I've cruised with Carnival on three prior occasions to this sailing and while I understand it's never going to be the QE2, it was always pleasant and adequate.
From embarkation when the surly guest reps gave my family and I difficult time checking into the VIP lounge. We had a suite as well as an interior stateroom across the hall for the kids - please note, that with Carnival Priority Embarkation is determined by account, not by room. The agent wanted my two teenage kids to wait in the regular line and check in separately from us. As we were all on one account we were indeed entitled to check in through VIP as a group (after a fifteen minute discussion resulting in the manager telling the agent she was wrong) we finally were checked in.the agent said that WE should have clarified it to HER earlier. Strike One.
Once on board, the room was really quite nice. Carnival beds are incredibly comfortable. The bathroom, while not opulent, is More
We were in U103, spacious and comfortable for the two of us. Pet peeve I've had in all my Carnival suites; the balcony door cannot be left open unless you have a doorstop of some kind (unlike RCI where you can lock the slider open, the Carnival doors swing out). Hint, take a spoon and use it to block the top hinge - instant open air without having to use a chair to hold the door open!
The ship itself is a little rough around the edges and showing its age, but that's to be expected at the price point and on a short voyage.
Now, the real problems.... I don't know if it was because this ship was older and this voyage short, but it was by far the worse vacation experience I've ever had.
Completely inebriated, disruptive, vomiting (yes, I said vomiting), screaming, cursing, belligerent guests. Everywhere. All the time.
Food was mediocre at best, inedible at worst, regardless of where on the ship you ate. Room service for breakfast only showed up about half the time. Food was NEVER better than remotely warm.
You can wait upwards of 20 minutes for a wine list - however, if you want a rum punch in the 'festive souvenir glass' or shots (yes, they were hawking shots in the dining room) you're in luck because the bar staff throughout the ship, including the dining room, accosted you with them.
Want to walk across the pool deck? Fine, as long as you don't mind the cat calls and wolf whistles from the drunken group for Florida University, Gainesville that had overtaken the space.
Glass of wine at the lounge outside the casino? Terrific, as long as you didn't mind the group of 30something drunks at the bar who periodically would bellow "YOU PEOPLE ARE F*&^ING BORING", "THIS BAND F*&%$ING SUCKS", etc.
Day one at the pool, the crew member trying to entertain with trivia, etc. just gave up about halfway through her gig after rudely shushing and yelling into the microphone for people to stop shouting out.
Walk on the deck after dinner? Enjoy.... as long as the two girls vomiting near the pool onto the pool deck don't bother you.
Dinner in the dining room? Lovely, as long as you didn't mind the inebriated group at the next table who had pulled up additional chairs, were drinking to the point where they were literally falling off their seats and breaking glasses. We asked to be moved to another part of the dining room and were told sorry, no room to do so.
At one point, I was in an elevator with two Officers, both Italian. At one deck, the door opened and the incredibly drunk bunch waiting decided to wait for the next car (mercifully). The doors close and one officer says to the other, in Italian (which I understood) "The animals are all out". I asked, in Italian, why they didn't cut them off or do something. The response I got was a shrug.
We complained to the Maitre D, Officers, Security and at the Guest Desk. Response ranged from "sorry" to taking our name and cabin number never to hear from them again. Calls and emails to the corporate guest division garnered no response either.
In closing, if you are a young crowd looking for a four day party you'll love this cruise. If you're an adult over 35 looking for a tropical respite, you wont be happy and if you are a family looking to escape to the Bahamas for a few days you'll rue the day you came across the website. Less
U103 - Suite - Generous closet, ample bath, very comfortable bed, convenient ship location, generally quiet, small balcony.
U105 - Interior Double - comfortable and well laid out for the size. Perfect for two kids and directly across from U105 Suite.
It's a lovely place with all the wonders of Atlantis a short taxi ride away. The shopping in Nassau is the best of all the warm weather ports, in my opinion. Careful after dark, though... the neighborhood shops close early and it's a little rocky walking through the streets. Get a taxi if you're returning to the ship late in the evening.