1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Carnival Cruise Line
  4. Carnival Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

1,295 Carnival Senior Cruise Reviews

This cruise was a whim of a moment, for myself and my friend, no kids. I had called Vacations To Go, and got a very nice price for a balcony cabin, on the 4 night cruise out of New Orleans to Cozumel and back. I was also familiar with ... Read More
This cruise was a whim of a moment, for myself and my friend, no kids. I had called Vacations To Go, and got a very nice price for a balcony cabin, on the 4 night cruise out of New Orleans to Cozumel and back. I was also familiar with Carnival and their port there, since my only other cruise was based there. My friend had not been on any cruise; it was my 2nd one. We both enjoyed it ~overall. She had a bit of a time first sea day, with sea sickness, but recovered soon. We had spent the night in Biloxi, then drove 1.5 hrs to the port the next morning, not taking any time to explore New Orleans, not really wanting to. Embarkation was quite a chore. We parked at the Fulton Place Garage, a few blocks and a shuttle ride away from the port. We arrived a bit after our set time, due to a large load of other people getting on the shuttle. Our checked luggage was taken by porters, and we went to join the Masses ~ However, we were processed, walking back and back and forth through the queue with the rest of the large crowd, we NOT being the most OverPacked ! It was rather tedious, and very hot, with the weather out being very warm. I determined that on next crusie I MIGHT buy the "Faster to the Fun" perk, and get through swifter. Security was not awful, pleasant personnel, and we were quickly processed, carry on items scanned, bottles shaken for alcohol content, etc. We did carry a small cooler with canned drinks and 2 bottles of wine. On board, we were quickly verified, and wandered on the 3rd deck into the assembled masses. Soon, Finding way to our room, we were pleased to find our Sail & Sign passes in our mailbox, and entered the room. Great sigh of Relief !! The cabin on deck 8, somewhat amidships, was just as seen online. The beds were properly set up, with a luggage pad on one of them. Plenty of linens & supplies were in the bath area. The temperature in our cabin was good the whole trip. Everything was good - EXCEPT the Refrigerator - it was about dead. I mentioned it to our steward, and he just shrugged, said -Sorry, most of them are no good. That was a large disappointment ! The balcony was perfect with two chairs and a table. The view was wonderful ~except for the stormy day. Our steward Suphol was unobtrusive, reliable, throrough, and very willing to get ice for us every day, replacing the "Dead Fridge". I have zero complaints for him. My friend tried the Comedy club. She said it was very entertaining and fun. I did not go, preferring to rest up in the cabin. She also tried a few drinks, finding them well made. We had late dining every night, and had very good meals. Our waiters were great, friendly, informative, and *could dance* !! LOL ! Of course I had Melting cake every night! Cruise Calories do NOT COUNT! MY Only disappointment was an extra charge for ordering a Filet Migon; Santika, our waiter let me know that if I liked Filet - to go to Seaday Brunch and they were Included ! YEA ! I did! Twice ! We LOVED the Guys Burgers restaurant ! Oh those were GREAT ! I was craving one when I got HOME ! We really kept things simple, not dining in any specialty restaurants nor going to any big shows. I was tired a lot, (Old person!) and my friend was a bit awed by all the things available. LOL We took a privately booked excursion on Cozumel to Nachi Cocum beach club. It was very nice, and easily accessed via taxi. All Inclusive meant lots of food and Drinks, and beach, which was Perfect! Be warned, though - Do your Cozumel Market Shopping BEFORE you head to whatever excursion ! The Crowds AFTER are Insane ! I cut my buying short to be sure I got BACK to the Ship before it left! There were some people that were videoed being amusing "dock runners" before we left port - but they MADE it ! The Valor was quite clean in all areas, with the floors shining brightly everywhere. It was a good size ship, not too long from bow to stern. We made the trip several times, going from one venue to another (maybe one reason I was Tired ??). We shopped the Fun Shop sales, and had fun with the sales persons. We collected a few nice FREE items too! Most of my "fun activity" was in the casino. Of course I didn't WIN a lot, but I had a pretty good time. One of our fellow cruisers organized a "group slot pull" where we pooled our money and shared win/loss proceeds. All participants enjoyed it a lot. Debarkation was a rather non-event. We had our to-be-checked luggage outside by 10 PM, the previous night, and it was swiftly collected Getting out of our room by 8:30 AM was more of an EVENT ! We then had a liesurely breakfast in the Buffet, and roamed around a bit until our lot was called. We had the usual long walk, with our carry-on items, then found our baggage easily. No back & forth maze nor scanning, as we had "nothing to declare". Non-Event, as mentioned. Our parking shuttle arrived in good time, luggage loaded by the driver and a helper. When we got to Fulton Place Parking, we were requested to take our bags across the street to load our car, since there were so many people going OUT, as well as a whole new crew of passengers coming IN. That worked out fine, when my friend brought the car around. We were swiftly OUT of New Orleans, again not dipping into the city at all. We had both been there many times. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Carnival is always a winner when picking a cruise. Our steward Timur on the 8th floor middle seem to know what we needed each day and was always pleasant as was his helper Maricel. They were always smiling and willing to do whatever we ... Read More
Carnival is always a winner when picking a cruise. Our steward Timur on the 8th floor middle seem to know what we needed each day and was always pleasant as was his helper Maricel. They were always smiling and willing to do whatever we needed without any question. Probably the best ones we have had. The ship decor is my least favorite of the ships we have been on, it seemed dark, with all the dark wood and the hangings on the walls above the main bar. This is the first time we did not eat in the MDR but seems like they served the same thing on the Lido deck and there you do not have to dress. After all the trips we have been on I finally got my husband to go to Love and Marriage and he loved it. We did not go on any excurisions as we have been to the ports many times before. Great Trip as always. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Room 6338 on the Carnival Magic September 22 - September 28, 2019 Exotic Eastern Caribbean Cruise 6 Day. Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Amber Cove Dominican Republic Husband and Wife Cruise First off let me just say, the ... Read More
Room 6338 on the Carnival Magic September 22 - September 28, 2019 Exotic Eastern Caribbean Cruise 6 Day. Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Amber Cove Dominican Republic Husband and Wife Cruise First off let me just say, the Carnival cruise lines gets too many negative reviews. Our trip started out with arriving at Ft. Lauderdale at 10:30 we boarded the ship after check in immediately around 11:30. The buffet elevators were programed to take you directly up to the Buffet which is on deck 10. We ate at Guys Burger and went to the bar to order a drink. We tried to get to our room which was 6338 and our luggage was outside of our room and badge keys were in the mail box. I AM NOT KIDDING YOU. We were able to unpack and situated. This trip made us Platinum Cruisers and when we opened the door there were two lanyards on the bed and 2 pins with a letter of thanks. Very classy Carnival! I have read where people say some nasty things about Carnival doing this because it's cheap. Shame on you, it cost a lot of money for things like this and a company to show their appreciation. I am not a princess and I appreciate things like this. Elevators were crowded but you’re on vacation with a lot of other people who want to have fun. This is where you manners should prevail. The elevators time was about 10 minutes to get into one. Because we stayed on the 6th floor we would run down the steps to the casino to the 5th floor. We are also Premier Member's (Casino Spenders) and received little gifts every day. LOVED IT. First thing I did was go out on the balcony. I tried before to find a review about the room and could not find one so I will take the time to explain it as best that I can. The balcony is on the 6th floor looking down at the outside shower and the Jacuzzi was to the right of it. I really didn't think too much about it because I planned on being in the casino most of the time. However, there was only one incident where about 8 teen agers were in the Jacuzzi getting on one another shoulders goofing around and splashing water all over the place. This went on about one hour with swearing between each other and making out. I eventually called 911 and reported it. The security guard was up and walked the floor and told them there was a complaint made by the passengers, they told the guard we were all laughing at them and going along with it. The Security Guard remained firm and told them to stop it. After the guard left they started to yell at us all for ratting them out. The boat was just leaving port from Half Moon Cay and they wanted to know why we were all out on the decks (Where are these parents?) Finally they left, Thank God. I do not blame Carnival because the parents should be more responsible with their kids especially teenagers. They still can still get into trouble regardless of where it is. With this being said, I do think that nobody under 18 years of age should be in the Jacuzzi’s without adult supervision. The buffet was really good which surprised me. We do not attend the sit down dining because it takes too long for us. Out of all of the other ships, Freedom, Valor, Liberty, Glory and Conquest this was a better buffet. Very tasty. The deserts were not that sweet which made you not want to overdo it. That was a good thing because it’s amazing to see how people just gorge themselves on the food. The casino was outstanding. I love the bigger ship because it gives you a lot more machines to play on. Even when the nights were really crowded you can find a machine to play. And yea the smokers are really bad. I had one lady that always seemed to be sitting next to me just smoking and blowing it my face without playing the slots. No problem I would just move to another machine. The machines let you play with wins and on the last day my husband won almost $1,200.00 which was very cool.  There were vapors on the boat but the casino employees would catch them and remind them there is not vaping on the boat. Our room Steward was so wonderful and attentive we always had ice in the room and the room was clean and not smelly like some other people have complained about. I did not smell anything on the ship other than good food and cigarette smoke. Also, the crew were amazing they were always working so very hard on keeping the ship clean. I know that this is a long review but Carnival does not get enough good reviews!!! I cannot wait to book another trip on the Dream, Horizon and eventually the new. Dismemberment was the best I have ever had. This guy should be a trainer in keeping things organized and staying right there to direct people to keep doing the same things that other people were doing. Usually there is no leadership and people crowd the hall way and there is congestion everywhere. NOT THIS TIME. Thank you Carnival Cruise lines you are the best and hope to see you soon!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, I was to be front, and advise that I prefer RCCL, over Carnival. However, I had an incredible Players Club casino offer, eight nights for $373, interior cabin. The interior cabin was standard accommodations. Very roomy for a solo ... Read More
First, I was to be front, and advise that I prefer RCCL, over Carnival. However, I had an incredible Players Club casino offer, eight nights for $373, interior cabin. The interior cabin was standard accommodations. Very roomy for a solo traveler. My cabin steward, Randy was very attentive and promptly filled my requests. FOOD: The Lido buffet on deck 10 had standard fare, adequate but not great. There is an Italian restaurant above the buffet, that served a complimentary lunch. It has several pastas to select along with several entrees. I was excellent food and service. Food in the main dining room was good, but I feel RCCL's MDR, has better for and offerings. However, in the MDR of the Carnival Magic was exceptional. ENTERTAINMENT: Production show and audience participation games shows, entertaining but not great The Punchliner comedy club had excellent comedians. POOLS: The main pool is really small for a ship that carries 3500 passengers, The rear adults only pool is also small, but mainly has people that "dip" and get out. As a casino player, the casino has sufficient slots and tables for the gamblers, the casino staff was very cordial. NOW MY COMPLAINT: The Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle never happened. It was originally scheduled for September 17 at 1 p.m. in the Starlight Lounge, when I arrived, I was told it was rescheduled for September 21 at 1 p.m., at the appointed time I arrived and there no staff. I called Guest Services and the representative tried to tell me that it was held on the 17th, I told her it was not and there was a Carnival staff trying to upsell cosmetics. She put me on hold and another person got on the phone to tell me they has no record of the event being scheduled or rescheduled. That was a lie as I had the original Carnival cruise line invitation. All in all I think guest services really suck! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. Thursday is his drinking night and he was not performing. The shows in the Liquid Lounge where really good. The Acoustic Jams with the young couple Unity entertained us almost every night. They sang a variety of songs and he whistles well while she plays the drum. Ketut and Joyce took good care of our rooms and the Omelet Station on the Lido deck in the Havana Bar was my favorite breakfast most mornings. I would recommend this ship to the 50 and older travelers. They made up 90% of the cruisers onboard. If you require a wheelchair to get on and off the ship this port and this ship does it better than any of the more than 14 ships of 6 different cruise lines I have traveled on. I can't wait for our next cruise on this ship in January 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
On the vista all the buffet food was so terrible we couldn't eat it, it was either over cooked or just plain bad. the dinning rooms food was better but most of the nights the food was not excitable. this was the worst ship I have ever ... Read More
On the vista all the buffet food was so terrible we couldn't eat it, it was either over cooked or just plain bad. the dinning rooms food was better but most of the nights the food was not excitable. this was the worst ship I have ever been on, most of the time they closed one buffet line and everyone had to go to the other line, which the food was so terrible we didn't eat. all the other ships I have been on had excellent food on the buffet, so what was their problem. Also they need to have one elevator just for the handicap cause people are so rude to them. we had to wait for 6 times to get my sister on an elevator cause people were so rude and wouldn't let us on they would cut in front of us. the dis embarkment went well cause we talked to the cruise director and she told us how to get my sister off in a faster way. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Over 20 cruises with Carnival. Each one an experience. Although this ship is a little old now,she is still a fun ship. Great staff on this ship makes the voyage lots f of fun and entertaining. Cam,the cruise director is definitely one of ... Read More
Over 20 cruises with Carnival. Each one an experience. Although this ship is a little old now,she is still a fun ship. Great staff on this ship makes the voyage lots f of fun and entertaining. Cam,the cruise director is definitely one of the best. He really puts his all into everything he does. One of if not the best singing/dance teams we have seen. Ardestra Gardens in Nassau was beautiful. Small garden with marching flamingos! About $18 for ticket and a $20 taxi ride there. Definitely worth a visit, highly recommend. Half moon cay was beautiful as usual, watch out for jellyfish! Otherwise beautiful sandy beach with lots of room for fun and relaxation. Looking for jewelry? Check out Effy on ship, Marianne or Alexandra are 2 ladies who know their stuff. They also give away lots of cool stuff. Guys burgers are always a hit, and they have improved their desserts in the lido restaurant. Had ocean view room, which was comfortable and plenty of storage space for 2. There was worn spot in shower floor which was repainted during cruise while we were out and about. I also recommend that when looking at reviews to take more notice of this who have done more than one review. These folks have cruised often and know what to expect. Just saying! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship overall looks old and the decorations are cheesy and tacky. The art hanging on the walls in the main gallery area have broken frames. Their suites are small. The dining rooms served a lobster dinner that totaled 4 bite and we ... Read More
The ship overall looks old and the decorations are cheesy and tacky. The art hanging on the walls in the main gallery area have broken frames. Their suites are small. The dining rooms served a lobster dinner that totaled 4 bite and we had to go up to the Lido deck to actually have dinner .As for entertainment, only four singer, but.eight performers, everyone should have at least one song in every show. In the soul performance there’s two blonde girls two white boys ...two dark-haired girls and two young men of color. It was racially and culturally insulting that everything was preformed by white singers. Magic show A+! Servers Are very polite and well mannered I saw people vacuuming dusting and cleaning day and night. And our room Stewart was phenomenal I felt pampered like a princess. As for our ports of call they were dirty and full of beggars and thief’s. only one was worth seeing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only reason I sail from Galveston is it's only a four hour drive. Other than that it's the worst cruise terminal in the world. After traffic was backed up for a mile Galveston P.D. finally decided to get someone out at 1230 to ... Read More
Only reason I sail from Galveston is it's only a four hour drive. Other than that it's the worst cruise terminal in the world. After traffic was backed up for a mile Galveston P.D. finally decided to get someone out at 1230 to direct traffic. Wait in line to turn, why, we'll just act stupid and cut in front of everybody whos' been waiting. Seven days of people that don't know how to shut a door without slamming it. Balcony door or cabin door, doesn't matter. People who only care about what their doing. Wait on elevator just to find someone one floor down having a conversation just holding the door open. We watched, that car had been idle for quit a while. The drunker and more stupid you acted the better you got along with the entertainment staff. Had drunk with his pitcher of whatever drunk in the Punchliner trying to save two rows of chairs threating to fight everybody, running up on stage like he owns the place. Does the staff do anything? Of course not he's what Carnival Stands for. Not the Fun Ships, we're the Drunk Ships. Try to eat in the Reflections Dining Room. Hope you like yelling across the table, because we don't know what an inside voice is. I will admit that once you could get your waiter to understand what you wanted over all the noise the food in the MDR was pretty good. Though I have yet to get a baked potato that was cooked all the way through. Don't know why guest services has a phone number. Tried calling three different times and after being left on hold for 15 minutes each I gave up. Finally got room steward to get cloths line fixed in shower. Unlike other cruise lines where you call one number for all specialty dining on the Vista you have to know the phone number of the restaurant you are trying to reach. The problem, they only publish the number to one specialty restaurant a day in the daily paper. So, if you didn't save yesterdays or the restaurant you want hasn't been listed yet the only way to get a hold of them to make or change a reservation is to go to it. Why are there urinals in the mens public restrooms? Every time I went into one there was a large puddle of urine on the floor. Ship is only few years old and flies are already a problem. On a good note, there was plenty of seating in the Market Place Buffet. They do need to add those hand wash stations to all their ships, also there could be more of them. It seemed as if about by Friday they were hinting to get us off the ship. Sausage is not supposed to be Rare and the gravy for biscuits and gravy was cold. As was anything from Blue Iguana. Went twice and both times both items were cold. Unless you're a fan of fat and gristle stay away from Guys BBQ. Lines are way too long and for what you get small portion and a plate of mostly fat and gristle, to sit out in the sun and poke at, not worth the wait. Main stage shows. I don't know why Carnival thinks were at a Rolling Stones concert. Just because you turn the volume up to 11 doesn't make your mediocre performers any better. Two of your three females thought they were a lot better than they actually are. The only one with a decent voice was the short blonde. Other two terrible, but hey, it was loud. Only way Carnival can justify the space for a library any more is to put a bar in it. First time I've seen that. I guess we need to have every inch of free space has to sell booze. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We enjoyed cruising on the Pride. Leaving from Baltimore is a plus. Only a 30 minute drive from home. Check in was a breeze, they had a good system that was quick. Slowed down to take a picture for memories. Boarded ship nlt 1pm and ... Read More
We enjoyed cruising on the Pride. Leaving from Baltimore is a plus. Only a 30 minute drive from home. Check in was a breeze, they had a good system that was quick. Slowed down to take a picture for memories. Boarded ship nlt 1pm and room was ready by 2pm. Met our stateroom steward, Tegum. He kept our room tidy and requests handled in a timely manner. This was our fifth time on the Pride. Our first stop was to Guy's Burger and we were not disappointed. The burgers are juicy, the extras are plentiful and the fries are just as delicious. Menu in dining room was okay, but we did try the sushi bar (the boat for Two) was more than enough, especially with soup and salad and a drink. We celebrated my birthday and Teguh surprised me with discounts for Spa and tours. We had an obstructed view balcony. Dr E, the Cruise Director was very entertaining and the highlight of the cruise. Itinerary was changed due to Dorian. We stopped at Amber Cove. The port had a variety of stores, restaurants, activities and beaches. The people were very nice and the port offered free wifi. We look forward to returning to Amber Cove in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My daughter and son-in-law did a Carnival Cruise for their honeymoon two years ago in October and loved it so much they wanted us to join them on a Carnival Cruise. Hurricane Darian caused us to have to leave a day early but we had already ... Read More
My daughter and son-in-law did a Carnival Cruise for their honeymoon two years ago in October and loved it so much they wanted us to join them on a Carnival Cruise. Hurricane Darian caused us to have to leave a day early but we had already planned to arrive in Tampa that day and spend the night, so we just drove from NC as planned and boarded with absolutely no problems despite only having birth certificates and driver's licenses and my having a pacemaker. We got on board, purchased our lanyards and were told that we were going to have a free day due to having to board early and leave the area that night. It meant 2 sea days before an excursion but all drinks and food were covered by Carnival for the 1st day. We ate burgers at the grill (better than any fast food burgers) and when we went to our room, all our luggage was there. Our room had a balcony with a lifeboat just a floor below. The bed and pillows were very comfortable and the shelves in the bathroom and the size of the closets were big enough to easily store our things. I am glad I brought some folding travel hangers and a glow in the dark small flashlight as well as a small plug in extra 3 regular outlets and 2 outlets to charge our cell phones, hair dryer, curling iron and camera batteries. I may purchase a larger one with more outlets before cruising again. Almost every single staff member all over the ship was pleasant and helpful and most remembered our names from the start. Jeniper and Salai our room stewards, were great and Jeniper was especially sweet. Once we had experienced Roxana from Romania as a headwaitress, we asked for her each night at the Bacchus Dining Room. She treated us like royalty and was funny and very good with names. The food was good, especially in the Bacchus. There was a bar tender we liked a lot named Jerry (may not be his spelling) who would even call out to my husband, Tom, as we walked by on our way around the ship because they had an ongoing funny Tom and Jerry routine together. I enjoyed the Marriage Comedy show a lot but not the adult comedy show at Mad Hatter's Ball done by R.T. Steckel--too crass for me. Doug who played the baby grand at Sam's Piano Bar was awesome and the disco night at Frankensteins's We loved the Pixels photo opportunities and bought a good many. Loved earning points for prizes, especially the nice photo album and the Thumb drive. My favorite shore excursions were the VIP La Casa Beach Retreat in Cozumel and the Jolly Roger Catamaran Sailing and Snorkel with Lunch at Roatan. There was plenty of time to snorkel and to eat and to shop in each of those excursions and the people working the excursions were exceptionally friendly and helpful. I ran into a little problem with my own but new full face snorkel mask and the captain of the Jolly Roger was gentle and patient and fixed me right up for my 1st snorkeling experience. The food was delicious and the guys danced with us and were very watchful of us in the water, as well as making sure we all had all to drink we wanted. Jesus at the La Casa Beach House was friendly and the pina coladas there were the best I've ever tasted--not overly sweet like most in America are. The chef made two great salsas and guacamole with chips as we watched. In Belize, we did the River Wildlife Cruise and and Mayan Ruins of Altun Ha in Belize. I loved seeing the dolphins follow the boat, seeing the Howler monkeys, and the iguanas where we had lunch. Our Mayan guide was a good story teller. At 62, I did manage to climb to the top of the Sun god's pyramid and enjoy the view, but it was a bit challenging due to the humidity and the steps being irregular and crumbly. I wish I had had more time to shop in the little row of shops with locally hand carved wood items, but it took most of our time to climb the ruin and some of our party slowed things down before we could start when we had to wait on them to join us. My only complaint about the Grand Cayman Stingray Sandbar, Hell, and Turtle Center experience was that it was rushed. Once again, we had to wait for a family that was late and so our guide had to make up for the lost time. It was fun to handle the turtles and the gift shop at the Turtle Center was a nice one. The water was beautiful where we held the stingrays and it was a fun experience. Hell was rushed but I am glad we got to see it. Disembarkation went smoothly and, although we missed our pets and the rest of our families, we were sad it was all over. We definitely want to go back to Cozumel and go on the Jolly Roger Catamaran again someday! Carnival did not disappoint! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We choose this cruise to go with another couple that this was their first cruise. The ship was looking good inside and out after the dry dock. We had an ocean suite on the 7th floor. Room was nice, lots of room and storage. We were a ... Read More
We choose this cruise to go with another couple that this was their first cruise. The ship was looking good inside and out after the dry dock. We had an ocean suite on the 7th floor. Room was nice, lots of room and storage. We were a bit surprised that the suite did not have a bathtub as the suites do on the bigger ships. Still had a nice big shower, but the wife really like a tub to soak in. We did the first night dining in the steak house which was very good. Service was very good. Food was great but there was a lot of food and we all over ate. The first night in the main dining room, level 3, early dining, was ok, food was good but the service was a bit slow. We were there 30 min. before we even got water and the breads. I did overhear a large group next to us complain that they had been waiting for over an hour for service. The place was full and they were very busy, so I think it might have been some new staff members. We only dining the main dining room once more and this second time the service was much better. The entertainment was very good but on the last night there was a power outage that affected the whole ship and they could not get the special effects to work in the theater so the performers just sang and danced as best they could given the short notice. We have two more cruises booked on the Freedom and are looking forward to those. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
250, million Dollar renovation what a joke had an interior spa room it was very nice the Stuart was excellent but other than that I don’t know where they spent all the money on the spa was very nice the food was so so very overcrowded ... Read More
250, million Dollar renovation what a joke had an interior spa room it was very nice the Stuart was excellent but other than that I don’t know where they spent all the money on the spa was very nice the food was so so very overcrowded the pools were terrible the shows were so so they nickel and dime you to death just watch out for all the waiters only wanna do is serve you tons of drinks I wouldn’t go on carnival again We did a personal behind-the-scenes tour met the captain he was very nice other than that the ship is nothing to rave about 20-year-old Rheem promised ship that should’ve spent their money someplace else they’ll get five years out of it and then they’ll retire and sell it to somebody else I wouldn’t go on it very overcrowded out of New York Oh just one more thing their cruise director the flying Scotsman is terrific he is the best thing they have if they lose him the ship is dead Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We got this cruise 2 days before it left and got the last room on the ship. We got #7335 which is listed as a handicap room and it is. The doors are on the side and both doors are 36" wide and the bathroom is very large. I didn't ... Read More
We got this cruise 2 days before it left and got the last room on the ship. We got #7335 which is listed as a handicap room and it is. The doors are on the side and both doors are 36" wide and the bathroom is very large. I didn't bring my mobility scooter because we were not sure the size of the room doors. There was enough room inside to put the scooter and access to a charging port. The crew is very helpful but I do not believe there are enough on the boat. It was like finding a salesperson in Lowes. We had many guests that were very rude and loud in the halls at all hours and no one helped. The battery in our door lock failed and it took 25 minutes to get someone there to replace it. Guy's Burger Bar is a new addition and they were very good burgers and fries. The pizza was not real tasty. The dining room food was good but in very small portions. We had 5 small shrimp in our appetizer the first two nights, and the last night we had larger shrimp, but only 3. The day in Bahamas was not great. Rain, the port walkways did not drain and were flooded, the tour bus was really small and cramped for me. The day at the private island was washed out by noon because of a major rain storm and everyone got soaked coming back to the ship. We enjoyed ourselves because we do not rely on any else entertaining us. We did our thing and the trip overall was good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This ship was selected for us by the travel agent booking our cruise. We were assigned a cabin in the aft with a wraparound balcony. The cabin was small, no seating area. The balcony was very narrow and not very enticing to use. The ... Read More
This ship was selected for us by the travel agent booking our cruise. We were assigned a cabin in the aft with a wraparound balcony. The cabin was small, no seating area. The balcony was very narrow and not very enticing to use. The day of our on-boarding everything went smooth. The elevator attendant complained about having to work the elevator for 3-hours without a break. He said, "I'd kill for a Coke." I just happened to have a mini-Coke in my carry on bag. I gave it to him. He was so happy to get it, he told me his name and said he worked in the casino and for me to look him up - he'd make sure I would win a game. (Hummm! sounds like a winner to me.) On our second day of Port of Call in Progreso, a Carnival employee came through the Lido Breakfast Buffet area with a big cart of bottled water in an over-the-shoulder carrier barking, "Last chance, last chance!" My husband inquired as to the price and the employee quoted $10.00. My husband gave him a $10.00 dollar bill and we got the water. WRONG! Our mistake - you never pay cash on board the ship; your room key is the vehicle for purchasing things. The charges are put on your cabin account number that's attached to the credit card you chose when making your reservations. Oh snap! The employee pocketed $10.00. On our last day at sea another ship's employee (casino auditor) stood beside us at the coffee cafe. We shared our stories and he was apologetic for the unacceptable shenanigans of the staff members. He indicated that there would be some staff meetings and training done to prevent any repeats. Then, he treated us to a cup of coffee. Our cabin was small and it only had (1) one electrical outlet for recharging our phones and plugging in my hair-curler. Our steward brought us a power chord mid-way through the trip. There wasn't a seating area inside the cabin; it was completely filled with bedding. The balcony had rough handrails and rust on the underneath side of the balcony area above us. Several days maintenance crew accessed our cabin to work on balcony refurbishing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose the Dream because we enjoyed sailing on her out of New Orleans and got a casino offer at a pretty good rate out of Galveston which is where we live. Embarkation was simple and quick. It was really nice that the muster was ... Read More
We chose the Dream because we enjoyed sailing on her out of New Orleans and got a casino offer at a pretty good rate out of Galveston which is where we live. Embarkation was simple and quick. It was really nice that the muster was indoors since it was mid August. Our stateroom was on Lido forward. This meant a lot of walking (I had a knee injury and had to use a cane), but we chose this stateroom so that's on us. The room was clean and tidy, but we didn't see much of our steward. Room was cleaned once per day during dinner hour. This is a far cry from the service Carnival provided in the past, though it's no fault of the steward. He did his best. Smoking areas on 5 and 11 received no bar service. They were very small areas with no access to pool nor whirlpools. Smokers were confined to the very small areas and not allowed to use sun loungers. Deck 5 smoking area was blocked off about half the cruise. Deck 11 smoking was right behind the stack and black oil spots were all over our clothes. Casino area was of course full of smokers. Where else could they go? Carnival makes a good bit of money off of smokers. STOP TREATING THEM LIKE TRASH!! One other thing about the casino...there was a drawing held one night and we were to receive an entry for every 100 points we had. We each had around 1300 points. We realized as we watched the names roll around on the screen that neither of our names were there. That didn't give us a very good feeling. Steakhouse. What happened here? This used to be a very nice experience with yummy food and beautiful composed plates. Now you get a piece of meat and roasted tomato dropped on your plate. Why this change??? Terrible. Raise the price if you need to, but don't just ruin it by destroying the ambience! Main dining Food mediocre as usual, but the service was impeccable. Yaco and his assistants were awesome. Yaco served drinks at the back pool on shore days and was the only server to come up to no man's land (smoking area). Thanks Yaco! Crew They were as awesome as they could be. They are overworked and treated like crap by many cruisers. We always treat them well, enjoy talking with them and tip extra. They are the only really enjoyable part of this cruise. Entertainment Violinists were good. Otherwise really lacking. I know you can get better entertainment. Finally We've all seen the carnival experience go downhill over the years. I understand keeping costs down to allow more people the opportunity to cruise. I've never cuised another line so have nothing to compare it to. I've always loved the cruising experience til now. It was the first time I've wanted to go home from a cruise. If you smoke, be warned you'll be treated by the cruise line as a lower class citizen. I won't say that I'll never cruise again, but right now I sure don't want to. Sad. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high ... Read More
This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high stress/high anxiety situations. Initially, I was kind of reluctant about going on a cruise and having to deal with wall-to-wall people. We drove to Long Beach from Phoenix and spent the night on the Queen Mary. As a first time cruiser, I thought it would be more stressful than bording an airplane. It wasn't! We got to the terminal early, they had a convienient parking garage nearby. We walked over to the exit of the parking garage and there was a gentleman collecting luggage for the cruise. I had pre-printed my luggage tags and attached them so I just left my bags with him! Easy peasy! We hung out in the sparse terminal for about 30-45 minutes. They started bording early, (we were in the 1:00-1:30 bording group) and we borded around 11:30. We relaxed until our bording group was called and we went up the ramp and borded the ship. Again, low stress! We borded the ship, were directed to the Lido deck for lunch and only had to kill time until our room would be ready at 1:30. We grabbed lunch, a drink and explored the ship. When we got to our room, our ID cards were tucked in behind our room # badge. We grabbed them, stuck it in the door and it opened. All we needed was luggage. I had noticed luggage carts near one of the elevators on our floor so I went down there and found our luggage, (they would have brought it to our room but we wanted our bathing suits!). From there on, it was smooth sailing! (No pun intended). We didn't have any expectations since we'd never been on a cruise but, I have to say, it was a riot! The party in the atrium every night was a lot of fun! I enjoyed seeing so many people having fun together. We saw a 70's and 80's show, a Motown show, two atrium parties, had an nice dinner, went to a, "Tase of Mexico" excursion in Ensenata to learn a couple of Mexican culinary staples as well as some tequila! (Margarita's while making food then 6 shots of tequila when learning about tequila). There were other excursions but we live near Mexico and the the towns don't vary much so we weren't interested in shopping. Our excursion was within walking distance of the ship so we walked back after our excursion. All in all, I only have a couple complaints. For first-time cruisers, you have to get to know the schedule for on-ship events. Also, there is a new schedule that is put out for each day of your cruise. Some are duplicates, some are different. We'll know to get a new schedule every day on our next cruise. Second, I never received any tickets to the excursion we paid for. I only had the receipt that I paid for it. They asked me for my tickets and I didn't have any! I figured they could get it off my "cruise card". No bueno. We got around it and they wrote a, "duplicate" pass but I didn't know I needed tickets. We're both 60-ish and like to relax in a kid-free environment. Don't get me wrong; we knew there would be kids on the cruise. They have an, "adult" area with two small hot tubs and a bunch of lounge chairs. That's fine. Except, they NEED MORE hot tubs and chairs! The chairs were always full and so were the hot tubs. This adult retreat needs to be bigger. On the Lindo deck, the hot tubs were always full of kids, surlely pissing them. I also thought the pool was quite small considering the ship holds 2000 people. These are minor complaints... Lastly, my wife and I like comedy shows. They had comedy shows every night. The problem was, the early shows, (9:30) were PG rated to accomodate kids! We would have to wait until at least 10:30 or later to see the adult shows. I think, if you have adult comedy, they shouldn't' have to dumb down their act to accomodate kids under 12. Give them their own show in a different room with, oh I don't know, Mickey Mouse telling Minnie Mouse jokes. What I'm saying is, when you're 60 and get up for work everyday at 3:45 AM, trying to stay up until 10:30 to accomodate children is not what I've worked for, for 45 years! I'm still giving the Inspiration 4 stars overall. We've already booked an October cruise, hoping there will be fewer kids.The whole experience was fun, enlightening, easy and memorable! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and ... Read More
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and deserve the gratuities. Many pros/ cons and key recommendations to help plan your trip! First the positives: 1) Download and use the carnival app. It’s a great way to communicate (chat plan) with your party and source for the daily activities, restaurant hours, and ability to monitor your daily portfolio spend. $5pp for entire cruise a bargain! 2) Excellent room upkeep and service! Room steward will quickly know your names on day 1. Offer to clean your room 2x a day or 1x a day, your choice (and you note this on form day 1). 1x in the morning was fine for us. Tip them! 3) Cruise director / Emma is great. “Hello lovelies” will stick with your after this cruise. It’s really funny when she laughs at herself with this unique chuckle and then the audience laughs at that. She is really fantastic. Oh yeah, she is from England. 4) Food in restaurants is pretty good! Dinner and breakfast. Now the negatives: 1) Entertainment for most part sub-par compared to other cruises. They do work hard and try, but seems budget is limited. Limited to comedians, lip-sync, customer engaged event shows, and few production dancing shows. The 80s show was fantastic and a must see! Finally some better comedians came onto the ship last few days. Emma cruise director is doing a fantastic job trying! 2) Very noisy areas in main pool area and much of the ship in general. Loud speakers, kids running, etc. This is more of a kids ship and hard to find quiet areas for adults, but there are some hidden areas. See below. 3) Expect long waits for: Restaurants if you do ‘any time dining’ we waited 45min average given our large party of 10. Expect shorter for 4 or less parties. 4) Long lines at: Pizza Pirate near the adult pool. Expect 30 people plus waiting and 1 worker making pizza. Priority goes to the $5 delivery person so expect a wait for 30-45min to pick-up your slice of pizza. Late night pizza lines given limited food options. To management, can you not add another person making fresh pizzas to cut down this line? Tips & Recommendations 1) Install/ use the Carnival app. A bargain for $5 per person for entire cruise. Have everyone in your party do this and you can chat on the ship for meet-ups and know the hours for restaurants and daily activities for entertainment. 2) Bring your own cups (e.g. YETI) to fill with water, lemonade, tea, etc. at the 9th floor deck. The larger the cups the better. Fill them at breakfast and bring to your room. The little green and yellow cups they provide hold about 6 oz. of liquid. Ice is plentiful. Water refill at buffet area, poolside, or bars. Even keeps your beer colder longer! 3) Bring a 3-prong power socket extender. There is ONLY 1 power outlet in your rooms (well, another behind the TV and used for that). You will need to charge multiple phones etc. Or bring a portable charger for your phones. 4) Bring binoculars if you wish to see passing boats, distance, shore excursions, beach, dolphins, etc. 5) Bring a case of water or buy on day 1. You get 2 large bottles day 1 and that will go quick. 6) Wine/ Wine package. Bring your bottle of wine onto ship day 1 only, why not? Else, cost is $35 bottle average. The wine beverage package (3 bottles for $80 with auto-tax) is worth it comes to $26 bottle for standard wines (given auto gratuity) or higher price for premium wines. 7) Best quiet spot for a book or just snooze in the breeze. 3rd floor outside deck under the life boats. There is also the ‘Serenity deck’ for age 21 and up top floor front of ship. Can be crowded there. 8) For large parties eating together at ‘anytime dining’ send someone down to put your name down and get a pager. Will cut your time down for waiting from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. 9) Alcohol in general. Gratuity of 18% auto added to every adult beverage., expect $10 drinks average. The carnival craft brew was great. Value of getting $18 beer pitchers. 10) Teenagers can visit the sports deck for volleyball, basketball and hanging out with others. 11) Auto applied Gratuities for your team members: Vary by cabin, but example $112 pp in cabin allocated to restaurant staff ($55), room service ($35), and group for all others ($22). Posted 2 days before end of cruise, and you can make adjustments at the front desk +/- and allocation % to your preference. 12) Unless you buy/ plan for roaming leave all phones in Airplane mode. Friend charged $3000 prior trip by AT&T and even though I requested all our family to keep in airplane mode, daughter still activated for a few hours and AT&T sent us email for international data of ~$200 for Bahamas temporary use of her social media. Food options 1) Avoid the daily buffet (there is MUCH better options with the restaurant, else Guys Burgers, B-Que). My view is more of poor food quality and lacking taste at buffet and sanitary conditions. Do you really want to touch the tongs that everyone else on the ship is using to server their food including all the kidos! 2) Use the restaurants, they are excellent for breakfast and dinner. From salmon bagels cream cheese capers to steak (filet mignon) and eggs. Yumm. Brunch menu. Dinner options have extensive menu options. 3) Dinner Formal nights. Lobster on the menu for one night and filet mignon the other. Yes, you can get as many lobsters as you can eat! 4) Lunch: Recommend Bque restaurant on 10th floor. Across from steakhouse. Many don’t know about this place given a bit hidden. 5) Lunch. Recommend Guy’s burgers and pizza take out. Pizza is actually very good. 6) Lunch: The sandwich window, excellent meatball sandwich. All are actually great. 7) Breakfast: Eat at the dining room or order room service. 8) Free drinks stations at the buffet areas. Ice, Water, Lemonade, ice tea, coffee. Found the coffee was surprising good and strong. There is a custom coffee shop for $5 coffee, but my view is standard coffee is fine in dining rooms. You can also get coffee delivered room-service! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, ... Read More
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, Juliana and Juan in the Accidental String Trio were just...the only word to describe it was beautiful. Neil was singing and Jammin’ the reggae hits on the steel drums. And Rob was rocking it on the guitar. DJ JD with the hits. The Brassaholics with the amazing Maroon 5 medley. And the Latin Band covering latin hits. Emma, Layla and Francois brought so much energy throughout the whole ship. Vargus Mason with the jokes! T.A. Williams at the Piano Bar. Diana and other bartenders tending the bar at the Lobby very well, including the bartenders on Lido who also bring their energy to the ship. I tipped what I could. Next I want to say how much I really appreciate how kind, thoughtful, and caring the staff was. They always offered help. I don’t usually accept help but I made some exceptions. I also made some friends on the cruise. The whole experience is one to remember. They always had smiles on their faces, and always greeted as we cross paths. And as you’re reading this to all of the staff, I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I get to meet you all again. Cheers "Let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile..." - unknown "My cup is full to the brim, I could go on and on, the full has never been told" - Buju Banton Side Note: Im looking for a job also (galvancromeo@gmail.com) all photos are unedited Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Carnival Pride because the departure city of Baltimore is about an hour away, so no airfare required. Drove to the harbor and had to wait maybe 20 minutes for luggage drop-off and parking. Check-in went quickly at our appointed ... Read More
We chose Carnival Pride because the departure city of Baltimore is about an hour away, so no airfare required. Drove to the harbor and had to wait maybe 20 minutes for luggage drop-off and parking. Check-in went quickly at our appointed time. The walk up the gangplank is a bit of a hike if you're out of shape and lugging much carry-on. We splurged on this cruise because we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and were really happy with our Grand Suite, except the lack of outlets. See below for cabin review. But I will add that we LOVED having a nice big balcony, so there was no need to compete for space around the pools, all of which were extremely crowded, including the Serenity area. If I had wanted to be in the pools, I would have found that very annoying. Dinner every night was in the main dining room, where we took the late seating. Initially assigned to a table for 4, our dining partners moved to a table with a window, so we had the table to ourselves all week - yay! Wait staff was friendly and efficient, and brought us a special little dessert for our anniversary. Once hubby found out he could pick and choose entrees and sides, have dessert as an appetizer and take another dessert back to the cabin to eat later, he was a happy camper! I enjoyed sampling the more adventurous options - but overdid it at the start of the week and by the end of the week was keeping it simpler. I was a little disappointed that a number of guests did not comply with the dining room dress codes at all, even on the formal nights (a few wearing shorts, t-shirt, and baseball cap). I appreciate that the ship doesn't want to be clothing police, but it would be nice if people understand that it brings the experience down for other diners if they're dressed like they went to McDonalds. At least a polo shirt and slacks would have been a decent compromise (even though that's technically what's expected the rest of the week at dinner, right?) We mostly enjoyed our cabin, balcony, and casino. Line dancing on Lido deck was fun. Dr. Dre was outstanding as cruise director - so much energy and humor! But we didn't really partake of other entertainment or activities this time around - just wanted relaxation. Port #1 - Grand Turk: Excursion Deep Sea/Reef Fishing - We had a blast. Six cruisers on the boat, and we caught 3 baracuda! Had the option to stop trolling and go bottom fishing to catch more, but we were all having fun so we kept trolling for the big guys! Port #2 - Half Moon Cay: No excursion. Rented snorkel and enjoyed a little self-guided exploration. Port #3 - Freeport: Excursion - Ocean Swim with Dolphins! YES! This was so much fun - I highly recommend, even though it's pricey. It was a bucket list item. Swimming in the lagoon would be better for people not comfortable swimming in deep ocean with fins. Back on the ship - our steward Farry was really nice, and did a great job taking care of us. We asked for ice twice a day, and there it was! We blew up an extension cord (oops) and he got a replacement. Very efficient and thoughtful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Before I get into the pros & cons of our cruise let me state that anyone who takes a Carnival Cruise and has a boring time or is left hungry it's your own fault!!! We are just short of being Platinum guests and we have ... Read More
Before I get into the pros & cons of our cruise let me state that anyone who takes a Carnival Cruise and has a boring time or is left hungry it's your own fault!!! We are just short of being Platinum guests and we have experienced many levels of satisfaction on the Carnival ships we have sailed. We have been away from Carnival for two years due a very bad experience (Splendor) and Carnivals lack of concern. We (5 family members) are on the fence about next year. What we missed about Carnival and the reason we booked this cruise was that when you ended your cruise you left family behind. You really get to know your cabin steward, wait staff and ships crew. In this, the Sunshine did not disappoint. PROS We booked two Ocean Suites (7312 & 7314) the cabins were a first time experience as we always book balcony cabins. The cabins were a real treat and the cleaning crew on deck 7 was absolutely fantastic! Dining on the first day left us feeling disappointed, it was not what we were used to aboard a Carnival ship. However, they stepped up their game on the following days! The additions of Guy's Burger Joint and Pig & Anchor Smokehouse was a big plus. Having the option to order from the Steak House in the dining room was a good move! We did not go to any speciality restaurants this cruise due the good food & service in the dining room and we have eaten in them all on other cruises. My only disappointment was that I did not get the opportunity to eat at Bonsai Sushi. Entertainment aboard ship is plentiful and sometimes hard to decide between them all. Cruise Director Chris (The Flying Dutchman) was the best and most likely the top Cruise Director of any ship. CONS All the hype about the renovation of the Triumph into the Sunrise makes you believe that you are sailing on a new ship. Understand that when you book a cruise aboard this ship the renovation was mostly the addition of cabins that left little space for all the guests and many of the guests areas reduced in size. There are plumbing and hardware problems in the cabins. Indicators that much was left alone. Next to us was a Grand Suite that had a balcony door that slammed and a large family that oped and closed the door all through the day and late night. When it slammed close it shook two cabins (4 in total) adjunct to it. Our pleas to fix the door went unanswered. The toilet in our cabin (7312) did not always flush right away. Most of the time it would flush 1 minute after you pushed the button. This too went unanswered. Many of the windows on the ship have paint splashed on them. You would think that a 220 million dollar renovation would include the scraping of the new paint off the glass! On an 8 day cruise we ate at the buffet (Lido Deck 9) once.This was due the agonizing slow and long lines. Trust me, on a cruise you expect to stand in lines but not like these! I timed my time in line and it took me 8 minutes just to reach the plates and another 7 minutes at the food selection. The design of the new buffet area was extremely poor for a cruise line that specializes in moving large numbers of people. We were told that Carnival was aware of the problem and was making corrections. When? Deli was the same, always a very long line and slow service. You could not get a hotdog anywhere on deck 9 except the deli. Yes, I only had one hotdog in 8 days. Stay off deck 9 to eat and go to the speciality restaurants or the dinning room aft. Serenity area for adults was a bust! very small and no shade! Again due to max profit of cabins over the guests comfort or spaces. There is also a noticeable reduction of crew. Fewer bartenders and servers, many bars are closed and only open for short periods. Will we sail aboard the Sunrise again, no. The Carnival Victory is a sentimental ship as it was the first ship cruised from. It too is about to undergo a renovation and come to NYC in July of 2020. I hope Carnival does not make the same mistakes with this ship. Overall, Carnival gives you the best deal for the money you spend. I'm critical only because we are Carnival cruisers and as such see the changes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was ... Read More
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was postponed to July 1 and turned into an 8 day cruise. I monitored prices daily and when it dropped to what I was comfortable paying, we booked. Good thing we did not wait any longer because by the next morning the sailing was closed. We also love the ports of Cozumel and Costa Maya and were very happy with lots of sea days and those 2 Mexican ports. For the first time in years we booked a balcony guarantee and within minutes received our cabin assignment. We were put in 8462, an 8C. I was quite busy taking care of everything we normally do over a period of months in just 4 days. We made our parking reservation at EZ Cruise and this was once again a good decision. We arrived, parked the car only a few spots from the shuttle pick up area, immediately got on a bus, and it departed with only 6 people on the bus. We gave a porter our luggage and walked down to the Priority entrance. We walked right in at around 11:30am and immediately checked in and cleared security with no one ahead of us. We then proceeded upstairs and boarded the ship. We went straight to the cabin where we were met by a nice young steward. Within 5 minutes we had our ice and bathrobes. We unpacked our carry on bags, filled the safe and headed up to the Lido for lunch. We were conveniently located near the aft elevators, so we always used that to access the Lido. The food line back there was rarely busy and there were loads of seats available. After lunch we went down to deck 5 to check on our table location. We were assigned a table for 2 in late dining, but did not like the location as the table was only inches from the next table. Darko, the Maitre D said he had just the table for us and put us at Table 174 in the Reflections dining room. It was a great, very private, table for 2 tucked away in a corner. The first night we had reservations at Cucina del Capitano and because we are gluten free we stopped in to pre-order our first night dinner. It was another excellent GF meal with Nonna's meatalls, Caesar salad, GF chicken Parmesan, a side order of GF pasta and lemon sorbet for dessert. We were surprised that it was not busy at all. Even though we were Diamond, we were refused a reservation for the steakhouse for the first night, and offered the 3rd night instead. We decided to cancel that reservation after meeting our waiter and having such great GF food and service in Reflections from Edi, Larimer and Yulius. We also enjoyed visits from Inna, the hostess from the Ukraine and Darko from Serbia. The first sea day we made sure we went to Brunch in the aft dining room. We had a wonderful waiter, Smitha, from India. She was fabulous. We also ordered our GF meal for that night since we had been in Cucina the night before. Brunch was wonderful as usual. The next 2 mornings at breakfast we were given window tables overlooking the wake, but the service was not nearly as good as we received on that first morning, so for the rest of the breakfasts and brunches we requested to be seated in Smitha's section. She was so friendly and efficient and remembered our preferences to the point where she could predict what we would order. We also received visits every morning from our favorite hostesses Inna from Ukraine, and Mini from India, who remembered us from our January cruise on the Vista. Inna even came to see us the morning she was in charge of the Dr. Seus Breakfast! On the 2nd night, just before second seating, the power went out. It had gone out for about 5 minutes earlier, when I was getting a shower, but came back on quickly. After waiting about 15 minutes for it to go back on we climbed the stairs from deck 3 to deck 8. By the time we arrived at our cabin the aft section had power so our cabin had lights, AC and working toilets. We changed clothes just in case something else happened. They were really good about making announcements to keep the guests calm. The cruise director, John Heald and the Captain took turns making announcements every 10 minutes. Finally, around 9:15 they announced that dinner service was resuming, so we went down to the dining room and had our dinner. Lots of people had changed clothes due to the A/C being out, but they welcomed everyone, even if wearing shorts or jeans on elegant night. We spent a couple of relaxing sea days either on our balcony or by the aft pool enjoying the great weather and calm seas. The sailing was really smooth aided by a sailing speed of between 9 and 13 knots. The day before we were to reach Costa Maya, we had to make a stop off Cozumel to let off a member of the crew who needed to be hospitalized. They originally said our arrival in Costa Maya would be delayed until noon, but we got in a bit earlier than originally scheduled. We booked a day at Costa Maya, so we got right off and walked to the check in point. After a short wait we got in a taxi with 3 other guests and were the first to arrive at Costa Maya. We were greeted warmly by the staff, given a short orientation and shown to our chairs on the beach and offered rum punches and guacamole and chips. Sadly, there was lots of seaweed and the staff worked feverishly to clean it up. I took a walk and found the pool tucked away in the trees and we moved there. The loungers were super comfortable and we were just steps from the bar. Our waiter came and found use there, took new drink orders and brought fresh guacamole. We had a super relaxing morning there. Then, when it was time for lunch we went to the restaurant, filled our plates and returned to our loungers where we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, sunning and chatting withe fellow guests. They asked what time you wanted to leave and just our scheduled time they came to tell us our taxi was ready. We had the same driver and were quickly back at the pier. It was a delightful day and totally worth every penny. In Cozumel we went to the dentist for our 6 month cleaning and check ups and then headed downtown. It was so sad to see downtown practically deserted, even though there were 5 ships in port. The Museum was closed too. We had lunch at Palmeras, which was tasty, but a little pricey, and then headed back to the ship. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the aft pool enjoying the ship while most were ashore. We had more super calm sea days back to Galveston and arrived in port right on time. I will say the Priority debarkation was a joke They had Platinum, Diamond, FTTF and all the wheelchair people in the Reflections dining room with no separation between groups. The wheelchair people did not get off as they were supposed to when their decks were called. As soon as any wheelchairs were called they all headed for the door and clogged the entry when those who had not been called were sent back. Others, who were in none of the Priority categories entered the dining room through the back entrance and clogged the aisles with their luggage, so that when the cruise director finally came to call the Diamond guests, we had a difficult time getting through. It was our first time ever not having a separate place to wait and not having any pastry, coffee and juice offered. Once we got in the terminal, we got a porter and quickly moved into the immigration line. They had just opened a new line for the porters and we walked right up to the front and were seen by the CBP agent immediately. Because we had not been to Belize or Roatan, the agent just glanced at the passports and did not scan them. We were finished in seconds and on our way to the EZ Cruise shuttle. We put our luggage out the night before and were off the ship, through CBP and in our car by 8:40 and home before 10:00am. We sailed the Vista at the end of January 2019 in a Havana Cabana and came away hating the ship. Yes, we liked the Havana pool, but we detested the constant pounding of the Latin music to the point that we abandoned the Havana pool for the aft pool most days. While our waiter at dinner in January, Pierces, was the highlight of the cruise, the rest of it was so bad that we swore that we would never sail the Vista again. Well, I found I can be bought by a low price. But, I also know that if I sail the Vista again I won't pay the premium for a Havana Cabana. The crew on the Vista this trip was so much better than the crew that was on in January. It was a different Captain, Staff Captain and Hotel Director this time and I think the crew was happier with this management team and it showed. Captain Vittorio Marchi was wonderful as was Staff Captain Nick, who took the time to explain all the problems in detail to my husband at the Diamond event, and Alina the Hotel Director was so sweet. We remembered each other from sailing on the Liberty in 2016 with her. I am not going to rate the entertainment. We have seen the production shows over and over on multiple ships and did not go this time. We did go to 3 comedy shows before dinner and enjoyed them. We also enjoyed listening to the Polaris String Trio every evening before dinner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was a quick get away for my husband and I. Thank you jelly, Cam, the cruise director, Blessings, Superda, from Thailand, Danny, Roel, and especially Hery our cabin steward, also Lelia. You guys were great and made our cruise even ... Read More
This was a quick get away for my husband and I. Thank you jelly, Cam, the cruise director, Blessings, Superda, from Thailand, Danny, Roel, and especially Hery our cabin steward, also Lelia. You guys were great and made our cruise even better. It was a delight to feel so welcome and you went out of your way to ensure that we had fun. There were so many of you and I hope I haven’t forgotten any of you. Thanks Allison for your guidance during shopping. We got held up in DI in The Bahamas and didn’t get all the perks but that’s ok. We will definitely see you again but not on deck 7. Room E66 was not a great choice for us because of all the noise. It’s a party ship Blessings to you all. What an awesome Captain: can park a ship on a dime. Great job!! Never been on a ship where the captain actually got engaged with us and kept us abreast of everything. We am platinum members and this was by far the best cruise ever. Freeport absolutely sucks. Should be dropped from all ports of call. All I saw was containers and junk. Not attractive. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have cruised many times in the Caribbean but have always wanted to try an Alaskan cruise. We had a marvellous time! My review is quite long but here are some special notes if you don't want to read the whole thing: - Don’t ... Read More
We have cruised many times in the Caribbean but have always wanted to try an Alaskan cruise. We had a marvellous time! My review is quite long but here are some special notes if you don't want to read the whole thing: - Don’t try to schedule your Lyft ride the day before your cruise - Check on possible excursion openings (which may have previously been fully booked) as soon as you board: openings and cancellations occur - Book the Tracy Arm Fjord Glacier Explorer excursion if you can!!! - Inside cabins are VERY dark when the lights are off, so I advise bringing a night light -The coffee on Lido varies from fairly good to awful and there’s no way to tell until you take a sip - The Nouveau Restaurant (Steakhouse) is well worth the extra cost - Pack for ALL weather and plan to layer your clothes. We had days as cool as 54 degrees Fahrenheit and others as warm as 89 degrees. - The wildlife and scenic beauty are surreal. We saw humpback whales, bald eagles, cascades, waterfalls, harbor seals and their pups, icebergs, black bears, raging rivers, pristine lakes, harbor dolphins, orcas, otters, sea lions, jagged snow-capped mountains, blue-tinged glaciers, glacial fjords and valleys, totem poles, lumberjacks, sled dogs and puppies, and so much more! - Most excursions provide binoculars but it is nice to have your own set or a monocular. Now on to the full review and log of our trip: PRE-CRUISE: If possible, plan to stay in Seattle for a few days! A City Pass ($99) provides entry into six or eight select sites. In 2 days, we visited the Seattle Aquarium, the Pacific Science Center, The Woodland Park Zoo, The Argosy Harbor Cruise, and the Space Needle (one daytime and one evening visit). The Knight’s Inn in Tukwila near Seatac Airport offers Park and Cruise (stay the night there then leave your vehicle parked in their lot for the duration of your cruise). It was clean, if slightly run-down, but their fee for transportation to the cruise dock was $25 per person each way. We used Lyft instead and paid $27 for both of us, plus a tip. (Note: don’t try to schedule your Lyft ride the day before.) DAY 1: JUNE 25, 2019. SEATTLE: Our check-in time was noon, so we got our Lyft ride at around 11 a.m. The Lyft driver had to drop us off at the end of the pier so it was either walk a long way with luggage or take their shuttle (another tip needed), but the shuttle was fast and easy. Just outside the check-in door, luggage porters could take your bags (for a tip) or you could go through the doors and drop them off yourself. As a platinum VIFP guest, I got a few perks, but this was the easiest boarding ever. One person verified that our boarding passes showed the right time, another scanned our passports and stamped the boarding passes, then we went through security. They pointed us to the gantry - we never stopped walking and strolled aboard. We wore swimsuits under our clothes so we were in the Lido hot tub by noon. The tub was more “a little warm” than “hot” but still relaxing. After soaking for a while, we claimed a nearby table before the throngs arrived. Because the mid-aft pool area is covered by glass, it was sunny and warm but there was no danger of sunburn, making it very pleasant. While we were drying, we got a burger from Guy’s Burgers and tacos from the Blue Iguana Grill, both only steps from our table. We both used the Carnival Hub App but it was slow and buggy (just as we noted on our last cruise). At 1:30 p.m. our cabin was available. This was the first time we’d ever had an inside cabin, 7293, just forward of the aft elevators. It was small but well set up with lots of storage - more drawers and countertop space than our usual balcony cabin. The only downside is the lack of natural light. (Note: the cabin is VERY dark when the lights are off, so I advise bringing a night light.) Our cabin steward, Raja, came by to introduce himself and dropped off our excursion tickets and platinum and gold level gifts. According to the info on the cabin TV, an excursion I wanted (but which had been completely booked) now had openings, so I immediately booked the Tracy Arm Fjord excursion. At 3 pm we headed to Muster Station C. Because I walk with a cane, we were able to sit in the restaurant rather than stand outside on the deck. (Note: Most of our previous Carnival cruises allowed all passengers to sit in large common areas during muster drills rather than line up out on the deck, but perhaps the Legend is too small to do so.) After the briefing, at the spa for my manicure, I was seated in the Relaxation room where iced water (regular and orange sliced) was available. Guilia came to welcome me. I received a shellac manicure and booked a couple of seaweed wraps. We ate some Mississippi Mud Pie which Shawn said smelled too good to resist. I got everything unpacked and our cabin neat and tidy - important in such a small space! The Legend has undergone some redecorating since I was last aboard. The decor is not as flamboyant and seems more elegant. The size of the Legend has pluses and minuses. Its being slightly smaller than ships like the Vista makes getting around it easier. Having the Serenity deck, pool, and spa on Lido Aft is nice, too. Unfortunately, Legend is also missing quite a few of the amenities we saw on other ships: ropes course, sky ride, outdoor movie screen, Imax Theatre, Pub Grab, and separate Chinese or Italian restaurants. We figured out how to use the internet on all our devices, before preparing for our Steakhouse dinner at Nouveau Restaurant (cruise elegant dress suggested). Our reservation was for 8 p.m. but we arrived early, so they seated us in the main gallery rather than at the more “romantic” window-side tables. Because it was the first sailing night, we received a complimentary bottle of Merlot. The meal was outstanding. We started with small rolls and breadsticks with butter; they were so good we could have eaten just those. The chef’s complimentary “sliders” were elegant and delicious. The stuffed mushrooms were excellent. We had a beautiful caesar salad and the baby spinach salad with mushrooms and bacon. For our entrees, we had the grilled halibut and the filet mignon sided with Yukon gold mashed potatoes with wasabi, garlic rapini, and macaroni and cheese. Both entrees were delicious. The potatoes were wonderful and the mac and cheese, amazing. Despite being very full, we chose to share the Chocolate sphere for dessert - it was lovely and delicious, without being too filling. The restaurant sits at the base of the signature Carnival tail fin and windows above us illuminated the huge Odyssey painting as the sun was setting. After finishing dinner, we strolled out on the deck to watch the sunset, but the wind made it uncomfortably cool. We sheltered in a glass stairway and watched and photographed. Being late June, the sun didn’t set until 9:15 p.m. DAY 2: JUNE 26, 2019. AT SEA: Shawn arose about 6 a.m. to do laps on deck 10. We headed down to Sea Day Brunch in Truffles, 2 Aft. The brunch menu has changed and even the servers are not completely familiar with it. We were disappointed that the brunch pasta was unavailable but settled for the “Signature Tower” with smoked salmon and egg salad (incredible!) as well as a fresh and delightful yoghurt parfait. We split a delicious bloody Mary for which we had a complimentary coupon. After breakfast, we went to the Follies Theatre for a naturalist’s lecture about Alaska and glaciers. The lecture seemed to be aimed at a much younger crowd, but we found the session to be very informative, nonetheless. We stopped by the excursions desk to verify when the Fjord excursion tickets would be delivered to us (they never were). Raja came by around 11:30 to clean the cabin so we went up to Lido where folks were lining up for lunch. We checked to see if the hot tub was any warmer, but it had been emptied. A whale blew only 200 yds away but too fast to identity. We took turns getting lunch from Chopsticks buffet and watched for critters. We split a chocolate layer cake. (Note: Carnival does chocolate well!) We went back to the Serenity Deck to relax and saw a humpback whale spout very close to the ship! We went back to the cabin because it was a little chilly (this was one of the few days during the cruise when it was cool!) then I headed to the spa for a seaweed wrap. I waited in the Relaxation room but the water dispensers were empty and there were no clean glasses. Giulia came and sat me in a pedicure massage chair. She brushed my calves then rubbed warm seaweed mixed with milk bath on them before wrapping them in plastic and a towel to “bake.” I enjoyed the massage chair and watched out the wall of windows for wildlife. Guilia washed off the seaweed and sent me on my way. I stopped on Lido and watched for whales. We spent some time trying to deal with strange issues sending messages; my iPhone 6S had problems sending and receiving messages. We dressed for dinner then sat in the Atrium/Colossus Lounge (2 mid) to listen to music by a solo guitarist and to Evano Strings, a violin trio. We went to Truffles Restaurant on 3 Aft for “My Time Dining“ only to be told there was a fifteen to thirty-minute wait. We settled into easy chairs to watch the parade of Cruise Elegant attire as folks went to dinner or had portraits taken. We were paged for dinner prior to the 30-minute marker and were seated at a table for two next to a starboard window. We both ordered the Roasted Wild Mushroom Bisque which was excellent. I also had a spinach salad and spaghetti carbonara. Shawn had a Caesar salad and the fried oyster appetizer. We munched on the breadbasket provided while we awaited our dishes. Everything was delicious although the servers seemed tired and overwhelmed. We reset clocks back an hour (Alaska time!) before going to bed. DAY 3, JUNE 27, 2019. TRACY ARM FJORD: Shawn was up and walking his laps by 5:15. I followed shortly thereafter, and we watched for wildlife as the ship sailed into the fjord. We sat by the windows on starboard, despite being overheated from sitting in the sun, as we had breakfast, so we could hear Jessica the ship Naturalist when she pointed out animals or gave interesting tidbits and information. We saw dolphins and otters and orcas and even a mother humpback and her calf! It was almost time for the Tracy Arm Fjord Glacier Explorer excursion, so we awaited the tour boat in the Firebird Lounge, 1 Fwd. The weather was perfect with blue skies and a pleasant temperature. There were a comfortable indoor sitting and a viewing area surrounded by windows as well as an open deck upstairs. As we drew away from the Legend, the catamaran took us up the fjord where we saw many bald eagles flying past us and in trees on both shores. Initially, the steep slopes were densely forested with fir trees, but as we motored further into that Alaskan wilderness, only scrubby brush and rocks lined the narrow waterway. We saw cascades, waterfalls, harbor seals, and a black bear on the bank who seemed to be unbothered as we cruised close to see him. The boat motored near many blue icebergs and other ice floes. We got very close to the gorgeous Ice Falls, one of 2 true waterfalls in the Fjord. The pilot backed the boat into the “nook,” a small cascade-carved cove where we could see beautiful wildflowers. We cruised past Sawyer Island where, 200 years ago, the 2 Sawyer glaciers were connected as one. The captain informed us that he always maintained a wide distance (100-500 yards) from marine mammals, but we went right over the top of one seal, whom we assume the captain didn’t see. We also scraped and went over numerous floating pieces of ice (mini bergs) which was disconcerting. (Since the boat was a catamaran, no seals or icebergs were harmed.) We navigated the icy waters, past many harbor seals and their pups upon the bergs, to get within a quarter-mile of the Sawyer tide glacier. We saw it calve repeatedly, with huge chunks as well as small pieces falling into the water. The visible face of the glacier is a ½ mile wide and 200 feet high, but the tour guide assured us that the face actually extended 900 feet below the surface. We left the iceberg-filled area to visit the smaller arm of the fjord and North Sawyer glacier (much smaller and less active). All too soon, we were taken back to the Legend so another tour group could board. We had a late lunch at the deli since not much else was open. From the rear Serenity deck, we watched the Fjord slowly retreat as the ship pirouetted then moved back to the bay where we began the day. It was surreal to see icebergs drift by while people played in the pool and spa. The breeze was chilly, so we moved into the Unicorn cafe on Lido. We went to dinner at about 7:30 - a private table next to a window. (The Your Time dining really works well for us!) The Alaskan food specials, a seafood Cobb Salad and the baked flounder, were excellent and beautifully presented. The lentil pumpkin chorizo soup was surprisingly good as was the crispy portobello entree. DAY 4, JUNE 29, 2019. SKAGWAY, AL: Shawn was up early to do laps on deck 10. I packed our backpack and met him for breakfast on Lido. We watched the Norwegian Jewel come into dock, before heading to the Follies Lounge to meet for our excursion, The Ultimate Yukon & White Pass Railroad Adventure. We were on our bus by 7:05 a.m. Our driver CJ introduced herself and our tour started with a short bus ride through Skagway to the train. CJ commented and narrated continuously and also made many jokes. The train climbed over 300 feet and the guide narrated the history. (Note: If you want the breathtaking views, ride on the left side on the uphill portion!) We passed over a 120-year-old trestle bridge and through 2 unlit tunnels. Carmac Peak and Carmac Glacier loomed over the valley while the Sawtooth Mountains provided a beautiful backdrop. The Skagway river rushed and tumbled alongside the track, even showing some class 6 rapids. The creeks and rivers varied from milky green with glacier flour to crystalline clearness in some of the lakes. As we neared Fraser, a small black bear (it may have been a cub) gambolled beside the train. In Fraser, we had our passports checked by a Canadian border guard. We debarked and reboarded our bus with CJ, who drove us north to the Yukon. We stopped for pics beside Lake Totshi, the longest lake in the chain, and saw a jackrabbit go hopping by. We passed into the Yukon Territory and stopped at the Caribou Crossing (Carcross) Trading Post for a BBQ chicken lunch. After eating, we had an hour to wander through the “trading post“ which had a small wildlife museum, a petting zoo with sled dog puppies, a gift shop, and an ice cream parlor. Back on the bus, we went a bit further north to see the pristine Emerald Lake and nearby Spirit Lake. We returned to the very small town of Carcross and wandered through the shops. We all got back on the bus and headed south to Alaska and Skagway. Along the way, a bus was stopped on the roadside so we slowed too, allowing us to spot a black bear standing on the far side of the road. As we approached the border crossing into Alaska, a Canadian guard (the same guy who checked our passports on the train) stopped CJ for going a little fast, then proceeded to rip into her for not being respectful enough to him. The constantly-joking CJ was quiet for a while thereafter, but she apologized if she made anyone uncomfortable and started joking again. We were dropped off at the end of the dock and strolled back to the Legend, only a short walk. We had full cell service so we caught up on calls and messages before going to an early dinner. We were seated immediately but service was slow due to many large groups and “parties.” Our servers, Richard, Bisu, and Marvin were very friendly and worked hard to keep up. We had the Tenderloin which was tasty if not tender, and linguini with Italian sausage. We ordered roasted broccoli with cheese not realizing it was a soup (Carnival doesn’t always notate which appetizers are soups) and the Alaskan smoked salmon and cream cheese pate. We skipped dessert and retired quite early. One huge benefit of the inside cabin is that sunset at 11:22 p.m. doesn’t keep you awake! DAY 5, JUNE 29,2019. JUNEAU, AL: We rose early and grabbed food when the breakfast buffet opened. (Note: The coffee varies from fairly good to awful and there’s no way to tell until you take a sip.) We headed back to the cabin to gear up for our Mendenhall Glacier & Wildlife Quest excursion. We had to go to the forward elevator to reach deck A then out to the pier and up a long gangway to the dock to meet our excursion. We were led to our bus and told we’d be going whale-watching first, then to the Glacier. Lynn, our driver/guide, gave lots of great info about Juneau and how to take iPhone pics using the down-volume button. At the Auke Bay Allen Harbor, we boarded the St Herman (3rd bus-load to get on the boat). Richard, the tour naturalist, gave us lots of info on the wildlife, as did the guide, Kathleen. We found seats on the inside upper deck and could wander out to the open upper deck to see whales and other wildlife. Capt John took us up Favorite Channel past Shelter Island. As we went, we saw bald eagles, sea otters, humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and many sea birds. The boat’s galley sold a Glacier Margarita colored a lovely blue, and also offered a sample of smoked salmon flavored with pickled kelp - unusual but excellent!! The captain and crew mentioned several times that they only saw orcas about once a week, so we were all delighted when, as we cruised back into Auke Bay, a pod of 6+ orcas was swimming and jumping all around boats in the harbor!! We disembarked and found our way to another bus, with a new driver/guide, Lacy Bear. The bus was quite warm. (Note: the area has been experiencing a heatwave with temps in the 80’s though their normal summer temps are in the 50’s-60’s.) Lacy told bear jokes as she drove us to the Mendenhall Glacier where we had an hour to explore. We took the long, winding ramp rather than the stairs or elevator up to the visitor’s center, reading about local flora along the way. Inside there were many informative displays and telescopes, as well as rangers giving presentations and answering questions. They even had a chunk of glacier ice (age was estimated at 200 years) “caught” recently that could be touched. Large windows looked out over Mendenhall Lake toward the glacier and Nugget Falls. A couple of small “icebergs’” were floating on the lake, but the ranger told us that it was very rare to actually see Mendenhall Glacier calve. The 0.3-mile trail to the ViewPoint was a slightly up-and-down paved path to a point of land jutting into the lake and had a great view of the glacier and the Falls. That area of the lake itself was blocked from use due to the Arctic Terns nesting there. Many people hiked the 2-mile round-trip trail to Nugget Falls and we could see them across the lake at the base of the roaring torrent. (Note: I thought we’d get to walk on the glacier because the excursion description isn’t completely clear, but you never get closer than about ½ mile.) As we left Mendenhall Glacier park, we saw a beaver’s dam, and some folks even caught sight of the beaver. During our ride back to port, Lacy pointed out eagles and drove the bus across the bridge into Juneau proper, so we could say we’d been there and get pictures of the Legend as we returned. We returned to the ship and had lunch on Lido at Chopsticks (which became the Seafood Corner in the evenings); they had some of the best Tom Ka Gai soup I’d ever eaten. After the ship headed away from Juneau, we went up to Lido to whale-watch. We saw a group of 4 whales (odd since they usually travel in groups of no more than 3) and a couple of humpbacks diving, showing their tail flukes, very near the ship. We were on the port side, so we only heard about the whale that totally breached on starboard. We took a walk around the whole 9th deck to find the forward observation platforms we’d noticed from the dock. Since we were underway, the area turned into a wind tunnel as we reached the bow and we had to tilt into the high wind to make it to the platform!! We made it all the way around and back to the Unicorn Cafe Lido buffet area where we snacked before retiring for the night. DAY 6, JUNE 30,2019. KETCHIKAN, AL: We ate breakfast on Lido at 6:00 a.m. then went back to the cabin to pack up before we headed to the dock to meet our Saxman Village and the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show excursion. We met our bus and our driver/guide Sam and learned that Ketchikan is an island. Sam drove us through the small town and out to the Tlingit village of Saxman which hosts the largest extant collection of standing totem poles. The many carved and painted totem poles stretched high into the sky. We watched a 13-minute video to learn some of the history and culture then hiked through the rainforest to the Beaver Clan House. We were welcomed by an elder who spoke first in Tlingit then English. A group of villagers from different clans performed dances and songs to welcome us. At the end of each dance, the Dancers all turned their backs so that we could see their ceremonial capes showing their different clans. Afterwards, we went outside to view the collection of totem poles and Sam described the different types (funerary, shame, heraldic, historic, guardian, and clan). He also told the stories behind most of the poles we could see. One had a grumpy looking man in a potlatch hat atop a pole. This was Seward, who purchased Alaska (Seward’s Folly). There were many stories and incredible art. We went into the carving workshop where an apprentice carver explained their artisanship, then we walked down to the gift shop for a quick shopping spree. Sam drove us back into town and dropped us off near the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. I stopped in a nearby shop before we went into the GALS facility. Four Lumberjacks competed, two versus two, and it was fun, loud, campy, and pretty amazing as well. There were six various skills/contests; all were difficult and fun to watch. We left the show with just 15 minutes to reach and reboard our ship a few blocks away. Many folks were disappointed in the shortness of the Ketchikan stop. It’s one of the largest towns we visited on this cruise, so I would have preferred to stay in Ketchikan another 4-5 hours and skipped the Victoria cruise stop scheduled for tomorrow. (In Victoria, the ship arrives around 7 p.m. and leaves by about 11 p.m., making it a less than ideal or welcoming port for most of us.) We had lunch at Bonsai Sushi. It was different from a similar restaurant on the Vista. For example, the Bento box provided only miso soup, salad, 6 California roll pieces, and 3 varied sashimi pieces, with no main entree. It was very tasty though. We went back to Lido for dessert and wildlife watching. Sitting on the port side, Shawn saw 2 large jellyfish, which we learned were Sea Nettles. The naturalist, Jessica, came by and chatted, answering questions, and she also explained why the ship MUST stop in a non-US port (in our case, Victoria). I saw swirls of movement and fantails of water beside the ship and Jessica confirmed it was a pod of Dall porpoises. Cruise Elegant night is always a treat, both for us to wear nicer clothes and to see what the other passengers wear. And the food is usually special. We were seated with Richard and Biso as our waiters again and they remembered us and were incredible servers. We had the stuffed mushrooms (very similar to those in the steakhouse) and clam chowder. For entrees, we had the jumbo shrimp (not really jumbo sized but good) and the filet mignon (also small but very tender and so tasty!). For dessert, we shared the chocolate melting cake. Finally headed back to the cabin to set our clocks forward to Pacific Daylight Time. DAY 7, JULY 1,2019. AT SEA WITH A BRIEF STOP IN VICTORIA: Shawn got up at 6 for laps and saw a mama and baby humpback very close to the ship. Then we hit a fog bank and visibility died. Truffles restaurant 2 Aft opened a little early and we were seated quickly. Our waiter seemed tired or angry or both and we didn’t receive our meals until after 9. The parfaits were excellent as were the egg salad and smoked salmon on the “Tower” breakfast. I wish the iced tea onboard was brewed but it’s “canned” and only ok. The coffee in the restaurant is usually good but that on Lido varies greatly from weak to walking on its own. I walked through Lido and saw whales on my way to a seaweed wrap appointment in the spa. I sat in the relaxation room (where the water containers were full of ice but no water yet again) until Guilia came to get me. She sat me in a massage pedicure chairs, brushed my legs then coated them in a seaweed masque before wrapping them in foil-like sheets and leaving me to bake and enjoy the massage chair for 30 minutes. Guilia unwrapped and washed my legs with milk bath. I tipped her and went to Unicorn Cafe where we tried the Blackberry Chocolate Mud Cake (BCMC), part of the Chocolate Extravaganza. After this treat, we decided to eat a late lunch so I checked out the sales in the Shops then met Shawn by Guy Fieri’s Burgers. We shared a cheeseburger then got a tuna sandwich from the deli and shared that, too. We headed to deck 3 to try to get a cell phone signal. After we caught up on messages and voicemail, we went to the Firebird Lounge, 1 Fwd, to watch "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part." After the movie, we stepped outside to watch our docking in Victoria, British Columbia. A seal watched the ship as the waters swirled and rushed during docking. Because the stay in port was so short, we chose to remain aboard and have a relaxing evening. We dined at Truffles and requested Richard and his crew. Richard, Bisu, and Marvin were attentive and entertaining, singing and dancing as part of the Final Evening showtime. Upon learning that we were celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, they brought out a pretty, little cake and sang to us. We decided to carry all our bags off ourselves, so I packed everything up that evening. DAY 8, JULY 2, 2019. DEBARKATION IN SEATTLE. We woke early and Shawn had just enough time to complete his final laps, finishing with a grand total of 66 (slightly less than 20 miles). We ate breakfast on Lido then gathered all our belongings and went to Truffles Restaurant where the self-assist Platinum and Diamond passengers were gathered. Debarkation was fast and simple and even Customs was a breeze. By 8 a.m. we were on the pier waiting for our Lyft. This was one of our all-time favorite cruises! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was a family cruise with 2 grandparents, two toddlers, 1 teen, and 9 adults on the Carnival Vista sailing out of Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay. This was my 7th cruise and 5th with Carnival so I am ... Read More
This cruise was a family cruise with 2 grandparents, two toddlers, 1 teen, and 9 adults on the Carnival Vista sailing out of Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay. This was my 7th cruise and 5th with Carnival so I am getting to the point of knowing what to expect when cruising and I'll share my thoughts on this one. EMBARKATION This was the first time in 7 cruises that I felt like I basically showed up and walked right on the ship. I wanted the Faster to the Fun when I first booked the cruise, but it was sold out which was a good thing because it wasn't needed. We had a 12:30 - 1:00 check-in window and were in our rooms by 1. TIP: Bring a backpack to carry on your wine, (soda) pop and the things you might need before you can get to your room and luggage. Check everything else in with the porter so you don't have to drag it on the ship. SHIP We chose the Vista because it was one of the newer bigger ships and we like to try different ships. I felt the Vista was very clean, the decor (for Carnival) was nice and there was tons to do onboard. If you are the type that likes to just stay on the ship from start to finish, I don't think you could ever be bored and not find something to do everyday. The biggest perks on this ship for our family were the waterpark and slides, Skyride, Rope course and the hot tubs which I felt were never crowded. We also did the Thrill Theatre which was fun for a one time try. One of the biggest complaints I've read about this ship were the missing glass elevators. I didn't feel it was ever crowded enough on the ship to miss them. Wait times were busy during high peak hours, but we just used the stairs in those cases. TIP: Enjoy all of the aboard activities during non-peak times when possible. If there is a port you are staying on the ship or a big event happening you are not interested in, then go take advantage of the pools, slides, rides, mini golf etc.. We didn't get off the ship at Mahogany Bay until mid afternoon and had a great time in the pools. CABIN We all had balcony cabin on the Lido deck (10) and I can't see ever booking a cruise without those cabins. You are right there were everything is happening - food, activities, bars, movie theatre and more. Our cabin was nice. Wasn't noisy aside from the balcony door slamming occasionally. The stateroom attendant always kept our ice filled, cleaned our room twice a day and asked if we needed anything from time to time. FOOD & DINING We didn't use the buffet's for any food, because we didn't need to as there were so many other options. We did get deserts from the buffet area and really like the Gelato ice cream. Favorites were Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina (great tacos) Pizzeria, Deli and a few others. Never stood in line for anything more than a couple of minutes tops other than for the pizza that still wasn't that long. We had early dining and had a great wait staff. I am not a picky eater and love to try different things and found there was a very good selection of food. Love the "Ports of Call" selections. However, I do feel like the dining room food was not as good as our previous Carnival cruises. Tasty, maybe just not as flavorful as past sailings. TIP: If you never been on a cruise or just didn't know, you can order as many things as you like at the dining room. Didn't like your spare ribs? Order something else off the menu. You can also get hidden items like the Banana Split if you ask the waiter. Also if you are not a fan of the sauces or spices they put on then ask to have your meal served plain and then have them bring you a particular condiment you like. ENTERTAINMENT We did a couple of the comedy club shows and they were funny. Trivia is always a family favorite and we finally got to bring home a Ship on a Stick trophy. Movies Under the Stars is always a great way to relax for us. We didn't do the shows at the main theatre, but heard they were good. Cruise Director Matt is the best in the business. Always had us laughing and threw a great deck party. TIP: If you want to take advantage of the onboard entertainment get the whole group there early to get good seats. Saving seats is frowned upon and should be. There is nothing worse than getting to a show early and finding one person has ten seats saved. DRINKS We are not big drinkers, except on cruises. This was the first cruise where we decided to try the Cheers program. Worth the money if you take advantage of all they have to offer - milkshakes, specialty coffees, (soda) pop, and 15 a day in alcoholic drinks. I felt like there were plenty of opportunities to get your money's worth without having to try and get to your drink limit. TIP: For the Cheers program, always ask for premium liquor in any of your cocktails. Since you cannot use your drink package on the first day of the cruise leaving the Galveston port, bring on your own bottle of wine to have the first night. Don't plan on drinking much on a particular day? Get a couple shots and put them in your rooms mini fridge for when you do. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS Cozumel - This was some of our family's fourth time at this port and always a favorite. Plenty to do on this island without buying an expensive excursion. We decided to take a taxi to Sky Reef and had a lot of fun. It was less than $200 for 7 of us to snorkel, have a drink, get a backrub, taste some tequila and enjoy the area. TIP: Do some research and you will find plenty of things to do at Cozumel fairly cheap with just a taxi ride to them. Belize - We did buy an excursion for this one as we felt it was safer to do. We did the Cave tubing with lunch and it didn't disappoint. The bus ride was long to and from the place but our guide did a great job of keeping us entertained - Yeah Man! Cave tubing was fun and interesting. Lunch was tasty and I recommend getting the Cashew wine for the trip back. TIP: Bring water shoes and some cash for the gift shop. If you have health issues, keep in mind that there is a little bit of a trek through the rain forest including walking up some wooden stairs all the while carrying your tub. Grandparents had a little bit of a struggle keeping up with the group. Mahogany Bay - This was your basic beach port with amenities. Nothing fantastic, but we had a relaxing time. It's nice to have a port where you can get off the ship, stretch your legs and not have to pay for anything. TIP: No need to bring snorkel gear to this place. Really nothing of worth to see here. DISEMBARKATION Worst part of the cruise in my opinion. Carnival is not totally to blame, but things could have been done better. I didn't care for the way they provided the information for the disembarkation process the night before getting off the ship. Didn't hear the announcement or see that they had a stand for the tags so we ended up not getting any luggage tags and had to carry off all of our luggage. Oh well, lessons for next time. Due to customs issues there was a super long wait to get people off the ship as well as having to stand in a long line to get through customs. If you are carrying all of your luggage, have toddlers and senior citizens, standing in a long line for over an hour can test your nerves. TIP: Don't be in a hurry to get off the ship. Go enjoy a nice breakfast at the dining room. Kick back and relax in your cabin until you have to get out and then go find a nice place to sit until they call your deck to leave. Also, find out the disembarkation process the day before leaving if you want luggage tags. VISTA EXPERIENCE The whole family loved this ship and had a great time. There was plenty to do for all ages and never felt we didn't get our money's worth. For a big ship with lots of people nothing was ever crowded, and did about everything we wanted to do onboard. Other than disembarkation, we never had any problems with the whole process from booking to being on the cruise. FINAL TIPS: First time cruisers do plenty of research. Watch videos, read reviews and find out what you can before you go. This will help you have a better time while onboard. Watch the Cruise TV in your cabin to see what's going on and read your Fun Times. Have a waterproof watch on so you know what time it is and allow you to be early to the activities and entertainment. Relax, have a good time and remember that you are not a work, you don't have to cook, clean or make your bed. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click