We chose this cruise as a quick and cheap getaway to recover from the holidays and to regroup after the passing of my dad two days before Christmas. I had two good books and just wanted to relax and forget about reality for five nights. Plus, it was cheap. $1,100 for a balcony for two. We had sailed on this ship in April 2019 and had fun.
We were allowed to board at noon, but got to the port at 12:45. The lines were long and people were sitting around waiting to get on. Apparently, they had to move the gangplank and that caused a backup. Also, the computers went down when we were checking in and we had to stand around and wait for that to be fixed. We were on the ship by 1:50.
We went to the buffet and it was a madhouse, but we expected that. However, the layout is so poor. You have to get your own water/juice/tea. The machines are in a hallway-type part of the room where people are walking to get to the buffet. I love having strangers breathing in my water. The food choices were odd...bean stew? No one walks around offering beverages like on Royal Caribbean.
We went outside to get two sodas at the bar. They only serve Pepsi products. Two small glasses of Pepsi were $7.20. They are $3.00 each and a 20% gratuity is automatically added. On our previous cruise on this ship, all drinks were included in the fare because it was a short cruise on a smaller ship. Maybe THAT is why we don’t remember it being so bad.
Our cabin was a soaking wet rug by the bathroom and smelled musty. We had trouble even opening the cabin door because the rug was buckling. We were told to go to the 7:30 show and they’d put a dryer in there to fix the problem because there were “no other cabins.” We unpacked and went to the show. We returned to the cabin at 9:14 and the blower was still going and it was still smelly and wet. Guest Services came and offered to show us another cabin. We did not ask why we were told there were none. Anyway, the other cabin was directly under the pool and the smell of chlorine was so strong that we chose to smell mustiness instead and stayed where we were. Also, we were exhausted.
At 10:30 that night, Guest Services called, woke us, and wanted to know why we didn’t contact them regarding the other cabin. We told them we had, we looked at it, and chose not to move.
The next morning we went to Guest Services after getting a note on our door to contact them. We were told we could have an inside cabin to hang out in while the rug dried in our cabin. The employee explained this cabin hadn’t been used because the occupant “got on the ship, felt claustrophobic, and left immediately.” We accepted this offer and went to that cabin.
The inside cabin offered was being made up and the occupants had ordered room service and their dishes were everywhere. We were told by another employee that this cabin was rejected by the people it was assigned to because of all the noise from the stewards’ work area right next door. Two employees, two different stories... We opted not to take this cabin either.
The rug dried by Day 3 and we got used to the smell. The bed was extremely comfortable and the air was cold. We actually slept well. I will say Guest Services was excellent with trying to accommodate us. They sent champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries and also offered us a $100 credit to a specialty restaurant. We are at Cagney’s and it was delicious. The service was impeccable.
Room service costs $9.95 per order, with 20% gratuity added. We ordered once and the portions were plentiful. We had the free continental breakfast one morning. We requested delivery between 9-9:30 am. It arrived at 8:40 am.
There are a total of 12 deck chairs on the promenade deck, Deck 6. This was disappointing because they were always occupied during the day and is one of my favorite places to relax. Pool chaises were stacked by 6:15 every evening, so we couldn’t sit outside and enjoy the night sky. There’s no outdoor movie (or indoor movie), so that’s a disappointment.
Costa Maya was ok. The shopping area had aggressive shopkeepers. One mumbled something about Americans when I didn’t want to come into their store.
We stayed in the ship in Cozumel because we’d been there before and Deck 13 (or maybe it was 12) was empty and relaxing and peaceful.
Attitude is everything, so we made the choice to have a great time. We had to overlook a lot, but we did have a good time. Disembarkation was a breeze and we were off the ship and in our car within 15 minutes.
As a side note, I wish there was a way to teach people that it’s polite to wait for people to get off an elevator prior to them getting on the elevator!