This was a cruise to celebrate a friend's daughter's wedding on a Ft. Lauderdale beach the day before. We were approx 20 people. We stayed @ The Hampton Inn which was very nice. Embarkation was okay. DH & I parked in lot across from Terminal(so we thought-see later). Handicapped doesn't pay for parking (bad knees). Nice touch having cold water and lemonade in front for those on line.
Some background. If not for the wedding, we wouldn't have chosen this ship or the Miami port. It's an older ship, but not too worn out! It had a good buffet (Rosie's) w/ usual Mongolian, Deli, Fish & Chips & decent desserts. Having diabetic med reactions & being careful, I had good choices in the dining room & never went hungry. Being an older ship, it was easy to navigate. Loved having couches & chairs along one side of deck 5 (near casino) for reading.
My friend had arranged to have our party together before the cruise, but of course, dining room staff seemed to have amnesia. They did do their best, but we were split up into two tables. The service was not very good (we believe this was a training ship) the first night (2 1/2 hrs for dinner). After we complained, service was much improved. Food was good, and there was a good selection. We did lunch one day in the dining rm and found we liked the buffet much better. DH loves the deli. The last day they had a chocolate buffet. The chocolate made our "eyes" roll around so to speak. DH had a soda card & mug and he added the extras we brought aboard at night. This time, we brought about six cans of Fresca aboard which truly enhanced our trip. You can bring soda/water and two bottles of wine aboard. Very fair policy compared to other lines.
Room was good; almost always take an inside & save our $$$ or other things. Steward was good & friendly. Didn't introduce himself, but these days, cruise personnel are 'spread really thin'. Showing kindness doesn't cost and the rewards are priceless.
Having come off a Disney cruise (great service & food-nice ship), the casino was good. Personnel great except for one young guy who could have been in WWII for the enemy.
Entertainment was okay. Shows were something to do. Carnival is recycling much of their entertainment. Comedians were just okay. Remember this was only a six day cruise, but Carnival was the first line to do comedy club.
DH complained about lack of elevators. It was hard to tell when an elevator was available.
This cruise came at the same time as Hurricane Sandra, so we were diverted to Costa May and Cozumel. Were disappointed not going to Kingston (never been), but of course understood. The last night, we felt we were being "rocked to sleep (didn't sleep much) by the boat, but DH said this was because of the swells???
Debarkation was a bit hectic, but organized. Didn't get rushed too much at breakfast. When we got out of the terminal, we found we had parked at the other end of the port. Subsequently, you could either get on a bus to parking (handicapped???) or walk. We walked. Defeats the whole purpose!!!
We got what we payed for (reasonable) which is why we all go on Carnival. I think the DH and I are all Caribbeaned out! Unless you are on a really bad cruise, a vacation is still a vacation!!!