This was our first Carnival cruise and we sailed with a 6 y.o. and an 8 y.o. The kids loved Camp Carnival and at one time refused to be picked up. The counselors there did a very good job. Our cabin was lovely, the balcony was a winner -- ... Read More
This was our first Carnival cruise and we sailed with a 6 y.o. and an 8 y.o. The kids loved Camp Carnival and at one time refused to be picked up. The counselors there did a very good job. Our cabin was lovely, the balcony was a winner -- beautiful view every day, not too windy. The bathroom had a stale urine smell that I could not get rid of. They cleaned the room very well twice a day, but I don't think they could do anything about the bathroom -- it was definitely clean, but just smelly. The shower was nice and hot with good water pressure. Nice toiletries were provided. We had two bunk beds in addition to a queen bed. We were told that the queen bed would be separated into two queens for safety once we would be using the bunk beds, however, the steward agreed easily to keep the queen bed together so my husband and I could sleep together. Of course, that made is difficult to get to the balcony and we also bumped our heads a lot. However, it helped tremendously to have it set up that way, because our children fell out of the bunk beds twice and they had our queen bed to fall into. They don't have good railing to hold the children in the bunk beds like Disney does, the kids kept falling out and our kids are definitely old enough for bunk beds.
The ship was very unstable -- it rocked nonstop, even when there were no waves. Somehow we did not get sea sick, but the rocking was extremely annoying. I have been on many ships before and this is the most rocking I have experienced. In the middle of the night, sometimes there would be horrible noise -- we assumed it was the stabilizers turning on.
The ship was clean and well-kept and had many public spaces inside, so you always had plenty of space for everyone, but outside places were very lacking and poorly designed. There was only one tiny pool, covered in kids. The pool was icy cold and our kids refused to go in it. there were two hot tubs extremely overloaded with people in the main outdoor area. There was a nice Serenity area, but it was impossible to get to it -- took us two days to find it -- and it only had hot tubs in it, not a pool and it also did not have a bar. The only sports area was on the top of the ship and there was a tiny mini-golf spot and a tiny jogging track. Both could not be used the entire trip due to incredible winds that took your breath away and threw your golf ball around. We kept trying to go up there many times a day, but always ran back down. It was not even windy outside, but the area is just badly designed. There was no basketball and only two ping-pong tables. It took us three days to get a turn at ping-pong.
There was smoking almost everywhere on the ship. Smoking on the pool deck (the only pool deck), smoking by the restaurants, smoking in the main music/bar/casino area. Not good for families! We had to really search to get a table away from smoke.
The food in the main restaurant was pretty good, but nothing amazing. We loved the anytime dining, walk in anytime and they sit you right away and the service was wonderful. The wine package was great also and the wines were good. The food in the buffet was quite terrible except for breakfasts and desserts. I never got to eat a burger because of the huge line every day. The sushi was hit/miss, the worst was that he would only make three kinds of sushi. One day rice tasted like bleach.
The entertainment was good, we always felt entertained and it was quite fun. they had lots of tours in port, although we did it on our own. Playa Mia Beach was terrible -- don't bother!
The worst part was disembarkation -- we were late into port because of the fog -- by 3 hours. It took 4 hours to get off the ship! We finally got off at 2 pm. They did not feed us lunch! The kids were exhausted and frustrated and we were near tears. The porter told us this was the worst he has seen in a long time! Read Less