We live in Western PA - almost to Ohio. This is our second time cruising out of Baltimore. Last time was the late debarkation when Hurricane Irene hit Baltimore head on in 2011. We drove down the night before and stayed at the Hyatt right inside the Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor is nice, but if you've never been, just keep your wits about you. There are panhandlers, beggars and others that don't make you feel safe. I'm not 100% sure what could be done to make it better, but just a pre-warning to keep your wits about you. Finally, the morning of debarkation. Made a trip to the local Wal Mart to pick up a few things and then figured we'd take the leisurely drive to the ship and park and be off (last time, it was the smoothest experience EVER). This time, turned what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation into an anxiety induced, blood pressure raising nightmare. When they give you a check in time, I figured that we'd hit it right on the nose. 1:30 - 2:00. We had passed the ship 3 times on our way from the Hyatt to points East (went to JC Penney before previously mentioned trip to Wal Mart), then back past it to Wal Mart and then back to park. So, we know the ship was there by lets say 11:30 - Noon (someone said it was late coming in?) Anyhow, we sat in NIGHTMARE, not moving bumper to bumper traffic for almost TWO HOURS. Pro-Tip - don't stay in the right lane - I think that was our biggest mistake. FINALLY we make it to the lot. The last time here, you paid, then parked, then took your luggage to be checked in (if I'm not mistaken). Now, you wait and wait and wait, then drop your bags, then pay, then park. Just be prepared for the experience because it was just beyond nerve wracking. Finally, we go through security which was surprisingly efficient but then you are herded like cattle (for another hour - at least) to finally get your cards, etc. Then onto the ship. The people in Baltimore are awesome, but MY LORD the traffic. Not sure that being dropped off (not parking there would have been better, unless you wanted to walk for probably about 2 miles). It's just a huge bottleneck. Anyhow, needed a drink badly by now, so we had pre-ordered the Drink Package so we got our drinks (you have to pay tax on drinks while in Port - Baltimore at least, just FYI). Then we went to our room and not only was it ready, but our luggage was there already. What the WHATTT??!? Spoke to Cabin Steward, Christopher who was ok, but we rarely saw. I gave him a decent tip at the end of the cruise because I think he did the best he could (we don't have a set or predictable schedule). Almost immediately was the muster station drill. Then, time to go look at the new upgrades to the ship. They didn't have Guys, etc. in 2011 so it was cool to see the additions. We went and did some walking and drinking while we departed and just explored the ship, getting reacquainted with it until Dinner (we had asked our Travel Agent for Our Time, but they had us down for Late Seating) so we just messed around till 8:30. We got a table for two anyhow, but asked to be changed to our time. We ALWAYS do the SteakHouse the first night for the free bottle of wine, but they've extended this to the first sea day too, more on that later. We ate and caught one of the comedy shows, which were funny, but some areas of the ship are awkward because of the posts that block the views. First world problems.... We managed. The next two days at sea were decent, the weather wasn't always great and it was a bit chilly. There were amazingly few kids on board (actual kids, not adults that think they are kids...haha) Just kidding actually, probably one of the best group of people we've been on. Average age was probably 40 at the oldest. We chose this cruise so there were fewer kids and we were right. Nothing stands out on the way there, just typical sea days, it depends on what you are into. Sleep all day, gamble yourself into even deeper debt, play Bingo, trivia or drink yourself into a stupor, pass out, wash, rinse repeat. If you are bored, you are probably a boring, uppity and aren't able to be pleased, so can't help ya there, Princess. We did the SteakHouse on the first formal night (Monday) and got surf and turf (myself) and the wife got the lamb chops. Both were very good and no wine tastes better than free wine. Wednesday morning, we arrived in Bermuda as scheduled and the weather was overcast mostly. We had purchased the Best of Bermuda package from Carnival. Why overpay you may ask? We had Chef's Table the first port day and didn't want to jeopardize missing it, plus Carnival usually has pretty decent excursions, in our experience. We weren't disappointed. I'll likely do a video review on this on You Tube if you are interested, look it up (probably by December of 2017 - will title if: BEST OF BERMUDA ISLAND TOUR with LOU). That was the name of our guide. Just to give the highlights in a sentence or two - you get to see the entire island in a 5 - 6 hour period. Is it 100% perfect, no but if you've never been here (we had not) then it'll give you ideas for the rest of your time here. We got back to the ship and did some pool time then got ready and did the Chef's Table. If you've never done this, you must try it. This is our third time and we'll always do it, just for the experience and it's nice to feel like a King / Queen - if only for a couple hours. Sadly, our table-mates seem to be stuffy and not very friendly - almost like they either ARE the Upper Class of Society and we're the peasants (we're not loud people - we adapt to our surroundings) or they think they are and don't want to be bothered with even just light conversation. No matter! The food is great and they are great hard working people. Anastasia was amazingly attentive and you could just tell that she was giving it 150%. The Head Sous Chef (forget his name) was great also. The next day, we went to Horseshoe Beach - took a $7 / person bus there and back. I always worry that we'll be scammed by deals like this - but there are no scammers, homeless and panhandlers ANYWHERE on the Island - except Hamilton but I think the dude just drank himself into a early afternoon slumber. The people aren't like they are in Nassau and some of the other Caribbean locations - even at the port. The Port is clean and orderly, albeit, not much to do and we never felt threatened at all. Horseshoe Beach is crowded, but they have great amenities. It was overcast, only about 75 and the surf was VERY choppy so we didn't spend much time here. We don't like just laying on the beach - we like getting in the water and this wasn't going to happen. So, we were only here for like 1 1/2 hours. Back to the ship. It takes a long time to drive back because of the roads. I don't know if we'd suggest renting scooters because these people drive like maniacs and we saw an accident on the way back. The roads are obscenely narrow and I know that we wouldn't have felt safe. To each their own though. We got some pink sand to bring back (didn't have any issues with this, by the way). It's not pink like Pink Panther if that's what you are picturing, but it has these little shards in it (you can Google why it's pink if you need an explanation - I'll screw it up). I don't know how anyone would be able to do anything the third day unless you are a very early riser. I'm sure we missed 98% of the island even though we saw almost all of it. Would we go back ? Yes, but probably not on a cruise. It's very expensive too, as I'm sure you've read elsewhere. Anyhow, then we sailed away and spent the remaining sea days doing our thing. I have to say that the blackjack almost felt rigged - have never lost so badly. Usually $100 can last an hour or more at a $6 table. I was down and out in 15 minutes. I'm not a heavy gambler as I'm a pretty sore loser, but knock yourself out, Carnival would love your money. Debarkation wasn't horrible, we did self assist and getting out of the Port was much easier than getting in. We left our cabin at 9 AM and were in the car by 10:15 AM. Best Custom's experience EVER. You don't even have to fill out those stupid forms telling them that you stole a bottle of sand from the beach and bought a magnet and a little $8 souvenir anymore. SWEET ! I hope this review was helpful. This itinerary has intrigued me for years. I only wish we had gone a little sooner - or probably even better yet, in early May (if they even offer it). The water temp. was doable and I'm a snob - I don't like cold water. But the surf ruined what I envisioned as an 8 hour day at the beach with a good sunburn that would last until at least Christmas. No such luck. One last thing - we got an obstructed view outside cable (4189) and it's like having a balcony stateroom without a balcony (WAY cheaper). Only drawback is all you can see is a lifeboat. We'd do that again for the savings. We never used the balcony anyhow.
I don't know why they incorrectly call this Interior. It's on the outside of the ship - has French Doors that won't open all the way (they hit the bed) and all you see is a life boat. You can stick your head out and see what the weather is like and they are WAY cheaper. We'd do this again. We've done them all. Suite, extended balcony, balcony, interior, etc.
The way they manage traffic in and out of here needs to change.