We arrived at PIER 90 in NYC at 11 A.M and were onboard by 12:15 PM without incident. I would reccomend not booking a suite on deck 8, directly below the lido deck due to noise considerations, Other then that the suites are very quiet.
The first stop was Grand Turk. My wife and I were concerned that we might find the island somewhat in disarray in the wake of Hurricane Irene, but to our delight the island was immaculate. We grabbed a couple of lounge chairs and enjoyed the beach as well as a few drinks. The next day we were tendered to Half Moon Key, CARNIVALS private island, PURE PARADISE!! We enjoyed para-sailing as well as another beach day. The last island is Nassau. I have to say I agree with many other reviewers who wish Carnival would drop this overcrowded island from this itinerary. The residents are always on the make trying to sell you something,ANYTHING. it really gets annoying and you end up having to get very blunt with people to be left alone.
The staff was professional and courteous but are clearly overworked. Some staff confided that 17 hr days are the norm. The staff is always friendly when engaged, but when not directly in conversation the exhaustion in many of their faces is clearly visible.
ONE NOTE OF CAUTION: I am an avid video poker player. I urge you to carefully check the payback scale as it was confusing and contradictory.
We enjoyed the SAMS PIANO BAR and were found BILLY very talented and engaging.
I RECCOMEND THIS CRUISE WHOLE HEARTEDLY.