Had another wonderful time on the Carnival Dream. Upgraded to a balcony state room and it was well worth it. Very roomy cabin for 2 and a nice balcony. As always the staff on board treat everyone like Kings & Queens, anything you ... Read More
Had another wonderful time on the Carnival Dream. Upgraded to a balcony state room and it was well worth it. Very roomy cabin for 2 and a nice balcony. As always the staff on board treat everyone like Kings & Queens, anything you need they will try to please you. Food was always terrific and plenty of entertainment. Weather wasnt ideal as its winter time and rained a good bit. Two of our three excursions where canceled however Carnival did credit us back with no problems. Good weather in Cozumel and cold beer. Did the SeaTrek excursion and it was very fun and enjoyable.
Its difficult to get away each year and I need internet so that I can still communicate via email with work. I upgraded to the premium internet and it really sucked. Could rarely get on line to send an email from my laptop.
It was a very nice cruise but internet needs a lot of work, especially since I paid $125. for it. Read Less
We wanted a shorter but not 3 day cruise and to different places other than long beach port. Got to go with friends for first time and it was great to have people t do things with when hubby wanted to lounge on balcony. Galveston seemed a ... Read More
We wanted a shorter but not 3 day cruise and to different places other than long beach port. Got to go with friends for first time and it was great to have people t do things with when hubby wanted to lounge on balcony. Galveston seemed a reasonable distance for us and worked out good, but will fly next time. The 17 hour drive from phoenix was killer.
We stayed over night in Galveston and boarded the next day. The embarkation was smoothest and quickest I have ever had, they do a great job at that port. Debarkation was just as smooth. Kuddos to the port staff in Galveston!!!!
Fauzi our steward was great, we asked for evening only and he still took care of us on port days twice. Anticipated all our needs.
We did your time dining so did not have a regular waiter which I will not do again as I enjoy having the same waiter and team each night. But all was great never waited longer than 30 minutes any night. Most nights walked right in to the table.
Steak house amazing as always, love the options and portions are huge.
Overall, loved the Valor would love to go back during warmer weather, we boarded in 45 degrees and got off to colder.
Cozumel was cold and windy so our excursion to Playa mia was short as we prepaid. They had closed down all water activities except the pools that were ice cold. Food was so so , not great but drinks were delicious and the waiters made sure you always had a full one.
Progresso we did carnival excursion to Ushmal , amazing ruins and so much to see. Wish we had had much more time to see them. Read Less
Carnival Breeze Cruise 01/14-21/2018
(Noted That the Breeze failed its CDC/saturation inspection in December, but after reviewing the report, we saw that most of the failures were technicalities, not really health risk problems. It ... Read More
Carnival Breeze Cruise 01/14-21/2018
(Noted That the Breeze failed its CDC/saturation inspection in December, but after reviewing the report, we saw that most of the failures were technicalities, not really health risk problems. It seems it might indicate the staff is overworked or understaffed)
Shawn dropped me and our luggage at the cruise terminal and a porter took the 2 large bags and my walker. Shawn drove the car to EZ cruise parking then walked back to meet me (only 4 blocks). As a Platinum cruiser, also in a wheelchair, we got priority boarding. Got on at 12:30 (an hour late due to previous cruise’s debarkation delay). Helpful friendly staff and the wheelchair was quickly thru and up the ramp to the ship. Check in was extremely simple with the just checking our boarding passes then putting us thru the metal detector and out carry-ons thru the x-ray machine. New procedure on the Sail and Sign Cards which function as ID, Charge Card and Cabin key – you go straight on to cabin with cards waiting for us outside the cabin.
I unpacked from our carry-ons while Shawn went to check on the deck 5 hot tubs. Starboard Promenade hot tubs were open so we put on our suits and headed down despite the chilly weather. We enjoyed the nice, warm bubbly tub until 2:30, then tried to get lunch but ALL restaurants closed early (2:50). We went to our assigned Muster Station, Upper Blush Restaurant on Deck 4, for the safety briefing and at 3:15 they announced food service WOULD BE CLOSING which irritated me because everything was already closed. The Safety Briefing was held in areas where people could sit which was a great improvement over standing out on the decks as they used to do (ad still do on other ships, according to other passengers)
After the Safety briefing, they let us gimps out first but the elevators were crazy busy.
Finally got to deck 5 and went to Red Frog Pub for pub grub – but there was only one server and he was overwhelmed (and possibly indifferent).
Went to Lido after long elevator wait. Long lines for all food. Finally went to deli - Reuben and tuna sandwiches were yummy as were the curly fries and potato salad.
Love the tasteful decor of this ship but miss the comfy couches usually found along the Promenade on other Carnival ships we’ve sailed.
Back to cabin to unpack - walker finally delivered.
Internet plan for one activated meaning only one of us could be online at a time. The Internet is 1Mbit/sec with a huge ping of about 1.5 seconds (very poor response). We purchased the “Value Plan” ($60) before the cruise (at a small discount) – it is supposed to be for all basic internet use which doesn’t involve streaming videos, Skype or other massive data use, but this seems slow. Some apps would timeout and fail instead of just being slow.
Already had the Carnival Hub app – it includes lots of useful info like maps, what’s happening, menus, etc. We also paid for texting with other cabin mates for $5 each.
Went to 3-forward atrium for a Cruiser Special rum drink and to listen to Kudos Strings - 3 violinists- excellent!! Lots of Beatles songs and song from movies. Weird sewer smell down near the elevators was yucky.
Late dinner in Blush upper got our own 4 top! Servers Retno and Winaya both from Indonesia.
I had corn chowder, poppers, flat iron steak and creamed spinach. Shawn had Cesar, fresh tomato soup, salmon and baked potato. The soups were hot and delicious esp. the chowder. The bread basket was varied: fresh French, rye and a cranberry walnut roll. The Caesar is good but strongly fishy. The steak was a small portion but perfect for me - cooked medium rare and served with a delish peppercorn sauce, small baked potato (perfectly cooked and great!) and 2 pieces of broccoli. Very small but good portion of creamed spinach. The salmon was fine, served with baked potato, carrots, and broccoli
Caramelized phyllo for dessert was superb! I am glad they have reduced the portion sizes a bit – I like to order and try several of the numerous offerings and with smaller portions, I can enjoy them more.
Back to the room for an early night. The bed was extremely comfortable!!
Note: Schwartz, the cruise director, was a lively and popular character, beloved by kids and adults alike.
1/15 Monday at sea
S up early to walk laps in the Promenade – did 8. Walking track around the outside of deck 5 is wonderful. Walking laps is a fun way to start the morning, and to watch the sun rise. Each lap is .387 miles
The Hub app includes sunrise/set times and but not ship positions
I used the slow Value internet.
S took me for a lap on the Prom- windy on the pier side and 2 narrow points near the bow where the wheelchair didn’t fit.
Sea day brunch at Blush started at 8:30 but they seated us early – yay!
Had a coupon for a brunch drink - Breeze’s Bloody Marie’s are bloody awesome! And they do bread VERY well - the croissant was great. Had fresh squeezed orange juice (another good reason to go to Blush for brunch). Shared the fruit plate (pretty and tasty). S got pasta pappardelle “Principe di Napoli”- loved it. Delicate sauce with wide ribbon noodles, bits of ripe tomatoes and fried mozzarella. I had an omelet, cheddar grits and bacon. The omelet had spinach onions mushrooms and cheddar - 2 eggs, perfect size for my meal. Grits were creamy and tasty. Bacon was ok.
Went for a tour. Spa and serenity deck were ok but $40 to have to climb stairs to the Thalassotherapy pool seems excessive. Serenity Deck has cool cubbies, chairs, hammocks and 2 hot tubs all for 21+-year-olds.
Had to take Spa elevator up to 15 Serenity Deck, only stairs otherwise and no exit on 14 or 12 without stairs.
The Waterworks looks fun for kids (and adults) but climbing is required.
Went to Lido to cross back to the sports area but learned there is only stair access to 12 aft for the Ropes Course and mini-golf :-( so people in wheelchairs or limited mobility are apparently not welcome on that deck.
Also noticed only high-top tables at the sushi restaurant making it hard for gimps like me.
Loved that there are lounges as well as chairs on all the decks as well as some benches.
Went to Red Frog Pub for lunch - after waiting a while, the server came by and took order for a drink but said food wouldn’t be available until 11:30 (despite all postings saying lunch 11am-midnight). Tried the Jamaican Sunrise (Skye vodka, peach Schnapps, red passion fruit, orange and cranberry juice) - very tasty! We waited until 11:40 but the server disappeared so we gave up. They were clearly understaffed. We did not return.
Went to Lido and waited for Tandoor to open at noon.
YUM!! Murgh Salan (chicken and chiles in peanut sauce) and beef kabob were my faves while Shawn loved the fish and the pea and tofu Paneer. The naan was great (warm and crispy) and most all the salads were interesting and tasty! One negative note: they had what looked like roasted ears of corn, but they were actually boiled & seared to look like they were grilled.
Relaxed on the rear balcony for the afternoon then sat on deck 5 to see some of the Elegant Night outfits.
Back to the cabin and got ready for the elegant night. Had a plate of chocolates and strawberries plus a form asking if we needed anything - asked for 2 more pillows and a bathrobe (got them when we returned from dinner), plus we let them know we only needed once-a-day room servicing – no turn-down needed.
More people at Blush tonight. Shared our table with Kim and Sherry from OK. S had fried oysters (loved them), Cesar salad, wild mushroom soup (wonderful) and root veggies in a pie crust which was good but dry. I had the soup (excellent) and spaghetti carbonara which was great, with the hot Creme Brûlée for dessert - yum. Our tablemates were first-time cruisers and Kim was quite vocal about his disappointments with the cruise (many complaints) but finally seemed to realize he was being a downer and started reminiscing about his life in Austin in the 80’s.
Back to cabin to divest our fancy duds. Also received a throw as a platinum gift. Really appreciated the extra pillows.
Awakened by room service at 605
Got tray then Shawn headed out for laps - did 8.
I fiddled with comp and had hot tea and toast - note: even Carnival can’t make gluten-free bread taste good.
Shawn returned and I put on a swimsuit under a dress and we went to Blush at 8:10 even though they were scheduled to open at 8:30 - they opened doors at 0811 - this is a very nice departure from every other place opening late or closing early!
Seated at the same table as yesterday so same servers: Natali, and Joseph
We got orange juice (very diff from on Lido), iced tea, and fruit plate to share. S got pasta again (server remembered) and I ordered eggs Benedict with extra hollandaise. Nat asked if we wanted a Bloody Mary again and we agreed.
It was delish and the lady who made it came by to make sure we liked it - said the secret was her magic she added! We appreciate that touch. S lived his pasta again. They brought my eggs B with 2 extra servings of sauce and it was wonderful, especially with the little serving of home fries. The small servings make sense and I appreciate them - it’s easier and better to order more if you’re still hungry than to waste food if there’s too much!
Ate breakfast and went to the aft starboard Jacuzzi on the promenade. It was too sunny and had people in it, so we went to the port side Jacuzzi where it was windy but empty. The tub temperature was a little lower than the first day so we hovered over the hot jets for a half hour. Tried going back to the starboard tub, but it was no warmer so we headed to the room.
Changed then headed to the excursion desk to ask about wheelchairs on the Cayman Crystal Caves Trip. They said probably wouldn’t work so they refunded the full amount. BTW passengers can’t get from aft to midship on deck 3 so plan accordingly!
Up to Lido for frozen yogurt and ocean views. We were going to try the pizza but no slices were out and no one was around (despite the pizza place supposedly being open 24hrs)
Wandered a bit and checked email. Waited for noon Sushi opening but they were open when we got there! Very nice, helpful server let us order to go so we didn’t have to use the high top tables. Order a Bento Box for me and Spicy Tuna roll for Shawn. (Not a place to go if you’re in a hurry)
A lovely young woman brought our order and everything we needed to the table where we sat outside the Red Frog Pub. It’s worth noting that the server at RFP saw and ignored us before we ever got our food. The staff at Bonsai Sushi, on the other hand, were observant, helpful and plentiful! The Bento came with Miso soup (delish), salad with ginger dressing (nice), 6. Pc California roll with real crab, avocado, cucumber and fish eggs sprinkles, as well as 3 pc Sashimi (shrimp, tuna, and salmon) which I gave to S. Shawn had an 8 pc Spicy Tuna roll which was excellent - obviously and meticulously made by a pro!
Went up to get tea and see if Tandoor had different entries - they did, so we share a piece of naan and some Peas and Fenugreek (Methi Matar Malai). Then back to the cabin.
Trying to use the internet during the day is an adventure in frustration - SLOW!!! Not worth what you pay but... slightly better than having no access. The trick appears to be using it at 4 am.
Since S didn’t like anything on the dinner menu, we went to Lido buffet to eat. Good shrimp and breading and the chicken Milanese were great. Afterward, we made our way to the Breeze Atrium 3 to hear Kudos Strings again - fun!
1/17 Wednesday Jamaica
Up at 5:30 to get internet to work and prep for Jamaica!
Room service arrived at 6 AM as requested. Actually, the food delivered was substantially different than yesterday. Despite being almost the same order, things changed. Yesterday, I got four slices of toast and two tubs of cream cheese as well as two bags of tea for the hot tea. The only difference in the order was that yesterday I ordered gluten-free bread – which was awful. Today I ordered wheat toast. I received one slice of toast, one tub of cream cheese, and one teabag though the order was for two people. Slightly disappointing. On the plus side, the Internet works well at 6 AM.
S off to walk laps on Deck 5.
Packed donation for Jamaican school and organized cabin for carpet cleaning (about which they notified us)
Rain started so S came back from deck laps and we hit breakfast on Lido.
Not many folks and no lines.
Basic breakfast fare although the raisin French toast was nice as was the sausage gravy. I missed as the wonderful salsa which was available at breakfast a couple of years ago (on Liberty I think)
Watched as we motored into Montego Bay.
Gangplank on 0 Forward - a little hard in a wheelchair so we went to the Breeze Atrium on 3 to wait. At 930 we went to the elevators where a helpful crewman called the special elevator to deck 0 for us. S pushed me off the boat (in a good way) and onto the terminal where we were directed to our tour zone. Waited until 10 then out to a small bus with 23 passengers,
Driver Seymour and guide Michelle
Drove thru MoBay with running commentary. Saw markets, tons of yams, fruits, veggies.
Saw cannons only ever fired by accident at Brit ship by Brit soldiers. Stopped at oldest church, Anglican or Episcopal.
Bell tower is very loud when the bells ring as S found out personally. Looks like the church had not changed much at all relative to its colonial beginning, with the exception of the addition of steel-drum band equipment.
Drove into the countryside on bad roads toward Kingston and stopped at Mt Olive Basic School. Kids aged 3-5. The children lined up on the stairs of the school and sang songs and spoke poetry to us. Then the tourists sat with them and took pictures. The teacher brought two over to meet me in the wheelchair and was followed by many more, so we took lots of pictures of gorgeous children being sweet. Toured the school; teaching English is a clear priority. Shawn tried to give one boy an item—big mistake. Almost started a riot, which the teacher quickly resolved by taking the item away. We gave a bag of school supplies to the teacher. The materials we provided (chalk, playdoh, and paper) seemed very appropriate, given the kids’ ages. We then drove up the road and most of the people took a walk in the rainforest up a hill to a local restaurant.
I stayed on the bus because the hike was rough, but Seymour brought me a cup of coconut water to try, then he drove me up the hill to the gift shop area where peacocks roamed and a little burro posed. There was also an aviary with many different birds including a small eagle. Seymour brought me samples of all the fruits the rest of the tour group got: coconut with brown sugar, watermelon, papaya, and pineapple. Seymour and 2 men waited until our group got to the shop area then pushed me and my chair up a STEEP pathway to the restaurant area atop the hill. A little black cat was roaming but disappeared when the group started arriving.
Once everyone arrived there, they offered samples of fruit punch and sugar cane, then let us go thru the buffet: sweet potato salad, yams, coleslaw, jerked chicken and pork, festival (like hush puppies), Ackee and salt fish (the national dish) and 2 homemade breads. All were delish! S loved the ackee n salt fish. Coconut drops were offered for sale $1: chopped coconut meat cooked with ginger and brown sugar - yummy!
S had a Red Stripe lite beer and I had water.
I was scared to let the man roll me down the ramp so I braved the stairs then rolled into the gift shop where I tried sips of rum drinks. Bought a Cuban cigar for SJ then back on the bus and eventually MoBay.
Stopped at a “1/2 price gift shop” but we waited on the bus. Then back to the ship.
Went to the cabin - carpets cleaned!
Rested a bit then went to Red Frog on Lido for a drink. Got the Red Rum Treasure which was great!
Looked for a seat with a view but it started raining so we drug a chair under the deck 12 overhang on deck 11 and enjoyed the view of Jamaica. Watched the rain and the view until the ship pulled out then had dinner on Lido- fish n chicken for Shawn and chicken and ribs for me. The desserts were lovely - some warm honey oatmeal cake and mousse for me, ice cream for S.
Back to the cabin for a pain pill and to read. Fell asleep between 7-8 then went to bed at 9!
Woke every 1-1.5 hours as the ship rocked and rolled. The wheelchair rolled itself across the cabin and the TV swung itself out. Got up around six and Sean tried to do laps around the deck. The driving rain at the bow drove him back to the cabin, wet and cold. Got to Cayman around seven, but the rocking and rolling continued. The rain stopped so Shawn went to do laps again while I tried to make the computer work – if Carnival wants to gift my platinum status with something for me, perhaps upgrading me to decent Internet would be the best! The wind around the bow was crazy strong—very difficult to walk against it.
Captain made an announcement at about 730 that we could not safely tender into Grand Cayman, so the Breeze is headed to Cozumel early.
After giving up on the internet, we went to Blush for breakfast - servers Joseph and Natali :-). J told Shawn, “No pasta today!” Shawn had smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel plus a yogurt and granola parfait. I ordered avocado toast with poached eggs and a broccoli cheddar scramble. Delicious. The Parfait had little yogurt and was too sweet (lots of honey, minimal yogurt) for S but I finished it for him.
Back to cabin so Shawn can nap and I can get super frustrated by horrible internet.
Sat on the balcony and enjoyed the ocean motion, then we went to 11 for the view and the breeze, but it was more a gale so we retreated to another spot to wait for lunch venues to open. At noon, we headed to 5 to try the Pig and Anchor but all the doors to the outside were blocked due to the wind. Finally got out an aft hatch and tried a little of everything offered at the P&A. I liked the pork butt and smoked beef and collard greens. S liked the chicken. The potato salad and Mac n cheese were ok but nothing special. Getting back indoors proved a challenge - we rounded the stern and went all the way forward to find an open hatch. Went back to Lido and made our way thru the hordes to check the kind of curry available at Tandoor. Finding a table was hard - lots of readers taking up dining spots - but finally parked at a bar table aft by the pool. Had some curry and naan then went for desert - S had ice cream and some key lime cheesecake while I had cheesecake and a mini carrot cake (which looked better than it tasted).
Back to the cabin (1:30 pm and not yet cleaned) so I could warm up - lay on the balcony in the sun for a bit then went inside and got under the covers. Decided to go get pizza - asked for and received mushroom - it was good. The pizza was good, but minimalist in the extreme—very thin crust, very little sauce, and minimal toppings. That was good, though, in that it made the pizza very crispy and light, and likely minimized waste. Got a drink (Beachcomber) down at Red Frog mid ship on Lido. Heard announcements that tonight is Elegant night and saw that the comedy shows were canceled so have to rethink our plan for the night. Decided to eat buffet and not dress up - being stick-mud-people! Planned for Cozumel tomorrow.
Drinking man, Sam from Missouri, with a Marvin the Martian tattoo on his calf joined us and talked for a bit after his wife pulled his chest hair. We went by the cabin to get a shirt for S and a coverup for me then down to the Breeze Atrium but no music- everyone taking portraits. We planted in the Piano Lounge to watch elegant outfits.
At 6:10 we headed to Lido for dinner. I got a southwest chicken wrap from the deli while S got clam chowder, fish, and a Cesar salad. The amaretto cake was too chocolaty for either of us. Back to the cabin to rest before going to hear music in the Atrium. (Cabin STILL not cleaned)
Rested for a minute and Volter came to clean so we went to the Piano Bar to read. Heard an announcement that there’s someone needing medical treatment so we are powering full steam to Cozumel - arrival 0100.
At 8ish we went to The Atrium to hear Kudos Strings. Listened to faves like Stairway to Heaven, Devil went down to GA, Phantom of the Opera and more, while 2 little girls danced to the music!
Back to cabin @10.
1/19 Friday Cozumel
Woke at around 2 AM and we were docked. Got up at six and Shawn went for laps around the deck. My room service continental breakfast was brought at about 620 and was double or triple what was brought up the last time. It was great.
NOTE: The carnival Internet is horrible. We paid for the middle – class version, the value Internet, and it is horribly, horribly slow. They advertise that their premier version is three times faster, but three times the pace of a snail is still a slow turtle so I can’t imagine that it is much better. I cannot recommend paying money for the service.
Got the internet to work well enough to finish daily chores - only took 1.75 hours to do what would take 10 minutes at home. Packed up supplies for the orphanage tour. S came back from laps (40+ overall)!
Went to Lido for breakfast buffet - great sausage gravy! Back to cabin to pack up, lather up (sunscreen) and ship out. Out 0 forward and saw all the other ships: Carnival Dream next to us, Regal Princess at semi- dock, 2 RC ships at piers closer to downtown. Got all the way to Three Amigos then realized I forgot the excursion tickets:-(. Shawn parked me and headed back.
S back with tickets and we checked in with Give Back tour then went to the drug store. Shawn went in and found higher concentration Volteran plus Aleve gel but had to stand in line 35 minutes.
Met tour guide David and got aqua happy face sticker. Ran to Pancho’s Backyard for a margarita - took too long. Got it five minutes before departure and took it with us.
Back to meeting spot and group of 15-18 followed David to open-air safari bus. Climbed up the tall stairs into the bus.
The bus hit the road bumps like a tank.
First stop at San Jose Del Mar church. Only 26 years old, but cool stained glass windows. Not only the stations of the cross but also local history depicted. This was in sharp contrast to the church in Jamaica, which was an adopted colonial church.
Then on to the City of Angels orphanage (Cuidad de Angeles) a charity of the Church of Christ which houses kids with surrogate parents in houses (2 parents to 5-10 kids per house, 6-18-year-olds). They have 5 acres of land with house-building ongoing. They are trying to raise money for that, education, healthcare, etc. Julio showed us around and gave us info. We saw only a few young people, and we did not interact with any of them.
Back on the bus to Cocina Economica Los Chilangos (Chilangos which means “out of towners” because the proprietors are from Mexico City). Local food: Pasta soup, chips and green salsa (HOT), Homemade corn tortillas and a choice of entree. I had Deditas en crema chile poblano (chicken pieces). Shawn had Cerna de res entomatada (beef in tomato sauce) both with refried beans and rice.
Lovely lunch then back to the pier.
Went by the drug store and got then went back to Poncho’s Backyard for guacamole and rum punch. Back to the ship and a quick rest before heading to the port side to watch the drunks and late runners. Found a salt-encrusted window on deck 5 and saw a few drunks and almost no runners despite their being 30 minutes late! Schwartz the cruise director tried to chivvy them along with Chariots of Fire music but to no avail. We finally left Cozumel at about 6:10 pm.
Went to 3 Atrium to hear classics by Kudos Strings.
Then dinner on Lido as Guy Fieri’s burgers were closed at 6:30.
We went back to the cabin to get a jacket and I wimped out. Shawn went back to hear Kudos Strings while I lay down. Read for a while - S back at 9 and to sleep.
Day at sea
I slept until 6:45 while Shawn did laps. Got up but even before 0700 the internet sucks.
Shawn back at 7:25 after 10 laps!
Internet off and on
Went to brunch in Blush and tipped Joseph (from the Philippines) and Augustina the Bloody Mary lady. I had filet and eggs with grilled tomato and home fries (extra béarnaise)- perfect! S had the pasta. Lovely meal!!
Checked spa temps but both were tepid, so back to cabin to read/time Cs play, but S napped instead. Today, Volter came at 0910 of course! Said he’d come back later. He never introduced himself but knew our names.
We timed Cs play then went to Lido for tea. S saw the Ropes Course was open so parked me on 11 and went up. I enjoyed the sun and breeze and ocean view. S came back as the Ropes had just closed for lunch (at 11:30) until 1:30. We went back and edited until 1:40, then Shawn went to Ropes while I fought the computer. He came back after an hour and showed me pictures of the hard vs easy sides of the course. Shawn did the easy and hard parts, which were all fun. The ‘hard’ side looked to be particularly difficult for people who were big/heavy. We went to 10 and split a burger then went by the shops for gifts before returning to the cabin. We read for a while then showered and packed up everything we could. Read a bit then went to Blush for farewell dinner. S had caprese salad, creole shrimp, and a baked potato. I had creamy mango soup as well as baked onion soup, then ricotta ravioli. S had a complimentary glass of Merlot and I had lemonade. Tipped and said bye to Winaya and Retno.
Down to Atrium to hear Kudos Strings one last time: Bohemian Rhapsody, Only You (Patsy Cline), Celebration, and La Bamba. Back to cabin a little after 10. Finished packing all but the essentials and put out suitcases then to bed.
Alarm at 6. But it was 6 EST so we went back to bed a while. Up again at real 6 and Shawn went for 4 laps while I finally shed packing. Went up to Lido for breakfast but Shawn was disappointed - no gravy! Ate then back to cabin to get stuff, including walker! We were supposed to meet other priority departures in the midship restaurant at 8:15. Loaded up and headed to forward elevators which the ship announcements had said were for deck 11-12 and priorities only -ha! Waited 15 minutes because all elevators jam-packed. Finally got an empty elevator up to 12 then down to deck 3 where people were already exiting. Got right thru and got a porter to pick up luggage and take us through customs/immigration (no customs forms anymore.
Porter dropped me and bags at F and Shawn went for car. Fast and easy disembark! Read Less
We chose this cruise because we like cruising and have done all our cruising on Carnival in the past, so this was an easy choice for some relaxation. But very poor room service, toilet was dirty, second day we had to call for towels; and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like cruising and have done all our cruising on Carnival in the past, so this was an easy choice for some relaxation. But very poor room service, toilet was dirty, second day we had to call for towels; and last day at sea the room was not cleaned at all nor were towels provided, ridiculous! Never saw the cabin steward. And the worst incident was coming back from Freeport, I was wanded down and apparently moved my hand a little, the guy came across with his wand so hard he broke my fingernail. When I stated that to him, he screamed at me - "You need to stand perfectly still!" And don't waste your time or money on the Carnival HUB app, it doesn't work. We didn't bother to get internet, most folks we talked to said it didn't work.Very sad, it will be a while before we travel on Carnival again, if at all. Read Less
The ship was big but not so big i couldn't find and do everything i wanted. Good food, nice people, Entertainment was good if not a little off key sometimes. I enjoyed it! This was my first experience in the spa and was very pleased ... Read More
The ship was big but not so big i couldn't find and do everything i wanted. Good food, nice people, Entertainment was good if not a little off key sometimes. I enjoyed it! This was my first experience in the spa and was very pleased with the service there as well. I would maybe like more room in the spa considering how many people were in there during any given time. The waiters in the main restaurant were very busy but did there job well. Food was a little over cooked at times but very tasty. The crew that worked on the decks had to work overtime with the rain and wind and they did a fantastic job as well. I never worried about slipping on the decks. Over all the cruise was very good. I have all ready recommended this cruise to someone else and am going to help them book it. Thank you Carnival for doing such a great job! Read Less
This ship is by far much nicer and prettier than ships like Glory and Conquest. One nice addition was a promenade level that allowed us to go from the back of the ship to the front without going through the smoke filled casino. As usual, ... Read More
This ship is by far much nicer and prettier than ships like Glory and Conquest. One nice addition was a promenade level that allowed us to go from the back of the ship to the front without going through the smoke filled casino. As usual, the music was loud but at least not in most places where you traveled along the ship. Lots of chairs and more places where you could sit outside and stay out of the sun. The spa level had its own private hot tub and saunas but it is at an extra cost or you can get it as part of their Cloud 9 package that comes with the room.
On the back part of the ship is the walking/running track and some exercise equiipment. Unfortunately, there is the other recreaional activities like the sky track and minature golf that tends to make the track unuseable on sea days.
The one complaint I heard most was about the drinks. Many wondered if the one shot of alcohol was watered down. Even those on the drink plan said they barely got a buzz after cosuming their fifteen drinks.
A real plus was checking in at the airport. That really speeds up the process. Read Less
My husband and I wanted to go somewhere together and chose Carnival Freedom based on its affordability and (at the time) 4.5/5.0 rating on Cruise Critic. What a joke. I'm not sure how it has such a high rating. Luckily the stops in Belize ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to go somewhere together and chose Carnival Freedom based on its affordability and (at the time) 4.5/5.0 rating on Cruise Critic. What a joke. I'm not sure how it has such a high rating. Luckily the stops in Belize and Roatan were redeeming highlights for our trip, otherwise it would have been a complete waste of time and money. The ship decor is that of some cheap, seedy 1980s motel. None of the staff/crew look happy to be there at all and the best crew do the bare minimum in terms of customer service, others were flat out rude. The food in the restaurants for dinner is hit or miss on quality. Most of the other food on the Lido deck is not any better than hospital food that I've had. Even the frozen yogurt machines were hit or miss. Some were frozen, others weren't, some had more of one ingredient or another. The burritos from Blue Iguana were ok, but nothing to write home about. The comedy at the Punchliner was really funny, so that was a good point in our bad Carnival experience. The bed was hard as a rock. Also, the advertised "king" bed, is NOT a king. It is a queen size. More specifically, it's two undersized twin beds pushed together. When you wake up in the morning one person may be stuck in the gap that forms overnight. While choppy seas are not Carnival's fault, one night during our cruise the sea was so choppy that things were falling off tables. Instead of making an announcement to let anyone know what was going on or to make any commentary on the condition of the weather, the captain said nothing. No one knew an estimate of when we would be out of the bad weather, if we were safe, nothing. There were many other issues with things being broken in our room and despite reporting the issues multiple times and being told someone would be down to fix things, no one came. In fact, a person at Guest Services was super rude to my husband when he asked if we could get our mini-fridge fixed. I would not recommend this ship and possibly even this entire cruise line to anyone. I would highly recommend steering clear. Read Less
Chose this cruise for the ports- we had never been to any of them. First time on Carnival, and I haven't been on a cruise in 8 years.
We had a Oceanview cabin on deck 2 (Main)- which was okay for the most part since it was close to the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports- we had never been to any of them. First time on Carnival, and I haven't been on a cruise in 8 years.
We had a Oceanview cabin on deck 2 (Main)- which was okay for the most part since it was close to the dining room and the lobby bar/Guest Services desk. Our room was clean, we barely saw our steward but he was polite enough.
I thought the food was great- we had early dining in the Platinum upper section almost every night, and our service was always prompt and attentive. Buffet food was okay- wasn't expecting much there anyway.
My only other gripe was communication- it took two trips to Guest Services to make sure our $150 in "Gestures" were properly applied to our account. The Spa overcharged us $30 for a service, but after two calls to them we had that fixed too. Finally, our excursion in Cozumel was cancelled (we heard most water-based excursions were cancelled the night before we arrived due to high winds and waves). Unfortunately, we didn't find out until after we got to the end of the pier. They still had all the tour signs up- you had to find yours and then find out in person that yours was cancelled. Oh well, it turned into a shopping day for us and we got our excursion refunded.
Overall, despite a few issues we still had an enjoyable vacation. Food and dining service were better than expected- also we loved the Piano Bar and Comedy Club performances. Would sail on the Glory again. Read Less
We originally chose this cruise because of the price and the dates; as a teacher, I am limited on what days I can take off and how they fall around holidays. For a budget cruise, this did not disappoint! We are in our mid thirties and left ... Read More
We originally chose this cruise because of the price and the dates; as a teacher, I am limited on what days I can take off and how they fall around holidays. For a budget cruise, this did not disappoint! We are in our mid thirties and left three kids under 7 at home with grandparents for our first trip away from them.
We booked about 2 months in advance, paid roughly $800 for two adults in a balcony room. We ended up on Deck 7 in room 7417 (I think, my memory is fading now). It was the perfect location for us - quiet, towards the rear of the ship - just two flights of stairs up to what became our favorite bar, pool and food areas. And it was just 2 flights down to the comedy club, casino, etc.
We had a balcony room, which we LOVED. We went back and forth if it was worth it for us - and turns out, I don't think I'd cruise any other way. We spent a lot of time enjoying the views from the balcony. Our room was in nice condition and our steward was very helpful. Our first night the water was rough, and the rocking caused the shower to drain a little funny (overflowed the lip a bit), and our steward brought new towels right away. The room had plenty of storage, but only one real outlet. (Definitely next time I will bring a power strip or multi USB charger for devices.)
We paid for the social wi-fi plan (for myself) and the premium wi-fi plan for my husband. The social media plan always worked fine for social media and basic Facebook messages. The premium plan was not as great of a deal. We were able to do video chat through Facebook messages and that was nice. We weren't able to get Google Hangouts to work. And most of the time, my husband couldn't read articles on ESPN, CNN and the like. I was disappointed in the cost of the wifi and how slow it was for basic web surfing stuff.
The comedy club was great. We actually enjoyed the PG shows more than the adults only shows. The comedy club was the only place we struggled with service. The servers were pleasant and helpful, but they didn't seem to have a great way to remember where they took drink orders from/where they should go.
We ended up spending most of our time at the back of the ship on Deck 9. We loved the bar back there, and the hot tubs were most often empty, as was the pool. The only day it got busy back there was when the weather was cool/cloudy on our sea day. The pizza restaurant was fantastic. The line was never that long (obviously on a ship with 3000 other people, there is some waiting.) The seafood counter was phenomenal. The bread bowl of clam chowder was delicious.
The sports bar was absolutely packed for the football game, but Dante at the Casino Bar was helpful and got the game on the TV there. (Overall, the entertainment team could have planned some type of event around the playoffs - it probably would have been a hit.)
At the last minute, we purchased the CHEERS program. I'm glad we did - because we drank our share of fruity drinks and we definitely broke even. I will say that without that pre-purchased, I wouldn't have drank as much and I'd have always been thinking "oh, I don't know, it's expensive." If I went with my kids, I definitely wouldn't purchase CHEERS, but if we went alone again, I probably would because its one less thing to think about.
The buffets were delicious and fresh. We chose the Your Time Dining. I liked not being committed to a certain time, but I didn't love the dining room as I felt like I was sitting on top of other people. The tables were super close to gather but not the same table. I always envisioned round tables that sat 8 people on a cruise ship (I don't know why I had this image). It seemed as though then you'd actually be with other people, instead it seemed like I was eavesdropping unintentionally on someone else dinner. All the food was fantastic and the service was too!
We didn't use the spa - I did stop to check prices and it seemed a little expensive for my taste and if I had known the sea day weather was going to be lousy, I'd probably have paid for something - but options were limited by the time I checked into it that day.
We didn't use the kids club areas, but went and checked it out. I really was impressed. all the people we met said their kids were loving their time in the kids clubs.
In Nassau, we walked around and just enjoyed the trip. We went over and checked out Atlantis and the free beach there. Next time we'd probably just buy our excursions there. (We didn't buy any this time.) We loved Junkanoo beach. Had Conch at one of the bars - it was FANTASTIC. Lifeguard was on duty there. If we had kids with who just wanted to play and the beach and swim, we'd have gotten chairs there and relaxed!
Embarkation: the lines on were long to get thru security/check in, but our luggage arrived to our room fast and we were able to get right into our room at 1:30pm. I think our luggage was there by 2pm.
Debarkation: fellow cruisers don't follow directions which makes the process complex. If people would follow directions, it would be no prob!
The only thing I'd recommend is keeping an eye on your account on the HUB app. We had bingo cards charged to our room when were sitting at the casino bar. It was quickly fixed, but could have been $40 charge that wasn't our had I not noticed.
My husband and I really enjoyed the cruise and would definitely do it again! I anticipated more kids/more partying, but it was a nice group overall! I would without a doubt take our kids on our next cruise. Read Less
The fantasy is very old and really is starting to look it. BUT the main selling point of going on the ship is Mickey the Cruise Director. He is amazing. He is where you get the definition of fun. I don't think it is possible to be on ... Read More
The fantasy is very old and really is starting to look it. BUT the main selling point of going on the ship is Mickey the Cruise Director. He is amazing. He is where you get the definition of fun. I don't think it is possible to be on the ship and not have interaction with him. He is everywhere and talks to everyone and pushes those that are not having fun to have fun.
The food this time was NOT good at all in the dining room, and the service was not any better. We went on the ship 6 months ago and I wrote the food and service were amazing, that was not the case this trip. Guys burgers were good but the Blue Iguana was better. Now the dining room was really good when you went there for sea day brunch. Just not dinner.
The center bar is where everything happens, Russell and Nancy the bartenders are amazing, very friendly. Really enjoy them.. Russell actually sings and is really good.
Take 2 the duo that sings on the ship is out of this world. She gives Whitney Houston a run for her money. Where ever they are playing on the ship go there, they take requests.
The rooms were old but good, They are kept clean, the entire ship is kept clean. weird this trip they did not push hand washing.
All in all still a good trip for the money. Read Less
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