We drove to the Port as we are from the Midwest. We parked at Lighthouse parking and have the last few times we have sailed from Galveston. It is much smaller, but I've never had to wait a long time for a shuttle. We purchased Faster to the Fun and went from the parking shuttle to boarding in under 20 minutes. Honestly, if we didn't want to get off the ship quickly, we wouldn't have needed to purchase FTTF. Once we boarded we dropped our bags off at our room and went and found something to eat. We hit up Blue Iguana for tacos. After lunch we walked around to check out the layout of the ship. The layout is different than other Carnival ships. Our muster station was in the casino (which was an odd place since we were in a Spa cabin) but people were smoking the whole time. We were on the ship during the Super Bowl, which was fun. People were camping out at 7AM for a spot outside to watch the game.
We ate in the MDR every night. This was the first cruise for my husband and I so I had a requested a table for the two of us. We did have a table for us two but with in arms reach to two other tables. Our table mates were amazing and we looked forward to seeing them and talking about our day every evening. My one complaint about dinner, there was a large table from what we understood a family reunion that were highly intoxicated and were loud and obnoxious every night.
Breakfast and Lunch - I highly suggest doing seaday brunch when possible. The offered fresh pressed veggies and fruit juices we loved them. Hands down it was one of our favorite places to eat.
Our ports of call were:
Cozumel- we went to Mr. Sanchos which we booked on our own. We got off the ship fairly early and were there before it got too busy. We also left around 2:00. There weren't many ships in port, so it wasn't as busy as it could have been.
Belize: we did the ship sponsored cave tubing. The drive was informative, but incredibly long -1.5 hours-- Our guide for the cave tubing was so awesome. It was shorter than I expected. Belize was a tender port, and didn't find we had to wait too long for one to get back on the ship.
Roatan - This port we didn't have anything planned. We got off and rode the chair lift to the free beach. They had chairs up front - but you had to pay for them. We found chairs in the back. We didn't purchase any food or drink but were offered several times so seemed bar service was readily available. We decided to get back on the ship to eat lunch and took advantage of the ship being relatively empty. We were able to go on the sky ride. (No swimsuits, anything in your pockets and closed toe shoes) it was really fun. We were able to ride the slides as fast as we could get back up the stairs. Really enjoyed our time.
Entertainment - the main show lounge is significantly smaller than on other ships. The welcome aboard show was great, the others were just so so. Schwartz was the cruise director on our cruise. Comedy shows were always packed, so it was hard to ever get a good seat. We went to the casino every now and then, and never found the tables busy.
We saw an IMAX movie, the price was about what we would pay at home. There were tons of trivia opportunities,
Service: We found our favorite bartender Michelle. She was at the coffee place in the morning, and in the atrium bar in the evening. MDR service was fairly slow, but we didn't expect speedy service. When we attempted to go to Tea time, we didn't have great service at all. We showed up 30 minutes prior to the end, and they were already packing up. No one brought us cups or tea.
Debarkation was very smooth, there were a ton of Diamond/Platinum members onboard, so we debarked immediately after them. We didn't have to wait at customs long at all. Our shuttle back to our vehicle was waiting and were on the road by 8:45 am.
We enjoyed our cruise. It was nice vacation for my husband and I without our kiddos. Cruising is our preferred method of travel, and still holds true after this cruise. Many of our complaints were due to passengers rather than the cruise line/staff.
We enjoyed the spa amenities that came with our cabin. We utilized the steam room, chairs and sauna daily. Our bed was not as comfortable. The cabin had a light teal decor, plus robes, and slippers and upgraded bath amenities. I bring our own, so this may be more for someone else. Also, I forgot to go the to spa and request a complimentary body scrub. Our stateroom attendant was great took care of anything we needed. I will say this cabin was really far away from everything. We try and take the stairs when possible, but there were several times where we were huffing and puffing by the time we got to our room.
We got off the ship early and got to Mr. Sanchos early. Drinks weren't strong at all which is fine with me. Food was excellent. Chips and Guac, fajitas, coconut shrimp, all were great. There weren't a ton of ships in port the day we visited, so it packed.View All 696 Beach Reviews
Long drive, but tour guide was informative during the ride from the ship. a short hike (maybe 15 minutes) and 20 minutes for the cave tubing itself. Our excurison included lunch which was chicken, rice, and a cole slaw. There were drinks available for purchase. Also needed to purchase a locker which was $15 or so upon arrival.View All 375 Cave-Tubing Reviews