This was my 3rd cruise, my 1st with Carnival. (Crown Princess & Royal Carribean). My husband and I travelled (mid-40s) with family - a sister-in-law with a bad hip who relied on a wheelchair, my brother-in-law +his wife (early 50s), 16yr old nephew and 13 yr old neice on 7/27-8/4/13.
What set Carnival apart from other cruise lines the sense of community the social staff and crew created. You felt as if you were travelling with friends. Motown sing-alongs and deck parties had everyone joining in. I rarely saw anyone drunk, obnoxious, or rude (my biggest fear of cruising on a "fun ship"). What I did see was everyone having fun. The bands on the ship were great. They brought a local band onboard @ Aruba too.
Aruba: safe and clean. Catch a taxi to Palm Beach and rent a lounge chair. Lots of shopping, restaurants, casinos, watet actvities.
La Romano: we booked a GREAT excursion thru www.seavistours.com. Gorgeous island--don't miss out. Pushy vendors-avoid local markets (we didn't go, but tjose who did wished they hadn't)
Grand Turk: walk off boat and hire boat to snorkel for $45.
The shows, especially the New Orleans and Beatles show were FABULOUS!
Casino: high payouts on the slot machines (even on the last night)
Adults only pool --aft 9th deck (very relaxing)
The staff-everyone was friendly and helpful
The "teen scene" -- Club O was "the place to be" if you were a teen or tween
The chocolate melting cake ---ahhh.
Room and bathroom sizes
EMBARKATION: Chaos!....computers were down, lines were long, information was non-existent. Took over 3.5hrs to get on boat.
LONG LINES...1) for breakfast & lunch buffets: still can't figure out why getting something to eat during daylight hours was such a hassle. 2) disembarking ship /embarking ship @ports. (Very disorganized)
NOT easy to get around if you have physical limitations.