Year Started: 1972
Ships in Fleet: 24
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: Value for Money. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.
Good for: Families. Seniors. Singles.
Good for: Singles. Families. Children`s Programs.
Regions: Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada/New England, Cruise To Nowhere
Good for: Families. Teens. Children`s Programs.
Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Teens. Singles. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Singles. Group. Families.
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:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern
Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, South America
Good for: Group. Families. Foodies.
Regions:Europe, TransAtlantic, Caribbean
Good for: Families. Value for Money. Seniors.
Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Singles.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Group. Families. Luxury Travelers.
Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.
Good for: Singles. Teens. Seniors.
Good for: Families. Singles. Teens.
Good for: Families. Value for Money. First-time Cruisers.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal
Good for: Families. Singles. Children`s Programs.
Good for: Families. Seniors. Children`s Programs.
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.
Good for: Families. Group. Singles.
This was Mrs. Brown's and my 8th Carnival cruise, and we (I) chose this itinerary specifically because Panama was one of the port stops.
We spent two nights prior to embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale at the Ft. Lauderdale Sheraton Beach Hotel which was very pleasant. I prefer to travel from Miami, but only one carnival ship goes to Panama, and only on one cruise every 4 weeks, leaving from Ft. Lauderdale, so we had little choice. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining though, as we did enjoy the stay.
Embarkation went well although I was surprised that there were no check in kisoks like in Miami. Instead, a long row of agents was busily and quickly processing incoming guests.
Two nights before we left home Carnival called and asked if we wanted to upgrade from our interior cabin to a balcony that came open due to a cancellation. On the spur of the moment, not knowing whether the $350 offer was a good deal or not, I accepted, and we were very pleased with our room, never having stayed in a balcony cabin before. Our room was 1015, almost atthe top of the ship, very near the front, only steps away from the forward open decks which I really enjoyed. Our room steward was excellent and took great care of us.
Our first port stop was Cozumel, which I've never been impressed with, so we just got off the ship for photos and souvenirs but didn't go into town.
Our second stop was Limon, Costa Rica. When we were here previously in 2004 we took a train ride excursion; this time I had no preference so Mrs. Brown picked an excursion called Carribean Cacao Experience, which was a tour of a nearby nature preserve called Cacao Trails, where we learned the history of the cacao bean and experienced hands on methods of making chocolate. I initially had low expectations of this tour, but was surprised that we had a busload of 50 or so participants, and was very pleasantly surprised to find the tour very informative and enjoyable.
Colon, Panama was our last and by far best port stop. In 2004 we took the train ride across the isthmus, which was a very rewarding tour, but I was left wanting to see more of the Canal, so this time we took the Panama Canal tour. On this tour we rode buses across the isthmus to Panama City, where we boarded ferries for the trip up through the Miraflored and Pedro Miguel locks, through the Culebra Cut to Balboa where we reboarded the buses to go back to the ship. This was an excellent tour and the guide was extremely knowledgeable and easy to understand. We met 6 or 8 oceangoing ships in the canal which I found exciting. The tour may have been a bit long for anyone who is not as interested as someone like myself, as it took the entire day. We left the ship in Colon soon after docking at 7 or 8am and didn't get back until after 5pm. The ship was supposed to leave at 5pm but as there were 10 busloads of passengers on this tour, and we were late getting back, we didn't depart until nearly 6pm.
After Panama we had 2 sea days on the way home. I was surprised after going back to the room late the second night to step out onto the balcony at 1am and see a nearby island. Looking at the ship's position on the cabin TV I saw that were were at Grand Cayman; an announcement later that morning revealed that we had stopped to disembark a passenger with a medical emergency. Between this and the late start from Panama we were several hours late returning to Ft. Lauderdale, but debarkation started around 845am so I don't think it was a problem for anyone.
A couple observations: Since our frist cruise in 2002 it's seemed to me that Carnival is really cutting costs. In 2002 our dining room waiter and assistant had 2 tables of 10 and one table of 4; on this cruise our poor waiter with 2 assistants had a huge section of tables with what had to be 50 or more passengers. They were running constantly during the service, with very little time to visit as we'd become accustomed to previously. We were seated with a very pleasant couple at a table for four.
Unfortunately Carnival's food quality also doesn't seem to be as high as it used to be. Don't get me wrong- it was all very good, just not AS good, and a couple of my wife's meat dishes were quite ordinary. I think in addition to saving money on food costs, Carnival seems to be trying to push passengers to use the upscale extra charge restaurants. We haven't made it to the point where we want to try one of those yet.
Another thing that surprised me was an $8 pay per view charge for in room movies- these used to be free.
Freedom is a huge ship; the largest we've been on yet, and at times felt very crowded. The buffet areas and Promenade deck were by far the worst, with traffic along the promenade often moving at a snail's pace due to the crush of people.
One area that I was impressed with was the upper decks; there is a lot of deck space on this ship with what must be thousands of deck chairs. Although there was a lot of chair saving going on, there were always multitudes of empty chairs elsewhere so it wasn't a problem.
There are several pools on this ship, and 2 hot tubs in the Serenity area forward on the top deck that were fun and well located, so we never had a problem finding a place to swim.
The ship's entertainment was good, with the usual mix of big shows and comedy, etc.
I always enjoy the multi-cultural exposure we see while on cruises, and I wish I could adequately describe the amusing encounter I overheard in the ship's store, while one of the ship's officers from the purser's desk was asking the store clerk for advise on buying snack food. I'd previously encountered this very attractive Russian officer at the Purser's desk when changing bills, and while she was far from hostile, she was all business, almost severe, so imagine overhearing her, with strong Russian accent (think of Natasha from the Bulwinkle show) question the poor young store clerk about the merits of cheese balls vs. caramel popcorn. It was quite funny.
While I do miss the "old days", overall this was a very enjoyable cruise, and Carnival's staff still gets high marks from me, although sometimes I wonder what management in Miami is thinking (not really- I know it's all dollars). I'm not a big fan of the huge ships, but this one took us where we wanted to go and did it well, and I am looking forward to a little smaller scale on our Spirit cruise to Hawaii in April.
Awesome! Our cruise out of Galveston, Tx. on the Carnival Conquest was great. We ate at the deli, which has the best rueben sandwich I have ever eaten, the fish & chips was great, the Point steak house has the best tenderloin steak I have ever had even though there is a $30 sur charge. I didn't try the sushi but everyone said it was good. I never ate at the buffet except after the Midnight mexican buffet that was awesome! The magic show was the best professional show I have ever seen! All the shows were very good. The comedian Cowboy Bill was fantastic! I saw his family show and his adult show both were great! Embarkation was very organized. Tendering at Grand Cayman was very quick and organized. Debarkation was very relaxed but took awhile. Over all it was the best vacation I have ever had.
On 15 September I was on the Carnival Fantasy to Bermuda. They don't call these the "Fun Ships" without good reason and thus the line's reputation for a mandatory good time is merited. The Fantasy is the oldest ship in the fleet being over 20 years old, however she doesn't look the part, largely from a 2008 refurbishment. There are many things to appreciate about this ship. *** Activities are plentiful day and night. The day provides almost endless trivia and other games. The party goes into the early morning hours. ***The super slide in the Carnival Waterworks is one of my favorite slides anywhereâ€¦land or sea. *** Some people live to eat, while I tend to eat to live, so of course I found the food more than meets my needs. Carnival's new main dining room menus are two sidedâ€¦.one is traditional favorites which are every night and the other half being nightly specials. Chocolate Melted Cake is available every night !! *** Food always seems to be available on the Lido deck. *** The two big bang production shows provide energy and sizzle. The first one is "Nightclub Express" witha talking sofa which promotes music of varying genres. The Second show is "Ticket To Ride" and is understandably a Beatles tribute. *** The staff, as always seem to truly enjoy their jobs and I enjoyed their camaraderie. *** embarkation and debarkation were both simple and relatively easy considering the restrictions of being in a historic district.
While the Fantasy worked, Carnival's Bermuda itinerary just didn't function so well. The biggest problem with the Charleston to Bermuda itinerary was it allots one day in port, which is hardly worth the two days at sea effort. Unfortunately that one day in Bermuda was a Sunday when much of the island shuts down. On Saturday evening, I enjoyed a Carnival excursion on a glass bottomed boat. For Sunday I did the ship sponsored island tour which was rush, rush, and rush ! While we visited the Gibbs lighthouse, there wasn't sufficient time to actually climb up. While we stopped for a photo at a beach, there was not enough time to enjoy that beach. We were allotted 15 minutes in Saint George, which ironically enough was sufficient since the town was largely closed down for Sunday. The tour stopped in Hamilton for about 30 minutes. There is a majestic cathedral there of which I took some photos, and then got back on the van. If one wishes to cruise to Bermuda I highly recommend at least 2 days in port, preferably *not* on a Sunday. Hamilton seems to be a better of call than the Dockyards where we docked. While the dockyards are picturesque; they appear to still be developmental stage. It would be advisable for Carnival to make Charleston-Bermuda into a 7 day cruise ( not 6) where one gets two full days in port.
Pre-cruise I spent an extra day in Charleston where I stayed on Meeting Street and walked to historic sites. I can highly recommend that future cruisers absorb this great historical city as part of their vacation. Between the ghost tours and the authentic Low-Country cuisine, I found Charleston to much more fulfilling that Bermuda. In summary, I can give thumbs up to both the Fantasy and Charleston, but we needed more time in Bermuda.
CARNIVAL FREEDOM Western Caribbean Cruise Sept. 4-10, 2011 By Mary & Vincent Finelli
If you must drive on I-95, what better time than 11:00am on a Saturday morning. All the anxious days South Florida spent watching hurricane Irene meander up the east coast of the US were over for Florida --- but not for the rest of the country. Irene dropped record rain on everywhere in the Eastern US, but not in South Florida, where it was badly needed. Yet, here we were boarding the Carnival Freedom on a cruise we thought might never happen, since we waited a long time for a wheelchair accessible cabin with balcony. The Freedom was built by Fincantieri Shipyards in Italy, and she is a cookie cutter replica of most other recent Carnival ships. Once you have sailed on one, the physical layout is the same on all the others. This makes it easy for repeaters to get around the ship. It is only the Joe Farcas (ship architect) decorations which differ. Color schemes are mainly black and reds, with the "Farcasian" penchant for repetition. If he likes something, it will be repeated ad infinitum. TheFreedom has some truly lovely rooms like the Jeffersonian style Monticello Library, with classic furniture and book cabinets, and the impressive Millennium Atrium and Cafe`. Very nice!
We made several new friends on board including the very interesting Captain Antonio Marchetti, Staff Captain Francesco Borgogna, Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and Maitre d' Jogi, who all added zest to our cruise.
EMBARKATION We had received a phone message to do early VIP boarding, so we arrived in Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale at 11:30am and had an easy luggage drop off and went straight to check in. It was a breeze and we were on the ship in twenty minutes. Since, this was our 91st cruise we were prepared for the sharply angled gangway. Mary's swing away wheelchair footrests were folded back, thus preventing damage. Vincent got off his scooter and it was lifted over the too tall gangway; thus we were on with our equipment intact. But, the first thresh hold proved to be a doozie. The wheelchair made it on the second attempt and the scooter again had to be lifted over it. Fortunately, these were the most problematic areas, all on Deck 3, which also is the Promenade Deck. Moreover, on Deck 10 forward the access to the Stress Less pool was also problematic for the high ramp and the heavy wood door without an automatic opener. We found the rest of the ship to be wheelchair friendly. We were in our cabin by 12:30 and on our way to a very nice Buffet on Deck 9. As one cruiser put it, "If this is just lunch, I can't wait for dinner." He was right!
THE SHIP The Freedom is a member of the Conquest Class, and we have written on deck plans similar to this class and the Carnival Spirit Class. She has 14 decks accessible to passengers, from Deck 0 to 14 (there is no unlucky Deck 13).
Deck 0 has the Tender area and the ship's Medical Center, which, thankfully, we did not have to visit this cruise.
Riviera Deck 1 and Main Deck 2 are all staterooms: Ocean View categories 6A, 6B and 6C (220 sq. ft.); Porthole category PT (185 sq. ft.); Interior categories 4A, 4B and 4C (185sq.ft.); Interior Upper/Lower category 1A (160 sq. ft.). Decks 3, 4 and 5 are all public areas.
Lobby Deck 3 forward has the three deck high Victoriana Theatre, giving homage to the 1800's English Theatre. It has a mini dome and many portraits of Sarah Bernhardt the "Prima Donna" of the Victorian stage. The theatre has elegant marble and gold leaf everywhere and many ornate wood moldings. Seating is sofa style. Midship are the Guest Service Desk, the Shore Excursion Desk and the showy Millennium Atrium and Bar. Aft is the two deck high Posh Restaurant with red patterned walls and a balcony, which is the upper level of the restaurant (Deck 4).
Atlanta Deck 4 forward is second level of Victoriana Theatre; midship there are the Photo Gallery, the Monticello Library (with very limited hours, approx. 2 hrs. per day) and the Chic Restaurant. Toward aft there are the Dynasty Conference Room, the Web with Internet stations and the Habana Cigar Bar with Cuban dÃ©cor. This bar reeks of 1940s atmosphere and a pictorial homage to Cigar Box labels. The many room names foreshadow their distinct motifs. Aft is the upper level of Posh Restaurant.
Promenade Deck 5 forward is the Victoriana Theatre's balcony. Midship are the shops around the upper level of the Millennium Atrium. From midship toward aft there is a series of aptly named bars including the following: Players' Sports Bar, Formalities, Centuries Bar, Viennese Cafe`, Meiji Sushi (open 5 to 8:30pm most nights) Bar Nouveau, Scott's Piano Bar (Joplin), Swingtime and the Babylon Casino. All of these have unique decorations worthy of close inspection. The Players' Sports Bar has many screens and classic photos of old time greats. Huge soccer, baseball and basketballs are stools. The Babylon Casino is just after the Atrium, with all sorts of card games tables, roulette, craps and a multitude of slot machines, from pennies to dollars, something for everybody. The towering brick columns with winged figures give an ambiance of ancient Babylon. On the starboard side is the Centuries Promenade, a beautiful inside promenade, with many seating areas and windows, often with setups for the professional photographers; it is the major path to the aft elevators and to the International Lounge. On the port side is also a very large area for teen-only activities: The Club O2 which is operated by a director who facilitates the interactions and activities of the young cruisers, such as parties with a DJ and state-of-the-art lighting and sound system, and the Video Arcade, with video games and interactive game pod, etc.
Upper Deck 6, Empress Deck 7 and Verandah Deck 8 are mostly staterooms: Interior, categories 4D, 4E, 4F. 4G (185 sq. ft.); Interior/Window obstructed view, category 4J (185 sq. ft.); Balcony, categories 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E, 8F (185 sq. ft. - balcony 35 sq. ft.); Aft-View Extended Balcony, categories 8M, 8N (185 sq. ft. - balcony 60 sq. ft.); Premium Vista Balcony, category 9C (185 sq. ft. - balcony 75 sq. ft.); Ocean Suites, category OS (275 sq. ft. - balcony 65 sq. ft.); Grand Suites, category GS (345 sq. ft. - balcony 85 sq. ft.)
Lido Deck 9 forward also has staterooms: Interior, categories 4G, 4H; Interior/Window with obstructed view, category 4J; Balcony, categories 8E, 8F (all these categories are the same as the corresponding ones on other decks); Junior Suites, category JS (same size as cat. OS). Midship on 9 are the Timeless Pool & Bar and aft are the Freedom Restaurant Buffet, the Pizzeria, serving tasty pizzas, calzone and Caesar Salad, and the Grille with great frankfurters, hamburgers and French fries. All the way aft are the Endless Pool/Spas and Bar surrounded by a nice area with tables and chairs.
Panorama Deck 10 forward has staterooms: Interior, category 4H; Interior/Window obstructed view, category 4J; Balcony, categories 8E, 8F (all these categories have the same sizes as the corresponding ones on other decks). After the forward elevators there are the Stress Less Pool and Spa. Midship is Carnival's Seaside Theater with a gigantic (12-by-22 ft.) outdoor movie screen. Aft is the Sun King Steakhouse (more on this fine dining experience later). And, finally Fish and Chips, a great alternative to the buffet.
Spa Deck 11 forward has 18 Balcony staterooms, cat. 8F; in addition there are the Spa with Beauty Salon, Sauna and Massage Rooms and a well equipped Gym; the aft section comprises the Sports Deck and the Jogging Track.
Sun Deck 12 forward has the Camp Carnival and Kids Pool and aft is the mini golf course.
Sky Deck 14 has the entrance to the 214 ft. water slide which is enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The flying sliders end the run with a big splash on deck 10, near the Stress Less Pool.
The ship's statistics include the following: Registered in Panama; she weighs 110,000 tons; length is 952 ft.; beam is 116 ft.; passenger capacity 3,700; Crew is 1,150; 577 inside cabins and 910 outside, with 555 cabins and suites with balconies. There are 28 wheelchair accessible cabins, of these cabins 15 are interior and 10 obstructed view, but only 2 with balcony and 1 Ocean Suite.
CABIN We had a wheelchair accessible cabin #6208 on Deck 6 forward, all the way forward! When entering straight ahead is the large bathroom with a single sink. There is a commode and a large shower with a fold away seat and a handy shower head on a long extension; an adjustable vanity mirror, but alas no shelves for amenities, just a small bowl filled with excellent gifts: creams, lotions, toothpaste, razors etc. There is also a closet with many shelves.
To the right of the entry is a double armoire with very high poles for hangers and six drawers; in the other section there are high and low poles for hangers, but no place for long dresses or coats. Next is a TV set very high on a shelf, and below a shelf for the ice bucket and glasses. There is a personal safe, just the right height. Then, there is a lighted vanity with a hassock (too low for comfort); a small refrigerator, and two more low shelves. To the left is a kingsize bed, at just the right height, flanked by useless night stands (too low for the physically challenged) with night lamps. There is also one upholstered barrel chair and a small coffee table. There are double windows to the balcony, which is so tiny that the chairs have to be piled up to allow the space for the wheelchair. Since Vincent has a small scooter, the only place left to park the wheelchair is in the shower. A very nice accessory to this cabin is the automatic door opener.
The wood is all pretty orange maple and two oil paintings complete the peach and maroon dÃ©cor. One is of an Egyptian looking sailboat in bold blue, orange and yellow colors. The other shows two small cottages and a pony cart all in bold primary colors. When designing theses handicapped cabins, designers should be required to stay and live in one for several days and only then they will realize the inconveniences that future handicapped passengers will have to face. A better way may be to seek suggestions from handicapped passengers. However, to compensate for the inadequate features of the stateroom, we had a great team of stewards, Oscar and his assistant, who were always cordial and efficient and provided us with excellent service.
SERVICE & FOOD Its obvious that things are going to be good when the Asst. Housekeeper Nemanja Skakavac visits your cabin on the first day to see if you need anything. He called on us a few more times to check on our comfort and we appreciated the attention. Service on board is excellent. Of course, hospitality always filters down from the top and we knew that when we had dinner with Capt. Marchetti and his lovely Signora Claudia and other officers at the Captain's table. Mary conversed with Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco about his adopted hometown of Avellino and the nearby city of Salerno, where Vincent attended secondary school. Mary mentioned how cold it was in our cabin, and while we had dinner, he had the thermostat in our room checked and adjusted. Carnival's motto is "Just ask and you shall receive." Vincent also enjoyed conversing in Italian at the table, since he was seated between Captain Marchetti and Staff Captain Borgogna, both from the region of Campania where Vincent was born. A delicious dinner and pleasant company: Thank you, Comandante Marchetti!
The food is greatly improved and portions are perfect. There is a new menu instituted just last month. Maitre d' Jogi (Jayaram Manjunath, Jogi, India) was both cordial and helpful in giving us a table for 2, # 430 in the Posh Dining Room. Our Waiter Dana was excellent and turned out to be an excellent dancer and part of the Dining Room entertainment. Ida and Gibson were his assistants and they were both great.
The menu has several appetizers, soups and a "Didja" course (food you always wanted to try, but did not dare). This whimsical course led us to try alligator, frog's legs, salmon tartar, shark, etc. The menu is a thoughtful one with a broad selection of courses and food options. These include starters such as fresh fruit cocktail, guacamole and tomato salsa with tortilla chips, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, prosciutto and melon, smoked duck and caramelized oranges, beefsteak tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, and finally a delicious New England Crabcake. If that doesn't please, then you may have one of the many soups: cream of sun-ripened tomatoes, minestrone Milanese, West Indian Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Strawberry Bisque, French onion soup, black bean soup, chilled cucumber with dill, Tom Ka Gai (chicken, coconut and lemon grass), Chilled Peach cream, Gazpacho blanco, wild mushroom soup and an old fashioned chicken noodle soup.
Salads are fresh and varied such as a California Spring mix, Fatoush Salad, Portobello and mesclun, Caesar salad, heart of iceberg, etc. Main courses had several options. The ones indicated by a heart symbol denote healthy, low fat, low cholesterol and low sodium, such as grilled corvina fish filet, a study in sushi, chicken Sicilian style with grilled vegetables, grilled marinated pork steak and many others. Regular entrees included a duet of roasted rack and leg of lamb, seafood Newburg, Petite filet mignon, Grilled jumbo tiger shrimp, Sweet and Sour shrimp (highly recommended by Mary), Broiled lobster tail and jumbo shrimp, Prime rib of beef au jus (excellent) and Jerked Pork loin, etc. And the third category is called Comfort foods: Chicken pot pie, Old fashioned Pot Roast, Meatloaf and gravy with mashed potatoes, St Louis Barbecued pork spareribs, Southern fried chicken and Bacon Mac & Cheese (kids favorite).
There are many pasta entrees but the grand finale is the desserts: Chocolate melting cake (don't order this the first night or you'll never try anything else!), hot souffle`, crÃ¨me Brulees plus an assortment of sherbets, ice creams, and assorted cheese and fruit plates. Excellent! What can we say about the food --- it is plentiful, nicely portioned, fresh and elegantly prepared.
Our evening in the Sun King (Louis XIV) steakhouse was magnificent. The chargers were Versace plates. Service by two waitresses was superb. Chef Derek Dias (Bombay, India) was kind enough to visit our table. This young chef is top notch. We dined on Carpaccio, Escargot, and crabcake for starters. The focaccia bread was light as air, while the Caesar and Spinach salads were crisp and excellent. Sides were creamed spinach, Yukon gold potatoes and a medley of mushrooms. We both thought our surf and turf to be perfect (filet mignon and lobster tail). The dÃ©cor is all maroon and gold gilt carved woodwork with crystal chandeliers. The ambience, the service and the food were stupendous. Don't miss this experience!
ENTERTAINMENT This was the final week of the US Open Tennis Tournament, so we spent some time in the Sports Bar, where Zed Oragun of Croatia and Miro of Serbia were helpful in displaying the matches for us, and getting the sound up. Cruise Director Jacques De Lange is very personable and constantly moving among the cruisers with many entertainment options. The Freedom Orchestra, Dancers and singers are A-1. We especially enjoyed "Jump, Jive, and Wail."
The Punch Liner Comedy Club featured Eddie Capone, whom we have seen many times before. He is amazing with several new routines; he has three nightly shows, the early show is a family one, then there are two adult comedy shows. He is great.
Carnival Freedom has extensive youth programs: Camp Carnival, formulated for the entertainment of children ages 2 to 14, is run by trained counselors with arts and crafts, special activities and games such as pool time, scavenger hunts, etc.; and Club O2 for teens that, in addition to the organized parties and video games, offers many activities, such as basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, karaoke, pool time, etc.... At night there is a teens-only party, with dancing the night away to the latest hits.
Just tear off the Daily Schedule from the "Funtime" and take with you a pocket list of every event on board: Exercise, Daily Puzzles, Trivia, Sports Court Contests, Sail Away Parties, Card Playing Groups, Art Auctions, Ping-Pong Tournaments, Black Jack Tournaments and Concerts under the Stars --- plenty for all ages.
PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. USA Depart: 4:30pm Day 2. Key West, FL. Arrive: 8:30am Depart: 5:00pm Day 3. At Sea Day 4. Grand Cayman Arrive: 7:00am Depart: 4:00pm Day 5. Ocho Rios, Jamaica Arrive: 7:30am Depart: 3:30pm Day 6. At Sea Day 7. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Debarkation 7:00am
DEBARKATION This was one of the most painless debarkation. We put out our tagged luggage the night before. Saturday morning, after breakfast in the Posh dining room, we were assisted by a crew member through debarkation. His help was appreciated especially to overcome the problems we had with our scooter and wheelchair on the gangway. In less than 20 minutes we were out of the terminal and on our way home.
CONCLUSION A reason why we have not cruised with Carnival ships in the last few years is our limited mobility and the fact that Carnival's newer ships have limited number of wheelchair accessible cabins with balcony, only 2 in balcony categories and 1 in Ocean Suites. The same thing can be said for Costa Crociere which used to be our favorite cruise line when we did not have mobility problems. Every time we tried to book a wheelchair accessible cabin with balcony it was not available. But this time we were persistent, so after several attempts we found cabin #6208 available on this ship. That is the same number we have had in several Carnival ships (or 6207 starboard) indicating that nothing has changed in the deck plan of the newer ships. We have already voiced our suggestions on this issue several times but our comments have been ignored. (*We are attaching below the "Suggestions" section we wrote in the cruise review of the Carnival Liberty, published at this website on February 2006).
This was our 10th cruise on Carnival ships, thus we achieved the distinguished status of Platinum Guest. We were surprised to see the VIP treatment offered to us by the newly formed "Carnival Concierge Club" with a welcome back letter by Gerry Cahill, President and CEO. This letter listed the complementary amenities on this cruise: Personalized Stationary, Canapes and petit fours sent to our stateroom on gala nights, a gift of a carnival logo item and many more special services and Concierge attention, etc. We felt appreciated throughout the cruise! These perks and the dinner at Captain Marchetti's table made this a very special cruise.
We have booked two more cruises for this year, the first we will return on the Crown Princess, Nov. 12th and the second on the Celebrity Eclipse, Dec.10th. Happy Cruising!
*Attachment from Carnival Liberty Review: "SUGGESTIONS" This was our fifth cruise on Carnival ships and every time we have returned we have found improvements. This time the upscale restaurant Harry's Club is definitely a plus in the rating of the ship. We had a wonderful cruise and we'll definitely cruise again on Carnival ships. However, the location of our stateroom was not optimal, since it was the first cabin at the bow, far from the elevators and the center of the ship which is an added problem for those of us with limited mobility. In addition we could not use the balcony much due to exposure to strong wind especially when the ship was in motion. In the future, if we book again on this class ship, it will be in a suite, since the location of wheelchair accessible cabins is inappropriate for us. We feel that Carnival, as well as Costa, have to put some effort in designing appropriate accommodations for disabled passengers in regard to comfort, location and number of wheelchair accessible cabins by emulating those lines, such as Princess and RCI, which offer more user friendly accommodation to the growing number of cruisers with limited mobility.
First Cruise in 2002 with Carnival on the Elation was Awesome.
This Cruise on the Conquest was not so good. Food was bad, Some Staff rude and Beer WARM.. I hate to complain, but at $6 per beer I do expect it to at least be cold. Buffet food was Horrible and when we complained they did not seem to care at all.
We only had a group of four, but next cruise not looking to be Carnival.
Our 2011 Carnival cruise ship experience on the Triumph was not a pleasurable or comfortable experience at all for my family, and consisted of such atrocities as a children's counselor using foul language in front of the kids, a sewage leak on our floor just 2 doors from our cabin, a terrible vibration in the room that kept us from sleeping at night, a sharp piece of aluminum floor trim that cut my 8 year old daughter's toe so badly we needed to seek medical attention off ship as the ship's doctor and nurse would not assist us, small groups of delinquent teenage/early 20â€²s men roaming the hallways looking for fights with other people, and a staff that generally didn't care about the issues we were having.
We created a website dedicated to our terrible cruise. Visit it and read about our Carnival trip.
Don't get Carnivaled!
visit www.carnivaled.com to read about our trip
Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Victory by Erica Southern Caribbean August 14, 2011
This was suppose to be a very happy time for us because we had just got engaged at the begining of our trip! :) My fiance and I choose to stick with Carnival Cruise line again because we both enjoyed our first cruise with them so much.The people were friendly, the food was amazing and the boat was fun to be on. Sadly this cruise was a disappointment. The destinations were absolutely breath taking and very enjoyable and I would recomend them to anyone!!(We visited St.Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maarten)
HOWEVER, our experience on the boat was not a pleasant one! Majority on the guests on this ship were VERY rude and pushy (all of the time). In my opinion a lot of the staff were getting irritated as well with this but instead of addressing it with the ones who were rude and pushy or handling it professionally, we were talked down to quite a lot, I guess for just being there. I can see why they were stressed out because these guest were stressing us outas well. But in the same sense, we were nice and polite and still treated rudely by staff. Where we come from in Kindergarten you learn how to stand in a line- apparently the guests on this ship didn't attend kindergarten! We would stand in line at guest services for 30-45 minutes and just as its our turn to talk with a staff member someone goes under the rope and cuts us off. Instead of telling the woman she will be assisted when it is her turn and that she will need to stand in line like everyone else, the staff member assists her, putting us off who have waited patiently!! That was VERY aggrevating! The sad part is that this wasn't just a one tme occurance, it happened to us several times. As for the food - the dining room meals were amazing! Their chef did and outstanding job in preparing each meal. On deck however, the buffett was lacking in taste and variety. Not to mention the rude people behind you pushing you like cattle or cutting in line because they were tired of waiting. Entertainment- the main shows were fun and exciting to watch, Great job! The fun games they would play, like the marriage game, was so much fun to watch as well. We laughed and laughed. The comedians however we very poor!! Not only did this one comedian cut down every working class person in there, I guess for having a job, the second one didn't even show up or make on to the boat. Seriously considering another cruiseline now after this experience!
The customer service was excellent, the staff were all professional. The entertainment in the Ivan Hoe was great.
The internet service was slow and very expensive.
We were told that we only had to pay for alchol, however we had to pay for all non alchol drinks. The only free drinks was the tasteless lemonade, lemonade,lemonade.......(7 days) or ice tea.
This was my first cruise with my family and it will be my last. I was promised everything before booking and everything I was told was a lie. I had specific soda requests before cruise and they don't carry those products. I was promised the Carribean Cruise and got Bahamas instead. We had free style dining and then was assigned a time. The food was horrifing. The was only one buffet and it was open for breakfast and lunch then closed at 2pm. There was nothing on the ship we could even eat except the hamnburgers. The pizza and pasta were nasty. The only meat they offered on the buffet was pork and no vegetables only salsas for side items. The evening dining room was even worse with nothing on the menu to order I requested seafood or steak and was told by the staff I eat what was on the menu or not at all. After 2pm there was no other choices of food except evening dining room. No buffets, no sandwich shops no desserts or fruits anywhere on the ship. There was two small pools and if youwanted to swim you had to wait until night when everyone went to shows in order to get in pool. The activities were only short hours of operation such as waterpark, ball courts, golf was only open from 10-6 and there was three thousand people more than should have been on the ship. You couldn't even move. The staff could barely speak english and was absolutely useless with any type of help. I complained to customer service and everyone else I could find without success. This cruise with airline, hotel and rental car included cost me over $6000.00 dollars and you couldn't pay me to ever go on another one. This was by far the worst experience of my life. Carnival Cruise Lines has to be the worst vacation specialist ever!!!
For the record, I have apparently been banned from the Carnival blog site written by one of their cruise directors. No explanation was provided to me, but I imagine I was just a tad to honest. Anyway, my wife and I just recently got off 7 days on the Legend. About 48 hours after returning home my wife noticed on our bank account charges - $375, $425 for petrol purchases at a Texaco station in Mahogany Bay. The total, we hope, for these charges was about $1350. During our time "in port" there we never left the Carnival "compound."
We purchased the usual t-shirts and returned to the ship. Well, our bank was great although we had to take time away from work to go to the bank and sign the necessary affidavits and close the accounts. They returned the money to us. Another attempt to buy petrol at the same station for $325 thank goodness did not go through. We called Carnival and received a lukewarm response and was told it will be reported. As I said, I was not allowed post the problem on the Carnival blog. All we'relooking for at this point is an apology from Carnival and some indication that the guilty parties will be punished.