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Our 27th Anniversary
Port Canaveral (Orlando)
This was our second cruise. We ported out of Orlando. 7 days, 4 ports, no phones, no work. Just leisure for the next 6 days.
The vessel was magnificent. The newest and largest in the Carnival fleet,"DREAM", After the safety meeting we took a stroll of the ship. We soon noticed all of the differences between this ship and the last ship we had cruised on, Carnival Destiny. Some were subtle, others were extreme. One thing that really stuck out to me was all of the hot tubs located around the ship. It seemed like every time I turned around BAM! there was a another hot tub, 4 on the Lani deck. Just outside of the Oceans Lounge on each side was a seating area and hot tub. Also on the Lanai were other seating areas, a large chess board on the floor with 2 foot tall chess pieces, this was great! The put-put golf course was far better than the one on the Destiny. It was hard to get a tee time for this course as it was always busy. The spa area was large and uncrowded, and the therapists More
were very good.
We spent most of our late evenings in Sam's Piano Bar. Look for Dave, What an awesome guy, and entertainer. He kept us coming back for more, and we also invited some of our new cruise friends to join us, we ended up with a small family of friends singing with Dave on our last night of the cruise. THANKS DAVE.
We chose anytime seating in the Crimson restaurant for our evening dining. Broderick was our head waiter on the first day. Every day after that we requested to set at one of the tables that was in Broderick's section. We made a new friend in Broderick and his assistants. We wish them the best. Even though we did not get an E-Mail address from them we will always remember them, they became family to us.
The comics that entertained us on this cruise were awesome. but then, they were equally good on our last cruise. Although the MC for the comedy lounge "Jeff the fun Dude!' Was a RIOT!!
Now lets talk excursions; All of the guides that either met us at the ports or escorted us on the actual excursions were professional and courteous even going out of their way to make your excursion a very memorable experience. They will always ask for gratuities, This is not to be taken as rude. They do a very good job of making sure that you are safe and have the very best experience. So be sure to take a little extra $ for your guide and his/her team. Without them you could really end up having a bad experience.
Also be sure to bring extra $ for the shops at each port you visit. You ARE going to find something you will want to take home to remember this part of your vacation.
While we are talking about gratuities, Be sure and take care of the people on the ship that take special care of you, they will vary from person to person and ship to ship, You are the reason they are there, to serve you. They do a very good job of this. BUT, when you do meet that one crew member that goes above and beyond for you, let him/her know with a special little gift from you. They really appreciate it. And it lets them know that they did a good job.
Happy Cruising! Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
3rd Port Belize City: The ship weighed anchor out from the mainland and we tendered in. Our excursion: Bacab Eco Park Horseback tour. If you have never been on a horse and would like to try it out, then this is an excursion for you, what better way to go through a tropical forest than on the back of a well trained steed. You are up off the ground so you can see over any underbrush with 360 wide open view. The guides tell you about the things that you could see as you go, be sure to ask about the monkeys if they are not moving around on their own. Sometimes they will be setting in the trees napping and not moving or making allot of noise. Groups will have several guides with each group. These men are the real Gauchos that you may read about in the old western novels. The horses are trained to stay together, and most to stay in line. You have to do nothing but sight see and take pictures. When you return from the ride you are escorted to the clubhouse where you stored the things you could not take on the ride for a meal of traditional local foods. (Which are very good by the way) Then a Relaxing dip in the pool. With a waterfall and slide to add a little fun to your relaxation. Or you can just rest in the shade of the banana or coconut trees. You may even see an iguana in the area. The folks on this excursion are very friendly and willing to please, You will have an excellent time on this excursion!
4th Port: Costa Maya; Our excursion here was Boat Blast, Snorkeling and Beach Break Combo. What a beautiful port. We met our guide at the end of the pier. He escorted us to a bus for a ride to the beach where we would begin our trek. We were quickly outfitted with mask a new snorkel(who wants to put something used in their mouth), fins, snorkel vest and life vest, while you are in the two person boat. You are then escorted to the dive area by one of the guides.( he will ask you to fall in line, which may take a while as there will be ten or twelve two person boats involved). Once at the floating dock, you will be guided onto the dock where you take off the life vest, put on your snorkeling gear and get wet. There will be two groups. Experienced and beginners, either way you go will be great. I went with beginners to be with my wife. After the dive master had all of the beginners used to breathing with their faces in the water we were ready to see the sights. we had not gone far when one of the support divers dove deeper and brought up a spider starfish for everyone to see. As we continued, when they would see something cool they would point it out or if possible bring it up to get a good look at. we say several very cool things. On our way back to the floating dock we scared up a huge sting ray at least 3 foot across, what a beautiful sight as it gracefully drifted off to our right side. Everyone got a close-up, well within 10 feet. Then back to the beach where we were surprised with an open bar, woo-hoo. Dive guides were great and very knowledgeable of the area. it was a great time.
Our first port was Cozumel, here we went on the Jeep and Caverns tour. Seven hours in duration with a meal included. We paired up into groups, no more than 4 to a group. One person in the group was chosen to be the driver. Our driver ended up being yours truly. I guess they figured that I would be a better driver than rider. They were probably right as the roads around Cozumel may have been paved, but that isn't saying much. Never-the-less we drove out of town into the country side into cavern country. There were approximately 12 in our group, so as excursions go, a small group.
We dawned our spelunking gear and headed down into the caverns. Once in the caverns, the guide explained how the caverns came to be. He also told us about the early people that populated this region, The Mayans, of which he himself was a descendant of. Then we traded our hardhats for snorkel and mask and into the deeper caverns. The water was cool and clear. We had to use underwater flashlights. IT WAS AMAZING!!! You must take this tour to experience this for yourself. Before we left the caverns we were allowed to spend a little time shopping in the little area there for the locales to earn a little cash for their wares. This is a great place to get authentic hand crafted goodies, be prepared to haggle on price, you can get some pretty good deals. We then traveled approximately 30 miles to Playa Del Carmen Beach to eat fajitas, which were awesome by the way. We chose to eat on the beach at a table with a grass umbrella with original Mexican umbrella drinks. them a splash in the waters off of the Mexican coastline. The guides were awesome, and made you feel very safe in what we have heard as what could be a dangerous part of Mexico.
2nd Port: Roatan, Honruras, What a beautiful island. We had booked an excursion to go parasailing, we recieved a cancelation notice the previous evening. So, we just decieded to go to the nearist beach and do our own thing for the day. Mahogany bay is just off the pier, of course you have to walk through the port shops to get to it. We also purchased tickets for the Magical Flying Chair Lift to take us over the canal to the beach. You can just walk across the bridge to the beach, but where is the adventure in that. Once on the beach you are met with all of the amenities needed for a day of fun-in-the-sun. My wife went to rent a floating lounger, while I dawned the snorkel and fins that I had brought with me. Soon after I was swimming over the coral reef. AMAZING! After a few hours of reef and beach we hit the shops. Roatan is an excelent adventure with many different excursions to choose from. But, even if your excursion gets canceled, you will not miss out on a great time in Roatan.
NOTE: BE SURE AND GET UP EARLY TO WATCH THE CAPTAIN BACK THE SHIP INTO THE PORT!!!!!!