1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Western Caribbean Cruises
  4. Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

209 Orlando (Port Canaveral) to Caribbean - Western Cruise Reviews

Please note this was my 1st cruise ever and I loved ever moment of it. I had read previous reviews and I was aware of some of the problems and issues that occured over the december period, but i cannot say I encounted or I was aware of ... Read More
Please note this was my 1st cruise ever and I loved ever moment of it. I had read previous reviews and I was aware of some of the problems and issues that occured over the december period, but i cannot say I encounted or I was aware of any of them. Embarkation: we was on the ship within 20 mins, no wait. and we headed straight to a bar From the start to the very end, the staff, the food and the facilities was were 100% The only disappointments: we were not able to stop on Grand Cayman due to bad weather, but this isnt anyone fault. and the weather in general wasnt the best. But all in all I was blown away. We ate in Leonardo's every evening, staff were attentive. we got bored of the food towards the end of the trip, so we pre-ordered a indian meal which was very tasty and spicy at no extra cost. its 3 course dinner and after a while it becomes a lot. We had a complimentary dinner for two in Chops Grille. The starters were amazing and the steak was out of this world. Defintely would recomment this We ate in Jonny Rockets. there was no wait, food was good and plenty of it, The fries and opins rings keep coming. but we had to pay for the floats which wasnt explained before we orderd. but as we enjoyed ourselves so much and the cover charge was only $6 dollars each we left that slight complaint there. And we ate in windjmammer for breakfast, lunch and the occassional after tea We bought a Premium drinks package each and it was well worth it, as we sampled everything that there was to offer at the various bars. A big thank to Alok at R bar. The ice ream machine were working for the kids, the kids clubs were great and we had a fab time in the arcade. the Whirpools/Jacuzzi were fun, but note a lot of kids jump in during the day so i would say hit them after 8pm when its more likely to be adults only. We went to Olive or Twist every night, the music was ok but a bit young for our taste, but still a good place to have a late night drink. On one night they had a silent disco, ive never had so much fun. well worth going. I could go on and on but i'll let you go and find out for yourselves, I cannot wait to book another cruise later this year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Traveling w/2 adults, 4 kids 20-16. Flew into Orlando, rented a car and drove to the Cape. Worked fine, but be prepared to wait at car rental place for shuttle/car. (Both ways) We did quite a few of the cruise activities - trivia, game ... Read More
Traveling w/2 adults, 4 kids 20-16. Flew into Orlando, rented a car and drove to the Cape. Worked fine, but be prepared to wait at car rental place for shuttle/car. (Both ways) We did quite a few of the cruise activities - trivia, game of love, watched karaoke, hasbro game show etc. All were well run and mostly on time - except the Hasbro show - they were running really behind because of Bingo. The Hasbro game show was fun to watch, but don't believe you're going to win a cruise like on the promo video or that you do it as a family. On this ship it was strangers on a team (which was fine) and they won Hasbro games - which was nice. But the lead-in was misleading. All and all fun. Game of Love was hysterical. We went to a few of the dance-parties in the main lobby and that was really fun. The Entertainment staff were fun. Kids went to the nightclub and said it was lame. Another night we happened upon the nightclub when coming in off the deck on a blustery night and security was really rude to the kids until they saw the "mom" with them. They must have a sneaking in problem... Overall this is a great ship with fun design elements. Loved the hammock in the Serenity Deck. Great place to star gaze after the din of the movie goes away. On the plus I never really saw little kids on the Serenity (Adults only) Decks - that has been a problem on other ships I've been on. Deck movie nights were packed - but the addition of being able check out blankets was great. No butter/salt on popcorn :( But there's always ice cream. Had been really looking forward to watching a movie from the hot tub - but no chance to get in. Hot tubs we always packed with loud gangs of teenagers in the evenings/nights. I sound like a crabby old lady - but I'm not, I just wish there was more 21 & up hot tub space in general. Public spaces are too small - with to much crammed in for all the passengers on the boat. Just be prepared to be patient. One frustrated man in a motorized wheelchair ran over our backpack and crushed some sunglasses, not that big of a deal, but I'm sure he was just sick of trying to squeeze through everything. Bathroom on Lido too small, public space restrooms in general were badly signed and hard to find. Passageways near Burrito Bar & Burger stand too narrow, hard to get around. Mongolian Wok cooking station tucked into back of Lido service - again too narrow - LONG lines would form and then people trying to get around would get stuck. Food overall was good - we were part of the roulette wheel seating for dinner, and really only had to wait once to be seated for dinner - but service was very inconsistent in the main dining room. Sometimes we had over 1/2 hour wait for appetizers. More than once we waited over 45 minutes w/3 asks for soda. I waited 45 minutes to order a bottle of wine. Thankfully that was a night that we waited so long for food. Servers were gracious and attentive, but seemed disorganized and out of synch. In the end though, the food was always good. By the 2nd to last evening same dishes came out with different presentations and sides - like the kitchen was running out of supplies. They also didn't have the wine in stock I wanted to buy. We had one or two great "server" performances! One server REALLY like to dance and one REALLY like to sing. It was great! On the last evening we had a date night at the steakhouse - Fahrenheit 555. NUM! Totally worth the $30/person. Wonderful food, great service and presentation. Visit from the chef. Lovely. Loved the Shake Bar! Especially the adult shakes. Wished we had tried the sushi bar. Often saw ship crew/staff eating there - that's a good sign to me! We always enjoy the photography sessions, photographers were fun, and up for our shenanigans. However, again the space is not big enough or open long enough for viewing the prints. The Epic Rock show was AMAZING. Great costumes and choreography and the set design/backgrounds were fantastic. Super fun, made me wish we had attended the Motown Review as well. Went to one Family Friendly Comedy Night - It was okay. The comedian was funny, but they were "easy" jokes. TSA and fat jokes (about himself) He was funny but predictable. Jamie Dee, Cruise Director was a fireball. This is our 5th cruise and we all loved her energy and quick wit. We would love to be on a trip with her again. Paid the $100 for the premium internet package so we had internet access for the laptop - access was pretty good. Not super fast, but adequate. Surprised how many people were on their PHONES ALL THE TIME! But I guess that's the way it is now. We probably won't do another cruise with so many back to back ports again. The trip felt crammed and we were exhausted. Needed the break of a sea day in the middle. Ports: In Cozumel - Took taxi to Paradise Beach. $15/person gets a chair, and access to the beach inflatables (awesome!) sea kayaks, stand up paddles, clean bathrooms/changing rooms, and a gorgeous pool. Ceviche was amazing! Worth the $ for a beach day. Don't go to San Franciso beach and buy their cheaper bucket of beers - you get in trouble... In Roatan - rented a car, $67/day, hired a tour guide ($30/day + we tipped) and drove around the Island. It was great. Informative and not super touristy. Next time we'll do a zip line. In Belize - Tender to Belize City (no problems here - we had read horror stories of taking 4 hours to get to the island - we didn't wait either way) Once there we found and hired Exotic Eco Tours for $50/person, taken by boat to tiny island, given snorkel instruction and had a tour of the reef. Equipment was in good condition, tour guide and assistant were great. Some handcrafts for sale. And grilled food for sale. OMG best grilled lobster I have ever had. For $15 I got a fresh lobster tail and a beer. AMAZING. Little beach was nice and the rum punch was included in the $50 snorkeling fee. In Costa Maya - Carnival Excursion to Chacchoben Mayan Ruins. This was our shortest port day 7-1:30 and we figured we wanted a Carnival based excursion - because they won't leave without you if you're on one of their trips! We were some of the last people on board after the tour. Tour was great. Tour guide was named Jesus. He was funny, a great story teller and generous with his time. It was about an hour ride through the countryside, but we learned a lot. The Ruins were great. Again, learned a lot. Purchase the pineapple at the little store for $4 w/salt, lime! On the way back there was a sales pitch for items Jesus and friends had made, but they were nice little gifts. All in all great trip! $90/person. Last sea day we did the behind the scenes tour - so fun! But I wish we would have done it at the beginning of the trip instead of the last day - it would have been fun to see the storerooms full to the brim instead of the last 25% of supplies on hand. Totally worth the $95/person. Overall this was a great trip. Worth the investment. Service was good. Entertainment was great. Food was good.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
The Carnival Sunshine is a beautiful Ship! Food was terrific, taco/burrito bar was outstanding, Guys terrific! buffets very good, dinning room great, pasta bar excellent, Pizza very nice and would say try as much as you can! Desserts were ... Read More
The Carnival Sunshine is a beautiful Ship! Food was terrific, taco/burrito bar was outstanding, Guys terrific! buffets very good, dinning room great, pasta bar excellent, Pizza very nice and would say try as much as you can! Desserts were ok but not out of this world! However... my complaints are similar to others! pools too small and no stairs to get in or out! brought some of our own booze on so was not wanting to order a drink right away... good thing as bar service was poor for us, we did want to buy at least two slushy drinks every day but it was day 3 before someone actually came up and asked if they could get us anything, after that only that waiter came to us as all the others hid in behind of the tequila bar each & every day. We stayed in aft extended balcony 8332 do not stay in this room unless Live Cuban music does not bother you as it echo's thru the steel floor till wee hrs in the am!!!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our first Carnival cruise, though we’ve previously cruised Royal Caribbean and Princess. We chose the Carnival Sunshine for airport and itinerary reasons, but mostly because it (or Royal Caribbean) seemed like the choice for our ... Read More
This was our first Carnival cruise, though we’ve previously cruised Royal Caribbean and Princess. We chose the Carnival Sunshine for airport and itinerary reasons, but mostly because it (or Royal Caribbean) seemed like the choice for our first cruise with our 4 year-old granddaughter. Her parents didn’t want us to take her on a Disney cruise without them.  “We” are: Dee (me), Ted (my husband), and Evelyn (our DGD) We’d read a lot of negative reviews about the Sunshine, but have often been surprised in the past by some traveller’s unrealistic expectations. From the cruise reviews, we expected a crowded pool and average food, but a fun, family focused cruise. First a word about our pre-cruise Carnival experience. I booked the cruise online myself and when I called Carnival with a few questions I got timely, appropriate help. We wanted, but by no means needed, a table for 3 in the main dining room for dinner. Based on suggestions here on cruise critic, I emailed the maître d for the Sunshine and asked if it were possible to get a table for three. He wrote back within 15 minutes to confirm. Wow! Similarly, questions I had about my account and Fun Shop purchases were dealt with quickly, efficiently, and pleasantly. Colour me impressed with pre-cruise customer service. We live in Alberta, where winter and weather are often unpredictable and cancelled flights are not outside the norm, so we arrived at the Orlando airport two days before our scheduled sailed date. One day to chill after our five hour flight, and then a day at Sea World. DAY 1 – Embarkation – Port Canaveral Our cabin, 5347, was an aft balcony on the Promenade deck, on the same deck as the Alchemy Bar, Red Frog Pub, Casino, the Warehouse, Cherry on Top, EA Sports Bar, Fun Hub, Liquid Lounge and the Ocean Plaza. Below us, the Sunrise Dining Room, above us, cabins. Twelve days before we sailed we did get an upsell call for grand suite at a total cost of $800. We declined, partly because we felt it was still too much, partly because we were really looking forward to our aft balcony. I’d planned lots of Seuss-ish things for this cruise and we started with the “Cat’s Cabin Sweet Pack” decorations – Seuss themed decorations and cookies waiting for us when we opened the cabin door. Our room was spacious enough for the three of us, with more-than-adequate storage. The balcony was a comfortable size with two loungers, a chair, and a small table. We didn’t experience any of the shuddering or noise that we’d read other reviews complain about. We did have a little of the black soot(?) that others had reported, but it was minimal and we probably wouldn’t have noticed it, save for having read others talk about it. Nita, our steward, introduced herself early and did a good job of keeping our room clean and leaving behind towel animals. PORTS Because we were travelling with our granddaughter, we decided to stick primarily with ship excursions. First time alone with her on vacation and we didn’t want to give her parents any reason to say no when we ask again. :-) Cozumel We chose the Carnival Dolphinaris Dolphin Encounter. Evelyn was too little to swim with the dolphins, but we thought she’d enjoy Dolphinaris and the “encounter”. She did. We’ve done a number of Dolphin swims in the past and this was much like those. It was our granddaughter’s first. One thing I didn’t like was that the photographer insisted on taking all our photographs individually – no group shots. It would’ve been nice to have a shot of the three of us together with the dolphin, but of course, one photo doesn’t generate the revenue that three does. Food was included in the price of the excursion – hot dogs, hamburgers, salads. Mahogany Bay We chose Carnival’s Beach Cabana Rental on Mahogany Bay, despite Evelyn’s concerns about the flying chair. :-) Oh. My. God. Spectacular beach. The private cabana was air conditioned and housed a v-shaped sectional sofa, coffee table, small fridge, ceiling fan, mini safe, free wifi access, and flat screen tv (which of course we didn’t even turn on). We stepped out onto a deck with two lounge chairs and an assortment of floaties. Ten steps away was a double hammock suspended beneath a shaded pergola with … oh, I swoon at the memory … a series of misters that pointed to the hammock and kept its occupant pleasantly cool. In front of that was a padded two person lounger that looked out on to the awesome beach and crystal clear water. Best shore excursion ever. Drinks and food were supplied at an extra charge from Fat Tuesday’s. The area sported eight? Ten? private rentals such as ours and had a dedicated waiter who kept us supplied with food and drink. The excursion lists as $225/adult and $225/child, but in actuality it’s $225 per cabana rental for four and includes unlimited chairlift rides. More than four people and there’s a surcharge. Well worth it. I scanned the any of the negative reviews of this excursion simply because I couldn’t believe anyone could possibly have a negative view of it. Here’s what the complaints were: • Long line-up (1 hour wait) to board the chairlift to get to the beach. We didn’t experience this. There were perhaps a half dozen people in front of us at the chair lift and we only waited a couple of minutes. The chair ride over the beach and vegetation was spectacular. On our way back we considered doing a couple of runs just on the chairlift, as we saw another family doing. There were several other ships in port that day, though I couldn’t say how many, and perhaps that affected the other reviewer’s experience. • Cleanliness. We had no problems here. Our cabana and its equipment were clean and in good shape. • Security. Previous complaints of security inadequately keeping others off the beach seem to have been addressed. That said, I was approached by a number of people who were able to walk up the beach to ask how they could book a cabana. That wasn’t security’s fault, they were quick to intercept, and frankly, it was no big deal to answer the questions of the people who did manage to breach the security perimeter. At no time did I ever feel that my “stuff” was in danger of being snagged by anyone. (The beach is private, but the ocean isn’t.) • Food. Dedicated waiter kept our drinks coming. We ordered chicken tenders which my four year-old granddaughter refused to share with us. I snuck a bite and they were hot and tasty. Bar food, as another reviewer noted, but good. • Expense. It was our best spent $$ of the cruise. In fact, I would choose a future cruise solely for this port and this excursion. Belize We spent the Belize day aboard, having decided this was the least desirable port for us and because we wanted to spend one port day onboard. Good decision as we were all suffering from too much excitement and too little sleep. Spent a lot of time in the pool area and hot tub. I’d read other reviewers complain about the size of the pool, and yep, it’s tiny. I’m talkin’ miniscule. Frankly, we don’t spend much time in the pool on cruises as a rule so I wasn’t sure if I was just more aware of its size because we had a tyke with us who loves to swim. Costa Maya We chose a private excursion for this port, the Maya Chan Beach, based on the rave reviews it got here and on other review sites. We struggled a bit with the decision, because it’s a bit of a drive out and this port was our shortest stop, docking at 7 a.m. and departing at 2 p.m. Maya Chan Beach is an all-inclusive private beach - 5 miles south of the Port of Costa Maya – that takes care of transportation, entertainment (kayaking, beach biking, snorkeling, sand wedge golf) and food. Free wifi with computers is available onsite. They serve a Mayan Feast (including chicken thighs, grilled skirt steak, garlic sea bass, mayan pork, and tortillas), and have a children’s menu. From the beginning, the folks at Maya Chan Beach were welcoming and responsive to our questions. Two weeks outside out sail date we got an email with detailed instructions and a port map. They – and other reviewers – caution about the seagrass. If you don’t like seagrass, they say, this may not be the beach for you. We’re landlocked prairie folk and didn’t really know what seagrass was. It smells bad and there was a lot of it. The entire time we were there, there was a gentleman raking up and disposing of the seagrass. Once you got further out into the water, the seagrass wasn’t as much of a problem. We were in a nice little palapa with a hammock, a beach bed, two adult beach chairs, and a small table. They provided a small kids’ beach chair and a bucket of sand toys for our granddaughter. I cannot say enough nice things about the amazing people who run and work at this resort. From beginning to end, impeccable care and attention. It started when we got off the ship and went to the meeting point. In our defence and before I start this part of the story, let me remind you that we were in vacation mode and had, apparently, left our brains in a bucket at home. We couldn’t figure out why no one was there to meet us. Someone finally showed up, very pleasant young man, and as we talked, we realized that we had arrived for the excursion on ship time instead of local time.  Maya Chan arranged for a taxi and got us to the beach an hour early. Once we arrived at Maya Chan and settled into our palapa, we were served drinks and homemade chips with fresh salsa and guacamole. Delicious. Drinks and food were included in the cost of our excursion. $58/adult, $30/child. And the food was amazing. t was set up buffet style, locally sourced. The fresh fish – catch of the day – in a wine sauce, I think, was delicious. Our granddaughter had spent the vacation in search of a real coconut and they obliged her by hacking down a coconut and giving her one to try. She was disappointed in the taste, but loved the experience! You will not find more hospitable hosts than the people at this resort. Oh hey, they also have a treehouse that you can rent (instead of a palapa). Cruise Director: Jamie Dee February was Jamie’s last month on the Sunshine, I believe. The CD has never been a huge deal for us in the past, but having heard soooo much about Jamie, I was curious to see what made her the Super CD. She’s everywhere all the time. High energy and lots of fun. So friendly. Rumours of Bad Smells, Crowds, Ill-Tempered Staff First off, the crowds. Yep, the Carnival Sunshine is noisy and crowded. I don’t know how that compares to other Carnival ships as this was our first Carnival experience. Here’s where we began to realize, perhaps even pre-cruise, that we may not have selected the right ship, the right cruiseline, for us. Because it’s all about finding the cruiseline and ship that are right for you. The crowds overwhelmed us a little. This started at embarkation as we entered the incredibly loud and crowded atrium and headed for the Lido deck and a burger at Guy’s. Too loud for us and certainly too loud for our granddaughter. But that was us, and the people around us were having a blast. The bad smells and ill-tempered staff … heck, we looked for them, given the complaints we’d read before leaving. I think we caught a whiff of something somewhere (by Guys?) one day, but seriously, nothing consistent or even mentionable in our opinion. Our staff interactions were unfailingly pleasant, save one situation where *I* was grumpy with the bar staff who didn’t want to give me a soda on my husband’s soda card (he was laid up in the room, having trouble walking after a bad sunburn following our excellent day in Mahogany Bay). We are not the type who feel slighted when we aren’t acknowledged by name. Having said that, we were overwhelmed when staff all through the aft part of the ship on our level consistently greeted our granddaughter with, “Good morning Princess Evelyn”. In the dining room each evening as well, the maitre d’ would pop by and check on the princess. We’d sometimes run into our wait staff in other parts of the ship (at breakfast, or in the Marketplace) who’d greet the princess in the same way. I cannot begin to tell you how that thrilled Evelyn. The Food. So again, different ships/cruiselines for different people. I was disappointed in the food. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. One aspect of my life experience is as a bit of a foodie. I use that term hesitantly, as I don’t think I’m a food snob. I like a good dining experience, where the food is high quality, creatively prepared, and attractively served. So. I loved Guy’s Burgers for what they were. Yummy burgers topped with whatever topping you chose. The Main Dining Room. The appetizers were good and attractively served. The main course, not so much. Again, not that it wasn’t good, just that it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. There is no dish that stood out as spectacular for me. My husband thoroughly enjoyed the food, though he did say he liked Princess food better. The dining room seating felt very crowded. It didn’t help that our table was right beside a table of eight kids whose parents chose to dine together at the table behind them. Most of the kids were decently behaved, but there was one girl in particular who kept running up and down the space between our tables and bumped my husband every time. Her parents were oblivious and it was ultimately up to us to gently remind her to be more careful. I get it; she’s excited about being on vacation, but her parents should’ve been more aware of her. Evelyn loved the ice cream cone machines on the Lido deck and had two or three every day. Must-try dishes that people recommended came off as a bit of a disappointment, too. The Hey Porkchop on the sea day brunch menu didn’t wow me. The Warm Melting Chocolate cake was ok, but I don’t get the hype. The pizza … we didn’t care for it all. A note about the Marketplace that I didn’t realize until the last few days. It seemed to carry mostly items that were also served in the dining room that night. So, if you didn’t want to do the dining room experience, you weren’t missing anything. I’ve read complaints about its organization, but I didn’t find it confusing to navigate. I’ve heard people complain about the reduced serving size and, while I agree that the servings were small, I see that as a plus. I’d rather order a second app/entrée/dessert than have a heaping plate I couldn’t finish. In my mind, smaller servings only encourage the sampling of other dishes if you’re still hungry. We never left the table hungry, though. :-) We were really looking forward to Seuss Brunch and it did not disappoint. The food was creative and good. The entertainment and general tone of the brunch was fun. My only complaint is that we felt a little rushed. There was a seating after us. Afternoon tea. So much fun for a little girl and her grandparents. Sweets and biscuits and cucumber sandwiches. Very nice. Camp Carnival My husband did not want to drop Evelyn off at Camp Carnival; he wanted to spend every minute with her. I convinced him to let her try it. She loves pre-school and I thought she’d love Camp. Like the dining room, though, it was just ok. She went the second night of the trip and we told her to have them call us if she wanted us to pick her up. We left her at camp for two hours and, when we picked her up she was happy to see us. She said she’d asked the staff to call us, but they’d discouraged her. We got that. They thought we wanted some time to ourselves, so they encouraged her to stay and play. The next night, we told the staff to give us a call if she asked them to. After an hour, we got the call. We picked her up and grilled her a little on the experience. She just said she’d rather stay with us. So, not that Camp Carnival wasn’t fun. I can’t say we were disappointed she rather spend the time with us. :-) In Summary Our favourite bits of the ship itself were watching the sun come up from the balcony while we sipped our room service coffee or hot chocolate, chatting about the day over dinner, hanging out on the beaches at port. Evelyn loved dressing up in fancy clothes for dinner. She also like trying new dishes, her favourites were the frog legs (two plates of them) and smoked duck. She liked the Seuss Parade and story time, too. We aren’t the party demographic that Carnival appeals to. I guess we knew that about ourselves, but chose the cruiseline and ship for Evelyn. I haven’t even talked about the 2.0 Waterpark upgrade that was one of the main reasons we chose the Carnival Sunshine. That’s because we visited them on the first seaday and Evelyn didn’t care for them at all. Too loud, and she thought the waterslides were scary. So that’s on me. I chose poorly. She preferred to swim, or explore the ship or watch the water from the balcony or even watch the ship information channel (she loved seeing where we were relative to where we were going or where “home” was). We are setting up our cruise with Evelyn for next year, but not with Carnival or Royal Caribbean. We’re going to try Holland America (a first for us) or Princess (known to us).   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
It was with mixed feelings that we embarked on the Sunshine. The reviews were so mixed I didn't know what to expect. Also the roll call indicated that there were going to be hundreds of kids on the ship. We went with an open mind and ... Read More
It was with mixed feelings that we embarked on the Sunshine. The reviews were so mixed I didn't know what to expect. Also the roll call indicated that there were going to be hundreds of kids on the ship. We went with an open mind and were pleasantly surprised. The cruise was wonderful. The ship is beautiful and in very good shape. Yes, the layout of the Sunshine is not the greatest, but we knew that and planned accordingly. We had a suite, 10107, which was spacious and quiet. Being on the tenth floor, we could walk up one floor to the serenity deck and down one floor to the lido deck. Never a problem with elevators. I have to commend Carnival for their Camp Carnival. We never encountered kids running through the halls or any of the decks. Those we did see were well behaved, a credit to their parents. The venues for the shows were, as others commented, small for the amount of passengers, but we planned ahead for that, too and got to the theaters a half hour before show time. We had early seating for dinner, so if dinner ran late, we went to the later show. The food in the main dining room was very good, our servers were great and our cabin steward, Edy, was unobtrusive, but efficient and friendly when we did see him. The lido was laid out nicely so there was rarely a long line. We ate one night at the Italian restaurant and enjoyed it, but were not wowed. The ports were great. We had not been to Belize or Roatan before so we enjoyed those places. All in all I would give the Sunshine great marks. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We arrived about 1215. Parking at ship was very easy. We dropped our bags off and parked in the regular lot for $120. The Premium lot ($140) is only a little closer and is not covered. The regular parking lot/garage is just across the ... Read More
We arrived about 1215. Parking at ship was very easy. We dropped our bags off and parked in the regular lot for $120. The Premium lot ($140) is only a little closer and is not covered. The regular parking lot/garage is just across the street and we parked out of the sun. First step was going through the TSA-like baggage screening. This process took longer than reasonable. The security folks just didn’t seem to work efficiently….maybe it is a part-time job for them. They were pleasant, but slow. We got through the paperwork check-in quickly and then got the wrist band for our grandson, who was traveling with us. Getting the wristband took longer than the security check and paper check-in combined. From there we walked on board the Disney Magic and got some lunch. Around the scheduled time the staterooms were ready, so we went to check out our room. We have cruised about 15 times, mostly on Celebrity. We were impressed with the storage space of our cabin and liked the split bathroom set up. That would have been even better if they could have included a 2nd toilet. I liked the shampoo and hand lotion products. My only minor complaint was the comforter on the bed was too hot. If my grandson had not been sleeping with just a light blanket on the sofa-bed, I would have lowered room temp to about 60 degrees. Our cabin attendant was excellent. We found the buffet food to be good, not as good as Celebrity, but on par with RCL. The dining room food was about the same. Dining room service is very friendly, but with all the children present the service not as refined as that on Celebrity. We were surprise to have a waiter from England. He did a great job…and was easy to understand. Our assistant waiter also did a great job. Rotating through the dining rooms was interesting, but not nearly as special as we envisioned. I thought there would be really distinct food differences, but the distinctions were limited. Around night 6 the assistant waiter showed the kids an assortment of plastic souvenir glass with flashing LED lights for about $7. I would guess it was an assigned task. We would have preferred not having the glasses offered in midst of dinner. Two 8 year old girls at our table got flashing cups. We did not buy one for our grandson. We found the pool for kids to be quite small. It is good they have life guards; I counted over 40 kids in the pool one sea-day afternoon. When busy, it was difficult to find a seat or lounge around the pool from which you could actually watch your kids. The production shows were the best we have ever seen on a cruise ship…significantly better. They were all Disney themed, but why else would you sail on a Disney ship. We chose to walk of the Disney Magic with our bags, vice placing bags outside cabin door the evening before. This was painless. We were in our car and on the road by 7:45. We had never cruised with so many children on board, but we got used to it. Cruise Director said there were over 1000 kids. The average age was much younger than other cruises we have done. The percentage of people who dressed formal nights was way under 50%. A large percentage did not even meet the “casual” dress criteria on formal night or any other night…looking more like they dress for a boardwalk at the beach. Way too many people with excessively unattractive tattoos. We would sail on Disney again with grandkids; it is a great experience. We would not choose Disney to cruise without kids.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
First off... Had an AMAZING time on this vacation. My wife, 2 children (9 and turned 7 during the cruise) and I are 1st time cruisers... Although, just prior to boarding the ship we were informed that due to mechanical problems the vessel ... Read More
First off... Had an AMAZING time on this vacation. My wife, 2 children (9 and turned 7 during the cruise) and I are 1st time cruisers... Although, just prior to boarding the ship we were informed that due to mechanical problems the vessel was not able to reach it's top cruising speed and that our time in ports of call would be shorter than previously planned. We said, on with the vacation!!! Day of Embarkation: Although we were first timers we did had some help from my in-laws, who had been on this very same cruise and ship a year previous, also with us for this vacation. Having a good idea of what to expect the first day, And it was not nearly as bad as they had described until we arrived in the Windjammer buffet area. It was jam packed with more people than it could possibly hold, Only due to the fact that the cabins would not be ready until 1:00pm, We were thankful that the rooms were ready earlier than 1 o'clock. The room was VERY nice! We had a Balcony room Deck 10. We met our Steward as we were heading to dinner that evening, Very nice and helpful... Thanks Deo! At dinner the service was FANTASTIC from night one and only got better as the week went on. We went with the 5:30 seating. Chester, our head waiter. Vicktor, assistant waiter And Freddy our Beverage guy. We had were a party of 9 and they worked as a great team. Taking very good care of us each and every night!! Day 1: Day at sea: Did allot of relaxing and watching the kids play around the pool. Pool area was a little crowded. But expected. Day 2 Labadee, Haiti: It took a little bit for the drinks area to open up in order to get water for the kids and beverages for the adults and such. Had fun on the beach, then went on the Dragon's Tail Coaster!!! TOO FUN!!! 4 times on this coaster and didn't want to stop. Unfortunately the seas were starting to get a little rough that day so we had to board the ship a little sooner than expected. Day 3, Jamaica: I can now say that i have been there... the Beach excursion was nice in Montego Bay... But I would not book another cruise or vacation with Jamaica as a destination stop. Nothing bad happened or anything. Just personal preference. Getting back on the ship was no hassle at all. Day 4, Grand Cayman: Really enjoyed this stop. I do recommend an excursion, if you have not already done it. the "Trolly Roger" It may not be for everyone I found it to be relaxing and informative. After that a little shopping around the port area then tendered back to the ship. 2 1/2 hours of Grand Cayman we hear the captain's voice over the P.A.( which I discovered is rarely good news) And this was no exception. I very young passenger had become very sick and needed medical attention that the ship's doctors' could not accommodate the extended care needed. And that we would be turning back for Grand Cayman, also that to reach Cozumel and make it back to Port Canaveral on time would not be possible. As much as I was looking forward to Cozumel, I was not upset or mad I was concerned for the little girl that needed medical attention. Last word was that she had been cared for in Grand Cayman and was being flown via helicopter to Miami for further care. I truly hope that she is doing well! day 5, Sailing around west Cuba: So with an extra day at sea we spent some time at the pools. and the Promenade, Had dinner, Caught a show, then to "The Quest" game show in studio B. that was really good fun!!! The kids had lots of fun at the Ocean adventure for kids... Played games and made some new friends. Day 6, More of the sea day: The Kids never got tired of the pool time, Neither did I. I will say this was the most relaxing day of the vacation. Day 7: Disembarkation: We chose the Carry and go method of leaving the ship. Rather than having our luggage taken the night before we decided to carry our own bags off the ship and get an early start on our 13 hour drive home. We arrived on deck 4 and waited for about 10 minutes or so before the line started moving. once it started it did not take us long to move through the line and get through customs. We were in the car and moving at 7:15. i would say overall... Great vacation. and we will definitely cruise on this ship and with Royal again!!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise. I had cruise on Carnival twice before. I have to say I prefer carnival much more. Not sure if it was a misunderstanding but instead of 3 beds I had a full king bed and the couch. The couch was the ... Read More
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise. I had cruise on Carnival twice before. I have to say I prefer carnival much more. Not sure if it was a misunderstanding but instead of 3 beds I had a full king bed and the couch. The couch was the most uncomfortable to sleep on when pulled out and not long enough will not hold out. I am a late riser and there is nothing for breakfast if you miss the morning breakfast. And when you get to the Windjammer it is not organized very well instead of there being the same exact thing on both sides if you only go to one you'll miss out on other things on the other side. Unfortunately for me the first day I got sick from eating at the Windjammer needless to say I never ate there again. the dining room lunch was not much better it was okay but not the excellence I was expecting. The salad was great but how can you mess up a salad? As for the dining room it was hit or miss. Some nights the food was awesome like the night they had the duck and then sometimes it was just ok. However my service was awesome and Leo and Anna were amazing. I even tried the specialty restaurant Portofino which was good but not excellent. Not enough choices. The food was not as high quality as I expected it was no umami being experienced. The staff was not as friendly they only spoke when spoken to with a few notable exceptions. There are not as many things to do on board if you are a afternoon riser. The promenade the whole point of that is to get you to spend a lot of money on unnecessary items. Bolero Bar is my favorite bar, joseph, marcia and dianne were the best part of the trip. A lot a fun to be had with these three making the best drinks having a live band and just being a relaxing place to have fun. It suck live in Cozumel as that was the only location that I had an excursion. I understand the need to take care of a passenger however if the boat was running at full capacity would have been able to make up the time and still hit the location. It is sad that Royal Caribbean did not do anything did not offer anything for shortening all of our port locations. And their customer service is lackluster at best. It was a train wreck getting off the boat. We are finished with breakfast by 9 a.m. We didn't get off the boat until 1045. They definitely need some help with getting people off of the boat and getting through customs. There for some amazing people on board, we met people from Australia that we will keep in touch with and Winter Haven in Palm Springs. We still made our own fun on board but I will never take another Royal Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We unfortunately did not get to enjoy all of the Carnival Liberty on our New Year's Eve cruise. This was NOT Carnival's fault, but our eldest child became severely ill while on board. His illness had nothing to do with being on ... Read More
We unfortunately did not get to enjoy all of the Carnival Liberty on our New Year's Eve cruise. This was NOT Carnival's fault, but our eldest child became severely ill while on board. His illness had nothing to do with being on board. We have been on almost 20 cruises and this is the first time we have ever had to have our trip interrupted. Upon the ship's doctor's recommendation, we had to have part of our family leave the ship by ambulance in Nassau, Bahamas. The rest of us finished the cruise onboard to return to our car in Port Canaveral. This experience gave me a chance to see Carnival in action when something goes really wrong. First of all, Carnival was very professional about helping us with the arrangements. From the medical staff to the purser's representative, we were handled with care and concern. They arranged for us to be able to make phone calls to the hospital in the Bahamas from the ship. They also arranged for us to have priority debarkation to help us be able to get back to help with arrangements that had to be made. Carnival has also called several times to check on our son after the cruise. They certainly earned our loyalty and appreciation with their compassion for our situation. Since we were taking care of a very sick child for much of the cruise, the only thing I can say about the Liberty is that it was a nice ship with most of what I like to find on a ship. The food in the main dining room was outstanding. My brother, who is an experienced cruiser and foodie, was very impressed with the food. This was his first Carnival cruise and he was actually shocked with how good it was. I only have 2 complaints about the ship itself. One is that the floor plan necessitates the use of different elevators to get to the main dining rooms. The other is the lack of a thermal suite. Not deal breakers though. All in all, if I had the opportunity to cruise on the Liberty again, I would do it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I have been on 5 cruises and my husband has been on 11, and this cruise was by far probably our favorite one. It started out with a nice stay at the Comfort inn and suites in Port Canaveral. The people at the front desk were friendly, the ... Read More
I have been on 5 cruises and my husband has been on 11, and this cruise was by far probably our favorite one. It started out with a nice stay at the Comfort inn and suites in Port Canaveral. The people at the front desk were friendly, the room was clean and appeared to be updated recently, and we got a good deal on the snooze and cruise package. They also had a free shuttle to take us to and from the port. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a place the stay and park their car during the cruise for a good price. Once we got to the port we were the first people to go and wait in the lounge for platinum/diamond to check in. We got checked in very quickly but they could not find our room keys. It took about 20 minutes for them to be located which was a little annoying, but they were not letting people on the ship yet anyway, so we were waiting regardless. We did get moved around a couple times in the terminal and there appeared to be some disorganization with the whole check in process as a whole, but nothing too bad. Once we got on the ship I fell in love. The decor was beautiful, and all of the crew members that I came across were very friendly. Our room had a balcony and was right near the bridge, which was very neat. Our room was clean and a good size. We never really had a problem with noise in our cabin and our cabin steward was fantastic. One morning (4:30am) we could hear screaming outside our room so we call the front desk and they sent security up right away and they felt with the rowdy people in the room across from us. Security was there within a minute and they also called us later that day to make sure there were no other disturbances (very professional). The food on the ship was great. I enjoyed the taco place and my husband loved guys burgers. They were also quick at getting our food to us and were very nice as well. This Dining room is always my favorite. We had early seating and ate dinner in the dining room every night. There was a good variety of food although I did like the old menu a little bit more over the new american feast menu. Our waiters we fantastic and were also so attentive to us and got us anything we needed. We did not see any of the shows because none of them really appealed to us. It would have been nice to have a better variety of shows. The trivia done in the lobby was fun as well as the ping pong tournaments and mini golf. The mini golf course was very well maintained and a lot of fun to play on. Overall, this cruise was great and I would reccomend this ship to anyone. We will be on her again in September.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We just got back from our Thanksgiving Week cruise aboard the Carnival Sunshine and had an absolutely fantastic time! This is our family's second cruise with Carnival (we have previously cruised on Royal Caribbean and Disney). Last ... Read More
We just got back from our Thanksgiving Week cruise aboard the Carnival Sunshine and had an absolutely fantastic time! This is our family's second cruise with Carnival (we have previously cruised on Royal Caribbean and Disney). Last year we traveled on the new Carnival Breeze for 8-days in the Southern Caribbean and this year wanted to experience the same amazing Fun Ship 2.0 options. We were certainly NOT disappointed! In fact, we felt the Sunshine provided a lot more! EMBARKATION Getting on the ship went extremely fast - even though we didn't purchase the "Faster to the Fun" option. We parked off-site at the Radisson "Park and Cruise" area for about $7.00 per day (highly recommended). I dropped my wife and two kids (ages 10 and 7) at the port to check-in, drove over to the Radisson and took the shuttle bus to meet them after security. It took less than 30 minutes and we were on-board the ship by 12:30pm. Once on-board, we were able to drop off our carry-on items in our staterooms and headed up to the Lido deck for lunch. After lunch, we went exploring and found that there were so many places to hangout and relax, for both the adults and the kids! When we returned to our staterooms before the Sail Away Party, we found all of our luggage being delivered to our rooms. We unpacked, made it to the Lido deck for the Sail Away Party and our fun aboard the Sunshine began! DINING Some of the reviews on cruise critic have been very negative towards the Sunshine as far as food options are concerned and I have to STRONGLY disagree! We never had a bad meal on this ship! BREAKFAST Each morning we either went to the Lido Marketplace for the buffet, the Blue Iguana breakfast burrito stand (outstanding Mexican style eggs), or the Main Dining Room - my kids and I loved the pancakes (especially the blueberry) and the french toast covered in Frosted Flakes or Honey-Nut Cheerios! We sat in the calming Havana Bar a few days for breakfast where they served made-to-order omelets and non-traditional offerings. LUNCH For lunch the options were endless - Guy's Burgers (amazing), Blue Iguana (fantastic shrimp burritos), the Lido Marketplace (salads, sandwiches from a REAL deli, excellent shepherd's pie), Cucina del Capitano (pasta bar and pizza), JiJi Asian fusion (Mongolian wok), and the Taste Bar (deck 5). DINNER We ate dinner in the Main Dining Room 5 of the nights and each meal got better and better! We sat at a table for 4 n the Sunrise Dining Room (much bigger and more beautiful than the Sunset Dining Room) at table 548 (second level of the dining room). We were originally concerned that we'd be stuck at a table with strangers, but Carnival has eliminated that by providing each family a table for themselves! Our wait staff, Imade and Edgar were fantastic! Each night they knew exactly what the kids wanted to drink, had wine glasses on the table for my wife and I (we bought the Premier Wine Package - only $150 for 5 bottles of excellent wine selections), kept bringing tasty baguettes and rolls, and made sure that each dish was to our liking! It was made very clear from the first night that if there was anything we wanted they would completely accommodate our requests - and they did! We had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, dessert was always perfect, and the food was always hot when it was supposed to be! One evening, we ate at the Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant and had an amazing meal. Being Sicilian and having eaten outstanding Italian food my entire life, I always am skeptical when it comes to imitators making Italian recipes! Cucina del Capitano did not disappoint - the food was phenomenal! It is served family style, of course, and the portions we so huge that we could not finish. Everything on their menu is was authentic. Even the mid-meal music was spot on for a real Italian experience! All of this for $15/pp (only $5 for the kids ordering off of the kids menu)! One evening, my wife and I ate dinner in the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse (sent the kids to the kids club for dinner of chicken nuggets and mac n cheese - they loved it). We ate in the Steakhouse on the Breeze and really enjoyed the meal. This time, on the Sunshine, the meal became a truly memorable dining experience! Of course, for $35/pp, you would expect a good meal at a decent restaurant, but at Fahrenheit 555 you get an outstanding meal, impeccable service, and a 5-star restaurant steak! First, they bring out homemade bread and three dipping sauces along with a chef's specialty appetizer - nice touch! I ordered a Crab Cake, an 18-ounce Rib Eye rubbed with 5 spices, and mashed potatoes! My wife ordered the Ahi Tuna (huge portion), the Filet Minot and creamed spinach. Everything was so well prepared that the steak just melted in your mouth! Then the dessert came - a selection of four delicious chocolate concoctions and an enormous raspberry cheesecake! We only got through half of both so the waitress offered to give it to us to take back to the kids. We thought that this was a nice gesture and when she returned she had two plates - one with the rest of our cheesecake and another WHOLE slice for the kids! Again, made the meal into an experience! For late night, there was two 24-hour soft-serve ice cream stations, room service and (our favorite) thin-crust pizza (some of the best pizza this Italian ever ate)! ENTERTAINMENT What we experienced on the Breeze was that Carnival had taken a back-seat to other cruise lines as far as entertainment, so our expectations we not that high when we went on the Sunshine. Man, were we wrong! Carnival definitely has something great in their Cruise Director Jamie! She is 110% energy, yet so personable and friendly! She does everything - from the Sail Away Party, to the Dr. Seuss Parade, to the Hasbro the Game Show - and Jamie (as well as her crew) take the time to get to know everyone! The Playlist Performers were extremely entertaining - the Epic Rock show should not be missed (ten times better than the performances on the Breeze)! The EA Sports Bar showed a ton of NFL and College Football games (even our USF game on Friday at noon) and the bartenders (Andres) were excellent! They have two X-Box systems and the kids can play all of the EA Sports games they wanted! The Red Frog Pub was our hangout on the Breeze so we immediately made it our after dinner destination for a drink, some dominoes, and good music. On the first night we got to the RFP, there were only a few people in the bar, no sports on their big screen TV's and a musician who my wife referred to as James Taylor (because he was playing very boring, elevator music) turning our favorite hangout into a disappointment. But then, on the third night, we heard Kimberly playing the guitar from the Ocean Plaza and made a bee-line to the RFP. She was joined by another talented singer and together had quite a crowd! Apparently, we missed the memo on these two because they had a following! We ended up in the RFP for another two performances on other evenings and the RFP totally redeemed itself (although Carnival should allow for sports to be televised on the TV screens in the RFP - they would have twice the crowd). The Seaside Movie Theater was a great experience, too. We sat in the Serenity Deck cushioned seating area, grabbed a few drinks, and watched a great movie, The Fault in our Stars. Each night (when there weren't deck parties) there were either movies or NFL games (Thanksgiving Night) showing, There was always free popcorn and blankets available to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. CAMP CARNIVAL Our kids loved, loved, loved Camp Carnival!!! Each day and each night they asked to go to "the club"! They have games, movies, parties, events and the staff there were amazing! Uncle D (Dezmond), Natasha, Kiki, Chelsea and Raquel (plus several others) were fantastic with the kids! My kids never had a bad experience and met so many new friends! They made so many crafts that their Camp Carnival Night Owls backpacks were overflowing! We always felt safe leaving our kids with the staff there and never thought twice about having them stay until midnight! PORTS OF CALL Cozumel - My wife and I have been to Cozumel several times, so we were not initially excited to visit this port again. Once again on this trip we were pleasantly surprised! We took a cab from the port to Paradise Beach (about a 5-10 minute ride). There, for $18/pp we were able to enjoy a huge swimming pool; tons of water trampolines, slides, climbing structures, etc.; access to paddle-boards and kayaks; and a bungee-trampoline my son absolutely loved! The restaurant and bars were fantastic making Cozumel an entirely new experience for our family. The cab ride back to the port was quick and easy. All of the shops near the port were great - purchased some fantastic locally made tequila and hot sauce; pure vanilla extract; a Christmas ornament for my wife; and a hand-made dress for my daughter. Roatan - My wife booked an excursion through Island Marketing (highly recommended) for a beach day at Bananarama on the West Bay Beach (total of $120 w/tip). We had to walk through the port area and through the security gates to meet our tour guide, Carmen. She took the four of us in a private car through the mountainous island (about a 30-40 minute ride) to West Bay Beach. She told us all about the country of Honduras and how Roatan is a much more desirable island to live on - home prices were unbelievable compared to the US! Once we got to Bananarama, we had access to a full beach area with a restaurant and bar. My wife immediately signed up for a snorkel tour ($30 for almost two hours, including gear and a private tour guide) that took her to the second largest barrier reef in the world (her favorite part of the trip)! Meanwhile, the kids and I enjoyed playing in the water, eating lunch, and playing giant Connect-four and Jenga. When my wife got back, I was taken to down the beach to a secluded area for a much needed massage (ask for Diana - only $20 for 40-minutes). After another hour or so, we got changed and Carmen took us on a tour of the island. She stopped and let us take pictures at several locations, allowed us to go to the Roatan Rum Company for some locally made rum samples and rum cake (bought a huge bottle of rum), and continued to tell us about the island. We were back at the port, did some shopping and back on the ship by 5:00pm. *The only thing about Roatan is that, at the beach, there are tons of people trying to sell you stuff. Just say "no, thank you" and they move on! Belize - We were supposed to tender to the island of Belize, but the winds were 50 mph and the seas were so rough that we could not make it - so Carnival decided to move past Belize and head to Costa Maya - the staff and crew made it as pleasurable on board as possible to enjoy another day at sea. *We had another excursion booked through Island Marketing (they refunded us our deposit immediately) Costa Maya - We arrived to a very overcast and breezy port. My wife was in contact with Steve at the Tropicante - a restaurant and "resort" on a nice strip of beach in Costa Maya. My wife reserved two lounge chairs and two adirondack chairs with an umbrella for us to use. Steve doesn't charge for the use of the facility or the chairs, but simply asks if each person spends $10-15 on food and drinks while at his beach area. After an $8 cab ride (need to catch a taxi outside of the port area), we arrived at the Tropicante where a staff member greeted us, took us to our chairs (which were already set-up for us), and took our drink order. Now, I must say that this area doesn't look like much, but the service and food quality was fantastic! The free wi-fi was a plus because it was Thanksgiving day and wanted to face-time our families. We stayed a few hours, enjoyed some free shots of tequila (thank you Steve), and headed back to the port for some shopping before the 1:30pm departure. DISEMBARKATION This process is what you make of it. We had one of the last numbers called for disembarking so we just hung out on the Lido deck, enjoyed the sun and the coffee and waited our turn. We were off the ship and through customs by 11:30 and at our car in about an hour (long line for the Radisson). 2015 We will be back on the Sunshine next Thanksgiving for the 8-day Eastern Caribbean cruise! We cannot wait!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Our itinerary was to be St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Coco Cay. A bearing on a prop needed work to keep from causing a $100M repair later. There was NO issue with the ship's ability to sail or maneuver - this was a precautionary, ... Read More
Our itinerary was to be St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Coco Cay. A bearing on a prop needed work to keep from causing a $100M repair later. There was NO issue with the ship's ability to sail or maneuver - this was a precautionary, proactive approach. We received emails, texts and phone calls the day before indicating we would now sail to Nassau (where the repair work was done), Cozumel and CocoCay. We later heard that our scheduled days in St. Maarten and St. Thomas were rainy and windy. We had beautiful weather in all our ports. Disappointing at first but the compensation was good. In a balcony we received $450 credit which we could use as OBC or it would be refunded in a check as well as 25% of the cruise fare for this cruise (not tax, gov. fees or port charges) per person on a future sailing within a year. We are booked for December 2015 and they will let us apply it for both people. That translates into about $900 bucks - generous we think. We still had a good time. It beat shoveling snow! Freedom is due in dry dock for a 3 week rehab. It needs it in some areas but still a very beautiful and well appointed ship. Some passengers think that a few of the cabins need some major work. Our cabin was fine. Seemed like a lot of new crew. A bit inexperienced some times. I think they took some of the best and reassigned them to Quantum and the newbies were training in. Service at our table and in our cabin was great. They did have a crew fire drill on the first day at sea and the pool bars were closed except for one and it had only one bartender. Wait was about 20 minutes for a drink -- poor staffing plan on the bar managers part. The Solarium pool was a bit low on water. The vacuum created by low water made a really irritating sucking sound when the ship rocked and one side of the shelf was without water. The remedy was to simply add about 2 inches of water but apparently NOBODY knows how that is done. Towels were readily available and you did not need to keep checking them out and in at the pool. Only on the days you took them ashore. Nice not to have that hassel everyday. We noticed a significant increase in obese passengers, passengers with mobility issues, carts, wheelchairs scooters, canes etc. I also believe the average age of passengers when up by about 10 years from our previous cruises. Waits at elevators were long due to all the scooters needing the space. Two in a car and it was full. Very irritating. Would have preferred that they assign one or two elevators for mobility issues and let the rest run as usual. Mobility issues also caused lots of traffic jams on the Promenade and trying to get thru the Casino or around in the Wind Jammer. The issues of mobility and obesity are going to need serious attention from the industry if they want to continue to fill the ships (at least in our opinion). Reasonable accommodations need to be made - the just let it ride isn't working well. We thought the food was good. The selection was varied and the quality well managed. Bahamas are not warm in the Nov. to March timeframe. Would rather go farther south. Water is too cold. We think the private island of CocoCay needs a lot of development. Rather limited in activities. Not a big deal and not all that exciting if it is one of your only ports of call. The itinerary needed a kick up but they did what they could and we were out of the snow and cold. You need to make your own fun sometimes. Not complaining just telling you what I think. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Heard a lot about this ship so was anxious to see what it offered. Unfortunately the ship was experiencing a mechanical problem that forced the line to completely drop the itinerary of St Thomas and St Martin and stick us with Nassau and ... Read More
Heard a lot about this ship so was anxious to see what it offered. Unfortunately the ship was experiencing a mechanical problem that forced the line to completely drop the itinerary of St Thomas and St Martin and stick us with Nassau and Cozumel. Did we want to go to those ports - no - but we decided to make the best of the situation. Because the ship arrived back to Port Canaveral two hours late, we spent almost two hours waiting in line to board the ship. That was totally a lousy way to start the cruise. We hoped things would get better and they did. We were on a cruise and were going to have fun no matter what. The line gave us $450 shipboard credit and 25% off the cruise portion of a future cruise. Th ship is very large and a rurally too large for my taste but it is a really beautiful ship. The food in the dining room was good - not great but good. The buffet was very good. The pizza in the pizza restaurant on Main Street was terrible. The rooms were comfortable, bedding and beds really comfy and shower roomy and with curved doors. The doors separating each balcony slid to one side so we had one large balcony among our three adjoining rooms. The entertainment was excellent and the ice show fabulous. We had lots of fun, great massages in the spa and in general a great time.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was one of the enjoyable vacations that I've had in a while On this 7 night cruise, I experienced as much as possible that Freedom of the Seas had to offer. The first few days it was raining, so any outdoor activities were out ... Read More
This was one of the enjoyable vacations that I've had in a while On this 7 night cruise, I experienced as much as possible that Freedom of the Seas had to offer. The first few days it was raining, so any outdoor activities were out of the question. However there was plenty of other things to do. I winded up taking the SCUBA certification course. So on the first cruise day, when it was raining, I was in the classroom studying for the course. The passengers were quiet. A lot of seniors and European. So the Sports deck was relatively quiet. When it wasn't raining, i was able to do some Rock Climbing. They don't have any rating system, just easy, medium, hard, very hard. I'm an experienced climber, so I tried the hardest they have, and it was challenging. Like high 5.10 to 5.11. Cool wall. I should've spent more time on the Flowrider. It's a lot harder than it looks. I tried it once and fell flat. I couldn't go on it again due to time constraints The Ice rink was small, but it reminded me of custom ice rinks i see in shopping malls or citywalk. It was enjoyable skating on the seas For dining, I enjoyed the Staff in the buffet better than the main dining room. Maybe it was because i used the My Time Dining, I got the same table with the same staff 6 nights in a row. i skipped one formal night because i wanted to try out the dinner buffet. FYI. Some of the food I see in the main dining room was in the buffet. The fitness staff was very friendly. Julian, the boxing instructor, really worked me out. A must take. I loved the steam room and sauna. Here's a tip. If you want a more roomier shower, take a shower at the gym. The workout equipment was basic. Better than a hotel gym, but about par with like a 24 hour fitness gym. The staff was really friendly. My drive instructor/shore excursion person Laura was very helpful. Taylor Taylor, the acupuncturist was also really friendly. The captain also had a funny sense of humor too. The mojitos at Bolderos was awesome. A must if you want to try. The pizza at Sorrentos was OK. nothing to die for, but a great snack between lunch and dinner. The pool was cold. I did a practice dive there, and it was cold. Was shivering. so it's a great lap pool. The shows were good. Not Excellent, but good and enjoyable. I saw the Marquee and it was like a very good high school/college production. You have to see the ice show. surprising how they can do all that on a cruise ship. I noticed that the entertainers did double duties. the singers were on the parties and intimate small bar concerts. the ice skaters were entertainers in the parades and taking care of the open ice skating. Overall, they said the ship was sold out, but it didn't seem very crowded at all. I would like to go on again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Have been on many cruises - but never before with RCI. Firstly - must note that the staff onboard the ship were polite, attentive and hugely customer focused. Superb. Food in the restaurants was of a very decent standard, if slightly ... Read More
Have been on many cruises - but never before with RCI. Firstly - must note that the staff onboard the ship were polite, attentive and hugely customer focused. Superb. Food in the restaurants was of a very decent standard, if slightly unimaginative. Apart from that - could not say a positive thing about RCI. From the very beginning when trying to find out information about the cruise and the packages available e-mails and phone calls were simply ignored. SO not the best start - but you hope.. better will follow. The staff at Port Canaveral are absolutely terrible. Rude, impolite - could not be any less customer focused. This is your first touchpoint with the cruise line and, quite simply, it was horrendous. From beginning to end the cruise just felt like the only concern RCI had was to sequel every possible penny / cent from you. You were a captive audience... and they wanted to milk it as much as they could. Overpriced excursions, overpriced drinks packages, shameless merchandising at every opportunity. Never before have I been on a cruise where it has been so blatantly obvious that all that mattered was generating more and more revenue streams. Despite there being a "strict "no Smoking" policy in the cabins or on the balcony's this was not adhered to or enforced. The result was that every time you wanted to go out onto the balcony (not unreasonable on a cruise) you were forced back inside to avoid the smoke pollution from the balconies nearby. The final irony? RCI send you a customer feedback questionnaire at the end of your cruise... which relates to a completely different ship / cruise to the one that you have been on... and which you can't populate... When you contact them to ask for the right questionnaire... yip.. you guessed it... they ignore you. Bringing the whole thing full circle. I will cruise again - but never with RCI.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We went on Freedom of the Seas for my 40th Birthday this November(2014). I had my two boys with us (age 8 and 10) this year and was extremely excited. Now, we may have been spoiled by Disney Cruises, but Royal Caribbean just was not up to ... Read More
We went on Freedom of the Seas for my 40th Birthday this November(2014). I had my two boys with us (age 8 and 10) this year and was extremely excited. Now, we may have been spoiled by Disney Cruises, but Royal Caribbean just was not up to the standards I expected of them. -First was the toilets backed up in some rooms on our floor. Our room happened to be one. Fortunately we were in the room to try and stop the water from coming into the room. It was very disgusting because my husband had to scoop water(toilet water) with a trash can and dumb it down the shower drain as quickly as possible to stop the water from coming in the room. We called customer service 3 times before the water was shut off----15-20 minutes later. Needless to say my husband had a sore back and was exposed to who knows what. I can only imagine what the other rooms encountered. We were left with no apology from the manager and pretty much the crew acted like it was no big deal. We complained a couple of times to the customer service about the ridiculousness of it and after the 4th time, a maintenance manager finally came by to offer apologies and a 100.00 credit. Big Whoopee -The crew: While there were some crew members we adored( our room attendant, the greeter at Jade, and others) the deck lady was not one of them. Yes, I understand you can not "save seats" on the pool deck. BUT when I am sitting in a chair, have my things in another chair, and clearly show you that my children who are using the chairs are swimming in the pool, you harassing me that you will have to remove my items if they do not come back and sit in the chairs in the next few minutes, is not a very relaxing time. Rude and annoying is all I will say. -Family. The kid areas were pretty dull compared to other ships. My children wanted to stay in the kid area the whole cruise on OTHER cruise ships, but they Never wanted to go to the kids area here. They didn't really have any great activities for their age group. The staff was very nice though. They also didn't do that many family activities. None at the pool, except for a couple of movies, that were ditched for a unscheduled football game. I loved waiting for a hour to watch the movie that never came on. They did this for the following movie too---a announcement would have been nice. The kids water area was closed several days on board too and they didn't utilize the 3D movie screen. They had one movie pretty much the whole time we were at sea. I was not thrilled at all with this ship. I can 100% say I will NOT be going back on this ship again. I hope other Royal Caribbean ships have better standards. I was so disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My DH and I set sail on Freedom of the Seas Oct 12, 2014 for the Western Caribbean. It was our 5th RCI cruise and our 13 overall. I was using a walker because my May 30 knee surgery had some problems and I was not back to walking without ... Read More
My DH and I set sail on Freedom of the Seas Oct 12, 2014 for the Western Caribbean. It was our 5th RCI cruise and our 13 overall. I was using a walker because my May 30 knee surgery had some problems and I was not back to walking without some aid. We got to the dock about 11:30 am. Embarkation was a breeze, because as soon as they saw me with a walker I was put in a wheelchair and whisked through the lines. Fastest we have ever gotten on a ship. Quickly we were up in the Windjammer and DH brought me an odd assortment of food even if we have been married 43 years. It was all good though. Dessert cookies were especially good especially the macaroons. I would have eaten them every day if I could have found them. They announced during lunch that all rooms were ready. Again the fastest we have ever been able to get in our rooms. Our room 9609 was a nice interior room. As soon as we got in the room and before the door closed Lloyd our room steward was there to introduce himself and see if we needed anything. We asked our beds be separated for more room and I need a sharpie container for me diabetic needles. We did as some cruise critics had advised and tipped some at the beginning for these extra requests. Went to explore some of the ship before dinner, as bags had not arrived yet. Really gorgeous ship, our largest to date, just looked down on the Promenade from elevators, since I was pretty tired. When muster was called, my walker put DH and I in Sorrento's bar. One glitch in cruise, no one scanned our Sea Pass, so it was thought we didn't show up and had to sign several sets of papers saying we did show up. We were assigned the Leonardo MDR and were at a table for 10. Everyone was fun to talk to, so each night we would rearrange seats to be able to talk to another couple. I enjoyed almost all the food they had, especially the prime rib, the best I have ever had. I love the cold fruit soups and had them when I could. Almost all the desserts I had were good, I had sugar-free about half the time and they were as good as the full calorie. So don't be afraid if you are on a diet or diabetic, they taste great. First day at sea seemed crowded as everyone was exploring and finding their favorite places. We explored some, and found 2 chairs in the shade, by the adult pool. Took a lovely siesta for a couple of hours. It is very quiet on that end, compared to the main pool and H2O zone. Day 2 Labadee, Haiti Got to ride down that long pier in a wheelchair, both ways. Took the tram to Columbus Cove and got 2 nice lounge chairs in the shade. I was not allowed in water over my knees because of another problem I was having, tried up to 3-4 inches but balance not the greatest. Had to settle for watching others and enjoying the scenery. One little Africa or African-American girl kept running in and out of the water to wipe her face. She was fun to watch, and her hair looked beautiful with the water on it, like she had diamonds in her hair. Buffet lunch was fine, I especially enjoyed the watermelon which was deliciously ripe and sweet. Day 2 not Falmouth, Jamaica Because of the hurricane in the Eastern Caribbean, Allure of the Seas got our place in Falmouth and we were assigned to Montego Bay. We had arranged a tour with Patrice Bailey on our own and wondered if she would show up. She did with Mark another member of her staff and we took a tour of Montego Bay (sorry about my spelling). We went up to Richmond House on top of a hill and really beautiful views of the city and bay. They had a bar there where we go a soda and some water. There was a pool up on top that you could swim in for $5.00, overlooking the bay on the terrace of the house. It was really hot, but I wanted to go to a craft fair. Don't go it you overheat as fast as I do, I didn't think straight and paid too much money for some items. DH was glad when I ran out. Day 3 Grand Cayman Didn't go ashore. We had been there 3 times before and DH didn't want me to try tendering with my walker. Finally went down the Promenade. Wished they would have had the ship pins, but did not get any in. Day 4 Cozemel (I give up on spelling tonight) Another too hot for me day, for we spent only about an hour shopping downtown. I did get a beautiful silver pendant with some kind of green stone inlay. Last day at sea, didn't seem as crowded, we found a breezy shady place on the deck about the pools, we were right above H2O zone, wished they had one for adults. Getting of the ship took longer than getting on, we weren't really in any hurry as we were spending another night in Florida at an airport hotel. I was going to walk off, but when I saw the line, I opted for a wheelchair. As nice tiny Chinese girl from Shanghai was trying to push me. Since I am overweight gave her a nice tip. Word of warning for anyone flying out of Orlando, if trying to refill your rental car, don't do it at Sun Gas on Semyonan (or something like that) at a Wendy's near a Cracker Barrel, their gas is $5.95 a gallon. Two blocks on it is regular prices for the area. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Let me first start by saying for the past 8 years I have done a cruise a year and our only experience with Carnival prior to the Sunshine was on the Legend in Feb of 2013. We booked a cruise on the Sunshine for September 13th 2015 leaving ... Read More
Let me first start by saying for the past 8 years I have done a cruise a year and our only experience with Carnival prior to the Sunshine was on the Legend in Feb of 2013. We booked a cruise on the Sunshine for September 13th 2015 leaving from Orlando. We chose the Sunshine for this special cruise since it was my 30th birthday on September 11 and I proposed to my fiancé on my birthday. We arrived at the Orlando airport the day of the cruise. We purchased the bus pass round trip through Carnival online. When you get to the airport you will need to check in at the Carnival desk located downstairs of the airport before they will let you on the bus. There were no signs or anything. Just ask someone who works there on the bottom floor and you should be good. Bus run about every 45 min. We loaded the bus and the driver loaded our luggage. After a 45 minute ride you arrive at the ship. The driver takes care of your bags and you go through the cruise terminal to check in and receive your sail & sign card. Everything went very smooth getting on the ship. We got on board and went directly to our room. It was about 14:30 when we arrived at our room. The room was clean and set up for us already. My fiancé surprised me with having the room decorated for my birthday and having beer waiting in the room for me. Here was my first disappointment. The beer was in a clear plastic bag on the counter in the room. There were 4 beers in total. The beers were warm and I would have figured they would of had the beer on ice and a glass to drink them in. We then tried to find the room steward to request a bucket of ice for the beer so I could have them later that night. No luck could not find the room steward. We were located on deck 8 towards the back of the ship in a upgraded balcony. We decided to go to the spa and take a tour since she wanted to be pampered to start the cruise. We went to the Spa and Gym which looked very nice and clean. All the staff in the Spa were very nice and helpful (we later found out that the Spa employees do not work for Carnival but for another company that Carnival hires) Completed the tour and she booked treatments for that night. We then went to the lido deck and grabbed a slice of pizza and a deli sandwich. Pizza was so-so but I enjoyed the deli and ended up eating there frequently. Walked on the lido deck and higher until we were leaving port. As she was in the spa I decided to grab a beer and explore the ship and try to have it figured out before she was done. Decks 3,4 & 5 are where most of the common spaces are. The major problem with the layout is on decks 3 & 4 you cant walk from one side of the ship to the other. You have to at some point have to go to deck 5 and walk through the Casino which can be filled with smoke to get to the other side. I found the Liquid Lounge, Punchliner club, EA Sports Bar and shops to be very small for the amount of people who are on the ship. We did anytime dining and you have to go to deck 5 to check in and then walk to deck 3 to be seated. Dining room décor was OK but we were not fans of the food. We ate at the Dining room 3x our entire cruise. The first night we went to the Italian restaurant and my fiancé asked for a pasta dish and asked if she could have chicken ontop of it . The waitress said no that cant be done. For it costing $15 a person to eat in the Italian restaurant I was taken back that they could just put some chicken on it. I got up and walked over to the cooking area where the chef was and asked him and he said not a problem. The chef was very nice and the food was EXCELLENT! Desert was AMAZING!!! I would have ate there all cruise but they did not change there menus from night to night. We tried guys burger spot but I was put off by the cooks being in a tiny room covered in sweat hovering over the meat being cooked (what do you expect the burger spot is on the lido deck outside. Of course these guys are gonna sweat in the heat sitting over a flat grill all day. Now onto the lido deck buffet. We found the prepared food to be bland and tasteless sometimes even cold. This is where the pizza spot and deli are. We had buffet 2x on the ship. This buffet will close from 1400 - 1730 on port days. this made no sense to me as not everyone gets off the ship. Pizza is open 24/7 Deli is open until 23:00. Main dining room and speciality restaurants are open until 21:15 is the last seating time. Overall I liked the Deli and Italian place for lunch and or dinner. Breakfast on the lido deck was same bland tasting. Eggs seem powdered and tasteless. Word of advice go to the Italian place or Asain place for breakfast. They have omlette stations where they are made fresh. This was our choice of breakfast. Now onto the boat shops. Liquor and Smokes are cheap and duty free like all ships. Every cruise ive been on I have bought a watch either in port or on the ship. I found a Movado on the ship that I liked and knew it was rare. I asked the man to retrieve it for me so I could look at it. On the metal band there was a large scratch which I pointed out to him and he rudely told me it was just a smudge and took it from my hands. At this point I was stunned with the way he acted and walked out. We found the shops on the Legend (smaller ship) to be a lot larger. We went to the shows in the theatre and found them to be like a high school talent show. The theatre was tiny for 3000+ cruisers. All they did was sing and try to dance together which they failed at. These were not productions like we were use to on other Cruise lines. The Comedy club does a family show at 19:30 and adult shows at 20:30,21:30,22:30 and 23:15. This comedy club is TINY and you need to be in line about 30-45 minutes to get a seat just to see the comedian. Again the comedy club on the Carnival Legend was about 3x the size of the one on the Sunshine. Comedians were very funny. Now onto the lido deck and serenity area. Lido deck has 1 pool which is very small. Didn't spend to much time there due to the hordes of people splashing and running around. As we went to the Serenity deck (ADULTS ONLY) we found many children up there with there families. I cant blame the staff for this but more so the parents for not caring about the rules. The serenity deck has a pool with a sign that says 18 people in it. When I was in it I counted 43 adults in the pool and plenty more with just there feet in it. This was ridiciulous and I had to leave. They play movies and serve popcorn on the lido deck at night but we found to many screaming kids up there to enjoy the movies. Seems a lot of parents don't pay much mind to what there kids are doing on the ship and leave them un supervised a lot. We went to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Costa Maya. If you don't have a excursion booked for Belize don't bother getting off the ship. Costa Maya we were allowed off the boat at 0700 and had to be back on at 13:30. We were on that island a total of 1.5 hours. I do not recommend you getting a room on the 8th deck in the back of the ship. We had the havanna bar above us and it can be noisey until about 0100 on most nights (we didn't mind this its expected) Now at 0530 every morning we were awoken by the staff sliding the tables on the floor and banging around unitl about 0645. When you call guest services at 0530 nobody picks up and it let it ring for 20 minutes one morning. Multiple times I walked up and politely asked the staff to lift the tables and be curtious of the people under them. They yes'd me to death but when id return to my room it just kept going on. The waitstaff in the main dining room was nice but SLOW. we had different teams every night due to anytime dining. Now the first three nights our room was always done but we never seen our room steward. We are use to every morning and evening seeing them and having plesent interactions. I always tip in person and don't let carnival do it for me. On the third night I went to guest services and had my tips reversed. Just so happen the next day we saw our room steward for the 1st time and talked briefly. We were informed by fellow cruisers that your room steward gets notified if you remove your tips from your sail & sign card. Now it makes since why we saw him. In the middle of the cruise our rooms lights & tv went out. We called maintenance which no one answered and were transferred to guest services. Took them an hour to restore power to the room and when I asked what had happened they said the breaker tripped and it happens often. Really happens often and cant be fixed? Now comes the worst ordeal of the trip. On our last night of the cruise after we put our luggage out to be picked up something happened with the toilet causing dirty water to overflow all over the floor. We called maintenance and again went to guest services. We were told they would send someone. After 15 minutes of no one showing up we called again and was told "I TOLD YOU ALREADY WERE SENDING SOMEONE!" I stood in the hall and found an officer who I asked to at least turn the water off. He did so and made a few calls for the repairs to get done. After about 15 minutes he walked by and asked if everything was fixed and when I told him no he got on the phone again and was very stern about getting someone there. 5 minutes later a plumber showed up who spoke no English. By this time it was 22:00 he worked on it for about 45 minutes and left without saying anything. Then a housekeeper arrived to change out the towels. All he did was take the old towels and replace them with new ones. At no point did they sanitize the floor or anything. Now its 23:00 and I hear a knock at the door. Its the plumber wanting to work on it again. At this point my fiancé is in a robe naked underneath and needs to use the restroom. I asked the plumber to leave the room so she can change and use a public restroom. he did not understand me and kept saying "I FIXING I FIXING" and would not leave. My fiancé had to go to the lido deck in a robe naked underneath to use the restroom because they would not leave the room. THIS IS HORRIBLE TO MAKE SOMEONE DUE THIS! After all was said and done they fixed the problem at 23:50. We had a long day of travel ahead of us which made this even worse. I went to the guest service and was told to come back after 0730 when a supervisior is there. I went to gues services the next morning and dealt with extremely rude and didn't even apologixe for the inconveince. I understand things happen that are uncontrollable but not even a sorry or anything. She ended up giving us a credit of $25 each on the account. She then stated all this stuff about there policys but would never give me a physical copy of the policys. At this point we asked for the corporate number and she just gave us a email not even a phone number. We are now dealing with Carnival headquarters about the situation and will never cruise carnival again. Food was bland EXCEPT the Italian spot. Common areas are small and crowded. Staff was rude and seemed no plesent except for the cruise director she always seemed nice and full of energy. EA Sports bar is packed on football sundays and filled with smoke. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our first cruise, and we definitely liked being able to walk through a city-like ship, with shops, restaurants, bars and pools. It did get crowded at times, but we were expecting it, being August. We booked as Concierge ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we definitely liked being able to walk through a city-like ship, with shops, restaurants, bars and pools. It did get crowded at times, but we were expecting it, being August. We booked as Concierge passengers, and that helped a lot at some times during embarkation and disembarkation, and for the excursions as well (you can make your bookings early). Once in the ship, the helpful staff went through the whole excursion program with us, which was very good. ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT: We loved it. I must say I do love Disney and I often visit their theme parks as well. FOOD: In general it was nice, but if you want to treat yourself one night, my suggestion is to go to the Dinner at Remy, which you could tell was a step ahead of the other places. SHORE EXCURSION: in Grand Cayman we decided to do Stingray City (it is the most popular attraction there). We spent half an hour on the boat and approximately half an hour with the Stingrays. I just loved it. The stingrays have actually become pets, the boat operators can handle them as they wish. But what I appreciated was that they did underline that we had to treat them with respect, keeping them in the water while petting them. After we got back to the boat dock (at the dolphin place where we left from), while waiting for the bus we were asked if we wanted to see a new underwater photo exhibition. The pictures were taken by a National Geographic photographer, and they were amazing. We were told he had to dive thousands of times to get those shots. Very interesting. In Cozumel we did the Dune Buggy and snorkel experience, which again we enjoyed, even thought the dune buggy experience is not on any dunes, but well, you kind of expect that since you are at the Caribbean! Snorkeling was ok. Castaway Cay is their private island, and I loved our cabana there. You are in paradise but surrounded by all comforts.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
*We tried to submit this letter to RCCL before posting so that they could respond directly, unfortunately we were informed that we would have to try another time. After 3 failed attempts, we decided they could read our review here. Just ... Read More
*We tried to submit this letter to RCCL before posting so that they could respond directly, unfortunately we were informed that we would have to try another time. After 3 failed attempts, we decided they could read our review here. Just back from our cruise on Freedom of the Seas which sailed August 31, 2014 from Port Canaveral. Just though I would "highlight" some things that may be of interest to future sailors. We have sailed on many lines and we are Diamond on RCCL. Traveling with us were 3 young adults (24-35) 1 infant 10 months, my husband and self (mid 50's). PARKING: As suggested by many on cruise critic we parked at the Radisson. The line was long and felt disorganized. EMBARKATION: This was fast and easy. Elevators and escalators were all in working order. LUGGAGE: Bags were all labeled and passed on to a porter curbside....with a substantial tip. Most of the bags showed up by the time the muster had ended. However, by 9pm we still did not have my husband's bag. After repeatedly asking at Guest services and being reassured that it would be "OK.," We confronted them again. This time they went in back and rolled out my husbands bag. the 2 desk officials (Giselle and Leyze sp?) then proceeded to lecture us that it should have been tagged with our name. We looked at them in surprise and showed them the tag with our name on it. Why weren't we call? Why did it take numerous inquiries? Instead we were met with indifference ad accusatory comments. Two days later, a bottle wine with a note did show up in our room. FOOD: We were "my Time Dining." For the most part they were able to seat us at our time requested and by the window. Overall the food variety was interesting and varied. Presentation was lovely. Now the WINDJAMMER--Overall the food was repetitive. Lunch options felt limited during this cruise. The dining room was only open twice on sea days.. Therefore upstairs you were faced with swimsuits and towels draped around necks, hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta with white sauce, sliced swiss or yellow cheese, bread pudding and a brown stew. The uniqueness of the vegetarian or ethnic station was gone. The 2 venues on the 5th floor offered the same food everyday. Gone is the surprise of discovering something new to try. VENUES: Our young adults were disappointed with the music and dancing. The designated night club, Crypt, was unavailable during part of the cruise. The night it was available RCCL decided to forgo a DJ and do a "silent disco." We felt robbed of our night out. CASINO: The staff here frowned upon excitement and enthusiasum. The other people were not bothered...just the staff. Language and behavior were not inappropriate. This certainly was not like a Las Vegas experience. They sure squashed the fun out of it. CABIN: We had the Royal Family Suite. The beds were wonderful. We loved the walk-in shower with a door not a curtain. Great privacy even in the shared space. The master bath had a tub which was convenient for a baby. Since our baby was not walking, the suite offered great room for a pack n' play and crawling space. Also, our large balcony had a table with seating for 4 adults and room to add an additional chair. We used this every morning for coffee and dinner when the baby decided to sleep. DOWNSIDE--they decided to do painting above us so the power washed the old paint which ended up on our balcony. These pieces of paint were the size of a 1/2 dollar and needed to be vacuumed up so the baby wouldn't get them. We did feel terrible using the in room towels to wipe off the water every morning from the table. BABY SERVICES: Infants pay full fare--yes you read that right--they are not free. Therefore, when the baby splash pool (the only play area available for us to use) was closed, we were EXTREMLY disappointed. It was a sea day and it was hot. We received no explanation, just servicing. We were told it would reopen at 4pm. There was nothing visable in the pool. They never completely drained it nor did they repair the worn patches. Prior to boarding we were advised by RCCL that baby food was available for purchase as a package for approx. $79. We brought our own on but come to find out another couple was offered pureed food for their baby by the wait staff. This was never offered to us. BAR SERVICE: "We are out of cabernet." "Sorry, we are out of glasses." These are not statements we expected to hear at 7:30pm in the champagne bar or Vintages, but we did on several nights. These are the bars located right outside of the dining room. Furthermore, during this prime time they were clearly understaffed and seemed flustered by the onslaught of orders for drinks. By the end of the week, we found another bar. They served us cheerfully and in the proper red wine glasses. Our son discovered the pub. The staff was attentive and friendly. Kudos for this team. ESPRESSO: Traveling as Diamond or Suite guests does have its perks. One of those is the availability of cappuccinos and steamed milk. Unfortunately the machine was broken on the 14th floor. By the middle of the week, the 10th floor machine had some functions not working. One of the attendants at the 14th floor, Javet (sp?) told me it would be fixed on embarkation for the next sailing. His attitude bordered on confrontational. I was told to use the one on the 10th floor. Not all diamond members stay in the suites. We have never been told to access the suites lounge before. Is this a new policy? I was lucky we were both on this cruise. GENERAL SERVICE: With the exception of our room steward and the concierge lounge staff, we felt the general disposition of the crew and staff was different this cruise. Being long-time cruisers, we are used to being greeted with knowledgeable, smiling, and helpful people. This time, we were often told "I don't know" in surly tones. Many times we felt yelled at. Overall there was a sense of inconsistency on all levels. DEBARKATION: Can we possible check on working status of escalators before we return and unload 3,900 people? While RCCL takes much pride with being able to move 3,900 passengers on the their boats, getting them off seemed quite a task this week. Only 1 elevator was in use and no escalators. The lines were long and frustrating. The staff was GROUCHY. As a family, this is still one of the best ways for us to spend quality time together, have great meals together and explore various parts of the world. But we also hate to see this brand lower itself to become another "carnival" catering to masses of people and compromising the high standards they set when we first began cruising 30 years ago. The McAdam Family   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I always start with the positives: Alchemy bar and staff were great and created lots of interesting drinks. Worth the money. Shore Ex's were OK with the fishing in Belize the best thought a bit pricey, but we needed the boat shore ... Read More
I always start with the positives: Alchemy bar and staff were great and created lots of interesting drinks. Worth the money. Shore Ex's were OK with the fishing in Belize the best thought a bit pricey, but we needed the boat shore ex as the fishing was an hour plus away in the jungle! Saw the likelihood of a missed boat otherwise. Negatives, which far exceeded the positives. Wait until the cruise line gets sued for workers comp, even by the US employees. There was smoking everywhere, and the casino was completely engulfed in smoke with smoking tables on one side of each table with slots allowing smoking ant the bar with a hundred smokers. UGH! Fried food? Fattening food? That is all they seemed to have in the buffets. Eggs cooked only 1 way and drippy (probably not eggs but some mix!) toast, bagels, muffins were toasted and then set out in the refrigerator to get cold. The staff could not keep up with the people in such a small cramped space. Interesting that the whole boat becomes a dining hall at meal time. The boat designer must have been from a drug filled environment, particularly LSD as the ship was very convoluted and difficult to get around. Who thought up the design, Lewis Carroll? The pool is too crowded as they do their "shows" there. Need to find a different place to do an ice carving show out of the sum and where people could actually watch! How about a stage??? I am glad we brought soap and shampoo, who uses the stuff in the walls that you have no idea what it is? Some soaps use peanut oil, and other cancer causing ingredients, so where is the labeling required by law on the stuff they give you? Dining time was such a treat for us!!! We got to watch hundreds of people sit around and wait to eat every night, while the dining room for the 8:15 seating was empty. They need to rethink the anytime dining thing or the space allocated. The sushi restaurant had nice people, but the fish was warm (not good) and the rolls had all kinds of sauces in them that were not labeled. I should know what is good, worked and lived in Japan for 5 years.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
To be honest, we were a bit underwhelmed. I traveled with my husband and 10 year old daughter. I have balance and mobility problems which require the use of a wheelchair. We had a handicapped accessible cabin (a junior suite because it was ... Read More
To be honest, we were a bit underwhelmed. I traveled with my husband and 10 year old daughter. I have balance and mobility problems which require the use of a wheelchair. We had a handicapped accessible cabin (a junior suite because it was all that was available even though we booked about a year and a half in advance). The cabin was very nice, and our room steward, Ronnie, was excellent! Our daughter slept in bunk beds in a "closet" (we called her Harry Potter), and my husband actually preferred sleeping in there because the constant thumping from the rudders caused him to get motion sick. We have cruised 4 times before with Carnival and never had a problem. On embarkation day, my parents ordered a bottle of wine and fruits, cheese, and chocolate covered strawberries to be delivered to our cabin, and we were in the room for several hours before getting them. The muster drill was easy, and guests in wheelchairs were excused first so that we did not have to fight for the elevators. On the subject of elevators, I wish there were a few reserved for handicapped guests who can not use the stairs. The bathrooms in the common areas all had push buttons to open the handicapped doors, but the staterooms did not. Getting out to the pool deck was a little scary, as there were only rotating doors, and not the option of regular ones. There was one "regular" door, but to get to it, you had to go through the women's restroom (where obviously my husband couldn't go), and there was a step to go out the door, so wheelchairs couldn't use it anyway. There was not wheelchair seating at the shows (or if there was, no one told us) except for in the theater where the ice rink was, and we dealt with some other guests who were VERY unhappy (and vocal about it) that they had to give up their seats for my husband and I. We had a very nice waiter in the dining room, Dennis. However service was sort of slow. This may have been because we had a large group, though. The food was just average in taste. Two of the women in my group ordered both lobster bisque and creme brulee and said they were almost inedible. But Ronnie was quick to replace them with something else! We ordered from Room Service a few times, but once again, were underwhelmed. The variety was not very good and it took FOREVER! Even though this was billed as a "Dreamworks cruise," we weren't able to see many characters. The scheduled times for them were often during our dinner (the 5:30 seating), and the "Move It, Shake It" parade on the promenade on the last night was at 5:15, so we couldn't go to that. We felt as it families were not a priority on this cruise. The kids' club went until 10 p.m. with paid babysitting after that. But, all of the "adult" activities were at 10:45 or later, so in order to take part you HAD to use the paid babysitting. On our last cruise, one of my daughter's favorite traditions was to get a soft serve cone after leaving the Kids' Club, and she couldn't do that here, as it closed down at 6:30. We stayed on the ship in both Haiti and the Grand Caymans, and that's when our daughter did the Flow-Rider. I really suggest doing it when you're in port--she got LOTS of personalized attention, the crowds were small, there was very little line, and, unlike the sea days, no wind! The H2O Zone for the kids was awesome! Embarkation and disembarkation were very easy, and this was the one time I felt like they went out of their ways to help guests in wheelchairs. Getting on and off the ship in each port was very easy. All in all, we definitely had a good time, but I think that next time I cruise, I will be going back to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Pros: The ship is beautiful and well laid out. I loved that they had electronic maps to help you get to anywhere else on the ships near the elevators. They are serious about cleanliness and you must use Purell to go into the buffet area. ... Read More
Pros: The ship is beautiful and well laid out. I loved that they had electronic maps to help you get to anywhere else on the ships near the elevators. They are serious about cleanliness and you must use Purell to go into the buffet area. The service was great, especially in the main dining room. Randy and Ismael made dining fun and went above and beyond for us. The shows we got to see were better than I had expected. Some were late night, like the comedy shows and we are not late night people so missed several. Our cabin was comfortable for being so small. Our cabin steward Ally was great. Cons: With a few exceptions (the rolls were great and a favorite of the five of us) the food was disappointing. There were exceptions, like the crab cake appetizer and one night the prime rib was great. The last night it was not. The dining room was good, not great as a whole, but the buffet was not very good. We were told that RC was much better than Carnival in that department and we found the opposite. Carnival does a much better job in the buffet department. We also don't like that we pay a premium to go on this line instead of the other and then find out we have to pay an additional $280 for us to have bottled water and premium coffee and soda. Another thing we were surprised about; other than 6-9 for the buffet, there is little available. REALLY bad pizza (think cheap frozen pizza) and sandwiches made hours before. We felt bad - the last evening we were talking to another group who did not know that was included and not an upcharge. They should make that clear to everyone. The last - we had a balcony, upgrade cabin but our cabin was cozy but really small. We chose RC over Carnival because it was suppose to be so much nicer - was on the other a few months ago and was surprised to see all were much smaller. We really had a good time, and it is a beautiful, well run ship. But they really should make some changes to make it a ship you want to return to. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was my Husband and I's second cruise with Carnival and we were celebrating our 4 year anniversary! We love Carnival and our goal is to be Platinum as soon as possible. We love learning about the history and culture of the places ... Read More
This was my Husband and I's second cruise with Carnival and we were celebrating our 4 year anniversary! We love Carnival and our goal is to be Platinum as soon as possible. We love learning about the history and culture of the places that we travel and we also love to snorkel! My husband and I are in our early 30's and we are enjoying the cruise life until we have kids. We stayed at the Radisson in coco beach and it was amazing! The pool area of this hotel is beyond anything that I could imagine! The beds were sleep number and I regrettably thought that the softest setting was awesome. I slept like a baby but my back hated it the next morning! Don't do that! My husband was smarter than I and he slept like a baby on a much harder setting and he didn't have any back problems. I have learned from the error of my ways and will not do this the next time. We opted for the snooze and cruise package and it went very well. The only problem that I saw was that there were multiple ships leaving from the port that morning and I think that it could have been better handles if the hotel could separate the different ships meeting locations for the shuttle. We left later than we were supposed to because they were having trouble getting some of their shuttles to arrive so they paid for taxis to take us and that was miserable! Our taxi van was crammed with 10 of us and honestly being packed like sardines is not my idea of a pleasant transfer. We arrived at the cruise port at around 11:00 and thankfully we had faster to the fun so we skipped all the lines. We were stopped At the metal detector area so they could check our bottles of water for alcohol. Needless to say we were not smuggling. Lol. We were then whisked away to the faster to the fun check in area (again without lines) and we was greeted by a very friendly lady that checked us in and verified our birth certificates. We received our cards within 3 minutes from starting our check in process and then we were lead to the faster to the fun waiting area where we were presented with a bottle of water and chips. Very nice I might add! We met some friendly faces of people that we met on cruise critic and shared our excitement about the cruise. I don't think we waited over 15 minutes because before I knew it they boarded the diamond and platinum guests then in about 5 minutes they called the faster to the fun guests. After a quick photo and a walk over the bridge we finally set foot on the Carnival Liberty! The first place that we see in the Carnival Liberty is the Lobby which is very spacious with many chairs and couches for you to sit in. There is a good view of the bar as well as the elevators. We made a bee line to the elevators and almost instantly got in and headed to the 7th floor which is where our room was. We went straight to our room and we were very eager to see what our room looked like since it is a unique L shaped room with a balcony that is double the size of the normal balcony. We dropped off our stuff and we were greeted by our steward Putra who welcomed us on board and told us the times that he cleans the cabin and when he does the turn down service. We then headed for Guys burgers and got a table. Guys Burgers are phenomenal and honestly I can't believe that they don't charge extra for them! Guys burgers is open from 12 to 6 everyday and honestly I could eat there everyday! I ordered the plain jane which is a burger with cheese on it and then I headed to the toppings bar and places bacon and lettuce mustard and mayo on my burger! You also had the option of tomatoes, grilled or raw onions, pickles, mushrooms, etc. We then had to get a chocolate and vanilla swirled ice cream cone. (I think I could live off of these!). The. We headed back to the room to dolphin and manatee watch in port. We then had to do the muster drill. Honestly I know why we have to do it but I am not a fan of it. Thankfully this drill wasn't too long and was to the point. :). That's my kind of style! We had a meet and greet scheduled for the facebook / cruise critic group at the red frog pub and we got to meet all the people from cruise critic that we had been getting to know for months! It was so nice see everyone! I am so glad that we were at the red frog because as soon as we set sail we had the set sail party and it was a blast! I personally didn't dance this time but it was just so much fun! We opted out of eating in the dinning room our first night and we went straight to the buffet. Honestly we lost track of time and didn't realize how late it was! It was about 9:00 and the buffet was closing down and we got there just in time! The food was not the best I don't know if it's because it was old or what but I wasn't too happy with it. I ate enough to be ok and went back to the room. When we got back to the room we had a towel animal and chocolates and we went to bed. The next day was a day at sea which consisted of a art show, another meet and greet, carnival clue murder mystery, and formal night. We enjoyed everything but the main dinning room was not the quality of service we were used to on our past cruise. The server kept forgetting what we asked for and was rarely around for us to remind them. However they were very attentive of everyone else......this irritated me and needless to say we didn't go back until the last night! Another disappointment from this day was there were no more ice cream cones and our excursion in Roatan was cancelled! Such a bummer. But we did go see the show on the ship and I am telling you those performers are amazing! I don't know how they do it! Day 3 was Cozumel and honestly we were so excited to go to chankaab park! We went to the taxis and paid $11 one way to chankaab and we went snorkeling! It was amazing there! We enjoyed the dolphins, seals, crocs, snorkeling, everything! If we go back to Cozumel we will go back there! I had a blast even with the 30 minute monsoon! Lol. We went back to the port and I used the free wifi at the fat Tuesdays and we did a little shopping. Back on the ship we played in the casino and enjoyed pizza for dinner! :). We came back to the room to find that once again another excursion was cancelled. At this point I was very upset! We only booked two excursions and both were cancelled and the recommended replacements cost more than the original! We went staring to guest services who sent us to the excursion counter. We had been told all day to book am excursion in Belize because you don't want to go anywhere on your on there and here they are canceling our excursion. Grrrr. I began speaking with a very nice lady who obviously didn't know what to do for me and kept apologizing. Then a man took over for her and claimed he was the excursions manager. The reason I was upset is because I researched and reviewed the many excursion choices and frankly I didn't just pick them out on a whim. I wasn't able to research on the boat thanks to no internet unless I wanted to pay for it and the reasons our excursions were cancelled are reasons we should and could have been notified In advance for! Our Roatan excursion was cancelled because the person in charge of it "needed to get his act together and it has been cancelled for severL weeks now" and the Belize excursion was cancelled because "there were only 5 people booked on the excursion. I honestly felt like the manager could care a less how I felt and honestly wanted me to go away. He even said "I don't think that there is anything I can do or say that will make you happy". This honestly took me aback and I just looked at him and asked hi. How he would feel in my situation. He asked what I wanted and I told him that I would reluctantly take the recommended excursions but I wanted them at the same price I paid for the originals. One was cheaper so we left it as the cheaper but the Belize one was more and he said he would happily comp it. Honestly I left that experience having a very bad taste in my mouth about carnival and thankfully it got way way way better! Day 4 was Belize and this is the day we did the Carnival Excursion of snorkeling wonders of the barrier reef! It was amazing and if you love snorkeling you should do this excursion! We saw many fish and coral and I was very satisfied with this excursion! We had plenty of time to check out the port and I again used the wifi! :). (You can tell what motivates me in port!) Honestly the port of Belize is not very nice and your not missing much if you opt not to see it. It's very run down and I wasn't a huge fan of the port. When we arrived back on the boat we were very excited because we opted to reserve a table In the steakhouse! The steakhouse charges you $35 extra per person to eat there. I have heard nothing but great reviews about it and I was super interested in trying it! I don't know if it is just me or what but the food was too fancy! There was not an appetizer I liked and the compliments of the chef was nice but not good either! I felt bad especially since our server pointed out every time I didn't eat everything on my plate but I am a southern country girl and l guess cheese sticks is not a suitable appetizer! Lol. I got the filet and it was very good! Slightly over cooked nut good none the less and I good full from it! Who needs and appetizer anyway! I have decided that the reason that the appetizers are crappy is because the main course is so large! Lol. For desert we were stuffed and got a cheese cake Togo and a chocolate sampler thing! It was ok. But neither were exceptional. Again I blame this on my lack of taste and not on the restaurant. All in all I am glad we went but I will not be back. Day 5 was Roatan and we did the carnival excursion of museum, cameos, and village. It doesn't have very good reviews and that is why I didn't pick it out originally but as you know from the beginning we like to experience the history and culture of the places we visit and honestly I liked the excursion! The stops were not that great but the drive to each location was a tour of the island with information from our tour guide. I personally enjoyed it very much! Again I would never do that excursion again but I would recommend it to any newbie that wants to experience the island. When we got back to the port we shopped some more and then we paid for the chair lift to the beach! This is a must in roatan! Why walk when you can ride in a magical chair lift...or I think that's what they call it! Lol. Next time we go to Roatan we will go to the beach and pay for the blue lagoon private beach! :). It also has wifi included. Lol. We went back to the boat and enjoyed some more guys and pizza. :) Day 6 was costa maya and the port there was beautiful! We went to tropicante and I loved it there! We spent our time laying out on the beach and snorkeling. Then a $2 taxi ride back got us back in port for more shopping. :). On the boat we watched another show and did I mention how awesome the performers were? We enjoyed several rounds of trivia and also casino time! :). Day 7 was a day at sea and I took advantage of the towel animal folding class and the towel animal theater! It was fun! I love the towel animals! Several of our towel animals were lost due to moving them and my hubby asked our awesome steward to remake the lost ones and he happily did it! :). This is the customer service I am used to! We played trivia and bingo which we won twice and we again hit the casino! The quarter machines are evil and ver addicting! Don't do it if you haven't because once you do you have to again! Lol Our ships cruise director was Brittany, and she was very professional and energetic! I couldn't however shake the feeling that our ship was ran by a bunch of teenagers! I am sure the staff under here were not teenagers but they sure seemed like it. I will say this though, and that is that they were amazing! Always friendly, always knowledgeable, and always happy! Maybe we need more younger people lol! We have already booked the liberty again for February next year and let's hope that my excursions are not cancelled and that this time they have ice cream cones! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
For our 50th anniversary we wanted something special; Based on commercial information we selected a cruise to the Caribbean. We have great expense to go from Las Vegas to Orlando airport, from there after few days at DISNEY, we rented a ... Read More
For our 50th anniversary we wanted something special; Based on commercial information we selected a cruise to the Caribbean. We have great expense to go from Las Vegas to Orlando airport, from there after few days at DISNEY, we rented a car to Port Canaveral where we went through an excruciating process: ( acceptable because the terrorist incidents). The ship was beautiful to look at from the distance, but from the inside was a different thing altogether,... faded paint, rust worn out furniture uncomfortable cabin and just outdated worn out ship. Limitations on where to eat and when to eat, preferential treatment to some occupants and disregarded attention to others. The entertainment in general was mediocre, some shows were impressive and others very boring, nothing sensational. The service was based on ethnicity and passenger category. Unlimited for those in upper category and limited to those in lesser . The Ports and shore excursions all took place where the ships company have ownership property and all attendants wore ROYAL CARRIBEAN uniforms. To top it all the prices of activities outside of the ship were outrageously high. We were in our seventies/very active seniors, no children etc. WE WILL NEVER GO IN ANOTHER CRUISE, ROYAL CARIBBEAN REALLY,REALLY SUCKS! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click