Chose this because of the ports of call, and the much shorter driving distance to port (6 hours to Charleston, SC. vs. 16 to Florida ports). *REALLY* regretting that now. Terrible food, EXCEPT Guy Fieri's burgers. They were delicious, but the other stations on the Lido deck, and the dining room (we got any time dining and were in the Wind Song dining room) - were TERRIBLE. Tough meat, fried chicken that was listed as "Southern Fried Chicken" but should have been "Concrete Fried" as the breading was too hard to chew without breaking a tooth.. Lackluster service, a cabin steward who forgot to do anything in our room 2 days out of 5, servers who forgot there's an entire section above the Lido deck where a large group of people hang out on a regular basis (smoking section) .. Just a miserable experience overall. I've been on several Carnival cruises and LOVED them. I have another planned in February (2019) - different port, different boat, and I sincerely hope that this was a blip in Carnival's normally excellent service. Really REALLY pushy jewelry store associates (like put his hands on you to force you forward to see the jewelry under a light with a grip on your wrist that wasn't breakable pushy). Nobody (employee wise) seemed to want to be there, the boat is old and tired, although there was a murmur in the crowd about it being retrofitted in the near future, which it really does need. Just a generally poor performance by a normally decent company. High points: Embarkation was quick and easy, so was disembarking, and one employee that I adored. His name is Reymond, he works on the Lido deck in the evenings, cleaning up after people. He was a delight to talk to, EXTREMELY personable, knowledgeable about the ports. He's from the Phillipines and is an all around asset to Carnival. I hope they realize that.
Princess Cay is basically an extension of the boat with a beach, which was fine. Everything is based on sign and sail cards (they own the entire island) and there's very little to do there. Employees come from the boat, and they bring all the food for the BBQ (food, again, terrible because it came from the boat) GREAT for beach combers and families with kids who love the water.. but WEAR WATER SHOES if you have tender feet, lots of rocks and coral right at the water line you have to get past. I didn't go further so can't speak for the deeper areas. Very clean on Princess Cay. Nassau was a bit of a disappointment, and we were offered drugs from a gentleman calling himself "Dr. Feelgood" in full view of uniformed police in front of the Royal Bank of Canada within 10 minutes of getting off the boat (certainly not Carnival's fault). My suggestion for Nassau - do the Atlantis day or an excursion. If you plan on walking around Nassau - hit up the Irish pub that's up a flight of stairs on the main drag. GREAT food, delightful staff. The straw market has some great local carvers with some very beautiful carved art. A lot of the "hand made" things in the straw market are fresh off the boat from China, however, most of the woven straw purses, etc. Mine still had the Made in China tag at the bottom. :) Worth it for little gifts for kids, though.
There is a GREAT silver jewelry store a bit down from the main drag of touristy shops that is full of items imported from Turkey. Gorgeous lamps, and they have a HUGE selection of very reasonably priced Sterling jewelry, good quality gemstones, and NOT pushy at all. Coming out of the port, make a left when you hit diamonds international, it is on the same street, same side of the street, just down a few blocks. For giggles we tried a Starbucks inside what looked like a department store, and it was really good. Great employees too. If you're dying for a Frappucino from home at that point, def. a good place to go.
If you want local food, ask for a cab to "Fish Fry" - Food vendors and street food where the locals grab lunch, just past Junkanoo beach. We asked two different people for local food and they both mentioned Fish fry, which is what locals call the area of street vendors there. Delicious!
Cabin was a standard Ocean View on the Empress Deck - perfectly acceptable. Room steward forgetting to do up the cabin 2 days out of 5 was a bit irritating. Not that we couldn't survive without a couple of extra towels, but was just an example of lackluster service.
Easy in, easy out! Quick - the port building is old, but comfortably set up and well kept. Weren't in line long.
ok. Not for kids, not much but touristy shops and hotels within walking distance. If you're doing this with kids, take the time for an excursion. Worth it. Or go to Atlantis (also an excursion) for the day.
clean and pretty - but the food came from the boat and the boat had terrible food. :(