The weather for this cruise began with gale force winds and waves forcing the Captain to bypass the "private island" due to unsafe conditions. We continued to sail toward the next port of Ochos Rios. Enroute, there was an injury to a passenger who apparently fell in the rough seas the second night and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Miami. This was accomplished by the Coast Guard flying to the ship and sending down a basket for the injured passenger and immediate family to transport them to the nearest island and then for them to meet a jet to fly to Miami. It was quite and amazing and tactical procedure you usually only see on television. The Coast Guard was magnificent in dealing with heavy winds to complete the mission flawlessly (or so it seemed to me).
When I mentioned this to the crew the next day and how it was quite a feat, I was told it had happened the month prior for the same situation, (an older passenger losing footing and falling during rough seas and either suffering a head injury or broken hip). I felt very sad for family affected but proud the Coast Guard was able to assist them all to a place where medical attention could be obtained for the injured guest.
The Captain was able to revise the itinerary to get to Ochos Rios a day early and also Grand Cayman to avoid weather that ended up closing the Grand Cayman port on the day we were originally scheduled. It was nice in Ochos Rios but rainy and overcast in Grand Cayman. Two more days at sea (both rainy and overcast and windy) before we docked in Key West for our 2nd sunny day!!!!!
We rented a Cabana (deck 11) for the week--(big waste-when there were only 2 sunny days, but who can fortune tell). The cabanas (on deck 11) are well worth it if you want peace and quiet and service and a place to get out of the sun (or in this case the wind and/or rain) I would definitely rent again and hope for more sunshine. Personnel in cabana (Bryan and CarloMango) were outstanding!!
Suites on this ship were not as maintained as other Holland ships I have cruised on before. Bathroon sinks had chips in them, doors creaked, not much water pressure in shower and overall worn looking couch and furnishings. There was a folded piece of paper holding a picture on the wall in place.
In regard to service--it was just so-so. Tried to get pizza one evening about 15 minutes before pizza stand closed and was told nope--I closed early tonight??? Hmmmm--really?? On disembarkation day was basically barged in on by staff asking if they could just strip the beds as I was in the process of dressing (when I asked if she could she wait - she walked into the suite and said it will only take a minute) Not a good move before I left and still hadn't prepared an envelope for the housekeeping staff.
Casino staff were a bright spot as they were friendly and accommodating. Ann, Max, Erik and the entire staff were what I wish the rest of the staff were but I guess you can't have everything---unless you go on a more prestigious cruise line.
While it wasn't the best cruise ever--it was okay but okay isn't what you want when you go on vacation---you want outstanding. I am not sure if I will cruise this line again or if I do it will be a different itinerary. Again, it wasn't a horrible experience, not just up to the standards of previous cruises on this cruise line.