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Cruise Ratings
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I have always bragged to others about the quality and variety of food on the Carnival Menu and buffets. BUT on the Sunshine it was the worst food ever encountered on a cruise ship. Our food was cold, crusty, and dried. The salads were ... Read More
I have always bragged to others about the quality and variety of food on the Carnival Menu and buffets. BUT on the Sunshine it was the worst food ever encountered on a cruise ship. Our food was cold, crusty, and dried. The salads were browned lettuce and soups were cold. The service was extremely slow and not acceptable at all. We are both diamond VIP members with Carnival. We have sailed on over two hundred cruises and most every cruise line. We understand that booking with different cruise lines you will experience different types of food, however, cold, tasteless, no quality food is unacceptable regardless of the cruise line. The Carnival product has greatly deteriorated and is not at all like previous Carnival cruises we have experienced on most every cruise ship in their fleet! We are very concerned that this ship does not follow ADA guidelines. It was one of the most unfriendly to handicapped passengers in wheelchairs and the guests were unwilling to share the elevators even though the US law states that wheelchair passengers have first priority in the elevator use. Fellow passengers are getting more and more antagonistic toward those who cannot walk and must use a wheelchair as well as the cruise ship staff! It is interesting to note that Carnival is changing the booking mechanism for handicapped cabins. They have gone from wheelchair cabins with roll in showers to calling the same exact cabin a "walker" cabin thereby eliminating the need to accommodate wheelchair guests. It is blatant discrimination. We will carefully review our choices for cruising this year and go back to cruise line whose product we can trust. Carnival product is no longer the same. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for its age. The crew went out of their way to make the cruise special. We visited 7 islands - St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao, St. Marteen, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Amber Cove. We had been to all of these ports except Amber Cove. I turned platinum on this cruise and enjoyed all the perks - chocolate covered strawberries, a free blanket throw, 5 bags of free laundry, priority boarding and disembarkation, and a free drink. The shows on board were all pretty good. My husband and I enjoyed the comedy shows the most and averaged two shows most days. The Love & Marriage Show dragged on too long. It took almost 45 minutes to pick the contestants. We ate most dinners (10 of the 13 nights) in the main dining room with Any Time Dining. We never had to wait over 5 or 10 minutes for a table. Most nights we were in and out in about an hour and 15 minutes. We typically ate early (around 5:15). We only paid to eat one meal and that was at the sushi restaurant. Sushi for two with tip was around $25. We booked all excursions on our own. There were a few things that irritated me. Number 1 - the free drink. You have to get it either at breakfast or lunch and only in the main dining room. I went three times before I even found the dining room open during these times. One time breakfast was over and lunch hadn't started. Another time lunch was already over. ( I know it is free and you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but get real, it is a $9.50 drink!) Number 2 - No refrigerator. This is the first time I have ever cruised a big cruise line with no refrigerator. Number 3 - making you choose morning or evening service of your cabin. We chose morning but our steward still serviced it twice a day but you could tell he was overextended doing so. Shame on Carnival for putting him in this position. I think each steward services over 30 rooms. Number 4 - Disembarkation was a nightmare. It took us over two hours with priority and we just made our flight by 10 minutes and yes it was an afternoon flight. Overall, I will still sail on Carnival again but will give other cruise lines equal consideration. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I had $$$ casino free play, the casino was very nicely designed with the newest slots. The smoke was no worse than any other ship comparatively. We ate at the buffet , formal dining room and a specialty restaurant, "ALL" ... Read More
I had $$$ casino free play, the casino was very nicely designed with the newest slots. The smoke was no worse than any other ship comparatively. We ate at the buffet , formal dining room and a specialty restaurant, "ALL" fantastic. Crew went out of their way to make everyone happy. Serenity area on deck 15 was exceptional with triple the space, cabana type clam-shell covered chairs and bar service. They even had a salad bar at lunch. Our cabin Steward was fantastic and always around if we needed anything. We have been cruising for 18 years and this was one of the best. very easy for my wife to navigate with her rollater/and cane for her to get around. We share the love among various cruise lines and really do not have a favorite. If we have the chance to cruise the Horizon again we will without hesitation. To sum it up..Great ship, crew and entertainment, especially the "Dive in" movies under the stars... they were all first run new releases..."GREAT JOB CARNIVAL". Seeyou again soon!!! P.S. have to try the donut sandwiches at the coffee shop-maple bacon-over the top!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Been on several 7 day cruises and decided to try short one. Chose the Carnival Paridise for the interesting look of the atrium. Since this ship was recently redone and a smaller ship leaving from Tampa. I was only an hour from the port. ... Read More
Been on several 7 day cruises and decided to try short one. Chose the Carnival Paridise for the interesting look of the atrium. Since this ship was recently redone and a smaller ship leaving from Tampa. I was only an hour from the port. Parking garage was just across from the port. Boarding was a easy as Carnival had specific boarding times. Unfortunately dis embarking was a little chaotic with impatient passenger getting in line before their call. I chose check out luggage and at the scheduled time I was off of ship less than 15 minutes Loved the sail away party. The buffet was typical food. Out on deck the guys burgers and the blue iguana tacos tops. The dinning room was cozy and a lot of different items to have. the breakfast buffet had general fare. The seaday brunch was a nice touch. Ordered room service for the continental breakfast, arrived at time requested and it was fresh and warm. Shows were great. The few shops had good buys .The cabin smaller than big ships was very clean and the window big enough to enjoy the outside. Room steward freshen up room daily. I preferred the evening. Towel animals ,cute Carnival Paradise had Staff and crew honored at the dis embarkation program on the last day of cruise. Another thing I liked was the military appreciation show later that day that honored military people on board. Overall I had a great time on the Paradise. Planning to book another cruise Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was an all-gal trip for three of us in our sixties. We have all cruised before and two of us cruised on this ship in January of 2013, almost exactly 6 years ago, although we left from a different port and the cruise length was a day ... Read More
This was an all-gal trip for three of us in our sixties. We have all cruised before and two of us cruised on this ship in January of 2013, almost exactly 6 years ago, although we left from a different port and the cruise length was a day shorter then. We chose this cruise primarily because we were on a budget and wanted the most bang for our bucks. Even though the itinerary wasn't particularly adventurous, we know that half the fun is the company on the cruise and we had adjusted our "cruise attitudes" for maximum tolerance. HOTEL INFORMATION: We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Savannah Highway in Charleston. We chose this hotel because they participate in the "park and cruise" program so we could drive down from North Carolina (about 6 hours) and leave our car in the parking lot for the duration of the cruise. The hotel was sparkling clean, beds were comfortable, and there was a surprising number of electric and USB outlets. The breakfast was outstanding with not only the danish and coffee, but omelets, sausage, yogurt, a pancake maker, and just about anything one could want for breakfast. The shuttle to the port was quick and easy. The room covered two tickets, a a third was only $20 -- for both ways! This was a pleasant surprise. CRUISE PORT: I had never cruised from Charleston and I was a little surprised how much of the embarkation takes place out in the open parking lot as you rattle and roll through bumpy pavement from tent to tent checking first passports/ID and then boarding pass, etc. It felt that there were just too many passengers to let board at one time, so they manufactured these little stops to take up some time along the way. We had purchased Carnival's "Faster to the Fun" option and once we got through the parking lot, we were very quickly through security and on the ship. Except that the bunk had not been lowered, our cabin was ready for us. Charleston is quite a bit further north than its sister ports on the east coast, and the temperature was quite brisk on embarkation day. Most wore sweaters or jackets and only a few were enjoying the pool (more in the hot tubs). SHIP INFORMATION: I sailed on the Ecstasy in 2013 and have had the pleasure of cruising a number of times since, mostly on Carnival. This is a very small ship, in comparison to the rest of the Carnival fleet. There is no room for an outside theatre as many of the Carnival ships have, and there is a central elevated stage for music and contests and such. Movies were shown in one of the larger lounges. It's easy to quickly walk the length and breadth of this small ship. There are not as many outlets for evening entertainment, but that was not very important for us. I managed to get my 10K steps goal in every day but the last one. Our cruise director was Leon and I felt he did a good job and seemed genuine -- I especially liked his admonition at the conclusion of each of his talks reminding us to "be kind to one another" -- much needed advice on a cruise ship. CABIN Riveriera 145 (window view): Even though the Ecstasy was refurbished in 2017, I don't believe those improvements extended to the cabins. Our cabin was Riviera 145 -- a window room with two regular beds and a bunk. It looked identical to the room we had in 2013 (which was just down the hallway). I had gotten used to bigger rooms and was a little dismayed at first at the size, but when I compared photos later, it was indeed the same. We had the steward move one bed beneath the bunk, and that resulted in the most space available. The room was comfortable and there was enough room for clothing and accoutrements of three women traveling together. There was no full-length mirror in this cabin (usually on the inside of a closet door), but the vanity mirror was sufficient. Our room steward Roy (from Indonesia) kept our room in tip-top shape throughout our trip, leaving towel critters each evening, and always remembering our names and inquiring about our day's activities and adjusting his schedule to our convenience. There is no refrigerator in this cabin, but Roy provided an ice bucket and refilled it each evening. DINING: I had just returned from another Carnival cruise in December, so I was able to compare menus from a larger ship. The food in the dining room was tasty and there were always acceptable viands each evening. I was a little disappointed that no lobster was offered -- apparently that is now reserved for cruises of 7 days or longer. I could have paid the $20 extra for lobster, of course, on any evening. I enjoyed many of the "Port of Call" selections which I thought were very tasty and reinforced the theme of each island we visited. The sea-day brunch offered was not as nice as what was offered on the Glory just 3 weeks before. There, we had been offered filet minon and eggs and other upscale items that were missing from the Ecstasy menu, but ::shrug:: that was hardly a deal-breaker. We ate at the buffet several times, enjoyed the Guy's Burgers several times, and ate our breakfast from the buffet out on the deck every morning. ENTERTAINMENT: We caught one production show, but it seemed identical to the Motown show offered on Carnival cruises for several years. We were not exactly disappointed, but we didn't choose more of those productions. Two of my cabinmates wanted to see the PG comedy show, but it was always scheduled during our dinner hour, so we missed that. Contests and such were held on the lido deck and we hung out on the peaceful Serenity area, so we missed most of those. SHIP SHOPS: Carnival really needs to do something about their shops. They are boring and overpriced. I'd like to see some handmade products from the places or areas visited. There is even room for local craftspeople to demonstrate and sell items, possibly jewelry, for example. Carnival can do a lot better than what they are currently offering, and it would not be for naught -- I would gladly buy items like those featured on Novica or Gifts with a Cause. Even their ho-hum tee-shirts need some new designs. I'm growing weary of their neon offerings with shady sayings. Please. Do something here. GUEST SERVICES: We had no problems and the time or two we had a question or needed a small service was quickly handled. FASTER TO THE FUN: Unless we book a suite, we consider the $$ paid for this well worth it. We like the expedited embarkation and debarkation and having our cabins ready when we board the ship. On this cruise, we also used the priority tender service. Until I get to the Platinum level, I'll continue to purchase this option gladly. PORTS: • Freeport -- well, Freeport cruise terminal was boring. I saw mostly overpriced items from India and China. And the same thing at soooo many shops. I purchased nothing here, although I had money to spend! That's a terrible feeling on both sides of the bargaining table. Next time, I'll book an excursion. The last time I visited Freeport, I took a bike tour and that was a good way to get out into the island a bit. There certainly is nothing in the cruise terminal worth hanging around for. This could also be a good day to stay on the ship and enjoy the amenities there. • Half Moon Cay -- I've visited several times and it's beautiful, but I believe they need to do some landscaping work here. There is almost no shade except under man-made shelters. The beach is looking very barren. Carnival needs to culture some trees, make some shady hammock areas, something other than sun on a blistering beach. The Beach BBQ was adequate, but nothing really to write home about -- dry burgers and long lines. We had a brief shower while here, but managed to wait it out and it passed over quickly. • Nassau -- this trip, we booked an excursion to Blue Lagoon Island and it did not disappoint. My sister and fellow-traveler visited this location in the 90's and it was just beautiful. Carnival could take some pointers from the way they have things set up -- multiple kinds of places to enjoy the beach (beachfront, lagoon-front, and small-inlet-front) with a plethora of chairs and plenty of filtered shade and sunny areas. The meal offered with the excursion was similar to the private island BBQ, but what a difference! Burgers were moist and delicious; there were several local recipes offered (fried plaintain and rice dishes and delicious jerk chicken). We also had an opportunity to interact with the dolphins for less than $20!?! That was for a "dolphin kiss" and a photo (on a CD!) for just $19.99. Since there were only 3 of us, our guide ended up giving us the rest of the dolphin encounter for free. It was amazing. I also appreciated the way they "keep" the dolphins here -- they are free to swim out to sea, if they like, but they are tagged and monitored if they do so. I felt it was a good balance of caring for marine animals while letting us enjoy them. Five stars for this excursion to Blue Lagoon Island. DISEMBARKATION: Our Faster to the Fun privileges had us getting off the ship by about 7am! We were picked up our car about headed home by 7:30-ish. Amazing! We also had the option to say in our cabins until 8:30am and we considered that, but as there was snow coming at home, we opted to leave early. Note that unlike other Carnival ships which provided a continental-type breakfast for priority guests, this was not included for FTTF guests and ther was only 15 minutes between the start of continental breakfast on Lido and the leaving time in the lounge. We got a biscuit down the road. SUMMARY: If you are a "tourist" -- one who sees what he comes to see -- then you may not enjoy this small ship with its limited itinerary; but if you are a "traveler" who can take joy in most experiences and "chew up the meat and spit out the bone," when it comes to challenging experiences then you will likely enjoy your time on the Carnival Ecstasy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our third cruise, second time on Carnival. I was looking for a bigger ship. Although this was bigger than the Pride, it was not like our Royal cruise a few years ago. Biggest complaint, which I will put down as still learning ... Read More
This was our third cruise, second time on Carnival. I was looking for a bigger ship. Although this was bigger than the Pride, it was not like our Royal cruise a few years ago. Biggest complaint, which I will put down as still learning cruising, was the excursions. One in Belize had to be canceled after we finally all got together, as we would not have had enough time to complete the trip before the ship sailed. We had scheduled the trip with Vacation2go. I did not realize that Carnival "Owned" the ports and only Carnival sponsored excursions were allowed in the port area. We had to walk through the port, take a taxi, get picked up by a van and taken to an assembly area to meet up with the rest of the group.We were on time but when we were all assembled the tour was running late. Our other issue was with dinning. I am now handicapped. Our room was 3 from the bow and our dinning was at the stern (literally). I did not take the electric scooter or have a wheel chair so the long walk really got to me. I am also per-diabetic and have issues eating too late. After working with the staff, we were moved to another dining room and earlier seating. We had requested to be seated with others, but ended up at a table for two. Even with these issues, we will cruise again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Always wanted to go to Cuba and I prefer the smaller ships and the price was good and right after the holidays I hoped the ship would not be crowded and not too many kids which turned out to be correct on both counts. The dry dock had ... Read More
Always wanted to go to Cuba and I prefer the smaller ships and the price was good and right after the holidays I hoped the ship would not be crowded and not too many kids which turned out to be correct on both counts. The dry dock had the ship looking great and the crew was really great. Embarkation was so quick and smooth than any other port I have been at, I was on the ship a little after 11. I was E187 inside room and very nice and never did hear any noise from restaurant above my cabin. Food in main dining room had no taste so much better at buffet which I prefer anyway. I Still have no idea why everyone loves guys burgers but I still can't see the attraction. There was a singer on the ship, Emma Jude, who was very talented and enjoyed listening to all the live music on ship. There were very few announcements from cruise director which I really enjoyed. I spent most of the day on the serenity as wind was less noticeable there. They had tv's at all the bars on national championship game and nfl playoff games and there was crowds at those venues. Departure was also very quick and wish every port was as good as Tampa. Did notice cutbacks on food and salad bar fixings have been really cut back on but I always had plenty to eat. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not ... Read More
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not crowded like larger ships tend to be. Recently refurbished the public spaces and our suite were clean and bright. We had G3, one of two Grand Suites and the views and serenity was fabulous from Deck 14. Only complaint was the back cushion on sofa bed was easily toppled over and still would have loved a coffee maker like Carnival used to have in higher end suites. The food in the main dinning room was above average and offered wide choices. Staff throughout were friendly and helpful. Major drawback was lack of information regarding Cuban Visa procedure pre-cruise in a timely fashion, not detailed to week before and while the $75.00 fee per person was typical, it should have been clearly stated that the charge would be put on your room account. Both embarkation and debarkation were easy and painless. TIPS: Exchange US dollars for Canadian dollars or Euros pre cruise and receive a much better exchange rate at Havana Terminal Exchange. Also much better and personalized old car tours of Havana can be arranged via the internet (highly recommend Old Cars Havana) prior to the ship and was literally 1/3 longer and 1/2 the cost of Carnival offered excursion. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We are platinum members with the Carnival Cruise line. We have been loyal to them because we enjoy the fun on the fun ship. We did a B2B January 2- 19...eastern/western Caribbean. The quality of the food, especially on the buffet, and ... Read More
We are platinum members with the Carnival Cruise line. We have been loyal to them because we enjoy the fun on the fun ship. We did a B2B January 2- 19...eastern/western Caribbean. The quality of the food, especially on the buffet, and the temperature of the ship were our main complaints. We didn't go on a Caribbean cruise to freeze in our room, the dining room and all lounges. We didn't go to one comedy show because it was just too cold. We tried to go - we bundled up in sweaters, jackets and blankets. Embarkation and disembarkation went well with no complaints, we didn't really enjoy the entertainment because unfortunately we saw most of the evening shows and it was just too cold to use the Ebony lounge where the comedy shows are held. We did enjoy the Blue Bar where karaoke is held. We went to the cruise critic meeting where we spoke with our cruise director about the temperature and he attributed it to the ship being cooled by zones that they can't control individual rooms. We didn't enjoy these two cruises at all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Well, let’s start from the beginning. The debarktion process was smooth. It seemed to be organized and my room was done quite early. I must say, I was expecting the ship to be cleaner and a little nicer. I know the ship is older but a ... Read More
Well, let’s start from the beginning. The debarktion process was smooth. It seemed to be organized and my room was done quite early. I must say, I was expecting the ship to be cleaner and a little nicer. I know the ship is older but a little white paint can go a long way. The lobby area had lanterns hanging from the ceiling which had stains all over them. My bathroom shower was cracked. The ship was more run down than I would have liked to see. I’ve been on Norwegian and Disney cruises and this ship was NOTHING in comparison to those ships. The food was okay. What made our dining experience amazing was one special waitress! Her name was Irvina. She was lovely. She went above and beyond for us every night. Her smile and warmth made us feel like we were at home. The girls at the coffee shop were also just as lovely. They always had a smile on their face and by the end of the cruise they new my fiancé’s order by heart. Our room Stewart Heru was extremely accommodating. We had family members who came down with a cold on this cruise. They were stuck in their cabins for a few days. Heru, did everything he could to make sure they were comfortable and had everything they needed. Overall, the cruise staff were great. The entertainment was awesome. Donkey our cruise director was hilarious. The casino was a huge hit. It was large and we did very well there. However, there is only one computerized poker table. My fiancé loves poker. He was quite disappointed with the computerized table. It didn’t stop him from playing, but he did say he would have rather had a dealer. One of the biggest downfalls on this cruise was the drink package. First of all, my finance has MS and he is a hemophiliac. He is not allowed to drink. We were not able to submit a medical note to excuse him of purchasing the drink package. Since we were sharing the cabin and are both over the age of 21 we had to purchase the drink package if one of us wanted it. Which I found to be quite unfair. I understand why Carnival is strict with this policy however, my family and I chose Carnival because it was cheaper than Norwegian (who has an unlimited drink package including soda). So the drink package cost me an extra $860. Then to top it off I couldn’t order an extra shot on top of my pina colada or a double on my Tito’s and vodka. They literally measured out one shot per drink. They limit you to 15 drinks a day. Which seems a lot. However, if you wanted an extra shot that went toward one of your 15 drinks. Furthermore, if you wanted an extra shot in your drink you needed to wait 5 minutes and you could go back with your drink for them to add the extra shot. It was just extremely inconvenient. If I would have known that I was going to pay all this extra money and have this much of a hassle to have a decent drink on my vacation I would have chose to go back on a Norwegian ship in a heart beat. The ships are cleaner and there is NO drink minimum and they aren’t skimpy in pouring their drinks. Another thing that stumped me was my brother who didn’t have a drink package was able to pay 3 dollars extra to have extra alcohol added to his drink. When I asked the bar tender if I could just pay the difference I was told no because I had the Cheers package. It didn’t make any sense. When I expressed my frustration to the bar tender he tried to say its a safety issue. I didn’t understand and asked him to elaborate what he meant by a safety issue. He said they limit the cheers packages to 15 drinks per day because that is a lot of alcohol. So my answer back was but if I was to never have the drink package and pay per drink I could easily purchase over 15 drinks per day and nobody would ever know? So how is this a safety issue? Plus, I didn’t care if they deducted an extra drink for an extra shot in my drink. I wanted to actually have more than a tbsp of alcohol in my drink. This may make me sound like an alcoholic which I am NOT by any means. I didn’t reach my 15 day drink minimum any day I was on the cruise. It just was inconvenient the way they have this package set up. The second WORST part of this trip was a disturbing night that was inexcusable. At about 12:30 one night my fiancé and I woke up to what sounded like a air compressor going off right under our cabin. It was horribly loud. So horribly loud that multiple guest around us went onto their balcony looking around. We were all upset and didn’t understand what this noise could be and the time it was. My fiancé called guest services and they apologized and assured him it would stop. About an hour later the noise continued. I called guest services and was notified that they were doing construction and they were unaware that this outside company would be doing Maintnence until 9:00am. Mind you, it was around 1:45 when I called. I was furious. My fiancé was sick. He had caught a cold. Therefore, while not feeling well and hearing this awful sound all night on your vacation was far from enjoyable. The next day I got a call from guest services. They gave me a bottle of wine, cookies, and apologized. They told me that the construction would occur again that day from 6pm-7pm. I cannot wrap my head around how they thought it was okay to make that much noise in the middle of the night. One of the guest a few doors down from us mentioned the noise to us the next day while we were in the elevator. She had two little girls with her and she said they were all up all night due to the noise. It left a horrible taste in my mouth about Carnival cruises. As far as our ports that were stopped at they were all great. A few tips...if you are going to St. Thomas Magen’s Bay gets crowded very quickly. Try to get off the boat early! By the time we got there we were unable to rent chairs. They had no more. Which wasn’t a problem for us but I know some people surrounding us weren’t too happy. At Dominican Republic we went to a local beach. It was gorgeous. I didn’t feel as unsafe as I expected to at this port. I went to Punta Cana in the past and it wasn’t the safest area. At amber cove it seemed to be cleaner, safer and more developed. Puerto Rico, we enjoyed waking around the forts, we ate at an authentic restaurant and did some shopping. At Grand Turk you NEED to get off the boat early if you want a spot close to the water on the beach. The beach is located right off the port. It is gorgeous. It does get crowded quickly! We rented a golf cart off the port for 50 dollars for the day and explored the island. It’s safe. I wouldn’t advise you to go if you are a bunch of 18 year old girls but as a family we had a good time. We literally rode the entire island. Ate at a local restaurant. It is an impoverished country. Stray and and malnourished dogs, horses, and donkeys were everywhere. If you are an animal lover like me, next time I will be bringing dog treats with me. Overall, Carnivals cleanliness, noise distruption and drink package was really a turn off. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
There is no question that the price of the cruise makes it worth while. It is not the top of the cruise ship line but neither were the prices. Everything is there for you to make a great trip for yourself. It will be what you make it. We ... Read More
There is no question that the price of the cruise makes it worth while. It is not the top of the cruise ship line but neither were the prices. Everything is there for you to make a great trip for yourself. It will be what you make it. We went on the Dec 30th 2018 4 day cruise. Come prepared - this is a much older ship. There are few portholes, fewer balconies - book an owners suite, grand suite or junior suite for those extra amenities. We had an inside cabin, M100, small, but comfortable. Shower was excellent. The beds were converted to king at out request, so less room. Very limited electrical outlets - bathroom on had shave outlet over mirror. Plug into the ground 3 prong US outlet on left side of mirror with multi-socket extension cord. Will support hair dryer, curling iron, etc. - if not used same time. The ship is basically sealed and the air flow system is excellent. There is smoking around the casino and the smell spreads to adjacent areas. Love Charmin toilet paper so brought our own. Bring some air deodorant, just in case. If you have not gone on a Carnival cruise before beware of daily parking fees; have someone drop you off and pick you up or use Uber/Lyft/Taxi. If you drive drop off people with luggage and then park. Had a very difficult time finding entrance to parking facility and it was jammed with cars. Take a photo of where you are parked so you won't struggle to remember. We brought our own booze on board as Carnival charges a lot for a drink and adds a 15% tip to the mandatory 18% you will pay on your overall expenses. Carried booze on ourselves. Not in luggage. Fast on and off if use transport own luggage. Forget the TV, too small and inadequate. Forget the expensive wifi package. Use your phone and laptop when in port. Found the locally based trips to be better than Carnivals. Went on the Conservancy 3 hour jeep ride over Catalina. Was terrific. It was cold - insulated clothing and gloves needed in open jeep during cold weather. Worth it. Ensenada was closed - except tourist area when we debarked on January 1. Easy walk to and from ship, if you are in reasonably good shape. The ship was essentially full. No problems with kids running/screaming. All kept in check by parents and activities.. Cabin walls are paper thin. Sneeze and hear your neighbors say 'Gesundheit". Shows were good. Better later in evenings when kids not allowed. But, Carnival likes to wake up at 8:00a to tell you about the joys of the day. Cant sleep through it. For us, not a whole lot to do on the ship. All games and entertainment, nothing to learn or listen to. Too cold to be outside beyond mid-afternoon. Ship inside warm and comfortable. Dress - casual and somewhat less. New Year's eve most people dressed up. Ship decoration like Vegas in the 80's - gold, brass, glitz, but nicely kept up. New Year's Eve in the atrium was a lot of fun with music, balloons and streamers galore. Everyone in party mood. People are very friendly. Staff generally great. The food the first night was terrible-essentially non-edible. Then it became really great. Had the Captain's table - if you can get it,+$75/person, do it. Wonderful experience. Breakfast and lunch buffets - excellent. Three hot stations where will cook fresh for you in accord with meal at that time. Must try the hamburgers. Had no room for the burritos but folks said they were great. Again, trip is what you make of it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
In a word....FANTASTIC! I would like to thank the Captain and the Crew for taking us safely from home port to home port....Thank You A special thanks to the Cruise Director, NONO, she was amazing.....Thank You The staff was ... Read More
In a word....FANTASTIC! I would like to thank the Captain and the Crew for taking us safely from home port to home port....Thank You A special thanks to the Cruise Director, NONO, she was amazing.....Thank You The staff was amazing, from the Chefs to the wait staff to the clean up crews, all were very accommodating and courteous at ALL TIMES. The food was good and plentiful. Was it excellent, no, but you could always find something to your liking. Except the Sea Food Shack...don't waste your money, food is terrible. So just relax and have a good time. Thank You Carnival for a wonderful and memorable NEW YEAR. Constructive criticism. Easier boarding for Handicapped/ disabled passengers. Easier de-boarding for handicapped/disabled passengers. Better Signage on board the ship and at the Florida Port for handicapped/ disabled passengers. Better luggage handling for the handicapped/ disabled. More compliance with the ADA. NO SMOKING in the Casino. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had a great week on the carnival Dream. There was always something for everyone to do. The boat was very clean and staff were always smiling. Our server at dinner, Walter, was outstanding. Always had a great attitude and was the hardest ... Read More
We had a great week on the carnival Dream. There was always something for everyone to do. The boat was very clean and staff were always smiling. Our server at dinner, Walter, was outstanding. Always had a great attitude and was the hardest worker I saw all week. He went out of his way to make our dinners great. We will miss his smiling face. There’s plenty for children to do as well as adults. My only complaint would have to be the quality of dinner some nights. I felt the meals were very hit or miss. Most fish was overcooked and a lot of the food was very bland. I’ve only cruised twice previously and it was on royal Caribbean and I have to say that their food in the dining room is better. I will say you can’t beat carnival’s chocolate melting cake though. Also, I can not recommend Guy’s Burger Bar enough. Absolutely delicious. The quick pizza was pretty good as well. Overall I recommend this cruise to any family. It was a great experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
To have a great Vacation. But the food way below good. We only had one Captains dinner. I ask about the 2nd dinner, and was told that xmas dinner was the 2nd. We want to the Steakhouse, and ordered Surf and Turf. But the food was cold and ... Read More
To have a great Vacation. But the food way below good. We only had one Captains dinner. I ask about the 2nd dinner, and was told that xmas dinner was the 2nd. We want to the Steakhouse, and ordered Surf and Turf. But the food was cold and bunt. The soup was watered down. The best meal was the hot dogs from dell at the aft of the ship. The wait staff in the MDR was slow and not very helpful. Half the time our food was cold, or not what we ordered. The Casino was full of smoke, and very poor staff. We ask for help from the Host, Waited over 1 hour for help. We ask for a drink, and had to wait again for that. When we got to are cabin the first day, we ask for ice and two more towels. We got the ice on Monday and the towels on Tuesday afternoon. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose to get away from the hustle & bustle of Christmas preparations and relax with the family (kids & grand-kids) on a Christmas cruise. The children went to kids club, some enjoyed it, some didn't. If you don't like ... Read More
We chose to get away from the hustle & bustle of Christmas preparations and relax with the family (kids & grand-kids) on a Christmas cruise. The children went to kids club, some enjoyed it, some didn't. If you don't like lots of kids then this is not a cruise for you. There was plenty to do (if you want to) things like trivia, dance lessons, crafts, games,swimming, water slides, shows, parties. The food choice is very good. We ate breakfast mostly in the buffet which we found better than in the main dining room. Evenings we preferred the main dining room. The Nouveau Restaurant, for that extra special gourmet food was excellent. The staff everywhere were generally friendly and offered great service. We had a couple of things wrong in our cabin which our cabin steward got the maintenance crew to fix within an hour. The entertainment was very good with a good variety of entertainers (jugglers, magicians, comedians, acrobatics, dancers, singers. The ports were all tender ports (using lifeboats not a wharf to disembark). At Lifou we chose the Jinek Bay Marine Reserve excursion for great snorkeling. Numbers are limited so need to book as soon as you can after boarding ship. $26 p.p. There is no beach at Jinek Bay so not suitable for children unless they can swim/snorkel. Isle of Pines is beautiful where you land there are white sandy beaches within a short walk with lots of sea life (turtles, coloured fish, coral. Where you land on Mare there is not much, a few market stalls no nice beach. There is only has one excursion, a bus journey to Yejele beach for $25 per adult, $20 per child (aged 3 - 12 years). On a previous cruise there were lots of stingers on the beach and in the water. It's a beautiful beach but we didn't get off the ship there this time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We knew about the refurb because we have been on the sunshine. Best embarkation in 75 cruises. We were on the ship within 10 minutes of entering the building--amazing. The LITTLE things made a great big difference. When you get up at ... Read More
We knew about the refurb because we have been on the sunshine. Best embarkation in 75 cruises. We were on the ship within 10 minutes of entering the building--amazing. The LITTLE things made a great big difference. When you get up at night soft lights along the floor show the way to the bathroom without waking up others . The cruise cards are already punched to attach to a lanyard. The chocolate melting cake is served with ice cream without asking (dont miss this). The hooavous rancheros at the blue iguana are another do not miss.The Caesar salad dressing was the best I have ever had on land or sea.They told me they make their own. The wait staff was superb ( I offered to adopt Wendy from Bali). She was a ray of sunshine even after a long work day. The singers and dancers were very good and there was a live band which is becoming rare as you know. the room looked like brand new and I guess they were as it was just refurbished. I drink decaf coffee and it is usually poor but not on this ship. It was rich and full flavored and always tasted fresh even in the buffet. I didnt try the slide although it sure looked like fun. Plenty of space to get away from children if that is your desire. The staff must have been good at entertaining the littles because they were not a problem although there were many aboard. The last day was a problem because one passenger chose not to wait until we arrived in Miami to disembark and we spent 8 hours sailing back to the middle keys looking for him. Sad beyond words. Nobody complained but it was a somber mood the rest of the day. We had to eat the next cruise passengers welcome aboard lunch as they waited 10 hours to board in Miami. I wish there were a way to prevent this kind of thing and I am sure the cruise lines wish there was also. If you are looking for a great short getaway this was is top notch. We will do it again I am sure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was fast and efficient, debarkation was a bit tedious but after all it’s the end of your vacation. Buffet on Lido deck has 3 omelet stations for breakfast and for lunch offers Pizza, Burgers, BBQ and the buffet standards, all ... Read More
Embarkation was fast and efficient, debarkation was a bit tedious but after all it’s the end of your vacation. Buffet on Lido deck has 3 omelet stations for breakfast and for lunch offers Pizza, Burgers, BBQ and the buffet standards, all excellent! Below in the dining room food was very good, service was only pretty good as waiter William seemed to disappear for long periods of time. Luckily Headwaiter Reff and assistant Aditya were there to pull his butt out of the fire. As usual, room steward was Very Good. Thank you Aung! As a whole, service was excellent and extremely friendly, very attentive. Best policy is to treat these people with genuine respect and a smile, They will pay you back with excellent service x10. My only complaint with Carnival is no indoor smoking area to enjoy a cigar, smoke them only occasionally. How difficult could it be, Carnival? Will cruise Carnival again, for sure. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First, I write this as a guy in my early 40s travelling with my partner and no kids. That should give you an idea of my perspective. We found this cruise through a Carnival promotion and we couldn't pass this up at the price. We ... Read More
First, I write this as a guy in my early 40s travelling with my partner and no kids. That should give you an idea of my perspective. We found this cruise through a Carnival promotion and we couldn't pass this up at the price. We didn't get to choose the cabin but we were given 5114, a balcony room closer to the front of the ship. The room was clean and well-presented, no complaints here. My first cruise ever was on Legend last year and it felt like visiting an old friend this time 'round. Some of the Fun Ship upgrades had been put in like Alchemy, Blue Iguana and Guy's Burger Joint but there was no Fat Jimmy's C-Side as there is on Spirit. Embarkation was easy enough, we rocked up to and dropped off the bags and went through customs. Carnival have changed the process a little since our last cruise on Spirit this year. They now issue you a paper boarding pass rather than the Sail and Sign card just before you get on. The Sail and Sign card awaits in the little mailbox out the room. I was told the paper is quicker to print and you can still use it in place of the proper sail and sign card. Our card arrived fairly quickly. The old Roman/Greco theme has grown on me and it never really bothered me anyway. Some may not like it. I went straight up to Unicorn café and had the fish and a few other sides. Exactly as I remember it on my first time on Legend. The food was great on the Lido deck, be it Unicorn, Guy's or the Iguana. I then purchased the bottomless bubbles package and started getting into the good stuff. The service started off excellent and didn't really deviate from any of the bar staff throughout the cruise. They were pretty much always friendly. One thing I like about Carnival are the drinks prices. They might be a little higher than the local leagues club but they're tolerable. Beer and wine is probably a $1 or $2 higher than the local club. Even spirits (Scotch is what I had) is reasonable. Cocktails are as expected. My local club does them for about $12 - $15 and that was about the price onboard. The first day is always chaotic and we had people with their kids in Serenity. Seriously, there's plenty more ship to keep your kids but Serenity is for those 18+. They weren't rowdy but these families take up cabanas that could be for someone over 18. Staff didn't do anything and ask these families to move to another area. The subsequent days didn't have kids parked at Serenity. And anyway, who takes their kids out of school before school holidays start? That's what school holidays are for. After a day or so, people's movement flows well through the ship. The ship is well laid out and there's always an area where you can sit and have a quiet area. You may not get the lounge beside the pool but on sun deck there's always a few chairs empty. Bars are easy to access and not crowded unless there's an event on. I could sit at one of the bars and enjoy a few drinks especially the more quiet ones such as Dreamteam and Odyssey. Even before dinner times, Alchemy was accessible. All-in-all, I think the Spirit class ships have a good passenger to amenity ratio. Waiters for drink service seemed to come more regularly than I remember on my last Carnival cruises. Our cruise director was Jen and she was great; always around and ready to have a chat and she looked after us. She was always letting passengers know what was going on. Entertainment was generally good and they had Epic Rock on the last night, the second time I've seen the show. DJ Max was our main DJ and plays a good mix of music that would appeal to most anyone. His playlist doesn't feel like it was contrived by a CCL suit in Miami for use onboard all their ships. Unfortunately, Music Manilla weren't on this ship but the other entertainers were good. Music volume levels were good including in areas where piped music was playing so you could easily maintain a conversation. As one would expect, the jams were pumped up a little for the Lido deck 80's theme night. That joint was bumping and it was a good turn out. In terms of cleanliness, Unicorn tables were being cleaned promptly. I'd barely finish a meal and a courteous staff member would be there cleaning. I only encountered one or two public toilets not working but they seemed to have been repaired promptly. Toilets are quite handily located all over the ship so you can leave things on a table and be back quick enough for no one to have removed anything. Toilets were always clean and there'd be someone cleaning/maintaining them often enough. Again, the food was excellent and other than breakfast, changed regularly. Breakfast was mostly things like bacon, eggs, toast, etc. along with cold cuts and even salad. Truffles was excellent and the service astounding. We were able to change our assigned table and we were given a note the next day in our mailbox informing us of the new table number. We also did the Chef's table again as well as Nouveau. Again, both were excellent. Nouveau has bumped up the price but it's still worth it. Just a note, we've had the escargot before so didn't think to order them this time. Our chef came out and had chat with us about the meu. Apparently, Carnival will be taking them off the menu so get in while you can. Our chef quickly had some cooked up for us. Amazing service. Some minor criticisms with the ship include inconsistent bar prices. Most staff will process the mixer component of spirits and it will be then credited back on the bill because soft drink is included in the Bottomless Bubbles package but even at the same bar, other bar staff will not credit it back. In some of the areas, parents would simply not bother controlling their children. Others would let nappy-donned rug rats in the pool. Even with a swim nappy, you can't go in the pool. People don't want to swim in diarrhoea and urine. Staff didn't seem control this whereas they were strict about it last year on Legend. Other than that, I know I've been on a stellar cruise when I shed the odd tear knowing I have to disembark and get back on with life. Well done, Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
One thing that works on this ship is the a/c! We love the Punchliner comedy but it was so cold in the Ebony Cabaret you could hang meat in there, we could not bear to stay in there for the comedians. Room service was very late or ... Read More
One thing that works on this ship is the a/c! We love the Punchliner comedy but it was so cold in the Ebony Cabaret you could hang meat in there, we could not bear to stay in there for the comedians. Room service was very late or non-existant! Saw our room steward, Antonio, on first day and never for the rest of the cruise. MDR menus seem to be scaled way down with fewer options. Buffet seemed to be the same things repeatedly. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly since we are Platinum members. Cabin smelled like sewage when we came in. Although it was an "accessible" cabin, it was very crowded and inadequate storage. The beds could not be separated without blocking the mini-fridge. The ports and excursions were great however there was alot more walking than we bargained for. The piers alone are very very long! We enjoyed the Hasbro game show and the trivia games. General decor on this ship is not impressive and left us non-plussed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
WHY THIS CRUISE: We chose this ship/cruise primarily for the varied itinerary and number of stops in interesting places. My husband and I (in our 60's) had visited all the ports; my daughter and son-in-law had the fun of some new ... Read More
WHY THIS CRUISE: We chose this ship/cruise primarily for the varied itinerary and number of stops in interesting places. My husband and I (in our 60's) had visited all the ports; my daughter and son-in-law had the fun of some new ports on this trip. OUR TRIP TO MIAMI: We drove down from North Carolina on Friday and stayed in the Sleep Inn, Airport. We've been there before and the hotel offers a sweet deal if you are driving-- they participate in the "park and cruise" program where you can leave the car there for the duration of the cruise. The rooms are older, but clean and it's a nice facility with a good breakfast bar. They don't offer free shuttle to the cruise port, but contract with a third-party who charges a reasonable $10, driving straight to the port. On the morning we left for the cruise, someone came back from a cruise to find her car had been broken into, but our car was safe and sound when we returned (I did put everything in the trunk -- GPS, travel clothes, etc., to get anything of interest out of sight). EMBARKATION: We opted for Faster to the Fun, but were disappointed that our cabins were not ready when we boarded the ship (at our 11:30am appointment). I have looked back on the website which continues to mention that Faster to the Fun includes this feature, so I'm a little puzzled about why it wasn't honored this time. We roll our luggage on, so we had to keep it in tow for a couple of hours. ::shrug:: not the end of the world, but just a little surprised. Embarkation itself was quick and uneventful. We did get priority embarkation and it was a breeze. OUR CABIN: We had upgraded from an inside cabin at the front of the ship to a mid-ship balcony cabin, thanks to a special offer. Our cabin was 6375 (on the "Upper Deck," deck 6). It never occurred to me that things happening BELOW the cabin would affect the noise level, but as this cabin was directly over the little stage outside the casino oon the promenade deck (deck 5), we "enjoyed" music until the wee hours every night, whether we wanted to or not. Again, I'm a pretty easy grader and after a couple of nights, I was able to mostly disregard it, but that might be a deal-breaker for someone very sensitive to extra noise. The cabin itself was lovely, kept in tip-top shape by our room steward, Komang. THE SHIP: the ship is looking a little shopworn, although staff keep it very clean. I noticed some peeling varnish, chipped bar in the bathroom, and other small signs of age. To me, this just added a little character. I noticed that it's due for a refurb next year and I'll be interested to see what happens there. DINING: We enjoyed breakfast at the buffet and at the sit-down restaurant along with one of the two brunches offered. I felt the food was entirely acceptable, always tasty, served in a reasonable portion-size. Last year, I complained about the so-so desserts offered. This year, Carnival offered absolutely scrumptious cakes, individually served. That was a welcome improvement. I'm still yearning for more of that carrot cake! We ate dinner in the main dining room where Rodah, Ida and CrisJay were excellent and attentive servers. The food in the dining room was lovely, always served in an appetizing way and well-seasoned. I was surprised to get an extra lobster on that special night! Whoa! Unexpected, but very welcome! CHEF'S TABLE: We participated in the Chef's Table -- first time for my daughter and son-in-law -- and it was delicious and beautiful. We especially enjoyed Chiang from Singapore, who gave a clear and most interesting explanation of the exotic foods presented. She also answered questions with honesty, grace, and humor. Whatever Carnival is paying this young woman needs to be increased because she is a fantastic ambassador for Carnival. ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed the "welcome aboard" show in the Amber Palace, but did not make another show. We didn't go to comedy shows or participate in the on-deck events. When we have a balcony room, we tend to spend a lot of time out there. Because of the room acoustics, we did hear all of the bands in the Casino location. There was a horn ensemble that was especially good and a latin band that was terrific. A fellow playing steel drum was amazing. Others were not as skilled, but not completely awful. My cruise expectations for music are pretty low -- something pleasant in the background, or possibly to dance to is about all I'm looking for. PORTS: • Grand Turk -- we planned no excursion this time, just shopped in the cruise port and enjoyed the pool at Margaritaville (where we also enjoyed touching base back home with some free internet access). • San Juan, PR -- we walked to one of the forts and got in FREE thanks to my national senior pass which I actually remembered to bring. We were in PR late, but we came back fairly early and just enjoyed the ship. • St. Thomas, VI -- this was a great day! We booked a wonderful cultural walk and food tour and it did not disappoint. Gerard, the guide, was wry and well-spoken and took us to some amazing spots for some great local and traditional food. • Amber Cove, DR -- a beautiful day made our time by the pool very enjoyable. We also shopped port stores, but had no excursion planned here. There are several places offering free internet and an earthcache if you enjoy geocaching. CRUISING DUCKS: I have only recently learned about the cute game of hiding little rubber ducks for children (and others) to find while cruising. I brought a few to hide and posted the photos on FB along with a hint -- they were all found and it added a little something extra to the trip this year. I hope that Carnival will continue to permit this bit of innocent fun. CARNIVAL HUB: This app has made great strides since I used it last year (or maybe I just learned to use it better). I never opened the highlighters I brought to make note of special events because you can do that on the Hub app. You can also check your account balance, chat with friends on the ship (for an extra $5 for the whole cruise), see what's on the menu, etc. INTERNET: I usually just pay for a day or two of internet while on a sea day so that I can check in back home. This time, I opted for the less expensive "social plan" and found it entirely adequate. I couldn't check email, but could chat via Messenger, which was useful and fun. SPA "PAMPER PARTY" -- I attended one of these on a sea day. I expected some hard-selling, but actually found it to be entertaining. I was astonished to find a medical doctor on board who provides more advanced procedures like botox and the like. I was not tempted, but very intrigued by the concept. Using a coupon from the Pamper Party, I enjoyed a 75 minute massage which was relaxing and skillfully done. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first cruise. I was afraid I would get seasick so we chose the 3 day cruise to the Bahamas with Liberty. I did not get seasick but I hated the cruise. The balcony room was fine but needs to be updated, carpeting is bad and ... Read More
This was our first cruise. I was afraid I would get seasick so we chose the 3 day cruise to the Bahamas with Liberty. I did not get seasick but I hated the cruise. The balcony room was fine but needs to be updated, carpeting is bad and shower kept overflowing because the drain was slow. Left notes in the cabin but nothing was done. Food at the buffet terrible, even Guy's burgers that everyone online said was terrific. Just a greasy mess! Food in dining room was better but still not as good as the restaurants I usually go to. Very disappointed. I absolutely hated Nassau. So dirty looking and traffic was very bad. The shops were dirty and junky merchandise. We went to Atlantis and what I saw on TV was not what was really there. It may have been terrific when it opened up but it is in need of painting and updating. We went to the aquarium and was talked into paying 45 pp for a ticket to see a world famous aquarium. It was hardly anything to talk about. I am originally from Chicago and our aquarium was top of the line compared to this small aquarium. I felt sad for the fish! The one thing I hated the most was all the lines, waiting to get on,waiting to get off the ship and lines everywhere on the ship. The small pools and hot tubes always filled and looking pretty worn. The windows have NEVER been washed so even in the dining areas looking out is the pits. The other cruise ships were washing all windows but the Liberty only washed the top of the lobby and that must be years of grime on all the other windows in the ship, adding to the need to refurbish this mess of a ship. No more cruising for me. They say the longer cruises and bigger ships are even worse with the lines and for me this is not a vacation. I needed a vacation after this cruise! They need to stay in port one day in-between cruises and clean everything. Not enough time to get this ship in shape and it needs it. Carnival only cares about money and not the people using this ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Convenient cruise- easy getting form the Long Beach airport to the cruise ship- & used the shuttle as only myself traveling, but if I was with a group would have used UBER to get to & from the ship . I wanted a short itinerary, ... Read More
Convenient cruise- easy getting form the Long Beach airport to the cruise ship- & used the shuttle as only myself traveling, but if I was with a group would have used UBER to get to & from the ship . I wanted a short itinerary, to determine if I would enjoy solo cruising. Was great being able to have cabin to self, able to do what I wanted when I wanted & how I wanted. Totally enjoyed the sauna, steam room & gym. was well taken care of by my room steward, Supron - always had a full ice container, room cleaned as necessary Did the Chef's table & was impressed by all the food that was fixed & served, Learned many interesting facts about the food, preparation & many ingredients for the many foods that was served to us. Even learned some new things about different herbs & spices to combine with different foods. In Ensenada discovered a great place to go for a massage- Massage & Facial Wellness - within walking distance of the ship- and very reasonable priced, then did a chocolate class at the Maya Cacao- learning how chocolate is made form cacao beans- Did I mention that is all organic & they use the profits to support orphanages in the area Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We saw a Smithsonian channel segment on new ships with Vista included. We live in Dallas so Galveston was convenient. This ship is bigger than other Carnival ships we have sailed on but it doesn't seem large inside. The atrium ... Read More
We saw a Smithsonian channel segment on new ships with Vista included. We live in Dallas so Galveston was convenient. This ship is bigger than other Carnival ships we have sailed on but it doesn't seem large inside. The atrium is a much documented problem. It is small, mostly bar, three stories with glass railings and bar stools at the railings to look down and watch-- what? In fact, this whole ship is to sit, drink and watch someone else do something and be told you are having fun doing it. I had the soda package and got great service with it. Our spa balcony cabin was like any other balcony, glass window/single glass door to outside. The robes provided were frayed at the necks and belts. Only two elevators go Deck 14 but also go to all decks so it is impossible to get an elevator. You walk up and down to 12 to gain access to all elelvators.The private stairway from Deck 14 to spa was nice but there was a peculiar odor on the stairwell. The spa is a hugh disappointment. The "thermal pool" is a rectangular hot tub approx 6"by14" with benches and jets down one side so you sit lined up with other passengers like ducks in a row. Holds about 6. We sail Norwegian with their great spas and were aghast. There are 8 or 9 heated lounges, far too few for the ship spa population. Saunas and steam rooms were okay. One has switch for different steam smells but it never worked. WORST OF ALL, personnel do not come and go in the spa area and passengers have loud conversations with many guffaws, pass cell phone pictures back and forth with comments, and two gentlemen had a very loud thermal pool conversation about deer getting into their yards, trapping, killing and dressing the deer--for all within forty feet to endure. No relaxing music, no aromatherapy and no "quiet" signs posted. No monitoring of what is going on in the spa area. Don't waste your money on the "pseudo spa." The shows were what you would expect, comedians were really good, IMax ok, shore excursion ok. WE ARE BALLROOM DANCERS AND NO DANCING ON THIS SHIP. There is music played above atrium bar but no dancing on atrium dance floor as it has two photographer screens set up. Two clubs with dance floor had really fast music to sit and listen and drink to. DJ same thing. One country western band drew crowd of mostly Texan passengers but no recognizable CW played. Some announced as "Canadian." No one on the dance floor just sitting. One night after enduring an entire set of this music, the band announced their last song would be "something you can dance to" They played a waltz and fifteen couples danced. THAT'S 30 PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN SITTING, BEING TOLD THEY WERE HAVING FUN. It never happened again. We watched people walk by the dance floor, listen a minute and walk on. Carnival told us they were focusing on FUN and ballroom dancing did not fit their program. The quality of bands and two person ensembles was poor across every group. On exception was the vocalist in one band who belted out Gladys Knight's "If I were Your Woman" like a Vegas act. It made enduring that evening almost worth it. The food is very good on the Vista throughout all the restaurants we tried. The brew pub was fun. My husband thought the beef very good(nice praise from a Texas beef eater) They do great seafood dishes and the restaurant brunch on sea days is very nice. The crew and service are great. The crew are very nice and try very hard to please. We had this ship booked for June, 2019 for nine members of our family to celebrate graduations and a birthday. We are cancelling. The attractons for teenagers didn't look that good to us.The arcade had little kid and teenage games side by side-not good. We want a better designed ship, nicer spa, more space and to find real fun, not what we are told is fun. We want to have dinner and dancing. Isn't that what cruise ships do? Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because our friends were taking it. We met them on the Freedom last year. Embarkation was quick and easy and we able to go to our cabin when we boarded because we are Platinum. The trivia games were really fun, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our friends were taking it. We met them on the Freedom last year. Embarkation was quick and easy and we able to go to our cabin when we boarded because we are Platinum. The trivia games were really fun, with a variety of topics. They had a live band and violinist group which we very much enjoyed. It was pretty easy to get the layout of the ship. The Mongolian grill was good and so was the Italian cafe. We dined in main dinning room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service was awesome. Reeve always served with smile. Because of the weather, high winds, we were two hours late getting back to Galveston. We were allowed an extra hour before we had to leave our cabin. Because of this disembarkation was a little chaotic. People pushing and getting off before they were called. Would I go again? Absolutely, any day cruising beats any day at work or just sitting at home retired. We had an inside cabin which we really liked. Plenty of room, ample closet space and moving around room. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was most definitely not our first cruise, in fact, I turned platinum on this cruise, and DH will turn platinum in April. But last year after a great cruise in December to the Bahamas, I said to my DH, I really miss true Mexican ... Read More
This was most definitely not our first cruise, in fact, I turned platinum on this cruise, and DH will turn platinum in April. But last year after a great cruise in December to the Bahamas, I said to my DH, I really miss true Mexican food, so when we got home from dinner, we went on line and booked the Fantasy. We had cruised to Mexico from New Orleans, but we wanted to try sailing from Mobile, as we had never been to Mobile. We drove from Atlanta to Saraland, where we had booked the Microtel. A small hotel chain owned by Wyndom (sp) hotels. We had the park and cruise option, which was fantastic, our room was a mini suite, with a partition between the bedroom (a queen) and a living room, and the window actually opened, and we listened to the rain that night. We had dinner at the Oyster restaurant right next door. The next morning, we got up, went downstairs to our breakfast, repacked, and were on the van at 11:30 to our cruise! The Fantasy is not new, in fact right now it is the oldest ship in the fleet, but our cabin- R4, a porthole cabin, was huge. Considering all that there was to do on the cruise, we didn't spend much time there. But if you are looking for space, for the least amount of money, the front Riviera porthole cabins are spacious. Embarking, really, was a long line, with a long walk up to the Empress deck of the ship. Platinum or not, it really made no difference. Your sail and sign cards are at your cabin, so while DH was having some health issues, I went down, dropped off our bit of carry on, picked up the cards, went back up, got him and went to the Casino bar, where you can smoke even if the ship is refueling. The rest of the time, smoking is at the bar, which gets crowded or up on the Verandah deck. What made this cruise special is that we booked some easy excursions that I thought DH could do (his health is not good) and Carnival really got the excursions right! In Progresso we did the Discover the Mayan World, and we saw all that we wanted plus more. A nice bus, a great driver and tour guide (Arturo) and we saw the salt flats with the pink water, the flamingoes that winter there, the Xcambo ruins-pronounced eshcampo- a church in a truly Mayan town, and a great lunch spot on the beach. In Cozumel, we did Discover Mexico, which is basically an art and history museum, and saw the Paplanta (sp) flyers. Trust me, you will not witness this just every day of your life. So, the excursions were great, the dining room staff for ATD that we had, Divina and crew were great, the food was good, and in fact, we never even ate pizza this time, we actually enjoyed all that we tried. DH's highlight was winning the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest ( I have no idea why I even compete against him) and my highlight was being able to share information about the arts in Atlanta to the group at the Veteran's program meeting. (DH was Air Force). Cruising is what you make it, yes I can tell you it's an old ship, and there is rust. But who cares, if floats, it provides entertainment, and it a fun time or quiet time depending on what you need. The only downside was disembarking-here I was thinking, well I am platinum (serves me right) and we got the wrong memo, we were in the wrong place, and we almost didn't get any special service until I went down stairs and figured out what was wrong. There was a lot of lack of communication on this cruise, but we had a good time, we got off OK and we got picked up by the very sweet group at Microtel, drove back to Atlanta, and got home, by 5. p.m.. Would I do it again, you betcha-going in April. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, and it's a ladies room thing-they changed the locks on all the public stalls in the ladies room, to cheap breakable plastic locks, that are impossible to use, if it ain't broke why fix it? Well they changed it, and most people had terrible times trying to get out of the stalls. Just a heads up. Read Less
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