My trip was from October 21-28th.
Where do I begin? EZ parking was just that-easy!! Make sure you bring plenty of one's to tip. I was only on the bus for a minute when someone yelled "anyone here from cruise critic?" ahhhhhhhhhhh..cruise critic..gotta love this board.
We arrived about 11:30, but even with the line pretty long it was smooth getting on the ship. Not much of a wait at all! I'm aiming to become VIP one day.
My room was in the front of the ship forward (cabin 2216). I've been on seven cruises but this was the closest to the front of the ship I have had. The location was great (right near the lounge) but the noise was pretty loud from the crashing of the waves off the front of the ship. The anchor noise didn't really bother me that much (I was awake anyway) but the crashing noise did. The good part, you could not hear the noise from the stage above me which was my concern before I left.
The ship was pretty huge!! Honestly, I liked the Carnival Spirit's layout much better. Sometimes bigger is not better, but in the end I still loved the ship anyway. I hated hitting dead ends. What I mean; your walking through the lobby and then.. oops..you can't go any further. Your out by Alfred's bar trying to find your way back to the front..and oops-another dead end. My level (2) went from front to back, so I decided to just walk down by all the staterooms instead of trying to find my way through the upper floors. Of course I didn't think of that until like day 5... =-)
Drinks: Are expensive.. I bought two 12 packs of regular soda and filled the 12 packs with budlight, then put the regular soda in the handle part where you can see the soda and taped up the ends. Then I put the regular soda just in a bag...It worked!! Hey that saved me about $100 which I gave back to them in the casino anyway.
Food: I gained about 6lbs, so that should sum that up. Actually, you need to go to the back of the ship, one level higher than the rest of the food lines. Sur Mer.. Best fish and chips I have had. Well at least I think that way "right now" and I am from Boston. They had this Bolognaise (forgive my spelling) soup and that was awesome. Put it this way, I ate there 3 times and would have been 2 more if it wasn't already closed.
Activities: You're not lacking many on this ship.. BINGO anyone? =-) Look at the list in your capers and pick what you want to do. I learned how to make a towel animal which was pretty cool. I even bought the book so I can learn to surprise my grandson one day. The Mardi Gras party to me was the best on board activity I have taken part in. DO it!!! Better than the on deck beach party they usually throw. Its part competition in a way but in the end your all one big happy cruisers. Watch your voice you may lose it like I lost mine!! Piano Bar guy.. always took breaks for some reason. When I was on the spirit the guy was rocking!! This guy was okay, but not rocking. The piano bar on the Spirit the guy pulled out props, played songs that sometimes the crowd would holla out something inappropriate because of the song,, and we couldn't wait to go back. This cruise, the piano bar was just okay..sadly..cause I love piano bars.
Jamaica: I didn't do much here. We paid the $12 for the bus which stopped at a couple places. First stop a flea market where we didn't get off the bus. Next was a shopping strip that looked more our speed. Locals were trying to coach me down the back to go to more shops but I didn't go and stayed in the main section of this strip mall. Last stop Margaritaville... How cool this place was.. We spent hours there..and I mean hours. Now, if it wasn't for this place we probably would have been back at the ship by noon. Let me tell ya, drink the Pina Colada. Yum!! Wear your bathing suit because that waterslide is so much fun, especially when you had a few. =-) Jamaica is not my cup of tea.
Grand Cayman: I used Moby Dick tours to go to Stingray City and it was so worth it. Nice small group (29 of us) and the boat had room for 50. Plenty of space! When you pulled up to where we would see the Stingrays there were the big boats full of people.. Go with a smaller tour not through the cruise ship. It only cost $35 if you book in advance. We got to snorkel and see the stingrays while we jammed to some music. I was scared but I fed and kissed those things. Our time on the island was cut short and we had to be back at the ship two hours earlier because of a storm and we still made it back with 45 minutes to spear. My advice, bring bagels to feed the fish when you snorkel. Stuff the bagel in your suit and pull it out when you're in the water. It's like fish food
Cozumel: I did the catamaran beach party through the ship and it was fun.. I'm lacking the memory of the end of it due to the unlimited beers I had... Yes my memory is very disrupted due to alcohol for that day. After changing on the ship we went back out to Senior Frogs and another great time. Of course I don't remember much—dang alcohol.
I had a great time meeting everyone off of this board as well as the new people I met along this journey. We had an open bar party thanks to a fellow cruise taking the steps to organizing it and collecting our money... I thank you Patti for taking all that time and charge. Seeing my friends from Texas that I met on my last cruise and meeting some new ones added to the great time I had this past week of my life. I love hearing how people speak from all over because only New Englanders speak right. Ahhhhh..you know I am kidding. Personally, I liked the ship but I had my moments where I didn't. Maybe it was the size, but I keep thinking it was because I would hit a dead end going from one side to the other. Ohhh..and the sportsbar did play the Red Sox games but the bartender guy really could use a personality.
We had some rocky days at sea, so I hope your not a person that gets sea sick!! Enjoy your vacation because you're the one in control of how you will enjoy yourself. This was my 7th cruise (2nd one this year) and love cruising. What a weird feeling when my floor is moving even though I've been home for a few days. I guess the only cure is to head out on another cruise..right?
GO WHITE TEAM GO!!