Cruise dates fit our schedule well. As we ended up with 24 in our group (not planned) all with my time dining it was quite a surprise that we never had trouble with seating for dinner. We actually had a group of tables 3 of 7 nights and on other nights group members tried out different venues which was fun to share with each other later. We loved Hostess Rashida and tried for Head Waiter ElPedrio with success. The Daily Chicken is rather tasteless but the Port Menu which changes each day offered many tasty entrees. Everyone raved over the salmon, trout, flank steak. Try to time my time so you aren’t rushed to get your main course by showtime. The waiters are required to stop everything to perform. We only had that happen 1 time we made sure to be very early or late most of the week. We only did breakfast 1 time on LIDO the rest we went to the dining room and had excellent experience. This is contrary to other reviews we read which surpirsed me. We always requested a back table to enjoy looking out at sea. Eggs, Omlettes, pancakes, waffles, etc were great and bacon cooked crispy to order did not disappoint.
Ports - DR We found a taxi driver to take us to the TRAM, RESTAURANT, AND SOUVENIOR SHOP in Puerto Plata. Our driver stayed with us even up the tram. Of course we treated him to lunch. The cost so reasonable $90, $30 tip, $20 tip driver manager. Round trip was 3-4 hours.
Puerto Rico - we decided to just walk to shopping found the Cathedral, Umbrella Street, Genesis Cafe, just enjoyed a beautiful day. Our cousin went the rain forest which she said was fantastic (another contrary report to some on this site).
St. Thomas - we have been before so we had a mission to revisit Crowne Jeweler (not associated with ship) traded in some jewelry for upgraded diamonds went to and from on Cruise shopping tram ($4/person each way). Going with the shopping expert (Debra) was a great way to avoid going through cruise port shops to find a taxi which might have cost a little more. We walked right into a parkinglot next to ship, boarded the trams and away we went.
Grand Turk - last stop we took my parents off ship - was quite a long walk for Dad but he made it. We (4 of us) rented a golf cart from Grand Turk Adventures. Jim had to walk about 2 blocks to pick up but was then allowed to drive up to benches at taxi stand to pick us up. The cart seemed to have some issues so we stopped at stand and traded for a different cart which was quite better. The draw back was not all carts had island maps but I had downloaded one to my phone which once we got orientated work just fine. We found our way within sight of Lighthouse, visited a couple churches, salt flats, etc. Nice value $75/day plus refill gas ($12). There was another rental group at the port for $100 + gas which might have been closer but this worked for us.
Entertainment - The Lobby Bar was the focal point when Felipe (Cruise Director) would arrive. He would keep everything hopping and participants would often be rewarded with a free drink or bottle of bubbly. He was very good and we loved watching him entertain. Cassidy-Rae was new in piano bar Putting music and a bit of comedy together. We should have gone to see her instead of Tim Young Comedian. She proved you can laugh without vulgarity. Young was so vulgar we didn't go back. Later in the week Joe Marlotti arrived and his 1st show was in the Liquid Lounge - it was a nice crowd but plenty of seats. He appeared to be toned down a bit but had us laughing so we did go to his last show on the last night he didnot disappoint I only heard 1 vulgar word but the MC cant speak a sentence without 2 minimum vulgarities his claim is that if you cant take it from him the show is not for you (WHAT?). Anyway seek out the good comedians that can use the whole dictionary of the english language to make you laugh. I would add that we attended night shows in the liquid lounge without ever fighting for a seat as other reports might lead you to believe. There is ample seating on the lower floor and above.
Finally we did attend the Veterans Gathering, hosted by Felipe, it was quite wonderful to respect and honor the many veterans on board. Of course my Dad (91+) was the only WWII in attendance - we were very proud to be there to hear the fine remarks from Carnival and the Veterans who chose to speak.
I was very pleased with the cabin. We had the balcony wall opened up between our cabin and my parents which made it so nice to sit together at various times. Of course it is small but everything you need is provided. Hairdryers are in desk drawer which helps since bath is so small. The safe is easy to use and there is lots of closet space. Luggage fit in but you can still stowe under bed. We were just forward of glass elevators which work so much faster than any other elevators on the ship. We did investigate the forward balcony discussed in other reviews on deck 6 and 7 nice view. Late night music from Liquid Lounge and Lobby Bar can disturb but no worries everything only lasts about 30 minutes and pretty much over at midnight.
Most of the Grand Turk Residents work for Carnival - It really is a great day for a beach or water activity as the island is very small. Go on an adventure of your own. If you are a cyclist rent one this island is really only 7 miles long and very narrow. All roads lead to the airstrip and port.
The shopping expert transportation is really the best way to go to get to town and back it isn’t very far. While some in our group did go snorkeling and on other island tours everyone said they enjoyed their experience. Many bought at Crown - check out all the jewelers for quality and price before you buy. Crown did come recommended by our US Cruise Agent.
Bicycle Surrey for elderly a nice touch. Don’t be frightened off by high priced tours. Make up your own insist the driver stick to your plan and get out to see the island it is really quite beautiful.