Having fancied the idea of a cruise for sometime, my Wife was persuaded to try a Freestyle cruise. We booked a 6 night stay at Couples Tower Isle in Ocho Rios Jamaica and joined the ship there . The embarkation was pretty smooth with only 100 British people joining there. One item that I thought was out of order however, was being asked to supply our ESTA reference number. Why,when all that is supposed to be computerised. Luckily, we had details of the number, but a number of other passengers did not.Having gone through the checking in, we were advised that the buffet on deck 12 was open. There was no mention of the main dining rooms.We had a quick bite to eat and found the buffet very nice.
We then went to our cabin (stateroom is far too fancy a name) and were immediately disappointed with the cleanliness of the balcony which was pretty filthy. However, a visit to guest services got this sorted out and within 5 minutes there was a guy cleaning the balcony.
The rest of the cruise was pretty good.We split our evening meals between the buffet ( 4 times), the Summer Palace (once) and the Indigo (twice). All were excellent although the atmosphere in the Summer Palace felt rather false and staid. In the Indigo, we ordered a bottle of house red, only to be told that they did not sell house wines. Strange when the in room service clearly advertised house wines at $22.00.
The waiter could not answer my question as to why.
The port of Georgetown was just OK, but with not much to see in town apart from jewellry shops. The main problem with this port was the wait in first getting a tender ticket and then waiting on the stairs to actually get on a tender.
Cozumel was better as you could walk straight off the ship and there was moreto do in this location although the shop staff were rather pushy.
In Miami, we went on the Everglades tour for $60.00 each was a good 3 hour trip, although having to drop passengers at Miami airport was not too clever.
Great Stirrup Cay was OK if you like beaches but very little else to do otherwise. The buffet food was quite good however, but we only stayed on the island for about 3 hours.
The entertainment by the production staff on the musicals show was a bit amateur with the dancing very repetitive. Pity the shows were Broadway shows as we had only heard the music from Mamma Mia. The "Oh what a night" was however a lot better and very enjoyable.
The staff on board were very nice and friendly and the Washy Washy crew at the entrance to the buffet always kept you amused.Our steward, Rene, was a gem and his nightly towel folding was one of the highlights.
One of the downsides was the activity around the pool which at times was like a Butlins camp. Very amateurish and very noisy, when you are trying to rest