This was only our 3rd total cruise in the past 27 years, so we are not "regulars". Our traveling party consisted of my wife and I (mid-50's) and 2 adult children (ages 21 & 23).
Embarkation was quick and easy, even without FTTF. Our arrival window started at 1:00 pm, but we got there a half hour early and were able to get on board at that time. It only took about 15 minutes, and it moved quickly. We went straight to the maitre'd to request a change to early dining instead of late dining. He took our information, and said there were a lot of requests for that change, so we wouldn't know until the next day. To our surprise, we were moved to early dining that next day!
Our cabin was a Cove Balcony on the 2nd deck, and we loved it!
The ship is pretty big, but we figured out where everything was fairly quickly. It rarely felt overcrowded as I was expecting. Plenty of elevators and very short wait times most of the time. Employees were always friendly, especially the workers cleaning the ship, guest services and restaurant staff.
The food was good, as expected. We ate breakfast in the dining room a few times and loved the choices. Breakfast buffet offered plenty of choices. BlueIguana Cantina made real good breakfast burritos. We ate lunch at Guy Fieri's Burger Joint, Guy's Pig & Anchor Barbecue, and the BlueIguana. Burgers and fries were amazing, the barbecue was delicious with the best sauces I have ever had, and the burrito's were outstanding. Dinners in the dining room were very good. Portions are not large, but that was fine with me. Our wait staff were excellent and could not do enough for us. They made us feel like we were best friends.
The entertainment on board was excellent. We attended the shows in the theater each night and were impressed with the singer/dancers. The comedy club shows were overcrowded, as we had to stand for half of them. The comedians were decent. The events hosted by the cruise director were the most fun of anything. Simon the cruise director was outstanding, and his Fun Squad were awesome too. 80's and 90's music trivia in the atrium area was incredible.
Our ports were Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Amber Cove. We chose to simply lay out on the beach at Half Moon Cay and thoroughly enjoyed it! An absolutely beautiful beach. The food at lunch was good, and the drinks were even better! For Grand Turk, most of our party did the power snorkel, rays and beach excursion. They really liked it! I was scheduled for whale watching, but found out it was cancelled when I got off the ship due to rough seas. That stunk, but I made it a beach day with the ship right in front of me. For Amber Cove, we all did the excursion that included the waterfalls of Damajagua and zipline. We loved both of them and would do them again.
We are already looking into cruising again this time next year with Carnival!
Cove balcony room 2381 on deck 2. The stateroom itself is what we expected, with an ample amount of room for a cruise ship. We absolutely loved this balcony location! We loved being close to the water and not having to lean over the railing just to view the water like we would expect on the upper balconies. Just sit in the chair and see the water go by. We were below the galley, so there was some noise after 5 am, but I only noticed it if I was awake. It was a quick walk up the steps to the restaurants and other gathering places.
A beautiful beach to be a bum!