My bf and I flew in to Miami really early, we were greeted by a very friendly carnival rep.... she led us to the spot where everyone flying in had to meet.... we had to wait for our bus with our luggage for 2 1/2 hrs. ugh... We were anxious... When the bus finally arrived to take us to the ship.. we were so happy. So, for you first-time cruisers, remember the waiting time, bring a snack... :) The ride from the airport to the ship was about 15-20 minutes. When we arrived, we were greeted by a guy who helped us with our bags. (you'll need to tip him by the way)
We were all (EVERYONE on the bus) so excited that we raced to the Carnival Cruiseline entrance and up the stairs. It was about 1:00 p.m. the lines were very short. (the lines are set up the same way the rides at six flags theme parks are set up in that zig zag effect) The CCL staff was so professional and so nice. We were on our way to the ship within 20 minutes. Be prepared, photographers are all over ready to take More
your picture! :D Once on the ship, I oooooed and awwwweeeed... the Atrium was breath taking. We checked out the pool area, there was a great band playing (caribbean music) we then ventured to find our room. it was very easy to find on our own. We loved it. I didn't enjoy the stale cigarette smoke, but it was ok. We did however wait a long time for our luggage. 8 pm.... I know ccl staff does what they can to ensure that all of that luggage gets to where it needs to go... next time I'll pack a few things and my bathing suit in a nap sack.....
I was so excited, I figured that as the ship left port that we'd all be on deck, waving at everyone, with confetti flying everywhere (just like on Love Boat) he he he, BUT, I was WRONG! :( We were in the middle of doing our emergency drill (which everyone HAS to attend) with our life vests on. Ship left dock at about 4 p.m.
The ship was very easy to get around in. We checked out the dining rooms, and since this was our first trip together, we asked the maitre 'd if he could possibly get us a table for two for dinner, but unfortunately, they don't offer that on the ship. We sat in a table with 3 other couples. We sat right next to the window, so it was romantic watching the sunset while eating a fancy supper.
FOOD: EXCELLENT I couldn't believe my eyes (or my taste buds). It's no wonder people gain weight on these cruises. CCL also offers healthy low fat dinners for those people who want to ruin their vacations counting carbs! :) The pizza was great, I also ordered a cheese calzone, with garlic topping.... it was awesome! it's not on the menu, you'd have to ask..... My boyfriend could smell me a mile away after i ate it, but he got over it! he he he
The midnight buffets were too beautiful to eat. Talk about art. It was fantastic. I took so many pictures... pictures do no justice for this type of art...I loved the fact that we could take our food back to our room.
I wanted to soak in the hot tub by the pool, but there were little kids playing in it. :( everyday.... :( while they played in the hot tub, i found that the waterslide is awesome! I went on it so many times. The pool was good, it gets crowded. They're non-chlorine pools. They use saline water. Pool was fun!
Key West: We stayed on the ship, it was so hot and muggy out that day. we didn't feel like walking around. I had the water slide all to myself..... AND the hot tub too. ;)
Cozumel: We signed up for the catamaran snorkel tour through ccl. It was about 50 dollars and worth every penny. You walk about 50 feet from the ship and there you are... in front of the catamaran. That was awesome. The catamaran takes about 1/2 hr to get to the snorkeling point.... It was my first time snorkeling in deep water. It was so beautiful. Lots of colorful fish, and a photographer of course! He tried to sell me 2 pictures for 50 bucks! I talked him down.... too nice to pass up... after the snorkel tour, they give you free beer, and margaritas (unlimited) then, they take you to a private beach where they continue to give you beer, and you can soak up some sun, play in the water, sand, lay in a hammock... whatever.... they also had a burger grill on the beach (not free) that place was beautiful, (like Eden) on the way back they fed us more beer and had us doing the Macarena, Electric Slide and other stuff... we had a blast.... Cozumel was great! They have vendors there too off the pier... hair braiders... little kiosks where you can hang and get some beer... very nice...
Gala night: You don't have to wear a tux fellas. they have a dress code but if you're a cowboy and wearing cowboy boots is dressing up to you...then so be it.. I wore a cocktail dress and my boyfriend wore a nice pair of slacks, nice shirt and tie. (free cocktails before dinner) :)
Everything was great! Disembarkation was a mess, but didn't take too long. They get you up at the crack of dawn to get you out of the ship asap. (they need to get it ready again by 1:00 for the next trip) They lead you to this warehouse where you have to find your luggage. (it looked like a scene from Jurassic Park) The Coach bus was there waiting for us.
this trip was wonderful, we're going again in August on the Paradise (smoke free) :) can't wait Less
Carnival Fascination Cruises to the Western Caribbean