This was my 2nd cruise as D+ so always exciting to cruise at this new level...
I was traveling solo as I often do, and looking forward to the relaxation, no work, and lots of sunshine.
I decided last minute to drive over to Port Canaveral as there had been some large traffic hold ups, the day prior and I was a little anxious to be caught and possibly be delayed, especially on I-4
Because I decided late, there was only a whirlpool suite left at the Radisson, not the best deal.
Anyway, it served its purpose, was an ok room, except for a strong odor of sewage....
I didn't get there until 10p, so pretty much just went to bed.
The shuttles to the port are still the usual craziness of many people trying to get on the shuttle at the same time. At least they had more shuttles this time, so it wasn't too bad. Many of us were scheduled for the first shuttle at 10.30a....still a lot of waiting but a nice touch that the hotel handed put cold bottles of water for waiting guests.
On arrival at the port is when things started to go a bit south......the Diamond + and Diamond waiting area was already full (it was only around 11a) so I was shoved along the line to a general waiting area, definitely no preferential treatment there, port staff were irritable and short. Then because of some extra cleaning that the ship had to undergo before boarding the wait was the longest I have ever endured... I think I sat there for over one hour. Definitely the worst experience at PC for me, and unusually unpleasant staff.
Finally we boarded. I went straight to the library as I had forgotten to bring any books to read. The first thing I noticed was the lack of books. The volume had diminished hugely to what it was last year I was on her. I suspect it Is due to the Increase of kindle users?
I found a book, but really not much choice, so that was a little disappointing. No biggie tho.. I was on vacation and on one of my favorite ships.
Rather than face the crowds in the WJ, I went to e Pool bar and sat down, to relax and have my first of several Mango Mai Tais' yum! The bar staff were very pleasant and for a few extra $$ tip I always received great service, they always remembered my beverage and service was always with a smile.
I tended to use this bar throughout the cruise since every day I would be out on deck soaking up as much sun as I could....
I was pleased to discover that the cabin steward had already put my bed together instead of 2 separate, and had added the extra eggcrate mattress that I usually ask for. Very thoughtful.
Sent the afternoon up on deck, sunshine and a few beverages.
Went to dinner at 8p. They have changed the times by 30 mins since my last trip. Looking forward to sampling the new menu. I had asked for a table for 2 prior and was pleased that I had this, tho when I was taken to it, I soon changed my mind. I was sat in the middle of all families with several small children, very noisy, and noone to talk to,,,, surprising since this seating is usually less children,
I asked to be moved, and was. Much better, a quieter area, just couples, no one to talk to, but that's the way it usually is when you travel solo. Sometimes I luck out and get by a table of people that will converse.
Through the week dinner was pretty good, I liked that I would get a separate plate of vegetables every night, as asked for. The wait staff were ok. Nothing special, not exactly brimming over with personality, but not going to sweat the small stuff.... :)
The weather reports for the week were miserable, but we were very fortunate to get good weather almost every day. The last night was a little rough, but otherwise no complaints.
I didn't go to the shows as I had seen them several times before.
Concierge lounge was with Willy. Nice guy. Wait staff were pleasant.
I preferred the Diamond lounge for the ambience and more lively, but disappointed that exactly at 8p, Raoul would turn on the bright room lights and pretty much hunt everyone out. Found that very tacky, and heard complaints about this often.... Raoul also would not permit any drinks to be taken out, so the last drink was poured into a paper cup if you couldn't finish it immediately.... A Mimosa in a paper cup....don't think so. Disappointed with that experience and somewhat insulting.
Willy is most accommodating and doesn't mind at all... Go Willy!
Coco Cay, St Thomas and St Maarten were nice weather, so enjoyed that. Didn't do any excursions as been there many times, walked around, had some delish coconut shrimp by the beach in St Maarten, and had my arm twisted to buy a small piece of jewelry....lol
Most evenings after dinner I went to the Champagne bar, good service, but no caviar bar any longer... Only on 1 of the 6 nights I went there did they have a small offering of a cracker with some soggy caviar....I was hoping to get it nightly as it used to be available.... Oh well....
Definitely observed some cutbacks and this was one of them.
Overall I enjoyed my cruise, was thrilled to have such lovely weather for the most part, and did what I wanted. Tho the evenings were quiet, (one of the negatives about travelling solo) I did meet some nice folks and was sad that my week on the Freedom passed so quickly...
Please feel free to ask any questions.