We arrived at the terminal on Sunday at 12 pm. After a 30 wait in line, we unloaded our luggage. This process was a bit slower then we were use to at other ports, as they only had 2 lines moving and a lot of cars to unload. The luggage porters were both very helpful and pleasant. We then paid for our parking and got ready to start our journey. Security lines were long, but within 45 minutes we were onboard and headed up to the Lido deck for lunch.
The food was very good everywhere on board. We ate on the Lido deck, the Main Dining Room and had room service. The only time we felt service was slow was on the continental breakfast that was delivered by room service each morning (This service is offered to everyone, you do not have to choose to do this, but, it is nice to have coffee, juice and fruit delivered to your cabin each day). We selected the times to have it delivered and there were a few occasions they were about 15-30 minutes late. Other then that, it was great. Be sure to try the chilled soups in the Main Dining Room and don't miss the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake!
Our cabin was an extended balcony stateroom and was very nice. It was a bit cold on the balcony for the first few days, but we bundled up and enjoyed it! We saw dolphins, birds and even a submarine! Our 12 year old was in heaven! The cabin stewards did a great job keeping our room clean and stocked with towels.
The entertainment was good. The shows seemed a bit less polished then we had seen in the past, but we did enjoy them. We also took advantage of seeing the comics on board in the Punchline Comedy Club. There were 4 comics during our cruise. We only attended the Family Friendly shows and they were all great.
Our visit to the Ports of Call were great. We did not use the ships Excursion Desk because we have learned from previous cruises, we can do better when we get to port. A good example of this was in Port Canaveral. Carnival charges $17.00 per person for a shuttle to Cocoa Beach. When you get off the ship, there is a Courtesy Shuttle that is offered by Cocoa Beach Surf Shop and it takes you to the same location as the paid shuttle and brings you back to the ship for FREE! This is a great way to go! The shuttle drivers are friendly and give good info on the area. The shuttles were clean and had AC. In Nassau we did some shopping and then went to Atlantis and Cabbage Beach. The beach was nice and clean. There were a few venders selling trinkets and wanting to braid hair, but if you told them you were not interested, they left you alone. In Freeport we also did some shopping and went to the beach. We were surprised at how well the port in Freeport looked. It has grown since we were last there. Only thing about Freeport is the port is very industrial and you have to go through that area to get to the shopping and beach. Once you get to the beach, you will have a good time.
After arriving back in Baltimore, we chose Self Assist to get off the boat. The lines were long, but moved quickly. The only problem we saw were other guests being impatient and not wanting to wait in line to get off the ship. There were several other passengers that just cut in front of people and were rude. But this was not Carnival's fault, people just get grouchy when their vacation is over!
Again, we were very pleasantly surprised and happy about our trip. I am not sure what the other cruisers were complaining about!