My hubby and I have traveled to a few destinations and for the most part have always enjoyed where we have been. When I knew that we would be leaving on a 7 night cruise to the Eastern Caribbean I can honestly say I was one nervous girl. For anyone who knows me they will know that nothing makes me more nerved up than boarding an airplane. However, this cruise had that beat. So I began talking to everyone that I knew that had ever been on a cruise and I made sure I listened to everyone's advice. So I started preparing. I had packed all the sunscreen (Mainly for my hubby),cloths for every occasion,and all the meds for any possible sickness ( well at least the ones that will help with motion sickness anyway). And did a lot of praying for nice weather.
We arrived in FT. Lauderdale and spent the night before at the Hilton and enjoyed just relaxing before our big day. When the time came to board our ship I was amazed at the smooth process. My idea of boarding a ship was walking through a gate and onto the ship we would go. But that is not exactly how it is done. We were apart of one of the first groups to board MS Noordam. And it was about noon when we were on the ship and ready for an adventure. We got to go right to our cabin. Our cabin had a balcony and that made us feel like we were in a suite. Shortly after we were in our room our luggage was delivered. We had no problems with finding room for everything that we had brought. I had read on cruise critic to make sure you bring extra hangers and so that is what I did and I used them all. Then all the luggage was kept under the bed along with anything else that we didn't seem to need. My husband and I then went to the Lido Pool area where we met up with our friends and had lunch and enjoyed watching everyone else board the ship. We did do a little exploring around the ship while waited to leave Ft.Lauderdale. The Spa was giving free 5 min massages and tours of their area. We did partake in that and even won a free Bamboo massage for myself. I was thrilled. 6 PM arrived and we were off..... Out to sea we went and good bye US... See you in a week. Our first night on the ship we ate at the Pinnacle Grill and absolutely loved it. I could of eaten there every night. The only part we didn't like was the wine waiter talked our friends into a bottle of wine and neglected to tell them how much it was.... That was an OUCH and we learned to not order wine with out knowing what the cost is. However, we had a fabulous evening. Our First Day at Sea was spent relaxing by the Lido Pool. This pool is for families and the kids were having a blast. They also have a grill there along with live entertainment. So never a dull moment. It didn't take long for us to decide that we should be at the sea pool and let the families have the room at the Lido Pool. The Sea Pool too has live entertainment, but they also have water games and plenty of fun things for the adults to do while they are soaking up the sun. The one thing that I loved about the crew/ship is every day we had a list of everything that was going on all over the ship and if we were at a port they had everything that you can do at the port also. They were offering a class on the shopping at each of the ports so I attended that and was thrilled at the discounts we would receive and the information about each port. That was so helpful. Before our trip I had booked a couples massage and that was the one thing that I will tell anyone to do. It was worth every dime we spent. Our first day at sea was fabulous and it went by so fast. Day 2.... We awoke to porting at Grand Turks. We were only there for about 4 hours but did sign up for the Coast to Coast tour. It was good to get to see the whole island and some of the history. The Light House was my favorite part. Once we were back at the port my hubby and I boarded the ship early and we got to watch a Carnival ship come in. That was so interesting. Every time we left a port they had a sail away party and we enjoyed them all. Day 3....Welcome to St.Thomas. This island is breath taking. We signed up for the Island tour and shopping. They took us to all the most important sights, then to Black Beard's Castle and that is where we could hang there and enjoy their pools or work our way to the shopping district. Loved it all. Each of the jewelry stores give away freebies and I made sure I picked them up. But we enjoyed all the shopping and even took in a wonderful little restaurant. Very Friendly community and would love to go back. Day 4.... So pleased to be in St. Martin. Unfortunately we encountered rough seas the night before. I was thankful I was wearing a patch and didn't get sick at all. But the rocking of the ship was somewhat unsettling for many people. For me..... I was nervous more than anything.... for my hubby....a little sick...But there is where planning comes in. I was thankful that I had brought the necessities so we could still enjoy our vacation. So it was so nice to be able to be in St Martin. We did our shopping and then rented a cab to the beach/airport to watch those amazing planes come in. Our cab driver was awesome as he gave us a lot of history of the island and would stop for us take photos. He even waited for us while we were at the beach. Then back to the port we went to finish with some dinner and a little more shopping. Day 5 we were at sea all day. Day 6 we were at Half Moon Cay and enjoyed the beach and all the activities that they offer. Day 7.... Welcome back to the US.
The food: All the food was awesome. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill twice. Very hard to get into as everyone loved it so much. Very popular. Every morning we ate at the Lido and they offer everything you can imagine. You will gain at least 10 lbs on this cruise so make sure you diet before you leave.
The crew/Stewards: Our Stewards were wonderful. If you needed something they immediately would get it for you. No waiting around. Their number 1 priority is making sure you are happy and well taken care of. All the crew on this ship is right there when needed. When we were having rough seas I had called down to the front desk and the next day they called our room checking to see if I was better and if we needed anything. They also were informing us that the seas would continue to be rough for about 24 more hours. What a wonderful gesture that was.
Entertainment was fabulous. There is something for everybody and all day long too. The kids always had movies to go to and activities to keep them busy too. All the children on this cruise were well behaved and absolutely fun to be around.
Cabins: They are bright and homey. We enjoyed our balcony everyday. I would pay the extra cost to have a balcony. Waking every morning and spending sometime on the balcony was my favorite part of the day. Nothing more peaceful than sitting and watching the ocean seas. Loved it.
After a week on a ship I can honestly say that I enjoyed our first cruise and would recommend anyone to try one out. No more nervousness for me.