We arrived early because we were traveling with other extended family members and thought it might take awhile to get from the hotel to the Carnival cruise terminal. We had 14 pieces of luggage plus each person had their own carry-on bag. There were 10 of us total. We received zone 1 boarding for our group. They did not start boarding until close to 12 noon. Once zone 1 was called, it was very easy getting on the ship, I had a drink in my hand within 15 minutes of boarding! The first day was very relaxed, we lounged by the pool as the kids swam.
We had a balcony stateroom which fit our needs perfectly. There was plenty of storage space under the queen bed for all of our luggage. The kids loved going out on the balcony every morning. Our steward knew all of our names and greeted us warmly every time we saw him. The boys enjoyed the different towel animals that greeted us every night when we got back to our room.
We ate at the Gold Pearl dining room. Our waiter Herman was wonderful! He was very attentive to all of our needs. The dinner service was about 2 hours long if you had dessert. The kids brought their Nintendo DS to help pass the time. For breakfast we usually ate in the dining room also, my husband and I got tired of running all over the place at the Lido Buffet. It was more relaxing to be served.
The boys enjoyed camp carnival, when they they got tired of swimming they would go there and hang out. It gave my husband and I some alone time. We enjoyed hanging out at the adult only pool with our favorite cocktail the Carnival Cruiser!
We saw 2 Vegas type shows, with singing and dancing, even the boys enjoyed it! One night we saw 2 comedians which my husband and I loved. We took advantage of the camp carnival late night babysitting. When we picked up the boys close to midnight, they didn't want to leave, they were having fun playing hide and go seek!
The whole family loved the cruise and would do it again. It can get expensive with the drinks, casino and late night babysitting. It all adds up fast. When day 7 arrived, we were ready to go home. We did self assist with our luggage and was in the car driving home before 9am.