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534 Carnival Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

This was not our first cruise. Check at Jaxport was reasonably smooth. Some elderly check in staff were a little impatient. We were able to board ship a full hour before the advertised boarding time which was nice. When boarding there were ... Read More
This was not our first cruise. Check at Jaxport was reasonably smooth. Some elderly check in staff were a little impatient. We were able to board ship a full hour before the advertised boarding time which was nice. When boarding there were crew members everywhere wearing red shirts with "ASK ME" printed on the front. Actually they were stationed throughout the vessel. Very helpful. A buffet was available on the Lido deck for lunch - very pleasant with a good selection including a grill for hot dogs and hamburgers prepared when ordered. Seating was inside or on deck. The ship itself is quite clean but clearly showing it's age. The decor in most public areas including the dining rooms is very tacky and artless. Other Carnival ships are much more tasteful. Cabins are clean and comfortable. I never once saw our room steward but the room was always perfect. The in - cabin safes are a plus. The dining rooms are cramped. It appears that 12 diners are placed at tables with room for ten. Tables are very close together. Dining room service was excellent and very cordial. Food was average. The big aggravation is you cannot dine without a photographer in your face - in fact that's the case almost all the time on board. Room service was better than expected with very prompt service. Entertainment varied from good to average. One comic was really funny, having appeared on the Comedy Channel, the other was not so funny - he suffers fromm Cerebral Palsy and most of his jokes were self deprecating and eventually tiring. The dancers need more practice time. The vocalists are talented. A juggler performed one night - he lacked perfection but made up for it with his terrific humor. The entertainment low point was a break dancing duo. Carnival Fascination is not completly handicapped accessible. There are areas that are inaccessible by wheelchair. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Well, first off, it was only two days - but it seemed longer, as I wasted very little time sleeping. The Carnival Splendor is an absolutely beautiful ship. Much of the commentary has been about the "Pinkness" - ... Read More
Well, first off, it was only two days - but it seemed longer, as I wasted very little time sleeping. The Carnival Splendor is an absolutely beautiful ship. Much of the commentary has been about the "Pinkness" - personally, thought it was okay, mostly a soft pink, and with complementary colors that toned it down...and it is far from Joe Farcus' (Carnival's long-time Architect, responsible for some of the boldest and glitziest ships at sea) wildest interior. The layout of the Splendor would be familiar enough to anyone who has cruised the Conquest Class ships of Carnival - with some elements added. The most noticeable being in the Lido Deck "buffet" area. I use quotes because this section has gone beyond any traditional definition of "buffet", having a pretty vast array of food available. Unique to the Splendor is an Indian Tandoori line, which was quite good. There is also a Deli for cold sandwiches/salads, a Burger Grill, Pizza, the Taste of the Nations (ethnic food that changes daily), Mongolian BBQ, all on top your normal buffet lines. Oh, and for some reason the Fish and Chips area on the Conquest class ships has been replaced by a rotisserie....Guess you can't have everything - but they are definitely trying. While the Buffet area on the Lido is, I think, a step up, the Pool area is a step back. Instead of Carnival's typical tiered levels of seating rising up from the Pool on Lido deck, which leaves most of the loungers in the open sun, the Splendor has, basically, three levels, straight up. This leaves not only half the Lido deck seating, but ALL of the middle deck basically shaded all day. This area is also enclosable by a sliding Magradome, and was obviously designed with inclement weather cruising in mind. However, with her home ported in Long Beach for the Mexican Riviera 7-day run, I think there is too much shade. My sense (and the observation of the veteran California cruisers with me) is that the Mex Riviera crowd much prefers to lay out in the sun and get that tan going. We shall see, but I suspect sun-drenched middle of the deck loungers will be at a premium, with chair hogs having to hit the Lido by 5 in the morning to get a spot, and LOT's of unhappy passengers forced to sit in shaded areas. And I, personally, was not thrilled that they were using the Big Screen all the time, including showing CNN News while I was trying to relax in the jacuzzi - I think the screen should be reserved for evening movies and special events, like Football Games and Concerts and such...but, while mildly annoying, it was not overpowering, and could be ignored, mostly. The Promenade deck is pretty much the same layout as the Conquest class, with a lounge all the way aft, and various bars, lounges, disco and Casino as you go forward. Sadly, the Casino was closed for our trip, but I did walk through, and it was very nicely done, huge, with all the latest slots and video poker, and what looked like plenty of Blackjack, Roulette and Craps for her usual complement of 3,000 passengers. The staterooms are pretty much the same as every Carnival Ship I have sailed since the Tropicale was new...your basic peach and pink. Measuring 220s.f., slightly larger than the industry standard, and a tad larger than on the Fantasy and Spirit Class ships, but the same basic layout. Food on this cruise was excellent. Over the two nights I had a Chateaubriand that was perfect, Roast Duck that was perfect, and Lobster that was perfect. I know - three dinners in two nights...don't ask! The various appetizers/soups/salads were all good, and typical of other Carnival ships I have sailed, although the service, especially the first night, was over and above. This probably had to do with the 3 Carnival employees at the table. Breakfast and lunch I tried as many of the buffet stations as I could manage, and they were all pretty good, which is as good as buffets get. Since the Casino was closed I was forced to spend much of my entertainment time dancing. Not my usual thing, but, hey, it was fun for all that. The Disco was pretty much what you would expect, their was a very cool Pool Party the first night out that was a lot of fun, especially as there were cameramen moving around and simulcasting to the Big Screen. So I could laugh at the other dancers, when I needed a break from laughing at myself. The Piano Bar, with Ron Pass, one of Carnivals better piano players, was great, especially after he closed the doors the last night and did the strictly adult stuff. Both nights it was a lively crowd, though, and he plays a good range of music, and I quite enjoyed myself. I have it on good authority that the various Camp Carnival childrens areas are as good as any at sea. They were certainly spacious and well equipped with top of the line toys and games. The one exception I heard was that the Splash Park area needs seating for mom's and dad's to watch the kid's play....it seems they have exactly one wooden bench... Also, a step up on this ship is the Spa and Fitness area. The Splendor has a new class of Spa Suites, directly below the Spa, with private elevator, and such. These suites are an entirely different decor than all the other staterooms, and the Spa itself is huge, and includes a thallasotherapy pool. Not at all my thing, but I am guessing it will be popular with Mother/Daughter and Ladies Only groups and such. Finally, as far as accessibility - the Splendor appears to be as accessible as any. The wheelchair accessible staterooms are, again, typical of all the later classes of Carnival Ships, I did not see any thresholds that would be a problem for wheelchairs or scooters, most of the doors out to the Pool area and around the buffet area are automatic - there was even a ramp down to the dance floor in the Disco. So, wheelchair users can book the Splendor with complete confidence. To sum up, the Splendor is, in my mind, probably the best ship in a long time doing the Mexican Riviera 7 day from LA/LB. And, as far as I know it is the youngest ship to be sent to the West Coast since the Tropicale, back in 1982 or whatever, so - Thanks, Carnival!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Mexican Riviera cruise review on Carnival Pride, Feb 22 - Mar 1. Ports of call, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. This cruise was planned for our kids to sail with us for the first time. Son age 14 and daughter age 17. ... Read More
Mexican Riviera cruise review on Carnival Pride, Feb 22 - Mar 1. Ports of call, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. This cruise was planned for our kids to sail with us for the first time. Son age 14 and daughter age 17. DH & I cruised twice before with the last trip on the Spirit (Pride's sister ship) last April. Daughter wasn't interested in cruising but wanted to swim with dolphins and son didn't want to get off the ship and complained when we "made" him swim with dolphins. Lol. This cruise was a lot of fun and a great memory for my kids. Some of my comments might seem critical but just explaining for people that are considering Carnival, the ship or the itinerary. Overall assessment is it was a great cruise, great value, with room for improvement. TEEN CLUBS: Well son had a great time on the ship and was in heaven. He met several kids from Circle C even though there were not many kids on our trip. We traveled during school so he said there weren't very many kids in the Circle C. When I'd see him in Circle C playing video games, I usually only saw about 5 or 6 kids. My daughter was at Club 02 meet & greet the first day and there were 3 teens in there just sitting around & talking. She didn't seem to want any part of it. She's very mature for 17 and most people thought she was 19 or 20. The teen director said there were 16 teens on the trip but only a few were involved in the club. She hung out with her father and I mostly but she did participate in a couple of the club activities toward the end when she got bored hanging out with her parents. Teen clubs were okay but I'm sure they would have been a lot better if we sailed when kids are out of school. Spring break or summer would be better for kids to enjoy the teen activities. Video arcade was expensive. About $1/game and they only had a few machines. Air hockey was $1.25/game. Free activities onboard are basketball, mini-golf and ping pong so kids seemed to do that the most. Circle C had dodgeball competitions and son really loved that. They also had Wii & Guitar Hero competitions. EMBARKATION @ LONG BEACH: The good, bad and ugly. Parking was wonderful. Covered parking garage right next to the loading zone so very easy. When we got there, around 9:30 am, we saw lots of people standing around so we assumed they were for the cruise. No signs anywhere directing us where to go. Turns out those people were departing the ship. After I couldn't stand much longer (bad back & muscular dystrophy) I asked for wheelchair to sit in when I saw a CCL employee next to a wheelchair. She was very friendly and directed me to the Queen Mary for early check in and showed me where to wait after checkin. She and another man said they would find me once our group was called to board to make sure I had a wheelchair to sit in. They said they needed the wheelchairs for the departing guests but assured me I would get one when the ship was unloaded. They never came and I was in quite a bit of pain from all the standing we had to do. After we checked in at Queen Mary, we were told to sit on the benches outside in our zone. Thankfully it wasn't raining on us even though the weather called for 30% chance of rain. It actually was a very nice cloudy day and we were onboard around noon. The part that really bothered me most was the fact that I had to stand a lot which was my biggest worry for embarkation. My TA conveyed to Carnival that I needed a wheelchair to sit in if chairs were not provided and they didn't have it for me. Once we left the outside waiting area, there was nowhere to sit. They made us stand thru a couple different waiting areas until we boarded so I had to stand about 45 minutes which is a killer on my back. Good thing we had zone one. I would hate to think how it would have been if we had zone 16 or whatever. Lesson learned for Long Beach in future cruises is wait to get to the pier until after 1pm after the dust settles on the early arrivers. I wanted to get lunch onboard and heard about the seating at the pier so I figured it would be better to get there early and have a seat instead of later and have nowhere to sit. Perhaps I should have waited. PRIDE SHIP: The ship was great. I love the Spirit class ships. Very easy to navigate and laid out really well. I personally like the dEcor on the Spirit better than the Pride but both were fine and elegant. LAUNDRY: There was a laundry room on our deck that I used. Only had 1 washer and 2 dryers, an ironing board and iron and vending for soap & softener. $2 to wash, $2 to dry, 1$ each for supplies. So basically $5/load. Jeans didn't dry completely on the $2 dry cycle but otherwise okay. They offered $15/bag service on the last 2 days but the bags were pretty small so I opted to do it myself. Usually don't do laundry on vacation but since we had 4 of us and of course didn't pack enough of the right stuff, we ran out of shirts and jeans. ROOM: Rooms were spacious and everything I imagined. I had a 5A category which was reclassified as 4F. Obstructed Ocean View room #4194 and it was between lifeboats so I had a view out the window/door. We could open the door to feel the temperature outside and get fresh air from time to time. The beds were a little worn. DD slept on the pulldown bed from the ceiling and she said it wasn't comfortable. DS slept on the sofabed and also said it wasn't comfy. My bed had an obvious dip in it from wear. You could see one side of the bed sunk in while the other was fine. It was not really uncomfortable though. I slept fine but sure appreciated my temperpedic when I got home. We all love the Carnival bedding. Sheets and comforter were awesome. Our room steward was pretty good. His name was Tomi and he was friendly and always took care of our room when we left. With 4 of us, it was sometimes hard for him to get in there to clean cuz someone always seemed to be in there. We would see him cleaning a cabin & would let him know everyone was out and he would clean our room while we were out. He cleaned a couple times while one of my kids was still in there. I know that is an extra burden for him. He wouldn't take away the contents of the wetbar so we had to remove the contents and stash them in a cabinet until the end of the cruise. That was different than our first CCL cruise but he did great other than that. We tipped him an extra $20. He probably deserved more but funds were tight since hubby's job took a 25% cut in pay 1 week before our cruise left. When he got back, there was a layoff notice and his name wasn't on the list - whew! FOOD: The food in the dining room was awesome as always. Even my kids ventured to try new things. I'm not sure I would say they are picky eaters but when they ask me whats for dinner and I say pot roast, they say "Ew, can I make mac & cheese?" Lol. DS had salmon, lobster and shrimp which surprised me. DD who stopped eating beef had steak almost every night. DS even tried the lobster bisque. He didn't eat it but he tried it and said it was edible but would rather have the mango cream I had instead. I love their chilled fruit soups. All the desserts were fabulous. DS ate chocolate melting cake every night and finished it. Yikes. I get halfway thru and it is yummy but too rich to finish. Their bitter n blanc is wonderful as is their grand marnier soufflE. Lobster was decent size. I ordered 2 and had a hard time finishing. Even when we were stuffed to the gills and couldn't eat another bite, our waitress insisted on bringing us something. She said oh you have to try this and plopped it front of us. Andari was her name and she was great. Buffet to me is not very good. The deli made some great grilled Rueben sandwiches. Kids said the pizza was good but the sauce could use something. Wasn't enough of it or flavorful enough but the crust & toppings was good. The grille was great and it should have been open longer. 11am to 10pm would have been perfect. My biggest gripe with their buffet is for the second formal/elegant night. Nothing appetizing & most stations were closed. That is the night that most people skip out on. They don't want to pack nice clothes due to airline weight restrictions or just don't want to get all gussied up when on vacation. One elegant night was enough for us but the buffet was un-appetizing to say the least. So while people in the dining room were eating Chateaubriand, we had deli sandwiches. We couldn't even get a burger cuz that closes late afternoon. ENTERTAINMENT: I didn't go to many of the shows or activities on the ship as I'm a karaoke fan so that usually took priority. We did attend the hypnotist show and thought that was lame. Mark Price, cruise director, was the hypnotist and he almost put me to sleep. Boring while he was trying to put people under the spell. A few people he released cuz it obviously didn't work for them. A couple other people seemed like they were "acting" hypnotized. Not fun. We were eating lunch on the lido deck when the hairy chest contest started. When I mentioned to the family that we should go, they all said no but since we were eating when it started, they stayed & watched and we all laughed a lot. Lots of fun. We also watched the ice carving at lido. We played a couple rounds of mini-golf which was a lot of fun. We enjoyed that for family time together. DH got into a basketball tournament. Son shot baskets with some friends a lot and he also had lots of dodgeball competitions among his new friends. KARAOKE: Fun but disappointing. Good singers but some of the people that tried out for the legends show were not good enough to be in it. A few were awesome. Lenka was our KJ and we enjoyed her and she knew what she was doing. Able to do key changes, large selection of songs, and she let me use my own CDG's after asking if they were "clean" songs. The part that disappointed me was that they ended wayyyy too early. It usually only lasted 90 minutes and ended most nights by 9:30 or 10:15. Second dinner seating were not able to participate cuz they were still eating dinner. I'm glad I had first seating or I would have missed it every night. Carnival will hear from me about this. I go to karaoke every night and prefer that over other entertainment shows. They definitely should have had late night karaoke. When I was on the Spirit ship, karaoke ended at midnight and that was only because some people complained of the noise in their cabins. The Pride has other activities scheduled in the Butterflies lounge at night so the karaoke had to end early enough for the hypnotist show etc. Bummer. PUERTO VALLARTA: Temp was about 85. Comfortably warm. I'm from Arizona so used to the heat. We had no plans there and didn't wander far from the ship. DS didn't even want to get off the ship but we made him. We walked to Walmart. The store wasn't anywhere near the condition that USA Walmart is. But we got our supplies we needed and souvenirs and walked back to the ship to drop off our stuff. We then got off the ship to walk to Krystals Resort. We weren't sure how to get there but asked someone how to get to the beach access and they pointed to a fence by one of the other resorts and walked along the beach passing different resorts. Found a bar and tried to order beer and they wouldn't sell to us since we were guests. I asked how to find Krystals and they pointed down the beach. We kept walking and found another beach side bar and asked if it was Krystals (not marked) and they said yes so we ordered our drinks. They let us use their pool which was really nice. Big pool with different activities going on like volleyball in the water. DD enjoyed watching these nice looking guys playing ball. Probably the highlight of her trip lol. That evening, the Osterdam was pulling out of port and we got into horn wars between the ships. That was fun and I got it on tape which was really cool. Then as the Osterdam passed the NCL Star that was anchored in the harbor, they got into a little battle. All fun. MAZATLAN: No excursions planned so we just took the tram to the little shopping area. DD & DS got a 15 minute massage. Didn't look very good but it was only $15 each I think. I found a necklace I wanted and tried to talk her down to $10 and she said no so I walked away. Found another one that interested me but I never asked how much but as I walked away he said two bucks - ears peaked so I turned around and said two bucks? Sold. DD saw a dress she liked and the lady was desperate and offered it to her for $5 but she didn't get it. When we went to Cabo, they were all $15 and not willing to negotiate. Skipped that so she never got her dress she liked. Should have got the $5 dress I guess. CABO SAN LUCAS: Kids swam with dolphins at Cabo Dolphins. I pre-booked the excursion thru the ship so it was paid for already. Well worth the money. DH & I did it there last April and loved it so we booked it for our kids. While DH & I sat in the viewing area, the kids were placed right in front of us instead of on the other side of the pool so I was really glad they were so close to us. DS hates getting water in his eyes and they wouldn't let him use his goggles so he didn't want to do much and turned his head everytime there was a splash. DD really enjoyed it and did everything. I bought the CD for $99 which normally includes 8 pictures but they let me select 10 images plus I got lots of other standard photo's that came free with the CD like pictures of all 7 dolphins dumping at once in formation, aerial photos of the facility etc. Well worth the $99. However, when I tried to develop the film at Walmart back in the USA, they refused to print professional photos without a release. I told them US laws don't work in Mexico but they refused. It was clear that the CD was sold to me from Cabo but they wouldn't reprint professionally. I sent an email to Cabo Dolphins and they emailed me back a release letter so I'll try it again. The swim included feeding him, dancing with him, dorsal fin ride, kiss on the cheek, plus he did all sorts of tricks for them too like bouncing a ball from his nose and ring around his nose like a hoola hoop. Very memorable. After the dolphin swim, we walked along the marina to various shops and a mall then back to the ship. PAST GUEST PARTY: Drinks were tasty that hostesses passed around. We drank 3 each during the hour. Not enough alcohol in them but they sure tasted yummy. They pushed the Seamiles credit card thing here and at lots of activities like the debarkation talk. They keep pushing it but I personally am very disappointed with the card and will likely cancel it without using the accumulated seamiles. I've got about 14K in seamiles and it just seems useless. I guess you need to be a big gambler and have lots of onboard charges to make it worth it. My sail & sign bill for the 4 of us was $545. That was after the $150 OBC plus an additional $60 they gave us for port credits. Considering half of that was gratuities, I think we did pretty good. Spent $120 on the photos, drinks every night at the karaoke club, DoD's and a couple souvenirs. Pretty good to walk away with only $545 owed. DEBARKATION: We got luggage tag #19 so we knew that would take forever to debark so we opted to do self assist so we could get off as soon as they announced deck 4. It took awhile for customs to clear the ship so we could start disembarking. Usually by 7:30 but it took until about 8:30 before they started announcing groups to leave. We got to get off the ship around 9:15am and we were on the road around 9:45am for our drive back home. End of our cruise and vacation over. Bummer. Sorry for such a long review but as you can see, we had a great cruise and Carnival is a great value. We got our moneys worth for sure. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
Carnival Spirit January 23rd 2009 Exotic Mexican Riviera First let me tell you a little bit about me and why we went on this cruise My DB got a group together for this cruise there were 54 sailing in this group of Friends and Family. ... Read More
Carnival Spirit January 23rd 2009 Exotic Mexican Riviera First let me tell you a little bit about me and why we went on this cruise My DB got a group together for this cruise there were 54 sailing in this group of Friends and Family. Plus there was the Cruise Critic /Troublemaker Group of about 40. We spent the Night in San Diego at The Ramada Hotel Circle the night before, the room was OK not great but it had a shuttle to and from the Port which took us 10 minutes to get there, and they offered free parking for the week we were on the Cruise. we had Lunch At Anthony's Fish Grotto as always it was a great Lunch. The Embark in San Diego was a lot busier then I had experienced in the past when we originally arrived about 11am there was a long line to check in the bags we waited for about 10 minutes and the outside porters showed up and took our bags then. It would have been 30 plus minutes if we had to wait in that line... we then went to lunch and after words went to check in for the cruise the line to get past security was about 10 people it was pretty fast... but the line to check in was about 300 plus... My Wife uses a scooter which puts us in the VIP line so we only had a 4 person wait... after we checked in we proceeded to the wait to board line which we where invited on right away they called out Zone numbers and were Boarding on zone 5 and passing out zone 11 tickets so we got on the ship in about a total of 30 minutes... my family took about a hour or so to get the same thing accomplished Once onboard we went straight to the room to drop off our carry-on our room was open and no Stewart around so we dropped and ran to the Lido...grabbed a DOD and walked around checking things out... Nice ship.... It is our first time on the Spirit or even a Spirit Class Ship...I liked the layout it was easy to maneuver around for my wife in her scooter We sat and talked until 1:30 and then went back to the room. We stayed in cabin 8239 on the Promenade deck. Which is a Handicap room that has a different layout then most room it was more of a square layout with a huge balcony (pictures to follow) we liked the layout it gave us enough room to store to scooter so we did not have to trip over it like we have in other cabins in the past...In fact we stored it in the bathroom which was huge as far as bathrooms go. As far as I am concerned this room fit our needs perfectly Cat.8H...if your HC you will love this room we met our Room Stewart Jana I gave him the upfront $20 and asked to fill up my Ice Chest and keep it filled...I had to ask him a few time to keep it filled and even called room service twice for ice but besides that he did a great job... Dining Room Opened right at 6pm every night not a minute earlier, which created along line that went all the way through the casino. For those of you who have not cruised Spirit, the Dining room is one the 2nd and 3rd floor (ours 2nd) aft. Our cabin in aft so when we would come down to the dining room the line went on forever... I am not a line cutter but I made the exception after I saw the line it made no since to me. I did stand in line a few times once after the Past Guest party that is how I know it went through the casino... I can also assume it went farther back to the theater.... Our Dining room Staff was the Best I have had... Ida (pronounced Eda ) and AG her Assistant....Great Great Job there ... look for them... We had table 211 which sits 8 all family members and friends Food has been good every night I am not disappointed at all. Other places to eat have all been good The omelets have been tasty, and they have Great Burgers... I have no very few complaints with the food..... The Pizza was OK for Pizza. I had a good sandwich at the Deli for Lunch one day...My DS tried the Sushi bar and did not like it... I bought a Soda Card for $48 plus tip on the first day, it is $6 a day... I don't do a lot of Juices but I have noticed that the only Drinks available are Iced tea, Lemonade, and Coffee... The Coffee was the worst I have drank... I have read others complained about the coffee before but my Elation cruise last year I found the coffee to be great. Not this time....I love baileys coffee in the morning to help wake up ...I smuggled some onboard and because of the coffee I will have to smuggle it back off board as well.... The Casino is pretty tight I have not won anything yet...Which I hope to change that soon...(like I said I am writing this onboard) We met the Casino Host Eva My DB and myself received a letter from the Casino welcoming us back and wished to add 500 points to our S&S card plus a free drink so who could say no to a free drink....she was a very nice lady, offering to buy us as well as everyone with us at the time a drink we got a Margarita which they served us in a carnival glass ...Nice touch. Through put the Cruise we ran in to Eva several times and she is a great person...I wrote the Director of Casino Operations and told Him how i felt about her.... We don't really spent a lot of time doing trivia games or contests so I can not report on any of those however I Did watch the newlywed not so newlywed game on TV. Cruise Critic Member Smoo and her DH won ...it was pretty funny... I also watched some of the other contests on TV...like the beanbag toss etc. they looked amusing... but glad I missed them. I am one of the guys who sat on the Balcony and read a book and enjoyed that private time during part of the day... worth every penny of the cruise to do that to me... Acapulco is a pretty nice place.. I have heard some negative things about it and yes our Driver Oscar even said there are places to stay away from and promised us to stay away from there. We had a group of 18 go with us (2 vans) first stop was the cliff divers we wanted to beat the crowds we saw a practice round for them plus the show about 1:45 we just parked off the side of the road to watch and we had a few drinks while we waited courtesy of Oscar. Oh by the way we negotiated a price with them for $20 a piece for 4 hours and that included drinks and if we wanted to extend that 4 hours we could for $5 more until we finished (which we did ) so with tip it cost us $30 each. From the Divers we drove to the Silver Factory the best part of that is free Margaritas. But I am not a shopper.. they did have some nice stuff and my DW seemed to like the stuff because she walked out with a little less money then she started with. From there we headed to Senor Frogs for lunch and more Margaritas, what a view....great staff there and a lot of fun was had ... From there we toured the Neighborhood where people live... some really nice houses over looking the Bay. Then on to more shopping we stopped at a Farmacia some of my Family members needed some stuff we had a few Spanish speakers in our group and we kept them busy translating.... Imagine about 10 people trying to get various things and not knowing what it is....like my SIL was trying to get some antibiotics ... it would not be a good thing to try to explain it and get something you do not want and take it... Please don't try this without someone helping you if they don't speak English ...The Prices there were great ... I think they have 2 sets of prices one for Americans and one for Mexicans... we got the Mexican Prices my BIL pulled a muscle the day prior and he got a few muscle relaxers (box of 20 ) for $2.50 great price ... but like I said it was with the help of our now close and dear friend Carlos. Lol also other things purchased were at a great price...This RX is located about a mile from port to the left on the main street.. Oscar then Drove us to the local flee market and warned us not to go into certain areas and to stay right on the street portion. At this point it was about 7pm and the store were starting to close so we did not stay there long only about a hour but they did not seem to want to deal a lot so only a few T-Shirts were bought not much else. Then it was time to go back to the ship When we got onboard we played Mini-Golf and hung out a bit...my DW and I went back inside the port for a few minutes they have a Internet Cafe there which was cheap they charge $2 for 15 minutes, $3 for 30, and $4 for a hour, so I went to check email and blog a little. Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo is a tender port once again no solid plans there we hung around the ship and had lunch then took the tender in we just walked around the town for a few hours and did a little shopping and had a few beers. Then back to the ship Manzanillo Port is nothing to really look at, we had a plan here though we went to the sea turtle sanctuary and sea salt plantation, this was not a Carnival tour we set this up prior to Sailing there were 44 of us and we had a large bus Felipe was our guide for the day and he did a pretty good job. Our group got the release 5 turtles back to the wild we all had a great time there... after that we went to town and had lunch and did some shopping Lunch was OK but they took there time serving it... and the vendors were out in force trying to peddle there goods while we were eating.... Then we drove around a bit through the resort area ... there are some very nice place's to stay if you ever want to come here for a week or so... then back to the ship. The last two sea Days we hung out a lot with friends and Family and stayed very busy with different things. I was never bored on this cruise.... We also did the Susan G Koman walk for the Cure on the last sea day which was a great thing to do there were about 300 people who participated in the event and the $10 was a small price to pay to walk in it.. I did a small fund raiser through the troublemaker/Loco in Acapulco group that went and raised over $700 and donated all the money to them and purchased several T-Shirts and passed them out to the group...Do this if you get a chance! Its just the right thing to do even if you don't walk it you will get a T-Shirt for $10 where else can you get a souvenir for that kind on money that helps in so many ways.... Disembarkation went pretty fast for us as I mentioned my DW uses a scooter and we went off by 8:30 because we were able to use the wheelchair assistance that CCL has. We took a Taxi back to the hotel we stayed at prior to the cruise but we could of called them to shuttle us back we just did not want to wait and it only cost us less then $20 Overall experience was great the Ship was clean and well maintained the staff was always friendly and knowledgeable of there jobs. The Food was pretty good overall most meals were great some were OK the Dining room was always great the Lido food tended to be cold at times for lunch. but the omelets were the best part at breakfast. We watched most of the show or parts of them they were OK not great but we all expect it just to be OK so we were not disappointed in it. Special notes Eva the Casino Host was great look her up Our dining room staff Ida and AG was the best Chris Roberts the CD did a great Job he seemed to be all over the place doing his job very well... If you have any reservations about the Spirit Don't worry about it just go and have fun! Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
This ship, like the other 2 we were on, provided us with a spacious, fully wheelchair accessible cabin. In this instance we were near midship (Room 6286, I think). This was a great cabin to be in. When we first arrived, our beds were ... Read More
This ship, like the other 2 we were on, provided us with a spacious, fully wheelchair accessible cabin. In this instance we were near midship (Room 6286, I think). This was a great cabin to be in. When we first arrived, our beds were separate and I pushed them together so we could lie down and rest before supper. We were up early to catch a 5:AM flight out of Houston, TX to Miami, FL. The long flight was tiring and we wanted to rest. I mentioned to my room steward, Eva, that she could fix the bed up in the morning. When we returned from dinner, our two beds were one. I was impressed. The next evening we arrived in San Juan, P.R. at 5:PM. Our next stop, St. Thomas, was great! We docked early in the day and spent a glorious morning shopping right at the port. We went next to St. Maarten (the Dutch side of the Island). We tendered in, and the tender boat personnel lifted my husband onto the boat in his chair. Now, back to the ship. We did not do the formal dinner thing at all this time. We were tired of it after two cruises. I will say that the buffets were excellent. The bacon was thoroughly cooked. We are both bacon lovers, and this is the first time I did not have to search through the bacon bin for pieces that were fully cooked. The staff was all very friendly, and spoke to us like old friends. The casino was lots of fun. We went to karaoke, and it was great. We took pictures, and bought some. Everything was spotlessly clean. We had no trouble getting in and out of the ship at any port. We had no trouble finding accessible restrooms at all on the ship. We were so completely pleased with this cruise, that it is incredible!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
This was my 5th cruise overall, my fourth with Carnival. I traveled with my wife Denise. (By coincidence, it also turned out that her Aunt Dot was on the cruise also, traveling with a group of friends). The itinerary was Panama (we ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise overall, my fourth with Carnival. I traveled with my wife Denise. (By coincidence, it also turned out that her Aunt Dot was on the cruise also, traveling with a group of friends). The itinerary was Panama (we didn't actually go through the canal, although the ship offered excursions to it), Costa Rica and Belize. We flew from NY to Fort Lauderdale the night before, then took a taxi to the port in the morning. Embarkation was pretty quick compared to previous cruises. There was a little confusion with the lines, but because I walk with a cane and can't stand in lines for very long (in retrospect, I should have taken a wheelchair), they put us on the line for the disabled, which probably cut 30-45 minutes off the process. Overall, from the time we walked into the terminal until we boarded the ship, it was probably only about a half an hour. They did the safety drill before the ship left the dock, which was new to me, but it was good to have it done with. We had a handicapped cabin right near the elevators towards the back of the ship, which turned out to be a great location. We had originally booked a handicapped cabin at a lower fare, but for some strange reason, it was all the way in the front of the ship, a bit of a walk from the elevators and about as far as you could get from the dining room, but when we looked up where it was, we paid for an upgrade, which turned out to be a good room. Our actual cabin was spacious. There was a window, although it only overlooked the lifeboats. It was a quick elevator ride down to the dining room, or the Gotham Lounge, where we spent alot of time. We DID have a problem one morning with what seemed to be varnish fumes they woke my wife out of a dead sleep, and made the cabin unpleasant to be in for about an hour. (We later became pretty sure the fumes were from something they did in the Gotham Lounge that morning, which was one deck directly below our room). But we reported the problem, and whether they actually did something, or just by chance, it never happened again. The demographic seemed to skew older than the average Carnival cruise for this trip, and there were fewer first time cruisers and people with children than on the average Caribbean cruise. For whatever reason, it was a particularly friendly group too. The staff, as usual on a Carnival ship, was mostly very polite and helpful, although there were one or two bad apples mixed in. I liked the itinerary, although there was one disappointment, which I'll get to in a minute. In Panama, my wife and I both took the Panama City tour. The buses were a little small and cramped, but we had a wonderful tour guide named Jeronimo, who was both extremely knowledgeable and very friendly and personable. He knew anything you could want to know about Panama, its history, the canal and how it operates, etc. He obviously had a great deal of pride in his country, and it made it an enjoyable tour. I'd gladly go back to Panama. I was particularly looking forward to Costa Rica, but unfortunately, the day we were there, it poured like crazy. We were supposed to take a boat excursion, but the weather was so bad we decided to skip it. The purser's office refunded our money (they weren't happy but they did it), and my wife used the extra cash for a spa treatment, which she enjoyed immensely. I couldn't be too upset in retrospect, when you vacation in a rain forest, you shouldn't be shocked if it rains. I hope to come back to see Costa Rica some other time. The weather was better in Belize. We had to tender into shore for the excursions, but the tendering process was fast and easy. I took a Belize city tour, which was actually kind of lame there didn't seem to be a whole lot to see. But it was a nice day, the bus was big and comfortable, and it was good to get off the boat and stretch my legs. My wife took an excursion to the Mayan ruins, which she said was pretty interesting. The trip had 4 sea days, which I loved. I spent my afternoons relaxing, reading, attending tea time, etc. I loved the boat itself. I had heard from several other Carnival cruisers that the Spirit class ships such as the Miracle were their favorites, and now that I've sailed one, I'm inclined to agree. They're smaller and more navigable than say the Victory or the Freedom. The decor was typical Carnival, which never bothered me I know it's gaudy, but I kind of like it. I especially liked the Bacchus dining room, with its purple grape theme. We had the late seating for dinner. Our waiters, Rasmini and Edward were first rate. I also found the food to be especially good on this trip, although my wife thought it was no better or worse than on previous cruises. I had a grouper dinner one night that was especially tasty. The 24-hour pizzeria is also very good, and the deli sandwich counter on the Lido deck made some excellent sandwiches for lunch. We didn't catch any of the big lounge production shows this trip they didn't fit into our schedule well, and we had seen the Beatles-themed show on the Freedom last year. I did enjoy the afternoon Christmas show, though. As far as lounge entertainment goes, we especially enjoyed Scott the guitarist he has an expansive repertoire that we only just scratched the surface of on an 8-day cruise. I also really enjoyed the classical trio. Sad note, though I heard from a fellow passenger that Carnival is planning to do away the the classical and jazz acts on their ships. When the current ones' contacts run out, they won't be renewed. So if you enjoy classical and/or jazz music on your cruise, better let Carnival know. The casino was smallish, and I thought they had a poor selection of video slots they didn't really have any of my favorites. They did have some good low-minimum roulette, which is where I wound up spending most of my casino time. Disembarkation was kind of disorganized I decided I'd better use a wheelchair to get off the ship, but found that when I went to the area that people who needed assistance were supposed to go to, there wasn't anyone giving info on what to do. We had to flag someone down, who finally explained the process. It was a little slow, but once we knew what was going on, it was easy enough. Overall, we had a fun and relaxing cruise. If you're someone who is a picky traveler, this cruise might not be for you, but if you're fairly easygoing, it's a great vacation and good value for your money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
Background Information Our family of four - me, my wife, my 9-year-old daughter, and my 86-year-old dad in a wheelchair - all had a great time. This was our third cruise, second on Carnival, and I will be giving tips and info about going ... Read More
Background Information Our family of four - me, my wife, my 9-year-old daughter, and my 86-year-old dad in a wheelchair - all had a great time. This was our third cruise, second on Carnival, and I will be giving tips and info about going on a cruise with someone in a wheelchair. We stayed in the front section of the ship; my dad in a handicapped room, and the three of us in a regular room three rooms down. The handicapped room has a wider door, wider entranceway, and a handicapped bathroom/shower, where he could just roll himself right in. The shower has a seat for him to wash himself. This was necessary, as the pools on the ship are all salt water, which was a bummer. More on that later. Hotel Info (if any) N/A Ship Info Some have described the ship's decor as garish. It is over-the-top in terms of having American Eagles, flags, and such, but I didn't think it was garish. The Ivanhoe theatre was done in a sort of castle motif, having nothing to do with America. Rosie's restaurant, the buffet area on the Lido Deck, had numerous references to WW II women working - Rosie the Riveter. I thought that was pretty nice. And, of course, there was art all over the ship. I liked most of it, especially the art at each landing of the steps, which I used when I wasn't with my dad. Activities Okay, there are your standard pools, hottubs, mini-golf, gym, casino, and the like. The pools are filled with sea water, which was sort of unexpected. They therefore had showers located right next to them to get the salt off. The hot tubs aren't too hot, so kids can go in them. They had nice jet action for massages, though, so that was good. My dad's problem is more of balance than being an invalid - sorry if that's not PC - so he has some use of his legs. But getting in and out of the pools was tough for him, and I was glad I was there in case he needed me. The pools are all built with ladders to get in, as opposed to steps, but there is a lip around them, and a bench on top of the lip. So, he went from his chair, to the bench, and then down to the lip. Once he was at the lip, he could scootch on over the four or so feet of tile to the pool to put his legs in. Then he could lower himself in with his arms. But not too much, because he's lost strength in his shoulders. It's 4 1/2 feet deep, so once he went in, it was deep enough where the amount of water slowed his descent, and then he could stand in the water. The hot tubs were up a few steps, and therefore inaccessible to him. There are two main pools; one is reserved for adults only. He got out with my help the first time. He put his back to the curved corner of the pool, and was able to raise himself most of the way out with his arms; I helped him the rest of the way. The second time, though, he got out of the same corner frontwards, leaning his chest on the four-foot tiled area between the lip and the pool, and getting himself up. However, I would not recommend handicapped people go swimming alone for fear that they could not get out by themselves. There are no lifeguards, although I'm sure if you asked for help, they would get someone to help you out. No ice skating or rock-climbing walls on this ship, as there is on the latest Royal Caribbean ships, which are fun. There is a decent water slide, but you have to put your arms behind your head to get up any kind of speed. Great for the kiddies, though, although my daughter wasn't too keen on it. There are also plenty of shipboard activities to keep you interested. Trivia contests, pool games, and of course, bingo, which my dad won $1000 after playing on a whim. That was fun! For me, I love karaoke, and the Eagle's Lounge, the secondary theater in the back of the ship, had karaoke almost every night. The woman running the karaoke, Sam, was very good about letting anyone sing, although she did take the stage herself a couple of times a night, which wasn't really necessary. That being said, she had a great voice. Of course, there is your standard art auction, which is pretty bogus in my opinion. However, they do have free champagne, so we went for that. And we got a free "lithograph" - it was just some kind of nice print - in a raffle. Service The cabin stewards were great, doing the whole towel animal thing every night. The room was very clean. They even had a towel animal making class in the disco at the end of the cruise, which my daughter loved. The dining room staff left something to be desired. We had to ask for water and coffee at every meal, which we shouldn't have to do. It's a little bit picky of a complaint, I know, but it is a cruise, after all. Also, for some reason, the service on the final night, after we gave them their tips, was off. The ship's event staff was young and fun, and made the bingo and the "game shows" entertaining. Here is an interesting thing that happened, though. They had a Caribbean band that played three times during the cruise. The first time, they were by the kiddie pool, and they were ear-splittingly loud. Now I'm in my 40s, and I've lost some of my hearing to having grown up using a Walkman, and now an iPod, but they were still incredibly loud; so loud we couldn't stay without fear of permanent hearing loss. Yes, it really was that loud. So I complained to the purser's office. They wrote me a letter back, acknowledging the complaint. Notably, the letter did not say that they were taking any action in relation to the complaint, but I still thought it was a nice touch to get the letter. Next time, they were playing by the casino. Still way too loud, so I complained again. This time, I got two phone calls saying that the cruise director had been notified, and they had been asked to turn the volume down. Finally, the third time they played, they were back by the pool again, for the hairiest chest contest. This time, they were finally in normal, loud-as-hell-but-won't-make-you-deaf range. So I consider that a plus, actually, as they did respond to my complaint. Shore Excursions To us, each island is like the next. However, I was a bit shocked to be offered to buy drugs by the touts in Nassau. Otherwise, Nassau was Nassau - nothing new there. Many of the shops had curbs in front of their entrances that would not allow my dad to enter. But we tooled around just the same. Also, the straw market is not a place for wheelchairs, as the aisles, except for the main aisle down the center, are way too narrow for wheelchairs. In St. Thomas, we first went to the shops right at the Havensight "Mall" right by the dock, and then went to the Butterfly Farm to have something to do with my dad. The Butterfly Farm is very expensive, and was brutally hot. It's also "paved" with packed sand, which was sometimes tough for him to move around in in the wheelchair. It was also a short "excursion" for the money, about an hour for $15 per person, $9 for kids. All that being said, it was very interesting and informative, and if we hadn't done that, we wouldn't have had anything to do with my dad. So we did it. We then took a cab to Magen's Beach/Bay, which is on the other side of the island from the ports. The beach is really spectacular, and supposedly has been named as one of National Geographic's top beaches, and used in Corona beer commercials. Even if it hasn't it should be. It's a U-shaped bay, surrounded by mountains on three sides, gotta be a couple thousand feet long, with an island beckoning at the top of the bay in the distance, with perfectly clear bathtub temperature water, and white sands. Just a little slice of heaven. Don't do the skyride, as taking the taxi to Magen's Bay accomplishes the feat of climbing up the mountain and giving you a spectacular view. Then there was St. Maarten. We were pooped from St. Thomas the day before so we went to the beach that is just in town. There is a water taxi that will take you the approximately 1 mile from the ship to the downtown area for about $6. We didn't do this, but someone else in a wheelchair seated at our table did, so it must have been fine. Instead I pushed my dad the mile from the ship to the downtown area. Yes, it is all wheelchair accessible the entire way, but it was hot as hell, and I got a helluva workout pushing my dad both ways. Ah, it burned off the three main courses I had eaten the night before. Don't buy anything from the shops that are right by the dock in St. Maarten unless you have to. The shops in town are way, way cheaper. We got 3 button-down, collared Hawaiian shirts (or Caribbean, whatever) for $20, and T-shirts were cheap too. Finally, getting back on board was fine, as we would ask the Carnival security guys to push my dad back up the gangway. This was not a problem. Summary I would recommend the Valor to anyone. It was a very nice ship, and our experience was great. The service was lacking slightly, but only in a nitpicky sense. We had a wonderful time. Travel To Port of Embarkation We drove from West Palm Beach down I-95 to the port. No problems there. Stateroom The room was fine and clean. Of course, a regular room has a lip to get into the bathroom, and the shower would be impossible for someone in a wheelchair, but the handicapped room neatly solved these issues. Of course, there is a safe in the room, but for some reason, they don't want you to use the room key - the Sign and Sail card that you use for everything - to lock it. So instead, you have to carry a credit card around in addition to the room key, which defeats the purpose of having everything linked to the room key, because the credit card is otherwise useless on board ship. Dining Well, the food was excellent, but I'm not all that discriminating - I'll eat anything. The desserts were fantastic across-the-board, except for the cheesecake, which couldn't touch my mom's. Otherwise, there were no false notes in any of the food, which was all top-notch. And, of course, you could order as many appetizers or main courses or desserts you wanted at any formal meal. Every meal in the formal dining room was amazing, and we ate there almost every night. I mentioned the service issues above. Others have mentioned the Fish and Chips restaurant. You have to actively look for it, as it is a bit hidden, and it is only open from 10 to 3. The only way to get there is on deck 10, but it is worth it. Also, since people generally don't know about it, there is hardly any line. On the negative side was the midnight buffet. On other ships, this has been held in the formal dining rooms. This time, it was held on the Lido deck, which made it a lot less classy. Also, after waiting 45 minutes on line to get food, and moving a grand total of 14 feet, I called it quits. Eh, I didn't need a 7th meal that day anyway. Children's Clubs There is Camp Carnival, which looked great, but which my wife refused to use. They had an intro party the first night we were on board, which was really nice, and the counselors seemed good as well. They were all women, some of them were Filipino, as was my daughter's nanny for the first 6 years of her life, so we felt very comfortable with that. However, it was the four of us, so we wanted our daughter to be around us most of the time anyway. But it would have been nice if she had made friends and hung out there from time to time. Entertainment We thought the entertainment was really top notch. The comedians were terrific, and the midnight shows - for adults only - were hilarious. Beyond the standard comedy acts, they also had a juggler and a ventriloquist. The juggler was pretty amazing, and at one point, the ventriloquist did two character voices simultaneously. That was insane! There was also a singer, Marcus Anthony (not Marc Anthony!) who did all Motown songs. The guy was phenomenal, and really got the audience going. He was so good, we watched both of his shows. He even took requests from the audience, and did little snippets of songs. There are also your standard shipboard dancers and their shows, who were good, and put their amazing bodies on display. Something nice to ogle, as this cruise was in low season. That meant that the fares were cheap, and a different kind of cruiser was on board than I've previously seen. Yup, fat people, and lots of 'em. Not too many nice bodies to look at other than the dancers. The final show was the guests, with some of the crew, singing songs from "Legends" - Elvis, Cher, Sinatra, etc. These were selected from the karaoke singers, so I knew most of them from having sung there myself. The quality of the guest singing was generally good, and when it wasn't it was hilarious. Disembarkation and general handicapped information No problems embarking or disembarking with a wheelchair. Wheelchairs got a little priority in embarking and disembarking, so our entire party went through a bit quicker. I would recommend staying in the front of the ship, though, because there you've got the regular 8 elevators plus 4 more in the atrium all in one spot, which cuts down on the waiting time to get an elevator. All in all, though, people were pretty understanding about taking their turn and letting you on an elevator when you're in a wheelchair. We actually had three - a regular wheelchair, an electric scooter, and a walker. My tip - leave the electric scooter behind unless you really need it. My dad doesn't, as he has some mobility in his legs, and can move himself around in a regular wheelchair just fine. The fact that the hallways are typically narrow, and the fact that he's 86 and wasn't the best at controlling his electric scooter, meant a harrowing time the first day on the ship as he threatened to crush people's ankles getting on and off the elevators. I was waiting for a lawsuit. We switched him to his regular wheelchair for the remainder of the cruise and it was fine. Also, the small lips in between sections of the ship were easy to manage. The staff in the dining room helped seat my dad, and there were handicapped spots in the Ivanhoe Theatre for him to put his chair. Again, people were generally understanding about moving over a bit so we could sit next to him in the cutout spots in the Theater. Even though the hallways are narrow, with the cutouts for the rooms, they were just wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass one another. And the cabin staff was always quick to jump out of my dad's way as we passed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
First Carnival cruise - Jubilee - about 15 years ago. This was a Panama Canal (part way in) to near the Equator...NO AIR CONDITIONING!!! No, it didn't break down on our cruise; it actually broke on the cruise before ours. Of ... Read More
First Carnival cruise - Jubilee - about 15 years ago. This was a Panama Canal (part way in) to near the Equator...NO AIR CONDITIONING!!! No, it didn't break down on our cruise; it actually broke on the cruise before ours. Of course, they didn't bother to tell any of the passengers who were boarding for the next trip...nor did they try to fix the A/C. Heaven help you if you were a diabetic...the only sugar reduced dessert was yellow cake. Every night they did change the frosting to another color and they gave it a different name (i.e., pink was strawberry; yellow was lemon; green was mint, etc., etc.). Okay, this was an old ship even at that time but it was always very dirty (perhaps, it was also too uncomfortable for the crew to keep things shipshape (no pun intended). After this cruise, my husband and I swore we would never sail with Carnival again. So much for swearing...move forward about 15 years... Our second (and, without a doubt our very last, forever, no way) cruise was on the Splendor. It was a brand new ship with only two voyages before ours. It was cruising out of Dover, England and would be visiting Northern Europe/Baltic ports. Our brother and sister-in-law talked us into joining them on this trip. Although we were very hesitant to go on this cruise, we decided we would give Carnival another try. I mean a brand new ship - how bad could itt be? Pretty bad, if you want my opinion. . We were on the Spa deck (10) in a handicap room (at the very front of the ship - there are two locations on board the ship for handicap access rooms (the very front or the very back (right next to the crew's metal stairway!). The doorways to these cabins have a wall opposite them making maneuverability difficult if you're using a motorized scooter. They door to the room does open automatically to let you get in when you put your card in the slot (we didn't know about this feature until we were five days into the trip because the door was not functioning when we got on the ship). One problem with that was that the door automatically closed whether you were in the room or in the doorway...smash!!!!!!!!!!! goes the door into your scooter, leg, etc. . Food was alright (nothing special). The desserts (sugar-free) were the same as on our first cruise... The food court was very disorganized and at some points on the line you actually had to reach across food to get to other food (yuck!). . The Styrofoam carvings were - well - there! Ugly - if they didn't want to do fruit carvings or ice carvings... okay, but Styrofoam with plastic flowers just didn't meet our standards. . Shore excursions - who knows! If you were unable to walk well or couldn't climb steps - you needn't bother to book any tours. You can get off the ship and ride your scooter or wheelchair up and down the dock - but, don't expect to go sightseeing. I could go on and on, but I won't. I would like to add one bit of information though, 10 years prior to this cruise we went on the Royal Princess to the same ports (with the exception of Germany) and it was FABULOUS!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
The Introduction: I am a 24 year old male in the public service field. This was my fifth cruise with Carnival, and my second on the Sensation. I was accompanied by my girlfriend, mother, aunt and grandparents. The cruise was scheduled for ... Read More
The Introduction: I am a 24 year old male in the public service field. This was my fifth cruise with Carnival, and my second on the Sensation. I was accompanied by my girlfriend, mother, aunt and grandparents. The cruise was scheduled for three days out of Port Canaveral to Nassau. Both grandparents are elderly, and my grandfather is wheelchair bound due to a stroke. That makes this review possibly useful for disabled or elderly passengers, or those traveling with them. The Embarkation: We arrived at the cruise terminal around 12:30 PM and quickly unloaded the luggage and parked. The process at Port Canaveral is very smooth. I have sailed out of Miami and Tampa; neither can match the ease of Canaveral. This is mainly due to the port not being in a metropolitan area. The Bee-Line expressway (SR. 528) takes you right to it, and there is no city traffic to deal with. There is no parking garage at the Sensation's pier, only a big lot, which is either bad or good depending on one's preference. Once inside the terminal, embarkation went quickly. There were elevators for the handicapped that were easily accessible. There were also attendants at the gangway to help us get my grandfather on board. They also sent two crewmen to their room before the life boat drill to assist my grandfather and escort him through the process. They lead him back to the room afterwards, and were very friendly. This was very nice, since he is in his 80's, and had trouble navigating the ship. The Ship: I took a seven day cruise on Sensation in 1999 when it was based in Tampa. The ship has held up fairly well, and was immaculately clean. There were visible signs of wear in the staterooms, but nothing out of the ordinary for a 15 year old "fun ship" that has seen its fair share of kids, teens and blue collar folks. The ship got minor upgrades to certain areas, but not the staterooms. If Carnival fully remodels the Sensation like they did the Fascination, it will look great again. Anyone planning a cruise on the Sensation needs to keep in mind that it was built in 1993, and the dEcor has not been upgraded much since then. There is lots of neon purple everywhere. Being a fan of the 1980s, I always got a kick out of the "Touch of Class" piano bar. It has two huge plastic hands (one black, one white) complete with nail polish that frame the doorway to the bar. The same huge hands adorn the walls, and act as bar stools. Every time I entered, I thought I would hear Duran Duran playing in the background. My grandparents had a fully accessible handicap room. It was set up very well, and they had no problems. It had an even floor from the room to the bathroom, where the normal cabins have a step up. There were rails around the commode and shower. It also had wider doors to accommodate my grandfather's power chair. The Food: As with any cruise, there is never a shortage of food. I found the meals in the dining room during dinner to be top notch. We had the 5:45 dinner in the Ecstasy dining room. Our wait staff was superb. Our waiter was excellent and even cut my grandfather's food for him since he has no use of his right side. The food in the Seaview Bar and Grill was also good. The Sensation's 24 hour pizzeria was the best I've had so far. The Entertainment: The only show we attended was the Newlywed Game, it was funny. We wanted to see the late night comics, but were too tired to stay up late. The live performers on the Promenade at night were also very good. The Port: Getting off at Nassau was easy, but the pier was very crowded. There were three other large ships (Enchantment of the Seas, Disney Wonder, and Carnival Glory) there with us, as well as another smaller one (Regal Empress). We figured that there were approximately 10,000 people exiting the ships. It was also very crowded in Nassau, and hard to get around all the people. We went back to the ship early to get away from the melee. If it wasn't a family cruise I may have gone back into town to go to the bars since the ship was in port overnight until 6 AM. The Debarkation: Unlike other Carnival ships I've been on, the Sensation does not provide for early-off "self assist" debarkation. We still carried off our own bags, but had to wait with everyone else. They did provide assistants for my grandparents to help the over the gangway. If you're not in a hurry it is much easier to just sleep in, eat breakfast and wait for everyone else to get off before traversing the gangway. It is much less stressful that way. The Bottom Line: This was another great cruise that I recommend for almost anyone. Carnival went out of its way to accommodate my grandparent's special needs. They had a good time in spite of rough seas the first night. We all came away happy and full. I can't say much for Nassau, but it's nothing that Carnival can control. There are some people who judge Carnival harshly for being the "Wal-Mart" of cruises. I prefer an analogy that I read in another cruiser's review; that going on a Carnival cruise is like going to your friend's house. The ships are nice, but not super fancy, so your kids can run around without you worrying that they will break something. The crew treats you very well, but not like royalty. The food is great, but tailored to the masses. I like that! I'm a blue collar kind of guy, and I don't want to have to wear a suit on vacation, or worry about using the right fork at dinner. If you are looking for an ultra premium cruise, then Holland America or Celebrity Cruises can give you that. If you want a high value, reasonably priced, fun and relaxing vacation then Carnival is for you. I am a confirmed Carnival fan, and I plan on taking many more cruises with them. We are already booked on the Carnival Glory for a seven day cruise in September, so I will hopefully have another positive review then! Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
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