We have both cruised with Carnival multiple times and are both now Platinum. We traveled with our friends we met last year on the Carnival Valor doing a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise that included stops in Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya and Nassau. We drove to the port so no hotel was needed.
We left Gainesville at 7:00am and were at the port by 9:45am. We decided to grab a quick bite since we were so early and were back at the port by 10:45am. We dropped our bags then proceeded to park our car in the garage. Total for the week was $105.00. We liked parking in the garage and our car was nice and cool when we returned. We proceeded to check in. We were all VIP so we had our own line to enter the terminal and were inside, through security and at the VIP check in within 5 minutes of arrival. There were 3 wedding parties being checked in so they took us to the counter and checked us in there then took us back to the VIP section to wait for boarding. They have their own cheerleaders getting everyone in the spirit before boarding and had beach balls flying all over the terminal. We started boarding at 11:20am and were on the ship by 11:25am! Check in was a breeze and love the process at Port Canaveral!
We boarded our new home for the next 7 days. Cabins weren't ready until 1:30pm so we made our way up to the lido deck and the Red Sail Restaurant for a little something to eat. We started our cruise out with the drink of the day, The Funship Special that was quite yummy! We had cruised on the Valor last year so we were familiar with the layout of the ship and walked around for a little while. At 1:30pm, we were able to go to our cabins. We had hand picked our cabin and really hit the jackpot! We chose cabin 2470 on the Main Deck. It's a category 6B but was the size of a suite! The cabin had 2 windows a large seating area and lots of floor room. We were very pleased with our cabin! Our friends had a regular ocean view and it was very nice as well.
We did the spa tour and registered for the drawing, didn't win either. We went through the standard lifeboat drill then we sailed away around 4:25pm. I guess they still were waiting on people arriving from Orlando,but didn't matter, we were on vacation.
We ran into our friend, Kim Harrison who happens to be one of the best comedians out there and got the scoop on the new Comedy Club they have been testing on board the Glory. I will go into more details about that later. We had late seating in the Platinum dining room and got exactly what we wanted, a table for 4 which actually was a booth and we loved it. We sat with our friends we had traveled with and had the best wait staff around! Elmer was from Columbia and Irina was from Russia. Both were very professional and VERY FAST! We never had to wait on anything and enjoyed our time with them. We went to the Welcome Aboard show with the cruise director, James Charlton and it was great. James was filling in for Ryan Fitzgerald and is doing a great job as "acting" cruise director. They also had both comedians, Kim Harrison and Mike Macy perform a 5 minute "teaser" to promote the new comedy club. After the show we spent a little time in the casino then off to bed!
Day 2 - Day At Sea
I had agreed to meet my friend Kim for coffee before she did the morning show with James and Mike and actually got to meet them as well. Their morning show was great and started the day off well. We had been to so many of the shopping talks and port information talks we skipped those and enjoyed other activities on the ship including trivia and bingo. They had so much going on, if you got bored, it's your own fault. This was formal night so we had our pictures taken and instead of free drinks for the Captains Cocktail party, they offered $1.00 off any drink at any bar as well. This has been changed on all cruises now and seem to be fine with everyone. We didn't miss the free drinks and were happy to get what we wanted for a lower price.
Tickets were needed to get into the comedy club to control the crowd. They had 6 shows a night. 3 shows were PG and 3 shows were R rated. The comedians (Kim Harrison & Mike Macy) alternated doing 3 shows each for 2 nights. We saw both comedians PG & R shows and had a blast! This is a test ship as this program will be ongoing on the new Carnival Dream. On the tickets there is a $1.00 off the 1st drink at each show. We used them at every show and it really helped keep the bill down as well. Kim & Mike did shows on Sunday and Monday. Al Ernst & Percy Crews 2 did shows Wednesday and Thursday. We saw all of the comedians and loved the program. It is possible from the response that this will be added to other ships as well. The opener for all the shows was Jeff - The Fun Dude. He was a very nice man but seem to have a harder time as a comedian. We liked his jokes but did here some more often since we went to multiple shows. He will be heading to the Carnival Dream for the comedy club on there. I just found out our friend Kim Harrison will be one of the comedians on the very first sailing of the Dream in Italy. She is very excited and will do a fantastic job!
Day 3 - Cozumel
We arrived at the port right on time and were cleared very quickly to go ashore. We all went to Paradise Beach that was a first for my husband and I. We always just shop. We really enjoyed ourselves. It was free to get on the beach and as long as you bought something, chairs and umbrellas were free as well. We bought one bucket of beer $15.60 (5 beers) and that is all we bought. We stayed there for 2 hours and it was just so hot and no breeze so we headed back to the port area. We did a little shopping then went back to the ship and actually took a nap before sail away at 6pm. We had tickets to two comedy shows so that took most of the night up. We did make a donation in the casino as well. Cozumel has recovered very well from the hurricanes and the pier area is very nice!
Day 4 - Belize
This port is the only one we had to tender from. We went down to get our tickets about 9:30am and were off the ship by 10:00am. The tender ride is about 20 minutes away from Belize City. We had decided we wanted to go to Traveler's Liquor/Heritage Museum and hired a driver to take us there. We paid $10.00pp (8 of us went) and he took us there and gave us 30 minutes to shop. We got done a little early and he told us we could have cocktails at the bar next door so we all did. We got back to the Tourism Village around 12:30pm. We did a little more shopping then decided to head back to the ship. It was very hot there as well and outside the gate were some vendors but some in our group were not comfortable so we did most of our shopping inside the gates. That night we had reservations for the Supper Club/Steak House and really enjoyed it. The filet was fantastic. It took about 2 hours for dinner but was a nice pace and had a nice sunset while we were there. We played in the casino and listened to the bands around the ship before retiring.
Day 5 - Costa Maya
This is a port we all had never been to so we were excited to see what this port had to offer. The pier is very long there and they do have a trolley that will take you down the pier to the shopping plaza. This is a very nice area that has a Hard Rock and other bars and shopping as well. There are hammocks, beach chairs and even a large pool with a swim up bar! We chose to head downtown to Majahaul to shop. We bought our tickets for downtown $3.00pp and they took us down there on a charter style bus. We LOVED the area. It is set up like a boardwalk with the beach on one side and then shops on the other side. Everyone there was very nice and would offer great deals as well. We did some shopping and found that they would come down on the prices quickly if you started walking away. We got several really nice things down there very reasonable. We also decided to get something cold to drink and got 6 beers for $10.00!!! We had a nice table with an umbrella and enjoyed the breeze there. Two of our group decided to get massages. They got an hour massage for $20.00!!!! Both loved them and would do it again anytime. We hope that Carnival decides to bring more ships to this port as it's a jewel!
We saw Percy Crews 2 this night and loved his show. We had seen him before on the Valor last year but he had all new material. We were all very tired from all the sun this week all of us crashed after the show!
Day 6 - Day At Sea
This was our last sea day as we would be in Nassau on Friday. We all slept in and just took it easy all day. We did trivia, played bingo, did the slot tournaments (didn't win) and ate. This was also our 21st anniversary and James, the cruise director sent us a bottle of champagne to celebrate since I wrote him a note telling him we were celebrating. It got there later but we enjoyed it with dinner on Friday. We saw Al Ernst show and enjoyed it as well. This was the second formal night and more pictures were taken. We did a little shopping and picture hunting and then called it a night.
Day 7 - Nassau
We arrived at 8:45am in Nassau and were the 1st ship there so we had the closest slot on the pier. We were soon joined by the Carnival Destiny, Disney Magic then later the Carnival Sensation. We had planned to go to the Crystal Palace at the Wyndham but after getting on the #10 Jitney, we were informed it was closed for renovations. We were disappointed but the driver gave us a little tour and pointed out as we drove back to town then we took a taxi to the Atlantis to gamble. It was very crowded and most of the machines were at least .5cent machines. We loved the penny slots on the ship! We stayed there until 1pm then headed back to the shopping area and picked up a few things before going back to the ship. I went to James upclose talk and enjoyed getting to know more about him. At 5pm, they have a Farewell Party in the back lounge with free drinks instead of at the Captain's party. We had a couple then did some picture shopping and liquor shopping as well. We went to our final dinner in the dining room and as this was the 8th Anniversary of 9/11 the crew and guest sang God Bless America! It was nice to see a tribute. I almost forgot, they did have the American flag hung in the lobby on this day as well in tribute. After dinner we got everything packed and called it a night.
We were all Platinum so we were given #1 tags. We had to be down stairs in the lobby by 7:15am. We were at our car by 7:30am. It was one of the fastest times through customs ever!
This cruise was FANTASTIC!!! We had great service all week. We did see some decline in the food but could always find something we liked. Drinks have gotten higher but with the prices we are paying for a cruise, it is still a great deal. The all of the crew were very caring and helpful. We loved the new Comedy Club and hope it continues on other ships. Our stateroom steward was ok but nothing special. He did the minimum to get by without getting fussed at like not washing the glasses or replacing a couple towels. It's small stuff but when you have cruised several times, you notice things that you are used to having done.