For a first time cruise, this ship and experience left much to be desired. The Jacksonville port requires the boat to go under a bridge which resulted in a delay when leaving port and a change in the itinerary due high tide. Shouldn't they plan for that?
The ship itself was comfortable, older but nice enough. We found our cabin to be very nice and perfect for what we needed. The food was ok, the sit down dinner at night was the best. The buffet was just ok, nothing to write home about and you honestly get sick of it after one day.
The staff on the ship were amazing! The first day out to sea was rough and they ran out of medicine but the staff did the best they could despite their own illness. Other passengers were ok, definitely not an exciting or fun crowd. Mostly rude families.
We made it to port in Nassau which was nice but the next day we had to skip porting in Freeport due to 'deteriorating' weather. By deteriorating they meant a tropical storm with 40 foot swells and 75-90 mph winds. The boat was rocking and we immediately became concerned for our safety. The ship was out of medicine so time was spent in cabins.
Additional inside activities were planned however many were cancelled due to the rocking boat and illness. The other ships that had been docked in Nassau rode the storm out there, it remains unclear why our ship was the only one out in those conditions. My guess, they needed to get back to port to pick up the next group and the other ships had additional days (i.e. they would remain on schedule even if they stayed in port).
After a rough night we woke up to learn that once again due to the high tide we would be delayed in getting off, by more than 4 hours. Once again, Carnival is well aware of the bridge issue (http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/article/222295/3/Everybody-Was-Throwing-Up-on-Cruise-Ship-Stuck-at-Sea)why send a boat through a storm like that just to sit due to high tide? We knew we were taking a risk cruising during hurricane season however we did not expect the cruise line to put us in danger. Rooms on the ship were evacuated due to water coming in and the ship was lost on radar for a time, the crew did the best they could in the conditions but we still question why we were put in that situation.
I would not recommend this ship or cruise line. I will give cruising another shot but on a higher end line and out of different/more southern port.