We stayed at the Comfort inn and Suites in Cocoa Beach using the Fly, Snooze and Cruise package which was well worth the money. We were emailed instructions for meeting the driver from Travelynx and we were picked up from the airport right on time. We arrived to the hotel at noon and our ocean view room was ready and more than adequate for a one night stay. The rooms are dated but clean and the location was ideal with grocery stores, restaurants, Starbucks and Ron Jon's surf shop all within walking distance. We had time to pick up some last minute supplies, have a nice dinner and even took a long walk on the beach!
Faster to the Fun - The program offers early boarding, priority tendering, VIP line at guest services desk, etc. However, the hotel shuttle didn't leave until noon so we didn't board as soon as we would have liked. Once we got to the port, we had VIP check in and were on the ship within 15 minutes with our luggage arriving less than half an hour later.
We found the ship to be well laid out and pretty much everything you need is on deck 5 or 10. We prefer the quieter areas of the ship and enjoyed our time on the Serenity deck.
Margaritas at the Blue Iguana bar are awesome!
We enjoyed this itinerary as we had not been to these ports before. This was an active cruise for us this time with lots of snorkelling, kayaking and zip lining. All private tours and a much better value than the ship tours.
Cabin - we had a cove balcony which was fine, we liked being lower on the ship however we were located under the galley and the noise was unbearable. It started at 4am, making it impossible to sleep. We went to guest services (short line!) and requested another cabin. We spoke with a supervisor who offered us a 20% reduction on our cruise cost plus 15% off the next cruise we booked. We felt this was more than fair and it covered the cost of our drinks plus more for the entire cruise.
Dining - We tried late dining for the first time and loved it. No rush after getting back from shore excursions. We were in the Scarlet Dining room and sat with 4 couples our age and had a wonderful time. Waiters were fantastic, food was very good except the beef which seems to be the case on every cruise we've been on. Service in the dining was the best we've ever had on a cruise. We heard others complaining of very long waits with the anytime dining option.
We went to the Punch liner brunch once which was also very good. People start lining up 15-20 minutes before it opens.
The buffet was mediocre at best with lukewarm food, I wish we had eaten breakfast in the dining room more often. I saw people filling up their large coffee thermos with juice, coffee, etc. There is a sign posted that this is not allowed and Carnival needs to enforce this rule. Other guests have to wait in line while you fill your 64oz. container.
The pasta bar was okay, at least the food was hot! Turkey wrap at the deli was not so good...mostly tortilla and lettuce. It looks far better than it tastes.
Room service - quick!! I ordered some lemons for a drink and they arrived before I could finish making the drink!
Entertainment - Dancing in the Streets show was fantastic! As for the other shows...don't waste your time in my opinion.
Late night comedian was very good. Imani at the piano bar was very entertaining and it became one of our favourite spots.
After the cruise, Travelynx was there to meet us and take us back to the airport. I would highly recommend their Fly, Snooze and Cruise package.
In summary, what stood out for us on this cruise was the service. It was top notch despite what I've read in other reviews. Servers always remembered our names, the cabin issue was dealt with fairly and we felt the level of service really added to this trip.
The shows and the buffet could be better but all in all we had a wonderful cruise and felt we received good value for our money.