Well that was quick. My wife and I (along with another couple) just got back from a 5 day Carnival cruise out of Galveston. I can't remember my Trip Advisor password so let me offer a quick review.
First, what I didn't like. Cruises are like day care for adults. You can literally quit thinking for 5 days and let the staff take care of you. Some people might enjoy a strict schedule and constant group activities. My wife and I have ample experience traveling Mexico and missed the freedom to explore on our own.
I would highly recommend a cruise for travelers with kids. One thing I didn't notice was children running wild over the boat. I learned that this trip had over 300 children on board. The Carnival staff did a marvelous job in loco parentis, kudos.
Second, I don't like "Fun Days At Sea", i.e. being trapped on a floating hotel with only four options-drink, gamble, eat, or sleep.
Gambling lost it's allure quickly. I was having awful luck at the casino. Ok, I took statistics in college. It wasn't luck. The casino did exactly what is was designed to do and I fell for it.
On eating- Cruises do not promote healthy eating habits. In my regular non sea faring life I have never found it necessary to eat a meal at midnight. Really, it never occurred to me that between dinner and breakfast you could fit another entire meal. However, on a cruise ship it seems normal, if not necessary, to eat a hot dog before going to sleep. Luckily, I packed a lot of tums.
If I was a gastric bypass surgeon I would sponsor the midnight buffet. That is your target audience. Until we got off the boat I was convinced this was not a cruise, but a human fois gras factory, and that we were headed for slaughter.
Enough complaining. I love Mexico and never have anything less than a great time south of the border. Our first stop was in Progresso. The beaches were beautiful and it had a more laid back feel than Cozumel/Cancun. Think Port Aransas vs. SPI.
I had never been to Progresso before but I'm hoping for a return trip. I only wish I had more that a few hours to explore the city. If you are on a cruise with limited time I would recommend skipping the private resorts and visiting the public beach. The public beach is close to the market and restaurants and looked like a great place to spend a day or five.
Our second stop was Cozumel which is one of my favorite places on Earth. The beach we visited included many floating amusements I had not experienced before. A short 20 yard swim from shore provided two trampolines, a giant slide, and an faux iceberg you could climb. It was like Wipeout Amateur Drunk edition. I can only surmise that personal injury lawsuits are much more limited in Mexico than here in the US.
I reported earlier that Mexico had decriminalized the possession of small quantities of drugs. What difference did this radical (by US standards) common sense measure have?
I can report that the tourist ports of Mexico are still geared toward mass alcohol consumption. I didn't see any crack dealers or strung out meth addicts. The only contraband I observed (by US standards) was the ubiquitous Cuban cigar. It may be too soon to tell but at least in the touristy parts of Mexico this small step towards ending Prohibition in Mexico has had no discernible effect.
I managed to not check my email for 3 days. I have to admit that even though I complained about the limitations and structure of cruising, it did keep me from working and/or thinking about work for 72 hours.
At first I was perturbed that the boat didn't have in cabin Wifi. But not being able to use my laptop helped me focus on not working. I watched the new Star Trek film (two thumbs up, and I'm no Trekkie), and spent time enjoying the company of my wife and friends. I have been glued to technology since I opened my practice and I realize how detrimental the tethering of email can be to one's personal life. It's hard to really enjoy anything when you are always on call, waiting for the next email.
Don't get me wrong, it's good to be back and I enjoy my usual routine. I know my clients have urgent matters that demand immediate attention. However, 5 days of not defending anyone will make a better lawyer in the long run. Not being able to blog/email/work on cases makes me want to blog/email/work on cases. Vacations are not a luxury when you are self employed. Rather, vacations are a mental health necessity.