We flew in to Orlando on Saturday morning (not on American) and rented a car to drive to the port. The men dropped the women, kids, and bags at the port and returned the car. Once the men got back on the shuttle we got in line for the embark process. This was very smooth. We had all our paperwork already completed and by 12:00 we were on board.
Since the rooms were not ready, we went to the back of the ship and enjoyed some burgers and hotdogs and the first of many ice cream cones. After finishing the food we wandered around the ship until the rooms were ready.
We had two side-by-side balcony rooms on the 6th floor. We met our cabin steward, Renota. He was very helpful all week and always called us by name. He made some cute towel animals and kept our rooms tidy. He unlocked the divider on the balcony so we had use of a double balcony. Only problem was that the divider swung back and forth and would block our doors. We brought bungee cords which were great for strapping the divider to one of the doors so it would not swing back and forth.
We had four people in our room and it was plenty of room for us. We had a queen sized bed. Instead of a sofa, we had a twin bed and another twin bed dropped down from the ceiling. We had room to unpack all of our clothes and stash the empty suitcases under the bed. Since the grandparents were next door we could always send the kids over for a shower if we got crunched for time in the bathroom.We ate room service for breakfast on port days. Room service was always on time but there was little to choose from such as cereals, Danish, muffins, and yogurt. On sea days we ate the buffet in the Red Sail. It was good and had a larger selection. One day we ate open seating in the Platinum Restaurant. That was the best breakfast of the cruise. Lunches were whatever anybody wanted. Burgers, hotdogs, Mexican, oriental, fish, deli sandwiches, pizza. Nothing to write home about but nothing wrong with it either.
Most nights we enjoyed our dinner in the Golden Dining Room. Our waiters were Sardan and Ivan. They were great and really interacted well with the boys. The food was great and the warm melting chocolate cake was everything the reviews said it would be. I'm a chocoholic and could eat this every day. One night my husband and I had dinner in the Emerald Supper Club. The food was amazing and worth the extra dollars. The food kept coming. The lobster bisque was the best I have ever had. They made the Caesar salad in front of you. Our steaks were tender and flavorful. And the chocolate dessert was even more than I could eat.
The kids and I spent the sea days mostly on the Lido deck at the pool, waterslide, and basketball court. They also enjoyed the Camp Carnival activities. My 10 year old loved the unsupervised scavenger hunts around the ship. My 7 year old enjoyed the video game time. The kids used the arcade but were annoyed quickly. The machines were not clearly marked with the number of tokens needed and regularly took our tokens. To get your tokens back you had to go to the casino, except the kids could not go in the casino.
The grandparents and my husband spent their sea days in the casino and playing bingo. The shows were good but not spectacular. Actually, my favorite show was the Liars Club. I laughed so hard. The cruise director and assistant cruise directors were hilarious.In Nassau, we took a taxi to Atlantis because I had a friend that could get us in for free. Atlantis was incredible but there was not enough time to enjoy what it had to offer. I felt rushed the whole time. We rushed back to the boat and never got any souvenirs. The line to get back on the ship was outrageous. Given the short amount of time we were in Nassau, I wish we had done something other than Atlantis. I feel like we didn't see Nassau.
We loved St. Thomas. We took a tour with Godfrey and highly recommend him to anyone. First he picked us up at the boat and took us downtown for shopping for an hour. I'm not much of a shopper so I could skip that. Then he took us all over the island and gave us the history and showed us amazing overlooks. He took us to the Mountain Top which overlooked Megan's Bay. And then came my favorite part, he took us to our choice of Megan's Bay, Coki Beach, or Sapphire Beach. We chose Coki Beach. I have never seen beach water so clear. It was like a swimming pool. This was the first time our kids have snorkeled. They are spoiled because now they think every beach should be this clear and have this many fish. We swam for 2 hours and then Godfrey picked us up and brought us back to the ship. This is where Godfrey went above and beyond the call of duty. When we got back to the ship, we realized that one of our bags was not on the truck. I know we didn't leave it on the beach. The bag had mine and the kids sail and sign cards inside. So we didn't know if they would let us back on the boat. Godfrey willingly took us back to the beach to see if we could find the bag, which we did not. Once back at the ship, he stayed with us until we talked to security and found out that someone had returned the bag to the ship with all contents included. My husband gave him some money for his trouble but he didn't want to take it. Immigration was not a problem. We learned a trick to get off the boat first. If you have a shore excursion before 11:00 then you get to be in the front of the immigration line. We bought the shore excursion for the Paradise Point tramway which had a time of 10:30. Therefore, we got in the front of the line. If you didn't use the excursion, then you could be refunded.
St. Martin is a beautiful place but we really didn't see much of it. The men went on the America's Cup Regatta. They had a blast but did get sea sick. So if you are thinking of doing this shore excursion take some precautions. The women took the boys on the water taxi to the beach in downtown and relaxed all day. The boys played in the water and we rented a jet ski for $50 for half an hour. We walked around the shops for a little while but again, I'm not much of a shopper.
The disembark process was very smooth. Our luggage numbers were 27 which meant we would have had to wait a while before getting off the ship. We purchased the Luggage Express for $15 per person. Carnival took our luggage, checked it in at the airport and we did not have to worry with it until we reached our final destination. Also, we were able to get off the ship first without the hassle of luggage. We were off the ship by 8:00. We caught a shuttle to the rental car lot and were on our way to the airport by 8:30.
We had a great vacation and have already been looking for our next cruise. Maybe we'll do Carnival Glory again on the Western Caribbean!