A little background info on us. This was my 8th cruise (5th with carnival), my husbands 7th cruise (4th with carnival) and my 12 year old daughters 6th cruise (4th with carnival)
We drove from northern California on 2/28 and stayed at the Holiday Inn on the Bay. It was a bit pricey but well worth the amount we paid. Corner room overlooking the pier. We woke up on 3/1 at 5:30 am and watched the Spirit arrive. What a sight to see!
Embarkation: We walked across the street at about 11 am with luggage in tow. Cleared security at the gate, porter took our luggage. That was a breeze. Went inside the building no waiting line, walked up to the desk and got boarding number 1. We waited 45 minutes and then they let us on.
Since it was only noon at this point we couldn't get to our room. We went to the Lido deck to have lunch and relax. They had quite a few choices for food. Italian, Chinese, and American buffet. All of it was good.
At 1pm we went and found our room. We booked a balcony gtee and were assigned to 8208. We were right below the buffet.
Acapulco: We rented a taxi for 5 hours at the cost of $60. We toured the whole city. Went to the flea market, beach and had our driver take us to a good mexican restuarant.
Ixtapa: We got a kick out of tendering on the Spirit's lifeboats. We got off the tender and wandered through the little shops that were there. Met a couple, sitting at one of the restuarants near the pier. They were staying for the week and said that the place was wonderful to eat at. Sorry I forgot the name. We through the restaurant area and over a little walking bridge. Followed the path around to a wonderful beach. We spent the entire day on the beach. Walked back towards the pier had a late lunch and caught the tender back to the boat. Beautiful little resort town.
Manzanillo: We got off the ship and hired a taxi. $12 to a beach just passed Los Hadas. Public beach with tables, chairs and umbrellas for $5. We played in the water most of the day. Locals were extremely nice. Food and water was extremely reasonable. Giant bottles of water $2. Caught taxi back to ship for $7.
Sea days. 4 in total. All spent relaxing reading, laying in the sun or just wandering around the ship.
Entertainment: We were worried about the stage not working and were relieved when we saw it working. The shows were good as always. We prefered "The Standing Room" over "High Spirit". Just a personal preferences but they were both good.
Dining room. Main dining table 363. Roberto was our waiter, Ruel his assistant. What a great pair they are! I can't say enough for the service they gave us. Went out of their way to make sure we were happy and content.
Room steward. Can't tell you his name, as we only saw him once during the trip. I can say that our room was always neat and clean. So he did a great job.
Camp carnival. Here is the only real downside to my trip. My daughter was in the 12 to 14 year olds. The counselors failed to show up twice for scheduled events. Also she particapted in the talent show. 6 kids signed up most were under the age of 5. She plays the flute and was disappointed in being told she couldn't perform in the big talent show as she wasn't old enough. We of course didn't let this ruin our trip!
Disembarkation: We were the third group to be called. Off the ship by 8:45 am and on the road by 9:10 am. We had parked across the street at Holiday Inn.
All in all we had a wonderful trip. We are of course planning another cruise already. It must stop in Ixtapa/Zihuantinu (sorry can't spell it).