One of the main factors is selecting the cruise was the price and the fact that it was quite port intensive. Our party was made up of 4 adults - none of us having ever cruised before and two in our group not having traveled overseas before. We hit a slight hiccup when we arrived at the cruise port - but it was sorted out quickly and before we knew it we were on board. We were very impressed with what we saw - many of the reviews etc that we had read said that the decor was garish, cheap and nasty.....Well we obviously don't have a clue. We went up to the Lido and had lunch - which was good. Nice selection - all fresh. We explored a bit and then sat in the Serenity area and just after one got to our cabin. We were more than happy with it. Comfy beds, clean and good quality linen, nice size bathroom, plenty packing space. To be honest we had envisage a smaller room - so were pleasantly surprised by the size. Our first night we ate dinner in the Northern Lights - the food and service were very good.
My review is going to be my first so bear with me -
Being first time cruisers we were open to anything - the cruise had quite a demanding iteninary but we were up for it!!. To highlight the ports
First stop was Marseilles - nothing much to write home about. Second day was Savona - we booked a shore excursion to Monaco - what a trip - we had a wonderful tour guide and the experience was outstanding. The 3rd stop was Rome - again we had booked a shore excursion - however this was horrid. We had selected "Rome at its Best" - first we had to swop buses as the aircon was broken - the young lady that was on the vehicle with us said she was not a guide but a tour assistant. I will not go into detail as we could be here for very long......the tour was terrible. Eventually we picked up a local guide for the Basilica and the Colosseum - and then had a very rushed but good end of the tour.
Stop 4 - we did our own thing and went to Sorrento on a Hydrofoil and then caught the train to Pompeii.
Stop 5 Dubrovnik - again did our own thing - Walked the old city walls and did the Cable car.
Stop 6 Venice - day 1 we did most of venice town and day 2 went to Murano
Stop 7 Messina - walked around, did a tour on the local "train" and watched the anatomical clock at 12.
The Ship - very nice, plenty to do and see
The food - plenty of variety, always good. Sushi - very yummy.
The drinks - EXPENSIVE
The internet - very slow and then to make it worse - VERY EXPENSIVE
The Deck and cabins - we were very happy.Situated on the 7th Deck. Why choose an inside cabin? - We only slept there!!!
The staff - on a whole - very helpful and friendly - did however find a couple that really made you feel like they were doing you a massive favor and did it with attitude!! A special shout out to Arnaldo( hope it is right) and B - our room stewards.....nothing was ever to much trouble.Also a special mention to the two South African girls on the front desk!!!
The Carnival Shore excursions - Very expensive and very little information or no information given out for if you wanted to do something on your own.
The shore excursion staff - we took our complaint for the Rome excursion to the desk. The team member was not really willing to help. Gave lots of reasons for why it was not Carnival's problem!! After 3 days we received a discount for the excursion - this however was a small consolation for the fact that Rome was spoilt for us.
The Entertainment - very good - really enjoyed the Adult comedy shows and Blood Power band!!
The onboard facilities - used the putt putt, ropes, table tennis, pool - all good.
For us there were a couple of negatives - On the 2nd day in Venice there was a transport strike. We had heard from guests the previous night. The cruise director only advise us on the morning of the 2nd day - why were we not notified before this??? Surely the cruise ships are made aware of this well before.
The other thing that had nothing to do with the cruise - but actually with fellow passengers was the gluttony and waste. We come from quite a reserved family and to see how people dished up food and then never ate it - this was to much for our family
There is so much that one actually could get quite carried away.We had a great time and already planning our next one. Thank you Carnival Magic for a wonderful memorable holiday