We took a hotel shuttle to the port. Boarding was delayed until 3p.m. to allow the ship to be sanitized. This was the 3rd ship we had been on that had sickness on it and the 2nd very large ship. The crew cleaned and sprayed during the whole trip. Many people had colds on board. My husband has a tendency to get seasick so we had an inside cabin on the 9th deck. We had one closet and 4 small drawers, the least storage of the 6 ships we've been on in the last 12 years. The bathroom was very nice and had lots of room for two people.
We were part of the nearly 500 jazz fans and 4 jazz bands so we were on board for our music and not to spend time in the cabin. The first night we found ourselves at a table of six by ourselves, our 3 friends were scattered throughout the dining room. But we were put back together the rest of the trip. The Oceanview Cafe area is very confusing with all the different stations. By the time you stand in all the lines to get the food you want and find a seat, your food is cold. The ship is beautiful but seemed designed more for looks than function. We also had a problem with walking through heavy smoking areas. The Sky Lounge was set up so that it was hard to see the band which we love to do. We were able to push the curtains aside and find chairs to bring us closer to the dance floor and away from the smoking side. There's a jogging track but no walking track all the way around the ship on the lower deck which we like to walk on during the days at sea.
The ports were great. Before we took the train ride on St Kitts, I met Greg who led me up a mountain 18 years ago when I was a lot younger. On Dominica we took the Cooking Caribbean tour which was an experience just getting up the mountain. We couldn't help with cooking because we both caught colds but we enjoyed watching the preparation of 3 dishes plus dessert and enjoyed a wonderful meal and the view. This was our absolute favorite tour. I'm a woodcarver so my next favorite was the Medford Mahogany factory on Barbados. The Butterfly Farm on St. Martin was a special treat for a couple of gardeners.