Although I love the very long and detailed trip reports I get to read on here, I am not talented enough to write a 14 page write up...so you get the quick and dirty version.
Vacationer's = Me (42), Wife (38), two Kiddos 17 and 10...this makes our 12 cruise 9th with Carnival
Cruise: 7 day out of Miami going to 4 ports we had never traveled to ( Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk)
Pre-Cruise - A very tiresome 13 hour drive from Tennessee. Stayed at the La Quinta Hotel...We have stayed here all 3 times we have went out of Miami and we really like it....free shuttle to the port (10 bucks per person to get back), free hot breakfast...and free long term parking for your car.
Embarkation - So this was our first cruise since they started the "check in times", Our check in time was 1230 to 100...our shuttle got to the port at 1130 and we were on the ship within 10 minutes. There were no lines anywhere...we only stopped to have ID's checked and were walking on the ship before we had a clue. (when we arrived there was a early/late line and an ontime line....we went to the early/late line as we should have and it was crazy quick...couldn't believe how fast it was.
The also seem to have stopped asking about recent illness form as we did not even have to stop to fill one of those out.
Cabin -10th floor as soon as you got off the elevator's room 10268 was unable to get a suite but did get a balcony and it is just what you would expect. The first night of our neighbors were sitting on their doubled balcony at Midnight playing guitar and singing as loud as they could...contacted security who was there within 5 minutes and never heard from them again after 11 at night...a few mid afternoon songs though...lol
Cruise Director - MarQ is probably the best CD we have ever had. Always easy to be seen and always having a good time...and he was funny as hell
Food - MDR we ate here 3 nights...food was just OK. Service was rather slow and seemed Disorganized. Italian pay to eat place (sorry can't remember the name)...this place is 15 bucks per person..but the food was pretty damn fantastic and the service was AMAZING. Ended up tipping 20 bucks on a 30 dollar meal because we were so impressed with the service. Buffet was ok...GUYS was FANTASTIC as usual...was not able to try Pig and Anchor because each time we went the line was like 4 miles long...I am assuming it was good based on that
Drinks- Had the Cheers program. Although, we did not always manage to get our 5 drink per day minimum in to meet the break-even point...we also got lots of soda's, and 4 or more specialty coffee's per day...so we figured it worked out well for us.
Entertainment- we were fairly disappointed in the shows. Watched the first one and thought, perhaps it was a bad night so we decided to try to second show and NOPE...the male singers were unbelievably bad and only one seemed to be able to dance very well.. female performers did do much better...but the balance between the two was just too far off to be enjoyable. The Hasbro Game show was fun and my 10 year old got to compete in it.
Ports/Excursions - Amber Cover - Ocean World - All four of us loved this place. They did Dolphin Shows, Shark Shows, Snorkling, Seal Show and a small beach area (not on the ocean...just there own beach area you can swim in. They have food/drinks etc...but we were only there for a little over 4 hours so did not eat or drink while there.
St. Thomas - did not have an excursion...did lots of shopping off the boat and walked around and took in the sites.
San Juan - Another no excursion...We walked and walked and walked...this place is BEAUTIFUL. Although I am sure there is still plenty of devastation throughout the island you can not (I could not) find it anywhere we walked. We walked to the forts and walked around and the view from the top of that thing was AMAZING. Then walked through the streets and took in the sights and sounds...really one of the pretties places I have been.
Grand Turk - we did the HOME AWAY FROM HOME - this was really really nice. Small beach house offering only 30 guests (we only had 28), amazing private beach, and it was all inclusive, including snorkeling gear, Kayaks, Water trampoline.....The food was probably second best (behind the Italian) all week long...The bar is pretty basic Island punch, rum and cokes, and local beer...no frozen drinks (which wouldve been nice on the beach lol).
I think thats it...I would be happy to answer any questions.