My daughter and son-in-law did a Carnival Cruise for their honeymoon two years ago in October and loved it so much they wanted us to join them on a Carnival Cruise. Hurricane Darian caused us to have to leave a day early but we had already planned to arrive in Tampa that day and spend the night, so we just drove from NC as planned and boarded with absolutely no problems despite only having birth certificates and driver's licenses and my having a pacemaker. We got on board, purchased our lanyards and were told that we were going to have a free day due to having to board early and leave the area that night. It meant 2 sea days before an excursion but all drinks and food were covered by Carnival for the 1st day. We ate burgers at the grill (better than any fast food burgers) and when we went to our room, all our luggage was there. Our room had a balcony with a lifeboat just a floor below. The bed and pillows were very comfortable and the shelves in the bathroom and the size of the closets were big enough to easily store our things. I am glad I brought some folding travel hangers and a glow in the dark small flashlight as well as a small plug in extra 3 regular outlets and 2 outlets to charge our cell phones, hair dryer, curling iron and camera batteries. I may purchase a larger one with more outlets before cruising again.
Almost every single staff member all over the ship was pleasant and helpful and most remembered our names from the start. Jeniper and Salai our room stewards, were great and Jeniper was especially sweet. Once we had experienced Roxana from Romania as a headwaitress, we asked for her each night at the Bacchus Dining Room. She treated us like royalty and was funny and very good with names. The food was good, especially in the Bacchus. There was a bar tender we liked a lot named Jerry (may not be his spelling) who would even call out to my husband, Tom, as we walked by on our way around the ship because they had an ongoing funny Tom and Jerry routine together. I enjoyed the Marriage Comedy show a lot but not the adult comedy show at Mad Hatter's Ball done by R.T. Steckel--too crass for me. Doug who played the baby grand at Sam's Piano Bar was awesome and the disco night at Frankensteins's We loved the Pixels photo opportunities and bought a good many. Loved earning points for prizes, especially the nice photo album and the Thumb drive. My favorite shore excursions were the VIP La Casa Beach Retreat in Cozumel and the Jolly Roger Catamaran Sailing and Snorkel with Lunch at Roatan. There was plenty of time to snorkel and to eat and to shop in each of those excursions and the people working the excursions were exceptionally friendly and helpful. I ran into a little problem with my own but new full face snorkel mask and the captain of the Jolly Roger was gentle and patient and fixed me right up for my 1st snorkeling experience. The food was delicious and the guys danced with us and were very watchful of us in the water, as well as making sure we all had all to drink we wanted. Jesus at the La Casa Beach House was friendly and the pina coladas there were the best I've ever tasted--not overly sweet like most in America are. The chef made two great salsas and guacamole with chips as we watched. In Belize, we did the River Wildlife Cruise and and Mayan Ruins of Altun Ha in Belize. I loved seeing the dolphins follow the boat, seeing the Howler monkeys, and the iguanas where we had lunch. Our Mayan guide was a good story teller. At 62, I did manage to climb to the top of the Sun god's pyramid and enjoy the view, but it was a bit challenging due to the humidity and the steps being irregular and crumbly. I wish I had had more time to shop in the little row of shops with locally hand carved wood items, but it took most of our time to climb the ruin and some of our party slowed things down before we could start when we had to wait on them to join us. My only complaint about the Grand Cayman Stingray Sandbar, Hell, and Turtle Center experience was that it was rushed. Once again, we had to wait for a family that was late and so our guide had to make up for the lost time.
It was fun to handle the turtles and the gift shop at the Turtle Center was a nice one. The water was beautiful where we held the stingrays and it was a fun experience. Hell was rushed but I am glad we got to see it. Disembarkation went smoothly and, although we missed our pets and the rest of our families, we were sad it was all over. We definitely want to go back to Cozumel and go on the Jolly Roger Catamaran again someday! Carnival did not disappoint!