I'll start from the very beginning. Our flight left Orlando on time at around 10:45am and the was a very smooth flight. We were given a drink and pretzels and they came back around offering seconds, which we took. It was a 2.5 hour flight there. When we arrived at the San Juan airport, we just followed the signs down to baggage, to collect our luggage. There were Carnival porters there, giving us stubs to get on the bus when it arrived, since we pre-paid for transfers. It didn't take long for a bus to arrive, which we boarded, for a 10 minute ride to the port terminal.
The port terminal was a breeze to get through, wasn't too busy for 2:45pm. We checked in with the terminal, giving them our passports, credit card and fun pass and we were on our way to find our room. Our room was on the Panorama deck, one floor above the Lido deck and one below the Spa deck, room # 1054. Our room steward quickly found us to introduce himself and make sure everything was at hand we needed. We hardly saw him the rest of the trip, but he somehow made sure everything was clean and tidy for us.
The ship had a very unique layout. I really liked the "theater" style deck for the movies. In the center was a huge twisty slide, 2 pools and 2 jacuzzi's. I don't have any complaints about it. The food selection wasn't bad. You had 2 hot bars outside by the pools on the Lido deck. Then inside was the buffet, with seating upstairs and downstairs. I hardly saw anyone go upstairs. Then the pizza bar was out back on the other side of the hot dog/hamburger bar, with ice cream and drink bar across from them. The casino was very cold, so take a jacket in there. The dining room was also cold, but not too bad. Our waiter, Elmer, was an absolute trip!!!! He was very humorous and entertaining!!!
We were invited to a "Past Guest" Reception, which we decided to go check out before dinner. It was a total blast!!! They had FREE ALCOHOLIC drinks and yummy appetizers! I couldn't believe it!!!! Then they played a movie clip of the history of Carnival, which was interesting to learn. Mardi Gras was the first ship to set sail in 1975 and there was a lady there 2 rows in front of us that had been on 15 cruises, her first one in 1975 aboard the Mardi Gras. Very cool!
As for the complaints about the local Puerto Ricans.....we never had any problems or complaints about them. They all kept to themselves. There were some kids running around, but they were running to the top to catch the slide again.
Flight home was a little on the crazy side. From the time we waited for us to be called to get off, to the time we got through customs, agriculture check point, checking in at our airline, and through security, it took us 4 hours. That was a little on the INSANE side, but I suppose it could've been worse when you have about 8k people there at once. The security line went a lot faster than the airline check-in which was nice.