Pre-Cruise: We stayed in the Hampton Inn in Miramar. It took us about 45 minutes to get the port. The price was right and the place was clean.
We dropped off our luggage (plus a case of water and soda) at the port and then drove to the Premier Parking deck. We had made arrangements directly to the owners and paid $5 per night to park. (Thank you Florida Departure board :-) Took the free shuttle back to the port.
Check-in: Hubby kept saying at every corner that the long lines were coming (from his prior cruise experience) but he was WRONG :-)
Total time to check in was 30 minutes. We were in cabin 2043 (cat 11).
Lunch: After receiving some great info from our roll call, we headed to Bistro on 5 for lunch. There is a $5 up charge but the place was totally empty. It set the tone for our cruise. Wonderful service.
Cabin: Deck 2 inside. Beds were already put together. I asked the room steward to empty the refrig for our aloe, wine, water and soda. It was done quickly. There was plenty storage space and we placed our empty luggage under the beds. There were six drawers in the closet and two in each night stand. There were plenty of hangers for our clothes.
The bed skirt was torn but you couldn't see it unless you were examining the bed.
Ocean Liner: We ate here our first night. 20% off the $45 up charge. It was not crowded so we got a lot of attention. The Chef came out and said hello. That was a nice touch. "Mr. B" was very friendly. The food was good. Hubby had the lobster cooked table side. We got a bottle of wine that was saved for us when we ate in the MDR.
Shows: We went to the variety show which I thought was a great idea. It gave you a preview of the entertainment for the cruise. We decided to see the comedian, the magician and the A Capella group. They were all great!
Breakfast in the MDR: We ate there every morning. Eggs, bacon, sausage, breads, fruit, OJ, hash browns, grits, oatmeal, french toast, pancakes waffles. Service was a little slow. You are seated with folks that arrive at the same time as you.
Pool: Very crowded but we found a spot. I do admit that we claimed our two chairs early in the day. After walking the track and touring the galley we settled in at the pool.
Pool Side Grill: It can be missed. 30 minute wait for a hot dog, kids cutting in line. The Spa grill was another pool area option. It was excellent and not crowed.
We opted to do room service instead of MDR. Food was good but service was slow (perhaps do to the fact that we were eating when they were doing the late seating)
Roatan: We did an excursion on our own and we went to The Little French Key. $88 for lunch and transportation. It was extra great since Carnival's two ships couldn't get into their port.
MDR: We had a table for two. I started each of my remaining meals with the mushroom and the french onion soup. Everything was tasty and the service from our waiters were excellent.
Cozumel: We did another excursion on our own. Got a cab outside of the port area since the line was so long there. It cost us $10 to go to Chankanaab Park. We swam with the dolphins and snorkeled with our own equipment. $10 cab ride brought us back to the port.
Bingo: We felt that this was a money making activity rather than a fun activity. The cards cost $29 for one or $49 for two. Only 3 games were played and the pots were not that large ($180, $ 210 and $282). Only real disappointment of the cruise.
Spa Pool : Very nice and not crowded. It said adults only but there were a few kids in there being good.
Drink Package: We opted not to do. We were going to play it by ear and see how much we were really drinking. If we needed it we were going to buy it mid cruise. We did not drink enough to warrant buying the package. The lemonade was good and the hubby did not complain about the coffee.
Casino: We had fun in there. Dealers were nice and would explain how to play if they were not busy. I won money in the slots and then donated it back :-)
Overall: We are not Elite's and did not stay in a suite but EVERY ONE in the crew made us feel like we were special. Everyone attempted to please.
Hubby was pleased that he did not have to hear all the overhead announcements that he had been used to hearing.