My daughter and I drove down to Port Canaveral on Thursday from Atlanta. This is our 4th cruise on Carnival. We got a late start and didn't arrive until 3:25 pm. Too close for comfort. After we parked, a wonderful man in a golf cart gave us a ride to the entrance. I thought we would be the last to arrive but there were a lot of latecomers. It took less than 20 minutes to get onboard. I don't recommend last minute arrival to anyone-- you miss out on the "welcome aboard" photo.
The ship was very clean and the staff was wonderful. Joseph the maitre d' was a sweetheart! We were seated with a family with 2 teenagers and another single mother traveling with her 15-year-old son. The teens hung out together the whole cruise. The food was delicious and Ferdinand and Lito made sure we were totally satisfied. I highly recommend Slava the bartender (casino bar) and Bevil the bartender (Lido deck). We never ate at the buffet restaurant but it looked good. Be sure and try the reuben sandwich at least once and the sushi each afternoon.
We did the Yellowbird party boat. It was fun-the rum punch isn't that strong but they'll top off your drink if you ask. The beach they take you is beautiful. The straw market is HOT. Try to stay near the front for fresh air.
Took in the late night comedian--he was ok--and the variety show. I don't really care for that type of show but other people I talked to enjoyed it. Be forewarned--lots of thong costumes for the women. If you don't like to see butt cheeks though then don't go.
I was disappointed in my room steward, she never filled my ice bucket and I always had to call.
We did the self-assist debarkation and were off the ship and through customs in less than 15 minutes. If you get a porter to help you with your bags (which we did), you get out faster plus they take the bags all the way to your car.
It was really a great cruise. Too short for me but I would recommend this ship to everyone.