The guides were very professional but fun and we felt very safe. There were 5 traverses and 2 rappels with plenty of picture opportunities.
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We headed back after another quick water and potty stop and got back to the tourist village with about an hour to shop before the last tender back at 4PM. We also went to the hypnotist show, which was great. Finally, no tender. We took the kids and went to Majahual.
We ran into my daughter's friend from Michigan, so we sat at the beach with them. I wasn't a big fan of the place we chose. If some guy named Charlie Brown tries to get you to sit at his restaurant, keep walking. His margaritas are watery and he has a lack of beach chairs. The kids had fun and we left around 1PM to go back to the ship for lunch. We took the kids to the pool after lunch and took turns running back down to the port area to look at the shops.
That night was formal night and my younger daughter's birthday. The waiters brought a cake we had ordered it earlier in the week and the surrounding tables sang Happy Birthday. We gave her some small presents we brought with us and then took the kids to camp where they made a big deal about her birthday again. We went to Ticket to Ride that night and the late night hypnotist show.
My wife tried a seaweed wrap at the spa and thought it was pretty good. I managed to finish my book.
We decided to keep the kids out of the sun after the amount they got the day before. As the day wore on, it got a little cooler and windier. The slide was also closed due to high winds. We packed a little early to avoid rushing later on and put our luggage out around PM. We also had our last dinner without the kids and then picked them up to play bingo and see the Legends show my wife and youngest didn't make it that late though.
We went down to deck 2 and got in line around after the final call for self-assist. They let the early flights off around and then we were off by We picked up the bags and were through customs and in the car by Truly painless. We were back home in Alpharetta by in the rain and cold.
Other Info: Food: Breakfast: We ordered room service several times using the door hanger and it was always on time. This was helpful on some of the early port days and the last morning. We went to Bacchus once and were not that impressed. The breakfast waiter was surly and got our order wrong. Horatio's was great for breakfast, with several omelet stations and hot food stations. Lunch: Horatio's took some getting used to and is very spread out. I tended to check out everything and then pick one or two stations to get food rather than pick and choose from all.
Basically, the Pizzeria, coffee bar and Salad Bar are at the rear separated from the Rotisserie, Deli and Dessert areas by drink stations. Around the corner moving forward, you have the Taste of Nations and Asian stations, along with more drink stations. Further forward, the grill is outside, along with ice cream stations. We particularly enjoyed the pizza, Asian station and our favorite days for Taste of Nations were Indian and of course Chocolate last sea day.
The kids usually ate either pizza or burgers and dogs from the grill. Check out the Sushi bar on Deck 2.
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They had 3 or 4 different things every day, and although it was all cooked or smoked, it was tasty and filled the void between lunch and late seating dinner. The sundae bar on the afternoon of sea days was also a nice touch. Dinner was always good to excellent. We skipped dinner once in the dining room due to a late lunch when we returned from Cozumel and once when we went to Nick and Nora's.
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The food and service are excellent. I had the porterhouse and my wife had the lobster. We each ordered 2 appetizers and a salad as well as dessert. The Gala Buffet on Friday night was more style than substance, but it looked good anyway. Shows: We enjoyed the comedians although the family shows were actually funnier than the R-rated shows and hypnotist both shows. We are not big fans of Broadway-type shows, so we walked out after about 2 minutes of Generations.
I really enjoyed Ticket to Ride, although parts were a little disjointed.
My wife only liked the last 15 minutes or so. I won't spoil that part for those who haven't seen it. I went to Legends with my oldest daughter and we really enjoyed it. Some of the passengers could really belt it out, while others at least tried that's you Britney Spears. Activities: I won Millionaire on the last sea day and we did a couple of trivia contests. Bingo was also a fun family activity. I spent some time in the casino, but I was not a fan of the electronic poker table. A dealer would be more fun. Camp Carnival: The kids loved it.
We even left them on the ship in Cozumel and Belize while we went ashore. My older daughter stayed until 12 or 1 most nights and made some good friends. All the kids got great attention from the counselors. Our kids participated in the kids' talent show on the last day, brought home many art projects, and received lots of goodies. Camp Carnival gave my wife and I the chance to eat dinner alone and recharge our batteries.
Summary: Awesome! The ship surpassed our expectations in every way. It was a fantastic family and adult vacation.
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Flew into Tampa the day before and stayed at a family member's place in St. Pete the night before. Rented a car at the airport, Rented a car at the airport, and returned it at the Budget drop off site on Adamo Drive the morning of the cruise. Since we had a van full, 8 of us , the girl at the location closed up a little early to drive us over since every other drop off was accounted for and that way we didn't have to transfer any luggage. BTW-when I called Budget they told me that this location wasn't open on the weekends Anytime you have a question call the location directly!
Got to the port about , later than usual, checked our bags no problem. We didn't think the lines were long until we got upstairs. I told the VIP guy that I thought he looked lonely, but he wasn't biting, so we kept our place in line, and in about 20 minutes we were doing our doc thing As soon as we entered the lobby we stepped up to the bar and grabbed our soda cards for the teens well worth it for my crew and the foo foo of the day, and watched the newbies with us take it all in and phone home to the people back in the snow to share their excitement.
After a bit we went to our cabins to drop our carry ons and check out the view from our balcony.
Met our stewards John from St. Vincent had 2 cabins and Citi had 1 cabin, they were the best! If we could take the best of each of our cruises and combine them, they would be included. As a matter of fact, I had read about John on CC, and I wrote down his name realizing that our cabin was in the same vicinity and we might have him as well. When I told him that I had read about him on the internet and showed him that I had his name written down, My family says I'm anal!
John will be on the Victory soon, not sure where Citi will be after her vacation. Then we went to the Lido for some lunch, more foo foos and waited for the famous "mustard" drill as DH would call it! First night skipped dinner in the dining room to watch the sail under the Sunshine Skyway, as we can see the bridge from family residence in St. Pete so we thought that would be very cool and it was! Went to the CC sign up for DD that night, did some Karaoke with Peter the Karaoke host in Mad Hatters, and had a few more drinks at Frankie and Johnnies before it was time to put some of my family to bed for the evening!
The deck games were fun, some us got involved, just loved standing around watching and laughing. Will mention 2nd sea day here, the survivor challenge was really something. The girl that ended up being involved was almost as round as she was tall, and she was wearing a 2 piece, and it ended with an eating competition! She started gagging after shoving too much too fast, and some people who were watching had to turn away so as not to gag. While it didn't bother me, I felt that there were plenty of people who would complain and told the social host that I thought Carnival would be hearing about it!
A comment here about the Cruise Director Tory, heard here less on the big speaker re: activities, bargains, etc I think that this may have been one of her first cruises in this position, at times she was funny, but it was hard to tell if she was sincere.
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However, she said she was good friends with one of the comedians who was a down to earth southern Georgia boy so if that's the case, she probably is great and was just trying to gear up and feel comfortable in her role. Her looks reminded me of the Nanny ! Port- Grand Cayman-Beautiful, pricey, booked snorkeling and swimming with the sting rays privately with Capt Marvins which was reasonable, close walk to the port, nice small group, pleasant boat ride and nice scenery.
Not much support and guidance in the the water snorkeling They have a videographer on board, and unless you are on the video alot, don't bother purchasing it.
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