This was my first ever cruise I have been on. Since this was my first cruise I feel I have an unbiased opinion when it comes to reviewing a cruise. My girlfriend (her 6th cruise) and I flew into Orlando the day we were to set sail. It was a beautiful day, 90 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. What more could you ask for when getting ready for a 7 day cruise. We arrived via a tour bus to the port about 3 hours before we were to leave. The line to get on to the ship had already started to build up. It was a very simple process to get through getting your sail and sign card/room card as well as showing your passports and what not to the person at the counter. After about an hour of waiting our time had come. I think the reason for the hold up in line was because of the pictures they take of you in all your glory (no pun intended). I mean come on how good can you look after 6 hours of flying and an hour drive as well as waiting in line for an hour???
My first impression when stepping on to the boat was "wow." You are greeted by an open lobby with a bar and a piano which is set in front of four huge glass elevators right to the top. Two sets of stairs wrap around one side of the lobby with a kaleidoscope lighted ceiling. I could pick out the theme of this boat even though i knew what they were getting at before stepping on to it. It's all about colors, every room is a different color theme. As you make your way around the boat, you will find that getting lost isn't out of the ordinary. After a few days you will get the hang of it.
Our stateroom which was located on deck 1 was surprisingly big! Even on deck 1 we had a big window, which was to my surprise because I only expected a little port hole to look out. We didn't have very good weather for the week we were cruising. Cloudy every day although the rain held off. This left some rough seas however, and those waves really made the boat rock quite a bit which surprised me because shouldn't these big boats have stabilizers on them? Not a big deal though.
Okay, now on to food. The food on this boat really didn't impress me as much as I expected. Other people that have been on cruises have told me that the food is the best part and I totally disagree with this assessment. I didn't think the food was terrible but it was ok Pizza is 24 hours on this boat for all you late nighters like me and the pizza was really good too. The grille is where you can find your hamburgers and hot dogs which are pretty good as well. They have the golden dining room and amber palace where the sit down meals are located. The portions of food you are given sometimes made me feel like they were forcing me to go on a diet. I could ask for a salad and I would get 5 leaves of lettuce and some carrot shavings. I was like "what am I supposed to do with this?"
The one part of this cruise that was the best for me was the staff. From my favorite bars (On the Green, White Heat, and the Ivory Club) to our waiters at dinner and the housekeeping, everyone was so nice and friendly. We met a bartender at "On the Green" who took pictures with us on the last day of our cruise who wanted the pictures and to keep in touch with us after we left. So if you are going on this cruise look for a bartender named Ahmad. There was another lady who I have to give great reviews about. My girlfriend and I called her Angie but her real name is different. She works in the White Heat dance club, she walks around getting drinks for people. NICEST person I have ever met hands down. I know these are only two examples of the staff on board but all these other people who wrote reviews for this boat and had bad things to say about the staff members, wow I never had ANY problem with any of them. I would go on this boat again just for the people who work on it.
We did a cave tubing excursion when we got to Belize, what an amazing time. Our tour guides were very friendly and helpful. They answered every question thrown at them including ones that maybe they didn't feel comfortable asking. You get a bus ride to the river you tube on, a good lunch, a walk through the rain forest, and a nice hour and a half tubing adventure through the biggest cave I have ever seen! It was a long day but one that I won't forget.
There is always something to do on this boat, I never had a boring moment there, only when I chose to. One thing I didn't like was the amount of kids on board. To all parents that were on this boat with their kids: WATCH THEM! I mean honestly when I see 5 kids doing cannonballs and throwing water out of their drinking cups into one of the pools with 6 adults trying to relax and the parents don't say anything, what is that? If you are looking for a cruise with no kids, this one isn't for you. Overall I had a great time, my girlfriend said the same thing and we will most likely cruise with Carnival again.