Just off the ship today and wanted to go ahead and let everyone know what a wonderful time I had. I first have to start by saying that this is my 16th cruise and have sailed Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and NCL. I also was on Carnival Dream in October.
My sister and I traveled together and left Tallahassee on Sunday morning. No need to stay overnight because it's only a 4 hour drive. We parked at an off site parking lot and saved a lot of money. It was only $2.99 per night but may not use them again because it took a long time to get back to the car after we were picked up after debarkation and the lot was not secured. We arrived early @ the port and were on the ship @ about 11am. Didn't have FTTF. Boarded easily. No crowding or long lines.
Our cabin # was 8235. It was a little larger cabin with an extended balcony. Great cabin! It was a little noisy at night though because it was under the area behind where you pick up your pizza. Would take it again in a heartbeat though. I've had several balconies including cove and this was the best. It also had two lounges along with two chairs. Our cabin steward was Wayman and he did a very good job. He came when we called and kept the cabin tidy.
Typically we listen to music, spend some time by the pool, visit the casino, see some of the shows and dine usually in the dining room with my time dining. On the first night we decided to visit the steakhouse which includes a bottle of wine on that night only. Wine is not great but not unpleasant. The food was excellent as always. The service was very good as well. Always worth the $35. We made a visit to the casino but didn't do well at all so went to bed at a decent time. We noticed that the room was a little warm and had to call the next day to have the AC checked. It took a couple of visits by a technician but after the damper was opened all the way, we had no more complaints.
Day 2 was a sea day so we relaxed on the balcony and enjoyed a bottle of wine that we brought from home, went to the art auction and generally enjoyed the ship. The brunch was enjoyable with a good selection. We had my time dining and never had to wait. We also requested the same table every night with the same servers, which we got to know rather well. Again went to bed at a decent hour after visiting the casino. Still no luck.
Day 3 was Cozumel. We have been there multiple times and just decided to walk around and do some shopping. Really didn't want anything special but bought some tequila and some beautiful beaded jewelry from Guatemala. Dinner again in the dining room.
Day 4 was Belize which we were tendered to. It was very confusing getting off the ship and took a very long time. This was corrected though when we were tendered in Grand Cayman. We just did a little shopping because, again, we have been there several times before. We bought some wonderful chocolate at MOHO. If you don't buy anything but just go in the store, it's worth it because it smells delicious. Back on the ship with a delicious dinner. Saw a great show Consuela Ivy. She was a soloist with a great voice.
Day 4 was Mahogany Bay. Spent the day at the beach. It's within walking distance. The path is paved and lovely to look at the flowers and foliage along the way. The beach and chairs are free. The sky ride is also available if you don't want to walk. The live musician was very good and sounded Caribbean not rock or rap. Back on the ship. Enjoyed dinner and the show. The entertainer was Edd but can't remember his last name. He has been on the ship for several months but just started doing his own show. His specialty is electric guitar and not to be missed.
Day 5 was Grand Cayman. Went to the beach but got ripped off. we were told by the crew to go to Royal Palm, which is a resort hotel with a beach which has free access but you have to pay for changing room. Two dollars I believe. When we got on the shuttle, we were told that the Royal Palm was not the best choice and we could go to another area on seven mile beach and it would be much better with changing room included for $5 and the chair would be free. The person that owns this shuttle service is Gerry Mae Gould. Stay away from her because she lies. When we got there, the chairs were $6. The beer was also more than the ship. It was crowded. I don't know about the food. Also, when we got ready to go back, we had to wait until she had a full load which was about thirty minutes. Some people got really angry and took pictures of her license and she got really mad but did get someone to drive us back to town. The water was crystal clear though and that was very enjoyable. The water at Mahogany Bay was not as clear. Back to the ship by tender. Only a short trip and no problems with tendering that day. Didn't see a show that night just wandered from club to club listening to the different music.
Day #6 was the final sea day. Participated in arts and crafts. Had brunch and relaxed. Dinner was again the very best. Our servers were Carlos, Razvan, and Suastica. They could not have been more attentive even honoring a special request for the last night for dinner.
The best parts of the cruse were: The crew was great. Often calling us by our names after only hearing it once. The food was better than the Dream. The ship was very easy to navigate. There was always something to do. The only negative things that I can say are: The air condition had a problem. The tendering was confusing the first time. Finally, I talked to a lot of people on the ship and they seemed pleased as well. Of course, there are always people that you just can't please. I didn't realize how much these hardworking people depend on the gratuities until I just came out and asked them. One of the assistant servers told me he got $45 per month and $.80 per day per guest out of the gratuities that we paid. It's sad that people choose not to pay gratuities when these people work so hard and are so patient. Would have done a back to back on this ship if I had the time. Crew couldn't have been nicer. Can't wait to go again.