Where to begin? We are mid-twenties and first time cruisers, and this trip exceeded our expectations. We will cruise with Carnival again and again.
we didn't spend much time at the lido deck, which is where most of the crowds seem to gather during the day. Instead we relaxed on the serenity deck or at the tides pool and it was never too crowded except for the hot tubs, which were always pretty full during daylight hours. We would make it 15 min or so early to shows so that we could get good seats up front and it worked like a charm. The comedy shows fill up in minutes, so definitely show up a few minutes early if you're planning to attend one of those. We did anytime dining and the two of us never had to wait to be seated. The crowds was my biggest concern and it turned out to be no problem at all.
The customer service was the most unexpected and surprisingly awesome parts of our trip. I have never seen such amazing customer service. Everyone, from our room steward Thana to the bartenders at the Red Frog Pub, went out of their way to make our experience awesome. They remembered our names everywhere we went and they were so friendly and so professional. It made our trip 1000 times more unforgetable. and the main dining room service was perfect. We never wanted for anything, ever.
Was there enough to do? Absolutely. We spent a lot of time at the Red Frog Pub because the live music was amazing. We did karaoke, casino, ropes course, mini golf, piano bar, and the shows were really fun. There was always something going on at the lido (ie the hairy chest contest, etc) and if you were doing nothing it's because that's exactly what you wanted to be doing. The live music acts were some of the best i've ever seen.
We ate in the main dining room almost always bc the service was exceptional. The food was really good and there were always plenty of choices on the menu. The salmon and chocolate melting cake were among my favorite things. Oh, and lobster and filet steak. We did eat at the buffet once for lunch and it was ok, but the deli and pizza stands were great! We also had lunch and dinner at the italian restaurant on board and it was fantastic (add 12 bucks per person for dinner in the italian restaurant). All in all, the food was really good.
Faster To The Fun
We purchased FTTF for $50 per stateroom (so 25 bucks per person) and it was well worth the money. We had to wait in no lines getting on or off the ship and we were first to embark and debark the ship. We also got priority tendering at the ports. Our luggage was in our room by the time we got up the elevators, as promised. We also had our own line at guest services. Well worth the money in my opinion. I felt like a VIP all week!
We ported in montego bay jamaica, grand cayman, and cozumel. All three were fantastic. we did Sunset beach all inclusive day pass in jamaica and it was amazing. In caymans we went on a jet ski adventure to sting ray city and then to the cayman brewing company. In cozumel we did the dolphin swim at chankanaab national park. I highly recommend all three of these excursions.
Overall, the cruise was amazing. Every part exceeded my expectaions. Some have complained about kids, but we hardly ran into kids and when we did they were very nice and well behaved. We even made friends with a bunch of pre teens in line to do the water slides. I think if you do your research and plan according to what you're looking for, you can't go wrong. I will cruise with carnival again and again. They've won me over!!