We started by going down from Panama City, Fl. on Fri. to stay at the Radisson. The Radisson is a great place to stay pre cruise. The rooms were very comfortable and the room had plenty of space with a pleasant smell to it. My children had a blast playing tennis and swimming in the pool. We was scheduled for the 11:30 shuttle, but it was running 30 min behind, so we didn't board the shuttle until after noon. The ride over is only a couple of miles, so it wasn't no big deal. We was allowed to leave our car there for the week, so we saved the parking fees at the port plus they gave us 2 breakfast buffets. I highly recommend this hotel to stay in.
Boarding was a breeze because I had joined the Carnival Vacation Club. We were escorted to the front of the line to check in and then escorted onto the ship. The whole process took only 15 min. Once on board we went to the Red Sail and had lunch. The food on the Lido deck was very good the whole week. After lunch we went to our room which was an interior on the Lido deck. This is the first and only problem we had the whole week. The temp in our room was warm and it didn't cool down much all week. Everybody on the Lido deck was complaining about the AC, but talking to people on other decks, they said their room was cool?
We went up on the 11th deck after dropping our carry on luggage in our room to watch the space shuttle land. It was too windy the first time, but at 3:14 the sonic boom came and about 10 min later we saw the shuttle come out of the clouds and land safely. That was an bonus to our cruise.
Our first port was Nassau. I was pleased that we didn"t have to fill out the forms for the Bahamas like the last time. I'm not a big fan of Nassau, so we just walked around for about 1 hour and then went back to the boat to enjoy the ship. The second day was fun day at sea and we tried to make as many trivia, games and activities as possible. The day flew by and then it was time for the first Formal Night. I will say now that I was very pleased with the QUALITY of all the food we ate all week. The service on the Lido and Dining Room was super and I have gained weight this week.
Day 3 we was at St. Thomas. I was again pleased that we didn't have to line up to go through customs like the last time we went there. We had a private tour booked, so we just got off the ship and our guide was waiting for us. We was able to tell him all the places we wanted to go, and he took us. We was only suppose to have the drive and van until 4:00, but He took us up to Paradise Point and then back down so it was after 5:00 before we got back to the ship. We tipped him for the extra he gave us. The trip up to the point would of been at least $12 per person that he saved us.
Day 4 we arrived at St. Martin. We had a private tour at this port also. We went to 5 different beaches, shopping in 3 different places and ended up at Macho Beach where the planes land over your head. We ate at the sunset grill and the ribs were very good for $11 each plate. My 2 sons went and held onto the fence to get blown by the big jets taking off. We got back to the ship with only 1hr before sailing. It was a great tour.
The last 2 days was sea days and there was as much as you wanted to do or as little as you wanted to do. The 2nd formal night is Thursday and again the food was very good. I want to close this review by saying people need to be patient with their room stewards because they have 25 rooms for 2 people to take care of plus they have other duties assigned to them. I asked one of the men how much time the got off and he told me around 10 hours a day, but not straight. He said they get a couple of hours to take a nap in the day and about 6-7 hours at night. This is to sleep, eat, and bathe!! I left all my servers from the room stewards, his asst., dining room waiters and asst.waiter, to the bar lady that brought my children their cokes, even though they had soda cards, an extra tip. I hate to see people be cheap when it comes to the tips they are giving the workers. Remember they do not control Carnival Policy!!