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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First, the date I chose was purposeful and intentional! It rains 98% of the time. May is the least rainy time if the whole year. It did not rain a single time, at any of our stops and the sun came out! I figured, if I'm going to ... Read More
First, the date I chose was purposeful and intentional! It rains 98% of the time. May is the least rainy time if the whole year. It did not rain a single time, at any of our stops and the sun came out! I figured, if I'm going to Alaska; I want to see snow and it all melts in the summer months... So May it was! We experienced sun, snow, green spring/ early summer colors and seriously, it was AMAZING!!!!! At every single stop the locals kept saying "You picked a good day. No rain today, and it rains every day here". The ship itself is well maintained. I only encountered ONE rude crew member and it was an American crew member in the gift shop. Everyone else was superb and helpful and kind. Our first stop was Juneau. We went whale watching. The crew on the boat were knowledgeable and friendly and very helpful! We saw humpback whales (a mom and baby) that breeched several times. We also saw eagles and and see lions and seals! Our second stop was Skagway. We booked 2 excursions because it was a long day in port. First we did a zodiac rafting adventure which I highly recommend! We were outfitted in all weather, WARM, sub Arctic deck suits with goggles, gloves, and face masks. Captain Jen was incredible as was her crew. She made the ride FUN by doing donuts in the middle of the water multiple times. We saw waterfalls that blew our actual minds and eagles and sea lions of all different varieties and otters playing in the water. We stopped for several photo ops. We were brought back to the staging area by the ship where the next excursion started. We did the 3 hour White Pass Railway Adventure. I don't even have words to do that trip up the mountain justice. It's not an exaggeration when I say the views were spectacular and impossible to really process at first. We saw lush green mountains and snow covered mountains side by side. We learned a lot about the gold Rush and how the railway was made, etc. Going through the mountain tunnels was exhilarating. You can't go to Skagway and not do the White pass Railway. We cruised Glacier Bay next. Please do yourself a favor and book a balcony (try to get an Aft Balcony. They go FAST and there are only 20 on the ship) and bring binoculars. I was brought to tears by the stunning beauty!!! You don't understand how INCREDIBLE it was. We watched the Margorie Glacier calve. First you hear rolling thunder then you see part of the glacier crash into the water making huge splashing waves. Some of the glaciers are ice blue and others not so much. When you cruise Glacier Bay, Carnival gives you warm blankets to cuddle up with so you don't freeze to death. All along the way we saw whales breeching and see otters floating lazily on their backs with their cute paws and heads just above the water. This was one of my favorite days!!! I was pretty much euphoric all day. Our next stop was Icy Straight Point. I didn't book an excursion here but my friend in the cabin next to me did. She went whale watching and saw multiple whales breech very close up. She also went on a bear excursion and saw brown bears. I was a little jealous if the pictures she got. We rode into town and saw how the natives live. Then we went to The Crab Shack. GO TO THE CRAB SHACK!!!! There we got Alaskan King Crab legs that were HUGEEEEE and Bloody Mary's full of crab meat, shrimp, and a crab claw!! The crab the best we've ever had and we were unexpectedly so full it wasn't even funny. Finally we went to Ketchikan. Here is my ONLY complaint. We were only there for 4 hours which is ludicrous because Ketchican is huge and we didn't get to experience even a quarter of Ketchikan. We did a Go Kart Adventure thru the rainforest. It was a gorgeous, sunny, dry, day so we didn't need the rain gear offered. The ride was kick ass and although I've seen some people complain that it wasn't long enough; we found it to be the perfect length. We stopped for a few beautiful photo ops and a quick snack and water. Our guide was Rhianna Marie! We wanted to put her in our suitcase and bring her home. She was GREAT. Our next stop was Victoria BC. from 7pm - 11 pm. Honestly, that's a huge waste of a stop. I would much rather have had more time in Ketchikan. I got the feeling they stopped in Canada just so Canada could try to make a few bucks off of the tourists. Not this girl! Let me just close by saying I will be booking another Alaskan cruise!!! You couldn't pay me to go in the heat of summer and get rain EVERY DAY and miss all the snow and be hot. Who wants to be hot in Alaska!? Not me.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Horizon was great! Our handicap room, 10205, was excellent. The room was very large, and I could use the scooter everywhere. Even though it is listed as an interior room, the room has an slightly obstructive ocean view size window, and a ... Read More
Horizon was great! Our handicap room, 10205, was excellent. The room was very large, and I could use the scooter everywhere. Even though it is listed as an interior room, the room has an slightly obstructive ocean view size window, and a great view. All the staff were fantastic when dealing with handicap people... from the people helping to board, to the time we left! I was thrilled about that, as I had concerns before the cruise. The only MAJOR problem on the cruise was all the smoke in the casino!! People were having to leave the area allot just to get a breath of fresh air! I had a bad cough after 3 days, and it took me over a week and a half after the cruise to clear up. Other than that, great cruise! The food in the buffet was just okay, definitely not allot of write home about. The specialty restaurants were great!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was ... Read More
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was excellent, my room was very clean, the porter made sure I had 2 ice buckets filled, the casino staff were exceptional always coming up to me to see if I was having a good time, Casino even paid off some, the bar staff were very prompt getting drinks out. Being handicapped, the ships staff were always making sure I was ok. This was the fifth cruise I was on this year. I have never been on the Valor before. I will definitely book more cruises on her. I did not get off the ship in any ports because of being handicapped. Carnival always takes care of me. The only type of vacation I like. I have several more cruises booked with Carnival b Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
While looking for cruises around our birthdays (my 75th) we found one that left on my wife's birthday and on my birthday. Carnival was the one. Left from Port Canaveral was the easiest embarkation we were on board in 15 minutes ... Read More
While looking for cruises around our birthdays (my 75th) we found one that left on my wife's birthday and on my birthday. Carnival was the one. Left from Port Canaveral was the easiest embarkation we were on board in 15 minutes (priority boarding) went to lunch and checked suite out. Everything was ready. Rm 11221 spa suite. Large balcony , walk in closet , large bathroom. And access to spa . Main dining room -Sapphire was great longest wait 10 minutes on my time dining. Went on excursions at all ports and booked thru Carnival . Great guides and interesting info on country. Some good deals on larimar jewelry in Dom. Republic. Our Room Steward Sabina was almost telepathic first night asked for ice and got it in 10 minutes the next night we called again she said it was in the room already - it was and she checked to make sure. Towel animals were great. Only negative was long lines for some of the food venues.Disembarkation was chaotic used our priority status to get off in 20 minutes.Sure helped . Was a great cruise and not our first one. Looking forward to next one. Did see a lot of young children that were not being watched by parents. Surprised that they weren't more cautious even on a CLOSED environment As a retired Police Officer I felt that they needed closer supervision. We live only an hour from Port Canaveral.and go to the Cape for launches -can see them on clear days from our front yard. Did not go to see any entertainment preferred to watch new movies on tv and occasionally room service which if you choose correctly was included in cruise cost. Great snacks. Asked for cheese plates to go from supper and never refused. Wait staff knew what we had for beverages after first night ,called us by our names and had beverages waiting at table. Embarrassed both of us on birthdays by singing Happy Birthday along with other diners at dinner. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Vista Cruise special notes: - pay for “faster to the fun” or get priority boarding if you hate lines - Try the Pig and Anchor BBQ or Taste Bar on 5 Midship for no-wait lunch after boarding, since they don’t appear on most deck ... Read More
Vista Cruise special notes: - pay for “faster to the fun” or get priority boarding if you hate lines - Try the Pig and Anchor BBQ or Taste Bar on 5 Midship for no-wait lunch after boarding, since they don’t appear on most deck maps - Don’t try to get in the aft Havana pool or hot tubs unless you have a Havana cabin (or it’s after 7 pm) - Gift cards from the spa are restricted - can’t use for thermal suite - Get tickets for Imax at a kiosk on deck 6 forward (there’s a senior discount for 55+!) - The Dive-in theatre (free) and IMAX (Fee) show new movies - very worthwhile. Free popcorn - Two of the speciality pay restaurants are FREE for lunch under different names: JiJi’s->Mongolian BBQ, while Cucina del Capitano->Pasta Bella (both are excellent!) - The taste bar is only open during boarding and on sea days but is worth a try - Aft cabins with the extended balcony are GREAT if you like sitting outside privately (be aware - the deck 9 aft cabins have an overhand that precludes most sunbathing) - SkyRide and Ropes require close-toed shoes - Ropes course is easier if you hold on to the safety harness as high up as possible - “Anytime dining” actually means “request table at the kiosk or via the Hub App, then wait from 5 to 90 minutes” - “Pancho’s Backyard” at Puerto Maya cruise terminal in Cozumel is a great place for a margarita and chips (and guacamole!) - Room power outlet includes usb charging ports - Dock pharmacy in Belize is less crowded than the one in Cozumel but prices seem comparable - You can make specialty restaurant reservations months in advance via the carnival website cruise manager - Pay-per-view movies in rooms are only $5 for new movies and lots of free older titles - You can bring your own food & drinks into the Imax theatre - SkyRide line moves very slowly; good to go at off times - Pre-paid value plan is a good deal for internet. Some streaming is supported—e.g., YouTube - Carnival hub app is buggy and unreliable it necessary 3/3/19 Sunday boarding We drove to Galveston this morning. It was a bit rainy but traffic was fine. Mardi Gras is in full swing so traffic was a little bad near the cruise terminal. Shawn dropped me off at the cruise terminal and went and parked at EZ cruise park then walk back. As soon as he got back we were able to board. Boarding was extremely simple and very fast since I’m a platinum member. After checking our passports and entry documents we were ushered right through to security then up and onto the ship. Unfortunately, cabins were not ready. Shawn found a hot tub working on the Havana deck. I met him and we went to the promenade where we grabbed a snack at the Pig and Anchor - great BBQ but it’s not listed on any of the maps - find it midship on Promenade (deck 5). There was no line at all – everyone was up on Lido on 10 in lines that were long. We went to the aft section of the Havana area and tried to get in the hot tub, but were told by a crewman that only Havana cabin guess could use that hot tub. We then went to the ocean view lounge and the taste bar midship near the elevators. It was lovely and there were no lines and there were a number of different interesting foods to try. Everything was very very tasty. At 1:30, we were able to get into our cabin number 9470 aft extended balcony. It is a lovely cabin, but I should note that because of an overhang from the Lido deck it will not be good for sunning or sunbathing. One of our bags was delivered early and the other an hour later. We partially unpacked. We realized we were seated for dinner in the midship restaurant (despite our cabin being as far aft as possible) so we need to try to change that. First, we made our way to the deck 3 aft restaurant, Horizons Dining Room for the mandatory safety briefing. Then we wandered thru Lido as the Sail Away party started. Went up and checked in at the spa since I purchased a week of Thalassotherapy there. Then we went to the Vista Atrium, deck 3 forward, to get a drink and await an Electric Violin Duo. We had a Sex on the Beach - yum! Listened to the Electric Violins with Polaris trio for a bit (very good!) then went up to Deck 11 to look around. The Skyride has appeared inactive all day. Went back to the cabin and watched a free movie. We’d requested a Steakhouse reservation online prior to the cruise but were told they were sold out. Once aboard, I was able to get a 9:30 reservation- late, but .... Went by Reflections dining at midship and the maitre de was very helpful in getting us changed to “my time” dining in the aft Horizons dining room. We got to the 555 Steakhouse early and were seated immediately. Wonderful service and excellent food! They offered complimentary house wine and we had the Chardonnay. We ordered: baked onion soup, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, baked sole, filet mignon, wasabi mashed Yukon gold potatoes, and garlic rapini. They also gave us a wonderfully flakey and delicious roll with basil butter and some incredible little wagyu sliders, compliments of the chef. We said we were too full for 2 deserts and asked for a recommendation- our server replied that she’d bring us the Chocolate Sphere (hard to explain but cool and yummy) for us to share and a “to-go” cheesecake for later. So sweet! The Sphere even had “Happy Anniversary “ written in chocolate on its plate. They also gave us complimentary champagne for a postprandial toast. It was an incredible experience overall - try to get an earlier reservation as everything slows down as it gets late. Back to the cabin, tired and replete!! 3/4/19 Monday at sea Shawn up early (5 ish) to do laps on Promenade but a complete circuit was impeded by the Havana cabins. He still did 6 laps then came back and snoozed until breakfast time at 8:30. I figured out how to get my laptop on the paid WiFi - we chose the value package before the cruise. The trick is to put your laptop on airplane mode then access the WiFi and go to Carnivalhub.com and put in your folio number. Down to Horizons for sea-day brunch. Natalya from the Ukraine was our head waitress and was lovely. Back to the cabin to change into a swimsuit then I went to the Cloud 9 Spa to use the Thermal Suite while Shawn went to get tickets for the IMAX showing of How to Train Your Dragon. The Thalassotherapy pool and areas were wonderful. Changing rooms with lockers, towels, showers and a dry sauna were available. The main thermal area had the heated mineral jacuzzi, a steam room, aroma steam room, infrared sauna and dry sauna as well as heated zero-g lounges, all facing huge windows looking out at the passing ocean. I stayed for over an hour then got some orange flavored water and went to meet Shawn for the movie. You have to buy tickets ahead of time at a kiosk and there are no assigned seats. A senior discount (over 55) is nice! Popcorn, sodas and other traditional fare are available for purchase, and drinks from other parts of the ship can be brought in as well. Fun movie and it let out in time for us to go to Blue Iguana grill on Lido for a late lunch. I had a fajita beef taco bowl and Shawn had a grilled shrimp burrito - delicious and filling. We went back to our cabin for a brief siesta and found complimentary choc-covered strawberries (one of the perks of Platinum). We started watching a movie and when the hub app showed only a 5-10 minute wait for “My Time” dining, we requested a table (via the app) and went down to 3 Horizons. Where we waited and waited and waited. We finally got the notification that our table was available and were seated (about 30 minutes into the 5-10 minute wait). The braised kale tarts with Pork were a delicious appetizer. Back to our cabin to finish The Favourite then read and sleep. 3/5/18 Fat Tuesday at sea Shawn went for 7 laps then we went for an early bfast on Lido. I went to the spa while Shawn checked out the ropes course and sky ride. I arrived a little early but they checked me in. A woman offered me a shoulder massage then talked me into a bamboo massage at 4:30. I locked my purse and phone in the provided locker and entered the thermal suites. I started on the heated recliner and read for a bit then went in the mineral jacuzzi and on to the aromatherapy room which worked only briefly. I notified a spa attendant when I headed to the infrared room then the dry sauna. It was almost too hot, making the seats almost burning, but the huge windows were nice. I relaxed and dried out a bit then went to the relaxation room for orange flavored water. I headed back to the cabin. Shawn had gone and observed a huge line for the sky ride and a much shorter line for the ropes. We went to Pasta Bella for lunch. Since it sits below the sports deck and ball court, the banging from the ceiling is a bit annoying- the food is great, though! Choose one of 3 pasta then pick sauce and “add ins” plus Italian bread or Cesar salad. Liberal use of good olive oil made it rich and flavorful. I went to the shops to get a carryall for excursions (forgot to bring one) while Shawn went to the cabin. Louie our steward was working in the cabin so Shawn went up to 12. When I got back to the cabin, it’d been decorated for our anniversary with magnetic dangles from the ceiling, a bottle of champagne and flutes, plus a tumbler and a towel. There were also candies from My Time dining. We went back up to 12 aft (stairs required from 11 :-( so not great for us gimps). Shawn went on both the easy and hard ropes course, back to back, because there was no line. He says the trick is to grab your safety harness rope up near the wheel for balance!! The Skyride line was only a 30 minutes wait, so we got in line but realized I had on sandals (a no-no). We went back to our cabin after watching the Skyride and ropes for a while. At 4, Shawn walked me to the spa. They directed me to the relaxation room where I drank green tea and filled out paperwork. Sheila took me back and gave me a full body bamboo and hot stone massage for about 80 minutes. Very nice although they always try to upsell stuff. Met Shawn on 15 Serenity deck and looked around then headed back to our cabin. Dinner reservations at JiJi’s Asian restaurant got there early and were seated. Food is served family style so we picked 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 sides and 2 desserts. A small “compliments of the chef” appetizer came out first. Wonderful and delicious food – definitely worth the extra charge! Back to our cabin to watch Crazy Rich Asians on pay per view. . 3/6/19 Ash Wednesday at Roatan Up early - 530 for Shawn to do 5 laps. Went to bfast on Lido at 6:30 - lots of folks. Back to cabin to sunscreen up. An announcement at 8 that debarking was allowed so headed to 0 forward. Easy getting off and found mtg spot for Tabyana Beach and Gumbalimba Park but the tour directions folks weren’t very clear and a bunch of us headed off with the wrong group. Finally, our guide, St. Christopher, gathered us and led to the bus. VERY cramped bus - larger folk barely fit down the aisle. A 35-minute ride to GumbaLimba Park. Beautiful day! Saw 2 woodpeckers near the huge fig tree. Saw iguanas and island rabbits (capybaras) before going thru the Insectarium and Coxen’s cave. Climbed lots of stairs then crossed the bamboo bridge (Puente Bambusa) to see the birds. Scarlet and green/Military macaws as well as green parrots, turkey vultures, toucan and peafowl. Onward to see the monkeys although one visited us at the birds. I was winded when we got to the monkey area so the trainer told me to sit on the swing. Macheco, the white-faced capuchin monkey almost immediately came to sit on me!! The monkeys were fun and friendly except for some infighting with a male harassing a momma and her baby. Mango monkey also sat on my head. We hiked back, said goodbye to Christopher and took the bus to Tabyana Beach. Had a drink then got into the beautiful azure water up to my neck - incredible beach!!! Had a Monkey LaLa (frozen Vodka, Baileys and coconut rum drink with chocolate swirl) while Shawn dipped his feet in the waters. Headed back to the boat for lunch. Went to Guys Burgers with no line, though by the time we left, the line was long. Back to the cabin to change and rest then I went to the spa. Very crowded so did the steam aromatherapy room until the pool was less busy then onto a heated lounge for reading and to get my ankle up. Met Shawn on 15 to watch the Carnival Magic depart. Decided to do an early dinner and movie so requested a table at 5:30 and were seated by 5:45 next to 2 elderly sisters. Nice dinner - Shawn had the “local flavor” Pescado Asado with a wonderful broccoli soup (which we didn’t know was soup until it arrived at the table). I had the tenderloin with an excellent polenta. Back to the cabin to watch Arthur- Legend of the Sword. Bed early. 3/7/19 Thursday in Belize Same as yesterday for laps and bfast then down to the Liquid Lounge to await our excursion: Wildlife Adventure boat and zoo. BTW the Carnival Hub App has a bad tendency of locking up. Got told to go down for our Tender to shore. Two women argued about opening a window on the tender. One of them complained or yakked constantly and she ended up on our tour with her whiny kids. We were greeted and led by our guide, Anne, to a restroom and then our boat for the river tour. The boat was partially covered and had hard seats. We went to the manatee area at the mouth of the river then up river. We saw: 5 Bats, several Manatee, iguanas in trees, several Howler monkeys, 2 Morelet crocodiles, parrots, egrets, herons and two rare Jabiru storks w/nest. Stopped at The Iguana Spot for lunch: rice, beans, stewed chicken and a local Belikin beer for Shawn. On a bus for a 35-minute ride to Belize Zoo. Anne led us thru the maze-like zoo. Saw: King Vultures, black vulture, spectacled owl, cougar, margay, ocelot, howler and spider monkeys, jaguarundi, harpy eagle, tayra (bush dog), wild turkeys, jabiru storks, a keel-billed toucan, tapir, ornate hawks, alligators and crocodiles, whitetail deer, tarantula, and boas. Back on the bus for about a 50 minute ride back to Belize city. Got to the port, and the line to get on the boat was already very very long. We shopped a little then had a daiquiri before getting in line. A security guard came and saw my cane and walked us up to the front of the line after we had been in line about 15 minutes. We got on a tender and were back at the ship by about 415. We went up to 10 and crossed over and had an ice cream cone each then came to our cabin to rest and shower. Found out it was “elegant night” so decided to eat on Lido instead of the dining room - the Hakka noodles were great! Then we found a couch on deck 11 where we watched Antman and the Wasp at the Dive-In Movie. Also, the ship told everyone to set clocks ahead one hour for Cozumel and daylight savings time. Enjoyed the film although we sat too close to the starboard smoking area. Changed my watch and ended up going to bed after 11:30 PM. 3/8/19 Friday in Cozumel It was already light at 6 AM because of the time change and Shawn got up to run laps or rather walk them. Searched the cabin but could not find the laundry bag so I had to call Louie our Steward. Went to breakfast on Lido and they announced gangways were open and last boarding extended to 4 pm because we were a little late getting into port. Filled the laundry bag for Louie and read on the balcony until 10. Went ashore and shopped a bit before going to Pancho’s Backyard restaurant at Puerta Maya dock. Shared a marg and had chips, guacamole and a quesilla con salsa verde. Listened to local musicians then strolled back to the ship. Saw parrotfish, trumpet fish and sergeant majors in the lovely Caribbean blue waters along the dock. Stopped by the cabin to try on purchases and rest before heading to Mongolian Wok for lunch. Went up to try to ride the sky ride but they were doing maintenance and weren’t sure if they’d open today. Shawn did the ropes course (both sides) then we went to the Promenade to watch people returning from Cozumel and to laugh at drunks. The last stragglers were 48 minutes late. We went over to Red Frog for pub grub ($3.33 per ordered item): coconut shrimp, rhoti and sliders. After eating, Shawn went to the cabin while I bought rum cakes and got our anniversary pictures of the ship. Back in the cabin, our clean laundry was delivered then we watched First Man. To bed about 10. 3/9/19 Saturday at sea Up at 6 am for Shawn to walk laps (35 total this trip) and me to purchase pics. Lazed about until 8 then down to Horizons in hopes of sea day brunch opening early. They opened at 8:17 and we got a separate table. I ordered a croissant and we got a basket of 4 egg-washed butter croissants-delicious! I had eggs Benedict and a parfait. Shawn had the parfait and breakfast pasta - unfortunately, it was spaghetti in a cream sauce rather than the red sauce he wanted. The Sky Ride was scheduled to open at 9 so we hurried there after breakfast to find only a short line. I unknowingly got into the car on the inside track which turned out to have more steepness but it was great fun!! Back to the cabin to change shoes (the ride requires closed-toe shoes) and a little digestion time then we put on swimsuits and headed to the spa. Unfortunately, the $50 gift card we received was only for “spa services” and didn’t include the thermal suite so we paid $45 for Shawn to join me. Went into the jacuzzi then the steam-aromatherapy room then onto the heated lounges - Shawn fell asleep. I went for infrared and dry sauna then we cooled off in the relaxation room. Back to the cabin to change and rest and read. Down to the Ocean Plaza Taste Bar to try some incredible dishes while listening to Caribbean Sounds with Mikhail on steel drums. Back to the room to read before going to listen to violins and get our free drink. The funnel of art/images in the Vista Libby 3 forward was composing and decomposing impressionist artworks as we listened to the trio and shared a Sex on the Beach. Went to Bonsai Sushi for dinner: 2 miso soups, wagyu kakuni (beef appetizer), spicy tuna roll and Katsu chicken - all superb!! Picked up the photo I bought then went to our cabin. Saw Louie and tipped him $50 for his amazing service. Started packing. To bed early but I had trouble getting to sleep. 3/10/19 Sunday debarkation Alarm at 5:30. Shawn did 2 laps while I finished packing. Went to bfast on Lido them back to cabin for last check and luggage. Went to 3 midship Reflections for Priority debarkation - supposed to be there by 7:45 but already a line. They had us line luggage up to ensure everyone got off the ship in the order they arrived in the priority area. Left the restaurant at about 7:25 and finished customs at 8:03. (Customs Inspector on line 5 was SSLLLOOOOWWWWW) Shawn left me to go get car. We drove away by 8:30 am!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was so needed after a hard 6 months with my step dad beating cancer, & some other stuff leaving him in a wheelchair. This was a huge family ordeal with 14 of us needing some serious R&R & Carnival Elation did not ... Read More
This cruise was so needed after a hard 6 months with my step dad beating cancer, & some other stuff leaving him in a wheelchair. This was a huge family ordeal with 14 of us needing some serious R&R & Carnival Elation did not disappoint. We've cruised together years before, but now some of us had children & significant others. The things I was super impressed with are: -Embarkation & Debarkation were pretty painless due to faster to the fun. I would absolutely add this on if you are considering it. -The staff was super nice. Jordan is pure sunshine, he would greet you by name at the Tiffany's buffet, & ask how you were, what your plans are for the day, & his smile is super contagious. Seriously if you don't smile after interacting with him, you should take a look at how you are living your life. -Our steward Jose was awesome as well. He kept our room super clean, & there was a towel pet waiting each evening for our daughter. -We had a room on the Empress level with a private balcony. This was fantastic! We had a king size bed, along with a pull out for my daughter. I know cruise ship rooms are small, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't knock my head on her bed a few times due to it pulling out right over our bed. -Half Moon Cay is magical. My husband was wary about getting off the boat onto the island, not having control on when we could come back, but he is so glad he came. The smaller boats ferry back & fourth all day & we were able to grab one to go back straight away. The behind the scenes work that goes into preparing all of us lunch on that island should be fully recognized. Impressive operation & it seems so smooth! We didn't go on any excursions, we were happy to just relax on the beach. There were chairs for my step dad to use to go out onto the ocean for free! This was so wonderful! -Nassau is always fun & bustling. I've been there before & done some excursions so we opted just to shop & walk around this time. It was a lot of fun. -The buffet was awesome. The casino was awesome, the fun shops, & other places to buy jewelry & souvenirs are great as well. -The 80's show & Divas were fantastic. -The professional photos we got were stunning, we went home with the canvas package. I was however, not impressed that in order to get digital copies - you are forced to also purchase the 8x10s. Things I feel could've been improved upon: -My daughter, niece & nephew's were not impressed. They never really did what the itinerary said they had planned. They wanted to hang with us instead, which of course we wanted to spend some quality time with them but my husband & I were wanting a bit of an "adult reprieve" & having a kid not stoked about the kid area was kinda disappointing. -The food at the dinners. Most of it was really good, but getting through all of the courses took over 2 hours. We were scheduled for the 8:25 dinners so we had to go directly to any shows we wanted to see, nearly missing them. The one steak I ordered had a huge tendon going through the whole thing which didn't leave me able to eat but a few bites. We had a blast. This was my husband & daughter's first cruise, & though my husband wasn't super excited about being on a moving boat (he was seasick the last day due to a rocky ride back to Jacksonville) they both would love to go back. I hope to go again next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with ... Read More
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with Disney, I didn't come in with the highest of expectations. The ship is older (one of the oldest in Carnival's fleet) and it shows. The main entertainment venue is a lounge--style theater instead of the more-modern broadway style. There are no speciality restaurants (this is made up for with upcharge options at dinner and chef's table). The ship is showing its age, but Carnival has appeared to have kept it in ship shape during dry docks. Hopefully the next one will bring some new life. I was in an upper/lower birth cabin. Having this does give you a little more room, since the bunk leaves more space. However, I'd have preferred this configuration with a balcony or even an ocean view. Unfortunately, Inspiration's balonies are only in suites. That said, no complaint on the room. It served its purpose well and was clean. Dining on the ship was amazing. We had anytime dining. Had the same server team 3 of 4 nights. The food was amazing. The "rare finds" are worth a shot each night. There is a nice mix of poultry, pork, beef, fish, and vegeterian/vegan items. On Sea Day, I did the brunch and the filet mignon melted in my mouth. The flat iron steak from dinner came very close to melt in mouth, but was tender and well flavored. The chefs know how to cook. I also loved the desserts, especially the banana cream pie. The Lido Buffet does a new theme each day, which is nice. Plus, you can't beat a Guy Fieri burger. Main show entertainment was pretty good, but given the loung style seating, I tended to just watch from the back on deck 9. I preffered the comedy acts the most in the Punchliner. BT was a riot and I went to two of his shows. Service was amazing. Carnival has hired a great diverse crew for this ship, from crew to staff to officers and everything in between. If you want great service, I have found cruises do it best. I'd most certainly recommend this cruise and I'm eager to eventually cruise with Carnival again. They are truly the Fun Ships. Warning to those who want the upscale experience, Carnival is not for you. If you like a relaxed, casual, fun atmosphere, this is the cruise for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise as it was going to New Zealand. One of the things to do on my bucket list. Carnival Spirit is an awesome ship. My high lights of this cruise was the El Fresco dining out on the deck under the skies. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was going to New Zealand. One of the things to do on my bucket list. Carnival Spirit is an awesome ship. My high lights of this cruise was the El Fresco dining out on the deck under the skies. The entertainment was awesome. The entertainment in the dining room at dinner was great. I also enjoyed the art and crafts at soulplay with Adam. I also enjoyed the Green Thunder cocktail and great value for money. Eli was very accommodating and friendly. The stateroom stewards were great. I loved the animal towels. Especially the cat one I really enjoyed. There was nothing that they wouldn't do for you. I also loved Auckland and Bay of Islands. Very picturesque. I also enjoyed the Seranite adult only section. I also loved how they are with people with disabilities I myself have very low vision and they were great with me. Well done Carnival Spirit. See you at the end of December 2019. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I had $$$ casino free play, the casino was very nicely designed with the newest slots. The smoke was no worse than any other ship comparatively. We ate at the buffet , formal dining room and a specialty restaurant, "ALL" ... Read More
I had $$$ casino free play, the casino was very nicely designed with the newest slots. The smoke was no worse than any other ship comparatively. We ate at the buffet , formal dining room and a specialty restaurant, "ALL" fantastic. Crew went out of their way to make everyone happy. Serenity area on deck 15 was exceptional with triple the space, cabana type clam-shell covered chairs and bar service. They even had a salad bar at lunch. Our cabin Steward was fantastic and always around if we needed anything. We have been cruising for 18 years and this was one of the best. very easy for my wife to navigate with her rollater/and cane for her to get around. We share the love among various cruise lines and really do not have a favorite. If we have the chance to cruise the Horizon again we will without hesitation. To sum it up..Great ship, crew and entertainment, especially the "Dive in" movies under the stars... they were all first run new releases..."GREAT JOB CARNIVAL". Seeyou again soon!!! P.S. have to try the donut sandwiches at the coffee shop-maple bacon-over the top!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
In a word....FANTASTIC! I would like to thank the Captain and the Crew for taking us safely from home port to home port....Thank You A special thanks to the Cruise Director, NONO, she was amazing.....Thank You The staff was ... Read More
In a word....FANTASTIC! I would like to thank the Captain and the Crew for taking us safely from home port to home port....Thank You A special thanks to the Cruise Director, NONO, she was amazing.....Thank You The staff was amazing, from the Chefs to the wait staff to the clean up crews, all were very accommodating and courteous at ALL TIMES. The food was good and plentiful. Was it excellent, no, but you could always find something to your liking. Except the Sea Food Shack...don't waste your money, food is terrible. So just relax and have a good time. Thank You Carnival for a wonderful and memorable NEW YEAR. Constructive criticism. Easier boarding for Handicapped/ disabled passengers. Easier de-boarding for handicapped/disabled passengers. Better Signage on board the ship and at the Florida Port for handicapped/ disabled passengers. Better luggage handling for the handicapped/ disabled. More compliance with the ADA. NO SMOKING in the Casino. Read Less
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