We are a mid twenties honeymoon couple from Finland. This was our first cruise if you don't count the overnight ferry trips between Finland and Sweden or Finland and Estonia. We have read cruise critic reviews and boards almost daily for about a year now so we knew somewhat what to expect.
We flew to Miami two nights before our cruise and stayed at wonderful little Cadet hotel (SoBe) where the service was excellent and price was a great deal. Taxi to the port was 24 dollars. We arrived to the ship around 12:30 and the embarkation went smoothly. They took away my little scissors but returned them to my stateroom the next day. Don't know what's the point. Was I a thread with the scissors while embarkation process but not anymore at the ship? We dropped our carry on's to our stateroom and went to have a lunch.
We had a standard room with veranda. We thought that the stateroom would have been smaller and more worn out. But actually it was really spacious and in good shape. The stateroom was clean except the veranda could have been cleaner and dryer. Our stateroom attendant Hilda was a nice lady and did her job efficiently.
Public rooms and decor
We didn't spot any wear and tear. The decor on the edge of the earth night club was little on the odd side but we got used to it. The decor all around the ship could have been a little more modern but that's a question of taste. We enjoyed the art around the ship very much.
Outstanding. Almost every member of the crew was smiling and very polite. We especially liked the waiters in champagne bar and Michaels club.
Food and drink
We ate dinner almost every night at the main dining room. We had select dining. Usually there was no problems getting a table when we arrived. Allthough we didn't make any reservations. The first two nights we sat on tables of six. We really enjoyed meeting and discussing with other guests. On third night we asked a table for two for a change. The rest of the cruise we were given a table for two. I guess that is what they assumed we preferred allthough it would have been a nice change to have bigger tables again. But we enjoyed also tables for two. It was our honeymoon after all. Three times we had to wait for a table. They advised us to the martini bar and told that they would come to let us know when the table would be ready. Two times we waited over half an hour. And went to ask when the table would be ready. They told us that they had came to look for us but didn't find. That was stange because we were right at the bar where they told us to be and never saw anyone looking for us. Every night there were about five persons looking after our table. That was new experience to us. Every other night we ordered a bottle of red wine and saved half of the wine for tomorrow. Every night we could find something we liked from the menu. The food was great and it was plenty. Sometimes they automatically assumed that I would drink coffee and poured it in to my cup before I got a chance to say anything. I don't like coffee and prefere tea. Once we went to the elegant tea and two times to the brunch. The brunch was great. We had breakfast one time at the main dining room but the choices wasn't as plentiful as the buffet.
The seaside buffee for breakfast, lunch and snacks was great! There was so much to choose from. The chocolate coated doughnuts were my favourite. My DH preferred the waffles. They were good but we get better (thinner and crispier) in Finland. Also the double chocolate chip cookies were great!
We sometimes had a snack from the poolside grill. The french fries were crispy and great. I also like hot dogs, but after a couple I had enough for the entire cruise. We never tried aqua cafe because the variety of offerings didn't look so plentiful but i'm sure it would have been nice and healthy. We would have liked if there would have been somewhere to get food after 11 pm. Luckily there was the room service which we used a couple of times. The service was prompt.
We had reserved soda packages online before the cruise. The word soda was printed to our sea passes. I guess that you get stickers if you by the package from the ship bars. Sometimes the waiters didn't notice that we had sodacard because it was printed not stickers and they had to do the receipt again. At the end part of our voyage we started to wonder why we hadn't received the souvenir mugs to our stateroom. They delivered them to our stateroom when we asked for them.
Entertainment & activities
We were quite pleased with the entertainment. Although it was definately aimed for more mature audiences. The three production shows were good. One comedian was also good (can't remember his name). Also Jeff Trachta's ( Thorne no. Two from the bold and the beautiful, which is Finlands number one foreign soap opera) show was good though little lame. We didn't like the magician Michael Finney. He wasn't very funny and some of his humour was offensive towards gays and he also seemed sovinistic when he asked a woman to join him on stage.
My husbands favorite entertainer was the piano artist Max Difaz on Michaels club. Perry Grant was on holiday so Max was substituting him. Some people might have been disappointed that Perry wasn't there, but we really much enjoyed Max's entertainment and became his fans. Very nice guy.
We both enjoyed the partyband extreme. The singer reminded Rihanna. They were really good. Other entertainers were just okey. We Finnish people love Karaoke and we were a little disappointed that it was on only two nights. It didn't seem to attract people from USA though. Almost everyone in audience were from Canada of Europe. They also had a lot of technical difficulties on Karaoke and one night they stopped it because one uppset ( I think russian )woman came to demand dance music.
They had a couple competitions at night and quizzes and other activities during the day. There could have been more, but we always found something to do and never were bored. We participated to the name that tune quiz. Most of the songs were from both sides of the 60's but still some people were ccomplaining that the tunes weren't old enough! If it would have been up to us there would have been tunes from this century also...
The entertainment throughout the ship stopped too early on evenings. After midnight there were just a couple people dancing at the bar at the edge of the earth. Luckyly we were also exhausted from days activities so we were quite happy returning to our stateroom.
It was wonderful and this is why we chose this cruise. Miami-St. Thomas-Antigua-St. Lucia-Barbados- Tobago- Grenada- Aruba-Curacao-Miami. Every port was great and there was only time to see something from each port. Our favourites were perhaps St. Lucia and Aruba. St. Lucias scenery was amazing and were glad that we booked a tour from Cosol.
The pool deck was nice. There were a lot of chair hoggers but almost everytime we could find some chairs that pleased us. The indoor Thalassotherapy pool was too hot for us but we really
We enjoyed the outside Whirlpools.
We were expecting an older groud and it was, but there were also a lot of middle aged and young people. We were positively surprised that so many people that we talked to knew something about our homecountry Finland and many had visited Finland. Everyone was very nice except for one lady that I met during last breakfast. I went to get one croissant (nothing else) from a long line where everyone was waiting for waffles to be ready. The line wasn't moving. So I desided just to take the croissant between them cause it took me one second. Then the lady let me know with loud voice where the end of the line was. She propably thought that I was stupid. I thanked her for the information.
Disembarkation also went smoothly. We took Celebrity trip to everglades. Otherwise it was good but we didn't spot any alligators because it was could. Before leaving we stayed two nights on Miami beach at Beach Paradise hotel. This hotel wasn't really good.
Food, service, stateroom, pooldeck, itinerary, Max...
Cannot find anything important here...