Reese88 Posted September 11, 2005 #1 Share Posted September 11, 2005 A quick review of the cruise I just got back from: Had a direct flight from DC to Tampa and arrived with no problems. There were four of us so we decided on a taxi. Shuttles to the port are $18 a pop ONE WAY! A taxi cost us ~$22 so we saved lots of cash by squeezing into one. The ride was about 15 minutes. The plane landed at 10:30, we were in the taxi by 11:15 and at the port by noon. We went right up and checked in with no problems, waited about 20 minutes before our zone was called and boarded the ship by 12:30-ish. The rooms weren't ready so we went to the Lido deck and ate outside. I recommend eating outside as it was less crowded and they had burgers, hot dogs, fries, chili etc. It was good. Walked around a bit and then went to the rooms to rest and prepare for the muster drills. We got lucky this time because our life vests weren't as stinky as I've had in the past. We all had our luggage by 5:00pm and we were ready to roll. A friend bought the fountain card but I don't recommend it unless you will use it. I believe he spent $27 bucks and by the last day he had used it twice and was taking down sodas like crazy to catch up and get his moneys worth. It's a pain because you have to go to the bar each time to get a soda. Sometimes the sodas were flat and other times they were good. The rest of our party was happy drinking the free coffee, tea, fruit and apple juices. I did find that the drink of the day specials for about $3 were pretty strong and worth it. We brought our own alcohol on board and ended up barely touching it. I thought the ship was pretty nice. I've been on the Carnival Fantasy before and this ship was nearly identical in design and layout. The rooms were clean and even though I saw our steward once, everything was kept tidy and neat for us. The movies were pretty lame but we didn't spend much time in there anyways. The first day was sunny and good. After getting settled, by evening time we helped the casino open up and gave them some money to get started with. The one thing about Carnival that I don't care for is the food. It's just not that good. Being that I'm not too picky and expect lower quality, it didn't bother me. However, the people I was with were fairly disappointed and had a hard time finding something they liked or could eat in the dining room. We mostly stuck to pizza and burgers and skipped the last three nights of the dining room. We spent one day in Grand Cayman which is pretty bland. It's expensive and since we didn't have much time there we didn't do a whole lot. It was nice to get off and see the town and see the beautiful water but it isn't worth trying to grab an excursion and do anything. The fourth day (counting embarkation day as the first) was Cozumel. As many people have said, Cozumel is nice. We took a cab for $12 and went to Mr. Sanchos beach. It was a decent beach. We rented a couple rafts. I think they were $6/each but worth it. The water was great! The thing I like about Cozumel is the haggling for goods. Yea, the locals nag you a lot and try to get you to buy things but it's absolutely worth it to take a look. If I offer any advice, it's this: Make sure you haggle for EVERYTHING in Cozumel. For example, I wanted to buy this sterling silver ring. The guy told me $22. I found two other things to buy and by the time I ended up paying for everything, the ring cost me $5. I was looking at a box of cigars. The guy told me $75. That was actually a good deal. I got him down to $35 and then walked. He chased me to the cab and told me $32. All you have to do is be strong and say "Hell no, too expensive, thanks anyways" and start to walk away. They WILL follow you and give you the price you want. After the beach we went back to the ship, showered, ate and caught a $6 cab to the plaza area (downtown). We bought more thinigs. Another good example: Nice jewelry store, I like this sterling silver bracelet. The guy gave me a deal at $75. I told him ' no thanks' and started to leave. All said and done he let me have it for $25. He was pissed though because he didn't want to let it go but apparently things have been slow around those parts. Several locals told me this and I definitely cashed in on it. A friend and I spent LOTS of time in the casino. The dealers knew our names and where we were from and we knew all their names. It was kind of funny because the passengers that spent time in the casinos also knew us (we tend to bet a little high and people pay attention to that) and so we were frequently encountered on the ship and people would chit chat with us. This was great because it made the environment that much more friendly. It's nice when passengers remember each other and party with one another. I'm sporadically putting thoughts down and I'm sure I've missed a lot so feel free to email me or post questions here while it's all fresh in my head. Oh yea, when we disembarked we went out with the people that carry off their luggage. I was on the Empress deck right next to the door off the ship so I waited until the line ended and jumped off. I would say the line took about 45-60 minutes and those that carried luggage off were off the ship by about 9:30am or so. Very easy. I have pics too if anyone is interested. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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