dpg9300 Posted November 1, 2013 #1 Share Posted November 1, 2013 I guess this is going to be a pretty big nutshell, but here goes: Embarking: We arrived at the port around 11a via taxi. We were checked in within 15 minutes, waited for another 30 minutes or so, then we were on our way. About the only benefit we received from FttF was priority embarkation (great!) and disembarkation (not great!), and receiving our luggage earlier – I still thought it was worth it, and I’d book it again. Ship: Beautiful. What is “dark and gloomy” to one is “calm and peaceful” to another. I’m the latter sort. I was surprised at how much vandalism of the property had occurred, though. I found the artwork to be very lovely and not at all offensive. If you’re worried about a lot of skin, however, avoid the evening shows. (In fairness, we only saw one, but since it was the one the kid’s club went to, I’d assumed it would be the most family-friendly.) Food: Good. Not five-star, but equivalent to what we paid for and expected. My only complaint is that it was sometimes difficult to find something other than pizza or deli food. Even at 5:30 in the afternoon, that was all that was available. The buffet should be open longer and I believe that the dining room should be open for every meal, every day. This was the first time I’d ever had trouble finding something to eat on a cruise ship! Also - no desire to start something, just an observation - the dress code in the dining room really is much more relaxed here than our other cruises have been. I was surprised to see cut-offs and flip-flops at dinner in the dining room. My daughter is a very rules-oriented kind of kid, and she was shocked! that so many people weren't following the dress code suggestions. It was a good opportunity to provide a "roll with it" lesson :) Service: Stellar. Exception: A couple of the pizza guys took the “pirate” role a little too seriously – they were a bit surly. Then one laughed at me because I asked him to put mushrooms on the pizza after if came out of the oven (only because he forgot to put them on before, like I’d requested.) He refused to do so after, and didn’t offer a pizza made correctly. This is not a big deal, but it is an example of poor customer service. It's really the only one I experienced all week. Bar service: Dining room – forget it. Bring your drink in with you. Other places on the ship, pretty consistently good. Entertainment: We attended a few games and one show, a dance lesson and some trivia. All of the entertainment staff did a great job. We enjoyed them all. The shows are not Broadway caliber, and no one should be expecting that, but the staff kept things fun. Camp Carnival: Our 10-year-old daughter loved it. She did mention that a counselor was not very nice to a girl who was crying one day, but she didn’t give many details, and she always wanted to go back…Overall they seemed to keep the kids happy and occupied. Mine wanted to be there at least 2-3 hours each day and she made some great friends that week. Ports: Port Canaveral – we stayed on the ship. We vacation and visit family often in Fl, so this stop was just a nice ship day for us. Nassau – It was a windy, rainy day and we hadn’t booked anything. We walked to Junkanoo Beach. It stopped raining when we arrived. Still, it was not great – the sand was coarse and dirty, which wouldn’t have mattered as much if the wind hadn’t been so fierce. I had sand EVERYWHERE after that – ugh. We left the beach to walk the town a bit, then got tired and looked for another option. There are horse/buggy tours just inside the gate at the port here. Our experience was pretty bad. The deal we were offered: $40 for the three of us for a 25-minute ride with a tour guide. What we received: a 14-minute ride with a guy who yelled out whatever was written on the signs we passed (“Bank!”, “Government House!”, “Frederick Street!” – Really?!). It would have been hilarious if it hadn't cost me 40 bucks! We were within one block of the Queen’s Staircase and he did not go there. Sometimes, he’d stop yelling out the signs long enough to demand a good tip. Then we returned to the port so another guy could demand a tip. They don’t ask for one, they tell you to give them one. I understand that they live on tips. This is why they should provide a service that leaves people feeling like a tip is deserved. We gave them each $5 and were glad to get back on the ship. Freeport – we did a beach/shopping excursion to the Grand Lucayan resort. The resort, beach and pools were great. Very clean and comfortable. I would do this again. Disembarking: Disorganized. We were told to go to the nightclub. We arrived 15 minutes before the time listed to find the nightclub closed. We asked someone where to go for FttF, and she said back to the main line. We asked someone at the main line where to go for FttF, and they pointed to a lounge. After waiting a few minutes and wondering why we were waiting there while others were debarking, I asked a third person, who explained that we could leave then. We just had to cut into the line. They don’t help with this or explain to the people in the line that this is how priority debarkation is done. How many people in the line do you think were willing to let a family step in front of them just as they were reaching the doors? Carnival REALLY needs some sort of procedure here. It was a cluster and not a great way to end the week. Overall, a nice week. We got a really good deal on a 4k cabin (the French door-to-nowhere rooms), so I felt like we got our money’s worth, but I will say that this was our least favorite cruise, so far. There were more than a few “ME first” types and one family with several unruly children and several adults who were, apparently, taking a vacation from parenting these children. And you know, somehow those 12 people seemed to be everywhere on the ship at all times. Weird how that works. This isn’t the cruise line’s fault, I guess that’s the culture we live in now. No consideration for others, no appreciation for the value of patience, kind words, and good manners. But I’ll keep trying to teach my daughter that the golden rule still holds true and we’ll keep cruising and being thankful that we can get away every once in a while. :) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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