July 10, 2005
We spent the night at the La Quinta on 14th st in Galveston. We could leave our car in their lot and take a taxi to the ship. We left around 10 a.m. and got caught in a lot of the people still getting off the ship. Next time we won't leave the hotel before 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. When we disembarked, we were through immigration and in a taxi going to the hotel with in 10 minutes.
The ship seemed in very good shape. Since we've sailed on the Ecstasy and Fantasy, we were able to find our way around very well.
Jorge the Cruise Director and his staff were great. The shows were enjoyable and were very entertaining. We were able to attend 2 of the comedy shows and they were just as good.
Our daughter (5 yo) attended Camp Carnival a few times and really enjoyed it. She came back every afternoon with her face painted and even wore it that way to dinner once. There weren't too many specific programs for her age group (2-5), but I think if we go again next year she'll have more activities catering to her age level.
The meals were very good. Our wait staff was very courteous, but kind of slow. Tiffany was always a good option for breakfast and lunch. We enjoyed the varying lunch menu, but breakfast was the same every day.
This was the first cruise where we stayed in an inside cabin and it was just fine. Except for the smoker in the cabin next door. The smoke filled the halls and our room. It was hard for us to handle at some times. We mentioned this on our comment card. I would think there must be some way to seperate smoking and non-smoking rooms or ventilate designated smoking rooms better. Smoke didn't bother us anywhere else on the ship except in the casino which is to be expected.
The photography staff was VERY busy. There were at least 10 backgrounds set up every evening and you couldn't get very far without someone wanting to take your picture. I thought the 8x10s were over priced ($20 each), but we purchased a few for family portraits.
With a five year old we limited our excursions, but still had lots of fun on the ship when it wasn't too crowded. In Progresso we took the shuttle into town. It stopped at a nice market and we did some shopping. There were also shops right at the dock at the end of the pier. The prices here were much better than the ones we saw in Cozumel. In an hour we were heading back to the ship. In Cozumel we took a taxi to Paradise Beach ($14 each way). Admission and use of chairs and umbrellas were free. There is a charge to use the equipment ($8 per person). Its a great beach and if we cruise to Cozumel again, we'll go back there. In Belize City we took the city tour. It was interesting to learn about the city and its history, but not too many great sites. Its a very low income country.
Overall, it was a great trip and we're ready to plan our next cruise.