48 Jacksonville Senior Cruise Reviews

I sailed the Ecstasy on January 13, 2020 out of Jacksonville. I chose this cruise as it is one of their smaller ships, easy drive from Tennessee, and I had never been to Princess Cay. I take a Carnival cruise each January from either ... Read More
I sailed the Ecstasy on January 13, 2020 out of Jacksonville. I chose this cruise as it is one of their smaller ships, easy drive from Tennessee, and I had never been to Princess Cay. I take a Carnival cruise each January from either Jacksonville or Mobile both easy drive. Early January breaks the Christmas New Year hassles, gets me to warmer weather, and kids are back in school. I stayed at Hilton Garden Inn near the airport and around 15 minute drive to port. I never could find out if Uber was allowed in port so I parked at the port but checked and Uber is permittee and next time I will use this service to the port. I am Platinum and checked in a little before 11 am and had just sat down and were allowed to start boarding. There are ramps up to 7th deck to enter ship but you can stop to rest if you need to as they are wide enough for people to pass. I was in E185 and upper/lower on 7th deck. I find this to be perfect for me and had no issues with cabin at all, A/C was very cold and had to turn it off. I never did notice any bad smells at all throughout the ship as others have stated. I do not do the shows, casino, fun squad activities and usually spent the day at serenity. I mainly used the buffet and thought the food was good but noticed they really cut back on salad bar and fruit at continental breakfast. Very small bowls of fruit, salad fixings that quickly ran out any no one to refill. Ate brunch twice and eggs benedict were cold and had been sitting for a long time, eggs to order did not include potatoes and long time to order. they did have some good five music options and listened to some of them from time to time. Princess Cays was very good and I have been to HMC a few times and wanted to compare them. Princess Cays was enjoyable and yes there are rocks here and there and I have not seen so many lounge chairs. Most go to the left but I went to the right and found a nice spot in the shade and they have a bar and food venue on this side of the beach also. I walked to the left side and it is beautiful and lots of shops and trees and plenty of space to roam. Since this is not an island but private beach the best for me was you could walk outside the gate and there was a local bar where you can get local Bahama beer for $4. There were also souvenir shops here as well. I really enjoyed my stay and would love to return. Nassau I have been to many times and I go to my favorite bar for cracked conch and Kalik. We had good weather but the last day was rough and windy as we neared Florida. The Ecstasy is showing rust but the inside looked good to me and people were having fun, seems most the people I met were from the Southeast. For those who have not cruised much people have fun on this class ship altho the larger newer ships seem to be the way of the future which is why I now choose smaller ships with some less than 200 people for most of my trips but the Ecstasy does a good job and the Bahamas is always a fun stop for me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Over 20 cruises with Carnival. Each one an experience. Although this ship is a little old now,she is still a fun ship. Great staff on this ship makes the voyage lots f of fun and entertaining. Cam,the cruise director is definitely one of ... Read More
Over 20 cruises with Carnival. Each one an experience. Although this ship is a little old now,she is still a fun ship. Great staff on this ship makes the voyage lots f of fun and entertaining. Cam,the cruise director is definitely one of the best. He really puts his all into everything he does. One of if not the best singing/dance teams we have seen. Ardestra Gardens in Nassau was beautiful. Small garden with marching flamingos! About $18 for ticket and a $20 taxi ride there. Definitely worth a visit, highly recommend. Half moon cay was beautiful as usual, watch out for jellyfish! Otherwise beautiful sandy beach with lots of room for fun and relaxation. Looking for jewelry? Check out Effy on ship, Marianne or Alexandra are 2 ladies who know their stuff. They also give away lots of cool stuff. Guys burgers are always a hit, and they have improved their desserts in the lido restaurant. Had ocean view room, which was comfortable and plenty of storage space for 2. There was worn spot in shower floor which was repainted during cruise while we were out and about. I also recommend that when looking at reviews to take more notice of this who have done more than one review. These folks have cruised often and know what to expect. Just saying! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a quick get away for my husband and I. Thank you jelly, Cam, the cruise director, Blessings, Superda, from Thailand, Danny, Roel, and especially Hery our cabin steward, also Lelia. You guys were great and made our cruise even ... Read More
This was a quick get away for my husband and I. Thank you jelly, Cam, the cruise director, Blessings, Superda, from Thailand, Danny, Roel, and especially Hery our cabin steward, also Lelia. You guys were great and made our cruise even better. It was a delight to feel so welcome and you went out of your way to ensure that we had fun. There were so many of you and I hope I haven’t forgotten any of you. Thanks Allison for your guidance during shopping. We got held up in DI in The Bahamas and didn’t get all the perks but that’s ok. We will definitely see you again but not on deck 7. Room E66 was not a great choice for us because of all the noise. It’s a party ship Blessings to you all. What an awesome Captain: can park a ship on a dime. Great job!! Never been on a ship where the captain actually got engaged with us and kept us abreast of everything. We am platinum members and this was by far the best cruise ever. Freeport absolutely sucks. Should be dropped from all ports of call. All I saw was containers and junk. Not attractive. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I sailed with a group of ladies. The dining seated was constantly messed up to keep us together. I realize we had a large group, but what happened to assigned seating. Breakfast in the Imagination Room, we were always told that we had to ... Read More
I sailed with a group of ladies. The dining seated was constantly messed up to keep us together. I realize we had a large group, but what happened to assigned seating. Breakfast in the Imagination Room, we were always told that we had to wait for the rest of the group to show up. We would then look around and find other members of our group already seated. When we asked to be seated close to them, we were told they couldn't do that. The food wasn't like I remembered it was either. No special dishes like duck or escargot, many American dishes like mac and cheese and fried chicken for a main dish. Two elevators were down and being worked on. While we were at Freeport, there were maintenance workers everywhere I looked working on the ship. The ship rocked back and forth the entire trip. I am not sure if it was the Captain sailing to fast or the age of the ship not have stabilizers to avoid to rocking Many people said that they weren't going to sail again. Our window leaked water into the room on the last night. I called maintenance. They didn't send anyone to look at it. I really think that Carnival needs to retire the Elation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Great to be with an older girls cruise for the long weekend. Friendly service. Food so-so and always only mildly warmed in dining room. Bread very hard. As for entertainment, the dance shows were LOUD electric music with flashing ... Read More
Great to be with an older girls cruise for the long weekend. Friendly service. Food so-so and always only mildly warmed in dining room. Bread very hard. As for entertainment, the dance shows were LOUD electric music with flashing lights. Singers going to the top of voice range which means I had to put hands over ears. Nice costumes and movement around stage. Avoid Kirk as a comedian. Saying the best part for last was the newly appointed cruise director——Chris. So full of life! Makes everything he does so fun Whether it is Harry Potter trivia or atrium music. Awesome!!!! This was his first cruise director position and he was ready for it. He had an accessory for each event he was doing. He was entertaining just to talk to. Boring destinations but only ones if leaving from Jacksonville. Parking easy, Embarked within 30 minutes. Could have been sooner if Elation could figure how to disembark. Total headache. Easy walkoff took until 10:00. Poor ports, mediocre food, and terrible disembark gives it a three. On deck, Guys burgers and burrito bar are good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
19th cruise, 9th with Carnival and this was the best ship out of Jax so far! M148 was large with converting twins, no elevator noise and excellent room stewards! Don’t buy the alcohol package, the ship ran out of Budlight and Michelob ... Read More
19th cruise, 9th with Carnival and this was the best ship out of Jax so far! M148 was large with converting twins, no elevator noise and excellent room stewards! Don’t buy the alcohol package, the ship ran out of Budlight and Michelob Ultra day 4 so everyone hashtagged Facebook to complain- crew bar below deck had to give up theirs so we had beer by end of day. Ship was clean, employees were polite and the ship didn’t not smell of sewage like other reviews complained about BUT no free lobster, yes we had a bar fight and a couple went to jail. A lot of pot smell but security and housekeeping cleaned house and more people went to boat jail. People who drank too much and yes we saw a few were escorted to their room, card cut off and all alcohol removed for 48 hours! Guys hamburgers were okay but definitely ask for a double and don’t take no for an answer. They have to give you what you ask for! Pool was drained and cleaned everyday, tables were always stocked...to be honest the only problem our group had was was rude cruisers with an attitude that they should be treated like royalty. The Jax Port is being refurbished so here is the best tip I can give you...get there early and forget what your boarding pass says..people who were scheduled at 2 pm were on board at noon! They have no where to make you wait at so just get on board as soon as you can or you will be standing in the heat sweating your butt off! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was my first time on a Carnival Cruise. I didn't like it at all. The service was great from everyone that worked there though.however the cruise itself was disappointing. This ship is really dated and it shows. The handicapped ... Read More
This was my first time on a Carnival Cruise. I didn't like it at all. The service was great from everyone that worked there though.however the cruise itself was disappointing. This ship is really dated and it shows. The handicapped room we had was very small and claustophobic like. The bed that came down from the ceiling made sleeping on the one below it feel like a casket. It had wood on top of you and on the side of you which didn't allow u to be comfortable in the bed. You can hit your head and won't be able to watch TV from it. The way the room is setup is very weird. The TV needs to be placed where everyone can see it. There's a lack of walking space in between the beds and the cabin itself. The bathroom was spacious and comfortable.it was nice to sit on a shower chair and have great pressure come from the hand held shower. The floor does get wet but the water drains thru the drains on the floor. There is good space for putting things away like clothing and personal items. There's a small fridge and a safe. This cabin was R298. It was in the middle of nowhere as far as trying to access any of the popular area from it.It was quite a walk. I recommend a scooter not a wheelchair on this ship and in the Bahamas. Way too much walking and the heat on the island is extremely hot and fatiques you easily. the elevators were small and took a very long time to come down to you and a lot of the time they were already filled with people so you had to continue waiting even longer for the next elevator. the ship itself had barely any gift shops to shop at and they were very small not to mention very expensive. I highly recommend to have any medications or toiletries with you from home instead of buying them on the ship. My mom got sick on the ship with a cold and had to pay $12 for a small package of cold medicine. There were a lot of bars and lounges on the ship, however I didn't feel that there was enough of a choice of food to eat. The buffet had two sides to it and both sides had the same kind of food which was very limited as far as what they were serving. I was looking forward to the Mongolian station but I never did get to see it. Guys burger joint and blue iguana Cantina are located outside near the pool area which is extremely crowded and very hot. There were two main dining rooms and I did not like the food on the ship at all regardless of where we ate. The temperature of the food a lot of times was just warm not hot. The room service selection was extremely limited unless you were willing to pay a few dollars extra to get something better such as quesadillas. otherwise you were mostly stuck with a couple of salads and some sandwiches to choose from. There was also a deli located around the corner from the buffet which was okay. It's served some sandwiches and hot dogs. I was under the understanding that there was a place called The Seafood Shack on this ship but I did not find that either.The lemonade and the ice tea that are served on the buffet are ok in taste. There is only 1 pools in this ship that I found.It was the main one that had two small hot tubs on either side. A lot of the time the pools were extremely crowded and the hot tubs were filled with children so I was not able to experience either of them. The Serinity part of the ship is completely outdated, it is dosent have the relaxing blue colors they are dull gray colors. I think I saw a small hot tub and no pool. I don't even remember seeing any umbrellas over you while you sat there. There is no bar located there, I did however see someone coming around taking drink orders. We're okay there was a lack of activities to do on the ship. The Spa was extremely small and it did not have a relaxing atmosphere at all almost felt like you were in a doctor's office. my fifteen-year-old attended the teen club once however the club was barely open and it seems very outdated and it also was small. for kids with disabilities they do offer a phone that you can get where they will call you if they are any emergencies for a deposit of $100. I did attend an art gallery showing which was fun it allowed me to learn a little bit more about art and also to enjoy looking at some art and attempting to get some prices and relax with some free champagne. the embarkation process was very simple and organized and the disembarkation process as well however I cannot strongly suggest this enough to have someone with a scooter if you have any mobility issues because it is a lot of walking and it is extremely hot.I would recommend another ship I will try Carnival again but definitely not this ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The food on the ship was very good. They had different types of food all week. Whether you were eating in the dining room or were eating on the Lido deck. The cabins were always clean and anything that was needed was taken care of promptly ... Read More
The food on the ship was very good. They had different types of food all week. Whether you were eating in the dining room or were eating on the Lido deck. The cabins were always clean and anything that was needed was taken care of promptly by the great crew. The entire Effy store crew was just incredible. They made everybody feel welcome, even if you didn't buy anything, their demeanor never changed. The crew at Park West art gallery, when once they found out that you were not buying anything, they became rude, and very dismissive. The men were decent, but the ladies there had very nasty attitudes. There was one thing that was depressing, I went on the cruise for my birthday, and when I booked I was told that they would do something for it, but never heard or seen anything. I enjoyed the entertainment including the shows and BINGO. I would go again on a Carnival cruise, and recommend this to my friends. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was my third cruise. The previous two were also with Carnival. This time, I realized that the cruise director is an integral part of the experience. The first two cruise directors were amazing. They were visible and had loads of ... Read More
This was my third cruise. The previous two were also with Carnival. This time, I realized that the cruise director is an integral part of the experience. The first two cruise directors were amazing. They were visible and had loads of activities. This guy, Kevin, sucked. I felt like we were attending a conference or something. There were mostly zero fun activties during the day for adults. Most of them were either various seminars or shopping events. Me and my crew meandered that ship every day in search of something to do only to end up sitting aroun or napping in our rooms. Anything worth attending happened at night during dinner, but the show were all the same and not even exciting. The last day at sea was the most exciting and most reminiscent of past Carnival cruises. There was trivia and karaoke going on all day just how I was expecting. Why couldn’t all the other days be like that? Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that any and all complaints most people had on this ship was of no fault of the employees at all. This ship was severely understaffed, and the services were extremely slow—especially dinner service. The wait staff worked hard to to give us the five star service we’re all used to, but they simply couldn’t. There weren’t enough of them. We even saw this in housekeeeping. One person in our party had a balcony room. She noticed that her room steward was the one who cleaned the balcony instead of someone from the team of people who used to take care of that. All of these cutbacks are being mad to the staff, yet Carnival is making bank right now. They are having a banner year at their employees’ expense, and it isn’t right! The cabin was typical: clean and tidy. Our bathroom often smelled like pee, but I think its because of the toilet brush. It probably has never been replaced. Our head server was Senvil, and he and his helpers were amazing. We had a baby in our party, and they had his high chair and an appetizer ready for him even before the dining room opened so he could eat as soon as we sat down. They treated us like royalty, but he told us about the shortage as well and urged us to complain so perhaps changes could be made. I wouldn’t mind taking this ship again to a different destination as long as Kevin is not the cruise director. I don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars again just to be bored. I don’t want this whole thing to be negative, so I will say this. Despite the fact that Carnival doesn’t take the best care of their employees, they certainly train them well! Everyone remembers your name which is so impressive to me. They all act like they really care (and not the fake I’m-just-getting-paid-to-do-this type care). I love that about Carnival cruises, and from what I hear, not every cruise line is like this. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise , because we have been on American Cruise Lines before and enjoy the quiet , laid back atmosphere. We also enjoy seeing beautiful, scenic areas of our own country, without the hassle of international travel . The ... Read More
We chose this cruise , because we have been on American Cruise Lines before and enjoy the quiet , laid back atmosphere. We also enjoy seeing beautiful, scenic areas of our own country, without the hassle of international travel . The food was excellent on this particular cruise. With American Cruise Lines you have complimentary cocktail hour at 5:30 each day followed by dinner at 6:30. Breakfast & lunches are also very good, with several options available. The American Star only has 100 passengers at full capacity , so it is a very nice small size group and you actually get the chance to know the other passengers. The on-board historian is another plus. We also like the fact that the passengers are mostly seniors and there are not small children running around, as is often the case, on the very large cruise ships that have thousands of passengers. The nightly entertainment is usually an area musical act. All in all it was another satisfying cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
A few years back I sailed on Carnival from Charleston and was very disappointed by the overall lack of quality on board, especially in dinning options. But three friends and I needed a break after the holidays so we booked 5days on ... Read More
A few years back I sailed on Carnival from Charleston and was very disappointed by the overall lack of quality on board, especially in dinning options. But three friends and I needed a break after the holidays so we booked 5days on Elation. I was so surprised by the changes Carnival has made. The ship was newly out of dry dock last October and in perfect condition. The cabin was fresh and clean and comfy. The food choices were all excellent from self serve to seated dinning room. Loved the Blue Iguana Grill, and the deli sandwiches. And the staff, all kind friendly and hardworking. Now, this is a more boisterous clientele, and Carnival does a good job attracting a younger group, but there were plenty of places to find quiet if that is your choice. My only small complaint was the professional entertainment was not as good as I’ve seen on other cruises, but I don’t cruise for that. And if you choose late dinning you miss out on most of it as 9:00pm was the spot that had the most offering. Also in cabin tv had little to offer as most movie were for kids. Other than that it was terrific for the price we paid and I’d do it again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I choose this cruise due to ports. I have wanted to go to HMC for sometime. I drove up night before and stayed at Jacksonville Plaza and had shuttle to/fro port...hotel and shuttle only had 2 pick up times as if not there your on your ... Read More
I choose this cruise due to ports. I have wanted to go to HMC for sometime. I drove up night before and stayed at Jacksonville Plaza and had shuttle to/fro port...hotel and shuttle only had 2 pick up times as if not there your on your own. A cruise is what you make of it. I made friends via facebook and we still keep in touch. The ship was nice and did note a few repair needs such as chipped paint on rails and decore also sometimes the elevators did not all work..If you book G cabins there is only 1 elevator for them. I won a tour during the fun ashore show and that was an extra for us,nice to learn about the culture and upkeep of Island. My cabin was same,beds were set up when we boarded,Only 2 drawers to put clothing in..Still has small one under desk for meds and brushes.Closets were good. put luggage under beds. Safe is larger now to hold a laptop if you need one.Still choice late clean up since I have teens as travels mates. Had early dining...felt rushed ...will keep YTD option ... The schedule for entertainment...was good...had plenty to choice from; Kevin the CD was awesome...he keeps the cruisers cheerful and laughing,,,love name that tune and singing every night...we even got the teens involved. If you get dropped off and need picked up from port I was told you they need to pay a 10$ fee to enter.... Over all I enjoyed the ship and will sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Price was right, They have upgraded added meal options and bars on Lido deck. It does not have Alchemy but it does have a bar that serves Martinis & drinks like the Alchemy which is great. Also had new EFFY store on ship with great ... Read More
Price was right, They have upgraded added meal options and bars on Lido deck. It does not have Alchemy but it does have a bar that serves Martinis & drinks like the Alchemy which is great. Also had new EFFY store on ship with great prices. Kevin,cruise director was a hoot. Went to PG puchline which were both very good. Room service by Japhet was excellent. Inspiration dining room service was great at times & other times think they probably could have used more help. They worked hard to keep us happy which they succeeded mostly. Maitre de did accommodated us in arranging 6 of us to 1 table. We really appreciated that. Also enjoyed the new app Fun Hub, I liked being able to isolate my favorite activities. On a bigger ship will add texting for $5 for each phone. I really enjoyed 101 on Thomas Kincade & learned a lot. And had fun with Yatzee. Next time may do more games. We had a great time & will do again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Meh
The shop was very old and outdated. There wasn't much to do with kids except the kids club and pool. The service was great but one of the staff members lost my kids sail and sign card. The food was average nothing to exciting. The ... Read More
The shop was very old and outdated. There wasn't much to do with kids except the kids club and pool. The service was great but one of the staff members lost my kids sail and sign card. The food was average nothing to exciting. The arcade games cost a lot of money to play and our kids spent all our money. The mini golf corse was nice even though it was always crowded and windy. Our room was horrible. When you book the room you don't know if your going to get the renaveted side or not. We got the 1990s side and it was terrible the floor and tiles were very dirty. And they advertise it like everybody get the new room. The private island was okay there wasn't any excursions but Nassau was nice. The app was helpful and it helped me remember formal night. Over all we had a average cruise adventure. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I selected this cruise simply to relax in pleasant weather exploring a new part of Florida for us. We arrived the day before the start of our cruise with an overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront allowing ... Read More
My wife and I selected this cruise simply to relax in pleasant weather exploring a new part of Florida for us. We arrived the day before the start of our cruise with an overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront allowing us to enjoy the pleasant weather and St. Patrick Day activities at Jacksonville landing and good seafood at Benny’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant on the St Johns River. This also allowed for a short five minute walk to board our American Cruise Lines (ACL) ship, the American Star, for embarkation which was simply a matter of showing your photo ID and walk on to the ship. During the week the American Star cruise up the St Johns River (south as the river flows north) with stops in Palatka FL and Green Cove Springs FL returning down river (north) to pass thru Jacksonville and travel south on the intercostal waterway to St Augustine FL than north stopping at Fernandina Beach/Amelia FL than on to Brunswick GA before cruising back to Jacksonville FL for disembarkation. My favorite time onboard was spending time on the Sun Deck while cruising, enjoying the great weather (highs in the seventies with lows at night in the high fifties and no rain the entire week), watching the scenery go by and spending time with our pleasant travel companions while learning about the wildlife, history and key sites from our guide Charlie Petrocci and Captain Dennis Stokowski. Our cruise Director Jim Leary did an excellent job handling all of our shore excursions with my favorite of the trip and one of the best I’ve experienced being our Lady Jane Shrimp Boat Tour which took us trawling through the Marshes of Glynn, south of St Simons Sound (near Brunswick, GA) learning about the shrimping industry and our catch from our three, fifteen minute trawls consisting of shrimp, blue crabs, spider crabs, puffer fish, horseshoe crabs, skate, amberjack and various other sea creatures. Also memorable was the Alligator feeding at the Alligator Farm & Zoological Park in St. Augustine FL and the Carriage Tour in Green Cove Springs, FL. What made this cruise even more special was the food, as it was the best I've experienced in over thirty ocean cruises and fifteen river/coastal cruises. Food on my cruise experiences has always been overall good, with meals ranging from fair to excellent, but I was extremely pleased to find all of the meals on this cruise to be excellent. Each meal consisted of great selections, presentations and some of the best tasting meals I can recall . . . and that’s from someone from New Orleans, the home of great food. The main reason why my wife and I have moved from Ocean Cruising (completed 31) to river/coastal cruising (this is our 15th and 7th ACL cruise) is for the easier sea travel on the inland waterways to avoid my wife’s trouble with motion sickness. This cruise was extremely smooth with the Captain taking extra care by traveling at the right time and waterway taking into account winds, tides etc. well communicating his schedule the entire week. Another plus of river/coastal cruising is the smaller ships with fewer passengers. Our cruise had sixty-nine passengers comprised mostly of retired seniors that resulted in great conversations about travels, hometowns, jobs/careers, family, military service and other life experiences. We love ACL’s daily 5:30 PM Happy Hour and open seating dinning that enabled us to meet most of our fellow passengers developing a few new found friendships. The crew on this ship was simply great with the added bonus of having two Hotel, Assistant Hotel, and Housekeeping Managers as wells as three Executive Chefs and three Sous Chefs onboard to take care of our every needs. We selected a great week to cruise as more than enough care was being given with the added management onboard for training. Maybe having three Executive Chefs working as a great team resulted in the best meals ever experienced on my forty-six cruises. But it was not only management taking care of us as the college students hired to handle the dinning and housekeeping services were all friendly and couldn’t do more to provide a great onboard vacation experience. Service as meals was excellent as well as the attention given the care to our cabin. In summary, ACL provided the consistent great service and excellent cruising experience we’ve enjoyed and we are looking forward to our two future ACL cruises booked while onboard. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Jacksonville is a convenient drive-to port, and we had not been aboard the Carnival Elation previously. Booking our first back-to-back cruises, total 10 days, we were optimistic that we would not be bored. As 80+ though active ... Read More
Jacksonville is a convenient drive-to port, and we had not been aboard the Carnival Elation previously. Booking our first back-to-back cruises, total 10 days, we were optimistic that we would not be bored. As 80+ though active passengers, we especially appreciate the perks of being "platinum" Carnival cruisers. With early check in, we went directly to our prepared cabin to unload minimal carry-on bags and then had an early lunch; afterwards, we retreated to our cabin during the boarding process for most passengers. Platinum level guests also receive free laundry, depending on the cruise length, a chocolate tray delivered to the cabin, a platinum/diamond party, and other amenities, depending on the ship. The safety drill always seems to take longer than necessary since most passengers appear to wander to their assigned stations in a leisurely manner; more emphatic announcements could help this issue. Overall, our cabin was quite comfortable despite drawer handles that are loose and aged furnishings like the wall-mounted, older TV that is a hazard for those walking to the window. An extensive dry-dock call in September, 2017 should address many issues. We love the art deco lighting fixtures and also the smaller, more intimate feel of the ship. A special spa treat gave me sparkling toenails in the luxurious setting with skilled providers. Since we are not concerned with rock-climbing or zip-line adventures, we were quite content with our accommodations and activities. The library's offerings could use updating though I did find a few books to read. My husband downloads several books on his ipad for a trip, and I enjoy games, investigating the ship's offerings, and meeting people. The art show/auction seemed inviting rather than pretentious, and I won two pieces of artwork that I am enjoying. Some ports on the two five-day cruises were the same though we did get to enjoy Half Moon Cay on an amazing day......ours was the only ship in port at the time, so the luxury of beautiful surroundings, ample chaises, and a picnic lunch ashore made for an excellent stop. We do wish for more ports like this one as shopping for jewels and over-priced merchandise (made in China with the port logo stamped on) are not appealing. Our cabin steward and dining room servers were excellent; perhaps those who complain should consider that others should be treated the way they would like to be treated. What if your entree is a bit late? Really, where are you going? You are on the ship. Overall, we are quite happy with a smaller ship and hope to sail again on the Elation, following its renovation. We are platinum members, by the way, because of the number of days on previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
American Cruise Lines has a slogan, "Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly." Yep, they certainly did it. Everything was perfect. The food was scrumptious. I liked that they offered half portions, so I was less tempted to ... Read More
American Cruise Lines has a slogan, "Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly." Yep, they certainly did it. Everything was perfect. The food was scrumptious. I liked that they offered half portions, so I was less tempted to overeat. There were only 60 on the Cruise, although the ship will carry 98. With open seating at meals, we got to meet so many interesting people. The Line caters to older passengers. They were always there to assist. The elevator for handicapped was most welcome. I have some mobility issues. Our state room was very comfortable and spacious, with a small private balcony. We could control our own temperature, or open the window for fresh air. The state room had so much drawer space that we could not fill it all, and a closet. :-) My husband was able to workout every morning on an elliptical on the top deck. The on-board lecturer was great about answering questions about the area, and gave several interesting talks. He came on some of the excursions, and added an additional dimension to local guides. Many of the excursions were accessible for the less mobile. I did not try any walking tours, although my husband did. The excursions were well planned and gave a good look at the area (Historic South). Do note that excursions are extra, and you are billed only for those that you attend. There was on-board entertainment nightly. Mostly it was some type of music or a lecture. One day, we played bingo, and I won the top prize - a big bag of souvenirs! Another day, the chef demonstrated how to make a bread cornucopia. His creations were on display for our fantastic Thanksgiving Dinner. There is no bar on the ship, but complimentary wine and beer was served at lunch and dinner. At 5:30 every evening, a very complete bar was set up in the lounge for complimentary cocktails, beers or wines. We did not lack for festive alcohol. Fabulous appetizers accompanied the cocktail hour. It is difficult to say enough about the remarkable service. The entire crew worked very hard; they were always up-beat and smiling. The captain was most accessible. He dined with the passengers when he could. Gratuities were included in your cruise price. This is not a cruise for children. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise for a smaller ship, on board lecturer, fewer passengers. We had to miss our first port due to hurricane damage and that was understandable. We missed another port due to engine problems but nothing was said until we ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a smaller ship, on board lecturer, fewer passengers. We had to miss our first port due to hurricane damage and that was understandable. We missed another port due to engine problems but nothing was said until we had sat unmoving for several hours and then had to turn back to the previous port. No compensation provided. Embarkation/debarkation went smoothly. The ship is only 10 years old but is decorated like the 50s with plastic flowers, cheap decor. Dining service was ok but staff not only served your food but cleaned the cabins, etc. Not a good thing in my estimation. Young, not so well trained, not in uniforms or with gloves, etc. Attempt at gourmet only met unpeeled, inedible garnishes such as a tiny piece of kiwi on each plate. Food was stacked instead of side by side as other gourmet restaurants seem to do better in this effort. Entertainment brought in was local and excellent. On the missed port day the only activity provided was a Family Feud type of game, very old dvds and books to borrow. One computer provided a printer. Internet service was very poor and you had to keep your stateroom door open for minimal power. Ports were fine but missing two out of five wasn't good. Passengers were older as we are and many were repeat travelers. We asked why and many felt intimidated by larger ships and also liked that the ship was built and is staffed by Americans. This didn't matter to us at all. We would not sail with American Cruise again although they do have nice US itineraries and several folks love the line and the ship. The cruise cost more than twice what we normally pay on larger ships with same size rooms but those have many, many more amenities and activities. We felt for the cost we should at least have had quality decor and furnishings and far, far better service and housekeeping. Oh yes, the "fitness center" consists of three pieces of equipment on the windy deck and two were not working. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We were suppose to go to the Bahamas but because of Mattews we had to go to Key West which was great. The Captain keep us away from the storm .I don't think we even had rain . This ship is old but still looks good.The staff was ... Read More
We were suppose to go to the Bahamas but because of Mattews we had to go to Key West which was great. The Captain keep us away from the storm .I don't think we even had rain . This ship is old but still looks good.The staff was great.The food was okay.The shows are not very good. The Jacksonvlle port was great. I have been cruising since 1989 on all size ships and I have found out you are the one who makes the cruise and you get what you paid for.I have seen people having a great time.on all of them. When you have people waiting on you hand and foot and all you have to do is watch the sun come up and go down it is worth every penny.I can't wait to book my next cruise. We have fun watching roll call and counting down the days PS They should get rid of smoking in the casino .It was so bad you could smell it on the floor below Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had a great time... the staff was all very friendly... and, the food was great! Our dinner staff headed by Danilo and his team was super. And our breakfast every day at Imagination was excellent and one of the best breakfast we ever ... Read More
We had a great time... the staff was all very friendly... and, the food was great! Our dinner staff headed by Danilo and his team was super. And our breakfast every day at Imagination was excellent and one of the best breakfast we ever had. Also, our housekeeper named Norman and his partner bent over backwards to do everything they could for us. The show at night was very entertaining and all professional. It was our first time to be on a cruise and it was such a fun and memorable experience.The food on the buffet everyday are all good. And going to Half Moon Cay was such a fun experience. The only thing we miss was the lobster dinner.We would definitely sail on this Carnival vessel again! We would like to thank the whole staff who really went out of there way for us to have this wonderful experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was only our second cruise and they were 32 years apart. Great value, we enjoyed the shows the comedians the food even though they charge extra now for lobster...The weather was a bit cool and we only got sun on the last day. The ... Read More
This was only our second cruise and they were 32 years apart. Great value, we enjoyed the shows the comedians the food even though they charge extra now for lobster...The weather was a bit cool and we only got sun on the last day. The room steward William was very attentive and straightened up our room at least 2 or more times daily. He called us by our first names and made sure our room was always very clean. I wiped to check for dust up high but found none. The dining room waiters Chris were the same great service. Everyone who works for Carnival was exceptionally happy and friendly..The gym was like anytime fitness gym, modern equipment and plenty of it, nice steam and sauna rooms and spa treatments including massage and acupuncture. We paid extra for the message and acupuncture and also my wife got her hair done before dress up night in the main dining room, Great service everywhere on board Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We drove from Port Stanley, Ontario and stayed overnight in Savannah, Ga Sunday night. An easy 2 hour drive to Jacksonville Fl on Monday morning. Sunday night in Savannah we visited River Street and had an awesome time. We arrived at ... Read More
We drove from Port Stanley, Ontario and stayed overnight in Savannah, Ga Sunday night. An easy 2 hour drive to Jacksonville Fl on Monday morning. Sunday night in Savannah we visited River Street and had an awesome time. We arrived at Jacksonville terminal around noon on Monday and had an easy boarding experience. Cabin was ready for us, very clean and our bags showed up in good time. We met a few great folks from North Carolina at the Freeport all inclusive beach excursion and stayed in touch for the rest of the cruise. In Nassau we walked around town and went to the Zoo. The Zoo was ok, but a bit of a disapointment. We also visited the straw market, if you don't like high pressured sales, don't visit it! Food was a 3 out of 5, the formal dining room was by far better than the buffet food. Our cabin steward and the bartenders at the 'ritz were the best, they make the cruise! All considered it was a good cruise. This was our second Carnival cruise, I think the next one will be with a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
All in all the cruise was a total delight and we were treated very well. Not only did the waitresses and crew make the trip pleasurable, we fit in well with the age group of the passengers. We were celebrating an early 36th wedding ... Read More
All in all the cruise was a total delight and we were treated very well. Not only did the waitresses and crew make the trip pleasurable, we fit in well with the age group of the passengers. We were celebrating an early 36th wedding anniversary. The ports were close together - every day we were at a different destination so the trip was very enjoyable and educational. Southern US up the inter-coastal waterway was picturesque for the most part. However, the meals, excursions and nighttime lectures from 7am to 9pm kept everyone busy. Excursions were informative - not learned much of this part of the South in Northern US schools. We are looking forward to the Mississippi River Cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul. Thank-you for a great trip and cruise. Will the other American Cruise Line trips be as delightful - we sure will be comparing them to the Independence. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We are retired and platinum members. We were in Florida for a few weeks and decided to extend our vacation. We knew what to expect as we had taken the ship many years ago. The port of Jacksonville was different in that we parked our car at ... Read More
We are retired and platinum members. We were in Florida for a few weeks and decided to extend our vacation. We knew what to expect as we had taken the ship many years ago. The port of Jacksonville was different in that we parked our car at the port. The charge was $75.00 for 5 days. As you pull into the parking area your baggage is unloaded right there. You then self park very near the ship. We were there at 11:30 am and on the ship by 12. We could not pass up this deal the price was $149 per person for an outside cabin on the Rivera deck. On boarding our cabin was ready. Went in put some stuff away and noticed that Carnival has continued to cut back. Gone are those goodies that were always in the bathroom. The bowl was there but it was empty. We also noticed that the shows in the main theater were just ok. Divas was not to our liking. In years past Carnival had a group of 8 men and 8 women dancers now it is 4 and 4. The singing is done by the dancers. We used the serenity section most of the time. Weather was cool. Because of the time of year there were not many children on this cruise. Cabin was a typical outside. The bed was comfortable. We prefer to eat in the dining room at all times if possible. The food was good not great but we had a large table with excellent companions. Still, the chocolate melting cake was great. Went to the comedy club. It was not very funny. The piano player in club 88 was really great. He played all songs and requests without sheet music. The ports were Freeport and Nassau. We had been to both a number of times. We did not get off in Freeport but did in Nassau. The vendors in Nassau were not to be believed. They had all taken a class in Jamaica. They were super aggressive in trying to sell every nature of tours. There were 5 ships in port that day. That made the streets and shops very crowded. Aside from trivia games, the casino and bingo, there wasn't much to do on board ship. We did use the gym and were pleased with the equipment and set-up. Hot tubs were in use constantly. There were 4 onboard. Since it was chilly, they got extra use. They were quite small, seating about 6 comfortably. Debarkation was smooth thanks to platinum status. We waited in the library for the okay and were then escorted to the elevators which were held for us. We were in our car and on our way within a half hour of getting the okay to leave the ship. We would not take a cruise on this ship to these ports again because of the attitude of the natives in Nassau and the "not so special" feeling of the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Two active & Vibrant Seniors - Very pleased with Carnival. Great mix of people from Seniors, families, old & young.. A great blend of folks and NEVER a problem with the "supposed party image". But; plenty of fun to be had ... Read More
Two active & Vibrant Seniors - Very pleased with Carnival. Great mix of people from Seniors, families, old & young.. A great blend of folks and NEVER a problem with the "supposed party image". But; plenty of fun to be had -- Comedy Club - Karaoke - Piano Bar - Live music. The shows were not impressive so we moved on to a more fun place for our taste--- well done Carnival. Stayed in a Suite -- Great space - superb cabin service - On Spot each day; never a request not met. Dining / food options were as expected - Good Service - good options throughout the day. BTW; great gym / fitness center, used it each day - good equipment and very clean--- Great Spa personnel-- turned my honey into a Hedi Klum look alike (made me Happy) Very smooth process @ Jacksonville / Carnival for embarking & disembarkation... Enjoyed so much we have booked for another cruise this year & one for next year on the same ship --- If it is working - do not change it ---   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014

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