This is part 2 of my review and I have a lot to talk about. This trip was a party of 7 booked in three rooms (one suite on deck 7 and two balcony rooms-one on deck 7 and the other on deck 8). All rooms were clean, comfortable, and ready for us at 1:30 pm as expected. We noticed a lot of humidity coming off the midship elevators on deck 8. My parents were a fair distance from the elevators so it didn't seem to affect air conditioning in their room however I couldn't help but wonder about the rooms closest to the elevators.
Our room steward, Rodrigo, was DA BOMB! Not only did he keep our room clean and comfortable, he also anticipated our needs and made sure we were taken care of right down to icing down our soda cans for us. He offered to service our room twice daily but we told him once was sufficient. We just didn't see a reason for twice daily, especially with his attention to detail.
Our room set up with the deaf kit.
Our oldest kiddo travels in a wheelchair but we did not request an accessible room. She can walk and all but long distances are challenging for her. We have a collapsible wheelchair that I bought at a flea market for $75 that we use but otherwise keep it in the garage.
There were only two challenges to our room for her, the step up into the bathroom and the door out to the balcony, but they were not hugely problematic. The balcony door was kind of heavy for her and the wind made it dangerous for her because she is a tiny thing and the door would hurt her if it closed on her.
We did not use the TTY however the doorbell was much appreciated. While we do not typically leave her alone in the room, there were times we were on the balcony and did not hear the door. She saw the flashing light and alerted us out on the balcony.
Overall we did not experience any barriers on the ship. There was ample space for her wheelchair and an adequate number of tables on the Lido deck and in the restaurants that easily accommodated a wheelchair. The only problem we had were rude people who were hesitant to sit elsewhere despite the wheelchair sign on the tables.
Tendering was not at all difficult and staff was very helpful to my daughter even when she was not in her wheelchair. I saw them assist a lot of people unsolicited (myself included as I am not always graceful) and all seem to appreciate the help.
Our oldest and her interpreter at the Build-a-Bear workshop.
Sign Language Interpreter
We have cruised on three cruise lines (Carnival, RCI, and NCL) and all offer sign language interpreters. I submitted my request back in January however you need to give them just 30 days notice. I like to plan ahead and take care of things before I forget so I tend to do it months in advance.
Our interpreter, Teresa, was AMAZING. She was very knowledgeable about the ship and its features, and she seemed to know a lot of the staff. She was super friendly and interpreted shows for us as well as the Build-a-Bear workshop. We decided to wing it as far as excursions went so we did not need her assistance while at port.
Smoking is allowed in the Babylon Casino, the Centuries Casino Bar, 70’s Nightclub, and outdoors in designated areas on Deck 3 (starboard side) and Deck 10 (starboard side, midship and aft). Cigar and tobacco pipes are allowed only in the designated outdoor smoking area on Deck 10. My husband and our younger daughter are smokers so we like to know where the smoking areas are. I am constantly on his case to quit but......
My husband had a really tough semester so I decided to surprise him with some party trays to have a little family celebration for his end of semester. I ordered canapes, petit fours, and a cheese tray and I found the price to be quite reasonable through the fun shops. They are delivered when you call and request them, and they were high quality when delivered. It was enough for all seven of us with food left over. I ordered medium size trays and they were roughly $24 - $30 each.
I don't even know where to begin with the dining room and Steak House. I think we ate on Lido deck once or twice and I highly recommend Guy's Burger Joint. I am a fan of burgers and these really won with me. Even my oldest kiddo who doesn't eat much ate one.
I am not a huge fan of buffets however we did eat breakfast on the Lido deck once or twice. The food was above average as far as cruise ships go but I wasn't overwhelmed by it either. I have a hard time trying to push the wheelchair through a ton of people who can't seem to wait their turn for French toast and I really just prefer the calm and quiet of the dining room.
18 ounce rib eye at the Sun King Steakhouse. Yes, 18 ounces!!!
The Sun King Steakhouse exceeded my family's expectations. My hubby and I went on Tuesday night for date night and then the entire family went Friday night for an early Father's Day celebration because we will all be in different places that weekend. I ordered the 18 ounce rib eye while my hubby ordered the filet mignon. I barely got to half of my steak but it was sooooo gooooood! Hubby helped with the rest of course. The appetizers and sides were so good and I felt they offered a decent selection.
The escargot were more than just good and the chocolate sampler will blow you away. I do not recommend ordering the rib eye and chocolate sampler during the same meal because it will be way to much for most people and I would hate for you to not be able to adequately enjoy them. The nominal fee of $35 for the Sun King is more than justified by the food and the service was fabulous. Very attentive and friendly wait staff indeed!!!
My Suggestions to Carnival
Overall I had a great time with my family. This was my third time on Carnival but 5th out of six cruises to date. I know this is vacation and everything but I wish they would turn down the music on Lido just a tad. It is hard to sit out there when you can't talk to each other without yelling.
I wish that our room was a little cooler. We called for someone to check and the room registered at 72 degrees which is probably more than enough for most people. My husband is very hot natured and likes to keep our house at 70 at the most. I know it is probably impossible to get the rooms colder so next time we will bring a fan.
I wish there was a better plan for debarkation for people in wheelchairs because it is hard to get on an elevator when so many other people are fighting for the same elevator. We waited our turn but many able bodied people just jumped in front of us. One staff member did hold and elevator for us when she saw our struggle and that was much appreciated!
This family vacation was well worth the money and it was physically easier than last year's trip to Europe. We will be doing another overseas trip next year but it is hard to argue the R&R and value offered by a cruise. I am off to plan the next family adventure but check back to read about the next paranormal adventure coming up in June.