This was a surprise for my birthday from my husband. We booked less than two weeks out so that was a problem for the dining choices. The late dinner is too late for us not to mention that by going to the later dinner, you will miss most of the shows. We did eat in the dining room the first two nights and it was good. My husband did have to send his steak back because it was overcooked. He doesn't normally do this. He wasn't happy with it even after they cooked him another one. He ordered this same steak almost every night while we were on the Paradise a couple of years ago. It was THAT good. The food on the Lido deck was okay but not even close to what we have come to expect from Carnival (except Fascination last November...another story on the food there). On the evening of my birthday, he took me to The Steakhouse and it was awesome!. From the service to each dish they brought out, it was an amazing dinner experience.
He also got me a toe to head day in the spa and I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful that was. It is well worth the money if that is your kind of thing.
The crew was very nice and accommodating. From Jess, Alicia and Jade doing trivia, Karaoke, and other activities, to T.C. in the piano bar, we had an amazing time.
Our steward Hadi, was prompt as all stewards we have had, have been. I only need to ask for ice once and it is always there for me.
We upgraded to a balcony this time and we were disappointed in this. Not because of anything Carnival has done but because of other guests in balconies around us were too inconsiderate to hold their doors while opening and closing them. The wind would get a hold of them and once they were let go of and it would shake that entire part of the ship, as it slammed shut. It was pretty bad, especially in the middle of the night...over and over again. Carnival does have a sign about the wind but some people need to be told to hold the door because some people just have no common sense.
On a funny note (for us, probably not for the family in the opposite cabin) the gentleman "Chris" in the cabin next to ours is a rock star...we heard his name, very loudly, several times the last couple of days...if you know what I mean. ;-) I think she may have called out to God a few times too.
Another issue, not enough to stop us from returning to Carnival, was the activities. They didn't seem to have a many as our other cruises and on other ships, the show times would vary so that early and late diners could see them.
Many of the activities centered around selling things. I understand they need to make money but if people get bored, they aren't going to come back.
We were also disappointed that there was no deck party the last night. We have always looked forward to that.
All of the performances we saw were great. Christopher (from Philadelphia) is probably the most talented I have seen on a cruise ship.
There were four comedians, Rob Little and Carl Faulkenberry the first part of the week and Johnny Millwater and Tim (I cannot remember his last name) the second half. The last two were okay but Rob and Carl were off the charts. Especially Rob when he does his Carrie Underwood skit. We saw mostly the adult shows so they aren't for everyone but they are very funny.
We went to Cozumel where we had been before but this time I was upset over all the hawking. I do not remember it being that bad two years ago but you couldn't walk without them putting something in your face or hands, asking if you needed this or that and once you politely said no thank you, they made nasty snide comments as we walked away. This is one reason why I never want to go back to Nassau. We did find out though if you take a taxi to the other side, you don't have that problem.
Our next stop was in Belize where we took an excursion to tube inside a cave. It was FANTASTIC! From the moment we met our first guide, Elvis and then Edgar, to the time they dropped us back off, we had a wonderful time. These two guys were fun to be around and the excursion itself was amazing. It was a long drive out there and back but well worth it.
Next port was Isle of Roatan Honduras. Where we were at was beautiful but we really didn't go out away from where we came on land. It was a private beach area (huge) where we got an excursion to kayak and snorkel. We had a really great time here.
Last stop was a return visit (for us) to Grand Cayman. There were some Hawkers here but not nearly as bad as Cozumel. It was nice.
With ALL of that said, we had a wonderful time. We have always enjoyed ourselves very much on Carnival and as long as the good Lord is willing, we will return. Our next cruise is set for November on The Sunshine and I cannot wait.