In January of 2010 we took a belated honeymoon cruise. We were married in June of 2009 but because of work obligations were unable to take a honeymoon immediately following the wedding. We researched prices of several cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian. At the time, Carnival seemed to not only give us good bang for our buck, their website was easy to navigate, and it seemed to align most closely with what we were looking for in our cruise vacation. We booked over the phone and had a very helpful sales associate. However, after you book one cruise with them you are then hounded for life! About every six months the same sales associate calls me and emails come more regularly trying to get us to take another cruise. I finally had to be harsh and inform her that we weren’t planning on taking another cruise vacation in the near or distant future and would appreciate it if they stopped contacting me. This has ended the phone calls but not the endless emails.
We took the “7 Day Exotic Western Caribbean” cruise where we visited the Cayman Islands, Isla Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, and Cozumel, Mexico.
We planned shore excursions at every port:
Excursion Rating System: Poor, Pretty Awesome, Wonderful, Exceptional
Grand Cayman: Grand Cayman Kayak Safari
$74.95 per person
We would rate this excursion as Poor. In the excursion description it said, “explore Cayman’s tranquil secluded shorelines, inlets, bird-nesting areas, sea grass, and mangrove communities.” This was all untrue. The “tranquil secluded shorelines” were anything but being alongside homes the entire time with almost no natural landscape to view. The mangrove communities were all destroyed in a hurricane several years earlier, they should really remove that from the description. And, I think we saw maybe one or two birds and no bird-nesting areas. The kayaking was fun and the guide was knowledgeable about the area. However, if you are expecting a quiet nature-viewing experience (like we were) do not do this excursion.
Isla Roatan: Jolly Roger Sailing Catamaran & Gumbalimba Park
$77.95 per person
A very fun excursion! We would rate this excursion as Wonderful! We got to have a parrot put on our shoulder and a monkey on our back! The sail was fun with a wonderful crew and free rum! The snorkeling was also very cool, although I’m so terrified of marine life that I spent the majority of the time clinging to Bobby’s back not looking at what was below. Although, when he would see something exceptionally neat he would have me look down.
Belize: Bacab Eco Park Horseback Safari
$109.95 per person
Our Guide for this excursion definitely made this excursion Exceptional! She was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable! Sadly it did rain all day but we were happy to hear that this didn’t mean our ride was canceled! We were grateful for the rain gear we had packed! Sadly the immense humidity along with the rain was enough to overwhelm our camera which never started again after that excursion. The meal we were served was traditional and delicious!
Cozumel: Caverns by Jeep and Beach Combo
$89.95 per person
We would rate this excursion as Exceptional! Driving the jeep was very fun and gave you a sense of freedom while remaining safe and unlost as a part of the caravan. We doubled up with another couple who were very fun! The mayan cave was extraordinary! The chance to snorkel in it was wonderful and creepy all at the same time! The private beach and lunch that followed the cave were beautiful and tasty! Luckily this day on the beach correlated with our one day of sunshine!
We were very glad that we had planned shore excursions at each of the ports. We still had enough time at each port to roam about the tourist traps in each port but were always grateful for an opportunity to be taken to another site for an excursion because it gave us the opportunity to see more of the country we were in.
Overall I enjoyed the cruise itself more than Bobby. I don’t have a problem with sitting poolside reading and dozing. Bobby prefers to be more active and so we would try to participate in some of the on board activities. The crappy weather definitely altered our whole perception of the cruise experience. We only had one day of sunshine and no rain during our seven days on the ocean. We overheard one employee telling a guest that in her year of living/working on the ship she couldn’t remember worse weather for a single cruise. We were pleased to hear that back in Minnesota they were experiencing extreme cold, it made us feel a little bit better.
Eating on board was interesting. We enjoyed the 24 hour pizza and soft serve and we liked ordering room service, especially for breakfast! Eating in the formal dinning room was fun and it was nice that our waitress never changed so she got to know us and our likes and dislikes. We were grateful that we had been seated at a private table for two and not at a larger table with strangers that we would have to make awkward small talk with every evening. The food was good despite it being mass produced.
We aren’t much for nightlife or gambling so we only walked through the casino once and saw the nightclubs closed down during the day. Not being big drinkers either we were rarely out late. We preferred to keep to ourselves in our room and were therefore disappointed that we hadn’t sprung for a room with a balcony. We did have ocean view and I would frequently sit on the window ledge and gaze out at the ocean but it would’ve been nicer to have the balcony. We did, however, go to the shoes every night in the large theater and those were often enjoyable! The singers and dancers were very fun to watch! The comedians were not so funny and the magician was very fun!
Overall, we enjoyed the worry-free aspect of cruising the most. would we cruise again? Probably not. These types of trips are often more popular for people who are more social, enjoy crowds, and enjoy drinking more than we do. We were glad we went and both agree that it was an experience we would never forget!