Number of Cruises: n/a
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Inspiration
Sailing Date: November 16th, 2003
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Had a good time, the cruise
director was good (able to take a "cool" audience and turn them around to really
The ship was COLD! The room temperatures could be adjusted by turning off the air conditioner vent in the ceiling, but the lounges were very cold and other passengers complained a lot about it.
The real highlight of the trip was swimming with the sting rays! I did this with much trepidation (a) they are rays, after all; (b) I can't swim and the trip is 20-25 minutes from the coast. However, the information said the experience took place on a sandbar with only 5 ft. of water and I thought I could handle that with a life-vest. So I did it. It was a wonderful experience. I quickly doffed the life-vest because the water was only about waist deep. The rays swam around us, between us, and through our legs. They were incredibly tame. There must have been easily a hundred people in the water, and three or four hundred rays. It was incredible and delightful.
Belize City is very poor, but there is a lot of construction going on, which I presume is because of tourism money. Even the American Embassy looked shabby!
We paid a private guide/taxi to take us around. The city has a tourism group, and when they pick up passengers they have to check out with security personnel telling them how many passengers (only two of us) and where they are going. When we returned the driver had to check us in. So we felt very safe with this. The cruise line suggested not going into the city alone and that does seem like a good idea. Everyone was very friendly there.
In Cozumel we did the Tulum thing. I had done that about 10 years ago and it was interesting to see how the tour has changed. Years ago the buses just dropped us off, and we were on our own until time to return. This time we had an excellent guide who gave us a lot of information. After leaving the site, going back to the bus, I got lost in a maze of little shops - literally! It took me about 20 minutes to find my way out of there and get to the bus. If you go shopping there, take a long string so you can find your way back! (Just joking).
Costa Maya was a big nothing. We took a taxi and went away from the tourist area, but there really was nothing to see.
On the whole, though, we had a really good time. Each evening when we returned to our cabins we found an "animal" constructed from towels -- they were cute and we photographed all of them! The dining service was excellent.