Where to start...
1. Lines, be ready to wait in a lot of them. From dining, boarding and getting off the ship you will spend 10-15% of your awake time standing in some kind of damn line. Also be prepared to have terrible communication from the cruise director as to where you should ACTUALLY go to stand in line as well as poor planning on how to execute service excellence
Initial boarding - 15-20 Agents are there to check international travel documentation, rolls through semi smooth.
Exiting - Only 7 agents to check documentation, causing major delays in getting off the ship. *important if you have a flight to catch. I’ll also mention you are in a steel building in 100 degree Jacksonville heat with no AC. Dip security personal announces “welcome back to the real world, citing line length and to suck it up”. They already have your money, at this point they don’t care about your experience. 2700 people exiting the ship and only 7 lines.
Example B. Dining
We went here on our honeymoon and never once got to eat breakfast or lunch together. It’s unorganized lunchroom chaos. You can’t start out in 2 different lines and arrive at your table 20 minutes apart.
Example C. Excursions
If you are told to be on deck 3 to exit the ship; don’t plan on going to deck 3 and expecting to walk off. The line to exit starts on the deck 4 and wraps down two hallways. Don’t expect a carnival agent to actively be communicating this or managing the lines either. This also pertains to your final exit from the ship as well. It’s not that it’s an oversight; it’s just that they don’t care enough to come up with another system.
Additionally, Princess Kays lunch had impossible lines for Hamburgers and hotdogs the entire time we were there. We weren’t going to take an hour out of our time there to stand in that line. We are when we got back on the boat. But seriously, 2700 people in two lines to get hamburgers and hotdogs.
2. The “cheers” package.
If you think this is going to be all inclusive , its not. It’s limit of 15 alcoholic drinks a day (does not apply on the carnival owned Princess Kays island either, you are paying full price there). This is somewhat expected however here at the ‘extra’ limitations.
A. If you are an early riser and would like a coke product or an energy drink in the morning; don’t expect to get it before 8am. Additionally, expect to wait in a separate line if you want a coke with your lunch. *Most important, they won’t give you a unopened (single can) of coke to add ice to and drink in the morning before the bar areas open. I had to ask for a supervisor after my wife requested one for me and got shot down.
B. “I’d like a double” is taboo with Cheers. They don’t have the capability of pouring more than one shot at a time. You have to wait 5 minutes and get back in the line and wait for another shot to be added to your glass. Lines vary, but expect a double of liquor to take 15-20 minutes total. Additionally you can not pay extra for a double.m205
3. Beach chairs and pool size
Chairs are less than an inch apart from each other on the ship and at the carnival resort. Expect to be right on top of one another and to see many people trip trying to navigate between them.
If you don’t like crowds, then you will never swim in the pool. It’s filled to capacity most hours of the day. It’s roughly 1/4 of an Olympic pool size for 2700 guests.
Pro- Actually really good music
Emphasis on jewelry purchases and art auctions. A lot of emphasis on this.
Comic/magician from Chicago was terrible.
5. Broken elevators, 2700 guests. Do the math.
6. Beds are similar to those you’ll find in a camper.
7. Dinners were all actually really good; with great service.
Everything is loud. Like REALLY loud. Don’t expect to communicate with other guests if you are a stones throw from any entertainment venue.
8. Carnival rates the ship for 2056 passengers (guests). We were told 2700 were exiting the ship.