This is going to be long but I want to explain why this cruise is worth the money for anyone who is getting turned off from the horrible reviews! I was reading about this cruisline for a while and almost didn’t book because of such bad ... Read More
This is going to be long but I want to explain why this cruise is worth the money for anyone who is getting turned off from the horrible reviews! I was reading about this cruisline for a while and almost didn’t book because of such bad reviews. But then I saw The Classica was added so I wanted to try it out and I’m glad that I did! I can honestly say that the bad reviews I have read are about some pretty pathetic and nitpicking things! We did the BOGO deal and our total was only $350! Without gratuities or on board spending.
First, there are NO “hidden fees.” If you read the webiste AND your confirmation emails that even has a FAQs and extra info in it, it literally explains everything!! From the fuel charge (ours was included in our taxes when we booked), 18% gratuities on anything your purchase, $13 comedy show etc. It is literally all right there IF people choose to read it! People just spend crazy on the ship and then get a bill at the end and forget that everything adds up. If you monitor what you’re spending then the prices on this ship can’t be beat!
My husband and I set our expectations VERY low and I can honestly say that this boat is on par with both of the older carnival ships I have been on. I actually preferred this decor MUCH better! More modern and clean. Here are some key things I noted:
Embarkation: the easiest on and off ANY boat! ESPECIALLY if you have a passport! You are treated like VIP! Took less than 20 mins from pulling up to valet to being on the boat.
The ship - Very clean!!! The pool was really small but for only being on board for a total of a day and a half, I wasn’t expecting anything more. Adult only pool area is nice. Lounge chairs could be updated. Inside was really pretty. Nice hallways and stairs and the common areas were really nice with plenty of space!
Cabin - We had an ocean view as part of the BOGO deal and the room was surprisingly big. Especially the shower and vanity space! Bed and pillows were both comfy. Room was very clean overall. No complaints there.
Dining - We did the Yellow Elder (main dining) the first night and it was good. About the same as your other cruise lines. The second night we did the Admiral’s steakhouse and it was GREAT! I highly recommend paying the money to go!! The buffet was decent. Not bad, not great but it had plenty of options and was just fine for this type of cruise.
Entertainment - We didn’t go to any shows but we caught the tail end of one right before bingo and it was pretty good. The band playing in the Encore lounge the first night was really really good. Especially the woman singer! We also didn’t participate in many activities but I saw some going on and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Service - The service staff was excellent! Very attentive and polite! I’ve read many reviews about how much they hassle you but we only got approached THREE TIMES the entire trip. Twice on the first day in the buffet and once poolside. If you just politely and firmly say NO, most of them will keep walking and not come around again. It wasn’t that serious like people in here are complaining about. Never once saw our room attendant but he/she did clean our room one night when we didn’t have our ‘do not disturb’ sign up.
Freeport - The actual port itself is pretty run down and dumpy looking. With every excursion you have to take at least a 20 min bus ride away from the port which is included in your excursion. Our snorkeling excursion got canceled because of wind so we chose the all inclusive day at Wyndham resort and we had a great time! Check in at the resort took a little longer than it should have but the staff mentioned they were working on altering the process. We were treated to a large breakfast buffet, lunch buffet, all you can drink alcohol and soft drinks, beach chairs, pool access and pool side entertainment. Definitelty worth the $79pp!
A few other things:
Some of the really good things I noticed was how NOT CROWDED this ship was. It was sold out yet there was never crowds or lines (except day one at the lunch buffet) but other than that, there was more than enough room to not feel stuffy or squished like on other ships.
We were on deck 6, mid ship and it was SUPER quiet. Nice change from other ships.
The comdian Brian Bradley was SO GOOD! Pretty much picked on the crowd instead of doing his act and it was HYSTERICAL! Definitely worth the extra $13!
The one really disappointing thing was the Crow’s Nest that was advertised as a sports bar with pool tables, arcade games etc. Well, that area isn’t even set up. Arcade equipment is still in pieces and everything was wrapped in Saran Wrap. It was only the second weekend that the Classica had been sailing but I was looking forward to spending some time there and was disappointed to see that it wasn’t even ready for guests. Hopefully that’s changed by now.
Overall I would definitely recommend this cruise for a weekend getaway! My husband and I sailed to the Bahamas for $350!!! You seriously can’t beat that!!! Everything on this boat was well worth the $350. And the only people I can see not enjoying it are the people who had high expectations and thought they were getting a Norwegian experience at a super discounted price. Unrealistic!! Read Less