Being Miami residents , cruising is like going to the beach. Embarking in Miami is not one of our favorite things. We rather drive and embark somewhere else.The passengers tend to be rowdy and rude.
Embarkation process was fairly easy being we are Platinum members and we had our own area to embark. This was a change from previous cruises, so when we got to the ship we were stress free for a change.
The ship itself was very nicely decorated a far cry from the usual Carnival decor.Our stateroom w/balcony was very spacious and we had no qualms about any of it including the bed and pillows.
We had about 4000 guest on board , mostly loud and rude locals, which made hanging out in the public areas specially the pool very annoying. We don't like the fact that there are only 2 small pools for a ship this size .You kind of had to wait for someone to get out for you to walk in get wet and get out. Too little public spaces and too many staterooms . There is no quiet place you can hangout outside.
They were rules about food and beverages not allowed in the pool, but no ship personnel cared to enforce them. Who knows how many of the people too over beverage that were in the pool,actually came out to go to the restroom.
The restaurants were very nicely decorated. We had 2nd sitting at 8:15. We never got served before 9 pm and by the time we were finished with dessert, the show had started and no seats available. The wait staff was very cordial but slow. Again, there was a dress code about T shirts and shorts and no one enforced it.
The Lido deck Marketplace is a great idea, with plenty of variety in foods.From deli to Mexican to Mongolian to pizza, and the best of it was Guy Fieri's hamburger joint. I suggest that you check out the Marketplace front and back because there are different food venues .Not all the food is the same. Not all venues are open all the time.One thing I will say, being a diabetic,I asked for nu sugar desserts and they obliged every night.
The bar servers were on your face like flies on poop. Anywhere you turn bam!..My wife and I are not drinkers so it was sort of annoying.
The entertainment was sub par . The shows were the same with different twist to them, not very good as far as I'm concerned.I've seen better singers on The Voice and American Idol. The comedy team ,we have seen one of them 2 or three times before and he wasn't that funny the first time and even less the third time. We probably have taken too many cruises. Even the cruise Director we had on our last cruise.
The ports of calls were all new to us except La Romana. Grand Turk wss nothing more than Carnival's pier and Margaritaville beach and pool.
La Romana we took a taxi to Bayahibe Beach for the day , been there done that!
Curacao is a nice place , we took a bus tour on our own. Took us around town, their distillery and then a couple of hours to Mongo's Beach. All for $20 per person. Too industrialized for me. Beach wasn't that great.
The highlight was Aruba. Beautiful place , beautiful beaches, friendly people. Carnival should skip Curacao and spend more time in Aruba. I'm hoping to spend a week there next summer.
All in all, we had a good time. The wife and I spent quality time together and we had fun with some friends that cruised with us. Would I cruise this ship again?..The verdict is still out. Maybe if it moved to Port Canaveral,Tampa or somewhere not Miami , I may have a better opinion. Such a big ship and only 2 small pools and no adult pool, still stings.