This was a Holiday Cruise, Christmas, and a fun reunuion with some previous CC friends we met on a cruise in 2008...
Embarkation, was average...not hugely long, but it wasn't a breeze either...It seemed that when we embarked at cruise terminal A it moved a LOT more smoothly and quickly, but maybe we just hit it at "Rush Hour"...we thought fairly early, as we were meeting our friends in the Rotterdam Dining Hall for the Embarkation Lunch for returning Mariners at 12pm.That was lovely, and you could just relax and be papered...Vacation was beginning!..This ship was the first of this class I have ever traveled on...I was used to the larger Vista Class, but I must say, I enjoyed the smaller, elegant ship. Even though it was 18 years old, (and referbished) it seemed to be fine, we didn't expereience any problems..
The ship was nicely decorated for the season, they had many Gingerbread houses, and a whole gingerbread city in the Atrium! Even though there were signs saying that the houses were for decoration ONLY bits went missing...so the crew put out more candycanes and even...chocolate eggs! Our Room Stewards, Wayan and Ricky were wonderful, and we saw them frequently...they went out of their way to make sure we didn't want for anything, and they were incredilbly fast at doing our room. The dining room was about average, Not bad but not great...it DID seem to take an hour and a half most nights to eat, and the diningroom staff seemed a bit stretched too thin, but they soldiered on as best they could. My husband worked out in the gym daily and had no complaints. The staff over-all was very friendly, and I was impressed that Capt. Boers took evasive action when some whales seemed to be heading right at us. He had a funny sense of humor and we enjoyed his updates. We mostly spent our time either in the library, or at Trivia when we weren't walking around the decks or shopping...a person we dined with was more into the Thermal suites and hot tubs and saunas, she said she was disappointed that some things were not working, or that the staff didn't want to enforce the time limits for the chairs, so it was up to her to ask people to vacate when their turn was up. The food was nice, no real complaints. All in all it was a pleasant time and we look forward to doing it all again this upcoming summer when we go on a 2 week Alaskan cruise!