We chose Carnival because of the good deals and the destinations of Grand Cayman and Cozumel Mexico. We had a fantastic time snorkeling in both locations, once off a boat and once from the shore. We also enjoyed climbing a waterfall in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. These shore excursions were the highlight of the trip and the reason we came. We also assumed that they were meeting COVID requirements and that the cruise would be relatively safe.
Embarkation - Our assessment of the cruise started with boarding. Long lines, steady moving, but long lines. Security and health screening.... Surprising! Staff took our boarding passes and sent us on through. No questions about current health!
Pictures were taken for ship security, room keys issued and we were on our way. Down a hallway the length of about half the ship. Unfortunately our room keys did not work! I ended up sitting in the hallway waiting for my husband to stand in line at Guest Services while a friendly neighbor sat on hold with Guest Services on our behalf. When she finally got a hold of Guest Services, we were assured that someone would stop down with new keys in about 10 minutes when his break was over. I had been waiting at least 40 minutes by this time and had not eaten all day. Are there still breaks while guests are boarding??
Our cabin was designed for someone with physical disabilities; therefore, it was larger than most rooms on lower decks would be. Our cabin steward, Augus, was awesome! He took care of us from Day 1, was friendly and asked us about our day when we saw him in the hallway.
The Ultimate Combo: Mayan Ruins and Snorkeling was awesome! Luz and her partner (I forget his name) were awesome hosts. Luz, especially, was great at explaining the history of the Mayan people and also great at helping us with snorkeling and pointing out different kinds of coral and fish. We saw a number of fish that were close enough to touch.
We climbed a waterfall!! Konoko Falls Park in Ocho Rios, Jamaica! I will remember this waterfall because we were able to not only see it and move along, but we climbed piece by piece, with the help of our guide, to the top. There is also a great view of the city and the ocean from a lookout point at the top. And there's a small zoological garden where we were able to see indigenous plants and animals. I even got pictures of my husband holding a Jamaican boa!
Snorkeling in Grand Cayman is the main reason we took our cruise! It was awesome to float over the reefs and valleys under the ocean looking for fish. We have seen more colorful fish and in more abundance in other locations, but I know there are variations in what we will see in any location from one time to the next.