Our previous cruising experience includes four cruises on two other cruise lines and we traveled with and without children once on each of those cruise lines. We were looking forward to this cruise as a time for us as a couple to relax and enjoy lots of activities and pampering like we'd experienced on the other ships. That is not what we received.
The boarding/embarkation experience and the disembarkation experience were both better than we have experienced on other lines so that part was terrific - the highlight of the trip, sadly. Hardly any waiting getting on or off the ship. Our last Carnival Cruise had horrific delays getting off the ship so this was a welcomed experience. However, it went downhill from there.
We were not informed that this cruise was the "last before 3 weeks in dry-dock". If you find out that kind of info about a cruise...RUN AWAY QUICKLY!!! They weren't waiting for dry dock to begin repairs. This news was evident from our first encounter with staff once aboard. Our cabin steward informed us her assistant had already gone home because they were headed to dry-dock the following week. That is how she explained the empty tissue holder in our bathroom and unlocked mini-bar missing items when we checked into the room. We never had any opportunities to get to know her or feel like she cared about us at all since we had prepaid gratuities. There were none of the famous towel characters we have always had on other ships (a highlight for our kids to see pics of when we return home), or polite conversation with her as we passed in the hall as she was always too busy talking on a radio or to other staff. We've always tipped our stewards above and beyond when they go above and beyond. No extra tips earned on this cruise. This lackluster service continued throughout the ship. It was the most unfriendly crew I've ever seen. They don't seem to care if they receive extra tips or not.
6049 - Quiet location for the most part, except the construction taking place outside. We were disappointed at the small size of the balcony and the fact the dividers were only frosted glass between rooms so we could hear everything the neighbors said on their balcony so there was no romance as we'd imagined. The room was very far forward in the ship so it was a long walk to dinner and all meals. The bathroom was in bad shape with mildew in grout and rusted off door frame. The doors for the closets and bathroom were constantly getting entangled and driving us crazy.
We scheduled a private tour through Christopher Tours online. It included zip-lining, guided snorkeling, island tour in a private van with tour guide. The zip-line was the same used by the ship and our private package was only $6 more than the excursion for zip-lining. The Canopy Tour zip-line was outstanding - the views were amazing, the staff was friendly and skilled. We have never moved through a zip-line course so quickly. It was great! You do need some level of physical strength to enjoy this tour. We found the shopping on the island to be somewhat limited so if you see something you like while touring the island, you should buy it, don't think you'll find it somewhere else cheaper.
Friends of ours took the Fantasy Island tour and couldn't say enough good things so we'll probably take that one next time.