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Carolyn

Age: 42

Occupation:President

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Celebration

Sailing Date: May 1st, 2006

Itinerary: Bahamas

As this was my first cruise it is the only cruise line and ship that I have traveled on. I have never gone on a cruise simply because I did not think that I would enjoy it. A group of relatives were going and I decided to join my mother. We took the 6-day Monday-Saturday cruise on the Celebration to Key West and then on to Nassau. This was a VERY inexpensive vacation ($440 for the cruise) plus expenses.

OUR CABIN/THE SHIP - Our cabin was on the 4th level (farthest down) on the outside so we did have a port hole. We were located very near the front of the ship (403). Because of the low price and based on reading reviews I guess I didn’t have high expectations. I expected to find a VERY small room that was showing signs of wear-and-tear. This is not what I found. I should also mention that this is in comparison to hotels that we typically stay at – Hilton, Marriot, etc. Our room size was fine, the décor of the ship was fine. I was astounded at how much effort was spent on cleaning (24/7) – the cabin doors, the hallway was shampooed nightly, the door handles, and of course, our cabin. I felt the staff on the Celebration did an outstanding job.

SHIP ENTERTAINMENT – Probably the only thing that I was disappointed with is the ship entertainment. The cast had a lot of energy and good intent. I feel the choreographer should be fired. Know your audience. On our ship most were couples and families. My opinion is that the choreographer of the show was a male on Viagra. I don’t need to see a bunch of women with their cheeks hanging out to EVERY customer at EVERY show. In other words – same show different costume. My suggestion is that whoever oversees the entertainment – attend the country/western show and see you audience reaction when the ‘tits and ass’ show starts. Sitting in the front row – I could SEE the nipples NOT entirely covered by the costume. The best part of the show was the orchestra and the fiddle player – good job and a lot of talent. One other comment – only attend the late night comedy entertainment on Friday night (mid-night show?) if you enjoy women bashing. The poolside events that included the audience were a hoot and GREAT ENTERTAINMENT – loved the 80 year old winner of the hair chest contest. TIP: It was nice to have the spa services available. If you are budget conscience – wait for the specials near the end of the cruise – great deals – 3 services for $39.

THE FOOD – I was determined to enjoy myself and NOT gain 5 pounds. I found it very easy to eat healthy. I very much appreciated the dinner menu designating entrees that were healthy. I was never disappointed AND I never felt that I was sacrificing taste by selecting these low cal/low fat options.

PORT DESTINATIONS – I found Key West very enjoyable. We opted for the kayak trip. We made arrangements through the ship for convenience. We opted for the morning trip as we felt it would be cooler, etc. Our table guests opted for the afternoon trip. Our morning group was very large (30 kayaks) and it was a little rushed and a little hard to hear the tour guide. Overall it was very enjoyable and educational at the same time. I believe the smaller, afternoon group (5 kayaks) got more value – if the full sun doesn’t bother you. We originally scheduled the private island tour in Nassau (through the ship) and it got cancelled. As an alternative we decided to spend the day at Paradise Island. You have to either be a guest of the Paradise Island resort or the Comfort Inn to use their facilities. Spending the day using the facilities – ESPECIALLY if you have kids is a GREAT way to spend your time in Paradise Island. If you plan ahead the BEST option is to reserve a room at the resort using their ‘day rate’ option. My take – these are the rooms that are empty for that particular day. None were available and we opted to go the Comfort Inn route. Once we actually got a room through Comfort Inn it was worth it to spend the day at the Paradise Island resort – you get a pristine beach, beach chairs, beach bar, meandering (lazy) river to float around, pools, the way cool pyramid slide, etc. BUT – be prepared to be ripped off by Comfort Inn. We were quoted a $195 rate but with additional charges (housekeeping charges, water charge, utility charge, etc.) the room cost $300+ and rude, rude, rude. We had a reservation through Amex for 4 people and they tried very hard convince us that Amex made the mistake and that rate was for 2 people. If you go this route be prepared. In the end, I paid it and let Amex fight it out later. I have to say that you get VERY SPOILED on the cruise ship when you don’t have to worry about ANYTHING and then you go to a place with POOR customer service and is a tourist trap.!

ABSOLUTE BESTS – (1) Yoga in the morning. I attended a class and did yoga on the top deck in the morning followed by a walk on the outdoor track. WONDERFUL! (2) Pictures taken during the ‘dress up’ dinner – very professional and reasonable in price. (3) topless deck area (topless optional) – VERY quiet and relaxing.

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