Embarkation was a pretty simple process. I pictured having to wait in line for hours but we need not. We got there, checking in, were seated for about 20 minutes and then we were on the ship.
This was my first cruise was I was quite impressed with the size. I loved it. It not a luxury cruise so I did not expect such. I thought the ship would be more geared towards kids and families. I actually found it to be pretty nice and it was not childish at all.
We immediately went to Serenity the adults only area. And layed out on the lounge chairs. This is where we spent every morning during port days. We met Sandip and Iona and they remembered us by name and provided great drink service - all week long!! They were great, made us laugh, and it was nice getting to have the same people around.
The dining was great. The Normandie Resturant (the main dining room) was excellent. You can order as many apps, entrees, and desserts as you want. The was only one evening where I really did like anything on the menu. So I just had apps and then we got room service. We also enjoyed the pizza and ice cream at all hours of the night.
We would get up around 6am and grab breakfast and then go lounge out on the Serenity deck. I loved this routine. Could do it every day!! We always just got breakfast from the Mermaid Grille - Lido Deck. My breakfast was always a muffin and some fresh fruit. We also always ate lunch there also. Lots of choices but somewhat like cafeteria food. But it was enough because we always ate so much at dinner!!!
The first port of call was Grand Turk. It is goregous there. The shopping was not for me. I am more of a souvenir shoppers than expensive jewelry. However, Margaritaville was great. We need lay out on the beach for awhile but it was so hot and the water has rocky coral all over the bottom - so its very hard to walk around in the water. This day was great. Margaritaville has a huge pool open to everyone. We grabbed some chairs by the pool and ordered some buckets of beer and relaxed all day to some great music. My fiancee and his brother did go snorkeling for awhile with their own gear. I'm not sure where they went exactly because I was lounging. But they raved about everything they saw.
The next port was paradise!!! HALF MOON CAY!!! This is Carnival's private island. Which didn't exactly interest me at first because I thought there would be nothing to do. We grabbed lounge chairs and layed out and went in the ocean when we would get hot. First off, this place was great. They had a reggae band playing all day. And the rules here are so different then America. We had the same drink servers as we did on the ship and they were great. We had serveral drinks and you can take them in the water with you and listen to the band. We felt like we went to live on an island. Carnival provided a picnic lunch. Which was great we didnt have to buy lunch while in port. They food was ok, it was so hot outside so the fruit and everything that should be cold was warm. And theyre were wild chickens running around. Which was very odd to me!! We loved this day. And as many will say the sign is very true "I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever."
Next port was Freeport...ugh. This port is a scam. It is very industrial and I think they have a deal with Carnival. Its a trap. You get of the boat and there are a few huts with shops and they have a band playing and it looked fun. You have to take a cab to get to the beach or to more shops - it is $5 a person. Then when you get to the beach it's awful. So small you cant lay out. And the people harass you all day. They drove me nuts...they dont leave you alone even if you say no. The shops were ok. Expensive jewelry and the rest is just dirty. We stayed at a dive bar for awhile but we were just bored. Got back on the ship early.
We had a balcony cabin. I enjoyed the balcony to get fresh air and sit and look out. Overall, this cruise was great. Next time, I will research ports a little more. But, Carnival was great. I am now hooked on cruises! We did and saw some much in a week.