February 11, 2007
I'd like to share some highlights of this ship as it was my first cruise I was nervous and excited. First off embarkation in San Diego was a breeze. We got there around 11:00 Used the Cloud 9 shuttle van from the airport for 24.00 for 4 people. Used a taxi after debarkation for 2 and it was 13.00, expect delays with all the traffic which adds to the fare.
We were in our room after eating on the Lido deck by 2:OO. We were totally upgraded from an 8A to a 9A a large room behind the elevators with extra large balcony. Totally loved it! Ship was a little rocky that night, had taken a pill but still ended up putting a patch on.
First stop MANZANILLO: I read a lot of posts and some lead us not to get off because it was industrial port. Don't listen. Get off and go to the right. There are lines of Taxis. One man spoke better English than the others asked for LA PLAYA CERVASA. We just wanted to go to the beach soak up some rays and have some cheap Mexican beer. There were 3 choice ranging from 10-15 dollars for all 4 of us. We went to the farthest for 15.00. We set the time with him and tipped and he was back 15 min early walking the beach looking for us!!! Even stopped at a store on the way back so we could get some pop to take back on board.
Now the beach, nothing fancy plenty of tables and chairs and umbrellas, a ways down we could see resorts also. The snorkeling catamaran was also spotted out a little ways from where we sat. Coronas were 10 for 10.00 and they ran us a tab. Now we didn't eat anything here or drink other than the beer and the water we brought from the boat. (Tips I learned on this board, we used wide mouth Gatorade bottles and filled with ice before leaving ship, made for nice cold water to drink during the day. Also remember is you don't drink the water you sure don't use the ice and no fresh fruit or fresh vegetable, we didn't even use the limes! Needless to say we never got sick any where, one worry relieved. It was a nice quiet relaxing day at the beach, it is a little rocky in places but you couldn't beat the price. There are lots of t-shirt booths, wait till later in the day to buy the go down from 6.50 to 3/10.00. Also there are a lot of vendors that come by but all leave without a problem. We also got a really cool hand carved eagle and turtle there from one of the locals for 20.00 ea.
The next port Acapulco, again I learned from here to have an excursion. We did snorkeling at 12.00 before that we had a leisurely breakfast and went into the port area mall I will call it. There were free things from different stores there on the map that is available on the boat for this area. We dared out of the mall area for only a few minutes and came back because of all of the pushy vendors and taxi drivers. Had a beer at the bar in the mall and waited for our excursion. What a trip there were about 20 of us on about a 38 foot motor boat / cabin that has been gutted for snorkeling. The 2 drivers Carlos & ???? Can't remember his name met all of us with pops and waters. There was a 110 Qt cooler with Coronas for the way back. These 2 made the trip very enjoyable with ??? Diving down and bringing up starfish and blowfish and other sea life for us to see. On our way back all the guests par took in the coronas and we all had a little party the guys were in no hurry to get back in. They even let my husband drive the boat in the ocean.
By the time we got to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo my sea sickness patch was wearing off and we had none left in our group so taking the pills made me very sleep but we kept going. This was a tender port and due to me we tendered kind of late. We walked the streets and found a nice new American restaurant owner in the center of one of the areas. He was giving out 2/1 coupons for margarita of pina colada or something else. Very nice to talk with answered some of our questions and said we're welcome to use his rest room even if we don't order. Told us how ice was purified and how to tell. We were excited to hear because up till then we stuck with coronas and were ready for a true Mexican margarita. Also his waiter was a native but spoke very good English, his name was Angel. We made it buy there after finding all the beach front cantinas to be more pricy than other ports and there beer was warm!!!! The place is called THREE AMIGOS and it's in Zihuatanejo. Great drinks, cold beer and good food. I really wish this new owner well and hope others stop into see him.
Back on board headed home the best show was the HYPNOTIST, hands down. Some of the other shows were more Vegas style not our cup of tea. There was always scavenger hunts and trivia going on but we mainly hung at the adult pool at the rear of the boat.
Debarkation took awhile as some guests weren't responding to their names being called but our other family did self debarkation and made there 11:00 flight no problem and we had VIP because we had been upgraded to a suite. People were all patient and was raining in San Diego and like I mentioned earlier it was just as easy to catch a cab than wait for Carnival shuttle. All in all it was a wonderful trip didn't care for the formal nights or dinners but definitely the good out weighs the bad. We haven't been home 2 weeks and my sister in law has booked us on the Conquest going out of Galveston in December.
Thank goodness for this site I'm already reading up and though it was only fair to post my thoughts on our cruise with hopes that it helps someone else! Happy Cruising!