First let me just say that on this cruise it was my husband and me. My husband is 28 and I am 24 and we have both been on 5 cruises, 3 on Princess and this being our second Carnival ship.
Embarkation: We left out of Miami, seeing as we live 3 hours away decided to drive over the day before and check out the zoo. We stayed at the La Quinta by the airport, it was a nice hotel but noisy due to the airplanes flying right over. Staying at a hotel the day before can very beneficial because sometimes they will let you park your car there for free up to 7 days like this one did. The next morning their shuttle bus took us to the port at about 10:00 am. We breezed through the security and check in. We waited in the terminal which was freezing cold till about 12:30 and then boarded the ship. We were one of the first on and went straight to the buffet line. I did the burrito bar and my husband did fish and chips, both were very good, definitely NOT Denny's. We then met the Matri'd and changed our table to a table for two with no problem. We then made it to our room, an interior, a little smaller then on Princess but still nice. We had earlier seating dinner which worked out nice for us. Our head waiter was Alti, he was so nice. Dinner was good, better on Princess but better then an Outback, great selections and you can get as much as you like. We went to the welcome aboard show and enjoyed the comedian Percy Crews II and looked forward to seeing him the next night for his adult show.
Fun Day at Sea: We took it easy spending the day sleeping and checking out the ship. The only complaint about the ship set up is that the Lincoln dining room is smack dab in the middle of the ship making it hard to get to the back when on decks 3 and 4. We were trying to find the web, the Internet cafe, but getting around that dining room and actually finding it was very frustrating. We eventually found it hiding in the back of the cigar bar on deck 4. The decor on this ship is nice, we read reviews that made it sound crazy and outdated, that definitely was not the case. We found out every Carnival ship has a theme, and the theme on this one is heroes, hence the Lincoln and Washington Dining rooms, and the One Small Step Dance room dedicated to Neil Armstrong. We had lunch at the buffet, the deli was ok and the buffet was good. This night was formal night and we enjoyed lobster tail and decent size shrimp, it was very good. We stayed up and watched Percy Crews II 12:00 AM show and he was hilarious.
Costa Maya: We were not impressed with this port, we got off and walked around the port lots of people trying to get you to come and look at there shop of cheap stuff. However, we did discover an awesome painter, all his pictures were done with spray paint. We watched him for a while and then decided to buy one of the paintings. It was fun to watch him paint it right in front of you, lots of people walked back on the ship with his work. We ate on the ship which is a great idea because the lines aren't long, especially fish and chips which normally is really long. We spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping on the lido deck. That night we went to Scarlett's Supper Club, we were pretty disappointed. On Princess they have two restaurants that you pay extra for and you order as much as you want, not the case here. We paid $30 per person and could only get two apps and one entree, my husband was very upset as he wanted the porterhouse and the lobster tail and they told him he could only get one. The food was still very good, but if you pay extra you should definitely get all you can eat.
Belize: We went snorkeling at the 2nd largest great barrier reef and it was the best snorkeling we've done, lots of fish, coral, and a stingray. Afterwards, we went to the port and walked around, found a good bargain on some perfume, then tried some of their beer that they brew locally, pretty good. We took the long 20 minute tender back to the ship rested and went to dinner. That night we watched karaoke and Ben who runs it is so funny, we went every night after that just to see what he would do that night!!! We also watched Al Ernst another comedian he was really good.
Cozumel: We got off the ship just in time because another Carnival ship was pulling in so they stopped people from getting off, it was pretty cool watching the other ship dock. We met for our next excursion, twister and passion island beach break. We did the beach break before and enjoyed it a lot. This time we added the speed boat and it was the best, definitely will do it again. They take you out to the island but before you get off they spin you in 360's soaking you completely, it was a blast. On the island they feed you a great all you can eat buffet and all you can drink beer. On the way back you get spun again a numerous amounts of times and once more right next to the cruise ships while all the people on board are cheering you on:) At this port we went out to the promenade deck to watch us pull out, 30 minutes after we were suppose to leave we heard the officer on the deck say they were missing 6 people, 3 showed up. After 45 minuted they said we'll have to leave the last 3 and sure enough they pulled out, so don't be late b/c they do leave you!!
Grand Cayman: This was the worst part of the cruise. We pulled in an hour late and all they gave us was an extra 15 min. Then we had to wait an extra hour for customs to clear us. There system to get people off to the tender was the WORST. No one followed their number rule, and the crew didn't seem to know where the tenders were going to pull up. We should have been off the ship around 9, but didn't get off till 12. Other then that we had a nice time in Grand Cayman.
Fun Day at Sea: We took their behind the scene tour and it was a lot of fun and very interesting. We visited the crews pool area at the front of the ship, the backstage of the theater, the crew's galley and dining room, the crew's lounge, the laundry room (very hot, but they have the coolest way to iron and fold sheets and towels), the engine control room, the galley for the two dining rooms, the bridge, and Scarlett's galley. The bridge by far was the best stop, we met the captain and got to see there awesome view. The captain confirmed they had to leave 3 people behind, who got their vacation short by catching a ride on the other Carnival ship, which got back to port on Friday in Tampa, they then had to drive to Miami and wait for us to return on Sunday.
Disembarkation: We got up and ate breakfast at the Lido deck, FYI breakfast did get redundant, while we were eating they called our zone so when we finished we got right off and went down to collect our luggage. Getting our luggage was easy and customs didn't take to long, we catched a taxi and went back and got the car.
Overall a great cruise for what you pay, the food was good and the ship was nice, we will do Carnival again.