Carnival Miracle - 8 Day Alaska cruise - Vancouver to Seattle - April 28 - May 06 2014.

Carnival Miracle
Carnival Miracle - Ketchikan Alaska

April 28   Vancouver, BC, Canada       4:00 PM
April 29   Cruise Inside Passage       
April 30    At Sea
May 01    Juneau, AK    7:00 AM    10:00 PM
May 02    Skagway, AK    7:00 AM    8:00 PM
May 03    Cruise Glacier Bay       
May 04    Ketchikan, AK    8:00 AM    5:00 PM
May 05    At Sea
May 06    Seattle, WA    7:00 AM

I have to start out and say I booked this cruise on Saturday April 26th in the early afternoon. While on the phone I was told I had 1 hour to complete this and sign into my sail account and give all my information. Carnival had a great single rate and I have never tried Carnival before so I thought why not no air. I had to book a bus back from Seattle to Vancouver so I used Bolt Bus a subsidiary of Greyhound. Cost of the ticket was $17.50.
I have been to Alaska about 8 times including this cruise so I had an idea of what I would do.

I was given an outside 6A cabin 1251 way down on the bottom of the ship

Click on Thumbnail to see larger version of the Photo

Cabin 1251Cabin 1251Cabin 1251

Vancouver, BC - April 28 2014

I arrived at Canada Place at about 11:45 AM and dropped my luggage off and headed inside. Since this was the first cruise of the season I knew there  were going to be some issues and it didn't take long before they surfaced. First they did not like my NEXUS Card instead of my passport.
You see those that live near the Canada/USA border can apply for a NEXUS card for $50 for 5 years. In order to get one you have to go through an application process and interview process from both Canada and the USA. You have to provide your finger prints as well retina scan. One can then use this card to travel back and forth between Canada and the USA and use the special NEXUS lanes as well as a few other places.
When I presented my card they were unsure if I could use it so they had to find out.

I then lined up for security and passed through that then had to clear US Customs. You see when one travels to Alaska US Customs pre-clears the ship in Vancouver so US Customs doesn't have to have the man power in the first Alaska port to do it. I presented my card he scanned it and he said continue on.

I was then directed to an area where we sat down for about 20 minutes because check-in was behind due to a computer failure earlier.

Once we did get the chance to check-in it didn't take long to do so and I was onboard the Miracle in about 45 after arriving at Canada Place.

Once on board I went upstairs to Horatio's where they were serving Asian and Italian. There were other choices like Pizza and a sandwich bar as well as Grill beside the pool. I have to say that I chose the Italian and sat down with another couple and we all started in on the Italian and we all said at the same time this food is cold. There was no heat to it at all. We were all disappointed. This is not a very good first impression for Carnival.

Shortly after 1:30 PM the cabins became available and I headed down to mine. I opened the door to find almost everything in order. There was the problem with the oar I found on my bed. Damn I thought this was the reason why the price was lower than an inside.
The two things I had I placed in the closet. I then headed out and walked around the ship to see what more was going on. I noted that lifeboat drill was at 3:30. I came back to my cabin around 3:15 to see if my luggage had arrived and it was there. I then unpacked and put my case under the bed. By this time 3:30 had come and gone and the drill had been delayed to about 4 PM as a few passengers were still boarding.

I had to use the bathroom and was in it when the alarm sounded. Not much I could do but as I was in the bathroom I heard my cabin door open and close. I finished up and exited my cabin but as I opened my door I saw the RED EVACUATED sign in my door. MY cabin steward was standing nearby and the look on his face was of utter shock. You see Carnival has the cabin stewards check the cabins for you and then with that information checks you off the list saying you are at your lifeboat station.

I was rather concerned about this as the steward should check the bathroom or behind the bed to make sure you are gone. Lets say that the ship hits something like the Costa Concordia did and one is thrown out of bed and knocked unconscious or knocked out in the bathroom how does the room steward know this by just opening the cabin door?
I ask the question isn't Carnival the parent company of Costa Cruises? Did they not learn anything from that accident?

I know Princess and Holland America scan your room card at the lifeboat station so so why not them? This way they know you made it. Carnival does a count at the station itself and uses that information from the cabin stewards but this doesn't tell them who made it to the station.

The Miracle didn't pull out till about 430. I went up on deck looking for a friend (Manuela) who just got off the Miracle from Hawaii. I was suppose to meet her off the ship but had to send her an email explaining that I was getting on the ship she was getting off. It appears Manuela saw me but I didn`t see her despite looking right at her.

Manuela?
Manuela are you there?

or there
Or there?

We backed out of Canada Place and pointed the bow west and headed out under Lions Gate Bridge. I can`t say enough how the weather cooperated and was just fantastic. I stayed out on deck till we passed Ambleside Park in West Vancouver

Carnival Miracle

Vancouver - Lions gate BridgeVancouverVancouver

I went back to my cabin briefly to read the Fun Times to see what was going on to find that my late seating dinner at 8:15 was now 7:45. No big deal for me.

I left my cabin and headed up one deck to Bacchus Dining Room on Deck 2 . It was like a 1 minute walk from my cabin, I had to wait a couple of minutes to go and and when i entered I was shown my table which was dead centre of the dining room. It was a table for 8. Okay good so far. Shortly after I sat down 2 other ladies and a gentlemen joined me. We were now 4 at a table of 8. The other tables around us were empty for the most part and remained that way for most of the cruise.

I have to say that sitting there my first impression of the dining room was not good. Here I was in a dining room that was purple and had grapes hanging from the ceiling and the walls.

I ordered the Prime Rib tonight and while it appeared to be fine it just didn`t have any real flavour. The Asparagus was way over cooked and just mush.

When the dessert course came I found that there was no sugar free choices. Basically the choice was the fruit plate. That is what I had.

During dinner we all discussed where we were from and what plans we had on the cruise. It would turn out to be a great table for the cruise.

Inside Passage - April 29 2014

This morning I woke up around 8 and showered and dressed and headed up to Horatio's for breakfast.

Upon arriving upstairs I noticed it was a low overcast. The map indicated that we had left the confines of Vancouver Island and the inside passage and moving into Queen Charlotte Sound.

There was the usual scrambled eggs and potatoes and fried tomatoes and then an egg station any way you want them. I have to say one can't really screw breakfast up normally unless you are in the military. That is why ketchup was invented, I am sure. Yes I found the ketchup and used it this morning as the food was tasteless. I made a cup of tea and took it with me. I could only hope that things get better.

Later on this morning we changed course and moved to the true inside passage that BC Ferries takes. This is not the normal route that cruise ships takes as they are in the need for speed trying to get to the Alaska port of call. We have an extra sea day tomorrow to make Juneau Alaska.

The day was a low overcast and rain with old growth Cedar trees and Douglas Firs on both sides of the ship. This was very typical of this area but no worry's I was dressed for it. The first Bald Eagle was spotted and the ship's Naturalist came on the PA to point it out. IT was a speck out there and hard to see. There was a stamped for the railings as if the ship was sinking or rats on board. I didn't move and stood there under shelter. I had my binoculars and was looking for other wild life. I am not trying to be smug here but see bald eagles almost daily when at home. I have photos of 15 -20 in a tree. One eagle just doesn't get me going anymore. Now take me up to Brackendale BC for the annual eagle count and you will really get my attention. There have been years when nearly 4,000 of them have been counted on a single day feeding on salmon.

The ship preceded up the inside passage and I spent almost all of it outside somewhere on the ship.

Inside Passage
Interesting day in the rain

I elected to go to Horatio`s for lunch and this was a bad move as it was Asian and Caribbean today. Your kidding me right? Well it was off to the sandwich bar which also not that good. I met a couple on board and was having lunch with them and he asked for a toasted cheese sandwich. When he got it it would be lucky to be 3/8 of an inch thick. What did they do to it?

I returned to the cabin just after 6 but not before stopping for a cup of tea to take to the room to get ready for Formal night (Cruise Elegant as Carnival calls it). I was busy making my cup of tea and a lady was standing beside me and I looked at what she was wearing. I thought really that can't be what I think that is sure enough they were fleecy pants with sheep on them and slippers to match. Really you are wearing pajamas to dinner in the lido?  This was a first for me. I thought I guess you get what you pay for a cruise. Then I thought of the website where they post the people of Wal-Mart, could this be the Wal-Mart of cruising? I really hope not.

Happy Dinner Table
My Dinner table

Shrimp CoctailPrime Rib

As I arrived in the cabin I turned the TV on to check the map to see where exactly we were and noted we were coming up to Digby island which is where the Prince Rupert, BC airport is located. I decided to try my cell and sure enough I had service on my provider. I made a call home to see how things were and all was good.

I then showered and dressed in a shirt/tie Jacket and tie and dress pants and  headed up to dinner. Okay no pajamas here, this is a good sign.

There was still the four of us for dinner which normally means no one dislikes the table they are at. The many tables around us are still empty so that didn't change.

Dinner tonight was okay but I wouldn't call it great either. I had heard carnival once upon a time were known for their food. So far it isn't impressing me. Tonight was once again Sugar free dessert free so another fruit plate.

After dinner there were 3 of us who agreed to head up to Punchlines and take in the 9:15 Adult show. Passing the deck 3 entrance to the dining room I noticed men in shorts (board pants) coming out of the anytime dining room, really?

I arrived in Punchlines to find standing room only. I stayed for the show and have to say I was impressed. This pretty much became a nightly thing as this is something carnival does right.

After the show I went back to my cabin and went to bed while looking at the map.

Map
65 mph winds

The map was showing winds of 65 - 75 mph hitting the bow head on. I also noticed we had turned south into Hecate strait. What the heck I thought, sailing through here at anytime of the year is bad, little mind early spring. I had just got to sleep before midnight when I was suddenly thrown out of bed against the cabin wall where the window was. Yes I was now awake again so I turned the TV on to see what was going on. Oh the Captain decide to make a turn to port to head north again placing the ship broadside to the wind. As I was lying there I could hear things crashing down the hall and below me. The galley was about 5 cabins down the hall from me.

Towel Animal of the night
Tonight's critter....

At Sea - April 30 2014

I got up this morning looking forward to trying Carnival`s Sea day Brunch. I had read about this in the 48 hours before I left for the cruise.

The weather for this morning was slightly cloudy but as we headed north the weather would get better and better it did.

I was seated at a table for 8 towards the rear of the dining room. We all talked to each other and it was my turn to order. I decided to start with the fresh fruit platter and cottage cheese followed by the steak and eggs - filet mignon, 2 fried eggs, béarnaise, grilled tomato and home fries.

I have to say it was good okay it was very good, maybe things are looking up. I didn't have dessert but I had my cup of tea.

As the day went on the cloud disappeared and we had warmer temps and blue sky and a rather calm ocean. There was a few whale sightings this afternoon with many people on deck. I kept thinking it doesn't get better than this.

sunset not far away

AS the day went on I was having a late lunch as I had brunch at about 9 - 10 this morning. Arriving at Horatio's what did I find (see if you can guess) yep Asian and American. Lets see, this was going to be another one of those lunches. I decided on a hotdog at the grill by the pool. It is pretty bad when a hotdog looks good compared to the other choices.

Tonight's dinner was only eventful in the fact that the other gentlemen at our table did a no show. What is this all about we wondered.

tonights meal
Hmm over cooked Asparagus?

Tonight show was before dinner so I went and saw Jac René, while I have seen Hypnosis shows before for some reason this one just didn't do it for me. I was the exception to those that liked it.

tonights critter

Juneau Alaska - May 01 2014

I woke up this morning and looked out the window and noticed we appeared to be docked in a rather far out location. If we are the only ship in port why are we not docked down by the Library I thought instead of docking at the 3rd berth. This especially didn't make sense since they were still working on the pier getting a new addition done.

It was another gorgeous day with temps getting to about 19°C later in the day.

I went up and had breakfast and the plan was for today to take the MGT Bus to Mendenhall Glacier for $20 roundtrip and Geocache. I cruise to Geocache now. It takes me to interesting places. I see things that other passengers on board don't.

I got off the ship and headed down towards the Library to find the MGT bus. I was hoping that since we were the first ship they would be open/there. There were many places in Juneau that were not open yet. I soon found the MGT booth and paid my money and boarded the first bus of the season at 9 AM.

The bus soon left for the 20 - 25 minute drive up to Mendenhall Glacier. Upon arrival I was to do a series of Earhcache's where I have to answer many questions about the area. This required a hike to Nugget Falls where many people were looking at a Goat was up on the hill. Mendenhall lake was still very frozen over.

Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier

Do you see the Bear?Nugget Falls

I left here and headed for a hike on the west part of the lake. I paid close attention to being bear aware. Bears had recently being spotted in the area so I paid attention.

I returned on the 1:30 bus back to town. I then spent some time in town before boarding the ship around 3 PM. Upon boarding I had to put by backpack through the scanner and an alarm went off. I was pulled aside and my backpack was searched. What they spotted was a small pocket knife in my first aid kit. The head of security came over and wanted to take it and I explained this is a plainly marked First Aid kit. I have never had a problem before. It was explained that while it was a small pocket knife it was not allowed. I said so I can`t have a First Aid kit with me while I hike but you will hand me a steak knife in dining room  tonight that is well over twice the side. The next words carry on. Never had another issue on the cruise.

I arrived at my cabin and was in a lot of pain because of all the hiking today. I soon dawned a bathing suit and grabbed a couple of Advil and headed to the hot tub in the Serenity Area. I sat in the hot tub for likely 45 minutes well beyond my prime.
I then sat on a deck chair for about 30 minutes before heading down to my cabin and having a shower. This was not before I needed something to eat. I chose pizza today because the coice was Asian and French.
I have to say Carnival does a great job with pizza hand making each pizza. One doesn't just a slice of pizza you get a whole 10 inch pizza made to order. It was good. The problem is I can't live on pizza alone.

Once dressed I headed up to Jeeves Lounge where I had my first and only drinks of the cruise. Once 7:45 came around I headed to the dining room. On my way there I saw the gentlemen from my table leaving the dinning room holding hands with a lady. Hmm this is interesting.
Sure enough arriving in the dining room he was absent. The other two ladies said where is he. I then explained what I saw. Okay we are down one at our table it would appear.

Tonights Critter

Skagway, Alaska – Friday May 2 2014

I woke up this morning late as my alarm didn’t go off for some reason. I had also tried to use the phone for a wake-up call but that has been having problems this cruise. I had booked an excursion from the ship to Carcross, Yukon. The idea was I had met another couple of Geocachers just prior to sailing on this cruise and agreed to go on this excursion with them. The problem was they divided us up on different buses.

We left just after 830 AM headed north to the Yukon. The trip north would have us cross the Canada/US border into BC and clear Canada Customs then enter the Yukon. There is about 20 km between the the actual Canada/US border stations.

The tour I bought on the ship was conducted by Skagway Street car Tour. I can say our tour guide was excellent. He had previously worked for US National Parks in Denali and Skagway as well as Alcatraz. He had switched over to Skagway Tours last year.

What I can say is he was very knowable about the area's we went to and seemed to talk almost non stop for 2+ hours it took to get to Carcross in the Yukon. We only made a couple of stops along the way electing to make the stops on the return trip.

We drove past Carcross and went to Spirit Lake Wilderness Resort for lunch. There they were serving home made soup different sandwiches and pie. I chose the chicken noodle soup and it was very good. The pie is also home made. Overall I thought it was a good lunch for being where we were. One has to remember this isn't a city but a small town of 400 people in the middle of no where. They do a decent job with what they have.

Driving by Carcross
Driving by Carcross

It was a good thing my excursion included lunch as Horatio's had Asian and Italian. Hmm didn't we have Asian and Italian when we boarded? That wasn't very good so why would it be different now? Sounds like the excursion was the right choice.

We finished up lunch and headed north for a few miles to Emerald Lake. Okay Emerald Lake is suppose to be spectacular but there was one small problem. The lake was frozen over so instead of seeing a emerald coloured lake we saw white frozen snow on ice. Here I did another Earhcache since we stopped.

Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake - Frozen Over

At Emerald lake

The trip south we stopped at the Yukon/BC border for the Photo op and again at the Alaska/BC border. We got to see a few Dall Sheep but they were off in the distance. There was no bear sightings by us today.

Yukon Border

 

The following photos are from Carcross Yukon

What was interesting is we arrived back in Skagway and there was almost no one on the streets. This is very different from the Skagway I have seen before. I can say this if you have a chance to do a cruise early in the season it is well worth it.

Skagway
How many people do you see? How many Buses?

 
Red Onion Saloon note the number of people.

I waited for the bus carrying my friends and they were not able to get 1 of the 2 geocaches that were in BC so a suggestion was made to go rent a car and go get one. I know Geocachers we are a weird lot but we will do what we will do to get a cache in a location we have not got one before.

They went and rented the car and I went for the ride. Arriving at the said location on the Alaska/BC border we got out of the car to see that the cache was at the base of rock. Great I thought we have 4 m of snow. Upon further indication I soon realized that it was up above us on the rock cliff. Even better since the snow was what we call corn snow so there was a chance one could break through to the bottom not to be seen till one dug them out. Tony went up the hill while we stayed behind for rescue. It didn't take long before he was up to his knees then his hips. By the time he found said cache he was very wet. The cache was full of water but we found it. We couldn't sign the log so I took a photo.

We drove back down the highway stopping for another we could not find. It was then back to Skagway where we stopped for a few more caches and visited the Klondike cemetery. After a brief drive around town and a short hike we filled the car and returned it to Avis.

Some caches around Skagway and the hiking


Yes I made it to Skagway


Bow Shot carnival Miracle in Skagway


Doesn't get much better than this in Alaska in May!

Arriving back on ship had no problems with my backpack at all today.

I did something for dinner tonight that I have never done on a cruise before. I wore jeans to dinner. I wore a dress shirt and shoes with the jeans. I didn't feel like I was over dressed as I did on some nights.


Chilled Cucumber Soup


Leaving Skagway

Sunset
Sunset


Haines Alaska in the distance

Wilber
My critter of the night, I called this one Wilber

Glacier Bay – Saturday May 3 2014

Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay - Does it get better than this?

I can’t begin to describe the start of today. The sky was clear and the sea was dead calm.  The high for today would reach 16° C.
We are the second ship of the year into Glacier Bay. The first being the Volendam and we were told that it didn’t make it down to the end of Tar Inlet due to ice.

We picked up the Glacier Bay Park Rangers about 6:30 AM. We then headed north to Tar Inlet passing by Reid Glacier followed by Lamplugh Glacier. We were unable to enter John Hopkins Inlet due to the amount of ice.
Soon after this we passed through a major amount ice at about 2-3 knots. After about 30 minutes of slow travel through the ice we sped up slightly.


Reid Glacier


Lamplugh Glacier


Hanging Glacier


The Blue Ice


Calving Margerie Glacier



During our travel up Glacier Bay many Mountain Goats were seen along with seals.
Arriving in front of Margerie Glacier we moved to about 850 m in front of the Glacier face. There was soon a sail boat between us and the glacier.
It didn’t take long before we watched a major calve off the glacier. There was the loud crack and a bang as it hit the water. We managed to watch several more calve off Margerie Glacier. The Captain then spun the ship around using the azipod's and bow thrusters so both sides of the ship get a chance to view the glacier.




Note the sail boat in front of Margerie Glacier


This might make it easier to see the sail boat



While we spun around we got to see what is left of Grand Pacific Glacier. I have to say it looks nothing like the last time I was here. It appears it is basically just dirt with very little ice.

Grand Pacific
Grand Pacific



After about 45 minutes we slowly made out way south back down Tar Inlet.
During the voyage south many more Mountain Goats were seen.  As we reached Bartlett Cove the Rangers boat pulled alongside the ship and the 4 Rangers boarded the boat down a rope ladder. Their equipment and other things were then offloaded our ship and they soon left for Bartlett Cove.


Rangers leaving the Carnival Miracle


We continued south into Icy Straight where many whales were spotted. I am guessing well over 25 sightings of Humpbacks. There was a calf that breached just feet from the ship and caught everyone off guard



.
You barely can make out the whale that breached right beside the ship



Watch for a bit and you will be rewarded


Good Bye Glacier Bay

 


I been to Glacier Bay and have to say that today is by far the best day I have ever been here.

Today lunch brought Asian and Mexican. Considering Carnival has a Mexican section by the outside Grill it turned out to be a pizza day.

Before the trip I checked out the possible Northern Lights sightings and tonight was one of them. Northern Lights can only be seen early or late in the season due to the amount of daylight. Well tonight didn't disappoint as around 10:45 PM they started their show and lasted till about 2:30 AM.
There were many disappointed people on board the next day when word spread around the ship. The question came up why was there no announcement. As the CD pointed out that is a tough one do you wake those that are already asleep up with a shipboard announcement only to have them mad at you for doing so or do you let them sleep?


Photo taken by Mr. Radu Carnival Cruises


Photo taken by Mr. Radu Carnival Cruises

What was annoying in this was the naturalist coming on the PA the next morning saying sorry they had no idea the northern lights were possibly going to be seen. I thought what a bunch of garbage as I posted this info on another website the day before the ship left Vancouver.

I could not get my camera (PHD Camera or for those that have no idea push here dummy) to have the aperture stay open for the required length of time required to get the photo so I bought a few photos on board. I have to say Carnival blows everyone else of the water for photo prices and does a good job. I bought a landscape photo 10 x 30 of the northern lights for $15.00. Most other cruise lines I can get a 5x7 for that. It was obvious from what i saw that lower prices cause more people to buy photos so it appears that volume works well here.

Tonight was our last Cruise Elegant night.

Tonight it was back to Punchlines after dinner.

Ketchikan – Sunday May 4 2014

Today was another beautiful day. It is tough to come up with a new word each day to how the day is here in Alaska. I left the ship just after 9 AM headed out to do some Geocaching and walking all around Ketchikan. It is so different to be the only ship in port and not have the throngs of people pushing you off the sidewalks. It was very peaceful.

I walked out to the end of the point to the Marina and that is where I shot the photo at the top of the page.


There is a Geocache there somewhere.

It was very peaceful out there on a Sunday morning. I walked back into town and down towards Creek Street and not much going on here for a Sunday morning. Had there been other ships in port this place would be packed. I continued through Creek Street up the trail through the forest for several caches. I walked many trails climbed and descended many long stair cases. I spent some time in one of the City Parks enjoying things away from the downtown core.

 
On one of the trails above the city caching


Stopping for a rest in a city park

I returned to the ship mid afternoon and headed to my cabin to drop my stuff off and then up to Horatio's to eat. Ahh it is been there done this again Asian and Caribbean for lunch. It would appear as if the menu's are for 3/4 day cruises.


Creek Street


Creek Street


Leaving Skagway

I attended the show Ticket to Ride which is described as a tribute to the Beatles. Last time I read and looked the Beatles were an all male group so when one has Females doing a tribute to the Beatles the question become is this a tribute to the group?
I didn't get all hyped up at the end when they got a standing ovation that was pretty much built into the show by getting people up on their feet at the end to clap and sway to the music. Sorry I just didn't consider this a tribute to the Beatles. I have seen two tribute shows to the Beatles that both got standing o's  and they deserved it.


Tonight critter

At Sea - Monday May 5 2014

Today we are headed down the west side of Vancouver Island. This is not considered the inside passage and can be a problem for weather. This wouldn't be the case today. Today would be spent catching up those new friends before we depart for home tomorrow. The day would have well over 30 whale sightings.

 

The great part of today was it was Asian and American in Horatio's and I didn't have to attend as it was a Sea Day Brunch day. I went back to the main dining room and enjoyed lunch.

Tonight was a great dinner to say goodbye to a new friend as one other didn't turn up at our table.

Something missing this cruise which was just fine with me was the talk about giving good marks on the survey. The survey for carnival is now done from home. Great idea.

Tonight I attended two different Punchlines comedy Club shows.

Then it was back to the cabin to pack and get ready for tomorrow. I was walking off the ship so there was need to get mu luggage outside my cabin by midnight. I managed to crawl into bed just before 1 AM for a wake-up of 6 :00 AM.


Tonight's last critter.....

Seattle - Tuesday May 6 2014

Today was slightly over cast a great way to finish the cruise.

I waited in Jeeves Lunge to be called. The only problem was the PA system didn't announce in here. When I saw people doing the same thing as me at the other end and make the move for the gangway I made my move. Getting off the ship was painless and customs was only hand in my customs card.

Now you would think the Port of Seattle would have this together and that is taxis. I wasn`t far down the line for taxis but the problem there wasn`t any. You would think there would be a line-up of a hundred or so when a ship is in. No they arrived 1 by and I waited close to 30 minutes for one only being a short way down the line.

Closing thoughts

Now I have done my first carnival cruise. The question is would I do another Carnival cruise?

I will explain it this way. It is said that any day on a cruise is better than no cruise at all. So if the price was right as in this cruise I would.

The food itself just wasn't up to par in my opinion. The selection just wasn't there. I mean Asian everyday? Very hard to find sugar free dessert. If this was soley based on food it would be no I would not cruise with them again.

I found Punchlines to be a great venue.

I visited another cabin on the 2nd from last day and found that yes indeed Carnival does provide ice buckets. I went and looked in a few open doors and could see none on my deck. I guess my room steward doesn't provide them unless asked.

The decor of the ship just wasn't for me.


The Dining Room

Having said all this I would like to try Carnivals newer ships to see them. It is said in the industry that you get what you pay for, this was so true on this cruise. I mean pajamas in Horatio's? Board shorts in the dinning room? If all cruise lines started to go this way I know my days cruising would be coming to an end.