Embakation We Embarked at 1pm. Took 30 mins to get on the ship, no worries, no hassles.
Liquor Before boarding we poured liquor into soda bottles and placed it in checked baggage. It was delivered, inside our bags to our room at approx 3pm. In fact, for those looking to smuggle liquor it really is a breeze. By the third port i'd dispensed with the soda containers and was putting a six-pack of bottled beer into my back pack each day before re-boarding the ship. Some days they went right through undetected. On other days, a more observant x-ray operator saw them and told me to check them at the liquor station. As soon as he looked back at his x-ray machine I walked right by the liquor collection point and up the stairs with my beer. With beers on the ship costing $6 it saved us a fortune.
Tours Didn't book a single tour through the ship of on the internet before hand. There's no need. Every morning you get off the boat and there are hundreds of taxi drivers and tour operators pitching you business. If you want to sail on the Pirates of the Caribbean ship or swim with dolphins, then its probably best book in advance. If you want to simply take a taxi to the beach and back, or take a standard tour that takes you by car or boat to the islands main sites, then book when you get there. Carnival take what seems like a 25% commission, so book when you're there instead, put the money into the locals pockets and give your self some flexibility for weather etc.
Dinner seating For dinner, we were put at a table that was a personality free zone. On the second night we asked the maitre d to move us and he did, with no fuss or questions. Don't put up with a lame table as you'll spend nearly 2 hours with these people every night.
Breakfast Like most reviews say, the lido buffer is painfully slow. Either go after 9:15am or if you want to eat early - go to the dining room. Better to sit down and wait for food than stand in a line and wait for food.
Fellow passengers I'm equal parts tolerant and easily annoyed depending on the situation. Maybe living in a big city makes me used to crowds and noise. So many reviews talk about the Puerto Ricans as being noisy, line cutting and non respectful people. I saw no behavior that earned this sort of reputation (either from PR or anyone else). Yes there will be noise and commotion and you'll likely have someone rush in an elevator or cut a line here and there. But just remember, there are thousands of people on this ship. You're not in Queen Elizabeth II's imperial court - you're on a cruise ship with happy excited people, 98% of which are respectful and courteous. If silence and perfect etiquette are of paramount importance, apply for a job at Windsor castle, find deserted island or hang out in a library.
Noise Noise from the hallways and other rooms is another gripe on this forum. It's true, you will hear noise from time to time. Be it from the ships engine or someone in the hallway or the room next door. Best advice - get some ear plugs - problem solved!
Debarkation You are given a number and called in groups to disembarkate. We were given #30 which means we'd be getting off this ship at 11am if we waited to be called. Don't wait for your number if you're in a hurry. Go anytime you like, your number is not checked.