Cruisers: My GF(26) and I(33) on our first(and not our last cruise). I know its a bit late but better late than never...lol
We travelled from Barbados on April 28 on AA984 direct to Miami. We arrived at the airport at 1153hrs. We collected or baggage called the hotel on the courtesy phone(La Quinta - Le Jeune Rd) they sent the shuttle for us and we were checking in early(1230hrs) check-in was supposed to be 1400hrs.
The hotel was very nice, clean and the staff was extremely friendly. Evy(receptionist) at the front desk was very friendly and professional. I would not hesitate to stay at this hotel again. We were in and out of our rooms and did a bit of exploring...translate(my gf wanted to shop)which was ok with me as it was my first time in Miami. We got a cab back to the hotel and ate dinner at Bennigans next door and then retired early so we could get our cruise day started early.
Embarkation was a breeze...our FREE hotel shuttle left at 1100hrs we got to the port before 1130hrs and were on board enjoying lunch on the Lido b4 1200hrs. Our rooms were not quite ready so we had to lug around with our carryons for a bit but it was no big deal as rooms were ready by 1300hrs.
Our room was an inside on the Empress Deck which was nice..it had enough room for both of us and a lot of storage space. We also met our Cabin Steward Justina...she was very friendly and seemed to have our schedule downpat...whenever she saw us in the hall she would say hi and she remembered our names from the moment we told her.
The Food was pretty good. The dining room was always good but the buffet was hit or miss and the deserts were not very good(most of them lacking in taste). Breakfast on the Lido was very good as well...the made to order omelets were the bomb!!
We had to excellent servers Micki (Croatia) and Elder (Honduras) whenever they saw us anywhere they always had a greeting and if they saw either of us without the other they would always ask where the other one was.
The shows were GREAT for the most part. The only one I did not particularly care for was the "Village Idiots" show, I could have missed that one.
We did all of our excursions on our own..in Cozumel we did the SAN Francisco Beach Break, My GF has relatives in Cayman so they took us around the island it was very relaxing. We just got off the ship in Jamaica, walked around Ocho Rios a bit and then got back on.
Debarkation was a nightmare. After collecting out baggage we did not clear customs for about 2 hrs!! Apparently there was a new officer on duty and guess whose line we were in? Its a good thing we were in no hurry as we were spending another night in Miami and leaving the next day.
All in all this cruise was GREAT. We met some wonderful people on this cruise and fellow passengers were all very friendly and always greeted you with a hello and a smile when you passed them in the hallways or met them in the elevators.
We are already planning our next cruise on the DESTINY.