Embarkation: We arrived at 11:30am and got in line for the check-in process, which didn't take long. Things to know.. You can carry on your luggage if it is 16"x24". We left our luggage with the baggage handlers (2 pieces) and made our way onto the ship. "Ladies" just as a reminder, if you want to freshen up after you board the ship, bring a carryon with a change of clothes and toiletries. It does take a little while for your luggage to arrive to your cabin. We were told that we couldn't access the cabin until after 3pm. We were able to get in around 2pm. Our luggage arrived around 4:30pm. We have cruised numerous times and are well aware of the time it takes.
What you should consider: Drink/Sodas are expensive aboard the ship. You can bring your own soda. Many passengers brought 12 packs of sodas and water.
Excursions: We opted not to take a Carnival excursion. We did some pre-cruise research and found that the Melia Nassau Beach Hotel offers a "Day-Pass" for $30 pp/pd. You get access to their pools and towels ($30 deposit -returned when towel card returned). They have jet ski/kayak rentals and a nice area to snorkel in. There is a beach bar and restaurant. To get to the Melia Beach Hotel, take bus 10 ($1.25 each way). A taxi will cost $20 each way.
Our cruise had a Live Concert with Olivia Newton John ($20 pp) Great concert!!!
The only issue: The people in the cabin next to us were a little loud at 3am, a quick call to "Guest Services" and they quieted down.
Disembarkation: We decided to walk off "Self-Assisted" meaning we carried our own luggage off. This was extremely quick without issue.
This is not an Excursion purchased on the ship.
Took the #10 bus ($1.25) from downtown to Melia Nassau Beach Hotel. Purchased a "Day Pass" ($30 pp) and enjoyed 3 pools, beach chairs, umbrellas, beach bar, and beach side restaurant. The "Day-Pass" is good from 7:30 am to 7pm. Not like the shipboard excursions that limit you to 3 to 4 hours.