Thanks for checking out the review.
Two passengers, both just hit 40 years old.
Our flight brought us to Fort Lauderdale the day before, so we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66. Used our hotels.com comp room towards the balance. Hotel was very nice. Spent the day at the pool sipping on drinks, eating snacks. Went to dinner later at Pelican Landing, and enjoyed that as well.
Took a shuttle over to the port around 10:15, and was in line early with our FTTF pass. Boarding started around 11:45 if memory serves.
We really liked the ship. Enjoyed the décor. Our first stop for food was the Fish and Chips restaurant, where we both thought the food was fresh and delicious.
Room was ready when we boarded, luggage arrived shortly after entering our room. We had an inside cabin on the Upper Deck, which is usual for us. We prefer the inside cabin as we are rarely in the room on a cruise vacation.
1. We chose late dining, which is our usual selection. Table for two, again our preference. We both work in the "people" industry, and while we like to interact with other passengers and meet people, we prefer private dinners. The food was typical for the Carnival MDR, and we enjoyed it very much. The service was very fast, and at times almost too fast. We were usually getting desserts around 9:00 p.m. But our servers were all very attentive.
2. On the first formal night, we ate at the Steakhouse on board. Definitely the highlight of the cruise from a foodie perspective. Our steaks were wonderful, sides perfect, and the appetizers excellent.
3. We stopped at the piano bar on the first evening, but did not return. The piano player was talented, but didn't interact much with the cruisers.
4. We both enjoy the casino, so played every night for a time. On the third evening, my girlfriend hit a progressive jackpot, the first and only time I've ever seen anyone hit one in any casino. It was a surprising development. A funny part of this story- while I was locating a casino host to assist her, a waiter came up and asked my girlfriend if she would like a celebratory drink. She ordered a beer, figuring it was on the house. When the waiter returned, he asked for my S & S card and charged us! Made us LOL!
5. Craig Johnson was excellent as a cruise director. He interacted well with the guests, and made many of the Carnival experiences even more entertaining. I personally LOVED the morning show that they played on the big screen outside. It was something new for us, as this was the first Carnival cruise we have been on with the video screen. We found out at the Past Guest party that Craig's girlfriend lives just a few minutes from us, and had the opportunity to meet her later in the cruise.
6. Rest of the food- typical Carnival fare. Our personal favorites include the Mongolian Wok, and the Deli Stand. We only had pizza one time!!! And other than breakfast, never had any room service, a first for me as I usually enjoy their delicious sandwiches!
7. For our fun days at sea- we are usually out the cabin door by 9:00 a.m., and off to layout and take in the sun. The pool areas were never crowded that early, and there wasn't one time that we had an issue with finding a good spot.
Ports of Call
1. For Key West, we simply walked around town on a self guided tour. Later, we stopped at a few of the bars on Duval Street, and had worked up quite a thirst after walking around in the hot sun. My girlfriend thought Key West was okay, and I had a great time.
2. Cayman- It rained that day!!! But no matter. For the second time in a row, our tour had been cancelled (Sting Ray and Rum Point Beach experience). We were able to switch over to the Stingray Tour, and enjoyed it very much. The staff onboard was great, and provided for a fun time.
3. Ocho Rios- We booked through Carnival, and went on the Cool Runnings over to Dunn's River Falls. Once again, staff was superb, and we loved the Falls. Definitely an experience to be remembered
Debarkation was smooth. We had a late flight home, and appreciated the fact that Southwest let us check our luggage in WAY ahead of our flight time, and let us check in for our flight as well. If we would have thought about it, we may have gone over to the Hard Rock Casino for a few hours before going through security.
Only two to speak of. The one I mentioned earlier about the dinner being over too fast in the MDR, and the second was that on Ocho Rios day, our room service breakfast never arrived. To us, these were minor, and not worth getting upset about.
All in all, we had yet another excellent time onboard Carnival. Just two cruises to go before Platinum. To us, a vacation, no matter where or when, is what you make of it. We look to have a great time, and always do so. We work hard, and like to play hard. Carnival gives us the chance to do that. We are grateful to their company for providing a consistent positive experience.