Number of Cruises: 10
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Celebration
Sailing Date: April 16th, 2007
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
This review should be helpful to anyone
who has sailed on the bigger, newer ships and debating about going on the
My wife and I have been on nine cruises prior to sailing the Celebration...mainly on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We love the big ships: the bigger, the better for us. Because of our schedules, this sailing date was the only option we had for this year and the Celebration was our only choice. With much hesitation about the size and age of the ship, we booked. After all, it still would be a cruise!
The ship is smaller and older than what we were used to, but overall, it was a very good experience and in hindsight, we never should have worried.
This is the only ship in Jacksonville. So, you do not have bus after bus filling into the lot. I suspect a lot of locals take this cruise, as the parking lot had quite a few cars in it. The lines moved right along in the terminal. Probably 25 minutes door to boat.
When you board, there is not an elaborate atrium or "main street". You actually enter by the purser's desk. With the exception of the atrium, the deck plans are laid-out like the Fantasy-class ships. So, you pretty much had everything you would find on other Carnival ships except the "wow factor" of the atrium.
Rooms are just like on the other Carnival ships, obviously few balconies. We did miss this, but knew going into it!
What we were really impressed with on this ship was the open deck space. On the Destiny, Conquest and Triumph-class ships, the aft pool and its cover significantly reduce available deck space. That is why there is always a problem finding chairs on those ships. Not here...tons of open space and always a chair. Also, kudos to the kids staff....there were 400 kids on this sailing (school vacation week in northeast anyways) and you hardly ever saw any.
As I mentioned, the ship has all of the bars, lounges, casino, etc. that you would expect to find onboard. While there is nothing too flashy about them, they serve their purpose. The ship does show some age through wear and tear (older carpets, not as much "shine" all around), but they have kept the ship as modern as they can.
The theater is plenty big enough, though there are many supporting poles that will be in your sight line.
The staff is mixed, in the sense that some go above and beyond and some could care less. But probably 80/20 in favor of the above and beyond!
The food is the same on other Carnival ships, though I think with fewer people to feed, it is fresher and cooked better. I laughed out loud at a previous reviewer who said the chocolate cake was not cooked through (please take that review with a grain of salt!). This is actually a new item for Carnival called Chocolate Melting Cake. It is supposed to have a liquid like consistency in the middle! They have it is as an alternative selection for dessert at every dinner.
The buffet (Wheelhouse Grill) is laid out poorly and is tough to get around. When they first built this ship, so many people still did the dining room as traditional lunch, so as the times changed and people began doing more and more buffets for lunch, they were stuck with the size of this. One side is a regular buffet and the other side for lunch has a specific country theme...nice touch.
Was this as beautiful and modern as newer ships...of course not. But for the money, you get a great deal, an overall good ship, and a good cruise experience. We want to go back to the bigger ships, but if we needed to book this again, we would have no hesitation!