This is the first time my wife and I have taken a cruise since our honeymoon 14 years ago, so this was quite a treat for us. We flew in into Miami on Thursday (so we could celebrate in Miami, and also avoid any travel delays that may come up on sailing day). Stayed at the Marriot Biscayne Bay (got a room on the 29th floor, what a view!), and had a great dinner on South Beach! What a way to start the trip!
Day One: Embarkation was a breeze! We got to the Port of Miami right around 11:00AM, and boarding was a snap. A small line had formed prior to 11:00, but once the gates in the terminal opened up, it went very fast. We were on board and walking the ship in no time! You can't get into your room until 1:00, and unfortunately we had a huge breakfast, but the Windjammer cafe was open for business for lunch to keep guests occupied. I ended up getting the soda package right there for $18, which after 3-4 days, turned into a good bargain. We went to the Schooner Bar, got drinks, and made our way to our room at 1:00. We went to the Shopping Show at 3:00, but found it to be marginal. Don't spend the $25 on the book. Dinner was great, our waiter (Paul) asked our names on night one and remembered them everytime after that. The food was outstanding for the most part. If for someoreason you didn't like what you ordered, we just sent it back and re-ordered. The show (comedian) was good.
Day Two: Cococay, RC's private island. We took the parasailing excursion since it was my 40th birthday and I wanted to do something exciting. Very fun! We then went to the beach and spent $10 each on the floating mats. Best $20 I spent all weekend. We just floated in the sheltered bay for hours. I think I fell asleep two or three times. The BBQ lunch was okay. If you are expecting world class cuisine, forget it. But it was good old fashioned BBQ: chicken, ribs, hot dogs, beans, and lots of salad choices. No complaints in my world! This was formal night for dinner, and I was surprised at how casual a lot of the folks turned up. Seems like there should be a standard enforced.
Day Three: Nassau. It was Sunday so quite a few places were closed, which surprised me. We had cancelled our excursion to the beach the previous night (I was a little ppink already), which turned out to be a good choice since it was raining hard that morning. Everyone seems to go to Atlantis. Next time. We shopped in the downtown area, had lunch at Hard Rock, and made it back to the ship to spend a few hours by the pool before dinner. We had dinner at a large group table, and we shut down the dining room almost every night. Made some really nice friends there.
Day 4: Getting off the ship is an early day. You have to have your luggage out the night before, so keep a small bag with you for that days needs. You have to get up, eat, and get to your assigned waiting area by 8:00-8:30AM. Then the waiting begins. We were supposed to get of between 8:30-8:45, but didn't start to leave until well after 9:00. It looks worse than it really is, though. The international travelers have a huge line, but the US citizen line went lickity split.
This was a greeat cruise! The ship is really nice, big enough for 3 or 4 day trips, and had great services an amenities. We stayed on deck 10, and had noise coming from deck 11 (the pool deck) almost every night. You would think they would try to NOT upset the folks in the suites, but that's what naps are for, right? I would easily do this trip again, and will surely cruise RC again and again!