I have been on several cruise ships with Carnival and other lines as well. I can say I can remember the first carnival ship I went on and the ship and the cruise director were awesome and they are both retired.......This ship is way too big. Way understaffed and boring for all ages. I felt they did not have enough activities for any age. The ship holds 5,000 people. The hallways are narrow, the rooms are small. By squeezing all these rooms in, they took the luxury out of the ship. It is just blah....my comparison is like a cheap hotel that floats. I feel that is what a cruise ship is a floating hotel but the others I have been on were very entertaining. But not this one. No need to dress up for any of the formal dinners. People were in the formal dining room with cutoffs and t shirts although the "rules" state that type of attire is not allowed. There were kids in the hot tub with life jackets on. All the pools are small. My son would not use any of the pools. He compared them to community baths...Clearly the staff did not care. The staff is overworked. They did not have enough staff to keep the ship clean. There was always food on the floor outside the cabins on the stairs and even the elevators. the food lines were atrocious. (they kept saying that was their number one complaint and they were working on it.) Our cabin was directly above the buffet. We had an automatic wake up call so to speak every morning at 5:00am they were pushing dishes across the floor to get ready for the morning breakfast.... I was told by a member at guest services that I was not a priority.....I could have gone to Disney World and been a priority even with 56,000 people walking through the gates daily. The shows were subpar the theatre was small compared to other cruises. The comedy shows were ok. But the lounge they held it in could not hold all the guests that wanted to attend. When "Houston" the comedy host was approached the issue was dismissed. There were people sitting in the lounge with three to four others deep standing in front of you. So technically you went to sit in the lounge and "hear" the show because you could not see it......there was additional charges for Bingo and room service. They were adding an additional 15% gratuity to your bar bill if you did not specify your tip amount. People also felt that there were "hidden" charges they were not told about up front. My son and I waited 50 minutes in line at the guest service desk and had to call guest services four times within minutes. We would call guest services put the phone on speaker and let it ring until it disconnected us. So take the number of rings before you are disconnected and multiply that by 4. Then you get the rude service member that tells you that you are not a priority on the ship......The islands were nice. But they go to grand turks and the night before you get there. There is a letter in your mailbox telling you that there is brown seaweed in the water. (apparently due to past season hurricanes. So this is not new)...They suggest you go to a place called margaritaville which is nice but you can do some swimming there and there is a pool. But picture this 5,000 people from the vista and another ship was there too....(shouldn't they have told you that before you booked the trip.) and then when 5 people are an hour late returning to the ship they waited....I don't think we left one port on time because of people returning late to the ship...... Then in LaRomana they were told that there was an algae in the water and that you may have an allergic reaction to it...(shouldn't they have told you that before you booked the trip. Just so that you could make an educated decision about your choice of cruises.....) They dock in curacau at 1:00 in the afternoon until 10:30 in the evening. But when we went to the gathering about the island we were told. This is a regular day for them, so everything closes at 6 or 7.......(why would we remain there for that length of time if everything closes early) There is a moving bridge there that moves when boats come in and out of town....don't worry sometimes the bridges opens for 10 minutes sometimes it opens for 40.....but there are ferries that run back and forth when the bridge opens for any length of time. I did not see one ferry transport anyone and one person told me she actually got stuck there by herself for 40 minutes because there was no ferry. I had been to aruba before so I knew what to expect there. We did zipline in LaRomana and that was a lot of fun. But the cruise was from Saturday to Sunday and everyone I spoke with and I spoke with people of all ethnicities and ages and everyone was just tolerating it because they had already boarded and paid for the vacation and were ready to go home by Friday. My kids kept asking can't he just pick up the pace and get us home sooner. I don't think I spoke to one person that was actually having "fun" on the so called "funship". I called cooperate as well to let them know my concerns and dissatisfaction and the first guest service member basically said the same thing as the guest service rep on the ship. When I spoke to a supervisor he did thank me for my feedback and told me they would work on these issues for future cruisers......just do your own research before you book. I was not told any of this by the booking agent. i will not be returning to the carnival line in the future. Read all reviews that everyone writes. I second guessed myself after reading the reviews and thought oh I've never been to these islands we will have a good time. The islands were nice. But boy was my family disappointed about the overall cruise. It is pretty sad when you take your older kids on vacation a week before school/college starts and they are asking to get home.
the cabins were small
The ziplining in LaRomana was amazing. Great views. Very fun
The island was quaint We walked around the island and did some shopping. The only thing I did not care for was the fact that we were there for a good length of time and the businesses closed early. We arrived around 1pm and stayed till 10:30pm and the businesses were all closed by 7pm
Aruba was the only island that I had been to in the past. It is a very friendly island and is a fun place to visit.