The checking and boarding process made getting on a plane look like going through a McDonald's drive through. I suggest getting there early and having a carry on bag that will get you through the first day. i.e. suntan lotion, ... Read More
The checking and boarding process made getting on a plane look like going through a McDonald's drive through. I suggest getting there early and having a carry on bag that will get you through the first day. i.e. suntan lotion, book, ipad, etc.
I was unaware that there was a daily gratuity expense built in that was $12.00 per day, per person. They automatically charged it to my room, which cut into my spending budget for the trip. Now that I know, I will budget accordingly. In retrospect, I am sure it was in fine print somewhere, but would have hoped that the person who works for Carnival that booked my cruise, who knew it was my first time, would have prepared me better. There were things I wanted to do and couldn't because of my budget.
The cabin appeared small at first, but was smartly laid out and proved to make good use of its' space.
There were several amenities and/or activities that I did not know existed until later in the cruise, or after I got off the ship. If they did have a first timer's orientation for such things, I was unaware of it, but could have used it.
The daily news letter that outlines the food and activities was a great roadmap for my budgeting my time to maximize my entertainment.
The dinners were small in portion, but having the ability to re-order made the portion size a non-issue. The dinner service was a bit slow, but friendly, and with good atmosphere. The food was delicious and the menu varied without getting too far off the path of things I would have normally ordered at a restaurant.
The cruise director Dr. E., and his staff were very friendly, full of energy, and made a huge impact on the overall experience.
I did not do any excursions. I did not want to be on a schedule of any kind, so I am unable to comment on those.
I do recommend going online and purchasing in advance anything you might want in the room. It is less expensive and more convenient. I purchase some cases of water and brought along some crystal light so I always had something to drink in the room.
Overall it was a great value. If you were to compare a land-based vacation, the lodging and food in one price is a better deal than any other vacation you can book. The entertainment, destinations, and relaxation are all a bonus.
I am going back ASAP! Read Less