This is the 2nd "Girl's getaway cruise" for me, my sister, and my good friend. This was my 5th cruise, my sister's 3rd, and my friend's first.
We left home @ 7:30 am from SW Louisiana, made a few stops, and arrived at EZ Cruise around 12:00 (my sister made on-line reservations, $50)We got to the port at 12:30, and began the line for imbarkation. It went pretty fast. I put only cash on my Sail and Sign card, no problems there. There were actually about 5 cashiers just to take money. We went to our rooms first, and were able to drop off our stuff and have lunch on the Lido deck at around 2:00. After that we went to our room to unpack (an oceanview w/ 2 single beds and a couch bed.) We went to supper in the Monet dining room at 6pm and ate at a booth w/ a woman traveling alone from Texas. She was very enjoyable. Our waiter's name was I Made and he was GREAT! He welcomed us every night and hugged us on our way out. We walked around the ship and got to bed early.
Monday-Woke at around 7am and ate at around 8 in the dining room. We walked the track for 30 min. and walked around the ship, getting to know everything. It is confusing at first, but once you learn the layout it's easy. For lunch we tried SurMer and loved the fish! (ate there more than once) We wanted to lay out but it was still cool and really windy, so we went to our room and took naps so we could stay awake for the late night comedy show! This was the first formal night, food was excellent. The show was @ 10:45, and we got there at about 10:30-standing room only. We managed to sit on some steps, so it wasn't so bad. The comedy show starred Tony Esposito, and he was great!
Tuesday-Woke up at around 8 and ate breakfast on the Lido deck. We liked the buffet better than the dining room, we found the food hotter there and the french toast was the best! After that we walked the track for 30 min. After spending time and money in the shops and on pictures, we ate lunch in the dining room and went to see "The marriage Show" w/ Chris, our cruise director. It was hilarious! You need to see it at least once. (I always missed this on my other cruises) I made reservations at The Point Supper club on the carnival website about 2 weeks prior to cruising, they sent me my confirmation by e-mail about 2 days later. We ate there at 6pm. It was really nice. We all had surf & turf and took pictures of the desserts b/c they were out of this world! (my sister had cheesecake that looked like 3 reg. slices put together, and my friend and I had the chocolate sampler-4 different desserts in little glasses).
Wednesday-Montego Bay. Got up around 7:30, ate breakfast on the Lido and got a cab to the Sunset Beach Resort ($60 pp) The cab was $3 pp one way. It was very nice, included all drinks (we brought tall insulated cups), your lunch (buffet style), plus towels, beach chairs, umbrellas, and use of all of the pools, waterslide, etc. We made use of the lazy river (more aggravating than lazy!)They even took pictures that you could purchase. When the cabbie (Clark) dropped us off we asked him to pick us up (remember the time difference). It was a good thing we did this, because there were cab drivers waiting, but did not have the red license plates. When we got back to the terminal we shopped there (has many nice stores selling clothes, food, etc.) A female security guard patted us down before boarding the ship.
Thursday-Grand Cayman. Great port. Got up early, ate, and tendered to shore (it was not a very long wait) found a cab (a small white bus)that took us to Sea Grape Beach for $5 pp one way. We wanted to go to Royal Palm Beach (which I read about in CC) which was closer and $4 pp one way, but the bus driver said Sea Grape Beach was better (??) All I know was that was very CROWDED (not at first, but it didn't take long). The water was beautiful. We walked down the beach and saw many resorts that we jotted down for future reference. We didn't eat lunch there b/c it was crowded and expensive (one cayman dollar is equal to $1.25 Am dollar) We changed into street clothes and took a cab back to the port where we went shopping and had lunch. We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe (the 3 of us shared a plate of nachos- there was plenty and cheap divided by 3) bought t-shirts and beach bags at several different stores, and then got on the long line back to the ship. This was the 2nd formal night, food great as usual. We went to see the late night comedy w/ Marc Rubben, got there early to get a seat, but first had to endure an hour of karaoke!
Friday-Cozumel. We knew we wanted this to be a shopping day, since we've been here before (and the beaches are not as pretty as GC anyway). The sky was overcast and sprinkled throughout the day, so we made a good choice. We took our time, walked back to the ship for lunch and to leave our purchases behind, and went back and shopped some more. Got on the ship around 5 and got ready for supper. Went to the main show @ 8:45 (the juggler and Marc Rubben again, but better this time).
Saturday- Woke up late, ate breakfast on the lido, shopped and bought more pictures. Did the 30 min. walk on the track and layed around reading. For lunch the Lido was crowded, so we went to the dining room and requested our waiter. He was super as usual. At 3:30 they had a big designer watch sale (reg. $85-100 all for $20) the store was CRAZY! I bought a nice watch that came w/ a ring, necklas & earrings, and went back later and bought a set of 3 rings for $60 (reg $120). That night, after supper, we went to the Sea Side Theater and watched "The Proposal" until the rain chased us away!
Sunday-Woke up to lots of FOG! Ate breakfast in the dining room (much better than the first time, requested our waiter again) and stayed in our rooms and read. We did go to the lounge and played a couple of trivia games, and ended up eating lunch on the Lido (super crowded). After being there 5 extra hours, we were allowed to leave. We got to EZ cruise at 6 and they still had a long line of people trying to get in to park. The fog was already starting to set in again once more. (I wonder what time they actually set sail)
Final comments We packed WAY TOO MUCH! Next time we go- One suitcase and one garment bag. I will pack my beach bag inside my suitcase, I will use that bag for gifts if need be. *brought a small ice chest-never used it *I brought my own beach towels, just got sandy all over the place
Things I did use: *power strip (very handy for 3 women) *clothes pins (to weigh down the shower curtain, clip the window curtains shut, and hang bathing suits to dry) *Solid air freshener for bathroom (and a small spray air freshener) *Small alarm clock that lights up when you touch it (bought at JC Penneys for $6 at Christmas time) *Downey wrinkle release (it comes in a travel size) *A waterproof "safe" that you wear around your neck (got from CC, but avail on the ship and shops at the ports) We kept our Sail/Sign card, credit cards, cash, lipstick in it.
While we were on board we booked another cruise for next year. You pay $250 deposit and they give you the lowest rate that never goes up, but can be adjusted if the rate goes down. (you have to watch). They also give the cabin $100 credit to spend on the ship (we will use it on pictures) and 2 more vouchers for 2 other cabins to give away to family or friends.
We chose the exact same room (2278) b/c of the location. It is on deck 2 (OV). The dining room is one deck up, the photo shop and lounge are 2 decks up, and the stores are 3 decks up. When you leave the port you go out on deck 0, which is 2 decks down. This room was right next to the stairs and elevators, and we used the stairs ALOT. The only time we used the elevators was to go to the Lido (deck 9), but took the stairs down. My sister wore a pedometer daily and we always walked 10,000+ steps a day! (we never heard the elevators, by the way)
Great cruise, great ports, next year we take the Triumph out of NO and go to Key West and the Bahamas! Yea!