This is the 7th time we've cruised, second time on Carnival (all the others on Holland America except one on Norwegian). I found the cruise mediocre, there were tonnes of people. We looked forward to getting a nice tan on our pale Canadian skins, and found that the decks were ALWAYS filled with people, and the pool so full, there wasn't even room to swim (but you could get in and stand with everyone else!).
The food was okay, I found there was always a line up when getting food, especially at the Mongolian Wok section. There was also a Fish and Chips bar on the 10th floor, only accessible by going up one of the staircases in the Red Sail Lounge (or whatever the restaurant on the Lido deck was called), that we didn't manage to find until the last day at sea (when we remembered someone in one of the reviews had suggested it). When we did find it, however, they were closing for the day and wouldn't be open until "tomorrow at lunch," which was fantastic, because we were More
disembarking right after an early breakfast the next day.
The shows were o.k., nothing special, except the magic act which was worth seeing. We were scheduled for late dining, and found that we often had to rush from our supper to go to see the show. After the show, there wasn't very much to do, other than going to the casino or the bars. The layout of the ship is fairly confusing, and there were certain sections on a few floors (I think it was 3 and 4) that you had to go either up a floor or down a floor to go across the ship before you could access it (there was a kitchen in the middle or something).
We went on four excursions over the course of the cruise, in Cozumel, Roatan, the Georgetown, and Miami. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze though, one of the best embarkation experiences I've had. All in all, I wouldn't go on this ship again (too many people), but everything else (the excursions and stuff) was ok. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
In Cozumel, we went on the tour to Tulum to see the ruins, and that was an ok tour. The ruins were interesting, but you weren't allowed to get close to any of the ones that still looked like pyramids, and our tour guide was not very good at explaining any of the sights. He spoke very accented English, and despite being a native English speaker, I was still straining to understand what he was trying to say. It was very hot though, with not very much shade, and my grandparents (who aren't very good at English and didn't understand a word the tour guide was saying) would often stand off to the side trying for cooler spaces under trees and bushes. I would recommend this tour if you're looking to see it for the historical value, but it's definitely not something I would do again, or suggest to anyone.
In Georgetown, we went to the Turtle farm, Hell and Stingray tour. This one was pretty good, the turtle farm was amazing, we got to hold turtles in various stages of their lives, and it was very exciting. Hell, on the other hand, was pretty bad. If given another chance, I would not choose a tour that went here, as it's just like a pile of rocks and a small shop where the shop keeper, I think tries to be funny (by saying things like "Where the hell ya from?") but comes off rude. Last but not least, this excursion took us to see stingrays. We stopped here last, and took a boat (for about 20 mins) to a sand bar where there were a bunch of wild stingrays swimming around. This was very cool, I've snorkeled with stingrays before (in Half Moon Cay) but here it seemed like you were in the middle of the ocean. My sister and I had a great time, we kissed the stingrays, touched them, and even got a 'back massage.' Be careful not to swim too far out though, as the sand bar is only so big and though there was a wide area for you to explore (I found a conch on the ground), you've still got to be wary of where you are (I'm about 5'2' and while standing on the sand bar, the water went up to my waist).
Finally, on disembarkation day, we went to the South beach tour because we'd already gone to the other tourist attractions when we stayed there pre-cruise. The Parrot Jungle in Miami is worth seeing, they have a Liger. (Half lion, half tiger).
In Roatan, we went on the Pirates, Birds, and Monkeys of the Caribbean tour. This one was definitely worth doing. The tour guide was very nice, and willingly answered any questions we had. I went in and out of the Pirate Cave a changed person, while in the cave, I got more mosquito bites than I care to remember. The Monkey jungle though, was fantastic. We got to hold the monkeys and take pictures with one of the baby monkeys climbing and hanging on us. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life. Very cool.