Year Started: 1972
Ships in Fleet: 25
Summary: The most successful cruise line in history. Don't be misled, a high-quality cruise experience perfect for families and young couples, Fantastic value. the FUN ships, but not "party boats."
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Caribbean
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Singles.
Good for: Families. Singles. Seniors.
Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Singles. Teens. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Singles. Families. Group.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern
Good for: Overall Service. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, South America
Good for: Group. Families. Foodies.
Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Singles.
Regions:East and West Caribbean
Good for: Singles. First-time Cruisers. Overall Service.
Good for: Families. Value for Money. Singles.
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.
Good for: Families. Group. Singles.
Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.
Good for: Families. Singles. Overall Service.
Regions: Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada/New England, Cruise To Nowhere
Good for: Families. Teens. Children`s Programs.
Regions:Mexico, Caribbean Eastern, Hawaii
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern
Good for: Singles. Group. First-time Cruisers.
Regions:Europe, TransAtlantic, Caribbean
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Seniors.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Families. Group. Luxury Travelers.
Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.
Good for: Families. Singles. Value for Money.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal
Good for: Singles. Families. Value for Money.
Good for: Families. Seniors. Children`s Programs.
We arrived the day before the cruise traveling from Boston area by train. My wife has a great fear of airplanes, buses, limousines, taxis, etc. Actually anything that moves faster than the horse drawn carriages in Central Park. But for some unknown reason a train (NOT the Acela though, I made that mistake once) is OK. Go figure! Stayed at the Broadway Millennium on W 44th Street and took in the Rockette Summer Spectacular Show at Radio City Music Hall. Both were great.
Embarkation: Normally on cruises out of New York we arrive at the cruise terminal between 10:30 and 11:00 then sit in the V.I.P. lounge (one of the few suite perks) until boarding begins. This time, for reasons I won't bore you with, we arrived at 11:30 and were immediately whisked onto the ship. Loved it.
The Ship: As is our normal practice once on board, we were off to "get the lay of the land" and take lots of pictures of our home town for the next 8 days. Not to be disappointed we the found ship to be easy to navigate, neat, fresh and clean.
Crowding as mentionedin many reviews was not apparent to us except on the open deck on sea days. Maybe we need to get up earlier but we were never able to find two deck chairs together on sea days.
Then it was off to the Lido for that first onboard cruise meal. Many of the reviews I had read complained about the difficulty finding table space in the Lido. We NEVER had a problem finding a table. I had mentioned to my wife we may have to eat in the Havana Bar which would not have been a problem but in fact we ate there once out of a desire and it took a while to find an empty table there.
A silly little thing but when I get off the elevator I never seem to know whether to go left or right to my stateroom. I walk to one side and if I wrong I say to my wife "So this is what the other side of the ship looks like" or "they still haven't painted the walls a different color" or some other type foolishness. Well on the Sunshine they have signs for us dummies with arrows to the "Odd" and "Even" number rooms.
Stateroom: As I mentioned at the start of this review we had a Grand Suite which we
had gotten an upgrade from an Ocean Suite 5 days before the cruise. I have never been
able to justify the substantial price difference between the two categories and have always simply gone with the Ocean Suite on all our Carnival cruises. For all intents and purposes, with the exception of priority boarding there are no perks to a suite with Carnival. We did receive a complimentary Specialty Dinner which foolishly never used and a fresh fruit bowl. Don't know why but both were deeply appreciated.
As for the suite, it had enough storage space for 6 people even though it was only my wife and I, nice size TV, whirlpool bath, dressing room, etc. Our Room Steward Kristina and her assistant Gilbert were wonderful. When Kristina saw us returning to our stateroom she would rush down to open the door for us. They really treated us well and always were quick to neaten up our room.
Food: The food was fine. Great ... No. Selection was OK. Great...No. You get the idea.
For Breakfast we ate at the Lido Marketplace with two exceptions when we went for the Sea Day Brunch in the Sunrise Restaurant. The Lido food while not Hot but was warm enough to melt butter on the pancakes and French Toast as they change it out frequently.
Absolutely no complaints about either place.
For lunch the Asian and Italian restaurants open up (actually they are open for breakfast also for omelets and eggs also). Also there is Guy's Burgers. I know everybody raves about the place but the one time (second day of the cruise) I ate there my cheese burger was about as dry and looked like a piece of charcoal. Took 1 bite, tossed the rest in the trash and got pasta at the Cucina del Capitano and never went back.
As for dinner we had early sitting in the Sunrise Restaurant. We were celebrating my wife's birthday on this cruise. On the first night our wait staff brought a small cake and sang Happy Birthday to her. She told them her birthday wasn't until the last night of the cruise so they came over and sang Happy Birthday every night.
The food was fine, the presentation was attractive and the service was efficient.
Staff: Our room stewards and wait staff were wonderful but that's as far as it goes. With the exception of the first Formal Night when we had an opportunity to meet the senior officers of the ship, I do not recall seeing an officer during the entire cruise. We enjoy having a picture taken with the Captain. On prior cruises there has been a ship photographer taking one of those overpriced $20 pictures but not this time. I fortunately had my cell phone with me for the Carnival Hub to take the picture.
The bartenders didn't seem to want to be there. On more than one occasion I had to interrupt the talking between themselves or washing glasses to get service. On day five I could not buy a Coke at a bar. The common response was "I don't have any". I went back to my stateroom and ordered 6 Cokes through room service. On day seven even room service did not have coke or ginger ale.
My wife was not impressed with the people at Guest Services. Like so much other stuff on this cruise they were efficient and accommodating but made her feel like she was being a bother to them.
Entertainment: The entertainment was OK. Missing was the live Reggae music by the pool. There was a D.J. "spinning discs" but it just isn't the same. Also the magician was an absolute disaster. Each illusion seemed to take a lifetime and frequently made no sense. I admire magicians and what they can do but this guy...
The stage shows were performed by some very talented performers however the sets and live music supporting them was no existent. Carnival has cut back here too.
The Comedians were all wonderful for the shows we attended and that was numerous. We however did not see any of the late night adult shows as this is not our kind of humor.
We enjoy listening to the Karaoke but for some unknown reason we missed all of it! It is always a lot of fun and we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We must have been having fun elsewhere.
Ports/Excursions: Due to my wife's fear of moving vehicles mentioned at the start we do not participate in many excursions.
As for the ports, we absolutely love Half Moon Cay. This is our sixth visit to here and look forward to going back. We still talk about our first visit when we swam or rather paid to "swim with the stingrays". We had no clue and made complete fools of ourselves. If you ever meet us on a cruise ask to see the pictures. Yes, I carry them with me just to give people a huge chuckle.
We also visit a bar in Nassau to have a Bahama Mama. It used to be The Iguana but is now under new ownership with a new name. It isn't the same so we may have to start a new tradition in Nassau.
We thought about swimming up to the bar at Margaretville at Grand Turk which we had never done on previous visits but opted to stay on the ship instead.
Conclusion: "A bad cruise day is far better than good work day". Overall, this was an acceptable cruise, No real complaints and nothing to rave about It really depends on your expectations and previous experience.
We have noticed the "cruise experience" is being redefined by the cruise industry. Gone are the Midnight Buffets, ice & food Sculptures and for all intents and purposes, Formal Nights. Replaced by amusement park rides, commercialized dining (Guy's Burgers, Johnny Rocket, Ben & Jerry's, etc.) and multiple dining venues.
We did try, and generally succeeded, making this into our kind of cruise. We will be back with Carnival in November on the Vista. Maybe things will be different there.
I recommend the Sunshine and this itinerary with the caveat don't expect to get wowed.
This trip was horrible from the beginning.
The ship was out dated, small, the pool was not big enough for the amount of guest that were there. The smell of bug spray when we walked in should have been my clue to leave. From the moment my family got in our room we were hit with a sewage smell from the bathroom that stopped us from even walking in. My husband got a room steward who just grabbed a can of spray and sprayed the room which got rid of the smell for about 30 min. We called customer services and they sent someone to clean the bathroom.
We went to go eat, the food was bland and undercooked or overcooked every time. Dried cake and pizza was on the menu every day. The only food that was consistently good was the Guy burger station.
The sheets where stained yellow, I’m sure the room had bed bugs, and the doors and lamps had rust on them. Every day I had to call and asked for someone to spray the bathroom and at night the smell came back. We even had tolay with the doors open because we could not sleep with that smell.
We tried to make the best of it by keeping busy but the lack of sleep had me with no energy. Which was ok because there was nothing to do I was so boarded. We were on a four-day cruise and I spent two of them sleeping by the pool with my husband and my kids because we did not want to go back to the room.
When sent my husband went to customer service they told us they will give us their decision the next day by ten. The end result was a $184 created on a $1400 trip with bad food and horrible sleeping accommodation. I was so tired I couldn’t even argue. First time on Carnival Fantasy and the last. The only thing that keeped me from crying every day was the Comedy show at the Punchline the comedians were so funny, for that 30 min I forgot that I was stuck in a nightmare ship.
had wedding on board before cruise had to pay 1 year in advance had wedding on ship paid over 3000.00 got about 500.00 worth of service ask for refund hell no to the no said they did everything we ask but they did not get pictures with all the people we wanted and my mom is in wheel chair only grand mother alive and it was to much trouble to go down some stair off stage to get some with her guy taking pictures was either to lazy or just don't want to do his job and also we had to get there early to get on board but sat in parking line 2 hours because lot was not open yet you would think that if we paid 3000.00 some one would have parking open for us bad service I been using carnival for over 4 time and highly recommend them but now I have second thoughts really going to find some other cruise line and not recommend they every again one more note I brought 38 other people with us they brought in about another 2400.00 dollars butI guess they don't count for nothing either so good bye ship
After our move back to Texas, and some few very stressful months, we were encouraged by our friends and family to take a cruise from Galveston. We needed and looked forward to a much overdue and relaxing vacation. Finally! I felt things were going right and a little more “our” way. Our trip was to be 5 nights and 6 days. We were notified the night before our leave, that our itinerary was changed from Cozumel/Progresso to Progresso/Cozumel. We didn’t mind (at the time) for we were excited to be on our first cruise, and sail away! My husband loves to snorkel and scuba, and I just wanted a nice beach to chill at. So we planned our excursion at the beautiful Cozumel destination. Unfortunately, the 3rd day out, after we visited Progresso, (which wasn’t very impressive but a little neat to visit for the first time) our Captain informed that we were not able to make Cozumel. I was a bit disappointed when we heard that the bow thruster wasn’t working properly and winds were too high, etc. But it was shortly after that disappointment that we became a little more“upset”! We are not ones to complain, but the news we heard pretty much angered us.
We had internet connection, and some of our friends who just debarked prior to our getting on the SAME ship, had also been informed the same bad news from the captain, and they too, didn’t make it to Cozumel. Why would they not change ships or fix the ship prior to the next guests arrival? If there was this known problem, should it not have been repaired? Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time onboard. However, the extra day on ship wasn’t exciting. We enjoyed the shows, the games (IE Bingo), swimming, the food, and even visited the Casino a couple times (though that isn’t my cup of tea). I got a little sick even walking through the Casino area because all the smoking. I feel that if we were able to get off ship as planned, many would not have lingered so much at the Casino area smoking.
To say the least, I’d love to get at least 1 free cruise out of this (not 2 because we did have ½ the fun expected). Just something to compensate my loss at the great destination I desired – Cozumel! I would like to try this again, and reach that final point! After 4 days onboard, I was more than ready to get off. I did relax the first few days but everything became repetitive and that’s not what I spent money to do. I hope they repair the ship prior to anyone else’s disappointment.
My husband and I traveled recently on the Liberty from Puerto Rico for 7 days through the Caribbean. Our Silver Dining room waite staff were fabulous!! Please give kudos to June from the Philipines, I Wayan from Indonesia, and Monica from Croatia!!
I was afraid to go on this ship after reading other website reviews BUT after sailing on this ship I had to write and say what a GREAT ship, crew and cruise this was. The ship MAY be old BUT it is CLEAN and well maintained on the ocean. The staff war GREAT the food was good and the Comedy was OUTSTANDING! This is a cruise for everyone around the world!
VIFP card # 22739435
My wife and I booked a trip for our 20th anniversary using a promotion that we received from the casino on a prior Carnival cruise. We upgraded the offer to a suite and the wife tried to pay the balance of the cruise at the time of booking, but the person she was talking to said it was customary to only pay a deposit and that the card would automatically be billed when the due date came.
On May 28th my credit card information was hacked, and card had to be cancelled and a new one was reissued. Obviously when the next payment was due, it was not processed. We were not notified when this happened and never received any notification phone calls or texts until an email was sent out, on June 22nd. This email said that we had two days to respond or our reservation would be terminated.
Ironically, we were on another Carnival cruise when it was sent and we did not receive it until this morning, June 26th. The wife immediately called Carnival and was told it was too late to still receive the offer.They informed her that an email was sent out on June 10th, but they were having issues with their emails and maybe that is why she didn't receive it. When asked why a phone call was not placed, she was told that was not normal procedure, although we have been contacted by the cruise line many times before for multiple reasons.
However, we could still have the room for an additional fee...almost $4000. I would almost understand it if they already re-booked the room, but they have not. she has talked to absolutely everyone that she could, and has gotten nowhere. We love traveling on Carnival, but this issue has left a very bad impression on us and we obviously are very upset.
All we are asking for is the room we were offered for the price we agreed to. The suite is still available, I do not understand why this is so complicated. After all, we were using their service at the time they sent us the notification, which is why we couldn't immediately respond.
My husband Joseph and I just returned from a cruise with Carnival to celebrate a birthday and a celebration with some friends also taking the cruise. I am writing to tell of our experience, as recommended by your guest service dept. on our last day of the cruise. We went on this cruise to try Carnival once again, as our friends invited us to join them. we have been on almost all of the other cruise lines, and decided to give Carnival another go, but it does not compare with customer service and trying to fix things. we were just patronized which makes it even more frustrating. we were always given an excuse for why the problem happened but never sincerely tried to amend the situation.
The customer service was terrible. we had many issues during the cruise that were never addressed properly. Starting with our luggage not arriving the first night, even though we had passed our suitcase about 4 times throughout the evening and asked if we could just take it. We were told it was a security issue and to wait for our last suitcase. When we arrived backat our room late that evening at around midnight, it had still not been delivered. I called guest services, and they told me I had to come back to the front of the ship to identify my bag. Mind you we had just been there for the evening show and our room was the very last room at the back of the ship. When I got to the front desk, they quickly went to the back and brought my bag out without me even identifying it, and it had a new tag with our room number on it. We did have our names clearly identified on the bag anyway. No one even made an offer to deliver the heavy suitcase to my room then. When we first were told our cabin was ready, we arrived to find our cabin filthy with half-filled glasses, a half bottle of open wine in the fridge and cigarette butts and a sticky mess on the verandah, room not finished. also, we never got turn down service the whole cruise, and when we found out this was a service, we mentioned it to guest services but it never happened. over time if we mentioned a problem the guest services would say someone would get back to us and then would just show up at our room a day or two later, or at our door while we were either in the shower or leaving for dinner or call early in the morning to ask more questions. we purchased an expensive room specifically because of the size of the balcony and were not able to use it until they cleaned it 4 days later! we had no chair or anywhere to sit in the room, the bed was made at such an angle that you had to climb over the corner to get around to the desk area, and there was missing furniture on the balcony as well. The main reason we took the cruise was because of the size of the balcony and the time we thought we would spend using it, not being aware that it was so dirty and sticky and we had to wait half the cruise to use it, even though we repeatedly asked our steward to clean it and a manger came to see it a few days later and left his sticky boot prints after he viewed it. (eventually we got a letter on the 4th day of the cruise stating that they were going to wash the balcony and we had to remove everything and could not go outside for the duration of that afternoon) On the second day, to celebrate my husband’s birthday, we paid the extra $35/person charge for the specialty restaurant for 4 of us in our party. When we wanted to order the lobster as well as our steak, we were charged an additional $20/person fee again, even though it was lobster night for the rest of the ship, where guest could order as much as they wanted for no fee. These are just a few of the annoying issues that happened.
We were always upsold things and nothing was inclusive, as we were aware, but did not realize the extent to which you make the customer uncomfortable unless they purchase another something at that time, even if we didn’t really want it. feels like you are at a middle eastern bazaar where people are always pushing to sell you things-alcohol,watches, even creams in the spa-where our total relaxation mode after our service was broken because the clinician would not take no for an answer, or seminars in the gym-where we told there were free exercise classes but they were really seminars selling something at the end. you can't really get away from that. we even bought a soda package before we left, but it was more trouble that it was worth. occasionally they would give us a whole can, but most of the time the bartenders didn't want to bother getting sodas because they were already paid for ahead of time, given a small cup and told we had to wait 15 minutes to order another, and needed to tip again. also the majority of patrons were very loud and drunk and we could not relax because of all the noise. the pool was impossible to get in with all the screaming children, and there was no adult pool, just a jacuzzi that was right below the kids water slide so not exactly a "Serenity" area.
We travel a lot and generally do not complain, but we felt that we were giving Carnival another try with all our choices and were really let down with the amenities, service and the way upper staff handled certain situations. They never made us feel like they would resolve or wanted to make it right at first. Always had to check with someone and made us feel belittled by complaining even though we were told to let them know right away if there were any issues. And we never felt that they made that extra effort that makes you feel like a valuable customer. I think with more attention to service, especially in management this could be a better cruise line and more competitive with other lines. Since nothing was attempted to be fixed during our cruise, we feel some sort of renumeration should be refunded due to our experience. We would certainly like to give Carnival another chance when we book our next cruise but this did leave a bad taste in our mouth.
My experience travelling to the Bahamas on the Carnival Sensation was the worst I have ever had.
The staff was rude and unfriendly, the manager of the formal dining room called us cheap because we were surprised by a food upcharge on our dinner bill. The food was completely disgusting and inedible - except for the upcharged meals of course!
Because how could you be travelling on a Carnival cruise line without being nickel and dimed for every little thing right? They didn't let us cash out our winnings at the casino the day we returned, and now I have chips I will never use because ...
Never again Carnival will I EVER cruise with you - or recommend you to anyone I know. Enjoy robbing people blind, eventually everyone will know how inferior you are to your competitors, Norwegian and Royal will be getting all my business from now on.
This ship is fine for your average get-a-way although I can see how some people thought the ship looked "old" - I noticed it mostly in the pool tiles and the walls of the deck corridors which just looked like you could wash them all day and they would still never look really clean again. This was especially true on the employee service doors that get used so much. Our room was great and had good water pressure. The service in the staterooms was very good. Our housekeeper, Anna did a delightful job.
On the down side, the service has dropped tremendously since my last Carnival cruise about 12 years ago when I went on the Fantasy for my very first cruise. There seemed to be so many more employees then! I think this might be a trend in several cruise lines that they just have less employees doing more work. But I remember coming up to the buffet at the back the ship and having waiters! At the buffet! And we had the same two great waiters at night! We got to know them so well. And the othercrew had time to talk to you about where they were from--it was wonderful --but certainly did not happen on this trip.
In the dinning room you could tell how hard the wait staff was trying to pay attention to everyone, but they were just too rushed by the number of people they had to service. (The wait staff did perform a little number for us each night which was fun, but did not need to be so long. ) Did the lack of special attentiont spoil our trip? No, we still had a nice time...but did we feel spoiled like on my first Carnival cruise - No.
I enjoy so many things about cruising but it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult on several cruise lines to just get a deck chair and there are lines for everything!!! The line at the Pizza bar was always long - but then again the pizza was always very good. A nice thing about the Victory is that very little cost extra. None of the activities except fitness classes had a charge, the Serenity area, while hard find a chair and too close to noise of the pool games, had no extra charge. Mini golf, which was great fun - no charge. The activities were great. I would have enjoyed more crafts, but it was just a 4 night cruise--I'm sure they would have had more on a 7 night cruise. The nice thing about Carnival is that I can get away at a price that fits my budget and have lots of entertainment and a good tiime -- but someday I hope to afford a cruise line where I can feel more pampered ;)