Arrival: We drove from Upstate NY and it took 5:15 hrs to get to the pier. following the signs and waiting in traffic it only took about 20 minutes to pull up and have the men unload the luggage from the trunk( tip on that), then we paid cash to park our car at $15.00 a day. From the time we parked in the open lot and dragged our 1 carrier-on to the front door,thru the disney style ropes and security then getting our Sail and Sign car was about 40 minutes. Not bad compared to Florida.
Our room was not ready and we had read that it takes about 2 hrs till it is, as they had just finished disembarking the previous folks, so we went up to the Lido and relaxed and watched the people as they came into the port with a few cocktails in hand. Our arrival at the pier - 12:45PM -getting on the ship about 1:30PM and then finding our luggage at our door- 3:30PM. Not bad we thought.
Sunday-Monday-Tuesday at Sea and also at 7knots..very calm
Wednesday - The ports were a welcome stop...after 2 1/2 days on the ship it was nice to get off.Wednesday- Now I'm not a big cheapskate but when you get off at Cape Canaveral, they try and direct you to a $16.95 per person bus ride to Ron John's(surfing type store) in Coco Beach. AGAIN...after reading this website it was suggested to just walk about 10 feet farther and look for the shuttle bus that says Radisson. It's free(tip the driver) they drop you off 25 feet from where the other people paid $34.00. We went into this store which is exactly like Ron John's. Then we walked the 3 blocks to Coco beach and finally got something to eat at Quizzno's subs. We went back to where we were dropped off and a large bus came( from a different company) and he took everyone back to the ship no matter what bus you got there on(tip again).
Thursday - Nassau was great..what can you say..nice and sunny and not that hot. We went to Atlantis and went to see the aquarium.
Friday - Freeport - took the bus ride to a few shopping sites. I should say the first one is like a flea market, shopping bags, rusty key chains and clothing. Then they stop in another fancier shopping area( Port Lucaya)....same clothes ..same rusty key chains...same shopping bags. But at least they took us on a tour of some residential developments and the homes are very nice.
Heading home at 25 knots. Still a calm ride.
Getting off the boat...we had 3 big suitcases and the carry-on that had wheels. We were on the 6th floor and to get out with self-assist ..YOU carry all your bags and if you think you can use the elevator your wrong. They are packed...so start dragging them down the stairs if that's what you want to do. Wear some skin guards too from everyone else that hits you with their bags...you and the other 1,000 trying to be first.. If you have to catch a plane they will get you off first.
We decided not to cause a scene and opted to let them take our bags the night before. We were given a blue tag # 15. They start calling "self-assist" by decks...then numbers 1-5,then 6-8..not decks just the number they gave you until they got to 13-15 and we were off.
TO THOSE WHO TRY AND SNEAK OFF if you have your bags checked with them...just relax. I talked to a guy with his family...he just walked off with the self-assist people no luggage just a few carry -on ones to make it look good.He had checked his main luggage the night before....there is a reason they have them drag their own luggage off - you get checked at Customs WITH YOUR BAGS. NO BAGS.... NO getting out...you just sit in the "bad boy area" with the others that tried to get out. till your bags( the number they gave you the night before) is called. They check the luggage when you get off. Had I went any earlier...number 15 was still being checked and I'd have been sitting with the others.
I wanted to get off and get driving but they didn't start letting people off till 8:45AM...I got out at 11:30 and it was really easy. Just pulling the 1 carry - on luggage...thru Customs..grab your bags in section 15 and head out the door. From the time I hit the gangway till out side with all my luggage walking thru the parking lot 15 minutes tops.
The crew was great...the food was fine both in the Normandie and up on the Lido. We had early seating and sat with 2 other great couple's. We did go to David's the steakhouse for $30.00 per person and it was well worth it. The first few days we went up to the Lido to get our breakfast but then we just went to the Normandie and they make the eggs fresh no fake eggs like on the Lido. Omelet's all freshly made and tomato juice which isn't available on the Lido just orange juice.
We went to most all the shows and the adult comedians ones and they were all great to see and hear.
I've read other post's and I see that some people were complaining about the Pride and decor and "nude pictures" on the walls and ceilings. NO BIG DEAL.. It's a ship...salt water causes rust..every-time we stopped at a port guy's came alongside and started sandblasting and painting the outside of the ship. The inside was very clean and kept up as best as possible. Other's said it was like a floating Walmart(the people)..NOT..I had an enjoyable time as did my wife and we will do Carnival Cruise Lines again