My family went on our first cruise the week of November 21, 2010 on Mariner of the Seas, visiting Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerta Vallarta. I was in a balcony stateroom with my husband and three year old daughter. My teenaged daughter was in an inside stateroom (with a window overlooking the promenade) with my mother in law.
MONDAY: (first full day at sea) My teenaged daughter got sick the first day and was diagnosed with a kidney infection. I was very impressed with the medical facility on the ship (I had occasion to make a lot of use of it - more on that, later) and my daughter was able to go swimming with dolphins in Cabo the next day.
When we took our three year old daughter to the kids program, the woman in charge of her age group - her name was Paula - was distinctly unfriendly. She did not greet her in any way, just pointed her to sit down, and this unfriendly vibe was so strong our daughter began to cry.
Paula said to my husband, "Take her over there until she calms down." She was rude, cold, and completely unsuited to be taking care of small children. In fact, I was dismayed to see that there were no toys out, nothing to invite a toddler to play. My daughter in in Montessori daycare five days a week and is very accustomed to being in a group and playing with other kids. I'm accustomed to friendly teachers who like kids. This woman did not seem to like her job. We immediately complained to Michelle, who was wonderful and tried to remedy the problem but the damage was done. Our daughter refused to go back to the kids program for the entire trip. If we even mentioned it, she was traumatized and began to cry.
TUESDAY: Cabo San Lucas and swimming with dolphins. Wonderful! I can't say enough about how great it was. Also, the view outside our stateroom was gorgeous. It was like looking at a postcard.
WEDNESDAY: Stone Island Beach, Mazatlan. We live 20 minutes from Malibu so beaches are no big thing for us. This was a nice excursion but I felt sorry for all the vendors who kept trying to sell us things.
Our teenager started feeling sick again, so we made our second visit to the medical facility, where she was diagnosed with the flu.
THURSDAY: (Puerta Vallarta, Thanksiving Day). We didn't want to go too far from the ship, since our teenager was sick in bed. That afternoon, our toddler got sick and we went back to the medical facility. She had a 104 degree fever and they immediately gave her an IV, took blood, took xrays, did a nebulizer. We spent over three hours there, from 7-10:30 at night. I was again impressed with the medical facility and staff, although the Romanian nurse kept telling her, "Don't cry, you look ugly when you cry!"
The rest of the trip was all about taking care of sick kids. Somewhere in there we saw the ice show, which was fun, and had dinner at Chops, which was good but not spectacular.
I can see the appeal of a cruise, but due to non-cruise related illnesses, we did not get to partake of the amenities. My teenager never got to do any of the teen program things, which she had really been looking forward to.
We got home to find that our yard had flooded. It was the worst vacation, ever! So bad, we have to laugh (otherwise we will cry).