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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of ... Read More
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and areas within driving distance. Although you can fly, the airport is a quick taxi ride to the port, this would get so much more use if they had more ships. Several people shared that the city of Charleston is only wanting one boat at a time using the port. Carnival is switching out the Ecstasy for the Sunshine in 2019. Embarkation was speedy, I made it through security and over to the check-in counter with ease. I was on the gangway within 10 minutes.Get there by 11 and you can get on the boat. They give you a special time on your boarding pass but it didn't seem to matter. Once on the boat the party was revving up on the Lido Deck. Guy's Burger Joint was ready as was the Blue Iguana Cantina and the lunch buffet. The pizza place at the very back of the Lido Deck was great, the Caesar salad was a HUGE hit. If you have the bubbles package (sodas, not alcohol) you need to pay SC tax while in port. Also, the bubbles/alcohol packages cannot be used on the private island or on room service. We were allowed to our cabins promptly at 1:30 and many bags were already there. We loved our room, small TV (not a ton of channels, not good if you are seasick or stuck in your room, thankfully we weren't). Bathroom was tiny but that's to be expected. Water pressure was not good, fuse blew when too many people were drying their hair and some cabin bathrooms had a slight odor but essential oils took care of that issue. We mustered around 3:30. This was a typical muster, we listened to the rules, walked up to where our lifeboat was and that was it. We didn't need to bring our vests. We sailed away and toured around the ship. It's a smaller ship, maybe 2000 people on board but, unless you walked the length of the boat on our deck (Deck 5 Main) we had to weasel in and out of rooms (mostly the casino on Deck 9) which was filled with cigarette smoke. There was awesome nightly entertainment near the China Town bar but the smoke kept us away. Piano Bar was fun, comedy was great, shows were great, the Love and Marriage show is always a winner and we were even able to watch the Super Bowl in the two lounges as well as the Lido Deck. The Alchemy Bar was awesome, martini tastings were a big hit and there were wonderful areas at the bar and in it's vicinity to sit and enjoy your drink. We had the late seating for dining and we LOVED it. Our server, Lucy, knew our names almost immediately, catered to the specialty dishes some of our party needed and was a delight over the entire trip. Support staff in the dining room was wonderful as well. The food was quite tasty overall, I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised (just ask the 8 pounds I brought home with me hahaha) Day 2 was all day at sea, the boat is older so we felt LOTS of rocking. Some didn't like that and had some sea sickness. Thankfully I didn't and found the rocking to be soothing and relaxing. Sea Day Brunch was another pleasant surprise- get the steak and eggs. The steak was tender and seasoned well. Omelets were good too I heard but on both sea days, during the brunch I got steak and eggs. The private island, Princess Cay, was great, the water was chilly and it was windy but we found a great pavilion with plenty of seats both in and out of the shade. The island lunch was okay, burgers with accouterments. Some of us headed back to the boat (you have to take a tender to and from the main ship) and before boarding you need to go through security so plan accordingly. I heard that as the time to board got closer, the lines were long, the sun was hot and if you wanted shade there were limited seats on the bottom of the tender. The next day we got to Nassau and opted to go to the Nassau Hilton, its right next door to Senor Frogs. $79 got you a day pass that included a $40 food/beverage credit to use, access to their private beach, pool, chairs, umbrellas etc. It was worth every penny. It was clean, quiet, not crowded at all. I would go there again in a heartbeat. The food was pricey, a burger was $19.75- so your credit doesn't go too far. Beachy adult beverages averaged around $10 as did a shot. Yup. A shot was $10. Note that there is a tax added to the food and drinks but gratuity is already included. On our way back, our second sea day, it was chilly- windy and somewhat cloudy so time on deck was limited. We had fun sleeping in, going to the sea day brunch, playing BINGO and taking naps. For our final dinner we headed back to the dining room (we went every night, the choices were great, rarely was there an issue choosing something yummy) and followed it up with the comedy club and show. The morning of debarkation was loud as I said above, the boat is old but don't let it deceive you, it was a really fun time. Plenty of places to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. It's not a mega ship, it has few modern features but the size of it can be a good thing. The private beach day wasn't crowded, the deck always had seats available, getting on and off the boat happened with minimal wait time. We made our way back to the security building, grabbed our luggage (we left it outside our doors by 11pm the night before, you could carry it if you wanted to) and made it through customs quickly. I grabbed a taxi to the airport but others in my party waited in line for a shuttle to get them to the parking deck. If you are looking for a fun getaway, this is great for those on the east coast who don't want to go to the major ports. I may need to return when they put the Sunshine on rotation. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We had a group of 20 of us for this cruise. Three of us were considered expert cruisers and 6 brand new cruisers. The remaining had cruised a couple of times. We chose this ship due to the location of the departation port and the fact ... Read More
We had a group of 20 of us for this cruise. Three of us were considered expert cruisers and 6 brand new cruisers. The remaining had cruised a couple of times. We chose this ship due to the location of the departation port and the fact it was so close to home. We all had a great time with only one or two complainers who would complain even on the best of cruises. We had a great time really and the food wasn't bad. We thoroughly enjoyed the Mexican Bar and Burger Bar (aka Blue Iguana's and Guys Burgers). Also really enjoyed our specialty coffee's in the morning as well as an iced one in the afternoon. We did have the Cheers Package, but would probably not do it again as I think we drank just to make sure we got our money's worth. Our cabin was not a bad size and the bathroom was pretty large too. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Our service from maruta,sherme, and rambat as are waiters and servers was excellent and enjoyed them. Very polite and friendly did there job very well and i will tell everyone i know about how nice it was. The fitness center was top of the ... Read More
Our service from maruta,sherme, and rambat as are waiters and servers was excellent and enjoyed them. Very polite and friendly did there job very well and i will tell everyone i know about how nice it was. The fitness center was top of the line. The shopping on board and shops were nice. Both excursions i was on were good and service was extremely good too. Jimmy jack foundation was treated with respect and staff did a good job with giving us are time for our music, devotions and equipment moving. On deck staff was also very helpful finding places on deck. Everyone i asked always pointed me in the right direction and were polite. Food was tremendous again and there was alot of varieties of dishes. The head staff was excellent on explaining what we had to do to get off and in case a emergency what to do. All in all it was a great experience for me. Amen and God Bless Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Disembarkation - an unorganized mess; couldn't find customers items purchased at port; didn't package Duty FREE items appropriately for boarding plane, although they said our items were ok for travel. CABIN - OK for slumber after a day ... Read More
Disembarkation - an unorganized mess; couldn't find customers items purchased at port; didn't package Duty FREE items appropriately for boarding plane, although they said our items were ok for travel. CABIN - OK for slumber after a day and night of drinking so you do not notice the mattresses need replacing DINING - WOW, the worst. How would you like to be served burgers,pizza and ice cream daily. Real cuisine seafood platters, snow crabs, shrimp,sushi and alike all cost extra. You couldn't even get a daily salad bar and fruit bar. The breakfast buffet was delicious and plentiful. ENTERTAINMENT and ACTIVITIES - no frills;FUN SHOPS opening organized for ship photo ops, not customer satisfaction SERVICE - my room attendant was great. PORTS and SHORE EXCURSIONS - FREEPORT and ATLANTIS BAHAMAS were both wonderful places to port; Freeport is the best! I have traveled on MSC and will travel with them again; I DO NOT PLAN TO TRAVEL on CARNIVAL LIBERTY AGAIN. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
it was a group cruise. embarkation and disbark was a breeze even with a child. we had plans for the ports so that was the focus of the cruise. Cosumel at the Chankanaabe (sp) park was fantastic even though it was too windy for ... Read More
it was a group cruise. embarkation and disbark was a breeze even with a child. we had plans for the ports so that was the focus of the cruise. Cosumel at the Chankanaabe (sp) park was fantastic even though it was too windy for snorkeling. Mayan replicas were extensive with a tour. sea lion show, great mexican buffet, we could see the dolphin experience through windows while eating the buffet. Awesome beach area. Dining on the ship: The evening meal was really good but you either have something fantastic like the seafood pasta dish, escargot and of course the chocolate melting cake (absolutely to die for) or you have something like basa (look it up, its a fish from vietnam that is cheaper on the market than cod and probably full of chemicals) its a fish that is on the don't eat list on youtube. we had the flat iron steak which was good, no complaints with that. Lobster one night only. prime rib 2 nights and fillet minion also. Ribs were some of the best I have ever had. Soups were good. Dining service was excellent, we saw the same people serving at the breakfast buffet as the evening dinner, they work very hard, other sites say the gratuities paid with the cost of the cruise is a surcharge and doesn't get reflected in the salary of the servers or the stewards so please plan on tipping. The buffet (deck 9) is like old country buffet. Some things were terrible (don't eat any fruit pies, my friend said its like cardboard with fruit on it). They need more coffee machines! coffee was out about half the time. But, the key lime pie was to die for. rum balls on the chocolate extravaganza were heavenly. we did the sit down breakfast in the dining room 2x and that was really good. Guy Furrers burgers and fries were good. deli sandwiches were good. Heres the low down on the bottomless bubbles. the only way to get soda is to stand in line at the bars. bar tenders don't want to serve you, it can take 20 minutes to get a soda with half the glass ice. They expect to be tipped. This cruise line needs a touch screen machine for soda! Even if it was only on the lido deck it would be better than the set up now. we barely got our moneys worth on that because we finally gave up on it. entertainment: not enough to do at all with my teen. shows were poor compared to my other cruise (I don't remember what line we were on then, it was years ago). very little for family friendly shows, some entertainment was in bar areas. movie night on the pool deck was fun 1x while in the hot tub. miniature golf was fun. one small pool for families and 5000 passengers. we stayed in the cabin after dinner most nights. Suggestion for carnival: at least have servers get drinks, coffee for people eating at the buffet, that would at least feel like we are being treated better than a free breakfast at a hotel. Shows need something like broadway reviews or performers, magic shows, something! I didn't get wifi but heard people complaining throughout the trip how slow, no service etc no matter what level you buy. I have seen the profit that carnival makes (reported on the internet) and this is shameful that lobster is served once, poor shows and the possibility that they are using the gratuities collected to pay the staff their base salary as opposed to a "tip" I hate to say this because of the hardworking staff but all in all this was an economy cruise. I would hate to see one with less amenities than this. I did not shop around for cruises because we were with a group so maybe this was the economy level. This cruise gets you where you want to go. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I booked this cruise maybe 9 months before we sailed. This was a return of an annual party cruise trip I used to throw for friends and family. I was disappointed at the time that I could not book it as a 'Group' trip as I had in years ... Read More
I booked this cruise maybe 9 months before we sailed. This was a return of an annual party cruise trip I used to throw for friends and family. I was disappointed at the time that I could not book it as a 'Group' trip as I had in years past, so I could not take advantage of the cocktail party or room comps that sometimes go along with them. Regardless, I was able to get my travel partners to use my reservation code and link theirs, so we could all sit together at Dinner. I learned about 1 month prior to our departure that Carnival had made this date cruise a theme cruise called 'Country Booze Cruise' which included bands, parties and all. This was a huge group for sure, which explains why the 'group' reservation option was not available to me at the time. Once on board however, all my quips re the Group thing went away. I purchased the 'Faster to the Fun' package so I could get on as soon as possible, and also so we could debark early. It was well worth the price. We were the VERY FIRST people off the ship, and some of the first on board. I have done many cruises, and enjoy the party aspect of them. This weekend cruise is perfect for that purpose. I have done this one before (weekender to Ensenada), on Carnival Paradise, as well as several RCCL ships, and hands down this was the best to date. This is solely because of all the Country Music and People and Attitudes. I am hoping Carnival does this Country theme again. This really was the reason this experience was so good. Dancing and Music was non-stop. People's attitudes were amazing and everyone was smiling all the time. So much fun was happening everywhere and by everyone. Food was fine. Drinks were fine. I loved the PYOB (Pour Your Own Beer) stands. I was able to drink Heineken and the Carnival beer for ~$4.75 out the door. Couple things I noticed different from past cruises... - I never met my cabin steward. He/She did a great job and I have no complaints, but I wonder if because of pre-paid gratuities this is becoming more of the norm? - It was hard to get drinks at pool bars. Many people now do the Cheers program (up to #15 drinks/day for around $55/day. I wonder if because of this, and Carnival has your money already, if there is less incentive to push drinks, therefore less desire to hustle and serve customers. Seriously, I waited 30 minutes at a bar for a drink, and it was not that crowded. There was not many waiters walking around taking drink orders near the pool either, so getting drinks near the pool was a challenge. Again, I loved the PYOB stands for this reason as well. My 15 year olds were not able to meet many other teens on board. I think because of the Theme 'Country Booze Cruise' that may parents chose to not take their kids. Not many younger kids either. Despite this they had a great time. Loved the 24-hour Pizza and Ice Cream. Also, Guy's Burgers are AMAZING! All in all, a great cruise, and cannot wait to do this again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Let me just start with Guy's Burger Joint is the BEST burger I have ever eaten!! It was amazing. Rest of the food was better than I expected too. Drinks were tasty and STRONG. The Alchemy Bar was a great addition and high quality. ... Read More
Let me just start with Guy's Burger Joint is the BEST burger I have ever eaten!! It was amazing. Rest of the food was better than I expected too. Drinks were tasty and STRONG. The Alchemy Bar was a great addition and high quality. Rooms were fine. Really wish they had balcony rooms but we made do with the Oceanview stateroom. Lots of storage and good size bathroom. Few improvements for the ship. Wish the pool had been heated. It was COLD!!! Also wish the kids club was bigger. Looks like it was an afterthought. All in all it was a nice 4 day getaway. Catalina was beautiful. Could have stayed there for two days. We could do without Ensenada. Not my favorite port. Too many people trying to sell you junk and I felt like we were always trying to be taken advantage of. Not the cruise lines fault. Just my opinion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
It's the best vacation we had so far, our family really enjoyed the whole trip. wonderful food, enough entertainment for all the age groups, real professional staff are in store for all. My kids are ready to take one more cruise ... Read More
It's the best vacation we had so far, our family really enjoyed the whole trip. wonderful food, enough entertainment for all the age groups, real professional staff are in store for all. My kids are ready to take one more cruise immediately. Our time is well spent for three days, age groups wise programs in circle-C are very good. we had a family golf for the first time on the top deck, it's a pleasant time on the sea. I would suggest every one to take the cruise at least once to get the wonderful experience. Improvement opportunity is to add more Indian/Veg food and make the photographs a bit reasonable for every one to buy more. Shoreline excursion is a bit disappointment, we could not get the expected experience at La bufadora, geyser height is very less and the flea market is boring and not at all interested with the low quality products. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
It left from Mobile - which we can drive to the morning of sailing from Atlanta. We were taking 17 family members. Convenient. We took 17 people in 8 cabins. 80 yrs. old - 1 year old. My personal part would be my cabin and the ... Read More
It left from Mobile - which we can drive to the morning of sailing from Atlanta. We were taking 17 family members. Convenient. We took 17 people in 8 cabins. 80 yrs. old - 1 year old. My personal part would be my cabin and the cabin with my mother and two daughters (20 and 17). The food was just OK. Ordered from the steak house twice and was disappointed both times. Did not live up to $20+. Entertainment was so so. Amount of on board activities for a ship with 2000++ passengers was limited. It was cold and rainy the last sea day and there was nowhere or nothing for that many people to do. Would I do it again? Maybe for the convenience. But I would know what to expect. Walked off the boat nearly last (LOL) and we were back home with a lost - time change hour - by 4:00. OH- The ship was VERY VERY rocky. Worst any of us have been on and everyone except one adult and the 1 year old have cruised 3-8 times each. My 20 year old had to go to the medical center and get a shot for motion sickness $78. I marked no children because the 1-year -old belongs to my niece and I had limited contact with him. His mom, dad, and grandparents took constant care of him. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Finally decided to sail away for Christmas. We had a group of 12 consisting of ages from 13-65. The ship was beautifully decorated, the staff was wonderful and the weather was almost perfect. We had a forward cabin w/window on deck 7 ... Read More
Finally decided to sail away for Christmas. We had a group of 12 consisting of ages from 13-65. The ship was beautifully decorated, the staff was wonderful and the weather was almost perfect. We had a forward cabin w/window on deck 7 that overlooked the "public" deck. The room was smaller than I anticipated, having stayed in this category cabin before. However, our cabin steward was awesome. He went above and beyond to accommodate our every wine glass, xtra towel request and made sure our cabin stayed spotless. Chloe was the CD, she was fun and full of energy. The only thing lacking seemed to be the food this time. Portion sizes in the dining room were very small(filet the size of a silver dollar) and the overall quality and selection was lack luster. We ate more meals on lido due to the time it took to have a not so great meal in the dining room. We chose "my time dining" and it was a cluster at most times. I will not be choosing that option again. Ports we mostly good, Amber Cove was a fun relaxing day, Santo Domingo was just ok, Curacao was beautiful and was wonderful to see the sunset while at port, Aruba by far was the best, never disappointed there. We did the North Shore Jeep Tour with ABC Travel and had a blast. Highly recommend them. Overall, we had a fabulous time, there were a few disappointments but nothing that could ruin our trip. Read Less
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