Carnival did an excellent job handling our arrival at Ft. Lauderdale Airport. It was fast and very efficient. In fact there was going to be a long wait to get us to our precruise hotel so they sent us (2) on a full size Greyhound. Can't beat that for service.
Hyatt Regency is a fabulous hotel. We stayed in the towers with a balcony view of the port. Lovely pool, super service and beautiful gardens. Saw the Liberty come in the day of embarking. If you walk to the end of pier where restaurant is located you can clearly see the docked Liberty. Only problem with hotel was the cost of food. Most other eating-places are a LONG walk away.
Embarking - Picked up at hotel around 12. There was a Carnival rep in lobby to take care of us until pick up arrived. The line to got through boarding process was super long. It took about 1hr to do. Line moved quickly, but the longest we've ever had. Last year in Europe we boarded in 15 min.
Ship - Was a beautiful as last More
year. The service was improved and so was the food. We had the best ever room Steward (6380) and balcony room. Quiet end of hall. Steward solved two problems concerning snorkel equipment that needed repaired and a wine opener. Also called us by name every single time and our name is a challenge to pronounce. No trouble finding deck chairs on any day. Excellent concerts on big screen. Marcus Anthony's Motown show is excellent. We spent most evenings in lobby with Joel and Karin, who are excellent singers and play oldies music. Casino music guy is terrible and it is also so smoky there you can't breathe. This is also the first cruise that the kids were so well behaved!!! And no rude adults!!! Everyone very pleasant and friendly. Don't forget to go to the Tea. It is held on sea days in Cabinet. Desserts there are to die for.
Food - Very improved from last year. We had 8PM seating in Silver and our waiter and helper were best ever (5cruises). He told us not to order steak in dinning room because it isn't the best quality but tablemates did. Waiter was right - not good. He said best dish was grouper and he was also right. We did not have a bad meal!!! I highly recommend the fig/date cake, fruit with peach Schnapps, and Grand Marina souffle. We ate lunch in the sit down and had great ribs!!! The breakfast line is a bit boring after about 2 days - same, same everyday. Lunch buffet is good if you like spicy. We like the deli, grill, and oriental. Also ate at Harry's - well worth the cost. 18oz of steak is a lot of meat!!! Pizza not as good as last year.
San Juan - We were there 3 times before. We walked around took a few pics, bought some water and soda to take back. We ate dinner on board and it was so very empty. Our waiter only had us to serve.
St. Thomas - also been here twice but never took Tram. We didn't buy tickets on ship and should have. They are $1 cheaper. It was a beautiful view and there is a mountainside trail that goes up further. Difficult but beautiful view. There is a parrot show that is free and nice for kids.
Antigua - Did Paddles kayak tour and it was super. We were taken by boat to Wild Bird Island and hiked up to see nesting sites of Black Footed Booby, and Brown Pelicans. Beautiful scenery. Then off to snorkel - nice coral, but few fish. Finally kayaking among small islands. Curtis gave excellent nature info at our stops. The ride to and from the Paddles center is very rough. Roads on the island are in poor shape and so are the vehicles that take you. Poor, poor island. Everything is brown. Expensive also.
Tortola - Took cab $6 to Cane Garden Beach. Twisting roads but nice views. Rented chair and umbrella $5 for each. Cab was there on time to pick us up and return to beach. There was a big traffic jam in town so we were glad we chose to leave beach around 1:15. This is now my favorite beach. It is so beautiful. Water is calm. Quiet beach. Lots of creatures in water - 4ft Terrapin. I'd go back here in a minute
Nassau - We've also been here before. We walked to British Colonel Hotel and purchased day pass. ($15). Nice beach. You can use towels, chairs, kayaks, and pedal boats. There is a bar with changing rooms.
The vacation was fantastic. Our purpose was R & R and we certainly did that.