Overall, we had a great time. There were 7 people in our group, all family. We got an EXCELLENT price, so for the money, this was one of our favorite cruises. The boat is older, but well updated and maintained.
5 out of 5
They have changed the way you board. Just before going through security, they scanned our passports and boarding passes. Once we went through security we were able to proceed directly to our rooms and our Sail and Sign cards were waiting for us in sealed envelopes in the mail box. No more waiting through the snaking lines to check in (even after you have checked in on line). It was so much faster.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We felt as though for the most part the food was better on this Carnival Ship than on others we have sailed on. They had a lobster tail night, which they had done away with on a couple previous cruises) which was a nice bonus. The hours for the Mexican food could have been longer, and I believe if they opened up for a bit in the late night that would be well received. Lines for food could be long, but overall a decent experience. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants on this trip.
3 out of 5
The workout gym on the ship was great, with brand new equipment. The locker room had both a steam sauna and dry sauna, which was a nice addition. The water slides were in good shape, they should add a couple more hot tubes as they were always full. this ship does not have the rock climbing wall or sky ropes course. If you do the late dining your children will miss many of the Camp Ocean activities, so keep that in mind. The comedians were OK, however the rated R shows were over the top, so if you are not in to a lot of vulgarity don't bother going. The trivia was decent, however the location in the Casino is not ideal, especially if you are with your family.
2 out of 5
We tried a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise last year, and there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to entertainment. While Carnival has a better kids program, Norwegian's entertainment was outstanding. The shows were so good that each night the theater would be packed, and no one wanted to miss a show. I wish Carnival could ramp up their entertainment. Many of the shows on Carnival are campy, show tune style musicals. The performances are OK, but nothing to go out of your way to see.
4 out of 5
The kids program on this ship was not as good as the others I have been on. The hours and activity offerings seemed a little off. We had kids in the Camp Ocean program and Circle C (young teens). If you have a late dining time, your kids might miss a lot of activities. The scavenger hunts were good.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The staff for the most part were excellent as usual. There were a couple waiters in the breakfast dining room that were not as attentive and service was slow, but otherwise no complaints. I felt like everything was taken care of and the tips were well earned.
4 out of 5
The ship was clean and updated. The common bathrooms could have used more attention, and for 1 sea day there was some sort of issue in the aft of the ship, 1st floor, where there was a terrible sewage odor that lasted the most part of the day. The problem was eventually fixed. The dining areas were very clean and well attended to. The main pool area was taken care of, overall, no complaints.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
The cabins were a highlight for us. They were the biggest rooms we have stayed in for a cruise. There was a full bed and a couch area. Rooms were very nice and comfortable. Plenty of storage for the 1 week cruise.
The deli on the ship was really good, I recommend trying it. Later dining might interfere with some scheduled events, but it is a quick seating and service was great. Bring canned soda on board and do not bother with a soda drink plan. Bring some 2-way radios if you are traveling with a group and/or kids. They are useful on the ship as well as at the ports that do not have cell service.
we arrived in Miami almost a week ahead of time to relax and enjoy the weather (the whole country was experiencing an unusually frigid winter). Miami is a great city with great restaurants and entertainment.
A small island, good beach day, large pool at Margaritaville! DO NOT GET SCAMMED INTO PAYING FOR CHAIRS. There are plenty of free chairs and umbrellas. The government allows a few people to set up their chairs/umbrellas and rent them out, they will try to get you to follow them when you get off the ship, do not go to them unless everything else is taken! I got in a big argument with them, but eventually got my money back. All the chairs around the pool are free too. Drinks are expensive.
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