1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Bahamas Cruises
  4. Bahamas Cruise Reviews

157 Bahamas Holiday Cruise Reviews

Disney Dream cruise was the best experience right from the start. Here is a detailed view: Checkin Process online prior to arrival at port - very simple and straight forward with all options clearly defined. Checkin process at port - ... Read More
Disney Dream cruise was the best experience right from the start. Here is a detailed view: Checkin Process online prior to arrival at port - very simple and straight forward with all options clearly defined. Checkin process at port - well organized and efficient. For little kids, get the electronic band immediately post checkin before 3pm. Boarding - Welcome team announces your family and you feel good as the crew and ambience make you feel that you are entering magical world. This is the just the beginning. Day 1 - Save up your energy and sign up for lot of kids activities. There is ton of stuff for teenagers too. For adults there are good socializing options. Day 2-4, it is filled with fun activities. Suggestions: 1. Don't need special cameras, let Disney crew take as many pictures as they can. Don't feel shy. It is worth it. In the end you can buy the cd and prints for a reasonable price around $300+ for unlimited pictures. 2. Pick your food selection of your choice based on dietary interests. You can always order food on the menu for free. 3. Pick a deck level 6-9 as they are the best, to avoid motion sickness. Room at the middle section is best. Stateroom with Verandah is worth the price. 4. Keep your valuables in room safe. 5. Take Airborne or similar to boost immune system. Use the wipes they give everywhere to stay healthy. 6. Tip your Head Server, Server and Assistant along with your host/hostess. They work 14 long hard hours to make your trip worthwhile. 7. Take Snorkle and swimming gear with you. If you can take swim jackets is worth it. Otherwise, they quickly add up in costing. 8. In Nassau, take the trip to see using the taxi first and then come back to ship for lunch and then go back for some more walking around downtown which is near port. All walkable distance of less than 5 min. You can pay everything in USD, and items are priced reasonably. Stores perpendicular to Main Street have better price on same product. Be mindful of pickpockets and folks swiping stuff. Otherwise very safe place. 9. In Castaway Cay, it is Disney property and most items are free except Snorkle gear and swimming gear etc. 10. As everything is charged to room and charge card on file. Be mindful, of what is free and what costs. Best of all it is crew and team work that make it memorable. There is plenty of food, soft drinks and ice creams for free always. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Where do I begin. Our first experiance with the Sky was truely one to remember. We normaly sail in a Balcony (BA class mid ship) but on this cruise the cruising gods were smilling down on us and three days before we sailed we were bumped ... Read More
Where do I begin. Our first experiance with the Sky was truely one to remember. We normaly sail in a Balcony (BA class mid ship) but on this cruise the cruising gods were smilling down on us and three days before we sailed we were bumped up to the Owners Suite! Thats right we went from the balcony cabin of 202 sqft. to 835 sqft. cabin, private balcony w/hot tub, free alcohol, treats from the staff every evening a butler & concierge service. SPOILED!! You could tell the ship was a little old and needed a little mait. here and there but the staff was friendly and attentive the entertainment was very good for a smaller ship and of course the food was as always with Norwiegian fantastic. We have taken four cruise's with Norwiegian in the past five years these guys know how its done! They have certainly won my buisness as a matter of fact we are already booked on the madian voyage of the new Norwegian Escape in November.....Cant wait!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My Background: Over 30+ cruises - All major lines. Positive about the industry. A bad day on the ship is better than a good day at work. Cruising is the way to travel on a budget! Pre-Cruise: Charleston is a wonderful City to embark ... Read More
My Background: Over 30+ cruises - All major lines. Positive about the industry. A bad day on the ship is better than a good day at work. Cruising is the way to travel on a budget! Pre-Cruise: Charleston is a wonderful City to embark from. Charleston has a wonderful southern flare that can be a vacation all its own. Several wonderful restaurants encompass this beautiful historic city. We really enjoy the Charleston Crab House. Our favorite location is on Jamestown. Carriage rides, souvenirs, ghost walks, and historic sites are great ideas for your stay. If you stay downtown, you will have access to even more things to do. There are several hotels and bed & breakfasts to stay at in town. I highly recommend Vendue Inn. This is an elegant place to stay that is right on the park and battery. If you want to stay at a chain hotel that is relatively close, I recommend the marina view of Marriott's Courtyard Harbor. It's about a 10 minute drive to the port. Embarkation: Charleston is an interesting port. Many of the people that live in town are opposing the ports existence. Even thought the port has been there from the 1600's, they feel threatened by the footprint they believe the ship leaves. Due to current restrictions, they generally allow one ship at a time. The Carnival Fantasy is allowed to be here year round. I am not sure where the local governments stand right now with adding more to this port. Keeping this in mind, the port feels very retrofitted for the task at hand. I have left out of this port previously on the Carnival Victory. I knew what to expect. It has improved some over the past 11 plus years the port has been used for cruise ships. It still has a long way to go to be considered a great embarkation port for this reason. You will be asked to show up after 12:30 noon. While they will allow you to line your cars up outside of the port, you will not be allowed to go in. They will allow you to drop your bags off early, but you can not park. I definitely recommend that you do not show up early. Enjoy the town during this time. If you are parking, they will ask you to pay for the parking up front. The cost for parking was $119.00 if I remember right (7 night). If you have someone in your party that is handicapped, they will not charge you parking. This happened with another couple in our party that needed extra assistance. You will park your car in a covered warehouse. It is actually one of the safer feeling places I have parked. You will need your cruise information during this process of dropping off your luggage and heading to the lot. After you park your car, you will to a quickly moving line that will load you on a bus. The bus will take you directly to the cruise terminal. Once you enter the terminal, you will complete your check-in and get your cruise cards. One thing we noticed is that we were able to get to our rooms right away. Our luggage was delivered quickly since we were considered priority with our Platinum status and mini-suite room selection. The staff at the port was very nice. We were able to get on the ship with ease. Elevators were available. The Ship: The ship is one of the "fun ships" that Carnival has become famous for. The Fantasy is a 70 thousand ton "tion" ship. It is a money ship for Carnival. It has been improved over the years. They have not completed the 2.0 enhancements, nor have they added a steakhouse. The ship is well built, and per the customer service staff, they expect it to go back into dry dock in the future for more upgrades. There are no expectations at this time for the ship to be sold. The common areas are silver, blue, and neon. The old flash of the Carnival's past is evident around the ship. Accents have been made to give it some modern feel. You can see this most on the pool deck and in the staterooms. These areas have been improved over the years. The extra added balconies that you see on some of the other funships, such as Imagination, are not present. The ship is freshly painted. The wear has been covered some which makes the ship feel newer than it is. The dining rooms have the low ceilings that you do not see anymore. Both dining rooms are one story. The theater is flatter than the newer ships which causes more seating to have restricted viewing. If there is a particular show you want to see, be sure to get there about 20-30 minutes early to get a better viewing seat. The pools seem to be maintained and actually the pick-up service seemed to have the ship under close control. This is something that all cruise lines seem to have a challenge with. Very few times did I see plates stacked or drinks just sitting around for a long time. The piano bar, game room, and club rooms are really nice. The only room that could use a little update on decor is the back room where the comedy shows take place. I would like to see it look more like a comedy club basement look. Still, the ship is well maintained and looks good. Staterooms: I can only speak for the V-17 balcony that we had on level 11. The room was very nice for a balcony. The actually balcony matches the width of the standard balconies, but is very narrow in depth. It is only about three feet from the door to the railing. It sits high up above the rest of the ship. The four balconies on either side towards the center of the ship have obstructions due to life boats. V-15,17,19 all had good views with little obstruction at all. A bonus, these rooms have a lot of privacy since they are in their own little area. Very little hall noise! Nothing above or below to distract you. The Grand Suites in the middle of the ship are HUGE! My mother and father and law stayed in those during a previous cruise. The noise is much higher, the view is lower to the water, but the rooms are great! Back to V-17... The flat screen TV's are fine, plenty of storage, great lighting, and decent size showers. As most know, Carnival's rooms are generally bigger than matching categories on other lines. Dining: Dining options are more limited in regards to places to grab a bite, but they seem to be more available to serve throughout the day. Room Service is very fast! Pizza 24/7. Nice deli on the back of the ship in the lido deck. The Lido offers different choices each day. The place is kept up well. I love the seating off the back sides. Wonderful place to eat. There are two TV's in the lido deck that were popular during the college bowl games. The bar service is great unless we are in port. Since many of the staff may have leave, you may have to hunt down a few. I recommend that you tip on-top of the automatic 15% gratuity. 1$ per order will go a long way. They will remember your name and be there for you more. Remember, all Lido food on all ships have pluses and minuses. You can find something you like. If you do not like the lido deck food, then you may want to eat in the dining room for breakfast or lunch. Breakfast in the dining room is the only way to go - it is the best. Great service and the food tastes even better. Alright folks.... this "anytime dining" is really getting the raw deal. I always recommend eating at a set time each night. Early or late... The anytime dining is a huge line that means you have to wait. You can do that at home. A little secret. If you want a specific time, talk to the Matre'd. See if he/she can set up a time for you and your family that works each night. They can even have the same waiters for you if you want. This way you get a time you want, and you do not have to wait in line. Stick with the set early or late times, and you will not have a problem. If you like something at dinner - brag on it. They love this. If you do not like something - nicely tell them that you did not like it. This helps them out a lot! A steak comes out overcooked, tell them... give them a chance to make it right. The dining room staff take their craft seriously. They work very hard to get these positions. A shout out to Assistant Waiter Puthut and Team Waiter Maryna at table 370. Excellent team. The Matre'd helped us on the first night by getting us a better seat with them. They were magnificent. They really cared about the customer! They went the extra mile! The meals were excellent. Will you like everything? No! Try other things then! Don't just say the food is bad. Tell them what you like and you will be surprised. I am a picky eater, and they did wonderful! I actually like Carnival main dining over RCCL, Disney, and Celebrity. They need a steakhouse like they have on all of the 90k ton ships+. I am sure they are working on that. You can order specialty steaks/lobster for $20.00 currently on the Fantasy. They also need a Guys hamburgers. Entertainment: Carnival has always had a strong schedule for ship entertainment. They currently have a cast of 8 men and women who not only dance, but can ALL sting. They did not have a live orchestra. They are singing the program shows such as "Motown" and "The Brits." I have seen these shows on different stages. The Fantasy staff performs their shows really well. They have some very strong singers! The magician and George Lopez comedy club comedians are always packed and fun! I have seen these comedians before. The adult shows can go over the top some. Just because you can say cuss words does not mean the whole show needs to have them. A few perfectly time cuss words can make the impact that audiences are looking for. RCCL and Carnival have the entertainment part covered. Great piano bars and live music around the ship. Again, not stage band for the productions shows on this ship. Itinerary: Day 1 - Leave out - Safety drill is a little longer than some ships. Some of the groups need to be walked to their assigned life boats. This is due to recent changes and the design of the boat. 20-30 minute process. A little long, but not a big deal. Always much better than wearing the life jackets like we used to about 5+ years ago. Day 2 - Sea Day - go to the Spa - sleep late - hangout on the Serenity deck on the back below the lido. Day 3 - Sea Day - repeat Day 4 - Grand Turk - Yes, they have excursions... but why waste the money. Go to Margaritaville right at the docked port. Have some food and drinks and swim in their huge pool. Have fun with the great DJ there. If you want to swim in the ocean, it is right there at the port. Take a Taxi to the even nicer beach on this very small island. Day 5 - Half Moon Key - Hard to beat when cruise companies have their own private island. Beautiful beach, music, and fun awaits. The food is included. Drinks are not... not part of beverage plan either. You actually pay a round a dollar more for drinks. The food is free though. The only real downside, you have to tender. The use the big boats that lows up to 250, so the process is actually pretty smooth. Great stop as always. You can rent water equipment at the beach. They do have excursions here.... but why? The horseback riding did look pretty cool though. Day 6 - Nassau - Here is where I recommend taking a nice excursion. I also recommend you shopping here. They have added a VAT "Value Added Tax" starting this year. This does not apply to watches and jewelry. The stores may require you to pay a small refund fee for the VAT, but they have ways to negotiate with you on that. Reduce the price by the few dollars it costs. We love Venetian Jewelers on Nassau. Vince, the manager there is always great with us. Hard rock and other restaurants have free wifi. The ship wifi has not received the upgrade yet... it is slow. Go to a restaurant that is not that crowded, and you will have the faster connections. They will give you their password if you are eating or drinking. Atlantis is nice, but very expensive. If you been to Vegas, the resort will be a letdown. The beach is nice, but there are better ones you can see outside of Atlantis. Day 7 - Sea Day - do your thing! Pack Day 8 - Debarkation This is the area of biggest improvement for me. This was so awesome. The self assist platinum folks meet in the Piano Bar. At 7:20 ish. They will pick you up and hold elevators just for you to go down to the proper floor - 3. You will disembark , got through customs, and take your backs to the truck that will load your luggage and take you to the garage where you parked your car. I dreaded this process, but they have it down. Minimum wait. The driver was very friendly. To get out is very easy. I expect that the other folks leaving may experience some of the same. They will not allow you to roll your bags from the ship to your car like we used to. Again, the process went very well for us. In Conclusion: I really enjoyed this relaxing cruise. That is what we wanted. We had set our expectations appropriately which created some pleasant surprise moments. Veterans of cruising that are positive will find this ship to be nice. High expectation folks who have never cruised or have not been on Carnival may not be 100%. New cruisers reactions may differ depending on their expectations and the people they are with. Generally, most will take this vacation to be something very nice. New cruisers - this is an older ship - you will feel some movement that you may not feel on larger ships. Take a non-drowsy Dramamine, patch, or wristband, and you will be fine. It is very light. I heard very little concerns about this from the different first time cruisers we talked with. Don't let seasickness fears ever be an excuse from having fun. If Charleston is your call, then go for it!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is the first time we have sailed RCCL. This was my 12th cruise and over the past 22 years I have sailed on NCL, Princess and Carnival. The ship is elegantly designed, beautiful and amazing! It never felt crowded to us (wife, 17 yr. ... Read More
This is the first time we have sailed RCCL. This was my 12th cruise and over the past 22 years I have sailed on NCL, Princess and Carnival. The ship is elegantly designed, beautiful and amazing! It never felt crowded to us (wife, 17 yr. old daughter and 14 year old son) and we found the entire ship very easy to navigate. Our fellow cruisers were very friendly and well-dressed. We met lots of friendly people and always got a warm welcome throughout the ship. While we did hear stories of displeasure with the ship’s IT, dynamic dining, etc., overall most were really upbeat during this New Year’s holiday sailing. Boarding – we arrived to the port at 10:15 a.m. and I dropped off our luggage curb side, parked the car, checked in and we were on the ship by 11:30 a.m. Our boarding was delayed because they were only allowing “special” Royal Caribbean’s most elite passenger classes to board first (i.e. Diamond, Crown, Gold). It was very apparent that this ship still has some “new ship” kinks that are being addressed, modified and improved on a daily basis. The very first thing we did after boarding was to schedule our 1-minute complimentary RipCord flying experience. However, it took over one hour for the two families ahead of us to successfully book their reservations with the RipCord attendant because none of their tablets were functioning properly. We were soooo glad that we booked RipCord when we did because by the end of Day 2 they were completely booked solid to the end of the cruise. You should definitely try your best to book RipCord in advance of your cruise – this is definitely a fun “bucket list” activity to do and it is very safe. We were pleasantly surprised that our luggage arrived to our staterooms by 1:00 p.m. Cabins – We had two adjoining large interior virtual balcony rooms (11275 & 11277), which provided ample amounts of storage and lighting options. The virtual balcony was working as designed and provided high definition real time exterior images, including beautiful sunsets. The bathroom is even equipped with an automatic night light when the main bathroom light is turned off. We were also impressed with the clear glass curved shower door and the never ending supply of very hot water to ensure a pleasurable shower experience. We slept very well on the comfortable beds and the large flat screen TV in front of the bed was the icing on the cake. After reading other member reviews, we brought extra credit cards to leave behind in the interior slot near the cabin entrance door so that the air conditioning system in the cabin would remain on when we leave. This enabled the room to maintain the desired temperature instead of waiting a while to cool down the room. Dynamic Dining - After reading many negative Cruise Critic member reviews prior to our cruise, we thought we were not going to have a great Dynamic Dining experience. We happened to have been lucky and we enjoyed it. We did not have any issues with any of the reservations we made before boarding or making new ones after boarding. On the morning of Day 2, passengers were given the opportunity to change their dining room reservations. As such, we changed our reservations for three different nights by simply speaking with a restaurant representative at the entrance to any of the complimentary restaurants. Chic was hands down our favorite of the complimentary restaurants and Jamie’s Italian was definitely worth the $25pp fee for dinner and $15pp fee for their “first come – first served” lunch option. We found the overall quality of the food to be just cruise industry average in the complimentary restaurants and a few of our waiters/waitresses stood out as being more superior and attentive compared to the others (Lenuta in The Grande and Vishaw in Chic). The freshly baked cookies in the Windjammer were out of this world, but overall we found the desserts not to be very appetizing. We preferred to eat most of our lunches in the Two70 lounge, where they serve the “got to have” delicious hot roast beef sandwiches as well as an assortment of salads, sandwiches, wraps, panini’s and desserts. We also found the seating choices, atmosphere and views in the Two70 lounge to be more relaxing and pleasing compared to the other lunch venues. Nightlife – We found an abundance of top notch “live” musicians, bands and DJs on a nightly basis. The Daily Planner provides a long list of music and dancing venues to choose from throughout the day and night, with at least five venues to choose from commencing after 10:00 p.m. and ending “late”. Our favorite band was the calypso band, Hot Spices, which we enjoyed their performances throughout the cruise at pool side, Two70 lounge, Boleros and on the island of Coco Cay. We also enjoyed listening to the U2 Tribute Band – L.A. Vation as well as watching the hilarious show - Love and Marriage Game Show. We spent most nights in either the Music Hall or Two270 dancing the night away. The variety and quality of the music was great. We never went to back to our stateroom before 12:30 a.m. on any night, as we immensely enjoyed the nightlife provided. Shows – Mamma Mia!, Starwater and Sonic Odyssey completely exceeded our expectations and all are MUST SEE performances. Additionally, don’t miss the extreme juggling act, The Passing Zone, as it was extremely funny and entertaining. Comedian Jessica Kirson was so hilariously captivating that I can’t recall when the last time I had laughed so uncontrollably long and hard. We saw Mamma Mia! twice on Broadway and found this production to be just as entertaining. You should note that this is the full 2½-hour Broadway show production. It is the unabridged performance utilizing the identical costumes, sets and music score as the original Broadway version. Starwater is a wonderful blend of technology and live performers. However, it lacks an identifiable theme or purpose other than to WOW you with great singers and musicians performing while suspended in mid-air, acrobatic performers emerging from the ceiling and floors and providing high-tech back drops and unique special effects. We were very fortunate to see William Close (creator/producer/performer) perform on his Earth Harp in Sonic Odyssey, as he informed us that he will be leaving the show in two weeks to work on his Super Bowl appearance and he will be replaced with a comparable performer. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were simply incredible! I suggest that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to all show times, as the good seats always fill up very fast and one designated family member always arrives earlier to save/hold seats for their entire party. New Year’s Eve Celebration - this was “the” New Year’s Eve to always remember and it will be very hard to top it when comparing entertainment options, partying atmosphere, fun and excitement. Passengers were provided with a long list of partying options that included a Family Glow party in the Sea Plex, a Times Square Pool Deck Dance Party with CNN’s global countdown broadcasting LIVE from the Quantum of the Seas with Cathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, a Reggae Caribbean band playing in Boleros and the big band sounds from the Quantum of the Seas 10-piece orchestra in the Music Hall. There were balloon drops all of the ship and everyone was in a partying mode throughout the early morning hours. Activities - we enjoyed lots of the other activities such as working out in the Vitality Fitness center every day, driving bumper cars, playing air hockey and foosball, taking a ride in North Star, rock climbing, surfing and boogie boarding on the Flowrider and relaxing in the hot tubs. There was always something to do and many activities to choose from. Service - In general, we had hardly any complaints with the personal service from any cruise staff member that we interacted with. Service was friendly and professional; we never encountered a rude or unhelpful person. All were smiling and accommodating. Our stateroom attendant, Mary Joy, was exceptionally pleasant, friendly and was very visible throughout our cruise. The only issue we experienced had to do with the shore excursion contractor at Cape Canaveral, where hundreds of cruise passengers had to wait over 45 minutes just to take a bus back to the ship. This delay caused tempers to flare as several passengers were about to miss their dining and entertainment reservations. The worst part was the lack of communication from the transportation employees in providing the status of the delays and there wasn’t a “supervisor” or responsible person to voice our concerns with at Cape Canaveral; no one seemed to be IN CHARGE. Disembarkation - we opted to participate in the self-assist program, where you leave your luggage in your room on the last night and then walk off the ship with your luggage in tow the next morning without any crew assistance. We finished breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the Windjammer, went back to the room to pick up our luggage, took the elevator to the 5th floor and just walked off the ship around 9:00 a.m. Once off the ship we flew through customs and headed to the parking to get our car. The process was effortless. The positives definitely far exceeded our negatives on this cruise, as the negatives were just minor hiccups that we quickly got over and accepted. We had an awesome cruise on board a very advanced, state-of-the art, high-tech ship. Overall we had an amazing cruise and would have no hesitations to book on the Quantum Class again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Here’s my review of the December 27th sailing. Just letting everyone know in advance that it is a little long, as I am trying to include every detail I can think of to help those of you who are traveling on her in the future however, ... Read More
Here’s my review of the December 27th sailing. Just letting everyone know in advance that it is a little long, as I am trying to include every detail I can think of to help those of you who are traveling on her in the future however, everything I write is just my opinion and may differ from others. Prior to the cruise we completed our online check-in with our photos and everything. We also booked a restaurant for every night, booked the three shows Mamma Mia, Sonic Odyssey, and Starwater, booked the entertainer, booked all of our excursions, drink packages, and iFly and the character breakfast. Our time slot to arrive at the pier in Jersey was 10:45-11:15. We arrived at 11:30 because we had to stop along the way to buy things I forgot to pack (oops). My boyfriend dropped me off at the curb and a nice porter helped us with our luggage. We unfortunately did not print the luggage tags from home because about two months before the cruise we changed our room # and the luggage tags on the website never changed from our old room number to our new one. The luggage porter grabbed some blank tags wrote our current room number on them and off we went! My boyfriend parked the car and took the shuttle bus back and we met each other at the entrance of the terminal. Once inside the terminal there were a couple of employees with ipads swarmed with people and then we saw the security line. We asked a security guard if we were supposed to check in before going through security or after and she said it didn’t matter so we went through security first. That was a breeze. Then we saw more employees with swarms of people around them trying to check in so we decided to just get on a check in line. These lines were not moving at all. I saw a designated area for emerald guests and gold guests to check in but didn’t see platinum (which is me) so I just stood on the gold line. After a few minute I noticed all the employees that were in the middle with swarms of people around them were walking away. We found out that their systems went down and they couldn’t help anyone. At this point we knew this was not going to be curb to ship in 10 min! Finally the employees came back out and a nice woman helped us check in on our ipad. We then went up the escalator and onto the ship The first place we went on the boat was to our rooms, but the hall doors were shut and said they would open at 1230 so we decided to go up to the spa to book a hair appointment for me for new years eve and a shave/facial for my boyfriend on new years eve. Then we went back to the rooms and the door was still shut but we saw some families opening the doors and going to there rooms so we decided to follow. Our room key was waiting right above our room number in a sealed envelope. We put our carry on bags in the room and headed up to the windjammer for lunch. Surprising there wasn’t huge crowds there and there was no problem finding a table! They had fresh mozzarella balls that day and only that day which we loved! (Every day we looked for them but one of the workers said they wouldn’t have them for the rest of the cruise ) The pasta pasta station had a cook prepare your pasta fresh for you with whatever toppings and sauces you wanted. It was delicious!! That day they had two of these stations, but for the rest of the cruise there was only one station and a very long line! After lunch we went back to our room to see if any luggage had arrived (because our RFID tracking wasn’t showing up on the app). We got ready for the muster drill which was in michael’s pub and got there a little early to make sure we had a seat. We had dinner reservations that night at devinly decadence. The restaurant was empty!!! There was maybe three tables of people and that was it. When we walked in the hostess asked for our room number and I gave it to her and she said she couldn’t find any reservations. So I gave her our old room number and the reservations showed up. (It was like this for the rest of the cruise so I’m not sure if the people staying in our old room didn’t have any reservations or just couldn’t see ours). Instead of bread at this restaurant they brought us veggies and dip We also ordered the chicken satay and the flatbread pizza half bbq half buffalo. We liked the chicken satay better than the flatbread. For dinner my boyfriend had the chicken enchiladas and I had the cowboy rubbed beef tenderloin. He liked his entrée and mine was just ok. For dessert the gooey brownie was very rich, but the shot glass pumpkin cake was very good! Since we had the drink package we ordered three drinks between the two of us. I don’t remember their names but the strawberry one we did not like at all, but the blueberry margarita was tasty! Every night in the cruise compass they advertised for this restaurant and I began to wonder if it was because it wasn’t doing so well. Also, when you make reservations online for dinner it blocks out a two hour window, and dinner never took us two hours. We went to Mamma Mia that night in the royal theatre and that show was excellent!! The seats in front of you blow out very little air conditioning but we always found the theater to be very warm. The second day we were at sea all day and we did the selfie scavenger hunt, played bingo, ate, and took a nap lol. Lucky Lizzy the bingo host made bingo enjoyable!! She was always full of energy and had a smile on. There were three different bingo packages to choose from and if you bought the bingo stuffed animal and t-shirt you received extras bingo cards every time you brought them to a game. I one bingo and split it between two other winners! We had dinner reservations at chops grille which was the only restaurant the entire cruise that made us wait an extra 15 minutes, which was no big deal. For appetizers we had onion soup, warm goat cheese salad, crab and shrimp cake, and the black pepper bacon. Let me tell you, for the rest of the cruise all I talked about and wanted was another warm goat cheese salad! It was amazing. The onion soup was very good also and was different than the one they offered in café two70. We both had steak, which was good, and for dessert I had the molten chocolate cake, which was the only chocolate thing on the cruise I had that tasted to me like regular real milk chocolate. This was definitely my favorite restaurant. The third day we were in port Canaveral and we took an excursion to Disney world. We knew that we weren’t getting back to the boat til around 1015 at night so we didn’t make dinner reservations that night. The Disney excursions and the kennedy space excursions all met in the royal theatre and we sat according to excursion group. Getting off the ship took a long long time. But once off the ship, we boarded an air conditioned coach bus and took it to Disney. They dropped us off at Epcot and told us to be back on the bus by 830 that night. We went to Hollywood studios and magic kingdom that day. When we got back to the boat we ate at the wind jammer and then went to sorrentos to make our own personal pan pizzas. The pizza place was very good! The fourth day we were in Nassau Bahamas. Getting off the ship went a lot smoother and quicker. We chose the shallow water dolphin excursion at atlantis. This was an awesome excursion and requires you to wear a wetsuit provided by atlantis. If you choose to do this excursion do not wear any jewelry including earrings because they make you take it off. They provide towels and lockers for you to use there and they do not permit you to take any cameras with you even if they are waterproof. They have professional take pictures of you and you can purchase them at the end if you want. We had dinner reservations at Jamie’s that night and we said outside in the enclosed glass area of the restaurant. We ordered the Italian bread basket, crispy squid, and rice balls. All were excellent! We split a bowl of penne carbonara and I asked the waiter if he could leave out the pancetta but he said its already in the sauce (no big deal). I had the eggplant parm and he had the chicken al mattone. They were very good! That night we saw the jugglers/comedians in the royal theatre who were incredible! They pulled audience members on stage and did tricks with them and they were very funny. The fifth day was in cococay and we went shopping as soon as we got off the tender ship. We booked snorkeling and jet skis for the day and I forgot to pack my underwater camera so I had to buy one there. $20. A t-shirt there is $20. A tank top $20. A starfish $20. $20 seems to be the magic price there lol. We walked to barefoot beach where I heard there wouldn’t be such a crowd and they were right! There was plenty of chairs but we couldn’t snorkel or swim there because no matter how far you walked out the water was never past your knees. So then we walked back and struggled to find one chair. A lady was nice enough to give us one of her chairs that her child wasn’t using and we put on our snorkel stuff and headed to the water. The rocks were unbelievable and killed our feet. So we needless to say we never actually snorkeled. The bbq on the island was very good but the ribs were tough. The jetski tour gave us about 50 minutes on the water which was awesome but you had to stay in line and follow the person in front of you. The jetskis went up to 41 mph. We had dinner reservations at the grande however I didn’t realize we were online for chic. I didn’t think it mattered which podium we went up to since the restaurants are right next to each other. When the guy asked for our room number I gave it to him and he sat us down in chic. I realized it wasn’t the grande when I saw people around us sitting there in shorts and sweatpants with sneakers and hats. I went back up to the podium to explain what happened to the guy and he told me do you how long the line is? It doesn’t matter where you eat because it is the same menu everywhere (because it was new years eve). I was a little annoyed about the way he handled it but I wasn’t going to make a fuss. New years eve was done very nicely on the ship they had balloon drops in the royal esplanade and two70. They handed out party hats noise makers and bead necklaces. After the ball dropped, the employees cleaned up everything very quickly! The sixth day I did ifly and that was my favorite part of the entire cruise! They give you earplugs, goggles, helmets, and a suit. You watch an instructional video for about 10 min and then the instructor comes to gives you tips. They take professional pictures of you as you are flying. We also did the northstar that day which was amazing! You don’t realize how high you are until your up there. The views are breathtaking. We had dinner at silk and we ordered the eggrolls, crab Rangoon, and tacos. Everything was very good! Sonic odyssesy was very cool! The seventh day we went to the character breakfast and the menu was big. They only had shrek, Fiona, and puss in boots come out though, which we were surprised. We thought there would be more characters. We saw starwater which was probably my favorite show because I loved all the dancing. Here’s the extra stuff that didn’t pertain to a specific day: We receive a towel animal every other day in our stateroom, our stateroom attendant was very efficient and friendly. I honestly liked the dynamic dining. The only thing I didn’t like was eating at a different time each night and having to either remember or look up where and when you are eating compared to just showing up to the dining room for the early or late seating. I did miss the relationship you build with the same waiter every night. The best seat in two70 to see starwater is upstairs. Two70 doesn’t have an age restriction at night like music hall does which caused it to be filled with teenagers at the bar ordering sodas. If you are planning to order the photos, order then early in the morning on the last full day (around 830-930am) and the photo place is empty!! In the afternoon and at night it was mobbed with people. Bring pen and paper with you if you are one to write stuff down because there is none in the room. If you plan on doing the bumper cars, arrive a half-hour to twenty minutes early to avoid the line that forms all the way around the court. Bumper cars are fun! The ride time is a long enough ride. They cannot apply visa gift cards to your account. They will tell you to go to the atm and get the cash and bring it to guest services (hopefully that will avoid you standing on line twice at guest services). Take advantage of the sales they offer for booking your next cruise onboard! Everywhere around the ship we always saw employees cleaning which was nice to see! Towards the end of the cruise, the cocacola freestyle machine flavor choices were very very limited and they said they have to wait til they get back to jersey to refill it. The #1 tip I can give everyone is reserve everything you can before you board the ship. I can’t tell you how many people were turned away from the spa or restaurant of their choice because it was booked solid or the stand by line/waitlist was extremely long. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Second time on this ship, 9 years apart, this time with kids. A different experience. The Explorer is still one of favorite ships, although she is by no means the smallest, she still offers the best of both worlds- the feeling of being at ... Read More
Second time on this ship, 9 years apart, this time with kids. A different experience. The Explorer is still one of favorite ships, although she is by no means the smallest, she still offers the best of both worlds- the feeling of being at sea with a range of activities available. Nice mix of passenger ages. Embrakation was a nightmare- rumor that porters were on a slow down and certainly appeared to be true. The luggage was waiting outside while they sat around doing nothing. Our family lugged our own luggage and were glad we did- others we talked to received theirs very late. Unfortunately this also caused debarkation to be a nightmare as nobody seemed to trust personnel to move their luggage getting off the ship. Rather than motivating me to support their union, it made me hope the RCI will look into other options in the future once their contract is up. Onwards to the ship. We still love Explorer of the seas and her crew. We would have preferred a band that regularly played ballroom dance music.... but the musicians were talented. Service was very good overall, staff friendly. Michelle the ice skater (dark hair) was very sweet to my daughter and Yin (cleaned restrooms) was sweet as well. Best show is the ice skating program, hands down. This ship is a great value for 6 yo plus crowd. Daughter loved ice skating and rock wall. Lacked options for children under 3 years- if paying full fare (and it was more expensive to book 1 room than 2 separate), I would expect more entertainment for the younger crowd... at least a nursery. The explorer is in good repair and still has a respectable amount of entertainment options if you are at least six years old. Do not worry about reviews saying she is in poor repair... the worst is faded life boats but to me that in no way impacts the experience. The explorer may be a nice compromise between a mega ship and a bare basics cruise ship. The only question mark was when our entire party was moved to a table in the corner to make room for a larger family on the second night, the families sat at three separate tables that didn't communicate even after being placed adjacent. After asking for our table back, we were given it on the third night- but on the second it was very awkward to be asked after the family had already taken our table. The family could have swapped their best table with us to achieve the same effect- so I believe it was more an issue of not liking the original assigned table. Had we been seated there the first night it wouldn't have mattered to us, but seemed rude to be moved into the corner. Our tablemates from a different family were also confused by the table swap. It seemed like a poor way to handle the situation- honestly wonder if the family took it upon themselves to move verses the staff making that decision. When we were moved back we didn't get our old waiters, so very confusing overall. While I liked all of the waiters this was a bit of negative aspect. For thanksgiving they decorated the promenade and slowly Christmas decorations took over. It was a nice way to celebrate the holiday versus the traditional expectations. Although we love Holland (2 star cruisers), this trip was enough to make us reconsider them as our primary line. For reference- experienced cruisers have sailed with RCI, Holland, NCL, and carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I cruised NCL Breakaway last July and again on 11/2014. THe first went to Bermuda and this one went to the Bahamas. I must say I was totally impressed with the changes made to the menu and entertainment this time around. We were thinking ... Read More
I cruised NCL Breakaway last July and again on 11/2014. THe first went to Bermuda and this one went to the Bahamas. I must say I was totally impressed with the changes made to the menu and entertainment this time around. We were thinking about purchasing more dinners at the specialty restaurant but only did 1 at Cagney's as we enjoyed the dinners at the Manhattan Dining room. Cagney's was amazing. Overall, we were most impressed with the wait staff- each one we dealt with weather for breakfast lunch or dinner including the host/hostess were absolutely wonderful. We wound up requesting the same wait staff for our dinners as the service she provided was second to none. She had us hooked when we went to her the 2nd night and she knew our names and our drink preferences, always very polite, courteous, and on top of her game. SHe definitely made us feel like royalty and Im sure she did same with all the passengers she took care of. The one thing I noticed they havent improved on is their custumer service staff. THey are not the most friendly nor do they really seem to know how to treat their passengers with excellent care-ensuring their issues are being resolved. I felt that way last year as well.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
There seems to be more and more negative reviews lately. All I can say is they must have all been on a completely different ship or have an agenda that I can't figure out. We had a great vacation in almost every way. I traveled with ... Read More
There seems to be more and more negative reviews lately. All I can say is they must have all been on a completely different ship or have an agenda that I can't figure out. We had a great vacation in almost every way. I traveled with my wife, my two boys (12 and 14), my adult sister and parents. The food was so enjoyable and varied at the included restaurants that we cancelled our reservations at the paid ones. We did see the Cirque Dreams dinner and show and agree with most people that this is worth the added expense. We registered the boys for the Splash Academy and Entourage, but they mostly did their own things at the sports complex and arcades when not with us. Youngest said the Splash Academy did many camp games and all he wanted was free choice. Most entertainment is labeled appropriately. We did not bring the kids to the Rock of Ages show and felt that it was the right decision as this show has many adult themes. Why some parents brought their kids with plenty of forewarning I do not know. Comedian/Magician, various game shows, music offerings and Second City were enjoyed by all. The ship is big enough that it rarely felt crowed. This included the Garden Buffet area where even at its busiest we were able to find a table. It does get a little packed for Atrium shows later in the cruise after the Rock of Ages show takes over the theater. Elevators also get a little crowded for brief periods of time too - we took to the stairs to avoid this. First port in Florida we decided to stay on-board and use the ship's facilities. We did not get to go to Great Stirrup Cay (about 50% of time wind is too high to safely use tenders we were told). This allowed us to get into Nassau earlier, but being Christmas day not much was open. The next day they celebrated Boxing Day with elaborate parades and costumes. We also went on a sailing and snorkling excursion that we enjoyed. Everyone we encountered was friendly and professional. If you are looking for a great time with tons of things to do the Norwegian Breakaway is a great choice. If you are a complainer and can't relax or go with the flow stay home so people who want a good time can enjoy it.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
First let me disclose that I am a part-time travel agent, and limit myself to booking strictly for family and friends as I would never take on the responsibility of booking cabins for strangers. Too many liabilities and complainers! ... Read More
First let me disclose that I am a part-time travel agent, and limit myself to booking strictly for family and friends as I would never take on the responsibility of booking cabins for strangers. Too many liabilities and complainers! Besides I have a full time job! That said, I have been in the resort/travel industry for over 30 years and lived on 5 continents, 12 countries and many islands in-between. I am fairly new to cruising, having taken my first cruise on RC over Christmas out of the port of Singapore in December 2008, and have been hooked on cruising, especially over Christmas, ever since. Yes, I know Christmas cruises are more expensive and full of kids, and as someone who has no kids you would think I would avoid them, as opposed to paying MORE for them. But who can resist the beautifully decorated ships, real snow falling in the Piazza and the entrances that Santa makes. (More on that in my review). And this cruise was a DEAL, and I did not even use my TA discount. Just booked directly with Princess in late November. I now cruise with my DM (a young 82) since we lost my Dad a few years ago. She prefers not to spend the holidays at home and who can blame her after sharing 63 years of her life with my DD. We are fortunate that we live in Vero Beach and it’s an easy drive to Port Everglades. I did some cruise ship inspections in November during the cruise convention and we learned that Port Canaveral is set to become the largest cruise port on the East Coast within 5 years. I hope Princess will place some ships there! EMBARKATION DAY (Or as I call it Woo-Hoo Day).: On Sunday, Dec. 22nd with the dog off to the sitter we left Vero for the no traffic Sunday drive down I-95. We arrived at PE around 11:00 am and I dropped DM off at Pier 4 with our luggage. I had packed a cooler of Diet Cokes (for me) and Caffeine Free DC’s (for DM) and water. I also had 2 allowed bottles of champagne and Christmas decorations for our cabin and door. (You may have seen our door on Dolphin deck, port side, mid-ship near the elevators, as very few doors were decorated and our was done top to bottom! I forgot to take a pic though. I parked on-site and in the few minutes it took me to park and come down the elevator my DM was waiting right there for me. There was no line, zippo, nada and we proceeded straight through to the waiting area. I stopped at the table to “register” my bubbles, but since it was in my roll along carry on, I am not sure how they would ever have known if I chose to not claim it??? We were given a card for group 6 and we waited for approximately 45 minutes to be called. I would point out that it was difficult to understand the person calling the groups, whether it was a faulty system or a bad microphone, and reminded me of Charlie Brown’s teacher! Wah-wa-waa-wah! If they would just hold up fingers on their hands it would have been a better system. Regardless we were soon through the doors and the line slowed as everyone waited to have their boarding photos. Having cruised with Commodore Romano previously, I actually saw him stick his head in a door in this area and have a quick look around and then duck back out. We bypassed those who wanted their photos taken and were soon stepping onboard. For those of you CC members who say their cruise starts when they hear the…. take your pick…… Plink, Blonk, etc. of having their cruise card entered, you will be disappointed as they are all done with hand scanners now and there goes that noise. Who would think it’s the little things you miss??? We proceeded directly to Dolphin 416 and were pleased to find it right by the elevator. For those of you who ask about upgrades near the elevator, I can say that we are always mid-ship near the elevator which is extremely convenient, but never the first door. It was no problem whatsoever and I would book this cabin again with no hesitation. Our cabin steward was Michael, and he was surely the best, non obtrusive, accommodating cabin attendant I have ever had. Every day we would leave for a quick breakfast, and EVERY day our cabin was made up when we got back. We never had to ask for ice. He was superb! This was our first time in a Mini-Suite. This was the THIRD time I have booked a cabin with two single beds, only to find it made into one bed. (This happened in my brother’s cabin on the Island for a Christmas Panama cruise, but my brother left it as he was with his then 7 yr. old son and happened to me again on RC in Nov.) I explained to Michael that we had requested 2 beds and he showed me the post it note that said “D416- Q”, but I assured him that as the TA who booked it, I knew I had requested 2 beds. He said he would change it later which he did. The pillows and beds were as comfortable as could be! No need for an egg crate. No pillow substitutions necessary. I make it a habit to tip extra at the beginning of a cruise, and at the end, and I did. (Especially for crew working over a holiday). We requested robes and slippers and he said that it would probably be later or even the next morning, but we had big fluffy robes in 20 minutes. I am not sure if our refrigerator was meant to have a mini-bar set up or not??? I know I requested for it to be emptied on the Island and the (very lazy) steward told up to just empty it ourselves and set everything around the tv. So it being empty worked perfectly as our luggage arrived very quickly and I set about filling the frig with coke and water and putting our Christmas decorations up including lights and a small tree. Michael suggested that we may want to take the stockings on our door in at night or they might disappear as the decorations that they had put on all of the mail-boxes were already half gone. Sure enough, I looked down the hall and most of the cabins in our area had been stripped of the little decorations that had been there just 45 minutes before. Seriously cruisers??? Anyway, I never put anything on our doors I am not willing to lose (most from the dollar store) and all of our decorations remained in-tact during the cruise, except for the candy canes we kept re-filling for people to take and I know Michael enjoyed a few of those!!! I had a letter, poem and photo for the Commodore (with a bridge tour request for DM) and when I asked Michael the best way to get it to him, he said he would take care of it. Within the hour he informed me that it had been delivered. With the cabin decorated, the luggage un-packed and our first time in a balcony cabin, I enjoyed the sparkling wine Michael brought to us on the uncovered balcony, which I did not mind at all. (I have not had a covered balcony, but I feel like it would be like looking out of a box with all sides covered.) DM does not drink so I had her glass as well. I chilled a bottle of my Veuve Clicqout for sail away. We passed on lunch in the MDR as I just can’t eat a FULL meal for lunch and then again for dinner. We went to the Horizon Court which was busy and shared a table. From that point on we ate at the Café Caribe, which I think is less busy as most “starving passengers” stop at the first line available! HINT to future cruisers, keep heading aft to Café Caribe and you’ll find tables both inside and out, and shorter lines. We then went for a tour of the ship, which I was familiar with from my cruise on the Crown Princess. The Christmas decorations were beautiful! So far, so good! The muster drill was uneventful and we were in the Explorer’s lounge. I asked if my DM could take a seat outside but the crew said that was reserved for handicapped. I found her one of the last seats left and I stood a bit away. It always amazes me travelling with her at the number of young people who never offer an “old lady” (more on that later) a seat. We went back to our cabin and I opened my bubbles and we watched all of the other ships sail away and finally it was our turn at “last”. We did sail away from our balcony, but now that I know about the sail away cam I will surely be one of those holding a poster from somewhere on the ship next time, if we do not have a balcony! We did see the Princess flag get raised and as soon as we passed those condos it was gone. What fun that must be for those who live in those buildings and participate in that ritual! We made our sail away calls to family and doglet sitter and then sailed away from land-lubber worries! I for one was looking forward to no phones, no internet, and I hope the majority of the cruisers I saw with their noses stuck in iPads were reading a good book, but to each his own. The seas were some of the calmest I have ever experienced. As a long time sailor, and having done that trip on my own sailboat, I knew this was going to be one of the smoothest cruises ever. DM does suffer from vertigo from time to time, and I could tell from the forecast that this would not be a concern on this voyage and we would not need to unpack the Sea Bands, Dramamine, etc. We dressed nicely for dinner. I am one of “those” who figure if I am on a cruise, I am going to dress the part. We do anytime dining in the MDR and enjoy sharing a table each night. (We do not want to HAVE to be ready at a certain time to eat). As we waited a very short time, Commodore Romano approached with two young boys and told the hostess that the boys were with him. I put together that these were his sons and he must have popped his head in the door earlier looking for his family to come through the VIP line. This was confirmed the next night when he was again at the Da Vinci entrance with his wife and sons and introduced us all. Our first night sharing a table in Da Vinci’s was quite the experience. Our table was a family of 4 (2 boys approx. 9 & 11) and both Mother-in-laws. This was the first cruise for the family (not the Mothers) and it turns out they are Vegans. Now I WISH I could do that, but that is never going to happen in this life-time, and I don’t think a cruise and Vegan make a good pairing, especially if you’ve made no prior arrangements and it’s your FIRST cruise. These people had the chefs out of the kitchen 4 different times. Could they prepare this without this? Could they make that? They did finally ask to see the menu for the next night so hopefully, they were more prepared. In the mean time, the two Mothers ate meat, desserts, etc. lol. The poor wait-staff was already saddled with a party of four making special requests (Honeydew sorbet), and the one lady was demanding dessert before any of them had even been served their “meal” and while we were still eating out entre. Needless to say, I was happy we were never re-seated with them again, and I don’t think I ever saw that family the rest of the cruise. For those of you who are looking for food reviews, please find another reviewer. I do not take pictures of food on my plate, although we did share a table the 2nd night with a couple and she asked if she could take pictures of everything I got! I am not a “foodie”. I did eat at a specialty restaurant on the Crown once and for some it’s worth it, for me it’s just not. I did buy a bottle of Danzante Pinot Grigio that I have had before, to drink with dinner each night in Da Vinci’s. I will summarize and say that I was very happy with the food on this cruise whether it was the Caribe, the IC, Da Vinci’s, the pizza, etc. I heard my share of complaints about the food though…..”not up to Princess standards”, etc., but I do not share that view. My service was great, my food was great. And you will NEVER hear me complain about dessert. I also heard my share of complaints on this cruise about the “short” cruises and how they are “not Princess’s niche”. I guess I am just not a complainer and am just happy to be lucky enough to cruise! So, back to that…… As much as I would have liked to see the Colors of the World, we missed the early show due to dinner and sacked out early and missed the later show. I have heard good things about it. I did stop in the Piano Bar where I met a server, Franky from Bali. Having lived in Bali for a few years, I always enjoy meeting Indonesians aboard and usually befriend one just because they are amazed that I can speak some Bahasa Indonesian to them and Franky & I had both lived in Nusa Dua, so we hit it off and I did make a point of seeing him each night. The Piano Bar is usually my place to hang, but I did not find Craig Andrews very interactive with the crowd. I should probably stop here and explain that we chose this cruise for R&R. We were not interested in a port intensive cruise. We just wanted to be on a beautifully decorated ship, have someone else do all the work, and have no agenda. This cruise ticked all the boxes and I was not disappointed one bit. Day 1 At Sea: We awoke with no complaints and went to a leisurely breakfast at the Café Caribe. After brekkie we went to the Onboard Outlet Sale in the Michelangelo Dining Room where I found some great tank tops that Old Navy stopped making so I was a happy camper. There was a “Holland Line” lady in a hurry to check out and complained that all she had done with Princess so far was wait in lines. Again, seriously? You booked a sold out cruise over a holiday and you forgot to pack your patience??? We did mark the patters every day, (Creativity @ Sea, Turkey Carving, etc.) but if we didn’t make it to something, we didn’t worry. We were not interested in the trivia contests or the Pop Star or The Treasure Hunt or the line dancing, or the Spa, etc. Just R&R on the high seas and we napped in our mini-suite every day! After the sale, it was impossible to find two loungers together at the pool, but this was partly our fault as I wanted the sun and DM wanted the shade. I bumped into the Commodore and he told me that he had received my letter, poem and photo, and I introduced DM. At that point I settled her into the shade and went off to the adult only aft pool where after a short wait I was able to score a lounger overlooking the stern on the pool level. Now a bit about chair hogs. As someone who often travels single/solo, it is difficult to sometimes reserve your rights (as you dash off for a slice of pizza or to the loo for example) and not be accused of chair hogging. The whole 2+ hours I was in that lounger, there was a chair next to me with a towel and one sneaker on it. No one ever used that lounger. I should have gone back and rescued DM from the termites, I mean kids, but I did not want to be accused of chair hogging or lose my prime spot. There was a gentleman behind me who was asked by an ”ahem” lady if the chairs surrounding him were being used and he said yes. She then told him in no uncertain terms that you were not allowed to save chairs. He told her that he could assure her they were just over there in the pool. She scored a chair near-by and within 10 minutes, 2 more became available and she plopped down 2 of her party in those chairs. Literally 2 mins. later her DH asked what time it was and she said 1. He said, “what I thought it was like 11:00. Let’s go eat lunch at the buffet.” So they left all of their stuff and took off for lunch. I guess the rules don’t apply when you look in the mirror!!! Lol This night was the “Dress To Impress” night and the champagne waterfall. We did a few portraits until we got tired of being asked to pose in awkward poses (lol) and we found a front row seat under the staircase and watched the glasses being set up. I had never seen it done in red before and lest you think it was for Christmas, the very talented gal setting up the glasses explained it is because of the “Ruby” Princess. It is one of the cruising rituals I love! We engaged the couple sitting next to us. She had a “Christmas Cape” on, which she explained was really a Christmas Tree skirt. She said she has a whole wardrobe of them that she buys on sale after Christmas. Very clever! We waited until the end to get our waterfall pictures taken. We then went to DaVinci’s and the Commodore introduced us to his beautiful wife and 2 handsome sons. We sat with a couple. This was the gal who took pictures of ALL of the food plates. We passed on the Comedy show and DM called it a night. I wandered up to Sky Walkers but there were not many people there. Came back to Crooner’s and had a specialty martini. A “Poinsettia”, had a chat with Franky and then off to bed. Day 2 Princess Cays: Having been to Princess Cays previously, I could have bypassed it altogether and stayed aboard enjoying the empty ship. Being from Florida I knew I was not going in the water! As DM had never been, we decided to watch the movie (The Princess Bride) and enjoy the pool to ourselves and get some sun. At one point DM decided to use the hot tub. The previous days, it was just too crowded. As she entered the hot tub, it was occupied by another woman and 2 small girls. One of the girls looked up and said “Oh no, not another OLD LADY!”. I won’t go into all of their bratty behavior but the other woman gave up and left. Now the parents of these 2 brats were in a lounger near the hot tub and never once minded them. It’s a good thing I was up on deck watching the big screen or these “non” parents would have gotten a piece of my mind. I am not a public hot tub user but isn’t the rule that kids are not supposed to be in them unaccompanied??? About the same time that the movie ended (noonish), they announced that we no longer needed tender tickets to go ashore. WE caught a tender with no waiting and ventured ashore. We ate a burger which was what you would expect it to be as everything has to be ferried over, and shared a table with 4 young crew members on a rare day off. DM bought a trinket for a friend and we caught a tender back. We easily scored some prime loungers on the upper aft deck at the adult only pool, and I had a Mud Slide for a very reasonable $6.50. Then it started to drizzle so it was back to the mini-suite for a nap. I do love having the sofa to nap on! We returned to our cabin where we found an invitation for our “Navigational Bridge Tour” on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas DM! I had visited the bridge previously on the Ultimate Ships Tour on the Crown which I highly recommend, but thought it would be a bit ambitious for DM. Therefore I was hoping the request to the Commodore would be granted and he did not disappoint. We dressed festively as it was Christmas Eve, but passed on any casual photo opportunities. This night was the crew Christmas caroling and it’s another reason I love cruising at Christmas. We got our Holiday Carols booklet and joined in. When they got to “Let It Snow” and that real snow starts falling from the top of the Piazza, it is magical! We again shared a table with a large group this time and afterwards caught the tail end of the Beatles Medley in the Piazza. DM spent a short time in Gatsby’s which was waaaayyyy too smoky for me and came out $20 ahead on her slots. I had a drink from Franky in Crooners. Our plan was to attend the Ultimate Deck Party. The drizzling rain outside forced the deck party to be held in the Piazza. The change of venue did not seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. For those of you who were on this cruise, I was the one in the blinking red glasses and flashing ring. The fact that I got DM to wear both as well is why I love cruising with her! I think a good time was had by all, even though we mostly just took advantage of our front row seat and people watched! Afterwards it was time for DM to retire. I had a Bailey’s in Crooners, and chatted with Franky who had a Christmas present for me…a crew pin! I now have the old version and the new! CHRISTMAS DAY at SEA: We awoke and exchanged a few small presents we had brought aboard and DM won $10 on her scratch lottery tickets I had put in her stocking. We did some packing and I took down the Christmas decorations, as we were one of the few who put luggage out later that night. We gave wrapped presents to Michael and Franky, some candy we had brought on board. Today was Santa’s arrival! I have to comment that other than the bratty girls in the hot tub, the 750 children on board were all well behaved. And I believe all 750 were lined up to sit on Santa’s lap and get a gift! The line went FOREVER! I love the radio chatter between the Coast Guard and the Bridge when Santa arrives. I thought I was video taping his whole entrance thru the Piazza as “Here Comes Santa Claus” blared, and afterwards realized I had not pushed the button to tape! Well, some things are just meant to be seen in real time! I think Santa had a l-o-n-g night as his sparkly attendants had to help with his bowl full of jelly belly which was sort of sagging. The kids, big & small, did not seem to mind. We watched for a bit and then went off for the pub lunch and some great fish & chips in the Wheelhouse Bar. We caught a bit of magician Ben Seidman in the Piazza and we did some reading on the Promenade deck which is just a peaceful place to relax. I wish they would make it a “quiet zone” as the people strolling tend to shout at each other as they walk by. Our Bridge Tour was scheduled for 3:00 and we were met by a member of the security team and escorted to the Bridge where Commodore Romano greeted us. We had brought gifts of candy to the Bridge as well. We were allowed to take photos and DM even got to sit in one of the pilot chairs. I love the bridge and the crew there takes watches of 4 hours on, 4 hours off with no days off. The watcher stands his visual watch and with all of the electronics onboard, his position is considered the most important. Some things never change in hundreds of years! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/attac...1&d=1388518142 After the Bridge Tour, DM went for a nap and my plan was to have Afternoon Tea. When I turned the corner, the line for tea was longer than the line for anytime dining! Oops. Now I am the one complaining about lines! Lol I think it was due to the fact that the weather was not that great. I passed on the tea and went to the IC and had some goodies! Dinner was shared with a table of 6 others. One couple did the food complaining, the short cruise complaining, etc. Another couple was frustrated as they were doing a B2B and had to change cabins from an interior to an obstructed view. Seriously? Take the upgrade! DM had the turkey and I had the beef and all was tasty and the best part was we did not have to cook it! Dessert (Christmas Pudding for me) was as always, fabulous! My favorite dessert on this cruise was the French vanilla bean crème brulee, and I am an admitted vanillaholic! After dinner we went to see the show Broadway Ballroom, the only time we went to the theatre. It was your typical cruise ship production. My bad, but I almost fell asleep. I was looking forward to seeing “Now You See Me” on the big MUTS screen and after dinner we changed into comfortable, warmer clothes and headed up only to find it raining. So we returned to the cabin to watch it on tv and as much as we had planned to see the Christmas production, Holiday Wishes, with the crew…..once in the cabin to watch the movie…. we were done for the night. DISEMBARKATION DAY: (Sad Day) - Having put our luggage out the night before we were to wait in the Wheelhouse for a Group Orange 7, 9:20 disembarkation time. We had a leisurely brekkie in the MDR and still had an hour to kill. I found a seat in the packed Wheelhouse for DM and then went to drop my Consummate Host card off. I also dropped our Future Cruise Deposit Form in the box. This was literally 15 minutes before we disembarked and within 5 hours we had our e-mail confirmation. I had read some other posts complaining about this, so possibly we benefited from those previous complaints. I can say that each time I cruised by there, I never once saw the consultant. I noticed no one disembarking. I went and collected DM and it was about 20 minutes before our group was to be called. I asked the crew if we could walk off and she asked if we were in a hurry. I said we had a long drive and she smiled and said sure go ahead. We were the only two down the gang plank and into the luggage area. We elected to have a porter help, found our bags and he walked us thru the lane where the wheelchairs were going and we bypassed the whole passport line so we were literally off the ship and outside in 3 minutes. He took our luggage to our floor of the elevator and we were parked only about 6 spaces away. We loaded up and were off to A1A to visit my brother in Lighthouse Point. SUMMARY: This was one of the most relaxing cruises I have ever enjoyed. I wish I had booked the B2B, but prior to the cruise my Miata had to have a fuel pump replaced, and after the cruise my Yorkie fell and needed an x-ray so the mechanic and the Vet cost more than my whole cruise! I’m hoping they offer the “free cruise” again and I would book this same cruise in April for my birthday. Princess is my favorite line so I might be biased. The bottom line for me is the complainers are on a CRUISE! They are not fighting an illness in hospital. They have discretionary money to cruise. Unless the ship breaks down, or the seas are 30 feet, what is there to complain about??? Bon Voyage until next time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This is a beautiful ship! All the public rooms are wonderful, as was our cabin. Embarkation was a little hectic, as they are trying to get so many people on in a short time...the cruise leaves at 3:00 p.m. But, other than that we never ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship! All the public rooms are wonderful, as was our cabin. Embarkation was a little hectic, as they are trying to get so many people on in a short time...the cruise leaves at 3:00 p.m. But, other than that we never felt crowded, even though the cruise was sold out. Also, being a vacation week, there were over 1,500 children on board. However, the crew is so attentive to them we never felt the children were an issue. The food on this ship was as good or better than we have had on any cruise. Several specialy dining options are available and we tried four of them...all were great but we enjoyed Le Bistro the best. The entertainment was fantastic. You have to try the dinner theater, which features magicians, acrobats, and jugglers. Amazing! Burn the Floor was also amazing. But, what made this cruise one of our favorites was the crew. They are incredibly polite and accommodating. One word of caution to people who get sea sickness, this cruise is rough. The Atlantic is much more rough than the Caribbean. It didn't bother us, but it did many others. We thought our mini suite was very nice. We booked our cruise late and was offered this cabin, which is normally reserved for handicapped passengers. Because of this, the room was much larger than a normal mini suite and had a very large deck. The only minor inconvenience is the door was automatic and took an long time to close each time we entered or left. Our cabin steward (Michael) was amazingly accommodating, professional and polite. We had an issue with the passengers above us throwing cigarette buts ant trash down on our balcony and Michael took care of that for us, saving me from getting myself in hot water! No sofa in this cabin though, but that was not a concern for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
What an amazing time we had on the Carnival Splendor (Dec 19 - Dec 27, 2013). I would certainly recommend this ship, its cruise itinerary and time of cruise departure (Christmas) for families. My husband and I traveled with our two ... Read More
What an amazing time we had on the Carnival Splendor (Dec 19 - Dec 27, 2013). I would certainly recommend this ship, its cruise itinerary and time of cruise departure (Christmas) for families. My husband and I traveled with our two daughters, (ages 11 and 15) and still had pockets of time to spend together alone. Our eldest enjoyed the C02 lounge and met a network of other teens from around the country. She continues to correspond with those she met. By the end of the cruise my youngest was hanging with friends from Circle C. There were over 1200 children on the ship! My husband and I spent time nightly at The Comedy Club, Dance Club and Piano Bar. The excursions were great too!! We had a beautiful tour of The Banana Lagoon (â„… Island Cruises, Cape Canaveral Florida), then on to Atlantis (Nassau Bahamas â„… Carnival Cruise Lines) and finally Snorkeled (Freeport The Bahamas, â„… Pat & Diane Excursions). While the weather was warm on the way down it was cold on the way home. This did not dampen our spirits (and it was raining outside too!). I would not linger on the lines on The Lido Deck, instead enjoy a dining experience in the Black or Gold Pearl Dining Rooms. We loved our wait staff and the food is delicious, the service is lively and accommodating. Thank you Igor! We miss you. Igor even cut up my daughters steak!!! We ate each meal in a dining room. Our dinner was scheduled for 6p and we made that nightly. It was a time to return as a family as my eldest remained with her CO2 friends. However, I would recommend that you take dinner with out a time scheduled, this way you can return to the ship leisurely, when at a port and still eat in the dining room. We raced a bit when we were in Nassau. The pizza is as amazing as everyone says (Lido Deck). We did not eat in The Pinacle but we did experience a wine/food pairing and that was really fun (The Pinacle). We enjoyed eating brunch and breakfast in The Gold Pearl with other passengers. We dined, listened to music, laughed and lingered in the lobby with passengers from Queens, NY, Pennsylvania, Syracuse, Maine, California and Kentucky -- and everyone we met was friendly, engaging and we might have lingered a bit longer than normal because we enjoyed our conversations so much. Our room was cleaned beautifully each night, new towels appeared when we needed them and guest services was friendly and helpful. We did purchase Faster To The Fun, which I also recommend so that you can use a personal phone number to contact guest services and use the same line as Diamond and Platinum guests at the front desk. FTF also gets you on board the ship and to your stateroom earlier than most other guests. Please consider renting or purchasing in advance walkie talkies as the ship is a bit big in the beginning. However, once you understand how to navigate through either the Main Deck or 5th floor you will not mind and will have fun. I promise. Great trip. Hope you experience the same. Can't wait for our next cruise with Carnival.. :-) Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Sail date: Dec. 23, 2013 Cabin 8126, Junior Suite Good: Our cabin – so quiet and spacious. Great storage Leroy - stateroom attendant – really worked hard to fix problems he did not create. WOW attitude! Erhan and Naceur – our ... Read More
Sail date: Dec. 23, 2013 Cabin 8126, Junior Suite Good: Our cabin – so quiet and spacious. Great storage Leroy - stateroom attendant – really worked hard to fix problems he did not create. WOW attitude! Erhan and Naceur – our waiter and assistant each night Cabanette on Coco Cay - AMAZING Food in the dining room Stage and Screen show Clips of shows we missed the night before on TV Very smooth embarkation Snorkeling on Coco Cay Wonderful holiday decorations Apology from Guest Services Bad: Gifts and Gear items not delivered Shore Excursions desk not open when we boarded When Shore Ex desk was open – only one person working it for about 45 minutes. Line did not move. Different prices quoted in email from Crown and Anchor for Cabana than what was available at Shore Ex desk No account on TV…had to go to Guest Services to see account. Had to go to Guest Services seven or eight times to resolve Gifts and Gear. Tried to change drink package to go down one level from what I purchased and was then charged for an extra drink package! Gifts and Gear assorted fruit and cheese basket to be delivered the first day turned into a basket of fruit and a plate of only brie on the second to last night. Not enough soda machines…. had to wait 10 – 12 minutes in between fill ups. That is not exactly “unlimited”. Windjammer floor wet and no one seemed to care when a guest fell due to the wet floor. Had to stand in line every night to get into the dining room. Wanted to book the next cruise on the morning of departure…no one was working the office. They just left some fliers out. Overall: We had a great time but I am not sure I would go on EOTS unless I had an amazing deal. Ready to book with Royal Caribbean – but on a different ship. This four night cruise was to see if my husband likes cruising. A year and a half ago I did a seven night cruise on Freedom of the Seas with a girlfriend. And my husband wanted to give it a try so we picked this quick, four night cruise over Christmas. We stayed at the Marriott in Cocoa Beach and had a room with a bit of an ocean view- but enough for me to see our ship come in at 6 a.m. We arrived at Port Canaveral a little before 11 a.m. and we had a short wait to get onboard. Once onboard, I went straight to the Guest Services desk to reserve a Cabana or Cabanette and to change our drink package. I originally booked two Classic Packages – all the beer, wine, soda you want so my recovering alcoholic husband could have all the NA beer he wanted. The rule at the time of booking was that each cabin member over the age of 21 had to buy the same package. All I wanted was soda, but I bought the $207.00 package to follow the rule…so $414.00 for the two of us to not have a drop of alcohol. I was very pleased to find out that the package rule changed and I called RCCL the day before my cruise to change it. They said I had to go to Guest Services. Back to the line in Guest Services….once I reached the counter they told me the guys selling the packages had to make the change. I asked about the cabana and was told I had to go to Shore Excursions…which was not open yet. I was very surprised that the Shore Excursion desk was not open as soon as they started to allow passengers onboard. I went to the beverage guys and they changed my Seapass sticker and made me sign something that said I was changing the package. I asked where my refund would show up and the guy said Guest Services would tell me that later that night. I asked for the back copy of what I signed and he said I could not have it!! I repeated to make sure I heard it right that I could not have a written copy of what I signed and that he had no idea where my refund would show up. I went off to the spa to make a hair appointment because you cannot make that type of spa appointment online. That was not a problem. I went to the Park Café but it was not open yet. We went to the Windjammer and I left my husband there to go to the Shore Excursion desk. The line was long and I was in it for 40 minutes because only one person was working the desk. Eventually, a second person showed up and had a shopping bag with a Santa hat in it for the guy working hard at the counter trying to handle the huge line. The price for the cabana was higher than was quoted to me in an email from Crown and Anchor and the two person cabana for $120.00 from the same email did not exist. I booked the $50.00 cabanette – one of the best decisions I made for this cruise. I then made a reservation for a table by a window for the dining room. My husband was very irritated that the first hour of the cruise involved me running around following directions from RCCL that were not correct and he had to eat lunch alone. Not a good start. We got into our stateroom – a junior suite 8126 and it was really nice. Our stateroom attendant came in right away and introduced himself. Leroy was a difference maker for my husband and he was so much better than the stateroom attendant I had on the Freedom. The room was very nice with lots of storage. I could not find a Room Service menu (it was in the desk drawer), but I was very pleased with the room. Over the cruise, we heard short rumbles a couple of times a day, but no noise other than that from the pool deck. We were really pleased with how quiet the room was and how attentive Leroy was. I was a little bit surprised that the fruit and cheese basket I ordered, brownies for my husband that I ordered and the chocolate strawberries that I ordered were not there. On the Freedom, all of the items ordered from Gifts and Gear were in the stateroom right from the start. The ship started to leave and it was rough once we got out of the channel. My husband had on the patch and then we added the Seabands. I wore the Seabands as well. I never had a problem on the Freedom, but I was sick to my stomach by the time we went to dinner. Our waiter was Erhan from Turkey and we enjoyed him very much. He worked like a synchronized swimmer with Naceur from Tunisia. At each meal I watched waiters with their assistants and they looked irritated with each other. These two moved quickly, with a quick smile and a joke to make sure everything was perfect. Once my husband realized that he could order something else if he did not like something, he really enjoyed the dining experience. The maître’d was moving all around and even helped to bus tables. He spoke to us several times. I never recall a maitre’d picking up dishes! We went back to our cabin to unpack and to try and deal with the motion of the ship. We skipped the shows that night. The next day at Coco Cay was worth the whole cruise. We got up early and we were the first ones at the cabanettes. This is a private beach area with two chairs, a shade thing, floating mat, two huge bottles of water in ice, a fruit plate and later on – a bar was set up. There was one attendant and she (nicely) chased off anyone who did not have a reservation. This was all for $50.00 and SO worth it. Everyone in the cabanette area was quiet – no kids. It was SO peaceful. My husband was the only one snorkeling and all the fish followed him around. He said it was a truly remarkable experience to be the only one in the water. Nassau was icky…and mainly closed since we arrived on Christmas day. We did walk over to the Queen’s Staircase. The guide at the start was very good. My husband went up and one of the vendors at the top tried to take his money from his hand and when he quickly put it back in his pocket – the woman put her hand in his pocket and followed him when he ran away from her. Creepy. Geoffrey was running trivia that same day and no one showed up for it. He was really nice and answered every question we had about the ship and then played trivia with my husband. He could have packed it up and gone on a break…but he basically entertained the two of us for an hour! Another WOW attitude! Day at Sea was nice – hubbie won me many a pen at trivia! Getting off the ship was easy – but we were disappointed that the office onboard the ship for future cruises was not open that morning. We had about four hours to kill onboard that morning and would have liked to have spoken with someone. In summation, the crew was SO much better than the crew on the Freedom. The Freedom OTS should have training given to them by the Enchantment OTS. The Guest Services, Shore Excursions and Gifts and Gear took up a lot of my time when one visit to Guest Services should have resolved everything. I am ready to cruise again!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Ok, so this was my families 2nd cruise (2nd with Carnival). We stayed on the same class of ship of our first one. We sailed over Christmas with my Aunt, Uncle, 2 cousins, Grandparents, Mom, and Dad. In total, that makes 9. On this cruise, ... Read More
Ok, so this was my families 2nd cruise (2nd with Carnival). We stayed on the same class of ship of our first one. We sailed over Christmas with my Aunt, Uncle, 2 cousins, Grandparents, Mom, and Dad. In total, that makes 9. On this cruise, we went to Freeport and Nassau, going on excursions in each port. Our embarkation went smooth as ever! We somehow got moved up to the front of the line (probably because we were a group of 9). Once we passed baggage and the metal detectors, we had to wait only 15 minutes before we boarded the ship! I am kind of sad that we had such a good experience, because nothing will compare to how easy the embarkation was. Second order of business is the food. The food was amazing in the Ecstasy Dining Room. The food in the Lido deck restaurant was amazing as well. The lines were long, but the food was hot and delicious. Next, the cabin my family had was an ocean view room, M214. For 3 people, it was highly spacious and luxurious. Finally, our service was phenomenal! Our cabin steward Putu (i hope i spelled that right) knew all of our names before we left Port Canaveral. He did a fantastic job making towel animals and I always looked forward to seeing which one it would be that night. Lastly, our dining staff consisted of Jeffery, Ivelyn, and Marianna who all took great care of us and catered to our every will. One night, we ordered like 14 total appetizers (for the whole group not just us 3) and they didn't hesitate to bring it to us. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas vacation! Sincerely~ TheCruiseDirector Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We took three vehicles to get eleven people to the ship. My wife and myself made this everyone's Christmas present. Going on the cruise with us was my oldest son, wife and three year daughter. In the next cabin was my other so , girl ... Read More
We took three vehicles to get eleven people to the ship. My wife and myself made this everyone's Christmas present. Going on the cruise with us was my oldest son, wife and three year daughter. In the next cabin was my other so , girl friend and five year old daughter and the last cabin had my mother in-law, her grand daughter and great granddaughter age thirteen. They all had inside cabins. My wife and myself had a suite. We ate at chops one night and took everybody to guava is table one night. All the other nights we all ate in the main dining room. The food and service were good in the main dining room. Taking care of this family was a challenge for servers as many have picky taste. The specialty restaurants were excellent in both quality and service. All of the kids used the kids programs and everyone was happy with the activities and the way coucileors worked with the kids. Activities for everyone else seemed lacking on this ship. My wife and myself are almost diamond and this is the smallest ship we have been on in years after doing Oasis and Allure the last two years. Entertainment was average at best. We expected this with the smaller ship. Stateroom was always clean, but never saw room steward except on the last two days. I had to write him notes as to what we needed or wanted. Getting on and off the ship was easy. Overall the trip was enjoyable and enjoyed being around the little ones. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Being without children, I had a few issues with DCL, but honestly, I could see why anyone would want to take another Disney Cruise, it's a fabulous company. But it doesn't fit my personal interest. Here goes a breakdown of my ... Read More
Being without children, I had a few issues with DCL, but honestly, I could see why anyone would want to take another Disney Cruise, it's a fabulous company. But it doesn't fit my personal interest. Here goes a breakdown of my experience: Cleanliness/Ship- The good: The decor on this ship is beautiful. I found myself always noticing something new in the details. The color scheme is nautical and classic. There were always crew members cleaning; even cleaning places you would never think needed it! I wish ALL cruise ships were this lovely. The layout was easy to navigate, I never found myself needing to go up to get down or anything, although that may have been luck. Room- The good: The rooms are HUGE! We had an Ocean View (normally we like balconies, but this cruise was a gift to us so I'm not complaining!) and I loved how much space there was. With just two of us in the room, we didn't even use the majority of the storage provided. The "whatever": I'm iffy on the split bathrooms, I like the idea of it, but there was a lot of "Oops, that's the shower," and "Oops, that's the toilet." Not a big deal at all, but I'm just as content with the whole bathroom as I was the split one. Had it been more than my husband and I sharing a room, the split bathroom would have been VERY handy! The bad: Our Folio never worked on the TV, which was kind of irritating, but it may have had something to do with my mother-in-law being the one that booked the trip? It wasn't irritating enough for me to ever report the problem, though. So again, not a big deal. Our room had a lot of noise at night. We were under the Bridge, so I'm not sure what that was about? It got loud, though. Staff- The good: I've yet to go on a cruise where the staff weren't friendly and didn't seem happy. But on Disney, they were almost over the top accommodating. The Head Server (Alex) always cut the food for the younger kids in our party, the staff always said "Good Morning" and remembered our names, our Hostess (Nortel) played with the kids and chatted with us for about 20 minutes one night. All things I've never seen elsewhere. A+ to Disney on that one! The bad: The servers in Cabanas (the lido buffet) were actually not terribly friendly. There were a few that were always smiling and sweet, but several didn't even talk. Kind of odd! The Cruise Director- WHO? WHERE? He was not accessible and the only time he was seen was before the production shows. He didn’t even make most of the announcements. Food/Dining- The good: The soft pretzels that were served in The District (adult’s area) were the best food on the ship! The BBQ pizza from Luigi's was also fantastic. The apple deserts served in the MDR were good, but I didn't care for any others. I loved the rotational dining, but wish we had been at The Animator's Palate the whole cruise. Love that MDR! The characters on the TVs were interacting with the guests and, again, there was SO much to look at. Our servers (Alex and Merrick) were fantastic, as previously mentioned. Full of life and always happy to bring us MORE than what we even asked for. The bad: I really didn't care for any of the food I haven’t mentioned yet. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t eat anything that made me go “WOW!” with the exception of the pretzels, pizza, and apple desserts. The food was all just so-so. But believe me, I did eat. I’ve got three new pounds to get rid of! :) We were told that the buffet in Cabana’s was not open during dinner (not sure if that’s true or not) and I didn’t like that I felt there was no other option than to eat in the MDRs for dinner. There was nothing that was served 24 hours. Not even the ice cream. The times were weird for the Flo’s Cafe area, I didn’t like that either. I want to be able to eat whenever I want, even if it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I want something to hold me until dinner. Entertainment (get ready for more bad than good here)- The good: You can tell they put a great deal of money into their production shows. The actors are good, the dancing is good, and the staging is good. I like that they show first-run movies on board. We were able to watch Frozen while docked in Castaway Cay, which not many people can say they’ve done yet! The TVs in the staterooms offer almost every Disney/Pixar movie you can think of. I’m honestly not one to watch TV or movies on vacation, but… The bad: The productions shows got boring. My favorite show was the Vegas-style magic show, and we unfortunately left that early. I also went to The Golden Mickeys and Villains Tonight. They were cute, but boring at times. The fireworks on Pirate Night were short and followed a performance I couldn’t see from the amount of people on deck. There were other shows I didn’t make it to, but I didn’t love the ones I did see, so I’m not too upset. Having eaten at the early seating, my husband and I had a tendency to get full and tired before anything started for the night. I pulled myself to go do things the first three nights, but there were hour lulls where there was nothing else to do but go sit in our room and watch TV while he fell asleep and I waited. I didn’t feel like the Characters were around as much as people said. They only came out for scheduled pictures, then disappeared. I thought I’d see them all over the place? I didn’t like the lack of adult entertainment on board. I only went to one of the three shows that were 18+ because I really wanted to sleep at 10:30 after being bored for two and a half hours. That one show was… okay. It was the “Love and Marriage Game” or whatever. It went exactly as the games on Carnival go, same questions and all. This game was hosted by my favorite of the entertainment staff, Jo. But I only saw her once more. Other than that, there were two magic shows for 18+, neither of which I made it to. The only other scheduled adult activities were centered around Nightclub Dancing (no thanks), the Spa (not my cup of tea), and Fitness Center (I prefer to work out on my own). We spent most of our time on board in the Serenity area, but I wish they had some sort of entertainment there during the day. Castaway Key- The good: I want to OWN this island! Very pretty. It’s not overly Americanized and the island isn’t overly developed. With the exception of the beach area, the island appeared to be natural and untouched, which I love. I wish we’d been able to check out the Serenity area of the island, but we were spending time with family. The bad: Maybe I should have eaten the BBQ at Cookies, because I didn’t eat a thing from there that I liked! Embarkation/Debarkation- The good: Love that we can bring alcohol on board. That saved us a lot of money, even with still buying several drinks a day so we wouldn’t have to go to the room. Debarkation was awesome. We could just get off the ship whenever we wanted! The luggage was arranged by room number, very convenient! The bad: Maybe we should have chosen a later port arrival time? The embarkation process was just as I’ve experienced in the past. They make it seem like it would be more organized by giving you a time to arrive, but you don’t get on the ship at that time. That, I didn’t like. To end things- I loved the Disney Cruise, there are certainly things they do better than other lines. But I’m not sure they’re the right cruise line for me. Most of this rests in the entertainment and food schedule, obviously. But for those reasons, I’m not sure I would choose DCL if given the choice in the future. If they were to focus a little more on the adults at night (starting around 8:30 rather than 10:30!), I would definitely consider them again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Pros: (1)Very positive check in experience. Lines moved quickly and we were on board within 30 minutes after arriving at the terminal. (2) Vibe Beach-immediately upon boarding ship went straight to desk to sign up for Vibe Beach. ... Read More
Pros: (1)Very positive check in experience. Lines moved quickly and we were on board within 30 minutes after arriving at the terminal. (2) Vibe Beach-immediately upon boarding ship went straight to desk to sign up for Vibe Beach. Eventhough the weather didn't cooperate during the week we still were able to utilize this oasis. Would recommend to anyone who likes to relax in an adult only area. Well worth the money! (3) Room-very nice and an improvement over the room that we had on the Epic. Plenty of space for two people and I prefer the bathroom arrangement on this ship vs the one on the Epic. Balcony is small but still is a great place to watch from as you leave NYC as well as arriving in the different ports. (4) Food-was great, no complaints. Service a couple of times was slow, however it was a completly full ship so it is understandable that it took longer on a couple of occassions. Ate at Savor, Taste, The Manhattan Room, O'Sheas and Moderno Churasscaria. Also purchased the wine package (4 bottles for $88) and that was a great deal. Would do that again. (5) Entertainment-Went to two shows, Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. Both were OK. Also went to the casino a few times and left a looser. Machines did not appear to be paying at all...Oh well. Cons: (1) Completly full ship that included 1500 children that enjoyed running up and down the hallways all day and all night. Not really a complaint just something to be aware of when booking a Thanksgiving week cruise. (2) Weather-not the cruise ship's fault. Mostly cloudy and rainy the entire week. Overall a great cruise on The Breakaway and I would cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My wife and I took the Thanksgiving 4 day Bahamas cruise to Freeport and Nassau from Port Canaveral. Wife rides a scooter due to medical reasons. We arrived at the port around 2pm. A side note here: For all who have a scooter lift on ... Read More
My wife and I took the Thanksgiving 4 day Bahamas cruise to Freeport and Nassau from Port Canaveral. Wife rides a scooter due to medical reasons. We arrived at the port around 2pm. A side note here: For all who have a scooter lift on their vehicle, parking is FREE. It is the same at Ft. Lauderdale port as well, but easier at Port Carnival as they do not have to get a manager to come sign off on it. I think all ports in Florida allow free parking if you have a scooter lift. To be sure, check online what your port will do for it. I stress it is only for vehicles carrying a lift, and not just a disable decal hanging from your mirror. On this trip, it saved me $75 I think. I pulled up to the baggage drop off area. Very organized and quick I must say. Had a porter at my car as I pulled up. He pulled the bags out of the car. Since I already had the bags tagged due to printing them the night before, it was a breeze. I dropped my wife off with her scooter then went and parked. The regular parking garage was full at 2pm so I got put into the, what I call, the south 40 area (the other side of the exit booth for the parking). This is the 2nd time in a row I had to park there due to the time I arrived. No big deal though. Gave me a little time to walk and smoke a cig before I met back up with my wife. She had already breezed thru security/x-ray and was waiting by the elevator to the sign in area. I got thru security PDQ then met up with my wife by the elevator. Lines were not moving quickly at both security/x-ray and to get your sail & sign card. Must have been at least 100 people waiting to get checked in. Since my bride of 29 years uses a scooter to go long distances, we breezed thru both lines as they give the disabled VIP treatment plus we did a on-line check in months before the cruise so all we had to do was show our passport and we were issued our cards. After checking in, we were informed where the elevator was, and we were both on the ship within 5 min of leaving the check in counter. Cabin was M230 (main deck (deck 5) aft, port side balcony). Room was ready. We met our steward (Richard) who knew my name. He was very professional and nice. Did not miss a beat in his duties. I asked for bucket of ice to always be in the cabin, and it was. He changed it out twice a day. I had a issue with the TV in the room . He got AV department on it and they changed out the TV. Balcony was plenty big for the 2 of us. We used it a lot. Me more then her as that is where I did my relaxing and smoking from. Cabin wise, it was too small for my wife's liking. Her last 3 cabins have been either suites or disable rooms (she got spoiled). This cabin did not have a couch in it, which I truly missed. It did have 1 cushion chair with a back plus an ottoman. But I knew this months before and though I would adjust. I did, but was not truly comfortable watching TV (we spend a lot of time in the cabin). The bathroom did not have a table or good place to put the bag containing tooth brushes, etc. All that was available was a corner of the sink, but it worked. Common areas were always clean. Staff was friendly. Production shows were far and few between. They had the Brit Show and the Motor City show I think were the names. We attended both. I enjoyed them both. They have a coffee shop with some small sweet items as well for sale. I found the prices to be compatible with Starbuck, or even a little better in price. The MDR food was good. Always hot or cold as needed. I found the taste on all that I ate to be real good. The waiters (3 assigned to our table at one time) were top notch and always kept my tea glass full. They did not look like a chicken with their heads cut off in a daze. I think 3 to a table is working. We had 3 on our last 2 cruises and it looks like it is working just fine. Weather was not the best. Was a bit chilly for this Floridian on most days so I stayed away from the pool as it looked like most did (am sure that hurt the bottom line in alcohol sales). There was a meet up of Cruise Critic members for a slot pull that was arranged from the roll call page on here. There were 11-12 people that showed up. We contributed $20 each at 1 slot machine, each putting $20 bill all one after another before the 1st pull then did a set number of pulls (I forgot but it was like 12 pulls each I think) for the max money amount allowed for each pull.. After all pulled, it turned out we each lost $5 bucks (was not a good machine!!! LOL). Then we all went our separate ways....I must thank a women who I met who helped me out. THANK YOU. I never did get her name. I pulled my money from the cabin safe, but left it on safe by accident. She fronted me the $20 needed, as cards would not be used. After we were done, I went back up to the cabin and found the $20 sitting just where I left it. I brought it back and gave it to her, and all was good. We did not do any excursions (most were water related and it was too cold for my liking). Only walked off the ship to walk around the pier area and surrounding stores. It has been 20 years since we had been to Freeport. They have a few dozen junket shops at the pier. Location of the pier is in the industrial area. The shopping area on the island, I was told, is on the other side of the island, or a good taxi ride away. As my bride uses a scooter, it would be impossible for us, so we just lounged around the pier junket shops for an hour or so, then came back to the ship. Nassau was Nassau. I got to see their Navy ship tied at the pier again. I think they are close to derusting it and maybe take it out once in awhile....LOL We again just went around the pier area stores. My bride was looking for a certain type of dress and found it. She was a happy camper.... I used internet connection in Nassau from a Nassau pier area source for an hour at a cost of $10. Sat on my balcony and did my thing. Used all but 1-2 min. That is the only time I got on or cared about checking the internet Our afternoons (3 of them) were spent taking naps. Was WONDERFUL. My goal was to come on the cruise to relax. We did...:) Debarkation was a breeze. After about 1 hour from tying to the pier, they started letting zones off. We spent the waiting time at the buffet breakfast area enjoying our last ship's breakfast. All the other breakfasts were at the dining room midships where we were served and did not have to stand in line with plates for our food. I found my luggage easy enough. Got in VIP line, due to wife scooter use again, for Customs, and was outside walking to my car within 10 minutes. I had 2 bags so we just strolled to the car vice having me deal with traffic at the baggage pickup area. Then we just pulled out and away we went. Overall, the cruise met my desire of relaxation. Ship was clean. Staff was great. Food was good. I am sure there is some hit and misses with some cruises. this one was a HIT!!!! .   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We were on the Thanksgiving cruise. This was the first cruise for my husband, DS (12) and DS (5) and my second Norwegian cruise. I'll start with the negative first. The weather was awful, but that had nothing to do with the ... Read More
We were on the Thanksgiving cruise. This was the first cruise for my husband, DS (12) and DS (5) and my second Norwegian cruise. I'll start with the negative first. The weather was awful, but that had nothing to do with the ship.....it was all about Mother Nature. We couldn't tender to their private island because of the wind and waves so we headed right over to Nassau. Our excursion was canceled due to the weather so we went to the atlantis resort to walk around. We were in cabin 8728 - a mini suite with a large balcony. The room was plenty for 4 of us. The balcony was huge, the bathroom was amazing and the bed was soooooo comfortable. Yes, we felt the rocking of the boat, but we got used to it. Our cabin steward was SHAKE. He is now preparing the Getaway for its maiden sail, but he was amazing. The towel animals were so cool. The kids club was fantastic. My 12 year old has cerebral palsy and they were wonderful with him. My kids hated to leave every night. We purchased the week long spa package. GET IT!!!!!!!! While we were waiting to board, they set up a table in the lobby and we purchased it right there. Loved it!!!! The food was great....lots of choices. You most certainly will never be hungry. Beware....you will be nickel and dimed for everything. We had two bottles of wine one night, that was it and all the little things added up to over $1200. So make sure you budget in for the little things. The ship is beautiful and we can't wait to go back. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
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 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
MY boyfriend and I took our first cruise aboard the Miracle from Christmas Eve to New Years. For the price we booked (booked an obstructed view balcony room but got bumped to a regular balcony) we felt the cru8ise, ship, staff and service ... Read More
MY boyfriend and I took our first cruise aboard the Miracle from Christmas Eve to New Years. For the price we booked (booked an obstructed view balcony room but got bumped to a regular balcony) we felt the cru8ise, ship, staff and service was excellent. Being that this was a long trip with a total of 4 sea days, it helped that there was lots of food and activities (good food at that )to keep us busy and and a fun fun trip. We went to Port Canaveral in Florida (Our least favorite, and could have done without it), and then off to Nassau and Freeport Bahamas. We did the Atlantis excursion in Nassau and fell in love with the resort and water park. We hit the beach ih Freeport and did some shopping. Overall we felt it was well worth it and made for a great and affordable holiday vaca!!! :) * we did not know that there is no heat on the ship in the rooms. There is only AC (so u can turn that on or off) but there is no heat to turn on. We would've been a little more prepared for that if we had known, since the first 2 days leaving NY was very very cold. They did provide us with extra blankets *Internet via satellite can be purchased (a little expensive however) *You must check out the Nick and Nora's steakhouse- its the only place you pay for food. Make a reservation ($35 per person). We did it one night (NYE night) and the food was awesome Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Hello future cruisers who plan on taking a cruise on the Jewel :) I know that a lot of people check out the reviews to give them reasons on to why they SHOULDN'T go on this ship, or is this ship horrible, or to tell them about the ... Read More
Hello future cruisers who plan on taking a cruise on the Jewel :) I know that a lot of people check out the reviews to give them reasons on to why they SHOULDN'T go on this ship, or is this ship horrible, or to tell them about the HORRIBLE service. But this isn't going to be one of those. Just so you know. . . all cruise ships have poor reviews, its impossible to please every single person on board, so of course you will have that one person that will complain. Was this ship in perfect condition, no but it sure looked great. So here I go. . . How to start things off, join cruise critic. Why? you can join the roll call, find out what you should bring, and meet fellow cruisers that will be traveling with you. *another thing, the bf and I are 25 and 26. Just so you can read our review from that stand point. (the day before our cruise is snowed 4 inches, we were ready to leave) day 1. leaving NYC. My boyfriend and I decided to go on this cruise in early summer. So we put out deposit down, and made payments on this cruise until October 1st. Which is awesome, not many cruise lines allow you to make payments. But we left the Lehigh Valley at 9:30am, hit a little bit of traffic into NYC (its New York, you will hit traffic, get over it) and got dropped off at Pier 88 around noon. It was not packed at all. Since we cruised before, we are Latitude members and walked straight through security and got our room keys right away. While your waiting on your room key, they make you fill out a form asking if your sick or not. All the Pier Employee's were happy and pleasant. As your walking, you walk in front of a green screen to take a photo that you will see in the photo gallery on board. They did have coffee for you to drink but the bf and I decided to just get on the ship. This is where "Washy-Washy" starts. When you get on the ship, they spray your hands with anti bacterial liquid, which is great, because norovirus STINKS. When you walk on board, they scan your room key card to make sure its you, and off you go. Your on vacation. The first thing we did was schedule our reservation for the Chefs table. They only do one of these so book yours fast. Its amazing. As soon as we did that we went to Tsar's and got lunch. The cheese steak taste just as good as Pat's! If your from the Philly area you know what Pat's cheese steaks taste like. During lunch we heard the announcement that the rooms were ready by 12:45!!! Which is great if you on a cruise. Our room was great. It was a bit odd for us because on our last cruise we got the Owners Suite and went down to the Aft Facing Cabin. But we are ALWAYS doing the aft facing cabin from here on out. The view is amazing, and you smell the bread from the bakery all the time. Its great. The bathroom is a little small, but it was a wonderful room. We ate dinner at the Moderno and almost had to be rolled back to our room. The view leaving NYC out of an aft facing balcony is beautiful, you won't regret it. day 2 day at sea and New Years Eve. This vacation was all about relaxation for me. All I wanted to do was read my nook, catch a few shows and eat great food. Which is what I did. This was the day we met up with fellow cruise critic members and did the meet and greet with a few of the crew and the slot pull. That was awesome, met some really cool folks. New Years Eve was "dress up or not" night, which the bf and I did decide to get dressed up. A lot of people were in ball gowns, tuxedos etc. Bands played in every bar. We partied in Spinnaker Lounge and had a blast. The band on stage was Next Stage, they had confetti when the ball dropped, noise makers, hats etc. It was jammed packed and a very good time. Everyone was happy! DAY 3 This it the day we were in Florida. Everyone still seemed happy from the night before, I ran into a few miserable people who were hung over, but you just ignore them. Sitting on our balcony (aft) seeing all the boats and seagulls was neat. And going into Port was interesting, I enjoyed seeing Port Canaveral and the NASA sign. This was the day we visited family and had pork and sauerkraut. We got back on the boat on time, and left Port on time. It was another great day. The food all over the ship is amazing. Day 4... Great Stirrup Cay. This place ROCKS! I mean that. You can rent a huge blue float, take your drinks, your book (in my case) and a camera, and just float, for hours. Doing nothing. Tons of people had the same idea. Plenty of lawn chairs. Just bring your own towel. If you lose your room towel, you have to pay $25 for yours. Just an FYI. The food was decent, and you get to take a tender to the island. The island right next to it was Royal Caribbeans private island. So they had two ships anchored off shore. It was neat to see. Also the people watching is incredible. You can walk around, there is a mini straw market, and also mini bars everywhere. Loved this place. This was also the night we did the Chefs dinner. Which I had no complaints, some of the food wasn't for me, but I had a bite of everything. 9 course meal, why wouldn't I? Day 5 . . . Nassau, I've been to Nassau numerous times now. Nothing great. The straw market is cool, negotiate all your prices. But Senor Frogs is where ALL the fun is. We drank a lot, and enjoyed looking out at the 5 cruise ships that were docked. (yes 5!) beautiful at night, totally different world down there. I can't remember where we ate at that night, but I do recall saying that the bread was amazing. Day 6. . sea day -_- This was the day I wished I didn't drink so much. I was sick most of the morning because I was a moron and drank to much the day before. All my fault. By noon I was walking around feeling normal. That night we ate at Chin Chin. Incredible food. It was amazing. Jean Pierre sat next to us, and he talked to us a bit, he was funny. (See his show! You will laugh your butt off and think to yourself, "did he just say that?") This was also the night of the variety show, they do this beautiful masterpiece at the end called "Fountains". Its great. Sit in the front or as close to the front as you can get. I loved it, I sat right in the center. Day 7... Sea Day I walked around a lot, and ate a lot. I didn't want the food to go to waste, so I made sure I had a bit of everything. This was the night of the chocolate buffet, just try it out or walk through it in the garden cafe. Did a lot of packing, and we tipped our room steward, who always read my little post it notes, made great towel animals and was very sweet. Things I missed, which were a lot. We also seen the show Cirque Bijou. This show was amazing, The strength and creativity that these performers have is out of this world. I couldn't imagine doing this on land, let alone on a moving ship. The Variety show you get to see a bit of everything, its like a sampling, see that show on the first night, read your Freestyle Daily. Tells you everything you need to know. Did our stateroom show wear and tear? Yes it does, but it isn't anything horrible. The first time I showered, my shower drain was clogged, and I was standing in 4 inches of water. I called the front desk, and someone was there right away to fix it. We always had clean towels, beds made and hot food. Dan the Man was a really funny cruise ship director! Always smiling. Captain Lars was very funny as well to hear over the loud speaker. I know this was really lengthy, but I wanted people to know what a great time this was. Oh and we had one night of poor service in the mdr but we didn't let that ruin our night or our cruise. It was packed. I didn't blame anyone... Getting off the ship was a breeze, the bf and I decided to just walk off at 8am, we had our own luggage, and we waited in a small line. Walked off, it was that simple. There are a ton of taxi's waiting at the end of the pier, we took our bags, jumped in a cab took it up to the Staten Island Ferry. Which is free! (not the cab, the ferry) Went on the ferry, dropped off our bags. Went on the ferry again. Got our tickets for the WTC tour, seen that. Then we went to Crumbs bake shop. A great end to our trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Usually it's my whole family going on the cruise but this time it was me, my 18 year old sister, and my grandmother. We had cruised like that one time before on the Explorer. I have been on 23 cruises and have been on the Explorer of ... Read More
Usually it's my whole family going on the cruise but this time it was me, my 18 year old sister, and my grandmother. We had cruised like that one time before on the Explorer. I have been on 23 cruises and have been on the Explorer of the Seas 4 times. I have also been on Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. I have also been to the Panama Canal and all the way north to Greenland and Iceland. Of all the cruises and ships I have been on, the Explorer can definitely be said as my favorite ship. Besides its convenient distance from our home, it has a beautiful layout, great entertainment and activities and a real "home" feeling. Ship-Even though the ship is almost as old as I am, I saw no major flaws-there were some little things here and there that were noticeable though. The ship is laid out in a very nice way; most things being easy to find in a short amount of time. All of the lounges are very beautiful also. My favorite lounge was Dizzy's where you looked over the pool deck of the ship. It was so relaxing you could fall asleep. Activities- The activities were very good. Some of the activities like the 70's Dancing in the Street party were not as fun as it was previous trips even though the music was great. This time it just seemed to focus mainly on the t-shirts they were shooting and the light-up rings they were throwing. The New Years party was very exciting, even though the whole crowd changed when the champagne was handed out. Most of the people around us were incredibly drunk; dancing and screaming like idiots. The Welcome Aboard reception was held before that also. Nobody let the officers speak- people were talking like he wasn't even there and I thought it was incredibly rude. The ice skating was one of our favorites. I do figure skating so I brought my skates and did the advanced skate session along with my sister. The skaters working there seemed to get a kick out of the tricks I was doing that were very similar to the ones they do. They have great Mini Golf and Inline Skating that we did not use this time due to weather but had used other times we were on the ship. Service-The service is what makes our trips so enjoyable every time. From the waiters to the entertainers, they are so nice and welcoming we come back on the ship again to see the same ones. We knew some of the singers, one of the girls in the shops, and some waiters who were all so surprised to see us again. My grandma would constantly say "If they were any nicer, they would kiss me goodnight". They work so hard yet treat everyone like royalty. Ports- The ports were okay. We didn't get off the ship in Port Canaveral because we thought we wouldn't have enough time to do what we planned. Instead, we stayed on the ship and went to the pool all day. In Nassau, we got off, walked around and did some of the shopping in the town. It was a great day and our only complaint is the pier stretched practically a mile! It was our first time in CoCo Cay and we were impressed! We were expecting it to be like their private island in Labadee, Haiti that we've been to several times. The actual beach itself was wonderful- except the hundreds of fish surrounding us in the water. The buffet grill was delicious too! Really good food knowing it wasn't "on the ship". The only bad thing about the ports was the terrible times that made doing things on land hard. Embarkation- The embarkation was as easy as ever. It seems that whenever we board the Explorer it gets easier every time. We got there about 11 o'clock and were on bus #1. We only waited about five minutes in the "Platinum" waiting area. The only bad thing was the weather that no one could control. Stateroom- The interesting thing about our cabin was it was the same room as our last cruise in August. We could have just left our stuff there! Compared to other ships, the storage was great and there was enough room for everyone. The beds were as comfortable as always and our veranda was as lovely as always- except the fact that it was cold outside the majority of the trip which made it hard to spend time sitting out. Our room attendant was extremely nice, constantly asking us if we needed anything. Dining- The menu had changed since the last time we were on the ship. The food was better than ever! Some of our favorites were the Duck, the carrot cake I had the first night, the Lobster (best I ever had), and the Baked Alaska. We were given a table for 8 even though we spent the night just the 3 of us the whole trip. Our two waiters were amazing, showing just how great service could be. I did not use any of the Teen Club activities. I never really go to the teen club on most of my cruises. I find that I can "hang out" with people my own age at home rather than wasting my vacation time doing nothing. Entertainment- The entertainment was also better than ever. The production shows proved how amazing the singers, dancers and musicians really are. The music itself was very nice to listen to because of its familiarity- even to a 15 year old. The comedian from the first night did not have a great preview show but had a hilarious late night show. There was also a comedian/ magician that was very entertaining. The 6th night there was Judy Kolba. We had seen her perform on the Explorer before but this time her show was more "friendly" unlike wild from before. The ice shows were definitely a highlight. It was more enjoyable for me to watch knowing that I was capable of doing what they could do. The overall entertainment was very memorable and outstanding. Disembarkation-Leaving the ship was just as easy as getting on. We went to the Palace Theater where we walked in and walked out to an elevator. They held up certain elevators for us to go straight down to Deck 1. I think they did that because we were all listed under Emerald for our grandmother. Even though it was cold, we waited for about a minute to get another bus back to the terminal where we easily found our luggage and left. Summary- All in all, our trip was fantastic and well spent! I would recommend this line and this ship in particular to people of all ages. They have something for everyone and their service truly makes them one of a kind. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
Review of the December, 12, 2011 sailing on The Majesty of the Seas from Miami. The Majesty of the Seas is my favorite. A small ship, I think, feels more like classic cruising. Better service results from a better crew to passenger ... Read More
Review of the December, 12, 2011 sailing on The Majesty of the Seas from Miami. The Majesty of the Seas is my favorite. A small ship, I think, feels more like classic cruising. Better service results from a better crew to passenger ratio. Less time in lines to get on or off, and far fewer lines on board. This was my forth cruise on Majesty. The last one was a year and a week before, so I got to see a year of differences. The ship is looking a bit more worn. While I understand that the Majesty is scheduled for dry dock, most of things I saw were just a simple lack of general maintenance. More things were broken and left that way. For example: Water jets in the hot tubs. Only the bubbles worked. Major dents from a tender. More rust showing in many places. Many lights around the ship were out, including the pool deck. Most of the windows were dirty. My cabin window was foggy from salt build up on the outside. Leaking fire hose connections Broken elevator buttons Don't get me wrong, I do think that she's in good shape for her age. I think most of the issues in dry dock will be to update the styles. Not my area of expertise, but the 1990's chrome look is dated I guess. Just a thought for future designs, a choice of classic design will need less updating over the ship's life. With no new ships on the way, I have to think RCL will keep her going for at least a few more years. When she must be retired, I hope you will bring another smaller ship to Miami. The biggest omission is closing both of the hot tubs at 11 PM. When the ship is refurbished, I understand that they can not put in any new ones. That's a real shame. But please make the two huge to compensate. And there is NO technical reason that they need to be closed at the same time. Each should be totally independent. As crowded as the Majesty hot tubs are you have to realize you need more space and more hours. The pools are ice cold. When people from Chicago say they're too cold, you KNOW they're too cold. And the highs were in the 80s so we can't blame the weather. There are huge amounts of free heat available from the engine room. USE IT to heat at least one of the pools. And throwing the ice sculptures in the pool just adds insult to injury (and also looks lazy). I hope for the day that all smoking is banned from all ships. But in the meantime, cigars on the pool deck this time were bad. I was smelling some 100 feet away while at dock. I don't know where you can put them, but the pool deck isn't working. I brag that the service is better on the smaller ships. This cruise was no exception. Dining room, cabin, all excellent service. My cabin was spotless twice a day. One problem with a clogged shower drain was fixed quickly. Entertainment was down a notch this time. The dancers a year ago, especially Pete and Nicolas, had a lot more spirit. They were dancing around when talking to passengers even when they weren't officially 'on'. This year it was like they were waiting for a signal to entertain, then they danced. Then they left the party. They were friendly, but not the usual outgoing ice breaking party starters I've seen before. Last year it really felt like they enjoyed making us enjoy the cruise. This year it was just part of the job. I got the impression this was the second string. Again, not bad, but not as good as before. No one grabbed my attention this year enough to point them out. About the music. I totally understand that the pool area is made for the Caribbean music. But after a couple days, I've had more than enough Bob Marley. Please let some of the other bands play at the pool. The rock and latin bands were quite good but I only got to hear them in passing. Let them have a few hours at the pool. Bar service at the pool in the evening was lacking. I would have been happy to have another beer, but no one came around for hours. If the bar is open, why not have someone walking around to take bar orders? Thanks for the second ice cream machine. You have a hit here. Make it your own. Try getting blue cones with a logo. In the quantity you use, it should be practical. About the refurb coming up. There's what seems to be a lot of wasted space on 12 above the Windjammer. I get the impression that the priority on the last refurb was to add space to the Windjammer but the space above was just defaulted to be more tanning area. Think about doing an adults only section here with a bar and hot tub. Add some shade. This space would give an alternative to the noise of the pool area. On food, Windjammer was good, as usual. One suggestion, leave some yogurt out at all meals, along with the fruit. Many of us eat a little in the evening as a healthy alternative to desert. For the dinners in the dining room, all was good, except the NY Strip Steak. It was dry and tasted like it had been under heat lights for hours. I understand that when serving that many people at once there's no way to serve fresh off the grill, but this time it was worse than I remember it last year. And last year it was pretty bad too. You might want to omit NY Strip from the menu. The sliced steak was good, just too fatty. But I asked for more and I got it quickly, so no complaints there. The best meal was the lamb shank. A classic done very well. Our early arrival at Key West and the resulting REPEATED announcements to come to Immigration check ruined my day. I was up late the night before and this was just too early. When I got back and tried to get back to sleep, the announcements just continued. When you have to do something like this, use technology. When someone hasn't come, use an automated phone system to call the cabins. Once everyone in the cabin has checked in, stop calling that cabin. Let the rest of us sleep. Of course, where people are already awake, like the public areas, you can continue to announce. I'm sure you have heard it before. The two ports of call are backwards. Key West is a nighttime town. That's where we should have stayed until midnight. Nassau at midnight just seems like killing time in a cheap parking space. The dock we are at in Key West does not block Malory Square's view of sunset, so I don't think that's the excuse. Please consider making Key West the first night of the 4 night. Then Immigration and Customs are back to being the same time, in Miami, when we all have to be awake anyway. Again, overall, a good cruise. I will be back aboard the Majesty. But I think I will need to wait until the dry dock before scheduling my next one. I hope it will also return some of the spirit that was missing on this cruise. Thanks Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click