We drove to Tampa & like most people coming from a distance, we stayed overnight at a hotel. It was La Quinta, I believe & it was adequate at best. Getting onto the ship went fairly smooth & was quite a big quicker than the Conquest from the year before. Although they tell you your room won't be ready until 1:00, we went on up & our room was ready about an hour before that. Doesn't hurt nothing to go to your room to check. By the time you get on the ship, you are going to want to decompress WITHOUT OTHER PEOPLE for a couple of minutes before you head down to find lunch. The food was decent, with breakfast being my favorite. The ships dEcor was fairly gaudy, but seemed clean enough.
We paid for the "extended balcony", which made the balcony 4 or 5 feet wide instead of the usual 2-3. Nothing to get excited about though. And since the extended balcony rooms were at the top of the ship (think we were on level 9), the top of our balcony & room apparently was the floor of the Lido More
deck, so there were times when we heard lots of chair scraping & etc above us. We had five adjacent rooms/cabins, so we were able to open the doors between our balconys & have a really LONG roomy balcony to visit on. The service room & otherwise was predictable good & polite. No problems there. The dining service was excellent as always. The dining room food was good, but I am pretty easy to please being as I am one of eight kids!! Anywho, we are not much for gambling or baking in wrinkles at the pool, so we spent quite a lot of time visiting on our balcony. I highly recommend you get the balcony room as there is times you will def want to get away from all the people. Or is that just me?
As for excursions, at Cozumel we had previously booked Nachi Cocum Sports Beach for our whole crowd on-line. Nachi Cocum is a quick 5 minute cab ride from the port, so you don't have to worry about not getting back on time. Nachi Cocum's price for the day ($65 I think) includes all your food & drinks for the day, including mixed drinks & beer. We got our money's worth there, for sure!! For an additional cost you could Scuba, rent a jet ski or a large blowup island float. The food & drink was good & the beach was nice. I do recommend Nachi Cocum. This was our second time at Cozumel & Nachi Cocum.
At Roatan the first thing you see coming into port is a ship wreck right there next to the Carnival port. That was really cool & quite a photo-op from the top deck if you have a good zoom lens like I do. Carnival has it's own "tourist village" at the port in Roatan. It's a little nicer than most being as it was built & is maintained by Carnival. It has the usual tourist trappy shops & a tourist beach with LOTS of bodies on it. It also had this swing contraption that you could get on for $7 (I think) to go over to the beach rather than walk over there. We wanted to take that just for fun, but there was a long line both ways, so we took a pass. Next time I am at Roatan I will book an excursion to see the beautiful island rather than wasting time in the "tourist village".
You came into Belize at sunrise. Be sure to get up early to watch the sunrise & the ship navigate the channel. Apparently it is very shallow in the area there being as you see dozens of islands on the way in. Then when you get near Belize you get to look forward to a fairly long tender ride in. At least longer than most at probably 20 minutes long. Keep that in mind when scheduling your excursions. We booked the River Wallace/Altun Ha Ruins Cruise & were nearly late getting back. They could not leave us however being as it was booked through Carnival. The river portion of the excursion is by far the most interesting. I got some great pictures of the howler monkeys, iguanas & scenery. The boat that took us up the river was pretty ghetto, but it got us there without taking on water, so it was all good.
And lastly was Grand Cayman Island. This was our second time here & last time I got stuck "shopping' with the girls. Never again. Tourist traps galore, including Margaritaville. So I had read on TripAdvisor about doing a "free style" tour where you take the public transportation to all the little sights, like the little town of Hell. (I've officially been to Hell & back). Wait, let me back up. We did take a $25 Glass Bottom boat ride from near the port to Seven Mile Beach. That was pretty fun & we saw some amazing fish. Probably was a better way to see the first than Snorkling. We got off at Seven Mile Beach & some of our group stayed there & layed out on the beach & three of us walked out to the street & waited for the public transportation, which is a little minivan. There are running down the road every five minutes, so you don't wait long & that everywhere you go. Other than Hell, I can't remember our other stops, but I do remember it was only $4 every time we got out of a cab, no matter how far we went.
So that's that. Hope you were able to cull something from my ramblings that helps to improve the quality of your cruise!! Less