Living in Florida, it seems like a no-brainer to venture on a cruise. I hear people talk about the wonders of cruising all the time, so I had to try it myself! Lucky for me, my significant other was on board.

Here are our cruise highlights and itinerary with Carnival Cruise Paradise.

Day 1-2:  Sea Days

Departure at 1600 from Tampa, FL.

Utilizing the Carnival Cruise phone app, we jam-packed our sea day itinerary with comedy shows and theatrical performances. The Carnival Cruise Paradise boat offers mini-golf, ping-pong, shuffle board, board games, gym, and life size chess as well. Or, you can relax poolside, and of course, there is the mountains of food awaiting to be gobbled up.

There was never a dull moment when at sea. Carnival cruise line definitely makes sure there is fun and food to be had at all times.

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Day 3:  Grand Cayman

Our first destination was the Grand Cayman, Grand Cayman Islands. The ship was unable to dock on the island, so were ferried onto the island by boat.

Stingray city + snorkeling with Captain Marvin Watersports Ltd was our excursion of choice and I highly recommend this experience for anyone that has a chance to travel to Grand Cayman. Stingray city is a sandbar area where southern stingrays are found wading around in the water. Interacting and feeding the stingrays was such a joy, but watch out for the barracudas. They’ll swipe the squid in your hand! After Stingray city, we were able to snorkel in two different areas where coral and fish were in abundance.

This was about a 3-hour excursion which left time for us to do a little shopping in the plaza right by the ferries to take us back to our cruise ship.

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Day 4:  Cozumel

Our second destination was Cozumel, Mexico. The ship was able to dock, so no ferries here or lines to board a boat off the ship. Passengers were exited from the ship accordingly to cabin/floor #.

Stepping off the ship, we made our way to a boat that would ferry us from the island of Cozumel to the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It was a bumpy, 30-minute boat ride and then a 1-hour bus ride to Tulum.

Tulum offers beaches, shopping, and well-preserved Mayan ruins. The ruins offer a bit of insight on the temples of the Mayan people. It is not a large archaeological site, and I would have personally combined it with a trip to the other Mayan ruins if I had not been on a cruise. But it was a great peek into the history of the Mayan people.

Day 5:  Sea Day

It was a bittersweet feeling knowing that we had reached Day 5 of our cruising adventure! We made the most of our last day and filled our itinerary with cruise activities before packing up for our arrival in Tampa the next day!

Overall, the vacation was stress-free as most of the activities are on the ship and there is not much planning involved. The cost was minimal as well. I see the hype for cruises. I would definitely like to try another one.