This was my second cruise with Carnival, and we had a great time as expected. The service was outstanding. Most of all we want to give a shout out to several crew members: Thuthisa and Sanja-servers in the Saphire dining room, ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Carnival, and we had a great time as expected. The service was outstanding. Most of all we want to give a shout out to several crew members: Thuthisa and Sanja-servers in the Saphire dining room, Glenn-server at the Red Frog Pub, and Arnata-our cabin host. These folks truly made our trip such a delight; we will deeply miss seeing them, and we will cherish all the memories of the laughs we shared night after night.
I am not a big snob about decor so we can sum it up as clean and beautiful. The food was good. We stuck to eating mostly in the dining room, but we also tried Guy's burgers a few times, and we have no complaints.
Carnival ships are all about having fun, and they do a great job of giving you the opportunity to stay engaged.
As far as the cruise ports...
I hated Jamicia. The Montego Bay port runs a racket for duping tourists. We asked for a cab to take us to Doctors Cove and were shown to a small bus that charged 7.00. Once on the bus and driving, we were informed that we would not be going to Doctors Cove. Instead, they were offering for 11.00 more than the 14.00 fair to a souvenir shop and back, they would take us all around to several places so that we can experience Jamicia to the fullest and we would also go to a "much more beautiful" beach than the crowded tourist destinations. At this point, you were already stuck paying 14.00, so it didn't sound so bad. What ended up happening was we stopped at a shop with a bunch of crap made in China, drove halfway up a driveway and looked at a former plantation house (but we never went up to the house), sat in a hot, crowded bus as we went through a part of town that was not safe for tourists, and ended up at a beach that we had to pay 5.00 each to get in and had broken glass everywhere and garbage strewn about. I highly recommend you book a cruise excursion. You've been warned.
The Cayman Islands
If you like to shop, this place is for you, but the island dollar is worth more than USD so prepare to pay a bit more for your souvenirs. The snorkeling part of our Pirate Boat excursion was canceled due to high winds, but we made the most of the open bar and had a good time nonetheless.
We had the most fun here. The locals are friendly, there is a lot of stuff to explore around the ports, and we booked a private excursion of horseback riding for over two hours through the jungle and to Mayan ruins. I can't wait to revisit Cozumel.
Overall, I have no complaints about the ship or Carnival Cruise lines. As for the ports, we should have booked more excursions. Lesson learned. Read Less
We chose this ship because we wanted to go to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. We flew into Orlando and took the Go Port Canaveral transfer package from airport/ to hotel/ to the ship/ to the airport. It was an easy process. It took ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to go to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. We flew into Orlando and took the Go Port Canaveral transfer package from airport/ to hotel/ to the ship/ to the airport. It was an easy process. It took about an hour to get from the hotel to the port. IMPORTANT TIP: To speed past much of the line, find the elevator. It drops you at the top of the stairs! At that point, it still took 45 minutes to get on the boat. So, any shortcut helps!
We stayed in a mini suite on the 13 floor. This was a good location, as it was a short 2 floors up the stairs to the pool deck and buffet. The gym was up one deck. The room was very strange, as many reported. We adjusted without much problem. There was a lot of storage space and closet space. However, electric outlets were sparse. They were located under the cabinet opposite the bed. Not very convenient at all. Bring your own body wash and shampoo. They have some stinky herbal stuff that was short of disgusting. And lady's, there is no conditioner!!! Bring your own. Last year we were in a suite on the Dawn, and had some awesome Bvlgari products.
This is our 3rd Norwegian cruise. This was our worst in terms of service. We had the drink package. It was hard to find a bartender that was attentive or not rude. No one smiled. They seemed annoyed to be there. We never experienced that on other ships. We were in Spice H20 most of the time during the day. Finding waiters was difficult, at best. We waived, yelled, etc.. to get their attention (when there was one to be seen). They would wave and then make their way after 5 minutes or so. Again, annoyed to be there and no smile or friendly words.
The restaurants were OK. The menu never changed, so if you wanted variety, you needed to try another entre or go to a specialty restaurant. NOTE: We usually dress up for dinner and got great service in the Manhattan. However, we ate in Cagney's twice- both times the service was without a smile. The experience in Teppanyaki was good. It was entertaining. The food was just ok. I had steak. It was under seasoned. So was the rice. My wife had shrimp and scallops. The scallops were very fishy and seemed undercooked. The Garden Cafe was fine, however, many of the "American" dishes were far from tasting that way. I think they need to invest in an American cookbook, because American staples should look and taste accordingly.
Pool Deck- get there early and reserve a spot, or you may find slim pickings on finding chairs- especially at Spice H20. We like being in the hot tubs. One day they were very hot, other days cool or luke warm. No consistency.
Entertainment- I thought Norwegian was supposed to be "freestyle"? There were many venues that required reservations. Even tenders? We reserved the Burn the Floor show several months in advance. Upon boarding the ship, we had a letter in our cabin that said we were bumped, and rescheduled to another show (on the last night of the cruise). Not cool. Also, we paid for premium seats for the Cirque show and were seated upstairs. We didn't get what we paid for. The show was outstanding, but we got the bait and switch. The Epic Beatles were also very good, however, get there at least an hour early if you want a chance at getting to sit down. The bartender is not very friendly in there either. We got into the dueling piano bar, which was OK... I've seen better singers. We never were able to get tickets to Escape the Big Top. This ship is big and crowded.
Tours- In Jamaica, we went to Dunn's River Falls plus the VIP Beach tour. This was a very good experience. In Cayman- we went shopping and went to a restaurant and had lobster tails for lunch. When we returned, we found many people who reserved tours had them canceled due to rough seas. We decided not to go to the private island. The tender reservation schedule just wasn't worth the hassle. We heard there wasn't much shade, the food wasn't very good and the beach was crowded. Glad we skipped it. Next time, we will be more selective to not book cruises with more than one tender.
Gym- The gym had plenty of equipment and machines. However, there were no towels the first few days, which was annoying. Also, no attendants there.
Maid- She was great, pleasant, smiling and very friendly! We tipped her extra!
All together, we like Norwegian, but this trip just seemed like less service and less for our money. Maybe that's what you get with the bigger ships? We still had fun and made the best of it. It just wan't for us. So, we won't be cruising on the Epic again. Read Less
I chose this cruise as I'd never been to Mexico before and thought this would be a great way to see a little of the country.
Embarkation: I was able to take my suitcase on with me but the boarding process was slow and all passengers ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I'd never been to Mexico before and thought this would be a great way to see a little of the country.
Embarkation: I was able to take my suitcase on with me but the boarding process was slow and all passengers were herded into a large area where we waited for our boarding numbers to be called. There was then a very long walk and wait to board the ship.
Decor like all Carnival ships is totally outrageous- fried eggs on the ceiling in the main dining room and pink donuts in the design everywhere.
There was a fire in the engine room on the first night that was contained and we were kept updated on this.
The ship appeared a lot older than its 10 years of age and the layout was very confusing having to go up and downstairs to get to areas on the same level (levels 3 and 4). The Serenity area is not as nice as on other Carnival ships - it’s situated at the front of the boat, is looking a little tired and run down. I understand that the ship will be going through a refurb before its Australian season in 2019.
Great to see assistant dogs onboard.
Cabin: Inside cabin 8369 - Room wasn’t totally clean when I arrived - dirty ear cleaner and lolly wrapper on the floor and mirrors were smeared. Room was kept clean afterwards but only cleaned once per day. Bed was uncomfortable and my neck and back were sore on waking. The room was also quite noisy. You could hear passengers and room stewards in the hallways. Vacuum cleaners going in the corridors at 8:30 in the morning on several occasions.
Service was mixed- some areas like the casino staff were excellent- some bar areas and in the main dining room service was indifferent. In the main dining room service was very slow and orders had to be repeated. I had anytime dining.
The ships captain wasn’t very visible and didn’t provide many updates- eg when we were late leaving port in Peurto Vallarta.
The photographers were great in that they left you alone if you weren’t interested but the photos I had posed for were of poor quality.
Very long wait in coffee shop in the mornings and only 1 barrister on duty. On port days coffee shop was closed between 11 – 3.
Food in the buffet was very average. A lot of the savoury food was sweetened with sugar - not suited to my palate. The main dining room was hit and miss. I had a couple of nice meals there but also some very average ones.
Bars: I didn’t like that they didn’t use fresh ingredients in the cocktails- only pre-mix. The Mojito bar didn’t have mint on the first night.
Entertainment: I didn’t attend any of the production shows however I loved entertainers and the music they played in the public areas.
Disembarkation: Again there were very long queues. As I had an early flight, I took off my own bags. Read Less
Nice cruise when i finally got a quiet room. don't ever book in cabin 11533 studio. i had to move because it was so noisy next to a "crew area" which turned out to be an elevator where they roll things out of the crew elevator ... Read More
Nice cruise when i finally got a quiet room. don't ever book in cabin 11533 studio. i had to move because it was so noisy next to a "crew area" which turned out to be an elevator where they roll things out of the crew elevator all the time. the room vibrated from all the noise. i had to request to be moved. the room i moved to was perfect. i am not telling which one it was!!!
The leg of lamb was succulent, the prime rib outstanding, the garden cafe was okay. taste the mdr are the places to go.
FOOD - GREAT
PEOPLE - GREAT
SOLO COORDINATOR - GREAT
NEW ROOM - OUTSTANDING
Traveled solo and would do it again. travelling solo with access to the studio lounge is important to me. i have had an inside, balcony and studio. i loved the balcony but adore the access the solo cabin affords me to the lounge, to connect with others. Read Less
I am Diamond Plus and received a 300 cabin credit (issued on a Fall cruise in 2017) for this cruise. Could not pass it up and so I got out of winter weather at home. I prefer the Transatlantic (take this twice a year) for the activities ... Read More
I am Diamond Plus and received a 300 cabin credit (issued on a Fall cruise in 2017) for this cruise. Could not pass it up and so I got out of winter weather at home. I prefer the Transatlantic (take this twice a year) for the activities and entertainment.
This cruise was so so.
People cruising the Atlantic for at least 12 days are more friendly and have interesting stories of their cruising and home town stories.
The ports of call did not really interest me as I have been to the Caribbean ten times of more.
My cabin was really nice with a window, however the window was above the head of the bed so I could only enjoy the sun shine and was not able to see outside. The purpose of a window is to see what is going on outside when you are in port.
I am booked for April 2018, a Transatlantic cruise and October 2018 also a Transatlantic cruise.
The entertainment was NOT so entertaining on this cruise but I guess I am spoiled with Trans crossing. Read Less
The entire vacation was great. The employees really looked like they enjoyed their jobs and made sure that we were having a great time as well. I saw nothing during the entire trip that was bad, negative, or couldn't be done. I was amazed ... Read More
The entire vacation was great. The employees really looked like they enjoyed their jobs and made sure that we were having a great time as well. I saw nothing during the entire trip that was bad, negative, or couldn't be done. I was amazed at the condition of the ship after being 15+ years old. Hope to go again real soon, and have no other cruise company to choose from other than Royal Caribbean. Thank you to Junlee and Rex for their outstanding service at dinner every night, and Rex for his service in the morning at the Windjammer buffet breakfast. Also, to Bintang for keeping our room clean and in order 2-3 times a day, and the funny towel sculptures he left on our beds. It showed us how much he really enjoyed his work in pleasing us and helping us have the best possible vacation adventure with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read Less
We choose this cruise as it was value for money (i.e. affordable!) - particularly for single cabins, and we were not disappointed overall. For those people looking for the cruise experience and luxury, this isn't the cruise for them. We ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was value for money (i.e. affordable!) - particularly for single cabins, and we were not disappointed overall. For those people looking for the cruise experience and luxury, this isn't the cruise for them. We treated this as a hotel that that parked in a different place every day, and were happy with the experience.
First, the good bits - definitely the friendly staff, who were always so willing to help. The food was fine overall (particularly afternoon tea and those mini sausage rolls), the all-inclusive package offered us more than enough choice (particularly if you like cocktails, which I do), and the ship itself is clean and comfy. Our fellow passengers were friendly and helpful, and we hardly noticed the children on-board because they were so well behaved. Embarkation was smooth and fast, and the excursions were generally well organised with none of the waiting around to be called that we have previously experienced.
On the downside, our cabins on deck 2 at the back were a bit noisy - but other noise was minimal and we were not disturbed overall. One of our 3 cabins had a smell at the beginning, but this was sorted - the annoying creaking noise was never identified!. The food was a bit variable - we always found something nice to eat in the Lido as there was a good choice but the food in the Meridian wasn't always what we expected although we enjoyed dining in the Meridian - the overall experience was nice. Potatoes were almost always a disappointment (roasties are meant to be crisp!). I didn't attend the evening entertainment - those that did were disappointed in the first week, but really enjoyed the second week.
Excursions - mostly very good, and well organised. The only poor trip was the one around St Martin - poor guide, and 30 minutes spent in a boring, overpriced ice-cream shop
Food - for those that need it, sugar free, GF and vegetarian options are offered as standard, and vegan diets are catered for on request Read Less
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. From the ... Read More
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. From the UK everything is very, very expensive. More than we'd anticipated. £10 for a lager, £40+ for a run of the mill Pinot Grigio, £80-£100 for a 2 hour sightseeing tour, etc. And many of the excursions are a rip off because either they are too time limited due to the ships schedule or take place in the dark. Eg, at Trondheim our guided bus tour of the town (including a viewpoint lookout) was in the dark. It could have been run an hour later. At Saltstraumen, the tide was hardly running, so no 'maelstrom', and worst of all the 'Sailing in the Polar Night' aka 'Silent Whale Watching' (they changed the title as there were no whales), supposedly under an electric engine and maybe sail, is a farce. The captain confirmed they never raised the sail on that trip, most of the time we were under noisy diesel power, no whales are the norm this year as the herring have gone further north, and, of course, after the first half hour it was in the dark so the wonderful scenery we were told of was invisible. When the excursion sheet says the trip is say 3.5 hours for the dog sledding, you have to allow for time getting to and from the venue by coach and kitting up, safety talk and making a fuss of the dogs so this only a half to three quarter hour actually out. I didn't do this trip as I have mobility problems and thought it would be too long. It wasn't.
Mobility wise on the ship there is a lift between floors, the outside doors have automatic button opening and there are shallow stairs with a rail and then a ramp for embarkation.
Do as much homework as you possibly can before you go. There are maps provided for each port where there is time ashore and if you are of average fitness I would recommend using these and on-line information and doing your own excursion. Many did and saw so much more than we did on the organised trips. Read Less
Cruise management very good and advanced. Cleanliness is their priority. All crew members doing their best.
Food is fresh and lots of variety. Food and drinks unlimited. I am Indian and I recommend Norwegian cruise management to Hire ... Read More
Cruise management very good and advanced. Cleanliness is their priority. All crew members doing their best.
Food is fresh and lots of variety. Food and drinks unlimited. I am Indian and I recommend Norwegian cruise management to Hire good Indian Origin Chef / cook on board they can cook all kinds of food on board with taste. Only thing I missing on cruise is original Asian food taste.
Cruise have lots of activities for all ages but need to increase more activities for kids between age 6 to 18 like more movies , fun activities , competitions like art , crafts. My kids struggle to find more activities on cruise as they have few on board like painting, cup cake decoration , t-shirt painting but still required more continues activities in evening time like other adults and seniors people like live shows , entertainment
But overall very good experience. No doubt I choose Norwegian cruise again next vacation... Read Less
Good...but considering it's a pretty new ship we had issues with a few things. Lots of changes from prior Carnival cruises I've taken...not for the better. Now there are extra charges for more stuff than before. Almost like taking a ... Read More
Good...but considering it's a pretty new ship we had issues with a few things. Lots of changes from prior Carnival cruises I've taken...not for the better. Now there are extra charges for more stuff than before. Almost like taking a discount airline...seems they might be trying to nickle and dime you for extras. Also seems like they might be understaffed in some areas and over staffed in others. Saw our cabin steward only 3 times for a 6 day cruise. Our cabin was kept up fine...but on other cruises they always seemed to be around. Food was about as good as it could be so no complaints there!! Ports and excursions were all good...had a great time on the couple we did. Plenty of activities on the ship...but very windy weather kept slides/ropes course, etc. closed most of the cruise...so that was a bummer. Overall good cruise but been on better ones on older ships. Read Less
Welcome to Cruise Critic; we’re happy you decided to register to become a Cruise Critic Member.
Important: Do Not Use Your REAL NAME as your USER NAME
Important: Please disable your email verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Please add @cruisecritic.com to your email safelist.
Please respect that this is a MODERATED community for people who absolutely LOVE cruise travel or want to learn about cruise travel.
Registration to Cruise Critic’s Cruise Community is free! We require that you use a valid e-mail address. You will receive an e-mail asking you to verify your e-mail address before you are allowed to login and post on the boards. Again, please disable your spamblocking or verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Also, as a member of Cruise Critic you will receive copies of our weekly newsletter plus our "Cruise Sails" and one "Member Offer" mailing. Should you not want to continue to receive these e-mailings, simply unsubscribe by following the directions in the newsletter. By agreeing to become a member, you are agreeing to receipt of our newsletters.
Additionally, we do insist that you abide by the rules and policies detailed at this link: Community Guidelines.
This is a moderated Community. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of this Web site and do not wish to be bound by them, please do not use this Web site or continue the registration process. Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any content in its sole discretion. Additionally, if you violate our Community Guidelines you may lose your posting privileges — permanently — without warning. By continuing the registration you are agreeing to the terms.
These are moderated message boards. What this means is that we do our best to remove all objectionable messages from the boards. It also means that you cannot say whatever you’d like on the forums. If you are looking for an "anything goes" setting, Cruise Critic might not be the place for you. Understand, too, that our community is comprised of folks who LOVE to cruise. It therefore stands to reason that they will have a favorite cruise line or port of call — in other words, they are "fans" and will sometimes take offense when a brand new member has arrived on the scene to bash a cruise line.
Keep in mind that we do not prescreen posts so there may be a period of time when an inappropriate post is visible. Please use the Report A Post icon located in the UPPER right hand corner of each posting if you wish to report a violation of our Community Guidelines. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of Cruise Critic Message Board Forums, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.
By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, are in violation of our Community Guidelines or otherwise violative of any laws.
Cruise Critic reserves to right to remove, edit, move or close any thread (discussion) for any reason from the forums without warning. or notification to the Community. Additionally, we also reserve the right to deny posting privileges to any member at our sole discretion.
You hereby grant Cruise Critic the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in our message board community (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.
Our mission is to provide a haven on the Internet free of harassment and advertising for our community members’ enjoyment. Any company or person(s) that interfere with that mission risk losing their posting privileges.
If you have any questions about how our community is moderated, please address them to our Community Manager via e-mail at email@example.com. Please do not post on the boards.
LauraS Community Manager
Become a cruise insider
Get the best cruise deals, along with the latest news and insider tips, right to your inbox
Thank you for Signing Up
Now help us get to know you better to enhance your experience.