My partner and I have done 10+ cruises on several other cruise lines including Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and a few others. This Exotic Sothern Caribbean itinerary took us to ports I had never visited. I set my expectations low based on the recent reviews and the general negativity about Carnival from past cruise mates. I am glad to say that we were extremely pleased with this cruise. We chose the 10-day Southern Caribbean Journey cruise, which began in San Juan and ended in Jacksonville as the ship is repositioning for the 4-5 day Bahamas cruises. I was not familiar with the term Carnival’s Journey Cruises prior to this trip. These longer cruises generally begin and end in different ports and have some added ports and features. We especially enjoyed the Throwback Captain’s Cocktail Party. Full-sized and full-strength drinks were free and plentiful as well as 5-6 hot appetizers, which were served up to the entire Mikado Show Lounge. There also several added lectures, entertainers, and enrichment activities like navigating by the constellations.
Yes this ship is a little older, if you consider 1998 old. Maybe it is because of the 2014 refit, but we found the ship to be in very good shape. The ship was very clean and well kept. Frankly we enjoyed the smaller size of the ship. The Grand Atrium and Tiffany’s Lido Restaurant were perhaps the most striking rooms on the ship. When the Captain was forced to make an unplanned stop in Grand Turk due to a medical emergency we also learned that the ship is fully capable of maintaining maximum speed for almost two days straight as the captain stole back several hours that were lost due to the route deviation. Bravo! You will not find premium specialty restaurants on this ship or the up-charges that often come with them. They do have the taste bar that offers free appetizers, but it seems to open sporadically.
My partner and I and my nephew shared and inside Quad U200 on Upper Deck. With the beds configured as singles and one upper, we found the room plenty spacious for three. The L-shaped layout of the beds helped a lot with this. The full-sized shower was much appreciated. Room was kept spotless. Storage was good for a 10-day cruise with three people who travel without checking baggage. The in-room safe was appreciated. There was no refrigerator, but the cabin steward brought ice to us daily. Self service laundry down the hall.
Not for me but some really seemed to enjoy.