My husband and I just came back from our Caribbean Carnival cruise and we were so happy with our choice. We were celebrating our fifth anniversary and wanted to do something special. We have tried Norwegian twice and were very disappointed so we decided on Carnival. We arrived in Miami the night before and stayed at the Springhill Suites Marriott Airport South. It's only ten minutes from the airport and about twenty minutes away from the Port of Miami. It's a great hotel nice spacious rooms. They have an airport shuttle that will also take you to a few local restaurants in the area for free. Our favorite pick is a nice Cuban place called La Rosa. They have amazing food and it's a nice neighborhood feel with a wonderful woman playing the piano while you eat.
The next morning we arrived around 12pm to the Port of Miami and the line moved very quick even though there were many people already there. I was pleasantly surprised. The ship looked amazing from the outside. It was even better once we got inside. The first thing you see is the beautiful atrium. The new design of the ship is wonderful. The bright colors are gone and there are nice subdued designs now. It's very modern and classy. We had quite a full ship. There were over 4200 people on board as well as 1300 staff working on the ship. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. We had a wonderful cruise director named Butch Begovich. He was very friendly and entertaining. Our room was on Deck 1. We had a Deluze Oceanview Room. Our room number was 1253. We had the wonderful Marguerite as our room steward. Our room was nice and spacious. We had two bathrooms one with a shower toilet and sink and next to it was another bathroom with a smaller sink and junior tub. That was a great addition to have in the room. We had a pull out couch. There was so much storage space. We were able to unpack our suitcases and move in for the week which was nice. The ship is pretty easy to navigate. We ate at the Lido Marketplace on Deck 10 the first day. The options are good. Don't go expecting an amazing buffet selection but you definitely won't go hungry. There were two alternate options right outside the buffet next to the pool, Guy Fieri's Burgers or Blue Iguana Cantina which offered tacos and burritos. We tried both and service was quick and the food was excellent. We tried two premium dining options Farenheit 555 Steakhouse and Cucina del Capitano. The steakhouse was cozy and very elegant. The staff was amazing and really made us feel special. We had Surf and Turf and the dessert selections are massive. The price was $35 per person and it was well worth it. The Italian restaurant was great too. It was family style with large portions and it was a nice comfortable atmosphere. Even though it was located right above the usually noisy buffet you wouldn't realize it because you couldn't hear any noise while in the Italian restaurant. We had chicken parmigian, ceasar salad, calamari and bruschetta. It was all delicious. It was lower in price only $12 per adult and $5 per child. The shows on board were great. There were four options for the big productions I recommend Latin Nights and Motor City most of all. The cast were very talented. There were also Hasbro shows that were fun. The staff kept everyone entertained by the pool on sea days. The DJ's were awesome playing great music. We went to their Latin Hour at the Liquid Nightclub one night. The music was great and the design of the club was nice too. We tried the Plaza Cafe where you can purchase coffee and desserts. I had a great iced cappuccino and delicious gelato. We were busy everyday with so much to do on the itinerary. We had four ports of call: Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao and Aruba. We missed out on La Romana, Dominican Republic because a passenger had a life threatening medical emergency and we had to turn around so that the Coast Guard could airlift the passenger and take them to a hospital. The islands we did go to were beautiful. We spent the longest day in Curacao. I recommend it. We had a wonderful taxi driver named Ida she was extremely knowledgeable and gave us six hour tour of the island including the schools, national park and we got to try the local restaurants and see a beautiful beach (Gran Canepa). We don't have any children but I did notice the kid's club on the ship kept the kids until 1am on one night and until 3am on another night. It might be a nice option for some parents. Our only complaint on the ship was the rude passengers. There were often long lines for the buffet. There were many impatient people who kept cutting in line. That was consistently happening everyday. It was very frustrating. Other than we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and normally we like to try different ships but I would go on this ship again. Getting off the ship took longer than I thought I'm not sure what the hold up was but once we got off the ship. It was easy getting our luggage and going through customs.
I'm not sure why so many people complained in previous reviews because we had a wonderful time and there weren't any major issues.