We drove to the port on Friday, May 21st and spent the night at the Radisson. Roll call group met at Fishlips for dinner. We were going to take the hotel shuttle to the ship but we wanted to get there a little earlier so we called a cab. John with Checkered Cab took us to the ship for $10.00 and we ended up having lunch on the Lido deck before our hotel shuttle was scheduled to pick us up.
Embarkation was no problem. We breezed through, no lines. We did have to wait for a few minutes in the holding area before boarding. We chatted with a nice family from Texas and the time flew by. Carnival started boarding earlier than scheduled and we were on our new home for the week with no problems.
The ship is beautiful. I wanted something bright, cheerful and happy for vacation and Carnival delivers. We went straight to the Lido deck for lunch and found no lines and several options. I chose the Pasta bar and it was great. A couple of minutes wait for my food but it was fresh and hot. Girls and husband hit the buffet line and everything was delicious. We had plenty of time to explore the ship before our room was ready at 1:30.
All of the Carnival staff was great. Francisco, our room steward, did a great job. Everyone we encountered was polite and helpful. We had one small maintenance issue the first day but it was taken care of quickly. Spa staff was helpful and unobtrusive. Our waiters in the Scarlett dining room (Rasmini and Michael) were awesome!! Wonderful attitudes, so helpful and concerned if everything was the way we wanted it. We couldn't have had better staff taking care of us. Maitre'd (Drakko) was very visible in the dining room. He came by our table several times and went out of his way to take handle a special request. Great service!!
There were plenty of activities on board. My family was always going to or from something. I am more of a vegetable on vacation so if we weren't off the ship, I was in the spa or on a deck chair. There were chair hogs but I never had a problem finding a chair. I don't always have to be right by the pool so maybe that helped. It seemed there were always chairs on deck 5. Serenity deck was always in use and was a great spot.
We didn't schedule anything in Nassau. Our 3rd time there so we just browsed a few shops. St. Thomas and St. Maartin were wonderful. First time visiting both islands and very beautiful. We did tours on both islands. We were with Burlie on St. Thomas and she was great. Very informative and patient with our group that ranged in age from 10 to 73. We booked with Bernard's Tours on St. Maartin and had John for our guide. He was wonderful. Our group was a little varied in what we wanted to see and do but he made everyone happy and really gave us a great tour of his island. Awesome rum punch on both tours!!
I am a lemons to lemonade kind of person but to be honest, there was a bad sewage smell on the ship. It was very noticeable in several places. It was horrible at the top of the waterslides. We were on the Empress deck and we smelled it everyday. It didn't ruin our trip by any means but it does exist. Several people we met commented on it, agreed that Carnival needed to do something about it but also agreed that it didn't ruin the trip. We did see some very rude people on board but it was their choice to be rude and my choice to ignore them. I was on vacation and having a great time, not looking for things to complain about.
Lido buffet lines do get long but with 4100 people on board, what can you expect? Be patient and polite and it won't be that bad. Food is plentiful, staff is efficient and friendly.
We saw several shows. All were good but Dancing in the Streets was truly worth the wait to see it. Get there early to get a seat.
Disembarkation was easy. We did the self disembark option and were off the ship and through customs by 7:15. A quick call to John with Checkered Cab and we were on our way back to the Radisson to get out car and go home.
Overall, it was a spectacular vacation. Beautiful weather, friendly people and wonderful staff on board.