We arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 30, to spend New Year's with our family. On the day of embarkation, Jan. 2, 2007, we drove to the Port of Miami. We were in no hurry to board the Regatta, although we could have boarded at 11am with the A2 category cabin. We arrived at 3:15pm and were sitting down to an afternoon snack by 3:30pm. While looking over the newsletter, the Jr. Head Waiter, Mathieu, came to ask us how everything was. He suggested that we go and make dinner reservations for that night either at Polo or Toscana, because the Grand Dining Room is very crowded on the first night. What a great idea! We made 4 reservations and were very happy with both alternative dining venues. We then went to check out the rest of the ship and the fitness facilities. We booked a massage for each of us (husband and myself) for the last day at sea (all that was left) and headed back to our room. Our luggage was waiting for us and I unpacked, while my husband made the last phone call to the kids before we were unable to use the cell phones. With that done, and the empty luggage stored neatly under the bed, we left for the muster drill. After any easy 20 minutes, we dropped off the life jackets in the cabin and went up to Horizons to meet the other CC members from the message boards. There were 12 of us and meeting new people is always a great time for us. On this smaller ship, it wasn't too long before you'd be able to greet new "friends" by name throughout the trip.
2 Days at Sea: The pool lounges were great! Comfortable and there were no chair hogs! But if you want to be in the sun all day, do try to get out there before 10am. Virgin Gorda: There are open air shuttles leaving from the pier for the Baths for $3pp each way. They are definitely worth seeing. If you can, hike on through the caves, to the left as you arrive at the first beach, it's called Devil's Bay. St. Barts: We had been here before and grabbed a taxi to Saline Beach. It was more crowded than the last time we had visited, but still better for us than the more commercial St. Jean beach. Taxis are more expensive here, and the ride cost $60 round trip for 2. Antigua: We booked the Antigua Canopy Tour online with Neil. It's a zipline adventure and rope challenge course. We never did find their driver on the pier, so we had a taxi driver take us to their shop, $30 round trip. Neil took this off the price of the adventure. It was great and if your able, and up for a challenge, I would highly recommend it! We were back at the port by 1pm and since it was the NFL playoffs, we grabbed a couple of stools on the Beehive to watch the games. Tortola: I set up our own dive excursion with "Dive Tortola" and was not disappointed! Hilary, our guide was knowledgeable, and patient with us. The crew was attentive and took care of anything we needed. The diving was clear and beautiful and we photographed stingrays, turtles and the tug boat wrecks she took us too. Samana, DR: It was raining hard most of the morning, so we waited until about 12pm to take the tender to shore. On the tender we met 3 other couples willing to share a taxi to Las Terrenos (sp?) at $25 per couple. It's about a 45 minute drive, but worth it, as there is not much at the port, except for island people trying to sell you stuff. This is a very poor island and they have a hard time taking "no" for an answer.
Grand Turk: We booked a dive excursion with the ship and the diving was fantastic! A 7500' wall awaits those who dare! The water was the most beautiful here, clear and warm. After the dive we had a drink at Margaritaville - bring your wallet, at $6.50 for a Corona and $14 for a large margarita, I guess we all need to help Jimmy Buffet pay for the high duty fees to bring import into Grand Turk.
Cabin 7087: Balcony cabin, a bit small, but very nice. Comfortable beds and bedding, and plenty of storage! Soft robes and slippers were provided. Our room stewardess was only seen twice, but our room was kept perfect throughout the entire voyage.
Food: I think it was great! In all areas! I especially liked Toscana, but I love Italian! Room service was all timely and hot. The burgers at Waves, were pre-cooked, slightly, but were grilled to perfection while you waited. The fish was always fresh and the french fried hot & delicious!
Staff & Crew: Warm and friendly! They really seem to love their jobs. Everybody that you saw, greeted you, smiled at you and looked you in the eye. I have cruised on 5 different lines and these people were the best!
Disembarkation: As painless, as can be expected, it's always a little depressing getting off a ship. Be sure you get up early - they clear breakfast away at 8am!
I can't wait for our next adventure, and I am hoping it will be on Regatta!