The four of us arrived at the Port of New Orleans on time and ready for our new adventure. Gwen and Scott had already been cruising, but Larry and I were newbies.
I will say that if you are planning on going on a cruise, if you can afford it, go for a suite. Not only is the room a very nice size, all the suites get speedy boarding and departure privileges - I tell you this is the way to travel!
I honestly think I would have had a mini nervous breakdown if we had to wait in line - I swear the lines went on forever for the regular boarding.
The cruise itself was an experience and I definitely would want to do it again, but maybe next time not on Carnival. It's not that it was bad, it's just that it was a little too 20s-something partying - not really our speed.
The room was nice and big, but I'm still trying to figure out how Carnival can say it was recently updated - it looked kind of tired to me.
Unfortunately on the first night Scott started to feel ill and subsequently came down with a bad bacterial infection for the whole cruise. But I will say despite the fact that he didn't feel well, he was a real trooper and came out for dinner etc.
We mainly hung out on our balcony because, honestly, the areas where you would want to go to, the pool, miniature golf, etc., were incredibly stuffed with people.
My only other complaint is that we booked a cruise with only one stop. We did this on purpose because we weren't sure we'd like cruising, but it seemed kind of goofy to go all the way down to Mexico, stop at a port for 6 hours and then head back!
Our one port was Puerta Maya, Mexico. I believe were we actually docked was a few miles away from the actual town. The port had this carefully crafted tourist area, where you could really only see what they wanted you to see - it was surrounded by walls blocking your view of the actual town. After debarking Larry and I managed to walk off site and get a look of town - definitely a hard-hit area. Hopefully tourism helps keep some of the money in the town itself, because it was definitely a poor area.
The tourist area was just that. People were a bit too pushy for my taste for you to buy something. I was actually really looking forward to going to the jewelry shops because they had Tanzanite (my favorite), but it just seemed like a rip off. It could have been fine, but it just made me too nervous to buy something and then have to worry that I was being ripped off. Although, I did buy some beautiful black pearls for next to nothing.
The cruise was a great opportunity to de-stress, eat, take in the sun and hang out with Scott and Gwen.
It was a great time, although we wish Scott wasn't sick. We'll have to have a "makeup" trip for Scott - nothing like having a good excuse to travel! :)
Here's to our next adventure with the Sgwotts!