Visited Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, plus 3 days at sea. We had a great time and I had a blast introducing my boyfriend to cruising. He says he is definitely up for more days on the ocean!
Embarkation was a breeze. We were at the terminal at about 11am. Walked right up to the counter and checked in and were given zone 4 to board. Only had to wait until 1130am before they started boarding. The zones meant not having to wait in line. Once they called zone 4 we were on the ship before noon!
Dropped the carry ons off at the cabin before we were allowed in the cabins, stewards said nothing other than a hello. Off we went to explore the ship, finding areas we thought we would need. There are definitely spaces you could just never find since they were kind of out of the way. Cabins were ready at 130pm. We went to relax a bit, had a bit of a nap and our luggage was outside our door when we woke up at 3pm. Dinner the first night was good except for one thing. My boyfriend, 38 and I, 29 were seated with 4 older Vietnamese people who spoke in their language the whole night. Asked to be changed and got put at a better suited table for the next night.
First day was at sea, sun, drinks and fun fun fun. My boyfriend entered the hairy chest competition. So funny. Just basically enjoyed time together and the ship, nothing special to note. Dinner was better with people we could actually talk to this night. We ended up with a great waiter and had fun. This was the first elegant night and lobster night.
Ocho Rios, went and climbed the falls. If you think the water is cold, grin and bear it. You will be thankful for that cool water once you are boiling hot from all the physical activity. You can rent "sticky" shoes for $5 or $10 I think to climb the falls, but we just wore a pair of running shoes and they did just fine. You really don't need a guide to climb the falls and you can get right in the water and do your own thing rather than stand around and wait a lot. The rocks weren't slimy at all, apparently they clean them every other day. Then we were off to Margaritaville for some fun. Definitely insist on sitting downstairs, its where all the fun stuff happens.
Grand Cayman, booked an independent excursion for the stingrays. We took jetskis from a resort out to the sandbar. The stingrays were amazing, so soft, they just felt like jelly against your skin. We got to hold them, get backrubs and kiss them. They flop around a lot but are very tame. I think they know the food is abundant so they won't need to search for anything more. Went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Food was great, had the twisted mac and cheese. So Yummy! Tendering at Grand Cayman was easy and painless, no worries about getting off on late for something you booked. They move them along really quickly. Went and saw a comedian tonight, not the R rated show but he was actually really good. I think his name was Happy Cole.
Another day at sea. More sun and fun, with a little bit of rain. Played a bit in the casino, and laid in the sun mostly. Did laundry this day. The laundry room was busy, and I will a little perturbed when I saw staff using the public laundry facilities especially on a busy day when there were line ups waiting to use the machines. But the machines are pretty quick and hold a lot. Went and saw a magic show this night on the ship, called Kevin and Caruso. A little hokey, but you can't expect David Copperfield. The majority of their illusions you can figure out, but some are still a little puzzling. Probably a great show for the kids.
Cozumel. Rented a car here and drove around the island ourselves. The other side of the island is nice. The water was really rough here, 6-8 foot waves and they crash up against the rocks and make for some nice pictures. Drove up to the San Gervasio ruins. They are relatively small and not as grand as what you will get on the mainland across on the tender, but still neat. Unfortunately it had been raining a lot in Cozumel for 2 weeks leading up to our visit. Apparently we brought the sun with us, but the trails leading to the ruins were still really mucky and we could get to a couple of them unless we wanted to walk through a giant mud puddle. Went and had lunch at Senor Frogs and left looking like alcoholics with 2 yard glasses each, only they were Coke and Diet Coke lol. Did some shopping for gifts for the kids. Parking can be a little tough, but there is free parking at the Punta Lagosta mall and then closer down to the shopping square one street up from the water. You just have to find it. Driving wasn't bad. Not too crazy. Got back to the ship and were relaxing, then they started asking for 4 people to report to the pursers desk, which I know that means someone is late! SO we went out to the "secret" deck on the front of the lido and watched and waited. We were told to be back by 430pm. At 5pm there were about 20 ships officers in their white uniforms waiting on the pier. At 515pm, finally we saw 2 people running down the pier. Everyone out on the decks and on the balconies were yelling. We even had the Carnival Conquest right beside us and they were yelling along with us.
Last day, :( At sea again, relaxing and such, played in a casino tournament. Didn't make it to the finals. My boyfriend went to the art auction and said he had fun, not really my thing. Had more sun time, watched a fight break out over deck chairs lol. This guy just walked up and started throwing stuff off the chairs. Really thought things could have gotten physical, but one guy maintained his cool and got security and they took the guy away who had thrown the others stuff. Went and saw the show this night, The Big Easy. It was pretty good, good singers and dancers. There was a old man in the front row that I think has been on the ship a while, all the dancers knew him and were cutesy with him.
Debarkation, we did self assist. Quick and painless, off the ship before 8am. We had rented a car and wanted the morning to get some stuff done before our flight.