Embarkation- We arrived in Baltimore about 12:30pm and got through security relatively quickly. We were on the boat by 1:30pm and were able to go right to our stateroom. It had to be the coldest day in March (3/3/13).
Cabin- Our stateroom was nice, we had a balcony room on the Upper Deck (5th floor). It was comfortable for us, we had 2 adults and 2 teenage girls. I thoroughly enjoyed the towel animals each night. Our room was always clean and the towels and ice were replenished daily. I would definitely have a balcony room again, there is something about waking up and looking out at the ocean, or sitting on the balcony watching the sun rise.
Dining- We purchased the "bottomless bubbles" program for the adults. I definitely feel that I got my monies worth, my boyfriend not so much. It was a pain though to have to flag a bar waiter down to get a soda or run to the bar every time we needed a refill. When we were in our cabin it was inconvenient to have to go to a bar to get a soda as well, the program did not include room service. I will say the food was excellent. The majority of the days we did eat breakfast on the lido deck (9th) it was very good. The omelet stations and the chocolate chocolate chip muffins were excellent. We did attend the "sea day" brunch in the Normandie and the bacon mac and cheese was to die for!!! I was not aware that I was able to order as much food as I wanted in the main dining room, but this was great once I found that out. Now to elegant night-- we were under the impression that this was optional. The first elegant night no one in my party was dressed appropriately, my boyfriend has on jeans and a sweatshirt and we were seated with NO problem and had a great dinner. The second elegant night, we were all dressed a little more appropaitely- my boyfriend had on khaki shorts and a nice Hawaiian shirt, I had on jean capris and the girls had on flip flops. The lady at the podium came around and looked at my boyfriend and stated that he needed to have on pants, when questioned why this was not an issue on the first night, she stated that we could check with her boss, who was matre d standing beside her. The matre d never even looked up to acknowledge us, but stated that he was sorry but we could not eat in the main dining room. My boyfriend started to question him further, and the matre d responded with "have a nice dinner." It was very rude!! We weren't going to let that ruin our vacation. After some choice words, we headed to the lido deck for dinner.
Ports of Call- We were not real impressed with Port Canaveral, Florida. We purchased a excursion to Cocoa Beach on the ship. It was a little chilly in Florida so we only stayed there for a few hours. We had booked a snorkeling trip in Nassau and it was just average. My boyfriend did enjoy the rum punch which was flowing freely on the trip back to the harbor. The straw market was an adventure for me. My boyfriend did enjoy haggling with the sellers, I found them to be a bit pushy. Freeport was our favorite port, and unfortunately we only had a few hours there. We chose to take a 10.00 round trip to Port Lucaya. We were able to take a short walk to a public beach, I had never seen blue water before. IT was absolutely beautiful!!