We booked this cruise using Carnival Master Card Points. I had been saving points for a couple years and had read various perspectives on using the points. Finally, I could wait no longer and took the plunge. After all the negative vibes about doing this it was a very pleasant and easy experience. I simply looked at the website to figure what I had enough points for, called the 800 number and booked the cruise. No hassles, no problems, they even told me I had enough points to upgrade from what I had planned. All I paid were taxes and gratuities.
This was our fourth cruise. After alot of comparison shopping I determined you cannot beat the value of Carnival. We are "approaching" senior status, so it was just the two of us. We left Atlanta after work Friday, spent the night in south Georgia and arrived in Tampa Saturday about 12:30, parked and boarded. It was raining and I am not a big one for valet parking but for an extra $15.00 it was worth it. We checked our bags at the curb, the valet drove our car to the parking deck and we waited in line about 30 minutes to board. Smooth and effortless. We boarded the ship about 1:00 and were able to go straight to our stateroom. I would like to add that upon return we got a porter, zipped through the "porter" line at customs, he took our bags to the parking deck and knew just who to talk to so that when we reached the fourth floor where our car was parked it was there waiting for us. We were off the ship, had our bags and pulled out of the parking lot in about 20 to 25 minutes.
The cruise certainly exceeded our expectations for this ship. I read some reviews and I wonder what people are expecting. I feel Carnival offers one of the best values in the vacation industry. Our ocean view was clean and comfortable. Our steward Arnold was there whenever we needed something with a smile on his face and ready to help. Food was good, not Ruth's Chris but for the amount of food they put out in a short time it was pretty darn good. Our server's AnaLyn and Mohammad were fantastic with the best attitudes ever! The maitre d "Supercharged" Joseph made the dining experience very entertaining with his nightly "It's showtime!"
We did the sting ray tour with Moby Dick Tours on Grand Cayman and if you have never done this I highly recommend it. Fascinating at a beautiful sand bar and reef area. This cost $40.00 per person and it is definitely one of the best 40 bucks we have ever spent. At Cozumel we just got off the ship, had lunch and margaritas at the Three Amigo's and did a little shopping. Beautiful weather after a cold, wet winter in Atlanta. Entertainment on the ship was great. Cruise director Skip and Assistant Matt kept everyone entertained. If someone was bored on this cruise they have no one to blame but themselves!