We were very excited to be a part of the first US trip the cruise was going to take after it just arrived in the US a few days before we departed. This was my son's first cruise as we waited until he was five before taking him on one.
Getting on the boat was effortless. We were able to get to our stateroom before 1:00pm, which was great! The stateroom was extremely clean.
The first "hiccup" we ran into on the boat was during the Muster Station drill. Not the fault of Carnival at all, but many cruisers decided to try to skip the Muster Drill. It took the staff quite a while to remove all the people in the swimming pools and bars to get to the drill. We waited nearly an hour before being dismissed from our meeting place. Your "sail and sign" card is scanned so the crew know you are skipping it. The kids, including my son had a hard time with this. In our previous cruises, the drill took maybe 15 minutes tops. Again, nothing to do with Carnival, but it is frustrating when other cruisers are selfish and hold up everybody.
The cabin was awesome. I loved the balcony, and the bed was actually very comfortable. At home I typically wake up multiple times a night, but I slept the best I have in a long time. The bathrooms were clean as well. We chose to have our cabin cleaned before noon, but you could also choose evening hours, or if you really wanted, you could have it cleaned twice a day! We have no complaints or suggestions at all for the cabin. Could not have asked for better service or accommodations. Our cabin steward Ruel was the best. If you take a cruise on this ship, hope he is your stateroom steward. One of the best I have seen. He also remembered all of our names and was very personable.
We took a taxi from Port Authority Bus Terminal. From the time we arrived at the port to the time we were on the boat was literally 20 minutes.