Embarkation- We were on the boat within 30 minutes after arriving at the Port. This port is very efficient and well organized. The workers were very quick and well organized. This was by far my easiest embarkation for a cruise. We got to the port right at 11:30, so maybe we beat the rush.
Once we were on the boat, we went to the buffet. The buffet was great and offered a variety of foods that my family was not used to. My kids were adventurous and tried many new foods while on this cruise.
Food- This ship had the BEST salsa I have ever eaten, and my kids and I ate it every day from the grill. Also, their hot chocolate was awesome. It tasted gourmet!!!! Hot chocolate machines were placed all over the boat by the juice machines, and I literally drank hot chocolate nearly all day long.
The buffets were really good, and offered a wide variety of foods every day. Having small kids though, we ate from the grill a lot. My kids loved making cheese fries and eating chicken strips whenever they wanted to. We dined every night at 6, and I must say I don't believe my family has ever eaten so well. I have two teenagers, ages 16 & 14, and an 8 and 6 year old. Even my youngest two ordered steak or prime rib every night, just for the novelty of it. The meat was always perfectly cooked!!!! I even ordered alligator one night and I loved it! Of course for dessert I always ordered hot chocolate and the warm chocolate melting cake. The cake is to die for!!!!! My kids tried a variety of desserts and liked all of them, but I stuck with the melting cake. I suggest eating in the dining room if you are with your family, because you get to slow down and enjoy each others company. We rarely just sit and talk and laugh together like we did every night in the dining room. I did gain a few pounds, which I can easily lose, but the memories we made there will last a life time.
The entertainment was good. There was a variety of things to do. The family comedian was funny. My teens loved him, I don't think my youngest kids really got it, but they laughed anyways. I didn't love the stage show. It had a French theme and the outfits were pretty skimpy. The Christmas show was great!!!! The Camp Carnival kids got to go on stage and sing with the show girls. My 8 year old felt like a celebrity since the main woman singer put the microphone in front of my 8 year old's mouth and pretty much let her sing a solo. Also, Santa showed up at this show. Another activity that we enjoyed was the Christmas caroling. There was a snow machine that made it really snow on the carolers and those of us just watching!
My 8 year old and 6 year old loved Camp Carnival. They never got a chance to get bored. On the days that we made the kids stay with us, they were asking to go back to camp carnival. They loved it that much. They painted t-shirts, made boats, sang carols, played the wii, etc. There was such a variety of things to do.
Excursions- We never book through the cruise line. We always save money booking through individuals at the ports. In Costa Maya and Cozumel, we just chilled on the beach. My kids loved playing in the dirt and enjoying the heat in these two ports since it was 30 degrees back home in the states. In Cozumel, we paid $26 for a taxi and $2 each to go to Paradise Beach. We then paid $12 each to play on their stuff. They had a bungee trampoline, numerous water blow ups, kayaks, snorkeling gear, etc. It was well worth them money. This was our cheapest and funnest excursion. In Belize, we went cave tubing. We LOVED this also. Our tour guide was great and riding tubes through caves with our headlights as the only light was just surreal!
Debarkation- We were off the boat and on the road by 8:30. Again, this port is super quick and efficient!
I would take this cruise again every week for the rest of my life if I could afford it! We had such a great time as a family. I am already planning my next cruise!