This was a really nice cruise.
Embarkation was the fastest I've ever experienced. We got dropped off at the NYC Cruise Terminal at 11:30 am and we were on the ship by Noon, and our cabin was ready when we got on! That was amazing!
The ship is a little older and smaller than other ships we've gone on, but it is beautiful, well maintained, easy to navigate, and wonderfully appointed. We loved it.
The food was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. Every night in the main dining room there are specials designed by celebrity chefs, and we made it a point to order this each night. We were not disappointed. Most notable was Chef Burke's selection on Monday night. Don't miss it!! The wait staff was pleasant and efficient, but not as personable and friendly as on other cruises we've been on such as RCI and NCL.
The entertainment was great. They had some incredibly talented singers and dancers who did a few different style shows. No Cirque de Soleil like Celebrity, but very nice and appropriate for the space.
We went to the specialty restaurant one night (Pinnacle) for something they called "An Evening at LeCirque" which was featured a menu designed by the chef at LeCirque in NYC. It was pricey ($39) but worth it. The rack of lamb was just spectacular, and the lobster salad was just incredible.
The room stewards were exceptionally friendly and accommodating. Those guys do incredible work under difficult circumstances, and are always welcoming, warm and friendly any time they see you in the halls. I can't say enough about them.....every time we saw them they brightened our day, and they took such great care of our room....they really added to our vacation.
It's great docking in Hamilton. It's closer to Horseshoe Bay, and it's kind of like being in a 5 star hotel downtown. The only problem is that most of the shops close at 500 pm when we're getting back from the beach.
Also, I never felt overwhelmed by announcements, bingo, or constant promotions by the cruise line to squeeze revenue out of me. There were things to buy to be sure, but I never felt put upon or pressured, which I really appreciated.
Finally, we had a really cool thing happen while on board. At the end of the show on Friday night, all of a sudden all of the officers and entertainers on the ship took over the show and started leaving roses on the table of this woman who had just been picked as a volunteer in the juggler's act.Then all the ship's entertainers marched in, and we all knew that something big was up. Then the captain took the woman by the arm and led her up to the stage where the cruise director proposed to her. It was a very touching thing to witness and be a part of....really special.
This cruise was really, really nice in all respects. I have been on a lot of cruises and this one ranks up there with the best of them. Too bad they're not going to Bermuda anymore and too bad Holland America has given up on New York as a home port. I hope they change their mind on both fronts, I'd go back in an instant.