In 2014 I finally took a cruise. Everyone told me I have to try a cruise. Let me first start off by saying if you have a cruise leaving out of another city, please try to leave as early as possible or arrive a day early. I had the worst experience trying to arrive at 11:15 am the day of. I flew from Charlotte to Ft. Lauderdale, with a stop in Atlanta. My flight to ATL, was 2 hrs delayed and I missed my connection to FLL. I had to plead with Delta to let me on the next flight, which in turn my baggage was delayed, I didn’t leave the FLL airport until 1:30-2(my original flight was to leave at 7:50a.m) and the ship was to depart at 3. Still had to get to ship, and check in. When we arrived the line was wrapped around the building. I made it but it was a stressful situation. If I ever do a cruise again I will plan for enough time for any issues with flight and luggage. I went on a Royal Caribbean, Liberty of the Seas, 5 day cruise in March which was primetime for kids on spring break. When you arrive on the ship, you leave your bag and they will bring it to you later, you go through security and they start taking pictures once you check in, its apart of a picture package they want to sell you at the end. I declined.
Before the ship departs there is orientation. We had a balcony room which I thought was good. One thing I didn’t know is you can order decorations for your room before departure. I was with my mom celebrating her birthday, had I known I would have arranged to have it decorated before. Really I should have brought my own decorations lol. The cruise had a casino, shops, spa, nightclubs, ice skating rink and art gallery. Most food is included unless you chose a specialty restaurant. You make reservations for dinner before boarding; otherwise you can eat at the buffet or 24/7 room service. It was nice but I realized I prefer just flying to an all-inclusive resort. I experienced lots of motion sickness and “cabin fever.” There was no internet available unless you pay to use. Soft drinks, juices and alcohol were extra. This cruise was really geared towards families. I remember watching Frozen on the deck. The club was 18+ and played old school hip hop and pop with 5 people in attendance. I liked the Captain's Ball where there was a live band, a chance to hear from the Captain and crew, free champagne and you get to dress up!
Cozumel It was an interesting city. The downtown had a lot of little shops. The owners made up prices of items and you could negotiate them down. We went on an excursion that was ATV plus time at the Ocean Club VIP. ATV was nice, rode around in a man-made jungle lol and offered local fruit and drinks. The VIP beach you could do water sports or eat lunch for additional costs. I parasailed, was able to talk them down in price. We had time left over and went downtown to shop. The cruise was nice but I wouldn’t go back unless it’s one of those specialty cruises that cater to a young adult event. I didn’t see a lot of groups of singles or young adults.
Key Takeaways -Pack your own alcohol (in a travel safe bottle) and snacks- these things are extra and expensive. -Pick which excursions you do once at the port early because they fill up fast. -Get to the rooftop pool early for a good seat as people start claiming them early. -Leave yourself a lot of time between arrival of flight and departure of ship. -You can find good deals on cruise prices but be prepared to spend alot on the ship. What tips or cruises do you recommend?