Carnival crew members are always polite and almost always happy and friendly. That’s a big plus, of course.
The food wasn’t as good on this cruise, IMO. My husband used to really enjoy the filet and lobster on the elegant nights, but they have moved those two entrees to separate nights now. We ate in the main dining room every night, but the only thing I had that was really good was the crab cake, the steak tacos, and the Carnival Melting Cake (on one of the 6 nights I ordered it. The other 5 times it was either 3/4s liquid, or too hard, because I asked for it to be cooked a little more.) The filet and the flat iron steak were not bad, but not great. In fact, that’s what I’d say for pretty much all the food. One night, the table of friends that was seated beside us and at the same time as us, got their desserts before we got our entrees. Then they were finished completely 45 minutes before us. I don’t know what that was about. The rest of the nights we had decent service. I checked out the buffets on the lido deck a few times and never saw anything there that was something I was interested in. I ate lunch at Guy’s Burgers and the Blue Iguana Cantina. The fries at Guy’s were very good. It seems like both on the lido deck and in the main restaurants, they try to make gourmet food or food specific to certain areas of the country, and then it doesn’t come out like it would in a gourmet restaurant or in the area of the country that created it. I think they would do better building most of their menu around American classics loved by everyone everywhere.
The lady at the shore excursion desk was very helpful and accommodating as we booked a last minute scuba excursion that required some extra work on her part in order to make it possible. Kudos!
Boarding and disembarkation went smoothly, including at ports and tendering. Elevators were all functioning throughout the cruise, a/c in cabin was good, lots and lots of choices for entertainment.
Oh, one piece of advice, the days of arriving in port, walking off the ship into town and hailing a local taxi to take you to your desired activity are pretty much gone. Carnival has been working very hard for the last several years to ensure you book your shore excursions through them, and they have pretty much succeeded. It is more and more difficult to “escape” all the people stationed in various locations further and further from the ship who are ready to talk you into booking and excursion with them which you pay for with your sail and sign card. Also, if you do manage to get a local taxi directly to your desired location, you are likely to find that you can not participate because all tours are already full and booked through the cruise ship. In many areas Carnival or a conglomeration of cruise lines has actually bought out the attraction. And it now seems to actually be true that you can get the lowest price by booking through the ship. The cruise lines negotiate deals with the local business where they pay much less per individual, because they can promise such a large number of participants. It’s kinda like what happens with Groupon. So, unless you just want a ride to the closest beach or shopping area, you’re best best probably is to book through the cruise line. A possible exception would be if the attraction you are interested in has their own website where you can book before the cruise; you may be able to work out a better or more personalized deal that way, but make sure they will refund your money if the ship isn’t able to dock there for one reason or another.
We scuba dived in Grand Cayman (2 tank dive Kittiwake and Oro Verde) and zip lines (Chukka) both were awesome! In Cozumel we generally prefer Chaakanab beach - the snorkeling there right off the shore is excellent, but this time the weather was rough and even a little chilly (for swimming),, so we just went to Paradise beach and hung out in the hammocks.
The cabin was nice, plenty of closet and drawer space. The previous guest had actually left us a lot of extra hangers - thank you! Large suitcases fit nicely under bed. Only complaint was the bed. The two twin beds pushed together to make a king, did not have anything in between to fill the gap, so there was a fairly large crack in the middle. (If you’ve slept in a bed like that with your partner, you know what I mean.) The mattress pad was odd. The part of it that wrapped around the mattress to hold it in place was made of something very paper-like. It tore by the 2nd or 3rd day. If I had seen the cabin steward I would have asked him to replace it, but we didn’t run in to him for several days. He kept remaking the bed with the same torn pad that wouldn’t stay on the bed.
Very nice. The participant was not responsible for hooking/unhooking safety equipment or even braking (although they said sometimes, depending on weather conditions, the participant does need to brake.) There was a guide at every start/stop point sending and “catching” you. They were great with the 7 and 12 year old girls who were participating, and with one adult who felt weak and needed a break. They even got her a granola bar and water and had it sent up the line to her. This was at/with Chukka.View All 12 Ziplining Reviews
The dice center was Cayman Diving. They looked up my certification online, because I didn’t have my card. They allowed us to use our own equipment and switched out our dive computer that wasn’t working with a depth/air pressure gauge of their own. The underwater guides were excellent and made me feel safe. We dove the Kittiwake wreck and the Oro Verde wreck and reef. We saw many many different varieties of tropical fish, a sea turtle, two moray eels, flounder, lobster, and two eagle rays.View All 46 Scuba - Certified Reviews
We went to Paradise Beach. The weather wasn’t conducive to doing much of anything. In good weather I highly recommend Chaakanab. There is so much to do and the snorkeling right off the beach is excellent. If you ever want to book a swim-with-the-dolphins excursion, Chakanaab is the place to do it. It can be booked through their website rather than through the cruise line if you prefer. I did it last year and it was amazing!