Traveling with a group of 8 people from California out of Miami sure takes a bit of planning. It was most definitely worth the effort!
After flying out to the east coast the day before and staying at a nice hotel very near the POM (thanks Priceline!), we embarked on a 7-day cruise to Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. We arrived at POM at about 11:00, checked in and were on the ship in 45 minutes. Really a pretty simple process.
Once on-board, we went straight to Rosie's to have our first lunch, walk around the ship a bit and wait for our rooms to become available. It's really pretty exciting to be on the ship with the knowledge that you're leaving the "Real World" behind for the next 7 days. Our group virtually took over the aft wrap arounds on the right side of the ship - we were stacked with one couple in each and it was pretty neat to talk to each other from one another's balconies. These cabins are truly worth the extra money - loads of room to stretch out, both inside and out.
I'll detail each individual port in the port reviews section.
The service level my wife and I received was consistently good, if not great. Our steward was definitely not one of the social types. He just kept our rooms very clean and did what was asked of him (ice, empty the fridge, extra towels, etc.)
In the MDR, our wait staff was very friendly and did everything they could to keep us happy. We even requested to have bananas flambe' prepared for our table one evening and they came through! Thanks for all your efforts. Unfortunately, the food was inconsistent on this trip. Cuts of meat were regularly delivered over or undercooked (I know it's difficult to get perfect, but raw chicken isn't acceptable).
We attended several shows and some were good, some were not. The comedian we saw was truly average at best. Just basically made fun of people in the front row. We saw a song and dance show, however that was entertaining. We usually see pretty high levels of entertainment on Carnival.
All in all, we have a great time on vacations, whatever we do and Carnival surely has excellent value. You really can't beat waking up in a different port on most mornings.
Thanks for another memorable vacation!