We flew into FLL because they had direct flights (coming from West coast). Unfortunately--US Airways rerouted our flight home and we had a layover and plane change in Charolette.
Used SAS transportation. Got the recommendation (rec.) off of CC and highly recommend them.
Stayed at Miami Hyatt Regency. Got the rec. off CC. We had a HORRIBLE experience. We were supposed to have a non smoking room with a king and all those rooms were taken when we arrived. We ended up in the living room portion of a suite on a sofa bed with a mattress a thin as a waffle.
Embarkation--the slowest and longest I've ever experienced. Line after line. Carnival did not have their act together. We showed up at 1130 for a 12p start time and there was already thousands of people waiting. The overall process (and 6 lines later) was 3 hours.
HMC-private island. Big dissapointment. I enjoy getting off the ship and being able to wander. The cruise line has the marked on this stop-same drinks and same drink prices. The buffet has some great jerk chicken per my husband. The cabana's look nice, but seem like a lot of $$ for the time spent there. They were empty the day we were on the island.
St Thomas--went to the kmart as another post rec. Got a 12 pk of soda there and took back on ship-no problem. We took a cab downtown. Fort Christian was closed. We walked the 99 steps an saw some amazing views of the city. There was some guy at a hotel near the bottom of 99 steps that told us we "had" to buy a $14 pass to go up them. What a rip off--we did not and walked the steps on our own. Be careful of what ppl tell you
San Juan--we did the Bicardi tour on our own (rec. on CC). Super easy and total cost was $20 for two of us (plus 4 free drinks at the factory). Ferry ride was $1 roundtrip and the cab $6 to the factory (shared cab) and $12 back to the ferry (no one else going so we paid double).
Very cool informative tour. Would not rec buying alcohol there...less expensive at the port shop on the 2nd floor of the cruise term.
San Juan was our fav stop. Easy to walk downtown and the tall building give some nice shade on a hot day.
Grand Turk--beautiful island. Took a cab ($32 roundtrip for 2 ppl--gas is $6/gallon there) to Pillory beach. Amazing sand and very quiet--had a few drinks and relaxed under a palm tree for several hours. You can rent snorkel or diving gear. The drinks were less than margaritaville/ship. We went back to Margaritaville for awhile (crazy spring break scene)and had drinks before getting back on the ship. The beach wasn't as nice--but it's free if you don't want to pay $$.
Onboard--we used the gym almost everyday. Found out on day 4 the TVs were working on treadmills so you could watch tv. Weights are limited, but they do the trick.
Food--average. Enjoyed the burrito bar & mongollian grill. Husband says Guy's burger's are better than most he has tasted.
Drinks--Holy moly. Haven't been on carnival for awhile, but wow--drink prices are crazy. $7 for a budlight? $10 for a pina colada (with little alcohol)? Needless to say--I'm happy I took advantage of the 1 bottle of wine/per person and a few little bottle of rum fit easily into my pockets on port days that worked nicely with the coke we were able to bring on.
We also had drinks off the ship...Mojo's in St Thomas had great happy hour specials and is super close to the cruise terminal. Even a beer at pricey margaritaville was $5.25. Bargain compared to the ship.
We did go to the return cruiser's party and the drinks were flowing there. Nice that they do that for the past guests.
Entertainment--we to most comedy shows--pretty good...laughed a lot!! The shows were always packed so get there early.
Pools--didn't discover the serenity (adult area) till the end of the cruise. It was always windy on sea days so didn't want to spend much time on the top of the ship. Definitely check it out.
All in all--this was a great cruise for relaxing, not sight seeing. Many hungry people in the Lido deck that would push you out of the way for their first of many meals.