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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: September 2019
We choose this cruise to go with another couple that this was their first cruise. The ship was looking good inside and out after the dry dock. We had an ocean suite on the 7th floor. Room was nice, lots of room and storage. We were a ... Read More
We choose this cruise to go with another couple that this was their first cruise. The ship was looking good inside and out after the dry dock. We had an ocean suite on the 7th floor. Room was nice, lots of room and storage. We were a bit surprised that the suite did not have a bathtub as the suites do on the bigger ships. Still had a nice big shower, but the wife really like a tub to soak in. We did the first night dining in the steak house which was very good. Service was very good. Food was great but there was a lot of food and we all over ate. The first night in the main dining room, level 3, early dining, was ok, food was good but the service was a bit slow. We were there 30 min. before we even got water and the breads. I did overhear a large group next to us complain that they had been waiting for over an hour for service. The place was full and they were very busy, so I think it might have been some new staff members. We only dining the main dining room once more and this second time the service was much better. The entertainment was very good but on the last night there was a power outage that affected the whole ship and they could not get the special effects to work in the theater so the performers just sang and danced as best they could given the short notice. We have two more cruises booked on the Freedom and are looking forward to those. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, ... Read More
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, Juliana and Juan in the Accidental String Trio were just...the only word to describe it was beautiful. Neil was singing and Jammin’ the reggae hits on the steel drums. And Rob was rocking it on the guitar. DJ JD with the hits. The Brassaholics with the amazing Maroon 5 medley. And the Latin Band covering latin hits. Emma, Layla and Francois brought so much energy throughout the whole ship. Vargus Mason with the jokes! T.A. Williams at the Piano Bar. Diana and other bartenders tending the bar at the Lobby very well, including the bartenders on Lido who also bring their energy to the ship. I tipped what I could. Next I want to say how much I really appreciate how kind, thoughtful, and caring the staff was. They always offered help. I don’t usually accept help but I made some exceptions. I also made some friends on the cruise. The whole experience is one to remember. They always had smiles on their faces, and always greeted as we cross paths. And as you’re reading this to all of the staff, I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I get to meet you all again. Cheers "Let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile..." - unknown "My cup is full to the brim, I could go on and on, the full has never been told" - Buju Banton Side Note: Im looking for a job also (galvancromeo@gmail.com) all photos are unedited Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was ... Read More
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was postponed to July 1 and turned into an 8 day cruise. I monitored prices daily and when it dropped to what I was comfortable paying, we booked. Good thing we did not wait any longer because by the next morning the sailing was closed. We also love the ports of Cozumel and Costa Maya and were very happy with lots of sea days and those 2 Mexican ports. For the first time in years we booked a balcony guarantee and within minutes received our cabin assignment. We were put in 8462, an 8C. I was quite busy taking care of everything we normally do over a period of months in just 4 days. We made our parking reservation at EZ Cruise and this was once again a good decision. We arrived, parked the car only a few spots from the shuttle pick up area, immediately got on a bus, and it departed with only 6 people on the bus. We gave a porter our luggage and walked down to the Priority entrance. We walked right in at around 11:30am and immediately checked in and cleared security with no one ahead of us. We then proceeded upstairs and boarded the ship. We went straight to the cabin where we were met by a nice young steward. Within 5 minutes we had our ice and bathrobes. We unpacked our carry on bags, filled the safe and headed up to the Lido for lunch. We were conveniently located near the aft elevators, so we always used that to access the Lido. The food line back there was rarely busy and there were loads of seats available. After lunch we went down to deck 5 to check on our table location. We were assigned a table for 2 in late dining, but did not like the location as the table was only inches from the next table. Darko, the Maitre D said he had just the table for us and put us at Table 174 in the Reflections dining room. It was a great, very private, table for 2 tucked away in a corner. The first night we had reservations at Cucina del Capitano and because we are gluten free we stopped in to pre-order our first night dinner. It was another excellent GF meal with Nonna's meatalls, Caesar salad, GF chicken Parmesan, a side order of GF pasta and lemon sorbet for dessert. We were surprised that it was not busy at all. Even though we were Diamond, we were refused a reservation for the steakhouse for the first night, and offered the 3rd night instead. We decided to cancel that reservation after meeting our waiter and having such great GF food and service in Reflections from Edi, Larimer and Yulius. We also enjoyed visits from Inna, the hostess from the Ukraine and Darko from Serbia. The first sea day we made sure we went to Brunch in the aft dining room. We had a wonderful waiter, Smitha, from India. She was fabulous. We also ordered our GF meal for that night since we had been in Cucina the night before. Brunch was wonderful as usual. The next 2 mornings at breakfast we were given window tables overlooking the wake, but the service was not nearly as good as we received on that first morning, so for the rest of the breakfasts and brunches we requested to be seated in Smitha's section. She was so friendly and efficient and remembered our preferences to the point where she could predict what we would order. We also received visits every morning from our favorite hostesses Inna from Ukraine, and Mini from India, who remembered us from our January cruise on the Vista. Inna even came to see us the morning she was in charge of the Dr. Seus Breakfast! On the 2nd night, just before second seating, the power went out. It had gone out for about 5 minutes earlier, when I was getting a shower, but came back on quickly. After waiting about 15 minutes for it to go back on we climbed the stairs from deck 3 to deck 8. By the time we arrived at our cabin the aft section had power so our cabin had lights, AC and working toilets. We changed clothes just in case something else happened. They were really good about making announcements to keep the guests calm. The cruise director, John Heald and the Captain took turns making announcements every 10 minutes. Finally, around 9:15 they announced that dinner service was resuming, so we went down to the dining room and had our dinner. Lots of people had changed clothes due to the A/C being out, but they welcomed everyone, even if wearing shorts or jeans on elegant night. We spent a couple of relaxing sea days either on our balcony or by the aft pool enjoying the great weather and calm seas. The sailing was really smooth aided by a sailing speed of between 9 and 13 knots. The day before we were to reach Costa Maya, we had to make a stop off Cozumel to let off a member of the crew who needed to be hospitalized. They originally said our arrival in Costa Maya would be delayed until noon, but we got in a bit earlier than originally scheduled. We booked a day at Costa Maya, so we got right off and walked to the check in point. After a short wait we got in a taxi with 3 other guests and were the first to arrive at Costa Maya. We were greeted warmly by the staff, given a short orientation and shown to our chairs on the beach and offered rum punches and guacamole and chips. Sadly, there was lots of seaweed and the staff worked feverishly to clean it up. I took a walk and found the pool tucked away in the trees and we moved there. The loungers were super comfortable and we were just steps from the bar. Our waiter came and found use there, took new drink orders and brought fresh guacamole. We had a super relaxing morning there. Then, when it was time for lunch we went to the restaurant, filled our plates and returned to our loungers where we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, sunning and chatting withe fellow guests. They asked what time you wanted to leave and just our scheduled time they came to tell us our taxi was ready. We had the same driver and were quickly back at the pier. It was a delightful day and totally worth every penny. In Cozumel we went to the dentist for our 6 month cleaning and check ups and then headed downtown. It was so sad to see downtown practically deserted, even though there were 5 ships in port. The Museum was closed too. We had lunch at Palmeras, which was tasty, but a little pricey, and then headed back to the ship. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the aft pool enjoying the ship while most were ashore. We had more super calm sea days back to Galveston and arrived in port right on time. I will say the Priority debarkation was a joke They had Platinum, Diamond, FTTF and all the wheelchair people in the Reflections dining room with no separation between groups. The wheelchair people did not get off as they were supposed to when their decks were called. As soon as any wheelchairs were called they all headed for the door and clogged the entry when those who had not been called were sent back. Others, who were in none of the Priority categories entered the dining room through the back entrance and clogged the aisles with their luggage, so that when the cruise director finally came to call the Diamond guests, we had a difficult time getting through. It was our first time ever not having a separate place to wait and not having any pastry, coffee and juice offered. Once we got in the terminal, we got a porter and quickly moved into the immigration line. They had just opened a new line for the porters and we walked right up to the front and were seen by the CBP agent immediately. Because we had not been to Belize or Roatan, the agent just glanced at the passports and did not scan them. We were finished in seconds and on our way to the EZ Cruise shuttle. We put our luggage out the night before and were off the ship, through CBP and in our car by 8:40 and home before 10:00am. We sailed the Vista at the end of January 2019 in a Havana Cabana and came away hating the ship. Yes, we liked the Havana pool, but we detested the constant pounding of the Latin music to the point that we abandoned the Havana pool for the aft pool most days. While our waiter at dinner in January, Pierces, was the highlight of the cruise, the rest of it was so bad that we swore that we would never sail the Vista again. Well, I found I can be bought by a low price. But, I also know that if I sail the Vista again I won't pay the premium for a Havana Cabana. The crew on the Vista this trip was so much better than the crew that was on in January. It was a different Captain, Staff Captain and Hotel Director this time and I think the crew was happier with this management team and it showed. Captain Vittorio Marchi was wonderful as was Staff Captain Nick, who took the time to explain all the problems in detail to my husband at the Diamond event, and Alina the Hotel Director was so sweet. We remembered each other from sailing on the Liberty in 2016 with her. I am not going to rate the entertainment. We have seen the production shows over and over on multiple ships and did not go this time. We did go to 3 comedy shows before dinner and enjoyed them. We also enjoyed listening to the Polaris String Trio every evening before dinner. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a quick get away for my husband and I. Thank you jelly, Cam, the cruise director, Blessings, Superda, from Thailand, Danny, Roel, and especially Hery our cabin steward, also Lelia. You guys were great and made our cruise even ... Read More
This was a quick get away for my husband and I. Thank you jelly, Cam, the cruise director, Blessings, Superda, from Thailand, Danny, Roel, and especially Hery our cabin steward, also Lelia. You guys were great and made our cruise even better. It was a delight to feel so welcome and you went out of your way to ensure that we had fun. There were so many of you and I hope I haven’t forgotten any of you. Thanks Allison for your guidance during shopping. We got held up in DI in The Bahamas and didn’t get all the perks but that’s ok. We will definitely see you again but not on deck 7. Room E66 was not a great choice for us because of all the noise. It’s a party ship Blessings to you all. What an awesome Captain: can park a ship on a dime. Great job!! Never been on a ship where the captain actually got engaged with us and kept us abreast of everything. We am platinum members and this was by far the best cruise ever. Freeport absolutely sucks. Should be dropped from all ports of call. All I saw was containers and junk. Not attractive. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have cruised many times in the Caribbean but have always wanted to try an Alaskan cruise. We had a marvellous time! My review is quite long but here are some special notes if you don't want to read the whole thing: - Don’t ... Read More
We have cruised many times in the Caribbean but have always wanted to try an Alaskan cruise. We had a marvellous time! My review is quite long but here are some special notes if you don't want to read the whole thing: - Don’t try to schedule your Lyft ride the day before your cruise - Check on possible excursion openings (which may have previously been fully booked) as soon as you board: openings and cancellations occur - Book the Tracy Arm Fjord Glacier Explorer excursion if you can!!! - Inside cabins are VERY dark when the lights are off, so I advise bringing a night light -The coffee on Lido varies from fairly good to awful and there’s no way to tell until you take a sip - The Nouveau Restaurant (Steakhouse) is well worth the extra cost - Pack for ALL weather and plan to layer your clothes. We had days as cool as 54 degrees Fahrenheit and others as warm as 89 degrees. - The wildlife and scenic beauty are surreal. We saw humpback whales, bald eagles, cascades, waterfalls, harbor seals and their pups, icebergs, black bears, raging rivers, pristine lakes, harbor dolphins, orcas, otters, sea lions, jagged snow-capped mountains, blue-tinged glaciers, glacial fjords and valleys, totem poles, lumberjacks, sled dogs and puppies, and so much more! - Most excursions provide binoculars but it is nice to have your own set or a monocular. Now on to the full review and log of our trip: PRE-CRUISE: If possible, plan to stay in Seattle for a few days! A City Pass ($99) provides entry into six or eight select sites. In 2 days, we visited the Seattle Aquarium, the Pacific Science Center, The Woodland Park Zoo, The Argosy Harbor Cruise, and the Space Needle (one daytime and one evening visit). The Knight’s Inn in Tukwila near Seatac Airport offers Park and Cruise (stay the night there then leave your vehicle parked in their lot for the duration of your cruise). It was clean, if slightly run-down, but their fee for transportation to the cruise dock was $25 per person each way. We used Lyft instead and paid $27 for both of us, plus a tip. (Note: don’t try to schedule your Lyft ride the day before.) DAY 1: JUNE 25, 2019. SEATTLE: Our check-in time was noon, so we got our Lyft ride at around 11 a.m. The Lyft driver had to drop us off at the end of the pier so it was either walk a long way with luggage or take their shuttle (another tip needed), but the shuttle was fast and easy. Just outside the check-in door, luggage porters could take your bags (for a tip) or you could go through the doors and drop them off yourself. As a platinum VIFP guest, I got a few perks, but this was the easiest boarding ever. One person verified that our boarding passes showed the right time, another scanned our passports and stamped the boarding passes, then we went through security. They pointed us to the gantry - we never stopped walking and strolled aboard. We wore swimsuits under our clothes so we were in the Lido hot tub by noon. The tub was more “a little warm” than “hot” but still relaxing. After soaking for a while, we claimed a nearby table before the throngs arrived. Because the mid-aft pool area is covered by glass, it was sunny and warm but there was no danger of sunburn, making it very pleasant. While we were drying, we got a burger from Guy’s Burgers and tacos from the Blue Iguana Grill, both only steps from our table. We both used the Carnival Hub App but it was slow and buggy (just as we noted on our last cruise). At 1:30 p.m. our cabin was available. This was the first time we’d ever had an inside cabin, 7293, just forward of the aft elevators. It was small but well set up with lots of storage - more drawers and countertop space than our usual balcony cabin. The only downside is the lack of natural light. (Note: the cabin is VERY dark when the lights are off, so I advise bringing a night light.) Our cabin steward, Raja, came by to introduce himself and dropped off our excursion tickets and platinum and gold level gifts. According to the info on the cabin TV, an excursion I wanted (but which had been completely booked) now had openings, so I immediately booked the Tracy Arm Fjord excursion. At 3 pm we headed to Muster Station C. Because I walk with a cane, we were able to sit in the restaurant rather than stand outside on the deck. (Note: Most of our previous Carnival cruises allowed all passengers to sit in large common areas during muster drills rather than line up out on the deck, but perhaps the Legend is too small to do so.) After the briefing, at the spa for my manicure, I was seated in the Relaxation room where iced water (regular and orange sliced) was available. Guilia came to welcome me. I received a shellac manicure and booked a couple of seaweed wraps. We ate some Mississippi Mud Pie which Shawn said smelled too good to resist. I got everything unpacked and our cabin neat and tidy - important in such a small space! The Legend has undergone some redecorating since I was last aboard. The decor is not as flamboyant and seems more elegant. The size of the Legend has pluses and minuses. Its being slightly smaller than ships like the Vista makes getting around it easier. Having the Serenity deck, pool, and spa on Lido Aft is nice, too. Unfortunately, Legend is also missing quite a few of the amenities we saw on other ships: ropes course, sky ride, outdoor movie screen, Imax Theatre, Pub Grab, and separate Chinese or Italian restaurants. We figured out how to use the internet on all our devices, before preparing for our Steakhouse dinner at Nouveau Restaurant (cruise elegant dress suggested). Our reservation was for 8 p.m. but we arrived early, so they seated us in the main gallery rather than at the more “romantic” window-side tables. Because it was the first sailing night, we received a complimentary bottle of Merlot. The meal was outstanding. We started with small rolls and breadsticks with butter; they were so good we could have eaten just those. The chef’s complimentary “sliders” were elegant and delicious. The stuffed mushrooms were excellent. We had a beautiful caesar salad and the baby spinach salad with mushrooms and bacon. For our entrees, we had the grilled halibut and the filet mignon sided with Yukon gold mashed potatoes with wasabi, garlic rapini, and macaroni and cheese. Both entrees were delicious. The potatoes were wonderful and the mac and cheese, amazing. Despite being very full, we chose to share the Chocolate sphere for dessert - it was lovely and delicious, without being too filling. The restaurant sits at the base of the signature Carnival tail fin and windows above us illuminated the huge Odyssey painting as the sun was setting. After finishing dinner, we strolled out on the deck to watch the sunset, but the wind made it uncomfortably cool. We sheltered in a glass stairway and watched and photographed. Being late June, the sun didn’t set until 9:15 p.m. DAY 2: JUNE 26, 2019. AT SEA: Shawn arose about 6 a.m. to do laps on deck 10. We headed down to Sea Day Brunch in Truffles, 2 Aft. The brunch menu has changed and even the servers are not completely familiar with it. We were disappointed that the brunch pasta was unavailable but settled for the “Signature Tower” with smoked salmon and egg salad (incredible!) as well as a fresh and delightful yoghurt parfait. We split a delicious bloody Mary for which we had a complimentary coupon. After breakfast, we went to the Follies Theatre for a naturalist’s lecture about Alaska and glaciers. The lecture seemed to be aimed at a much younger crowd, but we found the session to be very informative, nonetheless. We stopped by the excursions desk to verify when the Fjord excursion tickets would be delivered to us (they never were). Raja came by around 11:30 to clean the cabin so we went up to Lido where folks were lining up for lunch. We checked to see if the hot tub was any warmer, but it had been emptied. A whale blew only 200 yds away but too fast to identity. We took turns getting lunch from Chopsticks buffet and watched for critters. We split a chocolate layer cake. (Note: Carnival does chocolate well!) We went back to the Serenity Deck to relax and saw a humpback whale spout very close to the ship! We went back to the cabin because it was a little chilly (this was one of the few days during the cruise when it was cool!) then I headed to the spa for a seaweed wrap. I waited in the Relaxation room but the water dispensers were empty and there were no clean glasses. Giulia came and sat me in a pedicure massage chair. She brushed my calves then rubbed warm seaweed mixed with milk bath on them before wrapping them in plastic and a towel to “bake.” I enjoyed the massage chair and watched out the wall of windows for wildlife. Guilia washed off the seaweed and sent me on my way. I stopped on Lido and watched for whales. We spent some time trying to deal with strange issues sending messages; my iPhone 6S had problems sending and receiving messages. We dressed for dinner then sat in the Atrium/Colossus Lounge (2 mid) to listen to music by a solo guitarist and to Evano Strings, a violin trio. We went to Truffles Restaurant on 3 Aft for “My Time Dining“ only to be told there was a fifteen to thirty-minute wait. We settled into easy chairs to watch the parade of Cruise Elegant attire as folks went to dinner or had portraits taken. We were paged for dinner prior to the 30-minute marker and were seated at a table for two next to a starboard window. We both ordered the Roasted Wild Mushroom Bisque which was excellent. I also had a spinach salad and spaghetti carbonara. Shawn had a Caesar salad and the fried oyster appetizer. We munched on the breadbasket provided while we awaited our dishes. Everything was delicious although the servers seemed tired and overwhelmed. We reset clocks back an hour (Alaska time!) before going to bed. DAY 3, JUNE 27, 2019. TRACY ARM FJORD: Shawn was up and walking his laps by 5:15. I followed shortly thereafter, and we watched for wildlife as the ship sailed into the fjord. We sat by the windows on starboard, despite being overheated from sitting in the sun, as we had breakfast, so we could hear Jessica the ship Naturalist when she pointed out animals or gave interesting tidbits and information. We saw dolphins and otters and orcas and even a mother humpback and her calf! It was almost time for the Tracy Arm Fjord Glacier Explorer excursion, so we awaited the tour boat in the Firebird Lounge, 1 Fwd. The weather was perfect with blue skies and a pleasant temperature. There were a comfortable indoor sitting and a viewing area surrounded by windows as well as an open deck upstairs. As we drew away from the Legend, the catamaran took us up the fjord where we saw many bald eagles flying past us and in trees on both shores. Initially, the steep slopes were densely forested with fir trees, but as we motored further into that Alaskan wilderness, only scrubby brush and rocks lined the narrow waterway. We saw cascades, waterfalls, harbor seals, and a black bear on the bank who seemed to be unbothered as we cruised close to see him. The boat motored near many blue icebergs and other ice floes. We got very close to the gorgeous Ice Falls, one of 2 true waterfalls in the Fjord. The pilot backed the boat into the “nook,” a small cascade-carved cove where we could see beautiful wildflowers. We cruised past Sawyer Island where, 200 years ago, the 2 Sawyer glaciers were connected as one. The captain informed us that he always maintained a wide distance (100-500 yards) from marine mammals, but we went right over the top of one seal, whom we assume the captain didn’t see. We also scraped and went over numerous floating pieces of ice (mini bergs) which was disconcerting. (Since the boat was a catamaran, no seals or icebergs were harmed.) We navigated the icy waters, past many harbor seals and their pups upon the bergs, to get within a quarter-mile of the Sawyer tide glacier. We saw it calve repeatedly, with huge chunks as well as small pieces falling into the water. The visible face of the glacier is a ½ mile wide and 200 feet high, but the tour guide assured us that the face actually extended 900 feet below the surface. We left the iceberg-filled area to visit the smaller arm of the fjord and North Sawyer glacier (much smaller and less active). All too soon, we were taken back to the Legend so another tour group could board. We had a late lunch at the deli since not much else was open. From the rear Serenity deck, we watched the Fjord slowly retreat as the ship pirouetted then moved back to the bay where we began the day. It was surreal to see icebergs drift by while people played in the pool and spa. The breeze was chilly, so we moved into the Unicorn cafe on Lido. We went to dinner at about 7:30 - a private table next to a window. (The Your Time dining really works well for us!) The Alaskan food specials, a seafood Cobb Salad and the baked flounder, were excellent and beautifully presented. The lentil pumpkin chorizo soup was surprisingly good as was the crispy portobello entree. DAY 4, JUNE 29, 2019. SKAGWAY, AL: Shawn was up early to do laps on deck 10. I packed our backpack and met him for breakfast on Lido. We watched the Norwegian Jewel come into dock, before heading to the Follies Lounge to meet for our excursion, The Ultimate Yukon & White Pass Railroad Adventure. We were on our bus by 7:05 a.m. Our driver CJ introduced herself and our tour started with a short bus ride through Skagway to the train. CJ commented and narrated continuously and also made many jokes. The train climbed over 300 feet and the guide narrated the history. (Note: If you want the breathtaking views, ride on the left side on the uphill portion!) We passed over a 120-year-old trestle bridge and through 2 unlit tunnels. Carmac Peak and Carmac Glacier loomed over the valley while the Sawtooth Mountains provided a beautiful backdrop. The Skagway river rushed and tumbled alongside the track, even showing some class 6 rapids. The creeks and rivers varied from milky green with glacier flour to crystalline clearness in some of the lakes. As we neared Fraser, a small black bear (it may have been a cub) gambolled beside the train. In Fraser, we had our passports checked by a Canadian border guard. We debarked and reboarded our bus with CJ, who drove us north to the Yukon. We stopped for pics beside Lake Totshi, the longest lake in the chain, and saw a jackrabbit go hopping by. We passed into the Yukon Territory and stopped at the Caribou Crossing (Carcross) Trading Post for a BBQ chicken lunch. After eating, we had an hour to wander through the “trading post“ which had a small wildlife museum, a petting zoo with sled dog puppies, a gift shop, and an ice cream parlor. Back on the bus, we went a bit further north to see the pristine Emerald Lake and nearby Spirit Lake. We returned to the very small town of Carcross and wandered through the shops. We all got back on the bus and headed south to Alaska and Skagway. Along the way, a bus was stopped on the roadside so we slowed too, allowing us to spot a black bear standing on the far side of the road. As we approached the border crossing into Alaska, a Canadian guard (the same guy who checked our passports on the train) stopped CJ for going a little fast, then proceeded to rip into her for not being respectful enough to him. The constantly-joking CJ was quiet for a while thereafter, but she apologized if she made anyone uncomfortable and started joking again. We were dropped off at the end of the dock and strolled back to the Legend, only a short walk. We had full cell service so we caught up on calls and messages before going to an early dinner. We were seated immediately but service was slow due to many large groups and “parties.” Our servers, Richard, Bisu, and Marvin were very friendly and worked hard to keep up. We had the Tenderloin which was tasty if not tender, and linguini with Italian sausage. We ordered roasted broccoli with cheese not realizing it was a soup (Carnival doesn’t always notate which appetizers are soups) and the Alaskan smoked salmon and cream cheese pate. We skipped dessert and retired quite early. One huge benefit of the inside cabin is that sunset at 11:22 p.m. doesn’t keep you awake! DAY 5, JUNE 29,2019. JUNEAU, AL: We rose early and grabbed food when the breakfast buffet opened. (Note: The coffee varies from fairly good to awful and there’s no way to tell until you take a sip.) We headed back to the cabin to gear up for our Mendenhall Glacier & Wildlife Quest excursion. We had to go to the forward elevator to reach deck A then out to the pier and up a long gangway to the dock to meet our excursion. We were led to our bus and told we’d be going whale-watching first, then to the Glacier. Lynn, our driver/guide, gave lots of great info about Juneau and how to take iPhone pics using the down-volume button. At the Auke Bay Allen Harbor, we boarded the St Herman (3rd bus-load to get on the boat). Richard, the tour naturalist, gave us lots of info on the wildlife, as did the guide, Kathleen. We found seats on the inside upper deck and could wander out to the open upper deck to see whales and other wildlife. Capt John took us up Favorite Channel past Shelter Island. As we went, we saw bald eagles, sea otters, humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and many sea birds. The boat’s galley sold a Glacier Margarita colored a lovely blue, and also offered a sample of smoked salmon flavored with pickled kelp - unusual but excellent!! The captain and crew mentioned several times that they only saw orcas about once a week, so we were all delighted when, as we cruised back into Auke Bay, a pod of 6+ orcas was swimming and jumping all around boats in the harbor!! We disembarked and found our way to another bus, with a new driver/guide, Lacy Bear. The bus was quite warm. (Note: the area has been experiencing a heatwave with temps in the 80’s though their normal summer temps are in the 50’s-60’s.) Lacy told bear jokes as she drove us to the Mendenhall Glacier where we had an hour to explore. We took the long, winding ramp rather than the stairs or elevator up to the visitor’s center, reading about local flora along the way. Inside there were many informative displays and telescopes, as well as rangers giving presentations and answering questions. They even had a chunk of glacier ice (age was estimated at 200 years) “caught” recently that could be touched. Large windows looked out over Mendenhall Lake toward the glacier and Nugget Falls. A couple of small “icebergs’” were floating on the lake, but the ranger told us that it was very rare to actually see Mendenhall Glacier calve. The 0.3-mile trail to the ViewPoint was a slightly up-and-down paved path to a point of land jutting into the lake and had a great view of the glacier and the Falls. That area of the lake itself was blocked from use due to the Arctic Terns nesting there. Many people hiked the 2-mile round-trip trail to Nugget Falls and we could see them across the lake at the base of the roaring torrent. (Note: I thought we’d get to walk on the glacier because the excursion description isn’t completely clear, but you never get closer than about ½ mile.) As we left Mendenhall Glacier park, we saw a beaver’s dam, and some folks even caught sight of the beaver. During our ride back to port, Lacy pointed out eagles and drove the bus across the bridge into Juneau proper, so we could say we’d been there and get pictures of the Legend as we returned. We returned to the ship and had lunch on Lido at Chopsticks (which became the Seafood Corner in the evenings); they had some of the best Tom Ka Gai soup I’d ever eaten. After the ship headed away from Juneau, we went up to Lido to whale-watch. We saw a group of 4 whales (odd since they usually travel in groups of no more than 3) and a couple of humpbacks diving, showing their tail flukes, very near the ship. We were on the port side, so we only heard about the whale that totally breached on starboard. We took a walk around the whole 9th deck to find the forward observation platforms we’d noticed from the dock. Since we were underway, the area turned into a wind tunnel as we reached the bow and we had to tilt into the high wind to make it to the platform!! We made it all the way around and back to the Unicorn Cafe Lido buffet area where we snacked before retiring for the night. DAY 6, JUNE 30,2019. KETCHIKAN, AL: We ate breakfast on Lido at 6:00 a.m. then went back to the cabin to pack up before we headed to the dock to meet our Saxman Village and the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show excursion. We met our bus and our driver/guide Sam and learned that Ketchikan is an island. Sam drove us through the small town and out to the Tlingit village of Saxman which hosts the largest extant collection of standing totem poles. The many carved and painted totem poles stretched high into the sky. We watched a 13-minute video to learn some of the history and culture then hiked through the rainforest to the Beaver Clan House. We were welcomed by an elder who spoke first in Tlingit then English. A group of villagers from different clans performed dances and songs to welcome us. At the end of each dance, the Dancers all turned their backs so that we could see their ceremonial capes showing their different clans. Afterwards, we went outside to view the collection of totem poles and Sam described the different types (funerary, shame, heraldic, historic, guardian, and clan). He also told the stories behind most of the poles we could see. One had a grumpy looking man in a potlatch hat atop a pole. This was Seward, who purchased Alaska (Seward’s Folly). There were many stories and incredible art. We went into the carving workshop where an apprentice carver explained their artisanship, then we walked down to the gift shop for a quick shopping spree. Sam drove us back into town and dropped us off near the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. I stopped in a nearby shop before we went into the GALS facility. Four Lumberjacks competed, two versus two, and it was fun, loud, campy, and pretty amazing as well. There were six various skills/contests; all were difficult and fun to watch. We left the show with just 15 minutes to reach and reboard our ship a few blocks away. Many folks were disappointed in the shortness of the Ketchikan stop. It’s one of the largest towns we visited on this cruise, so I would have preferred to stay in Ketchikan another 4-5 hours and skipped the Victoria cruise stop scheduled for tomorrow. (In Victoria, the ship arrives around 7 p.m. and leaves by about 11 p.m., making it a less than ideal or welcoming port for most of us.) We had lunch at Bonsai Sushi. It was different from a similar restaurant on the Vista. For example, the Bento box provided only miso soup, salad, 6 California roll pieces, and 3 varied sashimi pieces, with no main entree. It was very tasty though. We went back to Lido for dessert and wildlife watching. Sitting on the port side, Shawn saw 2 large jellyfish, which we learned were Sea Nettles. The naturalist, Jessica, came by and chatted, answering questions, and she also explained why the ship MUST stop in a non-US port (in our case, Victoria). I saw swirls of movement and fantails of water beside the ship and Jessica confirmed it was a pod of Dall porpoises. Cruise Elegant night is always a treat, both for us to wear nicer clothes and to see what the other passengers wear. And the food is usually special. We were seated with Richard and Biso as our waiters again and they remembered us and were incredible servers. We had the stuffed mushrooms (very similar to those in the steakhouse) and clam chowder. For entrees, we had the jumbo shrimp (not really jumbo sized but good) and the filet mignon (also small but very tender and so tasty!). For dessert, we shared the chocolate melting cake. Finally headed back to the cabin to set our clocks forward to Pacific Daylight Time. DAY 7, JULY 1,2019. AT SEA WITH A BRIEF STOP IN VICTORIA: Shawn got up at 6 for laps and saw a mama and baby humpback very close to the ship. Then we hit a fog bank and visibility died. Truffles restaurant 2 Aft opened a little early and we were seated quickly. Our waiter seemed tired or angry or both and we didn’t receive our meals until after 9. The parfaits were excellent as were the egg salad and smoked salmon on the “Tower” breakfast. I wish the iced tea onboard was brewed but it’s “canned” and only ok. The coffee in the restaurant is usually good but that on Lido varies greatly from weak to walking on its own. I walked through Lido and saw whales on my way to a seaweed wrap appointment in the spa. I sat in the relaxation room (where the water containers were full of ice but no water yet again) until Guilia came to get me. She sat me in a massage pedicure chairs, brushed my legs then coated them in a seaweed masque before wrapping them in foil-like sheets and leaving me to bake and enjoy the massage chair for 30 minutes. Guilia unwrapped and washed my legs with milk bath. I tipped her and went to Unicorn Cafe where we tried the Blackberry Chocolate Mud Cake (BCMC), part of the Chocolate Extravaganza. After this treat, we decided to eat a late lunch so I checked out the sales in the Shops then met Shawn by Guy Fieri’s Burgers. We shared a cheeseburger then got a tuna sandwich from the deli and shared that, too. We headed to deck 3 to try to get a cell phone signal. After we caught up on messages and voicemail, we went to the Firebird Lounge, 1 Fwd, to watch "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part." After the movie, we stepped outside to watch our docking in Victoria, British Columbia. A seal watched the ship as the waters swirled and rushed during docking. Because the stay in port was so short, we chose to remain aboard and have a relaxing evening. We dined at Truffles and requested Richard and his crew. Richard, Bisu, and Marvin were attentive and entertaining, singing and dancing as part of the Final Evening showtime. Upon learning that we were celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, they brought out a pretty, little cake and sang to us. We decided to carry all our bags off ourselves, so I packed everything up that evening. DAY 8, JULY 2, 2019. DEBARKATION IN SEATTLE. We woke early and Shawn had just enough time to complete his final laps, finishing with a grand total of 66 (slightly less than 20 miles). We ate breakfast on Lido then gathered all our belongings and went to Truffles Restaurant where the self-assist Platinum and Diamond passengers were gathered. Debarkation was fast and simple and even Customs was a breeze. By 8 a.m. we were on the pier waiting for our Lyft. This was one of our all-time favorite cruises! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Port of Tampa was very easy port to get into and park. We had Priority Boarding went great on the ship and eating lunch in 10 min. Carnival Paradise is a smaller ship but has all the upgrades and easy to get around lines were very ... Read More
Port of Tampa was very easy port to get into and park. We had Priority Boarding went great on the ship and eating lunch in 10 min. Carnival Paradise is a smaller ship but has all the upgrades and easy to get around lines were very short every time. The food was the best that we have had on our last few cruises, it was good very good. The staff was very efficient and the ship was always clean and well maintained. Had an elevator go out but was fixed in one day. The only complaint we had was the same as all our resent cruises. Carnival need to be able to figure out the Dance Club. Either the club was not open or the music was for young people all the time. I would think that the cruise line could look at the age of the cruisers and play music that we can relate to. We understand playing music to all age group. We are smokers and this club is one of the three areas on the ship we can smoke but we either run into a locked door or the music is not something we like, and the DJ will not play music on request at all, if he does not like what you are asking for. Over all we had a great cruise and always recommend Carnival Cruise line to our friends Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our fabulous 8-day cruise to the “Exotic Southern Caribbean” aboard the Carnival Horizon was filled with plenty of positives and very few negatives. My wife and I wondered if the negative reviews were actually describing another ship. ... Read More
Our fabulous 8-day cruise to the “Exotic Southern Caribbean” aboard the Carnival Horizon was filled with plenty of positives and very few negatives. My wife and I wondered if the negative reviews were actually describing another ship. Tastes, preferences, and interests are unique to each cruiser, so I offer a bit of caution when you read those negative reviews about the Carnival Horizon. We sailed from Miami on May 18 and returned on May 26 after visiting Grand Turk, Dominica, Curacao, and Aruba. Boarding was a little delayed due to the previous cruise arriving late, but once we started moving, everything went very smoothly. We were settled in for a delicious BBQ lunch at the Pig and Anchor by 1:00. Sail away was at 4:00. A brief note about each port: On Grand Turk we simply enjoyed relaxing on the beach. Umbrellas and chairs are free in rows three and four. Margaritaville has a very nice pool with free access just steps away from the beach. We spent a relaxing day without spending any money! On Dominica we paid for an excursion to Monkeyland. If you read any negative reviews about this, I doubt the reviewer really went there. It was super fun to have the monkeys jump onto you for the food which was given to us. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience! The ride to the monkeys aboard a comfortable bus gave us a glimpse of life on the island. On Curacao we strolled around the city enjoying the Dutch architecture, and we placed a padlock on the Lovelock Sculpture. This is a fun thing to do. Remember to bring a padlock. We did a little gambling, but didn’t win anything. We didn’t lose much, either. We didn’t leave port until 10 PM, so we got a glimpse of the lights at night. We didn’t stroll far enough from the dock to get a really good view, however. On Aruba we took the second of our two excursions. We took a comfortable bus tour of the top ten sites on Aruba. This was very enjoyable. Be sure to heed the guide’s warning about which stops have fee restrooms and which are free. We got back to the port in plenty of time to do some shopping in the area. Right outside the restricted port area you will find a local market. There are actually two “markets.” You need to cross the busy street to get to the one which appears to be more “local” and is in a big tent. I imagine many of the products are made in China but it still fun to browse in the market and talk to the local people. Now the “highlights” and “lowlights.” In no particular order: There was plenty of seating, everywhere, despite having almost 5,000 people onboard. There were only 500 children, so that may have made a difference. Single deck chairs were always available. If you needed a lot of chairs in a row they were not always available. My favorite place to sit was the Lani. Lounge chairs were always available there. My wife preferred a chair in the sun near a pool. She almost always found her chair waiting for her. Seating for shows was not as difficult as I expected. We always arrived a half hour before show time, but we would not have had to. The food in the dining room was almost always very good. I know you read otherwise, but unless you are a foodie, you will be happy. The food on the buffet was good and you have many options. Sometimes the dining room food is served on the buffet. At lunch there is a special row of fancy iced cakes. If you try a few pieces at each lunch, you will discover your favorite, but they do change every day. In the regular dessert section of the buffet they sometimes have amaretto cake which is excellent. Try it with some of the free ice-cream or gelato, which is available 24 hours a day. My very favorite dessert was the 7-layer cake served only during Sea Day Brunch. I liked that better than their signature melting chocolate cake served the dining room. Pizza is available 24 hours a day. It’s good. Guy’s Burgers are fantastic. They are free and there are several variations. Food in Ji Ji’s Asian Kitchen is outstanding. It is a specialty restaurant so you have to pay $15 for it. At noon there is a free version of the great food. It is called the Mongolian Wok at lunch. The bed and bedding were very comfortable. We were able to disembark at each port, quickly. Lemonade is always free and always available. It does not taste free! We really liked it. The Carnival Hub App is free and a must-have. It tells you what’s happening, which food places are open, and many other useful things. For $5 you can add a chat feature so you can text with your cruise mates for the whole cruise. My wife and I found it very helpful. The pastrami sandwich in the deli is delicious, and huge! There is free room service until late night. We just used it for coffee in the morning. The staff was very friendly, helpful, and kind. Once exception is noted below. Everything is squeaky clean and they are always cleaning and tidying up. The Fresh Creations salad bar on the Serenity Deck allows you to make a salad with dozens of ingredients. You can even load up on shrimp! I hesitate mentioning the few negatives because the positives far outweigh them. Our wait staff was not very attentive to our needs and the main waiter forgot things. When we asked for lemon or coffee he said he would bring it, but didn’t. He even forgot one of my main dishes. We heard it was advantageous to provide an extra tip at the beginning of the cruise. We won’t do that again. The people in the casino were not helpful and the lady in the cage was rude to me. I was told to “settle down” in a condescending tone. The free popcorn during movies on the deck was not very good. We didn’t try the popcorn for purchase in the theater. Although it was not Carnival’s fault, sometimes inconsiderate people sat next to me during the shows. One woman sang along when it wasn’t a sing-along! She did stop when I asked her to, however. These few negatives will not prevent us from sailing on a Carnival ship in the future. We loved our Carnival Horizon adventure. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The crew on this ship is the most helpful, thoughtful and kindest of any cruise line we have ever sailed. We took our 91 year old mother on a cruise for Mother's Day.When we arrived Savannah the cruise director greeted mom and had a ... Read More
The crew on this ship is the most helpful, thoughtful and kindest of any cruise line we have ever sailed. We took our 91 year old mother on a cruise for Mother's Day.When we arrived Savannah the cruise director greeted mom and had a brief conversation with her. The next day mom received chocolate covered strawberries in the room. Wow! For the rest of the trip she felt like a rock star. What a nice gesture. Jess, the server in the casino bar was always quick with a drink and always remembered our names. (makes us feel welcomed). The staff at the Normandie Restaurant was just wonderful. When you travel with an older senior it can be difficult, but everywhere we went on the ship the crew were always so kind and helpful. We have sailed on different cruise lines and have sailed on this ship before. I would have to say that the embarkation process for this cruise is the best we have ever had. The staff at the terminal checks your documents and photographs you on the way into the building. Then you are sent through security. That's it! No standing in line for hours. After security we went directly on to the ship. WOW! We had a balcony stateroom that was plenty big enough for 3 adults. The room steward, Claudius was very attentive and our room was very clean and tidy every day. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First, the date I chose was purposeful and intentional! It rains 98% of the time. May is the least rainy time if the whole year. It did not rain a single time, at any of our stops and the sun came out! I figured, if I'm going to ... Read More
First, the date I chose was purposeful and intentional! It rains 98% of the time. May is the least rainy time if the whole year. It did not rain a single time, at any of our stops and the sun came out! I figured, if I'm going to Alaska; I want to see snow and it all melts in the summer months... So May it was! We experienced sun, snow, green spring/ early summer colors and seriously, it was AMAZING!!!!! At every single stop the locals kept saying "You picked a good day. No rain today, and it rains every day here". The ship itself is well maintained. I only encountered ONE rude crew member and it was an American crew member in the gift shop. Everyone else was superb and helpful and kind. Our first stop was Juneau. We went whale watching. The crew on the boat were knowledgeable and friendly and very helpful! We saw humpback whales (a mom and baby) that breeched several times. We also saw eagles and and see lions and seals! Our second stop was Skagway. We booked 2 excursions because it was a long day in port. First we did a zodiac rafting adventure which I highly recommend! We were outfitted in all weather, WARM, sub Arctic deck suits with goggles, gloves, and face masks. Captain Jen was incredible as was her crew. She made the ride FUN by doing donuts in the middle of the water multiple times. We saw waterfalls that blew our actual minds and eagles and sea lions of all different varieties and otters playing in the water. We stopped for several photo ops. We were brought back to the staging area by the ship where the next excursion started. We did the 3 hour White Pass Railway Adventure. I don't even have words to do that trip up the mountain justice. It's not an exaggeration when I say the views were spectacular and impossible to really process at first. We saw lush green mountains and snow covered mountains side by side. We learned a lot about the gold Rush and how the railway was made, etc. Going through the mountain tunnels was exhilarating. You can't go to Skagway and not do the White pass Railway. We cruised Glacier Bay next. Please do yourself a favor and book a balcony (try to get an Aft Balcony. They go FAST and there are only 20 on the ship) and bring binoculars. I was brought to tears by the stunning beauty!!! You don't understand how INCREDIBLE it was. We watched the Margorie Glacier calve. First you hear rolling thunder then you see part of the glacier crash into the water making huge splashing waves. Some of the glaciers are ice blue and others not so much. When you cruise Glacier Bay, Carnival gives you warm blankets to cuddle up with so you don't freeze to death. All along the way we saw whales breeching and see otters floating lazily on their backs with their cute paws and heads just above the water. This was one of my favorite days!!! I was pretty much euphoric all day. Our next stop was Icy Straight Point. I didn't book an excursion here but my friend in the cabin next to me did. She went whale watching and saw multiple whales breech very close up. She also went on a bear excursion and saw brown bears. I was a little jealous if the pictures she got. We rode into town and saw how the natives live. Then we went to The Crab Shack. GO TO THE CRAB SHACK!!!! There we got Alaskan King Crab legs that were HUGEEEEE and Bloody Mary's full of crab meat, shrimp, and a crab claw!! The crab the best we've ever had and we were unexpectedly so full it wasn't even funny. Finally we went to Ketchikan. Here is my ONLY complaint. We were only there for 4 hours which is ludicrous because Ketchican is huge and we didn't get to experience even a quarter of Ketchikan. We did a Go Kart Adventure thru the rainforest. It was a gorgeous, sunny, dry, day so we didn't need the rain gear offered. The ride was kick ass and although I've seen some people complain that it wasn't long enough; we found it to be the perfect length. We stopped for a few beautiful photo ops and a quick snack and water. Our guide was Rhianna Marie! We wanted to put her in our suitcase and bring her home. She was GREAT. Our next stop was Victoria BC. from 7pm - 11 pm. Honestly, that's a huge waste of a stop. I would much rather have had more time in Ketchikan. I got the feeling they stopped in Canada just so Canada could try to make a few bucks off of the tourists. Not this girl! Let me just close by saying I will be booking another Alaskan cruise!!! You couldn't pay me to go in the heat of summer and get rain EVERY DAY and miss all the snow and be hot. Who wants to be hot in Alaska!? Not me.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We found the experience very enjoyable from the time of embarkation till disembarkation. The staff were friendly and helpful. Entertainment was of a high standard and was excellent. Our first port of call was Noumea and I was able to ... Read More
We found the experience very enjoyable from the time of embarkation till disembarkation. The staff were friendly and helpful. Entertainment was of a high standard and was excellent. Our first port of call was Noumea and I was able to catch the hop off, hop on bus at a cost of $20. This was arranged through Ports and shore excursions. It proved to be an inexpensive way to view Noumea. A must see is the War Memorial in Noumea. I would highly recommend the Cliffs of Jokin tour on the Isle of Lifou. Included in this tour is a visit to a vanilla growing farm. As this was our second cruise to these islands I would also strongly recommend visiting Jinek Bay which is also on Lifou. The snorkelling at the Bay is a fantastic experience as there is a vast amount of coral which is easily visible and as for the aquatic life, it is amazing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Horizon was great! Our handicap room, 10205, was excellent. The room was very large, and I could use the scooter everywhere. Even though it is listed as an interior room, the room has an slightly obstructive ocean view size window, and a ... Read More
Horizon was great! Our handicap room, 10205, was excellent. The room was very large, and I could use the scooter everywhere. Even though it is listed as an interior room, the room has an slightly obstructive ocean view size window, and a great view. All the staff were fantastic when dealing with handicap people... from the people helping to board, to the time we left! I was thrilled about that, as I had concerns before the cruise. The only MAJOR problem on the cruise was all the smoke in the casino!! People were having to leave the area allot just to get a breath of fresh air! I had a bad cough after 3 days, and it took me over a week and a half after the cruise to clear up. Other than that, great cruise! The food in the buffet was just okay, definitely not allot of write home about. The specialty restaurants were great!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first time at the Carnival cruise, I always go by Royal Caribbean or Norwegian.. I was mad at the first day with the delay and all the mess while we were waiting to board, but as soon as we understand the problem and how ... Read More
This was my first time at the Carnival cruise, I always go by Royal Caribbean or Norwegian.. I was mad at the first day with the delay and all the mess while we were waiting to board, but as soon as we understand the problem and how Carnival Magic treat us everything change because they were so nice and polite , always ready and willing to help us..and once we were aboard it was so beautiful and amazing .I am very surprise with the attention and good service from the crew.. at the Restaurant I always will remember them they were so nice .. I love the show time please never change those good and amazing shows .. people like Daria, Floyd, Charles , Dary and much more always will be in my heart they were so nice with us during the whole trip.I also love the Spanish music at night Just please could you leave for every night during the trip it was really fun Spanish people love to DANCE. The cabin was always clean and at the time of disembarkation was nice and smoothly everybody was happy and the crew did a very good job to made the process fun and nice... I really love all the entertainments .. I love this Ship i really recommended Carnival Cruise to everybody,, the food is amazing , and delicious . the whole trip was just perfect. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really ... Read More
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really really enjoyed this cruise. First of all, the boarding in Galveston was fantastic!! We normally have priority boarding because we usually book a Jr Suite, but this cruise was an Outside room, which would have meant long lines and slow processing. I can honestly say we boarded just as quickly on this cruise as any other cruise we have ever taken. We showed up at noon, walked right in and was promptly processed. No lines at all, no Disney World serpentine shuffle!!! The hardest part was just walking up the gang plank! Galveston and Carnival have figured it out!!! As a military veteran, I was overwhelmed by the attention Carnival has given to Armed Forces Veterans. Not only did we have daily teas and gatherings, but there was an awesome Veterans Salute in the Victoriana Theater. It was truly the highlight of our cruise. Every serviceman and woman should experience this. We decided not to take any organized tours of Key West, Freeport or Nassau, but rather, to walk around and shop. No one we talked to really like the hop on-hop off trolley, because of long lines and long wait times. Walking was easy for us, as everything we wanted to see was close at hand. We had no complaints about the food, entertainment or service. We were told we had 3330 passengers on board, but never felt crowded or uncomfortable. I will say that if you are not a smoker, stay clear of the casino, as the smoke is so thick in there, I found it hard to breathe, even as I walked by. We were very pleased with all aspects of the cruise and will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had to cancel this cruise in 2018, due to an injury. So we were happy to be able to go on it this year and get to visit some islands we have missed in the past. We had a very quick check in and were on board withing 30 minutes of ... Read More
We had to cancel this cruise in 2018, due to an injury. So we were happy to be able to go on it this year and get to visit some islands we have missed in the past. We had a very quick check in and were on board withing 30 minutes of arriving at the port. Our debarkation was almost quicker. We were off the ship and on the way to I-95 in less than 45 minutes. In the past, we have waited hours, especially in Tampa. Great cruise, weather cooperated. We were in 9283 and had Dedy as our cabin steward. He was attentive, but not overly attentive. Our dining team was led by Gary. He was fantastic and made sure my gluten allergy was taken care of in the kitchen. We had our dinners in the Sapphire (lower level) and our breakfast in Blush (lower level). Lunch was mostly Guys Burger Joint and also Guys Pig and Anchor. Fairly decent BBQ, though I never saw any smokers going. So, wonder if it was done off the ship and reheated with sauce. We were entertained a lot by M J String Trio. A group of violinist and cellist out of Poland. Excellent trio. We purchased their two CDs and enjoyed them on the drive north. Will look for another Carnival cruise down the road, but have two more cruises coming up. One in Sept to New England and the other in 8/2020 to Alaska with the family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise Director Chloe made this cruise amazing!Loved the new menu in Nouveau!behind the fun tour very interesting!room stewards were great and always remembered our name!This ship is really starting to show her age and needs a bit of ... Read More
The cruise Director Chloe made this cruise amazing!Loved the new menu in Nouveau!behind the fun tour very interesting!room stewards were great and always remembered our name!This ship is really starting to show her age and needs a bit of attention!Food mostly good a few meals were a bit average!Sushi restaurant fabulous!overall a great cruise! Shows were amazing usually easy to get a seat!Onboard shops Heinemann do not like new owners of the shops very expensive duty free alcohol was outrageously priced we bought all our alcohol in Port Vila for a fraction of the price!No varietyIf You didn’t want a watch handbag or overpriced junk jewellery!that was about it all I bought in 11 days was a T-shirt!! Really enjoyed trivia would have like more Aussie trivia!music trivia was always so much fun! We participated in the love and marriage show !we were recognised for the rest of the tour for the wrong reasons lol not sure I would do it again I will stick to watching others but fun to do once! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was ... Read More
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was excellent, my room was very clean, the porter made sure I had 2 ice buckets filled, the casino staff were exceptional always coming up to me to see if I was having a good time, Casino even paid off some, the bar staff were very prompt getting drinks out. Being handicapped, the ships staff were always making sure I was ok. This was the fifth cruise I was on this year. I have never been on the Valor before. I will definitely book more cruises on her. I did not get off the ship in any ports because of being handicapped. Carnival always takes care of me. The only type of vacation I like. I have several more cruises booked with Carnival b Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had a wonderful cruise vacation on Carnival Fascination sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The number of island destinations was the main reason we chose this cruise (Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise vacation on Carnival Fascination sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The number of island destinations was the main reason we chose this cruise (Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St Kitts; and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten). We were happy we selected the FTTF (Faster To The Fun) as we were able to board the ship near noon on our sailing day and disembark early. As well as obtaining the early seating for dinner and priority service at Guest Services. Boarding at San Juan, was the worst part. People stood all around the outside of the dock area in no real discernable order. Thinking we were in a line for early boarding, we were stopped from entry when the people in front of us had a 2 pm board time. We kept trying every employee and finally gained admittance around 12:30. Later, we found out that this cruise also boards people at St. Maartens and (we think) St Thomas-which adds to the confusion in Puerto Rico. It seems that ALL passengers must be off the ship for 4 hours in San Juan for customs-including those who are not boarding at San Juan. So those people-who have valid sea passes are also waiting around trying to re-board. There should be a better way to allow those with sea passes and noon boarding unfettered access to entry. The ship is smaller and originally put into service in 1994, but they continue to update as recently as 2013. What our balcony cabin E249 lacked in a more modern bath area, was made up in the automated floor lighting when you got up at night, as well as the window beside the door to the balcony. We Love Guys Burgers (and fries) and had them continually! Plus we enjoyed the Blue Iguana for great Mexican food out by the pool. Also we Love that the ice cream is available 24/7! We enjoy dining in the main dining room and were not disappointed with the food, the service, the presentation or Lobster Night! Our main waiter, Elmer, is wonderful anddeserves recognition. As well as Ronnie and Yasa who assisted with our fine diningexperience. And finally, our cabin steward, Marlon, was one of the best we have ever had among allour 30 years of cruising. In St Thomas, we chose to walk around the town and stopped into "Pirates TreasureMuseum" for $16 per person and spent several hours learning about the shipwrecks,seeing items found below the sea, reading diary entries, and even speaking withCaptain Jack Sparrow's little brother. We recommend this adventure. At Barbados, we didn't take a cruise tour either, choosing instead to take a taxi to the George Washington House and Garrison Tunnels. This is only about a mile or so from the dock. The tour guides are knowledgeable and pleasant for both the restored home as well as the newly found Garrison Tunnels. Again we recommend. At St Lucia, we opted for the Carnival excursion of the Catamaran Cruise to the Pitons and were very pleased. The catamaran crew was wonderful, the scenery from the shoreline was amazing and we were able to stop for about a half an hour to walk along a little beach. For St Kitts, we chose the Highlights & Brimstone Hill Fortress sold by Carnival. Here our bus driver allowed a woman at the entrance to Brimstone (a Brimstone employee?) onto our van who pressured us to rent a device to tell us about the Fortress. However, the device repeatedly tells you to find "stop # blank on your map"-but there is no map! You have no way to know when to listen to your information at what location. Do NOT purchase this scam at the Fortress. Finally, we chose the new Rainforest Adventures St Maarten for the Sky Ride. The viewsare incredible and the Flying Dutchman looked like a wild ride! This is a definite GO. The only glitch we had was with our return flight, which we chose. The Boeing 737 Max 8's were downed days before our cruise. We called our airline, Southwest Air, and wereinformed that since neither nonstop flight to or from San Juan|Baltimore MD were onthe Max 8, there would be no problems. The flight to our cruise had no issues. However, when we got off the cruise at the end of our vacation, we found that Southwest had cancelled our return flight while we were at sea and then failed to notify us. Later we were informed that the Carnival system must not interact well with the Southwest system and that is why Southwest did not notify us of the change in our return flight cancellation. Instead of taking our confirmed nonstop flight at 2:50pm to Baltimore, we waited at the airport with ALL our luggage until 4 hours before an 8 pm flight to Orlando Florida. Southwest did give us a lunch ($10) and dinner ($14) voucher, but did nothing to help us with a room overnight in Orlando where they stranded us. We called Southwest following our trip and found that Southwest will only hollowly apologize. The $130 we paid to have a room to sleep was an additional expense that is our problem. We used to think Southwest was a premier airlines. It was disappointing to see how they reacted when a problem arose. At the very least, we now know. Again, Carnival has given us a wonderful vacation. You really should go on this one. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is the trip that my traveling agent put together for my family and I, we had a wonderful time I met a lot of people on the trip from many different states , and countries , it was so amazing for our first time family whom travel with ... Read More
This is the trip that my traveling agent put together for my family and I, we had a wonderful time I met a lot of people on the trip from many different states , and countries , it was so amazing for our first time family whom travel with us they really enjoy the cruise, the cabins was very nice and clean at all times loved my animals on my bed each day I returned to my room, the food was outstanding, good from the beginning of my trip to the end, I think I gained 10pds in 7 days from eating so much. The entertainment was very nice, had someplace to go on the ship all doing the day and at night. The slots were good for those who like to gamble or just for fun.i met a couple who was entertaining us with songs Joel and Carina they were great loved all the songs they sing. Restaurant workers were great. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
While looking for cruises around our birthdays (my 75th) we found one that left on my wife's birthday and on my birthday. Carnival was the one. Left from Port Canaveral was the easiest embarkation we were on board in 15 minutes ... Read More
While looking for cruises around our birthdays (my 75th) we found one that left on my wife's birthday and on my birthday. Carnival was the one. Left from Port Canaveral was the easiest embarkation we were on board in 15 minutes (priority boarding) went to lunch and checked suite out. Everything was ready. Rm 11221 spa suite. Large balcony , walk in closet , large bathroom. And access to spa . Main dining room -Sapphire was great longest wait 10 minutes on my time dining. Went on excursions at all ports and booked thru Carnival . Great guides and interesting info on country. Some good deals on larimar jewelry in Dom. Republic. Our Room Steward Sabina was almost telepathic first night asked for ice and got it in 10 minutes the next night we called again she said it was in the room already - it was and she checked to make sure. Towel animals were great. Only negative was long lines for some of the food venues.Disembarkation was chaotic used our priority status to get off in 20 minutes.Sure helped . Was a great cruise and not our first one. Looking forward to next one. Did see a lot of young children that were not being watched by parents. Surprised that they weren't more cautious even on a CLOSED environment As a retired Police Officer I felt that they needed closer supervision. We live only an hour from Port Canaveral.and go to the Cape for launches -can see them on clear days from our front yard. Did not go to see any entertainment preferred to watch new movies on tv and occasionally room service which if you choose correctly was included in cruise cost. Great snacks. Asked for cheese plates to go from supper and never refused. Wait staff knew what we had for beverages after first night ,called us by our names and had beverages waiting at table. Embarrassed both of us on birthdays by singing Happy Birthday along with other diners at dinner. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the Horizon for the itinerary since we had not traveled to these ports- Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao and Aruba. Each port had it's own special things- Grand Turk, the beach, Jack's Shack and Margaritaville, La ... Read More
We chose the Horizon for the itinerary since we had not traveled to these ports- Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao and Aruba. Each port had it's own special things- Grand Turk, the beach, Jack's Shack and Margaritaville, La Romana, the diverse souvenirs you could get there and the friendliness of the people, Curacao with its beautiful buildings and architecture. Also the good local beer and the wonderful gouda cheese., finally Aruba with its wonderful Catamaran sail. The great views, rum punch, music and people. Now we get to the ship. It was beautiful! The restaurants were wonderful, especially the Steakhouse. I Can't say enough about the bars and he service. Our cruise director, Schwartz was beyond wonderful, such energy! We went nightly to the Havana Bar for the music and dancing. The comedians were fabulous and the shows- WOW! Especially Amor Cubano. Strongly recommend Carnival and especially Horizon- Bravo to the staff! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a cruise to a place I always dreamed of visiting - CUBA. That was the highlight of the cruise. Embarkation went very smoothly. We had a 12 show time and we were on board eating and playing cards by 12:30. Due to an serious ... Read More
This was a cruise to a place I always dreamed of visiting - CUBA. That was the highlight of the cruise. Embarkation went very smoothly. We had a 12 show time and we were on board eating and playing cards by 12:30. Due to an serious fall, my niece broke her leg and rented a knee scooter which met the size requirements of Carnival. It was to be in the room by 2pm. At 2:15 we entered the room and there it was. Perfect. 4pm we set off from Tampa. We arrived at Key West the next day at noon. We hung out on the ship while in dock, lazing around and enjoying each other's company. We took off from Key West, spent the night in the casino and in the morning arrived in Cuba. Disembarking was also made easy via customs, even though explaining an e-cigarette met with odd looks. Off we went to meet up with Jorge from Blexie who proudly drove us around Cuba explaining various areas, customs and culture. It was a long awaited experience and not a moment of regret. Back on the ship we dressed and got ready for a night at the Tropicana. An incredible show that made the trip even more memorable. We were sailing by the time we woke for two sea days and just remembering what we experienced. The trip back home was a little rocky, but not sickening. The temperature was too cool to be outside, so it was back to the casino. We arrived in Tampa, disembarkation went well and now I spend my time remembering the sites and sounds of Cuba and the wonderful crew of Carnival. It was perfect!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with ... Read More
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with Disney, I didn't come in with the highest of expectations. The ship is older (one of the oldest in Carnival's fleet) and it shows. The main entertainment venue is a lounge--style theater instead of the more-modern broadway style. There are no speciality restaurants (this is made up for with upcharge options at dinner and chef's table). The ship is showing its age, but Carnival has appeared to have kept it in ship shape during dry docks. Hopefully the next one will bring some new life. I was in an upper/lower birth cabin. Having this does give you a little more room, since the bunk leaves more space. However, I'd have preferred this configuration with a balcony or even an ocean view. Unfortunately, Inspiration's balonies are only in suites. That said, no complaint on the room. It served its purpose well and was clean. Dining on the ship was amazing. We had anytime dining. Had the same server team 3 of 4 nights. The food was amazing. The "rare finds" are worth a shot each night. There is a nice mix of poultry, pork, beef, fish, and vegeterian/vegan items. On Sea Day, I did the brunch and the filet mignon melted in my mouth. The flat iron steak from dinner came very close to melt in mouth, but was tender and well flavored. The chefs know how to cook. I also loved the desserts, especially the banana cream pie. The Lido Buffet does a new theme each day, which is nice. Plus, you can't beat a Guy Fieri burger. Main show entertainment was pretty good, but given the loung style seating, I tended to just watch from the back on deck 9. I preffered the comedy acts the most in the Punchliner. BT was a riot and I went to two of his shows. Service was amazing. Carnival has hired a great diverse crew for this ship, from crew to staff to officers and everything in between. If you want great service, I have found cruises do it best. I'd most certainly recommend this cruise and I'm eager to eventually cruise with Carnival again. They are truly the Fun Ships. Warning to those who want the upscale experience, Carnival is not for you. If you like a relaxed, casual, fun atmosphere, this is the cruise for you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Feb 23rd - 28th. Inexpensive and close to home. Wonderful 3rd cruise on a Fantasy CLASS ship for joint wife and self vacation. The Fog{ weather no stars } kept us from boarding til 7:30 PM and along with Mardi Gra events made for ... Read More
Feb 23rd - 28th. Inexpensive and close to home. Wonderful 3rd cruise on a Fantasy CLASS ship for joint wife and self vacation. The Fog{ weather no stars } kept us from boarding til 7:30 PM and along with Mardi Gra events made for stressful{!} dembarkation, however, we were so happy to get that email to come to terminal to sail. Yes most people I spoke too were disspointed to miss Progreso Darn FOG is the enemy of cruise ship. Some were glad to have an overnight stay at Cozumel because of missing Progreso. For 30 year old ship there it is incredibly good condition. Very little problematic rust, however, there was one set of railing tubes near top, outside in front of ship, near top of stairs that the end of each pipe was some jagged edges but I rubbed the quasi-painted edges and felt no sharp cutting surface. Hot tubs were hot every time and not a singe child on Serenity area. 5 stars. Enjoyed lots of sun, warm and hot temps. Salt moist air was good for wifes asthma. Cabin{ E180 } was immaculately clean, including bathroom. I mean I was seriously impressed at how clean for a 29 year old ship! Engine vibration may have been more than other two cruises, I dunno. Was glad when getting to Cozumel and then having the engines lowered rpm to idle. Cesar Chan was excellent, enthusiastic, University trained, presenter of Mayan and Mexican culture history. Costal bus ride and lookout photo, Mayan temples and ending with authentic Mexican Tequila, dancing couple, food and friendly dinning atmosphere in downtown San Miquel. Crew service was excellent! Food was excellent and too much. Dancing and singing was great dinning experience. Bean burritos at Cantina on Lido deck were my favorite meal and good food every where I ate. Sorry I'm not a Guys Burger bar fan. Fries way to salty for me if not also to greasy{?}. Wife loved music night life. She played music with the ban. I was in hot tube, big bed{ king? and comfortable }, hot tub, exploring ship or hot tub. Oh, yeah, I loved the 2.0 tube slide. Never had those when I was a kid so no way I was going to miss my chance now. We carried on and off our luggage and we debarked and were in our car by 10:30AM in parking garage and that was a little behind their schedule debarkation times. I love cruising and will go again if can accrue the money to try a larger ship someday. Ex the Conquest class. On way back from Cozumel I saw on tv the head-wind speed was apparrent 72 mph and actual speed was 52. Captain said weather was deterioating, and the ship was listing left{ port side? } for about 5 minutes and that was kind of cool. The whole way back the ship had winds and moderate to and fro roll, and forward -backward pitching. I enjoyed that cause by now I know cruise ships rarely sink. A cruise is what you make it. I made it fun 95% of the time. :--) I watched 2 movies on tv. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We took this cruise with 5 other couples and we all had a great time. Early and late seating was full when we booked and we were afraid that we wouldn't get to sit together at Anytime Seating but we were able to get a table for 12 ... Read More
We took this cruise with 5 other couples and we all had a great time. Early and late seating was full when we booked and we were afraid that we wouldn't get to sit together at Anytime Seating but we were able to get a table for 12 and we were able to keep that table each night at the same time. That worked out well. We all thought the food was great--don't know how anybody can complain about the food with all the choices that are available. We were impressed with all the various seating areas you could eat at the Market Place Buffet on the Horizon. We never had a problem finding a seat even at peak eating times. The 2 aroma steam rooms in the thermal suite were great. Most of the steam rooms in most of the ships we have been on are not hot enough but these were nice and hot like they should be. The comedians were very good. The juggler that we have seen before was very good. The dancing shows in the Liquid Lounge were quite an extravaganza but we are sort of getting tired of the dancing and singing at the top of their voice (it sometimes just seems like a lot of yelling that you can't understand). Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze--the best we have experienced in the 19 cruises we have taken. The water slide and sky ride were exciting. We were surprised at how many ships were at each port. 7 ships were at St Martin and 3 of those were the individual cruise companies largest ships. However, the port seemed to absorb the 24,000 people pretty well. Seems like most of the ships leave and return on the week end and not sure why they do that. Would like to see some of them leave in the middle of the week and maybe that would alleviate some congestion at the airport, motels, and ports. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We picked this cruise because we wanted to go out of Galveston and the timing was right. We have never been on a cruise so had few expectations. Now about our experience: Although I am sure this is mentioned in all reviews, Matt, the ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we wanted to go out of Galveston and the timing was right. We have never been on a cruise so had few expectations. Now about our experience: Although I am sure this is mentioned in all reviews, Matt, the Cruise Director is one of a kind. His wit and kindness to everyone he meets is remarkable. It was as though he had 4,000 close friends that week. He did a very touching program honoring vets. I could see the look in the eyes of the vets and could tell how very much they appreciated his kind remarks. At one point or another, there were not many dry eyes in the room. I have never seen anyone, in any profession, embrace their job with the joy and professionalism that Matt does whenever he is among all his guests. There were so many activities offered everyday that we only participated in about 1% and we stayed really busy the entire week. If there was a lacking area, I could only find one. The buffet was not very good in either of our opinions. It did not seem to include American tastes for lunch and evening meals. This is not to say that we went hungry because there were many other options. All the kiosks on floor 10 around the pool were exceptional. I will miss Guy's Burgers the most. The dining room and Steak House were excellent. I just like a buffet and was a little disappointed that we were not able to take advantage of it. All in all, the sea days as well as the port days were so fun and entertaining. We saw some great comedy shows, were challenged with trivia, attended art shows, and the dive-in movies were a great time. This is just to mention a few activities we enjoyed on board. This was our first cruise ever but it will not be the last. Thank you for reading. Read Less
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