On our 30th cruise, but the first time with Carnival, and I was a bit apprehensive. Lets start with the negatives, this ship is never going to win a beauty pageant, she is ugly. The Atrium is like a Holiday Inn lounge, really bright and ... Read More
On our 30th cruise, but the first time with Carnival, and I was a bit apprehensive. Lets start with the negatives, this ship is never going to win a beauty pageant, she is ugly. The Atrium is like a Holiday Inn lounge, really bright and very unwelcoming and the cabins, which are large and well appointed but soundproofing is terrible, the cove balcony's had major problems when the storm doors were closed for two days, and made them "inside" cabins. Oh, And she sails like a bag of spanners!
OK, that's out of the way. Now the positives..I can honestly say that this was the most fun I have ever had at sea. Yes, its a bit American, with dancing around the pool, dressing up for Halloween, crazy activities taking place including an X rated "Scavenger Hunt" one late night in the Nightclub, (which was hilarious!!), This ship treats Adults like Adults (not like we are all sweet Granny's like Cunard), so there are late night adult only comedy shows, which were very popular. The fun never stopped, but it was never forced on any one and there were loads of areas to be quiet, including the Serenity deck. I never once had problems getting a sun bed or getting into the Jacuzzi.
The food on the whole was good and full of variety, I read one review saying there was not much choice for lunch, what a load of twaddle. You could chose from: Guys Burgers (Best burgers I have had at sea- just like Five Guys!), The Tex Mex Taco & Burrito bar. Then, in the self serve 4 mains (two meat, 1 fish, 1 veggie), plus a Carvery, Massive Salad bar with cold cuts, Deli Bar sandwiches & Hot Dogs, Fresh Pizza (open 24hrs), Noodle Bar, Italian bar, in the serenity Healthy Eating bar...is that not enough choice!
Food was good and tasty, yes it was American style, so veg was a bit limited in the dining room...but ask and you shall get. (Creamed Spinach-YUM!). Sea Day brunch was good, fantastic Smoked Salmon bagels with Cream Cheese or Eggs Benedict (3 ways), plus Steak and Eggs for late brekkie..Thanks! You may wait a short while for this as service was a bit slow on busy times. As we Brits were on board, they catered for us at Breakfast with a choice of English or American style (Burnt to a crisp!!) bacon too.
The drink package was outstanding value 15 alcoholic drinks a day (up to a whopping $20 per drink , so you could have a glass of decent Champagne or the Alchemy bar crazy alcohol filled creations), plus all the sodas, plus unlimited Milkshakes, Coffees, Teas and waters.
We went to see "Deepwater Horizon" in the IMAX, wow, the sound is amazing and that screen is huge. There was a 4D thrill theatre, which we did not use, but friends did and loved it all at nominal charge. The ship even showed the new "Inferno" film just 3 days after its release. With the $200 OBC we got ,we had a bottle of Moet Imperial Ice Champagne, dined in three special restaurants, of which the 555F Steakhouse was superb, and our only costs on a 13day holiday (apart form our all inclusive) was $92!!
We had one cabin day, we had a slight sea leaving Gibraltar, but the ship (which is designed for Caribbean sailings) handled it awfully, it certainly did not cut through the waves , more crashed into them. But the in demand movies were great on the TV, plus all the news channels. Room service was fast and very good.
Add in the thrilling Skyride, two massive water flumes, and a great wet zone, pools (unheated!), ropes course, 18hole crazy golf, plus themed bars , movies around the pool with blankets and fresh popcorn, and the usual Violin duo, singers (who were all very good), shows, arts and crafts, bingo etc etc.....something for nearly everyone. The staff were friendly..(and believe me, some of our US cousins can be very demanding and a bit rude!), and the Cruise director Matt and his team were fantastic. They never stopped.
If you love the old fashioned traditional style cruising, you will not like this. Its a holiday at sea, with minimal dressing up. Although a lot of people wore Shirts and nice trendy Jeans , some stayed in "resort wear". If like us you are early 50's and love a bit of laugh, modern pop music, staying up late, eating Pizza on the back deck at 3am and being treated like an adult, do it,. If you want lectures, classical music and to sit and read , i would give this ship a swerve and go on Cunard.
Please come and do another European trip Carnival. I want to it again. Read Less