We have been back from our cruise for about a week and I was thinking about how great the trip to Florida was. This was our fifth total cruise and our fourth one on Carnival. Compared to the other Carnival cruises it was second best one, but noticed some cutbacks.
As far as embarkation, we ran into some weather problems and were traveling from West Palm beach and cut it too close to get on the ship. When we got to Budget rental (downtown location) which we booked because they offer a shuttle to the ship, the shuttle had ended. No where did it state there were end times for the shuttle. We had to hail a taxi and call the emergency travel line for the ship to let them know it would be after 3 pm to get on. It was raining that day so we didn't want to get on too early, but it was a bad judgment call on our end and didn't anticipate the other problems. We were the last ones on the ship and muster started almost as soon as we dumped our luggage on board. We obviously didn't wait in line. We were disappointed when we had to throw away our 6 pack of Mountain Dew and bottle water because didn't didn't allow plastic bottles on board. What is strange is they sell plastic water bottles on the ship so that didn't make sense. Just another way to nickle and dime you on the ship I guess.
The ship itself for the public areas was better decor than other ships we've been on. It was a french quarters type of feel instead of a tacky casino so that made me happy. The serenity deck was always crowded and we never once were able to get a half shell lounge. One side of the serenity area was always windy and shady (not warm) and the other side was roasting in the sun with no shade. Also, people totally save chairs despite the 20 minute policy that they claim staff will remove towels left to save spots. I wish we saved chairs ourselves. Due to the busy itinerary we didn't have much time to lounge on deck. The one time we did it was windy and I left me sunglasses behind which somebody stole and didn't return.
The room were in by far was the worse condition room we've ever had. It was stateroom 9259. The location on the Lido deck was awesome. We didn't have problems with spill over sound from the deck and it was very convenient. The room itself was pretty filthy. The silver tray where the drinking glasses sit and water bottles was disgustingly dirty, with debris and dust on it. I had to take it into the bathroom and personally wash it. The counters were never dusted or cleaned at all during our stay.
The bathroom's floor "popped" when you walked on it because the molded floor was because the it was replaced and would give way when you walked on it. The handheld shower head was almost complete detached from the shower head so it wasn't very strong pressure and leaked continuously. Due to the state of the bathroom, I actually preferred to shower in the gym area.
The bed was the most uncomfortable of any I've been on. It was hard and the sheets were old and didn't feel comfy. Our stateroom attendant put a comforter down on the mattress, but it really didn't help the comfort. This was surprising because usually rooms are very comfy to sleep in. Also, there was constant banging at night and loud sounds because our room was attached to a utility room/closet or something.
Highly recommend Hollywood Beach and Crown Plaza Hotel there.
Great cruise center and free Margaritaville.
Best island ever.
We walked to Paradise Island and Atlantis. Queens Staircase is beautiful.