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

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

I recently (Aug 31- Sept 7) took a 7 night cruise to the Western Caribbean with my family. I can't say for my parents, but I LOVED IT. it was definitely a memorable cruise, to say the least. Embarkation We rented a car in Florida, ... Read More
I recently (Aug 31- Sept 7) took a 7 night cruise to the Western Caribbean with my family. I can't say for my parents, but I LOVED IT. it was definitely a memorable cruise, to say the least. Embarkation We rented a car in Florida, so we took a shuttle from the car dealer (is that what you would call it?) to the port. A little hectic, but we all managed. once we got there, we proceeded through customs (which took maybe 15 mins TOPS). after customs, we had to check in. everything went really smoothly and we were on the ship within a half hour of getting to the port. i was amazed, as this was my second cruise ever (first on Dis) and this was probably the fastest embarkation ever. Entertainment There was DEFINITELY enough to do on the ship. The pool was "meh" at best, as it got disgustingly cloudy, crowded, and began to smell after the first few days. Yes it SMELLED. Horrible. The Aquaduck never seemed to have an overly long line, which was GREAT. unfortunately, we encountered 20+ mph winds, so it was closed 90% of the time. The shows were AMAZING. Like i can't even begin to describe them. the movies however, were 'meh". they showed the same movies over and over, and there were only 3 movies playing. they were Monsters Uni, Planes, and The Lone Ranger, playing on different days alternating between 3D and not 3D. i can safely say that i have seen Planes at least 6 times, and Lone Ranger 2 times. i wish i was kidding. Dining I loved having the same waitstaff each night. They were SOOOOOO nice and friendly. The only thing that i didn't like (but didn't hate either) was when the head waiter tried "setting me up" with the boy at the table next to us. it was funny, and the kid seemed nice, but it was awkward with my parents after. We ended up with a 6 person table with a 3 person party (due to error or something, i didn't mind) and that meant that we got a window seat every DR except for Animators Palate. The food on the first night was amazing and seemed to slowly regress as the days went on, so much that they had us eating "corn 3 ways" on the last night. it was probably the weirdest thing I've ever eaten. Excursions In Costa Maya, we went to a Jungle Beach Break. Awful. The beach was disgusting (there were plastic cups and food on the sand), and i got stung by a jellyfish. i know that it was not the resort's fault, but it sort of just killed the rest of my day. In Cozumel, we went on a Horse Back Tour. This was wonderful, even though we rode through a torrential downpour and were swarmed by mosquitos. Again, that could not have been prevented, but it was a wonderful excursion and the people were nice and cheerful throughout the tour. But my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE excursion was the Stingray City Snorkel Excursion in Grand Cayman. This was AMAZING. The water was so warm, the people so friendly, and the stingrays were just awesome. they would swim right up to you and you could pet them. they were, basically, "big, slimy puppies". It was just absolutely amazing. Sailing this was interesting. The first few days, there was smooth sailing, calm water, and bright blue sky. a few days later however, there was a "tropical depression", and that caused the waves to be QUITE rough. so, pretty much, you could constantly feel the ship rocking. For at least 2 days, you weren't allowed on the jogging path, as it flooded and the ship was rocking too much. YAY. Thats pretty much it! Fabulous vacation, but bit could have been better.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Had a great time, Carnival never disappoints. Drove to the port and parked in the port parking lot. Arrived around 1100 am we went platinum this year but did not have room to set in the special waiting area too many Faster to the fun ... Read More
Had a great time, Carnival never disappoints. Drove to the port and parked in the port parking lot. Arrived around 1100 am we went platinum this year but did not have room to set in the special waiting area too many Faster to the fun people there already. When they started boarding they went into the special waiting room first so good thing we we're watching or they might have skipped over us. When we got on the ship our room was ready so we dropped off the bags and began to explore the ship. Ate at the Tandor station in the buffet loved it food was great. Indian food in MDR was awful, didn't work out for me. Loved the BBQ on the Lani little burgers were the best. Went to the Pasta station above the Buffet was told it was a 40 min wait but I looked around and set down anyway. Got our food in less than 8 min but it was bland and too much water. Ate in the Steak House one evening and it was wonderful. We did not watch all the shows as the singers and dancers are boring, we did however enjoy Gumbie the assist cruise director, be sure to ask him to show you how he got his nickname. We enjoyed the ventriloquist show something out of the ordinary. Do not miss the Comedy shows Carnival scores perfect with this bunch. The MDR staff was the best and the brunch sea days were my favorite. Don't miss the Eggs Ranchiro, yum. The pool areas had too many people for me good thing we had the Spa rooms to relax in. Liked the Movie at sea on the big screen, Carnival is still a fun ships but now I think I want a more relaxing and elegant cruise and for a few dollars more I can have that. I don't think that Carnival has changed that much but I have. The water works slides were wild.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Drove to Cocoa Beach on Friday and stayed at Comfort Inn and used their Park and Cruise. Shuttle needed work on that we had been told to meet one place and the shuttle went to another, after loaded everything was good on trip to port. ... Read More
Drove to Cocoa Beach on Friday and stayed at Comfort Inn and used their Park and Cruise. Shuttle needed work on that we had been told to meet one place and the shuttle went to another, after loaded everything was good on trip to port. Unfortunately the last shuttle was 930 and getting on the boat was delayed by Coast Guard inspection. We checked in quickly and sat for two hours in lounge area. after CG left we boarded quickly and our room was ready when we got on board. Went directly to Lido after dropping bags off. No real hurry to get to Lido s the food here was probably the worst in 12 Carnival cruises. Day 1 and 2 were sea days and not very eventful. Welcome aboard show on night one was one the the better shows of my past five. Day 2 show was also good and some new materials made for a better show. Day 3 was the first formal night and as usual you could go no where easily because of photographers. Obviously there are not fire laws on cruise ships. Day three was Couzmel went on excursion to Passion Island. great excursion but ride to the Island was rough. day four was Belize tenders were late starting and getting on them was confusing for those leaving the boat . Weather was bad and many excursions were cancelled. Day five was Rotaan and a trip t the beach near the ship was a good excursion. Weather was good for the beach.,This was the second formal night as Thursday was Holloween, Next was short day in Costa Maya. Brother went on stand up paddleboard excursion and loved it even though the water was rough. Rough enough to cancel snorkeling Many of guest and passengers dressed for the day of holloween.. last day and half were normal sea days. The food overall was average on the Lido and good in the dining room, Service in the Crimson Dining room with angel was excellent. Service in all areas o the ship was very good. The ship self is not one of the better ones I have been on. Many things in dining room such as drink fountains were not working often. Areas were continuously overcrowded on sea days. The entertainment in show area was good though the number of productions were limited. First seating was ok but if tried for late shows it was a maybe to get seated. Comedy shows were a waste in that the length was not worth going in and crowds were heavy and they cleared lounge after each show Leaving the ship was probably the easiest of my disembarktions Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I will start out by saying this was our first trip on the Dream, and this class of ship... but WOW! The Dream is a huge ship, and has a lot to offer! I'm not even sure we saw everything she had while on-board for the week. LOL! We ... Read More
I will start out by saying this was our first trip on the Dream, and this class of ship... but WOW! The Dream is a huge ship, and has a lot to offer! I'm not even sure we saw everything she had while on-board for the week. LOL! We sailed 11/9/13 to Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay & Costa Maya. PROS for the week: We purchased the Faster to the Fun! Definitely worth it! From the time we parked our car, walked in the terminal, to the time on the ship was maybe 10 min. Our room was ready when we got on-board, and in no time were we up on Lido deck having lunch. We booked cabin 7320, category 8C balcony room. Room was good size - pretty exact to other balcony rooms I've had on other ships. Our room looked out, and just to the right was one of the Lani Hot Tubs on Deck 5. I was a little concerned that it would be noisy all week, but that didn't happen.... Thank Goodness. We could hear people's conversations while sitting out, but it was not loud. Not sure I would book this exact room again, just in-case of a noise issue - but luckily we didn't have that problem. Our room steward Nyoman was TERRIFIC!!! He got to know me and my husband pretty well, and was a pleasure to talk to everyday. Not sure when he would sleep - we saw him morning, noon & night! LOL! He took great care of us!!! As stated previously the Dream is HUGE! She has a-lot to see. Serenity deck is great. Yes pools were crowded on sea days, but that's to be expected when it's nice & sunny out. With that said, we tended to sit up on Deck 11 and never had an issue getting a lounger. Went to the Spa during the week. Sheree was fantastic and took great care of me. I did one of the Port Day specials (3 services for a discounted rate) - Loved it - Would have surely spent more time there if I could. Food - Didn't have a bad meal, or anything I dis-liked all week. I've read other reviews of people complaining about lines for food... while yes there may be others at the buffet lines... the only line I saw which was always busy was the Mongolian Wok station. They make your food to order, so Yes it will take longer than the others. We tended to eat at "off" peak times too which helped avoid the large crowds. There was always something to choose from, and we always found a table. Love the new Pizza :) Dining Hall food was terrific! We chose anytime dining, and only waited maybe 5 minutes one evening. We started off the week being served by the team of Head Waiter Kaido & his asst. Jimmy & Darma, and then requested to sit with them every evening because of their great service. If you are lucky enough to get this group to serve you they are FANTASTIC. Great personality, funny, polite, and very-hard working. Kaido has been with Carnival for 14 years and will be retiring at the end of the month. His hard work and dedication to Carnival was seen each and every time we saw him. He was great to get to know, and was so nice & polite when we would see him around Lido deck for breakfast & lunch too. Comedians were a riot! We went to the Adult Only Shows and Jeff the Fun Dude who manages the Burgundy Lounge is hilarious too! Ports: Cozumel was beautiful! We did a Carnival Excursion to Playa Mia. The beach, the beach toys, the pool, and the entire facility was great. Lunch was good as well. Would go back in a second, no questions asked!!!! Belize - Tendering port. Not a huge fan of the bumpy boat ride to the pier. Was extremely humid the day we were there & rained on & off. Just did some shopping. Not much to see around the port. I did hear a handful of excursions to the caves, etc. were cancelled due to the weather. They've gotten a-lot of rain recently and the water levels in the caves were too high. Prob my least favorite of the ports - but yet again we didn't do an excursion to see more than just the shops. Mahogany Bay, Honduras - STUNNING!!! This place is beautiful! The pier itself has a lot of nice shops to walk around too. The chairlift and beach by the pier seemed nice. We booked a Carnival Excursion to Maya Key which is a small boat ride to the other side of the island. The beach is OK - and the pool area is nice. Lunch was good! The snorkeling at the end of the pier is great!!! My husband loved it! He also did the shark & stingray encounter for an extra $30. He was the only one who signed up. He got to see them feed the nurse sharks right in front of him, and with the help of the trainer, swam around with these creatures. I on the other hand would not step foot in the water w/ the sharks, but he loved it! Was the highlight of the trip for him. LOL! The rescued animals they have in the preserve are well taken care of, and we enjoyed watching them feed the sea lions they have. Costa Maya- Nice port with many similar shops. There is a small beach area right at the pier, and that is where they have the dolphin encounters. You can walk almost right up to them which was fun to see. We did some shopping, ate a snack at Carlos & Charlies. Not at this port long enough for me to book an excursion. Seemed very organized though. CONS- the only thing I can say here is the weather leaving Costa Maya, up through the time we got back to FL was terrible. Extremely windy, rainy, dark & cloudy which made the ship bounce around like a basketball. Mother Nature was not kind to us going back home. Guess she was trying to tell me I should have stayed in Mahogany Bay - LOL!!!!!! The last sea day was not too pleasant, as much of the outdoor amenities were closed due to the wind & weather.... kind of a bummer :( ***Overall I enjoyed the Dream! She is a huge ship, a little confusing to navigate - but we mastered it by the end of the week! LOL. Our service was the best I've ever had on a Carnival Ship, which made our trip more enjoyable. Would absolutely book another cruise with Carnival and on this boat. Would love to do the other itinerary before the ship moves out of Florida. Remember, don't let petty little things ruin your vacation - you're on a cruise - enjoy every minute!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
A little background: I've been on 25+ cruises(Disney, Celebrity, RCI, Princess, Costa, Carnival, Big Red Boat, Cunard), my husband has been on 8 cruises, and our 4 year old daughter has been on 7 cruises. Our only other Disney cruise ... Read More
A little background: I've been on 25+ cruises(Disney, Celebrity, RCI, Princess, Costa, Carnival, Big Red Boat, Cunard), my husband has been on 8 cruises, and our 4 year old daughter has been on 7 cruises. Our only other Disney cruise was the Magic out of NYC in June 2012. Our cruise on the Fantasy, was absolutely fantastic! Let me say right off, I wasn't that impressed with the Magic. We paid top dollar, the ship was small (I don't like the small ships) and she was showing her age a bit. We booked the Fantasy while on the Magic and I knew I was going to love this ship! We flew Newark to Orlando a week before the cruise and stayed at the Art of Animation (which was nothing fancy, but decent value for money)....We went to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and the Candlelight Processional, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, had breakfast with Jake (of the Neverland Pirates), and had breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends. It was an absolutely fantastic week....and exhausting! We were looking forward to relaxing on the cruise. We left Orlando Friday morning after breakfast and spent the day at Kennedy Space Center, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I had tried to get the "free" tickets from my NJ congressman but they never materialized. Instead we spent A LOT of money on admission, the extra tour of the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building), and some NASA souvenirs. We'll visit again but skip the extra tour since there was enough to do without it. We checked into the Country Inn and Suites....hotel was fine and very convenient to the terminal. I had pre-booked parking but once we arrived at the terminal we decided to park there since it was close to our 10:30 check-in time. As it turned out, this was unnecessary since they do not let you in the cruise terminal 1 minute before 10:30! Check-in was extremely smooth. We were given boarding group #2. I had pre-registered my daughter online for the kid's club so we went to the counter to get her bracelet. While waiting to board my daughter had her picture taken with both Minnie and Mickey and we walked a bit around the terminal. At 11:30 we boarded the ship. Having your family announced as you step on the ship is one of the nice little Disney touches. Immediately we went to guest services to book the Gingerbread House making class (limited availability) and to book the Princess Tea. At almost $300 for 1 adult and 1 child, I was undecided about booking the tea but decided to do it. I couldn't believe when I was told that it was only offered 1 time during a PORT day. Since we already had plans for the day, we passed on the tea. Stupid decision by Disney! A few minutes later we were up on deck 11 and my daughter was waiting for Nemo's Reef to open. This was the first cruise that she had worn her bathing suit to board (will ALWAYS do that!). Once our stateroom was open we went to drop off our few carry-ons. Wow, our stateroom was wonderful!! We had a verandah - which after using it almost NEVER convinced me not to get one again. But what was so surprising was the space - it was a big room, split bathroom was not really a big point for us, but the storage - about 7-8 drawers, and 2 closets with lots of hangers...!! This stateroom put our same category Magic stateroom to shame! We went up to Cabanas for lunch. Food was good. We then headed to the D Lounge where we met our group. I would highly recommend joining your cruise meet-up group as soon as one is formed. You'll likely get a lot of information there - especially for first time cruisers. I learned about the gingerbread house class through them and also about requesting a specific dining rotation. They also put together the FE exchange, a lot of meetings, some excursions, etc. It was very nice to meet the people I'd been interacting with for months before the cruise. After that we went back to our stateroom and met our stateroom host, Leon, who had all (3) our suitcases delivered to us pretty quickly. We unpacked, I hung up our magnets on our door, and our FE (our first time participating). Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We had first seating, which at 5:45 is really too early, but the second seating is just too late. On our previous Disney cruise we had a table to ourselves (on other cruises we rarely ate in the dining room). It's our vacation-family time and I'm not much of a "small" talker but I thought it would be nice for my daughter to have some other kids to talk to. It was a good decision. We were paired with a nice family who had a boy (8) and twin girls who were a month older than my daughter. The girls did become very good friends even sitting together at a couple of the shows. Loved our assistant server. He anticipated what we needed and each night had our drinks waiting for us. The food ranged from not good to pretty good to the occasionally very good. I know food is subjective - my husband didn't think the food was good but most nights out of 3-4 courses, I was happy if 2 were good. On one occasion, I had 3 that were very good. Desserts rarely live up to my expectation on any cruise. I'm a chocolate lover and rarely is there any good chocolate dessert. There were a couple of nights that there was nothing that appealed to me so I had a Mickey bar - for the first time. I'm hooked. :-) I do like the trio option for desert - a little taste of a few different desserts. The biggest issue I had in the dining room was the number of times our waiter brought up the "excellent" on the comment cards. Not once, not twice, but FOUR times. (Our waiter on the Magic brought it up as well.) He told us about it on the first night (Saturday). He brought it up on Wednesday to make sure that he was giving us "excellent" service/food and asking if there was anything he could change. He brought it up on Thursday to tell us that we would be getting the comment cards "tomorrow". And he brought it up on Friday to tell us how important that we rate everything "excellent". In all fairness he was a good waiter (had Indian food specially made for my husband one night, did magic tricks with the kids, etc.) but that was just such a turnoff. The rest of my review by category: DINING: In addition to my comments above...We skipped dinner one night and had room service, which was good. Chocolate chip cookies were definitely good. Cabanas had a very good choice of breakfast items. The made-to-order eggs/omelettes better than the ones sitting under the lights. Worst thing: bacon. I have never had anything so tasteless! We only ate lunch in Cabanas the day we boarded. Lots to choose from then as well. Loved the shrimp (crab okay). Mostly we skipped lunch or had a late afternoon soft ice cream (addictive!) - or ate in port. Overall I thought the food was good. ENTERTAINMENT: The welcome aboard show is very lame - the characters were the highlight. I liked Aladdin and Believe, Wishes not so much. The farewell show was only saved by the woman ventriloquist and the characters. Frozen was shown in the Walt Disney Theater and we enjoyed that. (We found out the movies that would be shown on board from our FB group so didn't go see it before the cruise.) Overall the shows are good - I would not go so far to say they are Broadway quality (as some people do). I personally feel that I "have to see the shows" so I don't miss anything. :-) We did see Believe at a 3:00 p.m. matinee, which I loved having the flexibility of doing - the theater was packed. Liked the couple in the atrium who provided music nightly. Saw Monsters University in the movie theater (on the night we went to the matinee of Believe) but did not have enough time to see any of the other movies. KID'S CLUB: My daughter turned 3 on the Magic and would not go to the kid's club. On our next cruises 6 months later (NCL Epic, Carnival Breeze) and our cruise the this past June (NCL Breakaway) she went in those clubs and loved each of them. So I figured she would go on the Fantasy. She wouldn't. Supposedly the best kids club at sea and I can't get her in! Will try again in June 2015! ON BOARD BOOKING: We did a dummy booking - with the intention of booking June 2015 on the Fantasy for my daughter's 6th birthday. Current itineraries are only out through April of 2015. I'm definitely going to re-think the verandah thing.... PORTS: I've done the Western Carib before and didn't enjoy the Mexican ports so much. This time I loved them. And what a nice change from the Eastern Carib!! I only booked one excursion and we winged the rest (I'm a planner so I never do that!). In Grand Cayman we got an island tour for the 3 of us (total $40) that went to the turtle farm (one of my daughter's favorites), Hell (brief stop), and 7 Mile Beach where we had an excellent lunch at Calico Jack's and spent some time on the beach. Our driver/guide was really good and informative. In Costa Maya, we booked the Chacchoben Mayan Ruin tour with Native Choice. I NEVER book the overpriced and crowded ship's excursions but was really tempted in Costa Maya because we were only in port for 4 1/2 hours. My emails back and forth with Native Choice made me comfortable enough to go with them. It was an excellent choice and an excellent tour! We were 3 couples and 3 girls in a very comfortable van. The native guide was extremely knowledgeable. We arrived at the ruins ahead of the Disney buses and went to the farthest ruins starting in the back. We had the ruins all to ourselves. It was amazing. We made our way forward passing the throngs of people on the Disney tour. So glad we weren't part of that! (Our table mates DID go with Disney and paid A LOT for the 5 of them! We paid for $110 for the 3 of us, which was less than what they paid for just the 2 adults.) Oh...and one of the highlights for us was stopping at a stall at the side of the road where women were selling pineapples. Whole pineapples, juice, and pineapple slices and chili powder are available. We got the slices with the chili powder on the side. The pineapples were SO sweet and juicy and the combination of the sweet and the spicy from the chili powder caused a delicious explosion in my mouth!! We realized we had little cash for Cozumel, so went to guest services to ask where the ATM was on the ship. There wasn't one! I have never been on a ship that didn't have an ATM. The cast member told us (incorrectly) where we could get US$ from an ATM. Off the ship, we walked and walked and walked to that ATM, which didn't dispense US$. We walked and walked and walked back....and saw a sign at Senior Frogs that said they had an ATM with US$....which was broken! However, next door near the post office, we did find one and several other people in line in need of US$. We got a taxi and headed to Paradise Beach. There was a $2 per adult fee to use their facilities (beach/pool) and adults needed to spend an additional $10 each on food/drinks. The beach was really nice and we had a great time. When it started to rain we headed to the bar area near the pool. Once the rain stopped we went into the pool. It was a huge pool (I loved the loungers in the water). After swimming for a while we decided to stay for lunch. I had the Mexican platter which was an assortment of Mexican food (some I did not recognize), which was delicious. Too soon it was time to head back to town. We were able to do a little shopping before getting back on the ship. Castaway Cay was fun. We got off the ship as soon as we could. Beautiful Christmas tree was on the pier. Snapped a couple of photos with Donald Duck and a couple of family photos in front of Dumbo on the back of the ship. Boarded the tram to the family beach, Pelican Point. Got some loungers and headed down to the water. It wasn't very hot (mid 70's expected for the day) and the water was cold...! Beautiful, clear water with big fish swimming by. Best to just dive right in! We had a great time on the beach. BBQ lunch at Cookie's (or was it Cookie's Too?) was good. I love the day at Castaway Cay because for me it's "forced" relaxation! I really enjoyed the Western Caribbean ports. The only disappointment was the amount of time we had in Grand Cayman (5 1/2 hours) and Costa Maya (4 1/2) hours. Oh...and I forgot about the nightmare experience of tendering in Grand Cayman!! It took us over an hour to get off the ship once they got the tour groups off. If you're pre-booking your own excursion, be sure to take that into account! ACTIVITIES: There are enough activities for children on board IF your children participate. My daughter loved Nemo's Reef and the pools. As on our Magic cruise we spent a lot of time in line for photos with the princesses and characters. If you try to see most/all of them, it does interfere with the timings for other activities. (We never made the gingerbread house making class because we were on line for the princesses or somebody!) The activities for adults seemed to be mostly tastings (alcoholic with a fee). Of course, if I was sailing childless, I'd be fine to sit by the pool and read all day. :-) CHARACTERS/PRINCESSES: There is ample opportunity to interact with the characters and princesses. They had the princess gathering 3 times during the week. You meet 4 princesses at one time. The lines for this get VERY long and the princesses were there for almost 2 hours the first time! I recommend getting on line at least 30 minutes early. For all the other characters, we usually got on line 15 minutes before the scheduled time. My daughter loved doing this... I purchased princess dresses from the Disney store's semi-annual sale - great deal and my daughter loved dressing up. I loved the different outfits the characters wore at different times - Christmasy sweaters, formal for formal nights (although I was disappointed that Mickey was dressed in his captain's uniform and not the tux he had on the Magic). We didn't have any issues with people getting nasty on line nor did we have any issues with the lines being cut-off before everyone got to see the character they wanted. The cast members were VERY good about this. If the timing was 11:00 for 15 minutes, they didn't cut the line off until 11:15. Several times the characters went over the allotted time. I do have a thing about those autograph books though...just don't get it. Takes so much time and then....my daughter saw everyone else doing it and after we got a journal as an FE gift, she was hooked. Ugh! I was now one of "those" parents with the kid with the stupid autograph book. :-) FIRST TIME EXPERIENCES: FE: we loved participating in the Fish Extender gift exchange. My daughter loved coming back to our stateroom to see what was waiting for her. She even came all around the ship with me to distribute our gifts. A tip I'll remember for next trip is to save some gifts for the last couple of days. You get so much in the first few days that it was so nice to get some things towards the end of the cruise. Aquaduck: My daughter was tall enough to go but the cast member gave us such a hard time. He literally spent 5 minutes measuring her only to declare that she was too short. A piece of paper could not have fit between her and the bar. In the end, I went alone and really wasn't so impressed. It was quite claustrophobic and not something I'd do again. Pelican Plunge: Now THIS was cool! My daughter WAS tall enough to go. The cast member at the top was so nice and helpful to all the kids who went up with one parent. Parents went down first and he took care of sending the younger kids down. My daughter declared it "awesome" and wanted to do it again and again. Room Service: We were so tired one night - it can be difficult getting back from port and getting to dinner by 5:45 - that we decided to order room service. Service was prompt, food was good, and chocolate chip cookies were very good! Mickey Bars: How come I never had these before?? CROWDS: I'm sure the ship was completely booked. We never once had an issue getting a table at Cabanas or a seat in the theater. The lines for the characters and princesses did get long but we just allowed enough time to get to see them. MISC: I specifically booked this vacation so that we would see all the Christmas decorations at the parks and on the ship. We were not disappointed! The tree lighting ceremony on the ship was nice and all the decorations were great. I would definitely recommend a cruise and/or a trip to WDW during the holiday season! On the Magic we left a large Vinylmation and a Winnie the Pooh plate at guest services for signatures. This time I left a photo mat that turned out really well. As usual we over packed. With the new relaxed dress code in the dining room, I'm going to pack a lot less next cruise! Disney knows how to do it. The cast members are all genuinely nice, the ship is beautiful, and there are just so many extra "Disney touches" that distinguish DCL from other cruise lines. Our cruise was really not that much more expensive than going on the Oasis/Allure or a similar ship. DISEMBARKATION: Wonderful and so efficient! We were going to have something to eat at Cabanas but were cleared to disembark. We left the ship, got our luggage, went through immigration/customs, and were in our car by 8:30 a.m.! I'd definitely book an earlier flight home next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Everything was rock bottom class on this cruise with two exceptions; the cabin lady and the $35/each steak house. The balcony assignment was overlooking the dance floor of the deck below and an elevated hot tub was directly outside our ... Read More
Everything was rock bottom class on this cruise with two exceptions; the cabin lady and the $35/each steak house. The balcony assignment was overlooking the dance floor of the deck below and an elevated hot tub was directly outside our cabin. After threating to invoice their now money back policy we were finally moved to another adequate cabin and wow, it was actually overlooking the ocean. Food in the main restaurant was good, however the buffet fodder was slop. There was always a struggle to find a place to sit at the buffet area. We could not find the pizza place open late at night as advertised. The stops in Roatan and Belieze consisted of very small fenced in areas with the usual stores. We were warned not to got outside the fenced in areas alone or after dark. I wonder why they even bother to stop at places that are not safe. A sit down breakfast was only available to the first and last day of the cruise. The waiters must be in training here, because they always got the order wrong and didn't seem to care about their service. The crowning bows were on the final debarking morning of the trip. We were served powered eggs instead of the real McCoy for breakfast in the dining room. We still can't believe that happened on a cruise. The second issue was an hour long wait on our feet in serpentine lines to get to the three customs agents that were there. Can you imagine 4,000 people trying to get through those lines. Yes, that included the elderly and folks with small children. It was poorly managed. Carnival has lost their edge. Sure they are the cheapest, but the service is horrible. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We cruised the Dream Jan. 4-11th. We left our hometown a day early due to the impending winter storm. Thank goodness we did! I do not drive in snow. We arrived on Friday in Cocoa beach. It was in the 60's, but was very cloudy and ... Read More
We cruised the Dream Jan. 4-11th. We left our hometown a day early due to the impending winter storm. Thank goodness we did! I do not drive in snow. We arrived on Friday in Cocoa beach. It was in the 60's, but was very cloudy and windy. We stayed at the Radisson. We were not impressed. I am in a wheelchair and requested an accessible roome. The room we received was difficult to find. We had to go up the elevator in one building, walk through an outdoor walkway and down a long corridor. The room was advertised to have sleep number beds, and it did...from the 1980's! The room was clean but it certainly was NOT worth the cost. We had a delayed embarkation, but were onboard an hour earlier than we thought. We had a suite, so we were given priority embarkation. We had some assistance getting into the seating area, but my husband was left to push me and pull our carry on when we boarded the ship. We didn't have a picture taken when we boarded...the portrait station was not set up yet. Once on board it was similar to all other Carnival ships. Nice decor. The buffet was crowded, but short lines. Muster drill was fast and effecient. I was glad the muster drill was held inside the ship as it was bit chilly. It was impossible to find a chair on deck. Chair hogs were out in full force. We attempted to sit outside on the last sea day but no chairs were available. The aft pool and chair area is very nice but we didn't get to enjoy it due to the vast number of people. The weather was not good. It was cloudy everyday except on the last sea day. We were caught in a tropical downpour in Cozumel, but at least it was warm. We missed Belize and Roatan due to rough seas. Carnival was very good to us and refunded port fees, served complimentary champaign, and gave us a 25% discount on future cruises. The food was good. Nothing new on the Dream yet. Buffet needed more choices. Each station served the same meals. Lines were present but moved quickly. We attended the sea day brunch and were not impressed. It actually felt like the staff didn't want us there. We were placed at a table with a BIG post next to it and our waiter didn't even notice us for a long time. We won't do this again. We ate in the dining room every night. Our waiter was great. He is leaving Carnival this month - good luck to you Somporn. The food was always hot. Bar service for cola was a little slow. We attended every show. We were disappointed in the evening shows. There were only 3 shows that included live dancing and singing. The shows are usually our favorite part of a cruise but these were not that great. The female singer was extremely loud, like she was screaming instead of singing. The male singer was good, but he would sing behind stage where he couldn't be seen. I thought that was strange. The cruise director was never around. We cruised on the Liberty last year and Karl was EVERYWHERE. We loved him. This cruise director, I believe his name was James, could only be seen at night in the theater. His assistant was better. We attended several comedy shows. The fun guy made our trip! He was a hoot. All in all, it was a good vacation. The weather was bad, but it was warm. We will cruise Carnival again but will choose a different ship. The Dream was ok, but do not care to return. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Please read BEFORE booking Carnival Liberty; I have never written a review before in a lifetime of cruising with pretty much all liners, 35+ in all. After this last cruise I feel it’s justified I write this report for the sake of all ... Read More
Please read BEFORE booking Carnival Liberty; I have never written a review before in a lifetime of cruising with pretty much all liners, 35+ in all. After this last cruise I feel it’s justified I write this report for the sake of all future passengers warning about booking Carnival Cruises. We completed two “back to back cruises’’ (14 days) East and West Caribbean in March 2015. My wife and I were warned off using Carnival a few years ago by American past cruisers with Carnival (all hearsay so we ignored the warning and eventually booked with them as we fancied TWO of the ports of call), Big Mistake, unfortunately these were the two ports of call that were called off because of called high winds? The entertainment was very sparse, one professional artist for one show a night only per week, plus a show by the dance group and one show given by the passengers, (that was the best) for the rest of the week nothing except little bands who played for an hour in the casino, they were good but in a casino was the worst place for them, the overall noise of everything going on was horrible. The Exact format of shows and groups for the second week, same people, same songs, same old same. On other ships there is normally a midnight buffet showing off the Chef’s chocolate selection and ice sculptures but not on Carnival Liberty. No sign of the Captain throughout the 14 day cruise, and no chance to meet him or have a picture with him and that went for all his officers. The basics only being provided assumedly to keep the Companies costs down; it’s called Penny Pinching in England. “Everything” is taxed to the hilt, a beer (less than a pint) costs $7 and of course you cannot bring any alcohol aboard in your cases or from ports of call. Its “Compulsory to have your tips taken automatically out of your onboard bill it’s so exorbitant you could have another cruise on the money taken off you for this. Possibly top of the list of problems were the “Buffet” for casual dining, it was Yuck; I’m actually feeling sick as I write about it here. The selection of so called hot food was placed in 6 troughs and out of those 6 you vegetables, gravy, potatoes etc where included, the two choices of meat always seemed to be the same some warmed up rubbish or re-cooked prawns in batter or the like. As for the main dining room it’s stunning, take your camera and take some pictures as you will have plenty of time hanging around, we averaged an hour forty five minutes, the longest a few times was two and a quarter hours so we missed the show that was on. The food though was beautiful. In the mornings breakfast wasn’t too bad as you could get an omelette while you wait in line; the rest of the HOT stuff was cold and tasted like dog food. Play safe and eat the cereals and fruit. As for the ports of call, there was only two we hadn’t been before and ironically they where the two the Captain decided the wind was to strong, first port he missed Roatan maybe but the second port of call Turks and Cacos a ship had just gone in before us same size and berthed ok, the wind that day wouldn’t have blown a feather away. Organised trips as usual a rip off , many complaints from the passengers returning from the trips, in general the ports of call were ok but most there was nothing to do just walk up the street to the shops, never seen a beach the whole trip, unless I was to pay near a $100 for us both to be taken to a beach !! No information was ever given as what Islands we passed or any updates whatever so to get a feel where we were or points of interest. I best not rattle on any longer although I could as I expect you would think I’m just a moaning Minnie, trust me I’m genuine and I want to warn you before you spend your well earned cash as there is better than Carnival Much Better. As for the good news..........Your cruise will finally come to an end.     Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My husband and I had a good time on the cruise, but the idea that Disney is exceptional compared to other cruise lines wasn't evident to us. Disney caters to families with some spaces set aside for adults. For the most part ... Read More
My husband and I had a good time on the cruise, but the idea that Disney is exceptional compared to other cruise lines wasn't evident to us. Disney caters to families with some spaces set aside for adults. For the most part you're surrounded by kids. The adult areas on the boat were generally as packed as the other areas of the boat. The food in the dining room was very good along with the service. We went to Palo twice and it was really exceptional. Food in Cabanas and the stands on the main deck was awful for the most part. Breakfast had to be the worst. The good news is that we were always able to find a table even on sea days. For entertainment, the first-run movies in the Lake Buena Vista theater were a big plus. We saw them all. The shows were hit or miss. The Aladdin show was really cute. The big pirate extravaganza was terrible; even the fireworks were too short. Castaway Cay was by far the best day of the cruise. The beaches are gorgeous and the water is crystal clear. The adult beach was very relaxing with plenty of beach chairs and separate facilities. The BBQ lunch was only so-so. The cabin was average size, but clean and comfortable. We had a kid in a nearby cabin who kept going in and out of his cabin by slamming the door so hard our things would jump on the desk. He would then proceed to run up and down the hallway for, what seemed Ike, hours. This was at all times of the day. Sleeping was not an option with this kid near us. And that was the main issue: Where in heaven's name are the parents? Many of the kids seemed to have little to no supervision, even when the parents were with them. If we decide to cruise again, we would not choose Disney. If we had small children, we might feel differently, but for adults who are not enamored with Disney, it's not for us. Overall the service was good and there were some nice pluses, but we'll use RCL or another line if we decide to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click