This cruise was a gift from my boss for the employees and their spouses from last Christmas. Out of 14 employees, only 6 actually went on the cruise. This I will never understand as my husband & I love cruising so much. We decided to ... Read More
This cruise was a gift from my boss for the employees and their spouses from last Christmas. Out of 14 employees, only 6 actually went on the cruise. This I will never understand as my husband & I love cruising so much. We decided to upgrade to a window and also pay for our 23 year old daughter to join us. The last time the 3 of us went on a vacation together was 7 years ago when my husband & I got married on the Carnival Spirit.
We live about an hour south of Tampa so we drove the 3 hours to the Port of Miami. The drive was fine and we arrived at the Port of Miami around 11am. We found the parking at the port was a bit confusing as we hadn't had to park there for quite some time. The last cruise we used Cruise Connection. When we finally were able to get into the garage to park, there was no signage indicating if you were to pay before the cruise and place the ticket on the dash or after the cruise. We asked someone that was working on one the ticket machines and he told us to pay after, so we proceeded to the ship.
After dropping our bags off, we walked into the building where there was a VIP line and another line for all others. As we walked by the VIP line I told the attendant that we had 1 more cruise to be VIP and she told us to go through the VIP line. I told her again that we were not VIP yet, but she kept saying "this way". So that's where we went.
Now, my daughter and I both had a bottle of champagne in our carry on and when we went through the scanner, I was the only one they asked to look in my bags. I was asked if I had a bottle in my bag and I told them that I had a bottle of champagne. They also searched my camera bag. It was fine. We were on vacation so all was good.
We filled out the short form that was given to us and preceded to the kiosk. This was quick and easy and then went to the window and received our Sail & Sign cards. Our daughter got hers first and noticed that it said Anytime Dining on it. My husband & I checked ours and they too said Anytime Dining. We had booked Late Dining and this is what we have always preferred. My husband asked someone in the office and they told him we would have to see the Matre d when we boarded.
We had been given a card that said Zone 7, so we sat down for a minute as they had just called Zone 2. When we looked up, there was no one taking the zone cards at the bottom of the escalator, so we decided to go. There was hardly anyone else in the main lobby waiting to board so we didn't feel bad about not waiting for our zone to be called. We got our embarkation picture taken and boarded the ship.
Our daughter had been on the Imagination this past March so she was our guide right away. We went to the Lido deck and had lunch. We went to the back of the ship where the Pizzeria and Deli were. Daughter and I got salads and waited for the Deli to open. When it did, we ordered a hot turkey on a country roll. Absolutely, my favorite. My husband is a huge fan of the ice cream machine so that's all he wanted for the time being. While we were eating a gentleman came to our table and asked if everything was ok. He had a chef's hat on and my husband asked him if he was the Matre d. Obviously, we knew he was not by the chef's hat. He said that he was the head chef but called another gentleman over to our table and said "this is the Matre d." We explained to him about the mix up with the dining assignments and he told us to go to the Pride dining room and speak with Marion and he would correct the problem. We went right to the dining room and Marion did correct everything. He gave us a private table in the Spirit dining room. After, we all got a DOD and wanted to look around the ship. On first impression, the ship seemed to be in good shape for its age. I actually was on the Imagination in 1998 and really don't remember much about what it looked like then.
At 1:30pm, we went to our room to put our carry ons down and our luggage was there already. My daughter had brought some decorations for the door and since we had our luggage, which had the decorations in it, we decided to put them up. Part of the items were 3 Hawaiian lays (pink, green & yellow).We saw our room steward, James and introduced ourselves and asked him if he could get some ice for the ice bucket (for the champagne) and that we like to keep our towel animals for the entire cruise. We also let him know that there was a light out in the bathroom. He said he would take of everything. When we entered the room, there was a big basket of fruit, cheese, wine & crackers, and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries on the desk - all from the Ocean Players Club. After we unpacked, my husband opened the shades and the amount of dust that came out was unbelievable. There were actually big dust balls on the bed after.
We went back up to the Lido deck for another DOD and waited until the Safety Briefing. I do like the fact that you don't need to bring your life jackets, but there were so many people that did not even attend the Briefing at all. We could still see people walking around when the drill ended.
Later, we went to the sail away party on the Lido deck and my daughter & I got in on the dancing for a bit. We also met up with some of my co-workers for a drink. We had a great afternoon and things started to open around 5:30pm.
My daughter and I walked back to the room for a bit and when we got there someone was in the room starting to turn the bed down and do their nightly routine. He left when we got there, but said he would come back. He never did come back and he left a dirty, wet cleaning rag on the counter, next the strawberries and fruit basket, we never received the Funtimes for the next day and we never got a towel animal.
AT 8:15pm, we went to the Spirit dining room for dinner and were brought to our table. It was a table for 4, which was fine. We were greeted by our waiter, Orlando and then introduced to his assistant Rudolph. Dinner started off great but quickly went downhill. All of our orders were taken and we received water & bread. The appetizers took a bit of time to come out, which was understandable, however, we sat for 20 minutes with dirty plates in front of us before they were finally taken away and then the main course was brought out. The assistant was nowhere to be found for at least 45 minutes and our water was never refilled. We asked Orlando for more water and still they were not refilled. When we had finished the main course, our dishes sat again for another 20 minutes, which by this time the Matre d was starting the dinner show. Finally, Rudolph appeared with refills for our water and Orlando took our dessert order. Neither one participated in the show as we assumed because they were so behind. My husband told Rudolph that I would like a decaf coffee and he would like a cappuccino and we all ordered the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. The dessert came after the show and Rudolph brought 2 coffee cups with regular coffee only. My husband told him again what we had ordered and he disappeared. We never saw him again, so needless to say, we never got the decaf or cappuccino. We left the dining room at 10:15pm a bit annoyed.
We then went to the Welcome Aboard Show and found a seat on the second level. The beginning of the show was the normal cruise director (Tory) saying a few words and then she introduced her 3 assistants, who each said a few words. One of her assistants was Spanish and she also spoke Spanish to those Spanish speaking guests. What we found upsetting was that there was such a mix of nationalities on the ship, all speaking different languages, however; only the Spanish speaking guests were addressed.
The next part of the show was bringing some guests up on stage to do the game with the spoons tied to strings. That is always pretty funny. After, Al Romero, the comedian, came out and he was not funny at all. He made fun of all different nationalities and there weren't that many people laughing. We almost walked out, but we knew our daughter wanted to stay.
Later, we spent some time in the casino and then went to bed as we knew we had a long day on Saturday in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great night's sleep. Most of the night we were getting woken up by large groups of people being extremely loud in the hallway. My husband got up once and asked them to please be quite. Later, we got woken up again by a couple fighting in the next cabin.
I left the shades open so I would wake up early and woke up around 6:45am. I quietly got dressed and went up to the top deck and took some beautiful pictures of the sunrise and then took random shots of the ship. I went back to the room and got my sneakers on and went up to the jogging track and ran for 35 minutes. When I arrived back to the room my husband and daughter were up and ready for breakfast. We went up to the Lido deck and had breakfast which was very good - scrambled eggs, bacon, assorted breads, pancakes, fresh fruit, cereals and omelets made to order. After, we went back to the room and got ready to get off the ship. As we were leaving, we saw our cabin steward, James and mentioned to him about the night before and told him there was a dirty, wet rag on the counter still. James told us that we came back to the room and disturbed the person cleaning the room so he did not come back. Are you kidding me????? This was definitely not the best answer.
We booked the Shallow Dolphin Swim & Waterpark Adventure at Atlantis. The shuttle took us to Atlantis and we were all walked to an area near the dolphins. There was still 30 minutes before our dolphin swim so we walked through the Aquarium, which was really big and very beautiful. When it was time we went to the dolphin area, were brought in the back to the lockers and given a wet suit to put on. Then we were brought into a room where we watched an informational video about the dolphins. After, we were taken down to the water and were able to interact with the dolphins. We were able to touch, hug, kiss & feed them. No cameras are allowed to be brought in the water but they did have their own photographer taken pictures the whole time. What a great experience and we highly recommend it.
When we were finished and had purchased the pictures we wanted, we went to the Rapid River where we grabbed a tube and floated through for the next 2 hours. I would not call this a Lazy river as there are rapids and a giant wave and a water slide. This, we really enjoyed.
Around 5pm we started making our way back to the shuttle, which brought us back to the ship. We walked around the shops for a bit and then got back on the ship as us girls needed some time to get ready for dinner and it was formal night. When we were all ready we got some formal pictures taken and then went to dinner.
We hoped that tonight would be a better experience. Unfortunately, it was not. Rudolph told us as soon as we sat down that the table behind us had made a formal complaint the previous night about how slow their service was, so he had to pay special attention to them. However, that meant that our service suffered AGAIN. Basically, the same thing happened as the night before: dirty dishes sitting in front of us, waiting forever for next course, not to mention that the 4th place setting with all the extra wine glasses from the table (we don't drink wine) were never removed. At the end of the meal, my husband asked for an espresso and he was brought a cappuccino. He told Rudolph that he wanted an espresso and had to wait another 15 minutes, but finally did get it.
After dinner, we went to the show, Living in America. This was very good. Great music with fabulous dancers and the singers Jamilia & Matthew were terrific.
Later, we went to the casino, which was extremely crowded. My husband & I like to play 3 card poker and this ship only had 1 table, which was always full, so we never got to play. We only stayed for a little while then went back to the room to go to bed. We did have a towel animal and the bed was turned down and thankfully, the wet rag was gone. Of course, we did question whether the counter had been cleaned because nothing on it was moved. The light in the bathroom had still not gotten replaced.
Sunday morning I woke up early again to watch the sunrise. I woke my daughter up and we both went up to the top and watched as we sailed out of Nassau.
Breakfast on the Lido deck was very good, as usual. Then for most of the day it was just laying out by the pool. My daughter & I did go to the Marriage Show, which is always quite funny. Then we went to the Photo Gallery to decide which pictures we were going to purchase. After, we had lunch at the deli and then went to get more sun by the pool. Unfortunately, it started to rain, so I went back to the room to get an early start on getting ready for dinner and we wanted to go to the show which was before dinner.
The show, Shout, was even better than the night before. The music, lights, dancing & singing were outstanding.
Tonight, dinner was interesting. Orlando and Rudolph seemed to hover over us most of the time. Service was better but not great. Thankfully, the food had been excellent every night. At the end of the meal, the 2 servers stayed right by our table as if they were waiting for us to hand them something. This was the first time in 9 cruises that we have not left an extra tip for the servers, but we just did not feel the service was even adequate.
After dinner, we went back to the room to change and put our luggage out. When we arrived at the room, we noticed that the green lay was missing off the door. How very sad that someone would steal it, but we knew we were taking our chances by taping them to the door.
We went up to the cigar bar to meet with my co-workers and then attended the R-rated comedy show where a fight almost broke out between two guys. This was very scary. The lounge was standing room only so we stood in the back, but being 4ft 11in didn't help me to see all the antics from the comedian. He was funny but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I could have seen what he was doing.
After, we went to the casino and as we walked in we saw a very intoxicated girl playing blackjack wearing a GREEN LAY!!! My husband & I were so angry but didn't want to cause any problems as there were 4 guys around her. However, my husband did mention to her that he hoped that she found it on the floor as someone stole it from our daughter's door. She quickly grabbed it around her neck and we just walked away. So sad!
We went back to the room to go to bed as this was really not the cruise that we had come to expect from Carnival. Unfortunately, another noisy, sleepless night occurred. It absolutely amazes us that people can be so inconsiderate during the middle of the night.
In the morning, we ate on the Lido deck and waited for our number to be called to leave the ship. We found the debarkation process to be very smooth and organized. We picked up the bags from the conveyor belt, went through customs and were in the car heading home by 10:30am.
One footnote - On 3 separate occasions, when I used the ladies room throughout the ship, there was urine all over the seat and the there was no toilet paper.
To sum up this cruise, we would say it was far below what we have come to expect from Carnival. The staff, in general, was just ok. One evening, as I was coming out of the ladies room, someone was coming in and they startled me. I said "oh, I'm sorry". The woman just walked by, without even acknowledging me. To my surprise, she was an employee. Obviously, she had to go pretty bad ?.
The food in the MDR was great but the service was horrible. The entertainment, with the exception of the comedian the first night, was outstanding.
To rate this cruise on a scale from 1-10, we would give it a 4 and have decided we will not be back on this particular ship. We do have a 7 day cruise booked on the Carnival Legend on September 5th (yes, in one week) and this is the 2nd time on this ship. We're pretty confident that the next cruise will be much better. Read Less