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3,356 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

The last dinner (Valentine’s Day) with my family was almost ruined by our waiter... He forgot a lot of items ordered and got most of the Entrées completely wrong. He was too busy talking to the table full of ladies instead of giving his ... Read More
The last dinner (Valentine’s Day) with my family was almost ruined by our waiter... He forgot a lot of items ordered and got most of the Entrées completely wrong. He was too busy talking to the table full of ladies instead of giving his full attention to our table. But other than that everyone (expect for the last waiter) on the ship was great. Rooms were clean, Hallways were clean, and Restrooms in the main lobby areas were clean. The Cruise Director TJ was awesome!!! His personality is incredible. If TJ’s name is on the Cruise Ship Details while planning our next Cruise Vacation, it will make it way much to say YES!!! and book it! My wife and I enjoyed his Lip Sync Battle performance. I was hilarious! We booked 2 Excursions through Carnival and 2 Massages. The Excursions were great! 1 of the 2 Massages was great. I will never book a Swedish Massage again. Debarking was a bit of a hassle which made us late to pick up our four-legged child from where we had him boarded. But I will be booking another cruise soon! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Loud music everywhere even during dinner in the buffet. It wasn’t a quiet atmosphere for 2 people on their honeymoon. Food was horrible the only place that had good food was the burger joint. Fruit looked amazing but too hard wasn’t ... Read More
Loud music everywhere even during dinner in the buffet. It wasn’t a quiet atmosphere for 2 people on their honeymoon. Food was horrible the only place that had good food was the burger joint. Fruit looked amazing but too hard wasn’t dress, Shows were repetitive and when you arrived at a show more than 40 minutes before it started they kicked you out and you had to stand outside the door for 40 minutes. Won a picture package at their Deal or no Deal was told it included all the pictures your photographer took. When they realized how many people won they said you picture package was an 8x10 pic of the cruise ship and a portfolio to put it in. On the morning we left the boat we were kicked out of our room at 8am and had to sit on the dirty steps for two and a half hours before we were allowed to leave. And that process of getting from the boat through customs and back to our truck was another hour or more. We will never take another cruise and sad we planned our honeymoon that way. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Carnival Dream is amazing ship, full of friendly staff First I will comment the person, who made my cruise so special, is Deborah from Peru, she is so awesome, friendly and know how to provide excellent customer service. Thank Java ... Read More
Carnival Dream is amazing ship, full of friendly staff First I will comment the person, who made my cruise so special, is Deborah from Peru, she is so awesome, friendly and know how to provide excellent customer service. Thank Java Blue..... Coffee shop is wow . Give Deborah 10 out of 10 . Best coffee ever The entertainment team was entertaining and fun The fun shop had a variety of things I could buy. My cabin was always neat and tidy Dinning room was so yummy and professional at all times Love the lido, especially the pizza is to die for. I will definitely come and cruise with Carnival Dream again Ports Cozumel always my favourite place Thank you once again all to the staff for their hard work and making my cruise so memorable It is worth every cent to come on a cruise I feel so happy and appreciated Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I first want to say I have never written a negative review in my life. But we work very hard to save for our vacations and I know others do too. I simply want to let people know that the Vista is not the average cruise. It is what I ... Read More
I first want to say I have never written a negative review in my life. But we work very hard to save for our vacations and I know others do too. I simply want to let people know that the Vista is not the average cruise. It is what I would consider a bottom of the barrel cruise. We chose Vista excited to see the new Havana area. When we booked we were told it was open after 7 p.m. When we arrived they told us they no longer allowed it. No one contacted us to inform of the change. If they had we would have switched ships. It appears that what Carnival has done with this ship is to eliminate space and amenities for regular travelers and expand areas for folks able and willing to pay higher prices for the amenities that every traveler used to enjoy. Havana suites and Family Harbor rooms. Many of our favorite spots you find on cruises are missing on the Vista. It is impossible to escape the crowds as the public areas are a fraction of the size as other smaller ships. No adult only pool, it has been replaced with Havana pool. Only 4 hot tubs on entire giant ship. With the exception of the closed Havana tubs. Serenity area is super tiny, has little shade, and is very inconvenient. They have chopped the Your Time dining room into smaller spaces yet continue the floor dances which half of the rooms could not participate in. The long walking area normally below the lifeboats does not exist on this ship. The ship has absolutely no style other than what could be described as cheap and tacky. LED displays have replaced almost everything that normally gives each ship interest and character. It gives the ship a very Wal- Mart feel. No atrium elevators. Colored glass and wooden accents are replaced with simple sheets of painted white steel. The shopping area was the smallest and most predictable I have ever experienced. All this being said I must point out that the crew was absolutely outstanding. Every worker was friendly and competent. Also we were not traveling with children so I can't speak to how this ship may work for families. I hate being negative but I hope that everyone researching ships finds the right one for them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I have taken 6 Carnival cruises since 2011. My wife is a platinum member so our embarkation and debarkation were fast and nice. Our room was average, the room stewards were friendly. We found an unopened yogurt in our fridge. Our neighbors ... Read More
I have taken 6 Carnival cruises since 2011. My wife is a platinum member so our embarkation and debarkation were fast and nice. Our room was average, the room stewards were friendly. We found an unopened yogurt in our fridge. Our neighbors found dirty underwear in their cabin. The buffets never seemed to be open and the free restaurants always had a long lines. The carnival app never worked right. You need this to schedule ship activities including dinner reservations. The dining room always seemed to be a 2 hour experience. BTW you have to make reservations, no more anytime dining. And if the app was down "which was most of the time" you had to go to deck 5, stand in a long line and make reservations, then go back down to deck 3, stand in another long line to eat in the dining room. The service in the dining room lacked greatly. Very slow service and substandard food most nights. Forget about ordering any side sauces or anther drink, you will never get it. Many times the waiter would tell me " oh sorry, all my help is downstairs". This means NO you can not have that. The buffets were also lacking. Long lines and Cold food. The meats had a chemical taste. The Guys Pig and anchor BBQ was great. I had it twice. The Bonsai Sushi restaurant was good but, you had to pay for it. The taco, burrito and burger spots always had long lines. The room service was nonexistent and laughable at best! The menu was MOSTLY paid items. We tried to order twice and none would ever even pick up the phone. Why not just not have any room service? The mixed drinks on the ship tasted very good and most were moderately priced. We were totally surprised to find out Carnival quit carying Coca Cola and Red Bull in lieu of Pepsi and Monster. WHY???? Because it's cheaper!! The shows were laughable and unwatchable. First we sat thru a show call Flick. Honestly I would rather sit thru a Tony Robbins lecture on insurance policies for time shares. I sat thru the "Rock" show painfully. The bingo, photos, food, and other shopping in the shops were expensive. The movie theater is not a real movie theater. Very limited showing of substandard movies and Yes, you have to pay extra for it. The photos that Carnival's employees take of you as you wander around the ship cost as well. And they are NOT cheap! The digital download of each photo is $15. This is EACH. The Carnival cruises we have taken in the past were for the most part ALL-INCLUSIVE. They are not anymore.You have to pay for everything! Everything is an extra upcharge. We paid for 3 internet packages at $300. "that were either very slow or not working" and we still had to pay an extra $5. each to be able to text each other. The dining room menu had a lot of items you have to pay "extra" for. We tried to schedual a behind the scene tour of the ship, it was $95. per person. This is just wrong. So after this cruise we are probably done with Carnival. Sad we used to really enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just got off the dream yesterday it was the best cruise I’ve have been on. Gary the director was amazing at what he does you could tell there was points where he was just exhausted but kept going but who wouldn’t be! My son was ... Read More
We just got off the dream yesterday it was the best cruise I’ve have been on. Gary the director was amazing at what he does you could tell there was points where he was just exhausted but kept going but who wouldn’t be! My son was upset we didn’t take him because I showed him a picture of Gary looking like Woody from Toy Story for country trivia. The shows were amazing and I would suggest if u have never sat in the front row try it at least once it makes for a whole different experience. The food was okay it wasent a five star restaurant but a cruise is quantity over quality. There cooking for 4000plus a meal not 400. Our room steward was great! I do miss when they cleaned your room in the morning and turned it down at night but understand why they no longer do it that way. All in all no complaints. Embarking and debarment was so smooth and easy I couldn’t of asked for a more organized cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I sailed for the second time on the Carnival Dream, stateroom category 8B, room 6318. The ship had just returned from an altered itinerary due to fog, and so hadn't been in port for several days. As such, she was in ... Read More
My husband and I sailed for the second time on the Carnival Dream, stateroom category 8B, room 6318. The ship had just returned from an altered itinerary due to fog, and so hadn't been in port for several days. As such, she was in need of a thorough cleaning outside: all outside windows and balconies were filmed over with salt and tough to see through. The inside of the ship was pristine; I seldom saw empty glasses or room service items in the common areas. Our sailing must have been quite empty, because even on the one warm sea day we had, the lido deck had chairs to spare and Serenity was quite empty as well. Bars that had been opened on our first sailing were closed on and off, and the buffet seemed less full of options than before. Activities were abundant, especially live music! It seemed that every evening we had two or three venues to choose from to listen to live music. The comedians must have been good, because even arriving early to several shows it was standing room only. Since we sailed in mid-January, there were very few kids on board, and as such the casino was full and smoky. The smoke thankfully didn't waft far, but it was bothersome to walk through. As far as excursions, our submarine trip in Cozumel was canceled due to weather conditions, and there were several Carnival staff members on the pier near the meeting areas ready with alternatives to offer us. The canceled excursion was automatically refunded and we were able to choose a trip to Chankanaab instead, which I highly recommend! Service was very good, especially the dining room staff. Our waiters Luis from Mexico, Felix from Peru, and Shyam from India were very attentive, as well as Camille from the Philippines who we saw at the buffet and Guys Pig and Anchor. Our stateroom host I Gusti from Indonesia was busy but always had a smile on his face and a greeting for us, and he kept our room tidy. Our only complaint was that our room, 6318, was directly above the casino and we could hear the machines' noise as well as gamblers' celebratory cheers at night. Our balcony was right above one of the hot tubs on the promenade deck 5 as well, and while the noise was not too bothersome it was certainly present. I would certainly sail on the Dream again! She is a beautiful ship with a more than competent staff, and I enjoyed my sailing on her immensely! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Wanted to give it a try have always gone on royal Caribbean. Service terrible food even worse. We had a suite 7245. The toilet would not work tv didn’t work door handle to deck was falling off. They would constantly try and sell u shots ... Read More
Wanted to give it a try have always gone on royal Caribbean. Service terrible food even worse. We had a suite 7245. The toilet would not work tv didn’t work door handle to deck was falling off. They would constantly try and sell u shots and trinkets worse than the streets in Cozumel. None stop nickel and dime u to death. We bailed dinning room food was so bad went to restaurants and paid for dinners our Cruise left a day late not their fault but sucked. If u want to party at the golden coral of the seas they will sell u drinks and a bunch a cheap crap. It’s worth paying more for the amount of work that’s goes into it.. the little show we went to good the cast was great had fun there. If you want a nicer vaca save a little more. I know royal is owner by carnival but two different experiences that’s for sure. Never again warning.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
First of all the ship may be older but it was definitely clean. There were staff everywhere cleaning the windows, bannisters, up on the Lido, etc. Everyone had a smile, Our dinner service was amazing. We were scheduled for anytime ... Read More
First of all the ship may be older but it was definitely clean. There were staff everywhere cleaning the windows, bannisters, up on the Lido, etc. Everyone had a smile, Our dinner service was amazing. We were scheduled for anytime dining. We sat at table # 100 in the Crimson Restaurant. We were served by Richard, Alberto and Lorenz. Richard was the lead waiter and managed our table service flawlessly even though he was also managing a table of 17, simultaneously as well as several other tables. He had the biggest load of tables the nights we dined with him (four). Always with pleasure and a smile. His sense of management of food and beverage delivery was uncanny and executed with precision. He motivated his two team members, Alberto and Lorenz which they each demonstrated individually their knowledge of great service delivery, both outstanding and equally would support them in becoming waiters. The team moved about effortlessly as they managed all the different requests, not one table left behind as we watched around us. Richard remained positive, motivating, creative in solving dietary needs (we witnessed this), his team trusted him, evidenced by their respect of him. He has a keen sense of his customers and anticipated our needs. He placed his customers at ease as he engaged both the mature and young alike such that we saw him receive both accolades and hugs from his guests. Lorenz and Alfredo both were attentive, offering suggestions and on top of the table service. Both friendly, fun and engaging. They greeted us by name, as did Richard, asked about our day, shared a bit about themselves which allowed for a meaningful connection which extended the pleasure of dining in the the Crimson Restaurant each night. Each night as we entered the Crimson Restaurant, at the entry there was a female staff by the name of Kamille. She always greeted the guests with a welcoming smile and a "hello" first which made us feel welcomed and excited to dine there. She was conversational, remembered our names, helped us use the app for dining reservations. Over the four nights during our dining, we watched her engage guests with a genuine, not forced friendliness that really made the start of the evening happy for ourselves and the other guests we watched her interact with. She is a gem. The bar service at the Atrium and also at the aft pool needs mentioning. First, in the Atrium bar. Both Nina and Vera were outstanding. They multitasked numerous requests all the while with a smile, a witty comment and outstanding drink service. Each night we were greeted by them they engaged us in conversation with themselves and other guests creating a fun vibe that made you want to partake, try new drinks, meet new friends. We looked forward to going down each night before dinner. We also want to mention Alexandra. She covered down in the Atrium bar as well as the coffee bar. We had the same experience with her as well. Not to forget, Maria in the SPA was the most educated and professional spa treatment provider we have experienced on a Carnival Cruise. Our expectation after several Carnival Cruises is a masseuse with some experience, some interaction, pleasant. Maria exceeded this expectation. She was knowledgeable about our concerns, offered several treatment options based on our concerns and not trying to "upsell" a service or a product. She was kind, friendly and most of all gentle. Her knowledge made us feel confident we were receiving a good product. Our room was immaculate, likely the cleanest in recent memory of any cruise on any cruise line we have taken. No dust as is often found on shelving, no lint on the floor, no weird or odd stains in the bathroom or tub. We were on the 7th floor,. # 7235 and Habibe was our steward. He immediately greeted us when when approached our room, handed us his card and offered to have us call him with any issues or request. Upon entering, we noted the cleanliness, actually spotless environment. There was ice in the bucket which continued daily. Each day he greeted us with a smile, was swift and efficient in providing us with a clean room. He invited interaction with him rather than having to encourage him to speak and engage which made it meaningful for us to get to know him, and vice versa. Sweet and kind. Lastly, at the pool bar, Vijay greeted us each time he saw us, even if we were simply passing by. He remembered our drinks, by the way, were great. He was outwardly friendly, engaging and fun. Super sweet! The cruise director was ok, not passionate, did what he had to do. We had a medical emergency that required us going back to Galveston. He could have turned the guest energy around but he did not appear motivated. We saw most of the guest take this in stride, the Captain explalned everything which chilled the vibe well. Carnival gave all the guests a 20% discount on our next cruise. We didn't get to go to Cozumel, went to Progreso which was just ok. Overall it was still a lot of fun. The guests were friendly, not uptight. We ate at Bonsai Sushi. Service was not so good, maybe we hit them on a bad night. Atrium music groups and also the Ocean Plaza games, trivia and dancing was fun. The fun squad did a good job. It was too cold for the pool or being outside. Embarkation was a fly thru: super easy. Disembarkation improved, had staff at the elevators to monitor. We did take the Carnival bus to the airport. No big issues there except we had to wait for a guest who never showed up which did delay are departure but did not affect our flight. We have another Carnival cruise coming up end of April. Stay tuned. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I went on a 7 day cruise to get away from everyday life as to relax.our bathroom was very dirty,, it smelled of urine. The couch was peach in color and you could see the dirt on the edge as soon as we went into the room. I ... Read More
My husband and I went on a 7 day cruise to get away from everyday life as to relax.our bathroom was very dirty,, it smelled of urine. The couch was peach in color and you could see the dirt on the edge as soon as we went into the room. I use Clorox wipes on the floor in restroom which were brown and the couch was the same. After the clean up by myself it was much better. I don’t know what kind of cleaning standard they have but it was gross. The balcony was filthy as well. They came to clean it on our 6 th day on the cruise.. the dining was at a table with 4 other couples,which gave me anxiety the first evening. Not very romantic as I was planning on a one on one date with my husband. The couples were nice and we did have good food,just didn’t expect to have to set with strangers on my vacation. Then we asked someone that worked on the ship where the comedy club was located , this man was rude and condescending .we felt like he didn’t have any desire to help us out. When we got to the show, the same man that was so rude was the director of the comedy show. The food was good ,the entertainment was good , but the dirty room and the rude man really made us feel like carnival might not be for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Be sure and arrive at your designated time, you don’t want to get in the longer early or late line. If you bring on a small ice chest, no ice or water allowed, bring freezer packs. Cans only is the rule now days. If you don’t have ... Read More
Be sure and arrive at your designated time, you don’t want to get in the longer early or late line. If you bring on a small ice chest, no ice or water allowed, bring freezer packs. Cans only is the rule now days. If you don’t have faster to the fun, expect to keep your carry on luggage with you when you go to the spa for a tour, or to the busy lunch buffet. You can get access to your room at 1:30. The room key cards will be in the mail bin by your door. If you buy an alcohol cheers package, it starts the next day. If you get a soda cheers package, expect to pay tax for each drink until the boat is under way. If you are planning on using your spa privileges / discounts, be sure to go take a tour early, before it gets crowded. They show you all of the areas of the spa, and try to talk you into each procedure offered. Research what you are interested in before you get on the boat. Not every spa offering is included in the 20-30-40% off, and the best deals are on port days, including departure day. Schedule your whole week right then, so you can get spots before or after your shore excursions for the best prices. My daughter was 16, so was limited on what she could do, but they offered her much more than was on the zspa teen list, there were many adult offerings she could do at the spa room discounted prices. On departure day we both got the body scrub with a massage for 75 minutes. I highly recommend that, it was so wonderful I did it later in the cruise. I tried acupuncture to relieve chronic pain in my shoulders. They felt better for a couple hours, but my wrists, ankles, and butt still hurt the next day from the needles. I’ll not try that again. The steam rooms and heated recliners were wonderful as well. If you want your free yoga, it is at 8am, and the palates is at 4. The serenity deck was nice, but crowded during the day, with all of the seats saved early. The salad bar was wonderful. The hot tubs were not crowded after dark, and no kids swimming in them! Deck 14 was very quiet, no drunks walking the halls at night to wake me up! Only 2 elevators go to deck 14, expect to find one that goes to 12, and walk the last flight up. I would not recommend deck 14 for people that can not use the stairs. The elevators are really as bad as stated on previous reviews. The casino is not smoky like other reviews stated, if you take the path around. I did miss the glass elevators. Only kids movies were offered in the Imax, the same 2 all week, so I did not go to it. The large 2 story Horizons restaurant was solely for Your Time dining, always crowded, and very slow service. Plan on spending an hour and a half, and waiting a long time for service. This was my 10th Carnival cruise, and the first time I ever ate dinner at the buffet, and I did it twice. It was hard to go see the comedy shows, unless you saw it first and ate late, which I don’t like to do. Under 18 can only go to the 6:15 and 7:15 shows, they will check ages with your room key for later shows. The steak house was wonderful. If you go there be sure and get the Art at the Table choice for desert. The chef comes to your table and puts on a show. The sky ride was fun, about a 30 minute wait each time we did it. The line for the ropes course was most often short. The easy runs along side the hard, so you can go along side your kid (you on the easy, the kids on the hard). There is no turning back, unless no on is behind you. There is only one track for the cable, no one can go around you. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I had a GREAT time on Carnival Vista. We set sail the first week in January, after New Years. I had heard quite a few things about Carnival being dirty or being the ships that get people sick; I'll address these ... Read More
My husband and I had a GREAT time on Carnival Vista. We set sail the first week in January, after New Years. I had heard quite a few things about Carnival being dirty or being the ships that get people sick; I'll address these further below. TIP - Our overnight stay at the Harbour House in Galveston was lovely. The location allowed me to watch the Vista come in to port that morning! I'm a very excited cruiser, so I was tracking it all morning and LEAPT out of bed to watch it pass. It passes VERY CLOSE to the hotel and what an epic view! Highly recommend Harbour House! Embarkation was very smooth. LOVELY people working at the Galveston Terminal. We were 20 minutes early for our 1-1:30 boarding time, so we got in that line and didn't wait on anything except for a few minutes to get our carry on bags scanned by security. We were on the ship in no time! You enter into the atrium and yes, it is underwhelming. It's just very closed in and that thing in the middle with the videos playing on it is a little lame. Our rooms were ready right away, so we went to 7459 - a Havana aft wrap balcony. GREAT room. Several large windows, plenty of space, good closet size and your average bathroom. My only complaints are that it is difficult for two people to get into the closet area at one time and there are no outlets near the bed on either side. From the balcony we could see our exclusive access hot tubs and pools. This is WORTH every penny of the upcharge. About my earlier dirty comment, the only dirty thing I saw on the ship were the panels in the guard rails along the Havana hot tubs and pools. I had dreamt of lounging in the pool and looking out into the gulf, but these see through (plexi-glass, glass?) panels were quite filthy and tinted which obstructed the potentially epic view. Service in the Havana is fantastic, the drinks are great, there are Havana towels in your room AND at the pool. Plenty of seating but the best lounge chairs did fill up early. The pool was never quite warm enough, but thats what I get for leaving from Galveston in January. My husband and I took this trip for both of our birthdays which are the same week. On our first full sea day, my birthday, we did EVERYTHING. There is so much to do on this ship that we couldn't believe it was only the first day and that we'd have more to do the rest of the week! Our last cruise was on the Norwegian Bliss and while it was very beautiful and relaxing, compared to the Vista it was boring and absolutely lacking a cruise director presence. Schwartz is the best! Fun, relatable, hilarious and EVERYWHERE. Works so hard and loves what he's doing. Overall, food was quite good. I LOVED Blue Iguana, Guys Burgers and the steakhouse. Just OK was the pizza and main dining room but both better than I'd expected. The buffet on the other hand was awful. We tried to eat there twice and gave up after just a few bites. This brings me to the sickness point. People, wash your hands before you touch tongs and serve-ware that other people coming behind you are going to touch. I watched the majority of passengers just walk right by hand sanitizer and the hand washing station. On Norwegian, this area was monitored by a very friendly person who sang you a song about the importance of washing on a cruise ship, and I'd say 95% would wash. On the Vista, washing is an afterthought as evidenced by the very few actual washing stations vs hand sanitizing stations. My husband and I played quite a few table games and entered tournaments in the casino, both winning invitations to the next round on a future cruise! We had a great time at the tables with Nikita, Richmond and Lucas especially. In the Red Frog Pub, Shakira was excellent. Our room steward, Ron, was a delight and quick. Service overall was pretty good. Shore excursions... eh. We found our own way in Mahogany Bay to a monkey sanctuary. There we got to play with a few monkeys, see other monkeys, birds and butterflies and... HOLD A SLOTH. The sloth was adorable and so huggable. Other than that, MB is a lackluster port. In Belize we went to see the ruins - great experience. Getting to the ruins is a haul (over an hour bus ride, 30 minute boat ride) and the tour guides were slightly annoying in the way they explained what we were seeing, asking rhetorical questions often and slowing down getting to the point. The ruins themselves were spectacular. In Cozumel we had another ruins tour scheduled but after doing it the previous day and not wanting to spend a huge amount of time on a bus again, we switched tours for a catamaran sail and snorkel plus beach party. GREAT EXCURSION. The crew on this catamaran were top notch. Beer and margaritas were free on the boat and at the beach. On the boat, the crew were constantly making sure your cup was full. It was a very party atmosphere with drinks, music and dancing. The snorkeling was very refreshing and the water and fish were beautiful. The beach party was relaxing and fun with many water obstacles to slide down and jump off of, and more drinks. Food was extra, but we did not partake having had lunch at the port earlier. Cozumel was by far the most fun, party vibe port. Debarkation was a bit of a cluster but mainly due to people not understanding or paying attention to the system and announcements. We weren't in a rush so we waited on deck 10 with a pizza and soft serve! I would absolutely cruise Carnival again in the Havana AND with Schwartz! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I booked last minute for this cruise. We literally had the last outside Jr.Suite. The room was clean and too comfortable:) We were greeted at IAH by the Carnival transfer represented (very pleasant) and organized. ... Read More
My husband and I booked last minute for this cruise. We literally had the last outside Jr.Suite. The room was clean and too comfortable:) We were greeted at IAH by the Carnival transfer represented (very pleasant) and organized. Comfortable one hour bus ride(took a nap). Arrived where our luggage was taken promptly to the ship. The smoothest check in no hassles. We were greeted with champagne as we boarded. At check in the representative advised us that the cabin and our bags will be ready the latest 3pm. While wait we could get lunch and more champagne.So many places to eat on board and all of it was great! Adinta Yulinda / team head waitress always had a smile on her face that you can tell was genuine. She is so personable and treated us with such kindness. We could wait to see her at dinner time her smile was so infectious. She has such a personality. Tinton Apriyanto Wijaksono / team waiter would swoop in and make sure we had what we needed from the bar and always with a warm smile. My husband enjoyed talking to him. He is a really nice person. Last but not least Manisha Pradhan/ asst. team waitress she completed the team. Simply an asset to the Carnival crew they worked seamlessly together. They made us feel that we were the only ones they were serving in a very busy dining room. The entire wait staff put on a dance performance in the dining that also included the guest everyone had a great time! Mario / Maitre D went out of his way to make sure he set my husband up with his beloved buttermilk every morning and evening with Nyoman Widyanata “Nata” for short at the Blue Iguana Catina. Mario always checked on us at dinner. We enjoyed exchanging stories of his culture and family. They made us feel like part of their family. TJ/ cruise director was so funny. The Punchliner Club was hilarious. The best comedy on land or sea. Not sure if this good or bad, but bartender knew my name and my drink, lol. Loved the specialty coffee shop (every morning and evening) did not miss Star****s at all. The 88 show dedicatedto Billy Joel was outstanding. I loved the Serenity area and adult only jacuzzis. I am really hlad we bought the “cheers package” really convenient. We also had the opportunity to meet Sylvia/ beverage operations supervisor. She is so knowledgeable and super individual. I am not a whiskey drinker, but my husband is. Sylvia invited us to the Mixology class and it was so much fun. I really enjoyed the class. The excursions were well worth it. We did the VIP Beach Escape in Cozumel definitely recommend it. In Belize we did the Mayan ruins and cruise that was a lot of fun and the guides were very informative. Lastly, in Mahogany Bay, Honduras we went to French Key Private beach. I would highly recommend this it was so relaxing with water sports if you wanted to do it or absolutely nothing. It is so beautiful. The crew was so welcoming. The cruise and crew are outstanding. This is not my first cruise and I am ready to book next year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Unfortunately the Ship, or whom-ever decided to have the "Meet N' Greet" on a strange date ( last Sea Day) and also at the 6:00 PM Dining Time. We had early dining and it was Elegant Night, with Prime Rib and Lobster ... Read More
Unfortunately the Ship, or whom-ever decided to have the "Meet N' Greet" on a strange date ( last Sea Day) and also at the 6:00 PM Dining Time. We had early dining and it was Elegant Night, with Prime Rib and Lobster ..... GUESS which one we went to . The rest of the Cruise was wonderful - with a great Cruise Director - "T.J." ........ and the Shows were the best we have ever seen on a CCL Cruise !!! The Food was awesome, and the Service in the Main Dining Room was wonderful to say the least, as our Waiter, "ETHEL" was the best !!! We loved Key West, and enjoyed the Bahamas, (but not so much) still pretty trashy and loads of beggars, etc. The shops were all the same stuff, and we did not do much there except walk around - no tours, and just went back to the ship. All in all, it was a great Cruise as we do like Key West, and this was just to get away from the cold and relax for a week. (# 39 for us) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our family of four had a fantastic time on the Vista. We were late departing because the port was closed due to dense fog, and the ship could not return to port. Carnival kept us well informed about the progress, and we were finally able ... Read More
Our family of four had a fantastic time on the Vista. We were late departing because the port was closed due to dense fog, and the ship could not return to port. Carnival kept us well informed about the progress, and we were finally able to board the ship beginning at 6:30 PM. Aside from that minor inconvenience (and a remarkably smooth embarkation, given the circumstances), the cruise exceeded our expectations. New Year’s Eve in particular was a blast, with countdowns all over the ship so people could pick the kind of setting they wanted to ring in the new year. The main party was up on the Lido deck by the pool, with a countdown on the big screen. Carnival had hats and party favors for all, and the champagne was free flowing. I am surprised by some of the middling reviews people have left about this ship. True, it does not have a grand atrium space like other ships, but what it does have is great. Our two teenage boys had fun exploring the ship together and with new friends they met through O2. And while the Lido deck was almost always crowded around the pool, we prefer to find quiet spaces to relax outside—and those were plentiful. If you’re looking for a hidden haven, there are four comfortable deck chairs outside the Library Bar. The food also gets a big thumbs up in all venues, and you can check out many menus from the main dining room here. They are all screenshots from the Carnival HUB app, which was an indispensable resource. We took full advantage of the entertainment options and spent most of our time in the Ocean Plaza listening to the Riff Rafts and Hornutopia. The mainstage shows were well done, though Flick was slightly bizarre. One of the unique things about this cruise was that it was marked the end of the contracts for several performers, so we got a glimpse into the genuine respect and affection they have for each other as they played their final sets together. Last but not least, I have to give a shout out to our cruise director, Schwartz. He was super high energy, funny, and approachable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Sailed this cruise for New Years and loved almost everything about it. The morning that we boarded in Galveston there was a super dense fog that delayed our boarding by about five hours, which didn’t set a fantastic tone for starting off ... Read More
Sailed this cruise for New Years and loved almost everything about it. The morning that we boarded in Galveston there was a super dense fog that delayed our boarding by about five hours, which didn’t set a fantastic tone for starting off on our first cruise, but this event turned out to be the only negative comment that I could muster up from the entire seven day voyage. The free food onboard was excellent, the entertainment was fantastic, and I don’t have enough time to describe how incredibly hard every crew member worked to make it the best cruise possible. The team that cleaned our cabin knew me by name and so did the waiters for the suppers every night. Our cruise director (Schwartz) did a seamless job of making sure that all of the events happening were fun and interactive! It was by far the best vacation that I have been on yet! I will definitely be sailing with Carnival cruise ships in the future! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a family Christmas cruise. Well where do I start, the food is ok, there are several restaurants but the lines are long (ship Carrie's 6000 people). The food at Golden Corral is more fresh and tastes better. If I had to ... Read More
This was a family Christmas cruise. Well where do I start, the food is ok, there are several restaurants but the lines are long (ship Carrie's 6000 people). The food at Golden Corral is more fresh and tastes better. If I had to give the best recommendation for food is Guy's Burger Joint. Luckily you can't not screw up a cheese burger. The ship activities while at sea are not fun and the schedule is horrible. There were movies, shows and activities that we wanted to try, unfortunately (6000 people) the times overlapped each other to separate the majority of people. So when we would want to go the movie it was dinner time or there would be a two activites at the same time. Kids club was not as advantageous as advertised. The hours are horrible and after 10 you have to pay more money. The ports of call were Cozumel and Progreso (Yucatan). Cozumel was the best and Pregreso is an up and coming destination. The biggest problem with Progreso is, it's not a resort or tourist spot yet. So the 3 hours of our excursion was spent driving to the location. The excursion itself was beautiful, highly recommend the Mayapan Ruin, lazy river and cave swim. Almost worth the 3 hour round trip. Now the why they get a 1 star, the Cloud 9 spa, worst experience ever. We booked a time when we first board the ship day one. When we arrived we were told the person who answered the phone and booked was new and messed up and did not book our appointment. The manager was rude and when I said I would be giving a bad review, she began to tell me how she left her family to work on this cruise and that I was I should be more appreciative of her sacrifice of time with her family. That is not the correct answer or great customer service. Needless to say over staff and and cruise is a 1 and I will most likely never sail with Carnival again. My advice save for a little longer and go with Disney if your taking the family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this particular cruise because it left out of a port we could all access fairly easily by car AND seemed like a good fit for the children and teenagers in our group. Also, a couple of the adults in our party very much wanted to do ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because it left out of a port we could all access fairly easily by car AND seemed like a good fit for the children and teenagers in our group. Also, a couple of the adults in our party very much wanted to do some gambling as well. The "Dream" seemed to have it all. We were not disappointed. The ship was lively and full of fun activities and different dining choices. The staff was always ready to help us and were super friendly. Our cabin steward (Marco) was sweet and so hardworking. We felt pampered and were genuinely sad to say goodbye to him when it was time to go. In general the service overall was great. We dined every night in the 'Crimson' restaurant. There were 11 of us so we were not easy to seat but one group of servers did such a good job that we asked for them again and again (THANK YOU Amy, Ervin and Ni Kadek!). After our first night they knew us all by name and what we liked to drink. Amy and her crew were that great combination of friendly and personal without being intrusive. The food was a bit hit and miss (sometimes great but sometimes a bit bland; never awful) but for the price point this cruise hit, I was happy with it and there was plenty to choose from on-board with all the different restaurants and buffets. Our kids and teenagers could all find food they enjoyed and that was what was most important to us. We had a fantastic time and we can't wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The plan was to take a cruise with my wife and two kids, and that's exactly what we did. While I rate this a 3 out of 5, let me share with you why. First, it comes from my last cruise i took on a Royal Caribbean (Oasis of the Seas) so ... Read More
The plan was to take a cruise with my wife and two kids, and that's exactly what we did. While I rate this a 3 out of 5, let me share with you why. First, it comes from my last cruise i took on a Royal Caribbean (Oasis of the Seas) so comparing that mass of a beauty to the vista isn't fair. The comparisons though were night and day. On the Vista food varied but the downside was that for general buffets breakfast on the lido deck, pork products were the only thing served. As a non-pork consumer this was disheartening. What's worse was when I made the request for Turkey bacon I was told no which prompted me to speak to a manager because I'd I can spend thousands of dollars to be told no or to be told go to another restaurant on the ship, you just lost me as a customer. The silver lining in that dark cloud came in the last day at sea where my wife and I had reservations ay the 555 Farenheit Steakhouse. This was of course a extra money Restaurant but let me tell you from the service to the food, it was world's apart. The crazy part was the price as it was very inexpensive considering the quality of the food for a 4 course meal. The things that will really make your head spin are the ridiculous prices to pay extra on the ship as to say the cruise wasnt expensive enough. If you purchase photos that the crew took at shore ports and around the boat, just for the option to download to your phone costs 15$USD!! If you get prints, it's an additional 5 dollars. I did a cost analysis on just a guesstimate for passengers and general price paid if every room cost the same, which I know isnt the case, I went off of how much I spent and multiplied it by 4500 passengers and you get close to 500,000 that was made off of purchasing the cruise. I didn't account for the alcohol or non-alcoholic drink packages purchased, the IMAX, or thrill level movie theater (which was a waste of money) the seafood bar, or the gift shops or the ridiculous amount they charged for a couples back massage for 50 minutes, or a pedicure where they tried selling you foot products! Some takeaways were the stateroom attendant, the kids care, the cruise director, the places we visited, the 555 Farenheit Steakhouse, the piano bar sing along, the gym (although was small) and the basketball court (which had to uneven sized rims) my downsides included: ludicrously high prices for things on board, the bland list of activities especially for the sports enthusiast (basketball games could have been a huge event, instead they had a game of knockout which was pretty fun) redundant food choices for the nightly dinners which didnt arrive hot but luke warm, the performance events which wasnt the best, but not the worst. All in all, I would travel on a carnival, but I'd have to see what cruise considered by other travelers to be the best one. For now, Royal Caribbean remains the King of the World as my choice of cruise travel! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the Vista because it was the only ship going out of Galveston we hadn’t sailed on during our annual Christmas week cruise. Because Carnival is our least favorite cruise line, we decided to spend more for a Havana Cabana room, ... Read More
We chose the Vista because it was the only ship going out of Galveston we hadn’t sailed on during our annual Christmas week cruise. Because Carnival is our least favorite cruise line, we decided to spend more for a Havana Cabana room, in hopes of a better experience. It did increase our level of satisfaction for the cruise for the following reasons: * Private cabana area outside our patio door (but I must admit we rarely used it) * Pool and 2 hot tubs only for the use of those in Havana Experience cabins (a huge plus when there are tons of kids on a Christmas cruise) * Kids under 12 cannot stay in these cabins. Halls are fairly quiet. * Had no problem getting lounge chairs or cushioned round beds, even with every cabin occupied. * FYI, you cannot lock or unlock your cabana patio door from the outside to walk to pool area. If you read otherwise, it is not true. * Bar service was fast with rarely a wait. * Security personnel did NOT allow anyone into this area without a wristband. This was nice to see! *IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Those not staying in these cabins can no longer visit the pool area in the evening because of noise problems for those in cabins facing this area. HURRAY! * You no longer have to worry about the masses walking by your private cabana at night. * We requested twice a day cabin clean up, as is usual on most lines and our steward was happy to oblige. While our Havana Experience was great, I will also make some comments about the rest of the ship. Pros: Fabulous singers and dancers! They really put their hearts and energy into each performance. Carl was a standout dancer to me! Young and energetic cruise director (Schwartz), though I think sometimes he just likes to hear himself talk. You will see him everywhere, fully participating in numerous activities! Amazing comedians! Tim Young was the best, and he did multiple shows. Hats off to Carnival for putting on an excellent Military Appreciation event! Nice celebrations of both Christmas and Hanukkah. Free yummy gelato at lunch in the Lido, with flavors such as coffee, hazelnut, pineapple, & mango. Cons: Poorly designed theater. Many blocked views and not big enough for the crowds. Poorly designed Lido Marketplace (buffet area), with closed-in feeling and long cafeteria style lines instead of stand alone food areas where people don’t have to wait in long lines. Quality and variety of food was the overall most disappointing thing about this cruise! Very few choices in the buffet and very few good choices in the dining room. We had the chocolate melting cake for dessert nearly every night because there were few better options. Singer/player in the piano bar was just okay. She could not hold a candle to Barry from Boston on Holland America. Tablecloths in dining room only on formal nights. Not using tablecloths cheapens the evening dining experience. Bring your own bottle of body lotion, as Carnival only supplies body wash and shampoo dispensers in shower now, and bar soap at sink. Each time I cruise on Carnival I say it will be my last, but then out of convenience (because we live in San Antonio and can easily drive to Galveston) I seem to minimize the things that I complained about during my previous Carnival cruise. I would recommend Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas when sailing out of Galveston over any Carnival ship. Unfortunately, the shows have not changed much from the 3 times we have sailed her, thus we look for other options. If you are a first time cruiser, you may enjoy the Vista, but as a 27th time cruiser, I have been able to compare the many amenities on a variety of cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have been on the Vista before with just my husband and we stayed in a Havana Vista balcony. That experience was amazing. This one was not as good. We opted for a Havana aft view extended balcony. My children, parents and brother were ... Read More
I have been on the Vista before with just my husband and we stayed in a Havana Vista balcony. That experience was amazing. This one was not as good. We opted for a Havana aft view extended balcony. My children, parents and brother were in interior rooms around the corner. I loved the room... probably even more than our Vista balcony as it had a coach andore usable space. (Opt for one of the four inner most aft view balconies for the most space). Our room steward Rob was nothing short of AMAZING. Best steward I have ever had bar none. This guy MADE the trip!!!! So helpful. My family's interior rooms were nice as well and roomier than I anticipated. The food was decent (ranging from very good to mediocre) but service in the dining room was also excellent. We all had anytime dining but I was able to schedule us a table for 8 on the first night and we were able to keep the same table (looking out over the ocean) for the rest of the cruise with a standing reservation for 5:30 every evening. Burgers were great. My biggest knock on the food was that I ended up with food poisoning on the third day of the cruise (and I knew it was from the ship because I had been on there for two full days and not off) which resulted in me being violently ill and throwing up and having explosive diarrhea for about 36 hours straight. Pretty sure I got it either from the lasagna or the Cesar salad at the Italian restaurant as that was the only thing I ate that no one else in my party ate. I met another woman later on the ship who had the same problem and there were several times I smelled vomit in the hallway so I know I wasn't the only one affected. But I suppose on a cruise ship with 6,000 people, it is almost bound to happen. Entertainment was great and getting on and off the ship at all the ports was a breeze. Disembarking was rough, but it wasn't helped by the fact that we were fogged out of the Galveston port until 3 pm so I guess the staff handled it well all things considered. The drinks were extremely watered down. I would NOT buy the cheers package on this ship. In fact, after I had 8 mixed drinks in a a few hours and did not even get a buzz, I switched to wine. I question if they put any alcohol in them at all. My kids went to kids club the first day and a child became violent. After that, they were scared to go. So that was disappointing and I was quite put out because even though my 5 year old was attacked by a violent child throwing toys at him, I was not called or informed until I picked him up. My child has been going to gym daycares since he was 6 months and is in a private school. He is always excited to go to the gym daycare and school so the fact that he was crying and literally shaking when we mentioned Camp Ocean tells me this was truly a bad situation. He said the kid was 9 and tried to kill him. This is completely unacceptable, Carnival! If your staff can't keep 5 year olds protected from behaviorally disturbed 9 year olds, then they don't need to be taking the kids with behavior problems in Camp Ocean at all! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is our first time on Carnival Vista - 11th cruise in total. We have been on several Carnival ships, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian and Celebrity. Our favorite by far was the Celebrity Reflection. I have to say that Vista is ... Read More
This is our first time on Carnival Vista - 11th cruise in total. We have been on several Carnival ships, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian and Celebrity. Our favorite by far was the Celebrity Reflection. I have to say that Vista is a close second and close tie with Norwegian Bliss. What I like with Vista are: - Huge value - Beautiful and clean ship. It has not aged much. - Friendly staff - Big cabin (we were in a cheap pothole window on the second deck) - Plenty of dining options. The options in the Lido buffet was not huge but everything we had was very tasty - Boarding in Galveston was awesome. Carnival has really improved it since our first cruise back in 2005. - They make their own craft beers. The IPA that I had was very tasty - Loved the 5th deck with all the outside areas. Just like on Norwegian Bliss. We have spent a lot of time here so far. - For being such a huge ship it never felt crowded. We don't love the layout of the theater room. I don't know why Carnival went that route. The atrium does not feel Grand but I don't care that much about it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The start of the day was great on ship. We loaded and was able to grab lunch and walk around awhile in a calm quiet setting. Until the rest of the quest boarded. It was so crowded and very hard to get a table during meal times due to so ... Read More
The start of the day was great on ship. We loaded and was able to grab lunch and walk around awhile in a calm quiet setting. Until the rest of the quest boarded. It was so crowded and very hard to get a table during meal times due to so many ppl. The lines were long and the service was not that friendly. Most servers served your food without making eye contact and without smiling. Most didn’t even say your welcome when thanked for their service! The ships cabins need updating!! This cruise was not for relaxing and enjoying the cruise ship in peace. It’s very loud and more of a young party boat. Crowded, not enough hot tubs, was never able to get in one.. I took my 2 children and husband, as we walked around the ship to explore the decks, there was about 5-6 people smoking marijuana outside in the seating section.. This completely made me mad as I had my 6 year old with me walking past these people. The smell was strong so it amazes me that not one of the crew people smelled it or even walked around to check on guest! Is bringing drugs and smoking it legal on carnival dream ships? Wished I knew I would never have went. They don’t serve straws with drinks. But will sell you one. Umm I’m paying how much for my cabin plus guest and you want to charge me for a $1 straw. I definitely won’t be sailing carnival again! No thanks. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were already scheduled on the Freedom for 22 December with family, but found a suite on the 15 December cruise and decided to make it a back-to-back. Luckily it was a fantastic choice. We've sailed Carnival before and had some good ... Read More
We were already scheduled on the Freedom for 22 December with family, but found a suite on the 15 December cruise and decided to make it a back-to-back. Luckily it was a fantastic choice. We've sailed Carnival before and had some good and some not so good experiences, but dang. Things have changed. I'll say up front that I don't know if the great changes are company-wide or if it's just on the Freedom, but Carnival has really upped their game. From check-in to debarkation, we couldn't have been more pleased. Well, perhaps if one of the lady passengers hadn’t already been so drunk when we did the muster drill that she spilled the ample contents of her stomach all over the deck and the passengers unlucky enough to be standing near her, that might have started us out a little better. But the crew handled it perfectly and that was that. The cabins on both cruises were clean, well-kept and spacious (7299 on the first cruise and 7262 on the second). The Grand Suite was the biggest room we've ever had on a ship before and the Ocean Suite on the second half of the cruise was more than adequate. The Grand Suite even had a jetted tub, something I used several times with much enjoyment. Cabin stewards in both were great, but Putu was outstanding on the second voyage we took. More importantly, Carnival treats you as a suite guest even if you're not in their largest suites. We cruised Royal Caribbean in April of this year and had a Junior Suite. They don't consider the Junior Suite a suite, regardless of what they call it. That was disappointing, and it was great to not have a similar experience with Carnival. The first sailing had ports of call in Cozumel, Belize and Roatan, but due to a very strong, fast-moving cold front we were only able to port in Cozumel prior to the front's arrival. After the front passed, we had 10-20 foot seas and 50+ knot winds - gale conditions. First off, the ship handled beautifully. We could tell there was adverse weather outside, but skillful navigation and decision making by Captain Costi gave us a great ride. We did not port at either Belize (no shore excursions planned) or Roatan (a sailing shore excursion planned). One negative comment here - we tried to discuss the situation with the Shore Excursion folks, but the fool behind the desk actually said "I have no idea what you're talking about." when we were discussing the gale conditions. I know there's money on the line with them, but it seemed when there was bad news to be passed, the Shore Excursion people would simply disappear. And when you could find them, those we found were completely unresponsive to any adverse conditions. Anyway, shore excursion money was always immediately refunded to our onboard account and we could then cash that out with the Guest Services desk or spend it as we saw fit. While discussing Guest Services, I'll say that one of our (new) suitcases was damaged when it arrived to our room. I believed that because there was no way of knowing who had damaged it or when the damage occurred there was nothing we could do about it. While being escorted to Customs during the middle Sunday of the cruise for the back-to-back, I mentioned the only issue we'd had yet was the damaged luggage to Shineca (Guest Services). She told me to bring the broken suitcase down to them and they would see what they could do. I was amazed, and told her my thoughts about not knowing who had damaged the suitcase. She was unfazed and said it didn't really matter. When we got back on the ship I took the suitcase down and talked to Tin, Guest Services manager. He took the item and told me they would see if they could get it repaired in Cozumel (3rd stop on the 2nd cruise). If not, they would find a replacement for us. After Cozumel, they called and I returned to Guest Services to find a brand new rolling suitcase, slightly smaller than the original that had been damaged. Because of the size difference, they offered us an additional new bag to make up the difference. Since I felt the difference was not that large and we could make do with just the one, I opted to just take only one suitcase. Tin found me a few minutes later and wanted me to take the second bag. He felt they weren't doing their best to provide us with only the single suitcase because it was slightly smaller. It was a bit difficult to convince him one bag was sufficient, that they should keep the second for another mishap. Really outstanding service. While I’m talking about Guest Services, I’ll also say that Karin was always smiling, even through the worst of the weather and the crush of disappointed guests after 2 ports were bypassed for safety. Her laugh and her enthusiasm absolutely represented Carnival as any corporation would love. Rodelisa was also helpful throughout. All-in-all, a fantastic crew in Guest Services, and I’d like to think they were being watched for promotions. I’d also like to think we’ll run into Karin again on other cruises because she’s so great to work with. At the atrium bar, Prakash and Nipa were also always there, always smiling. You might not know it, but when you cancel a port of call for weather, every one of the ship’s crew gets pressed into duty for the unscheduled sea day. This happened twice on this cruise (and we’ve never ever missed a port for weather before this cruise). Prakash and Nipa, no exception to that rule, were completely professional, always smiling and not fazed at all. You couldn’t tell they were operating on less sleep and less personal time. Really outstanding folks. As for the entertainment, I can’t speak to a lot of it. We were transfixed by a single act for both cruises. The Cats String Trio was easily and by-far the best cruise ship entertainment I’ve seen in 20+ years on the water. These three ladies, two from Ukraine and one from Bulgaria, play electronic violins in unison and there really isn’t any way to describe how fantastic their music is. We had plans to check out most of the other shows and performers, but somehow ending up listening to their beautiful music again and again. I’d go so far as to say that if I knew they were going to be on a ship for a potential cruise, their being there would sway my decision. Finally, the Captain and his staff. To say this week’s cruise was challenging would be an understatement. When the front caught up to us as we sailed south from Cozumel, it was a monster. I’ve been a weather geek as long as I can remember and this storm was impressive on many levels. I’ve also never been on a ship when the waves were this tall and the wind this strong. That 50 knots I spoke of was not just wind across the deck, added to by ship’s speed. It was a pure 50 knots, yet some of the guests simply could not understand why we were not going into the ports. I understand the disappointment of booking a cruise with 3 ports and missing 2 due to weather, but some of these guests were simply unable to comprehend the effects wind and waves have on a massive ship. Even in Roatan where a large part of the island had lost power in the storm, people were still angry we were not docking. It’s hard to explain reality to those fine folks. However, Captain Costi did have a Question and Answer session in the main theater, and he handled the questions beautifully. He defused an angry mob and skillfully handled the guests that seemed to want their cruise costs fully refunded because they couldn’t understand the difference between comfort and safety. And I’ll add that the next day was the day the Glory and the Legend collided in Cozumel under strong winds. But as the saying goes, you can’t fix stupid and some people still left unhappy. Captain Costi worked with Carnival headquarters in Miami and found an unscheduled port for Friday though – Costa Maya. It wasn’t a great port for shore excursions and we didn’t stay that late, but it did allow people to get off the boat for a while after being in such bad weather. Again, kudos to the crew and Carnival for making the best of a bad situation. Food. Back to the April 2019 cruise on Royal, it seemed everything was an additional charge, including room service. On these 2 weeks, the dining room staff was very good though the food wasn’t all that memorable. However, Carnival has multiple other venues with really fantastic food and without additional charges like Royal did. Guy’s Burgers, The Blue Iguana, the Deli, the Omelet Station/Mongolian BBQ and the barbecue counter were all incredible. We often chose the dining room for the atmosphere (and elegant nights), but were just as happy in the other venues. Speaking of Elegant Nights (ex-Formal Nights), almost no one wears a tuxedo anymore. There probably weren’t more than 5 tuxedoes on the entire ship. Just FYI. I don’t know if the percentage is greater on other lines… Just one downside to the cruise, not a them deal-breakers but I wish it would be addressed. The casino deck, Deck 5 on the Freedom, was like walking through an ashtray. This is 2019 and I know there are better smoke scrubbers than the Freedom is using. Everything on Deck 5 smelled like smoke, even bars that were away from the casino. We tried going into the Red Frog Pub (which by the way had the only unfriendly crew on the ship) to watch the college playoff games. Stunk. And as an aside, I don’t understand why the playoff games couldn’t be shown on the big screen by the center pool if they could be shown in two of the smallest bars. We were told they didn’t have the license to show it – but how can it be on it the bars if that’s true? Oh well, OU lost, and it didn’t matter much after the first quarter. Disembarking today was a breeze. I don’t know if all Carnival boats now follow the same procedures, but if they do not, they should. The Fun Crew was mostly in charge of herding us around and they did a wonderful job. Everything was logical and flowed perfectly, clearing the ship in no time at all. Best yet seen for that. Overall, we were very impressed from start to finish with Carnival. So as soon as I finish this review, I’m going to begin looking at another Carnival cruise. Well done to the entire Carnival Freedom crew. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to spend time with our son over his Christmas break from UH. We had been on two previous cruises with Carnival May of 2019 and Dec of 2018. Our first ship was the Valor it was a 4 day cruise to Cozumel. The second was out of ... Read More
We wanted to spend time with our son over his Christmas break from UH. We had been on two previous cruises with Carnival May of 2019 and Dec of 2018. Our first ship was the Valor it was a 4 day cruise to Cozumel. The second was out of Galveston on the Dream. I had won a seat to the poker tournament on the Valor and the May trip was the finals on the Dream. Both of those trips we used a friend who was a travel agent to book the cruise. On this trip we booked directly. Again on this trip I won two seats to the upcoming poker tournament finals on the Magic in May of 2020. I most likely will not be able to go. I am considering selling my two seats to somebody who would like to play in the finals. We are planning another cruise on the Freedom in Mar to celebrate out 30 wedding anniversary. I have enjoyed the cruise more than I expected. I find the service excellent. The food is good both on the Lido deck and the Scarlet/Crimson dinning rooms. I like that the staff learns your name and preferences to anticipate what you may enjoy. The dinning room experiences the waitstaff is very good at make appropriate recommendations. We need to get better at make shore excursion plans, the three previous cruise we kinda may last minute plans aboard the ship. I enjoy the trivia events and the shows while we are at sea days. I also have enjoyed playing poker on board. This last cruise we attended some art auction events and learn a great deal about artist and art. We have been in a suite for the last two cruise and really like the extra space including the upgrade bath. The trip in 2018 we booked two rooms on for us and one for our son. This last time the three of us easily share the suite. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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