First, let me say that we booked this cruise, and the one following this (9/3 and 9/13 sailings) for two reasons: price and itinerary. So just based on that, this cruise is a winner. The ports are fantastic. When reading other criticisms ... Read More
First, let me say that we booked this cruise, and the one following this (9/3 and 9/13 sailings) for two reasons: price and itinerary. So just based on that, this cruise is a winner. The ports are fantastic. When reading other criticisms about the ship itself, I was skeptical ... but many are valid.
But I would like to start with the positives. I love, love, love the electronic, technical advances. Your photos are available to see on the Carnival Hub app almost as soon as they are snapped. The app also shows you what is happening when and where and has a ship's map. No more carrying around paper. There are lighted maps in front of the elevators with viewing from two sides. Great.
The ship is clean and for the most part the staff are friendly and helpful. The food in the Marketplace -- the buffet -- is on par with buffet food we have had on other ships the past few years. (That means, not quite as good as when we started cruising in 2001) There is an abundance of seating in this area as well. On other ships, you can spend quite a lot of time just finding a table. Seating in other areas of the ship is also abundant and nice with a variety of seating configurations. The comics in the comedy club have been good -- much, much, much better than those on the Transatlantic Princess cruise we took 4 years ago.
Our cabin, while a bit smaller than on other Carnival ships, was nice, and our cabin stewards were helpful.
The Sky Ride is a blast!
Some of the negatives: As others stated, the Atrium does truly lack any kind of "wow" statement. Overall, Carnival really missed the mark on this ship, for me anyway, in the overall design and decor. It is bland. It is like being used to the lobby of the Ritz, and all of a sudden being given the lobby of the Super 8 motel. Carnival mistook, I believe, our penchant for casual dress -- shorts, tank tops, flip flops -- for a desire for decor to match. Not so. On vacation, I want the surroundings to be beautiful, something out of the ordinary. Take the main dining room. We have to dress down to match this dining room. The tables look like cafeteria tables (cheap laminate). No table cloths. You don't get a butter knife. There are noticeably fewer wait staff. The food is just ok. Nothing to write home about. The rest of the ship is bland. A lot of white and brown tile. White walls. There is no "art gallery", just art hung on a few walls. And I overheard many people echo our thoughts about the location of things -- you can't find anything on this ship! Things are hidden . Bathrooms are not marked well. There is no direct route to the anytime dining room. In summary, if the ship itself is an important aspect of your vacation, this isn't the ship for you. If the itinerary is what you are looking for, this is a wonderful cruise itinerary, even losing Turkey. (Oh, the check in process at the beginning of the cruise was very easy, and we were on board before noon.) Read Less