To start we chose to drive from New Orleans to try out this BIG and new ship. Ive been on 2 other cruises both with Carnival and my girlfriend has been on about nine with multiple cruise lines. Let me start by saying I'm always on here reading the reviews and all I can say is all the people with the negative reviews about this ship have issues. I am in the service industry and pay very close attention to what people complain about but I just didn't see it on this ship.
We drove in the day before and stayed at Springhill Suites by Mariott. Price for room was $144.00 and the room we had slept six(2 doubles and a sofa bed). We could even see the ship from our room when we got up Sunday morning. The drive from hotel to port was only 10 minutes and we parked at EZ Cruise Parking for $45.00 for the week. They shuttled us to port and back to lot when we got back.
Getting on the ship was very smooth. We got to port around 10:30 and were on ship by 11:00. Probably the quickest I've gotten on out of all my cruises. Once on we went straight to the Lido deck for some food and of course multiple drinks of the day.
Went to our room around 1:30 which was a deluxe ocean view which we loved the 2 bathrooms. Definitely a plus when getting ready for dinners. Our luggage was also at room by then which was great. Our room steward was great and took care of everything we needed. Our children wore out the room service crew but we made it worth it and they always were there within 15-20 minutes.
The food on the ship was just as expected. The dining room was better on some nights than others. We tried the steakhouse which was the best I have ever eaten. You MUST try it at least once if you love steak. We also tried the Italian for dinner which we liked. I read bad reviews about it but its not Olive Garden. This is authentic Italian food people. It was delicious. Tandori, Mongolian Wok, Burrito Bar were all great too.
We didnt make any of the shows except for the magic/illusionist show which is a must see. This ship has so much goin on we just never got around to them.
In Jamaica we went to Sunset Beach Resort which we loved. We swam in the pools most of the day instead of the beaches. Reason being is when we first went in water unless you had water shoes they had these spiney sea creatures that the spines would break off in your foot if you stepped on them. Drinks were good and even better if you tipped the bartenders. Dont forget to try the jerk chicken and pork which was delicious.
In Grand Cayman we went to the Turtle Farm which the kids loved and so did we. They got to hold them, swim with them and also had a big lagoon to snorkel in which had plenty of fish and turtles in it.
In Cozumel we did Isla Passion by Twister which was our favorite excursion. We had Leo and Santiago on our boat and they were awesome. Once we got to the island the kids played on the inflatables in the water and we all got massages. The food and drinks were really good and we had a lot of fun playing in the different beach games.
Getting off the ship was just as easy as getting on. If you follow instructions and get off when its your turn then everything will run smooth.
This was the best cruise I have ever been on so far. Its gonna be hard to top this experience but I'm certainly gonna try. Hats off to Carnival for providing great family vacations at great low prices.