My husband and I traveled with 5 other friends and we were part of a large group, therefore receiving a group discount. This was our second Carnival Cruise. We traveled from Washington, and therefore had a long way to go. We stayed in Miami at the La Quinta (nice for a quick night) and then traveled to San Juan to stay for the night. Out off all the places we visited on this cruise, San Juan was our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! It is so organized there. At the airport they ensure you are leaving with your luggage and then you walk right outside and up to a booth which calls a taxi for you and tells you exactly how much it will be. We stayed at the San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino and Resort. BEAUTIFUL! They have a great pool and their own section of beach. Lots of things to see within walking distance. We would go back there in a heart beat!
Embarkation was a breeze. We walked right up and gave our bags to the porter for a standard tip of $2 per bag. There are two duty free shops (one up stairs and one down stairs). Walk in, buy your alcohol, put it in your carry on, and go through security. No questions asked. We were on the boat within 15 minutes.
Food - The lido deck food was okay. The sandwiches were probably the best. Selection was pretty much the same as all the other Carnival boats. The dining room food was excellent. My husband ordered two entries many of the nights and our servers didn't mind at all. As always, our servers were awesome.
Entertainment - The entertainment on this cruise was not up to par. We were so excited for the comedians, but they were not very funny. The dances and shows by the carnival dancers were the same as our last cruise, and therefore, boring. We spent many of our nights in the Piano bar with Angela. SHE WAS AMAZING! She had over 2,000 songs memorized and could play anything!
Boat - The decor was okay. The rooms were really out dated. Our bathroom was Pepito bismol pink. We did an interior to save money and greatly regretted it. We will always do a balcony on future cruises.
St. Thomas - BEAUTIFUL PORT! It was so modern and mediterranean like. We visited the shops right off the dock and talked with several of the owners who were very nice. Then we walked to town which was quite a hike. About 2 miles and very hot! Great shops though. We visited a patio bar in the middle of two stores. The guy was very friendly, but some of the crime he told us about there made it a little worrisome. Still it was one of my favorite ports!
Dominica - We took the advice from some other reviews and booked with Bumping Tours. It was awesome! We saw several beautiful sites like Titou Gorge, Trafalgar Falls, Roseau, and Champagne Reef (snorkeling). Levi was a really nice guy and made sure we were having a fun time. The roads there are very scary and it is a poor town, but we still had a blast!
Barbados - We had a beach day here. We paid a taxi driver to take us to Paradise Beach which was perfect! It was fairly quiet. There was a few people trying to sell jet ski rides, or necklaces, etc. The police also walked by and talked and joked with us. They just told us to have one person stay with the bags at all times. Although the people were friendly, there were thieves. Nice people. We all burnt bad even though we re-applied sun screen several times. Very hot!
St. Lucia - Our group took a private catamaran to the pitons. It was fairly boring. We did see some turtles and dolphins, but not much else. We enjoyed a creole style lunch which was VERY good! Was a little disappointed as we had heard a lot about this island. I wish we would have done Co-sol tours.
Antigua - What to do on the island of 365 beaches? Go to the beach! I forget the name of the beach we went to. I want to say Fort beach? Anyway, it was a great beach. We got an umbrella and lounged away. They had jet skis, massage, and a great little restaurant.
St. Kitts - We were worn out by this day so we slept in and then went into port and shopped. There were lots of shops right off the ship. Most of them carried the same things, but that was okay. The people were nice and there were several street entertainers.
Debarkation - Went quickly. We were group two and were off the ship in about 20 minutes. Caught another great taxi back to the airport and were on our way home.
Overall - We had a great time. Many people said the Puerto Ricans were annoying on board. There were several kids on board and aside from a few sprinting through the halls and spitting on the deck by the pools, we weren't bothered by them. We will definitely visit the Caribbean again, and we will likely sail Carnival again as well.