Background: My parents, husband and I have all sailed previously. This was the first cruise for our daughters, ages 18 and 14. It will certainly not be their last!
We sailed from Bayonne, which is not beautiful, but incredibly convenient and efficient, drove to port and left our car in the lot on site. Super easy!
We quickly checked in and received our "bus number", waiting no more that 10 minutes to be called. We were then transported from the terminal to the ship...a 60 second ride, and on the ship by 12!
Rooms were ready right on time (1:30pm). We were in 7688, a corner aft, with an AMAZING balcony. The girls were in a large ocean view across the hall. My parents were in an aft Jr. Suite on deck 10, which we have already booked for next year! All of the cabins were clean, and the beds were heavenly! 1/3 had flat screen (I know some people are interested...although we never turned ours on except to check our account, which didn't work. Oh well!)
We had traditional dining at 6pm, at a table for 6. The service and the food were excellent. Lots of choices, even for my picky 14 year old who eats next to nothing! Breakfast and lunch most days in the Windjammer. I am not a big fan of buffets, but all in all, it was enjoyable. Loved ordering room service as a wake up call and having tea and danish out on the balcony. What a great way to start the day!
The public areas of the ship are in beautiful shape, and the staff is constantly polishing and buffing. For a ship of her age, she looks wonderful. We did read in some other reviews that she was "looking tired". The only evidence of that we saw was in the halls of the cabin areas, where the carpet was pretty worn, and a couple of elevator light that were out. My house should look so good!
My daughter did not participate in the teen club. There were not many kids on the ship, and since my oldest is 18, and not able to participate, they enjoyed each others company and found plenty to do together around the ship.
In port, we ventured out on our own. The first day was total rain. Many people, including my parents, ventured out and did some touring. DH and I took advantage of the quiet ship, and the girls took this day as an opportunity to sleep in. Day 2 was overcast, but the rain held off. It is easy to get around in Bermuda, and we did a little exploring on our own. What a beautiful, clean, friendly country!
On board entertainment was great, especially the Love and Marriage show and the ice show. Richard Spacey was our cruise director, and every wonderful thing that has been said about him is true! I think both of my DDs fell in love with him! Leigh was great as well.
Disembarkation was fast and easy. We were in one of the later groups, and all went smoothly. I cant wait to be back on board again next year!