Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Jubilee
Sailing Date: May 31st, 2003
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
As a first time cruiser, I did not know what to expect even though I had read many reviews. I was a bit concerned about all of the negative comments about the Jubilee, but my excitement about finally going on a cruise seemed to send the concerns away.
We left out of Galveston on Saturday afternoon. We had stayed in a hotel the night before and receive permission to leave our vehicle at the motel while we were gone. We took a taxi to the pier. It was about $10 each way. Boarding was a cinch. We got there around noon though our paperwork said boarding would not begin until 1:30, they had already begun. We waited in a short line until proceeding to check in. We received our Sign and Sail cards and then we were off to take our first of many pictures by the Carnival staff. They do a fantastic job!
We went to check out our room and to our great surprise, we had been upgraded. The room was plenty big for the two of us. There was a basket in the bathroom of shampoo, soap, razors, etc. We asked our room steward to put our beds together and she had it done by the next time we returned to the room. A hint about this would be to ask your room steward to put a king sheet over both mattresses. If they do not do this, the two small mattresses will slide around. She also made towel animals for us each night and turned down our bed and left chocolate. I tried to buy some of the chocolate because it was so good…no luck.
We proceeded to the Funnel Bar and Grille for lunch and a drink. After lunch we decided to change into our swimsuits and catch some rays. Word of advice…USE SUNSCREEN. One of us got really burned the first day. Though he never complained, I know it had to be miserable.
Dinner that night was wonderful. We met some of the nicest people at our table and spent a lot of time with them on the duration of the trip. My advice about going to dinner the first night, GO! The ones who were at dinner made a bond the first night and on the third night when another couple showed up, it was uncomfortable. We already know what we were going to talk about and the ice was broken. I know the new couple was very uncomfortable. Our waiter, Special K, was marvelous. Dinner was wonderful.
I was concerned at first that I had shaky legs from being on the ship, but I quickly realized that it was just the vibration of the ship. It took some getting used. There were several places on the ship where they were less noticeable, like where loud music was playing. It is really noticeable in the Bordeaux Dining Room. Even though the vibrations were a bit bothersome at times, I slept like a baby!
Food on the ship: If you cannot decide between two things, order both, but order them all at one time. You may run out of time if you wait. Some of the things we enjoyed on the cruise: lobster, salmon, escargot (wonderful), this thing that I would call a shrimp pot pie (the best thing I ate on the cruise, magnificent), sun dried tomato soup, rib eye steak and horseradish mashed potatoes, and lots of chocolate desserts. The food in the dining room is recommended though I had a great burger in the Funnel Grille. The ice cream, frozen yogurt and pizza that are always available are terrific. I did not get to go to the Grand Gala Midnight buffet on the fourth night because I was in my room seasick, but I heard it was magnificent. The other nights, the midnight buffet was just alright. I was never hungry, but we went two nights anyway.
Seasickness…I was fine until the fourth night. The ship started rocking and I went a running. I took a nap and thought I was alright so decided to go to dinner. The ship was still rocking to I did not make it very long. My table mates sent me some Seabands for my wrists and out waiter, Special K, sent me a care package of crackers. Both helped tremendously. I slept for 12 hours that night and felt much better.
The pool bar always had good Caribbean music and fun on the water slide. During our trip we ordered many buckets of beer. After the included tip is added, it runs about $13 for 4 beers. There is always a drink special of the day. They are pretty strong! Free drinks are served during the Captain’s Cocktail party on the second night.
The show on the first night was horrible. I did not enjoy it at all so I didn’t attend another. The comedians were very funny. Karaoke was a big hit on several nights. The Oz dance club was fun until the teenagers took over. Since high school graduation had just taken place, we had many high school graduates on the cruise…Mexico…drinking age 18…need I say more? We did get to dance several evenings are a few minutes and it was a lot of fun. Good music in the Oz Dance Club.
In Playa del Carmen, we went to XCaret. It was alright. I did get to snorkel for the first time which was very exciting. We did not go in the underground river, but everyone that did said it was a wonder, though cold. There are many things to do there. You can see macaws, butterflies, dolphins, donkeys, monkeys, fish, and probably others we did not see. There were lots of places to get in the water and relax in hammocks.
We went back to the ship to change and then went back into town. Four of us took a taxi together. The cost from the ship to town in $10. We went to Senor Frogs for dinner. Horrible food and drinks, very expensive, and lots of teenagers from the ship. We left there and did a little shopping and stopped at a little bar for more cerveza. I would recommend drinking at any of the small places because they are much cheaper. We purchased a few bottles of Kahlua for $8 each and head back to the ship. Taxi…$10.
Cozumel…we went to Passion Island. It was beautiful. The only thing I would have changed about this excursion would have been the time we were there. We were there from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and since it was an open bar, I was not ready to drink until after we had been there awhile. I did not feel that I got my money’s worth from the bar, but the Corona was good. The meal they served was fantastic. Grilled mai mai, fresh fruits, guacamole, and chips. The water and sand were beautiful and you can go out really far and still touch the bottom. We did a little shopping in Cozumel and bought some clear Mexican vanilla. Then we returned to the ship for a nap. That was the night I got seasick.
I had a great time on the cruise. I met some wonderful people and visited some beautiful places. For the cost of our cruise, it was way worth it.