July 8, 2005
We returned this month from our 5 day Western Carribbean cruise on Carnival's Holiday. We drove into Mobile, Al. which was in the beginning stages of evacuation due to Hurricane Dennis. Carnival did not notify us that our cruise was leaving 3 hours early, however I called on the non-800 number and was informed of the change. Our itinerary was changed, instead of cruising to Costa Maya on Monday, they re-routed us to Progresso. The first night on ship was pretty bad. We found out the next day, the captain had to outrun the hurricane which caused the ships stablizers not to work. This made most of the ship very sick (including me). We were all better by morning, but I feel like if we would have been warned, appropriate measures (motion sickness pills) could have been taken. It really gave me that trapped feeling.
The second day at sea was really nice. My 13 year old felt like he hit a grand slam home run. We made him have dinner with us every night and go on a shore excursion to Cozamel, but other than that, we barely seen the kid. He met a really nice group of kids through the teen program and hung with them. His favorite part was the teen disco that opened from 9-10 every night.
Our 10 year old daughter was a little more clingy. She liked some of the Camp Carnival programs, but chose not to attend most. Her favorite part was the ice cream machine.
Costa Maya was cancelled and Progresso was added due to the hurricane. We arrived in Progresso on Monday. It was a waste of time. My husband called in Mexico's answer to Camden, NJ. We didn't complain and just rolled with the punches.
Cozamel was wonderful. It was clean and the people were so nice. The bargins are numerous, I could have spent several more hours there. We went on a shore excursion called Eco Jeep. We were taken to a park where we saw Mayan ruins, an alligator swamp, and a lighthouse. I would not recommend the snorkeling on this excursion. It is misleading. The coral reefs are not that great and you have to swim for a very long time from shore to get there. Most people gave up and had to be taken back to shore by a small boat that followed. If given another chance, I would have not taken the kids. With the strong current it just seemed nuts. The tour guides took us off roading afterwards and that was the highlight. We all LOVED that part. It is worth the money, but not if snorkeling is your main objective.
The ship is dated, but we expected that so it wasn't a big deal. The food isn't bad, but not great either. The staff was really nice. The shows were good, but not great also. Two hundred people did not make the departure and I'm sure were probably just out their money.
In closing, to be honest, I would do it again. We have cruised on Royal Carribbean and Carnival. There is not a lot of difference, but I would have to say Royal Carribbean is the better of the two. Our family loved the cruising experience, but we will no longer be traveling south anytime during hurricane season. That part of it was nerve racking. Most cruisers were from Alabama and were very nice. Although, some acted like they had never seen food or an elevator in their entire lives. This is a nice way to cruise, there is a parking garage right next door and we saved several hundred dollars due to the fact we could drive and didn't have to fly.
Thanks to Minnesota Man for the review posted. We took your advise on serveral different fronts.