November 2014 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Paradise
Bad time of the year. Temperatures were supposed to be in the 70s so we decided to go for it. Boarding was a complete disaster. 3 hours standing in line to get through customs and board. Instead of everyone being on board and sailing at 4, boarding finished at 8. They sat us for dinner, only to force us to leave our food on the tables and go for the safety briefing. By the time that was done, everyone was hungry and tired and wanted to go to bed. Then the ship was held up in the Tampa port until 3am since fog started coming in. Had they managed boarding property, and left on time, this would not have been an issue. The next morning we were told that due to leaving late, they cancelled our visit to the Cayman Islands. Had they told us that the evening before, we would have gotten off the ship and asked for a refund! Of course they knew and did not say anything to avoid losing money!! We headed straight for Cozumel. The weather declined and we could not spend any time at the pool due to the wind and rain. Got to Cozumel early (who cares?) and had to spend an extra evening there. Of course the only thing one could do is walk around the port since it was already dark and not safe to go anywhere else. The next day we had a snorkeling trip prepaid through Carnival. It was cancelled due to winds. We could not even go to the beach on the island, it was too windy and low 70s. Ended up taking a taxi into town and walking around the boring cookie-cutter jewelry and souvenir shops. Other than 2 hours of walking around, we spent the entirety of the trip no the ship. Nothing to do, nothing interesting, complete waste of time and money, definitely a memorable Thanksgiving but all for the wrong reasons. I wish they had been honest and told us they were scrapping the visit to the Cayman Islands, we would've stayed home instead!!