eric677251

eric677251
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Joined: 08/31/2016
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eric677251's Past Cruises

Carnival Sunshine

August 2017 - Carnival Sunshine to Canada, New England, New York

We've had better Carnival cruises...

My wife and I discussed this cruise quite a bit both during and the cruise and after it was over. We have been on five Carnival cruises now and we think this was our least favorite Carnival cruise. Perhaps that is a bit unfair, but that is just how we feel. Unfair in that, even though it was our least favorite, it does not mean it was a bad cruise. It probably does not help that our previous cruise to this one was a Haven suite on NCL and NCL, for us, has the best dining of any of any cruise line that we have been on. Plus, the NCL ship we were on was a newer ship with a large one bedroom, two bathroom, cabin. The port stops were good. The crew was great (especially a bartender who made me a Blue's Blue Frozen Margarita when he was already closing down the bar), but the dining left a lot to be desired unless we were paying extra for it (or it was a Guy's hamburger!) and the Internet access was terrible. We were on the Carnival Dream this time last year and that was one of our favorite cruises ever. This cruise though, on the Sunshine, everything just fell a little flat. We will definitely cruise with Carnival again, but probably would not cruise on the Sunshine again.

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Norwegian Breakaway

November 2016 - Norwegian Breakaway to Caribbean - Bahamas

Upscale Cruising!

While we have cruised many times, this was my first cruise on Norwegian. This was also the first suite that we have ever booked (typically get balcony cabins). 

 

First off, getting a Haven suite on a Norwegian ship is different from other cruise ships. Right after you drop off your luggage, you meet with a cruise member who escorts your party right to a representative who gets you your cruise card (snacks and beverages are available at the same spot). Once you have your card, you are escorted past the crowds and onto the ship. You get shown to the Haven deck, with the private bar, pool, and dining area. Meet the concierge staff, your butler, and others. Then you are escorted to you room; it was amazing! Despite costing twice what we normally pay for a cruise, it might have been worth it.

 

We had an aft facing Haven suite. We were concerned it would be noisy, but that was not a problem. In/out of port was a bit louder, but not bad. The view from the huge balcony was great. This was by far the nicest cruise cabin we have ever been in (or even seen... and we have seen some suites that our friends booked on Carnival and RCCL).

 

Dining was a treat on Norwegian. While we did use the Haven restaurant a number of times, our package included the dining package so we could eat at four of the restaurants on board. Even if we did not have the dining package, the cost for going to those restaurants was negligible.   We dined at the Le Bistro (French), Ocean Blue (sea food), Cagnay's Steak House, and La Cucina (Italian). All the food was amazing. This cruise had the best cruise food that we have ever experienced. 

 

We were a little disappointed about the beverage package that came with our suite (that I believe Norwegian charges $80 a day per person for). No bottled water and no coffee drinks. I will say all the alcohol drinks are premium, but not including bottled water and coffee seems cheap. On Carnival, you can get bottled water, coffee, and even milk shakes... and for just $50 per day. What I will say that I like about the beverage package, they just swipe your card and give you the drink; nothing to sign (only exception is when you are in certain ports and tax is charged). It would also be nice if they served Coke products instead of Pepsi. 

 

I wish they had some Internet packages on the ship that were comparable to Carnival. Carnival has very affordable options (including a week long social media package for $25 so you can communicate with others back home or even use WhatsApp messenger on the ship). The iConcerige app for communicating was not good; don't pay the $9 per person to use the messaging aspect of the app. The app was okay for the other features though. Our cruise package included some Internet time, but not in a manner that could be used regularly. 

 

Norwegian is very different from our RCCL and Carnival cruises. This was cruising, for us anyway, that bordered on luxury. 

 

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Carnival Dream

August 2016 - Carnival Dream to Caribbean - Western

Great Time on the Carnival Dream

I was not sure what to expect on the Carnival Dream because we did see some negative reviews about the ship. Those reviews, for us, were unfounded. Service was great. We were lucky to get Faster to the Fun (had to check every single day until there was finally a day when some spots opened and I got in). It is totally worth the price. Getting on/off the ship with F2F is a breeze. Also, having your room ready when you come onboard is great too. We were onboard the ship by 1130/1200 and our room was ready. Our bags were delivered about an hour or two (at most) later. 

 

While my wife and I did not go to the shows, we did enjoy that there was a lot of live entertainment (singers) in different venues around the ship. That was great! Our daughter (13) enjoyed the shows that she went to and loved the friends she made at Circle C (as well as the trophies and medals that she won for Circle C and other cruise events). Our five year old loved the water slides (especially when we were in Jamaica since we did not go ashore and the slide was there for him to use nearly all alone). 

 

Steakhouse dining was amazing... as it typically is. Main dining was on par with other cruises. No better or worse. 

 

We did the "Behind the Fun" tour of the ship on the last sea day. If you have the time to spend (3.5 hours), it is very informative. You also get photos taken of your group and a photo with the captain (included in the price). It was a nice touch. Everyone we met during the tour, the chef, logistics officer, one of the show performers, and the captain, were all great. Spent time to answer all of our questions. 

 

The Dream is missing some of the dining options that we have seen on other Carnival ships (Guy Fieri's Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina, etc), but I imagine those will come later. 

The kids said this was their best cruise ever. We will definitely cruise Carnival again. 

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Anthem of the Seas

March 2016 - Anthem of the Seas to Cruise to Nowhere

Was Not Impressed.

My wife and I wanted to check out Anthem of the Seas on a short cruise to see what it was like and this seemed like a good opportunity. We were considering going on Anthem later in the year with the kids, but wanted to see what it was like first before we brought them along. 

 

The first thing you need to know about the new, bigger RCCL ships is that they do everything different. Reservations for everything. I guess they have to when there are so many guests onboard. Maybe if this was the first way I ever cruised I would be okay with it, but it wasn't how I always cruised. So, if you do not make all your dining and entertainment reservations early... well, you are out of luck. 

 

The ship was woefully understaffed.... especially at the bars. Service in the restaurants was okay; not great. While the Bionic Bar is interesting... that interest fades pretty quick. It takes most people forever to decide on a drink and then it gets put in a queue to be made. Hopefully the cup doesn't fall over and the drink gets poured into the cup. Honestly, the Bionic Bar had a lot of interest the first day and after that... there was hardly anyone there. It is very gimmicky. 

 

For a big ship, it was a very rough cruise. I've been on a lot of small boats and big ships and this ship had a lot of motion. I think that, because it was the cruise to nowhere, the ship went very slow. That probably accentuated the slightly rough trip. 

 

We have definitely been on better cruises than our Anthem of the Seas cruise. That is disappointing to us because we have loved cruising on RCCL in the past. The next time we cruise RCCL, we will go back to the Freedom class ships. 

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Carnival Miracle

December 2015 - Carnival Miracle to Mexico

Carnival Freedom

April 2015 - Carnival Freedom to Caribbean - Western

Liberty of the Seas

November 2013 - Liberty of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Freedom of the Seas

January 2013 - Freedom of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern

Liberty of the Seas

November 2009 - Liberty of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Majesty of the Seas

November 2008 - Majesty of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas

Carnival Elation

July 2001 - Carnival Elation to Mexico

eric677251's Tips

Halifax, Nova Scotia - Did the hop on/hop off Grayline tour excursion and learned a lot about Halifax. The explosion 100 years ago that destroyed most of the city and over 2,000 people, visited the graves of over 100 victims of the Titanic and how White Star Lines had offices in Nova Scotia. The tour guides for Grayline were great. Learned a lot I did not know about Halifax. Such beautiful weather while we were there too.
Saint John, New Brunswick - No excursions. Just walked around the city a bit. Learned of the fire that destroyed much of the city many years ago. Had to go to Tim Hortons while in Canada, right? ;)
New York, New York - Love NY. We have friends and family there and have been there many times. Did all the touristy stuff (again). Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, etc. Such a great city. For an excursion though... book Faster to the Fun! Best value excursion available! Worth every penny.
Carnival Sunshine Carnival Sunshine - The Internet package on this ship was a joke. The price was good, but the service was not. We paid for the premium package and it was spotty at best and incredibly slow when it worked. If that was the premium package, the standard package must be AOL dial-up or something. I am not sure how it could be any slower (except for not working and there were plenty of times I was connected but it was not working).
Port Canaveral, Florida - We avoided going to the theme parks. Expensive tickets and little time to enjoy them with the ride to/from the parks being over an hour from the ship. We took the shuttle bus (about $50 or so for the four of us roundtrip) to Cocoa Beach and checked out the area.
Nassau, Bahamas - We did the short excursion to Blue Lagoon Island. Nothing fancy, but the kids had a good time playing in the water activity park there.
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas - Typical private island stuff. We did not have great weather here. A little windy (and a choppy tender ride to/from the ship) so we went back to the ship early so the kids could use the water slides without the crowds.
New York, New York - We stayed at the DoubleTree Hilton Suites TimesSquare. It was about a mile or so from the pier. Good location and a chance to see Times Square (again). Never miss the opportunity.
Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Breakaway - Definitely try the upscale dining. You won't be disappointed. There is so much dining on the ship (some with a fee and some without). Even if you do not pay for the dining package, you won't be disappointed with the food that comes included with your cruise.
Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey - We may NEVER cruise out of Cape Liberty again. The line of cars to get in was insane (and we arrived early). We have cruised out of a lot of ports and we have never seen anything like that before.
Anthem of the Seas Anthem of the Seas - Book all of your entertainment and dining as early as possible or you will be disappointed with your options.
Carnival Dream Carnival Dream - We arrived in New Orleans on the Friday before the cruise. New Orleans is like another cruise port stop! Enjoyed the Gray Line Super City tour of New Orleans. 2.25 hours (discount for booking the 9AM tour). Expensive cab ride to Carnival cruise port! One mile ride cost us $30. Port fees?

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commented on a Carnival Sunshine cruise review. - "Honestly, I liked the Carnival Sunshine more than Anthem of the Seas. My wife and I spent a few days on Anthem of the Seas and we did not like it at ..." read more

commented on a Carnival Sunshine cruise review. - "RonitaN, our 14 year old daughter, who has been cruising since she was six or seven, is all about the sea days. The moment she gets into the cabin she..." read more

commented on a Carnival Sunshine cruise review. - "Fair comments one and all. We have cruised on Carnival four times before this cruise and had enjoyed all of them. As I said in my review, the Carnival..." read more

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Sunshine cruise review - We've had better Carnival cruises...

commented on a Carnival Sunshine cruise review. - "@RonitaN, we cruised on RCCL a number of times before cruising Carnival. Definitely more value on Carnival than RCCL. We looked at two cruises out of ..." read more

commented on a Carnival Sunshine cruise review. - "@RonitaN, in very simple terms, your comment of "odd and lacking" sums it up pretty well. :)" read more

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Sunshine cruise review - We've had better Carnival cruises...

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Sunshine cruise review - We've had better Carnival cruises...

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Sunshine cruise review - We've had better Carnival cruises...

uploaded a photo album from their Carnival Sunshine cruise on 2017-08-28