Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Our 1st Cruise ~ Need Advice!!!

Has anyone ever traveled the Carnival Ecstasy Fun Ship?CARNIVAL_ECSTASY

(photo credits)

Joe and I are SUPER excited about our upcoming, all-expenses-paid, cruise that is being provided by Joe’s workplace. (Can I getta “woot woot?!”) I’m so proud of my honey for being recognized for his hard work. XOXO

The last time that Joe and I went on a vacation by ourselves was our trip to Acapulco in 2006! Been a while (and this body has changed a LOT! tee hee)…could definitely use a vacay right about NOW—especially with all of this insane Texas ice and 20 degree highs.


In a short while, we will be traveling to Progresso, the Yucatan, and Cozumel and I would LOVE your input on what to do.


These are the excursions that we are considering…your thoughts are greatly appreciated:

~ Playa Mia Beach Break Deluxe in Cozumelplaya mia


~  OR ~ (I would LOVE to do the Isla Pasion by Twister when we are in Cozumel…but Joe is not a huge fan of this idea. isla pasion by twister

Has anyone been on this crazy awesome speed boat??? It takes you to a secluded island. Sounds amazing!)


~ and the Progresso Resort Beach Break in Progresso/the Yucatanprogresso


Any other advice for first timers??? Joe and I are a little apprehensive about being on a huge boat, in the middle of the ocean.


I also get motion sickness / car sickness VERY badly. Any tips? or medications that you recommend? I appreciate your input, blog peeps. Much Love,

suz signature


Anonymous said...

THE source for tons of good opinions on everything from the ship to ports to seasickness.

mmga_kc at yahoo

Mompetition said...

I have done the Carnival Ecstasy! For me the motion sickness was worse after I got off the ship (after the cruise). My advice would be, be prepared to spend extra money on things you are not expecting. For example, we went on a catamaran. Liquor? Free! Water, 5 bucks a (small) bottle. When you're stuck in the sun all day, although liquor sounded awesome, you are begging for the water. The Beach Breaks get pretty competitive as well. People all jump out to get the best chairs/seats. It's sort of funny.
My best advice is bring ginger tablets, lots of sunblock and don't party too hard, cruise hangovers aren't fun and infirmary bills are not covered under insurance. I spent most of the time gambling on the ship. But I hate just laying around on a beach so...

Kari said...

When we went on our first cruise I was nervous about motion sickness and the doctor gave me a patch to wear. It warded off any sickness and I was able to enjoy it all. We took a speed boat to a secluded island in Cosumel and it was a fun experience but I don't think it was the same boat. Enjoy your cruise you will want to do it again and again!

Regina said...

We have been on this ship and on the Carnival line twice! It is definitely a PARTY ship, be ready for a lot of CRAZY people partying. You will have a BLAST, but just be prepared for a lot of silly people cutting loose and having loud fun! :) It is not the same as a RC or Norwegian or Holland cruise, so it is not as luxurious. Our first trip with them was a free trip and we had previously cruised on RC several times and expected the same experience. :) It was NOT, but once we got used to that idea, it was a lot of fun! The second time was this past fall on an all girls trip, and it was wonderful!! For the motion sickness, Dramamine and the pressure point bracelets seem to work best. The lower you go on the ship (for your cabin) the better it is as you are closer to the water and feel less of the sway of the boat. No worries, ya'll will have a blast! Those are beautiful ports of call and it is time away with your hubby, just you two, it will be fabulous! Cruises are the easiest vacation you will ever take!!!!I hope that helps!

Casey said...

I did this exact cruise last March. Get ready for a fun time! First of all, know that you can bring a bottle of wine each in your carry on luggage when you board the ship. They charge you a corkage fee if you take it to the restaurant, but still better than ordering wine. Though maybe Joe's work pays for this part too?

We did the beach break excursion in Progresso, but we didn't book through the ship. Once you walk off the boat, you'll be in this Mexican market and there is one tour group/bus that leaves from there to all sorts of different places. They go to the same "beach resort" for a longer amount of time and you pay at that time to go. Either way, if you go through Carnival or not, you'll go to the same resort. It's a great day and you get to be mainly by the pool, or you can walk out to the beach. It is a bit of a ride to get there, but will be a bit of a ride to do anything in progresso. Progreso has been basically created by Carnival, and you will recognize this immediately on the ride to the beach resort. We had a great time though!

Also, in Cozumel, I researched all sorts of beach breaks. The best most highly recommended hands down was Nachi Cocom. Apparently the food and drinks are excellent. It was booked the day we went, so we reserved a different one. Mr. Sancho's. It was also awesome! We took a short cab there. Don't take the price they offer you for the cab, barter it down! There is so much to do in Cozumel you have lots of choices. We did see the speed boat once we got back on the ship, we went to the back and sat on the deck and could see it zipping around! The online bulletin board "Cruise critic" is a great place to read reviews of excursions and all things cruise! Have fun!

jen said...

How fun!! My hubby and I have been on a couple of cruises. I would recommend the patch you wear behind the ear. I get seasick as well and feel it works better than any seasick pill. There is always something to do on cruise ships all hours of the day. You guys will have a great time!

tigernurse said...

You are going to have a great time! My hubby and I went on our first curise in Nov of '09...right through Huricane Ida:) I too get car sick VERY easily...took less/non drowsy dramamine the moment I stepped on the ship and every night there after. I was golden! My hubby who does not get sea sick was GREEN the 1st morning at breakfast as we were headed through the tail end of the huricane. 12 ft seas and you could not walk in a straight line! I felt GREAT and even worked out:) Take it at night so if it has drowsy effects you will be sleeping! I will tell you I was the most sea sick once we got back! For about 4-5 days I was so dizzy and ended up having to keep taking the dramamine then too. For the first time in my life driving a car helped! I guess I was so used to moving:)

Make sure you take your swimsuit in a carry on bag as it takes your luggage a bit to get to you. Also take a big plastic cup with you (think what you get at football games). They provide tons of water for you on the decks near the pools but the cups are TINY. It waws nice to have my own big cup by my chair to sip on in the sun.

You may also want to take earplugs or a sound can get a bit noisy at night depending on how near your room is near the engines/noisy neighbors:)

Fun coverups/dresses to wear over your swimsuites when you get off the ship. Loved just throwing a dress over my swimsuit to head out for the day!

Have fun!

Brittany said...

we went on a carnival holiday for our honeymoon. i have a lot of trouble with motion sickness. i didn't have a problem except a little during dinner, the boat seemed to rock more at night and we had a later eating time. our carnival ship didn't include drinks so we took a case of bottled water & a few other drinks so we didn't have to buy every drink we wanted especially just in the room. there is free room service so we got pb&j's and chocolate covered strawberries everyday, lol.
we enjoyed our later eating time. we did one excursion to excaret (sp?) wildlife park. it was neat. another day we just got off the boat and did a little shopping (bought vanilla for cheap!) then we headed back to the empty boat and played in the pool and on the empty waterslide! the shows are fun and we played bingo everyday (like we are 70 years old). i slept incredible because the room is so dark, the bed linens are incredible, & the boat moving=incredible! hope yall have fun!

lesliemarie said...

I get really motion sick too...I have used both Scopolamine patches (sp?) and Meclizine (generic Antivert)...on different occasions, not together! You'll need a prescription for both. BUT, I did not get motion sickness at all on our cruises! Schedule that MD appt! :)

Cyndi said...

I've cruised with Carnival as well. It was a great experience for me. I agree about extra money. Some things they don't tell you about, and some things you weren't planning for happen. We didn't do an excurion through the cruise line. We rented a jeep for the day and drove around and found a beach that wasn't too crowded. It was nice because we played in the water and shopped at some local places.
I suggest you take some Dramamineor Airborne the day before the cruise as well as they day you leave. You may want to take some everyday. You can also get a prescription from a DR for Zofran or Phenergan.
Hope you have a great time!

Suzanne said...

holy COW! you guys have already helped SO much!!! thanks for the advice!!!!

Tara said...

I went on my first cruise in 2009 when I was pregnant with my son. I also get really bad motion/car sickness so I was really nervous. I have to say that I did NOT feel the boat moving AT ALL. The only time I got queasy was when we did an expedition on a small glass bottom boat and the water was choppy in an area.

One thing we figured out quickly was that water was super expensive on the boat. Our meals were all free though and you could get water in the casual/buffet restaurants. For health reasons you aren't allowed to fill a water bottle at the water fountain or soda machine.... BUT you can fill a water glass and then take it to the table and use it to refill your water bottle ;) Beats paying $4 per bottle for drinking water!

Bring a purse or tote that you can wear diagonally across you for when you go off the boat. Keep just a few dollars in your pocket and the rest in your purse. Also a good tote bag for if you spend the day at a private beach or wahtever. And a headband because if you want to stand on the deck of the ship the wind can get crazy!

Miranda said...

We have been to all 3 places. In Cozumel the Playa Mia Beach Break Deluxe was a ton of fun. Progresso is defiantly not a pretty place. You will have to take a bus into town from the ship as it docks miles away. I would make sure you have something planned while you are there. If not al least walk down to the beach from where the bus drops you off. Which is what we did and it was pretty fun. ONLY take excursions that are offered though your cruise line and not something that is offered by individual tours once you get off (not safe). Also I too get motion sickness, however on the ship (after 5 curises) it has NEVER bothered me. But the first couple I wore the patch behind my ear and it worked great. My mom has also wore it and she did good with it as well. And never skip dinner in the dining room. It is always YUMMY!!!

Jess said...

I went on my first cruise (on Carnival) in August and loved it! You're going to have an awesome time!!!

For a couple tips, you can check out my trip recap (specifically the one about Cozumel)...........

My stepdad got an ear patch when he went on his cruise and had no problem (he gets HORRIBLE motion sickness). Maybe you could ask your Dr??

Beyond that......

Eat lots and lots of the free 24 hr a day ice cream!!

Melting Chocolate Cake - BEST. DESSERT. EVER.

Tara said...

Yes I second taking important stuff like a swim suit and lotion in your carry on! And a dress for dinner the first night. One of the girls I was traveling with didn't get her suitcase until like 9 pm for some reason.

Sarah said...

I went to Playa Mia in Cozumel about 4 years back. It was ton's of fun. We snorkled, had margaritas, and just lounged on the beach. I highly recommend that excursion!

Andy & Lindsey said...

Research Chankanaab in Cozumel. We were just there last week and it was great. 1000's of awesome fish to see snorkling right off the shore. They also have nice beach lounge chairs, clean restrooms, lots of eating options, dolphins, manatees, sea lions,
lush tropical gardens, etc. If I was going to go one place in Cozumel, this would be it!

Anonymous said...

You will have a blast!! Such beautiful areas you're going to! I just have to warn you about using the scopalamine patch ater a horrible and i mean horrible side effect fro it. It is now my mission to warn against it. Almost died from it!! Dramamine or meclizine are a MUCH better choice! Def try those wristbands too... helped me. Good luck and ENJOY!! :)

Christine said...

Take Ginger. You can get the pill version at GNC (maybe Whole Foods). I get bad motion sickness so I lived on Ginger and dramamine (sp?).

I rocked for a week after the cruise. So keep the ginger going for a while!

Have fun!

Kayla said...

I did a dolphin swim in Cozumel and it was amazing!

Kelli said...

I would say to get one of the doc's at work to write you for some Scopalamine patches. I also get very seasick, and use these anytime I am near water :) They last for 3 days, and I never feel a twinge of seasickness. They are a little pricey, but SO worth it to not be puking your entire trip. Have a great trip!

Kristin said...

The only time I ever felt yuck was if I looked out our little window in our room and saw the water rushing by. We just kept the curtains drawn so it wouldn't bother me. Being outside or in the restaurant didn't bother me because it was a wide space and the water didn't seem to be "rushing" as much, it was just through that small window that was blah! You're going to have a blast! I've heard Progresso isn't all that nice but I'm sure it will still be super relaxing! The excursions you picked look great! Parasailing is fun and we did one where you could ride 4 wheelers to a beach which was beautiful and a little more adventurous than riding a bus there! Have a great time!!

Allyson said...

Not sure if you are Amazing Race people, but if you are- Carnival has an excursion in Cozumel that is like the Amazing Race. It has you running/swimming all around and following clues. My coworker and his family did it and said it was awesome.

My Muñoz Family said...

We went on a different cruise line but still did the Playa Mia Beach Break Deluxe in Cozumel excursion and LOVED it! They had delicious lunch and margaritas/beer there. It was nice and relaxing. Only downside was it was a little crowded. It was a lot of fun though!

Becky said...

Hey Suz....I too have cruised on this ship! I is GREAT and you will have a BLAST!!! My hubby and I have been on ten Carnival Cruises and not once been disappointed! Yes, they are the "fun" ships, so get ready! Some of the other cruise lines cater to "older" peeps (that's funny for me to say that since I am!!! Anywho, here's what I suggest. First and foremost...DO NOT USE PATCHES!!! Been there, done that....they made me dizzy and my eyes stayed dialated, henceforth, making my eyes very sensitive. I suggest using Meclizine or the generic. I take a half one in the morning after breakfast, followed with coffee or some type of caffeine, to keep you from getting sleepy.

Also, you can bring wine onboard, and there will be a corkage fee, but much cheaper than buying wine on board. Now about the beer...we always cruise with a large group of friends that really like their beer and trust me it is expensive to purchase it onboard. So....we always take a gym bag, buy cans, like an eighteen pack which comes in the cardboard carton. Leave the beer in the carton, set it in the gym bag and wrap a beach towel around the beer to pad it. Now, they frown upon carrying beer onboard, but.....find you a skycab, give him a nice tip and tell him it's important that this bag make in onboard and *wink*. It works everytime and we have never lost or had any damage to any of the cans! LOL

You never know when your luggage will arrive at your room, so it is a good idea to have a carry on with a few things in it. The first night at dinner is casual and alot of people come to dinner dressed in whatever they were onboard that day.

We have never purchased a "tour" that the cruiselines offer. It gets really expensive. Just stay in your group and do your own thing.

Hope this has helped! Get ready to have the best vacation ever!!!

alison said...

We were in Cozumel for 7 nights in November (and omg I want to move there like yesterday). It was fantastic, you will love it. I personally would either do snorkling of some sort again (the water is SO clear and calm since you're on the west side of the island - no crazy carribean waves) - OR the other thing we did that I loved was rent scooters and a jeep (I'm pregnant, I opted for the jeep) and drove the loop around the island. There's only one road, and it's a tiny island, it took like 2 hours. We stopped on the east side of the island at one of the beach bars. It was so totally breathtaking, would go back asap!

Anonymous said...

The little patches that go behind your ear are amazing, bring any kind of motion sickness things with you on the last cruise they had nothing for motion sickness in the gift shop. That excursion in cozumel is the best. I would say do an excursion for each port because there is not much other than shopping. Also book them in advance because they will sell out.

Danielle said...

I sailed on this EXACT ship this time last year. It was a great time. I would HIGHLY suggest asking your PCP for the motion sickness patch (to wear behind your ear). It was a life saver for me. We only had one night that was rough. It's best when its rocking to go on the top deck in the open air. We didn;t do any of the excursions while on the islands but did some shopping, sight seeing, and relaxing. You will have a fabulous time. At night there is a guy (Jay, asian decent) that hosts the karaoke around 10:30 each night. He is HILARIOUS!! It's a lot of fun to go to and he's VERY entertaining. Be ready to eat because that's all you do. There is food 24/7 and it's great.

Happy Sailing!!

Stephanie said...

I used the patch behind my ear and didnt have any problems!!
You are going to have the time of your life!! Cruises are so much fun!!

Louise said...

My hubby and I went on the Isla Passion ship and private island. WE LOVED IT!!! Neither of us are roller coaster riders but the boat was so much fun!!! No one got sick and the island that we went to was awesome!!! It was the island that the corona commercials are know, there's no talking, just sitting in front of the water...that commercial. It is really that peaceful there!!! They have hammocks and lounge chairs and big cabanas and they have little shops there too and it's just the people that come over on the speed boat. I would DEFINITELY recommend it!!! Enjoy!!!

Beth said...

Everyone already beat me to it! Scopolamine patches are the way to go! It's an anticholinergic so it dries up secretions and helps a lot. I would take Dramamine and/or ginger also just in case b/c sometimes the patches take a while to take effect. Have fun!

Regina said...

Forgot to add.....Cozymel has the most BEAUTIFUL water!!!!!!!!!! Be sure to go snorkeling while you are WILL NOT be disappointed!!!

Heidi said...

We went on a Carnival cruise last year and had a great time! I read a lot of posts on before we left. You can also find your exact cruise under "roll call" and potentially meet up with people on the ship.

We took Bonine to ward of sea sickness and didn't have any problems. Like Dramamine, but non-drowsy. Like someone else already stated, our sea sickness was the worsed after we got off the ship. It took me about 3 days to get my "land legs" back, and my poor hubby almost 7 days! I almost lost my breakfast while sitting at my desk the first day back at work!

We had to fly to where our ship was leaving, but if you can bring bottled water or soda, that will definitely help. We purchased one unlimited soda pass, which goes on your card. If we both wanted soda, my husband would get one then we'd walk to a different spot and he's get one for me. A little extra work, but saved money! We picked up some bottles of soda at our first port, so that's an option too!

We did both bring a bottle of wine and paid for the corkage.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I would take Dramamine (the non-drowsy kind!) and also try pressure-point wristbands. In combination, they've worked for me, and I even get motion sickness on a simple swingset!

Tami said...

you must do playa mia at cozumel! our family just did it in december with norwegian cruise lines and it was AMAZING!!! also, do as many excursions as you can. i always heard "there is so much to do, you can't get bored on the ship!" we got bored. get off the ship and so stuff. sometimes you can do stuff at the port of call without paying for an excursion, but that was hard for us to figure out before we actually got off the ship. have so much fun! you'll love it!!

Carol said...

I'm so classy that I took BOX wine in my suitcase! But, then I didn't need a wine bottle opener. Also, I took and gave my friends that came along, Tervis glasses with lids which we enjoyed during the cruise. If you drink soda, I think you can buy a ticket for soft drinks for the whole cruise for one price.

My favorite things about cruises are the nighttime dinner, served very nicely, and the night show. In my opinion, the show is the high point of the cruise each night--good dancers and good music.

You will relax and have fun. Cut your cell phone off or at least your data or you will have a horrible surprise as to what you will owe!

Have fun,

Rachel said...

We loovveee to cruise. You all will have a blast.

As for activities, when we cruise and can't decide on an excursion we try to determine what is something we can't do when we are home or traveling in the US. For you it may be the private island or the resort. Either way, both sound like a blast :-)

Take a variety of motion sickness medications with you. You never know what will work best. I was fine when I could see the horizon line and in our cabin I never felt movement. Never took any motion sickness meds the whole time, which was pretty surprising for me.

Congrats on your trip. You will have a blast!

AmazingGreis said...

I've never been on the Ecstasy, but I have been on the Conquest (7 days). Isla Pasion, from what I've heard, is amazing. Some friends did it a few years ago.

My advice, have motion sickness pills ready (or the patch)just in case. I had no issues with the boat or motion at all. I only felt the boat swaying during the docking and un-docking at port portion.

I highly recommend the sit down dinners at night. It's a great time to sit, relax and enjoy a meal. If there is more than one thing on the dinner menu that you want to try ask and your waiter will bring you whatever you want. DO NOT skip the chocolate melt dessert, it is the BEST dessert ever available every night at dinner. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Nicole said...

My hubby and I have done this exact cruise! We didn't do anything exciting in Yucatan just hit the beach, but in Cozumel which was super gorgeous we went to Chankanaab. It's a private beach with service on the beach...they have dolphins, snorkeling, and pretty gardens to walk through. It's nice because it's private and there aren't people trying to get you to buy something every five seconds.

Ok, Carnival must eat the choc melting cake...we dream about it still. My hubby (not a big guy but very tall) always orders at least two meals at dinner so he can try two different things and we always ordered tons of dessert so we could try them! My favorite part of cruising is that you walk and swim so much there's no need to count calories!

Have fun the Caribbean is beautiful.

Oh one more thing...make sure you take walks at night and listen to the's super romantic!

Tara Y said...

I love to cruise. I have been on number of them, but I don't get motion sick. I love to look out at the ocean and only see water.

I would do the excursions, since this is your first time. I only do them the first time and then we do things on our own, but only once we know the area we are in. The cruise line has looked and knows the best ideas to do on each stop. I have been to Play Mia, it was good. The only thing was I didn't like the food as much on the buffet, but I am a food snob.

You must eat dinner in the dining hall. It is a wonderful experience. Yes, Carnival is a party ship, but it is fun to people watch.

You will need tip money for your cabin maid, server, and bell person at the end of your trip.
I hope that you will enjoy the trip!!

Heather said...

I have no hints since I have never been on a cruise, but I am very glad you posted this. My husband & I will be going on the very same cruise later this year for our anniversary, so I am looking forward to reading everyone's suggestions.

I really enjoy reading your blog!

growingupandtryingtogetitright said...

Only been on one cruise and I think I will stick with flying somewhere and staying instead. It was nice but due to the weather our day trip into Grand Cayman was cut short. I used one of those anti nausea dot things behind the ear. Kept sea sickness at bay!

Amanda said...

We just went on our first cruise back in September. Take a water bottle with you!!! That was my saving grace. The cups they give you are TINY!! So filling my bottle w/ water in the main dining area a few times a day was worth it.

Get a prescription for those ear patch things (can't remember the name) and put on one before you get on the boat or as soon as you get on there. I don't get motion sickness but we played it safe. We never felt the boat move either until we got in the middle of a thunderstorm. If that happens to you, stay in your room. We were on the dining deck and it was not fun b/c you couldn't walk w/out falling over.

Don't book your excursions through Carnival--they rip you off. Get off the boat in your ports and walk around until you find a tour guide w/ the excursion you want. We did that and even negotiated the price and saved over half of what Carnival would charge us.

Make sure your room has a window--that's a huge must in my opinion!

I can't think of anything else right now. HAVE FUN!!!!! Enjoy the time with your hubby. You both deserve it!

Sara Coats said...

My husband and I are going on this cruise in April with my sister and her boyfriend. And they actually took this same cruise in November. The fact that they are willing to take the same cruise twice in 6 months says something! They booked the Salsa and Salsa excursion (salsa making and salsa dancing) through Carnival in Progresso and had a great time.

I always make it a point to have dinner in the main dining room each night... the food is AMAZING! And I like the later seating so that you don't have to cut your day short to get ready for dinner. Just don't eat too much and get sleepy like I usually do... my husband hates that!

Each passenger can carry on a 12 pack of coke and a bottle of wine. We plan to open up the coke and replace all but the two cans that you can see with beer. Classy, I know!

Anonymous said...

Motion-sickness: SeaBands

Excursions: we will never pay for a "beach break" excursions again...did that once and it ended up being overcast/windy that day and we wished we had not spent the money on it! If the weather is nice it is pretty easy to get to beautiful beaches @ most ports.

twinsx3 said...

I was on this exact boat in September! DH and I did the Isla Pasion tour and loved it! The speed boat is awesome and goes fast, but you are so strapped in that you don't budge you just get soaked! The island is very relaxing and beautiful. A Corona commercial was made on the island. You can lounge in a cabana, jump on the water trampoline, shop in the stores. It is quiet and peaceful :) Enjoy your time together!

Anonymous said...

Wow sounds like fun! Ive has a problem with motion sickness too. But what works best for me is Gravol. Also try SeaBands. They most likely sell them there on the cruise, but just in case, I suggest getting them before.

Callie & Gerod said...

My hubby and I went on a cruise with carnival for our honeymoon, and again just a few months ago for our 5 year anniversary.
Let me just say they keep you busy while your out on the water. My husband and I arent ones to just sit around and do nothing so we went to almost every event that they offered. They have amazing shows, comedy clubs, and of course the food.
Believe me you will LOVE it! :) Wish we were going again already. We are thinking about doing a cruise every 2 years or so! They are the best way to go traveling because they do all the work, you have all the fun, and you get to see more than one location the entire week.
Enjoy... I'm a tad bit jealous!!
Check out our trip pics here if you want to.

Barbara Manatee said...

I have no advice but must say I'm so jealous!! sounds like an amazing trip ahead!! lucky you! (you deserve it!)

Vancouver Elerick's said...

I didn't read all the previous comments, so this may be a repeat. Seabands work pretty well and they can be purchased at any drugstore and contain no medication. It's all about pressure points. I also used behind the ear patch on my cruise. Worked great. It's aa 3 day patch. What they didn't tell me was that if you wear it for more than 3 days, i.e. put another patch on for another 3 days, it MAY affect your vision. My vision was affected and I thought I was going blind. It totally freaked me out. But it works really well for the first 3 days and then the seabands may be enough for you.

Have fun!


Kristina said...

We did a Carnival for our honeymoon (almost 9 years ago, dang) and we've done a royal Carib. We liked Carnival better.
Tips for the ship:
-book the late dinner. After being off the ship all day you'll want time to get ready. If you get hungry, you can always order room service for a snack.
-if you want to try 2 dinner...order both!! We laughed at someone doing this on our first cruise, but he taught us well. On our 2nd, we each ordered 2 apps and 2 dinners. You get to try it ALL but don't have to eat all of either!!!

Tips in Cozamel:
-the shopping is overrated...spend your time on the beach. The shopping is only worth it if you want gems or expensive rugs and things like that
-look up Chankanaab National Park. We took a cab there, paid for entrance, and snorkeled for WAY cheaper than an excursion. It has everything you Ned for the day and AMAZING snorkeling!!!! Our 2nd cruise was in 06 and they were still rebuilding from a storm, so they suggested playa Mia, but Chankanaab was SO SO much better!!! Look into it!
Have so much fun!

Kristina said...

Ok don't need as much as you think. Swimsuits & cover ups/dreese by day and something nice for dinner.

You won't get your luggage until later the first night, so pack a carry on so you can change and start the vacay as soon as you get on the boat. Put a swimsuit in this carrryon.
You shouldn't feel much movement on the boat but the wrist bracelets worked for some I k ow. The ship medics will havesome meds available, too.

Mommy & Daddy said...

I LOVE TO CRUISE, we have been on 6of them and only with Carnival!!

We have done this exact cruise twice. I would research Chankanaab in Cozumel this place is AWESOME!! As for Playa Del Carmen the beach break is great too! Great choices!

You are allowed to bring one 12 pack of cokes or bottled water per peron in your cabin, as well as bottled wine or champange. I recommend bringing your own water, the coke card I think is a waste of money, but if you drink Lots of soda then it might be worth the money.

Bring your swimsuit and a change of clothes on with you, I have always gotten my bags fast, but you never know if may be evening before you get them. Also, know that ALL Food in dinning room, buffett, and room service are free, and is all you can eat!! (I have met so many people that had no clue and only order one of something or just didnt order cause they did not know)

Lastly, HAVE FUN, Let loose! Drink a bahama mama for me;-}

Sure wish we could meet up, before you guys sailing. We live in The Woodlands, 30 miles north of Houston, if you get a second, you should check out The Waterway and Market Street area in The Woodlands.

P.S. We have 3 cruises booked this year, our kiddos LOVE them and they are only 5.

Patti said...

We have cruised with Carnival many times & cruising is our favorite vacation. We love the service, entertainment & the food! (On the Ecstacy be sure to try out the deli in the rear of the buffet for great sandwiches/paninis & the 24 hour pizzaeria - great!) They will leave a "Caper Paper" under your door each night with activites for the next day...don't get overwhelmed. There is no way you can do everything...just pick out what looks like fun to you. Don't miss a chance to have some pampering in the spa. Get a manicure, have your hair done, get a facial or deserve it! Out of the dozen or so cruises we have been on there has only been one where the seas were rocky enough to make us a little queasy. Have used the patch on my first cruise but didn't really need it. I always take dramamine or bonine & the wristbands but usually don't need them. Hope you have a great time!

Southern Queen of the Crazies said...

Sea bands for the wrists!

Brittney said...

my husband and I just did a cruise this summer... our first! :) IT was so fun... we actually met up with the Ecstasy on our last stop (Cozumel) I think your tours look awesome! We loved it! :) We were on the Carnival Conquest.

As far as the sea-sickness... I didn't get sick! I did bring some patches that you put behind your ear. You can get these prescribed from your doctor.


Melissa Jackson said...

You'll have so much fun! I went on my first cruise a couple years ago and was really worried about getting motion-sick/seasick. Despite being surrounded by three hurricanes (we didn't go at the best time), I was fine. I would suggest taking non-drowsy Dramamine with you. It can still make you tired, but at least you have it if you start to feel sick. On a side note, my dad also gets very motion-sick, and he has used the patches before. He had no problems on the cruise but did get a little sick adjusting back to land when they returned. I hope you guys have a blast!

Alissa said...

No advice here other than, have a WONDERFUL time!! Enjoy your much deserved time together!!

Emily said...

I actaully went on this cruise in June 2008 and actually did both of those excursions. The Beach Break one was much better. There was more stuff to do and it was a more "lively" group of people. My main advise sounds silly but lather up with sunscreen. The sun is much stronger when you are out at sea and you spend the first day at sea so all we did was lay out. I got super burned and it was hard to enjoy the rest of the trip, especially when relaxing at the resorts. Also, I would recommend doing one relaxing excursion and one active excursion. We did the relaxing at resorts both days and we got a little bored the second day. Also when they say a 40 min. bus ride, it's more like and hour to hour 15, just be prepared for that.

Aiketa said...

Never been on a cruise, so not advice from me.
Just want to tell that I hope you enjoy your vacation a lot! You absolutely deserve it!

Anonymous said...

I would highly suggest the Progreso Beach Resort. It is beautiful. When I lived in Merida, Yucatan I went there more than once.

Michelle said...

I've done the Playa Mia Beach Break----TOTALLY worth the money! ALso...I wouldn't book an excursion unless it was through Carnival---because Carnival contracts with all the people offering the excursions through them. That means that if something happens and a car breaks down, the people in charge of those excursions phone Carnival and let them know to hold the ship until you return. If you are delayed but not with an excursion group, you'll just miss the boat. Literally. HA!

Scopalomine patches are wonderful. THese boats are typically so big and heavy that not much rocking goes on, but sometimes it helps to have meds. ALSO---THIS IS A BIG ONE!!!! Last time, my husband ate the Antipasto appetizer and got food poisoning from it...I wouldn't eat that. LOL. And, my PCP told me that he would prescribe Cipro for the whole familiy when we go again b/c Cipro is a broad-spectrum Antibx that will destroy most food pathogens that you would encounter in the Carribean.

So, I really hope you see this comment---you've gotten so many already! Have fun! You will LOVE IT! And, you'll get home and start planning one for the whole fam!

~Shelly~ said...

Playa Mia was so fun when we went (used to be Playa Del Sol).. buuut seemed to be geared towards kiddos our age (We were 17-18 at the time). But there was still alot of water things to do like an inflatable rock climbing wall and a big trampoline in the ocean.. but still we had the best bang for our buck there with all that was included! Just a bit of a drive is all. HAVE FUN!

Kylee said...

We went on a cruise last April - and I swear by the seabands.

Keri said...

We went on the Fantasy out of NOLA a few years ago and had a blast! This was my first cruise and I loved it! I totally agree about bringing the bottle(s) of wine. We only drank two glasses one night, so our waiter put it up for us and brought it back out the next night.
We also took an entire case of water with us. We just stashed it throughout our luggage. We are such big water drinkers that it was nice to have a bottle of water (for free) whenever you wanted it.
Have fun!!

Caroline said...

Mythbusters did a show on best seasick cures....ginger pills were the hands-down winner.

Zofran works too (I'm sure you know that, as a nurse.)

Molly said...

Oh how I wish I were going, we love cruises!
You've probably already booked your room, but it is best to get a room mid-ship and as high up as possible, that is where you will feel the least movement.
As far as motion sickness, I don't recommend the patches because they make you drowsy. I used the wristbands. This is actually what the crew on cruise ships usually use. Also drink ginger ale to help if you feel queasy.
Hope you have a wonderful time!!

AlvinandGaby said...

Dramamine will be your best friend!!! We were also able to get phenergan OTC from their pharmacy :) Helped a lot!

We went on this same exact ship with the same ports of call! Loved every minute of it! You're going to want all your vacations to be cruises because all you could ever want is right there. Enjoy and have fun.
Btw, small world...the Bullards are our best friends and we had no idea you all knew each other. Six degrees I tell ya

Anonymous said...

get the patch. I have super bad motion sickness and we had rough water and I was fine. my husband however just took pills and didn't leave enough time for them to build up in his system = very sick. So take pills/put on patch at least 4 hours before boarding ship.
also - take reusable water bottles. We took 2 eco-friendly ones and filled them with ice and a little water from the ship at breakfast and had COLD water all day long for free. Nice when you are outside a lot.

Anonymous said...

I dont know the name, but after my last foot surgery a nurse gave me a little bandaid like patch to put behind my ear. It had nausea meds in it and I was able to leave it on for up to three days. They said a lot of people use them on cruises and it worked like a charm for me with my post op nausea. good luck

Dana said...

Isla Pasion is an uncrowded, quiet beach, or was when we went. When we went on this excursion they did not have the speedboat. Instead it was just a very slow boat!! The guides are very entertaining and we enjoyed that excursion immensely. If you want relaxing and quiet, that's your excursion. If you'd rather have the crowds and busy beach, Playa Mia is the excursion for you.

The Ecstasy ship was our 1st cruise as well. I am very sensitive to motion sickness, but had zero problems on that ship. It may have been because of the time of year we went or the weather conditions. We did stay in the center of the ship on the Riviera level, as recommended by the Carnival booking agent.

Hope ya'll have a blast!

Heidi said...

I thought of something else...bring your own refillable water bottle. You can get unlimited juice and lemonade where they serve dinner. I used mine a lot and it was always nice to have something to drink without having to go to the food area to get it!

D said...

There is a sea sickness patch that works GREAT. However, I was one of the unlucky ones who had an allergic reaction to it -- horribly blurry vision! I used dramamine after removing the patch. It worked just fine!


Anonymous said...

As far as communicating back home. I think by email is the cheapest way. I have never had a cell phone work onboard (unless things have changed) of course the cruiseline usually gives you information that u can give family so they can reach u in case of emergency. We made a huge mistake by using a pay phone in Mexico, it was expensive. Also if u plan on using a debit card or credit card you have to notify bank. Other wise they will freeze your account thinking a suspicious purchase has been made on ur card.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read all the comments so perhaps someone has mentioned it already - I have used a BioBand for motion sickness for the last few years and it's worked quite well combined with some mild over the counter stuff like Avioplant(I live in the Czech Republic, not sure you can buy it in the US but it's basically powdered ginger root in capsules.) You can find all about BioBands on the net.
Enjoy the cruise!

Jill said...

Go to for sure. The amount of information on there is amazing. The stuff we learned on there made all the difference for our first cruise. Enjoy your cruise!!

Mrs Curtis said...

Hi Suzi,

I just returned from my 1st cruise to Key West and Cozumel.

I did the Playa Mia Beach Break Deluxe. Its free alcohol and food all day. The beach is "OK". There is only about 5' of sand until you start walking on rocks. The rocks go out quite a distance until you hit sand again. However, there are hammocks, kayaks, lots of different toys to play on. Nice beach chairs, etc.

I have the brochure of the place, I could scan and send to you for more info if needed. :-)

Mindy said...

That is the exact cruise that I took 2 years ago for my honeymoon! For our "excursions" we just did the beach ones where you get snorkling gear, etc. I know the one you mention above is what we did during our stop in Progresso, and thought it was gorgeous beach!

It was our first cruise as well and here are 2 things I would do differently:
1- I was afraid of getting motion sickness, so I took Dramamine. I had never taken it before and boy did it knock me out for the first couple of days on our cruise! Be careful if you use that stuff!

2- We were told that you could take your own bottled water, etc on the ship with you. So we went on board lugging a nice 28 bottle pack of Ozarka. That would have been a fabulous idea had we had a refrigerator! So don't waste your time trying to save money that way!

The cruise was great and the activities were fun. I think there was a comedy night and various things like that, which we attended and really enjoyed!

Have fun and enjoy your vaca!

Amy Harris said...

Hi, I just quickly glanced at the comments, so I don't know if anyone has mentioned this or not for seasickness. My brother in-law discovered the patch for seasickness in pill form. It's call Scopace. You have to get a prescription for it, but it is wonderful. I've tried it, the sickness goes away immediately. Most of the rest of the family has tried it too. I also recommended it to the librarian I was working with when she went on a cruise and she loved it. I think she just called her doctor and he prescribed it. My doctor did the same thing. I hope you consider it. My husband didn't think his first pill worked and so he took another (he's 6'3") and he said that he got a dry mouth. I would just take one and see what happens. They really are great.

Megan said...

OK I haven't read all the comments above mine, so this could be redundant, if so I apologize. We went on this same cruise last year and it was a blast! I get really bad motion sickness and took Bonine. It worked wonders and did not make me drowsey. As far as the Progresso Beach Break I would say to skip it. I have been twice and it is not worth the money they charge you to use their beach, and it says food included but it is not good food. HOWEVER with that said there really isn't much to do in Progresso. So if you don't find something else that sounds better it might be your best option. Which doesn't really make much sense, ha sorry!
Our favorite thing we did was rent a jeep in Cozumel and just drive around the island. Sounds lame but it was a lot of fun!
Regardless you will have a great time! Cruises are so relaxing and the food is great!

Amber said...

Just saw this post. Not sure when you are going, but we LOVE cruises!! We actually just booked our 5th one for the beginning of May and they have all been with Carnival. You're in the caribbean so it should be very smooth. Alaska was VERY rocky. FYI

Enjoy this time away with Joe!

BSmith said...

i use travel bands that use acupressure and go around my wrists.. they have workded for me, more than any tablets have ever done! also when i went on a ferry across to France/Belgium (i live in England) i founf looking at the water really helps :)

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