Arrived in Ft Lauderdale on Fri..Took GO Shuttle to Days Inn Airport in Miami because they offered free shuttle to the Port. Decent Hotel - Had bar and small restaurant - Booked cruise package which included a free drink Fri night and Breakfast on Sat morning.
Shuttle from the hotel left for the port at 9am..I was a little apprehensive as to the time (thought it was too early) By the time everything and everybody from the hotel was loaded up, we left around 930am. Arrived at the port, got everything unloaded and headed into the terminal. There was no line and I thought we would have to wait a long time. We walked in, got our cards and settled down for the wait (Zone 2). At 1030, they called Zone 1 - FTTF and we were called about 10 min later. So if you can get there early, definitely do not pay for the FTTF. We were pleasantly surprised because I had heard embarkation from Miami was a nightmare. We were on the ship and having lunch before 11am.
Went to the cabin after lunch. It was ready, and our luggage was already being delivered. Spent the afternoon on the deck in the sun reading until the sailaway.
Saturday - Our first day at sea - Had breakfast at the Cantina - Burritos, Arepas and Huevos Rancheros. All were excellent. This is a great addition to the ship - all the comdiments and hot sauces you can think of.
Spent the day on the very top deck of Serenity in the hot tub - Yes, no kids, just peace and quiet. Very relaxing....Lunch at Guy's Burger Joint (Best burgers I have ever, ever had in my whole entire life of eating burgers ! ! Only problem is now I want them at home...
Sunday - Nassau - We had been there before - Nothing to see - Didn't want to go to the straw market again so we stayed aboard. Just relaxed with a book and in the Serenity hot tub again. Today we tried the buffet for breakfast - Omelets were really good as was the hot chocolate. If you want watermelon, you have to go out to the Cantina - it is on the condiment bar. Strange? Lunch was the fish & chips place - Excellent - Had Fish/Chips/Ceviche - Excellent food...
Dinner again in the dining room
Monday - At Sea - Explored the ship, did the pool and hot tub...read our books in the Sun..Relaxing day - Shopped on the ship - Lunch at Guys again...
Tues - St. Thomas - Did a little shopping and Megans Beach was fantastic.
Lunch and drinks at Senor Frogs - right on the Boardwalk by the ship great guacamole and chips - good tequila drinks and jello shots...Couldn't find the butterfly house and then realized it was right behind there so we missed it..
Wed - San Juan - Took the free tram into the middle of town - Had lunch at Cafe Mallorca - Grilled Ham & Cheese on a sweet round roll and dusted with powdered sugar and hot, strong Puerto Rican coffee. Would definitely recommend this...Sounds strange but very good..Even hubby liked it. Drifted thru old town
since we had already been there and done the forts and Bacardi plant. They are well worth seeing though.
Thurs - Grand Turk ... Very small area with a few shops...We had rented an air conditioned cabana at Margaritaville...Between the beach and the pool it was a wonderful day. Left our stuff in the locked cabana and wandered thru the stores - Bought a couple small souveniers. Had the conch fritters and Turks Head beer at Margaritaville...Watched the guys on the wave rider...Very enjoyable day...
Fri - At Sea - More relaxing and exploring on the ship
Food - Standards seem to have dropped on the food - The service was not that great with our waiters either - No more escargot in the dining room or decent steaks...Some nights I couldn't make up my mind what to eat because nothing appealled to me...But there is always the warm choc melting cake - Absolutely wonderful ! We also did not like the Taste Bar - It's only open a couple of times during the cruise an seemed like a waste...We really missed the sushi bar since we stopped every night before dinner on our last cruise and had sushi before going to the dining room. It seemed really popular and I am surprised that it is gone.
We didn't do dinner in the upper dining room with the service charge because we had done that before and I really wasn't impressed...
The best things in the dining room were the lasagna bolognese, the lobster and the creamed spinach that came with the prime rib...I'm not that fond of prime rib but hubby said it was good.
Good Things - Guys Burger Joint - Blue Iguana Cantina.
We checked out the all you can drink deal and it seemed like a lot to me $42.95 per day and normal drinks/beer around $5 - we wouldn't drink 8 of them so we passed on that.
Embarkation - Quick - Nice to have your luggage on a carousel instead of piled in the middle of the floor. The only problem we had was that we had paid for their travel back to Ft. Lauderdale - one way only. When we didn't get tickets like normally, i went to Guest Relations the day before and was informed they don't give voucheres any more - that our names would be on the list. Well, when we got outside with the porter and over to the bus going to Ft. Lauderdale the carnival rep asked for my vouchers. He told me to go pay for them at the transfer booth - Luckily, I still had the booking summary and showed him where I had already paid because our names clearly were not on his list. He blustered a little bit but had to finally let us on.
Would I sail Carnival again....Definitely yes for the price...There are a few things that I miss or don't care for but that is everywhere - not just here. Your vacation is what you make of it and we had a wonderful week. I look forward to the next one....