We thought of taking a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Baltimore, but doing so costs us a whole day at sea. I would rather take that day in a foreign port than at sea. Being from Tidewater, I truly appreciate the convenience of leaving from Norfolk. Plus, Grand Turk and Amber Cove, DR are new ports for us, another reason to take this cruise.
We cruised last year on the Carnival Splendor so I would like to make some comparisons. One factor I noticed which was much different, in a very positive way, was that there was a marked decrease in the attempts to push liquor, jewelry and photographs. This created a more relaxed ambience. There was much less rowdiness on this ship, in fact, my fellow passengers seemed friendlier and more pleasant to be around. The engineering on this ship was much better as the Carnival Splendor had a sewer odor that could be quite pungent and unappealing. In fact, things like our showers and sinks, seemed to run perfectly. On the negative side, I really missed the live band and dedicated singers ( I think there were only five entertainers, as opposed to the twelve on the Splendor. Also, the service in the main dining room ( Sunset Restaurant) was good but not superior as it was on the Splendor.
No problem with embarkation. Smooth and friendly.
The ergonomics are excellent and we did not feel cramped. The shower and sinks worked very well and the bed was relatively comfortable.
Great port. an visit the Us Wisconsin which is right next to the ship. Downtown right nearby. Old churches and homes. MacArthur Memorial fascinating. MacArthur mass
Best tour. Vaves and a great restaurant with a wonderful beach. Interesting to see Dominican Republic