Background: My wife and I are in our mid 50's. This was our 5th Carnival cruise. Our son and daughter in-law also traveled with us. It was their 1st cruise. We booked an 8A guar. and were upgraded to 8F. We flew down a day early from Wisconsin just to be safe with the weather. We stayed at the "Sleep Inn" in Dania. The Motel offered shuttle pick-up at the airport, breakfast and shuttle to the cruise port included in the price. The Motel wasn't anything special but well worth it for what was included. We would stay there again. We walked to the boardwalk downtown. It was on the water with lots of shops and restaurants. Also close to the Motel were a Publix, Walgreens and several Restaurants.
Embarkation: We took the 11AM shuttle from the Motel to the port. There was a short line outside and after entering the building breezed right through to the ship. We were on the lido deck eating by 12:30PM. We also had no trouble carrying on our allowed 4 bottles of wine. This was the fastest and easiest embarkation we have ever had.
Cabin: after lunch we went to find our cabins. We had 7329 and son and daughter in-law had 7325. We met our room steward on arrival. His name was Felix and he was EXCELLENT. The rooms were kept spotless, ice refilled twice a day and fresh clean towels. Towel animal each night.
Dining: We had early seating table #195. A table for 4. Not the best of tables. A bench on one side and 2 chairs and a large post on the other. Our waiter was Reggie and his assistant Ivan. They were great but service was really slow the first 2 nights. WE think they had too many tables. Most tables were done eating and leaving before our food arrived. The service improved after the 2nd night. We also brought wine along to dinner 3 nights and were never charged a corkage fee. We had lunch there twice and breakfast once. Lunch was very good and breakfast terrible. The food was cold and served by people who didn't appear happy to be there. All other lunches and breakfasts were on the lido deck. All food on the lido was excellent from the deli to the pizza and the ice cream. "Nick and Nora's": we dined there on the 3rd night. We made reservations and picked our table. The food and service was EXCELLENT! It was well worth the extra $30. per person. We also tipped a little extra to the two girls we did all the serving.
Entertainment: we went to both late night adult "R" rated comedy shows both were very good. We also went to two of the shows "Legends" and "Ticket to Ride" both were very good. There is also a band called "Manila" they played in one of the lounges and in the Ticket to Ride show. They were EXCELLENT. The atrium bar also has 2 great bartenders. Sandie and Elizabeth. We had a drink with them every night.
St. Maarten: all we did was shop here. It was Sunday and were told most everything on the French side was closed. We stayed on the Dutch side and the girls enjoyed their shopping.
St. Lucia: We booked a private Island tour with Cosol. The cost was $50 per person. The tour was one of the best we have ever been on. The tour took most of the day and were returned to the ship 90 minutes before sailing.
St. Kitt: We booked a tour with Carnival. We toured Brimstone Hill Fortress and a botanical garden. We had ample time to explore the fort and gardens. After returning to the dock there was time for shopping.
Ship: the ship was clean and well maintained. We found the Bacchus dining room to be dark and rather strange with the purple grape lighting but after a couple days you get used to it.
Other passengers and crew: there were some kids on this sailing but we never really saw or heard them. Most of the passengers seemed to be over 65 and a nice mix of ages under that. One thing that really bothered me took place on the aft lido deck. A woman went to the bathroom and slipped and fell hard to the floor. She didn't get up right away. My son and I ran over to her. She got up on her own and walked back to the bar and insisted she was OK. All of this took place with 3 ships officers seated at a table near ours. None of them moved or asked the woman how she was. All appeared to be off duty but wearing ships uniforms. Being in the service industry I find this rather disturbing.
Disembarkation: this went very fast and easy. We were told we would be able to self disembark around 7:30AM on deck 2. This was nice as we didn't have to repack anything before our flight home. We had no trouble getting down to deck 2 and joined the line that went through the casino. The line moved quickly and it was easy finding a cab to the airport.
We had a great time and the cruise and will sail again on Carnival.