This cruise would be my third and my cabinmates fourth. My other two friends had never been before and were anxious to go. After telling them everything I knew the only thing left was to actually experience it. I hate to fly so we drove from to Tampa from St. Louis. I take several roadtrips a year so I drive 300 miles in a blink, so with a driving partner the trip was speedy. We arrived a couple of hours later than I wanted but we still made it by noon. I had never been to the Tampa port before, and despite a seperate parking structure across the street from the terminal, it was no hassle.
Embarkation was a breeze. Had not one of my friends had a runny nose that needed to be checked by a doctor, we would have been on the boat in less than 15 minutes from walking in the door. By far the fastest ever because Im used to 1 hour +. We were eating on the Lido deck by 1245 and to our rooms to crash by 130.
I have only been on fantasy class ships Sensation and Fantasy and despite bad reviews this ship was the nicest to me. Definitely clean and not tacky purple like the other ones. Our cabin was kept in immaculate condition everyday, no complaints whatsover. The dining room service in the Mardi Gras room left a little more to be desired. The food was excelIent but was slow coming out, maybe because our group averaged 2.5 entrees a piece! I had top notch service on my first two cruises and perhaps was spoiled. Our server Sergio was definitely nice but he reminded me of typical american dining with no pizzazz (sp). I was spoiled by tricks and such but none of that here. As far as the Lido deck food, is was nothing special and pretty much what is expected. The sushi was excellent. Room service was great also. Im easy to please and I had no complaints about this cruise even if I thought long and hard. I was greeted by a smiling face everywhere I went by the staff.
As far as debarkation is was as smooth as could be. Apparently a few non american passengers held up the show for everyone, but once we were called we were on our way fast!