Well this was a Xmas gift surprise for my three children that they opened on Xmas morning and had about twenty days to pack up. We were all excited because we cruised as a family 11 Mnths prior on the Liberty of the Seas and everyone had a blast. Well I told myself that going into this cruise I wasn't going to compare & I just wanted to have a good time. Too bad hubby wasn't on the same page!
I will start with embarkation it was a breeze! We didn't wait at all and we got there early at about 10:30. Checked in using the automated system went to an employee for verification & off we went. First stop after getting on was an early lunch at guys burgers. Yum!! They are delicious. I ate three my whole trip. We were just hanging out on lido deck until our rooms became available. When they did I was in heaven with one of my first balcony cabins. I actually did the kids cabin across the hall this time just so I could finally experience having a balcony. It all worked out well. We had cabins 7389 & 7391. Very clean & spacious.
We ate in the dining room that night and dinner was okay. I liked my pasta I had but others at table complained about what they chose. That would be the only night we ate in the dining room because mommy forgot my garment bag with all my nice clothes in it. Yes that's right, I didn't get to go to formal night :( so a lot of buffet we ate the rest of the week which was sooo lacking. Now of course I am comparing it to the buffet on RCI because that's what I have gotten used to. RCI buffet seems to have so many more options. I mean I always found something I liked whether it be a salad or appetizer, but just not meeting my expectations for a cruise buffet. Breakfast sometimes was repetitive everyday, but still good. I did try the burrito for bkfast one day & that was delicious. Last day at sea I stood in a long line to see what all the hype was about the fish & chips even though I am not a big fish person. They were good though & hubby said it was one of te best things he ate on the ship.
Talk about chair hogs! I am so glad I had a balcoy on this sailing. Seems like you could never find a spot to relax by the pool or anywhere for that matter. Even the serenity area was always packed! Needless to say I didn't use the pool or jacuzzi the whole week, but that's ok. My kids went on the slide a few times & they used the jacuzzis often. My older son 15 was complaint he was bored by the second day which was first sea day. Are u kidding me! I could have saved $800 & left him home! Again I guess he just was used to RCI & doing the flow rider,ice skating, & rock climbing. My older daughter had her BFF on this sailing with us so she was happy the whole time although she did say the camp was kind of lame. She hardly ever went because when she did they weren't doing much & hardly anyone was there. My little one on the other hand did use camp a lot she is 6. Although one night first night btw... After muster drill se came back crying at night. Se said they told her if you don't behave in camp they are going to put u on a canoe and you are going to have to go to a private island all alone. Well I understand this was probably geared toward the older kids, but they need to be more careful what they say. She was traumatized! I spoke to them about it & they did apologize to her. I feel like she & myself preferred the camp with RCI better though. They seem to have lots more activities & they parade is so much fun.
Service was always good! Our room stewards awesome. Again I didn't do much dining so I couldnt speak for that. Cruise director Butch was great! One issue I had was they confiscated my brand new power strip & gave us a letter telling us where to pick it up on last morning. Well that was a huge mess. We went there and they didn't have it & no crew member could help us or tell us where to get it. So we disembarked with out it. I don't even know why it was taken. It was brand new in good condition.
Our ports of call were all beautiful we did Isla Rotan, Belize, Cozumel, & Grand Cayman. No issues with any ports, but we didn't do much at all in Belize because my whole family doesn't have passports & that is the last place I would want to be left.
Shows were good not great but I enjoyed them. I loved the comedy shows! There are mega crowds trying to see the comedy shows so you har to get there early. Wish they had more family activities inboard the ship. Like one time we did a family scavenger hunt where we had to go around the whole ship & video certain things. Besides deck parties & karyoke there wasn't that much else offered. We were even going to stay I the ship the day we were I Belize since we didn't schedule an excursion, but they seem to close up everything o the ship. Kids were bored so we tendered just to walk around.
All in all it was a nice trip no real complaints. Hey I had my balcony cabin & I was happy. We did this sailing for the same price I did a seven night on liberty of the seas but this time I had te balcony with an interior instead of two interiors. My hubby is saying at this point he won't go back to carnival so we'll see. I am starting to plan our 10 anniversary cruise now.