Joined a group that organized the trip from Hebron CT. We left out of CT by bus to the harbor in NYC. Met many nice people on the bus and made some friends along the way. What an experience! My new found friend Pauline told me what to expect, she and her husband have cruised quite a bit and her tips were most helpful to me. Arrived at the port by 12:30 and was on board ship by 1:30pm. Found my way to my cabin and left my carry on and joined the evacuation drill. Pip was infront of the group that I was with, and he was pretty funny. Stayed on deck and watched the Statue of Liberty slip by as we passed. Something about that ...my grandparents came into Ellis Island at the end of the century, so it is very important to me to see her standing guard.
The cabin, as it was my first ever cruise, I chose an interior cabin, I decided that I would not be spending much time in my cabin, so saved some $ and went with the interior. Not a disappointment at all. I so enjoyed getting up and walking up on the deck! Only draw back upon waking, didn't know if it was day or night, but with the TV and remote, it was easy to know what time it was.
Food and service: All easy to handle. The buffets at Horatio's was good. Ate breakfast every day, skipped lunch and had dinner in the Bacchus Dining room. The first night I was scheduled for the late seating, but was able to change that with Frankie for the early seating. Met some wonderful people and enjoyed dinner every night. Truly loved the escargot, lobster bisque, lobster tail...although it doesn't compare to a whole Maine lobsta! Food was good, service was good, the kids that work on these ships really work! My room steward was a sweetheart. I tipped him on the second day, and he always provided all that I needed. Tipped my waiter second to the last day at sea. He was very grateful and appreciative. Met two young women that were new to the ship crew. Talked with them on deck 3 one night, and I asked them how long they had been with the ship, they said three days, and I laughed and said me too!
Excursions: San Juan Night Life Tour was a little disappointing, our tour bus driver took us to the capitol which I found interesting, but the rest of the time he drove and pointed out things and kept driving. We were left in Old San Juan for over an hour, not much to see there. Would not take that tour again. St Thomas, shopping and beach tour. Did the shopping, was a little put off by Neil constantly chirping about Diamonds International. And was more put off by the barkers in the town trying to get you into the shop to buy gems. It was so hot, decided not to go to the beach, which in retrospect, I regret. Wish I had felt better.
On to Grand Turk, no wait! Itinerary change due to IKE, we are back to the original itinerary and going to Tortola! Yea! Swam with a dolphin named Capie. Simply wonderful! Met alot of nice people that were in my group swimming with Capie. Bought the DVD rather that the pictures.
The interior of the ship was OK, a little over the top! Could not and still can not get over the vineyard thing in the dining area. LOL! Overall, for a first time cruiser, and being in international waters was such a thrill. Not sure when I will be cruising again, but even though I travelled alone, I truly enjoyed ever second! I find myself mid day back in the real world thinking, wow, I'd like to go to my cabin for a nap before dinner! Where is my steward? Where are my cute towel animals? How did I get here? I should be on deck.