Hi. I just read a terrible review from somebody that took this cruise in December, and I am sorry they didn't have a good time, but I couldn't believe the same cruise that we had such a wonderful time on, was the same cruise she/he had a horrible time on. The difference between their experience and ours is like the difference between night and day.
For us, it was a wonderful week, a beautiful ship and great ports. The reviewer I referenced above was "appalled that Carnival would put people's lives at risk by going to Belize and Honduras." Not to sound mean, but if this person did the slightest bit of research, they would have known what to expect. Everyone knows that both Belize and Honduras have poverty issues. Also, the thought of somebody choosing to go into downtown Belize City on their own just makes me shake my head, especially after being warned.
Anyway, I love both Belize and Roatan, Honduras. However, I would suggest that one take an organized Carnival tour in Belize. There really isn't much for anyone to do in Belize City, and it probably isn't safe for somebody to walk around on their own. There is a little tourist village that is guarded, and safe, but once you leave that, you're on your own. Once you get out of Belize City, you get to see the beautiful jewel that the country of Belize is. We did the zip-line Canopy Tour, which I highly recommend to those who are up for a good adventure. It's not for everyone, it includes a good uphill hike, but for those that like extreme sports, it's a great choice.
We organized our own excursion on Roatan. I never felt unsafe there. I felt that the locals were not threatening at all. Yes, there are a lot of people wanting your business, and they can be a little annoying, but they need to make a living, and all you need to do is tell them "No Thanks" and they will leave you alone. Like in Belize, it seems like most people speak English in Roatan as well. The excursion that we organized was a horseback riding tour followed by a beach break. It was great, and we fell in love with Roatan, and cannot wait to go back.
We also enjoyed Grand Cayman and Cozumel, but not as much as Belize and Roatan.
We found the ship to be wonderful, the crew to be very friendly and efficient, the food to be above par and overall, everything was terrific. We would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
You cannot please everyone, but for the most part, everyone that we spoke to felt the same way we did.
The alternative supper club, Scarlett's, was fantastic as well. Definitely worth the extra $25 a person for sure!
If you want to have a good time and aren't uptight about visiting off-the-beaten-path ports such as Roatan and Belize, then I would highly recommend taking this cruise!
Overall, I would assign this ship an 8.5 out of a 10 and the ports of call a 9 out of a 10. The crew gets a 9 out of 10 as well.
Oh, and embarkation was a breeze for us. We did the FunPass thing, so if you do that, you get to go in a separate line than the people who don't have their info filled out. We got on board in less than an hour.