We had this trip planned for approximately 8 months. I was very excited because it was a first cruise for my husband, my son and myself. Embarkation was a headache because the computers crashed and we waited forever. I was O.K. with that and still very excited. The size of the ship was incredible and we couldn't wait to experience our first cruise! We get on board and I can't wait to see our stateroom on the 7th floor. Of course you would think with 3000 to 4000 people on board the elevators would be plentiful and fast but no, they're not! We had to wait for one forever and they take forever as well.
Our stateroom was exactly as I expected since it was an interior cabin I knew it would be small and that was O.K. We were excited to start our adventure. We unpacked and went to the Lido deck to have lunch. The lines were long. We went upstairs and found the pasta bar before anyone else had discovered it was there. It was pretty good.
The fun days at sea suck for anyone under the age of 55. The only thing to do is to lay by the pool. The activities were all geared towards the older generation. There were a few adult comedy shows which were pretty good. There were a few shows that were OK if you could get a seat. We got to one show almost an hour early and the place was packed! Most shows were like this. There wasn't much for kids to do on this cruise either. My son is 14 and he got bored a lot. They have a special club for his age group but there wasn't a whole lot planned for them.
We thoroughly enjoyed our ports of call...Antigua, Tortola, St. Thomas and Grand Turks. We were suppose to dock at San Juan but for some reason they found out the day we were to dock that we couldn't without causing damage to the life boats hanging over the side of the ship. Well, that's fine but I don't know why they couldn't take us to another island. They could have even taken us to the private island that Carnival has. No, we had another "fun" day at sea. We got a $20.00 per person credit for not stopping in San Juan. Just didn't seem right!
The food left something to be desired. It was not that great. Some nights were good and some nights were bad. The Gathering had food that seemed lacking in taste most of the time. The service in the dining hall the first four to five nights was not that great at all. We didn't see our maitre'd until about the 5th night and of course the last night with his hand held out for a tip which he did not receive from me. Our cabin steward, Dave, was fantastic! We couldn't have asked for a more considerate, fun and personable steward. Thanks Dave for making our stay a little more nice!
The average age of the guests on our cruise was approximately 60. I could be wrong and it could be a little older but it's a guess since just about everyone on board was about 20 plus years older than me. I was always taught to respect adults older than me because of their age, if for no other reason. It was very HARD to be nice to even the elderly when they were rude, disrespectful and down right hateful at times! It was very hard not to say something at times. My husband was on deck watching the game and I ran up to our room to get our son. Well this older "gentleman" asked my husband if he could sit in the seat next to him and he told him that it was for me and that I was coming right back. The man then stood right in front of my husband so he couldn't see the t.v. My husband said, "excuse me but I'm watching the t.v." The man said, "Yeah, I'm just standing here waiting to see if your wife comes back". He then asked his friends to come stand with him to watch the game thereby blocking my husbands view from the game. Needless to say, he got up and left before he actually said something offensive to the man. I was standing in line waiting somewhat patiently to get some breakfast. When it was my turn some older man came up and stepped right in front of me, got what he wanted and left. No excuse me, nothing! I've never in my life seen such old, rude people.
I don't know if I'll take another Carnival cruise or not. We may just fly to the islands instead!