We flew the same day we cruised which always has me anxious. We were on the ship by 1:30, dropped off our carry-ons in our room and headed to the lido deck for lunch. The line for the buffet was very long so we opted for Pizza and then went directly back to our room to find our luggage already arrived and met Alberto,our room steward. This is the smallest ship we've been on. I expected less lines since there were less people, but this wasn't the case. Also, the Horizon Court is normally in the back of the ship and this time it was in the front which kept getting me turned around.
Due to the hurricane Sandy, they reversed the order of our stops. Also, Cayman Island was cancelled due to rough waters. I did hear complaining since that made three sea days in a row, but I enjoyed laying by the pool and reading as well as the entertainment. Then we were told that no one would be able to take excursions the day of the Panama Canal due to a strike and possible riots in Colon. We hadn't planned to get off anyway, but we were looking forward to going back thru the locks with everyone else off the ship.
Costa Rica was very humid and we visited the sloth Sanctuary thru the cruise ship. The ride there was about 45 minutes and included the nursery, the adults, a canoe ride down the river and a walk in the jungle as well as fruit and refreshments at the end.
After watching the canal and taking some pictures, I became bored with the canal, but I'm not into engineering. We didn't pick this cruise for the canal, but more for the other ports, although I can now say I've been thru the canal (or at least part of it).
Cartagena, we did a tour with Dora. While it was very hot, it was still very interesting and we got to see a lot of sights in a small amount of time.
Aruba, we just shopped since we've been there several times. It's still one of my favorite islands.
They seemed to have cut back on some help, but overall I thought it was a very pleasant and restful cruise. All the comedians were wonderful with the exception of one who had to look at his notes after each joke. I think he was a replacement for someone that should have gotten on our first stop.
I HIGHLY recommend the production show "On the Bayou". It's the best I've seen in 8 cruises. The deck party was also excellent and the Halloween contest and party was fabulous. I loved how many of the crew also dressed up and had fun. The decorations were done very well also.
Our main server worked double because his new helper was terrible and couldn't seem to learn. Even the simplest things like getting us coffee with our dessert seemed to be too much for him. The food was very good as was the selection. The grill is on the 15th deck, above the pizza, which was a bit hard to get to. MUTS was good, but they need to show more movies and less concerts. The in-house band was also good.
I did take a couple of dance and zumba classes as well as listened to a few lectures. I liked that the Island Princess has two theaters instead of just the one.
And best of all was the casino staff. Very friendly and helpful. I took every class on gaming and they were very patient with me. Thank you William from Scotland!