In the early hours of Saturday morning we headed out on a loooong drive (9.5 hours to be exact) to head to Galveston and hop aboard the Carnival Triumph.
We have only ever been one one cruise before on a different cruise line. But with the prices so low on Carnival right now, we took a chance and booked a 5 day-er to Mexico::
Our cabin was small but perfectly formed - with a bunk bed for the children and a nice sized balcony. With the small amount of time you actually spend inside of it, it was just fine for us.
The first time I snapped the photo below, I didn't realise Mr B was, in fact, just wearing his underpants. Luckily I snapped a few more later on and his dignity is once again protected!::
The ship was equipped with 2 swimming pools and various hot tubs. This pool in particular was the biggest and directly under one of the huge screens on the ship. Perfectly placed for the children to swim, which Mum and Dad relax with a cocktail and watch a movie::
Much to the children's delight, there was also a big twisty turny slide on board. Much to Mum and Dad's delight the climb to the big twisty turny slide was a steep one, thus wearing out children even more!::
Once docked in Progreso we got the free shuttle to the town and booked an excursion to a private resort for a few hours. Being within the confines of a private resort meant that you were not hassled on the beach and having all the facilities/pools/food/drink on hand, made for a very relaxing few hours. They then dropped us back at the ship with plenty of time to board and even do a little shopping near the port.
This wasn't a pre-planned excursion via the cruise line so the cost was significantly lower than the same experiences they were offering (over half the price)
There is always the fear that when you don't book an excursion through the cruise line, there is a chance you may get back late and see the ship sailing off into the sunset. The reality of this is that these ports of call have it sussed. Some of the local businesses are built around these cruise lines arriving and they handle everything as efficiently as the cruise line would.
A day later we headed to Cozumel. We had booked an excursion through the cruise line here. A trip to a private islan - Island Pasion, where there were a variety of activities available and once again all food/drink were included.
The trip over to the island, involved a 45 minute boat ride on choppy seas. We started to get a little worried about Josh on the way::
After moving away from the side of the boat, out of the sun - he perked up and we didn't have any vomit situations!
The Island was wonderful....a little glimpse of paradise.
The kids enjoyed the endless drinks they could order::
and being right on the beach made for a lot of fun::
The resort also put on party games involving water balloons...
They were a big hit.
The trip home (which I was dreading after 45 minutes of choppy seas to get there) was in fact as calm as being on a pond.
We returned to the ship tired and happy.
The following day was spent at sea heading back to Galveston.
It was a wonderful cruise - just the right length at 5 days and with it being our first ever experience of Mexico, I think we are all impressed and eager to return.
Although you could tell the ship was a little older and tattier than the one we experienced with Norwegian Cruise Lines a couple of years before - the staff were amazing and the services was phenomenal and for the price, it could not be faulted.
And we all look forward to experiencing Mexico again in the future.