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2,777 Carnival Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

This is our third time on the Magic, and as always it was great. Honestly this has been one of the best cruises we have ever taken. We did miss Half Moon Cay due to the weather conditions, and that was a disappointment. But that's ... Read More
This is our third time on the Magic, and as always it was great. Honestly this has been one of the best cruises we have ever taken. We did miss Half Moon Cay due to the weather conditions, and that was a disappointment. But that's the risk you take when booking a cruise that goes there. We decided to make the best of it, and spent the day playing trivia and Bingo. We were upgraded to a spa cabin, which was nice. We especially enjoyed the heated pool in the spa. The only drawback to our cabin is lack of closet space. I didn't know when we upgraded that it is a handicapped cabin. So, our bathroom was huge, and very nice, but very little room for our clothes. The cabin itself is very roomy. The entertainment staff on this ship is wonderful. We had a great time at every activity. I played and won trivia so many times Maddie, the trivia lady, knew me by name. I can't say enough about our waitstaff. We had early dining in the Northern Lights dining room. On the first night, my husband didn't order dessert. When the waitress asked why, he told her that he doesn't eat very many sweets. And that they no longer serve the only cake he really likes in the dining room, Black Forest cake. A few minutes later, the hostess Daria comes to our table. She asks my husband about the Black Forest cake, and he told her its no big deal, just the cake that he always used to get. The next night, she comes to our table and tells us that on the last sea day she has a surprise in store for him. The last sea day, they bring him his very own Black Forest cake! I thought that was such a wonderful surprise, that definitely went above and beyond typical service. We hadn't book an excursion for Amber Cove yet. When we got off the ship, we walked through the gift shop and there is a shore excursion stand just outside of it. We talked to the man in charge and chose a short excursion that went to town, toured the church and town square, stopped by the beach for pictures, and then stopped at the fort for a few minutes. We also went to a gift shop, and watched a man make cigars. The guide had told us that the tour would be around 2.5 hours. We left at 10 and got back at exactly 12:30. We spent the rest of the day at the port, in pool. At Grand Turk, we walked to Jack's Shack and spent the day relaxing. Overall it was a nice, relaxing vacation. I am already planning the next one! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots ... Read More
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots of ice cream !! Liked the shows, band was great, singers and dancers, just ok. comedians were very funny. Had the usual on board, trivia, bingo etc. Played in the casino, actually one a cruise on my last day !! so excited. went to St Thomas...loved it...grab a cab right off the ship, theres a whole list and lots of cabs. good shopping right near ship. Went to St Maartin...been there before..did the beach near the airport excursion (planes fly over you head). this time got off and walked around to beach ( first guy was 25$ for chair and umbrella...2nd guy 20 feet away was $20 for chairs and umbrella...and another 20 feet was 10$ chairs and umbrella) and did shopping. Puerto Rico we did rainforest last time. this time got off and walked around...In Tortola we did the Gorda Rock excursion..could of been much longer, felt rushed ..35 minutes on first beach. then climbed through the Gorda rocks, and then I think around 1 hour on next beach. Margaritaville. we love, but there was another cruise ship there for 6 hours before ours, so pool was very dirty. walk down the beach a little further for less rocks and people. Employees are very kind. A lot of people using scooters. Hey listen i'm not knocking the people that really need them, but some we saw strolling all around the excursions, all around town without them. I don't know..just so many of them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I am a male in my mid-30s and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival (I've also been on the Splendor, Pride, and Horizon), along with two from Royal Caribbean and one from Princess. I will be providing an extensive review below, in ... Read More
I am a male in my mid-30s and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival (I've also been on the Splendor, Pride, and Horizon), along with two from Royal Caribbean and one from Princess. I will be providing an extensive review below, in the hopes it proves helpful to those reading (I know I appreciate detailed specifics of positives and negatives others give in their reviews, so I like to be equally thorough). While I'll be providing some slight criticisms, mainly related to the ship's layout of certain things, I gave this cruise a full five stars, because for all ten days of this trip, I witnessed what I felt to be virtually-perfect execution of all things within the control of the personnel on board, from dining, to entertainment, to service, to fostering an unrivaled fun atmosphere. Embarkation in Manhattan: Despite going through the same terminal last year at about the same arrival time and boarding the larger Horizon very quickly, this seemed to take a bit longer to get through security this time around. It appeared the line formed on a first come, first served basis, like an airport. No big deal, but it seemed not to make a difference what boarding time/group was arranged beforehand, despite Carnival asking passengers to indicate in advance such arrival times/preferences. Ship Layout: The Sunrise certainly looks nice enough following the refurbishment; however, in transforming the eateries and public spaces from its dry dock as the Triumph, two key issues seemed to have developed. One, the lines at the main buffet itself, regardless of if it's during breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even during the Midnight Buffet this itinerary had, were way too long to be considered normal (the lines at all the other surrounding lunch stations were at least reasonable and moved plenty quickly, like on other ships Carnival has). Two, the placement of the Limelight Lounge (an important venue to get to, since it hosts not only the nightly popular comedy shows and the nightclub it converts to after hours, but also random activities during the day), sandwiched between the two main dining rooms on deck 4, was problematic and even crew members admitted it's hard to find when you're looking for it. You're expected to take one specific set of elevators/stairwell to get to it from a different deck, but no one will blame you if you feel like walking right through the restaurant before, during, or after dinner to avoid the maze. Those two things aside, the ship in general is easy to navigate and they did a good job adding/subtracting venues based on current demands. It's much better that the Promenade Deck has a large RedFrog Pub for popular trivia and games/live music performances instead of separate smaller lounges and library space other ships have had that aren't a good use of real estate, and it's smart that the higher decks now have the Serenity areas, sport square, ropes course, and sizable water park replacing skylights and glass domes that offer less benefit. This helps manage the crowds and keeps adults and kids alike further entertained. Entertainment/Activities: This itinerary was unique in that it is considered a "Journeys" cruise, which means it's nine days or longer, and as a result includes some activities and entertainment options not normally found on shorter cruises Carnival does. Some examples of what this means is a designated 80's-themed day (they played throwback lido deck games that were popular back then, showed 80's movie classics on the poolside movie screen, and featured a lot of live 80's rock and pop music at the various venues at night, also encouraging people to wear costumes), more enrichment-type classes (including ones featuring different kinds of dance lessons for couples and larger groups), a quick walk-through of the galley for those interested in how the dining rooms run their operation, a Captain's Cocktail Party that included drinks and finger foods, and additional opportunities for guests to interact with cast and crew (there was an open Q&A with reps from different departments, a separate Q&A focused specifically on the Broadway-style performers, and most interactive of all, a special one-performance-only show in the main theatre that allows guests to sing and dance with the cast on stage). Without exception, the entertainment offerings were top-notch, not just what I mentioned above, but also each and every one of the musicians on board, all of whom were exceptional and versatile in their respective styles: the Black Diamonds electric violin trio, the Hip Stars and Have Mercy Horns bands, Piano Bar performer Scott, acoustic guitarist Tim, and Steel Drum player Keith. The music playlists were not tired and cliched; they were innovative, varied, and included something for everyone, regardless of age or preferred genre. I was actually having trouble deciding who I wanted to listen to each night, because they were all so good. Dining/Bars: The rebranding as the Sunrise resulted in some upgrades here, including getting the popular Alchemy Bar, RedFrog Pub, and newer eateries such as Guy's BBQ (not to be confused with Guy's Burgers, which it already had as part of the previous Fun Ships 2.0 upgrade that saw the cruise line uniformly put it in along with the build-your-burrito/taco bar, rum bar, and tequila bar across most of the company's main pool decks), Bonsai Sushi, and Cucina Del Capitano (free create-your-own pasta lunch by day, fee-based Italian dinner by night). The one surprise worth pointing out that didn't seem to be talked about much is that there's a new free asian bowl lunch option on the Lido Deck the opposite side of the deli, and it's really good. It's not as customizable as Mongolian Wok, so the line moves faster than ships with the Wok, but it's good quality and fresh. Dining room food was excellent each night, as I usually find it to be, and my lunches mainly consisted of the taco/burrito bar, Guy's BBQ, Guy's Burger's, the deli for hot dogs, and the pasta at Cucina on Embarkation Day (hard for me to pick a favorite). As far as the bars, I went to where the action was at a given moment, but I often found myself at the lobby bar (especially when the electric violins and atrium parties were happening) and the piano bar (the aforementioned Scott was brilliant and kept the room lively enough where I constantly chose him over the nightclub for my late-night destination). Staff/Service: This was, without a doubt, the best I've ever seen on any cruise I've ever been on. Every person, without exception, was fantastic, and it was like the stars aligned to bring this group of MVP-caliber cast and crew together. Here are just some of the things I witnessed during the time onboard: a member of the photography team volunteering to help a family of five complete a six-person "cheerleader pyramid" by getting on all fours herself for a photo op, a random crew member amusing a young kid on the elevator to keep him happy during the ride up, a bartender at Alchemy going all the way to the sous chef just to get more basil for a joke drink one passenger wanted to give someone, and the Playlist Productions cast singing "happy birthday" to a young boy during their Q&A. As far as how else the cast and crew went above and beyond: the electric violin players performed my dad's request (even though they had been sticking to a set playlist throughout), the Playlist Performers were constantly setting aside as much time as requested for passengers to speak to them, practice with them, and learn from them both randomly after performances in the atrium and related to the show that featured guest participation (shoutout to Jeremy and Paige for their work in teaching the singing and choreography to the larger group for the show, and especially to Jeremy for gladly arranging an impromptu backstage tour for me to see behind-the-scenes when he learned of my interest in such production details), and Scott at the piano bar was always up for chatting at the end of the night, no matter how late it was. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how great the dining room staff was, particularly my waiters Ferdinand, Landomar, and Dennis, as well as the personable and hardworking bar staff throughout the ship (though I want to specifically mention Neenee at the lobby bar, and Miguel at the piano bar, both of whom stood out to me, and in the case of Miguel, also doubled as a first-class Elvis impersonator for a contest during one of the shows and joined in sing-alongs at the piano bar). I cannot say enough about how great everyone was, and how much I wish I have the opportunity to see at least some of them again. *I'm giving a separate note here for the cruise director, Chris "The Flying Scotsman" Williams, who as far as I'm concerned, has revolutionized the concept of what a CD can, and should, be. Not only was he the best cruise director I've ever seen, he falls into a category all his own. He didn't simply "make appearances" at events or "hype up" an act before they came on, Chris WAS the event and WAS the act (coming from a strong musical performance background, he even headlined his own main theatre show one night, singing everything from rock hits from bands like Whitesnake to the operatic Nessun Dorma to a heartfelt rendition of a Scottish song to share his roots). He was always around, he always stopped to talk with guests and take pictures, and he brought a level of energy and passion to his work that made you wish Carnival execs were present to see what all their other cruise directors fleetwide should be doing to truly capture the "Fun Ships" experience. Ports: San Juan - Went here last year, and did the same thing: walked around the city and the nearby shops a bit, without doing an excursion. The port time was a bit odd, in that it got in late and left late, so I got some nice pics of the ship from the pier around sunset and after it got dark. Tortola - Did a beach/lunch excursion at nearby Jost Van Dyke. The beach over there was beautiful, somewhat secluded, and had a few bars nearby, including the Soggy Dollar (supposedly the place that created the Painkiller cocktail). Lunch was basic hot dog or hamburger and chips, but it is noteworthy that unlike other places that might give you one ticket or voucher to redeem, they didn't have any issue if you wanted a second hot dog or hamburger or more chips; they weren't being cheap or strict about that. St. Maarten - Did a beach/lunch excursion at a beach on the Dutch side near the airport (not the famous beach directly under where planes lanes, but adjacent). The beach was nice enough too, though I had hoped Orient Beach had recovered sooner from the hurricane so I could have also experienced the French side of the island (Carnival had apparently just started offering a similar excursion there again, but didn't really promote it leading up the cruise, and only a few passengers found out about it in time to book that one instead). Lunch was a little nicer than hot dogs/hamburgers (ex: ribs was an option) St. Thomas - Did the Kon Tiki beach excursion, which was the most fun during the trip to the beach, as they offered unlimited rum punch both to and from the beach, and the vessel included a glass bottom to briefly see marine life (plus they fed yellow snapper off the side to get them to surface). Additionally, they had a steel drum band, a dance lesson, and a limbo contest. The beach they took us to was Honeymoon Beach, very secluded, and even better than Magen's Bay. Grand Turk - Stayed at Margaritaville last year, went down the beach to Jack's Shack this year. The owner's daughter was cool and thanked us for adding a license plate to their collection. Had a couple drinks, some wings, and rented an umbrella for the free chairs out front. The dogs roaming the area were adorable and were living the dream. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a family trip with my Dad and Sister. Every bit of it was perfect. I enjoyed the serenity pool and hot tub. My room steward was very nice and prompt. The room was clean and comfortable. Best sleep I've had in a very long ... Read More
This was a family trip with my Dad and Sister. Every bit of it was perfect. I enjoyed the serenity pool and hot tub. My room steward was very nice and prompt. The room was clean and comfortable. Best sleep I've had in a very long time. I wanted to take the mattress home. The shows were very good...we saw movies on the deck, comedy shows and variety shows. I was unable to book any excursions due to an injury prior to the cruise, but there was shopping and swimming right off the ship. I have to admit, I had all but given up on Carnival's food before this trip, but they did a fantastic job. It was definitely up to par this time. I would book on this ship again as the staff was very welcoming and attentive. The only complaint that I could muster is that the shower did not maintain temperature throughout. It would go from a little too hot to a little too cold. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We choose the carnival Breeze this year because we heard it was an incredibly ship, and it was. Our cabin Stewart was Great she was very friendly and made us feel welcomed. The lines on the lido deck were long but hey we’re on ... Read More
We choose the carnival Breeze this year because we heard it was an incredibly ship, and it was. Our cabin Stewart was Great she was very friendly and made us feel welcomed. The lines on the lido deck were long but hey we’re on vacation, not a big problem for me. I enjoyed the chance to talk and meet new people. We Loved the 80’s Rock and Glow night, we just wished they had the 80’s trivia game the same night. We enjoy dressing up in our costumes. The ports were beautiful and breathtaking, the water was so blue. The staff was also extremely friendly and really helpful we never needed anything. Our waiters in the Dining Room were incredible, they remembered our names and what we liked to eat and drink. Thanks Carnival for the wonderful memories Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This is my husband and I's 7th cruise together, my 8th. We LOVE cruises and this one was probably our favorite. It was the biggest ship we have ever been on (even though they are all set up the same). I was really nervous about ... Read More
This is my husband and I's 7th cruise together, my 8th. We LOVE cruises and this one was probably our favorite. It was the biggest ship we have ever been on (even though they are all set up the same). I was really nervous about lines/cleanliness etc based on reviews I read before I left, but this was by far a great vacation and fantastic ship. We flew into Fort lauderdale the day before and stayed at the La Quinta inn and suites. They have a free shuttle that picks you up from the airport and takes you to the hotel. Expedia, however, lost our hotel booking and after an hour of the front lady going back and forth with Expedia, it was resolved. The hotel upgraded us to a suite for the mix up. We took an Uber from the hotel to the shuttle the next morning. Getting on the ship: Embarkation was extremely smooth and efficient. We almost instantly got on the ship even though we were early. We grabbed lunch at Guy's burger and found a set of seats under an umbrella outside. The day everyone was getting on the ship was the busiest of any of the days and had the longest lines. They weren't even that long though! I read some other reviews of 45 minute long lines throughout the cruise.... I'm not sure what they were trying to wait for because we didn't experience anything like that. Ship: Great ship. More modern than the other ships we have been on, so that was nice. The lanai on deck 5 was pretty great! Clean and well maintained. There are a ton of hot tubs on this ship! Dining: We had anytime dining and showed up anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30. We used the app to reserve our table. This was our first cruise using the app and it is such a GREAT addition. We would reserve it in our room and by the time we walked to the dining room, our table was ready. We always requested to sit by ourselves and it was always honored. Food was always great and prompt. I even had a few odd requests like an additional side of mushroom risotto or extra plantain chips that was used as a garnish for a dish (so delicious!) - and they would always bring them to me. Also - if you're new to cruising, know that you can order multiple things. I usually would get 2 appetizers. Shimp cocktail and a salad, or a salad and xyz. Food: We usually order room service the night before for the coffee and some fruit in the morning but this was the first cruise we didn't do this regularly. We are usually early risers and so when we ordered room service - the coffee was stale/burnt and it just wasn't worth the hassle of trying to make sure we were up and dressed. That's another big thing about ordering room service - they come INTO your room to set down your order. I have made the mistake of not being fully dressed when answering the door. So fair warning! - I WISH I WOULD HAVE TRIED THE OMELET STATION SOONER! I tried it on the day we got off the ship and it was SOOOO good. - I ordered 24 bottles of water before we got on the ship for $10? and it was delivered to our room when before we arrived. Best decision ever, as I hate the taste of tap water on the ship. Specialty coffee: Grab a latte on level 5. They are priced well and well made. Make sure you go on the first day and get the punch card. If you end up getting 1 drink a day, you'll get your last one free. You can use the punch card for multiple people too. Entertainment: We LOVE going to the comedy shows but the shows need to be held in bigger venues. I'm not kidding when I say, we had to show up an hour beforehand if we wanted any choice in seating. The place is full 30 minutes prior. We loved the shows though. Make sure you go to the Love and Marriage show. I will say this, there were quite a few dead times on the ship. Compared to 7-9 years ago, I feel like they have cut back on things to do in general. This has nothing to do with the Magic specifically though. If you JUST started cruising though, you would know no difference. We usually go back to the room and take naps during the dead times. Our last cruise with Carnival, they had a magician on board. That would have been a great addition to the Magic. No pun intended haha Service: As usual, we had great service. There was one incident with people under us having a bose speaker that was vibrating our balcony from how loud it was playing. Carnival handled it quickly and in a professional way. I read other reviews of crew members being mean or acting like they don't care..... again... not sure how that is possible. Staff was always fantastic, no matter where we were on the ship. Ports: Half moon cay + Amber Cove + Turks and Caicos HMC - this was our 3rd visit to half moon cay but by far our best visit.... simply because this time, we brought our own inflatable rafts. I went to 5 below before our trip and bought 2 rafts. We unfolded them and blew them up and floated for hours. Everyone around us kept asking where we rented them from. It was the best $5 we ever spent! Make sure you get off the ship early so you can have your choice of a chair and bring plenty of sun screen. Drinks on the Island are pretty expensive as well even though they sell a ton. Amber Cove- This was our first time we visited Amber Cove. I'm glad we booked an excursion because just like Freeport and a few other ports, if you don't book something, there would be nothing to do. We did the waterfall of damajargua (spelling?). It was an amazing excursion and was ran extremely well. We brought our Gopro to take videos and pictures, but they did a good job at taking pictures/video that are available to purchase. I believe it was $50? I would highly recommend the excursion. Turks and Caicos - this was our second time here and we didn't book an excursion, so we just ventured around the shops for a bit and then enjoyed the pools on the ship while everyone was off the ship. We also were the only ship in all the ports all week, so it was awesome that we weren't crowded! WARNING WARNING - GETTING OFF THE SHIP! I am SO glad we didn't book early flights. Getting off the ship when the cruise ended was the worse de- embarkation we have ever experienced. They kept stopping everyone because the gangways, customs were backed up. We didn't get off the ship until 11 am. The worst part is that THEY SHUT OFF THE WATER AT 9 AM. That means you couldn't flush toilets, get water to drink, wash your hands etc. There were still a ton of us on the ship, so I found this extremely frustrating. You had to be out of your room by 8:30 am, so there were hundreds of people just waiting anywhere they could. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
there were 9 of us on this cruise. We have been on the breeze two other time but always left out of galveston. This time left out of port canaveral, it was a mad house getting on the ship compared to the smooth way galveston does it. The ... Read More
there were 9 of us on this cruise. We have been on the breeze two other time but always left out of galveston. This time left out of port canaveral, it was a mad house getting on the ship compared to the smooth way galveston does it. The porter would not let us take on own bags on the ship as other wheeled by with there luggage. We are plantium and had to wait till after the muster drill to get our luggage, then I had to go to the luggage cart and find our two bags myself. The cruise itself was great. The room steward and staff was great, very friendly crew everyone said hello. Food servers where 2nd to none, felt like they paid more attention to us then other diners, lucky us. the comedy club comedians were funny, the shows not so good, they had someting called "flick" which didnt make sense to us. But all in all was a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The crew on this ship is the most helpful, thoughtful and kindest of any cruise line we have ever sailed. We took our 91 year old mother on a cruise for Mother's Day.When we arrived Savannah the cruise director greeted mom and had a ... Read More
The crew on this ship is the most helpful, thoughtful and kindest of any cruise line we have ever sailed. We took our 91 year old mother on a cruise for Mother's Day.When we arrived Savannah the cruise director greeted mom and had a brief conversation with her. The next day mom received chocolate covered strawberries in the room. Wow! For the rest of the trip she felt like a rock star. What a nice gesture. Jess, the server in the casino bar was always quick with a drink and always remembered our names. (makes us feel welcomed). The staff at the Normandie Restaurant was just wonderful. When you travel with an older senior it can be difficult, but everywhere we went on the ship the crew were always so kind and helpful. We have sailed on different cruise lines and have sailed on this ship before. I would have to say that the embarkation process for this cruise is the best we have ever had. The staff at the terminal checks your documents and photographs you on the way into the building. Then you are sent through security. That's it! No standing in line for hours. After security we went directly on to the ship. WOW! We had a balcony stateroom that was plenty big enough for 3 adults. The room steward, Claudius was very attentive and our room was very clean and tidy every day. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruise, and couldn't believe what a great ship this was. Started at embarkation from FLL, an absolute breeze and were on ship in about 20 mins. Headed straight for food, and then to the red frog pub for drinks. ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and couldn't believe what a great ship this was. Started at embarkation from FLL, an absolute breeze and were on ship in about 20 mins. Headed straight for food, and then to the red frog pub for drinks. Balcony cabin aft on deck 7 was great (apart from noise of neighbours slamming door, oh and smoking weed on his balcony) Food was always great - big fan of guys burgers where we ate a few times. Food in MDR was always great, though sometimes not overly warm which was more due to the room temperature more than anything else. We also ate in the steakhouse, which was amazing food and the best steak I've ever had. Also booked the italian restaurant for our last night which again was lovely food, and really big portions. We didn't purchase the drinks package, but did make use of happy hour when we could catch it. Spent our sea days up on Serenity deck which was nice - but be warned it can be really hot up there as not a lot of shade about. I booked a pedicure in the spa, but it wasnt a great experience - mainly due to staff being quite rude and not interested in interacting with customers at all! All in all I don't think there is anything else i could fault about our cruise, staff and room steward were all lovely. I would definitely book to go on this ship again Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Took this cruise with my daughter-in-law for some fun and relaxation. We couldn't get on the this until 4 P.M. due to the fact of the ship repositioning from Miami, but no problem we just did some fun things in Ft. Lauderdale until ... Read More
Took this cruise with my daughter-in-law for some fun and relaxation. We couldn't get on the this until 4 P.M. due to the fact of the ship repositioning from Miami, but no problem we just did some fun things in Ft. Lauderdale until time to board. Right onto the ship, right to the cabin. We upgraded to a balcony two days before sailing and everything was switch but a few items, but our cabin steward, K2, fixed these thing quickly. Room was always kept clean. We only got the evening turndown service which worked fine. I really don't know why so many people complain about the food. I have been on many cruises and the food in the MDR was the best I have ever had. There are plenty of places to eat and we went to evening meal at the MDR everynight. We had a great table lots of fun. Our waiters really knew how to dance. The shows were great. The only thing I can say is the seats in the balcony are very close and if you have bad knees, like me, set on the main floor or ouch. The casino is a little to smoky, but we played anyways. I will admit it did get to me a couple of times and effected by throat, but I lived. The casino workers were all very friendly and I didn't do bad in the casino, brought back what I took, so this was a win. The pools looked crowded on sea days. I can't do the sun any longer, breaks me out, but it looks like everyone was enjoying the pool that went. Cruise director Markq, was great. One the best I have seen. If you go to Amber Cove, be prepared the walk off the pier is long, but there are Pedicabs that will transport you for a tip. We gave $10 each way. Coming back it is the best $10 we spent, because we were tired. Took a shore excursion, Outback Adventures on Amber Cove and would highly recommend it. The ship was very clean, I don't know what the people that says it isn't is looking at. Go have an open mind and have fun. This is the reason to go on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We've learned from past travels. If you're looking for imperfection you'll find it wth the result being a vacation investment /experience being diminished in part to unrealistic expectations. Regardless of who, when, what ... Read More
We've learned from past travels. If you're looking for imperfection you'll find it wth the result being a vacation investment /experience being diminished in part to unrealistic expectations. Regardless of who, when, what or where.. This was the 3rd cruise for wife and I. All on Carnival. Group included brother and sister in law. All of us are in our mid 50's. Port Canaveral embarkation. Flew into Sanford day prior. One way rental with National. Stayed overnight in New Smyrna Beach, one of our favorite destinations just over an hour drive North of the port. Waited about 30 minutes for shuttle from rental car lot to cruise terminal. Embarkation was easy less than an hour. Condition of ship is good, cleaner than those on prior cruises. Service of Crew overall was good. Granted not perfect. But honestly, the only deficiencies I noticed were very minor. Ping pong tables not having a ball to use. The occasional cup(s) or plate(s) left out of place by fellow guests which remained uncollected for extended periods. I attribute both more to undesired guest behavior than failure of service. We've had balcony cabins prior cruises. 1st time for an interior cabin which was available a little before 1:30. No regrets doing the interior. Floor plan is the same with the exception being no refrigerator in the interior. It should be noted the showers are much larger on Sunshine. Having now done both balcony and interior cabins. My opinion is selection should be based upon importance of view and outside access/privacy against budget constraints. With that stated, have since booked an Alaskan cruise with interior obstructed view cabin as a compromise. MDR early dining was excellent in both first and foremost service of wait staff followed by the food. Both, much better than expected. Food may have been better than on other ships. due to the early dining this time versus any time dining selected on others. Entertainment overall was average. Impressed with the fun squad assisting guest in finding seating at the bigger shows. Cruise director "Mikey" is very a personable and talented entertainer. Disembarkation went well, our cabins were on deck 2. Obtained another one way rental from National with about a 10 minute wait for shuttle from cruise terminal to rental lot. Was on the road about 09:30. Overall this cruise was a great experience and a great value. Would like to revisit both Grand Turk and St. Martin for extended stays. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
So, I did an 8 day trip to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and San Juan. I was very hesitant on this because it was 1. My first cruise 2. I was going solo and 3. All the negative reviews. I did it anyway. One thing I learned, people will ... Read More
So, I did an 8 day trip to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and San Juan. I was very hesitant on this because it was 1. My first cruise 2. I was going solo and 3. All the negative reviews. I did it anyway. One thing I learned, people will gripe if you hung them with a new rope. Was there a smell? Yes, it was hardly noticable. Did the ship list and rock? Yes, the best part about the whole trip was the rocking me to sleep. I will be going on this ship again, it's small enough to be able to walk without getting worn out but big enough to hide from the world. Don't get stuck in the negative. It is a vacation, things will happen....as is life. Take the trip. Enjoy the uniqueness of the ship. Repeat. The food was outstanding save for being lightly seasoned (bring garlic salt). Tacos were spot on, Guys burger excellent. Entertainment options got sparse during the 2 day haul back to port, but who cares, hang out on the deck and enjoy the sun. All of my excursions were cancelled due to weather, or no interest. No big deal, made my own excursions. Get the drink package. Fruity drinks are $10 plus, coffee $3 plus. I would suggest to get an interior room, I didn't spend much time in mine. Embarkation was speedy enough, debarkation was like hearding cats. Ship was clean, always. They were constantly cleaning, painting, shampooing and vacuuming carpets. I have only one complaint.....wanted to stay a few more days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. There was only one sea day and the rest were ports of call with beautiful beaches. We booked and Grand Suite, 7928, and it was perfect. We even got new furniture for the room in one ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. There was only one sea day and the rest were ports of call with beautiful beaches. We booked and Grand Suite, 7928, and it was perfect. We even got new furniture for the room in one port. The A/C worked very well, first time ever we turned the thermostat up because it was too cold. The bed and linens were exceptional in quality. The food was incredible, sampled several different dishes, always found something great. The worst part was the entertainment, which we already were aware of, so not disappointed. The day of the dancing waiter is past. We had anytime dining and one night they could not serve us our entree due to the Show. I felt so sorry for this poor people, you could tell they were so over worked and then have to "perform". We choose two excursions thru Carnival, both were wonderful, and we felt very safe. We choose to self disembark, the fastest we ever have been off a ship. If you do the research you will not be disappointed and the price is the cheapest out there. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation: We did a family cruise (9 people) on the Breeze from April 20-27. We all had priority status thanks to FTTF. I know some people think it is a waste of money, but for us we love it. We all arrived at the port at 9:30 am (2 ... Read More
Embarkation: We did a family cruise (9 people) on the Breeze from April 20-27. We all had priority status thanks to FTTF. I know some people think it is a waste of money, but for us we love it. We all arrived at the port at 9:30 am (2 of us from Radisson at the port shuttle, the rest by car) which was 30 minutes prior to the terminal opening. Once it opened at 10am, only the priority line was allowed inside. There was a huge line for the EARLY/LATE arrivals. I assume once the priority was done, they allowed some of them inside. After going through security, we took a seat and waited until about 10:45am to board. Unlike cruises in the past, it was not just a free for all when boarding started. They had agents tell which rows of seats to board so it was much more organized. As soon as we boarded, we went to deck 9 immediately to our rooms to drop off our carry on items and to pick up our sail and sign cards which are now left in the mailboxes. Only priority rooms had the room keys in the mailbox at this time. We then headed for deck 5 to eat Guys Pig & Anchor before the masses began boarding. After lunch we went to our rooms to unpack and then on deck to do the ropes course and play mini golf. Around 3:00 we cleaned up a bit and headed to the Ovation theatre for Muster on deck 4. It was much nicer to have Muster inside. It was about the typical length with them calling out names of missing people. If you can’t make Muster, I say escort them right back off the ship!!!! Why keep everyone else waiting? After Muster, we all went out to the front of Deck 9 for sail away. We were trying to get on the Fishlips Sail Away Web Cam. You could see us but they did not zoom in on us. Room: We all had balcony rooms on deck 9 forward port side. Rooms were the typical cruise ship rooms. We met our steward, Gede, and told him we only needed morning service but my wife wanted a towel animal each day too. I just don’t understand the reasoning for needing your room serviced twice a day. Some argue it is a luxury of cruising, but I say I can turn my own bed down when I get tired. This is 2019 not 1930. I just don’t find that sort of service a luxury. We had brought extra hangars with us but there were already a large number in the closet. We did learn one trick the night before our cruise. We read to take wooden clothes pins to put on the bottom of the shower curtain to make it stay down in place while showering. It worked!!!! Other Passengers: We did not really encounter too many lines or rude people. About the only bad apple was one evening we ate at the lido buffet. My brother was in line and was waiting as the cook was replacing the penne pasta. Before my brother could take a portion, a large man cut in line and scraped all the cheese crust (the best part) off the top. I guess they just could not wait their turn in line for fear of losing a pound. It was spring break in Georgia and North Carolina but the ship did not really seem inundated with kids. I will say the ice cream station was always a mess. Small kids would get ice cream and make a huge mess. Carnival really needs to place the machines higher up so an adult has to help. We did read online of some unruly kids, but we never witnessed it. Also, the CHOGS (chair hogs) were out in force on sea days. Carnival again needs to address this. Their current system of putting a sticker on your chair for 40 minutes before removing items is a complete joke. My wife said they did that the last sea day and about 20 mins later a lady came and took the stickers off 8 chairs. A really simple solution would be one person in a chair can save one empty one right next to them. That way people can use restroom, get food, go down slide, etc. No butt in chair….no saving!!! Also they should walk around the decks at 8am and collect all the towels, shoes, books, etc that are saving seats. Do it once at the beginning and then it is not a problem. Breakfast: Every morning we ate the lido buffet and it was the same exact offerings every morning. One item that never was eaten was the salmon and eggs dish. Who eats that? The buffet usually always had some kind of line. The buffets with one long station are the worst. People have to stand there and analyze whether or not they want an item. If you have to think about longer than a second…move on!!! The omelet station was very good and the line never really too long. Some of us skipped the buffet and hit the Blue Iguana instead for huevos rancheros. They were excellent and there was NEVER a line. Lunch: We ate different places all the time when on board. We ate Pig & Anchor BBQ on embarkation day and last sea day. We also tried the pizza (usually a line) and the Mongolian wok (always a long slow line but so good) and deli (always a long line). Lunch also had the new cake selections and they were excellent. The other regular desserts were not so good. Dinner: When we could, we ate in the MDR. We had YTD dining and always went to the Sapphire Dining Room on deck 3 about 5:15. We were usually one of the first seated and before the dining room actually opened. On the second night we were sat in Dipendra, I Made, and Dennis’s section. They were awesome. They learned our name the first night and anticipated our needs. Unfortunately due to strange port times, we only ate here 3 times. Some meals in the MDR were really good others just so-so. Our main complaint was the menu descriptions. One night several of us got BBQ Flat bread with arugula. It arrived and was full of mushrooms. First off there was no mention of mushrooms on the menu. Secondly, why are mushrooms on a BBQ flatbread anyway? They don’t go together. One thing Carnival should do is discontinue the servers singing and dancing. This does nothing more than slow down service. Activities: Carnival Cruises are always jam packed with activities. You can be as busy or lazy as you like. Since we sailed on Easter Sunday, carnival had an Easter egg hunt. They had 12 eggs hidden across decks 3, 4, & 5. You got a piece of paper and had to write down where each one was found. Supposedly they had a drawing of all the correct answers for some prize but we never heard anything about it the rest of the cruise. The kids in our party loved the waterpark and slides. My 72 yr old dad even went down both slides. My oldest niece and nephew were looking forward to doing the ropes course. Neither really liked it especially my nephew (8 yrs old) was scared to death. He said it was way too windy. We played mini golf embarkation day but there were not enough balls for 3 kids. Carnival should station someone on the sports deck to police the use like they do on the waterpark. We also did several trivia games winning one general knowledge trivia game one morning. My nieces and nephew loved their Carnival Bling on a String Medallions!!! My nieces (10 & 5) also loved singing karaoke. They were usually the hit of the night!!! We also bought some items at the shops and went to the 80 Rock N Glow deck party. Carnival really does have activities all day/night. Overall Ship Layout/Cleanliness: The ship layout was not one of our favorites. We have been on the Valor, Sunshine (twice), Sensation and now the Breeze. The Breeze is probably our least favorite with the Sunshine being our favorite. Having the waterpark at mid ship, it limited the amount of seating around it to watch the kids. The lido deck pool also seemed to be lacking in seating unlike the Sunshine. There was plenty of seating at the buffet though but the buffet itself was set up horribly. We prefer the Sunshine buffet layout with several smaller stations instead of one long one. We also saw all kinds of workers constantly cleaning and wiping handrails, walls, and chairs. Overall it seemed like a very clean ship. Debarkation: Again since we had priority, we arrived at the buffet for breakfast right at 6am. We had received a letter the night before stating to be in the Ovation Theatre starboard side at 7:15am. We ate and headed to the theatre around 6:45. Carnival had people stationed at the forward staircase checking to make sure only priority people we allowed. Of course there was one moron blocking the stairs arguing with the crew about why he and his family could not disembark. They finally told him they don’t care where he goes but he can’t be here. I walked by and said loudly to my brother that Faster to the Fun looks like a good buy you cheapskate (only I used more derogatory terms). They started allowing those people carrying their luggage and early flights off at 7:15. We followed shortly after. Carnival did a really good job with our debarkation. It was very organized and efficient. Once in the terminal, we grabbed a porter, found our luggage, and skipped ahead of several hundred people waiting in the customs line. The porters have their own line. The customs agent checked our passports and asked if we had any fruit from the ship. After that we were on our way to the garage or shuttles. My all were on the road by 8:07am!!!! Ports: Amber Cove: Wife and I went to Damajauga Waterfalls through Iguana Mama (highly recommended). We signed up for the full 27 but due to drought conditions could only do 12. Rest of the group stayed at the port pool. St Thomas: Hired a private customized tour through VI Scenic Tours to take us shopping downtown (rum and sterling silver hook bracelets), Mountain Top, Magens Bay, and Drake’s Seat overlook, then finally back to Havensight Mall at the pier. San Juan: We all did a self-guided walking tour to El Morro, the Cathedral to see Ponce de Leon’s tomb, Parque de las Palomas to feed the birds, Barrachina’s for pina coladas, Fortaleza Street to see the umbrellas, and Plaza Colon to shop some street vendors. Grand Turk: In our opinion, Carnival can skip this port. It used to be a nice relaxing beach day. Now the locals have moved in and there are chairs everywhere on top of each other with no easy way to walk along the water. All the free port chairs/umbrellas are in the back. The locals have their chairs/umbrellas all the way in the front all the way down to the water line. At high tide, some were even in the water. They wanted 2 chairs for $30. They would not do 2 chairs for $20, but you could get 3 for $30. Go figure!!! Not sure how their math works!!! We needed 6 total so it worked out for us. We did walk down to Jack’s Shack for jerk chicken and it was excellent!!! Random thoughts: On our cruise, they began using the HUB APP for making YTD reservations. Of course since we went early, we could not use it. It came online exactly at 5:30 each night but we were already seated by that time. We also found the live music played all over the ship was way too loud. Most times you had to yell to talk to someone. I did buy some Hennessy Pure White on board. Ship price was $56.99 each or 3 for $135.00 ($45 each). I only needed two but got three. The ports all had it 2 for $90. Lesson learned to get it in port. In the end, we choose the ships based on itinerary. We would sail the Breeze again only if the itinerary fit our choices Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival. I love cruising with Carnival. I always have exceptional service in all areas. The embarkation and disembarkation both went smoother than ever before. The interior decor of the ship is simply ... Read More
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival. I love cruising with Carnival. I always have exceptional service in all areas. The embarkation and disembarkation both went smoother than ever before. The interior decor of the ship is simply Beautiful. My cabin was great and Korn was the best room steward.The staff in all areas is over all just Grand. I love all of the food options. The Blue Iguana and Pig & Anchor are my favorites. With over 4,000 people on this ship, they manage to remember everyone's name at dinner. I enjoyed all the nightly entertainment and I love the Punch line comedians they are always really funny. There are alot of talented singers and performers. The dazzling bright colors and light shows I really enjoyed. Ports and shore excursions were very enjoyable. Ocean World is a must see in the Dominican Republic Me and my fiance are already planning our next cruise for 2020.. Read Less
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
Sail Date April 2019
This is our third cruise and I couldn't be more happier with the service we received. This is the first time we stayed in a balcony suite and we weren't disappointed with how spacious the cabin was and the great ocean view from ... Read More
This is our third cruise and I couldn't be more happier with the service we received. This is the first time we stayed in a balcony suite and we weren't disappointed with how spacious the cabin was and the great ocean view from the balcony. Our Cabin steward Michael made our trip so much more stress free by making sure all our requests were met throughout the week. The food was amazing with tons of variety and a 24 hour burger and pizza station. My sister is special needs and I couldn't be more happier with the kind treatment we received. They helped us with her wheelchair coming on and off the ship and made sure that she was comfortable when we dined at the restaurant. It was mom and sister's birthday and they gave my sister a free picture frame and my mom a free spa experience worth over 50 dollars, as well as singing happy birthday for both of them in the restaurant. The shore excursion that I would recommend as being the best is the dolphin encounter at ocean world Dominican republic. The staff helped make the experience so much more pleasant and the price for photos and the video of the dolphin swim was not that expensive and very much worth every penny spent. Anyone travelling with a special needs person or has a disability I would recommend this cruise ship; you won't be disappointed with the amazing treatment. The entertainment was phenomenal, every night we had a great show to see. One of the cleaner's in the buffet named Aillen always made sure to greet us anytime we saw her and always had a big smile on her face. I will totally recommend this cruise to anyone who wants great food and entertainment as well as a friendly staff that is there to help you feel right at home. :D Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really ... Read More
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really really enjoyed this cruise. First of all, the boarding in Galveston was fantastic!! We normally have priority boarding because we usually book a Jr Suite, but this cruise was an Outside room, which would have meant long lines and slow processing. I can honestly say we boarded just as quickly on this cruise as any other cruise we have ever taken. We showed up at noon, walked right in and was promptly processed. No lines at all, no Disney World serpentine shuffle!!! The hardest part was just walking up the gang plank! Galveston and Carnival have figured it out!!! As a military veteran, I was overwhelmed by the attention Carnival has given to Armed Forces Veterans. Not only did we have daily teas and gatherings, but there was an awesome Veterans Salute in the Victoriana Theater. It was truly the highlight of our cruise. Every serviceman and woman should experience this. We decided not to take any organized tours of Key West, Freeport or Nassau, but rather, to walk around and shop. No one we talked to really like the hop on-hop off trolley, because of long lines and long wait times. Walking was easy for us, as everything we wanted to see was close at hand. We had no complaints about the food, entertainment or service. We were told we had 3330 passengers on board, but never felt crowded or uncomfortable. I will say that if you are not a smoker, stay clear of the casino, as the smoke is so thick in there, I found it hard to breathe, even as I walked by. We were very pleased with all aspects of the cruise and will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Most of this is going to be from memory and before starting, I'd like to preface this review with a few statements. 1. This is my opinion. 2. I am a food snob. 3. While I have seen a Broadway show, do not rely on me when it ... Read More
Most of this is going to be from memory and before starting, I'd like to preface this review with a few statements. 1. This is my opinion. 2. I am a food snob. 3. While I have seen a Broadway show, do not rely on me when it comes to stage-show productions. 4. I have sailed the Mardi Gras in 1993, Ecstasy in 1998, and Dream in 2012. 5. Family of four...myself (44), wife (39), daughter 1 (11), daughter 2 (3). 6. This is long and meant for those who want all the nitty-gritty details. Port Canaveral - Departure Day We used Go Canaveral and shuttled in from a designated parking lot about six-miles from the port. We stayed at the International Palms. The room was "okay", the grounds were beautiful. We got to stay there and leave our car for the week for $165. Booked through Go Canaveral. We arrived at 10:30 and were on the boat and in our room by 11 am as we had FTTF. Initial room impressions. We booked at Spa balcony, room 11244. The room was clean, but looked dated, specifically the carpeting. I was disappointed in the balcony. First, the viewing glass was so covered in salt, you couldn't see through it. Light got through, but you had to stand up and look over the railing to enjoy the ocean and the horizon. The door latch was not secure and you could actually spin it around. The door to the balcony was also not flush so a horrible whistling sound came through when the boat was moving. I corrected this by cracking the door at night. The refrigerator was cool at best and you couldn't prop the door open without placing something on the floor as some have suggested. Did I say it was clean? The bedding was also super-comfortable. I immediately went to Guy's Pig and Anchor. The brisket was very good, the pork okay, not a fan of the beans. We then went to Cucina as the rest of the family not a fan of smoked meats. The lunch bowls there were excellent. I didn't order one myself, but took bites from all my girls' dishes. Please note, they cook with butter. A lot of butter. If you lost weight for your cruise, you will get your first inch back after eating here. Headed back to the room, luggage had arrived, changed clothes, did the Muster Drill, hit the Waterworks. My 3-year old loved, loved, loved the pink waterslides. My 11-year old loved the pair of real waterslides. My wife went down the "Drainpipe" once and no more waterslides for her the rest of the trip. Side Note: If you have kids, Camp Ocean is not open on your opening day (except for Night Owls) but it is open for sign-up and orientation. We did this on embarkation day and we saw some lines on Sunday for those who didn't handle this early. Went back to room, changed, Went to dinner. Had ATD. Took about 15-minutes. Had a great time at dinner but it was a bit much for the girls as it took 90 minutes. Walked the ship a bit and checked in early. Sea Day - Got up early, or rather, my 3-year old woke us up early. Went to brunch at the Blush restaurant. Really great steak and eggs and the bloody mary was good if not garish. Dropped the youngest off at Camp Ocean. Wife and daughter went to an Arts and Crafts show and I went to a cooking demo. The demo is more of a tasting as you can't see a thing. Holy smokes, all they need to do is put up a monitor and use a feed to see what the chef is doing. The food was very good, but I almost fell asleep during the explanation as I couldn't see anything and I had trouble understanding the accent from the chef. We enjoyed the Lido deck until 4 pm when Camp Ocean closes for two-hours; however, they had a Build-A-Bear event that was handled really well. A bear for each daughter and a pair of accessories for each set us back $92. Returned to the room and got ready for dinner. At 6 pm, we dropped the girls off for Camp Ocean dinner...let's discuss for a moment as I had trouble finding a lot of information on Camp Ocean prior to the cruise. Camp Ocean - My three-year old loved it. I mean, loved it. We had to more or less beg for her to eat with us the rest of the trip and she had dinner with us only one more time. My 11-year old was not a fan. She had sign-in, sign-out privileges and did go a few times for an hour or so during the trip, but did not enjoy it. I encouraged her to ask for the 12- to 14-year old camp, but she was a bit too bashful and nervous with the idea of being the youngest. She did manage to find a couple of good friends on the boat and my wife was comfortable giving her run of the ship and allowing her to stay in the room by herself from 10 pm to 1 am. We did have group chat through the Carnival Hub app which worked great for us. I did have to force close and reboot once, but as long as it was open, we had no issues with texting. Wife and I had a drink at the Atrium Bar, waited about 15-minutes for a table (was Elegant night), and then headed back to the atrium for Oldies Trivia. This is where we met Donkey, the Cruise Director, for the first time. The guy is an absolute gem. Shoot, the guy made fun of me in public a couple times during the trip and I still kept going back for more. The Oldies Trivia isn't really "trivia". It is just an excuse to listen to oldies music while watching people getting their groove on with Donkey. It was entertaining. We tried to make the 9:30 comedy show, but it was SRO. If you want to catch a comedy act, get there 30-minutes early. Instead, we ended up with Andy at 88 Keys. Guy is a hoot. My wife requested a song and ended up sitting on the piano. At 10 pm, it becomes Adults-Only. A few people were offended and left, but most took it in stride and we had a really great time. Picked up my youngest from Night Owls and went to bed. Side Note: Night Owls is $7 an hour from 10 pm to 1 am. They do have themed parties on two nights that cost a flat $18, but they will pro-rate it out if you pick up your child early. Amber Cove - Had a sit-down breakfast at Blush (not Brunch...Brunch and bloody mary bar offered on Sea Days). The Eggs Benedict was good. No excursion at Amber Cove, but we did hit the Pool and Cabana area. It was awesome. They have a side-portion for younger children which was terrific for my three-year old. The main pool is half lazy river and half pool with pool bar. There is a sit down restaurant (the food was not good, but the drinks were what you would expect in the Caribbean). It was one big party and the grounds were spotless. They do have waterslides, but have a weight limit. If you are a larger guy or had a couple pasta bowls at Cucina, you may want to skip the line. It is not efficient and they actually make you step on a scale if there is any doubt. Fat shaming aside, I would forego an excursion again and return to the pool area if we were to return to Amber Cove. Upon returning, we dropped off the youngest for dinner at 6 pm, gave the oldest run-of-the-ship, had a drink at the Atrium, and hit Fahrenheit 555. I'll actually keep this brief. It was not crowded at all for an 8 pm seating. Very quiet. App and salads were excellent. Lamb chops were good. Wife's lobster was very good. Likely wouldn't do it again though as I'd put the chops on par with Longhorn. Hit up an adult comedy show. I do not recall his name, but he was switching boats the next day and apparently was a big hit at the Apollo. He managed to offend everyone. We loved him. We then went to see Country Roads. Thought it was awful, but I'm not a country fan. Bed time. St. Thomas - We actually wanted the Champagne Catamaran excursion, but it sold out. we ended up doing Kon Tiki. It wasn't that fun and it was not family-friendly on the way back. Essentially, you and a 100 of your closest friends get a five-minute tour of the islands and what celebrities squatted in a ramshackle shack. They then promote the glass-bottom viewing of the coral reef. I saw a fish and what I believe was a set of keys. You then get dropped off on Water Island. I have been to St. Thomas before and seen some beautiful beaches...this is not one of them. There is an impromptu drink and food hut and truck. I got the distinct impression that our 100 people and the other two-hundred people already there were all taking a pee in the ocean at the exact same time. After 45 minutes, you get back on board and wait for 30 minutes as the crew makes sure no one is left behind. On the way back, there was a group of 20 high-school or early college kids. They were hammered. I have no problem with this, I would do the same myself; however, it became a booty-shaking soft-porn dance-a-thon the whole way back that the crew encouraged. It simply wasn't family-friendly. Let me put it this way...if I was in my 20's, I'd be right up there with them and some other guy on a computer would be complaining about me; however, my 11-year old daughter was transfixed by it and there were guys in their 40's to 60's gawking. The only thing missing were the dollar bills. For dinner, we stopped and got sushi at Bonsai. The sushi rolls are huge. I wish I had another opportunity to eat there, but it was great and filling. We then took my oldest to see the Hasbro show. It was really entertaining for the kids. This was followed by a PG-rated Gender showdown that was also funny for the kids. Next was Bingo...only once and never again. Carnival bankrolls on Bingo and they promote it incessantly. After that was Adult-Only Love and Marriage. We dismissed our oldest and laughed our tails off. Hearing a couple that has been married for 53-years vs. a couple of newlyweds was priceless. San Juan - No excursions. I had a massage that was heavenly. I did get pitched a pair of products at the end, but it was not a hard-core sale like I've heard about it. I gave her 30-seconds to give me the spiel, I said no, we moved on. We checked the kids into camp and toured the kiosks outside the ship. Came back early and enjoyed the Lido with very few crowds. That night, drink at the Atrium Bar, dinner at the MDR, went to 70's Trivia with Donkey, another comedy show, and caught a Braves' game at the Red Frog Pub. Turks and Caicos - Most beautiful water in the world. My oldest daughter and I did a Snorkel, Stingrays, and Conch snorkel. It was fantastic. The only place I've been that compares is the Great Barrier reef. Just looking off the cruise ship at the island is unbelievable. Upon returning home, I looked to book a trip solely in Turks and Caicos next year but found it extremely cost prohibitive and I completely understand why. Back on the boat, I do want to mention the 80's Trivia dance party at the Breeze Atrium with Donkey...just like the Golden Oldies and 70's trivia. This was hilarious. The amount of people that showed up for this encompassed three decks and was truly a highlight of the cruise. We finished our night with another comedy show and some time at the Piano Bar with Andy, but the 80's with Donkey was a riot. Friday was another Sea Day. I will also say that the best perk of FTTF was early debarkation at 6:45 am on Saturday. We drove so this was a great head start. If you are catching an early flight, they will allow you to debark early even if you don't have FTTF. Just a few more remaining thoughts: Food - Mixed bag. For the MDR, everything from apps, salads, to entrees were hit or miss. I will say the prime rib was one of the fattiest pieces of meat I've ever had. The brunch and sit-down breakfasts in the Blush dining room were very good. The breakfast buffet was also decent, but holy smokes, the amount of food people take and don't eat is a sin. It is a buffet people. You can go back for more. The line would also move so much quicker if people didn't need three of everything as if it was their last meal ever...off soapbox. The dinner buffet was atrocious. It was a combination of leftovers from the MDR that were dried-out or just poor quality food. Tried it once and never again. Lunch options were very good. I can't say enough about the Tacos and Taco Salads at the Blue Iguana. My family loved Guy's Burger and Fries but it was over the top too salty for me. The pizza was terrific as well. Pleasantly surprised. Milkshakes are the bomb-diggity. Outside of the milkshakes, I didn't have any desserts except the Tiramisu at the cooking demo. No sweet tooth for this guy. Cheers - Best purchase I made. Apparently I have a drinking problem. My wife and I drank way more than we expected and don't forget water and milkshakes included. Seriously, a bloody mary at brunch, a fruity drink when you get back from your excursion, a pre-dinner drink, and then two drinks at dinner and you've hit your daily allotment for making Cheers worthwhile. By the time you are singing along to the 80's, at a Piano bar, comedy show, Alchemy bar, show, etc., you are effectively saving money. Ovation Theatre - County Roads terrible, but I don't like country. 88 Keys fun as I enjoy Billy Joel and Elton John. Really enjoyed Flick. Most other shows are worth checking out as they rarely last more than 30 to 45 minutes. Worst case is a drink and some great people watching. Donkey - If I had two cruises and everything was equal besides the Cruise Director, I'd take the one with Donkey in a heartbeat. I actually found myself actively looking for cruise activities that he was part of by the halfway point of the trip. Tipping - Hot topic on here, I know. I did not pre-tip my room steward Mudi; however, I asked him to keep my ice bucket filled and he and his staff did not disappoint on that level or anything for the room itself. They even tried to get the balcony glass clean. It was an improvement, but they really just need to replace it at this point. I did provide an additional $30 at the end of the trip which I hope was a respectable amount. I did not tip bartenders extra; however, I always tipped an additional $1 for wait staff. The wait staff will remember you. Mixed drinks are notoriously weak; however, by Tuesday, the wait staff at the Ovation theatre Comedy Club recognized me and my drinks were appreciably stronger. A couple of times, I'd get the drink and an additional shot brought to me without even asking. Smoking - Passed it a couple times on Deck 11. Was apparent, but no overwhelming in brief time in casino. Yes, clearly noticeable, but seemed very well contained to the casino itself. After seeing the Harmony of the Seas at one of our ports, I put some serious consideration in booking one and trying it out; however, I have looked into the new Mardi Gras and was so impressed with the crew and staff on the Breeze that I'm getting ready to book the Mardi Gras; albeit, for April of 2021 Spring Break. I hope this may help you in making a decision and thank you for reading! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had to cancel this cruise in 2018, due to an injury. So we were happy to be able to go on it this year and get to visit some islands we have missed in the past. We had a very quick check in and were on board withing 30 minutes of ... Read More
We had to cancel this cruise in 2018, due to an injury. So we were happy to be able to go on it this year and get to visit some islands we have missed in the past. We had a very quick check in and were on board withing 30 minutes of arriving at the port. Our debarkation was almost quicker. We were off the ship and on the way to I-95 in less than 45 minutes. In the past, we have waited hours, especially in Tampa. Great cruise, weather cooperated. We were in 9283 and had Dedy as our cabin steward. He was attentive, but not overly attentive. Our dining team was led by Gary. He was fantastic and made sure my gluten allergy was taken care of in the kitchen. We had our dinners in the Sapphire (lower level) and our breakfast in Blush (lower level). Lunch was mostly Guys Burger Joint and also Guys Pig and Anchor. Fairly decent BBQ, though I never saw any smokers going. So, wonder if it was done off the ship and reheated with sauce. We were entertained a lot by M J String Trio. A group of violinist and cellist out of Poland. Excellent trio. We purchased their two CDs and enjoyed them on the drive north. Will look for another Carnival cruise down the road, but have two more cruises coming up. One in Sept to New England and the other in 8/2020 to Alaska with the family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I loved this cruise so much. They have an amazing circle c leader, Georgia, she has the humor as a teenager so she gets our jokes. She also lets us have our free time and doesn’t make us do the scheduled activities. She was super nice to ... Read More
I loved this cruise so much. They have an amazing circle c leader, Georgia, she has the humor as a teenager so she gets our jokes. She also lets us have our free time and doesn’t make us do the scheduled activities. She was super nice to us all and was awesome. I would like to see her on my next cruise because she got me into dancing with her when I didn’t want to, but they made me happy. She told me she has been part of carnival for about 2 months and I think she is already a pro. Kids 12-14 will definitely enjoy her on any boat she goes on. MarQ, the cruise director gets everyone pumped up, singing, and dancing at anytime you may see him. The food is amazing and the people are so nice to you. If you want to sleep in, all you have to do is put the snooze sign up and the stewardess won’t bother you. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my 12th Carnival cruise and 16th cruise overall. We loved this ship and had a wonderful time. Embarkation was very smooth as I am now platinum and so we basically arrived at the port at 11:30 and practically walked on the ... Read More
This was my 12th Carnival cruise and 16th cruise overall. We loved this ship and had a wonderful time. Embarkation was very smooth as I am now platinum and so we basically arrived at the port at 11:30 and practically walked on the ship. Our aft balcony was perfect. We had cabin 9474 as each end of deck 9 and deck 8 have balconies that are much wider than the middle balconies. I booked this cabin over a year in advance as the other end was already booked. We also like to be under the lip of the lido as we prefer a shaded balcony. The hallway is typically quite quiet at the back as well as the only people walking by have cabins in the back. Our stateroom Heri and his assistant Edison were wonderful. The room was clean and very comfortable. My sons had their own inside cabin which was also nice. The ship itself was very similar to the Carnival Breeze and Dream which we loved so I knew that I would like the layout of this ship too. Upon Embarkation, it is ½ happy hour at the Red Frog pub. We also ate at the Guys BBQ as we knew that would be lined up on sea days. It was yummy. The food was excellent. We eat at the main dining room every night. We noticed this crowd to be a lot less casual than other cruises which made the MDR very quiet and the Lido busier at night when we walked through. Each to their own as that is why they have the option. Breakfast in the MDR as well was excellent. Lunch we enjoyed Guy’s burgers and a burrito. We love the deli for a late night snack and very a very late night snack, at 11:30 they would put out some food including a very delicious chicken noodle soup. The ports were all good. We stopped at Amber Cove, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk. Puerto Rico was by far our favourite. If you are walking to the fort, I recommend the path along the ocean as the views of the wall and ocean were incredible. You will see dozens of beautiful feral cats along the way as well. The sign says that they are captured, fixed and then returned and fed. They weren’t friendly but very sweet to see. The passengers on this voyage seemed like they were from all very different walks of life. They ranged from the very casual to very fancy. Everyone was friendly, polite and courteous. There were lots of kids on this voyage and they were also polite and courteous. My sons were in Circle C and O2 which they loved. They have moved up from the days of Camp Carnival (they are one cruise away from platinum). The youth workers are always wonderful. You would see packs of teenagers walking around together and again they were always respectful. Sometimes we would get a glimpse of my own teens in the groups. The shows were all very good. The singers on this voyage were better than some other ones. We loved all the show but are not a big fan of Flick which other seem to love so my opinion shouldn’t stop others from seeing or enjoying. Comedians were hilarious. Arrive early as it is hard to find a seat right before it starts. John Heald was on this cruise which was so nice to meet him and get my picture with him. Vito the Captain was so friendly and personable. He had no problem posing for a photo with my son and I in Grand Turk. MarQ is wonderful. He is one of my favourites so far and we have sailed with him twice. You can tell that he really loves what he does and wants everyone to have a great time. He was around a lot and so much fun! Debarkation was easy as again, I am platinum. We heard rumblings from our Facebook page that there was an incident in customs and that there was a big delay getting off the ship after us. My only complaint and I know this may sound ridiculous to some is that Carnival eliminated NBC, CBS and ABC on the stateroom TV’s. Now I know that we do not cruise to watch TV but in the morning I like to watch a bit of the Today Show or Good Morning America and at night, I like a bit of the news or evening talk show as well. They have a news channel (not CNN) that is very boring. Other channels are Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network for the kids, HGTV and Food Network. I wish Carnival would bring back NBC, CBS and ABC. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We left our car at the Country Inn and Suites before taking a shuttle to the cruise terminal. We arrived two hours before our arrival appointment yet boarded fairly promptly. Food at Guys Burgers, Pig and Anchor, Seafood Shack, and Pizza ... Read More
We left our car at the Country Inn and Suites before taking a shuttle to the cruise terminal. We arrived two hours before our arrival appointment yet boarded fairly promptly. Food at Guys Burgers, Pig and Anchor, Seafood Shack, and Pizza Pirate was phenomenal. Main dining was above average but not quite as good as my previous trips with Csrnival. Took the Kon Tiki Party Boat around St Thomas. Terrific experience. Family and I just looked around in Amber Cove and San Juan. Grand Turk is a gorgeous island yet still ravaged with hurricane damage. Playlist shows onboard were phenomenal, especially Karleigh and Whitney. Cruise Director Donkey was really good at energizing the crowd and keeping people engaged in the entertainment. I spent a lot of time at the Casino Bar and the bartenders were lovely and respectful. Red frog Pub had excellent vibe and a great atmosphere. Debarkation went as smooth as possible and I would love to get back onboard as soon as I could! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Because my wife is a teacher, and my daughter a student, we cruise based on time (school breaks only) and price (less expensive is better). We wound up getting an incredible deal on the price of this cruise (less than $90/person/day for an ... Read More
Because my wife is a teacher, and my daughter a student, we cruise based on time (school breaks only) and price (less expensive is better). We wound up getting an incredible deal on the price of this cruise (less than $90/person/day for an oceanview), and booked it without really worrying about itinerary, although we were excited to see two new-to-us ports, St. Martin (where my wife had gone on vacation as a teenager) and St. Kitts, and two that we had visited last year and loved, San Juan and Grand Turk. The itinerary was embark in Ft. Lauderdale, 2 sea days, St. Martin, St. Kitts, San Juan, Grand Turk, sea day, return to Ft. Lauderdale. However, about 3 weeks before the cruise, we were informed that instead of St. Kitts, we'd be going to Tortola as the 2nd port. No biggie, we thought, it's another new-to-us port. Embarkation at Ft. Lauderdale was as smooth as we've ever experienced. We opted to park on-site, as the reviews of local off site parking were sketchy at best and downright unhappy at worst, so the difference between $10 off site and $15 on site a day was not worth it. We had an 11:30-12:00 arrival window, and parked the car at 11:30 exactly. We were on the ship before noon. Let me repeat that -- from parking the car at 11:30, we were on board in under 30 minutes. That includes: off loading our luggage, walking to the elevators, walking about 1/4 mile to the porter stand to drop off our luggage, going through security, getting a photo, and going up the gangway. Under 30 minutes. We literally never stopped moving forward. It was the most efficient embarkation I've ever experienced, to the point where I'll seek out cruises from Ft. Lauderdale based solely on that experience. The fact that it's also the closest port to our house (by about 15 minutes -- it's 2 hours ish to Tampa, 1:45 to Lauderdale) is a bonus. Onboard with our carry-ons, we went up to the Lido to have a little lunch and explore while waiting for our cabin to be ready (at 1:30). Protip: in the Lido, there are 4 buffet lines (fore and aft, one each port and starboard), and a dessert line (aft of the buffet). Behind that, there are 2 stairs going up to deck 10, where there is the "old fashioned barbecue," and more seating. We easily found seating there while the Lido was packed on embarkation day. We also signed on for a sea day activity -- a whisky tasting and blending class -- and bought a wine package (3 bottles for $99). At 1:30, we took a ride down to deck 2, to find our cabin. Lo and behold, our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived! Awesome! Get in the room, and unpack. There was plenty of space for 2 adults and a child to stow their stuff for a week (in fact, there were tons of extra plastic hangers in the closets when we arrived, which we really liked). Our cabin steward, Aldo, introduced himself and asked the usual questions ("when do you like your room serviced? Any special requests?" etc). We had ordered some water bottles for the room, and they were waiting for us when we arrived as well. Muster was... well, muster drill. You've done it once, you've done it. It was crowded, annoying, and legally mandated. We started sailing before being released from muster, which was a bummer if you wanted to go to the bon voyage party, but foreshadowed our captain's school of thought towards travel times -- we were always early in to port, and left on the dot -- which we kind of liked. Then, time for dinner. We opted for early dining, so we were in the Monet dining room (all the way aft, decks 3 and 4) at 5:45. Met our headwaiter (who we rarely saw after, to the point that I don't really remember his name a day later), and the rest of our wait team, Redana, and Ralsita (from Indonesia and Bulgaria, respectively). They both took a special interest in our daughter, with Redana delivering her food (usually a chicken breast or some steak) and cutting it up for her, even feeding her the first bite, and Ralsita keeping a supply of chocolate milk for her from the second day on (we saw Ralsita at the Lido early on the first sea day, and our daughter asked for chocolate milk to drink with breakfast; she inferred the rest and kept us in calcium and chocolate for the rest of the trip). The food on the trip was, overall, in the quite good to excellent range. There were little touches that stood out -- some sauces plated on the sides as decoration, an extra sprig of greens to garnish -- and everything was cooked as we ordered, so no medium rare steak arriving medium well, for example. The wine service was done professionally, by the book, which I appreciated (the ritual of wine service is interesting, with every part having a point -- the bottle is presented, kept in sight at all times so you know it's not getting switched, the cork presented to prove it's the wine you ordered, first taste to the one ordering to make sure it's not corked or oxidized, and first full pour to the lady at the table for politeness). We also found Guy's Burgers, the Blue Iguana, Pizza Pirate, and even the BBQ to be nicely done. I did try out a couple of "food hacks" for the burgers from Guy's -- get a plain burger, top with salsa from the Blue Igauna, for example, or take it up the the BBQ and get some pulled pork and sauce to top it with -- and liked the results. Entertainment was easy to find. There are the production shows and comedy, of course, but there were also things like having the production show cast lead a dance routine by the pool, and plenty of live music (this cruise had a steel drummer, a DJ, a brass trio, an acoustic singer and guitar soloist, a 6-piece rock band, and a string trio, playing in the atrium lobby, by the casino, and sometimes elsewhere, like by the dining rooms). As noted above, I did a Scotch whisky tasting and blending class with one of the Alchemy bartenders, who was super-knowledgeable about whiskys, and that was well worth the time and money (several glasses worth of whisky, and I got to keep a 100 ml bottle of my own creation -- which they let us simply walk off with, rather than confiscating like duty-free booze). We also saw two of the dive-in movies (Instant Family and Bohemian Rhapsody), and enjoyed the experience a lot. Our daughter liked the Camp Ocean activities, including one night when we had her in Night Owls so we could have a grown-up dinner and go see R-rated comedy; when we went to pick her up at a bit after midnight, some kids were dozing in "sleeping bags" made of extra blankets in the little kids side, while a movie quietly played, but there was a dance party going on in the bigger kid's side, where she was going strong. She also liked the fact that, because the Conquest has only 1 water slide rather than the 2 on the Glory (which we sailed on previously, and is the same class of ship), it has an extra pool and hot tub which were, if not by rule, then de facto kid's pools. My wife and I appreciated the kid's pools as well, as we could more easily get lounge chairs near the secondary pool; chair hogs were very much in effect on this ship! At one point, we took it upon ourselves to take a couple of lounge chairs that were obviously unoccupied for an hour or more (the folks actually using the chairs around them agreed that they had been empty since at least noon, and it was 1 PM), moving the towels left behind on them to a neat pile behind the chairs as we were using them, and in the hour and a half we were on them, nobody re-appeared to try to reclaim the chairs. This is probably the worst annoyance we had on the trip, to be honest -- there has to be a better way to police chairs by the pool. Perhaps some sort of timer, for when you leave (kind of like a parking meter)? I don't know what the solution is, but I wish someone would find it. Now, as to our grown-up dinner... we opted to do the Chef's Table, which is a bit of a splurge, but well worth it in our opinion. It was over a dozen courses, personalized (I don't like tomatoes, and they changed one course -- tomato soup -- specifically for me -- I got roasted red pepper and pumpkin soup instead), with a tour of the galley, private dining room for up to 10 people (ours had 9), private magic show, photos, and the recipe for warm chocolate melting cake included. It was seriously one of the best meals I've ever had. If you have foodie inclinations, the Chef's Table is well worth the $70/pp plus tip. The ship itself has certainly seen some use -- the carpet is a little worn in places, and some of the seating has seen better days, but it's overall well kept-up, especially when you consider that 3000+ people get on it every week. I do think that it will benefit from it's scheduled drydock in November 2020. Now, each port and what we did.... St. Martin, we literally walked off the ship and got an island tour with some new friends. Off to a senic overlook, Maho beach (crowded, small, and underwhelming), a straw market on the French side (with a very nice cafe nearby), and a 2-hour stay on Orient beach (which is beautiful). On Tortola, we did a snorkeling trip through the ship. It was the afternoon, so we put our daughter in Camp Ocean for the morning and did a little shopping -- my wife tasted (and liked!) some local BVI Gin, we looked at jewelry and watches, etc. Then, after lunch, off to snorkel near Norman Island (the island that inspired Treasure Island). The guide, Mario, was great. My daughter is a very strong swimmer (in fact, she swam with our local swim team for 2 seasons), but for some reason freaked out snorkeling, and Mario came by with a flotation ring to take her to see caves and fish; we just stayed along for the ride. Well worth it! San Juan was, frankly, a little bit of a bummer this time. We arrived early, and could get off the ship as early as 7:30, but nothing in San Juan aside from Walgreens (right off the pier!) is open until 9. Since we had to be back on the ship at 1:30, that meant basically only 4 and a half hours to do anything. We just stopped for some sundries at Walgreens, walked the city a little, found a cafe (Cafe Angel) for mofongo and pina coladas, and back on board. I really liked San Juan last time we were in port, but last time we stayed longer; too bad. Then, Grand Turk. We arrived, and it started to POUR. There was a waterspout visible from the gangway of the ship, in fact! Sucked for my wife and daughter, as they were planning on a beach day. Me, I was scuba diving alone (neither of them are certified divers), so as long as the dive boat went out, I was OK. The diving was awesome; two tanks, first dive at the "tunnel" site, about 200 yards offshore, we dropped to the bottom at 70', then were led through a rock formation to "the wall," where the bottom drops rapidly to 7,000'. Super cool! Then the second dive was at "governor's house," where the bottom is more like 55', and we saw a ton of sea life -- Spanish mackerel, dories, even a turtle! Again, well worth it, but I would bring my own regulator next time -- mine had a non-working depth gauge, and another man on our boat had to make an emergency ascent with his dive buddy providing air through his octo, as his pressure gauge malfunctioned (never something you want to say). My wife and daughter, meanwhile, enjoyed the cruise port chairs (with the green cruise port umbrellas!) and rented snorkeling gear to enjoy the shallows. Finally, it was time to leave. Disembarkation was as smooth as embarking. Picked up our duty-free alcoholic souvenir (a bottle of BVI gin), had some breakfast, and before we knew it, they were calling our group number. We were off the ship and back in our car within 30 minutes, easily as smooth as the embarkation was. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were in hurricane Michael disaster from panama city ( cat 4, more 5ish) and needed time away knowing these other islands suffered like us 2 years ago. It was nice to see the recovery and beauty they restored with hope we will do the ... Read More
We were in hurricane Michael disaster from panama city ( cat 4, more 5ish) and needed time away knowing these other islands suffered like us 2 years ago. It was nice to see the recovery and beauty they restored with hope we will do the same. The staff on board were amazing. Comedian Chis W. was awesome and Mikey and staff were amazing. We felt so welcomed and my 3 kids enjoyed every minute of our experience. Would I travel again on Carnival Sunshine....oh whoot whoot hell yah! The team fun and entertainment were awesome, kids had camp....which they actually got mad when i had to pull them out for meals...everybody was friendly and awesome. So much entertainment. With over 3000 guests the crew quickly learned your names, kids, drinks of choice, and just fun things about you. They really made you feel like family. These memories with the crew will stay with my kids for a lifetime. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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