A basic review with a few tips and hints... Fascination 3-22 to 3-26
1. The basics, traveling with the wife and the in-laws" A& P"' 'A' has some mobility challenges but on scale of 1 to 10 he gets a "6' for getting around. We utilized a walker more for balance then dependence.
And now on to the review- we live in St Augustine so the port is about 45 min. away on a Thursday with no traffic. We were dropped off by a friend, on board in about 45 min. The staff was very accommodating. For those who choose to of be the clan of "smugglers" (not us on this trip) they shake your water and look at your reaction... our legal wine and water went straight through. Great accommodations for our challenged 'A' the whole way.
And so we had the usual lunch on lido, down to the cabin to drop off stuff. Explored a bit...Then off to the life boat drill. We arrived early so as to use the elevator. Good seats no problem, they took the head count and smiled, the head count was "good' and so they did the briefing; and then a new twist. those who could were taken to muster again to the life boat deck. I thought the hassle was gone when we no longer had to wear the life vests to the drill. After asking I was informed this is standard on the four day trips, three days just get the briefing. Alos as we boarded we were informed the Nassau stop would depart at 6pm, not the advertised 10pm, bummer for those with shore side night plans.
The money moment could not have been better passing under "the bridge" with cheers and clapping all around. Very special to over and under the same span in one day! We enjoyed the trip down the river, the passage to the open sea. We are on our way!
Early seating with team Alfonso, great team! And the Super charged head of staff Joseph. Fun singing and dancing at the end of the meals appealed to all. We enjoyed the food, very well prepared for the amount they produce, with Appetizers and soups being the highlight for me. One small hiccup, on our day in Nassau, we planned to eat on the lido, then when we got around to wanting food it was 7pm, with limited grill, deli and pizza being offered. We went down to the Sensation dining room and the staff accommodated with main and desert courses. Later on Saturday the deck part featured late night Mexican, so mid-night dinning is not dead. We never used room service, but overheard comments they service was good. Formal night featured prime rib and lobster, my slice of rib was large and very good.
I found it interesting that tips are no longer solicited for the head of dinning staff.
For those who are Catholic, fish in the dining room on Friday is Salmon and Basa.
Main dining room breakfast service exceeds expectations, and other then the first lunch no long waits on lido. Mongolian BBQ has three cooks during busy time and varied protein offering from day to day.
We had main deck balcony's, very nice. Seas were calm, and we enjoyed the time spent outside. Tip- if you adjoin with friends or family, the room steward can open the divider. I enjoyed some time getting to know the couple next door. My wife enjoyed the reaction of her parent's first towel animal. The second night they interrupted Gerald preparing the room and he forgot their towel creation, but made up for the next night with two offerings in their room. As a side note other reviews are spot on the cleanliness of the ship. One day our balcony was closed for two hours for cleaning, and they were even painting as we returned from port.
In the taxi line we randomly were put in a taxi operated by Curry transportation
We took the van to Lucaya in Freeport; enjoyment of the ride was comprised by no AC in 15 person van. Also they charged $10, not the advertised $5 but included a return trip in the $10. This insures one uses their service both ways and limits returns to hourly service ending at 5pm. Tip- If you need more flexibility politely insist on paying $5 per person and use the open taxi line to return at your preference.
We shopped and had drinks then returned to the ship.
We did two tours on this stop. The first was the Jeep tour. Our guide met us on the dock, got us the bus to their parking area. Gave me an orientation on driving and away we went. Phillip our guide did a great job, amazing how he does this via walky-talky. Very accommodating by carrying the walker in his lead jeep. Two or three stops, with one to change drivers if you want to. Because of our small group w and the fact that we were doing well driving on a slow traffic Saturday morning we were able to drive a little in the city and see some of the original island homes and churches. I could not recommend this more for those who are brave enough to drive on the left. They even drove us back to catch our second tour on time
For the afternoon trip we did the semi-submersible tour. Tip- this trip involves getting on and off docks and boats, sometimes in open water. This led to a fall with cuts and bruises, but they had a first aid kit and patched our injured person up. Even with the injury this was "the injured persons' favorite tour. We saw Lots of fish, sea grass, crabs and even a shark. Tips were solicited for the guide's narration of the port and for the narrator of the underwater view portion.
After touring we ate Senor Frogs. I love their table side prepared conk salad; they also offer table side ceviche. More straw market and a visit to my favorite wood carver "Vincent' who sometimes goes by "Winston". Nice to by something he makes by hand.
So overall an enjoyable cruise. A few last tips- For the free cocktail crowd the farewell party is advertised in days leading up to the last day; but not posted in the activities for the last day, I discovered the party by mistake mapping the route for a walker to the serenity deck. If you buy a classic cocktail and turn in the receipt in the casino they give you a complimentary $5 match play coupon. Also look out for a casino promotion coupon sheet with buy $20 and get $30 in fun play chips and other casino perks.