I chose this cruise because of its itinerary. I have been on other Carnival Cruises before and was looking forward to going on a smaller ship as smaller ship = less people.
As soon as we got to the Carnival Cruise area, there were porters there to immediately help us with our luggages. Embarkation went smoothly. We embarked around 4:30pm and it wasn't crowded.
The food, overall, was okay. We have had better on other Carnival cruise ships. Even food in the dining room at dinner was just okay. The desserts offered at dinner, I felt, was nothing to write home about. I preferred the desserts offered in the buffet room.
The servers were very efficient in the dining room. If you had a show to catch, you just had to let them know and they served you quickly so you could make your show. In the buffet room, there were always tables available. We also had a baby with us so whenever a server saw us, they would offer to bring us drinks, more food, or a baby chair.
The entertainment was pretty good. They tried to mix it up and have a variety of different entertainment (gameshow, lip sync, magic show, singing and dancing). Most nights were singing and dancing shows. Still very entertaining.
Our cabin steward was pretty good. We had a baby with us so we could only get our room cleaned/turned down once a day and we opted for the morning to get it done. Sometimes it was a hit or miss (depending on nap time). I wish our cabin steward would have attempted to check on our cabin room in the evening if he missed the morning as I told him I wanted our garbages cleared even if he couldn't come in to clean the room. Other than that, he was very nice and always said hello to us and inquired about our baby.
One thing I didn't like at all was the service in the dining room at breakfast time. If everyone in your group wasn't there at the same time to get a table, they refused to seat you. I found this ridiculous, especially since we had a baby and wanted to get her settled before we even ordered our food and as we waited for the rest of the people in our party to show up (which was 5 minutes later).
The debarkation and embarkation at the ports were surprisingly quick and efficient (compared to other Carnival Cruises in the past). I was surprised at how we didn't have to wait in long lines to get out of the ship.
I felt there were lots of room on the ship for everyone. We were able to find deck chairs and tables for dining. The lines for food were not overly long.
Overall, this was a pretty good ship. We had a great time and your vacation is what you make of it.
Our cabin was a window room. I wish we were forewarned that our cabin came with an extra bunk as we would not have chosen this room. We had to have a crib as well so the structure for that extra bedding got in the way of the crib. The room was not as big as I thought it would be. It was basically the same size as my sister's interior cabin room, except mine had a window.
For the most part, it was pretty quiet, except at night when people walked past the rooms. They were very loud.
We had a baby with us so we didn't get out into port until the afternoon. By this time, there wasn't a lot of things to do so we just walked around at the mall. We also decided to take a ride on the Skyride to Paradise Point as something to do. It was a great experience to ride on it, but not worth $20/pp as we didn't get off at the top to go to the restaurants and bars.
We decided to explore the port ourselves. We took a $2/pp shuttle into Bridgetown. We walked around town and took pictures. We also took a taxi to Purity Bakery (recommended by a friend who is from Barbados to get some desserts). There are lots of people always offering taxi rides. Check out a couple rates before choosing a taxi. Our taxi guy told us that the guys who work for a company charged more than regular taxi drivers. He was a regular taxi driver and was charging $5US to take us to Purity Bakery which was about 10 minutes away by car. We got a quote from anothermdriver who worked for a large company and he was going to charge us $20US for the same trip. He knocked it down to $10US when he heard what the first guy was offering.
Our tour guide was Ron. On the tour van, he gave us an overview of St. Lucia and explained the areas that we drove by. He was friendly, helpful and kept us entertained. Overall, he was a great tour guide and I enjoyed learning a little bit about St. Lucia through his eyes.
In the itinerary of this tour, it said we'd be visiting a banana plantation, but we only drove by it and stopped on the side of the road as we looked at some banana plants. Ron explained about how a banana plantation works. I wish that we were able to actually tour this plantation and it seemed like a lot of people in this tour would have also been interested to do that.
After this, we stopped by a road vendor in Anse La Raye to sample local rum and jellies. This was quite fun. If you wanted to, you could buy the rum and jellies (Guava jelly, Banana jelly, Passionfruit jelly, etc). The cost was a bit better than at the cruise terminal. Then we drove to the Piton's View to get some photos. Ron was a great photographer!
After this, we went to the mud bath. This was so much fun! We got some free time to just enjoy the mud baths.It is definitely an experience to have. There were changing rooms and showers here. We also brought water shoes, which I'm thankful for as there are rock steps in the mud baths. Following this, we went to Toraille waterfall. If you want a picture under the waterfall or near it, you just have to go for it. It is a small little water pond with a waterfall (not fit for swimming).
Next, we went to have lunch. The food was delicious! We brought our own water bottles as I read in other reviews that drinks are not included in the lunch. You would have to pay extra for that. This is still true. After this, there was an option to go to a beach that was near the cruise port. We were exhausted so we opted not to go to the beach. The van dropped us off back at the cruise terminal and only 2 other people went to the beach. Ron said that he would go with you to the beach and then bring you back to the cruise terminal.
Overall, this tour was very good. My friends and I enjoyed ourselves and don't have any complaints. It is well worth the price paid for it. There were just enough people on the tour so it didn't feel crowded in the van or as a group. In the future, I'd recommend to include an actual banana plantation tour instead of the beach at the end. As at the beginning of the tour, we were all very eager to get the day started and wanted to see and experience St. Lucia, but towards the end of the tour, we were all exhausted and the beach did not sound exciting at all.View All 300 Island Tour Reviews
We just walked in the town and explored the shops.
We went with Bernard's Tour for an island tour.
Bernard's Tour was hard to find once we landed in port. We followed signs for where the taxis were and asked other tour guides in order to find Bernard's Tour. Basically, they are located behind the taxi/other tour group pickups roundabout in a white tent. If you're unsure, ask the other tour groups. They can point you in the right direction.
Our tour guide was David. He was friendly and very knowledgeable about his island, giving us some history about it and how its people are rebuilding after the hurricane hit.
Before we started, David showed us a map of the island and explained where we were going and the stops we would make. This was very helpful in understanding what our tour would look like.
Our first stop was at the side of a road where there were some iguanas. We had some time to take pictures and look at the iguanas. Then we went on to Marigot. David gave us about an hour to tour the city area and do some shopping. We had a baby with us so one hour wasn't nearly enough for us. I do wish we had more time at this stop. We only had time to look around at the flea market and get some pastries from the French bakery. There was a mall there too, but we didn't have time to go to it.
The next big stop was Maho Beach. David gave us 45 minutes here, but most people on the tour only wanted to stay for about 20 minutes. I would say 20 minutes is enough time if you just want to take pictures of the planes coming in and experience them flying over your head. The beach was very crowded, but I was still able to get some pictures/videos.
Along our drive, David would stop at the side of the road so we could take some pictures.
Overall, this was a wonderful tour. I feel like we got to see a lot of St. Maarten in a short time. David was very flexible and didn't rush us at each stop. Also, in the van, he provided a water cooler with drinks for us (water, beer, coke, rum) so this was a very nice touch! I would recommend this tour!View All 437 Island Tour Reviews