This was our first time cruising and our New Year's vacation. All in all it was pleasant enough. Embarkation was organized and our bags were delivered to our room with no problem. We had an ocean view room and it was nice and clean . Our room was all cleaned every time we were back in it. The showers were wonderful. After a long day of the pool or beach, it was so relaxing and has a temperature control so you can get it just right.
We had a few rough days at sea so that kind of put a damper on our trip. One day was so rocky from the waves that we had to stay in our room all day so we didn't get sea sick.
The ports were nice.
We did the sting rays at Nassau and that was fun. You swim with them and then you get to feed them. When you're done you can just hang out on the beach and you can pay for the meal ticket, which is basically just a beach bbq (hamburgers and chips) but the food was fine and it was relaxing. That was our first excursion and it met our expectations.
Our favorite port was St. Thomas, where we just went out on our own and took a taxi to a small beach about a half our away. It was next to an aquarium with iguanas running around (Coral World) and lirakeets that you can feed (watch out, they're aggressive!). The beach was small and crowded but the water was crystal clear so that you could see to the bottom and you could feed fish. There was also a beach bar that served decent drinks. That was the best time we had. After the beach we took the Paradise Point excursion where we rode gondolas up to the top of paradise point and had dinner up there. Eating on the patio while looking out over the port was like magic.
We also did a beach at St. Maarten. That excursion wasn't worth the money or time. We stopped briefly at a flea market but there wasn't any time to look at or buy anything and then we went to a beach for maybe an hour. Just hang out in town and make sure you buy the Guavaberry liqueur and make sure you get a daiquiri while you're there.
The shows were eh... The best one was the Legends karaoke show. We had one guy who sounded exactly like Frank Sinatra and a woman who did an excellent James Brown. For the 'professional' shows, we weren't sure if the dancers were actually dancers or were recruited from other parts of the staff on the boat because they weren't in time with each other and it was just not very good.
We did a dance lesson later in the trip that's definitely a fun hour. Bingo was very short. I was expecting something like Bingo at casinos where you buy your tickets/cards and then hang out there for awhile and play a couple of games. But there's just the one and then you're done and most of the time is waiting around while people buy their tickets. Don't waste your time at Bingo.
The other activities were not that fun. The only poker is this table run by a computer and the guys at my fiance's table figured it out and the rake was ridiculously high. I'm not much of a gambler so I steered clear of the casino and it wasn't that entertaining.
Dining was okay. The main dining room was great and we got to sit by ourselves. The food was wonderful and one time, when I got a soup that didn't taste like I expected it to, they were great about getting me something else. The buffets were so so and there was always a huge line at the deli station.
Wake up early to get your seat by the pool or you'll never get one.
All in all it was okay but there were definitely sea days when we were bored out of our minds. The service was good except for the lady at room service who acted like we were bothering her every time I called for something. We're going on our honeymoon next May and we're sailing with Royal instead because we've heard great things about the activities and there are more port days than sea days. But Carnival is cheaper and it's good if you just want to relax by the pool all day when you're out at sea.