Published on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 by Maurissa Ramirez
I was expecting paradise, tanning on the beach, shopping and overall, a tropical adventure on my cruise to South America this holiday season. Sadly, I was less than impressed with the ports where our ship docked.
I left the Houston Port on December 16th during the last week of the fall semester. It was rainy and cold, and not being a people person myself, I already wasn’t too thrilled to be boarding a ship filled with 4,000 passengers.
The first three days on the ship were the “fun days at sea”, consisting of shows and activities for all ages. Rather then attending, I snuck back into my cabin and slept the entire rest of the day that we left Houston Port. The “fun days at sea” weren’t exactly appropriately named. There isn’t much to do for a 17 year-old IB student who isn’t used to having a lot free time on her hands and no homework, so I found it kind of difficult to find something to do. The ship’s teen club offered chances to compete in foose ball tournaments and late night dances, but I don’t know how to play foose ball and I don’t enjoy dances.
Each night the cruise required that you attend a formal dinner in your designated fine-dining area, which I was expecting from the last cruise my family and I went on. But somehow I remembered there being better food. Let’s just say the Carnival Magic chefs and I aren’t on the same page when it comes to culinary excellence. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom and curled up on my bed clutching my stomach because the food made me sick. The only time I was comfortable eating was breakfast time at the buffet. You can never go wrong with a plate full of fruit and french toast.
The fourth day, we finally docked in Isla Roatan, Honduras. From the boat I could see across the island, and I could already tell it was going to be beautiful and that I was going to have a great time. I grabbed my backpack and disembarked the ship with my parents. We stopped at the beach for a while and it was just as beautiful as it seemed from the ship, the sand was white and the water was clear blue. My dad got us a cab and the cab driver took us to downtown Isla Roatan so we could go shopping.
While on the island, I met a little girl named Deyanera. She came up to me while I was shopping and started playing with my hair. She didn’t speak English but I understood enough to get her name. The little girl was sweet and I made sure to buy a bunch of souvenirs from her mother’s stand.
Since the first stop was great, I was expecting my next day in Belize City, Belize to be even better. I was sorely mistaken. The boat anchored in the middle of the Caribbean and we had to take ferries to shore. As soon as we docked I got off of the boat, locals were begging for us to purchase their products and at one point, locals were offering the tourists drugs and other contraband items. This didn’t sit well with me.
Our tour guide in Belize City was a total rip off, and he took us to a pretty sketchy part of the city eight blocks away from the dock. I was horrified and I wanted to go back to the ship. Belize wasn’t what I expected and I was not impressed with the tourist sites.
Next stop was Cozumel Island, Mexico and since I’ve been there before on a different cruise, I was glad was to be somewhere I recognized. I spent the day at a resort on the beach. It was too cold to swim but I enjoyed sitting by the pool drinking Mexican Coca-Cola. We spent 3 hours there and then boarded the ship again. The next two days on the ship were more “fun days at sea”, but by that time I was ready to be off of the ship and on my way home.
Let’s just say the next time my parents ask me what I’d like to do for our Christmas vacation, I’d rather just stay home if my only option is to go on a cruise. I wouldn’t recommend the Carnival Magic to anyone, the food wasn’t that great and if you’re an average 17-year-old like me, there isn’t much to do.