If you want the short version, see the bulleted recap below. If you want to savor every moment with me, I'd advise skipping the spoiler and going straight on to post two...
the short version
- embarkation was easy. Capital Parking was convenient and inexpensive.
- ship is easy to navigate, very red, full of urns, ideal size to handle the flow of people (imho). We spent very little time waiting in lines. The ship does stink after day 6. All over.
- we did not miss the giant tv; we did miss the live music.
- we really enjoyed the cooking demonstration as well as the wine pairing. These will be can't-miss activities from now on.
- dinner was fabulous. No cold meals ever. Always fantastic service (except bar service was a little slow).
- Chef's table was beyond fabulous (even with the "new" menu), and the chef met us in the dining room several times during the week to do whatever we asked (special deserts two nights, particular fruit for the kids, and he even paged the magician for DS's birthday)
- deli and buffets were very good.
- the gold/platinum/diamond party was actually really nice. The one free drink each during lunch was enjoyed.
- shows were just okay. same goes for the cruise director.
- we loved what we planned for port days (every single day). No complaints about any of the ports (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman)
- debarkation was a little tough but not unbearable.
- any questions? ask or scroll through the longer review...
2000 - Ecstasy in June - Key West and Cozumel
Missed '01 and '02 for our first baby! God bless Jadon Gregory!
2003 - Victory in June - Norfolk, VA to Bahamas
2004 - Victory in June - Norfolk, VA to Bahamas
2005 - Destiny in June - family cruise in memory of mom (and Jadon's first cruise!)- San Juan, St. Thomas, Barbados, Dominica, Aruba
2006 - Miracle in June - Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Belize
2007 - FINALLY got a new baby instead of cruising! God bless Madelyn Georgia!
2008 - Destiny in October- Key West and Cozumel (Couldn't wait 'til summer to cruise again! Madelyn's first cruise!)
2009 - tried out AI for the first time...Aruba, baby!
2010 - Carnival Dream in June - Cozumel, St. Thomas, St. Maarten; not-quite-finished review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1226014
2011- just stuck with Disney and a road trip (DC, Baltimore, and New York)
2012 - Legend in July - Cozumel, Belize, Grand Caymen, and Isla Roatan -- review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1680286
2013 - Victory in June - my 1st B2B!!!!! Key West and Cozumel, then Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau! -- another not quite finished review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1881779
2014 - Breeze in August - enjoying Platinum status! Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Aruba! - I swear I'll finish this review one day SOON!: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2189199
2015 - Breeze in July - St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Grand Turk
2016 - Magic in August - Port Canaveral to Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk
"School's out for summer!"