My daughter (20) and I have a tradition of taking a girls only vacation for a some mommy and daughter bonding time. This year we decided upon a cruise. This is my 9th cruise and my daughter's 5th cruise. We chose Carnival due to the itinerary (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Grand Cayman). We enjoy the islands much more than the time spent on the ship so we try to find cruises with very few sea days. We left for Miami via the Pittsburgh International airport on Sat. May 19th at a 6AM flight. We had a direct flight and arrived in Miami at 9AM. We collected our bags and proceeded to get a taxi. We do not like to take the cruise shuttles/transfers as I do not want to wait for a bus to fill up. The taxi to the pier was only $25 plus tip which was cheaper than the shuttle/transfer from Carnival. We arrived at the pier in less than 15 minutes and had a porter help us with our bags. The process was very smooth. We continued to embarkation which there was a short line already, we were quickly through the line and was guided up the stairs to check in. I already had everything done on-line so there was not much to do except get our sail and sign cards. We were met with very friendly representatives who instructed us where to sit and wait until we could board the ship. By that time it was 10:30AM we were told we would board at 11AM. Well due to some issues with people not exiting the ship we were still sitting in the terminal at 1:00PM. It was getting frustrating, people were getting restless and hungry.
We finally boarded the ship about 1:30PM. The ship decor was lovely. We really enjoyed the layout of the ship. We were on deck 8 and it was conveniently located midship near elevator/stairs. The cabin was fine,we usually get a balcony but since my hubby was not going with us I thought an inside cabin would be fine for the 2 of us. The only issue with the cabin was we must have been near a generator or some type of machinery because the cabin was not quiet, it always had a humming sound or noise but we were usually so tired by the end of the night it was not a problem. We feel that the service was wonderful and the staff goes above and beyond. I cannot say enough great things about them, they work so hard to make our vacations special.
We really enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy Club and spent many evenings there. The BlueIguana Cantina and the RedFrog Rum bars on the lido deck had delicious drinks. We saw a couple of the shows, however we were not too impressed. All the shows seem to be the same after awhile.
The big disappointment on this cruise was the food. We normally enjoy the buffet for breakfast and lunch and do the main dining room for dinner, but we were not pleased with the food at all at the buffet or main dining room. The quality as well as the selection was poor in our opinion. We ended up eating at Guy's Burger Joint numerous times as that was the best food on the ship. We did make reservations for the Diamond Steakhouse for dinner one evening and that was wonderful. I had the surf and turf and was well worth the $30 fee to have a delicious meal.
Unfortunately, the weather was not great but we made the best of it anyway. Due to high winds we were not able to dock at our last port of Grand Cayman which we were very disappointed, but Carnival was able to add Key West in place of Grand Cayman so that was better than having another sea day. Our cruise director was Karl with a K and he was a blast as well as Rolly. The Hot and Cold night club was not very fun. They played a lot of Rap music and most people didn't dance. So we ended up leaving and finding other things to do. All in all, we had a great time, in spite of the food. However, I think this will be our last Carnival cruise for awhile. I think the next time we will try another line.