This was my first ever cruise, and we booked with Carnival because we got a good deal from my mother's friend who is a travel agent, and she was booking a group cruise, and if we booked with her, it was much cheaper, so for our family vacation, we decided to go to Bermuda, which was a 7 day cruise, and we were docked for 3 days in Bermuda, which I thought was nice, you got to spend more time on the island than on other cruises.
We arrived in NYC at 11:30 am, the boat was scheduled to start boarding passengers at 1:00 pm. We got a ride from a relative, so parking was not necessary for us, and we went inside the terminal, and we got out boarding passes and we went through customs and security and got our room keys/sail and sign cards in under 20 minutes. We only had to wait to board the ship for about 10 minutes, and Carnival even opened the gang plank earlier so people didn't have to wait in the waiting area. The rooms wouldn't be ready until 1:30, so we all went to the Lido deck, and they already had a beautiful buffet lunch prepared, it was delicious, and we walked around the Sun Deck and explored, and by the time we noticed, it was already 2:00, so we went to our rooms. The rooms we got were Interior rooms, they were beautiful, I saw no need for a balcony or grand suite when everything was already in the room, and it was not cramped at all, and it was clean and beautiful!
We had 2 fun days at sea, where we went to shows, which were beautifully done, very nice entertainment, except the one comedian I saw, every other joke was about bestiality and masturbation, he really didn't amuse me, but the show times were SPECTACULAR, we saw "Generations", "A Ticket to Ride", and some singer, I forget his name, but he was awesome! The entertainment was beautifully arranged.
Meals at the Bacchus Dining Room were exquisite. The food was absolutely amazing, everything was hot and cooked and just tasted delicious, and there were tons of options for you, no one went back to the cabin hungry!
The staff were just marvelous. Everywhere you went, they ALL send hello and how is your day, and it was just wonderful. We had a waiter, his name was Pande, and he treated my family like gold, we always requested him, he knew all of our named, knew my grandmother liked hot tea with her meals, and knew what we were all getting for dessert. We also had an assistant waitress, Mirjana, and she was WONDERFUL, she was very nice, and we called her my cousins' girlfriend, she was just wonderful. The bar tenders knew what we wanted to drink as soon as we came up, the staff I give an 11 out of 10. They were phenomenal, and I tipped everyone I saw, they deserved it!
And another thing, the boat was CLEAN. There was absolutely NO DUST anywhere I went, the carpets were stain free, the chairs and couches and tables were always polished and smelled brand new, the beds and sheets were never dirty, I did not have one single complaint about the cleanliness of this ship, even the decks did not have one speck of sand or dirt on them, the windows were streak free, it was just amazing how hard these people worked.
Our cruise director, Malcolm "woo hoo" was very informative and funny and always involved with cruise activities and very friendly, we were never left in the dark about anything, he always announced changes in the itinerary (which never had periods of time without activities) and he was just amazing throughout the whole cruises. The assistant cruise director, Leslie "Sparkles" was very helpful too, she helped throughout the cruise, and she was amazing all throughout Disembarking too.
My family and I chose the self-assist program, which was carrying out your own luggage, and it worked out wonderfully. As soon as we docked back in NYC, we were called, and it was only a small line that went by very quickly to leave the ship, and it was great. It only took about 15 minutes to get off the ship and terminal and back onto land.
Overall, this was a wonderful cruise for my first time. The boat was immaculate, the staff was impeccable, ALL of the food was to DIE FOR, and it was just an amazing experience for me, I wish I lived on that ship it was so nice!