I travel with my fiance I am 28-years-old and she is 24-years-old. We have sailed on Carnival 5 times over the last three years. We have sailed twice on the Valor, once on the Liberty and a short cruise on the Fascination. I have also sailed on other cruise lines in the past.
I was lucky enough too use the new terminal at the Port of Miami. I will say this -- they should model all other terminals at the port after this one. I arrived roughly at 10:30 a.m. and walked in to the security area -- no line and 4 security checkpoint lines were open... after a small issue with some spillage from my cooler (security personnel turned it on it's side and water spilled out)....sigh...
Once I cleared security I went up the escalator to the area where you fill out info for your sail and sign card. WOW it was huge and brand new. Felt like I was at the airport instead of the seaport. There must have been well over 25 to 30 stations manned by Carnival Employees to process you. Now you instantly receive your sail and sign card when you check in -- no need to pick it up in another room like in the past.
Since I was early I was assigned a zone number and asked to sit and wait until the ship was cleared for boarding. This gave me the opportunity to explore a little. A couple things I noticed was sizable VIP lounge for all those platinum cruisers. There was also a counter area designated for group check-ins.
At about 11 a.m. zones were being called -- it was up the escalator to the board level and through the "jet-way" like connector and in to the ship. Overall my BEST experience for embarkation.
The layout was identical to the Valor and Liberty which I have previously sailed on. You could find most of the public areas on Deck 5 --> The Casino, Clubs, Piano Bars, Shops, Lounges, and Sports Bar (also access to the main show room's upper floors).
You will find three pools, one aft (which has a retractable roof) with two adult only hot tubs, one mid-ship with two hot tubs, and one forward with one hot tub. The ship also features a water slide and a sea-side theatre (jumbotron screen).
You will find the kiddie pool near Camp Carnival. Miniature Golf is also available near the funnel.
My room steward was Hamid -- I can't say enough about the guy. I have never really been thrilled with the service on Carnival. I have had issues getting ice buckets filled, towels replaced etc. I guess I just have had bad luck -- but Hamid went out of his way to make sure all my needs were taken care of.
He organized everything in my room from lose objects I had left around the cabin to the toiletries in my bathroom. I was carrying a small rolling cooler with some beverages and he maintain it stocked with ice for me everyday (without having to ask)... I filled out a comment card I hope Carnival really rewards this guy.
The staff around the ship was extremely friendly I'm not sure if they were a new staff that just got on-board but they seemed full of energy and willing to go the extra mile.
My wait staff was courteous and always tried to keep the mood at my table up beat. My disappointment on this cruise was the food in the main dining room. Many of those traveling in my group (of 17) thought the food was either bland or was over complicated. I have in the past thoroughly enjoyed eating in the dining room but not this time.
The Super Club was excellent! 17 of us made dinning reservations one night were extremely pleased with the food and service.
Cruise Director was Todd... he was one of the reasons we booked this trip. He is very funny and adds alot to the cruise.