I am a 46 year old SAHM from Indiana. This is my second cruise with my two DD, ages 16 and 9. My best friend accompanied us on this cruise and it was her first cruise.
We flew to Tampa on Saturday and rented a minivan and took off for Fort Myers to visit my 92 year old grandmother and drove back to the Tampa airport to return the rental car on Sunday around noon. We took the complimentary shuttle provided by the car rental agency to the port. (Thrifty/Dollar) They also provided the return shuttle back to the airport when we returned for no extra charge. I tipped the shuttle driver and we were on our way!
EMBARKATION: Approximately 1:30 PM - The lines were long and took us over 45 minutes to move through the lines. We were quite hungry and were not expecting such long lines, but seemed to move along quite well considering the number of people there.
The first impression of this lovely ship was awesome as you walk in to the Atrium. The glass elevators going to the top give you a bird's eye view of the fantastic murals! It is a newer ship and I was impressed with how spotless it was and people were constantly scrubbing and shining to keep it that way.
We found our room, dropped off our carry-on luggage and headed up for some food at the Unicorn Cafe. The food seems to satisfy all of our varied tastes and I was happy with the variety offered at lunch time. By the time we finished eating, it was time for the muster drill. Our luggage had arrived after the drill, so we took it back to our stateroom and dressed for our early dinner time of 5:45.
We booked our excursion outside of Carnival and had no problems whatsoever. I booked the Rays, Reef, and Rum Point excursion with Native Way Tours. Most of the people on our excursion were also on the Legend and as it turned out several of us ended up and on excursions in Belize and Roatan together as well due to reading up on reviews from this web site! The Sting Rays were awesome and smooth like velvet to the touch. My daughters enjoyed snorkeling on the reef as the highlight of their vacation and food was good at Rum Point where my 9 year old got her hair braided.
Shopping is the thing to do in Cozumel. T-shirts are cheap and plentiful. All of the vendors will come down in price, so make sure you bargain with them. We took a cab to Paradise Beach ($13 each way) and the weather was terrible, cloudy and VERY windy. I order a margarita in a souvenir glass and lunch. The food was good, but the frozen margarita was better!
We did the combo Cavetubing and Zipline Canopy tour with Nacho and Cynthia. I can not say enough good things about this company. Our tour was superb and we were given much information about the Country on our drive to the Zipline, making the drive very enjoyable. We walked very little and Nacho drove us right up to the front in his brand new air-conditioned van. We were treated to a Belizean lunch at the resort and it was "unbelizable". :) It had rained for three days prior to our arrival and the water current was rapid in the cave, but it was beautiful as was the foliage. We arrived back to the ship with plenty of time to spare and Nacho has NEVER got anyone back to the ship late.
I tried to book a tour with Victor Bodden but never received an email confirmation. Therefore, we walked along the streets of Roatan looking for something to do. We thought we would play it by ear and did some shopping along the poor area near the port then got a spanish speaking cab driver to drive us around. That was very interesting but he made it clear that he would get us back to the ship in time, so off we went. He took us to some special shopping places and then to the iguana farm. We took pictures of some ship wrecks, but the weather wasn't good enough for a beach day, so we just went back to the ship for lunch around 12:30.
We sat at table 367 in the Truffles dining room, right in front of the window at the rear of the ship. Our waiters were Joel, from Honduras, and Marthana, from Indonesia. I can not say enough good things about these two gentlemen. My 9 year old got up and danced with Marthana. They remembered ALL of our names and called us by name when they would see us on other areas of the boat. It was incredible and far exceeded our dining experience of our previous cruise. They didn't even seem to mind that my 16 year old DD wanted chicken strips and fries for dinner every night. They had my girls Shirley Temples waiting on them after the first night. We were truly treated like royalty and our vacation was unforgettable.
We at breakfast every morning in the Unicorn Cafe. The food was good and we miss it. ALOT! We sometimes at at the Lido deck grill for lunch and it was good as well. We frequented the ice cream stations and it was our favorite between meals snack!
Much bigger than our last cruise. Four of us were quite comfortable in one room, though we didn't spend a lot of time in our room. We only had oceanview and I wish I had gone ahead and splurged for a balcony room. Maybe next time.
I missed the comedian the first night due to Camp Carnival sign-ups and activities that required the parent to be there. The show the second night was geared towards the older crowd that seemed to love it. I heard that there was hypnotists, magic shows and chocolate buffets on this ship on previous voyages, but not on mine. I was a little disappointed in the entertainment, not that it was bad, just not my style. I went to the newlywed/not so newlywed show and it was OK.
Getting off was a lot faster than getting on. We hopped on our rental car shuttle and the drove us back to the airport. Sadly our cruise was over.
I have to mention that after my first RCCL cruise that I was worried that the Carnival food would not be as good. Well, it was every bit as good and the people that work on this ship were nicer and more polite than the staff that were on my RCCL cruise. I would have enjoyed more choices in the entertainment and shows, but would not stop me from cruising on this same ship again! I look forward to my next Carnival Cruise.