This was my second cruise but first with Carnival. I went with my boyfriend and this was his first cruise ever. We had a great time! We arrived in Tampa on Saturday the day before we left on Sunday. I called a few hotels to find the best deal on a room to park for a week for free for less then $100 which would have been the price to park at the port for 7 days. We stayed at SpringHill Suites Tampa West shore it is a Marriott hotel and was very nice.. I got the room at $80 and that includes free parking for the week and a breakfast. They had a shuttle to the port for $5 a person so that was still a deal!
Sunday the check-in process was very smooth and we actually got on the ship before 12:30. We were nervous because we decided to no get passports and just use our birth certificate but it was fine got on with no problems!
Over all this was a wonderful cruise. Food was bland but I guess you have to do that when you feel 4000 people. Staff was super friendly, helpful and professional. Great time!