Hotel...we arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day prior which in our eyes is essential! We stayed at the Days Inn on Broward and well, don't waste your time. We waited almost 3 hours to get picked up at the airport. The lady came to pick us up about 1 1/2 hours after our first call and was full. She said she would be right back and an hour later, she arrives. Then we get to the hotel and the guys at the desk were disorganized. They didn't look at my confirmation paperwork and charged my credit card again! Then they had to credit it. (messing up a credit card before you go on a cruise does not set well with me). Our room...okay for the night, but no more than that. They did let us park a friend's car there while on the cruise so that was good. All in all, I would not stay here again. Definitely, go through Carnival to book your hotel.
Ship - BIG AND PINK! Once you get past the pepto bismol pink, it's fabulous. Very pretty and we really enjoyed the big screen, especially since the Steelers were playing the Ravens.
Activities - okay. We entertained ourselves! We did frequent the shops on the boat (we ended up knowing the people in the jewelry store by first names). If you have a travel game, I suggest taking it. We liked to play Yahtzee on the Lido deck a lot.
Service - We did comment that the bar service was not like we had experienced on prior Carnival ships. We usually end up knowing a few by name and they seek us out for drinks. The "bar wait staff" was not very friendly and really didn't make an impression on us this time. That was a little disappointing.
Port and shore excursions - Whatever you do, in St. Thomas you must go to Mountain Top and have a Banana Daiquiri...they are fabulous and the view up there is priceless. It was a short, $8 taxi ride and the driver waited on us. There are shops up there and the people were very friendly. In NASSAU, take the Catamaran Sail and Snorkel...these guys took us out (way out) and let us snorkel for about an hour. Then they cranked up the music and started pouring rum punch...15 gallons/ 2 hours/ 55 people...This was the real party boat! We had a blast!
Stateroom- our steward was the best. We had a really clean room and enjoyed the turn down service. Note: take advantage of the $10 deal...put as many clothes as you can in a bag and they will wash/dry/fold them for you while you enjoy the day. We found this cheaper than doing them yourself. It took us about $7 to do the same, plus our time. For the extra $3, someone can do it for you! Ask your steward for the paper! All in all - our cruise was very memorable! We have always been very pleased with Carnival and their staff! Note: unless you don't mind A LOT of older people, don't go in January.