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Review: It has been 15 years since I last cruised, and no I wasn't a baby when I took my first cruise. I was hooked on cruising with my first cruise on Carnival's Holiday, but alas, you know how it is rent, bills, eating, living, etc, how can one afford another cruise when there is barely enough at the end of the month to pay the bills.
Fast forward 15 years and a bit of luck, to me it was but to thers it wouldn't be. My mom decided to pay for us all (brother, sis in law, and niece) to go for a holiday together. It turns out my brother wanted to control and decide where were going to stay, what airline, how long, and so on--turns out all he wants or cares about is his daughter having a good time and didn't care about anyone else's vacation experience...I wasn't going for that. I proposed my mom and I go for a cruise and then let my (idiot) brother go do what he wants--it worked!
I was all to glad to get to Miami because travelling from Western Canada to Florida by plane (on Air Canada) takes a lot out on a person. At least Toronto Pearson airport took a lot out on us--we just got to the gate on time for last boarding--too bad they didn't close terminal 2 before we flew, it would have made it easier getting to the next flight. The hotel is Miami was not much better--right in the flight path of the airport. I didn't sleep much because of the airplanes coming and going very late and very early.
The next day was embarkation day and it was so quick, I was amazed at how fast the process took. We got to the port around noon and we were on board the ship before 1:30pm! I loved the cabin I choose--Verandah (deck 8) cose to the glass elevators. We did not need to go on deck to watch us leave port, we stayed on the balcony just like the majority of others who had balcony cabins!
I can go on and on and on about how much fun I had and how awesome the cruise director staff (Jorge, Josh, Dale, TJ, and Ian), and all other staff were, but that would take too long. I will say that the activities were truly worth the wait. The food was amazing, even though the table we had in the restaurant wasn't in the best spot and we found dining in the Mediterranian restaurant more relaxing. I was hoping to have lots of time to sit on a deck chair and tan, but alas, I managed to find around two hours in seven days....Too many activities and other stuff to do.
The ports of call were amazing and the shopping and sights we saw were memorable. I managed to spend more than I expected, but I didn't seem to care. I was slightly disappointed, ok, really disappointed, at the Stingray City & Island Tour because we spent 75% of the time getting to and at Stingray City and left us just over an hour for Turtle Farm (30 minutes for a rather large site to visit plus the gift shop!) and Hell (a huge wopping 20 minutes). I would definitely take a cab to Boatswain's Beach (Turtle Farm) and do a leisurely tour and take time to shop before rushing to line up for last tenders back to ship (last tender left at 330 and it was 315 when we got back).
I am already looking at what cruise to book next, and my mom is in agreement. We are going to go again on Carnival, but this time on the Triumph (New Orleans) or Conquest (Galveston). I am even thinking of the newest ship--Carnival Freedom out of Miami. I just have to pick a date when--Sept, Oct, or Nov of this year to decide when!!!!
I am so hooked on cruising!