by THELMA LOO
May 30, 2004
Pleasing six old broads off on an annual spring fling isn't an easy task. But we came off the Elation, totally elated.
Our trip started with an overnight at the Galveston, Holiday Inn on the Beach. I cannot say enough about this hotel. I have stayed at hotels and motels across the country and have never encounterd a staff like this one. They simply cannot do enough to please their clientele. We took advantage of their free parking for cruise customers and used their shuttle service to and from the dock. Our driver was Rodney, who was more than cheerful about loading and unloading our many bags. He told us exactly where to meet him upon debarkation, we had no sooner gotten our bags together than he appeared.
Carnival seems to have boarding down to a fine science....it was fast and worry free.
We had the late seating in the Imagination dining room and were well served nightly by Steven and Rommel. They were fun and very good at what they do.
We seemed to gravitate to the Empress deck each evening for cocktails and a few minutes with the wonderful trio that plays there nightly. This bar is just outside of the Photo studio, which also deserves some mention. What a cute and friendy bunch they are...Leah, was always on hand to greet us and seemed to know immediatly in which direction to point us to find our current pictures. The entire photo staff made looking at our sometimes ghastly photos a fun part of our cruise experience.
We all took advantage of the spa, in one capacity or another. I highly reccommend Edwin in the hair salon for a cut and style....truly one of the best cuts I've had in years.
Part of our group did the Chichen Itza tour in Progresso and were very pleased with the experience.
In Cozumel three of our group did the kayak trip and loved it. Three of us went to Chankanaab and did the Royal Swim with Dolphins which we had booked online prior to departure. Reccommend this highly, it was very exhilarating and showing your pictures when you get home will make you a hero to your kids. The Gardens at Chankanaab are well worth the trip.
Belize was a nice surprise. We all did the Altun Ha and City Tour,with very knowlegeable young guides who gave us a great overview of Belize. It reminded me alot of my early trips to the Yucatan, before cruise ships and huge hotel complexes. We had an enjoyable lunch in the courtyard of the Smoky Mermaid, an American owned Guesthouse and Restaurant within walking distance of the tender dock. Bought Belizian Cashew Wine at Altun Ha on a whim, and was pleasently surprised to find a poor mans version of Chateau d'Quiem...wish I had bought more bottles...next time!
The last two days onboard were leisurly and delightful, each of us doing our own thing and meeting up occasionally for latte or lunch on the Lido deck. The casino onboard is small but they made loosing painless. However we did see several big winners.....There's always next time!!!
We bought 100 internet minutes at the internet cafe......being slightly computer challenged, we wasted several precious minutes getting started. As it is only staffed between 5 and 7:pm there was no one available to ask for help.
A quick PS: The unsung heroes of the Carnival fleet are all those people you pass everywhere, constantly cleaning and polishing with smiling faces...a very impressive crew.