This was the second cruise for me and my husband, both in our early 30s. We previously sailed on the Carnival Valor and really loved it. Embarkation, which in our previous cruise had been a total disaster, was EASY and QUICK. We were eating lunch on the Lido deck with an hour of arriving at the port. Were on the 6th floor in a balcony room - FANTASTIC! We had been on the 8th floor in the past but found this to be a great location for everything and had no noise issues at all. Our luggage arrived very soon after the muster drill. No problems at all. Our room steward John (from St. Vincent) was very nice. Opened the fridge for us and kept our ice bucket stocked. Really good job on the towel animals, too.
DINING We had a late seating in the Platinum dining room. The first night of the cruise we ate there, but only one more night afterwards. Seems like they tried to put too many tables in the space and as a result was very crowded and hard for the servers to navigate around. First night I had shrimp cocktail (good), lamb chops (excellent) and the absolutely fabulous Chocolate Melting Cake. Food was very good. Our wait staff was very nice, but no one ever asked what we wanted to drink - weird. Second night was the Captain's Dinner and really wasn't very impressive - I was kind of let down. The lobster was overcooked in many cases. I should also mention we were at a table for eight (we had family with us). Prime rib was also overcooked and a disappointment. We always seemed to be the last table served. many times meals would come out for a few of our party but others would have to wait several minutes more to receive theirs. So needless to say we had the rest of our meals in the Red Sail restaurant. Much better! The food was always good. Burgers, hot dogs, pizza and the deli were consistently good as well. The only problem was finding a clean table at times. No biggie!
Room Service was better than on the Valor. Better menu choices and faster service. We loved it!
Since it was the week of my b-day and our anniversary was close by, we splurged and had dinner in the Emerald Supper Club one night. SO GOOD! Excellent service and 5 star dining. I had the crab cake for a starter, surf and turf for entrEe. Hubby also had the crab cake and a HUGE porterhouse. For desert we had a trio of chocolate things. It was such a great experience. I highly recommend it and will definitely do it again.
Cozumel Didn't book an excursion thru Carnival and at the end of the day were really glad we didn't. We were approached on the pier by a gentleman trying to get us to go on a snorkeling excursion. At first I was hesitant but after a few more minutes said OK. We got a fantastic price for our group of 6, along with another couple. The guys took us out to two snorkeling sites where our guide Alex would feed fish to get us a closer look. Awesome! We were also treated to Coronas and even a few shots of tequila. These guys were very friendly and very accommodating. I highly recommend going on an excursion with El Dorado. You won't regret it.
After snorkeling, we headed downtown to Pancho's Backyard. This is absolutely the best place for Mexican food and margaritas - I've ever had. The restaurant is very open and colorful, with fantastic service as well. It's also connected to Los Cincos Solas - a great place to get all your gifts. They've really got everything at excellent prices with no haggling. And of course no trip to Cozumel would complete without a t-shirt from Senor Frogs or Carlos and Charlie's!
Belize This time we did book an excursion with Carnival because there is absolutely nothing to see in Belize City - don't even get off the ship. We did the Goff's Caye snorkeling excursion. This was much different than the other excursion we took. This one had about 50-75 people in it. The boat ride to island/snorkel site was terrible. The water was really rough - almost made me sick and I don't get seasick. The waves were so rough the trip really should have been canceled. All in all the snorkeling was good - how many times can you say you've been to the second largest barrier reef in the world? The island was beautiful and we had a better time just snorkeling off the beach in the shallow water.
Costa Maya At the pier, there is a huge salt water pool with swim up bar, shops and a beach. I really hated the shop keepers haggling cruisers to come in their stalls. I don't like to barter and it really made me mad to see the same items in each shop but at different prices. What ever the guy wants to give it to you for is the way it is. I also didn't like the attitude I was given when I said I wasn't interested. Apparently if you go into town the prices are much better and people are less pushy.
If we had more time in port I would have gone on a beach just to chill out and enjoy the scenery. But with group I was with, time didn't permit it.
Nassau We'd been to Nassau a few times and even had the chance to stay at the Atlantis. BTW, don't waste your money on an excursion tour of the resort. Just grab a taxi and you can see all that stuff shown on the excursion for free.
We spent the day shopping since there really wasn't time to do anything else.
EVERYTHING ELSE We went to a few shows. Loved the late night comedians but the Vegas style shows were pretty lame. We spent a lot of time on the ship on our balcony. If you haven’t ever had a cabin with a balcony – invest the extra money in it. We loved to just have a drink (with the tequila, rum and our own mixers brought from home) relax, and look at that awesome blue water.
The week went by way too fast. Before we knew it was time to go home. I have to say debarkation was a real breeze too. We had a great time on the Glory. We’re looking forward to cruising again soon. It’s really the best way to vacation – and much cheaper than anything else!