This cruise was our first Carnival. The cruise was to celebrate our daughters college graduation. She and her BF had the adjoining room.
We arrived in Miami 6/23 and spent the night in South Beach. Oh boy what an eye opening experience.
Sunday morning we had breakfast in South Beach, then took a taxi to the port around 11AM. Maybe a 10 or fifteen minute drive. Dropped our luggage with porter and headed to the check-in counter. We were onboard within 25 minutes of arriving at the port. We could not gain access to our room till 1:30, so we began to explore the ship, and of course had lunch. First impressions are lasting. Ship was extremely clean, and remained that way through-out the cruise. Made spa and dinner appointments and headed to our room.
The room was on the Empress deck #7 in the middle aft. Room was clean and nice. Did not have a love seat as shown in the room description, but still roomy. Balcony was good size. However limited use of seating because the soot from the stack coated the seat. But we did find this out while using the comfy complimentary robes provided by the cruise line.
Sat by the pool till muster drill then went to the Washington dining room for dinner. Waited 10 minutes after assigned dinner time for doors to open. This was an every evening affair. The maitre-de would stroll around with his microphone every evening (profiling) while the stairway filled with other diners. This we found to be ANNOYING. Most cruisers were on time for dinner(5:45) so the staff could be efficient and prepare for the next group.
Dinning experience was better than expected. Although the system of servers was different than we are accustomed to. Our servers Andre, and Jose were awesome.
Rosies (the buffet restaurant) was a great experience throughout the cruise. omelettes were available as well as typical buffet items.
Monday was day at sea.
Tuesday Grand Cayman. Swam with the stingrays, and went to turtle farm. Of course had to purchase Margaritaville shirt.
Wednesday Isle of Roatan. Took Victor Bodden tour with cousin Murphy Johnson. Very interesting tour well worth the money. Would do that again. Had dinner in Scarletts. Was excellent! Daughters BF had cake delivered with "will u marry me on it" Oh boy mom and dad were excited about being included in this event. And she did say YES. Now I had tried to find some way for the question to be asked at the formalities desk, but they passed me off to the pursers desk and they were no help. so we went to Scarletts and they helped plan the event. Also, request the photo staff send a photographer, and they did, so we have some great shots of the event.
Thursday Belize. Rain and Lightening so snorkeling event canceled. So we took the tender ashore. Had the taxi ride from HELL. $100.00 plus $10.00 for gas, and we saw the crime district, and the major crime district. very disappointing. However this tour was not arranged by the cruise line so no reflection on Carnival. But learn from my mistake!
Friday Costa Maya. Swam with the Dolphins. AWSUM experience. Also bought the $168.00 CD. This port was awesome! They had a salt water pool and some nice shops for the cruisers to enjoy.
Saturday. Day at sea.
Entertainment by the cruise entertainers was awesome. The ventriloquist, and sword swallower was great. comedians left a lot to be desired.
The only item that was disturbing was no adult pool area. All pools were filled with children diving, and jumping in the pools. Carnival provided a water slide, and a childrens area. But no where could you "chill" on the ship without getting jumped on, kicked, or splashed constantly. They did have an adults on hot tub which they were good at monitoring.
Disembarkation was a dream. Although we did not get called off the ship till 10AM we where allowed to stay in our room until called. Nice arrangement.
Got through customs very quickly. Carnival did a good job of maintaining a good flow through terminal. We wanted a cab but were directed to a van. 12 passenger van crammed with 14 passengers. NOT a Carnival means of transportation. We were directed by a sign after requesting cab. Cabs were a short walk to the right. We will know the next time.
All in all we would not hesitate using Carnival again.