We arrived at the ship around 2 pm and were quickly checked in. We were allowed to board even though we were Deck 4, and proceeded to the pool deck for a snack and to wait for our cabin to be ready.
Checking in our cabin we found a notice saying 2 of the ports had been changed due to the Passenger Services Act and Homeland Security. Seems that Homeland security decided to enforce this act that has been around from the 1800's.
The two ports were Cozumel, now changed to Grand Cayman, and San Andres, now changed to Cartegena, Columbia. A lot of unhappy people ...many had taken the cruise to see the Ruins in Mexico.
We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon exploring the ship. Next morning we met the group of Cruise Critic/Yahoo passengers we had been corresponding with over the preceding months. Good to finally see the faces of those I.D.'s we chat with.
First port was Grand More
Cayman and the only downside it was Sunday and not many of shops were open but we managed to find hubby his Rum Cakes. Many took shore excursions to Hell, Stingray City and the beach.
The next day & a half were pretty rough sailing as we hit some high winds and waves off the beam. A lot of passengers were feeling the effects of the seas.
The staff were great and very helpful even though some of them were still getting their sea legs as well. We had great meals in the GDR & Polo and only one downside was in Toscana. They must have been having an off night as the service was slow, the food was luke warm. Hubby had to have his meal returned to the kitchen along with a few others at our table. The next day we wrote a letter of complaint and things were noted and taken care of. We were offered another reservation in Toscana which was much better food and service. We found the internet fast, contrary to other posts. The prices, well, it has been beaten to death so I won't go there.
The band and the quartet did not arrive until Grand Cayman as they had connection problems getting from Poland so the entertainment had to be re-arranged. We did go to a few of the shows and they were quite enjoyable. The exception were the ship's singers ...sorry but the two girls they had onboard were not the best singers. They sounded like Alvin and the chipmunks.
The Canal transit was very good & we anchored in the lake for lunch and again after the last locks for dinner and to take on fuel. It is quite an amazing site.
The chair hogs were in attendance as usual and the pool staff seemed reluctant to remove things from the lounges.
We took advantage of the new lounge area on the pool deck with it nice double loungers. In the library we found several books to our liking and took advantage of the sea days to read by the pool.
Afternoon tea ...well what can I say? If you have not had afternoon on Oceania you have missed a good thing!
At some of the ports we just wandered off on our own. I had arranged a private tour in Cabo with some other passengers and we had a good day seeing the sites and had lunch in San Jose Del Cabo. Our driver was very knowledgeable about the area and took us to some different places than the ship's tours.
All in all we had a great trip and already booked another cruise for next year. Less
Regatta Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America