This was a first time cruise for me and my traveling companions. I am 27 male (26 when the cruise started) and had two 21 chicks with me. That didn't pan out but we had a great trip.
We first stayed at the Radisson on the Port. They park your car for the week, provided shuttle to and from the port, and they put all 3 of us up for $59 total. Golden. The resort is gorgeous, the rooms not bad. No beer fridge
Reserve online with the promotional code FALL for this price, well worth it. I've stayed in Cocoa Beach before and love it. This was an important part of the trip for me, although all we did was wander in the sun. We drove from London Ontario Canada - what the hell were my ancestor thinking when they settled that land instead of here in Canaveral.
Carnival makes this process smooth. They just steal your luggage when you get out of a car at the port and you go join a mass of people trying to get on the boat. We found ourselves at a big advantage since there was a significantly smaller mass for the non-US citizens counter and we are from Canada. Honestly, I'm almost positive an American could hop in this much much smaller line. There were empty tellers calling over people from the US citizen line sometimes.
With such a mass of people, I found it fascinating how much empty space we were able to find. I'd seen all the pictures... there are so many lounges on this ship. You would never find yourself without your own space. Except the lifeboat drill (a necessity). I spent a lot of the trip wondering around in splendor of the ships beauty. Speaking of Beauties, that is the name of an absolutely amazing club on the ship. Definitely appeals to a younger crowd which didn't really work. The music spinning was not acclimatized well to the surrounding. The place pretty much stayed empty as there were hardly any kids on this cruise.
This cruise had added fun because there were at least a hundred deaf people onboard. I assume this is unusual. There were sign translators at all the shows and were especially entertaining during the adult comedy shows. The comedians fed off there hand action. They would sign in duets during the big shows in the Taj Mahal. The shows in the Taj were amazing and first rate. The dude was Marvin Lewis - he looked like a Micheal Bolton wannabe but does a good Elvis voice. The chick Lorena Peril does a flawless Madonna. She was weak the first night and he weak the second. Lots of hot dancers for the girl and boys - don't miss the shows.
We rushed to make David's reservations when we got there, but I don't think it was necessary. I don't think it was ever busy, but the ship wasn't full, with a meek 2300 passengers (900 crew). The whole fine dining experience with enjoyment still kinda of eludes me. I guess I'm not a classy guy, but I like to try new things. The restaurant seem well worth the $25 a head. I ate a 24oz steak - that seemed like fine dining. There is nothing second rate about eating in the Normandie either. We did formal nights good and proper, me in a tux and the chick looking better still. Was a great opportunity to have photos taken everywhere with no obligation to buy. We did buy lots of them though.
We had room 8116, Panorama Forward. I liked being on the 8th floor. Was a quick run up the steps to grab breakfast for the gang every morning while they struggled to drag there lazy asses out of bed. Staying with two chicks really isn't that pretty. But the cabin was great! Exactly as illustrated. Good view. I don't understand all the griping about the sizes of the showers. The whole bathroom impressed me. Everyone always jokes about how small they are, so I was just surprised. Cabin steward Glen was cool, but we aren't very demanding people; I don't expect much.
I could not get used to the auto tipping. It does feel like a scam. I'd feel like a jerk having the automatic tip bill of $68 per person yanked from the Sign and Sail card, but I still felt the need to tip so it would feel like a gratuity. The service everywhere was good.
We wandered around. I think thats all your supposed to do here. The water looked gross. All 3 of us are sure we saw Hulk Hogan drive by in a rental buggie. Scooter rentals and Buggie things are all over the place. We went to the Aquarium, which was small, but still pretty cool for 9 bucks.
I didn't realize that we had to tender into this port before going, but it was cool. Nice new port once your in there. The city is a dump. I wouldn't have minded wandering around and checking it out more, but the schedule was tight, we bought the Cave Tubing excursion through the ship (don't try any other way). Quite a drive to get there, but an interesting country through the windows. The hike was not so bad; about 2km. Was relaxing from there. Nice experience.
Didn't by any ship excursions as we had correctly anticipated plenty to due. I short 2km toward downtown we came to Papa Hogs Scuba Emporium. I think I saw a group of people there from the ship excursion. We paid $39 pp to snuba dive, thru Carnival it was $59. We also got the better deal cause the ship group was something like 20-30 for what appeared to be 1 instructor. We got an instructor for 3. Was great fun.
Then just the wife and I went downtown to check it out. That was neat! I had never been to Mexico. Jeez, those guys are ambitious. The wife and I are not really married, but someone from in front of every shop we passed (must have been 1000 easy) called out "Honeymooners!" and tried everything to coax us into there shop. They were harmless and fun.
Definitely the most surprising stop. I was under the impression that there was no real city here. It looked like the biggest city on the trip and the beach looked beautiful at the end of the long pier. I had purchase the Uxmal Ruin tour from the ship and it was a long drive. The excursion took up the entire port time so I never got to play in Progreso, but the tour was great too. I wouldn't mind visiting this town again someday - looked like it had plenty to offer.
So it was my first cruise and first real vacation involving travel. I am constantly pining to go back now. I'm glad I chose to spend the last night stretched out in my drawers on the balcony lounger, sleeping to the smell, feel, sound and sight of the sea. Its all embedded vividly in my memory now, happily, all calls me back to do it again. I will.
Thanx for reading. Email me if you have questions