Sail Date: 05/14/11
Let's get the one bad thing out of the way. We were on the ship by 12:00 and after being told three different times by three different people of when our luggage was to arrive, we finally got it by 8:00. We believe Carnival needs to follow the same guidelines for embarkation that they do for debarkation. Pack up the luggage by "zone" and then distribute.
Now that that's out of the way, everything else was great! we had a great balcony room on the 8th deck port side mid-ship, which allowed us to pull into each port with a view of the island as we were approaching. Food was average for Carnival and we ate a lot of it! We believe that we hit the right week to go on this cruise. The kids were all still in school so the lines weren't long at the buffets and the elevators didn't have kids all up and down in them. Very relaxing time on the ship. The hot tub on the Lanai was out of this world! it was like having an all over body massage at once! We highly recommend trying them out as they are never crowded. Also enjoyed the shows on the ship, comedy shows, dance shows and especially the newly wed game featuring Bruce and Bea. They are a married couple of 62 years and they were the life of the party wherever they went. She was precious; smiling ALL of the time and Bruce was the life of the party! It's what we imagine ourselves to be in about 41 years. :o) One suggestion - the country show should be updated to actual country music (Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith etc.) not hillbilly music.
Excursions - we went on three. This is what actually made this trip special. Drinks on the beach in Cozumel, Mexico; meeting new friends.
Our next island was Belize. Nothing against Carnival, but we would suggest booking excursions with an independent company. It's half the price for twice the fun and all of the $ spent goes to the local economy. We went cave tubing with a man we have nicknamed "Uncle Dave' as he made us feel like a part of his family. He took us on a tour through Belize City; even stopped by his house to share a cashew fruit (yes, it's a fruit, not a nut) off of his personal fruit tree. This man knew everything about everything in Belize City. There were only three of us on this excursion and it made it all the more personable. He took us through two caves and we found out later that the Carnival excursion only went through one of the caves. To book with "Uncle Dave" the website is www.cavetubingrus.com
Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) we zip lined with an outside company. The zip lines were absolutely incredible! There were 14 different lines! We were able to video the last of the lines (1500 feet long and 200 feet high). It was an incredible feeling to be "zipping" through the air as we did with mountains on one side, ocean on the other with the jungle underneath you! We even did one line together. This company has for us "chunky" folks an additional harness so you are more secure. The company we went with was http://www.roatancruiseexcursions.com/RoatanCanopyZipline.html
Costa Maya we shopped and hung out around the swim up bar. Great deals in the shops - you just need to know how to haggle. Don't buy something in the first shops as you will see the same thing two to three shops down for a drastically different price.
This is our third cruise with Carnival (Celebration and Glory and now the Dream). Carnival has taken us from the Bahamas to the Virgin Islands to Central America and we can't wait to see what's next!