Let me start by saying that this cruise more for my 19 year old son and not for myself. Carnival Cruise Line isn't always the first line I look at when booking a cruise. With that being said, I was looking for a ship that I thought my son would have a good time on without being bored for 7 days and give me a chance to relax and have a good time as well.
Embarkation. We arrived at the terminal at approx. 12:00. My parents drove us to the port because they didn't want me to have to pay for the outragous amount at the port. ($15 a day! When we first started sailing out of Canaveral it was $4) We waited in line to get into the terminal as they did their security checks but once we got into the terminal, check in went fast and smooth. We waited maybe 30 minutes to get on board.
Cabin. We were in the bottom of the ship, inside cabin. The cabin was larger than I expected. Far larger than any inside cabin I have ever been in. An upper and a lower but we didn't mind because we weren't expecting to be in the cabin for any amount of time. I worked for to guys.
Food. the food was typical cruise line food. The new menus fit my sons eating habits well while they had things that I enjoy as well. We also took the opportunity to eat at the steak house and it was very good. Glad to see that Carnival has started catering to people that want something different. I have to say that Carnival does know how to do buffets! The Mongolian buffet was awesome as was the pasta bar and sandwich bar. All made to order and not just sitting out under a heat lamp. We had lunch there every day!
Ports and Excursions. Since we had been to some of these port before, we only booked two excursions. Snorkeling in Belize and Mayan Ruins in Costa Maya. both were amazing! Well organized and on time. However; the cost was outrageous! I can't believe the prices they charge for these now. No wonder people are booking independently from the Cruise Lines now! That's another one of the other reasons we didn't book at the other ports
Service. Service is hugh with me. If the service is not up to par I will think twice before booking again. Room steward was great. Knew me and my son by name and said "hi" every time he saw us. Even when we were on a different deck! The service in the dining room as not as great! The server didn't bother to learn our names until the 2nd day. The only time we saw the assistant was when he brought bread or took our dessert orders. We had so many different Bar servers ask us if we wanted drinks from the bar a night i lost count. But not once did the server ask if I wanted anything other than water. It seemed as though he was just overwhelmed with tables to give any kind of service. And cruise lines really need to stop with pushing the "tip the head waiter! Saw him twice: once on the 2nd day and once when he came by to collect a tip. I did not and will not tip for that!
I started by saying this was a cruise for my son...he had a great time. He was able to do things on this cruise he couldn't in the past. He gambled (broke even) got to go to the late night comedy (big fan) and go to the dance clubs. So I would say that I choose wisely for his graduation gift.