We chose this cruise due to price, value, and the home port - no flying in the winter. Left our home 30 miles from Port of Baltimore at 11:00. We were on the Lido deck eating lunch before 1:00. Embarkation was easy, very organized, and quick. Lines moved quickly. We planned on spending the week relaxing and were very succcessful.
First day (Sunday) -- Lido deck buffet -- tables not cleaned timely.
Cabin -- clean, lots of storage, comfortable. Friends had a problem with their thermostat. Was fixed that afternoon.
Sea Days -- very relaxing; chilly. Inside pool -- closed for maintenance on chilly sea days! Hot tub in Serenity area need fixing -- fixed quickly.
MDR -- food was tasty and better than expected -- however -- hot foods were served 'warm' at best -- not hot. The Eggs Benedict were not only cold, but the hollandaise sauce was not a liquid (sort of gelled blob -- not sure if it was because the eggs benedict were cold or because the chefs don't know how to make a good hollandaise sauce). Second formal night, the chateaubriand was extremely good and was served hot!
Lido -- food was good and tasty for a buffet. Pizza is available when the buffet is closed between meals. However, you cannot get a free cookie to go with an afternoon cup of free coffee when the buffet is closed in the afternoon. You have to buy a cookie in one of the coffee shops (coffee is an additional cost at the coffee shop as well as the pastries). Coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade are available in the Lido Deck buffet at all times.
Also with the Lido deck -- Stay away from the scrambled eggs. Eggs are great if you get them from the Omelet station freshly made.
David's -- disappointing. We have always gone to the specialty restaurants on every cruise and we always enjoyed our meal and dining experience. We convinced our friends to give the specialty restaurant a try. Unfortunately, David's was not a good experience. The food was cold (systemic throughout the cruise); service was bad. Sauce brought out after meat was almost eaten; side dishes not brought out until we complained that we hadn't received them; husband's meat was cooked further when we complained it was cold -- therefore, overcooked! The Filet Mignon tasted delicious, but would have been better hot. One of our friends said the same of his steak - delicious, but cold. Our other friend's Filet Mignon was raw in the middle (she ordererd it medium well). After we complained, we did receive back some of the money we paid to eat there; however, none of us would recommend David's steakhouse.
Entertainment -- production shows -- apparent that performers work hard -- shows were good. Comedians were very funny (went to the 'adults only' comedy shows).
Casino was nice. We didn't spend a lot of time there, but had fun. The dealers were pleasant and appeared to enjoy the games and the guests. Made losing money fun! However, the casino is a smoking area (as long as you are gambling -- you can't walk through with a lit cigarette) and did not have a non-smoking area. Sometimes the casino was very smoky and breathing was difficult.
Debarkation - easy; organized; quick
We would definitely consider cruising again on Carnival. Good value, relaxing, fun.
Ports of Call/Excursions:
PC -- did not take excursion. Went out on our own.
Nassau -- took discover Atlantis and lunch excursion. Pricey but fun. Couldn't use pool or aquaventure (knew that when we signed up for this excursion); however, watched people come down the slide and through the shark pool, saw some of the fish displays; spent time on the beach (water was chilly).
Freeport -- took the Garden at the Groves and shopping at Lucaya excursion. The garden was beautiful, tour guide knowledgeable and energetic. Lots of picture taking opportunities. Would have liked to have spent more time in Freeport. The ship leaves at 2 P.M.