I cruised with a friend. We are both female 48 and 55 yr old. We work together so the time we could get off work together was short. Other wise I would have taken a longer cruise. Never again will I take anything less the 5 days. 7-9 is preferable.
I'll start from the beginning. I have not cruised out of Jacksonville before. We took the shuttle from the airport which was good because once you give them your luggage you don't worry about it again until it is delivered to your room. We used to pay a cab and then tip all these people. With the shuttle you didn't have the extra expense.
It took a little while to get through boarding but not too bad. On board by 1230 I believe.
Up to the Lido deck(pool deck for you newbies) for our drinks and celebration. We had a good time, the music was going and food available.
Our room was small but we were not cramped. We had a porthole. I do not upgrade to better rooms unless it is extremely cheap or free. I would prefer to spend my money on more important things. The bathroom did not have a counter like I am used to. The bedroom only had one plug and in the days of cell phones, laptops, kindles, etc. more than one plug is needed. I suggest you take an adapter or extension for more plugs.
We were on E10 near the front. Only time we heard engine noise was when we were docking. I guess it was the ropes.
I say this is Lackluster because that is what is was. No frills in decor at all. The casino was small.
The fellow who played the piano bar was not near as entertaining as the last cruise.
Very little in ways of pool games. I guess with 41/2 days you can't squeeze in a whole lot thus go longer days.
They had plenty of lounge chairs around the pool. However the bar service never went up to the upper deck at the pool.
The food was accepatabel not outstanding. Except the chocolate melting cake, yum. Service was irregular as in getting served in a timely fashion. Sometimes you did sometimes not.
The dance shows were the same ones I saw last time, however this dance group was better. As always get there early to get a good seat. Can they not mix up the shows for frequent cruisers?
Disembarkation was very slow, did not get off til 10:00. We sailed on the Breeze with lots more passengers in March and most everyone was off the ship by 9:15. If you can swing it carry your luggage off.
I would not go on this ship again due to the dullness of the ship and the entertainment in all areas. I would not cruise for less than 5 days.
I find these ports irritating as you cannot shop without being hounded all the time by shopkeepers.
Unfortunately it rained on us and it was very hot. This is the first time I have ever been rained on in the Caribbean or Bahama's. We did not stay out very long as we preferred to be back on the ship at the pool.
Choose your excursions early and wisely. Some are not worth the money for the time you get to spend. If you just want to go to the beach you can take a taxi or bus. You do not need to spend gobs of money on an excursion to do this. and you can go at your own pace.
Nassau is better than Freeport as in the way of shopping. You still get people hounding you to go in to their store. The straw market is just the same stuff (junk) with the couple hundred vendors they have. I suggest going over to Atlantis to shop and go to the beach. They shopkeepers don't hound you there. For $8 round trip pp you can go to the public beach there via shuttle taxi and have lunch at the beach side grille. There is shopping and a casino in Atlantis. You do have to pay to use their beach/pool facilities through an excursion. I recommend the public beach.
There is more shopping next door at the Marina Plaza.