Hello there! This is my 2nd Carnival Cruise. First time was about 5 years ago, and a lot has changed. This cruise was with my husband and son ( 10). This was my son's first cruise.
Embarking - Quick and easy. We found a groupon for port parking, and shuttle. We were parked, shuttled and on ship within an hour!
Ship- Decor was good. Other reviews say it's too busy or outdated. I found it to be updated & very clean.
We elected to do the CHEERS program. And let me tell you.. it was the best thing Carnival ever offered! We saved so much money going this route. I didn't find people falling on butts drunk either.
Camp Carival - EXCELLENT! The staff was amazing. My son never wanted to leave the camp. They had a few nights where they did camp carnival parties. You pay 6.75/hour and they watch the children till 1 or 3am. You cant hire a babysitter in the states for 6.75/ hour.. so we took advantage of that!
Food - Not terriable, but not great either. Some nights the food was so salty, I couldnt even eat it. I couldnt wear my rings after the 3rd day beacuse my fingers were swollen. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch. The scrambled eggs were powered and gross. But the omelet station was nice.
24 hour pizza, yeah, we loved that.
For dinner we ate at the MDR, amazing service from TAMARA & PHILLIPS.
We opted to do the CHEFS TABLE. WOW. THAT WAS AMAZING. The chef was knowledgeable and friendly. He even made my son the sous chef and let him wear a hat. This experience was well worth the money spent. DO IT.
I had read that the ship had a sushi bar, yet I could not locate the thing.
Pool - Clean , and great bar service ( except the last day ). I remember more "FUN" games 5 years ago. This time the "fun" was subdue and barley there.
Otherwise, it was nice to be able to get some sun.
Ports- As I said, I have sailed Carnival before, and visited these ports about 5 years ago.
COZUMEL- The pier is in PURTA MAYA, and to downtown. We were told it was only 3 miles so we walked.... then took a cab ride back. ( 8.00 for 4 ppl ) .. it was then that we learned it was 7 miles.
BELIZE- still scary. We only got off the ship for an hour.
Roatan - BEAUTIFUL. We did the all inclusive mayan princess. It was amazing! You have to deal w/ vendors on the beach, but other than that... we want to go back for a land vacation.
Grand Cayman - THE MOST DISAPOINTING PORT!! The pier was not a pier ... it was a concrete block in the middle of nowhere. They dropped us about 10 miles from Georgetown. You were forced to spend 5.00 pp , to take a taxi into town. The "shopping" was just some people with tents selling knick knacks. It was awful. We went back to the ship after 30 mins. We spent more time on tender than at the port.
Overall we had a great family vacation. We wished we had more time in Roatan, as that was the shortest port time. We would like Carnival to make some menu changes. While they offer low sodium choices, those items are not seasoned in any way. It was so bland, I couldn't eat.
Infact, I only gained 2 pounds, and that was from all the martini's I drank.