I needed something to do with my adult autistic college student son so how about a cruise as we've never done that before. I have to admit, cruising was not on my bucket list but a number of people said do it. It sounded too restrictive for me.
I arrived almost early and joined the check-in herd. It was an expected wait. Since my son was autistic, I had checked special needs. That produced absolutely no benefit and repeated delays as each check point required special procedures. I wish I had known I would not be able to get in the cabin until later and get a swim suit from my bags until much later. The TV reception was so poor, I would have to go through presentations twice to find out what they said. The life boat exercise seemed to be a time for the white suited crew members to show an antagonistic attitude toward both passengers and lower ranking crew.
Since my son is autistic, I had hoped for socializing at the dinner table. They don't open the assigned dining even 1 second early so being ready for my assigned dining on time meant another wait in line. I expected a large open table with other guests but was assigned a 4 place booth. The two other people showed up 30 minutes late the first time, 45 minutes late the second time and didn't show at all the third time. So much for socializing. The booth was next to the walkway from the galley so it was an endless stream of staff squeezing past our little booth. No, it did not have a window. The food choices were limited, arrived a bit cold and the staff never asked us if we wanted anything to drink so it was water only. The dinners so many people had recommended were dismal so we chose the buffet after those first three experiences. If I had known in advance, I would not have suffered the first three.
The first port was Progresso. I read everything I could in advance and had low expectations. My son would get little from long bus rides to ancient piles of rocks we can't explore so I chose the all inclusive beach resort. It is nestled among a string of derelict resorts and when the wind drifted just right, smelled of sewer otherwise, it was well kept. The beach itself was fair as long as you didn't go out very far as the bottom was a nasty feeling mud. Combined with the constant sewer smell off the beach, this made me quite concerned. I was glad to leave Progresso but whoever was driving the boat screwed up. The boat made a hard right turn too fast and leaned to ship over sending chairs sliding and condements off the tables. The hot tubs dumped over the side and some passengers were screaming. Being an avid sailor, leaning decks are normal for me.
Cozumel had far more activities available than our short stop allowed. It would have been FAR better to have skipped Progresso and spent two days in Cozumel. The short stay meant only one activity and a short bit of way overpriced shopping. The same things are available at my local Walmart at 1/3 the price!
Although I had fairly low expectations, even these were not met with a couple of exceptions. The shows were much better than I had expected and the stewards who took care of the cabin did an excellent job. Considering recent cruise ship events, I would have thought they would have done a better job.
Unless there are some circumstances to convince me, this was likely my last cruise as well as my first.