We arrived at our assigned embarkation time apt. and everything was smooth upon checking in. We had also printed all of the boarding passes, luggage tags and completely checked in beforehand so we did had very little to do ... Read More
We arrived at our assigned embarkation time apt. and everything was smooth upon checking in. We had also printed all of the boarding passes, luggage tags and completely checked in beforehand so we did had very little to do at the Port Terminal. Once we embarked on, we had a couple of hours until our room was ready so we enjoyed some nice lunch looking out over Port Canaveral.
Breakfast: We enjoyed the sit-down dining and sea-day brunches most days. I often ordered the eggs benedict, turkey bacon and hashbrowns while my husband would get either pancakes or eggs with different sides. We prefered the food options in the sit-down dining better than the buffet. We did not get the opportunity to try the omelette station as there was always a wait.
Lunch: I really enjoyed the Cucina Del Capitano pasta lunch (free!), your pasta is made to order and you can select everything from the noodles, sauce to toppings. You can also get a side of caesar salad or a delicious garlic-butter bun. We also enjoyed the Blue Iguana, I liked the taco bowl and the burritos, my husband enjoyed the tacos. We both really enjoyed the lunch buffet, we found that there was always a good variety of tasty foods and a generous salad bar. The deserts were also very tasty! They had run out of the Black Forest Cake on one of the days because we had waited too long to go and get desert. Otherwise, we really enjoyed our lunches!
Dinner: We went for the sit-down dining each evening, we had the later dining option at 8:15 P.M. The three dining staff were AMAZING (Paula, Neemark and Jerry) as they were not only so quick, friendly and good at their jobs, but they went out of their way to have genuine conversations with us. We always looked forward to seeing them! As for the food, most of the dishes were good with the exception of a few underwhelming ones. Out of the carnival cruises I've sailed, I was the most disappointed with the sit-down dining food on this cruise. I felt that at times, it was sloppily plated or under seasons or under mashed. However, I felt that the dining staff were the best on this cruise compared to the others! Oh, and the melting chocolate lava cake is DELICIOUS!
Other: The lemonade, iced tea, pizza and ice cream were great!
Cabin: Our room staff was incredibly friendly and great. Our room ALWAYS smelled so clean and was spotless. 10/10! The balcony was also very clean.
Entertainment: I preferred the entertainment and the quality of the shows to be the best so far on this cruise. The female vocalists were stronger than the males during the evening shows. We also really enjoyed the violinists and the jazz band, we made it a point to attend their shows whenever possible. Unpopular opinion was related to the cruise director, I found him to be less inviting compared to others from previous cruises. I really enjoyed the assistant director Oh Yes Jess, she was funny!
Facilities: We enjoyed the variety of hot tubs on this ship and that they were not on the main lido deck like some other ships, less children in them! The serenity deck was really nice and relaxing, we enjoyed that daily except that the blue padded bed-chairs smelled dirty and moldy by the end of the trip (maybe because it rained?). We also liked the water slides, pools and games available to play on deck. We went to the fitness center daily which was quite empty and had a good variety of equipment too.
Spa/Photography (negative reviews): Given it was our honeymoon, Carnival provided us with a $50 giftcard for Serenity Spa and a $50 voucher for the Dream Photo Studio. I went to the spa for a manicure (which cost $50). The technician who did my nails started off as very friendly and outgoing, but midway tried to scam me into purchasing almost $400 of products without my consent. She noticed I had some dry skin and applied a lotion and hand treatment, she asked me if I liked the cream which I did. She then put another cream on my arms and then massaged my shoulders with the cream (aloe vera type cream) and left me the pamphlets explaining what they were. She had tried to sell me these products the rest of the time and kept persisting even when I said no or "let me think about it". At the end, she said she would bring me the bill and I could add an additional gratuity if needed. She then took all of the cream products to scan/bill to me! I stopped her right away and she seemed offended and continued to try and guilttrip me into purchasing them, when I asked the price, it was $350 USD. I completely understand that the workers are pressured to try and make more sales, but this completely turned me off from any future spa treatments.
Same experience with the dreams studio, this is NOT to be mistaken with the regular photo shoots you see around the ship that are somewhat affordable. We had to book a 30min individual photoshoot with a separate meeting to review the prints. In between meetings, we asked all around the ship, including the Pixels Help Desk, for prices, but no one would provide us with any. Finally, we review the gorgeous photos to find out the packages cost almost as much as our WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER.
Port: Cozumel 3/5
Nice port, decent shopping but not much to do as a tourist without a prebooked tour
Port: Belize 2.5/5
Took a tender boat out which was fun (approx. 30 min.), windy and rainy but still enjoyable. Port itself has many shops which were fun to browse, but again, tour is recommended
Port: Roatan 5/5
GREAT port with many attractions (small fee and free) right outside of the port. We enjoyed the nature park with trails, ziplining, beach and shopping. Super fun and lots to do without a tour!
Port: Costa Maya (Negative review) 1/5
3 cruise ships for a tiny port that you cannot really leave (similar to Grand Turk) unless on a tour. It was SO crowded that we could barely walk. The grounds were nice and it was well maintained however... as we followed the path back to the ship, we saw a dolphin jump out of a manmade pool FEET FROM THE REAL OCEAN. Several dolphins were housed in a tiny, murky green pool and the worked were trying to get as many tourists as possible in the water to "swim with dolphins". The conditions were depressing to the point where I cried. Please do your research and DO NOT support these inhumane and cruel tourist attractions.... just go and read some reviews and investigations for the swim with dolphin attractions, you will never support one again. Please spend that money on taking a boat out to sea and seeing these smart, beautiful creatures in nature where they belong. Read Less