November 2007 Destination:
Western Caribbean Embarkation:
Flew NYC-Miami nonstop on American 2 days before the cruise with no problems. Stayed 2 nights at Fairfield Inn Miami Airport Doral. Hotel had a shuttle, had to wait about 20 minutes for it, woman on phone was very helpful. Hotel room was nice but bed hard as a rock. Hotel is directly under runway approach but not bothersome to me. Great breakfast included, Waffle, bagels cereals, fruit, danish, even pre cooked eggs and breakfast meats. Lobby had free internet, ATM, and small convenience store type food items. Shuttle to port was $14 and on time. Arrived about 11:30, went inside, checked in with no problem and was told to be seated. Beautiful new terminal, boarding began about 10 mins later and was on the ship 10 minutes later. Cabins not ready but snuck down to my room, introduced myself to my steward and put my carryon in the closet. Went up to the grill at the rear pool area and had a great burger with sauteed onions and mushrooms and self serve ice cream for dessert. First More
impression of the food, very good. Once cabins opened (around 1pm)i went to see if luggage had arrived, 1 piece had so i unpacked and went exploring. This is one of the cat. 1As with 2 windows that wraps L-shaped around a crew stairway in the stern. I have never had a better cabin, it was huge! The bed was superb and the bathroom large and very well designed, I'm liking Carnival already. The ships decoration was not nearly as garish as i had feared, everything themed around the oceans and seas and done in blues and greens that just happen to be my favorite colors! And, i was never attacked by a seahorse! (Victory vets know what i mean!) Dinner the first night i was seated at a table of 8, 2 women from the U.K. and 3 other single gents-we all got along just fine. First night i think i had a filet mignon, I'm still thinking about it-it was that good! Of course i had to try the famous chocolate melting cake, it was good but I've had it before in restaurants and it is even available (frozen) from Trader Joes around here. The real dessert standout was the simple, rich, chocolate cake available from room service, mmmmm. The deli was just average, the chinese was bad, and buffet selections limited. Had lunch and breakfast in the dining room once each and both were acceptable, not great. Not crazy about having tips charged to my account and no vouchers to hand to the staff, you feel obligated to give more just to have something to hand them on the last night! (I did) The funvision tv system works very well for checking your bill and having put down a cash deposit i even received a refund check the last morning. Disembarkation was easy, i took a South Beach tour that dropped me at the airport. The new luggage system is just like the carousels at the airport. Two more things i have to mention, MNF on the new big screen was awesome! Even with the spanish commercials! And the reputation for ugly drunks is not deserved. At least on my sailing i saw only 1 man that was over his limit.. Overall, i have to give Carnival high marks. The product is quite good for the price with a few standouts. (Did i mention real New England lobster tail, cooked just right!) What with cruise lines doubling up port charges for single travelers, fuel surcharges and the like i think i see Carnival in my future. I've already booked Triumph for Dec. 08 and Victory's new southern route for April 09! Less
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