Embarkment: We arrived at port via hotel shuttle around 12:30PM, we had requested wheelchair assistance and that never happened. If I have a complaint about Carnival- they can certainly do better in this area. We were told there were no wheelchairs available and to "grab" one if we could. After going thru security we did find one, on our own, and proceeded with check-in process. This went smoothly for us. Getting the wheelchair up that steep ramp was another story. Again there was no assistance. Thought I about died pushing that chair up that steep ramp. We were onboard by 1:30PM. I did hear it went down hill from there with waits as long as 3 hours.
Ship: I thought the ship was fine. I didn't feel like it was Pepto Bismo but do agree with another poster that the pink circles on the elevators was a bit much. Having sailed on the Liberty in 2006 I thought the ship was very similar in layout with a few exceptions. The lido deck roof did not open the entire time. CD Goose told us that in rough seas it had come off track and weighed 40 tons so was not an easy fix. It was unfortunate but people seemed to go with the flow and enjoyed the aft pool and upper deck for sunbathing. The lounges were similar in size and venue to the Liberty also.
Cabin: We had a Verandah deck balcony (8339). We loved it, midship and close to elevators. The Carnival beds are the best of the cruises we have been on. The cabin was spacious enough for a cruise ship cabin. The lido deck was above us and sometimes we heard chairs moving around but not enough to make a complaint. Our cabin steward was not as good as others we have had but I think he spoke very little English and communication was at time difficult. Other than that, he was fine, again not enough to complain about.
Dining: We found the food in the Gold Pearl Dining Room to be good to very good. The selections seemed adequate and special requests were taken and honored. The Lido deck fare was somewhat boring at times but there was also the Rotisserie, Deli, Pizza and Grill. The Deli was very popular and we enjoyed several lunches there. I found this cruise to have an abundant selection of food choices, but maybe we are not as picky as others, though I have always found my husband to be very picky and he never complained about the food: quality or selection.
Entertainment: The shows were typical cruise shows, but you have to give them credit for dancing on a stage that is moving back and forth most times. The musicians around the ship ranged from ok and a little better than ok. Again I have to agree with another poster that having no Calypso music by the pool was very disappointing. The comedian was very good, we enjoyed both his G and adult rated performances. The casino seemed a little larger than Liberty but seemed to have less tables and more machines. The large screen also could have been utilized better. It mostly played the same photography video over and over with a movie or concert thrown in here and there.Roughness of the seas: On the way from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan we were pretty far out on the Atlantic and it was rough. I never saw dishes or cups falling but walking could be a bit of a challenge. Once we were on the inside only occasionally did it get rough and not as rough as the first leg of our journey.
Ports: San Juan, our first port, was a disappointment. Arriving late on a Sunday left little to do but eat and/or drink. We walked around about an hour, it started to rain and we returned to the ship. St. Thomas as very nice, weather was beautiful and the island is beautiful also. La Romona was okay, unless you did an excursion or paid for an expensive cab ride there wasn't much to do. Grand Turk was wonderful, we enjoyed the port terminal shops, Margaritaville and the beach. Nassau was supposed to be 12PM til 6PM but we ended up in port early in the morning, so hadn't planned anything until 1PM. Communication could have been better to let us know we would be there earlier than expected. My husband said he heard an announcement but no one else in our party did, the TV still said 12PM til 6PM so I thought he was mistaken.
Disembarkment: Was a disaster. Carnival really needs to work on this. Even though there was an unexpected Taxi strike that morning, that should not have effected getting off the ship. Also with ten ships in port that day the traffic in and around the terminals was awful. People were waiting hours for their pickups to where ever.
Overall: We had a great time, met lots of nice people and enjoyed ourselves. Nothing was so awful that it ruined our spirit or our trip.