Background info: DH - (49) myself (47) traveling by ourselves no kids this time. We flew out from Raleigh NC on Delta direct to Ft. Lauderdale. Flight was no problem, we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale approx. 11am and went directly to hotel from airport and were able to check in right away. We stayed at Ft. Lauderdale Grande and Yacht Club which we got by bidding on Priceline. Our room was clean and the bed was great. We had a really good view of the boats. I didn't notice much construction going on since it was President's Day. We walked down to the water taxi spot and waited for an hour without any coming so we decided to walk over the causeway to see what was over the other side and as soon as we walked away too far to go back we saw two water taxi's at the same. Nothing seemed to be open so we walked back over the causeway and headed to Walgreens and got some drinks and snacks for the room. We also went to the front desk and I can tell you that the staff are not friendly at all - don't know if this was because we were priceline or not. They do not do the free shuttle to the port anymore (this could be because we booked on priceline as well, although other people were getting taxi's to the port the next morning. It was a bit chilly that day so the pool bar and grill was not open for snacks and we went into the patio bar and we each had a drink - I had a salad and DH had a burger and it was over $40 - crazy - bad service and not very good food. We walked overt a local place called the Shipwreck food was good and plentiful - it was not busy at all and they said it was because it was President's Day.
Embark: Got to the port around 11 via taxi - we got checked in right away and when the gold cards showed up were welcomed back. Went into another big area and were in the third row. There were Carnival staff there talking to us like we in elementary school about getting your sail and sign card ready to go. It was less than half an hour and we were getting our pics done and were on the ship. We walked into the main lobby and wow! We walked around the ship getting familiar and then off to lunch. After lunch went to our room before the 1pm time and it was ready for us. We had a 7A on the upper deck and we loved the room and saved ourselves a little bit of money for having the life boats in front of us but it wasn't a problem at all. We really didn't see our room stewart the whole week except for when she brought our stuff back from having it ironed. The room was always clean and we didn't have any complaints. There were a couple of nights with no towel pal but that wasn't a real problem. After we got unpacked went to the Purser's desk to deposit some traveller's checks into our account and the girl waved me over and then started talking on the phone and was ignoring me and I ended up signing them on the wrong line - they wouldn't then accept them - I will admit I didn't read the fine print and it has been years since I used them - I called American Express and they said no problem just cross your name out and put Carnival there - they would still not accept them - when my husband said something to the guy in charge he was very rude and my husband said - hey you know when you get in your forties you don't see as well as you used to - the guy snapped at him - that's what glasses are for - he is lucky that my husband didn't grab him - he even suggested we get off the ship and go to a bank and cash them before the ship left. Not to worry - I got my revenge later on in the week when I won Jackpot Bingo!
The ship is easy to navigate and we spent a majority of our time at the Unicorn pool - I think this is an adult area because I really didn't notice any kids. I will say this particular cruise started on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday so there were very few kids on it. The ship's activities are alot of fun - we took home one ship on a stick and three gold medals for trivia and participating in Ship feud. There was a guy on the ship that had cruised with Carnival many times so knew most of the answers. We didn't do the formal night as decided to make this a laid back night and ate at the buffet which was very quiet - all the other nights we ate in the main dining room except the second formal night when we ate in the Golden Fleece. The food was hit or miss not bad I never liked any of the deserts in the buffet. In the dining room there were two nights that I didn't care for my dinner but didn't get anything to replace it. The Golden Fleece is not to be missed. The singer and Piano player were very good and DH didn't bring a jacket and since it was the second formal night it was required - they lent him a jacket to carry in. He was not the only person who did this - I noticed two other fellows that did this as well. It is nice to have them bring the cart with the cuts of meat for you to look at. I had the bone-in ribeye which was tender and delicious and DH had a 9oz lobster tail that he said was very good. The different breads and butter spreads were also very good. For desert he had cheesecake and I had the apple tart which shouldn't be missed - really incredible. The only shows we saw were a late night comedian which was just ok and the hypnotist which was a bunch of hoowie if you ask me. I don't think any of them were actually hypnotized. We spent most evenings in the piano bar with Garth and had alot of fun. We did not go the Captain's Reception but did go to the Return Carnival Passengers party.