Carnival Cruise Lines Reviews

Year Started: 1972
Ships in Fleet: 25
Category: Mainstream

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."


Carnival Cruise Ships

4 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Caribbean

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Singles.

24 Reviews


Good for: Families. Singles. Seniors.

81 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean

Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.

42 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Singles. Teens. Families.

10 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Singles. Families. Group.

76 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

Good for: Overall Service. Seniors. Families.

12 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, South America

Good for: Group. Families. Foodies.

61 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Suthern

Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Singles.

0 Reviews

Regions:East and West Caribbean

56 Reviews


Good for: Singles. First-time Cruisers. Overall Service.

45 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Value for Money. Singles.

60 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.

57 Reviews


Good for: Families. Group. Singles.

96 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Western

86 Reviews


Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.

35 Reviews


Good for: Families. Singles. Overall Service.

80 Reviews

Regions: Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada/New England, Cruise To Nowhere

Good for: Families. Teens. Children`s Programs.

54 Reviews

Regions:Mexico, Caribbean Eastern, Hawaii

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.

90 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern

Good for: Singles. Group. First-time Cruisers.

4 Reviews

Regions:Europe, TransAtlantic, Caribbean

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Seniors.

72 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western

Good for: Families. Group. Luxury Travelers.

51 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.

54 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Families. Singles. Value for Money.

48 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal

Good for: Singles. Families. Value for Money.

65 Reviews


Good for: Families. Seniors. Children`s Programs.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
from 1260 reviews


Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms


Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities


Shore Tours


Alternative Dining

User Reviews

1260 User Reviews of Carnival Ships
Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: June 23, 2012

This was my families 9th carnival cruise 16th overall with other lines. This was an 8 day.stopping at ST Thomas, Antigua,Tortola,Nassau. We had 2 balcony cabins on deck 8, one deck below lido which was great to run up and get some food. There was some noise at night from things being dragged on deck but not bad. We opened the panel on the balcony between the 2 cabins so we had a big balcony. We had late seating and the first night it took forever(1 hr to get apps) to get our food. It got better as the cruise went along. We had 4 different comedians and they where pretty good. It is nice to go to the family show before dinner and then the R rated later. The shows where alright too. There was plenty to do on the out to sea days. Getting on and off the ship did not take any time at all.

On the Islands we just get taxis and go to the beach. St Thomas-Sapphire beach $10.per person each way, Antigua-Dickenson beach $3.0pp Tortola- Brewers bay $8.00pp each way. Brewers was the calmest water

and best for snorkeling.All of these beaches where safe and had food and bathrooms. You can only get a raft in ST. Thomas. Nassau we took the Water taxi to the Atlantis. you CANNOT see the aquarium any longer without paying $35. you can only go through the shops and the casino for free.Overall the weather was great, not to hot and the water was wonderful everywhere. Of course we would cruise again. One problem we had was, We purchased liquor in the shop on board and when it was delivered to our cabin on the last night we did not open it.(we should have) when we got home we opened the boxes and they where not what we bought, and once you leave the ship you can not send it back so we are trying to get a refund from the store because the shops on board are not run by Carnival. It will take 8 weeks to get refund.
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Eastern Canada
Publication Date: June 3, 2012

Please be aware and leery of Carnival Cruise Line. They will advertise a 7 day cruise and if the cruise is cut to 6 days or less they won't refund you the difference. You talk with them on the phone or write to them all they do is give excuses for what took place. This is a criminal act of fraud and should not be accepted by anyone. If you decide to cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines please be cautious.

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Publication Date: May 25, 2012

This was my 4th cruise and my worst. I was very disappointed in the ship. Too small and the entertainment was terrible and had to pay extra to eat in the formal dining room. I would not recommend this cruise to anyone.

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Publication Date: May 3, 2012

Cruise: Carnival Fascination. May 3 - May 7 out of Jacksonville, Florida Ports: Freeport, Nassau Weather: Smooth, almost like "glass" at times. Why this particular cruise? Hadn't cruised since 2008 due to medical restrictions. Cruise port 70 miles from home. Wanted a short/easy cruise to get back into cruising. Cruise History: Carnival Celebration - 11/04, 11/05, 02/07, 05/12 Carnival Fantasy - 05/03 Carnival Glory - 12/07 RCCL Mariner of the Seas - 03/08 Celebrity Constellation - 02/06 Food: Breakfast – Enjoyed breakfast each day in the Sensation restaurant. Good Service/Food Lunch - Liddo Desk. Good Salad Bar. Hot bars were ok but nothing to "write home about" Pizza and Sandwich (Deli) bar were good. Often found ourselves getting our food from here. Dessert/ice cream bar were good. Dinner - Sensation Dining Room. F irst two nights was very good. Last two nights was good but no "WOW" factor. Desserts were great. Chocolate Melting Cake is a must!! Great Head Waiter and his staff. Cabin: Since this was our first cruise in 3 years, we splurged and got a Suite Cabin, Mid Desk on 6th floor. Was a very nice room with a

large balcony and a whirlpool tub. Very efficient air conditioner! Had to cut down as I was getting "COLD". Cabin Steward was great. This was our 8th overall cruise and this is the first one that I can remember that our Cabin Steward remembered our names and always greeted us by our names throughout the cruise. Ports: Freeport – Did not get off the ship. Sitting on our balcony, witnessed a barge tie up right below us, next to ship and proceeded to "fuel up" the Fascination. Also was able to witness the Celebrity Millennium receiving an upgrade. Nassau. Wanted to check out Atlantis but ultimately decided to visit on our next cruise. We decided to walk around Nassau on our own. Checked out some stores selling liquor to compare prices vs those on the Fascination and found Fascination's prices were better in most cases. Entertainment - Evening shows were good. Female lead vocalist was a lot better than the male singer. Attended one comedy show. Comedian got me to laugh a couple of times although wished the show was longer than 30 minutes. "Wine tasting". $10 per person. Had 6 different wines to taste with different condiments i.e. Cheese, crackers, fruit. Found very well presented and learned a lot about wine "paring" with different food types. Embarkation – Hadn't really realized when we reserved a "SUITE" cabin this included VIP check in. We were led to a separate room with plenty of seating and refreshments to enjoy while we were personally checked in. Had requested a wheelchair for one in our party and had a Carnival representative meet us with a wheelchair and stayed with us until we were settled on the ship Debarkation – Requested wheelchair assistance for one person in our group. Passengers requesting wheelchair assistance are met in the main lounge by a Carnival Representative with wheelchair. Representative stayed with us and pushed the wheelchair until we cleared customs. Those not using "Self Assist" began debarkation about 1 hour after the first call for "Self Assist" and may find yourself waiting to get an elevator if you do not choose to use the stairs. Special Needs. Requested wheelchair assistance for embarkation and debarkation. Both times, Carnival provided a wheelchair and a representative to push the wheelchair. On the second full day of the cruise, requested the use of a wheelchair while docked in Nassau. Upon checking, you can "rent" a wheelchair and you the full cruise rate no matter which day of the cruise you are on or if only need for one day. Rental rate is $80 and a $50 deposit which you get back when you return the wheelchair. We did bring along our own oxygen bottles. You are able to keep one bottle in the room with you. The others are stored on the ship. When we needed a new oxygen bottle we called the Customer Service desk and we were able to pick one within 30 minutes. I'm sure they will deliver to the room but thought it would be quick to go pick one up ourselves. When picking up a new oxygen bottle you must turn over your empty one for storage. NOTE: Before embarkation, suggest you remind the staff at the front desk that you have oxygen bottles in storage and that they be available for pickup when you debark. Once we got down to the luggage pickup area we mentioned to a Carnival representative we needed to pick up some oxygen bottles and they went and brought them to us promptly.

Incidentals: Parking: Available at the port for $15.00 a day. There is a private parking service located at the port entrance that I believe charged $7/8 per day. Have to park there and take their shuttle to the cruise port. Jen was the cruise director for this cruise Courtesy to other passengers. While in Nassau, the posted reboarding time to the ship was 05:30 pm with a 6 pm departing. Around 05:45 pm we went out to our balcony to rest and view the ship leaving port. Given this was 15 minutes after the requested reboarding time, we still noticed individuals, couples nonchalantly walking down the pier toward the ship like they had all the time in the world to get back. Security staff had actually walked down the pier area trying to get folks to hurry up and get back on board. Had one woman who stopped at the gang plank and let security know she was going to finish a cigarette before she got on. Around 05:55 pm I saw this one gentleman if you can picture this literally stumbling down the pier area, red as a "beet", stopping now and then and bending over like he was going to puke. Security was waving and asking him to hurry up and he just proceeded to yell back at them.

Final View. Would I take this cruise again - Yes Met my expectations – Yes Can't beat the value for what you pay.

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Publication Date: May 3, 2012

I sailed with 3 friends on a 4-day trip to Nassau and Halfmoon Cay from Port Canaveral. I have been on 3 similar cruises aboard the Carnival Sensation and the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas. This cruise, while "satisfactory" overall, was significantly below the quality experienced on the Sensation and somewhat below the Monarch's quality. Main complaint: Rather mediocre food in the dining room; some dishes were served cold or lukewarm and had to be sent back. Lido deck buffet was fine throughout; no complaints there. Pizza actually was above average. As for entertainment, I also would give the theater show a "C" compared to previous cruises. On a more positive note, the Neon Bar piano-bar guy was excellent (too bad the table service was slow.) Karaoke shows also were above average. One area where the cruise was outstanding was the fast boarding procedure and quick disembarkation. However, a friend ran into an inspection snag -- her carry-on cooler bag, which had been allowed on other cruises, was judged a couple of inches too big, so she had to empty the contents into other bags and abandon the cooler. A rather

unpleasant start to her cruise. The Halfmoon Cay private-island experience was good to excellent, although some shade trees would have been nice. One big demerit: One stairway to the beach had dangerous rocks half-covered with sand at the bottom, and we saw a few guests trip and fall. A lawsuit waiting to happen. Given my two previous cruises aboard Carnival, I was surprised the cruise line didn't give me a perk or two, such as a free drink coupon or something. Except for the attentive steward, I didn't feel particularly welcome or appreciated on this cruise.
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Publication Date: March 22, 2012

this is not a really good cruise boat is out dated food is awful same ole slop day after day service was horrible waiting 30 35 min for drinks no selection on food pool area way over crowded elevators are so slow mainly half to take stairs up or down drinks are so expensive 1.95 for can pop 3.95 for water and 4 beer deals 23.00 crazy people are friendly on there just needs some up keep good for first timers i guess

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Publication Date: June 14, 2012

Carnival's Splendor, which took us to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas for a week long 'fun' cruise, wasn't what I was expecting. We travel a ton, but this trip was very disturbing. Let me begin at the end. Last day of the cruise, our room flooded. Water cascading from the ceiling and down the walls. Not drips, but RUNNING water. Called Guest Services as we were trying to get ready for our evening. Supervisor showed up, assured us we would be contacted and that things would be resolved before returning to our room. After a night of dinner, dancing, gambling and visiting with family, we arrived to our room at two-thirty in the morning. We had to leave the ship by ten a.m. The bed was pulled from the wall, helter skelter in the middle of the room. Bedding thrown in a corner on the floor. Side tables and lamps thrown on the bed. sopping wet towels spread throughout the room. Our clothes, luggage and belongings thrown on the floor in a damp heap. Message light on phone. Message is: "Thank you, Mr. *****. We have solved the problem. If

you would like a new room, please call." I call. At two-thirty in the morning, they expect us to pack all of our things they threw on the floor, wait for an attendant, and move to an inside cabin from our balcony room. I want to have a supervisor look at the state of our room. Wait a half an hour. No response. I call again. Nothing. I walk down the hall, find housekeeping at random, and a half hour after that, we crept into a damp bed, room still trashed, exhausted after the employee at least changed the sheets and pillows. Got to sleep by four in the morning. Nobody ever showed up to take care of anything. The result: Talk to guest services. Nothing. Talk to others. Nothing. But let's start at the beginning..... It took three evenings to finally have my immediate family seated with the rest of my family for dinner, as Carnival made a mistake with booking. I was polite, but was ignored and put off for three days until we physically dragged our chairs through the dining room to the big table, scrunching in with them. What a scene, and a horrible one, but I was at my rope's end. We came on the cruise to be with family, and dinner is the main gathering place to talk about our times on the ship! Then, of course,as we were blocking the aisles, they solved the problem very easily. Day four. One hundred dollars cash was stolen from our cabin. Very crafty, they are! Had eight hundred in the safe, but whoever stole it was good. Only took five twenties. Again, ignored. My bad in forgetting to lock the darn safe that time. No comment from Carnival. Snorkeling excursion in Cabo booked via Carnival: Worst ever taken. 45 minute trip to destination, given 45 minutes to snorkel, except you had to swim for almost fifteen minutes to reach the bouyed off section due to so many ships in the area. Paid $80 per person (4 of us) for 20 minutes of snorkeling in twenty five feet of murky water. Took pictures, offered to compare them to the advertised pictures. Carnival declined to see them. Saw eight fish. Result: half of our excursion refunded. One of our bags was put in the incorrect section when the porter took them for disembarking. Couldn't find it. Left, flew home. Carnival found it, but didn't call us. I called them, finally. We had to pay for shipping of the luggage to our home. Response: 'Thank you for vacationing with Carnival.' I enjoy gambling, but let me tell you, the dealers DO NOT like you having a good time, and certainly don't like you winning! Dour, sour, even downright offensive dealers consistently, every night. I gamble to have a good time, but it's difficult to have that good time when it's so obvious that they don't like you. I'm not an offensive person, have respect for everybody, but it was so bad that after the third night of rudeness, I didn't tip a dealer once for the rest of the cruise. I sent several emails from home to explain what happened, and we find out that for everything, we were compensated $60. Yes, that's right. Sixty dollars. You decide for yourself if you'd like to spend nearly six thousand dollars on a family vacation with Carnival and expect this in return. But I have to love the email address! ICare@Carnival! That's irony.
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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: May 28, 2012

The Elation is a Fantasy class ship that we had just sailed a few months ago, so we knew what to expect. We have sailed her many times.

We love cruising out of New Orleans. We are Diamond members, so we get VIP Check In and New Orleans does that very well. IF you are sailing when NCL and RCCL are in town, the traffic can be a bit of a pain on Saturdays and Sundays, but they were gone…so we had no issues. I believe RCCL and NCL are only in New Orleans from Nov - April.

To me the Elation is the prettiest of the Fantasy class ships and one of my favorites, even though it does not have the new Evolutions of Fun water park or the balconies that have been added to some Fantasy class ships.

The food was good. We ate in the Main Dining Room every night. Yes the menu has changed over the years, but we were always able to find something that we liked.

The Deli was good as was the Mongolian Wok. And of course the 24 hour free ice cream. YUM

Service was

excellent all over the ship.

Gary Brierley was the Cruise Director and he is just delightful. (one of our favorites)

Ryan is a Social Host of Australia whose performance in the Legends Show is not to be missed. He also hosted karaoke and was a huge hit!

Bruce in the Piano Bar is from Scotland and a delightful (and talented) gentleman.

The Cover Band was Simply Friends and they are very good.

We had 4 in an interior on Empress. This was our last "family" cruise for awhile, since our oldest son is now grown and is sailing on his own and with friends.

We had plenty of room even with 2 boys that are 6+ foot tall.

We found the ship to be in good shape. Our cabin was clean and the cabin steward friendly and attentive.

They have the NEW Legends Show and it was good to see some new acts.

We have been to Progreso and Cozumel more times than I can count but always have a good time when we are there. Both are safe. I know with all the violence in other parts of Mexico this can be a concern.

We did our own thing in both ports. We always just walk about in Progreso and this time I actually forgot to pack my white socks…and was able to find some in the local market (orange building).

In Cozumel, we went to Paradise Beach for a day of fun in the sun….but we are also very fond of Cozumel Bar Hop. Both are independent tours you can find on Facebook and we have a blast.

They did VIP Self Assist very well...except that it is difficult to get your luggage up to Promenade and then back down to Empress. Since this is "self assist", then they should know all these guests are going to have all their luggage and should have a meeting place that allows for that fact.

Over all, what we thought would be just a 5 day getaway turned into one of our best cruises.

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Publication Date: May 26, 2012

Ok everyone, here is my review of the Carnival Ecstasy. We sailed from the 26 May 12 to 31 May 12. First let's talk about pre-boarding, do not try and take bottles of alcohol packed in your luggage. Carnival X-Rays every piece of luggage and if you have any bottles, guess what they will not be there when your luggage arrives. What you will get is a letter telling you that it was removed. Now you can try and get it back at the end of the cruise, but if it has been opened, well it became part of the trash. Trust me, I tried and got caught. Also ladies, each cabin has only 2 A/C outlets, so if you have any hair dryers, chargers or anything that needs charging I recommend that you go to your local hardware store and get a 4 plug AC strip. This will give you a couple of extra plugs to use. Also the room lack ventilation. Bring a small fan with you packed in your luggage. This will help a lot to move the air in your room and make it a

little more comfortable when you sleep. Embarkation was a little surprise. We arrived at the port at 1:30pm and there was a long line. So the word of the day, be calm enjoy the people around you and remember the boat will be there and not sail without you. Carnival did move the line and it took about 30 minutes to finish with check in. Now the ship, I found the ship was very clean, some areas did look worn and some areas could have used a little paint, but overall the staff did an excellent job in maintaining the ship. Bathrooms were clean and common areas were clean also. My only complaint here is the sewer smell throughout the ships cabin area. Some days it was very strong and some days not so strong. Good news here, I never had any of the smell enter my cabin, which by the way was Empress deck 7, cabin E-95. This ship was a little hard to get around at first. I do recommend take an hour and walk each section of the ship. Some areas you have to go up a flight of stairs to get where you want and then down a flight to continue. I thought the ship layout was confusing. Cabins are nothing to shout about. I had a balcony cabin with bunk beds for the 4 of us. My walk in closet at home has more room. The bathroom and shower were small and the shower, well let's just say, don't plan on strong water pressure for your showers. Caution here, remember turn on cold water then add the hot water. The hot water is scalding hot and you can get burned. The staff on board were excellent, everyone that I met always had something nice to say and always greeted with "Good Morning" or afternoon. I have no complaints here. Now the one that everyone wants to know, Dining. There are two types of dining. Assigned dining at 6pm and 8pm. The other dining was "Anytime Dining". Here you can pick your time to dine. Remember one thing though, you may have to wait for a table. Anytime dining does not guarantee you a table when you want to eat. So I recommend when you book your cruise, pick your dining time so you know you have a table. Staff was excellent and my only complaint here, I drink ice tea, and I had to remind them every night for ice tea. Now the food. Carnival like many other cruise ship, have felt the crunch of the economy. Carnival is trying to do more with less and I have to say they are doing a good job at it. The meals were good. Now I did not say excellent, I don't expect gourmet food on a cruise ship, but what was available was good. My complaint here is Carnival is using more fish and chicken for their meals. Beef was available twice. Now for those out there that like prime rib. This is served the second night during the formal. Go to the Lido deck to the buffet and there you can get the same thing. At dinner they give you a small cut of prime rib. At the buffet you can ask them for the cut that you want. I had an inch cut and went back for seconds. The other steak that is being served is strip steak. Not my favorite and will not eat it again. Tough and chewy and hard to swallow. Overall the food was very good. Remember, the ship was filled and trying to serve over two thousand people is a task that only the military can achieve. You do have two menus that you can choose from. My son liked the gourmet hamburger. I have to admit, it did look good. You can combine menus and pick anything you want for your meals. This was nice and gave me more options. Overall I did not have any bad experience with the food or staff. The buffet in the morning can be a bit overwhelming. And again this depends on the time you get up and eat. One note here, there are three omelet stations. Go to the back of the dining hall to the Deli station and to the left is a omelet station that rarely gets used. You can bypass the lines and get to your table a little early. Tables were always available, so no complaints here. Here is some good news, all of the ice cream you can eat free. So like my kids, go for it. Entertainment was very lacking. We had only two shows, one for the sail-a-way, and one production "All about Country". There was the normal, comedy acts, and different small shows, but nothing else. One thing that I was very proud about, was that Carnival did have a veterans gathering for all military personnel active duty or retired. The first mate and cruise director and several staff where there to meet with all of the military personnel. Way to go Carnival!!. One thing that I was asked to talk about was the pool area and hot tubs. The pool area was large enough for everyone and lounge chair were available. The hot tubs on the other hand were full with teenagers, go figure. But good news here for all adults, there is an area under the Lido deck dedicated to adults with two hot tubs. Now here is the good news, this is controlled. My son who is 14 years old, came to check in with us and was asked to leave. Now the staff was very polite and after my son explained that he was only there to check in, the staff member said that was ok, and my son left. This was very nice to have an area for us adults. Debarkation was very smooth and quick. Carnival has come up with a good system to get there passengers off of the ship. First there is early departure. Now this is done by decks and they ask you not to come down until your deck is called. Then there is normal departure again this is done by decks and went very smooth. Now remember the ship was filled, so there was some waiting but not bad. Luggage is tagged with a number and all you have to do is go to the area with your number displayed and your luggage is there for you. Now for the not so fun stuff. Carnival like other cruise industry are there to make money. This is a business and like most businesses they must make a profit to stay in business. So prices on board are very expensive. Beer is 6.50 each and a bucket of beer with four beers runs 25.00 dollars. Special drinks run 7.50 dollars. So before you know it, you can run up a tab of several hundred dollars. One saving grace, those that don't drink, purchase a "Bottomless Bubbles" for soda. This ran about 54.00 for two and 22.00 for the cup for two. This breaks down to about 4.50 dollars per day. Now this gets you all the soda you can drink, and juice you can drink also. Be careful with there so called "Sales" again take your time and really ask yourself if you need that item. Remember, not all sales are a bargain it part of their profit line to make money. Pictures, now the staff will be taking your pictures on and off of the boat. Not cheap to purchase but nice memories, so pick and choice the one you really want. Well I have used up a lot or your time. Overall the trip was very nice and would I sail with Carnival again, properly not. I have liked Royal Caribbean and I like what they offer. If you would like more information on ports of call and pictures please free to contact me any time and I will answer your question and send any pictures. Contact me at

Take care and enjoy your cruise

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: May 5, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Liberty by FGC Western Caribbean May 5, 2012

This was our first cruise and only had a vague idea of what to expect. I have to say that we were extremely impressed with the service and value you get for the price though if you like to drink, careful with the bar tab, it can get rather pricey. We are for sure doing this again. p.s. Guy's Burger Joint has to one of the best burgers I have ever had!

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