We live in NY and chose this cruise as a nice family get away since it left from NY and we would not have to fly to get on the ship. Embarkation was a breeze. We got to port and walked right on to the ship. We ate at Lido deck any by the time we were done our rooms were ready.
We had a Spa balcony on the 10th floor. The room was clean, ample space, great light. The temperature was perfect. Our room steward Constantine was terrific! The spa amenities were amazing!
I will admit, I got really nervous prior to the cruise as I was reading all the reviews, but quite honestly, it really isn't that bad. I agree that they redesign of the ship made the Lido marketplace smaller and led to very long lines during peak times. The air conditioning can was hit or miss in different areas. However, there are lots of places to eat on lido or nearby, all quick with no lines. Also, if you altered when you went, even the buffet had short lines. Deck chair availability is the same as I have seen on every ship! You have to be there early to get a pool side seat. I typically came to Lido around 7:30 and never had a problem, even on sea days. The pools were small but not all that much smaller than other ships of this size. I was able to enjoy less crowded pool before lunch time. I never saw dirty dishes. The crew were quick to constantly clean and pick up dishes.
Entertainment was great. We went to the shows in the Liquid Lounge most nights. We never had an issue getting a seat. We typically got there about 10-15 minutes before the show. You really can't show up at 7:29 for a 7:30 show an expect prime seating.. and that is on any ship!
Chris (the Flying Scotsman), our cruise director was fabulous! This is our second time sailing with him (previously on the Vista) and he always makes it a fun time.
We were wait listed for late dining and it did not go through so when we got on the ship, we were given any time dining. After a quick chat with the hostess on the first night, we were given a late dining table for the remainder of the cruise. Our wait staff were terrific, going above and beyond. One member of our party was not feeling well and our waiter took the food from Deck 3 aft to Deck 10 forward (all the way forward!!) for 2 nights so she would not have to wait until we finished our meal! The food was good.. same as on other Carnival ships we've been on. My husband asked for "more authentic" flavored Indian vegetarian and the chefs delivered! They even special prepared some dishes for him.
We ate breakfast in the MDR on port days. Always quick and delicious! Other places we ate at were Guys & Blue Cantina, both really good!
Service throughout the ship was terrific! Everywhere from Lido, to MDR, to liquid lounge, casino, bars, cabin crew, spa, fun squad... not a single complaint. Always smiling, always helpful.
In addition to enjoying the thermal suite ( which was included with our balcony) we went for a few different services in the spa. The massages were amazing!! And all of the spa staff are lovely.
We participated in a lot of the activities around the ship, from games to trivia to shows. There is plenty going on around the ship. You can choose to do as much or as little as you want.
Grand Turk: We love this port. We took a quick cab ride to Pillory beach.. one of best beaches on the island
San Juan: We've been before so I decided not to disembark and enjoyed having the ship to myself.
Amber Cove: Went to the pool for a while but wasn't really crazy about this port.
Overall - yes the ship is smaller and older and could have been designed better, but it was clean, great crew and we had a fun and relaxing vacation. Would I go on this shop again? Maybe not, but I would not rule it out if it fit my schedule.
Rooms were nice and clean. Temperature was perfect. Ample space for hanging clothes. Balcony was clean. Spa amenities were great!
Embarkation was a breeze
Highly recommend Pillory Beach