Main dining & snorkeling were what made this cruise for us. Other than that, the overall shipboard experience simply wasn't up to what we've enjoyed on other lines, and we didn't appreciate those nearby our balcony who smoked on their balcony or used obscene speech (definitely not the same crowd of shipmates that we've experienced on, say, HAL). On the strength of the dining, we might consider sailing with Carnival again on a newer ship with more fun things to do (similar to iFly or ice skating on RCI ships).
5 out of 5
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Buffet OK, with the most crazy looking cakes (e.g. neon green and pink glazing) right out of Alice in Wonderland. Main Dining meals exceeded our expectations, and we were glad that Carnival, unlike some other lines, still offers lobster tails on Gala nights (and their signature Lava Cakes on every night).
2 out of 5
The short "trap door" water slide ride is thrilling but a bit chafing on one's back (maybe wear a T-shirt?). Nowhere near as much to do on a more modern ship -- but then, we were usually in port snorkeling somewhere, so lack of onboard activity wasn't a big deal on this short 7-day cruise.
2 out of 5
Energetic young performers in the Main Evening productions, but alas, they reminded us more of high-school level musicals. Our main complaint was the MUCH TOO LOUD sound level (maybe their mixer tech is partly deaf?). Our last night on the ship, we discovered a 7-member rock/pop group that appeared way more talented and didn't blow out our eardrums (wish we had found them sooner).
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
Enjoyed the towel animals each evening. Not much interaction with our room stewards, but our Main Dining stewards (veteran Enrico and his trainee) were outstanding and made our meals there very memorable and the high point, for us, on this older ship.
3 out of 5
The atrium was beautiful with the pink-tinted light coming through the ship's red canopy in front of the stack.
The blue wicker cushioned cabanas on top decks were a nice way to keep (mostly) out of the sun. Haven't seen these on other cruises.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Our balcony stateroom's lampshades were cracked and stained (think a really cheap Mote_ 6). This is the sort of eyesore that is so easy and cheap to fix, it shouldn't exist -- which says something about management. Thermostat wasn't working well (room too cold at first); shower didn't drain as well the last few days. The varnish on the wood handrail on balcony below us was chipping (another maintenance issue).
If you like to do more onboard than drink, sunbathe, lay in the pool, or read books, MAKE SURE YOUR CRUISE DOESN'T HAVE TOO MANY SEA DAYS.
Very good snorkeling at Eden Rock just 5 minutes walk from the ship (turn right and walk to the two dive shops, the one we used rented a locker for $5). (NOTE: snorkeled here again a few weeks later and it wasn't as good due to stronger current, weather, whatever.)
Start walking to town and you'll find cheaper rides than the taxi guys closest to the ship. We hired Big Mama who drove us to West Bay where we found great snorkeling at Paradise Hotel (paid "admission" $20pp a bit steep, next time I would research for hopefully free public access).
Did a cave tubing excursion booked through Carnival. Enjoyable and a pretty unique experience (especially because snorkeling right at Belize City is not really an option due to muddy water and boat traffic). Most of the time is spent shuttling to and from the cave which seems to be privately owned, but our tour guide was very informative and funny.
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