots of shade near the food pavilion. Nassau was short and hot, but I can't get enough of the stunning blue waters and the vision of the Atlantis (8th wonder of the world).
All of our meals were delicious in the dining room. If you don't like the main entrees, you should order their Flat Iron Steak seen on the menu daily. Our lobster and shrimp, filet mignon and prime rib, chateaubriand and all appetizers and desserts were tops. If you don't try the warm chocolate melting cake..you lose, so yummy. DH had it 6 out of the 7 nights.
Lido deck has great grilled sandwiches and a theme meal everyday. The last day was American. Be sure to try the fried chicken..yummy. Carnival still has trays to carry while making your selections..thanks Carnival...NCL wake up! Omelet station at breakfast was good. Most mornings we used Free Room Service (just tip a few bucks when it arrives.) Cereals, danish, breads, yogurts, fruit and my favorite salmon and cream cheese were a great way to start the day.
The ship was beautiful and not smokey. Carnival does a great job with this. The nudity of the artwork around the ship should not be a concern...done tastefully and eventually unnoticed. We did laugh when we saw some of this artwork in the chapel!! We had a lovely Catholic Mass held. Thanks to the two priests who came on boeard for vacation.
The shows were good. Don't miss Carnival Legends. The activities were fun. Don't miss the Tea Party, Love and Marriage Game, QUEST (super fun for adults only), and the Deck Party. Also be sure to stroll along the Sunset Garden that wraps around the main theatre Taj Mahal. Love how Carnival has tables in front of the seating for drinks, Bingo cards etc.
Thank you, Carnival, for always making me happy and energized. I've already booked my next cruise on the Pride for January. Can't wait.