Please let me start by telling you that we chose this ship because of ports of call and date of sailing. We flew in the night before because of reading about how people have nearly missed the ship. We stayed at the Embassy Suites right there near the port. The hotel is awesome! The rooms are hugh and they have a great, heated, pool on the 3rd floor. They serve a great breakfast in the morning that is included in the cost of the room. We also took a van that morning, I think called Blue Van Cabs that took the 3 of us to port for 22.00. We got to port and a porter took our luggage as soon as it was handed out of the van. We were a little confuse which door to go into because of all the activity going on and there are doors everywhere. We just followed the flow and were in the building. We had to wait only about 1/2 hr. going through lines until we were on the ship. Great advise to have everything in hand before going up to check in. What a great ship! It is very grand. It has a glass elevators and a huge painting of a Greek God. The wood is dark and the colors of the ship are burgundy and gold, very regal in me opinion. We went right up to the buffet and had lunch. The buffets on ship were pretty good. I didn't care for the way the were split up. I found it confusing to know exactly what they had to offer. I seemed in no time we could go to our rooms. We had a room with a balcony. I was surprised at the space we had. Tons of closet space and nooks and crannies to put all your stuff. We has 3 large suitcases and we able to stuff the under the bed easily. We were glad to have brought a power strip, because of only one outlet. We also brought close pins to hold shower curtain closed.
We didn't eat in the dining room the first night because we wanted to watch going under the bridge in Tampa, may be called Sunset Bridge? It was really cool. We had breakfast with a couple the next morning that said they have been on the bridge when a cruise ship has gone under it, and said it was better going under it. We did eat in the dining room every night after that. Our wait staff were awesome!! Their names were, Joel and Armen. They were funny and very good at what they do. We were lucky to sit with a family from the same state we are from and had lots of things to talk about. The food was very nice and Joel made suggestions every night that were perfect.
Ports of call: Grand Cayman: We have been here before and had done Stingray City. We decided to do it again because we wanted our daughter to experience it. We were not disappointed. We had a blast. We went to the Turtle Farm and then to Hell and got to go to the Rum Factory, and then to Stingray city. Perfect weather and a great time.
Cozumel: We did the Horseback riding through Mayan ruins. I was very disappointed with this. I don't know if what we saw was really ruins or if they just placed rock statues out in the woods. The horses seemed taken care of, and my daughter, who is a horse rider at home, loved this excursion. I could have done without it.
Belize: We choose to go to the private beach. OMG was it beautiful. There were Starfish right off the beach and the sand was so white. It was peaceful and not crowded. The offered a massage for 20.00 for 20 min and both my husband and daughter took advantage of this. They had food( pricey ) and a small area shops. No one bothered you to buy or eat. Perfect!
Isle of Roatan: We did the Seaspis. This was located on other side of island. The people of Honduras are scary drivers. We did get there and were not disappointed. The beach was beautiful. The seaspis were very uncomfortable to lie on, but boy you could sea all kinds of coral and fish. Our guide was friendly and after we figured out you could sit up on the seaspi, it was much better. After the trip, you were able to wonder around. They had a canteena and a roped off area where they had sharks and hugh sea turtles. You could leave at anytime. Boy that trip back was even scarier then getting there. We also found out our Waiter, Joel, was from Honduras and was eager to answer any questions about his country.
Days at sea were lazy and filled with food and sun. The pools were busy, but you could just wait a couple of minutes and then they would empty.
Leaving the ship the next day was easy. We put out our luggage the night before. Found it next day easily enough. We had a late flight so decided to go to the Tampa Aquarium. We had a lot of fun. It is small, but well kept. Stored our luggage right at the end of the port authority building. They charge a small fee but it is worth it. We had a great time.