My sister and I stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown the night before our cruise. They provide free parking while you cruise, and also a free shuttle to the terminal. We actually met a family at the hotel going on the same cruise, and became good friends with them. We plan to keep in touch and would love to cruise with them again.
We arrived early at the terminal and breezed through the check-in process. By 11:45 we were having a delicious lunch on board the ship. We went to our room around 1:30, and were very pleased with the amount of space we had. We had plenty of closet space. The bathroom was small, but adequate. Our luggage arrived by 3:00. We were unpacked and ready to get sailing before the muster drill.
We ate in the dining room the first two nights. We thought the food was good, and the service very quick and excellent. We ate most of the time at the buffet for the convenience as much as anything. The New York Deli made really good sandwiches, and the lines at both places moved pretty fast.
We really enjoyed the family friendly comedy shows. We thought both comedians were very funny. We went to most of the shows in the Rome Lounge and liked them also. We liked the ones were they picked people from the audience to participate the best.
It rained a lot on this cruise, but we still had fun. Our beach excursion in Progreso was cancelled though. We took the shuttle to town and did some shopping, then signed up for a tour at the craft market. We were on a van with 12 other people from our ship with a driver and a guide, Raul. We went to the Xcambo Mayan ruins, and a short beach excursion, before the rain hit once again. The tour was interesting, and only cost $25 dollars.
In Cozumel we swam with the dolphins. We really loved this excursion. It was fantastic! It didn't rain at all while we were at the park, but as soon as we went downtown to shop, it started. We were still able to get some shopping in though. I thought Cozumel was a much better port stop than Progreso.
We did the self-assist disembark. There was an initial bottleneck at the start, but then the lines moved swiftly. We took a taxi to the hotel to get our car ($7 a person), and were on the road by 8:30.
All in all, we loved everything about this cruise. We thought the ship was lovely, and easy to navigate. We were never bothered too much by the photographers, as we had heard about. Our room steward was awesome, and we enjoyed our towel animals very much. It was always fun to come to the room at night to see what she had made each evening.
My only regret is that I waited so long to go on a cruise. I thought it was the best vacation I have ever been on. I am planning to go again next year, and it can't happen soon enough!