Had a nice time... Was somewhat ambivalent about going while Hurrican Irene was headed our way, but so glad I decided to go and not cancel...
First night was very rough... seas were quite choppy and the entire ship felt a lot of rocking. So glad I took Bodine pills for motion sickness... they worked very well and I did not feel sick one bit, but it was very hard to walk on Board without holding on to someone or something.
My Cabin: I had an Ocean Suite (#7333). It was emaculate and beautiful. My steward was amazing and consistantly took care of all my needs. Very impressive that he remembered my name each day. A large bottle of water and ice was delivered on a daily basis which was great.
Food: The Lido Deck buffets were "average".. nothing fabulous, but had a lot of choices which was good. Never tried the Mongolian Wok as there were always huge lines for that. The deli was good and the hamburgers and hotdogs were also averaage but generally good. The regular restaurants were "above average to good". Not a lot of menu choices, but I enjoyed everything I ordered. Service was very good I thought. I had the dine-at-your-own-time, and that was wonderful because I never felt locked into a set seating. The "steakhouse" was absolutely fantastic. It is well worth the extra $30. The lobster tails and filet mignon were spectacular!
Port of Call: We were only able to get to Nova Scotia. New Brunswick was out of the question since the storm had prevented us from going there. It was definitely disappointing, but it is certainly not the fault of the Captain. In fact, we were all relieved when the Captain decided to slow down the ship and skip that port... This made for a very smooth ride for the rest of our cruise. Halifax, Nova Scotia was wonderful. I highly recommend a trip to Peggy's Cove. It is gorgeous! But unfotunately the excursions don't give you enough time there. 1 hour is just not enough, especially if you are a photographer and love taking photos. Peggy's Cove is a must, however! The surrounding port if lovely as well with many restaurants along the water. Just walk around when you step off the ship, and you can see some fun shops and restaurants. A charming city!
Negatives: I felt disappointed that both pools seemed to be taken over by kids splashing and rough-housing about. They are small pools, and most adults couldn't stand being in them with so many kids splashing! I think Carnival should have either an "adults-only" pool, or at least "an adult swim hour or two". Second negative was that the music was very loud in my opinion, all over the ship. I love music, but when you can't hear people talk, that can be very distracting. I also felt that there could have been more varieties of music on board, to fit everyone's taste instead of just "Top 40" or "Disco". A third negative is that the noise in the hallways is always very loud and it starts at about 7:00 a.m. every morning. Guests are just not very considerate to those of us who like to sleep late. The good thing is, that you cannot hear your neighbors. Walls are pretty sound proof. But there is just so much hallway noise from kids creaming or even people talking.
Positives: The ship is extremely clean. I thought it was beautifully and tastefully decored. The staff were very friendly. Embarkation and Debarkation were both very well organized and planned. There were many activites on board to fit everyone's taste young and old. The entire trip was fun and enjoyable. There was always something to do. They leave you the list of activities for each day on your bed. As I mentioned before, my steward was superb. Make sure you leave your valuables locked in your safe. You cannot bring alcohol on board, except for wine. I asked my steward to make sure he stocked my refridge daily with "extra bottles of vodka", so this way I didn't have to keep calling room service if I wanted something. Drinks were only $5.75, and I thought that was quite reasonable. If seas are really rocky, you may want to ask your Steward to tape up your dresser drawers, cause they were flying out all night long and making a racket. But I was told that this was an extreme because of the hurricane.
All in all.. a great trip!