First Off, I want to say I've went and read some reviews about the same cruise I sailed on, and I absolutely hate that my fellow cruisers did not seem to have the same experience that I did. I travel a good bit, so here is something to keep in mind, not everything is going to go perfect, you are on vacation, just go with the flow. My second advice to someone reading this is, most people who take the time to make reviews, its usually because of a bad experience. So on the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm leaving an amazing review, because I just got back from a trip of a lifetime!
I'm a 21 Year old female, and disabled, and traveled with two other girls my age. We were coming for my best friends 23rd birthday, and I know it's not a birthday she will ever forget. We drove from South Carolina to New Orleans, we stopped 3 times for about 30 minutes each time and in total the drive was about 13 hours long. It wasn't a bad drive though, we enjoy road trips! And the fall colors on the leaves were gorgeous.
We had made plans to visit Bourbon Street, but upon arriving, since it was only us ladies we decided against it, just being cautious. However, we did do some shopping the night before we boarded at the French Quarter Market Place. I got a couple of gorgeous bags that I am so in love with. We stayed at the Knights Inn, which wasn't much, but it was cheap, and I didn't feel my safety was in jeopardy at any point which was the main thing for us. We took an Uber to the Market place because we planned on drinking. And drinking I did, i highly recommend the Voo-Doo Juice! Careful it sneaks up on you. Enjoy!
I had previously sailed on the Carnival Victory in February, I found New Orleans Port Of Call Much easier as far as departure. We had our car unloaded, my wheelchair unpacked and set up, made it through customs, in less than a hour and we had NOT purchased the faster to the fun package. We were one of the first ones on the ship, and our room was ready within a hour. Please keep in mind when you are sailing to read your full cruise documents. I'm a planner. You can take one 12 pack of soda on board per guest. you can also bring one bottle of wine on board per guest. Take advantage of this!
Now I have two complaints about this cruise. None ruined my vacation, dont go on a vacation with a mind set to let it be ruined. on my previous cruise our cabin had a pull down bed like the top of a bunk bed. this time our cabin (a balcony 1006) had a trundle bed. which in my opinion is a cot. It's not something you will find me sleeping on. We took our issue to guest services and sadly they weren't able to move us. So we shoved the twin beds together and made a queen, we all shared it with plenty of room. Was it ideal? no. But we were on vacation, we weren't going to let something as petty as this 'ruin' a cruise. Besides, I didn't sleep much anyway. As an apology from Carnival, they sent us chocolate covered strawberries later in the week along with a very tasty bottle of wine that we all enjoyed immensely. Was it needed to make up for our slight inconvenience? Not really. But it was nice knowing Carnival cared.
With that being said, that was the only complaint about our room. i love deck 10 because of how easy it is for me to get to the smoking area! our stateroom was immaculately cleaned in my opinion. Ofcourse, I'm not a very picky person.
Something I love about Carnival? Their specialty drinks! I had been dreaming about the Strawberry Daiquiris from our last ship (when I turned 21) since the day I disembarked my last cruise. I know restaurants by how good their daiquiris are, and for some reason, no one can hit it on the head like carnival! One of the first things i got on the ship was one of those amazing drinks. i had actually worried that i had built them up so much in my mind that i would find myself disappointed. that was not the case, just as amazing as I remember.
That night we celebrated my best friends birthday in the main dining room (on our last cruise we did anytime dining, and i will never do that again. i absolutely loved dinner every night.) they sang to her and brought her a special birthday treat, that i was actually impressed with. Considering I'm a baker with a specialty in elaborate cake decorating, thats saying something. Also our amazing steward, wrote a special birthday note to my best friend on the mirror in our stateroom, which just like everything he did was amazing! His name was John, easily remembered since it was my baby nephews name, and he was awesome at everything. if i could request him again, I would!
I have nothing but good things to say about the dining room. I had steak, ribs, pork chop, grilled chicken, and steak again. Everything was amazing, I miss the food soo much! Our servers were awesome, they let me bring sodas from my room. They even learned to just bring me a cup of ice. They knew us by name. And we had two shows on our 5 night cruise that always made my night.
My second complaint, I did not enjoy the comedians routine. On our last cruise, the comedian had us practically crying we were laughing so hard. This guy.. he wasn't the worst I've ever seen, but he was far from the best. He ripped into the crowd more than anything, as if he didn't have material prepared. And when he would find a funny joke the crowd responded to he would keep repeating it over and over until it wasn't funny anymore.. But it wasn't a big deal, we got up, and made a graceful exit. No big deal. I did notice alot of my fellow cruisers doing the same. We didn't return.
That night we really enjoyed sailing down the Mississippi. It was a different experience, and I treasure those. It's the little things in life.
As usual on our cruises, I'm the first one up and out of the cabin in the mornings and the last one in at nighttime. I'm a night person. So the next morning I got up, got dressed and went out for breakfast. Which was spectacular as I remembered. Sometimes the lines are a little lengthy, but they pass quickly. Now someone who is disabled like myself may appreciate the knowledge of how helpful carnival is when it comes to that. Going into my first cruise i had no clue what to expect. When i stand in line, when i make it up to the actual plates a crew member is right there waiting to see if i need any assistance. Sometimes i take them up on the offer immediately. When I politely decline (when I'm feeling rather independent) , it's not 2 minutes later when another crew member is coming up and offering to help as well. They are so sweet. One morning, within a 5 minute span i had 4 different crew members offer their assistance, I kept declining because I had a friend with me, and then a manager walked up and took my plate and fixed anything I wanted. It's very appreciated.
After breakfast I headed to the seminar about excursions available (we had one booked for Cozumel Mexico, but not for Yucatan (Progreso). When you went in, you put your name in a raffle, you have to be present to win. And I won an excursion! Thanks Carnival! Ill get back to that.
Now two weeks prior to my cruise, i had surgery on my right wrist. the day before heading to New Orleans i was removed from my cast and put in a brace to continue healing. My first full day on the cruise, which was a full day at sea i could finally wash it! So naturally I was out of the brace when I was taking a shower. Well our ship was very rocky, it was not Carnivals fault. We were traveling during hurricane season, we knew there was a good chance of us having to travel around storms, and we did. Well, the ship rocked, and i fell. i caught myself, on my bad wrist. By time my roomies got to me, i was begging them to chop my arm off. I winded up in the infirmary, and they put me in a cast. Something i had not realized that medical is extra priced, and they dont accept insurances. Because my injury was boat related they, my service was free of charge, which i wept tears of joy about. I do realize they were covering themselves from a lawsuit. I wouldn't have sued, it wasn't their fault I had recently had surgery. But not having that charge was a big deal to me and I was very appreciative. The doctors and nurses were amazing, and fixed me right up. Thankfully when i got home, i found out it wasn't broken. just a traumatic, very painful sprain due to the recent surgery. The cast they put me in greatly reduced the pain and then I went on to get ready for Formal night. (the next day i got a letter from guest services, apologizing for my injury and letting me know if i needed anything all i had to do was call.. then the day after that guest services called and checked up on me and repeated the same. They didn't have to do that, but i really felt like carnival cared.)
As far as sea sickness goes, look into pressure point wrist bands, highly recommended! you can get them for a dollar on eBay or amazon! i used that and took Dramamine as a preventative and had no issues. Sadly I met a friend on the boat who really struggled with this, and green apples really seemed to help him.
Formal night is so much fun to me, I really felt like a princess. Coming from a small town we dont get the opportunity to dress up like that often. Thanks for another great experience.
Another tip I would like to extend, make friends on your cruise. there are tons of people on board, You've got to like somebody.. I'm a people person anyway so this has never really been an issue with me. But we made amazing cruise friends that night, and we were with them for the remainder of the cruise. They made our cruise! And we are still in contact and have made what I think is very valuable friendships at this point.
There Was a guy we called Jesus, who was amazing at Karaoke! He also turned out to be my first mate on Halloween but I will get back to that!
Our first excursion was Isla Passion By Twister In Cozumel. Our New Friends- The New & Improved Johnny Bravo & Curly Top Were On It. We took a jet boat over to the private isla passion beach (our friends took a catamaran if a slower boat is more your pace). Everything was amazing. The food, open bar, the boat ride. They told us the water wasn't as clear as normal because of the storms that had recently hit, but that wasn't a big deal. We were able to leave our belongings in our chair while we swam without a worry. We had so much fun. We had surprised the birthday girl with this, and she loved it. When we got back, we did a little shopping and then headed back to our ship.
I love Halloween! It's my second favorite holiday! And when your sailing in the Caribbean on Halloween, people you have to be a pirate. Our new friend Jesus agreed and actually let me do a pirate makeup on him that night. We winded up making rounds on the boat asking other pirates to join our crew, all they had to do was take a picture. I got an amazing Polaroid collection that night! (Please keep in mind the Polaroid camera is mine and not a service of Carnival!) The Halloween decorations were on point, and not to scary for the little ones. I'm not a mother and I didn't have children traveling with me, but I am an Aunt So I did notice that factor. Our Halloween desserts at dinner were spooktacular!
The next morning was the Excursion in Yucatan Progreso, Mexico that I won! It Was A VIP Beach Resort Getaway, And had an open bar! Our friends Johnny and Curly happened to be on it as well! The bar was awesome, decent strawberry daiquiris! They had amazing barbecue chicken wings. We played with a coconut in the ocean as a football. we laid in hammocks and enjoyed just how beautiful it was. we played chicken in the pool. And had an amazing time! A+'s all the way around! Thanks Again Carnival.
So something I really enjoyed was having another full day at sea before we were stateside again. We had one more party night and weren't quite as exhausted on the drive home. We had a toga party! Why? because you only live once! My favorite part of the night was finding an area near the front of the ship that I didn't realize was open to passengers. We laid out on that deck at 2 am just stargazing. It was beyond beautiful. There wasn't as many lights and it was breath takings. We saw the rhinestone belt and even a shooting star. It's a perfect memory. I'm already looking into my next cruise!
Thank you to the people who took the time to finish reading all of this. With all the negative reviews I just had to share what an amazing time I had. I wish you the same amount of joy this cruise brought me, on all of your adventures. Safe Travels Friends.
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