First I would just like to note that this was my second cruise (my first was last May on the Statendam to Alaska) and it was my sister's first cruise. I travel as frequently as possible for both business and pleasure. The opinions below are my (and my sister's) opnions only, so take it for what it's worth. If you've read other cruiser's reviews on this site, you can see how different people on the same cruise can have completely different experiences. I always travel with a good attitude, so that might colour my views. =)
We were on the February 6th sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale. What a fantastic cruise! The only surley and not helpful crew members I met worked in the Signature shops (on the cuisewear side, not the jewellery side). Everyone had a smile and was more than willing to help you!
We had a small problem with the air conditioning not working in our cabin on the second day onboard, but a post-it note left for our cabin stewards had it up and working by the time we returned that day!
The cabin itself was spacious, with more than ample room for the clothes we brought too much of and all of our other paraphilnilia! I was impressed that the room safe was big enough to fit my sisters laptop in it, and it's not a small one!
The room was always clean, we always had ice and the bathroom was restocked frequently! Our stewards were like magical elves that we hardly ever saw. Well done!
We loved having a balcony to eat our breakfast on in the morning and listen to the sound of the ocean as we relaxed before bed. The VE's overlook the lifeboats, but they didn't impede our view at all.
We went to one production show, which was well done, and to LiveWire - a Modern Celtic husband and wife team who were really great. No complaints there.
I played Bingo whenever I had the chance, never won, but had a great time and made some new friends! There was Karaoke in the Queens lounge one night that was really well attended! There were some great (and not so great, but fun) singers. Several (including me ) got to participate in the "Eurodam Idol Contest" the following afternoon. What a hoot! It was fun (and a bit nerve wracking) to sing a bit (DJ Dave still owes me a Weng Weng for cutting me off too early, LOL) on the main stage.
The best entertainment we found though was at the Ocean Bar every evening. Lawrence would bring us our drinks without asking and we would settle in for the cool strains of The Neptunes (a jazz trio of Bass, Drums and Piano). They played all the great standards that got the couples all dancing. You see, I'm 36 and I have yet to meet anyone of my generation who can dance as well and as nicely as the "older" couples that were cutting up the dance floor in the Ocean Bar. They were a joy to watch and it was a fantastic way to end the day.
Neither my sister nor I smoke, so we avoided the casino and sports bar as much as we could. This was the only place the smoke bothered me. No big deal though, as there were plenty of other places to be.
We never quite made it to the Nothern Lights Dance Club, although we meant to. Same with the cullinary demonstrations. We did go to see two of the movies playing in the theatre on board (Surrogates and Julie & Julia), nice room, comfortable seats and we brought our own drinks =)
We ate everywhere, so be prepaired...
Room Service We ordered breakfast every day (so we could eat it on our Veranda). It was never right on, but we always had what we ordered, plus... so no complaints here. We usually kept the extra fruit bowls in the fridge for an afternoon snack!
Cantallo We ate here on the first night on the ship. It was okay. My Veal was done perfectly, but my sisters chicken marsalas (or whatever) was bland. Service was great though.
Tamarind ($15pp) We like it so much we ate there twice! Absolute perfection from your first shrimp cracker to the amazing desserts. Try the Tamarind Chocolate (it's a chocolate moose infused with chili peppers), its so freaking good - I'm still dreaming of it. The Wasabi encrusted Beef is the standard by which I will judge every other piece of beef that I eat. It was so tender that I could have actually cut it with my spoon. I could have eaten here every night!
Rembrandt Dining Room We only ate here once, but the food was excellent, hot and our servers were nice. We ate with two couples, and got along well.
Pinnacle Tamarind ruined me for any steak, but the food (and my fillet) was very very good. Especially the desserts =) My sister had the Creme Brule trio (coffee, vanilla & chocolate) and I have the "volcano" cake. So, SOOOOOOOO very good (both of them). The only complaint was that the service was a little slow, but we put that down to there being a large party of over 15 - not a big deal, we weren't going anywhere =)
The anchor thing. I am going to have to take the blame for this. So sorry to all the passengers that I inconvienced. You see... I didn't want to leave Half Moon Cay, so I asked the Sea God Neptune to see what he could do.
First he brought the wind up, which brought the swells. Causing the last tender of the day (that I had been place on, kicking and screaming (jk)), to be unable to dock. That worked for me, take me back to the island!
The captain then decided to move the Eurodam so that it would act as a breakwall so we could deback the tender, BOOO I said. After chasing the Eurodam for the better part of an hour, we finally got on board, close to 5:30 pm.
About an hour later the captain came on (everywhere, even in the staterooms) and let us know that they were having trouble with the hydralics for the anchor and were attempting to fix it so that we would be on our way. Well neptun was able to weak his havoc until 10:30pm, when his (and mine) evil plan was foiled by the Captain, who decided (with permission from the relevant authorities I assume) to drop the anchor and about 450 ft of heavy chain and pick it up on the next cruise.
So, um, Sorry about that ;-)