On Carnival Pride
We’ve never been to Costa Rica before, and were looking forward to seeing a new place. Our excursion was a Bus, Train, and Boat tour of the sites.
Getting ready for the day
We got up early on day four so that we could get everything ready for our 4 1/2 hour excursion in Limon. I was definitely looking forward to seeing the animals of Costa Rica in the rain forest, even though we woke up to rainy weather. We knew that we wouldn’t get lunch so we went to the Mermaid Grille to get a good breakfast and some coffee.
We were told that we could not bring unopened drinks on the tour. We had gotten the free big bottle of water that comes with our gold card VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) card and wanted to mix electrolyte powder in it and pour it into our metal thermal bottles. We decided to take them anyway, so we got those ready. Then we found a seat in our “secret deck” area behind the theater and wait to meet up with our excursion group.
Getting off the ship
Excursions were to meet in the Taj Mahal Theater on deck two at 10:45 am. There were a huge number of people going on our tour. We took up a third of the theater. We sat there for quite awhile because the ship had not docked yet. Just an FYI: there are bathroom right outside the door of theater on deck two on the left side going out.
Finally, it was time to debark the ship. We had docked at the commercial dock instead of the cruise ship dock. Our group was called last, and it was slow going getting off of the ship. We had been told repeatedly to make sure that we had our picture ID, vaccination cards, ship card, and mask when we got off the ship because Limon would check. Masks are mandatory in Limon. Once we got off of the ship, we got straight onto a tour bus. No one checked to see if we had vaccine cards. No one looked to see if anyone had open drinks.
We were on a full sized air conditioned bus for this tour. Our tour guide was Alan, and he was incredibly knowledgable about seemingly everything Costa Rican. The bus was comfortable and roomy. And cool!
We drove for maybe 20 minutes to our first stop, the train. This was probably my least favorite part of the tour. Somehow we got a bench that had absolutely no knee room at all. I had to sit sideways just to fit in. I saw later that there were roomier seats. The train had open windows on the sides, but it was hard to see anything if you were not in a window seat. The smell of the diesel was coming in, and I was starting to feel hot, and not so hot. I would recommend bringing a personal battery powered fan. There is a girl selling sodas, beer, and cookies that people raved about. I believe everything was $2.50 each.
Alan stood up front and did spot several areas of monkeys in the trees. The train would stop and back up so we could take pictures. It was hard to get good pictures from inside the train though. Some of the people were out on the back of the train car trying to get pictures. It was very hard to even see the monkeys some of the time.
The train trip took about an hour and I was very glad to get off of it. It does have a bathroom on the train, but I didn’t use it.
After the train we got back on the bus and drove to the boat. That drive took about 20 minutes. The boat area was nice and had a restroom. There were people in line for the restrooms, and it took a while. They also had little cups of water and lemonade.
The boat was much better than the train. It was open air and no fumes. This part of the tour actually went too quickly. We started out by seeing one of the lizards that walks on water. But it wasn’t on the water, just sitting on the riverbank. I have to admit that it’s really hard to see some of these animals. Alan would be pointing to it with a laser pointer and I still couldn’t see it.
After that we actually saw two sloths. One was just hanging on a branch, and one was moving on a branch. They would move the boat around so that both sides could see it. So, I accomplished my goal…to see a sloth in the wild. We’ve seen them in sanctuaries before, but I’d rather see them free.
We saw a small crocodile after that, and I guess that there were some monkeys on the other side of the boat that I missed. After that we docked way too soon, and there was fresh fruit waiting for us. The pineapple was delicious! And there was some watermelon. There is also a small gift shop which didn’t have much. I got a magnet and a toucan statuette.
Back on the bus
It took us about half an hour to get back to the ship, and Alan told us all about bananas. There is a huge banana plantation that we drove through. We drove through the city of Limon, which seems quite run down. Pretty much like many of the port cities that we’ve visited. I saw a lot of beach shacks, which were literally shacks with tin roofs.
Back to the ship
When we got back to the ship Alan gave us the choice of stopping at a small market and walking back, or they would drop us off at the ship. We decided to go back to the ship. It was quite a walk back to the ship since we hadn’t docked at the normal cruise dock. It was only an hour till our 6 pm dining, and I wanted to freshen up a bit. He dropped us off, but there was no one at all to even check our passport before we got back on the ship. So, we were warned so much about things, and we didn’t have to worry about any of it.
We got to dinner on time and sat with our tablemates, Pat and Gene. Since all we had for lunch was a little bit of fruit, we were hungry. I decided to have the mozzerella sticks with marinara, braised beef, and them baked pineapple for dessert along with some sugar free ice cream. The food on this ship is hit and miss. The food was okay, but nothing spectacular, including David’s Steakhouse. Pat hasn’t been happy with her choices so far either. Our wait staff has been wonderful though.
And speaking of wait staff, it was show night in the main dining room. If you’ve never seen show night on a Carnival cruise, you’re missing a lot of fun. The wait staff really know how to dance.
There really wasn’t any entertainment that we cared to see and I had a long day and still had to write my blog. I believe that the entertainment was Deal or no Deal. I’m sure it was fun to watch, but work comes first. So, I took the time to finish writing. We had an early morning ahead of us, and called it a night early. Tomorrow is our first time at the Panama Canal!