Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Jubilee
Sailing Date: February 8th, 2003
Itinerary: Calica and Cozumel Mexico
Excellent service, Good excursions, Clean yet old ship.
Jubilee is a clean, good looking ship for it's age. The service (waiters and cabin stewards) were excellent, they all were very attentive and courteous. The food was excellent, yet the included drinks were very poor quality, orange juice was watered down, iced tea tasted like it was made from a powered mix, and the coffee was just bad (it turned to a muddy color when cream was added) if they upgraded to a name brand of coffee, it would be an improvement. The real bummer is that the engine seems to be out of balance and there is a constant thump, thump, thump, thump that is both audible and shakes everything from the bed to the lounge chairs, the only escape is the shore.
We picked 2 Carnival coordinated shore excursions:
(Calica) XCARET was an excellent choice for the money ($51 ea) we enjoyed a full day at this Mayan theme park, well paved trails and paths lead to beaches, swimming, snorkeling, animal exhibits (sea turtles, dolphins, birds) and an evening show. The underground river swim/snorkel tour was great. Included shuttle took us back to the ship for a shower and clothing change before the evening Mayan/Aztec show. We would do this again!
(Cozumel) Passion Island ($68 ea) was very pretty and remote from the city (1 hr each way cuts into the 5.5 hr tour), but don't think you'll be alone or find "your own private stretch of beach" as suggested. All Carnival ships show up (Jubilee, Sensation, others) about the same time and the beach gets busy. Tour guides were nice, we felt very safe and on the way back they gave us the option to be dropped off for some shopping in downtown, which we did. Shopping for 2 hrs (optional) was plenty of time to pick up a few things, have a coke and a snack and take a ($6) cab ride back to the ship. Drinks and Lunch were included but we would not do it again due to the price, hurried pace and lack of (promised) privacy.
SUMMARY: Good overall experience for the money. I recommend the Carnival excursions for first timers to get a safety feel for Mexico, but next time I might book my own tours to get a better value. I give the ship 3 stars because I believe they could do something about the engine rattle and poor drinks, but it seems Carnival is just out to make as much income as they can on an old ship, premium drinks, photos and excursions that they coordinate.