This was mine and my husband's first cruise. We never really get the chance to travel that often so what better way to spend our Honeymoon than to sample a bunch of different places! We arrived in Miami the Friday night before we cruised and stayed at the Miami Hilton. It wasn't bad at all! There wasn't much to do around the hotel but since we arrived that night and had to board the cruise around 12:30p the next day it didn't matter:) Carnival had sent a bus for us (and about 15 other passengers who were staying at the hotel)around 12p and it took us directly to port. The embarkation process really wasn't that bad at all, it took about 35 minutes max from the time we got off the bus to the time we got on the ship. We left our luggage and it was ready for us in our room at around 2:30p. It was just enough time to walk around the ship, grab a quick bite to eat and a drink and then we were ready to unpack everything! It was our first time cruising so we really didn't know what to expect but we ended up loving everything about the ship! At times yes, it was a little crowded (especially around lunch and dinner at the buffet). But really, what do you expect when you take your vacation with 2,000 other people?:) If you just know that before going in and learn to have fun with it, you'll have a great time!
As far as the food goes, it wasn't anything to write home about but it was good! It was your typical buffet and we were totally fine with that:) Being able to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic while sipping a cup of coffee and munching on a piece of bacon is bliss. It didn't matter to us that we weren't in a 5 star restaurant, we were on a cruise for our Honeymoon and were just excited for all of the ports!:) As far as the seated dining went each night, that was great! We had lobster, steak, etc. And the amazing thing is...you don't have to order just one lobster, you can order like 15 if you want! (Ok, that might be a little excessive haha. We only ordered one entree per person per night but the point is...you can order it if you want to! Why not, you're on VACATION right?!) The other awesome part of this is that they sit you with people who have common interests. We sat next to a couple who were close to our age and on their one year anniversary and they were super friendly! Every night we would all talk about our experiences that day. It was great!
The shows and such on the ship...we didn't really go to any of them. Just not our cup of tea I guess. We went to a comedy show one night and it was kind of funny...we also went to a musical but walked out within 10 minutes. Really...well, not great haha:) We both like to get up early in the morning so we don't miss a thing so we spent a lot of the time in the casino, pool and just walking around with fun drinks! We didn't really stay out late at the on board clubs.
We had a balcony room and as I stated before...waking up to the sun rising over the Atlantic every morning is Heaven! I know they say that once you have a balcony, you never go back and it has to be true! This was one of my favorite parts of the cruise!
As far as the ports go, I'll cover all of those in the "port reviews." Overall, the cruise was great, we had a blast! We've actually already booked our next cruise for our One Year Anniversary on the Legend!