This was our second Carnival cruise. First one was almost 4 years ago and I am so glad they improved on the embarkment and disembarkment. Before, they use to snap pictures of people when trying to get off the ship at ports right on the ... Read More
This was our second Carnival cruise. First one was almost 4 years ago and I am so glad they improved on the embarkment and disembarkment. Before, they use to snap pictures of people when trying to get off the ship at ports right on the gang plank. Now, they moved that to the dock, much better and disembarkation went so quickly going on and off. We did have a 2 hour delay getting on in Miami which was crazy and no one ever explained to us what was going on, but you're on vacation and away from the snow so no big deal standing in the sun in Miami for us Canadians.
We had a balcony and it is the only way I have cruised so far so can't compare it to anything. Room was the usual small cabin/comfy quarters but how much time does one spend in their room, right? The cabin steward kept our room clean and lovely towel animals. Use to get chocolate on pillows but didn't get any this time.
We went to Grand Turks, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and St. Maarten - Puerto Rico is still my favourite place. Saw damage from hurricane's in PR but especially in St. Maarten. So sad. The planes are returning to St. Maarten. Did not do any excursions on this trip so can't recommend.
Entertainment was good. Matt the Entertainment Director was great, very funny. The staff on the ship work very hard and are always so polite and friendly. The ship is kept very clean considering there are thousands of people on it.
Dining, Buffets and Food: I am a plant based vegan and that was impossible on the ship unless I only wanted to eat salad every meal. I started eating vegetarian on the ship, which also was harder than you would think given it is 2018. In the dining room one evening, I was about to order the tomato soup as a starter but my waiter informed me it was made with "chicken" stock. Seriously! Then whenever I found stir fry at the buffet, it had chicken or shrimp or both. Only once I found it with just veggies. I went to the asian place for lunch and ordered a veggie stir fry and it was good, although very small. I found the selection of food anywhere on the ship terrible if you were vegetarian and for get it if you were vegan. Family I was with had lobster one night at dining and the lobster was mostly raw. I think for the amount of money I paid (and for Canadians, we also have to fly to a port), the food should be better with options that are not ALL meat, cheese and dairy. And if you make a soup that contains no meat like vegetable or tomato, use vegetable stock to make it not chicken. So many of the various salad options were loaded with mayo ... vegans don't do ANY dairy. I have to say, I was very disappointed in the food. I expected better. I contacted Carnival prior to going and mention I was vegan/vegetarian and they said talk to my waiter. One night in the dining room they made me a special meal, two pieces of broccoli, over cooked asparagus and two hunks of not cooked tofu. It was disgusting. Carnival, you need to dedicate a cook to vegetarians/vegans at meal time. Someone who can make at least one thing completely tasty and healthy.
Waterslides - so much fun!
Skyride- LOVED it!
Summary: for us, cruising is so expensive when you take in account the airfare to get to a port, cost of the cruise, all the gratuities, extras for decent coffee or a drink and then all the expenses when you go off at various ports. I think it is cheaper to go to a resort for 2 weeks then one week on a cruise. I also think that since I have only been on Carnival, I will have to research the other cruise lines to see if they have vegan/vegetarian options that Carnival just does NOT have. If so, my cruising dollar will go to the line that does. I'm not going to neglect my health just because I'm on vacation. Read Less