We drove to New Orleans and stayed the night before at the Hilton across from the airport. We were able to leave our car parked there while we were on the cruise. They brought us to the airport for 4:30am as our flight was at 6:00am. We asked for a wheelchair and they were really accommodating and took very good care of us. We arrived in Miami there was suppose to be a wheelchair waiting and there was not, so we walked to meet our RCI cruise transfer as we claimed our luggage. We were put on the bus to the Port of Miami for around 10:30am. It did not take very long to get on the ship.
When we arrived on the ship we were told the room would not be ready until 1:00pm so we did not go to Windjammers, I decided to avoid the crowds and went to Sorrento's Pizza, we were the first ones there as they opened and it was delicious. We each had a slice of pizza and a little chocolate mousse that was outstanding. It was nice sitting there and watching the people as they came in and they were amazed at the beauty of this ship.
We then went to Vintage Wine Bar and made friends with Mariyanna. She was wonderful and took care of us the whole trip! My sister is a smoker and there are not many places to smoke, but she could smoke just on one side of the bar in Vintages.
I had wine and cheese sent to the room for sailaway which was so nice. Time to eat dinner, early seating, meet our dinner mates and meet our waiter. We enjoyed all of our tablemates and our waiter, Moustafa, and assistant waiter, Olga,were wonderful. Since I had made reservations online for Chops and Portofino I told our waiter what nights we would not be there just as a courtesy to him and our tablemates.
Just about every morning we had room service with coffee and pastries or whatever. They would always call the room before they delivered it so that was our alarm clock. It worked out well.
We did not have enough people signed up for the Meet & Mingle so we had our own. We met at the Windjammer for lunch on Monday. It was so nice meeting everyone that we had been speaking to online.
My sister does not use a wheelchair normally but with all of the walking back and forth on the ship we did go to guest relations and they gave us a wheelchair to use. There was no charge. It saved her energy so much. If you cannot walk for long periods of time, this is a large ship and it is a lot of walking. You should rent a wheelchair or a scooter, it is well worth it to conserve your energy.
Dinner at Chops was outstanding. We had Supra as our waiter and Honey as our assistant waiter. The steaks were comparable to Ruth Chris and so was the service. We even found the wine we like at home on the menu, Cakebread, we were so excited! There is a large selection of wine at Chops.
Dinner at Portofino's was also very good. We had Jaimie as our waiter and Marie as assistant waiter. The food was very good but the desert sampler was the best desert on the ship.
Ate at Johnny Rockets on Thursday while still in port of St. Maarten. It was around 1:30pm or 2:00pm, great time to go, not many people in there. They even gave us nickels to put in the little juke box at our table. They danced for us. The burger and onions rings and fries were great.
Seattles Coffee shop had great free coffee and really good little ham & cheese croissants. Great place for lunch as was Sorrentos. Windjammers is good but my sister rather avoid the crowds.
Ice Show was outstanding.
Schooner Bar - Matt Yee, he puts on a great show. He has everybody participate. Great fun!! Bear & Pub had great entertainment also. Olive & Twist (Viking Crown Lounge) had a great live band that played music my sister enjoyed, we are 17 years difference, to the music I enjoy,70's rock and roll. The Crypt had dance music, it was fun. Casino - we both played a little and I won a little.
Clo was the cruise director, she was fun and full of energy.
We did have 13 foot seas on Tuesday but all we did was put our seabands on and neither one of us ever felt sick. I love those little things. Even though it was high seas it was just a gentle rocking nothing horrific. It was the day we were sailing to San Juan and we were not going to get there until 4:30pm so we decided we would just stay in and watch movies and ordered room service until we would get there.
Formal nights were Monday and Thursday night. Lobster night was Friday night.
Friday morning we had a Platinum & Diamond breakfast at 9:30am, we sat with the head of all the Food & Beverages in all the dining rooms. It was very informative.
We did the Valet Luggage service. It was $20 per person. It was so worth it. The last night we had boarding passes and airline luggage tickets, to put on our luggage, waiting on our bed for us. The next day we had the wheelchair we used and they had someone escort us off of the ship and brought us right to our RCI transfer to the Miami airport. We did not have to go and claim our luggage when we got off the ship. When it left our room on the last night we did not see it until we arrived back at our final airport destination. When we got to the Miami airport we just had to go to our departure gate.
Overall - Thanks to all the people associated with the MSF Cruise. We are so glad we attended the MSF Cruise for a Cause cruise. Thanks to Karen because if it weren't for you we would not have gone on the this cruise. Through Cruise Critic I was able to ask you what the this cruise was all about. Thank you for being so helpful! We met a lot of wonderful people and received a lot of great information. We also had time to enjoy ourselves and see wonderful places that will last a lifetime. We never saw anyone without a smile on this ship. We hope to go back one day!!