my husband and i went on our first cruise out of tampa on 12-2-07.getting on and off the ship was painless and so organized. i just don't know where to begin...what an experience. the food, the entertainment, the people we met everything was wonderful... we had originally booked the late dinner seating but realized that it was really too late to eat so when we got on the ship we went to the dinning room and had it changed with no problem. we had a table for 6 our table mates were great we ended hanging around with one couple (hi chris and lenny) i suggest to get a table for 6 or more just in case... we only booked 1 excursion from grand cayman we went to the turtle farm,hell and the rum factory neither my husband or i are big on snorkeling and stuff...the next port of call was roatan how depressing was that....there were little kids out side begging for money we walked around for about a half hour and went back to the ship to go to the pool. next we went to belize again we didn't book an excursion we tendered over and walked around did a little shopping and went back to the ship to the pool. cozumel was great we got off the ship took a cab into town and shopped shopped shopped...took a cab back and shopped some more...that was my favorite port..watch the jewelry prices they are not as cheap as you think.
our waiters were great houston and emil were the greatest..after the first night they knew what you wanted on your salad..my husband thinks he is home and will only get olive oil and red vinegar well he did no problem.the food was great no problem with the temperature everything was fine..oh yeah all i kept on reading about was the chocolate melting cake...well the first night it was like eating bosco...but after that it was ok no big deal i waited months to taste it so i tasted it. there are plenty of other desserts that were better...as far as the buffet went it was o k i never really found anything that i would go ga ga over..we ate every morning at the main dinning room it was open seating and it was fine it gave us a chance to meet other people.for lunch we basically ate on the lido deck great hot dogs and grilled chicken . our room steward was antonio wow there is nothing he did to make us unhappy he was wonderful...i ordered coffee to be sent up in the morning and it was there by 7 am what a week... i am probably skipping around slot sorry... this was an anniversary cruise for us we were just married 20 years our travel agent sent us a bottle of wine so everynight at diner it was at the table waiting for us. our (nice) table mates also had a bottle so we shared as they did too. on the last day at sea the gift shop has all there shirts on sale so wait don't be in a rush to buy anything until then. this was the best trip we ever took.. we will definitely book again with carnival next year we will go eastern Caribbean the only thing it doesn't cruise out of tampa..