Embarkation: Faster than what I expected. After the 3-4 weddings boarded they let us on. We arrived around 11:00 and got on the boat around 12:15 or so. NOT bad at all. I would suggest to arrive around this time even though your papers say a later time.
We had an emergency on our cruise which re-routed all of our ports of call. Someone on board needed a blood transfusion so they had to hurry and turn the boat to go to Cozumel rather than Jamaica-Thank goodness for them.
First day was Cozumel. Private tour with Island Marketing. Awesome Dune Buggy tour. We left around 10:00 hoped in the Buggy with our other friends and rode around the entire island. The guide took us snorkeling first because bad weather was coming. We saw lots of fish and even got really close to a sleeping octopus. We left there road to a secluded beach and ate an awesome lunch. Hope back in the buggy and went to Coconuts. It's the bar that is high on a cliff hanging over the ocean. AWESOME! Rode back and went to Carlos and Charlies for a drink then boarded. Second time in Cozumel and I absolutely loved it.
Second was Cayman Island. BORING because we just ate and shopped since we were waiting on our parasailing excursion that Carnival moved from 9:00a.m. to 2:30p.m. Waited and waited then a thunderstorm rolled in cancelled the entire thing so we had to get back on the ship. We later heard if we would have been on schedule we wouldn't have even been allowed to go there because the weather got so bad they cancelled anyone coming in.
Third was Jamaica. You arrive and it's freaking beautiful. It reminds me of either Tennessee or Cali with the homes in the mountains. Beautiful from the boat but seriously that IS NOT THE CASE. It's a poor country and you either have those nice hill homes worth millions or you live in a depleted shack that's falling apart. I didn't expect that at all. We hired CLIVES TRANSPORTATION and if we ever go back we will hire them again. Terry was our driver (yes crazy driver he was) and he was AWESOME! He stopped at few places and guarded us like we were famous. He walked so close I swear I heard his heartbeat :-) Went to Dunns River and it was the most beautiful place ever. HOWEVER, I don't think a 2 hour ride there (that's how long it takes from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios due to construction and awful dirt roads) is worth the worry. We were scared the entire time we'd miss the boat. We left around 1:30 and stopped at one place to get t-shirts then we were on the boat. We had an hour to spare but I didn't care I was happy to be back on board. Jamaica to me is a scary place so make sure you NEVER get in a vehicle w/o a red license plate. Don't stop too much and stay in heavy populated/tourist areas. I would never go off the main road into the fields-EVER! They have that banana plantation thing and I would not go. Basically into going into the fields/jungle is asking for trouble-This even goes for excursions offered by Carnival.
DISEMBARKATION: Nightmare. Something happened with self embark and they held us up for two hours or so. Getting a porter was hard but we finally did. Once we did it was EASY! MAKE SURE YOU GET A PORTER! It's much much much easier and faster through customs!
The ships dining food was great; my husband said the buffets were nice; the Sur Mer was great just make sure you go on the first day after that you can guarantee you will wait an hour (no that's not a joke); hamburgers and hotdogs were awesome after sunbathing and drinking one too many! The IceSculpture buffet thing was nasty but it also was on the last trip on a different boat so I think we just don't like that sort of stuff.
Find Valentin on the Lido deck if you want awesome strong drinks. If you continue to use him he will cater to your every need! He kept ice in my husbands bucket even when we didn't order anything. He was a gem and we made sure to reward him before we left the ship.
Dinner Staff and Stewards were kind and nice and ALWAYS called us by name.
We took in a few shows not many but the best was the Comedian/Ventriloquist and the Magic Lady- AWESOME!
Butch the Cruise Director was the funniest person ever. He makes a great Cruise Director. Always joking; always smiling; full of life and just a gem!
We will cruise again certainly with Carnival- NO DOUBT!