Western Caribbean April 14-21 We are 50+ and didn't travel with kids. This is also my first review so I tried to cover lots of areas.
We arrived a day early at FLL and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. We're glad we came early (maybe 2 days early next time to see some sights) as we traveled from the West coast and wouldn't have been able to get on-board so early after flying all day.
Embarkation went very smooth. We arrived at the terminal around 10:30 and didn't have to wait at all to check in. We were on board by 11:15 and had lunch by 11:30.
Debarkation was smooth as well. We waited in the main showroom where they had juice and pastries set out which I thought was a nice touch. We waited for our group number to be called - I think it was 58 (out of 65) since we opted for a late departure. Once in the terminal we found our bags pretty quickly - organized by group number. Then went through customs which surprisingly fast, they were mainly looking at your passport and didn't ask any questions.
Stateroom 7196 D1 (hump balcony)
Our stateroom attendant Roxanne was the best! She always had a smile and remembered our names. She would stop and chat with us regularly when we passed by and asked us how everything was going. Of course everything was great.
I asked her on the first day to have ice in the room daily and we always did.
Since I don't normally sleep very good away from home I was wondering how the bedding would be. I am glad to report that the bed was very comfortable had 2 different kinds of pillows (firm and soft).
We had plenty of space under the bed for bags. Only had 2 drawers below the desk but the closet had 5-6 shelves for keeping folded items along with a bar for hanging clothes. I appreciated one half of the closet had double hanging bars - works nicely for men's clothes. The bathroom was pretty small especially the shower, but was workable. It had a couple several small shelves/counters and we fit everything we used daily on the counter in the small cabinet on the wall.
The room itself was nicely decorated and had a large LCD TV. It didn't have much room to get around each other but is about par with other rooms we've been in.
I wish the 2 electrical outlets were above the small desk to make it easier to charge my phone & camera. Don't know if we'd book the hump room again as the extra balcony space didn't have a lounger - just normal straight back chairs although they were pretty comfortable. Maybe worth it for a room with more than 2 people as long as they provide an extra chair. It was nice to be on the hump as you had a better view of the ship.
Contrary to what some other reviewers said, we found a number of quiet
places to relax on the ship. Solarium, Viking crown lounge,
Aqua theater (all depending on time of day). I remember saying a few times
'where are all the people?'. The only time we really ran into crowds were when
the shows let out or something special going on in the promenade.
MDR - (MTD) the food was generally very good but some just ok.
Could have a few more selections other than the extra cost items they
were trying to sell from the other restaurants.
Servers were great - Michelle always remembered our name.
Windjammer - decent food and service. Good variety and always found a seat
Chops - Best fillet Mignon I've ever had, service was great
Izumi - Great food well worth the extra cost. Try the Last Samurai cocktail
and the tempura - both very good. Ordered a 2nd of both!
I wish the Spicy Tuna was more spicy.
Solarium - Only had breakfast but good selection of healthy food
Park Cafe - Good roast beef sandwich especially with the horseradish sauce
Johnny Rockets - only had breakfast, eggs were good but potatoes were like cut up french fries.
Seafood Shack - decent food but lack of service
Starbucks - Went there every morning! We're from Washington state - what can I say.
Room service - always got a call to let us know the food was coming about 15 minutes ahead of time. We had room service twice, both for breakfast. The only complaint is the food could have been warmer. Especially the breakfast potatoes were barely warm - both times.
Comedy show for adults only & 1 guy much better than the other
Hairspray - Excellent top notch Broadway production
Frozen in Time - Very good especially the sand painting
Come Fly with Me - Cirque Du Soleil type - very good
Oasis of Dreams - Very good variety type water show with some guys diving from 70 foot platforms.
Headliner - First half was so-so, but second half very good. Would have preferred the Beatles or Abba impersonators that I heard about on other cruises.
This is the first time we have used the spa services on-board any cruise line.
The spa is nicely decorated & has a wide variety of services with a nice quiet waiting area. All the staff we encountered were friendly and helpful but watch out for price of products they try to sell you at the end of your treatments.
Saw prior reviews about how the staff is aggressive and try to up sell you on a service you have already scheduled but didn't experience any of that. Overall very nice experience and would do it again.
Activities on board
Zipline - did twice - scary first time but it goes fast.
Didn't use anything else on the sports deck
We like the separation of the adults vs kids pool areas. We usually found a lounge chair without a problem although had to step over people legs a couple times. We also tried out the different hot tubs and really liked the ones hanging over the side of the ship. They even have 2 TVs playing above it. The only negative with the pools/hot tubs is the amount of chlorine. We found we couldn't stay in very long because of this because our eyes were burning.
We did go to the casino a few times and was enjoyable. Wasn't smokey as they have one side for the smokers and one side non-smokers. They have a good variety of games and machines that should satisfy most players.
Labadee - Awesome zipline - wish you could do it more than once.
My wife is afraid of heights but thoroughly enjoyed it and is ready
to do it again next time as am I.
We loved Columbus Cove - it's the best beach at Labadee and the water
is like a bath. The water is very calm and we could float without a
mat. They provide a good lunch with fairly good variety. We had the
jerk chicken and liked it a lot. The burgers looked overcooked so
didn't have one. Everything else was very good - fruit, desert sides.
Falmouth - Mystic mountain bobsleds are fun but too short,
Dunn's River falls was good but probably won't do it again
Beware of the aggressive vendors when you're leaving the area.
Cozumel - Push/pull/swim w/Dolphins - very fun unique experience.
Also did snorkeling on our own (rented equipment there for $15).
But it rained pretty hard and clouded the water so we didn't stay
long. The bottom isn't very colorful here although you will see
We were very impressed with the friendliness / helpfulness of all the staff on the ship. Only saw one person at customer service desk one day who wasn't very smiley.
The ship was very clean top to bottom. I paying very close attention to this aspect in particular as the last ship we were on (Celebrity) wasn't and had a number of places where there was dirt or rust. Always saw staff cleaning glass, handrails, etc. My only negative here was the glass on the balcony wasn't clean when we left port. We got a lot of salt spray on the first couple days and asked the room attendant if it could be cleaned since I couldn't see out the sliding door. She said they would clean the balconies at Cozumel (another day away) but she got it taken care that afternoon - bravo!
The cruise director Ricky Mathews was just ok for me - seemed to be forcing his enthusiasm. Activities manager Zack seemed more genuine to me.
Would definitely book another cruise on this ship or the sister ship Allure.