Embarkation: I live in Homestead so drove to Ft Lauderdale's airport picked up friends from Canada and drove 5 min to the ship. Dropped off luggage parked car in garage ($12 a day) and started standing in long line to get on ship. Took 20 minutes. Would have took less time if people would have filled out customs forms for bahamas at home. Check in employees were friendly and funny, we were on ship 30 minutes after arriving. Pretty painless, Kudo 1.
Went directly to room met cabin steward and put $20 bucks in his hand told him I needed 2 buckets of ice at all times and a disposal for needles as I'm a diabetic. Also needed fridge open for storage of insulin. All this was done by the time I returned from muster drill. What service. I'll get to that later.
Muster Drill!! Worst part of Cruise!! Took 45 minutes to tell you put the life vest over your head, connect the straps and this is your boat in case you need to get in it. It was hot, no air and I thought I was going to pass out. Something has got to give on this.
OK went to sail away party had a drink and listened to the band on Lido deck was good. Might as well cover dining now since we returned to room and got ready for first seating at Silver Dining Room.
Dining: Waiter was Furgjo and Durango as his assistant. Both were great. He made suggestions each night that were right on the money. Water glasses filled constantly and abundance of bread. Laura the drink girl was always there 5 minutes after we sat down. I had the rack of lamb the first night it melted in your mouth. I also had the melting choc cake for desert, this is a mortal sin but sooo good. I was looking for a priest to go to confession. Lot of calories but who cares. The other nights I had Prime Rib twice and the Filet mignon and all were cooked to perfection. Deserts were very good and the meals always came hot. Salads I ordered Caesar the first night and that's what I got every night with Anchovies. A+.
Emile's: Buffet was good, especially the roast pork. Fish and chips were the best. The Rubens in the Deli were outstanding as was the late night Pizza. The frozen yogurt was great also. The morning breakfast was typical of anything else you would order in a restaurant. The omelettes were cooked to order and were very good. What can you say about eggs and bacon?? B+
Deck Party: New Years Eve Party was great Free champagne and dancing under the stars what a great time. Saw the ball drop on the big screen, got a long smooch from the wife, kissed some women I didn't know and had a blast. Went to bed around 2. What about those beds?? The best!! Never had a bad nights sleep, so comfortable and the duvet is great!!
Cabin: Inside on Empress Deck. Always get inside, less noise and plenty of space. Nice amenities in bathroom and shower big enough for my fat behind. Steward, was ADAHI what a guy, always kept room clean, funny animals and always called me by name and granted every request. Toilet wouldn't flush one day and was fixed in less than 1/2 hour. That's service.
Crew: Always friendly and smiling, these guys can't love their jobs that much?? Bartenders were nice not as jovial as last years but OK. I do have to say that I did miss last years cruise director John. He's the best alot of interaction with the passengers. Not saying this new guy isn't good just that John is the best I've encountered. I heard he will be on the Freedom this year so I'll get to see him there. Overall service was great. A+
Ports: Freeport: Went shopping, should have stayed on ship. Not exciting. Came back and again did things on Capers. Fun!! Grand Cayman: Didn't get off ship there were 8 ships in port what a zoo. Already swam with the sting rays and did the seven mile beach thing so thought I'd skip the sand and relax by the pool had fun and drank more. Costa Maya!!! best time ever. Took taxi to Fishing Village. Cat's Meow first and only stop. Met Barbara the owner takes you on tour of kitchen, clean as a whistle, so are the bathrooms(there's no sign on women's and men's so you can use both, my wife did Ha!) Buckets of beer 10 bucks for 6 Corona's what a deal we drank 5 buckets the four of us. Got a great massage for 20 bucks right on the beach 45 min, the coconut shrimp was great and so was the lobster that are friends got cheap!! Did I mention the guacamole, real stuff. Just a great time didn't leave until we had to get back for sailing time. I'll be back
Sea Days: Had fun with the games and bingo and laying around relaxing and of course having a few cocktails.
Entertainment: Broadway shows were good and the juggler and comedian good as well. The Duet of Diane and her husband were the best. Great dance music and she is a talented singer. Hope to see them on the Freedom next year.
Shopping: Great deals on liquor on board and my wife got some good deals on jewelry. They have just about all your needs in gift shop and not real expensive.
The Ship: Decor is beautiful. Sanitation stations every time you turn around. Casino crowded sometimes, other times easy to play. First time I cruised I didn't loose.
Spa: We used the steam room the exercise room and the whirlpool all were great. You can smell the booze coming out in the steam room. Hope I didn't offend anybody.
Overall I can say that Magoo you did it again!! Carnival Thank You for making our vacation memorable and wonderful. I have cruised Royal and Holland America and I can honestly say you guys beat them out. Will be sailing next year in Europe on Freedom for sure.