First I'll start by saying overall our party had a great time. I traveled with 3 fellow teachers, my mom, my honey, my sister, her honey, and my 3 year old nephew. There was something for everyone on this trip.
I flew into Ft. Lauderdale Friday afternoon, simply because I was tired of working, and stayed at the Sleep Inn. It was minutes from the airport and their shuttle picked me up. Saturday morning I used SAS to get to the Port of Miami and met my family there. No troubles. It was a little after noon and the check in lines were long, but my honey and I were in good spirits and the lines moved quickly. We were on the ship headed to our cabin by 1 pm.
We stayed on the main deck (inside cabin) 2345. Our room was always tidy. We had a clogged shower drain and a safe that didn't work, but those things were fixed immediately. It did take 3 requests to have our mini bar opened. Overall, we had no real complaints about the cabin or the location.
The ship was beautiful and clean. The staff was always working very hard. After watching one of the shows about how each area of the ship was decorated I could appreciate it so much more. I started to pay attention to everything. Some of the lounge singers and musicians were a little cheesy, but it was entertaining nonetheless. I attended the first song and dance show at the Venetian (the name escapes me) and the juggling comedian...pretty good stuff. Apparently, my family and I are the few people in the world who enjoy karaoke. Whenever we decided to go it was dead. The nightclubs (and the music) seemed to be a lot livelier when the teens were in there than it was for the adults.
I should mention the food here...it was pretty decent. Sometimes breakfast on the Lido deck was overly crowded, we took that as our cue to head to the dining room. Lunches were a little better, lots of variety. The Mongolian station was always crowded, but well worth the wait. We had sushi from Origami quite a few times, it was awesome. The pizza, deli, and burrito bars...we could have skipped those. By far, Harry's steakhouse was the highlight for food. We made the mistake of going there Thursday night for dinner. It was very difficult to eat in the dining room on Friday night. Dining room crab cakes and lobster bisque were nothing compared to the same items that were prepared at Harry's. I'm not saying the dining room food was bad, it just wasn't Harry's. Every other night I totally enjoyed it. I got a huge kick out of my waiters singing happy birthday to me...then singing the Stevie Wonder version of it when prompted by my tablemates. They were very sweet guys and the chocolate birthday cake was to die for!
The ports were exactly as expected, BEAUTIFUL. I had been to them all except for Grand Turk. My honey was a first timer so we grabbed a taxi in St. Thomas for a tour before heading to Magen's bay for a while. We also did a foot trek through Old San Juan before hanging out in Senor Frog's. No excursions this trip since Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk seemed to be good just for lounging on the beach. I didn't really see the need for a cabana either. We weren't the first off the ship but were still able to secure loungers for our entire party and have a great time at both locations. Margaritaville was also a good time, but at this point I could have used another day at sea.
Overall, the trip was great. Debarkation was a breeze. We were up and ready to go at 7:30, so we headed to the photo gallery to pick up some of our overpriced photos that we had made copies of. While there we noticed people leaving, although we heard no announcements. No problem, got our pictures, headed down to the Venetian, and walked off the ship. Breezed through customs and our SAS van was waiting to take us to the airport. I could write three more pages about the airport, but that' not why I'm here. My family had an amazing time. We will cruise together again soon. The next time may not be with Carnival, but they are still on the list of future cruises.