It was a rough start with this cruise, but overall we ended up having a great time and would definitely do it again (Havana style).
4 out of 5
Embarkation was crowded. But surprisingly, it moved pretty quick.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
I really enjoyed the Any Time dining room. Much better than what I experienced on Royal. We were in an actual dining room and not an overflow room. We sat on the second level looking down. Our first evening in the MDR was hit and miss. The appetizers and salads were so-so. I had a great hangar steak. The final evening of the trip was very good. Escargot to start, followed up by French Onion soup. We had the prime rib that was cooked per our request along with a fantastic creamed spinach. The one thing I noticed with the hangar steak and the prime rib was the texture of the meat. Something seamed a bit off, but I can't find words to describe it.
Marketplace Buffet (Lido Deck) - extremely small for a ship of 4000 people. Not a huge assortment of food. There were always lines. There seemed to be a large amount of seating however. We never searched long for an open table.
Guys Burgers - one of the highlights of the trip. We went back twice. Great butter style burgers. Thin with crisp edges. Top it with sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, fried onions and several available sauces. The choice is yours. The lines moved quickly. According to the Food Director, they served 3300 burgers a day. I know why... delicious!
Pizza - one of the very bright spots on the ship. While the menu was very simple, the food was outstanding. We even ordered two pizzas via the phone app (Carnival Hub) and had them delivered to our room in less than 15 minutes.
Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse - FANTASTIC dinner on the first elegant night. From the appetizers to the salads to the main course. Everything was top notch. Great service. Food was cooked well. To top it off, on the first elegant night they offer a free bottle of wine.
4 out of 5
We stayed in a Havana cabin on the aft end of the ship. This comes with private access to the Havana retreat (pool, spa and bar) for the entire trip. It is my understanding this is limited to 130 people only.
Casino - very small and smoky. But, won some money so it made up for it.
Onboard shopping - several types of shops were available. Always having raffles. Didn't seem to pressure people to buy. Some of the help was much friendlier and knowledgeable than others.
4 out of 5
Enjoyed the shows in the Liquid Lounge (main show area); 70s show was great. The rock and roll had its plus/minuses; a bit cheezy with some of the dance moves and the cast just wasn't made for some of the songs being sung.
Loved the steel drum playing. The young kid was very good at what he did.
Saw a great band in the Ocean Plaza. Lot's of people dancing and having a great time.
Comedy - two of the three comedians we saw were really good. The one woman they brought in was not so.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Aside from our room attendant, it took three days before we found someone that was truly welcoming, had a smile on her face and made you feel wanted. Come to find out, she was one of the two Employees of the Month. I believe most people have no incentive to do any better since tips are built into doing everything and anything. Why should they bother to do more? Because.... they are in a customer service industry!
3 out of 5
The ship was very clean. The design, I did not appreciate. It did not have a grandiose atrium from floor to ceiling with glass elevators like a standard ship. It did not have food located on the aft end of the ship and entertainment on the forward (like another carrier). it was levels. Levels upon levels. The food was mixed from front to back on different levels. Entertainment was the same way. After about 4 days, we finally go the gist and new where we were going. In the end, we would do the same ship again.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Loved the aft end of the ship. Loved the Havana cabin. There was a lot of room.
Do a specailty restaraunt on the first elegant night. Get that free bottle of wine.
Rented a jeep and headed out of town (opposite of downtown). Approximately 20 minutes away is a small place called the Liquor Box. It is two buildings (bar and food) and a couple palapas out back. You are literally 12 steps to the water. We had great fresh ceviche and cold cerveza. The mojitos were good too.
The public transportation was horrible. People were selling "ganga" all over the place (weed). These people acted like they were trying to help you, but lured you down a path to something unwanted. We ended up at Margaritaville for the day. Had a great time, but I could have done without Jamaica.
4 out of 5
Pretty slow. Off the ship by about 10:30am. Next time, I will my bags off the ship myself.
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