What an AMAZING time. We think it was our best vacation ever.
Embarkation in Tampa was a breeze. Flew in that a.m., took a cab to port and were on the ship in 15 minutes. They delivered our luggage later that evening to the room. When you get on ship they just hand you a map and you are on your own. We thought that was fun and went exploring.
The name of the ship says it all. The theme is "everything we could find" quite literally. There is something to see everywhere you turn and none of it really matches. We thought it was like taking 6 designers plans and implementing all of them at once. It is really over the top at first but it grows on you. After a couple of drinks it is alot of fun. HAHA The crew is very international, from everywhere.
For a cheaper 6A suite with a window it was very comfortable for 2 people. King bed that was very comfy, 2 Down and 2 fiber pillows, down comforter. There was a couch beside the bed. Across from the couch was a desk/shelving/mirror. By the entrance there were 3 closets and a nice sized bathroom. Always great pressure and hot water. Our cabin steward was amazing. We are a gay couple which threw him off for a minute then he was fine. Seemed like every time we left the room it was straightened when we came back. Changed towels 2 times a day, even pool towels. He got us anything we wanted. Wish he could have come home with us.
At first the Bacchus dining room is the most tacky thing you have ever seen, but again it grows on you. By the end of the trip we liked it. We were on the balcony. Donovan and Titus were our staff. After the first day we started joking around and we had alot of fun with them. Ask his recommendation on the food he will tell you straight up good, bad, or no way. He tried to steer me away from the turkey with pasta one night and I didn't listen. He was right. After a few bites he could tell I wa snot happy and came back to the table and offered me a new dish, which I gladly accepted. ALL of the food 9other than that) was great. Lobster was amazing, and they will bring you 2 if you ask. :) Was a little disappointed in the desserts, I am a chocoholic, and there was very little. I think the most interesting was cherry crusted meringues with green peppercorn ice cream. definitely different but good still. Roberto the wine steward was a little slow. But Donovan and Titus were on top of everything. The dancing waiters entertainment was fun at first but the wore off by the end. Just let them work. Donovan told us they have to be enthusiastic about it or they have to practice on there break. So they tolerate it with good sport.
The shows were good but a little lacking. The best were late at night and we are not night people. Casino was good if you are into it. Most of the bars were never crowded. Pre- dinner special drinks in the lobby were a deal and good.
The excursions through the ship were top notch and great.
Grand Cayman - We did our own thing. Took our own snorkel gear. A local told us to get the bus and go to the cemetery $2 each . Beside the cemetery there is a path out to the beach. If you go straight out and to the right there are coral reefs. It is actually where the tours were going. There had been alot of damage to the reefs but still ok.
Cozumel- $70 We did the excursion through the ship of Tulum. Comfy bus with AC. Our guide was Mr. Torres. He gave us information the whole time from the beginning to end, even copies he had made himself. The sundial, alphabet, time line and a map. It was HOT 90 degrees. He talked alot (some thought toooo much) about the culture, the civilization, the people, buildings, there art. We came back to the ship feeling like we had really explored all aspects of the site.
Belize - After our first experience with the Carnival excursions we decided to do another. We went scuba diving, $110 . It was a discover class and the best I had ever been to. ( Hugh Parkeys Dive Connection )If you are not sure about it these are the the people to help you out. They gave information, tested us on land. Took us out on the boat, put the equipment on us and told us how everything worked, put us in the water in groups of 3-4 and went through all safety again, then made us do everything in shallow water, then deeper, then deeper. Got back in the boat and moved to the reef went in the water and tested our safety again. By this time we all felt comfortable that we could handle it. Went down to a total of 40 feet and saw the most amazing corals and fish. Our guise had an etch a sketch for water and would write what stuff was and point things out. Always making sure that all of us were still comfortable with what we were doing. We were down about 40 minutes. I have been discover diving before and this was the best. Amazing coral, AMAZING guides and instructors. The fish were actually a little better in Hawaii, they said last years hurricanes had dwindled the populations a bit. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TOUR if you are even thinking about ever diving. After the tour we had about 1 hour to go into Belize City. Didn't leave the port. Was not recommended unless you were going out aways.
Casta Maya - don't do the excursions unless it is Mayan. Go to the port and go out past the busses and exit the port. At the end of the driveway there are taxi's. $2-3 a person to go to the fishing village. When they let you out you are at the beginning of the beach. A few Papalas (grass huts) down there are 2 that are painted blue on top and pinkish red on the bottom. There is a husband wife team, Agusto and Blanca that give the only REAL massages on the beach. Find them first for later. Then continue down the beach to the end. The water is CLEAN, wait staff is ok. Many of our crew were there. Eat the food, coke in bottle or beer. We snorkeled out toward the reef saw squid, really cool and then went over a stingray in the sand, it freaked both of us out and we went back to shore. Didn't want to be there next victim. relax then go get an amazing massage for $20. REALLY it was one of the best ever. aaahhhhh
embarkation - easy. Ship great but a little tacky, service great. Debarkation was as easy as getting on. Customs did not check for alcohol only if you were buying cases of stuff. But this time take the $9 shuttle outside the entrance or wait a day for a taxi.
I think we ended with a $700 tab that included the excursions, drinks, wine a few nights.
Over all - YES, YES, YES, YES Don't hesitate.