This was my 23rd cruise (6 on Carnival).
Here are some things Carnival should do better:
Why should embarkation take 2.5 hrs. Yes I know they had computer problems but they do this SO MANY times a week you would think that they would have redundant systems to prevent this.
Being on deck 8 is great (we were on deck 8 forward on the Spirit and Legend and loved it. However NEVER book 8193 or anywhere close. The staff on the lido deck is wheeling carts through your ceiling 24 HOURS A DAY.
Is late seating really at 8:15?
Why don't they just tell you it's really at 8:30? The people line up at 8:10 and they don't open the doors until 8:25 or later. It just seems Carnival can't resist making people stand in line.
I know it has been 3 years since our last cruise on Carnival but I can't believe the quality of food in the dining room has fallen to such a low level. I have always defended Carnival to the Cruise Snobs that would never even consider booking a Fun Ship. The dining at Nick & Nora's was excellent and we should have dined there every night.
St. Marten. The shops are clean and friendly. The deals are not very good. I priced out an IPOD TOUCH 8GB the stores were asking 329.00 you can buy this at any big box store in the U.S. for $299.00. I also priced some higher end digital cameras and the prices were very high.
St. Lucia. we did the Pirate Ship Extravaganza. Gotta love this excursion. The crew was great and they encouraged participation. My wife helped raise some sails and was able to troll a fishing line on our return to the ship. I would recommend a hat and lots of sun screen. The bottomless supply of RUM PUNCH was enjoyed by many.
St. Kitts. We stayed on the ship. See below
Perhaps the final blow was my wife contracting the NORO VIRUS on day 4 and was quarantined to our cabin for 24 hrs. I must say that I was impressed by the Infirmary Staff. Marjorie, the on duty nurse came to our cabin at 3 am and administered a shot and some meds to my ailing wife.
The remaining 2 days at sea were very relaxing. My wife got back to her normal self after 48 hours (lots of water and bland food from room service).
I will give Carnival another chance but I think I need a dose of Holland America for my next adventure.
I did enjoy the late night comedy shows (Phat Kat was a little too crude).
We booked the Everglades trip in Ft. Lauderdale because our flight left late in the day. This was a short bus ride to the Everglades from the ship. You get to go on an air boat and see lots of gators and wildlife. They take you back to the store area and you get a real cheesy show about gators from a guy missing most of his fingers. Lots opportunities to spend more $$ having your picture taken with gators...birds...etc.