I thought the decorations on the ship were juvenile and the worst I have ever seen on a cruise ship. "the Mad Hatter Lounge" is just an example of the poor taste in decorating throughout the ship. The lobby was gaudy and the "formal" restaurant looked like we had stepped in a cheap restaurant that had gone overboard with poor lighting and decorations. The food was generally poor. It started to get a bit better as the cruise was ending but generally the food in the dining room was not even worth getting dressed up for. However, in spite of the fact they required a certain dress code (i.e.: no shorts) it didn't seem to matter because they let people in without regard to how they were dressed. Therefore, you could see people in shorts and t-shirts while others were all dressed up with dresses and suits. The activities they planned for the guests were lame at best. They had one line dance lesson but then no club had country music where you could use the dance lessons. They had not other dance lessons. There was really not much else to do during the day. I guess you could play bingo or go to the casino, but no real interesting activities. Because we had bad weather, we had miss a port of call. (that is understandable) but they didn't try to make it up by have a movie or some other different activity on the ship. (They played one movie (Meet Dave)) There were no others (unless you wanted to pay for them in your cabin. I have been on Norwegian, Royal Carribbean, Princess and this one. This was the worst food, decorations, and available activities ("adult bean bag toss tournament"?) I don't think I will ever sail with Carnival again.
The best way to go is to simply take a cab and go to the beach. The beaches are amazing and well worth spending some time there. I have gone to Megan's Bay and Sapphire Beach. I recommend Sapphire Beach because it doesn't seem to get as crowded.
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