I did not know what to expect after hearing good and bad on Carnival. So, I did what I always do, I decided to take a chance. I'm so glad I did. I will make a few recommendations first. Get your cruise booked months in advance. Book your parking (if driving)in advance. Read the reviews on the tours, in advance. Get your passport squared away. There are some cruise ticket holders for sale on line, if you want them. Get your cruise tickets just before you leave. You can book your land tours in advance but you pay when you book. That may be good for budgeting. Get your camera batteries charged just before you leave. Bring your phone chargers, dramamine and Bug repellent. Finally, they allow you to bring a case of soda and a bottle of wine p/p. I really recommend this one.
Okay so the cruise. Trip scheduled to go to Cayman, Mohogany Bay Honduras, Belize and Cancun. First stop, Cayman, we booked the Stingray city and Reef snorkeling trip. Awesome. Allot of time spent with the stingrays. Everybody got a chance to pet and even kiss the rays. We had a chance, at the end, to eat local food before boarding the ship again. Next stop, Mohogany Bay. We booked the Private Island with lunch. This little Island is a sanctuary for animals found in need of help. They nurse them back to health and release them back to the wild. They also have a Mayan Temple and an arena. The Food, Animals and Temple were all way batter than expected. Next, Belize. Mayan ruins and River boat tour. Wow. An actual Temple from way back. Again, Awesome. This tour was the best. Lunch place is provided and you have to buy your lunch for about $10 buck. Affordable and good local food. Lastly, Cozmel and the Secret River tour and lunch. Awesome. Very informative and really cool. Literally. I don't want to spoil all the fun for you so I will not speak about everything at each place. I will say that I highly recommend all 4 of these tours. They were the highlight our land trip.
Ok, now the ship. The Miracal was fantastic. The service was fenominal. Cabin Stewart was great. Food was great. I recommend the Steak house and the Chefs Table highly. These are must do. You have never had a meal like the Chefs table offers. Well worth the money. In all, everybody was genuinely interested in knowing if you are having a great time and what can they do to assure you are. Every thing about this trip was fantastic. I can't wait to take another trip. I asked many people on board, if this was their first or tenth trip. Many said this is multiple trips on Carnival and they only travel on Carnival. I asked, why? Cost, fun, service, ships, crew and bang for the buck. I'm going Carnival again. Are you?
I heard so many different comments, good and bad, on Carnival, I was not sure what to expect. So, as I often do, I decided to take a chance. (People are so fickle).
First off, I would recommend getting in town the day before. I heard some people talk about delayed flights, traffic etc. They were stressed. Also, get all your stuff, tickets, passports, etc before time.
The day of the cruise was a very nice experience. We arrived at the pre arranged time and everything went as expected. We dropped off bags and I parked with, again, the pre reserved valet. They took my car and we were off to our vacation.
We followed direction and went to check in. Unlike the airport, this TSA experience was pleasant. 1 - 12 pack of soda p/p and a bottle of wine p/p is allowed. I recommend this. We continued to the check in desk and that went off without a hitch. So far so good. We were then called and allowed to board. Here we go.
Once on board, they directed us to the bar. Imagine that. Starting off with a drink. We were later allowed to go to the room. We unpacked and chilled out for a bit. We got underway and prepared for lunch. For our first meal on board, it was pretty good.
We later went to customer service to confirm our tours. We booked 4 tours before our trip but you really don't have to do that. You can wait till you arrive to book land tours. I recommend reading the reviews on each tour. It will help you make a good choice. I did that and found 4 tours that were highly recommended. Booking ahead of time also helps with budgeting money. You can pay for this before the trip. As you will find out, they require a credit card be tied to your on board account. That is how you charge evening on board.
We walked around the shop and learned our way around the ship. We ran into the SPA people. If you don't want to spend a ton of money, run away. They are very good sales people and you will be caught up in the excitement of getting a great treatment
We later checked in for dinner at the main dining room. It took me 3-4 days to figure this out but you can order everything on the menu or even seconds. Now you know. As for the food, wow, very good dinner.
Large enough for two and nice balcony. They don't have irons. They have one outlet. Plan accordingly. Comfy beds. We did King Bed. Always neat Thanks to cabin Stewart. Great location.
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