Sailed out of Port Canaveral on Oct 1, 2011. We did a park and sail from Country Inn and suites. We arrived at the port, it was the easiest embarkation I have ever encountered!!!! through security and through check-in in under 10 minutes. We arrived at approx. 10:45 and had a few minutes wait until we were able to board the ship.
Our room was very nice. I was a little disappointed at how long I had to wait for the steward to show up at our room. I had called to get our fridge and the upper bunk lowered, as to start settling in. We were in our room by 1:45 and it was almost 5 before the stewared showed up. We had two of our suitcases by 2 pm and the other showed up around 7. The rooms were not that clean. Items had been left by prior occupants, and the cleaning crew had missed them. It was nothin major.
We enjoyed walking around the boat. I was dissappointed that it took so long to open the waterworks and the pool. We were traveling with our 11 year old.
We signed him up for Camp Carnival when we got on board. He has done CC tow other times and loved it. It was a large area located on deck 11, which was great as our cabin was on 11.
We had dinner in the Crimson, the first nite. It was a typical Carnival dinner, we kinda felt rushed. The rest of the dinners were typical. Steaks were decent, deserts were good. Had the feeling of constantly being rushed. Had to ask for coffee and refills didnt exist without asking. The maitre'd was good.
As for the ship it self it was beautiful.
As for the abilty to eat on the ship other than dinner. It was horrible. They buffet lines start on the outside and everything comes to a head in the middle. Very slow and not well thought out. Getting something to drink was a nitemare. the drinks were in a corner, only one person at a time could even get into the corner. Unlike the other ships I have been on, this was a bad location. The specialty lines (Tandori, Mongolian and the Pasta and the Sandwich shop) were only open like 3 hours a day. If you wanted a snack after 3 pm, all you could get was a pizza or hamburger.
As far as the ports of call, it was raining at Cozumel and we have been there several times, we enjoyed a rrainy day on the ship that was very empty.
Belize had warning about not leaving the port shopping area and taking plenty of bug spray, not to mention a 20-35 minute tender and people who had excursions had priortiy. I heard of some people waiting tow hours before they could tender. So once again we enjoyed a virtually emtpy ship.
At Isle of Roatan, we got off, tried the chairlift to the beach. itw as decnet until another Carnival ship, the Valor showed up. this stop is not large enough to handle that volume of people. Not to mention, I was charged 12% tax on everything I bought with the exception of the Duty Free Shop.
Costa Maya was carvedout of the jungle and is just a bunch of shops. Most ecxcursions we looked at, you have an hour to 2 hours ride to your excursions point. Not for us.
The entertainment was top notch. The cloud 9 spa, was not large enough for the volume of people on the ship.
I will say that the amount of older people in wheelchairs and the amount of smokers were amazing. I love to sit out on the deck and eat while at sea. It was definelty a no go on this one, unless your a heavy smokee. I thin kI got cancer from sitting out on lido deck. The ship was great, a lot of rude people on it though.
Dis-embarkation was a breeze, although a monsoon was hitting port. We did the self disembarkation, We waited in the showlounge on deck three, they let the Platinum memebers go first, about 10 mintues later we were allowed, it only took about 10 minutes to leave boat, go downstairs and go through customs. Port Canaveral has it going on as far as boarding and leaving the ship. Had a good time, despite 12-15 waves and the rain... I would do it again!