Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Celebration
Sailing Date: November 13th, 2006
Ok here is my review of the Carnival
Celebration. This was my 2nd Carnival cruise after being convinced to give
Carnival another chance after having gone on one bad experience so far prior to
this cruise with Carnival. I have had a wonderful experience with RCCL in 2005.
This Celebration ship is a classic. A ship full of staff that is ready to please, have fun, and make your vacation enjoyable.
1) Food is pretty much industry standard, never can have everything YOU want all the time, get used to different food then burger king :-)
2) This ship is old, Elevators are small unlike the mega-ships. stairs are sometimes the best way to go and after a week of making the trek up and down stairs, you will feel the affects.
3) Chris the cruise Director is the best of 3 I've seen so far
4) So many games and varieties of entertainment provided on this small ship.
Embarkation: Upon arrival to Jacksonville Airport I took the shuttle to the ship which was minutes away, not long! Getting in on Monday the 13th was easy and quick. Processing through the customs took about 45 minutes I'd say at most. So no problems there.
Got on the ship around 2pm, dropped off carry on luggage at stateroom. Headed to the lido deck to get food. Food was fresh and good in the Wheelhouse.
I will not go day by day here with the run down of what went on, but will cover the important points.
2 Sea Days - Plenty of activities to get involved in. Always something going on in the lounges or outside. The social hosts were awesome and the best I've seen on 3 cruises to date with Sexy Craig leading the way it seemed. These kids were filled with energy and excitement. Limbo competition, Hairy chest competition, bean bag toss, water balloon toss, Horseracing, Win Lose or Draw, Charades, bingo daily, slot tournaments, Scene it DVD Game, Volleyball and Basketball on the lido deck, to name some of the many many activities going on. There wasn't more then an hour any day I was sitting around! Karaoke every night in endless summer lounge from 8/9pm-midnite. Black Jack Band in Island of the Sky Lounge daily from 9pmish-midnight. Adult R rated comedy two nights during the cruise at midnight in Astoria Lounge and Island of the Sky. Disco dance music from 11pm til late in the Galax-z lounge. A guy playing guitar every night on deck 9- promenade by Trolley bar. Sing a long piano was also going on.
Alcohol was average price. $4.89-6.00 with tax I'd say for mixed drinks, with higher prices on the bigger the drink. Beers were average, though I noticed Coors was $3.50 a can all week.
Dining in the Vista Room was great. I am from CT and sat with a table full of North Carolinan's which was cool. Love their accent! Have to mention also, I was among the very very very very few amount of 20 yr olds on this ship, most people were older but that was ok!
I had a waiter by the name of Petre from the Phillippines which was awesome. Very accommodating for the most part though wouldn't give me 2nds on the main course until I asked the Maitre'd one night when entering the dining room about 2nd servings. Never saw the Maitre'd at my table all week, so he got $0.00 for tips. No see, no pay. If I have to find you because I have an issue, then you go on the x-list. Maitre D's are supposed to check up on the table at least once during the cruise and say hi! Check on how things are or have gone during the cruise. So bad service on that part. Food was awesome and always something different every night.
My advice: book a big table and get it if you can, makes for more entertainment throughout the week.
Photos: Never had formal pictures taken because the photographer did not get to our table before the end of our dining time. Shame on him! Pictures elsewhere came out decent and nice.
Stateroom: Always cleaned nicely. Everything worked efficiently. Only saw the stateroom steward once because I got up every day around 8 to 9 am and he must choose to hide out around that time. But nonetheless, room was clean and smelling good!
A big bonus to this cruise for me: Winning the $500 slot tournament on a $20.00 entrance fee :-)
Key West: I think the best way to see key west is by way of Jet Ski. I found a company on the internet prior to the cruise - Island Water Sports. Upon arrival into port, I noticed Island Water Sports is next to the cruise terminal at Mallory Square. Cant miss it. A little booth on a boardwalk next to a hotel. Jet skiing was $135 with tax for an hour and a half 26 mile tour around the keys perimeter. Gulf and Atlantic Ocean water that is! Awesome picture taking opportunity and free style jet skiing time if you are into this.
Returned to the dock around 11:30am and hung out in key west trolling the streets. Walked Whiting Street to the end to the Southern Most Point in the US and took a few pictures. Saw the southernmost thing of everything. It is a little bit of a walk but worth it. Conch Train/Trolley takes you by it but does not stop on their tour. So why waste the money when on foot can stop at places. Ate lunch at Hog's Breath Saloon, awesome food and fairly quick service.
Returned to the boat around 2:15pm for boarding and off to Bahamas. You will see a lot of roosters running around Key West which is cool. Key west is also a very gay/lesbian friendly environment. There is even a bar on Duval Street that has all naked ladies upstairs which was cool.
Nassau Bahamas is Nassau. 3rd time visiting, 2nd time this year. No Nassau experience is complete without visiting Paradise Island. No Carnival does not offer this for an excursion but definitely saves you money from their high priced time restricted excursions. Want to spend all day at the beach and return to the ship whenever? Head to Paradise Island (over by the casino and Atlantis). Taxi $4.00 per person and 1.00 total for the vehicle for the toll. Well Worth it. Taxi picks you up at the cruise terminal in the building right there. Just plan to come back a couple hours before boarding time to ensure if you have to wait at all for the taxi to pick you up, you have plenty plenty of time to wait and not miss the ship. Beach was nice and weather was partly sunny. Went Jet Skiing here. Never pay full prices for jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing or whatever. The people on the island will negotiate, 10-15-20.00 off the prices!
Breakfast was pretty standard. Eggs were not the greatest ever but they were eggs. Sausage, Bacon, French toast, all averagely good stuff.
Staff: This crew was awesome. Always acknowledging guests. Never ignoring anyone. Always trying to get people involved in games and activities. They definitely do not leave anyone out and try to let everyone have as much fun as possible! Cruise Director Chris was funny and friendly. Always made the crowd laugh.
The ship was in great condition for being a small and old ship. Everything is well maintained. Easy ship to navigate.
Smooth, Fast, Efficient. I waited until 10:00am when the final call was announced for all remaining people still on the ship to get off the ship. I was among the last 25-50 people I'd say because I didn't want to wait in line for hours or whatever it would take to get off the ship. Processing thru customs took a matter of minutes due to the being the last off the ship. This is the way to go!
Celebration? Definitely will do this ship again. Had a blast. Staff was amazingly awesome. Food was always fresh, not the biggest selections but decent! Ship in good condition. Ports of call were cool, Key west needs more time in the port, and Nassau needs less time at the port.
That's my review! any questions, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org