My husband and I (I am not educated in the cc abbreviations yet) cruise every November. This is our second cruise with Carnival, and I talked my brother and his wife and their best friend into traveling with us this time.
We used the Park n Go parking service which was very convenient and I prepaid online and got a discount with them. They parked our car and took our luggage and dropped us off at our embarking area. We got in there around 12 noon and had no waiting in line at all. Everything went very smoothly.
Upon boarding, we went straight up to the Lido deck(which became our traveling partners favorite hang out)with our cooler of beverages for lunch and a view. It brought me joy to see my brother and his wife so enchanted with the ship since they have been on vacation by airplane but never this way.
This was our first cruise without a window cabin. We had a very comfy insider which was quiet and dark (the only way I can sleep). It was the BEST sleep ever!!
We had one unpleasant experience on the first night. The baggage handlers misplaced my brother's suitcase and he couldn't freshen up, and to say he was upset is an understatement. I went to the customer service desk and asked if I could personally look through the lost & found...and I did find the bag that belonged to my brother. All was well from here on.
The dining room food was indeed ridiculous. I was so glad I read the reviews on CC! I tried to eat in there on the first night...no way did I ever do that again. I was fine with the buffet, which offered the same foods and better than the dining room, and I didn't have to get all dressed up for that. On my last night, I got a refund of my gratuities ($69) since I didn't eat but once in the dining area and I gave my room steward (he told us to call him Dee) his appropriate tip. Call me cheap, but why should I tip dining staff when I didn't like the food enough to visit them again? Everyone in my group did this.
The Lido deck activities were a blast. My husband won 3 ping pong tournaments (as usual) and I had to ask him to let someone else play and win, and he obliged. The deck parties included a lot of line dancing such as: The Mississippi Shuffle, The Cupid Shuffle, The Electric Slide, The Cha-Cha Slide, and my husband's favorite: THE WOBBLE!! You can find all of these line dances and more on youtube.com, if you want to practice. I helped anyone I saw struggling to learn the dances, and we had a ball.
There were liquor specials on board that we didn't pass up. I bought 4 liters and so did my husband. They brought them to our cabin on the last night. My hubby shared his 4 bottles of Crown Royal (special deal 4 liter bottles for $64) with our companions...and kept one for himself. They took one up to the Lido deck and had shots amongst themselves...none for me thank you, and not a word was said.
Upon disembarking, I was asked by customs if I had purchased any alcohol and I said yes. He asked how much? I told him 2 liters of Smirnoff and 2 liters of Bacardi. He said, okay, have a nice day. Well, now, that goes to show us!! if we tell the truth....it is okay. Some people are afraid to buy more than 1 liter of liquor. Then others say you have to buy one from Jamaica (or wherever you go) and one on board. What in the world? LOL!
Anyway, we had the time of our lives. We already have our cabins booked for next November 23-28th on the RCI Liberty of the Seas. This time we are also taking our children! I am so excited just for that!