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Linda Braddock

Age: 40

Occupation:housewife (5 kids)

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Celebration

Sailing Date: August 2nd, 2003

Itinerary: 5 day cruise to Cozumel

Before we left on this trip, I read all the reviews for this ship and was rather apprehensive...
Last summer we took our 1st cruise on RC Rhapsody and it was wonderful! I knew this one wouldn't be able to "touch" that one, but I tried to go with an open mind...

If you're wondering why we took this cruise if we felt this way... it was because my husband's family was having their family reunion aboard this ship.

Let me say the positive things 1st...

I was actually very pleased with our room. After having a large balcony room on RC, I wasn't sure what I'd think this time...We had an outside room on deck 7 that was a quad room, and it accommodated me & my husband & our 2 little ones quite nicely. There was a nice basket in the room with sample size products (toiletries) that was rather helpful. The room was cozy and not bland looking as the pictures on the internet looked. The color & decor was pleasant...

The long hallways to the rooms were actually prettier than they had been on our last ship... (the only thing prettier)

Their were several Romanian workers on the ship that I met that were just adorable! So kind and friendly! I looked forward to running into them.

Also, Cozumel was GREAT!

Last summer we had gone to Playa Sol beach resort and liked it, so this time we just headed there and spent the whole day. We had a blast! It was inexpensive but really fun.

We took 2 of our kids on this cruise and the program for the 6-8 year olds was really fun for my little boy... He didn't go alot, but when he did, he really enjoyed himself. My little girl, who is 5, wouldn't stay at all in the younger class... it was like a small daycare room... so she just hung out with me.

Now for the negative... and I'm really not a negative person... I just think there are a few things I should mention.

To begin, I had read many reviews that spoke of the ship vibrating... we heard that the ship was drydocked to be repaired last January, so assumed that would be fixed. Well, this ship did vibrate the entire time. You could actually see the outside stairwells shaking. It constantly shook and vibrated. I never felt anything like this on the other ship.

I suppose my biggest complaint was that this ship was SO crowded and small. Low ceilings in the dining area (wheelhouse) made it even worse... so many people always crammed in there....just felt like I was dining at a crowded Golden Corral on a Sunday noontime...

The pools were tiny and the waterslide was a big disappointment. This was one thing my young son was looking forward to... the waterslide. He's an avid swimmer and couldn't wait... but when we got there, they had a worker at all times standing there who only let 1 person on at a time... and who won't let anyone on who's under 48" (they stand there with the measuring stick). My son is about 47 3/4" tall. He just barely missed it... depending on how he stood, but they would not let him go. All his cousins who are taller, were going, and this just about killed him. (for the past 2 summers he's been able to ride the rides at SIX FLAGS that require you to be 48" but I guess that's with shoes on) There was even a little boy who kept riding it, who couldn't have been more than 5 years old, and didn't know how to swim so he had to keep his life jacket on, but he was tall, so he got to go down the slide. :-(

My son kept trying each time a new worker would come, and tried (at the suggestion of another cruise worker) to get on the ride with his water shoes on... which did make him tall enough, but they made him take them off. I suppose unless you are a mother, you may not understand how heart wrenching this was...

Well, I finally, after trying to talk to someone about this, I ended up in the office of a very cocky assistant pursor who was at first, very rude. Finally he came up to the pool to see for himself JUST how close my little boy was to making it ... I swear, we're talking 1/4 of an inch here

I do understand rules are for safety, but come on!

... He ended up saying, "Ok, let him go 1 time" and the poolside broke out in applause...

The only reason I am mentioning this, is not because I think they are totally wrong or anything, and I really can understand their point, but just for anyone out there who's going to go on this trip with children... don't get them excited about the waterslide unless they are a good 48" barefoot... or they won't be going down the slide...

In general, I just want to say that had this been my 1st cruise, I would have wondered what on earth all the fuss was regarding cruises... I would most likely have never planned on going on another. I'd have said something like... "yes it was fun, BUT I think I'd rather try something else"...

Even knowing the difference, somehow the "magic" about cruising has left me... After our last one, I KNEW that I had found my dream vacation and HAD to go again...Now, my husband and I are thinking about perhaps just flying to an all-inclusive resort next summer...

That is so sad... what really makes me sad though is that this reunion cruise was really planned for my husband's mother who is almost 80 and had never been on a cruise (and no doubt won't ever go again) this was supposed to be her dream vacation. I wished so badly she'd have gone on a bigger & better ship.

When all is said and done, I do definitely want to cruise again (I promised my 3 older kids - who didn't go this time - that we'd take another with our whole family) BUT I definitely WON'T be going on this ship again. I'll stick to bigger - newer ships. The difference is just incredible!

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