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20 Carnival Expedition Cruise Reviews

It was apparent from the start that Carnival is trying to enhance their bottom line, often at the expense of their "guests". The so-called "shows" were pathetic...almost all dancing, and even that not well done. The ... Read More
It was apparent from the start that Carnival is trying to enhance their bottom line, often at the expense of their "guests". The so-called "shows" were pathetic...almost all dancing, and even that not well done. The costumes were second rate as well. Our room was a nice size (mini-suite), but the decor was in bad taste. It had a "glitzy" feeling....oranges, golds, pinks, etc. Around the fifth day, someone came in and installed some more granite in the bathtub area....but, they left the drain and four screws out....it was not not possisble to get the water to the shower position w/o getting soaked in the process. We did have a good cabin attendent, but we tipped him every night to encourage the service. The martini's were good, and were filled to the brim by freindly bartenders (one of the better parts of the trip) Unfortunately, the food was pathetic. We ate in the dining room one night; that was enough to convince us not to come back. We ate one dinner in the Steak House (extra charge) that was very good. The rest of the time we ate at the buffet, which was fair to medium...not on par with buffet's on other ships we've been on. I have sailed on Holland America, Princess and Celebrity in the past, and I can truthfuly say Carnival is nowhere near the caliber of service offered by these lines. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Boarding was very smooth, but a bit long in Seattle. Our luggage arrived to our room without any issues. Tough to get elevators when you first board because of the elevators being used for baggage movement. It was perfect having a ... Read More
Boarding was very smooth, but a bit long in Seattle. Our luggage arrived to our room without any issues. Tough to get elevators when you first board because of the elevators being used for baggage movement. It was perfect having a cabin with french doors so you could open them and get fresh air. It didn't matter that we had an obstructed view by the life boats, as long as we could get fresh air. We had the doors open every night. The cabin AC didn't seem to work well or at all. Room safes are locked by using your sail and sign card. Only problem with this is if there are two of you and one of you uses your sail and sign card to lock it, your spouse or cabinmate can't open it unless you are in the room. Would much prefer a number coded locking system like in most hotels. The overall food was very good. The dining room food was perfect every night. The choices were plentyfull. The wait staff was great. Not pushy. Not fake. The nightly wait staff show was always entertaining. All other food choices were good to very good. Some breakfast items were not warm enough and eggs were watery at times, but overall no complaints. There was ice cream and frozen yogart 24/7. Cabin was always kept clean and neat by Jeffrey!! He also always made sure we had ice in our room. I think they actually cleaned/entered our room 3 times a day. A very multi-cultural staff was always pleasant and willing to assist you. No matter where you were on the ship. The spa services were good, a bit pricey I think, but good. I had a message that was good, but aftwords they sold me a bunch of stuff that I didn't really want or understand that it was costing me money until she brought me my receipt to sign. I ended up returning it all the next day and received a full refund. I went to a "reduce back-pain" seminar. Was surpsised to find out it was an informercial for the Good Feet product. However, I ended up buying a set of Good Feet for $189, which they said was $90 off of the regular retail price. And the kicker, they actually worked at reducing my back pain!!! The casino is rather small and at times can contain the usual idiots that you will find in any casino. Most of the dealers were nice, some were very difficult to understand due to their language barriers. It rained almost the entire time on the cruise. BEWARE!!! All of the commercial (not locally owned) stores you will find in every port you go to. There are smart shuttles to take you from the pier to the stores. 2$ each way or 15 minute walk. In the rain, I'm paying the 4$!! Multiple stops in town so you can get off an hop on any where. My reccomondation, get off at the start of the route and get on at the other end of town. Easier to get a shuttle with open seats. We took the Jeep Adventure tour. Not what we expected. The excursion information led us to believe you were 4-wheeling in the back country for 5-5.5 hours. Not the case. You end up driving a highway for about 63 miles. Great views, but its a highway. The stop and let you get out at the half way point and then take you up a mountian road to do some 4-wheeling in an open area. Fun, but thought we would be doing that the entire trip. On our way back, it started snowing. The Jeep did not handle well in the snow. I also don't care for bridges or hieghts. My wife ended up driving a lot. In the Canadian territories the driving was better for me. Some nice commentary over our radios by the lead tour guide, who is not native to Alaska. Overall, I'm glad I went on the excursion, but woulndn't reccomend it if you also take the train ride like we did. The train ride was great. Juneau was the best shopping place for us. We were the next to last cruise for the season. Most everything in the stores were 30-50% off or MORE!! Kick myself for not buring more in Juneau. Not enough time in port to do excursions and shopping. My wife and I split up. She did the white water rafting tour which was great. Ketchikan was a nice little port. Smallest of them all, but still not enough time in port to shope and do excursions. We watched the lumberjack show, which I didn't want to see, but it was very good. Great funny guys and great at what they do. Reccomend the show. Still not enough time in port!!!! Victoria was supposed to be our last port, but we never made it there. The schedule had us in port for 4 hours, which I think is a waste of time. Not much to do in 4 hours at all by the time you figure on debarking and embarking times. As we were coming in to Victoria, we were told that the winds were to strong for us to dock....????????? Found that very intersting. We ended up anchoring in the bay for several hours and then continuing on our way back to Seattle. Now, the problem with this is that as soon as you enter Canadian waters, the shops and casinos have to close.............so, no casino or on-board shopping while we were sitting in the bay. NOT GOOD!! They did add a couple of onboard shows and bingo, but that was it. They should have compensated us monetarily for missing a port. They did reimburse us $17.85 for the taxes and port fees for Victoria, which they didn't have to pay because they didn't dock there. I would strongly reccomend dropping the Victoria port in lieu of adding more time to Ketchikan and Juneau. This was my biggest complaint of the entire cruise and I heard it from a lot of other passengers as well. Overall, I would give the cruise an 8.5 out of 10. Good and plenty of food. 95% of the staff were great. Bed was fantastic, in fact much better than most hotels I've stayed in. Never woke up when they docked. Drinks are a bit expensive, especially after they add their mandatory 18% gratuity. Average drink (Crown Royal and 7up/Siera Mist) was nearly $8.00. I didn't choose to buy the all you can drink card because I wouldn't have drank enough each day to be worth it. They need to make this cruise either 8 days instead of 7 and/or drop Victoria from the itinerary. That would make this a much better cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
After spending many hours researching our Alaskan cruise by reading other reviews, I knew I had to write my own review at the conclusion of the trip. So, here's my report which will focus on the ship and the excursions, none of which ... Read More
After spending many hours researching our Alaskan cruise by reading other reviews, I knew I had to write my own review at the conclusion of the trip. So, here's my report which will focus on the ship and the excursions, none of which were booked through Carnival. We overpaid for the airport transfer but only realized that after we'd booked and no refunds were allowed. Even though it was expensive, it worked flawlessly with minimal waiting at the airport and our bags showed up at our cabin, so not many complaints there. Boarding the ship went pretty well. We got on around 2:00 (4:00 departure) and had printed all of our documents in advance. The entire process was about 30 minutes. Our cabin was a 7A type (#5175) and the view was considered partially blocked but it really wasn't bad at all. I would recommend this if someone is looking to save a few hundred bucks. The first night we opted for dinner in the Nouveau steakhouse based on other reviews. It came with a complimentary bottle of wine and was delicious. I also heard that dinner in the Empire room was great that night. Carnival now offers "all you can drink" booze for a set fee per day. We did not opt for this but a few friends did. I don't believe they got their money worth (it equated to about 8 beers per day, and considering some days were spent at port, it was just not possible. Although they gave it a gallant effort!). We instead smuggled booze on using Rum Runners and then bought bottomless bubbles. None of us are soda drinkers so a full week of soda + hard liquor was definitely numbing. I do recommend the Rum Runners, though. Also, an added word of warning about the unlimited booze - every person in the cabin has to buy it. One of our friends doesn't drink and her husband wanted the bottomless booze but they wouldn't let him purchase unless she did too. To start out with a full day at sea was a bit rough and I got cabin fever quickly. We started the day with a workout (check out the small track up near the mini golf/basketball - it was quiet and peaceful each morning and a nice alternative to the treadmills) followed by breakfast. We all got pretty sick of the food at La Playa grill on Lido deck 9 by the end. Otherwise, there was not much to do. We hunkered down and played cards in the game room and also gambled a little. Dinner in the Empire Room was delicious. We chose Your Time dining (billed as "Dine when you want, with whoever you want") and decided to try to dine with our friends who had a 7:45 set time. However, the billing should be "dine with who you want, when you want, as long as they have Your Time dining too" because we ended up having to change to the 7:45 dining at a reserved table for the rest of the week in order to join them. The first port town was Juneau. It was cold and rainy. We went whale watching with Captain Larry and Orca Enterprises. I highly recommend this. Orca is the last privately owned tour. The guides on the boat were HIGHLY engaged and enthusiastic. We saw hundreds of orcas and a dozen or so humpbacks. We were cold and wet at the end and were happy to warm up with a Duck Fart from the Red Dog Saloon before re-boarding the boat. (We did see a bear downtown while we were wandering!) The walk back to the boat was FAR and my friend slipped and sprained her ankle near the gangway which was a bummer to happen so early in the trip. It was also a very slow embarkation process of about 45 minutes to get back on the boat. No fun standing around in the cold rain in that kind of weather! The next day was Glacier Bay and that was pretty incredible. We took the recommendations of some others and spent about half the time in our room, snuggled under the comforter. We ordered room service and were underwhelmed - not many offerings (fruit, cold cereal) to be had on the menu. The second port was in Skagway. We booked a private tour through Matt at Skagway Van Tours. It was nice and Matt was very accommodating and stopped for all of our many photo requests. We went to the Yukon, checked out the little village of Carcross, and headed back to town. Skagway is home to about 400 people according to Matt and lacks for entertainment. We had dinner back on the boat and it was good (the dinners all kind of blur together and all I really remember is the chocolate cake for dessert each night...) The next day we docked in Ketchikan. This was the highlight of the trip. We checked out Creek Street (do NOT miss!) and then had a float plane. We booked it through Shore Excursions Group but I found you can save $55 by going directly to the aviation company. The company we used was Southeast Aviation. Check out their website and book directly with them. WHAT A GREAT TIME! Mark, our pilot, was super fun and kept flying us around for close-up wildlife sightings. He also landed us in a cove to search for a bear (which we didn't actually end up seeing). I can not say enough good things about Southeast Aviation - I'm even sporting my brand new t-shirt from them right now. The final day was supposed to be a cruise of the Inside Passage but who knows if we actually cruised there or not. It was so foggy we couldn't even see the water from our balcony. Many times we noticed we weren't moving at all due to bad visibility. This made for another long day at sea. Our final port was in Vancouver, docking at 7 a.m. We had a flight back out of SEA so had a one-way rental and then a drive back, and wanted to be first off the boat. We got up at 5, ate some breakfast, and then got in line a little after 6. Actually, we WERE the line. Debarking was a little chaotic - haven't they done this before??? - and we couldn't find anyone from Carnival who knew where to go. Finally at about 7:30 when there were dozens of people lined up, they ended up moving the entire line to another area of the ship to exit, merging with some people who were already there. We were off the ship and through customs by about 8. Since we were at the front there was no customs queue at all. Overall, I can't say I would recommend this cruise completely. The ship is horribly dated in the common areas, and is very tacky/cheesy. Since we are about 30 years younger than the average Alaskan cruiser, maybe this is appealing to some. But the port towns were fun and I highly, HIGHLY recommend each of the excursions we did. I would not have done it differently if I did it all again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
My husband and I traveled on the 7 day southern Caribbean itinerary on the victory. We are a young married couple (24 and 25) and have traveled a lot and in all different parts of the world. This is our 5th cruise together (only one other ... Read More
My husband and I traveled on the 7 day southern Caribbean itinerary on the victory. We are a young married couple (24 and 25) and have traveled a lot and in all different parts of the world. This is our 5th cruise together (only one other on carnival). My husband traveled on cruises frequently as a child with his family, and earned enough days at sea to be considered a platinum member. After our honeymoon last year on the carnival liberty, we intended to avoid carnival this year, however this itinerary was too good to pass up (only one at sea day!!!). The platinum membership was a great convenience to have. We received priority check in (no waiting in line), priority line at guest services, a dessert tray sent on the first formal night, free 3 bags of laundry, and a party with free appetizers and drinks! The ship is old. My husband traveled on it as a kid 10 years ago and reported that it has not changed at all. The decor is outdated, however, the crew does a nice job of keeping it clean. We had a balcony room, which is a downgrade from our honeymoon suite. The room was spacious and well kept, however the bathroom was horrible. It was TINY, as to be expected, but the grout was coming up and the toilets had a black ring of what looked like carbon. Additionally, the hair dryers in the rooms are horrible! Ladies, bring your own dryer!!! The shower pressure and temperature in the showers is inconsistent. We started off on the odd side of deck 8, in the center. This seemed to be the perfect location, however, we could hear ALL of the noise from the lido deck. Particularly the scraping of deck chairs and tables early in the morning and late at night. I am a heavy sleeper and even I was woken up by the constant scraping of the chair legs against the floor. We request a room change immediately, and were graciously given one after the second night. We were moved to a balcony on the even side of deck 8 toward the front of the ship. This room was MUCH quieter, the TV was newer (the previous tv was from the 90s and had discoloration on the screen). The food was much improved from our last carnival cruise last year. We were very pleased with the food and service throughout our vacation. The entertainment on the ship was mediocre. The first 2 comedians were fantastic, although carnival has them perform in the punchliner, in the adriatic lounge, which is frequently too small for the amount of people in the audience and there are a lot of people left standing in the back. The singers and dancers were OK, we were not impressed and left halfway through one of the shows. The magician was also OK. The juggler was wonderful, we loved that show. The final 2 comedians were awful and not worth watching. Many people were offended, we however just did not find them to be funny. We loved the ports of call. All off them were different and amazing. We highly recommend doing the catamaran with cool runnings in Barbados. It was our favorite excursion. Overall, we enjoyed our vacation. Because carnival is an affordable line, it attracts a less affluent crowd. We still favor royal Caribbean over carnival, but did enjoy this cruise and chose it (as we always do) based on itinerary, not cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We took the Carbival Legend out of Tampa in May and had a wonderful vacation. We paid extra for the aft cabin with the wrap around balcony and it is very very worth it. We had 270 degree views and never found ourselves fighting for beach ... Read More
We took the Carbival Legend out of Tampa in May and had a wonderful vacation. We paid extra for the aft cabin with the wrap around balcony and it is very very worth it. We had 270 degree views and never found ourselves fighting for beach chairs on the main decks. Every night we were on the balcony watching the sunset and cracking a bottle of wine with some cheese... Here are our tips when taking this cruise - On the Legend, if you are lucky enough to stay in a aft corner balcony stateroom, stay away from the 5th deck. Those rooms are significantly smaller than the other floors due to some electrical components. - The boat is a bit dirty after 10+ years of service but nothing terrible - Go to the gym any day but the 1st. Seems like everyone gets lazier as the cruise goes on but day 1 is a zoo at the gym. - Bring a few bottles of wine on board. Will save you a lot of money on board. They are pretty lax with the size and quantity rules. But dont bring a bottle you could not handle losing if you have a watchful xray user. - The cave tubing and zip lining in Belize require an hour bus ride along some bad roads. It is like spending 2 hours in a dryer. NOT WORTH IT for a few seconds of fun.. Try a beach excursion instead... - Roatan is the best island out there. There is a very commercialized beach right next to the dock but I would suggest spending a bit of money to go to one of the private beaches. We found some of the best beaches we have ever seen in Hondurus - The Caymans are very Americanized. This is the island to go do water sports, dive, scuba, dolphins, etc. You are not missing much on the beach. - If you have some time in Tampa, stay at the Vinoy Hotel in St Petersburg. Wonderful place with tons to do.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My wife and I (mid 30s) recently took the 8 day Southern Caribbean Cruise (3/1/12 - 3/9/12) on the Carnival Miracle. Kind of a second honeymoon. Though we travel together often, (as I enjoy her company, which I find best for the ... Read More
My wife and I (mid 30s) recently took the 8 day Southern Caribbean Cruise (3/1/12 - 3/9/12) on the Carnival Miracle. Kind of a second honeymoon. Though we travel together often, (as I enjoy her company, which I find best for the marriage) neither of us have been on a cruise in our lives. Carnival did the big picture things really well for us. Food, in particular, seems to be the area most of concern for review seekers and writers. I found it pleasantly surprising in all terms of variety, availability, and quality. We are not really picky people, though. I have extensive experience in the food service industry, so my expectations are usually tempered. I was quickly impressed. My wife was occasionally disappointed in the temperature of the food itself (she was right), but being primarily buffet (even the Bacchus room is a fancy buffet service), there's very little you can do about that. They weren't using real eggs or butter, the hallmark symbols of some serious food coming your way. But, as far as needing to feed thousands of people every eight hours, I was seriously amazed at the amount of quality and variety they were able to offer day after day. For instance, my favorite dish all week (we ate all over ports and paid additional for a night at the Miracle steakhouse, Nick & Noras) was an appetizer at the Bacchus; Smoked Duck with Pomegranate reduction over Thai Rice Noodles. It blew my mind. Another thing Carnival does well is people. Our steward, Fernandy, knew our names without us even introducing ourselves and called us by them every time he saw us. He was quick to answer questions, even ones not related to his specific job. We absolutely qualified the level of service we got as "borderline creepy". It seems we would go to breakfast and come back to the room to prepare for the pool or an excursion and the bed would be made, the bathroom like it did when we first opened the door. We went to breakfast at all hours, too. Like I said, kind of creepy. Servers at the Bacchus were pleasant and attentive, almost offended when you didnt eat. We had occasional general quasiness from the boat, not nausea or anything. Just some nights, you didnt feel like eating an entire half rack of ribs. I did mention the situation to the waiter when he asked, and he was quick to bring fruit and sherbet to the table, which really helped. During an elegant night at the Bacchus, I was asked to remove my hat by the maitre d', which I planned to do at the table. I had some sunburn issues, and didnt want gross anyone out with my peeling at their dinner. It was a nice hat and matched my sportcoat, button down shirt and slacks I wore, but I took it off because she asked. Moments later she sat a guy with a Larry the Cable Guy t-shirt directly next to me, and I was a little offended. Not that he was allowed in, or anything, just that her standards had dissolved so quickly. Someones pride shouldnt be valued or expendable based on the amount of disappointment you are going to hear about, is my point. Have an Elegant night or don't. Have a bathrobe night, you gave one to everyone. Let us wear that to dinner. There were some issues with accents and asking someone in uniform a question and getting an answer to an unrelated, more common, question would happen occasionally. But mostly they were about food or directions on the boat and not about what will get you arrested or involved hundreds of dollars, so good casting on Carnivals part. Not coincidentally, the sales people spoke GREAT ENGLISH. Try not to be surprised at just how well the jewelry salespeople speak English. Overall, everyone was great. Smiles and hellos, knowledgeable, friendly, understanding, understandable. So noticeable was the pleasantness, it was like seeing Bigfoot ride a Unicorn while eating a bowl of mac n cheese when the late night pizza guy openly sighed at us for asking if he had something other than pepperoni at 3am. Again, though, if you asked an engineer who happened to stop at the urinal next to you what time your boat to Sanoa Island was going to stop to pet giant starfish next Tuesday, I'd give you even money he'd know the answer. The room itself was half awesome and half a problem. My review might not help you since it seemed we got a jack of all trades kind of room. Giant bathroom for a handicapped person, but the bed was like two fancy cots put together. The pillows were probably real nice if you sleep on your back, but I sleep on my side and literally felt kind of choked trying to use it. Usually when four pillows are in a hotel bed, 2 are soft and 2 are firm, but these were all basketball shaped marshmallows. We saw an advertisement on the TV that the towels, and bathrobes were for sale and we were considering it. But then the mattresses and bedding were for sale too and we both burst out laughing. The TV itself also was like someone had the turned the brightness all the way down and there was no way to fix that. Not that we watched much TV, but some people might like to not miss shows or feel at home for a night. But the balcony is where we spent most of our time in our room, because what we got was exactly what we wanted there. I have three situations I'm counting as disappointments. Negative events we came across on more than one occasion. One of their casino games is rigged. That a serious charge, and I'd feel strange accusing them of it if I didnt have proof. After paying $60 over three days into the "Casino Vault" machine trying to win an iPad, I noticed strange coincidences. So I used the ships satellite internet (at outrageous cost) to download the owners manual. They changed the name of the machine (actually Sega's "Key Master" which I found out only by suspecting they'd have one in arcade to scam kids, which they did.) They market the game as a skill game, but it's not exactly. You can only win after the payoff lines have been "unlocked", or you miss the skill shot by the default amount set by the casino manager. The way to unlock the payoff line, is to put more credits into the machine than the item is worth (set by the casino manager). I have the owners manual available to any interested parties, please feel free to contact me if you'd like a copy. I stuck to table games until even that felt dirty. At the Serenity deck, people would save cabana seats empty for hours. We went to watch the sunrise at 5:30am and found one woman had gaffled sunrise corner by herself for people that didnt show up until 8. We would have been gone by then to have breakfast and start our day. One woman said she complained to an attendant and the attendant told her that he would go claim one for them, but then she would have felt uncomfortable being neighbors with an asshole for the next couple hours. I can understand that. There should be someone there supervising independently of complaints or a waiting system. They really put the screws to our wallets. Coffee was free, but cappuccinos were $4. Ice cream was free, but milkshakes were $6. Sea queasuiness was free, but Dramamine was $8. One game of Bingo was $30 and they must have paid back around 33% of the winnings with some simple head counting and math. On the last day at sea, they were selling $30 watches for $20 and you'd think they were selling gazelles to lions. People were buying dozens for Christmas presents, like they were savvy. Why not have these deals throughout the cruise and not cause a scene? Because they may not buy a higher priced watch earlier instead, of course. Why do you have to walk through the casino and shops to get to the free entertainment? HAHAHAHAHA It just seemed at every opportunity available, there was a price tag attached. Though, we took those small bummers in stride. Overall, the money was worth the experience and we will cruise again. Might try another company, but I'd still recommend Carnival to family, friends, and you, who read my novel. Thanks for your time. Good Luck on your adventures. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We flew into San Juan the day before and stayed at Cervantes Hotel. This hotel is very nice, and is within walking distance (2 blocks) from the port. They also held our luggage the next day so we could tour the city before boarding the ... Read More
We flew into San Juan the day before and stayed at Cervantes Hotel. This hotel is very nice, and is within walking distance (2 blocks) from the port. They also held our luggage the next day so we could tour the city before boarding the ship. By getting there the day before, we had a very relaxing start to our cruise. Getting through the airport was a piece of cake. Boarding the ship was also no problem. We have waited much longer on other cruises. The boarding couldn't have gone smoother. We found our room to be clean and perfectly comfortable. I also love the nice size bathrooms on Carnival. Now, I will get the negatives out of the way. We usually cruise in May or October/November because these seem to be to "quiet" times. This was not the case. There were a lot of very loud, rude people on our ship. (could this be because of the departing port?) I also did not appreciate the "spanish only" announcements. The other negative had to do in part with the layout of the ship. Deck 5 is the only deck that you can go the whole length of the ship. So why do they have events right in the middle of the only pathway from one end of the ship to the other. This caused major traffic jams. I also felt the dining room food was not quite as good as usual. Back to the fun-even though the ship got a little noisy for our tastes, it was ok because every day we could go into a wonderful port. Our first day (St. Thomas) we went to Megan's Bay. On other cruisers recommendations, we just went out to the taxi stand and took a taxi to the beach. I was concerned that it would be very crowded because this is the most popular beach, but if you just walk to your left a little, the crowd thins out. Day 2 (day at sea) Day 3 (Barbados) This was probably are best day. We booked an excursion on line with Silver Moon. This was a catamaran cruise and snorkel with the sea turtles. They met us right at the cruise port and we had the most fun and relaxing day on the boat. We snorkeled, sailed, had a fantastic lunch, all the drinks were included as well as banana bread and pina coladas for the sail back to dock. They have 2 boats. One for 12 people and one for 24. We went on the larger (24), but never felt crowded. We still had plenty of room to sun on the deck. Day 4 (St Lucia) Here we did a zip line tour with another private company. We used "Treetop Adventure Park" This is a great tour. The guides did a fantastic job (they even took a lot of pictures with "my" camera instead of trying to sell me theirs) Day 5 (St Kitts) We did the Volcano Tour with Thenford Grey tours. Thenford Grey tours is a great tour company. I would not recommend the volcano hike unless you are in EXCELLENT physical condition. The view at the top was breath taking, but the hike is very demanding. It is more than 5 miles round trip, straight up, then straight down. At places the trail (if you want to call it that) is only 10-12 inches wide, many rocks, roots, branches to continuously climb and crawl over. I could not walk for 3 days. Day 6 (St Maarten) Thank goodness we had planned another beach day since I was not able to walk very well. We again took a taxi to Orient Beach. This beach is beautiful as well. It is both French and Dutch, so you will see topless. We heard there were parts that were nude, but did not see any (maybe further up the beach). St Maarten is a beautiful island, we had such a relaxing day. The fact that it only costs us about $35.00 for the whole day was another plus. Back on the ship-We found the evenings on board to be fun as usual. We enjoy the shows, the comics, the games, sing-a-longs, etc. Found the food in the dining room to be a little less than the norm this time, but still very enjoyable. The staff was great, as usual. We usually use the self-assist for debarking. We had to get going a little earlier to do this on this cruise, but to us it was worth it to avoid all the crowds. We were off the ship, in a taxi, and on our way to the airport in no time. Because we arrived before everyone else, we breezed through customs and security at the airport. We had to wait for our flight, but since we had to be out of our staterooms by 8:30 am, we figured we might as well get going instead of just sitting in the lounge waiting to be called. Thanks, Carnival, for a wonderful cruise. Look forward to sailing again soon Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Just got back from our cruise out of new orleans on the ecstasy 7 night to jamaica, cayman, and cozumel. My only other cruise experience was with my then 20 yr old daughter two years ago on the destiny, same port. We had a great time ... Read More
Just got back from our cruise out of new orleans on the ecstasy 7 night to jamaica, cayman, and cozumel. My only other cruise experience was with my then 20 yr old daughter two years ago on the destiny, same port. We had a great time as we had hoped, spent too much time in the casino, but with my lady friend hitting a 450 jackpot and me a 1000 jackpot on keno machine and doing ok at the tables, I can't complain too much about the need for more of the newer video machines. We played bingo which imho is overpriced for the amount of 'playing' you get. $10 for 1 card/20 for 3 is in line with the drink prices I guess. Again, I can't complain because my lady friend won the first $500 game and gambled all week on carnival money. I guess they need to set the price that high for the cruise drawing for bingo players at the end of the cruise. (we didn't win that..) My only complaint about the casino(and this goes for any sitting areas), is I wish I had a sign on the back of my hat that said "no thank you, i don't need a drink"). I understand they need to sell drinks to probably make a profit on the cruise, but jeez, being asked every 5 minutes or less got a little irritating. The waitresses were nice in they way they asked and i'm sure probably got sick of asking, but just a little less would be nice. My expectations were met at all levels. Room size was the ok, as expected, adequate, beds were comfy enough and bath served its purpose. All you do in the room is do clothing changes, shower, sleep when you have time. Not the ritz but the room service people must be ninja's because I never say them. We'd leave and come back to a cleaned room with towel animal. Leave again for less than an hour sometimes and they had the covers pulled back and 2 pieces of candy. Like I say, never saw them, but great service! Main dining room food was excellant! Our head waiter, Louis,( and I just can't say enough about him and the assistants) made our dinners memorable. I'll say that what they may call the entre on the menu may not exactly be what you'd expect, it was still usually delicious. Louis usually brought us 2 choices anyway, he was a mind reader. Melting cake! As I remembered (drooling). I'm trying to think of any restaurant that i've been to where you are treated as well and I just can't think of one, high priced or not, where i've been treated so well. Restaurants in the states should take note. I would value the main dining at a $50+ meal depending, so lets just say food alone damn near pays for the trip. Yeah, the buffet food is more like ponderosa (ryan's, insert name here). Ok, some interestingly good, some not so much. The lido deck with hamburgers/etc was decent enough for a snack. I'll praise the deli/pizza counter for giving us pizza 24/7. Excellent pastrami sammich! Pizza was consistantly good, even at 4am. Food, we thought it was above our expectations, we both probably gained 5pnds, 'nough said. Entertainment was good enough, 'adult' comedy was as expected, we had some good laughs. I find it interesting that there is an art auction onboard. I actually bought some pictures which I find even more interesting. We'll see if I'm as pleased when they arrive in 'less than 10 weeks'..LOL We didn't experience any bad attitude carnival people. Everyone seemed more the eager to please. We booked our excursions online outside of carnival so we saved some $$. Plenty to do at any port, I recommend the rays with snorkling at caymen, we just went to private all inclusive in jamaica, public in cozumel (do the paragliding if you've never done it!), wish the ships would spend an overnight in the ports so we could get more inland time. If you're old and expect more, cruise the holland lines like my 76 yr old mother does. If you can't afford the $9 drinks, buy some rum runners and smuggle in your booze, bring your cokes, refill your 'container' at port and have fun!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Oct. 7 Left home for a relaxing vacation on the Carnival Dream. We drove to Port Canaveral with the Radisson at Port Canaveral as our destination. We arrived as the torrential rains began. We had purchased the Park and Sail package in ... Read More
Oct. 7 Left home for a relaxing vacation on the Carnival Dream. We drove to Port Canaveral with the Radisson at Port Canaveral as our destination. We arrived as the torrential rains began. We had purchased the Park and Sail package in advance. Rooms were adequate for an overnight stay prior to our cruise. Oct. 8 We were assigned a 12 noon shuttle departure for the next morning and told to be in the main lobby at 11:45. We we arrived in the lobby, it was total chaos! Hundreds of people and 1000's of bags filled the lobby and the front portico. I asked the hotel clerk at check-out how I would hear our name being called and she told me that I would be able to hear but of course the 1 person who was attempting to get everyone on the shuttles was outside calling names, and noone in the lobby was remotely able to hear him. Again they had only 1 person attempting to get everyone on the three or four shuttle buses. Of course, the staff blamed the weather for the chaos...they also claimed that the draw bridge had malfunctioned, which we later learned was a total lie...according to the taxi drivers and shuttle drivers. We finally were loaded onto a shuttle to the port at 1:45. I realize that weather played a part, but the staff also used the excuse that there were 3 cruise ships in port which made it obvious that they can only handle 1 cruise ship at a time. They were totally unorganized, and only had 3 shuttle buses making the round trips to the ports. Many people gave up and called taxi's to take them to the port. More later about the return trip...just as chaotic! The package cost $133 plus taxes...total $155...NOT WORTH the HASSLE...fellow passenger staying at the Country Inn and Suites, and other area hotels had none of the same issues...and the weather was the same! Embarkation: After getting to the port, getting on the ship was a breeze...the port staff was very efficient. Since we arrive so late, our cabins were cleaned and ready for us. Our luggage arrived very soon after leaving port. Muster drill was so easy, no standing in rows and rows on the deck. We simply went to the Encor Theater for the safety demonstration! The sail out was quite interesting as we experiences 16ft swells and 65+ winds...even with the Dream's size the ship did alot of pitching and rolling. Many stayed in their cabins sick. Thankfully, I wasn't bothered by the rough seas, and enjoyed a nice dinner in a sparsely attended late seating dinner. Oct. 9 Arrived in to Nassau to beautiful weather and had a nice day visiting the straw market and Atlantis. Oct. 10 Sea Day 1...Fantastic weather. Plenty of sunshine and deck space for all Oct. 11 St. Thomas U.S.V.I. Continued beautiful weather and had a fun day shopping. We loved the port and hope to return sooner rather than later. Oct. 12 St. Maarten...Booked a tour with Benard Tours. The cost was $40 per person. I checked my e-mails and was confident that we were to meet the tour at 9:30am...we were given the wrong time by the company that handled the booking, but Bernard and John jump into action and loaded us into a van and took us to meet the tour already in progress. Super nice people!!! Gizmo was our driver for the day and he was very knowledgeable about the island, both Dutch and French side. He took us to Orient Beach...there was alot to see there...actually more than most people want to see! Part of the beach is a clothing optional beach. We arrived at Maho Beach in time to see 3 large aircraft land...awesome experience...then it was on to a little power shopping before being returned to the port. The entire tour was about 6 hours long, and the bus was supplied with Rum Punch, Beer, Sodas and Bottled water. Everyone really seemed to be having a great time! Oct 13 and 14 Sea Days...again awesome weather and plenty of deck space to enjoy the sun! Debarkation: We did zone debarkation...and we were off the ship by 9:40. We arrived at the pick-up point for the Radisson. There were 50 or 60 people waiting with luggage, some had been waiting for almost an hour. We left and within 15 min. was in a taxi back to the Radisson. Again the 1 attendant at the port was telling passengers that "he was trying to get someone over here to pick everyone up". FYI...the weather was sunny and beautiful. When we arrived at the Radisson, there was much of the same mass confusion in the lobby area as more victims awaited departure to the port. Not sure what their excuse was on that day either. On a positive note, I spoke to a clerk and told them what happened at the port, she gave me the $20 that I spent on the taxi. Again...don't put yourself and family through the hassle that the Radisson puts its customers through...there are better ways to start and end your vacation! Food: No complaints whatsoever! I've been on 6 cruise previous to this one and never tried the specialty steak house. We did it this time...It was Fantastic!! Very much worth the $30 per person! The pasta bar was very good...I wasn't crazy about the Lasagna though. The Buffet seemed a bit limited in its selection, but we only ate in there a couple of times. Breakfast buffet didn't offer pancakes everyday either...bummer... and yes, the bacon police was in full force. Also, grits and oatmeal were served by the staff...we found it 2 days into the cruise. One complaint...on sea days the users of the Serenity deck are force to leave their personal belonging to fetch food at the rear of the ship...one must traverse elevators, steps and the crowds to get food and take it back to the Serenity decks. I don't know why there is no grill or small buffet area in the Serenity area...frustrating! Entertainment: Slots were stingy...Cruise director Butch...Great. For me, the shows left alot to be desired...wife enjoyed them. The shows to me didn't make much sense..the songs didn't fit with the choreography...just confusing...singers generally ok...but some of the music was totally out of their range. Went to one comedy show...it was good. Ship...Loved it! Overall...Great Trip...we loved the Dream and would definitely sail her and Carnival again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Still getting my land legs back and I thought I'd share a few impressions/experiences I had on the Carnival Valor. First, I have to tell you that I read the existing reviews of the Valor. When I first read that the ship was ... Read More
Still getting my land legs back and I thought I'd share a few impressions/experiences I had on the Carnival Valor. First, I have to tell you that I read the existing reviews of the Valor. When I first read that the ship was decorated with a heroes theme I was concerned it would be rather corny. The ship is tastefully decorated, and I was pleasantly surprised. The wedding: We had a few stressful days leading up to the event making sure we had everyones info (i.e. everyone's full name, date of birth, and driver's license number). It would have been nice if Carnival (The Wedding Experience, who conduct the weddings) could have contacted our guests and compiled this information for us. Other than that, everything went great. We opted for guest access to the Lido Deck Buffet, which gave our non-sailing guest chance to get a bite to eat while we got dressed for the ceremony. Our ceremony was held in the Eagle's Lounge. They set it up with a runner and white columns and had a brief rehearsal with our wedding party (minus the bride). They then escorted my wife from our room to the lounge where she was escorted in by her father. We had a 1 hour reception in the Lindy Hop piano bar adjacent to the Eagle's Lounge. The food was excellent and the drink service was on the spot. Our cabin: We had an aft balcony cabin, cabin 7446. The view from the balcony was great. It was also about twice the size (depth wise) of the standard balconies. The dividers between the balconies taper in toward the ship the higher they go, so there is NOT the same amount of privacy on your balcony as a standard balcony. The other downside that no one has mention is if you have bad weather. We sailed the Caribbean in mid-October (hurricane season) and it rained 4 of the 7 days of our cruise. There is no cover above the aft balconies, which is great on a sunny day but sucks when its raining. This is definitely something to consider if your sailing in the fall. The other reviews also were mixed about the service in the dining room. We had 21 people go on the cruise, 4 went with free-style dining (Lincoln), the remaining 17 all did the late seating (Washington). Those with the free-style dining said the service was hit or miss. Sometimes they got a good waiter and sometimes they didn't. The 17 of us in the late seating split up into 3 tables for six. Two of our tables had one waiter and the other table had a different waiter. The waiter at the two tables was terrible (never asked for drink orders, mixed up orders or flat out got them wrong, rolled his eyes at some orders, etc.). The other waiter was great (very friendly, outgoing, always on the ball, even made little animals out of the napkins). After complaining to the maitre 'd about waiting 30 minute to order breakfast on one morning I understood why. The guy gave a half hearted apology and a flat out LIE as to why. I was surprised to see a drink steward in the washroom at one of the urinals with his serving tray under one arm the following night. The problems in the dining room start at the top. If some has a good service in the main dining room, they simply got lucky (not all the waiters suck). Despite the service in the main dining room and the rainy days we did enjoy our cruise. We plan on taking Carnival again, but unless we hear about MAJOR changes in the dining room, we probably will not sail the Valor again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My husband and I have went on 5 cruises, 4 of them on Carnival Cruise lines. This was the first time out of Tampa and I have to say the fastest when it came to boarding a ship. We arrived the day before and stayed at the Rocky Point Inn ... Read More
My husband and I have went on 5 cruises, 4 of them on Carnival Cruise lines. This was the first time out of Tampa and I have to say the fastest when it came to boarding a ship. We arrived the day before and stayed at the Rocky Point Inn which was not too bad to stay at. They are in the middle of a remodel so the wallpaper was torn down in the hallway and sheet rock showing in places yet our room was clean. Not a bad hotel for the price. They do a cruise special were they will pick you up from the airport, take you to your hotel and shuttle you to the port. There is a wonderful restaurant within walking distance called Bahama Breeze. The worst complaint we had about the Legend was the entertainment. It was the same "dance" shows almost every night. There was very little variety. There was one night when there was a juggler/comedian that was good but the rest of the nights it was the same. We ended up going to the comedian shows. It definitely needs improvement. Wonderful Cruise Director!!! We heard from several sources that the Legend will be remodeled soon and that will be a good thing. The layout on the ship was a bit to get us to. Seemed to have a choppy design. Would like to see it once it was remodeled. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We sailed on the magic on sept 4 th from Barcelona, having done the carriibean the year before the first thing my husband and I noticed was---- the food wasn't up to our last cruise,so this time we ate in the dining room, we did find ... Read More
We sailed on the magic on sept 4 th from Barcelona, having done the carriibean the year before the first thing my husband and I noticed was---- the food wasn't up to our last cruise,so this time we ate in the dining room, we did find we got warmer food, as on our last cruise the food was cold every night Our balcony state room was fantastic-- We thought it was us expecting too much with the entertainment, we could not believe John the out standing cruise director ( so HE says) would have those kiddie shows, using the guests as entertainment, wow!! What a insult to our intelligence , and we were told by one of the " props" it was all a setup, Anyway we flew to Venice to do our grease cruise on the norwegian jade, we had been told by bored guests we met on the magic, we would love the entertainment on the jade, we thought yep right! Well we did love it, we could not keep up with the entertainment, and it was nearly as good as broadway. I just had to meet the entertainment officer, to congratulate her, I had the cruise staff in fits of laughter, on our experience with " big fat John,and his entertainment, especially his mornings with Calvin who we loved, and I might add every time Calvin said he was going to leave, because John was insulting him--- we wished he had-- I feel the big wigs-- like the bearded ones as John calls them-- never follow these critic views, if you do reply. Bearded ones We are Aussies, not Americans , so I agree with the London lady Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
A review of the Carnival Glory sailing from New York City on August 22 to St. John and Halifax, Canada. This was our tenth cruise on Carnival and the start of our status a Platinum Members. Embarkation: We arrived at 11:30 a.m. and ... Read More
A review of the Carnival Glory sailing from New York City on August 22 to St. John and Halifax, Canada. This was our tenth cruise on Carnival and the start of our status a Platinum Members. Embarkation: We arrived at 11:30 a.m. and already found that a line had formed for check-in even though that did not officially open until noon. Plenty of porters were on hand to handle the luggage. We quickly passed through security and found the VIP line for Platinum members. Because of that, we were checked-in very quickly. We were then taken to the VIP lounge where other Platinum members were waiting. We were told we would be taken on board first and that a representative would come get us very shortly. Half an hour later, we were still there. After hearing three groups being called to board, a fellow passenger pointed out that the VIP room was still waiting to board. Apparently, someone forgot about us in there. Carnival's customer relations supervisor showed up and took us on board after apologizing for the slip up. I noticed huge general check-in lines that did not seem to move very fast. Thank God we have Platinum status now. Grade: B- Stateroom/Steward Service: We had a balcony stateroom on deck 8 Verandah. Our cabin was very clean and in excellent shape. The bathroom was showing a little wear and tear but was very clean. Our steward was excellent and always asked us if we needed anything especially since we were Platinum guests. The daily laundry service for Platinum guests was great and clothes given to them in the morning was returned to us washed and folded by 6:00 that evening. Our steward asked our dining time on embarkation day so he could service our room after we left for dinner so we were not disturbed. We got the usual towel animals every evening which are always fun to look at. As Platinum guests, we received a gift and occasional treats left in our room. Grade: A Food Service: Sadly, one of the most important areas of a cruise ship was the biggest disappointment. My apologies in advance to Carnival and its fans who may be reading this as I will get rather critical here. Let's start with the dinner service in the main dining room. Dinner here can be described in one word: S-L-O-W. Not once did we have our main course before the wait staff either sang or danced for us at show time. On all of my previous cruises with this line, I had either finished or was finishing desert at that time. On formal night, our main courses of lobster and shrimp arrived cold. The maitre d' was nearby and was called over for assistance. He apologized and told our wait staff to remove the plates and get us new dishes. When they arrived, the plates and the food were red hot. We suspected right away that the food was placed in a microwave or an oven and reheated. Unfortunately, this dried out the lobster tail and the shrimp. I ordered the warm chocolate melting cake for desert. However, it had so much chocolate in it that it resembled soup. We left dinner very disappointed after having what was, without a doubt, our worst dinner service ever on ten cruises with Carnival. Our head waiter apologized for the slow food service and said that there were issues with getting the food from the kitchen. His assistant, who would get the food, said that the pick-up area resembled a war zone with wait staff yelling for their food orders from cooks who were way too slow to meet the demand. Other passengers we met had similar complaints about the slow service. On the final night, we had dinner in the buffet as we were fed up with waiting for main courses. I now wish I had gone to the steak house as everyone who went told me it was wonderful. Sometimes the food at dinner was good and sometimes just fair. We did find it ridiculous that our appetizer and salad plates sat in front of us for nearly 20 minutes every night until someone finally showed up to take them. We could tell that the wait staff was very frustrated with the kitchen delays. Breakfast and lunch visits here were a bit better but the dining room was not nearly as busy either. At one breakfast visit, we were seated at a larger table and the waitress seemed overwhelmed. The dining room is a good choice for those wanting a relaxing a peaceful breakfast or lunch as compared to the sometimes chaotic Lido deck. The buffet lines were your standard breakfast fare and lunch foods varied by day. The quality of the food was generally good. The buffet was kept well stocked and was exceptionally clean. Be prepared for long lines during peak times. The deli and burrito stations were fine as was the grill and the 24 hour pizza. These also can have long wait lines as the staffs in these areas are small. We found that the table service in Lido was a bit slow when it came to removing trays and cleaning up tables. It seemed to me that there was less staff than usual. The Mongolian Grill was outstanding. The problem was the one hour wait to get through the line. We discovered when reaching the front that there were two cooks at this station to stir fry the food. No wonder! Previous Carnival cruises had four or five cooks on this station so the line moved. It's also curiously stationed at a smaller food service area by the pool area on Lido deck. This led to a line that was right by one of the swimming pools. The fish and chips station was very good. It's located upstairs from the Lido buffet but there was never a line when I went there. Perhaps its location has something to do with that. Room service had quality food but slow service. It took them two hours one day to deliver cold sandwiches and coffee. I usually ordered a pot of coffee from them each morning and that was delivered within an hour. Clearly, there were some staffing issues that caused issues with the normally good food service. I don't know if it was just too many passengers and not enough staff. Hard to say but clearly, the crew was overwhelmed at times. Hopefully, this problem was limited to this ship and is not a fleet wide issue. Grade: C Crew Members/Officers/Cruise Director: Most crew members we encountered were professional, polite and helpful. All said hello or good morning to us when we saw them. Our wait staff in the dining room was not very personable and said little to us other then when apologizing for delays with the food. This sort of compounded the dining room issues for us. The cruise director, Josh, we had before and enjoyed having him again. He is genuinely funny and enjoys his job. Guest services were very helpful with a few minor questions. The separate line for Platinum guests was great as there were sometimes huge lines there. Grade: B Ports of Call/Excursions: Ports of call were in St. John and in Halifax. Carnival provided a wide variety of excursions to choose from. St. John: We took the day trip to the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy. This is great trip that will show you a lot of unusual scenery as well as great view of the tides of the Bay of Fundy. The trip will take up most of the time in port but is well worth it. Halifax: We took the trip to Peggy's Cove. This is a beautiful fishing village that has some very scenic views. The weather was perfect making this trip even better. It's only three hours and allows you time to walk around Halifax on your own after you get back. Thanks to two people who apparently ignored numerous requests to see Canadian immigration, disembarking was delayed in St. John. The excursions desk did a very smart thing. Anyone with a long excursion, as we did, was literally seated near the ship's exit so we could get off first once the ship was cleared. This turned out to be a very smart move. Grade: A Entertainment/Shows: The two musical shows put on were very good but we had seen them before on previous cruises. It would be nice to see some newer and different productions. The show "Just an Illusion" was the best we had ever seen on Carnival. The comedians were very funny but get there early as the comedy clubs fill up fast. We didn't and had to stand in the back. The disco was fine but was not too crowded and was rather empty. The piano bar was pretty full on a nightly basis and the pianist was great. Grade: A- Shopping: The duty free shop had their usual sales of watches, watch sets and jewelry. My wife found some good jewelry buys as she always does on Carnival. The other store had duty free liquor, cigarettes and general souvenirs were basically the same old stuff. It would be nice to see Carnival add a few more shops to its ships at some port instead of the usual two. The staff in the stores was friendly and knowledgeable. The photo shop was fine but, personally, I think way too many pictures get taken of the passengers and we declined to have our picture taken most of the time when they asked. We have enough of them already! I did manage a great deal on a digital camera I had been looking at prior to this vacation so that was a nice find. Grade: B+ Ship's Condition: The Glory is starting to show some wear and tear but is still a fine ship. Crew members were always cleaning, shining and polishing to keep her in good shape. No noticeable damage in the common areas was ever seen and the ship as a whole was well maintained. Grade: A Debarkation: As we headed south back to New York, Hurricane Irene headed north for the same city. As a result, Carnival moved up the arrival time by two hours so all passengers could get off the ship early. This was an outstanding move as New York was preparing to be hit by the hurricane and had announced shut downs of mass transit and the airports as of that afternoon. Kudos to Carnival for allowing passengers to use their cabin phones to call home without charge so as to make or confirm their pick-up arrangements. The captain also kept us posted as to the storm's progress. We were off the ship early and home in New Jersey with time to spare to prepare for the impending storm. Grade: A. Summary: Our first time as Carnival Platinum guests was a bit disappointing mostly due to the issues with the food service which is normally one of Carnival's strengths. However, we did not let that ruin what was otherwise a good vacation. Many passengers thought that five days was too short of a cruise and I would tend to agree. Carnival runs seven day cruises to Canada and New England in the fall but not during the summer months. Perhaps they should consider doing it. For example, stops in Maine and Boston after Canada would have been nice. This was not the best cruise we have ever been on but it wasn't our worst either. However, Carnival is capable of better. We sail on Carnival in January and April of 2012 so we will be hoping that our experiences are better than this one. Final Overall Grade: B. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Getting on: Car parked, luggage dropped, through registration and to our room in 1/2 hour! Ship: Very festive and patriotic, but tastefully decorated Staff: Wonderful Shows: We went to three shows and the comedian. All were good. The ... Read More
Getting on: Car parked, luggage dropped, through registration and to our room in 1/2 hour! Ship: Very festive and patriotic, but tastefully decorated Staff: Wonderful Shows: We went to three shows and the comedian. All were good. The 80's show was the best! Food: No complaints. Was it 5 star? No. Was it good? Yes. Cabin: Great! Loved being in the center of the ship and one floor up from promenade Steward: He did not have the personality that I like, but don't get me wrong, we wanted for nothing! Weather: We had tropical storm Ida on our tails so the weather wasn't great, but it didn't stop us from having an awesome time. Excursions: To much junk for sale in the ports and the excursion locations were very crowded. With that said, we had a good time. Best part: Spending time with my husband with no phone or email ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
This was our third trip with Carnival, and first leaving from San Juan on Carnival Victory. We stayed at the Sheraton just about a block away from the pier, so it was easy to grab our bags, and walk over to the ship. We got to the pier ... Read More
This was our third trip with Carnival, and first leaving from San Juan on Carnival Victory. We stayed at the Sheraton just about a block away from the pier, so it was easy to grab our bags, and walk over to the ship. We got to the pier around 11 a.m., and were on around 1 p.m. Positive: Overall I would say the trip was great. The weather was wonderful (except for an occasional shower), many ports to visit, and activities to enjoy. We made two great friends, who dinned with us at the late dinner (Hi Donna, Barry:) Our room (with balcony) was located on the Lido deck which made getting something to eat, or jumping in for a fast swim in the deck pool a breeze. We enjoyed numerous excursions. One of the highlights of the trip was the last night show of Carnival Legends where passengers put on a show playing such famous persons as Frank Sinatra, Madonna, and the king himself...Elvis! The staff was always friendly, especially those who took care of our room. They were so efficient that if you got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom you found the bed made when you got back :) Negative: I have read where other people have talked about the sometime rudeness of some of the passengers on board. Unfortunately I experienced the same thing. When it came time to come on board the ship, it was nothing but shoving, pushing, and cutting in line. Same thing happened time, and time again when waiting for elevators, or getting something to eat on the Lido deck. I have also traveled on two other Carnival ships, and never had to wait in such long lines to just grab a fast bite to eat. I know you're there to relax, and normally there's no reason to be worried about time. But when you have to stand in line for about half an hour just to grab a hamburger, and fries, it gets a little tedious. My wife and I had late dinning, and while the dinning staff were very friendly, for some reason found it took a long time to get done with the meal. I would say on average it took two hours from start to finish, one time almost two, and a half hours. When you start eating at 8:15 and don't get done until 10:30, it eats up a lot of your time. Plus, it made getting to the shows somewhat difficult. Disembarkation was a breeze, got to the airport early, so had no difficulty getting our tickets, and getting through security. Only hard part was knowing that we wouldn't be walking back onto the ship :( Overall though enjoyed our time aboard Carnival Victory, and while probably would not want to do so in the immediate future, wouldn't mind cruising once again some time down the road. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
This was my first ever cruise, so please bear in mind I have nothing with which to compare. EMBARKATION: Embarkation could have been a little smoother. Lines were long and slow moving. And it seemed there was always a line for something ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise, so please bear in mind I have nothing with which to compare. EMBARKATION: Embarkation could have been a little smoother. Lines were long and slow moving. And it seemed there was always a line for something or other. Once aboard, all operations seemed quite smooth. ENTERTAINMENT: Entertainment was quite good. The Caberet-type show was very entertaining and well done. The comedians sometimes left a bit to be desired. One in particular, (Jim Brick, I believe was his name) was good when he did the earlier G-rated, kid-friendly show. However, in his R-rated show later that night, he was insulting to some members of the audience. I was not one he was directing his comments toward, but even so, I was still put off by his supposed humor. I am not a 'prude' and I like a good 'dirty joke' as much as the next person, but this man was just outright insulting. All other entertainment was EXCELLENT! FOOD: Dinners were good, soups, salads, desserts were very good, however, the Entrees were nothing special, I was not impressed with the Entrees.the cabins are small, true! but who wants to spend time in their cabin other than to sleep and shower? one bit of advice: this was our own fault and nothing against any cruise line...... DO NOT MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR 3 ADULTS IN ONE CABIN. Friendships will be lost! There were 3 of us, 2 men and one woman (friends only, nothing else) and by the 7th day, we had fully gotten on each others' nerves. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
My mother and I booked this as a pack and go, which meant the great price of $199 each and only about a month before we left. I am from north Louisiana, so we made the 6 hour drive the day before and stayed at the Clarion Grand Boutique in ... Read More
My mother and I booked this as a pack and go, which meant the great price of $199 each and only about a month before we left. I am from north Louisiana, so we made the 6 hour drive the day before and stayed at the Clarion Grand Boutique in the Garden District, which was very nice. We arrived at the pier about 10:00 Monday morning and we were sitting on the Lido deck eating lunch by noon. We carried all of our luggage, so there was no reason to keep going back and forth to your room to see if your luggage had arrived. We were in our room by 1:30 and set off exploring. The ship was very easy to get around. We had main dining in the Celebration Dining Room at a table for 10 people. There were 6 women and 4 men from all over the United States, which made for an interesting and fun dinner. I made 4 of the 5 nights, and yes, I had the warm chocolate melting cake each night. It was sooooo good!!!! One of the guys from New York loved lobster and he had 4 on the formal night, which was the second night of the cruise. Nobody cares if you order more than one entree or dessert. (Wish I could of had room for 2 of the chocolate cakes each night!!!) I got a piece of carrot cake at the Bistro for $2.25, and it was so huge that I could only eat half of it. I had to put the other half up to eat later. My mother got the strawberry cheesecake and she said that it was wonderful also. The weather was great and the staff was very friendly. I went to several of the shows and enjoyed them. I still don't understand why Carnival has to charge almost $6 for one beer. The frozen drinks were about $8, which is not so bad, but I can buy a case of beer for no more than $20. The beer on the islands were anywhere for $1 - $2, which was much better. We did the self assist debarkation. Our deck was called a little before 8:00 on Saturday morning and were were sitting in the car by 8:45. No trouble at all. The Fantasy is a great ship and I look forward to cruising on one of the 7 days cruises when she is moved to Mobile. I would surely recommend the Fantasy to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
Hello!  My husband and I just completed the 7 day cruise on Carnival Victory Sunday, July 5th.  I specifically picked this ship for it's itinerary; stopping at 6 islands in 7 days: St. Thomas, Barbados, Dominica; St. Lucia, Antigua, ... Read More
Hello!  My husband and I just completed the 7 day cruise on Carnival Victory Sunday, July 5th.  I specifically picked this ship for it's itinerary; stopping at 6 islands in 7 days: St. Thomas, Barbados, Dominica; St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Kitts.  If you count San Juan we actually visited 7 islands.   While we are exhausted, we loved the cruise and the ship and have nothing but praise for our cabin steward Noel and dining room head server Victoria and Budi.  In fact, one morning as I had gone for coffee and had my hands full, one of the maintenance staff saw me, stopped what he was doing and literally ran over to open the door for me.  He did not have to do that but it was appreciated.  I wish I had gotten his name.   Our cabin was on deck 10 - 1038.  The only issue that we had was that the kids club was directly over our cabin and it sounded like the ceiling was going to fall in at night!  Fortunately the noise did die down around midnight.  Also, our first cruise with Carnival was on the Miracle and our room was a bit larger than Victory; but beyond that the room was comfortable, clean, and the beds are great.  It is tempting to buy their sleep system!   The ship has 2 dining rooms; the Atlantic and the Pacific.  They are very close to each other but getting to the Pacific (which was our assigned dining room) was very confusing.  From the front of the ship; you needed to go down to either deck 4 or 5 - go behind the Casino and then down to the 3rd deck.  You cannot just go to the 3rd deck from the front of the ship.  Ladies - do remember your sweaters or shawls as the dining room and Casino can get chilly.We went early so that we could experience Old San Juan.  We stayed at the Sheraton and were able to walk across the street to the cruise terminal.  We were onboard by 1230. Embarkation and debarkation are a breeze. Even the airport was straightforward - we had been warned about the USDA check but that took us maybe 5 minutes - maybe it was because we were an early flight out and got there before the rush of the late flights.Old San Juan was nice - we saw the fortress along the coast which is impressive itself but all along the coast are colonies of feral cats; hundreds of them.  We never got to the beach or the castle or traditional San Juan food but we enjoyed our visit all the same. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
My fiance and I just returned from the July 5th-11th cruise out of Tampa.  Our main goal was to escape the reality of our professional lives during this robust economic boom (kidding of course).  We are in our early thirties and live in ... Read More
My fiance and I just returned from the July 5th-11th cruise out of Tampa.  Our main goal was to escape the reality of our professional lives during this robust economic boom (kidding of course).  We are in our early thirties and live in Tampa, so it was an easy decision to leave out of the Tampa port.  We decided on the seven day cruise because we both needed to get away for at least a week.  Our decision to cruise was made last minute and we got one of the few remaining cabins on the ship.  Being prone to motion sickness and never having cruised before I was a bit nervous.  On to the cruise:Embarkation: Pretty easy to get on the ship.  Didn't take longer than 45 minutes or so to get out of the cab and be on the ship.  We arrived around noon and were eating lunch by 1:15pm.Alcohol: After much studying via the internet I took the risk and packed alcohol for the week in our "checked" bag.  Didn't have an issue at all.  Economy sucks and they know most people probably sneak something on.  We still spent plenty on the ship so Carnival made their money.  My advice is the bring vodka in Sprite bottles, whiskey in iced tea bottles, etc.  You get my point.  For further discussion just use Google like I did and all the tricks of the trade will be revealed to you.  On a related note, you are legally allowed to bring 1 bottle of wine per person on to the ship.  They charge you a corking fee at dinner ($10), but it's better than buying the overpriced bottle from them.  The drinks are not cheap.Ship:  I didn't have anything to compare it to, but I thought the ship was very clean and very nice.Staff:  We can't say enough about how overly nice all the staff were.  We got to know many of them over the course of our week and they treated us like royalty.  Sandy the bartender knew me by name after the 2nd day.  Your cabin steward will do anything you ask of them.  We didn't abuse them on room service, unnatural requests, etc.  They all work very hard and to many it is a way to send money back home to their families.Food:  Food was good, not great, but was always hot and fresh.  Be prepared to put on at least 5 lbs.  If you don't, it means you didn't enjoy yourself enough.Ports:Grand Cayman:  Have to do Stingray City.  It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with the stingrays.  Before the trip, I had a fear of the ugly creatures, but that quickly changed once I learned more about them and spent an hour in the water playing with them.  Sign up with Moby Dick Tours.  Very reliable, very knowledgable and 1/2 the price Carnival will charge you for the same excursion.  We used outside excursion companies when available.  It is the same companies Carnival uses at a fraction of the cost.  Cozumel:  We rented a Jeep for $50 and drove to Mr. Sanchos beach bar.  It was a nice semi-private beach bar where we drank the margaritas and ate some quality Mexican food.  They have small vendors there who want your money and are ready to barter.  I picked up a couple of Cuban cigars that looking back at it, I probably overpaid for.  After Mr. Sanchos, we drove around the back side of the island and headed back to the ship.  Make sure you pick up some Tequila at one of the duty free shops before you get back on the ship.  They carry special brands down there that are not sold in USA.  Belize:  We paid $100 a piece and did the cave tubing/zip lining experience through Extreme Excursions.  Belize is kind of dirty and not the safest country.  I wasn't too worried at the site of police on the side of the roads with machine guns, but I think my fiance was a little scared.  It takes about 45 minutes to get to the cave tubing camp.  Cave tubing was okay, but the zip lining was very good.  We have been before in other countries but this experience was far superior.Honduras: By far our favorite.  Only 2 ships a week come to the island, so the locals are very appreciate of your visit.  I should have waited and bought my Cuban cigars there had I known the prices were better.  Go to Tabayana Beach.  The only way to book this excursion was through Carnival ($35), but well worth it.  Unbelievable snorkling (make sure you swim way out there) directly off the beach.  All in all, we had a great time.  Vacation, like life, is what you make of it.  Sure, we could have complained about certain things that happened to us on the trip, but anything we expreienced was far superior than spending a week in the office trying to make a buck.  Are we going to cruise again? You betcha........probably try to get some friends to go with us next time.  Listed below are some observations from our cruise.  I consider myslef a normal guy so feel free to use them or not.......If you don't have kids, use the adult pool at the back of the ship.The pool is a saltwater pool.Bring Dramamine or get the patch from your doctor (saw alot of those)Casinos don't serve free drinks while you are gambling???????Go to the shows....pretty decent.....and FREEIf you have the time, eat breakfast in the dining room.Have to order the Chocolate Lava Cake for dessert.Do self debarkation.....we were off the ship and at my house in 20 minutes from the time we left our cabin.Unless you drink a ton of soda, no need for the Soda Card.Gym is pretty decent.Jen the cruise director can be annoying at times.Don't book your room in 4120 unless you want to be kept up until 3am by Billy's Piano BarENJOY YOURSELF! Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
This was my very first cruise back in 1997. I noticed that they didn't show the port we embarked at which was Puerto Rico nor was they year available but I was determined to see St. Lucia's Marigot Bay where they filmed the ... Read More
This was my very first cruise back in 1997. I noticed that they didn't show the port we embarked at which was Puerto Rico nor was they year available but I was determined to see St. Lucia's Marigot Bay where they filmed the 1960's version of 'Dr. Dolittle' with Rex Harrison (after attending 6 yrs of vet med and dreaming of becoming a doctor since I was 5 and when the movie came out...I was about 7 and knew it would be a veterinarian because of it lol.) We drove from New Orleans to Miami to visit family before we fly to Puerto Rico to board. This went well enough but living in Vegas for a year...my first impression was that it was as gaudy as the casinos :P No matter. It was about the ports of call and although I felt like a kindergartener getting off a bus for a field trip...I was pleased by all the different places you could see in a 1 or 2 weeks on these things! As bikers, we are used to a lot of freedom so being cramped in what we called a sardine can and having to dine at the same place at a certain time didn't appeal to us. Nor having to come in from play at certain times but all in all...the trip to St. Lucia with its Pitons, Harley rentals in Guadeloupe, and the spice island of Grenada (which also had a vet med there) was worth it (we didn't care for the us virgin islands or other places...we are rain forest, hiking trails, waterfall buffs. I had a beach house anyway so laying on a beach wasn't a vacation to me at that time). I didn't cruise again until last year. Twice. Now it will be twice this year! I am gaining more knowledge on how to use the ship's facilities, book my own excursions if they are sold out or have nothing appealing, make sure we are in a large balcony at minimum, and dining alternatives (although the busy carpeting is an eye sore lol) and realizing the value of these types of vacations!!!! You can't stay at the holiday inn down the road and eat at fast food joints for these prices!! And really....although bikers will say that it is all about the journey....sometimes I'd prefer to dig the destinations :))))) All in all...I wish I did these cruises more when I was younger. I am partial to carnival because of the king bed and a bit larger rooms but would like to try other ships. I believe for the value though...I'll always be loyal to Carnival :) Looking back now that I am older and wiser now Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
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