August 2014 - Carnival Glory to Caribbean - Western
The first port was supposed to be at Cozumel, but because of a pending storm we went to Grand Cayman. Loved it! We didn't do any shore excursions there, instead opted for a "local" tour for $20. It was great! We went to the city of Hell, the turtle farm, the dolphin farm, the local rum factory for cake/rum tasting. We had a fun group and Melita, the tour guide was awesome. She took us to the 7 mile beach were would could stay for several hours. We opted for a shorter stay so that we could take time to enjoy some local food.
The next port was Honduras, Really liked this port as well. The beach was really nice, secure, the people were friendly.
I was really excited about going to Belize, but it was not what I had imagined. Again we took a local tour. While informative, it was kind of boring. If we go again, we plan to do the zip line and cave tubing tour as we heard that was a lot of fun.
Cozumel was awesome. Again, we opted out of the excursions ofter by Carnival and did our own thing. We went to a local resort - El Cid, where for $45, we had beach, chair and umbrella access as well as open bar, lunch and 90 min snorkel equipment. It was great. When snorkeling the fish come right up to you. If ever at Cozumel, we will go back to El Cid.
For the cruise itself, our service people were nice and friendly. The food left a lot to be desired. When I cruised in the past, all food was included. Now if you want steak and lobster, you have to pay $20 for it. Not a large amount, but I've already paid for my food. With the specialty restaurants if you want a really nice steak or lamb, you have to pay to go there or pay for it in your dining room. I think that is a rip off. The same for the soda. I can understand having to pay for the alcoholic beverages, but for soda? AND they no longer have the midnight buffets!! That used to be the big draw.
The other thing I don't like is the prepaid tips. To me, since the tips are already paid for, the service has gone down. I would rather tip as I see fit then what the cruise line has determined is proper. We did tip our dining room waiter and our cabin steward additional money because they earned it, but I would prefer to do all the tips on my own.
Our room was nice. We booked our cruise two weeks before the cruise and opted to let Carnival pick our room. It was an outside cabin and the price was perfect. It was on level one, but we didn't care. Our take on that is we are all going to the same place, we all eat in the same dining room, etc. BUT, the room was nice and large. In fact, we plan on requesting the same room if we go again next year. We want to take the kids, they would love it.
The disembarkation has a lot to be desired. Though they ask you to leave the ship by deck levels, your luggage doesn't leave with you. If you decided to let them take your luggage to the port, you are given a number. We had number 33, yet when we were told we could get off the ship, they were only on number 5! We waited over an hour to get our luggage. Worst for those who had duffel bags. They were never told they were not put on the belts. Instead they put in the center of the floor all at the same time. There were people who had number 1 and 2, that waited for 90 minutes before they saw the area. That was not good. One couple standing by me were in a panic because they had an early flight to catch. There was no sign telling people where to look for the duffel bags. Now I know next time I will stay on the ship longer if I has a bigger number.
Overall it was a good trip.