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Rich Chauviere

Age: 63


Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Celebration

Sailing Date: December 15th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I finished this cruise with the impression that Carnival has to go beyond the fares in order to prosper. The constant huckstering of shopping, beauty treatments, photographs, gaming activities and excursions can be a distraction.

Alcoholic drinks on this ship were higher than I expected. Obviously, the cruise company is obtaining its alcohol at duty free prices but you would not guess this from the price list. We paid over $24 (including the mandatory 15% tip) for a bottle of domestic wine that I have obtained on sale at a discount store for under $4 before sales tax. Probably, this price schedule is not unique to this ship or this cruise line.

One suggestion for Calica not at all mentioned by the cruise company is that there is a car rental agency at the dock. We rented an air conditioned five speed manual transmission Nissan for $60 (including insurance) plus gas. (Jeeps are higher.) And so, instead of the three of us paying $59 each to be part of a herded tour, we drove to Tulum and did the Mayan ruins on our schedule. The road is well marked, mostly straight and entirely concrete paved with good shoulders. We then drove to Playa where our son got to swim on one of the beaches that afternoon.

Given that we also experienced the oft-mentioned vibrations beyond what the sea induces, our next cruise will be on a different ship.

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