We are a family of three and brought along my best friend and her family of 5. We flew from WI to TX on Saturday. Stayed at Super 8 in LaMarque the night before. Not a great hotel by any means but we didn't want to spend a lot of money on a hotel before our cruise.
Got to Port at 1130. Easy embarkation and on the ship by 1230. Liked the fact that we could put down money towards our cruise instead of using the credit card. We try to stay away from the plastic. Even thougth we put down a credit card, at check in we put down 400 and once that ran out, the rest would go on the card.
Went and ate at the buffet on the lido deck. Food was good. Got in our room by 1:30.
We had early dining at 6. Met our fabulous head waiter names Martin. He truly did everything he could to make our trip wonderful. He was especially great with our kids. He and his wife have been on working on carnival for 5 years, so he is well trained and loves his job. He was particualry great with my daughter who has a food allergy. He had the main hostess come over every night and bring the next nights menu to my daughter so that she could pick out her meal in advance and we could ensure that she wasn't going to be served anything that she was allergic to.
We had kids in every age range for the kids club. All the kids loved the club and spent time enjoying all the activities they had to offer.
We bought drink coupons in advance. I do NOT recommend this. They wouldn't take them for most of the drinks we requested. The only thing that they would take them for is the beer. All the foo foo drinks cost more then the coupons were worth. That totally sucked.
Our most memorable excursion was in Jamaica. We went on the Dreamer Catamaran which took us snorkeling and to Margaritaville. None of our kids had ever snorkeled before and the crew were sooo great at getting them prepared and showing them how to snorkel. They all said it was the best time ever!!! Our excursion was only 3 hours long but our driver Lloyd stayed with us for many more hours and took us shopping and stayed with us so that we were not bombarded with people trying to sell us stuff. He took us to 1 lady and said to just stay in her shop which we did. She gave us great rates on everything we bought.
Next we went to Grand Cayman. We didn't have anything booked for a excursion and we just got into a van and the driver took us to Grape Beach. Lots of fun. Snorkeling only cost 5 dollars per person and the kids we more then happy to just snorkel and lay on the beach.
Finally we stopped in Cozumel. We had booked a day pass at the Wyndam Cozumel Resort. Beautiful place with tons of things to do. It costed 50 per adult and 25 per child for unlimited non-motorized water equipment along with food and drinks. We definely got our money's worth. The bar was awesome. Instead of bar stools they had swings. Us adults had fun swinging away at the bar, drinking shots of tequilla and eating all the mixican food we could find. Totally worth the money.
All in all we had a fabulous time. Don't miss the "marriage" show. It was the most hilarious show they have. They only have it once and it's in the afternoon. They took a couple that were only married 2 days, a couple that were married 25 years and a couple that were married 53 years. They asked them questions and then read their responses. I never laughed so hard in my life.
All in all it was a wonderful vacation. Totally recommend it.