We flew down to stay with our daughter in Sugar Land. We had two daughters with their spouses and one six year old granddaughter that went with us. We booked two balconies together and one inside guarantee which ended up being placed right across from us! We are both 59 and this was our 4th cruise.
Embarkation went well except for the fact that our one daughter has a Canadian birth certificate and they had to clear her through immigration. Everyone was very nice going through this process.
This was our first time being booked "aft" which had it's advantages and also dis-advantages. Advantages: We just walked up the stairs and was right in the buffet area. We also walked along the promenade (mostly from the casino!) and seen more of the events going on in the different areas and lounges which I had never paid attention to on past cruises. Disadvantage: We missed being placed in the other dining room where they have the dance floor in atrium, which we enjoyed before our late dining time. More movement of the ship. I didn't take the time to look at the photo's as much either. No, noise from the elevators never bothered us one bit!
We attended the Camp Carnival orientation for our granddaughter and also took time to explore the Camp Carnival area. This was the first time that we have had a grandchild use these facilities and she absolutely loved going! There was never a moments hesitation for her to attend their events. The late night babysitting service was also handy so mom could go to karaoke or to the casino for a couple of hours.
We were seated in the Monet and had the very best of service. The Maitre'd and his assistant were fantastic and gave us a lot of personal attention. Our servers, Sergev and "Snow White" were so accommodating to our "picky" eaters. The food was excellent and we enjoyed every night at dinner. We did notice that on formal nights that people who were not properly dressed were turned away.
Other food experiences were all very good. Having a variety of choices throughout the day is wonderful when you have a group that has different tastes. We enjoyed the sushi bar a couple of times. The Mongolian grill was delicious as were the pizza, deli sandwiches and burgers! We often went upstairs above the lido area to eat as a family in the Sur Mer area where there weren't any crowds. Room service was always timely and good.
We attended a couple of shows which were good but nothing really exciting. I felt there were a couple of numbers in the main song/dance show that were questionable for family viewing. Others must have thought so as well as there wasn't much applause for these.
My husband loved the casino and staff. We all came home with more money that we left with! No complaints there! They do have a non-smoking section for the black jack tables which made it nice for our family to play together without being bothered with smoke.
We have been to these ports before so chose different excursions which we booked ourselves. We loved the lazy float down the river on bamboo rafts in Jamaica. Stingray City was cancelled and so we went to the turtle farm and a few other stops and then went to 7 mile beach. I booked the Nachi Cochum beach break on Cozumel and everyone loved the day we spent there. We will do this again.
Our cabin steward was very efficient and our cabins were kept very clean and nice. He always had a smile and made sure he called us by name. The towel animals were amazing this time!
We didn't spend a lot of time at many of the activities as we were having so much fun as a family. I wish they would come up with other questions and comments for the newlywed game! But the first timers thought it was hilarious.
Debarkation was much quicker this time. We went up on the Lido and had a nice breakfast and by then it was time to head down without hardly any lines!
It was a wonderful experience for all of us. We will continue to book with Carnival as we can always get a balcony at a very reasonable price.