Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Celebration
Sailing Date: July 19th, 2007
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
We cruised Royal Caribbean before and
loved it. The food on RC was okay, but it really was a "wow" ship. We live about
10 minutes from port for the Carnival Celebration, so we had to try it. I read
all the reviews on line and couldn't wait!!
Someone drive us to the port. We arrived at the time on our fun pass suggested at 1:00. There was a huge line, waited in it for a half hour in the car and then another hour through the terminal. I asked the service people what time is the earliest we could have boarded. They said some people come at 10:45, but can't get on board until 11:15. We didn't have the Bahamas customs paperwork (didn't know where to get it ahead of time), that might have saved just a few minutes though.
We carried on our 2 bottles of champagne, bottled water and canned diet Pepsi in a little cooler, no problem.
The buffet line was huge, but if you wanted pizza and a salad bar that was in the back area and there was no wait. Good thing to check on throughout the cruise because there always seemed to be a wait.
The ship was very neat and nice for an older ship. Nice sized room, very neat. We signed up for best available inside cabin and were pleasantly surprised that it was on the top deck E, close to the stairs and elevator, just one or two floors from everything.
They had a lifeboat drill at 3:30. It was hard to hear the announcements unless you really try in the hallway. We had our life jackets on (which you have to get in your room and go to your designated area). We were the only ones there at 3:30! People were still boarding the ship and drinking at our bar destinations without their life jackets until 4:30 when there were more announcements to get your life jackets. We actually walked by sections to where the life boats were. So we left the port after 5:15.
The food was better than Royal Caribbean, my husband and I thought, I guess since it was a smaller ship. 2 different nights the steak was extremely tough, I would stick with the seafood dishes which were awesome. The melting chocolate cake with ice cream was pretty good. We missed the midnight buffet, but heard it was good by our dinner guests. You do meet so many people on the ship and ports. The staff of the ship were all very nice.
Skip, our Australian cruise director was funny. He hosted most of the shows and made the announcements. The shows were great and funny as well.
Not much to do at Freeport. Our taxi broke down and we had to wait for another one, passed on another shabby one that came by with no air. Went to the Market and Sheraton ($10 per person round trip). The items at the market looked like ones at a garage sale, old and dusty. Nassau was much better. They didn't let you use the pool at the Sheraton, but we were able to use a couple of lounge chairs. Boy, are the drinks strong, all alcohol with a little coloring!!!
Nassau's big attraction was Paradise Island, all the taxi's wanted to take you there. Instead we just walked the market and to the Hilton on the beach. We were able to use their pool and beach again for free and had more excellent drinks. I would recommend the Yellow Bird. Went to Conch Fritter's Restaurant and ordered conch fritters thinking that was the island specialty. All dough, when we returned it she gave us fried conch, much better!
We wanted to do the Bacardi tour that I saw on line, but didn't realize it was 45 minutes away from port and $160 taxi ride for two. So we went to different duty free shops to get the much heard about Nassau Royal Rum. Only one store Bristol's sold it, still walking distance. They gave out free shots and rum tasting. We were pretty happy after leaving there with our bottle of rum!!! (We didn't even have to declare it on the ship, they never check or ask what you are bringing back except for the customs paper you fill out at the end of the cruise and every person is allowed 2 bottles duty free). We decided to go back after dinner and get another bottle and do some more rum tasting. We bought 4 shirts for $10. The local will even try to sell you illegal substances so watch out! There were musicians on the streets, kind of nice. The streets didn't seem as scary as I heard before with beggars so we were ready to head back after dinner.
Little did we know that all of the shops close after 6 because of the ships dinners!!! I really wanted to get my daughter $6 straw purses with their names on it, when they wanted the same for $15 elsewhere. So if you find a deal take it and don't wait! Now I have to try to get my Nassau Royal fix by ordering it on line!!!
We never felt like we were on a ship, except on the way back lots of rocking (same as our first cruise, I guess when you are going against the currents it happens, because there really were no waves the whole time, pretty surprising).
Getting off the ship wasn't bad, really organized. We let them take our bags if you had them in hallway by midnight, you get to be the last ones off the ship. We enjoyed every last minute on the ship with breakfast and hanging out on deck catching some last minute rays and pictures. Off the boat at 9:45 and in the car by 10.
Great time, ready for another cruise!!!