Number of Cruises: 6
Sailing Date: September 15th, 2007
This was organized chaos at it's finest, lots of Carnival staff running about, no information, waited in a line not knowing where it was going for almost 2 hours. There were people sitting in a holding area, people sitting in a VIP area, people walking into building and getting on ship immediately, ( we later found out there was a private function who were not sailing but using restaurant while ship was in NY) Immigration officers were aggressive and rude, yes we all know about 9/11 and how awful it was but we are not all terrorists so some respect would have been nice.
The ship itself was nice enough. A little tired looking for a 7 year old ship. We were in cabin 7299 on empress deck, the penthouse. It was roomy and had lots of storage but considering the decor in the rest of the ship it was quite bland. There was no noise except other guests who slammed doors. The balcony lights did not work neither did the DVD player in the room.
The restaurant we were allocated was the Atlantic dining room, our waiter and his sidekick were pleasant and efficient, sometimes so efficient we felt rushed and were in and out in 40 minutes.
We also had breakfast in our stateroom every morning and would have liked a courtesy call, 5 minutes before they knock at the door as I found myself scrambling for bathrobes and looking very rough.
The entertainment was on par for a cruise ship. A couple of long production shows and a great comedian, However the second comedian was also doing the late adult only show and was not so good, probably because his show was at midnight on the morning we were leaving the ship so the audience was small and non responsive.
The photographers were everywhere. Always snapping and had backdrops set up all over the ship charging $22.99 per picture 10x8 and we found out they charge staff $4.00 so the profit is huge, The constant announcements for bingo, art auctions, jewelry sales, and tours were nothing but annoying.
Cruise Director Malcolm Burn was great WOO HOO!! (he did this constantly but never became annoying) he kept the entertainment flowing and always full of fun so well done to him.
First port of call was Boston, great city but the ship was too big for city centre docking so it was a taxi ride away or an over priced Carnival Tour!!! Getting back on the ship as tours all turned up at same time was horrendous. Lines and more lines. It took over an hour to get on.
Portland was a quaint city and close to ship so everything was walk-able, lighthouse tours were ok, If weather was bad it would be a washout, we were lucky in all ports with sunshine and clear skies.
Saint John was a little town of nothing, the place must be dead without the cruise ships. RCCL was in at same time so 7000 bewildered guests squeezing into a small indoor market, NOT FUNNY!!!
Halifax was also a walk-able port. Steep climb to Citadel but worth the view and a trip to Titanic Museum and graveyard was interesting. However Carnival charge $41.00 per person for this tour and it is walk-able in 5 minutes from ship and $8.50 entrance fee, a taxi to graveyard would not be expensive.
The Carnival legends show was appalling with no one who could sing. We heard a great guy singing during Karaoke but he was not good enough for show, the concept is guests audition to be Ricky Martin, Elton John, Garth Brooks, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Tina Turner etc etc and audience vote on last night of auditions for their favorites. If the guest is with a large group its almost unanimous so good people have no chance. But I really prefer to be entertained by professionals not amateurs, people left the show half way through.
Disembarking was also a fiasco with lines on deck 2 lines on deck 3 people shouting after being held up for so long, further lines at immigration and then battling the crowds for the luggage then battling your way out of terminal into the taxi cab line which seemed to be the most organized of all with port staff giving us tickets and our number was called when it was our turn for taxi. Excellent idea!!! I enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call but Carnival exceed in some areas but fall down in more!!!