We headed up to the Lido deck to check out the buffet. The weather was cold and rainy so we found a table inside and filled up on hamburgers, hot dogs, and nachos. We stayed at the table people watching for a while and then decided to check out the ship. We found the enchanted forest-a cool little corridor off the main theater.
We also saw all the shops and little bars. The layout of this ship is very nice because we could walk from end to end on the main floors. On other ships, the kitchen is in the middle so you reach a point where you have to go up or down to get where you want to go.
At 1:30 pm, we were able to go to our cabin. It was great. We had a balcony cabin on the back of the ship. The balcony was a little longer than those on the side of the ship and we had a great view for pulling out of port. Glenn had the room decorated for my birthday and another friend had sent wine and bar coupons. It was very fun. Our luggage arrived right away. Just as we finished unpacking it was time for the muster drill. We didn’t have to take our life jackets, but we did have to go to the actual lifeboat stations.
After the muster drill, we headed up to have drinks at the bar near the adults only pool. They had two flat screen tvs playing the football games so we shared a bucket of beers as we watched the game and pulled out of port. We also met up with some people from Cruise Critic and had a very nice time.
We got ready for dinner and headed down for the martini tastings at what would become “our” bar on Deck 2. We met a really nice couple from Georgia and had a lot of fun. By the time our dining time of 8:15 pm came, the ship was rocking and rolling pretty good. A bottle of gin had even flown off from behind the bar. We went to our table. It was a booth – quite tight for two giants. We tried to make the best of it, but in the middle of the main course, I just wasn’t feeling well so we headed back to the cabin.
It was a very bumpy night. The ship’s movement was so severe it was difficult to sleep and a couple times we even slid around in the bed. I forced myself to get out of bed just before noon on Monday. I was still feeling a little punkish, but thanks to medicine and acupressure bracelets, I didn’t actually get sick.
We went to the cooking demonstration at the Golden Fleece Steakhouse.
We switched tables for dinner and ended up with a great couple from Tampa. They were so much fun and we hit it off right away. Since I had been sick the night before, they brought out the special cake that Glenn had arranged. It was so nice.
After dinner, we were looking all over for something to do. We went to the karaoke, but it was Christmas themed and the first two singers we saw were a 10 year old and a very sad rendition of Favorite Things. We hit the casino and looked around for some live music, but none was to be found so we just headed to the cabin.
Tuesday, we were scheduled to dock in Grand Cayman. Glenn and I were not planning to get off the boat since the tender trip there is at least half an hour and I still wasn’t feeling one hundred percent. It turned out it didn’t matter because the seas were too rough anyway to set up the tender operation. We decided to check out the gym. It was great! We got in a little work out, but then the real treat was the steam room and amazing showers. It was definitely a highlight. After that, we went to lunch in the dining room – another one of my favorite things to do. We spent the afternoon hopping between karaoke, the casino and then we had to get ready for Chef’s Table.
Chef’s Table is a new experience onboard Carnival ships where up to 16 people get a special tour of the galley (kitchen) and then have a 7 course meal prepared by the head chef onboard and his sous chefs. It was magnificent. We started in the kitchen with a very detailed and very interesting tour. We got a great understanding of how the cruise kitchen works. We also had champagne and appetizers: tuna tartar, beef tenderloin tacos, duck confit dumplings, and a phyllo square filled with avocado mousse. The duck dumplings were incredible and the beef tenderloin tacos just melted in my mouth.
After the tour, we went to the disco where a large table had been set up on the dance floor.
Then seven amazing courses accompanied by white and red wine followed:
|Fire Roasted Tomato and Poblano Chile Bisque |
The soup was poured in tableside.
|Rock Shrimp and Apple Beignets |
|Chopped Mediterranean Salad |
|Chilean Sea Bass |
|Aged Filet Mignon|
|An incredible dessert plate |
Wednesday, we docked in Mahogany Bay, Honduras. We purchased a package through the ship to go to the Carnival owned beach. The beach was nice and we got a couple chaises with a clam shell and some beach floats in our package plus the ride on the chair lift to get there.
We had no illusion that this was an authentic island experience. We were pleased to discover one of bars served all the local beers, ceviche, and whole fried red snapper. All three were delicious! The ceviche was so fresh and the whole fried fish was amazing. We met a really fun couple from the other Carnival ship that was in dock and had a great time laughing and telling stories. The water was too cold to really swim so we headed back to the ship. We went to the previous cruisers’ party and had our free drinks and free appetizers. After dinner, we investigated the live band karaoke, but Glenn didn’t like any of the songs. The ship had started rocking again and I wasn’t feeling too well so we made it an early night.
Thursday, we docked in Belize. We had to tender to shore. After surviving the most unorganized tender/tour situation I have ever seen, we made it on our bus to cave tubing. It was an hour bus ride to the site. On the way, the tour guides gave us a tour of Belize City and a lot of background about Belize. When we got to the site, we had a nice forty minute walk through the jungle carrying our tubes. Our guide would stop to tell us about the plants and trees we were seeing. At the river, it was very organized and they had a great system for getting everyone into the water. Then we took about a 45 minute float through the caves. It was really neat.
The caves were beautiful and it was such a unique experience. After the tubing, we had some local food and beers and then headed back to hang out by the pool. We hit the steam room and the great shows at the gym again. We ended the night at the Piano Bar once again.
Friday, we docked in Cozumel. We slept in pretty late so we had breakfast at the buffet. Then we got stuck in the elevator as we were trying to get down to the pier. We felt the elevator fall and then it was pretty clear we were stuck. I freak out a little (okay, a lot). But someone answered when we called. Glenn then offered me some water. I think my reaction was, “What are you thinking? We don’t know how long we are going to be in here? We need to ration and there’s not a bathroom!” Then I decided to get out the video camera to document what was happening. At this point, the electrician who had been on top of the elevator since we called said in a slightly annoyed tone, “It’s okay! It will just take a few minutes. It’s okay.”
Clearly, our conversation and video making had just pushed him over the edge. After about twenty minutes, we were free.
Glenn and I hired a taxi at $20/hour to take us around the island. We headed first to the undeveloped east side. It was amazing. It felt like we were on a completely different island. The cost was rocky and we hardly saw any people.
We stopped at Coconuts for some giant margaritas and fish tacos.
Then headed to the Bob Marley Rasta bar for some local beers.
After that, we went to Mr. Sancho’s beach club where we lucky enough to get to have another whole fried fish. SO GOOD!
After the beach club, we set off to find the house we are considering renting in 2012. We didn’t have the address but our taxi driver found it and talked to the groundskeeper for us so we got to walk around and check it out. We were so relieved it looked exactly like the pictures online and we are excited about renting it in 2012. We got back onboard and headed up to the pool to finally enjoy some sunshine.
He said it was okay. We headed down to dinner. After dinner, the piano bar was closed so we went to see the juggling show. It was actually pretty good. After that, we played our favorite games in the casino aka made a donation and then listened to the guitar player for a little while. That was a nice change on this ship – two of the musicians played the guitar. It was fun to sing along. Then we went to the Medusa’s Liar Night Club. The DJ was rude and had weird taste in music, but a couple of songs that Glenn and I know from Dance Central came on. We did the routines that they do on the game and everyone thought we were amazing dancers! LOL! It was great!
Saturday was our last sea day. We slept in – just making it to breakfast in the dining room then headed up to pool to enjoy the sun. We went to lunch in the dining room and then had a little trouble finding something to do. The ship was pretty dead – no live music, no activities other than trivia. We went to the casino, sat in the enchanted forest and then went to the final afternoon tea. After that, we headed back to the cabin to enjoy our balcony, a bottle of wine and watch the sunset.
Dinner the last night was very good. The waiters kept up the tradition of singing every night. After dinner, we made our rounds: Lobby bar with the guitar player and Medusa’s Night Club. We decided to skip the piano bar because the ship was docking pretty early.
Sunday, we got up, packed and were off the ship and home by about 10:00 am.
Overall, it was a great vacation. I wish the weather had been better and the ship had more activities, but we met some great people, had some good laughs, and we do it again tomorrow!