Let's start at the beginning. Arriving at the Port on a beautiful sunny day, parking was easy. Embarkation went smoothly, approximately 30 minutes until we were on board. Had lunch on the Lido deck, the Red Sail buffet food was so/so but the deli made me a tuna melt that was good. The grill on the Lido deck had good burgers & hotdogs that my husband liked. Our room was ready by 1:30, the room was listed as a handicapped room, the room itself was small but the bathroom was large. The closet was disappointing, very small! The bed was comfortable. The air conditioner did not work well at first but did eventually cool the room. This was our 3rd cruise with Carnival and the other rooms had nice size closets and cold AC. We definately won't book a handicapped room again.
The staff was friendly, our dining room waiter was excellent as was our room steward. When ever you ask a question I found the staff to be very nice and helpful. You never had to seek out a crew memeber there was always someone near by.
The adult only pool/spa area was NOT, it seems kids can run anywhere unsupervised which I find annoying. I am not anti kid but I think kids need to be with parents when in spas and pools. There are plenty of deck chairs and lounges. Someone is always asking if you want a drink, you don't have to go to the bar at all.
There are several activities during the day. I would have liked to tour the kitchen cooking coarse but missed it. At night after dinner, bingo, shows, comedy club, casino, more food, karoke, disco, piano bar, etc.... you may eventually get a few hours sleep before you do it all again.
In Nassau we took a taxi to Atlantis, walked around, gambled a little. It was beautiful and EXPENSIVE !!! My only complaint was that we did not have much time in Nassau before sailing off. We arrived around 9am and set sail at 2pm.
Had a full day at sea where we enjoyed the Lido deck music, people watching, Jacuzzi, pool, etc...
ST. Thomas was beautiful, we went on a Catamaran snorkling trip called "Castaway Girl Barefoot Sail & Snorkel to Shipwreck Cove". The walk from the ship to the catamaran was unbelievably long, many older guests were complaining for good reason. That said, the snorkling was great, saw beautiful fish. Getting back on was difficult as the crew did not lower the steps into the water and many people struggled to get on. My husband told them to lower the ladder because people were having difficulty getting up the steps which they finally did. Once back on board you could have all the rum punch you wanted, there was a bowl of pretzels but nothing else to eat. The crew pushed their T-shirts and kept saying how they depended on tips which I found tacky. Because of this and the fact that they showed no concern for people trying to get back on board I would not recommend that excursion.
St. Maarten was even more beautiful. We took the "Golden Eagle" catamaran snorkle trip where there was a sunken boat, submarine, cannon and beautiful fish. Once back on board you could have rum punch, beer, mixed drinks, soda, and sandwiches. Then we sailed to a beach where everyone floated around with foam noodles, the crew were amazing & fun and showed great concern for their guests. They played fun music and engaged everyone in dancing, conga lines, YMCA, etc... it was a great time and definately worth checking out. When this trip was over many took water taxis to town to shop but we just walked around near the pier where I purchased T-shirts. I loved St. Maarten and would love to go back. The color of the water was just amazing, the grounds were spotless. My husband had the famous Bushwacker drink which he liked.
2 days at sea before returning home. It felt good to sleep in. The nightly shows and commedy club shows were excellent. It seems Carnival really tries to make sure everyone has a great time.
Cons: - Unsupervised children, especially in pool areas. - Smoking, I would love to find a non-smoking cruise! - Red Sail buffet was disappointing, the deserts looked beautiful but did not taste good, the coffee was awful, the Chinese food was tasteless except for hot spice flavor. - Wish open seating was available for dinner. - Not enough time in ports to take an excursion and shop.
Pros: - Great scenery, ports were beautiful, the water was amazing aqua color - Great shows & comedy club - Comfortable beds - Friendly people, both guests and crew