My husband and I are in our 60's and this our first Carnival Cruise. We have sailed once on Holland America and once on Royal Caribbean. I picked this cruise because of the value and itinerary.
We flew in to Orlando Friday, rented a car thru Avis and drove to Cocoa Beach to the Days Inn. The price was reasonable, the room was very clean and freshly painted with a convenient location. Sat. morning we returned the car and had Avis shuttle us to the terminal about 10;30 where they dropped off our bags and we went immediately in where we were able to wait in chairs after doing the quick paperwork required. We began boarding about 11:10am. Ate lunch and went to our room at 1:30. The Red Sail seemed dark and crowded and the drink and ice machines were not open yet. We didn't eat here much because it was hard to find a table that had been cleaned off. Our balcony room was bright, roomy and very clean with a small but adequate balcony with two chairs and a small table. We were in between cabin floors so heard only a little noice from talking guests walking past our room in the hall. It was quite warm in the room while still in port but quickly cooled down as we got underway. The door leading to the balcony has a tendency to slam shut very noisily unless held onto firmly. Life drill required no life jackets which was wonderful. The ship seemed very stable with minimal rocking as you might notice the stabilizers kicking in.
We had lunch on the Lido deck. Pizza was hot and fresh, reuben sandwich very good and good salad selections. At breakfast we liked the dining room food much better along with great service. For dinner we were in the Platinum Dining room with the most fabulous table mates, surrounding table mates and waiter ,Sherman, and assistant waiter, Koko, that could ever be found on any cruise. I think it will be impossible to beat this experience!! The Glory singers and dancers were marvelous. The magician was a bit repetitive but interesting. The hypnotist was a bit slow and boring.
PORTS: Cozumel-- went to Nachi Cocum, very beautiful, drinks a bit weak, food good, very clean. Belize-- Stayed near tender dock to shop as it was raining. Costa Maya: Took bus into town, $3, walked the malecon, shopped, had a couple of drinks and some nachos and just enjoyed the beach. Everyone on board, including the few children we saw, were very polite and well mannered. The entire staff and crew were terrific, always smiling and greeting you as you passed by along with great service We noticed very little smoking on the ship. Only once, going thru the Casino on day five did I really notice any and we walked thru that area almost daily.
Disembarkation was swift and painless. Overall, a very nice ship (soon to be refurbished) with only minor quirks but a great value and a great cruise experience.