Let me start out by saying that this was our first cruise so we had no idea what to expect. We had heard a lot of good and bad about Carnival but figured we would try it on our own. We booked the Eastern Caribbean cruise stopping at Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Grand Turk.
In regards to everything on the ship, we had no issues with anything at all. I think the problem with a lot of people on here with their reviews are that they whine and complain about every little thing. If you have to wait in line for dinner a few minutes, who cares you're on vacation. If you were unimpressed with something at the buffet, get something else. If your not waited on hand and foot and served with a silver spoon, who cares and enjoy your vacation. If you are sitting around complaining you shouldn't even go on vacation. The people working on the ship are willing to go above and beyond every expectation you have of them. With that being said, we had an amazing time, the food was OUTSTANDING in the dining room as well as at Emile's on the Lido deck. The entertainment was great! If you are into comedy, the Adults only comedy later on at night was hysterical. Joe Bronzi and Smiley Joe Wiley made us laugh so much we went three days straight. All of the little shops were nice to walk around and see as well.
The ship is nicely decorated with all types of different rooms and lounges such as the Paparazzi bar, the Piano bar, "The Stage", Night Club, Gloves sports bar, and many others. There is always something going on all of the main decks.
Info on all of the Ports-of-Call:
Half Moon Cay was absolutely beautiful. We were looking forward to this one because we had heard Carnival has one of the most beautiful private islands among all of the different cruise lines. Piece of advice would be to get down to the Venetian Palace early so that you can get one of the first tender boats over (this is your only tender port the whole week). If you are big into snorkeling, there is some nice snorkeling by the private cabana on the far left of the beach. The beach BBQ that Carnival provided was also very nice and well organized.
St. Thomas was amazing. The scenery is like nothing I had ever seen before. We took an excursion to Magen's Bay (A MUST SEE) and a shopping trip downtown in Charlotte Amalie. St. Thomas was a lot of fun because there is so much to see and do. Magen's Bay is supposed to be one of the nicest beaches in the world and it lived up to the hype. There are also some nice shops and places to eat right by the dock.
San Juan was nice as well but not as much to do. I recommend walking to the El Morro and San Cristobal castles as they were very nice. Right off the dock there are very touristy places like Senor Frogs that gets super crowded. We found a little restaurant right across from Pier 3/4 called Punta Vista. Cheap food & beer made for a great lunch.
Grand Turk is the MAIN reason we booked this cruise because the Carnival Liberty stopped there. The islands of Turks & Caicos is a very small island that is not very built up but the water and scenery are absolutely breathtaking. We did the Catamaran Sail & Snorkel excursion (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) through Oasis tours. We boarded the "Sea Passion" catamaran and set sail for our snorkeling. We stopped at a reef widely known as the Grand Turk Wall. We were snorkeling in 35 ft. of water and it quickly drops to 7,000 ft! It was an experience I will never forget.
MY ONLY COMPLAINT ABOUT THE WHOLE CRUISE (not really a complaint) would be that the bar prices are a little overpriced. But knowing that they lose money on other things they have to make up for it somehow. I recommend each guest bringing a bottle of wine or champagne like they allow you too. Overall we had an amazing time and are already planning another Carnival Cruise for next summer. For the price that Carnival charges compared to most other cruise lines, it can't be beat.