This was my second cruise in two years with Carnival, first was to Caribbean and this one was to Canada - Saint John, NB and Halifax, NS.
The cruise left and returned to New York. We travelled from Philadelphia via van service to NY the same day, which took about 2 hours including a 15 minute pit stop.
On this cruise I traveled with 3 childhood girlfriends and we all celebrated our 50th birthdays this year. Two of them cruised on Carnival before.
Approximately two weeks before sailing, we all filled out our "Fun Pass" via Carnival website which expedited our boarding. We arrived at the terminal at 12pm and were onboard at 12:20pm. There were no lines for our cabin grouping. Although we printed out our Fun Pass, the counter person didn't need to see it I guess because the information was already in their computers.
Cabins: Our rooms were open to us, but they had not completely stocked with towels, so we just dropped off our carry-ons and went to the Lido deck. Our rooms (2 in a cabin) were side by side as requested and our dining time was early as requested. We were please to find out that we were to be seated in a 4-person booth. We went back to the rooms for the 4pm muster drill, only to find that the refrigerator that we requested for my friends diabetic insulin storage, was not only missing, but we were told they do not have any refrigerators and that she would have to use the ice bucket to store her insulin. The room attendance assured us the ice would be replenished frequently, which it was. The room size was adequate and the storage compartments for clothing and such were plentiful for the 5 night cruise for 2 people. The balcony was spacious. We had asked that the door between our two balconies be opened, which it was, but once it was unlock, we could not lock it back into position. We were disappointed to find that the door between the balconies swung open blocking our exit door to the balcony, so we had to close the shared door each time we went back into our rooms. The only way to secure the shared balcony door was to hook it in the open position, which blocked one room's exit door.
Entertainment: We found the bars/lounges to be very lively with music and plenty of seating. The rooms where shows were held were also very roomy and plenty of seating available. The shows each might were very entertaining. Plenty of activities available onboard - in fact, probably too many to attend all that we wanted.
Shore Excursions: We had nice weather in Saint John, NB and took a 2 hour trolley tour of the town. There was also a tent of vendors right off the ship for shopping deals and we took our purchases back to our rooms before our tour so we didn't have to lug them around. although it rained in halifax, NS we found the "Hop-on Hop-off" tour to be very informative and we would have Hopped off in several places info it had not be pouring down rain. Definitely a good tour for the $39.
Disembarkation: We had been notified that we would be arriving back in NY at 5am in lieu of 6am, due to two other ships coming into port with us. Our debarkation was very quick and got through customs in a flash and out into the NY streets in a hurry. Our van pick-up arrive about 1 hour later and we headed back home.