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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I take a cruise around Halloween with a large group of singles via a company that specializes in this type of trip. I had never been to New Orleans and a few tips there: taxi or Uber is fastest but also most expensive so use the airport ... Read More
I take a cruise around Halloween with a large group of singles via a company that specializes in this type of trip. I had never been to New Orleans and a few tips there: taxi or Uber is fastest but also most expensive so use the airport shuttle if time is not an issue. As for the city visit the old, whole in the wall places if you want a real taste of New Orleans cuisine and sample the beignets, a delicacy that has powdered sugar as a breakfast or dessert best served hot and 3 for $3. Its a square piece of floury dough friend and covered like a light pastry or doughnut sold all over New Orleans. Port is very close to the downtown area but its cheaper and quieter if you stay in either the business or garden district and walk to Bourbon Street. At night Bourbon Street becomes a walking venue of bars,restaurants and shops a a gay section on the north end of Bourbon Street. Drinks tend to be a bit pricey ($6 beers, $8+ mixed drinks) but lots of historic places throughout the French Quarter and Decatur Street. Louis Armstrong Park has free music on Thursday nights from 4-8 pm and there are lots of great live music stops. As for our ship: the Dream is being renovated and the martini bar has been taken out in place of more casual seating outside the piano bar. This bar and the casino bar (which is now a combo casino and sports bar) allow smoking which I avoided as much as possible as I don't do well with smoke. If you want sports the casino/sports bar is the only option unless they show on the big screen on the Lido Deck/Deck 10. I always make use of the steam room and the sauna which on are deck 12 forward ( go through the pool area moving forward via Deck 10 then take stairs up 2 flights or the elevator, steam room is in each locker room and there is a shared, coed clothing required sauna in the attached hall way. Fitness Center is open 8 AM -10 PM for those wanting a work out or use the walking track outside on Deck 12. Serenity adults area is on Deck 14 forward with hammocks and day beds no kids are supposed to be there. Dining: do breakfast in the formal dining room as the buffet is so/so for breakfast. After 1st formal night do dinner at the buffett food is just as good, plenty of it and not in the small portions that are now in the formal dining room. Lunch pool side still works great still a good selection most of the day. Cabins are they typical Carnival so a bit cramped and recommend you take disinfectant spray and wash your hands a lot or bring things for potential sore throat/colds as a lot of our group got sick during our week on board. Spray down and take Airborn about 2 weeks prior helps boost your immune system. Shows were pretty good this trip and I always use my own choices for port days. Cozumel: swim with dolphins via ship purchase, got to Tulum via ship, do beach on your own (Carlos N Charlies pay as you go, Mr Sanchos all you can eat and drink. Belize not much to see there not a beach and rains a lot. Roatan, use free Carnival beach or got to Infinity Bay at West Bay, $45 pp for day pass and transport: gorgeous beach, reef right off shore, umbrellas and chairs included, food & beverage service available there & the best beach in MHO in Roatan worth the trip. Cozumel and Roatan are beach days for me, Belize is a tender a bit of shopping but you could skip going to port and not miss much there. If anything take the tender go have a local beer and sandwhich there. Belize is least of the ports and limit on excursions though you can snorkel or go to a beach away from shore. Tender is about 20-30 minutes as they anchor 6 miles off shore there. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I traveled with a good friend of mine on Carnival Liberty for their October 27th - October 31st Cruise to Cozumel. This was my third cruise with Carnival, and my friend's first cruise with Carnival. I had a good experience with my ... Read More
I traveled with a good friend of mine on Carnival Liberty for their October 27th - October 31st Cruise to Cozumel. This was my third cruise with Carnival, and my friend's first cruise with Carnival. I had a good experience with my previous cruises so didn't expect the numerous problems we faced on this one. It made me feel embarrassed to have recommended we take this cruise-line for our vacation. I understand technical difficulties develop, but we were met time and time again with problems and complications which I will explain below. We arrived into Houston airport at 9:10am and got to the Carnival check-in point for our transfer around 9:30am. After we checked in, we waited two hours before boarding the transfer bus. When we finally arrived on the transfer bus there was only one other guest...all else on the transfer were crew. When we arrived in our room, room 6266, the balcony was not clean. During our cruise we did receive a letter stating they would be cleaning our balcony...but we would have expected this to be done before we arrived. Two hours into our cruise there was a medical emergency on the ship. This caused the cruise to turn around to drop the injured passenger off at port. Thus cutting into our travel time. From the stories circulating on the ship, the passenger was intoxicated; and I expect the passenger may have been over-served during the very short time we were on the ship. Later, it was announced that a technical difficulty occurred that affected the ship's maximum sailing speed. This cut into our time at port, which was originally scheduled to be 7 hours to just 5 hours. Next, it was announced about mid-day on October 30th, that our expected arrival back to Galveston would be 6:00pm, 10 hours later than planned. The experience though becomes much more frustrating at debarkation. We had a transfer through Carnival to the airport. We were given group 17 debarkation tags. My friend was told by a person in white, at the time the announcement was made that we would be late, that we would be given higher priority tags due to the transfer and to return back to the service desk. When she returned to the service desk, she was told Carnival doesn't do that and we were left with group 17 debarkation tags. The ship finally arrives back at port at 6:00pm, and we were told through announcements that we could wait on the Lido deck, the theater, or in our room. However, by 7:00pm we were removed from our room so they could start cleaning for the next cruise. We then began our wait for group 17 to be called on the Lido deck. This was an exceptionally long wait. With groups and floors slowly being called. Around 8:45 - 9:00pm, a large number of groups were called at once (5-20 i believe). We proceeded down stairs, where there seem to be no enforcement of the debarkation procedure outlined to us through announcements. If we had gone outside of our group, it seems like we would have been off that ship in a more timely manner, than what we were. When we finally got through the line at customs, we saw there were only 5 custom agents working, not the typical 12 I was told by a crew member there usually are. This contributed to this already slow and frustrating experience. Then by around 9:45 - 10:00pm we finally make it through customs and find the transfer. The person at the transfer appears shocked that guests were given such high numbers for debarkation. He said he never seen guests board a transfer at 10:00pm, and proceeded to take a picture of our luggage with group 17 on them. He then said, the wait would yet be longer...as we were now the last transfer bus and we had to wait for the crew members who needed a ride, to get through customs. The transfer bus had only 5 or 7 guests on it, and 30 crew members when it was ready to depart. It finally did depart the Galveston Pier at 10:45 - 11:00pm. We arrived at the hotel we booked at 12:30am....this led to cancellations of plans we hoped to have had in Houston with our time there. My friend knew someone that lived there and we had previously planned dinner with them, which had to be cancelled due to the slow debarkation process we encountered. To make matters worse, once we finally arrived in Chicago we learn that Carnival Cruise offered the passengers on the cruise that followed us (which was delayed then cancelled), a full refund of the cruise, along with a 100 percent future cruise credit, and $90 per person reimbursement, while so far the only thing Carnival has offered us was some reimbursements to the additional expenses we incurred. The people who had their cruise canceled had plans to be off for several days in a row, while we had no plans to be off on Tuesday and the financial burden this caused was much greater than what was reimbursed. I provided all supporting documentation to Carnival and to the insurance policy I got through Carnival, and I have still yet to see a 100% reimbursement for all the costs I accrued as a result of the delay, and absolutely nothing besides a “sincere apology” in an email. I would have hoped Carnival would have treated their customers better than this. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was a family cruise, it was myself, my husband and my nephew and his wife and his family. I've only ever been on 1 other cruise line in my life, and it was a great experience, this cruise however I wasn't thrilled with. We had a ... Read More
This was a family cruise, it was myself, my husband and my nephew and his wife and his family. I've only ever been on 1 other cruise line in my life, and it was a great experience, this cruise however I wasn't thrilled with. We had a weird, loud, knocking noise in the wall of our cabin room at different hours of the night when we were trying to sleep. It would last anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute. The buffet's were few and far between, they closed at different hours which they never advertised so you had no idea what was open when or when some place was closed. The only 24 hour definite was Pizza, and ice cream. The dinners were o.k. it was basically the same appetizer choices every night, which to me was boring. The main meal's were o.k. nothing to write home about. The cruise on a whole was o.k. also the biggest turn off for us, and disappointment was that the casino, of which there was only 1 on the ship was smoker friendly, and people used it to their advantage, it was gross! I am not sold on Celebrity Cruise's and doubt very seriously I'll take another one any time soon. Read Less
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