We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. This cruise included five islands where we have never visited. This also was a cruise in the Caribbean in March away from the cool temperatures at home.
We arrived by air in San Juan around lunch. We elected to use the Carnival bus transport to the pier. Come to find out, it would have been faster and cheaper to take a taxi. Lesson learned. The embarkation was seamless except that the gangway had come disconnected from the ship and we had to wait about an hour for the port to fix the problem. This was really our only hiccup of the whole cruise.
THE GOOD: The ship was very nice and very clean. Some places appeared a little worn over time, but cleanliness makes up for a lot of presentation. This was the theme of this ship. Everywhere we went, we saw smiling faces of employees and the crew tending to the cares of the ship and passengers. This does not mean we never saw a crew member without a smile, but the better majority More
of the crew was pleasant and helpful. Even in a crowded Lido dining area, the crew did a great job of keeping tables cleaned for new guests to sit.
We participated in one excursion provided by Carnival in St. Lucia and it was really good. It was just as advertised. The shows were slow at first, but better later.
We ate in MDR for breakfast three times for breakfast. It was less crowded than Lido and food was a little better. We ate in MDR once at dinner and it was good but not excellent. I would say it was just fine.
We sat on the deck a lot in the afternoons and did I mention the cleanliness of the ship? There was a constant stream of workers on duty to keep the place neat and clean.
The ports were awesome. Getting on and off the ship was basically just simple. Never too busy and the security was unfamiliarly pleasant for a change.
Our room was kept immaculate by our Ninja like cleaning stewards.
THE BEST: I cannot tell you how great the steakhouse was. Everyone and everything in Scarlett's was impressive. We took advice from Cruise Critic and went the first night to receive a free bottle of wine. I am not sure how "free" it was with the $35 cover charge, but it was still great. In fact, it was so great we went back on another night. The wine wasn't free because we brought it from home. They still charged us a $14 corkage fee. I really didn't care because the food is really that good.
NOT SO GOOD: Breakfast food in Lido was not so good. Yes they had powdered eggs in the Lido. Hot cereals were not hot. Fruit was good.
Sometimes Lido choices were very limited. There was at times an apparent feeling of crowdedness all over the ship. Boarding and disembarking was never an issue, but crowded at places on the ship, go figure. I cannot leave off the smoke smell which comes from casino.
*NOTE* We did the whole cruise without stepping into an elevator. Yes we climbed the stairs everywhere, everyday. This is a first for a seven day cruise.