We were on a family vacation with daughter, SIL, and 3 grandkids, 4, 18, 21. We had a blast just being together for 5 days. That's the best part. We headed down to Galveston Saturday morning, parked at EZ Cruise, more about that later. We were on board by noon, ate lunch in the buffet and headed to our rooms. We were in 1039 and the kids were in 1064. Great deck, the spa deck! Loved just walking out the door and onto the lido. Very quiet deck even tho it's behind the slide. Never heard anything! Great steward. Only saw him once, but he was in our room 3 times per day and we never ran into him.
The Ship---I didn't see anything that said she was dated. Carpet seemed newer, common rooms were well kept. Not contemporary in decor but still clean and in shape. I had read that only deck 5 went all the way through so that helped us navigate. No problems with the layout of the ship.
The Food---We didn't eat alot in the buffet, just breakfast a few days. Mostly ate in the London dining room at Anytime dining. We were a party of 7 and we never waited for a table. We ate each night between 6-6:30 so maybe that was the key. Good service each night. One lunch in the Paris Dining room was slow, but we noted that the waiters were also busing tables. They seemed short handed that day. I was glad the escargot was back. Enjoyed it and so did one grandson who was trying everything! The Shepherds pie was a vegan dish and it was okay. It was the only one I tried. Had WCMC 3 times and tried the Bitter n Blanc. Loved it! Eggs Benedict great too! Lunch one day at Chopstix was not good. Had heard it was, but not even as good as a Panda Express. Always a long line, but can't understand what all the hoopla was about. The Deli was good. Had Reuben twice. The lobster and shrimp on elegant night was good. DH had prime rib and liked it. Kids had pork ribs, lots of them! Advice for kids: Last evening the comfort food offered was Meatloaf. Sounds bland, but it was really spicy. My 3 grandkids ordered it and didn't eat it. It wasn't the gravy, but the spice in the meat. Kids loved the ice cream, fresh fruit bowls. Had the Chataubriand one evening and it was good. DH ordered it medium well and me medium rare and rare was better! The Grand Marnier Souffle was great too. Room service chocolate cake was to die for. DH had carrot cake at the Vienna Cafe and it was wonderful too. All in all Carnival food isn't bad, but it's not awesome like NCL or Celebrity. Did gain unwanted weight though!
Entertainment---We loved the band in the Casino and the Asian singer in the World Bar. He was so entertaining. The comic was clean in the family show. The best show was the Magic of Steve and Caruso. Great props and very funny. Good for the whole family. Karaoke was so so.
Rooms---Can't complain. Brought our own mattress pad since Carnival doesn't provide them anymore. Glad we did. Had no problems sleeping. Our 4 year old granddaughter slept in our room each night on the tiny couch. She fit perfect and slept soundly. Didn't know til after the cruise that her big sister was sleeping on the same size couch in her parents room with her feet hanging off the bed! She's 5"10. Her brother was above her in the pull down berth and he said it was larger. We decorated their room door to celebrate his graduation and granddaughters 21st birthday. Placed a small dry erase board on our door so we could all leave notes about where we were. That worked great! Even had some other people writing notes on it, then one rude teen drawing lewd pics on it. We then took away the marker to keep him from any more art!
Excursions---We just shopped in Progresso and I got a massage for 10 bucks! Not like in the states, but worth every penny just for the foot massage. The excursion we took in Cozumel was the Playa Mia Carnival trip. We don't usually book with them, but book our own, but our family chose this one and we tagged along. We usually do Nachi Cocum and will return there in the future. Playa Mia had horrid food. Couldn't wait to get guacomole, but they didn't offer it on the buffet. We paid $7 to have the bar make it. Carnival really skimped on this excursion. Wouldn't do it again. Buffet had 8 salads, hotdogs, ribs, chicken, taquitos. Sounds okay but it wasn't for 75 pp. The beach was good and it wasn't crowded, maybe only 120 people. Kids enjoyed it. They don't provide motorized water sports, but down the beach at Paradise Beach they do, so Playa Mia arranged for our kids and grandkids to ride the banana boat ride for $50. Our 4 year old granddaughter attended Camp Carnival several times and loved it.
Debarkation---We always go to breakfast and exit slow, but half of our kids and grandkids did self assist. They were off the ship by 9:30 and on the road by 10:15. We had no problems getting off, but DH thought the line was too long for the porter so we went through the long line to customs. He later regretted that decision. Grab a porter to debark. They go through shorter lines! We had one grandchild with us with a BC so we had to stand in that long line. The passport line was short short. We were out of the terminal by 11:00. Then came the difficulty. The lines for EZ Cruise were long! We stood in the line in the hot sun for 25-30 minutes. EZ Cruise has also opened up a second lot that is alot farther away and that's the one we were directed to when we boarded. We always park with them because it's so close, but won't do that again. Lighthouse had huge buses and their lines were boarded quickly. Hate to have to switch but if we sail Carnival again will try someone else. The best part was just being with family. We've traveled to Cozumel many times and this was just a celebration for our grandkids so that's what was truly enjoyable. Wonderful pics and memories. So glad we had the opportunity to tag along with them. Take every chance you get to spend time with those important people in your life. Don't put it off! Thanks everyone for your info. I always lurk here when planning a trip and you guys are so helpful. Can't wait for the next cruise!