Day 1 We (Tommy & Shari) left TN at 6 am & headed south. The trip was uneventful and we took our time since we didn't leave for the cruise until the next day. We stopped in Ormond Beach to eat at my favorite restaurant there-the Charlie Horse. Love their crab legs! We also tried their wings this time. We went into Daytona beach & went to a candy store near the pier so that I could pick up some caterpillars-caramel covered marshmallows! Love them too! We headed towards Port Canaveral finally. We had reservations at the Radisson. Found it no problem & checked in. Went to our room & it was great. Loved the sleep number bed..
Day 2 Got up & got ready for the busy day ahead. When we booked the room, we selected the cruise package which came with a hot breakfast. They had given us a breakfast voucher the night before. It was pretty good. They had an omelet station and a pretty good buffet. We ate our breakfast & then had a little time to kill so we went in search of a Walmart. Needed to pick up a few things. Found one with no problem & made it back to the hotel with plenty of time to spare before the shuttle. Got our luggage in place & noticed a guy wearing a shirt from our home town. Turns out, he is from our home town too. He actually works at the same place as Tommy-Eastman for those who know where Kingsport is. Turns out, our room on board was right next door to his, very small world! We made it on the 2nd shuttle & was on board by 12. Very smooth embarkation. No problems at all. We had taken Tommy's suit jacket on board rather than checking it in so once we got on board, we found our room & wanted to drop the jacket off. We met our room steward but he said our room wasn't quite ready but he let us put the jacket in there anyway.
Our room was on deck 10-which was great! Especially when leaving, was plenty of room up front on the deck. More & more folks are finding out about this special place. We went down one deck to the lido deck & grabbed a bite to eat. Hamburgers for us! We then found us some chairs near the pool & lounged until we had to go to our muster station. The drill seemed quite long this time. We got done & noticed we were already moving so we went up front on our deck & watched us pull out. Once we were out to sea, we decided to explore some since we decided to do the late dinner seating this time.
We went to dinner that night & one of our table mates asked where we were from, we said TN & he asked what part. We told him Kingsport & he said "no kidding?" Both of his parents were from Kingsport. He now lives in NC. Once again, we found out just how small this world is. Our other table mates were from Chicago. We enjoyed having dinner every night with them. It was great being able to share our plates too.
After dinner we went to the Welcome aboard show & had a good time. We walked around the ship some more & then headed to bed. It was a long day so we went right to sleep, looking forward to the rest of our cruise.
Day 3 Woke up all rested up. Went down to Lido for breakfast & ate a feast! Scoped us out some more chairs-there wasn't many chair hogs that I could see. There were always chairs available. Spent the day just lounging by the pool. Realized early on why this cruise was fairly cheap-man was it HOT! We kept having to get in the pool to cool off. We went to our room to get cleaned up for supper that night. We had gotten tickets to the 6 pm comedy show so we had to get ready a little earlier than normal. The comedian was great! We went ahead & got tickets for the adult show for the next night-this night was already sold out. We went to dinner all gussied up & had a great dinner. We then went to the show & it was also good. Went to sleep dreaming of Paradise Beach!
Day 4 We got up but didn't have to rush since we weren't arriving in Cozumel until 10am. It was a little weird because they had us change our clocks back. So we got an extra hour of sleep that night but I have never had them ask us to change our clocks. We ate breakfast & went up to our deck to watch us pull in. We were up there when the first folks walked off the ship. We hung out a bit since we weren't doing an excursion through the ship. We were just going to get a cab & go to Paradise Beach. We got our things together & headed down to the gangway. We walked to the taxis & there was another couple headed to Paradise Beach too so we shared a cab with them. Arrived & it was just beautiful. We were the only ship in port that day so it was very quiet & not crowded at all. We ordered some smoothies that were awesome! I had watermelon & Tommy had a peach one. I could have drank a gallon of the watermelon. We also ordered some quesadillas-they weren't that great. We had ordered nachos before & probably should have gotten them again. We just hung out by the water & when it got to hot, we jumped right on in. We also decided to take a ride on a waverunner. It's a little pricey, I think. Its $35 for 15 minutes but we gave them $40 & got to stay out for 20 minutes. That was a deal since 10 more minutes was $55. It was such a great day. I highly recommend going here if you just want to chill out & enjoy the day.
Headed back to the ship with about 2 hours to spare. We shopped a little bit & then got back on board. When we were leaving the port, we went back to our little deck up front & watched us untie & head on back out to sea. We especially liked watching the pilot boat pull up next to ours to pick up the port pilot. We went & showered for dinner & went to the lobby bar-we started doing this every night before our dinner. We would head down there & have a drink before our supper. We had some goldfish as a snack the first night & then they have us a pretzel mix but we liked the goldfish so we started asking for it instead of the other snacks they had. They were more than happy to get us some. Was the perfect snack right before dinner. I had sushi a couple of times before dinner too. All the ones I had were pretty good.
We went to dinner & had a great one once again. Our assistant waiter had started showing us a some tricks after dinner each night. He had said he had read a book with the tricks in it & he was great. It was a highlight of our supper each night. We headed to R rated comedy show & he was really good. Laughed our heads off. I really liked having the comedy club to go to. It gave us something to do when we didn't really want to go to the show. Since they offered 5 or 6 shows a night, you could see one or two every night.
Day 5 We arrived in Belize at 8:00. We went to get our tender tickets & got tickets for the 2nd tender. We had originally signed up for Cave tubing with an independent excursion company but after reading stuff on here about getting left behind because the excursion ran too long, we cancelled & tried to find something else to do. We wanted to do the Captain your own boat excursion but we needed 2 more people to do it with us but couldn't find anyone. So we decided to do the Bannister Island excursion but right before we left for the cruise, I went to reserve it & they were not offering it on the day we were going to be in Belize so we decided to do the Sting Ray Alley snorkeling & Cay Caulker excursion. I have snorkeled before but Tommy hadn't so we took the excursion as observers. He got to see what it was all about without actually doing it & now thinks he would like to try it next time. They were very informative on the basics of snorkeling and how to do it & all of the equipment. I have talked to other people that have gone on snorkeling excursions-even through the ship & they weren't given any instruction at all. For the beginners on the boat, it really helped.
We took off on our boat & went to Cay Caulker first to drop off the folks that were just going to beach it. Then we headed out to the first of 2 snorkel spots. Once everyone was in the water, the boat captain said we could get in the water too & hang out on the life raft in the water. I took him up on it & swam around a bit while the others were out looking at wonders of the sea. They all climbed back on board & we headed to the second spot. This is the spot where all the sting rays are. Sure enough, they all started swimming around & it was exciting seeing them all. We hung out for a bit & then headed back to Cay Caulker for lunch. We got the local favorite-stewed chicken & rice/beans. The chicken was delicious. Had such good flavor. Wouldn't mind getting the recipe for that one. When we got to the island, we had about an hour to eat & check things out. I wished we had had a little longer to explore. It was such a pretty place & we missed over ¾ of the island. We shopped a bit & then took some awesome pictures. Postcard quality, if I do say so myself!
Pretty soon it was time to head back to the port. It seemed to take a whole lot longer to get back than it did to get there. We made it back with about an hour to spare before the last tender. We shopped a bit at the port & then hopped on a tender & went back to our ship. We got back on board & went to our room to get ready for dinner. Even though we had late seating, we had to get ready early since the show was at 7 for the late dinner folks. The show was Justin Illusion & was FABULOUS! It was one of the best shows I have ever seen. The dancers were great & the illusionist was just wonderful. We made our way to dinner & had a great meal with our now new friends. It was great sharing what everyone had done during the day since we all seemed to do different things.
Went to bed very excited about the next day. It was Costa Maya & I was really looking forward to the $20 massages I had read so much about.
Day 6 We arrived in Costa Maya at 8 am. We didn't have anything planned for this port so we took our time eating breakfast & went down to the gangway to get off. We never had any problems getting off the ship at any of our stops. We walked through the little shopping area & eyed the pool but went in search of the cab for $3 that everyone on here talked about. Well, we didn't find any cabs, its actually a bus. But that was ok, they hauled all of us over & it was a little confusing because we stopped once & only one couple got off. We weren't quite sure where we were supposed to get off but the next stop the driver said Downtown/Beach. We got off then but only 3 or 4 others got off too. We have no idea where everyone else ended up. Once we got off, we could see the boardwalk & I knew we were in the right place. We started walking up the boardwalk trying to scope out what beach we were going to lounge on. Then I saw what I have been most looking forward to. The little ladies asking people if they wanted a massage. Tommy had never had a massage so I asked what he was going to do while I was getting my rub down, he said he thought about getting him one too so he forked over his $20 bill & we both jumped up on a table & had the best massage. It so helped that it was cheap, it was on the beach & we were on vacation! It was everything I had hoped it would be.
After our massages, we walked further down the boardwalk in search of our beach. We found what we were looking for at the Nacional Beach Club. The guy that owns it is from Tyler Texas and he was super friendly. It did take a while for him to bring us our drinks & even longer for food but he also has a bar across the boardwalk & he was working by himself for a while. Instead of the standard beach lounge chairs, he had hammock style chairs & they were so comfortable. They were right next to the water & the breeze was perfect. We sat there all by ourselves for the longest time. It was our very own private beach. Then a couple of girls from Oregon joined us for a bit. It was the most relaxing day. It was one of my all time favorite days!
We went looking for a cab & didn't have to look too far. We jumped in he drove us back to our ship. It was just $2 a person to get back. We spent a small amount of time looking over the wares folks were selling here & watched all the people having a good time in the pool. We got back on board & waited for us to set sail. We set sail pretty early at 4pm so we went back to our little deck up front & watched us sail away.
The show was early again tonight so we went ahead & got ready & went to it. It was a juggler that was pretty good. We had gotten tickets for the 9:45 R rated comedy show so we didn't get to order dessert at dinner but that was ok because we went to Creams after the show & bought some chocolate covered strawberries. They were so good too. They were having the Mexican buffet tonight but we went to our room to dream of another day sea
Day 7 This was our 2nd day at sea. We were told to change our clocks back so we & everyone else seemed to sleep in a little later than normal. We went & chowed down at the breakfast buffet. Kept meaning to eat in the dining room but just didn't make. We both had gotten too much sun the day before so we went & found us a place in the shade to chill out for the day. The breeze was very nice & we stayed out there for quite a while. It started sprinkling rain & I looked & saw this huge dark cloud we were heading towards. No sooner had we seen it when a what looked like a monsoon hit! Huge sheets of rain were coming down. We went inside & decided to eat some lunch. By the time we got in line for lunch, the rain had stopped & it was all hot & humid again. We decided to just stay inside & took the galley tour & watched some trivia. We got ready for supper and this was our second elegant night & I must say, it seemed like a lot of people waited until the 2nd one to get out their frilly duds! Everyone was looking so sharp on this night. We went to another comedy show before supper & then went to the late show that night too. I hated that part because the show started at 10:15 and the comedy show started at 11. We missed the ending of the show so we could make sure we got seats for the comedy show. I hated leaving because it was good & they had just started the 80's decade! The comedy show was great though. Went off the bed with thoughts of Nassau.
Day 8-really day 7 but we started our vacation 1 day before the cruise started We arrived in Nassau at 9:30. This isn't one of my favorite places-I have been here 3 other times & its just not a place I really enjoy but hey, if you are on a cruise, who cares where its going, I just enjoy the entire experience. We only had one thing in mind & that was a little shopping at the straw market. We really took our time getting off since we weren't going to be spending a long period of time here. When we got off the ship, it was overcast & had rained quite a bit that morning. We went to the straw market & found what we were looking for. I think we spent a total of an hour & half off the shop, if that long. We went back to the ship & decided to spend the rest of our time there by the pool on board. I had gotten up this morning with a migraine & wasn't having any luck getting rid of it. Despite my aching head, I did take a turn down the waterslide since there wasn't a lot of people around-I didn't want to make a fool out of myself in front of hoards of people. It was a lot of fun & then I went back to nursing my headache.
At 3:30 we went up to our deck to watch the people running for the ship. Sure enough, we had to wait over 30 minutes for some people to realize they were about the miss their boat. They came running down the dock & we all stood there watching. We were supposed to set sail at 4 but it was after 4:30 before we did. It had started to rain right as we started pulling out but it wasn't a hard rain, more like a heavy sprinkle. It was amazing watching them turn the ship around. There was 3 other ships besides ours in Nassau. We were kind of spoiled before this stop. The other 3 ports we went to, we were the only ship there so we were sort of catered too. It was so nice. But Nassau wasn't bad even with 4 ships there.
We hung out in our room for a while & then got ready for dinner. We of course went to the lobby bar & had our usual before dinner drink & goldfish. I really enjoyed this every evening. We had a good dinner with our tablemates & exchanged email address. We went to the Legends show this night & it was really good. We did some last minute shopping & took some pics of the ship at night & then headed to our room to finish packing. We always do the Self assist so we didn't have to hurry to put outside our door.
Day 9 We got up early & showered. We decided to skip breakfast & get something once we disembarked. We went to the elevators expecting to have to wait forever since we were on the 10th floor & we needed to go to the 3rd floor. We were pleasantly surprised when an elevator opened & not a soul was on it. We headed on down & got in line to get off the ship. The line inside the ship was longer & seemed to take forever. I can't really say that though because once we got off the ship, waited for our shuttle to show up & got back to the hotel, it was 8:45. That isn't bad at all.
This vacation was so awesome & we had such a good time. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Our tablemates were great & we had a great time getting to know them. The only thing I really have to complain about is really a very petty thing. I love French toast but everytime they offered it at breakfast, they had used raisin bread. I HATE raisins! I know I could have picked them out but it just isn't the same. See, I told you it was petty!
A shout out to our room steward too-just can't seem to remember his name, our towel animals were great! I took their picture every night. That is one thing I always look forward to & I have read on here where some folks didn't get one every night.
I hope you enjoyed my review as much as we enjoyed our cruise.