This was my first Carnival cruise and I will definitely be coming back again and again! We booked the pre- and post-cruise transfers through Carnival and we will never do that again! It took us 2 hours to get to the ship once we had our bags. Lesson learned... We decided to upgrade our balcony stateroom to a Junior Suite when a Carnival representative called about a week before the cruise. I had no idea, but Carnival has an office in Colorado Springs. The upgrade was worth it's weight in gold for the VIP priority embarkation. It only took us 10 minutes to get onto the ship. We had a nice lunch on the Lido deck and enjoyed a few drinks before the Sail Away party. We ended up skipping the Sail Away party and nearly missed late dinner seating because we decided to lay down for a nap. :)
We spent plenty of time in the casino during the cruise because we love to play Blackjack. Don't forget to get your $5 match play cards every time you order a drink from the Shogun Casino Bar. I played in one of the Blackjack Tournaments, but just didn't get the cards. Oh well, we just about broke even for the week.
We thought that the entertainment on the ship was great! Far From Over was a fantastic production! Our Cruise Director, Big Tex, tried very hard, but I think that the rest of the entertainment staff was more enthusiastic overall. The deck and pool games were lots of fun. I helped the male team win the deck games on the last day at sea (I was the splits guy).
We went to Scarletts Steakhouse on Wednesday night. It was the dining highlight on the cruise. $30 per person for a 5-course meal...GREAT DEAL! Next time we will do the Chef's Table. We went to all of the buffets and made extensive use of Room Service (it was our honeymoon).
I even played Carnival Laser Tag in the Ivanhoe Lounge one night. It was a blast!