Ship sailed: Carnival Splendor
Length of cruise: 7 days
Date of cruise: April 2016
Destinations visited: Miami. Cozumel. Belize. Roatan. Grand Cayman.
Service was personalized and wonderful — they made each member of the family feel special by remembering their names and drink orders, etc. Ship was clean and we had a wonderful experience. My youngest son is very shy and reserved, and our waiter had him talking, laughing and looking forward to dinner! The ports were outstanding.
Ship sailed: Carnival Sensation
Length of cruise: 5 days
Date of cruise: April 2017
Destinations visited: Miami. Half Moon Caye. Nassau. Grand Turk.
This was adults only, so a different experience. We purchased the drink package, which took the stress off budgeting and worrying about cost. The ship was older and smaller than the previous ship. I felt it wasn’t as clean, but service was outstanding and we again had a wonderful time. This cruise, the quality and offerings of the buffet were not as good and the water tasted bad. But because we had the drink package, we were able to get bottled water. The ports were not as great as the last cruise either. Half Moon Caye is beautiful, but offers no cultural experience as it is owned by Carnival.
Ship sailed: Carnival Conquest
Length of cruise: 8 days
Date of cruise: April 2018
Destinations visited: Port Everglades. Princess Caye. Grand Turk. Curacao. Aruba.
This was my kids’ favorite. Plenty of sea days between ports, which I like to help relax and recharge. As usual, service was outstanding. We had some guests next door to us that were fighting all through the night. Security came and handled it professionally and quickly once they were aware of it. We enjoyed the comedy club (kids were older this time) and had an all-around enjoyable experience. Kids met friends from all over the country that they still keep in contact with through social media.
Ship sailed: Carnival Fascination
Length of cruise: 7 days
Date of cruise: June 2019
Destinations visited: San Juan, Puerto Rico. St. Thomas. St. Maarten. St. Kitts St. Lucia. Barbados.
This ship is very old and very small. It was, however, extremely clean and easy to get around. Food was OK, service outstanding. This was a very port-intensive itinerary so onboard activities were less. I think everyone was exhausted. The ports were incredible. Starting in Puerto Rico made this cruise a little different than the others. Some guests actually board in Barbados a day prior (and get off there a day early) and some board in San Juan, so boarding was quick and easy.
Chantelle’s overall experience cruising with Carnival
The reason we started cruising was to give our kids a unique vacation. It’s wonderful for families. On the ship, there are many age-appropriate activities for everyone, so everyone can in a sense have their own vacation. As a mom, I could rest easy on the sun deck knowing the kids were contained and having fun. Off the ship is great family time where you can enjoy other countries and cultures. Food is all-inclusive which is great with three teenage boys! In addition to that — unless you pay for Wi-Fi — their phones won’t work, so they will have to speak to you and each other!
I find cruising affordable and easy. You wake up in the morning, go somewhere fabulous and have fun, get back on ship, get spoiled, and repeat.
I would say that in our experience Carnival is very family-friendly. So if you are looking for a laidback, “fancy” cruise without kids, it may not be your best choice of lines.