Arrival: My husband and I flew on Southwest Airlines from Phila to Fort Lauderdale on the morning of the cruise, 11/10/2007. We purchased Carnival transfers and were at the pier by 2pm. We have cruised with Carnival more than 10 times and since we are considered Platinum, we went right to the VIP room, checked in, had picture taken, went directly to our room Riviera Aft, inside. We went to the South Beach club for lunch. We toured the ship, did the lifeboat drill. We had 6:15 seating in the London dining room. David and Jerome took very good care of our table of 8. Our cabin steward, Jones, made towel animals every nite and kept our cabin spotless.
Ship: We thought the ship was in very good shape. The first day in our hall I saw stained carpet and told my husband that "my cruise is ruined, look at that stain". lol During the week we saw lots of work being done all over the ship. Many pieces of carpet were replaced. Ports: Half Moon Cay was a gorgeous beach with plenty of lounge chairs. We got one in the shade. My husband even took a nap in a hammock. The water was a little chilly. We ate at the BBQ supplied by the ship. It was a nice sunny day and tendering back and forth was no problem. In St Thomas we took a taxi ($10pp) to Sapphire Beach, got a lounge chair for $7, had a good time in the water. After 2 hours on the beach, it started to rain, we got a taxi and headed back. It started to pour and pour. Our driver dropped us off at the stores and we got soaked getting back to the ship. What an adventure! We didn't get off the ship in San Juan as we have been there before. We played miniature golf, got in the hot tubs and pools as it wasn't that crowded onboard. In Grand Turk, we went to Margaritaville. Beautiful pool, lounge chairs in the shade. Sipping strawberry daiquiris and overlooking this place was awesome.
Entertainment: Saw both productions shows and they were very good. The magician was very good. Another nite "the village idiots" were extremely good. We did go to two midnite comedy shows and enjoyed them. The band at the pool was not so good and were always taking a break. We did enjoy the piano player in the atrium, the band Pur in the lounge, and the singer along the promenade. We went to a few trivia and game shows. We both did the "on deck for the cure", a one mile walk on the track for breast cancer. I applaud Carnival for doing this. There was a good crowd walking. A $10 donation got you a shirt and participation in the walk.
Casino: We played in the slot tournament one afternoon, it was fun but we didn't win. We played slots once and won a little.
Food: We found the dining room food to be good. We did the Lido for breakfast and lunch and there was a variety to choose from. Of course the pizza and ice cream are always a hit.
Debarkation: Everyone is given a number to be called to leave ship. We were #1 and got off ship, took the Carnival transfer to Fort Lauderdale and were in the airport at 9:30am. Had to wait a while for our 2pm Southwest flight, but everything went smooth getting home.
We took this cruise to rest, read, enjoy and We did!