This was our 4th Carnival Cruise. Our first was on The Big Red Boat. We flew into Orlando the night before and rented a car. We stayed in a hotel in Orlando and the next morning we were off to Port Canaveral. Once we arrived we had a fairly long line to stand in before we got to check in, but it all went rather smoothly. We were allowed onto the ship right after check in, which was nice because we got to have lunch right away on the Lido Deck. However it was very hard to find an open table! That seems to always be the case at the buffet! The boat drill was long and boring, but the rest of the day was fun!
CAMP CARNIVAL WELCOME PARTY- The kids, one 5 and the other 9 were excited to meet the Camp Carnival people. The party was geared for the whole family. We danced so much that our sides ached. Needless to say, the kiddos slept well that night! NASSAU-The next morning we were already in Nassau! First time we've arrived in our first port the next day. On this trip we chose not to do any excursions. Instead we headed on our own to the Atlantis Resort. Took a cab both ways and paid way too much for the aquarium! We loved it though and still had time to hang at the beach. Atlantis was definitely worth seeing.CAPTAIN'S PARTY- was kind of a flop compared to others we've been to. This one was divided in two different rooms. We never saw the crew or the captain. I guess we picked the wrong room. We still had a good time dancing and enjoying the free drinks!
SHOWS- Dancers were great, female singer was good, but the male singer was not. But he tried really hard and looked like he was having fun. They really mean it when they say "Vegas" type costumes. So, parents with young ones, beware. During one of the shows they had the male dancers do a Full Monty dance. They actually removed everything but the thong. I thought it to be rather entertaining, my husband did not. But we all had a good laugh from it. The magic show was really cool. The R rated comedy shows were very mild.
DAYS AT SEA- Fun, lots to do. Mostly hanging at the pool (if you can find a chair to lounge in.) Very crowded but relaxing. The water slide is a bonus. Kids loved it, I loved it. There was party music playing, occasionally there was a band. Poolside games like Survivor, hairy chest contest, scavenger hunts, etc. were conducted though out the day. We enjoyed the gym on one of those days. That was not a crowded place.
St. THOMAS- I strongly advise you to do an excursion for that one. Getting off the ship took a long time. They let you off by the deck# your cabin is on. Luckily we were on deck 8, they start at the top. The cab drivers in St. Thomas were very greedy. We asked to go to Coki Beach and he dropped us off at Sapphire Beach even though he said it was Coki. On our ride back he said he knew we wouldn't like Coki beach and he thought this would be a better beach for us. It was nice, but I'd rather not be lied to!
St. MAARTEN- What a beautiful place! We took a $5 water taxi right from where we were docked (kids were free). We were dropped off at the beach and were offered beach chairs and an umbrella for $5. It was the best port for us. We relaxed at the beach, the kids loved the water trampoline and the wave runners. Lots of fun was had at St. Maarten.
There were 6 different cruise ships docked at St. Maarten. It was so fun at sunset to wave goodbye to all the other ships. The ships would "talk" to each other with their horns. My kids loved that so much.That evening was the Carnival Colors party. That is something you don't want to miss! It's a huge deck party! They get everyone involved with a conga line and the largest human tunnel I've ever walked through. It is followed by a midnight Mexican buffet.
SERVICE- The dinning room service was good. Not excellent, but good. Our room stewart was very friendly. Actually too friendly! We'd try to run from him if we could because once he got you he'd talk for ever!! He'd always want to know how everything is going and how the service was and if there was anything else he could do for us. He would see us in the hall from a mile away and wave calling out our names. He always did a great job with our room!
FOOD- In the dinning room, the food was excellent. Red Sail Restaurant was pretty good. The desserts were fabulous!! The pizza bar and the deli were great, but the Oriental Bar left a funny taste in my mouth. Breakfast was OK. Lot's to choose from. The omelets were always too greasy and the scrambled eggs too wet and clumpy. I loved the little cinnamon rolls!
Our last day at sea was kinda rocky. I got sick, but it could have been from the 3 long island ice teas I had the night before! By the way, I had a great time that night before at the White Heat Dance Club. Anyway, it was getting colder and the pool was closed that last day. It didn't leave us a whole lot to do during the day. I used that time to pack up and get some much needed rest! It was great because the kids were at Camp Carnival the whole time and my husband was playing poker.
DISEMBARKING- It took a long time. It always does, unless you have an excursion. We ended up going to the Kennedy Space Center. We all enjoyed that.
So, to recap, it was AWESOME! We love to cruise! We are already planning our next cruise for this Spring, we hope! Carnival is the way to go if you have kids and if you like to have fun.