We had a blast! Was it anything like the CC class on Celebrity that we usually take? No Way, but that's not what we expected.
Each year we usually take 1 week on a M class ship, in Concierge Class. Sometime during the year we try to take a weekend cruise just to get a way. It is usually Carnival and always an inside cabin. It's easier for us since we live 2 1/2 hours from the pier.
Differences we knew going in:
Length: 4 nights vs 7 nights
Cabin: Inside vs CC class with a balcony
Ship size: 70 tons vs 90 tons (or pretty close)
Cost: $522 vs $2,500 (appx)
We have to take all this into consideration when rating a ship or cruise.
We arrived at the pier around 12:00 and had to wait about 30 minutes to board, not bad. Bad thing was that to park you had to pay in $48 in cash. in Ft Lauderdale you can charge it. Hope everyone brought enough cash. Getting off the ship was different. Carnival has a "self debarkation" routine. Not sure that's what they call it, but that's what I call it. If you want to get off the ship without waiting for your luggage color to be called, they have a special debarkation starting around 7:30. You need to take all your bags and when they make the announcement, you can take your bags and get off the ship. Unfortunately, many, many others had the same idea. The wait in line to get off the ship was about 30 minutes depending what floor you were on. Luckily for us we were on the floor that you needed to be to get off the ship. We were in our car by 8:30 a.m. Not sure if I would do this again, or take a leisurely breakfast and be one of the last one's off.
The biggest differences we noticed were the room, food and service levels (anything left?). The room seemed really tiny and we were always in each others way. But, we reserved a guarantee inside, so we can't complain. We actually were upgraded to the Empress deck (7th ). Nice location. The bathroom was a big letdown compared to the CC bathroom.
The food was not even close to anything you'd get on Celebrity. But it was OK. Didn't bother us because we knew this going in. The hamburgers and hot dogs were good, but the dining room can't hold a candle to Celebrity. A pain for us was that we were towards the front of the ship and the only place you could get anything to drink was at the back of the ship up on the Lido deck. That was a pain at times especially if you just wanted water or ice. On the positive side, the coffee from room service was 100% better than Celebrity. It was actually good.
As far as service, everyone was nice, always smiling and saying hi, but overall the service was not even close to Celebrity. Nice, but lacking, especially the room attendant and the waiter.
Shows were good. They had 2 comedians on a 4 night cruise. Why can't Celebrity do that? No complaints on the shows. The Cruise Director was one of the best I have ever had. He was great! TV was great compared to Celebrity. Many channels and 3 different movies everyday. My wife loves laying around watching TV with room service. For her, it doesn't get any better than that.
Loved the cruise. Is it Celebrity? No, but I was cruising last week while others were at home. Good enough for me. Oh yea, did I tell you it was only $522 total with all taxes for 4 nights for the 2 of us There is life outside of Celebrity. Not as good, but it beats staying home. Just know what you are getting and it will sure beat staying home.