This was our first cruise, it was my wife, six year old daughter, and myself. My mission was to relax, get away from work and the daily "rat race". So overall; mission accomplished.
Pre-cruise changes? I read a lot about parking and the cost. Next time I just might park right there at the Port. We stayed at the Hilton Cocoa Beach, very nice (great breakfast!). However, the pre-cruise hassle and stress to load, unload, move, stage, six pieces of luggage from your car to the room, from the room to the lobby, lobby to the taxi, taxi to the ship loading folks.......ehg! Plus tip bellman, tip taxi driver...you get the pre-cruise stressing picture. Next time I drive to the Port unload once and avoid the aggravation and start decompressing earlier.
Embarkation was as easy as the posts state, on the ship within 30 minutes. We went to peek at our cabin and it was ready. We were in 11254, and I thought this location was great. Very quite and an easy walk to the spa, camp carnival, and most importantly the 24hour pizza and ice cream machine!
Nitty Gritty: (I can write all the same as many others or give you MY OPINION for me, 49 year old , married 16 years, father of one 6 year old princess, 26 year career police officer......still working, refer back to the 6 year old)
Pro's: Everyone working for Carnival were all very nice and professional. I though even with some demanding "cruisers" they maintained very well and always put on their happy face and did a great job. Clean, clean, clean, that ship was clean and you always saw crew cleaning again and again. Very impressive. Good bang for your buck. For the price I paid, I felt it was well worth it, great value.
Con's: I was very disappointed in the quality of the food. The main dinning room food (for me) was OK at best. The buffet stuff was trash (in my opinion). We did go to the Steakhouse one night and it was very good, but what I would expect in the main dinning room. Crowds, people everywhere. I had read that the ship was so big you might not noticed you were living with 4000 other people. If you left your cabin, you would know this is not true. (I found) The ship is crowded, the pool, dinning room, most public spaces are crowed.
But I did de-stress and enjoyed the escape, good trip for the price!