We decide a month before the sail date to go away for Christmas on a short cruise from an easily accessible port. We had been on the Star Princess in 2007 to the Greek Islands.
We chose the Dec 21 departure from Houston on a 7 day journey to the Western Caribbean with stops in Roatan (Honduras), Belize, and Cozumel.
The food was good. We especially liked the Crown Grill, Crab Shack and the Pizza and Ice Cream bar. The 7 bottle Gold wine package was a good deal.
The entertainment was excellent as was the service.
The transfer from and to Hobby airport was easy and well organized.
There were plenty of choices for shore excursions.
The ship was well decorated for Christmas and the crew sand several Christmas carols. Santa Claus showed up on Christmas Day.
video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHGMaJ7Y4Hc
All in all we had a great time.
We opted for cabin assignment at check in and were assigned a handicap room which was more spacious than standard.
Roatan is an Island that we docked at along with a Carnival ship in port. Our excursion started after noon and it took about an hour to get to Gumbalimba Park. The parakeets were interesting and made form great photos. The monkeys were cute and tamer than we expected. The iquana and hummingbirds were added attractions. The roads to the park had many potholes. A short (4 hours) and easy excursion.video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxHdyibcWNYView All 191 Gumbalina Park Reviews
Even though Belize City is on the mainland, the ship was anchored quite far and we were tendered in. It was quite windy. It was Christmas Day but we could tell the difference. A long bus ride (40 minutes) to the ruins and about an hour and a half there. The ruins were interesting but not very impressive. We climbed up one structure. There were many vendors selling local artifacts.A half hour bus ride took us to the river where we had lunch and then cruised down the river for slightly over an hour and back to the port.We saw egrets, blue heron, small crocodile, bats, monkeys, iguana and a dolphin put on a show for us. Other boats saw a manatee but we did not.Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEYfGbAa-CYView All 187 Altun Ha Reviews
We were docked at this island and had to take a high speed catamaran to Playa del Carmen where we boarded a bus for the hour long ride to Tulum with a toilet and gift shop stop along the way.The ruins were quite interesting but our guide spent too muc time showing us pictures of Chichen Itza and explain the Mayan history. We enjoyed walking around in the little time we had to explore on our own. More iguana here.The $2 trolley was worth it. It rained a bit but it stopped soon.The beer and fish tacos in one of the restaurants was good with the habanero sauce at our own expense.Another long bus ride followed by a rough catamaran ride from Playa back to Cozumel just in time to board. Another Carnival ship had docked right next to us when we returned. As we cruised out to sea we saw 2 Norwegian cruise ships docked next to each other at another dock.Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E1nS4uO7gUView All 140 Tulum Reviews