My husband and I took our first cruise on HAL MS Eurodam. We booked an SC Suite Guarantee. I am in my early 40's and he is in his early 30's. We brought 8 bottles of champagne(always do it right) aboard and pre purchased a bottle of rum, 2 nights at Pinnacle Grill, a couple of shore excursions and a drink card.
To begin with I was a little nervous that I would hate the whole cruise thing and end up spending 7 days afloat on the ocean in a terrible mood with no escape. My concerns were completely unfounded. We boarded and were promptly shown to our suite. All of our pre purchases were in the room, in addition to a complimentary bottle of champagne and a bottle of sparkling water. Our room stewards introduced themselves. I forget their names now, they were very good and very attentive.
First we received an aft-facing suite. The balcony was amazing, the view was amazing and I will never sail in another type of room if it can be helped. We enjoyed many a bottle of champagne just watching the water. It was so relaxing, no crowds, no nothing, just us, bubbles and the ocean.
The Neptune Lounge was our second favorite place. It's a perk of the suites. It has two personal concierges to assist with reservation and resolving any issues. There were light breakfast, sweet and savory items items available through out the day. Also, there is an espresso maker, for complimentary coffee drinks throughout the day. We spent a little time here each day. The staff made us feel very special.
Our third favorite spot was the Pinnacle Grill, we ate several lunches here, and multiple dinners. We received wonderful service and meals. It was worth the upcharge. We recently booked our next cruise with HAL and pre booked all of our dinners at the Pinnacle Grill. We ate one night in the main dining room and didn't enjoy waiting in line. The meal was ok and we really enjoyed our table mates, but we preferred the Pinnacle. We also ate once at Tamarind. I enjoyed it, but still preferred the Pinnacle Grill.
We didn't seek out entertainment, but enjoyed the HalCats playing jazz on several occasions. I wished there would have been more nightlife, but the trade off was fine, as I am not a fan of large crowds.
We booked a Champagne Catamaran snorkel excursion through HAL for St Thomas, It was amazing. It was my first say snorkeling and I had a great time. The crew made the trip fun. By this time you may have figured out I like champagne.
We were unable to make land in Puerto Rico because of high winds, but the captain made a fine effort. I personally wish he would have given up earlier. It was the first time I was bothered by the motion of the ocean.
At Half Moon Cay, we rented a little clamshell to keep the sun off. For reason I was possessed by desire to go parasailing. Once I was 300 feet in the air, I realized that the fear of heights doesn't go away just because you're on vacation. I spent $75 to hold on for dear life and pray like only lapsed catholic in trouble can pray. The better part of the day we spent afloat on our backs in the ocean and it was wonderful. Once back on board I went to the GreenHouse Spa for aromatic salt scrub. Amazing.
I must say I have never before returned from vacation feeling rested. I am usually exhausted from running around trying to cram everything into a week. HAL took all of the pressures away. In small blips on the radar that could cause discomfiture in my day, I completely disregarded. The moment I was aboard I felt like we were going to have a wonderful holiday free of worry and we did.