Parking: How to describe parking three miles away from the ship in Ft. Lauderdale in the N. Port Parking because the garage across the ship was full after waiting in a car line for a half hour to get in. We were there @ 12:30 which is not late for cruising. Schlepping luggage on a tram to park. It was worse getting off the ship, asking three people where to wait for the tram, no markings or signs and it starts to rain. My husband was ready to take a cab to the garage before he saw a bus and went over to find out if it was "our bus!" It defines "self-service!!!"
Facilities: The buffet the first day was horrendous. Dirty tables, no dinnerware, constantly holding tables to eat upstairs. The good of it was the room steward, some personnel in the dining room and wonderful entertainment and shop personnel (perfume shop). The food started out wonderful in the dining room and then became sporadic. Because there were a lot of families (Thanksgiving), getting a table for breakfast was difficult. They have built a restaurant based upon a fancy restaurant, but they don't run it as such. Most mornings, we waiting on long lines, but after doing this for several mornings, my husband simply explained to the person in charge that there were tables available seen from the hallway, and we wanted to be seated at one. We were immediately seated. Every day, we were encouraged to go upstairs to the Buffet instead of the dining room.
Room Service: Room service was wonderful.
Dining Room: Most mornings in the dining room, I had to search out the basket of danish, etc. Our dinner companions told us they had run out of bagels and oatmeal mid-cruise.
Facilities: My husband is a cigar smoker and books based upon facilities. The cigar bar was a joke. No TV to watch sports and a constant walk thru for Camp Carnival and passengers who complained of the cigar smoke. If you smoked a cigarette, you could in a few bars. The library had game players in it daily and was not a quiet place to read. The daily newsletter had wrong information most days. As a survivor, I wanted to do the Run for the Cure; a great idea in theory. Asked three people where it was; got 3 answers. Finally gave up and left w/ my shirt and donation given. We always do inside cabin, but this one was much smaller than the other 3 (3 became a familiar # for us) cruises on Carnival. We did meet some wonderful people, but most didn't even crack a smile, unusual for a cruise.
Ports: We stopped in Cozumel, Puerto Limon and Colon. Our first tour was cancelled due to weather (no one's fault) and the second one was a "rip." Will definitely book any excursions on line ahead of time and save money. Also, were told by not to get off of the first port because it was dangerous. They encouraged us to book the excursions. Finally talked to someone honest enough to tell us there was a small flea market right near the boat; we got some cute things very reasonably. Too bad we didn't listen to the cruiseline. They didn't get a rebate on our purchases. This was the tone of the entire cruise.
In essence, next time, Royal Caribbean!