Sail Date: August 2019
This was my second time on paradise!! last sailed in september of 2018!! This was just as awesome as the first time!! the entertainment was absolutely amazing!! the play list players were awesome!! epic rock was beyond entertaining!!! ... Read More
This was my second time on paradise!! last sailed in september of 2018!! This was just as awesome as the first time!! the entertainment was absolutely amazing!! the play list players were awesome!! epic rock was beyond entertaining!!! Carnival goes above and beyond to make their guests feel welcomed and appreciated!! every crew member always acknowledges each and every passenger. because parasites is a smaller ship, each guests gets extra special attention. i have done one ncl cruise. it was a very old -mature cruise. never will make that mistake ever again. carnival offers a well balanced cruise of relaxation to first class entertainment!! the staff at the tampa port are a great group!! as always the food was very delicious!! carnival let's their employees take of the guests without micro managing them. the entertainment throughout the ship was was first class as well!! now it's time to book my next carnival cruise!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Some friends were going so we went on this cruise. Our trip to the West Caribbean was cut short when hurricane Dorian first formed. They informed us we were not going to Cozumel and heading back to Tampa. The only thing they did to help us ... Read More
Some friends were going so we went on this cruise. Our trip to the West Caribbean was cut short when hurricane Dorian first formed. They informed us we were not going to Cozumel and heading back to Tampa. The only thing they did to help us make arrangements for when we got back early was make us pay for internet. So far the only thing they have refunded me is about $50 for gratuity charges. They wouldn't tell us how much or when we would be getting any more money refunded. The entertainment was very marginal in a tiny room where are there was basically standing-room-only most of the time, the waterslide didn't work and they nickel and dimes you for every little thing. The cabin was okay and I enjoy the little towel animals. The food was good and the employees were helpful and pleasant. The officers were arrogant and unhelpful after they told us they were cutting the trip short. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We were offered this cruise last minute because the Vista our of Galveston was canceled. We were offered cruise credit because of the cancellation, so we got a pretty good deal on our first cruise. The boarding process was really simple ... Read More
We were offered this cruise last minute because the Vista our of Galveston was canceled. We were offered cruise credit because of the cancellation, so we got a pretty good deal on our first cruise. The boarding process was really simple and we received our checked luggage in a timely manner. If I had it to do over again, I would not hang out on the Lido deck upon arriving like they suggested we do because the place was so packed that we had to stand along the wall to eat. Overall, we enjoyed our time at each port, but we’ve decided that any future cruises will not include Belize because of the lack of activities they have to offer and the very poor culture that is right at the port...very sad to see and even a little scary in some places. On board there was plenty to do to keep us entertained however we learned from experienced cruisers that the Miracle is the worst that Carnival has to offer. We didn’t have our children with us, but we did go and check out the kids department. I wasn’t overly impressed, but once again I honestly feel like the Miracle just wasn’t up to par like the other Carnival ships claim to be. There’s no outside movie theater or very many activities up top on this ship like the others either. One small mini golf and one water slide. I believe they had 2 pools for everyone and one extra pool for the 21 and over area. The comedy entertainment was just ok and the music shows every night felt like I was at a cheesy Branson, Missouri show. The main attraction of cruising in our opinion as we observed others was drinking and gambling so I guess if that’s your idea of fun definitely go on a cruise. Our best moments were spent just relaxing on an upper deck watching the ocean and sunset and our favorite port was Cozumel. We also loved the fact that we could at any time go and eat on the Lido deck and order whatever we wanted from the dining hall. We found that the food offered on the Lido deck was actually better than the fancier dining hall so the last couple of days we didn’t even step foot in the dining hall except for breakfast because their breakfast was better there. We found that most everything on board in the shops was way overpriced. They seem to really push people to buy their jewelry (which I questioned to myself if it was even authentic or not). They push coupon books by claiming that you’ll receive all these really nice free gifts at each port, but in all reality the freebies are super cheap items made in China. Really what they are doing is getting you in their stores at port to try and sell you outrageously expensive jewelry that feels cheap to the touch. Don’t get suckered in! Don’t waste any of your cruise time sitting in on seminars only to receive a cheap free gift. Save your money to buy authentic souvenirs from each port or to put towards excursions. Speaking of excursions...we noticed that most excursions you could find cheaper at port rather than buying through Carnival. But when buying through independent touring companies you’re risking being left behind if their van breaks down along the way or getting injured and carnival not being responsible. Carnival doesn’t honor their word either by giving you back 110% of your excursion fee if you find the same thing cheaper somewhere else. We encountered this at Chankanaab Park in Cozumel. That’s one excursion that we’d do differently when we return with the children. $38 per adult and I believe $33 per child for the snorkeling and buffet. We were quoted $40 for traveling expenses too. Mind you this doesn’t cover the unlimited alcohol, but when you aren’t a drinker why pay for it? I really had no complaints until it came to the photo studio. Now because this was our first cruise I wasn’t familiar with the fact that the studio is totally separate from the many photo props they have available on the ship. The photo prop stands charge $21.99 per 8x10 which is a little high but doable for a nice photo. However, we were lured into the photo studio and not told the prices beforehand. The photographer did about a 10-15 min session of taking pics then told us to come back the next day to look them over. Here’s the part that really is quite disturbing to me...the photographer printed out all of the pictures on quality water proof type paper and put them into a good sized album for us. She explained to us about how this was “our love story”. The pictures were beautiful and I was so pleased with the quality. THEN, she proceeded to put a music video up on the big screen of “our love story photos”. It was so beautiful that we both cried as we watched it. Mind you, this lady had no clue of our background and what it really took for us to be together and then 10yrs later make our actual honeymoon trip. She didn’t know why we were so over the moon happy to see that video, but she left the room to allow us to finish watching it, then came back later to talk prices. I’m sure the look on my face said it all when I read prices from $1k to $3k! I believe for the photo album and music video was going to be the highest at right over 3k. I asked her if I could purchase one 8x10 of my favorite photo but she denied my request by saying they offer packages only. We walked out very sad knowing that the photo album would be destroyed. I explained to my husband that it wasn’t fair that they play on people’s emotions like that then drop a huge bombshell on them. I found it very cruel and even a bit weird that she would take the time to put the book and video together before we even committed to liking our photos. It’s a waste of their time and money. Even more disturbing was that maybe an hour later, the photographer called our room and expressed how she was sorry about the way our meeting went. It quote, “made her uncomfortable”. Well it would make me very uncomfortable too if I had to do her job day in and day out trying to rip people off and seeing couples like ourselves walk out empty handed knowing that all the photos are going to be destroyed the next day and that they wouldn’t even allow us to buy one photo or to come down on the price for the album. She tried to give us a better deal over the phone which wasn’t much better than the first so I asked my husband to go back and talk to her without me. I didn’t feel like getting upset again seeing the pictures. He said she tried the same play on emotions type tactic by turning the video on again. He asked her to turn it off, made her our final offer for the book which was of course denied and then he politely told her to be blessed and left. We decided that we could get the same type of photos taken at JCPenney for less than a fourth of their price. They’d rather totally destroy someone’s treasured memories than to price bargain with anyone. I told my husband that it was a shame to end such a beautiful vacation on a note like that. I was happy the entire time except for that encounter. It showed me Carnival’s true colors. They are all about the money and nothing else. And maybe this is how most cruise lines are, but I guess I won’t know unless I try out a different one. My advice to first time cruisers is DO NOT get suckered into wasting your money on the ship. If you want a nice memorable photo, go to the photo props but do not step foot inside the separate photo studio. Spend your money ashore on a nice massage and authentic souvenirs while avoiding the many jewelry stores, don’t make eye contact with the jewelry store workers that are standing outside trying to lure you in. Just keep on walking and act like you are French or something by not responding to them. LOL! Price check all excursions before booking them through Carnival and choose wisely which ones would be safe to do through an outside tour guide or going directly to the site to view prices. Call ahead if need be. If you choose Carnival, my advice would be don’t choose the Miracle as we heard other experiences cruisers saying that the Miracle was a joke compared to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Vilburn the casino host was so nice... attentive to all game play Great personality and Kim the casino bar server was the most attentive ever... knew when and what time to switch my drinks up and always brought me water... the whole ... Read More
Vilburn the casino host was so nice... attentive to all game play Great personality and Kim the casino bar server was the most attentive ever... knew when and what time to switch my drinks up and always brought me water... the whole casino bar staff was great... I smoke and it was a little smoky for those who don't smoke... MDR food was very good... Nick and Nora's steakhouse was 5 star... ate 2 meals there... Lido buffet was ok... Pizza was my go to late night 3am most nights... delish... tried all of them... shows,comedians bingo were All very good I would definitely recommend this cruise to anybody...the ship definitely needs updated restaurants and cabins... alot of rust.. but I didn't care I was happy as a clam just to be on vacation... Belize is not an easy tender port for anyone who cant walk up or down 30 steps...my.mom had to stay back... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my 3rd cruise on the Paradise and 24th overall. I choose this cruise because I like the ship and Cozumel is my favorite port. Embarkation was great! Tampa is my favorite port to cruise out of. We arrived about 1130 and it took ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise on the Paradise and 24th overall. I choose this cruise because I like the ship and Cozumel is my favorite port. Embarkation was great! Tampa is my favorite port to cruise out of. We arrived about 1130 and it took about 15 minutes to board. Went and got lunch and drinks and the cabins were ready before 1:30. The Paradise was refurbished last year so she is beautiful and in great shape. It is a smaller ship which allows you to get to know other guest and crews easier. We had a little over 2000 passengers and met quite a few people that we enjoyed running into each day. Booked an inside aft cabin on Empress Deck 7. I prefer insides for the price and I like the darkness for sleeping. Great location on same deck as lobby and one floor below the main dining room. Our cabin steward Purwanto was fantastic. We had early seating and great wait team which consisted of Wislan, St Juste and Baltazar. They were very friendly and efficient. We loved the singing and Baltazar is quite the dancer. Food and desserts were very good. Carnival has the best spring rolls and chocolate melting cake on the planet. The shows were good, those guys and girls are talented and the video screen is pretty cool. Both the Cowboy Comedian and Killer Beaz were funny and they have moved into a bigger room so no problem getting seats. We bought the drink package and rarely had to wait more than a minute or two. The Cruise Director Leon was very friendly and energetic. He was one of better ones I have had. Trivial Pursuit with Carlos was pretty funny also. Went to Mr Sancho's in Cozumel. Food, drinks and service were all excellent. The bartenders at the swim up bar are amazing. They also have a nice beach and plenty of seats in or out of the sun. Cozumel is the best place in the Caribbean to buy almost anything, but remember to haggle. Disembarking was pretty smooth. Went for a leisurely breakfast about 8 and got in line about 9:05. We were in our car by 9:30. I highly recommend porters and valet parking. Two of us have cruised alot while two were first time cruisers...a great time was had by all. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise on the Carnival Paradise for one reason and one reason only - CUBA. The itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: only 5 days as we were leaving our 4 year old home w/ the grandparents and two ports Havana and ... Read More
We chose this cruise on the Carnival Paradise for one reason and one reason only - CUBA. The itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: only 5 days as we were leaving our 4 year old home w/ the grandparents and two ports Havana and Key West (which we also love). SHIP: We had not cruised on a Fantasy class ship in over 10 years, so I wasn't sure how we would like it compared to the larger ships we've sailed on (Breeze/Vista etc.). We actually really enjoyed the smaller ship. It had the Funship 2.0 upgrades (Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina, Waterworks) that we loved on other ships but not nearly the crowds we've experienced in the past. We never waited more than a couple minutes for anything - drinks at the bars, lines for foods, elevators. We knew the ship was sold out, but it never felt that way. The ship itself was in good condition - I didn't notice any major areas of disrepair and we didn't get any of the bad odors that I've seen mentioned elsewhere. The only thing to note is that the water in our toilet and sink had a yellowish tint to it on occasion. I first noticed it in the toilet - I thought it hadn't been flushed so I flushed it again and when the bowl refilled it was still yellow. It took several more flushes for it to fill up with clear water. If we would fill the sink it would also sometimes be yellow. I didn't notice anything in the shower though. It didn't really impact us other than I would use bottled water to wash my face and brush my teeth. CABIN: We booked cabin M230, a balcony near the aft of the ship on Main deck (deck 5) on the port side. The cabin was great. We had adequate storage for the two of us which included two closets (one had a shelf in the middle so could not be used for long dresses) and four of five shelves for storage. The safe was huge - my sister could fit her laptop in her safe easily! The bathroom only had one shelf above the sink, but it was ok for the two of us. The vanity area had two small corner shelves for storage and one drawer which housed the hair dryer and had little extra room for other things. There was also an in-cabin refrigerator which we didn't use. We had our two twin beds converted into a king size bed which was very comfortable. Unlike balcony cabins on larger ships, this cabin did not have a sofa or table. The balcony itself seemed like it was the same size as other ships' standard balconies. We had two chairs and a table on the balcony. I did note that the doors to the balconies did not have the tendency to slam shut like on other ships. Our cabin steward was Giri and he was great. He kept our ice bucket full and our cabin cleaned and stocked each day. One day he wrote a Happy Anniversary message to us on our vanity mirror! It was super cute and sweet! FOOD: Overall, the food we had was very good quality. We had breakfast in the main dining room 2 or 3 times and our service was always very quick even on ordering drinks. I had just eggs and bacon both days for breakfast. The other days we had breakfast on the Lido deck (either breakfast burritos or food from the buffet). Lunches were almost always from Guys or Blue Iguana. I don't think we ever got lunch from the buffet. Several in our group got sandwiches from the Deli and raved about the BLT, but lines here could be a little longer. I also got Sushi from the small Bonsai Sushi stand one day and it was great. You really get a lot of sushi for $7.50! It more than filled me up! We had dinner in the main dining room three of the five nights. Since we had a larger group, most of us elected to have our bookings linked so we could be seated together at the late seating in the aft dining room. The first night our service was pretty slow, but things seemed to improve as the week went on. We did get drink service at our table at least once each night. The food in the main dining was very good. I usually ordered a couple appetizers and one main dish. One evening I upgraded my dinner to the Filet Mignon on the Steakhouse Selections menu ($20 cost). On the last night of the cruise, 5 members of our group participated in the Chef's Table. We had a little bit of a snafu with our Chef's Table reservation. I had reserved for our group back in June, 2018 and had a confirmation email from the Paradise Maitre D. I had read that you would get a note in your cabin once onboard letting you know what night your Chef's Table experience would be. By day three we hadn't received anything, so I went down to the Guest Services to inquire. The girl working the desk said she did not show up signed up for the Chef's Table. I showed her the email confirmation and she said that she would have to reach out to the Maitre D who was currently off duty. My sister and I went back to Guest Services in the morning and talked to someone else. They had the Asst. Maitre D and another dining room staff member come out and talk to us. They told us that both that night and the following night's Chef Tables were already at capacity but they would see what they could do for us and let us know that evening at dinner. Ultimately they were able to accommodate us on the last night of the cruise. The Chef's Table is $75 but it was so worth it. It started with our group meeting in the lobby area where we were given glasses of champagne. Then we took a short tour of the galley where we had four different small appetizers served to us and were shown how Carnival's famous Chocolate Melting Cake is made. We then were seated at tables in the Library for a 7 course feast - dishes included gourmet breads, a beet/panacotta appetizer, crab stack appetizer, duck, a tomato bisque soup, sea bass, beef wagyu and a dessert plate with four mini dessert options. During the entire dinner, both red and white wines are free-flowing. We did have someone in our group with some dietary restrictions which were accommodated for her. SERVICE: As is the norm in our experience with Carnival, the entire staff was friendly, hard-working and courteous with the exception of the first Guest Services person I spoke to about our Chef's Table reservation. Not sure why, but I find Guest Services to usually be the least helpful people on the ship. Everyone else from our dining room staff, maitre d, bar servers, cabin staff, spa staff, etc. SHIP ACTIVITIES: My sister and I had a "couples massage" on one of our sea days (her treat as a birthday present for me). The massage itself was very good and the two girls working on us were great! The room itself was a little on the cool side and they didn't have heated tables so I was a bit chilly during most of my massage. They did give us the product sell afterwards, but I'm pretty good at saying no to that stuff! LOL We went to one of the comedy shows and I did not find that guy funny. We did not catch any of the production shows this time around. The band playing outside of the casino bar was awesome! They usually played 80's music and always had a big crowd! Even when the nightclub had an "80's Party", this band drew a bigger crowd. They were so much fun to watch! Karaoke seemed to be a big draw as well. I really never felt that any of the bars or lounges were over crowded. I also spent some time in the casino. I did fairly well on blackjack but gave it all back playing three card poker and texas hold 'em. The casino itself did not seem very smokey, but the smoke was noticeable at the one side of the casino bar that allows smoking. PORTS: Tampa - This was our first time cruising from the Port of Tampa and I would do it again in a heartbeat! We flew down the day before and stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Ybor City. The hotel was just okay - standard Hampton Inn. The pool area was tiny and only had a few lounge chairs and was not fully in the sun. The rooms were pretty standard. Our only real complaint about the hotel room was the volume of the a/c unit. It was very loud which made it hard to sleep. The hotel provides a free shuttle anywhere within a three mile radius of the hotel. We used Lyft to get to the port as we didn't want to wait for the shuttle and go with a crowd of other people. Embarkation and disembarkation at the Port of Tampa were the fastest and easiest of any of my 18 cruises. We arrived at the Port around 10:50 and were able to walk right through the priority line and were through security in a matter of minutes. When we got to the check-in desk, there was no line whatsoever. The agents checked our paperwork, gave us our Visa's and sent us to the Priority waiting area. We only waited there about 5-10 minutes before boarding began. Since we are Platinum, we were among the first to board and were on the ship by 11:15. Disembarkation was the same way. We were heading to the meeting area for those carrying off their luggage by 7:25. My husband stopped at the little cafe area on deck 9 and ordered a coffee and by 7:34 they were calling for Self-Assist passengers to head to the Lobby to disembark. Getting off the ship was easy, customs was a breeze and we were outside the building waiting for our Lyft by 7:50. In fact, we were at the airport, checked-in, through security and at our gate by 8:45! So easy! Key West - We have been to Key West several times on cruises and also honeymooned there. Most of our group elected to book the Key West Pub Crawl tour through Carnival. This was my third time doing the tour. It's always alot of fun. For the cost of the tour, you visit 5 different Key West bars and are given a ticket for a free drink (either their specialty drink, well cocktail or domestic beer). It's a walking tour, but you aren't going that far between stops. We visited Tree Bar, Flying Monkey (where you can get any of their frozen concoctions), Hard Rock Cafe, Sandbar and Rick's. Along the way the guide talks about Key West and engages with the group. There is also a conch blowing contest for those inclined to give it a try (NOTE - I won this last time we did this tour!). After the tour, we walked around the Mallory Square area a bit and then headed back to the ship. We did not dock at the main pier on this trip. We were docked at the military base. They had conch trains set up to shuttle people between the ship and the Mallory Square area. The trains ran about every 15 minutes or so. Havana, Cuba - This was the real draw of this cruise. Our ship was scheduled to be in Havana from 7AM until 6AM the following morning. 15 of the 18 in our group booked a private tour through I Love Cuba Photo Tours. We were to meet our guide, Yosel, at 9AM. One member of our group got up early and got in line to get stickers to get off of the ship. We were in group C. We had planned to meet at 8AM at the Blue Iguana and exit the ship together. By 8AM, Carnival was well past group C so we were able to pretty much just walk off the ship. When we got to the customs area, there were several lines formed. Of course, I picked the slow line! But it still only took us about 7-10 minutes to get through the customs line. The customs agent takes your Visa and Passport and they supposedly do a infrared temperature scan. If your temp is over 98.6 you are sent for further screening before being allowed to enter the country. No one in our group had this issue. Once through customs, we headed to the currency exchange line. This also went very quickly. We exchanged $300 US dollars for 261 CUCs. There are restrooms near the currency exchange so everyone decided to take care of business before heading out of the terminal. Once we got outside, we took a right and walked about 5 minutes to a bus stop. This is where we were to meet Yosel. We were initially supposed to meet him at the rum factory to the left once you exit the terminal. But Yosel contacted me the day prior while we were docked in Key West and said they were no longer allowing tour pick ups there. He had also contacted a friend who works on the Paradise and asked her to relay the message in case he wasn't able to reach me. We were able to find him easily at our new meeting spot. Our tour was a full day tour with four hard top Classic Cars with A/C. Each car fit four of us plus the driver and our guide who is also a professional photographer. You provide them an SD card and they take all of the photos for you. It was great cause I was able to just enjoy the tour and not worry about capturing moments on camera. After the tour, you get to take your SD card (and photos) with you! They did a great job of capturing candid moments as well as staging us for group pics. We visited the following places: Fusterlandia - artistic area of Havana Forrest area located in central Havana - this is where a lot of religious sacrifices and rituals like baptisms take place. Revolution Plaza - where Castro used to hold his marathon speeches Lunch at El Cocinero - we researched and picked the place we wanted to eat lunch at Hotel Nacional - landmark hotel El Morro fort Cigar factory/store Malecon Also drove through other various parts of Havana including the "ghetto" and central business district After the tour, we were taken back to the port area. Some of our group explored near the port area for a while before taking a taxing to the Vedado area of Havana for dinner. We had dinner at a Paladar (private in-home restaurant) called La Narajos. The menu here constantly changes based on what they can get at market. Our waitress set up a chalkboard and easel next to our table and ran through the options with us. My lobster dinner was huge and was only $25. After a great meal, we took a taxi back to the port area where we spend the next couple hours just hitting up a few bars sipping on mojitos and listening to the local musicians. We headed back to the ship around 10:30PM. A few things to note about Havana: * We never felt unsafe at all even walking around at night. The people there are very friendly and not aggressive at all. * Buildings and streets are often in disrepair. You do have to be aware when walking at night because areas of the sidewalks have holes or other hazards which are hard to see because the streets are not well lit. * Overall we found things to be very reasonably priced. Our lunch was about $50-60 total for my husband and I and that includes a couple shared appetizers, two entrees and a couple drinks. Our dinner was a bit pricier, but still not bad for a nice dinner out. Taxi prices seemed to depend on whether you flagged down a classic car or regular yellow taxi (classic car was $20 for four of us from the port to dinner, yellow taxi was $10 for four us from dinner back to the port). Supposedly you can negotiate, but we didn't attempt to. These people make so little, that it didn't feel right to try to talk them down. * English speaking in Cuba is hit or miss. Our tour guides spoke flawless English. But in the stores and bars, most people seemed to know just enough to take care of our drink orders. At both restaurants we went to, our services spoke great English. * We had heard prior to getting to Cuba that you had to pay to use restroom facilities and that most do not provide toilet paper. We took a handful of tissues off the ship with us just in case. But we really did not encounter this. At the last bar we went to, a lady tried to get my husband to give her money after he came out of the bathroom, but he just said he didn't speak Spanish and walked past her. *It is VERY hot in Havana and also humid. I wouldn't book a Convertible for a full day tour. You would get pretty beat up by that hot sun! Our tour did include about an hour in a convertible and that was enough for us! The rest of the time we were in hard top cars with AC. And the drivers are VERY particular about their cars - do not slam the doors shut too hard and watch the curbs when you open the door so as to not scrape them on the pavement. Overall, it was a great trip and I wouldn't hesitate to visit Cuba again. There is so much to see and do there! We do regret not taking in the Buena Vista Social Club show and would love to do that next time. I hope our government keeps the options for visiting Cuba open long term! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is ... Read More
I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is an understatement for the worst dining room food I have ever experienced. I am amazed at how bad it was! The menu never changed, & the menu descriptions did not describe what they brought out. Crispy fish that came out poached, Bourbon chicken that was really BBQ, mystery sauces on everything! I never went back after day 3 except to look at the menu. The buffet was OK, & I mean just OK. My 1st cabin smelled liked sewage. But, lucky me, there was a water pipe break day 2 which flooded most of the deck, I was able to pack up & move, but my new cabin was in a less than desirable location, over loud equipment used by the staff in the early AM & right under The Stardust Theatre. But at least it didn't smell. Cabin stewards were nice. Most of the people on the ship seemed to be miserable working there & the officers seemed quite unfriendly. Once you are trapped at sea, they nickel & dime you to death! I would swear the ships stabilizers were broken it was so rough. I have never been sea sick before, so I don't if it was that or the bad food, but I stayed queasy for 7 days. I do not believe in saying never, will I will never sail with nor recommend NC to anyone. This ship needs a total remodel. AVOID! Up side, I lost 5 pounds. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The embarkation process was very easy once you get past all the traffic and chaos at the port leaving Tampa. One thing that we did not like is when we were getting dropped off the people that collect the bags were throwing them on a cart ... Read More
The embarkation process was very easy once you get past all the traffic and chaos at the port leaving Tampa. One thing that we did not like is when we were getting dropped off the people that collect the bags were throwing them on a cart which were falling all over the road and hit our car. When we went to give our bag to the person collecting them(which we were already iffy about after what we just witnessed) he said our bag was too big and we had to take it on the ship, so we were stuck carrying a 50lb bag for a few hours until rooms became available. The elevators were mostly all closed the first day so it took forever to get anywhere you needed to. Food was subpar, on elegant nights the food was somewhat better quality than casual nights. The portions are very tiny and most the food around the ship is greasy and fatty and overall just bad quality. Workers constantly will come around and bother you every 2 minutes asking if you want a drink and even when you say no they continue to bother you and when they finally stop they walk off with an attitude if you don’t get anything. Room service free food had little options and the quality was also bad. Lastly for the negative thoughts would be that the ports you have to tender at are very disorganized. People will cut in front of you to try and get on first and when they decided to do a sticker system for another port pretty much the same thing happens and everyone cuts you and your stuck waiting again. Staff should try and organize things more with something like two lines to stand on instead of everyone trampling one another in front of where they give them out. If your boat goes to Belize I would defiantly book an excursion because there is not much to do and taxis are so expensive . We went to the man made beach which was reasonably priced but the cabs will cost you an arm and a leg. There was never a dull moment on the ship in regards to entertainment so you will never be bored. Our cruise director, Leigh, was fantastic. Very entertaining and engages the guests in all the activities. The comedy shows were hilarious and our favorites were the Anthony Scott and Al Katz they had us laughing the whole show. We always got to our ports on schedule or a little before which was a plus because we were able to spend a lot of time on the islands. We booked a shore excursion through Carnival in Cozumel called “VIP Dolphin Swim Experience” and it was well worth the money and the service was fantastic. The trainer rodrigo was amazing with the dolphins and did awesome with our group! Lazer made sure everyone on our excursion was taken care of and he was very attentive so I would highly recommend both of these guys to deal with on your excursion! Overall we had a great time on our cruise entertainment wise but we are not sure if we would cruise with carnival again in regards to the negatives above. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I ... Read More
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I tried the accupunture this time, it was okay but I don't think it's a long enough time to get good results. We absolutely love the thermal spa for adults only. It was great to go relax every night and relax in the hot tub that was not filled with kids. We loved the excursions, we always try to do something that's we cannot do where we live. There monkeys and the turtles were definitely the highlight for us. The guides are always informative and interesting to talk to. We feel safer to book with the cruise so we know they will wait if the excursion gets delayed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with my elderly father. We knew Holland America typically caters activities and meals to the more mature crowd, so we thought it would be a good fit. My father enjoyed his cruise. But we had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with my elderly father. We knew Holland America typically caters activities and meals to the more mature crowd, so we thought it would be a good fit. My father enjoyed his cruise. But we had to work at it. Starting with positives.... Holland America has disembarkation and customs down to a science. I would give this a high five star rating. The concept of staff serving guests at the buffet line is genius. Our cabin was pretty clean, after we asked the steward to come back and get the soap scum off the soap holder. Mixology, martini tasting, and bar hop were the highlights of our cruise. No, we are not alcoholics. This is the first cruise I have ever taken where I actually lost weight! But there were problems. -THE DINING ROOM SERVICE was very slow, and inaccurate. When we questioned the length of time we were waiting, or tried to get what we had ordered, we were told the kitchen was backed up. We tried three times, two dinners and a lunch, and gave up, eating the rest of our meals at the overcooked and tasteless buffet. Dining room meals were always cold. FOOD ALLERGIES and dietary restrictions were totally ignored until Day 5 and a LOT of complaints to guest services. My hubby printed a card in four languages stating I had a life threatening allergy to shrimp. Only shrimp. I pointed it out to every waiter, at every meal, and laid it on the table. Only the servers in the Lido seemed to pay attention and cater to our needs. My dad gained 14 pounds in three days due to the excess salt in the food. The evening of Day 5 on our 7 night cruise the cruise staff finally addressed these issues. -there was NO WHEELCHAIR AT THE PORT for embarkation as promised. After a lengthy walk, we sat for literally two hours waiting for a wheelchair to assist us the rest of the way through the ship to our cabin. Hubby and I were discouraged from being on the elevators with my dad. We had to hike up the stairs with luggage in tow to leave elevator room for “those who really needed it”. -there was NO PREBOARDING for Mariners as promised. We arrived at the port as directed at 11 am. It turns out it’s not ANY mariner status, as we were told on the phone, but only 3 star and above that get priority boarding. It’s the same for most every “mariner “ function on the cruise. 1 and 2 star mariners are only allowed to attend the luncheon at the end of the cruise. The port staff in Tampa was not helpful at all. They kept pointing to the stale cookies and water to pass our time. -PORTS OF CALL. Even the cruise staff would caution about getting off the ship if you weren’t on an organized tour. Organized tours with “handicapped accessible “ options did not include getting from the ship to the tour, often a 10 minute walk. We were instructed to stay in the designated areas (aka shopping areas). Why did the ship even stop here? -there’s NO MAINSTAGE ENTERTAINMENT. They put lounge caliber entertainment (A magician, a comedian, a pianist, and a doo whop a cappella group) on the main stage as “featured entertainment”. Movies shown were old. Classes were taught by untrained crew members. -my fathers BATHROOM TRASH WAS NEVER EMPTIED during the 7 day cruise. Our hallway smelled like a sewer, but our room was ok. Obviously, Dad’s smelled. And, we may never stop teasing my dad about the ladies’ panties than ended up on his balcony on Day 4 that were never removed. Throughout the ship there are raised “speed bumps” as we nicknamed them. Just enough height difference to trip an older person walking. Most public space chairs do not have armrests. I would not have noticed, until watching my father try to get in or out of a chair. For a ship that boasts catering to mature clientele, they might try to accommodate better in the public areas. We had travelled on Holland America a decade ago. We were very disappointed with what we witnessed on this cruise. ADVICE TO FUTURE TRAVELERS: bring a cane, and steady walking shoes. Keep expectations low. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Bad stuff: The food doesn't change, and the dishes served are butchered horribly. The tip is forced onto you no matter what. Maybe instead of putting the responsibility of sustaining the staff financially on the customers, the NCL ... Read More
Bad stuff: The food doesn't change, and the dishes served are butchered horribly. The tip is forced onto you no matter what. Maybe instead of putting the responsibility of sustaining the staff financially on the customers, the NCL could actually pay their employees. The excursions are ridiculously boring, since everything is staged for wealthy tourist entertainment. You will not see any of the real culture anywhere. The best part is that on top of paying $2000+ for your trip you will not be able to see anything at all unless you are willing to put down another $500-$1000 for the excursions. Day activities were often cancelled due to wind like they don't know that there will obviously be wind in the middle of the Carribean. Good stuff: The gym is excellent. Every new day included group workouts and yoga sessions, as well as open gym time. The equipment is in very good state. The night entertainment is very diverse and the staff is very nice and kind. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion Was worth every penny! Daniel the Jaguar was a wonderful guide. My husband and I learned so much and Daniel was super fun and knowledgeable. The ruins were beautiful! We took beautiful pictures. The busses ... Read More
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion Was worth every penny! Daniel the Jaguar was a wonderful guide. My husband and I learned so much and Daniel was super fun and knowledgeable. The ruins were beautiful! We took beautiful pictures. The busses to get to and from were georgeous and clean with perfect air conditioning. Salvatore was a great driver. This excursion was very safe and secure. This was the highlight of our honeymoon! The crew on rhapsody was very friendly and accommodating. Shoutout to Max and John the baristas! Also to Adriana, the dining room hostess on the 5th floor, and the servers Dominic and Paul Dan. The ship is smaller, but it’s wonderful for just relaxing, and a little older without all the bells and whistles of the bigger ships. However it’s elegant and charming. I had sinus problems on this cruise probably from something blooming in the jungle in spring, but the medical staff gave me something that really helped. Roatan port is extremely small, but we still had fun. Cozumel was a total blast! Hubby scuba dived in Belize, but I stayed on the ship that day. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Very unmemorable cruise event. Overcrowded pool and hot tubs. We didn't;t get in pool or hot tubs as seemed at risk for germs with side by side throngs of people really-really drinking. Ship decor-tired; food in restaurants was ... Read More
Very unmemorable cruise event. Overcrowded pool and hot tubs. We didn't;t get in pool or hot tubs as seemed at risk for germs with side by side throngs of people really-really drinking. Ship decor-tired; food in restaurants was average but low quality in buffet dining room as was always cold (if supposed to be warm); desserts and breakfast rolls 100% pre-packeaged, dried-out, cardboard-like and high sugar-fat content. fresh fruits were good. Stopped at Freeport as was unsafe to ferry to original stop. Freeport was a dreadful, depressing collection of dirty shops desperate for tourists to buy any type of junk. There was nothing we wanted to buy and absolutely nothing to see in the tiny area in which we were let out in. Such a disappointment and cruise-line did nothing to make it better like a champagne toast or absolutely anything.Cruise-line very intent on selling anything and everything (art, jewels,casino...) Norwegian typically has really good entertainment but only one evening was really special-rest so-so. Do not recommend this ship at capacity; only recommend sit-down restaurants and really think not a memorable vacation experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to experience a short cruise with a relaxing itinerary on a typical carnival fun /party ship.We were not disappointed and had a superb time overall. Our cabin was a basic inside no window but perfectly adequate although did not ... Read More
We wanted to experience a short cruise with a relaxing itinerary on a typical carnival fun /party ship.We were not disappointed and had a superb time overall. Our cabin was a basic inside no window but perfectly adequate although did not have any chairs. This was quickly rectified by the steward who provided superb service in a friendly manner and this was echoed by all of the staff we encountered on board The food in the buffet restaurant was typical cruise fayre but we ate most nights in the Elation restaurant, one of two formal dining rooms that provided excellent food and service. They also were open for breakfast/brunch on most days. Superb coffee and cakes were available at the café de france. For anyone hungry out of hours there was a 24 hour pizza service and room service available We love being entertained and there was a host of activities , games and shows on offer on board. The cruise director Leon and his team were superb involving everyone in the fun, the show team were excellent with 2 productions on most nights in the Normandie theatre produced to a high standard. Various bands and singers performed throughout the day adding to the experience. We are not big gamblers but were put off by the fact that smoking was allowed in the casino which spilled into other public areas The adult only serenity deck was a welcome addition but did fill up early in the day . More shade on the main sun decks would. be helpful We made our own arrangements in port and found 2 quiet, relaxing beaches Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for the price, and time of year. It was out 2nd cruise on this ship, and though older, she is still in fine shape. We were blessed with cabin #8104, which had a larger than normal balcony, was midship, so very smooth ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the price, and time of year. It was out 2nd cruise on this ship, and though older, she is still in fine shape. We were blessed with cabin #8104, which had a larger than normal balcony, was midship, so very smooth ride. We have cruised multiple times, ocean view, and more recently in balcony cabins, and suites here and there. Our last trip was a Celebrity suite on Celebrity, and I was concerned about our balcony suite and Main Dining service and quality on this ship. No worries, the food was amazing in both the main dining room and the Windjammer. Ship was full, and there were a few more lines than normal. Pool chairs, as always, needed to be grabbed by 9 a.m. (as soon as the cruise lines start enforcing the 30 minute rule regarding chairs, I will not chair save) Cabin was spotless, drinks were easy to get, and the weather was perfect. Embarkation was a snap, and by taking our own luggage out, we were through customs, got our car from Parking Doctors, and we’re on the road within a half hour. Loved this vacation, love the Brilliance of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The ship was clean and well maintained, however, the style was outdated. The food looked a lot better than it tasted. The food tasted bland, but was edible. The saving grace was the service. Wonderful service across the board. Everyone was ... Read More
The ship was clean and well maintained, however, the style was outdated. The food looked a lot better than it tasted. The food tasted bland, but was edible. The saving grace was the service. Wonderful service across the board. Everyone was pleasant, friendly, professional and smiling at all times. The main dining room staff were stars. Our server and assistant waiter were wonderful, Socorro and Fernando. Maria in the main dining room was wonderful as well as Isabella. The week I traveled had mostly seniors and a few families with small children. My son's ages 10 and 8 chose not to go to kids club since it was geared towards smaller children. MSC cruises had a better children's program in my opinion. Although I had a wonderful trip, I wish the ship was more modern and had more entertainment such as movie theatre, game room for kids with board games, pool table, etc...however, the service more than made up for it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise in general was a good cruise; Leon the CD is amazing, he brings the passengers together and is very good at doing his job. Good singer too! The food was very good, variety was with many choices, and they take great care to ... Read More
This cruise in general was a good cruise; Leon the CD is amazing, he brings the passengers together and is very good at doing his job. Good singer too! The food was very good, variety was with many choices, and they take great care to control waste. You can have as much as you want, but don't waste it. My negative comment would be that they have taken the couches or chairs out of the rooms, as well the open deck and limited seating in the Main areas. If their intention is to keep people out of the rooms and into the bars, it's is working. Pool area was in excellent shape, clean and well managed. Entertainment could be improved, two independent guitarist and one piano player. Not the best. The shows were very good, you have to get use to the idea that orchestra players are gone. Latin night had musicians, it that was excellent. Staff was excellent. Not a bad cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Since our cruise on Seabourn we have become very spoiled, but my husband is a "prog" fan and was thrilled to take this cruise with some of his favorite artists. I hadn't been on a Royal Caribbean ship for at least 10 ... Read More
Since our cruise on Seabourn we have become very spoiled, but my husband is a "prog" fan and was thrilled to take this cruise with some of his favorite artists. I hadn't been on a Royal Caribbean ship for at least 10 years and it hasn't gotten any better. We left from Tampa for this 5-day cruise and because of fog we weren't allowed to embark until 7:30 that evening (instead of 10:30 that morning). This was a charter of the entire ship so all information came from the charter. With 2400 people arriving at once it took a few hours to board everyone but it went pretty smoothly. The cabin was small as expected, and worn. We did find adequate storage for our clothes and luggage, but it was difficult to turn around in the bathroom and navigate the cabin. Because of the abundant music schedule we were unable to eat in the dining room, and the Windjammer was great for breakfast but as a vegetarian I found it difficult to find enough options for lunch and dinner and ended up eating a lot of salads with cheese. The fitness center has wonderful views and is laid out well, and there was enough equipment for a good workout although there were no weight benches or TRX machines. One thing I do love about the RC ships is the solarium pool, the quiet area where you can get away from the hubbub of the main pool. On this cruise the main pool was converted to a stage anyway so it was great to have the solarium. Some notes for the Cruise to the Edge - if you like progressive rock this is the motherlode, apparently (according to my husband who is an aficionado of the highest order). Due to the delays of embarkation there were schedule changes that made it difficult to plan, and the bands were plagued with equipment malfunctions and performance delays. But it was a great time, with great people and despite my complaints here we did have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a group cruise for an international group onboard on Jan. 20, 2019 sailing out of Tampa. Embarkation was very fast and easy. Really enjoyed cruise with couple exceptions. Dining room late seating, service was very slow, and after ... Read More
This was a group cruise for an international group onboard on Jan. 20, 2019 sailing out of Tampa. Embarkation was very fast and easy. Really enjoyed cruise with couple exceptions. Dining room late seating, service was very slow, and after 35 cruises, when ordered more than 1 entree or appetizer, Have never had them deliver all the appetizers or entrees at same time. Made for a very crowded table, especially since at a 6 top. We had also requested to be with our group, but were put halfway across the dining room. Both travel agent and our Carnival rep had multiple booking numbers to tie reservations together, but didn't happen. Only other complaint was when you get a comedian the caliber of Just Judy, you need to move her to the main theater and not Punch Liners Club. She has been on Carnival for a long time, and you guys know she can fill the larger theater. Also, never saw more than a couple times our CD Savanna, and we had a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet on LAST day of cruise????? NEVER in 35 cruises, had that happen. Usually on first sea day so we could meet our fellow cruisers and hang out with them. She said she just learned about our meeting that morning, although we met the required 25 members 3 months ago. A good cruise, but not a GREAT one, but there is not a bad cruise, just some better than others. After this one, even though am platinum, may consider a different line for a change. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Love NCL as a general rule. Did not want to go on large ship. Had sailed on Pearl previously .this cruise was not what we had hoped. Quality of food has significantly declined from previous cruises. Specialty restaurants are not up to par. ... Read More
Love NCL as a general rule. Did not want to go on large ship. Had sailed on Pearl previously .this cruise was not what we had hoped. Quality of food has significantly declined from previous cruises. Specialty restaurants are not up to par. Steakhouse was not equal to local chain, fillet was dry and tasteless. Took just shy of an hour to receive food with ghost of server who did not bother to appear or apologize. We tried to get change in order to tip above what was already included in our drink package. Was surprised to see small charge on tab for ordering what might have been specialty drink. They offer a Premium drink package, they must be attempting to upgrade for more bucks. Past cruises offered big sales on cruise merchandise, everyone loves a bargain. Lattitudss with gold standing offered discounts in NCL merchandise but guess what? They have taken pains to remove Norwegian from most merchandise. Now shirts say Sea something or other. Why tout this as big deal when there is not much to buy to take advantage of this perk. Daily itinerary stated hig sale including t-shirts but there weren't any, not a single shirt. Sale in gift shop was to include tshirts but once again, nine were on sale. Prices were inflated, $28 for ordinary shirt. Disembarking was a mess. Passengers ended up being traffic cops, telling passengers getting off elevators, go this way or that. One employee standing at dar end by door did not make for smooth exit. Sorry you see cut backs in quality, used to brag on food but can do so no longer. One couple traveling with us will not be back. Losing customers is never a good idea, especially if they've sailed with NCL 6 times. Smaller ship meant less entertainment. No real headline acts to draw people in. Entertainment was sub par. The ship has been refitted in last few years, we had no complaints as far as our cabin was concerned, mini-suite was perfect for two. Had a few small issues first day which were quickly resolved. I would prefer visiting foreign ports rather than Florida, Key West was nice but island would be better. I believe we will cruise again, on NCL, like the freestyle method, eat when anx where you want, no forced time of table assignments. If you have never cruised NCL dont be discouraged by this negative review, NCL offers lots of plans and freedom to choose, they actually do more right than wrong. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Been on several 7 day cruises and decided to try short one. Chose the Carnival Paridise for the interesting look of the atrium. Since this ship was recently redone and a smaller ship leaving from Tampa. I was only an hour from the port. ... Read More
Been on several 7 day cruises and decided to try short one. Chose the Carnival Paridise for the interesting look of the atrium. Since this ship was recently redone and a smaller ship leaving from Tampa. I was only an hour from the port. Parking garage was just across from the port. Boarding was a easy as Carnival had specific boarding times. Unfortunately dis embarking was a little chaotic with impatient passenger getting in line before their call. I chose check out luggage and at the scheduled time I was off of ship less than 15 minutes Loved the sail away party. The buffet was typical food. Out on deck the guys burgers and the blue iguana tacos tops. The dinning room was cozy and a lot of different items to have. the breakfast buffet had general fare. The seaday brunch was a nice touch. Ordered room service for the continental breakfast, arrived at time requested and it was fresh and warm. Shows were great. The few shops had good buys .The cabin smaller than big ships was very clean and the window big enough to enjoy the outside. Room steward freshen up room daily. I preferred the evening. Towel animals ,cute Carnival Paradise had Staff and crew honored at the dis embarkation program on the last day of cruise. Another thing I liked was the military appreciation show later that day that honored military people on board. Overall I had a great time on the Paradise. Planning to book another cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I've cruised Carnival many, many times, and indeed, I've cruised "Paradise" many times as well. This cruise was very good, but I can see lots of small things slipping. Food was good, but not as many choices as in the ... Read More
I've cruised Carnival many, many times, and indeed, I've cruised "Paradise" many times as well. This cruise was very good, but I can see lots of small things slipping. Food was good, but not as many choices as in the past. Dining room services was OUTSTANDING, and has improved on my last TWO Carnival cruises. Entertainment was O.K., but a bit lacking in the offerings. It seemed to me that if you didn't gamble, there wasn't a lot to do on some evenings. BIG SHOWS were good, but the same ones I've seen over, and over again. Cabins on the recently dry docked "Paradise" were excellent, and the cabin service was also very good, but the lack of choices on the T.V. was disappointing, even though I don't cruise to watch T.V. I rarely leave the ship, so I can't comment on Ports, or Shore Excursions, but others I talked to said they enjoyed their excursions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was a far cry from the service and standards received on other Carnival Cruises. There were a lot of things that were not up to par. My list of things that fell short. 1.) Not sailing day one disappointing (missed ... Read More
This cruise was a far cry from the service and standards received on other Carnival Cruises. There were a lot of things that were not up to par. My list of things that fell short. 1.) Not sailing day one disappointing (missed going to Grand Cayman) and spent 25 hours in Cozumel 2.) Cruise director seemed absent from most events 3.) Constant sewage smell and backups this was all over the ship. Most noteable on the “suite balcony” we paid extra for 4.) Drinks were poured very weak. Powerade drinks were being counted as part of the 15 drink quota (this should be just for alcohol) 5.) On board events and activities seemed to be much less than normal ( one event going on at a time where other cruises would have 3-4 things on at a time all day)  6.) Food day one at dinner was beyond disappointing. It improved but there was never a hot meal. All cold by the time it came out this included tepid coffee served at the end of the meal. No food was cooked correctly you had to ask for a rare steak to get medium. You can tell the fries and things they included as sides were tiny portions and reused from other stations on the boat or other meals. I guess lobster is a thing of the past? Food at the Lido Deck buffet was lackluster to say the least. It felt like no care was taken in presentation and or options on the bar. The best food on the boat was Guys burger joint which is a sad that settling for a burger beat most of the dining on the ship. Good thing it’s hard to mess up a burger. Also alternative food options closing much earlier. 7.) Same comedians the entire trip. (They still we’re awesome at all shows) but seeing the same person felt like we were trying to be ok with what we were dealt. Bar and serving staff were overwhelmed with orders one server per section when everyone was trying to get drinks ( I feel like this resulted in the negative attitudes of servers and staff) 8.) Crew seemed to be overall disgruntled or not happy to be there ( not all but a lot were not pleasant to deal with ) attitudes drastically improved when we tipped large amounts. (Don’t force us to include gratuity if the staff won’t appreciate it when we don’t tip) In order to get decent service you have to tip above what you were already forced to tip. 9.) Room service after 10:00 pm is a fee and no longer free. This would be fine if you open up other late night food options on the boat other than pizza. 10.) Photo staff you can tell were on a strict quota for photos as they became almost bothersome not letting you leave after taking a couple of photos. You felt as if you were being forced into multiple photos. (Prices of photos increased as well which makes no sense since most are digital now. I refuse to buy any photos at those prices) 11.) Debarkation morning room service is no more. I used to eat in the stateroom and head down to the gangway.  All in All my group had a good time, however it was not the carnival cruise lines I had told everyone about from 4 years ago. We were avid Royal Caribbean cruisers before our first trip on Carnival. We were impressed with Carnival and started splitting our vacations with both Carnival and RCCL. I would rather pay 50-100 dollars more a head than see the standards lowered. The ship sat in port from 4pm until 5am. And then stopped in Cozumel for 24 hours. You would think with the amount of fuel that was saved by not moving the ship for 30% of the time on the boat could result in some form of refund. The itineraries that are directly to Cozumel and back are cheaper than the ones that stop in Grand Cayman as well. P.S. the mints on the pillow are gone too. People notice dumb things. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Rotterdam is for you if---- 1. You like old ships in disrepair with very outdated furnishings in the public areas, with rusted over window frames, distasteful outdated decor of poor replicas of Chinese artifacts that had no theme to ... Read More
The Rotterdam is for you if---- 1. You like old ships in disrepair with very outdated furnishings in the public areas, with rusted over window frames, distasteful outdated decor of poor replicas of Chinese artifacts that had no theme to them of any kind. 2. if you like very mediocre entertainment in the theater, with a theater with insufficient capacity requiring that you get there at least 40 minutes before show time to secure a seat and sit there, bored and annoyed for 40 minutes till they start the very unprofessional shows. I have been on NCL and MSC and the shows were outstanding and fascinating and Broadway quality and the stuff on the Rotterdam was boring as hell 3. if you enjoy being with a crowd whose average age was 80 and if you don't mind making way for walkers, canes, wheelchairs and scooters, which made up quite a bit of the guest list 4. if you enjoy being with people whose average weight was well over 300 pounds. 5. if you enjoy boring sailaways. In most other cruise lines, there is music and fanfare and celebration. Here, all sailings were silent. 6. if you don't mind getting to a host country without any warm reception. On other cruise lines, when disembarking, you are usually greeting with a small band and dancers entertaining in the ethnic garb and style of the host destinations. Here, you get off the boat and are not received by anyone. No fun....... 7. if you don't mind repeated errors in billing and needing to go to the guest services desk to stand in line for a while to get things straightened out over and over again 8. if you don't mind not getting the seat in the dining room that you repeatedly stood in line for to make sure you reserve just exactly what you want, and most often, you are told "sorry, it is not available, ma'am" even though you reserved in advance 9. if you don't mind that the TV can only be operated with the remote if you stand really tall and aim directly over the lip of the ledge on which the TV sits, otherwise, the remote does not work. 10. if you don't mind calling for a steward to correct something in the room and he never shows up 11. if you ask for a wake up call to make sure you don't miss your excursion departure and they call you an hour later than requested 12, if you enjoy very boring activities in the day, without fun options like being taught how to zumba, how to karaoke, no entertainment around the pool, without fun contests, without live music 13. if you don't mind that there are no staff that are trained to pull you onto the dance floor and reallly get you rockin', so that you have fun, or for the staff themselves to have great dance moves and make the bars and nightclubs come alive. 14. if you don't mind a reading room with totally outdated books of no particular interest to anyone. 15, if you don't mind that once off the boat at a host country, you ask the head of the EXC excursion department who waits at the dock, which is a safe and licensed taxi company to use if you want to do your own private tours and he blows you off and states he doesn't know much about the taxi system, only because he wanted you to spend quite a bit more to go on his expensive excursions so he offered no help at all. The Carnival cruise line excursion director was 10 times more helpful than our own Holland America staff. Shameful. But the food is outstanding, the staff is generally pleasant, and the rooms are comfortable. Not elegant, but comfortable. The excursions were good. All in all, it was a very boring cruise and I will never do Holland again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Live in Oldsmar (tampa area) so like to cruise out of Tampa when can. Embarking was alright but bit of a cluster compared to Royal. It was weird to not get seacard at checking. It was at room when got to cabin. Cabin was pretty typical and ... Read More
Live in Oldsmar (tampa area) so like to cruise out of Tampa when can. Embarking was alright but bit of a cluster compared to Royal. It was weird to not get seacard at checking. It was at room when got to cabin. Cabin was pretty typical and nothing special. Ship overall showed signs of wear. On Royal it seems crew is always painting or working on something in common areas. Didnt see much of that on Miracle. One of the pools have a retractable roof and the blue paint where is slides is worn and rusty. Breakfast was nothing to write home about. Scrambled eggs were more like corn grits most days. Getting an omelet or fried egg could be a 20 min process at times. I have never had coffee so do the soda package but finding a place to get one before 8 was hard.i am up by 6 or 6:30 so a self service station would be great. The pool area has 4 bar positions but only really used one of them. Pool doesnt seem to open till about 9 and one was not operating for 1st 2 days. They say 24 hour pizza but not always case. One morning I wanted pizza to put an egg on and had to wait 20 min while make them. Entertainment was average. Didn't do the main theater because it seemed it was just singing not appealing so did comedy most night and pretty funny stuff both pg and adult. Cruise director Frankie was great and found out is from Tampa. Dinner in dining room was very nice. Service was fine and food was acceptable for sure. They would always make sure didnt need anything. Seems to be a lull in activity between like 3 and 7. Did not care at all for casino. Not a big gambler but it is 100% all smoking and people sure do it. Getting to either showroom on 2nd or 3rd floor or comedy on 1 often had you walking right through smoke. Games say penny but 30 cents is min bet and you can get credit voucher for balance they put it on your room card then when go back min you can take off card is $10. Kind of a pain and they dont really have much of variety of machines. Ports were nice been to all before except Roatan and thought it would be worse but it turned out to be best. One of few ports I have been to that you dock at and can do a beach without a shore excursion. Belize is a 5 mile tender ride. Loading and unloading of tenders can be 20 min. Sports bar was nice but pretty much shows what is on ABC or ESPN but like 5 bug screens. Read Less

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