36 Charleston Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. ... Read More
I choose this cruise since it is closer to home. had surgery in September and had to cancel my Bermuda cruise, took this one to replace it.. took a while to get well. I read that people complain about the Sunshine being rocky.. I've never been on any boat that didn't rock a little. trip was great , food in all areas that I ate was excellent. Cabins were clean as expected. Service was great.. The Charleston port needs a lot of work but I guess Carnival can't help that. Not very handicapped oriented. All in all it was a good trip ,especially for the price. I will go again... The only problem I see is that it has too many passengers for the aminities.. enough eating area that we didn't have to wait but The Lido area was a total mess.. First time to Princess cay, about the same as half moon cay.. Go early for lunch or you will long lines, really not worth the wait, I didn't use Carnival for any excursion. been to Nassau many times and usually just get the taxi tour at the port.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We use this cruise line when we take my mother inlaw on a yearly get away. In the past have had no major problems or issues. This cruise however was the Worst experience I have ever had in 20 years of cruises. I will never go back, ... Read More
We use this cruise line when we take my mother inlaw on a yearly get away. In the past have had no major problems or issues. This cruise however was the Worst experience I have ever had in 20 years of cruises. I will never go back, I'll stick with Princess or Royal Caribbean. The food on this cruise was awful, the buffet was tasteless, and they have no variety, same thing over and over, and just a few selections, no pineapple or watermelon until last day, Unripe (green) canteloupe, Desserts were tasteless, and all you could choose from was cake and hard cookies. Fine dining not much better, after screwing up our dinner time, we were informed we would have to check in every evening to fine us a table. Guys Burgers was the only thing worth eating, however they closed at 6pm. Not enough crew, and crew members had bad attitudes. On crew member in deck 12 was asked to get me a Coke, and he replied no it was not his job, instead he stood there with his finger up his butt looking over balcony and picking up trash ever now and then. Not enough help at bars 1 to 2 bartenders at busy bars on sea days. So many more complaints, I've just touched on a few. Like I said worst cruise in 20 years, but never again, they should sink the sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. Thursday is his drinking night and he was not performing. The shows in the Liquid Lounge where really good. The Acoustic Jams with the young couple Unity entertained us almost every night. They sang a variety of songs and he whistles well while she plays the drum. Ketut and Joyce took good care of our rooms and the Omelet Station on the Lido deck in the Havana Bar was my favorite breakfast most mornings. I would recommend this ship to the 50 and older travelers. They made up 90% of the cruisers onboard. If you require a wheelchair to get on and off the ship this port and this ship does it better than any of the more than 14 ships of 6 different cruise lines I have traveled on. I can't wait for our next cruise on this ship in January 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Port: Charleston- My mom is handicap with a placard. So we got free parking, otherwise it is $20 a day. Crew members directed us to where you give your checked luggage. Then they directed us to the handicap parking where a shutte was ... Read More
Port: Charleston- My mom is handicap with a placard. So we got free parking, otherwise it is $20 a day. Crew members directed us to where you give your checked luggage. Then they directed us to the handicap parking where a shutte was waiting for us. You will take your carry on on this bus. They drove us to the front. SECURITY: We brought a 12 pk of soda each that we bungee cord to our carry on. You will be asked to remove it for the xray belt along with lap top. You will also need to have your boarding pass, id, and birth certificate handy. They told us our room wasn’t ready until 1:30. We just got on the boat and went to eat. Carry ons and all. CABIN- The cabin was great. If you are traveling with child, I would strongly recommend you get the pull out bed under the bed. The bundle bed above takes up too much room. The bathroom on the other hand smelled like sewage the hold time. In our cabin, we had two plug ins and a hair dryer. We brought a plug in adapter that had three plug ins and two usb ports. Worked perfect. The steward brought us a bucket of ice for our can drinks constantly. No fridge. We also prepaid water which was waiting in our room. We used those for walking around on port. PRINCESS CAY: This is where you take the ferry over to shore. 8-5 ... You will have to get a ticket and wait to be called. However, we ate breakfast at 8am and by the time we were done, you no longer had to get a ticket. The mad rush was gone and you just hopped on the ferry. They went back and forth every 15 to 20 minutes. NASSAU: Same thing but no ferry.... just a long walk to the shore. Strongly suggest to just get the free shuttle that will take you to the front door and you will be picked up where you were dropped off. FREE but tips are encouraged. If you are going to Atlantis or the beach, take a cab..$4 a person. They will drop you off at the front door or right at the beach. DO NOT TAKE THE FERRY!! It is the same price but the drop off is about 2 miles from Atlantis and the beach. You will be walking those miles or taking a cab to your destination. Stick with cabs. DISEMBARKMENT: We ate breakfast at 8am, mad rush was gone. We got right off the boat until we reached the location to pick up our bags. Long line to go through customs. However, I strongly suggest getting a porter to help you with your luggage. They have their own lane to go through which is shorter. They are FREE but tips are encouraged. They take you to the shuttle and load your bags for you. If you are being picked up, they take you there also. SHIP: This ship needs to be renovated. It’s very old. We enjoyed it though. They could do a lot better with the dining room food. 5 day cruise it was a $20 charge for lobster. Crazy! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
1. Name of ship-Ecstasy 2. Room #M76 3. Date: Oct 20-25 If you find anything helpful, please let me know with a helpful vote! 4. Pros-Good service staff and the small ship with small crowds was a nice change for us. The ... Read More
1. Name of ship-Ecstasy 2. Room #M76 3. Date: Oct 20-25 If you find anything helpful, please let me know with a helpful vote! 4. Pros-Good service staff and the small ship with small crowds was a nice change for us. The entertainment has greatly improved. 5. Cons- Embarkation-This port needs a lot of attention. It still looks like a deserted ship yard that they have kind of pieced together to make it a port. The never-ending uphill ramp to get to inside the ship. Often a sewer smell permeating from somewhere, but not overbearing. 9. Smoking=only in designated areas that were not bad for non-smokers such as us. 10. smooth= The short cruise was pretty smooth, was lucky in that respect. 11. weather= Raining when we left port but was lucky that port days were good. 12. Ship GPS= Really like that the Captains log kept us up do date. 13. internet= Worked but was pretty slow, even for ship standards. 14. dining- Improved over the years and would say was mostly good. 15. seating room- We were seated with a two young couples on their first cruise by a window. The table was well located and company was pleasant. Per Cruise Critic 16. Personal Background Information-This was my 10th cruise and we often travel with my family with 2 young boys currently 5 and almost 2. We took my mom for her first cruise as sort of an early Christmas/birthday gift. 17. Travel To Port of Embarkation-We live in SC so it was very nice to only have a short drive and get on the ship and drive home after the cruise. Make this one of our more enjoyable cruises. 18. Hotel Info (if any) No hotel since this port is only a couple hours away from our house. 19. Embarkation-This port needs a lot of attention. It still looks like a deserted ship yard that they have kind of pieced together to make it a port. The never ending uphill ramp to get to inside the ship was exhausting for even me, but much worse for Grandma with emphysema. Activities - Children's Clubs 20. Staff & Service: Our 4 year really looked forward to this as the last cruise several months earlier on the Royal Princess he had a great time as well as on MSC Divina but after just 1 visit wanted nothing to do with it. A huge disappointment for mom and dad time. 21. Entertainment: Pleasantly surprised as previous Carnival cruises high school showed could outshine the talent. We enjoyed the shows and seating was sufficient. 22. Shore Excursions-none but did meet a friend in Nassau that showed us the island and visited her home. 23. Disembarkation: long lines to get off the ship went pretty quick, but the long lines to shuttle us to our handicap parked car wasn’t so quick. The area was outside but was covered. 24. Summary- We enjoy the smaller ship with smaller crowds but the port looks really sad. The cost is higher to go out of this port vs the ports in Florida and the itineraries are very limited out of Charleston. For what we wanted in this particular cruise it was nice and would go again if we don’t mind the same islands for a higher price, but major convenience for travel. If you found anything helpful, let me know with a vote! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement ... Read More
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement don't match up with the cones they have laid out and other cruisers cant seem to figure out where they should be. However, they had enough people out directing traffic and getting people back in proper lines that this wasn't a big issue. The shuttle from parking lot to embarkation lines were friendly, clean, and fast. Embarkation was about as fast as other ports we have used (New Orleans, San Juan). The lines before security were squeezed in tight, not very friendly for anyone carrying anything. Our stroller (small umbrella) and small carry-ons struggled through the poles. Other passengers with just carry on or twelve pack were struggling as well. They just have the space much to narrow. Check-in was smooth, except they placed one of our rooms on the wrong floor than promised. They also dissmissed this because it they didn't considerate it a problem. However, it was a huge hassle. We booked to all be on the same floor for easier communication and meeting up, but having one room on another floor was a headache. The texting feature on the app doesn't work, so there is not a convenient way to communicate. Our cabins were clean as expected. Our two year old still sleeps in a crib at home, but they won't assign on for 2+. Our steward got a supervisor to approve one for ours!! Saved our sanity!! We pushed the double bed against the wall with the window and had lots of room for the crib and stroller. (Extra tip for the hard to make bed lol) We did have a problem with a sink, but it was fixed within an hour. The ship was pretty clean and seemed well maintained. Nothing stood out as horrible or fantastic as far as decor goes. Our first night in the dining room was pretty horrible. Our drinks ordered the first few minutes of being seated didnt arrive until midway through our main course. It also took much longer than usual for anything. After that night we were seated in a different section and returned there every night after. No problems after being moved to a different area with a different wait staff. The food was good, but drinks take forever. We started taking one with us, ordering one when seated, and found that to be better for us. Our 2 year is mostly potty trained, but we like to use a swim diaper for accidents (just incase). We were worried that traveling may mess up his potty routine and not be able to swim or use the water slide area, but there were atleast 6 kids with swim diapers at any moment in the slide area. (He ended up being fine and did well with potty and traveling! We took a foldable potty seat that we used before cruise just so he had something he was already using.) The slides were all three kids favorite part! Ages 2-6. They did like the shows, but got so tired it was hard for them to stay up for some of them. Only the 2 year old went to the camp ocean. They were having a bubble party and he loved it, kept asking to go play!! We are home and he still wants to go to camp ocean. The other children didn't go only because of parental choice. The rocking on the ship was much rougher than our other sailings in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Sailing in the Atlantic we got a real experience of sea sickness. Take meds even if you havent gotten sick on previous trips! Ports: Princess cays: Nice beach, but it does have somewhat rocky/rough shore line. Water shoes are a must!! The kids and babies can still play in the sand, but getting into and out of water is a bit hard. If you want a shaded seat rent a clam shell for $30 on shore or get one in a package. Bubbles and Cheers dont work on this, even though you use your sail and sign for almost everything. There are plenty of seats in the sun, plenty of beach, and plenty of places to play. There is a playground and kiddy pool. Showers to rinse off. Floats and things to rent. Look into the packages to save some bucks before this port. The buffet was not good. There are four lines, but people tend to just form into the first line. Dont be afraid to jump into a shorter line. All the lines going into the same building are on the same side and serve the same food. Served some salsa/chips, salad sides, hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, rice, beans, water, lemonade, cookies, and browies. The salsa and chips were the best thing they had. Half of our burgers were undercooked, the chicken was mostly bone, rice and beans were very dry. Would have preferred to pay for fast food or just sandwich boxes. Overall we did like this port. We didn't have a big expense for excursions, so that was a nice plus. The beach was nice and the water was clean! Nassau was ok. We had a private boat excursion lined up because we couldn't find anything for our group with a 2 year old. Due to an early morning thunderstorm, ours was cancelled. We ended up just walking around and shopping. There are a lot of vendors trying to sell you something. We were told that its not safe to go out with out a carnival exscursion, but I had read reviews before we left and figured they were just trying to sell us an excursion. We had no trouble walking around close to the port and shopping. We didnt go far because the heat was horrible. I think we would have prefered to do something else if we could go back. The Suess breakfast was a nice experience for the older kids. They loved seeing stories come to life and get pics with characters. The toddler didn't care. The adults didn't care for the special dishes, but the staff was happy to get regular dishes too, just ask! The staff here was above and beyond amazing!! For only $5 a person, we felt pretty pampered for a breakfast. The line to enter could have been a little more organized, but the actual event was great! If you have kids, give this a shot- especially on this ship!! Disembarkation was a nightmare. This was our 3rd carnival cruise and by far the worst getting off the ship. We went to the disembarkation show and read what was suppose to happen. Charleston requires Carnival to do a silent disembarkation, which would have been nice. However, nothing was done how they said it would be done. Self carry off was suppose to go by floor and have the forward elevators locked in for the currently called floor. This was not the case. We waited over 20 minutes during our "priority" elevator time and EVERY ONE PASSED OUR FLOOR. The employee standing at the bay was telling everyone that they had to use the stairs and the elevators were only for the top floors. We asked her about the priority elevator time for our floor and she said she didnt know when that was. Then she just left the area. Having some disabled folks, we were not able to do stairs with strollers and luggage in tow. We waited for an elevator for 25 minutes along with 4 other disabled groups. When an elevator showed up, a crew member was telling us that it shouldn't have stopped on our floor, he needed to go up. When asked why our floor was called to disembark and asked about our floors designated elevator times, he mumbled that they were busy and all floors needed elevators. The lines to get off the ship were stalled so many times to WAIT for people that packed sail and sign cards in luggage. The lines were so long, the crew was having a hard time wrapping it around just one floor. We were told that we couldn't use the handicap ramp on the 3rd level because we didn't have a wheel chair. The day before we were told we could. The disembarkation show advised anyone that has trouble with the inclines/ handicap/ or those with prams should use deck 3 to disembark. However, nothing that was said in the disembarkation show or on the papers given out was followed. This was a crap-show. I am not sure I would sail out of Charleston again. The port itself needs an overhaul and disembarkation was a nightmare. This ship was fine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We really enjoyed the addition of new restaurants, such as Guy's Burgers. Pros: -By and large, service was excellent. There were a couple of issues (which I'll list below), but waitstaff in the restaurants was wonderful. We also always has fresh towels in our room, and anytime we needed anything, it was quickly handled. -The food was very good compared to other Carnival ships I've been on recently. -There were plenty of activities to do. We went on a different Carnival cruise in December, and there was hardly any trivia or other fun stuff to do during the day besides go to the casino. On the Ecstasy, there were fun activities to do around the clock. -Even though the cruise was sold out, we seldom had to wait for anything. They had plenty of staff available, so even lines that seemed long at first went by extremely quickly. The ship is very well organized and nothing was super congested. -The cleanness of this ship (well, all Carnival ships I've been on really) is so impressive! The bathrooms were always perfect, and with hundreds of people milling in and out of the public areas, it shows how hard they work to keep things clean. Cons: -What happened to the twice-a-day room service, including turn-down, towel animals, and chocolates? We only had towel animals twice on our trip. This isn't a big deal, of course, but was definitely part of the charm on our first cruise. -The excursions were disappointing. For the Princess Cays, we purchased a snorkel package that included 30 minutes on a water bike. When we tried to use the bike (an hour before we were told the activity would shut down), it was already closed. The people running it were napping on picnic tables. When we asked about a partial refund, Carnival refused to refund half of the package (and this was half of the price of the package), saying that the excursion was on sale when we bought it. We were only asking on a refund on part of the sale price, so that made no sense. We did the dolphin swim in Nassau, and while it was lots of fun, the photo package was so expensive that I didn't have enough cash on hand to get it. (It was $100 for a disc of 10 pictures, so be prepared...they won't let you bring a GoPro, camera, or phone to take a picture yourself.) While this wasn't Carnival's fault, of course, some warning on this would have been helpful. -I fell down and badly hurt my leg. This was witnessed by one of the workers in the WaterWorks area. He said he would call for help, but no one ever came and brought so much as ice. An X-ray when I went to the urgent care after getting back showed showed that my leg was actually fractured. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The ... Read More
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The decor seems like it is from the 1950’s in the cabins and public areas. The “multi-purpose” room lounge is tiresome. It seems like we spent way too much time for announcements, coordination of activities, education, cocktail hour, entertainment, and selling future cruises in the same room. We created several of our own shore excursions because the ones offered were not interesting. Again, on past experiences the cruise line offered shore experiences exclusively for the those who were passengers on the cruise and we could review the itinerary ahead of time and know the pricing. American Cruise Lines did not clearly explain options and pricing, both online and even on a daily basis. Security basics were lacking, not even safes in the cabins. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise because there were limited cruises left to choose from. The ship is small compare to what I have been on before. The ship had a few wears and tears. Our restroom had rust and strips loosen. We were on a ocean views side ... Read More
I chose this cruise because there were limited cruises left to choose from. The ship is small compare to what I have been on before. The ship had a few wears and tears. Our restroom had rust and strips loosen. We were on a ocean views side and the windows had small leaks. The food was GREAT!! JUST TOO MUCH FOOD. My sister and niece went along with me and they found it to be fun as well, until the ocean sickness hit my niece on the first day. When we got out to sea the Ship rocked like it was playing in a rock roll band, over the ocean blue. She has motions sickness so bad that we spent half of our fun moneys on medicine, motion waist bands, drops behind your ear to relief her of this rock and roll storm and etc... Eventually she had to just go to bed. The next day she felt a little better and attempted to enjoy the cruise. Other than that the cruise was great. The crew members were awesome especially, Brittney, the cruise Director. A big Shout out to Brittney and all who accompany her. Lee the one who hosted the BINGO did an outstanding job. James our house cleaning great job. OOPS! missed some people. Before we entered the ship the security offices were awesome. Carrie, Greg and another older Guy can't remember his name but they were so nice and they appreciate theirs job. Ioana Opris, Guest Services was good, very organized. The men dressed in all White during other Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were very pleasant. The one in particular was Nenad! hope I spelled it right. unfortunately I will not sail this Ship again, it's not the ship its the depart. Do not like South Carolina. Nassau Bahamas; when we arrived the crooked people blend right in with the business people. Be careful who you talk to. They offer drugs, try to sell you stolen goods and sexual offers. Please be CAREFUL!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of ... Read More
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and areas within driving distance. Although you can fly, the airport is a quick taxi ride to the port, this would get so much more use if they had more ships. Several people shared that the city of Charleston is only wanting one boat at a time using the port. Carnival is switching out the Ecstasy for the Sunshine in 2019. Embarkation was speedy, I made it through security and over to the check-in counter with ease. I was on the gangway within 10 minutes.Get there by 11 and you can get on the boat. They give you a special time on your boarding pass but it didn't seem to matter. Once on the boat the party was revving up on the Lido Deck. Guy's Burger Joint was ready as was the Blue Iguana Cantina and the lunch buffet. The pizza place at the very back of the Lido Deck was great, the Caesar salad was a HUGE hit. If you have the bubbles package (sodas, not alcohol) you need to pay SC tax while in port. Also, the bubbles/alcohol packages cannot be used on the private island or on room service. We were allowed to our cabins promptly at 1:30 and many bags were already there. We loved our room, small TV (not a ton of channels, not good if you are seasick or stuck in your room, thankfully we weren't). Bathroom was tiny but that's to be expected. Water pressure was not good, fuse blew when too many people were drying their hair and some cabin bathrooms had a slight odor but essential oils took care of that issue. We mustered around 3:30. This was a typical muster, we listened to the rules, walked up to where our lifeboat was and that was it. We didn't need to bring our vests. We sailed away and toured around the ship. It's a smaller ship, maybe 2000 people on board but, unless you walked the length of the boat on our deck (Deck 5 Main) we had to weasel in and out of rooms (mostly the casino on Deck 9) which was filled with cigarette smoke. There was awesome nightly entertainment near the China Town bar but the smoke kept us away. Piano Bar was fun, comedy was great, shows were great, the Love and Marriage show is always a winner and we were even able to watch the Super Bowl in the two lounges as well as the Lido Deck. The Alchemy Bar was awesome, martini tastings were a big hit and there were wonderful areas at the bar and in it's vicinity to sit and enjoy your drink. We had the late seating for dining and we LOVED it. Our server, Lucy, knew our names almost immediately, catered to the specialty dishes some of our party needed and was a delight over the entire trip. Support staff in the dining room was wonderful as well. The food was quite tasty overall, I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised (just ask the 8 pounds I brought home with me hahaha) Day 2 was all day at sea, the boat is older so we felt LOTS of rocking. Some didn't like that and had some sea sickness. Thankfully I didn't and found the rocking to be soothing and relaxing. Sea Day Brunch was another pleasant surprise- get the steak and eggs. The steak was tender and seasoned well. Omelets were good too I heard but on both sea days, during the brunch I got steak and eggs. The private island, Princess Cay, was great, the water was chilly and it was windy but we found a great pavilion with plenty of seats both in and out of the shade. The island lunch was okay, burgers with accouterments. Some of us headed back to the boat (you have to take a tender to and from the main ship) and before boarding you need to go through security so plan accordingly. I heard that as the time to board got closer, the lines were long, the sun was hot and if you wanted shade there were limited seats on the bottom of the tender. The next day we got to Nassau and opted to go to the Nassau Hilton, its right next door to Senor Frogs. $79 got you a day pass that included a $40 food/beverage credit to use, access to their private beach, pool, chairs, umbrellas etc. It was worth every penny. It was clean, quiet, not crowded at all. I would go there again in a heartbeat. The food was pricey, a burger was $19.75- so your credit doesn't go too far. Beachy adult beverages averaged around $10 as did a shot. Yup. A shot was $10. Note that there is a tax added to the food and drinks but gratuity is already included. On our way back, our second sea day, it was chilly- windy and somewhat cloudy so time on deck was limited. We had fun sleeping in, going to the sea day brunch, playing BINGO and taking naps. For our final dinner we headed back to the dining room (we went every night, the choices were great, rarely was there an issue choosing something yummy) and followed it up with the comedy club and show. The morning of debarkation was loud as I said above, the boat is old but don't let it deceive you, it was a really fun time. Plenty of places to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. It's not a mega ship, it has few modern features but the size of it can be a good thing. The private beach day wasn't crowded, the deck always had seats available, getting on and off the boat happened with minimal wait time. We made our way back to the security building, grabbed our luggage (we left it outside our doors by 11pm the night before, you could carry it if you wanted to) and made it through customs quickly. I grabbed a taxi to the airport but others in my party waited in line for a shuttle to get them to the parking deck. If you are looking for a fun getaway, this is great for those on the east coast who don't want to go to the major ports. I may need to return when they put the Sunshine on rotation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Was looking for a cruise near where I could go see a Miami Dolphin, and an Atlanta Falcons football game. Charleston was the best fit time and location wise. Don't get me wrong aspects of the cruise were good, but never great. The ... Read More
Was looking for a cruise near where I could go see a Miami Dolphin, and an Atlanta Falcons football game. Charleston was the best fit time and location wise. Don't get me wrong aspects of the cruise were good, but never great. The food was good in the dining room, but lousy in the buffet. Drinks were very measured on the alcohol, but with the cheers program 15 a day was plenty. One Comedian was good(Jerome) the other meh(Terranova). The crew led activities were at best bad to really terrible. (trivia by far the least entertaining, and unfortunately the most often) Of my 12 or so cruises this was the worst. Guest services totally unfriendly, and completely unhelpful. The bartenders were by far the worst ever. Roque in the buffet area needs to find a new career. The Alchemy bar gets offended if you order a beer. "We're a martini bar, try somewhere else" Don't pre-pay your gratuities. Our cabin steward "MADE" only made the room once on a five day cruise. There was one bright spot a Barista named AYSA. Best coffee I have had on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because it was close to home .We have never been to cruiseline private island it was very nice the ship is a little older but still very nice.we enjoyed the shows the casino and room service. the sea was a little rough ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was close to home .We have never been to cruiseline private island it was very nice the ship is a little older but still very nice.we enjoyed the shows the casino and room service. the sea was a little rough but we had fun still we were a group of twenty. some new cruisers and some veteran cruisers we highly recommend this ship. the band was great the staff was very pleasant and professional.there was something for everyone the ship never felt crowded. we were not able to dock at freeport bahamas do to high winds so we had another seaday which gave us a opportunity to get some rest we would do the ecstasy again .this is a lovely little ship try the philly cheese steak from room service very good and we loved the guy burgers and micheal our cabin steward was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Had a lot of talented staff on board. good shows and Guy's burgers were very good. when we got home and i realized we did not get our $50. room credit i called. We booked online under the super saver and one of the perks was the room ... Read More
Had a lot of talented staff on board. good shows and Guy's burgers were very good. when we got home and i realized we did not get our $50. room credit i called. We booked online under the super saver and one of the perks was the room credit. The excuse i was given was because i had to call to get the forms to fill out for a handicap cabin. [Our adult son is in a wheelchair.] You can't just pick out a handicap room online My original booking was done on line. and i printed out everything i needed. There is nothing you can book on Nassau that is wheelchair friendly. We booked a cabana on half moon cay and it was handicap acess.. The gate they put up was great. it stopped people from useing our private area that i paid for as a public acess. to the beach. We did have a few who just opened gate and went right through between our chaise lounges and down the deck steps to the beach. it rained and it was great to sit in the cabana and stay dry. Half moon cay is beautiful.We arrived at the port and was waiting inline to eat in just a little over an hour. Grandkids loved the childrens program and everything about the cruise even making the towel animals. They eat ice cream 4 or 5 times a day. If you want to get off the ship fast keep your suit cases and take them off your self. We had no trouble getting a shuttle that was wheelchair acess. Deck 11 and 12 are not acess. for wheelchair. Staff overall was very good. our room stewart wayan and jr. dinring hostess abigale were extra nice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Well the going to the bahamas was great. However i will never go through carnival cruise line again. I had gotten the faster to the fun excursion, but we still had to get in our room when we arrived. Then the room was didn't have the ... Read More
Well the going to the bahamas was great. However i will never go through carnival cruise line again. I had gotten the faster to the fun excursion, but we still had to get in our room when we arrived. Then the room was didn't have the cake, but the manager gave us wine for that. Then we had to get wait two days for the refrigerator. I had to ask for two days to get one. My boyfriend was a diabetic. He didn't get his medicine. He got sick. And when i called carnival they said refrigerators weren't in the contact, and that there is a better way to store medicine.although it was in the notes that one had beenrequested by my travel agent. It was in there notes. Then the all inclusive shore excursion had certain drinks, which wasn't in the contract. And they made shore they kept the 200 dollars. That went to whatever gratuities they could get. Carnival is a rip off cruise line and as far as i am concerned the only thing my money paid for was getting transportation to the bahamas, and that's it. We paid grautites for sodas, our room getting clean, and the man dining room. I am done with them. The main dining food was awful. And i only ate in the main dining room twice for brunch. We only had sda, and i paid for the bottomless bubbles. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This cruise was our fifth ACL cruise and our second on the Independence. All have been fantastic. You won't go away hungry on American Cruise Lines. You order breakfast from a menu with numerous choices. There is also an ... Read More
This cruise was our fifth ACL cruise and our second on the Independence. All have been fantastic. You won't go away hungry on American Cruise Lines. You order breakfast from a menu with numerous choices. There is also an early-riser quick-breakfast with muffins and fruit. At breakfast you choose your lunch and dinner preferences. Most menu items feature food from the local area and is always fresh. There are three main-course choices for each meal, all of them outstanding. If the menu doesn't appeal, you can ask for almost anything, and it will be prepared for you. Warm cookies are served in the lounge at 10 a.m. Cocktail hour is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with your choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well as delicious hors-d'oeuvres. During evening entertainment more refreshments are available. The lounge area is attractively furnished with comfortable sofas and chairs. It is well used for on-board presentations, cocktail hours, and entertainment. On-board speakers are excellent, with experts on the local areas. Evening entertainment is varied and enjoyable, often from the local area. Shore excursions are excellent with many options available. Accommodations are made for guests with mobility issues. We especially enjoyed Evelene's tour of the Low Country at Beaufort, the historic area of Savannah, the alligator and wildlife tour on Hilton Head, the shrimp boat tour from St. Simons, and the walking tour of the seaport town of Fernandina Beach. The entire staff works hard to give guests a good experience. They are friendly, attentive, and helpful when needed. We look forward to our next cruise to the San Juan Islands. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
While this cruise/ship is not the most elegant, it certainly is a lot of value. Our cabin was quite adequate (an inside cabin) as we spend very little time in it. The food was quite good, especially in the dining room, ... Read More
While this cruise/ship is not the most elegant, it certainly is a lot of value. Our cabin was quite adequate (an inside cabin) as we spend very little time in it. The food was quite good, especially in the dining room, but it is not quite as good as on previous Carnival cruises. We found the staff to be excellent. They were quick, competent, and remarkably friendly. The entertainment is quite good in the main show room, the comedy club, and throughout the ship. The ports of call (Nassau and Freeport) are a couple of our favorites. The convenience for us (we live in the Charleston, SC area) is especially good, and the staff at the terminal is remarkable. They got us on board quickly and put us in a great mood right from the beginning. What more could you ask for? My wife and I will definitely be going on a lot more cruises on the Ecstasy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Small ship, American waters, American crew, American flagship. These were my hopes when I first researched ACL. They promised much but I thought they were a little pricey. I signed anyway, but was late in doing so, and cabins were limited. ... Read More
Small ship, American waters, American crew, American flagship. These were my hopes when I first researched ACL. They promised much but I thought they were a little pricey. I signed anyway, but was late in doing so, and cabins were limited. I wanted a single with veranda but had to settle for a double on Deck 1. When I arrived however, I was placed in a double on Deck 2. I am a bit handicapped and was placed rather close to the elevator. From the moment I arrived until my departure eight days later, ACL exceeded my expectations. The crew, from captain on down, was unfailingly polite, friendly, and knowledgeable. All directors (and other "bosses") were in constant attendance and always approachable. My one complaint was that it was recommended that I bring long sleeved shirts for daily wear. Most passengers knew better and I saw more golf shirts than button-down sport shirts. I took two sports jackets, wore one on Thursday for drinks and dinner with the captain, and almost felt overdressed. The preceding is a very minor gripe. All in lol I really enjoyed the cruise, the crew, and the other passengers. And, lest I forget, the food, each and every meal, was outstanding. The choices were extensive, and every dish was just about perfect. The tours were fun, and I truly enjoyed the entertainment. I have signed up for my second cruise, in June. By the way, I am 80 and I really like the idea of the cruises outlined by ACL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It was an Anniversary cruise that was supposed to be aboard a luxury cruise ship with a wheelchair accessible accommodations. My husband was assured that he would be able to use his motorized scooter for excursions ( he used it twice) the ... Read More
It was an Anniversary cruise that was supposed to be aboard a luxury cruise ship with a wheelchair accessible accommodations. My husband was assured that he would be able to use his motorized scooter for excursions ( he used it twice) the scooter had to be lifted up and over the ramp. The ramp isn't even wide enough for a wheel chair people were made to get up and walk up or down the ramp. The elevator only accommodated the wheelchair if my husband stood up and we folded the wheelchair. The room was anything but luxury the bath room was disgraceful and outdated. The room was sold as a king but it was two twins pushed together with a piece of foam running down the middle. (Pictures to follow). Now the entertainment was 1 hour each night some nights it was a talk about what some people got to see if they were able to go on the tours that day. Happy hour was just that 1 hour then the bell was rung and everyone is shuffled off to the dining room after dinner the 1 hour of entertainment.There are only two things this cruise line has going for them the food and some remarkable young people that work their butts off. Serve your food in the morning clean your room later then back to the dining room to serve again. We paid to be transported back to our car in charleston sc and a very nice shuttle bus showed up for other passengers we had to wait for a taxi that would accommodate our scooter this was a 3 hr ride in a old,loud taxi. We have been on at least 8 cruises and never have I felt so scammed. $10,800 dollars lighter we will always remember this nightmare and I will warn everyone I can not to take a cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to ... Read More
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to many of party needing to have early dining we had to have it changed to anytime dining , food was most of the time prepared very good ,a few times orders were wrong or cold . Entertaiment was very good the shows are very good in the theater , activities were not as many this time as have been on other ships , i applaud the celebration for veteran days that the estascy did i am a veteran and i enjoyed it !!! Service did their best to make everyone feel at ease on a rocking ship due to rough seas and weather.the port of bermuda we had to leave a day early . For fear of wind . Bermuda was a little boring . Really feel very disappointed this cruise .but we will be cruising again!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Embarkation: We chose this cruise because we were taking our whole family, kids and grandchildren and would be able to drive to Charleston in under 2 hours. Port of Charleston was very disappointing. It was unorganized. The AC was not ... Read More
Embarkation: We chose this cruise because we were taking our whole family, kids and grandchildren and would be able to drive to Charleston in under 2 hours. Port of Charleston was very disappointing. It was unorganized. The AC was not functioning up to par inside and the lines were long. I have a bad knee and can’t stand for very long or walk far. My husband was unwilling for me to take a wheel chair or even a walker so I was hobbling about with a cane. The security was extremely slow. They said one of their scanners wasn’t working, but every other line was moving much faster than the one we were in. When we finally made it through the luggage scanning process, one of the port employees noticed that not only was I having difficulty standing and moving, but I was beet red from how hot it was inside. She took me to a place where I could sit and wait for the rest of my family to make it to the check-in counters. Not long afterward, she got my husband and son and brought them to me and let us check in. She offered me a wheelchair to board. I was so grateful. I could not have climbed stairs at that point nor walked all the way to my cabin. Stateroom: The ship décor left a lot to be desired. We hadn’t been on such a small ship since our first cruise on the old Carnival Tropicale. Our room, an ocean view on deck 6, seemed even smaller than our room on the Tropicale. But we had all of our kids and grandchildren with us and staying in adjacent cabins. Our cabin steward, Geraldine, came and introduced herself right away and asked if we preferred morning or evening service. We chose morning. When I saw how many rooms she and her staff had to clean, at least 30, I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking for both morning and evening. Those crew members were in the hallway morning, afternoon and evening and working hard. I honestly wouldn’t mind paying more and having more crew members with fewer cabins to care for each day. But our room was kept clean and they brought me ice everyday so that I could ice my bad knee. Food: We are not among those who are lucky enough to cruise every year, but we have had 5 previous cruises on Carnival. This was the first time I was disappointed in the food and my husband felt the same. The Lido food was only so-so. I tried to get pizza twice at lunchtime and there was never any ready. There were 2 crew members working the pizza station and they seemed to make primarily pepperoni. Any other kind you requested, they’d say it would be a 7 minute wait. Believe me, I waited much longer than that. The second time I tried to get margherita pizza. I had seen someone just get a slice. The guy said to me 7 minutes. I said forget it and that I’d take the pepperoni slice he had in his hand and just pick the pepperoni off of it. Buffet on first day was Italian. My pasta was under-cooked, cold and dry. Breakfast on the Lido wasn’t great. The eggs were much worse than I remembered from previous cruises. Waffles had no flavor. French toast was good. I wished we’d done breakfast in the MDR, but this was only a 5 day cruise. The first sea day my husband didn’t want to go there and the last sea day was the Dr. Seuss Breakfast, so we didn’t go. The soft serve ice cream was better than I remember from my last cruise. It definitely was creamy. The frozen yogurt was grainier, but still tasty. Food in the MDR was also sub-par. Some of the soups I ordered had a funny taste, like there was some unidentifiable (to me) spice that spoiled the taste. My prime rib was tough and dry instead of the melt-in-your-mouth experience I had on other cruises. Also filet mignon was tough and dry. We did get crème brulee and bitter and blanc. I was afraid only being on a 5 day we wouldn’t get the desserts I look forward to. They brought my son a small birthday cake on our last night and it was more delicious and moist than any other dessert we had all week. Also, service was okay, but like the cabin stewards, these waiters just have way too many tables to take care of. They made a point of addressing us by name. One waiter did math puzzles with toothpicks every night for us to try and figure out. We did not feel slighted by our wait staff at all, but had a sense of them being completely swamped all night long. And we had 12 people crammed at a table for 10, so we knew we were making extra work for them and we really felt cramped at our table. It would have been nicer if they had given us the tables with the bench seating on one side. We had 4 children with us and they would have taken up less room seated there than trying to get 12 chairs around a table that really is for 8 or 10. But even though it was tight, we were grateful to be seated together as it was the first time we had all of our children and grandchildren together since our 2 grandsons (4 and almost 6) were born. We enjoyed our time together. Entertainment: We are not folks who require outside entertainment to enjoy ourselves but we did enjoy the shows we saw. We saw the Motown Show, the British Invasion Show, and the Hasbro Game Show. We enjoyed them all. At the pre-show for The British Invasion Show, the cruise director, Ben, was so impressed with our family for knowing the answers to so many of his questions and for our enthusiasm and loud cheering and clapping, that he sent our table a bucket of drinks. We were happy just for the shout out. Then for the Hasbro Show, one of our daughters and one of our sons were selected as contestants, so we all went crazy cheering them on. Neither of them won (I think they wanted to let children win since the prize was a Hasbro game package) but again we just had a blast being among the participants. Our youngest son signed up for the talent show for the last night and was featured last doing a Michael Jackson number. The band was really enjoying him and he really hit it off with Ben the cruise director since he’s from our area of SC. He brought the house down. Although they did not declare a winner, he was clearly the favorite of the evening. So it was another really enjoyable experience for the whole family. Karaoke: my youngest son was the Karaoke king on our family cruise back in 2008 and it was the same this time. One of the female crew running the Karaoke lounge was really taken with him. Several of us also participated in Karaoke. And although this venue was on deck 9, it was not smoky inside the club. But as with any Karaoke experience, some folks are really good and some are really awful so you just have to decide how much of this you can take each evening. We did not see any of the comedians, although we had to walk through one performance one evening in order to get off the Serenity Deck. It was the only way to leave the Serenity without having to climb or descend stairs. The guy seemed kind of out of it, like he’d had quite a bit to drink, but I’m sure most of the audience was in the same condition. At any rate, we are not in a position to rate them not having heard their material. Live musicians on board were sub par. A guitar playing singer in the Atrium was pretty bad. And the Atrium on the Ecstasy is so small and crowded feeling, not like the newer, larger ships with their double staircases and view of many of the decks above. There was a small group playing outside one of the bars on deck 9. First of all, all of deck 9 stinks of smoke because of the casino and 2 of the bars are also legitimate smoking areas. For that reason, I don’t care to sit there, but this group was way too loud for the space they were given. You would not be able to carry on a conversation if seated in that area, and I felt so bad for the bartenders who work at the bar right opposite the band. They cannot hear the drink orders, plus they have to stand there for hours getting their eardrums blown out and the music isn’t even good. We missed things like small ensembles like the classical ones we had seen in the Atrium on previous cruises. Camp Ocean: Our grandsons (4 and almost 6) loved it. They did all kinds of activities and really enjoyed hanging out with other kids. Our two granddaughters (8 and 11) enjoyed limited participation, based on whether they wanted to do the activity. But it gave our children, their parents, a chance to relax for a while without constantly having to watch the kids. This was the first time we had any experience with kids in camp and it was a positive one. Shore excursions: My husband and I chose the See and Sea Tour. It included a bus ride around Nassau to show us some stuff in town and then a boat ride to another boat with a glass bottom so we could see fish and other sea creatures. Because of my knee issue, I tried to get info on the amount of walking, distance, etc. on shore excursions I was considering. I got no one on the phone at Carnival who could help. I emailed Shore Excursions and never got a response although I did get an email shortly before the cruise asking me to rate my experience with the response from Carnival. I asked on John Heald’s blog if he would ask other cruisers and got no response from him or them, even though I read his FB page every day. So, of course there was a very long walk in very hot, humid weather to get to our first excursion in Nassau. After I walked the length of the very long pier, they pulled me aside and said I could take a shuttle bus to the excursion, but that wasn’t exactly true. It got me closer, but I still had to walk quite a ways to get to the boat that was going to take us on the first part of our excursion. And the return was even worse. We were so hot and sweaty and dehydrated and we had to walk and walk to the checkpoint to get back to the cruise ships. I kept asking for where the shuttle was that I had been told would take us back to our ship. Finally one came. It took us to the end of the pier and we still had to walk the length of the pier to board the ship. Once again, a Carnival employee noticed the difficulty I was having hobbling on my cane and allowed me to enter the first opening rather than walking all the way to the end of the ship with the rest of the passengers. No wheelchair this time, but still saved some steps. In Freeport, most of our family chose a beach excursion. It was a long bus ride to get there, but there were plenty of chairs and the beach was clean. It was overcast most of the time we were there so they didn’t even bother putting up any umbrellas or other shade devices. There were water activities. You could purchase the option that included lunch and/or open bar or just purchase food and drinks a la carte there. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We were back on board before it got hot and sunny and before the rain kicked in. It was a nice way to hang out with our family and the younger ones could be as active as they liked while my husband and I could enjoy relaxing in our chairs, reading our books or listening to music or just enjoying watching the others have fun. Overall, we had a great time because we were together. I much prefer the Spirit Class ships or the Conquest class and a balcony room. I would hesitate to cruise out of Charleston again. While convenient to get to, between the hassle of the terminal and parking and only having a smaller, old ship available, Charleston is less desirable for me. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
It was a good cruise, i enjoyed it, so did my family, there was several great things on it, but that was 2011, and it got worse from there. PROS - *Great value *Not too big, Not too small *Fun! *Has a better waterpark than ... Read More
It was a good cruise, i enjoyed it, so did my family, there was several great things on it, but that was 2011, and it got worse from there. PROS - *Great value *Not too big, Not too small *Fun! *Has a better waterpark than the Fantasy *Has A better Camp Carnival/Ocean than Fantasy CONS - *Boring if you have gone on every Fantasy class ship except this one *Dr. Seuss replace Fun Ship Freddy *Kinda old We suggest you to go on there if you live in South Carolina, near it, or just want to have a getaway from home at a cheap price. If you go to the bahamas, look for the Grand Celebration ship, which used to be Carnival's "super-class ship" Celebration. Also if you are going to have a 10 day cruise, don't go on this because you will get bored after a while, go on the Newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My husband requested a standby wheelchair before boarding due to being disabled that we never found. Ordered case of water the day before our cruise and it quoted us online the time it would be in the room. He needed it to take his ... Read More
My husband requested a standby wheelchair before boarding due to being disabled that we never found. Ordered case of water the day before our cruise and it quoted us online the time it would be in the room. He needed it to take his diabetic meds. Didn't arrive til 6 pm after probably ten phonecalls to room service. Elevator staff wanted husband to take stairs since elevator was in maintenance...hello handicapped! Three of the four nights we had no cold water only scaulding hot and plumbers tearing pipes apart we hours of morning but they refused to move us to another room. Don't think rooms are actually sanitized well both me and husband came back from cruise and immediately developed flu and pneumonia. Smoke in inside of boat by casino and bar fills the whole promenade deck with smoke. Buffet food is horrible. Got cloth napkins that looked like someone had thrown up on, that needed to be released and had to beg workers on Lido deck to take dirty dishes from somebody else off our table so we could eat. Dining room service for dinner was great with Ricardo. Our room Stewart Iznan ( Easy) also provided great service. We won a free cruise while we were there but will never go on Ecstacy again. Service to customers is terrible. Excursions in Nassau the shallow water at Atlantis with Dolphins was wonderful experience. Excursion of horse back riding in Half Moon Cay was also a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Boarding We arrived by car at about 10:50 AM. It took a while to get to the parking, but it wasn't bad since I didn't expect them to let us in until after 11:30 AM. We quickly arrived to the terminal and security line was ... Read More
Boarding We arrived by car at about 10:50 AM. It took a while to get to the parking, but it wasn't bad since I didn't expect them to let us in until after 11:30 AM. We quickly arrived to the terminal and security line was short. We answered the health questioner and headed to VIFP Check-in. It's not clear how they organize the lines once past security because the lines separate, but seem to merge again. Anyway, it didn't take long because we were on board before noon. Dropped off carry-on bags in cabin and headed to lido buffet. Lido Food I have to say the food was delicious. Yes, the salad bar isn't what it used to be, but it was still okay. There was plenty of different options to choose from. The Deli is still great. I have to say I've never seen such an efficient Mongolian Wok. Other cruises, that line is only decent on port days and when we just board. This cruise, the line was decent all the time. On the other hand, I think this was the worse Pizza line. It seems like there was always a long wait for pizza no matter what time you wanted to get pizza. Not true though, I got a slice pretty quick one time, not the other two times. Many times that I wanted a slice, I got something else because pizza line was long. The Grill line was decent. At times it grew, but never seemed to be too bad. The Rotisserie was almost always no wait. Buffet lines varied, but never seemed to bad. One Ice dispenser gave too much ice that people would throw some of it away and would run out of ice. Service was ok. I have to say the person in charge of the Lido Buffet was very nice and helpful. He even cleaned tables and brought drinks to guest. Some of the Lido Buffet staff seem to not pay enough attention to people wanting refills on drinks. That never bothered me because I could easily get my own drink; but other guests seemed disturbed. Most of the staff was great and friendly. Dinning Room We did Your Time Dinning. It was very good service every evening. No, it wasn't perfect, but it was great. Breakfast seemed a little less that great. Some servers were awesome, but others, not so much. We got the same dinner servers 3 times. They were so great that we tipped extra and it was well earned. Food was always delicious. Pools Pool was not a swimming pool during the day. It was crowded, but that's what vacation is for and it could be expected since it's a small pool for so many passengers. Whirlpools were nice. I liked the Adults Only Whirlpool since I don't get kicked like I do in the one that allows kids. The pool and whirlpools were kept clean and at good temperatures. Serenity Nice place to relax. Didn't use it much, but it was comfortable when I did. Spa I did not get any services, but the men's sauna and steam room worked well. The attendants kept everything clean and organized. Past Guest Party It was the first time I went to this type of party that was reserved only for Platinum and Diamond Guest. It was self service beer, plenty of finger food and drinks. It was much smaller than previous past guest parties and felt more intimate. Shows Not impressed. Many "shows" using passengers. The shows done by the entertainment staff only were great. Did not go to comedy club. Handicap Friendly I was very impressed by the helpfulness of staff and passengers. Many doors were opened and elevator doors held open for us. Many people from all ethnic backgrounds and all ages, even small children, were very accommodating to us when they saw me coming with my mother in a wheelchair. I have to say Carnival is very accessible to persons with disabilities. Thank you to all of you nice people! Half-Moon Cay This is the only port we got off the ship. Absolutely beautiful beach. The cook-out was a great plus, though we didn't take advantage of it. I could have spent all day at the beach, but due to taking care of mom, we only enjoyed it a short time, it was hot. Disembarkation Since we were diamond, we waited in the piano bar which had coffee, tea and juice. Once it was our time, we were escorted off the ship. Very smooth. Only complaint might be that they don't let you walk back to your vehicle, you have to take the shuttle to the nearby parking lot, but lines were long. It wasn't bad for me because my mother was in a wheelchair. Overall, a great cruise. Will definitely continue to cruise with Carnival if the price is right and the itinerary fits. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I'm so glad I said yes to upgrade offer when Carnival called week or so before cruise and offered a balcony upgrade. Well worth the $500 for priority status. Had room V22. Quiet and great views. Note. You have divide between you ... Read More
I'm so glad I said yes to upgrade offer when Carnival called week or so before cruise and offered a balcony upgrade. Well worth the $500 for priority status. Had room V22. Quiet and great views. Note. You have divide between you and neighbor but can see through so not 100% private. I have difficulty standing n handicap tag. With handicap hang tag no cost to park at port and once you get into port they will give you wheelchair which made getting through process much faster. Didn't have to go through lines. Carnival staff were awesome and I enjoyed dinner at my own time. Spa services were world class. See Shopping guides for VIP guides and coupon book. Will be back with Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I have cruised many times on various lines, RCL, Celebrity, Princess. This was my first Carnival cruise. It will most likely be my last. The line was selected because it was within driving range from home. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in ... Read More
I have cruised many times on various lines, RCL, Celebrity, Princess. This was my first Carnival cruise. It will most likely be my last. The line was selected because it was within driving range from home. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Mt. Pleasant and bought the park and sail package. This was a great way to start the trip. The HI was very organized and most pleasant. The shuttle service they use is excellent. They were extremely prompt, pleasant, and most helpful. To our surprise they were there to meet us when we got off the ship. No phone call! From ship's private debarkation lounge through baggage claim etc ... back to the hotel took all of 45 minutes max. We had handicapped assistance the entire way and everyone with whom we came in contact was extremely helpful. Our cabin was truly midship and outside. It was most adequate, but somewhat spartan. There was plenty of room for two friendly adults and the storage space was plentiful. The bathroom was tiny, but not uncomfortable. We almost always book a balcony, but it just wasn't worth it on this ship for the additional price with no discernible advantage. As of October 2014 smoking is not allowed on balconies. Even e-cigarettes are forbidden which I believe is counterintuitive as they are smokeless and have no odor. This leads me to the overall smoking policy. It makes no sense, except of course in dining areas and the spa. The entire starboard side of the Lido deck is a smoking area. By the number of smokers on this cruise, I'm surprised the ship didn't list to starboard. One other bar on the Promenade near the casino entrance had a small smoking area near the central elevators. Too many smokers congregated in this area and the air quality was almost unbearable even for smokers. The casino was segregated in such a way that there was no true division between smoking and non-smoking areas. Non-smoking slots were right next to smoking slots, non-smoking card tables were right next to smoking tables and the rules only applied to actual players. We spend a lot of time in the casino. The biggest plus this trip was that four members of our family qualified for free drinks for the duration of the cruise while playing in the casino. We have never received that kind of perk on any other line. We were also sent chocolate covered strawberries to all our cabins as "valued casino guests". Nice touch. The slots were disappointing. There were way too many penny slots and very few regular quarter slots. Some of the most popular slots e.g. "red, white and blue" and "wheel of fortune" were noticeably missing. There was an entire bank of video poker machines which were decidedly unpopular which was great for us because we like video poker as well as table games. I noticed immediately that the crew did not appear to be very happy or friendly. I then realized that many had such little command of English that they had difficulty communicating with the passengers. The officers, entertainment staff, and spa staff were very accommodating, but most of them spoke English very well so communication was easier. I have never had this experience on other ships. I also noticed that many crew members congregated with each other and walked in groups through the public areas of the ship more intent on their personal conversations than interacting with passengers. My spa experience was very pleasant. Although the facilities are not completely up to date, the personnel were very nice and professional. My therapist, Andwasa, from South Africa, was lovely and gave me the best massage I have had in years. She took me on short notice on a sea day and guided me through the steam and sauna prior to my treatment. The dining experience was just subpar. The waiters were wonderful, but unfortunately, they were serving very ordinary food. I have never seen a premium charged in a seated regular dining room for prime cuts of beef. Meatloaf was on the menu! MEATLOAF. The Lido buffet was not much better. I will say that the coffee was plentiful and fairly good for regular coffee. The pastries were also good, but you can't live off of coffee and chocolate for five days. Breakfast in the dining room was also good, but there was no dining room service for lunch. The Bistro coffee bar was nice, but you couldn't buy a coffee card (like a soda or drink card) for the cruise. Princess sells a coffee card and it is transferable to your next cruise. RCL and Celebrity sell premium coffees, but the pastries are gratis. On Carnival you pay for your coffee and your pastries. The pool was too small for the number of passengers aboard and was monopolized by children. There were only two hot tubs on the Lido and only one for adults. The music was way too loud and very little "island" music was on the menu. The adults only Serenity area was quiet, but the lounge chairs had seen better days. The aft facing view was very nice, but this area could be spiffed up with very little effort. A small pool would also be a plus. There is wasted space here that could be utilized to enhance the adults only experience. Speaking of children. Almost all of the children on board were well supervised and well behaved. Camp Carnival was in full swing and its Christmas show using the children was really delightful. There was even snow and Santa. However, I have a problem with Carnival charging full fare for children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, but refusing to offer them activities in Camp Carnival. Babysitting is available for a fee, but there are no programs for toddlers. If Carnival is going to charge full fare for these children, the least it can do is provide some activity or service for its young guests. The dining room staff was wonderful with the children, providing interaction and coloring books. Small cribs were also provided for the staterooms. Our cabin steward was pleasant enough, but I didn't see him until the second day of the cruise. This is unusual. I typically have a full ice bucket and order soft drinks for the cabin to be replenished daily. I was told that I would need to call room service for this. I truly believe that adding gratuities to the shipboard account has removed the incentive for excellent service. I have never paid the minimum gratuity for my steward because I have always received excellent service. I cannot speak to the ports of call in a meaningful way. I stayed on the ship in Freeport until I was forced to leave the ship to purchase sunscreen because all the ships stores were closed. Even guest services was unable to help me. Nassau was Nassau. The shuttle was not running in the morning and there was no handicapped assistance from the ship (berthed at the furthest mooring). Our time at the Paradise Island Beach Club was very nice. The beach was lovely and uncrowded. The staff was very nice and our special occasion went off without a hitch. Getting back on the ship was a breeze thanks to our limo driver and port security who recognized our special needs. Fortunately, the shuttle was running in the afternoon and we were taken all the way to the gangway. Shopping on the ship was pleasant and unpressured. The staff in the jewelry store was very helpful. You do not have a wide selection. This isn't St. Thomas. Save your real jewelry shopping for the Caribbean. Unfortunately, other shopping was very limited. We had little in common with our fellow passengers, but that didn't matter much because we were traveling with family and friends. The "formal" night was a sport coat and a collared shirt (no tie) for the men. Not a suit in sight, much less a tuxedo. All in all, the experience was not horrific, but this is not the cruise for us. If this cruise is indicative of the total Carnival experience, then we will not be return cruisers. On the way home we stopped to eat at Cracker Barrel. It was the best food I had eaten in five days. I think that says it all.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014

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