May 13, 2006
Our party consisted of 3 adults and 4 children divided into 2 rooms. We chose Carnival because we live in the Tampa FL area and it's the only cruise line serving that port. Before the cruise I read all the reviews online and decided I too would submit one. The rooms were better than I had expected. The bathroom was large with a full sized shower. We had paid extra to be on Upper deck but were instead 'upgraded' to the lowest deck with a window. Our travel agent assured us we would be placed within close proximity of each other but instead were placed in rooms 70 and 152. Too far apart trying to share toiletries and sick kids. Yes, we all got sick, the adults for only a day each, one child stayed sick for 3 days. My room had a sewer gas aroma.
On the plus side, our cabin steward was excellent. We only ate in the dining room once, too much hassle with kids and the food was the same as we could have gotten at the buffet. I specifically asked our travel agent the dress code for that ship's diningroom and was told men and boys had to wear a jacket and dress slacks, tie was optional. Well guess what? Most of the men had no jacket or tie, just a dress shirt and slacks. Many younger boys wore shorts. All the food was adequate, hamburgers, hotdogs, and pizza were always available and the fresh fruit was delicous.
We did 2 offshore excursions. Swimming with the Giant Stingray's in Grand Cayman was excellent. Xcaret in Calica Mexico was a $350 bust. I like to refer to it as the Flintstones version of Busch Gardens without the rides or the animals for that matter. It was hot and walking on a gravel path with hieroglyphics for signs got old real fast. The kids were bored because we only saw some horses, a musk ox and a deer with one antler. Everytime we bought anything they tried to gave us peso's for change. Souvenirs were expensive everywhere, even in the tent city pitched next to where the ship docked.
All in all, we did have a good time but I don't believe I'll ever do it again. They told me if I had flown instead of sailed I would have gotten a stamp in my otherwise never used passport.