We had 8 people in our party, 3 adults and 5 kids ages 17,13,11,6 and 5.
We started our vacation by parking at the Radisson at Cocoa Beach. It was $5.95 a day and they take you and pick you up. I would suggest getting there early because we did have to wait in line for a good bit. It was well worth the money and it is literally right down the road from the cruise terminal.It was very easy going and getting picked up and Bill our shuttle driver drove us right to our cars!
Next,embarkation went very smooth even though there were alot of passengers. We were on the ship by 1pm and our rooms were even ready. We of course went to the lido deck to get lunch. It was very crowded obviously because everyone was just getting on so be prepared to wait for your food. I went to the italian buffet and did not have to wait as long as my family who went to the mongolian line.
The ship was laid out pretty much like all Carnival ships except it is larger. Our room was a typical oceanview room on the Riviera deck. I liked that it had 2 bathrooms. One had a larger sink,toilet and shower, while the other had a bathtub and smaller sink. It was nice when everyone was trying to get ready. We had adjoining rooms which made our rooms seem bigger!
We did the anytime dining on this cruise and it did not work out well for us. We had 8 people so we had to wait for a tableand with kids that is not good. We only ate there 3 times because itjust took too long for us and unfortunately never got to eat together. We just chose to split the group up instead of contiuning to wait. The food was the same as every cruise I have been on. Was it the greatest food i have ever eaten? No, but it was good and best of all i didn't have to cook it,serve it or clean it up! My favorite meal was actually at the buffet and it was veal parmigian. It was excellent and I wish they would of had it more than that one time!
The Camp Carnival experience for us was not very good for us this cruise. The first day of dropoff was very crowded and unorganized. I would highly suggest getting there either very early or waiting until a later time to drop off your kids. The staff was not as friendly as previous cruises and maybe it was due to the number of kids or they were simply burnt out. Our 2 younger kids did not want to go back and we only took them 2 more times.They just did not enjoy sitting around listening to stories and watching movies.
We enjoyed the seaside theater! It was so nice to lounge around and watch movies and eat popcorn. I did not think the main pool area was any more crowded on this ship than the others i have been on. We actually enjoyed the pool area at the back of the ship better. There were 2 hot tubs right there, a bar, deli and buffet. The waterslides were great as well. All the kids had a blast going down them.
The comedy shows were awesome. So glad that they have their own venue on the ship! Fun Force guys are very talented and we all enjoyed their shows as well.
No one in our group ever encountered the mystery smell. We went all over that ship and i never smelled anything except in a bathroom. I'm sorry, but that just comes with the territory!
All in all we had a great vacation with a few minor incidents. I enjoy cruises due the fact that I don't have to cook,clean, or be the social director for my kids. I got to rest and relax and the kids had fun making new friends and eating as much ice cream and pizza as their stomachs could possibly hold! The staff was excellent as always and treated us very well. I am ready for my next cruise!