CCL rep met us at airport to direct us to our hotel shuttle and was there for us for our pre-board excursion to Monserrat which was enjoyable.
We stayed at the Catalonia Bernia which is a lovely hotel with a great location & staff -â€" I am sorry to hear that Carnival is not using the hotel for next year's Ocean Breeze TA.
I did like the more subdued colors and the addition of the Red Frog Pub along with the non-smoking Piano Bar with Ron Pass.
I feel the public theater areas are not large enough for the passenger count. Having 2nd seating meant if any seats were available they were not in any prime locations. Add to the fact that the Bingo players were in the theater already most seats were taken.
We did the water slides and the ropes course; both were lots of fun.
We had a spa cabin which we had done on the Carnival Dream last year and thought with all the sea days using the spa would be worth the extra cost. Unlike the Dream this spa area was crowded every day and we were not able to utilize the Spa features as much as planned. I saw many folks with day pass bands and felt that too many day passes were sold. Because of this I would not spend the extra money on a spa cabin again. Also there were no spa amenities in my cabin and when I inquired I was told that they had run out of products. I complained and by the second day was given some conditioner and lotion.
The gym class area was way too small. Morning classes were so busy that one needed to sign up for upcoming classes to reserve a spot. This caused such a problem that ship security needed to intervene. I know the staff tried to move the classes to another area but was told there were no locations available. With these many sea days alternative areas should be made available. I must give kudos to the gym trainers Barry and Scott who were great in handling this issue. To help alleviate the issue they added an additional 6:30 am morning class.
I booked a spa treatment (buy one & get one Â½ half). I pointed to the treatment I wanted and when the treatment was done I was charged for the 111 minute treatment instead of the 50 minute treatment (a big price difference). I thought the treatment was running long but since the spa staffer told me that we would be starting late (and there are no clocks) I didn't know for sure just how long the treatment took until it was over. When I complained I was told that it was assumed I wanted the longer treatment. I stood my ground and was charged for my original appointment.
It was nice that John Heald took time to stop by (I was disappointed that his original schedule was for the TA & Carnival changed his schedule)
Guest Services dealt with many unhappy passengers and I applaud their patience.
Embarkation/debarkation was fine
Did Chef's Table and food was very good, this was our 4th Carnival Chef's Table (Dream, Freedom, and Glory). I have noticed that the Carnival Cookbook is no longer part of the package and this time although we were shown how to prepare Melted Chocolate Cake we were not served any for dessert. Our past Chef's Table had two desserts which included the Melted Chocolate Cake.
Did Steakhouse and the food/service was as excellent as we have enjoyed on prior cruises.
Did the Cucina and enjoyed the singing waitstaff. For me the food was fine, but my expectations were higher. Most likely I would not book this again for dinner, but the pasta lunch was good.
Did traditional dining at Southern Lights Restaurant and the Waitstaff did a great job. However the last evening they were rushed and were down a server because they need staff to get ready for the Galveston port. We did have the pleasure of listening to Ken the singing Maitre d'. Also one night the close-up magician stopped by our table and he was very good.
My husband purchased a wine card discounting a selection of wines however before the end of the cruise we were informed that the dining room had run out of 3 of the 5 reds offered.
The Lido Dining area had too many folks who weren't dining but using tables for card playing, crafts, etc. Funtimes mentioned that passengers shouldn't be using these dining tables for such purposes but this was never enforced.
Having a breakfast area by the main pool was very convenient and their stuffed French toast with toppings was a hit for me.
Did Caves of Drach CCL excursion in Mallorca and was very happy with tour.
I have seen many, many Welcome aboard shows and was happy to hear that the show had been changed. However I was disappointed that there was no dance number and no introduction of the Entertainment staff. I was glad that there was some time given to the Comedians
Enjoyed water aerobics, they were a nice addition to the activities. Was told this was just for the TA. I hope Carnival considers adding this on other cruises.
I didn't enjoy the constant "Buy your vacation DVD" programming on the Outdoor movie screen.
Comedy shows: Because comedy is so subjective I don't feel I can review whether or not the comedians were good, but for me I enjoyed them all except for the Venquilitrist Jerry Goodspeed because I thought his jokes were old.
Juggler Goronwy Thom was very good.
Enjoyed the Magic show Destination Unknown (too bad our seats didn't allow us to see the entire show)
Enjoyed the burlesque show.
Disappointed that most Halloween activities were geared to those folks not at 2nd seating. The timing of these activities meant that I didn't get to attend.
Enjoyed music acts especially Blood Power.
The ship needed more free in-room movies, the same movies would be shown for multiple days.
The Library had recent books available for passengers.
Having lunch available at the Serenity area was nice.
Magical World Cruise (scavenger/activity game that needed 8 people for teams) -â€" it was hard to get team members on such short notice (teams diminished quickly) perhaps making note of this activity in the Funtimes a few days prior would allow passengers to arrange for teams. I was disappointed that I didn't get a chance to participate.
There were too many activities that couldn't be attended if you were at 2nd seating
I booked a spa treatment (buy one & get one Â½ half). I pointed to the treatment I wanted and when the treatment was done I was charged for the 111 minute treatment instead of the 50 minute treatment (a big price difference). I thought the treatment was running long but since the spa staffer told me that we would be starting late (and there are no clocks) I didn't know for sure just how long the treatment took. When I complained I was told that it was assumed I wanted the longer treatment. I stood my ground and was charged for my original appointment.
We had a great cruise and we made the most of our vacation. Yes, I wish that Carnival would have made their repairs before my cruise and we went to Grand Turk instead of Freeport. However, I look forward to my next Carnival cruise.