First of all, the only reason this cruise even got a single star rating was because the staff was the only positive attribute to the entire trip. We left on January 24, 2002, for Cozumel, and it was a miserable experience from the start. This was my first, and probably my last cruise. It was such a joke. We were over six hours late getting out of the port. The guy who made the announcements apparently couldn't make up his mind what to tell us the reason for the delay was. He gave us three different stories. When we finally did get going, there was no announcement to let anyone who wished to, watch the departure, not that we could see anything anyway...it was past 10pm. The entire first night at sea we rocked and swayed. People everywhere were loud. There was smoking allowed anywhere on the ship (all of us were nonsmokers). I truly just wanted to go home. The ship itself was the icing on the cake. For starters, there was nothing to do while we were at sea if you weren't into donating your money to the casino or if you weren't a drinker. All three of the ship's swimming pools were drained, though you could spend your day in the spa... if you wanted to pay for it. Which brings me to another point, don't let the "all inclusive" fool you. Even Royal Carribean doesn't charge you for a soft drink during a meal. If you wanted one, you had to cough up three bucks (they automatically include their 15% tip), for a little 20 ounce soda. I'm not a cheap person, but give me a break! The food was filling. Other than that, it wasn't too great. When we did finally arrive in Cozumel, three and a half hours late (we were told the delayed departure wouldn't affect our arrival time...Hah!), we discoved that three or four of the onshore excursions had been cancelled and that most of the other ones were full. Nice surprise, huh? Don't get me wrong, Cozumel was gorgeous (I'm already planning to FLY back there), but my party literally had to drag me back onto the ship when it was time to leave the island. I even considered catching a flight back to Texas from Mexico rather than sit another day and a half onboard the ship. And don't even get me started on the tipping! Do you tip the person who comes in to clean your hotel room while you are out? Do you tip the host or hostess who seats you at a restaurant? For the amount they wanted me to tip out to five different people, I could have almost brought another person with me. Not that I would. I would not recommend this cruise to ANYONE. I would not even wish it upon my worst of enemies. This was NOT a vacation! Don't let the "Fun Ship" title fool you!
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