1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Carnival Cruise Line
  4. Carnival Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

2,768 Carnival Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We traveled with 2 families in 2 rooms... My husband and I with our 4 yr old in one, and his mother and sister in another. We had a Deluxe Ocean View and it was great, plenty of room for everything to be unpacked and luggage to be stored ... Read More
We traveled with 2 families in 2 rooms... My husband and I with our 4 yr old in one, and his mother and sister in another. We had a Deluxe Ocean View and it was great, plenty of room for everything to be unpacked and luggage to be stored under the bed! Arriving at Port Canaveral - I dropped off our party and all our luggage at the port around 9:30 AM, then took the car to the park n cruise that is just back across the bridge... Very simple, easy and saved quite a bit of money. They taxied me back and within 20 minutes we were on our way to check in.. They started calling zones around 10:30 AM and by 11 we were up on Lido enjoying lunch! We carried on our allotted amounts of water and cokes and although our rooms were not ready until 1:30 the room stewards let us go ahead and put them in our rooms to keep from having to lug them around! The ship is much larger than any other ship we have sailed having only sailed previously in the Fantasy class of ships. It is BEAUTIFUL! We had over 4200 hundred on board and over 2200 were past guests and at no time other than the initial sail-away did this ship ever feel crowded! Deck chairs were easy to come by, even on sea days! The lines for the water slide (which my 4 yr old enjoyed so much) were never more that 5 or 6 people long! The ports were nice! Nassau, we had been here many times before so were just ran through the straw market that they just re-opened about 6 mos ago... much nicer than it was last time we were there! There were 5 ships in port that day and we didn't have much time, so we spent more time on than off this ship that day! St. Thomas - was pretty from a distance, and we took a taxi to Sapphire Beach about $10 per person each way with a taxi, chair rental is $7 each. My daughter loved playing in the sand, but if I go back to this island I will definitely choose a different place to go. St. Maarten - BEAUTIFUL Island! We went with Bernard's Tours here and it was great! It was $40 per person and it is a 5 hour tour, which turned in to around 5.5 hrs... They are very informative and super nice. Drinks are included with your price and you get 2 hours at the beach, get to see the capitals on both sides of the island, and then they take you to see the planes land at Maho Beach... This was really worth it. We could have spent the day here watching the planes come in and take off! Over all I have ZERO complaints, The comedy shows are great, the comedy host Jeff "The Fun Dude" not so much. The waitstaff, the stewards and every single person I came in contact with were just super nice! Our head waitress "Dee" was the best service I have ever had on any ship ever... My daughter has even said she misses her since we have been home! She really made this trip special! I can't speak for everyone that cruises this ship but I can say, I would take this exact cruise on this exact ship again! Like I said.. I could not have asked for more! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I read a lot of reviews of the Dream before we left on our first cruise and I had my doubts about how it would be after reading cruisers' complaint. However, after riding on the Dream, I thought the complaints were very nit-picky and ... Read More
I read a lot of reviews of the Dream before we left on our first cruise and I had my doubts about how it would be after reading cruisers' complaint. However, after riding on the Dream, I thought the complaints were very nit-picky and that the entire experience was wonderful. A big plus was the first week in May meant there were few school-aged children on board. There were some toddlers, but the ship is so big it was always easy to find some quiet space. The pools are very small, so if there are a lot of kids this could be a problem. The Lido deck, where the pools are, was usually crowded and very noisy with music, DJs, etc., but once you're away from the pools you really didn't hear the noise any more. The 5th deck, Lanai, contained numerous deck chairs and seating areas and it was easy to find quiet seats in the sun and shade. One thing I liked about the ship was that the PA announcements were few and far between. Drinks were high (compared to what I'm used to paying), beers were $6.61 each. I liked the 4-beer bucket option which shaved some money off of the price of each one. We brought a small playmate cooler and the four beers and all the ice that came in the bucket fit nicely into the cooler. Service was superb. We used the limited room-service menu a few times and never waited more than 15 minutes for delivery. When we needed ice in our room we just called our top-flight steward, Ricardo, and he usually delivered in less than 3 minutes. We used the door card to signal when the room needed service and it was always done when we returned. My main activity was the Texas hold'em poker games in the casino. They use an electronic table so the game moves fast and there aren't any disputes about pot sizes or whose turn it is. This is a big plus at 2:00 a.m. when a lot of the players are wasted. Cruise poker is very laid back, many players like to limp in and see flops. Some players won't fold no matter what they have so when you get a good hand you usually get paid off. I won a little over $300 during the week, which ended up paying for the bar tab. Also, if you buy some of the advertised drinks at the casino bar ($8.75) the receipts for those are good for a $5 match play coupon at the casino table games. I didn't have any complaints about the food. The dining room food was excellent, but one night of the three that we dined there it was very slow and took 2 hours to get through dinner. The buffets were pretty much deserted by 8:00 or so and eating there was very relaxing. Don't miss the pasta bar, which is only open for a few hours a day during lunch. Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip and we had no complaints about the Dream. Getting on and off the ship was easy, both at Port Canaveral and at the ports of call. That said, if we cruise again we will check out some other ships, probably smaller ones, because we didn't really do most of the things the Dream offered -- we didn't shop, see any shows, play bingo or go to dance clubs. But I didn't see anyone who didn't look like they weren't having a good time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was our 7th cruise and 3rd with Carnival. Went with DH, our 4 y/o son and DH's parents. Flew into MCO the day prior and used Cocoa Beach Shuttle to take us to/from airport/hotel/ship. Had no problems with them and would use ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise and 3rd with Carnival. Went with DH, our 4 y/o son and DH's parents. Flew into MCO the day prior and used Cocoa Beach Shuttle to take us to/from airport/hotel/ship. Had no problems with them and would use them again. They also have a cruise critic discount. Embarkation - Went well. No problems. There were minimal lines and it probably took about 30 minutes from the time we got to the port until we got on the ship. Room - We had a deluxe ocean view room. I loved this room. It had two bathrooms which I really liked and I especially loved the extra storage. This was the first cabin I have had where I didn't feel I needed more storage space. Our room steward was good. We didn't have much interaction with him though, but he kept up the room nicely. Ship - Seemed clean. Most staff were friendly. Took a few days to get used to the layout, but that's normal. Crowds - I didn't find this as big of an issue as other reviews have stated. Granted, we did not go during a spring break, summer, or holiday week, when I am sure it is much more crowded. Was one time told 4200 passengers and another time told 4300, so it was around that amount. Only 390 kids on board, which isn't that many. It only really seemed crowded around the show times or comedy club. I did notice that the good seats around the pool fill up fast. There were still plenty of good seats by the aft pool around 8AM, but not much left by 9AM. Camp Carnival - My son loved camp. On the first night they have a family party down at the night club. My son really enjoyed that. If you have kids between the ages of 2 and 7 and can make it to that party, I would. They seemed like they did alot of activities during camp and he came back with some neat gifts. Dining - I thought the food was good. My husband and his parents all thought it was just okay. We were not impressed with the dining room staff (we had YTD). They didn't seem very personable (they were not rude though)and did seem overworked. Plus it seemed like the service was longer than it has been in the past. Loved the Pasta Bar but didn't care too much for the buffet. The smell - I smelled the smell other reviews have talked about. It wasn't all the time and it wasn't always in the same place. Only one time on deck 10 did it seem overpowering. The rest of the times it was only a minor irritant. Waterpark - I am only mentioning this because my son absolutely loved this area. We actually ending up sitting by the waterworks area on the last two sea days instead of by the pool as this is the area he enjoyed the most. The twister was his favorite. I think the most we had to wait was about five minutes. Usually there was no wait at all. Entertainment - We went to two productions shows and one comedy show. The comedy was good and I wish we had gone to more. The production shows were okay. I have read several reviews commenting on the two lead singers and how they cannot sing. Unfortunately, I have to agree with this, they were not very good. We also went to two of the laser shows. I didn't care for those either. The fun force dancers were good. The deck party was fun. We spent a good bit of time in the casino and did not leave winners, but still had fun. Debarkation - We did self-assist. We were off pretty quickly and at the airport by 9:00 AM. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I was slightly worried before this cruise because of some of the negative comments here, but we had a wonderful time and I cannot wait to go on my next cruise with Carnival. I think some people tend to complain about everything and can ... Read More
I was slightly worried before this cruise because of some of the negative comments here, but we had a wonderful time and I cannot wait to go on my next cruise with Carnival. I think some people tend to complain about everything and can never see the positive side of an experience. I will blame the bad reviews on them! :) This was our 4th cruise (2nd with Carnival). Even though there were more people on this ship, it did not feel any different than prior ships we had been on. We never had a problem finding a table for breakfast, lunch or finding deck chairs. Of course, if you go at peak times it can be a little bit harder. Carnival still has the issue with deck chairs being saved, but I heard they were trying to fix this problem. On one of our sea days, we would see chairs saved for 4 or 5 hours and no one would ever come and sit in them. That is absolutely ridiculous! Our room was great. This was the first time we stayed in a balcony room and it was definitely worth it. I do not think I will go back to an interior room again! My sister and her husband stayed beside us, so our steward opened up the door separating our balcony's. It was cool to feel like we had a little bit extra room. We LOVED the comedy shows! Thomas Brown was a comedian the first couple of nights and he was hilarious! We made sure to get to his shows about 45 minutes before to make sure we got a seat. Definitely worth it. I will say that the security at the comedy club could do a better job at maintaining the lines at the door. We waited in line for 30-45 minutes sometimes and people would walk up at the last minute and break in the line! This was aggravating, but did not ruin the experience. Our room steward Jonathan was awesome and our dining staff was amazing! They knew our names by the 2nd night and always remembered our drinks. "Rod" got our drinks for us each night and they were sitting at our table when we got there. Excellent service! We were impressed with St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We have been to Nassau before and we do not care for this port. We stayed on the ship. We did the Jeep Tour excursion in St. Thomas and it is definitely worth the money. The excursion ended up being an hour over what the original time frame was, so we definitely got our monies worth. We went to Maho Bay in St. Maarten to watch the planes land. My husband is a pilot, so of course, their was no question where we were going. I would say, if you are going to Maho beach, get their early! We arrived around 8:30am (We took a taxi as soon as we ported) and we had about an hour where it was only a few couples on the beach. By 10 or 11, the beach was full. This beach is small, so this many people on the beach is a bit suffocating. We left by 12. We could not deal with the crowds. There were literally people right on top of us. But, watching the planes fly over was really cool! We got some great pictures. Overall...this was an amazing cruise. I would highly recommend the Dream to anyone who was considering it. If only John Heald was our cruise director...I would have given it a perfect 10! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We sailed for the 2nd time on the Carnival Dream on May 19th. Living in Tampa, FL is only took us a couple hours to drive over to Port Canaveral. We used the Park & Cruise facility which was such a great convenience! We have sailed out ... Read More
We sailed for the 2nd time on the Carnival Dream on May 19th. Living in Tampa, FL is only took us a couple hours to drive over to Port Canaveral. We used the Park & Cruise facility which was such a great convenience! We have sailed out of Port Canaveral a few times and never really had any trouble with check-in and boarding but this was the easiest ever. We arrived about 2 and by 2:30 we were aboard - too late to attend the M & G, but still pretty good. We had a cove balcony stateroom which is our favorite room. Very private and the best place to have breakfast from room service. Our room steward was Ron and he was the greatest. We've had good stewards before but he was the most congenial and helpful We were on the port side of the ship and didn't have any issues with our room, unlike the starboard side. Nassau was okay. We have been there before and it isn't our favorite. My husband had never been to Atlantis so we did the Discover Atlantis excursion. Getting off and on the ship in Nassau requires that you walk through this huge building full of little shops everywhere. This building is not air conditioned and the walkways are very narrow. I truly hate that building. Coming back on to the ship I had a panic attack and nearly passed out due to the lack of AC and too many people crowded to close together. I was so glad to get back on the ship! When we got back on board our Carnival back pack got mixed up with another Carnival back pack. Ours had 2 cameras, my cell phone, and my glasses. The back pack we got had a couple tubes of lotion and a sweater. My husband was upset but we took the other back pack to Guest Services and told them what happened. For a couple hours I had to wear my sunglasses everywhere, but finally they called to say someone had turned in our back pack. When we picked it up, everything was there, so it turned out okay. St. Thomas was next. We have been there before and enjoyed it. We did the helmet dive and had a blast. You walk down a ladder and they place a 75 lb helmet on your head that has an air hose attached to it. The water only comes up to your chin and we were even able to keep our glasses on! We have done a lot of snorkeling, but walking around the coral reef with fish all around was amazing! I would recommend this excursion to anyone who enjoys the undersea world. Dinner every night was great - head waiter wasn't over the top wonderful, but the assistants were really great. The food, as always was very good. We ate in the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner at different times throughout the cruise and each time we enjoyed it. Eating in The Gathering was very nice, also. The variety of choices was huge and it was always a dilemma. Chocolate was always the order of the day, however. There can never be enough chocolate! St. Maarten was the star of the cruise! This was our first trip to this island and we were very excited to visit it. What a fabulous place! We absolutely loved it. We did some shopping downtown early since we had a very limited amount of time there. After shopping we took the water taxi back to the dock for our excursion - Scenic Coastal Hike. This is a must-do for anyone physically fit enough to do it. I used a walking stick and it really helped get up and down some of the tough spots. This is a hike up and down the undeveloped "hills" of St. Maarten along a goat trail - really, a goat trail! The goats and sheep were grazing on the hillside. The views of the Caribbean were breathtaking and worth the effort. I have never experienced anything like this hike and, while we have always had pretty good guides on our excursions, Juan and Leigh were so passionate about their tour! They answered every question, gave us plenty of rest breaks to enjoy the views, walked us down onto a rocky beach to enjoy the "singing pebbles", explained the ecological importance of the area, supplied cold drinks at the end of the hike and were all around fantastic guides. I wouldn't mind doing this excursion again the next time we go to St. Maarten and I recommend it to everyone! We enjoyed this cruise so much that we have booked another for November and the Legend out of Dover in September 2013. Happy cruising everyone! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Sorry if this review is long; I'd like to address the good and the good and some of the overblown complaints other reviewers have posted. ABOUT ME: I sailed with my parents and my wife (all of us have cruised multiple times on ... Read More
Sorry if this review is long; I'd like to address the good and the good and some of the overblown complaints other reviewers have posted. ABOUT ME: I sailed with my parents and my wife (all of us have cruised multiple times on different cruise lines) and I sailed with my in-laws, my brother-in-law, and his girlfriend and none of my wife's family has ever cruised before. I've sailed on Carnival four times and on Celebrity once. EMBARKATION: We all drove to Galveston from the Dallas, TX area and arrived at the terminal around 12:30pm. We pulled up to the terminal, handed our luggage to the porters, parked at lot B, and were shuttled back the terminal. The time it took to board, from the moment I stepped inside the terminal to the moment I stepped inside the Magic, took about 20 minutes. This was my fourth time to sail out of Galveston (Carnival Elation in 2004, Conquest in 2008 and 2009, and Magic in 2012) and this was the smoothest embarkation process that I've encountered out of Galveston; only one embarkation was better and that was the Celebrity Solstice out of Ft Lauderdale. THE VESSEL: The Magic is a very nice ship and was always being cleaned and taken care of. The layout took about a day to fully grasp and the only confusing part of the layout was having to go down or up a floor to get to your desired floor. What I mean is sometimes I would exit from an elevator and need to take the stairs to the next floor; no big deal and I'm probably making it sound more confusing than it really is. THE STAFF: I have great respect for the employees on cruise ship. I talked with some on this cruise and I was told they spend 6 months on the boat and then get 2 months off the boat and are allowed a 4 hour lunch break only once during the week. I think some of the employees have a blast doing what they do on the boat and some employees, such as room stewards, wait staff, and others, really work hard to make our vacation exceptional. With that being said, our room was always clean, food service was great, and every employee I came across had a smile on their face. I never came across an employee that was rude or having a bad day, or if they were, they never showed it. MY ROOM: My cabin was on deck 6, starboard side, and it was a balcony cabin. The room was identical to the Carnival Conquest balcony room as far as the layout and decor. My room provided plenty of space for the 5 pieces of luggage brought on board between my wife and I. The only problem we had with our room was it overlooked a hot tub and rinse off tower which ruined some of the privacy of having a balcony. In other words, instead of walking onto the balcony and looking over and seeing ocean, we would see people hanging out in the hot tub. It wasn't that bad of an issue and the hot tubs closed at 10pm so noise was never an issue. Overall, good room. SPORTS SQUARE: I did this on the last day at sea. The ropes course was really fun. I thought it would be blah but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. The mini-golf was fun to play. There was an area for outdoor chess and checkers and the sports square also had ping-pong, foosball, and pool. There was a bar and a seating area in the sports square. There was an area for people to play Madden, but I didn't see if it was for Xbox or PS3. The basketball court was full court and there was some soccer goals too. SPA: The spa area is very nice and it's available to be used all week long for a fee or if you book a spa service. My wife got a hot stone massage and she loved it. WATERWORKS / POOLS: The slides were a blast. I went on those slides countless times and enjoyed it every time. The lines weren't too bad except on the days at sea, but even those lines didn't take too long. Plus there are two lines once you're on the stairs leading up to the slide. A lot of people thought there was one big line but after a short while, people realized the right side of the stairs were for one slide and the left side of the stairs were for the other slide. The rest of waterworks offered fun for smaller kids. The pools were nice and got crowded at times, but never to the point to where you can't swim around. The tides pool is in the AFT part of the ship on deck 10 and it didn't seem too crowded. There were hot tubs on the Serenity deck, which is adults only, and there were hot tubs on deck 5. I'm not a hot tub person but my brother-in-law loved them. Deck chairs were available through out the top decks, but finding some in the "prime areas" on sea days could be tough. The pools were salt water and the slides were fresh water. LOUNGES / BARS / CASINOS: Late night activities took place in the spotlight lounge which is deck 5 AFT and it was a nice area. The casino was cool but does get smoky so don't be surprised. The red frog pub was a very nice addition and was one of my favorite hang-out spots. There were two guitarists / singers that would play songs everyone knows and the beer was good and so was the food. There is even a 101oz beer available. The red frog pub has a foosball table and shuffleboard. Right outside red frog pub is seating area that includes bean bag toss and a ring game. The pub closes at 1:30am and it's a great place to visit. Vibe nightclub was also very cool and plays various genres of music then switches to top 40's. DRINKS: The average price for an alcoholic drink was between $8-$10 including gratuity. I recommend the "kiss on the lips". I did my drinking more in the evening time during shows, dinner, and after dinner. The long island ice teas were good and strong. The cheapest drink I had was Canadian Club and Coke or Skyy Vodka and a mixer. BUFFET FOOD: Overall the food was pretty decent. Yes, there were lines for the breakfast and lunch buffets, but the lines were longest on sea days. And when I say long, I'm talking 10 minutes or so. Deck 10 (lido deck) had eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, milk, omlettes, etc for breakfast and the buffets varied each day. Burgers and pizza were on deck 10 by the main pool. The burrito bar was excellent and was located deck 10 AFT and so was the Indian cuisine and the deli. I didn't use room service but my brother-in-law told me it was great and took 15 minutes to get the food after ordering off of the TV. DINING ROOMS / SPECIALTY DINING: We did the late seating (8:15pm) at the southern lights dining room. Overall the food was pretty good. Some items might be better than others, but I'm a picky eater and I got full every night and enjoyed my dining room experience. Our server Bobby, was excellent and so was his team. We enjoyed the dining entertainment and the singing waiter. We ate at Prime steakhouse and the steak was outstanding. All the food there was great and so was the service and the cheesecake was perfect. If you eat here, plan on spending at least 2 hours for your meal. We ate lunch at Cucina de Calpitano and it was very good pasta. I didn't eat there for dinner but my parents did and they absolutely loved it. A quick side note...the dining rooms offer a sit down breakfast and lunch which provides an alternative to the sometimes busy lines on deck 10, just be aware it's open seating so you might sit with people you don't know. ENTERTAINMENT / SHOWS: We made two shows, the illusion / magic show and the juggler. Both shows were great and the juggler, Marcus Monroe, was beyond awesome. I advise getting to the shows maybe 10-15 minutes extra to ensure a good seat. Other shows in the showtime theater were the welcome aboard show, 70's show, and Carnival's talent show but those didn't appeal to me. There were two comedians on Monday and Tuesday and two new ones for Thursday and Friday. All comics performed family shows in the showtime theater and all perfrom 18+ shows in the spotlight lounge. The 18+ shows got very crowded for the 9:45 and 10:45 times so get there at least 20 minutes early. I saw 3 of the 4 comedians and the first two were great and the third one was ok at best. EXCURSIONS: Jamaice - we went ziplining in and it was a blast. We went on six zip lines and the last one was 1,065 feet long and all zip lines were in the forest. The tour guides were HILARIOUS!!! Grand Cayman - we went snorkeling at the kittiwake sunken ship. It was very nice and the water was amazing. Cozumel - we did the Playa Mia beach break which included an open bar (mixed drinks, sodas, bottled water, beer, but no shots) and lunch buffet. There were also water toys, kayaks, paddle boats, volley ball, etc. I won't elaborate too much on my excursions because I think excursions are personal preference. We enjoyed all of our excursions and we booked all of them through Carnival. DEBARKATION: You have two debarkation options, self-assist or by zone. Self-assist allows you off the boat quicker and zones are called by your given zone number. We did the self-assist and we started to debark at 7:30am. It got congested at elevators so don't plan on getting on one unless you're very very lucky. We walked from deck 6 to deck 3 with our luggage (5 pieces). It was a little bit of a hassle, but it was not impossible. We walked off the boat, down to customs, which had lines for passports and lines for birth certificates. I think we got off the boat by 8:15am. The longest part of debarkation is the customs process, but that's not Carnival's problem. And yes customs does check persons and their belongings from time to time. My wife and I witnessed a lady get arrested for smuggling. OVERALL: All eight of us had a great time and would go back on the Carnival Magic again with no hesitation. The food was good, the drinks were good, shows were good, and there were plenty of activities to keep people busy. I think those reviews consisting of three stars or less are misleading. I hope my review provides some real insight and sorry if it was a long read. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Sailing out of Baltimore was a breeze. The port is just off of I-95 and is about 2 hrs from Philadelphia. It took us about 40 mins. from the time I parked the car until we were onboard. The ship was well laid out. I really like the ... Read More
Sailing out of Baltimore was a breeze. The port is just off of I-95 and is about 2 hrs from Philadelphia. It took us about 40 mins. from the time I parked the car until we were onboard. The ship was well laid out. I really like the ship of the ship( almost 90.000 tons) Sometimes the bigger ships are just to crowded. The ship has 3 pools( 1 covered),9 hole mini-golf, basketball court, and water slide. Our cabin( #1175) was an outside oceanview on deck 1. The room was below the casino but we did not hear any noise coming from there. The room was very roomy for 3 people. There are soap and shampoo in the showers. The only problem we had was an odor/stain on the carpet. We told the steward and he had the carpet shampooed within 30 mins. Great Job The food was above average. The meals in the MDR were good but they could of been bigger. They had the same meals on the right side of the menu but the left side had different things everyday. DAVIDS STEAKHOUSE is a MUST. The food and service were fantastic. Our MDR waiters(Sushi, Iwayne,Adbi) were great. They were very personable and took care of my 10yr old son. As for the ports--GRAND TURK is beautiful. Margarita ville is near the ship and they have a huge pool and beach. We did the snorkeling/beach adventure with Oasis Divers--This is a must. Capt Mark and crew know how to throw a party on the boat. HALF MOON CAY-- is the prettiest private island that I have been on. It is better that Disneys. My son and I did the horse back riding. We loved it. The sand on this island is like sandbox sand--so soft. The only thing that could of been better is if the ship would dock there instead of the tenders that they use. This is my 2nd Carnival cruise and I would not hesitate to go back. Great Job--Keep up the great work, Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
this is our 4th cruise on the pride and this is my first review. the port at baltimore was a breeze, we arrived about 12:30, checked our bags and waited till we saw others bording before going in line.(that way your not stuck just standing ... Read More
this is our 4th cruise on the pride and this is my first review. the port at baltimore was a breeze, we arrived about 12:30, checked our bags and waited till we saw others bording before going in line.(that way your not stuck just standing or sitting in the secure area) we were on by 1:30 first stop deck 9 where all the food and pools are, lunch and in the cabin at 2:30, got our bags by 4:00, had our safty drill and were on our way. the weather was above average at baltimore and pools were busy from day 1. we had early dining and thought the food was great (no cooking or dishes) lido deck had buffets and could always find somthing good, 24 hr pizza and ice cream was great. lunch in the MDR. is always nice. 2 days at sea, the pools, the sun, and at night the casino. no shows this time but the comedians were the same as before (but they were good last time) grand turk left at the end of the pier past margaritaville to local village free wifi, chairs, umbrellas and music. beach not crowded, har our own snorkels or can rent there(lots of fish right off the beach) half moon key, cruise lines own island, had lunch there (provided) went back early for a few rides on the water slide. freeport, cab ride to lucaya marketplace, $10 roundtrip per person, had a few frozen drinks and lunch at zorbas in the marketplace(grouper platter for $10 great deal!!)this is our 4th on the pride and the 5th cruise will be in october and will be trying royal in march 2013, so i would recomend this cruise, if you try hard enough you can find somthing negative to dwell on but life is too short for that. thanks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
So, I booked this cruise as a Christmas present for my mom. She is in her 60s and has cruised before, but not on Carnival. I am 38 and this was my 6th cruise...5th one on Carnival. It was my first time cruising out of my homeport of ... Read More
So, I booked this cruise as a Christmas present for my mom. She is in her 60s and has cruised before, but not on Carnival. I am 38 and this was my 6th cruise...5th one on Carnival. It was my first time cruising out of my homeport of Baltimore. It was very nice to drive just 25 minutes to get to port. The port of Baltimore was decent enough, though there were many delays. We got to port around 11:20 and did not get on the ship until 1:15 (boarding didn't even begin until 12:30 or so and we didn't leave port until about 5:45 or so). There was also a delay in getting off the ship (we put our bags out the night before and were #10...we got off around 11 am and there were still many folks on the ship). The delays were irritating but nothing that would ruin a trip. The ship was great. It was very clean and upkept and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The buffet area seemed understaffed the last couple (2) days and tables were not cleaned up as quickly as they had been the first several days (5). But, it still wasn't all that difficult to find a clean table to sit at. We loved the layout of the ship, it was very easy to navigate. We liked all the many venues. There was always plenty to do. We liked to watch karaoke and see the shows and comedians. We also spent some time in the casino and piano bar. I didn't feel like the ship was too crowded, except for the sea days out on the Lido/Serenity deck. We could NEVER get a chair in the sun near any of the pools. We wanted to be on the Serenity as we were not with kids. We even got out there at 7:30 am one day and all the chairs were being used or saved. We had to get our own chairs from a stack and squeeze them in up on deck 10. That worked fine, but not as easy as I'd have liked. The food was good and we always could find something yummy to eat. We had your time dining and ate in the MDR all except for 1 night that we went to the steakhouse. The service was fantastic in the MDR as well as in the steakhouse. It was actually the best MDR service I've experienced with Carnival thus far. We only had to wait for a table 1 night and that was for only about 15 minutes. We were given a pager and sat at the bar nearby. We enjoyed a cocktail and then our pager went off. Our cabin was nice. We had a balcony. It was my mom's first and she loved it. It was nice to sit out there. The cabin was big and clean and everything worked (TV, toilet, etc). Our steward was wonderful. He was super friendly and helpful and always had everything in tip top shape. The location was nice too. We only had a quick walk up 2 flights to the buffet and Serenity area. We could also grab an elevator, right around the corner, to go down to the casino/lobby/lounges/theater (where we spent a lot of time). The one negative was noisy neighbors. We heard a lot of door slamming and cabinet slamming and kids running around. It woke me every morning around 6:45-7 am, though my mom could sleep through it. I was very tired by the end of the cruise. I would liked to have gone home, to my 3 kid, a more relaxed person. I used the computers in the library to keep in touch with my husband and kids at home. We used the forums on the Carnival website to post on the 'currently onboard' forum. It worked well...for me anyway...my husband had trouble at home with the website. But, I could post daily to let them know what and how we were doing. I would usually post in the mornings, after I got woken early and while my mom was still sleeping. The ports...well 2 of the 3...were awesome. We loved Grand Turk. It was a really fun day there and is now my favorite port. We just hung out at Margaritaville. We also had a nice beach day at Half Moon Cay. It did take a while to tender to and then from the island. We were on the last tender back as we just sat and waited out the line. The weather was perfect those 2 days and pretty nice for the entire cruise really. The last port was Freeport and I hate it there. It is nothing spectacular and the vendors are pushy. We shopped for about an hour or so and then got back on the ship. We hoped to go get a spot on the Serenity deck finally, but no such luck. It was already packed when we got there and not free chair to be found. We eventually got a spot on one of the comfy couches in the shade, but my mom prefers the sun so she was not thrilled. But it worked and we even got some time in the hot tub that was usually packed. It was a great cruise and my mom told me it was the best Christmas present she's ever gotten. That was priceless to me. I'd give this cruise a 9/10. We both bought Future Cruise Certificates and would love to use them to take another ride on the Pride. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
It's been a while since I've cruised with Carnival after sailing with Royal for a while. Even thought I prefer Royal ships overall, the great experience aboard the Carnival glory makes me want to check out the new ships Breeze, ... Read More
It's been a while since I've cruised with Carnival after sailing with Royal for a while. Even thought I prefer Royal ships overall, the great experience aboard the Carnival glory makes me want to check out the new ships Breeze, Magic and Dream. Embarkation: The Port of Miami is easily accesible and embarkation was a breeze. However, for passengers cruising with VIP embarkation, the line should be clearly marked to avoid needless lines. My partners Sign & Sail card did not work right when you check aboard the ship, we had to wait about 20 minutes to go in. This definitely puts a damper on the beginning of your vacation, and it seems we were not alone as about 15 people where waiting for a new card. Stateroom: The stateroom was awesome, we had an ocean view suite and it was amazing. Even though we requested our beds together multiple times, they where still I Love Lucy style twins beds. Fixed easily enough without a problem. Room was spacious, LOTS of closet space. Crew: I cannot say enough about how nice the crew aboard this ship was. Gladys at the Burgundy bar, you must visit her. One of the nicest people, she even made a martini in our honor, ask for the Honeydew. Dee the comedy club manager was simply spectacular. Trevor and John, the cruise and assistant cruise director where very funny. The cabin crew was splendid always did a great job. Dinning: We had my time dinning and definitely no complaints. We never waited more then 5 minutes and we went at ALL different times. The food was great, a lot more variety and much better then we have had in Royal, even when sailing from the Mediterranean. The buffet was typical for a cruise. Definitely try the Mongolian Wok by the middle pool in the Lido Deck, also the sushi in midship by the Casino on promenade deck and the Fish and Chips on the second floor of the Red Sail restaurant. We also tried the steakhouse, it was great. Service was impecable. If you can, definitely try the Food and Wine pairing class with the sommelier. And finally, but most importantly, ask to be seated in Novita's section in the dinning room, for my time dinners. Simply one of the best head waiters. Entertainment: As the saying goes, if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all. Well, I wont be mentioning the singers and dancers, or the other shows onboard out of which we walked out, or just skipped altogether. Now, the Punchliner Comedy club was outstanding. Mark Simmons killed it the first couple of nights. So much soo about 200 people had to be turned away it was so popular. Good thing they do repeat shows. The love and marriage game was HILARIOUS and hosted by John the assistant cruise director. Ports: Nassau: Went to Blue Lagoon, option with Lunch for 90 bucks p/p. Worth it for 10 extra bucks to get the lunch, it is good. Beach is very pretty, white sands, blue water, plenty of chairs and hammocks to lay out. St. Thomas: If you want to do the St. Thomas Skyride, by the tickets from the ship! They ware WAY cheaper on board then at the skyride. The view is worth it for picture taking, however wait a little bit before going on. Dont go exactly when you dock, the lines are huge. Megans bay beach is very pretty, clear water, sand etc. San Juan: Just walk to get to know the city. There is a cop on every corner, so dont be scared. Visit el Morro, the castle and just everything this historic city has to offer. Stop for some lunch at Raices restaurant in front of the Dona Fela parking lot. It has the best authentic puertorican meals. Grank Turk: Getting a taxy is CRAZY, very disorganized. Spending money on the excursion is alright, but you could do it on your own, if you want to brave the taxy hassle. Otherwise rent a jeep, the island is not that big. The Carnival beach right off the port is the same if not better than Governors beach. If you go on your own Taxi, stop by the little side shops in the seafront, downtown area and eat conch salad at Conky Joe's, spicy but yummy. Overall, it is a very good cruise, small but the amicable attitude of the crew takes it over the top. One more thing, if you have cruised before, you have definitely noticed how on a receipt, even tho gratuity was already included, they would leave a space for it. Not on Carnival anymore. YOu just sign and walk away. Of course you can add tip if you want, but there is no pressure because there is no line. AWESOME. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Wow, where do I start. Insanity is as good a place as any. As workloads and work hours increased and a milestone 10th wedding anniversary was close, I was caught in a bit of a financial bind between tax time, home improvements, dental ... Read More
Wow, where do I start. Insanity is as good a place as any. As workloads and work hours increased and a milestone 10th wedding anniversary was close, I was caught in a bit of a financial bind between tax time, home improvements, dental work/crowns needing replacement, and major auto body repairs, and we wanted just to run away. I found a last minute cruise deal that was too good to be true, and after careful consideration and homework, pulled the trigger on a Wednesday evening before a Saturday departure date on what was going to be the best cruise experience of our lives. This was my first cruise on the Carnival Cruise Line, and I found the last minute purchase experience a bit of a leap of faith, because there was little I could specify (waitlisted on early dining, we ended up late dining, and shore excursions would be considered once on board), but given the deal we received, we rolled with it. We made it down to Miami on time, and had no issues checking in. We dropped our carry-on bags in the spacious ocean-view cabin, and proceeded to explore the ship. Weather was beautiful, crowds were managed very well, it wasn't the "sea of humanity" I expected. Liberty was recently refurbished in 2011, and everything was super clean, super friendly, and the amenities of the ship were numerous. From the time we boarded to the time we got home, it was the most restful, fun, enjoyable trip we have had in at least five years. The staff was incredible, but the absolute All-Star of the cruise had to be the Cruise Director, Jaime Dee, who pretty much "owned" the cruise for all 7 days. I've been on a few cruises before, and the Cruise Director was always a bit distant, there if you needed them for a specific event or concern. You'd have to go find them if you needed something. In this case, it was the exact opposite: Jamie found everybody, welcomed them, communicated with them, made them feel special, all +/- 3400 of us. A fair amount of people wake up with a cup of coffee and the Today show or Good Morning America, and for the next 7 days this captive audience woke up with a funny, crazy, upbeat, dedicated Cruise Director on the in-cabin TV, or the announcement system, or the poolside jumbotron big screen, providing a constant feed of news, information, comedy, events, special opportunities and more. I thought I had long hours, until I saw the effort she put into a day, from early morning announcements, to their version of the "Morning Show", to all the daily activities and events she and the entertainment staff administered to, poolside limbo parties at 10:30PM, to announcing the comic performing at the 11:45PM show. There has to be a huge I.V. of 5 hour energy drink somewhere on board, because there's no way in hell I could cheerfully and happily deal with the responsibilities and that many guests and keep that pace like they did for 7 days without something like it. I made the statement she "owned" the cruise. She had tremendous support of her entertainment staff/team, and Assistant Cruise Director Christian. Without them, it wouldn't have been the same. But she put her own personality and "stamp" on the "Carnival experience" that far exceeded any other cruise experience we've ever had. It's startling how one person can truly impact a vacation week in such a positive way. Things I'd share with others considering this ship and the itinerary (St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk): Cabin: Spacious room, picture window (not porthole), hot water and good water pressure that can scald you (be careful) made showers as good as home. Staff cleaned/tidied up the room at least 4 times a day, ice bucket was always full. Ask to have the mini bar opened for you, there's room in the fridge to keep your beverages or snacks cold. Plenty of towels, storage areas for clothes, robes are in the closets, shampoo and shower gel provided (good quality!). 22"? LCD TV's with news, satellite broadcast (FOX, NBC, etc.) programming, movies, etc. The only downside I can think of in the cabin is that other lines have speakers and volume control in the cabin for announcements. We did not, so every time an announcement was made in the hallways over the speaker system, we muted the TV and opened the cabin door to hear the announcement. Food: Lido deck buffet was standard on most meals, exemplary on others. One night a special dessert line was set up that could have put Miami in a diabetic coma. The wife is on a special diet and still had MANY choices for all the meals during the day. Dining Room was available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and Lunch menus never changed, so we mixed things up a little between the buffet and dining room. Dinner at the dining room was special every night, the waiter(s) catered to your desires/needs, and service was that of a 4 star restaurant. The lobster dinner was a little disappointing, but everything else was superb. Guy Alfieri's Burger Joint poolside gave temptation a challenge for a great home-made burger with the works, but not the most health conscious choice. We enjoyed the Blue Iguana Cantina's (poolside) breakfast burritos with the amazing topping/hot sauce bar. Ice cold fresh watermelon slices were the best! And helped kill the burn of a hot sauce too liberally used. Two coffee bars (Lido deck and Promenade) kept the skim milk lattes flowing when we needed them, and also offered DECADENT/deadly temptings of cakes, pastries, and more. Sushi bar (Promenade) was open 5 -- 9, and offered great choices with all the fixings. Never made it to Diamond's (steak restaurant), can't comment on it. Room service was TERRIBLE! Offerings were limited, delivery was on time, the order was not taken correctly and the food was similar to a school vending machine-type sandwich on old bread. I was truly shocked. Beverages: You are allowed to bring 20? Bottles of water per person on board when you check in. Do it. At $5 a pop in the cabin, you can save enough money to hit the casino or bingo easily. You are also allowed to bring 12 packs of soda too. $3 a pop onboard, it adds up if you are a soda drinker. Also (didn't know this) you can bring one bottle of wine per person onboard ONLY when you check in. No liquor bottles, only wine. Any liquor or wine bought in the duty free store or in any port is held until the night before disembarkment, and delivered to your room. Count on cocktails running $10 a piece, beers $7. ATTENTION GAMBLERS: You'll find a classic cocktail menu at any bar on the ship. Buy any classic cocktail (like a Classic Margarita) for $10, take your receipt to the Casino Cash Desk, and they'll give you $5 match play for each one. $5 top shelf margaritas or mojitos are worth it. Casino: Those who partake of gaming, go to the casino first and get the flyers on the events of the trip. You'll find valuable coupons there on the first day that saved me about $40. We played in the slots tournaments, came in third on one (First prize was $500, t-shirts for the 7 runner ups). Blackjack tables use mechanized/automated card distribution systems, no 4 deck shoe or shuffle anywhere. $6 low limit. Blackjack and Poker tournaments available. Crap table was busy. You can use your cruise card to buy into the tournaments. We left our donation, but had a lot of fun. Activities: There's a lot going on all the time, we did all the Bingo games (one number short on three different occasions) and found them to be expensive, because they often only play one game, and at $20 for a 3 box card, for one game, it was a bit much. Spa and Gym events were great, we hit the gym early in the morning to get a treadmill or elliptical as they fill up by 9. They have LifeCycle equipment, so you can bring your ipod to listen to your music or just headphones and watch TV while you workout. Entertainment on the ship was of great quality, comics, magicians, production shows, something for everyone, and scheduled to allow you to not rush through dinner. Men's Hairy Chest contest, poolside limbo, Mardi Gras Party, Miss Carnival Liberty contest, a sports bar, Piano sing-a-long bar, dance bar, latin salsa bar, a lot of stuff geared for the kids, trivia games and more hell there's too much to mention, but it's all fun and entertaining thanks to the Entertainment Staff and Jaime. We had a blast. Ports: St. Thomas -- we took a non-ship excursion off the pier, joined six others from our ship for a tour of St. Thomas by truck/cab/open air vehicle. Almost like a parking tram you'd find at Disney, only mounted on a Ford F-350. $25 a head for a four hour tour, covering Mountaintop (Banana Daiquiris the best), Megan's Beach, Blackbeard's Castle, another beach and eventually downtown with plenty of time for shopping and walking back to the ship. Never been there before, want to go back, great value that covered the places we wanted to go. San Juan -- Didn't do any shore excursions, we took off on our own, did the San Cristobal fort tour, awesome pictures and views of the island. Found our way into Old San Juan, great prices and good shopping (there's a Marshall's there!) and had lunch at Manolin Cafe (local diner with local specialties, highly recommended by the locals, very affordable, crazy busy at noon). Grand Turk -- Handful of shops on the island, very small island pretty much dedicated to water sports. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, hanging on the beach are about the best anywhere in the world. Water is gorgeous, sorry we didn't do a water excursion, we will come back. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Resort was awesome, you can belly up to the bar while in the free form pool, enjoying music, margaritas, great food too. Shopping -- Duty-free liquor in port and on ship was similarly priced to wholesale/membership clubs in US. Jewelry and souvenir pricing varies by port and vendor, if you're looking for jewelry, check with the onboard shopping specialist. Last day of cruise, look for specials in the Fun Shops onboard (2/$20 t-shirts, 40% off some watches, costume jewelry) Tipping -- The crew really works hard for their guests. Some people have issues with tipping, thinking the service is included with the ticket purchase. When someone goes over and above the normal expected level of service, I believe they earned a gratuity. From the cabin staff to the wait staff, these guys took the extra step every single instance to make sure our experience was the best. I was a little apprehensive of Carnival automatically whacking the cruise bill with the entire estimated gratuities for the trip on the second or third day. This being my first cruise with Carnival, and always tipping on prior cruises in cash on the last night, I went down to the Guest Services Desk, and had them remove the estimated gratuities. They gave me envelopes to use for tipping, and on the last night, I gave each of the respective departments their gratuity in cash, and exceeded the recommended/estimated amounts because they earned every nickel of it. Highly recommend the cruise, hope everyone has the incredible time we had! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
To start off I was the planner for a party of 13, 3 families with adults from 38-46 and 6 children from 9 to 20 years old. I planned via the Internet everything from the pre and post cruise transportation to the pre and post trip Hotel. We ... Read More
To start off I was the planner for a party of 13, 3 families with adults from 38-46 and 6 children from 9 to 20 years old. I planned via the Internet everything from the pre and post cruise transportation to the pre and post trip Hotel. We decided we wanted to spend a couple nights before and after our cruise at a hotel. I did a ton of review reading SO as we could learn from others which is why I am writing this review so that it may help others. We flew into Ft Lauderdale on Thursday 4/12. I had booked a stretch Hummer Limo thru Moveo Limo of Miami. He was a great price at $225 for the trip each way, with 13 of us it was almost half the price of the ships transportation and he was right on time, Eddie who I had spoke to on the phone a couple times was great, they even thru in a trailer for our luggage, the ride was beautiful. He also picked us up at the cruise port on sat, we were early so I called them and they drove right over with another sweet Hummer limo. No surprise charges afterword. Moveo Limo is a great deal. We stayed at the Double tree Grand, it was also very nice, huge motel,right on the bay, very friendly, good price, that's of food options right in the hotel and local FREE train loop transportation one block away as well as a Safeway grocery store 1 block away, i wish we would have stayed here on our return from the cruise port but I will get to that later. We had a day to go to the beach so the boys out front got us a ride with Mario who brought us to Miami beach and picked us up when we called for $6 buck a person. Mario was great too...funny and friendly, he offered to pick us up the next day and bring us to the cruise port for $5 a head, so we did that too! It turned out to be a great choice to go a couple days early. Sat we headed on the ship,which went flawlessly,we chose an inside low budget room since we knew we would not be there much, I have to admit I did try to smuggled aboard a case of beer and some Rum,when we hot to our cabin there was a note to pick up our booze at the end of the trip which I did with no complications and we had plenty to drink at our hotel before we came home. My pal Rob on the other hand did manage to get his case of beer thru(the same bud bottles they serve on the ship)and we enjoyed those one day, but it still did not put much of a dent in our sail and sign bill. The weather was a little rough the first few days and windy but it all worked out, sunny and sunburned,Anderson at the Red Frog rum bar is awesome, he kept us entertained and our glasses full, we pretty much were at our same spots everyday. Beers are expensive at $24 for 4 but what the hell were on vacation. The Guys burgers are awesome, the sandwich place is awesome, pizza was great, all their food was awesome, from some of the reviews I read it seems like some folks were on a different Liberty than me, I think it was all great! The staff was all very friendly,they do very well at remembering names its their thing I guess but I like that, they all work so very hard. Ports were all standard depending on what you want to do and what you may have done before, Margarita ville was pretty nice with a nice beach, the snorkel trips are always good! One thing that was lacking from our other cruises was the entertainment, Carnival has gone down hill on it's show. Jamie the cruise director did a good job with her portion but the show just were not that exciting. We had a great time on the ship and it went by way to fast, the kids ran amuck all they wanted and had a blast meeting new friend, getting off the ship was quick and easy, customs was very quick too. Moveo Limo picked us up once again and dropped us in Ft lauderdale at the Airport Hilton, our driver this time was not as good as the 1st but he got the job done. Now the Hilton was another story, the employees there were not friendly at all, and this Hilton is in need of some work, dirty poll with a light hanging out of its fixture with 4 feet of wire in the pool, debris everywhere outside, our room door did not close right, and more I wont bore you with,I would not recommend this Hilton. We took a cab the Hotel got for us over to Hollywood Broadwalk which was nice, a lot going on and a good place to be for the day at the beach with the family, we stayed two nights and went home after being away for 12 nights, it was a great vacation that seemed to all work out pretty darn good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Embarkation in Miami was a bit slower than last year in Ft. Lauderdale. Computers have replaced people, and the computer would not scan our passports easily. However, all that was quickly forgotten once we got onboard. The ship has the ... Read More
Embarkation in Miami was a bit slower than last year in Ft. Lauderdale. Computers have replaced people, and the computer would not scan our passports easily. However, all that was quickly forgotten once we got onboard. The ship has the same layout as the Freedom that we sailed on last year, so we were quickly reacquainted with the layout. Food was waiting for us on Lido, and of course, alcohol as well. :) We prefer our room on Lido deck for the convenience of it. Our rooms were ready as soon as we got on the ship, which was a pleasant surprise. Our luggage arrived fairly soon. The staff onboard were friendly and hospitable. We ate at the early seating in the formal dining room where we had a wonderful team to wait on us. Food was very good - lots of choices. We ate in the Steakhouse one night, which is well worth the $30 per person. The filet mignon was delicious, and I rarely eat red meat. For breakfast, my husband and I eat on Lido from the buffet. Sometimes the lines were a bit long, but they move relatively quickly. I love the omelette making station. The line typically moves fairly quickly. The guys loved the burger joint in the afternoon. The only problem was that a lot of the food stations were shut down in the afternoon leaving only burgers and fries as a choice for food at those times. We tended to hang out on the Promenade deck where the band was playing outside the casino. We enjoyed the music. The bartenders were wonderful, and they knew our husbands quite well by the end of the week! They all had great senses of humor. It was beautiful sailing into St. Thomas. We took the excursion to St. John's, which has breathtaking blue water. It was a bit disappointing as we had to wait over thirty minutes for the ferry so it cut our time down on St. John's. Our time there was rushed, and we did not get to shop near the pier. Returning to St. Thomas we had an enjoyable stop at Senor Frogs. In San Juan, we walked around old San Juan. I bought some jewelry from a local person who makes it. It was nice getting back to the ship early with no lines to wait in to get back onboard or for food. Sailing into Grand Turk was amazing. The water was so beautiful, and it was quite surprising how close to shore the ship was able to dock. We walked down the beach to Jack's Shack which is a bit less touristy than Margaritaville. The shows and comedians were very entertaining. Jamie, the cruise director, was extremely vivacious and perfect for her job! I don't know when she sleeps! There are many activities going on all the time. There is no excuse for boredom! Debarkation took a bit longer than expected since we had an early flight, but it all worked out. We have already made deposit for a future cruise, and we are considering the Southern Caribbean out of San Juan next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We went on the Carnival Freedom 4/15 as a family of three (father age 62 and two daughters age 26 and 23). We have each been on 2-4 cruises in the past all with Carnival. Embarkation: We drove to Port Everglades and parked there. They ... Read More
We went on the Carnival Freedom 4/15 as a family of three (father age 62 and two daughters age 26 and 23). We have each been on 2-4 cruises in the past all with Carnival. Embarkation: We drove to Port Everglades and parked there. They have covered parking lots that are gated and I did see security driving around in golf carts so I didn't worry about leaving our car there. It took us about 45 minutes to check in once we got inside the terminal. The longest part was waiting in line for our sign and sail cards, some of the employees were blaming it on a slow internet connection. We have cruised out of Port Canaveral before and the terminal seems to belong to Carnival their signs and banners are everywhere and the terminal its self is much more comfortable. In Port Everglades all the employees were working off of laptops and everything seemed a little more make shift but it ran smoothly and we had no complaints. On our last cruise we sailed out of Port Canaveral my one complaint is that once we went though all the lines and then once we got on the ship we had to wait forever in a line on the outside deck because it was taking a long time for them to scan everyone's sign and sail card in. On this cruise they scanned the sign and sail cards in the terminal and it went much faster. Going through security was very easy. I saw them ask people to take off their belts, hats and sunglasses but no one had to take off their shoes and I never saw them pat anyone down. The metal detectors seemed much less sensitive than the ones at the airport. Food: We really enjoyed all the food. We ate breakfast and lunch on lido deck several times. For breakfast they have omelet stations, scrambled eggs, potato's (prepared different ways on different days) fruit, cereal, bacon, sausage, toast and more. I liked the breakfast a lot and always really like their scrambled eggs. For lunch they have different themes on different days but most days we ate from the deli or the grille station which had nachos with homemade salsa, nacho cheese and sour crème. They also had good cheeseburgers and French fries that are a lot like McDonalds. On our last sea day after lunch they had a chocolate extravaganza on lido deck that had all different types of chocolate things including lots of different chocolate cakes and a chocolate fondue station. One night they had a late night buffet on lido that was Mexican themed, I did not care for that as much but a lot of the food they had included seafood which I don't eat. We ate in the dinning room every night. We had the my time dining, most nights we were able to walk in and sit right down but if we couldn't we were given a pager that will work anywhere on the ship. There were a few nights where we choose to wait to sit with a waitress we really liked and got to know. All the food in the dinning room was excellent. My favorite thing from the dining room was the bacon mac and cheese that they served on the last night but the prime rib, flat iron steak and chocolate melting cake was very good too. We also ate in the dinning room for lunch a few times on sea days to avoid some of the congestion on lido deck. The food seemed similar to what they were serving on lido deck but it did have some diffrences. Room service gives you options of different salads, snacks, sandwiches and deserts. We also sometimes ordered room service in the morning which gives you continental breakfast options. There was one morning that room service was running behind about 30 minutes but they called and let us know they would be late and asked if they should still deliver. Late at night when we ordered room service there were also sometimes that it was slow taking between 30 and 60 minutes for the food to arrive but they always let us know when we called to place the order how long it would take. They serve pizza 24 hours a day and we also liked that for a late night snack the pizza is surprisingly good. The coffee they serve on deck 5 is an extra charge but well worth it. I didn't care for the coffee they served on lido deck and through room service. Drinks: We purchases the unlimited bubbles program on the first day with entitles you to unlimited soda. It came out to about 41.00 with tax and everything. We also purchased alcoholic drinks which were expensive but strong. I would say that alcoholic drinks cost between $7 and $12 on average. Cabin: We were in cabin 8205 which is an inside cabin all the way forward. Our room steward was great she cleaned our room twice a day. We always bring extra hangers and unpack our suitcases and stick them under the bed to save space. The bathroom had more storage spaces than other Carnival ships I have been on. There were plenty of shelves to allow us to stack all of our stuff in there. The room did have a mini fridge stocked with soda and alcohol. We asked the room steward to remove all the drinks from the fridge so that we could use it. The cabin was set up with two twin beds one on the right wall and one on the left with two small bedside tables in the middle. The 3rd bed came down from the ceiling and you have to use a ladder to get up there like a bunk bed. There was also a table with a big mirror to sit at and eat or do make up and there was also a small free standing table that could be moved around the room. Ports: We stopped in Key West, Grand Cayman and Jamaica we preplanned an excursion in every port and bought all the excursions through Carnival. In Key West we purchased the on again off again trolley ride. While all the shore excursions are a little bit expensive in my opinion I thought this one was one of the best value for the money. It was $30 per person and the and with the trolley we felt like we got to see everything there was to see in Key West. As they drive along they do give you a tour and point out different points of interest and tell you a little bit of the history of the island. You can get off as much or as little as you like and you end up right back by the ship. Key West is a nice town that is mostly for drinking and shopping but they also have some very nice beaches. We thought Grand Cayman had the best shopping. We went on the tour by land and sea. The first part you go in a partial submarine boat and you see the reefs, lots of fish and two sunken ships. The captain of the boat actually gets in the water and feeds the fish for you to see. We had a lot more fun than expected. The second part of the tour they take you around to see some of the different sites, it was a nice way to see a lot of the island in a short amount of time. In Jamaica we did a shore excursion where you ride mini boats to Dunne River Falls. The mini boats fit two people plus a guide. The ride was fun and lasted about 30 minutes or so and as a nice way to see Jamaica and it was gorgeous there. We climbed the Dunne River Falls which is like a big waterfall. You do need water shoes to climb the falls. It is not an easy climb but we all were able to do it with out a problem and it was one of the highlights of the trip. If you have not been to the falls before in Jamaica you need to do this at least once. The one drawback in Jamaica was how pushy people are trying to sell you everything. Once you get to the top of the falls there is an area set up with lots of little makeshift stores all in one area and it was like a maze trying to get out and started to get a little frustrating with everyone trying to stop us to sell us something. Activities: There was always a lot to do on the ship and we tried to go to more of the activates onboard than we have in the past. We went to 2 of the shows at night. The shows were ok, the performers were good and the sets impressive but the quality of the show not quite as good as one that we may have paid for back home. We went to the past guest party which was like others we have been to in the past, their entertainment staff is there, they show a short movie they show, and they gave away a free dinner at the steakhouse. They also had drinks and oeuvres. We went to the towel animal folding demonstration and they actually give you towels and show you how to fold them. The serenity deck area (adults only area) was very nice and surprisingly quite compared to the main pool area on lido deck. As a smoker my only complaint was that there was no area on serenity deck where you were allowed to smoke. It seems silly that you should have to sit down by the noisy pool area with all the loud music and kids running around to smoke. Debarkation: Pulling back into Port is was a little rainy that morning and they let us off at a different port than the one we left in. Carnival provided free shuttles to the parking area which was quick and efficient. I was surprised the driver didn't even ask for tips. We ended up getting off the ship late (about 10:30 by the time we went through customs). There seemed to be a problem not sure if it was with the terminal or the weather but we spent our time sitting up on lido deck and it was fine. I kind of preferred having a little more time and not having to rush off in the morning. When we got back to our car we realized that we had left a light on in the car and the battery was dead. In less than five minutes we found a security person riding around who was able to give us a jump. All and all we had a great cruise, the staff was amazing, the food was great and the atmosphere was always fun. Now that we are back home we are already planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Just returned home from the April 7-14 Eastern Caribbean cruise and what a great time we had. How anyone can sail on the Dream and not have a wonderful time is beyond me. We booked a year in advance and kept track of reviews to get an ... Read More
Just returned home from the April 7-14 Eastern Caribbean cruise and what a great time we had. How anyone can sail on the Dream and not have a wonderful time is beyond me. We booked a year in advance and kept track of reviews to get an idea of what to expect. Some reviewers had me wondering if we'd picked the wrong ship, but boy were they ever wrong. It must have been jaded veteran cruisers or overly picky people because we were very pleased with our cruise on the Dream. Embarkation was smooth and quick. We live in Jacksonville, so we left home at 9 am and were having lunch on board at 1 pm. Port Canaveral has it down to a science, very well run. We paid $120.00 to park in the terminal garage for 7 days. We had a cove balcony cabin, #2353, deck 2 and mid-ship. Quiet and secluded, a very nice hideout from the hustle and bustle on the upper decks. With a queen bed, sleeper sofa, and pull down bunk, it was perfect for my family of four. There was plenty of room and storage too. We were under the Crimson Dining Room, which is only open for dinner so it was silent while you slept. Bring a bungee cord to hold the balcony door open and enjoy the sound of the ship pushing through the swells. I highly recommend this category of cabin. Our room steward, Jean from Haiti, was very good. We all enjoyed the towel animals he made for us. After a day or two, he got used to our schedule and came and went while we were out and about. We gave him some extra cash the last night. We went to all four family comedy shows, and most of the production shows. I think we missed one. The comedians were all pretty good and Dancing in the Streets is not to be missed. The Fun Force break dancers are the best entertainers on board, catch as many of their shows as possible, they are that good. Cruise Director Steve was a hoot and a nice guy to talk to. Assistant Director Corey is a Drew Carey look-alike, and a very funny guy too. Don't miss their performances in the Carnival Legends show the last night at sea. Great stuff! We layed in the sun and sat in the hot tubs. The boys swam in the pools and used the slides. Played mini-golf a few times. Lost a little in the casino. There are lots of activities to choose from, or you can find a secluded spot and just chill with a book. We found the food to be pretty good and the many options and times fit our schedule well. We enjoyed breakfast in the Scarlet Dining room the most. If you aren't in a hurry, it's the way to go. Our favorite lunch venue was the pasta bar. Made to order pasta dishes brought to your table. It was only crowded once in 7 days. The Indian Tandoor food was spicy and flavorful. I really enjoyed it. The Lanai grill is another great lunch option with burger sliders and grilled quesadillas. With all these options, I only went through the breakfast and lunch buffets maybe 3 times all week, but even these were fine, with the lines moving along quickly. There is also 24 hour ice cream and pizza, which was always good. For dinner, we would sometimes eat in the dining room as a family, or just my wife and me. The sushi was a big hit, and also the deli. We might eat sushi at 7:00, then some pizza between shows and then room service at midnight. We like the anytime dining option obviously. We never made it to the steakhouse, even though we wanted to. Maybe next time. I just don't understand all the criticism about the food. Was everything perfect? Of course not, but unless you are some kind of foodie snob, you should be pleased with the options and quality available. In Nassau, it was such a short stop and since we had been there before, we just stayed on the ship. Five other ships in port that day which was Easter Sunday and most shops were closed. Used Fury Charters in St. Thomas. They picked us up at the cruise dock, no need for a taxi ride. We sailed to Buck Island and snorkeled with sea turtles. Very well run excursion. In St. Maarten we used Soualiga Destinations. This was the best excursion I have ever been on in my life. We left from a marina very close to the cruise dock, a 15 minute walk. We were in a small group (18), and actually cruised around the entire island. First we paused briefly to watch the planes land at the airport, and then visited 2 awesome snorkeling spots on the French side. After snorkeling at Creole Rock, we stopped, waded ashore and had lunch at a funky little beachside bbq joint on Pinel Island, very cool. Then we snorkeled some more at Tintamarre Island. Lots of turtles there feeding on the grassy bottom. Finally we cruised the rest of the way back to the cruise ship docks. This all took about 6 hours. What an incredible day. You can look up Fury Charters in St. Thomas and Soualiga Destinations in St. Maarten on Tripadvisor.com. Good companies if you want to get out on the water and enjoy these beautiful islands. I know this is a long review, but we had such a good time, I don't want to leave anything out. My advice is to do everything, see everything and eat everything on the Dream, try it all. Relax, you're vacationing on an incredible ship visiting beautiful places. Don't worry, be happy! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
8 out of the 11 in our party were first time cruisers and we ranged in age from 2 - 75 years old. We selected the Dream based on value and there seems to be something for everyone. My family of 4 (husband, 7 and 11 year old sons) flew ... Read More
8 out of the 11 in our party were first time cruisers and we ranged in age from 2 - 75 years old. We selected the Dream based on value and there seems to be something for everyone. My family of 4 (husband, 7 and 11 year old sons) flew into Orlando the day before, rented a car one-way from Budget for $30 and drove to Cape Canaveral. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral - nice hotel, very clean and close to the port. Free Wi-Fi (connection was spotty in our room, better in the dining room) and hot breakfast which made it easy for us. We were able to see the Carnival Dream docked from our hotel. On Saturday morning we woke up early, had breakfast and then spent sometime on Cocoa Beach while waiting for the rest of our family to arrive (they flew in the morning of the cruise - which was fine but exhausting as they had to wake up at 3am to catch their flight). The line up for the shuttle at Budget was crazy - we waited almost an hour for the shuttle to take us to the port. The embarkation process was very easy and quick and we were on the ship and at the buffet on Lido deck by 1pm. Our luggage and rooms were ready by 1:30pm. Highlights: - there were very few kids on the ship (the Camp Carnival counselor mentioned something like 200) so there was no line up for water slides and lots of space in the pools - did not notice the crowds, line ups for food was very quick - Wasabi sushi bar was delicious - we would get "sushi appetizers" every day before heading to our early dining in the Scarlet - our servers in the Scarlet (Erwin & Robie) were awesome, they were very friendly and accommodating to our requests. Robie greeted me by name the second morning at the buffet breakfast - our room stewards were great, very friendly and efficient - ship was very clean - we saw people cleaning all the time - there was lots of activities to keep everyone busy on sea days - mini golf, pool, hot tub, water slides, trivia games (my son won a gold Carnival Dream ship on a stick which he is so proud of!) - we really enjoyed the pastrami sandwiches and smoked salmon from the Deli as well as the Tandoori Grill with fresh naan bread No so highlights: - the kids were not too enthused about Camp Carnival - as I was dropping off my younger one, two of the counselors were yelling at each other and they look exasperated most of the time. Our boys only went twice, they would rather hang out with us - they could have utilized their seaside theatre a lot more, most of the time it was the Carnival Dream logo showing on the big screen. We did enjoy the movies at night with popcorn. - I did notice the sewage smell, especially around the elevators on Deck 7 but it wasn't all the time - the layout of the ship was frustrating at times and took us 3-4 days to figure things out. There were a couple of times that we had to go up one floor, across and back down one floor to get to our destination or run through the dining room to get across to the other side.... Overall, everyone had a wonderful time and we are already thinking about our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Went on back to back, Eastern and Western on Dream from Port Canaveral. Left on a Friday, drove 4 hours, stayed at the Cocoa Beach Suites, a few miles from port. It was a block from beach, Waffle House and Taco Bell next door. Paid $98.00 ... Read More
Went on back to back, Eastern and Western on Dream from Port Canaveral. Left on a Friday, drove 4 hours, stayed at the Cocoa Beach Suites, a few miles from port. It was a block from beach, Waffle House and Taco Bell next door. Paid $98.00 for staying 1 night, 2weeks (14 days) keeping my car, and van to take us to and from port. Very good deal. This trip was our 17th and 18th cruise. This was our Anniversary cruise. Van dropped us off, was on the boat within 30 minutes. Met a wonderful couple, shortly after getting on boat, We changed our Dinning room and table to be with them after the first night. They made our trip wonderful, lots of laughs and memories. Also had great lido and Dinning service, knew some of them from previous trips with Carnival. Had room 9211, long walk from elevator pushing my husband in wheel chair. Nice inside room. Didn't like ship at all, its nice and clean, but not wheel chair friendly. Food was fine, drinks were great, casino winnings over $1000.00 (slots), Husband got Free drinks 10 out of 14 days in casino with the points on players club. Got lots of extras, being VIP, Players club, and gong back-back. We got a discount on price of cruse with players club, $75. both weeks in casino, chocolate strawberries and $15. coupon for pictures each week. $100. room credit for each week for the 2 future cruise we had purchased the last cruise. A bottle of Champagne and fruit basket between cruises. Did have to be escorted with about 14 other people to customs off boat, took about 30 minutes, then started our 2nd week. Still Love Carnival, just not the Dream.Nassau stayed on ship. St. Tomas took carnival ship excursion, lift up the mountain. Was told it would be a short walk from ship and a few stairs to climb and wouldn't be able to leave wheel chair there. It was a very long walk, couple of flights of stairs at bottom and top of mountain. Once on top, had to go to their parking lot to smoke. There is a place to leave wheelchair. This was a waste of our time and $40.00. Didn't know we could have purchased 5 cartons of cigarettes and alcohol while there and could declare them. St. Martin (shopped), Cozumel (Fat Tuesdays), Belize (30 min. tender, looked around) Rotan (Senor Frogs) and Costa Maya (Big pool, shopping and Fat Tuesdays. The Dream is too big and crowded for us to get around with wheel chair, but did enjoy ourselves. The trip is what you make of it, nothing in life is perfect. We will definitely be going on another Carnival cruise in November. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
April 21st we were welcomed aboard the Carnival Dream along with 43 of our family and friends to join in my husband and I wedding ceremony and reception. Our cruise was a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise. My husband, our infant daughter ... Read More
April 21st we were welcomed aboard the Carnival Dream along with 43 of our family and friends to join in my husband and I wedding ceremony and reception. Our cruise was a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise. My husband, our infant daughter and I boarded the cruise ship VIP status because we had a ocean view suite. If traveling with children, it was worth the extra money to to get thru so quickly. We did not wait in any line at all and were treated like gold. We were able to get into our room almost immediately. Our room was much nicer than the regular staterooms but a suite on a ship is more like a regular hotel room. The views from the balcony were stunning and all of the windows were so beautiful for waking to sunrise in the morning. Housekeeping service Our housekeeper, Ihar was amazing. He came to introduce himself almost immediately as we arrived to our room. He always spoke to us by name and was so pleasant, accommodating, and prompt. It seemed as tho every time we left our room he had our room cleaned again. He had my wedding gown steamed the night before the wedding and returned to my room within a couple hours. The steaming of my dress was perfected and only cost $22.50. He was always available to ask questions and was very personable. Dining We had a large group of people and within our group we had 2 guests who are on gluten free diets, 2 guests who are vegan vegetarian and my 3 year old nephew with a severe nut allergy. Alina, the hostess went above and beyond for our group. Every evening she came to our table to ensure that everything was going well. She commented on the fact that my nephew was not eating his meals (as we had late dining). She arranged that he have his (nut free) meals sent to his room via room service every evening at 6 so that he would eat his meal. His parents were extremely impressed by her offer to do this. The other dietary issues were also dealt with very well. My cousin who is vegan and has celiacs disease (gluten free), celebrated his birthday while on the ship. Alina was able to have a cake made to suit his dietary requirements. She was wonderful to our entire group. Our server Fransico was also excellent. The wedding The wedding was absolutely beautiful. Aline (the dining room hostess) was actually the person who seemed to coordinate everything. She met us by guest services to guide us off the ship to have our license signed in port of St Thomas. She also came to our stateroom and took our wedding favours and decor and set it up beautifully in the reception. The actual wedding coordinator (thru royal ocean events) was late for the ceremony therefore we could not start the ceremony on time. She left immediately following the ceremony. Basically she brought the music cd for the ceremony and that was about it. Once again Alina did absolutely everything. She stayed with us through everything. The reception room (caliente room) was beautiful. I could not believe it was actually the disco it looked so different and elegant. The food was delicious and we got lots of positive comments on the reception. I found that the reception was a little short but it allowed people to go visit the island for a few hours before leaving St Thomas. Overall the wedding was beautiful. I did bring my own silk bouquets I had ordered on etsy.com from artseero as the boquet on the ship is a multi coloured mix of tropical flowers and I preferred all white for the entire wedding party. We got the chocolate and strawberry filled wedding cake and it was beautiful and delicious. I must say I was very impressed with the reception. The photography was exceptional. I did not think that I would be overly impressed but much to my surprise I ended up purchasing the most expensive package available because they were absolutely stunning. Overall our experience was wonderful. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was so beautiful. I hope this helps. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
On April 28th we set sail on my 7th cruise, Nan's 10th. We were sailing to the Caribbean on the Carnival Dream. It took two years for me to get the price I needed in order to take this cruise. We usually cruise on Carnival Lines and ... Read More
On April 28th we set sail on my 7th cruise, Nan's 10th. We were sailing to the Caribbean on the Carnival Dream. It took two years for me to get the price I needed in order to take this cruise. We usually cruise on Carnival Lines and try to leave from Port Canaveral since it's only minutes from our home. We also have a very good deal getting to the port. The Econologe on US 1 in Cocoa has a very special deal, you can park your car for free and take the shuttle bus for $10 round trip to your ship at the Port. Truly, a deal you can't beat. Usually, embarking is a breeze on a Carnival ship, but this time when we arrived about 12:30 p.m., there were a few thousand people waiting on very long lines to board the ship. I usually order a wheelchair for my sister when we travel, but this time I simply forgot and there we were waiting on the longest line i ever saw. I left Nan standing on line and went up front to see if I could get a wheelchair. The red shirt woman I spoke with said that I would have to wait on the line, go thru the security check and when i got upstairs I could get a wheelchair and then come back down for Nancy. If I did all that, once I got upstairs, why would I want to come back down again. I wandered around until i saw a blue shirt man and he was certainly more friendly. it took him a few minutes, but he got a wheelchair and we got Nan into it and he took us immediately through the waiting people and right through security , then he brought us upstairs to get our cabin keys. a very lovely man who went out of his way to be helpful. Again, he had passed the crowds and took us directly up to the sign in desk. the gentlemen there also went out of his way. He got our paperwork done, got our keys and actually took us directly onto the ship. This was positively the largest ship we had ever been on and it was beautiful. We always take an inside cabin for several reasons: one the cost is usually so low that we can afford to take 2 or 3 cruises a year, the food served us in the dining room is the same as the higher priced cabins, the shows the same, the room service the same, the cabin service the same. and the cabins are the same size as most of the potholed cabins. This ship holds 4,300 people and on this cruise it was full, but because of the size of the ship you really didn't notice that many people. he Dream is absolutely my idea of what a ship should look like, Art Deco style. Our cabin was certainly large enough, with two single beds, two closets, a desk, and a small refrigerator. The bathroom was just fine. There was plenty of room to get around comfortably. Frankly, we do not spend that much time in the cabin anyway. This sailing was a little different for me. as soon as we stepped on the ship, i felt it swaying. Nancy thought I was nuts, as she said we were in port not on the ocean so how could it be rocking, but never the less it was and I felt it. By 6 p.m. that same evening I was so dizzy from the rocking that I could barely walk. I went down the corridors holding on to the walls and looking like a drunken sailor. the dizziness got worse when we were out at sea. I could barely do anything. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and decided to call the nurse. I thought she'd think I was nuts, but the way I felt was ruining my trip, so called. I mentioned that I could feel the ship rocking and it was making me very, very dizzy. She told me that I had a form of seasickness. There were two types of seasickness, one made you nauseous and sick to your stomach and the other manifested itself in dizziness. She suggested that I call room service and ask for the pills. They cost about $4 for 6 pills. I called, they delivered, I took and soon felt much better. I did meet a few other people with the same problem, they too could feel this ship's movement. I have never had this on any of my other cruises. We usually do not get off at the ports because we've been to most of them several times before, but this time we not only got off, but took a tour in Belize. It was advertised as: City and Althune Ha Ruins Tour. We were very disappointed. The "City" part of the tour consisted of driving through some streets on the way to the ruins and pointing out some houses. No shopping, no stopping, no nothing. When we got to the ruins we could not actually get to them because of the distance from the bus to the pyramids over rough ground, so Nancy and I and one other woman sat on a bench while the others did the climbing. So for a grand total of $70 each we got a bottle of warm water. I do not recommend this tour for anyone up in age, or with walking problems or heat problems, even though it's listed as moderate. The other item I did not like was the change in the food service. The portions were smaller which was perfectly okay since you can order as much of anything as you desire, anyway. There were also several things I usually look forward to that were sorely missing from the menu. On the formal dress evenings there has always been escargot and duck, both were blatantly missing from the menu. Instead of the escargot they offered stuffed mushrooms not a worthy substitute as far as iI was concerned. And now on the left hand side of the menu they listed "Comfort Food" that being meatloaf and fried chicken. I don't know about you but I DO NOT cruise to eat meatloaf and fried chicken. Also the soup selection was a big disappointment. There use to be several different soups available, from cold to fruit. Now there were two and they were nothing special. One night they did offer a Thai soup that was delicious and upon asking if they still had any left the second night, they did not. Obviously, with the economy the way it is, the food service is where they have chosen to cut corners and for people who are not frequent cruises on this line, I'm sure they were delighted with what was offered, but for those of us who do this frequently, it was a disappointment, big time. The service is exceptional, the waiters, head waiters, maitre d, people who clean your room and leave little towel animals and chocolates on your bed, those at the information desk, tour desk and just everywhere at great. They are pleasant and go out of their way to be helpful. The ship is absolutely spotlessly clean and they are at cleaning it day and night. we didn't get to many of the shows because i really didn't feel well enough during this cruise. But usually the shows are good and worth seeing. There was one little kind of funny thing, we couldn't seem to get the lay of the ship. it seemed that where ever we thought we were going, we wound up the entire length of the ship from where we wanted to be. Usually within a day or two we have the ships layout under control, this ship is so big we just couldn't get it together. All in all we had an excellent cruise, as I mentioned I just loved the decor, this is by far my favorite ship as far as looks go, and the service was great. We were called to disembark about 10am. We had breakfast in the dining room and called for a wheelchair. it arrived and we moved swiftly off the ship and through customs without a hitch. We did find out while we were on an elevator, when we arrived, with some men from Coast Guard that the reason there was such a hold up with getting people on board timely was a problem the Coast Guard had and they wouldn't let anybody board until it was settled. Really we had never had this kind of problem before, usually embarking goes very smoothly and within a short time your on the ship and in your cabin. Would I take another cruise on this ship, you bet your bippy I would. First of all I do not believe in making a final decision on something unless I try it at least twice. Good or bad, the first time you try something could just be a fluke. Besides, on these cruises they always offer the purchase of a certificate for a future cruise. The cost is $100, that $100 is used towards the price of the next cruise and a $100 credit is also given to be used on your Sign and Sale card. We use it toward the gratuities, so we will be returning.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My Husband and I cruise the Carnival Magic 04/15-22/12 sailing. I have broken this review up into categories instead of days. Overview: We arrived at the port around 1230 noon. There was traffic but it was very organized. We were ... Read More
My Husband and I cruise the Carnival Magic 04/15-22/12 sailing. I have broken this review up into categories instead of days. Overview: We arrived at the port around 1230 noon. There was traffic but it was very organized. We were able to unload our bags and make it through check in. The lines were long but they were moving. We were assign zone numbers for boarding. We made it on board at 1:30pm. We were able to go to our cabin and drop off our carry on. We were off to explore the ship. On boarding day they will advise you to go to the lido deck for the buffet but the Italian restaurant is open as well and is free for lunch. There is no lines and no waiting. Pasta is made fresh and is very good. The Indian food bar is also open. The fitness center is not huge but it gets the job done. Besides you are not going to spend your whole day in there. The machines were new and fitted with the latest technology. I have read previous reviews from those complaining about the long lines at the buffet. After this cruise there is nothing anyone should complain about. With all the options to eat, you do not have to eat the buffet. Carnival has done a great job making sure that you have dining options. with over 3600 people on board, there will occasionally be lines, however you can prevent standing in a line if you refer to your fun times which has the opening and closing time of each food venue. Ship Overview: The ship is very nice. deck 5 and 10 are the main decks. There are seating all around the pool area and on deck 5. The staff is very nice and they are always cleaning and smiling. The main shows are in the theater located on decks 3 and 4 and the spotlight lounge are located on deck 5 aft. The muster drill is different. Instead of standing outside in the heat, you escorted to your muster location inside the ship and the crew demonstrate to you how wear the vests. After that we were off to get a good spot for the sail away. The have kiosks that allow you to check your account on board and with draw cash out. That way you will not have to stand in line. There are computers spots located all over the ship if you feel you need to be connected to the outside world. Food Overview: We ate breakfast in the buffet and the main dining room. The food was great. DH ate omelets and pancakes everyday. I enjoyed the hash browns and sausage. We ate lunch in the Italian restaurant. They have a free pasta bar that cooks to order. It was very good. We ate there for 12 per person on Monday night and the food and service were great. We ate at the pizza shop, burger place,and sushi. They all were good. Most nights we ate in main dining room which was fantastic. The wait staff really makes the meal even better. There are a variety of options so you should never find yourself starving or waiting in lines. One place that stands out is the Reg Frog Pub. The food and signature beer is so good!!!! You must try this place before the cruise is over. Entertainment Overview: You can choose to relax and lounge around or you can choose to be active and the many things going on around the ship. We mostly lounged around the pool area during the day and saw shows and went to the vibe club at night. Make sure you get there at least 30-45 minute early so that you will have a chance to get a good seat. We played in the casino and won. We found that if you go around 2 in the morning, your chances are better. There were the usual activities around the pool area that was fun to observe. We also found comfy seating at the tides pool which is at the back of the ship. The adults only area was a very nice addition as we did not travel with kids and wanted to get away from other people children. Over all we really enjoyed it and was sad to leave the ship. I look forward to planning another cruise with carnival on one of their other new ships!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My wife and I recently took an Eastern Caribbean Cruse On the Magic. First off the room was awesome. The coves are almost completely surrounded and very private. The actual balcony does not get a lot of sun or wind. During a rain storm ... Read More
My wife and I recently took an Eastern Caribbean Cruse On the Magic. First off the room was awesome. The coves are almost completely surrounded and very private. The actual balcony does not get a lot of sun or wind. During a rain storm they are the only balconies that you can still sit out and watch. The view was spectacular! Coincidentally we were just above the door where the pilot boats pull up and load and unload their officers while the ship is pulling into port. It was very cool to see them jumping on and off the ship. We spent most of the daytime on our balcony and would explore the ship at night when its a lot less crowded. The serenity deck was great and very comfy. The Lido deck was a lot of fun as well as the sports deck. The entertainment was our favorite part. Imani in The Piano Bar was the highlight of the trip. We spent 4 out of our 7 nights with him. He is great on the piano and has a amazing voice. he could sing and play like 200 different songs and they were different types of music. The comedy club was a lot of fun as well. We got to see 4 different acts and they were all funny. Also there was a juggling show that was really good. The guy juggled knorches(knife and torch taped together) on a unicycle. It was very cool. The dining as top notch. We did anytime dining and it worked out very well. The steakhouse was worth every penny. Take a camera to take pics of your plates. They did a great job. The Cucina de Capitan was really good as well. Room service was very fast. We would leave what we wanted for breakfast and what time we wanted it and they were there on time every time. This made the mornings nice because we didn't have to go upstairs for anything until lunch. Overall, the ship was beautiful and the crew was very friendly as well. Our room was well worth the extra money. My only complaint is the main deck. It confused us until the last day. There is no through access and the dining rooms are most of it. Besides that, it was very manageable. I really liked that the promenade deck wrapped around the ship and had hot tubs. We didn't really use the spa. The gym is very nice and has modern equipment. We are already looking into booking another cruise on the Magic soon. Hope this review helps out!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We sailed on April 29, 2012 and Magic turned one year old on May 1st. Carnival had a very nice celebration. The night before our cruise we stayed at Gaido's Seaside Inn in Galveston. It was a nice, clean room with a wonderful ... Read More
We sailed on April 29, 2012 and Magic turned one year old on May 1st. Carnival had a very nice celebration. The night before our cruise we stayed at Gaido's Seaside Inn in Galveston. It was a nice, clean room with a wonderful staff. Many of our fellow cruisers were also guests at Gaido's, so we got to meet some people early. Getting onboard was easier than ever. We parked in Lot B, first dropped off the luggage, parked the car, went through embarkation and was on the ship in less than an hour. We could have left our car for free at Gaido's, but we opted not to. Our stateroom was ready by 1:00 p.m. We had an 8-E balcony on the 9th deck, cabin 9271. It was a prime location and the cabin was very roomy. The balcony was small, but it held two chairs and a small table and was perfect for the two of us. Our room steward, Heru, was absolutely wonderful. He always remembered our names and kept our small cooler full of ice. About the cabin, I would recommend bringing: A powerstrip, a small oscillating fan (for white noise), your own pillow and your own hair dryer. Also bring a small collapsible ice chest. You can also bring two bottles of wine and 12 sodas - which we did. I also ordered a bottle of rum from Bon Voyage. We also brought a 2 quart plastic pitcher and a container of pink lemonade crystal light packets. We made all our own drinks. This may be too much, but I also brought two small limes, a knife, cutting board and a bottle of cherries - we had really good drinks! The cabin had 3 closets and lots and lots of storage space. The bed was very hard (I like a soft bed), and the pillows were too firm for me (I like down feather). Since this was my 11th or 12th cruise, I knew what to bring to keep me comfortable. I brought the extra drink-making ingredients because we had a party in our room for some fellow cruise critics and was able to give everyone a good drink (I also brought a roll of plastic cups). For the party, I ordered a cheese tray from Bon Voyage - it was really, really good. I absolutely loved our cabin. It was by the elevators, looked down on deck 5, had a smooth ride, and we could still hear the water and waves. The Magic is a beautiful ship - it is well laid out. We loved the Serenity area, the Northern Lights restaurant, the Steakhouse (surf and turf, extra yummy), the Red Frog pub, the buffet, room service - well, we loved everything! It was so nice making friends on Cruise Critic before we cruised, many of us felt like we already knew each other and it was really nice. DH and I always cruise alone - this cruise we did not feel alone - everywhere we went it seemed like we knew someone and that was totally awesome. The people we met all were wonderful and I hope that we have the opportunity to cruise together again. We had a Meet and Greet and 97 people signed up. Wonderful turnout. We went to several of the shows and the late night comedy club. We also watched Movies under the Stars - it was dreamy. We had perfect weather throughout the cruise. In Jamaica we went to Sunset Beach - this was our third time going there and it did not disappoint, it was a perfect day. We stayed on the ship in the Caymans - we have been there many times and I had hurt my foot so did not want to do a lot of walking. In Cozumel, we went shopping and drank some good tequilla and made it back on the ship in one piece(thankfully!) We loved Magic, the staff was incredible, the ship beautiful and the friends we made all warmed my heart and made our cruise so extra special. I cannot wait to cruise Magic again. Getting off the ship was just as easy. We were Group 20 and we were off the ship and in our car heading back to Dallas at 9:30 AM - home at 2:15 and back to reality. This was a perfect vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This was our 7th cruise, and our 2nd on this boat. The embarkation port (Charleston) is convenient to us since we live in SC. Getting on the ship was fast and painless. I wish all ports went this smoothly. Both times we went on this ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise, and our 2nd on this boat. The embarkation port (Charleston) is convenient to us since we live in SC. Getting on the ship was fast and painless. I wish all ports went this smoothly. Both times we went on this ship we were through security and on the ship in about a half hour. The ship itself is one of Carnival's older ships, but it was totally refurbished a couple of years ago and looks great. It carries about 2500 guests and about 1500 crew. Lines for breakfast/lunch/dinner on the Lido deck are usually short or non-existent and go quickly. The food is fabulous as far as my wife and I are concerned. And there's always plenty available to eat 24/7. The Mongolian grill is a favorite, as are the omelet stations at breakfast. We enjoyed this cruise and will probably do it again. We only wish Carnival could offer more ships/itineraries from Charleston, but the downtown local rich folks are trying their best to kick Carnival out of Charleston with a law suit. They don't want the cruise riff-raff walking around their neighborhoods. We hope Carnival wins and the new cruise port terminal building is completed and more ships come to Charleston. Our only complaint about this ship is that there are limited number of deck tables/chairs on the open decks and discourteous people throw their personal effects on them to "reserve" them all day long. Carnival's policy (on every night's Fun Times put in every stateroom) clearly states chairs/tables cannot be reserved, and personal effects left for more than 30 minutes will be removed to free up tables/chairs for other guests. IF CARNIVAL WOULD SIMPLY ENFORCE THIS POLICY IT WOULD BENEFIT ALL GUESTS. Unfortunately the policy is not enforced so we spent an inordinate amount of time every day walking around looking for open tables/chairs. Many are left unused for hours on end but "reserved" by people that leave their personal effects on them. At one point we actually asked security if they would remove the effects of a couple that had gone inside 2 hours earlier and left their personal effects to reserve a table. The security office just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. We finally found an open table an hour later, and the couple that we saw leave came back for their personal effects after 4 hours and then didn't even stay to use the table they had been holding for 4 hours! Steams my clams how some people have no regard for others around them. When you cruise on any ship please DON'T BE ONE OF THESE DISCOURTEOUS PEOPLE. CARNIVAL - YOU NEED TO START ENFORCING THE 30 MINUTE RULE FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL GUESTS! REALLY! We chose to self-assist to disembark back in Charleston and we were off the ship and through customs in about 15 minutes. Very smooth. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
My wife and I along with 10 members of her family embarked on a 5 night cruise on the Carnival Fascination Feb 27th - March 3rd. We arrived at JAX airport at 11:00am the day of the cruise and utilized Carnival's deluxe coach ... Read More
My wife and I along with 10 members of her family embarked on a 5 night cruise on the Carnival Fascination Feb 27th - March 3rd. We arrived at JAX airport at 11:00am the day of the cruise and utilized Carnival's deluxe coach transportation to the Carnival JAX Cruise Port. The cost is $15 per person each way which is about the same as a private taxi depending on traffic. Watch for the Carnival employee waiving a sign at the airport transportation centre. You do not have to pre-book this, the cost will be added to the on-board account. Arrived at the port around 11:30 and it took over an hour and half plus six requests for picture ID before boarding the ship. Carnival really needs to address handling this. Other cruise lines we have been on have not had this issue. The bottle neck was caused by security scanning. There were two scanners for the regular passengers and one exclusively for premium members. There was also a great deal of confusion dropping off luggage, better co-ordination with employees and security personnel is required. Upon boarding we headed to the Buffet on Lido Deck for lunch. As just about all passengers showed up the same time there were no tables to sit as everyone plunked there waiting for cabin availability. Our Balcony Cabin E-98 (7th deck) was ready by 1:30. This ship was recently renovated and the balcony's were added during the last re-fit. The cabin was well appointed with a king size bed, plenty of closet space and drawers. TIP: bring a power bar or extension cord as there is only one plug in the vanity area. The bathroom was large compared to other ships we have been on with plenty of space in front of the large sink and shower. Everything was functional and appeared new. The balcony rooms are limited and well worth the nominal extra cost. There is room for 2-4 people depending on chair placement. Instead of a sliding glass door there is a separate door and window. We never felt closed in at any time, the bed was comfortable with plenty of various pillows to suit all needs. We found no hairdryer, however they are available upon request. Our room attendant (can not remember his name) was excellent keeping the cabin clean several times daily and greeting us with a smile. All ship personnel went out of their way to greet us with smiles. Our group opted for the 6:00pm dinner seating in the Sensation dinning room. Our waiter and assistants were very attentive providing excellent service. It was a nice touch to be greeted by name each evening. The food was on par with the other cruise lines we have used with a varied menu each day featuring specialty dishes or the usual "comfort foods" such as burgers, chicken, steaks etc. Deserts were also yummy and changed daily. We used the Lido Buffet for both breakfast and lunch. Although selection seemed more limited than other cruise ships, there was usually something to eat other than the ever popular burgers and fries. Seating can be tricky especially at prime eating times so I would suggest breakfast before 8:30 and lunch before 12:00 or after 1:30 to avoid lineups and no tables. At the very back of the buffet there is a pizza and sandwich bar as an alternative to the mass produced typical buffet selection. Lemonade, coffee, tea and ice tea is offered free of charge as well as orange juice in the morning. If you like specialty coffees there is Starbucks type coffee bar on Deck 9, Mid. As Carnival is less port intensive then the other cruise lines sea days are very relaxing but crowded around the pool area on deck 10. Activities are planned all day long to keep you entertained. Both hot-tubs and the pool are usually overcrowded especially with children. As an alternative I would suggest the adults only Serenity Deck at the rear of the ship on deck 9. It has two hot tubs and plenty of deck chairs. The new slide at the top of the ship is a real rush for you water sport fans, one of the best ever on a cruise ship. There is also a 9 hole mini-put available inside the walking track. Entertainment is a hit or miss most nights. There are only two Broadway type shows during the cruise and both are a must see. In addition there is an adult only comedy show in the Puttin on the Ritz theatre. Get there early as seats are at a premium. The cruise director Jen kept a pretty low profile which was nice not having her in your face constantly like on other cruise lines. Both Key West and Nassau were good ports with plenty to see and do. Port times are a bit weird but workable. Plan to be on the top deck when departing Jacksonville to see just how close the smoke stack clears the bridge. The cruise down the river is also very entertaining. Debarkation went very smooth. When our luggage tag number was read we were off of the ship and awaiting the airport bus in less than 15 minutes. If you are a non US citizen you are required to clear US Customs and Border Protection at 7:00am in the Passage to India lounge. Make sure you have your passport and US Immigration form filled out prior to lining up. You will also have to clear same upon picking up luggage and exiting the port terminal. Although this was a long review, we tried to touch on several areas that make up most of your cruise experience. Please feel free to email me for any information. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Our first time cruise but after the Conquest, WILL NOT be our last! We did as much research as we could prior to taking the cruise (including reviews, boards, articles) so we would know what to expect. I recommend this to everyone who is ... Read More
Our first time cruise but after the Conquest, WILL NOT be our last! We did as much research as we could prior to taking the cruise (including reviews, boards, articles) so we would know what to expect. I recommend this to everyone who is taking a cruise. I'll follow the Cruiser's Choice Poll for this review. Embarkation - Much smoother than we thought it would be, especially considering two large ships were dis-embarking and embarking passengers. We arrived early (10:15) and whizzed straight through with no lines. We were lucky enough to begin boarding at 11 (vice the 12 advertised). We were on by 11:30. Overall thoughts about the ship - After being in the Navy for 30 years, the cleanliness and preservation of a ship gives me a pretty good idea about the crew. The Conquest was REALLY clean and WELL preserved. This really jumped out to me when we moored opposite another Carnival ship which had rust, black marks and overall dirty appearance. I have to commend the Captain and crew! Cabin - balcony cabins are the only way to go! As expected the bathroom was small and you NEED to bring a power strip (there's only 1 plug in the room). The steward (Angel) kept the inside clean and the crew washed the glass on the balcony at least THREE times the week we cruised! Fitness and Recreation - didn't partake, but heard lots of great comments from those that did. Dining - we had the anytime dining in the Renior Dining Room. Service was GREAT as well as the entertainment (HELLLLLOOOOOO!!!!) Stay away from the chocolate melting cake! After having it EVERY night, it added way too many pounds LOL. Although we did not personally experience it, we heard very NEGATIVE comments from passengers dining in the Monet Room, none of which we experienced in the Renior. So I would recommend the anytime dining in the Renior. Lines were not too long for breakfast so we went through the buffet for breakfast. We tried breakfast in the Monet once, but wasn't impressed. Stick with the buffet. Pizza and sandwiches were great. Our expereince overall was very positive. Ports - we went to three ports, Key West, Freeport Bahamas and Nassau Bahamas. We enjoyed Key West the best. Least favorite was Freeport as it was too hard to get out of the industrial area and to the city. Carnival could stop going there and no passengers would miss ANYTHING! Only thing that we thought Carnival could do better was to sell the pictures cheaper! They take them constantly and we would have liked to have purchased more, but NOT AT THE PRICES! Prior to the cruise I read alot about Carnival pressing the sale of alcohol. I saw it but was not offended by it. No biggee. OVERALL - Was REAL impressed with out cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click