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Age: 28


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Celebration

Sailing Date: July 19th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

The thing to remember about the Carnival cruises from Galveston is don't go in with unreal expectations. First time cruiser, traveling with extended family. We booked the 5-day Celebration, left on a Saturday and returned on Thursday morning.

Packing & Prep - all six in our party that tried made it on board with soda and alcohol in checked bags. Make sure you bring sweater or jacket. Some of the rooms are kept very cool.

Saturday - ship is supposed to begin boarding at 1:30, but we arrived around 12:30 and were on the ship within an hour. Never really saw a long line to do anything. Walked around the ship, realized taking the stairs all week was the way to go. We were on the Upper deck with an ocean view room. Fairly nice room, clean, but small. There was a decent showing of in-room movies.

Sunday - day at sea. Not bad, enjoyed the blue water and food in the cafeteria. Pools are tiny - not many adults get in. Drinks are $5 or so, sodas are $2.50. Didn't see anyone with the soda fountain card.

Monday - Cozumel. We went on the Catamaran Snorkel & Sail. There are 3 times - 9am, 1:30, and 4:30. We chose the 1:30 so we could shop first in Cozumel (not all that). Got on the catamaran as the first group got off - they were in no shape to drive. Most probably staggered back to the ship for a nap. We snorkeled about 45 minutes then went to a semi-private beach where they had kayaks and free drinks. Had a good time and for $49, a pretty good deal. Went to Carlos & Charlies that night. Fun place, but they really push the drinks there ($3.50 for a beer?!)

Tuesday - Calica/Playa del Carmel. We ported at a rock quarry and there were about 15 tents setup with typical Mexico stuff for sale. We went on the 5-star adventure tour - bikes, snorkel, kayak and a meal for $89. Not bad, but a little disorganized. Fairly physical activity. Made it back in time and set sail again.

Wednesday - day at sea. Not as exciting as the first, since nothing to look forward to except getting home.

Food - good food everywhere. Had good waiters and all staff were courteous. Pizza is good, although if you want something other than pepperoni, you have to order it in advance. Main dining was nice - you can order more than one entrée if you can't decide. Easy to overeat there.

Activities - only went to a couple of shows, but heard others were good. Casino was pretty neat, we had people win on first and last days.

Shopping - for perfume and liquor (and probably jewelry), best bet is buying it on the ship. Cheaper, and you know it's quality.

Overall - glad we went, but probably won't go on another cruise - nothing against Carnival, though. If you want to try one out, this is probably the one considering cost and duration.

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