My first cruise. Husband and I wanted a quiet weekend away that was budget-friendly and many friends had suggested cruising; we chose Carnival because it was the cheapest of the lines leaving the weekend we needed to fill. A person who ... Read More
My first cruise. Husband and I wanted a quiet weekend away that was budget-friendly and many friends had suggested cruising; we chose Carnival because it was the cheapest of the lines leaving the weekend we needed to fill. A person who gets car sick, I was terrified of being sea sick, so chose the shortest cruise I could find for my first try. I wore the wrist bands and took a Dramamine each night, and was truly fine, despite the storm.
I found this ship to be less than advertised with one tiny pool, two overcrowded hot tubs in the Serenity adults-only area, and roving bands of rowdy drunks. We were glad to have a balcony where we frequently holed up, enjoying the quiet and the view. Our room was comfortable, small, but plenty of room for our meager things and frequently tidied.
Service was amazing, down to the last person. Everyone was attentive, knew your name, and engaged you to have your best time.
Embarkation was easy and we chose to board around 11am and enjoy a few drinks before the set sail party, which was lively and a good time. Debarkation was equally easy. There were people queued up like cattle, but I imagine it's the same on every ship. We travel with only our carry bags. Locals, we can't review the hotels. And as a pair of adults, we know nothing of the children's clubs other than we rarely saw children, which was fine.
Drinks were perfect every time. Specialty coffee was delicious. Food was not great. We enjoyed our first meal in the dining room, but not the next two, and found that the buffet was often closed, out of items, or certain sections were closed nearly every time we checked it out. It was very difficult to eat healthy on board as the salad bar that was full on embarkation day was never there any other time we looked.
Entertainment on board was mixed - we enjoyed the piano bar and the shows that we took in, but the magician Leo was a skilled showman, if not a very dexterous magician. For a ship in partnership with Hasbro, their game selection in the library was dismal.
We found the ship to be clean, well maintained, and well staffed. There were plenty of out of the way places to sit and read, but none of them were outdoors as those area were swarming with drunks. The bar/wait staff should cut people off, or ask them to quiet down, but that never seemed to happen.
There was a hurricane happening, and Carnival waited until 8am on the day of sailing to notify anyone of changes, which was that we would be spending the 2nd day at sea instead of the 3rd, which then changed to keeping the same schedule, but spending only half a day in port. We rearranged our plans, not having booked an excursion, knowing the storm may cancel it anyhow, and just walked to the beach, which was lovely. The area when you leave the ship is full of people shouting at you like carnival barkers - selling bottled water, snacks, hair braiding, scooters, tours - very pushy and uncomfortable. When we got back to the ship, the itinerary changed again and we'd be keeping the original plan and staying overnight. This would have changed our day in Nassau as we'd have rested the day on the ship and gone to Atlantis in the evening, but by then I'd sprained my ankle and was in for the rest of the day - which is no reflection of the ship, of course. Read Less