My husband and I, our son (24), daughter (22) and our daughter's boyfriend (20) stayed at the Comfort Inn in Hollywood, Fla which gets mixed reviews but we found it to be adequate for a pre cruise stay. It's nice to relax around the pool with inexpensive drinks and a free breakfast the next morning. We booked the POM package and caught the 9:30 shuttle the next morning.
We arrived at the POM around 10:30 and got boarding group 2. Embarkation was smooth and we were on the Lido deck having lunch by noon.
My husband and I booked a premium vista balcony cabin and the kids had inside cabins (age has to have some perks!) The balcony was HUGE and we all enjoyed sitting out there at night watching the stars. Bertel, our cabin steward worked his invisible magic and kept our cabin tidy even though we barely saw him. If we did happen to run into him in the hallway, he knew all of us by name and always asked how our day was going.
Food - We had early dining in the Lincoln dining room. The food varied from excellent to mediocre, nothing was terrible but some meals were better than others. Pot roast excellent. Mahai Mahai mediocre. Our waiter, Wilfredo was very good and knew our names and preferences by the second night.
We ate at the steakhouse once and although the atmosphere was wonderful, the steaks were not great and the surf and turf portion size was small - 3oz filet mignon and a very small lobster tail. The buffet food was very good with lots of choices and easy to find seating. We usually ate upstairs near the fish and chips restaurant and were sometimes the only ones up there!
Entertainment - If you like karaoke and bingo, you'll be set. The shows were okay but not as professional as we've experienced on other ships. Comedians were definitely R rated and seating filled up fast.
We LOVED the serenity area of the ship. It was quiet, relaxing and free. Other cruise lines charge for this feature.
Disembarkation was well organized and efficient. We had breakfast in the Washington dining room that morning and our group was called around 9am. Once off the ship, we were directed to our bus taking us to the FLL airport.
We all thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and experienced some of the best service we've ever had. Carnival far exceeded our expectations and we would not hesitate to sail with Carnival again.