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Carnival Mardi Gras Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
31 reviews

Embarcation nightmare, tiny poorly designed bath, bad food

Review for Carnival Mardi Gras to the Eastern Caribbean
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2021

Embarkation was a real cluster ***. At CT3 you drop your luggage inside the garage then park. Parking is prepay by credit card only. You enter the terminal via a cross walk on level 3 of the parking garage. I assume if someone is dropping you off you would also enter the garage. There was no signage indicating where to drop off people/luggage or how the get to the boat! This is different than all of the other ports. We arrived at 1:30 and boarded at 2:50. "ESC" was written on my boarding pass and no one could or would tell me why. All of my paperwork was in order! We were told I might not be allowed to board! I was traveling with my wife who had a total hip replacement 6 weeks prior, my brother-in law who has a heart condition and his wife who also has health problems. They were all panicking. When I contacted Carnival customer service after the cruise I was given the same answer, "they did not know why" but they did say "ESC" means Escalation and my documents needed further review. No one "reviewed" the documents, we had to stand in a different line an extra hour to have my boarding pass stamped with a check mark.

Rudi's Seagrill is terrible. Everything was overcooked or under-cooked. Scallop appetizer was overcooked and chewy. Salad was worse than a grab and go from a corner store. Shrimp were so overcooked they were stuck to the shell. Crab cake was like mush. We left before eating the main course. ChiBang appitizers were good but not the main course. Dining room servings are about half what the ships were serving before Covid but ok for the most part and filling for us. I had the shrimp cocktail and the shrimp were tiny and showed signs of freezer burn. Dining room servers were reaching across the table to serve when they had plenty of room to walk around our table of 4, they need training. Buffet on the LIDO has not changed except for the serving hours, they open at 8am on sea days. There are more options for breakfast just not early. If you need to take meds with food be sure to get the food first. Pizza for breakfast anyone? With 14 dining options you can try a different one for every meal. "Your Time Dining" was a joke, everyone complained. "Your Time" means you can eat at the buffet or wait until 10-11 for a table in one of the dining rooms.

The boat is nice and not crowded but we were sailing at 75% capacity. Due to COVID if anyone in your party has not been vaccinated or did not have a test that was negative you only allowed to book "bubble tours" and might not even be allowed off the boat at some ports, this includes children. A "Bubble Tour" means your group will be separated from other tours and you cannot participate in the same activities as those who have been vaccinated and have had a negative test. The doors to the stateroom are hard to push open and do not open all the way making it nearly impossible to get a large piece of luggage thru the door. You can still get paper schedules info but you must ask for it. You must also ask for your VIFP perks.

Cabin Review

The doors to the stateroom are hard to push open and do not open all the way making it nearly impossible to get a large piece of luggage thru the door. The average American will have trouble squeezing past the door. The bath is tiny and poorly designed: you need to be a contortionist just to reach the TP. The shaving/makeup mirror was in the corner over the toilet and useless. I hope no one passes out or falls in the shower and can't get up, the way the door opens half in and half out it would make it impossible to open the door. The bath night light was the only good thing about the bath.

Port Reviews

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata)

Be in good condition if you plan on booking the Zip Line. Equipment is old and lines sag. Web cams are only allowed if they are attached to the helmet. Long rough ride in an open bus. After the Zip Line you will have about 1 hour for the beach and lunch. They charge $5 for a locker to store your stuff while you ride the Zip Line. You can't leave anything on the bus.


Not worth getting off the ship.

San Juan

Don't book the tours on the ship. Get a taxi at the port and share it with others for a better price and select where you want to go and see. You can expect to pay $20 to $40 pp.

4 Helpful Votes

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