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Larry Gray

Age: 54

Occupation:CPA

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Celebration

Sailing Date: July 24th, 2006

Itinerary: Bahamas

We love to cruise and this year we had decided to wait until next year to afford a cruise and airline ticket for two. Then Carnival gave me a quote on the Celebration for 5 nights for under $450 each including taxes and gratuities. First of all the first secret is to look at visitjacksonville.com for a cruise package from a Jacksonville hotel. These packages include room, parking for a week, and transfers to and from the port terminal.

Secondly, you get what you pay for with this type cruise. This is an older ship without all the glamorous amenities. The entertainment is poor at best except for the Mickey Utley Band which is an undiscovered up and coming star. This band was great. The County Western and Broadway productions were poor. The comedians and magicians were awful. As for the food the chef is German and the food tastes bland and on some nights it was difficult to find a main course dinner that even interested us. The buffet was pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches but did have good breakfasts. On lobster night the lobster had 4 maybe 5 bites and when we asked for another, the waitress had to go ask for permission. So normally we left the main dinner still hungry and visited the pizza bar after the late shows.

Key West can be seen in about 3 hours and is extremely hot and expensive. There's really not much to see. Don't expect beaches, as there are none. Nassau is great if you plan your excursions. Atlantis, and the beach are great. Senor Frogs makes a great drink.

The ship is outdated and I don't think some of the pictures have been changed since 1987. The art deco look and 80's decor are long overdue for replacement. The elevators only hold 4 and most times you have to walk the stairs. The pool area is crowded with extremely load music and the smell of soured drinks. Go the aft pool for a breeze and quiet area to lay out. The topless area is enjoyable especially when the dancers from the shows were there. All in all, this is a cheap vacation and surrounded by big cruise wanna-bees. You get what you pay for.

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