This was the first time I had been on a cruise and heard several horror stories and several raving reviews. Since we lived only a few hours away we left home Sunday the 28th at 7:00am. Traffic was ok until we arrived closer to the port. Then, traffic turned into a thrill ride. Both cars arrived and we used the porters to help with the luggage. Parking was easy, and embarkation was swift as we used Carnival's FunPass service to help speed up the process. We only sat in the lobby for four minutes, then it was off to be photographed. We arrived on the ship and were informed we could go to our cabins. Once I found my cabin I was amazed to see that some of the luggage had already arrived. The first day onboard was very relaxing and enjoyable.
St. Thomas is easy to do on your own, we took a taxi from the pier it was $20.00 pp for him to take us from the pier up the mountain, stopped to see the ship from the top and Drake's Seat, then he continued up the mountain to the top where they have a big tourist center and the view was AMAZING! He then took us down to Sapphire Beach and returned when we asked him to to bring us to the boat in plenty of time that we even shopped in the town near the pier before heading back. I did not think shopping here was as "cheap" as I thought it would be after all the hype. Of course I wasn't looking for diamonds either, but gold was about the same, just minus taxes. If anyone wants the Taxi drivers # email me... anyhow the trip was GREAT and Sapphire beach has great snorkeling up against the beach and it gets better the further out you go. Nice showers/bathrooms and a restaurant. Not too many people there either.