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6,392 Bahamas Cruise Reviews

Early Boarding: We arrived at Port Everglades at 11:15 a.m. There was already a very long line of people waiting for the boarding process to begin. Boarding started promptly at 11:30. HAL is very organized with the process and we were on ... Read More
Early Boarding: We arrived at Port Everglades at 11:15 a.m. There was already a very long line of people waiting for the boarding process to begin. Boarding started promptly at 11:30. HAL is very organized with the process and we were on the ship in about 45 minutes. Dining: We found the Lido Buffet to have very adequate food choices for both breakfast and lunch. The Lido had plenty of staff on hand to clean tables, take/carry food trays and we found the Lido staff to be very friendly. The main dining room had many food choices and the wait staff would gladly substitute items upon request. We found the food to be very good. Entertainment: The two crew shows were excellently done. An illusionist was on board during this itinerary and he had an excellent show that I highly recommend. The comedian, Julie Barr, was entertaining although she let the crowd get the comedy routine off a bit. With mostly port days, there were not a lot of other activities planned during the day. I went for two of the scheduled games and was one of only a few that showed up. Half Moon Cay: This is a beautiful island and an excellent port of call. A little word of advice -- get on the beach ASAP and find a lounge chair. When two ships are in port, the chairs can become quite limited and are a sought after commodity. Decor: The ship is very pretty inside and not as ugly as some people have suggested. Some of the colors are bold, but they work well in the ship. I love that the promenade went all the way around the ship. Disembarkation: Again, HAL is very organized. Luggage is set out the night before and you are called to the gangway based on your assigned luggage tickets. We were off the ship and at the airport in less than an hour after the process began. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
This was our first cruise with Carnival. We loved it. Everything went very smoothly. We had a little trouble finding the Carnival rep at the airport to take our transfers to the ship, but we gave ourselves plenty of time on arrival. I ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Carnival. We loved it. Everything went very smoothly. We had a little trouble finding the Carnival rep at the airport to take our transfers to the ship, but we gave ourselves plenty of time on arrival. I highly recommend you buy the transfers from Carnival. Embarkation was very fast and easy...we had lunch as soon as we got on board and spent the afternoon touring the ship. Overall the food and entertainment were good for the price we paid. I thought the food was average and the entertainment was OK, not great. I do have to say that Carnival does know how to keep you going- the casino was great, there are three clubs (the piano bar, the live music bar and the disco) and they where going until late into the night. There does seem to be a bar around every corner of the ship. Nassau was OK, the highlight was having 5 ships in port and being able to see the different types of ships. I do not recommend going over to Paradise Island or Atlantis. You cannot go out to the beach or the pool area -- you only have access to the hotel and casino. Not worth the trip over. I would suggest doing a shore trip like snorkeling or some water activity -- it may be the only way you get in the water. Debarkation in Port Canaveral was very fast -- except getting off the ship. Everyone crowds into a small hallway to get off. But once off the process was quick and we where placed on a bus and back to the airport with plenty of time. We were off the ship at 915 a.m. and at the airport by 10 a.m. Our flight was not until 1:40 p.m. Do not book your ticket back before 12 noon, just in case, but we where off the ship really fast. My overall opinion of the ship is that it is a great smaller ship -- It had everything you could ask for for 3 days. I really like Carnival, I was on Royal Caribbean in October, and I like Carnival more. This was a great short cruise, not sure I would want to do a longer cruise on a Fantasy class ship with Carnival, but it did give me a good taste of what Carnival has out there. For the price 225.00 per person, you can not beat it!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
This was the Westerdam North American inaugural cruise. It was a cruise with Mr. Kruse, the president of Holland America. It was a preview of the new enhancements on Half Moon Cay, HAL's private island. The passengers were provided ... Read More
This was the Westerdam North American inaugural cruise. It was a cruise with Mr. Kruse, the president of Holland America. It was a preview of the new enhancements on Half Moon Cay, HAL's private island. The passengers were provided with lovely gifts to commemorate this sailing. There was a Royal Goedewaagen Plate, two miniature tiles with magnets, 2 suede luggage tags and a lovely hard covered Westerdam book. We usually do not go on 3-day cruises but since I received the promotional e-mail on this cruise and managed to get a real deal airfare from Chicago we booked the trip. We also were interested in seeing the Vista Class ship. We usually prefer smaller crowds but I figured a 3-day cruise was the time to try out the new Westerdam. We extended this weekend by arriving early and staying at the Renaissance Hotel. This hotel was my first attempt with Priceline and it turned out wonderful. We took the 11 a.m. shuttle from the hotel and arrived at embarkation before 11:30. There were no lines and check in was a breeze. There was a short wait in the upstairs waiting area. When we boarded the ship we were quite surprised to see that lunch was not being served in the Lido. There was really only a short delay explained to us later that health inspections were being done. The ship rated a 100%!! Good job! As we toured the public rooms I was amazed by the magnificent pieces of art that were around each corner or curved hallway. Each lounge area had it's own distinct ambiance. It might be the elegant, refined look of the traditional Explorer's Lounge or the contemporary vibrant colored Northern Lights Nightclub. One display in a hallway features priceless antiques while down another hall some vibrant colored decorative platters catch your eye! The Lido pool area featured some fish shaped barstools where the tail whimsically became your seat! When touring the Observation Deck a huge chess set surprises you on the deck. The decorators did an excellent job of blending the old and the new! There is always a surprise around every corner! The art lovers will really enjoy this ship! We usually book a low priced outside cabin and we did our usual for this sailing. Cabin 6002 was on the upper verandah deck. When we looked from our window we saw where we were arriving before anyone else! Although this cabin did not have a verandah we did have access out a door to a remarkable viewing area nobody else seemed to use. The cabin itself was comfortable but not as large as other HAL outside cabins we had stayed in on previous cruises. The bed was really comfortable and I did notice the upgraded bedding. We never felt any movement in this cabin. It could be due to calm seas or a remarkable ship? It was also a very quiet cabin. My only criticism was lack of drawer space. There were two little drawers on the bedside stands and shelves in one of the three closets but only one drawer under the bed. We did have fresh flowers and a fruit bowl. It was a nice cabin. I met our cabin steward the first day and I did happen to notice him way down the hall cleaning cabins. I could only assume he had that whole line of cabins. He always smiled and called me by name as we passed in the hall. Our only port of call was Half Moon Cay. We rented a clamshell and loved it. We also booked the Aqua Trax jet ski excursion which I posted about on the HAL board. It was a great experience for those who enjoy that sort of experience. We both enjoyed it! Dining on this ship was quite the experience. I must say the Lido food stations really are a great innovation. Walking through the Lido at lunch hour, I learned you really must browse all the options before making a decision. The Italian station had the aroma of sauteed garlic drifting through the air and don't forget the pizza which was the best I ever had on a ship! Moving on to the Stir Fry station the sizzle there was making the decision tougher. Then on to the traditional line where jumbo shrimp and chateaubriand were the fare of the day. I don't want to forget the salad bar where fresh crisp greens and all the fixings tempted me. Absolutely everything we tried there was excellent! The staff in the Lido was always cheerful, pleasant and helpful. Our dinner table was #132 overlooking the aft of the ship. We loved the view. We were seated one with one friend of ours traveling solo and five of the most delightful pleasant table mates. Our waiter Antonio did an excellent job. His capable assistant MuMu kept thing moving smoothly. We followed his recommendations most evenings and found the food well prepared to our liking. One comment here is I did notice that the wait staff seemed to have more tables to take care of. This limited the casual conversation time we usually enjoy. The wine steward, Antonio, also was also attentive and timely. All things considered they all provided very efficient and pleasant service. Casino.. The slot machine lovers have a nice variety of machines to play on this ship. Now I want to tell you that I was truly a lucky charm on this ship! Each night I went down to the casino and promptly lost my allotted gambling money but whoever I sat next to won the biggest jackpot!! This happened night after night. The last night one guy won 1000 quarters. He got up and walked away and a lady sat at the same machine and promptly won 800 at the same time my machine gobbled my very last gambling quarter! Well I had fun watching them!! :-) My overall feeling was that The Westerdam is a lovely ship. I went on this ship thinking that I probably would not like the size and passenger count. I must say that I never felt like I was in long lines or in crowded situations. The flow of the ship is quite nice. In the past I made an effort to choose smaller ships. Part of me prefers the S class ships since I normally cruise with a group and I think the lower passenger count favors us spending more time together. But on the other hand, I will admit this ship was a delight! Problem corner: I have cruised many times with Holland America. I always felt well treated on board. For some unknown reason on this sailing there were some disturbing events I feel I must report. It started when my pre booked and paid for shore excursion tickets arrived in my cabin. I noticed the time I booked changed. I went to the tour office with my printed computer confirmation. My time was changed from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. with no explanation. There was no reason given to me. If someone would have called me and asked I probably would have agreed but I made a point of selecting my time slot early only to get bumped. I was not happy but I was going to make the best of it when I found that others had also been bumped from pre booked (and paid for) excursions. One couple was bumped from the Pinnacle Grill, another lost a cabana she booked in September. I then met a lady in my Aqua Trax group who was also bumped from her time slot. I find this to be a VERY disturbing policy that was being instituted on this cruise. This past July I was a group leader for 28 people on The Amsterdam all of which pre booked excursions and nobody had anything changed even though it involved multiple ports. How could there be so many people bumped with a 3-day cruise and one stop?? Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
Our first cruise was on the Majesty of the Seas and it was phenomenal. Boarding was quick and painless. We found the staff very accommodating and friendly. Warning number 1 - when you board DO NOT be pressured into buying your wine for ... Read More
Our first cruise was on the Majesty of the Seas and it was phenomenal. Boarding was quick and painless. We found the staff very accommodating and friendly. Warning number 1 - when you board DO NOT be pressured into buying your wine for dinner for the whole cruise by the wine sellers. You can order wine from your table for nearly half what the lists the wine sellers give you cost. Thankfully we only purchased one night when we first boarded. The Windjammer is serving a buffet lunch everyday and this is definitely the place to be if you board early. KUDOS to RCI for letting us board early and enjoy the atmosphere and explore the ship. We were on the pool deck sipping drinks enjoying the hot tub an hour before we set sail. If you do not carry on all your luggage then make sure you do carry on a swim suit if you want to be sunning before dinner on day one. My recommendations are these... experience the art auction the first night if you are into art. It is a lot of fun and the only place free champagne flows. Don't miss many shows if you don't have to. All the ones we did catch were GREAT! the pool party/midnight buffet will not have the hot tubs or pools open so you don't have to go change before heading up for the party. The rock climbing wall is a blast. Get to know your favorites on staff. They are a lot of fun and very personable. Now, about the extras. They say you have shampoo and soap in your room, bring your own, you won't regret it. Drinks - the drink of the day is listed on your Compass for each day telling you what activities are going on. That drink comes in a keeper cup and is discounted the rest of the day once you buy the cup. We did our share of drinking. My husband loved the Schooner and while I gambled a little next door he enjoyed the sea in the Schooner with his Glenfiddich. We spent about $200.00 on alcohol in the end. Tipping - on the three night cruise it all comes out to tipping about $20.00 to your stateroom attdt, $20.00 to your waiter, $15.00 to your asst waiter, $20 + to your head waiter and then at your discretion to those you spent more time with. Mr. Martin in the Schooner was tipped well by us. He knew what we wanted the moment we walked in the door after day one and he took time visiting with us, taking pictures for us. Very sincere, beautiful man. Personally, I tipped the asst waiter as much as the waiter because she worked just as hard. Our stateroom attdt was the only one I was completely unimpressed with. I saw her twice and she didn't speak good English and she made no effort to greet or assist us as the rest of the staff did. Her animal towels were cute but that was about it. Shore excursions - Nassau was not for me. Our next trip we are taking the Atlantis excursion IF we get off in Nassau, otherwise we will stay aboard the ship. It isn't exceptionally clean and the people were very aggressively trying to sell you anything, and yes I mean ANYTHING! Coco Cay we missed this trip, stayed on board, but we heard it is a gorgeous island and the barbecue is to die for. Overall, this is a superb reasonably priced weekend in paradise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
This was our first cruise. My husband and I took our adult son and 16 year old granddaughter. We weren't sure what to expect but upon boarding the ship we were so impressed by the beautiful Christmas decorations and the friendly ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My husband and I took our adult son and 16 year old granddaughter. We weren't sure what to expect but upon boarding the ship we were so impressed by the beautiful Christmas decorations and the friendly staff. We didn't find any of them to be pushy or forward. We checked out our staterooms and found them to be roomy enough for 2. Our stateroom attendant was such a pleasant woman and fun to visit with. We had the main dinner seating at 6 p.m. and our waiter and assistant waiter, Rusty and Eugene, were a true delight. The food was excellent every night and the chefs did an outstanding job. We ate our breakfasts in the Windjammer Buffet and always found an ample amount of food, a large variety and everything was hot and tasty. The evening shows were great -- juggling, comedian and a hand-balancing act. We even joined in the Bingo game. Our 16-yr old granddaughter was pleasantly surprised by the teen area but wished more things had been open all nite as she met many new friends and they stayed up till the wee hours. The midnight buffet was a big hit, even with the wind blowing. Some of the travel to Nassau was a bit rough and many people were sick. Unfortunately, some of the shore excursions were cancelled in Nassau because of the bad weather and we weren't able to get to Coco Cay, but we appreciated the captain being concerned for everyone's safety. The cruise was a wonderful experience and we're busy planning our next one. Can't find enough good things to say. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
Good day! We sailed on Majesty from December 20-24 and give this trip an overall score of B+. We will have more detail later in the Message Boards but here's a brief summary of our trip. Check-in -- No problems or delays. Checked ... Read More
Good day! We sailed on Majesty from December 20-24 and give this trip an overall score of B+. We will have more detail later in the Message Boards but here's a brief summary of our trip. Check-in -- No problems or delays. Checked in at the Port of Miami and was on board in less than half an hour. Day One -- We dropped off our carry on luggage in our stateroom and headed off to the Windjammer Cafe for a terrific buffet lunch. The Muster drill went fine and we returned to our cabin to unpack. As the ship departed for Nassau, we found out how rough the Atlantic Ocean can be when the older ships lack stabilizers. We found it very difficult to unpack as we rocked back and forth (I lost my balance several times and my partner was VERY dizzy and seasick). We made it to dinner (2nd seating) and spent the rest of the night finishing our unpacking and being dizzy. Day Two -- Woke up in Nassau! It's cloudy and cool but the ship is steady. I took a brisk walk along the top deck (deck 11 wraps around the ship) and realized that this ship needs to replace all its outdoor carpeting; other than the rips and stains, the ship is in excellent condition, as far as I could tell for a 14-year old cruise ship. We enjoy a great breakfast (omelettes to order) and as we plan our day, the sun comes out and the water appears to be a shimmering turquoise. We relax a bit as our Nassau excursion is not scheduled to leave until 12:30 p.m. I'll go into more detail later but we won't ever do another "tour of Nassau" again, as we saw more slums than any inner city of the U.S.A. The highlight of our tour was Atlantis Casino and Resort on Paradise Island. When we got back to the ship (an hour late!), we grabbed a quick lunch in Windjammer, then went back to shore and hailed a taxi to revisit Atlantis, to gamble and buy Atlantis T-shirts on our own time. Formal Dinner night. Ships photographers SUCK -- we had a bar waiter take our pictures at the Viking Crown Lounge (Deck 14--best part of the ship) which came out 1000% better than professional photographers' pictures. Food was excellent at dinner, but skipped midnight buffet (we were never in the mood to eat at midnight, when we ate dinner at 8:30 pm.). Day Three -- CoCo Cay is great -- best weather of the week! Sunny, hot, and very windy. Only negative was the windy day made for poor snorkeling as visibility was poor due to winds churning up bottom of sea so water was cloudy. Enjoyed the rest of CoCo Cay though. Chocolate Midnight Buffet was moved indoors due to high winds so we didn't stay -not as much offerings as usually available as they had less room to serve the desserts. Then again, we didn't care as we ate dinner so late. Day Four -- Key West: Took my daily 8:00 a.m. walk around the sun deck -- the crew is out and about scrubbing and cleaning the ship, including sections of the bow off limits to passengers. This ship may be old by today's standards, but she is extremely clean. We got a late start because ONE family did not go through customs -- without sounding like an "Ugly American," let's just say it wasn't anyone from the U.S. -- rained all day and the weather didn't get sunny until we had to reboard the ship. Day Five (Disembarking) -- Back in Miami: Took 2 1/2 hours for the ship to get clearance to let passengers leave. Nobody knows why but at this point, we're ready to go. We have another 4 days of vacation and will be staying in Fort Lauderdale. I love Fort Lauderdale! I want to move to Fort Lauderdale someday!!!! The bus ride from Miami to Fort Lauderdale was good but getting to the bus was somewhat challenging as 3000+ passengers grab their luggage and head out of the port to get home. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
Embarkation: Left by bus from WDW Animal Kingdom at 12:00 PM arrived at port at about 1:00 PM as we had already did all of our paper work in WDW we then went right on board. Went straight to our room to put our travel bags down and then ... Read More
Embarkation: Left by bus from WDW Animal Kingdom at 12:00 PM arrived at port at about 1:00 PM as we had already did all of our paper work in WDW we then went right on board. Went straight to our room to put our travel bags down and then off to lunch in Parrot Cay. All of this was hassle free. Public Rooms: Three new areas, one is ESPN room changed to a teen only area real nice job as the teens I talked said it was tops. 2nd Barrel of Laughs changed to Diversion for adults only what a beautiful room, flat tv screens all over the place so you can watch sports, or you can have nice quiet space to read have a cocktail. 3rd is Quite cove area this is an adult only great place as it is been updated pool area. Dinning: All 3 main dinning areas was a different experience Triton's was the formal dinning area. Animators & Parrot Cay were smart casual. Each one menu was different. Food was very good service was great. Cabin: THe verandah was small as of the rear location but did still enjoy it very much. cabin steward was great always there when needed. Entertainment: Disney Shows were well done. The Juggler was OK, Mickey and all of gang was a delite to see the looks on all the small children. Ports of call: Cast away Cay: Just heaven could have stayed here and not gone to Nassau. Debarkation: One of the best ever. Just have breakfast and off you go to the baggage area through customs and on to the bus to the airport. All this in less 1 hour. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
My husband and I have become cruising addicts thanks to Carnival Cruise Lines. Our first experience was a two day "cruise to nowhere" and our second cruise was to Bermuda (on the Legend and Victory). Being that we live in ... Read More
My husband and I have become cruising addicts thanks to Carnival Cruise Lines. Our first experience was a two day "cruise to nowhere" and our second cruise was to Bermuda (on the Legend and Victory). Being that we live in Maryland we were very pleased to see that a number of cruise lines were beginning to use the Port of Baltimore for embarkation in 2003 and 2004. Unfortunately, now there are only one to two cruise ships leaving from our area. The cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Miracle was nothing short of miraculous. We arrived at the Port of Baltimore around 11:00 a.m., the ship was already there and had been cleared from the previous sailing. We drove through the secured terminal area to a warehouse, there a porter unloaded our luggage and we proceeded to park our car in a gated lot. A shuttle bus took us to the terminal where we waited a short while to meet with an agent that issued our Sail and Sign cards and checked our documents. From luggage drop off to walking onto the boat the whole process was 30 - 45 minutes. We immediately went to see our room which was an inside on deck 7. Since we spend little "awake" time in our room we have always opted for an interior cabin. The room was what we expected- although the beds were separated into two twins instead of one king. I requested the change from our cabin steward- and he had the adjustments made prior to us returning. Unlike some other responders we saw our room steward quite often, I found him very friendly, accessible and attentive (we found he had been with CCL for 13 years). One thing I liked was always having fresh ice in our ice bucket. I swear he changed the ice a few times a day because I never found small ice cubes just floating in melted ice. After we checked out the room it was onto the Lido deck for some food. The buffet line was comparable to that of the other two cruises. I enjoyed the deli sandwiches and the fresh salads. The presentation, while not fancy, was adequate (clean serving areas and filled trays). The free beverage selection was ample with juices, tea and hot drinks. I purchased a soda-card for $30 or so dollars, if you drink two or more sodas a day then it is well worth the price. The boat left port on time and we sailed down the Chesapeake Bay. The weather was gorgeous (although a little chilly toward the evening on the deck). The first evening was a casual dinner. We had a late seating (which we prefer) and found we were seated with a larger group from our area (24 in all). First day at sea was wonderful. I ordered room service of bagels and juice. It arrived on time (which also served as our wake-up call). After getting dressed in our bathing suits we headed up to the Lido deck for our second breakfast, which we ate in a lounge chair while we watched the beautiful ocean pass by. We pretty much stayed camped out in those lounge chairs for the entire day. Occasionally we would get up to get a drink or get in the pool. After the sun was setting we checked out the fitness center. The equipment was in good working order and equivocal to that of our local gym. I think there might have been 10 people in the whole place. This was the first formal night, so we got ready and went down towards the restaurant. Of course CCL had their entire photo stations set up. We had our pictures taken (I found the price to be reasonable and the quality to be above average). The dinner menu offered a large selection for everybody. This was "lobster" night, and my husband being a seafood eater asked for two entrees- a lobster and steak. The food was presented nicely and came to the table quickly. The drink server seemed overwhelmed but seemed to get to the table twice during our dinner. The head waiter and assistant waiter were excellent. After dinner we went to the show which was a Las Vegas style musical. Following the show we decided to go to the dance club. We were disappointed to see that it was empty and the music selection was rap or hip-hop. This was the case the entire cruise. I would have liked some musical variety at the dance club. So, we ventured into another bar that had a live band playing, here people were dancing and the band sounded pretty good, so, we stayed. Day two at sea pretty much followed the schedule of the previous day. I enjoy just laying in the sun, so I had no complaints being left out on the deck. I did notice that finding a "prime" chair may be difficult because there are a lot of towel chair-holders out there. I personally did not leave my towel lying around since CCL checks the towels out under your cabin number and then you are held financially responsible for that towel. On a previous cruise two passengers got into an argument over a towel and who it belonged to. Late in the afternoon we sailed near Miami- we could see the coast well. This position enabled us to use our cell phones and call home to check on our kids. That evening there was a complimentary cocktail hour for "repeaters" which was nice. Another nice dinner and show followed by waking around the decks (which are nearly empty late in the night). Key West: We docked in Key West early in the morning ate breakfast and got off the boat to walk around the city before our excursion (which we booked through Carnival). Come to find out that right off the dock was the outfit Carnival contracted with offering the same excursion for less. I think we paid maybe $20-30 more to book it though CCL rather then through them directly. Nonetheless, we took a catamaran out to a coral reef about 30 minutes from shore. Here we jumped in and snorkeled. The snorkeling was not great- apparently because of the recent hurricanes. I began to feel kind of sea sick which swimming in the ocean (which I found to be quite odd), so I went back on the boat and waited to leave. One of the people running the tour said I was probably feeling sick from drinking salt water which snorkeling. I am not sure if that is what caused it, but I was glad to be back at shore. After the boat ride we walked about a mile through Key West to the Southern most point in the United States buoy. It was extremely hot, but we enjoyed stopping in the shops to look around and cool down as we strolled. Then, it was back to the boat and off to the Bahamas. If I were to go to Key West again I would rent one of these two person "golf-cart" like cars. Companies will meet you at the cruise ship and drop you back off again. Bahamas- Since we felt we overpaid on the catamaran excursion, we decided to go out on our own in Nassau. I had read up a good bit and thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong- now I know why in some cases it is better to just pay the extra and book the tour. We got off the boat and were immediately attacked by the vendors. If you just keep walking and don't make eye-contact they will move onto the next person. I am sure the locals think we are all rude Americans, but if I want to buy something I will let the person know. We proceeded to walk toward Paradise Island- our intent was to take a tour to Blue Lagoon. After walking for about 10 minutes we got a taxi and he took us the rest of the way. We made it the Blue Lagoon ticket counter only to find the one shuttle to the beach had left with the boat passengers (which they picked up right at the dock). Since I had been misinformed that the boat left on the hour (which it does during the summer) we did not get to go to Blue Lagoon. So, we walked to the public beach and took some back way through the "public access" to get onto the beach. Walking through some trees up a hill there were a number of locals just hanging out. I am not sure why they were there, and we quickly went by them. The beach was nice- the ocean was quite rough, but the sand was clean and there was plenty of places to sit. Leaving the beach we decided to attempt to walk through Atlantis' pool area to avoid the public access and the people. Somehow we got into the pool area- which was very nice- and made our way out through their lobby. We shared a cab with another couple and went back to the boat. We did go to the straw market - I was not impressed and did not buy anything. I was more than happy to get back on the boat and wait for our departure. In hindsight I should have booked the Blue Lagoon excursion (fellow cruisers raved about their experience there) through the ship- lesson learned. Port Canaveral Florida- since Freeport was still without electricity we bypassed Freeport and went to Port Canaveral. After being disappointed with Nassau I was glad to skip Freeport. We booked an excursion to Universal Studios. This was pricey- double the park admission- but did include bus transportation (one hour each way). Passengers with a booked excursion were first to disembark. Since we were back in the United States we had to go through Immigrations first. The process was quick and we were on our way to Universal by 9:00. The trip was worth the money- since there is nothing immediately available in port. I heard some people took a bus ($10.00) and went to a local shopping mall. Last day at sea- Another gorgeous day. The sun was shining the weather was warm and the ocean was calm. I could not have asked for anything better. My husband and I booked the supper club for this night. We had done this on the last cruise. The food is excellent and service superb; the atmosphere is quiet, relaxed and very romantic. This is well worth the nominal fee. Home in Baltimore- Since we opted to self disembark we did not put our luggage out the night before. We were the first passengers called to get off the boat. I think we were walking down the gangway at 9:00 and we were home by 10:15. I cannot say enough about cruising with Carnival; we are three for three and looking forward to our fourth in January 2006. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed it so much we booked another for next spring as soon as we got back. The ship in general looked great, maybe a few signs of wear, but nothing distracting. The layout was pretty navigable, though we ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed it so much we booked another for next spring as soon as we got back. The ship in general looked great, maybe a few signs of wear, but nothing distracting. The layout was pretty navigable, though we did keep finding new areas throughout the trip. Onto the more specific categories: Embarkation:A breeze. Granted we got there very early (a little before noon) because our hotel check-out was at 11:00 and we didn't have anything better to do. We had friends show up about an hour later and they didn't seem to have much of a wait either. We were on the Lido having a cocktail by 1:00, since our rooms weren't ready yet. Cabin: It was an inside cabin, we weren't expecting much. Our room stewardess was great, loved the towel animals. Only complaint is the single electrical outlet. We brought our own alarm clocks since they don't have any in the rooms. Shore Excursions: We didn't book through the ship, but our friends did (on the booze cruise) and they had a blast. Dining: Thought the food was quite good, our waiter was terrific. Enjoyed trying new things (chilled fruit soups esp.) Granted, I'm not a big fan of 'gourmet'; the food here was recognizable but prepared well. And many nights we would order 2 of the main dishes because we wanted to try them all. Also, we made good use of the sushi bar in the evenings, since we had late dining. It was excellent. Entertainment: Amusing. The revues were a little cheesy, but fun and exactly what we were expecting (though I would have loved to see more fancy headdresses). We didn't get to see the comedians (we had early morning plans most days) but our friends enjoyed them and the magicians as well. Debarkation: Better than expected. We carried our own bags off, which if you don't have a lot of luggage I would recommend. We were one of the last groups to be called and were still in the parking lot by 9:15. The elevators were working just fine, except the ones in the lobby, so transporting luggage was no problem (a little bit of a wait though). We were the first ship to return to Freeport in almost six weeks; there were still obvious signs of damage, but many of the shops were open (we saw one sign posted for vendors, announcing that our ship would be in) and we were greeted at the port by a performing band (maybe since it was Discovery day. Many of the beach hotels were closed, so we had to find a backway onto the beach, but it was beautiful. We didn't check out many of the bars, mostly stuck to the cigar bar (the Majestic) where we made friends with the bartender. All in all, we enjoyed it very much, though i think in future we'll go with week-long cruises when possible, 4 days just wasn't enough time to relax fully. A final note, a lot of reviews seem to focus (negatively) on the kind of passengers on the ship. While there were some unrefined people we saw, most behaved well, and the formal nights, almost everyone dressed appropriately. I'm a student and we chose this cruise because it fit our budget, I imagine many other families and such do the same. Families earning less money want to go on vacation too, and though I don't believe Carnival 'caters' to them specifically, their prices allow many people to be able to afford this type of vacation. I think that's wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
We are two adult women (lesbian couple) without children. We took the NCL bus from Boston to the port in NYC. Very easy. Bus driver (Frank from NJ) only let us stop for 20 minutes at a rest stop with only a soda machine...so we had wished ... Read More
We are two adult women (lesbian couple) without children. We took the NCL bus from Boston to the port in NYC. Very easy. Bus driver (Frank from NJ) only let us stop for 20 minutes at a rest stop with only a soda machine...so we had wished we had packed a lunch. Movies were shown during the trip. He took time to do a bit of tour narration as we came into NYC. Upon arrival at the port, we went through the process and were in our stateroom within 45 minutes. FOOD:The food was very good. There are three speciality restaurants that cost a bit more. We tried Teppanyaki which is a restaurant within another restaurant named Bamboo. At Teppanyaki, they cook food in front of you and have fun doing it. I highly recommend this. We ate at Bamboo one lunch and it wasn't our cup of tea. There is also a wonderful sushi bar which revolves in a circle in front of bar stools. Great deal for sushi lovers! All the sushi you can eat for $10! One night we ate at Cagney's, the steak restaurant and another night at Bistro which has wonderful steak and chocolate fondue for dessert. They had a fun chocolate buffet one afternoon. What magnificent statues made out of chocolate! Every afternoon by the pool they had a barbecue with ribs, hot dogs and hamburgers. The inside 24-hour buffet by the pool is nice for quick meals. Ice cream with the fixings are available pool side. I bought the soda card for $28 which was well worth it. I am a BIG ice tea drinker. Their ice tea is not good. I brought my own tea bags and made it in the room. Put it in our little refrigerator in the stateroom. Ice is provided daily by your room steward. ENTERTAINMENT: The cruise director Paul Baya and his assistant Mike were very good. They worked well as a team and there were a multitude of activities. The evening shows were good with the exception of the stand up comedian Dave Heenan who took pleasure in finding humor around obesity. What bothered me most is children were present and his humor was giving kids permission to make fun of overweight people also. Ironically, Mr. Heenan weights about 400 pounds himself. We left during his act and did not go to any others. The Jean Ryan company puts on great shows including Bollywood and South Beach Rave. Don't miss them! We enjoyed the game shows of Family Feud and Jeopardy. We won a smaller amount at Bingo one day. We did adult Karaoke. Very fun! I played in a slot tournament in the casino. I was surprised that most times, the casino wasn't that busy. THE SHIP: Well, as everyone says, the ship is beautiful and well maintained! The staff do seem to take pride in their hard work. Special hand sanitizer is at every food station. VERY CLEAN SHIP! I never stopped recognizing how hard the staff works and I'm ever amazed when guests are demanding and rude toward them. You try working 10 hour days for 6 months straight and see how it feels! CHILDREN AND PARENTS: We were sad to find out there were 700 children on board during our week because New Jersey schools were on vacation that week. Kids running here and there with remedial parent supervision. There were a multitude of unsupervised children in the outside pool. We gave up trying to swim and spent much of our time in the inside lap pool (inside the spa). No one under 18 is allowed there. Two hot tubs inside and about 12 recliners to sit and look out from floor to ceiling windows. SHORE EXCURSIONS: At Port Canaveral, we decided to go to Kennedy Space Center on our own. It is MUCH CHEAPER to try and share a van at the port with a few folks rather than taking the NCL excursion. You can come back when you want to also. We enjoyed the Bus tour at KSP as well as the IMAX movie, etc. In Miami we took the beach hopper so we could get to South Beach. Once there, we could take their small bus which is only 25 cent . Just beware it is hot and some others riding don't have the best hygiene, but it gets you around. We spent time in the Lincoln Mall area and less time at Bayside Market where everything is very expensive. In Nassau we once again gathered some folks and took a van to the Atlantis resort. GREAT PLACE! Worth going just to walk around. We spent an overnight in Nassau because the private island was harmed in hurricane weather. OTHER GUESTS: Many senior guests. A fair share of wheelchairs, canes and one man who probably had Alzheimer's. Most folks were from NYC and New Jersey. Every time someone was asked from stage where they were from, they said NYC or New Jersey...one of the entertainers cried, "Is the whole State here?"  Yes, some of the NYC attitude was prevalent also. Many guests were smokers and were not always considerate about staying in smoking areas. Since we are non-smokers, that was not enjoyable. We were very pleased with the trip and would definitely return again to the Dawn or other NCL ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
We had a big group going (about 120 people) and our TA rented a coach bus to take us from Centreville and Sterling. We arrived at the dock around 10:15 to find out that the ship had just arrived... We were able to drive around and unload ... Read More
We had a big group going (about 120 people) and our TA rented a coach bus to take us from Centreville and Sterling. We arrived at the dock around 10:15 to find out that the ship had just arrived... We were able to drive around and unload our luggage into these big containers and then walked into the facility where we were herded into a section and given a zone number. We received zone #1. At about 11:30am we then got herded to the ticketing agents and received our sail and sign boarding cards....then we went back and sat in different chairs. Carnival gave no information, only that there were still well over 1,000 people on the ship...and that we would have to wait. That was ok...however, I wish they had given any estimated time frame....each carnival representative had different information...and dear husband and I hated that they were selling hot dogs for $3 and $4 a pop when we knew we were just feet away from the "free" food on board. By 1:30pm we were turning into very hungry people... I think we were finally called around 2:15pm to board...and that was a fairly simple process. I think Carnival did a good job in getting folks on board quickly when they finally could. (However, I don't know how the people who had driven themselves felt....we saw long lines of cars just waiting and waiting to be able to drop off their luggage). We were at the front of the pack so we probably didn't experience what other folks did. When we got on board we went right to our cabin...#8235, cat. 9. Lo and behold I forgot to take a picture of it....there was a small foyer when you walked in....a big closet on the left and wall on the right....walk a little further and there was the sofa, coffee table, and tv set high up. Then the room opened up where there was a huge mirror both on the wall over the bed and above the dressing table.... The dressing table was huge and they had a place where they had all kinds of different glasses for drinks and a "bar" area for alcohol. It was pretty darn nice. The bathroom was your regular rinky dink size and so was the shower....no complaints, the shower was great! The balcony was huge! It was very long and wide....could have fit four chairs with room for more on it. The one complaint I did have about this room was that there were always weird smells in it....sometimes it smelled like garbage...sometimes it smelled like food being cooked, etc. We then went up to the lido...I have never been there on embarkation day and experienced it practically empty...the food was great though I can't remember what I had...I'm a big salad person so I would appreciate the salad bar having more variety but it was still very good. I think dear husband had some kind of fish... Of course they asked you every few seconds if you wanted the drink of the day... It was cold out and the band was playing but we didn't hang out....we just went to explore the ship. Franksteins Lab was pretty cool! Since we had sailed the Pride almost two years ago we really had no problem finding our way around the ship...it was nice to know where we were going the majority of the time. We had late seating and we wanted to have a light snack ahead of time but were disappointed to see that they had not changed the food. I'm sure this was because everyone had arrived very late. Our waiters for our table were awesome....we were supposed to have two other couples at our table but one couple cancelled out at the last minute and one gentleman decided not to come because his mother was very ill....so the other gentleman decided to switch to an earlier seating....so we were at a huge table by ourselves with two of our friends down the way....we ran back and forth between tables Omur the maitre'd said that we could have everyone at our table....but then we all loved our waiters so much we didn't want to change. Our waiters were Wayan and Nengah...loved them!!! The food was excellent every night....never had a bad meal.... More often than not dear husband either had two entrees or two appetizers....sometimes three....whatever we wanted, they were more than happy to bring. We went to the Welcome Show which was pretty funny! Dear husband and I loved Mark Hawkins....he was fabulous! He called up for five folks who had been in the armed forces so I told dear husband to run up....it was hilarious...when Mark asked what branch he had served in he didn't say a word until I yelled ARMY...so Mark teased him....he was funny with everyone! ...and we got a free bottle of champagne. The next day was a sea day and I thought it was too chilly to catch any rays though lots of people were....dear husband wanted to play Fear Factor but didn't get his name drawn so we went to the Art Auction....could not stand the auctioneer. We go to auctions (antique ones and are used to a certain way) and I know the art auction is different but I thought the guy talked way, way too much between items. Plus I'm not a fan of the majority of art they had. So after about 45 minutes we skipped out on that and went to the Lido to find that we had missed lunch....aaahhhhh... I was not a happy camper. So we went to the guessing faces and names game which was ok. We got three sheets of paper and tried to figure out who the people were....we did terrible and when Karl asked who thought they did the worst dear husband yelled that he had so for being honest he got a ship on a stick....you have no idea how happy he was. That was his goal....he got one from the Pride and now he has one from the Miracle. Then we went to shipboard trivia which was a blast though it was too short. Mark had trivia questions and the first person to raise their hand who got the answer right got a prize. dear husband got me a free drink of the day.... They also had folks call in from their rooms which was great fun! We got dressed for formal night and had a group picture taken with the TA's group and then went and dear husband got some sushi and just hung out. Checked out the casino which we did not play in and took some pictures and then went to late dinner. The food was excellent again. After that we went and watched some of the Generations show which you do not want to miss and then to Sam's Piano Bar ....Duane was the pianist and he was ok but there was a gentleman whose name was Gus and he did a better job but he played at Nick & Noras and sometimes did the Piano Bar...that's where he really wants to be but he needed more people to tell Carnival that he did a good job....so at least we did. We then checked out Frankensteins Lab and that was fun depending on what the theme was for the night. Next day was another day at sea. Dear husband and I caught some rays and we like to go to the topless deck (it's very quiet up there) and all adult....but I don't know why they have the area around the top for folks to look over. I don't care so much but it does get annoying when guys are hanging over the rail just gawking. We did shipboard trivia again and dear husband won me a photo album. We went to the hypnotist show....think it was on that night...don't know what to think of it. The guy had one woman trying to kill pink spiders, another guy putting band aids all over his face....a woman running off the stage to make out with her husband...it was interesting. Then we went to the comedy show....I fell asleep. Key West...what a great day....everyone knows Key West so I don't need to say much about it....you guys know. That night we dined at Nick and Noras....for our four hour dining experience....there was a large group of us and we had a good time between our meal and running out to see the lunar eclipse....on the top deck with high wind warnings. They said the wind was keeping steady at 60mph....don't know what that was about. Anyway, I had the 24oz porterhouse which practically killed me....but my TA didn't believe I could do it so of course I had to prove her wrong. The creme brulee was fantastic!!! It really was a superb meal. Afterwards we went down to the cigar bar and the guys smoked cigars... The next day was Nassau and we ran off the ship and did some quick shopping. Dear husband got me a beautiful tanzanite ring at Tanzanite International...then we ran back to the ship, got changed for our snorkeling excursion with Stuart Cove. It was a blast....highly recommend booking this independently if you have the time...if you do it in advance it is $40/pp and they pick you up at the end of the pier. We did a couple of snorkeling sites and then watch sharks feed in the water off of chum they had lowered down....when they raised it up there were all these fins just above the surface...and one shark actually jumped up....it was great! When we got back to the ship....about 5pm we changed and went back out to find everything had closed...it was terrible. The only things open were Senor Frogs and Hard Rock....that was it. Also the Straw Market never opened that day either. It was like a ghost town and I was not happy being there until midnight with nothing to do...so we went back onboard and had dinner....and I'm glad we did it because it was good. Didn't do much after that though....I forget...I think we just went to our cabin. Freeport....we booked the Peterson Cay Kayak and Snorkel....we were supposed to meet at 7:45am but the ship didn't dock until around 8am....we didn't get going until 8:45am which was crummy because when we got back we just had to get back onto the ship. Freeport was decimated....we met our Kayak Guides and they said that Freeport did not look like it normally does. We kayaked about 1 mile to this tiny island.....the kayaking was tough because the current was so strong....dear husband and I were ready to kill each other after we finally got there but it was fun and the snorkeling was GREAT! We even got to see an octopus!!!and funny little things that change color and disguise themselves into the rocks... They provided lunch which was actually good....very fresh cold cuts and they had all the fixin's so you could make your own sandwiches...and peanut butter cookies, and water and lemonade. Then we kayaked back....dear husband and I were ready to kill each other again and then we loaded into vans and went back to the ship....a good excursion but because of the weather the kayaking was a little rough. On our last formal night we went to see Ticket to Ride which was excellent! Also if you were dressed up and got there early they offered a VIP seat...total of 6 couples. So we got to sit right up front and had free champagne. On the last sea day the weather was kind of funky...not sure if it was sunny or where quite the sun was shining on the ship but at least it got warm. Every night at dinner was great because the waiters would sing and dance with Omur leading the way....did a conga line on one of the nights... There is so much I'm leaving out now...but along with the Carnival board and other member reviews I'm sure you'll find that this is a great ship...and don't worry about the dining room decor and what others say...who cares, you're on a cruise! vermonter16 Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This was a first cruise for myself and my family (husband, son-8, son-5, daughter-3). We traveled with friends of ours who also had two children (daughter-11, son-8). It was their first cruise also. After spending much time cruising these ... Read More
This was a first cruise for myself and my family (husband, son-8, son-5, daughter-3). We traveled with friends of ours who also had two children (daughter-11, son-8). It was their first cruise also. After spending much time cruising these boards, I was very excited for this trip. This trip was all I thought it would be and more. We showed up at the pier at approx. 11:00 a.m. and were on the ship within 1 hour. We had no trouble finding our cabin as there were people stationed on every floor directing you. We had adjoining cabins (10588 and 10590) which we thoroughly enjoyed. Our steward opened up the door adjoining the balconies giving our family of 5 more than enough room to enjoy the view. At first we were disappointed to find out that we wouldn't be visiting the private island due to hurricane damage. We usually go to Disney World every year at this time and were using this vacation just to relax and enjoy our family. No rushing around. The private island would have been exactly what we wanted to do. We stayed on the ship at Port Canaveral and thoroughly enjoyed having the run of the ship, pools, and no difficulty finding chairs near the pools. In Miami we decided to take a cab to South Beach. The beach was absolutely beautiful, but the rest I could have done without. Waking up in Nassau was a nice surprise. Foolishly, we decided to take the water taxi over to the beach. The ride was pleasant enough, but we listened to the tour guide and followed the walkway all the way around (instead of walking through the Atlantis) and ended up on a path which took you through the woods where all the locals were waiting to barrage you with beach chair rentals, boat rentals, parasailing, etc. They actually walked along the beach with you hounding you for your business. This was not relaxing at all. One couple walking with their infant actually were scared and asked if they could walk with us through these woods. We then walked up to the Atlantis, being followed all the way. Finally, my husband got mad and asked one guy to please leave us alone and he got nasty with my husband, arguing that this was his job. Unbelievable. I honestly felt that these people just wanted to get their hands in our pocket. If you go to Nassau to do the beach, I would take an excursion next time. Better yet, stay on the ship or just visit the shops near the dock. Back to the ship. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. Everyone on the ship was so nice and helpful. I never had a bad meal, even at the Garden Cafe. The food was delicious! I think Aqua and Cagneys were my favorite. We also loved the poolside barbecue. If I had any complaint at all, it would be the constant pushing of drinks by the pool. It was constant and could become annoying. Other than that, I loved it all. I especially enjoyed travelling with people from the tri-state area. I find that sometimes southerners don't like New Yorkers, but that's a whole other story. Sailing with people from this area made it a very friendly experience and we met some super people on this trip. Another thing that bothered me was the chair hogging. On sea days, you better get there early and claim your spot - it's definitely not big enough for the number of people on the ship. As for the Kids Krew. My two little ones have a problem separating from me. But once that was over, they had a great time and loved the ladies who worked in there. I thought the instructors were wonderful and very patient. They really made the time spent there fun for the kids. Kudos to Marshmellow, Sugar, and Mojo. The shows were very good. My kids also really enjoyed them. The comedian, Dave Heenan, was very funny and even told a joke about an experience with our children that made us laugh. Only our kids! He spoofs the passengers a lot, so if you bump in to him on the ship - WATCH OUT! He did a skit about one woman who was by the pool that afternoon. Now I have nothing against large people, but when I tell you she had on the tiniest bikini. When she stood up her belly actually covered her bottoms and it looked as if she wasn't wearing any. Boy did he make us laugh. My kids will miss our steward Mike (Harrett Ferdindand) and Rose. They were so very patient with us and always helped us with anything. Honestly, the whole staff was wonderful and I had no problems with anyone. You always hear about the rude passengers, but I didn't see any! After leaving Nassau, a passenger apparently had a heart attack and we were detoured to Freeport. Thankfully, the passenger was stabilized and flown to Miami for surgery the next day. NCL did a great job of keeping us informed throughout this ordeal. We really had a super trip .......til we hit the rough seas on Saturday. With 17ft. - 24 ft. seas, I was on my back the whole day. On Sunday, things finally calmed down but we arrived in New York 9 hours late! NCL was very nice in having an open bar that afternoon til we disembarked. While waiting to disembark, we had a last meal in the Blue Lagoon. Now, you read over and over again how the non-citizens always hold up disembarking. Why can't NCL come up with a more efficient way of getting these people off the ship? Honestly, after arriving 9 hours late then listening over and over as they call these international passengers by name - I mean, there just has to be a better, more efficient way of getting these people together! Finally, we met our limo and were home in Manorville by 9:45. Both of our families had a great time and would definitely book a cruise with Norwegian Dawn again and are actually planning it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This was our 1st cruise, but it will not be the last!! We enjoyed the Fascination. Getting on board was not bad, easier than we had anticipated. We had only 2 small carry-on bags and for that I was grateful. I have some knee discomfort and ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise, but it will not be the last!! We enjoyed the Fascination. Getting on board was not bad, easier than we had anticipated. We had only 2 small carry-on bags and for that I was grateful. I have some knee discomfort and it is a walk and carrying bags did not help that. We were satisfied with our cabin and cabin steward. The cabin was small, but then did not anticipate a motel room sized cabin. The bed was comfortable! The cabin was kept neat and tidy and I appreciated that. We did not spend time in our cabin, but made frequent trips back to retrieve the cameras or the Capers newsletter. The toilet would have scared me half to death if I had not been warned by a friend. The shower was terrific. I've never experienced that hot of water available ever. The one thing that I DID NOT appreciate was the pushing of drinks. We are not drinkers and it seemed we were being asked way too often if we wanted a drink. The Lido deck was the worst. The Palace wasn't too bad. I enjoyed the dining at night, but I like to try different foods. My husband on the other hand is a hamburger man and DID NOT enjoy the experience. We had an anniversary we were celebrating (the cruise was a gift from our kids for our anniversary) and the waiters presented us with a dessert with 2 candles and sang Happy Anniversary to us. There was 3 couples at our table the 1st night; 2 the next night and the 3rd night I conceded to eat elsewhere 'cause my husband preferred that. The food was hot and o.k. The desserts were my favorite. They were not only eye catching, but delicious!! We enjoyed the decks a lot and spent many hours just up there watching the ocean, which is great!! The staff was friendly wherever we were and more than eager to help if you had a question. I didn't care much for the Asst. Cruise director's voice and the Cruise Director went a little overboard with his enthusiasm, it was a little fake! I enjoyed the shows very much, of course my husband didn't. TOO LOUD for him. Bingo seemed rather expensive, but we are not into that scene either. The ship was clean and food areas seemed clean also. I did get seasick while inside the ship, but not on the deck, explain that if you can. It wasn't bad enough to ruin my cruise. But you could feel the ship gently moving. I DID NOT like the Bahamas - too dirty - too pushy!! You are greeted (???) as you get off to several trying to give you rides. We had already been told we'd enjoy the surry ride and we did. I didn't feel the gentleman needed to ask for a tip -- $44.00 for a 30 buggy ride seemed adequate enough. The straw market was an experience in itself. I had been advised to go, but not warned about their process of getting you to purchase their wares. I learned! One vendor tried to cheat me out of $10 by saying I gave him a 10 when I gave him a 20. He quickly apologized, BUT had I not been on my toes I'd been out $10. I don't care to haggle for purchases and nothing had a price. We did not take a side trip and spent a couple hours on shore and went back to the ship. There was plenty to do on board and we did not get bored. Disembarkment was slow, but then there were lots of people carrying all their luggage and they had HUGE bags. I'd never do the quick disembarkment with that much luggage. For 3 days what in the world did they pack! The Customs deal was a bit nerving, but not a big deal. Overall I'd rate the cruise a 9 out 10. Would not fly into Miami again for a cruise. The airport was just not my cup of tea - we felt like foreigners in our own land as staff is all Spanish speaking and when not addressing a customer, they spoke Spanish, fast and furious. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This is my 9th cruise in 5 years. Eight on Carnival and one on Century (Celebrity Cruise line). It was our 3rd cruise on Fantasy. I was a group leader for 41 seniors and we chartered a bus to take us on the short 100 mile trip to Port ... Read More
This is my 9th cruise in 5 years. Eight on Carnival and one on Century (Celebrity Cruise line). It was our 3rd cruise on Fantasy. I was a group leader for 41 seniors and we chartered a bus to take us on the short 100 mile trip to Port Canaveral (from Wildwood, Florida). The biggest problem we had was that Carnival put our group on four different decks. The embarkation was rather simple and we were through the check-in line and on board for lunch within 30 minutes. The Fantasy is an older ship, but it received a complete face lift about 2 years ago. The color change, especially on the Promenade deck is a great improvement. The most impressive change are the beds. Until this trip I have NEVER had a real good night's sleep on any of the other cruises...and that also goes for the newer Glory which we sailed on in April. These newer beds were simply GREAT (...incidentally, the person doing this review is 73 years old and weighs 255 lbs). The food, as always, was very fancy and very good. We all like to be waited on...and a cruise is the best place to get pampered. Our rooms were made up very nicely but I never once saw the cabin steward. I found this to be unusual. The shows were the best I have found among all the other cruises...and so was the classical string trio. The Debarkation was just as I thought it would be...with 41 of us scattered on four different decks. 37 of us got off the boat between 8:30 and 9:00 am and our bus was waiting for us. The other 4 people did not get off until 10:30 am. Some of us were beginning to get restless sitting on the bus an hour and a half before leaving. This is an unnecessary problem that should be corrected by Carnival. We made our reservations and paid for our cruise six months prior to sailing on Oct. 24th. Assigning us cabins on four different decks was poor planning and should never have happened. The Fantasy is a bit old...but she's in super shape...and for comfort she out-classes all the others. clyardbird@aol.com Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This was the first cruise for my Significant Other and me and I was a bit apprehensive, as are most first timers. I have read both good and bad reviews of the same ship and cruise and I have come to the conclusion that most of the time it ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my Significant Other and me and I was a bit apprehensive, as are most first timers. I have read both good and bad reviews of the same ship and cruise and I have come to the conclusion that most of the time it depends on your point of view and your expectations and tastes. Every ship has it's terrible reviews but, happily, this was a great cruise for both of us. Embarkation/Debarkation: It wasn't bad. We came on the bus from CT and pulled up to the bow of the ship. Porters took our baggage, we got in line, and after about an hour we were eating a snack at the Buffet. That NCL bus is a real deal and once off the ship on the way home, we only had to wait for everyone to get on...easy! Ship Impressions: Very nice. Lots of room to wander around and very stable. Hurricane waves did make some people sick but this was only one night (I actually enjoyed the movement because it reminded me that we were actually on the ocean, which is nice!). I liked the way the typically almost imperceptible motion would rock me to sleep at night - or was that the martinis talking? It did creak more at night than I thought it would but we didn't care. Overall a good design. Freestyle Cruising: We loved it and wouldn't have it any other way. Our favorite restaurant was the Venetian but we tried them all except the extra cost places ( I don't like the long term implications of this - give them an inch, they will take another and pretty soon everything will be a la carte. I shall protest by not giving my business. If the regular fare gets bad I will just not sail with them.). Anyway, the food was great. Sure you can get stuck with a poor quality meal but this didn't happen to us (for instance, the on-deck BBQ had some tough meat so we just threw it out and went somewhere else - no need to worry about it). Crew: I believe this to be an important factor for a good cruise and we saw nothing but happy, friendly, smiling crew. Who knows, maybe the guy down the hall had a miserable experience but we had a most enjoyable experience due, I believe, to the quality of the crew. Just a note here,however, if you want something out of the ordinary I have the perception that it may be a toss-up if you will have an easy time getting it. Ports of Call: We really didn't care because we were going for the ship experience. With the time allotted in each port there is really not enough time to get away from the tourist trap activities. It was nice to pull into the different ports but after seeing the poverty I was a bit saddened. We toured the island and I would liken Atlantis to a rich castle in a land of struggling serfs. Really seemed out of place in our time. I would rather go to Vegas for gambling. We missed seeing the private island but maybe next time. Best Stuff: Freestyle dining/food Entertainment Crew Ambience Having a balcony Martini Clinic Cappuccino The beautiful blue color of the ocean. Worst Stuff: Chocoholic Buffet (missed the mark but not a biggee) The regular buffet restaurant (OK but not our style) Extra pay restaurants (the fact that they exist) Bathroom could be bigger but it's adequate. Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Our cruise on the Disney Wonder was one of the best family vacations that we have taken. Embarkation was great! We had all of our paperwork filled out before we went to the port. Once there, it took about 15 minutes and we were walking ... Read More
Our cruise on the Disney Wonder was one of the best family vacations that we have taken. Embarkation was great! We had all of our paperwork filled out before we went to the port. Once there, it took about 15 minutes and we were walking through the Mickey Ears arch! the terminal itself is beautiful. There are couches and tvs all over with Disney shows on for the children. Mickey Mouse is there to greet all of the guests and provide them with a much desired photo op. There is a model of the ship in the terminal for everyone to look at. The staff was very helpful and friendly. Once aboard the ship, the crew announces your family name and you are welcomed aboard amid applause. The Atrium is beautiful. There is a statue of Ariel, the little mermaid and a hand blown glass chandelier. Glass elevators take you upstairs and provide you with murals of the little mermaid on the walls as you go up to the higher floors. We brought a day bag with us that contained our valuables and our pool gear. We ate in Parrot's Cay and had a very good buffet with many choices including a child's buffet with mac and cheese, chicken tenders, strawberry soup, etc... We then went to check out the Goofy pool and join in on the sail away party which was full of fun. Lots of music and a lot of crew/guest interaction. We went to our cabin and changed into our swimsuits. The cabin was larger than most other cruises that I have been on. It was well appointed and had a bathtub and shower. Our dinner tickets, Navigator, and excursion tickets were waiting as well as a welcome basket. Our next trip was to the Mickey pool. Our 4 year old son loved the slide and we couldn't get him to leave. We had main seating for dinner and soon went to change. Our son went to the Oceaneer's club for a few hours while my husband and I enjoyed our first dinner in Palo, the adult only restaurant. The food was fabulous!!! The chocolate souffle was to die for and Katarina, our server, was the best. Definitely a top notch experience not to be missed. The following day was a day at sea due to Hurricane Jeanne heading our way. Hubby and I enjoyed the Rsual spa treatment and then went to get our son for a day by the pool. The on board activities were endless. The movies were first run and the nightly shows were well done in true Disney style. Dinner on this night was in Triton's. The food here was very good. The restaurant was very elegant and our servers, Charley and Francois were great. The next day was spent in Nassau. We had an excursion to Blackbeard's Cay. We tried to snorkel with the stingrays but the storm surge churned up the water and made the water very rough to swim in. The food on the island was average and the beach was very nice. We hit a big rainstorm on the way back to the ship that reminded me of the perfect storm. On the ship, we showered, changed, and went up on deck for some activities. Dinner this night was in Animator's Palate. The food here was at best, average but the strawberry shortcake was good. The show in here was unique but not what I thought it would be with the changing colors. The following day was spent in Castaway Cay. This island was paradise! I never wanted to leave. Beautiful does not describe it. Perfection. This was by far the best part of the cruise. Dinner on this night was in Parrot's Cay. Food was good. Our dining companions were great. Overall I would definitely cruise on Disney again and had a great trip. The shows each night were good with Disney Dreams being our favorite. The food onboard was good but not outstanding with the exception of Palo. The service was very good to excellent. Our cabin was nice but at night all of the ceiling panels creaked. Being a light sleeper, this was annoying to me. Other than that, the cabin was very quiet. Kim, our room steward, kept me stocked with shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer. He made great towel creatures and did a great job. Debarkation was the easiest ever. You get up in the morning and go to breakfast and whenever you are ready, you just walk off of the ship! No waiting! Good job, Disney! I hope the other cruise lines put this debarkation into effect on their ships. I would definitely rate this among the best family cruises. For adults only, there are still a lot of things to do but you still have to like children as they are everywhere, naturally! Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
NCL Dawn Review 9/5/04 This was our family's (mom, dad and 7 yo) second cruise ever (both on the Dawn). Embarkation: Boy did we learn from last year! We got off our ride at 47th Street and 12th Avenue and simply walked across the ... Read More
NCL Dawn Review 9/5/04 This was our family's (mom, dad and 7 yo) second cruise ever (both on the Dawn). Embarkation: Boy did we learn from last year! We got off our ride at 47th Street and 12th Avenue and simply walked across the street, avoiding the teamsters, into the terminal and up the escalator to the first of three lines. The first was to check your tickets, the second to x-ray your luggage, and the last to get your pictures for your key card. We walked past the photographers and up the gangways and onto the ship. They swiped us and handed us a letter about possible changes in the schedule due to Frances. We went up to our cabin (9700) which was portside aft and unpacked. From the time we waved goodbye to our ride to the cabin was 68 minutes (yes, I timed it). Disembarkation: Boy, whatta nightmare! The Port people but another ship in the pier the Dawn uses and we were bumped up to pier 92, people had to found to go see Immigration so we did not even start leaving the ship until 11:20 am. And the pier could only accommodate two gangways full of people trying to get off the ship to either make connections or just to get home. It was a mess. I hope someone learned a lesson about today's exercise! Food: We liked the food at Cagney's. We had the filet, surf and turf and the salmon. The lobster was sorta small though. We also ate at Salsa's and it was fair. The food was ok and service was ok. Nothing to write home about if ya know what I mean. We ate at the sushi bar, Bamboo and Teppanyaki. My daughter made lots of special friends (servers, hostess and sushi chef) at the Asian restaurants during our cruise. They were so very kind and thoughtful that she actually cried herself to sleep the last night b/c we were leaving them the next day. She kept saying how she still misses them all through the day. It is pretty remarkable for her to become so attached to a small group of people so quickly because she is a quintessential New Yorker. That best describes our experience with the staff at the Asian restaurants. They were so nice and friendly to our daughter that she actually cried. Wow. The buffet was ok, but we ate a few lunches (and late pm snacks) at Blue Lagoon. The food and service at both were good. We also ate at the first poolside BBQ. Yuck. The food was too dry or overcooked. I ate the fish and chips at Blue Lagoon and was actually surprised the fish was real fish and tasted pretty good. My wife also liked it too and is more about her food picky than me. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin and we liked it though the main bed was sorta lumpy time for new mattresses, but the pull out bed was nice and firm. Our wall safe malfunctioned twice; the last time was when we needed our passports and wallets to get off the ship. The ship had to send someone to unlock the safe and both times they showed up within 10 minutes and worked their electronic gizmo (which looked a lot like a palm pilot) and viola our safe was opened, again. Cabin Stewards: They stopped by the first afternoon we were onboard, I think right after the lifeboat drill. They made the rooms quickly and turned down the rooms with the towel animals. My 7 yo made friends with them too. The last night the towel animal was a monkey with sunglasses and chocolate mints hanging from the air vent. I just about had a coronary when I walked in and turned on the lights. Excursion: Miami. We went to the beach and Bayside Market and had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. The beach was nice, the mall was nice, but it got really hot around 1 pm. Key West: This was diversion due to the storm. My wife and 7 yo went to do the trolley tour. I went to the FedEx store and shipped home my dirty clothes to make room for gifts. We shopped and shopped and shopped (get the picture?) and then headed back to the ship. Nassau: Shopped and shopped and headed back to the ship. BTW: the Hard Rock Cafe is now fully opened. I shoulda made a bet with my wife. Shows: We liked the magician, South Beach and the last night show. There is a new show being previewed. It is a Vietnamese comedian/juggler and he is a riot. We did not like Dave Heenan, but a friend said he liked Heenan. The Newlywed Not so Newlywed show was a lot tamer this year. Pools: I spent most days in the T-Rex pools with my child. We didn't spend too much there the first cruise, but sure made up for it. It was nice. My child learned to swim with her head up vs. under water. And she loved the slides. Pet Peeves: Twice some kid threw up in the kiddie pool. Usually right after a meal. So they had to close all the pools down in the T-Rex area to clean up the mess (eeww) and sanitize the water system. Why would a parent put their little ones in a pool right after eating?! The only other compliant I have is: Parents Must Supervise Their Kids in the Pool!!!!!!! Some parents would just send their kids to the pool or drop them off and then leave! Or some parents would veg out while their kids are running around and causing general mayhem. NCL does have a policy of no children under 12 there w/o a parent, but the ship only enforced the rule one day (probably after one the other parents complained). There were a small group of 10-12 yos being a little too rough on the waterslides. One even talked back to a cruise staff member. His parents were no where to be found. I know its there vacation and they have a right to relax, but that does not abrogate your responsibilities as a parent. If you do not want to supervise your kids, then leave them at home. Cigar Bar: Spent many evenings there. I would wish they would put a tv or a bar within the club. Overall: We love the second cruise more than our first because we knew what to expect, what to avoid and how to pace ourselves. We also were very thankful for the staff at Bamboo, the sushi and Teppanyaki for making our daughter feel so special. I know my daughter wants to go back again, so do we. Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
I just took the 7 night cruise from Baltimore, MD to Florida and the Bahamas. Overall, I had a wonderful week! There are a few things that I would like to elaborate upon. I am in my mid-twenties, and I traveled with my boyfriend. There ... Read More
I just took the 7 night cruise from Baltimore, MD to Florida and the Bahamas. Overall, I had a wonderful week! There are a few things that I would like to elaborate upon. I am in my mid-twenties, and I traveled with my boyfriend. There were not a lot of other people our age on the cruise. There were a lot of families with young children and older couples. Embarkation took about an hour and a half total, which I did not think was bad at all. I was expecting much worse. The ship itself was beautiful. The one negative review I have is the sewage smell that often seeped into public areas of this ship. The first night, we found out that Royal Caribbean had done a wonderful job of choosing our dinner-mates. We were seated with two other couples in their twenties, which definitely eased things. We ended up becoming friends with one of the couples and spending most of our free time with them. Dining was excellent. You can order as much food as you wish, so by the last night, we were all ordering two entrees and three desserts each. Great food! A tip: order two lobster tails on lobster night. The shows were wonderful. Especially good was Blair Shannon - a singer/comedian. If he is an option on your cruise, I would definitely go. The other shows that I attended were excellent as well. The fitness center was a nice treat. From eating all the food, at least I felt like I was working some of it off. There are about 7 treadmills, 5 elliptical machines, and many fitness classes. There is also an outdoor track, which I used once. The gym is open throughout the day. I liked that both the Casino and Viking Lounge were open until about 3am. It gave us something to do late at night when the other activities had ended. The Solarium was also a favorite, relaxing place of ours to just sit by the pool without the distraction of little kids. I thought the cruise had great value for its price. Some things were overpriced, like $35 per Bingo game, but if you won, it was worth it. (I didn't, unfortunately.) The ports: Freeport - I would never go back again. It was run-down, and the shopping was not very good, unless you like a lot of straw hats and bags. The Highlights tour was ok, but it was too rushed. I do not recommend it. Key West - Great! We went on the Pub Crawl and had a great time. Well worth it! We didn't go to the famous bars, but it was certainly memorable. Coco Cay - Beautiful! Jet-skiing tour was excellent, and the beach was so relaxing. We did not get to go to Port Canaveral because of the hurricane. I liked that the captain kept giving us updates on the weather situation. Overall, I had a great week, and I would definitely choose Royal Caribbean again, but maybe a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
i am 18 now but i was 17 when i went on the Miracle last summer. I went with my 15 year old sister (she is now 16) and my parents. I live in California and this was my first time to New York. I really enjoyed it. My sister and I had ... Read More
i am 18 now but i was 17 when i went on the Miracle last summer. I went with my 15 year old sister (she is now 16) and my parents. I live in California and this was my first time to New York. I really enjoyed it. My sister and I had our own cabin, which was supposed to be an inside one but Carnival upgraded our cabin and my parents cabin to balcony rooms because we were past guests.  I have been on the Sensation before and it was really nice too but, the Miracle was a lot bigger and newer, but both had a lot of things to do for teenagers. The food was good but not as good as the food on the Sensation. I am a picky eater, I do not like to eat some meat and I found a lot of vegetarian options on all the menus. The formal dinners were really fun but they seemed to take forever. I asked my waiter why and he said that since there is only one formal restaurant, the galley (the kitchen) is two stories down and all the waiters and waitresses have to take an escalator up to the dinning room, and it takes longer for those seated on the top level. I didn't really like the buffet restaurant, it was good for some things but it was gross watching people stuff their faces with food and then going back for more. And I also really liked the captains cocktail party, FREE COCKTAILS and they didn't check my ID! I really enjoyed ordering room service, the BLT sandwiches and the fajitas were my favorite, especially at 3 a.m. The formal dinning room as REALLY UGLY!!! I don't know who designed it but it is COMPLETELY UGLY. It is supposed to be decorated in grapes, but it does NOT look like grapes at all, there are huge hot pink round lights stuck all over the room, they look like those button candies that you peel off paper! The walls look more like a nightclub than a formal dinning room. I really liked all the entertainment, I was never bored! My favorite part of the ship was the nightclub, Dr. Frankenstein's Lab. It is a good place to go late at night and meet young people. After 11 the club is 16+, and i was able to get in but you have to have a photo ID and your sail and sign card, my sister who was 15 but almost 16 at the time, was not able to get in the first night, but she found a way to sneak past the security all of the other nights, since the club has a circular door that spins. I thought that the security at the door of the club was way too strict, they even had a list of all the people on the cruise and their ages and they would check it when you showed them your ID. It was not like this when i was on the Sensation, i was able to get in the nightclub easily and their was no security at the door. We met a lot of people from New Jersey and the rest of the east coast, which was really fun.  I also really liked the shows, especially the hypnotism show, which was really funny! The Mad Hatters ball was a really cool room, it was decorated like the movie "Alice in Wonderland!" they had Karaoke in there at night which was really fun and comedy shows. I also really liked playing bingo even though i didn't win. I also tried to play in the casino a few times but i got kicked out. I really liked Port Canaveral. I went surfing there at Cocoa Beach which was really nice and the water was warm. Ron Jon's Surf Shop is really cool. Nassau was ok. The people who live there are really annoying, they kept asking me if i wanted my hair braided which I didn't and I was probably asked about 30 times, they were really pushy and seemed to rip off Americans for their money. We went to Paradise Island on a water taxi and but when we got there we had to walk about 20 minutes to get to the Atlantis hotel. After we got really tired and went back to the ship. I didn't get off the ship at the other stop in the Bahamas because it was only there from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and i liked to sleep in, but my parents went and shopped and liked it much better than Nassau. I loved this cruise and I was really sad when it was over! I could be entertained for days on this ship and never get bored. If you are considering going on the Miracle i would definitely recommend it, especially to families with teenagers because there is something for everyone! Have fun cruising. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
This was my second cruise. I am actually 14 but i have a say here... I went with my friend and my mother, and it was amazing. The cruise was perfect, and it couldn't get much better. The service was pretty nice. The live ... Read More
This was my second cruise. I am actually 14 but i have a say here... I went with my friend and my mother, and it was amazing. The cruise was perfect, and it couldn't get much better. The service was pretty nice. The live entertainment on the pool deck was a little loud. The food wasn't what is was hyped up to be, but it was still very good. We liked the pizza and the ice cream. I really liked how the kids could go to the dance club and then you wouldn't get yelled at for being loud after we weren't allowed in anymore. It was a very nice cruise. The ports of call were pretty nice and i enjoyed all of the excursions that I went on. I think that however, you should make the stop at Paradise Island longer because it was about 5 hours, and that was the best island. Same with Freeport. Overall, the cruise was amazing, and there are plenty of things to do with the younger children. They didn't really seem to be bored at all. I will travel on the Miracle again, and I'm planning on going on the Legend next summer. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
This was my eighth cruise and second with RCCL. Let me just say that we go on any cruise line where a bargain can be had! This was the bargain that fit our time frame. We have been on both Disney ships, Carnival and Norwegian. I sailed ... Read More
This was my eighth cruise and second with RCCL. Let me just say that we go on any cruise line where a bargain can be had! This was the bargain that fit our time frame. We have been on both Disney ships, Carnival and Norwegian. I sailed with my husband and left our two boys home!! We enjoyed the cruise tremendously but we are cruise lovers. Give us a ship and water and we'll have a good time. We were on the Sensation (Carnival) in April so I had a few things to compare. I felt both ships were equal in service but food differed in different areas. The main dining room food on both ships was good not superb. If you looking for four star dining this ship is not it! We had second seating and sat at a table of 8 with great couples all cruising without kids. We all and I mean all ordered at least two entrees a night and our waiter didn't even flinch. Even when our dinner came out and another person wanted what I had he marched back in to get it. Our dining room service was fantastic on RCCL!!! Sensation's dining room service was just good. Although the buffet food on Carnival was much better. Majesty really needs to upgrade the Windjammer. It needs to be updated in presentation as well as taste. Carnival had a better variety and presentation!! Comparing the state rooms I liked Carnival better. The rooms on the Majesty have seen their day. They need to be upgraded. A gentleman at our table described the room as a room you would get in a cheap motel. Somewhat tacky. I would agree. I heard the ship was going into dry dock and it could use it! The shower pressure and temperature on the Majesty was unbelievable. The best shower I've taken on a cruise but the bathroom is smaller than Carnival. The overall cleanliness of the ship was better on RCCL. I saw a lot of workers constantly cleaning and polishing. The ship activities were fun but I think Carnival has more going on at all times! I'm not complaining but the variety was just not there. I loved Coco Cay! Great fun and a beautiful place to relax. The wave runner tour is not to be missed!!! I would sail again with RCCL nothing turned me off at all. Actually my boys want to cruise RCCL and we will probably cruise in the Spring if we can catch a bargain! I hope this review will help I read alot of negative comments but I think a cruise is up to the individual and what you make of it. Overall for the money I feel cruising is the best bang for the buck!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
This was my second cruise with Royal Caribbean this year. My decision to cruise this time was based on an unbelievably low price of $220 per person I found on the internet. This included taxes, port charges etc. I traveled with my 19 year ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Royal Caribbean this year. My decision to cruise this time was based on an unbelievably low price of $220 per person I found on the internet. This included taxes, port charges etc. I traveled with my 19 year old daughter and it was her first cruise. We love God, love life and love the opportunity to travel, eat well and meet interesting people. Did I mention it was my birthday? This my fourth cruise and first three nighter. I was a bit concerned that it would be too short for us to really get the most of our cruise. However, Royal Caribbean was able to pack all the "best of" the events into this shorter cruise. We arrived at the port about 11:30. I was informed that I should tip by the man handling my luggage (working for a company RC uses to handle luggage at the port) before I even finished stepping foot on the curb. This was a bit annoying since I enjoy tipping for good service but not because someone is in my face. I reported this man to Royal Caribbean since he was extremely rude and demanding of a tip. A representative from Royal Caribbean explained to me he was not allowed to ask for a tip because it leaves a bad first impression. She asked me to go with her and show her who it was since I didn't get his name. I was pleased that Royal Caribbean went to this length to make my trip enjoyable. We got acquainted with the ship. It's nicely laid out and small enough to find your way around easily. The food in the Windjammed was good but I would recommend sitting in the back section with air conditioning and nicer chairs and tables. Dinner was great. I had sauteed jumbo shrimp. The waiter and his assistant were excellent as usual plus I had the best cabin stewart ever. He really picked things up for us which was great because we left a huge mess every day. Hey, we're on vacation! My daughter especially loved the towel animals. Next day was Cocoa Cay. It rained and rained but we still went to the island and enjoyed the BBQ. (I had already been there so I wasn't too disappointed.) By the time we tendered back to the ship the rain stopped so we decided to enjoy the pool and watch the games. I forgot to mention our "spinning class" . We took a spinning class in the morning and it was a too intense. I run 20- 25 miles per week and ran 5 miles the day before. I wanted to get a good workout with my daughter, but the instructor/ drill sergeant decided she needed to adjust the knob on my bike to increase the intensity. My daughter had to get off and walk around a bit. I think people on vacation would rather relax a bit and not have someone try to make you pass out (By the way, I taught aerobics for 12 years.) So if the instructor is reading this please, we were on vacation! I already ran the day before! And don't mess with my bike! Nassau was the next day. We went snorkeling with the sting ray. It was great! As we finished feeding the sting ray it began to rain and rain hard. So back to Nassau and shopping. Shopping in Nassau was fun and affordable. I bought a mother of pearl necklace at a shop called Andeana Designs at Radisson Shopping Mall. I paid $12 for it and have received more compliments on it than any other piece of jewelry I own. I would highly recommend stopping by this small kiosk. My daughter bought a colorful coconut head pirate ($8) that makes us laugh everytime we look at it. I'm not sure where she bought it. The midnight buffet was poolside with live music and dancing. It was something you never want to miss! The ice sculptures and carved fruit is so beautiful! We had formal night and it was great. I always love the opportunity to get dressed up. At the end of the cruise we had planned to do an excursion. We took the excursion to the Everglades. A word of advice, bring your own insect repellent and don't eat there. Everything is so expensive! Also, this excursion was too short. We did see alligators but the boat ride into the everglades lasted only about 20 minutes. I thought we would be on the boat for at least an hour. Also, the guys ask for tips, including a tip for the alligator if you want your photo with him. I was disappointed and would not recommend this excursion. It would be better to rent a car for the day and visit South Beach in Miami and go to the Art Deco District. All in all another great experience. It really is the best bang for your buck. My daughter and I were pleasantly surprised to meet at least five other mothers traveling with their daughters. What a great mother/daughter get away! A word of advice, don't discuss how much you paid for your cruise while you're on it . You will inevitably find someone who paid less than you did and it can mess with your head! Also tip well but don't feel obliged to give to people that try to demand it. Now get out there and enjoy your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Excellent ship! I've travelled with Carnival before and was only half looking forward to the trip. Perhaps my diminished expectations made the trip seem better than it was. But, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation. ... Read More
Excellent ship! I've travelled with Carnival before and was only half looking forward to the trip. Perhaps my diminished expectations made the trip seem better than it was. But, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation. Embarkation in NY was kind of a hassle. We had a category 11 cabin which allows for express check in. After a long wait to go through security, we were practically able to walk right on. Well worth the price just to avoid the check in lines in NY. The category 11 suite was very comfortable and was perfect for a family of four. The first night we were not thrilled with our table or our waiter. I mentioned this to the Maitre 'D on the way out. When we got back to the room later in the evening, we had a card announcing our new table. What impressed me was that I had not demanded to be moved and that the Maitre 'D followed up with us at the next meal to make sure we were happy. Further, the service staff for breakfast and lunch in the main dining room was more friendly and attentive than other ships. The biggest surprise was the food. They really got it right. The meat and poultry dishes were superb. The seafood was just good. The desserts blew me away. If you are a first time cruiser or if you never really thought about it, keep this in mind when ordering food. Some foods just don't lend themselves to banquet preparation. Any fish after the first night was probably frozen. But most important... never eat a bad meal. If you don't like what you got, order something else. Every ship and line experiences problems. What differentiates the Miracle Staff from other ships I've been on is that they truly seemed interested in resolving problems. The entertainment was typical. If this was your first cruise, you would probably think wow. As my seventh, I thought ho-hum. The ship itself was beautiful and well decored with a few exceptions. If you have young kids, they may be offended by numerous nude frescos and sculptures. My six year old called it the naked ship. The main dining room is a tribute to the Greek God of Wine. The hundreds of lights which are supposed to be grapes look more like pink m & m's. Overall, this was a wonderful experience and had me wondering if I was really on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
This was my first cruise, therefore this review is geared toward the information for the first time cruisers. Instead of judgments or comparisons, I try to write down all the details that I wanted to know before the cruise. The information ... Read More
This was my first cruise, therefore this review is geared toward the information for the first time cruisers. Instead of judgments or comparisons, I try to write down all the details that I wanted to know before the cruise. The information is based on a 4-day cruise started on 8/23/2004 from port of Miami, and may be specific to the ship. Port Miami: Port of Miami was still under construction. It was quite a mess between the entrance of the port area (after the bridge) to the ship dock (the buildings). The Ship dock buildings were NOT under construction though. The main cruise lines that sailed from Miami port were RCI and Carnival. The docks for these two lines were not very close to each other. Luggage handling: Luggage was taken at curb. Porters/luggage handlers would take properly labeled luggage at the curb and they were also happy to take some tip. Luggage tags were included in the cruise document booklet mailed to home, and the tags needed to be attached to all non-carry-on luggage. Our luggage was delivered to the outside of our room door in a couple of hours. There was no need to be present to receive them. The signs at the port said that carry-on luggage needed to meet the airline carry-on standard, although I've seen people carry luggage slightly larger then that. Upon arrival to the port, we waited a minute or two at the curb before a porter greeted us. We had a rental car, so we dropped off the luggage at the port first and returned the car and then took a shuttle back. We found that it would have been easier if we had just returned the car first and taken the luggage on to the shuttle bus provided by the rental car company (Alamo). Embarkation: Proceed to the port building and pass a simple security check, one could then follow the sign to the appropriate check-in desk. The check-in desks were assigned by deck levels, e.g. deck 6-8 shared a desk. The check-in area was pretty big, like the front desk of a large hotel. At the check-in desk, a payment method was asked (credit card is most convenient, I believe), and then a seapass was given to each individual. The seapass was in credit card shape and was used as such on board the ship. It was also used as the room key and ship reentry pass. After receiving the seapass, there were a couple of picture taking points to go through. Most pictures taken would be put on "photo gallery" for sale, but one had no obligation to buy. Minors were then asked to put on a wrist band at the ship entrance. There was a large number marked on the band which was the number of designated muster station (which everyone needs to know right away because mandatory muster happens before ship leaves). The wrist band desk was the only place we encountered a short line during the embarkation, probably because we arrived at the port at about 1:30pm, relatively late. State room: We had a regular ocean view room. The size listed was 122 SF: pretty small as one could imagine. One can even call it tiny if compared to an up-scale hotel room in North America. However, it is very functional. We had four beds in the room (two pull-down berths), two for our children. Most standard staterooms on this ship had only two beds, which can be converted to one queen bed. The room had a small desk/dresser, a small corner storage area at the joint of the two lower beds, a tiny glass table (stool like), one chair and a small (13"?) TV mounted high in one corner of the room. There was also a closet and a bathroom. During the day time, berths were pulled up (by the cabin steward), and the two lower beds were used as couches. At night time, the back rest of the "couches" were raised to unveil more space, so the couches become beds. Berths were of the same size as the lower beds, which I believe were the size of twin beds. At 5'8, I can just sit up on upper berths with my hair touching the ceiling. When berths were down, walking in the room needed caution. For rooms that don't have berths, that won't be a problem. There were plenty of lights, and each bed had its own reading light. The room and linens were clean. It was very well maintained, just like any good hotel. It was probably not really spotless and surely didn't look brand new, in case you have extremely high expectations. The closet had four or five small shelves and plenty of hangers (more than any hotel rooms I've stayed). There were four drawers in the desk/dresser. Other reviews indicated some inside cabins may have slightly different room configuration and furnishing. The room was perfect for four of us to unpack all we needed to use during the cruise, not much space left after that. Luggage cases had to go under the beds. Two large suitcases (27") were probably the most the under-bed space could fit. I had an expandable suitcase, and when expanded, it was too tall to fit under the bed. It fit just right when not expanded. We had a safe in the closet. According to other reviews, safes are only available from deck 7 and above on this ship. After four days of stay, we actually liked the cozy room. I booked a large hotel room for post cruise, thinking we might need some room to stretch after staying in such a small room. It apparently was not warranted: none of us was excited when we entered the large room. That small cabin was just fine for us for four days, even with four beds. On the other hand, if the cruise were for ten days, I won't be that sure. According to the ship layout, Majority of the cabins on this ship were about the same size. Deck 9 had slightly larger "superior" rooms. Deck 10 had suites with varying sizes. Also, windows of ocean view cabins are smaller on lower decks (those had round portholes), and larger on higher decks. Regardless big or small, I don't believe the windows (or portholes) can be opened. Bathroom: Again, a small bath room and shower area for a standard room. Also again, it had very efficient layout. It is comfortable for one person to use. The shower area is rectangular with a corner cut off. I'm relatively small, and I felt comfortable stepping in with some space to turn around. The shower curtain did cause some problem. It was very light nylon type. Once the shower was on, the curtain tends to be sucked toward inside. It was hard not to touch it. I brought a clap to hang at the bottom of the curtain following another reviewer's advice. It helped a bit. However, I figured it probably would take three claps to hold the whole curtain down. After a short while, when the curtain got wet, it was less a problem. Overall, it was more of an annoyance than a real problem, actually. The shower water did get out of the shower easily and made the small bath room floor wet. The small floor was easy to dry, however. Note that when the bathroom door is closed, water won't run out to the main room (which is carpeted). A hand soap and shampoo (in a wall mounted dispenser) were provided. Deck: We stayed at deck 7. It was called Promenade deck, and for a reason: this deck was surrounded by a very wide walking or jogging track. It was not obvious when one look at the ship layout map. In fact, most of the muster stations were on this deck in the walking areas. There were no shops on this deck, however, if you wonder. The walking area brings some ramifications: the windows on outside staterooms actually looked out to the walking track (or call it deck), and then over the rail to the ocean/port. Views were not much blocked, and there were few people actually walking or standing, but curtains needed to be drawn most of the time, nevertheless. Starts from this deck, there were not many inside cabins because living space is smaller. One benefit to being on this deck was that it was easy to walk out to get some sea breeze. I'd guess people on other decks tend to forget about this walking area because they don't see it. Deck 8 was right above deck 7 and had similar layout. Most of the windows on deck 8 looked out to the life boats, and they were categorized as obstructed view rooms. Deck 9 had slightly larger rooms, and deck 10 were mostly suites. Deck 6 on this ship existed only in the cabin area (forward of the ship). The public area (aft of the ship) went from deck 5 straight to deck 7. Deck 4 was the main entrance, which was used in port Miami. On other ports, deck 1 was used ("gangway"), but I believe other decks can have "gangway" too. Coming back on board from shore, one needs to pass a security check. Noise: Really not much noise we noticed in the room. There was some noise at arrival of Coco Cay, probably because of anchoring. Didn't hear engine noise, nor people noise, whether from other rooms or hallway. Obviously, this aspect can be location dependent. Public area: Very well maintained and clean. The Centrum stair rails and decoration has a lot of brass. They are shiny most of the time, but understandably have some fingerprints if you look closely. There were a lot of lounges and bars. Many of them were nearly empty most of the time. There was a library which is more like a small lounge with a few cases of books. This itinerary almost always stops at a port during day time, and during evening hours, most people are at dinner or the show. Other than a few occasions, we didn't feel the crowd at all. The most crowded time turned out to be the midnight buffet, a.k.a. sail away party from Nassau. Getting on and off ship in ports can be a bit crowded depending on times. Pool: There are two pools, but only one was open most of time (both are functional, but one is cordoned off most of time). The pool looked pretty big, but there is a large wading area surrounding the pool. About one third of each pool is very shallow (for kids), and the actual swimming area for adults is rather small (more like a house pool). Not too many adults were swimming, however, so mostly the pool is not crowded. There are very reasonable amount of lounges on the pool deck. I haven't seen any fighting over them. Elevators: There are 6 elevators in the main elevator bank, which is close to "residential area" and get most of the use. Among them, one was apparently not running during our cruise. The elevators were indeed not up to the task during busy hours, such as arrival at a port, or mid-night buffet time. There could be a wait event during non-event hours, because the main elevators run from deck 1 to deck 11, and a lot of times they stop at almost every floor. It is generally no more than waiting for normal hotel elevator, however. At busy times, we opted to walk the stairs. In addition to the main bank, there are two glass elevators at Centrum, which goes the height of the Centrum (from level 3 to 7, I believe). There are also another two or three elevators at the back of the ship, which serves Viking Crown Lounge (level 14), kids connection and main show lounge. The back elevators run from deck 5 to 14, if I remembered correctly. On board selling: Main items sold on board are drinks, excursions, photos, art auctions and those from on-board souvenir/jewelry/liquor stores. We did not feel selling pressure at all. As a matter of fact, we had to ask for anything we wanted to buy. There were a couple of people walking around buffet area selling drinks (cocktails), but they were not on our face. Same was true on Coco Cay, where they sell "coco loco -- the island drink". At dinner table, beer, cocktail and alikes are obtained via bartenders working in the dining room. Those drinks are paid using seapass after each dinner. No drink pedaling there. Photos may be taken involuntarily, and most people go along. They didn't even try to sell the photos though. All photos were developed a day or two later and displayed in Centrum area, and whoever wants them goes to pick up and pay. Going price was about $8 for a 5X7 and $20 for a 8x10. Excursions were sold via a special desk (same area as purser's desk). There is also a form for ordering in the room when one first boards. The form had to be turned in by 3pm the first day, and when ordered this way, the tickets will be delivered to the room. No way tried to sell us any excursions either. Breakfast: Breakfasts were served as a buffet in Windjammer cafe (deck 11) and dining rooms. They are almost the same everyday, but most standard breakfast affairs were included, such as pancakes, bacon, two kinds of scrabbled eggs, fruits, yogurt, cereals and smoked salmon. Grapefruit juice, orange juice and milk were also provided without charge. The juices were of decent quality, not watered down or soda/punch kind. Although I don't believe they were premium quality either. It's a buffet after all. In addition to these, there were omelet stations. To my taste, the buffet breakfast was very satisfying, although one omelet I had was mediocre. We tried once at dinning room for breakfast, where one orders from menu. It was also very good and the bacons were particularly crispy. Nothing exotic there, but one can find most items that typical American breakfasts buffet would offer. Lunch: We ate at Windjammer buffet, and the main dishes seemed to change daily. There were generally a few main dishes including meat dishes, seafood dishes and vegetable dishes. Choices were not great, but food tasted good, and I would say above average for a buffet. There were also hamburgers and hot dogs available. There was always salad and a nice dessert bar as well. The lunch on Coco Cay was actually similar to what's on the ship complete with salad and dessert, except the main dishes were simplified to barbecue fairs like ribs. Water, iced tea and lemonade were provided as fountain drinks. BTW, these drinks were available most of the day. There were times that drinks or cups ran out, however. Dinner: Dinners are quite formal. I mean it consists of bread, appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. Menu changed daily and usually has about 4 or 5 entree choices including meat, sea food, vegetable and pasta. There were also low-carb choices which we haven't tried. Our waiter asked us to order appetizer and entree together and order by person (my family normally share appetizers in restaurants). Appetizers were pretty usual stuff, and are of small size (e.g., cocktail shrimp had 4 medium size shrimps). They were well presented and tasted good, but I've seen fancier and better appetizers from better restaurants. I'd suspect most people could easily eat two appetizers, and I had two sometimes. The waiter asked us if we wanted to try additional appetizers in a couple of dinners. There were usually some soups listed as appetizers too. It seemed to me that salad was always Caesar, and I usually skip. Entrees were well presented although not fancy, and I'd say they tasted equal to some of the better restaurants. Again, menu choices were not fancy (in my opinion, not-very-sophisticated steak, fish, duck, lamb, pasta, etc.), but basics were well taken care of and in very good quality. The portion of entrees were average to a bit small, and about the size I'd expect walking into a typical (if there is such a thing) Italian or French restaurant. It was just right for me considering eating appetizers and dessert. I can see some people can take two entrees if not worried about gaining weight. Service in the dinning room was much better than my local restaurants. I didn't see extraordinary service some other reviews may have indicated, but between waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter, one has to be served pretty well. They usually talk to kids, take away empty plates quickly and prepare for what you need next. Overall, it was quite amazing that each restaurant served about 500 people at the same time. With that in mind, we sometimes arrived about 15 minutes late to avoid the crowd. Kids choices are the same every night, but there are more choices than average restaurants. Kids food looked decent and juices were provided to them. On that note, adults only got water on my table. Most of us ordered drinks from the bartender which we paid at the end of the dinner with the seapass. Another review mentioned that iced tea and lemonade can be ordered for free, but I didn't try that, so cannot report. Kids program: Kids programs are held in Kids Konnection rooms on deck 11. It is across the pool from Windjammer cafe and under Viking Crown lounge (The highest circular lounge). Room attendant will leave kids program schedule(s) together with the Compass (adult's program) the night before in the room. There is one copy of kids program for each age group. Kids program runs from early morning to about 10:00pm and kids can be dropped off at Kids Konnection most of the time when the program is open. There were two dinners that kids can also be at the Kids program having dinner with other kids, and parents need to sign up for them. For the days kids don't have a dinner program, check out time was about 5pm, although evening programs reopen after the dinner. On the CoCo Cay day, activities are held on the island and are short programs. Usually, Kids program ended at 10pm each evening, and child care was provided till 1am ($5 an hour). Regular kids programs were free. Children received a card for each attendance, and the cards could be used to redeem awards on the last night. Disembarkation: This process can take a while. Luggage had to be out of the room (leave them in hallway) the night before (before 2am?). Luggage tags were colored and distributed to the room the day before. So pack early. Many people ate in the dining room the morning of departure and breakfast closed relatively early. Certain public lounges were designated as the waiting rooms, because people don't get off at once. The broadcast will call for the color of the luggage tags. Once called, it means that the luggage is ready to be picked up at the terminal. One could then get into the line and walk off the ship. Once luggage was fetched, the line continued for customs, and that was a long line. Well, similar to the customs in the airports for international flights during busy hours. Entertainment: This is too subjective and I didn't attend all of them. I'll skip this part. There were nightly shows provided, most nights one show for each dinner seating. Other smaller programs were available. Few activities when the ship was docked. The fitness center was reasonably equipped and has ocean view. I didn't go to the spa. Tip: There was a recommended tip amount, and that's close to $10 per day per person. A letter of the tip recommendation was sent to the room the first day on the ship. One can purchase "prepaid tip vouchers" by filling out the form on the letter and sending to the purser's desk. By doing so, charges will go to the seapass account and coupons will arrive the room before the last dinner, which was the time the tip supposed to be handed out. Coupons have the titles of the recipients printed (e.g. waiter, head waiter). We gave all the tip envelops (provided by the ship) in person. Of course, one is free to give cash as well, if enough cash is prepared. Vouchers don't have amount on them, and the order form allowed the standard amount only. One needs to talk to the purser's desk if non-standard tip voucher is needed, which I haven't tried. In general, that one time tip covers all the tips on board, except room service and other small things. Beverage tips were generally included in the charge already. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Hey Everyone... Here is my review for the Grandeur of the Seas. Sunday we drove to the pier in Baltimore. This is very easy. Once you drive up to the guard they ask to see your tickets, after verification you are allowed to proceed ... Read More
Hey Everyone... Here is my review for the Grandeur of the Seas. Sunday we drove to the pier in Baltimore. This is very easy. Once you drive up to the guard they ask to see your tickets, after verification you are allowed to proceed forward. There are plenty of people/workers directing you to the ship. They will stop and ask you "Are you leaving the Ship or are you boarding the Ship"? Once you have been directed to the ship, your car is unloaded by a "Long Shore Man" You are then asked to park your car. A shuttle was there to pick up hubby and bring him back to me at the ship. (I waited with the carry on's). Boarding was VERY VERY easy. We walked right through, showed our passports, tickets, and then received our Sea Pass... After we were then directed to get a picture, asked to see our Sea Pass & ID one more time and then was allowed on the ship. We got on the ship at 12:30. Our room was ready! Hubby and I went to the Windjammer and had lunch (which was very good)... First day at Sea was nice. There were lots of Activates for you to do. We pretty much wanted to take everything in so we walked around the ship a few times... The ship is very beautiful. It did not seem crowded considering there were SO MANY PEOPLE on this ship. Beautiful Pictures, Glass Windows every where and the waiters are very very nice. I would have to say the ship does need to be "Dried Docked" for a upgrade, which I'm pretty sure the captain said that this was going to happen soon. It was a little worn, BUT on the same note, the crew members did a great job keeping it clean. The dinners were really good... We had everything from seafood to duck. Our waiter was so funny. I gave him a nick name (Giggles)... All he did was Laugh! We had a port hole cabin on the 2nd floor. At first I was like "Oh MY, how am I going to fit all of my clothes in this tiny room" BUT, RCI did a great job making space. "You'll See what I mean" The life jackets are on the bed and a muster drill is done ASAP. (I forget the time)... What bothered me about the muster drill is that No One was taking it seriously. The kids were blowing the whistles on the jacket and the parents were not saying any thing to them. I finally had to tell the parent that this should be taken very seriously, and with all 5 of her kids blowing the whistles I can not hear the instructor! Well, she told them to stop.. (BOY OH BOY) Okay back to the room... We had a king size bed. It was very clean. The bathroom was very very small and the shower needed some TLC. Our Room Attended was very good. He came in every day with fresh towels and then at night to turn down our bed and also brought more fresh towels. The room attended also kept the room very clean. Monday second day at sea... I was not feeling to well so I did miss the MEET AND MINGLE. SORRY GUYS! By night I was a little better so hubby and I just went and ate... The shows are GREAT! We seen a magic show, piano show, USA world metal Gymnasts show, Captains Q&A, etc.. I can go on and on.. Don't miss the shows, you will miss out! Tuesday we arrived at Freeport. Tuesday morning around 1AM we hit a lighting storm. The captain went around it so it only lasted 20 minutes. Some people on the ship didn't even know we had one... OH BUT I DID! Hubby and I did an excursion... We had fun... Our bus driver was very nice and cracked jokes the whole time. The bus was air conditioned and the tour was nice. We went to a straw market; there Hubby and I went into the perfume factory. He got after shave called "SAND" and I got Perfume called "Island Promises"... All of the products are made at the perfume factory and they are under US$20.00. They take you on a little factory tour, and then they give you samples. It was cool... We walked around the straw market some more then we headed to the next stop, the MARKET PLACE in Freeport... There were a lot of little stores and places to eat. It was not that bad. I kept an open mind and walked around. The people at the Bahamas were very nice. Of course they ALL wanted to braid my hair! I wanted to hold up a sign that said NO BRAIDS! We then went to the beach. The water was so pretty BUT, the beach was very dirty... The people did not keep it... The sand was dirty all along the shore (soda cans, cig butts, wrappers, seaweed) I'm surprised they didn't have someone raking the edge of the waters... Oh well... So that was Freeport... We made the best of it... Very Poor Island, with a lot of nice people! Wednesday! Be ready to go through Customs.... US Customs comes on the ship and they have to clear the whole ship before any one is allowed off... WO HO... Key West was the BEST... We had such a good time.. Hubby and I decided to do our own pub crawl.. We were going to hit as many bars as we could and then CRAWL back to the ship.. This is just what we did... We went to several bars, but the best was "Irish Kevin's"... They have a guy who plays the guitar and sings... Every time someone new walks in the bar, the singer stops him music and says "Where are you from" the people would respond and then the whole bar would scream "NO S***!" I guess you had to be there! It was so funny! 2 guys came running in the bar with their underwear on... That was not a pretty sight! All and All Key West was the Best! Thursday - Coco cay... B E A U T I F U L and F U N !!! If you love the water and beach you will have a great time here... The ship is tendered, which means it sits out at sea. A boat comes over every half hour and picks people up and drops them off, visa versa. One bad thing did happen though... One of the passengers was running (Oh by the way it was HOT) and he had a heart attack. He was only 45 years old. They had to air lift him from the Island to a hospital. Now, A women who fell and was getting medical attention from the doctor told this story. The doctor had to leave her to attend to him. But I did see them taking this poor man off the ship with an IV... I'm not sure if he is ok! I hope so! Friday - Port Canaveral... Another US Customs Clearing... Hubby and I took a 45 minute ride to MGM studios... We had a great time.. The only down side is that it was SOOOO HOT! I got heat sick.. It kind of ruined my day... At least I got to go on a few rides! Getting back on the ship at Port canaveral was NO Joke. Customs was very strict. I can understand this and did not question any thing. Just be prepared to take your belts and shoes off. I kind of made me nervous but I knew they were only protecting us. Saturday - Okay.. Have you guys heard of the Tropical Storm "GASTON" Yeah well, we were in it. The captain said that they knew about GASTON on Friday night but it was not suppose to turn into a Tropical Storm so quickly... I woke up around 7 am and we were getting hit HARD. I looked at my port hole and there were WAVES higher then you could imagine. I was so scared. Soon after that the captain come over the intercom and said "We are in a Tropical Storm, The storm is moving south of us and we are heading north. The storm is hitting Charleston SC area. We should be out of this is a few hours" I was crapping my self... I guess the seas at that time were around 16 to 18 foot... as we got out of the storm they went down to 8 to 13 foot... OK FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO GET SEA SICK.. I AM A VICTIM OF IT. I DID NOT TAKE ANY MEDICATION, I WORE THE "SEABAND" IT WORKED GREAT! Unfortunately I had to go through a Tropical Storm to give you this update. Other then that storm the Waters were so calm! Saturday around 2:30/3:00 the Sun came out... HAPPY TIMES!!! We sat by the pool bar and listen to the reggae band "Roots" good band! Saturday you have to pack and put your luggage out side of your cabin. They give you luggage tags (Colors) ... We were Lavender Sunday, you have to be out of your room by 8:00am, so they say... I didn't leave my room until 9:30am... Hey, I wasn't ready and I didn't feel like rushing... After we left the room we went up to the internet cafe. We sat there until around 11:15... This is when the ship was finally cleared. They announce your colors then you can leave. It was very easy leaving. We looked for our color, got our luggage, they directed us to a bus and then the bus drove us to our car. That simple. Overall this was a great trip. I would cruise with RCL again .... I hope I didn't bore you and I hope you all have a Safe and Fun Trip! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004

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