This cruise was part of our winter getaway and our 11 th cruise. It was Mom, myself and husband.
We arrived at FLL a day early, picked up a rental car and went to the Galt Villas. It was pretty close to the beach. It was basic-clean enough but very small. There were restaurants nearby that we could walk to.
We arrived at the Port of Miami about 11 am the next day. Hubby dropped us and the luggage off and then returned the rental car. We had received an email that said to arrive after 1pm but we came early anyway with no problems. Check in was pretty quick and we had to sit and wait about 30 minutes to board the ship. We ate lunch at Emile's buffet without any problems with crowds.
We found the ship to be in good shape. The decor was nothing special-Carnival has toned down the neon look. The piano bar was cute. Our balcony room on deck 6 was spacious compared to most ships. The piano bar was beneath us and we could hear a little noise but not enough to keep us awake. There was plenty of closet space for us 3 adults. It was nice to see a reclining chair on the balcony.
We had "anytime dining" and never waited more than 5 minutes. All waiters were fine but Divina was the best! We enjoyed every meal and the portion sizes are just right. The chilled soups are always good and the Chocolate melting cake is my Carnival favorite. I always look forward to it and had it 5 of 7 nights. I will never understand the complainers about ship food. Sure there may be a dish here or there that is not to your liking but just order something else. I especially enjoyed the fresh fruit every day. We liked Guys Burgers but would have liked to see plain fries too. The Blue Iguana should have longer lunch hours as I only made it there once and that was for a breakfast burrito. The Fish and Chips was good but a little on the greasy side. I tried the Mongolian Wok once -- it had quite a line but was good also. And who can resist the anytime soft serve ice cream!!
We went to the shows every night. The ship band was very good as well as the singers and dancers, both groups. (One crew was set to leave on vacation and another troupe was coming to replace) The comics were subpar in my opinion. The Family Comedy was OK but the Adult time was not funny but rather just plain vulgar. Swear words do not make you funny! The passenger Legend Show was good. Karl the CD did a good job overall. To me Carnival does not have the quality of entertainment that we have seen on other cruise lines.
We did go to trivia games and had a good time but the venue, the atrium, was not the best. It is a high traffic area. They also had dance classes there and again a poor choice. There must have been a quieter or more intimate area to have these activities. WE did go see a couple of late night movies on the deck screen and it was nice to sit outside in Jan!
We did the ports on our own not taking any ship excursions. In Coz we took a taxi to the Money Bar and did snorkeling from the shore. The water was clear and we had a good time seeing quite a few fish. Belize was a tender port and it took an hour to get on a tender. In Belize we just walked around the town- not much to see but my mom had never been there before so we wanted her to see it. Also unless you are on a ship tour, it is hard to predict when you will get ashore to arrange a tour online. We never felt unsafe outside the "gates" but did stick to the main city. (Carnival did send a sheet to the cabins letting us know that Belize did have some sketchy areas.) They are trying to improve things by putting in cobblestone roads etc. In Roatan we took a V Bodden tour. We had a full bus-23 but had a good guide and saw quite a bit of the island. We enjoyed the monkey stop but it was rather crowded. We only had an hour at West Bay and wished we had been able to stay longer for snorkeling. In Grand Cayman I found online directions for snorkeling right from the shore very close to the ship. We snorkeled three places-the first a 10 minute walk to the right of the pier at a marine park, Eden Rock. The second was to the left of the pier a 4 minute walk, the Wreck of the Cali. The third was a 10 minute walk to the left of the pier near a Burger King, at what the locals call Cheeseburger Reef. We saw several boats bring snorkelers to the same area we were at. All three places were free and had pretty good snorkeling. We were very close to the anchored ships.
The weather was very good overall and the only very cloudy windy day was our last sea day. My one regret is that we forgot about the CC meeting after sailaway. We did enjoy our cruise a lot and can't wait to start planning the next one!