The night before our cruise our cruise critic roll call enjoyed a great meet and greet dinner at Bimini Boatyard. It was a wonderful way to start the week! After dinner we walked down to Total Wine and Publix to load up on wine and munchies (yes I needed chips for the drunken munchies -- and I must say I'm thankful I had them after days of sipping rum by the pool!).
Embarkation -- Arrived at port at exactly 11 am and sailed through check-in. Escorted to Elite lounge where we had coffee and pastries before being called to board at exactly noon. We went straight to the MDR and had a nice salmon lunch with some of our new cruise critic roll call friends.
Stateroom -- D519 mini suite in a perfect midship location. Cabin was roomy and very quiet. I was concerned when I realized the stateroom directly across the hall slept four and sure enough, a family with two small children were staying there. Luckily, I never once heard noise coming from neither the hallway nor that cabin. The extra room was fabulous! I don't know how we could ever go back to NOT having a mini suite. I think the larger bathroom is the BEST thing about the mini suite.
Balcony -- The uncovered balcony was fine. We never felt the people above us were staring down. I loved being right over the water and not having other balconies below us. We ate breakfast and had coffee on our balcony most mornings, had wine out there in the evenings, sailed away from our ports out there, read during sea days, and never felt eyes on us!
Crown Grill -- Definitely one of the best meals EVER. The filet mignon was beautifully cooked to perfection and the sides were impressive. I asked for a lobster tail with my filet and I was brought FOUR! Brought our favorite bottle of Silver Oak cab and had an exquisite meal.
Sabatini's -- Not impressed. Probably will skip this next cruise.
MDR -- Not bad, not awesome, but we always left satisfied. We brought a bottle of our own wine in every evening and I don't believe we were ever charged corkage. Servers were great -- didn't want to say goodbye on the last night.
Ultimate balcony dining -- Had a wonderful dinner on our balcony under the stars after leaving St. Thomas. It was not too windy at all and we had a great conversation with our server. We will definitely do this again. It was a romantic dinner and I never once saw anyone on the balconies above us outside.
Ports -- Nassau was substituted for Grand Turk and although I was initially bummed it turned out to be our best day in port. We walked over to Junkanoo Beach and drank lots of rum & coke, ate scrumptious jerk chicken and made some new Bahamian friends. My husband ended up taking off his fire department shirt and giving it to one of the guys and had to go buy a new shirt. I came home with a TON of Bahamian junk from the straw market -- I couldn't believe I bought it all -- must have been the rum!
Misc -- We love the art auctions and bought two beautiful pieces for our home. We spent most of our pool time at the aft pool as it was Easter week and there were a gazillion kids on board. It was quiet and peaceful back there. We never had a problem finding lounge chairs and met lots of great folks back there. Enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails at Vines a few nights and enjoyed the music in the piazza.
Disembarkation -- AWFUL! We met in the MDR for our 9:15 disembarkation and sat there for an hour. Then when we were led off, we waited about 30 minutes as they only had two agents working. Ugh! Very frustrating! I woke up with a bad case of vertigo and was dizzy and nauseous and just plain miserable.