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: Overall Service. Value for Money. Families.
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. Teens.
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: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.
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.
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.
This was the worst experience we have ever had cruising. Booked a 7 day cruise leaving from Galveston on 1/14/2017. Because of fog we were not able to board our ship until 10:00pm on Sunday the 15th. So we lost 2 full days of our cruise. Because the ship left out of port before midnight carnival is only crediting us back for 1 day missed. So we had to pay for a 2nd night at a hotel plus all meals for 15 people in our group. I understand nobody can control the weather. But for us to be charged for a full day for a cabin and a full day of gratuities when we did not even get on the ship until 10:00pm is outrageous. By the time we got done with the safety meeting on board it was 11:57pm. So we paid for the the previous cruise people to stay on the ship and drink and eat before us. We booked this cruise for the stop in Jamaica. That port got cut out. So for a 7 day cruise that we paid for, we ended up witha 5 day vacation. They credited us for 1 day and $12.95 in gratuities. Plus we had to sit at the port and wait for 2 days and they gave us updates every 2 and a half hour intervals. Everyone had to get hotels for Saturday night and pay for lunches and dinners for Saturday and Sunday both. Half of our group never even saw their cabin steward. Even had to go up to a public bathroom to get toilet paper for their room because he never brought them any or towels. Watched the outside movie 2 nights in a row and the movie shut down before it was over so we missed the ending of both movies. Carnival cruise is the worst cruise line we have used to date. I would never recommend them to anyone. Their customer service representatives are people who are trained to say certain things and do not offer any help at all.
We were scheduled to sail on Carnival Glory from Miami on Saturday, December 17, 2016. We were flying from Philadelphia to Miami. Our flight was scheduled very early and should have had us in Miami by 10am. Due to ice and snow along the entire Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest, very high numbers of flights were delayed. We stayed in contact with Carnival at least 5 times during the delay. The flight finally landed in Miami at 3:30 and immediately upon arrival we received a call from Carnival asking us if we were going to be taking the cruise or could they give our cabins away. We explained that we had just landed and was there any way the cruise could delay departure for 1/2 hour so that we and many others could make the ship sailing. We were told no, that the ship was leaving at it's 4pm scheduled time. We were also told that we would have to make our own arrangements to try to get to the first port of call.
We ended up having to spend almost $3,500 for hotels and last minute airfares to Grand Cayman. Uponarriving on the ship, we found out that there were well over 100 passengers who missed the ship as we did. Most of which only missed the sailing by 1/2 or less. We also found out that the ship did not leave at 4pm but instead did not leave until 5:30pm. Carnival wasted no time calling us to try to give away our cabin but never bothered to call us to tell us that the ship was not leaving on time and that we could have made it to the port in time to board.
We called Carnival on Sunday, December 18th to confirm where we needed to go to and who we needed to see upon arrival in Grand Cayman. We were told by the representative that because the ship tendered in Grand Cayman as opposed to docking in Grand Cayman that we would not be able to board the ship there. We informed the representative that we had spoken to Carnival on 3 occasions on Saturday, December 17th and were assured all three times that we could board in Grand Cayman. The representative then informed us that we would not have been told that and that there was nothing she could do. After arguing with her for 20 minutes, we demanded to speak with a supervisor. After another 15 minutes, we finally got a supervisor. The supervisor told us that we might be able to board but she couldn't guarantee it. We demanded that the supervisor contact the ship and obtain confirmation that we would in fact be able to board the ship in Grand Cayman. After much back and forth, we did finally get the confirmation and instructions on where to go and who to see.
Upon arrival at the port in Grand Cayman, we spoke with Director of Guest Services, Wissint, who assured us that we would receive credit for our missed excursion in Grand Cayman, a refund of our the transfer fees that we had paid, credit for two days of the Cheers and Bubbles packages and free premium internet for all four of us. We asked if we would receive any type of refund for the two cruise days that we missed and we were told no. Wissint told us to come to Guest Services at 5 and he would take care of everything for us. We went at 5pm and were told that he was not available. We then spent two hours with another Guest Services Representative who told us he couldn't confirm that we would get any of what was promised and that he would have to send emails to the Fun Shop regarding the Cheers and Bubbles packages and the shore excursion people about refunds for the Grand Cayman excursion and to Wissint regarding the premium internet and someone else about the refund of the transfer fees. We were then told to come back later to talk to Wissint. At this point, we had missed any opportunity to get off the ship and see Grand Cayman, we had not had any opportunity to unpack or explore the ship and we missed dinner. When we went back to Guest Services, Wissint was again not available and Guest Services still did not have answers or any resolutions. We then spent another two hours at Guest Services trying to at least get the internet service resolved for our 20 year old sons. We were then also informed that we were being charged for double Bubbles package for one son , a single Bubbles package for my other son, a double Cheers package for me and a Cheers package for my husband. I had receipts confirming that I had only booked one Bubbles package for each son and , one Cheers package for myself. This mix-up resulted in an additional hour trying to get this issue resolved. With the terrible service and lack of efficiency at Guest services, we had now lost a third day of our cruise trying to get all of the outstanding issues resolved.
So now we have lost 3 days of a 7 day cruise and were then informed that the Belize excursion was canceled (the second one we had booked because the first booked excursion was canceled before we even got on the ship) and that there were no more open excursions that had 4 openings. Thus we only got to go on 2 of the 4 excursions that we had booked.
This was my 4th Carnival cruise and the disappointment is devastating. Our family vacation, the first in 10 years, and our birthday/anniversary celebration was ruined. With our boys graduating in two years, we had hoped to get back into cruising on a consistent basis and were looking for Carnival to be our go-to cruise company. After the way we were treated, I am not sure that we believe that Carnival truly has the best interest of their clientele at heart.
Please note however that, other than Guest Services which was horrible, the staff on the ship was wonderful. The ship itself was great and the food was very good. However, due to the way we, and many other passengers, were treated by Carnival itself, I do not think we will ever sail with them again,.
There were four of us traveling together: Me, my wife and our two sons (ages 14 and 18). We booked a grand suite (U114) for us and an ocean view (U118) for the boys. We stayed in Charleston the night prior to ensure there were no unexpected difficulties on embarkation day. Let me say from the beginning that while I appreciate the Charleston cruise port being relatively close to our NC home, the port itself is way undersized and, in my opinion, barely capable of handling a cruise ship with 2,000 passengers. We had priority boarding (being suite passengers) with a scheduled check-in time of 11:30. We arrived at the port to begin the drive-through check-in process at 10:40. Glad we arrived early. While we moved fairly steadily through the line past the first two tents (preliminary check-in and baggage check), there were about 30 cars ahead of us at the parking tent. We paid for parking and sat in the car in line until 11:35, when port officials opened the parking warehouse. From the parking area, we were shuttled to the terminal and processed through fairly quickly. We were onthe Ecstasy by 12:05. Unfortunately, our rooms would not be available until 1:30. We made our way to the Lido Deck and picked up our Bottomless Bubbles stickers. We purchased beverage cups here, too, only to find out later they weren’t really necessary, as we were given the full can of soda every time we requested a drink. (On past cruises when we’ve purchased BB or similar beverage packages, we’ve been given only a tall bar glass with fountain soda.) Lunch from the Mongolian Grill was pretty good.
We went to our cabins at 1:38 and found them to be in very neat and clean condition. For an older ship that was scheduled for dry dock a month after our sailing, I was very impressed with the appointments and general condition of everything in our staterooms. The grand suite was fairly roomy (we usually book a suite on Princess, having found them to be some of the roomiest suites in the industry). There weren’t really separate living and sleeping areas, but rather a single room with a king bed, counter and drawers along one wall and fold-out couch near the balcony wall. There was a walk-in closet with drawers and hanging spaces on each side. And there was a bathroom that was fairly roomy. Getting in and out of the jetted tub/shower was a bit challenging, as it was quite a step up and over the side of the tub. I’m guessing it was raised to accommodate plumbing and components of the jet system. There was a single sink, a wall-mounted hairdryer and plenty of towels. There was a small refrigerator in the living/sleeping area, but, frankly, it never got much cooler than room temperature. The HVAC system had no thermostat. Rather, cabin comfort was regulated by adjusting the flow of cool air into the cabin by way of knobs on the three HVAC supply grilles. The suite was quite warm when we first entered, but quickly cooled down within an hour or two. If anything, we had to reduce the cool air supply during some parts of the cruise.
The boys’ ocean view cabin was quite big enough for them. It also was clean and well organized. Their cabin had only a small shower and no hairdryer. There was also a single chair and a smaller TV.
The lifeboat drill was a prolonged process that took much longer than any other we’d previously attended. Following the disorganized briefing portion, each group was led to their lifeboat and directed to stand in rows to simulate preparation for boarding. We were then dismissed. I would estimate the entire drill process lasted about an hour.
We used many of the ship’s food venues during the course of our cruise. Overall, we found the food in each to be of good quality, but prepared with little seasoning. For the most part, it was bland and lacking in flavor. We had selected traditional dining and sat with the same passengers for dinner each night in the Wind Song dining room. Tina, our server at Table 337, was fantastic! She was personable and efficient, remembering each guest’s name and drink preferences on the first night. The only complaint I might have about the menu offerings would be that on some nights, it was too difficult to select just one main course! There was a good selection of upscale meal choices. Again, it’s just a shame that most of the food was somewhat bland. One choice that was on the menu each night was the Flat Iron Steak. Don’t be afraid to order it; it was quite tender and flavorful!
One thing that surprised us was that smoking was permitted in bars we had to walk through to get from one place to another. Don’t get me wrong; I used to smoke cigarettes and don’t mind if others do. But I prefer to avoid the odor if I can now. It was our first cruise and this was something we had not encountered on other ships.
We did not go to any of the shows. My wife and I generally like to simply relax while on cruises. The main show was a Motown performance and there were comedians also.
In Nassau, we had booked a day pass to the British Colonial Hilton through resortforaday.com. We would highly recommend this for anyone who doesn’t embark on an excursion and just wants to sit on the beach or at the pool and be pampered! In Freeport, we walked through shops at the port, but spent most of the day at the ship's pool.
Sailing back to Charleston was uneventful. We arrived in port around 5:30 AM. Although we had priority debarkation, we decided to linger casually, since we had only a 3-hour drive home. However, debarkation was where the small port’s inability to cope with 2,000 passengers was most evident. There seemed to be no order to debarkation, with people just getting in the long debarkation line at will. Once inside the terminal, we had to depart the line to find and claim our bags, then get back in the ever-lengthening line that, fortunately, moved fairly steadily toward the US Customs stations. We noticed that some passengers carried their own bags, but got in the line for porters, since it was moving faster. Customs agents were overwhelmed. We were summarily waved through without questions or requests for passports once the agent saw my military ID. Outside of the terminal, there was a line of shuttle buses, but they weren’t boarding anyone and it seemed like it would be quicker to do the bag drag to the parking warehouse. It was! We got to our car before the first shuttle left the terminal.
Bottom line: We prefer smaller ships and I’d sail on the Ecstasy again without hesitation. If I’ve missed anything or can respond to specific questions, please let me know.
My wife and I traveled from the Boston area by train the day prior to the cruise as is our common practice. With the exception of a train, my wife has a very limited tolerance for anything moving faster than she can walk. You don't want to know the process we go through just to get to the train!
We have never cruised with a group larger than the two of us. A couple we are close to apparently got tired of looking at all the pictures we take and listening to the wonderful times we have on our cruises. They asked if we would like companions on one of our cruises.
I told them about a cruise on a brand new ship we were booking in February 2015 and two days later they booked the Carnival Vista also. We were very pleased and excited about the new cruise experience we would be having. Not to hold you in suspense, the four of us had a wonderful time cruising together and look forward to doing it again in the future.
Debarkation: A mess. After a fiasco on a Splendor debarkation in 2013with only 3000 passenger my biggest fear for this cruise with 4000 passengers was debarkation. And thank you Carnival, you have met my expectations. As suite passengers we have always had VIP Priority Boarding but this time we were mixed in with the Faster To The Fun and Disabled passengers. Gone was the VIP Lounge and boarding. As for Diamond and Platinum passengers I don't know possibly they were mixed in with us too. When I asked about VIP Lounge, I was told there was none for this sailing.
Also, the effectiveness of Staggered Check-in is questionable. As suite passengers we
had a scheduled check-in of 11-11:30 but "but as Suite Guests can check-in at your Connivance ". I would estimate 1000 to 1500 people in the terminal when we arrived at 11:10. We finally were on board at 12:25 compared to the 20 minutes it took in July on the Carnival Sunshine.
The Ship: Absolutely wonderful. As with any "New" ship it looked exactly like you would expect... NEW. It definitely has the wow factor. We normally take the time at boarding to tour the ship and take lots of pictures but this time as we were traveling with others we did the "Stupid" thing and went right to the Lido Deck. Unbelievably, we had no problem finding a table to sit and this held true throughout the cruise. We never had a problem finding chairs on deck or Serenity either. I particularly enjoyed Deck 4, Lanai.
Each venue Library, Cherry on Top, Fahrenheit 555, Red Frog, etc. have dedicated area outside to sit, eat and drink.
We found the ship easy to navigated and move around with no noticeable crowding. The one thing I did notice is the long waits for elevators. When going to the Serenity Deck we took and elevator to Deck 12 and walked up from there (2 Decks...No Deck 13).
There is only 1 elevator that goes to Deck 15 and the wait is eternal.
Stateroom: We had a Port Side Ocean View Suite. Carnival apparently decided the Suites are to big and there is no need for a dressing room. We totally disagree and are very disappointed in their decision. I heard grumblings that Inside Staterooms are also smaller. Maybe Carnival got tired of hearing how they had the biggest Staterooms.
There is a larger flat screen television 42" I think, I didn't measure it. Drawer space is at a premium which we finally were able to deal with.
Food: No real complaints about the food other that the Lido seemed to have the same thing every day. Of course the alternative options Asian and Italian venues are complimentary for lunch and there is Guy's Burger, Pizza, Deli, etc. The there's the Lobster Shack, etc. which you pay for. You get the idea...plenty of food to enjoy.
We attempted the Sea Day Brunch once and were told there was a hour wait for food, not a table, that you could get right a way but we would have to drink coffee for an hour waiting for food. I never found out what that was all about.
We only ate in the Reflections Dining 4 times of the 11 nights but when we did the food was well prepared and served. I prefer my meat cooked medium so I order medium rare because it always seems to be over cooked. One night I ordered a meal medium rare and had to send it back because they cooked it EXACTLY THE WAY I ORDERED IT. I felt so bad I asked if I could talk to the person who prepared it so he/she would know I was not complaining. I don't think the waiter understood.
I like Crème Brule'. I told my waiter this on night one and each night even when it wasn't on the menu...I had Crème Brule'.
Staff: Our room steward and assistant were wonderful as usual. These people are so much appreciated. They always make whatever we ask for possible and I'm not going to test them by upping the ante to see when they fail.
The wait staff in the ding room were also great. Again they anticipate our wants and needs and meet them. Always exceeding my expectations.
Throughout the ship we were always greeted by efficient workers with smiling faces.
Entertainment: There never is for want of things to do on this cruise. We did attend a couple of shows in the Liquid Lounge which were fine. However we tended to find smaller venues for our entertainment including, Karaoke which we always find fun to watch but never participate, Comedians, Tom who had been on the Sunshine in July had different material on this cruise but just as good. Another comedian who shall go nameless was not nearly as good but did have a couple of good ones.
The Piano Bar has "Sing Along With Ben". He really gets people involved so don't miss him for a fun time.
Ports/Excursions: We do not normally take any excursion. The one exception this cruise was a Deluxe Lobster & Champaign Cruise. It was OK with two stops at beaches to swim and have the Lobster (definitely not MAINE Lobster). I'm not sure it was worth the $119 cost though.
As for the ports: Amber Cove canceled due to rough waters and flooding. This is Carnival's new "Private Island" at the Dominican Republic to which we had been looking forward.
San Juan, P.R. Stayed on board.
St. Thomas and St. Martin: Just did some walking around, eating, drinking and shopping local to the ship. Both were neat and clean and enjoyable.
Conclusion: I'm real happy we went on this cruise. We got to sail a really new Carnival ship and to experience the biggest ship on which we have sailed. Carnival has done a wonderful job filling all the spaces with things to do, some of which are new even to Carnival. Even though we were on the ship for 11 nights I'm sure we missed some of the things the ship has to offer. I strongly recommend the Carnival Vista for one of you future cruises and look forward to meeting you on board if I can get my wife to Miami for the cruise (reference line 2 of this review. LOL).
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