Key West/Bahamas 7 day trip. Group of 10 had interior, window, balcony rooms on different floors. We drove to Galveston Port which was uneventful. No airlines. The was initially just a list but I compacted them into pseudo paragraphs for formatting. The first part is the husband review and second part is the wife review.
- Husband Review:
"Things rarely mentioned." There are a lot of items I never come across in other reviews or faqs that I have tried to list here. There were many things that did not match up with other cruise reviews, could be different ships or cruise lines. Please add the "Things I..." sections in your own future reviews.
It was fun, different, and a LOT of walking, on ship and ports. We saw LOTS of flying fish one day when we walked onto deck in the front of the ship. The fish were not there the next day to take pictures. Lunch and nightlife happen on decks 5 Promenade and 9 Lido, a room there saves elevator time. I was never cold and never needed a jacket on this cruise. My wife needed and used a shawl a couple times. The only time I was cold was from sunburn shock later that same night. Drinks are available from room service, bars, or dining areas only. The pizzeria serves pizza with little or no tomato sauce. Some people did not like it. The "tea" obviously comes from another country. It tasted raspberry flavored to me which I did not like. I normally do not like lemonade. Veering away from the funny tea I discover that the lemonade on the ship is addicting!!!
The ship did change clock time when crossing time zones and notified passengers do the same. It was normally hot in the Gulf and Bahamas, same as in TX, but the hurricanes had not started yet either. Hot floor near aft pool (adults only pool) in full sunlight. Keep shoes on until you get to the pool. Kids ran around the ship and played on the elevators. Why? Because NOBODY notified security and their parents do not care. Expect 15% gratuity to be added to room service and for bar/lido server drinks. Me and a relative went to the ship hospital on deck 0. Friendly staff and they gave a magician some cotton balls while we were there.
Ship did not retain passports. Mine stayed in the room safe. Only need sail & sign card while roaming the ship. Ship maps are in each elevator area. Get lanyard and hole punch from casino assistant. Used my own lanyard clip and lost my card. 2nd card I looped through my lanyard so it could not happen again. I think the pools are now chlorinated sea water. The Conquest and Imagination were docked at Freeport, Bahamas at the same time. One comedian changed ships to perform. We were happy with interior stateroom and would go that route again because it is cheaper. Others in our group enjoyed their balcony.
Things I am glad I took:
$20 Walmart waterproof watch with alarm. I did not try to use the phone wake up call service. There are LED wall clocks at each stairwell. Waterproof Canon D10 camera w/BUILT case and extra battery. Awesome! Awesome! Left on auto - made some pictures better than real! We switched camera memory cards halfway through the cruise just in case something happened to one card we would still have half our pics. Day trip backpack for ports that kept items dry in the rain. Sweat rag got lots of use in ports too. Solarcaine for sunburns. Sucks that I had to end up using it, but at least we had it. The Absorber towel. I use this as my towel at home, reduces laundry. Familiar towel and much softer than normal towel on sunburn, much like their medium flow shower heads.
Foldable Barmah hat saved my face from getting a sunburn, wore it in the ocean too. I attached a chin strap and had no fly-off worries while up on a breezy deck. Teva Water shoes worked great. Wore them in the ocean. Removed them for the pools because I did not see anyone else wearing any. Extra underwear allowed me to not have to wash any, but I had some that were quick drying just in case I needed more, which I did not. The Container Store grocery bag handle (handigrip.com). $1.50 for $50 worth of carrying pleasure for my heavy cooler with thin straps! Will use in future. Shower shoes (flip flops). Shower did have a non-slip mat also.
Car air freshener for bathroom. Could have used a couple more or some not as old. Glad I took my own mug. Filled up with my drinks or at buffet stations and carried around the ship. Packing cubes kept items separated and in place. Each packed shoe in its own grocery bag allowed more packing freedom. Tom Bihn mini organizer pouch held sail & sign, drivers license, money while at ports. Wife wore it with spiral walmart wristband clipped on.
Things I wish I took:
Extra travel hair spray. One lasted one day short of entire trip. I used more on the vacation than I did practicing with travel size at home. I used all my aspirin and a little of my wifes supply. Will take two pocket size containers next time. Think it was lack of sleep trying to catch breakfast in the dining room. I have very sensitive eyes. Bought polarized sunglasses in 2nd port which made my 3rd port day at a beach more enjoyable. I will wear these more in the future.
Wish I had taken an extra pair or two of socks. Water shoes are okay but not as comfy as socks and casual shoes. It gets warm in the auditorium, take a manual fan to fan yourself. Good for ports too. Wish I had carried a copy of the schedule column with me every day instead of going back to the room or pursers desk to check it. Will do next time. Wife wishes she had taken a sarong that fit. The sarongs port shops sold were slightly too small.
Things I took and did not use:
Frisbee. Port winds were slightly too strong for my floatable frisbee. One of those thin, cool looking ones would have worked better. Inflatable beach ball. Forgot about it. Should have just used it at the ship pool. Germ-X hand wipe singles. Ship provided liquid at restaurants and restrooms. Most did not use. Many used the provided napkin dispensers for public bathroom handles. Bathroom sink had a built-in stopper that I used to wash my swim wear. Did not use my flat rubber stopper.
Sea Band. Luckily we had smooth waters. Very few people got motion sickness this trip. Supermini sewing kit with prethreaded needle inside a thread ripper case. No lost room here, will always take. Doorstop. Room already had one. Could have also tied door handle to closet handle to keep open. Storm whistle, keychain light. Every life vest has emergency light and whistle. Only useful if carrying when needed anyhow. Travel Insurance. Luckily we did not need to use it but would not leave home without it as normal medical insurance does not cover you outside the United States, and airlife IS pricey!
When you first walk into your stateroom, you will want to crank the a/c max down to "cool". Our room never got too cold. Every room I saw had its own doorstop hidden under the closet. Housekeeping uses it when they are in the room. Our friends never wanted to keep the balcony door open as this would warm up the room too. One closet had 10 hangers, one had 7, another one had shelves. A friends couch had shelves underneath. There is a built-in hair dryer in the top desk drawer. The plug outlet in the bathroom was at the top of the mirror in the corner. Presumably so nothing plugged in can touch a wet floor. We kept our toiletries on the mirror shelves so housekeeping did not have to touch them.
Showers easy to operate and adjust. So is the provided clothesline in it. Liquid soap and shampoo was provided but I took my own. Oval shaped toilets. The provided single use 4 pack of toothpaste and safety razor were not replaced. Housekeeping may have replaced them if I had asked but I also had my own. If you put out the "privacy please" sign for the morning, do not get upset at housekeeping not making up your room until you are at dinner like I saw some folks do. There was a sign that said if you were going to reuse a towel, put it on a rack. Put it on the floor to have it replaced, this works well. Some events in the auditorium and lido deck will be filmed and re-aired repeatedly on the tv. TV remote difficult to use, needs cleaning. Wish I could have used the menu options on the tv itself.
We put up a door sign with handi-tak. Saw about 10 other doors which all just had stickers stuck to the door. Forgot to ask housekeeping if that was okay or a lot of hassle to remove. Doors appeared to be metal, magnets may be good. Two bolted-down table lamps with pushbuttons provided soft-mood low lighting. You will not knock them over by accident. Pop open your door to listen to hallway intercom announcements. Speakers in room are only for emergencies.
Ports in General:
To get off the ship to go to port, they scan your sail & sign card. To get on the ship from port you WILL NEED sail & sign card AND photo id (drivers license or passport). They track if everyone has gotten back on the ship this way at ports. It could rain while in port (like it did for us) so take something to keep your stuff dry. Props to Canon D10 camera and Tom Bihn backpack cube on this one! Most ports do not have a beach within sight/walking distance, you must take an excursion or taxi to get to a beach. Taxis/buses normally available when you walk off, bring money. We returned to the ship 30 minutes or more before sail to be on the safe side. The ship will wait on excursions booked through the ship. This was good for one of our friends!! Bahamas had a slew of people walking around trying to braid your hair and sell jewelry. We booked an excursion with "minimal physical activity" which apparently means a mile of walking in hot weather plus stairs
Port: Key West, FL
My wife loved the key lime pie at Kermits. She bought souvenir mixes also. I advise to not rent a golf cart car here. They were not road worthy. Wipers, seatbelts did not work. We spent 5 minutes trying to get it started. Rain streamed from roof straight down onto my leg (no doors). Is something wrong with the locals here? Not one single local stopped at a stop sign! They stopped in the middle of the intersections when they realized we had the right of way. Locals did stop for street lights. The walking path to the right, after you get off the ship, is a dead end to fenced hotels/houses. All ports should have a sign that says "Tourist Trap, this way >" with an arrow to prevent meaningless walking in wrong directions.
Getting Lost on the ship:
Want to minimize getting lost on the ship? Get a room in the front or back of the ship. Beware that this will increase motion if the seas are rough. I rarely got lost because I would determine if I walked a lot or a little from when I left my room at the front of the ship. If I walked a lot to get to where I was, I was in back, otherwise, I was still near the front of the ship.
There one one elevator that smelled like fish one day. The following days, it smelled like urine, assumably from the rotting fish smell. I notified one of the crew who was vacuuming when I exited the elevator and he said he would put a call in for it but it never got fixed within the next 3 days of my trip. If more people would have complained, it may have gotten fixed but passengers refuse to ask staff questions for some reason. The mid-ship elevators are shut down the last night so the crew can move luggage down for debarkation.
Elevator improvements - All cruise lines read this:
This is one complaint that all ships could improve on. Make half elevators up only and half down only. This would speed up travel. This would also create an "express" from top to bottom or bottom to top as the elevator resets. People would be waiting at the correct set of elevators. People would not have to sprint to catch a farther elevator from where they are. People would not have to make way through other passengers going the other direction. Change the flat overhead number displays to stick-out boxes on elevators. Why make everyone walk the elevator hallway to be able to read which floor each elevator is on?
Passengers who do not know: one ding is up, two is down (to help the blind). Easier than trying to read the FLAT displays. Atrium glass elevators were on a separate circuit from the front elevators, but both shared the same hallway. This led to people pushing buttons on both circuits, thus tying up elevators for no reason and having them stop at floors with nobody there. Big waste! Hallways should be divided to prevent this. Not all elevators go to all floors, yet the panel layout never indicated this. If you push a floor the elevator does not go to, it simply turns off the light you just pushed.
Lido Buffet Disappointments and Info:
Mediocre buffet food. You will be wishing for McD's at some point. If the buffet area is out of napkins or trays, ask the crew and they will get it for you and refill them for everyone. This is no reason to get upset like I saw some people do. Long lunch lines and wait times. Once waited 15 minutes for a line that was not moving because people were waiting for more fried chicken. I went to another line for 5 minutes only to realize it was the chocolate buffet that day only and did not have real food there. I went to another buffet area to realize it had already closed and went to a fourth area and waited in line a few minutes before I finally got food. Want to avoid this? Eat lunch before 2pm. The only free drinks available are water, lemonade, some weird raspberry? flavored tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Additional free drinks are available in the morning of milk/chocolate in single containers, apple juice and orange juice but ONLY from one dispenser near the back (aft) buffet area. Find it the first day so you know where it is. Stock up and stick it in your fridge for afternoon or evening.
The lido deck band has no real steel drum player? Two guys with half pre-recorded instruments. A cd would have been equivalent and less disappointment. Note that there may be different food on port and starboard sides of same dining area. Middle section buffet has asian cuisine in the wall and the opposite side is the deli. Good tuna sandwich. Single serving box cereals are available, decent selection. One day they had nachos. Cold cheese and puffy chips?!? What country does nachos this way?? One side of the Lido deck was designated as a smoking area. Coconut Monkeyhead was served the day we were at Key West, FL. And we were charged tax unknowingly.
Mystery Charge on my Bill: I bought a coconut Monkeyhead drink of the day (DOD). The bill I signed says $14.95 + 15% gratuity. Checking the room charges on the tv "folio charges" showed the charge being about $2 more. Checking with the pursers desk, we eventually (5 minutes) deducted the extra cost was for tax! Apparently we were still at port in Key West when I bought it. It would have been nice to have this listed on the bill or tv to eliminate any confusion and not waste my/crew time. Dining Rooms:
Your wait staff will go out of their way to please you. All you have to do is ask. You can ask for seconds. You can ask for things not on the menu sometimes. Chocolate Melting Cake for CCL. I refer to this dessert as liquid brownie. I asked for seconds on flat iron steak and baby back ribs! Both on the "always available" part of the menu! Anything other than water, weird tea, and coffee will cost extra, mainly soda and liquor. I used free lime in my water.Waiter said tea comes from Florida but he did not know what country Florida gets it from.
The dining staff will sing and dance certain nights, take your cameras. They ask no swimming clothes in dining room, I was good with swim trunks that doubled as casual shorts. I wore button down long sleeve with bowtie for formal nights, it was on par with others. Some had suits. We only saw a couple of passengers wearing tuxedos. Next time I may forgo formal dining and go to buffet to be able to pack less. First formal night is lobster night. Tried the lobster there AND at The Point Supper Club, tasted the same to me. First time for lobster, I did not care for it much. The Point Supper Club was too ritzy for me. I like being a common joe. Good to do once for the experience. Took 2.5 hours. Wife and relatives liked the experience.
Breakfast dining closes at 8am?
The only dining room (Monet) that serves breakfast closes at dear God o'clock in the morning for vacationers. We are on vacation and they want us to eat breakfast at what chicken awakening hour?!? We arrived to eat breakfast in the dining room only to find out we were 3 minutes late. We showed up earlier the next morning to find out we were STILL 3 minutes LATE! Apparently the dining room breakfast times differ EVERY DAY! Found out that this IS listed in the daily newsletter (Carnival Capers). Lunch may be similar, I was not aware the dining rooms served lunch until after the trip. The last few days we slept in and ate breakfast at Lido buffet (served till lunch). Food is drier but much less hassle.
There is way too much stuff for any passenger to read and still be on vacation. So you tend to miss a few things you would have otherwise liked to have known or do. Divide and conquer to discover the important stuff. Carnival Capers nightly newsletter is two and half pages front and back. Some things listed twice. There are also always 2 or 3 inserts stuck into these. Spa crew will hand you coupons. Port people will hand you stuff. Crew will hand you receipts for purchases. Your excursion documents will also be placed in your room the night before. Highlight items on the schedule and carry it with you so you do not forget them. End-of-cruise Matre D' tip envelope and survey will be placed in your room. Why doesn't any other staff get their own envelope? I rarely saw this guy. Customs declaration papers will be placed in your room the final night. Boat Camera:
The boat cam on ship ship is of the main walking area of Lido deck. It would be nice to have a tv channel of a camera of the front of the boat and horizon daylight. Interior rooms use this tv channel as an outside window. The lido cam switched between the deck and the band playing for the deck.
We did not utilize this but our friends did. Their kid loved it. The kids talent show near the end of the trip was more entertaining than the Legends Main show which only had 2 or 3 good singers.
Casino & "Blackjack" band:
Blackjack band plays at the casino on the Conquest. They are good and from Texas. They said they would be changing to the Dream ship. The casino is closed while ported in the US. Someone mentioned they had luck with the quarter drop game during rough seas, heh. A few tables have instructions on how to play and the dealers will teach you also.
Shop has many toiletries (probably high prices), liquors (equivalent to home prices), and even small stuffed towel animals available. People said they have discounts the last day of each cruise. My wife scratched off a higher price to reveal the lower normal price. Discounts are after they mark up the prices. Oddly enough, the on ship souviner shop does not carry the carnival steel drum cd's that are sold on amazon. Hello?!? Hallway jewelry by the inch charges $4 to add a clasp on. They do not tell you that until you get the bill.
Traveling with Friends:
This REALLY helped! We had a group of about 10 people, normally paired up. We normally saw at least one or two of our group within each hour and could ping each other as to where others were on the ship. I suppose we could have left voice messages on the phone but never really though about it until the last day. There were a couple of times when it seemed impossible to find the rest of the group. We would have crossed paths more if we all had staterooms on the same floor. We did not use walkie talkies. Only actually saw less than 10 passengers on the entire ship with them. Get your friends room numbers ASAP and carry them with you. There are phones all around the boat.
Making New Friends:
There will be passengers you will cross paths with the ENTIRE trip. There will be passengers at debarkation getting luggage you will notice for the very first time on your trip. Request to sit at large tables if you want to meet more people. Request a wall booth to keep your party quaint.
Allowed cooler on Carnival Cruise Line:
I took a soft cooler 11 x 11 x 12 inches which is smaller than the 12x12x12 allowed by CCL. I packed in 24 sodas and 1 big bottle of V8. I checked it in with other luggage. This cooler never showed up to my room. It never showed up in the "lost luggage" pile. Next day I found out that they gave it to the pursers desk to prevent anything in it from being broken. I identified it and they gave it to me, no problems. Good to know for my next trip! We used the last of the sodas the last day so it was a good amount for us to take. Housekeeping kept my cooler and ice bucket filled with ice. I kept the cooler inside the shower area because they leak even with a trash bag.
Disco Security hates water bottles:
There is one security guy on the Conquest in Henri's Disco that hates water bottles. Actually, I think he can not be happy unless he is being a prick to passengers. He likes taking peoples water bottles filled with vodka. Moral of the story: put it in something else, anything else! He wanted one person I know of to sign a sheet saying that he disposed of it properly. They never saw what he did with it and refused to sign. He may have drank it for all we know. He did not question my own mug, EVER. Pour your water bottle vodka into one of the ships glasses and all will be okay. There are some in your room, and the regular bar and souvenir glasses should work fine too. One last time to reiterate: Take anything except a water bottle into the disco.
Do not share alcoholic drinks with minors, USA rules enforced (at least by this one security jerk). Oddly enough, one friend was served a pina colada in the same glass at a bar that the same bartender just served virgin pina coladas in to teenagers. Main disco dance floor rules: must wear shoes, no cigarettes or drinks on dance floor. These will only be verbals if violated. The dj mainly played hip hop because no other "types" of people were dancing past 1:30pm. Request other songs and he will play them. The disco closes at 2:30 or 3:00am. May depend on the crowd. What happened to this being a "fun ship"?? The under 18 club shuts down before the adult club for some unknown stupid reason, so all the teenagers will linger outside the adult disco and plaster their faces on the windows looking in.
As my cooler was not really "lost luggage" I did learn the hallway in front of pursers desk is where lost luggage ends up. Mainly because the bags did not have room tags. Check back regularly as the last luggage was delivered by the next morning.
Ship tour at 2:30pm day of embarkation helped learn ship layout quicker. Trivia as expected and basically a time waster, same old questions and tv show themes. Bingo sometimes there was only time for one game they took so long. Bingo was always scheduled before or after another event in the same room and they ALWAYS clashed times. Meanwhile, other rooms were empty. "The marriage show" (newlywed game) was fun to watch! Comedians/magicians were good, cruise dancers not so much, more sloppy than vegas.
Get to "R" rated shows 15-30 minutes early or expect to stand. The Conquest has got to replace the karaoke host, geez! Every 2 minutes he is yelling "vacation" and "woo hoo" (even during songs). Red, white, and blue teams (depending on your stateroom location). Nobody really follows these points except the crew. All hosts jokes sound scripted like they have used them for 20 years. I expect to hear them again in the future. The library (finally walked by it on the last day) has a couple board games people can play. Pursers desk has complimentary decks of cards. Saw a couple groups sitting at the lido tables playing dominoes. Blues Bar pianist did his best for requests and always had a light crowd. Decent.
Unless you are a die hard and have cruised before, you will not go swimming before you get to your luggage in your stateroom. Dress comfortably for embarkation. We let a porter take most of our luggage from the car (which luckily already had tags) and disappeared until it got to our room. We drove up to the port at 11:30am, and got to lido buffet at 12:30pm to eat. It took 1 hour in warm lines of waiting. Have passport, funpass, and credit card ready to show. Smooth sailing through xray. Nobody said anything about my small Target wine box and champagne in one bag, but it was for me and my wife, so that was allowed. No issues with any checked in luggage with our group (except for my soft cooler, mentioned elsewhere).
Breakfast served in dining room from 6am-8am this day. Medical assistance proceed to wait in the auditorium. Self-assist is where you carry all of your bags off the ship yourself and do not leave any in the hall the night before. Near 7:30am they called for self-assist with early flights (before 2pm) to leave the boat. Nobody pays attention to the "with early flights" part of the announcement and they all go down to floor 3 to get off. Then they called self-assist floor 2, then self-assist floor 6 around 8:15am. Our group got off with medical assistance shortly after this.
Customs looked at the paper you were to fill out, if you did not list anything, you were on your way, no checking, no dogs. Hello?!? Free cruise drawing is done today by 7:30am, fill out survey and put in box by pursers desk the night before. Room directly 2 floors down from mine won. The 5 different orange bags were easy to spot in the luggage area when we walked out. LOTS of black bags looked alike. Decoration helps. We self-assisted though, no worries.
This was good first timer practice run to onebag it. My wife had one bag and I had one bag. We also brought a soda cooler because we did not need an airline. I was glad my old bag had wheels! I tried to carry my bag the whole way but 20 pounds became heavy quickly. My bag did not have backpack straps. My wife loved her backpack straps and waist and sternum straps on her Mei Voyageur. She offered to carry other bags from our group. I did not use shoulder strap because I did not want a permanent strap mark on my skin like last time when I only carried the soft cooler which weighed less. When I shop soon for a real onebag, backpack straps will be mandatory, wheels will be absent.
I used everything I took with a couple of exceptions, nothing major. Will adjust slightly for future trips. Me and my wife both want to try to pack even less next time to cut down on weight. We'll see how it goes. My wife checked her bag and I carried mine on. I lugged it around until we were let in our room at 1:45pm. It got in the way at the crowded lunch buffet as there was nothing else for people to do yet. We both self-assisted and carried our bags and relatives bags when debarking. We bundle pack clothing into a large packing cube. This helps compress the bundle a little and easier to move bag contents around. Next time, we may use two clothing bundles in our onebags instead of one. Easier to zip up two packing cubes instead of over stuffing one.
- Wife Review:
Embarkation was not bad, but come early. They should have a separate line for no pictures. If you carry luggage be prepared to lug it around for at least an hour Floors and buffet were crowded. Muster drill went quickly and well. Not that hot. Missed cast off was trying to put away life jackets. Ship was busy until dinner. Dinner was nice. Our wait staff was great. Bars and club were empty that night.
Day Two and Three at Sea:
Lots of people. Beginning to see all the teenagers that everyone complains about. Spent most of the day learning the ship. Formal night lots of formal gowns, others wise mostly semi casual dining. Tried the sit down breakfast it was fine, not really that good, not bad (missed it most of the other days because they keep changing the closing times)
Day Three at Key West:
Port was a bear, my mother is handicap and needed to use an elevator, not all them went to floor "0" and the stairs were like walking on a glorified ladder. Everyone asked once about pictures but no one pressed once told no. Could rent small electric cars, scooters, and buy other excursions right off the gang plank. Hint: get a real map or bring a gps. And get any important address like where to return rented things. It may be a small island, but it is easy to get lost. Clubs were more busy this night. Turned in early hadn't gotten much sleep.
Day Four at Freeport:
Pay a taxi to take you to the other side of the island (worth the $10) not much to do but shop and hit the beach. Shopped and came back not much else to do. Lots of teenagers running around on the ship and trying to get into the adults club wouldn't have been so bad, except that they were taunting security to hit/shove/push them so that they could get them in trouble. ( I saw this happening with my own eyes) and they were out running around the ship till 3 am generally they were just sitting around talking (which was fine) it was just those few bad apples that spoiled the bunch.
Day Five at Nassau:
Had booked excursion (beach day at Atlantis) don't let the descriptions fool you. We booked this specifically so that my mother could make it to a beach. Between the bus drop off and the beach was close to about a mile. And there were lots of stairs. DH, Dad and I are in relatively good shape and had a hard time with it. Good thing my mother is stubborn and was going to the beach come rain or shine. That aside. The beach was beautiful. It was like swimming in liquid glass. We had a small school of fish that kept weaving in and out of all the people. I think we were their own privet play ground. Someone offered DH drugs on the beach while he was sitting there. The aquarium was cool and walking through the tunnel was neat. Back on the boat did some trivia and other activity's that were fun.
Day Six at Sea (second formal night):
Was recovering from sunburn. Did some swimming in the pool (ok it was more like standing in the pool) Ate at The Point. Very good food, but unless you eat at Ruth Chris or someplace similar it isn't worth it. If Outback Steakhouse or Saltgrass is more your pace, keep to the dining room, your not missing anything.
Day Seven at Sea:
Played the slots and came out ahead (because I stopped) Tried the coffee bar (mocha) comparable to McDonald's Tried the sushi bar good (better because it's free) Tried to eat lunch around 2 nothing was open. Found that it was nice to sit in one of the casino windows and watch the water go by.
Small. Denver, CO TV channels???????? Channel with Lido deck on 24 hours a day. If you miss any important announcements, it will be repeated on one of the channels along with the video of the trip that they film while you are on board. Bed was comfy. Pillows were great. A/C worked well
Mediocre. Nothing spectacular. Everyone raved about the melting cake, frankly I think the chocolate thunder from down under from Outback Steakhouse and the chocolate cobbler from Cracker Barrel are far better. Would have liked to see one of the buffets devoted to "home cooking" (chicken fried steak. Salisbury steak, casseroles, chicken noodle soup, rolls, that sort of stuff) Juice was only available at one place in the morning and then not again the rest of the day. The ice tea SUCKS!!! No really, I'm serious, it SUCKS!!!! I'm picky about my water (can't stand Ozarka) and found the water surprisingly drinkable.
Not enough shade on the upper decks. The bow was the most peaceful place on the ship. (door is locked dusk to dawn, no people) Lots of people.