Please follow CruiseBart on Twitter: CruiseBart
Cruising the internet looking for the best cruise deals, finding the best cruise-related websites and passing it on to the World of Twitter
Cruise Bart Cruisin’ on Carnival’s Spirit
I didn't tweet much on the boat (at .55 a minute) but sent out a couple and read a few. The holiday was great! We had so much fun with the kids on board (save one small incident where my daughter went missing for a half hour in a friend's cabin).
We got into San Diego at around 2:00 on Friday afternoon and got over to the hotel using the hotel shuttle. The Holiday Inn at the Bay is really nice, I had zero complaints. Free internet, rooms seemed very clean, front desk staff were all nice, I really like it. Proof again that you should discount the worst 20% and best 20% of the reviews you read. Super close to the terminal and for the price (I think it was $129 for the bay view), couldn't beat it. Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas and the Carnival Elation were in port so we got to watch them pull out that night. The kids thought that was pretty neat, watching the ships pull away from the dock with the foghorns blowing. We walked down the boardwalk a ways, then went back to the pool and had dinner. Everyone sacked out early so I took my laptop and sat in the lobby for a while Tweeting.
Next morning, we got up and had breakfast. Dropped our luggage with the concierge and headed over to the USS MIdway. My son and I had a great time looking at all the different exhibits. My wife and daughter were very unimpressed and in reflection, I should have put them in a cab and sent them to the mall. Anyways, we got off the Midway around 4:00 and saw the Spirit just pulling into harbor. We were supposed to be able to start boarding at 2:00 but they were very late getting in from Hawaii. We grabbed our bags from the hotel and went through embarkation which was a bit of a nightmare. Due to the lateness, they couldn't get us boarded until about 5:30. The San Diego cruise terminal is really just a metal building and with no air conditioning, the San Diego sun made it a bit unbearable. Our kids were pretty good but I felt really bad for some of the seniors who had to endure that. Anyway, we got on and ran up to the Lido for some supper and refreshments. We went to bed at about 10:00 and apparently the ship pulled out at midnight. The kids got ripped off, in that we didn't get to see either the ship pulling out or coming back in. Guess that's reason to go on another cruise.
Sunday we woke up to find ourselves floating south in the Pacific Ocean. We could barely make out the coast but we were still close enough to see it. Got a couple pictures as we passed Cabo but it was pretty hazy. Had a light rain in the afternoon for about a half hour but it was so warm, it was like standing in my shower at home. We took the kids to Camp Carnival at 10:00 AM and after lunch they went back for a couple more hours. Lots of good activities to keep them busy.
Monday was a second day at sea and we spent it relaxing, reading, shopping onboard. Kids were in and out of Camp Carnival, hanging out with some new friends they had met. Had our first formal night which was a hoot, delicious lobster. Still have yet to be disappointed with a meal on Carnival.
The kids learned to make towel animals in the Camp Carnival
Tuesday we arrived in Manzanillo at 9:00. We took an excursion called Beach and Shop arranged through Carnival. Hopped off the boat on to a bus, headed down to the main square. They took us around to a couple small shops. Then we hopped back in the bus and went up in the hills above the bay to take some pictures.
Manzanillo is beautiful, seems very unspoiled although there is a lot of construction going on with new condos being built. Reminds of what Acapulco or Cancun were probably like years ago, before they got all built up. Jumped back on the bus and went to a beach club where we had lunch. Yummy nachos with refried beans and cheese melted over it. My kids just wanted hamburgers, yeesh, why do I take them anywhere I wonder? A couple hours, a couple Dos Equis and back on the bus to the ship. Got some good pictures of the kids in the sand and I think we agreed that Manzanillo had the best beach of the three places we visited.
Wednesday we arrived in Ixtapa. We took a bus through town and hopped on these little 8 person fishing boats out to Ixtapa Island. Had a great spot on the beach with umbrella-covered tables and lounge chairs. Spent four hours lounging, eating, drink Dos Equis (I think you will see a trend here). Kids spent the whole time playing in the water and we dragged them back to the table for a huge plate of nachos (again, another trend).
Into the little fishing boats and back to the ship for supper. Kids were in bed and we crashed out after all the sun, sand & Dos Equis.
Thursday we woke up to find ourselves in Acapulco.
We started off by heading to see the cliff divers. That was very impressive. Kicked myself for not buying a little handheld video camera prior to the trip. Got some good stills of them diving but a video would have been good. Across the street to a silver store for shopping and free margaritas (so glad my wife doesn't like tequila). Back on the bus and then a bit of a long ride to a beach resort. Short lunch (yup, a couple Dos Equis), sat by the pool for a half hour, took some pictures of the surf and then back on the bus. The ship was only in Acapulco for 6 hours so we should have taken an excursion with just one stop (either beach, cliff diving or shopping). Too much of the day was spent in the bus running from place to place.
Friday was a ship day, spent it relaxing and catching up on some sleep. Spent a bit of time in the casino, won $60 (which I promptly gave back the next day along with another $60). Enjoyed our second formal night, the waiters sang for us. Fun was had by all!
Saturday was our last ship day and our last day. Spent most of the day relaxing, reading and then some packing in the afternoon. Enjoyed chatting with all the dining room staff we had met over the week as we enjoyed our "Last Supper". One of the waiters taught my son how to fold a napkin into a candle complete with a little flame that pops up. Now every time we go to a restaurant, he's folding napkins. I told him if he kept it up, I was going to put him to work on a cruise ship to help pay for his trip.
Sunday morning we woke up as we were pulling into San Diego. We had to be up to meet US Customs at 6:45 before they would let anyone off the ship (damn Canadians!!). We finally got off about 10:00 and jumped in a taxi. We headed over to Paradise Point Resort in the Mission Area. I booked it the night before we left for $89. What a beautiful resort, my wife couldn't believe I got it for so cheap. We even managed to get checked in so we could drop our suitcases and then we walked around taking pictures, the kids fed the ducks and my wife walked the beach looking for seashells. In the afternoon, the kids played in the pool and I slept under an umbrella. Afterwards, we ate dinner at a little beach bar/cafe on the resort right on the dock. It was an amazing place. If you are looking for a good place away from downtown, I recommend it. It’s about 5 minutes from SeaWorld. Only complaint was the rooms smelled a little bit musty. There weren't any windows in the room that could be left open so I suspect the smell gets locked up in it. We left the door open for an hour or so before we went to bed and it seemed fine after that, maybe I was just used to it. Monday morning we got up, hopped on the plane and we were back in Calgary.
Hope you didn't have to duck out to get a bite to eat in the middle of my story. I was just so excited about our holiday it was hard to stop typing.
Thanks, Bart for sharing your family's cruise vacation with us. Looks like I have some ammunition when you tease me about tequila now–I get the impression not only do you enjoy cruising, you are quite fond of Dos Equis!! –Your Pal, Stephanie aka TravelDesigned