This was our 8th cruise and our 4 Carnival cruise. We drove in the day before and spent a wonderful day in Miami. I am from there so I enjoyed showing my husband around. We had dinner on Lincoln Road and cruised Ocean Ave. before heading back to our hotel. We had breakfast at Jerrys Famous Deli in Miami Beach, $70.00 for 4. Worst service ever, but the food is good.
Got to the ship about 1:00. The traffic to get in was horrible, about one hour, because the taxis cut in front of the line so it took us one hour to get thru the light. My husband dropped myself and my parents off and then went to park the car. A porter took our luggage right away. Security was very simple and so was check in. Once we got to the terminal we were on the boat within 30 minutes. We splurged and stayed on the veranda deck. It was so worth it. Our room was beautiful and ready for us so we dropped our stuff off and went to the Lido deck. The same fare was served all three days in the buffet. I would compare it to a Circus Circus buffet if you have been to Vegas. I think they try, but it doesn't compare to the Royal Caribbean buffet. It was soon time to do the safety drill, so we got our life jackets and headed for the pool area. The drill was the longest I have ever been to and not taken serious by many of the cruisers. Alot of people did not even get their jackets and alot of people did not put them on. The people running the drill did not seem to care. Once the drill was over we went to the verandah Deck lookout in the front of the ship and watched us leave the port. This is an awesome sight. We stayed until we turned south and could barely see land. Went back to the room, unpacked (there is plenty of storage in the room and the suitcase fits right under the bed), and then got ready for a late dinner.
We had a table for 4. Every minute in the dining room was a great experience. The service was perfect and the food was wonderful. After dinner we went to the casino which was packed. My husband played blackjack until late and I think he won! We called my parents and all met at 7:00AM on the verandah Deck lookout to watch us pull into key West. This is such an awesome experience and something we enjoyed very much. Then we went back to the room and got dressed, had a leisurely breakfast on the Lido deck and then went into Key West.
They parked us off the Navy base so we had to take a tram into town. This moved very quickly. Then we got on the Conch Train for a 1.5 hr trip around the town. This was very enjoyable. We had lunch at Sloppy Joes and then walked around Duval Street. The time went so quickly and then it was time to get back on the boat. Once back on the boat we found the serenity area. The space is very nice, but there are so many people who claim the seats with a book or shoes and then leave that we NEVER got a seat after visiting at least 6 times. There should be a no saving seat rules, but the employees don't seem to notice or care. One couple had 2 lounges saved, plus 2 chairs in the back saved, and they were in the Jacuzzi, and then got out and went to lunch, with 4 seats saved. One thing I have noticed is that since Miami has become such a latin influence city, the ships coming out of Miami are packed with Latin people. They are the loudest, rudest, most obnoxious people I have ever been around. This is something I would consider before taking another cruise out of Miami.
Onward, New years Eve morning we had a quiet breakfast and then watched us pull into Cozumel. Once off the ship we took a taxi into downtown. Everything was so hyperly priced we could not believe it. Compared to the Bahamas, a bracelet that should have been $30 to $50 was $400. The begging for you to come into the stores was unbelievable. We were kinda happy to get back on the ship. My husband planned his eating all day around the Mexican Buffet at midnight on the Lido deck we had heard so much about, so imagine our surprise when there was NONE! What a letdown. New Years was okay, but not worth the $1000.00 per couple extra we paid to experience New Years Eve on a cruise. Our same cruise would be $1000.00 less if we left this monday. Our day at sea was very relaxing and pleasant. We gambled, read, napped, and strolled the decks. The verandah deck got off the ship first, so we were off the ship by 8:30. All in all this was a wonderful cruise. I would not got out of my way to go to Mexico again, but the ship was beautiful and very very clean.