Destination cruises are just that. You board a ship with the intention of having an amazing onboard experience as well as having wonderful destination experiences. To that end, this trip is definitely what you make of it. The onboard entertainment was less than overwhelming due to the repetitive with the string instrument trio playing EVERY evening and one of the two comedians having NO routine WHATSOEVER - he concluded his last nights TERRIBLE performance with asking the audience to give him a break (from our silence) and taking a bow to let us know that he was finished. The lines for meals were insufferably long irrespective of whether it was breakfast, lunch or any of the snack stations (pizza, burger, or BBQ). We had breakfast in the Southern Lights 3rd floor dining room and you could not be in hurry for that meal insofar as breakfast there was at least a 45-60 minute undertaking. The dinner portions were the smallest of any cruise that I've been on and it was rare to hear anyone in our party RAVE about their evening meal.
Now to the destinations - Half Moon Cay (supposedly the Bahamas), Grand Turks (a 7 mile long by 1.5 mile wide island attached somehow to Turks and& Caicos) and Amber Cove (an $86 million dollar Carnival Cruise manufactured destination on the Dominican Republic). None of these destinations can be remotely associated with what one would perceive the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos or the DR to be. They're Truman Show-ish prefabricated stops affiliated tangentially with sovereign Caribbean nations but requiring no passport for passengers to disembark and infiltrate. Tantamount to changing sets in a Hollywood production. Now I do understand that the resort industry would not appreciate 4,000+ people infiltrating these luxurious $1,000+ a-night resort towns with their world famous beaches for 6-hours at a time; but we didn't visit the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos or the DR. We visited Carnival prefabricated (or owned islands like Half Moon Cay) destinations with no organic link to these sovereign Caribbean nations whatsoever - unless you consider the very industrious and ubiquitous Jamaicans who worked EVERYWHERE...NO PROBLEM MON!!! I'm married to one, so that was a plus!!
Overall, this trip was disappointing. My floor, our cabin smelled like no other ship I've ever been on. The internet (a $15/per day up-charge) NEVER worked!! The entertainment outside of the Showroom was mediocre and the cruise director Simon's "lovely jovely" (yes JOVELY) was not as nifty as his million repeats of him saying it would suggest.
The dark-tinted glass outside of our cabin was filthy and couldn't be seen through. The balcony had less privacy than any other aft cabin we've stayed in. Otherwise, the cabin was a cabin on a cruise ship. No more and/or no less.
Nothing Special. No special welcome on to the ship
A beach is a beach. The beach was very nice. The lunch was not good.
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The horseback tour was less than 10 minutes. Literally we went across the street, down to the beach (1/10 of a mile) and circled back. The dune buggies were the same. A little longer though. Maybe...MAYBE 15 minutes. The zip-line was less than 750 feet of zip. The snorkeling was a longer ride to get there than the amount of time in the water. The cost was $150/person and was too much for what we did. At $89-$99 dollars, a 10 minute horseback ride and a 15 minute dune buggy ride, et. al. would've been more palatable.View All 21 Horseback Tour Reviews
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These guys made this catamaran ride a BLAST. The entire family went 24 and everyone to a person said it was the highlight of our cruise.