We arrived 2 days early as we were traveling during hurricane season. Luckily, this was the mildest hurricane season in many years and we had smooth seas throughout. We used Faster to the Fun, but the process in Miami was so efficient, people were onboard in 20-30 minutes. The food was awesome once we boarded. We immediately made a beeline to Guy's Burger Joint. There were plenty of tables so we never had to wait for one. One trick at Blue Iguana is to ask for a steak and shrimp burrito. It is not listed on the menue. Just ask. One complaint though was that the crew were unprepared for the alternate muster drill even though that was communicated several times by my travel agent (autismontheseas) and also after talking with the special needs desk in Miami. We were instructed to wait for another muster drill for the last minute arrivals. We were dressed down initially by some officers for late boarding until guest services came in and explained that we had an autistic child that was easily frightened by loud noises of the drill.
Onboard, I had a message from the cruise director Butch to meet for a private meet and photo. He was nice, but seemed to be not as personable as prior CD's. We did meet the ACD Brittany who was absolutely incredible. She found my son several times, talked and danced with him and always made sure he had plenty of bling for the deck parties. Brittany was everywhere and had the greatest personality. Always a joy to talk with her. She will make a great CD someday. The live entertainers, Angie and Jessica, and the band Rock on the Water were awesome. Ben Gentry at the piano bar was incredible and he always had the place packed. They also spent time with our son after their sets. I was, however, very disappointed with the lack of live music onboard. The DJ was boring and a ship with as many sea days as ours should have had some caribbean music with a steel drum and guitar like our previous cruises. We skipped the playlist productions as we had seen them on a prior cruise.
The meals were good as always and I knew the trick for dinner. Order 2 entrees such as lobster and steak. Just order everything up front and be at your table on time as it messes with the waiter's timing for the meal. We ate at the Fahrenheit 555 once and always enjoy the meal. We loved the new Italian restaurant and had dinner there as well. I utilized Bonsai Sushi twice and had great meals with the bento boxes. The Red Frog Pub has great snacks as well.
We only sent our son a few times to Camp Carnival. He wanted to spend more time with us on the pool deck. This was an off time for the kids as there was only 200 kids under 18 on a ship with over 4000 passengers so there were several counselors for every kid in camp. He did go to the kids dinners and did well.
The ship had plenty of activities for the sea days. I did the ropes course and workouts on the deck. There were awesome sights working out in the mornings over the clear ocean. We also utilized the foosball, pool tables and miniature golf on deck.
Down below on deck 5 was the promanade deck. There were more eateries and bars here and also C side BBQ. There were 2 hot tubs on each side and very quiet and easy to find a deck chair.
Debark was incredibly smooth. With FTTF, we were off the ship by 0730 and in a taxi by 0740 to the airport. Once the new tunnel opens to POM, embark and debark times will be even faster with direct access to I95.