THE GOOD and THE BAD LISTS:
1. STATEROOM BATHROOM: Larger than the norm with real ceramic sink and large shower stall
2. "CARNIVAL" COMFORT BED: Definitely the best mattress of the major cruise lines
3. POOL ... Read More
THE GOOD and THE BAD LISTS:
1. STATEROOM BATHROOM: Larger than the norm with real ceramic sink and large shower stall
2. "CARNIVAL" COMFORT BED: Definitely the best mattress of the major cruise lines
3. POOL DECK AND FURNISHINGS: Very tasteful with minimal plastics. Especially nice in serenity lounge
4. FOOD TEMPERATURE: We were never served cold food (that was supposed to be hot)
5. JORGE, THE CRUISE DIRECTOR: Most CDs are so slick they could cause an oil spill if they fell into the sea. Not Jorge Solana. He was genuinely humorous and very experienced (17 years with the line)
6. UPGRADED BED LINENS AND BATH/BEACH TOWELS: Thicker and softer than on rival cruiselines
7. PASSENGER TERMINAL BUILDING: A brand new facility with luggage carousels and wall to wall carpeting ... a great way to begin/end your cruise
8. EMBARKATION / DISEMBARKATION: Swift and painless. The self assist express option that allows you to remain in your stateroom until your group is called is a good touch. The muster station drill (conducted seated in the lounge not standing out on deck in the hot sun) was also quick and painless.
9. COMPLIMENTARY COCKTAILS: We received three flutes of champagne upon arrival on board and two complimentary drinks at the captain's welcome party.
10. ONBOARD PRICES: For cocktails, bingo, photos and excursions: they did not gouge relative to rival cruise-line rate-cards
11. SHOWBAND: The orchestra pit is stage left so Brett Bonnell and the Imagination showband remained a prominent theatre fixture at all times and sounded great accompanying all the acts
12. POOLSIDE ACTIVITIES: The deck is equipped with a large stage and they take maximum advantage of it. Trivia and a round of bingo (as well as the more traditional pool fun and games) were held here so you didn't have to give up your prime sunning/lounge spots to catch an activity of interest.
13. WIDE STATEROOM CORRIDORS: Much more expansive than on rival cruiselines
14. CASINO BYPASS: It was possible to take an alternative interior side route to get from the front/rear of the casino to other common areas... a rarity... on most ships they force passenger traffic flow thru the casino to increase "impulse buying"
15. STATEROOM FLATSCREEN TVs: They contain RCA jack plug ins for video camera review. Also there is a good selection of channels (including local Denver network outlets)
16: MINIMAL INTERCOM ANNOUNCEMENTS: They keep interruptions over the loudspeaker system (publicizing upcoming events) to a minimum
Reasonable tasting regular coffee is dispensed in the Horizon, dining rooms and at the poolside grille, specialty coffees are available at no extra charge at dinner dessert time and there is a Starbucks like cafe that serves excellent take-away coffee at reasonable charges
1. FOUL ODORS IN COMMON AREAS On parts of the ship (example, deck forward outside the Horizon Dining Room) one catches wafts of faint but noticeable sewage ODORS.
2. GARISH OUTDATED DÉCOR: There is way too many neon strips and colored lighting fixtures. Dining areas resemble casinos/discos. The spectrum is totally overdone. The "ancient Egypt" gold gilted wall ornamentation really needs to be replaced. I realize a cruise-ship is not a funeral home and that the line IS called Carnival, but a little more tasteful restraint would be appreciated.
3. DINING ROOM SERVICE: Crumbs are not removed from the tablecloth after the entrEe/before dessert, the fresh ground pepper mill and cheese grater are not offered without request upon service of foods that normally require those condiments. On one occasion, salt and pepper shakers were not placed on the table pre-meal. In another, our head waiter had to retrieve the cheese grater from another section (and it took him several minutes to locate one)! Some plates had a grease film on them. Silverware was well worn and unpolished. On one occasion a set of cutlery I unwrapped in the Horizon cafe had encrusted food remaining on it.
4. DYNASTY THEATRE SIGHTLINES: There are many sightlines that are obstructed by pillars. The lower level does not have stadium style seating. The wings of the stage are not visible to many of the seats on the upper level.
5. PUBLIC RESTROOMS IN COMMONS AREAS: Three problems: Inadequate facilities, not conveniently located and not well maintained. The mensroom on the pooldeck doesn't even contain urinals and has only two stalls.
6. LIMITED BREADS/PASTRIES SELECTIONS: You are generally only offered mini imitation fruit Danishes, mini-muffins, dry mini-croissants at breakfast and a choice of two bread selections (dinner roll plus one other) at dinner
7. THEATRE SHOWS & PERFORMANCE CAST: The singing / dancing troupe was very unbalanced. There was only one male (Jack Ryan) and female (Analyn Gepte) vocalist. Also there were may more women showgirls (9) than male dancers (3). The shows were more Vegas cabaret style than Broadway inspired and the costumes put the emphasis on skimpy rather than elegant. Also there were very few scenery changes although the shows were thematically unfocused. The two featured comedians were largely interchangeable, exploring similar themes (tho I preferred Roman Murray to Hank McGauley). Natalia and Andre, the Russian pairs dancers (featured during Shout) showed promise but were used very sparingly. No pianist or band provided live music in the dining rooms at dinner times. The pianist in the Atrium lobby bar had a particularly weak voice. (On the upside, there were three pianos in lounges)
8.. DESIGN OF COMMON AREAS: The floorspace does not flow well from bow to stern. The Spirit dining room can only be accessed via the front Spectrum from the floor above or below (due to the kitchen between the Pride (which adjoins the Spectrum) and Spirit dining rooms). The cigar lounge (Pinnacle Club) is located above the Spirit dining room and the smell of smoke wafts down.
9. PREMIUM SEAT/LOUNGE HOGGING: Not enough is done to prevent loutish passengers from saving blocks of seats in the theatre and hoarding lounges in premium locations for absent other members of their parties
10. NO WINE TASTING or PC LESSONS: A fixture on other cruise-lines, they were not offered here
11. SEPARATE CARD ENTRY KEY AND ON-BOARD CRUISE (SAIL AND SIGN) CARD: Most ships have gone to a single card entry (stateroom door-key) and charge card system. Having two cards make it double likely that you could lose or misplace a card.
12. ORANGE JUICE: Not even close to freshly squeezed
13. LIFEBOAT PLACEMENT: They are mounted high up on the ship above the pool deck obscuring some of the sightlines for sea views.
14. AFTERNOON TEA: A limited choice of two sandwiches (soggy crust-less cucumber finger sandwiches and smoked salmon) and four sweets (on that was basically a chocolate donut) was offered. Also the setting (in the Mirage Bar which features a beach ball design motif) didn't enhance the experience. The library has more of a Victorian England ambience!
DAY BY DAY:
We arrived at the Carnival terminal by 11:00. Our luggage was quickly handled by the porters as soon as our taxi pulled up at the beautiful brand new departure terminal / lounge. We were advised by the check-in clerk that we would board at 11:30. It turned out to be closer to NOON. She did NOT advise us that our room assignment had changed! (We found that out later when our room key did not unlock the door of the room we expected to be in!) After boarding we were handed complimentary flutes of champagne in the grand atrium. We were handed more upon arrival at the Horizon Court Grille and more later out on the deck. Our first three drinks were all gratis. We were learning fast why Carnival is called the "Fun Ship".
First impressions of the ship: garishly decorated with gold glint and neon everywhere. A bit of an Egyptian tomb theme. We weren't admitted to our rooms until 1:00 PM so we finished lunch and lounged a bit first. Food was fine at the buffet. There were three food stations out on the open deck (a burger bar (real fried onions and sautEed mushrooms), a rotisserie bar and a mongolian grille). In the main buffet they have an international centre (featuring Italian cuisine today), a carvery area and a deli area in the centre. Dessert selections are limited. There is also pizza and ice cream available 24 hours and a sushi bar in the casino!
When we finally got to our room (M4) we had mixed feelings. We are at the very bow of the ship (second from the front). Our "window" is two portholes set well back in the wall—lets light in but not much of a view! But, then again, we only paid for an inside cabin. The room is spacious and the bathroom / shower especially so... biggest I have seen on any cruise-ship. There is a real ceramic sink in the bathroom. They also have "carnival comfort" beds and special pillows. Both the pool towels and the bath towel are extra soft / thick. I rate the rooms very highly.
The muster drill was very quick and painless. We were seated inside a lounge. You didn't have to wear your lifevest... just put it on briefly. We pulled out of port very promptly after the drill. The pool deck was quite busy. The crowd is very young. Lots of young families.
There are two main dining rooms on board. Our seat assignment was also changed from Pride to Spirit. We are seated alone at a table for two (225) at the rear of the dining room. We spied lots of jeans and tees in the dining room. Gary (my travelling companion) ordered filet mignon and I had tilapia as our main entrees. My fish had a nice lemon-herb caper sauce. I had NY cheesecake for dessert... nothing like Lindys. Gary had black forest gauteaux... also a disappointment! We did have some nice cappuccinos (gratis) tho. Our waiters Albert and Andre provided reasonably competent / adequate service (tho we had to request the peppermill).
Following dinner, we headed out to see the welcome aboard show (hosted by cruise director Jorge). Jorge showed a good sense of humor playfully interacting with the crowd.
We retired last evening at 11:30 and were awakened around 7 by the noise of the ships' engines moving us sideways into the dock at Key West. We docked at the naval docks and not at the main city dock. First, we went for breakfast in the Pride Dining room which is basically the mirror image of the Spirit Dining Room we are seated in for dinner. There was no point rushing ashore since most shops and attractions are not open at 7:30. We were seated at a large table with a family of six, one couple and a young man (who sat across from me and spoke not a word.) Gary had a Belgian waffle and "baked apple" (that looked more like it had been poached). I had an omelette. Coffee was good.
After we disembarked, we had to take a complimentary "conch shuttle" from the naval park down to Malllory Square. We wandered in Key West around the sponge market, along the Duvall bar strip and around the Westin complex (the pirate ship that was here when we ported on a previous 2005 Celebrity cruise is gone. We spent a few hours in Key West and then headed back to the ship (around 11:30) to avoid the rush back.
We stayed from our return up until sailaway (at 2:00) in a shady area on the Serenity deck on two cushioned lounges. (The deck furnishings on this ship are a step above most ships... mainly teak looking wood... no cheap plastics). There was a couple seated beside us from Mexico, New York (near Syracuse) that Gary had a brief conversation with. Like us, they had cruised previously, but never on Carnival. They shared our impression that some "little touches" and attention to details appear missing / lacking in terms of services and polish. Gary fetched burgers from the poolside grille for lunch. We also had two cocktails a piece. Gary ordered a chocolate banana but wound up with a "dirty banana". He didn't care for it and only drank half (but still claimed to be feeling ditsy). Around 4:00-ish we returned to our stateroom (stopping en-route at the pizzeria) and had a nap.
We awakened after 6:00 to prepare for the captain's welcome party and formal night. We had a bit of a scare when we found my suit trousers sitting heaped in the bottom of the closet (having fallen off a hangar) and badly wrinkled. It was too late to request pressing so we had to create a steam room in the shower to take the wrinkles out! The captain's welcome dinner was held in the Dynasty theatre. It wasn't as busy as we thought it would be (there was only one for both early and late dinner guests). We were each given two free drinks and there were plenty of canapEs being served (although it was right before dinner and we weren't hungry). Most of the officers were Italian tho most of the food and beverage staff were East Indian.
Although it was formal night, there were plenty of people casually attired at dinner (and more (including the family beside us) who didn't show up at all... I presume they went to the buffet to avoid having to dress up). We saw one gentleman turned away at the entry by the maitre d (Gabriel) because he showed up in shorts. They had surf & turf: lobster tail and prime rib on the menu tonight. Gary went with the lobster (with grilled shrimp) and I had salmon. Both were good. I had shrimp cocktail for my appetizer and they were very flavorful (tho not served on ice.) We had cherries jubilee for dessert. It was not prepared fresh table-side over a flame (as I have seen done on other ships) and we were each only given about 4 whole cherries, but it was quite good. I also ordered some pineapple sherbet (just because I have never had it before.)
The show tonight was a Vegas style revue entitled Living In America. The singing-dancing cast was very unbalanced. Only two vocalists (one male one female) plus 9 female and 3 male dancers. The female dancers danced with mannequins for some of the scenes. The costumes and sets were nothing especially striking. The showband was very good tho.
Following the show, there was a photo-preview of the grand buffet in the Pride dining room. It was the longest buffet table I have ever seen at sea. Really exceeded my expectations. The buffet table also featured an excellent dragon ice sculpture (carved out of 4 separate slabs of ice, joined together). We went direct from the buffet preview back to the theatre to hear the late night (adults only) comedian. He has some amusing jokes but I did not find him split siding funny. The theatre then emptied back out over to the Pride dining room where the grand buffet was now being served. The line-up was long and moving slowly (and we really didn't need any more food... tho some of the cakes had looked tempting) so we decided to give it a pass.
We awoke this morning around 8, still at sea. Our first stop after showering and dressing was at the excursion desk in the spectrum lobby. We signed up to bike through the jungle and swim/snorkel in a pool in the Chac Tun Mayan underwater caverns.
We decided to forego the dining room breakfast experience to go to the buffet instead. The breakfast buffet items were not impressive. Mushy scrambled eggs and overly crisp (stuck together) bacon. (There was an omelette centre but the line-up was daunting.) We took our buffet breakfast trays to tables outside on the deck adjoining the horizon court to eat. Being an older vessel, you encounter wafts of sewage smells (that Gary's nose seems more fine tuned to than mine, courtesy growing up at a home with a sceptic tank system) at various points throughout. This odor hampered Gary's enjoyment of his breakfast. For my part, I was more disgusted by the dried food encrusted to the fork that I unfolded from the napkin in the first set of cutlery placed at the table (fortunately we were at a table set for four so I was able to find a replacement close at hand.) Breakfast gets failing grades on account of this. It's always little touches that let you down on Carnival. Like having to ask for the pepper mill or cheese grater at dinner instead of it being offered spontaneously.
Following breakfast there were poolside activities (The Imagination has the largest stage area I have ever seen on the main pool deck. I could do without the tacky imitation palm trees tho) Brandon, the assistant cruise director (from Toronto) was calling out sports trivia questions as we arrived. Following sports trivia we participated in entertainment trivia (tho the Carnival Caper (the Carnival equivalent equivalent of the Patter or Compass for those who travel on Princess or Royal Caribbean) had claimed it would be 80s Name that Tune trivia). Can you believe that neither Gary nor I could recall the name of the movie Steel Magnolias (the question was "Name a movie starring Julia Roberts, Shirley Maclaine, Dolly Parton" etc.)? Memory loss is setting in young! We were no where close to winning the trivia!
After the trivia there was "bargain bingo" also played on the ships' deck. It was a real bargain... you got three cards to use for two games for $10. The cash prize for each game was $250 cash. In the first game you had to get a single diagonal line. Gary was one number away. As the end approached, everyone needed an "I". When the first "I" was called, 8 people yelled bingo! In the second game you had to complete the second diagonal to form an X. That went very quickly and the prize was claimed by one of the winners from the first game (you simply continued on from where game 1 left off).
We pulled into the port of Calico, 90 minutes ahead of schedule (the captain had forecast this the evening earlier). The port's primary function appears to be to serve as an industrial port used to ship out materials from a nearby mine / quarry (the company name is Vulcan!) to ships. Some very lush looking jungle and inviting colored seas tho! The port is used exclusively by Carnival. It's a 10 min cab ride from Calico to the better known port of Playa del Carmen.
We had lunch in the Pride Dining Room before disembarking. Again we were seated at a large table for 12. There was a young couple, a single woman and a couple with a 9 year old obnoxious child (who coughed over the table) seated with us at lunch. The father of the child chatted incessantly in a thick Southern accent with the single woman about true crime stories and their theories on who committed what crimes. I felt like I was on the Nancy Grace true-crime themed group cruise! Food (unlike the company / conversation) was good tho. Gary ordered a German lentil soup, a pasta entrEe and apple cake for dessert. I ordered antipasto as an app with a trout entrEe (excellent) and a fruit dessert.
We disembarked and met our tour guide "Moses" (phonetic not actual spelling). After a 20 minute ride in a mini-bus into Playa Del Carmen we pulled into the lot where the bikes were parked. The helmets provided with the bikes did not fit Gary and I so we had to be outfitted with substitute "Colonel Klink" style helmets. We rode about two or so miles in very hot temps (all were sweating, fortunately the bikes had water bottle holders) to the cave-site. To tour the caves we had to be outfitted with another helmet, life vests, goggles and a snorkel tube. When we first dipped into the underground river the water seemed very chilly. Apparently it was about 70 degrees F. But we soon adjusted and it was quite refreshing after the hot bike ride. The caverns were truly amazing. Well worth the $61 excursion charge. Gary bought a waterproof camera (onboard) and took a few photos in the caves. We will check out the footage I took on the video-cam on the flat-screen in our stateroom tonight.
This evening for dinner Gary had pork tenderloin for his entree and I had beef Wellington. We both enjoyed our meals. We both got both shrimp cocktails and a cream of broccoli/cheddar soup as starters. I had tiramisu for dessert. The food quality was fine. We started to pull out of the dock was our dinner was ending. The photo-taking here is even more intense than on most cruise lines. They take pics during dinner every night. Tonight it was posing in a Mexican sombrero. They also take dining room exit pics. Last night it was with a pirate. Tonight is was with one of the showgirls. Despite all the picture taking so far Gary & I have only found one decent print that we consider buying.
Tonight in the theatre the featured performers were the "Argentina fire gauchos"—a father and son team that drummed and performed a routine with whips and fire followed by another comedian (who I personally found funnier than the comedian on the first night).
Drink prices are board are reasonable. Most featured mixed drinks (planters punch, margaritas et al) are $4.95, as is the featured drink of the day. Frozen drinks are usually $5.95. If you choose premium liquor (like Grey Goose vodka or Tankerauy gin, they add from 50 cents to a buck more.)
Later in the evening, a Mexican poolside party was scheduled. Gary & I passed because the activities don't start until 11:30 and we are tired (from the bike ride / snorkeling) and not hungry at all.
We slept in until almost 9:30 this morning! We must have been tired from the cave bike tour yesterday. Needless to say (since this was the sea day) lounge chairs were in scarce supply when we got up on the sun decks. We wound up securing some some chairs on the highest (sports) deck that sat in a narrow ring just behind the running track. Also, given our late wake-up hour, breakfast service in the Pride dining room had cut off (at 9:30) so we were forced to fend for ourselves at then buffet for breakfast again. The line-ups for freshly made omelettes were again too long to join so we ended up with the same mushy scrambled eggs, bacon, ham etc. The toppings for the French toast are also slim... just honey and syrup... no whipped cream, no warm apples or fresh fruit compote... not even any icing sugar. And the pastries are strictly "no frills" bargain batch style... tiny fruit danishes and croissants. And you need to toast your own bagels (at two four slice toasters in the centre "deli" island)! We vow to make it to the Pride dining room for a more civilized breakfast before disembarkation tomorrow. Overall, I would rate breakfasts very poorly on Carnival vs. Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.
It was very windy up on the top deck but quite warm. We were in direct sunlight so had to apply sunscreen liberally to avoid burning. We saw at least three other cruise-ships pass nearby, including another Carnival vessel heading in the other direction and a Royal Caribbean ship (Majesty of the Seas) that was travelling in the same direction and basically keeping pace with us. One strange custom they have on this ship: At noon, the navigator comes over the intercom to announce the time and strike the hour with a blast of the ships' horn. We had had enough sun by about 1:00 PM so left the deck (surrendering our chairs, which were quickly scooped up) to go for lunch in the Pride dining room. Recalling our experience with "the Griswalds" at lunch the day prior, Gary wisely requested a table for two only and we were escorted to a section by ourselves. Gary & I ordered identically... a fruit plate with sorbet for an app, fish and chips for the entree and a poached pear(with ice cream for dessert). The fruit plate was good but the orange sorbet tasted more like ice cream. The "fish" was basically breaded fish sticks. The fries were very good tho (beef eater style). The poached pear desert featured too little pear and too much ice cream. Also (inexplicably) the ice cream had chocolate drizzled over the top (like a sundae).
Following lunch, we went inside to the Dynasty theatre to catch the newlywed / not so newlywed gameshow. The event was poorly attended (most people were still out sunbathing). They had a nice set but otherwise it was a disappointment. They didn't even bother to keep score. Some amusing moments (mainly courtesy of Jorge the host and his questions, rather than the couples and their answers). Gary & I ordered a Stella from the waitress and it took forever to arrive and wasn't really cold when it did (I think someone had to run to another area to get them... obviously Stella isn't a popular beer option on Carnival). In the end, all three contestant couples (one pair were newlyweds from the Hull Quebec area, who fared the poorest) were awarded champagne bottles.
After the gameshow, we stopped by the "afternoon high tea" which was held in a bar (the Mirage bar) rather than a dining room. It was very sparsely attended and the tea options were equally slim. We were offered choices of sliced cucumber sandwiches and smoked salmon sandwiches first then a choice of four pastries from a sweets tray. There was no scones or clotted cream.
After tea, we returned back up to the sun decks. This time we went to the back of the ship on the level on which the waterslides end. It was surprisingly quiet back there. Also the wind had abated somewhat. We stayed there until almost sunset (the first one we have seen) at which time we went down to grab a table on a lower deck to snap some pics. Following that we returned to our stateroom and watched Jorge's disembarkation lecture on TV. We decided to do the express self-assist disembarkation in the morning. Otherwise, we would be called in the 21st of 24 disembarkation groups! We will reach the port in Miami around 8:00 and disembarkation is expected to begin at 8:30, so we should have time for a leisurely breakfast and to go up on deck to watch us port. You are allowed to wait in your stateroom for the disembarkation call and do not have to go to any particular common area or lounge.
We packed our bags and completed our comment cards before dinner. Jorge (the cruise director) told us that "meets expectations" was not good enough and that the crew is expected to get "exceeds expectations" ratings. Gary & I found it hard to give "meets expectations" on some questions and (to be honest) had to throw in a few "needs improvements". They do a draw for a free cruise from all the comment cards submitted as an incentive to get you to submit your comment cards. One surprise fact (from the disembarkation lecture): apparently Carnival has the highest repeat business factor in the industry... 63% of their guests are repeat customers!
Gratuities were added to our room bill automatically. It was $40 per person ($10 per day). They only provided is with envelopes for the maitre d. So we did not extra bill our waiters. For dinner we both ordered chateaubriand as an entrEe. They are very big on beef dishes on Carnival. Pork chops and red snapper were also available as entrees and both looked good. Although the chateaubriand was good it reminded me too much of the Wellington (the prior evening's entrEe) and I wished I had ordered the pork chop... which looked thick and plump. The French onion soup appetizer was disappointing since it didn't have enough cheese on top. We ordered baked Alaska for dessert. The meringue, rather than being flamed, had candied fruit stuck in it. The waiters performed a dance to YMCA as a parting "treat" to their guests. They also have a bizarre ritual of switching on a light show in the dining room about 75 minutes into dinner every evening, where the dining room lights flash and change color. There was a round of picture taking again after dinner (that made one picture taken each night at dinner) and they had them printed and posted in the photo gallery within an hour of the dining room closing. Following dinner we headed over to the Dynasty theatre to play the final round of bingo. It was three cars for $20. Te guaranteed minimum pot was $1,000 but you could win $2,000 if you got bingo in 40 numbers or less (no one did) and claim a $3,000 if you got bingo on the "powerball". In the end three players split a $1,000 jackpot. Gary got down to two numbers. Following bingo was the second dance review with the Carnival singers and dancers. It was entitled "Shout" and had no real cohesive theme. It jumped from a 50s diner to a cowboy themed country ho-down to a spiritual theme. At one point the showgirls dragged three men out of the audience up on stage to dance the Macarena with them and wouldn't you know it that I was one of the ones they nabbed! Although I would have preferred to remain seated, I tried to be a good sport and to have fun with my time in the spotlight! The show also featured a pair of Russian dancers who were very impressive. The final entertainment event of the night featured the same comedian from the night before in another "adults only" show that started at midnight. It had its moments, but again I didn't find the comic especially funny. We returned to our stateroom for the final night in our "comfort bed" immediately after the show ended (I had caught Gary dozing off during the show) and I was amazed to see what a large group was still up and milling about on the ship partying. There were very few bags placed out in the halls for the porters to take out tomorrow so I am presuming most people are using the self-assist "express" disembarkation. We will see how that goes. Apparently there are only two ships that arrive in port in Miami tomorrow (a Monday) morning so immigration is expected to process us quickly.
Following our final breakfast in the Pride dining room, they began to call for self-assist/express disembarkation at 8:30. Our floor was called at 9:00. The elevators were clogged/busy so we opted (along with many others) to drag our bags up two flights of stairs. The line off the ship moved fairly swiftly and customs also cleared us swiftly in the terminal. We hopped into a taxi within 30 minutes of leaving our stateroom to start the disembarkation process. There were actually three ships in port—ours plus the Carnival Fascination and the Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas (which is far more impressive than either of the Carnival boats). Read Less