Things I Loved
The price. There aren't many cruise lines that you can get a balcony room for $500 a person on a 5 night cruise. I live by the motto, once you go balcony, you can never go back.
The fun. Carnival is known to be the party line and I can confirm that is true. I was expecting lots of families with it being April vacation for many schools but I was wrong. People on this cruise were here to party and that was clear. The Late afternoon DJ at the pool got everyone on their feet and lots of booty's were a shaken. And the nightclub was always packed. I've been on other cruises where "late" meant 12 by cruise standards. But on this ship if you went home at 2am that was considered early.
With that being said, since cruisers are up so late it's easy to get a poolside chair the next day. The picture in this review was taken at 9:30am on the only day at sea. Normally by this time you would be searching to find somewhere to drop your stuff.
The ports. This itinerary brought us to the Bahamas and Grand Turk. Nassau was our first stop and it was just OK, I didn't go on an excursion that day having been to Nassau before. But when they brought us to Carnivals private island Half Moon Cay it was truly breathless. Hands down the prettiest water and sand I have ever seen. That island alone would make me cruise with carnival again. And the best part is it's free! Grand Turk was also amazing but you'll find that full review in our cruise port spotlight!
The food. The food was always delicious. From the first slurp of my pumpkin soup to the last night of my molten chocolate lava cake. The service was sometimes rushed, we were in and out in an hour each evening, but that was fine since we had many places to explore afterwards.
Breakfast and lunch was your typical cruise fare. The omelet station and deli were nice touches, if you got there at times when the line wasn't long.
Things That Need Work
For a smaller ship, the lines seemed endless. From waiting for the omelet station to getting back on the boat, this cruise seemed to lack the organization we've seen on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. How is it that I could be on the largest ship in the world, Allure of the Seas, and not wait in long lines yet I was on a ship 1/3 of the size and couldn't get a sandwich made in under 30 minutes? I'm giving Carnival the benefit of the doubt here and thinking that maybe since it's an older ship they don't have the layout of newer ships that make moving about easier.
Room service wasn't reliable. I love my morning coffee. Even more, I love my morning coffee on my cruise balcony. There's just something serene about starting your day on a private deck overlooking the ocean. And when room service never showed one morning and I had to enjoy that coffee in the busy dining room, it just wasn't the same.
The ship itself is pretty dated. Which is fine if you are not an avid cruiser. But when you've been on some of Royal Caribbean and Norwegians newest ships, this one disappoints in its wow factor. Pools are small and there aren't any Broadway shows. Think of cruising in the early 90's and that's pretty much what you get. Lots of karaoke and comedy shows.
Would I cruise with carnival again? Sure! It was great for a quick cheap girls trip and we had a great time despite some of its flaws. Next time I would definitely book a newer ship though with more amenities.