We left from the Port of Miami and loved the Port. Embarkation was for the most part pretty painless. We got to the port around 11 and we were onboard around 12:30ish. We headed up to the buffet which consisted of a few large rooms full of food & people. The food was typical cruise buffet faire and not bad at all. We have cruised Royal Caribbean and Princess but typically like Carnivals food the best. One thing we noticed on this cruise is we were not pushed to buy wine..drinks of the day..or anything else. That was nice. We ate at the "anytime" dining in the Lincoln Dining room and the food was great! We had a great waitstaff as well. Coco was our head waitress and we loved her!!! Once on board we found out our port order had been changed. We were going to go to Cozumel on day 3 and Roatan on day 5. We didn't really understand the change but..whatever..we were on VACATION! First day at sea was nice. We layed by the pool most of the day. No drinks again were pushed on us..in fact I think they had less folks working..maybe due to cutbacks?
First port was Grand Cayman. We went snorkeling. It was a blast!!! Grand Cayman is beautiful but VERY expensive. We went to Margaritaville..and ordered 2 margaritas and some chicken nachos...and the price on the menu said $35..but they then informed us..that was in Grand Cayman $$ and it really was $50 in US dollars. Seriously..for 2 margaritas..(small ones) and nachos? ..Oh well.. guess we can say..we have been to Margaritaville! LOL... Next day was Cozumel. We pretty much just shopped..and ate lunch at Panchos Backyard... two more BIG margaritas..and nachos..& guacamole...$35... now that was much better! :)
Belize.. it was cloudy and rainy..we snorkeled again.. off the ship..never got into the town.. the excursion company picked us up and brought us back..right to the ship. Awesome snorkeling there! The reef is amazing. We then did a couple of ship massages.. They were nice..but I wish they wouldn't push their products. Kinda messes up the experience when you feel you have to buy something after paying an increased price for the massage. Really the only thing that was pushed on us though. The second to the last day was rainy. They took us right by Roatan..then informed us we would not be docking as it was too windy. The ship info did not show it was that windy so I was a bit confused. The one thing many did wonder was that due to the change of itinerary...had they decided that there was not the time to stop? We will never know. Was bummed to miss Roatan..it looked beautiful from the ship.
The steakhouse... hefty upcharge but totally worth it! It was AMAZING!!! We went there for our anniversary dinner and were treated like royalty. We loved it. Go hungry though as the portions are huge.. It's a very elegant place...
The internet ... If you use their internet bar, I hope you don't mind smoke. Really poor design here as you have to go through the cigar (and cigarette) bar to get to the internet room. Don't understand that design at all. It's also pretty expensive and was a bit slow.
Our room was a balcony and our room steward kept it spotless. No complaints whatsoever there. We did do breakfast one day in the dining room however the buffet really was good for breakfast as they have an omelet bar and will make you eggs any way you would like there as well. They have a burrito bar on board that was awesome as well! They also have a sushi bar and a fish and chips place as well as a mongolian wok. We didn't get to these but never heard anything bad about them.
The shows were good and the comedians were funny. As for smoke..yes I agree..there was a bit more smoke than I like..but it was tolerable..
Debarkation was fine too. We did an everglades tour and so we got off pretty fast. Only snag was that they put one of our pieces of luggage in the wrong group...ooops Everglades tour was fun!
My hubby and I do like Carnival and would sail with them again anyday. Overall, they do a GREAT job.