My husband and I drove to Ft. Lauderdale where we met our family who had flown in. Together we drove to the Port of Miami where we parked our car for free because we had a handicapped tag. The embarkation process was easy and quick.
My husband and I had an adjoining room with our daughter, son-in-law and 2 1/2 year old granddaughter. This was a first cruise for them, second for us. We chose Carnival because their childcare program (Camp Carnival) goes down to two year old children (most other ships start at age 3).
Our staterooms were quite spacious. There was no engine noise where we were near the forward end even though we were down on the lowest passenger deck. Our staterooms were a little worn looking (rip in the bed skirt, chips in the sinks, chunks of trim missing on counters) but everything was very clean. Bedding was of good quality and comfortable.
All the staff people we encountered were pleasant, helpful and efficient.
We ate dinner at the early seating. Food was very good and nicely presented. Some nights the adult meals were a bit slow in coming (wouldn't have been a problem, except the two year old was getting squirmy after sitting for an hour). The "spa" meals - lower in calories, fat, etc. - were fish on 4 of 5 nights. Disappointing for my daughter who doesn't eat fish!
We enjoyed the shows, the comedy, trivia contests, art auction. Wish the kids' pool had been open. There were an awful lot of activities that were geared to buying things, but no one makes you go!!
Disembarking was easy and efficient.
HALF MOON CAY
We took the EcoTour with our granddaughter. We were disappointed that the guide had her dialog memorized and only knew the script. There were two shore birds on a sandbar and I asked her what kind of birds they were. She said, "sandpipers". But what kind of sandpipers, I wondered? She looked at me for a moment and said very distinctly: Sandpipers. It wasn't that she wasn't a good guide, but she had no knowledge of things other that what was scripted.
We also went on the Snorkeling by Boat excursion. It was great!! (Granddaughter snoozed on deck while the adults took turns in the water!)
The lunch buffet on the beach was good. The lines to take the tender back to the boat were long, but we enjoyed every moment of the snorkeling, so it was worth it!