A group of us decided to take a cruise for spring break. Many of us had not been on a cruise before so we figured we would give it a shot and see how it went. I can tell you right now we will not be rushing back for another cruise, ... Read More
A group of us decided to take a cruise for spring break. Many of us had not been on a cruise before so we figured we would give it a shot and see how it went. I can tell you right now we will not be rushing back for another cruise, especially from Carnival. I am not sure where to start exactly but I will do my best. There were both positives and negatives from our trip so I will do my best do highlight those. (We did have a travel agent from Carnival help us book this reservation.)
The ship, is old, small, and should not be in use. Nothing about the ship is impressive in the modern day, yeah it is cool that something that big floats, but what you see is what you get. The ship did not stop rocking from when we left the port to when we got back, and we figured the first day is just us getting used to the sea but we spoke to a man that had been on 7 cruises and we asked if this is normal and he said no. He said that he had never been a ship this rocky for this long. The weather we had was beautiful and there was no rough seas or real reasons I could think of as to why the ship is so rocky besides that fact that it is old and the technology is outdated. Many of my friends got sea sick including myself, and when you laid down for bed you could really feel it rocking.
When you pull up to the port the ship is less than impressive, it is an older ship and it seems Carnival has not done much to change that. I will applaud them though that the boarding/check in process was a breeze so yay Carnival for that. We get on the ship around noon and our rooms are not ready till 2pm, which was not mentioned to any of us, so we were stuck holding our bags for a couple of hours, not a huge deal but I do not see how the rooms cannot be ready, anyways we made our way to the Rum bar on the pool deck. Yes pool, there is 1 single pool for the whole boat of 2,000 people, so we steered clear of that. The whole deck is dated, the "wood paneling" is old and needs to be replaced, the pools, water slides, stairs everything is way too old to be in use and you can tell.
The rooms were old, but we were balling on a budget so we fit 4 people in an interior room and we made it work. We did not spend any time in the room besides sleeping and changing for dinner. I did not get a chance to see many of the other rooms but the cruise line did a great job of making you feel like cattle, no matter where you went or what you did it was always jam packed. The rooms was older which made it feel not clean and the sheets from the beds were not clean after every night. The interior rooms had a King bed, and two twins that pulled out of the wall, so we rotated beds every night and the staff just switches the sheets from bed to bed, but does not clean them. My girlfriend asked the cleaning service if we could get clean sheets because there was a mark on some and they responded with "Do you see how many rooms there are? We are very busy today." My reaction was, yeah no surprise you are busy, you know how many people are gonna be here and you know how much time it takes to change all the sheets, so clearly that part of the ship was unorganized After we dropped our stuff off after our room finally opened on the first day, we made our way to lunch.
Anyways the food, our first day, we got lunch at Guy Fieri's burger bar and it was delicious, the burgers were very good and the toppings bar was diverse so you could create whatever you wanted. But, unless you wanted pizza, burgers, or tacos you were out of luck, I think there was a lunch buffet but that was not made clear to us at all, and we found out there was a dinner buffet the second to last night. We had dinner reservations in the dining room and besides the incredibly small portions it was actually pretty good. Our server was very attentive to us and the food did not take too long to make, so for dinners with that many people I was actually very impressed that on average dinner was an hour maybe an hour 15 minutes for a 3 course meal. So that was nice and the quality of food was pretty good, the menu was a little disappointing. Not much varied from night to night, there was steak, chicken, pasta etc. If you wanted a nicer steak or lobster tail that was a 20 dollar up charge, which is ridiculous so none of us got that.
We all ordered the drink package and overall we were satisfied with it, but there were only a few bars and those on average had 2 bar tenders so the waiting time for a drink was high. The Alchemy Bar was by far our favorite bar because the drinks were more mixology and better ingredients, so they took longer to make and they only had 2 bartenders and those bartenders would try and make 7 drinks at a time which is impressive but takes more time for everyone and steered us away from that bar. The overall nightlife was disappointing, the first night we went to the club and that was a good time but we did not see it open any night after that and basically everyone ended up in the casino, so the ship could make more money. Towards the end of the trip I realized that this is all a money scheme and they took advantage of that everyday.
Events, there was a couple comedy shows at night that were hysterical, but during the day there was NOTHING to do. They had "posture improvement seminars" and stuff that you had to pay more money to do, like slot tournaments, bingo, and poker but those all had buy ins. There was a show and only one of us went to see it, because it was during dinner and she came back 10 minutes later because it was "terrible". That being said there was very little to do during the day besides drink and lay by the pool, which for the most part we were fine with, but once you've been on the ship for 4 days and want stuff to do that becomes boring.
Our first stop after a day at sea was Princess Cay, and what a let down that was. We were all so excited that this is our first stop, we wake up and see the island and got so excited. The pictures looked absolutely gorgeous and we were told our drink package would work on the island and none of that was true sadly. We took a shuttle ferry over to the island and the water was clear like I had never seen before, but once we got to the island, it had nothing on it activity wise, unless you wanted to pay $75 for an "excursion". We get to the bar, which was all run by Carnival employees because the island is owned by Carnival, but our drink package did not work and a beer was $8 while a pina colada was $10, so we did not drink. Therefore, we had been given false information by employees which was disappointing. So we went to look for excursions, or places to walk, explore etc. there was none of that. We found chairs on the beach and we sat there, that is al you could do unless you wanted to pay more money. The beach was not even a beach, it was a slab of concrete with "sand" on top with chunks of concrete in it. I say "sand" because it is basically powdered concrete. We then go and get lunch, and there are 4 buffet lines which probably took 20 minutes just to get the food. They had some good "local" food, jerk chicken, rice casseroles etc, but besides that a burger tasted like a hockey puck and there were flies around the food everywhere, which did not give me much of an appetite. So anyways we do not stay there long since there was not much to do, and getting the ferry back probably took 15 minutes waiting in lien to get on. That was because the carnival employees had to load stuff to take back on the ship on our ferry, I feel like they should have had their own ferry with all that equipment because it took up time and space. Overall Princess Cay was very disappointing and left us all pretty bummed out.
Nassau was great, there was much more to do there and we really enjoyed our time there. No complaints besides the tourist traps in Nassau that are way too expensive, but that is not the cruise ships fault, so nothing they can do there.
Overall the trip was very disappointing, the way carnival advertised it, I was expecting a much nicer trip and customer service, but those were both below par. After we got back, we reflected on the trip and it is safe to say none of us are going to be rushing back for a cruise. Also Carnival makes it very difficult to contact someone on their website to leave a review, so hopefully someone from Carnival sees this and contacts me. Read Less