We boarded the ship after driving to New Orleans from our home town & were excited about going on a cruise with family members. We checked in, found our balcony room & opened the door. The smell of secondhand smoke almost knocked us over. We had requested a nonsmoking room because my husband has asthma & I am allergic to smoke.
We returned to Guest Services where we were told by employee Rebecca Bruton that the ship did not have nonsmoking rooms. We asked for a different balcony room or to be upgraded to a suite. We were told that there were no vacant balcony rooms & that they did not upgrade customers. We told them this was unacceptable & that we wanted a room like we had requested when we booked the cruise 3 months prior to sailing. Rebecca Bruton told us that if we didn't like our accommodations, we could just leave the ship right then. We told her that was ridiculous & returned to the room.
This was not a good beginning to our eagerly anticipated vacation. We began dealing with the cabin steward, who tried to help us He told us the people who had the room the week previous had smoked cigars in there. For the next 3 days he put a machine into our room when we weren't in it to defumigate the room. He also gave me a spray bottle of something similar to Lysol to spray the drapes, bedding, carpeting & everything else in the room. On the 3rd day the smoky smell mostly was gone. Other than that, the cruise was fun.
Our ports were Belize, Roatan & Cozumel. Roatan was a pleasant surprise & such a beautiful place. Our ship had a great dance band which headquarterd near the casino every night, & we sought them out most evenings to dance.
The food was good but not exceptional, but nothing to complain about. The shows were entertaining & had good talent, including one good comedian & a good magician.
Our travel agent wrote a letter to Carnival after we returned about our experience with Guest Services regarding our smoky room & received a letter back from them addressed to us, which was a form letter stating that they were sorry about our difficulties & hoped we would sail with them again. The letter was empty, was no consolation to the difficulty we experienced & lacked empathy. We don't plan to sail on Carnival again because of this experience.
Cruise port at Belize was at the poorest section of Belize with very few port shops. We had to take a tender to the port & to our excursion. There was basically nothing to do at the port. We took a catamaran out to an island smaller than a football field where most of the tourists snorkeled. Chaise lounge chairs were available for $5. There was a small pavilion & a porta-potty. It was beautiful with 5 palm trees & some wild flowers. The snorkeling was good, but the jelly fish were out that day. It was an enjoyable tour.
Roatan was a pleasant surprise, very clean & very beautiful. The shopping was great at the port, & there was a beautiful beach within walking distance from the ship. We hired a taxi for an hour & asked the driver to show us some of the island that we normally wouldn't see. He was a school teacher & was fluent in 3 languages. The tour was the best one we had on the cruise & was excellent. He took us to a cameo factory & to a small village where we drove down narrow streets & saw open markets, school children getting out of school & some homes. We saw things that a normal tourist would not have seen. Our time on Roatan was very enjoyable.
Cozumel is Cozumel - clean, great shopping & food, beautiful beaches & decent tours. Two in our group went swimming with dolphins & loved it. The remaining four of us took a jeep ride to a beautiful beach & to a tequila shop where we were able to sample (very small samples) many varieties of tequila. This was our 2nd visit to Cozumel, & we weren't disappointed.