This was my first cruise ever, but I was cruising with a person who has been on 3 other Carnival cruises. Let's start from the beginning:
We flew into FT. Lauderdale Airport and stayed overnight @ the Hilton Airport Hotel. That hotel was very nice and had a shuttle for us waiting at the airport for free. I had done some research on this website and read that transportation from Ft Lauderdale to the port of Miami could be expensive. The hotel wanted $80 per person! Luckily I found a company called Ride SAS(www.ridesas.com) who only charged $15 per person. They were WONDERFUL! Our driver was Jeff and he was sooo accomodating, going above and beyond great customer service. Great vans, great times, just can't say enough good things about them!
We got to the port of Miami around 11:30 and there was a lot of people there. The line did move pretty fast though. Now that they have computer kiosks for check in it goes faster. They take your picture and wisk you away to the ship. It was a very smooth process. We then went to the Lido deck where they had a buffet and drinks. By the time we got to our room our luggage was waiting for us. The room itself was very standard, two twin beds and a couch and a bathroom. We had a oceanview, no balcony.
The ship itself is all red, white and blue. To be honest before I went I thought it would be a little too much, but it was very beautiful. The food was OK. Just OK. The dining room was a hit or miss, some nights they seemed to have great choices and some not so much. Our waiters were amazing, funny, caring, and made the nights very special. We did try the steakhouse 2 nights, it was very good, but I'm not sure it was worth the $30 per person.
One of my table mates wanted a recipe for a soup they served in the Washington dining room, and without hesitation our waiter found it and printed it out and gave it to us. :) We did not receive bad service from anyone. Every single worker was smiling, laughing, more than helpful.
Onto the ports:
Bad weather made us miss the Caymen Islands. It was too stormy and too big of waves, so we continued on to Honduras.
Island Rotan, Honduras: We did the birds and monkeys excursion. Super fun, I would recommend it.
Belize: We chose not to do an excursion at this port, instead we got off and went shopping. There isn't much to do, but what they had was very fun!
Cozumel: We did the mexican cuisine, and it was super fun! open bar was great and our guide was funny.
All in all this trip was fun! The only thing I would complain about is the food, from what I heard it's not as great as it should be.