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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We flew into FLL and used the Carnival transfer to the port, only because we flew in the same day as departure. We were off our plane by 11:00 AM and were on the ship, luggage in cabin and eating lunch on the Lido by 1:00 PM. The Muster ... Read More
We flew into FLL and used the Carnival transfer to the port, only because we flew in the same day as departure. We were off our plane by 11:00 AM and were on the ship, luggage in cabin and eating lunch on the Lido by 1:00 PM. The Muster Drill was quick and painless! We always were able to find chairs outside, even in the afternoons, although we didn't try to sit by the pools. Our last day the pools were closed due to rough seas. The pool waters were shloshing over onto the decks and and the workers were constantly using a squeegee to keep the areas safe. We chose early dining and ate in the Monet Dining room. Our food was extremely good, the waiters very attentive and we had no issues the entire week! We did eat at Guys Burgers twice and they were excellent. We enjoyed the Deli, also. We ate in the dining room every breakfast and dinner. Two of the mornings they offered a Sea Day Brunch. The Entertainment in the theater leaves a lot to be desired! The Brits Show singers were not good at all. I love that kind of music, but their voices were just plain bad! We walked out of the Latin show. The Divas show was cancelled due to technical difficulties after we waited in line to get in for over 40 minutes! We are not into Epic Rock. But we did have a great time at the Love and Marriage show, although we have seen it before! Alas! We found some great entertainment on Deck 3 at the Lobby Bar and this was our Go To place every evening. They played island music, 50s/60s music and dancing and Trivia, a great brass band, violinists, 70s/80s music and Trivia. Also 70s/80s TV theme song Trivia! There is a girl there with the most beautiful voice, ever! There was entertainment offered in the casino, but it was way too smokey in the entire area for us! The ship is very artsy, elevators prompt and the fellow passengers were very kind, not pushy. In Key West we used the City View Bus and found it well worth the money. We did the Deluxe Stingray City in Grand Cayman and the Sea and Island tour in Cozumel and enjoyed all of them! We always choose a cabin nearer to the front on the Riviera Deck, as it's easy to get on and off the ship, close to the elevators and to the shows. We can always use the walk back after eating! Our cabin attendant was excellent I asked for ice the first day and he made sure we had it every day and every evening! I want to give special Kudos to Josh, the Cruise Director. He made our cruise the best ever! Debarkation was also easy and painless. We did self assist. We were off the ship through security, and at our airport gate at 7:30. Taxis were waiting for us, as we left the ship. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Carnival Ecstasy is showing her age. She is in need a some updates, but all in all she's a great ship. The crew was fantastic! Our every need and desire was met and we were treated like special guest all the time. The ... Read More
Carnival Ecstasy is showing her age. She is in need a some updates, but all in all she's a great ship. The crew was fantastic! Our every need and desire was met and we were treated like special guest all the time. The entertainment staff was great and exciting! They were professionals and if you saw them out anywhere, they would stop and talk with you. Very friendly. Our Cruise Director Adam was the best...need I say more? We won VIP seats just for being silly on the first night! We were able to sit in the best seats in the house for all shown and entertainment. We ate dinner in the MDR every night. All I can say is our wait staff was the best. They were able to remember our names and our drink preferences each time. Overall, a great vacation and we are going back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2016
We are Platinum level Carnival cruisers so we've been doing this for a while - and I'm beginning to be irritated by the cuts to the level of service on Carnival to keep the prices at rock bottom. So if you're looking for a ... Read More
We are Platinum level Carnival cruisers so we've been doing this for a while - and I'm beginning to be irritated by the cuts to the level of service on Carnival to keep the prices at rock bottom. So if you're looking for a low price cruise that has ok service and food, go Carnival. If you're looking for those little extras that make your cruise really special, try another cruise line. Here's an example. Carnival stewards used to service your cabin every morning and every night - now you have to choose one or the other. The stewards also have more cabins to look after so are always trying to keep up. The wait staff in the restaurants now have more tables to look after so are a bit rushed and can't give you as much individual attention as in the past. Bathrobes in the cabins - once a given, but now you have to ask for them.......can't be long before they disappear all together. Now having said all that, the staff did the best they could, the food was decent and the weather was great. But I personally would rather pay a few dollars more and get the excellent service that made cruising so special for us in the past. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
First time on the Sunshine. Departure from Port Canaveral which is a very modern terminal with easy access. Boarding was quick and easy although they did confiscate our bottled water from our carry on. Despite what Carnival lists as ... Read More
First time on the Sunshine. Departure from Port Canaveral which is a very modern terminal with easy access. Boarding was quick and easy although they did confiscate our bottled water from our carry on. Despite what Carnival lists as allowable carry on. The ship is a good size with more entertainment for families than we have seen on any of our previous cruises. We heard of a few complaints of noisy children, but we did not notice any issues on the lower decks. Having families on board seems to add life to a ship. Food was good and staff were friendly. Overall ship was clean and rooms were comfortable. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment. Four port calls was a good mix for an eight night cruise. The last stop was Grand Turk which was mainly a beach day. Nice facilities right at the dock. Swimming beach, large pool, a few modern shops, etc. The dock area is tight so it took over an hour to get along side, safety first, but we made it. We would certainly recommend this ship for families. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was only our second cruise and they were 32 years apart. Great value, we enjoyed the shows the comedians the food even though they charge extra now for lobster...The weather was a bit cool and we only got sun on the last day. The ... Read More
This was only our second cruise and they were 32 years apart. Great value, we enjoyed the shows the comedians the food even though they charge extra now for lobster...The weather was a bit cool and we only got sun on the last day. The room steward William was very attentive and straightened up our room at least 2 or more times daily. He called us by our first names and made sure our room was always very clean. I wiped to check for dust up high but found none. The dining room waiters Chris were the same great service. Everyone who works for Carnival was exceptionally happy and friendly..The gym was like anytime fitness gym, modern equipment and plenty of it, nice steam and sauna rooms and spa treatments including massage and acupuncture. We paid extra for the message and acupuncture and also my wife got her hair done before dress up night in the main dining room, Great service everywhere on board Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Wow, we were so excited for this Cruise. It was our first. I took my husband for his 50th birthday and my mother-in-law for her 80th birthday. We booked JR. Suites with a balcony. V-5, V-7, and V9. All of which are directly under the ... Read More
Wow, we were so excited for this Cruise. It was our first. I took my husband for his 50th birthday and my mother-in-law for her 80th birthday. We booked JR. Suites with a balcony. V-5, V-7, and V9. All of which are directly under the weight room so we heard employees working out above us all night long. We had weights dropping on our ceiling waking us up with a jolt every night. The balcony's were too small to sit in the chairs provided. They are squeezed in the space so there is no where for you legs. To sit in them you have to remove the little table they give you and lift the chairs up over the railing to turn them sideways. Then you can't get back in the room until after you turn the chairs around again. Don't waste your money on a Jr. Suite. In fact, don't waste your money on this cruise. The Safety Briefing started at 4:45pm and lasted until 5:55pm. We were made to stand in lines shoulder to shoulder while we listened to it in multiple languages. Many people could not stand that long and needed to sit, despite the protest of the staff. We did not have time to change for our 6pm Dinner seating and were turned away at the door because we had not changed our clothes. The dining room had great choices and great wait staff members but the chef was not able to cook meat. We had tough veal, chewy pork loin, over done lobster (that we had to pay $20 extra for) and leathery steak. The food was horrible and not available the entire cruise as promised. Many places were closed most of the cruise. The Breakfast Buffet was the worst, cheapest food I've ever had so we tried to avoid it by going to the Dining Room for breakfast only to find that they fill your plate from the BUFFET! They have no snacks available at anytime during the cruise, a Mexican buffet with no chips and salsa and the taste bar they brag about is a joke and was rarely open. I lost 2 pounds and my husband lost 4 pounds during this cruise. I'm very glad for the burger bar as it was to only consistently good food. The drinks are great when you can get one as the bar tending staff is so slow it was faster for us to go get our own drinks EVERY TIME we wanted one. I observed more underage drinking than I ever have and security does nothing to stop it. They just follow these minors around so they don't fall down the stairs or off the boat. They hadn't cleaned the Lido deck before we got on the ship the first day, there were drink spills all over so we had to avoid the sticky mess while walking around. The ladies rest room on the Lido deck was filthy the entire cruise with only two toilets and one plugged and over flowing most of the time. That toilet didn't work the entire cruise yet they left it open and smelly. There are two main elevators to get to the top levels and one was broken for the entire cruise. They were so unorganized that it appeared that the staff had never been on a cruise themselves. To top it all off, when I would try and speak with someone to complain we could not understand them. Very few of the staff speak understandable English. I spoke with several passengers who had cruised with carnival many times and I was told not to judge them by this particular cruise as it was they worst they had every seen and not typical for carnival. However, it will be pretty tough to get me or any of my family members back on a carnival ship. Thank god for our Cabin Stewardess. Mai was fantastic! She is the only one on the ship that made us smile. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Let me start by saying that this was our 3rd cruise on the Liberty, our first going out of San Juan. We went down a day early and totally enjoyed our time in San Juan. Lots of great sights to see. On embarkation day, our ship was ... Read More
Let me start by saying that this was our 3rd cruise on the Liberty, our first going out of San Juan. We went down a day early and totally enjoyed our time in San Juan. Lots of great sights to see. On embarkation day, our ship was scheduled to go out at 10pm, but since we had to check out of our hotel around noon, we decided to head to the port and check in as soon as possible. We were allowed to embark early, a process that was, once again, very quick and easy. Our cabin, on the 8th deck, was ready so we headed up to drop off our carry-ons. Our room was very clean and well-appointed, just as we remembered (we had an oceanview balcony cabin, nothing fancy, but comfortable with more than enough room for everything we brought with us). Our cabin steward was friendly and kept our cabin clean and organized. We did Anytime Dining which worked well for us. We never had to wait to be seated. The food in the dining room was great, always well prepared and presented. I read some reviews that said the lobster was the worse they ever had. In my opinion, they were, once again, the best I've had on any ship, being tender and juicy, not dry and overcooked. The waitstaff was always friendly and efficient. As for food around the ship, the Mongolian Wok (in the buffet) was excellent. Too bad it was only open for lunch. The Blue Iguana Cantina was great as was the pizza and the deli. My husband liked Guy's Burgers (I rarely eat burgers when there are other choices). The buffet itself was the only downfall. Terrible set-up (stations are more efficient) and the food was mediocre at best. Good thing there are other places to eat. As for shore excursions, we now do our own when we get into port. The first several cruises we booked through the ship, but now, just prefer to find a nice beach and relax or hire a taxi and have them take us to what they consider to be the best sights in the area. Usually cheaper and never disappointing. We did have a couple of issues with Guest Services (one issue stemming from terrible customer service when we booked our cruise). I realize that they have a lot to handle with 2000+ guests onboard, but handling problems graciously is part of their job and this time they were a little more short-tempered than gracious. We are still not happy that one issue was not resolved. My advice when booking through the cruiseline: be sure that if you make any change to your reservation, no matter how big or small, that the details are completely laid out for you. We followed the advice of the original reservation clerk (if the price changes, Carnival will honor the new price. Just call) and not only did they credit us a smaller than I thought amount but they changed our cabin location (without telling us) and we lost our onboard credit (which was far more than the credit) and were never told. I happened to notice the cabin change while checking our reservation a week later and had to fight and settle for a cabin on the original deck that we wanted just not the location we wanted. As for the onboard credit, we did not learn that this was removed until checking our folio account. That's when Guest Services told me that the credit was removed. I guess Carnival needed the $100.00 more than we did. We did enjoy the entertainment, esp. the comediens. They were great! We aren't ones to actively participate in ship activities, but we do enjoy watching others have a fun time. The ship is lively but not as crazy as some make it out to be (unless you sail during school vacations). We did our own walk-off disembarkation which was easy. We had a late flight so we wanted to leave as late as possible. Getting through customs took a bit of time, but that is nothing unusual for most cruiselines. Overall, a great cruise. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just returned from 9 nights on Carnival Spirit to New Caledonia. Travelled with 12 others aged 13,16,18,21,22, 50, 52, 56, 57, 61, 63, 80 and 83 including one disabled wheel chair young adult. It was the best family holiday for all ... Read More
Just returned from 9 nights on Carnival Spirit to New Caledonia. Travelled with 12 others aged 13,16,18,21,22, 50, 52, 56, 57, 61, 63, 80 and 83 including one disabled wheel chair young adult. It was the best family holiday for all ages. Weather was perfect.Cabins were comfortable and larger than expected. 4 Adjoining Cabins with balconies on deck 7 which we could open up to create a shared balcony was excellent. A couple of interior cabins opposite for convenient access for everyone. The ships decor is busy, kitsch and quirky but at the same time created an interesting atmosphere. All indoor and outdoor furniture and fittings were of a high quality. Lots of seating and lounging options. Casual and more formal dining options with an abundance of food choices and good quality. We mostly ate in the Empire formal dining room for breakfasts and dinner and at the many options for lunch or snacks.We opted for anytime dining which gave us great flexibility. Lots of activities and great range of entertainment. Two outstanding entertainment acts was the Manila Band and Lacey in the Piano Bar. Amazing talent. Comedy club was good most nights. We often found that we wanted to be in two places at once. All staff were polite, extremely helpful and fun. Processes for embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. If arriving in Sydney by plane on day of departure recommend the $20 per head shuttle. Extremely convenient and gives priority embarkation which means no queueing. All our shore stops provided opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. Recommend bring your own snorkleing gear to save hiring costs (pick up a set from Kmart around $25 each). We didn't buy any shore excursions from the ship. However recommend for Lifou island buy the Jinek Bay Marine pass about $18 - this provides access to the marine national park for snorkelling and is limited to 100 people in the morning and 100 in the afternoon. Buy the pass as soon as you get on the ship because they sell out. It was a short 15 minute walk to the park and the best snorkelling of the trip. Suitable for all ages. The only other pass we bought was shuttle bus to Beach on Mare Island ($20 return and worth it). Drink prices are similar to club prices. Recommend you budget for, drinks, spa, shore activity, bingo, etc so you can relax and really enjoy the trip. We allowed around $500 per head (including kids) for the nine nights and overall it was fairly spot on for each of the families. Obviously this would vary a lot depending on what you do but we had a great time and didn't hold back. Overall it was an excellent family/group holiday and we would all do it again (and with Carnival). Happy to answer any questions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
It has been 30 years since I last sailed Carnival but I wouldn't leave it that long again. We really enjoyed ourselves. There were all ages on this ship. Young and old. We had a balcony cabin. Room was good and the bed comfy. ... Read More
It has been 30 years since I last sailed Carnival but I wouldn't leave it that long again. We really enjoyed ourselves. There were all ages on this ship. Young and old. We had a balcony cabin. Room was good and the bed comfy. Shower was a little tight but the water pressure was good. The food was ok to great. This ship is about 14 years old and there were signs of wear and tear. I didn't like how the ceilings are very low. The wall decorations and carpeting and pictures were fighting each other for space to be seen. Way to busy. In fact they did say they use less now and have saved $250 million by using less. Entertainment was good to excellent. Lots of choice. The pool areas was very crowded as space limited. Guy's burgers and fries are great. Disembarkation was very slow. Took ages as customs were taking their time. No reason just was slow. Will look to sail again but on a newer ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Embarkation was a simple, quick process, with plenty of helpful staff to look after us. I'm elderly, and took my 3 grandsons, aged 4, 7, and 9 on a 5 night cruise. Our stateroom was cosy but cramped for 4 people. For a longer ... Read More
Embarkation was a simple, quick process, with plenty of helpful staff to look after us. I'm elderly, and took my 3 grandsons, aged 4, 7, and 9 on a 5 night cruise. Our stateroom was cosy but cramped for 4 people. For a longer cruise I would go for an adjoining room but it was ok for 5 nights. Cleanliness on the boat was oustanding, as was the service, whether it be in the eating areas, public rooms or housekeeping. Friendliest crew I have ever met on any liner. The food on offer was equal to Princess, HAL, Oceania, and RCL. Excellent quality, choice and presentation. But where Carnival really excels, is their Kids Clubs (KC). Outstandingly organised, with age appropriate activities in a safe, secure environment with caring, friendly staff. My boys had dinner every night with KC, leaving me free to enjoy a peaceful dinner with fellow singles. The boys would pop into KC for an hour or two each day, depending on the activities on offer. On fine weather days they would swim with the new friends they'd made at KC. Debarkation was breeze: we were guided through each step, into a waiting taxi, and onto the Harbour Bridge within 20 minutes of leaving our cabin. Certainly will do it again. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My husband and I are in our early 60's and when reviewing which cruise would suit us I noted that Carnival Legend had a Serenity Area on Deck 9 and an extensive library with shows in the evening. We saw the cruise had a good rating ... Read More
My husband and I are in our early 60's and when reviewing which cruise would suit us I noted that Carnival Legend had a Serenity Area on Deck 9 and an extensive library with shows in the evening. We saw the cruise had a good rating so we thought this was for us....how wrong can you be! The Serenity Area was quickly taken over by the Club 18/30 folks who sat in the pool drinking.... The Library was a substantial room full of fake bookends. There were a few books in a cabinet which were based on subjects like the American civil war.... not exactly relaxing reading. We had booked a junior suite and were looking forward to the extra room but we had 5 night nightmare..... The first night the vibration in the cabin was so bad every part of the structure of the room knocked, banged, rattled etc.... on the second day the Captain reported a propulsion problem that would be fixed when we arrived at our first port and we would be delayed getting there because of the problem [upon checking via the web after the cruise we found that this was apparently a common occurrence on this ship]. We spent a second horrendous night without sleep and then went to the customer service desk on the 3rd morning.... they were initially sceptical of our complaint until a young lady came up to the room and checked for herself.... we were then offered a very small balcony room as the only available option. Having spent $4000 we were very upset at this point, my poor husband was constantly feeling nauseous even after taking medication. We found the daytime activities unsuitable....We thought there would be talks on interesting subjects, instead we had bingo/quizzes/karaoke and trivia so we spent our days avoiding the Serenity Area and trying to find quiet parts of the ship waiting to get off the cruise. The buffet provided on the Lido deck was awful and to see 2,000 people frantically dishing up big plates of food was disgusting. The few good things about the ship were the staff who were outstanding and the evening entertainment. I don't think you could give us enough money to encourage us to cruise again! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
As first-time cruisers, we were concerned about the negative reviews we read prior to departure. We now know there are thousands of very satisfied clients and comparatively only a handful of naysayers. We had a wonderful time. The ship ... Read More
As first-time cruisers, we were concerned about the negative reviews we read prior to departure. We now know there are thousands of very satisfied clients and comparatively only a handful of naysayers. We had a wonderful time. The ship was immaculate, the staff was superlative and the cuisine was delicious. Programs were also well-planned and executed. A highlight for us was the behind-the-scenes tour where we visited the kitchens, control room, etc and the bridge where we got to meet the captain. Like all cruises there are a goodly number of people who enjoy imbibing and gambling, etc. We do not, but it is easy to find a quite, serene escape from the Madding crowd if desired. We enjoyed our fellow passengers, especially some wonderful new friends we met. Good demographic mix of older passengers like ourselves, young couples, families and middle-agers. Prior to departure, the Carnival customer representative was very helpful in answering all of our questions and making recommendations. As he suggested, we are happy we opted for the "faster to the fun" option for a small fee for priority boarding and debarkation. Look forward to going again. Leaving from Charleston is ideal for us. We wish there were cruise destination options from the Port City. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Myself and 5 other ladies went on a cruise from January 21st to 25th on the Breeze. Our rooms were nice and the bed was fantastic. Best sleep I've had in a long time, must have been the gentle rock of the ship. The food was good, ... Read More
Myself and 5 other ladies went on a cruise from January 21st to 25th on the Breeze. Our rooms were nice and the bed was fantastic. Best sleep I've had in a long time, must have been the gentle rock of the ship. The food was good, really enjoyed Guy's Burgers. Our cabin crew was so accomdating, we came back to our room after being out beds made, bath cleaned and those cute little towel animals, so sweet. Our wait staff at night were so kind and very accomading also. I enjoyed the activites and entertainment on board. My only criticism was the casino, way to much smoke. Did not enjoy, next time I will not go to the casino. Overall I would recommend Carnival to family and friends. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife and I flew down to Miami from Minneapolis on 1/17/16 and stayed overnight at the Embassy Suites Airport in Miami. We have stayed at this fine hotel before many pasts cruises. They have a nice managers cocktail "hour" and ... Read More
My wife and I flew down to Miami from Minneapolis on 1/17/16 and stayed overnight at the Embassy Suites Airport in Miami. We have stayed at this fine hotel before many pasts cruises. They have a nice managers cocktail "hour" and a full breakfast the morning before you board. We take a cab to the port which runs about 30.00. The hotel also has a airport shuttle to and from the airport to the hotel. I believe you can also purchase a transfer to the port but we find taking cab works better for us. We had no problems boarding, we are Platinum but we noted the boarding seemed to go good for other passengers as well. We were on the ship just before 1PM and headed to the Lido deck for a snack or two while our cabin was being readied. We were in our cabin by 1:30 or so. I always try to book a mid-ship balcony cabin on a lower deck as my wife does better with a cabin in this location, less movement for her. We had early dinning and shared a table with three other nice couples. We both enjoyed the meals in the main dinning room for the whole cruise. The food was done the way we like it and the service was very good. The menu's were the regular ones, not the American table ones I have read about in some postings. Generally we were very happy w/all the food we had on this five night cruise! We have been to these ports of call many times before, Grand Turk, Half-Moon Cay and Nassau. We did not do any excursions, we did the beaches in Grand Turk and Half-Moon Cay and shopped a little in Nassau. We had some drinks at Margarita Villa in Grand Turk and Fat Tuesdays in Nassau. We just enjoyed the ports and more so being on a nice ship. Overall we felt we had a very good cruise. The weather was a little cool but much warmer then the -22 we left when we flew down from Minneapolis. We did stay an extra two days after our cruise at the Embassy Suites and flew back on 1/25/16. We got an excellent airfare on a non-stop flight w/Sun Country, 245.00 r/t! The only negative was the internent package we purchased while on the ship which was 40.00. My wife was able to connect once and couldn't get online again. I went to the Pursers Desk and they quickly removed the charge from our statement. We also remove our tips from our statement and tip the the last night of our cruise. I guess we are kind of old fashion but this is what we prefer. We had no problem w/getting off the ship. We like to head up to the lido deck area after leaving our cabin, for breakfast and wait until most people are off the ship then we just walk off and get our bags and head to airport or to the hotel with this cruise. We would rate this cruise a 9 out of 10. We had a wonderful time and are now booked for Feb.2017. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my second cruise on Carnival, the first was a 15 day cruise from LA to Hawaii and back and that was great. I want to compare this cruise to a fall 2015 cruise on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas to New England and Canada with ... Read More
This was my second cruise on Carnival, the first was a 15 day cruise from LA to Hawaii and back and that was great. I want to compare this cruise to a fall 2015 cruise on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas to New England and Canada with my wife. Embarkment- SLOW, you first went through a line where they took your health certification form then up and escalator to the check in area, they had it split into two side with associates checking you in. Unfortunately, the cruise associates were not too efficient, they were talking to each other at one time there were three open slot and they associated did not bother to electronically alert the cruise passengers that "#49" was open. It took us over an hour to check in, where they took you picture gave you the sail and sign card and checked your passport. Excursions - Grand Turks - There is NOTHING to see on Grand Turks, so our suggestion would be to go to a very nice beach right off the cruise ship pier, rent a chair and umbrella and enjoy the water, go early as the beach does fill up early if other ships are in port. We paid $100 for the "top ten tour of Grand Turks" and it amounted to a open safari truck ride where we stopped at very nice old Episcopal Church, a closed colonial prison where the "tour guide" kept on blowing a whistle and shouting "Hello" and rushing us through this ten MINUTE tour, and finally a drive up to a lighthouse where you had to pay and additional $3 to get on the grounds. The only highlight of this tour was seeing the protected "wild" donkeys. Save you money and Enjoy the beach on Grand Turks. St Martin - My wife and I did the French side, Orient beach and traveling from the Dutch side to the French was somewhat depressing due to the number of rundown and vacant properties outside of the "tourist" areas. Once on the beach we were greeted and told to sit at a designated area and we were charged an additional $5 for an umbrella, once we got to the beach we noted that all the beach chairs had umbrellas, so quite frankly, the $5 given amount to a "tip" to the greeter. We had nice chicken and ribs lunch and drink tickets for three very potent rum punch drinks. Orient beach has a clothing optional beach and quite frankly those that were, should not haveo been, and those that should have been weren't. The water was wonderful, a lot of activities, parasail and jet skis. The excursion was worth the $122 for the two of us and the four hours was a little to short, especially when you are having a good time. Puerto Rico - We did not do an excursion, but got off the ship and did a walk about the pier vendors and the old city. The Old City was a maze of shops with restaurants and bars on colorful narrow streets. We good shoes as you go up hill to get to the shopping area and the old cobblestone streets are not flat. The entertainment on the ship was very poor, there was only on entertainer (outside the comedy club) a ventriloquist and he was great. The rest of the shows were basically a girl and guy singing to heavy rock/hip hop. Quite frankly the music was so loud, you could not hear the singers voices. One night they had the dancers dancing with the ships guests. The food on Carnival was excellent, compared to RCCL's Grandeur of the Sea (which beef dinners were tougher than shoe leather) We sat a table for 10 and had a great time our waiter Melvin who had 28 years of service with Carnival attended to our every desire. We had a balcony cabin 7347 about mid ship, standard balcony room, with a small frig filled with the beer and alcohol for the costly mini bar. You can bring two bottles of wine 750 ml, make sure you carry it on with you, otherwise it when they search your checked bags, it will be confiscated. Drinks - compared to RCCL the drinks were reasonable, about $8 + tip, and beer about $5-6 for a 16 oz can. Casino - good casino program, I am mainly a slots player, and it took me just two days to get 1500 points to get a "ON US" casino drink card where you receive free drinks "while you are playing in the casino" and NOT at the casino bar. The casino staff were very cordial and there are waiters running all over the casino. The had BJ, three card poker, let it ride, craps, roulette and one Hold'em video poker table that seats ten players. The sign and sail card lets you charge your casino money to your room account and you can get chips at the table charged to your room for a 3% surcharge. Disembarkment - Fast and efficient, if you are flying take advantage of the service where they take you luggage right to the airport for $20, as a senior, it is worth the twenty bucks per suitcase. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife has been trying for 10 years to get me on a cruise ship. I have always been reluctant because I've always been told cruises typically nickle and dime you to death. In that vain I was not disappointed. I was in fact nickle ... Read More
My wife has been trying for 10 years to get me on a cruise ship. I have always been reluctant because I've always been told cruises typically nickle and dime you to death. In that vain I was not disappointed. I was in fact nickle and dimed to death with the hidden gratuity charges and extra fees for edible food in the eateries. This ship has 2 formal/semi formal dining rooms and I was only allowed to eat in one of them and only at a specific time???? The bar charges don't even require discussion when they charge $10 per drink.. ridiculous. The ship is dated and in need of serious upgrades in my opinion. The food was all but inedible for the most part. The only half decent meal was the dinner on the last night of the cruise. I suppose they figure if your last meal is ok.. then you won't complain. I have been all over the that part of the world staying in all inclusive resorts and even though an all inclusive resort on Paradise Island would probably be five or six hundred dollars more.. the obvious advantages far outweigh the additional cost. I will NEVER sail with Carnival again and most likely will never take another cruise. Thanks Carnival for proving to me that I've been right about cruises for the past 40 years. I just can't believe they charged us over $1100 for this. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Very good time. We had a aft balcony and it was well worth the extra expense. The beds were very comfortable. Plenty of hot water with great pressure. The staff worked very hard to keep the room clean. All of the food was great, we ... Read More
Very good time. We had a aft balcony and it was well worth the extra expense. The beds were very comfortable. Plenty of hot water with great pressure. The staff worked very hard to keep the room clean. All of the food was great, we did the breakfast & lunch on Lido deck. We saw long lines but you will quickly find best time to beat lines. We had the early dinner in dining room. The waiters were outstanding and the food very good. We only did one show and that was the last night called Vroom. Very good. We went ashore for quick shopping then back on board to enjoy the hot tubs. Love having ice cream machine & 24 hr pizza. Watched the National championship game on the deck on the big screen. We enjoyed our cruise and found nothing wrong with Victory. This was our 10th cruise always have a great time. Ready for another one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We booked this cruise simply to relax and spend time together. We were upsold (for $150 each) to an ocean suite just a few days prior to cruise date. We are platinum, so we got the usual free laundry, chocolates, gifts, etc; but the best ... Read More
We booked this cruise simply to relax and spend time together. We were upsold (for $150 each) to an ocean suite just a few days prior to cruise date. We are platinum, so we got the usual free laundry, chocolates, gifts, etc; but the best was as we pulled up to the port there was a LONG check in line - until I located the priority entrance where we were on ship in less than 10 minutes! When we got to our room, we were thankful for the extra sitting room, but also for 2 complimentary meals in the speciality dining and a $75 OBC each. We were really impressed with the configuration of the Lido marketplace. The seating had hightops that did not block traffic along with the regular tables. There did not seem to be any tables blocking traffic at all. The only bottleneck was the narrow hall leading up to Guys Burgers, but it was remedied if people would line up as directed toward the pool. The huge area by the Havana Bar is so much less crowded and much more comfortable. We had no complaints about the food in either the Lido or the MDR. Due to VERY high winds in Nassau (where the ship extended the port hours), we could not tender at HMC. Everyone was refunded their excursions and had a sea day instead. The next day was Freeport where the weather was perfect - I imagine that many used their refunded excursion money for excursions in Freeport! A nice touch was the wait for all the shore excursions was in the theater section as your tour was called. No more standing in the hot sun or wind and rain. That was so nice since some had difficulty standing for a length of time due to injury or age. Our muster station was E, so we mustered in the theater also! The ship did show its age, but not enough to be a problem. All elevators were working and we had very little delay, even with so many people on board due to the weather. There were many food venues serving at lunch; so the if you know where to go, you did not have to wait. It was amazing how nice the Contina Capitano and JiJi's were in the evenings for only $15 charge - the decor, atmosphere, and service was amazing. The serenity deck was great, but if you want peaceful atmosphere, avoid the section opening to the pool. That section is a great place to watch the Dive-in movies at night - especially in a clamshell! Debarkation was very efficient, as is usual for Port Canaveral. We were not self assist, but we were off the boat by 8:15. Overall, this was a very relaxing cruise with cheerful fellow passengers. The only negative was that they did not have interactive TV in the rooms to check on the MDR menu, order excursions, or keep track of your account. They did have a few Kiosks where you could check this out, but they were in constant use. The Carnival rep said they were working on an onboard app where you can do all these things the interactive TV allowed you to do. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Our 11th cruise, 10th with Carnival -- just a quick New Year's Eve getaway, sailing out of Tampa on the Paradise. We had an absolute blast! We love the smaller ships -- easier to get around and navigate, no long lines, no waiting ... Read More
Our 11th cruise, 10th with Carnival -- just a quick New Year's Eve getaway, sailing out of Tampa on the Paradise. We had an absolute blast! We love the smaller ships -- easier to get around and navigate, no long lines, no waiting for an elevator. EMBARKATION: Quick and easy. We got to the port at 10:30, and boarded around 11 with FTTF. We went right to our ready cabin to drop off our stuff, and then headed out for drinks and lunch. Our checked luggage was delivered before we returned from lunch. CABIN/STEWARD: We had an ocean view stateroom on Empress deck, mid-ship, the perfect location on these smaller ships. Cabin was spotless, and our steward was the most attentive we have ever experienced. DINING/BAR: We had Your Time Dining, so ate in the centrally-located Elation Dining Room. We were seated immediately at a table for 2 every night, usually dining around 6:30-6:45. Service was excellent -- the pace of the meal was perhaps a little slow for some people, such as parents with young children, but we like to take our time, drink our wine, etc.. The menus were still the older version, not the American Table, which suited us fine. The food was excellent -- not one miss in our book. Bar service was a little slow in the dining room, but we have learned if you make friends with the bar staff the first night, they remember you. We also ate either breakfast or the Sea Day Brunch in the same dining room every day. The second sea day was rainy, so we even returned and ate lunch there. Other bar service -- Lido, Atrium, American Bar, Queen Mary Lounge -- very friendly and generally quick. The bartenders at the Atrium bar were terrific! We only ate on Lido deck twice -- first day we went to the deli which was scrumptious; last day we went to the chocolate buffet, which was also very good. We ordered BLTs from room service for one lunch and it arrived within 15 minutes. FACILITIES: Lido area very typical. We were pleased that the music was actually played at a reasonable volume (our last few cruises the volume was way, way too loud.). Serenity Deck was somewhat of a fail -- not enough space and loungers, and there were buckets of soot coming from the flume -- so much so that the attendant called her supervisor who came and took pictures; they had to vacuum the floor and loungers. So we didn't stay there long. ENTERTAINMENT: Probably our only complaint -- the shows were not that great, and only lasted about 30", with only recorded techno music as accompaniment. The adult comedy shows were ridiculously crowded, and rude people were trying to save entire banquettes of seats. We attended once and decided it wasn't worth the hassle next time. We spent 3 evenings in the piano bar which we enjoyed. DISEMBARKATION: Very smooth and quick. We were off the ship with Zone 1, thanks to FTTF, even sailing relatively quickly through Customs. We were in our car and on our way home by 9 AM. FTTF: our 3rd time to sail with it, and we think it is worth the money. While we didn't gain all that much time at embarkation, we realized the benefits twice when we avoided a very long line at Guest Services, by being able to access the VIP line. We also loved being able to go straight to our cabin upon boarding, and not having to lug all of our carry-ons around at lunch. All in all, one of our very best cruise experiences. And I must say, the crew on the Paradise was, without exception, the friendliest, most congenial and helpful we have ever encountered. Every single person was exemplary! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our second cruise , first was on the Princess Cruise line where the food was outstanding , not so much on Carnival . The burgers were good but it would have been very kind to call the rest of the food mediocre . The eggs were not ... Read More
This was our second cruise , first was on the Princess Cruise line where the food was outstanding , not so much on Carnival . The burgers were good but it would have been very kind to call the rest of the food mediocre . The eggs were not indentifiadle as such and had no taste . The rest of the food was of the same quality . Looking on the bright side your not likely to gain weight on this cruise ! The rest of the cruise was OK , except don't go shopping in Progreso . Turns out Progreso is a slum . They claim they have a free shuttle bus to take you to town for shopping with one coming back to the boat every 20 min . Once they get you to town they don't want to take you back to the boat ! We waited an hour and people had to get in front of the bus and refuse to let it leave before they agreed to take us back to the boat ! Other than that it was an OK cruise . Next time we will go with Princess Cruise Line !! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Background --- The Conquest was our seventh cruise with Carnival and our eleventh overall. We have also cruised on the Disney Magic when our sons were growing up. The Conquest is the second in her class that we've been on. We ... Read More
Background --- The Conquest was our seventh cruise with Carnival and our eleventh overall. We have also cruised on the Disney Magic when our sons were growing up. The Conquest is the second in her class that we've been on. We did a New Year's Eve cruise on the Liberty two years ago. Getting on the ship -- We bought Faster to the Fun and from what I saw in Ft. Lauderdale, it was a good thing. There seemed to be long lines to get on, but we weren't in line long enough to see if things were moving fast for everyone. The room -- We were fortunate enough to get and aft-wrap balcony room on the port side, deck six (6452). We had one of these on the Liberty also and it was our own little piece of heaven for 8 days. The room seemed a bit larger than I remembered. The windows were in a different place than the eighth deck wrap around that we had two years ago, but it was essentially the same room. One trick we found out on the deck was to stack the chairs on top of each other so we could sit and see over the railing better. The air conditioning worked great (we actually had to turn it down a couple of times) and we never heard noise from the bar below us. For those of you who like to hear the ocean.... the door to the balcony stayed open by itself when you opened it up all the way. Yup, that balcony really made the ship seem like our own private yacht at times. The Steakhouse -- We decided to try the Steakhouse for the first time. We picked the first night for the free bottle of wine and half price off other bottles we bought. We bought some champaign and was able to bring it back to the room. The food was great. Lobster Bisque was poured at the table over a lobster salad in a bowl. Classy. My wife had the surf and turf and I had the 18 ounce ribeye. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it, but I brought it back to the room for a snack later on. The condition of the ship-- We thought it was overall excellent. Some have commented on her age, but we didn't find anything that was left "undone." Some have also written that they didn't like the decor, but the impressionist theme was well done. There was something to look at everywhere, and impressionist art is some of my favorite. We saw some places on the outside of the ship that had some rust on them, but by the time we reached our 5th day, most of those spots had been painted over. The Staff -- Wow. Great. Our room steward was excellent. He kept the wine on ice for the first four days, when we were finally able to open it up and drink it. The typical towel animals were cleverly done and we got clean and turn down service every day. The most amazing thing about the staff, though, was how EVERY one of them greeted us in the hallway or on the deck, no matter who they were or what job they were doing. Several of them started friendly conversations. They definitely made you feel at home, and that you had people you could count on to make the vacation special. The itinerary -- Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Day at Sea, Curacao, Aruba (New Year's Eve), 2 Days at Sea. This was a great getaway. We hadn't been to these islands before, but we went with this cruise for the sea days. Half Moon Cay was everything people said it was -- gorgeous. The sand is like baby powder. The water is opal blue, and the tropical flowers and plants are everywhere. This island has nice conveniences, like misting stations, information signs about the history of the area, sidewalks, and good hangouts for sports enthusiasts and kids. My excursion (snorkeling) was canceled due to high waves, so I waited for my wife to join me on the island. By the time we she came ashore, the empty loungers were a ways away, so we just put our towels in the sand and relaxed. Great time. Grand Turk was another beach day. Tried out my snorkel gear there, and while the snorkeling wasn't great at the beach, there some old anchors in the water and some deeper water to snorkel over. Didn't get to Margaritaville, so we'll save that for next time. The days at sea are our favorite, so this cruise was perfect for us. At Curacao, we did the Ostrich Farm tour and really enjoyed it. Fed the ostrich and learned a lot. Aruba was a catamaran and snorkel spillway. Aruba is a place I could definitely stay for an extended vacation. Our excursion left from a hotel area, with thatched roofs on the bars that dotted the beach. Huge palm trees. It was paradise. New years Eve is a always a big party on Carnival. Fun watching all the people. The lido deck was packed at midnight and the champagne was flowing. Did some slots at the Casino. I know people have written that the Casino is especially smokey, but while I noticed smoke, it never bothered me to much. We got to four of the shows. Marcus Monroe was very funny. The musicals were good, but sometimes I felt that the singers were constantly "belting out" songs. As a musician myself, I would have preferred more of a contrast and some more subtle moments. There was a great brass trio and string trio on board. They were very popular with the cruisers and always played for big audiences. Bravo to Carnival for live musicians. The people were from all over. Families, retirees, couples, bikers, college students.... you name it. Everyone seemed friendly, but there were always a few that seemed to never be happy and then some took it out on the staff. Bravo to Carnival staffers for always responding with kindness and patience. We met some people who were VERY experienced cruisers (one couple was on the 99th). All of these people felt the Conquest was a great time. We went to one of the art auctions, but were not that interested. Would not do that again, but the complimentary champaign was nice. And then there is the food. We thought the American Table Menu was wonderful. Tried a lot of new foods. Service was top notch. Yes, they had the water bottle on the table for us, but our waiters instructed us that they would pour for us. We were able to take some of what we didn't finish back to the room. Our waiter was fun and he told us lots of stories about his home country - Thailand. Lido deck had some kind of carved meat every day. Guy's Burgers was it's usual gooey, glorious, gluttonous, gastro - adventure. I'd do this trip again in a minute. This is one of the best cruises we've ever been on. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
It was our second cruise on the same ship and itinerary from Charleston, SC, over Christmas. Our first was three years ago over New Year's. Both times were family gatherings of sorts. But I hope when the next family cruise gathering ... Read More
It was our second cruise on the same ship and itinerary from Charleston, SC, over Christmas. Our first was three years ago over New Year's. Both times were family gatherings of sorts. But I hope when the next family cruise gathering comes around, our grandchildren will be old enough to travel to another port for it. If the Charleston Port Authority is not going to fix problems with unnecessarily long line-ups and cumbersome processes for luggage drop-off, parking, shuttle to the terminal, immigration, and cruise check-in, it can easily turn Charleston into one of the least efficient (i. e., worst) cruise ports in the US. I was told that a new terminal was in the works, and so on. Hopefully, "expedite" and "simplify" would be among the leading concepts for the project. We didn't notice this (or as much) three years ago, but the Fantasy seemed to have an inordinately large number of unhappy, under-trained, ill-mannered, poorly supervised staff in contact with customers. (I put the arbitrary estimate of 40% in the Carnival post-cruise survey.) There is clearly room for improvement in the recruitment, training, and supervision of the staff. The buffet food wasn't bad tasting, only lacking in variety. Most objectionable was the frequent practice to open only one line of the buffet. The desire for seconds was sometimes dampened by the sight of the line-up. The cruise director also seemed to try too hard to impress. We haven't noticed the same intrusive presence of the cruise director on other cruise lines. For some reason, his voice didn't come across as wholly pleasant over the loud speakers, and he did public announcements often enough. Entertainment at the Universe Lounge was on the whole poor. Viewing from the balcony was often obstructed because of the pillars and low booth seats. What we found praiseworthy was the installation of water slides that allowed the young to have fun. They weren't there before. Also, we did complain last time about food odor everywhere we went on the ship. It was not the case anymore this time. In general, we didn't find this cruise, as cruise, satisfactory. It could have strictly been a bad experience if not for the pleasure of having the family (now families) back together again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my second cruise and it was a party of 8 of us from Virginia. We reserved 4 cabins (an inside, ocean view, balcony and a handicapped inside cabin) We planned this cruise 6 months in advance and embarked out of San Juan, PR and ... Read More
This was my second cruise and it was a party of 8 of us from Virginia. We reserved 4 cabins (an inside, ocean view, balcony and a handicapped inside cabin) We planned this cruise 6 months in advance and embarked out of San Juan, PR and were set to sail on the Carnival Liberty. We were all very impressed with the welcome by the cruise staff, they had champagne/non-alcoholic drinks and lunch waiting for us when we arrived at about 1pm (ship was set to sail at 10pm). Carnival Liberty has all that one would need to enjoy a week aboard the ship, including some exciting ports and activities. Meals were some of the best times, Guys Burger Joint was fantastic! We enjoyed the seated dining each nice also, Our server Junior was awesome, very attentive! Our stateroom was spacious and very clean. I loved that our room was attended to in the morning and during turn down service at night. Our room attendant Duncan was very attentive and helpful in all we needed. We also enjoyed the nightly towel animal on our bed. We took in many shows onboard and enjoyed daily shopping at each port and the local beaches. With 8 of us involved, including teens and elderly adults there was plenty to do as well as plenty of relaxation time. Within a few days of being back we were already looking into our next Carnival cruise. Love it!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
We booked cabin 12019 which is a Spa Balcony cabin located on deck 12 forward. Upon boarding we went to the only two elevators that go to deck 12 to take our carry-on luggage to the cabin. We could only get up to deck 10. We were told ... Read More
We booked cabin 12019 which is a Spa Balcony cabin located on deck 12 forward. Upon boarding we went to the only two elevators that go to deck 12 to take our carry-on luggage to the cabin. We could only get up to deck 10. We were told that both of the elevators were being used to transport luggage to all decks. I questioned one of the ship's personnel about this and she checked into it and we were told both elevators would be back into operation after all luggage was dispersed throughout the ship. I wound up having to lug all our carry-ons up three decks. At age 75 that was not such an easy task. The layout of deck 5 requires any one whether a smoker or non-smoker to walk through the wall of smoke in the casino if you want to get from the atrium to aft on the ship. We booked the Best of Bonaire shore excursion and for what we paid for it, it was not worth the money. To both my wife and I the best meals on board were at the Sushi Bar which we paid extra for and the Mongolian Wok at lunch time. Both places excelled when it came to quality and taste. We also ate in the 555 Steakhouse and it was average, but not to the caliber of the steakhouses on the Dream and Freedom. The food in the dining room was just average. The waiters were excellent. Shawn of the Comedy Theater and trivia games deserves all sorts of KUDOS. He just goes out of his way to make sure everyone has a great time. Would I book another cruise on the Sunshine--definitely not as the main reason would be because of the smoke in the casino drifting out into the atrium and walkway leading to the aft of the ship. Whoever designed and whoever signed off on the design of the casino had no care for the non-smokers. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
We live just over 2 hours from Charleston so we decided to do a quick little cruise to the Bahamas before heading North to New Jersey to spend Christmas with the family! We have done this cruise before so we knew what to expect. This ... Read More
We live just over 2 hours from Charleston so we decided to do a quick little cruise to the Bahamas before heading North to New Jersey to spend Christmas with the family! We have done this cruise before so we knew what to expect. This trip is a real slice of Americana. Everything from Walmartians to the snobby "Platinum" cruisers. We had a blast! Enjoyed great weather except for the last day! Enjoyed the Serenity Deck, Cleopatras piano bar, the comedians and the Majestic Bar! The staff was great. Our cabin was clean as a whistle and the food ranged from just okay to pretty damn good. As long as you keep your expectations in check you should really enjoy this trip. In February they will be putting the Fantasy into dry dock and replacing it with the Ecstasy! Wish they would have a few more itineraries. Love being able to cruise out of Charleston. Will most definitely do this trip again! Read Less
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