Before going on this cruise, I decided to only read the positive reviews because I wanted a positive experience. I'd definitely recommend for first time cruisers to fly in the night before and take a later flight home after. This way you wont be rushed. We flew in from Indiana and flights out of Chicago were being delayed because of weather. I booked with Carnival and this is my only complaint, they did not recommend arriving day before. I arranged my travel the day of and would of arrived at airport at 12:30am the day we left port if I hadn't changed my flight. (which cost me $150 pp to change...ugh!) But am I glad we came in the night before! We boarded the ship and made ourselves familiar and had a nice lunch. It was about noon. We found our rooms when they opened the hallways up and our luggage was by our doors. Everything was easy from here out. We had one excursion booked and booked one onboard. If you are going to Jamaica make sure you are prepared by reading reviews or talking to the excursion staff onboard. We were going to wing it but am so glad we did book an excursion!
Our room steward, Jun did a great job keeping our room freshened up and after I asked for ice one time he had a fresh bucket of ice for me all throughout the cruise. There is something for everyone, truly. I am a people watcher so my favorite places to hang out were the Lido deck and the Destiny/Casino bar. There is always something happening on the Lido deck and you might just get drawn in (if you choose) The bar had a live band in the evening. And for my son who wanted to try Sushi there is a Sushi bar open from 5-10pm most nights. So much food and all was delightful. Love to try different things on the buffet, new foods and desserts often. Also standbys like Pizza and Hamburgers always available. We had your time dining in the Galaxy Dining room and it was always good food, nice portions and great service. There were three of us so we always had a booth by ourselves. I noticed some couples were seated with others if the dining room was crowded. We never had to wait for seating and we ate between 6:30 and 7 most nights. And the waiters also may entertain you with a little song or dance. Godfrey especially made us smile with his awesome personality. Don't forget to use room service. I did for breakfast but its only a continental breakfast so if you want more the buffet has it! I liked having my coffee, Danish and fruit on our stateroom balcony. The balcony room I upgraded for because I knew I would regret it if we didn't splurge for this one thing. I am glad I did! But I do wish I'd gotten a free upgrade...but I didn't wait for it to happen.
This ship was super clean. The restrooms were always freshly done. Staff was always picking up, keeping the ship clean. Drinks are readily available, and you have that handy sign and sail card that bills you and adds gratuity so you quite possibly will lose track of how much you are spending. Considering you are paying $8-10 a cocktail we limited ours to 2 or 3 a day, which we are not big drinkers anyhow. Pictures are being taken a lot over the course of your cruise and then offered in the photo gallery for purchase. We bought a few cause they were just darn good pics. I was aggravated at first by the photographers but then when you have these memories to take home it's worth the little bit of bother. Debarkation did take a little longer than expected. Again I was glad I had a later flight home. Don't forget if you have any money left you can book an excursion when you get back to Miami if you have a later flight. We definitely had the Best Vacation Ever and want to cruise again. We even had a couple windy, cloudy, rainy days but still had an awesome time!