We flew the day before the cruise as we always do and stayed at the Holiday Inn at the Port of Miami. It's not a 5 star hotel but it was clean and comfortable. We especially liked the view of the cruise ship docks.
We arrived at the ship terminal at about 11am and boarded at 11:50. We had to wait about 30 minutes in the waiting area after we checked in. We did notice that it took longer than normal to disembark passengers from the prior cruise. The cabins were ready at 1pm. We took time to get familiar with the ship, check our dining room table, and make a Portofino reservation. The ship is absolutely beautiful!!!
Stateroom Attendant: Daniel from Nicaragua
We had cabin 9340. It's a center hump (bump out) cabin on deck 9 of the starboard side. It was great. Excellent unobstructed views both fore and aft with only a few steps to the stairs and elevators. All of the extra we ordered on-line were there. Daniel was excellent. He cleaned the room twice a day and we had towel animals every night. Our Crown and Anchor gifts (Ball Caps) didn't get delivered until Day 4. Daniel said that was standard practice.
Rembrandt Dining Room - Table 305 (Deck 3)
Head Waiter: Erdem from Turkey Waiter: Eutemio from the Philippines Asst. Waiter: Albert from the Philippines
I must say that we weren't expecting a lot for food quality because of some of the reviews I read, BUT ... the food was great!!! Dining is a big part of the cruise experience to us and we couldn't have asked for better waiter's. Usually, you rarely see the Head Waiter but ours was there every night. All three waiters were exceptional and paid particular attention to my granddaughter. They wouldn't let her cut her own meat. They really spoiled her. I already miss them a lot. There was no $14.95 steak on the menu.
The Windjammer was typical buffet style food. We were always able to find open tables.
Room service was great. We ate breakfast on the balcony 5 times. The food was always hot and delivered on time. There IS a $3.95 service charge between midnight and 5am. This is not advertised anywhere.
This ship is beautiful!!! Never did we see anything out of place or dirty. The only times that we felt crowded was trying to get an elevator going down for dinner and getting an elevator going down to get off the ship at the pots of call. We just walked down after the first day or two. Taking the elevators up was never a problem. We spent a good amount of time on the pool deck ... especially the solarium. We never had a problem finding side by side loungers. There were chair hogs out and about but the deck patrol kept things from getting out of hand. I noticed plenty of open loungers at the main pool area and the H2O zone too. Never long waits at the Flowrider, Rock Climbing Wall, and no wait at the mini golf course. The Promenade was never crowded except for the parades.
If you're going to the theater with a group, you should get there 30 minutes before the show starts to ensure you all sit together. The production shows were entertaining but lacked a plot. Great stage lighting and special effects. If Paul Boland performs on your sailing, DON'T MISS HIM! He's fantastic. He's a singer impressionist and interacts with the audience. The Ice Show is something else not to be missed.
This is RCI's private resort. If was very nice and we didn't feel crowded at all. We parasailed in the morning. We all sailed tandem and were up for an adequate amount of time. The view was awesome! We also did the Snorkeling Safari in the afternoon. This was the only disappointment of the cruise. The boat that took us to the snorkeling location stopped no less than 100 yards from the snorkeling area. We had to snorkel through thick vegetation and then maneuver around coral that was only 12" below the surface in some spots. Over half on the folks got cuts and scratches. The excursion boat didn't have any first aid equipment on-board. We were told to go to the Windjammer and ask for some vinegar when we got back to the ship. :o(
Montego Bay, Jamaica
We did the Chukka Canopy Tour. It's a series of Zip Lines through the jungle. It was awesome and I highly recommend it. You must be in reasonably good shape because there are a couple serious uphill climbs.
Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Very Americanized town but they drive on the wrong side of the road :o). We did the Honeysuckle Beach and Trail Ride. It's a horseback riding excursion that is fabulous.
This is a very beautiful island. We took a cab the Chankunaab Park and did the Royal Dolphin Swim. This was the highlight of all our excursions. We also took a guided tour of the park. The guide was free but the tour was so good we gave him a really nice tip.
URL for cruise pictures: http://s218.photobucket.com/albums/c...009/?start=all