Embarkation: We drove to the port and unloading & parking was fine, but it took about 2 hours to sign in and we arrived around 11:30. The sign in process was awful. Lines were long and winding. We went on Disney last year and it didn't take hardly any time to sign in. Don't believe the myth of filling in the FunPass and it taking a shorter time. They didn't even look at it. Just laid it aside.
Rooms: We had a cabin with a balcony, which was nice. Our daughter and husband had an inside cabin and it was definitely much smaller than the one on Disney last year. They have 2 children and it was a tight fit. Balcony was adequate size and we enjoyed it.
Service and dining: We did a Carnival cruise a few years ago and I believe service and food have gone downhill. Our room steward was Jenny and she did a really good job, but before on Carnival there were always surprises in our rooms at night. This time there were the little towel animals, but nothing extraordinary. Food in the dining room was okay, but not great. We had one server, Rashna, that was great! We had our 4 grandchildren, ages 8, 5, 4, & 2 with us and she talked with them a lot, but Enrico was not very friendly. His service was adequate, just not what we expected. Again, Disney catered to our children and that is important to us.
Ports: We went cave tubing in Belize with Reggie's Cave Tubing (we booked our own excursions). It was great. Reggie, Tim & J were very reliable and conscientious about where we were at all times. We took our oldest granddaughter, age 8, with us and she did great! We also have us grandmothers, ages 50-55, and we did okay also. Reggie was about $15 per person cheaper than ship and the group was smaller. We were pleased.
In Progresso we took the bus to downtown and booked the tour to a resort called Reef Yucatan and to the Xcamba Ruins. You can book it right there at the little market they drop you off at. It was a very nice resort with pools and the beach and there was hardly anybody there. We basically had the pool to ourselves. The Xcamba Ruins are small and when we got there we were the only ones there. We did not want to take the time for the bus ride to Chichaniza. We had a really good time!
My husband, son in law & a friend went deep sea fishing in Costa Maya. They enjoyed it, but might not do that again. All in all, we feel like we did better booking our excursions ourselves and were very pleased with all we did.
Entertainment: We enjoyed the 2 Broadway type shows, the illusionist was adequate, but not great. Can't say anything about the comic on the last night of the cruise, except that after about the first few words out of this mouth, we left. Why would you allow such profanity in what we thought was going to be a show we could allow our children to be in? We were VERY DISAPPOINTED! No one announced this show would be R rated.
John, our cruise director, did a great job but several times it got a little risque for our tastes. I will say the "talent show" was about the funniest thing I've seen in a long time!
It was a good trip and we enjoyed the cruise, but with our children and we are not gamblers, not alcohol drinkers and not people who go to x rated shows at midnight, we would probably not do a Carnival cruise again. I believe we will stick with Disney!
I'm sure this review will not bid well with a lot of people, but I believe there are people like us who would like just good clean fun and like to be entertained where you don't have to worry about your children. They are very important to us!