My partner and I drove our rental car down from Orlando on Friday morning. The Hertz office is just down the road and they provide a free shuttle to the port. We did this cruise last minute and just wanted to get away for the weekend. We are both travel agents, so the rate was great and we picked an outside cabin. We both are RCCL Diamond members, so we usually sail on RCCL, but we have sailed on most other lines as well in the past. I sailed on the Sky almost two years ago and had a great time. To me, it was better to try it again for a short weekend cruise since the shorter Carnival Cruises are usually a bit too wild for what I like to do. Boarding was easy and fast, the best Ive had on any ship. They parade you through a section of a nightclub set up with everything they want to sell you, the normal items that every cruise line does, suck as the soda card, spa services etc. The ship is small, so it seems like a lot that they are trying to push on you, but again, its the same typical items all the cruise lines do. We went ahead and made reservations to Le Bistro and Cagneys. On my recent trip, I had an incredible meal at Cagneys and wanted to try it again. From there we went to our cabin and checked it out. The cabin was much better than my inside cabin I had on the recent trip. The bathroom curtain had new rods in it that prevented it from sticking to you since the shower is TINY. I don't know why they just don't had sliding glass like RCCL has, its much better for showering, but all in all, the room was just fine. Bedding was very comfy and even the small couch was nice to lounge in. After we unpacked, we headed to the only place open for lunch which was the buffet. The buffet area is too small for that size ship and you realize this when you are packed in that area fighting for a plate of food. They do have a nice large area out back that has the same food. Speaking of the food, YUCK, nothing was barely edible on the buffet and even though I eat most anything, nothing was good at all. We laughed it off and decided not to eat there again.
Sail away party was nice with the music and BBQ going on at the pool area, and of course Miami was beautiful to watch as we left the port. We grabbed a few drinks, which by the way are the most pricey drinks on any cruise line, so be prepared to spend the bucks if you are going to drink! The first night we went to the show before dinner, and wow, entertainment was beyond poor! I have been an entertainment manager at Disney for 24 years so I know I can be a bit judge mental, but it was like watching a bad high school production. I know the cruise lines all use the same horrible production company, so I am not a fan of most of them on any ship. We left in the middle and went to dinner in the Palace Dining room which is one of the main dining rooms. Once again, food was just awful. I ended up ordering two meals to try and get something I could eat and thank goodness, the jerk chicken and rice was actually good. One more note, they only serve water and tea for free on this ship, NO lemonade or punch, just gross tea. I went with tea and at every meal, except for Cagneys, I could never get a refill and the servers seemed confused that I needed sugar. This became a joke every time I ordered it because I would just wait and get the sugar with my coffee. Food service and presentation is way down from what it was on my last trip.
The second day was Nassau and like always, we decided to stay on the ship and relax. For lunch we went back and braved the buffet and actually had a few items that were decent enough to eat. We relaxed and did the casino as we left Nassau. The weather was actually a bit cold, so no pool since they do not eat the pools. The hot tubs were always packed with kids and adults, not sure why they don't turn the front of the ship to an adult area, I hate kids around on my vacation and don't want minors in the hot tub when im trying to relax, its just creepy to me, so not much relaxing in the hot tubs.
That night we went to the comedian and tried sitting through the show, but he is awful and works on all the NCL ships. We left and went to the Le Bistro for dinner. I enjoyed most of my meal, and I love the dining room. MY partner hated the dinner and even after sending his steak back, it came out burned and tasteless. My dessert was great, simple fondue but very tasty.
The last day we woke and looked out at high waves and stormy clouds and before we could say anything, the captain came on the speakers and informed us that he was going to cancel the stop. I totally support the captains and I love the fact that he said several times that passengers should not go bothering the front desk complaining since it was his choice due to safety. I hate hearing passengers complain about this kind of stuff considering there is not way to get you to the island safely in a storm, these would be the same idiots complaining if they were stranded on the island or hurt trying to get back, so kudos to the captain!! This is another reason why Disney out does everybody by having a dock on their island, they NEVER have to miss the private island day. We tried to enjoy the outside area but it was too cold. The band was good and played everyday. They also had several musicians around the ship playing for guests. That night we dined and Cagneys and thank goodness, the food was so good. Our server, Hazel, was the best on the ship. It was finally a great dining experience for both of us! We are both in our 30s and enjoy cruising just to get away, but again, too many negatives to recommend this ship to our clients unless the service and food gets better. We are going on the EPIC in October and Im hoping NCL gets it right with that ship.