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Carnival Dream Cruise Review by burnstracey

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Carnival Dream
Carnival Dream
Member Name: burnstracey
Cruise Date: March 2011
Embarkation: Port Canaveral
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 2395
Booking Method:
See More About: Carnival Dream Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 2.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment Not Rated
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 5+
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 3.0
Rates 3.0
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Ship Facts: Carnival Dream Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Dream Deck Plans
Carnival Dream 3/5 - 3/12/2011
Carnival "Dream" 7-Day Exotic Western Caribbean Sailing

March 5 - March 12, 2011

We flew Southwest Airlines direct from Pittsburgh to Orlando.

Flights were expensive, as well as the cruise costs due to Spring Break, but we were forced to choose these dates due to our children's Spring Break week.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION

The Carnival Motor Coach transfer was also expensive at $70.00 roundtrip per person, although I really like the convenience of the Carnival transfer so we don't have to handle our luggage as much.

It was 45 min. ground transportation from the Orlando airport to Port Canaveral.

Mears Transportation had a luxury motor coach, so the transfer was very comfortable and the driver had a great sense of humor.

EMBARKATION

We arrived at the port very early and I was worried we would have a long wait until they allowed us to board the ship; however, I was very pleasantly surprised! We only waited perhaps 10 mins. outside and then walked straight through the entire embarkation process within the next 20 mins. or so.

We shared the port with the Disney Magic and the Norwegian Sun, although they had separate terminals, so we didn't share any congestion with these vacationers.

DREAM Ship Facts/Stats

We stayed in an Interior Stateroom (#2395) and our traveling companions stayed in a Cove Balcony (#2403.) Our room seemed smaller than usual to me (and I've been on approx. 8 cruises with 4 different cruise line companies.)

It didn't take us very long at all to realize that Carnival REALLY missed the boat [pun-intended!] with the design of this new ship...their largest, newest ship in their fleet.

It appears as though they now have the means to offer 3646 guests to sail on her 15 Decks without adding even one more square inch of deck space and/or common areas. I personally do not think it's fair to add over 1000 people into the same amount of "common" space.

Whatever we did, we waited in lines to do it!

We had 2 days at Sea and thankfully I was able to save several lounge chairs for our 2nd day (but I was also on deck at 8:30am.)

They couldn't even keep both of the 24-hour ice cream machines stocked, they were being used so often.

THE GOOD

Our room steward staff was excellent! We learned from Putu that your first born son in Bali is always named Putu; followed by four other specific names to denote the birth position. If you have a 5th child, he/she is named Putu again. An "I" is added as a prefix for males, and a "Ni" for females.

He was always pleasant and addressed all 4 of us by name every time he saw us...and we always saw him out in our hallway; we never had to look for him even once! We also never needed anything; it was like he was a step ahead of us in every direction. Of course those adorable towel animals are always a welcome treat every night at turn down service!

He had 27 staterooms and 50% of them were balconies and he cleaned the balconies every day removing any salt water sprays on the balconies to avoid rusting.

The food! I'm sticking to my guns and saying Carnival is the best food at sea! We really enjoyed breakfasts in the dining room (although this was the same menu every day [But on the other hand, there was Eggs Benedict every day too!]), and the great dinner selections they offered on the dining room menus. We had one lobster dinner on the first "formal" dinner evening. The lobster was excellent! Prime Rib was offered a different evening, although nobody at our table ordered that.

Other steaks were also available, and they looked like they were great cuts of beef. I prefer seafood and every dinner I had, I thoroughly enjoyed.

My daughter was disappointed that cheesecake was never offered as a desert, except for one night when it was "diet" and she was disappointed when it looked more like a gelatin than a cheesecake. [Note: Deserts are available to purchase next to the Sushi Bar on Deck 5, cheesecake was an option there! There are also chocolate covered strawberries, carrot cake that must have been 5" tall, and several other selections from which to choose.]

The cleanliness of the ship...everywhere! I think Carnival is very well known for their staff constantly cleaning everything, but it was very noticeable that this beautiful ship was kept shiny & sparkly in every area. We never noticed anything even slightly dirty or unsanitary anywhere.

THE BAD

The worst: The horrible smell of cigarettes was awful when walking through the Casino. I am usually very tolerant of this smell, but it was extremely overpowering. There's no escaping this smell if you're on Deck 5, as you are forced to walk through the Casino (at midship) to get from aft to forward.

The most disappointing: Our wait staff in the dining room. Anil from India and I Wayan from Indonesia (Assist. Waiter) were very much less than the typical service I've ALWAYS received on this fine cruise line. We received the first impression of "That's NOT my job" during the first 5 minutes and unfortunately, that never changed. The first day was a bit of rough seas and my daughter had an upset stomach. I ordered a ginger ale for her (yes, she had a soda card) and promptly received it about 20 mins. later after having to ask for it FOUR times. Anil never once offered to get it since Wayan was busy.

We sat in a booth for 4. I actually couldn't believe it when Wayan placed my roll on my dinner plate instead of my bread plate, almost like he couldn't reach my bread plate? Well, he absolutely could have, probably without any bending or stretching...so I was very shocked he did this.

He also asked us if we wanted 2 rolls to avoid him having to come around a 2nd time to serve them to us. Nope, I want ONE roll now...and maybe if I decide I'd like another one with my salad, I'd like to be offered one LATER, thank you very much!

Although I do understand that they are putting out something close to 1000 meals in this hour, I never remember not being able to substitute sides before this cruise. I asked for a baked potato instead of mashed and Anil said that he would bring me a baked potato on the side. Well, OK, I guess...but of course I ate the mashed potatoes AND the baked potato and my waistline really didn't need an EXTRA carb. on it!

I have ALWAYS felt like I could try more than one of whatever I wanted; but not this time. I felt like it was an inconvenience for us to ask for anything.

Honestly, he never came to our table after our food was served to check on us and how we liked everything. Don't misunderstand, the food was EXCELLENT, but the service was VERY bad (borderline "horrible.")

Coffee after dinner was extremely slow and we were never once offered a second cup of coffee. There were several nights that I thought our desert would be delivered before the coffee. Oh, and speaking of deserts, the Chocolate Melting Cake is most definitely something to write home to mom about. Thank Heaven's this one's available every night for desert (I had it twice!!!) LOVE that!

A lot of the wait staff on cruises are either funny, or do magic tricks, or talk to you, or ... SOMETHING...ours did NOTHING. In fact, he did not even participate in most of the dancing/singing things they do after your food is served. Yes, he was busy still serving food, but shouldn't that be coordinated so all the food is out? I don't know. I honestly do not mean for anybody to lose their job, but Anil is not the type of employee that Carnival has and I'm surprised he's there! No more meals from Anil ...YEAH! 'nuff said 'bout that!

Not being able to hear the movie on the "largest screen at sea" was yet another boo boo that could have very easily been avoided. And they actually charge you for popcorn! WHY????

Soda cards are now over $50.00 WITHOUT the mug (that's an additional $5.95.) Ouch. This is no longer a value for me since each can is $2.00 and I would have to average 3 sodas/day or more for this to be a better deal. I don't drink that much soda.

Perhaps others have a MUCH better sense of direction than I, but I don't understand why this NEW ship would still have the cockamamie way of having to get to your dining room by taking the elevator up to 4 and walking down the steps one deck. (Or, another example is why can't you walk all the way straight through mid ship on Deck 4???) You can do this on other ships and this is one personal pet peeve of mine that I'm not certain I will ever get over (and never find my dining room until Day 6! of the cruise!)

Another very surprising thing was the lack of shops on board. When I read about the "Promenade" and "The Fun Shops" before I was on board, I was thinking of the rows of shops like another cruise line. There are still only 2; one port side and one starboard, selling a conglomeration of souvenirs, clothing, liquor, and health & beauty items.

I LOVE the idea of having self-serve Laundromats on board. I brought my small boxes of tide & my dryer sheets, and we passed the laundry facilities just about twice each and every day, but I didn't end up doing any laundry! VERY nice to know that it's there, though...and we know others use it to press their clothes before dinner.

We almost took advantage of the Spa Package, but at $149.00 per person or $249.00 per couple, we were afraid that we wouldn't use it *that* much for that price.

The Encore! Showroom: Beautiful. Unfortunately this is the 2nd cruise that I didn't get to see even one show.

Comedy Clubs: GREAT! Again, we heard the comedians were funny, but couldn't stay up late enough to actually catch one of their shows live!

OUR PORTS OF ALL

COZUMEL

There are 3 piers in Cozumel; we docked in Puerta Maya. This was my first time at this pier; my 3rd time in Cozumel. As far as piers go, this was by far the most fun on the pier. As soon as we arrived on land, there was a local man with a statue of a burro. He asked for a couple of bucks to dress you up and get a photo taken on the burro with him pretending to shoot you.

There are also some funky oversized feet that you can stand behind to make a fun photo.

We decided to confirm the"Deluxe Catamaran Sail & Snorkel w/Beach Party" through Carnival. If there's one thing you MUST do while in Cozumel, it is snorkel, scuba, or SNUBA. The fish in Cozumel are unbelievable! They are VERY abundant and very colorful. It's just fantastic what goes on underwater here! This day was the 2nd time I was actually bit by a fish that I was hand-feeding a bagel; although this fish was much larger...but this is truly an amazing experience.

The crew of the "Fury" was a lot of fun as well. This is a 65' Catamaran and there were approx. 60 passengers on board. There is an excellent underwater photographer on board. $55.00 for all photos [I think there were (7) 5x7's. Of course you need to purchase them all!]

I would rate this excursion a great big 6 out of 10 stars!

There were a few disappointments. They are: The Margaritas are very weak; however, if you ask the bartender for more tequila, he will hook you up! [All drinks are included in the price.]

Sol beer is also included and is the brand of choice on Cozumel & Costa Maya. They do not have Corona.

The crew mentioned we were snorkeling in Paradise Reef. When I asked, "Are you sure this is Paradise Reef [since I was there 2 yrs. ago and saw an actual "reef" and even more bright & beautiful fish], he said, "There are 2 Paradise Reefs." So, I took that statement to mean that this was NOT Paradise Reef and they were not being totally honest with us. Also, I think this is a little pricey for $65.00/per person for a 3.5 hour excursion, but we really did enjoy ourselves.

Burgers [huh?...what?!!!] were served once we got to the beach party. There was no party here, just a ton of lounge chairs, some palapas, more weak drinks, and lots of passengers from all ships that are in port here.

The burgers were $8.00 and although they did look good, we chose to wait for some Mexican food!

The beach was very nice and very clean. There were some slides & a trampoline anchored in the water, but you needed to be careful which ones you tried to use to not have a man come paddling to you in his canoe stating, "this one's for children only."

Once we returned back to the pier, we had a WONDERFUL lunch at "Pancho's Backyard". We sat al fresco on the sand, close to the 2-pc. live band.

I had the Black bean soup (very yummy!), chicken enchiladas and a mango margarita. All 4 of us really enjoyed this restaurant for the food as well as the service. I would VERY highly recommend Pancho's for a great Mexican meal.

We were fortunate enough to be in the square where the parade of the Carnival for Fat Tuesday was in full swing. This is the first time I've seen a Carnival "live", so that was a bit exciting for me too! Although the real Carnival didn't start until the evening, we still saw a lot of the island set up with food stands and floats all over the place.

We had to take a cab to Senior Frogs, but I wanted our adult children to experience this amazing place. It's almost worth the $17.00 yard of Margarita! I know if you dock at the pier with the Senior Frogs right there, you will not miss this place, but there's another one Downtown if you dock at a different pier. In my opinion, this is another DO NOT MISS THIS ONE experience! The cab ride is only a few dollars, but you should ask how much before you get into the cab. P.S. Carlos & Charlie's is downstairs if you visit the one in town. That's another fun bar with yet MORE yards of frozen fruity concoctions!

BELIZE

It's very hard for me to imagine the size of the anchor needed to hunker down a ship of "our" magnitude, but that is exactly what happens when you call on Belize as one of your ports of call.

I suppose it is due to the very calm waters, or maybe that anchor is HUMONGOUS!???, but regardless, you do need to take a tender boat to shore.

Carnival tries to have all the passengers that purchased "their" shore excursions to have priority tendering status, however, you absolutely can cut into their line(s) without any penalties! (LOL!)

We didn't read anywhere that you needed to go to the "Burgundy Lounge" to get a tendering "sticker", and this whole process is completely worthless anyway; so don't waste your time & energy going there...I promise you it is not needed.

The tender ride is probably about 15-25 mins to get to land. Those that are prone to seasickness should absolutely have their Dramamine an hour or two before this quick speed boat ride into town (and don't forget the ride back as well!)

I am very blessed to say that this is my 2nd time visiting the BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL country of Belize! If it were your first visit, you MUST do the river tubing with Major Tom (and Minor Tom, his son), like we did during our initial visit several years ago. That was an excellent excursion where you got to see a lot of the country by minivan and learned a whole ton about the Mayan culture [yes, Major Tom is Mayan.] You pass "The Sleeping Giant", which are mountains that honestly really do look like a giant laying down with prominent formations of his head, his (rather large) nose, big belly, and his feet. That's kind of cool to see!

This time we decided to confirm the "Goff's Caye Snorkel Trip" through "Shore Trips". Shore Trips is an extremely reputable company and I've booked no less than 40 (or more) excursions without any problems at all. In fact, all the feedback I can give you on this Company is VERY good. Their pricing is usually much lower than that offered by the cruise lines directly, they are NEVER EVER late getting you back to port (or in this case the Tourist Village to get your tender), and they use highly recommended and experienced tour guides. What I like most about using this company is that there are always fewer people on the excursions. In fact, Carnival doesn't even offer this excursion since having this advertised by them would be way overkill for this tiny island!

We found our tour guide without any problem once we arrived at the Tourist Village. Upon checking in, we found we had an hour to wait for the rest of our party before we headed out. We walked around and did a bit of souvenir shopping which is in great abundance here.

We reported back to our meeting spot and promptly hopped aboard another speed boat for yet another 35-45 min. ride past our cruise ship and out beyond to Goff's Caye island, which we learned is owned by the Government of Belize.

There are several locals that work on Goff's Caye including the snack shop cook (who did NOT have grilled lobster tails on this day), the bartender and his assistant, the craft vendor lady and her daughter with their display of craft items on 2 beach tables, and the only white guy on the island, Scott, the "rent-a-lounge-chair-from-me" man!

While the food was a bit disappointing here (grilled hot dogs in a tortilla) or BBQ chicken with corn out of a huge can sitting on the grill, the snorkeling definitely made up for it. We saw a lobster! (My first time seeing one when snorkeling and I thought maybe we should bring it back to toss it on the grill!) There were many other colorful fish, although they were not as abundant as they are in Cozumel. The crew was very good about safety and gave us a good instructional briefing prior to jumping in the water.

One of my favorite things about this excursion was the Rum Punch!!! It was the only Rum Punch that we had during our vacation and now I'm REALLY missing that, since this is my favorite vacation drink of choice!!!

There's a few points that I'd like to mention that are stated in the "Shore Trips" description of this excursion. They are (and in no particular order of good/bad/or indifferent!):

a.) Sightseeing on the water. The only sight that you will see is our ship as we pass it!

b.) One fruit punch or rum punch included in the price. This was actually one HUGE cooler of rum punch that we could all share until it was gone!

c.) No lounge chairs on the island. Perhaps this was a good day that Scott felt like working. He had ample chairs that he brought in his boat and rented for $5.00 for the day.

d.) The "purified water" comes in a plastic bag that you bite off a corner and squeeze into our mouth...AMAZING! Never saw that before now!

One of my very favorite things about Belize is the absolutely AMAZING color of this gorgeous water. I thought of a new name for this color and that is "Belizean Blue." You just have to see it to "belize" it! LOL....You'd betta Belize it's the brightest blue waters you've ever seen! (LOL again!)

So, we return back to the Tourist Village and now we're ready to shop some more! I wanted to find the "square" I remembered with the carved Mayan alphabet pillars. I remember those shops to be very nice...much nicer than the ones facing the pier. We found them and I was right, they are much nicer. I believe this was near "Terminal A"? I know the location is all the way to the right when just arriving on the dock. There are unique gifts here, so this is a port where you can get some great souvenirs. I got a sail boat "kite" type of mobile that is beautiful ($12.00); they have knock off "Designer" wallets, purses, and clothing items that are very reasonably priced as well; and their cooking sauces are very unique and very tasty! We met Kate there, who is the owner of a GREAT souvenir shop. She gave us some facts about Belize, stating how easy it was for her to claim residency there (moving from Canada several years ago.) She also mentioned Belize is the highest paying Government in the Caribbean / S. America, earning $1.13/hr. (see: http://ambergriscaye.com/economics/DoingbusinessBelize.html)

Moral of the story: Vacations are totally awesome and I love them so, So, SO much...but honestly, "There's NO place like home!"

HONDURAS

Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan is the FANTASTIC newly built pier & marketplace at this beautiful island. I was very pleasantly surprised to see this new complex, as I visited Roatan just 2 years ago and that port was very depressing with the terrible poverty you saw immediately upon leaving the ship. That was a fenced in area which was guarded with men carrying machine guns. This new port is completely different and was a very welcomed surprise.

As you leave the ship, you walk through a very large store where you can do some souvenir shopping in air conditioning! Following the pedestrian walkway just a little bit longer, all the shore excursion folks are there displaying their signs to whichever activity you're confirmed on. We saw ours immediately and checked in. We were escorted to a shuttle bus and headed up & down & up & down the mountainous terrain of this lush countryside.

We went to Anthony's Key Resort (AKR) and had an AMAZING experience snorkeling with dolphins. You have to confirm this reservation through Carnival, as AKR will not accept reservations directly. From the resort, you have to get into a rather small canoe-type of vessel that had a captain and one small motor.

Within a minute, we were over at "Bailey's Key" where the dolphins live!

Our dolphin was "Anthony" and he often did his tricks in tandem with "Mr. French". We really enjoyed the interaction with them.

There was about an hour of an "encounter" experience with them, separate posing for photos for each guest, 10 mins. on your own with your own personal camera , and then another 45-mins. snorkeling with them.

I've swam with dolphins in Jamaica, Cozumel & the Bahamas, but this one was BY FAR the very best I've ever done and I know exactly why. It was the last hour that we spent on our own snorkeling with all of the dolphins in this huge cove. Sure, the trainer was watching us from her platform, but this was amazing to be able to be free and play with all of them (I'm guessing there were at least a dozen.)

There was even a baby named, "Margarita" who swam in PERFECT tandem like she was attached at the hip to her mom. That was really neat to watch underwater!

We dove down to the bottom to get some sea grass to play with the dolphin. I had one dolphin up out of the water following me around in circles trying to get it from me. Megan's dolphin actually spit the grass back at Megan kind of like "OK, your turn to toss it now!" FUN times!!!

Their gift shop was very nice and had just about all the selection of every souvenir that was offered in the market place. Beautiful hammocks were $60.00 here, but had "Isla Rotan" and also "Honduras" woven into each side of them. I did not see such fine craftsmanship in the marketplace on this stop.

We purchased the whole CD of photos (and I've deleted a bunch from what is posted to "flickr") for $60.00

We still had a few hours to peruse the Marketplace upon our return. We stopped in at Fat Tuesdays Bar where the rowdy fun was happening! They have a DJ, girls dancing on the bar, and these fun "AttiTUBES" drinks (instead of yard glasses), which I really enjoyed my "BBC" [Bailey's, Banana's & Cream!...YUMMMMM] I think Meg had a "Hurricane" and hers was very tasty too!

We did a little more shopping and then headed back to the ship. The Carnival Valor shared our port with us today, yet it was not crowded anywhere at all.

We didn't have time to take the ski lift ride to the beach. I wanted to try to barter with the woman in the ticket shack to see if she would allow me to ride down really quickly and not pay the $12.00 all day pass fee...but I decided I may not even have that much time and really did NOT want to do an encore performance of the heart attack I almost had last year with almost missing the boat in Key West! I never did make it to that beach, but it looked very lovely from the Lido deck when viewing it during sail away. There are plenty of lounge chairs and the facilities all looked very new too.

This was one of my very favorite days on our cruise!

COSTA MAYA

Our last port of call was in Costa Maya, Mexico. I was looking forward to this port, as this is the only port that I haven't previously visited. Hurricane Dean (2007) severely demolished and closed this port of call for several years, so everything here is all newly rebuilt. They did a very nice job with 2 huge swimming pools right off the pier with swim up bars and yards of drinks everywhere (They call them "La Yardas!") We were in port from 7am - 3pm and I so wish this could have been a call where we stayed longer.

We decided to have a leisurely breakfast while still on board "The Dream", so I don't think we hit land until after 9:30am-ish.

We walked through the marketplace to find the somewhat hidden exit to the taxi stand. I guess they want to keep the tourists in this area, as there really isn't much to see in Costa Maya and only one tiny town, Mahahual, which is where we were headed!

Our shore excursion was purchased through "Island Marketing Ltd", and we chose to enjoy the all inclusive beach break of "Nohoch Kay Beach Club".

We boarded the bus and we were at Mahahual within minutes. The first stop was Tequila Beach (and a few other Beach Clubs) and the next stop was the last stop on the bus...so we got off.

We quickly learned the #1 business of Mahahual is to own one of the MANY beach clubs along this small stretch of beautiful beachfront.

I continued to ask for directions to our Beach Club, since I was afraid of the language barrier, but quickly learned that everybody spoke English, so this is no problem.

Everybody told us it's "down there"...and it ended up to be the furthest South Beach Club, approx. a 4-block walk from where the bus dropped us off.

TIP #1: Don't buy the $3.00 "bus" ticket to take you into town. Ask for a private taxi for $2.00 per person. Plus, the taxi will take you further down the beach to where Nohoch Kay is located.

Along the walk there are numerous vendors set up and all of them call you to come see their shop. My daughter bought 2 beautiful hand-painted margarita glasses for $15.00 [total.] I guess she could have gotten a better deal, but this was a savings of $5.00 from the marketplace where they sold the same ware.

Once we got there, all 4 of us agreed that there wasn't a better choice to make at this port of call. The owner, Jaime [pronounced "HI-me"] is the consummate host! He introduced himself to all of us and then introduced us to his adult children, Jeff, Nacho, another boy, and another girl, who shook our hands, stated it was their pleasure to meet us, and said they would be taking care of us today! OMGosh, I couldn't believe the service at this most-excellent establishment.

Our lounge chairs were parked under a large Palapa and the bottles of water and yummy frozen margaritas were quick to arrive! For those beer drinkers, there were several options from which to chose, although Corona's are not easily found in Mexico! My daughter enjoyed the "Sol" beer, which I can also say is VERY good!

There are a few water sports that you can use including several hobie cats, as well as several more kayaks. We chose to relax and watch "Fishdog" frolic in the water and roll around in the sand. You could tell he was a "local" that visited this beach club quite frequently. He wasn't a pest and he didn't beg, he was just having a good time on the beach!

We later learned that Tracey, the beach masseur, is a very busy lady! [I believe she is Jamie's wife.] She stated that she normally has a helper, but she wasn't able to be there today. She was charging $25.00 for 30 mins. or $40.00/hr. for a massage on the beach, under a cabana, with the gentle trade winds rolling in and the soft smell of her oils. RATZZZZzzzzzzz, we didn't put our names in soon enough and we never got to enjoy this treat!

TIP #2: Most definitely put in your name EARLY for the beach massage!

Although, they have many, many, many beach massage folks working, so you could take a walk back up the beach if you wanted. I just didn't want our children to go alone; I made them promise us we would all stay together for our 2 Mexican ports of call due to the recent violence (although not reported in Costa Maya at all.)

Before long, we were ready to try some authentic Mexican food and decided to head into some shade for lunch (Yes, they serve lunch on the beach as well.)

Jaime stated that we were welcome to look at their extensive menu, although he would prefer if he could "just feed us" and bring us small portions of his recommended dishes for us to share.

We said, "BRING IT ON, JAIME!" And WOWIE, did he ever!

The luncheon feast began with salsa, guacamole, and home-made chips. Delicious! My daughter tried guac. for her first time here and really likes it! YEAH!!!

Next we were each served (2) shrimp tacos, followed by a HUGE plate of shrimp & octopus ceviche. My mouth was S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G "Fresh" and "Delicious" and "I'm so happy!" [No, it wasn't the margaritas talking! LOL]

OMGosh, here comes some slightly blackened grouper fish tacos...and then steak & chicken fajitas. I can't believe all the food he served us and we had no problem eating it! It was absolutely delicious.

Better yet, as a witness to this statement, may I be a name-dropper and state that the Captain of our Ship, together with his wife, as well as another Senior Officer and his wife were sitting just one table away from us at lunch! Now you know this place is EXCELLENT if the Captain of the ship is there, right!

TIP #3: If you are calling on Costa Maya, you MUST visit the Nohoch Kay Beach Club. Period...end of story. Trust me on this one! PAH-LEESE!!!

All of us really hated to leave this wonderful beach club! When our taxi arrived, the kids RAN up to us and gave us a genuine hug good-by and thanked us for being there.

This place goes into my book as one of my favorite places. Thank you, Jaime...I miss you so much!!!

When we got back to the pier, we had a little more time to get a few more souvenirs, and now I could kick myself in the buttocks for not getting a beautiful hammock or hammock chair for $30.00. I also saw a guy using a hand saw to add initials into rings. He had all types from Sterling to 14K gold and every price point in between. He said he made the initials in minutes. Amazing!

Have to run now to write to Carnival to tell them to extend the hours at this port. I love cruising because you get to visit so many wonderful places...but why do they have to leave at 3pm (back on the floating resort at 2:30pm!)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (LOL!)

I loved our cruise experience very much!

This ship is beautiful and the itinerary was fabulous.

We enjoyed every shore excursion we did (especially snorkeling with dolphins in Roatan) after hours of reviewing all the choices in every port of call.

Amazing what your attitude can do to change your whole cruise experience. Sure there's more people on this ship than any other I've ever been on and the lines were very bothersome everywhere...but really, where did I have to be? Just have patience, they won't run out of food at the buffet line!, and eventually my coffee was served after dinner.

If you're the type of person that wants the biggest & the best, than this ship is PERFECT for you.

If, on the other hand, you prefer smaller ships and better service (in some areas), then I'm sailing with you on my next cruise!

Most importantly, thank you, dear Lord, for allowing us to be in the Atlantic Ocean on 3/11/2011 when the Earthquake & Tsunami hit the Pacific Ocean & Japan. My heart goes out to the Japanese nation with the devastation their country is currently going through.


Publication Date: 03/24/11
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