This was the first cruise for all 8 of us with the age range of 7 to 65. We planned it as a surprise for my mother in law for her 65th b-day and retirement.
We flew out of Toronto at 6:45am to Atlanta with a 3 hour layover. When we landed in Miami at 1:50pm we located all but 1 piece of luggage quickly and about 15 minutes later the last piece arrived! The Carnival rep gathered a group and lead the way to the transfers. Thank goodness for airconditioning because of our large group we ended up as the last transfer and with a late plane I don't think we left until past 4. We made it to the ship and made it quickly through the embarkation process! This was quite fast and painless thanks to the great instructions from our TA we knew exactly what to do!
We got on the boat to our rooms three in a row 1331,1335 and 1339. We were surprised at the size of the rooms and lots of great storage! There were 3 of us in 2 cabins and 2 in the 3rd and we had plenty of room! We loved that you could call between rooms and also that you could look up your SS account on the TV and keep track of spending if you wanted to! For our 1st cruise we were thrilled with how everything was going! We went up on time for the muster drill my only complaint would be all the drunk loud people so you could not hear a think but I know it has to be done! Got some cute pix in the life jackets!We put our life jackets back in our rooms and went up on deck for the sailaway! Wow is all I can say the boat is huge and turning around in the port was pretty cool. We all got a drink and into our bathing suits and pulled up a deck chair to people watch and there were plenty of people to watch. Did I mention it was Spring Break? After a quick swim my 7 year old fell asleep amid the calypso band and all the parting going on! We all showered and went to the dinning room for our 8pm seating. Dinner was great! Very quick, I was a little worried with a 7 year old but they treated him like a king! Nicoletta and Hugo were our waiter and waitress and by the end of the week we felt like we were leaving family on board. Dinner and entertainment in the dinning room was great all week. We were in the Pacific dinning room at the back of the ship. I took my son to the late registration for Camp Carnival 9pm I think the 1st one was at 6or7? I'm not sure. He did not use Camp Carnival he is pretty quite so he was not interested in all the activities they were doing we did goto the family time and play and her enjoyed this he also did there version od "Build-a-bear" he made a cat and for $19.99 you got to stuff an animal of your choice and it came with a Camp Carnival t-shirt on. Sorry this is soooo long but we had such a great time! Our first stop was Costa Maya Mexico. 3 of us and my son took the $3 cab ride each into Mahahual. We walked up and down past all the restaurants and souvenir stands we chose Cat's Meow because the owner is Canadian and I had read such good things about it here on CC. We ate and drank the day away and played in the ocean all for about $60 Us for 4 of us! Can't beat the 6 Carona's for $10. We bought a few bracelets and small trinkets and headed back to the boat around 3:30. We shopped alittle in the pier area and swam in the pool beside the ocean. The other 4 in our party went to the Chaccobean Ruins they had a great tour but no time to go to the beach. Next time we will not do excursions just enjoy the local beaches! So Mexico was Tuesday. Cayman Island on Thursday we booked a tour with captain Marvins. All of us did a tour of the Governors House, the Olde Homestead and the Turtle Farm. Our guide was very informative I would of loved to spend more time at the Turtle Farm but the "girls" were off to stingray city! They had a great time but again they did not see the beach because they got back just in time to stand in the hour long tender line. We on the other hand went to 7 mile beach another WOW what beautiful turquoise water and white sand beach. We were swimming and sunning for a few hours and then decided to walk back to the ship. Don't try this it took us 2.5 hours!!!!! The beach walk was great but when we ran out of beach we thought we would be closer to the pier but we still had 45 mins to walk by the road. At this point the traffic was slow so we could walk faster than a cab but we thought the boat would leave without us so we were a little panicked! No need to be because when we finally rounded the corner there about 1000 people in line. Phew still time to shop left the boys in line and went for an icecream and checked out the Harley shop! Friday Jamaica! This is the port we were worried about what to do so we booked a ship tour. This was an awesome way to end our trip we shopped in the Island Village area $5 t-shirts and horse back ridding at 10:30am We had a guide and a driver for our 20 min drive she taught us some Jamaican words and talked about the area. we had 2 guides on our horse adventure Audrey and Dale for 4 it was their first time on a horse and 4 had ridden before they were GREAT talked to everyone along the way made sure my 7 year old was having fun which he did he wanted to come back the next day and do it again! He smiled from ear to ear the whole time even in the water and he is not a big fan of water. If you get the chance this is a must in your lifetime!!!!!! Well that day was great now back to the ship. We had fun dressing up for the 2 formal nights Monday and Friday. The shows were good our Cruise director Jorge was very funny the crew was great! Our room stewart was very good Arnel. My son thought it was nice he knew our names and always was there to greet you. Well I hope you made it through and I hope you enjoy your Cruise as much as we did!!