Hi, I am 41 years old and my husband is 50. This was our 8th cruise. We arrived Friday evening to Miami at midnight. We took the shuttle service at the airport to our hotel. It was $24 for the two of us. We stayed in the Sheraton Biscayne which we booked through Priceline for $48.50. It was very nice.
Day One- We got up and ran a 4 mile run in downtown Miami which was very nice. We went right by the harbor in Biscayne and could see the ships docked. We arrived at the ship terminal at around 10:30 and boarded by 11:30 it was really smooth. We went to the Windjammer and had lunch. The best part was these really great brownies. I never saw them again, as much as I looked!
We had the mandatory muster at 4:15, it was no big deal and went fast. We had late seating and had really nice table mates. We watched the Welcome Aboard show which was fun. The cruise director was Gordon Whatman and he is really great. He was very funny and personable. We watched the Welcome Aboard Parade in the Promenade it was worth seeing. Lots of great costumes. We then found our favorite hang out spot which was The Crown and Kettle Irish Pub on the Promenade. The entertainer's name was Scott Perham. He was great! He knew lots of great songs and we were all singing along. Lots of Eagles, James Taylor, etc...
Day 2- This was a Sea Day. We got up and ran 5 miles on the jogging track, the only complaint is that some of the walkers would hog up the track and it was really hard to pass them. They should mark it for walkers on the right and runners on the left just to give some guidelines. It is 5 times around for a mile for any of you runners who were wondering. We had a great pool day. The only problem was it was REALLY rough at sea. The boat was swaying like crazy and there were LOTS of very sick people on board.
This was the first Formal night and everyone looked wonderful. Lots of formal length gowns and tuxedos. We went to the Captain's welcome cocktail party which they had on the Promenade. this was a great place for it since there was lots of mingling room. We were fortunate to have the cruise Doctor join us for dinner. Dr. Anita Hotstetter is from Sweden and a very intelligent and gracious lady. She was pretty exhausted from the day since so many guests and crew had come to the clinic for help with sea sickness. We really enjoyed her company. We had wonderful beef Tenderloin for dinner this evening. The evening show was "History Repeating" we only stayed for a few minutes and went to go listen to Scott in the pub instead.
Day 3- We went to the Cruise Critic party at Dizzy's. We had a small turn out but it was still nice. Julie the social Hostess was really sweet. They raffled off a few prizes.
We were very late getting to San Juan due to the wind and the rough seas. They had to cancel many of the excursions due to the late arrival. We shopped a bit downtown. It is a pretty easy walk to the shops. Then we went to Senor Frogs for a margarita (it's very close to the port). Then it was back on board. The cruise director joked about whether we had fun with our 10 minutes in San Juan or not? It really seemed like that is all we were there for.
Dinner this night included Shrimp Scampi and it was to die for!!! It was different than any kind I had had before. Try it if you like shrimp. The entertainment this evening was comedian Rondell Sheridan. He was HILARIOUS!!!! He did lots of improv with the audience and was just the best.
Day 4 St Maarten - We really enjoyed this port. We took a water taxi in to town. It is $5 a person for as many rides as you want. So you can go back to the ship for lunch if you want. The shops were nice and clean. They have a cute Jimmy Buffet store called Last Mango in Paradise that we got some nice shirts at. Went back to the ship for lunch and then just lounged by the pool. We went to the welcome back party for Crown and Anchor members. It was held in Maharajas. The Dr. joined us again for dinner which was a treat. We went to the ice show this evening. It was incredible! We then found our spot at the Pub again. Orlando is the bartender there who is great and Anne Marie is the waitress who is just as cool and funny as they come. We had another great night listening to Scott.
Day 5 - St. Thomas Due to 9/11 security they now have a mandatory immigration check and everyone must present their ship card, passport or birth certificate and picture ID. It was a bit of a pain but it went smoothly. We went in to St. Thomas and shopped. When we got back we swam and then ordered wine in our room. We had purchased the wine card. This includes 7 bottles of wine for $185 (I think that is what it was). We had the wine and cheese and crackers delivered to our room and enjoyed our balcony. We went to the Talent show. Some talented guests and even those that aren't future grammy award winners get my vote for sheer guts!!! We enjoyed another great dinner. Charo was the guest performer that evening but we didn't feel like watching her. Our table mates said she was wonderful however. We went to the Quest game this evening. It was HILARIOUS and for adults only. If you are shy, my only suggestion is don't volunteer to be a runner.
Day 6 At Sea -- It was a rainy cool kind of day. We ran our miles, then went ice skating. Went to look at the art auction did a kick boxing class, did the wine and cheese thing again on our balcony and got ready for the second formal night. The show this evening was "Fast Forward" we passed on this one as well and had another great night in the Pub.
Day 7 Nassau - We really don't like this port. There is not much to do. The shops are expensive and we found many of the shop owners rude. We went of the boat for about a half hour and then spent the rest of the day by the pool. After dinner we went to the Farewell show which was nice. They have an act called Majestic which is a man and his wife who do dance and acrobatics. They are just lovely to watch and SO talented! We packed our bags had one last ale in the pub and zonked.
Day 8 - We got up at 6:30 had breakfast and were off the ship by 7:45! It was the smoothest disembarkation ever. They have your luggage on conveyer belts just like at the airport assigned by a color that is given to you. It is a breeze.
Last Thoughts - It was a beautiful ship! The Promenade is such a great place to hang out and people watch. The Fitness Center is great. It is huge and has very nice equipment in it. The food was very good. We loved this cruise and can't wait to take our kids on it! Please email me if you have any questions.