The Ship This was an absolutely amazing cruise! My husband and I went and it was cruise #5 for both of us. Since there was very little that I didn't like about the cruise I will start with the dislikes.
Most of the decor of the ship was well outdated. Some of it was ok, like the Bar Blue and the Cinn-a-Bar. But kalidescope blvd was horrible. It was like something from the '90's. And the ship itself seemed to have a lot more motion than any other I've been on even though we had relatively calm seas. Unfortunately, most of the cruise the weather was not very warm. We arrived in Miami and it was it the mid thirties. On the news it said Iguanas were falling off trees because of the cold. However, even with limited amounts of sunshine we still had a blast.
Dinning- We had the main seating in the Platinum dinning room and it was exceptional. Our head waiter was Telly and assistant waiter was Eka. The food was almost always perfect, Telly was very skilled at bottle opening More
and of course the chocolate melting cake was out of this world. Our Maitre' D was also excellent, one night he sang 'You look wonderful tonight' and it was pretty good. We also ate in the Emerald room supper club one night. Do yourself a favor, eat here and try the chocolate sampler.
The food was amazing, the music, however was a little off. It went from Italian opera to '80's pop. Service- Aside from the dinning room the rest of the service was also excellent, our room steward, Marlon remembered our name from the first day and pretty much everyone that worked on the ship that we encountered was super friendly. We didn't have any problems with room service and I was addicted to the reuben all week. About halfway through the week my husband sprained his foot and we had to rent a wheelchair for the remainder of our cruise. It was $100 for the week and at the end of the week we got $50 back. We were really worried about getting on and off the tender in Grand Cayman but the crew helped him and made sure they carried the chair onto the tender for us after they helped him. There was also a reserved spot for wheel chair users in the Amber Palace and that was very helpful because by the time we got there all of the isle seats were gone and we weren't really sure where we were going to sit and a woman ushered us over to where we could park the wheel chair. Everyone was exceptionally helpful. And the cruise director Ryan was the best we've had. Informative without getting annoying.
Cabin - Next to a room with a family that had a crying child. We could hear the child, the mother yelling at the child and another child slamming the balcony door and yelling out on the balcony every morning. This is next to a room that has extra beds so maybe families frequently get this room. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Belize- First time seeing Belize and we were a little concerned as we have heard it can be dangerous. But we thought the port area was very nice and there was a smaller market behind the main area that was poorer but was much less touristy and had some really great handmade items. The people were very friendly and I didn't feel like the bad rap it has gotten is deserved. At least the areas we saw. Although I did see some dogs, one or two looked like skinny strays and I felt bad. The country is still less than 30 years old and so they are still a young country but they are a very hopeful people. Everyone seems to know everyone else and I really enjoyed being here. Carnival is in talks to build a pier there and if this happens I think this will be a very popular destination. I booked a tour to go cave tubing on Charliescavetubing.com and we had an amazing time! I found this website on cruisecritic and am really glad to have booked with Charlie. He is almost all Mayan himself and knows all of the flora and fauna in the jungle and knows everything about the caves and the gods the history of the area, the ancient Mayas and the Mayan calendar. He picked us up at the dock with a sign with my name on it and we drove about an hour into the jungle. The day we went unfortunately was chilly but we went anyway. It was definitely worth it, the river is a beautiful color and the caves were a once in a lifetime experience. At the end there is a rock 10 or 15ft high you can jump off of into the river, which I did. I was the only girl! I thought my hair would be nasty with river water afterwards but when it dried was surprisingly shiny and clean. Charlie said the water was so clean and pure you could drink it. And afterwards Charlie took us to lunch we had chicken with rice and beans and a coke that was made with sugar cane. Everything was very good and we got a chance to sit down with Charlie and just ask him about Belize and the jungle and just eat and relax. The jungle and the river are so beautiful if you go to Belize, it is the best thing to see.
Cozumel-The last time we went here we had gone to the beach and it was just ok. I'm not crazy about the pier, there are a lot of pushy vendors but we did buy a ring at Tanzanite International (per the cruise ship 'suggestion') and we had looked into a similar ring in the states and got a good deal after we talked him down a bit. Afterwards we went the ruins at San Gervasio and really enjoyed it. Since the weather was about high sixties low seventies we didn't really want to go to the beach it was way too cold to get in the water. So, we wanted to try something different. It cost us about $70 for two people to get a cab and have him wait for us and get into the area. I think if we had more people we could have split the fare....oh well. Also, an hour really isn't enough time, it takes about 15 min. just to buy the tickets to get in. But there were some very cool ruins and some beautiful areas if you go off the beaten path a little bit. I would definitely recommend seeing the ruins, although you could probably find it a little cheaper.
Grand Cayman-A beautiful island with some of the best beaches I have ever seen. Last time we were here we went to the turtle park and that is a great tour. But this time, this was the only warm, sunny day that we had so we wanted to go to the beach. We got our own cab and went to Sea Grape beach, thinking that it would be less crowded than 7 mile beach, but it was packed. The cab we found was a bus and he wouldn't leave until every seat was filled, which took awhile. The beach bar was also very crowded and a little pricey. So, there was some hassle with waiting around but maybe some of the other beaches are less crowded.
Honduras-This was the only island that we booked a tour through Carnival and I was rather glad that we did. This island is very poor and I would not have wanted to go off on my own. There were skinny stray dogs everywhere, we must have seen 50 or 60 several looked diseased. Although the island itself is very beautiful. We booked the Pirate, Bird and Monkey tour and it was an amazing experience to be allowed to play with the monkeys. Just be careful to wear bug spray, I got bit by mosquitoes several times on this tour. Because of my husbands sprained foot we were not able to walk through the park and tour the Pirate cave or the suspension bridge, instead a golf cart took us directly to the monkey area. Others in our group mentioned that the rest of the park was more geared towards children and that we really didn't miss much. Afterwards we had lunch in the park, it was good but expensive. About $10 for the BBQ chicken and fried plantains, rice and coleslaw. Plus a few dollars for soda or beer.