Pre-cruise - Stayed at Sofitel in Miami. I enjoyed my stay there. Fast food restaurants, CVS, Walgreens and Publix are within walking distance. Since the hotel is an Accor hotel and based out of France they have a nice touch of greeting you with bon jour.
Embarkation day - Had a transport through the hotel arranged and when the transport came there was not enough room for my husband and I, we were told another transport was on the way, so when that transport got to the hotel we were again shoved off for a larger party, again told another was on the way. I looked down the road saw some taxi's and decided to take a taxi to the pier. Only cost extra was $5 and it was just husband and I. Got to the pier around one pm and the line to get into the building was extremely long and stretch in an L shape by about a block. Line moved very fast and within a half-hour we were in the terminal. There we waited for 15 minutes to get to the escalators and from there it was another 15 minutes to get to the security area. After passing through security it only took a 10 minute wait to get our sea pass cards and go to our room. The RC crew did an awesome job of walking around and talking to people as we waited in line and we figured we were on vacation, no worries.
Room - We had a D1 mid hump room on deck 9. The room was a typical D1 cabin, but the balcony was a little deeper than the average side balconies. This was nice, I was able to stretch out a little more without being in the way when hubby wanted to walk out.
Room Steward - We had Joseph from the Philippines and loved him! He introduced himself and let us know his hours. We then had a couple requests and when we got back from our Muster Drill the requests had been fulfilled. Throughout the cruise he was always there making sure we had everything we needed.
Wait Staff - Since we did My Time dining did not get to know our wait staff. There is one waiter I will tell you to avoid. His name is Bene and very nice but got our orders wrong through-out dinner and when it was time for dessert I was talking to the two couples we were eating with and he set my plate down and the next thing I know I had a spoonful of my dessert being shoved in my mouth. I did not make a scene just smiled and took the spoon from him and held onto it. He then went to another woman at our table and she told him to not even try it. It started out uncomfortable but we all just laughed and went on with our dinner.
Activities On-Board - This time I did not do any of the activities on-board ship. This was strictly a decompression cruise and after breakfast and wandering the ship meeting people I went to my cabin sat on the balcony and relaxed. Husband stayed in the Solarium and relaxed and visited the other cruisers. But one thing that was very noticeable...no more life jackets on the Muster Drill. Wow I was able to see walking down the stairs! Meet and Mingle - The M&M was enjoyable. Met the people we had been talking online with and made some new friends. RC had a nice spread out and when the M&M was over anyone in the lounge snacked and it was a great way to finish the meeting.
Dinner - Did My Time Dining for the first time and if I need to do it again I will but I hope I never do. It's not that I am a fan of traditional dining for the table mates, but I do like to eat in a timelier manner than going in at 6:15 and leaving the dining room at 8:50. It took way too long for dinner and we ended up missing some of the evening activities. The food was okay but a little bland. I hate to say this (I don't want to scare people off) but it is good cafeteria style food. I guess I don't cruise for the food more to relax so it is not an issue with me and I like it just fine. I did not have to cook it or serve it!
Went to Chops for our anniversary night and enjoyed our meal there so much. Usually we go to Portofino's but did Chops this time the food and service was excellent and the staff saw our anniversary cards to each other so came out with a cake that said happy Anniversary and we didn't get charged for it! Excellent service. They did receive a nice extra tip that night.
Windjammer - Typical buffet. Breakfast was as usual typical breakfast food at a buffet. Lunch - It does seem like the choices are fewer and there is more emphasis on hamburgers and hot dogs. Did not do Windjammer for dinner. All in all Windjammers was as expected a nice buffet.
Belize - Did the horse drawn carriage tour from the ship. I enjoyed seeing the parts of the city but would not do it again. The motorized part of trip was the majority of the trip. We had 15 minutes of the horse drawn carriage and it was so crowded that I sat next to - no wait on top of the driver! As we were pulling out of Belize that night we were at dinner and saw all the little islands and thought it was a very nice end to the day.
Costa Maya - Wandered around the pier area and then went back on the ship and had a hot stone massage. This was the best thing around! Love the hot stone massages and will do again next cruise. Very relaxing day!
Cozumel - Walked downtown from the pier and shopped around and then went back to the ship and sat in the Solarium. Nice relaxing day.
Night Life - Met friends made on the ship in different bars for a drink then went on to the casino where I lost most of my play money until the last night where I made half of it back playing three card poker! Very nice.
Disembarkation - Since we were staying at the Sofitel again post cruise we were in no hurry to get off the ship and were one of the last to debark. I think it goes as smooth as possible but RC needs to stop moving us around. As Diamond members we get a separate lounge to wait. After 4 colors were called the staff informed us we were moving to the theatre. So we pack up everything and move to the other side of the ship into the theatre. After being there for a while we were informed they were going to move us to the promenade. That did not happen but would have been a pain moving everything again and going back upstairs. RC when you put us someplace for disembarkation keep us there until we debark. Otherwise, I love being one of the last off the ship. No crowds and no hurry. We grabbed a porter and he helped us get a taxi back to the hotel. All in all we went on this cruise to de-stress and we did. RC does a nice job helping the cruiser relax and unwind.