Let me preface this review by saying that this was my 12th Carnival cruise, my DH’s 11th, and my girls’ 3rd and 2nd. We have only cruised on Carnival. Not by choice, but because of the price and fact that Carnival is the only 4/5 day cruise out of Nola or Galveston. It has been close to 2 years since we sailed on the Conquest to the Bahamas. This cruise was with extended family, a group of 9 total.
I like to cruise around Christmas. I detest cold weather and it’s so nice to get away to somewhere warm. The kids are out of school and the whole family can go and spend time together. We chose this particular cruise because of price. The others in the same time frame were not in our budget.
Embarkation was easy. It’s changed since the last time I was there. You now take your picture first, before going through the check in process. The long desk of check-in people is gone and you partially check in right in line. I don’t really like this. You’re standing in the line with someone right behind you impatiently waiting while you’re trying to fumble with your paperwork with nowhere to sit your stuff. However, since the lines weren’t too long, it wasn’t horrible and after security we were shown the way to the new VIP Lounge. WOW! It was huge! What an improvement. The only negative here was that I waited at the desk. In reality, you are supposed to be seated and the agent that has your paperwork will call your name to come up. This wasn’t told to me and there were no signs. This could be conveyed better. Overall, it was smooth and fast.
Cabin M139. I knew the rooms had not been refurbished, but I was still very disappointed. After our last cruise on the Conquest, it was a big let down. The room was clean, but no amount of cleaning could make the tile in the bathroom look good. The window was dirty (as I expected) and everything looked really, really old. Yes, I knew what to expect when I signed up, but I still didn’t anticipate how I would react to it. The TV was old style, which in itself didn't bother us, but the picture was awful. It was so blurry, we couldn't read the stats on the bow camera view and couldn't watch the football game, which disappointed my husband. The bed was acceptable. The kids both slept in the upper. I looked at the trundle under the bed and it looked really bad. The mattress was so thin, I don't know how it could possibly be comfortable. There was no room under the bed to store luggage, so it just sat at the end of the bed. I didn't like how you had to crawl over the bed to get to the window. The carpet needed replacing. The vent in the bathroom developed a whistle halfway through the cruise, but we managed to get it fixed somewhat. That same type vent has done that before on past cruises.