Just came back from my first cruise and it was wonderful. Let me highlight some of the good and the bad. The embarkation process was smoothe in spite of increased security. We got to the ship at 12:30pm and were on board between 1:15 and 1:30 pm. We had lunch ready for us on the Lido deck (Horizon Grill) and it was great. The food at the grill was great for being quickly prepared food, the food in the dining room wasn't what I imagined. You read the description of the food and saw the product and would say, "is that what the menu said?" I guess for a non-luxury cruise the food was good, but I guess I expected more, but I think I got more than expected for the price I paid. The service was exceptional. Fritz, our waiter, was fantastic. Entertainment was good. I just wish they had more of it on days when you were "at sea" and more of it throughout the day, not just in the evening. Camp Carnival for the kids looked great, but my son, who is 11-years-old, found stuff to do on his own. He met a few kids his age and had a blast. If you take the western Caribbean trip (4-day) make sure you book a tour! Don't try to do something on your own, you'll waste a lot of money going in circles and seeing the REAL Cozumel- poor and depressed. Take a tour and see the stuff you came to Cozumel to see. The tours are a bit pricey but well worth the time and money. Key West was fantastic, I wish we had the whole day there, beautiful place to visit. I hope this helps anyone trying to get an idea of what a Carnival cruise may be like. One other thing, if you are put off by cigarette and cigar smoke, consider booking the Carnival "Paradise," a non-smoking cruise ship. I will go again and that will be the ship I take.
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