An unrelaxing cruise vacation but I thought you might like the photos.

Well Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas was not as fun or relaxing as we would have liked. At least not $3000 worth of fun and relaxing.

The two things we really wanted to do were the most frustrating and difficult to attain. We would have been very happy to lounge by the pool during the day and shoot billiards at night. But the pools were very small. At least not big enough to actually take a good swim in. And they were loaded with small children. The adult retreat was so small it was impossible to find any room in the pool, hot tub or any seating at all. The deck hot tubs were also loaded with 6 and 7 year-olds splashing, pushing and throwing the water around. Only one parent of the children came up to drag his two out of the hot tub. What ever happened to parents teaching their children to behave and be considerate of other people? My brother and I would never been allowed to be so disruptive to the people around us!

Sunbathing is something I only do on a beach vacation and is extremely relaxing to me. My husband likes to spend his time in the water (and shade to preserve his peachiness). The pool wasn’t working out obviously, but it was impossible to find two seats together unless we wanted to get up at 8 am and come up to the pool deck to reserve our space. We were packed like sardines. There is a rule stated in the policies of the ship that if you leave your belongings unattended for more than 30 minutes they are removed so someone can seat themselves. This was never enforced! Turns out the only time people do not lay their towels, shoes, and bags allover the empty chairs around them for hours while their children play ping-pong is when we are in port and everyone leaves the ship. So we were seated in two chairs together two days out of seven. One day was because we were in port and the other was only because someone was kind enough to realize we were yards away from each other. Sheesh! Thanks to the nice woman who realized I would like to sit next to my husband in the sun.

We could have laid up on the sun deck above but it there was no shelter for Seth at all, no pools, no bars, no food. But it was quieter.

When you get to port, its better to stay on the ship so you can actually enjoy the pool. We did get off in Nassau, which is a huge tourist trap with miles of imported junk that is toted as “handmade”. In Thailand, Korea or China maybe. We figured we would get off and walk to a nice clean beach with beautiful water and that is not possible. The public beach that you can walk to is small, crowded and dirty. To get farther away you have to pay shuttles to get you there and rent a towel, chair and buy drinks at premium prices, then pay to get back.

And playing billiards on a moving ship is like playing goofy golf. At one point the ship turned and all of our balls regardless of where they were slowly moved across the table and lined up in a row along the rail. Ha! We laughed and laughed. But Carnival really laughed because we were charged $16/hr. to play with flat tipped cues on a table that hadn’t been felted since 2002.

The flip-side is that the couple of nights we wanted to party like its 1999 were fun as he**! My 39th birthday was on the Friday we sailed and we met with people we had met earlier in the trip and traveled through all the bars on the ship together. Cruise ship bar-hop!  Relax in the casino, laugh in the  Butterflies lounge and Starry Nights karaoke bar, dance in the Beauties dance club, sing in the Ivory Piano Bar and finish with pizza in the late night Lido Restaurant. One of the best birthdays I have ever had. Thanks to everyone who was with us, you made my day a blast!

The pros of this vacation: The food was exceptional (gourmet, small portions and delectable), the decor was decadent and beautiful, the staff was friendly and very accommodating, and the staterooms were comfortable, roomy and quiet. This trip would be very fun for the young that can party 24 hours a day, casino players, early risers and people who don’t mind feeling hurried or crowded. None of which we are. For the same amount of money we could have gone to the resort I was looking at and laid on a private beach to relax and be as lazy as we like-all inclusive.

I thought I would lump photos into groups of galleries for all to explore. If you click the photo you will get a larger view or use Ctrl + at the same time to increase the size of your screen.

Our Balcony Stateroom

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The Towel Animals (Seth is responsible for the naughty rabbits)

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Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas

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The pool deck and the sun deck (Levels 9 and 10 respectively)

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The Casino-where we relaxed to good, easy, music most evenings

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Butterflies-very comfortable lounge with comedians every night

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Beauties Dance Club-I burned some calories here!

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Ivory Piano Bar-we sang along to familiar tunes. The entertainer was hilarious! And the entire bar sang a drunken version of  “Happy Birthday” to me.

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The Lido Restaurant and Interior shots of the ship.

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It wasn’t a total bust. Just not what we expected and not our speed. But we tried it and can now say we would rather stay on mother earth. It’s funny that before we went everyone was telling us how much fun we were going to have and when we came back, people were coming out of the woodwork to say how much they disliked cruising. Oh well.

Carnival sent me a survey to find out how we felt about our trip. I was candid and honest. At the end they said I would be entered in a drawing to win a free Carnival Cruise…I thought “I hope I don’t win!”

Cheers!

Jennifer

2 Comments

  1. Heidi said,

    April 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    We always get rooms with balconies. That way we have private shade and sun. I don’t know how people do the inside rooms. We don’t go frequently, but when we do, we get the higher rooms. Although lately, we like our little dive boat with a 12 passenger max.

  2. Heidi said,

    April 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    And remind me to tell you of our princess cruise once with tons of old new yorkers. YIKES!


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