We left the snowy northeast on Thursday morning Feb 11Th. Snowed 18" on Wednesday night, but the plane out of La Guardia was on time. We both are in education and with schools closed the next week, we thought we would take an 8 day cruise to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama.
We HAD A cat 4a cabin. We purchased it on line about 4 months early. We have sailed with carnival and they always give a military discount. We stayed for 2 nights pre cruise at the Hyatt in Fort Lauderdale airport. Great accommodations. The weather was cool for Florida. We used a taxi to get to the cruise terminal. The free shuttle was a mess. They only start bringing people to the dock around 11AM. The line for the free shuttle could take hours. The port is about 2 miles from the hotel. One person in our party used a wheelchair. We went to VIP check in and were on the ship in 45 minutes.
The ship was really well maintained. The lido deck was the typical madhouse. Food was good this ship had the large movie screen on the lido deck. We had an inside cabin no surprise here except that they seemed to have redone the bathrooms. Our luggage arrived by 1:30 pm. Spent the rest of the time unpacking and getting to know the layout of the ship. We had lifeboat drill around 4pm. They have changed this somewhat that you now don't have to bring the lifejackets with you when you go up to your assigned stations. Sail away party went on the lido music good.
We had a 6pm early dining time. We were in the posh dining room. We would have liked to be at a large table,but we were put at a table for four with friends. The waiters and assistant waiters were really good. They knew all our names by the second day and knew our preferences. That night we had the welcome aboard show. OK but it is the same on all Carnival ships, been there done that.
The next day was a sea day. Just relaxed and took advantage of the many things to do on board. Our first port of call was Cozumel. This was our 4Th time there so we got off the ship to do some shopping that's all. Costa Rica was really great. We took the Rain forest tram and canal tour. It was pricey but we felt worth it. Naturally at the rain forest it rained but gliding through the canopy of the rainforest should not be missed.
Our next port of call was Colon Panama. We took the Panama Canal tour. Yes it is expensive. But we figured when will we be back his way again? It was amazing how the canal works we went through 2 locks and then were bussed back to the ship.
We only ate in the lido a couple of times. The crowds and the lines were too much. My wife got a salad on the lido deck on Friday and that was it for her Balboa's revenge she got really sick and was sick Saturday and Sunday. We ate all meals in the posh dining room. Breakfast was so big you did not to eat lunch. We had an early flight home on Sunday so we disembarked early group number 2 for all flights before 12 noon from FLL. We had a great time and would recommend this cruise to anyone. Just don't drink bottled water in Panama.