This is the first cruise for my family. My family consists of myself, husband and 2 sons. My mom and sister also came along. We travelled with 2 other families. The also had 2 kids each.
Day 1 - Getting on the ship was easy. I had alot of anxieties due to not know what to expect but it was so quick and simple. We went through security and then to the counters to get our sea passes. Then we waited for a shuttle bus to take us to the ship. That took about 10 minutes. Once on the ship, it was almost 1:30, we went straight to our cabin. It's an inside cabin so it's small, but it was fine for us. We just needed a clean and comfortable place to sleep and shower. We than went to the WJ for lunch. Food was very good. Dinner in the Dining room and we met Nick (head waiter) and Jing (assist waiter). They were both very nice.
Day 2 - Woke up sick. The boat was rocking all night. I had to take Bonine and 2 hour nap to get over it. This was a full day at sea, but since we were near the Carolina's it was still cold. We went to a comedy show and had dinner at the WJ. It was formal night in the dining room and I was ready for dressing up.
Day 3 - Another full day at sea. Took my Bonine right away and was OK. It was sunny and alot warmer. We were able to hang out by the pool. My kids are teenagers so they were by the teen lounge and arcade. Hardly saw them. Saw the ice show and it was very nice. We had dinner in the dining room. Food was very good.
Day 3 - Labadee Haiti. This was a great beach location. We had plenty of sun and the water was gorgeous. I had snorkel gear but the water was too cloudy due to dredging (building docks nearby). I liked that the market was in one area and if you didn't want to shop no one bothered you to buy something. My older son and husband did the flight line and they loved it. It looked great too. Dinner in the dining room. Went to see a comedy show. It was hilarious.
Day 4 - Samana, DR. We wanted to see the waterfalls but not pay the expensive cruise price for this excursion. We found a tour guide near the market place and he took 14 of us in a van to a very nice waterfall. ($120 for all 14 of us. The cruise price would have been approx $120 per family). The tour guide then took us to a beach. We were not too happy about the place he took us because it was full of people trying to sell us something. Even if you told them no, they would still try to sell you something else. This was a really big pain the a**. We only stood there for about 2 hours (mostly waiting for some food we ordered). We went back to the boat and ate at the WJ for dinner. Too tired to dress for dinner. We went to a show and it was very entertaining.
Day 5 - St. Thomas. We got off the boat and went shopping for an hour and then paid a taxi to take us to a beach. We went to Coki Beach near the Coral Aquarium. The beach was nice but again it was crowded and there were people trying to sell you something. They were nicer when you said no thank you than in DR. We went back to the ship and relaxed by the pool. Had dinner in the dining room. We went see another comedy show. Again it was very good.
Night 5 and day 6 - Puerto Rico. We left St. Thomas around 5:30 and got PR around 10 pm that night. We went out to check out San Juan, but everything was closed.
Day 6 - We had until 11 am to walk around San Juan. It went by very quickly. Got back to the ship and we were sailing away by noon. We went the pool and hot tub.
Day 7 - Full day at sea. We just relaxed by the pool and played some games. My sons were rock wall climbing, inline skating, ice skating, playing ping pong, mini golf. Loads of stuff. It was formal night so we got all dressed up and took some family pics. They came out great.
Day 8 - Full day at sea. Started to get cool out. Still able to go to the pool and hot tub, but by afternoon is was much cooler. Dinner at the dining (lobster night) and went see the Farewell show. (singing dancing and comedy). Packed everything up and and placed our bags outside the room. (we were tagged gray and had a disembarkment for 9:15 am next day.
Day 9 - We got up early to eat breakfast and get ready to disembark. At 8:30 we were by the Maharaja Lounge and they called our color around 9:25 - 9:30. We were off the ship very quickly and customs only took about 10 minutes. I was home in NY by 10:30 am.
Overall, service was excellent. Food was good. Entertainment was excellent. My kids had a great time (which is very important to any parent). We went to the casino every night. Won some and lost some. Pretty much even. We also went to the Chamber and danced the night way. Lots of fun. My husband used the gym everyday and he said the gym was pretty good.
For a first time cruise we had an excellent time and would definitely cruise again.