Since this was my first cruise, I don't have anything to compare it to, but I can say that it was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. Ours was a seven-day cruise, which, in my opinion, was a bit long, but that could largely be due to the fact that it rained almost everyday, which greatly restricted our activities. Kyle, our cruise director, was very entertaining and did a great job of making sure everyone enjoyed themselves in spite of the weather. The food was average to excellent, depending on the night and the menu. This is a great opportunity to experiment with foods you've never tried. What have you got to lose? It's free, and if you don't like it, your waiter will be more than happy to take it back and bring you something else. Our waiter, Omer (from Turkey), was excellent!! Our cabin steward, on the other hand, left a little to be desired, but I was on vacation so the cleanliness of my room was of very little importance to me. It was the fact that I was expected to leave him a tip that bothered me. I do not agree with the obligatory tipping policy. Tips should be earned and not solicited. I read a lot of reviews from people who said that they "could have afforded to take another person along on the cruise for what they paid in tips." That couldn't be any further from the truth. Unless, of course, these people got an incredible discounted rate on their cruise and then drank enough alcohol to get an entire fraternity drunk. Do be prepared to spend an additional $300-$500 on alcohol, soft drinks, and tipping though. Embarkation was painless, but disembarking the ship was an absolute nightmare!! We figured that we would pull back into port at 7:00 a.m. and be off of the ship by 8:00....WRONG!!! We were stuck on the ship for at least three and a half hours with absolutely nothing to do. It was horrible. Once off the ship, customs was a breeze, but getting your car back to the cargo area to retrieve your luggage was not. This took an additional hour and a half. So don't be in any big hurry to get out of there. It's not going to happen. If you know this and you expect it, then you won't be disappointed. I will definitely be taking another cruise, but next time I am going on a Carnival ship so that I will have a better basis of comparison, but I would definitely recommend this ship to anyone who is not single. This particular ship is really geared more toward older married couples and newlyweds than anything else. Keep this in mind and you'll have a great time! It's really what you make it.Best Regards,Shelby R.Rowlett, Tx.
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