Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we ... Read More
Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we vacation in OC NJ, this crowd was more from Wildwood.
We chose this cruise since we could drive to the port, overall it was a simple process. We parked and off loaded our luggage; and it took less than 10 minutes to get through security and onto the ship. The buffet lines were long for lunch on embarkation day, Guy's burger joint and the mexican place had long lines too (hint: go upstairs above the mexican place and eat at the Pig and Anchor, decent BBQ food and there was no line). You can also get a pizza delivered to you anywhere on the ship, this would be another idea on embarkation day, just use the app the pizza delivery guy will come to you, cost is $5 for delivery but it beats standing in line for 20 minutes. The pizza was awesome!
Many other reviews complained really bad about the buffet lines and the 2 choke points...these reviews are accurate but just do you best to avoid those areas and you will be fine. The choke points were crowded but they encompass 10 feet of the entire ship, not the end of the world! Avoid the breakfast buffet line by going to the restaurant for breakfast, no lines!
Kids loved the water slides and water splash area! We never really had an issue getting a lounge chair, maybe we were lucky but it was fine for us.
We used Anytime dining: perfect with the kids since they wanted to stay outside for a while. I made reservations on the app 5 minutes before we wanted to eat every night and it was not an issue. You have to walk around the casino bar (yes, I agree with everyone else that it is a stupid design to walk through a smoky casino bar right after you grab a shower so I can get to dinner!). Drinks were a bit hard to come by in the restaurant, the waiters are all running around but the service is a bit below average. We grabbed drinks at the Alchemy Bar which is on the way to the dining room. I even ran out to grab drink #2 because it was easier than waiting.
**You are allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine on the boat on embarkation day and you are allowed to carry it to your room. Read the alcohol rules, it is permitted. We each brought a bottle. Some night she filled a glass and carried it with her to dinner, it saved about $12/drink.
My wife had the salmon and loved it, I had the flank steak (it was more of a sirloin as opposed to a thin flank but it was really good). I ordered multiple meals every night, and usually had the flank steak too. She had the salmon several times and like it. Avoid the seafood medley, seafood was overcooked and it was kind of bland. Several of the mushroom apps were good and there was a mushroom veg entree that my wife really liked. Kids menu was simple, spaghetti, burgers, hotdog, chicken fingers. They like ordering a few desserts each night. The Carnival Hot Lava cake is great every time!
On Bermuda day: Get to the buffet early. Everyone is going to the buffet, it was really crowded, I would try to get there by 8am. We arrived around 9:15 and it was jammed. We went to horseshoe beach, take a taxi, it costs about $32. The shuttle bus costs $7/person which is $28. Don't bother renting an umbrella, there was another ship in port with our ship and the beach was jammed. By noon you can grab a vacated umbrella before the staff packs them up. The line for getting back was really long, I stood in line for about 20 minutes while my wife and kids played on the beach. We took a taxi back, same cost of $32. Shuttle bus line was 3x as long.
We got our photos taken all of the time on the way to/from dinner. Usually this is annoying, but the kids thought it was a special thing. And honestly, the photos really came out great, my wife ended up buying a few of them. The photographers normally harass you, but these photographers were very friendly and really enjoyed their job.
After dinner, we would hang in the Red Frog pub, foosball and shuffle board and board games are hidden in the back and kept he kids busy while we drank beer!
The Flying Scotsman was worth the price by himself! Be sure to attend the R&B Night in the lobby bar. There was no lie probably 1,000 people in the bar, stairs, mezzanine, and upper floors looking over the rail. The whole place was singing and he was dancing and singing on the bar. Simply awesome! He does a 1 man show that was pretty good as well, not as crowded as the R&B show, but he sang opera which was pretty neat to see (I like Classic Rock and he did a lot of that too).
Our kids did not do Camp Ocean, they wanted to stay on the water slides so I cannot rate the children's activities. Read Less