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1,819 Bahamas Cruise Reviews

Well, first time cruisers, beware. My husband and I took this ship for our first ever cruise. We had our expectations set high, as everyone has told us that cruising is THE way to go. After this cruise, we think that statement is ... Read More
Well, first time cruisers, beware. My husband and I took this ship for our first ever cruise. We had our expectations set high, as everyone has told us that cruising is THE way to go. After this cruise, we think that statement is completely false. The food was blah, and they tried to hard to be 'uppity.' If you're going to serve me a steak, don't try to make it a beautiful doing by adding some green slime on the top of it and tell me it's the best steak since the first cow. I do have to say, however, that the staff was amazing, and if we could take the staff from the Fantasy and move it to a different ship, we would do so in a minute. They did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable, but it just wasn't happening. Above all, the entertainment was awful. There was 1 entertainment venue which did not have any great entertainment by a long shot. Dancing people in Carnival colored cheerleader outfits did not do anything for my husband and I. There were 3 clubs, none that sparked our interest. The drinks were OUTRAGEOUSLY priced, over $2.00 for a soda, almost $3 for a bottle of water (Which you MUST Drink)... Freeport, Bahamas was a waste of time, and the shore excursion (snorkeling) was not that great. Nassau was nice, but we were already so disgusted with our trip, we didn't enjoy it. The major downfall of this ship, which I think contributed greatly to our terrible time was the fact that there was little introduction to the cruising experience or what was available for us to do during our cruise. We had to find everything out for ourselves, and felt like we were constantly wandering around aimlessly. In the end, please consider going to Nassau, Bahamas - but definitely take a different cruise line to get there. We will NEVER cruise on Carnival again, and we have heard many people say the same thing since our return... Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Just returned from 4 nights on the Majesty of the Seas and out of 11 different cruise on various ines this was one of my least favorite. I am a 35 year old homemaker, my husband is a 42 year old executive and our daughter is 6. We spent ... Read More
Just returned from 4 nights on the Majesty of the Seas and out of 11 different cruise on various ines this was one of my least favorite. I am a 35 year old homemaker, my husband is a 42 year old executive and our daughter is 6. We spent the night prior in a Fort Lauderdale hotel and hired a sedan service to take us to the cruise port. Embarkation was quite easy and rather quick. No lines to speak of when we arrived just before noon. Once boarding the ship we noticed immediately that it was quite worn in many places. A little disappointed that champagne and mimosas were not being handed out as a welcome but at the time didn't think much of it - we should have known it as an indication of the class level of this ship. The first bad experience was the full court press to purchase their wine program immediately upon boarding. The waiters at this table were pushy and insistent and made one feel as though they would not get wine at all in the dining room unless you purchased the package. Personally, I like to pair my wine with my meal and how am I supposed to know what I want to eat three days from now? It felt like being on a tropical island where people chase you down to buy their trinkets of braid your hair. We were able to go to our cabin at 1pm. I had read many things about the size of the RCCL cabins. We booked this little getaway just a few weeks in advance and could only get an inside to accommodate 3 people. I am not kidding when I say the sleeping area of this cabin is only a foot or 2 larger than the closet in my bedroom. I was able to unpack us (thankfully I packed light this trip) and get the luggage stowed out of the way. No safe! I have cruised on older ships before but never encountered one that had not been updated to include safes in the room. In one's cabin you will find a half dozen cans of various sodas and 2 bottles of water. We prefer to have a pitcher of fresh water in our cabin but since this was a short trip decided not to bother since we had problems on another line trying to fresh water. So we drank the bottled water - one problem - it was never replenished. Even in your most basic hotel, when you open or drink something from the mini bar housekeeping puts a new on in its place. Not on this ship. Our dining table mates were lovely and we enjoyed their company. Our dining room service was very good and we got the best service ever from our maitre d', very attentive to us, getting Hannah shrimp cocktail when not on the menu, cutting her meat so I don't have to. On most cruises you only see the head waiters on tip night so this was a welcome change. The menu selections were substandard for us. The gala dinner left much to be desired (no lobster any night of the cruise) and for some reason, RCCL thinks it cute for the waitstaff to sing every night of your cruise. For me, if I want entertainment I will go to the show lounge. Only went to one show and was pretty much underwhelmed. It wasn't horrible but just not wow. Our trip had some not great weather (remnants of Gamma made it windy and quite cold in the Bahamas). Our excursion in Nassau was cancelled and we skipped CocoCay altogether. RCCL did refund our money for myself and my husband for our cancelled excursion in Nassau but not Hannah's for some reason and the line at the purser's desk wasn't worth the $16. Since the weather was so cold the pools were obviously chilly (we did have a good weather day in Key West however) but what was really disappointing was the temperature of the hot tubs (or "not tubs" as we began calling them). Not only did they not enforce the 16 year old age requirement in these tubs but the water wasn't even body temperature! Another problem with the pool area was the towel situation. Our first day at the pool we did not realize we were to bring the towels from our cabin (I thought they were for going ashore as on most cruise lines) and had to SIGN for towels to use at the pool. Like I would want to take home one of these towels! On most other cruises, the towels are already set out on the lounge chairs just waiting for you or there is a pick up and drop off point where you come and go as you please without having to be finger printed. Dining in the Lido area offered good food but bad service. We always had a hard time finding a table because they did not seem like they were cleared of dirty dishes very often. Overall the service on this cruise was very very poor. The public restrooms were almost always dirty, with towels on the floor, water all over the sink etc. I never once saw anyone in these restrooms cleaning them, on other cruise lines there is an attendant for each public restroom to maintain it, etc. No one working on this ship seemed happy to be there, no one says hello to you or offers a smile. Usually on a cruise at any given moment someone is cleaning something but on this ship I never saw anyone - no one polishing the handrails on the stairways, no one vacuuming or cleaning the public areas, it was overall just a dirty uncared for ship. The one saving grace was that Hannah enjoyed the children's program. She got a big kick out of Pirate Night and enjoyed the rock climbing wall This was our first RCCL experience and more than likely our last. Their bigger, newer ships may be better but I am not sure we want to risk that kind of money to find out when we know other lines d it right on ALL their ships not just the 7 day trips. 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Sail Date November 2005
I was not impressed at all. There were 18 family members. Five of the members had cruised before and all five said this cruise was not as good as the others they have experienced. For this to be my first cruise I was disappointed. I was ... Read More
I was not impressed at all. There were 18 family members. Five of the members had cruised before and all five said this cruise was not as good as the others they have experienced. For this to be my first cruise I was disappointed. I was excited when we first arrived at the port. Check-in was wonderful. Once we walked onto the ship, I thought to myself, this is going to be nice. The centrum was nice. We arrived early(noon), so our room was not ready. We went to the Windjammer for lunch. The food was okay. It was warm, NEVER HOT. After lunch we made our way to our room. As soon as we turned the corner on our floor(3rd floor) we were met with a foul odor(like sewage). That immediately turned me off. When I got to my room I no longer smelt the odor though the odor remained in that little section the entire trip. I did notice stains on my floor and on the dressers. The room size was good for my daughter and I. We had early sitting in the main dining room. Food was good but once again only warm. A friend of mine had warned me not to buy the soda pass because the juice is free and it is really good. However, she was on the Sovereign of the Seas, not the Majesty. The Majesty watered down their juices. The first night, I ordered cranberry juice and it did not taste like cranberry juice. It was drinkable but really weak. Well the next day at the BBQ cookout at Coco Cay, my sister-in-law witnessed the staff pouring pitchers of water into the fruit punch. I thought that was really low. That is like cheating your customers. Saturday night my toilet broke. The plumber came Sunday morning. He stuck his hand in the toilet to pull out some tissue, then he was touching stuff, i.e. door handles, sink nobs. I was too through. To witness that made my daughter and I both about throw up. I went to the pursers to complain and they sent my room attendant to sanitize my room, but still, I could not get that visual out of my mind. I did not use my bathroom the rest of the trip. I used my mother's room down the hall. If there would not have been anymore family on this trip I don't know what I would have done. I also was not aware of the tipping suggestions for the head waiter, waiter, assistant waiter and the room attendant. They suggest $30/guest to cover everyone. That would have been $60 for my daughter and myself. It's not mandatory, but the way they always leave notes in your room, you start to feel as if it is mandatory. Of course to each it's own. Some reviews I read had a ball. For me and my little one, we will never cruise this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
This was our third cruise in the last twelve months and my wife's tenth or eleventh overall, so we are experienced cruisers at this point. Last summer we cruised on the Disney Wonder and then at Christmas last year we cruised on ... Read More
This was our third cruise in the last twelve months and my wife's tenth or eleventh overall, so we are experienced cruisers at this point. Last summer we cruised on the Disney Wonder and then at Christmas last year we cruised on Carnival Imagination, so we also have recent experience with different lines and ships. We decided to take a quick Independence Day weekend cruise to celebrate my in-laws 40th anniversary. There were six of us all together with my wife, myself and our 7 and 14 year old daughters in one cabin and my in-laws in another cabin four doors down. Both cabins were outside cabins, which proved to be a good choice as the inside cabins are quite a bit smaller than the outside. The cabins on Majesty are smaller than we have been used to on other lines; however, by carefully storing our bags we managed to find plenty of living space for ourselves. The cabin was clean and the decor was very nice. One of lights above one of the bunkbeds did not work (finally fixed on the last day of the cruise after two requests) but everything else was in good repair. Our embarkation process was smooth and we were on the ship and at lunch by 1:00 p.m. There seemed to be many early birds on this cruise because the ship was already quite full by 1:00. We spent most of the first afternoon exploring the ship and unpacking our bags. We had first seating for dinner and the first night everyone was dressed pretty casual as is the norm on most ships. Dinner was good but not outstanding in any way. We found our wait staff to be slow, inattentive and not patient enough to really listen to what we were saying. At one point I was only half done asking our waiter for something and he started to walk away, making it necessary for me to call out for him to stop and come back. Over the three days there were at least half a dozen instances of orders being bungled by not listening to what we asked for. The food all three nights was good but not at the level that starts your mouth watering when you think of taking another cruise. I was somewhat annoyed that the only copies of the children's menu that were available in the dining room were printed in Spanish. Since none of us speak Spanish this went way beyond inconvenience and was a big problem every night trying to find a nice dinner for our seven year old daughter. On the second night I asked twice for the drink waiter to bring our bill, which he finally did, but he took so long bringing my Sea card back that I found myself sitting alone at the table for almost ten minutes. Probably the biggest disappointment in the dining room came on formal night. As mentioned before it was my in-laws 40th anniversary and we wanted to celebrate on formal night. Several weeks before we sailed we called Royal Caribbean and told them we wanted to celebrate their anniversary at dinner. Formal night was nice, but dinner came and went and nothing was done to acknowledge the event. The waiter, to his credit, sensed my displeasure without me having to say anything and fixed it the next night. Overall the dining experience on this cruise was sub-par to what we have been accustomed to on other cruise lines and one of the biggest disappointments of the cruise. Day two of the cruise was sunny and beautiful as we sailed into Coco Cay. We decided to just explore the island on our own so the four adults set off down the beach. Most of the guests stayed up near the tender docks so we almost had the beaches to ourselves. We enjoyed searching the surf line for interesting shells and watching the sand crabs scurry around the beach. We found five conchs that were still alive washed up on the beach so we returned them back to the water. It was fascinating watching the wildlife. Probably one of the highlights of the island was the lizards we saw that were as much as four feet long! By late morning it was getting hot so my wife and I lounged around in a hammock until time for lunch. Lunch on Coco Cay was quite good and you couldn't ask for a better environment to just kick back and relax. Day three found us in Nassau. I had been to Nassau on another cruise but had never actually gone into town so we decided to do some shopping in town in the morning. The straw market has some nice costume jewelry and the vendors are very willing to dicker on price. In the afternoon we all went to Atlantis and spent a couple hours just enjoying the aquarium there. They have a Manta Ray there that has a wing span of twelve feet and weighs about 600 pounds! I could have stood there and watched the fish all day. Let me backtrack and talk a little about the entertainment on the ship. We saw their dance production entitled "Boogie Wonderland" the first night. The show was nicely done and I would rate it slightly better than the shows we saw on Imagination but not nearly as good as Disney (but then who does have shows as good as Disney?). We opted out of the other shows on the cruise because they showed some very good movies on this cruise and we went to two different movies. My seven year old daughter positively loved the children's programs and even didn't want to leave when we picked her up each evening. "Toilet Paper Paul" does a great job with the kids and keeps them interested and involved throughout the whole cruise. My fourteen year old daughter always thoroughly embraces the whole cruise experience but she really threw herself into this one. There were 350 teens on this cruise so she had plenty of potential friends. She spent about 80% of the cruise with a group of about six other teens her age and she said this was her favorite cruise. I got to have a proud father moment when she won the gold medal in female teens rock climbing and beat the time of all of the boys, except one. There was one unfortunate occurrence on the cruise that really jaded my view of Majesty of the Seas and possibly even RCI. When we got on the ship on the first day I decided to purchase the unlimited soda package for both of our girls, which for six dollars a day gives them unlimited soda if they use a special cup RCI gave us. On the first day my younger daughters cup was stolen from the pool area. I went to the soda fountain, showed her card with the soda sticker, explained what had happened and asked for another cup. I was told that the cups had to be accounted for and they could not give us one, they suggested I see the pursers staff. I went to the pursers desk and was told that the cups were only distributed on the first day, so I said no problem just credit me for the two days she can't use. The customer service agent told me that I would have to see the bar manager to get that done and that the bar manager was in a meeting and unavailable. I asked what could be done and he said nothing. I then said we cruise two to three times a year and asked him if he was really willing to lose a potential repeat cruiser over a twelve dollar account credit. He said there was nothing he could do, so I guess I'll take that as a yes to my question. With some cruise lines, like Disney, now offering free soda service on their ships I find this whole unlimited soda card to be nothing more than a scam and I will not fall into that trap again. Overall we all liked the ship, my daughters loved the kids programs and the three days were quite enjoyable. We chose this cruise as a way of evaluating RCI because we're thinking about booking a cruise on their new ship "Freedom of the Seas" that debuts next summer and we hadn't cruised on RCI before. Will I sail on Majesty of the Seas again? No way. Will I sail on RCI again? I can't say never but as of right now I'd have to say probably not. Read Less
Sail Date July 2005
I took my first cruise with Carnival about three years before I did this cruise. I loved the seven day tour of the Western Caribbean but I couldn't afford that package again so I opted for the 3 day Bahamas cruise thinking I'd ... Read More
I took my first cruise with Carnival about three years before I did this cruise. I loved the seven day tour of the Western Caribbean but I couldn't afford that package again so I opted for the 3 day Bahamas cruise thinking I'd save money. HA!. After taxes, fees, and the cost of a balcony (who wants to cruise without a balcony?) the saving was nominal. Maybe two hundred bucks compared to what you'd spend on a seven day. The process of getting on the boat went well because I had a suite and that entitled me to "skippers club" benefits. My girlfriend and I were placed in a small quiet room where we did all our in processing while hundreds of people waited in line. SWEET. Once upstairs we had to wait for customs to get ready and then had to hustle to the front because the Carnival workers didn't ask for Skipper's Club members upstairs. Once onboard, our breath was taken away (in a good way). Walking on to one of these boats and knowing your vacation is starting is a great feeling. Getting to our room was kind of difficult as we had to walk to the back of the boat to catch an elevator that went to the verandah deck. Our room was (like the whole boat) was old. The furniture was worn, the light on the balcony was broken (it was finally fixed on night 3) but it is vacation and who wants to be in a room? We went out on the deck and it was raining. It rained almost every day. That is not Carnival's fault but it does stink to cruise in crummy weather. On board, we found there was plenty yet nothing to do. Lots of things scheduled but nothing that you'd really enjoy. All in all we ate, gambled, and drank for the majority of the cruise. You're never far from a bar and there are waiters walking around constantly to serve food. Lemonade and other juices are free but soda and drinks cost. I prefer Corona beer so I spent around five bucks a beer. Tips are included. Some people sneak alcohol on board but that's just too much worrying for me. I had my fair share of drinks and so did my girlfriend and we probably spent about two hundred bucks over four days on alcohol alone. Breakfast features "sweaty eggs" as my girlfriend called them (I think they were made with Egg Beaters), the bacon was burnt but I like bacon that way, but on average the food is good. Breakfast is a little disappointing but it you like omelets you don't have to worry about the scrambled eggs getting cold. Beware, the omelet line is insane. Lunch was much better. The hamburgers and hot dogs are REALLY GOOD! Like two hamburgers and three hot dogs for me good. Dinner isn't so bad. The best food is in the dining hall but the buffet does all right. Honestly, I ate more hamburgers and hot dogs. Room service is extremely slow. Order your food around 2pm and you should have it on time for dinner. As I said, it rained almost the entire time. We got to the Bahamas and it was just more of the same. We choose the snorkeling shore excursion and found that the people of the Bahamas were pretty friendly but the guys in charge of our excursion were more interested in drinking than doing their jobs. If your girlfriend is "eye candy" be prepared to put them in check because a few drinks makes them a little too friendly. We snorkeled for awhile before I thought that it might not be a good idea to be swimming in dark waters. Back on land we ate some conch fritters (good going down but bad going out), had 151 punch and generally relaxed. Back on board we did more of the same. Eat, drink and gambled. I did walk away 500.00 richer which didn't hurt at all. Honestly, the last day was the best. I woke up and the sun was shining, I had coffee and sweaty eggs on my balcony and enjoyed the pool. All in all, I love cruising but this didn't feel to well planned out by Carnival. For a cruise this short, the price should be much lower. If you're going to do this and you want a balcony I advise you to go on a longer cruise. My next cruise is a seven day of the Eastern Caribbean and I'll let you know how that one goes. Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
I have cruised before but this was my first time on the Norwegian Dawn. I have cruised with Celebrity in the past and will go back to that line. Freestyle cruising is not for me. There are many options for dining, unfortunately you have to ... Read More
I have cruised before but this was my first time on the Norwegian Dawn. I have cruised with Celebrity in the past and will go back to that line. Freestyle cruising is not for me. There are many options for dining, unfortunately you have to wait for a table. We waited over 1 hour and then missed a show one evening. There are many choices when it comes to dining but several of then require an extra fee. Isn't the point of a cruise is that the food is free? I also missed the personalized service that you get on other cruise lines when you have one waiter all week long. Out of seven nights we had 3 good waiters, 2 of those 3 were exceptional. I would have enjoyed having one of them all week long. I felt that the cruise director, Collin, was great but as a whole I did not feel that the cruise staff was very friendly. I am used to seeing them everywhere and having conversations with them throughout the week. This was not the case. They do not do a lot of activities with guests. They played volleyball at the pool twice but there were no other pool side games. When I cruise with Celebrity they have a variety of games for all ages and they come out and dance during the days at sea. I am not sure what the NCL staff did all day, but I didn't see them. I was also very disappointed because our itinerary was changed. We were to leave for Nassau at 4 p.m. on Thursday. At around 4:30 there was an announcement that there was something wrong with the ship, since Miami, and we needed to leave for New York ASAP. They said that we only had one propeller and our knots would have to be lessened. Well we were cruise along and arrived in NY 8 hours early. Everyone was furious. Many people also found it interesting that we could go to NCL's private island where they charge more than 20 dollars for rafts. They had to make a mint that day! That island is extremely crowded and getting off the ship to get there was unorganized and chaotic. We waited for the lines to go down, unfortunately when we arrived there were no seats available and no more rafts. The lines for lunch were very long as well. There were many rumors as to why we really didn't go to the Bahamas. Who knows for sure. They did credit each person 100$ but only 200$ per room. My brother had four people in his room so he only was credited for two. I did not feel that this was enough compensation. They tried to cheer everyone up while we were at sea on Friday (instead of the Bahamas) by giving a 2 hour open bar from 12-2. We definitely took advantage of that although there was no longer any waiter service by the pool, they ran out of certain drinks, and bartenders were cranky. By the way those drinks that they ran out of did reappear along with the cash bar. Our last day at sea we did experience bad weather. They did not have a rainy day back up plan so there were not many things to do that day. Again were was the NCL cruise staff? I had fun with my family, but will not travel with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
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
We just returned from the four-day cruise on Carnival Fantasy and, based on this experience, I will never sail on Carnival again. It might be right for you, but it wasn't for us. If you want to eat, drink and party a lot, it's ... Read More
We just returned from the four-day cruise on Carnival Fantasy and, based on this experience, I will never sail on Carnival again. It might be right for you, but it wasn't for us. If you want to eat, drink and party a lot, it's perfect. If you like an air of forced joviality, it's perfect. I was with my 12-year old daughter and her best friend, and there really wasn't much for them to do. We were disappointed in Freeport as a destination, and the snorkeling at Pearl Island in Nassau was just OK (in all fairness, the waves were high and the water murky as a result, through no fault of Carnival's or Pearl Island's!). The food at the sit-down meals in the dining rooms was excellent, with a few exceptions, and the service was superb. The buffets were not great, but it's hard to do a good buffet and to keep the food looking fresh and attractive. The Cruise Director, Paul, was very good. The ship was spotless, and was constantly being cleaned everywhere we went on board. We arrived at 11 a.m. on Sunday and were able to board right away and enjoy the ship all day. Disembarkation went just as smoothly. Carnival has the right set up to appeal to people who like to eat, drink and party (and not much else). The entertainment was terrible, the movie selections on the cabin TV were extremely limited (the same movie plays all day), and the two pools (one for children, one for anyone) were very small. Not enough ping pong tables, but excellent weight room equipment (which very few people seemed to use because they were too busy eating, drinking and partying!!). We skipped the Hairy Chest competition and other such organized events. The ship needs another update - stained carpets, worn and torn interiors seemed to be the norm. It gets a lot of use, and it shows! Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
26 Dec. '04 - 30 Dec. '04 For my wife and I, this was our second cruise. Last year we sailed on the Sovereign of the Seas for our honeymoon by ourselves, but this time we were traveling as part of a group of ten, with both sets ... Read More
26 Dec. '04 - 30 Dec. '04 For my wife and I, this was our second cruise. Last year we sailed on the Sovereign of the Seas for our honeymoon by ourselves, but this time we were traveling as part of a group of ten, with both sets of parents, both of our younger siblings and one set of her grandparents all along for the party. Some of the problems that we encountered are probably unique to our particular travel group, as well as time of year of travel. Others are representative of the Fantasy in general, and probably cruising with Carnival. My wife and I traveled to Cocoa Beach on 25 Dec., arriving late that evening to meet up with my parents at their hotel and exchange gifts before moving on to our own accommodations to bed down for the night. Finding hotel space was easy as the only people in town were those getting on a cruise the next day. Much of the area still suffers from hurricane damage, but it did not affect us at all. The next day the whole group came together for brunch, and then we hit Walgreen's for last minute necessities and Ron Jon's for the novelty. Finally, we were ready to move on to the ship and get the cruise underway. We encountered no real problems boarding. The porters will ask for a tip, deserved or not, and I always give them one, mainly just to ensure that my bags don't fall over the side into the water. Parking is $10 a day, as regulated by the Port Authority and my father and father-in-law had spent much time trying to figure out how to avoid that charge. If you are driving in, just take it as the cost of doing business and move on. The terminal was not as clean or well lit as the one we had used before, but the lines and waiting are pretty standard. Once aboard, we had no problems finding our cabin and getting settled. It took a bit for the last of our bags (we had three) to get delivered, but finally they did arrive. We also got to meet Putu, our steward, and I hit him with $5 right off the bat, and he got us an extra robe and such. His English was less then marginal, and throughout the cruise he was unable to communicate with older guests or those not as forceful as myself or with short attention spans. And he almost never understood what anybody was asking of him. Shortly thereafter we did the emergency drill and learned that if things go bad we will die in the Electricity Disco on deck 9. Oh well, at least we'll go down drinking. My wife had already scoped out the Spa, and registered for one treatment that very first day, which netted us a 20% discount. It put her in the vacation mindset and gave me a chance to get her a surprise present and hit up the FREE liquor tasting they were having onboard the ship for all the alcohol they were selling. We bought 8 bottles. The MS Fantasy was built in 1980 and apparently refitted in the late '90s or so. The ship can hold over 3,000 passengers and a large crew. On our sailing, the ship was not booked at capacity, but you would not know it from moving about. Everything always seemed populated. But the ship is showing its age. In the various bars and nightclubs, there is damage apparent on table surfaces and the rugs are worn. The dEcor throughout the ship is gaudy and bizarre, with bad lighting the norm. In our cabin there was often an odd smell from the toilet, and there was damage apparent to the trim, beds, closet and doors. The windows looked badly done to me (somewhat of a concern, as we were on the lowest passenger deck, Riviera, and the water was right there), and we could not ever get the vent to stop blowing cold air. All this was new to us, as the cabin on our last cruise had been a small slice of heaven (other then the fact that the jogging track was right outside our window). All ten of us sat at one table (table 297, Jubilee Dining Room) for the late seating (8 p.m.). We had chosen the late time to allow everybody time to do everything during the day and then we could all eat together and do the family thing. Also, there is always food available on a cruise ship, so nobody ever goes hungry. That first night we all got there, found our table and got settled in without a problem. Our waiter never introduced himself, never said his name, never did anything other then take our orders, execute them sloppily and then disappear again. This is not the standard that I have for service at a sit down dinner on a cruise ship. He did not even respond well to attempts at conversation, which did not help his cause, either. The food got mixed reviews from around the table, as I thought mine was pretty good to great, the wife and several others at our table were not that impressed. The dessert in particular was somewhat lacking. I will say, however, that Carnival does not spare the alcohol when mixing drinks. My wife's Irish Coffee contained coffee only for looks and authenticity. We spent some time in the casino that night, losing $25, and then moving on. The ship overall gave us that worn down, worn out expression as we wandered about, trying to get our bearing on what was where. We also enjoyed some sushi, which was pretty good. However, the sushi bar did open late, and the chef was somewhat rude. Rudeness amongst the crew is a general trend we noticed aboard the ship. Without trying to compare my entire experience on FANTASY to what we saw on SOVEREIGN, the Carnival crew was noticeably less personal. Room service, buffet attendants, security personnel, sushi chefs, bar tenders, everybody seemed to be too busy for you, or very self important. This was noticeably not true in the Spa. Monday morning we woke up to find us arriving in Freeport. The bumping of the tugs brought us back to reality, combined with the knocking of room service. The attendant handed me the tray and disappeared in a flash. Upon checking, we noticed that we had hot water for tea, but no mugs. We had cereal, but no milk. A quick call back to room service and a girl returned with milk, creamer and a plastic drinking cup. My wife gave up, we ate what we had and we moved on. We had booked the Kayak & Nature excursion for Freeport, so we went down to the pier with my sister and waited for everybody else. At about 08:50 we boarded a bus and traveled through Freeport to the company actually conducting the excursion for Carnival. Much of the island and city still shows serious damage from the hurricane, in addition to not being one of the better looking places in the world in its better days. When we got to Kayak & Nature Tours, the company doing the actual heavy lifting, we transferred to a series of small Chevy and Mitsubishi vans, and rolled to the actual park. The guide for our group was Ben, a native of England who had lived in the Bahamas for sixty years now. Very knowledgeable, but somewhat deaf. He had a speaker attached to a headset he wore in the van that he used to narrate the entire trip and to answer our questions. We got to the Natural Preserve, and he walked us through a series of caves and such, then we went into the mangrove swamp and climbed into our kayaks. The kayaking was easy and there is no reason to fall into the water unless you choose to. Two or so miles later we arrived at the open ocean, wandered around for a bit then drove back to our starting point and walked back out to the beach to eat lunch. Due to recent epidemics of food sickness and other illnesses on cruise ships, the cruise lines have instituted a policy that prohibits shore excursion vendors from providing any type of "finished" food. This means that nothing cooked can be served off the vessel by anybody operating under a cruise line contract. That must be because the cooks on the ship are so much more regulated...well, anyway. So lunch consisted of cold cuts, bread, cookies and a fine selection of water, ice tea and lemonade. Overall, the trip was very informative and fun, dampened somewhat by the weather. But during the spring and summer, I would recommend it. Upon returning to the ship, my wife and I went to the gym, co-located with the spa. The actual locker rooms are very nice, and look clean, if somewhat small. A locker is available if you hand over your sign and sail card, and they provide towels. The showers are clean and hot with a very unique five-nozzle system. The actual gym is made up of a very limited selection of free weights, some treadmills and such and a very unique collection of hydraulic weight machines. My brother-in-law hated them, and I personally could not get used to them. Apparently a similar system is in use by Curves, the all ladies gym, but this equipment appeared aged and over the hill. I used a treadmill for about ten minutes, when it suddenly and for no reason shut off, giving me some odd error code. A note here about the staff of Fantasy. The gym was staffed by usually one or two attendants whose main occupation seemed to be folding fliers. They were not knowledgeable about the equipment or why the treadmill might have failed. There were also other staff members there, working out. If you work for Carnival and you wear your nametag, I will approach you if I have a question. I don't care what you are wearing or doing. If you are on your off time and don't want me talking to you, don't wear your nametag. If you are on duty and in full uniform and nametag, don't be browsing the duty free shops in little groups. The store is only the size of a small broom closet, and I paid to be on this ship to enjoy myself. You are paid to ensure I enjoy myself. See the relationship? After my wife and I were done playing with the hydraulics, we utilized the hot tub. DO NOT USE THE HOT TUB! Let me say that again, DO NOT USE THE HOT TUB! Under no circumstances should you allow any member of your party to use any of the Jacuzzi's or other whirlpools on the ship. The one by the gym gave my wife a yeast infection, and when we went to the infirmary to get a treatment, the young girl there simply handed us a prescription medication, simply charging us fifteen extra dollars, for a total of $39.32. Apparently this is not all that rare. We had been to Nassau before and so we did not plan any excursion. At breakfast we meet a family who had booked the snorkeling, but due to choppy seas it was cancelled. Our families wanted to meet for lunch, so we walked to the end of the pier and rented a scooter for the day. The cruise lines discourage this practice, and I do not recommend it for the faint of heart, but it makes getting around a breeze. Keeping to the left is not all that hard, you just stay with traffic. However, do be aware that Bahamanians treat traffic laws more as suggestions, and one must drive appropriate to one's vehicle and level of skill. But many of the drivers were understanding (a salt/pepper couple on a beat up scooter, must be tourists), and let us cut in here and there. We managed to hit all three Forts as well as the Zoo. We did not actually go into the Zoo, as we did not want to pay $12 per head. Lunch was at Conch Fritters, which Frommers highly recommends. We do not. The service was terrible, the food expensive and it was not all that good. If you want to spend money on local fare, do so. If not, the food on the ship is paid for. With my wife backseat navigating, and me driving, we continued around a bit after lunch and then returned to the ship. That night the ship had a Karaoke contest and my sister and mother, along with my mother and brother-in-law sang along to their hearts content. It was a pretty good time and the gentleman running the show was pretty funny. Our families recommended him for the position of cruise director, as the guy who was running that part of the whole experience was somewhat lacking. After Karaoke there was a kind of beach party up on the deck, and we participated there as well. The Limbo contest was non-age discriminatory, so the little kids took the prize. After that, there was sort of parody Karaoke, and I won a medal by once again demonstrating my total willingness to take off my shirt in public. The next day was our day at sea, so we spent some time exploring things we had not taken advantage of yet, such as shuffleboard. My brother-in-law and I cleaned up on this gentleman and his son, so that was a good time. That night, there was a special dessert served at the sit-down dinner, and we each were given a printed drawing of the ship. We had the dinner crew sign it, and then everybody in our party signed everybody else's. Good memory material. Overall, we enjoyed our time on the Fantasy mainly because we had our families there with us, and because my wife and I were focused on spending as much time together as possible. However, had it not been for the presence of our families on the ship we would have taken advantage of Carnivals offer of flying back to the US at the first port of call you come to. We have a certain expectation of what a cruise vacation provides, based on our previous experience, and those expectations were not met. We will not cruise with Carnival again. Overall... (scale of 1 to 10, 1 being unacceptably low, 10 being outstanding) Cruise Experience: 4; Ship Overall: 6; Cabin: 7; Staff: 2; Food: 4 (not dining room); Food: 6 (dinning room); Shore Excursions: 4. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
We just returned from a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas on Carnival's Fascination. It was actually a family and friends cruise as 23 of us went. Overall, everyone had a good time, however; I believe everyone who was on our last cruise ... Read More
We just returned from a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas on Carnival's Fascination. It was actually a family and friends cruise as 23 of us went. Overall, everyone had a good time, however; I believe everyone who was on our last cruise on Royal Caribbean will attest that this cruise did not meet the standards set by Royal Caribbean. My background - 32 year old male who has been on eight previous cruises. My previous Carnival experience was on Inspiration and Imagination. These were my first two 7-day cruises. Embarkation: This process moved quickly and efficiently. We were on the ship within 15 minutes of walking in the front doors. Ship: To me, the ship was in excellent shape for its age. The only truly visible signs of wear was in the carpeting on the Riviera deck hallways. You would see obvious water stains all the way down the hall from when the rooms had obviously flooded. Other than this, the only other wear I saw was on the elevators in the Atrium area. The brass was very scratched around the elevator. Of the three Carnival ship's I've been on, this was the most tastefully decorated. I thought the usual bright neon was subdued throughout. Food: The poor food quality is the reason my partner and I ventured out and tried a cruiseline other than Carnival. Up until this cruise we had not been on a Carnival cruise since 1997 and were really hoping that the food quality had dramatically improved. I'm happy to report that the food quality was much improved, but it still was not up to what I have experienced on other lines. On this cruise, we did not eat in the dining room - a first for us, so I can't speak personally on the dining room food. We did attempt to go to the dining room for lunch when in Nassau only to find out they don't open the dining room on port days. On the Lida buffet was available - disappointing. Others in our group said the dining room food was good, but nothing exceptional. The alternative dining, from my viewpoint is lacking. The quality is OK, but the selection is minimal at best. I don't eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza at home and surely don't want that on vacation and everyday, half the alternative dining was nothing more than hamburgers and hot dogs (Lunch and Dinner). I believe Royal Caribbean does a much better job with alternative dining and from what was told to me by others in our group in the dining room as well. For this reason alone, I doubt I will return to Carnival anytime soon. Service: Service onboard the ship was average. All the staff were cordial and polite, but no one smiled. It was like the were all going through the motions. The only exception to this was our cabin steward - we was friendly and bubbly. Carnival still pushes alcohol sales. On the pool deck it turned into badgering. They were just in your face. They didn't just walk around announcing bar service and if you wanted a drink you signal them. They would come right up to you and say, "Bucket of beer for you? Need a drink?". This was non-stop, because a couple minutes after that waiter stopped and asked, the next would come by and do the same thing. One other thing about the ship was that it was very cold. The promenade deck was absolutely freezing. Some in our group bought sweat shirts to wear around the ship to stay warm. Overall, as I said above, I had a good time, but not a great time. If you are looking for a quick cheap basic getaway, then this may be the ship for you. If you are looking for the vacation of a lifetime feeling, as I have usually felt when leaving a ship, then you will probably want to look beyond Carnival. I'm glad I tried Carnival again, but it just solidified my preference for Royal Caribbean. Happy sailing. Shawn Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
I could go on and on about this one. They should have taken us north, they had to know that with all the activity down south would make a bad experience for everyone. Everything until Miami seemed to be OK, except for the wind going ... Read More
I could go on and on about this one. They should have taken us north, they had to know that with all the activity down south would make a bad experience for everyone. Everything until Miami seemed to be OK, except for the wind going through the carolinas, which I lost my sunglasses in, but that was nothing compared to on the way back up north. Once in Miami they said something about the health inspector was on board and we ran out of food and the bars, even for nonalcoholic drinks were closed until he finished. I don't know why they ever took us to Freeport, it's known for being dirty and crime driven. The flies were horrible, and the smell, oh boy, we couldn't even go out on our balcony, but they did offer bug spray for sale in the gift shop. Also for the days after that we had to kill flies in our stateroom, just lousy. We should have stayed in Miami and headed back north at that point. And yes, there are no kid activities to speak of for ages 10-12 or so, and the things they would want to do cost a lot of money, like everything else on this ship. Then when Collin was talking (the cruise director) at the meeting to get you ready to leave he said how everything was just fine and the blue skies and all the great stuff. Well if everything was so great why was there unused barf bags placed all over the ship? So many people were seasick and couldn't sleep because you felt like you were falling out of your bed. Speaking of beds I don't know what they call the couch thing, but my son had to sleep on it for 7 days and as he called it his ROCK! I've never seen anything like that. We spent a lot of money for this cruise, and then much more then I expected on the ship. I honestly haven't been able to get intouch with my travel agent, they are in Florida, but I feel we should at least get some port charges back. The food was usually above average, we went to Cagney's for our son's birthday, and honestly it wasn't that great for $20 per person; or $25 if you wanted lobster; and on lobster night, what they called lobster looked like big shrimp. Also, the chocolate buffet to me was nothing so spectacular, just a very, very long line, with a lot of the same desserts. One thing except for the chocolate chip cookies I think they could do better on, not many of them had much taste at all; and room service was very, very limited; and when I called and asked for something that I knew they had from the morning menu (like fruit), they said they couldn't bring it, because it wasn't on the night menu. We would like to take another cruise, but honestly this has damped my thought of NCL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Hi, My husband and I sailed on August 13, 2004, we were on the empress deck, cabin E2. The room was adequate for us. It was a king size bed with 2 port holes, a tv and vanity, the bathroom was small but functional and clean. It was our ... Read More
Hi, My husband and I sailed on August 13, 2004, we were on the empress deck, cabin E2. The room was adequate for us. It was a king size bed with 2 port holes, a tv and vanity, the bathroom was small but functional and clean. It was our first cruise. Day One Embarkation went smoothly, no problems. It's much easier if you have carry on bags, you don't have to wait to have them tagged. You just walk right into the ship and the staff will direct you to a line where you'll wait to be seen by an agent where she will confirm your booking and set up the sail and sign card, it basically allows you to charge anything you like on the ship with either a credit card or check card, they place a hold for whatever amount you want. Don't expect to use cash on the ship for purchases, they require a sail and sign card and they withdraw the purchases from your card. I suggest you take cash for the casino, if not, you'll have to make an ATM withdrawal and the machine will charge $5.50 for the withdrawal. The room was roomy enough for the two of us. The steward introduced himself to us and was very polite and pleasant. Expect the steward to come in at least three times a day to clean up and fill supplies, unless you place the do not disturb sign. BIG TURN OFF was the push on the alcohol drinks, as soon as you go the lido deck, you are pushed into buying a drink, i guess that's one way they make their money. We purchased a soda fountain card, for sodas and ice water. Bottled water and alcohol are separate cards and fees. DINNER- You will recieve a card stating the dinner time you've picked and on the card will be the dining room you've been assigned to and the dinner table. You have the option of eating at the dining room or go casual and attend the casual restaurant, but I warn you if you miss the first night of the dining where by the way the food is much better, gourmet food, the next night you decide to go, you will feel pretty unwelcome, why? because on the first night you will be assigned a table, with a group of 8, there you will get to know your fellow diners and the waiters will also get to know you, we made the mistake of missing the first night and when we arrived the second night the staff had replaced our seats with other diners, apparently the other diners expected the other diners to show up. Let's just say they didn't seem to happy to make new friends. If you're shy this type of dining is not for you. You must be able to sit and chit chat or you may just sit there and not say a word, but you'd enjoy it more if you try to be a little social, makes the time go by faster and you'll enjoy the meal. That's one thing i didn't like about the ship was the forced dining with total strangers, i did ask for a table for two when they said no, i said no thanks, and they found a table for us. DAY TWO We arrived at the bahamas at 8:00 a.m. we picked the blue lagoon snorkeling, it was a beautiful island, i loved it, the only bad thing, you have to walk about 20 minutes to get to the ferry, so if you have bad knees or feet, i don't recommend it. Also they squeezed as many people as possible on to the ferry, i stood on the ferry for 45 minutes, my husband who suffers from foot problems was able to get a seat, thank god. We arrived late about 11:00 a.m. and left about 2;00p.m. but you can stay until 4:00p.m. if you like just don't miss the ferry, they will state what time you should be at the pier. DAY THREE We set sail back to miami by 6:00 a.m. We played bingo, went to the casino and explored the ship and the foods, oh the food was not as good as i had expected, the gourmet food at the dining room was much better. They also had the newlywed game and the quest talent show, that was very amusing. I loved the cruise director, Greg Hutson, he was funny and charming. He looked just like Jessica Simpson's husband! For you woman out there, bring a hairdryer and curling iron, they don't offer one in the room. Also as soon as you get into the room they will have a launderette for you to wash, dry and iron your clothes, for the formal night make sure you iron your clothes as soon as you get there, or you will have to wait on line, and it gets very busy on formal night. On the lido deck they'll have a casual restaurant where you may sit where you like and they will have the hairy chest contest. There is a live band to entertain you while you lay out in the sun or swim, i found the pool to be a bit small, but so go in early morning if you can, it gets crowded after 11:00 a.m. Would i recommend this ship? No, the food was not very good and i felt the shore excursions should have been explained better with regard to what to expect for example, the long lines and walk to the ferry. Also if you don't like crowded, smelly markets, do not go into the market place in the bahamas, it was disgustingly crowded and smelly and the prices are not very good, you must have to haggle to get a good deal. I actually witnessed two bahamians fighting over a customer, both wanted to braid this young girl's hair and they were fighting over who would get the sale. It's not worth it, you're better off going to the air conditioned privately owned store right on the same street, next time i'll try Royal Caribbean, i've heard it's much nicer and bigger. Good luck, Jazzbunny Day Two Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
A lot of people like this ship. My PERSONAL opinion (comparing it to other lines I have been on) is included here. First - they say NCL cares about its customers. WRONG. I relayed the information herein as we cruised, and to NCL in a 4 ... Read More
A lot of people like this ship. My PERSONAL opinion (comparing it to other lines I have been on) is included here. First - they say NCL cares about its customers. WRONG. I relayed the information herein as we cruised, and to NCL in a 4 page certified letter sent immediately after we returned. Not a peep from them in response. You're either gonna like the freestyle or you won't - there's no in between. I have a digestive problem and must eat my food plain (ex. chicken cutlet no tomato sauce - you would think its a simple request). My daughter wanted the fettucine with no parsley garnish - not a chance. After 2 nights of not even an attempt at trying to give us what we asked for at dinner in the main dining rooms, I questioned our server. He advised me that the chef is concerned with his presentation and this is how it comes out. On another night, I called ahead to the dining room to see if I could get a cutlet without the tomato sauce (and explained that I had my problem). I was first told by the woman who answered the phone that I had to call ahead the day before for such a special order. Then I called back to speak to the restaurant manager - who assured me there would be no problem. What they did was scrape the sauce off the cutlet and turned it upside down on the plate. You have to pay extra for the alternative dining - hey folks - on other lines you don't have to pay an extra charge for this kind of food and service! I had filet mignon every night on RCCL and didn't pay a dime extra! The only time we got any "attention" was when we removed the tips off the sign & sail card. Then, we got a call at 9:45 the last night of the cruise to see if there was anything they could do for us to make it better. Watch the bartenders - I asked for Cuervo Margaritas (for you non-drinkers there is a distinct taste). My husband watched the bartender make the drink with the house liquor. He asked for Cuervo and the bartender told him that he used the "most expensive liquor". We returned the drink and watched him use the Cuervo. This happened with 23 of my 27 Margaritas (I have the glasses). One time I said something, the bartender turned around and dumped the Cuervo directly on top of the drink he already made. Some hints - people stand in line to make reservations for the alternative dining - I just called from the lobby phone across from the line that ran down the hall - they pick up right away - don't waste your time standing in line. For the private island - they say tender tickets are handed out starting at 8 - ha - get on line at 7 and hope that the folks in front of you don't have a lot of friends. We were 2nd in line at 7:15 and got tender tickets 27-29. So you don't think I am totally negative - the ship was very clean. The fast food was good (obviously that is where I ended up most of the time so I could get what I could eat). Our room steward and his assistant were fantastic. My opinion is that with this auto-tip the workers don't put their heart into it. If NCL implements the mandatory tipping, then its not really a "tip" for good service now is it - then it should be just included in the fare. Freestyle - my goodness, what a circus. People stand in line and other people "cut" saying they have friends in the room - there is no organization in the main dining room - its just chaos. There is no individual attention to diners. 2 months after this cruise, we cruised Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. What class and what service. Food was phenomenal - waiters knew what you liked after the first night - no problem whatsoever getting my plain food - they were happy to do it. I will review this ship separately, but when you compare this NCL Dawn to Voyager, its like comparing KMart to Bloomingdales. There even was a difference in the people on board. Folks sitting in front of us on deck (which the pool bar shuts down around 9) were allowing their kids to dunk their tropical drink cups into the Jacuzzis and have water fights (as other people were walking by - and getting wet). Employees saw this and did nothing - despite the dirty cups getting dunked, water being thrown and disturbing other passengers. Wished the port call at Nassau was longer. I didn't get off at Pt. Canaveral, but hubby and daughter did and they enjoyed Kennedy. Did the alligator airboat ride in Miami and it was ok. Private Island - saw more people falling and getting cut on the coral (when you get off the tender go to the left, not the right). AND - if you rent a float, HOLD ONTO IT or have someone watch it - even though its posted in several places that they must be rented and paid for - folks on the beach just help themselves to any unattended floats. Like I said - either you like this Freestyle or not - we did not. We prefer to be pampered, not herded. I prefer not to be told what I am going to tip. And lastly - if they tell you on board that the surveys and your opinion mean something - forget it. They got your money already and there's plenty of other fish in the sea. To me- this was a total waste of my time and money - a total disappointment. We liked Voyager so much, we booked 2 more cruises on it for 2005. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Our 3 night cruise included 1 full day in Nassau and 1 day at sea. This was our second cruise overall, taking a 7 day NCL cruise to Alaska a few years ago. In summary, this cruise was acceptable, but not in same class as the NCL cruise. ... Read More
Our 3 night cruise included 1 full day in Nassau and 1 day at sea. This was our second cruise overall, taking a 7 day NCL cruise to Alaska a few years ago. In summary, this cruise was acceptable, but not in same class as the NCL cruise. The restaurants served good standard fare, but nothing outstanding or exceptional that you would remember. Service was fairly good, but not great either. The room steward was very attentive, although he spoke very little English. Whatever we needed, after the communication was taken care of was taken care of quickly. The visit to Nassau was nice. Interestingly, though, the cruise was scheduled to leave Nassau at 7AM, but left at 4AM instead. The teenage activities were a BIG disappointment. The teen disco was closed for the duration of the cruise. The adult disco didn't allow anyone under 18 admission, and enforced that at the door. So, what were our teens supposed to do in the evenings? Complaints onboard the ship didn't help at all. The purser's desk would have a different reason for the closure every time we came to ask about it. My teens paid full price, but received less than the full activities that we paid for! When I wrote a complaint letter to the President of Carnival asking for a partial refund, I received a form letter back, ignoring our specific complaint with a 10% discount on a future cruise within the next 18 months. So, I am dissatisfied, but their only response is to try to push me onto another cruise for which I may be dissatisfied again? That is totally unacceptable! Overall, as stated above, an acceptable cruise for the adults, not so for the teenagers, but nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
We have just returned from a 3-night cruise to Nassau on the Carnival Fantasy. In all probability it represents our last cruise with Carnival. Our embarkation experience was rather poor, particularly compared to our last cruise (Carnival ... Read More
We have just returned from a 3-night cruise to Nassau on the Carnival Fantasy. In all probability it represents our last cruise with Carnival. Our embarkation experience was rather poor, particularly compared to our last cruise (Carnival Sensation, out of Tampa). Parking at Port Canaveral is in open lots (as opposed to the covered garages in Tampa). We parked in the lot and pulled our luggage to the main entrance (as we didn't have all that much). After standing in line for about ten minutes we reached the door and were told that we had to take the luggage to the porter at the drop-off area. The porters were doing nothing but waiting for people to come to them and then loading the luggage into the cargo bins for loading on the ship. But they were still looking for their tips for moving our luggage about five feet. We returned to the rear of the line, waited another ten minutes, and were finally inside the terminal. With Verandah cabins (mini-suites) we were able to use the Skipper's Club. While it was certainly an improvement over the much longer lines for the general passenger population it was not what was expected. The Skipper's Club is off to the side down a short dead-end hallway. This resulted in a considerable traffic jam as there was not sufficient space for those who qualified for the "premium" level of service. The staff was friendly, but it was still something of a zoo. Once our papers were checked we were returned to the general population and waited in an even longer line to get boarding photos taken. In Tampa, it *seemed* that the Skipper's Club members received expedited service at this stage. That may have been a function of timing, so I can't say for sure. Once on board we went straight to our cabin to drop off our carry-on items. It was my understanding that the Fantasy received a full refit last year. While there was some evidence of this, in other areas the cabin was lacking. The closet had one hinge completely pulled free (resulting in the door feeling as if it were going to come off at any moment). The TV and VCR electrical connections had apparently failed so a cord snaked out of the back of the entertainment center unit and around to one of the plugs at the dressing area. Two other plugs on the outside of the entertainment center (which I tried to use for a laptop and digital camera charger) were also dead. Finally, the door to the balcony was missing the hold-back hook so there was no way to leave the door open when we were in the cabin. These may seem like petty complaints, but bear in mind that this is a cabin that goes for about $1500 for three nights. When one considers that you can get a lower-grade cabin for about $700 that offers *every* other feature of the ship you are paying an additional $800 *strictly* for the cabin. That means one is looking at a "hotel room" that rents for $250+ a night. When I pay that much for a room, I expect near perfection. The ship itself was in pretty good shape (better than the Sensation in that regard). However, service was mediocre at best. Of three cruises with Carnival (two on the Fantasy and one on the Sensation) this was by far the worst service. Staffing levels appear to have been cut since my last cruise on the Fantasy several years ago, and the quality of the staff was not up to the standard set by our cruise on the Sensation last August. One of the other couples at our table at dinner noted that they felt like they were on a training ship for Carnival. While our cabin steward did a good job, cleanliness throughout the ship was hit and miss. I noted the same beer can sitting on a life raft cannister for nearly 36 hours before it was removed. Public restrooms were poorly maintained -- after one visit I made it a point to use the head in our cabin. Tables in the Windows on the Sea (the buffet dining area) were slow to be cleared and cleaned. Overall it just seemed as if the staff were either overworked (probable) or undertrained. Food on this cruise was also the worst we have encountered. For the first time I actually sent back an entree. The filet mignon ordered medium rare came out looking and tasting like an overdone pot roast. Of five couples at our table, four (including ourselves) had cruised at least once before. All four indicated this was likely their last Carnival cruise. One couple with extensive cruise experience indicated that RCL offered much nicer and better maintained facilities and a significantly better service experience. That's where we'll be next summer. Sorry Carnival, you're just not that much fun. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
I found this to be a very enjoyable cruise. Boarding was very easy, we were picked up at airport swiftly and processed in a very timely manner. Crew were ALL very helpful and friendly. No complaints about the food it ranged to good to very ... Read More
I found this to be a very enjoyable cruise. Boarding was very easy, we were picked up at airport swiftly and processed in a very timely manner. Crew were ALL very helpful and friendly. No complaints about the food it ranged to good to very good, nothing exceptional but no complaints either. Servers were excellent! Suite was very comfortable (3 women) and clean. It really does need to be updated, but that was no hindrance. Coco Cay was wonderful, we parasailed , took wave runners out , snorkeled and ate and just relaxed on mats!!! We were surprised at how much fun it all was , the BEST part of the trip Nassau of course is nothing to look at , we did take a taxi to Paradise Island which is beautiful(would like to spent a vacation there) but we spent most of that day on ship by the pool. Unfortunately, all of the good was undone when we tried to get off the ship at the end of the cruise!!! We had booked out trip thru RCCL and therefore were under the (dumb) impression that they would give up a color tag to get us off in time to make our flight that they had booked! As time got short we tried to reason with the crew to let us off and were finally granted an exit, however, we were late and had to grab the 1st taxi and race to make our flight. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
My husband and I have never cruised and were excited to go on the Majesty with our 18-month old son. Unfortunately, the cruise was extremely disappointing. In short, cruises are not good vacations for young toddlers. Here's why: 1. ... Read More
My husband and I have never cruised and were excited to go on the Majesty with our 18-month old son. Unfortunately, the cruise was extremely disappointing. In short, cruises are not good vacations for young toddlers. Here's why: 1. Long line-ups: if you wanted/needed to use a stroller, you had to take an elevator and sometimes we would wait 10 minutes for one! To board, disembark for a port or disembark at the end all required long, long lines. To clear customs, we stood in a hallway with no a/c for 45 minutes until our screaming son caused a purser to move us to the front of the line! And we couldn't go ashore to Key West until everyone had cleared customs so we didn't disembark until almost lunch (and nap time). 2. Awful food: neither my husband nor I are picky eaters, but honestly the food in the Windjammer was atrocious. I don't think the chef even knows what pancakes are supposed to taste like. And my poor, picky son became a cranky nightmare because there was so little for him to eat that he liked. We thought at least the pasta would hold him off at lunch but it turned out to be too spicy for a toddler. We would have had breakfast in the dining room if we could, except for point number 3 next.... 3. Long, drawn-out dinner: it took at least 2 hours to eat dinner. Thank goodness they served the children first. Unfortunately, the kids menu was really limited -- pizza, chicken fingers, fries, fish sticks (no vegetables in sight anywhere!) and my son was quick to tire of all this junk food. At least the head waiter caught on and brought ice cream and sprinkles early on so my son could at least play with the sprinkles for a while. 4. Tiny, tiny, tiny cabins: they may work for 2 adults, but not 2 adults and a rambunctious toddler. Plus, the shower frightened my son and we would all end up soaked by the time we had him washed each night. Any good points? Some. The entertainment was good. The food at dinner was good. The service at dinner was good (our assistant waiter should have received the biggest tip, not our waiter, who seemed more interested in dancing and singing than serving). Our stateroom attendant was extremely helpful. And the babysitting service was excellent (in-cabin). Would I do it again? Not on your life. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
I must say, I was quite disappointed with this cruise, after all the hype I heard about it. I travelled with my husband and 18 other people, including my 2 nieces (ages 3 years old and 6 months old), sister and brother-in-law, parents, 2 ... Read More
I must say, I was quite disappointed with this cruise, after all the hype I heard about it. I travelled with my husband and 18 other people, including my 2 nieces (ages 3 years old and 6 months old), sister and brother-in-law, parents, 2 friends of my parents with their 14-year-old daughter and her friend, aunt, uncle and cousins (23 years old and 17 years old), and our 2 neighbors with their 2 children (ages 9 years old and 10 months old). So, we had a variety of ages in our group. The ship itself was beautiful and not too difficult to get around. The artwork was nice and the ship was not overdone or too loud. The Venetian Dining Room was the most elegant looking restaurant we ate in, and the Pearly Kings Pub was the nicest looking bar in my opinion. Most of the food tasted good, but much of it was way too salty. In the Italian restaurant my mother had to send back the chicken parmigiana because it just tasted like salt. Salsas was a really good restaurant, as far as food goes. Service on this ship was another story... The service was terrible everywhere we went, except for the room steward who was excellent. It took us about 3 hours each night to eat dinner, whether all 20 of us ate together or just a few of us (2 or 4) ate together at a time. The service was way too slow. Bar service was much quicker, but of course it was...we have to pay extra for it!!! At breakfast on the last morning, it took them 10-15 minutes just to give us menus after we sat down! And the table next to us, who sat down after us, had already gotten menus and ordered their breakfast at that time! We were told on the first day of the cruise (by the Maitre D') that you cannot reserve a table in the Venetian dining room, but you can only reserve in Aqua (another dining room). So we reserved for Aqua each night for 20 of us, and cancelled early in the day if we did not plan to eat altogether. The last night of the cruise, we decided to try out the Venetian (slightly different menu), so we got there at 5:30 when it opened to assure getting a table or even 2 or 3 tables to accommodate all of us. When we got to the Venetian, we were told that we should have made a reservation in advance! But we were told that we could not make reservations!!! Too much inconsistency on this ship. The crew should all get together and get their "facts" straight. Even in Salsa restaurant, where the food was great, the service was poor. It took 3 and a half hours for 6 of us to eat dinner. We arrived at 6:30 and got out of there at 10:00! Way too long for dinner. We ate breakfast at the buffet one morning and it was terrible. Even the made-to-order waffles were like rubber! And the pancakes were even worse! I was sorry we did that on the one morning, and we went back to the dining room the following morning and continued eating breakfast there everyday. I wonder if the service was any better in the restaurants with a cover charge. I am starting to wonder if that is the gimmick Norwegian Cruise Line has going here with this "freestyle" cruising they have...perhaps if I paid extra each night to eat in one of the three specialty restaurants with a cover charge, I would have been treated better? We opted not to eat at those places since we had so many other choices. But they tell you that you cannot make reservations in advance for the specialty restaurants (including Italian and Mexican, with no cover charge), unless it is the day of the reservation or the day before. And reservations began at 8AM. Then how come when I went to reserve the Italian restaurant at 8AM when the reservation desk opened, I was told it was booked up for the next day? I thought you couldn't make reservations more than a day in advance...hmm, another thing gone wrong. Again, they need to get their facts straight. Now we come to the entertainment. Overall, very good. The cruise director was excellent, nice and really funny. The bands were all really good. I also like it that they had karaoke every night and that you had to be over 21 after 11PM. That seemed fair to me, and kids got to do karaoke earlier in the evening, from 8PM. 70s/80s night was really good, as was the deck party on Caribbean night. I had one problem with the entertainment...the Star Seeker Talent Show. I participated in this. It is like any other cruise talent show (which I do on every cruise we go on), but this one is a contest. Three or 4 judges (employees on board the ship) choose a winner from up to 10 people performing, any talent basically. Most people sang. I did not participate in this to win, just for fun like on the other cruises I was on. The prize for the winner was a chance to win a free cruise for 2 and perform in the shows on that same cruise, ship and sail date to be determined by NCL. Basically, the show is videotaped by NCL and the video portion of the winner's performance is sent to NCL, along with winners on every NCL ship. The final winner of the free cruise and chance to perform on a ship is chosen from those videos. It said specifically in the "Freestyle Daily" activity sheet that all participants must be at least 18 years of age in order to participate. However, a couple of girls (teenagers under 18) showed up to the rehearsal and basically made a big stink about the age requirement and asked to speak to the person in charge. The girl with the loudest mouth claimed that she was 18. They let he in the show. Another girl also got into the show (could not have been more than 14 if even that old!). So, we get to rehearsal, and the girl that made the big stink about the age requirement practices second, after this one man that sang. Now they told us we can just go after we rehearse, and they told us where to meet for the show that night. This girl decided to stay, sat down with her mother in the front row and laughed at every person that performed (about 2 or 3 more before I rehearsed). I thought that was really rude, and it was obvious enough where they could have stopped them from doing it but no one said anything to them. I left after I rehearsed (I was 5th to rehearse or so). We get to the show, and 7 of us performed. Everyone did very well. I thought for sure the last woman that sang should win. She has the nicest voice, great stage presence, she was gorgeous and the audience absolutely loved her and gave her a standing ovation. We all thought (for the most part except for a certain someone) that she should win and that she would be the winner. They announced the winner, and it was the girl that made a big stink about the age requirement and laughed at everyone. I know she is not 18 years old because my husband was sitting right next to her grandmother, and she told the judges (after the fact) that the girl is only 14!! What kind of cruise line doesn't check for the age of the people in the show, when they are supposedly trying to hire someone to perform on a cruise ship? In my opinion, they chose her as the winner because they knew from the original signing up that she was underage and they don't have to give her a free cruise. I am assuming that due to the fact that she is only 14, she cannot work on a ship and therefore is disqualified. And they let her ruin it for the rest of the people that were legitimately in the show. I felt bad particularly for the one that should have won. Overall, I was disappointed with this cruise, to put it mildly. I do not want to ever cruise with NCL again, as this was my second experience with them, and the first one was basically the same. I think freestyle cruising is good because you can sit down to dinner anytime, but bad for that reason also. Too long a wait if you did not have a nightly reservation for the same time or get there at 5:30 when the dining room opens. And they claim you can stay in your cabin until you leave the ship on the last morning, but my cousins were kicked out of their cabin long before anyone was able to leave the ship. Not fair. I will definitely go back to either Royal Caribbean or Carnival next time. Better food, better service, better age regulations, better cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004

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