I traveled with my husband, my son and his wife and 2 y/o toddler. As a 1st time cruiser --I spent a lot of time reading reviews on Cruise Critic to prepare for my cruise. It was so helpful and although my family thought it was amusing the information really helped make our cruise fantastic.
We came in Saturday night into Tampa-us from the east coast and my son's family from the west coast. We stayed at the Rocky Point Holiday Inn Express and used the Park and Sail package, They picked my son's family at the airport and transported us all to the port Sunday morning. We left our car there for the cruise so it made it all worth while not to pay parking. Great restaurant --next door for outdoor Caribbean Dining right on the Bay---very nice way to get the vacation started.
We did take on 2-12 packs of sodas with out difficulty. The staff was very helpful with the toddler--it was no problem at all to have her on the ship.
We also did "any time" dining because More
of the toddler--it was very convenient and we never had to wait. The down side was that you have a different waiter every night so there is no bonding. The food was great in the dining room and in the cafe. We went to Tea the 2 days at sea--very nice.
Grand Cayman: Walked right of tender and got a taxi for the 5 of us to Royal Palms Beach club. The taxi was $4 each both ways (toddler free) and $2 each for adults admission in to club. Beautiful beach and pool. The Pool is adult only but the beach was great. We did not rent chairs but used are Carnival Towels. Rented floats which was great. The service here was great. There was a full bar, food and plenty of shade. My son had lost a contact lens that am and the port authority took him straight to an optician and he gave a sample which was great!
Cozumel: Walked off dock --my daughter is Hispanic and negotiate a taxi for us to Paradise Beach for the same price as above and the admission was the same. The pool here was fantastic and beach was nice--chairs were included in price as well as umbrellas. For and extra $12 a person the use of the inflatable slides in the water--there was a lot inflatables and the children that were using the looked like they were having a great time and would definitely be worth the money. My husband and son negotiated snorkeling trip that left from the beach for $30 each--they thought it was great! Also my daughter-in-law had a 40 min massage on the beach for $20. There was great service, food and drinks here as well. The gardens were beautifully maintained.
Belize: We opted for the Carnival excursion that left from the boat and went to Bannister Island. It was OK. The plus was that it went straight from the ship instead of tendering into Belize, The down side was the beach was not that pretty--the water was murky and there were way too many people.but there was plenty of shade. About 1 pm everyone left but our group so that meant about 1 1/2 hour of peace.
Roatan: Mahogany Bay was beautiful. We walked over instead of using Flying Chairs--if you have a toddler definitely use a stroller. Great way to spend the day!!!
We did the general disembark. We went and stood on the 3rd level where the photo showcases are. A crew member came up to our level and said "everyone standing here follow me and I will get you off using a shortcut do matter what zone you are in" and true to his word we followed him right off and our luggage was all right together--really easy. The shuttle from the Holiday Inn express picked us and took us to the hotel and allowed my son's family to store their luggage while they saw Tampa and then took them to the airport.
We had a great time! The ship was spotless and beautiful. We will definitely go again. Next time e will have a balcony! Less