Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Spirit
Sailing Date: October 16th, 2004
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera
This trip was the maiden voyage for Spirit on this route. The boat was well decorated, and games and activities were good, fun shows etc. Our waiter "Jose/Oscar" (depending on when you asked him) was TERRIBLE, never brought water, wine or condiments, we were always served late, or last in the dining room. Selections were good, but the first few days of the trip the meat cuts were tough and fatty.
Room was great, but crew seemed sad that they were pulled from Conquest and Hawaii trips. They cancelled the third leg of our trip to Ixtapa with only a $50 compensation back to us, but 2 days in Acapulco. We were in a group of 41, so we all did different things. We spent the evening at Carlos and Charlie's, fun, but overpriced and empty.
If we had it to do over again, there is a great world famous 4 level disco called the Palladium and we wish we'd have done that. The next day we took a cab (and they're mostly all VW bugs) to the Fairmonth Princess Resort hotel. Bring your own towel or they charge you $20 per person for the towel and will ask to take your passport (NO!). Great food, great waterfalls, on the water etc. Pay no more than $20 each way, per cab full. There is a swap meet type marketplace nearby, but it's kind of scary and dirty and smelly.
The locals are thieves with the prices and they're VERY pushy and aggressive. We preferred to just buy stuff in the terminal by the boat. It was INCREDIBLY humid and hot and smoggy and dirty, not what we imagined. People in our group rented cabs for a day, for anywhere from $20 per cab full to $40 for an overall tour of the area and were happy with it. Also people LOVED the boat tour of the islands, including "Cat" island, so don't miss it. Other ship, Royal Caribbean, Radiance of the Seas had a Gay singles group on board, that was really fun to see having fun, but they were turned away for being gay from Local hotels (with Brunch buffets) for "religious differences". I think they were really upset. ANYWAY, Manzanillo the next day was really industrial as well, like San Pedro, just smoggy and shipping containers. We took a cab into town to shop, $1.50 per cab full each way. Shirts are cheap, but town was pretty small. People in our group took cabs to remote beach resorts an hour away and had a great time.
We did the snorkel excursion through Carnival to "Elephant Rock". Elephant rock was unavailable when boat got there due to Jelly fish, so we went to another cove with fish. Maybe I'm spoiled because of previous snorkel in Caribbean, but this water was dirty and you actually saw Toilet paper squares floating by as you swam. The fish were pretty and plentiful and the guide for the trip was really nice and fun. The boat was good, and they had comp beer/soda and Margaritas and nuts etc, but I felt Nauseous (before booze and snacks) in the water after 25 minutes. They asked to hose everyone off as they came back on boat, and then for 2 days I had this weird red bumpy rash on neck chest and arms and legs. Music on boat was fun, and info from the guide, but the snorkel was kind of gross and scary.
The trip was great for us because we went with a lot of fun people and the weather on the boat was great. The pools are better than conquest, bigger and not TOO many kids in the adult pool. We had fun anyway, but I have not recommended this route to friends after that. Stick to Caribbean.