Flew into Tampa on March 31 and stayed at The Embassy Suites Downtown. Had a great lunch at a great little place across the street and canal called Jackson's (think it is part of the Westin maybe). The Embassy Suites were nice and convenient ... after the Mgrs cocktail reception we headed to dinner at a place called Timpano Italian Chophouse. I highly recommend this restaurant.
Woke up early and walked down the Riverwalk to watch the ships come ... very cool.
Had breakfast at the hotel which has a lot of different choices including an omelet station.
After breakfast we got showered and packed up to head out for the ship ... we considered walking but decided against that and just got a cab. We arrived at the terminal around 11:30ish, dropped our luggage of with a porter and then headed upstairs to go through security. There was no line so we breezed right through and then were taken to the Suite check-in where we checked in More
and had to wait maybe 5-10 mins to get escorted onto the ship. We were told that our room was not ready by one person but when we were escorted onto the ship the butler told us it was ready. We were taken to the suite and dropped our bags off, explored the room some and then headed to Cagney's for lunch.
We booked the Owner's Suite (Picasso Suite) 10506. The suite had two large balcony's one on the front and one on the side. The cabin was clean and very large. Two closet areas with dressing room and 2 safes. King size bed in the bedroom and a pull-out sofa in the living room. The master bath was very large with 2 sinks and also a tub with a TV above it. The living area included a dining area and a half bath. Our room steward was Guillermo "G" he was great ... always kept the very clean. Our butler was Made (pronounced Ma-day) ... he was very attentive. We did not use his service's very much but when we did, everything was delivered very quickly. the concierge was Monica ... we only used her services a couple of times during the week as well.
All of the food we had during the week was very good. We ate in Cagney's every morning for breakfast ... the steak and eggs were great. One can spoiled very quickly eating a breakfast like that every morning. For lunch we either ate in port, at Cagney's, or Blue Lagoon. All were very good. For dinner we ate in the MDR twice(Versailles & Aqua), once in our room(MDR menu), Le Bistro (once), La Cucina (once) & Cagney's (once). Cagney's was by far the best of the 3 specialty restaurants with Le Bistro a close second. All in all the food was very good and did not really have any complaints.
Did not do any shore excursions at any of the ports ... had been to all before except Roatan and there we just got off the ship and shopped a little then headed back to the ship for a day of sun by the pool. I would suggest that if one of your ports is Roatan to definitely book a shore excursion because there is nothing really in the immediate area of the dock.
Belize City tendered in and did some shopping
Costa Maya took a taxi to Mahahual. When you arrive be sure and walk down the beach some ... there are tons of places with beach chairs set up ... the first area is really crowded. All of the restaurants prices are pretty much the same. (6 beers for $10 etc.)
Cozumel we rented a Jeep and drove around the island some and then did some walking around town. We had lunch a restaurant called La Choza, it is a couple of blocks from the main shopping area but the food is really good. Definitely recommend eating there.
I love to play slots and blackjack. The most i cashed out at slots was $100 one night and left blackjack table with $80. Although we did not win big (not sure anyone else did either) we still had a good time.
Had breakfast in Cagney's one last time and then headed to the Star Theater to wait for time to leave. Went through customs very quickly and had our bags. Found a taxi and were off to the airport ... we were checked in at the airport by 10:30am. One tip ... we asked if all of the taxis took cards and were told yes, however when we got out at the airport the driver said no.
We had a great time on the Star. She is showing her age some but aren't we all! LOL. We were unsure about the Freestyle Cruising, however I think this is for us. The crew was always smiling and very helpful. Less