I am 59 and my husband is 51. We traveled Carnival 16 years ago and decided to do it again for our 25th wedding anniversary. We drove to Galveston and spent the night at "The Commodore on the Beach", it was nice with an ocean view and a continental breakfast. Only complaint was that the shower had no pressure and the heat did not work. We parked our car their for the week. They were going to shuttle us there for an extra $15.00 but as it turned out the shuttle was broke down and they didn't inform us of this until we arrived so we had to take a taxi but still left the car there for FREE. The room was $80.00 plus tax, not bad. They said the taxi would cost about $8.00 but the first taxi charged us $10.00 and the taxi back after the cruise charged us $12.oo, go figure. Still this was cheaper than leaving the car at terminal parking. We took the taxi to the terminal about 10:40 am. We only had 2 big bags and checked them in with the porter. Since we only had 2 bags we gave him $2.00 each bag, he was nice. We got in the "Fun Pass" line and was thru security by 11:20 am (make sure you have your Passport, and Fun Pass out and ready). They sent us to a holding area until time to board (had 2 wedding parties board before we were allowed to board) but only had to wait a short time. We were on the ship by 1:50. The ship was late arriving because of the weather or we could have been on sooner. We had our carry on bags and headed to Lido deck for lunch. Our bags arrived at our room about 4:50 pm.
They had our meal time at 8:30 pm which was to late for us so we had to go have it changed also was assigned to Renoir and wanted Monet. All worked out well, they gave us Monet at 5:45 and a table for two as we requested. The ship pulled out at 4:50 pm. We had the mandatory life boat drill at 5:15, not bad-took some pictures of us in the life vest. Went to Monet for our first dinner, there we met our waiters, the Inyaman bothers (known as Inyaman #1 and Inyaman #2) very nice young men and they remembered our names each time they saw us after the first meeting. The food was fancy for our taste but good (the Chocolate Melting Cake lived up to the critic review-absolutely great.) We only ate in the dinning room 3 times, we preferred the pizza, sandwiches and fish and chip (more our style). Ice cream was also on our list as was plenty of cokes. We bought the Fountain fun card (cost $47.45 each which includes a one time gratuity) but we got our money's worth. The only thing is they open the can and pour only a glass at a time (could have gave you the whole can and saved a lot of time but was always polite when we came right back for refill)
The ship was big and beautiful. Our room was spacious with lots of storage. The shower was fine. The room was always clean (our cabin stewart was "Supar" and a very nice young man, we locked ourselves out of room and he was right there with a big smile-he was my favorite-he always had a cute towel animal with chocolates and the caper newspaper each night. I always put one dollar bills on each animal for him to retrieve the next day-kind of a game for us, he leaves me an animal and I leave him dollars.) OK, yes bring a multi-plug extension cord because only one plug over desk and one plug over the sink in bath room. Had about 10 hangers but I took extra. They have shampoo and soap dispenser in the shower and a bowl of samples of toothpaste, shavers, ect. but they do not replace anything but the shampoo and soap in the dispenser. The samples lasted the entire trip for us but others may need more. Bring a clock, not one in the room and it was nice to have the clock and alarm if needed.
Pictures-Pictures-Pictures, every where you turned you was getting pictures taken. You look at them on the 4th floor photo shop and this gets really congested and hard to find your pictures. They are expensive, $21.99 for and 8 x 10 and you can not buy any smaller sizes until you buy the 8 x 10 which we got a little upset about because we didn't really need all those 8 x 10's but yet would have liked to have the smaller size. They have a lot of sales on jewelry also.
The shows were all good, we saw the juggler, magician, comedian and the Carnival Dancers (yes, their costumes were very skimpy-almost naked but could have had tights under the thongs but didn't look like it to me, so kids might not need to see these dancers (my husband loved them). We were disappointed with the Bingo-cost $10.00 a card for only one game (we could not afford to do this)wish Carnival would have maybe $10.00 for a card to play for 30 minutes with less pay off. Mark Price was funny, but we never saw him outside the shows but we didn't go to the bar's or casino and I think that's where he most visited.
Shore Excursions: ALWAYS HAVE YOUR PASS PORT & SAIL & SIGN CARD IN HAND!!! Jamaica was our favorite due to meeting a nice gentleman downtown by the name of, Harris "Jolly" Johnson with JUTA Tour. He showed us the ghetto, the middle class and the rich section of Jamaica and was very informative. We highly recommend this gentleman for your Tour of Jamaica. We went to City Central and he was there asking people to take his tour. Cost us #30.00 each but worth it. We were going to Sunset Beach (which we also heard was nice) and would have cost us $40.00 each but we are really not beach people so this fit us better.
Grand Cayman-we did the Captain Marvin's Stingray Tour and the Hell/Turtle Farm Tour. Have to take a Tender boat into this port then walked the two blocks to Captain Marvin's. Tenders are pretty big, can hold maybe a 100 or more people and run every 15 minutes apart. Captain Marvin's was okay, it had only about 12 people on board verses a boat full from Carnival. All the boats go to the same spot in the ocean (Stingray City), the water was deep where they let us off (over my head and I can not swim so they had to help me keep my head above water-kinda scared me) but took me to a higher mound in the ocean where the stingray's were. I held one, kissed one and let it be put on my back (scared to death but had to do it-once in a life time thing you know). The snorkeling was also in deep water, my husband tried it but he didn't know how to snorkel so needless to say he didn't like it. I didn't do it because I can't swim. The tour to HELL was also ok. We sent postcards to family and friends but they still haven't gotten them and we have been home 3 days. The Turtle Farm was ok but our tour lady wanted to rush the tour so we could go to the Rum Cake shop, which we could care less about because again we don't drink and didn't care about rum cake. Cost for Stingray Tour was $35.00 each and Cost for Hell/Turtle Farm Tour was $25.00 each.
Cozumel Highlights & Shopping Tour thru Carnival was our least favorite. The sights were not that pretty and I would say it was a shopping Tour because that's all they wanted you to do was buy things from this shop or that shop. Like a carnival with all the stores trying to lure you inside to buy things. We got back to the boat as soon as we could to avoid this mess. This tour cost us $49.00 each. Not worth it.
Disembarkation: This was easy for us. We did self assist. Go to floor 3 to the Toulouse Lautrec Lounge to wait until they start calling floors to disembark. Tip-Get in line as soon as you can because they do not check to see what floor you came from, they only swipe your sail & sign card. Make sure you have your Pass Port and Sail & Sign Card & your Custom Paper they give you on board filled out, this will make things smooth. Don't go to Mark Price's Debarkation Speech, waste of time because they send you a Debarkation Caper in your mail box that night. We were off and gone by 9 am.
I am sure I have forgotten something I wanted to say but my husband is rushing me to finish this. If you want to ask any questions you can e-mail us a firstname.lastname@example.org.