We drove from Kentucky on the Saturday before sailing. My husband and I are both in our early 40's and have two teenaged daughters, ages 15 and 18. This was the second cruise for us; we cruised on Celebration to the Bahamas last summer.
Embarkation was easy. We were through the lines and onboard by 1:00. Our room was already ready, so we checked it out first, then hit the Lido deck for lunch. This ship is so much bigger than the Celebration. We were a little overwhelmed at first! After eating a lunch of burgers and fries, we explored the ship until time for the muster drill. Muster drill seemed to go much faster than the one last time. Afterwards we went up on the top deck for sail away.When we went under the bridge, oh my goodness! It seems that the ship barely clears it.
Dinner that night was good; we all had steak. Dinner continued to be good every night. My husband was surprised at how good the lobster was on formal night, as he usually doesn't care much for lobster. Our waiters were very nice, and had a good time joking with our daughters. The head waiter, Ionut, nicknamed our youngest "The Boss" because in his family the baby in the family is always the boss. Every night, he would pretend to spill something on her, and she would always fall for it. One night my husband asked for a small serving of ice cream. Ionut brought a dish with about half a teaspoon of ice cream in it! He said, "Well, you did say SMALL didn't you?" before laughing and presenting him with another bowl of ice cream.
The shows were good. The welcome aboard show was our least favorite. The comedians were all very funny. The juggler/comedian was our favorite show. The Legends show on the last night was a lot of fun.
Our first stop was Grand Cayman. We hadn't book an excursion there, so had planned to just shop and look around. We met a young man who was doing tours of the island for $10 per person. Several of our fellow passengers were already on his bus, so we decided to go along with them. We had a great time! He took us to Tortuga Rum factory, Hell, the Turtle Farm, the Governor's mansion, and last to Seven Mile beach. The whole tour lasted around 2 hours, and was very informative. Our driver's name was Carlton "Cash" Money, and he was a very entertaining young man.
At Cozumel, we had booked the excursion to Tulum. This place is incredible. We toured the ruins, then spent some time on the beach there. The only problem with this tour, my youngest daughter and I became pretty seasick on the tender ride.
Our next stop was Roatan. It was our favorite place. We booked the excursion to Gumbalimba park. That place is wonderful. We enjoyed the birds but absolutely loved the monkeys. After our tour, we spent over two hours on the beach there. About an hour before time for the last bus to the ship, we decided to go visit with the monkeys one more time. No one else was there at that time, so we got to spend some time playing with the monkeys alone. The guides who work there were so nice, and answered any questions my daughters had.
Our last stop was Belize. We had booked the Private Beach Day at Bannister Island. It is a beautiful, clean, well maintained beach. It is not a "party beach". There are plenty of chairs, floats, a water trampoline, a bar, restaurant, and a gift shop there. A few of the people with our group were unhappy with this tour. They had expected it to be a party day. My family and I enjoyed it because we needed a day just to relax and rest. However, the complainers convinced our tender captain to take us back to the ship early! I was very unhappy about this.
Our last day at sea, we slept in. We went to the ice carving demonstration, then to the galley tour. We spent the rest of the day, just relaxing, and enjoying the view from our balcony. I am so glad we had the balcony; it was so peaceful just sitting there watching the ocean go by.
All in all, we had a great time!