This cruise was full of surprises. Travel Machine made arrangements and a local radio station, KTDY promoted this trip for the 7th year. We have not always gone with Carnival. It began when dropped our luggage off with the porters and then got in line to park the car in the covered parking garage. We thought the process would take forever, but to our surprise, traffic control was working perfectly and we were parked in no time and making our way to the terminal by 10:30 AM. In the terminal, there were separate lines according to room assignments, so it went quickly. The waiting came next when we were given a card with a zone number to wait in until we were called to board. We were holding #6, but made friends with someone holding #4 and went on board with them at 11:30 AM. Cruising is all about making new friends!! The rooms weren't ready, so we made our way to the Lido to the buffet where more lines were forming. We went to the back of the ship to where the hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza were being made and had no problem finding a table for 5. The food was good, hot and easily accessible. Our room was ready by 1:30 PM and perfect. Our room steward was the best, always getting in and out without disturbing us. We did find the "DO not Disturb signs helpful. WE decorated our door with our name and New Orleans Saints flag as this cruise was during the Super Bowl. We had a blast and the crew saw to our every need. We had over 1,000 people with the group from LA and "Who Dat" was the usual greeting the whole week from the staff. The game was on the first elegant night, it was announced to come as you are to the dinning room and someone announced the game as we ate as to not to miss a single major play.
Getting off the ship was the fastest we have ever done it. We do self assist where we carry all of our luggage off the ship ourselves, and they called us out by floors. They actually cleared all areas around 3rd floor where we had to leave, so it was just a matter of keeping our group of 5 together and heading home. The decor of the ship isn't in line with the usual color and glitz of Carnival, but it was clean, well kept and inviting. The main auditorium could use a makeover. The walking area on the Promenade was small and cluttered when the camera areas were set up. All in all, we had a fantastic time and we are already signed up for next year.