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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: October 2018
Chose this because of the ports of call, and the much shorter driving distance to port (6 hours to Charleston, SC. vs. 16 to Florida ports). *REALLY* regretting that now. Terrible food, EXCEPT Guy Fieri's burgers. They were delicious, but ... Read More
Chose this because of the ports of call, and the much shorter driving distance to port (6 hours to Charleston, SC. vs. 16 to Florida ports). *REALLY* regretting that now. Terrible food, EXCEPT Guy Fieri's burgers. They were delicious, but the other stations on the Lido deck, and the dining room (we got any time dining and were in the Wind Song dining room) - were TERRIBLE. Tough meat, fried chicken that was listed as "Southern Fried Chicken" but should have been "Concrete Fried" as the breading was too hard to chew without breaking a tooth.. Lackluster service, a cabin steward who forgot to do anything in our room 2 days out of 5, servers who forgot there's an entire section above the Lido deck where a large group of people hang out on a regular basis (smoking section) .. Just a miserable experience overall. I've been on several Carnival cruises and LOVED them. I have another planned in February (2019) - different port, different boat, and I sincerely hope that this was a blip in Carnival's normally excellent service. Really REALLY pushy jewelry store associates (like put his hands on you to force you forward to see the jewelry under a light with a grip on your wrist that wasn't breakable pushy). Nobody (employee wise) seemed to want to be there, the boat is old and tired, although there was a murmur in the crowd about it being retrofitted in the near future, which it really does need. Just a generally poor performance by a normally decent company. High points: Embarkation was quick and easy, so was disembarking, and one employee that I adored. His name is Reymond, he works on the Lido deck in the evenings, cleaning up after people. He was a delight to talk to, EXTREMELY personable, knowledgeable about the ports. He's from the Phillipines and is an all around asset to Carnival. I hope they realize that. Princess Cay is basically an extension of the boat with a beach, which was fine. Everything is based on sign and sail cards (they own the entire island) and there's very little to do there. Employees come from the boat, and they bring all the food for the BBQ (food, again, terrible because it came from the boat) GREAT for beach combers and families with kids who love the water.. but WEAR WATER SHOES if you have tender feet, lots of rocks and coral right at the water line you have to get past. I didn't go further so can't speak for the deeper areas. Very clean on Princess Cay. Nassau was a bit of a disappointment, and we were offered drugs from a gentleman calling himself "Dr. Feelgood" in full view of uniformed police in front of the Royal Bank of Canada within 10 minutes of getting off the boat (certainly not Carnival's fault). My suggestion for Nassau - do the Atlantis day or an excursion. If you plan on walking around Nassau - hit up the Irish pub that's up a flight of stairs on the main drag. GREAT food, delightful staff. The straw market has some great local carvers with some very beautiful carved art. A lot of the "hand made" things in the straw market are fresh off the boat from China, however, most of the woven straw purses, etc. Mine still had the Made in China tag at the bottom. :) Worth it for little gifts for kids, though. There is a GREAT silver jewelry store a bit down from the main drag of touristy shops that is full of items imported from Turkey. Gorgeous lamps, and they have a HUGE selection of very reasonably priced Sterling jewelry, good quality gemstones, and NOT pushy at all. Coming out of the port, make a left when you hit diamonds international, it is on the same street, same side of the street, just down a few blocks. For giggles we tried a Starbucks inside what looked like a department store, and it was really good. Great employees too. If you're dying for a Frappucino from home at that point, def. a good place to go. If you want local food, ask for a cab to "Fish Fry" - Food vendors and street food where the locals grab lunch, just past Junkanoo beach. We asked two different people for local food and they both mentioned Fish fry, which is what locals call the area of street vendors there. Delicious! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement ... Read More
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement don't match up with the cones they have laid out and other cruisers cant seem to figure out where they should be. However, they had enough people out directing traffic and getting people back in proper lines that this wasn't a big issue. The shuttle from parking lot to embarkation lines were friendly, clean, and fast. Embarkation was about as fast as other ports we have used (New Orleans, San Juan). The lines before security were squeezed in tight, not very friendly for anyone carrying anything. Our stroller (small umbrella) and small carry-ons struggled through the poles. Other passengers with just carry on or twelve pack were struggling as well. They just have the space much to narrow. Check-in was smooth, except they placed one of our rooms on the wrong floor than promised. They also dissmissed this because it they didn't considerate it a problem. However, it was a huge hassle. We booked to all be on the same floor for easier communication and meeting up, but having one room on another floor was a headache. The texting feature on the app doesn't work, so there is not a convenient way to communicate. Our cabins were clean as expected. Our two year old still sleeps in a crib at home, but they won't assign on for 2+. Our steward got a supervisor to approve one for ours!! Saved our sanity!! We pushed the double bed against the wall with the window and had lots of room for the crib and stroller. (Extra tip for the hard to make bed lol) We did have a problem with a sink, but it was fixed within an hour. The ship was pretty clean and seemed well maintained. Nothing stood out as horrible or fantastic as far as decor goes. Our first night in the dining room was pretty horrible. Our drinks ordered the first few minutes of being seated didnt arrive until midway through our main course. It also took much longer than usual for anything. After that night we were seated in a different section and returned there every night after. No problems after being moved to a different area with a different wait staff. The food was good, but drinks take forever. We started taking one with us, ordering one when seated, and found that to be better for us. Our 2 year is mostly potty trained, but we like to use a swim diaper for accidents (just incase). We were worried that traveling may mess up his potty routine and not be able to swim or use the water slide area, but there were atleast 6 kids with swim diapers at any moment in the slide area. (He ended up being fine and did well with potty and traveling! We took a foldable potty seat that we used before cruise just so he had something he was already using.) The slides were all three kids favorite part! Ages 2-6. They did like the shows, but got so tired it was hard for them to stay up for some of them. Only the 2 year old went to the camp ocean. They were having a bubble party and he loved it, kept asking to go play!! We are home and he still wants to go to camp ocean. The other children didn't go only because of parental choice. The rocking on the ship was much rougher than our other sailings in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Sailing in the Atlantic we got a real experience of sea sickness. Take meds even if you havent gotten sick on previous trips! Ports: Princess cays: Nice beach, but it does have somewhat rocky/rough shore line. Water shoes are a must!! The kids and babies can still play in the sand, but getting into and out of water is a bit hard. If you want a shaded seat rent a clam shell for $30 on shore or get one in a package. Bubbles and Cheers dont work on this, even though you use your sail and sign for almost everything. There are plenty of seats in the sun, plenty of beach, and plenty of places to play. There is a playground and kiddy pool. Showers to rinse off. Floats and things to rent. Look into the packages to save some bucks before this port. The buffet was not good. There are four lines, but people tend to just form into the first line. Dont be afraid to jump into a shorter line. All the lines going into the same building are on the same side and serve the same food. Served some salsa/chips, salad sides, hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, rice, beans, water, lemonade, cookies, and browies. The salsa and chips were the best thing they had. Half of our burgers were undercooked, the chicken was mostly bone, rice and beans were very dry. Would have preferred to pay for fast food or just sandwich boxes. Overall we did like this port. We didn't have a big expense for excursions, so that was a nice plus. The beach was nice and the water was clean! Nassau was ok. We had a private boat excursion lined up because we couldn't find anything for our group with a 2 year old. Due to an early morning thunderstorm, ours was cancelled. We ended up just walking around and shopping. There are a lot of vendors trying to sell you something. We were told that its not safe to go out with out a carnival exscursion, but I had read reviews before we left and figured they were just trying to sell us an excursion. We had no trouble walking around close to the port and shopping. We didnt go far because the heat was horrible. I think we would have prefered to do something else if we could go back. The Suess breakfast was a nice experience for the older kids. They loved seeing stories come to life and get pics with characters. The toddler didn't care. The adults didn't care for the special dishes, but the staff was happy to get regular dishes too, just ask! The staff here was above and beyond amazing!! For only $5 a person, we felt pretty pampered for a breakfast. The line to enter could have been a little more organized, but the actual event was great! If you have kids, give this a shot- especially on this ship!! Disembarkation was a nightmare. This was our 3rd carnival cruise and by far the worst getting off the ship. We went to the disembarkation show and read what was suppose to happen. Charleston requires Carnival to do a silent disembarkation, which would have been nice. However, nothing was done how they said it would be done. Self carry off was suppose to go by floor and have the forward elevators locked in for the currently called floor. This was not the case. We waited over 20 minutes during our "priority" elevator time and EVERY ONE PASSED OUR FLOOR. The employee standing at the bay was telling everyone that they had to use the stairs and the elevators were only for the top floors. We asked her about the priority elevator time for our floor and she said she didnt know when that was. Then she just left the area. Having some disabled folks, we were not able to do stairs with strollers and luggage in tow. We waited for an elevator for 25 minutes along with 4 other disabled groups. When an elevator showed up, a crew member was telling us that it shouldn't have stopped on our floor, he needed to go up. When asked why our floor was called to disembark and asked about our floors designated elevator times, he mumbled that they were busy and all floors needed elevators. The lines to get off the ship were stalled so many times to WAIT for people that packed sail and sign cards in luggage. The lines were so long, the crew was having a hard time wrapping it around just one floor. We were told that we couldn't use the handicap ramp on the 3rd level because we didn't have a wheel chair. The day before we were told we could. The disembarkation show advised anyone that has trouble with the inclines/ handicap/ or those with prams should use deck 3 to disembark. However, nothing that was said in the disembarkation show or on the papers given out was followed. This was a crap-show. I am not sure I would sail out of Charleston again. The port itself needs an overhaul and disembarkation was a nightmare. This ship was fine. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Took this quick cruise out of Charleston with 3 other families. We have cruised with Carnival many times before, but this was by far the worst. The pool was closed for maintenance for the first 24 hours of the cruise. Then MANY people got ... Read More
Took this quick cruise out of Charleston with 3 other families. We have cruised with Carnival many times before, but this was by far the worst. The pool was closed for maintenance for the first 24 hours of the cruise. Then MANY people got blue paint on their swimsuits because it wasn’t dry. Balcony cabin was really cramped. Food was absolutely horrible. So bad, in fact, that for the first time ever, I actually LOST weight on vacation. Every night in the dining room they offered a chilled soup. First night- Lychee soup. Tasted like melted ice cream. Second night- strawberry mint soup... tasted exactly like melted strawberry milkshake from McDonald’s. Third night- peach and mint soup- tasted just like... can you guess? Chick-Fil-A peach milkshake. Lol. Kids were bored. Oh- and the candy shop was right between the club and casino so when we took the kids to get candy we had to walk thru clouds of cigarette smoke! Ugh.. Seriously- don’t take this ship. Ever. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
19th cruise, 9th with Carnival and this was the best ship out of Jax so far! M148 was large with converting twins, no elevator noise and excellent room stewards! Don’t buy the alcohol package, the ship ran out of Budlight and ... Read More
19th cruise, 9th with Carnival and this was the best ship out of Jax so far! M148 was large with converting twins, no elevator noise and excellent room stewards! Don’t buy the alcohol package, the ship ran out of Budlight and Michelob Ultra day 4 so everyone hashtagged Facebook to complain- crew bar below deck had to give up theirs so we had beer by end of day. Ship was clean, employees were polite and the ship didn’t not smell of sewage like other reviews complained about BUT no free lobster, yes we had a bar fight and a couple went to jail. A lot of pot smell but security and housekeeping cleaned house and more people went to boat jail. People who drank too much and yes we saw a few were escorted to their room, card cut off and all alcohol removed for 48 hours! Guys hamburgers were okay but definitely ask for a double and don’t take no for an answer. They have to give you what you ask for! Pool was drained and cleaned everyday, tables were always stocked...to be honest the only problem our group had was was rude cruisers with an attitude that they should be treated like royalty. The Jax Port is being refurbished so here is the best tip I can give you...get there early and forget what your boarding pass says..people who were scheduled at 2 pm were on board at noon! They have no where to make you wait at so just get on board as soon as you can or you will be standing in the heat sweating your butt off! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We purchased FTTF so embarkation was a breeze. Seth, our steward, had our anniversary decorations hung in the room upon arrival. Ocean view was larger than expected. Room was spotless daily. Food was very good. We ate in the MDR ... Read More
We purchased FTTF so embarkation was a breeze. Seth, our steward, had our anniversary decorations hung in the room upon arrival. Ocean view was larger than expected. Room was spotless daily. Food was very good. We ate in the MDR all dinners and Sea day brunches. The food was excellent. The host staff was always friendly and accommodating. Magali and Iseth were so helpful. Komung was an awesome server. We had any time dining and never waited more than 5 minutes to get a table for 2. Guy's and the taco bar were great. Food on the buffet was lukewarm at best. Wayan, Gede and Jose were great at the pool bars. We fully utilized the Cheers program. Entertainment was amazing. Love and Marriage and the Epic Rock shows were incredible. Live music was great. We were able to dance when we wanted to and sit back with a drink and listen to lighter music also. Service was awesome. There was always someone to take care of anything you need. Always crew detail cleaning around the ship. Stayed on the ship at HMC. We had the pool to ourselves. No lines anywhere. We stayed in Nassau for about an hour. The hawkers became annoying very quickly. So we returned to the ship. FTTF enabled us to get off the ship very easily. Have a porter carry your bags at debarkation. They have a dedicated line at customs and you bypass the line. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I decided on this cruise because of the short driving distance to Charleston. We were celebrating our birthday and upcoming anniversary. Charleston is Charleston. Nothing new there. Our cruise ship arrived 3 hours late ... Read More
My husband and I decided on this cruise because of the short driving distance to Charleston. We were celebrating our birthday and upcoming anniversary. Charleston is Charleston. Nothing new there. Our cruise ship arrived 3 hours late on embarkation due to some apparent weather, which we had completely smooth sailing. When we finally got to board, embarkation and disembarkation process went smoothly. The ship is very dated and dirty on the outside. We had an ocean view window which was difficult to see out of bc it was dirty from the outside. There is not much to do on the ship. Shows are repetitive. Comedy was mediocre and same show over and over. Stripes dance club was enjoyable the first night but after that, don’t go back. DJ plays the exact same set of songs every night on repeat. Shows in blue Saphire lounge with cruise director, Gary, were the best on this cruise. He’s funny and the shows were good BUT hard to enjoy with the poor seating and views. FOOD was overall horrible! Taste, selection, baked potatoes not even warm enough to melt butter on. Dining room food even worse than the buffet. Pizza was not what I call pizza. Guys Burgers were great but how many times in 5 days can you eat a burger. Room service menu was a joke and after purchasing cheers program, no I will not pay for a soda in the room! Bars were understaffed with bartenders. On a ship with nothing else to do... yes we are going to drink! You’ll lose a buzz before you get another one. One female bartender from Syria at alchemy bar was extremely rude! Pools very small and crowded. Spend a small fortune in the casino because theee is nothing else to do. Getting off the ship at Princess Cay was a mess. One crew member was suppose to hand our stickers for tenor numbers for the entire ship. Finally they decided to wave the stickers, which was 1.5 hour after we were suppose to. In Nassau we didn’t get off at the port until 9am. Arrived back early in Charleston. Total of 6-7 hours cut off our cruise. Not one perk offered in return. Princess Cay is beautiful but just another way for Carnival to make money. Even though it’s a privately owned island where THEIR staff serves, cheers program does not work. Buffet that was served was HORRIBLE! Nassau was our favorite! LOVE LOVE it! We look more for dealing with locals and how people really live, getting the real experience so we wanted to stay away from the excursions. Locals on Junkanoo Beach will treat you like Royalty. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
firrst time on ecstasy. this cruise was going to a beach that we did'nt go to one year because of the weather. and the first time in a porthole room. it was a quiet floor. and it also went to nassau. the band was great the singing was ... Read More
firrst time on ecstasy. this cruise was going to a beach that we did'nt go to one year because of the weather. and the first time in a porthole room. it was a quiet floor. and it also went to nassau. the band was great the singing was great! the intertainment was great! also. the sales was great! the pools was not that full like some others ships, i dont do shore exc, like to walk around the islands. food was good in dinning. ship infor on app was good to have. which i didnt think to do, i like to read the intenarary... the beach had to many rocks'princess cay" that need be some changes in removing them big rocks!. but it was nice and hot so i just had to go futher out into the water. and with the cooler weather for september great but steal was hot!. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was smooth as was the debarkation. The ship was spotless as well as the cabin. The main dining room was nice but 1 thing they should do especially for 1st time cruisers is to put more emphasis on the elegant night. Wife ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth as was the debarkation. The ship was spotless as well as the cabin. The main dining room was nice but 1 thing they should do especially for 1st time cruisers is to put more emphasis on the elegant night. Wife and I went to the elegant night dinner and did not realize it was elegant night. All we heard announced was make sure you get your elegant portraits taken. The fun times had it listed on top under "Tonight's Attire" but not emphasized in any way. The food was great in the main dinning room as well as as the buffets. The Entertainment was off the hook, The parties were amazing, The comedians very funny. We played more trivia than I have played in my life. The service employees were so helpful, friendly, and courteous. The room steward (Don) was awesome, room clean and stocked every morning and evening. The ports were Freeport and Nassau, we didn't venture very far at Freeport and it was raining most of the stop. Nassau was beautiful and the shopping was nice from the gift shops to the straw market. We chose not to do any excursions since this was me and my wife's first cruise the cruise itself was our excursion. I will definitely will go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall great cruise experience. This was our second cruise - our first was also with Carnival. The shortness worked out for us as this was the second part of a longer vacation (stayed in Orlando for several days prior). We drove in ... Read More
Overall great cruise experience. This was our second cruise - our first was also with Carnival. The shortness worked out for us as this was the second part of a longer vacation (stayed in Orlando for several days prior). We drove in from Orlando the morning of departure and used Park N Cruise. Selected it mostly for price and location but also the frequency of shuttles and the ability to book online at a discount. Attendants were helpful and friendly. Had to wait maybe 10 minutes for the shuttle to get loaded and they dropped us off right at the terminal. Faster to the Fun was worth it in my opinion. Wanted to enjoy every minute of this short cruise and I really liked being able to carry my bags on and go straight to the room to drop off, freshen up, and change. The only downside was probably "user error" in that I didn't know the procedure for actually getting to the cabin as soon as we boarded. There were signs everywhere stating Do Not Enter until after 1:30. However, as the crowd was heading to Lido we went down to our deck (2) and one of the doors was ajar so we walked in. Our sign and sail cards were waiting outside the door and the room was ready. Cabin 2470 - odd shape but very spacious as we were on the corner at the back of the ship and so had an extra little bit of space. Ocean view and it had two windows which I really liked (had port holes last time). Concerns due to reading other reviews: noise/motion - I noticed some motion but not any more than previous cruise when we had a mid-ship ocean side. Engine noise was only noticeable late at night and was not even as loud as a fan or white noise machine might be. Smell: We did not notice any smell near our room, however, we did notice a sewer-ish type of smell on Deck 2 in the middle. Not overpowering but I was glad our room wasn't in that area. Entertainment - we loved the comedy shows, both the family friendly and explicit shows. KC from Canada was great - happened to witness her helping someone out who had apparently over-imbibed - she was gracious and friendly I doubt the guest even knew what was happening. Finally tried Guy's Burgers when the line was short - wonderful, definitely worth it. Of course, my main reason for returning to Carnival was the chocolate melting cake! Main Dining Room was good - since it was just the two of us we sat at a larger table and enjoyed meeting and talking with our table companions (who gave great tips for us relative cruise-newbies). Our head waiter, Jacob, struck me as a very prim and proper English butler type of person - until he got on the table during show time! Nassau, Bahamas - we had been to the Bahamas before and were not interested in spending money for a shore excursion. Instead we waited until after lunch and then walked around the port area doing some touristy shopping. Lots of "active selling" by shop owners and others on the street but no one was overly aggressive when we smiled and walked on - or politely said no thank you. We did enjoy talking to Ezekiel who was a wood carver and sold my husband a hand carved walking stick for his collection. Bargaining was friendly and I think we both came away satisfied. We messed up a bit when disembarking in that we missed the Faster to the Fun disembark procedure. That had already started calling decks, but a staff member helped us figure it out and got us into line. Next year cruising Alaska and can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was wonderful so long as you show up at your assigned time. We had put in our credit card during the online check-in. The morning of the cruise my bank notified me a$100 authorization was posted. I assumed to make sure the ... Read More
Embarkation was wonderful so long as you show up at your assigned time. We had put in our credit card during the online check-in. The morning of the cruise my bank notified me a$100 authorization was posted. I assumed to make sure the credit card was good. When checking in at the airport, that process took seconds as they did not check our credit cards again. We just took the boarding pass we had printed and proceeded immediately on board. When we reached our cabin which was ready at 1130, keys were in a sealed envelop next to our cabin. (BTW, later that day, we walked down our hall and about 15 envelopes were strewed on the floor. Someone witnessed some kids pulling out all the envelops and throwing them on the floor. This is just the beginning of the thugs we had on board this sailing. After Vista brought me back to Carnival, I quickly booked the 2 night Miami inaugural. Had I cruised Horizon first, it would have been my last with Carnival. It actually may well be again. I'm not sure if newly appointed Cruise Fun Officer Shaq O'neal has changed the demographics of cruisers but I've never come across such rude and obnoxious cruisers before. A young man walked around with a huge amplifier blasting music in the halls, staircase (thank God he didn't use the elevator, the pool area, even the marketplace buffet the entire two days. It was all about him and total disrespect for his fellow cruisers. And no he wasn't the DJ. This cruise had huge groups that would move furniture making it impossible to get around and pass. Regardless of the hour for breakfast, lunch and even dinner hour, young women were in the buffet area in their skimpy bikinis or thongs which covered very little. There was no such thing as Serenity area. This 21+ area hot tubs were packed with kids and toddlers. I did not see any staff or security speak with those breaking policies at all. Numerous people also mentioned the strong smell of weed in the hallways, including me. I only saw the Cruise Director once before the welcome aboard show. His assistant Alex was fun at Trivia, although not swapping answers left much to be trusted with "winners." Having a formal night on a 2 night cruise was silly, but at least they served Lobster and Prime Rib which was delicious. It wasn't hard to figure out the elevators, although they were extremely slow and there was no way of knowing when it would come. We gave up on most and just walked. Most people saw an elevator and jumped on it, never knowing which floor it was heading to. So elevators were crowded. Leaving your cabin the last night was a disaster as the elevator doesn't take into consideration people are boarding the elevators with luggage. Disembarkation was quick but once within the Customs terminal the lines were extremely long, thank God we had our Global Entry cards with us. Read Less
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