We have sailed on Carnival several times, but were ready to take a chance on a ship that left out of New Jersey where we live. The fact that we did not have to book flights and hotels was awesome. We were a group of 49 family and friends. Embarkation was very smooth. We were on the ship in less than half an hour even given the fact that I neglected to print my son's boarding pass. We arrived at the port around 11am.
My first impression is that it was a beautiful ship. The decor was nice. But it is HUGE! I was so overwhelmed on that first day. Having always sailed Carnival, you get to know the ship layouts as they are all pretty much the same. This was a whole different ball game, and that was all part of the fun. As noted in previous reviews, there are over 4000 passengers so a little crowding is to be expected. We first experienced this once we got on board and headed to Windjammer and had to wait in a long line to "washy washy." But that was the only time we ever really experienced that wait in Windjammer. Some people were frustrated having to wash your hands each time you entered, but with so many people, anything that can help to keep germs at bay is welcomed.
The ship had tons of activities. I just think the schedule was badly put together. Who wants to wake up at 8am to join a line for roller skating or bumper cars? And these activities were not offered long enough. An hour or two is just not enough for the amount of passengers. Between my hubby, myself and three kids we able to do iFly, NorthStar, rock climbing, rollerskating, dodgeball, soccer, bumper cars and the escape room. Some we were able to book in advance which was great. SeaPlex is a great place for the kids. I gotta give RC credit for the amount of activities. Definitely a plus. Evenings were a little boring. Karaoke was only for an hour and finished at 8pm. Karaoke is always a hit so why they don't extend the time, I'll never understand. Pools and hot tubs were open late which was definitely great because they were always crowded during the day. I like that RC had life guards on duty. Never seen that on Carnival.
Tour guide was very knowledgeable. Gave us a 3 hour tour for $30 each. Should've discounted my 4 year old tho...
Took the water taxi to the beach.
Took a taxi for $10 return trip to the beach