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Posts tagged Carnival Cruise Line

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2011 – Day 7

Saturday, November 19, 2011
Disembarkation – Miami, FL

We had breakfast at Sun & Sea.  It took a while for the ship to get cleared for disembarkation so we stayed in our cabin until we could get off the ship.  We walked off with our luggage instead of having Carnival take our luggage the night before and bring it to the terminal.  The disembarkation process was a mess.  My review of the disembarkation process at the bottom.

We rented a minivan for the day from Dollar since our flight wasn’t until 7:20pm today.  We got it for a base rate of $44.99, and ended up costing us $90+ including taxes, fees, insurance and tolls.  Pick up location was a cruise ship pick up and drop off was at MIA airport.  We were picked up by the Dollar shuttle across the cruise terminal entrance.  The shuttle then brought us to the airport to get our rental.

From the airport, we took the Dolphin Expy, continued on to MacArthur Causeway, then turned left on Ocean Dr to get to Miami Beach.  We were able to find metered street parking right on Ocean Dr, just steps from the beach at Lummus Park.  It cost us $1.75/hour.  After hanging out at the beaches of the Caribbean, Miami Beach was a disappointment.

We then headed west to go shopping.  We always try to go to a Ross store since there’s none in NYC.  Unfortunately, the Ross stores at Mall of the Americas and Dolphin Mall didn’t have great items unlike the other Ross stores we’ve visited (e.g. Orlando, Charlotte, NJ).

Reviews after the jump…

Read on…

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2011 – Day 6

Friday, November 18, 2011
Nassau, Bahamas

To get to the city from the cruise docks, you have to go through Festival Place.  There was free wi-fi connection available right at Festival Place.  But you’ll see a ton of people hanging out there with their laptops so don’t expect to get a decent connection.

We booked a snorkel trip with Stuart’s Cove.  The price ($65) included transportation to and from Prince George Wharf cruise terminal and other hotels. They picked us up by the fountain across Festival Place.  Their shop was on the other end of the island so the ride was long.  We went to three sites: one on a reef, one on a small plane wreck, and the last one with sharks!  There were a lot of fishes.  Don’t buy fish food.  The fishes can get very aggressive.  The guides have their own fish food that they use so let them do the feeding.

After our snorkel, we had to wait for a 2nd bus because the first one got full quickly.  The ride back to the cruise terminal took about 2 hours!

Click here to download all the Fun Times at our cruise.

Reviews after the jump…

Read on…

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2011 – Day 5

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Tenders were used to get to Half Moon Cay.  Passengers booked on tours (or cabanas) got priority boarding on tenders.  So we went to Deck 1 as soon as the ship anchored.  It was so crowded on Deck 1 and the whole process was a mess.  Please read my full review of the tender process after the jump.

On the island, I asked at the Information booth where I could catch the shuttle to go to our cabana coz my mom couldn’t walk very far.  The staff told me to wait there and she would have someone come to help me.  Nobody did.  I asked passengers and they were the ones who told me where to go, which was on the other side of the Welcome Center.  By the way, the Half Moon Cay map on Carnival’s website and on the island are not accurate.

Half Moon Cay was very beautiful.  The water was clear and sand was soft.  There weren’t a lot of fish though, by the beach and even by the huge private cabana.  So if you’re looking to snorkel by the beach, you will be disappointed.  Half Moon Cay is just a great place to relax.

We had a cabana that I booked online.  But you are only able to choose your cabana number onboard the ship so as soon as I got onboard, I went straight to Shore Excursions desk and got #9.  Tips and locations in my review after the jump.

We tried to rent a waterbike for $35 (2 people).  We paid at the rental booth, but when we got to the beach to claim the waterbike (the only one they had), we were told it was broken.  The lady at the rental booth told us we could have the 2 person kayak (worth $45) instead.  List of the rentals and prices is on the FunTimes.

Barbecue lunch was pretty good.  There were a lot of roofed areas with tables and benches around the Food Pavilion.

Click here to download all the Fun Times at our cruise.

Reviews after the jump…

Read on…

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2011 – Day 4

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Grand Turk

The five of us decided to have breakfast at the MDR coz the lines were so long at the buffet.  We were seated close to the window with other people.  Unlike day 3, the service today was VERY SLOW.  The MDR wasn’t even packed.  My husband and I rushed through our food because we had a dive trip to get to.

Everything was right at the pier – gorgeous water, Margaritaville, shops, etc.  There were plenty of beach chairs by the beach.

My husband and I booked a dive trip through Carnival.  My parents and my cousin hanged out at the beach.

Click here to download all the Fun Times at our cruise.

Reviews after the jump…

Read on…

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2011 – Day 3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Sea Day

Three of us went to the main dining room (Universe) for breakfast.  We were taken quickly to a table with other people, but we requested to be seated alone.  They were able to again quickly find a table for us at the back of the ship.  Gorgeous view!

We spent most of our time eating and hanging out at the aft pool.  After dinner and back at our cabin, we were greeted with a towel dog, chocolates, and the next day’s Fun Times.

Click here to download all the Fun Times at our cruise.

Reviews after the jump…

Read on…

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2011 – Day 2

Monday, November 14, 2011
Embarkation – Miami, FL

We took a cab from Hyatt Summerfield Suites to the Port of Miami and it cost us $28+tip.  Arrived at the port around 11am.  Embarkation was quick and we got on the ship around 12 noon.

We were told that we couldn’t get to our rooms until 1:30pm so we headed to Sun & Sea Restaurant (buffet) for lunch.  There weren’t a lot of people and we quickly found a table big enough for the five of us.  At a little past 1:30pm, we headed to our rooms, unpacked, roamed the ship a little, then got ready for dinner in the main dining room.  It wasn’t required to dress up for dinner on the first night since all luggages may not have been delivered to the rooms.

The ship left on time at 4pm and our journey began.

Cruise lines usually have daily newsletters that contain the day’s activities, specials, and other info.  These daily newsletters get delivered to cabins the night before except of course on embarkation day.  Carnival’s daily newsletter is called Fun Times.  Click here to download all the Fun Times at our cruise.  The first day’s Fun Times was in our cabin when we checked in.

Reviews after the jump…

Read on…

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2011 – Day 1

Sunday, November 13, 2011
Pre-cruise

We decided to get to Miami a day before cruise embarkation to anticipate any delays.  We flew Delta from JFK and flight was uneventful.  There was no delay flying out and we arrived 20 minutes early in Miami.

We booked the Hyatt Summerfield Suites near the airport.  It was a nice hotel and I highly recommend it.  However, their shuttle is not very reliable.  The shuttle took 40 minutes from my first phone call  to the arrival of the shuttle at the airport.  Check-in was a breeze and the unit was nice.

I called front desk to get us a cab that will fit 5 people and the cab was waiting for us as soon as we got to the lobby.  The cab ride cost $23+tip to Dolphin Mall.  The mall was huge.  Going back to the hotel however cost us $25+tip.  The cabbie was surprised we gave him a tip.  I guess they don’t tip cabbies in Miami huh?

The hotel was one block away from a shopping center with Publix.  So my husband and I went around 9pm and bought some midnight snacks and breakfast for the next day.  Our unit had a full kitchen.

Reviews after the jump…

Read on…