After reading several negative reviews about this cruise ship, I was a little nervous about what to expect. However, this was hands down one of the best cruises we have ever been on.
We live in the Tampa area so we drove down the morning of the cruise and used Park N Go. We drove up into the lot and were immediately loaded into a shuttle with five other people. Upon our return, we walked to the meeting spot and once again were immediately loaded into a shuttle and were on our way. It was so much more convenient than parking in a cruise parking lot and having to drag our luggage to the terminal and it was way less expensive!
Embarkation and debarkation were extremely fast and efficient. We arrived around 12:30 and were able to go immediately to our room. Debarkation was extremely easy also. The terminal isn't pretty, but they sure know what they're doing there.
We had two interior rooms. They were spacious and cozy as always. The cabin attendant cleaned the room twice a day and never interrupted us when we were sleeping. Our bathroom was fine, but our daughters next door had trouble with their shower overflowing and the bathroom smelling a little like urine. It was nothing they couldn't live with, though, and we never did complain to anyone about it. IMPORTANT NOTE: We had rooms 6369 and 6373. We had loud Latin Music every evening until midnight and sometimes during the afternoon that was coming from the Casino entertainment area below us. It wasn't a problem for us, but if you like to go to bed early, you may want to pick a different room. (It was so loud that we thought it was coming from the room next door until we figured out it was the deck below us.)
The adult serenity area on this boat is the largest area I have ever seen on a ship. It covers the entire front of the ship on two decks!
The food was incredible everywhere on the ship. Always hot, always delicious. My daughter has an onion allergy so every night in the dining room they would bring her the following night's menu and let her pick whatever she wanted to eat and the chef would prepare it specially for her without onions. Gil was our head server and we were in the Posh Dining room. All our waiters were wonderful. I thought the dining room was especially beautiful. The lights changed colors every minute or so. We had so much fun every evening!
First two nights on the ship were especially rocky because of a storm up north. My daughter and I were pretty nauseous, but we bought something called Motionese in the gift shop. It was little drops of oil you put behind your ear. I don't understand how it works, but we felt relief immediately and used it through the rest of the cruise if the boat got rocky. Never felt bad again!
St. Thomas - We booked a 5-hour kayak/snorkeling/hike excursion through Shore Excursions Group. It was a little more expensive than the same excursion offered through the ship, but we had a smaller group and got to take our time. It was a great excursion. The kayaking was so much fun. We hiked to a blow hole. Lunch was delicious. The second snorkeling spot was amazing. We saw an eel, eagle ray, sea urchins, and several beautiful fish. Guides were so laid back and nice. We bought a picture CD that cost $45 but we got some incredible pictures! Taxi ride to and from the meeting site was $10 per person each way.
Antigua - We booked the Deluxe Lobster Champagne Catamaran Excursion through the ship. This was the best excursion we have ever been on in ten years of cruising. It was worth every penny. Lobster was the best I've ever had. Large portions of food. The scenery was absolutely paradise. We went to two beaches, cruised by an active volcano, and got to stop and swim in the ocean and dive off the boat. We didn't drink, but the people who did never had an empty cup. Apparently the rum punch is especially good! The ride back to the ship was actually quite entertaining and the people were so nice.
Tortola - We booked the Jost Van Dyk excursion through the ship. It had five star reviews, but we were not really impressed at all. It may have not been as good because the weather had been bad the previous two days and the water was still pretty rough. There wasn't a water trampoline to rent like in the advertisement and the "free chairs" you could lay in were all bunched together on one side of the beach where the water came up to your feet and they were angled so much that you had to hold yourself up with your arms to keep from sliding off them! Scenery was incredible though and we walked down to Gertrude's and rented chairs there for $5 apiece. Much better location and the chairs were more comfortable and spread out on flat ground! The lunch was just so-so. Boat ride there was great, but then they had to take you to shore on a little sketchy looking barge. I think the water was just too rocky that day and made walking the plank off the barge onto the rocks at the shore very dangerous. I'm thinking that usually things go much smoother on this excursion for it to get such high reviews. Best part was definitely the scenery and the boat ride there and back. It was a beautiful beach.
Nassau - We didn't book a tour here. We had fun walking around town. We toured the Pirate Museum. It was $36 for the four of us. Not a huge museum, but very interesting and actually a lot nicer than I expected it to be. Senor Frogs was full of entertaining people watching, but it cost us $70 for one large appetizer and four nonalcoholic drinks (two of them were small and one was a diet coke). The hidden service charge and extra charges for the glasses were what made it unreasonable. Food was great though.
I tried to include the few negative things we encountered so this would be an accurate review, but I can honestly say this is one of the best cruises we have ever been on. The ports were so beautiful and everyone on the ship was so nice. I wouldn't change a single thing that we did except maybe I would have ordered the warm chocolate cake every night!
Happy cruising :)