We LOVED our cruise!! We were first time cruisers, and I think we may have been spoiled by this big, beautiful ship. We went to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.
Embarkation: Smooth as can be!! We originally wanted to get to the dock a lot earlier than we did. We were a tad stressed about being late. We arrived to the dock about 2:00 and there was NO LINE whatsoever. We were through the entire process in less than 15 minutes. Next time, we'll plan to arrive earlier, just so we can get a few more hours on our trip!
DAY ONE: We went straight to our room to drop off our stuff (carry-ons) and set out to explore the ship and get our first umbrella drink! This ship is really gorgeous. I mean, some people may say it's tacky - but I expected it to be like this, since it's a cruise ship, FUN ship. There is mosaic tile all over the ship - so pretty! I will say right now that this ship is immaculate. The health inspectors were there on that day, and we learned at the end of the cruise that the ship received a score of 100%!! Pretty impressive! We grabbed a drink and a reuben sandwich on the sunset deck. DELICIOUS!! We went up to to the Serenity area and relaxed on their big comfy chairs. It's really pretty up there. We skipped the dining room, so we could explore the ship some more. We ate dinner at the buffet. It's pretty good, but not as tasty as the dining room food. Several of the items on the dining room dinner menu are on the buffet. And, you can get warm chocolate melting cake on the buffet - so I had my first of those! :)
We had a deluxe, oceanview room. It had ample closet space (three actually!), a little set of drawers and a set of shelves in one of the closets. There were two bathrooms! One with a shower/toilet/vanity/shelves, and the other with a mini-tub/shower and smaller vanity/shelves. The room was more spacious than I thought it would be. There was a couch and table in the room as well.
DAY TWO: Day at Sea. We just lounged around the Serenity Deck, had some drinks, and at a lot of food! That's our day, pretty much! We ate in the dining room. It was the fist elegant night. The food and service were great!
The bed was really comfortable and I loved the pillows. We had a room at the waaay back of the ship, on level 1 (riviera). Now, since this is our first cruise, we didn't know the difference so I can't tell you if it was rockier or noisier back there than other places. When we pulled into port, there was NO mistaking it! Our room was shaking and loud! I'm guessing this has to do with slowing down, docking, etc. On the nights that the sea was a little rough, so was our room. I would say if you get seasick, this might not be the place for you!
DAY THREE: Cozumel - We booked a spot at Nachi Cocom and grabbed a taxi to the beach. The port here is really nice and there are a lot of nice stores right at the port. It's very clean, very safe feeling. The cab was 15 bucks, flat rate, up to 4 people each way. Nachi was lovely. The service was crummy, but I think that was just our luck. Our waiter got pulled away to wait on a big group on scuba divers that came up via boat. But, we just went up to the bar/restaurant and ordered our own food/drinks. I'm not going to complain - the place was gorgeous, drinks were tasty, food was good!
Back on the ship, we ate at the buffet for this night. We were pretty tired from our day of sitting in the sun drinking, so we took a long nap and just hung out.
DAY FOUR: Roatan - we booked the Jolly Roger Catamaran/Gumbalimba Park excursion through Carnival. The snorkeling was really nice - we saw a lot of fish and even a sea turtle! The park was pretty as well. We had a guided walking tour, took our pics with the monkeys, etc. I wasn't that impressed by the park. For example, they had a boa constrictor tied to a bush so people could see it. Weird. The park was pretty, though and I enjoyed learning about the history of the island and its people/culture.
We had a cheeseburger at the grill when we got back to the ship! YUM! They have a lot of toppings out for you to add, like chili, mushrooms, onions, cheese, etc.
We ate in the dining room that night. Again - great service, great food! Our waiter Suta and his assistant, Vladamir were so much fun!
I think this is the night we went to the Dancing in the Streets show and it was GREAT!! The acrobats were amazing! I had read great reviews of this show, so I made sure we went - it did not disappoint.
DAY FIVE: Belize - We took the zipline/canopy tour excursion through Carnival. The bus ride was long and very rough. I mean, you could seriously jack up your back on this bus ride! Our guide even made a joke about it saying "Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the complementary massage!" It was about an hour and a half on an old school bus. And a good portion of the bus ride is on a gravel road. I suggest sitting as close to the front as you can to cut down on the bumping. We were at the back of the bus and I literally bounced up off the seat a few times! Our guide Prem/Prez (can't quite remember!) was great. He talked nearly the entire way there about the country/people/culture/economy/history. It was great. He pointed out things all along the way. The zipline itself was wonderful. I felt very safe and secure and it was so fun!! They offered complementary bottled water.
DAY SIX: Costa Maya, Mexico We chose the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins excursion through Carnival. This was my hubby's favorite day! The ruins are amazing. There are some un-excavated ruins, and several that are excavated. Our guide, Sergio was so great. He had visual aids and answered any questions you may have. He spoke the whole way there about the culture/history of the Mayan people. It was about a one hour bus ride. This bus was GREAT! Especially compared to our bus in Belize! It was a really nice motor coach bus, air conditioned, very clean. At the end of the tour of the ruins, we had time to meander around the little 'shops' they had there. We purchased a few things here and they were much less expensive than at the port. On the way back, we each got a snack of chips, banana, and muffins. They also had complementary soda, water, or beer. If you wanted more snacks or drinks, he came around the bus and gave you more. I highly recommend this tour.
Back at the port, we looked around in the shops and bought a few thing - nothing major. It is a really nice, clean port with a big pool, chairs, bars, and a places to eat. I think you could spend the day here and be happy. The pool/bar area was pretty crowded and rowdy, though.
This was a short day, so we were back on the ship by about 1:30, changed into our swimsuits and headed up to the spa to check out the specials. I had the "ladies night" special and it was heavenly! The spa prices go down through the week, and there is a special each day. The special I got was a back/shoulder/neck massage, facial, scalp massage, and foot massage. This also came with 2 hours use of the spas thermal suite (sauna/steamroom). They were gorgeous and the locker room was really nice.
We took a nap and went to dinner in the dining room again. This was our second elegant night.
We went to the comedy club (late showing/uncensored). It was funny!! I enjoy stand-up comedy and these guys were pretty funny.
DAY SEVEN: Day at Sea - We slept in late, ate, and lounged around on deck.
DEBARKATION: Again, very easy. We set out our bags with their tags the night before. We were in group 33 of 35, so some of the last people to get off the ship. There was virtually no standing around waiting to get off, or waiting for our bags. This system seems very efficient. They projected our group to be called to debark at about 9:20-9:30 and it was right on schedule.
One more thing -
THE SHIP SMELL! I read so many reviews about the sewer smell - and I did smell it! :( We always smelled it on our floor (1st) about mid-ship (at the 200's rooms) and then up on the deck at the back of the ship. It seems like a ventilation thing. It wasn't all the time or bad enough to complain about. I was too busy having fun on my trip.