Had done Disney twice, RC and Norwegian once each and all were great. Just didn't want to do Carnival due to their adds and rumors of constant partying. But got a good rate and this fit all of our needs so decided to give it a try. Went in with zero expectations. Truthfully, I was expecting to be terribly disappointed. And it turned out to be just fine and I would do Carnival again! And believe me I am somewhat picky.
It started kind of badly as I thought the crew that we met on day 1 didn't seem very happy. But when we saw our cabin that's when I got my first surprise. It was huge! Had an ocean view on Deck 1 and this cabin is appx. 220 sq. ft. Much more than any other cruise line I had been on. We actually could move around and not bump into each other! And after Day 1 the crew got happier. My husband said maybe it was Embarkation Day blues and shift changes. This cruise had 3 days at sea that I worried about being bored but it turned out we enjoyed and needed these days for rest and relaxation. It's not necessarily good to be in a port every single day trying to do it all. That can be exhausting! I have done it and will probably do it again, but this time it was OK.
I don't really want to spend a lot of time here talking about the port stops because Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten have been thoroughly dissected on this website. What I wanted to say in this review was how pleasantly surprised I was with Carnival Cruise Line. The crew was great. The food was fantastic! I was not expecting that at all. The dining room food was excellent and I have the extra 6 lbs to prove it. The room steward kept our cabin stocked and clean constantly. Once the toilets stopped working on our deck and it was fixed within about an hour. It seemed if anything wasn't working that it was taken care of instantly. I can say that was not the case on RC. On RC I remember some of the public toilets not working and some overflowing and they stayed that way for days. The other thing about Carnival is they really want everyone to have a good time, so there are activities going on all the time. If you get bored it is your own fault. The lounge shows were excellent. On RC they were laughably sad. The show called Justin Illusion was awesome. We didn't want to go at first because we were like "oh great another magician". But we decided to go and were blown away! I'm so glad we decided to go! Oh and the "extra fee" fancy dining experience in the Emerald Room was just over the top fantastic. The best piece of Filet Mignon we've ever had. And the service and all the food was awesome. I give one point off to Carnival for the individual entertainment acts in the various bars and lounges. Some of these people sang so off key and badly we had to cover our ears when we walked by! But the piano bar experience is another cool thing we did. This guy "Russell" plays the piano very well and has an extensive song collection that he can play. Everyone sits around him as he and his piano slowly rotates and sing along. It is a riot if you get the right bunch of people together. It is hysterical to hear standard classic rock songs sung with a Phillipino accent! Cute!
Great big window, big closets, huge cabin, nice size bathroom. Only ONE outlet for charging things. Plenty of hangars.
Go to Atlantis. Don't waste your time in Nassau. If you want some good bargains however for souvenirs I highly recommend the Straw Market.
Don't stay in town, it's kind of sad. The Paradise Point is well worth it though if you don't do anything else. I would go to a beach or go to St. John for an excellent beach.
Love St. Maarten! Cute little downtown for shopping, eating, drinking. Take the water taxi or walk the 20 minute walk to downtown. There are also excellent beaches. Just take a taxi, don't waste your money on the excursion to get you to a beach if that's all you're going to do. The taxi's are about $8 per person. Orient Beach, Mullet Bay are both really nice. I am by no means an expert but I've been here twice. Once just walked around and shopped and drank. Once to Mullet Bay. Loved the Bay, next time I will try Orient Beach for a different beach.