This was my 4th cruise with Carnival and I was excited that I was going to be on a new ship. We (my mother and I) flew into Ft. Lauderdale that morning and took a taxi to Port Everglades. A taxi is much cheaper than the Carnival transportation ($12 for a taxi vs. $15 per person for Carnival transportation). When we arrived at the port, there was a very long line outside of the building. Like I said, this was my 4th cruise and this was the longest and most disorganized embarkation that I have ever experienced. There were people everywhere and it was very chaotic. We waited in line about 1 ½ hours to get on the ship.
Once on the ship, we headed to the Lido restaurant for some lunch. We also explored the ship, while we waited to be let into our cabin. They won't let you into the cabins until 1:30 and we were on board by 12:00. When we were finally let into the cabin, we were pleased that the cabin was large (by cruise standards) and clean. Our room steward greeted us almost immediately and was wonderful. When we realized that our cabin fridge wasn't working, he replaced it quickly. We had a balcony room which is well worth the extra money. It is so relaxing to sit on your private balcony where it is quiet. Great place to nap! It is also a good place to dry wet bathing suits.
While on board, we spent most of our time in the "adults only" pool area. It was nice to have a quieter area where there weren't screaming children and loud music. We tried to lay out by the main pool, but it was very loud and impossible to relax. This is the first ship that I have ever been on that had a giant movie screen out by the pool. Every night, they showed one or two movies and it was nice to sit outside with the nice sea breeze to watch them.
We had dinner in the posh restaurant every night and the food was great, although they do need more than one vegetarian entrEe each night. The only disappointment was that we were seated at a table for eight and we only had two other people that sat with us. The table was half empty! I always enjoy meeting new people and it would have been nice to have a full table. The breakfast served in the Lido restaurant was sub-par at best. There aren't many breakfast options for vegetarians. I was hoping that they would at least have pancakes or waffles everyday. Not so. They had pancakes one morning out of six and they had waffles one morning, but they were cold and very dry. Lines were always very long in the lido restaurant. We almost missed our excursion in Key West because we had to wait so long for breakfast. Lesson learned: do room service on port days if you have an excursion.
We saw both of the shows, though the New Orleans show was much better than the Beatles show. I guess if you grew up in that era you might have enjoyed it more than I did. The New Orleans themed show was fabulous! It appealed to a wider audience than the Beatles show. We also thoroughly enjoyed the piano bar. The singer was great and knew a lot of songs.
Debarkation was much better than embarkation. The day before, the room steward left numbered luggage tags in our room. You were assigned a number between 1-36 and that is the order you got off the ship, unless you do self assist which leaves the ship first. We were given the number 9 and we were off the ship by 8:45. This was a great cruise and I would highly recommend it to anyone.