by Barry Cooper
March 4, 2007
by Barry Cooper - March 4, 2007
Drove down from Virginia on Fri/Sat before Sun cruise. Note to self: don't drive to Florida on the days before Beach Week in Daytona Beach - loads of cars towing Motorcycles! Other than lots of traffic (but no real slow downs), drive was uneventful. Spent Sat night with my brother in Lake Mary, Fl (north of Orlando).
Embarkation in Tampa was very easy. Once again we got lost getting to the port in Tampa. The signs are not well marked. We missed the 1st exit because of the road construction and could not get to the exit. We got off in Downtown Tampa and of course, there was some kind of festival going on which closed some of the roads. Eventually, we made it. The four of us are all Platinum members, so the process was pretty easy as we skipped all the lines (once you get through Security). For a change, our dinner seating arrangements were correct, but we did go to the dining room to check out our table. It was a table for 4, which was perfect. Went to our rooms at 1:30. Luggage arrived before Muster Drill at 4 which was pretty short and not too hot.
We never did make it to any of the shows, but were regulars in the casino. My wife even came in 3rd in one of the Slot tournaments.
Food & Service
3 of us had the Warm Chocolate Melting cake every night (I usually had another dessert as well) in the Main Dining room. It was definitely one of the highlights. Of course, I like all of the desserts!
Ports & Weather
Our ports were Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Costa Maya.
Due to the windy conditions and having to tender in Grand Cayman, the port was closed to all ships. This was a big disappointment to me as I was planning on doing a personal Rum Cake tasting tour in Georgetown. A similar thing happened to us on the Pride with Key West (maybe it has something to do with the Spirit Class and our cruising :)). We just had another day at sea. Carnival did give us $25 each On Board Credit for missing the port.
We docked at downtown Cozumel (a first for us). We got off the ship and just window shopped in the stores on the main street.
My wife and I did not get off the boat in Belize and just stayed on the ship and relaxed. My brother and his wife took the tender in, stayed about 20 minutes and came right back. We have done Beize before and knew what to expect. I did the Cave Tubing excursion there on a previous cruise and thought it was excellent.
We all got off the ship in Costa Maya and shopped at the port. Was not as successful (to me) as Cozumel as my wife actually bought something there :)
Since this was our 14th Carnival cruise (and 17th overall), we have done all these ports at least 2 other times, but had only done Grand Cayman once, which is why we were disappointed.