Embarkation: We arrived at the ship shortly after 11 am, the embarkation started at 11:30 and we were on the ship and in our stateroom before 12 noon. Very fast and painless.
Stateroom: Our stateroom steward introduced himself and indicated that we should put our "Make up the room" sign in the door in the morning when we go to breakfast and in the evening when we go to dinner. The room was always clean and everything worked that was supposed to. We always had a supply of soap, shampoo and lotion in the basket and fresh towels. We had plenty of room for our stuff.
Meals: We tend to eat breakfast in the dining room unless we have an early morning tour. We like meeting people and having a leisurely breakfast. When they feature their French Toast special it is especially important to be in the dining room for breakfast. We had lunch a few times in the dining room but tended to eat on Piazza 5 with sandwiches, salads and/or soup from the International Cafe. We also bought coffee cards which we used here for special coffee. Amazing small groups of entertainers were featured in the Piazza. They also had excellent cookies here (they baked about 125 dozen each day). As the cruise progressed the Piazza was quite crowded as the word spread about the International Cafe and the entertainment. We also had burgers on the Lido deck and pizza for lunch. For dinner, we like the Traditional Dining and the late sitting. We enjoyed our tablemates and our waiters were both excellent. The food selection was usually quite good making it difficult to choose and there was not one entree that we did not enjoy The appetizers, soups, salads and desserts were also quite good. We rounded out our meal with peppermint tea for me and decaff coffee for my husband. One night we went to Sabitini's for dinner. It was a gift from our TA. We enjoyed the leisurely pace of the meal and were disciplined to not partake of everything offered so we could enjoy our entree (a seafood sampler) and leave room for dessert
The Highlight: We took this cruise to see the Antarctic. We were not disappointed. The weather was quite good for seeing the majesty of this continent. I had not seen ice burgs before and spent most of the first night sailing through them at the window gazing in awe and snapping pictures. We saw many penguins on ice burgs and playing in the water. We saw humpback whales, and orcas as well as dolphins and sea lions. There were many different species of birds. The lecturers on board re the Antarctic were excellent. We even had some scientists from one of the research stations board the ship for a time to provide some commentary. This is a place like the Grand Canyon you must see it in person as pictures do not capture the grandeur.