Although this was cruise #50 for me, we have only done a few Carnival weekend cruises. When I saw a new ship from our home port (1/2 hr drive!) we booked immediately (3/18) for our Jan 2020 Family cruise. DH was a bit afraid of such a large ship, as he has mobility issues, but did fine with the new elevator system. Grandaughters ages 5 & 9 loved the water park.
Embarkation went really fast, and boarded "special assistance" with our boarding zone to be on board before noon! We booked adjoining cabins, and with the balcony divider down loved it! Cabins were new, comfortable, bur a bit smaller than other balcony cabins. However, family fit 4 in fine with a sofa bed & a bunk bed over it. Kids loved it1
Can't compliment staff enough! Everyone seemed to know my name by the second day, and went out of their way to say "hi". Everyone loved being on the ship, and you could feel the vibe. Our server, Jenny, in particular, was outstanding. Every day when we sat down had shrimp cocktails waiting for us! kids meals were served with our appetizer course, and kept the drinks coming on Cheers! Only other comment- DH had salt-free diet, but was very bland. I changed to regular menu, which I thought was better than any other cruise, including Celebrity & Oceania!
Cruise Director Emma was energizer bunny- she was everywhere, keeping things going. I am collecting social security, but don't like a ship where everyone is in bed by 9pm! The live music was exceptional- the musicians knew all requests, keep the mood going for the most part, and had some crazy-fun jams! Rock show was my favorite- lots of classic rock. Other shows were ok- too loud for DH, even with his hearing aids off!
Although we usually do our own excursions or through cruise critic, this time we did ship excursions for DH. Prices were fair, and we had done both before. In Cabo we took the Pirate Ship for the kids. Loved it, food was great. Best to do it as a snorkel, but we did not snorkel. There was a bit of a mix-up at first about alcohol- as we weren't snorkeling they at first weren't going to serve us, but got sorted out & we had plenty to drink! Also, boat left late as was a bit oversold. But crew more than made up for these. i made a comment at shore excursion desk, and they refunded 30%, although i didn't ask for anything and didn't really complain, just commented. Would definitely recommend Cabo Pirate ship, especially for price. if you do it is PV it is alot more expensive.
In Puerto Vallerta we did the Mexican Fiesta for the girls. Beginning of tour was shipping & downtown, which we really didn't want. Fiesta and tequila tasting was good. Tour leader, Hugo, was a bit curt, but i guess needed to do that to keep the group together. Bus was late due to ADA problem I was told, so they gave us free margaritas. Would not recommend this tour.
I know alot of people put down Carnival as being a "booze cruise" and lesser quality than other lines, but I disagree. They are really stepping up their game by catering to families, excellent food, etc. My family is ready to book their next cruise!
We booked adjoining cabins, and with the balcony divider down loved it! Cabins were new, comfortable, bur a bit smaller than other balcony cabins. However, family fit 4 in fine with a sofa bed & a bunk bed over it. Kids loved it!