My boyfriend and I sailed the Western Caribbean route on this ship during the week of Thanksgiving. We had a great time and I thought I would share some of our experiences with those looking to book this cruise...
Faster to the Fun (FTTF):
We decided to purchase the FTTF pass for the priority embarkation and tendering since this route has two tender ports. The additional benefits that we enjoyed were the immediate room access, luggage delivery and designated Guest Services line. Overall, we thought this was an excellent option and we will purchase it again in the future.
We arrived at the port around 11:30 and were directed to the priority security line where we walked right up to the scanners. Our water and sodas were individually inspected and put back into our suitcase. As we went through the check-in process they started to call the weddings and priority travelers to begin boarding. Just as we finished, they called the FTTF boarding and we walked right on.
We had a Balcony cabin on the Upper deck in the aft section. The cabin and bathroom were the right size for the two of us. There were plenty of drawers and closet space for our things. We enjoyed the location with easy access to the Promenade level just below us and the buffet and Aft pool just a few floors above. The only noise we experienced was early in the morning when the cabin stewards were getting their supplies from their storage room across the hall.
We chose Anytime Dining since we only use the MDR a few nights during the week. We went two regular nights where we waited in line for 15 minutes and on the first formal night where we waited 30 minutes. The service was somewhat slow, but the servers were very friendly and we enjoyed each of our meals. Not much to say about the buffet, it's a buffet and served its purpose when we were hungry. We did enjoy the omelet station and Blue Iguana breakfast burritos in the mornings, Guys Burgers and the deli during lunch and pizza during late night. Room service was delivered within 45 minutes each time we ordered. We enjoyed the menu at the Punchliners Brunch, but the comedian was not funny and did not seem to want to be there. The highlight of our trip was dinner in the steakhouse. We enjoyed everything we tried and the service was outstanding! We will definitely do this again.
Cozumel -- We took a taxi to Mr Sanchos and chose the all-inclusive option. There were beach chairs, tables with umbrellas and a swim-up pool bar with swing chairs on the other side. We definitely got our money's worth in food and drinks. We enjoyed our day here and will definitely return.
Belize -- This is a tender port where the FTTF pass would allow us to get off the ship in the first tenders. Since we did not book an excursion for this port, we did not take advantage of this and remained on the ship until early afternoon. We walked through the port area for awhile and purchased a few souvenirs before heading back to enjoy the quiet ship again. I suggest booking an excursion in Belize as the port area is small and there is not much there.
Mahogany Bay -- We brought our own snorkel gear and decided to walk to the beach and snorkel by the far pier. It wasn't great snorkeling, but it was nice to have a relaxing beach day. It rained heavily and we spent the rest of the afternoon at one of the bars before returning to the ship.
Grand Cayman -- We were looking forward to our snorkeling excursion at this port. However, due to rough seas we had to tender from another location and all water excursions were cancelled for the day. We ended up taking a taxi into Georgetown and walked around the shops.
We got off the ship around 9am and were on the road home by 10am after going through customs and waiting for the shuttle to our offsite parking garage.
Overall, we had a great time on this cruise and highly recommend this ship!