Made it home from a lovely cruise.
Embarkation was very easy in NOLA and we got on around noon and went to windows to eat. It was a less than memorable meal but was typical of a buffet venue with too much to choose from causing regrets.
I did love this ship, it was beautiful and very tastefully appointed with art reproductions with an Asian flair. My cabin was 11520 and it was typical in size except the bath was a little larger with a separate toilet area and a medium size shower. The bathroom was much better than the RCCL baths as it was a shower on the left, sink in the middle, and a toilet room on the right. Shower had two push button dispensers for soap and shampoo. I am not sure which was which although labeled when filled mid week the bottles were switched so now soap became shampoo and shampoo became soap. Not to worry, I liked the minty fresh green substance and used it always for all body parts. NICE!! Mint feeling and smell!!
The bed linens were excellent, clean white comforter, crisp sheets and mounds of fluffy pillows. Slept like a baby and did order the egg crate foam and it was on the bed on arrival. Closet was adequate and the safe was a very nice touch, Laundry and pressing was offered in a package deal . TV was a tube, maybe a thirteen inch with sat channels. My only upgrade would be to install a 32 inch flat screen. Balcony was small but very nice. Cabin location was quiet and just at the elevator forward. LOVED IT!!! Hon2You and Heat Her from trip adviser set up the meet and greet. It was well attended and an awesome start to a great adventure. NCL set us up with snackage and the Captain, Executive Chef and Hotel Executive attended as well as a few other VIPs. I was impressed and they were most gracious. The Captain was gregarious and kind. After the meet and greet I saw him many times through the week making rounds and going to dinner. It was nice to know him and he was always polite and friendly. Kind of LuvBoat-esque! My wife wondered if we could call him "Skipper" but I recommended we stay professional and it was always Captain Hoyt. He was an excellent professional and I will always respect him.
The shows were good to excellent. I saw two but my friends saw most and reported good reviews. Elements on the last night was very good and rated with some Vegas Cirq shows I have seen. The theater was a wonderful venue with great seats all around. Ports: Costa Maya It has been ten years since I traveled to Costa Maya. We had a perfect day here, taking a cab to Mahahual (Mah-a-Wah I was told) we walked the malacon to the end and sat down for some fine shrimp tacos and cerviche. Most tasty and very reasonable. Perfect weather and beautiful Mexico, it is a wonderful stop. I bought silver and a brain corral there for what I think was very fair pricing.
Santo Tomas Guatemala Wonderful country and fun port. Took the trolley into town and all the citizens waved and smiled. A beautiful people for sure very happy to see American tourist and they made me feel very welcome. I never felt intimated nor unsafe as some have reported. I don't think you need to look for trouble but trouble would be hard to find. I dearly love this port and if I return I will do the humanitarian tour as Hon2You did this time. It is a fantastic country and people. I bought coffee and jade, some beads. Very reasonable and coffee can be negotiated to cheap. The locals danced on the pier in native dress for about forty five minutes, as we pulled off, honking horns, waving and blowing kisses, truly a very wonderful country. Belize Took a tour of the city. This is a very poor nation. That's all I've got to say about that. Tour was fun and low cost. Shopped on the Pier mall, very nice. Knock off designer purses and bags for twenty bucks, fifty in Mexico. Pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics were cheap also. I always buy a couple of Z-Pac's for those bad bugs back home. Bough a nice Jade carving for cheap. I thought the shopping in Belize was the best.
Cozumel Well what can you say about Coz. Great port but prices seem to have been rising in the last few years. Still some bargains though. I love this place! We were tired though and walked a little then went to sun on the ship. Did finally find that Xmas ornament we wanted though! Gotta love Coz!!
The food was excellent in the dining rooms. The presentation was exceptional always on a clean white plate with some garnish and if garnished with sauce it was not sloshed on but decorated in patterns for maximum effect. Really careful presentation of good to excellent food with outstanding service from the wait staff. We did love windows and ate there most night, at the rear window when we could. Breakfast at the rear window was a most interesting experience and will not be soon forgotten. The garden room while also elegant was smaller and seemed a little nosier than Windows which is a larger space. Both dining rooms were luxurious and well appointed with pure white linens and proper place settings, and utensils. Butter was set out early so it was soft and usable, not the rock hard substance that arrives with no planning.
The bread, actually all the baked good were fresh and tempting, but the bread was as good as anywhere in the world. I ate the bread as if I were a kid again! Well done Hans Peter!!! I never got into the paid dining rooms as the main dining was so very good. I also am a little queasy about paying for a meal when fine dining is free in a spectacularly beautiful dining room.
I met friends, made friends, and discovered the NCL Spirit. Thanks to all at the meet and greet and all others I met and bored with my conversation. Hope to see some of you soon again. My what a lovely cruise!