This was a cruise for my boyfriend and my one year anniversary. We are 19 years old and we were able to sail Carnival since he is Army Reserve. This was his first cruise and my 8th, all of which have been with Carnival. I was on the Carnival Glory Inaugural back in 2003 (my very first cruise) and enjoyed it very much. We sailed the Western Caribbean on July 28th, 2007 with stops in Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya, and Nassau. I will say I believe this was one of the most enjoyable cruises I've been on.
We live about 90 minutes from Port Canaveral so we left the house around 10 AM. My parents drove us to avoid parking in the garages at the Port. We filled out the Funpass weeks prior to our cruise, although at embarkation they never asked for it. At 11:30 there weren't many people trying to board, so everything went smoothly and we were eating lunch by 12. Our cabin wasn't ready until 1:30, so we just explored the ship.
Our room: We booked a GTY 4A, were upgraded to 4D. Once we got into our room, it met our expectations. The only problem was that our shower drain worked very slowly. Luggage came before 3 and life boat drill was tedious but smooth. Sofyan, our room steward was fabulous! We also had a cooler of ice, towel animals and a well cleaned room. HE contacted maintenance about our shower, which was convenient, and it was fixed the first night.
First night around 11, we went to the casino. After playing slots for about 15 minutes an announcement over the PA said the casino was closing, as we had turned around and were going back into Port Canaveral. WHAT? We were later told that a passenger (16 yr old guy) had a medical condition and required immediate emergency attention. As a consequence of turning around, Carnival said they were changing our itinerary- no more Nassau, one extra sea day. $25/pp onboard credit. My boyfriend and I were both disappointed in this, since Nassau was something we were both looking forward to. I didn't let it ruin my vacation but it was a cloud in a otherwise clear sky.
Entertainment: During sea days, we enjoyed food, sun and the casino. Plenty of chairs for all, but not always close to the pool. Enjoyed the hot tub in the gym. The only shows we made it to were the R-rated comedians. Michael Macy and Lewis (can't remember the last name) both kept us laughing. Captain's cocktail and past passenger parties were well-organized. We also participated in bingo, not much to say about it though. Photography was good and it made the decision of which formal ones to buy very hard! $22 isn't cheap, but still less than Olan Mills or Sears.
Food: We were in the Golden Restaurant at the 6:15 seating- table for two. Nice view, but in a high traffic area. I would still, however, take this over a table for 8. Ate here 6 out of the 7 nights. Our waiter Bryan and asst. Lidziya were fantastic. They were very friendly and diligent in their jobs. We were out before the obnoxious singing 5 out of the 6 nights, which was great! We did order multiple dishes and it was no problem. The deli was great (as always) and I was kind of disappointed in how greasy "Fish and Chips" was. Pizzeria and ice cream 24hrs a day way used very frequently and always good! Room service: we used it once in the morning, was on time and good. We used it once at night, took about 50 minutes to get there, but was enjoyable also. The buffets were good, I just wish people in line wouldn't take all day. Speaking of lines, they were never that bad. When they were they moved quickly. The only REALLY horrible line was the gala buffet, but that's expected. Didn't try the supper club, maybe next time :)
Belize: Our first stop with the modified itinerary. We had to tender to port, and had booked an independent tour, so needed an early boat out. Got to the Ebony Cabaret and received Tender #1. Waited about 45 minutes, then boarded the tender. Our independent tour took us through Belize City and then to Altun Ha Ruins. We climbed two of them and had a very good time. Saw Carnival's people also there, but felt good about paying half what they paid. Went to Wet Lizard and had banana daiquiris- not very strong.
Costa Maya: We had a very good time at this port. I hadn't been there since it was built up. We grabbed the $5/pp round-trip to Mahajual and went in search of food and drink. Little stands of souvenirs are plentiful and they're willing to haggle. I had heard of Cat's Meow from Cruise Critic as well as others. Ended up at Cat's Meow where Hugo took good care of us. Small beach view, but still nice, with a breeze and good view. The food was good- got fajitas and Mayan fish something. We went back to the port around 1230 and of course we had to visit the swim up bar! It was really neat, as I had never seen anything like it.
Cozumel: One of my favorites for just hanging out and looking around. Went to Carlos n Charlie's and had some of the best nachos ever. Got the mariachi platter and had sooo much food! Walking around, people were less willing to bargain, but prices weren't too bad. Wish we had had the time to visit the beach since this was probably the nicest water of the three.
Like I said, Nassau was on the original itinerary, but cancelled. Disappointing, but stuff happens.
Debarkation: Probably the smoothest one I've been through in awhile. They started boarding at 8 AM because there was a rocket launch at 5:30 that morning (causing a delay.) We could have been off the ship at 9ish (Luggage tag #8 out of 34) but we waited around so we would be out around the time my parents arrived. Got from the ship to the vehicle loading area in about 30 minutes.
This cruise was a great first cruise for my boyfriend and a great anniversary present from him to me. The whole purpose of a vacation is to relax, forget life at home, and enjoy a fun time with my boyfriend. Mission accomplished, thanks to great service, funny comedians and 3 ports in which we had a good time!