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Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: March 2010
Heard good reviews about the new, large Dream so took a chance with Carnival. Ship has too many folks for the size of the ship. For example, swimming pools are smallest I have ever seen. Dining rooms were poorly designed with very cheap ... Read More
Heard good reviews about the new, large Dream so took a chance with Carnival. Ship has too many folks for the size of the ship. For example, swimming pools are smallest I have ever seen. Dining rooms were poorly designed with very cheap materials. Layout of Scarlet was very bad in that it was full of nooks and crannies like a mid-level restaurant. Bench seat was too low with very bumpy padding. Got apology from restaurant supervisor saying he was no way responsible for the poor design. Most ship's main restaurants have wide-open views, this large restaurant had very limited views. Our table looked at a stairway! Had an inside cabin on second deck that was small, only seat was a small stool. Never had a cabin before with no chairs or love seat. TV was a nice flat screen. Room steward did a fine job. Main theatre was a poor design with a lot of poles and bad seats. Thought entertainment was good with great dancing and comedy shows. PG comedy shows were great, but R shows were really raunchy. Didn't stay for the entire R show. Casino was very nice and we played quite a bit. Good part of the ship was the food and service. Dining room food was surprisingly good as was food in the buffet restaurants. Service was very good in the formal restaurant but mediocre in the buffet areas. Happened to be a lot of rotten, drunk spring breakers on this ship occupying the hallways past midnight on occasion. Had to call security about some foul-mouthed 18 year old. This ship has very limited things like lectures, classes, etc. like other ships I have been on. Ports of call were OK, except Belize City, which is a real "hole." Started to walk downtown, but turned around when I saw all the poverty and folks looking at me! Very easy time getting on and off the ship. Did notice sewer gas smell on our cabin deck a few times. Maintenance man said ship was to go back to the shipyard in the future to have the problem fixed. After cruising on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess, the Dream is a considerable step down because of the compact cabin and large number of people in limited public space. Carnival is generating a lot of profit by packing in a very large crowd in limited space, making passenger density very high and at same time using materials inferior to most ships, especially in the main dining rooms. Elevator wait was also quite long because of the large crowds. So, overall I was disappointed with the ship, but we did enjoy the shows and the food as well as many friendly fellow travelers. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
My friend and I left on April 19th for a 4 day cruise To Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. We really didn't know what to expect, other than I had been on CC forum and had talked/ask questions of these two ports, which neither of ... Read More
My friend and I left on April 19th for a 4 day cruise To Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. We really didn't know what to expect, other than I had been on CC forum and had talked/ask questions of these two ports, which neither of us had visited before. When we arrive (we flew in directly from Kansas City, Missouri), we found our transportation, and they took us to the cruise ship, which is probably within 10 - 15 minutes of the ship. In San Diego it was 75 degrees, but from then on the weather changed to rain/wind/COLD. (Please see Ensenada, Mexico for when we went back to San Diego before we went home.) I had already filled out our Fun Pass, so that helped us get through everything much smoother, and able to get to our rooms. We thought we might have to go to the Lido deck, but by 1:30 (I believe it was) our room was ready. We had a window and the room seemed spacious enough for what we had. I will say since the Elation is an older ship, and maybe because we were only doing 4 nights, it seemed like the room was missing a few things that I was used to having on the longer trips, but that was OK. We had a vault, which I definitely wanted, as well as the TV, but we didn't have a small refrigerator, which I think some of the other ships I have been on may have had. The bathroom was a nice size with the amenities that come, but there was not a hair blower, but that was OK, as my friend brought that, and I brought the curling iron. I really love our beds/bedding as I feel like a baby when I put the comforter on me. Really warm and light. Before I forget, do no bring an iron with you if you need to press your clothes. There is a laundry room where you can was/dry your clothes for a certain price or coins. The iron is free as far as I know, or it was when I used it a year or two ago. The ship (I like more vibrant colors) was in browns/coppers, and it was kept real clean for an older ship. Our table (seating of 10) had Vince and his helper attending to us in the dining room. They always kept me in HOT tea, which I had requested, and NO ice in my water. We had the 8:15 seating as that didn't rush us to have to be at dinner so early, or leaving a port that we were vising to get to dinner in time. We were pleased with the food, and if there was something that we didn't like or want, we could ask, and they would try to get us something else on the menu for that night. Flying in to San Diego, we met a lot of people from California, where they didn't have to pay to fly in like us. If you like to save money, they still have the $10 store, mainly for ladies, but they have some good buys that I have been pleased with down through the years. Since the weather was so windy/cold we played miniature golf, but there were few at the pools. We did go to the theatre and seen the Newlywed Game, which was very good. There was always something to see/do if you wanted to on the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2010
We arrived at the cruise terminal in Mobile at around 12:30 and after a fairly short wait, unloaded our baggage and parked in the secure parking garage, ($15 per day-$75 total for the trip, paid on entry to the parking garage. They do take ... Read More
We arrived at the cruise terminal in Mobile at around 12:30 and after a fairly short wait, unloaded our baggage and parked in the secure parking garage, ($15 per day-$75 total for the trip, paid on entry to the parking garage. They do take credit cards!.) After parking and taking the elevator to the terminal(have your passport in hand when you enter the terminal) we spent a very reasonable amount of time standing in line to be processed on board by Carnival's friendly and efficient embarkation staff.Once you reach the embarkation desk it takes only minutes to be processed and receive your sign and sail cards, which are also your room keys. Once on board we were able to go to our cabin after no more than a 10 minute wait.The cabin was clean and well supplied.The bed was very comfortable and the service by the cabin staff was great.Room service was immediate and efficient. We went to the self serve buffet on the Lido deck for lunch and found it to be pretty much standard (nothing fancy) fare, edible but nothing to get excited about. The trip out of the Mobile harbor was interesting with lots of ships, tugs and other maritime equipment to see and the trip down Mobile bay, (which takes a while)was interesting and enjoyable. Once aboard the ship the atmosphere is relaxed and festive and we spent a very enjoyable afternoon exploring the ship and sitting on the pool deck.The staff and crew are very friendly and always ready to assist you or answer any questions that you may have. Dinner was served in the dining rooms in a very elegant setting and the dining room staff are unbelievable in their courtesy and efficiency.Our waiter(Santosh) and his assistant(Alberto)were the best that we have encountered on any of our cruises.The food in the dining room was for the most part excellent and the presentation very well executed.(There were a couple of instances of tough meat, but overall it was very good.)I wish that I could say the same for the buffet on the Lido deck, but it was less than expected in quality.Coffee, tea, and lemonade are available on Lido all of the time.The coffee in not of a good quality and takes a lot of getting used to. It is made so strong that it is bitter. The only problem that we saw on the cruise was that 4 small boys that were allowed to run around the ship unsupervised and making mischief as young boys tend to do, removing do not disturb signs, room service orders and knocking on cabin doors and running away. Perhaps a little more Security presence in the passageways would eliminate this. The trip back to Moblle was fun with good entertainment and lots of activities. Debarkation was slow and took longer than expected, with long lines which moved slowly through the Customs check stations.This was not the U.S. Customs folks fault. Please have your passport and Customs declaration forms in hand when you get there and in will save everyone a lot of time.Most of the delays were caused by people who had to fumble around for their paperwork of complete it after they got to the check point. Overall it was a great cruise and we are looking forward to our next one on the "Carnival Triumph" in October 2010. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
My Mother and I decided to book a last minute cruise on the Miracle after finding a great deal on the Carnival website. This was my Mother's 8th time sailing with Carnival and my first cruise ever. We live in Canada and the cruise was ... Read More
My Mother and I decided to book a last minute cruise on the Miracle after finding a great deal on the Carnival website. This was my Mother's 8th time sailing with Carnival and my first cruise ever. We live in Canada and the cruise was leaving from NYC. We decided to fly to NYC the day before the cruise left just in case of flight delays (something I strongly recommend as a former travel agent). Everything was smooth sailing as far as getting on board was concerned. The line up for security and such was long, but moved quickly. Being that my Mom was a past guest, we were upgraded from our 4th deck interior room to a 8th deck balcony for only $200 - well worth it! The cabin was great - 2 SUPER comfortable single beds, a coach, 2 closests, washroom and of course, the balcony. It was not huge, but held two chairs and a table with us very well. It was really nice to have the view and be able to sit in your jammies in the morning enjoying room service breakfast and sailing into port. I was nervous about our first 2 days as they were at sea and I wasn't sure about how rough the Atlantic would be. Turns out it was fine! Actually less rocking than once we got in the Caribbean. There was lots to do on those 2 days at sea. An amazing show at night - fun things by the pools and of course, the food! WOW - SO delicious. We ate in the dining room every evening at the last sitting (8:15) Carnival does now offer early dining at 6, late dining at 8:15 or anytime dining (5:45-9:30) - which we would choose next time. The late dining was great though as after a day of exploring ports, you don't need to rush back and get ready for dinner. The food was really great though - salads, shrimp, crab cakes, steak, lobster - you name it. Dress code - The dining room dress code was really not enforced at all. Lots of people in sneakers, shorts, etc. Still, I think it is nice to be a little more presentable during a three course dinner! The Buffet is for the more casual diners. While the Buffet is not 24/7, the juice machines, along with pizza and ice cream machines are. I was never hungry. Pools - There were three main pool areas, each with a small, 4 ft 6" pool and a small hot tub. The middle area was where the stage and music was, and the aft and forward ones were quieter. For the reader, deck 10 (sun deck) is nice and quiet to just lay out. Shows - I was pleasantly surprised at how talented the dancers and singers were! They were very entertaining. I wasn't crazy about the comedian or hypntoist shows, but it was all in good fun. You can always head down to Frankensteins to dance, or to one of the other bars to relax and listen to some music. Overall, I LOVED this cruise. The decor could be a little tacky, but who cares? It was really clean and the staff couldn't do enough to help you. The three ports in 8 days was just enough as the days at sea were really relaxing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2010
Background Information I am a solo cruiser, widowed, 66 years old, retired, Platinum cruiser with Carnival. My late wife and I took many cruises together, but this was my first time cruising solo. Travel To Port of Embarkation & ... Read More
Background Information I am a solo cruiser, widowed, 66 years old, retired, Platinum cruiser with Carnival. My late wife and I took many cruises together, but this was my first time cruising solo. Travel To Port of Embarkation & Hotel Info I live in SW Florida, so it's an easy drive to Florida's port cities. I drove over to Miami (about a 3-hour trip) the afternoon prior to cruise day to just be in position and enjoy a relaxing evening. I stayed at the Candlewood Suites just west of the Miami International Airport. I used to live in Miami so I know the area, and of course having a car made it much easier and much less expensive to stay some distance away from the port area hotels. I did drive down to the Bayside Marina and enjoyed a waterside dinner at Lombardi's Restaurant, where I enjoyed a nice meal overlooking the port area. On embarkation day, I arrived at the port around 10am, preferring to get there early. I dropped off my luggage, parked the car ($20 a day) and walked the short distance back to the terminal. I was escorted to the VIP lounge where check-in was completed quickly and easily and we were the first group to board. I was on the ship and enjoying a drink at the lobby bar by around 10:40am. Stateroom My Carnival PVP had sent me an email about a week and a half prior to the cruise, noting some excellent fare reductions. After some thought about it all, I booked the cruise only a week out, and for the first time I booked an inside guarantee, Category 4a. It was two days before embarkation before I received my cabin assignment. On previous cruises I had always had either an ocean view or a balcony cabin, however the great fare on this cruise for an inside cabin was simply too good to resist. Upon receiving my cabin assignment however, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had been upgraded to a Category 4F cabin on the Empress Deck. It was a great location, very close to the lobby area and shops, excursion desk and guest services, and equally close to Emile's lounge, breakfast, lunch, coffee, etc. And I found that I didn't mind the inside cabin at all, because I just didn't spend that much time in the cabin. Dining After boarding and enjoying lunch, there was a two hour window where you could speak to the Maitre'd about table assignments for the evening meal. I had been assigned to the Golden Olympian Dining Room for the late seating, and had been assigned to a table with two couples, so I asked if I could be moved to a larger table with other "solo" cruisers. I was reassigned to the Silver Olympian Dining Room and seated at a larger table with 5 other solo cruisers. This turned out to be a good move. Our waiter was "Elaine" and she was superb. She took care of us in fine fashion for the entire week. And I must say that the quality of food and the variety of dishes available on each night's menu was excellent. Every meal seemed like a gourmet dinner. I have cruised with Carnival many times in years past, however the quality of food on this cruise seemed greatly improved over previous cruises. Although I love the buffet option for breakfast, especially the fresh eggs or omelets cooked to order, I opted for the dining room for breakfast - I think on four out of seven mornings, just so I could meet other people. Of course in the dining room for lunch, you are seated at the large tables as you come in, with strangers. But I thought it was the perfect opportunity to "get out there." On the first morning I was seated with three older folks (older than me even!) - one of the guys was a cook/baker on an aircraft carrier in World War II. His friend was a radar technician on a destroyer escort during that same time, both ex-Navy vets. They were fascinating to talk to. One morning I met some women from the New England area who were cruising for the first time, another who sat across from me was 72 years old, had been trying to get her husband to cruise for years, and she finally gave up on him and here she was without him! One morning I met a young couple who live in Colorado - as it turns out right around the corner from where my wife and I used to live, we even talked about where the grocery store was and the Home Depot. What a small world! On a subsequent morning I met another younger couple - discovered they were fellow Cruise Critics! And also two older folks from the Philly area & a 1st time cruiser from Luxembourg, who after only two days on the ship, informed us that he wouldn't be taking another cruise. He said he liked to walk a lot and the ship was too confining for him. Oh well, to each his own. The two couples that morning - the younger ones from Indiana and the older ones from the Philly area might as well have been from Venus & Mars regarding their attitudes. The older woman made a point to tell us how much she had complained about things on every cruise she had taken and how she never had enough room to put all her complaints on the comment card. Hello....the other couple and I just exchanged winks...all the while secretly planning to meet later in Grand Cayman at Margaritaville. Yes! Oh, well, in spite of the negative vibes that tried to infect our breakfast conversation, the young couple from Indiana and I were laughing and hee-hawing - they seem to exemplify my own attitude about being aboard ship - essentially, "there ain't no such thing as a 'bad cruise!'" I did dine at Harry's Steakhouse on the last night of the cruise with some of dinner companions. I must say I was a bit disappointed with this meal. I ordered Beef Carpaccio as an appetizer and it was very unappetizing. It is composed of thinly-shaved beef, shaved parmesan cheese and greens, usually Arugula or something similar. The beef was extremely thin, very little of it, and was sort of pasted to the plate by the sauce. It seemed chintzy. For the main course I opted for surf & turf - in short the beef was excellent, tender, cooked just perfectly and very tasty. The lobster, on the other hand, was severely overcooked and had the consistency of vulcanized rubber. It was just awful. I have dined at Scarlett's on the Valor and the food was excellent. I think this experience on the Liberty at Harry's was largely due to the particular dishes I ordered. When I return to the Liberty in September, I will probably dine here again, but I certainly won't order the lobster. There are too many other wonderful things on the menu to choose from, like Filet Mignon, or Chilean Sea Bass. So I'll give them another try. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as a bad cruise, so this one minor circumstance is not an issue for me. Ship Info The Liberty is fourth in line of five ships in the Conquest class. Having previously sailed on the Valor, which is similar in architecture and layout, it was easy to find my way around. One of my favorite hangouts was the "Paparazzi" martini bar, and Tommy the bartender from Singapore. My dinner gang would often show up there for pre-dinner cocktails and Tommy always provided us with friendly and excellent service. My other favorite watering hole was the Flowers Lobby bar, and Lucia, bartender from the Ukraine, always made my visits there enjoyable. Emile's Grand Buffet was a virtual kaleidoscope of variety, every kind of food you could imagine. There was the Mongolian Grill, open each day for lunch, a very popular spot. Three different serving lines in addition to the Pizzeria (open 24 hours), Hamburger Grill, Ice Cream Machine, Deli, Burrito bar, and also Fish & Chips. If that wasn't enough, there was also room service, and out on the Lido Deck around the midships pool, there were always hot dogs and hamburgers available. Dining I had late seating, 8:15pm in the Silver Olympian Dining Room and it was absolutely grand, with Maitre'd Omur Oflaz (or as he calls himself, "Omar from Oklahoma) always coming around from table to table and ensuring that we were all having a good dining experience. The Valor is a big ship and I was told there were 3500 passengers on board this cruise. Nonetheless, I could always find a secluded spot to read or sit quietly, or I could be around people as was my choice. The midship lido deck area around the Tivoli Pool was where the action was. Live music most of the time, it is mostly an open area with tiers of deck chairs, and some shade on the sides as well. One side of this area is designated as a smoking area. The aft pool area, the Versailles Pool, was my favorite place to hangout. An adults only area, non-smoking, a huge roof that closes if it rains, two hot tubs, the bar, ice cream machine, hamburger grill, pizzeria, all within a few short steps. And this area is all non-smoking as well. Many places to relax along the Promenade on Deck 5, and also Deck 3 on either side of the lobby was another quiet place to simply sit and read or enjoy the ocean view. Entertainment I did attend two of the late night adult entertainment events. One was a stand-up comedian, and the other was a magician who had volunteers who were willing to be "hypnotized" - I can tell you it was extraordinarily hilarious! Most of the entertainment events took place in the Victoria Palace, great seating no matter where you were, although there were a few vertical columns that you didn't want to sit behind. I also went to the show with "The Village Idiots" - talented and funny jugglers & comedians. These guys were very talented and funny; don't miss them if you have the opportunity. Activities Like any cruise, there was a variety of activities each day depending on your likes and dislikes. It's a cruise so you can be as busy as you want, or simply opt to do nothing. One afternoon I attended the "The Game of Love" with cruise director "Noonan." As you might expect, patterned after the infamous Newlywed Game, it was another of those wonderfully funny events. I also attended a Wine tasting...with Sommelier Ivanna from the Ukraine - Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little food tray of various foods to pair with wine. Excellent & informative presentation, very enjoyable. Service This was my 11th cruise on Carnival and I would say it was the best yet. Carnival's waiters and staff are extraordinarily friendly and this cruse was exceptional in that regard. From the cabin steward (Raul) to the table waiter (Elaine) the bartenders, (Tommy, Caroline, Lucia, Nancy, many others too) everyone was pleasant and helpful and service was nothing less than first-class. Port & Shore Excursions This particular cruise stopped at Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Ocho Rios, and having visited all of them on previous occasions, I did not opt for any organized excursions, but instead just walked around, snapped some photos, talked to people, did some shopping, and of course had an obligatory cool drink or two at a thatched-roof bar before returning to the ship. One often overlooked fact is that the port days are many times the best occasion to enjoy the ship. Definitely less crowded. I will make one comment about Ocho Rios. If I end up on a cruise there again I will probably not get off the ship. On this particular visit I opted to walk to the downtown area, you know, just smelling the flowers and snapping a few photos. But the road was lined with scads of persistent scam artists trying to sell me everything under the sun. In the first fifteen minutes after I left the ship, I was offered drugs, sex, Cuban cigars, pornography, hair-braiding, tours, you name it they were trying to sell it. They were very pushy and insistent and after a while I just got tired of it. Some of them even got angry when I refused their services, and wanted to get into an argument about why I was depriving them of income because I didn't want anything they had to offer. None of them stepped over the line as it were, I never felt unsafe or threatened, but it made for a very unpleasant visit. They simply don't like to take no for an answer. Two of my dinner companions opted for a tour with one of these scam artists and along with about 30 other passengers, were literally taken for a ride. They took everyone's money, drove around for about 30 minutes and then dropped them back at the port, without taking them to any of the promised locations, and when there were complaints, refused to give them their money back.. Well, my answer to all of this is that Ocho Rios is simply off my list from now on. Disembarkation I would say mostly painless, and well-organized. I've done it all before, left my luggage out overnight, opted for Concierge Club baggage handling and of course the self-assist walk-off method. This time I opted for self-assist (you have to have one hand free), and after enjoying a leisurely breakfast, was off the ship by around 8 am. A short walk to the parking garage across from the terminal and I was on my way. Over the years Carnival has vastly improved their disembarkation operation. Summary I did note some significant changes from previous cruises. Carnival now practices "Social Distance Sanitation" - in that crew members have been instructed not to shake hands with passengers. Sounds like a reasonable approach to cut down on the possibility of passing around something unwanted, but in reality I found that many of the crew were still willing to shake your hand. Another significant change - on the dining tables there was no butter - only some kind of yellowy artificial plastic-looking substance that no one could actually identify...but real butter is available if you ask for it, and those little butter packets were also available on the breakfast buffet. When I had breakfast in the dining room in the mornings, I always asked for real butter, and only once did I meet a little resistance, but I persevered until it finally showed up. I don't about anyone else, but I don't like drinking stuff that comes out of machines, or eating stuff that I don't know what it is. Another change - no more free movies in the cabins, pay per view only @ $8.99 a pop. But there were free movies each night on Lido deck on the big screen. As a solo cruiser, the morning breakfasts turned out to be even more of an adventure into the unknown than the evening meal, where at least we got to know each other a bit. I think forcing myself to mingle turned out to be key points in my solo adventure. At first I was very wary of how things would go, I mean being on a ship with nearly 5000 people can be a little intimidating if you are by yourself. But meeting my dinner companions was very key. I only saw them briefly or occasionally during the day, but everyone always showed up for dinner, and every night was like having dinner with your extended family. We danced and joked with the waiters and assistants, took tons of photos, and just had the greatest time. Since the cruise we have all stayed in touch by email. During the latter part of the week I would often find a secluded spot somewhere and read. I love to read at sea, the ocean as a backdrop is always so inspiring to me. I went through nearly three books during the week. Sometimes I would have lunch alone with my book, and I discovered I was okay with that too, that I found a balance of being with people and around people sometimes, but also cherishing those moments alone as well. In any case, I came away from the cruise with a very positive remembrance about it all and I will not be hesitant to do it again as a solo. In spite of a few minor irritants, this was perhaps one of the best cruises I have taken. The Liberty is a grand ship and offers a tremendous cruise experience. I remain a committed Carnival cruiser, and now having broken the "solo" barrier I can't wait to do it again. I already have two more cruises booked this year on Carnival, a large family cruise in September aboard the Liberty again, and another solo cruise in October on the Legend. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
Pros: Newly renovated public areas with very colorful(or garish) decorations. Very nice pool, 4 hot tubs (2 adult only. Very clean everywhere! Typical Carnival service in dining areas, always exceptional. Good ports, Montego Bay, Grand ... Read More
Pros: Newly renovated public areas with very colorful(or garish) decorations. Very nice pool, 4 hot tubs (2 adult only. Very clean everywhere! Typical Carnival service in dining areas, always exceptional. Good ports, Montego Bay, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. We ate mostly in Tiffany Buffet, had been assigned late seating in Dinning area and that was too late for us. Only went to one entertainment presentation which was fairly good. In general we have found that we did not care too much for the Carnival Entertainment which is typically too loud and rather obnoxious, but others said they enjoyed it. So its a personal preference. We do not cruise for the entertainment but for the relaxation.Cons: Food serving were up and down. Some items were very good, several others were consistently poor. We found that the bread served (usually french bread slices were hard and dry almost always and resorted to have a bun toasted for us at the sandwich station. With the exception of ice cream, desserts were pretty to look at, and poor to eat. By picking and choosing and using the Pizza station we generally food something we liked. Since we only ate once in the assigned seating I cannot comment on that. I found customer service to be exceptionally bad. We made 2 requests, one about cabin noise, and one about our TV, and got absolutely no help except for a brush off (ex. well its the satellite signal making the fuzzy picture, when TVs all over the ship were showing clear pictures!). Cabin clean up was not as good as on the Carnival Fantasy which was completely unobtrusive. Cabin steward tried to freshen our cabin 4 or 5 times while we were present. Avoid cabins around U42 since noticeable ship noise occurs all night long. Embarkation and Debarkation were chaotic though this may be due to the fact that it was a first cruise from Mobile. In conclusion, in comparison to a 5 day cruise on the Fantasy, the Elation needs work. It was rumoured that Elation was being moved to the West coast, if so I would avoid a first time cruise because or boarding/exiting problems. Despite the glitches we enjoyed our carnival cruise and will cruise again if possible. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We are two seniors from Florida with more than twenty cruises, mostly Caribbean and most with Carnival. We do not expect perfection, we have modest needs and we try to keep our expectations reasonable. Some cruises are more enjoyable than ... Read More
We are two seniors from Florida with more than twenty cruises, mostly Caribbean and most with Carnival. We do not expect perfection, we have modest needs and we try to keep our expectations reasonable. Some cruises are more enjoyable than others; this cruise to Alaska was among the best. We booked air and transfers with Carnival to assure our timely arrival. In order to make it in time in Seattle, we had to leave home at 3AM for our early flight and our return flight would not return us until after 11PM. We did not want to ask friends for a ride in the middle of the night and the local shuttle did not operate at those hours. So we drove to the airport and paid $136 to park. The flights and layover were uneventful. My PVP did not suggest arriving a day early, in retrospect it would have been a better choice. The transfer provided by Carnival and the embarkation process were terrible. On arrival in Seattle we were told to meet a Carnival representative at the baggage claim. He was very cordial, checked our passports and directed us outside to a kiosk. The people staffing the kiosk were rude and arrogant. Everyone seemed to have different paper proof of having purchased a transfer. I was told I was not entitled to the transfer even though my documents clearly stated it was included. After they tore my documents apart - literally - they were in pieces, they checked passports again and then demanded that every piece of luggage including carryons be tagged before proceeding to the bus. I had printed out extra luggage tags, but not enough for the carryons and the scotch tape I had brought to affix them was at the bottom of my carryon - it was not produced quickly enough for the transfer Gestapo, their comments were uncalled for. Once I got the scotch tape out and put the tags on we were allowed to load our own luggage under the bus. We could not put our carryons under because they weren't tagged and we were not allowed to take them on the bus with us. We just stood outside the bus trying to figure out what to do. The bus driver arrived, placed our carryons under the bus and got us settled on the bus. She was a delight. She solved our luggage dilemma, gave us a lovely tour on our way to the port and had our carryons waiting for us as we stepped off the bus. Her efficiency and professionalism erased the awful experience at the beginning of the transfer. At the port it was necessary to walk a fair distance to the terminal and then walk the length of the terminal to start the process. We both have mobility issues and always look for the shortest distance between two points. We showed the FunPass with the VIP on it, but it was ignored. Maybe VIP boarding has not been instituted in Seattle? We were directed to the other end and even though there was no line, no other passengers being processed, we had to walk through the ropes back and forth, up and down the terminal instead of just stepping up to the counter. Once arriving at the counter the process took about a minute. Then we were directed outside to walk the length of the terminal again to start the climb up a series of ramps to the ship. Once onboard we headed straight to the cabin to wash up and rest for a few minutes. Hunger struck and we headed to Lido to see what food might still be served. The regular buffet line was closed, but the rotisserie was still serving. We had roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies. Very good! Before we finished the meal we started to sail away and enjoyed a beautiful sunny, warm, clear and calm start to a fantastic voyage. We did not take part in many of the onboard activities. We have done most before and competing with the passing scenery was no contest. I usually try to win a ship on a stick, but this cruise I did not take the time to join in the games. We chose anytime dining and very much enjoyed it. We never had to wait, our server Assadee was very attentive and anticipated our needs. She suggested choices and always made sure we were happy. We appreciated how nicely Lido was set up with all the food choices. We found that if one area was busy another was not crowded. We never had our minds made up before we went, just ate what was convenient at the moment. We had stir-fry a few times, the carving station three or four times, tried just about every deli sandwich, lots of pizza. Some of the pizza chefs were better than others. Some didn't bake it long enough and it was soggy. Others got it right and the pizza was great! We ordered calzones a couple of times and they were made with only mozzarella, no ricotta at all. Asked about it, but the language barrier got in the way. We ordered room service for many breakfasts and a few snacks. Delivery was accurate and prompt. The sandwiches, salads and veggie plates were just right after a day in port. Overall the food was excellent. We tried many new to us items in the dining room and always found something to enjoy on Lido. One very nice plus was light breakfast was available very early in one of the small serving areas. Cereal, milk, fruit and baked goods were set out for the really early birds. We usually book an inside but chose to splurge on an obstructed view 7A balcony for this cruise. It was a good choice. We enjoyed having breakfast in the quiet while gliding along the beautiful waterways. Waiting for the sun to break over the mountains to start the day was a highlight of the trip. The room was very comfortable, lots of storage, good beds and bedding, enough floor space and a well appointed bath with a great shower. Our steward Arjawa (RJ for short) was super efficient and friendly. He truly spoiled us. We saw a number of solo entertainers in passing, in the atrium, various lounges and bars and the casino. None drove us out, but neither did they draw us in. In fairness to them, it was not their lack of talent, I had trouble pulling myself away from the scenery, same for the shows in the main theatre. I dropped in on a few of them and they seemed to be entertaining, but the draw of the open decks was too strong. I had thought I would miss the Seaside Theatre - wrong. The Versailles Lounge became the movie theatre. It was quiet, comfortable, air conditioned and had a great system for showing films. I wished they had shown films more days. The 6PM time slot was a great time for a little R&R before dinner. The ship is fantastic. I had heard how much some enjoyed the Spirit class, I am a fan now too. The steakhouse in the funnel is unique and beautiful. The placement of so many lounges and quiet places around the ship spreads people out and makes it seem uncrowded. Having three pools, one covered, and so many spas is wonderful. The ease of navigating the ship is a plus and the decorating is a nice mix of pastels in Lido with the rich woods in the staircases and elevators. Some of the whimsy is a nice touch. The Jungle Walk is a wonderful area to spend some quiet time looking out a window and the storybook Camelot outside the Conference Room complements the Artists theme in the nearby lounge. I was disappointed in the gym. Continuing some physical therapy on my own while cruising was a high priority. I went to the gym three times and was never successful finding someone to help me get the unfamiliar machine started. I finally piled in but was not able to set the digital readout or the tension. While in the gym I bumped into a few other cruisers who were disappointed in the array of machines. They seem to be geared to those who already enjoy high levels of fitness with nothing for those who have limited range of motion or impact restrictions. Maybe some of the machines might fill the bill, but without instructions on the machines or a person to ask, it was a waste of time. Disembarking was another terrible ordeal. As platinum cruisers we were directed to a lounge near the front of the ship to be escorted off with the #1. There were about ten of us gathered in the lounge when a member of the entertainment staff came to get us. I followed the group until they were directed up a flight of stairs. By the time I realized I could not do the stairs, the group had vanished. I took the elevator and joined the regular line and was off fairly quickly. The line for the transfer went on and on. We were directed to lines depending on which airline we were flying. The lines moved ridiculously slowly. Again the issue seemed to be the different "tickets" everyone had for the transfer. Some people were boarded and then it was discovered they had not purchased transfers and they were asked to get off the bus. Some people clearly thought they had bought the transfers, but apparently were misinformed. The whole scene was ugly, exasperating and an area where there is "room for improvement". We had the same lovely driver for the trip back to the airport and she was a gracious as ever. She is a gem - I'm sorry I did not catch her name. The flights home were uneventful, we did get a nice upgrade on the second leg. Overall this cruise was outstanding. Carnival did not disappoint with the ship, level of service, accommodations and dining. Mother Nature treated us to many sunny and calm days and the most extraordinary natural beauty. The sunsets after 11pm and the lightening sky at 3am gave hours and hours of the most beautiful landscapes that changed as the light changed. I was never bored; found time to lose my share in the casino, eat myself stupid and explore wonderful ports. The ship was a joy to explore in the early morning hours and to talk with the crew who were busy at their duties, but not overwhelmed by passengers. The one area that was way below Carnival's standard was in the transfers. I prefer to think that whoever trained the staff in the fairly new to Carnival port was overzealous and instilled a follow the rules mandate without thought to common sense, manners and patience. A standardized form of ticketing the transfers would go a long way in easing the confusion. I have every confidence that these shortcomings will evolve to an efficient part of the process. I would love to return to Alaska and sail with Carnival there again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2010
This was our 4 cruise on the Conquest. We decided to give the eastern route a try. I am 61 and my bw is 60. We drove to Galveston the night before our cruise.We had made online reservations for the Comfort Inn. It is the one between ... Read More
This was our 4 cruise on the Conquest. We decided to give the eastern route a try. I am 61 and my bw is 60. We drove to Galveston the night before our cruise.We had made online reservations for the Comfort Inn. It is the one between Wal-Mart and Golden Corral. Nice clean rooms and is very quiet. We went to Wal-Mart for the usual pre cruise we forgot stuff. We ate at Shrimp and Stuff @ Ave 0 and 36th street.Good fresh seafood at reasonable prices Sunday morning: got up and ate the free breakfast and then out to see if the ship was in.We got back to the motel and finished packing. Then on to Easy Cruise. Dropped the car off and then on to the( what I call a three ring circus to get on the ship) terminal. We got there right at 10:30. Get this we go through screening, wait in line for 15 min or so to get our sail and sign cards and then proceed directly on to the ship!Blew my mind! By 11:15 we were sitting on the lido deck eating lunch! We did the usual wait for the rooms to be ready. Sailed out on time, really liked the new safety briefing, lot easier. Monday and Tuesday: mostly just goofed off. We did go to some of the shows, however that topic brings up a gripe. After having been on the ship 4 times, looks like they would change the shows! Other then that gripe, who cares we are on vacation. Wednesday: Nassau: first port - See and Sea tour. Got off and went to look around. Took a short horse and carriage ride around the down town area. We met our guides and go on a bus ride around the down town areas. Interesting tour. Then on to the bay to catch the ship to take us out to the semi submersible ship. Took us to three coral reefs, very neat tour.Only gripe I had was the ship was small and was not for claustrophobic people, my wife and I had no problems but others did. Thursaday: Freeport: dolphin encounter. By far the neatest thing I have ever got to. Met the tour guide at the dock. Boarded a bus for the 30 min ride to the UNNESCO dock. Boarded a tender to rake 2o min boat ride to the dolphin area. Got off, was met by great trainers. They were very good at answering questions. We went to the holding area and met the dolphins. There were 20 of us in our group. I never felt hurried by the staff. Really enjoyed this encounter. Friday: Key West: Hemmingway house walk/jog! Key West is really neat. This is where my biggest gripe is. We were met at the port by Greg, the tour guide. There were 30 in the our group and 30 in the second group. We take off walking and Greg speeds up, wanting to get in front of the second group. I had no problem with that, what I did have a problem with was the the continual speed he maintained. We had some people almost left behind. Up on arriving at the house,I told Greg that we were not going on with the tour, He got defensive with me and said I would have to talk to Carnivall about a refund. I told him I was going to talk to the excursion desk once we were back on board. We did the house and then got on the trolley. Had a blast with the driver.Just messed arounfd till time to get back on. Saturday: where did the time go day! Did the usual stuff. We usually do laundry towards the end of the cruise, did that. Sunday: We were called to get off at 9:20 or so. We were through customs and back at Easy cruise by 9:50! How would I rate this cruise: excellent, good food and we had a great time! We plan on going on this cruise again next year. We will be going on this cruise again next year. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
The "Glory" on May 2, 2010. Boarding in Miami was easy and fast lunch was ready and everyone was pleasant. Our ocean view room (2450,deck 2,port side aft) was very clean and much larger than we expected, luggage was a little ... Read More
The "Glory" on May 2, 2010. Boarding in Miami was easy and fast lunch was ready and everyone was pleasant. Our ocean view room (2450,deck 2,port side aft) was very clean and much larger than we expected, luggage was a little delayed but with around 2900 people on board it was to be expected. The ship was clean and the crew was very friendly. Dining in the Golden Room at 6:00 was the "Saving Grace" of the entire cruise. The staff was outstanding and the food was great, I can not describe what a pleasure it was to have dinner aboard this ship. We did not stay aboard in any port, we scheduled outside tours (Non Carnival)in 3 of the 4 ports and had a good time with NO problems. Well.... so much for the good of it. Now for the poorer side of things. Two of the mornings the food (eggs, pancakes, & bacon) were ice cold in the Red Sail restaurant, the steam tables were cold or just not working on the other days when the food was hot it got cold by the time you sat down due to the sub artic air conditioning, a very poor place to eat. Now on to the really bad side of it... The main entertainment at night was really good on Monday and Friday. They had the Broadway/Vegas style shows that were fantastic. On the other nights it was strictly second rate stuff that you could find in any bar on Miami Beach. Not even worth seeing. They say the cruise director is responsible fot the entertainment, I'm not sure we had one. The only time we saw him was on the TV sitting on his butt with a huge amount of food in front of him. He was not "out and about" with the paying people. This was out 2nd cruise with Carnival and may be our last if the rest of the ships are like the Glory. It's sad really... out 1st cruise was on Carnival's Fascinaton out of Jacksonville, Florida. I don't think you could find a better ship, everything was great, not one pood/bad thing to be found. Glory needs to learn a lesson from her little sister the Fascination. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
This is the 7th time we've cruised, second time on Carnival (all the others on Holland America except one on Norwegian). I found the cruise mediocre, there were tonnes of people. We looked forward to getting a nice tan on our pale ... Read More
This is the 7th time we've cruised, second time on Carnival (all the others on Holland America except one on Norwegian). I found the cruise mediocre, there were tonnes of people. We looked forward to getting a nice tan on our pale Canadian skins, and found that the decks were ALWAYS filled with people, and the pool so full, there wasn't even room to swim (but you could get in and stand with everyone else!). The food was okay, I found there was always a line up when getting food, especially at the Mongolian Wok section. There was also a Fish and Chips bar on the 10th floor, only accessible by going up one of the staircases in the Red Sail Lounge (or whatever the restaurant on the Lido deck was called), that we didn't manage to find until the last day at sea (when we remembered someone in one of the reviews had suggested it). When we did find it, however, they were closing for the day and wouldn't be open until "tomorrow at lunch," which was fantastic, because we were disembarking right after an early breakfast the next day. The shows were o.k., nothing special, except the magic act which was worth seeing. We were scheduled for late dining, and found that we often had to rush from our supper to go to see the show. After the show, there wasn't very much to do, other than going to the casino or the bars. The layout of the ship is fairly confusing, and there were certain sections on a few floors (I think it was 3 and 4) that you had to go either up a floor or down a floor to go across the ship before you could access it (there was a kitchen in the middle or something). We went on four excursions over the course of the cruise, in Cozumel, Roatan, the Georgetown, and Miami. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze though, one of the best embarkation experiences I've had. All in all, I wouldn't go on this ship again (too many people), but everything else (the excursions and stuff) was ok. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We, meaning my husband, my sister and a friend, all active seniors, boarded a bus in Providence for the trip to NY. We arrived about 12:15 and was in line for about 15MIN. Had all the paperwork filled out previously so check in was fast ... Read More
We, meaning my husband, my sister and a friend, all active seniors, boarded a bus in Providence for the trip to NY. We arrived about 12:15 and was in line for about 15MIN. Had all the paperwork filled out previously so check in was fast and smooth. Boarded and went up to have lunch, walked around and checked out the ship. Cabins were ready about 1:30 and luggage arrived around 3pm. Ship is very atractive and easy to get around. Cabin was average size for a balcony room, clean and well taken care of by our room steward. Plenty of storge space, 2 closets, plenty of cabinet and drawer space. Bed very comfortable. Bathroom had a nice sink area with shelves for your personnal items. The buffett area was always very busy. Stations are not marked and a lot of time is waisted looking for your food. Also seating at time was hard to find. Ate breakfast in the dinning room most days, less hectic and food was fresher and better presented. Ate lunch at the grill or Deli, free soft serve ice cream available by the back pool. Had the first sitting in the lower dinning room. Had a booth for 4, which was very nice. Our waiter was excellent, named Andre. Food was some of the best we have had on a cruise. Everything was served hot or cold, depending on what you ordered. Never had to send anything back. Dinning room is decorated in a grape motive and pleasant to the eye. The staff entertains almost every night with song and dance. Ate at Nick & Norah's one night, excellent meal. Shows were good and entertaining. Malcolm the cruise director is very good and friendly. Didn't seem to be as many activities as on previous cruises but that might just be me. Had the usual chair problems by the pool. Suppose to be no saving seats but nobody enforces it. Saw chairs with a towel or book sitting empty for over an hour and nobody showed up to claim it. Very inconsiderate people. So many have the "ME" attitude. Weather and Seas were great the whole 8 days, except the day we went to Half Moon Cay. That day in rained so hard it was raining sideways. Felt bad for the people who had never been before, we had been there 2 times before, because it really is a beautiful island and they have a very good barbecue there. The Grand Turks are great, and Nassau was busy and hot. Had been there many times before, check out the Atlantis, worth the trip. Take a cab, available right at the dock for $4.00. Had a massage while docked in Nassau. Worth the money. All told we really enjoyed this ship and cruise and would recommend the Carnival Miracle. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
My husband and I are in our mid 50's and have cruised with NCL once, and RCCL five times. We decided to try a Carnival ship because of the itinerary and leaving out of NY. We were in an obstructed view balcony which was just fine. ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid 50's and have cruised with NCL once, and RCCL five times. We decided to try a Carnival ship because of the itinerary and leaving out of NY. We were in an obstructed view balcony which was just fine. We never had a balcony before and it was so nice to have when there are so many sea days. The lido deck did get crowded on sea days, but we always found a place to sit. Enjoyed the variety of food at the different stations. Always felt there was enough food available no matter what time it was. Enjoyed eating at the early seating and found the selection and quality of the food was very good. Our servers, Zeffrey and Vergel were excellent and would bring us as much as we wanted and made sure everything was good. I wanted to give some helpful hints that I would have appreciated knowing. Ship was chilly most of the time, so a sweater or sweatshirt is needed if you mind air conditioning. Because you use your credit card to open your safe, you cannot put your credit card in there for safe keeping. Bring a used gift card to swipe with so you can put your credit card in there. Could have used more hangers. Lockers ($7.00) can be rented on Grand Turk by using your sea and sail card. Because my husband is allergic to smoke we had concerns about smoking that may have taken place in the cabins. This was not a problem at all. Also found "support forum" questions to be very helpful. We would not hesitate to sail on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
This was our 13th cruise with Carnival and I must say it was one of the best. It was a last minute cruise booked 2 weeks before sailing through our Carnival PVP who called because she thought we would like the price and itinerary. Miami ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise with Carnival and I must say it was one of the best. It was a last minute cruise booked 2 weeks before sailing through our Carnival PVP who called because she thought we would like the price and itinerary. Miami has always been our favorite port. Since we drive, we have had experience with entering the port as well as parking. My husband and I believe that Miami is the most organized and ranks at the top for ease of embarkation. It didn't let us down. We arrived at the port around 10:00. Our luggage was immediately taken by a porter and we parked directly across the street in the new parking garage. A short walk to the terminal. Since we are Platinum cruisers, we were led through security and shown to the lounge area for check-in. Around 11:15 we were advised that we could board. By 11:30, we were enjoying lunch in the Lido Buffet. Our cabin was ready by 1:30 and our luggage arrived shortly after. We had opted for an guarantee inside cabin and were assigned one on the Main Deck. This was our second cruise on the Libery, and we enjoy the fresh look of the cabins and more space for toiletries in the bathroom. After the safety drill, we set sail on time. One complaint was that all of the instructions as to life jackets and tender stations were repeated 4 times, once in English, French, Spanish and Dutch. Our itinerary included Half Moon Cay (Carnival's private island), St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk. We love this itinerary and it was one of the main reasons we did book so late. The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny. Half Moon Cay has the most beautiful beach in the world. Crystal clear water and powdery white sand makes you want to stay forever. More on the other ports below. Since we booked at the last minute, we decided to skip the formal dinners in order to pack less. However, the dining on the other evenings was exceptional. The meals were prepared according to our requests in the MDR and the buffet meals on the Lido Deck were diverse and plentiful. My husband really enjoyed the Burrito Bar and I, the Mongolian Grill. The service was also exceptional. Our Cabin Stewards were friendly and always addressed us by our names. Our cabin was always spotless. The dining team was professional and always available when needed during dinner. We had a couple of minor issues and spoke with the Purser's Desk. They were always pleasant and solved the issue immediately. Our inside cabin 2466 was located aft on the Main Deck. This cabin was assigned to us since we had booked a guarantee inside. The cabin was beautiful, plenty of cupboard space for my husband and I but the cabin could accommodate 4 guests because it had 2 bunks in the ceiling. No hallway noise since we just 1 cabin from the aft end of the ship. No noise above since it was one of the Main Dining Rooms which closed after late dining. At times you could feel the engines running but my husband thought they lulled him to sleep. They didn't bother me. However, when the ship was docking or leaving the pier and the thrusters were being used, the whole cabin shook. At times, I thought the TV would fall off the stand. This woke us up in the morning and was not appreciated when docking was very early (before 7:00 am) Unfortunately, we are not late night people, so we did not attend the nightly entertainment although I understand the shows are Vegas quality. We do enjoy playing the trivia, scattergories, and other games during the day and the "Fun Patrol" personnel were funny and entertaining. All in all, the Liberty is a beautiful ship in great shape. No sign of wear and tear. My husband and I look forward to another cruise on her in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We were on the Carnival Dream May 22-29 to the Eastern Car. This was our 13th cruise and definately not the "Fun" Ship/trip/experience that we have grown to love. Where has the "fun" gone? The Dream was beautiful, but ... Read More
We were on the Carnival Dream May 22-29 to the Eastern Car. This was our 13th cruise and definately not the "Fun" Ship/trip/experience that we have grown to love. Where has the "fun" gone? The Dream was beautiful, but it seems the Carnival Marketing people have forgotten about the age of the people who are paying for the trips. The laid back, steel drums, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley mood is GONE. It has been replaced by flashing lazer lights and extremely loud, rap influenced music. Maybe that is why we had to stop two times to have "sick" people evacuated from the ship (we thought about jumping into the rescue boat ourselves!). Also, a passenger was missing for a period of time which was a little un-nerving. Thinking what we would have a table for two, we tried the "Your time" dining. It is very uncomfortable because you are taken to a table of 4, 6 or 8 who are at all different stages of their meals. Some may be ordering appetizers while others are having desserts. People are constantly coming and going and the wait staff seems to be very preoccupied and not very customer friendly.(This wasn't their fault and they were doing their best to do their jobs). During the week we talked to several couples in our age bracket who were also experienced cruisers who shared our feelings that the changes in music had drastically affected the "Mood" of the trip. We have already booked our next cruise, but it will be on Norweign. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
A SWEET DREAM... We sailed the E. Caribbean Route on the Dream from May 8 - May 15, , and loved every minute of it. We had read the poor reviews and were worried as many have said they were too. So, quickly, I will report what we ... Read More
A SWEET DREAM... We sailed the E. Caribbean Route on the Dream from May 8 - May 15, , and loved every minute of it. We had read the poor reviews and were worried as many have said they were too. So, quickly, I will report what we experienced. And thanks to those who did write reviews for Cruise Critics.. I poured over them for months. EMBARKTATION....Easy. People living close to the Port, and driving in were apparently called by Carnival, and told to arrive early. We did. We were told to be there by 10:30 and we were. We waited a few moments after doing our registration, then we were boarded. We were sitting on the Lido Deck, eating pizza by a little after 11:00 am. I kid you not. CABIN....The Cabins were open by 1:30pm. We had a balcony on the Panorama Deck. Everything worked. The Cabin was cleaned a little late each day, but the young woman who cleaned it was working across the hall, and when she did see to the cabin, ..it was spotless. We had occasion to request two small services, and she immediately saw that they were done. We tipped her extra as we thought she did a fine job. The only problem we had was navigating from the Panorama Deck to the Dining Areas on the Lido Deck and on Deck Three. We would go down to Deck Five..walk across and then take the Elevator down to three. I am sure there is an easier way, but we did not discover it. Other than that, the Cabin was about as nice as it gets. SHIP SAFETY DRILL....We met in the Theater. We did not bring life jackets. We saw a demonstration of how to use the jacket, then saw a film on the correct use, how to board a tender and such. EXCELLENT. MUCH BETTER THAN THE OLD WAY. DINING—We had fixed seating, Early dining on Deck Three, Scarlet Restaurant. Our Table was 505. We sat with a lovely couple from Missouri, and we enjoyed catching up with them each night and hearing of their adventures. The Wait Staff was pleasant, competent...We tipped them extra too, for their above and beyond the call of duty excellent service. The Food was from OK..to good..to very good. The Biggest Surprise was the Grilled Porkchop EntrEe. . It was huge, cooked to perfection and delicious. We thought the food portions were larger than in the past. We liked that. We did not order any double entrees ( except DH on Lobster night), I left full each evening, we did not do any late night snacks and controlled our weight pretty well, while eating what we wanted too at mealtimes. I thought the Cappuccino Pie was delicious. The Pork Ribs are very good. No One seemed unhappy with their meals and I cannot remember a night when my entrEe turned out to be a stinker. The Rolls were good. I missed the dried tomato rolls they had on The Freedom, but I still managed to knock back a roll or two at dinner. We also ate breakfast in the same MDR. The grits were done to perfection,. not too thick, not too runny. My DH had three eggs fried each day. The coffee was great. I wish I had that to wake up to every morning. I HIGHLY recommend the MDR for breakfast. LIDO. THE GATHERING, THE PASTA BAR, THE LANAI BBQ. -The BBQ on deck Five was bad. We thought the food was bad, the sliders tasted like they had mystery meat in them, the chips had dips that I never heard of., and .I may be a yokel but some salsa,.some bean dip, would have been better than runny green chili sauces or thick orange ones. There was no desert there and I did not see any salads. NEEDS FIXING, . The Pasta Bar. Again, I did not like the food, except for the Garlic Bread. I could make a meal on that heavenly bread. The Gathering was pretty good. I usually had Pizza for me(.Rustica which is divine)..and DH had a hamburger and hotdog from the grill., We both loved them. I had the fried chicken from the Buffet on day for lunch and it was very good. I also did the Salad bar several times and the selection of veggies and fruits was good. The Blue Cheese Dressing was very good. The Chocolate Chip Cookes on the dessert bar in the Gathering melted in our mouths. YOU HAVE TO TRY ONE.. We went up every day..and ate them, and the ice cream. The Ice Cream Machine is inside, an attendant monitors it for cleanness, and I saw a lot more adults walking around with cones. We certainly indulged. for the first time ever on a Carnival Ship. I think most reasonable people would be very satisfied with the Food on the Dream. SHOW PRODUCTIONS...We saw all three musical numbers. "Get ReadY' was the MoTown Show and we thought it good. "Dancing in the Streets" has some acrobatic dancers that truly give that show a new dimension. It was very good. Our Favorite was the country music show. The :"Fiddler" who did some special numbers in the Country Show was very good. I thought the Dance and Singing Troupes did a very good job. The crowds were good each night. I did not see any of the conflicts reported on getting a seat. For the Country and Western Show, My DH and I went to the second row where we saw some seats. When we asked if they were "saved", the answer was NO. So we had a great seat. We arrived about 20 minutes early for each Show. We always sat in a good seat on Deck 3. I always saw some empty seats up on the Upper Decks, even to when the Shows opened. I saw great crowds.,.but no mass mobbing,..nothing like that. We did not see any of the comedy acts nor did we visit the Comedy Club. But passengers we talked too raved about the Comedy Club. It was very popular. SHIP ACTIVITIES: ..There were so many activities, it would be impossible to do them all. Miniature Golf, a basketball court, two pools, an Adults only area, pool games and trvia, pingpong tournament, cooking demonstrations, art auctions, shopping, the casino, etc. The Casino is big, modern and the slots are very tight. Very tight. We played a lot of Trivia with Mark, James and Megan. A lot of other people showed up to play too..and the turnout made it more competitive and fun. Some of the Trivia was ordinary stuff, but Super Trivia, which was played on Sea Days was different. It involved tough questions, a huge dice ball thing and it drew such big crowds that we had trouble finding a seat. MARK--..JAMES---..MEGAN.—A.SHOUT OUT TO YOU FOR MAKING OUR CRUISE SO MUCH FUN,..AND FOR THE NICE PEOPLE WE MET AT YOUR ACTIVITIES. They just were superb. We will cruise with them again... POOL AND CHAIR HOGS...We did not use the pool. We live in Florida and avoid the direct sun. But, I noted that the chairs around the main pool were popular, but there could always be seen empty chairs. The areas on the Panaroma Deck had a lot of empty loungers. My DH checked out Serenity and he said it was full. The Weather was perfect the days we were in Port, and I think the people who visited Beaches in the Bahamas, St. Martin, St. Thomas or St. Johns had an excellent time. A lot of sunburned folks were running around that night. Take Sun Screen. BIG SCREEN MOVIE...Avatar was shown one night. It was also shown in the rooms and I did see some of it. The Selection of movies seemed good to me. They had the GI Joe Movie on for the kids one night. I liked the balance they in Movies., .some for the family, other a little more mature. PROBLEMS... I did smell the "smell", which is a sewer smell, but not any more than on any other ship. It was not often, it was fleeting, and it just was not a problem. Elevators were a problem. Give yourself extra time at dinner time, show time and excursion time to get an elevator. They were crowded at peak times. If you can walk the stairs, do that. It will control your weight too. Everything else seemed better than expectations. We had a wonderful time. We really did. DISEMBARKTATION....We were given zones the night before. We were told the night before where to go and wait after breakfast. We got up, ate on the Lido Deck, went to the 3rd. Floor to the Theater, which was our assigned place, and within fifteen minutes we were called. We were off the ship, driving home by 8:30am. I kid you not. Carnival has this down pat. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
After reading so many negative comments about the Dream, I want to say we throughly enjoyed the experience. There was only "the smell" at Port Canaveral as we were disembarking. There were PLENTY of chairs anytime night or day - ... Read More
After reading so many negative comments about the Dream, I want to say we throughly enjoyed the experience. There was only "the smell" at Port Canaveral as we were disembarking. There were PLENTY of chairs anytime night or day - the first few rows by the pool were occupied, but many were open all over the ship. The food lines were not a problem with so many choices - main dining room, Lido buffet, outside BBQ, Tandori Grill, Pasta Bar, Deli, the salad bar in in Ocean Plaza, sushi bar, Mongolian Wok, plus all the poolside hamburgers, chicken and hotdogs. These were all open for lunch. If it was crowded, just go somewhere else. The longest wait was at the Pasta bar, but they take your order and you sit at your table until they deliver it to you. The captain kept great communication with the passengers - especially both times they had to come to a stop in the middle of the ocean to let a passenger off for medical reasons. We were made aware of the situation and assured of no disturbance of port times as soon as the situation was under control. I had my Carnival hair dryer to spark and pop in my stateroom - within 5 minutes, maintenance was there to correct it. I was impressed. We enjoyed the balcony. I was concerned that the Lanai would be annoying and loud below us, but we had no problems at all. We actually enjoyed watching the chess games 2 stories down from our balcony. The spa tubs were closed at 8PM, so that was not a problem. The Lanai was wonderful for wheelchair bound passengers as they could completely encompass the ship and had much freedom to do so. We had Caesar and Emillio serve us in the main dining room. They were excellent, bringing us new dishes to "try" every meal. There was even a situation at the table next to us where a couple was fighting and throwing silverware - Caesar handled the situation quickly and efficiently before anyone was hurt. He seemed to actually enjoy serving us each night. We did not attend most of the shows, since we prefer music instead of breakdancing and singers screaming out notes. We did see Julie and Julia on the big screen. There was plenty of room, and the volume was such that all could hear, but not overwhelming. Port Canaveral is by far the most efficient port in handling so many passengers in a short amount of time. We did certainly enjoy our cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
Review of the Carnival Dream sailing on 5-1-10 (It is a long review and we specifically addressed previous negatives in the section at the end.) We are a couple in our 50's and 60's who cruise 3-4 times a year, always on ... Read More
Review of the Carnival Dream sailing on 5-1-10 (It is a long review and we specifically addressed previous negatives in the section at the end.) We are a couple in our 50's and 60's who cruise 3-4 times a year, always on Carnival. This was our 12th cruise with Carnival. We picked the Dream because we like the big ships and this was the biggest and newest so we booked it. We were a little discouraged after reading the bad reviews, but overall the negative comments seemed petty so we were sure we would have a great cruise. We cruise to be together, rarely go to games or shows, preferring instead to just spend time together for the most part. We do not lie out in the sun so chair hogs are not a problem for us. This was the Western itinerary going to Cozumel, Isla Roatan, Costa Maya and Belize. We had previously been to all the ports except Isla Roatan. We started our trip on Wednesday driving down to Syracuse NY to stay overnight for our early morning flight on DELTA. Flight was uneventful and we landed in Orlando on schedule with all our luggage. We rented a car from Thrifty to drive to Canaveral, use until cruise day and drop off and catch their shuttle to the port. ($118.00 for 2 days unlimited mileage - booked direct on their website, we had a Dodge Grand Caravan) We arrived in Canaveral (about 35 minute drive) and went to our hotel Radisson at the port. Great hotel, we booked a 2 room Jacuzzi suite for the two nights ($143.00/night for two nights booked directly with the hotel) Great location, close to all the rental car places, stores and liquor stores nearby for last minute purchases. Plenty of places to eat as well.. Thursday night we ate at Fishlips, a sports bar/resturant/outdoor eatery. We got the fish fry which was $12.50 each and huge portions. The other menu items (fish) were all in the $25-$35 price range with nothing in between. On Friday we went to the Kennedy Space center but didn't go in - they wanted $100 for both of us to get in and included, rides and special tours we didn't want. We just wanted a museum. We were told, it was all or nothing - pay the price and spend the entire day there or don't go. (The Space center is outsourced to a tour company we were told) We ended up at the Astronaut Hall of Fame which was great, just what we were looking for.; ($18.00/person) Friday evening we met our Cruise critic group at the Radisson for a meet and greet (we had several things planned with the roll call members) SAT - EMBARKATION DAY - Dropped our rental car off and they took us to the port free. Radisson has a shuttle but they don't run it until 11:30am and that is too late for us. We ignored the call we got from Carnival telling us to get there between 1:30pm-3:00pm - done that before, it's a nightmare, we like early. Incidentally, everyone got the call to be there at that time like it was a special time for them, wrong. Luckily we went between 10:45am and 11:00am. We have priority boarding as we are Platinum, and that went fine. The ship is big and beautiful. Very clean, no smells that we noticed. We had an aft balcony 7467. Very nice with a nice size balcony. The aft cabins seem bigger on the Dream than previous ships we have had aft cabins on.. Our ship stewards were Jose & Koko and they introduced themselves that first day, learned our routine and everything was to perfection in our cabin all week. Had lunch on the Lido - hubby went to the Deli and had a sandwich (no wait at 12:30pm) I had the buffet and waited on no real line either. It was a little close with everyone walking around carrying luggage, but this improved after the rooms were ready. We are not Spa people per se, but we decided to try the spa package to use the steam rooms and thallo pool at $249.00/couple for the week. While the facilities were very nice, there was so much else going on throughout the ship that we managed to get up to the Spa once in the 7 days. (Certainly not very cost effective for us --$124 each for one visit- therefore we would not buy into the spa again, although if you use it a lot, it would be very nice.) Safety drill was painless - no more dragging and donning germ infested life jackets and standing like sardines in the hot muster stations. Went to the dining room where an employee demonstrated the life jackets and told us where to go. The only down side was the fact that even though we cruised 12 times, this is the first time we left the drill, not really sure where to go and since we didn't actually go to the station itself, we didn't really know where it was. We had early dining 6pm and we requested a table for two that we had. Our waiter were Punta and Julie at table 461 in the Lower Scarlett Dining room. All the food we had in the dining room for the entire cruise was great. (for that matter everything we ate on the ship was great) SUN - SEA DAY This was our first full day on board and a sea day. We arose early and had ordered room service for breakfast as is our tradition to eat on our balcony. Arrived when we asked for it and everything was in order. We spent the morning exploring the large beautiful ship. Everything is new and nice. We found it easy to navigate as it is laid out like the other large carnival ships with the 5th deck Lanai being the key to getting from the front to the back. You can also walk the outside Lanai deck all the way around the ship as well as use the promenade inside to get from front to back. You can also do this on any of the cabin decks, just not the public decks with the dining room blocking the middle) The gym is in the front and is separate from the "Spa package/cabin" areas and free. It seemed smaller than other ships and every time I was up there the machines were all in use. I never had to wait but it does seem a little small for the amount of guests on the ship because much of the room is taken up by the "pay for" spa area. Waterslides were opened most of the day, everyday (until 6pm) and were a lot of fun. We did go down them and the twister slide is very nice. The big drainpipe slide is a little harder on an out of shape person in their 50's as the landing in the drainpipe itself is unpredictable and you do end up being tossed around in the drainpipe area. It is also difficult to get your footing to get out of the drainpipe once you come to a stop. The twister slide is great for all but I would not advise anyone with neck or back problems to try the drainpipe slide. We specifically observed the buffet areas to check for the lines everyone complained of in previous reviews. Our observation is we never saw any lines in the aft part of the Gatherings buffet dining room. We had an aft cabin so we mostly went down the elevator and ended up in the back part of the buffet dining area where there were never any lines. We were there eating breakfast between 8am and 9am several days on the cruise and we walked up to empty omelet stations with no lines and no lines at all for the buffet. (I do believe everyone crowds in the part of the buffet dining area closest to the middle of the ship (and mid pool) and they never realize that the other half is empty) Therefore all week we waited on not one line. We even were up there at 12 noon and waited on no line. (I do a picture review on Smug Mug and I took several pictures of this in our cruise journal www.susanrita-cruising.com) This was the day that our cruise critic roll call group had planned a private party with Carnival with an open bar from 1pm to 3pm in the Song Lounge. We never really knew you could do this or what it would cost so here is the info. One of our group on the roll call was in charge of this. She contacted carnival and made all the arrangement ahead of time. It cost $33.00 a couple and was open bar. We figured they would give us one bartender and it would be hard to get any specialty drinks. That was not the case. There were about 5 bartenders and there was no wait for drinks - you could order any drinks and they made it for you. It was a great deal, we thought. It was a great time and we drank so much we ended up sleeping through our 6pm dining time in the dining room. We hate dressing up on vacation and tonight was "elegant night" so we didn't feel like we missed anything. We went to the buffet instead this evening. We did miss the first Slot tournament that we usually go to because it was the same time as this party. MON - COZUMEL We always go to Nachi Cocam beach club in Cozumel - it is not offered through Carnival so we took a taxi there. $49.00/person through Island Marketing and it is open bar (drinks are not strong at all here) and food to order is included. Manuel was our waiter for the day as he was in previous trips here. He remembered us and we had a great time. They have a pool as well as nice beach and you could buy "extras in the way of massages, snorkeling trips, rent jet skies, and parasailing) We did not do anything extra, just relaxed. We ate in the dining room tonight and food as always was good. We have heard bad things about the dining room but our experience was great. Food was served promptly and was hot when it should be and cold if it was supposed to be. The waiters did seem to have a lot of tables to wait on and were often "running around" but everything was great for us. One thing we noticed was no singing waiters every night. This is a good thing as far as we were concerned. We always thought that singing waiters EVERY night were a bit much and distracted from the dining experience so we never liked it and on previous cruises fled the dining room as soon as they "flashed the lights" to signal the start of the singing. One night is OK but not every night. We were glad they changed this. One thing we did notice is that the table are so close together, it is difficult to walk in the dining room when everyone is seated. There is no room to walk and you had to disturb people to move their chairs or stand so you could pass by. For this reason, we were often bumped when waiters passed and with the closeness, entire filled trays were passed over your head frequently. Drinks orders are taken by the waiters and better coordinated and drink orders were filled promptly (a problem on previous ships we were on) We went to the casino tonight for the first time. The casino is huge, takes up both sides of the ship and is noticeably larger than on even the other large carnival ships. Gambled here playing video poker and won some and lost some - never felt cheated and did have fun. They use the cashless system for gambling now completely so no more barrels of dirty quarters. A woman did win $10,000 on one of the slot machines during the cruise. Also since most of the casino is smoke free, it was very nice for non smokers (us). The did have a small smoking section and no smoking was enforced well throughout the rest of the casino. TUESDAY - Isla Raotan - We had no excursions here and had planned to get off the ship just to go to the beach at Mahogany Bay. Not sure what the problem was here, but we were unable to dock at Mahoney Bay. The captain made an announcement but it is difficult to hear announcements in the aft cabins and we heard only part of the announcement when we opened our door to hear it. It didn't seem that windy so it might have been currents that were the problem. They did cancel and refund people who had carnival excursions related to Mahogany Bay (cabanas) but all other excursions from Carnival went from the Town Center where we did dock. People with private tours had some problems because we were now docked somewhere else but it is a small island and word spread quickly. I do believe that the private tour groups did get word and came to the new location. Because of the change the Captain stayed in port 1 extra hour so everyone could have more time here. We got off the boat just to go to the small shopping area and got back on - not much to see here and no beach. Tonight we went to the Dancing in the Streets show that everyone raved about in previous reviews. We are not show people and this was the first time we went to a show (we have never been to one in our previous 12 cruises) We got there early (45 minutes) as there were issues with getting seats we were told. We went right from the dining room (6pm dinner) to our room and then went to the theater. Got seats easily on the second level (Our preference - it seemed like you would not see as much on the main level) They did dance in the main level in the audience so we were glad to be on the second level. Not sure if carnival was policing this, but we did not see people blocking and saving rows of seats that have been previously reported. The show was very good and there is certainly a lot of talent there with all the performers. WEDNESDAY - BELIZE - Woke up today and the cabin seemed very hot in the morning. Later we found out that the air conditioner went down on the ship at 4:30am. It was up and running by 7:30am and we all received letters about what happened in our cabins later in the morning.. We have been to Belize before and we were not impressed. We made no plans to get off here and had planned to use it as a sea day. This is a tender port and a short time here so there were a lot of announcements in regard to the tendering off the ship. Did not hear any complaints about the process around the ship. We used today to go the "spa for our steam room and thallo pool" since we paid for it. Like I said, it was nice but this was the only time we went. The ship itself has a lot of whirlpools that were always pretty empty so we used them instead of going to the spa. As we said the extra fee was wasted on us. We also went in the pools today in the afternoon. It did seem like a lot of people did not go into Belize today (probably because of the tendering and short time here) THURSDAY - COSTA MAYA - Again, been here before (before it was rebuilt after the hurricane) and did not plan any excursions here. We docked here and just got off to look around. A very nice port area with 2 pools and beach area. We find the beaches in Costa Maya to be not as nice as other beaches in the Caribbean especially in the way of clean water and sandy bottom. Costa Maya tends to have weedy bottoms and a lot of coral on the beaches. We did not go in their pools as we returned to the ship and went in the ship pools. Tonight was the past guest party in the theater . Early seating guests were at 3:45pm and late seating was 8:15pm. Usual free drinks and finger foods. We did receive ship pins as we were Platinum, but the regular past guests did not receive them. We did see bigger, different pins for sale in the gift shop. Since we ate and drank at the party, we really weren't hungry so we skipped the dining room tonight (not a sacrifice as it was dress up night again.) We ate at the buffet at 8pm and again, no lines at all in the aft buffet area. FRIDAY - SEA DAY - This was the second slot tournament (we missed the first because of our private party) and we used it to relax. We made a point to eat at the Lanai barbecue today for lunch. It was good, but not our favorite. There was also a chocolate extravaganza at lunch on the buffet that was not advertised at all. It seems to be a secret and by the time we found out it existed, we had already eaten. Look for it across from the Mongolian wok on the last sea day. There was a farewell party at 5pm today with free drinks for an hour SATURDAY - Debarktation - Painless, we had zone one because of Platinum status and we were off the boat by 7:30pm. Everyone else seemed to be getting off quickly as well. There was a curious thing with this Port. We travel a lot and go through customs a lot. Always, including previous cruises, we had to have all our luggage in our possession when we went through customs and handed them our form. They then could open and go through the luggage if they wanted to. If there was a problem, possession of the bag implied you were aware of everything in in. On the Dream we went through customs with only our carry on luggage and then went to get our luggage. When we had our luggage, we were done, we never brought it through customs. I do know they scan luggage with drug sniffing dogs etc but it was strange to go through customs without you luggage although it made the line go much faster. As for the specialty places to eat: Mongolian Wok - this is the mid buffet area where we rarely were and we didn't try it because there were plenty of other places to eat - we saw some short lines when we walked through at this area. On the last sea day of the cruise, we saw the most lines and there were about 15 people in line for this area during peak lunch time. Pizza - We are used to this being in the aft area on other ships but on the Dream it is around the mid pool where we never got a chance to try it - did not really see lines when we passed. Deli - This was in the aft area and we never saw too many people on line. Had sandwiches here and they were delicious. Tandoor Grille - this Indian food place was in the aft pool area and rarely looked crowded. We have never had Indian food and it smelled a bit spicy so we didn't try it. We didn't hear anyone complain about the food here. Hamburger grille - right by the mid pools and we saw very short lines here. Hamburgers/fries/hot dogs/etc. We ate here once and it was very good. (12 noon on the Belize day and there was no one there for a line so I walked up and got my food) On the last sea day at peak lunch time there were about 15-20 people waiting for this area but the line moved fast. Burrito station - Good, lines not to bad - Mexican food is not our favorite so we didn't eat here but others reported good food here. Lanai barbecue - Ate here once as it is only opened on sea days and we made a point to eat here on the last sea day. It was good. The down side was it was so windy that day we couldn't sit outside and just like the incredible annoying wind on the side balconies, the side Lanai was no different. Inside seating was full so we took our food up to the regular buffet area and sat there. Although not very bad, the sea days had more noticeable crowds but nothing worse than other ships we have been on. Pasta station - hands down this is the BEST eating on the ship. Order when you arrive and hand your paper to the cook and sit down. Within 5 minutes, delicious pasta made to order. We did lunch here, 3 out of the 7 days and had to force ourselves to try different eatery places because this would be the only place we would eat in - good every time. NOTE: They have drinks up in the pasta area but no desserts - they are down the stairs at the buffet area. This means when you are finished with eating your pasta, if you want dessert, you have to go downstairs to get it and bring it up or find a table downstairs to sit at. After the first day we solved this by getting dessert and bringing it upstairs to the pasta bar to eat when we got done. Buffet itself - like we noted we ate here breakfast a couple of time - lunch once or twice (when we weren't at the pasta bar) and dinner twice. Standard carnival buffet - plenty of different selections, everything was good. We missed the Chocolate extravaganza that was not advertised and in the mid part of the buffet area on the last sea day. It is across from the Mongolian wok station and easily missed. We had already eaten but we did look at it. They had a lot of chocolate and chocolate related things. General observations and addressing previous complaints: Gym- Because of the room needed for the "pay for Spa" the free gym area with the machines is very small, in fact it is much smaller than any previous Carnival ship we have been on. With more people on the ship, if you get a group that uses the gym a lot, you will seriously have big waits for machine. Luckily, there was not a lot of "gym" people on our cruise. Spa package for non spa cabins - Bought the spa couples package for the week at $249./couple. Would not do this again. While the Spa, thallo pool, and saunas were wonderful, there was so much to do we only made it up to the Spa once. This makes our one visit cost $124 / each.. There are plenty of whirlpool all around the ship, many times they are empty. We just never got a chance to go up there. If you are a spa/sauna person you will love it, we just didn't use it enough to offset the expense. Internet - The packages actually got cheaper than they have been on previous cruises. We usually buy 240 minutes to use with our laptop. It was $89.00 this time (previously it was $100). That used to be the most you could buy. They did add a 480 minute package for $159.00. Internet wireless was available throughout the ship and they had FunHubs in several prominent places instead of a internet cafe hidden away and hard to find. The wireless worked great in our aft cabin and several carnival sites were free to use without using your minutes. The speed is actually faster than our DSL hughes.net at home (which is terrible), but if you are used to roadrunner, you will think it is slow. I did upload many pictures and it is much faster than the past. Smells - We did not small anything problematic during the week. We have been on 12 cruises and there is always a fleeting smell if the wind is blowing just right. For us the worst ship we were on for this was the Victory. The Dream was free of bad smells and I was looking for them because it was so covered in the reviews. Once I think I got a vague whiff of something as I was climbing the staircase to the slides when we were docked in Belize. Personally, it is a ship and I really think people do not stop to think that Carnival has to treat the sewage onboard and there is probably smells from time to time that are generated. As we said, we smelled them at various times on all ships Crowds and lines - Did not find a problem here at all. Maybe we are just on a different schedule that other people but this was not a issue for us. Like I said, I actually took pictures to illustrate this. We found plenty of seats in the buffet areas in the aft part of the buffet dining room. Walked up and got omelets even at 9am in the aft buffet and there was no one on line. There were plenty of workers in the buffet area and tables were cleaned promptly. The last sea day there were more people and we saw some light line ups at lunchtime but no worse than other ships we have been on. Sometimes there was congestion by the elevators like going down to deck zero to get off and on the ship or times when the dining rooms were just opened or a show got out. We used the stairs or just walked to a different bank of elevators. Size of the ship - We loved the big ship and found it was good for "incidental exercise" as you walked the length of the ship. It is noticeably larger than even the size class of ship right below this one. I do think this would not be your ship if you had mobility problems as it is larger and there is more a hike to get places. They have also crowded a lot of tables in the dining room and buffet areas making it tricky to navigate if you were in a wheelchair or scooter. There were a few scooter and wheelchair people on board that we saw but not a lot. We were also lucky in that it is not a time that a lot of kids were out of school so there were only a few kids on board and they were well behaved. We did see unsupervised kids in various places that were behaving but were putting themselves in some danger. Several times we saw kids in the Lanai whirlpools either alone or with just another kid (both looked about 9 or 10) using the whirlpools alone. While well behaved, it is still risky for children as they were diving under the water. There seemed to be no employees in the area of the Lanai whirlpools when they were open which is probably risky. Luggage - We locked our checked luggage and it arrived unopened without any tampering. We did not smuggle anything on board but we had on suitcase with a lot of liquid mouthwash, shampoo, etc and no one called us down to open it. We had a battery operated fan in our carry on luggage that was not looked at or questioned. We brought 2 - 12 packs of soda and 2 bottles of wine in our carry on (the allowable amounts) and they were neither looked at or questioned. We also had a outlet converter with extra plugs that was not questioned. Some people in our cruise critic roll call did have beer confiscated from their checked luggage. It was my understanding that they had cases of it in their checked luggage. We did also hear of people having liquor in their checked luggage in liquor bottles confiscated. They had zip ties on their luggage that were cut and a note was left in their luggage. Like I said, we had TSA locks that were not touched. Drink coupons - We bought the drink coupons from Bon Voyage that we always buy for cruises. They have always been worth $5. 95 and in the past a pina colada or special drink cost us nothing extra. This has always been inconsistent with some people who said they were charged the difference. I had 8 coupons I bought and 50% of the time, my coupon was charged nothing extra for a pina colada. 25% of the time I was charged $1.95 extra and 25% of the time I was charge $3.95 extra. This was all for the same drink in the same glass. The pool area charged the most. All and all, this was a wonderful cruise. We would love to cruise on the Dream again as it was a wonderful ship. I really had to think hard to come up with any negatives for this cruise, it was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
This was our 4th cruise, 3rd on Carnival. We traveled with my sister and her family- all first timers, to see how they would like it.The good news is that they all had a wonderful time and plan to go on another cruise in the future. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise, 3rd on Carnival. We traveled with my sister and her family- all first timers, to see how they would like it.The good news is that they all had a wonderful time and plan to go on another cruise in the future. Ecstasy is small compared to the other ships in the fleet. While I missed the spaciousness of ships like Conquest, it would be ideal for anyone who has difficulty walking distances. The ship has nearly everything available on the larger ships, just in a more compact form. It does not have an upscale specialty dining restaurant. Cabin U69 is a modified, not fully accessible, ocean view cabin. The only changes were a wider door, a somewhat lower bathroom step up, and a fold-down shower seat. It just barely worked for us. Although we had confirmed early seating for dinner, we were assigned to Anytime Dining upon arrival. It worked well for our group, but I really prefer the regular seating. It is nicer to get to know people over several days and the service is more personal. Anytime Dining feels more like going to a restaurant rather than cruising. I have also noticed a huge downgrade in the formality, menus, and special touches (like the elaborate midnight buffet) fleet wide since our 1st cruise in 2003. At least they still have the towel animals. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
Well, we're probably the "odd couple" but we were very, very disappointed with this particular cruise. We prefer the casual mode of travel. After years of professional life it's nice to be able to kick back and travel ... Read More
Well, we're probably the "odd couple" but we were very, very disappointed with this particular cruise. We prefer the casual mode of travel. After years of professional life it's nice to be able to kick back and travel light. However, on the Glory, this proved more of a challenge than a comfort. We usually enjoy meals on the Lido deck but, from our experience of this trip, the food offered on the Lido deck was colorful but, for the most part, lacked flavor. Plates were dirty and had encrusted food on them. When I brought these concerns to the Food and Beverage Manager's attention his response was a "public faced" apology...blah, blah, blah....he never addressed or corrected the problem. Found the design of the ship to be not too "user friendly"...all in all, think it's the last Carnival has seen of us...they don't ever recognize the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) the only service animals permitted are for the visually impaired...ho hum.... Carnival nor any other cruise line is obligated to honor the ADA since they are not registered in the USA...BUT - their primary market is from the USA. Found it very interesting also that Carnival now no longer presents "Adult" shows in the theater but, rather, has now put them in club venues where from our perspective, it is implied that you should buy drinks to enjoy the shows. Found guest services less than helpful on the Glory. However, our hats are off to Jorge, the Cruise Director!   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
SIZE does matter, this ship is big. Dream designed for 3600 passengers had 4700 as most cabins come with extra beds and it was family cruise time. How did it affect us, elevators were a constant wait, each venture out of cabin required ... Read More
SIZE does matter, this ship is big. Dream designed for 3600 passengers had 4700 as most cabins come with extra beds and it was family cruise time. How did it affect us, elevators were a constant wait, each venture out of cabin required elevator travel. Not just a wait for slow elevator but having to ride wrong direction because too many of the opening doors revealed they were full, computer on elevator obliged to stop for our call but didn't have sense to know it was full. Only thing worse than a slow elevator is no elevator when power went off, 14 decks of stairs was possible for those not in wheel chairs as every landing we passed had one waiting. Dream had a power failure and 30 minutes later someone assures the people stuck in elevators that they were working on the problem, it did come back on in less than a hour, but must have seemed longer since no a/c. Deck levels needed: 3 for dining restaurant, 10 for cafeteria, 5 for sushi bar 4 for library,5 for casino, clubs,11 for spa 15 for Serenity, adult only deck but that needed a transfer as only elevator to it was within the spa on 11. Not being young and fit, walking the 1,000 ft corridor forward to aft was a chore. The two formal restaurants with waiters were on deck 3,4 but one was central while the other was aft, the after dinner entertainment theatre was all the way forward. the lounges with late night comedy shows were aft. 1000+1000+1000+1000 and back to the room 1,000 or about a mile on moving decks either with carpet or tile. We noticed lost people every day, even on debarking a lady asked, "are we walking right way to forward area". Only place to know where you are is a floor and deck plan located by elevator banks for each deck, very easy to get confused without fore and aft or port and starboard indicators. Carnival cutting back on paper decided not to have deck layout plans readily available they did give small deck level drawing, but customer relations desk had to hunt up a floor plan for the missing info. We enjoyed the ship most while in port, even tried to watch a movie on giant screen, worked until returning passengers filled the tiny pool and noise competed with sound system. Lots of hot tubs on board but they didn't need to heat them here in the tropics. Reason for time of cruise was to celebrate G-son's graduation, from now on we will go back to cruises while schools are still in session. We couldn't hear general announcements due to good sound proofing of door, but I know the in room speaker worked as we did hear a couple of messages looking for individuals. Had to prop door open with dead bolt to be able to hear debarkation announcements. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2010
After a year of detailed planning, our family embarked on a 50th wedding anniversary cruise aboard the Carnival Pride. The cruise departed from the Port of Baltimore on July 18, 2010, with scheduled stops at Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and ... Read More
After a year of detailed planning, our family embarked on a 50th wedding anniversary cruise aboard the Carnival Pride. The cruise departed from the Port of Baltimore on July 18, 2010, with scheduled stops at Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport, Bahamas. The cruise was a wonderful family bonding experience and a great opportunity for family members to reconnect with others living some distance away. This alone was well worth the expense of the voyage. The convenience and efficiency of the Port of Baltimore operations was also an unexpected pleasure. I only wish the same could be said of the Carnival Pride and much of her crew. In the opinion of this nine time cruiser, the Pride is clearly showing her age and this elderly ship is in great need of updating and renovation. Her crew is in dire need of rejuvenation or replacement. One major area in need of prompt attention, the Security Department, and numerous other relatively minor inconveniences, seriously detracted from the potential of a fun experience. I had heard unconfirmed rumors that Carnival ships did not live up to the standards of other lines but I relented, upon perhaps mistaken advice of my travel consultant, and booked the family celebration on the Pride. The most compelling reasons for booking the Pride was the convenience of the Baltimore departure and a seven day cruise length that went somewhere other than Bermuda. Unfortunately, this trip on the Carnival Pride was clearly the worst experience of all my other eight cruises, including wonderful voyages aboard two other ships that are "World's Leading Cruise Lines" affiliates of Carnival. A more appropriate name for the Carnival Pride would be the Carnival Embarrassment. The fact that this voyage basically became the cruise to nowhere reportedly because of the threat posed by Tropical Storm Bonnie did not increase my dissatisfactions. I have experienced itinerary changes due to weather problems on prior cruises without complaint. Additionally, I've always found on previous cruises, that the ship amenities are the focus of the voyage, not the destination ports. Sadly the Pride and her crew did not live up to previous cruise experiences. I have compiled a list of 21 areas of irritation which I experienced aboard the Pride which I shared separately with Carnival. The following is a summary of some of the dissatisfactions: 1. Cleanliness and operations of the Lido/Mermaid Grill food areas were unsatisfactory and the table bussing operation there was completely inefficient. During the busiest meal times, dirty tables went uncleaned for extended periods of time while diners searched for an open table. The busing staff was basically absent. Equipment at the Lido Grill was also a problem as at least one juice/water station was out of operation during each meal and the ice machines were usually out of ice. Additionally, on all my other cruises, at restaurants similar to the Lido Grill, wait staff delivered water, juice and coffee to diners at their table. The Pride does not do this though such service would have eliminated one of the problems discussed in the next item below. Also, Ice cream is available 24 hours a day but after about 11 PM, there were usually no cones nor clean dishes and utensils to use at the ice cream dispensers. 2. The food stations layouts in the Lido Grill buffet area are inefficient requiring passengers to visit a minimum of three stations to obtain a complete meal. Then passengers with trays of food were forced to cross thru lines of other passengers awaiting service leading to confusion and frequent accidents. Though more time consuming, taking breakfast and lunch in the main dining room is a far better experience that the Lido/Mermaid Grill. 3. The food in the Lido Grill, and to a lesser extent the Normandie Restaurant, looked tired and aged, far below the appetizing presentation standards of other cruise lines. 4. Many of the bar and wait staff crew members' proficiency in English was sadly lacking. This apparently contributed to the generally inhospitable demeanor of the bar staff. 5. Special requests were often not fulfilled. As an example, three of the suites assigned to my family were adjoining. As soon as we boarded ship, a request was made to open the balcony separators so the family could gather on an elongated balcony. One divider was opened but when asked why the second one wasn't the maintenance crew reported that they were out of clips to secure the open divider. Perhaps innovation such as tying it open with a rope could have taken care of this issue. But not by the Carnival Pride crew. 6. David's restaurant featured exquisite food and impeccable service and is well worth the extra fee. But don't do so with a group of more than 6 people as they can't guarantee that your group will sit together and the maitre d' wouldn't lift a finger to accommodate us. In fact, I was called a liar, without justification, by the head person. I didn't know I was supposed to pay extra to be insulted. Another dissatisfier is that the red glass dome covering the restaurant and the blinding early evening sun make the restaurant too hot and uncomfortable for an enjoyable meal. Then, to sit in front of a totally nude statue of David with young family members present is not my idea of a wholesome family experience. David's Steak House is a good idea poorly executed. 7. Everywhere you looked, Carnival nickel and dimed the passengers. For example, at the Lido Grill breakfast buffet lines you can take anything you want on your own except bacon and sausages which were served by crew to insure only two pieces of each were allowed. Additionally, two family members participated as "Carnival Legends" in the last night's show. As a gift for their performance they were promised a "free drink" by the Cruise Director. Turns out that the certificate was limited to $5.25 each and the minimum price for any drink other than beer was about $7.95. So the free drink cost them about $1.70 each. 8. I paid $35 in advance to celebrate one family member's birthday. Don't waste your money doing this. The "celebration" consisted of one small door streamer with generic "happy birthday" card hanging off it (not personalized as on other ships which provide free decorations) and two glittery streamers strung across the suite. Next time I'll go into any party store, spend $5 and get a lot more celebrating. 9. Information provided to passengers was not up to the standards I've experienced on all other cruises. For example, the ship's deck layout pocket guide was not found in the stateroom upon arrival as has been my prior experiences. After spending a couple of days learning the floor plan on my own, I discovered pocket guides lying on a bar counter. The weather forecast broadcast on stateroom television is a one line text narrative and only updated at 9 A.M. and 4 P.M. daily. The daily "Fun Times" seems to be mostly canned information about activities aboard ship which appear to be repeated daily. Fun Times doesn't provide much new news such as ship's current location, speed, distance traveled since origination, overnight course, weather at expected next port, world news headlines, and tender operations at ports of call. And almost anytime you heard the beep of the ship's public address system you could expect to hear only one of two things; either bad news/apologies from the Captain about an itinerary change or a promotional announcement of the start of yet another bingo game. 10. Shipboard entertainment, except for the Pride professional singers and dancers, was sub-standard unless you loved endless bingo promotions and games, casino gambling, and karaoke. In fairness, the shows featuring the Pride professional singers and dancers were excellent and their "Wonderful World" show was especially terrific. The remainder of the prime show time entertainment was very ordinary, with overemphasis on comedians. In addition to the extraordinarily high cost of the "on-demand" pay per view movies in staterooms, the limited selections were generally outdated. Most have long since left on-demand pay per view schedules of stateside TV outlets and are often now shown on free TV. And speaking of TV, in the absence of any other prominent news outlets on the ship, it was hoped that the stateroom TV channels could provide meaningful updates. However, the network TV shown on this Baltimore based ship emanated from Denver and featured relatively meaningless news and weather reports. Broadcasts of east coast stations would have been more appropriate. But my most serious dissatisfaction was caused by the incompetence and lack of effort on the part of the Pride's Security Department. The non-professionalism and refusal to investigate illegal activity on the part of the Pride's Security Department should be an embarrassment to the entire cruise line. Heads should roll! My 15 year old granddaughter had two terrible experiences in dealing with the Security Department which is obviously only interested in protecting Carnival Pride property but not really interested in passenger safety and security. Both involved activities related to the teen Club 02. First, at Half Moon Cay a group of Club 02 girl friends had huddled near the beach. A teen aged male threw a rock at the group of girls and hit my granddaughter on the forehead, just above the right eye. This is my granddaughter who has undergone extensive high technology tests (e.g. MRI, CAT scan) during the last six months to help resolve a yet not fully diagnosed brain disorder. The Security Department at Half Moon Cay was notified and merely treated her open head wound with alcohol (not a logical treatment for an open wound) but refused to pursue the rock thrower though many of the girls in the group knew his first name and indicated that he had attended several sanctioned Club 02 activities. A mere review of the security photos taken at boarding of teen aged boys and/or Club 02 registrants would have easily identified the rock thrower. Security refused to take any follow up action. The second incident was equally outrageous. On the last night of the cruise (Saturday) a late night event was held at Club 02. About 1 A.M., my granddaughter put her purse on a table for a moment to sign the back of a Club 02 tee shirt of one of her new friends. In an instance her purse was picked up by two young males who ran from Club 02 with the purse, containing an expensive camera and my granddaughter's ship's ID card. Several Club 02 youths chased after the thieves but eventually lost them. They felt certain they could recognize the thieves from ships photos. My granddaughter immediately reported this incident to the Club 02 counselor who promptly called Pride Security. The Security personnel took her to the security office where she was questioned for almost 2 hours and eventually only offered a new ship's ID card. Security indicated that there was no investigating that they could do as they had to prepare the ship for docking in Baltimore the following morning. Her parents visited the Security Department early the following morning and were again told that there was no investigation possible. Again all that would have been required was a photo data base search which any legitimate security department would have done. But not on the Carnival Pride. The purse and camera, with irreplaceable photo memories, were not recovered. It is obvious to me that passenger safety and security is not a function recognized by the Carnival Pride Security Department. These major security issues and the numerous other dissatisfiers detracted for a wonderful family bonding experience. I shall not quickly forget these matters nor forgive Carnival Cruise Lines for detracting from this wonderful family gathering through their incompetence, even if they did not knowingly do so. Despite the forwarding of this critique to Carnival, all I and my travel agency, Travel HQ, received was a meaningless, innocuous apology from a Carnival Cruise Lines "Guest Care" representative which didn't address the issues. I was also disappointed in the obvious ineffectiveness of Travel HQ officials in their reported attempts to redress my complaints. I would suggest any potential clients consider using agencies that have greater influence with cruise lines than Travel HQ. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
First I will say that this was my 4th cruise, 3rd with Carnival. I traveled with my wife who has cruised two times both with Carnival and we see no reason to cruise with any other cruise line,we both really like the Carnival experience. ... Read More
First I will say that this was my 4th cruise, 3rd with Carnival. I traveled with my wife who has cruised two times both with Carnival and we see no reason to cruise with any other cruise line,we both really like the Carnival experience. The Ship :Legend was all that we expected,everything went well nshipboard. Service: Cabin service was superb,not a hitch here at all,the cabin steward was poliute, friendly,helpful to a couple of seniors,she was always timely with room make ups and cleaning. Food; The food was what a person would expect on a cruise ship,we ate in the dining room only two nights preferring to visit the buffets and pizza bar. We did not see any of the entertainment because that is something that we do not enjoy. But we did sign up and participate in the "Behind the Fun" tour of the ship, I just cannot say enough about this tour,we visired the "Bridge and met the most plesant Captain fo Legend,toured all the food preparation areas, toured the engineering area where the ship was run from,vivited backstage at the entertainment room,most amazing was the tour of the ships laundry where they launder about 6,000 towels each day along with about9,000 cloth napkins daily,tablecloths,bed sheets, and crew uniforms. Another interesting stop on this tour was the big recycling department where all recyclables go to be processed.....a word....if possible make an effort to take this worthwhile tour. Ports of call: Enjpyed Cozumel and the Mayan ruins, shopping near the docks. Belize...we took a taxi on our own and had a wonderful tour of Belize City, I never realized that so mush poverty and deprivation existed there. Another tour by Taxi on our own,toured the island from end to end, 25.00 USD per person. The most plesant visit was Cayman Island, the submarine tour underwater was beautiful as well as a learning experience. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the turtle farm where sea turtles are raised from hatchlings to adult turtles right in their pools. Overall....we each commented how we enjoyed Carnival Legend. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Cruise Report - Triumph 8/16 - 8/21 A 5-day sailing from New Orleans to Progresso, Cozumel and Return Embarkation - Arrived at 11:15 AM, short lines, on the ship by 11:40!! Super Dockside Staff & Support First Alert - Zillions of ... Read More
Cruise Report - Triumph 8/16 - 8/21 A 5-day sailing from New Orleans to Progresso, Cozumel and Return Embarkation - Arrived at 11:15 AM, short lines, on the ship by 11:40!! Super Dockside Staff & Support First Alert - Zillions of Kids!! Mostly well behaved, but a few 'groups' of scruffy teens roaming about the ship. Discovery - School starts back a week or two in the future for most kids, so this was one of those 'family outing' cruises. Cabin (9206) available right at 1:30 PM as promised! Cabin Staff (Sagi & Donny) have everything properly in-order and they kept it that way for the whole time (Plus provided extra requested services promptly and with a smile) - EXCELLENT!! Sailaway - right on-time and great views of the city. Dinner - Met a very nice couple and shared a table for the duration of the cruise - new friends!! Shows - OK and passable but with the sound levels frequently at an uncomfortable BLAST!! Seriously, I had to cover my ears several times to lessen the hurt from the volume! First Alert Confirmation - On Triumph, listed as 'Guest Capacity: 2,758 (double occupancy)' the CD advised that we have over 3100 on this sailing!! Sea Day - a Fun Time with our Cabin Crawl!! Met more new CC friends and had a chance to view several cabins - several with decorations and/or refreshments. Then Progresso (excellent private day-tour in A/C sedan by William Lawson - highly recommend his services - http://lawsonsdriving.blogspot.com/) and the next day Cozumel - followed by a Sea Day back to New Orleans. Overall Impression - There are no bad cruises! Was it a good cruise? Certainly!! Did we meet new and interesting Cruise Critic folks? You Bet!! The Cabin Crawl was a lot of fun!! PLUS - the cabin staff were excellent and the dining staff did the best they could with 'way too many tables to care for each evening. However, I Goofed!!! I'll not make this cruise again!! I'm not really complaining (yes I am), but a Gulf of Mexico cruise in late August is simply unreasonable and too HOT!! I do not see how so many folks could spend the time at the pool with intense sun (temperatures over 90) and high humidity as well. So we kept to the cabin for comfort - but if I am going to spend most of my time in the air-conditioned cabin looking at TV, I might as well stayed home!! Food? Let's just say that dining at Golden Corral or Olive Garden would have been an improvement. The buffet was a ZOO for lunch - just too many folks anxious to get their food! The Deli served fine sandwiches. Evening meals were either so-so or forgetable. Room Service for breakfast (our usual request) was a surprise - ONLY juices, coffee / tea / milk, breads (danish, rolls, toast) and cold cereals - NO hot breakfast service of any kind by Room Service. But the wine and drinks were fine!! Overall - in the words of a Jimmy Buffett song: It's been a Lovely Cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
First time on the Fascination but picked a bad time with Tropical Storm Nicole bearing down on the Bahamas so we did not go to Key West at all and that was the purpose of the trip. We had never been and really looked forward to it. ... Read More
First time on the Fascination but picked a bad time with Tropical Storm Nicole bearing down on the Bahamas so we did not go to Key West at all and that was the purpose of the trip. We had never been and really looked forward to it. Docked in Nassau and got off the ship for 90 seconds as the wind picked up out ponchos and soaked us good. The captain did what he needed to do but several passengers wanted him to "walk the plank" The ship was wonderful. We still had a good time and all the food in the dining room and up on the buffets were very good. We especially liked the Mongolian stir fry and had lunch there twice. Long line but worth the wait. Clean ship and thoughtful pleasant, eager to please crew. Lots of passengers were sick but bathrooms were seen to promptly. Read all the reviews about this ship and was a little wary but no complaints at all. Check-in was smooth with little delay since we had VIP and the Penthouse cabin was spacious and we were grateful for the chance to upgrade since we were stuck on the ship the whole time. Entertainment was first rate and plenty of room to sunbath, swim in the pool and the hot tubs in the serenity area had a great view. However, getting around the ship from the back elevators was difficult as you had to go through a dining room to get to the other end on deck 11, but would recommend to anyone. Worth every penny and will try again for Key West. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Left Bay City Michigan on 9/08/10 and flew to New Orleans, planning to spend three days in New Orleans before the cruise. Landed at Louis Armstrong Airport and taxied to our hotel, Holiday Inn Express on Carondelet Street. Cost of ride was ... Read More
Left Bay City Michigan on 9/08/10 and flew to New Orleans, planning to spend three days in New Orleans before the cruise. Landed at Louis Armstrong Airport and taxied to our hotel, Holiday Inn Express on Carondelet Street. Cost of ride was $30.00 for two. Spent three days sightseeing and sweating. Over 90 degrees every day with humidity to match. We did the usual, Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, French Market, street car rides, casino, eating AND sweating. Big mistake was doing New Orleans on the Saints opening game. GENERAL MADHOUSE!!!! Embarkation Day. We arrived at the terminal at 9:45, gave porters our luggage and went to stand in line. We were on the Lido Deck at 11:00 eating lunch. As usual, we had to wait until 1:30 to drop off our carry ons, and when we got to our cabin, our luggage was waiting for us. Many reviewers gave the Triumph negative reviews. I wonder what ship they were on. True the ship is 11 years old, but we saw no signs of deterioration, just a little aging. You could not walk very far without seeing someone cleaning something. Dining: We requested and received early seating in the Paris Dining Room, lower, table 416. We had an excellent waitstaff. Head waiter, Giorgio from Bulgaria, assistant Percival from the Philippines and our drink server Sawitree from Thailand, (she always had my Coke Zero at our table as soon as we were seated.). Food was fantastic, everything. We are not "picky" eaters and do not look to criticize. Never have had Orange soup, or mango soup before. They were delicious. Every thing we ordered was done to perfection. We did not do Lido dining. Breakfast and lunch were done in the Paris, open seating. Always met people from different states. We had a balcony stateroom on Empress deck 7. Room steward was Michael from Ukraine. Very personable and always smiling, as was every Carnival employee we encountered. He kept our ice bucket full and our room spotless. We did prepay tips, but we did tip additionally to our "keepers". Shore Excursions: Belize we did the sights and sounds of Belize, learning about their culture. Roatan: we did the Mahogany Bay thing, just lying on the beach and riding the chair lift back and forth. Cozumel: Rain and rain. Stopped about 3:00 P.M. and we did a little wandering around. Rain cancelled our planned beach break. Entertainment: All shows were great except the under 60 second show. Cruise Director Noonan was the best director we have encountered on a Carnival cruise. Disembarkation; We did not do self embarkation. We got up early, had a leisurely breakfast and waited for our zone (1) to be called. The bad part was people leaving their zones without being called. This clogged up the elevators and stairs. IDIOTS! SUMMARY, best cruise ever. BUT, we will never cruise in the summer again. Us yankees can't stand the heat when it is constantly over 90 degrees. Another good thing is cruise after school has started. I think there were only 50 kids on this cruise. Read Less
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