Cruised Feb 2nd-Feb 10th. Background: We set sail with a group of 10. Myself and my wife are 28 and my son Elliott who was 20 months. Also went with my sister in law who is 38 and her two teenage daughters and their boyfriends. Also with us was my 24 yr old sister in law and her 8 year old. This was mine and my wife's first cruise.
Embarkation: Took a van from Central Mass right to the Port of NY. 2.5 hr trip. Unloaded and that was a snap. Went into the port and waited with everyone, while we filled out paperwork. The people working at the port seemed to be yelling at everyone at first, but then you realized why she was yelling. PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS!!! trying to cut people in line pushing etc. The Port officer took control of the situation. She was actually pretty funny yelling at everyone I thought. We were on the ship earlier than we were supposed to and to get on the ship took an hour tops.
Once on the ship we couldn't enter our cabins for two hours. which was really my main complain the whole trip(besides the uptight people, which I'll get to later). So we brought my son up to eat at Raffles which was a mob scene...since nobody really knew where else to go on the ship to eat. My son was VERY cranky having not slept for almost 8 hours. He started to cry and whine and a couple of the passengers shot us the dirtiest looks ever...and one old wench even commented outloud "Why would anyone bring a child on a cruise!" This woman was messing with the wrong group as we fired back a few barbs at her. Seriously so many people were miserable on this cruise, it's like why even go on vacation? This is a family cruise line, if you don't want to hear kids, go on a cruise dedicated to the older crowd like Holland America. We had a few other run ins with people shooting us looks because my son was crying! Get a life people! We are here to have fun drink a few and relax, not complain about everything.
THE SHIP...The takeoff party was fun obviously Feb 2nd in Ny is freezing out, but still got to go right by the Statute of Liberty with Proud to be American blaring from the speakers. Good times! Now people had warned us that there would be rough seas leaving NY but I don't think any of us were ready for the first nights events. Watched our progress on the in cabin TV. Was awoken at 4am to 20 foot seas and gale force winds. At some points it felt like we were weightless, closet doors slamming glass clinking. Being a first time cruiser we were all pretty shaken up by it. Then to top it off the Captain comes on at 4AM over the speakers, blaring Code CODE CODE CREw to the galley crew to the galley. So hearing this I run up to the reception area to see whats going on, now the ship is rocking like a roller coaster, and the receptionist wouldn't give me any answer. All the water tight doors shut on the ship, so of course I thought we were going to Davey Jones Locker! turns out there was a fire in the galley that was eventually contained. So then the capt comes back on the speakers, and tells us theres nothing to worry about, the fire had been contained! Thanks captain, we will all sleep soundly NOW SUREEE!!! Other than the first two days it was smooth sailing back and forth. Me and my family loved the ship.
One downside was that my son wasn't able to go to Kids crew because he was too young. I tried to sneak him in there to give us a break for a couple hours, but the Kids crew Leader, Crazy caught me and scolded me! Hey it was worth a shot. My nephew LOVED Kids crew, he would stay in there playing with the kids for 8 hours a day, and never wanted to leave. The arcade was huge, so we let our son run around there twice a day to let some energy out! Unfortunately there was no area or room that kids under two could go run around besides the arcade.
Hot tubs, used it everyday. Nice and HOT!
Entertainment: my wife LOVED the shows She went to one every night..A couple were duds, but were still a fun night out she says. One night we went to see, the Newlywed game. It Was kind of racy and hilarious, lots of laughs. Millie was awesome!!! After that was the adult themed The Quest, where we had to come up with different items to win points. I will leave out the details to protect the innocent(namely me)...but lets just say it ended with some people in a bra, womens shoes and lipstick...this was the most fun we had. Great night! My sister in law got involved with a couple other activities, like Mr. Norwegian spirit, and one of the boyfriends on the trip won Mr. Norwegian Idol!!!, I think he may have been over served and did some out of this world dancing. Shopping: talk about annoying, the cruise shopping guide would come on the loud speaker at different intervals throughout the day with his SPECTACULAR shopping deals. Myles when you are trying to take a nap, was annoying.
FOOD: We all loved the food, ate out by the pool with our breakfast buffet every morning. Dinner At Windows twice and the Garden room Twice. All you can eat, how can you lose! Whenever my wife and child were napping Id walk around with my bucket of beer touring the ship with my bucket of beer and try brats and Cheeseburgers and hot dogs that were being cooked by the pool. YUMMY!!! Even had stir fry one day. None of us got the Soda pass, unless you drink 5 sodas a day, then its for you 55 bucks? thats crazy I bought a few sodas here and there $10 bucks total for the week, big deal. my one NEGATIVE was room service, I thought it sucked. sometimes would wait over an hour. Twice I had to call because they forgot my food. Once they brought me a pizza that was Literally ice cold. Very slow. But what do I expect being a lazy ass and not wanting to walk to a restaurant ha.
CASINO: Casino was fun. Kind of smoky. Lost a bunch of money...But what do you expect. Captive audience. The Hold Em poker table cash game was a joke. 10% rake off every pot. There were only 4 of us playing then we realized what was going on so we all quit, since we would all go broke just from the rake in a matter of no time. Entered the Hold em tourney. lost. Got in a slot tourney too. Didnt realize til the end of the trip about the Comp card they had, Would have saved alot off my trip with all my losings. OH WELL.
Salon: My wife got a pedicure for $55 bucks, then I accidently stepped on her toes...needles to say she wasn't too happy about that!
Ports of call" St Thomas: took an 8 dollar cab per person to Meghans Bay. Stayed for a few hours, came back to the ship..Very shady ride through what seemed like ghettos to me.
Tortola...I loved it. the sun was so hot. and the Mountains were beautiful. Again took a $6 cab ride to the beach. BE PREPARED for hills at 70 degree angles. Very scary with no seatbelt as you look over a ridge plummeting 1,000 feet. A side note, we found the cab drivers on these islands very rude. and very suspect drivers!
Dominican: I didnt get off here, but my wife did. She said she had to leave the shop area because beggars were pulling literally every which way. Their taxi driver brought them to a market then to a resort beach...and of course the one time i don't get off the ship he brings them to a NUDE beach! Just my luck!!! She said this was her favorite island.
Overall: this was our first cruise and we loved it. We can't wait to go back. Would wait til our son was over 2 though so we could take advantage of babysitting services. There was endless things to do. And if there is nothing to do, sit on the deck and watch the ocean with a beer in your hand. How can you beat it? What we learned, was the cruise is what you make it. If you are their looking for things to complain about stay home. Its not perfect, but if you have a positive attitude you'll have a blast.