Opening Statement: Overall a very beautiful ship with plenty to do. I think it’s a little too large for my taste with all the people on it as the areas we enjoy such as the Casino and Comedy Club are regular size but twice as many people trying to use them.
Weather could not have been nicer the day we got on the ship. It’s a site for your eyes when you first step on, as it is the flag ship and everything is so bright and clean. It hasn’t been in service long enough yet to have people staining the carpet or running their scooters into the walls.
Check in went very quickly. However, the boarding was unorganized and people shoving to get on as if there life depended on being one of the first on. Even as a Platinum they didn’t run anyone back that wasn’t priority, so you really didn’t get the priority boarding unless you were a Diamond as they boarded from a different area.
Luggage was another thing I guess is no longer a Perk for Platinum’s. We received ours at about 8 PM the first night after most others already had there’s. I know this may seem petty but its just another thing, of many, that are changing in the cruise industry.
Muster had to be the quickest and easiest of all cruises. They had us report to the comedy club, gave their message on how to put on Life Jackets and then excused everyone. Took about 10 minutes total and no outside time.
We were in 8402, which is an Interior Room. Not a large room but not a small one either. It did have very little closet and drawer space compared to what you find on the other ship interior rooms. Also, we had a lot of difficulties cooling the room off and had reported it twice but they still couldn’t get it cold enough for us. Since this was only the 4th cruise for this new ship, I was surprised at how things were broken already. The door on the nightstand was broken at its hinges and so was the phone in the room for the first day.
We ate most of our meals in the MDR and they were all great, and service was quick and accurate. The gym was a disappointment as it was smaller than a lot of ships and again with twice as many people it was impossible to get a machine in the morning. They also only had a dry sauna, if you wanted to go to a steam room you had to pay the spa for their pass. Casino, even though only the 4th cruise, you could smell the smoke in the carpet before we even set sail the first day. You would think they would figure out how to ventilate this area of the ship better. You could however, move from one end of the ship to the other without going through this area if you wanted to on deck 5.
Comedians were outstanding, and they rotated them on a regular basis. The different thing was on some nights they started as early at 5:30 and most nights didn’t have a show after 9:30. I am not sure if this was due to being in the Mediterranean or not so will have to see what future sailings have. The shows were okay. The theater seating on the main floor is something to be desired. I you have a drink you either must hold it or place it on the floor and hope no one spills it. The upper deck however has normal seating, other than they are not on much of a incline so very hard to see over the people in front of you, as you would find on the other ships.
I would have to say this was one of the easiest Back to Back process we have ever encountered. I am not sure if it was because it was a European cruise or if Carnival has just learned how to manage them properly. There was a total of 632 people doing the Back to Back on this particular cruise, so we were very impressed with the process. We were on one of Carnivals largest Back to Backs where we had 1258 and it was a mess and took over 6 hours.
The process on this ship was we all reported to the Reflections Restaurant and 8:45 AM, where we all proceeded to get in one long line. They first scanned all of the sail and sign cards to show you as debarking the ship. We then proceeded to a table at the end of the restaurant where they handed us our new cards. After that we proceeded down the back of the restaurant where they took your new picture for your account, then you were dismissed to enjoying the ship. The whole process took my wife and I about 10 minutes.
We enjoyed this cruise immensely, however, I am not sure if these bigger ships are for my wife and me. yes, they do have many more things to do along with eating establishments, but the additional number of passengers makes it busier in each place. To us the more people the ruder people get and it seems that courtesy is going to be a thing of the past not the future.