This was my 2nd cruise and my husbands 1st cruise. My son and his girlfriend have cruised on Carnival 3 other times.
My son and his girlfriend flew into Tampa Friday night and stayed at the Sheraton Suites Tampa Westport. Really nice hotel! Got it for $76.
Drove to Port of Tampa and stopped at Valet. Porter took our bags and valet took our car. Walked into terminal at 11:30 and we were on the Lido deck at noon. Had a hamburger, put on our bathing suits and relaxed on the lounge chairs by the pool. Had a few drinks and then went up to our room at 1:30. We had an ocean view on the Upper Floor right next to the Grand Suites. The room was clean and comfy and roomy. Our steward, Alfred, came and introduced himself and took care of us all week. Exceptional service!
I went up to the top deck a little after 6pm to view the ship going under the bridge. All I can say is that is was an awesome memorable experience!!
We had Your Time Dining (YTD) confirmed. (Our son was confirmed in the Carnivale dining room and waitlisted for YTD) Went up to talk to Joseph in the Mardi Gras Dining Room and poof, no problem changing them to YTD!
First night dinner was so much fun! Went around 7:30pm and waited 5 minutes for a table. The guys had the steak and loved it - I had the pasta and loved it. Then, I had the chocolate melting cake for dessert and I was hooked. The wait staff was excellent!
The ship was rocking and rolling the first night. Heard that half of the passengers were sick. (I did not get sick the entire cruise and did not take any medication - yippie!)
We spent Sunday at the Lido pool. Walked around the ship to familiarize ourselves. All of the whirlpools are closed for maintenance. Had fun poolside. Entered the Mixologist contest. Made my "Shake Your Rumba" drink, but lost out to "Blue Paradise" which was actually really good! They show the video non-stop for the rest of the cruise ~ oh my goodness - I did not know that when I was mixing my drink shaking my rumba!!!!! Elegant night tonight. I did not like my lobster - but the guys loved their steak.
Grand Cayman on Monday - beautiful! Took a taxi to Sea Grape and walked over to the Ritz. Chatebreand for dinner - nobody liked it. But the salads and dessert were great! Hit the casino - oh my goodness. That darn sign and sail card - I kept pressing the button for "add more funds"......
Cozumel on Tuesday. We rented a jeep from Avis for $55 + $30 for full insurance (did not want to take any chances) and went exploring on our own. Drove around the island and stopped at magnificent beaches. Then went to Paradise Beach for some Dos Equis and Guacamole. It was a great day!
Woke up to rain on Wednesday. Then the sun came out between 1-3 and then rained again. We still had fun. The ribs for dinner were so yummy!!!!!!
I had purchased Behind the Fun Tour tickets on the first day and My DH and son went on it. They said it was great! But be careful, my son sprained his ankle coming down some stairs in the engine room - think of the big guy on the Blind Side and that is my son....oh well - he just had a few more drinks of the day and some ice. He'll go to the doctor when he returns home. By the way - did you know that the medical center closes during certain times of the day??? They did give me a bandage wrap for the ankle (only charged $2.00)...
Went to the Fiesta show and enjoyed it. Went to the R-rated comedy show, and boy it was r-rated! The ship was rocking and rolling tonight so went to the casino, dropped a few more "not real money"...and then went to bed.
We decided to carry our own bags off. Went to Mardis Gras Dining Room for a quiet breakfast at 7:45am. Came back to our room at 8:30am on level 6 and walked up the stairs to level 7 and debarked in about 10 minutes.
By the way - we had room service for coffee and danish every morning, and also went to the Mardis Gras Restaurant 2 times for breakfast. Excellent. I had the Eggs Benedict (with the sauce on the side). My husband loved his omelette.
Went for lunch in the Mardis Gras dining room 3 times and had a nice salad and some pasta. Very good. The Brasserie had some great desserts!
The Serenity lounge looked nice and relaxing but only went once. I already had a drink in my hand so I don't know how the service was. I went on the water slide twice and had a blast!
This was Spring Break season - and there were tons of high schoolers and college kids but they were fun and well-behaved.
During embarkation, I had 2 bottles of wine in my carry on and it went thru x-ray with no questions and no issues. I did not carry on any extra liquor.
The bartenders were fun and we did not have to wait.
All in all we had a great time on this ship. She is older, but she is charming and clean. The staff was exceptional. Many were calling us by name after the first night. (They called me Mrs. Patricia). Joseph - Our Super Charged Matre Di was a delight! He called us by name every evening, and took us by the hand and came to our table. Very sweet. We came home Happy.......