This was my 13th cruise, and just 7 mos. ago I was on the Conquest out of Texas. This was my daughter's high school graduation celebration, for she wanted to cruise with her friend. We had 3 generations of women. Six all together. Stayed at the Clarion right by the airport, it was a decent hotel. Took the shuttle back to the airport to get transportation to the port. Took a van at a cost of $16.00 each. Make sure you know and they know what port you're going out of. There is two. Be prepared for different answers depending on who you are talking too, on how to get to the port.
Arrived at the port at 9:30 a.m. to be the first on board. And we were the first. They took our docs right away, and we were seated. I think we made it on around 11 or 12. There were no problems, everything went smoothly.
Our 2 cabins were end to end, but at least on the same floor. Dropped our stuff off in the cabins (though they were not ready) and off to eat and tour the ship. The ship was very elegant. Beautiful paintings everywhere. And the urns did not bother me a bit. In fact we laughed about it upsetting our trip (stated in a review). The stateroom was as big as our hotel room! But whoever gets the sofa gets the short straw! Not as comfy, and no down comforter! They first set up the top bunk, and I'm nearly 50 and crawling up that latter HURT! Then I didn't like the feeling up there, so I took off all the bedding and slept on the sofa. Next night they made up the sofa.
We had woke up to heavy rains the first day. How sad, but then we spent the day in the spa, and did things we never did when it was sunny.
Our waiter was good, I think we entertained him as much as he did us. Our assistant was not as good, we never got beverages and such. But when we spoke to the head waiter about this, quickly things changed. The food was really good and there was very few times we had a poor dish. The bread was ALWAYS fresh. And the desserts were excellent. Usually ate lunch in the dining room, for this was one of our pleasures. And some of the time the lunches were better than dinner. We had a steak sandwich or two at the grill, and grazed the buffet, too.
Days at sea they had a sundae bar by the adult pool, and you could lose an arm there! People pushing and shoving, getting into tiffs. Don't dare cut into any line to get a spoon or a pat of butter, they'll beat ya down! There was butter easily found, salsa, too!
Very few unruly kids and adults. We were able to find chairs in the sun, and we needed 3-4 in a group. The staff was generally friendly, though I always treated them with respect. Purser desk was fine, but sometimes confused. (this is all related to prior reviews)
The entertainment was good, though it doesn't vary much from cruise to cruise. I was told by the back stage tour that the main shows do not change for 7-14 years because of the expense. So do not go on the same cruise if you do not want to see the same entertainment. The lounges were way too cold for us ladies. We started to bring in our comforter! Only saw the cruise director a minute or two before the shows. He didn't seem too personable to me.
We went on the "barefoot catamaran" in St Thomas and had a great snorkeling guide. Went to the beach in Tortola, but it was rainy. Went to Senior Frogs in the pouring rain and it was so quiet. Everyone was watching the soccer games, so we left.
Disembarkation went smooth. Ate breakfast, waited in the hallways and got off. Called the same van shuttle, and in 20 minutes we were back at the airport.
SUMMARY- You can find good and bad in anything. Try to roll with the punches, treat people respectfully, and think a bad vacation is still better than a good day at work.