Please note at the outset that this is my first review after 23 cruises some of which were great and some average. I am not normally a complainer and I am not a curmudgeon. The ship is lovely, however, much is lost from there. We took the hotel package. Very expensive for the value relieved. The hotel was $159 on internet and cab fair was $25. the package was around $700. We took it as air deviation would be $300. So, we took the package and then found out it was over priced. Out of order but at the end of the cruise, the ship staff offered transport to the airport for $79 per person. We passed,how ever, At the embarkation point at the cab stand the ship offered a transport to the airport for $20 per person. Perhaps, I would have been slightly upset if I selected the earlier transport.
Staff: Were not at all interactive with passengers. Reception desk personnel were brusque and unsmiling. Efficient but not welcoming. The wait staff were again efficient but quite distant from any passenger interaction other than providing service. My sense was they were over supervised as there were always watchful supervisors present and in the Terrace Cafe I counted at least 6 supervisor. Believe staff were not comfortable in other than a quick hello and sometimes a smile due to the constant scrutiny.
Dining: On the first evening on board, we chose the Terrace Cafe which we thought would be like a typical Lido buffet. Not so. In the evening it is a lovely white table cloth restaurant with the opportunity to sit out on the aft deck. There was a large food island with all the accoutrements for dining, an island with such items as rack of lamb, pastas, upscale variety of foods well prepared and well presented. On the other side was the grill which each night featured grilled lobster tails, lamb chops, shrimp, filet etc. It was terrific. As it turned out we ate there all nights except for the specificity restaurants and the last night at the main dining room. The one meal in the main dining room was not very good and the others at our shared table agreed. My wife had the sea bass, as an example, that was inedible. Service was marginal. as we asked the waiter 3times for something and it never did arrive
Specialty Restaurants: Tosacanos; shared a table with individuals that did not talk. The waiter persuaded my wife to have a different entree that she ordered. His recommendation was far inferior than what she would have ordered. Food over all was average.
Polo: Food was good
Red Ginger:Food was outstanding ( the sea bass made main dining room look very inferior). Everything was just perfect
Jacques: We Left the restaurant with out eating. The maitre D' was unhelpful and officious so we left and ate in the Terrace Cafe
WAVES: Food bar by the pool. Very good and efficient.
Beverages: the cost of wine in particular was very expensive. The least expensive bottle of red or white unremarkable wine was $34 plus !8% gratuity for a $40 cost. The wines in Albuquerque retail for $8.99-9.99.
Future Booking Office: As soon as it was apparent I was not going to book immediately. The individual was no longer interested in dealing with me. told me when i was more aware of cruising it would be easier for me to meet with Her. This was my 23rd cruise
Missed Port: We missed the port, Grand Caymans, due to swells in the sea,thus, we could not tender i. Terse announcement for the bridge with no 'we are really sorry". Strangely, there were 4 ships tendering passengers into the island but we just turnaround and headed for Miami. Many negative rumors floated around the ship.
Ports. Unless you are interested in snorkeling, dune buggies, zip lining or sitting at a resort all day, they were not for us. The ship tours are expensive.
For a ship noted for its great food and service we were very disappointed. There was just nothing special about anything.