We are avid cruisers. We have been on 31 cruises and counting. We certainly love Norwegian as we get lots of free stuff so its hard to change lines. We have been on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, etc. I think each have good and bad but being on the sea is just great.
We began our journey out of Tampa, Fl on Sunday, Dec 30th after celebrating my in laws 60th wedding anniversary in Bradenton. We are from Nashville, TN.
We were in cabin 10098 with a wonderful balcony. Our room steward was Francisco and was just great. He was very nice and attentive. We had a safe, blow dryer and a coffee maker. The coffee maker was especially nice as we could sit out on the balcony in the morning with a cup of coffee. We slept every night with the sliding door open so we could hear the waves. The only bad thing concerning the cabin is the toilet area. the toilet area is extremely small. I had read that before but could not believe how small it is. the sink and shower area are just fine.
Day 1 - at Sea
The weather was beautiful the entire week. We love to sit in a lounge chair and read while feeling that wonderful sun. We had a regular file drill on the deck (you dont have to bring your life jackets). We had the delight of being on the same side of the ship as rooster. He is a delightful addition to the staff and made the drill so entertaining. He told us that our tender would lower first as we were the rich folks (ha)
He then said there was no need to go back to the cabin in the event of an emergency as they had recently added a casino, buffet in the tender. We had dinner at Cagneys. I ran out during dinner around 6:15 as we went under the skyway bridge. Dont miss this, its quite a site. Our dinner was fantastic as always - totally worth the extra fee We then attended the welcome show with Greg London. He was very good - dont miss. We also enjoyed Duo Luna - although not as much as the reviews I have read. The girl had a very good voice. They sang alot of latin music which we tired of and quit going to see them. We also attended the Sing if you know if game. This was fun - mostly teens and an absolutely full room. Let me take this time to talk about the Stardust Theater. The seats are absolutely awful and very uncomfortable. I suggest sitting upstairs although the view is not good there. The seats tilt downwards and are small with no leg room. We did not go every night due to this.
Day 2 - New Years Eve
This was a sea day as well. There was excitement in the air all day from the crew and guests for new years eve. we spent the day sitting and looking at the ocean. We started out with breakfast at the buffet (food was always good there). we attended a cruise critic group meeting that was attended by the captain and the officers. This is always so nice and we appreciate the captain taking cruise critic so seriously. We had dinner at the Moderno. This is beyond words. Please dont miss this. Its 20.00 a person and so worth it. The salad bar is wonderful and the meat is delivered to your table until you turn the little card over to red to say no more. We just loved this place.We listened to music after dinner in Gatsbys lounge. This is a great little hidden place to go. Oh, this was formal night with the pictures. There were few men in tuxes on this cruise. We like to drink some but not get stupid and out of control. There were alot of out of control folks so we left around 11:00 to go to our cabin and enjoy our balcony,
Day 3 - Roatan, Honduras
We have been here several times but never tire of this cruise. We had breakfast at the buffet. We had booked a ship excursion to South Beach, This is so beautiful and was an excellent choice. We were there for 5 hours and there were not many people. Its a private beach that looks like a huge swimming pool, we had a wonderful Coconut drink that tasted like the nectar from the gods. Beautiful day, oh this included a buffet We ate at the Aqua dining room for dinner. It was very good, Dont miss the second city in the stardust. They are very funny,
Day 4 - Belize City, Belize Temp 85
We went on the Beach Break at Bannister Island reserved through the ship. We were there early so had no problem getting seats. But the people kept coming and coming with no where to sit. I heard a lot of unhappy people. There were Norwegian and Carnival folks. This is a tender port. We went back to the cabin to shower and change and took another tender back over to have a drink at the Wet Lizard. This is a tradition for us. The beer is 2 for 5. We came back, ate at the buffet and went to bed early. No activities for us that night.
Day 5 - Costa Maya, Mexico
This is one of our favorite ports as its so pretty and laid back. Be sure and dont just stay at the pool area, grab a taxi for 2 bucks a piece and go to the town. My advice for the BEST place there is to get off at the 2nd stop, make a right and look for a large sign that says Fernando 100% Avage. STOP there, get a lounge chair and enjoy the best mexican food and Marjaritats in the entire world. Fernando will come out and meet you and give you a free shot. He has recently moved his business to the beach. His restaurant used to be off the beach. We then went back to the port and swam in the pool. We returned to the ship and had dinner at the Venecian. This is a pretty place and the food was good. We had steak. If you love the chilled soups, you can only get these on the buffet, not in the restaurants any more.
Day 6 - Cozumel
This is always one of our favorite ports. We book independently with Cochi Nooman for an all inclusive resort. You take a taxi for 17.00 and the resort averages 55.00 a person. you must reserve in advance. They are wonderful in seeing to your needs. The beach is beautiful, you order from the menu and I highly recommend the fried shrimp and the nachos. There is a pool and swim up hot tub. You can get your drinks straight from the bar tender. Back to the ship, we went to the buffet and enjoyed some music with Margie and Ruby in Gatsbys. In the end, I loved the music of Margie. This ended up being a tender port for us (one day a month). This was unfortunate as one of the tenders broke down and we had to stand in line for 3 hours to get back on the ship. The ship was over an hour late in leaving and then had to return back to the ship due to a crew member having to go to the hospital.
Day 7 - Sea Day
Again, A beautiful day. We relaxed, read and enjoyed the water. My husband bought me a beautiful Gucci watch so it was a really nice day. We had dinner at Le Bistro (20). This was my least favorite restaurant as I was disappointed with the food. I got chicken and did not like it. My husband enjoyed his steak. We then went to Bollywood. My advice is to skip this. I was very disappointed in the skill level of the production crew. At the end of the show the officers and crew came up and formed a line to clap for the guests as we left the theater. That was a special moment.
One last thing, I had read so much about the girls that sanitize your hands as you go into the dining room and ALWAYS as washy washy, happy happy. I heard that so much I wanted to say smackee smackee (ha). My husband got a kick about it. Also the Rooster I mentioned at the beginning serves coffee in the dining room and crows when he walks in the room. He is precious.
All in all, we had a great time and are ready to go again. Hope this review helps some one.