Hi! We went on this same cruise last year with the Grandkids and loved it so much we decided to do it again just by ourselves. We drove from Charlotte and arrived about 11:45 AM. (they start letting you on board at about 11). There was a police officer directing us to the first checkpoint, where you show your passports, Photo ID's and boarding passes. Then it is on to the next checkpoint where you drop off your checked bags. Then onto the last one where you pay your $85 for parking, and then into the warehouse to park. A shuttle bus takes you to the terminal building, where after going thru an xray machine you stand in this long line, but the line moved pretty fast. Once at the counter, you show your information, they do their thing, then you go upstairs for photos for your sail and sign cards, and walk up the ramp and your on the ship. Took about 45 minutes in all. The ship is old and if you look really really hard you can see some rust here and there, but considering it's age it looks great. You always see crew members cleaning all over the place. Our cabin steward, Gusti, for cabin M-101, was Outstanding. He introduced himself the first day and was always smiling and always called us by our names, always asking if we needed anything. My wife forgot to bring a shower cap and I mentioned it to him on the first day. Not more than 2 minutes later he was knocking on the door with a new shower cap for her. We got lucky on the weather, smooth sailing and great weather. At Nassau, we took the bus to Breezes and for $65 PP got all you can eat and drink and use of the beautiful beach and pool. In Freeport, we did the same thing, taking the taxi to the Grand Lucayan Beach Resort and for $15 PP using their facilities. Both days were sunny and 85! The food in the buffet was good to great, some things really great and some things just good. We never got anything we thought was bad. But the food in the Main Dining Room, OMG, it was "to die for", and I never use the phrase "to die for". The second night of the cruise is elegant night, and they served lobster tail and shrimp (I ordered 2 of them ) and they were delicious!! On the last night is prime rib, and my wife said it was the best prime rib she had ever had!! Our waitress was a sweet woman named WiWik (she said to call her wee wee), and she was the best waitress I have ever had on a ship, any ship! We had "our time dining" and on the first night we were sat at a 2 person table in her section and she suggested that we ask for her every night, that way we could be sure of getting great service!!! And we did! Oh, and if this is your first cruise, please one night just try the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake for dessert. I don't even like chocolate and I LOVED this cake!! I must admit, we wanted to see both comedians, but only got to see Lester, who was funny as all get out! Didn't make it to the adult comedy shows (too old, I guess), but maybe next time. The last night the "Motor City" show was great. They come off the stage and everyone ends up in the main atrium (where the glass elevators are) and everyone is singing and dancing and having a great time. What a way to end a fantastic cruise! Here are a couple of tips that may help some of you coming on this cruise......
1. Breakfast is great, but they can't get the bacon crisp to save their lives! (but they have great grits and omelets!)
2. No fan in the bathroom, but it didn't bother us at all.
3. Bring a hair dryer (no hair dryer in room)
4. Bring a flat iron if you want it (no irons in room)
5. There is only one outlet in the room. Bring an extension cord if you have several items that need charging. (Put all these items in your checked baggage)
6. No shower cap in room.
7. NO COFFEE POTS IN ROOM!!! You can fill out the continental breakfast card and leave it outside your room the night before and they will bring you coffee to the room at your specified time in the morning. (for a tip)
8. The best lounge chairs for watching the events going on on the lido deck stage are on the top deck, but there is no shade up there.
9. Try the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake!!!
10. Don't miss Elegant night!!
I hope this review helps. Most of all, have a FANTASTIC FANTASY VACATION!!!!!!