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Sail Date: March 2017
Took this ship to see if we could take New Years cruise on same ship. Well the minute we disembarked we cancelled our New Years cruise to rebook on Royal Caribbean. We have 30+ cruises behind us on Carnival, Royal, Norwegian and ... Read More
Took this ship to see if we could take New Years cruise on same ship. Well the minute we disembarked we cancelled our New Years cruise to rebook on Royal Caribbean. We have 30+ cruises behind us on Carnival, Royal, Norwegian and Princess. This ship is too small for our liking. We have read reviews about the poor layout, and we agree. One reviewer wrote about circumventing the smoke filled casino to get to ocean plaza. Well this is not always the case. We were successful however at times they had doors shut to complete the cross through which caused you to, you guessed it, walk through the smoke filled casino. The food was not too good in the MDR as well as Lido buffet. Thank goodness for the guys burgers! We have cruised 5 previous times on Carnival with the last two on the Breeze. The live bands on the Sunshine were really fantastic. Much better than Carnival cruises we have been on in the past. Also, Eden the piano guy was awesome. The room however not so much. It was too small. Standing room only most nights. Due to the overcrowding it became very hot inside but he was worth the trouble, trust us. Overall the crew did not seem happy. Too bad because in our experiences/opinions the crew can really enhance the cruise. Now this is not to suggest all crew, as Thelma the guest services mgr was very helpful as was the maitre de in Sunset MDR. One thing we did not care for is that our cabin attendant actually asked us when we wanted our cabin made up, morning or evening? According to guest services he should not have asked and that they make up cabins twice daily. Well we spoke to three other guest, one of whom was in a suite who told us their cabin attendants asked them the same question. We called our relative when we got back who cruises Carnival only. They too said that they have experienced this. So it seems gratuities continue to go up while service continues to lesson. Overall we enjoy the mega ships and will go back to them. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Last minute change from Valor to Liberty wasn't a problem. We were on the Valor last May and the only difference between the two boats are their names. We were traveling with another couple and wanted to keep the same cabins next to ... Read More
Last minute change from Valor to Liberty wasn't a problem. We were on the Valor last May and the only difference between the two boats are their names. We were traveling with another couple and wanted to keep the same cabins next to each other. That wasn't an issue since our cabin reassignments were the same, even the same cabin numbers as we had booked on the Valor. We were on the Lido deck were our rooms were right beyond the pool and bar area. Very convenient and not noisy as you would think being so close to the pool and bar areas. The balcony windows need to be replaced, but this was a minor issue for us. The only noticeable difference between the two boats was we could hear the engines and feel them vibrating underneath us wherever we were on the boat. None of us remember the noise or vibrating on the Valor. Could that have something to do with the time of year? Water temperature? We were on the Valor in May and Liberty in January. The water was smooth on both so I'm not sure what the difference was this time. No big deal, just noticeable. We always do FTTFand it is WELL worth it. Embarking and disembarking was effortless! The food was hit and miss on the buffet (lunch and dinner) and in the dining room. The pizza was good on the Valor, but this time it was absolutely horrible. Paper thin, no sauce, no cheese, no taste - zero substance. The breakfast buffet was average - at best. The lunch/dinner buffet was much better, but little difference from one night to the next as far as variety. The dining room food was fairly good one night and average the next. Again, little difference as far as the variety from one night to the next. The desserts (regardless of where you got them) all taste the same...tasteless. They lack flavor (sugar?) and look a lot better than they actually taste. This is definitely not the cruise for people who like good food. Guy's burgers are awesome, but still not something you want to eat every day for lunch and every night for dinner. Dining hours were too restrictive for us and after 9:30 PM it's either horrible pizza or deli sandwiches, which were just okay. Again, this cruise is not for those who like a good variety of food, good-tasting food, and food at any time. We went to the comedy club on two different nights and again it was hit and miss. Hysterical one night, not so much the next. The staff overall was very friendly and attentive. We had excursions in both Freeport and Nassau and you guessed it, hit and miss. Mostly due to the weather which is not something Carnival can control. The water in Nassau was too cold so we just hung out on the beach. We booked the all inclusive Beach Getaway and the drinks were very good and the food was too. The servers tended to the paying customer's and seemed to overlook those of us who had prepaid. We were good tippers but that made little to no difference. The in-cabin shore excursion channel needs to focus more on what each excursion has to offer and less on just trying to sell the excursions. In an effort to speed through each excursion only to keep repeating the same information, they should spend a little more time detailing and/or comparing what each excursion has to offer. They'd probably sell more excursions this way since they are definitely not cheap. The Dine-In movies were hit and miss. Hard to please everyone so I don't have an opinion one way or another. We did plenty of gambling and the machines seemed to pay just enough to keep you playing which is to be expected. In the end, we all lost a couple of hundred dollars, but again, we expected that. It would have been nice to win enough to pay for the cruise but if you play expecting to win you will be disappointed. The live bands in the casino every night played a great variety of popular songs from the 70's and 80's and they were all very good. Next time I hope to frequent the Spas. I'll be sure to do my homework and read the reviews before I book anything. All in all, it was a good cruise. It was only my 2nd cruise so I'm not an expert by any means. The only tips I can offer is spend the extra $50 for FTTF and pack less. On both cruises, I packed way more than I needed. For me, being comfortable was more important than being fashionable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
This was my 3rd cruise with Carnival. Our dinner time could not be accommodated which left us to wait on a dinner time and get a different wait staff each night. One of the most memorable parts of my last cruises was getting to know other ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise with Carnival. Our dinner time could not be accommodated which left us to wait on a dinner time and get a different wait staff each night. One of the most memorable parts of my last cruises was getting to know other people on the cruise during dinner, and connecting on a personal level with the wait staff. The food in the dining room was disappointing every night. Again, one of the most memorable parts of my last cruises was the dinners, and these were less than great. We were not able to stop at one of our ports due to weather. I understand that Carnival can not help the weather, but there were no accommodations made to compensate for the loss of Half Moon Cay; which was the stop that sold this cruise for us. Instead, we got another day in Nassau. The service was not what I've experienced on other Carnival cruises. All in all, we were disappointed with this cruise in comparison to others we've been on. Mostly, we were disappointed with the less than desirable customer service of the Carnival cruise line in general. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Timing with track out school break made this our only option for cruising. Stayed at our usual hotel for the cruise package, but cannot honestly recommend them due to a poorly thought out policy of placing a hold of 25% of your hotel bill ... Read More
Timing with track out school break made this our only option for cruising. Stayed at our usual hotel for the cruise package, but cannot honestly recommend them due to a poorly thought out policy of placing a hold of 25% of your hotel bill as a just in case measure, which penalizes honest travelers for the behavior of others which we can not control. Embarkation was a breeze. From drop off at port to boarding was 20 minutes. We boarded at noon, and missed nothing, so FTTF has never been an option, nor does it look likely to ever be so. Interior cabin, with king bed configuration. Ahmad was our steward and provided excellent service throughout the week. Brunch and lunch during embarkation was hit or miss. The 'fish & chips' is still indicated on the ship maps. It has been replaced by a BarBQ joint. To be fair, the Q was exceptionally good. The operating hours were hit or miss, as were those of the Deli station. Table for ten at dinner. Met some new friends and really enjoyed getting to know them. Dinner meals were average, service was good, not great. Food quality and quantity appear to be lesser than our cruise in July 2016. Ship just out of refurb, but showing her age..carpets, plumbing, etc. Casino was sparsely utilized, and when full did not appear to be paying out well. Smoke too prevalent to allow any time there. CD, Sydney apparently in love with the sound of her own voice. Announcements too often, and her voice is shrill, thus hard to understand or even attempt to listen to. Same, lame activities on board...do we really need the hairy chest contest??? Much respect to Jon (Danger) for an informative shopping show, info, promo event. Met up with him at Diamonds Int'l in Nassau and enjoyed being treated as a VIP. Did a Carnival excursion - our first- despite this being 5th visit to Nassau. Top ten of Nassau was meh. Would not repeat. Supposed to offer samples of the top places in Nassau. Twin Brothers is NOT anywhere near a place we consider a return to/top anything except to avoid. Short visit to Atlantis was nice. Debarkation..self debarked, off ship and through customs in no time, shuttle to hotel, in car on on the road home by 0830. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We had 19 people in our group. All but 1 stateroom was on Deck 1. There was a horrible sewage odor in the hallway and 2 of the staterooms had air-conditioning issues. Both requested fans and only one of the two received a fan. ... Read More
We had 19 people in our group. All but 1 stateroom was on Deck 1. There was a horrible sewage odor in the hallway and 2 of the staterooms had air-conditioning issues. Both requested fans and only one of the two received a fan. Maintenance tested the temperatures in the rooms and found them to 78 Degrees. Compared to past Carnival Cruises, I was disappointed in this one. The buffet did not have a good variety, the carving stations always seemed to have Roast--never saw ham or turkey, etc. The main dining room selections were not varied enough either. Portions were small. In past cruises there were no items on the menu that passengers had to pay for ($20). The food in general was below average. Loved Guy's burger joint and the Mongolian Wok, Taco Bar and Pizza's. Service was excellent! Cabins and bedding were very comfortable. There was a change in the ships itinerary not communicated to passengers until we were boarding the ship. We arrived at Nassau late in the day, and departed in the early afternoon the following day. Shore excursions were cancelled. The hypnotist was horrible! He started the show with a full house and within 20 minutes the room was almost empty. Comedians were great! We especially enjoyed Chaz Elstner. We had fun at the piano bar sing-along, but found the piano player to be a bit sarcastic, making subtle fun of singers rhythm, etc. Not cool. He did not have a great voice himself. Loved the casino, fun shops and photos--though photos are over-priced. Our bank account was charged the correct amount for our Sign and Sail purchases, but our bank account was also charged for additional amounts above and beyond our Sign and Sail purchases, for which we have no receipts or info as to what the charges are for. We hope to get this resolved with customer services. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
After cruising with other lines I found Carnival to be inferior overall. However, we did enjoy the cove balcony.....I spent most of my cruise on it as the noise level at the shows, on the Lido Deck and elsewhere on the ship was painfully ... Read More
After cruising with other lines I found Carnival to be inferior overall. However, we did enjoy the cove balcony.....I spent most of my cruise on it as the noise level at the shows, on the Lido Deck and elsewhere on the ship was painfully loud. The pools were much too small for such a large ship. On 'at sea' days there was not enough room for everyone to even get near the water. The food was just okay. There were a couple of very nice dinners in the dining room, but nothing amazing as on other cruises that I have been on. The wait staff was superb. Carnival's greatest strength was in their employees, most of whom were very helpful. There are always some that are not. The ports were beautiful and we were so fortunate with the weather for our New Year's cruise but the excursions were way too expensive. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We sailed on the Sunshine New Year's Eve, Cabin 11019 Serenity. Had the most awesome time. Cabin was very clean and comfortable. Deck 11 & 12 only have 2 elevators to them compared to the 6 elevator 1 deck down. Some people ... Read More
We sailed on the Sunshine New Year's Eve, Cabin 11019 Serenity. Had the most awesome time. Cabin was very clean and comfortable. Deck 11 & 12 only have 2 elevators to them compared to the 6 elevator 1 deck down. Some people complained the entire cruise about only having the 2. I seens no issue with it ! I mean come on we're in no big hurry to get anyplace ! If so walk down 1 filght if your capable of doing so. Deck 11 walks right out onto serenity. If you expect a good lounger get out there by 6am. The "CHAIR HOGS" are out in full force taking like 6-10 loungers at a time. THe view from the cabin was awesome. Food on the ship was great. Entertainment was excellent. Staff was 99% friendly and helpful, you always find that 1 person having the worst of worst days. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
New Years Eve Cruise With Friends~~~~ We flew into Orlando the day before and stayed at The Marriott Lakeside. We loved the shuttle service offered. Call the hotel when you arrive and they send the shuttle! Well, a nice hotel stay and ... Read More
New Years Eve Cruise With Friends~~~~ We flew into Orlando the day before and stayed at The Marriott Lakeside. We loved the shuttle service offered. Call the hotel when you arrive and they send the shuttle! Well, a nice hotel stay and then we arranged an Uber XL for the Port. Very inexpensive considering we had 3 couples. the driver took us to the local grocery store for wine and snacks etc... We arrived at the port and because of our diamond status we got right on the ship. The magic really is a beauty. Typically we try and stay on the lower floors due to the easy access on and off the ship on port days. Also, if the ship rocks at all usually it is not as shaky on the lower floors. We sailed to 4 ports, St Thomas ( we rented a boat at Compass Point and snorkeled), Grand Turk ( hung out at the beach and drank local beer ,Turks Head). In Puerto Rico we went to Barachinna and had local food and a Pina Colada, also went for a stroll through the streets of Old San Juan- I love this port. In DR we hung out at Amber Cove. Beautiful weather and people. Spent some time in the casino, It was very smoky and that is one of the main reasons I didn't hang out there more. The Comedy clubs had some good comedians and we really enjoyed Arvin Mitchell, so very funny. The shows and activities were abundant. The cruise director was hilarious with his I love you, I love you more routine...Young , fun crew on this ship. We also spent some quiet time on the upper decks away from all the music , just enjoying the sun and good company. I have been on 40 plus cruises and I will have to say The Magic is up there on my list. Please ask any questions @ expresgal1@aol.com as I don't often check cruise critic. Bon Voyage Liz Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Embarkation went ok, they need better organization because and more room at the counters to assist travelers. Muster was very inefficient and a waste of time. It took almost an hour for them to show us how to put on a life jacket. The ... Read More
Embarkation went ok, they need better organization because and more room at the counters to assist travelers. Muster was very inefficient and a waste of time. It took almost an hour for them to show us how to put on a life jacket. The employee on the loud speaker could not be heard so we did not hear any instructions, we just heard mumbling. There was no security so children were running up and down the hall all night because they had no parents around to control them. The children would be screaming at each other in the rooms around us and nothing would be done by security. They were running wild and we were the ones paying the price because there were no parents around to control them. The dining area was beautiful but very crowded. It took 15 minutes to even get a drink order done and another 15 minutes to even get the drink. Then another 30 minutes to get our food ordered. Once we got served our food it was an hour later our food was either under cooked, over cooked or cold. People would come in after us and get served before us it seemed some waiters were quicker than others and I guess ours was the slow one. The times for the Mongolian Wok and Guy's Burgers were placed out for your to see but they seemed to be open at different times and when they were open they were so packed you could not get served and when you did the food was cold. The buffet was normal food but pretty much the same thing daily just like the dinners no changes; the same items were served when we should've had a variety. Entertainment was ok we did attend some shows and they went well. The pools and hot tubs were not accessible because they were full of children at all times. It seemed like most parents were letting their children run wild and the ship employees and other people were their babysitters. The drink program is a waste of money, buy your drinks as you go along. They had about 5 bars with only 2-3 bartenders so it was hard to get drinks and complaining went on deaf ears. Debarking for our port call went well and was fairly quick because we left a few hours after we got into port. Do not do the bar hopping tour if you don't want to be rushed. It was nice to go to different bars and try different drinks but we only had so much time at each bar and we felt rushed and even had to leave food we ordered because of the time frame of not leaving the ship until 1430 when most disembarked at noon. We got 10 minutes at the last bar and a shot instead of a drink because we had to run back to the ship to make it back by the 1930 time limit. If you want to lay out on the lawn chairs you have to reserve them and there is a time limit on using them again another inconvenience. Service by many was hard because of a problem with communication. Many of the employees are from other countries and they either do not speak English or have broken English making communication very hard when needing assistance on the ship. Debarkation once we got back to Orlando was rushed as well and in us being rushed I left items in the safe in our room. I noticed this once we got off and was refused re-entry on the ship. I asked for assistance to get these items out of the safe but I was blown off and told the items would be mailed to me if they were found. If they were found? How do you over look items in a safe? I have been given numerous stories on how they would get them to me if found and all were different. I guess they will never be returned by the treatment I received by customer service off of the ship. This cruise line knows they have issues because you cannot place reviews on their site. To me this means they know they have problems yet they ignore them if not they wouldn't mind people putting reviews on their site instead on me having to place it on here. We thought this would be a restful fun cruise for our anniversary but it ended up being a cruise from the hell. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
After reading several reviews of the Magic we weren't expecting a lot from our cruise. That turned out to not be the case. We found the staff on the Magic to be great. Food was okay, actually real good at times. Entertainment okay. ... Read More
After reading several reviews of the Magic we weren't expecting a lot from our cruise. That turned out to not be the case. We found the staff on the Magic to be great. Food was okay, actually real good at times. Entertainment okay. Our dining wait staff was wonderful. We've always found that the more fun you have with the staff the more fun you'll have in general. Lines for food weren't bad, after all you're sailing with 4,000 of you're best friends. Guys burgers and BBQ were great. Did the Italian restaurant and found it okay. Nothing over the top special. Heard the steakhouse was great. Disappointed in how some people dressed in the dining room. Almost seemed like they were pushing it to see if they wouldn't be seated because of what they were wearing. I'm sure it's tough for the cruise line to push this issue. This was our fourth cruise with Carnival and have done six with Disney. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
While food and drinks were available almost 24 hours, the activities were poorly communicated and most events were only in the evenings between 7:30 and 11, right in the middle of our dinner hour. Prior cruises I have been on had piano ... Read More
While food and drinks were available almost 24 hours, the activities were poorly communicated and most events were only in the evenings between 7:30 and 11, right in the middle of our dinner hour. Prior cruises I have been on had piano bar, karaoke, dance lessons etc ongoing throughout the afternoons, early evenings as well. The cruise seemed more interested in selling alcohol than getting people moving (only one dance 'club' which was pretty isolated). We did like that the ship had very open upper decks where we could enjoy adult only hot tubs (2 front, 2 at rear) and various pools, mini golf, lots of sun decks. We also enjoyed the balcony in our room which came at a reasonable price. The comedians on deck were excellent. The theater performance was quite good and included a wonderful live band. The boat was pretty clean. Still the disappointment with activities and communication about these was overwhelming (the schedule was so polluted by "for sale" events it was difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff and we missed events due to the confusion). The ships captain or activities director did little to make sure that our trip was as happy as we desired and by the end, we learned how to decipher the schedule - but alas too late to make our journey as enjoyable as we had hoped. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I'm sure it was the tension on the window you heard the tap tap all day and night as long as the ship moved. We put pillows and comforters to try and muffle the sound. The comedy club is way to small. the main theater is way to ... Read More
I'm sure it was the tension on the window you heard the tap tap all day and night as long as the ship moved. We put pillows and comforters to try and muffle the sound. The comedy club is way to small. the main theater is way to small. Not that the shows were any good that they put on. It was a joke of a cruise if you have cruised before then you know the difference. I've been cruising since 1992 my husband and I take 2-3 cruises a year. We have traveler on other lines but settle on carnival as our main one due to the excellent service we used to received. This last one has us completely turned off. When we got back on Monday the 26th of December, we both agreed to cancel the reservations we had for our March cruise. which by the way they charged me $500 to do. Their example of Christmas was a 6 ft tree in the A-trim pressed against the elevators. I have been on ships where the tree reached almost to the top of the A-trim. The food was bad to say the least. We brought our daughter on the cruise this year two days on the ship she was throwing up and sick to her stomach for 3 days me and my husband just eat salads. When we played in the casino which was one the few things to do on this ship, one of the worst cruise directors yet. Shows were far below the usual standard of carnival. Any way I was at the roulette table and one of the players asked the guy spinning the wheel don't you feel bad about taking our money, he reply was I have to be here until 5. What a joke! My daughter went down to pay on her card and they discounted her from our card and shut her down. Good old customer service. This was an 8 day cruise on day 6 my husband got sick and passed it on to me by day 8. Now I'm waiting for the doctor to come back with the blood work. I forgot about our Embarkation it should have set off an alarm that this was going to be a bad cruise. They pulled my husband aside and told him he had to wait to be hand scan, we waited 30 minutes and no one come over we finally had my husband take off his belt and show and go back through our self's What a night mare. Never again will I sail with carnival, nor will I ever remand it again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
where should I start? The beginning sounds like a good place to start. My family and I selected the Carnival Valor ship and was to check in at 4:00pm. A week before the sail date, we were advised our ship has been changed to the Carnival ... Read More
where should I start? The beginning sounds like a good place to start. My family and I selected the Carnival Valor ship and was to check in at 4:00pm. A week before the sail date, we were advised our ship has been changed to the Carnival Liberty and check in time will be at 6:00pm. The reason given was mechanical issues for the Valor. Which is fine. However, that doesn't explain the two hours lost of sailing time on the Liberty. When we arrived to check in at 6:00pm, the Carnival employees was unorganized. Before checking in, we sat for an hour. There was approximately 3,500 customers trying fit in a small space like sardines in a can to check-in . Really Carnival? When we finally got on the ship approximately 9:00pm, most of the eatery areas was closed. The few eateries that was still opened had long lines. Another very frustrated moment for my family. When we finally got to our room, the sheets weren't clean. I am big on cleanliness in the sleeping quarters. So I called housekeeping to change the sheets. We did leave the room and toured the ship to allow time to make the changes. When I returned all beds were changed except one. Apparently the crew member assumed I wouldn't notice one of the beds had not been changed. So I called him again and requested new sheets. In addition, the room needed a good dusting. Before preparing for bed, we took showers. The water from the shower drained extremely slow. So I had to turn off the water to allow drainage then back on to continue showering. I repeated this several time during my shower. I went to bed and prayed the next day would be better. We got up and went to breakfast. The food was warm to cold, but never hot. How could that be? The lines were long, so food should be coming off the stove hot every second. Every meal we had was warm to cold for the entire 3 days we sailed. To add to my disappointment, Carnival charges for soft drinks (coke). When I sailed the Disney, all drinks was included except alcoholic beverages. Customers were bringing cases of soft drinks onto the Liberty cruise during check-in time. When we finally arrived at the Bahamas, our stay was from 7am to 2:30pm. This time frame doesn't give much docking time considering we have to get up shower and eat. Initially the itinerary showed 7am until 4pm. Finally, it was time to go home. When we arrived in Orlando Florida. The time to leave the ship was at 8:15am. The crew members advised us to wait for our floor to be called to exit the ship. We waited and waited and waited until 9:15am. Now we had a flight to catch, so time was of the essence. So we went to the lobby to see what was the delay. When I arrived, the lobby was packed with customers trying to find out why haven't we started the process of exiting the ship. The crew members advised us they have never docked in Orlando Florida and they were still trying to connect the ship to the exit gates. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We were being delayed due to lack of training. Then finally the crew was able to get one exit gate attached and was waiting for the second one to connect. The crew members still was telling us to be patient until the second gate could be attached. Now at this time, all the guest was checked out, paid the bill and no longer in their rooms due to new guest arrival. So at this time we had no more patience. We along with other guest started lining up and exiting the ship through the one gate that was attached. My family and I made our flight 5 minutes before take-off. We had to run, through the airport to make it. We were the last to board the plane. Let me just say this, when you work hard all year providing superior service to customers in your work place, you expect the same in return when it's time for you to be serviced. The spent a lot of money going on this cruise just to be disappointed. I will never ever ship with Carnival again. I had the best experience with the Disney cruise line and should have never tried another cruise line. I will for now on ship only with the Disney Cruise Line. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was the 3rd Carnival Cruise for DH & I. Just us, no kids. This was the first cruise after Liberty’s transfer to Port Canaveral and the ship had just come out of 2 weeks in dry dock (we had originally booked on the Valor). Our ... Read More
This was the 3rd Carnival Cruise for DH & I. Just us, no kids. This was the first cruise after Liberty’s transfer to Port Canaveral and the ship had just come out of 2 weeks in dry dock (we had originally booked on the Valor). Our itinerary was Embark on Thursday, Sea Day on Friday, Nassau on Saturday, and Disembark on Sunday. We are usually not hard to please, but we want what we pay for. We don’t feel like we got enough value for what we paid this time. Our sail away time was bumped to 10 pm because of the ship coming out of dry dock, so we were able to leave early in the morning and drive to port. Boarding was set for 6-9 pm, but we had FTTF, so we were hoping to be able to board early. We were already losing 5 hours from our vacation, as we saw it. We arrived around 4 and were let into the port. The ship was already there, and we learned later she had been there since around noon. We did not stay in a hotel or have any other travel arrangements. As I said, we were hoping to be able to board shortly after we got there, and apparently we weren’t the only ones. We were able to check in with no issue, and got to the almost full holding area about 4:25. We were told that this was the FTTF waiting area, but there were people who weren’t priority also. So, of course, when they started taking priority upstairs, we were confused. We stayed where we were, but there was no communication about when or where to go. We were constantly asking questions until we were finally escorted upstairs with the rest of the FTTF and priority people. Embarkation photos were not taken, and we assumed they didn’t do them because of the late sail away, I was a little irritated when we arrived at Pixels and saw that the people who boarded later got an Embarkation photo, the area just had not been set up when we went upstairs around 5:00. Communication was awful for Embarkation and everyone around us was confused, not knowing where to go or what to do once on the ship. Muster was even worse, as a 15 minute presentation took an hour of us standing in the cold on the deck next to the life boats. Stateroom 2316 is a 6C OV, connecting to the adjacent room. The stateroom itself is nice, and we were pleased with it. It is spacious, with a sitting area, which is something that we didn’t have on our previous cruises. There was plenty of closet space for us. The air conditioning worked great. And, of course, the view was awesome. Even though we were below the galley, it was not too noisy, and the only noise we heard was the ship moving through the water. The bathroom is also laid out nicely, with your typical small shower, but plenty of counter and shelf space. The room was not ready when we boarded and the toilet smelled of stale urine. There was a mysterious splatter on the side of the closet (next to the mirror) and the refrigerator was dingy. This was unacceptable to us after a 2 week dry dock, and a letter promising us the ship would be “refreshed” when we boarded. This ship is laid out horribly. We are both pretty good with our sense of direction, but we stayed lost. It looks like you are at the end of the ship at a staircase, but if you really look, there’s a cubby going back to a whole different section of the ship. There are multiple levels with the middle of the ship taken up by the gallery and no cut through, which makes it even more confusing. The public bathrooms were dirty, the handrails were crusty, and I just got the feeling the ship had not been cleaned in a few months or years. Once again, unacceptable with it coming out of dry dock and being refreshed. The Serentity area was nice and we did not have the issue this time of drunks disrupting the whole deck. However, my husband and I seem to pick the spot with the loudest people, so that was a little annoying. With the area being at the front of the ship, it is extremely windy. We also wished there were more than 2 hot tubs, since the area takes up two decks. A pool would’ve been nice, too. Speaking of pools, all pools and hot tubs were closed the first night, which was very disappointing. The pool at the aft end stayed closed the entire cruise. The service was ok in the dining room. I would rate it as a mid-scale restaurant. But, the food was cold everywhere. We never had a hot meal except for the first night when we were the 2nd people in the dining room. The ice cream was runny, and there was no food available after 9 pm except pizza and room service. But, who wants to go back to their room to wait on room service when there are shows starting…or eat pizza every night. I wondered if the service is being cut back in the “included” areas so that people will choose the steakhouse and other specialty dining options in order to obtain the service they are used to. I was also not impressed with the "American Table" menu, and thought it was ridiculous that they don't offer lobster on the menu for formal night (But you can purchase it from the steak house for $20 and eat it in the dining room). I think the activities were the highlight of the cruise. The crazy little competitions and trivia were fun. The activities staff did a great job organizing their stuff and keeping control of the participants. I think the crew knew that everyone was unhappy from the get go about the lack of communication, disorganization, and the fact that our time on the ship was cut short. They really were working hard and friendly, for the most part. Most were just hustling around and had no idea what the answer to your question was. Things that made this trip worse were: The casino/arcade not working until the middle of the first sea day, Our room was not ready when we got on the ship (again, not only did we have FTTF, but after dry dock, we thought everything would be ready to go and clean), We had to choose between morning and evening service (which should not even be a question since gratuities have gone up in recent months…service should also go up, not down), our food was ALWAYS cold and dinner took 2 – 2 ½ hours every night, our sign & sail cards had to be replaced twice because they weren’t working, and the lines were horrible. I feel like they build these bigger ships just so they can put more staterooms in them and the public areas aren’t really any bigger. The one production show we saw was pretty bad. Extremely cheesy costumes and expressionless dancers/singers. The live music and real sets were nice, though. We walked through during the dive in movie, and it was loud enough and there was space had we wanted to see the movie they were playing. We didn’t do any excursions because of the confusion with the itinerary (our time in Nassau was changed 3 times after we booked). We are glad we didn’t because we heard of people having their excursions cancelled or having to pay for full days when they only could afford/wanted half days. We walked around Nassau and shopped. Bought a few Christmas presents and ornaments. Walking to the downtown area was horrible, though. It seems the tour guides, taxi drivers, and merchants were a lot more aggressive this time than the previous times we have been. We chose self assist and had no problems. We were not back in port on time even though we were travelling so fast the last night that people (my self included) were getting sick from the ship movement. I’m not prone to motion sickness, so I know it was bad. Because we weren’t back in time, we were in the waiting area while the ship was still moving. Muffins, pastries, and coffee were provided, so that was nice. Once we were finally called to disembark the ship, the process went quickly and smoothly. The staff back at the terminal was friendly in welcoming us back. In all, this was the worst cruise we have ever been on. Not only was our experience bad, but so was everyone else’s. This seemed to affect everyone’s attitude and how they treated other people, making the cruise that much worse for everyone. Mainly, people snapping at the crew, loudly complaining, and breaking in line. Carnival didn’t seem to have control or know what was going on. After 3 cruises with Carnival, we will be trying another line for our next cruise in 2017. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We traveled with two other couples, we are all between 60 and 68. our second cruise on carnival. our first was last december aboard the valor. been on 6 royal caribbean cruises in the last 10 years. Let me say that filling out my ... Read More
We traveled with two other couples, we are all between 60 and 68. our second cruise on carnival. our first was last december aboard the valor. been on 6 royal caribbean cruises in the last 10 years. Let me say that filling out my questionnaire when we returned home took me two hours. i will try to be short in this review. 1. embarking went smooth, disembarking took about 90 minutes. line thru customs moved very slowly. 2. the ship needs some updating. Nothing on the whole ship took my breath away. pretty blah....even for it being the christmas season. 3. we had an aft balcony. pretty typical to any balcony stateroom, but the front of the balcony petruded out. We had two chairs, small table and lounge chair. carpeting was pretty worn in our room and in hallways. We saw our housekeeper once during the entire seven day cruise. i had to leave him notes because he was no where to be found. i asked for ice every day. had to leave a note to get my ice. when i didn't, i left the tongs and cover off the ice bucket. Came back to find he put the cover back on...no ice. the windows were filthy. in puerto rico they cleaned the balcony sliding door, but never touched the balcony outside. loaded with bird feces during the whole cruise. Asked for him to replace the shower curtain because it stunk of mold. he never touched it. Our bed (as they all do) had a flat sheet instead of a fitted sheet. it never was made properly with the sides tucked under the mattress. we had to remake it almost every night... 4. there was the smell of septic pretty much during the entire cruise in the rear of the ship. It never truly went away. people were covering their mouths and noses when walking back there. 5. we had very rough weather when our cruise began and during the first day at sea. this brings me to the dining room. we had early dinner in the southern lights dining room. We were shocked that they no longer use tablecloths except for elegant night. my brother had to grab his coffee cup so it wouldn't slide off the table. even when the tables were clean, you could still see water marks. silverware is on the table as usual, but now you get one fork and one knife. if you send it back with your plate, you have to ask for another. Spoons were given out as needed. Our waiters had five tables to serve. they ran around like crazy. we were told they used to have no more than 13 passengers to serve. now they have up to 32. they still have the servers dance like monkeys in the middle of service. we were still eating when they started wiping the tables for the next group of diners. The food in the dining room was very good and plentiful. our only complaint, besides getting the wrong food several times, was that our food was never hot. I was pretty upset because two nights in a row i had a hair in my food ,,i called our server over right away. One was in my salad, the other inside a crab cake. she told me that she told her boss and the matradee. she asked our folio number, with our room number. we were shocked no one came over to apologize. That grossed me out for the rest of the cruise. disgusting !!!! Guys burgers were good. long lines... New bbq place on board was out of food when we got to the front of the line. It was open just the last sea day. Big disappointment. Buffet was good. always plentiful and tasty food. our only thing was that by the time we came back from an excursion the only thing open was pizza or mexican. Room service is down to bare minimum now. Sandwiches for lunch or dinner and continental Breakfast. Other than that, you pay....one other big turn off was that no one turns shirtless, barefoot people from getting food from the buffet. hairy chests and kids dripping wet were everywhere. maybe that's how the hair got in my food...from a shirtless chef... 6. cruise director, schwartz, was sooo funny. always kept you laughing and saying love you more to him. he was the best part of the cruise. 7. entertainment was very good. Nice variety of shows. Country singers, love and marriage show, but they had a show called flix. we watched it twice it was phenomenal. such talented people... Saw most of the comedy shows. when it came time for the late, adult comedy show, you have to leave the comedy club and stand in line for thirty minutes to enter again. But it was worth the wait. they were all awesome ! 8. we were shocked that there was no cruise servers coming around pushing drinks. Even in the comedy show club, my hubby had to go up to the bar to get our drinks. even during dinner, except for the little man selling after dinner shots, no one came around for drink orders. this must be a great loss to carnival. cutting down in help and loosing all that liquor money. 9. we got off the ship, as we always do, and took a tour run by one of the companies offering tours. we paid no more than $20 each, on each island, for unbelievable great tours. they really narrated all the places on the island we passed and everyone on the tour buses gave them great reviews. They gave us shopping time, rest room time...couldn't ask for anything more. don't hesitate to not book thru carnival... 10. casino was horribly smoky. you could gag in there. but it still takes your money! 11. So, i guess to wrap this up. with all the cutbacks carnival has made, we will definitely go back to royal carribean next time. maybe they had cut backs also. But i hope not. We would go back to carnival someday. But that hair in my food...not once but twice...really leaves a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended).... Between our housekeeper (or lack of him) and the poor service at dinner, and the condition of the ship, this certainly was not a great cruise. At sea days if you like a trivia contests, you would have plenty to do. all the deck chairs by the pool had towels on them. Kids were in the adult serenity pool. who enforces this rules? the same no one who enforces the please wear a shirt at the buffet rule...the night times movies were older movies. the astronaut was on during our cruise last year. cutting corners there too, i guess. So, if you have this cruise vacation booked, hopefully things go ok. go into it with few expectations and you'll come out of it a happy camper. Any questions....i'll answer them asap....bon voyage !! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
First off I must say the look of the Sunshine is awesome since its remake from the Destiny it's definitely modern looking and new looking. It's very well maintained. We had a Balcon on deck 9. Room 9143 to be exact. First ... Read More
First off I must say the look of the Sunshine is awesome since its remake from the Destiny it's definitely modern looking and new looking. It's very well maintained. We had a Balcon on deck 9. Room 9143 to be exact. First time we splurged for a balcony but we didn't use it much. The room itself was great. It would be nice if there were outlets near the bed to plug in your phone though. The bed itself was not very comfortable but I'm use to a Tempur-Pedic mattress. It was an 8 day cruise with stops in Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Turk. Not much to say about those places. Aruba is our favorite for Palm Beach it was our second time there the other two ports were meh. Mother nature was not nice to us during the sea days with a 60mph wind making for a rough ride enough to cause the shows to only sing and not perform every night. Food is just not what it use to be. If you don't mind Golden Corral type buffet food on the Lido deck then you won't be disappointed. Every protine was over cooked and not editable. Event the eggs were always way over cooked, whoever told them eggs bendict should be cooked to death so that the yoke is solid should be fired. Dinning room is not like it used to be the service is meh, is REALLY REALLY loud so don't expect a nice restruant type experience in the dinning room its more like a cafeteria where you won't be able to hold a conversation with the person across from you because it's so loud. The steak house as expects was great and did not disappoint. Also the Chef's table food and service was awesome highly recommend this as well which I try to do every cruise I go on. Bar service is slow but it's always been slow, don't expect to get more than 1 drink in any show/entertainment room. If your looking to drink you'll have to sit at the bar and wait. With the drink package you can only order a drink every 5 minutes but as slow as service is you'll be waiting 10-15 min between drinks anyways. Sunshine is a small boat you will find things easy to find but hard to get to. For example to get to the Aft Dinning room which is on deck 3 and 4 you can't go directly to it. Deck 3 the kitchen is between the mid dinning room and aft so you can't go through. On the deck for the Lime Light lounge is in the way but you can sometimes pass through it to get to the dinning room other wise you have to go to 5 walk across and then go down to 3 or 4. Being we were on Deck 9 fwd this took some time to get to. We had FTTF for the first time. I could see where it would be nice to have but this trip it was a waste. When we got to the port to embark there wasn't a line for regulars either so the people traveling with us without FTTF got on the same time we did however we did have access to our cabin before they did. FTTF at the ports they only did that for 1 port which again didn't make much difference. There was never a priorty line to get back on so you always had to wait in line. The FTTF line at guest service always had a longer line then the regular line. Debarkation again FTTF was nice as we got off with all the platinum and diamond card holders. The regular type shows in the main room (liquid lounge) well lets just say the cruise director Chris the flying scotts man is a better singer than they are. The first night at sea was rough so they couldn't perform only sing and well it was horrible. Tried a few other shows and well the special effects are awesome their singing and dancing is just plain horrible. There were better singers at karaoke. The comedians were great as well as the variety show juggler. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I’ve been a huge Carnival fan for decades. I’ve been on more cruises than I can count beginning in the late 70’s as a teenager. I have Platinum status in the VIFP program and have sailed on just about every ship Carnival has ... Read More
I’ve been a huge Carnival fan for decades. I’ve been on more cruises than I can count beginning in the late 70’s as a teenager. I have Platinum status in the VIFP program and have sailed on just about every ship Carnival has offered out of Port Canaveral on the short Bahamas cruises. I have always found Carnival to be a bargain compared to the other lines sailing out of this port, and this cruise was no exception. This cruise on the Carnival Valor was the least positive experience I have ever had sailing. Giving my long-standing affection for Carnival, this is a difficult review to write. Embarkation was an extremely lengthy process (despite being “Priority”) and was totally lacking in organization. This was explained as a computer glitch that required all disembarking passengers from the previous cruise to be manually cleared (i.e., sign and sale cards had to be checked against physical paper passenger manifests). Our cards could not be printed in the terminal and we had to be escorted aboard with a port supervisor. The cards were issued at the customer service desk aboard the ship, which took some additional time. Ultimately, boarding ran late and we departed well after we were scheduled to leave. Okay, I can attribute all of this to a computer issue and move on. Unfortunately, the issues just kept coming. While I understand, and appreciate, the importance of the mandatory boat drill, this too lacked any organization. I believed the computer system issues may have slowed the identification of some passengers. I learned at the boat drill that the barcode on my card didn’t work. Having another card issued with another visit to customer service didn’t change anything. While fine for opening the door to the cabin and making charges, the card didn’t identify me and I had to be manually cleared whenever leaving or returning to the ship for the duration. Our “upgraded” stateroom was on Deck 1. Our cabin attendant was surprised that a Platinum cruiser was on his deck. The room was clean and well attended for the duration. It was showing signs of wear, but the A/C worked and we never experienced the sewage smell experienced by other passengers accommodated below decks. Our cabin attendant, as has generally been our experience, was excellent. I tipped Floyd up front and never wanted for anything. The first night we dined in the main dining room. Despite other reviews, we found the food to be fine. While it’s clear that Carnival is cutting corners, we had no issue with the quality of food, promptness of service, or staff friendliness. This was the only night we ate in the dining room. Nassau is Nassau, and we’ve been many times, so didn’t really have any expectations. We did walk to an area known as The Fish Fry, and had the best cracked conch I have ever eaten served in massive quantities at Oh Andros. The restaurant was recommended by a gentleman at the port. It was wonderful. I ate so much that I changed my steakhouse reservation to the following night, and we nibbled at the lido, which was fine. The selections were good. I love the Mongolian BBQ. Getting back on the ship took over an hour in line at the gangway. Again, I suspect it was a computer issue as I still had to be manually cleared. I believe that the ship’s staff waited far too long to open another gangway, let passengers use crew gangways, etc. The gangway staff seemed put out and indifferent. The Carnival Valor is a 14 year old ship that appears to have had no refurbishment and is showing her age. While generally clean, things just looked worn. I’ve noticed this on other ships out of Canaveral (like the Sensation right out of Katrina FEMA service), but it seemed more prevalent on this cruise. We generally see this as older boats rotate into the short cruise market, but it has never been so obvious. I think Carnival needs to pay more attention to upkeep. Our final night we ate in the steakhouse. As always, it was wonderful and the culinary highlight of the cruise. The fee has risen to $35 per person, but I still believe that to be a bargain for what you get. I also learned that if you have the Cheer’s package, you can have drinks up to $25 a piece if or until you reach your daily limit. I was enjoying Grey Goose VX and my wife took advantage of some premium wines. Disembarkation was equally as disorganized as the boarding process. The elevator doors opened and we were pressed in to a mass of humanity. We were again held up at the gangplank as my card still didn’t work. Getting through the new terminal was equally tedious. I realize this is a newly rebuilt facility, but the lack of organization for immigration and customs was extreme. The customs agent we spoke with said that it’s the most cumbersome terminal in the port. It’s a shame as the new parking garage is wonderful. Hopefully they will eventually get things worked out. As my final word, I had fun on this cruise and struck up acquaintances with many nice passengers. There were many aboard who were low-rent and rowdy. It was a cheap cruise, and you get what you get. Nothing new there. I would definitely consider cruising with Carnival again, but absolutely not on this ship. My hope is that this was a one-off event, but based on other reviews think this is just a problematic boat. Our cruise last spring on the Carnival Magic was wonderful. Read Less
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