This was my 14 cruise (7th with Carnival), and my fiance's 3rd (2nd with Carnival). It was his 30th birthday cruise, and we traveled with his sister and her husband as well. It was their 3rd cruise too, first with Carnival. My other 7 cruises were w RCCL. I love both lines. I don't have a preference. Carnival and RCCL are both great vacations! We were looking for a quick weekend cruise to the Bahamas. We live in Florida, so its a great way for a fun weekend trip!
After I booked the cruise, I began reading reviews. I became quite nervous when I saw all the other reviews on here and how negative most of them were. However, when I read the complaints, I realized some of the reviews were a bit ridiculous. People expecting way too much. Bottom line is, a cruise is the most fun, cheapest, convenient way to travel. Your worst cruise is still better than any other vacation you've ever gone on.
Embarkation: Port Canaveral-super convenient. Parking was very easy, no problem with that. Short walk into the terminal. Got checked in and was sitting down in the waiting within about 15 minutes. (We arrive early, so we're typically the first group of passengers to go on). After sitting in the waiting room for less than 5 minutes,they began boarding. A gentleman working with Carnival said he was picking a cabin out of a hat to board FIRST and ironically ours was called! WAhoo! First people on the ship. This was 11:15am..in case anyone wants to get there early this is the time they begin allowing people on each week.
Ship was great. VERY clean. Well kept. Great staff. Great bar drinks. Never had a problem with service--whether it was getting a drink, asking a question, anything--there was always someone around!!! Decor is a bit dated--however it is an older ship. Atrium, dining room, lounges, rooms, bathrooms--looked brand new! basically just the hallways and random things u could tell were older, but not bad. Staff was soo nice!! Bar staff and cruise director were super. Casino staff very fun as well. Great shows---comedian was great, as well as the last night vegas style show! Wish we had seen every show--we missed a few (gambling..hehe)
Weather--rained the whole weekend. Bummer. However we had a great time. Played board games at one point, lots of time in the casino, tons of entertainment on- board. The daily schedule they give you in the room each night has tons of stuff to keep you busy--rain or shine. They did a great job making you forget it was raining.
Spa/Gym--GREAT! Worked out in the gym. Very clean and great equipment. Brand new equipment. Spa-great services and staff.
Bahamas--Didn't get off ship since it was raining. Not a big deal--going to Nassau in March on another cruise so we'll explore then. I've been to Nassau 6-7 times now, so I was fine with missing it this time.
Food-same as any other cruise line. They all have very similar food in the buffet area and dining room. I didn't have room service so can't speak for that. The pizza and sandwich restaurant in the back of the Lido buffet was delicious. Love that ice cream/fro-yo were open 24/7 (this is not the case on RCCL)
Overall I have no complaints about the cruise. Obviously, I wish the weather was better ,but had a great time even with that. This is a great cruise for: couples, groups, girlfriend getaway. May not be the best for families since it is a short cruise and people are partying all the time. I didn't see many families on my cruise. However, a cruise is what u make of it. Go and plan on relaxing and having a great time and that's exactly what will happen!