We stayed at the Intercontinental and watched as a Royal Caribbean pulled in Saturday morning and then our Triumph. The lighting was dimmer on the Triumph and DH deemed our ship the "Ghetto Ship". It was a joke... for the most part!
Check in was quick and easy... got to the port at around 12:15, sitting down for a quick bite by 1:00. Deli as wonderful as we remembered. Into the room by 1:45. Room wasn't quite ready, so we went wandering around. Layout seemed a lot like the Conquest we had been on back in '02. We had a balcony on the upper deck. SO much storage. Loved the love seat... quite a few naps on it! Bedding didn't impress me as much as I had hoped, since people rave about it on the boards. I scavenged around and found an old blue blankie which provided more than enough cover... the comforter was WAY too heavy for the Caribbean. We used the comforter as more of a pillow top for the mattress!
Deck chairs were plastic. DH and I are BIG people and were concerned about the chairs as the ones on our balcony were adirondack style but were incredibly comfortable... and we fit!
Our cabin steward(s) were not quite what we are used to. He neglected to bring back clean beach towels, didn't always give us ice and charged us for beverages we didn't take.
The food was so-so. My favorite is always seafood, but this time out it was usually overcooked and rubbery. The filet mignon was GREAT, but the NY Strip which was an alternative was not all that from what I heard... I never tried it. They do have a great alternative listing which is the same everyday but is actually listed on the menu. We did discover that you can pretty much order something however you want (without sauce, etc.) and if you want french fries with your filet, order 'em up, they were happy to accommodate. My husband discovered rice on the alternative list and had rice and gravy a couple of nights after that. I ate at the deli once (tasty reubens!), the Hong Kong Noodle company several times (not as good as I remembered, but okay) and mostly ate breakfast in the dining room. Eggs benedict was mediocre, but I just love the pastries and hot tea. Speaking of tea... do any of the cruise lines BREW their tea? That stuff was flat out nasty! Pizza place was the bomb as usual. Nothing like a late night freshly made stromboli or chicken caesar salad with garlic bread (ask for cheese on that for a special treat!). DH liked the grill... they had great steak sandwiches... add mushrooms and grilled onions and have them chop up that steak... yummy philly hot off the grill. And of course... the ice cream machine. If you order room service be sure and try the chicken burrito thingy... ask for extra chicken.
Entertainment... I didn't go to a single show... sorry! I did hear good things about it though. Wait... I did go to the Not so Newlywed game, which is always one of my favorites and they had a special Halloween night where they showed Friday the 13th. The movie was lame, but the fact that they had "ghouls" sneaking through the lounge scaring the crud out of people made it funnier than all get out. They did have satellite tv which was great when one was attempting to recover from too much fun or too much dinner. There were 3 movie channels which showed the same movie all day. They changed daily.
The "returning guest" party was a bust. Overcrowded, in the Rome lounge, making it impossible to "mingle" and started during our dinner! It was for 45 minutes. And for those of you who felt they were short changed on the gift... we got zip! The horsey derveys didn't even make it up to us. All they offered was alcoholic beverages, which I'm not supposed to have... but did have a couple of rum punches... didn't want to appear too rude!
Casino... my friends were winning... and losing. Being from Las Vegas I passed on the gambling. The machines are extremely outdated and I'm used to the penny casinos. Them there nickel machines were too rich for my blood!
I think I went out on deck twice during the day. It was hot and muggy out there and being from the desert not a desirable climate and I don't do sun on purpose. And then there were those darned kids. We did attempt to use the adults only spa every night after dinner. The slide and miniature golf course were closed most of the week due to high winds.
Puerto Rico... got off the boat for a couple of minutes. I have been there a couple of times during the day and seen the historical stuff which was closed by the time we got there. They shouldn't do this stop at night.
St Thomas. Skip it. Go directly to St. John. Trunk Bay is the most beautiful beach I've ever been to, the water so clear and wasn't all that crowded.
St. Maarten. The shopping hot spot. Took a ship tour there. Went to Mullet Bay. Disappointing after Trunk Bay. But I suffered through it. Nice little island.
Disembarkation went smoothly. The self assist started at 7:15. We were off by 9:00 and caught a cab quickly to the airport.
It was a good cruise... I'm just spoiled and like GREAT cruises! I wouldn't recommend Carnival to anyone who wasn't used to kids being around and probably won't be cruising with them again.