I’ve been cruising pretty much all my life, and this is the first time I remember cruising on the Carnival Lines. Carnival has a reputation for being really good for families and we had set our expectations on that. As a result we were a bit disappointed on what they offered for kids under two.
While the night babysitting might be useful for someone who didn’t bring a supply of grandparents we were mostly looking for a place for Simeon to be able to safely roam and play. This turned out to be somewhat difficult. They allowed use of the kids area for Simeon’s age group 3 times out of 8 days (at sea periods from noon to 2pm). We also grabbed a crib for Simeon in the room, but it was much smaller then a normal crib and ended up being too small for Simeon, so he moved into our bed. We were hoping to just use the crib mattress on the floor, but they took it back when we tried to keep it since after giving up the crib they assigned it to another room. This seemed like a way too little service for charging a full third person in a cabin fare.
We did get a really good beach day with Simeon in Antigua which I would count as the highlight of the trip. The lowlight would be Nassau, which forces you through a very crowded building and makes you walk through a half a market before you can get to the street. However you are there, you are under constant assault be people trying to sell you a service. This extended all the way to the not so great beach on paradise island. This is after navigating the Atlantis Hotel in an attempt to find the beach. While riding the water taxi was nice once, the extra $1.50 for a cab instead was well worth it for the ride back. Totola didn’t make much of an impression on me since we stayed with the local shopping. Puerto Rico was cool because of the historical city layout, walls and forts. Which leaves Saint Thomas. Saint Thomas is my mother’s favorite shopping destination, especially a shop named Omni.
The food in the ship’s dinning room left a bit to be desired, and the main show’s volume levels were too loud for the speakers they were using, but it was obvious that they had put a lot of money in the productions. Carnival was a bit more pushy with the drinks and had a very well attended casino and karaoke. Overall I’d give the ship a B mostly over the food and the under two support. I’d give the staff an A. I’d give the itinerary an A-. If Pamela doesn’t talk more about traveling on a cruise with Simeon then I’ll post again on that topic.