This my 7th Carnival Cruise
Just decide to write this review of my recent cruise on the Carnival Breeze out of Galveston Texas.
We had the deluxe Ocean view suite mid ship 1St floor. Overall the cruise was fun, But The hallway and ... Read More
This my 7th Carnival Cruise
Just decide to write this review of my recent cruise on the Carnival Breeze out of Galveston Texas.
We had the deluxe Ocean view suite mid ship 1St floor. Overall the cruise was fun, But The hallway and our room had a funky smell for the several hours, We were traveling with several members from our church and some family members from Fort Worth Texas and were all on the same hallway with our room all in a row, They also had problems with the smell. After a few Hour, we all went nose blind to the smell, by the end of the 2nd day. This the 1st trip on any of the Carnival ships that We experience really loud noise a night. We purchase the mid-price wifi service and was really disappointed It was slow. The guest services and photo employee were really busy helping cruiser installing the Carnival hub app on their cell phones a tablet, some cruiser never got connected and was given a refund. Install the Carnival hub app before you leave home to avoid the long lines at the guest service desk. Coming from central Texas I am spoiled by traditional Texas-style barbeque I was not impressed with Guy’s barbeque. The side, however, was great his Mac cheese was the bomb and the baked beans were off the chain, Slaw was just plain good. Guy’s burger was great as usual. The dining room staff was really good. Our room steward was OK. The 4x4 jeep excursion at Montego bay was good.I would not recommed this excustion to any with knee or back problems the 4x4 ride is rough.I would recommed that you gone on the 1:00 excursion to the hidden water falls when leveing the falls area late you get to see a great sun set. Plaining my next crusie on the Carnival Vista. Read Less
Carnival Breeze Cruise 01/14-21/2018
(Noted That the Breeze failed its CDC/saturation inspection in December, but after reviewing the report, we saw that most of the failures were technicalities, not really health risk problems. It ... Read More
Carnival Breeze Cruise 01/14-21/2018
(Noted That the Breeze failed its CDC/saturation inspection in December, but after reviewing the report, we saw that most of the failures were technicalities, not really health risk problems. It seems it might indicate the staff is overworked or understaffed)
Shawn dropped me and our luggage at the cruise terminal and a porter took the 2 large bags and my walker. Shawn drove the car to EZ cruise parking then walked back to meet me (only 4 blocks). As a Platinum cruiser, also in a wheelchair, we got priority boarding. Got on at 12:30 (an hour late due to previous cruise’s debarkation delay). Helpful friendly staff and the wheelchair was quickly thru and up the ramp to the ship. Check in was extremely simple with the just checking our boarding passes then putting us thru the metal detector and out carry-ons thru the x-ray machine. New procedure on the Sail and Sign Cards which function as ID, Charge Card and Cabin key – you go straight on to cabin with cards waiting for us outside the cabin.
I unpacked from our carry-ons while Shawn went to check on the deck 5 hot tubs. Starboard Promenade hot tubs were open so we put on our suits and headed down despite the chilly weather. We enjoyed the nice, warm bubbly tub until 2:30, then tried to get lunch but ALL restaurants closed early (2:50). We went to our assigned Muster Station, Upper Blush Restaurant on Deck 4, for the safety briefing and at 3:15 they announced food service WOULD BE CLOSING which irritated me because everything was already closed. The Safety Briefing was held in areas where people could sit which was a great improvement over standing out on the decks as they used to do (ad still do on other ships, according to other passengers)
After the Safety briefing, they let us gimps out first but the elevators were crazy busy.
Finally got to deck 5 and went to Red Frog Pub for pub grub – but there was only one server and he was overwhelmed (and possibly indifferent).
Went to Lido after long elevator wait. Long lines for all food. Finally went to deli - Reuben and tuna sandwiches were yummy as were the curly fries and potato salad.
Love the tasteful decor of this ship but miss the comfy couches usually found along the Promenade on other Carnival ships we’ve sailed.
Back to cabin to unpack - walker finally delivered.
Internet plan for one activated meaning only one of us could be online at a time. The Internet is 1Mbit/sec with a huge ping of about 1.5 seconds (very poor response). We purchased the “Value Plan” ($60) before the cruise (at a small discount) – it is supposed to be for all basic internet use which doesn’t involve streaming videos, Skype or other massive data use, but this seems slow. Some apps would timeout and fail instead of just being slow.
Already had the Carnival Hub app – it includes lots of useful info like maps, what’s happening, menus, etc. We also paid for texting with other cabin mates for $5 each.
Went to 3-forward atrium for a Cruiser Special rum drink and to listen to Kudos Strings - 3 violinists- excellent!! Lots of Beatles songs and song from movies. Weird sewer smell down near the elevators was yucky.
Late dinner in Blush upper got our own 4 top! Servers Retno and Winaya both from Indonesia.
I had corn chowder, poppers, flat iron steak and creamed spinach. Shawn had Cesar, fresh tomato soup, salmon and baked potato. The soups were hot and delicious esp. the chowder. The bread basket was varied: fresh French, rye and a cranberry walnut roll. The Caesar is good but strongly fishy. The steak was a small portion but perfect for me - cooked medium rare and served with a delish peppercorn sauce, small baked potato (perfectly cooked and great!) and 2 pieces of broccoli. Very small but good portion of creamed spinach. The salmon was fine, served with baked potato, carrots, and broccoli
Caramelized phyllo for dessert was superb! I am glad they have reduced the portion sizes a bit – I like to order and try several of the numerous offerings and with smaller portions, I can enjoy them more.
Back to the room for an early night. The bed was extremely comfortable!!
Note: Schwartz, the cruise director, was a lively and popular character, beloved by kids and adults alike.
1/15 Monday at sea
S up early to walk laps in the Promenade – did 8. Walking track around the outside of deck 5 is wonderful. Walking laps is a fun way to start the morning, and to watch the sun rise. Each lap is .387 miles
The Hub app includes sunrise/set times and but not ship positions
I used the slow Value internet.
S took me for a lap on the Prom- windy on the pier side and 2 narrow points near the bow where the wheelchair didn’t fit.
Sea day brunch at Blush started at 8:30 but they seated us early – yay!
Had a coupon for a brunch drink - Breeze’s Bloody Marie’s are bloody awesome! And they do bread VERY well - the croissant was great. Had fresh squeezed orange juice (another good reason to go to Blush for brunch). Shared the fruit plate (pretty and tasty). S got pasta pappardelle “Principe di Napoli”- loved it. Delicate sauce with wide ribbon noodles, bits of ripe tomatoes and fried mozzarella. I had an omelet, cheddar grits and bacon. The omelet had spinach onions mushrooms and cheddar - 2 eggs, perfect size for my meal. Grits were creamy and tasty. Bacon was ok.
Went for a tour. Spa and serenity deck were ok but $40 to have to climb stairs to the Thalassotherapy pool seems excessive. Serenity Deck has cool cubbies, chairs, hammocks and 2 hot tubs all for 21+-year-olds.
Had to take Spa elevator up to 15 Serenity Deck, only stairs otherwise and no exit on 14 or 12 without stairs.
The Waterworks looks fun for kids (and adults) but climbing is required.
Went to Lido to cross back to the sports area but learned there is only stair access to 12 aft for the Ropes Course and mini-golf :-( so people in wheelchairs or limited mobility are apparently not welcome on that deck.
Also noticed only high-top tables at the sushi restaurant making it hard for gimps like me.
Loved that there are lounges as well as chairs on all the decks as well as some benches.
Went to Red Frog Pub for lunch - after waiting a while, the server came by and took order for a drink but said food wouldn’t be available until 11:30 (despite all postings saying lunch 11am-midnight). Tried the Jamaican Sunrise (Skye vodka, peach Schnapps, red passion fruit, orange and cranberry juice) - very tasty! We waited until 11:40 but the server disappeared so we gave up. They were clearly understaffed. We did not return.
Went to Lido and waited for Tandoor to open at noon.
YUM!! Murgh Salan (chicken and chiles in peanut sauce) and beef kabob were my faves while Shawn loved the fish and the pea and tofu Paneer. The naan was great (warm and crispy) and most all the salads were interesting and tasty! One negative note: they had what looked like roasted ears of corn, but they were actually boiled & seared to look like they were grilled.
Relaxed on the rear balcony for the afternoon then sat on deck 5 to see some of the Elegant Night outfits.
Back to the cabin and got ready for the elegant night. Had a plate of chocolates and strawberries plus a form asking if we needed anything - asked for 2 more pillows and a bathrobe (got them when we returned from dinner), plus we let them know we only needed once-a-day room servicing – no turn-down needed.
More people at Blush tonight. Shared our table with Kim and Sherry from OK. S had fried oysters (loved them), Cesar salad, wild mushroom soup (wonderful) and root veggies in a pie crust which was good but dry. I had the soup (excellent) and spaghetti carbonara which was great, with the hot Creme Brûlée for dessert - yum. Our tablemates were first-time cruisers and Kim was quite vocal about his disappointments with the cruise (many complaints) but finally seemed to realize he was being a downer and started reminiscing about his life in Austin in the 80’s.
Back to cabin to divest our fancy duds. Also received a throw as a platinum gift. Really appreciated the extra pillows.
Awakened by room service at 605
Got tray then Shawn headed out for laps - did 8.
I fiddled with comp and had hot tea and toast - note: even Carnival can’t make gluten-free bread taste good.
Shawn returned and I put on a swimsuit under a dress and we went to Blush at 8:10 even though they were scheduled to open at 8:30 - they opened doors at 0811 - this is a very nice departure from every other place opening late or closing early!
Seated at the same table as yesterday so same servers: Natali, and Joseph
We got orange juice (very diff from on Lido), iced tea, and fruit plate to share. S got pasta again (server remembered) and I ordered eggs Benedict with extra hollandaise. Nat asked if we wanted a Bloody Mary again and we agreed.
It was delish and the lady who made it came by to make sure we liked it - said the secret was her magic she added! We appreciate that touch. S lived his pasta again. They brought my eggs B with 2 extra servings of sauce and it was wonderful, especially with the little serving of home fries. The small servings make sense and I appreciate them - it’s easier and better to order more if you’re still hungry than to waste food if there’s too much!
Ate breakfast and went to the aft starboard Jacuzzi on the promenade. It was too sunny and had people in it, so we went to the port side Jacuzzi where it was windy but empty. The tub temperature was a little lower than the first day so we hovered over the hot jets for a half hour. Tried going back to the starboard tub, but it was no warmer so we headed to the room.
Changed then headed to the excursion desk to ask about wheelchairs on the Cayman Crystal Caves Trip. They said probably wouldn’t work so they refunded the full amount. BTW passengers can’t get from aft to midship on deck 3 so plan accordingly!
Up to Lido for frozen yogurt and ocean views. We were going to try the pizza but no slices were out and no one was around (despite the pizza place supposedly being open 24hrs)
Wandered a bit and checked email. Waited for noon Sushi opening but they were open when we got there! Very nice, helpful server let us order to go so we didn’t have to use the high top tables. Order a Bento Box for me and Spicy Tuna roll for Shawn. (Not a place to go if you’re in a hurry)
A lovely young woman brought our order and everything we needed to the table where we sat outside the Red Frog Pub. It’s worth noting that the server at RFP saw and ignored us before we ever got our food. The staff at Bonsai Sushi, on the other hand, were observant, helpful and plentiful! The Bento came with Miso soup (delish), salad with ginger dressing (nice), 6. Pc California roll with real crab, avocado, cucumber and fish eggs sprinkles, as well as 3 pc Sashimi (shrimp, tuna, and salmon) which I gave to S. Shawn had an 8 pc Spicy Tuna roll which was excellent - obviously and meticulously made by a pro!
Went up to get tea and see if Tandoor had different entries - they did, so we share a piece of naan and some Peas and Fenugreek (Methi Matar Malai). Then back to the cabin.
Trying to use the internet during the day is an adventure in frustration - SLOW!!! Not worth what you pay but... slightly better than having no access. The trick appears to be using it at 4 am.
Since S didn’t like anything on the dinner menu, we went to Lido buffet to eat. Good shrimp and breading and the chicken Milanese were great. Afterward, we made our way to the Breeze Atrium 3 to hear Kudos Strings again - fun!
1/17 Wednesday Jamaica
Up at 5:30 to get internet to work and prep for Jamaica!
Room service arrived at 6 AM as requested. Actually, the food delivered was substantially different than yesterday. Despite being almost the same order, things changed. Yesterday, I got four slices of toast and two tubs of cream cheese as well as two bags of tea for the hot tea. The only difference in the order was that yesterday I ordered gluten-free bread – which was awful. Today I ordered wheat toast. I received one slice of toast, one tub of cream cheese, and one teabag though the order was for two people. Slightly disappointing. On the plus side, the Internet works well at 6 AM.
S off to walk laps on Deck 5.
Packed donation for Jamaican school and organized cabin for carpet cleaning (about which they notified us)
Rain started so S came back from deck laps and we hit breakfast on Lido.
Not many folks and no lines.
Basic breakfast fare although the raisin French toast was nice as was the sausage gravy. I missed as the wonderful salsa which was available at breakfast a couple of years ago (on Liberty I think)
Watched as we motored into Montego Bay.
Gangplank on 0 Forward - a little hard in a wheelchair so we went to the Breeze Atrium on 3 to wait. At 930 we went to the elevators where a helpful crewman called the special elevator to deck 0 for us. S pushed me off the boat (in a good way) and onto the terminal where we were directed to our tour zone. Waited until 10 then out to a small bus with 23 passengers,
Driver Seymour and guide Michelle
Drove thru MoBay with running commentary. Saw markets, tons of yams, fruits, veggies.
Saw cannons only ever fired by accident at Brit ship by Brit soldiers. Stopped at oldest church, Anglican or Episcopal.
Bell tower is very loud when the bells ring as S found out personally. Looks like the church had not changed much at all relative to its colonial beginning, with the exception of the addition of steel-drum band equipment.
Drove into the countryside on bad roads toward Kingston and stopped at Mt Olive Basic School. Kids aged 3-5. The children lined up on the stairs of the school and sang songs and spoke poetry to us. Then the tourists sat with them and took pictures. The teacher brought two over to meet me in the wheelchair and was followed by many more, so we took lots of pictures of gorgeous children being sweet. Toured the school; teaching English is a clear priority. Shawn tried to give one boy an item—big mistake. Almost started a riot, which the teacher quickly resolved by taking the item away. We gave a bag of school supplies to the teacher. The materials we provided (chalk, playdoh, and paper) seemed very appropriate, given the kids’ ages. We then drove up the road and most of the people took a walk in the rainforest up a hill to a local restaurant.
I stayed on the bus because the hike was rough, but Seymour brought me a cup of coconut water to try, then he drove me up the hill to the gift shop area where peacocks roamed and a little burro posed. There was also an aviary with many different birds including a small eagle. Seymour brought me samples of all the fruits the rest of the tour group got: coconut with brown sugar, watermelon, papaya, and pineapple. Seymour and 2 men waited until our group got to the shop area then pushed me and my chair up a STEEP pathway to the restaurant area atop the hill. A little black cat was roaming but disappeared when the group started arriving.
Once everyone arrived there, they offered samples of fruit punch and sugar cane, then let us go thru the buffet: sweet potato salad, yams, coleslaw, jerked chicken and pork, festival (like hush puppies), Ackee and salt fish (the national dish) and 2 homemade breads. All were delish! S loved the ackee n salt fish. Coconut drops were offered for sale $1: chopped coconut meat cooked with ginger and brown sugar - yummy!
S had a Red Stripe lite beer and I had water.
I was scared to let the man roll me down the ramp so I braved the stairs then rolled into the gift shop where I tried sips of rum drinks. Bought a Cuban cigar for SJ then back on the bus and eventually MoBay.
Stopped at a “1/2 price gift shop” but we waited on the bus. Then back to the ship.
Went to the cabin - carpets cleaned!
Rested a bit then went to Red Frog on Lido for a drink. Got the Red Rum Treasure which was great!
Looked for a seat with a view but it started raining so we drug a chair under the deck 12 overhang on deck 11 and enjoyed the view of Jamaica. Watched the rain and the view until the ship pulled out then had dinner on Lido- fish n chicken for Shawn and chicken and ribs for me. The desserts were lovely - some warm honey oatmeal cake and mousse for me, ice cream for S.
Back to the cabin for a pain pill and to read. Fell asleep between 7-8 then went to bed at 9!
Woke every 1-1.5 hours as the ship rocked and rolled. The wheelchair rolled itself across the cabin and the TV swung itself out. Got up around six and Sean tried to do laps around the deck. The driving rain at the bow drove him back to the cabin, wet and cold. Got to Cayman around seven, but the rocking and rolling continued. The rain stopped so Shawn went to do laps again while I tried to make the computer work – if Carnival wants to gift my platinum status with something for me, perhaps upgrading me to decent Internet would be the best! The wind around the bow was crazy strong—very difficult to walk against it.
Captain made an announcement at about 730 that we could not safely tender into Grand Cayman, so the Breeze is headed to Cozumel early.
After giving up on the internet, we went to Blush for breakfast - servers Joseph and Natali :-). J told Shawn, “No pasta today!” Shawn had smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel plus a yogurt and granola parfait. I ordered avocado toast with poached eggs and a broccoli cheddar scramble. Delicious. The Parfait had little yogurt and was too sweet (lots of honey, minimal yogurt) for S but I finished it for him.
Back to cabin so Shawn can nap and I can get super frustrated by horrible internet.
Sat on the balcony and enjoyed the ocean motion, then we went to 11 for the view and the breeze, but it was more a gale so we retreated to another spot to wait for lunch venues to open. At noon, we headed to 5 to try the Pig and Anchor but all the doors to the outside were blocked due to the wind. Finally got out an aft hatch and tried a little of everything offered at the P&A. I liked the pork butt and smoked beef and collard greens. S liked the chicken. The potato salad and Mac n cheese were ok but nothing special. Getting back indoors proved a challenge - we rounded the stern and went all the way forward to find an open hatch. Went back to Lido and made our way thru the hordes to check the kind of curry available at Tandoor. Finding a table was hard - lots of readers taking up dining spots - but finally parked at a bar table aft by the pool. Had some curry and naan then went for desert - S had ice cream and some key lime cheesecake while I had cheesecake and a mini carrot cake (which looked better than it tasted).
Back to the cabin (1:30 pm and not yet cleaned) so I could warm up - lay on the balcony in the sun for a bit then went inside and got under the covers. Decided to go get pizza - asked for and received mushroom - it was good. The pizza was good, but minimalist in the extreme—very thin crust, very little sauce, and minimal toppings. That was good, though, in that it made the pizza very crispy and light, and likely minimized waste. Got a drink (Beachcomber) down at Red Frog mid ship on Lido. Heard announcements that tonight is Elegant night and saw that the comedy shows were canceled so have to rethink our plan for the night. Decided to eat buffet and not dress up - being stick-mud-people! Planned for Cozumel tomorrow.
Drinking man, Sam from Missouri, with a Marvin the Martian tattoo on his calf joined us and talked for a bit after his wife pulled his chest hair. We went by the cabin to get a shirt for S and a coverup for me then down to the Breeze Atrium but no music- everyone taking portraits. We planted in the Piano Lounge to watch elegant outfits.
At 6:10 we headed to Lido for dinner. I got a southwest chicken wrap from the deli while S got clam chowder, fish, and a Cesar salad. The amaretto cake was too chocolaty for either of us. Back to the cabin to rest before going to hear music in the Atrium. (Cabin STILL not cleaned)
Rested for a minute and Volter came to clean so we went to the Piano Bar to read. Heard an announcement that there’s someone needing medical treatment so we are powering full steam to Cozumel - arrival 0100.
At 8ish we went to The Atrium to hear Kudos Strings. Listened to faves like Stairway to Heaven, Devil went down to GA, Phantom of the Opera and more, while 2 little girls danced to the music!
Back to cabin @10.
1/19 Friday Cozumel
Woke at around 2 AM and we were docked. Got up at six and Shawn went for laps around the deck. My room service continental breakfast was brought at about 620 and was double or triple what was brought up the last time. It was great.
NOTE: The carnival Internet is horrible. We paid for the middle – class version, the value Internet, and it is horribly, horribly slow. They advertise that their premier version is three times faster, but three times the pace of a snail is still a slow turtle so I can’t imagine that it is much better. I cannot recommend paying money for the service.
Got the internet to work well enough to finish daily chores - only took 1.75 hours to do what would take 10 minutes at home. Packed up supplies for the orphanage tour. S came back from laps (40+ overall)!
Went to Lido for breakfast buffet - great sausage gravy! Back to cabin to pack up, lather up (sunscreen) and ship out. Out 0 forward and saw all the other ships: Carnival Dream next to us, Regal Princess at semi- dock, 2 RC ships at piers closer to downtown. Got all the way to Three Amigos then realized I forgot the excursion tickets:-(. Shawn parked me and headed back.
S back with tickets and we checked in with Give Back tour then went to the drug store. Shawn went in and found higher concentration Volteran plus Aleve gel but had to stand in line 35 minutes.
Met tour guide David and got aqua happy face sticker. Ran to Pancho’s Backyard for a margarita - took too long. Got it five minutes before departure and took it with us.
Back to meeting spot and group of 15-18 followed David to open-air safari bus. Climbed up the tall stairs into the bus.
The bus hit the road bumps like a tank.
First stop at San Jose Del Mar church. Only 26 years old, but cool stained glass windows. Not only the stations of the cross but also local history depicted. This was in sharp contrast to the church in Jamaica, which was an adopted colonial church.
Then on to the City of Angels orphanage (Cuidad de Angeles) a charity of the Church of Christ which houses kids with surrogate parents in houses (2 parents to 5-10 kids per house, 6-18-year-olds). They have 5 acres of land with house-building ongoing. They are trying to raise money for that, education, healthcare, etc. Julio showed us around and gave us info. We saw only a few young people, and we did not interact with any of them.
Back on the bus to Cocina Economica Los Chilangos (Chilangos which means “out of towners” because the proprietors are from Mexico City). Local food: Pasta soup, chips and green salsa (HOT), Homemade corn tortillas and a choice of entree. I had Deditas en crema chile poblano (chicken pieces). Shawn had Cerna de res entomatada (beef in tomato sauce) both with refried beans and rice.
Lovely lunch then back to the pier.
Went by the drug store and got then went back to Poncho’s Backyard for guacamole and rum punch. Back to the ship and a quick rest before heading to the port side to watch the drunks and late runners. Found a salt-encrusted window on deck 5 and saw a few drunks and almost no runners despite their being 30 minutes late! Schwartz the cruise director tried to chivvy them along with Chariots of Fire music but to no avail. We finally left Cozumel at about 6:10 pm.
Went to 3 Atrium to hear classics by Kudos Strings.
Then dinner on Lido as Guy Fieri’s burgers were closed at 6:30.
We went back to the cabin to get a jacket and I wimped out. Shawn went back to hear Kudos Strings while I lay down. Read for a while - S back at 9 and to sleep.
Day at sea
I slept until 6:45 while Shawn did laps. Got up but even before 0700 the internet sucks.
Shawn back at 7:25 after 10 laps!
Internet off and on
Went to brunch in Blush and tipped Joseph (from the Philippines) and Augustina the Bloody Mary lady. I had filet and eggs with grilled tomato and home fries (extra béarnaise)- perfect! S had the pasta. Lovely meal!!
Checked spa temps but both were tepid, so back to cabin to read/time Cs play, but S napped instead. Today, Volter came at 0910 of course! Said he’d come back later. He never introduced himself but knew our names.
We timed Cs play then went to Lido for tea. S saw the Ropes Course was open so parked me on 11 and went up. I enjoyed the sun and breeze and ocean view. S came back as the Ropes had just closed for lunch (at 11:30) until 1:30. We went back and edited until 1:40, then Shawn went to Ropes while I fought the computer. He came back after an hour and showed me pictures of the hard vs easy sides of the course. Shawn did the easy and hard parts, which were all fun. The ‘hard’ side looked to be particularly difficult for people who were big/heavy. We went to 10 and split a burger then went by the shops for gifts before returning to the cabin. We read for a while then showered and packed up everything we could. Read a bit then went to Blush for farewell dinner. S had caprese salad, creole shrimp, and a baked potato. I had creamy mango soup as well as baked onion soup, then ricotta ravioli. S had a complimentary glass of Merlot and I had lemonade. Tipped and said bye to Winaya and Retno.
Down to Atrium to hear Kudos Strings one last time: Bohemian Rhapsody, Only You (Patsy Cline), Celebration, and La Bamba. Back to cabin a little after 10. Finished packing all but the essentials and put out suitcases then to bed.
Alarm at 6. But it was 6 EST so we went back to bed a while. Up again at real 6 and Shawn went for 4 laps while I finally shed packing. Went up to Lido for breakfast but Shawn was disappointed - no gravy! Ate then back to cabin to get stuff, including walker! We were supposed to meet other priority departures in the midship restaurant at 8:15. Loaded up and headed to forward elevators which the ship announcements had said were for deck 11-12 and priorities only -ha! Waited 15 minutes because all elevators jam-packed. Finally got an empty elevator up to 12 then down to deck 3 where people were already exiting. Got right thru and got a porter to pick up luggage and take us through customs/immigration (no customs forms anymore.
Porter dropped me and bags at F and Shawn went for car. Fast and easy disembark! Read Less
It was my third cruise, my last was with the MSC Seaside and it was almost perfect.
When we arrived in our cabin, surprise, several elevators does not work, also, it smelled like sewer and our cabine was so narrow and not enought place ... Read More
It was my third cruise, my last was with the MSC Seaside and it was almost perfect.
When we arrived in our cabin, surprise, several elevators does not work, also, it smelled like sewer and our cabine was so narrow and not enought place for our laudry.
the toilet blocked several times.
We went to the reception, we had to wait 30 minutes before meeting a person. it was our firts day!!!!!!!
Many activities are too expensive, in other, billiards which was $ 40 per hour!
The metropolitain theator est too much small for 5 thousand poeple.
We bought a wine package at $ 186, they mentioned we had wine choices in the $ 33 deca. There are 3 choices of cabernet at this price, imagine that after 2 evenings there was more Cabernet Sauvignon. We asked if we could have another Cabernet Sauvignon at $ 33 and it was not normal that after 2 nights there was no more Cabernet Sauvignon, they told us they could not get us give bottles over $ 33. Wow !! finally they found a bottle of cabernet and two pinot noir in replacement, I asked if we were going to have the same problem the next day, they replied no. So the next day we arrive at the restaurant, we ask cabernet sauvignon, they answer us that it is impossible to give us, imagine tonight after a lot of discussions, we had our first assiette at 10:00 instead of 8:30. The next day I will go to the reception to complain, this is the first time someone nice answered me and called the hotel manager and he she confirmed that we were going to have cabernet and this was the case the next day, but that it is for wine, WOW !!!!
Also, not enought sunchair, not enought coffee machine, I think too much poeple for the space.
Good points: the waiters and waitresses in the bars were really nice and helpful 5 out of 5
the person who looked after our room was really nice and helpful 5 out of 5.
My appreciation for this cruise ship is a 2 out of 5. Read Less
my group arrived late for embarkation but the crew got us registered and on the ship pretty quickly, we had to carry our own luggage which was a bummer but it was okay especially after I heard from other cruisers that their bags came up ... Read More
my group arrived late for embarkation but the crew got us registered and on the ship pretty quickly, we had to carry our own luggage which was a bummer but it was okay especially after I heard from other cruisers that their bags came up missing,
I was disappointed in my cabin , I paid for balcony stateroom and my children stayed in an inside cabin which I found to be the same exact size, only difference was I had a balcony. I have cruised many times before and always get a balcony or suite so I was extremely disappointed. the only good thing about the room was my room steward kept it nice and clean the entire time. I took this cruise for my birthday and found very little night life on this cruise, I was a little bored , it seemed like everyone slept for 2 or 3 days before I even saw movement or any entertainment. The night club didn't start playing music till 11pm and by 1:30am nobody was around. I could not even enjoy my balcony because the people next to me complained about noise the entire time , it was as if they got on board to sleep. The buffet was small and didn't have many choices but the dining room was nice, I enjoyed sitting down for a nice meal every night. The pool was nice and so were the Jacuzzi's . I had a spa treatment and ended up getting blisters on my feet and was told to see the ships doctor but of course I would have to pay out of pocket. I was not offered any compensation at all. I paid for a private balcony breakfast which I never received because room service lost my ticket, they claimed they would give it to me another day but never showed up !!! and I never received a refund which of course I asked for.
the ports were beautiful !!! we took a tour of the city in Puerto Vallarta , saw the church and beautiful boardwalk, then did a tequila tasting and did a little shopping before we headed to the jungle where we zip lined, afterwards we had a great lunch of lobster and shrimp and fish which was the most delicious meal I have ever had it was very fresh !!
in Mazatlan we did a city tour and saw the cathedral which was absolutely breath taking!! we got some great photos and had had lunch on the beach.
In Cabo we got off the ship and took a tour on a glass bottom boat afterwards it dropped us at Medano beach where we stopped at the Office and ate and drank some more tequila. The prices were great the bottle of tequila (Don Julio) and 8 plates of food came to about $100. We spent some time on the beach and relaxed. ON the way back one of the boat operators stole from us so that left a bad taste in our mouth for that port.
I go on cruises just about every year sometimes twice a year and I doubt that I will ever cruise on Princess again. Read Less
We were part of a group reunion. Had done 2 Carnival cruises in 95-96 so was rather curious about today's Carnival ships especially since this is a newer ship. Overall, the ship is satisfactory, but doubt if I would sail again with them ... Read More
We were part of a group reunion. Had done 2 Carnival cruises in 95-96 so was rather curious about today's Carnival ships especially since this is a newer ship. Overall, the ship is satisfactory, but doubt if I would sail again with them as they did not have the WOW factor for me. Overall decoration of the ship was ordinary.
Food was okay, but portions were generous -- French onion soup and melting chocolate cake were excellent. The Lido buffet did not have a great deal of variety, vegetables were limited. The layout is spread out and makes it initially confusing and inconvenient. First day of Anytime Dining was confusing and hectic. Much improved the next night. In fact, kind of nice in that you register for a table on deck 5, are given a unit that glows when a table is ready. In the interim, there is a lounge near by for cocktails or just comfortably waiting. Guy's Burgers were excellent and not long lines on off-peak times. The soft serve and frozen yogurt machine areas were constantly busy.
Did not really participate in any of the main showroom or lounge entertainment, but did not hear any great reviews.
A great big plus for Carnival with their Military Appreciation. The Cruise Director Matt did a great job in recognizing all service branches. The showroom was almost full with active, retired military, their families and cruisers who were just there for support. Indeed a highlight and heartwarming.
Overall, the staff was accommodating, courteous and friendly.
The Hub app was great when it worked. It was $5 for each phone for the week. The tv access to the activities, account, etc were easy to navigate.
The Serendity area for adults only was disappointing. It was small, limited number of chaise, cabanas, umbrellas, etc. Handrails to one of the whirlpools were loose and posed a safety concern which I reported to Guest Services. Yellow towels were generously large and thick which you have to sign in/out.
Onboard shopping is typical cruise availability with 'sales' thorughout the week.
Embarkation was relatively quick and easy although hectic. The Lido was open for lunch while the cabins were being prepared. Disembarkation was delayed due to the recent government shutdown in which there were limited TSA agents available. Luggage tags are provided the day before to facilitate staggered disembarkation.
Previous other cruise lines offer priority disembarkation for their excursions, but I did not hear any announcement for this if it was available.
Ship scooters for anyone needing special assitance are available, but must be reserved in advance. Wheelchairs were available. Read Less
The ship facilities, the service, the food, the entertainment were all impeccable! Incredible vacation. One of the shows called The Fine Line is the best entertainment show I have seen in my life. The dinner was always delicious with a ... Read More
The ship facilities, the service, the food, the entertainment were all impeccable! Incredible vacation. One of the shows called The Fine Line is the best entertainment show I have seen in my life. The dinner was always delicious with a wide range of gourmet dishes and an exceptional service from the waiters. The buffets for breakfast and lunch are super complete and also with very good taste. The room cleaning was exceptional. All the cruise staff is very attentive and friendly. The Flowrider and The Ultimate Abyss were my favorite attractions. Daily Planners included dozens of activities to participate in (the cruise), and for all ages. The exit and entrance of the ship at the arriving ports was simple.The three places visited were great. My favorite one was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in which I recommend exploring the old city landmarks by yourself. It is truly a beautiful an colorful old city. In St. Thomas we went to a very nice beach called Magens Bay, which I recommend. In Labadee we took a cool jet ski experience and enjoyed the near beaches. All the cruise vacation was exceptional, I would surely recommend it. Read Less
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that ... Read More
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that and the Cabin Crawl. My husband and I did the Slot Pull.
For our Meet and Greet we were in the District Brew House so there were beer samples and snack samples being passed around. There was music playing and we got to meet the staff and of course the other nice cruisers. What a blast. From there we went right to the Slot Pull and that was a lot of fun. We actually made $3.00 above our bet.
Then on Wednesday we had the Cabin Crawl. This was my first time doing a Cabin Crawl and I was really impressed with all the different types of room we saw.
These events are a great way to meet other and to learn more about your ship and cruising in general. I really recommend this especially if it is your first cruise. But it is for everyone first cruise or 30th cruise. Great time!!
Ok so now here is my review. I purchased this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and my cousins 60th birthday. We went with our husbands. I had been on the Escape before and really loved Tortola and St. Thomas and those were two of the ports were were going to see. After the hurricane devastated some of the islands our stops were to Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, GSC (Great Stirrup Cay) and Nassau Bahamas. I was not as thrilled with these stops but it was looking forward to Grand Cayman and GSC.
It went smoothly...no issues at all. Got to our room and was disappointed that the room configuration was not what I asked for. I had a spa balcony cabin and after researching I found that there are two configurations of these rooms. One were the couch is closer to the closet (allowing you much more room to get in and out of the closet) and the other with the bed is closer to the closet giving you less room. Because of my disability (I am getting a two level low back fusion in 3 days) I discussed the rooms with the agent and she was able she said to get me my desired room. Well she did not give me the right room. So when I got to my room I called guest services and they said they said they would send in my concern. Later that day received a message on my phone from some man that said there was no record of this. Since I did not speak with him I have no idea if he knew the correct request or not. So either she did not put the notes in or they were telling me I was lying. Very said for a person who likes NCL and has recommended them to many friends and family. So I was really in a lot of pain trying to bend in this small area to get things that I needed.
The Muster Drill was a little longer than usual because you have those people who think they can wander in late...then those who wander in even later...and those who do not care at all and come when they feel THEY should show up. So this makes for a longer time. At my cousin's station a lady was screaming that it was taking to long. I think they had to remove her because she was screaming so loudly. So when they give you your time for the drill please be considerate and get there on time.
The Escape is beautiful and there is something for everyone. From a pool, childrens area, slides for both kids and adults putt putt, bowling, Spice H2O a place for adults only. So many places to go on this ship. . Then there are many bars and places to dine. I don't drink much if at all but in order for my husband to get the drink package I had to as well. He also doesn't drink much but being with my cousin and her husband he did drink more than usual. The District Beer house was very nice. We all enjoyed everything about it except the waitress. She was the most unfriendliest person on the ship. They have many types of beers and a cozy atmosphere. You can order I believe 4 different items from the menu, like sliders and wings but it will cost you an additional fee. My cousin and her husband ordered a few things the second night not knowing she had to pay. This was her their first time on NCL. So if you are looking for great beers go here.
If you want beer and free food go to Sheehans as it complimentary.
The cabin was nice except for the configuration as I spoke of above. Everything worked fine. There was enough storage and room for both of us. Our steward was great with the animals in the room. Those are always a treat. And he kept everything nice for us. I should have asked him to fix the bed because there was a piece of plastic that went between our beds where they push them together. I could feel this and it was uncomfortable. I should have requested him to fix it and I am sure he would have. Just kept forgetting after I got up. The pillows on the bed were very nice. Make sure if you are in your room and you want to hear the announcements turn your tv on and go to channel 22 and you will be able to hear them in your room.
All specialty restaurants we went to were wonderful. We did La Cucina, Cagney's and Tepanyaki. All of us enjoyed our meal. In fact in the Italian they had tbone steak...kinda sad they took out the ribeye. But I was so stuffed after eating the pasta that I told our waiter to skip my steak. My husband got it so I had a few bites of his. I just did not want to waste a steak. So yes there is definitely a lot of food at these restaurants. And the desserts are great except for the Tepanyaki. I do not like either of the two desserts they offer. Green tea cake and fruit sashimi. I wish they would add a few other choices like the other restaurants have.
We also went to Taste, Savor and Manhattan Room for dinner as well. All were very good. I love when the strip loin is on the menu and I was so happy I did not have a specialty reservation that night. Oh and really make your reservations for the specialty restaurants as soon as you are able to on line. Otherwise you may get shut out. We tried to change a time on our 630 La Cucina reservation to a 530 reservation so we could get to a 730 show. This was the first night I tried and they were booked. So this is really important if you want to get reservations.
Entertainment and Activities.
We get the spa package so most of our free time is spent there. And being disabled it really helps me feel good. My cousin and her husband did the slides and they loved them. My cousin is 60 and her husband 70 and they had a blast. So the slides are not just for kids. We only ended up with one show and that was the For the Record the Brat Pack. It was excellent. We saw it the last time on the ship but it was in the Supper Club. So being in the Theater gave it a little difference. Still excellent. I would recommend it. But there is some strong language so I would not recommend it for smaller kids.
We love the spa and so we got the spa balcony our room was so close to the steps and we could go directly up to the spa on the next floor. This spa is a little more expensive than on other ships but it has more. There is a steam room which is great and then right after we would go into the ice room for like a minute or so and boy is that refreshing. You are not even cold. They also have a salt room which I went into but then after reading the sign inside that says people with diabetes and high blood pressure should not use it, I got out. It would have been nice for the sign to be on the outside like all the other signs. They also have two types of saunas as well. And what is nice on this ship is that I could go in these with my husband. On the Gem and Dawn these areas were inside the women's areas so you could only go in by yourself or with other ladies but not with your spouse. I like this much better. They had many heated loungers and they were great about removing towels for people who were saving them while they got a spa treatment. I like that they were pro active in this area. There are also many regular loungers that are very comfortable. We had a relaxing time in the Thermal Spa!!
Ports and Shore Excursions.
This is where we were really disappointed due to weather conditions. Our first stop was Jamaica. We did a food walking tour that was excellent. We did not do it from the ship but directly from the website. Look up Jamaica Culinary Tours if you are interested.
Next stop was Grand Cayman and we had a three stop snorkeling and stingray experience with Captain Marvins. Another one that you can book directly with them. 3 snorkeling stop and then the stingray stop for $45. Another guest said he booked Captain Marvin through Shore excurioneer and paid more. But it did not matter what we paid because after we got off the ship we found out that the port police or port authority would not let the snorkeling tours go out. Not private ones and not on the ship. Boy we were disappointed. I went with Captain Marvins about 6 years ago and it was amazing. So we walked around just a little bit since it is hard for me to walk and we went back to the ship and to the spa..
Next stop Great Stirrup Cay. We were really excited to see there island and lay in the sun and have a bbq. another highlight of the trip that did end up happening. Due to the weather we could not tender and therefore could not visit the Island. The captain took us directly to the Bahamas and we got there at 1pm on Thursday and stayed overnight and spent the entire day there on Friday. I am not big on the Bahamas so was pretty disappointed. But we did find a snorkeling tour with the ship to Athol Island. It was only $50 so not a bad price. We went to one snorkeling spot and it was really chilly out. But I did get in and snorkel for awhile. Many of us just stayed in about 15 minutes but there was enough time to snorkel a lot had it been nice out.
The service on the ship was great!! Everyone except for the waitress in the District Brew House and our waiter in Cagney's had a smile on there face. I am for the most part always smiling and try to stay happy so I like when I go on a trip and the service staff is also happy.
Just a shout out to Leyda in the Manhattan club. She was so sweet and so nice we all wrote the comment cards out about her. I hope she and the other crew members had a good time in the Bahamas. Since we were staying overnight there the crew got to enjoy some of the sites. What a nice break for this hard working staff.
We would definitely go on the Escape again. We think it is a great ship. Lots to do and great food.
If you have any special requests I would make sure you put it in writing. You do not want to have happen to you what happened to us. I am doing that with our next trip on the NCL Bliss to Alaska so I can get the room configuration that will be good for me and my disability.
If you decide to go on the Escape have a great time! We sure did! Read Less
I was absolutely blown away with this company, I loved everything about them.
The best part for me was the attention and service I received. As a disabled traveler in Asia, I was worried about getting on and off the boat, and uneven ... Read More
I was absolutely blown away with this company, I loved everything about them.
The best part for me was the attention and service I received. As a disabled traveler in Asia, I was worried about getting on and off the boat, and uneven surfaces during tours, but I almost always had an assistant to help me, I cannot believe it. My handholders, as I called them, were so gracious and kind, really looking out for me, and also chatting with me about their country, taking pictures of us. It was even nice to see a new crew member who was also as equally excited about the siteseeing as us, coming with us and taking pictures of his own.
The food was perfect. I loved the fresh salads, always fresh fruit, many choices for lunch and dinner. The desserts were beautifully presented by a very exuberant pastry chef- who is also an excellent dancer, singer, and guitar player.
I loved our bartender, "MoMo" whose smile always brightened our day when he presented the "drink of the day" at cocktail hour. Local spirits and beer are included, which was perfect for me, others ordered extras like wine and foreign spirits like Campari.
Our tour guide Min was outstanding. English that we could all understand easily, and if there was a word he was not sure of, he asked us and corrected his pronounciation- we liked this reciprocal learning.
I have travelled on I think 4 other river cruises, all on different lines, and I hesitated to book on a small company, but I think this was my best trip yet!
Myanmar is beautiful, the people are the friendliest, the sites are amazing, it is safe, please go! Read Less
Choose this ship because it was ADA compliant and had no tender ports. In reality the ship has limited wheelchair access. The cabin was good. It was difficult getting around the ship because there were limited automatic doors for ... Read More
Choose this ship because it was ADA compliant and had no tender ports. In reality the ship has limited wheelchair access. The cabin was good. It was difficult getting around the ship because there were limited automatic doors for wheelchair access to promenade deck and pool area. No wheelchair accessible doors to sports deck, and Sanctuary is only accessible by lift which we are told is often out of service (when I was ready to go down from the Sanctuary the lift was not working so I had to wait 2 hours for repairs (and there is no washroom on that level - not good). 6th deck has different levels so one needs to find the ramp to get from dining room through the casino to the theatre. The 6th deck theatre has very limited wheelchair seating and the 7th level requires a steep ramp. Explorer lounge where much of the trivia games and other entertainment takes place also requires a steep ramp so I could not participate. The most disappointing was that only passengers who could walk could disembark in Bonaire. Because I use a manual wheelchair I was not allowed to disembark because they claimed that the safety officer said the ramp was too steep. The staff was rather rude about it and didn't care that we specifically choose docked ports so I could disembark. We have sailed other cruise lines which were more suited for wheelchair users. Read Less
I chose the cruise because I had never embarked from Tampa Port. Unfortunately, there were fog issues and we were delayed in our departure and daylight was limited. I wish I would have asked for a seat by the window in the dining room ... Read More
I chose the cruise because I had never embarked from Tampa Port. Unfortunately, there were fog issues and we were delayed in our departure and daylight was limited. I wish I would have asked for a seat by the window in the dining room but it was an after thought.
The food in the dining room was very acceptable and I didn't feel a need to go to any of the Specialty restaurants.
The Entertainment was out of this world. I am a diamond member and I would rate this the best I have ever seen. New York couldn't have done any better especially on the last night.
I will be back on the ship in March and look forward to seeing a repeat performance.
I was in Cabin 4004 and was concerned being at the front of the ship for bad weather. We did have some high waves and the room was comfortable.
The negative was the casino. They have card readers that are difficult to use. They are going to be replaced in April, 2018. Read Less
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