Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

by Larry
Western Canada
February 18, 2008

This was our first ever cruise, and we were planning it for the last 5 years. There were 4 of us -- me, the wife and 2 boys. We live in Baton Rouge which is only about and hour away. But we stayed in Kenner Sunday in order to take the haunted tour in New Orleans Sunday night, which was cool as well.

Since this was our first time cruising, and have read different posts about it, but it went very smoothly for us. We have a little bit of a wait. But after that it went fast. Even traffic going into the parking garage was smooth. And the port security was very helpful and nice.

After boarding, we went to the Lido deck to the Window by the Seas and to the Grill to eat. The hamburgers were great but the hotdogs not so much. The buffet was ok. The food was great sometimes. It depends on what was online. But we loved eating there due to the view.

Then we headed to our room which was on the Riviera deck which had 4 beds, two of them pushed together to make a double. The room was nice. Even for 4 people it was just the right size. Only problem we had was that one of my boys didn't want to leave it enough. He wanted to look at tv too much. Not a problem for the youngest. He turned into a party animal.

We only ate in the dining room once, and that was on the last night. But after being seated our waiter let us know that we were missed. He was very cool and nice. He made the dinner go very well for us. In fact, if we ever cruise on the Fantasy again, we are going to make sure we get a table in his area.

As for eating on the Lido deck, my wife and boys loved it, especially my youngest. He loves fruit, and he could not get enough of it. I loved the pizzas and the sandwiches myself. We didn't get any sodas since the tea and juices were good enough. And me and my wife loved eating outside in the fresh air, just enjoying the view of the water.

We got lucky on this cruise because we had a lunar eclipse on the 20th. The sky was clear and it was windy. We went up to the Sun Deck and we thought a few people were going to fly off of the ship.

Progresso, Mexico: We booked the Chichen Itza Tour which is a place I have been wanting to see for who knows how long. Just me and the wife went and we both loved it. It is a long tour. Takes about 2 hours just to get there. But it was great. A lot of history to be seen. Just be prepared for the heat and vendors. It is hot and they are pushy. You make one stop going to the site, and of course it's at a souvenir shop. But it has some nice stuff there. The drive also takes you thru town where you get to see the locals going about their day. In my opinion, not enough time is allotted to visiting the Ruins. There is just too much to see here.

Cozumel, Mexico: We have been to Mexico only once before this cruise. We drove from Baton Rouge to Rio Bravo which is on the other side of the border from Pharr, Texas back in '99. I heard a lot about Cozumel. Even though we only did one excursion here, which was the Sub Ocean one. It was great. Took lots of pictures. Did some shopping as well, but didn't do all that I wanted to do though.

We only went to a few shows. Caught the comedy show which was good, and we went to the towel animal making one as well. We made two animals. Had some fun doing that.

Camp Carnival
Our youngest couldn't get enough of it. He almost lived there. They really kept him busy. He turned into a party animal, coming in at 3:00 am on one night. The counselors were great. They get high marks from me. If they could keep my youngest busy, then they were doing something right.

Room Service
Room service was great! The food was good and the service was great.

The overall cruise experience was great. We went wanting to have fun and that is exactly what we got.

Make sure you bring an alarm clock, especially if you are in an inside cabin. Bring some water bottles and holders for excursions, as well as sodas if you drink them.

Have a jacket with you when you board. Traveling down the river was cold when the sun went down.

Overall this was a great cruise for our first time. We are already planning the next one. For more info. you can email me at