Tampa - Embarking What a beautiful terminal she is! Since we drove to Florida we had no problem. My sister-in-law dropped us off at the terminal at about 11 a.m. We were on board very quickly and headed to see if our rooms were ready. We were told that they would not be ready till about 1:30 (but they looked ready!) We headed to the aft bar to get a drink and a bite to eat. We passed the time there until the rooms were ready at 1:30.
The Ship A gorgeous ship for sure. Beautifully decorated in the "legends" theme. You could spend a week on the ship just looking at the various pieces of art depicting legends like the unicorn, the Trojan horse, Greek Gods, movie stars, and many many more.
Our cabin (8624 - Balcony) was typical for a standard balcony. Nothing special to report but completely adequate. I was disappointed that the TV was not a flat screen, but we don't watch much anyway. The navigation system that shows on the TV was a disappointment however. It is not much more than a line and a dot. Much inferior to what we see on HA or Princess. Your safe needs to be locked/unlocked using your driver's license! Not a good plan considering that you now have to carry that ID around the ship with you. This one was a head shaker?
The Follies lounge (Main show lounge) is Fantastic! The best design I have seen on any ship. You can enter from decks 2, 3 or 4 and the balcony seats are very comfortable. Sight lines from almost any seat are good.
The Firebird lounge is uniquely located right below the Follies lounge. We only went to the art auction there and it is a nice room, mostly used for karaoke.
The Library was under stocked and small, but I brought my own reading material. I didn't use the internet cafe. IT'S VACATION - NO COMPUTERS FOR ME!
The casino and the sports bar were too smoky. The bars also had a lot of smoking in them so we didn't go much.
The outside decks are nice. We spent a lot of time aft because it is adults only. There were 400 kids on the ship so the 2 main pools were noisy but fun. The deck chairs are a major problem however! They are mostly broken and very uncomfortable. Carnival really needs to change the entire stock of these junkers!
Much better than expected. Excellent meals every night for dinner. I only had one fish dish I didn't like. We also went to the Golden Fleece one night for dinner. Its $30 extra and worth every penny! Service the whole week was top notch! The lido buffets were also a pleasant surprise. Every lunch we had a choice of Mexican, Chinese, Grilled food and more. I have never had better lunches. Like all buffets, sometimes things are not as hot as you may want, but that is expected. Breakfasts were standard fare.
Singers and dancers were very much below average, comedians were above average. Bar music was mostly people singing to a karaoke track. We saw only one full live band (in Satchmo's) The dance club didn't start going till late (too late for us old f**ts)
Grand Cayman - We took a cab to 7 mile beach ($5 each way) and spent some time soaking up the sun, then went back to the dock area where the guys went back on board and the girls shopped. Snorkeling was poor but it was a fun day
Cozumel - Very busy! 7 ships in port at the same time. We were going to go to Chakanaab Park but Carnival had a hard time getting us all off the ship. Just as we were about to debark, a princess ship came into port and they close the dock. This set everyone back by about an hour! We decided to scrap our idea and just head into the shops (bars for me!) and spend a day in the port area. We were back on the ship for lunch.
Belize - No excursions planned here. We took the tender (a 10-15 minute ride) to the port and had a couple of drinks at the Wet Lizard. It's a fun bar right on the docks. We poked around a bit and tendered back
Roatan - A great port! Beautiful dock area. Friendly people. For $25 per person we had a cab-van for the day with a driver and a tour guide that stayed with us! We went to West Bay beach and got a tour on the way. We were at Bananarama bar on the beach (try a Bananarana drink! 2 for $5!!) Snorkeling was top notch with a reef area where they fed the fish. We also walked down the beach to an area by the point and saw some bigger fish. A perfect, natural, unspoiled area. There were beach vendors, but nothing that was overbearing. After the beach our guides took us to some great spots for picture taking and then a different route back to the ship. Our favorite port of this trip for sure, and one of our favorites ever.
Tampa - Debarking
8 a.m. is self debarking for those who want to carry there own stuff. A lot of people chose that option! It took till about 8:30 before the VIP debarking started (for the people in suites or needing assistance). At about 9 a.m. they started calling numbers (we were #7). 1 to 5 were called first with 5 to 11 being called about 10 minutes later. We walked straight from the lounge to the gangway and off to the area marked #7 where our luggage was, found our luggage and a porter and headed out to the parking garage to be picked up. The easiest ever, but another cruise is over.