Sailed out of Pt. Canaveral for a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. This was our longest cruise to date.
We've been on RC a few times and liked it very much. While a little hesitant to cruise Carnival, we felt sailing on one of their flagship vessels might improve things. We were wrong.
Embarkation was great. Highly recommend CruiseXpress for transfers between Orlando airport and the port. Best price around and Wanda is really on top of things. Wonderful service. 352-551-5032.
Also do self-assist to disembark. Even better, take advantage of the ships baggage program when leaving. For just $20 per person, you get your bags checked and boarding passes issued Friday before docking. Just put on you luggage tags and leave them outside your cabin. The next time you see your bags is in baggage claim at your home airport and you are free to leave the ship whenever you want. We were off the boat and in our van back to the airport by 7:45am.
We did not come across that reported smell. The cabin was roomy enough and quiet, even though it was close to the elevator bank. We did find it very convenient.
Our cabin steward was great. No problems there.
The food left a lot to be desired. We had late dining and were able to make all of the shows and activities. And while the food service was very good, everything started to taste the same near the end. Highly recommend the pasta bar on deck 11. Excellent!
There was a reported death on deck 9. Word on board is that an older woman died of natural causes but I'm now reading that a cabin steward found a dead newborn in the cabin. Authorities are investigating...but that is a real bummer.
We did dock next to RC's Oasis of the Sea and the Dream looked like a dingy compared to it.
In St. Marrten, best deal is taking the Island Circle Tour which you can purchase and pick up at the entrance to the port terminal. Best $30 you can spend. You get to tour the entire island in air conditioned comfort, have time for shopping and you see everything that there is to see.
Not too sure we'll cruise Carnival again anytime soon. It wasn't bad. But it wasn't something to write home about either.