Sail Date: March 31, 2014
Reviewed: 2 years ago
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Room Type: Inside
This was a ladies only cruise. We leave the hubbies at home and have fun for 5 days on a cruise. We stayed the night at the Hampton Inn in Doral, Florida. We drove to the port the next morning and parked there.
Coming up to the cruise port parking was a little confusing…and we weren’t the only ones to take a wrong turn, construction is everywhere so make sure you read the signs carefully. After we parked we made our way to check in.
I am platinum (12th cruise), so we headed for the priority boarding area. It was a small lounge area with water, charging station for your electronics, and bathroom. We got there about 10:30. About 11:15 Carnival greeters led us to the gangway of the ship.
Entrance to the ship is on Lobby deck 3. We made our way to our cabin Lido deck 9203, since it was ready. We dropped off our carryon and went to lunch. We people watched and had our welcome drink with our lunch. We wandered around for a little bit and then had our muster drill they are on the outside of deck 3. After that we went back up to the Lido deck and enjoyed the sail away dance party.
We then went to the cabin to see if the luggage was there…it wasn’t but I saw our bags on the cart near the elevator. I asked the porter/steward if I could get it…he said yes, so he got them for me and I was on my way. Could I have waited an hour for them…sure…but it was close to dinner time and I wanted to change my shirt.
Dinner was in the Pacific Dining room on deck 3 aft. To get there from our cabin the easiest way was to walk all the way to the back of the ship and then take the elevator down to deck 3, which delivered us right to the door. If you did not take an aft elevator you would have to get off the elevator a floor above or below (there is no direct access on deck 3 from forward to aft because of the galley is there) and walk to a different elevator or stairs. Confusing…but you learn. We had a table for 8. We had a single gentleman cruiser, sisters and us. It was a good mix and we all got along well. We went to dinner each night and talked about what we all did during the day and who won in the casino the night before (it was never us…we didn’t play). Our waiter remembered our names, but he wasn’t very animated towards us…and I missed that. The waiters in the dining room did dance for us and there were some that had great moves!
Shows: There was a welcome show, which is always nice to watch. The only thing that “bothered me” was the theater was never crowded with people wanting to see the show. That worked for me…I like to sit in the front and never had to wait for someone to move or anything. There was another show “Vroom” on the last night, it was also good. There were 2 comedians. We saw the introduction to the shows and went to only one…just too tired to see them all and we would have liked to!
Entertainment staff: We really like the entertainment staff, Hannah, Jennifer, Lee, Robert, and cruise director Kevin. Robert was new to the ship on our sailing. Lee was leaving in a few weeks later as was Jennifer for a vacation.
Food: Breakfast was on the Lido deck each day. Lunch was also. Food was plentiful and tasty. I am not so high brow that I don’t appreciate hot dogs, pizza and hamburgers. That worked for me!
Nassau: I have been many times…so we just walked around and looked and took our pictures at Senor Frogs. They weren’t open so we kept walking. We were off the ship for about 90 minutes. While everyone was off enjoying Nassau, we went down the slide!
Half Moon Cay: Never been…so we were glad to see something new. We took the tender and went on in. We went to the first beach not knowing there was MORE to see and do. We found a lounge chairs and I immediately hit the water…it was MARCH…so it was CHILLY! I stayed in for a while. Visited with my cruise buddy who is NOT a beach person, and then went back in for a swim, I swam out to the divider rope, came back in and dried off. We walked around the area a little bit and then went to wait in line for a tender back to the ship. We were on the island for about 2 ½ hours. We had lunch and took a nap (yes, we took lots of naps; we were recovering from long weeks at work!)
Grand Turk: This was the place we were waiting for! We got off and found it a little disappointing in some ways. The shops were more expensive that we thought. Taxi to town was not horribly expensive but the person directing us to the taxi was not as polite as I would have liked. I wanted to ask some questions about what was in each section, but he kept on referring us to the chart. Yes, the chart was self explanatory but I wanted to know what was in each section. So we went to town. It was a bit disappointing for the shopping wasn’t any better there then it was at the port. There were only a few shops and they seemed to carry the same stuff…nothing unusual. We wandered around and then took a taxi back (there are plentiful that is for sure…they unload and load right back up) to the port area. We went to Margaritaville…now that was where everything was happening! We had our drink and danced some…by this time we were off the ship for about 3 ½ hours…and we tired…so back to the ship we went…it was then I heard that the beach was free…I was so tempted to go and change and go for a swim…but I didn’t!
Our sea day: I spent a part of it on the Serenity deck…it has 2 large hot tubs. Getting some seating is a bit hard since it fills up fast. I was up there for several hours before I needed some late breakfast. We had our drink coupons to redeem so we went to the brunch in the dining room…was very disappointed with the service there. We waited nearly an hour for our drinks, we didn’t order brunch (didn’t see anything that appealed…a first for us). So when our drinks came, we took them and left…went to the Lido deck to get some lunch!
Went to the Gold, Platinum and Diamond party that afternoon and talked to the entertainment staff. They made the cruise for us! At the party there were free drinks and nibbles…we had several free drinks!! Love the rum punch!
Overall: The ship is nice. It is decorated well and there are places it needs some refurbishment… but it is used by people day in and day out to the tune of about 3000 cruisers a week. The public areas seem to be chopped up to me, too many small areas when it could be opened up. The lobby area is small and cramped for the size of the ship. The atrium seems small also (tall, but small in size).
I am giving this ship another chance. I will be returning with a different friend at the end of May for the same itinerary but in reverse. So I will see if my 2nd visit will change my opinion of the ship. I might get out and explore the ship more. I didn’t even find the gift shops or library. I will be giving the May cruise a review as well!
Click table then swipe to view all columns.
Click table then swipe to view all columns.
|Service and Staff|
|Food and Dining|
|Cabin / Stateroom|
|Destinations and Excursions|
Explore the ship. Look at the map. Deck 3 is confusing.