Embarkation took a while- probably close to two hours. I heard many people say that was the longest they had ever waited. Before we even marked we waited in line for about 30 minutes. With the excitement running through our veins that wait was hilarious! We were just sooo excited! At this point I was on vacation and VERY excited and I didn't care so the two hour wait to embark upon the ship didn't bother me one bit!
Got our "Carnival" picture just before boarding- bought it too as we looked very happy :)
The ship was amazing!!!!! We had an ocean view cabin and it was plenty big! The window was huge and it was great to wake up the first morning and see that the water was sooo blue- just a really deep beautiful blue color! The bathroom was plenty big! We were hardly in the room anyways! Our room steward, John Paul, was AWESOME!!! Our room was always clean and at night sheets turned down with our cute little towel animal and two chocolates!
Food food and more food! It was available to you at all times. If someone told me I HAD to tell them something negative about the cruise, the ONLY thing I would say is the food could have been warmer- it was generally not warm, however, you really need to understand that they are serving tons of people, literally, so I didn't care!
We did anytime dining and I really enjoyed this- we didn't have to worry about doing or not doing something because of what time we needed to get into the dining room. It was so nice inside- well everything was really- all the lounges, the hall ways, the eateries- everything was beautiful- but the dining room was very fancy! We generally always had Wayan as our server he was amazing- as was all the servers- you could tell everyone really enjoyed getting to know their server, etc. I was normally so full from salads/app./entree that I only had desert like twice- I just can't pass up on tiramisu! Sushi was good, deli sandwiches were good, pizza was good, buffet was generally good.
Activities- they were plentiful! It was great every night before bed you'd get the next day's itinerary with a detailed version and that a great little "strip" of paper you could tear off and take with you it always would say where in the ship it would be located! Every hour there was probably four to five things you could do! We enjoyed the comedians, the game shows (Marriage show was hilarious). We played some bingo one day and roulette in the casinos a couple days! The hairy man contest was hilarious and not what it sounds like- like the announcer said "it's not how hairy you are but what your attitude is like" it was pretty darn funny! We enjoyed the gentleman who did the ice sculpting he was amazing (he's been doing it for 20 years). We played miniature golf and enjoyed the hot tubs in the Serenity Deck (adults only).
All the workers were SOOO NICE!! Generally speaking all the cruisers were nice too!! Some people just don't know how to be happy and those people, well they just need to calm down and enjoy the wonderful life God has given them!
Although this was our first cruise I really could say nothing bad about it! I think five days was plenty long- we both agreed 7 days would be too long but 3 days would be too short so 5 was perfect! We will be cruising again and getting a bunch of people to go next time- just remember- don't stress about it and just relax and have fun!!! The fun will be there you just need to enjoy it!
Interested in port reviews? I'll be posting about our extremely fun time in the ports under the "port review" area!!
FIRST OFF- The Bar Hop is not just for drinkers- you see the natural beauty of the east side of the island, can enjoy some shopping, food and beach side massages (and if you are lucky you can see sea turtles and a crocodile like we did)!!
Here is what we did... Met everyone down town and headed onto a nice comfy bus with about 15 others. Everyone on our bus was so great. Greg was our guide and he was awesome! Told us about how he ended up moving to Cozumel and told us plenty about the history of the area. We headed off to the other side of the island. There is no electricity on this side and you really see the natural beauty of the island. At the first stop we enjoyed our complimentary shot (one of four) some amazing chips and salsa- mind you the chips and salsa at every stop was amazing NOTHING like I've ever had before-got a Corona and after much waiting I got my beach side massage! It was fantastic $20 for about 20 minutes...I could hear everyone's laughter along w/ the waves crashing and it was just awesome!
Second stop at Coconuts was beautiful! Walked up a path to this hidden restaurant that sat amongst natural beauty! I saw a dog and immediately went over to that little thing and started petting her, Luna then I went to find my fiance and he had picked us a table where the other dog of the restaurant was. About five of us sat at this table for the hour or so we enjoyed this place. That dog slept the entire time- I mean he didn't budge!!!! It was hilarious! This place overlooked a cliff and the beautiful waters...ahh it was so memorable! We did have a margarita that was yummy and had plenty of alcohol in it! LOL We got some to-go cups and off to the bus. TO our surprise the biologist had found some baby sea turtles- we were able to touch them and take pictures, etc. Ahh....just amazing!
Then off to another place beach front piece of paradise- where we got into the water- as Greg will tell you- be careful there are rocks in the water- they hurt LOL. IT's hard to keep your balance after two shots and a Margarita- so be careful LOL
Then to the fourth stop where we got a Coco Loco- WHOA!!! I wish we would have just shared that thing because it was potent! There was a good bit of shopping here- and there was some shopping at the other stops too. On top of the shopping this place also had an area of, I believe it was coral, that was way out of the water from where the waters had receded, etc and had exposed it. We climbed on it and got some pictures- just be careful that stuff is like razor sharp!
Last stop at Rasta's where we had some yummmyyyyy ceviche and another Corona- had good conversation with great people and I fed the cat...who would then not leave me alone lol.
I would #1 recommend taking a taxi to down town immediately upon getting there. Everything seemed to be cheaper. We bought tequila for our friends back home at a liquor store called Covi- we spent $43 US and got a 750ml bottle of Don Julio reposado & 950ml bottle of El Jimador- which were the two most recommend bottles of tequila from all the locals we asked. The same bottle of Don Julio from ANYWHERE else we looked for was AT LEAST $40 US so for us to get those two bottles was this was an awesome deal.
I like everyone else- have not one negative thing to say about the Bar Hop. We happily purchased a T-shirt at the end and had Greg take a picture on the bus of us with all our fellow passengers who made the trip that much more fun!!!
Would HIGHLY recommend it :)
I searched every review board possible and came up with a compilation of different things. This is what we decided on in Progreso-
I started communications with Ralf from "William Lawsons Personal Driving Service", Ralf being William :) He was booked but said that he had a lady, Lucy, who could take us since he was not available. I was a little hesitant at first because all the reviews I read were about him, but he assured me she was great and everyone who had been with her loved her, so I said okay! From there we mapped out what we wanted to do- I gave him a brief description of what we wanted and he came up with an incredible plan. Our main thing was we really wanted to see Mexico- not the touristy towns, etc- but really see Mexico as we've never been out of the States.
Here is what we did....
The free shuttle took us about 4/5 miles into town from the port. I will say it was a culture shock to us when we first got off the bus- we've never left the states so all this was so new to us! You are immediately in a shopping area with TONS of vendors- they will call out to you and try and get your attention!!! I saw Ralf right away and met wonderful Lucy and we would have been on our way but all that shopping was too tempting! We shopped around for a little bit- my boyfriend *actually now fiance* needed sunglasses so that was the first order of business- but we also bought a hammock and some jewelry! Don't forget to haggle with them!! If you are at a price you want and they won't come down- walk away and they will generally call you back and accept what you are interested in spending! SO from here..
Lucy (she was so amazing- had cold water and beer ready for us in her car) took us through the town of Uman. We stopped and walked through the market, bought some fresh bread (Ralf had mentioned this and i said "Ralf, how'd you know I loved bread? LOL" so we got some yummy bread, fresh fruits, even though I knew I couldn't bring it on the ship I bought some beautiful flowers to enjoy for the day- besides they were SO cheap- and I gave them to Lucy when it was time to go! The market was buzzing with vendors and shoppers, etc. IT was so neat to see how other cultures are. Once we were down at the shops we headed back to the car and stopped in at this beautiful Catholic church. We walked through and I was so touched to see Lucy give a praying gentleman some fruit.
After this it was off to Uxmal. The ride there was amazing!! Just seeing all the different things and the way they do things. No road rage was seen anywhere and people kindly pulled over a bit when you needed to pass them. They go their speed and understand if you need to go faster and make it easier for your to get on your way! In Uxmal we explored and visited the Mayan Ruins and at Ralf's recommendation we got an English speaking guide who was full of knowledge about the ruins and really made that a learning experience!
From Uxmal we went to a cenote (sink hole with a spring that you can swim in) in the tiny town of Peba. We arrived at the entrance but no one was there and the gates were locked! Well Lucy wouldn't accept that and she went into the town- started talking to the first man she saw who took us to the "key keeper" lol at which point she spoke w/ him told him we wanted to go swimming and he just gave her the key!! We went back to the cenote and didn't even realize what we were about to see and WOW!!! What a pleasant surprise! Lucy stayed up top and we walked down the steps into this beautiful cave with crystal clear water and enjoyed a swim and got some photos! After this we went back to the man we got the key from and gave it back to him!
We were originally going to eat at the Hacienda Ochil- but due to the shopping and time we took in Uman- were not able to! I wouldn't have done it differently though! We decided on going to the cenote instead of the Hacienda because we figured there was plenty of food on the ship.
We got back said our farewells to Lucy and had about 15 minutes to shop before getting back on the shuttle to go to the port.
This was amazing...everything about it..Lucy, the trip, everything! I would highly recommend it!