A friend suggested, and I wound up going on a cruise for Mardi Gras week. The cruise was on Carnival, and was out of Galveston. We stopped at Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Progresso - all in the Yucatan.
This was not a small ship. Most of my prior trips on a ship have been on ferries. I've been on several short river ferries, and on both the Point Judith/Block Island and the Nantucket ferries. Even the Nantucket ferry vessels are quite small by comparison! This ship had elevators going to 9 floors for most of the ship. In some places the ship goes to the 12th floor. Oh, the they count the decks the way the computer scientists do: starting at zero (the staff quarters).
The length of the ship was amazing. Some of the floors/decks had over 450 rooms. Because of the size, even with fairly rough seas, there was very little motion which I felt. There were, however, times when it was obvious that there was motion ... the water was sloshing in the pool.
It was a great trip. At two of the ports, I took excursions to visit Mayan ruins, which greatly expanded my knowledge of the culture and people of that area of the world.
Will I go on a cruise again? Probably. Here are the things I would do differently:
- Get an outside cabin. I think it will be worth the extra cost to be able to see. It certainly will enhance the experience of being at sea.
- Go as part of a larger group. I was surprised at the demographics of my fellow passengers. There were a good number of families - sometimes 3 generations. There were also more groups of young adults. (And by that I mean the 20-30 year olds.) They also tended to travel in "packs," and seemed to have a great time. There actually were fewer "old folks" than I expected. But even many of them were traveling in groups of 2 - 4 couples. Those "uncoupled" seemed to be lost in the shuffle.
- I would take more advantage of some of the entertainment options. I went to a couple of the shows, but I generally avoided them. The ones I went to were enjoyable.
- Bring more, dressier clothes for evening wear. I packed mostly for beach/pool and the "jungle" expeditions.
Here are some of the photos from the cruise and land excursions.