Debarkation at Jacksonville is very easy. Shore porters are plentiful. Plenty of direction as to where to enter. Initial customs employee cordial and got us directed to the correct line to proceed. Counter customs employee was fast and friendly. We had our sail and sign cards, debarkation photo made and were on the lido deck eating by 12:30.
We had the Italian Buffet and it was great. Salads and desert bars were excellent. Choices of supplied drinks are still water, tea, lemonade ,coffee, milk (white and chocolate) and hot water with available various hot tea bags.
During the week we had excellent pizza and hot reuben sandwiches from the lido. We were a bit disappointed at the hamburgers this sailing. The patty had the flavor of having been cooked earlier and kept warm with water which I never had on previous cruises on Carnival. The breakfast buffet on Lido deck was very good and was kept full. Omelettes were very good. Lunch buffet was good but nothing outstanding. Not disappointing but nothing to be excited about. We chose to eat in the open seating dining room for lunch the last three days. The service was excellent and it was a welcome calming environment. However... the lunch menu is very limited.
The evening meals were a bit disappointing in some ways. Dinner companions were so very nice..we had a great time with them. Our waiter was VERY disappointing. He never had any conversation with us except to request our menu selections.None of the usual conversation and bits of info we are accustomed to having with the waiter on previous cruises. The asst waiter was friendly and addressed us by name but he was way too busy for any interaction very often. We did find out from another staff member that our waiter was "new" so perhaps he was just learning the ropes so to speak and was nervous.
Our cabin was always kept immaculate and our room steward JayJay was A++++++. We had a couple of little issues during the week and he got them reported and fixed immediately.
The cruise director, Paul was very friendly and quite funny in his own somewhat subdued way. Really liked him a lot.
The shows were good. The Motor City was put on two different nights but the beginning and ending on the last sea night were different. Do NOT miss the ending ! The Divas show was enjoyable but not spectacular. DH liked it better than me. The Towel Theater. Listen closely to the satire filled comments among the cuteness. The family friendly part of the comedy was funny. We went in one night to the Adult comedy but stood in the back just long enough to hear it was way too "blue" for our enjoyment.
The usual trivia, Kareoke, deck music , bar music was good. A lot of fun.
The lido deck night party was a great time but everyone was very disappointed it was WAY TOO brief. The entire thing was over within 45 minutes.
The chocolate buffet was good but we got there an hour after it started and it was very depleted even though it was supposed to be for over two hours.
This sailing wasn't full apparently. Dining room had empty tables. Never had to wait for seating on the lido deck. No chair hogs . Waterworks was active but no long lines. Whirl pools always had room.
Key West stop is too brief. Not enough time to really do very much. Still enough time for an island tour. City Tours was the most cordial and seemed to be more efficient on their schedule. Also it is cheaper !
Dock was convienient though.
Nassau was also a good dock. Late arriving due to bad weather the night before. All shore tours cancelled so it was a walk around and do your own thing stop. Straw market folks were their usual "a bit pushy" as is to be expected. Due to the late arrival we didn't feel comfortable walking around as it got dark so we just went back on board and rested a bit and enjoyed the ship activities.
Taste Bar was a nice stop. Just a tiny sample before dinner three nights . It is easy to miss...located as you walk passed the Stars Bar going toward the photo viewing area....very small counter in the curves by the doorways.
Debarkation was smooth, luggage well marked. Grab a porter and he will breeze you right out. We were zone 19 of 24 and before we got out the gangway all levels were called. We were finished with customs and waiting on our shuttle van by 10:45.
as for the van pick up. If you have sailed Jacksonville before and used any hotel park and cruise, you walked out the front of the terminal and right into a van. As the porter told us "some pier genius" decided it was wiser to have vans pick up all the way out in the lot where people self park at the pier. They have a rows of signs after you enter that area with a few shuttles listed , running the length of the fence on the ship side of the lot. There is only one little park bench per area to sit. Unless you get out for the first van you will have to stand and wait. This was becoming a problem for a lot of elderly and handicapped folks. There should be more seating provided so maybe after they get enough complaints it will be corrected. Of course that is a pier issue not Carnival.