First of all this was my sixth cruise my DH fourth cruise and my DD first one she is almost 2 and a half. My mother also went with us this was her third cruise. We booked two interior cabins R98 and R102. We have traveled with an ocean view however never with a balcony and for us interior is just fine.
We drove 10 hours to Tampa and stayed in the Hyatt Regency the night before it was a great hotel and exceeded our expectations. We won it on Priceline for 60 dollars a night which was a steal for such a nice hotel. They did have parking available for 10 dollars a night compared to 15 a night at the port however we chose to park at the port since we had DD and she was needing a car seat.
Embarkation was great no problems we arrived around 12:00 and were on the ship about 12:45 there was a line however it moved quickly. We arrived on the ship ate and it was time to go drop off the carry on luggage to the room.
We tried camp carnival everyday however it never worked out for our daughter she has never been to daycare and even though they tried and were very welcoming to her she just continued crying when we would leave so they would call us on the free cell phone they provided to tell us to come and get her. Overall i think camp carnival was a great program and she would have enjoyed it if she were a little bit older or had more experience being left alone. They had about 14 kid in her age group enrolled in the program so there were always kids in there.
We went and did the dolphin encounter and turtle farm in Grand Cayman and loved it she didn't care too much for the turtle farm and they only allowed us 30 min there but it was a good experience and not much to see when all they have are turtles. The dolphin encounter was great and clean there were changing rooms and lockers for free that you could put your belongings in even though the Carnival papers stated the minimum age was 3 they allowed her to participate. i just had to hold her and they had smaller life jackets available she really cared more about the water than the dolphin however she still had a great time and we got a great picture of her with the dolphin. The only complaint was that they wouldn't allow underwater cameras and it was very obvious that it was so they could sell their pictures to you they were 25 dollars each!!!! or you could buy a CD of them for 139 of everyone in your group. It was a major rip off but we bought one of our daughter cause we wanted to remember it. Overall i am glad we did this excursion it was our second time in Grand Cayman and we had already done the stingrays so there really wasn't much else we wanted to do.
In Cozumel we left our daughter on the boat with my mother and my DH and I went and did SNUBA it was amazing this was our third time to Cozumel and the other times we snorkeled and wanted something closer but not yet ready for SCUBA diving snuba was such a great experience we stayed under the surface for 32 min exactly once again i was very annoyed that the use of underwater cameras are not allowed i don't see the point of the ship selling them if they aren't allowed on excursions and feel like this should be something that is disclosed before you purchase it. This was however an experience of a lifetime and we are now excited about Scuba on our next trip.
The days at sea were great as always and the food i thought was very good. The service overall was good. The room steward didn't keep ice in our room we had to ask for it they only filled it up one time without being asked. This was something i didn't understand as it seemed so simple and it was necessary for us as our daughter still takes a bottle so we needed to keep the milk cold. Overall it was a great cruise and we are definitely looking forward to another one. I would recommend this ship great layout great service the two show that they had were great. The comedians weren't wonderful but for a free show i would recommend going.