Updated: Apr 11
Let’s talk packing! You don’t need much! Don’t over pack especially if your going to be buying lots of gifts and bring them back * ID and whatever other documents you need to travel * Swimsuits & Cover-ups * Jacket for nighttime (it get’s cold and windy) * 1 set of fancy clothes for “fancy night” * Toiletries, I brought my ENTIRE skincare routine and lots of oil for hydration. You don't want to neglect your skincare routine especially if you are going to be in the sun for 5 days straight. * Digestion product - you will way over indulge and your stomach will be mad at you. I personally use Digestion plus from Arbonne. It’s a prebiotic, probiotic and a digestive enzyme all in one so it works fast. Help with bloat too! Who wants to look bloated in a swimsuit..NOT ME!
* Hangover Remedies - I use hydration and pomegranate fizz and they are Delicious! You can read more about them by clicking on the names. * Lotions, sunscreens and after sun care - I use a Detox Gele and a detox body oil from Arbonne and they are ahhmazing. I mix the gele with oil and it takes out a sunburn overnight. We used it on our last vacation and we would have been miserable without it. It works 10x better than any aloe of after sun products I've used.
Embarkation Day We paid for parking online through the carnival website so we didn't have to worry about finding a place when we got down there. You can check your bag or carry it on yourself. We didn’t feel like carrying our luggage around so we checked it.
We walked on the ship and grabbed a drink while we waited for them to open up the rooms. I downloaded the carnival hub app. *highly recommend doing this* It had a map of the entire ship and all the events that were going on. You can star the events you want to attend and it would notify you 15 minutes before they start. Also, book excursions directly from the app. After we put our stuff in our room we played some mini golf and grabbed a burger from Guys burger joint and they were delicious! *Steven ate 9 or 10 of them while we were there!* So that should tell you how much he enjoyed them! By the second day I was REALLY glad I had my digestion plus or I would have been hurting LOL
3:00pm they called us all to our muster stations where they brief you on safety protocol. We stood in rows for about 10 minutes, didn't take long at all. The ladies right in front of us were funny, let looked like they were ready to party. But do y'all see the blonde lady to the far right? she looks pissed! Probably because she was all be herself.
Around 4:00 they had a welcome party on the deck next to the pool and started a Congo line. It was pretty hilarious to watch. After that, we went and explored the boat and ended up at the casino where I doubled my money at the roulette table. I think I have finally found a game I like. I’m not a fan of poker or most card games, slots are boring as hell and craps looks way to complicated and everyone looses their money too fast. So roulette it was. I like to gamble…kinda, but not enough to where it scares me. We went to fine dining instead of the buffet. And it was delicious!! I ordered shrimp cocktail, steak meal and a salmon meal. I was too full to eat dessert or I would have ordered that too. The couple we set next to was fun to hang out with so we enjoyed dinner with them almost every night. We headed to the comedy club after and saw Sid Davis. Grabbed a couple rounds of shots waiting for the show to start.
We went back up to the deck to check out the water at night and it was super cold! I wish I‘d brought a jacket because I was miserable. It was wet and cold so a lose lose situation when your in spaghetti strap dress. Day 2 At sea Steven woke me up at 6:30, Keep in mind he came and got me AFTER he already ran a mile and started seeing the sun rise. He wanted me to see it with him, so he ran to the room to wake me up but we missed it by a minute or two. Since we were up, we decided to get a little exercise in.
I ran a half mile on the track then did some weight lifting and row machine (which killed me btw) that row machine is no joke! And I’ve never seen a row machine with water in the base. You were actually spinning water, not just a wheel. It was pretty sweet.
I tried to get some sauna and steam room time in, but I walked into the steam room and it smelled like athlete’s foot and armpit. I tried to tough it out but I started gagging so I had to walk out. The sauna wasn’t hot enough yet so I just sat outside waiting for Steven to get done. Went and ate breakfast at the buffet and sat by the pool to watch the Mixology competition. This was epic! They had 4 people create a mixed drink and had 3 people judge them. The judges were a swole black dude, little tatted girl and an annoying old lady…. So it was already interested. They had the first guy came up and pour all his ingredients into a mixer and instead of just mixing his drink, the DJ turned on music and made them dance In the middle of everyone. The announcer started making fun of him and comparing his drink to Galveston water. The entire crowd was laughing. But the judges weren’t. The drink apparently tasted like rubbing alcohol. The second was a sorority looking chick that used to be a bartender and she made a pretty ice blue drink and the judges loved it. The next guy was a tall super fit dude that danced like an awkward giant! It was hilarious to watch. The judges liked his drink too. The last lady was you typical shy mom. She started shaking her head like “heck no I’m not dancing like that” She got out there and made all her kids come and dance with her. It was like watching a seen out of the Brady bunch HAHA! If you don’t know what that is just google it. The ex bartender obviously won and they made her drink at the rum bar for the rest of the day. Right after that they had a “very hair chest contest” Lots of older men with some NASSSSTY hairy chests. Let’s just say this was interested. They had the men dance on some lady judges. This one lady was rubbing ALL over them and getting real personal. Her grand-kids were in the corner looking mortified. I was dying laughing and so was Steven. They were down to 2 out of 6 men and made them take a “sexy shower” seen…. And man was it hilarious. One guy was soo awkward just rubbing his belly and the other was working it like he had practiced before. Both men were over 50/60 and had major beer bellies. We hung out by the pool and made some new friends, played cornhole and the losers had to buy shots.
We grabbed sub par BBQ from upstairs and I went to some “ladies pamper party” where we got to sample the skincare they carried In the spa. They ran a special on their spa packages so I grabbed one for $99. My masseuse was awesome and was from Africa. Her facial wasn’t that great but her massage was one of the best massages I’ve ever had. After that we headed to fine dining. They brought out a happy anniversary cake because they knew it was our anniversary the day before! Just check out that menu.
Day 3 Cozumel We woke up, ate breakfast and waited for the ship to dock. They had a bunch of cute folded towel around the deck.
The dock was HUGE! About a 1/4 mile walk through a liquor and gift shop where they try to sell you all kinds of booze, tobacco and cheesy gifts.
We booked an all inclusive excursion to a private beach called “passion island” so when we got to the end of the pier they had signs with your excursion on it. We waited for everyone to get there then we boarded a catamaran and took a 45 min boat ride to this beautiful island.
They had free food, drinks and games to play. The food was ahhmazing and the little gift shops were pretty cute filled with handmade trinkets and cheesy tourist gifts.
First thing we did was get a picture of me in a hammock in the water! I’ve always wanted to sit in a hammock in the water near a beach. It’s been on my Pinterest board for years so I wanted to document it LOL. After that we grabbed lots of drinks and hung out with other tourists and danced, got in the water, drank some more, played a water balloon game with strangers and then I won the Limbo game and got this cute little bracelet. They poured a shot of tequila in our mouth every round so you started getting a little dizzy by the end of it…
After hanging out for a little longer we boarded the catamaran and headed back to the dock. we browsed around Cozumel and wondered into the city a little to find some cigars. We negotiated with a guy and got a good deal on a box of 25 Cohibas. I tried on some super comfortable cowboy boots but ended up not buying them because I thought of a million other ways I could spend that money LOL like another massage or vacation.
Once we got back on the ship we hit up the Hazboro game show and that was pretty fun. They always picked a diverse group of people, from the crowd, all ages, sexes and personalities. After that we grabbed dinner in the fine dining room and went back down to the theater to watch the Love & Marriage show.
I’ve always wanted to see one of these shows live and it was absolutely hilarious! First they asked the crowd who had been married over 50 years. A couple had been married 65 years!!! The host someone convinced them to come on stage and participate. Next they found couples that had been married between 20-30 years. Everyone in that category stood up and he made the wife yell out, one by one “oh Tarzan, oh Tarzan! oh where is my Tarzan” and the husband had to respond with his best Tarzan impression. It was epic. For the newly weds, he made them stand in front of everyone and give their “best make-out session” super freakin awkward and I’m glad I didn’t part take! Anyways.. after he picked everyone, he had the couples seated back to back and answer questions on a clipboard. The one that got me was when the longest married couple answered “who was your husbands last girlfriend before y’all got married” and the wife, without hesitation wrote it down, while the husband was scratching his head trying to remember. The host was dying laughing and said “see that! you women neeeever forget! after 65 years and she still remembers” the whole crowd just died laughing. We hit up the piano bar where this amazingly talented pianist sang songs the crowd suggested. Steven kept giving him really hard songs to sing and he made me get up there and sing with him…. that was a disaster! But we had a great time Day 4 Yucatan (Progresso) We got off the ship and decided to just explore the town for ourselves. The people were super pushy when it came to buying items and trying to get us to come in their shops. We had to take a bus to the city because it was so far. Let’s just say Progresso is a shit hole! Cool experience but not worth going back. The first thing you see when you get off the boat is 3 large military ships. You had to walk through a military checkpoint or whatever you call it. Then through a liquor store to pass through all the little shops to get to the buses. You have to take a greyhound style bus to the city. We get off the bus and started walking through all the shops. We got suckered into buying some more cigars for super cheap so we knew they were fake. I found the nearest bank and asked what the exchange rate was so I knew I wasn’t getting ripped off and then we pulled out some cash. Well pesos not American dollars.
We found our way to the beach and tried to enjoy a walk in the water but so many people were attacking us trying to get us to buy their stuff. I’ve experienced people trying to sell their business before but not like this. It was pretty bad. We ended up stopping at a restaurant and grabbing some octopus fajitas… yeah you read that right… octopus. I tried it but wasn’t a fan of the texture so I gave up and Steven pretty much ate the entire thing by himself.
After that we decided to walk around the entire city of Progresso to see what the culture was like and it was really sad. Most of the shops had no door or metals bars with cardboard. The Local "farmers market" was selling honey in used water bottles...
We walked into a local grocery store to try and find some vanilla extract. Some old white lady stopped me and said “are you two enjoying hunting” I kinda just laughed and walked away. She ended up in line behind me and told me her whole story about how she ended up in Mexico. She bought some beautiful house on the beach hoping to only stay in it for a year or so then sell it and move on. 5 years later she’s still stuck there because none of the locals have money to pay for it. She finally found some guy from Spain to buy it and she couldn’t have been more happy to get out of there. She said 4 rape attempts and a murder attempt later she was happy to be alive... We found our way back to the bus, rode back to the dock and enjoyed a beer before we got back on the boat. We made some friends from Texas out by the pool and I hung out with them for a few hours while Steven went to some Beer Pong tournament. We showered and went down to watch 2country4nashville and they were amazing! They were a male and female duo that sang classic country songs that anybody requested. Hit up the karaoke bar after that…and it was the worst decision we made on the cruise! just awful. I couldn’t tell if it was just because we weren’t drunk or but because everyone was THAT bad. Who knows, either way it was bad. We headed to dinner and met our dinner dates! We all ordered multiple entrees and multiple desserts. I guess we were hungry from all the walking. Or just binge eating, either way...it was delicious.
We all went back to the karaoke bar to watch comedian Cowboy Bill. He was hilarious and the it was so packed that people were standing on the edges of the room and outside the door peeping in to listen. We stayed for the adult scavenger hunt with our dinner partners I mentioned earlier. That got out of control real quick, I guess you would have to be there to understand. Let’s just say old ladies were getting lap dances and women were running around with their bras off… not cute! We walked to the “night club” after, and that was super lame so we left after about 5 minutes and headed over to the arcade area and played skeeball. It’s now super late and we were all too awake to go to bed so we stayed in the casino for a little bit watching people gamble. Some lady won $20k and she acted like it was no big deal. I made a joke about how she was probably $100k in debt and the $20k was just a dent HAHA! Day 5 at sea This was a pretty chill day. We went and ate brunch in the dining hall in the back and it was HUGE!
We sat by the pool all day drinking, eating and chatting with our friends we made the day before. Cleaned up in our fancy clothes and had a nice dinner and then sat at the Piano bar again and watched Gilbert play the piano. I was super tired so I left about an hour in and Steven stayed out until I don’t know when. Day 6 Debarkation Day Someone had a medical emergency so we docked at 1:30am to let them off. We slept in a little late, grabbed breakfast and packed our bags. Instead of checking them this time we just carried them off the ship with us. It was probably a mile walk from the boat to the parking lot. You had to go through a bunch of hallways and wait in a bunch of lines that just lead to the next waiting area. They asked us for our passports right before we walked out and made sure we weren’t bringing items back that we shouldn't be. Then hoped on a bus to the parking lot and drove home.
I hope you enjoyed this long winded blog about my first cruise!
If you were wondering what the buffets looked like check them out here!