We had a lot of obstacles to overcome in getting to our cruise, major snow storm, missed connections, almost lost our luggage, so we got to the ship late and had practically no wait to board. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin very quickly. We had a balcony cabin, that was smaller than on other ships. However, the bathroom was larger than most, and we had no problem with storage. The balcony was a good size with two chairs and a small table. We signed up for the weeklong spa pass, and highly recommend it. The spa pool, heated ceramic lounges and whirlpool tubs were great. We found that the buffet was well-designed, so that moving about was fairly easy. The selection was pretty much the same each day, but since it was fairly extensive we didn't have any problem trying different items. Our favorites were the omelets, pretzel rolls, salad bar, and softserve ice cream. The chocolate buffet was very nice, too. The main dining room meals were sometimes delicious and sometimes OK. Meal More
sizes were smaller than I have had before, but we still didn't starve. Our extras included the murder mystery dinner, martini tasting and one night at Le Bistro. All were very enjoyable. The menu for the mystery dinner was extremely limited, but the beef was delicious. I might add that we had great tablemates. I highly recommend any of the bar tastings. They had great selections and the price was good. Le Bistro had phenomenal food.
We did not see the Vegas-style shows, but Second City and Sharkbait were great. There was also a performer that played the piano and sang at Bar City that was very entertaining. We fully expected to pay for extras, but did not find any crew members to be overly pushy.
We did the whale-watching and beach excursion in Samana, and really enjoyed it. Just be prepared to run the local vendor gauntlet at the beach. We were not able to visit the baths in Tortola, because we were not able to swim ashore. However, we did snorkle at a nearby island with Patouche tours and really enjoyed. One caution - watch out for sea urchins. My sister got nailed and experienced a bit of pain for several days. Really appreciated the help provided by the ship's doctor for that. Just did some major shopping in St. Thomas. Great Stirrup Cay was very nice. We had number 8 for the tenders and had no problem getting a lounger. The tenders were actually quite large, so they were able to move people to the island fairly quickly. Food on the barbecue buffet was better than we have had on other islands.
We elected to carry our own luggage off the ship, so disembarking was very easy. I did like the later time frame, because we could enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing. Less