This is the second cruise my husband and I have been on, both Carnival. We went with my parents. Booked directly with Carnival. The Carnival rep was very helpful and we found the best price directly with the cruise line. Our rep offered more of a discount with previous military service(both husband and dad were in the military). All we had to do was fax a copy of the DD 214's to Carnival. Since the cruise I have been receiving e-mails from Carnival with Military Discounted cruise prices and it is a great discount!!
We flew from MN on Friday 1/19, my folks picked us up at the airport and we drove directly to Cape Canaveral. We stayed at the Radisson by the Port that night. It was very nice and we could leave out car there for the week. They also offered a free shuttle to and from the ship. Once our bags were on the shuttle we didn't see them again until we got to our room. It was great. Embarkation was a breeze. Definitely prefer Port Canaveral to Miami!!We were on the ship having lunch and drinks by noon. We were in our room by 1pm.
We booked an inside guaranteed room and were bumped up 6 decks. The room was very spacious, clean, tastefully decorated and quiet!!We were concerned that it would be noisy with the casino directly below us but it was very quiet. Plenty of storage. Our room steward was very nice and corrected 2 problems(minor) immediately. The refrigerator was locked so we asked that it be unlocked as hubby is diabetic and needs to keep insulin cool. There was pop, beer and water in the refrigerator(the room steward keeps track of it and you get charged if you use it). We just took the beverages out and stored them in one of the shelves in the closet until we were ready to leave. We carried on a 12 pack of water and packed 2 bottles of wine which we put in the fridge. Carnival allows you to bring "reasonable amts of wine and non-alcoholic beverages" on board with you. The inside room was great for sleeping as it was dark. We brought a clock along so could tell what time it was. We have a cpap machine and found that there was only one electric outlet. We brought 2 extension cords and that worked. My dad had to go to the pursers desk and he was able to get an extension cord for $25.00 deposit which was returned the am we debarked. There was a safe in the room, beach towels to use, bathrobes to use, hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, a clothes line to hook up in the shower.
The food was very good. We were in the Platinum Dining room which was very nice. Enjoyed every meal we ate there. The comments about he chocolate melting cake are true---excellent. There was plenty to eat. We tried all of the different restaurants and were happy with all. I thought breakfast was better in the dining room than the buffet. The dining room had a daily egg special which I ordered whenever I went there and every time it was excellent. There was also a banana sauce for pancakes or french toast that was very good. The chocolate buffet was amazing as was the midnight buffet. We didn't feel it was necessary to spend the $30.00/person extra for the Emerald Dining room with all of the "included" choices.
Enjoyed all the ports we visited. In Nassau we took a water taxi to Atlantis . Wow!!That place is beautiful. We just walked around on our own and didn't buy the tour. We saw plenty without doing the tour, the aquarium is amazing. After Atlantis we went to the Straw Market and I bought a couple of knock off purses. It was fun bartering. Nassau has really changed. Very commercialized compared to when I was there 20 yrs ago!! It was a quick day!!
St. Thomas was beautiful but we were slightly disappointed because our excursion to St. John's was cancelled due to rough seas. We ended up finding a taxi on our own to Coki Beach. The water was pretty rough so we didn't really get to enjoy the snorkeling there either. I would probably go to a different beach next time. Shopped at the markets near the pier for an hour or so and that was fun. I need to go back to St. Thomas again when the seas aren't so rough, really want to go snorkeling at St. John's.
St. Marten was my favorite place!!It was beautiful. So clean and organized. We went to the taxi stand when we go off the boat and took a taxi to Orient Beach. What a beautiful and fun place. We were glad we went there but could only stay a short while because we booked a snorkeling excursion for the afternoon. We went to Shipwreck Cove and that was great. Lots of colorful fish, coral, and even shipwrecks!!Next time I go to St. Marten I will spend the day on Orient Beach!!
Entertainment on the ship was great. Always plenty of things to do. The musical and dance shows were really good. Enjoyed the comedians. Wee Jimmy was a great cruise director. Loved the casino, Hubby won!!!!We were invited to 3-4 parties on the ship and they all offered free alcoholic beverages and food. If you get invites it is worth going. Never had trouble finding a chair at the pool. Time just flies, you can't do it all but can enjoy every minute.
Debarkation was OK. There was a mix up early in the am with someone stating on the intercom for everyone to go to the Amber Palace to wait to be called. It was chaos. Once the mass crowd thinned out it went fairly smoothly. If you know that you can't debark early(people with early flights and those who agree to carry all of their luggage off the boat can leave first)go up to the lido deck and relax until your deck is called. The Radisson picked us up at the port right on time. Very smooth.
We are happy with Carnival as well as Port Canaveral. Really Enjoyed our cruise and can't wait until the next one!!!