We arrived at the pier about 12:30 and were told to leave our luggage with a porter and then go to the cruise parking lot (couple of blocks away) and park our car. My children and I waited outside the cruise terminal while my husband parked the car and rode the shuttle back. It took him about 10-15 minutes to get back.
Embarkation was a long wait. We were in line for about an hour and a half before making it up to the check-in counter. Once there the process went smoothly. We had to show our picture ID's and birth certificates and then give a credit card to be used for the sail and sign card. Once that was done, we picked up our cabin "keys", sail and sign cards, and flyers for Camp Carnival. The photographers greeted us next and took a "Welcome Aboard" picture. Make sure to put down any carry-on luggage so it won't be in the picture. Next we had to one-by-one have our sail and sign cards scanned and our picture taken for security purposes for disembarkation in Cozumel. And finally we made it on board about 2:30. Was Spring Break though.
We booked this cruise about a month before sailing. Got a really good deal but didn't have much of a choice left in cabins. I was sailed with my husband and two children. We stayed in Cabin U217. This was on the Upper Deck and was the last cabin AFT with an oceanview. It was roomy and fine for all four of us. We had two twin beds. Above one of the twin beds was an upper berth that pulled down to make another twin bed. We also had a rollaway bed that was set-up beside the other twin bed. Bathroom was perfect for one. Cramped if two people tried to get in there at the same time to brush their teeth. Plenty of towels. Basket of amenities provided with razors, deodorant, Tylenol, samples of body wash, etc. Make sure to bring hair dryer. There is not one in the cabin.
Our bags were waiting outside of our cabin door when we got there. Also our cabin steward, Springer, came by and introduced himself. He is awesome! More on that later.
We planned ahead of time for our cabin to be decorated for my daughter's birthday. It was definately worth it! Ballons, streamers, Happy Birthday banner, and a cake. Looked great and put a huge smile on my daughter's face.
At 3:30, we had to go to our Munster Station for the lifeboat drill and were on our way to Mexico by 4:00. (The waters were rough and the pool could not be opened Thursday or Friday.)
We headed up to the Lido Deck for some pizza. It is great and open 24 hours. My husband and kids loved it. Only problem is they only give you one or two slices at a time.
Camp Carnival was great according to my 9 year old. Lots of activities each day. The kids were kept busy with crazy card games, nintendo, ping pong contests, t-shirt decorating, ice cream eating, cookie making, and scavenger hunts. Thought it was great that Camp Carnival had a Coketail Party for the kids so the parents could enjoy the Captain's Cocktail Party. You could also sign your kids up for the Kids Dinner if they didn't want to eat at the Formal. Mine loved dressing up though and went with us. There is also a Kids Talent Show.
We ate dinner in the Horizon Dining Room. Our waiter (Hermann) and our assistant waiter (Adrian) were both wonderful. They always remembered to bring ice tea for my husband and chocolate milk for both of the kids. Hermann taught my son how to fold a napkin one night because my son thought it looked cool. One night Hermann cut my son's prime rib. The food was good and plentiful. The lobster was delicious. And the chocolate mousse cake is awesome! Late night buffets too.
Lots of activities to participate in...Bingo, Trivia, Spoon Game, Survivor Contest, Country Line Dance class, Couples and Lovers Party, Horse Racing, Men's Hairy Chest contest, Newlywed Game, Celebration Show, Best of Broadway Show, Art Auction and Guest Talent Show.
The spa facials are great. You will definately be pampered. If you want a massage, sign up the first day at sea. My husband waited until the second day and was put on a waiting list and never got in.
The Library is nice. You can check out books and games or relax. One day during the cruise you can use the internet for five minutes for Free before being charged a per minute rate. You also have the option of paying a flat fee and having unlimited use during the entire cruise.
Movies are shown throughout the day and night in your cabin. Our choices were "Shallow Hal", "Behind Enemy Lines", and "Life Is A House". Also shown on your tv is a Video Diary of the cruise activities. You have the option of purchasing this video. You never know when YOU might be shown. My husband entered the Hairy Chest contest and my son thought it was too funny that his dad was on tv.
Cozumel is beautiful. The weather was perfect. We went to Chakanaub Park and did the Dolphin Swim. We did not purchase this through the cruise. Went on our own. Taxi cost was $8.00 for all four of us. Entrance to the park was $10 each. The swim can be reserved online through Dolphin Discovery. If you go, try one of the pineapple drinks.
Cozumel also has great prices on silver. Wait until you get into town to shop though. Lots of bargains to be found. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon there.
Our room steward always made sure our ice bucket was filled. He left cookies for the kids each night and mints for us. We got a different towel animal each night. The cutest was a monkey that was hanging from the ceiling. Our room was always kept clean and we always had fresh towels. Springer would come by just to say "hello" to the kids and make sure we didn't need anything. We gave him a pre-paid phone card that he really appreciated. And tipped him extra. He was wonderful.
The Celebration is an older ship but is kept clean. It is a small ship so easy to learn your way around. We had a wonderful time and wouldn't hesitate to go back. Everyone that worked on the ship that we spoke to were very kind and helpful. The shows were great. There are two hot tubs onboard. One is "adults" only and the other is for children and/or adults. We didn't have any problems finding lounge chairs. There are signs posted that say "No Reserving Chairs". If you want to work out, the nautica spa offers treadmills, stationary bikes, and weights.
You are asked to sit your luggage outside your cabin by midnight the night before debarkation. So you need to bring a small piece of luggage to pack your pj's and other essentials that you don't mind having to carry when you leave the ship. We arrived back in Galveston around 7:00 Monday morning. You have plenty of time to eat breakfast. You are asked to stay in certain areas of the ship and wait for your colored luggage tag to be called before you are allowed to leave the ship. If you have an early flight, you are allowed to be one of the first to leave the ship. We were off the ship by 10:00 that morning. Good idea to mark your luggage with something colorful to make it stand out. Lots of black luggage.
This was a wonderful cruise. We all enjoyed it