For a fun 6 night cruise to the Eastern Carribbean to start the holiday season right, Carnival Cruises has the magic for you. Three wonderful ports and great entertainment, you cannot go wrong. Do it now, feel better and enjoy the time of your life.
Had issues from beginning to end and had to wait in really long lines at the customer service desks multiple times. Never had so many inconveniences in one cruise. I felt that they were very unorganized.
Feel bad that we couldn't visit Half Moon Cay due to hurricane devastation. The visit to the private beach at Grand Turk that was highly recommended by Carnival turned to be a very stony one and was very hard to walk on even with beach shores on. Snorkeling of course was eliminated due to some waves. We were promised through our booking agent at that an anniversary cake for us as well as a birthday cake in our party will be made but it never materialized. I have gone to customer service and they informed me that no such requests were made. In addition, when I made the booking for 6 couples, I have asked to have a seating arrangement for all on one table, instead they gave us 2 separate tables for 6 people on each. We have stated our dissatisfaction and next day we were offered such in another restaurant. Entertainment wasn't that great with switches made for FLINT show that was pushed to the last day and that was the better of the other ones. The decibel level in most shows is generally very high and quite irritating to the ears. The food was good with fair variety in the buffet but very limited in the main seating restaurants. This is the first time that I see charges for certain food items and some casual drinks in the offered menu.
This was probably my best cruise yet. I have been on maybe 7 cruises, all with Carnival. Grand Turk was my favorite port. The water was crystal clear, the shore excursions were amazing, and the people were nice, both on and off the ship. Check was a pain because there were not holding people to their scheduled check in times, but overall a great cruise.
The entertainment in the main theater exceeded our expectations and the performance "Flick" was the best we have ever seen on a cruise. Lots of special effects made it a top-rate performance.
Dining staff, room steward, and cruise director were all first-rate and made us feel like they were genuinely happy to serve us.
I can't really complain that the ship is outdated and showing signs of wear (eg. upholstery in the theater is worn, torn) because I knew that before I booked it. Carnival acknowledges it too because Conquest is scheduled to be dry-docked in 2017 for renovations.
My biggest problem was the smoke. The centrally located casino (one of several designated smoking areas) on deck 5 has no ventilation so the smoke permeates the entire 5th deck. We were also forced to walk through the smoke to get to most things (shows, coffee bar, Club O2, piano bar, karaoke, arcade room, etc.). It's a huge turn-off for non-smokers and it was excessive.
Food in the main dining area was good, but not great like I remembered from past cruises. I believe the quality has gone down a bit since they started introducing the specialty dining options that require you to pay extra (eg. steakhouse). If the food was as good as it used to be, no one would visit the restaurants that are an uncharge. That said, the Sea Day brunches were excellent! Guy Fieri's burgers were a big hit as well. Very tasty.
Take a sweater! Indoor areas were chilly, especially in the dining room, spa, and library.
We did one of the very best excursions we've ever experienced on a cruise in Amber Cove, DR. The terracross adventure was first-rate with nice, new equipment and off-roading adventure. An unexpected bonus was the lunch and rum/beer/sodas included at the end that we didn't realize were included when we booked it.
Overall a very good vacation with our teenagers. Highly recommend Carnival for families as they have good programs for kids. They call themselves the "fun ships" for a reason. If you like drinking and partying, you will love Carnival.
Since our kids are about to head off to college, my husband and I will consider a different cruise line next time for a slightly calmer atmosphere.
This cruise was the first time we ever cruised and I can surely say we look forward to many more with Carnival!
First, I would like to get the bad news out of the way because there was so much more good to talk about! The Muster drill on the first day was dreadful. You've got to come up with a better way of doing that. The first day is stressful anyway and to add a 45 minute drill in a scorching hot hallway with people stacked on top of each other does not make for a good start! The conductors were also rude and impatient which didn't help. I would say maybe broadcast the Muster drill in the staterooms and just show a map of the boat with the locations of the different stations.
Room service personnel needs a serious retrain. There was only one time that room service was friendly and smiling and first thing in the morning, you need a smile! Also, please start offering alternative milk through room service. My wife and I both have severe allergies to dairy and we could only find almond milk at the coffee bar which was inconvenient and expensive. I just needed a little for my coffee in the mornings!
Your nighttime bartender on the lobby deck has got to go. Her name is Catherine and she has got to be the rudest person on your ship. She outright ignored my wife and I until she couldn't possibly ignore us any longer each trip we came to the bar and then rolled her eyes at us when we ordered. And each time, she had an excuse about why she couldn't make the drink we were ordering. Then when we got the guy who was with her, he would smile and say "oh she said that? I can do it! No problem!" What is that girls problem?! She told the guy she was going to make my drink and then literally left the bar and didn't come back for 10 minutes. When he saw me still standing there, he said "Have you still been waiting for your drink?" I said "yes." And he said "Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. She told me she would make it and I don't know where she is." Then proceeded to drop everything he was doing to make my drink for me. He was the best! I wish I could remember his name.
One last thing and then I'll move onto the good news, I promise! My wife is a vegan and we were told several times that accommodations could be made for her dietary restrictions. This was certainly true for dinner but the other meals were not so easy. There were literally no options on the buffet, so we never ate there. My wife did come to enjoy a pizza at Pizza Pirate with no cheese! However, the man making the pizzas every day (short, asian man) was rude and unhappy every time she asked for no cheese. It's not a hard request! The worst, though, was Guy's Burger Joint. On the very first day, we asked if they offer veggie burgers for my wife. They responded with "absolutely! Just ask for them and we will put them on the grill for you. Just know it will take a little longer because we have to cook it." Great! No problem. The veggie burgers were delicious! Then the second time we came back, we were greeted by a man who told us "we don't do that." To which we responded "you did yesterday?" And he said "oh... we did? Okay fine." It was only then that we received the veggie burger which took twice as long to receive as the day before. We didn't go back after that.
But now! The great stuff! The adults only pool section is genius for people like us who aren't into the crazy party scene. It was closed the first day for maintenance but was open for the rest of the cruise. Always clean. Always fabulous. And the bartender was always friendly and on point.
Your nighttime entertainment is FABULOUS! Rick and the U Turns kept us bopping all night long! Emma and Brandon are the friendliest of the group and always stayed to chat with us! Couldn't have asked for a better nighttime show.
The Antman has the funniest comedy show on the boat! Had us laughing until we cried!
Reggie (housekeeping deck 2) was AMAZING at keeping our room tidy and giving us the best towel animals! He even wrote "Happy Birthday" to my mother in law on the mirror in the room. So sweet! He always asked us if we needed anything when we passed by in the halls and we always looked forward to coming back to the room at night and seeing what he created!
Beds were comfortable and linens always clean. Shower was tiny (as expected) but the water pressure and temperature were good.
Our Casa en la Playa excursion in Amber Cove was incredible. Memories we will never forget. Mama is the sweetest and so hospitable to her guests! Of course, the other staff there was wonderful as well. We never went without a drink the entire time as they were always walking around to offer a refill. The food was incredible and authentic and there was plenty for all! The water sports were also great and we really enjoyed kayaking in the ocean. One thing I must also mention though, was the attentiveness of the staff. They were genuinely concerned for the safety and wellbeing of their guests. My mother in law tipped her kayak and they came swimming out to make sure we were okay and help her back in. A baby on the beach fell down on the sand and they came running to check on her! It was amazing to see how much they cared!
Our other excursion "All Inclusive Beach Break" in Grand Turk was awful and we would never recommend it. But Shore Excursions with Carnival did their very best to make it up to us and they were wonderful.
Now, I've saved the best for last... our dinner service. The Chef was always so accommodating to my wife's dietary restrictions and always had something for her every night. Food was always delicious and portion sizes were perfect! But the true shining stars were the crew members who took care of us every night. There are no words to describe how amazing the following people are: Saya Doni, Barbara Pstrucha, and Bilal Kartal. They were the highlight of each and every day. Even when we were so tired we couldn't possibly have the energy to get dressed and go to dinner, we pushed through it just to see them because they were seriously the best part of each and every day. They made us smile and laugh and took the time out to talk to us each and every night. It was clear to us that we were not considered as just another few faces in the crowd but that they were genuinely interested in taking the time to know us and take care of us.
We enjoyed this cruise. The bartender, Elin, was FABULOUS!! I was disappointed in the lack of selections of shows/entertainment in the evenings as well as the lack of activities at the pool during the "at sea" days. I have been on many other cruises that had fun games/activities at the pool that made that time even more enjoyable.
I forgot one last tour we took. It was the 'Behind the Scene's' tour. Awesome, awesome, awesome! This was worth the price we paid. We got to see where the crew goes & how they live, how the ship runs, where the food is prepared and met the Captain. This is a must do tour!
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