About us- We are a coupe in our thirties with a thirteen year old, and an 8 year old. We also brought our parents in their sixties, and our 90 year old papa. This is our 7th cruise, and 6th with Carnival.
Ebarkation- We stayed at the new Marriot in Pompano beach. We got to the port at around 10:50 and was comfortably on the boat by 11:30 with very little line up. I always go early. It always pays off!
Itinerary Cozumel- Been to this port quite a few times, so we didn't plan anything. Instead we ended up renting a car (which was a little scary) but the island is so easy to drive around once you leave San Miguel. The scenery was breathtaking, and we got some amazing shots, at a local blow hole. We ate some great mexican on the other side of the island, and even though it rained most of the day, it was such an adventure that I didn't even mind. We have regularly rented cars in Caymen, and I will be sure to do this again when we come to cozumel!
Costa Rica- More
Probably the most beautiful place I have ever been. It is so lush and green. I also found the people lovely, and generally not aggessive with the sales at all. We went with Oscar Brown Tours and was picked up at the pier and went to the Sloth Sanctuary. It was 'OK" as they don't want tourists to touch the sloths. Oh MY God, I literally came all the way from Canada to Costa Rica, to touch a sloth. I went and found the owner, threw myself at the mercy of him to meet Buttercup, and I got my photo done with her and was allowed to quickly pet her. My heart melted. It was sooo worth it. We also got a canoe ride in the very lush rainforest. No words can describe the beauty of the rainforest, no matter how many times I have been there. Got the tour guy (Lorenzo- funny and nice) to stop at the beach and I collected some black sand (black black) and at a grocery store where I got cheap coffee). Also some coke for the ship.
Panama- Wow talk about the most aggressive people at a port I have ever been. I couldn't trust anyone, was frankly freaked out, and we decided to screw it and go back on the boat. Shame. But it was a nice boat day.
Cut backs- Yes this needs its own paragraph. As a regular user of Carnival, I am saddened by all the many cuts. Where to start. First the chocolates. That one sucks the most. The staff is significantly shortnened, as you really are having to look to find someone to buy drinks. Camp carnival doesn't give out backpacks anymore. Food...uggg. Very recycled. Price of drinks is over 8 dollars. Slots didn't pay at all..but not sure that may be just my own bad luck.
All in all, it was a nice cruise, but I wouldn't go back to Panama, and given the many myriad of cut backs of Carnival, I think we will start investigating a new line.