This was our first cruise and we took our 5 girls, ages 13, 11, 10, 9 and 8 .. And had an absolute blast ..
Stayed at the CAMBRIA SUITES in Dania Beach the night before (Feb.7th) .. It was great .. No complaints ... $5 pp shuttle to port .. I believe every hour .. SUBWAY and some Cuban Restaurant are within a 10 min. walk .. Oakwood Plaza is further and has more options .. $20 taxi R/T ...
EMBARKMENT - Was a breeze .. Took the 12 pm shuttle from hotel .. Not sure if it was so easy because I checked us in online beforehand or not .. Probably .. Was through everything and on the ship within 30 mins ..
SHIP - Went to the LIDO deck and had lunch at the grill (Hamburgers/Fries/Chicken strips, etc) .. Purchased our Bottomless Bubbles stickers .. Hung out until Sail away ..
Rooms were ready around 2 pm .. Luggage a bit later, around 5 or 6 pm I think ..Played mini golf a few times .. swam alot .. Water slide was fun .. Watched the nightly movies a few times ..
KIDS CLUBS - I had pre-registered the girls but when we got down there they weren't interested at all ..
My eldest would have been in Circle C alone and wouldn't even attempt it .. The 11 and 9 yr old did a few things in the club but that was it .. They found it "boring" ..
FOOD - Never tried the Fish&Chips or the Mongolian Wok .. Deli was good ... FREEDOM BUFFET was good .. I would suggest more of a selection though .. Only had 4-5 dishes to choose from .. Example - Chicken parm, rice, baked potato, fish and veggie .. Desserts were good but once again more than 3-4 things to choose from would of been better .. Ate at the CHIC Restaurant twice .. It was great .. Had the chicken on one of Cruise Casual nights then Steak on the last Elegant night .. My kids tried Shark and Escargot for the first time ..
PORTS - St.Thomas was great .. Went to Blackbeard's Castle .. $10 pp, Kids 12 and Under Free .. Taxi was $5 pp .. one way .. about a 15 mins. drive from port ... Lots of nice shops .. Bought some souveniors, etc .. Antigua was beautiful .. Day pass to Hawksbill @ Rex Resorts ($40 pp Adults, $20 per kid), great value, Lunch, local beers, drinks and non-motorized sports included .. Taxi was $4 pp each way .. But we really had to haggle to get that price .. Tortola - Not much to do off port .. some small shops with souveniors but nothing major .. Went to Dolphin Discovery and had the time of our lives!! Taxi was $5 pp R/T but we negotiated and got $4 pp .. Driver wasn't too happy about it but did it anyway .. Got to train 2 young dolphins then swam with 2 older ones .. which was not part of the package we had pre-paid for .. Picture package was $269 which included everything .. I knew beforehand it would be expensive but I was expecting over $400 so was surprised when it was cheaper .. It was an amazing experience and we will cherish it forever .. The dolphins are treated like royalty and everything is clean and well taken care of .. NASSAU - Was nice .. Much cleaner then the other ports .. Just walked around, checked out the Straw Market, bought some souveniors .. took some pics .. We did not arrange any of these excurions through the ship .. We arranged everything beforehand ..
ENTERTAINMENT - Went to the "family friendly" comedy show - it was ok .. "Jump, Jive and Wail" - was pretty good and "Ticket to Ride" - was good as well ..
DISEMBARKATION - Was SLOW .. they were calling one "section" at a time .. Were suposed to start calling sections at 6:30 am, didn't until almost 7:30 am .. I was starting to panic a bit by 10 am when we were still 10 sections away and we had a 1 pm flight .. We ended up just leaving the ship in hopes that our luggage was ready .. In which it was .. We were through Customs in 20 mins .. Took a while to get a taxi to FLL ($15) ..
Overall we had a great time .. I spent 8 days on the ship and by the end still did not know 100% of the way around .. the girls knew better than me .. The pictures you buy on ship are crazy expensive .. $14.95 for small and $21.95 for big .. We bought one from each port and 2 from "elegant night" .. My BF (became my Fiancee on the cruise) bought a few Heineken's throughout the week, $7 each (taxes and gratuity included) .. I am not much of a drinker so didn't have anything .. The girls had a blast and have dubbed this the BEST VACATION EVER!