Outside of carnivals scope, we had a great trip. The weather was perfect for us, all the excursions were fun, and we had no issues in the ports. We booked a spa cabin for a treat (regret choice of the cabin but not the spa portion although this ship's spa does not have a T-pool just a hot tub.) Embarkation (& disembarkation) was a breeze though we also had FTTF (our luggage didn't arrive till after we came back from dinner, but we were able to get into our cabin early) We received some bon voyage gifts, and they were set up before we got into the cabin and were set up lovely.
Be aware there is no pool in serenity just a 'meh' hot tub, the edges of serenity zone are next to the waterworks, so that wasn't well thought out — lots of kids noise which most people are trying to avoid by going to serenity. I did like the salad and the constant cold water they had there. But the salad didn't change and it got boring
I was shocked by how so many things cost more this cruise. I felt like a captive shopper there. I haven't cruised carnival in 5 years but I hadn't seen how far they have come with all the impulse purchases. The cherry on top is huge and has an outdoor seating area. All the best looking desserts were extra (like cupcakes are hard ice cream) I found nothing interesting in the many shops they had. It was pretty disappointing.
If you sleep like the dead, then this is a charming cabin. or if you choose this category but not this specific one (under the weight machines) I strongly recommend avoiding this cabin until they put padding under the weight machines and much stronger sound isolating padding under the free weights. I had to go one score as I would never book this cabin again but ones without noise would be fine.
A few days after booking I noticed a noise complaint online about this cabin and called to ask about switching especially as I also had read that the port side of that ship has some smoking areas. No other cabin was available. I was assured online that is was a spa cabin and they are the quietest on the ship. I erroneously figured the previous reviewer was a complainer, but just in case I brought sleeping pills and blue tooth sleep headphones. I am a light sleeper, but I travel a lot and rarely had this issue of not being able to sleep.
Those items marginally helped me sleep on the balcony and in the loungers by serenity or wherever I could sneak one at night. Cabin 11209 complained to me about it, but Cabin 11221 mentioned they heard some slamming but it was light and they could not tell if it was upstairs or the very loud cabin doors. We had someone use the weight machine and could determine that the noise was absolutely from them dropping the machine. It would be nice if Carnival did a similar test.
What was the worse thing than hearing banging and clunking of the free weights and the weight machines at all hours in our cabin since the gym is open to staff after closing hours… (Why do the weight machines have no padding below them) Was the way Horizons guest services that treated us like we were making it up and then just wanted us to stop even though the problem did not go away. Then it was just a need to ‘close the case’ which was said to me multiple times by the way. Instead of just relaxing we had to deal with inadequate sleep, banging all day, so we avoided our cabin, constant guest service calls either to them or from them and one inappropriate letter from them, plus wasting our time looking at a lower category cabin where they would not credit the price discount.
After the first night sleeping in my balcony, they offered us another cabin towards the aft and far from the spa. No discount despite it being a lower category and we were told we could use our spa pass for the week but not the room toiletries. The person showing it to us was confused, as I walked with him to the new room with my cane, about why we did not want to be so far from the spa. He said:” How often do you go there anyways?” and my daughter and I looked at each other. Everyday. That is why we got the spa suite. Note: If you are going to offer a lower category cabin then offer to discount the difference.
I was told that the gym staff would take keep everyone out of the gym until it publicly opened. *****We still heard noises from that I was told later was carnival staff exercising, I went up around 6 am and looked all over for the ‘staff’ but only other cruisers on the equipment. I do not blame those that wish to use the gym, It’s the lack of sound control under the machines. Even the free weight padding was thin.
_____category wise it was lovely. Close to the spa and serenity. It could use more outlets so bring ones for devices. Lost of space for clothing but we still use those great magnet hooks. **The scrub kit was only one per person btw.
Suite perks are pretty slim really. I wasn't impressed in that matter. If they included a 'ready room' then it would be worth it. The pool in the spa is only a whirlpool not a T-spa pool. Many were sad about that. I never bothered wtih the jetted bathroom tub as it was not relaxeful with the noise and it wasn't as nice as others I have been on carnivals suites before. Surprising for a new ship.