We flew to Barbados a day early so as not to miss the departure, had a reservation with the Pirates Cove Inn. That was a glorious experience. Everyone was so friendly and helpful.We were not able to board the ship until 4PM even tho' it docked at 7AM, so we had a lot of time to kill with our bags. It is an expensive cab ride from the hotel to Bridgetown and the pier. Pre-boarding we had to sign a health waiver and submit to a temperature test. We were also required to sign a form agreeing the line could only be sued from Monaco. OK we submit and sign because we are after all here to take the cruise.
At 10PM we are underway with much pomp and ceremony for the raising of the sails. The music is very theatrical 1492 Conquest of the Caribbean.
We actually made 8 ports in the 7 days. Only 2 were docked all the others were tendered. The sea was rough and getting off the ship and into the tender boats was difficult for able bodied folks. We had a number of older guests, some with limited dexterity so they were always presented with the dilemma of staying on board and missing the port or daring the transfer.
Shopping was an absolute "nothing"...our day in Grenada was a national holiday...our day in Martinique was the beginning of Carnival.
All the other stops were for snorkelling or scuba. Wrong cruise if you are not into water sports and raw beaches.
The food is buffet style breakfast and lunch, full service dinner. The service good, not excellent but OK...same with the food.
Our cabin steward kept us tidy, but had the flu. So if the guests have to submit to a health check, what about the crew.
The Islands are beautiful, and are regardless of how you get there.
My favorite stop was in Barbados where we had a great driver take us to the northernmost point of the Island to Flower Cave, and a great waterside restaurant for lunch before the trip to the airport.
The staff on the ship especially the deck hands were eager to explain the tasks they were assigned to. As for the climbing of the mast...available for 2 hours one morning and one hour another...not quite like described in the brochures. Many who wanted to climb to the crows nest were not able to because they could not be accomodated.
Entertainment was of the amateur variety, but since smoking is allowed in the Tropic Bar where the entertainment took place , those who choose not to inhale other peoples smoke could not participate. The currency on board is the Euro...makes drinks bloody expensive.....
The captain on this vessel was very friendly and available to anyone who wished to speak with him...one could not say the same for the Hotel Manager who never got back to any guest about anything as near as I could tell.
When all was said and done, spending the week in Barbados would have been more enjoyable.