This is my wife and I first ever Transatlantic cruise. We are very excited to be doing it as so many of our friends have told us these were a blast and love doing them. We are doing this with some great friends we have out of Texas that we met many years ago on a Hawaii cruise and have done many other cruises with them ever since.
Since my wife and I were doing this cruise as a Back to Back from the previous cruise, we did not have to go through the entire process of checking in and getting onboard the ship. The back to back process on this ship was one of the easiest. It only took us about 10 minutes total and we then were able to enjoy the ship for about 2 hours before the regular guests started to board.
These two hours were kind of enjoyable as it allowed us to go to the serenity deck and get some nice chairs and site in the hot tub for a while without all the other people around.
Non Transatlantic Crossing Sea Days
Our travel companions ran into an issue on the first sea day with his Teeth. He went to the medical facilities on board and they do not have a dentist on board. They did however make all the arrangements for him to go see one at the next port. They also gave him a shot for the pain and some antibiotics. The good thing they did the travel insurance from Carnival as the Shipboard Medical visit was $800 and the dentist in Europe was an additional $280. That included taking out a bridge, extracting a tooth and antibiotics.
The one negative thing to doing a Back to Back is that the entertainment and restaurant menus are all the same as the first one. For some reason they even had the same comedians for the first half of this cruise.
Lisbon, Portugal: We did not go ashore here due to our lack of sleep we talk about here.
Halifax, NS, Canada: We were not able to go ashore as the wife got ill on the transatlantic
Transatlantic Crossing Sea Days (6)
The Transatlantic crossing was enjoyable for the most part. They did have a show every night, as it was either there entertainment dancers, Hypnotist, or Comedian Pick Pocket. I think they did very well with keeping people entertained other than where they held a lot of the various activities. Because of all the people and each place being smaller than usual, if you wanted to do trivia, you better be there about 45 minutes early as they were packet by the 30 minute mark. There really isn’t any good place to have activities other than the Lido deck of the theater as everywhere else is just too small for any amount of guest.
They also advertise the faster internet on this ship, but when you add in the additional guests using it, it doesn’t seem to be any faster than any other ship. Which means it is almost useless for anything other than email or Facebook. Even the plan that offers Skype is useless for Video skyping.
They even held the t-shirt sales in the hall outside one of the shops. Not sure how they expected to get all the people in that small area looking at two tables with shirts. It was impossible to even get close to that area so we gave up trying.
Debarkation wasn’t bad at all. I will say Mike, the CD, has it running very smoothly for such a high number of guests. The issue I have is that for about 1 hour in the morning they allowed a free for all on debarking if you are self-assist. This means it is just another perk taken away from the Platinum and Diamond to be first off the ship. It did run very smooth just not to my liking.
The carnival shuttle to the airport was very enjoyable. We got to drive through downtown NY. We say Time Square, the Fox News station and the Today show during the drive. The airport has a lot of construction going on so it was hectic to get into there. Also the shuttle didn’t separate luggage as we loaded so at each stop you had to identify yours be taken off.
Overall, I am not sure if we would sale this ship again. These larger ships are not designed for the guest that like to just find a place to relax. It is more for getting people on board to the casino or bars and to get them to the next port of call. These bigger ships have taken some of the relaxing atmosphere out of things due to the amount of guests and less space to put them.