As I said in the beginning. Pros and Cons. Not enough Cons to keep me from going on another cruise! Carnival was fun and entertaining the whole time. If you like always having something to do, this is the cruise line for you. If you like relaxing on a quiet area of the deck... this is also the cruise line for you!
My first cruise and not only the staff but majority of the other passengers were all super friendly. Met so many people from all over the US.
5 out of 5
Quick and easy. Our embarkation time was between 12 & 12:30. There were several people in line with later embarkation times. I feel it would have been faster if they were more strict on only those with the correct times to board. I also believe it would have made the Lido deck and buffet less crowded on day 1. As soon as we stepped foot off the elevator, I started to wonder what I got myself into! You could barely walk around let alone see anything! People and luggage EVERYWHERE! However, it wasn't enough to ruin my experience. We found a table with a nice couple from Texas and enjoyed a quick lunch. By the time we were done, our room was ready. 1 change I would make is to pay for Faster to the Fun so I could have dropped my luggage/bags off at the room.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Guy's Burgers was fantastic and I could have ate it for lunch and dinner! I never had a hot breakfast from the buffet, but was able to from the Omelet bars that are on the different floors. I never got to try the Deli sandwiches as I tried once and the line just was not moving. I believe it was more the customers ordering holding up the line rather than the service itself. We had Anytime or Your time dining. We requested a table each night from the Carnival Hub App and it was usually ready by the time we made it to the elevator from our room. 1st few nights servers were not super friendly, but were not unfriendly either. Just did their job and that was it. Food was delicious, my only wish was they had a better salad option besides just Caesar at dinner in the dinning room. Dishes were good always arrived hot and presented beautifully. Flavor was always good. I had a range of dishes Chicken Breast, Flat Iron Steak, Mahi Mahi, Seared Tuna, Salmon and each one was good.
4 out of 5
As a first time cruiser I did not realize how many of the Raffles or activities were geared toward trying to sell you things. The "giveaways" were not worth the time I had to sit and listen to a sales pitch for a coupon or a raffle ticket for a chance to win... as long as I was present. As for the other on board activities I participated in some Trivia games along with Bingo and those were very fun and entertaining.
3 out of 5
DJ and other musicians I saw did a great job, the Stage Show - Vintage Nights (?) was not what I expected as it was not very "vintage" except for the live band. The songs were changed so much, I had a hard time following what the singers were even trying to sing. However, the comedian was excellent and so was Lucky Number Nat for Bingo!
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
All I can say is ask for Francis in the Anytime/Your time dining room. He can also be found at the small coffee shop by the buffet in the mornings. He was a great Waiter along with his Asst. Waiter Karl. I actually looked forward to going for coffee and dinner just to talk with him about his experience. He would also give us tips on the ship and things not to miss that were going on the next day. If you don't get him you are surly missing out on a great experience!
4 out of 5
As a 1st time cruiser I found the navigation around the ship difficult when I couldn't tell if I could get through from one side of the ship to the other on a certain floor, without getting on and off the elevator. Besides the 1st day and the last, I never felt over crowded. I could always find a seat if needed including on deck. All common areas were clean and well maintained so no issues there. My 1 and only complaint would be the smell in the Aft Elevators. Some were worse than others but they definitely had a garbage smell. It wasn't bad enough for us to not take the elevators or to walk to different ones, but it was noticeable more at certain times. I am assuming the trash collection is aft and this is why they smelled. We never smelled it in the hallways or in our room, which was right around the corner from the elevators.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
It was a cabin, nothing extravagant about it. We had 3 people and we each had a twin sized bed, as the couch folded down into a bed and then stayed that way for the duration of the trip. Was always clean and tidy and our room steward always left us a towel animal. He was always very polite and made sure we had everything we needed.
Make a note: the cleaning crew will not remove any glasses if they have liquid in them. We had to start dumping our water glasses out so they would remove them from the room.
My tip: Pay attention to the lines at buffet, deli, Guys Burgers etc. Many times, if you just walk around the corner, there is a second line, that is not as long. I never had to wait in a buffet line or at Guy's burgers by just checking around the corner.
Be prepared for Construction. Not enough signs directing you where to go. If I was not with someone who had already been on a cruise, I would have had no idea what was going on. Only having 3 officers for debarkation was a joke and it took forever to get off the ship.
I did shopping and beach at this port. The Green Umbrellas are the free ones, all others cost $. The beach was nice but a little rocky up toward the top. Otherwise it was clean and well maintained. Plenty of shopping areas with different stores offering different items and shirt designs. All pretty reasonably priced for a tourist area.
The small shopping area was very clean and well maintained. I went on the Discover Puerto Plata Traditions & Local Flavors. It ran an hour and 15 min longer than it was supposed to, so we didn't have much time to explore the port area before re-boarding the ship.
1 out of 5
I do not believe my experience was Carnivals fault at all. I believe it was Port Everglades (unless Carnival pays for the Customs/Immigration Agents) Called our floor to disembark. Got to the lobby and could not get off the elevator it was so full. Announcement 1 made to not go down to the lobby (around 8am). We headed back upstairs and had breakfast. Announcement 2, you can now go down to lobby area if your deck had been called. We head back down. Get 1/3 way through lobby before Announcement 3, "don't come down to lobby" This was probably around 9:15/9:30. Finally off the ship and through customs/immigration by 11am. There were only 3 customs/immigration officers working to check every ones passports/birth certificates. Which is what took so long. I feel Carnival tried to manage the flow the best they could.
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