After looking forward to this Trans-atlantic cruise, I was very disappointed. The pluses should always be first so:
*the decor is a great improvement over the glitzy Vegas decor of other Carnival ships
*the multiple eating venues are great
*the show entertainment was first rate. The technology was superb.
*the cabins are nice and roomy
*the public areas (lobby, lounges, etc.) are plentiful and very comfortable
The negatives, however, are in more important areas:
^the music was awful. I would have paid not to hear some of the musicians such as the two guitar players and the piano bar player
^while the singing maitre d' is nice, it was intrusive to have the guy singing every day, particularly when he repeated the songs
^the service in the assigned dining room was awful. Seemed like everyone was in a hurry to get you out of there, this in the second seating. The atmosphere in the "dine as you please" was much more conducive to conversation and relaxation
^the food in the Lido Marketplace and the main dining rooms was terrible. The food at the Cucina del Capitano was not much better. Not very Italian for having Italian officers
^the service of bartenders, Lido, dining rooms was very deficient, probably because there was very little supervision. The tables in the Marketplace were left dirty with dishes piled high when there were guests who needed them.
^the activities were practically non-existent.
^the crew was not very friendly
^the ship was a surprise in that it shook and vibrated excessively. We like the lower decks during a transatlantic crossing because they have an easier motion in high seas, but this ship shook and groaned and made terrible noises at the lower levels.
All in all, a great disappointment!
Cabin 1321 is on the first deck, mid-ship. It's roomy, great closet space. It has a tub, which we never used as there is no need for the extra bathroom area. It would have been a better idea to use that space for a bigger head(bathroom) and sitting area. The decor is very nice on this ship, light and airy as opposed to the glitz in other Carnival ships. The window is large and gives a good view of the ocean and horizon. I would sit in the window seat, which is not meant to be a seat and it would have been nice if they'd made it so. Even then, I enjoyed sitting there and looking out the window.
Barcelona is one of the nicest cities in Europe, it is also the 6th largest with a population of over 5 m. The pace is fast, the sights are amazing, from the Barceloneta on the waterfront to the mountains of Montserrat. The architecture and art are unparalleled. We took the Hop On/Hop Off and for a one day stay, it is perfect. You see a lot and can take a closer look at anything that appeals. A great deal for 18 euros. Places to see would be the Expiatory Church of La Sagrada Familia, Park Gruell, Barceloneta, Las Ramblas, la Boqueria (off of Las Ramlblas), the Barri Gotic and La Seu. All these are places where you can get off the bus and spend some time discovering before heading back on the tour.
A beautiful little town. To see the Cathedral (well worth it), the old sections and the waterfront is very easy. The city provided shuttle buses from the port to the waterfront by the Cathedral for 5 euros round trip. Walking is not an option as the port is a long way away from the center of town, but taxis are plentiful and not too expensive. The Cathedral is well worth the entry fee and the old town around it is full of small plazas, nice little cafes and souvenir shops. A very pretty area to spend a very nice day. The food was excellent and the people are very friendly.
Very friendly and knowledgeable guide. The tour was very good, giving a good idea of the town and the island in general. Very thorough.
Antigua is one of the friendliest and safest islands in the Caribbean. The people are helpful and friendly. We walked through town without feeling threatened and were never accosted by sales people or taxi drivers. The cruise port/town of St. John's is NOT the prettiest area in Antigua, which is a beautiful island with many attractive spots, but the tourist shopping area is well kept and adequate as is the straw market.
Always a pleasure to visit St. Maarten. This time we took an excursion to visit Marigot on the French side. The tour was adequate, the bus was old and somewhat dirty, but the driver was very knowledgeable and thorough. It was a Sunday, so the French side was all closed up. Not much traffic and no shopping; most of the restaurants were closed as well. The driver told us that most of the shops and restaurants have closed permanently because the Euro is very high and Americans do not go any more. A pity because it is a very pretty area.