This was our 2nd cruise and the first without the kids. My DH and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary. We left from West, TX early on Sunday, and arrived at EZ Cruise Parking about 11:00.(I highly recommend them) They loaded us and our luggage on the bus and dropped us off at the terminal..no problem. We walked up to almost no line to check in..the lady at the counter, very sweet. (my DH is quite the joker, so he tends to spread good cheer to everyone he meets and people we dealt with on this cruise seemed to appreciate someone who didn't complain all of the time). We moved to a waiting area until boarding(no more than 20 min) The longest line we encountered was the one to have our boarding photo taken, but still not bad. We were having lunch by 12-12:30. Our balcony room on the Lido deck was ready by 1:30 and the luggage arrived shortly after. I have to give credit to Abby, our PVP at Carnival. She answered lots of my questions and we ended up with a great room in a great location and we learned alot of stuff that made our trip great! Thanks Abby!
I'm not going to spend alot of time talking about the ship. I thought it was lovely, what I thought a cruise ship should look like. We spend alot of time on our balcony and didn't do all of the shows. Our room steward was Pedro. He was always friendly, the room was always clean and we always had ice for our drinks(we brought some wine and stuff with us) Anak was our waiter by the pool. He enjoyed that my DH was a "Bubba". We had 8:30 seating at a table for 2 in the Renoir dining room and had the best wait staff. Katie and Joel were funny and sweet and we got extra attention when other tables didn't show for dinner. If we go back, I'll ask for them. We already miss you Katie and Joel!
Ports: First stop Jamaica. My DH and I went to Jamaica on our honeymoon and I was excited that we would be there on our anniversary! We bought a shuttle wristband for $12pp that made a circle to the market, City Centre and Margaritaville. I've heard the horror stories and I hate that people have had bad experiences here. We stopped first at the market and even though it was a very poor area, the people were very nice and if we didn't want to look in their booth or buy something, they didn't push. We were even given a couple of trinkets as gifts for our anniversary. My suggestion for Jamaica. Don't wear jewelry, take only as much money as you are willing to loose, and buy a disposable camera. And be friendly to the people and they will be friendly in return. I will be more careful in the future too. City Centre was like shopping at a convenience store in the US. No Jamaicans in these stores, very disappointing. They charge $3 for a Red Stripe! Ask any Jamaican and they will get you one cheaper!
This is where we started our "Margaritaville Tour" We had lunch and drinks and yes, Margaritaville is very expensive, but this was our splurge since we didn't do any excursions. They gave us a wristband for a free margarita in Grand Cayman the next day. In Grand Cayman we did alot window shopping but did find a small shop on a side street that let us make a phone call home with a purchase. So we got a rum cake and checked in with the kids at home. That was nice! On to Margaritaville (for me the best of the three that we went to) to get our free one. We had lunch(always good in all 3 stops)had some more drinks and alot of fun. Then we got our coupon for a free one at Cozumel. at Cozumel we did some shopping (mostly junky gift for the kids) and off to Margaritaville! We got our last free one and had lunch. We took our first dip in the water(it rained in Grand Cayman and on and off on Cozumel)and headed back to the ship.
We spent our last day at sea just lounging around the pool and relaxing. On the morning of debarkation we waited on our balcony for our tag to be called, we were in no hurry. We were called about 9:20, we took the stairs to avoid the crowd waiting for elevators, met no line to get off, and a very short line at Customs. We found EZ Cruise and were in our car by 10:00am. I had no major complaints. A few charges that were on our bill. This ship was very crowded. And a couple of people in the gift shops and in the booth where you buy your photos were not friendly. I'll be back with my kids next time. I hope that something can be done in Jamaica, I would hate for it to be taken off of the itinerary, but I would understand, I wouldn't want my family to be in danger.