Posted November 30th, 2004, 04:04 PM
We had a group of 20 on the same cruise. It was not our favorite of all 18 cruises we have been on but I don't have as negative of an opinion as the other poster.
Our cabin attendant Sunny was excellent... the beds in our rivera deck outside cabin king size with nice down type comforter on was very comfortable. Carpets on Rivera deck need cleaning or replacement, rest of ship ok. Food average, disappointed esp with Thanksgiving, seemed to be very cafeteria like with smashed potatoes and dressing under a thin layer of turkey. Our waiter Miguel from Columbia was adequate but nothing special. The asst. waiter seemed overwhemed at times and it was sometimes difficult to get any coffee with dessert and water refills. Missed not having a good dance band,, the one in the Passage to India lounge was bad, the one guy on the promenade by casino was ok, the disco only played some line dance rap stuff and the piano player maybe could play piano ok but his voice was not one you wanted to listen to. Activities during day very routine. Didn't like how they did the newleywed show..just gave pads of paper to the couples on stage and went down the list of questions instead of separating the men and women for a more entertaining experience. Hot tubs on deck were overflowing with kids, we did go in the 2 in the spa several times. Pizza was excellent and the staff there very kind to my son who visited about 10 times a day. Cruise Director Matt was goofy but we liked him overall. Entertainment fair..wish they had more comedians during the week.
Biggest drag was having to tender in to Cozumel. The Fascination has to tender in every other week according to the one staff member we asked. They began to give out tender tickets at 12 noon..we waited in line there for tickets for about 1/2 hr and got #17-- they started calling numbers about 12:30 for people NOT on ship tours..and we got off about 2:30 after a long wait in gangway and on tender for the trip to Cozumel. Wasted a lot of the day in aggravation there. Later in afternoon space opens up at the pier and you luckily don't have to tender back on but just walk up to the ship from the dock. We had one wheelchair passenger in our group that was not able to get off until we had the dock there as the tenders are not stable enough to transfer easily with a wheelchair. Carnival did not want to refund the $$ they had already paid for a shore excursion when we didn't know about the tender situation in Cozumel..I am not sure if that ever got resolved or not. Thanksgiving week is one we enjoy cruising because it limits the days our boys miss from school, there were tons of kids on the ship. I didn't have any big problems with them besides a couple ones who thought pushing all the buttons in the elevators was something fun to do. Elevators worked fairly well for the most part. Embarkation we did early around 11am to port and we were on ship by 12:30.. we did a tour in Miami last day and were off ship at 9am. Overall a good experience, not great but for us it was a relaxing week, we had good weather and had been to both ports before so we had no big expectations. The 4 night experience just can't compare to the week long cruises... but for us it was a nice getaway. One disappointment was that somehow from Fri when I called Carnival to verify our group dining assignment til Monday when we boarded ..we got switched from early 5:45 to late 8PM dining. I tried to get the matre'd to change our family of 4 to an earlier time since we were the only ones with kids that are used to eating early..and he was polite when we spoke to him but we didn't get any response about a changed time to eat...since we had booked this cruise back in Jan 2004 I think Carnival should have honored our dining request... we managed with the other seating time and enjoyed having 2 nice round tables of 10 for our group but it did make the evening time different than we had wanted.
I agree, with you about the food, the waiter, our room steward was good, He made towel animals, which were cool! We didn't see much of him, but when we did he would say hi. Kids all over and in the hot tubs, and pool for that matter. Didn't see pushing of elevators, but pushing of slot machines that are on outside of the casino, and kids dipping their hands into to see if they can get left over money, coming up while you playing a slot machine and just staring at you to wait until you leave, so they can check if you left any nichols, quarters, ect....behind. The Vender into Cozumel was the worst. We were # 33 and I thought it was just because we were the last people off (28-33) all went onto the vender at the same time and we had probably 300 or more people on the one vender, the fumes were overtaking us and the up and down of the boat would make anyone weak in the stomach, well you know....
I am not a complainer at all, really. But if I had know this cruise would have been so busy with a lot of kids, the wait staff not very friendly, the food just ok, and the layout wasn't user friendly. I would have gone to an island somewhere or went on RCCL again for a 4 nighter. IMO of course.
Carnival - Sensation
RCCL - Sovereign of the Seas
RCCL - Majesty of the Sea
Leaving on the Fascination, come on Thanksgiving!!