I am writing this review to compare Carnival vs. NCL. This is our second cruise, first on Carnival. Our first cruise was on NCL from New Orleans to West Carribean. This cruise is Ft. Lauderdale to East Carribean. To start with, the embarkation. It went very well. Arrived at Ft. Lauderdale airport and had short $20 cab ride to port. The lines went very quickly and soon we were on board to eat at the buffet. The buffet expirence was TERRIBLE the entire time. Very over crowded. Long waits in line. Never got to eat with my wife because I had to hold table while she got her food then by the time I got mine she was done or heading back for more. NCL buffet was set up better and were able to move people through much quicker.
The ship itself is very outdated. It is clean but outdated. It is also very hard to navigate. You had to constantly go up or down a floor to get where you wanted. NCL ship was much easier to navigate.
The food in the "free" restaurants was very good. We got to try several different types of food that we normally would not pay to try. We also were able to order a " backup" meal in case we did not like the trial stuff. Over all the food was equal to NCL.
The room we had this time was as inside cabin. Very clean, excellent service. On NCL we had balcony room. From now on I will ALWAYS have balcony. In the inside room we never knew what time it was and overall boring. I loved sleeping in balcony room with door open to hear the waves at night.
The entertainment was TOP NOTCH! Excellent shows every night. Even had to cancel a show one night due to mechanical failure but rescheduled it for the last night. This is equal to NCL as their entertainment is excellent also.
Ports of call were great. We had Key West, Grand Caymen, and Jamica. At all 3 we purchased excursions off ship at port from locals. We were advised that this was a security gamble but we did it anyways without problem. Actually on 2 of the 3 excursions we were with people that purchased it on ship and we paid half the price they did for same thing. My favorite was Stingray City in Grand Caymen. One of the best expirences of my life. A sandbar about 5 miles out in the ocean where you stand and the stingray swim right up to you. You hold them and have pictures with them. Dunns River Falls in Jamica was very fun also.
At sea days were not very enjoying. Not a lot of activities to do as compared to NCL where there was endless activities to participate in.
To end this review I must say, any day on a cruise is better than any day at work. That being said, I do not think I will sail with Carnival again as I much preferred NCL.