My first cruise experience was not necessarily a bad one, but I can think of several improvements or things I wish had gone differently. The first issue is with the Cheers program. It is $50 a day and if one person in a cabin buys it, the other person must do so as well. Well for an eight day cruise that will run a couple just under $1000 by the time you add gratuities and tax. Yikes! Impossible to get your money worth especially with four of those days in ports and another one only a half day at sea. Fortunately we found a way around that and were able to split that cost with another couple. So four drank for the price of two.
While in Grand Turk we had some issues with the ship and were unable to leave as scheduled. We left three and a half hours late and so we missed out on some time in St. Thomas which was a much more fun port than Grand Turk. The beach was nice in grand Turk, but very rocky once in the water. So st. Thomas was a port where we did not leave until 9:00 pm, More
however the food once back on ship was very underwhelming. Every other night the dinners were great, but this one was awful. We had early dining time at 6:00 pm, but with the late leaving time in port we missed our dinner time and decided to hit the buffet. It was practically empty by the time we got there and they were not refilling it. The food was not hot and no other options were available besides cardboard pizza. That was the only bad divining experience of the trip, the rest were great. Guy's burgers, blue iguana burritos, fish and chips and all the seafood at dinner were great places to eat. The desserts were all fantastic as well.
We did an excursion through carnival in st. Thomas. It was a kayak, snorkel and hike at Cas Cay. It was a great experience minus a couple of very loud and obnoxious kids whose parents need to stand up to their kids and put them in their place. Fun time and worth the money.
St. marteen was also nice. We did the water taxi to the beach and hit a lot of shops as well. Found some great deals, drank a lot of $2 beers and enjoyed the afternoon on the beach. Got two chairs, an umbrella and a bucket beer all for $20. Not too bad by our standards.
San Juan was also a nice port. Liked seeing all, and I mean every inch, of old San Juan. The buildings, forts, shops and sights were all a good time. Went into the casino across from the ship and came out very quickly with lighter pockets. Not a fan of how they deal blackjack in the carribean.
The activities on board were so, so. The Quest was hilarious and a couple of the comedians were funny. One was definitely not...Spike Davis. Anyone regular joe could have gone to the stage and did what he did. Awful comedian. Our cruise director, Cory was a funny And entertaining guy. The singing shows were less than desirable, gambling was so-so and the main pool was far too crowded with children. We spent most of our time at the adults pool in the back of the ship. A lot quieter and more entertaining for us. Our waiter at the pool, Antonius, was fantastic and definitely enhanced our time on the ship. Our dinner waiter, Badra, was also great every night in the dining room.
Our room was always cleaned multiple times a day and only had one hiccup throughout the cruise. One evening before dinner, the power went out in a small block of rooms on our floor. But were only out for about 30 minutes, so not a disaster.
Overall it was a good time, saw a lot of new sights, made some new friends, shared some laughs and rinks and had a good experience. Think I would rather go on a cruise with fewer or no children and see more things while in port. Most workers were quite friendly and accommodating. The ship layout was awful though. It was difficult to get to things around the dining rooms. You had to maneuver up and down and around to get where you needed. Took a long time to get used to things. No problems getting on the ship initially or off the ship at the end. Pictures that were taken were over priced and low in quality. Less
Room was simple but sufficient. Only In there to shower and sleep. Dark and quiet made it nice for sleeping in our interior room. Convenient location but being directly over the casino we heard the slots running all night every night.