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157 Bahamas Holiday Cruise Reviews

Choosing to spend a week with Royal Caribbean durringg thee holiday, was a good idea for my wife and I. We were picked up by a shuttle service at our Baltimore suburban home for a short 20 minute ride to the port. Check in was quick and ... Read More
Choosing to spend a week with Royal Caribbean durringg thee holiday, was a good idea for my wife and I. We were picked up by a shuttle service at our Baltimore suburban home for a short 20 minute ride to the port. Check in was quick and easy. We were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. We did not have to touch our bags from our driveway until they arrived at our state room. The ship was decorated tastefully for the holidays including most of the religious preferences. Santa made several appearances throughout the ship at different times. There was a special showing on Christmas morning for pictures and gifts from Santa, sponsored by Royal Caribbean. Christmas dinner in the main dining room was a good mix of traditional holiday meal favorites nicely presented and prepared. Our waiter and dinning staff were excellent. They provided us with as many items as we cared to eat or taste. We shared a table with other couples, meeting and chatting about different cruises, all up for a different kind of holiday experience. We ate all of our meals in the main dinning room for the service and pampering. We grabbed an occasional snack from the Windjammer when pool side. The ship is aging but in good condition and well maintained. Our state room was well appointed and comfortable. Our stateroom attendant was exceptional, providing just the right amount of room care and amenities. The shows were tastefully creative and entertaining with a holiday presentation on Christmas eve. All of the performers had professional experience. They were all enthusiastic, costumes were colorful, dancing was chorographed well, energetic and fun. One of the excursions was cut short by bad weather in Coco-Cay. We had good weather in Cape Canaveral and Nassau. Our overall opinion of this cruise is great. We would do it again, and we would recommend it to others. There is a lot of negative noise out there on the web about this line and the staff of the Enchantment Of The Seas. One can find disappointment in anything if one looks close enough. Happy Cruising to all other happy cruisers ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I've read many reviews of this ship, some ok, some good, some not so good. Here is my pinion of this ship and the ports of call. First, the ship is actually quite nice. I liked the decor and the renaissance themed art. It was ... Read More
I've read many reviews of this ship, some ok, some good, some not so good. Here is my pinion of this ship and the ports of call. First, the ship is actually quite nice. I liked the decor and the renaissance themed art. It was easy to get around and had everything I would want on a cruise ship. The fitness room and spa was nice, never had trouble getting to the cardio or weight machines. While we never went into any of the pools or hot tubs, there were plenty of them, though the pools were a bit small and frequently crowded with yelling kids, but that's to be expected I suppose. Fortunately this ship features the Serenity Lounge on the stern, that is for adults only and has its own bar, hot tub, and lots of hammocks and lounge chairs - but it was full most of the time. We were able to spend some time there and it was most relaxing! Being gamblers, we spent a LOT of time in the casino. The slots are no more or less loose than any land-based casino I've been to, and there are plenty of table games to play. I would have liked to see some newer slot games, as the machines are rather old, but they are still fun. We were able to rack up our 1500 points on day 2 of the cruise so we drank free while in the casino 9and playing) the rest of the cruise. the trick to this is, once you hit your free drinks, just play the penny machines at the lowest bet when you want to drink, and you'll be spending as little as 9 cents, yes 9 cents, gambling while getting $8 to $10 drinks free! The food at the mermaid grill was typical buffet fare - ok, nothing special. The Normandie Dining Room food was a little better, usually well prepared, good variety, and promptly delivered. We elected the anytime dining and never waited longer than 5 minutes or so to be seated. The final night of the cruise we got lobster and prime rib and had all we wanted! David's steak house, however, is a MUST EXPERIENCE! The food, the service, the decor, absolutely rivals any of the finest eateries we have here in Boston! And THAT'S saying something! Our cabin was nice, nothing special, but again, suited our needs nicely. The cabin steward was very nice and always took care of us. We never met a rude or inattentive member of the crew, everyone was great. Now, here's the one BAD aspect of the cruise. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT TAKE THE BLUE LAGOON SHORE EXCURSION in Nassau! If I could, I would have sued for false advertising! The description is a "luxurious, private white sand beach with great luncheon and drink availability". Ok, not even CLOSE! There is chain link fence running along the dock into the water and oil spill looking booms roping off the swim area, which is tiny! The food is advertised as 100% Angus beef burgers, but I can assure you unless the server's name was "Angus", there was no Angus to be seen, only dried chicken, cold rice, and hockey-puck like hamburgers. I was completely disappointed with this excursion and, to top it off, Carnival charges $90 per person for this, while you can get it on line for a mere $50 if you're NOT a cruise ship passenger. HUH??? Yes, you must book this through the ship so Carnival can apparently get their commission. When I brought my concerns up with the shore excursion desk, I was told "we have to get in touch with the trip provider". Now, if I book this trip through Carnival on the ship, why do they have to contact ANYONE else in order to make it right? We were told it was a 4.5 hour excursion, and it ended up being 2.5 at best, but only an hour for us as we left early it was so bad. All I asked for, was a refund of ONE of the tickets . . .I figured whereas we did go on the excursion I should at least pay for what I did "use" of it. I figured it would have been a nice gesture for Carnival to refund basically just half of the price, as we only got about half of what was promised. In stead, I got a letter from the assistant shore excursion manager telling me he was passing along my concerns to the tour operators and was sorry my excursion sucked, but please continue to sail with carnival. Having dropped over $3000 in the casino, I would think a lousy $90 refund would have been not too much to ask for - after-all, they would have gotten in back in a slot machine anyway! All in all, it was a good trip, a good time and pleasant experience. But, again, a reminder, DON'T BOOK EXCURSIONS TO THE BLUE LAGOON!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
OK first let me say we where very worried after reading so many negative reviews. This was our first cruise that had freestyle dining and the tips "forced" upon you. Most reviews we read stated that the employees where lazy and ... Read More
OK first let me say we where very worried after reading so many negative reviews. This was our first cruise that had freestyle dining and the tips "forced" upon you. Most reviews we read stated that the employees where lazy and don't expect anything extra. I must say as a experienced cruiser we where pleasantly surprised. The Sky isn't the best ship we have been on but it was a blast. The Positive things: The food was nothing like we expected according to prior cruisers and their reviews. We ate everywhere except the pay places like Cagneys and the Italian place. Everything was always fresh and hot. There was a large variety from vegetarian,Indian,Asian and others. We ate at the buffets inside and pool side. Excellent burger and that type fare. Our room was small but was kept clean and neat (9345) They have 24 hour room service that is included unless you order pizza (5$ for large) Drinks are like most high price and easy on the liquor. (We carried on our own vodka and rum) Btw way in to types of ways to test their checking. They caught neither. They constantly are cleaning and picking up you plates and replacing silver/napkins. Their organization for exiting the ship was some of the best we have seen.Their private island Stirrup Cay blows away other private islands we have visited by a long shot. All newly built buildings, bathrooms, kitchen/buffet etc. Food on island was ribs,chicken,burgers, hotdogs and all the other fruit and side dishes. I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the point. We was pleased with our experience and will be back. Negatives: The ship is layed out really weird and cut up. Not sure why this is. But we are not that difficult. To wrap this up let me add unless you are a pain in the ass type traveler or one of those people that can never be pleased or maybe your a billionaire and used to 200$ a plate meals every day I would ignore the majority of the previous negative reviews. After using this site for the last several years to review ships prior to travel Ive found most negative comments to be 90% B.S. Check them out and have a great time. We will be going again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My family of 4 children, ages 11-14 and 2 adults sailed to the Bahamas on Carnival Fantasy in December, 2011 Christmas cruise. We have sailed a half dozen times on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Although a relaxing cruise, we ... Read More
My family of 4 children, ages 11-14 and 2 adults sailed to the Bahamas on Carnival Fantasy in December, 2011 Christmas cruise. We have sailed a half dozen times on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Although a relaxing cruise, we would not select again for the following main reasons: 1) The food. Breakfast and lunch were fine at the buffets. Dinner detracted from the experience. Our poor waiter was so overwhelmed by all his tables and new assistants that the service was poor. The food was surprisingly bad - even foods that are relatively easy to prepare. How can you botch a cheese cake? Answer: be too cheap to include any cheese - tasted like a bad sponge cake. On a six night cruise, 3 meals were fine and the other 3 were poor. Service was slow. Kids couldn't get refills on "bottomless" soda. Some nights hard to get refills on water or another slice of bread if the meal was delayed. Menus and food were disappointing. I'm a diabetic and have enjoyed sugar-free desserts most recently on Princess. In 6 nights I enjoyed only one dessert. We didn't starve - but we didn't really enjoy the meals. Carnival has skimped too much from the dining room budget. Major problem. Wouldn't sail again. 2) Camps. We were told our 11 year old camp is in a 9-11 year old camp. NOT TRUE. The camp is 6-11 most of the time. There is simply no way our 6th grader is going to camp with 1st graders. I looked at the camp schedule, there was really nothing he would have enjoyed anyway. In the other camp 12-14, we had 3 children. 2 passed, and 1 did everything. They all said the games were lacking, e.g. the basketball NBA video game is from 2007, there is nothing from after that on board to play. Nothing great - doesn't seem like there is any real effort. 3) There isn't much to do in the Bahamas. Freeport is basically a waste. We went to the beach on our own in Nassau (the Sheraton Hotel - $5 taxi, and $25 beach fee - both per person) and had a nice afternoon. Key West is completely overrun with tourists - a shame because when I went 20 years ago it was special. 4) Entertainment: the carnival dancers were great - when they performed (2 nights and a holiday show in 6 evenings). The other three nights there was a terrible blues singer from New Orleans, and C-rated comedians. However, the costumes and enthusiasm of the carnival dancers was wonderful on the nights they performed. [Note the theater of this old vessel has poles, and the balcony slopes very little making it hard to see from the 2nd row upward - want to get there early to watch]. Staff is nice, ship is in great shape for 20+ year old vessel - little noise or shaking. Showers are hot, nothing bit us. Only issue is with public bathrooms being dirty - but the boat is small and it is easy to get back to your room. There was also an odor in a few of the hallways. Rooms are fine (we were interior - no problems). No lines of any significance except for laser tag. Convenient port to our home in Atlanta. Charleston port is inefficient takes over an hour to get in and it is easier to take your own bags off the boat than let them remove them. Candidly, if they would fix the food, it would be fine for the money - as it is, I would spend more on airfare to cruise elsewhere. It isn't bad and you will have nice memories with your family. It just isn't special - and that's a shame because we would cruise annually out of Charleston if we enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We have cruised disney before and loved it. That is why we booked again but I have to say we were dissappointed. We were on a waiting list for a suite but were never called. We ended up in a cat 4A. we were required to pick a check in ... Read More
We have cruised disney before and loved it. That is why we booked again but I have to say we were dissappointed. We were on a waiting list for a suite but were never called. We ended up in a cat 4A. we were required to pick a check in time and it only allowed a 230p and a 300p. When we arrived at 230 the photographers were gone and we missed our picture(thats a big deal to us) we keep all of our welcome pics for our children. The food on the previous cruises wonder magic was unbeleivable. Fresh warm every meal. Plenty of fruit and salads.This cruise we had 5 in our party. every night we had to ask for the bread that was served with dinner. They brought enough for 3 people. They gave us bagels one evening? not sure why. With the exception of the final night in the royal palace The food was cold hard and flavorless, It was a shocker because in the past it was so terrific. The dream is very chopped up. Hard to find remy palo and meridian bar. The rooms were same as in past.dont look different.The photographer was sparce couldnt get too many pics. the pics that were taken were unflattering as is if they were snapped by a person off the street. The crew in the past esp at dinner ect did tricks with the kids and they became used to that, The servers were good but impersonal.I imagine they work very hard and maybe dont have the time. Not sure. The pool areas are swamped with children and the pool for adults was tiny. we enjoyed castaway great as always, The magic is my favorite ship. spacious flows nicely warm crew. Many many pics alot of excursions. All in all just dissapointed in the dream expected a special experience for new years. Wont travel it again. we may do the fantasy and see how that ship turned out. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
As noted above, this was our first cruise with Carnival. We chose this short four-day cruise over New Year's as a good way to test the waters, and get some fun in the sun. It was myself, my wife (who celebrated a birthday on the ... Read More
As noted above, this was our first cruise with Carnival. We chose this short four-day cruise over New Year's as a good way to test the waters, and get some fun in the sun. It was myself, my wife (who celebrated a birthday on the cruise), and our 12-year-old daughter. We traveled with friends; a family of four, first-time cruisers, with two children. Having cruised on Holland America, Princess, and Norwegian multiple times, I set my expectations for Carnival -- I thought -- accordingly. We flew in to Jacksonville, which was not a problem. It seems that the vast majority of Fascination cruisers drive to the port rather than fly. As we unfortunately learned upon our return, the small size of Jacksonville's airport and lack of frequent flights can be a problem if flights are cancelled. There certainly aren't the plethora of options that stranded fliers might find in say Orlando, Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale. Getting a van to the pier was easy and the ride for seven cost $45. As is known, the terminal at Jacksonville is a temporary structure. That said, it serves its purpose fine, as the only ship using it is the Fascination. It is small and for reasons still unclear, the time it took for us to clear security, complete check-in, and board the ship was the longest we've ever encountered. The check-in staff were not overly efficient, and the whole process took nearly an hour. By contast, boarding the Epic -- more than twice the twice -- took 10 minutes, door-to-door. As soon as we entered the ship, the "missing little things" started to show. There were no people waiting to greet you on board; no one handing out daily schedules or maps, or even offering to help you find someplace on board. I have to note that during the ENTIRE cruise, I did not hear one single announcement from the captain; not one. In fact, I can remember no announcements other than those from the Cruise Director, Jen, and they were always for bingo, dance parties, etc. Being a sold-out New Year's cruise, it was crowded -- particularly as we boarded -- but we were surprised to find an available table in the Coconut Grove buffet area as we waited for rooms to be readied. From this meal, it was obvious that the food was to be substandard at best. The lines were very long and the food was high-school cafeteria quality, and that is being generous. The ship, I must admit, is in very good shape. She does not show her advanced age and the crew does an excellent job on maintenance. We sailed on the Norwegian Spirit earlier this year, and that ship is younger, went through a more-recent renovation, and still appeared MUCH older and in worse-repair than the Fascination. Kudos to her team. We had an oceanview cabin, category 6B, on the Main Deck. We were pleased with the overall size. The third bunk folded up against the wall and was not too intrusive when open. Princess still has the best layout we've seen (other than a sofabed), with their third and fourth berths that fold up and away into the ceilings. The bedding and mattresses were TOP NOTCH. Very nice and comfortable, so kudos again to Carnival. Bathroom was large and functional, nothing more. I never did get fully accustomed to stepping on a huge "soft spot" in the floor when you enter the bathroom; an artifact of the marine toilets, I suppose. What the room lacked was a hair dryer (though our steward was able to secure one), a fridge, a clock (hello?!), writing pad and pen, and a coffee maker. They chose to take up much of the desk area with an assortment of canned soda and bottled water, which is not complimentary. I would have prefered to use that space for a coffee maker, or just leave it open. We asked the steward to remove the sodas, but they remained there for the entire cruise. Aside from the glaring omission of a clock, what the room really needed was a thermostat. The room was very cold and when we looked for a thermostat, all we could find was a vent knob on the bottom of the air diffuser on the ceiling. It basically allows you to turn the flow of air (one temperature) on or off. As it was, we had to close it off to try and warm up the room (which didn't really help -- we ended up using extra blankets at night to stay warm. With the air off, however, it made all of the noises made in the hallway and in neighboring rooms VERY loud. I usually love sleeping on ships, as the hum of the air system is usually so loud and constant, that it drowns out all other noises. Not so the case on the Fascination. Not only were we cold, but we heard every hallway conversation. Also, a minor point, but it would be great if Carnival invested in small rubber stoppers to stick onto the insides of the closet doors. They now are bare, and whenever one of the three closet doors close, there is a loud "bang"...the sound of doors banging in other cabins was very noticable, and it seems some cheap rubber bumpers would be an easy fix. We had the traditional fixed dining (early seating) in the Imagination dining room. Our server was good, but the table was small, with seven of us put at a table meant for six. The food in the main dining room was much better than on the buffet, but it was still of very poor quality. None of the meals we had there was more than average, and most were below standard. Biggest complaint about the dining room, however, is the noise. It was, by far, the loudest dining room we've ever had on a ship. I suspect it had to do with the relatively low ceilings, but it was impossible to hold normal-level conversation across the table and that ruined whatever ambiance the room has. The other main dining room is exactly the same configuration, only midship vice in the rear, so I'm sure the sound there is just as bad. As noted, aside from sushi -- the times for which change daily -- there are no eating venues aside from the buffet and main dining room, and the main dining rooms only serves dinner -- no breakfast or lunch. The buffet at breakfast and lunch was very crowded and the food often inedible. The breakfast selections are very basic, and the salad bar at lunch was wholly unappetizing. Pizza is always available, but it was freezer-quality and not enjoyable. On our day in Freeport, we took a Carnival excursion but weren't returned to the ship until after 6:00pm. We thus missed our dinner (which was the captain's formal night) and had to eat in the buffet. I have to say that that meal was truly disgusting. The selection was meager and the food was of embarrassingly poor quality. Even a simple hamburger would have been nice, but the grill is only open during the afternoons. The ship is fairly easy to navigate, given its small size, and motion was not a problem for us. Reaching some areas of the ship was frustrating, as not all elevator banks go to the higher floors, and the galley serves as a natural barrier between the two dining rooms. Still, it is easy to get around. Elevators were sometimes hard to get, but there were never too many flights of stairs to climb, so no big deal. Despite her obvious abundance of balcony cabins, I have to give Fascination BIG points for the amount of deck space and readily available deck seating. With four+ decks with outdoor space, it was never hard to find a lounge chair or simply a place to enjoy the outdoors. The top-deck minigolf and jogging track were also quite nice, as we enjoyed the adults-only Serenity area. The pool was adequately sized. As always, the lone hot-tub open to children was often overflowing. Activities on board were adequate. We participated in many of the trivia and game shows. The cruise director staff was plentiful and always busy, and the cruise director did a good job. Jen is definitely "unique," but she works it well, and her personality seems to match the Fascination's. That is a compliment, by the way. I liked her work. They did put on a New Year's Eve balloon drop and pool-side party, and they did a very nice job. It was fun and well organized. Entertainment was good to average. We attended the family-friendly comedy shows, and they were fun. We didn't have an opportunity to attend any of the adult-themed shows. We attended both "Vegas-style shows," and they were classic cruise ship fare. Again, compared to our other cruises, though, they were high-school vice Vegas-level quality. For disembarkation, we were pleased that Carnival offers the option of walking off with your bags or having them remove your luggage. We had a noon flight, which we thought would give us plenty of time. As it was, our steward left us luggage tags to put us in an earlier disembarkation group, as noon is their cutoff time for determining an "early flight." Originally we were in Group 17, but we were moved to the earlier Group 2. We toyed with the idea of taking our own bags, but decided against it -- we later regretted that choice. We were at the dock before 0700, and as we dressed for breakfast, I discovered that our flight had been cancelled. I reached the airline, only to find that the only option of getting out that day was aboard an already-overbooked 1045am flight. We rushed to let our friends know -- who were on the same flight. By the time we found them and they got through to the airline, no more seats were available and they were bumped until the next day. Hence, my comment about the lack of flights into/out of Jacksonville. We were now faced with the daunting task of getting off the ship as soon as possible, hoping to make the earlier flight. Guest Services on the ship were understanding when I explained what happened, but they confirmed that there was nothing they could do to get our bags out of Customs any earlier. They said we would have to wait on the ship until all of the "walk-off passengers" were cleared; that would not be until around 0930. Against recommendations, we did exit the ship with the walkers. When we cleared Customs -- without our bags -- a VERY helpful terminal worker pulled us aside. I explained our situation, and she had us wait in the boarding area. She explained that the bags were all in a separate area of the terminal, under Customs control, and there would be no one over there until they were done clearing all of the walkers. This is when we realized just how many people had elected to walk off -- they just kept coming and coming. While waiting, a very nice Customs agent asked about our situation, too. After about 15 minutes of waiting, the head of the terminal and a great Customs agent came and got us and escorted us to the area where all of the bags were being held. They allowed us to retrieve our bags and then did another inspection. With that, we were clear and literally ran outside to grab a waiting cab. Thanks to the outstanding help from the terminal and Customs officials, we made it to the airport with about 15 minutes to spare. We cannot thank them enough. I know all of this does not apply directly to our Fascination experience, but for what it's worth, I would recommend you walk off with your own bags if possible, and I'll vouch for the helpfulness of the crew in Jacksonville. Overall, I'm not sure if we'll do another Carnival cruise. I know they sell on their price point, and had we not paid a huge New Year's premium for this cruise (more than three times the cost of non-holiday Fascination sailings), I might feel otherwise. That said, the dismal quality of the food and lack of alternate food options weighs quite heavily in my dismissive tone against Carnival. Barring a truly superior price advantage, I do not see us repeating the Carnival experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Review of 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 Carnival Pride Cruise out of Baltimore to 'Florida and the Bahamas': I would like to set the tone from the outset of this review that I was very happy with my cruise on the 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 ... Read More
Review of 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 Carnival Pride Cruise out of Baltimore to 'Florida and the Bahamas': I would like to set the tone from the outset of this review that I was very happy with my cruise on the 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 Carnival Pride out of Baltimore to 'Florida and the Bahamas'. It was the most relaxing and fun vacation I have had in years. Carnival spoiled me, and I would cruise with them again. However, just so you know, this was my very first cruise and I have nothing to compare it with. I cruised solo, so my perspective may be quite different from most who have cruised before. This review may help those who have never been on the Carnival Pride, or those who have never cruised, or for someone thinking about cruising solo for the first time. And another FYI: my review is a long read, with in a ship log style, so if you do not have time to read all of it, that would be completely understandable. Caveats out of the way, here we go.................. It was one of my all-time favorite vacations. Easy drive there, easy embankment, nice state-room, balcony, great service by most of the staff, wonderful entertainment, relaxing serenity deck, plenty of food, and most of all a grand comfortable ship. It is a great product in a great location for me. I have shared my photos and videos with friends, coworkers and family, and have recommended the Carnival Pride for their next vacation. I cannot wait until I am aboard again! Here are just three questions from the online 'Carnival Exit Survey' I was emailed to take after I got home, along with my answers to them: Did anything happen during your cruise that surprised you in a negative way? I did not like the poorly organized Nassau Excursions on the pier. I did not like the David's Steak House service on New Year's Eve - the waitress could not speak English very well, and it was very difficult to communicate with her. I Did not like the Pizza Cafe, as there was no one there to take my order, and when he finally showed up, there were too many kids butting in line. The TV in room was old and hard to see. My bed was too hard and made my back stiff in the mornings. The 'Singles Meet and Greets' were poorly organized and poorly attended. Did anything happen during your cruise that surprised you in a positive way? Housekeeping staff was excellent, especially Angel on Deck 8. I really liked the Adult Only Serenity Deck, just need to try preventing 'all' kids off of it at 'all' times. I really enjoyed my balcony, but did not like the one side that had spaces big enough for those on the balcony next to mine to see into my room. The Taj Mahal Shows were very entertaining, as well as most of the comedians. The Normandie Restaurant staff was excellent, especially Edwardo(sp?) who told me he had been with Carnival for nearly 15 years, and was very professional and friendly. Would you like to recognize members of the Carnival team who went out of their way to make your experience special? Angel -- My Room Steward on 8th deck -- he was always around and ready to please. Eduardo(sp?) my usual server in Normandie - he was a true professional who was very friendly and always made me feel comfortable dinning alone. Eric - Assistant Entertainment Director - funny and organized. The Waitress in Ivory Lounge - competent and very friendly. Jennifer the Karaoke Lady - who was very friendly and organized. Casino Helper guy who assisted me with cashing out my winnings. All of the Library Internet Helpers. With all of that said, below is my personal daily ship log (with likes and dislikes) in chronological order. 1ST Day Sunday Christmas 12-25-11: I left my house around 10:45 am and drove down I-95 from Wilmington, DE, arriving at the Baltimore, MD Port around Noon (about 1 hour-15 minutes). There was some holiday traffic, but it moved well, as many just passed me while I drove most of the way in the far right slow lane. The exit (#55) to the port off I-95 was the first right after the Baltimore Tunnel. I took the first left at the first light, but I must warn you that there is no sign at the light for the Port. Once in the Port Parking Lot I moved swiftly to the double car lanes to drop off checked luggage, but had to wait about twenty minutes behind 10-15 cars in front of me. Once past luggage drop off, I chose the cash parking line as there was no one in front me there. However, the credit card choice to park had about 15 cars and a long wait from what I could tell. I found a good parking spot near the middle and made my way into the terminal, through the security line(snuck in booze with no problem), and then waited in a long line that moved quickly for check in. Once I was parked, it took about 30 minutes to make it onto the ship. It was quite fast considering all the people in front of me. Once on the ship (after a long up hill gangway) about 1:00pm, I followed the line of people in front of me into the Normandie Dinning room on the same level (Deck 3). It was almost like they shoed us into it. I ate a nice lunch (Pasta) with several others at a long table near a big window. I went to the Library after lunch to purchase my Internet Time (4 hours -- of which I only used about 2.5 hours the entire cruise). About 3:00pm I went to my state room (8168) to see if it was ready. They were in the room finishing it up. My big luggage bag was outside my room, and was carried in by my Steward (Angel). He spoke great English and was very friendly and helpful throughout the entire cruise. I saw him almost everyday, sometimes two or three times a day on my floor. My safe did not work, so he called for help and a maintenance guy had it fixed in about an hour. That was the only problem I had with the room the entire time. The shower was plenty big and the water plenty hot. Everything worked well, but the TV was old and hard to see with my middle aged eyes. The extended balcony was everything I thought it would be and I got plenty of use out of it, just relaxing on it and taking great pictures coming into and out of port of calls. The room was plenty big for just one person, and should also be for two people. I would not want to be in it with any kids though. The bed was a bit hard for me, but the pillows were big and puffy. I took a short nap, unpacked and went to a nice dinner in the main dinning Normandie Restaurant, seated by alone at one of those small tables for two along the upper level center rail. After Dinner I went to the 6:00pm show in the Taj Mahal Theatre. Cannot remember which one it was, but they were all good. Afterward, I went to the Ivory Piano Bar and sang along with Roger the Piano Man, who was very good, but had to laugh a few times at his Asian accent singing Elton John songs, and other such soft rock artists' pop tunes. Most people sitting at the bar and in the lounge sang along with him as well. So, it was fun. After that I attended the late Adult comedy show, and sat and drank with two single ladies. We laughed a lot at Eric the Assistant Cruise Director, but I must warn you, he is by far the raunchiest of all the comedians (5 in total I believe). I finished up in the casino with a nightcap and won some money on the slots (came out ahead for the entire cruise on both slots and poker). I met some young fellows at the casino from Canada, and another one in the U.S. Army on leave. I bedded down around 2:30am exhausted from a long, but unique, Christmas Day. 2nd Day Monday 12-26-11: Woke up around 10:30am, ate a continental breakfast (I ordered it from a menu card that I hang on my door knob each night) received from room service earlier in the morning (bagels are small and danish is dry, but the rest is great, especially the fresh fruit). I showered, and then checked my sign and sail account on the TV. Put away the rest of my packed items. Sat on my extended balcony for awhile, then went to lunch (Spaghetti with meatballs -- very good) around 12:30pm in the Normandie restaurant, and sat with 3 couples (we all talked about our first night on board, none of which did what I did). I then explored every level of the ship and took photos of each deck. I laid out on the Lido Deck Serenity Pool area (about 68 degrees outside and a little windy). About 4:00pm I went down to my room and took a one hour power nap. I woke up and showered again before dressing up in my suit for the first 'Formal' night in the Normandie restaurant. I was seated alone again around 6:45pm, and eat a wonderful meal of crab-cake and prime rib (asked for a second crab cake and received it). Ordered the famous Chocolate Melting Cake for desert and it is everything it is billed to be, and then some. I went back to my room after dinner and changed out of my suit and tie and into a collared pull-over, and slacks. I attended the late Vroom Show in the Taj Mahal, and it was the best of all the shows, imho. I went to the Singles Meet and Greet at the Atrium Bar -- what a waste of time. There were about eight people there, and it broke up about a half hour later. I was asked by one woman to go dancing in the Beauties Dance Club, but responded to her that I do not dance much, and off she went without a chance for me to offer an alternative option. Maybe I should have followed her -- oh well, there were other opportunities to come that were much better ;-) I then went to the Starry Nights Lounge for Karaoke, and was pleasantly surprised by all the talented guest on the ship who could actually hold a tune. Finished up the night in the casino where I lost at Poker, but won at the slots to finish ahead for the night. I was in bed by 1:30am or so. My state-room (8168) was right under the Lido Deck Stage, so I had to use ear plugs some nights due to the loud thumping and chair dragging right above my bed. Not a big problem though, as long as you have ear plugs. 3rd Day Tuesday 12-27-11: I got out of bed around 9:30am. I checked my sail and sign card account, then sat on the balcony and ate the continental breakfast I received earlier that morning via room service. The outside temperature was already 72 degrees. I starting writing this log on the balcony, but did not finish it until a few days after the cruise ended. I went down to Guest Services to clear up a discrepancy I found on my S&S card account(they fixed it quickly), and then went to the library to check email. I ate lunch on the Lido deck Deli around 12:30pm (Had the Grilled Ham & Cheese -- it had not been not heated up long enough, but was edible). I laid out on the Serenity Deck by the pool until around 2pm, then went over to the Apollo Pool to watch the hairy chest contest( It was kind of funny, but tacky as expected, and of course the wrong guy won, imho). I went down to the Taj Mahal around 4:00pm and watched the Wedding Game (very entertaining and funny). I went to the Photo Gallery and purchased three of the photos taken of me by Carnival; the main portrait they take during embankment, and from the first two dinners, including the formal ($11.50 each). I took a quick nap on my balcony, then down to the 7:00pm Juggler show in the Taj Mahal. It was one of the America's Got Talent Contestants last season, and he was very good, not to mention hilarious). I went to the Internet Cafe for a short check on email (was expecting something important in my inbox). Had a quick dinner in Normandie around 8:45pm (Fried Chicken and Mash Potatoes -- not very good). I went to the Butterfly Lounge to see the 9:45pm Adult Comedian Show (a middle aged comedian who looked, and sounded, like Dice Clay (he was very funny). Ended the night at the Perfect Game Sports Bar watching an NBA game, and won $40 on the bar top virtual poker game. I was in bed and asleep by midnight. 4th Day Wednesday 12-28-12: I woke up at 6:00am to the 'room service guy' knocking at my door, and eat the continental breakfast before going down to the deck 3 gangway for the 8:30am Port Canaveral Excursion to the Kennedy Space Center (very organized and interesting tour, but a lot of walking). I especially liked seeing the Hubble 3D IMAX movie). Had lunch at one of the park's cafeterias and was back on ship around 4:00pm). I went to my room and sat on my balcony as it was such a nice day out, and took photos of the port and was able to zoom in on the Kennedy Space Center with my camera. My balcony was a nice way to rest my weary feet after a lot of walking that day. I took another shower and went to my 6:00pm reservation at David's Steak House. I ordered the spinach salad, which was really good, and then had the surf and turf (4oz of tender filet, and two succulent lobster tails). I had two glasses of fine Cabernet Sauvignon to wash it all down with. The only alcohol I had that night. And I finished with the biggest slice of cheese cake I have ever been served that I could only eat about half of. David's Steak House is a must on the Pride. It is at the top of the ship with large windows overlooking the ocean. The service that night was impeccable, but no so on the last night, as I will explain later. I went to the Taj Mahal for the 7:30pm Trivia Competition Show (guessing songs on a few notes). It was very entertaining. I met a nice woman there and we teamed up to come in nearly last place, but it was a blast. We stuck around for the Liars Club Show (really just a knock off of the old truth or consequences TV game show). That was not as entertaining, but we stuck it out through the end. I went back to my room early, watched a pay per view movie and was asleep by 11:30pm, only to be awakened just after midnight to loud thumping coming from above me. Apparently there was a midnight rock it out party on the lido deck stage that lasted until 3am. I put in a pair of ear plugs that allowed me to drown out the late night revelers. In addition to the thumping there was some chair dragging above my room on the lido deck at all hours during the entire cruise, but it didn't bother me too much. If you are on the 8th deck (Panoramic), make sure you bring ear plugs to sleep. 5th Day Thursday 12-29-12: I got up around 7:30am to the knock on the door by room service bringing my daily continental breakfast. I showered and packed a small backpack for the quickly back to the ship in beachwear and flip flops, making it ba'Nassau Bus Tour and Beach' Excursion. I left the ship earlier than I needed to, as I set my clock to Atlantic Time thinking Nassau was on it, but I was informed later they were still on Eastern Time. So, I was the first one off the ship, as I walked up the long dock, then up the long pier to the terminal. Once I realized my ship excursion tour guide was no where to be found, I walked all the way back to the ship to find several tour guides now just outside of the gangway with signs directing a thousand or so shipmates to each respective excursion. It was chaos, but eventually they put it all together and walked us in different lines to the terminal and to our respective buses. After that bad experience, my tour and beach day were great. My Nassau Tour was informative, and the beach was nice. However, be warned that the guide will ask for tips when you depart the bus at the beach, and then again later at the terminal at final drop off. The Poop Deck Restaurant next to the beach had good 'Conch Chowder' and sandwiches for lunch. They dropped us off at the terminal around 3:30pm, and I walked over to the Green Turtle Sports Bar about a block away to watch the Notre Dame Bowl Game. I drank there with some Locals until about 9pm when they reminded me I had to be back to the ship before 9:30pm. I walked very ck just in time before the ship set sail again. I changed out of my beachwear and into my nightly garb and went to the Ivory Bar for another sing-along with Roger the Asian Piano Man. I left there after another great sing-along with a packed lounge, and went to the Butterfly Lounge for the team competition. I teamed up with a woman a little older than me, and a married couple in the 30s sitting near me. At one point the women had to take their bras off under their shirts and the men had to take off our shirts and wear their bras onto the stage. There were several bare chested men with bras all lined up on the stage competing for the grand prize. Some middle aged Asian fellow won the competition (a bottle of Champagne) by doing some pretty crazy acts on stage. It was a lot of wild drunken fun that night. Stayed at Butterflies for the Karaoke All-Stars singing with the Ship Band at Midnight, but only stayed a little while due to the sudden realization I had not had any dinner yet, so I stumbled back to my state-room for a very late supper via room service. I fell asleep around 1:30am after a very long day and night. 6th Day Friday 12/30/12: I woke up early again for some reason. The bright sunrise blasted into my room around 7:00am and my balcony was calling me to watch it with a cup of tea. Room service arrived about an hour later, which I ate on the balcony while we pulled into Freeport. I showered and was off the ship around 10:00am. I did not have an excursion purchased for Freeport, so I just walked around the dockside straw market and took some photos. I went back to the Library to check email around noon. The Mermaid Grille Buffet lines were too long again, so I ate a late lunch on the lido deck Deli again (Reuben and slaw), then a quick swim in the Poseidon Pool. I laid out on the Serenity Adult Deck until about 2pm., before heading back to my balcony, as we left port around 3pm. It was so sunny and warm that day that the photos and videos of leaving port came out phenomenal. It was the most relaxing afternoon of the cruise; while sitting on my balcony watching us leave port and making our way back out to sea again for the long trip back to Baltimore. I went to an early dinner at Normandie(Tilapia -- overcooked), and that deliciously famous chocolate melting cake with two ice creams this time, and a cappuccino as I was not drinking after last night's Nassau Drunkfest! Went to the Taj Mahal Theater at 8:30pm to see the Jazzin Show, and although not as good as the Vroom Show, it was very entertaining, with some very good dancing. I went to the 9:45pm Adult Comedy show and met a couple of single ladies, as we watched what I thought were two only moderately funny comedians, with an hour break in between them. The last comedian was announced as being on the Oprah Winfrey Show. I was back in my room late and fell asleep around 3am. 7th Day Saturday 12/31/11: I was out of bed around 9:30am. I ate some leftovers in my fridge from a previous room service(s) for breakfast, as I forgot to fill out the breakfast card last night. I reviewed the debarkation handout and watched the TV version as well, then showered and went down to the Library to check email again. I went up to the Lido Deck Apollo Pool as there were very few kids up there for some reason, and laid out there until about 1:30pm. I tried getting a late lunch in Mermaids Grille, but only the Pizza Cafe was open. I stood in line for a few minutes before a bunch of kids came running up to the counter and butted in line again, so I went back to my room and ordered room service (Cornbeef on Rye and Chips, with some assorted chocolate chip cookies -- yummy). I sat on my balcony for an hour or so. I went down to the casino to cash out my winnings around 3:30pm, and then I purchased the Voyage DVD at the Photo Shop. I went to the FAIRWELL Party (free drinks -- and they were 'not' watered down) in the Taj Mahal and sat with the two single ladies I met the night before. The three of us then went to the Starry Night lounge for Karaoke until about 8:00pm. I went back to my room to pack and leave my checked luggage outside my room, and to change into more formal wear to rejoin the two ladies at David's Steak House for dinner for a 9:15pm reservation (the service was very bad this time there as the waitress could not speak English well -- but the food was superb -- had the excellent spinach salad again, and a 14oz New York Strip I could not finish, even with no desert). After Dinner I went up to the Lido Deck Stage for the New Years Celebration, and back to my room not too long after to get a good night's rest before debarkation the next morning. 8th Day Sunday New Years Day 01/01/12: The alarm went off early at 6:30am. I got up with another well deserved hangover, took a long hot shower, got into whatever clothes I had left over, and went down to the Normandie Restaurant for my first hot breakfast of the cruise. I came back up to the room and packed my carry-on bag, and was out of the room by 8:45am and down to one of the debarkation waiting areas(I chose the Taj Mahal as it had a big movie screen with ESPN providing highlights of the bowl games). My Zone 7 was called earlier than scheduled (around 11am), and I walked to the gangway, down it in a long but quick line, through customs very quickly, and found my checked bag quickly, and rolled it out to my vehicle in the parking lot; all in less than an hour. I was on the road before noon, but I would be remiss if I did not warn you about the poor signage for I-95 northbound drivers. The left hand turn you need to make does not have a sign posted to instruct you to do so at the traffic light. Just know when you come upon the first traffic light to turn left to make your way to the I-95 North entrance ramp. It's almost like a u-turn headed back the terminal. The drive home was as easy as the drive down, making it from Terminal to Home in about and hour and fifteen minutes. If you live within driving distance of the Baltimore Port, it is a no-brainer to book a cruise out of it on the Carnival Pride. I may try Royal Caribbean (RCL) out of Baltimore next, to compare the two. I don't know though, as it will be hard to beat the PRIDE for me! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
There was four of us going on this cruise. My mother and her mother (my grandmother) were in one cabin. My boyfriend and I stayed in another cabin. Embarkation- We were on the ship within 20mins. of getting in line!! Cabins- ... Read More
There was four of us going on this cruise. My mother and her mother (my grandmother) were in one cabin. My boyfriend and I stayed in another cabin. Embarkation- We were on the ship within 20mins. of getting in line!! Cabins- Together we occupied cabins R11 and R19. R11 is a porthole in the fwd. starboard part of the ship. R19 is a interior "sideways" room in the fwd. starboard part of the ship. Our cabins were GREAT. The sideways room had a lot more room to walk around in the room. This factor alone made the room seem MUCH bigger. BEWARE: If the two beds are placed together in the sideways room then I think the room would seem MUCH SMALLER. Room Steward- What an amazing "team" of people!! Our rooms were clean and fresh. I loved coming in every night and having my bed sheets turned down. My pillows were fluffed, there was an amazing towel animal every night, and the beds are AMAZINGLY soft! We brought two of our own pillows just because I like my own and every night the steward would place our pillows on the bed. Food- The Lido was really good at times. The grill has extremely good hamburgers and the Wok is always a treat. I know I was on a News Year cruise but a lot of the food I thought was going to be on this cruise wasn't. The bacon mac-n- cheese was never on the menu in the main dinning room, nor the bitter and blanc, or cappuccino pie. However, we did have other foods such as chilled champagne soup (which was excellent). The 24-hour pizza was good and I NEVER went hungry. Room service was always quick and was good for a late night snack when I didn't feel like going to get pizza. We order breakfast to our room on port days which was a great idea. We were able to eat and get dressed. We were usually the 1st people off of the boat on port days so that we didn't need to spend the hottest part of the day on land. During the hottest part of the day we would come back to the boat and relax near the pool. We had plenty of time to shop and enjoy the beach. TV- Not a lot of channels but who goes on a cruise to watch TV? We enjoyed looking at the channel with the Lido camera. This allowed us to know how crowded the Lido was before we went searching for chairs. Rough Seas- Our 2nd to last night we had rough seas. I wasn't sea sick until this night. When you see the ship you can see how far up the porthole is from the bottom of the ship. This night the waves were covering the porthole window (the made a gurgling sound that made my stomach roll). I NEVER felt the ship movement until this night. Comedy Show- HOW FREAKIN FUNNY!!! I had such a good time! WARNING- Don't go to the Children shows and the adult shows. These shows are the exact same jokes with cuss words and sex added for the adult show. I still cannot figure out why they have not moved the shows in the Universal Lounge. The Forum Lounge is to small for such a large crowd. Every show people had to sit in the floor and stand. It's time to move the shows to a bigger spot!! The Shows- AMAZING! The lead singers were excellent and was very professional.There was nothing amateur about them. Debarkation- Went VERY smooth! We were off the ship and on the hotel shuttle within 15mins. of leaving the room. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
The boarding process in Port Canaveral was the smoothest of any cruise we have been on. We checked most of our luggage with the porters & carried on the rest of our bags. Our room (E51) was ready promptly at 1:15 as promised. My ... Read More
The boarding process in Port Canaveral was the smoothest of any cruise we have been on. We checked most of our luggage with the porters & carried on the rest of our bags. Our room (E51) was ready promptly at 1:15 as promised. My children(ages 8 & 12) were very excited to have a cabin with a window. Our room & the rest of the ship was immaculate. I had read some reviews saying how old & run down the ship was. The bright color changing walls in the atrium didn't bother us in the least. It is truly a fun ship! We did the anytime dining & were fine with having to wait a few minutes before being seated. We met some friends & wanted to dine with them on ew Year's Eve & after some very persuasive begging, they were able to seat our friend with us even though they had the early dining in another dining room. The fun energy on the Lido deck leading up to the countdow of 2011 was phenomenal! We will definitely do another NYE cruise. Food was great. Lines to the MongolianWok were always longer than any other, but didn't bother us at all.:) Half Moon Cay was our second stop. It was by far, the best ever excursion we have ever experienced! We rented the cabana(#11) & loved everything about it. My husband who is fair skinned much appreciated the shade with fans, not to mention the snacks & drinks that came with the cabana rental. Having our snorkel gear & swim mats all ready for us, was a big plus! This was well worth the money. We stayed the entire day & were on the very last ferry back to the boat. Staff very friendly & helpful. There are only 15 or so cabanas, so book early. Great thing was the seclusion from the other thousands of guests. :)) Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Three friends and I have just returned from the Norwegian Jewel cruise to the Bahamas from December 31st 2011 to January 6th, 2012. First off, the good news: 1. The Norwegian Jewel is a very comfortable, easy ship to navigate ... Read More
Three friends and I have just returned from the Norwegian Jewel cruise to the Bahamas from December 31st 2011 to January 6th, 2012. First off, the good news: 1. The Norwegian Jewel is a very comfortable, easy ship to navigate around in. It didn't take long to find your way around and the deck levels are situated nicely. There are plenty of places to find food, comfort and excitement. But watch out that the Mongolian Hot Pot and Bar City do not have any signs on the ship to let you know where they are actually located. 2. The staff is incredibly friendly (especially the bar staff) and the food is quite good. The famous "washy-washy, happy-happy" girls always brighten up even the dreariest of days. And that's good, because the weather was terrible for this trip. But, I don't hold the cruise ship accountable for that. There was plenty to do on-board since the sun decided not to shine and we did not get to dock at Great Stirrup Cay, since the waters were so rough. But, the staff made it nice to be on the ship. The best servers were at Bar City and the Star Bar. And Spinnaker Lounge had great entertainment BEHIND the bar! 3. The food was excellent. I have read some reviews here that the food was bad, but I just don't agree. The food was better than on Carnival. So what if you have to pay an extra ten dollars to eat Chinese at the Chin Chin? It's well worth the "all you can eat" that is included. The free buffet had an excellent diversity of good quality, hot and fresh offerings, which changed daily. Breakfast was pretty much the same every day, but still very good and diverse. 4. The entertainment was outstanding at the Stardust theater. The Jewel dancers were quite good and the singers had possibly the best vocal talents of any cruise ships I have been on. Duo Elegia was OUTSTANDING!!! They are an acrobatic act that just blew us all away! They should be performing in Vegas! And although the cruise director "Dan the Man" was very annoying, we have to give him credit for booking such great talent. We loved "The Fountain" show. Very funny. 5. The staterooms are great. The beds are the most comfortable beds we've slept on in a cruise ship. The stewards take great care of you. Now the bad: 1. Beware of roving gangs of drunken, under-age teens once the sun goes down. I have no idea where security was, but we saw the same group of six under-age teenagers totally wasted throughout the entire cruise. They were obnoxious, rude and downright hostile. They were bribing other (naive) guest with cash to buy them drinks, putting the bill on the (naive) stranger's stateroom card! They would get discovered in one bar and then they would just go to another and do the same thing. They mostly went up to young girls and told them that they had "lost their card." We thought that by the end of the cruise they would be caught, but on the final night, they were in the Spinnaker Lounge already drunk and yelling out obscenities at everyone. Nothing was ever done about it, even though we had mentioned it to the staff. 2. Everything seemed to be about getting more money out of you. We all went to Bingo one day and during the entire game, all the "caller" did was market to us about how to spend more money. We just wanted to play a nice, relaxing game of Bingo, but we just kept being inundated with "Buy these game tickets!" and "Make sure you go and buy things in our duty-free shop!" and "Remember the artwork auction downstairs!" Everything was being marketed ALL THE TIME. It was annoying! In addition, watch out for false advertisements. They lure you in with statements like "Play Bingo for only ten dollars and get a chance to win our jackpot of over $7,000!" But, when you get there, you only get one card for ten dollars and they try to sell you additional cards for a lot more money. 3. Beware of the Bahama excursions. We booked the "Sea and See" excursion and it was pretty bad. The boat they put us on was an old, rickety, oily thing. We were told that we could not sit on the back seat (it was falling apart!). The tour guide had no microphone, so he screamed at us through the entire tour. The people in the front got spat upon and the people in the back couldn't hear a thing. We met a couple that had rented scooters and toured the entire island by themselves and they said they had a great time (although Norwegian specifically discourages this, since they make no money from that). 4. If you want to enjoy the buffet at the Garden Cafe, make sure to get there very early or very late. Any time in-between and you will not be able to find a seat to eat. There are just not enough tables to accommodate all of guests. All in all, the cruise was enjoyable, but I am not sure that I would travel with them again. I'll have to try out some more cruise lines to see how they compare. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
The embarkation and disembarkation was done perfectly without any wait time. Well done. The ship was probably sold out but we did not check with the captain on the number of passengers. The ship was always crowded no matter where we went. ... Read More
The embarkation and disembarkation was done perfectly without any wait time. Well done. The ship was probably sold out but we did not check with the captain on the number of passengers. The ship was always crowded no matter where we went. Dining room, promenade, buffet, any public area, it did feel like a holiday cruise, but somehow I wished it could be a little bit less crowded. The Promenade is beautifully decorated. Dining room food was good, although not exceptional. However, service was extremely good with a Caribbean team (our waiter is from Trinidad and our assistant waitress is from Dominican). Considering we had a group of ten and a large table is usually hard to serve, they really did a great job and we had very good dining experience. RCCL's ice show was always a sold out show so we were asked to obtain ticket on the first night. One member of our group went and waited in line for more than 30 minutes to get our tickets, why could they not let us do the booking on the interactive TV? Or let us reserve our seat online like the other RCCL ships (Allure and Oasis)? Due to the ice show time at 7 pm and our dinner time at 6 pm, we made a special request a day before for an expedited dinner service. We were extremely pleased with the service we got and we did not even miss the dessert and still on time to watch the ice show, well done. There were very good musicians onboard, we like the Latin band Mambo Cliente and the Filipino quartet called New Version the most. Unfortunately they were assigned to two very tiny lounges to play most of the time. Mambo Cliente played at the Aquarium Lounge the most while The New Version Quartet played at the Dizzy Lounge the most. Both lounges were too small to accommodate the number of passengers who wanted to dance. NYE celebration: well done with all the novelty and free champagne, the Promenade was flooded with people, luckily no stampede.... The less than perfects: dining room food quality was less than perfect, it was good, but we felt the cut back. Fish served were not top quality fish, meat dishes were good, but again, did not feel like AAA grade. The buffet food was even less appealing and always crowded. Not enough server to clean the table (since we just got off the Emerald Princess's xmas cruise, that was such a cultural shock to have such a huge difference in the food and service quality). They freq made public announcement asking passengers to leave their table when they were done so other passengers can have a seat. That was so annoying and prob a major design fraud. Activities: outdoor activities were plentiful, but limited to weather as the ship sails out from Bayonne. Indoor activities were limited, we were surprised there were no line dance nor dance lessons on the last sea days, making the last day so boring as we were not shoppers. It seems RCCL is always pushing people to buy buy buy. I did buy some stuff from the stores, including two pairs of costume earrings. When I noticed one pair was defected, I took it back and wanted a refund (right away on the same day), I was told they cannot do a refund, and I had to buy something else more expensive. I did, but the clerk was doing a refund first for the defected item (then why was I told no refund) and then another sales slip for the new item. Internet : A major disappointment, first of all, we cannot have wifi in the cabin, we have to be in the public rooms where it was a hot spot to do our emails and internet surfing. Secondly, its slow (OK, its slow probably on other ships too) and to log on you need at least 2-3 minutes, if you realized you were not getting the internet, you wasted 2-3 minutes time (at 65 cents a minute). I bought a package (at 55 cents a minute), and two occasions, before my package ran out, I was charged additional money for internet access. I had to go to Guest Service, line up, and talked to an agent so he can revert the charge. That was such a waste of time. Lastly, on the last day, from mid afternoon, internet service was off and on often. From 10 pm, virtually no internet service. I still had over $12 worth of internet time left, which I intended to use on the last day to check weather and possible flight delays. Guess what, no internet service on the disembarkation day neither, what a scam. I wrote a complain letter, brought it to the Guest Service, and was only told that it will be handed to the appropriate department. Earlier in the cruise, we wrote a suggestion to have the Maharajas lounge to house the two music groups (Mamba Cliente, and New Version Quartet) for listening and dancing pleasure as the other lounges (Aquarium, Dizzy) were too small to accommodate people who wanted to enjoy the music and did a little bit of dancing. Someone called us the last day from Guest Relation, and asked if I were the one who wrote the suggestion, I said yes, and that was it. No action was taken, no additional words were said, so what was the point of having us writing comments? Port: Bayonne really has nothing to offer, its difficult to get to, and nothing to do if you want to go out after registration. Port: Port Canaveral has nothing to offer at the terminal, you either have to take a taxi to a beach or join an excursion   Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
As a seasoned cruiser, I have been on Regent Seven seas, Holland America, NCL, Costa, Royal Caribbean, Homelines, Carnival before, celebrity and mostly Princess; 20 cruises in all. I love Holland America but can usually get a balcony ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser, I have been on Regent Seven seas, Holland America, NCL, Costa, Royal Caribbean, Homelines, Carnival before, celebrity and mostly Princess; 20 cruises in all. I love Holland America but can usually get a balcony cheaper on Princess because they have bigger ships with more balconies. So I am happy to report I have been spoiled by cruising. My husband and I decided to take the Christmas cruise because we can afford to be away easily during the holiday week. We are so blessed now to have a cruise terminal in Baltimore, so we booked the Pride. I was so surprised that the ship is similar to the Crown, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald of Princess. We decided to book an aft balcony cabin. We had been upgraded to one years ago and really enjoyed it. The one before was three times the size of ours on the Pride, but it was big enough. A great choice. Just know that 5297 and 5299 are regular size balconies, just off the back of the ship. We were concerned about all the children that were to be on board. I found out later that there were 700, we never saw them after the first day. Carnival does a great job keeping them occupied. Loved our cabin and it's location. The food in the diningroom was great but some nights there was nothing on the menu I cared for. We have always looked to the Lido to save us if we feel this way, but on the Pride, the hot food served on the Lido deck is the same as the diningroom. You do have the pizza cafe, the salad bar or the grill if you want a burger but was disappointed that we did not have more choices. The first formal night we went to David's Steakhouse. The food and the service was excellent BUT they would not allow us to bring our left over steak back to our cabin to be eaten the next day. It had to be disposed of. Remember this so that you do not over order. It was a shame. However, I checked my refrigerator back in the cabin and found out that it did not keep things very cold. So I see theri point, however, I would like them to change this policy and give us mini frigs to hold our left overs. We also paid $30 each extra, so we felt we should be able to take our leftovers. My husband and I are not big entertainment people. We like to read, gamble and turn in early. The casino was the best I have ever experienced on the high seas. I had a wonderful time. The servers in the casino are attentive and learn your name quickly. Cabin steward was ok. I liked my towel surprises but he forgot lots of things like no glasses the first day with a full ice bucket. The cabin did not have a book that had info about the spa, etc. We requested one but it never appeared. He forgot to leave a breakfast menu twice and one time I made one up on a scrap of paper. His helpers were wonderful.Room service was awesome. I did not think the people in the stores were very friendly. The ship had sent our a picture of the tee shirts that they were selling. I wanted two specifically. I went to the store and looked around but could not find the two designs advertised. When I asked about them, the young man told me I had to come back each day to see which ones they put out. He was so nasty. I did go back every day but I did not want to because I did not want to be treated that way again. The people in the jewelry store ignored you. They hung together talking and when you asked to see something in the case, they seemed annoyed. If you did not buy what you looked at the first day, they would hound you when you came in later about what you looked at before. Kept me from buying alot, so I saved money. Other than these examples, the staff on board was top knotch. The service, food and ship itself was as good as all of he other cruise lines I have taken in the past, including Regent. I was just on that cruise in November. We did not take excursions, so I cannot discuss them but in most cases, we walk off the ship and find something to do ourselves unless we are far from what we want to see and have to book an excursion to get there. Would I take this ship again, YOU BET!! It is in my back yard and the prices other than during the holidays are excellent. I now know the ship well and will be right at home when I return. I plan to do so soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Background We are a married couple in our late 30's. This was our 7th cruise having sailed with RCCI, Disney, NCL and Princess. We have sailed in suites, oceanviews, balconies and interior staterooms and recently decided that if it ... Read More
Background We are a married couple in our late 30's. This was our 7th cruise having sailed with RCCI, Disney, NCL and Princess. We have sailed in suites, oceanviews, balconies and interior staterooms and recently decided that if it means we can sail more often we will stick with the interior rooms. This was our 2nd cruise with RCCI. Embarkation The port of Baltimore was extremely easy to drive to from Southwestern Ontario. We stayed one night at the Hunt Valley Marriott ($50 on Priceline) and drove to the port Saturday morning. It took a total of 30 minutes to get to the port followed by dropping off the luggage and then parking. We were in the terminal within 50 minutes of leaving the hotel and checked in within minutes after that. We were on the ship by around 11:30 a.m. and headed straight to the Solarium. We found a seat and headed to the Windjammer to pick up a light lunch. There was a very nice salad bar that included many fresh cut veggies, meat and an excellent selection of dressings. We took our food back to the Solarium and had a nice quiet lunch. Stateroom We booked in November right before Thanksgiving. We booked an interior guarantee cabin and ended up with cabin 8051 a large interior stateroom. We were in the room by 1:30 and were pleasantly surprised with the cabin. It was spacious, had a large closet, vanity, TV and a small loveseat. Everything was clean and the bed was extremely comfy. Overall the stateroom was perfect for us. Overall Impression of the Ship The Enchantment is an older ship but we found no issues with this. The furniture appears to be a bit outdated but all is in good condition and very comfortable. The ship was still decorated for Christmas and it was very pretty. The pool areas were clean and well kept as were all of the bars, public areas, washrooms, casino, decks etc. Overall we had a great initial reaction to the ship. Food We ate dinner in the main restaurant every night. We did not have one bad meal and found the steaks to be absolutely delicious. There was always a wide variety and the desserts, especially the sugar free ones, were extremely tasty. I would rate the dining room food at dinner as above average. The breakfast in the restaurant was another story. We ate their only once for breakfast and the food was cold, stale and basically not worth the time. We stuck to the Windjammer for breakfast and mainly ate from the omelette station which was fabulous. There were barely any lines to wait in and the omelettes were well worth the wait. Lunch was also mainly in the Windjammer although the restaurant did have an amazing salad station. You got to pick your greens, meats, veggies, dressing etc. It was very good. My only complaint with the food is that the buffet closes at 9 pm. You can get room service until midnight for free or for a charge of $3.95 after midnight. The menu is extremely limited. You can also get burgers, fries, pizza and hot dogs in the Solarium from 10 pm until 2 am. The pizza was very tasty. My other issue with the buffet closing is that it is hard to find a coffee after 9 pm and since I like coffee I was a bit annoyed with this. You can pay for Starbucks coffee at Latte-tudes until 11:30pm if you are willing to pay. You can also get Ben and Jerry's ice cream there for a fee but the desserts there are included in your cruise fare. Don't miss out on these desserts; they were some of the best on the ship. And for all the cookie lovers out there.....don't miss out on all of the delectable cookies available. My personal favourites were the sugar free cookies but they were all good! Activities There were 2 main production shows and 2 small production shows on the first and last nights. The dancers are extremely talented and 1 of the female singers was amazing. The other singers were OK but nothing special. There was a magician (nothing that you haven't seen before) a comedian whose jokes were the same as my 16 year old son will tell and Jay Johnson the most amazing ventriloquist who was the best entertainment on the ship. On the final 2 nights there was another comedian who was from Seattle and he was hilarious. There was your typical other activities such as trivia (which we love), games, bingo, karaoke etc. Overall there was a good variety of entertainment and we were never bored. There were a couple of days where they could have had more activities but overall it was very good. Crew Our cabin steward Jimmy from Grenada was very personable and did an excellent job of keeping our cabin clean and stocked with ice. We chatted briefly with him a couple of times and he did an excellent job. Our waitress for dinner was Cherie and her assistant Natalie. Both were pleasant but not overly special in any way. The rest of the staff was pleasant although some seemed like they needed a trip home. Mitch Marucci was the Cruise Director. When we saw him he was funny and spunky but other than the shows, The Love and Marriage Game Show and Quest we never saw him anywhere on the ship. His staff was probably the most boring except for one guy whose name I can't remember of course! Ports We did not book this for the itinerary as it was a Bahamas cruise with stops in Port Canaveral, Nassau and Coco Cay. We ran into some cold weather and got stuck in Nassau for 2 days rather than going to Coco Cay. That was fine since it was cold anyway but I really did want to see Coco Cay. Also, the Captain said that the Majesty would also be staying in Nassau overnight as they were supposed to go to Coco Cay with us as well. In the morning the Majesty was gone and I can't help but wonder where they went. I would not go on another cruise going to the Bahamas in the winter again. The weather at home was almost as nice as we experienced in Bahamas. We did go to Junkaroo Beach in Nassau and would go there again. It was too cold to enjoy but since you can just walk there from the ship it is worth the walk. Debarkation We opted to carry our luggage off. We were in the car by 714 am! It was stress free and the easiest process ever. Overall Sailing out of Baltimore was excellent although I think Brooklyn was the best embarkation experience we ever had and that was with Princess. We will definitely sail out of Baltimore again and most likely on Enchantment of the Seas. Overall it was a good experience at a great price. Hopefully we will sail in the summer to Bermuda and can't wait to experience the Enchantment in nice weather. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We are cruiseaholics and this cruise was our first this year. We generally sail 2 to 3 sailings per year. We have sailed from Baltimore before, we have sailed Carnival before, first time on the Pride. Embarkation - We drove to Baltimore ... Read More
We are cruiseaholics and this cruise was our first this year. We generally sail 2 to 3 sailings per year. We have sailed from Baltimore before, we have sailed Carnival before, first time on the Pride. Embarkation - We drove to Baltimore and stayed in White Marsh 15 minutes from port, Hilton Garden Inn across from Hampton Inn. Easy drive to port but MUDST stay far right through toll and Key Tunnel for Exit as us IMMEDIATELY after exit from tunnel. Any other lane and you can't make exit. Doesn't get any easier, off exit two lefts and enter pier area. Can't miss it since ship is RIGHT THERE. Drive to luggage drop, then be directed to parking right there. HINT - credit card became 10 minute wait eventually, cash, no wait line. We went cash and were parked and in terminal in about 10 minutes. Since had VIP due to suite 6174 we were processed and boarded in 5 minutes as was starting. Cannot get to cabins until 2:30 however, head right for buffet. CABIN - Suite 6174 was excellent choice. I did a youtube video of some parts of cruise including walk through of suite as I am always looking for these before I book. More than enough closet and storage, great large balcony with lounge 4 chairs and table. Suite has jacuzzi tub and double sinks. Bea out steward(ess) was excellent. FOOD - Excellent in our opinion, loved buffet area though if you have sailed Miracle or Pride ships you know a bit of a walk between stations at times. Sandwich station, burgers, pizza, Asian ( very popular ) and general fare of course. DINING ROOM - Food again excellent staff extremely friendly, BUT that said. Service, local highway diner level. Crappy service with a big smile and a dance almost every night. We were traditional second seating and service is comparable to what we have found in other Carnival ships. Happy, nice servers with not much of a clue about dining room service standards on most lines. SHORTS, too many to count in dining room and it wasn't even warm. Many did dress for formal evening maybe 70%. Manuel heads Matri'd real nice guy, no control of dining room. We anticipated and not a problem since we presumed this would be the mode of trip. CASINO - nice staff machines where you can smoke are individually marked. Also if you obtain 1500 points you drink free while playing in casino. You get a card registered with Casino Manager to present to bar server. Only drink while playing and only one every 15 minutes. My wife earned her cards day 5 I think. Not a big benny for many but something new to us. Depends on how much you gamble and drink. Wife gamble every night, drinks one maybe two wines an evening while playing. GENERAL COMMENTS - Ship was FULL and very family oriented young and teenagers 800 kids on cruise that surprised us to some degree. Not problem for most part they were very well behaved and very well occupied. Last two nights a couple roving flip the do not disturb sign run through the halls kids but exception not rule. Did find two young 11 and 7 riding elevators and eating ice cream at 10:30 at night. Had to wonder about where parents were, such is life.Ship clean, staff wonderful, loved aft pool area ADULT ONLY and enforced thank you. SERENITY it is called and seats were nicely padded even had some hammocks. No charge simply designated adult area. Down side is that on Miracle used to be a great place at bar to smoke cigar while wife sunbathed. No more, no smoking. Have to go up a deck I was told, never bothered. SMOKERS - I stopped cigarettes over three years ago but still enjoy a cigar. There is one large lounge empty in daytime for most part forward next to coffee bar and just before main theatre that is smokers lounge, large ashtrays and cigar permitted. Starry Night Jazz lounge.. Smoking in casino signs say only if playing and only where designated. CANNOT smoke in cabins but can still smoke on balcony if you have one including cigars. Harder and harder for smokers. If I was still a cigarette smoker I could live with it but you can see the writing on the wall. Still I think ALL ships should have a cigar type bar and balconies should remain smoking, they are not on some ships now. Bottom line cruise was great but I think I will forego holiday cruises in the future, just too crowded. Still was on the bucket list so no complaints. Had minor bathroom maintaince problem, called desk respond and fix in MINUTES, impressive. Many Asians and Indians traveling, locals MD and PENN and NY mostly it seemed. PORTS - did Epcot ship excursion tad expensive but worth it for most part. Again busiest day of the year 12-28 hey actually closed entrance to three parks by afternoon. Never on holiday again :) DISEMBARKATION - Again easy enough, off by colored luggage tag, has VIP again so off grabbed porter at car in minutes and on highway. Carry off your own first as is offered on most now. MY Youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZoPgsSBJfs George IN NY Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
"Happy New Year 2012" - Embarkation is always so easy for us as we live only 10 minutes from the home port in Bayonne, NJ. A quick move through all the lines and we were in the Windjammer within a half hour enjoying our lunch. ... Read More
"Happy New Year 2012" - Embarkation is always so easy for us as we live only 10 minutes from the home port in Bayonne, NJ. A quick move through all the lines and we were in the Windjammer within a half hour enjoying our lunch. Although the boarding time is listed at 2pm it is always good to go earlier. We were surprised at how crowded the Winderjammer was at 12:30 - It took a while to find a table for my husband (68), my Daughter (44), her husband (46) and myself (64). This was our 3rd cruise - my daughter and her husband's first. We bragged so much after our 1st 2 cruises and tried to get all in the family to join us. It is hard though to set a time when all in the family can make it. Maybe next time. We again had an inside cabin, which is so much more affordable than any other selection. My daughter and her husband had a balcony, and after enjoying some time with them on their balcony, this would definitely be our choice on future cruises. An inside cabin is nice. We really don't spend that much time in our room, but you can't tell whether it is day or night without checking your watch. Food and Service was great. We had the early seating in the MDR but avoided the 2 formal nights - jut not our thing. We also missed the MDR when we went to the 5pm ice show, and couldn't make it in time to the MDR. We always enjoy the Windjammer buffet. The food is good and you always have a large selection of what you want to eat. We also made it one night to Johnny Rockets,and had a lot of fun dancing to Last Dance and YMCA with our waiter. The cheeseburgers and milk shakes were delicious. There is a small cover charge so be sure to check the prices before you go. No reservations needed. The Ice Show was so colorful and enjoyable. Somehow the guy who fell on his backside got the most applause. The comedian, John Wing, had us in stitches. His routine reminded me of the great George Carlin, where you have to think about what he is saying, and when you get it, you can't control your outburst of laughter. Now for the very negative - which cannot be controlled by Royal Carribean. The weather. Out of 7 days, I think we had 2 days of nice weather. In fact we had to skip our port of call at CoCoCay due to 35 knot winds. We wound up staying 2 days at Nassau, Bahamass, which wouldn't be so bad, but on the second day the wind was so bad, we had to stay on the ship. My daughter and her husband had arranged a snorkel adventure which was scheduled on the first day of docking at 2:15pm. But due to the fact the there was another ship in our slip, the Explorer did not dock until 4pm, and with just another hour of daylight left, the snorkeling was postponed until the following day at 9am. Then of course, due to the high winds, the snorkeling was cancelled the following day. They lugged their snorkeling gear on the cruise, but never got a chance to use it. There was a another ship docked nearby at Nassau Bahamas which damaged the dock and was damaged due to the high winds. There was a grand celebration for New Year's Eve in the Promenade, but not being a fan of crowded places, we chose to pass and spend a quiet night in our room. You can always watch the happenings on your stateroom tv. We previously have sailed in the fall of 2010, and although the sailing was right in the middle of a bad huricane season, we were lucky to have 5 beautiful days of sunshine and long days to Bermuda and back. Our 2nd cruise was a 9 day Spring Break cruise in Apr 2011. Never, Never, Never again for 2 cruisers in their 60's. The ship was overrun by unruly gangs of kids. They would jump on the elevator, push all of the buttons, and jump off. They would sit on the floors all over the ship, making the adults walk around them, or trip over them. Three times they stole our Do Not Disturb sign out of our stateroom door.And now the terrible weather and early sundown days we endured during this winter trip. I guess summer is next. The only problem is the prices are much higher during the summer months. In summation, there is nothing like being "treated like royalty". It doesn't matter if you book a high priced suite, or an inexpensive inside cabin, in our experience the employees on the ship have only one objective in mind, that the cruisers have a good time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was our fourth cruise on the Explorer of the Seas leaving from Cape Liberty which is about 1 1/2 hrs.by bus from our home in PA. This was the quickest boarding we have experienced so far.Our stateroom was available when we boarded ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on the Explorer of the Seas leaving from Cape Liberty which is about 1 1/2 hrs.by bus from our home in PA. This was the quickest boarding we have experienced so far.Our stateroom was available when we boarded and we were having lunch in the Windjammer by 2PM. The weather cooperated and the seas were calm for the first three days. New Year's Eve was fun but we thought there would be a more organized celebration ie Fireworks or something special in the lounges and bars.There was a special menu,hats and a few balloons at our table.We rang in 2012 in the 19th hole lounge. We stayed on board in Port Canaveral on New Year's Day and enjoyed the quieter ship. We arrived in Nassau on 01/02 to find the shops were closed for a local holiday parade.We weren't planning to shop but it was a major disappointment for first time visitors to Nassau.We took a cab to Atlantis,$4/person one way,and had a great time in the casino with our friends. Our third port,Coco Cay, was cancelled due to a high wind warning for 01/03 so we stayed in Nassau a second day.The forecast was correct.It was cold and extremely windy.The seas were high and it was pretty rocky until the wee hours on 01/04. The last sea day was calm and sunny but too cool to be outside for any length of time. Disembarkation was the usual chaos at the elevators getting to our assigned waiting area.We were at our bus with luggage by 8:45 with all but four passengers but waited on the bus for over an hour for them.But departure time was 10AM so we couldn't be too upset. We were all early,they were on time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My niece was married on the ship before we set sail. The wedding was lovely & no detail was spared. The wedding took place in the Library & the reception was held in Michelangelo's Lounge. Both were decorated in in good taste. ... Read More
My niece was married on the ship before we set sail. The wedding was lovely & no detail was spared. The wedding took place in the Library & the reception was held in Michelangelo's Lounge. Both were decorated in in good taste. The minister was great along with the photographer, Avril. The food& drinks were delicious during the one hour reception and staff were very attentive.We were given ample opportunity to view the numerous pics that were taken for the Wedding! The food was god at the Ecstasy dining room & Richard was most attentive to all our needs. We were 16 & could not seat together until the last night. I prefer your own time dining,but we ate at the 6pm seating.That worked well except when some of the group was late.They held up the second seating because we ran over.The staff was extremely accommodating, even the Matre D My room was fine because I was by myself & had ample room & enjoyed the King Size Bed! My room adjoined my sister's room & another guest. It was convenient. Our steward, Yogi, was attentive, except when we ran late one day & did not get the room made up till night time. but that was okay.I do room service in the Am & except for a few mistakes, the food was fine.We enjoyed lunch at the Fantasy dining room, last day at sea! Buffet & deli was standard fare. The casino was very smoky & that seems to be an ongoing occurrence with many of the Carnival Ships. Wish they would get some better ventilation for us, Non-Smokers! The ship is dated & very mismatched in areas that were updated and had loud colors in some common areas-not my taste at all! We all had a good time for such a short cruise & I received more perks than I expected for being VIFP! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Although a friend of mine had many good things to say about Norwegian, negative reviews and word-of-mouth had me a bit worried as I approached my cruise on the Sky. I booked it anyhow because the location and timing were perfect for a ... Read More
Although a friend of mine had many good things to say about Norwegian, negative reviews and word-of-mouth had me a bit worried as I approached my cruise on the Sky. I booked it anyhow because the location and timing were perfect for a short cruise with 20 and 24 year old sons, the price was also excellent, and I thought they would appreciate the livelier vibe (compared to our usual Princess or Celebrity cruises.) We had a great time. I would not hesitate to recommend Norwegian, and the Sky, to anyone--unless they are looking for a luxury cruise, in which case they should take a luxury line! The ship was very well-maintained. The embarkation process was incredibly quick and simple. Getting off and on the ship at the ports was just as easy. Disembarkation was also the least painful process of any cruise I have taken. (I'm sure it helped that I have moved to Florida so was able to drive to/from the port, which made disembarkation timing much more flexible.) We booked a dinner in each of the for-fee restaurants onboard after reading complaints about the MDR. However, we had our first night's dinner in one of the MDRs and ate lunch in the other, and we found them to be perfectly fine. The food in the MDR and buffet is unpretentious and mainly American fare but it was quite tasty and service and cleanliness were great. The for-fee restaurants were enjoyable as well. We never waited more than a minute or two to be seated in any venue. We had an unexpected sea day as wind made it impossible for the tenders to operate at GSC, which I understand is a frequent problem this time of year. We enjoyed the sea day though, even though it meant I had no beach time since I'd stayed on the ship at Nassuau (my sons walked to Junkanoo Beach and reported it was clean though rocky.) At Freeport we just walked around the shops and spent some time at one of the bars on the pier. My 20 year old son was determined to have some bar time since he was legal to drink there! (I also signed the waiver onboard to allow him to order beer and wine on the ship, and it worked very well--servers were very careful to adhere to the rules.) Our oceanview porthole room was quite small and my poor 6'3" son was much longer than his pullout bed, but we made do just fine. The entertainment was quite varied given the smaller size of this ship, and while it seemed to me to be even a tad cheesier than most cruise-ship entertainment, it was enjoyable. We went to most of the theater shows and enjoyed the musicians in the various bars. We also went to Dancing with the Sky Stars. We didn't do any of the for-fee options (Deal or No Deal, bingo, etc.) so cannot comment on them. If I have any complaint it is about the loud announcements for bingo etc. But honestly, it was not a big deal to me. Maybe I'm just a lot less picky than many people, but I give the Sky and the 4-night Bahamas itinerary a big thumbs-up! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Let me start this review by saying the cruise was very enjoyable, the crew fantastic, and we had a wonderful time. The things I am pointing out that I noticed to be a distraction were very minor. We took this particular cruise because ... Read More
Let me start this review by saying the cruise was very enjoyable, the crew fantastic, and we had a wonderful time. The things I am pointing out that I noticed to be a distraction were very minor. We took this particular cruise because it departed from Baltimore, (a one and a half hour drive)and it fit in with my wife's work schedule. After reading all of the reviews and some of the negative comments I was a little leary of what we had to look forward to. The first thing I want to mention is the fact that the ship was late arriving at the port. We were notified ahead of time and adjusted our departure accordingly. However even with our delay it seemed we all arrived at the port at roughly the same time, making what could have been a very bad situation. This is where I have to commend the entire Port and Carnival Personnel. They took a very hectic situation and made it flow smoothly and we were through it all and on the ship within 2 hours of arrival. Tired and rushed at this point and not in the best of spirits we got to our cabin to find the room ready so we were able to drop of our carry-on and go to dinner. Because of the delay in departing dinner was open seating, within minutes of arrival we were seated and our first real introduction to the Carnival attitude. Our Wait staff headed by Rossana (a true gem) greeted us as if we were old friends, the professional attitude and care was wonderful. They cheered us up in no time. I cannot emphasize enough how this effected our cruise experience.Fortunately my family is not effected by motion sickness,so the fact that is was quite rough on the first two sea days did not hinder our enjoyment of the cruise. Knowing the time of year we expected this to a point. I say this as we did encounter some seasick passengers, and know many that sat in their rooms, the medical staff was kept quite busy too. The weather did not cooperate and was cloudy and cold most of the time outdoor activities were at a minimum. All that being said the staff had their hands full. This is where I want to commend all the the staff we encountered, Cruise Director Eric, his assistant Gumby and all of the hosts did a wonderful job. I never saw them act in any manner other then happy to be there. Our cabin was cramped with 4 adults sharing space, but closet space was more then adequate, our room Steward (Jono) did yeoman service in keeping our room spotless, while dodging all of the extra "stuff" we had in the room. We ate breakfast in the Mermaid Grill, and in the dining room. The dining room was very nice the food good to excellent, the service very good and the food was delivered in a timely manner. Breakfast in the Grill was very similar to that in a good buffet restaurant. Had no real problems with layout or finding a table. We also ate lunch at both the Grill and Dining room. I found the Deli Grill to be very good and like being able to get sandwiches made to order. I also like the daily variation in the menu for lunch. The dining room service and food was very good. Now to bring us to the highlight of our day. Our evening dining experience was something we looked forward to each and every day. Our dining staff, head waiter Kwame, and the two Andi's made our meals a true experience, always cheerful, very attentive, and left you feeling you were royalty. I will say that the food quality and choice are not what they were on carnival years ago, but I was very satisfied overall. I do have a little problem with the ships decor, (no not the nudes)in fact I like the art. My problem is with all of the art it makes the ship seem dark, along with the weather this could actually depress you. I would like to commend the bartenders (specially addidta in Starry Nights) and all of the wait staff. I am also an ex-smoker, I will say that the smoke did not bother me. This brings me to the one low spot of our cruise. I am a lover of the shows on most cruises and look forward to these shows, I also have some experience with the theatre, and my adult children are both Music majors. This being said my criticism is more then just a passing thought. I cannot say this more bluntly, the designers of the shows took money under false pretenses. The singers and dancers are very talented but are completely crippled by sorry material. Choreography is way to busy, dancers are rushing and wasting good moves, scenery and settings for the around the world show are rife with negative sterotypes. Classic Jazz number have their tempo's changed. (who could write or arrange it better then Ellington or G. Miller). I could go on but have gone on enough. Carnival really has to look at their shows. I do want to say that we had a very enjoyable time, and want to thank involved in making this a most memorable experience. Will do this again very soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
The Travelers: Two 30-something single ladies. It was my first real cruise (other than a budget, 4-day deal in high school) and her second (previously cruised on RCCL). The cruise was booked through my friend's timeshare company -- ... Read More
The Travelers: Two 30-something single ladies. It was my first real cruise (other than a budget, 4-day deal in high school) and her second (previously cruised on RCCL). The cruise was booked through my friend's timeshare company -- we wanted to cruise out of NY or Baltimore, and had to cruise Thanksgiving week, so there were only a couple options. The main objective of our trip was rest and relaxation! The Room: We were in Balcony Stateroom #10086. It was a great location...near the mid-ship elevators and stairs, and either up or down just a couple decks to almost everything important to us (food, alcohol, spa and gym, pool deck, theater, etc.) Unfortunately we had smokers in the cabin next door, and also somewhere else around us, and rarely found it enjoyable to spend any amount of time on the balcony. The cabin was a little tight, but there was a ton of storage and it was more than adequate for a week. Our cabin steward was okay, but not great -- we stopped getting towel animals on the third day, we never got ice, and didn't even get turn down service a couple nights. The Itinerary: Let's just say we didn't choose this cruise for the ports of call. The weather all week was incredibly windy -- Captain Lars remarked on it several times. Even in the warmer locales (Florida and the Bahamas), it was WINDY. We didn't get off the ship at Port Canaveral, instead taking advantage of spa specials and a less-crowded pool and hot tub. Our visit to Great Stirrup Cay was cancelled because of the choppy seas, and we ended up pulling into Nassau the night before we were due to arrive. That was the only port we had booked an excursion -- the sea lion experience at Blue Lagoon. We really enjoyed it, although there was a little bit of confusion about when and where exactly we needed to be for our swim. I would go back to Blue Lagoon again. By the last sea day of our cruise it was very cold, very windy and very rainy. The Spa: Even before we boarded we had kind of decided to purchase the week-long spa pass, and it was totally worth the $149 cost. The women-only side (and I'm assuming the men-only as well), had a large hot tub, steam room, dry sauna, fancy showers, plunge pool and comfy Adirondack-type chairs. The co-ed Relaxation Room had the larger "therapy pool" and the much-discussed heated ceramic loungers. Heaven! We went to the spa every day and sometimes twice a day. We often showered in the spa rather than in the cabins. I do think the spa pass should give you a discount on spa services (say, 15%) for a little added value. We took advantage of a port-day special for a massage/facial combo, which was great. My friend even went for acupuncture on the next to the last day, in hopes that it would help her seasickness. The Food and Drink: This was definitely an area that I had some concerns about before we sailed. My friend is a vegetarian and is allergic to onions, so finding food for her can sometimes be a challenge. And I am a bit of a foodie, and had heard mixed reviews about NCL cuisine. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised on all accounts! I would rate the food as good to very good. There were some outstanding selections in the MDR, as well as the Blue Lagoon. We usually did breakfast, and occasionally lunch, at the buffet. It was generally kind of a madness but there was a lot of variety, and we loved eating in the Great Outdoors section. We ate at both Le Bistro and Cagneys, and of the two, I would definitely recommend Le Bistro....I still think back on that Coq Au Vin! My friend didn't make any advanced arrangements for her special diet, but on the first night we were introduced to one of the "Special Diets" servers in the MDR. The two women she worked with throughout the cruise -- Nancy and Rebecca -- made it possible for her to order ANY food on the menu to meet her dietary restrictions, with advanced notice (usually 24 hours). The only downside is that we couldn't be totally flexible in our dining plans (although we could eat whenever we wanted, in either MDR), and that sometimes our meals weren't timed to come out exactly in synch -- so maybe I would still be on my app while she had her main course. No biggie. I didn't find the alcoholic drinks much more expensive than I would pay in any big city or upscale bar, and there were Happy Hour and other specials advertised in the Freestyle Daily. I loved the champagne cocktails at Magnums, Margarita Madness at Moderno bar and the fact that they also had hard cider on board, as well as beer. The Entertainment and Shipboard Activities: We took advantage of a lot of the fun activities on board, like trivia, game shows, dance and exercise classes and interactive events. We saw a couple live productions, which I thought were well-done and there was always live music in one or more of the venues. The Cruise Director (Dan the Man) and his staff were GREAT. We found so many things to do that they often overlapped and we missed out on something. The pool deck was usually very crowded (unless we were in port or getting ready to dock) and we didn't spend that much time up there. Lots and lots of kids (700+) on board that week! OVERALL, I loved my week on the NCL Jewel. The service was great, the amenities were great and I found it to be good value for my vacation dollars. I will definitely cruise NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We had a fabulous time. Both my husband and I (25 plus cruises with Celebrity/Royal/Princess) really enjoyed the decor changes and the luxury of a BRAND NEW SHIP. We have not cruised Carnival since 2002 and may or may not (???) again, but ... Read More
We had a fabulous time. Both my husband and I (25 plus cruises with Celebrity/Royal/Princess) really enjoyed the decor changes and the luxury of a BRAND NEW SHIP. We have not cruised Carnival since 2002 and may or may not (???) again, but this trip was a lot of fun and the price was certainly right. FOOD - better than our last Celebrity cruise, better than the Oasis of the Seas. Plenty of venues and optons/variety. Dinner service was extremely slow between courses and our waiter rarely came to our table, leaving the asst. to do most of the work. I always enjoy the Carnival dining entertainment but not when we are still waiting for courses. We had to leave early to catch shows. BUFET- Very good selection, very long lines at peak times. When 50 people are waiting in line going nowhere because one person is waiting for a certain dish to be replaced, c'mon, go around them. I see nothing wrong if asking if you can reach between the waiters to grab a certain item. Fellow cruisers thought this was an atrocity. Fine, I'll go to another line or come back after the bacon has been replenished! Also long self serve beverage lines because of the set up. There are several stations though, so go to another one. Again, c'mon people, don't stand there and put your sugar and milk in and stir & sip your coffee your coffee - get your coffee and move. The buffet decor and dining set up was nice and you never noticed crowded seating. We wake early though. I also refuse to wait in any line - I just move on to something else, be it food line or a free vacation line. I won't wait, unless it's the line to get ON the ship, and we arrived at 2 pm for embarkation - no line, cabin ready. Service - for us - bad waiter, so-so cabin steward. Everyone was mostly friendly but service is luck of the draw with waiters, etc. Our asst. waiter did all of the work. Did not care for the drink service unless I went to the bar myself and was very specific. When ordering Manhattans from servers it would always come with a double bill. I never wanted a double shot and this ruins a Manhattan. It's not about the amount of Bourbon. Thought this was a dishonest practice. $12.50 a drink! I didn't complain, just quit ordering from servers. We were not on the drink plan. Most staff was extremely friendly. Good table mates. Cleanliness - perfection. Workers everywhere keeping doorknobs/railing/decks clean. Cabin - very comfortable. We spend little time in the cabin so only booked an inside guarantee. No noisey neighbors. Ended up on the 7th deck aft. Convenient to buffet dining - 3 flights up and activities, 2 flights down. Linens - new and extremely comfortable. Brand new bathroom, no cigarette stains on sink! Big shower compared to RC. No amenities in our cabin when we arrived and when I asked 2 days later we only got half the packet. No big deal. No personal cabin service like welcome from the room steward or introductions. Service seems spotty because of auto tipping. Staff is mostly very friendly with everyone greeting you. Plenty of channels on tv. Cabin always made up and ice stocked. No real complaints. Fun - you make your own, but sometimes other cruisers can be very rude and the cruise line can't control this in most cases (see comedy club). Staffing there could have certainly controlled that situation. Crowds, yes there were crowds AT TIMES. The elevators seemed exceptionally slow or out of service and we had to walk the stairs many times. I had knee surgery and while at times this was extremely painful, in the end it seemed to be like physical therapy. I can't imagine how hard it would be for people with more difficult disabilities. Elevator etiquette is always a problem on any cruise line, but there were some extremely rude people who would not budge to let anyone else on. Some complained because they had to stop on other floors. Theater production numbers - OUTSTANDING and the money that went into those productions is unheard of on any cruise line. Innovative new technology for this ship. Not only were the performers excellent on all levels, the lasers and production staff and digital screens were amazing. You have to often look beyond the dancers to appreciate the set productions and they were amazing! Better than Oasis of the Seas, and they were Broadway worthy but didn't have the set technology. Missing Grand Turk - c'mon folks, did you not hear the desperation in Butch's voice. He knew he would have a raging complaint line, but the captain was not going to risk the ship and have another Costa disaster and the weather would have been horrible had he been able to dock. We have never been to Grand Turk and didn't take our snorkel gear out once, but hey, it's weather. Speaking of the cruise director - he was fabulous as was the desk staff. We had no complaints though, only went to guest services to retrieve lost items. Thankfully housekeeping found my camera and turned it in. I was lucky. The comedy club fisaco was just that. Almost a riot broke out the night we went to the second show, Some people stayed for ALL THREE SHOWS. It was ugly and to us there were several very ugly incidents between clientele on the ship. Some people were down right rude. You have to leave situations you are not comfortable with and there were several situations, but we still had a great time and appreciated the ship and the very friendly people we did meet. WE'RE CRUISERS. We loved the new decor and private spots found throughout the ship: The hot tubs on deck 5, the adult only spaces. The pools were beautiful compared to the older red/yellow tiles on the Triumph class. We used the aft pool for a more quiet atmosphere. Carnival has always had the best photographers. Get plenty of photos taken and choose the best. Have fun. It is the fun ship line. You have to go with the flow but you can't predict who you'll be sailing with. We thought the disembarkation was a complete mess and we were with 2 couples who had been waiting for some of their luggage for 3 hours and gave up and hoped it would be shipped to them in fear of missing their flights. This was not the staging of luggage in rows by colors/numbers. It was carousel style and all luggage was mixed as to time of disembarkation. Your luggage may or may not have been there based on your scheduled time to depart. We waited close to an hour at the carousel. Customs/immigration was combined and that was quick. Mostly due to no lines from people still waiting for their luggage. We used a downtown parking agency with shuttle due to the rising costs of port parking. Shuttle service was fairly efficient. Premier Parking. $6 a day. It was relaxing and fun for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My husband and I have been on many Celebrity Cruises and always enjoy them. We flew into Miami the night before and had a wonderful stay. This cruise did not seem as well prepared as most Celebrity Cruises we have taken. Embarkation ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many Celebrity Cruises and always enjoy them. We flew into Miami the night before and had a wonderful stay. This cruise did not seem as well prepared as most Celebrity Cruises we have taken. Embarkation was fast. We were on the ship by 11:30. Lunch at the buffet was wonderful. No lines and servers were all had a smile. We were in our rooms by 1:00. The Concierge room was beautiful. Our room attendant forgot quite a few things that should of been in our room. There were no red wine glasses so we used our champagne glasses. When we went to drink our champagne he had taken the dirty glasses and never brought clean ones. He did not bring our canapes the second day. We sat on our balcony and waited but they never arrived. One of our breakfast meals were forgotten. Food in the MDR was great but we were very disappointed there was no escargot, lobster tail or filet mignon on this cruise. It was a three day cruise and I would of thought they would of put out their best each evening. There was no captains club event and there was no formal night. To me it was not as exquisite of a cruise as other Celebrity cruises. We went to Michael's Club the first night to try their fantastic new beer menu and were served potato chips with our beer. (Not very classy) In past cruises we have enjoyed mixed nuts and trail mixes. We attended two shows and were not very impressed. The magician was very childish and the singers were so so. Due to the weather we were unable to dock in the Bahamas. No one can control the weather and it was no fault of Celebrity. Celebrity decided to compensate the passengers by having open bar for 1 1/2 hours. This became a free for all. All the bars were chaotic with people yelling for free drinks. Celebrity has a beautiful private Island. There were plenty of chairs and lots of shade was available. We really enjoyed the indoor pool. We had no problems finding chairs. There were no children in this area and it was relaxing and peaceful. All in all I think Celebrity really fell short on this sailing. Maybe after a few runs the Reflection will prove to be the high standard of her sister ships. Embarkation was fast and easy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was our first time aboard Fantasy. While it's true that she's the oldest ship in the fleet, she's also lovingly maintained. For a grand lady her age, she's as fine a ship as we've ever sailed. One of our ... Read More
This was our first time aboard Fantasy. While it's true that she's the oldest ship in the fleet, she's also lovingly maintained. For a grand lady her age, she's as fine a ship as we've ever sailed. One of our newfound cruise mates had previously only sailed RCI and other $hip$ and was not sure that he'd like our cruise. He told us that his outlook had dynamically changed, that beforehand he evaluated the cruises by the amenities they offered, like rock wall climbing, which he admitted he never did, and that those "WOW" things just weren't worth the additional cost. We arrived the day before our cruise, staying at the Best Western Patriot's Point location. It was a great value; the rooms were clean and well appointed, the staff friendly and eager to help. Additionally, they offer free parking for the duration of the cruise with a stay there. The room rate, continental breakfast, and parking were less than parking at the cruise terminal. We arranged a taxi ride with Todd and his pet dog, Buddy. Todd was friendly, timely, and got us to and from the cruise terminal with ease. His number is 843-343-6568. Post cruise, he whisked us back to the BW and we were off on our way back home. Embarkation was fairly rapid. Once onboard, our cabin was ready by 1:30. Free champagne was offered to celebrate the cruise. One finds a family mix for holiday cruises, and our shipmates were mostly from the NC-GA-SC area, with a few families from the snowy regions up north. Debarking was quick. We chose to let them drag our bags off the ship. It took about an hour to clear the ship from Lido deck through customs. Our cabin was Riviera 203, located aft. It was comfy and well appointed. Our cabin steward was as meticulous as any we've ever had, and was inconspicuous. It became almost a game for us to try to catch him much as one would a leprechaun. We succeeded seeing him in our cabin just once. Yet miraculously, whenever we were gone longer than 10 or 15 minutes, the cabin was restored to order. I initially had concerns that there would be some engineering or steerage related noise. ZERO! And throughout the cruise, the weather enroute to the Bahamas and back to SC was less than ideal, yet we experienced little untoward motion. Club O2 for the 15-17 yr olds was enjoyable, according to our daughter. She quickly met and made new friends. They were kept busy and entertained, as has been our experience with each level of Club Carnival that we've experienced. The dining was first rate. Our tablemates were friendly, our wait staff excellent. Portions were generous and quite enjoyable. With a Gluten Free requirement for our daughter, we filled out the form for Carnival ahead of time, and the Dining Room manager, Aysu, was quick to ensure that our daughter's meals were GF. Aysu takes a lot of pride in her dining room and it showed. Nightly, Aysu brought us the menu for the following night so our daughter could preorder. When my wife tried to 'help', Aysu reminded my wife that this was her vacation and to let Aysu do the work. Our server, Miraslava, was the epitome of service oriented. The Lido food was, for the most part, enjoyable. The deli at the aft part was exceptional. GF pizza was available with just a short wait, and our daughter really enjoyed it. The Mongolian Wok station was busy, but moved quickly. And the food was delightful with two exceptions. The only downside for Lido food was the hamburgers, which were tolerable, but not up to what one would get at a Wendy's. And the coffee shipboard was less enjoyable than what one finds in a military mess hall. We thought that this was a ploy to encourage purchase of shipboard specialty coffee, but our dining mates told us that the specialty coffee was no better. Of course, the hot chocolate and ice cream were favorites. The entertainment ranged from great to horrible. Special shout out to Larry at Cleopatra's Piano Bar for keeping us well entertained. You simply must go to hear his 'special' version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Due to the weather affecting the ship roll, some events were rescheduled, so it was a little confusing as to where and when things would happen. Risa and her crew did a wonderful job juggling the changes. The two main singers were 'pitch' challenged. Quite a few of their songs left much to be desired. The dancers were good. The musical group, Music Degree, was outstanding. We attended/played a few of the guest games. The newlywed game was hilarious. Ships on sticks abounded, and some cruise friends from our roll call won at least two ships to add to their collection. The comedians.....oh what to say? Mark was funny and definitely made some new fans. Andre Holloway was terrible. His show was the first comedy show from which I have ever walked out. He's not funny. His timing and material are simply not good. Given the choice of another viewing of the on TV movie which shows for 24 hours, every two hours and Holloway's routine, I'd easily pick another showing of the movie du jour, although after seeing parts of them over a 24 hour period, one can begin to quote the dialog. The casino seems to have replaced the usual money vacuums with models by Dyson. We were cleaned out in no time from our set limit on slots, and just enjoyed watching other folks get cleaned. I do not recall anyone's winning while we were in the casino. The casino was never full, and several gaming tables were wide open or unattended. Having been to both ports, we did not do any of the excursions. It shouldn't be news that you can book the excursions directly cheaper than through the cruise line. At Freeport, we stayed in the port area near the ship. Prices were more expensive than at Nassau for the same stuff. At Nassau, we did our own walking tour, and visited Captain Blab Blab at the Pirate's Museum, which we heartily recommend. The Captain is entertaining and the museum is quite interesting. In Nassau, we actually went online for the first time, as the ship's WiFi is expensive. At Starbucks, you can get an hour of WiFi for 3 dollars. We enjoyed our Christmas cruise, which was made even more enjoyable by our roll call mates and the gift exchange. We would gladly sail Fantasy again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We haven't cruised with Royal Caribbean before and expected that its quality was less than we were used to, and it was. However, for the price, it was better than we had expected. The entertainment was fine - very impressed with the ... Read More
We haven't cruised with Royal Caribbean before and expected that its quality was less than we were used to, and it was. However, for the price, it was better than we had expected. The entertainment was fine - very impressed with the orchestra and the dancers. The headliners were a bit weak, but the comedian was particularly funny. The Cruise Director, Leigh Xerbus, was funny as well. We had children with us and much of the entertainment was more adult oriented, whcih was too bad as we like to spend some time with the children after dinner. The ice show was perfect for family entertainment. Not to be missed. If we have any complaints, it was the fact that this boat is out dated and badly needs a rehab. It is unfortunately dirty in places, not for lack of cleaning, just due to long time wear. There is also A LOT of smoking on the ship. Even where people are not supposed to be smoking, there is smoking. Very few of the rules are enforced and it made for a an occasionally unpleasant experience. Kids in the adult pools, smoking, kids in the casino horsing around, etc. I understand not wanting to ruin people's good time, but allowing other cruisers to impose on guests ruins their good time....just sayin'. The food for the first two days was not good. We sat with another family and we broke the ice over the bad food. Other than that, I'm not sure why the chef would have allowed such bad, cold food to be served. By day three, the kitchen seemed to have its act together. Some of the dishes were quite good and the buffet upstairs went from Fair to Good. I can say I always found something to eat, but I can't say the food is a selling point. Portofino, however, was very nice. quiet, elegant and the food was above average. Well worth the extra fee. The staff was fine. The service was fine, but the cruise seemed generally understaffed. You could always get assistance, service, etc., but there was usually a wait. Finally, although it was very convenient to cruise out of Bayonne, the cruiseport itself is an embarrassment. The abandoned shipping port looks like a mafia killing ground, but we weren't there long. The customs officials were fast. God Bless the USA. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We returned Sunday 12/30/12 from a cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. Other than a couple of minor glitches, it was a wonderful experience. The ship arrived late (9 a.m.) at port on Sunday the 23rd due to storms, but the crew worked ... Read More
We returned Sunday 12/30/12 from a cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. Other than a couple of minor glitches, it was a wonderful experience. The ship arrived late (9 a.m.) at port on Sunday the 23rd due to storms, but the crew worked hard on getting the ship ready for our arrival. We started boarding at 1p.m. and headed to the Windjammer. The food choices were very good, and the staff was ready to get drinks or whatever we needed. At 2 p.m. the cabins were open. We were in a Junior Suite on Deck 6 on the aft. We were met by our Steward Miguel. He took great care of us all week, maintaining the suite, plus chatting with us whenever we seen him in the passageway. He made us feel quite welcome and like part of the family. I went to the dining room to check on our table, while my wife and daughter waited for our luggage. This is where we had some challenges. When the greeter found out we were "My Time Dining", we were told we would be seated wherever they found room for us. This was the first time we had experienced this with "My Time Dining". On all of our other cruises we set at the same table every night. The first night we were in a by the entrance of the kitchen area...Almost felt like we were in the way. The second night we were sat a much better table with Huny as our server and Ice as her assistant. After dinner, I found the head waiter, and told them this is who we wanted to be our server for the rest of the cruise. She immediately took us to the greeter desk, and said something to them, and for the rest of the cruise, we sat in Huny's section and received outstanding service from her and Ice. They were the "Stars" of our cruise. The entertainment was okay. The second production show was very good. The ice skating productions were very good. With it being Christmas, we thought there would be more decorations. However, the decorations were very tasteful and the gingerbread village in the Wind Jammer was cute. We ate most of our breakfasts in the Main Dining Room. The food and service were very good, and we met some very interesting people. This was the best returning cruiser get together I had been to. The singers, the video, and awards were well done. We had two opportunities to meet with the Captain. The first was Christmas Eve and it was the normal shake, smile click...the second was the second formal night and it was calmer and we had a chance to visit with the Captain for a couple of minutes. The only other complaint we had on the cruise was disembarking at ports. Disembarking brings out the rudeness of people. Just a little patience and things would go a lot smoother. We look forward to our next cruise on the Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012

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