We sailed on our fifth Holland America cruise and second to the Western Caribbean. We expected that the ship would not be full up at the end of October but it was. There were quite a few children although seniors were predominate as passengers. We were very pleased with our suite on the Navigation deck. It was located near the glass elevators and offered easy access to the Lido dining room. The Lido was crowded for the embarkation lunch on October 22. Nevertheless we soon got used to steering our way through the crowds and found the food very satisfactory. We particularly liked the location of our suite and the verandah. We went to the 5.45 p.m. early sitting for dinner and met some interesting dinner companions at a table for six. The entertainment was a little disappointing on the first night. The dancing and singing was not as good as some prior experiences.
We loved the first stop at Half Moon Cay. This is a delightful island with beautiful water and facilities. We moved on to Grand Turk and tied up at the new pier. While the water was just as beautiful, the island seemed less interesting and was extremely hot. It had a full complement of lethargic locals and over-priced shops. Next stop was the Cayman Islands. We had been there before but this time tried the glass-bottom boat. This experience was quite good and not a bad value. The final destination was Costa Maya and here we took the Chaccchoben Mayan Ruins tour. This was interesting and we had a knowledgeable guide. Costa Maya looks like a fine resort and has a lot of potential.
Our disembarkation went quite smoothly and we took an early flight back to California. We had arrived in Florida three days before the cruise for further exploration of Fort Lauderdale. We recommend Chuck's Steak House on SE 17th for food and the water bus for visiting the beach and other inland locations. Overall it was a very good trip.