Overall, we have mixed emotions about our trip. There were definitely highlights and some aspects of great service, but in general, we were disappointed with our first Carnival experience, and we will probably not be taking another Carnival cruise any time soon.
3 out of 5
Food and Dining
2 out of 5
Main dining room Service was excellent. The food, not so much. Some dishes were just ok, others were completely uninspiring. For example, prime rib ordered medium, should never come out gray! Shrimp in shrimp cocktail, should never be 'floppy'. The Steakhouse, for which you pay approximately $40 per person, was disappointing. The Wagyu beef was tough and overcooked, which was just unacceptable, and the service was not great. Overall, the buffet was good, especially for breakfast. The best food experience: Guy's Burger Joint!
Almost forgot: Carnival switched from Coca-Cola to Pepsi -- and they didn't tell anyone who had previously purchased the Coca-Cola Package. We would have definitely cancelled our $216 order for three packages! But we were not given that opportunity, and repeated requests for a partial refund were met with "it is our policy to not refund anything regarding food and drink"!! As a frequent cruiser, I find this position unacceptable.
4 out of 5
Adult pool was small, but nice. Serenity area for adults was pleasant. Fitness center was great.
4 out of 5
We enjoyed the music shows, especially the Motown performance. The piano bar was excellent, as were the string musicians.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
While some of the service was great, other Carnival representatives were borderline rude, like the person who told us that Carnival had major announcements on social media regarding the switch to Pepsi. That was simply not true!
2 out of 5
This ship is definitely outdated, as far as we're concerned. The decor was not appealing, and seeing rust in numerous places didn't inspire confidence. Also, the adult pool was closed for a few hours, with a mechanics team hard at work. Given the number of people in the adult area, the pool was actually too small.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Cabin was OK, but we expected a king bed and actually had a 'queen' bed, which was really two twin beds pushed together. Bathroom was fine, closet space was acceptable, but the glass on the balcony door was constantly dirty, even after days when it was supposedly cleaned. Obviously, we understand that there will always be some sea spray.
I really hesitate to say this, but our tip would be to choose another ship and probably another cruise line.
Easy to get on board, given our window. However, we were pointed toward the elevator, as we got out of our hotel shuttle, and we had to take ALL of our luggage with us through the check-in process. No one said anything about transporting our luggage onto the ship.
Very nice port area! The Beginners Scuba trip to Anthony's Key Resort was fantastic! Great people, outstanding experience! If you've always wanted to learn scuba diving, but didn't have the time/energy for certification, you simply must do this shore excursion. I cannot say enough positive things about the instructors, the location, and the underwater experience. You don't spend a long time on the boat at all. The beautiful reef is just a few minutes out of the resort.
Obviously, this is not your typical Caribbean island! You can see and feel the wealth immediately. Our trip to Stingray City and Starfish Point was good. The stingray experience is priceless, and the water was beautiful. Our stop at Starfish Point included lunch, which was excellent. There was a small catamaran at the beach, which served as a mobile grill, and the chicken, rice, and plantain lunch was better than some of the food onboard. The tender process to and from the ship definitely needs to be improved.
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