Tha' Cruise

Posted by: DLC

Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 12:53 PM

NO not Ted !! whistle

Wife and I finished a 7 day cruise on Carnival, our first…

This is my take on the cruise we just completed that went to Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel Mexico. It was on the Carnival Dream and left the port of New Orleans on Sunday, May 16 and returned on Sunday, May 25.

The plus side was:

1. the food was great. The one caveat is that you can eat almost 24 hours a day, and if you are wanting to avoid gaining weight sometimes that is very difficult – especially when they have 2 soft ice cream machines that are open all day long. As one comedian on board put it, if you go on a cruise mainly for the food – you could instead eat out every night of the month at Texas Roadhouse, Outback, Olive Garden and many better restaurants and travel there in a limo for less money. …. the last I saw him, he was walking the plank, ha ha! laugh
Formal nights are not that big of a deal for guys they can wear slacks and a collared shirt – no tie or coat required. Women can wear dresses or some nice slacks or pantsuit. We got a chance to eat lobster, filet mignon, prime rib, and some other great dishes. For an appetizer, I got a chance to try frog legs, and escargot. All the desserts are phenomenal and they contain about 3 gazillion calories. Their coffee on board was way above average. Our waiter told us they use Blue Mountain from Jamaica.

2. The service from the waiters and the cabin attendant was outstanding – they were such great people. We tipped them all heavily when we left.

3.We had lots of fun on board. We got to relax and spend time with friends playing cards.

4. We didn't go to a lot of shows, but we went to a couple comedy clubs and they were very enjoyable.

5. The Xunantunich Mayan ruins in Belize were phenomenal, I got to climb a 13 story pyramid for a spectacular view of the jungle. The history of the culture in the region was very interesting and the 2 guides were Awesome.

6. They did have some good free music by some pretty good bands on many floors. All varieties of music – pop, rock, country and western, etc.

7. You can buy liquor duty and tax-free but you're limited to 1 liter / person. After that, you pay only the tax which is only a few dollars. So if you select your top brands, you can save some money. For example I purchased 2 X 1 liters of Crown Royal for $17.50 each; I also got a liter of Grey Goose for $32. I was considering a liter of GLENFIDDICH Scotch for $45 but decided I had enough.

The negative side was :

1. Drinks and beverages were expensive. Beers ran about $6-$7 with gratuity, mixed drinks about $9 with gratuity, and cokes about $2 per can. The 15% gratuity is mandatory in most cases. I chose to drink coffee, tea, and juice or water almost the whole trip. I did have maybe 3 beers and a couple of mixed drinks. If you are heavily into soft drinks and liquor, you might consider their day passes for unlimited drinks – but they are pricey (my understanding about $50 a day which would be equivalent to about 6 drinks to break even.) Soda passes are not that expensive, but there are plenty of options and I can get enough of those at home.

2.They constantly wanted to take your picture and post a picture for you to buy later. The small shots ran $11.99 each and an 8 x 10 ran $22.99 each. You are not obligated to buy them ; if you do, they're expensive.

3. There was constant commercialization of about everything. They wanted you to book your next cruise – but it was NOT a high-pressure sale.....the picture sales, some of the activities, many are not included in your ship fare.

4. Any other activities such as bingo, trivia contests, name that tune contest, etc. cost to about $20 to participate. They said it was for these prizes but the only prize I saw in those contests were is a little plastic trophy of the replica of the ship that couldn't cost them more than $4-5 – since they probably buy them in bulk. There were some high dollar bingo games, but I do know what the entrance fee was, I did not inquire. There was also some high stakes games (Poker, Texas hold 'em, slots, etc.) in the casino but that was too rich for my blood.

5. Of course when you get off the ship and you get back on the ship there are tons of people in the marketplace is wanting to sell you something – usually you don't need. Some prices were good, but much was way overpriced and especially a stay away from the diamonds and jewelry.

6. There were crowds of people and it got annoying sometimes – you had to wait for an elevator, get to wait in line to get into the dining room, in some respects it was similar to a week long venture at Six Flags. You can avoid some of these crowds, if you plan ahead and go early. Sometimes that helps and sometimes it does not make any difference. Of course in a crowd of 3000+ people, you are going to find some very rude individuals and you will likely probably run across them sometime during the week.

7. The ship seemed to be more for the very young and middle aged people as most of people on the ship were either swimming, drinking, gambling, or eating the whole voyage.

We did have a balcony cabin and it was very nice. You can set on the balcony and watch the ocean go by. I didn't see a lot of wildlife – I did see one sea turtle and the few flying fish – but no porpoises, dolphins, or whales. Overall it was an enjoyable week, but I'm not in a hurry to do another cruise as many people were. If I do another cruise it will probably be an Alaskan cruise in summer.

In talking with many individuals on the boat who had taken multiple cruises, it became apparent that each cruise has its own personality and flavor. Some thought our cruise was excellent and others thought it just average. So the lesson here is don't judge your impression by mine. You have to go and see for yourself if it fits your personality and your expectations.

Aye…. Good sailin' matey !! grin
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 01:05 PM

Thanks for the report. I've never been on a cruise, and have always thought that the negatives outweigh the positives. I like your positives, though!
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 01:06 PM

Pretty good review there, almost like you were on ours.

We took one 2 years ago on Carnival to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. While it was awesome to swim with the sting rays in G.C., I hated that we had to be mindful of the time the whole time.





While they say the port time is (for example) 9am-5pm, that's from docking to pulling out, so you actually only have from around 10-4, from my experience.

And forget about swimming in the pool..it was ALWAYS crowded. Don't forget, you have to grab a lounge chair out on the deck early to get one.

We did it once and we won't be doing it again.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 01:51 PM

"7. The ship seemed to be more for the very young and middle aged people as most of people on the ship were either swimming, drinking, gambling, or eating the whole voyage"

That's a negative eh? smile
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 01:57 PM

And just how young is very young? Toddlers? wink
Posted by: DLC

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 04:01 PM

No it just wasn't "me"… Sr… I thought I was at a Frat Party much of the time…
and some off the old geezers can drink like fish too !! whistle

nothing against drinking… to a point…… but it was like the cocktail glasses were melded to their hands !! grin
Posted by: DLC

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 04:03 PM

Quote:
We did it once and we won't be doing it again.

I'm with ya there John !! maybe to Alaska in a coupe of years… but I wasn't too impressed with Roatan and Cozumel (little Juarez) !!
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 05:48 PM

I would think for me the highlight would be the ports you stop to see. I think I would tire of ship life pretty quickly.
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 08:11 PM

I wouldn't mind doing a river cruise in Europe--down the Loire, maybe. I have some friends who do a bike-ship combo. Every day they get off the boat and ride their bikes. They've done it in France and in Germany, and this summer will be doing it in Holland. That sounds neat.
Posted by: DLC

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/28/14 08:18 PM

Ports are OK but if they're primarily marketplaces… they're boring ! Belize was the best stop for us. A friend of mine suggested Road Scholar tours. They are cruising but for the more intellectual and you spend more time learning about the places you visit and the cultures that live there. They have highly trained guides which know the areas of the tours. smile

Posted by: steveg

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/29/14 02:20 AM

Nice. My idea of a cruise is a drive to the market with the car windows open. cry laugh
Posted by: MrB

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/29/14 07:04 AM

I have a brother in Santa Rose CA who has been on several cruises. To Alaska, Panama Canal , and just this year, they took the Hawaii cruise , 15 day, for their 50th ann. They have loved them all.
But they have said what you said also.

Dave
Posted by: Nana

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/29/14 04:40 PM

For a first time cruiser, your review was pretty good & mostly on point. Carnival cruise lines are party ships. Hence the name CARNIVAL. wink Oh, you forgot to mention the MIDNIGHT Buffets. laugh
I've been cruising (at least once or twice a year for about 30 yrs. In the beginning, it was Carnival cruise lines. I've learned how to eat in moderation, and to get the FREE drinks they serve around the pool & jacuzzis. The paid for drinks were night caps before bed. The champagn bottle the travel agents always has set up in our room as a welcome gift, I take home.
As for shopping in the ports, this is what I learned to do: We rent a taxi/driver (which you can basically do for cheap) and tell them to take us to the LOCALS shopping area & eateries. Some even drive us around the local neighborhoods. Every driver got a cousin who owns a local eatery it seems. Of course, they always get a big tip.

Approximately, 8-9 years ago, I graduated to the Norwegian Cruise Lines taking their 10-15 day cruises. I believe I''ve been to every island in the southern & northern Caribbean and the Polynesian Islands. A friend of the family recently returned from a trip to Turkey. They rented a yacht. Said it was cheaper than paying for a cruise ship.
The S.O. is trying to book a Mediterranean cruise for next summer. I asked him to check the prices on a yacht rental. Told him if the price was right, I would help him pay half. Told him we could be Jay-Z & Beyonce. laugh

I'll be in Brazil for the Olympics. While there I plan on taking a cruise up & down the Amazon River.
On my bucket list: Six month around the world cruise on the QE. shocked

As you can tell, I am a cruise-a-holic. crazy
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/29/14 05:26 PM

I imagine a yacht would be awesome. I was stationed in Turkey (Istanbul was the nearest town...base was called Cakmakli) for a year. Not sure if I want to go back. heh

Maybe a cruise with friends would be fun?

Quote:
and to get the FREE drinks they serve around the pool & jacuzzis.


Never seen that! They always charged us.
Posted by: Pirate

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/29/14 06:30 PM

Did not know there were so may sea dogs here....gotta make everybody an honorary pirate
Posted by: DLC

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/29/14 07:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Pirate
Did not know there were so may sea dogs here….gotta make everybody an honorary pirate

ARG !! where's me bloody patch, matey !! mad

wink

Nana: Impressive…. most I've talked to that do lotsa cruising prefer Norwegian over others !!

Looked at Road Scholar and I think that may be my cup of tea ale !!

Posted by: bird

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 01:07 PM

An old lady was standing at the railing of the cruise ship holding her hat on tight, so that it would not blow off in the wind. A gentleman approached her and said: "Pardon me, madam. I do not intend to be forward, but did you know that your dress is blowingup in this high wind?" "Yes, I know," said the lady, "I need both hands to hold onto this hat." "But, madam, you must know that your privates are exposed!"said the gentleman in earnest. The woman looked down, then back up at the man and replied, "Sir, anything you see down there is 85 years old. I just bought this hat yesterday!" laugh

Sounds like a great trip Dave, thanks for the review !!!!
Posted by: lanovami

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 02:31 PM

Good one bird!
Posted by: Celandine

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 02:41 PM


HEY, 'TWEETY! laugh
Posted by: DLC

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 03:21 PM

LOL !!! How ya doing ? Good to see ya around the Forums… we need lots of "MacBabe" company! wink
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 03:25 PM

LOL bird. laugh
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 03:25 PM

Oh bird--you need to fly by here more often!
Posted by: Nana

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: bird
An old lady was standing at the railing of the cruise ship holding her hat on tight, so that it would not blow off in the wind. A gentleman approached her and said: "Pardon me, madam. I do not intend to be forward, but did you know that your dress is blowingup in this high wind?" "Yes, I know," said the lady, "I need both hands to hold onto this hat." "But, madam, you must know that your privates are exposed!"said the gentleman in earnest. The woman looked down, then back up at the man and replied, "Sir, anything you see down there is 85 years old. I just bought this hat yesterday!" laugh

Sounds like a great trip Dave, thanks for the review !!!!


Posted by: bird

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 04:16 PM

Howdy Tweety laugh right back at cha, Jake laugh
I took a selfie to shpw you all just how excited I am that you all even remembered me lol !!!!!!
[
yep still Just one happy, crazy bird : blush
Posted by: Nana

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: John Rougeux
and to get the FREE drinks they serve around the pool & jacuzzis.

Never seen that! They always charged us.

I'm talking about the those fruity drinks that come in a very tall glass in all sorts of color swerls. The waiters walk around the pool & jacuzzis with a tray of those drinks approximately once per hour.
You just raise your hand if you want one. No tipping & no charge.

Posted by: DLC

Re: Tha' Cruise - 05/30/14 04:31 PM

SLAPS HEAD !!!

They never told us about thatblush

Like on the opening day, I thought they charged for all !!

Free Booz, wow some customers might want to come back !! wink