We flew from Atlanta to Miami on Sunday morning. Our flight was at 8:40 we arrived right on schedule in Miami at 11:10. We got all of our suitcases and then walked outside and grabbed a cab. It is $24 to take a cab from the Miami Airport to the port no matter how many people are in your group. It was a 15 minute cab ride, we checked our bags at the curb and we were on the ship before noon. They disinfected our hands and handed us champagne and a little pocket map of the ship. We had plenty of time to make dinner reservations for the next 2 nights and eat lunch. Then we relaxed up on the top deck until our room was ready.
Our room was bigger than I thought it would be with a window!! YAY!! I did not want a porthole! It has plenty of places to put stuff. There is a safe and 4 large shelves right behind where the door opens. Then a pretty decent size closet with quite a few hangers and a shelf up top. Then there is a shelf above the fridge and to the side. There are 3 drawers, a little table and chair under the TV. It is like a flat panel monitor, but saves space. On the other side there is a vanity with a stool, a mirror, 3 more drawers and more shelves. Then there were 2 end tables.
We had requested the beds be pushed together. They were not, this was one of only 2 tiny issues I had during the trip. We did not get the bed pushed together until 10:30 pm after I called 6 times and was promised 6 different deadlines. But whatever they were finally pushed together! No biggie. The other issue was that they put our luggage in front of a room at the other end of the hall. When I called them and told them I did not have them by their promised deadline they said they were not done, but I knew that was not true so I walked around and found them way down the hall. Other than that no issues. Everything was amazing. The sun was setting as we left port.
Restaurants: the free ones are Great Outdoors, Poolside Grill, Blue Lagoon, Indigo, Summer Palace and the Garden Cafe. We ate at the all of them but Summer Palace. The food was amazing every time. They had a lot of the same breakfast and lunch foods on the buffet everyday but there were so many different kinds that I never ran out of things to try. We NEVER had to wait or had trouble finding a table; in fact we got a table for 2 every meal right by the windows! It was great! Only issue was at the Blue Lagoon, they forget to bring my wife's appetizer and then took a ridiculous time bringing the desert so we left and went to the Garden Cafe and got ice cream! . I also love that they make you disinfect your hands before entering and when exiting the restaurants. (Along with the antibacterial hand sanitizing stations placed by every stairwell, elevator, hallway and sporadically through out the whole ship.) We only ate at 2 of the restaurants that cost more; Mambo's and Le Bistro. The thing with the "pay" restaurants is if your reservation is between 5:00-6:30pm then you get 2 for the price of 1. So Monday we ate ay Mambo's our reservation was at 6:30 - we got there @ 6:20 and were seated right away. It was $10 for both of us. The food was AMAZING. You get to choose and appetizer, entrEe, dessert and coffee. The food was really good. Then we ate at Le Bistro @ 8:30 on Friday. It was free because it was part of our honeymoon package I will explain in a second. You get appetizer, entrEe, dessert and coffee. OH WOW I think even if you had to pay the $15 per person it would be well worth it. That food was amazing!! We also had a free bottle of wine that was included in our package. Cagney's is $20 per person and the Japanese restaurant is $25 per person I believe.Monday we were at sea. We walked around the ship to explore it. We got a little tipsy which turned out to be not such a good idea because we ended up going through some really bad storms. So I got sick from motion sickness. that was the only time I got sick. Apparently I was not the only one because they put out barf bags everywhere and you could smell cleanser and disinfectant in the stairwells. There was no one out on the ship everyone was in there room.
Tuesday we were in Roatan, Honduras- it was in the 80's. We got a cab and took a tour of the island. He spoke great English, his name was Charlie. The cab for the day was $50 total for both of us. He pulled over at different spots so we could take pictures. They have jungles and amazing wildlife. Then he took us to the beach, we went to Bananrama. It is a resort right next to Tabyana and it was free! He walked us down there helped us get set up and then asked us what time we would like for him to be back to pick us up, we said 2 because it was 10 am. It was so beautiful and it was like 87 degrees! ? We swam and attempted snorkeling (hilarious story) and drank bananarama's- yummy and $2.50 each!! So good! It is so pretty there. We walked down the beach and came to this giant coral cliff and there were black iguana's sunning themselves all over the place! ? There are huge coconut trees, banana trees and mango trees all over the place. It looks like another world! I saw this giant black bird bigger than an eagle it was HUGE called Sopitello (sp?) really cool. He was back early and just chilled out until we were ready to leave. We then went back to the village and walked around all of the shops and had some margaritas for only $2 each! Mmmmm! All of the people there were so nice. I felt completely safe everywhere I went. We got some coffee, bracelets for $1 a piece and some other little souvenirs. Then we went back to the ship- We were so exhausted. We showered and went to the Garden Cafe for dinner.
Wednesday we were in Belize, it was in the upper 80's to low 90's. We were only on the mainland for about half an hour. This was the only day that we booked and excursion through the ship- thank goodness we did because the boat to pick us up was a half an hour late. It finally arrived, we got on a catamaran; it was a 45 minute ride out to this section of reef called Shark Ray Alley. I snorkeled there, my wife attempted again but decided not to. OMG it was amazing. The reef that surrounds Honduras, Belize and part of Mexico is the second largest barrier reef in the world. So I snorkeled all over the reef, there were tons of huge sting rays, every kind of fish and corals of every color. Huge puffer fish- they were so cool. Then we got back on the boat and they gave us unlimited soft drinks and rum punch and took us to one of Belize's islands called Ambergris Cay. We were in the town called San Pedro- the streets are sand. They took to a resort there, fed us a local dish and then we got to hang out on the beach for 5 hours and swim. The water down there is a color I have never seen and it is so clear! It rained a little on the hour and a half boat ride back to the cruise ship but there was a rainbow so it was cool. I fell in love!!!! I want to move there!
Thursday we went to Cozumel, it was in the upper 80's. We rented a jeep after haggling the price down, it was $55 and then full coverage insurance was $27. They put the top down and took off the doors. They gave us a map and we drove down to the very end of the island to a place called Punta Sur. It was an amazing drive! Then you turn off onto sand roads, there are crocodiles and iguanas on the side of the roads, it was surreal. There were huge eagles and pink flamingos and tons of vultures. In Punta Sur we saw Mayan ruins, and an old lighthouse. Then we went to the beach. AMAZING beach, Juac Custo filmed a lot of his stuff there. We swam and I snorkeled. So many fish and sting rays! I saw yellow sting rays with brown spots, cool looking. It was so beautiful. Then we got back in the jeep and went to see the section where most of the croc s sun bathe, they are freakin' cool! Drove all over the island stopped at many different beaches. We ate at Carlos and Charlie's on the beach. They catch the fish and then serve it to you, they brought us free shots of Tequila- best Tequila ever and we had the best (and strongest) margaritas I have ever had!! Everyone was dancing. We drove under the only cloud in the sky and it started raining so we drove through rain with the top down for 5 minutes- it was so much fun! We went back into town and walked around all of the shops before getting back on the boat. What an amazing day and a great way to spend Thanksgiving! That night on the boat all of the restaurants served some traditional Thanksgiving foods.
Friday was our second day at sea. We went to the casino- that was fun and then we went to an art auction. The art gallery on this ship was so awesome. The art dealer that they use is supposedly one of the largest in the world. They had original hand signed artwork from Salvador Dali, Picasso, Rembrandt, Peter Max, Alfred Glockel, Norman Rockwell and sooo many more!! Tons of stuff ranging in price all the way up to $3 million! It was fun to watch. Then we had our dinner at the French Restaurant- Le Bistro. It was included in our honeymoon package it was so good; we had a free bottle of wine. So much fun. Then we went to the club on the ship and listened to some music and hung out.
Saturday we were at Norwegian Cruise Lines Private Island in the Bahamas called Great Stirrup Cay. We took the first tender to shore to make sure we got good chairs and an umbrella because I was still burnt from Belize. We rented a raft for $25 for the day, it was a huge circular raft 6'x6'. We went swimming. The water was so clear it looked like a swimming pool. I decided to snorkel, I snorkeled for 6 hours! You could swim or walk out to some large coral rocks and then it drops off parts were 15 feet all the way to about 35 feet. The water was so clear you could see all the way to the bottom. There were fish everywhere! There were hundreds of different species, some of them look like alien fish crazy- I saw some squid that had neon blue lines- I chased them around for a while. In the shallow parts the coral is re growing after some damage but it still was absolutely amazing. In the deep parts the coral was not damaged and it was every color. There were crazy looking fish hiding in and under the rocks. And huge black sting rays. I did not want to leave! The bar-b-que a lot of food for you and there is tea, coffee and water for free. We took one of the last tenders back to the boat. Then we went back and showered, went to dinner then we had to pack. ? We were up till almost midnight packing.
Sunday I woke up at 3:45 a.m. , I watched as we pulled into Miami. South beach was on and poppin' at 4:30 in the morning. I woke up Mel and since we were up we decided to go eat breakfast. We had decided to do the express disembarkation. We went back to our room, grabbed our bags, and walked off the ship at 7:30 am. My friend came and picked us up.Alcohol- SOOO expensive on the boat, we drank when we were off on the ports. Or we went places with the free champagne.
Food- You do not need to make reservations for free places and it is very easy to get reservations for the pay ones. On the buffet they have food from every ethnicity and every type of meat possible. We ate there the most.
Honeymoon Package- It was $79 this included the following: Sparkling wine and strawberries in your stateroom on embarkation day Canapés delivered to your stateroom one evening Complimentary sparkling wine and cake party A keepsake photograph Romantic dinner for two in Le Bistro with a complimentary bottle of wine
Staff- was very friendly, all of them!
Activities- they have something for everyone! They even had friend of Dorothy activities for gays and lesbians!
Thank you for reading, hopefully you have found something useful in all of this! J Happy sailing!