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16,963 Bahamas Cruise Reviews

It's been a year since we took this cruise, but the reviews on this site are so helpful to others that I figured I'd add mine. Forgive my lack of *too* many details, though. Time makes you forget some of the little things. Haha. ... Read More
It's been a year since we took this cruise, but the reviews on this site are so helpful to others that I figured I'd add mine. Forgive my lack of *too* many details, though. Time makes you forget some of the little things. Haha. This was our first cruise - the 4 night Bahamas cruise. My mother got it for us as a Christmas present. I was really nervous because it was my first REAL travel experience, and I was a little overwhelmed prior to leaving. Embarkation was an absolute BREEZE!! We got to the port early, where our luggage was taken right to our cabin for us. I had followed the instructions in our documentation to the letter, so we were able to check right in and board immediately. I was happy and relieved to see how easy it was! Our cabin was a bit on the small side. We were on deck 2, and we had an oceanview cabin with a small porthole. Really though, it was just a room for sleeping, keeping our stuff and getting ready to go *wherever* - so the size didn't bother me. I'm glad we got the small window though, because I think an inside cabin would have been difficult to wake up in - not knowing when the sun was up, etc. Every time we left our cabin, we returned to find it immaculate, with a different towel animal every day! Food wise, I was very pleased. We ate at the buffet, in the main dining room, and at the Windjammer. We wanted to try it all - and everything was wonderful. I've been vegetarian since 1994, and I was very pleased to find that I had options everywhere, every time! Our waiter in the main dining room was an absolute joy. The food was just as delicious as it was beautiful, and the service was very impressive. Each port of call was a blast, and the times we were there couldn't be beat. (I've noticed some cruises that are in port at very odd times.) In Cocoa Cay my boyfriend did the waverunner thing, but I had overindulged with the drinking the night before, so I spent that time being lazy in a hammock and sipping some iced tea while listening to the band. I felt fine by the time he was finished with that, so we went snorkeling for the rest of our time there. In Key West, I did the Butterfly Conservatory excursion, then just walked around and mingled while he did the fishing thing. We met up at Sloppy Joe's where we lost track of time and almost missed our boat! Hahaha. In Nassau we did the straw market (which wasn't all I had expected it to be... quite frankly, it looked like everyone that was there was selling items from the Oriental Trading catalog). Then we took a cab to Paradise Island where we got a boat ride to Blue Lagoon island and swam with the dolphins. If you want to SWIM with them DO NOT book the ENCOUNTER excursion through RCCL!!! We went directly through the company on our own, and were able to actually swim with the dolphins etc. It was AMAZING!! In the spa, we each got massages once and did the "Chakra Balancing Capsule" about 3 times each. That thing is awesome! I think it's 20 or 40 minutes in the capsule is equal to 4 hours of sleep? Anyway, we would stay up in the casino til it closed, sleep for a few hours, get up and go in the capsule and then go about our day! You're a little groggy at first - like just waking up, but I swear it helped us squeeze more "awake" time into our vacation! In summary, we both enjoyed everything about this cruise. Every employee was friendly and helpful. Every port of call was both fun and relaxing. The only regret we both have, is that we spent so much time "exploring" the ports and doing excursions. So we felt we missed out on some of the things the ship itself had to offer. We're going on a different cruise next month, and we made sure that this time we had some "days at sea" to be sure we had time take full advantage of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
04-11 THRU 04-15-05 Just wanted to share our experience on this cruise. We had purchased transportation from the airport in Miami to the ship, then back again. We were greeted promptly upon arrival and after another plane landed with ... Read More
04-11 THRU 04-15-05 Just wanted to share our experience on this cruise. We had purchased transportation from the airport in Miami to the ship, then back again. We were greeted promptly upon arrival and after another plane landed with more passengers, we were loaded up and driven to the ship. It was all very painless. We arrived at the ship around 2:30. Checking in at the ship's terminal took about 10 minutes. We went to our cabin first and our room steward, Alvaro, promptly came and introduced himself and explained where things were and answered our questions. He made us feel that we were in good hands. We were able to eat at the Windjammer Cafe and relax before we departed. We had the late seating for dinner at the Maytime. Our waiter, Djordje, pronounced "Georgie" was excellent and elaborated on the dinner choices. Our head waiter came around early and often throughout the cruise to make sure everything was satisfactory. Our assistant waiter always made sure we had all the bread and drinks we wanted. The food was very adequate, but the outstanding part of dinner was the service and the presentation. Our room was on the 6th deck. It was small, but we weren't expecting a large room. It made very good use of the space; none to spare really, but room for everything. Our empty luggage fit beneath the bed. The bathroom shower was very, very small. However, the walls were always very handy to brace myself when the ship started rocking. I noticed many people wearing patches for motion sickness, but I rather enjoyed being rocked to sleep again! We didn't experience any discomfort. Our room was straightened and fresh towels brought several times throughout the day and evening, and they made those cute little animals out of the towels. We were, in fact, in good hands. Our trip to Nassau was a good experience. My favorite things were the old, old buildings and the very friendly folks. We had signed up for the Yellowbird Tour and enjoyed it very much. Pearl Island was very pleasant. And the ride back (and the endless supply of rum punch) was very fun, too. Our next stop was at Coco Cay. We were pleasantly surprised. There was everything that we needed right there. Nobody had to scramble for the beach chairs and there was a good number of hammocks here and there, too. The folks were friendly. There were a lot of chickens on the island, and many baby chicks. Because it's still early in the year, the water was colder than we like. Next time, we'll go when it's a little warmer. Our last stop was Key West. The ship had to be cleared by Immigration before we could get off, but honestly, when our deck was called the line kept moving and we barely stopped. I had brought our Customs card down to fill out while we waited, and there was no waiting. The only delay was a few guests who must have "forgotten" that they really needed to go through this procedure, and needed a very public invitation. We enjoyed this stop, too. We stopped off at Capt'n Tony's bar and asked about getting a really good cheeseburger. The bartender suggested the "Depot" in a mostly residential area. It's a sidewalk cafe with a "Kleen Wash" laundry attached to it. They have a model train that runs above the seating area. We were seated in the "West Wing"; actually the middle of the three picnic tables provided in the front. It had a great umbrella. This is not a fast food establishment but it was time well-spent. When the owner got a whim, he would blow a real train whistle. This is at the corner of Margaret and Fleming, and across the street is "Maggie's book store", also known as the "Flaming Ladies". We were told that years ago, it was a cheap diner, and Ernest Hemingway used to eat lunch there most days. The next morning we were back in Miami. I dreaded the process of getting off the ship and back to the airport, but we were called for the Customs process at about 7:30AM and were getting our boarding passes at the airport by 8:30AM. It was just extremely easy. The only inconvenience we encountered was the lack of ashtrays available for use on the smoking side of the ship. I never saw more than four plastic ashtrays and there were several tall ashcans here and there along the decks but a real lack of them for sitting at the tables. We felt that this was a very wonderful way to spend four days, and worth the expense. I'm very glad we went. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
This was only our second cruise. The first was on Royal Caribbean-Voyager of the Seas. The embarkation was slow and it required establishing your credit card information after. (Instead of getting it done at the same time.) The cabin was ... Read More
This was only our second cruise. The first was on Royal Caribbean-Voyager of the Seas. The embarkation was slow and it required establishing your credit card information after. (Instead of getting it done at the same time.) The cabin was too hot for our comfort. Nothing was done after reporting this to the cabin attendant. The ship's configuration was such that you must pass thru their deck which contained most of their shops and the casino. Great for marketing: inconvenient for travelers. The food was mediocre at best. The service desk informed me that getting an early dining slot was about impossible-even though I informed them of my medical issues. The staff, however, was well trained and helpful. The entertainment was also not great. The shore excursions were chaotic, at best, as was the disembarkation. The ship was very well maintained. We heard many frequent travelers who reported that they would never sail on this cruise line again. We had to agree. We were disappointed or just spoiled by our sailing on the Voyager of the Seas who reported that they would never sail on this cruise line again. We had to agree. We were disappointed or just spoiled by our sailing on the Voyager of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
This was a complete surprise of a trip - both in intent and in the trip itself. We booked 2 Superior Oceanview cabins as a surprise for my fathers 70th birthday, which was the day before sailing. Wanting to make the most of our cruise ... Read More
This was a complete surprise of a trip - both in intent and in the trip itself. We booked 2 Superior Oceanview cabins as a surprise for my fathers 70th birthday, which was the day before sailing. Wanting to make the most of our cruise experience (since we generally do 10 day sailings)we arrived at the post of Miami at 11:30 am. Unloading the luggage was easy and parking at the post even easier. By noon we were checked in and on board - with no lines to wait in anywhere. Since the cabins would not be ready until 1, we went directly to the Windjammer for some lunch. It was packed outdoors, and then we found a nice quiet area to the very front of the buffet - enclosed, air-conditioned, and directly above the bridge. We had a great lunch with an even better view - and away from the crowds. We went down to our stateroom about 1:15 and it was ready for us. We booked the SO category because we had done one 3 day trip a couple years back and had the "oceanview" category, which we found cramped (we generally do Balcony staterooms or junior suites on longer cruises). This was perfect for a 3-day getaway with a small couch, lots of storage space, a nice sized window, and the standard RCCL sized bathroom. Luggage arrived by 2:00, so we were all settled in and changed into bathing suits by 2:30 - allowing us a couple of hours by the pool before boat drill. Sail away was perfect -a beautiful spring day - always best enjoyed form the Viking Crown. Followed by dinner that night. The dining rooms serve standard, but slightly down-scaled RCCL fare - but the service is most definitely up to par with other RCCL ships (in fact we even saw a waiter we had on the Brilliance now working on this ship. The dining rooms themselves, however, are not of the grandeur of the newer ships. The next day we had to cancel the stop at the private island, due to the roughness of the seas. But, the weather was still great, so we enjoyed an excellent "sea day" - with all the traditional outdoor games, plus a full day of casino and shopping time. The Cruise Director did a great job of providing an updated Cruise Compass that was full of activities to keep everyone busy. The final day in Nassau was, again, a beautiful day. We managed to dock the evening prior, so it made for a nice leisurely stroll of the ship on Sunday morning - when we were ready to go. Disembarkation was probably the most efficient we have ever experienced. We never had to leave our room and go wait anywhere. While my parents were local, we had a flight departing Fort Lauderdale at noon. We ended up being in the first group to disembark. We were off, through customs, and had luggage in hand all in a span of about 30 minutes. The a quick walk to the car and we were on our way to the airport. We were so early that we managed to catch a flight leaving Fort Lauderdale at 10:00. All in all, this is a great 3-day experience - provided you set the appropriate expectations. This is not a 10 day cruise on a new mega ship, this is a 3-day trip aboard an older ship - set up for people who are just looking for a weekend getaway/escape where they have nothing to worry about. Highly recommended and we will most definitely do this again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Where do I start, first a few days before leaving we found out that we would not be stopping at Nassau in the Bahamas. The cruise line however offered a full refund if you wished not to take the cruise, can't beat that. Anyway we ... Read More
Where do I start, first a few days before leaving we found out that we would not be stopping at Nassau in the Bahamas. The cruise line however offered a full refund if you wished not to take the cruise, can't beat that. Anyway we thought we would be staying at Miami for two days turned out to be just one long day, about 8am to midnight. After all was said and done the trip down and the stops at the ports went fairly well. Coming home would not offer the same peace. The seas turned a little unsettling. Then they got rough, and then it was just crazy. The ship at times slanted heavily from side to side. Plates, glasses, stands, chairs, everything seemed to be falling breaking and crashing. We were trying to stay up and keep our mind off of the bad weather. We spent most of the time in the casino. Finally around 3am it was time to go to the cabin and sleep. After a few minutes of being tossed around in my bed I was able to fall asleep, it wasn't that the boat stopped shaking and shifting, its just I was that tired. Then it happened while I was deep in sleep. A 70 ft wave crashed into the front of the boat breaking windows on floor 9 and 10. My cabin was just doors away from the front where the damage was done. I awoke to a woman going down the hall banging on doors yelling "get out get out now" I opened my cabin door and in came the water. Since I had just waken I was confused and thought maybe that was it just maybe we were going down. The water kept coming, it was like the movie Titanic. After I got my head straight I called up my family who was staying in a different room. They were not taking on water and they were on a lower floor so I assumed it was local to just our area. I left the room with no life jacket to go and try to find out what was going on. When it was all done we found out that a wave had hit and busted out some windows in the front of the ship. Our room was moved and we headed inland to have the boat repaired at Charleston, South Carolina. We had to stay another day on the ship and arrived home Monday instead of Sunday. I don't blame anyone for what happened. It was Mother Nature and certainly not the captain's fault. In my opinion he did an excellent job. The crew for the most part was excellent. It seemed the attitude in the Venetian was a little to stern. But everywhere else everyone was friendly. In the end it was a great cruise and NCL went out of there way to do their part to make it better. 50 percent off this cruise that same amount off the next one and free drinks the last three days. Not to bad. On a totally different topic, no changing rooms to change babies. That is the only thing I can really see them needing to add. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
ROYAL CARIBBEAN - MAJESTY OF THE SEAS 04-11 THRU 04-15-05 Just wanted to share our experience on this cruise. We had purchased transportation from the airport in Miami to the ship, then back again. We were greeted promptly upon arrival ... Read More
ROYAL CARIBBEAN - MAJESTY OF THE SEAS 04-11 THRU 04-15-05 Just wanted to share our experience on this cruise. We had purchased transportation from the airport in Miami to the ship, then back again. We were greeted promptly upon arrival and after another plane landed with more passengers, we were loaded up and driven to the ship. It was all very painless. We arrived at the ship around 2:30. Checking in at the ship's terminal took about 10 minutes. We went to our cabin first and our room steward, Alvaro, promptly came and introduced himself and explained where things were and answered our questions. He made us feel that we were in good hands. We were able to eat at the Windjammer Cafe and relax before we departed. We had the late seating for dinner at the Maytime. Our waiter, Djordje, pronounced "Georgie" was excellent and elaborated on the dinner choices. Our head waiter came around early and often throughout the cruise to make sure everything was satisfactory. Our assistant waiter always made sure we had all the bread and drinks we wanted. The food was very adequate, but the outstanding part of dinner was the service and the presentation. Our room was on the 6th deck. It was small, but we weren't expecting a large room. It made very good use of the space; none to spare really, but room for everything. Our empty luggage fit beneath the bed. The bathroom shower was very, very small. However, the walls were always very handy to brace myself when the ship started rocking. I noticed many people wearing patches for motion sickness, but I rather enjoyed being rocked to sleep again! We didn't experience any discomfort. Our room was straightened and fresh towels brought several times throughout the day and evening, and they made those cute little animals out of the towels. We were, in fact, in good hands. Our trip to Nassau was a good experience. My favorite things were the old, old buildings and the very friendly folks. We had signed up for the Yellowbird Tour and enjoyed it very much. Pearl Island was very pleasant. And the ride back (and the endless supply of rum punch) was very fun, too. Our next stop was at Coco Cay. We were pleasantly surprised. There was everything that we needed right there. Nobody had to scramble for the beach chairs and there was a good number of hammocks here and there, too. The folks were friendly. There were a lot of chickens on the island, and many baby chicks. Because it's still early in the year, the water was colder than we like. Next time, we'll go when it's a little warmer. Our last stop was Key West. The ship had to be cleared by Immigration before we could get off, but honestly, when our deck was called the line kept moving and we barely stopped. I had brought our Customs card down to fill out while we waited, and there was no waiting. The only delay was a few guests who must have "forgotten" that they really needed to go through this procedure, and needed a very public invitation. We enjoyed this stop, too. We stopped off at Capt'n Tony's bar and asked about getting a really good cheeseburger. The bartender suggested the "Depot" in a mostly residential area. It's a sidewalk cafe with a "Kleen Wash" laundry attached to it. They have a model train that runs above the seating area. We were seated in the "West Wing"; actually the middle of the three picnic tables provided in the front. It had a great umbrella. This is not a fast food establishment but it was time well-spent. When the owner got a whim, he would blow a real train whistle. This is at the corner of Margaret and Fleming, and across the street is "Maggie's book store", also known as the "Flaming Ladies". We were told that years ago, it was a cheap diner, and Ernest Hemingway used to eat lunch there most days. The next morning we were back in Miami. I dreaded the process of getting off the ship and back to the airport, but we were called for the Customs process at about 7:30AM and were getting our boarding passes at the airport by 8:30AM. It was just extremely easy. The only inconvenience we encountered was the lack of ashtrays available for use on the smoking side of the ship. I never saw more than four plastic ashtrays and there were several tall ashcans here and there along the decks but a real lack of them for sitting at the tables. We felt that this was a very wonderful way to spend four days, and worth the expense. I'm very glad we went. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Ship: Majesty of the Seas Former cruise lines: Carnival -- Ecstacy 2 times TA booked cruise and air Air: departing Pittsburgh was a breeze. We had a 6:30AM flight arriving at 9:30AM, good and early. baggage claim was a breeze. we did ... Read More
Ship: Majesty of the Seas Former cruise lines: Carnival -- Ecstacy 2 times TA booked cruise and air Air: departing Pittsburgh was a breeze. We had a 6:30AM flight arriving at 9:30AM, good and early. baggage claim was a breeze. we did notice people holding up RCI signs to find out where to go after our luggage was claimed. our luggage was taken to the ship by truck. so we did not have the opportunity to tip porters. it was just left in a pile for them to load. Transportation to the ship was provided by RCI. the first bus to the port starts at 10:30AM. the bus that arrived was to transport us to the port was old, dirty inside and out and you could barely see out the windows. it was just plain old nasty. not a good first impression. however the air conditioning did work. the driver spoke very poor english. this is something to keep in mind when choosing excursions in Miami. departing Miami post cruise: a nightmare simply because by 8:00AM our color was called to leave the ship and our flight was not until 5:30PM and our Miami excursion Island Queen boat tour was cancelled. we did not choose to take the bus tour because of the fear of not being able to understand the tour guides english as we had already experienced. we decided to take a taxi to Biscayne bay? we planned on just walking around and stumbled upon a nice boat trip at the bayfront which did give us the same tour we probably had booked. first trip was at 12:15. the selling point was the sales girl told us the tour guide spoke very good english. which was true. he spoke in english then repeated it in spanish. it was only $15 per person. i do not remember the name of the tour, it was on a "pirate type boat" the sales kiosk was located near the hard rock cafe and discovery store in the bayfront shopping complex. it was very nice. we saw homes of the rich and famous and we even saw SHAQ walking outside his home talking on the telephone. ship: check-in: very simple. we were the first bus load of the day and waiting in line was not an issue total time from exiting the bus to entering the ship after check-in was approx 15 minutes. the ship was nice. i was expecting old outdated, but it was not bad at all. clean and well maintained. the rooms were not ready until 1:00PM. we tired checking 2 times, but they would not let us back the hall to see if our room was ready. the room was on deck 3 # 3024. it was small, but for 2 people, it was not a problem at all. the bathroom was small the shower was a small corner type stall. the curtain did not give me a problem. keep in mind i have a corner shower at my home, so it was not a big change. those that do have a full sized shower did complain about the size. it was efficient. we did use the shampoo provided. there was not conditioner. the hair dryer was located at the desk in a drawer, i was somewhat concerned when i could not locate it at a glance. no safe. plenty of storage. large closet with 5 shelves and much hanging room. had hangers, but they provided plenty for 3 days. desk had about 8 small drawers and vanity with about 8 shelves. did not even use 3 drawers total. we used the shelves in the closet for all clothing and drawers for other items. did not use an over the door shoe organizer. the bathroom was only used for toilet, shower, brushing teeth. we kept all other items in the desk. there were 2 outlets at the desk. no clock (which we knew). bed was comfy. i could feel when the anchors or something came down when we were docking. dh slept right thorough it. not bad, just a little vibration. climate control worked well in the room. room steward was very friendly. she did neglect to leave a daily compass for nassau which included the map for shopping, but i had attended the shopping talk so i had one, i picked up a compass at the pursers desk. i did not see her to ask for one. after Coco Cay i turned in our towels to be replaced, but she did not replace them, not complaining as we did not need them anyway. i did have the opportunity to ask for them. the stateroom attendant did remember our names and she was very friendly. luggage did not arrive until 5:00PM probably because we were the first bus, as luggage stacks up, it ended up in the back. we did pack a carry on. we ate lunch in the windjammer-outside. it was warm. the back of the windjammer is very quiet and cooler we ate in the back only 1 time after our nassau time. we enjoyed the outside. munster drill: everyone goes to deck 7. you line up in rows women and children, then men in back. it was not bad, we were in the shade. approx 20 minutes. you must sign in at your munster station so don't be late. they check your room. the mass exodus after the munster drill does test your patience as the entire ship is all leaving from the same floor. food: it was good. breads and cookies are very good. breakfast: windjammer 7-11 windjammer. dining room 7:30-9:30. room service 7-10. we ate in the windjammer omelets, bagels, toast, grits, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, oatmeal, cereals, danishes, donuts, muffins, orange jue, water, coffee, tea, Coco lunch: burgers, turkey, pork roll, salads, potato salad, sandwich meats and cheeses, iced tea, water, lemonade, coffee and hot tea, Coco dinner: first night it is at 5-6:30PM for light snacks at the windjammer. taco's are all that i remember they were good. pizza is available on deck12 starting at 5PM -2AM. Pizza was edible. late night snacks 10:30PM-2AM on deck 12. midnight delights mid -1AM in occasion, schooner bar and disco. we did not take part in these last 2. we did not go to dinner the first evening because we did not feel like dressing up, so we thought we would eat in the windjammer. unfortunately i did not look closely and thought that dinner in the windjammer started at 6:30 so we only caught the tail end of the light snacks. we ate in the mikado. service was excellent. they have a "fancy" menu along with an alternative and vegetarian menu to choose from. appetizers: pear soup, lobster bisque, fruit plate, veggie plate salads: night 2-caesar night 3-cobb main "fancy": duck, steak, chicken, salmon, alternative: pasta with marinara sauce, turkey dinner, chicken vegetarian: ? dessert: key lime pie, sugarless key lime pie, apple pie ala mode, strawberry shortcake there were more choices, but i do not remember them. the menu is run on the television but all of the choices are not listed. stop by the dining room to see the actual menu for the day. they did have a great variety of food. on the 2nd night the headwaiter actually told us to dress very casual he said and I quote "wear shorts, be comfortable". I did not wear shorts, but many did. on formal night some wore tuxedos, some polo shirts with dockers and others suits or sports jackets and dress pants. women mostly wore pantsuits or dresses or a dressy outfit. i found mixing and matching worked best. we only wore these clothes to dinner and we showered before dinner so we were able to mix and match clothes. entertainment: not much to do on board. the trivia shows were a joke. they used a compact disk and paused it after each segment. the girl in charge had no clue what she was doing. this was held in schooners lounge in a corner. not worth it at all. the love and marriage game was good. it is like the newlywed game they pick the most newly wed couple, the longest wed couple and an in between. unfortunately, the oldest couple went through the trouble of raising there hands, telling how long they have been married then would not go up on stage. we went through this 3 times! it was funny, but went rather slowly choosing this couple. any one can try to go up. they had the longest kiss contest, then the crowed had to pick by applause who would go up. we sat through 15 couples being applauded. it was a very long drawn out process. it was a good show though once it got started. We attended a juggler and magician show. nearly fell asleep during the magician, he was good, but neither spoke much, so it was quiet. other things they had we did not attend: bingo like 3 times, vegas type shows, asst auctions, bars had specially designated music, cinema showed: being Julia and finding neverland on separate days. there was also a late night comedian. Coco Cay: beautiful dh took wave runner excursion. he had a great time. we did book the snorkel. if i can't see my feet, i won't go in. i did try. but like the boards say the snorkeling area is very cloudy. dh did venture out. it was okay. lunch was good. don't leave your food for a second, the birds will attack it. once one comes..they bring an entire flock. lunch was ribs, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, salads, potato salad, luncheon meats and cheeses, fruits, baked beans, corn on cob, plus more things. it was good. your soda card is good there and they have water, tea and lemonade along with a bar. your seapass is used for sodas (without the stickers)and the bars. the strawmarket is cash. t shirts run from 3 for $15 and up. straw purses with dora, disney princesses, care bears, nemo, and other characters for girls are there. along with adult staw bags, beach totes. All of the straw items can have your name added to them while you wait. not something you do at the last minute. straw hats, other misc items for sale. it is a nice market. no lockers. bathrooms are flushable and clean. many hand sanitizing stations. beach volleyball. it is a nice island. many chairs and hammocks. you can drag a hammock anywhere. if you want clear waters, keep walking down passed the snorkel area towards the kyaks. we did not go any farther than this area so i am not certain of it. Take more cash than you expect to spend. you can always go back to the ship and return, but it would be easier to not. you can purchase the water wallets on the ship and at Coco Cay. we had no problem leaving our bag, we carried our water wallet and just left our camera in the bag...it was a disposable one. Nassau: yuck. I am not one for haggling or being pestered. we did attend the shopping talk on the ship to know the recommended stores. it was a little informative, but it is basically listed in the paper they will pass out and it is reviewed on the tv. going to the talk was a waste of time. nassau is dirty, the people are pushy. we went to the t shirt factory outlet...there are many stores named similar to each other, using your map is your best bet. got what i needed (3 shirts)and left. my sister went to the strawmarket and haggled. she enjoys that. we did atlantis on our own. it wa 29 bucks a person and there was no shortage of passes. the passes are for the dig which is neat. take a guided tour, it is very informative. the grounds are impressive and you do not need a pass for them. we probably could have used the pools and beaches if we did not have on our wrist bands for the tour. many people using those areas did not have any wrist bands on. we took a water taxi to get there 6 per person round trip. the boats were horrific. the guides were funny as both ways were were told different things about the same homes, prices, etc. the tour guides used words that sounded similar to what they should have said, but were completely not the appropriate word. I wish i could remember the exact phrase, but i cannot. you could figure out what they meant. they did say "remember your tour guide" we do not work for the captain. one also did say he might need to make another trip around with his hat because it wasn't enough. a little tacky. we went back to the ship and had lunch and then found a quiet spot on deck 7 to watch the waterways. boarding time was by 4:30pm we were to leave nassau at 5Pm. between 4:45 and 5:00 we counted 100 people strolling up to reboard the ship! we were shocked. 3 people never made the boarding. we left at 5:10PM. some of our group did breezes. they enjoyed it. people were late for the bus leaving the ship and they waited for them cutting into their time at breezes. people are amazing. leaving she ship on the last day was surprisingly fast. you must leave your rooms by 8AM our colors were called at 8:00AM, perfect if you have the right color and an early flight, which we did not. leaving the ship took a little time going through customs, probably 1/2 hour. marking your luggage is a good tip. we had red suitcases and there were a few others we had ours marked special, but someone took one of ours off and left it sitting in the middle of the area. after watching the luggage go completely around 2 times, i decided to look around in peoples piles...low and behold i found mine. then we took our bus to the airport, checked our luggage and checked our carryon into a holding area of the airport and went to the bayfront. we had beautiful weather. can't think of anything i wish i would have taken. brought home an entire suit case of clean clothes. MY TIPS: take less clothes than you expect you need take pants and a jacket for evenings on deck are cool with the breeze. take vinegar for sunburn...really takes the sting out make your luggage with something odd to help you see it and help others realize it is not theirs. i did feel some movement of the ship. it was not much but at times you could feel it moving for a matter of 10 to 15 seconds. it was not bad. i did not even see anyone with the 'sea bands' on. I only saw 3 people with patches behind their ears. i did my best to touch on each subject, and 2 hours later, i am sure i missed some. overall it was a good cruise. we will most likely go back to the carnival cruise lines for our future cruises. they had more as far as variety of entertainment. we may give the voyager class ships a try as we have two kids who like to ice skate and want to try that out. they did not go with us this time. we will most likely book ourselves through the internet rather than use a TA primarily because she had "no say" in what our flight arrangements were, which is hard to believe. but that is a whole other review. the majesty is a fine ship. being older it still is clean and solid. the only complaint i had was lack of variety of entertainment. we are not into the nightclub or bar scene or vegas type shows or bingo. maybe it is just us...that is possible. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
QUICK OVERVIEW: I found the Norwegian Dawn excellent! I am 14 and loved it, we did travel w/ people but the food and public rooms were mostly excellent! I was however disappointed with the Teens Crew Program! TEEN'S ... Read More
QUICK OVERVIEW: I found the Norwegian Dawn excellent! I am 14 and loved it, we did travel w/ people but the food and public rooms were mostly excellent! I was however disappointed with the Teens Crew Program! TEEN'S PROGRAM...DISASTER! = I Have been looking forward to this trip for a year and my cousins traveling with us were around my age and also looking forward to excellent teen parties and activities every night. When we got their we were completely disappointed. There was what seemed to us like older music, nothing new. Most of the girls seemed snobby and most of the guys were quiet. Now this is not NCL's fault, but I feel as counselor's in the teen club, the counselors should have organized activities so I could get to know how these teens really were. Were there organized activities? YES Were they accurate and presented great? NO!!!! LIke, a cool hip-hop party I Looked forward to going to at Dazzles 2, was moved back to the teen club w/o anyone knowing. THe activities that were followed properly were things like cards...not modern things that teens like. We like to dance and listen to new cool music. I found Spinnaker, playing "mom" music was more fun then our club! I wish our club had the same atmosphere as Spinnakers! A lot of activities they wanted us to do were immature for 16 and older or boring. SPINNAKERS = Spinnaker's was my favorite place! The atmosphere was fun and festive and had just what I was looking for. They had theme nights almost every night, like 50's and 60's sockhop, or 70's groovy disco night and they'd play on the TV all of the contests that were done that night. The live band "Model MAgic" was awesome! For example, on the 70's disco night, my favorite night, everybody (even the guys!) in the band dressed up in 70's outfits and made me feel like I was actually living in the 70's like my mom did. My aunts really enjoyed it as this was music they grew up with as teenagers and still listen to, a.k.a. "mom music". They had laser lights all around the dance floor and club, it was great! Except one night, I got yelled at, yes yelled at by one of the staff members for not being 18 and dancing in this club. I felt he didn't have to yell, but that IS his job. Spinnakers was definitely the best, teens even though it sounds un-cool, (trust me the last thing I wanted to do was dance with my mom, but tons of other girls my age, and older were doing it too!) go with your parents or family members here, it's a ton of fun!!!!!! PEARLY KING'S PUB = A charming little pub not many people visited. It served free delicious popcorn as you sat with your friends and drank a daiquiri. It was a nice atmosphere and quiet, I loved it! RESTAURANTS = My all time favorite restaurant was The Venetian, fancy, elegant and free! The staff here kept me laughing and were so friendly! I also visited Aqua and Impressions both excellent. Blue LAgoon is like an Applebee's for those of you who have one near you, it serves potato skins, buffalo wings, my family dragged me and my cousin her at 1:00 a.m!!! Cagney's and Bamboo I unfortunately didn't get to visit but my parents and uncles and aunts all went and loved it! All restaurants, even room service was good! Except w/ room service, your very limited during breakfast. No eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes, ham... yeah fruit and muffins basically. But every other meal is great! La Trattoria was also fabulous, a great FREE Italian meal! Excellent, Excellent, Excellent! Dazzles = Dazzles was my 2nd favorite hang-out after Spinnaker's. It was classy, fun, and family-oriented. In the afternoon they held Art Auctions and at night Karaoke. Performing or watching was great and everybody sings along, people you don't know are signing, and laughing with you, it's great! They also have an American Idol Contest! PICTURES = Another cool thing was these guys that walk around and ask you to pose for a picture with different people dressed up as butlers and pirates and stuff. We'd go look at our pictures and never laughed so hard! I bought 2 of them they're great! Pools: Sitting by the pool and then hanging out at Bimini Bar and Grill most of the time was awesome! The whole family, all 17 of us watching sunset and listening to live Calypso music. After that, when all was quiet by the T-Rex kid's pool and no kids were there. MY cousins and I jumped in and piled on the water slide, then relaxed and squeezed into the hot tub. It's funny little moments like that that made it great! Kid's Crew = Some of my younger cousins went to this and it was great. I was able to peek in on the younger kids sometimes and they had a blast! ANything fun to them at their age! Embarkation took FOREVER! Be very patient, it's a LONG LONG time! Disembarkation was excellent and we flew right by. The people all make a line and say goodbye one last time, it's really sad! THE CRUISE DIRECTORS WERE THE BEST!!! They were so funny and went to a lot of events. SOme of the staff was the best, some were really ignorant. But...they're people just like us. MY ADVICE, READ IT!: My advice to you is to look at the freestyle daily each morning or night and do as many activities as you can. You'll really like the little things you do like Smoothie Tasting, Bad Hair Day Seminars, Dance Contests, THeme Nights... ALso, if you can't find anything fun to do, (which I find impossible!) then make fun. Sometimes my cousins and I would play tag in the hallways or hide and go seek (yah I know it annoys you adults out there, but it was fun!) Do the things that are planned, you won't regret it! DON'T MISS!!!! * chocolate buffet * inch of gold and silver * '70s Disco Night, '50s and '60s sockhops, and '80s night * Ed Alonzo the funniest comedian/magician ever! * meeting new people Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
(Pack a lunch - this is really long!!!) Who we are My name is Robin and I'm a cruise-aholic. [Hi, Robin.] I've been on 4 cruises in two years, this is my first on RCCL. This one was with my son, Dan, 18, who has been away in ... Read More
(Pack a lunch - this is really long!!!) Who we are My name is Robin and I'm a cruise-aholic. [Hi, Robin.] I've been on 4 cruises in two years, this is my first on RCCL. This one was with my son, Dan, 18, who has been away in his first year of college so this was our chance to reconnect. I also hoped he'd also find some nice kids his own age to hang out with (and he did). We were on a budget (college expenses and all) but knew we could have a good time on a short cruise without breaking the bank. Impressions of the ship I'd been advised to have low expectations because of the age of the Majesty, but I thought this was a beautiful "classic" ship. It lacked some of the amenities of the newer, larger ships, but I liked the layout --people forward; stuff aft. We had one of the forward-most cabins on 4 (we really got our exercise walking!) which was small even by cruise-ship standards. They made the maximum use of the space, however and it was just fine for the price. There was no hall traffic by our room, but the anchors must have been just on the other side of the cabin wall. (Suffice it to say, we didn't have to ask if we had reached ports.) The weather was a little cool and there was no solarium. I didn't notice any deck chair saving but the chairs were not that comfortable. Not all had footrests. They were an older style with webbing and where quite narrow. I guess cruisers have gotten larger over the years. The two identical back-to-back small pools didn't look particularly inviting. At first, I thought the water was brownish, but realized it was due to the brown marble wading area around the slightly deeper pool. Poor choice of color. The lounges/theaters were lovely with good sight lines and I never had a problem finding a good seat even if I arrived late. TV had an odd assortment of movies and sitcoms plus ESPN and the deuce but I didn't see sports on other than soccer even though we are in the middle of college basketball March Madness. The cinema seemed particularly under-utilized for a very nice space. They had a different movie each day (shown 3 times each)-- Being Julia, Sideways, Friday Night Lights and Shrek 2. In other words, the DVDs most popular at your local rental store. I never had time to see one all the way through but it was an interesting thing to do when waiting for something. Passenger makeup -- This is the beginning of the spring break season and there were more young adults than I expected. Most were with a parent or slightly older sibling, but I did wonder how some of them got around the minimum age restrictions per room since the ratio of younger adults to older adults didn't seem quite right. I didn't notice any misbehavior, but my son pointed out that I was asleep by midnight or so, so I may have missed it. There were also 43 honeymooning couples and both the other couples at our table were celebrating anniversaries (10th and 25th). I saw about a dozen kids in the children's program. This was the first cruise for almost everyone I talked to. Dress was mostly on the very casual side. Lots of jeans/shorts in the dining room for dinner. I'm not a person who cares, but I saw some people dressed to the nines for every dinner who seemed bewildered. They stood out more than the overly casual majority. Formal night felt like Prom with very wide participation. (We did the "casual alternative"at the Windjammer and even there, people were dressed nicely.) Entertainment -- CD was Warren a sweet baby-faced person who seemed to go way out of his way not to offend anyone. I'd give him a solid B. The singers/dancers were some of the best I've seen on a ship and the Beat Goes On was the best show I saw. (I'm not a fan of Disco so the second show - Boogie Wonderland—though good wasn't quite my cup of tea.) Phil Tag, the comedian was OK, but I swear I saw another comedian on a different ship do the same ship-related material. The gaucho and "impressionistic singer" were just plain odd. Day by day -- Pre-embarkation day. We flew in a day early (to Ft. Lauderdale) and chose to splurge a little with a night at an "Art Deco" hotel in South Beach. Used Tri-County for shared ride and waited only a few minutes to get several parties together for the trip. We stayed at the Park Central on Ocean Drive and the location was perfect! We had a 5th floor room, which I would suggest because of the partial ocean view (as opposed to some of the lower level rooms that look out at a brick wall). The price (we paid $169 for 2 extremely comfy beds) includes beach chairs (but not umbrella) at the beach across the way, but after trying that, we preferred the small but beautifully landscaped pool. We had lunch at Johnny Rockets (the waiter actually asked what "youze guyz want for lunch today") on the sidewalk while we watched the "car show" pass by us. (My son said he never saw so many incredible cars in one place before!). For dinner, we continued the "pub crawl" on Collins and Ocean which is a true experience. We were too tired from the early morning flight (Song - excellent!) to stay up too late so it was more of a pub wander than a pub crawl. Day 1 - Embarkation Day -- Up around 9, got some pastry from a nearby shop and coffee from the lobby and ate on the rooftop terrace. Perfect! Taxi to the port was $17. We got there at about 11:30 and boarding had just begun. Only waited a couple minutes at the Seapass card station. Room was open, but largely ready. Met our steward and asked for robes, which he was able to locate (tipped him extra immediately for that). Dropped our carry on bag with no valuables in it so we didn't have to drag it to lunch (kept our real valuables with us in my purse). Our other bags arrived at about 2pm. Lunch at Windjammer was ready - roast beef carving station, hot dogs and seafood paella with a variety of salads. Yummy! Thanks to all who pointed out there there are two "stations" to the Windjammer, one farther back than the other - it was always less crowded than the forward one. Muster drill was well organized and there was ample time afterward to get the life jackets back to the room before sail-away. Names/cabin numbers were checked. Late comers had to do a "walk of shame" down the passage in front of the assembled masses and there weren't too many of them.(Deck 10 and 11 passengers get to assemble in a lounge instead of on the deck.) We had Main dinner seating at 6 so we had to hurry to get ready after sail-away. We were at a table for 6 with two couples celebrating milestone anniversaries. They were a delight! A digression about food I wish I could remember exactly what I ate for dinner, but I don't. It was all good. Compared to the food on other lines, I thought the dinner portions were quite large. I never once considered ordering two entries and rarely finished everything on my plate (though I never missed dessert!). We did two breakfasts in the Windjammer (quick easy, but lukewarm except for the omelets) and two in the Mikado dining room (good conversation and excellent Eggs Benedict). Other than the Eggs Benedict (the best I've ever had - eggs were cooked perfectly) my favorite was waffles with strawberry sauce and (real) whipped cream. And bacon. This ship must go through a ton of bacon.... It was a good week for pineapple, cantaloupe and kiwi, too. We didn't tend to eat lunch on the ship because we had late breakfasts and early dinners but we did have room service once for a snack. It wasn't during meal hours so we went with the limited menu. (There's a TV channel that tells you what you can order other than what's on the room menu and the hours that the special items are available.) The nachos just hit the spot and the fruit plate was also very good. The best meal in general was the BBQ on Coco Cay. The ribs and the mac and cheese were outstanding. I slept through the Chocolate buffet on day 3 (which I heard was beautiful!), but did make the midnight sale-away party in Nassau. A little too crowded for me, but I had some good pasta. Back to the regular program Day 2 -- Nassau -- Our original plans were to taxi to Cable Beach to the Wyndam for the morning, return to the port area in the afternoon and go to Atlantis in the early evening skipping formal night in the process. I think I had decided to do this because so many people had told me that Nassau was not a pleasant place to be. I found it no worse than any other Caribbean port. We could see that Senior Frogs and the British Colonial Hilton were side by side from the ship and decided that it might be easier skip the taxi ride and just spend the day there instead. I knew the BCH had a $15 pp day pass available. (A similar excursion from the ship to the Wyndam is $44 including transportation and a $10 gambling voucher but we didn't want to be locked into a specific time to leave or pay double for the transportation, nor did we want to be kicked out of the Cable Beach hotel pool areas.) I was comfortable allowing my son to go to Senior Frogs while I relaxed on the beach/pool at the BCH, so for us, this was the better option. Around 3 we wandered back through the Straw Market and the port area. The Straw Market was too claustrophobic for me, but the rest of the shops were moderately interesting. There is also some shops in the area of the port that we never got to see - they looked better than the Straw Market. After a rest and a room service snack, we took a shared taxi for $4 pp to Atlantis at about dusk. We wandered about where we could and it was certainly very grand. I was surprised to find that the beach areas were closed down already but we didn't get close enough to the pools to see if they were open. If we were a party of four, a "room" at the Comfort Inn would have been worth it, but with only the two of us, it wasn't. The casino itself was very small (but we come from the land of Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun) and my son came out $27 richer than he went in. Then it was back to the ship and a quick snack at the Windjammer to tide us over until the sail-away party at midnight. All in all, a busy, fun and relatively inexpensive day! Day 3 --Coco Cay -- We made it even though the day was very cool (low 70's) and rain threatened all day. Our plans were for me to go over early and for my son to sleep in (late nights at On Your Toes) and meet me at about noon at the BBQ. I was hoping to snorkel (brought everything but fins and vest) but the water was too cold to be inviting. Instead I had a great time walking along the beaches (best area is beyond the area where you can get the kayaks) and lounging in a hammock. We headed back around 3 and spent the rest of the day with ship activities – but I don't exactly remember what. (I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of variety of ship activities compared to other cruises I've been on, but I always found something to do.) I was delighted to find that the Quest was offered at 10:30 pm and hoped that my son would participate. He did with his newfound friends and all I can say is, I never thought he'd look so good in a purple bra. (For you newbies, the Quest cannot be described, only experienced. You will not believe what people will do for even the possibility of winning a key-chain!) Talk about mother/son bonding! We will laugh about this forever! Day 4 -- Key West -- Docking was delayed due to a strong head wind so immigration didn't start until 9:30 am. Took less than 5 minutes to go through but there were about a dozen people who didn't get it and had to be paged once. We were allowed to go off the ship at about 11:40. We wandered into town and got tickets for the Conch Train. This kept us busy until around 2 (there's one “potty stop” midway) when we walked up Duval and got some snacks and did a little shopping. We happened across two of the ship's shopping raffles on our way, but didn't win either one. Then it was back to the ship for one last dinner and a show. We put our tips on the seapass account and received our vouchers for the envelopes only minutes before dinnertime began. We added some extra to our vouchers, but only a few dollars because I felt our dinner service was good, but not great. (I don't consider this part of the “service,” but the waiters lip-sync after dinner rather than sing, and seem terribly ill at ease about it. It's not like Carnival, where they really get into it and invite you to sing/dance too. If they are not going to do it well, I'd rather they didn't do it at all.) Going home day -- The seas the last night were quite rough and I had a hard time sleeping. We pulled into port at about 5:30 am and our color was called before we got to breakfast at the dining room at 7:30. We departed about 8:30 and only had to pick up our bags and drop off the customs form with the agent (since we had cleared immigration the day before). We had reserved a car with Alamo since we had a 7pm flight from Ft. Lauderdale and needed something to do with our luggage. This turned out to be the perfect solution. We drove up to Hollywood Beach and found a little beach community with on-street parking ($1 an hour), shady trees on the beach, bathrooms and a little festival going on with music (in French) and line dancing. It was a wonderful place to spend the day and was only about 15 minutes from the drop off at the airport rental car center. It was the best $26 we spent. (My $10 faux pashima from the ship became our beach blanket and we had packed a couple small beach towels.) There was also a little park a bit further up A1A that we didn't see until we left that also would have been nice, but I had forgotten to pack my map. Too soon, it was time to go back to the airport and fly home to 6 inches of snow. Talk about getting back to reality! We had a great time and have already started a savings plan so we can do this again next year!!! And we have a new “to do” list for next year of the things we didn't have time to do! Let me know if you have any questions. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
We had the package of 3 days at Disney World and 4 days at sea. Disney does a great job of organizing - transportation, luggage,etc. The ships cabins were very good. The split bathroom concept is super. The programs for the kids were ... Read More
We had the package of 3 days at Disney World and 4 days at sea. Disney does a great job of organizing - transportation, luggage,etc. The ships cabins were very good. The split bathroom concept is super. The programs for the kids were abundant. A pager system to keep in contact with parents is effective. The dining experience could have been better. The menu was limited and the food was very average. We had the late seating (8:30) as we could not get the early one, and we did not usually get our main course until about 9:15. Having two grandchildren 8 & 10 years old -- not a good time for dinner. Kids at nearby tables are laying their heads on the table sleeping by the end of the meal. Disney should be able to move the seatings earlier to accommodate the children better. The real positive was the OUTSTANDING server & assistant server (Levi & Heather). They entertained the kids with quizzes and tricks nightly making it easy to convince the children to go to dinner that late. The buffet was better than most, but had very limited hours.(My daughter and her husband had a great meal at the PALO Restaurant). The excursion in Nassau that included The Atlantis Paradise Island and the aquarium was super, and the casino was $$ too. Unfortunately the weather was so bad that Castaway Cay was baaad! We walked in 30= mph winds for 20 min. -- back to the ship. All the excursions were cancelled. All in all, the kids really enjoyed the experience, as did we the grandparents and daughter and son-in-law. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
First, let me say, that other than the food, the cruise was a 9.5 out of 10. We were pleasantly surprised with both the size of our room and the furnishings. Down comforters on the beds, two pillows per bed...and nice ones to boot. Shower ... Read More
First, let me say, that other than the food, the cruise was a 9.5 out of 10. We were pleasantly surprised with both the size of our room and the furnishings. Down comforters on the beds, two pillows per bed...and nice ones to boot. Shower was not only spotless clean, but had good water pressure. Things to do on the ship were nice, too. Although, you had to pay $10 per Bingo card or 3 for $20. There were lots of other seminars you could attend for free. The shore excursion lecture was a good one. Also, there was a free liquor tasting one night. WONDERFUL. I didn't know there was that much difference between Banana Rum from St. Thomas and Smirnoff. Glad I tasted the difference. Took the Blue lagoon shore excursion with the snorkeling. Best deal since sliced bread. Boat was an hour over there, then only an extra $10 to rent the equipment for all day. Wished we'd have been in Nassau for an extra 24 hours to shop, as we spent the day at the Blue Lagoon. Came back on the 4 P.M. boat instead of the 2 P.M. boat. Would have done it differently next time (taken the 2 P.M. one so could have had more shopping time.) Be careful of the taxi drivers in Freeport. We were with a group of 3. $5 per person into town and the guy handed the taxi driver a $20 expecting $5 change. The taxi driver put it into his pocket and said, "Thanks for the tip." Don't forget that you can take the gratuities off your cruise bill and tip individuals. No questions asked. Next time, we won't take beach towels, as nice ones are provided by the cruise lines. Food was OK, but nothing to write home about. We had a late seating...8:30 P.M. and the first 3 nights, until we complained, didn't get out of there until after 10:30 P.M.! We did have lobster, salmon, Chateau Bria (however you spell it), Prime Rib, and other lavish desserts. Evening meals were good, but daytime meals were just OK. Only thing that was 24 hours was pizza. We called for room service (free service) and the wait was over an hour so we canceled it. Email me with other questions. Overall, it was a great cruise. People were nice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
This was a spring break cruise for my 15 year old sister and I (32 years old). I've cruised 4 times before but it was my sister's first time. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Days Inn Civic Center in ... Read More
This was a spring break cruise for my 15 year old sister and I (32 years old). I've cruised 4 times before but it was my sister's first time. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Days Inn Civic Center in Miami (do not stay there, it was a TOTAL DUMP!) Went to Bubba Gump's at Bayside, overpriced but a fun place. Food was pretty good. Live music at Bayside was nice. EMBARKATION: Got to pier at 10:30 by taxi, onboard at 11:30, went straight to Windjammer for lunch buffet as cabins were not open until 1 PM. DINING: Windjammer buffets very good. Scrambled eggs were okay. Lots of variety. Dining room service very good, a bit slow at times. No sommelier but the assistant waiters do a fairly good job of providing all the drinks. NO LOBSTER TAILS on this cruise! Disappointed about that, heard it was only 5 night or higher cruises now that get lobster. There were only 2 midnight buffets but they were very nice. Room service was a limited menu but available 24/7. ENTERTAINMENT: Very good shows, 2 dance shows and 2 comedian shows. Last night is farewell video and a singer/comedian. CABIN: We had an inside cabin, it was very clean and well maintained though very small. Certainly big enough for 2 people though. Lots of hangers in closet and a few drawers in vanity desk. Very cozy little space. We hardly stayed in our cabin anyway, just shower and sleep. Next time will get an outside cabin though for the window. Got 2 towel animals, a swan and an elephant. PORTS: Nassau is okay but we made the mistake of going to the Straw Market and were hassled A LOT! They are very aggressive and will start putting things on you (necklaces, hats, bracelets) and acting very offended if you do not buy. The hair braiders were persistent too. If you get your hair braided bring your own comb as I've heard the ones they use are not very clean. There are drivers who try to get you on a tour of the island in their cabs too, they are somewhat aggressive. We took the water taxi to Atlantis and it is a nice place. "The Dig" is nothing more than a large aquarium but it is pretty. Not sure it was worth the $29 a person though. There was a shore excursion available to the Breezes resort that probably would have been a better idea, $78 a person, but includes food and drinks and 4 hours at their pools and jacuzzis. Coco Cay: WHAT A GORGEOUS PLACE!!!! The weather was perfect and the sea was very smooth. We did the jet skis, it was FABULOUS! The BBQ lunch they served was awesome! The whole place was all new buildings and amenities. Water was crystal clear. I could stay there for a week! The tendering went very well too. The whole trip was worth it just to stop here for a day. A lot of times the cruises do not make it there due to high waves so we were lucky. I think they are trying to dredge a channel so they can dock but looks like it will be a while before that is done. Key West: Very hot but the ocean breezes are nice. Took the Ghost Tour and it was very interesting. Tried to rent bicycles but they were all taken. There were mopeds available. Tried to eat at Sloppy Joe's but it was very crowded so we went back to the ship for lunch. Docked at Mallory Square so not too bad of a walk to Duval St. OVERALL: This was an excellent value for our money. Coco Cay is the best port in my opinion. Even though it was spring break the teens and children aboard were fairly well behaved. Karaoke was fun each night too. The ship is gorgeous, seemed like the carpet was in very good shape all over the ship. I really was surprised it was in such good condition for being 13 years old. Elevators all in working order though at times slow. Royal Caribbean is doing it right in my opinion, we had very good experiences with all staff and crew. They were all very friendly and helpful. Our waiter Ian was excellent and he worked very long shifts. I tipped a little extra because they all work so hard and so cheerfully! Hope you have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
Sailed on the Dawn 3/27/05....our first NCL and our 6th cruise. We were very disappointed.....from the moment we embarked there were lines. Word of advise MAKE YOUR DINNER RESERVATION RIGHT AWAY!!! By day two there were not specialty ... Read More
Sailed on the Dawn 3/27/05....our first NCL and our 6th cruise. We were very disappointed.....from the moment we embarked there were lines. Word of advise MAKE YOUR DINNER RESERVATION RIGHT AWAY!!! By day two there were not specialty restaurants left. Trattoria and Salsa are not any extra $ but they book quick. Oh and don't call it will be busy the entire trip, just go down and wait on line. Also don't go to the non fee restaurants at the normal eating hour.....everyone else does too and a hour wait for a table is not unusual. And don't expect special service by the wait staff, they are over worked and cranky. Food was scarce and only passable....order TWO entrees and you won't go hungry. There is no midnight buffet so don't expect one. The buffet available is gross...no more than school cafeteria food...my teenagers even hated it! DO NOT GO TO THE BLUE LAGOON!!!You have to wait for hours at dirty tables.....food was just OK there. Coffee at the Java spot by the main reservation area is extra$$$ be careful! Kids camp stunk...my 7 year old did not want to go back after the first night....THERE IS NO PLAYSTATION IN THE KIDS CAMP! Every child was bummed. The teen center was nonexistent...my two said there was never anybody organizing functions...so watch the stair wells...that's where you will find them. The only good thing that the ship had going for it was it was clean....never again will I waste my $ on NCL...go Royal we were NEVER disappointed!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
3 day on Wonder around April 1st Room 1078 host Allan Malayao was very nice. Towel animals were great. Having separate toilet from shower rooms was a great design. mattress needed to be changed. Two singles pushed together with one good ... Read More
3 day on Wonder around April 1st Room 1078 host Allan Malayao was very nice. Towel animals were great. Having separate toilet from shower rooms was a great design. mattress needed to be changed. Two singles pushed together with one good and one sagging. Kid's 16 year old male & 11 year old female did not participate in any youth/teen program. Teen club on deck 10-11 looked great. You can visit before leaving the port. I wish I could have hung out there but NO parents allowed after leaving port. If you have teens the LOFT has TV's, computers, private events just for teens. Soda is free on the ship and during meals thus no soda card needed. Dining room: Rolando Albano, server, and assistant, Hermanto Pakpahan, with head Joachim Rothe all very good and made the meals memorable. Movement of dinning locations, pre assigned, gave a nice chance to experience all of the ship. Our schedule was Triton's deck 3 midship-> Animator's palate deck 4 aft -> Parrot Cay deck 3 aft Food quality equal to most upper scale chain restaurants. 8/10 quality Wine lovers should purchase the wine package on the first day. $69 for good wine/champagne or $100 for higher level. This allows you 3 Bottles from the selections. If you do not finish them they are there the next night or you take them home. Getting on and checking in was very easy and fast, room was ready @ 1:30pm with lunch buffet on deck 9 aft where you will eat most breakfast meals unless you like sit down Day 1= Nassau Atlantis beach shore excursion must meet @ 9am or you are on your own. We were told by 2 Disney staff members on the dock that if we missed the 9am departure and we were out of luck. Thus we found ferries are 6$ round trip/person to pleasure island. Atlantis staff was great and escorted us to the beach with a tour on the way. They had chairs and towels for us even though we were late. Thank god for them because there were no Disney staff in sight the whole day. $60/30 min jet ski Fireworks after pirate's party Day 2= Castaway cay, previous Big Red Boat island. Snorkeling sub, diving bell, tee cups. Adult only beach very quiet All boat, parasailing... Canceled due to strong winds. (Blustery at best) best part of the cruise. Can come and go as you please. Spa was great. Rainforest package $36 for unlimited access to the steam, sauna, aromas room, rain showers and relaxation. Very Nice Shows; Golden mikes was very nice Dreams Plenty of character appearances and you can purchase the pictures @ 10 each Overall a great cruise for families with children who can truly appreciate the Disney Magic. Not worth the money for anyone else. For those who have been to Disney you know the expense for anything with the mouse on it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
Boarding was easy, even though the ship was packed for the Easter weekend. Most of the ship appeared to be teenagers! The cabin was tiny but clean ( and did I say tiny?). The tv was tiny, the bed was tiny, the furniture was tiny. The ... Read More
Boarding was easy, even though the ship was packed for the Easter weekend. Most of the ship appeared to be teenagers! The cabin was tiny but clean ( and did I say tiny?). The tv was tiny, the bed was tiny, the furniture was tiny. The bathroom was awful: yes, tiny, with a cracked, stained sink, hole in the wall, and ineffective toilet. The steward was very attentive, however, as was most of the staff we encountered. The food was good; the activities were fine; and the library was very comfortable. Most importantly, our two teenagers had a blast, and would go again in a heartbeat. We never saw them the whole length of the trip! Great for kids, a bit less so for adults. Coco Beach was just so-so, but again, the kids loved the windsurfing. We loved the pelican zoo in Nassau- worth seeing for the trained horde of pelicans and other rare birds and animals. Carpeting around the pool was stained and awful; the Windjammer Cafe was crowded but more than adequate; the pool was crowded, too. But for three days it was overall fine; just beware the disappointing cabins and crummy bathrooms, and remember it's only three days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
This was my second cruise on the Dawn and I must say that I was disappointed. First of all, it was Spring Break. Of course no fault of Norwegian, but when you have 1200 kids under the age of 21 on board, there needs to be some control. ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Dawn and I must say that I was disappointed. First of all, it was Spring Break. Of course no fault of Norwegian, but when you have 1200 kids under the age of 21 on board, there needs to be some control. All of the activities on board were overrun by kids. Even when things were supposed to be for 18 and older, they were monopolized by 13 - 14 year olds. Staff members did not have control. The bars were loaded with 18 year olds that obviously shouldn't have been drinking, but no Id's were ever checked. Our room was nice and the balcony was great. A must have when traveling with my husband. He would get up early every morning and drink coffee on the balcony. I am not really sure who our room steward was. Our room was always clean, but we seldom saw him. Embarkation was great. Very quick, no lines, no waiting. When we boarded the ship, we were given a paper in our stateroom that said there had been a change in itinerary and that we would be arriving in Nassau at night so people could enjoy the "night life". Obviously it was for other reasons since every store in Nassau was closed on Thursday night and Friday due to Good Friday. We left at 12 p.m. on Friday. Very disappointing. We did spend a day at Great Stirrup Cay which was nice, but over crowded and very rough tender ride. The itinerary should have been changed to allow a full day in Nassau on Thursday and then to Great Stirrup on Friday. It would have allowed for a greater visit to the Bahamas. The biggest disappointment was the food and the service. The food was terrible. We dined mainly at the Buffet since the dining room service takes FOREVER. The food was a general mish mash of whatever is left over. One day at breakfast there was the basic breakfast items and then a pan of chicken breast. Who eats chicken breast for breakfast? Even when there was a theme for the evening, it was a hodge podge of dishes. I spent the week eating hamburgers and hot dogs. I didn't spend that type of money to eat BBQ all week. The second disappointment was service. Since the tips are guaranteed, there is no reason to go out of your way to help. The service is lacking on this ship. I understand that people are working everyday to keep the ship clean, etc. But, a simple thank you for have a nice day is appreciated. I doubt that we will ever cruise with Norwegian again. Our experience on Royal Caribbean far exceeded this trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
So we started off with the transfer Carnival offers from Orlando Airport to Pt. Canaveral. That went very well, did not have to wait long at all. Nice bus ride to the port, when we got to port the line to get into the cruise terminal was ... Read More
So we started off with the transfer Carnival offers from Orlando Airport to Pt. Canaveral. That went very well, did not have to wait long at all. Nice bus ride to the port, when we got to port the line to get into the cruise terminal was VERY long! Took about 30 minutes to get through. Then stand in line to check in for about 20 minutes. Then get ur picture taken and get on the ship! When we got on the ship, they had a lunch buffet available, and we checked out our room. FYI there is NO clock in your room! so make sure you bring a watch or something. It took forever to get used to how the ship was laid out. You have to take certain elevators to get to certain areas of the ship. We just spent the first day checking everything out, all the different areas and they had raffles to win things all around the first day. I'm a college student, and me and a few friends went for spring break, so I recommend if you're doing the same thing, get the Carnival cup, its $5 for frozen drink refills in it and they're great. We went to Senor Frogs in Nassau, which was intense! 20 min wait to get in, then $5 cover, then it was crazy, beer was $5.50!!! Check out the liquor stores in Nassau too, cause one had a free sample liquor bar, you could just stand there all day and pour shots for yourself for free!! In Freeport we went snorkeling, they took us on the boat into the ocean and let us in the water there, that was great, and Port Lucaya in Freeport is definitely the place to see, tons of bars with cheap drinks and gift shops, etc. In Nassau we took a ferry to Atlantis ($6 roundtrip per person) and walked around, saw some of the aquarium, didn't cost anything, then walked around the corner to the public beach, I did not think there was a public beach there but if u ask they will tell u how to get there. The beach was GREAT! had people walking around hair braiding, and selling coconut drinks (very strong) and renting jet skis, etc. Overall, the ship was great, the service is amazing, every employee that walks by you acknowledges you. the food was AMAZING! The last night, there was a storm, and the ship was swaying back and forth REALLY bad! Make sure you bring motion sickness medicine! Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
Carnival Fantasy Review 3/24/05 - 3/27/05 Pre-cruise Travel This was my mine and my husbands 3rd cruise on Carnival in the past 2½ years. We have also cruised on Royal Caribbean twice in the past 3 years. So this was our 5th cruise in ... Read More
Carnival Fantasy Review 3/24/05 - 3/27/05 Pre-cruise Travel This was my mine and my husbands 3rd cruise on Carnival in the past 2½ years. We have also cruised on Royal Caribbean twice in the past 3 years. So this was our 5th cruise in the past 3 years. And we can't wait for #6. We left home a couple of days before our cruise and flew into Orlando. We had a hotel reserved about 30 minutes from the airport a little on the outskirts. We had purchased a round trip shuttle transfer to the hotel and then back to the airport with Mears Transportation ($29 ea.). Our flight got in late and we didn't check in with Mears until almost midnight. Lucky for us, they didn't have a shuttle going near the hotel we were staying at that late, so they assigned us to one of their Lincoln Town Cars and we were taken to our hotel in style. That was a nice bonus. We spent the day before our cruise at Universal Studios. The hotel offered free shuttle service to the park that left once in the morning around 9:20 (stopping at many hotels along the way) and picked up around 6:30 in the evening to bring you back. The attractions at Universal were fabulous. We had so much fun there. It was one great experience after another. There was too much to see in Universal to make the 6:30 shuttle back. So we stayed longer and decided to take a taxi back. When our aching feet finally forced us to leave the park at about 9:00, we left and had dinner at NBA City outside Universal in the Celebration City area. The food was very good there. But definitely a little pricey. But to be expected at a place like this. We saw Emeril's Restaurant on the way out and wished we had eaten there instead. We watch him almost every night and were disappointed we hadn't seen this restaurant first. We then took our taxi back to the hotel at a cost of $35 including tip and had them drop us off at Steak & Shake that was basically in the parking lot of our hotel. And we bought some yummy shakes for dessert to end our day. Day 1 (Embarkation Day) We had purchased the transfers to Port Canaveral from Carnival. So we had to go back to the airport on the morning of our cruise to catch the coach bus. We used the other half of our Mears Transportation round trip shuttle ticket to get back to the airport. As luck would have it, Mears overbooked that morning and sent us a Taxi instead of a shuttle. So we once again got non-stop service from them instead of the shuttle service we had paid for. I guess that's one of the benefits we received from staying at a hotel a little ways away from the theme parks. We got to the airport in time to catch the very 1st bus to Port Canaveral We boarded the Carnival shuttle to Port Canaveral (which happened to be a Mears Transportation bus) at about 10:30 and we arrived at the port terminal around 11:15. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship by 11:45. We had booked an inside guarantee cabin and ended up getting upgraded to the Empress deck which was the same deck that the pursers desk, shore excursion desk and the atrium lounge was on. This was nice as the dining room was only one floor up. It saved a lot of time waiting for elevators than if we would have been on the lowest deck. We were eating our lunch at the Windows by the Sea by noon. It was just average buffet food. The mozzarella and tomatoes with pesto were very good though. I had seconds of that. There was some spinach/beef lasagna that was just ok. There was beef they sliced for you with horseradish sauce which was also just ok. The breads were very good and so were the roasted potatoes. And I also remember having the Pizza after the buffet food that was very good. And then there was a dessert table. My husband and I both had some chocolate cake with very creamy, yummy frosting and some cheesecake. We spent a while exploring and getting to know the ship and then headed to the pool for the rest of the afternoon. We had several very tasty frozen drinks served in Carnival souvenir glasses while laying by the pool listening to the Calypso band and soaking up the sun. It was very relaxing. The pool was open. The pool slide was open. The pool deck was full of happy people having fun. And we were no exception. Getting on the ship so early really made it seem like having an extra day at sea. Our muster drill was at 4:00 and we set sail at 4:30. We went all the way to the top of the ship in the front as we sailed down through a channel. We passed several nice boats and casino boats along the way and then passed Cocoa Beach. As soon as we were out to sea, we went back to the cabin to relax a bit and get ready for the evening ahead. My husband had fallen asleep and I was just about to get in the shower when the television went fuzzy and then all the electricity went out in the cabin. I opened the cabin door to see what was going on and there were no lights in the hall either. So I woke my husband up and we went down the hall to the atrium bar area to try to get more information. Eventually, the back up generators kicked in. But they only lit up certain areas such as hallways and gave power to the elevators so that those stuck could get out. Finally the captain came on and said that they were experiencing problems with the engine (which was no longer running either), it was being looked at and he would report back when they knew more. So here we were about an hour after we sailed, on a ship with virtually no power and an engine that had completely shut down. We were not even moving. You could still see land in the distance. But we sure didn't want to have to go back that direction. So we sat and waited. Surprisingly enough, the atrium bar remained open. So we had a beer and just relaxed on a sofa while we waited for more news. Fortunately, within an hour, the problem was fixed, we had full power and the engine was full speed ahead bound for Nassau. There were no more problems for the entire cruise once it was fixed. Since the early seating dinner was interrupted by the engine/power failure, an announcement was made that dinner would be open seating that night. This caused a little bit of a delay in being seated because so many people were waiting to be seated at the same time. So we went to the casino and made friends with some slot machines to kill some time until the line died down. After about an hour, we went back to the dining room and were seated right away. On the first night, they served both Lobster and Prime Rib. I liked the appetizer menu a little too much this night. For my appetizer, I had both shrimp cocktail and a southwestern egg roll and instead of salad, I had chilled strawberry soup and a melon & prosciutto (?) appetizer. Yes, that would be 4 appetizers. They're actually all pretty small. So it's not as bad as it sounds. I definitely still had room for 2 lobster tails (tasty) instead of one for my entrEe and for the Grand Marnier SoufflE for dessert. My husband actually had 2 lobster tails and the Prime Rib for his entrEes and indulged in the SoufflE as well. Our first dinner on the Fantasy was very impressive. We went to the show in the Universe Lounge after dinner. The theatre was nice. There was lots of neon. Some people complain about that. I happen to like neon. The stage in this theatre was huge. It was the biggest stage I had ever seen on a cruise ship. It was later than usual because of the electrical problems. It didn't start until 11:00. It was ok. It was called something "Night Club" and starred The Fantasy Dancers. But we didn't know any of the songs they were singing and we were tired. So we didn't stay for the whole thing. We had a big day in Nassau the next day and wanted to be well rested for it. So we called it a night after we left the show. Other than for the Captain's Cocktail party, this is the only time we went into the show lounge on this cruise. There was a Juggler (Victor Zuniga) and an entertainer named Tia Thompson the 2nd night that we missed. And the final show was called Broadway Fantasy with The Fantasy Dancers. There was also an adult comedy show starring Tia Thompson at midnight on the 2nd night. Day Two (Nassau, Bahamas) Today we got up and went to the dining room for breakfast. It's traditional for us to go have Eggs Benedict on at least one day of our cruise. They were good as usual. And the pastries were better than I had remembered too. Our 2½ snorkeling tour to Athol Island was scheduled for 10:00 (booked through Carnival). We met the tour operator just outside the ship. Once all the parties in our tour had gotten off the ship, we took about a 5 min. walk to the boat that would take us snorkeling. It was a double decker and we sat on top. It was nice because you could sit facing the outside of the boat with your feet hanging down and watch the scenery as you go by Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island and many very nice homes and yachts. It was about a 30 minute ride out to the island. The water for snorkeling was a bit choppy that day. But it didn't affect your ability to see the many gorgeous fish in Angel Reef. You just floated about and moved with the wavy water as you did so. There were tons of fish to be seen in all colors, bright blue, yellow, pink, purple, multi-colored, spotted, striped, you name it. They were awesome and decent sized too. We even saw 2 huge starfish about the size of a vehicle's steering wheel. And that's no exaggeration. And I saw one fish that was playing king of the rock that wouldn't let other fish get near the rock he was hiding under that was at least 2 feet long and very fat. He was spotted and ugly though. We've snorkeled in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and now Nassau. Grand Cayman was probably the best, with Nassau coming in a close 2nd. And Jamaica a distant 3rd (little fish where we snorkeled there). We snorkeled for about an hour and then headed back to the ship. They played some Calypso music on the way back and served rum punch and some non-alcoholic punch. It was so tasty that we each had three rum punches. But hey, they were free. We had to take advantage. They sure hadn't been free on our vacation up to this point. After we got off the snorkeling boat, we walked straight over to the British Colonial Hilton which was only about a block away. We paid $15 each to use their beach and their pool. It was a gorgeous day and their beach was equally as gorgeous with soft sand and clear, cool water. What more could you ask for? There was a pop band playing poolside that you could hear perfectly from the beach. They played some really good songs that made you want to sing along. We had beach service from the outdoor grill. As it turned out, they weren't serving alcohol until 6:00 PM that day because it was Good Friday. But after the rum punches earlier, that wasn't such a bad thing. We did have a full evening ahead with formal night and needed to save some energy. We each ordered a sampler platter of Conch Fritters, Jerk Chicken Wings, Grouper Fingers and Veggies with dip. They brought it to us right on the beach and we each had our own tables beside our lounge chairs to sit and enjoy it. And enjoy it we did. But there was a lot. So we decided to share some with the Seagulls. That was a lot of fun. We messed with those birds for the longest time and got some good laughs out of their "desperate for food" behavior. Funny thing was, the chicken was their favorite. Chicken/birds, get it? We used the pool for a while after we were done on the beach. It was a very clean pool with lots of nice landscape all around. There were mats in and around the pool that you could use to float on. My husband and I shared one to be romantic. It was nice. But the water in the pool was very warm compared to the water in the Caribbean just off the beach. After we left the beach, we did some shopping in town on the way back to the ship. We bought several souvenirs for our kids and a few for ourselves. We stopped by the Hard Rock Cafe and bought a large coffee cup. We love to drink our morning coffee at home out of our souvenir coffee cups from our vacations. It helps us to remember the good times we've had on previous vacations and then to dream about what we're going to do next. We also bought some of the local rum cake to bring home. It was $18 for a full size cake. I did see it in another store for $17 after I bought it. We haven't eaten it yet as we're now on diets trying to lose the weight we gained on vacation. But it keeps well. So it will be a nice reward after the weight comes off. We went back to the ship after shopping to get ready for formal night. There was a long line to get back on the ship around 5:30. It took at least 30 minutes to get through the line and back on to the ship. We got all dressed up and went to the Captains Cocktail party. They had some tasty hor' douvres. There was one with fish inside a type of Won Ton shell. They had fancy mini pizza's, egg rolls, fried seasoned chicken bites and meatballs. And, of course, trays of many different types of drinks floating around non-stop. My favorite is always the lime daiquiri. They serve them in Champagne Glasses. So, since they're small (and tasty), I had 5. Tonight we got to sit with our actual tablemates for the first time. There were 3 other couples. They were from Tampa, FL, Chicago, IL and Charlotte, NC. We're from Kansas City, MO. So we had a pretty spread out bunch geographically. That kept it interesting. The menu tonight wasn't nearly as good as it was the first night. I wasn't interested in any of the appetizers this time. And I had heard that you can order whatever pasta dish they are serving as an entrEe on that nights menu as an appetizer portion also. So I did that and it was very tasty. I ordered a roast chicken dish. The dish was good. But I actually like the pasta appetizer so much, that I wished I'd just ordered it for my entrEe instead. My husband had a lamb dish for his entrEe and he didn't really care for it. I had Tirimisu for dessert. This is one of my favorite desserts. And sometimes, it's just ok on a cruise ship. But this time, it was above average. So that was nice. My husband had Pumpkin Pie and he liked his dessert also. We were to be in Nassau overnight, so we were planning to go out on the town after dinner to visit Senor Frogs and partake of the yard drinks. The couple at our dinner table from Tampa also wanted to go to Senor Frogs. So we decided to all go together. We had a lot in common since we have 4 kids and they have 3. Our kids were close in age, 9 & 10 and 15 & 16 (except they also had a baby). There was a cover charge at Senor Frogs. It was $7 each. That's for cruise and hotel guests. The fee for locals was $35 each. I guess they don't want the locals coming in and taking over. So they do this to discourage them from going there. We sat out on the deck overlooking the water. It was spring break, so it was pretty wild inside and we could actually hear each other talk when we were sitting outside. It was a good view on the deck too. You could see the cruise ships all lit up. I had a Strawberry Daiquiri in a yard glass and my husband had a frozen Margarita. They were huge. One was more than enough. And at $12+ each, one was definitely more than enough. We got back on the ship around 12:45 and they were serving a Mexican Midnight Buffet until 1:00 and having a deck party by the pool with the dance band Synergy even later than that. So we all hurried up to the Lido deck and made a plate of Hard Shell Beef Taco's, Steak Soft Taco's, mini Burrito's and nacho's. Just a light snack if you know what I mean. Mexican is my favorite food. So there's always room. We sat and ate and talked to our new friends for about an hour and then turned in around 2:00. It had been a long day. But we had definitely made the most of our day in Nassau. We were glad our ship was in port overnight and we got to enjoy the nightlife. On our cruises, those opportunities have been few and far between. Day Three (At Sea) Since we didn't go to sleep until around 3:00 AM, we decided to sleep in and didn't get up until around 10:40. So we missed breakfast. I don't think that's ever happened on a cruise before. We got up and took our time getting ready. We went to the Lido deck around noon to find something to eat. We decided to try the Deli. My husband had a Pastrami sandwich and I had a Roast Beef Sandwich. We both enjoyed them a lot. They were above average. We got some Thousand Island Dressing from the salad buffet and put it on our sandwiches. That made them even better. We also each had a slice of Pizza. After we left the Lido deck, we decided to go to the Bistro on board and get some good coffee. I had a Mochaccino with caramel syrup in it and whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. Along with that, I had a chocolate covered strawberry decorated like a Tuxedo. My husband had some of the coffee with liqueur in it. He didn't care for his. But I loved mine. We left the coffee shop and decided to go to the Casino. We both had sunburns and couldn't get motivated to go sit out in the sun by the pool. We spent quite a bit of time in the Casino. My husband was ahead for a while, but decided to give it all back. He even played in the Black Jack Tournament. But he didn't win. And I would last a good long time on some of the slot and poker machines, but I lost in the end. We finally gave up and decided it was time to go eat again. So we went to sit in the shady area out by the pool and had Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and French Fries. We went back to the room for a while after that to relax a bit and check out the Capers to see what was going on during the afternoon. After relaxing and watching TV for a bit, we decided to try the Afternoon Tea in the Piano Bar, Cleopatra's. It was an Egyptian looking place. But it was kind of aristocratic and was a good atmosphere for an afternoon tea. This was something we had never done before. I chose the Orange Tea and it was a good choice. My husband stuck to regular tea without flavoring. A manly thing, I guess. They served all kinds of tea cakes. There were mini lemon cakes, harder crust cakes with cream cheese in between, mini raspberry pies, mini sugar donuts and a chocolate meringue thing filled with chocolate mousse. Very tasty stuff. They also served finger sandwiches. There was an open faced sandwich with salmon on it and another sandwich on dark rye with cream cheese and grated cucumber inside. They kept serving and serving. It was like eating another meal. It was a lot of fun. The piano player played the whole time we were in there and we took turns guessing what song he was playing. It was always a popular, recognizable song. We went back to our room and decided to take a nap since we had plenty of time before our late seating dinner. Naps at home are few and far between. So this nap was a very much appreciated. But as soon as it was over, it was time to get ready for another full evening and our last evening on the ship. There was a Happy Hour in the Century 21 Bar before dinner (out in the open next to the casino on the Promenade). They were serving chips, queso dip and homemade salsa. So we decided to eat some more (as if the 3 or 4 times we'd eaten earlier in the day weren't enough). It was so good I had to have 2 plates. My husband also had some of the sushi from the sushi bar that was open from 5:30-8:00 and enjoyed that along with his chips and queso dip. We had a little time to kill before dinner. So we visited the casino one last time and donated a little more money to the slot machines. Dinner tonight was a good one. It was our 2nd and final dinner with our tablemates. I again had an appetizer portion of the pasta dish for my appetizer. My husband and I both had the French Onion Soup and my husband had a Caesar Salad. We both had Filet Mignon for our dinner entrEe. It was wonderful. You can't always say that on a cruise. It can be hit or miss with steak preparation. This was definitely a hit. They did it right this time. They didn't give us an option for dessert. They just brought everyone Baked Alaska. This was odd since there were other desserts listed on the menu that was posted outside the dining room. But I probably would have ordered Baked Alaska anyway. And I did enjoy it. After dinner we went into the Cat's Lounge to listen to Synergy, the live dance band. They were really lively. The lead singer was a girl who would be out on the dance floor while she sang teaching people the dances she was doing. And there was a lot of participation because of her. Even when you weren't on the dance floor, she made you feel like dancing in your seat. This lounge was a really different type of lounge. The chairs were made out of leopard like material. But the back drops on the walls were very large boxes of Tide Detergent and other oversized memorabilia from the past. It was very different. After we left Cat's Lounge, we went into the Forum Theatre to listen to Karaoke. This is the lounge at the back of the ship with a decent sized stage which is usually dark and cozy. This place was all lit up and decorated with light colors. It was much different than any of the lounges I've seen in this area of any ship. It wasn't bad. It was just different. Now the karaoke on the other hand, was pretty bad. But it was fun to watch. We left the Forum Lounge and just walked around outside for a while. It was only then that we discovered that there was another adult pool (a round one) in the back of the ship. And there was also a good size children's pool too. Just goes to show that 3 nights is barely enough time to get acquainted with a ship. It was a gorgeous night and we found a little corner on the back of the ship to spend a little quiet romantic time together with no one else around. It was a nice way to end the last night of our cruise. Debarkation Day (Kennedy Space Center) We had to get up early today. We had to meet our tour group that was going to the Kennedy Space Center in Cleopatra's at 7:45. We went to the Windows by the Sea on the Lido deck and had breakfast with the friends we had met from Tampa that went to Senor Frogs with us. We had already exchanged email addresses and so we bid them farewell after breakfast and headed to Cleopatra's. Just as we got in the lounge, they were calling us to leave. We left the ship immediately, went to get our bags and were off the ship and on a big coach bus headed for Kennedy in less than 30 minutes. Kennedy Space Center opened at 9:00. We got there a little early and had to wait for them to open. There was a little kiosk outside selling souvenirs so we bought some souvenirs for our kids and a magnet for our refrigerator (we have tons of vacation magnets too) to kill some time. There were 24 people in our group. Our tour guide was very friendly and informative. Since it was Easter Sunday, it wasn't very crowded at all and that gave us extra time to spend at each area. We learned a lot about the space program and got some good pictures in a space capsule and a moon rover. There were Alligators swimming in the water next to the memorial wall and there were also some just hanging out in the grass next to the water. We got some good pictures of them to bring home to show our kids. We took a bus to the launch pad for the Space Shuttle which was really cool. The Space Shuttle Discovery wasn't out on the launch pad at the time. It was inside the Vehicle Assembly Building where they keep it while it is prepared for it's next launch. It was scheduled to be moved by the crawler to the launch pad in about 10 days after we were there to prepare for a launch sometime between 5/15 & 6/3/05. On the side of the road, there are stretches of water all the way to where the launch pad is located. In the water, we saw many Alligators. It was pretty cool. I've never seen Alligators in the wild before. We had lunch in the Apollo/Saturn V Center in a cafeteria style restaurant. I had a BBQ Pork Sandwich and Fries and my husband had Pizza. It was pretty expensive. With drinks, our meal came to $23. We had another chance to buy souvenirs at the shops there (and I bought a couple more) and then the bus took us back to the main area where we watched an IMAX movie. That was pretty spectacular and educational. After this, the tour was over and the coach bus that took us there took us to the Orlando airport. Our flight home left right on time and we even got in about 25 minutes earlier than scheduled. So after a long and busy vacation, it was good to get some extra relation time before going back to work and the real world the next day. Summary We loved the Carnival Fantasy and all it had to offer. We would definitely recommend it and our only regret is that we didn't get to stay on longer. You could never do it all. Here are some of the things we didn't have time for: The Spa, The Fitness Center, The Big Screen Movie, Volley Ball, Shuffleboard, FunShip Trivia, Game Show Mania, The Newlywed & Not So Newlywed Show, Bingo, the Art Auction, Table Tennis, Life Size Chess, Sing Along in the Piano Bar, the Men's Hairy Chest Contest, Golf Lessons, Ice Carving Demo, Name that Tune, Horse Racing and the Grand Gala Buffet. You could never possibly do it all in 3 days. We can never get to it all on a 7 day cruise either. The point is, you'll never get bored on a cruise or run out of things to do. But, you always have the option of taking it easy and not trying to do it all too if that's what you're looking for. Cruising is awesome and we would cruise on the Carnival Fantasy again any day! Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
I booked this cruise with a local travel agency less than one week prior to sailing. Actually, it was really rescheduling a cruise that I had cancelled earlier due to a medical emergency. I am somewhat of a veteran cruiser with 6 previous ... Read More
I booked this cruise with a local travel agency less than one week prior to sailing. Actually, it was really rescheduling a cruise that I had cancelled earlier due to a medical emergency. I am somewhat of a veteran cruiser with 6 previous cruises and my traveling partner was my sister, a first time cruiser. On my previous cruises, I had always flown in the day of the cruise and never had a problem. I have read on the boards the pros and cons of doing so, but always built in time for things to happen in my flight schedules. This time was no different and I had planned for an early morning flight to Orlando, non-stop jet service. Flying time was a little less than 1-1/2 hours. I figured I had about a 6 hours window for trouble. I won't go into the details here, but due to fog and problems in Orlando, I used up almost 4 hours of my contingency, which made me seriously reconsider the flying in a day early option for my next cruise. Once we were cleared to leave my home airport, the flight was uneventful and we landed at MCO, collected our luggage and proceeded to the Mears Bus Station to buy our transfer. After doing so, we were told the next bus would arrive in 10 minutes. About 40 minutes later, we boarded the bus and made our way to the port. We arrived at the port only to find the line was backed out the front door and it appeared there were about 75 folks in front of us. However, the line moved fast and were checking in about 20 minutes later. I was really surprised the line moved this fast, but the agents were working hard. I had booked this cruise too late for documents to be mailed and I was a little apprehensive about the pier pick up, but they had the docs, my FunPass was complete and we were on board shortly after that. In short, embarkation was a snap and painless. I was really anxious to see the Fantasy since the refurb and I was probably expecting too much because I was a little disappointed in what I saw. Our cabin was on the Main deck and the carpet was very badly stained and dingy, at least along our hallway. The Centrum Bar was nice and the disco florescent lighting had been removed. The theater had been reworked and the biggest change I saw were the stateroom bathrooms. The old pink sinks and counter were replaced with new features and it really looked good. As far as the stateroom goes, I found two areas that I thought needed improvement. The lighting in the bathroom, which was recessed over the mirror, left the shower area a little darker than I would have liked to have seen. Also, the makeup mirror area in the stateroom had no lighting over it, so the only lighting you had was the overhead lighting in the center of the room. Again, this left that area a little dark and my sister complained that she needed more lighting to apply her makeup. Otherwise, the rooms were a nice size and well appointed. The lighting situation was really more of an aggravating kind of thing as opposed to a real problem. I normally don't have a problem with the ship's water, but his time the water was just absolutely awful. It had a strong sulfur taste and smell to it that made it impossible to drink. Even the dining room water was the same way. This was the first time in 7 cruises that I just couldn't drink the water. I couldn't find anyone who could tell me why the water was tasting so terrible. It was not really a problem because I loved the tea and did without the water with no problem. The only real problem that I found on the ship was the constant raw sewage smell that lasted for the entire cruise and was almost present anywhere you went on the ship. I heard that complaint from folks all weekend. The crew was constantly cleaning and tidying up the ship and for a ship that is almost 20 years, it is still in great shape overall. Our cabin steward, whomever it was, he/she never introduced him/her self and I never saw him/her. Our room was kept clean and supplied and while that is their job, I really like to see and get to know a little bit about who is cleaning my room. Whomever it was did a great job, I would have liked the opportunity to personally tell them that and let them know how much I appreciated their work. Our dining room staff was the same. Although they did introduce themselves the first night, they really didn't make any small talk or really interact with us. We were seated at a large table of 8 guests and they never asked our names, where we were from or took the time to do those special things that I think deserves an extra tip. I had to ask the waiter every single night for tea instead of water. As did my sister. The rest of the folks at our table ordered drinks from the bar. I also had to tell the bar waiter every single night that I didn't drink and wouldn't be ordering anything from the bar. Other than that, they were very efficient at their jobs and the food was always delivered hot, on time and right. Again, I would have liked a little interpersonal action from our dining room team. Overall, the crew was always smiling and greeted you when passing. I was particularly pleased with the food on this cruise. It seemed to me that the food, both in the Windows of the Sea restaurant and the formal dining room were especially good this time. I would rank the food excellent. The prime rib just melted in my mouth and the buffet selections were quite tasty as well. The shows were good and while they may be Las Vegas style, they certainly are not Las Vegas quality, but entertaining none the less. The showband was great as usual. Timing was tight and there was some great talent playing on this ship. I particularly liked Luigii on the piano across from the Century 21 bar. He plays some fine jazz and is quite an accomplished pianist. The weather really didn't cooperate as much I would like, but I can't complain since Carnival nor the Captain can do anything about it. You have take what the good Lord gives and make the best of it. But, in short, it was unusually cool in Nassau and off and on cool rain showers made the time on deck very limited on our sea day Saturday. Another major complaint that I heard was that the ship was rocking quite a bit. I will have to agree on this one. The only time the ship was not rocking and moving was while it was anchored in port. This was the 5th time I have been to Nassau and it was by far, the roughest seas that I have been in, but I didn't think it was all that bad. I have been in much worse, but some of the folks thought that big ship was not supposed to rock at all! Imagine that? Anyway, by Saturday night, barf bags were showing up around the ship, but I have never had problem with motion sickness and the only problem I had with the rocking and rolling was that I kept dosing off from being rocked to sleep. Ahhhh.....ya gotta love that! My sister was just blown away with everything since it was her first time. She had a great time and is now hooked, even with the cool weather. I laughed at her because I told her to pack a pair of elastic pants and an extra bag or suitcase because she would need them both. I told her she would need the pants because she would eat herself out of the ones she wore to the cruise and she needed the extra bag for all the first time cruiser's souvenirs. She laughed me off. After debarking on Sunday morning, which was again, painless and efficient, we caught the Avis shuttle to their base of operations and picked up the car we had reserved. Since our outbound flight was not until 10 p.m. that evening, we had decided to spend the day at the Kennedy Space Center. The Avis operation was smooth and flawless and after spending all day at the KSC, we headed back to Orlando for some supper and to watch the Super Bowl before catching our flight. But, not before we found a Wal-Mart and picked up a pair of elastic pants and another suitcase. She walked around the last day with the button on her pants undone. I then laughed her off. The Super Bowl was over before we departed thanks to our plane leaving 45 minutes late. We had a smooth flight and I was back home and in my own bed by 1:10 a.m. The Carnival Fantasy is a wonderful short weekend getaway anytime, but I think it is also a great starter cruise for those first timers who want to get a small taste of what cruising is all about and to see if they like it or not. I think most of them do. JMHO. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
Finally getting around to writing up a review. Dina and I took our first cruise, Feb.. 24-27 on the Carnivals Fantasy. Checking in was a breeze since we booked a Cat. 11 Cabin. Just walked into the Concierge Office, sat down and they did ... Read More
Finally getting around to writing up a review. Dina and I took our first cruise, Feb.. 24-27 on the Carnivals Fantasy. Checking in was a breeze since we booked a Cat. 11 Cabin. Just walked into the Concierge Office, sat down and they did the rest. No standing in line. After that we were personally escorted to the ship. We soon found our cabin and the steward soon found us. I had ordered some roses and Champaign, and other novelties and was happy to find them in good order. The roses were brilliant. After getting settled in we took a walk just to get familiar with the ship. Since we arrived at around 3:30 pm we didn't have much time but the ship was easy to figure out. The cabin was large enough for my wife and me but I don't think I would put more then more then two people in there. Before we left port we had our life boat drill which was soon over. We pulled out of port under an overcast sky. After about 30 min. sailing, the sky cleared and made for wonderful weather. The sea was smooth and dust soon gave way to the rising of the Full Moon. If all I did was sit out on the Balcony with Dina and watch the sea pass by under the Full Moon, it would have been enough. It was time to find our dinning room and table. We were the first to arrive at our table soon our table mates arrived. The maitre d' and Waiters very friendly and attentive to our needs and request. The Decor in the Dinning Room was a bit loud & busy for me. I felt as though I was in a casino in Las Vegas, Bright Colors, Lights and no windows. It took a while for me to get use to it but by the second night I knew what to expect and it didn't bother me as much. The Food was great. Every where you went there was something going on. It was a carnival atmosphere. I guess I should explain that I've been in Iraq for 8 months and walking into an environment like that was a bit much. My senses were overloaded. I wanted to get out and go back to my "Balcony by the Sea" but Dina was having a great time. As I said the food was great and the service excellent. There was always some place to go on the ship at anytime, to find food. After pulling into port, we set out to see what Freeport had to offer. Get ready for the hair braiding assault. We took a tour on a horse drawn carriage that lasted all of 20 min. Most exciting thing was the horse getting spooked by a passing vehicle and almost running a red light. All I was thinking was "I'm glad I got the Travelers Insurance". We signed up for a snorkeling excursion with one of the local tour operators. A short boat ride out to a reef and soon we were in about 30 feet of water with a wide variety of marine life to enjoy. We were in the water for about 1.5 hours then it was time to get back. Everyone was very friendly and a good time was had by all. The ship stewards we very attentive to out needs. We always came back to our room to find it cleaned, by whom, only the towel animal knows. My wife enjoyed the yoga class, but thought it could be a little better. In Fantasy's defense I should add that my wife thinks most yoga classes have room for improvement. As the days past we got to meet and get to know more people with very seating, breakfast, lunch and dinner. By the last night the seas did pick up a bit so I thought I'd reach for the Dramamine. I bought a bottle at the request of my wife. I didn't think we'd really need it, but I bought it for her just the same. Ok I was wrong, the only problem was I left it home on the counter. I just had to tough it out. The Food was great, and the service excellent. Every where you went, there was something going on. It was a carnival atmosphere. Disembarking was an event and definitely needed to be better organized. I would recommend the Fantasy to anyone who asked. This was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. Thank you Carnival Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
We arrived at the pier around 1:30 and boarded about an hour later; the most exciting moment for me was walking up the gangway to enter the ship. This was our second cruise and it seems that this is what going to heaven must be like! ... Read More
We arrived at the pier around 1:30 and boarded about an hour later; the most exciting moment for me was walking up the gangway to enter the ship. This was our second cruise and it seems that this is what going to heaven must be like! After exploring the ship and our stateroom we went up to the pool deck to see New York as we sailed away. It was exciting beyond compare, but it was February 27 and after a while the cold became unbearable. We warmed up with our send off meal in the Garden Cafe and then set about fully exploring the ship. Our first cruise was on the Empress of the Seas to Bermuda in July, 2003-also a great experience-but the Norwegian Dawn was much better. Of course it is new and much larger, but the food was excellent and the stateroom spacious. We ate at Impressions, Aqua, Le Bistro, Venetian, La Trattoria and the Garden Cafe and always found the food of excellent quality. The staff was great and we always received first-class treatment-always a smile. We enjoyed all our ports of call, but the ship was unable to stop at Great Stirrup Cay due to weather and conditions on the island; the captain indicated that repair work was still ongoing due to last year's hurricane damage. We spent extra time in Nassau. The shows were great, but they are just one of many wonderful things to do on this ship. I enjoyed sitting in the library and also the reading room where I could scan the sea for hours with binoculars. The only negative thing I can say about this cruise is that it ended. I will definitely cruise with NCL again on the Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
We flew into Miami on Sunday Feb 20, stayed at the Clarion Suites airport because I had a free night. Transportation to Port of Miami on Monday was $16 for two people. Time between being dropped off in front of the RCL terminal to boarding ... Read More
We flew into Miami on Sunday Feb 20, stayed at the Clarion Suites airport because I had a free night. Transportation to Port of Miami on Monday was $16 for two people. Time between being dropped off in front of the RCL terminal to boarding ship was about 30 minutes, very easy and quick process. We went directly to our cabin on deck 5 which had a window. The only other cruise we had taken was in 1993 on this same ship and on that one we had an inside cabin. There was no comparison, it was great to have a window. After checking out our cabin and leaving carry ons we headed for the Windjammer buffet, same place everyone was going. What has been said about the elevators is true, they are very slow, and sometimes even bypass your deck for no apparent reason. To us the buffet food was only average, but on a ship everyone eats as if it is 5 star. It was a beautiful night to sail, and for 4 days we had very good weather. The sea was as calm as a lake. We took a pill the first night as a precaution against seasickness, but did not need any pills after that. We had second seating, 8:30, and that proved best for us. They had shows at 7:15 for us and at 9:00 for the first seating. The entertainment was first rate, from the singers and dancers to the comedy act. That was our most enjoyable part of the trip. We found the dinner food also just average to good, certainly not great by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if we were served that food at a restaurant back home we would probably not go back. Steaks were tender, but lacked something. Chicken dishes were ok, but also lacked something. Desserts were not as tempting as they could be, cheesecake was good, although it took waiter a long time to find a piece, ice cream was good, but others were average at best. Best thing my wife had was appetizers, scallops and shrimp cocktail. We ate breakfast in both the dining room and Windjammer, not much difference between the quality. Pizza we had as an evening snack reminded us of Domino's. Nassau was not very impressive to us, shopping was name of the game. We intended to go to Atlantis, but opted out after walking in the city. Coco Cay was a beautiful little spot, with lots of food available. Key West was a nice place to visit, if you like bars Duval street had plenty of them. Getting off the ship on Friday was orderly and also an easy process. Ship is old, but we witnessed plenty of workers painting, cleaning, and generally everything was in good shape except carpet should be replaced in many areas. We were happy with the 4 day cruise because it convinced us that cruising is not for us. After the 7 day cruise in 1993 we wanted to test the waters again. I think we will remain on land for our future vacations, as there is much to see in the USA. All in all, boarding was easy, people on ship were very friendly and cooperative, sea was calm, shows were good, but food was average. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
We just cruised this month and had a wonderful time onboard. This was our second time cruising the Disney Wonder, the first time being in 2003. We noticed lots of changes -- pleasantly surprised. The entertainment was great. The movies ... Read More
We just cruised this month and had a wonderful time onboard. This was our second time cruising the Disney Wonder, the first time being in 2003. We noticed lots of changes -- pleasantly surprised. The entertainment was great. The movies shown in the Buena Vista theater were current releases. I suggest going to their presentation on shopping in Nassau as they give really good info on where to go for great deals and free stuff. The accommodations were wonderful. My husband and I traveled with our 12 year old son and he had a wonderful time at their Oceaneer Lab. We were traveling with a larger group, 15 total of family members/friends and the servers we had each evening were wonderful. They were very personable and attentive. The food was ok. The desserts were ok as well. We were invited to a special reception for repeat cruisers to meet the crew and we were giving our opinion on the desserts and how they weren't the best. Little did we know that we were talking to the pastry chef. We did enjoy the desserts at Triton's and the Chocolate Cake at Parrot Cay. But overall the cruise was amazing. On our last day we visited Disney's private Island, Castaway Cay. Our excursions were cancelled due to high winds but they really made up for it by adding lots of extra activities on board and the BBQ buffet on the island was good also. We enjoy Disney cruises, we appreciate the space we have in the room. I think the split bathroom/shower tub design is a little to be desired. I think it takes a lot of space away having the two separate rooms. But it worked out ok. A couple without kids also traveled with us and had a great time, so you don't have to feel as if you'll be bombarded by kids by going on a Disney Cruise. Whether you have kids or not, you'll have a wonderful time. Because of how their entire staff treats you, it sets high standards that you wonder if you'll get the same type of attention on another cruise line. I guess one day we'll find out. But we're in the process of planning our 3rd Disney Cruise. The embarkation process was smooth. If you're a repeat cruiser you have a separate line to get waited on quicker but the regular line was going quickly as well. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
Let me start this review with WONDERFUL, FABULOUS, DELICIOUS! We had a simply fantastic time. EMBARKING: We got to the pier at approximately 11:15, knowing we would probably have a long wait. The Dawn got in a little late and people ... Read More
Let me start this review with WONDERFUL, FABULOUS, DELICIOUS! We had a simply fantastic time. EMBARKING: We got to the pier at approximately 11:15, knowing we would probably have a long wait. The Dawn got in a little late and people didn't start leaving the ship until about 11:30. By time everyone was off and they started boarding, it was about 1:30-1:45. They did have seats though, so I had a book and the time flew by. Last time we sailed out of New York on Carnival we had to stand, although it was only for a little over an hour. Once they started calling people to board, it was no time before we on the ship ... probably 15 minutes. We had our obligatory picture taken and off we went. CABIN: We had an aft cabin, 9238, and we loved it. Had an aft cabin on the Carnival Legend and specifically booked another aft cabin this time around. We love sitting on our balcony and watching the wake. It's also nice because you get to see so much more when coming and going to and from port. It was roomy for 2 people. I remember someone on the boards complaining about not enough storage space, and I'll agree there could be more drawer space (only 3 in the vanity section), but there are 4 huge shelves in the closet, so we had more than enough. Our Cabin Steward, Ronald, and his assistant, Angie, delivered our luggage about 5 p.m. and introduced themselves. They were just great. Ronald was a little shy, but Angie was very outgoing and spoke wonderful English. They made fun towel animals and kept our cabin spotless. SHIP: She is beautiful! Colorful and elegant, tasteful and eccentric! I thought the ship was easy to get around, except for the times I was aft on Deck 7 and tried to get to Deck 6. I kept forgetting about the Aqua being there and the stairs down being "Crew Only." Most of the bars and restaurants, along with the Stardust Theater and the Casino are on Decks 6 and 7, so everything is very convenient. I will say I'm glad it was so big! The only exercise I got was walking from bar to bar and restaurant to restaurant, which could be a hike because of our cabin location. The design is very pretty with bright colored carpets everywhere, but elegant in the dining rooms and Atrium. FOOD: What can I say? Delicious and plentiful. We ate at LeBistro on the first night and it was fabulous. They had ½ price deals on all pay restaurants. The salmon is to die for and my husband loved the filet. Of course, extra escargot all around! We tried Salsa's with 2 women we met through Cruise Critic, and since Barbara had been on the Dawn numerous times, we let her take care of ordering the appetizers. The waitress insisted on bringing us 4 of everything so we could taste all of them and ended up ordering more Onions .... mmm. We all had ribs and had no problem just picking them up and eating them off the bone ... lol! Our last night was at LaTrattoria. Just super. Lasagna was very good, not like you find anywhere else. Lots of layers of pasta, spinach and ricotta sitting in a very dark tomato based sauce. I had the Beef Medallions. Our other dinners were eaten in The Venetian. We like the atmosphere of the big dining room and it was very elegant. There was always something on the menu we loved. We never had to wait more than 1 minute to be seated and ate around 8 p.m. We ate breakfast every morning but two in the Venetian as well. I'm not a buffet kind of person. Why eat up there when I can get great food and wonderful service in the Dining Room. 2 lunches were eaten at the Blue Lagoon and we had some snacks there also. You have to try the Shepherd's Pie. It was like nothing I had ever eaten. My husband loved the Won Ton soup, although I didn't. There was a pork and noodle dish chock full of peanuts and cashews that was delicious. Bottom line ... food and service were incredible! ENTERTAINMENT: We are not much of the show-going type, so I can't really comment on many of the shows. I am from Chicago originally, so, of course, had to check out Second City. Boy, am I glad we did. It was hysterical. I was laughing so hard I cried! Don't miss it! 3 of the cast members along with Colin, the Cruise Director, did a version of the Liar's Club later in the week and it was very funny. We caught the Not-So-Newlywed Game and as usual, entertaining. We signed up to be on Family Feud, but didn't get called. It was still enjoyable to watch. Anything that Colin, the CD, had to do with was great. He is the best Cruise Director I have ever had the pleasure to sail with. He was very visible and always had a smile on his face. I can't remember the names of any CDs I've sailed with and I can guarantee I will never forget Colin Kerr! There was always music being played somewhere and Karaoke most nights, although the Karaoke was kind of weird. The background music was very soft and hard to hear, and the original singers of the songs came through. One of the most enjoyable times I had on our last Carnival cruise was a piano bar with a great musician and a book of songs so we could all sing along. I would have enjoyed that and was disappointed that there was nothing like that on this ship. CASINO: Very tight slot machines, although I found one that was fun and paid off a bit. My husband is a big Let It Ride player and was a little frustrated that there was only one table. On our last night, he had to wait 1-1/2 hours to get a seat, just to sit for 2 hours and lose all his money! (haha). It is huge though, with $1, 50 cent, quarter and nickel machines. Lots of Blackjack, along with Roulette, Baccarat, Craps, Caribbean Stud Poker and a table of Texas Hold 'Em. There were Slot Tournaments and Blackjack Tournaments throughout the cruise. Any questions, just ask. We spent a lot of time there. ITINERARY: We didn't care what the itinerary was. To us it's not the destination, it's the journey. I don't fly, so our options are limited and I booked this cruise for nostalgia purposes. I used to live in Florida and have a friend I hadn't seen in years who lived in Orlando. So, in Port Canaveral we took a bus ($4.00 round trip) to Cocoa Beach Pier, ate lunch at a raw bar, had a few foo-foo drinks and met up with our friends about 3 p.m. Spent some time with them and back to the ship at 6:30. In Miami Beach, where I spent many weeks when I was young, we took the BB Hopper (much cheaper than a taxi) to South Beach. We just walked around and shopped at Lincoln Road (what memories!) and took a bus to 72nd Street Beach where I lived back in the early 1970's. We walked and sunned on the beach, headed back to South Beach and caught the 2 p.m. BB Hopper back to the ship where we knew we could get a chair by the pool. In Nassau, we had booked the Athol Island Snorkeling excursion and it was fabulous. They had fish food on the boat that took us to the island, and when you fed the fish schooled all around. We could actually touch them. We love to snorkel and thought this was the best one we had ever done. After the excursion we ate lunch on the ship, took the shuttle to the shopping area and checked out the Straw Market. That was interesting. Rows and rows of people all selling the same thing! Just find the one that will bargain the best and you're all set. Of course, had to have a Margarita at Senor Frogs! DISEMBARKING: I can't really give a review of our disembarking. We were given VIP tags and were off the ship right after the non-US citizens. Also, there were no people waiting to board due to the Dawn going into dry dock. So it was so easy. What is nice about NCL is that you can stay in your room until you are ready to leave the ship, so there were no crowded throngs of people waiting impatiently to get off the ship. All in all, this was our best cruise out of 4. It was very relaxing and the food and service were excellent. We never saw one crew member without a smile on their face, and a hello on their lips. We will definitely consider another Dawn trip. We have come to believe that NCL is our favorite line and the Freestyle Cruising is the way to go. Less luggage, more relaxing. If anyone has a question, please feel free to ask. Talking about the cruise after I come home keeps the memory alive! Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
Let me start by telling you this was my 10th cruise and my husbands 7th and our 6th Carnival cruise. We cruised with 2 other couples and we are all between 40 and 60 years old. I'm a little partial to Carnival but for a good reason, ... Read More
Let me start by telling you this was my 10th cruise and my husbands 7th and our 6th Carnival cruise. We cruised with 2 other couples and we are all between 40 and 60 years old. I'm a little partial to Carnival but for a good reason, they offer the best deal for the money you spend! Their food is always good and the entertainment outstanding. Until the Miracle we have always been quite satisfied with our other Carnival cruises, but the Miracle surpasses all other ships we sailed on including the Pride which use to be our favorite. We even did the Pride 2 times -- once in Florida and the other time in California. We felt the Miracle was extremely clean, friendly and the food was excellent. The Beatles show was outstanding. It was like "old home week" for us because the Captain and our waiter and a lot of the crew had been on the Pride when we first sailed her out of Port Canaveral in 2002 when she was brand new. I asked our waiter where the Prides original Maitre d' was and she said he had retired. That's too bad because he was a great Maitre d' and he really kept his staff busy entertaining us. He even sang a few songs himself. Anyone who took the original Pride cruises out of Florida know what I'm talking about. This was only a 3 day cruise, but it gave us time to get away with friends and relax and also to see the Miracle. For 2 of our friends this was their first cruise and I know it won't be their last. They are already talking about another one in the spring. We booked a balcony guarantee through Carnival and were upgraded to the Panorama Deck with an extended balcony. We were quite happy. The first timers were upgraded from an inside cabin to a obstructed balcony, which they said was great. I thought that was a great upgrade for first time cruisers. In Nassau the girls went shopping (of course) and then we all went over to the Atlantis Resort and saw the sites there. The Aquarium was really nice and my hubby won a little in the Casino which made his day. A couple of our friends got engaged on the first night on board. He took her to Nick and Nora's to ask her the big question, but it was too busy and he decided to wait till he found a more private spot on the ship and then he asked her. She was thrilled and afterward we all had champagne in our cabin to celebrate. I think the wedding should be on board a cruise ship so we can all go on another cruise together. I'm voting for Hawaii! They are thinking about it! Boarding was a breeze. We arrived at the Port at 10:30 and were on the ship at 11:30 and were eating on the deck at 12:15. The best boarding we have ever had. The Pride boarding in April was a different story! Going through customs on return was also great. No hold up at all. We were bussed to the parking garage because we came back to a different dock than we left from but that ran smoothly too. I heard some people complaining but I didn't think it was bad at all. We were off the ship by 9:15 a.m. and driving home. That to me is a Miracle in itself. Thanks Miracle for the miracle. There really isn't enough space here to tell you everything we crammed into 3 days, but we had a ball. If you would like to ask me any questions I will be happy to do so. Carnival thank you for a very organized operation and a wonderful vacation. We will be back!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2005

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