Traveling with three kids (15, 14 and 11), wife (age unprintable) and mother in law (age unknown)for spring break, 2011!
Left out of Tampa - used valet parking, well worth the extra $15 because it gets you out fast when you return to port! More later.
Sea day was somewhat exciting - the morning of, we heard a BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO which turned out to be a fire in a crew members cabin. The captain was great about communicating the issues and alleviating any fear on our part. On Q+A day with the captain (last sea day of the cruise) the captain was pretty open in discussing what happened - great captain, best we have experienced. Relatively young guy, great sense of humor, etc.
First port was costa maya - not a lot to do here. Apparently the port opened up ten years ago for the first time. Had a hurricane (the one that smacked Belize as well, think it was Dean) that shut the place down for 14 months. Still a lot of damage / shells of former businesses, etc. Not More
terribly well-developed by any stretch of the imagination. Don't really need to go here again. We DID do the Chacchoben mayan ruins tour - bus was hot (A/C very limited) and it was stuffy and hot on the hour-long trip. The ruins are fascinating and our guide was very knowledgeable - we just didn't care to hear everything he wanted to tell us - too long of a tour after the miserable bus ride. Had a wonderful diet coke - called coke light, like they do in europe - not really zero calorie, and not full calorie, but much better tasting. Anyway, glad we went, don't need to go back.
Next port was cozumel - excursion to playa mia which is an all-inclusive (read watered-down open bar and minimally acceptable local cuisine) on the beach. Even though it was spring break, the atmosphere was subdued enough for our family to fully enjoy. Would go back tomorrow.
Food on the ship was excellent in every single case. Ate at cascades as often as we could, windjammer at least once a day for either a snack or a meal, and seaview cafe. Got a specialty steak as it was on the cascades menu for $15 and it was GREAT. Hors d'ouevres / starters all good, main courses all good, and deserts all good.
Ship entertainment was so so. Comedians both good, didn't bother with stage productions. Did not find the musicianship on the cruise as high a level as it was on our last cruise on a bigger ship. Could be any number of reasons.
Kids used pools, pool tables, card rooms, etc. We had a great time!
We got off the ship on time, 8:55 and were in the car and on the highway home within 15 minutes. All this thanks to valet parking in my opinion - could not have been any smoother given the large number of travelers.