Monday, September 12, 2016

Liberty of ths Seas Cruise Review


Liberty of the Seas Review

September 11, 2016

Just The Facts
Ship:  Liberty of the Seas
Sailing:  September 11, 2016
Captain: Rune Johnsen
Cruise Director: Jeffrey Arpin
Ports: Galveston-Roatan-Belize-Cozumel-Galveston
Weather:  Sunny with occasional clouds…Warm

I am cruising with my Dear Wife (DW) and another couple both good friends and experienced cruisers.   This is my 20th Royal Caribbean cruise and first on the Liberty of the Seas.  I had booked this cruise very early in order to get one of our favorite aft facing cabins with large balcony on deck seven.

Day One--Sunday—Embarkation
Liberty of the Seas - Promenade
We left the ranch about 8:00 am (later than usual) and headed south to Galveston making a stop at the  Buc*ees in Waller, Texas.  We arrived at EZ Cruise parking about 12:30 and we were shuttled over to the Liberty of the Seas strait away. We were after the initial boarding rush and zipped through security and check in and were on board about 1:00 pm.  I believe there are now so many VIP’s that it is easier to arrive after the initial rush of embarkation.  We went to the cabin on deck seven and since I rolled my bag on board with me I began stowing away my items.  We met our friends on Lido to eat and visit then proceeded to boat drill about 4:00 pm.  D28 meets outside on deck and that is becoming hard on me…I prefer inside and seated.  After boat drill I had cabin time and watched the Dallas Cowboys football game until we went upstairs to the Viking Crown Lounge to meet our friends for cocktails.  It was very busy but we got a nice table with a view of the ship and Gulf of Mexico. Very nice watching the sundown and I enjoyed a few Cosmopolitan martini’s.  RCCL pre-loads three complementary Diamond guest cocktails daily on your sail and sign card that can be used at any bar on the ship.  At 8:00 pm we went down to dinner in the three level Main Dining Rooms (MDR) deck five to the Botticelli Dining Room.  We have a nice four-top table at a window that turned out to be fortuitous as the beautiful Carnival Breeze sailed along side of us during dinner.  This used to be common with cruise ships sailing the same route, but rather uncommon now days.  It is a beautiful sight seeing the large cruise ships lit up at night.  Dinner was good, I ordered the Grilled Pork Chop entree and the Carrot Cake & Ice Creme was a great dessert.  The Welcome Show was this evening, but after a long busy day we retired to the cabin after dinner.  A busy day.

Day Two—Monday—at Sea
Promenade
A very restful night and beautiful weather today.  We slept late for us although I went down to the MDR fro breakfast just after 9:00 am.  The lines were super long so I went up to the Diamond Lounge to see what they offered there for breakfast and make queries about the Ice Shows.  They no longer require tickets as it’s first come first seated as the show in the theater…really better.  I went back down fro the MDR about 9:40 and the line was manageable so I had a nice breakfast: Melon, Fried Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Hash browns, and toast.  DW had a nice room service breakfast as she usually does on a cruise and was finishing when I got back to the cabin.  We have a really cool balcony and I’m planning to take advantage of it this cruise so I began that right away.  I did a tour of the ship about 1:00 pm walking around decks 11 and 12 and pool areas…then down to deck 5 and the Promenade.  I popped into the pub to see which beers were on the 2:00 pm beer tasting and looked at the various shoppes.  They have more eating places than the Voyager class ships on Promenade…I sampled a Pizza at Sorrento’s and a then took cookies and sandwiches from the Cafe Promenade back to the balcony for snacks and more balcony time.  We were considering the Ice Skating show at 2:00 pm, but ordered Cheese Plates and Fruit Plates from room service, These are IMHO the signature items on RCCL room service menus and something we love to order and enjoy on the balcony.  So we had a lovely balcony day.  We went up to the Olive or Twist in the Viking Crown Lounge and enjoyed cocktails.  Our server Dado from Montenegro brought very nice Cosmopolitans from the bar and not the Diamond Lounge.  Much better and might as well use our allotted three on our Sail card.  Tonight is the Captains formal dinner and the Botticelli Dining Room was very enjoyable.  I ordered the Bay Scallop Gratin and two entrees: Pan-fried Silver Covina Fillet & Carved Filet of Beef Tenderloin.  All were very good especially the beef.  Our waiter Robert from the Philippines has been very good and efficient. There was a 10:30 Adult Comedy Show in the Theater, but after a great sea day I retired.  The others enjoyed the ship.  It was a nice sea day on the Liberty of the Seas.

Day Three—Tuesday—at Sea
I don't care for any
I slept very well overnight and the weather was beautiful.  Room service was delivered about 9:00 am. and we enjoyed a nice breakfast on the large balcony enjoying the weather and view.  We ordered fruit plates, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and pastries.  This will be our norm for the cruise especially for DW.  We plan on another relaxing day today and we even had a brief shower during balcony time, but our balcony is completely covered so it was fine and really cooled us off too.  We didn’t go to lunch until 2:00 but it was still bust in the Windjammer.  I had roasted pork from the carving station with some vegetables and mashed potatoes.  We went down to the Promenade and had desserts from Sorrentos...DW says the Coconut Macaroons were best she has had.  After browsing the Promenade for a while we returned to the cabin and balcony time although it was warmer and more humid than the perfect cool morning.  We met our friends in the R Bar on Promenade early for cocktails as the designated Show time was 6:30 for late seating guests.  The R Bar is quite busy but we were able to get a table.  I think I prefer the Olive R Twist in the Viking Crown Lounge.  The production show was In the Air  There were more aerobatics than I have seen on a cruise production…basically every scene by the entire cast of singers and dancers..  It was a very different show and did have great costumes. We had time to get a cocktail or wine from the Diamond Lounge before dinner and we did so.  Dinner was good, the Matre’D sent along some Hearts of Palm that I appreciated and enjoyed.  I ordered the Crab Cake and two entrees:  the Chicken Cordon Bleu and the Braised Beef Duo (Square Rib & Flank Steak).  The Cordon Bleu was very good.  I ordered the Cherries Jubilee for dessert and DW “I don’t care for any” dessert.  (photo)  After dinner we retired for the evening.  It was another nice sea day on the Liberty of the Seas.

Day Four—Wednesday—Roatan
A friend at Mayan Eden Park
A little rocking overnight and a good nights sleep.  We arrived and docked at Coxen Hole about 8:00 am.  We had a full ‘Room Service’ breakfast that was delivered a little late at 8:45 am so we enjoyed that on our balcony before debarking just after 9:10 am.  We met our friends on the dock and found the person who arranged our car and driver.  The four of us loaded up and our first stop was an overlook of Coxen Hole and the cruise ship. Even though the island has cleaned up and improved with better garbage collection, it was still a crappy spot although the view was nice.  The car’s A/C was not working so we requested a return to terminal for a new car.  We did get a nice new car, but the girls decided they would bail and just stay around the ship today.  I don’t blame them it was not a good start and DW has really seen everything.  The guys went on and it turned into a great day overall.  First stop was the very nice Zip Lines at Mayan Eden Park.  It was an eight station zip on the mountain at Spanish Town and overlooking Coxen Hole.  They were exciting and located in the jungle environment.  The last zip station is in the zoo/wildlife area. Here we get play with the monkeys, see the butterfly exhibit, interact with the birds, and more.  It was a great experience.  We then drove to the West End tourist area to Eagle Ray’s Bar & Restaurant located over the water.  Here we had our first Salva Vida beers of the day and some Nachos and Quesadillas.  After relaxing and enjoying the views, breeze, and beers we continued on to West Bay Beach and found a spot at Earl’s a beach dive next to the Fosters resort.  More Salva Vida beer and a dip in the water to cool off.  We even had a nice beach massage and then needed another dip in the water from the nice beach.  I did make a beach vendor purchase for the DW of what they call Roatan Jade (actually a nice green agate).  As we began our return to Coxen Hole, we continued ‘cutting up’ with our driver Peter an interesting guy who seemed to know half the people we passed along the road all day on our Guy Adventure in Roatan.  We were back at the ship by 4:00 and it was time to shower and wash the sand and massage oil from myself and hair…took a couple of attempts.  I really enjoyed our sail away from Roatan.  We sailed from Coxen Hole at the same time the Carnival Magic sailed from Mahogany Bay so we sailed around the west end of the island together and I had the perfect view from my aft facing balcony of the island getting smaller and the Magic getting closer.  We met our friends at the Olive or Twist for cocktails and we had a view forward as the Magic had now passed us.  It was fun reminiscing about the days guy adventures with the DW’s…the cocktails were nice as well.  Dinner was good, DW enjoyed her vegetarian Spinach appetizers and entrees.  After dinner was the Love & Marriage Show in the Platinum Theater, but I will watch it later on cabin TV.  A great busy day in Roatan.

Day Five—Thursday—Costa Maya
Mahahual today
I slept well overnight and we were docked at Costa Maya by the time I awoke about 8:00 am.  Room Service was early this morning right at 8:00 not 8:45 as yesterday.  I ate on the balcony with a nice close up view of the Carnival Magic docked across our aft.  Costa Maya is to our right down the long Pier.  We have decided to stay on board today, but our friends are off to Mahahual the nice fishing village and beach just south of the port.  We had a little rain shower but nice balcony time and I had was able to get in some good internet time as well.  We went up to the Windjammer about 12:30 and I had Chicken Breast fillets, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots & Peas, and a very good Bread Pudding.  It was a very good lunch.  We went down to Promenade Cafe and they did have the Coconut Macaroons that DW likes so much and I did get some cookies for my afternoon balcony time too.  When we got back our balcony view had completely changed as The Carnival Magic had just pulled away from the dock.  We now have a nice view of the south coast, the Caribbean, and Mahahual.  It was another very clear and warm day with a few occasional clouds…this just serves to change the colors of the beautiful Caribbean water.  We sailed away about 5:00 pm for our short cruise around and to Cozumel.  We went up to the Olive or Twist for cocktails as usual and it wasn't as busy as the Diamond (and up) party was also this evening...we were even able to get some h'orderves from inside the Diamond lounge.   Dinner was very good and the Maitre'D has done very well by me, tonight I again had Hearts of Palm and he also brought us Escargot that is no longer on the everyday menu.  I ordered the Roasted Poplano Pepper and Corn Soup, Snow Crab Salad, Slow-roasted Prime Rib, and Baked Alaska for dessert.  Again we retired to the cabin after dinner although there were a lot of ship activities this evening.  It was a easy relaxing day on the Liberty of the Seas.

Day Six—Friday—Cozumel
Mariachi
Smooth seas overnight and we were docked very early, about 7:00 am. I slept well and got around about 8:00 am and we’re not in a rush today.  We are docked at the International pier along with the Freedom of the Seas and I watched the Carnival Dream dock at Puerto Maya Pier from the balcony.  We had the usual room service breakfast delivered about 8:30 am and it was double helpings of everything…nice.  It's a beautiful warm/hot day today in Cozumel so passengers will enjoy their beach or excursions today.  We left for San Miguel about 10:30 am arriving at the main square about 11:00 am.  Very busy today being Mexican Independence Day and they are hosting a world class Triathlon competition. There are a lot of temporary booths and exhibits in the main plaza. We went to Woody’s our usual HQ in San Miguel and had a nice visit with Nelly the owner.  I updated all my apps and got some good internet time in using their fast wifi connection.  Our friends soon joined us and we enjoyed guacamole, beer,  music, margaritas, and quesadillas.  The girls did some shopping and found some great bargains including ‘Day of the Dead’ items for our Halloween cruise.  We took a taxi ($8) back to the pier about 3:30 and the girls shopped at the pier shops and I boarded and went by the Ben & Jerry’s for an ice creme as I went back to the cabin.  We ordered room service and it’s an hour+ wait, they really need a Guy’s Burger type alternative that feeds a lot of people fast.  We sailed away from the beautiful blue waters of Cozumel just after 5:00 pm and began our journey back to Texas.  It became comfortable on the balcony on this typical hot Cozumel Day once we were underway and I ate my Steak Sandwich & Chicken Sandwich on the balcony as a late snack.  They were hot and tasted good and were served with french fries.  About 6:45 pm we went up to the Viking Crown Lounge for our evening cocktails with our friends and enjoyed the view until time for dinner.  Tonight I again had my Hearts of Palm, and ordered light: the Escargot from regular menu and the Chicken Marsala entree.  I ordered the Sticky Bun with Ice Creme for dessert.  After dinner I retired to the cabin to relax after a long and busy day in Cozumel.

Day Seven--Saturday--at Sea
Saturday Night Fever Show
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  A beautiful day today so guests will have a nice day of sun and pool deck activities.  For a change I had breakfast in the MDR and ordered Melon, Eggs Benedict with dides of bacon & hash browns. Very good.  DW had her balcony breakfast.  Enjoyed cabin/balcony time until the first Ice Show: Encore.  Royal Caribbean is known for it’s very entertaining ice shows and this one was great.  Still amazing to think of an ice show at sea.  Following the show we went up to the Windjammer for lunch, I had the Baked Ham from the carving station with Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli and Bread Pudding for dessert.  Very Good.  DW had her balcony breakfast.  Enjoyed cabin/balcony time until the first Ice Show: Encore.  Royal Caribbean is known for it’s very entertaining ice shows and this one was great.  Still amazing to think of an ice show at sea.  Following the show we went up to the Windjammer for lunch, I had the Baked Ham from the carving station with Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli and Bread Pudding for dessert.  Some NCAA football and brief rest before meeting our friends in the Schooner Bar for early cocktails due to the early show time.  We have really taken advantage of the Diamond level Crown & Anchor club complimentary cocktails this week.  Thank you RCCL, you helped make it fun.  The production show: Saturday Night Fever was this evening at 6:30 pm in the Platinum Theater.  This was a big theatrical production with great sets and costumes not just a song and dance routine.  The large cast of singers and dancers were very good and this is a show not to be missed as the packed theater attested.  It was dinner time when the show ended so we made our last walk down the Promenade to the Botticelli dining room for our last meal.   I really had a feast: Hearts of Palm, Escargot, Green Salad, Linguini Pomodoro, and a small NY Strip Steak.  For dessert the BBB and small Key Lime Pie. It was a very good and very filling dinner.  I retired after dinner to do some packing and watch some football.  This was the busiest final sea day I think I have ever experienced on a cruise with two major shows and several other events.  It was a busy and great final day on the Liberty of the Seas.

Debarkation--Sunday

Smooth seas overnight and we were docked early before 6:00 am. I was up early and finished packing. No room service on debarkation morning, but a full breakfast menu is served in the dining room.  We are doing the self debarkation and could debark early with the VIP groups, but have decided to wait until towards the end of self-debark to avoid the anxious guests crowding the passageways although the early arrival will help that usual problem (BTW-you no longer have to request self-debark and get a ticket at Guest Services the day prior.) They do a silent debark so a little harder to estimate debark progress from your cabin.  We went down to deck four about 8:20 am and the timing was excellent even meeting our friends (on a different deck) at the elevator lobby area…and we were able to walk right off the ship and onto the gangway.  We made our way down the new ramps and passageways of the terminal into a well organized waiting area to go through customs.  A little delay at customs, but overall very smooth process.  We took the EZ Cruise shuttle to the car and were on our way about 9:00 am.  Got fuel at the Galveston Raceway ($1.89) and were off to Houston Hobby to drop our friends and head north to the ranch.  We took I-45 through Houston and north then cross country on Hwy 7 to Hwy 6, Waco, then Bosque County.  We did stop at the rural Kosse Cafe for lunch and DD in Waco.  Home about 3:45 pm.

Ship
The Liberty of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s current ‘Texas’ ship sailing year round in Galveston.  Hopefully in two years it will be an Oasis class in Galveston, but the Liberty is currently the largest cruise ship sailing from Galveston.  With a large ship there are a lot of people and the pools can be very crowded during peak times and the elevators are always full, but the additional size also means that there is room for an ice skating arena, the photo gallery, casino, bars, etc. without any one of them dominating an entire deck.  The Grand Promenade is very impressive indeed and must be experienced.  We couldn’t determine if there is theme to the ship but it’s decorated nicely. They have the Sabor restaurant, Diamond Lounge, and Digital photo displays on deck three, and much more.

Cabin
We had cabin 7708 an aft corner port side with an oversized covered balcony…my favorite location on every ship in the fleet.  The room is a standard size interior with: key pad safe, hair dryer, refrigerator (empty), small couch, full chair at vanity/desk, nice sliding shower door, and good lighting. Another great feature was the flat screen TV that could be adjusted to view from anywhere in the room.  Very well designed.  The air conditioning & water pressure worked well, but I’m glad I brought my personal cabin fan for circulation.

Crew

Overall very good, but the cabin steward was just adequate, Our wait team was outstanding, especially our waiter Robert from the Philippines.  His assistant Wongtang from China was very good and the Botticelli Maitre’D Lucan from Romania was outstanding. 

Food

Our dining room was the Botticelli Dining Room, deck five the highest level of the 3 level restaurant. The bread and appetizers were especially good, the entree very good.  The Windjammer is the buffet and the quality of food was very good.   Room service was always good but averaged an hour for delivery.  Johnny Rockets was a good alternative for lunch or afternoon snack.  Lunch in the Sapphire Dining Room has the same menu each day with one special item that does change daily. There are several ice crème and yogurt machines. DW and I agree that the Cookies on this ship are outstanding…her favorite was Coconut macaroons and favorite was Oatmeal raisin.

Cruise Highlights
Sailing with Friends
Complementary cocktails loaded on Sail Card for Diamond Guests
Roatan Excursion
Production Show: Saturday Night Fever
Our excellent waiter Robert in the Botticelli Dining Room
the Cookies
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Thank you for reading.  As an older/experienced cruiser my activities will be much different from a newer cruiser as I will be doing fewer things on board simply because of the 'been there done that' factor and frankly I don't have the energy as I once did... Priorities do change over time. I do love to cruise!!
 


Monday, August 22, 2016

Carnival Breeze Cruise Review


Carnival Breeze Cruise Review
8/21/2016 and 8/28/2016

Just the Facts:
Ship: Carnival Breeze
Captain: Massimo Marino
Cruise Director:  Mike Pack
Ports: Galveston - Cozumel - Beize - Isla Roatan - Galveston - Montego Bay - Grand Cayman - Cozumel - Galveston

I had the 8/21 cruise booked for a while but recently booked the week following so I will be doing a B2B cruise on the Breeze.  I will chronicle both in one review.   This is my 61st & 62nd Carnival cruise, the 2nd/3rd time on the Carnival Breeze, and 115/116th cruise overall.  I am cruising as a solo.

Sunday / Travel /  Embarkation / August 21, 2016 / Day 1
Rene in the Red Frog Pub
I left the ranch about 4:45 am well before my usual scheduled departure time since there were flash flood warnings for my route to Houston area.  I did hit rain just east of Waco and very heavy rain either side of Bryan TX.  The continuous rain stopped south of Navasota and it was off and on the rest of the way to Galveston.  As usual some construction in Houston area but overall I made good time and arrived earlier than usual.  Cloudy but no rain so I drove through the cruise terminal and dropped my large bag at the baggage drop then proceeded to EZ Cruise Parking arriving about 10:15 am and was shuttled over to the ship soon afterward.  I was checked in at the VIFP priority check-in area about 10:45 am. Looks to be 9 Diamond guests this cruise (I always look at the Diamond page when they check me off the list) The VIFP lounge was already busy. After the wedding party,  I boarded  about 11:40 am.  It was a smooth process.  After dropping my carry-on bag and backpack in cabin 9359 i went straight to the Lido buffet for lunch before it got too busy.  I happened to be first at the Mongolian Grill, my usual first day eating choice on most Carnival ships.  It was very good.  After lunch I went out to the aft Pool area and the Tides Bar although I had ice creme and not a sail-away drink.  As I was leaving the area the Pizza Pirate Guys brought out some fresh Pepperoni Pizza so I had to test a slice…very good.  I went by the main pool area and Guy’s Burgers and the Blue Iguana were both packed with guests…the alternative dining is a big success.  I returned to my cabin, met my cabin steward, and took a very nice hour+ nap in my very dark interior cabin.  The Boat/Safety Drill was held just after 4:00 pm.  Safety drill went somewhat smooth.  I checked for my checked bag after drill…none as yet and that concerns me a bit as with VIFP status it’s usually at cabin by 2:00ish… so I went to look for it and found it on a trolly at mid elevators.  Between boat drill and bag search I have discovered LOTS of children on my deck…looks like a school adventure as most are in the same t-shirt…hope that’s not a problem this week. We started sail away about 4:45 and very soon the Breeze was sailing her way into the Gulf as I unpacked and set up my cabin.  I went down to the Red Frog Pub for a Thirsty Frog Red beer.  They had a steel drum entertainer and as my server Rene was from Jamaica she was really into the vibe…she’s a good singer too.  I went out to the Ocean Plaza and got a table to enjoy the now very pleasant weather.  I really enjoyed the sea air and perfect weather and to make it even better Jean, a bar server, from Romanian came by so I enjoyed my aperitif in this nice setting.  Noroc! You don’t miss the Alchemy when your on deck in ideal weather with a Cosmopolitan cocktail. I went to dinner at 8:15 pm in the Blush Dining Room (MDR) and I have a nice private table. Interesting and not sure how that happened as I like a large table, but I may keep it.  I had the bread and water to myself and use of two sets of napkins so had a place for my silverware since there is NO tablecloth.  Also a CHANGE to the American Table (I will detail later).  For dinner tonight I ordered: two Shrimp Cocktails, the Creme of Tomato Soup, a Cesar Salad, and the Pork Tenderloin entree with Root Vegetables.  I skipped dessert and headed back to the cabin after a tiring day.  They did have a Welcome Show scheduled tonight but I always pass on that…the violinists performing at the Blush entry lobby were a nice touch.  Overall a long and busy, but enjoyable day.

Monday / Fun day at Sea / August 22nd / Day 2
Two of my favorite staff members : Damir & Stephen
Smooth seas overnight and I had a very good nights sleep. I made some notes  early then was off to the MDR for breakfast about 9:45 am for the Sea Day Brunch. I had a nice table location and friendly table guests. I ordered Tomato Juice, the Fruit Plate, and Steak & Eggs, it was all very good. Guests were really happy and busy today, we had beautiful weather and the outdoor decks were packed as well as the casino. There were more children than I expected too.  I did a walk through the buffet area between 1:30 and 2:00 and I thought I was on MSC as it was packed with guests.  I enjoyed a great Guy’s burger about 2:30, then time for a short nap.  The Captains reception for Diamond Guests was held in the Piano Bar at 4:00 pm.  It was nice to see several officers I have known for a long time and other Diamond Guests.  The h’orderves served were fantastic, certainly an upgraded menu/selection of them.  Of course the complementary cocktails were very welcome.  Several of us stayed in the Piano Bar until dinner time.  The piano bar on Breeze is unique in that it can be closed for a private party or in it’s usual open concept with areas extending into the promenade.  This is another very good option for cocktails on the Breeze.  This was cruise elegant night and thus the formal set up in the Blush MDR so the tablecloths were welcome.  I had changed tables this morning and ended up sitting with guests I had just met at the Diamond event so that worked well.  For dinner I ordered: the Italian Wedding Soup, Spaghetti  Carbonara (as starter), and the Lobster entree. It was good, but not near as good as the h’orderves from the party.  The production show tonight was Motor City and features the Carnival Breeze dancers and singers and highlights R&B music.  There was a lot of other entertainment through the ship as well, but I turned it a bit early, I had a long happy hour today and I have two weeks to see it all.  The Platinum/Diamond gift was delivered tonight: an unusual croc-like (the shoe) like plastic baseball style hat. Don’t think the guests will care for it...but could be a pool hat for me.  A very nice and FUN sea day on the Carnival Breeze.

Tuesday / Cozumel, Mexico / August 23rd / Day 3
San Miguel - Cozumel
Calm seas overnight and I had a nice sleep.  As at home I awoke very early to use the internet, as a satellite user I know it is faster in the wee hours.  Then back to sleep and fortunately I was awake in time to go to the MDR for breakfast before the 9:00 am close.  I had a great breakfast: fresh fruit, three eggs over easy, bacon, ham, potatoes, and white toast.  It was perfect. I have no early plans for the day so a walk around the ship while most are getting off in Cozumel.  We are docked at the Puerto Maya Pier along with the Paradise out of Tampa and the Liberty of the Seas is at the International pier.  About 10:45 am I went down to deck zero and was on my way to San Miguel ($8 taxi). I first went to Antonio’s Barber Shop and had my usual haircut from Martin. He has been my regular barber for nine+ years now.  Afterward I went to Woody’s Bar to use the internet and drink a diet coke.  This has been my Cozumel HQ for many years...I can enjoy Pako performing, Bohemia Beer, and great Guacamole.  (I have been to every Cozumel beach, major bar, and done every activity having been here over 80+ times) The photo is one of my favorites, I didn't take it, it was sent to me by the owner of Woody's and it really shows a beautiful view of San Miguel.  We even scattered the ashes of one of our Snoozemates' frequent cruisers in the Caribbean at that flag.  After a few beers and my great guacamole and pico de gallo the Woody’s team watched my ‘stuff’ while I went down the avenue to get a pedicure at the new Foot Therapy storefront.  They did a good job ($20 + $5 tip) I was very pleased.  The extended departure time for the ship allowed time for two more Bohemia beers at Woody's and a walk to Burritos Gorditos just a few blocks north of the square. They have GREAT burritos, the best I have ever had…ever.  Finishing my huge beef burrito I walked down to the Malecon and I caught a taxi back to the pier ($8). I was back on ship about 5:30 pm. for a 6:00 pm sail away.  No time for watch pier runners as I took a refreshing shower and relaxed.  I got a laundry order ready and told the steward to skip the cabin this evening.  I was content and not hungry so I skipped dinner and the Magic Show and enjoyed some internet time and extra sleep.  It was a wonderful day from head to toe’ in Cozumel today!

Wednesday / Belize / August 24th / Day 4
Sailing from Belize
Calm seas over night and the weather is cloudy.  I was up about 8:00 am and enjoyed my relaxing overnight sleep.  I went to the MDR for breakfast as most were collecting their tender tickets for Belize.  I ordered Melon, Eggs Benedict, Bacon, and Hash Browns.  It was good and the eggs were cooked perfectly.  I will not be going ashore today…I have done most everything there is to do in Belize: the Mayan sites, Caye Caulker, Zoo, Cave Tubing, and more.  I spoke with some Blue Cards and recommended Caye Caulker as it’s unique to Belize and one of my favorites…I have taken a boat or water taxi out there many times.  I had a walkabout on the outer decks this morning, there are quite a few guests staying on board.  I had cabin time doing some business until 12:45 and then went up to Lido for a Mongolian Grill.  It was actually better than Sunday since they have restocked the veggie’s…I always like the snow peas and bamboo shoots, today's meat choices were salmon, pork, or chicken, the Mongolian Grill is always a little different and a favorite.  It did rain midday so good decision for me to stay on board, but it will be a relief to the heat for those on Belize excursions.  Afternoon was personal cabin time, some work on this review, and I watched a movie.  I did go sit on deck 11 where they have the nicer chairs and watch the activities around the pool on Lido.  My favorite beer, Pilsner Urquell, is now stocked in cans on the Breeze (probably fleet wide) so it is now available on the boat decks (no glass) so I was able to enjoy a couple of those this afternoon.  I was fearful that the canned beer would be a lesser quality or even processed in North America, but no, it’s great and direct from Pilsen, Czech Republic.  About 6:30 I went down to Ocean Plaza (photo) and enjoyed a cocktail and watch us sail from Belize…a very pleasant location.  I then went to the Piano Bar to have my aperitifs with Jana who prepared a nice Cosmo and a Spicy Chipotle cocktail.  Dinner this evening was good, the Hotel Director sent me a bottle of Prosecco  (sparkling) that I shared with my table so that was a nice start. Thank you Damir.  I ordered the Beetroot Carpaccio, the Grilled Beef Tenderloin entree, the BBQ Pork Spareribs entree, and the S’mores Parfait for dessert.  The Beetroot Carpaccio and Tenderloin were excellent and the ribs were very good.  One of the best meals I have had on Carnival for a long while.  Why can it not be this consistently good fleet wide?  The production show tonight was 88 Keys and I was on my way to the late showing, but being so content with aperitifs and a great meal retired to the cabin.  It was a very nice day.

Thursday  /  Mahogany Bay,  Isla Roatan  /  August 25th / Day 5
Calm seas and another good nights sleep overnight.  It’s a damp morning so guests are slow to debark this morning.  I went to the MDR for a nice breakfast: Melon, Eggs, Bacon, Ham, Hash Browns, & Toast. Soon the weather began to clear so most were getting off the ship so it was time for me to visit the Tides pool on Lido aft.  I pretty much had the pool to myself for awhile, but as the day was now clear and hot guests joined in the pool.  I lasted until I notice one of my pet peeves…there was a guy in the pool wear croc’s.  I didn’t notice him enter or I would have called him on it. I’m sorry but if you wear anything on your feet and walk around deck and in the toilets…it doesn’t belong in the pool.  Later for lunch I went to Cucina del Capitano on deck 11 aft.  You select your own pasta, sauces, and toppings in a pasta bowl that is prepared for you.  I had Penne Pasta, Bolognese sauce, Cherry Tomatoes, & Italian Sausage.  Sides are bread and Ceasar Salad.  It was a very good lunch and free during the day, there is a service charge in the evening.  The photo will indicate if they use canned or actual fresh tomatoes on the Carnival Breeze.  The rest of the afternoon I did some work on the internet and had a brief nap until guests began arriving back onboard.  Too many screaming children running the passageways. I went to see the loyalty lady about a booking a cruise then to the Piano Bat for aperitifs.  Jana made me a Cosmo and a Blackberry cocktail, very nice.  Dinner was again very good, I ordered:the Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Escargots Bourguignonne, Braised Short Ribs/Loin, and the Pescado Asado Cubierto Con Tostones (fish fillet with crust of plantains and breadcrumbs) from the Roatan port menu.  I skipped dessert since I had two entrees and it was so good I will order the exact same items next week.  I actually did walk around this evening looking into several venues.  The had a brass type group at piano bar, a sing duo in the Red Frog a full house in the casino, and the Love and Marriage show in the theater.  Not up that late but soon retired.  It was a good day on the Carnival Breeze.

Friday / Fun day at Sea / August 26th / Day 6
Production Show: FLICK
Smooth seas with only a few minor bumps overnight and during the day.  I was up early and took advantage of the internet but stayed in bed since it’s a sea day brunch day and the MDR is open until 1:00 pm for brunch.  I finally got around and went down to the Blush Dining room about 10:00 am - there was a line, but it moved quickly.  I had a nice table at aft windows so I could see the wake as we sailed.  I ordered the Fruit Plate, and the Huevos Rancheros with sides of bacon, ham, & hash browns.  It was good, but not any better than the Blue Iguana on Lido deck so I’ll go with the Iguana in future for huevos rancheros.  Not as hot today so the guests were out on the open decks and enjoying the sun and pools, good that they are as we may not have sun tomorrow.  I had an easy day, I actually booked an Alaska cruise for this time next year, and had some cabin time.  In the late afternoon I ordered a BLT from room service.  The room service BLT is a signature item on Carnival.  They are excellent and everyone should order one just to experience it.  I went and sat on the Ocean Plaza to take in the late views of us sailing at sundown and thunderstorms on the horizon…very nice.  I went to the Piano Bar for my now regular aperitif with Jana.  Dinner was good, I ordered: the Pasta E Fagioli soup, the Stuffed Mushrooms, Four Season Salad, Dual of Filet Mignon  & Short Rib, and Grand Marnier Souffle for dessert.  It was good, but entree not as good as previous night.  After dinner I went to the theater to see the new production show FLICK.  The show is difficult to describe…it is the most elaborate Playlist Production to date.  The overall theme is movies with a lot of magic used as the element that ties together the various scenes.  The graphics are spectacular and I’ve never seen the use of fans (8) in a production as they do in Flick (see photo).  As I said one has to see it as it’s indescribable…in a good way.  BTW-because of the fans located foreground of the stage the best seats are probably lower balcony as the fans do block a lot of action.  It was cabin time after the show…A interesting day on the Carnival Breeze.

Saturday / Fun day at Sea / August 27th / Day 7
Senior Diamond on board
Smooth seas overnight, but I had interrupted sleep…seems kids were playing slam the doors around midnight then again at 2:00 am when the parents arrived back.  I did finally sleep well and late getting up after 9:30.  I went down to the MDR for the final sea day brunch about 10:30 and was seated with only a short wait.  I ordered the Fruit Plate and the Steak & Eggs…good as usual and steak better than entree last night.  This morning I went out on the Ocean Plaza and enjoyed the beautiful blue water and blue skies, the Captain is doing a great job of sailing between the thunderstorms I see on the horizon. They began serving the sea day BBQ at noon (I wouldn’t recommend if your a Texan), so I went up to cabin and watched a movie, Crazy Stupid Love, and filled out my customs declaration forms for tomorrow.  I went up for a Guy’s burger and did a walkabout, the weather continues to be perfect: sunny but not so hot.  The Platinum/Diamond party was at 5:00pm in the Limelight Lounge, the forgotten time and day that they buried the former Farewell Party.  The party itself was very nice, I took advantage of the Tito’s Vodka & Lemonade that they do at these parties.  Mike, the Cruise Director, did a good job and I actually won the award for senior Diamond on the cruise.  Afterwards I went to the Piano Bar and Jana allowed me to drink the take away Cosmopolitans I got at the party.  After a quick trip to Guest Services and changing clothes for dinner I did return to the Piano Bar for an aperitif: an Aperol Spritzer.  Dinner tonight was very good, I ordered the Beef Carpaccio, Vine Ripened Tomatoes & Chopped Lettuce, Pepper Pot, Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Breast, Carrot Cake and the Chocolate Bread Pudding.  The Carrot Cake was really amazing.  I intended to go to the show: Country Road in the theater, but basically after a walkabout ended up back at the cabin and relaxed.  It’s nice to be able to do as much or as little as I want.  After some reading I retired.  It was a very nice day on the Carnival Breeze.

Sunday / Galveston / August 28th / Beginning 2nd Cruise / Day 8
Red Frog Pub - note the screens
Smooth seas overnight and we were docked by 7:00 am in Galveston.  They began making announcement soon afterward so no sleeping in this morning.  I do have to change cabins so I needed to pack anyway.  Weather is same as last Sunday: very cloudy and possible rain. I went down to the MDR for Melon and an Eggs Benedict breakfast.  It was good.  I went back to the cabin to pack and my new cabin was made up very early so that makes it easier.  I took my hung shirts and smaller bags and they delivered my large bag and ice chest with my cokes in it.  I was in the new cabin on deck 6 and set up by 10:00 am.  At 10:30 the B2B guests met in the Sapphire Dining Room but we would wait a while as they were having a tough time getting the final passengers off the ship.  The six of us finally went down to customs and we went through although they were still processing the stragglers…they were certainly trying to get the new guests on board asap and they can’t until we are processed.  We were back on board about 11:40ish and they took our B2B photo and gave us a glass of champagne.  Very nice.  Another couple and I made it to the Red Frog Pub and received a complementary Thirsty Frog beer for being first into the pub.  Always Fun.  After my beer and visiting with my new friends I went back to the Sapphire Dining Room as they now serve lunch there on embarkation day…something new for Carnival.  I ordered: the Rigatoni with Three Meat Bolognese and a Baked Fish Filet, with Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert. It was a good lunch and another option for embark day. It was very busy in the lobby after lunch with lots of boarding guests and I’m now off the forward elevators so I ended up walking the stairs up to deck six…not easy for my knees, but best/fastest option.  I fine tuned cabin set up and I like this cabin layout much better.  They began making announcements for boat drill by 4:00 and it started soon afterward.  My muster station was in the theater so it was fine. I went down and sat on the Ocean Plaza to enjoy the sea breeze and interesting weather…we just got out before Galveston area was hit by big thunderstorms in fact the Gulf has several storms this week.  I went to the Piano Bar for my now usual aperitif with Jana before dinner.  I have a nice large round top in the center of the MDR this week, only three of eleven showed for dinner though.  I ordered: the Creme of Tomato Soup,  Heart of Lettuce salad, and the Beef Brisket with BBQ sauce from the Ports menu.  It was a good dinner, not many in the MDR this evening and fewer children compared to last week.  After dinner I stopped by the Piano Bar, they have a new performer this week.  I also heard the country music in the Red Frog and the Latin Duo on the Lobby stage…a lot going on competing with dinner.  I went to the cabin and discovered it may not be best of locations…I’m over the stage of the theater so so noise from the Welcome Show, but the loud noise was after when they were playing music at extreme volume until 11:00.  Rehearsal or something I don’t know, but the cabin was vibrating.  After 11:05 all was well and I retired. It was a FUN day on the Carnival Breeze.

Monday / Fun day at Sea / August 29th / Day 9
Captain Marino
A bit of rocking & rolling overnight as we make a bee line towards Tropical Depression No. 9. Eventually it is supposed to turn right and we are supposed to go opposite direction towards Grand Cayman …we’ll see how the timing goes...it is a beautiful sunny day.  I went to the MDR for breakfast and had Eggs Benedict again with a side of perfect bacon.  One advantage of my (good & bad) cabin location is that I’m just a few feet away from the somewhat secret forward observation areas so I can basically walk out to a private area and catch the sun and enjoy the sea breeze.  I’ve done it twice already and it’s nice.  The Captain made his midday announcement today and mentioned TD9 and that he has adjusted course to put more distance between us…it will be fine once were past it this evening…it should be fair seas the rest of the cruise. They delivered the chocolate strawberries just after noon as I was preparing a coke so that will be my snack today.  Thanks. Enjoyed a nice easy afternoon until the 4:00 pm  Diamond Party held in the Piano Bar.  Since I did not have a lunch today I did enjoy the wonderful appetizers they served as well as complementary cocktails.  It was nice seeing the officers and staff as well as my fellow Diamond guests.  We have 12 Diamonds on board this cruise.  Many continued the social hour++ even as they opened up the Piano Bar to the public.  This is the Captain’s elegant night and dinner, we had five at our table this evening.  I ordered:  Italian Wedding Soup, Spaghetti Carbonara (as starter), two Shrimp Cocktails and I asked server to surprise me with entree and she brought a Prime Rib of Beef and the Maine Lobster Tail.  Nice.  Since my cabin is above the theater I will be attending all the late shows this week so I had a nice upper level seat for the production show Motor City and I did really enjoy it.  R&B music with the electronic screens was very interesting and the eight cast members were entertaining.  After the show I returned to the cabin, easy just one level up, and the Platinum/Diamond gift was left: again the croc style plastic hat this time blue so I have the set.  It was an easy and Fun day on the Carnival Breeze.

Tuesday / Fun day at Sea / August 30th / Day 10
Tea Time - Tea Trolly
Rocking and rolling overnight and this morning we are trying to pass TD9…also rain on and off this morning.  Should be better soon now that we have entered the Caribbean south of Cuba.  I awoke early and did some review updating and some internet browsing.  I know someone is monitoring me as I made a post early 7:30ish about no Tea time on the Breeze…by 9:30am I got a call from the Maitre’D saying yes we have Tea.  It’s NOT in the main schedule, but I did find it in the ‘Hungry for More’ section on the back. Nice that they wanted me to know.  I went to the MDR for the Sea Day brunch.  I had a Fruit Platter and my ‘country breakfast’ to order: three eggs over easy, bacon, ham, hash browns, corned beef hash, white toast, tomato juice, and milk.  I decided to add blueberry pancakes as well.  I went in hungry and came out quite full.  Cabin time today but no outdoor secret deck 6 time due to rain.  I did go to the Tea Time at 3:00 pm on deck four aft Blush MDR.  It was good, I ordered the premium Carnival Special Bend ($1.95+) and had cucumber sandwiches and several sweets, my favorite being the Scone with Clotted Creme.  We did have tablecloths and proper cups and saucers. I mention as neither are now in the MDR for breakfast.  I listened to a set by the group Y2Kountry with Two Bad Apples in the Breeze Atrium, they were good.  I went to the Piano Bar at cocktail time.  I had my Cosmopolitan and we experimented with the Elderflower liquor and I believe we are close to a good aperitif.  MDR Dinner was again very good, I ordered: the Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Escargots Bourguignonne, Braised Short Ribs/Loin, and my now favorite Pot de Creme dessert.  88 Keys was the production show in the theater tonight although I was following the Texas Rangers dramatic come-from-behind walk off baseball game. I retired soon afterward.  It was a wet and rocking day on the Carnival Breeze.

Wednesday / Montego Bay Jamaica / August 31st / Day 11
Our Maitre'D's
We finally got beyond TD9 during the night and the storm is now Tropical Storm Hermine heading towards upper Florida.  Once we did the seas were calm and the sun shone as we approached Montego Bay.  I watched us sail in from the forward deck and it will be a nice day in Jamaica.  I went down to the MDR and had Eggs Benedict light...I want to have a nice lunch later today.  I had a walk about on the open decks and found a lot of guests staying on board, not just myself, in this port.  I reviewed the news and had cabin time until I went to Cucina del Capitano for lunch.  I ordered Bread & Cesar salad and two very different pasta bowls: 1st-Penne pasta with Bolognese sauce and eggplant, peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions, and arugula.  2nd-Linguine pasta with Pomodoro sauce and double cherry tomatoes and Italian sausage.  It was very good. I followed the Texas Rangers afternoon game this afternoon (win) and spent some time on the forward deck.  I also did some consulting on the remodel project at home although the DW has everything under control and finalize an Alaska booking for friends.  I went forward at sail away and enjoyed the evening sea air.  I took a nice sunset photo and as I turned around I saw Captain Marino on the Bridge and he gave me a thumbs-up.  Thanks Captain.  I went to the Piano Bar and had the nice new cocktail that Jana and I worked on…very good.  Several new friends came by as well…we’ll make it an Alchemy like gathering spot yet.  Dinner was good, I ordered two of the Beetroot Carpaccio, a Green Salad, and gave our server her options for entrees again: I got the Grilled Beef Tenderloin entree and the BBQ Pork Spareribs entree…same as I order last week. All good as was the Sticky Toffee Brioche I ordered for dessert.  After dinner I passed by the lobby area and saw a new fun event: Elevator Disco.  What a great idea…they stop the glass elevators on level four and the occupants dance for prizes.  Brilliant.  Our CD Mike is doing a great job adding FUN to the cruise.  The feature show in the theater was ‘Two Men Without Assistance’ a magic show that friends told me was very good.  I did some review updates and retired after some TV time.  It was a beautiful and FUN day today in Jamaica.

Thursday / Grand Cayman / September 1st / Day 12
Jana
Smooth seas overnight, just as I got used to the two RocknRoll days.  I slept very well…too late to make the MDR.  It’s a beautiful day in Grand Cayman.  I went to Lido deck for breakfast at the Blue Iguana, I had them add guacamole to the huevos rancheros tortilla with two fresh fried huevos on top, then from the Salsa bar I add cheese and Pico de Gallo.  A great breakfast.  I did a walkabout the ship and there were more guest than I thought there would be on board, I understand staying on in Jamaica, I guess the hassle of the tender gets many to on board.  Hermine is now a Hurricane but it will not effect us on our return…we are done with her.   I didn’t go to lunch until about 1:00 and had a very nice Mongolian Grill.  I noticed even nor guest out and about, perhaps some have returned from Cayman, but the pool deck is pretty full.  The Breeze is a nice ship with a lot of features so it is a destination in itself.  I went forward for sail away and we actually left early so everyone did a good job today.  I tried to get a photo of seven-mile beach and sit outside, but the sun is intense on the forward deck today. I went to the Piano Bar for aperitifs and I believe we have finalized our new cocktail, still no name but several at the bar ordered it…I won't mention ingredients as yet as I have good friends boarding the next cruise and I and them to sample it first and guess.  Photo: Jana is an extraordinary bartender and has been a delight for two weeks.  She has really added to my enjoyment of the cruise.  Dinner tonight was good, I ordered: the Pasta E Fagioli soup, the Stuffed Mushrooms, Four Season Salad, Dual of Filet Mignon  & Short Rib entree, and Grand Marnier Souffle for dessert.  Same as last week and it was better as I thought it would be…food has been very good.  After dinner I went to the theater to watch the production show FLICK again.  I sat center on higher deck so I could see the effects better…it was a perfect seat.  Again a very unique show.  I retired and watched coverage of the hurricane since all our network TV stations are out of Miami.  It was another Fun day on the Carnival Breeze.

Friday / Cozumel Mexico / September 2nd / Day 13
Woody's - Cozumel
Fairly smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  We are the only ship docked at Puerto Maya and arrived about 10:00 am.   The Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas are at the International pier.  I went by the Blue Iguana and got some ingredients from the Salsa Bar and took them to the Omelette station for a very nice unique Tex-mex omelette. I’m taking my time this morning to allow a smoother debark.  I went down to deck zero about 11:30 am and it was somewhat smooth getting off and down the pier.  I really don’t understand how people try to take food off the ship…you will be caught.  The Security Guard appreciated that I had my backpack off before going through security and held it low so the dog could see it.  He thanked me.  I had a private taxi to San Miguel and arrived at Woody’s, my Cozumel HQ, about noon.  I enjoyed a diet coke and listened to live music while installing updates on my computer.  The guacamole is always good as well as the Bohemia beer.  Bless the heart of some of my North American friends from yankee land.  A older group of four came in and spent 30 minutes on the menu, first wanted spaghetti (why…and it was off the menu) and one finally ordered the CFS (chicken fried steak) and later told his group he ordered chicken. They all ordered bland American…we’re in Mexico I think I’d go that way. I thought I was watching a comedy show…Bless ‘em.  I went by Burritos Gorditos again for a nice Pulled Pork Burrito…it was excellent.  Taxi to ship ($8) and in the stateroom by 5:15.  I watched sail away from the forward deck, we were the last ship to sail from Cozumel and the water is beautiful as usual.  I debated as to remain in the cabin as I did last week on Cozumel day, but I went down to the Piano Bar for my new aperitif.  I did go to dinner as well, I only ate the appetizers: the Spring Rolls, and Meatballs as well as the peach ice creme for dessert.  They didn’t have a production show, but Mike hosted his Love and Marriage show in the theater.  It was a nice day in Cozumel and on The Breeze.

Saturday / Fun day at Sea / September 3rd / Day 14
Towel Animals on Lido Deck
Rolling seas overnight and I woke early and turned the cabin TV to the Lido Deck camera and noticed that we had been invaded by towel animals.  I went up and took some photos of the towel animals around the pool and then got some breakfast juice to take back to the cabin since it was too early for breakfast items.  I returned to bed and slept until a decent hour.  My plan today is to watch NCAA football and my team plays the early game at 11:00 am.  I ordered two BLT’s from room service that were delivered just before kickoff, I still have diet coke in the refrigerator, and Swedish Fish for a sweet.  My own Football Party. The game didn’t go well for me, but at least I was able to watch it.  I spent some time on my almost private (it was today) forward deck…a couple very light very brief showers, but overall a beautiful day.  Mike, the Cruise Director made a ship wide announcement stating that due to some electrical issues with a motor and the head winds slowing our speed that we would not arrive in Galveston on time.  They anticipate a two hour delay.  The Platinum and Diamond Party was held in the Lamplighter Lounge at 5:00 pm.  There were not as many as previous week.  I sat with my new friends and got two Tito’s lemonades strait away…plus two Cosmopolitans.  I was again the senior cruiser on board.  Thanks Carnival it was a fun party that got extended to the Piano Bar until dinner time.  For our final dinner I ordered the Beef Carpaccio, Vine Ripened Tomatoes & Chopped Lettuce, and the Prime Rib.  After dinner there was a party in Piano Bar and activities all over the ship for final night Fun.  It was a great sea day on the Carnival Breeze.

Sunday / Galveston / September 4th / Debarkation
Approaching Galveston (my forward deck)
We had slightly rocky seas overnight going into Galveston.  We know we are going to be two hours late and I know how most guests are completely unaware of how debark works and will always screw-up the plan…so I just decided to play it by ear. I began packing then I went to breakfast in the MDR, a very nice final breakfast of melon, fried eggs, bacon, ham, toast and more.  I had a very nice table and view from the aft windows as we arrived in Galveston harbor then backing into our dock at Terminal one.  As I walked back to my cabin my suspicions were confirmed as all the passageways were already packed with guests and their luggage.  I knew there was no way I would be able to reach the designated VIP area so I just finished packing and waited in my cabin for a while and let the anxious passengers off first.  Mike began calling for specific decks for self assist so that indicates that the back up was probably gone so I decided to head down to deck three.  I lucked out on getting an elevator right away and actually was through the ship fairly well considering.  Sure enough once I arrived in the terminal there was a large group  (80+) of guest who were dumb enough to go down before luggage was even available.  They can not access the area due to fork lift traffic unloading bags.  They are lucky they didn’t get thrown out of the building into the mess of early arrivals. I was through US. Customs by 10:15 and at EZ Cruise parking by 10:30.  I always walk back to the car as by the time you walk to the shuttle pick up location you could be half the way to the lot itself.  Much faster to walk.  I was off the island about by 10:45 am. (Gasoline on the island was $1.95 gal.)  I was back at the ranch before 3:45 pm.  Overall about 2.5 hour behind a normal rival time.

Cabins
First cruise I had cabin 9359 a 1A interior located on deck 9 next to the mid elevators on starboard side.  The cabin has a swipe type safe, one twin bed, three-section closet, two chairs, one electrical outlet on counter/dresser, Telephone on desk, Small Stool at Dresser, Kleenex dispenser, and Hair dryer in counter/dresser, and small flat screen TV with the interactive features.  There is an empty refrigerator. The cabin is great for me as a solo, but not so much for two. My cabin steward was very good, the cabin was always clean and ice container filled. Second week I had cabin 6226 located on deck six forward on port side. It is smaller than previous, but I liked the configuration of the cabin much better, the TV is close…it was on other side of cabin in 9359 too far away to see a small screen from the bed.  Same features in 6226 as previous cabin with one less chair. Downside of this cabin is noise from theater…upside is it’s near the forward observation deck.

Dining / Food / Bars / Entertainment
Both Main Dining Rooms are very nice especially the Blush Dining room.  The Blue Iguana for burritos and Guy’s Burgers are excellent.  The buffet food is pretty standard fare, but selected desserts are good.  The MDR food on Breeze is much better than other Carnival ships, I was about to give up on the quality of the MDR food on Carnival but Breeze is very good.  I had a very nice table locations, good fellow guests, and the waiters were good.  They have returned the butter knife to the American Table…thank god. The saucers for coffee are now gone from breakfast tables. The Mongolian Grill and Cucina del Capitano are great options for lunch.  No Alchemy Bar on the Breeze but I thoroughly enjoyed my daily aperitifs at the Piano Bar with Jana and friends. 

Crew
The entire ship crew were very friendly, they themselves can make the cruise more enjoyable for the guest. Waiters and Cabin stewards especially very friendly. They always seemed to have a smile on their face and eager to please the guests. The excellent training by Carnival is quite obvious.  Favorites this cruise were my MDR wait team, Jana in the Piano Bar; and overall Crew in general. The Ship Officers were fantastic…they really seem to enjoy working as a team and are very friendly.  I have never had so many crew call me by name on any previous cruise.

New and Improved

Everyone (security, embark, boat drill) now use card readers for Sail & Sign cards.
Return of the butter knife
$3 doubles on bar drinks
Hub Application is outstanding
MDR is open on Embarkation Day
Pilsner Urquell is now in cans and be ordered on outside boat decks

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CRUISE

Diamond Guest Cocktail Parties with Captain & Senior Officers
Carnival Breeze Crew members
Playlist Productions Shows: Flick, 88 Keys, Motor City
Platinum / Diamond Parties
Cozumel Days

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Thank you for reading.  As an older/experienced cruiser my activities will be much different from a newer cruiser as I will be doing fewer things on board simply because of the 'been there done that' factor and frankly I don't have the energy as I once did...Priorities do change over time. I do love to cruise!!






Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fathom Adonia Cuba Cruise Review

Fathom Adonia  -  Cuba Cruise Review

June 12-19, 2016

Just the Facts:
Ship: Adonia
Ports: Miami, USA - Havana, Cuba - Cienfuegos, Cuba - Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

I am so very excited to be on one of the first United States based cruises to Cuba.  This is my first cruise on the Adonia and 114th cruise overall.  I am cruising with my dear wife (DW), Son & Daughter-in-law (first cruise), and two good cruise friends. This will be a fantastic experience for all of us.

Sunday  June 12  / Miami  
Miami from MV Adonia
We are already in Miami having just sailed on the MSC Divina.  We were up early and I went to a local breakfast place on SE 1st Street in Miami just a long block from the hotel.  You could actually see our cruise ship from there as it is docked in the Miami harbor side and not on the Cruise ship side. I ordered a Miami omelette (bacon, cheese & Avocado) and it was excellent.  I took a crepe back for the DW and she loved it.  We enjoyed our room, packed, and used hotel internet until checkout time of 11:00 am.  I would not hesitate to stay at The Langford again.  We then took a taxi to the port ($12) and we were dropped off at Terminal J on the Miami side of the port and directly behind the Royal Caribbean headquarters.  It’s been 30+ years since I boarded a ship in this location, but the Adonia is a SMALL ship compared to todays cruise ships.  Porters took our bags without problem and we entered security into the terminal.  We had to fill out a health questionnaire then proceeded to check-in.  Very short lines all around so far.  After check in we sat in the terminal until boarding.  With less than 500 passengers there are maybe half already in the terminal by noon.  We soon boarded and proceeded up to Lido deck 9 for the buffet, it was a bit crowded, but everyone boarded at the same time and did the same thing as cabins were not open as yet.  I had a great cold lunch: salad, cheese, and cold meats. We ate outside on deck with a wonderful view of Miami and Miami harbor…a much nicer view than from the usual cruise ship cut. Before we finished lunch they announced that the cabins were open for guests.  We went down the two decks to our cabin and our bags were already there.  Super!  We began settling into our cabin. We have a nice wardrobe and lot’s of drawers to for our clothes. I used a 220 splitter to plug in my computer and still be able to use the table light. The balcony is small but adequate and the full sliding door and window really makes your cabin seem larger.  Our cabin steward Katherine from Philippines introduced herself and brought ice that is kept inside the small refrigerator. I went to boat drill (yes really) and then we did a walking tour of the ship.  A cocktail on Lido deck then we went up to the Crows Nest cocktail lounge located forward on deck ten and watched us sail out of Miami harbor.  It has an excellent view forward and we enjoyed some sail away cocktails.  We returned to the cabin to prepare for dinner then went to the MDR about 8:00 pm.  I ordered a Seafood Salad, Gazpacho Soup, and the Sirloin Steak.  The steak was about 3 inches thick and very well prepared.  It was a excellent meal on par with a premium restaurant.  We have a big day and night tomorrow in Cuba so we retired to the cabin to rest.  It was a great first day on the Fathom Adonia.

Monday June 13 / Havana, Cuba / Day 2
Sailing into Havana
Very smooth seas overnight and I slept very well although I was awake early.  I had breakfast in the Pacific Restaurant and since Monday is Eggs Benedict day  on the menu that is what I ordered with a side of bacon and potatoes.  I joined the rest of the group in the Conservatory and had some fruit as well.  Very soon we could see the city of Havana in the distance.  We watched the Adonia sail along the Malecon then into the natural harbor.  Very different views and the Hotel de Nationale was easily spotted from sea.  We were docked by 11:00 am.  Our group (B) was called at 11:30ish and we proceeded to the gangway.  We were not meeting our personal tour guides until 1:00 pm but we were anxious and went right away. Once we debarked we were presented to Cuba Immigration…you proceed one person at a time to see the officer.  They stamped our passport and Cuba Visa  and we then proceed into the main terminal.  It is actually a well organized procedure.  We exchanged money into CUC’s, looked at a few shops, accepted a few bottles of complementary Cuban bottled water, then exited the terminal into the city of Havana.  We had an hour before our cars arrived so we went directly across the terminal to San Francisco square. We took our first photos of Havana, got hustled by some Cuban cuties posing for photos, and gathered our bearings.  Our two cars arrived at 1:00 pm, our guide was a nice young lady named Laritza, a teacher of beginning English at Havana University, and the cars were a 1956 Chevy and a 1957 Ford Fairlane. I was in the Chevy with good air-conditioning on this hot day and we were off on our first day tour in Havana.  We drove along the Malecon to the modern area of Havana passing the U.S. embassy, the Casa Verde, the beautiful homes and the Embassies along the famous 5th Avenue of Havana. The Russian (former Soviet) Embassy was a huge building architecturally based on a Soviet rocket ship.  Our first stop was a park with large Banyon trees in the Embassy area then to Jaimenitas a local neighborhood area with unique artists along the Gaudi style.  Very unique and difficult to describe the art style…very different and beautiful. Fusterlandia (Jose Fuster) Art Gallery is amazing...click link for some photos. Next stop was an intercity forest park a popular location for photographs and the Afro-Cuban religion Santería that is replacing Catholicism on the island.  Next stop was the famous Hotel Nacional of Cuba opened in 1930 and the host to American elites, Movie-stars, and Mafioso.  We did the official hotel tour seeing the beautiful lobby, original casino, the huge cannons installed during the Spanish-American war of 1898, the bunkers built during the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis, and the beautiful History Bar and Hall of Fame with mementos and photos of famous guests.  We also enjoyed our first CUBAN mojitos, mailed postcards, and purchased our tickets for the Tropicana show later in the evening.  Our next stop was for great Cuban food at Canonazo located across the harbor near Morro Castle (fortress) and El Christo statue.  It was great and the mojitos were better than the hotel. I had pork with pineapple and onions and DW had fried plantains. Rice and black beans are served family style.   Fantastic place and exceptional food.  We then stopped at the El Christo statue with a view across the harbor to old town Havana and our cruise ship: The Adonia. A great photo opportunity.  We passed an outdoor display of Soviet weaponry and the wreckage of a U.S. U-2 plane shot down in 1962.  It was now time to return and we were back at the ship at 6:15 pm in time to rest and prepare for our big night out in Havana. After a cooling shower and some rest I did go to the Buffet for some Turkey from the carving staton and some excellent Truffle Mashed Potatoes.  A simple meal to hold me through the night.  We met our pre-arranged transport at 8:45 pm to go to the infamous Cuban Tropicana Show.  We did it in style with two convertibles: a 1955 Buick and a 1952 Chevy.  We arrived at the Trop about 9:15 for the 10:00 pm show. We enjoyed mojitos while listening to the classical pre-show entertainment.  The show began at 10:00 pm and was really an indescribable show with a huge cast of singers and dancers.  It was basically a continuous two hour show and very amazing with one set beginning as the previous set ended.  As the show ended we stayed a short while for the post-show entertainment and to allow the crowd to disperse.  We met our drivers just before midnight and started back to the Adonia.  We switched autos so I was in the Chevy heading back, the roadways were not busy after midnight so we had a most enjoyable ride through Havana in the two classic convertibles driving side by side most of the way…the two drivers began a competition with their various custom horns and who would out position the other along the Malecon roadway.  To be honest that was almost as enjoyable as the show itself.  Imagine two classic convertibles cruising through Havana…amazingly fun for all of us.  We made it back to the terminal, through security, onto the ship, and to the cabin by 12:30 am.  An amazingly fantastic day in Havana, Cuba!!


Tuesday June 14 / Havana, Cuba / Day 3
Cathedal Square - Havana Cuba
They began announcements for the ship tours in Havana early so that got us around somewhat early.  We were behind the rush so I had a nice casual breakfast in the Conservatory.  I got three eggs over easy at the omelet station and had a side of sausage and bacon and ended up eating with the kids who where already there.  A very nice breakfast. We headed back through Cuban security and immigration to meet our guide at 9:00 am. outside the terminal.  It will be another hot one in Havana today.  We started our walking tour through San Francisco square then on to Plaza Vieja a very impressive city square with a very European feel to it.  Then we walked to the Plaza Armas a beautiful park area with a lot of book vendors  and outdoor cafes.  We did stop at a cafe and I enjoyed an old fashion 7-Up.  One end had a street made of wooden blocks supposedly a tradition from the 18th century when a wealthy resident didn’t want to hear the carriages passing.  We went to Hotel Ambos Mundos the hotel where Hemingway lived while in Havana until he moved to Finca Vigia and also his favorite bar: La Bodeguita Del Medio, that was actually hopping at mid-day.  We then walked to the cobble stoned Cathedral Square were there were several early colonial buildings and La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana completed in 1777. Local artists working on watercolors added ambience to this UNESCO designated square.  From here we were joined by our autos for the day, we have one new driver and car, a 1951 Chevrolet…a very nice car and a very good year.  We drove to Revolution Square a sight familiar to many as it was location of Concerts, the Pope’s blessing, and Obama’s recent address to the Cuban people.  It’s really just a large parking/staging area but surrounded by military buildings with large frescos of Cuban heroes on the outside and a huge obelisk as a monument to the Revolution. You may recall that Obama had the Che figure in his background.  We drove by the Baseball Stadium and we stopped at a Cigar factory passing on the tour, but purchasing  a couple of cigars from the factory store for friends back home.  Next stop was the Hemingway House.  The drive there took us through common Havana neighborhoods and it was interesting to see everyday Cuban life. It is very different in a Socialist country.  Inca Vigia or the Hemingway House was very interesting and we enjoyed the visit.  As a fan of the movie Hemingway & Gellhorn it was featured in that film as well as others especially Cuban movie productions.  I was surprised to find Hemingway’s original boat, The Pilar, also there.  It was flying a US flag just presented by Mrs. Obama to the museum just a few weeks ago.  We returned to Havana through the country and coast road east of Havana.  We stopped for lunch at another Paladar with a view of the sea.  Not as good as yesterdays lunch but some liked it others not so much.  I had a Tropical Lobster.  We decided to split the group, with three continuing on the the Museum of the Revolution and a cemetery and three returning to the ship.  I thanked our guide Laritza and joined the group returning to the ship.  We left Tony our driver and his 1951 Chevy at the pier and boarded the Adonia along with the Cuban Band that will be entertaining us the next few days. The ship tours have not yet returned so the ship is basically empty.  My first stop after the cabin was the swimming pool on pool deck.  The water was very warm but most refreshing on this very hot day.  We rested until just about sun down and then enjoyed our sail away from Havana Harbor.  The locals are quite friendly as we sail past…cruise ships are still new to them.  All six of us went to the MDR for dinner just after 8:00 pm.  I ordered the Crab meat taco, and the Prime Rib with vegetables and potatoes.  For dessert I had the Cuban fruit flavored ice creme and the Key Lime flavored cheesecake.  All were very good.  After dinner DW did some shopping and after listening to the Cuban band retired to the cabin.  Another great day in beautiful historic and hot Havana Cuba.

Wednesday June 15 / Day at Sea / Day 4
Pool Deck on Adonia
I woke early and watched some news on TV…we didn’t get networks on MSC and we have been too busy since so it was good to catch up on the news of the world. The Adonia has very good news channels and also several complementary 1st run movie channels…I’m impressed.  I went to breakfast in the MDR and by chance sat with a lady with Fathom HQ.  She had set up the original tours in Cuba so it was good to visit with her.  I ordered eggs to order and breakfast was very good.  We used the complementary washers & dryers to wash whites this morning…white is the color to wear when touring in the heat of Cuba so we are set for our next two ports. We also attended a lecture on Cuban history this morning in the Cruzon lounge…it was a fair assessment.  I then had a very nice hour+ nap…best of our three week journey.  They were serving BBQ on the boat deck today for lunch, but I went for the Cuban food being served in the buffet area.  I saw the DW so was able to eat with her and the kids…not that many guests on board so easier to find your friends.  She went to a lecture on Cienfuegos our next port and I went to cabin to watch an afternoon movie. I went to the Grill for a snack trying a Cuban Sandwich…it was good. This evening we met for cocktails in The Glass House Wine Bar and that was nice.  Then to the Pacific Restaurant for dinner.  I ordered the French Onion Soup and the Veal entree.  For dessert I had the Bananas Foster and a Panna Cotta.  All very good.  They have Cuban music again tonight, but with an early day tomorrow I retired to the cabin.  A little bit of rocky seas tonight, perfect for sleeping.  It was a very nice Sea Day on the Adonia.

Thursday June 16 / Cienfuegos, Cuba / Day 5
Palacio Ferrer  -  Ceinfuego
We left the drapes open overnight as a wake up since we have an early debark since we are only here half a day.  I was awake about 7:00am and we were already docked so I had a quick breakfast at the buffet.  Our group was called about 7:30 and we were soon off in group 5 to begin our city tour of Cienfuegos.  Our first stop was the city market were we saw local fruit and vegetables for sale from  farmers.  Next stop was the central town square: Parque José Martí with colonial buildings from 1880’s - 1900’s including a college, church, theater, and more.  We spent some time in the square then went to the theater to hear a professional acapella choir from Havana.  They were very good.  They then answered questions and spent some P2P time with the guests.  We then drove down the long boulevard to the seawall and resort area with a brief stop for photos at a palace. Then we went to the main commercial street with modern businesses and shops and browsed several blocks to the Main square then down another street with tourist stalls to the Customs House on the water.  We then boarded the buses for the return to the ship arriving back about noon.  Cuban Customs here was easy both arriving and departing, they did have doctors that took your temperature (by remote gun) when we arrived.  I took a quick refreshing shower then ate lunch in the Pacific MDR…I had a Greek Salad, Stir-fry and Chocolate Rootbeer Cake with vanilla ice creme.  Then to the cabin to watch us sail away from Cienfuegos.  Along the narrow passage sailing out were many Cubans waving as we sailed past.  This is only the 3rd time an American passenger ship has called at this port.  Now time for a much needed nap.I did get a nice Cuban Sandwich from Leah at the Lido Grill as a snack and watched a great movie in the cabin. I love the first run movies they show…best TV options I have experienced on a cruise ship.  The internet is also the best I have experience for a cruise satellite system...granted there are fewer guests on board. We met for cocktails in Anderson’s Lounge then moved to Raffles outside the Pacific Dining Room.  Dinner was good, I ordered two appetizers and had the Cuban Chicken entree with ice creme for dessert.  I was tired after such a busy day and retired to the cabin after dinner.  It was a very good day in Ceinfuego and the Adonia today.

Friday June 17 / Santiago de Cuba, Cuba / Day 6
el Castillo De San Pedro De La Roca
A little bit of rocky seas overnight, I slept very well and was up early.  I got an early breakfast buffet and ate on deck watching the coast and mountains as we approached Santiago de Cuba.  Soon the pilot boarded and we entered the narrow channel of the harbor.  We zigzagged into the harbor and docked about 9:00am.  We soon went down to immigration where they kept our Cuban Visa and gave us a Transit Card.  We were off on Bus 4 for our day long tour of the Santiago de Cuba area.  It was a very hot day, but the bus was actually quite comfortably air conditioned.  First stop was at the el Castillo De San Pedro De La Roca the Spanish castle built in 1638 to protect the harbor entry. We then went to view the monuments at San Juan Hill the location of the famous charge by Teddy Roosevelt & his Roughriders during the Spanish American War of 1898.  We then drove by the Moncada Barracks attacked by Castro and his troops at the very beginning of the Revolution in 1953.  We also drove by Revolution Square with it’s monument and Military/Gov't Buildings…similar to Havana’s being modern and basically a multi-use site.  We then went to Grave and monument to Jose Marti, the Father of Cuba located at Saint Ifigenia cemetery.  Here we watched the Changing of the Guard and saw other monuments to Cuban heroes. Next stop was lunch, we stopped at a Palladar and were served another great lunch served family style.  We enjoyed Salad, Rice, Fried Bananas, Pork, Chicken, Fish and a Banana Flan dessert.  It was very good.  Next stop was a performance by an Afro-Cuban dance group in a small theater.  Final stop for the day was the main square: Parque Cespedes.  On the square is the oldest Cathedral in Cuba, a grand Hotel, Government Bulidings, the Cuban National Bank and more. Here we visited Casa Velasquez the oldest home in Cuba also on one corner of the square. Over five hundred years old it was beautiful with both restored and original features.  We spent most of our allotted time there, but made it to the rooftop of the Hotel Casa Granda to enjoy a nice breeze and mojitos.  A short walk to the bus and we were soon on our way to the port.  Here we exchanged our remaining Cuban CUC’s back into U.S. dollars, paid the $3CUC tax on a print that DW bought, went through security, and finally immigration where they took the transit card issued this morning.  Successfully finished with the government of Cuba and boarded the Adonia. We cooled off in the cabin and watched us sail away from Santiago de Cuba and through the channel into the Caribbean Sea.  We met our friends for aperitifs in The Glass House Wine Bar then went to the Pacific dining room for a great dinner  I ordered the Spinach Souffle with beet roots and the Lobster Thermidor.  DW ordered the Fried Goat Cheese with Apples and Beet Root puree (she said it was fantastic) and the Spinach Souffle.  For dessert I had a Banana Tart and ice creme.  After dinner we looked at the Shoppes onboard before retiring.  It was a great day in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

Saturday June 18 / Day at Sea /  Day 7
Adonia Library
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well.  Looks like a clear and sunny day for our final day at sea on the Adonia. I awoke early and updated this review then went to the Conservatory for breakfast.  I had a Western Omelet from the Omelet Station and some of the amazing fruit they have on board.  The food has been very good.  I took some excellent Blueberry Muffins back to the cabin for DW.  Since it’s Saturday most of the movie channels are now sports channels so they are showing the European Cup and several other live Soccer matches.  With the service provided to passengers on the Adonia it would be tempting to stay an additional week. They did make an tempting offer to guests to stay aboard for the next sailing to the Dominican Republic.  We will pass on that this time.  We did a walk about on deck and saw our friends as well as new friends, first time I had seen the Library…it is large and very well decorated.  It was busy too…lots of books and games available.  I had a nap and almost missed the BBQ on deck arriving at 2:00 pm.  BBQ was only so so though, nothing that a Texan would call bbq although I took some dessert from the buffet back to the cabin to enjoy.  We did some preliminary packing and planning for debarkation in the late afternoon.  We met our friends in the Glass House Wine Bar for cocktails, wine, and aperitifs this evening then to the Pacific MDR for our final dinner.  I ordered the Beet Root flavored Risotto (an entree ordered as a starter) and the Pork Tenderloin.  For dessert a Tiramisu and a Panna Cotta.  Very good.  We retired to the cabin and opened the drapes for an early wake up as I have packing yet to do in the morning.  A nice final day on the MV Adonia.

Sunday June 19 / Miami  /  Debarkation
I was up early and we were sailing by Miami Beach about dawn.  I finished packing and then went for our final breakfast in the MDR.  They were taking short cuts with pre-prepared eggs, etc, but still good to be served. The hot milk was good.  We debarked with all our bags without much problem at all and US Customs examined documents closely, but nothing special even though we were returning from Cuba.  We took a taxi to MIA ($27) went through security an were at the gate before 10:00 am.  Amazing.

Ship—MV Adonia
Maiden Voyage: 2001  I  Gross Tonnage: 30,277 tons
Passenger Capacity: 777  |  Crew: 380  I  Length: 592 ft.
Max Cruising Speed: unknown  I  Avg. Speed 18 knots
Installed power: Diesel (13,500 kW)  I  Propulsion: Two propellers

Cabin
We had cabin B31 a balcony located on deck 7 near the forward elevators on the starboard side.  It is a well decorated and spacious cabin.  The cabin has a nice small couch, push button safe, twin/queen beds, two night stands with lights, a very large decorative mirror, a small refrigerator, seat at dresser/desk with mirror, and TV.  The bathroom is quite small but functional with storage.

Crew / Guests
The Pacific MDR and Conservatory (buffet) waiters were very efficient as was our cabin steward Katherine. All the crew were very friendly.  Most guests were American and there were many first time cruisers, probably the majority. They were booking primarily for the opportunity to go to Cuba, not a cruise experience.

Dining / Food / Bars / Entertainment
The Adonia is a small ship and rare in these days of large cruise ships.  It is a beautiful ship and reminds me of some of the original cruise ships I sailed 30+ years ago.  There is no casino nor theater productions but adequate public rooms for entertainment or gatherings.  Alexander’s is a beautiful and large lounge area as is the Crows Nest.  They had Cuban entertainment, Cuban food, and Cuban lectures during the week.  I would describe the dinner service in the MDR as almost elegant and the food is outstanding even on the buffet.  Dress is much more casual than I anticipated.

Random Personal Observations of Cuba

Cubans are very Friendly people - Very HOT and humid weather - Obvious pollution in Santiago de Cuba and much of Havana - Only recent interest in preserving historical sites as the need for tourism income becomes important - Seeing the numerous vintage 1950's era American cars was even more amazing than anticipated - Not many consumer goods available so shopping is not really an activity... some Cuban art may be purchased in various locations -  Private ownership of restaurants (Paladars) has only been possible since 2010 so food or eating out is NOT a priority in Cuba...If you want great Cuban food you'll need to get that in Miami. 

Comments
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable cruises I have ever taken.  Havana was a great port and we had great private tours arranged.  The ship was fantastic in every regard.

Highlights of the Cruise
Havana Cuba
Our personal private Havana guide Laritza
Hotel Nationale
Tropicana Nightclub
Classic American Cars
Santiago de Cuba
Great Food & Service on the Adonia
Cienfuegos


NOTE:  I have never once mentioned in any of my 100+ reviews that I am a Travel Agent as that is not the purpose of my reviews....I just love to cruise.  I really only take experienced cruisers and friends as clients; however, if anyone is interested in sailing to Cuba I will gladly help with your booking and provide you with valuable personal information.  Contact: Ray@BosqueTravel.com


My Favorite Photos

Mojito Time at Hotel Nationale Havana




~~~Click on Photos to Enlarge~~~


Fusterlandia (Jose Fuster) Art Gallery




























Hemingway House - Inca Vigia - Havana



















Welcome to Havana!

School Girls in Cienfuegos






























Tropicana Nightclub Dancers





Artists depiction of the yacht Granma that took Fidel, Raul, Che, Camilo, and 78 others to Cuba from Mexico.