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Sail Date: September 2010
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Pride from Baltimore 9/19/10 in Cabin 7251. We are very experienced travelers, sailing on many cruise lines several times per year for the last 15 years. We found the Pride, by far, to be the worst ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Pride from Baltimore 9/19/10 in Cabin 7251. We are very experienced travelers, sailing on many cruise lines several times per year for the last 15 years. We found the Pride, by far, to be the worst experience we have had. Both the services and the management were unbelievably bad. The trip started with a 3 hour delay. We waited over 2 hours to check in, were then assigned to a seat area (with not enough seats). Everyone then got into a 1 hour line for a bottle of water and a sandwich. Shortly thereafter they ran out of the food and NO MORE WAS SUPPLIED! Little did we know it would only get worse during the week! We boarded the Pride and made our way to the cabin, with no guides for help as has always been the case before. One of our big problems was that the cabin was dirty and not tidy. Service and cleaning during the week was spotty at best. Our cabin steward Nelson was elusive and never answered his phone. We paid for a cabin with a view, but we got a cabin with dirty windows and balcony furniture so dirty we could not and would not sit on them. A very sticky spill was on the desk counter and was not cleaned all week. The phone programming, such as the "wake up call" button, did not work. The TV remote also did not work but was replaced on the second day, after I complained at reception. Dining was still another problem. We were constantly rushed at dinner and loud intrusive music with dancing in the aisles was played during dessert ruining the meals. The Maitre d' only came to our table once, and that was to inquire why there was no one at our table Tuesday night (we were at David's, the specialty restaurant). Entertainment is always a favorite for us on a cruise, but not on the Pride. It was a major safety issue! The volume at the shows was not just loud; it was so high that I am sure Carnival will eventually have law suits due to hearing damage. And it was impossible to get from the dining room to the Taj Mahal or Butterflies Lounge without going through the irritatingly loud, crowded and smoke-filled casino. We did find a lounge piano player. She played light classical music and because we could not go to the shows, we started enjoying her nightly. However, once again everything went sour since she was assigned to lounges where the bartenders constantly crushed ice, made smoothies with blenders and talked loudly with other patrons. She also had to try to play over the screaming announcements from the Cruise Director, Felipe! So we thought at least we could enjoy the shore excursions that we bought online. Well, think again. We had to leave the ship at 7:15 am for a 7 hour excursion to NASA, but no hot breakfast was available until 7:00 am. The Sunward "guides" on the NASA trip were poor or did not exist and left people at spots with no information as to where one should go next or how to get back to the main center for the bus back to the ship (my wife and I almost missed the last bus back)! My kayaking trip in Nassau was canceled with no reason given and I had to spend most of the day on the ship! And I could not even find a good book to read in the "library," since only 200 books were provided for 2600 people. Finally, the Debarkation Lecture was the most entertaining, but least informative program of its kind that my wife has ever attended. Felipe spent so much time making stupid jokes that he neglected to give even the most basic information. He fooled around for so long that he literally flipped through the last few slides (which contained all the pertinent debarkation information) in the last two minutes, so fast that it was impossible for my wife, who was taking notes, to read all the details. And, being a retired librarian, she is indeed a fast reader! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We are very experienced cruisers, mostly with Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We took this cruise because the price was very attractive, we live near the port and we could use a week of relaxing. We were a little reluctant about ... Read More
We are very experienced cruisers, mostly with Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We took this cruise because the price was very attractive, we live near the port and we could use a week of relaxing. We were a little reluctant about cruising Carnival as we had not used the line in years, but our concerns were unfounded - this cruise exceeded our expectations in almost every way and was an excellent value. Good points: - Cabin was very roomy for an inside. Bathroom was very reasonable size for an inside, especially the shower - Food was excellent in the dining room, and good in the buffet. Food was also excellent in David's steakhouse - Although My Time dining is pretty new to Carnival they handled it quite well. No problem getting a table for two at any time, service was prompt and efficient. - Comedians were excellent. The use of a small venue as primarily a comedy club with multiple shows worked very well. - Music on the ship was very good in all venues. There was even a real Caribbean band, which seems to be more rare every year. - The Chef's Table is well worth the $75 per person cost, truly a memorable evening and meal. In addition to the outstanding gourmet meal you also have all the wine you wish, a large photo, and a Carnival cookbook Room for Improvement: - For a relatively high priced restaurant ($30 each plus tip), Davids has a poor atmosphere. It is designed and furnished very nicely, but it is open to the atrium and only one deck above the buffet areas, so it was quite noisy - not at all what you would expect for what should be a quiet, elegant experience - Drink service in the dining room is almost non-existent - there were several evenings when we might have had an after-dinner drink at the table but there was no bar waiter at hand. - For a cruise that does not dock until 10 AM on return to Baltimore, it seems silly to ask customers to leave their cabins by 8:30. We were in one of the earlier groups to disembark, but we still sat and waited for nearly 4 hours. - Too much smoking area on this ship - allowing it on the starboard side of all three pool areas was too much. Also it was a shame that the Ivory Club was smoking - this made the piano bar unusable for us. - The only adult area is at the back of the ship, where ALL of the lounge chairs are in the direct sunlight. It would make more sense to make one of the midship pool areas adult only. General Notes and Tips: - This is a good cruise to take if you don't care much about the ports and like laying about on the ship on port days. For old timers like us who no longer spend the day at the beach, neither Port Canaveral or Freeport has anything worth the bother of a long cab ride. Nassau on the other hand is always fun to do a walkabout. - Want an uncrowded place to wait to disembark? We went up to Davids club on 11 deck. The tables at the windows have a great view and were quiet. We saw only one other couple take advantage of this. On the other hand, the other main public decks (2, 3 and 9) were jammed. No problem hearing the announcements as Davids is open to the atrium. You can ignore the early announcements that ask you to wait on 3 or 9. - Go to the pier early - if you go later in the day you will probably be waiting in long security and check-in lines. At least if you go early you get to wait sitting down. In our case the Pride was late docking so we waited an extra hour to board, but the good news is that we were early enough to get a chair and a nice bag lunch and bottle of water. Later arrivals had to make do with a breakfast bar. - In Nassau the Iguana Grill, just off the pier on Bay Street serves a terrific blackened grouper sandwich and good conch salad Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We have cruised Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean since our last Carnival cruise, swearing never to sail with them again. But the pricing value was just so advantageous that we decided to take a chance and go again. ... Read More
We have cruised Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean since our last Carnival cruise, swearing never to sail with them again. But the pricing value was just so advantageous that we decided to take a chance and go again. Embarkation did not bode well for me: Miami was a zoo, in spite of our having arrived early. Multiple lines with long queues were daunting, as was all the walking and shoving through throngs of people. Although we booked a year in advance, Carnival had us on a wait list for My Time Dining, so our first stop was to arrange that. After a line at Guest Services, we were sent to a line for the maitre d'. He did facilitate that. After that, things looked up! The cabin, aft with extended balcony, was just what we expected, but no amenities except shower gel and shampoo in dispensers in the shower. I had to ask for bar soap for the sink! The room was in good condition; and Daniel, our steward, served us very well all week, including remembering we needed extra hand towels each day, and always having plenty of ice. We never got a key for the mini-bar and there were no directions for that, which didn't matter to us, but seemed weird. Warning! The safe needs to be secured by swiping a credit card, which means you have to carry your credit card with you all the time. Someone gave me a good tip: any mag strip card will work. I locked up my credit card and used my AAA card. A WalMart gift card with a minimal amount on it is a good purchase, if you have no other mag strip cards. Other cruise lines allow you to set your own combination and lock up your credit cards. The only other complaint about the room is that the room service menu is very limited. Breakfast only has continental available and the rest of the menu is pretty limited to sandwiches and a couple of salads and a few uninspired desserts. We would have enjoyed breakfast on the balcony and evening hors d'oeuvres, but that was not to be. We usually ate in the dining room, rather than the buffet, except for lunch on sea days and one breakfast when we needed to debark early. The public rooms were very nice, not as glitzy as most Carnival ships, and with a continued theme of heroes and heroism. Entertainment was good, but not great. Service was excellent in the room, in the dining room, and at the pools and bars, always attentive. The food as well was good, not great. Except the melting chocolate cake. I don't even like chocolate and loved it! I also appreciated the availability of the spa menu and some fruit based and sugar-free desserts. I consider it a success that I only gained one pound over the week! Fish meals were mostly delicious. The salads were good, but the Caesar was uninspired. Selection of activities on board on sea days was pretty standard. None of the pools was big enough to swim in, and all were very crowded on sea days. And someone had an infant in diapers in the adults only pool, even after being asked to remove her. I used the gym twice. The treadmills are all lined up in front of oceanfront windows, but they are only chest high, so you can't see out while walking! The track on the sky deck was much more pleasant. There was a decent selection of weight benches and free weights and the gym and locker rooms were clean. Most classes incur an extra fee, except the morning stretch and abs classes. There were no aerobics or water aerobics classes or Tai Chi offered, which I found unusual and lacking. Embarkation and debarkation on shore days was crowded but went smoothly and quickly. The itinerary, Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, was very much to our liking and we chose well with our shore excursions. The ship sailed PROMPTLY at sailaway time, so don't lag behind until the last minute! The Guest Services desk was most helpful and patient with all sorts of requests. I found all the people I encountered to be very service oriented and tuned in to individual needs and requests. However, Carnival's corporate policies are not as customer friendly. There are no facilities to change hard and fast rules (like switching to My Time Dining before sailing!)and service people are restricted to apologies, which always seemed genuine. The staff on board so seem to like working on this ship, which is a tribute to management. I took the galley tour. If you enjoy cooking or are in any restaurant business, this is a must-do. It was fascinating and, to me, amazing. I ended up buying the Carnival Creations cookbook at the formal wear shop. We are in our early 60's, but fit and active. We were definitely the "Grandparents of the Cruise." Couples we connected with all compared us to their parents and called us "Pop" and "Mama" or "Mamacita." That was okay; mostly we kept up with them, but didn't drink a lot, which would have surely slowed us down! Someone had complained about the aggressive photographers. We found it easy to say "No, thank you," and they complied without making it uncomfortable. On the other hand, I do like purchasing some of the photos. Realize, this is where Carnival makes big profits, along with the bar and casino, not on the cruise fares. If you go with other people, have them take pictures of you, and you do the same for them. We often asked other cruisers to please snap us together at critical vista points, then offered to do the same for them. The ship photos are very over-priced, but are all you have left after you lose the weight you gained! We were so pleased with the value for the dollar-ship, food, service- that we purchased the certificate for a deposit on our next Carnival cruise. And this was after having sworn never to sail with them again. NO, it's not top-notch cruising luxury, but it was lots of fun and you get more than what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
First of all I'm a Dutch resident, so if my English sometimes is not correct, you know why. We were travelling as a couple ages 50-60. The cabin Our first cruise with Carnival. We took an inside cabin while the cruising ... Read More
First of all I'm a Dutch resident, so if my English sometimes is not correct, you know why. We were travelling as a couple ages 50-60. The cabin Our first cruise with Carnival. We took an inside cabin while the cruising is mostly at night and with one sea day, far away from land, there was no need for a balcony. The cabin space was sufficient, the beds were good. There are three closets that are a good size and a dresser with three small usable drawers. The bathroom small but efficient. Located mid-ships you're in the middle with everything. The beds are high enough to slide a good size suitcase under them. The cabin stewards were excellent, which we had aimed for since deck 7 is the deck with the most expensive cabins and the best staff is working there. We didn't miss the balcony at all. Pool deck The pools are rather small. But the music at the Seaside Theatre is sometimes that loud that after one hour we relocated to the side boards of the ship, where always was plenty of room. For a cool down you could use the showers at the spot. In general there were always loungers available. The band playing Blood Power was good. Entertainment I found the entertainment, with exception of the comedians in the Spotlight Lounge, a big disappointment. But why have one comedian perform for 30 minutes, pause 30 minutes, and than the second one. By the time you finally had gotten your drink the show was over! Some of the musicians playing at the ship were not up to level, sometimes really lousy, with a repertoire that is very limited. I guess that Carnival can do way better at this. Food The food was OK. Except for the day at sea there were hardly no queues. The Lido buffet is large but could do with a bit more variation in the food offered. Both Tandoori and Mongolion Wok were good. The dinner in the Southern Lights was in general good. Disappointment was that after purchasing a wine package we were informed that only half of the wines were available! So there was a very limited choice. Excursions The excursions offered are a rip off! So we organized everything, except for Naples, ourselves and that went perfectly. A Birg ticket to Rome that includes public transport in Rome, for example is about $ 5! The shuttle bus in Marseille, which you really need to avoid a more than 1 hour walk, costs € 12,00 rt. Also here Carnival could do much better. In Livorno we stayed aboard, since public transportation was on strike. Livorno has nothing to offer, it's a dirty city with pidgins everywhere. The advantage is that you have the ship for yourselves. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth. Annoying Going from the Southern Lights dining room to the Spotlight Lounge you had to pass at least 6 or 7 photographers, all of them stepping in your way trying to push their photo's. Every night again! Well that is becoming really annoying. Conclusion Looking at the price/value this cruise in general met our expectations and sometimes exceeded it. Sure, there were some flaws, and some niggles need to be sorted out, but we would not hesitate to book another Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We sailed from New Orleans on October 16, 2010. Parking is smooth and easy, just stay in the right lane and a porter will unload your bags for you and get them loaded on the ship. Proceed to the parking garage $112 for a seven day cruise ... Read More
We sailed from New Orleans on October 16, 2010. Parking is smooth and easy, just stay in the right lane and a porter will unload your bags for you and get them loaded on the ship. Proceed to the parking garage $112 for a seven day cruise payable as you enter the facility by credit card or cash.Garage is secure and access is limited so there is no problem there. Check in was handled very well by Carnival employees and was reasonably quick and easy considering the large number of people who were processed.Carnival folks on the dock were very patient and courteous, even with some of the passengers who were confused about what to do. Once on board the buffet on the Lido deck was open with great food and service while we waited for the cabin crews to finish getting the cabins ready. After a short wait (actually a bit shorter than on some of our other cruises) we went to our cabin, which was clean and well furnished. The weather was beautiful for the entire cruise and the sea was as smooth as I have ever seen it for the whole voyage. The crew was friendly and made the trip very enjoyable.The food and service in the Paris dining room were both superb and of 5 star quality.The service staff did an absolutely fantastic job at every meal.Our server Natalya and her assistant were among the best that I have seen on any cruise ship. Nassau- Not really much to say here.We had visited here last year and were not impressed then. It is oriented to milking the tourist out of every dollar that they can and not among the cleanest places that we have visited. Freeport- This was our first time here since 1996 and things have changed quite a lot. On our first trip Grand Bahama was a very clean and laid back place with very friendly people and lots of things to see and do. It is still much cleaner than Nassau, but is another area with many shops jammed together into one big area designed to relieve the tourist of his/her money. Key West- The best stop on the cruise.Lots of shops to relieve you of your money, but in a clean and friendly atmosphere with lots to see and do. Sloppy Joe's Bar is a place that you don't want to miss.This was Earnest Hemingway's favorite watering hole and has a lot of Island atmosphere and memorabilia. The ship prices on jewelery, watches and liquor are equal to or better than the prices found in the ports and I would recommend that you make most of your purchases on the ship. The only negative thing that I encountered on the ship was in the casino. I would like to see a no smoking slot area. I am somewhat sensitive to tobacco smoke and could not stay in the casino area for any length of time. There is a small area at the rear of the casino which is designated NO SMOKING, but it is not enforced at all and is mostly ignored by smokers. We have sailed on 4 Carnival ships thus far and are looking forward to our next cruise.I expect that the next trip will be aboard another Carnival Fun Ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2010
We feel the things are changing in the cruise industry due to costs and the resulting containment. Right now we are on a three cruise test. It started with the Celebrity Summit in September on a Canada, NE cruise. We have been celeb ... Read More
We feel the things are changing in the cruise industry due to costs and the resulting containment. Right now we are on a three cruise test. It started with the Celebrity Summit in September on a Canada, NE cruise. We have been celeb devotees with 11 cruises but we did have a 4 year absence before this one. unfortunately it was a culinary Titanic. Step 2 was the Carnival Spirit on October 4 to Mexico for 8 days. Embarkation was almost a disaster in that we forgot our passports. The Carnival people could not have been nicer but they could not let us board but since we are San Diego locals they helped us contact our son who delivered the passports to us.Other than that embarkation was smooth as silk. The cabin was large I thought for a window cabin and nicely appointed. The cabin steward,Kutek,was super the whole trip. Dining was a superb experience in many ways. First we have been on board the Spirit twice before and had a favorite table. I asked the Matre'd Fernando if it was possible to get it. He was able to arrange this from the second night on. WOW I have never said this about a Matre"D before The food was wonderfully prepared with great sauces. The Coq Au Vin, Beef stroganoff and their sauces were super. Had Veal(yes I said VEAL!) parmigiana that was out of this world. Carnival was clever they served Maine (yes MAINE)LOBSTER AND 3 LARGE SHRIMP on the second night. Sure set up a positive mood for the rest of the trip. The soups were the best I have had on a ship with very nice salads that were full size. The table service on by Harleen was terrific.We did not use the buffet much but it was good. The entertainment was very good and professional. They sure did not skimp on the appearances of the singers and dancers in production shows. We had plenty of activity in using the pool and hot tubs as well as trivia games and craft opportunities. One short fall was the lack of movies on this cruise The ports were Acapulco, Zihuatanejo and Manzanillo. We have been to all of these before and did not go ashore but took advantage of the ship facilties in stead.I was glad to hear that Carnival will be changing the itinerary to a 9 day to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, La paz and Cabo and will look forward to them on this ship. One thing I should note that was most pleasing Carnival on this cruise does not ask you to change the clock since we only had one time zone change. We just kept using ship time ALl in all a terrific cruise that leaves me wanting more from Carnival and forsaking my Captains club elite status with Celebrity-Beleive me there was no comparison. Embarkation was a revelation on the Spirit they again suprised me by allowing those of us who carry our bags on and off to leave first. Hoi;y Crow These people did so many things right it was mind blowing. Well Step 3 is on December 5 on the Holland Oosterdam and I will report on this after the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Hurricane Tomas reared his ugly head throughout this cruise. Carnival changed the order of our itinerary before we set sail to avoid the hurricane. The cruise port we had been most looking forward to, Grand Cayman was canceled completely ... Read More
Hurricane Tomas reared his ugly head throughout this cruise. Carnival changed the order of our itinerary before we set sail to avoid the hurricane. The cruise port we had been most looking forward to, Grand Cayman was canceled completely due to water washing over the pier. Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan are nothing ports. There is little if anything at these ports, don't waste your time, you can get the T-shirt on board. When we left Tampa the weather was warm with a few clouds. When we arrived at Roatan the rain came. The trip to the Caymans was the roughest I've ever experienced and many people including me were sea sick. The rough sea stayed with us until we entered Tampa Bay and were greeted with a cold snap (at least cold for Florida). We picked our cabin, a balcony, room 4209 because it was close to the water and the first balcony past the life boats. We hoped to avoid cigarette smoke from other passengers and actually get to enjoy the balcony for once. Directly underneath our balcony on the 3rd deck was a smoking station with ash tray just outside the Truffles Dinning room. There was some smoke but not too bad when we were moving. The bad part, was the band in front of the dinning room underneath us. The bass and microphone was so loud that it drowned out our television and shook the bed. We were watching the World Series so we were in our cabin early the first few nights. My DH got mad when he couldn't hear the ball game and called Guest Services to complain. Guest Services Supervisor Chuckrit Polyadetch got right back to us and moved us to another balcony cabin, 8131. We moved just in time for the extreme turbulent sea. We went from all the way Aft to all the way forward and 4 decks higher. We felt Carnival went out of their way to ensure we had a state room that we were happier with and Guest services deserve a thank you for their efforts. Kelvin our room steward was excellent. We had been on the Carnival Fantasy on a Bahamas cruise at the end of September this year so we could easily remember the menu. Same menu but the quality of the food on Fantasy was superior to the food on Legend. With the exception of Lobster and Prime Rib night, the dining room food was just plain awful. The last three nights on board we just gave up on the dining room and ate pizza, salad, and sandwiches on the Lido. Hot food on the Lido was every bit as bad as the dining room. Wednesday night of the cruise we chose Southern Fried Chicken and Beef Stroganoff. The chicken was fried until it was like chicken jerky and was burned and tasted awful. I couldn't eat it at all. DH had the Beef Stroganoff which had about a half dozen small tough pieces of beef with a quarter of a cup of pasta on the side. The Beef Stroganoff also came with a half of hard boiled egg, yolk removed with 2 hamburger dill pickles where the yolk would have been. Needless to say, DH could not eat his dinner either. Pizza again. Overall, all meat dishes including beef barley soup had tough, stringy meat. I had pork loin that I could barely cut with a knife let alone chew. Mashed potatoes were water mashed, i.e. no butter or milk just beat up in the water they were boiled in. Even if the menu said gravy, there wasn't any. Other vegetables were half cooked. I realize that many people like half cooked veggies but we aren't among them. Hamburgers were cooked until all moisture was gone. I tried one for variety but had to head back to the Pizza! Don't waste your time on any French Fries, cold and limp. The Pizza and the deli sandwiches were good and the salad bar was acceptable. The wait staff in the dining room (Riva, JJ, and Florence) were excellent. Riva felt bad that the food was so awful and kept offering to get us something else but the other choices looked just as bad. I noticed a lot of people leaving food and complaining. The best part of breakfast were the boxed cereals. Desserts were hit and miss. The Legend Staff shows were pretty bad. There was one female singer who sounded like a cat who just had her tail stepped on! A guest singer Marcus Anthony, was excellent and was the highlight of the entertainment for us. Our cruise director Wee Jimmy, had more on board time than he planned for. The weather turned cold and windy so the pool area was deserted and people were bored. I couldn't understand why the retractable roof over the pool area was not closed, it would have helped the problem. The upper decks were closed due to high wind. This cruise was a 7 day ship ride, with lousy food, and a great deal of time spent in the cabin watching TV or reading a book. That being said, based on our previous experiences with Carnival we bought two future cruise certificates. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
On our seventh cruise (fourth with Carnival)we noticed a drastic dive in the quality of service and food. The cost cutting was so blatant compared to past cruises. For example; the breakfast menu was severely limited and the quality of ... Read More
On our seventh cruise (fourth with Carnival)we noticed a drastic dive in the quality of service and food. The cost cutting was so blatant compared to past cruises. For example; the breakfast menu was severely limited and the quality of the food was downright poor. Coffee and tea were absolutely undrinkable. We are not gourmets and consequently can handle most anything without too much concern or complaint. But the coffee was absolutely nasty. Likewise, the iced tea. I can't begin to imagine where it was bought or who concocted it.For breakfast there was never any fresh orange juice. Instead there was some kind of orange drink that was squirted from a dispenser. I've had orange Kool Aid that was far better.Unfortunately most of the food followed the quality of the drinks that were offered. In the formal dining room, our table did not have a number on it which made it very difficult to find for the first couple nights. Even after commenting on the problem to the maitre'd, it was never resolved throughout the cruise.On the first night of the cruise I ordered barley soup but could not find one grain of barley in it. I again ordered it on another night and found ONE grain of barley in it. I got lucky that night because all the others who ordered the barley soup never did find a piece of barley. I jokingly commented to the maitre'd about the absence of barley in the barley soup and the problem was never addressed. And for this I'm supposed to tip him???Three days into the cruise we had still not met our cabin steward. I contacted guest relations and suddenly the cabin steward was at my door with profuse apologies. Unfortunately, good service did not follow the visit. Dirty glasses were repeatedly left in our cabin after daily clean up. When they were picked up, none were left in exchange. Often there was only one towel left for the two of us. The problems such as these were persistent throughout the cruise.The constant hounding to buy overpriced drinks, photos, etc. became very tiresome. Now I know why they call this cruise line 'Carnival'. It's just like being on the midway and having everyone yelling at you to play their little rigged games.The little deceptions were disgusting. Come to the art auction, we're giving one lucky winner $500! At the end of the auction, it was finally disclosed that the $500 was actually a $500 DISCOUNT on an art purchase.All in all, this was not a nice vacation. After a few days it became a test of endurance and we were most happy to see it end.So for now, there will be no more cruises for us. Cruising has ceased to be a vacation bargain. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
This was my fouth cruise on the high seas. Third one with Carnival, and will be my last with them. Between being served cold dinners three nights in a row, finding a bug in my salad, and being served food in dirty dish, I must give the ... Read More
This was my fouth cruise on the high seas. Third one with Carnival, and will be my last with them. Between being served cold dinners three nights in a row, finding a bug in my salad, and being served food in dirty dish, I must give the Food Dept. a very low grade. We were changed to 4 different waiters, before we were served hot food. The dish I was served a very small portion of fruit in, was so dirty, it was unbelieveable. It was a cheap looking plastic dish, like you would receive side salad dressing in. It was very stained, and had a brown ring in the bottom, I know it had been there a long time. Two of our party went to the Buffet type restaurant, called "Eddies", for breakfast. There were no clean plates to use, there was no coffee made at any of the four drink stations, and the buffett servers, had very little food in, especially the hot food. It was like they could not handle the number of people who ate breakfast there, instead of in the Restaurant. The remaining two of us, ate in the designated dining room, and our food was excellent. It seems the one dining room had much better service and food. We felt the drink prices, were outragious, so we didn't use our Sign & Sail card hardly at all. The credit in our Sign & Sail account was a balnce we had left over, for changing our first Cabin, which we had paid for, to a less expensive cabin. They ask, if we wanted the credit balance put into our Sign & Sail account, and we agreed. They didn't tell us, if there was a balance in the account, at the time we disembarked, it would not be refunded to us. So, Carnival keep our balance that was in the Sign & Sail account. It was our overpayment of a cabin, but they kept it, and would not return it to us. Now, they kept the money, that we overpaid for our cabin, and didn't return it. We found this out, the night before we were to disembark. When they gave us our statement showing our credit balance, that is when we found out it was "non- refundable." In dealing with the Guest Service Dept. since we have been home, I have yet to get an answer to my complaint, or been able to talk with anyone, in accounting about the dirty deal. We felt the ports we visited, were not of interest, and the Half Moon Cay, was only for young people and kids. You had to be a beach goer, to enjoy it. Then the others, we took upon ourselves to take the tours. For the guys who gave the tours, would come down quite a bit on the price, if you dealt with them personally, and not pay the price on the ship. Carnival made money, by over charging on the tours. We feel Carnival has changed so much since our first cruise in 1996. The personal service is a lot less, the food is not near as good, and I especially noticed they have a very poor Diabetic selection of desserts. With so many good sugar subsitutes out there, it seems more then just one dessert, would be offered to us Diabetics. We believe Carnival, has changed it's desire to have bigger ships, raise their prices, and give, not as good of service. With more people, to attend to, the service, the food, and the price, is bound to change. We will never cruise with Carnival again. I doubt very much, I will hear back from anyone, regarding my complaints. When you get to big, your service is less, and they got greedy. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
This was our second cruise with Carnival. Embarkation was very efficient. We had originally booked a balcony and just before the cruise were given a choice of upgrading to a suite which we took. This gave us the VIP treatment which was ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Carnival. Embarkation was very efficient. We had originally booked a balcony and just before the cruise were given a choice of upgrading to a suite which we took. This gave us the VIP treatment which was very nice. The suite was very nice and roomy with plenty of storage space. Only real complaint about the room was the TV—only CNN or HLN-thus for 8 days we did not know what was going on in the world. The staff was excellent as has always been on our cruises—if you treat them with respect, they will return same. Food was pretty good, but could have been better. We did not attend the shows as they all seem to run together after a while. This was a relaxing cruise for us. The first port was Cozumel—it had rained so time there was short but pleasant. Next was Costa Rica which had absolutely nothing near the port so for safety reasons, we elected to stay on board. Then the Panama Canal. We took the train which was great. We were able to see two ships passing through the canal. What a treat. Then two sea days which as stated above were relaxing for us. There are plenty of places on the ship for quiet time, you just have to hunt them out. The Posh restaurant was great, hard to find due to going to the rear of the ship and taking the elevator down to three—can't get there any other way without a lot of jumping from elevator to elevator. But for breakfast, it was worth the extra walking. As with all others, the smoking can get out of hand. Smokers just don't seem to care if they are blowing the smoke in your face, after all, this is "their right." So naturally, we had to do a lot of moving around to avoid these inconsiderate. Unfortunately, we had a medical emergency on board and had to drop off the person at Cayman, which caused us to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale four hours later. Folks with airlines to catch were scrambling. The staff did the best they could under the circumstances. This just showed us that should we have to fly to a port, plan on flying out the next day—less hassle in case of an emergency. Debarkation was very quick given the latest of our arrival. We were able to get to the garage and get our car and get underway. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We recently took the Splendor to Mexican Riveria. Have traveled before on other cruise lines to include Carnival but have never been on a ship that moved so much even in calm seas. I can only assumed that the ship did not have stablizers ... Read More
We recently took the Splendor to Mexican Riveria. Have traveled before on other cruise lines to include Carnival but have never been on a ship that moved so much even in calm seas. I can only assumed that the ship did not have stablizers or did not use them. Previous reviews have dissed the quality of the food - but we found the quality of both food and service to be excellent. Whenever there was an issue about a particular food item, it was removed and another menu item brought with no questions. The Splendor with it's 3,000 plus passengers appears to have spent all it's space on the cabins and not so much on size of its common areas. I have to give a big shout out to the quality of the entertainment. We had previous cruised with Carnival in September out of Baltimore and so had seen basically the same shows like Vroom. However, the singers and dancers of the Splendor had more energy than any others that I have seen. Had scare at Cabo with tendering and whether or not we would be able to visit port - but after maneuvering ship and tender sites several times we were able to off load ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We arrived a day early (my husband being a pilot - we know about airlines & would never try to arrive the day of a cruise). We went to the Holiday Inn on the Stay & Cruise deal. The Holiday Inn was old & not extremely ... Read More
We arrived a day early (my husband being a pilot - we know about airlines & would never try to arrive the day of a cruise). We went to the Holiday Inn on the Stay & Cruise deal. The Holiday Inn was old & not extremely attractive. Even though the website said there was a free breakfast, they told us when we asked that there would be an additional charge if we wanted it. We knew we'd be on the ship early so just got something at Jack in the Box to hold us over. We left the car parked there & signed up to take the 10:30 shuttle to the ship. This went without incidence, but it was further than we'd thought over there. I was a Platinum member, so this was our first experience with VIP check-in, which was really nice. No wait at all to check-in, then just staying in a special room with other platinums waiting to board. They had pretty good lemonade available. I would recommend a TV screen with either pictures of places Carnival cruises or ships or something, even regular television as it was a little boring just waiting for an hour or so. They came & got us & told us it was time to get on the ship. What an awesome difference VIP is. We went right in, were the first to go through security & get on the ship. No wait whatsover. We went straight to the Lido deck to get lunch & it was great. About an hour or so later, we went to our room. The balcony was really amazing. We were in a corner room 6450 at the back of the ship on the port side. The balcony wrapped around the back & side of the ship. It was huge!!! The room was a different configuration, also. And even though the information said it was no bigger, it seemed larger than other balcony rooms because it was more triangular instead or rectangular. Our steward was OK, but not exceptional. Our waiter was good & our drink lady was even better. We hardly ever had to ask her to refill anything as she was always on top of things. We liked the maitre'D. I admit I have hardly ever even talked to one before as they were never very personable. But this one (sorry can't remember his name) came by to talk almost every night. He checked on how we liked things & arranged for creme' brulee to be made for several of us on an extra night. He was very friendly & concerned. The cruise director John Heald was hysterical. I really liked him. We have only liked one other cruise director almost as much. He could make anything funny & we laughed a lot on this ship. I guess he is going on another ship & if he does, he will make it a lot of fun. Our first port was Puerto Vallarta & we went ziplining. OK, no one ever told me that ziplining meant about 40 flights (I am not exagerating) of stairs. My sis in law (75) & myself (bad knees) had a tough time getting up to ride the lines down. The company was Los Veranos ziplining. This amount of climbing was really tough & since it was warm & humid, it was challenging.The people were very friendly & helpful, but we just were not prepared for that much physical exertion. The next day we went to Mazatlan. I had arranged for a tour off the ship & it was OK. I wouldn't really recommend it. The company was OK & the guy took us around the entire area. It was pretty seeing everything, but not outstanding. The last day was Cabo San Lucas. Cabo is beautiful. I had arranged for a 3 site snorkeling tour & a speed boat ride. This was pretty awesome. They took us to Lover's Beach where we were able to get off & see the Pacific Ocean & Sea of Cortez & take some pictures. They also took us to two other places to snorkel. The water was pretty & it was very nice. The tour was supposed to last a little longer than the ship leave time, but the tour company dropped us off on the dock making sure we got there in time. Well, as it turned out, we waited in line at least 45 minutes to get back onto the tender for the ship. I wonder why there is no "Platinum line" to return to the Cruiseship? When we got on the tender to go into Cabo, we did not have to wait at all, but had our own personal elevator to take us directly down to the tender. As we left Cabo, we sat out on the beautiful balcony & watched the view for a long time. Since I was platinum, one night they brought some great appetizers & another night, they brought petit fours. They also gave me a nice Carnival frame. It was nice to take advantage of the free laundry & go home with almost all of my clothes clean. I liked the Splendor. The food was OK, about the same as normal. Just enough to gain 6 or 7 pounds. I kind of wish they'd add a few different items or change things around a little more. Wish they would have King Crab Legs one night. Because one of our members gets bored on the sea days, I planned a mini-golf tourney & photo scavenger hunt. It was pretty fun & helped keep us all active & involved. There didn't seem as many activities during the sea days, but maybe they are getting old for me. Karaoke was BAD, BAD, BAD. The Russian girl hosting was so caught up in herself that she didn't try to give effective customer service. When people picked a song, she'd tell them she couldn't find it, and made them pick something else that she liked instead. She wanted to do only recent songs & some of the older people didn't care for the picks. She wouldn't let others sing, but would sing herself instead, then say there was no time for them. And the songs she would pick had foul language. If I want to hear "R" rated songs, I'll get them, but should not have to listen to those when I just go to relax & listen to others sing. She wore some really tacky & super tight clothes that showed her thong lines (black thong - under red dress - ewww)underneath then bragged about how some of the crew wanted to come to see her in this outfit. She didn't seem to have much of a sense of humor & really was not the one who should have been in that position. We love karaoke, but hated her! She ruined it for us. Our debarkation was great & quick. Because we were Platinum, we got to get off pretty quickly. We called the hotel to have the shuttle come get us. Well, they only had one shuttle & we had to wait almost two hours. After we'd waited that time, a few other people came & waited about an hour. When they saw the shuttle, they tried to push us off & jump on it first, but luckingly the driver had our names on the list for pickup. I would never do this again since Holiday Inn's shuttle was so unorganized & slow. They should rent or get another shuttle. It was a great trip, though & we did enjoy the Splendor. Didn't care about the decor, but wouldn't let it spoil my trip. Sometimes I think cruise ships are so caught up in "designer decor" that they think things are beautiful just because a certain person did it. Instead, they really should just go with the decor of "less is more". Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Embarkation: Smooth. Although our parking lot was much farther away than last year (due to an impending arrival of another ship), the shuttle service worked out well. Check in was prompt. Public Rooms: The rooms themselves were ... Read More
Embarkation: Smooth. Although our parking lot was much farther away than last year (due to an impending arrival of another ship), the shuttle service worked out well. Check in was prompt. Public Rooms: The rooms themselves were beautiful. My problem was that on vacation, my relaxation includes a good cigar now and then. On my last Carnival cruise (The Triumph), they provided the dimly lit, light music Oxford Bar for all smokers. On the Glory, they had a similar bar (Ivory), which used to function as a cigar bar, but has since banned cigars apparently due to the complaint of some customer who apparently couldn't enjoy one of the other 22 bars available for non-cigar smokers. The Ivory bar was a large room suitable to smokers and non-smokers alike. On the Glory, cigar smokers are now relegated to the "Sports Bar", a closet-sized bar with noisy television screens and overly-enthusiastic patrons. Interestingly, the waiter at the Ivory bar commented that since cigar smoking had been banned, no one seems to come to the bar any more. (I passed through the bar on several occasions during the cruise and he was right. It was a desert). My wife is asthmatic and extremely allergic to most perfumes. I wonder if Carnival would agree to banning perfumes on the ship to accommodate those who find them offensive, particularly when clustering each night outside the formal dining rooms waiting for the staff to open the doors. Dining: On the whole, the food is great. My wife has insomnia at times and really enjoyed being able to have a slice of pizza and visit the nearby bar at any hour. Our seating in the main dining room was somewhat disappointing. On our last cruise, we were seated on the second level in the main dining area. This time, we were off on the side on the lower level and felt too far-removed from the singing waiters activity. The waiters in the main area also seemed to be more friendly and communicative. One other comment, the lobster plate was delicious, but kind of skimpy. I could have eaten six of them. Oh well. Entertainment: Top notch as before. We love the Vegas-style shows that the Glory Dancers provide in the Amber Palace. And to those griping about feathers and g-strings being too much for the children, send the children to the kids sections where they belong. Unfortunately, their last show was cancelled due to the difficulty of performing in high heels during rough seas. I would have been pleased to see their performance barefoot. Oh well. Justin Illusion was well done, and the comedians did a good job as well. Service: Superb as always on Carnival. Excursions: Been here before. Stayed on board this trip. Value: Carnival provides the best bang for the buck in the cruise industry. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
MIKE AND CHARLOTTE'S FOUR FUN DAYS AT SEA Aboard the Carnival Splendor November 7 - 11, 2010 We set out for a relaxing post-election cruise and got the adventure of a lifetime! With 31 cruises under our belts, this ... Read More
MIKE AND CHARLOTTE'S FOUR FUN DAYS AT SEA Aboard the Carnival Splendor November 7 - 11, 2010 We set out for a relaxing post-election cruise and got the adventure of a lifetime! With 31 cruises under our belts, this was by far the most exciting one by far. You need to know that, in spite of news reports, there was neither a piece of Spam nor a Pop Tart in sight. Everybody we met was in good spirits, seeing humor and ironies as they developed; we still wonder how and where TV crews found the handful of grumblers they interviewed. Irony #1 wasn't evident until later, but we arrived at 12:30 pm on Sunday, November 7, and joined a line of 3200 fellow passengers to snake our way around the Long Beach Cruise Ship Terminal, waiting for a 4:30 departure. Embarcation was delayed 3 hours while the Coast Guard made its annual mechanical inspection. As we departed at 6:30, Cruise Director John Heald announced that we'd passed with flying colors. Two days later the Coast Guard arrived to protect our dead in the water ship until we were tied up to the San Diego pier, but we did wonder if any of the guys who came onto our ship didn't take a few minutes to see which of their fellow Coast Guard members checked off engines and generators as A-OK. Our cabin, which I had thought would be fairly large when booking, was actually a tiny triangular shaped one tucked into the starboard aft corner, but the huge wrap-around balcony provided the best views of the next four days' entertainment at sea! As we pulled out of Long Beach harbor they announced that there would be a free bottle of wine for anybody who called within 10 minutes to book in the Pinnacle Steak House, an extra-charge restaurant on Deck 12. What a meal we had! Not realizing it would be our last cooked meal for four days, we enjoyed the lamb chops, filet mignon and other four courses that were absolutely delicious and well worth the $60 charge. After a leisurely meal we proposed a toast to a relaxing Mexican Riviera cruise with a bottle of champagne, sent by Mitch & Jenny, on our balcony before going to bed. Shortly before 6 am Monday we both awoke and used the restroom, having no idea we wouldn't be able to use it again for 39 hours! At 6:10 the ship shuddered terribly for 30 seconds or so, and everything went quiet. I peeked out back, and said, "Mike, we've stopped. We'd better get dressed." Just then an announcement was made, "Alpha Team, report to the engine room," and shortly after that the Cruise Director announced that there was smoke coming from the engine room, we'd lost all power, and for all passengers to report to the open decks. The emergency alarm sounded, and we all poured into smoke-filled corridors. Not regular smoke, but thick stuff that smelled like burning plastic. We headed for a buffet breakfast, staked our claim to a table on the aft Lido deck out by the pool, and made a bunch of new friends as we awaited John's hourly updates. Various updates explained that toilets would not operate because the vacuum line had been melted; that food could not be cooked but there would be plenty of food; that we were operating on emergency backup generators so lighting would be dim, elevators would not work, there was no casino, no outside communication, and the only interior communication was through the emergency announcement system; and each announcement thanked us for being patient and understanding. John also said an Ever Green cargo container ship was nearby and would stay with us till we were out of danger. It went without saying that the pools would not be open, but the sun was out and deck chairs were full. That day we learned more than we'd ever thought existed about the inner operations of a ship through John's announcements. His informative announcements for us were interspersed with crew announcements, such as "Hotel Manage, Food & Beverage Manager, Spa Manager, Shop Manager, report to the Bridge immediately." Half an hour later they'd announce, "All food & beverage servers report to one lounge; all cabin stewards report to another lounge; all shop personnel report elsewhere: etc, where they would receive instructions on what their work was for that day. The Black Pearl Dining Room became the crew's dining area, and the Spectacular Lounge is where they'd grab an hour or two's sleep when they could. At lunchtime Mike beckoned us all into the Lido buffet, saying, "You've gotta see this!" Not wanting to lose our tables, we went in shifts to see a bucket brigade of deck hands, food & beverage servers, cabin boys, entertainers, shop girls, pool boys and all other crew handing each other watermelons, trays of sandwiches, cases of water bottles, containers of salads, and everything else we were going to have for lunch. We followed that brigade all the way from the Lido buffet on deck 9 down to the galley on deck 2. This line continued for every meal for the next three days so that we could eat. And after every meal the same line handed stacks of dirty dishes and bins of dirty silverware to be stashed away out of sight and smell. There was a group of 150 magicians aboard on a convention. By 10 am there were out in force, plying their tricks to entertain all children, as well as any adults who would return a smile. The kids loved it! How many up-close magic tricks by professionals had they seen? At 6 hours we realized the seriousness of 3200 passengers roaming around with no working toilets or running water, but there was plenty of hand sanitizer around. John assured us that the engineers and plumbers were working to re-establish the vacuum toilet system and running water first. By then, they hoped the heat and smoke would dissipate from the engine room enough to assess our mechanical situation. By 12 hours the fore and mid-ships cabins had toilets and running water, but those of us with aft cabins would "have to wait a bit longer." John's British humor was cracking through. Mike discovered that the toilets in the spa on deck 12 were clean; we guessed most people didn't care for the climb. At 15 hours, the Captain announced in the last update of the day that the Chief Engineer determined he would not be able to restart the engines and that there was no point in using the second set of engines because all the wiring had burned and there was no redundancy. We'd remain on the emergency power generator, and that two tugs had been dispatched from Ensenada, where we would be towed; four more tugs would arrive a day later, and that a Mexican Navy patrol boat and a Coast Guard cutter would be with us in the morning. So ended our first Fun Day at Sea, as Carnival calls it. Time was measured, not by the clock, but from 6:10 am Monday. We retired at 15 hours, waking with sun streaming into our cabin at 24 hours (6 am Tuesday). From our balcony we could see the Coast Guard cutter starboard and the Mexican Navy patrol boat port side, along with the Ever Green container ship on the horizon. John had promised two tugs from Ensenada, or Enchilada, as he called it. His first announcement of the day was that one of the tugs' engines had burned up enroute, but that the other tug, The Chihuahua, would be hooked up with a tow line by 30 hours. That was Irony #2. Although the little tug was named the Chihuahua, it thought it was a pit bull! By noon it had latched onto our 110,000 Gross Registered Ton liner, headed north at 4.2 knots and continued to do so alone for 18 hours. That and the magicians were our entertainment for the morning. At noon the ship's entertainers began with anything that did not require amplification: jazz bands, pianists, guitarists, and of course the conventioning magicians. The first two days it was difficult to tell passengers from crew. In the darkness of Monday's call to duty, crew members grabbed whatever clothing was closest and reported to their stations so they wore shorts and tee shirts just like us. Tuesday was the same; many of us had no showers and the crew was still in street clothes, but they looked much better groomed than most passengers. Tuesday was one entertainment-filled day. Each announcement gave us more of the unexpected venue. Four more tugs were to arrive by noon, as was the aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan which "happened to be on maneuvers in the area." Since Mike and I had attended the commissioning of the Reagan at Port Hueneme, we were eager to see her again. Later John told us provisions had been flown to the Reagan and its helicopters would replenish our food and water supply with 20 drops of 3 pallets each, for a total of 60 pallets, to get us by until we arrived at "Enchilada" or Ensenada, as most of us called it. The Reagan showed up on schedule at 30 hours and stationed itself between the Coast Guard cutter and our aft balcony cabin. What a sight all those aircraft on its decks were from our perspective a few decks above! For safety reasons, our amidships pool area, where the drops were to be made, was cleared, but during a trek to the spa toilet Mike found a door on deck 12 with a tremendous view of the drops. It was quite an operation; the helicopter would pick up two or three pallets, fly around, hover till the deck was cleared, lower itself to make the drop, and then return to the Reagan for another load. Meanwhile, deck boys scrambled out and push all of the pallets to one side and around into a lounge for storage. The 40 foot by 40 foot drop area had to be completely cleared by the time the copter was ready for the next drop. But wait, that's not all. Although a Coast Guard helicopter had been patrolling our perimeter all day, the Reagan sent another helicopter up to circle during its presence. There was more! An unscheduled air show included a Coast Guard fixed wing plane circling us, as well as pilots from the Reagan who got in some "touch and go" practice. Nobody had been paying attention, but during the afternoon two Tractor Tugs (not four), the Millennium Dawn and the Edwin Campbell, arrived from Portland, along with a tug replenishment ship, the Beauport. At 36 hours we had quite a flotilla, with the Chihuahua in the lead, followed closely by the Carnival Splendor, the Reagan, the Coast Guard cutter, and the Mexican Navy patrol boat bringing up the rear, with the Ever Green cargo ship back on the horizon! If I had only brought my camera! On a stroll through the casino on the way to the spa toilet, we discovered they had figured out how to operate black jack tables for those with no interest in the entertainment at hand—not using Sail 'N' Sign cards, but that unheard of thing called cash! Dinner that night contained many things the Reagan had delivered, starting with huge shrimp, crab salad, Spring Mix green salad, wraps made from cocktail shrimp and avocado, and roast beef on rye sandwiches. It just didn't get any better than that! Our supply of clean plates, bowls and silverware was depleted, so we had black foam plates, plastic glasses and utensils, and paper napkins. Too bad they couldn't have dropped buckets of hot coffee! Just FYI, Carnival will reimburse the US government for all of this; it won't be out of your tax dollars. It got better. John announced that they had finally established contact with Carnival headquarters in Miami, and that all of us would be refunded the entire cost of our cruises, as well as all air costs to and from the cruise, whether booked through Carnival or not, and they'd throw in a free cruise certificate for good measure. Additionally, we'd be towed to San Diego, not Enchilada, because they feared customs nightmare with 3006 passengers of various nationalities arriving in 55 buses at the border all at once. Further, they'd put up anybody who wanted up in either San Diego or Los Angeles hotels for a night, and they were already booking return air, or they'd bus us back to Long Beach to pick up our cars and pay the parking fees. Plus, anything we'd charged to our Sail 'N' Sign cards would be erased. The last one made that Pinnacle Dining Room dinner even better. At 36 hours the bars also opened for the first time, and everything was on the house. They'd realized all that beer wouldn't be good when it got hot because of no refrigeration, but the poor bucket brigade had to haul it up to a lot of bars for the better part of the night. We figured the heavy beer drinkers were amidships and forward cabins with toilets because it was a heck of a long trek during the night down the 1000 foot corridor and up four decks from our cabin on deck 8 to the spa toilet, which only a few people had discovered. We retired early, and somebody later knocked on our door. I mumbled, "We're asleep," but a boy in a blue jumpsuit popped his head in and asked, "It's OK I flush toilet? It working now." I replied, "Come on in!" After a welcome whoooooosh, the guy departed and said, "I solly to disturb you sleep." I said, "Any time!" As Mike and I tested it, we re-defined a luxury cruise as one with flushing toilets. Life was good at the end of our second Fun Day at Sea. We woke up at 48 hours, dashed out to the balcony and spotted the second tug, the Shiztsu. Are they all named after small dogs? The Shiztsu's tow line was already attached and it was pulling east to counter the current, while the Chihuahua continued to pull north. The Coast Guard cutter followed on the port side and the Mexican Navy's patrol boat followed starboard. We were quite a parade! A check from our balcony showed that the Reagan, the Ever Green cargo ship, the Mexican Navy patrol boat and the Coast Guard fixed wing plane had disappeared, but the rest of our entourage was intact. We'd picked up a blue and white Cessna that circled us for the better part of the day, as well as two Tractor Tugs, the Millennium Dawn and the Edwin Campbell from Portland, as well as the Beauport, a tug replenishment boat. This day's entertainment paled in comparison to the day before, but we ate, drank and enjoyed the situation. Most people were in very good humor and we certainly made a lot of new friends. The Captain announced that the Chihuahua and Shiztsu had done so well that he estimated we'd arrive at the San Diego harbor about 9 am Thursday (instead of late Thursday night, as he'd previously estimated), but that it would be a very dangerous and slow trek from there to the pier so his estimated time to start disembarkation was noon. He said it would go fairly quickly because US Customs and Immigration had decided we'd not go through a re-entry process since we'd not touched foreign soil. By afternoon we'd all received written instructions for Thursday, along with our free cruise certificates and luggage tags that had our disembarkation numbers; ours was 29. We busied ourselves packing, and then went up for our salad and sandwich fare before heading for the entertainment in the Centrum. So ended our third Fun Day at Sea. Since we had a balcony cabin we had plenty of light and good air circulation with the balcony door open. Those in ocean view cabins also had plenty of light, but no air circulation, and those poor people in inside cabins lived in pitch darkness with no air circulation. Most of them did one of three things: the best they could with their door propped open by a chair; took their duvets and camped out in the corridor outside their cabin; or picked up and moved down to a sofa on one of the lounges on an inside deck. Air throughout the ship was fine by the end of the first day because they opened every outside door (big and small) to let the smoke blow out, and those doors remained open for the duration. The crew took care of handicapped passengers, as well. I saw room stewards carrying hospital-type potties to cabins of people in wheel chairs and they also delivered meals to their cabins. If they desired, stewards would bring wheelchair bound passengers up to the Lido deck, and they also assisted those with walkers up the stairwells. Other passengers pitched in, and I saw many offering help to those who needed it. Food has been discussed so much that it needs a mention. From Monday through Thursday we had no hot food, but we had good and nutritional food. No Spam. No Pop Tarts, but lots of fresh salads and fruit for every meal, along with either cold cereal and milk (breakfasts) or sandwiches (lunches and dinner). Our sandwiches were made of whatever bread was next in the larder: white, rye, wheat, hot dog buns, hamburger buns, pita, dinner rolls, and tortilla "wraps". They were filled with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles, yellow cheese, white cheese, Deli roast beef, ham cold meat balls, cocktail shrimp, peanut butter and/or jelly. And all of that food was delivered up 7 decks by the bucket brigade. We were thrilled and certainly didn't go hungry, although we didn't gain anything, either. The sun woke us up at 72 hours (6 am Thursday). Had it only been three days? We discovered two more tugs, the Saturn and the Spartan from San Francisco. Just before we entered San Diego harbor the four additional tugs hooked up their tow lines, all along the starboard side, positioned for their jobs for our journey through the channel. By this time it was a zoo out there. We had police boats, Harbor Patrol Boats, another Coast Guard cutter, several coast guard patrol boats, and a ton of onlookers in sailboats wherever they could park. The additional cutter was in the lead, followed by the Chihuahua, and, and, and. I looked down to see all the tugs lined up alongside the Splendor, as close as they could get to our ship; at a signal they all moved in unison around to a position of 45 degrees and then further with their noses to the Splendor, and we all moved together in that position through the channel to the pier at the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal. As we reached the pier, the Chihuahua and Shiztsu moved out, while the Millennium Dawn moved to the stern, and we were finally secured. Just then I heard a toot of a horn and looked up to see the Chihuahua and the Shiztsu heading back to Ensenada with some Harbor Patrol escorts. Everybody on our part of the ship yelled a loud Thank You. This trip through the channel might have been dangerous, but it sure didn't take as long as estimated; it was only 9 am, and disembarkation began in short order, although our number wasn't called till noon. Each cabin's occupants were escorted by a crew member, who took our luggage to the stairwell, where he turned it over to the bucket brigade, operating in reverse--handing every one of our bags over to the next person from, in our case, deck 8, all the way down to deck 0. Once on the dock our bags met up with us, and we were on our way through the terminal to a bus headed for Long Beach. As we departed, we saw TV crews from every station west of the east coast, including MTV and Univision—we counted 29 vans with antennas. On the way we called our duaghter, who was concerned that we hadn't had the relaxing cruise we'd longed for. Oh, no, we said; we got plenty of rest. We also called our son and his wife, who agreed to come over at 7 and bring dinner. Our only instruction was, "No sandwiches." All in all, this was a never-to-be-forgotten vacation. We learned a lot, we grew to respect the crew and staff much more than ever before, and we appreciated the tremendous logistical effort the entire staff (both on the ship and on shore) went through to ensure our safety and comfort, in that order. We also were grateful for the beautiful weather, we were grateful that nobody had brought Norovirus onboard, and our hats are off to Captain Claudio Cupisti, Cruise Director John Heald, and the captain of the little tug that thought it could, the Chihuahua. Oh, yes, we do plan to take them up on the free cruise. About the only thing to add is my favorite saying, "Life is not the way it's supposed to be. it's the way it is. the way you cope with it makes the difference." Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Each year for the past few years we have cruised on Carnival's newest ship. This included the Freedom and Splendor which we enjoyed, but the Dream is the best. Earlier this year we decided to try Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of ... Read More
Each year for the past few years we have cruised on Carnival's newest ship. This included the Freedom and Splendor which we enjoyed, but the Dream is the best. Earlier this year we decided to try Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas which is a size comparable to the Carnival Dream. So, I will draw some comparisons in our experience of the RC and Carnival ships. Embarkation and debarkation are very fast and easy, especially if you use the self-assist and carry your luggage aboard and off the ship. We arrived at the port at 10:45 am and were on the Dream by 11:15 am. They announce that cabins will not be available until 1:30 pm but the Lido Deck is open for lunch. So everyone is trying to get lunch at the same time while dragging luggage around the dining area. The congestion is unbelievable. The cabin -- outside ocean view -- on Carnival was far superior to the same category cabin we had on RC Navigator. Also, Carnival provides nice bathrobes; RC provides none. As for food, in the main dining room the food was excellent on both the Dream and RC Navigator. In the specialty steakhouse the food was ok on the RC Navigator but beyond excellent on the Dream. The buffet restaurant -- on the Dream's lido deck -- is far, far better with many more choices than that of RC Navigator where the food was awful every day. As for entertainment, on the Carnival Dream it was lackluster. The cruise director reminded me of a televangelist trying to work up a crowd before taking the offering. With the exception of an excellent country/western group the rest was somewhere between pathetic and mediocre. It seemed to me that RC Navigator had more to offer. I loved their ice skating show. One more thing; many earlier reviews talked about the offensive odor of sewage that they encountered on the Dream. I walked the full length of the ship many times on various decks and never experienced any such odors. We will probably try RC and others again, but have always been more than satisfied with our experience on Carnival, which again was very good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2010
Carnival Pride Dec 19- 26, 2010. Short review since others taking this same ship in the fall of 2010 present some good advice. First problem: ALWAYS ask your agent (or call Carnival) to tell you what is directly or almost directly ... Read More
Carnival Pride Dec 19- 26, 2010. Short review since others taking this same ship in the fall of 2010 present some good advice. First problem: ALWAYS ask your agent (or call Carnival) to tell you what is directly or almost directly above your cabin. Don't trust that the floor plans will reveal problems. We selected 8210 based on other reviews, but the first night, we were up and down and up and down with rumbles and thump-thump from above. Monday morning I paced off distances and discovered that 8210 is directly under the kitchen entrance for the Mermaid Grill on the 9th (Lido Deck) level. The Mermaid Grill is the major food service facility other than the sit-down dining room (The Normandie Room). It serves food from early (6 or 7 am) to late (10 pm) and then offers pizza all night! The thumping and rumbling above was the food service carts, dish carts, etc., crossing the threshold from the kitchen to the walking area. The walking area is tiled, with stone tiles, while the tables areas have carpeting. But keeping the walking areas clean would be impossible with carpeted floor. We asked for a change of rooms, but Carnival said, "have none." Tuesday, our second full day, they found us a room (5214) that was identical to 8210 but on Deck 5 rather than Deck 8. We moved ourselves in 15 minutes, and that solved the problem. One trial learning: Never, ever, book a room without knowing specifically what is above you! Second problem: we're Baltimore Ravens professional football fans. The BIG game that week was on Thursday, and Carnival noted on their daily Fun list (distributed to every cabin the day before) that the Ravens game would be on the TVs in the Casino and adjacent Sports Bar. We asked about room television but were told that it was only on the Casinos and Sports Bar televisions. But the only inside smoking areas are the Casino and Sports bar! To watch the game, we were trapped in the smoky Casino and Sports bar. We estimate that at least ¾ of the passengers on the ship didn't smoke. That is a common ratio for the USA today. Carnival forced anyone who wanted to watch the game to breathe the stinky air in the Casino or Sports bar. Be aware of this smoking area—it's really unpleasant and we stayed away from the Casino as much as possible, but if we wanted to watch the Ravens football game, we had to stay there. Not very thoughtful of Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Embarkation for the Liberty took longer than we had experienced on other ships, but the personnel were all very friendly and helpful. We went to the Lido deck and enjoyed the buffet with a wide variety of dishes. Our rooms were available ... Read More
Embarkation for the Liberty took longer than we had experienced on other ships, but the personnel were all very friendly and helpful. We went to the Lido deck and enjoyed the buffet with a wide variety of dishes. Our rooms were available at 1:30 and we were happy with the cleanliness and arrangement. At dinner that first evening we were pleased to meet our table mates and all enjoyed each others company for the rest of the week. Dinner in the dining room exceeded our expectations. Lobster and shrimp for the first formal evening and filet mignon for the second, with a wide variety of other choices. We chose this cruise because we wanted to get away for some rest, reading and relaxation, since we are full time caregivers for two teenage granddaughters. The first night we went from our late dining straight to our room and went to bed expecting to have a great sleep with the slightly rocking ship. We were awakened at 2 a.m. by extremely loud yelling from the next door cabin, accompanied by banging deck furniture and slamming doors. This continued until 4 a.m. when I finally got dressed and went up to the Lido deck after reporting it to guest services. I asked to be moved to another cabin and they said that none were available. I am almost positive this is not true. They advised me to call them if it continued. By the time I returned the cabin had become quiet. The second night was a repeat. I called quest services and they sent up security who apparently convinced these young men to quiet down. Third night was quiet. The fourth night it was again screaming at the tops of their lungs with furniture in the cabin being banged into the wall. I heard other cabins yelling for them to "knock it off" and finally I heard a commotion out in the passageway. There were 3 security men talking to several young men. As they were talking another passenger from down the hall went by and announced she could not sleep with all the yelling and was going up to the Lido to sleep. They then exited their cabin and it was quiet. One evening early in the cruise I did hear one of the young men say that his bar bill was already $1500.00! On the last day I went to guest services and said "we have enjoyed everything about this cruise: the food, the room service, our cabin steward, the dining room personnel....all were great, but your security drags down your whole operation. Those idiot should have been escorted off the ship at the second port: St. Thomas because that is what your contract says". He apologized. Would we sail on Carnival again? The answer is probably yes because we just happened to be unlucky enough to be next to these clowns. We napped a lot during the daytime which helped. The beds were very comfortable. We enjoyed the provided robes which were needed when we left a chilly Miami. Breakfast buffets were predictable with not enough variety. Lunch buffets were better with Chinese and Burrito stations added to the mix. Disembarkation was smooth. We enjoyed the stop in St. Thomas where we have friends with whom we enjoyed lunch. I always enjoy the shopping in St. Maarten and did so this time. All in all a good time and we would both recommend the Liberty. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Nothing to do with the menus served before in Carnival ships and other Cruise Lines.The " cutting corners" in cost was so obvious. I would rather pay a little more and get the good food we were used to have than have this poor ... Read More
Nothing to do with the menus served before in Carnival ships and other Cruise Lines.The " cutting corners" in cost was so obvious. I would rather pay a little more and get the good food we were used to have than have this poor excuse of a menu selection.( mini filet mignon-complimented with a short rib (?)..... a small lobster tail and an addition of 3 shrimps...... No sirloin steak, instead they serve a "Flat Iron Steak" (?) On Carnival's website they have a set of 7 day sample menus: 1)on days one and three they say they serve NEW YORK STEAK 2)on days two and seven they say they serve ROASTED PRIME RIB OF BEEF 3)on days four,five and six they say they serve FILET OF BEEF DONT LOOK FOR THEM The only way to get a good steak on board is at their Steakhouse and you have to pay EXTRA. Stateroom Quality :Check the mattress!! Ours had a dip in the center you could'nt sleep. Service Staff Quality:they made us forget what we were eating,they were almost all of them EXCELLENT Entertainment & Activities :Nothing new ,the same old stuff We call it CANNED entertainment. Imagine , we had to live it for the two weeks ( two back to back cruises) Ship Quality :We loved her in 2006 so we sailed with her again Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We sailed Dec. 11-18 it was my first time on Carnival and I was well pleased. The ship is beautiful and well planned we had no trouble getting around at all. The shows were great and the Cruise director Butch and baby Butch were ... Read More
We sailed Dec. 11-18 it was my first time on Carnival and I was well pleased. The ship is beautiful and well planned we had no trouble getting around at all. The shows were great and the Cruise director Butch and baby Butch were wonderful. We participated in the team contest and won a trophy for decorating our door and since we don't live together he was great about getting us another one so we could both have one. The food was very good and our service was great I enjoyed dancing with our waiter Alvin. The last cruise I was on was to the eastern caribbean and I believe I enjoyd those pors ov call better than these. At Cozumel the winds were too rough for the helmet dive we had scheduled but we were about to book the dolphin experience instead and it was a Dream come true. Other than the weather with the wind being so strong and the tems lower than I would have liked it was enjoyable. Belize was really interesting we did the Myan ruins and the river wallace and it was neat. Roatan was different we went to the west end and that was quit an experience the roads are terrable but it was interesting to see.We then went to the beach and hungout for a while. At Costa Maya we just shoped and it was fun to bargin with the people. Got some good deals. As for the if I would take this cruise again probably not really like the Eastern better but if I would go on the Dream again Yes it was lots of fun. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
My wife and I have been on 6 previous cruises (5 Carnival, 1 Royal Caribbean), but an 11 year hiatus finally ended with this trip to Key West/Cozumel. We took our 10 yr old granddaughter, her first, but now its the only way she wants to ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 6 previous cruises (5 Carnival, 1 Royal Caribbean), but an 11 year hiatus finally ended with this trip to Key West/Cozumel. We took our 10 yr old granddaughter, her first, but now its the only way she wants to travel. Best investment=Faster to the Fun. We registered at 10:40AM and were on board with luggage at our room (ready) at 11:25, first beverages by the pool at 11:45. Well worth the $50. Walking to the kids slide area, our granddaughter stopped dead in her tracks, started running and screaming..literally, another girl from her class at school was on board! She had no idea. My wife said, "Well, we'll be by the pool and see you Friday morning". Made the trip even better. Carnival still does it right. Great staff, clean cabin and public spaces, but the food at the buffet was between good/average. Biggest problem was that nothing seemed hot, just barely warm, regardless if you were there when they opened or not. Only 1 dinner in the main dining room and it was very good. Attempted to sign our granddaughter for some kids programs but never got passed the staff member in charge that day. He must have been their only choice, as he was simply rude and you could tell he did not want this assignment. We just said maybe later and left. Great Motown show and surprised at our luck at the slots, nearly $300 in our favor. Key West was nice, but the newer shops (to us) at the dock were very pricey. Walk another couple blocks to Duval St for the established stores and much better prices. Cozumel was rainy, but we managed to walk a few blocks away from the dock shops, again, those places were very pricey and similar merchandise for 1/2 the price out on the street shops. All in all it was a great trip and we will not hesitate to use Carnival, or this ship, again in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2011
I live thirty minutes from Galveston so it was a simple matter to drive over on the morning of the 3rd. I was traveling with three friends and we arrived around 11AM. We always park at the EZ Cruise parking. By making reservations on-line ... Read More
I live thirty minutes from Galveston so it was a simple matter to drive over on the morning of the 3rd. I was traveling with three friends and we arrived around 11AM. We always park at the EZ Cruise parking. By making reservations on-line you can park for $35 for a five day cruise. The people at the parking lot are very helpful and we were taken without delay to the port. After checking our bags at the curb I was expecting to have a long wait in line to go through the security area and board the ship. On the two previous Ecstasy cruises embarkation was a long and tiring experience. It seems that the Port of Galveston must be listening to the complaints from cruise critic members because this time embarkation was handled very efficiently and in less than thirty minutes we were boarding the ship. CABIN: Our cabins were not ready so we went to the Lido deck for lunch. We were met with another pleasant surprise, the Mongolian Buffet. I have always thought that the Ecstasy had the best hamburgers but with the Mongolian Buffet they are now second place. Within an hour the cabins were ready and we went below to stow our baggage. The cabins haven't really changed and are still at best utilitarian. There is not really any place to comfortably sit except on the bed. The cabins are small but do have adequate closet and drawer space. The cabin attendant was very good and kept the ice bucket filled, plenty of clean towels, and the room in neat order at all times. DINING: I was in need of gaining a few pounds and found doing so to be very easy. The food in the buffet was edible but nothing spectacular. The main dining room was a very pleasant experience. The waiter was very good despite having a lot of tables. Each night the menu had entrees that were tasty and nicely presented. Two of our table mates ordered a complete Indian Dinner and were kind enough to share it. It was very good and I was impressed that Carnival was willing to prepare this as an off-menu item. Since I wasn't overly impressed with the buffet the grill on the Lido deck became my venue of choice for lunch. The Ecstasy still has the best hamburgers of any of the ships I sailed. They cook them on the grill as you wait and serve them hot. All in all I think the Ecstasy holds its own with other ships when it comes to food. OTHER: One of the nicest things that have been added to the Ecstasy in its last retrofit was the Serenity Deck. It isn't in the most convenient place but worth the effort to reach. The young lady who was the attendant was extremely nice and did an excellent job of enforcing the adults only rule. There were nice lounge chairs, two hot tubs, and an area that was shaded. The serenity deck became my favorite place to relax, read, and nap. Being just below the pizza preparation area, the nice aroma drifting down around noon always let you know it was getting close to noon. I also enjoyed the 3PM Tea Time on sea days, the pastries were delicious and the waiters were very attentive. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows in the main show room were nothing special. It may be because I had seen them before but after several years I did think that some changes would have been made. The show band was good but most of the singers and dancers were what one would expect at a high school musical production. DEBARKATION: Another pleasant surprise. In the past self-assist was a nightmare with a mad dash being made by passengers creating long waits. Carnival seems to have gotten a handle on this situation because this time when your deck was called the process was efficient and you got off the ship in a short time. Also clearing customs has also been made much more efficient. In less than thirty minutes from the time our deck was called we were at the curb and on our way to the parking lot. I hope this was not a one time event and that in the future embarkation and debarkation continues to be handled efficiently. CONCLUSION: Carnival is still the "party" group but for a quick get-away the four and five day cruises out of Galveston are a bargain as long as you don't drink too much. I took my first cruise on the Ecstasy some years ago and will always remember just how great I thought she was. In truth, the Ecstasy isn't nor never will be a ship with a lot of "wow" but she offers her travelers a cruise that is worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
The criteria for selecting this cruise were relatively straight forward. First, an embarkation port we could drive to from the Triad of North Carolina. Charleston,SC worked nicely. Second, duration of about a week. Third, affordable. ... Read More
The criteria for selecting this cruise were relatively straight forward. First, an embarkation port we could drive to from the Triad of North Carolina. Charleston,SC worked nicely. Second, duration of about a week. Third, affordable. Fourth, available child programming if needed, or desired by our grandchild. This cruise from Carnival satisfied all of our requirements and generally exceeded our expectations. The stateroom was clean, and as described. The cuisine was well prepared and well presented. The staff in all venues was personable, solicitous and professional. Embarkation and debarkation were well organized, especially considering the relatively ad hoc nature of the Charleston, SC passenger facilities. The folks of Carnival and the Port of Charleston appear to be very interested in "making it work." The facilities and programming for young children were as advertised, though our charge lost interest after the second visit. No reason was stated, and on only a 5 day cruise we did not feel the need for forced respite. The ports for this offering were Freeport and Nassau. The former is a "new town" with the ship mooring in an industrial area. Not our favorite. Nassau is "old" and the cruise ships tie up right downtown. We could walk to a public beach, three-year olds love sand, while admiring some of the historic buildings of Nassau. Good value at a reasonable price, we would do it again with or without our grandchild. Carnival is interested in FUN, for history, culture and local insight in advance of arrival you are pretty much on your own. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
A great experience for a first-time cruiser, or someone like me that had "special" circumstances. I booked this cruise as a gift to my 2 daughters, both 40's adults, as a chance for them to get away from the kids and ... Read More
A great experience for a first-time cruiser, or someone like me that had "special" circumstances. I booked this cruise as a gift to my 2 daughters, both 40's adults, as a chance for them to get away from the kids and husbands, spend quality time with each other and their mother. They had a GREAT time. One girl was on her first cruise, and the other has been out twice before. I needed a short (i.e. 5-day) cruise within easy driving distance of NC and central Georgia. In addition, I wanted to port at Key West to visit my sister, who lives on her sail boat in Marathon. This cruise fit the bill perfectly! (And the price was reasonable) I booked late (November) and got the last balcony cabin, a good thing because my wife will not go unless we have a balcony. The girls got an inside cabin a few doors away. My cabin had 2 fold-down bunks on the walls, which took up space, and prevented one from propping up in the bed to read/watch TV. Boarding was the easiest and fastest I have experienced, BUT we apparently came too early. They said boarding began at noon, but by the time we got on board at 12:30, there were hundreds, if not a thousand, already there. Since you can't get to your cabin before 1:30, everybody was in the Coconut Grove Grill for lunch. The Coconut Grove Grill is the WORST layout I have ever experienced. The majority of tables are "J" shaped booths with padded benches for 4-5 and 2-3 chairs. It was often IMPOSSIBLE to find a table for 2 or 4 persons. The traffic flow of dinners through the lines to the seats is just terrible. The food was only so-so. My wife is a very picky eater, and will not go to the dinning room at all. Takes too long to eat, thinks many of the people are putting on airs when they dress up, etc. Rubber pancakes, greasy bacon, all typical of mass-produced military chow lines. BUT ON THE POSITIVE SIDE! The ship was very clean, especially for an older ship, the crew was friendly and accommodating, everything ran like clockwork, disembarking was lightning fast, cabin to car in 20 minutes (carried own luggage). I would love to see newer ships sailing from JAXPORT, but they will have to relocate the facility because of power lines across the channel, and a local told me that there is little financial interest in support of this. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Sail Date: Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, 2011. Port of Tampa Dropped off by neighbors, nice 35 minute drive to port. Makes it nice living close. Embark: Easy and nice. Found VIP section, presented documents while sitting down, and ... Read More
Sail Date: Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, 2011. Port of Tampa Dropped off by neighbors, nice 35 minute drive to port. Makes it nice living close. Embark: Easy and nice. Found VIP section, presented documents while sitting down, and escorted to waiting area. About 1/2 hour wait, entered ship at 11:45. We always head up to Lido deck and check out the bar. Met a very friendly bartender by the name of Sean. Excellent Mud Slide. Told me to come back and get a chocolate martini, I did...very good. Waited for our friends from Hudson, Florida coming by bus. First time on 5 day cruise. Didn't think it would be long enough...it was. Still prefer the 7-8 day cruises. Nice cruise, smooth waters, Stephanie did a great job as our CD. Islands: Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Two of my favorites. Grand Cayman is known for it's beautiful water, turtle farm and 7-mile beach. I prefer the beach and we just grab a shuttle by the pier and have them take us to the beach. Have been there quite a few times, so this trip we just shopped the front shops and ended up at Margaritaville for drinks. In Cozumel, also have been there many times...just shopped the main area (which is great)...stopped at the drugstore and bought drugs...lol, antibiotic, etc. Ended our day at Fat Tuesdays for drinks. For 1st timers, snorkeling is great and getting a cab and going downtown for shopping. Ship: Old, no frills, atrium is small with 3 colored neon strips going around it, theater is small, one pool and it's packed. No chairs available in Serenity area, casino small and old machines (best slots were the "Hot Shots") BUT plenty of tables for table players. Drinks at the bar are expensive, $6.61 for a beer and anywhere from $6 to 9 for mixed drinks. Room: Inside room, Main Deck, aft. Had inside room this trip, small, needed more shelves in bathroom and makeup mirror. Also, there is no hairdryer, so bring one from home. I did but a lot of people didn't. This has been the only Carnival ship I have been on that didn't have a hair dryer or refrigerator. They do provide soda in the room, six cans which you can trade out for what you drink. Just tell your room Stewart. Large water is also provided in the room for a cost. Soda is $2.24...water around $4.50. Placed on your counter..warm. Ask Stewart for ice twice a day. Beds and pillows are good, and great duvet covers...triple sheeted. Enough closet, drawer & shelf space. Only one plug. If you need more, I brought a power strip with 3 outlets. I have sleep apnea machine and heating pad. Bathroom is small but do-able. Shower is nice with shampoo and body wash dispensers. Room was kept clean. Food: food was just so so (I didn't have to cook, so it was great), miss the good steaks. They do have flat iron steak but it's not very good. The Chocolate Melting Cake is still wonderful. Bread and desserts are great. We tried the "Your Time Dining" and loved it. Will do it again. The only wait we had was for one minute. Always asked for a seat by the window and got it. We order coffee in the morning in our room and the room service was excellent. Cannot beat the 24-hour pizza and wonderful grilled hamburgers and fries by the pool area. Regarding the VIP status...NO BIG DEAL. Sent really bad appetizers to room, we put them outside our door. VIP status for tenders....couldn't find signs for VIP..left with others for island. Never received the free gift which is a picture frame. The best VIP gift....free slot tournament...didn't win but placed. Last words: Don't think I'll do an old ship again. If you are cruising for the first time, you will love it because you don't know any better. I will stick to the newer ships. Was on Carnival's Dream last December and she is wonderful. Glory, Miracle, Liberty and Legend and great Carnival ships. For the price...this was a very good deal and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
This was my fourth cruise, second with Carnival. This was also the shortest cruise I have been on. It was wonderful as always. Actually much better that the last one...on Celebrity. We arrived at the docks about 10:30AM and were ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise, second with Carnival. This was also the shortest cruise I have been on. It was wonderful as always. Actually much better that the last one...on Celebrity. We arrived at the docks about 10:30AM and were boarded by 11:30AM. Marksom our waiter was funny and wonderful. Our room steward we almost never saw but everything was perfect. Carlos in the casino was delightful. Things that were not so good.... The food was the worst I have had on a cruise. We ate at the dining room every night and kept thing it would get better. It did not. But the entertainment was great. The buffet was very limited and also not good. The hamburger station was never open when I was looking for food. Might have been just my timing. Sometimes all I could find to eat was pizza. It was pretty good. My biggest complaint was the photographers. I have never seen so many. Sometimes you could not get to the dining room because of them blocking the way. They would grab you and insist. They didn't like to take no for an answer. There were dozens of them! But I had a wonderful time and will definitely cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
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