The embarkation process was quite a breeze, we checked-in and turned over our room luggage to go thru a scanner. The guy that we checked in with was quite a character, he joked with us and got us into a "Celebration" mood! Once our luggage had gone thru the scanner we were cleared to take our carry-on luggage and go thru security screening. That took all of 30seconds. Next we went to a table and the lady checked over our preboarding documents and then sent us over to a teller station to have give them our credit documents and passport so that they could give me my room key.
Next we went thru and had our embarkation photo taken, and then made our dinner reservations. It was not manditory to do so and no one called us over or pushed us to make them. I choose to wait and then stepped up to the counter and went ahead and did it. I am glad we did; we had the choice of 6 or 8pm and the Cove or the Rio. You could eat at both on different nights or the same one both nights. We then passed by a table for the spa; they gave us a brochure and told us the discounts we could get if we booked our appts. right then. My friend and I decided to wait, but we knew we wanted to book an appt for different services, we just didn't know which ones yet. There was just one last stop we had to make and that was to give the captain a copy of our embarkation form and double check it with our passport.
When we got on the ship we a porter our cabin number and he took us and our carryon luggage up to our cabin to settle in. Our cabin was 5108. It had two upper and two lower bunks. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of room we had in there. My friend and I could both be standing by our bed and not feel crowded. We had port hole windows that did not open, which was a bummer, but we could at least look out! The bunks were very comfy and the comforters on them were quite comfy too! The thing I was not too impressed with was that to open the door to our cabin was quite difficult, and you had to step over a step to get in and you had to step up to go into the bathroom. The bathroom was quite small, no bigger than an airplane bathroom that had a shower added at the last minute. The ship is also not on American wattage, but you can get a converter from the Information desk. You can also borrow a curling iron and a straightener from them.
There is a "Mandatory" meeting, my friend did not want to but after going she was all ready to sign up for snorkeling. They give you information on what is going on when and about the ship, and the port, the dos and don'ts. Dinner on night one was at the Crystal Dining Room. There is a dress code and they did turn people away at the door for their dress. The service was excellent, the food was quite good and even if we couldn't get by the restaurant windows they were able to seat us by the windows that looked out into the hall so that we could see the other view from the other side! After dinner we went down and played Bingo which was hosted by the on board comedian and it was quite a time! We didn't stay for the nightly show that evening because we both had to get up the next morning for our excursions.
On Day 2 we both had excursions, but my friend's snorkeling got canceled so she just went with me to the Port Lucaya resort. They did refund her for snorkeling portion. The vans took everyone on my excursion to the resort at 10am. I wish I had not purchased the excursion plus lunch because there were restaurants in the market across the parking lot that I could have eaten at; one being a Subway! The portion of the resort reserved for was WONDERFUL! We had a private white sand beach, clear ocean water, plenty of beach sports, and a beautiful pool with perfect water, and it had the illusion of not having an edge and a wonderful towel service!
After lunch I went over to the market, the people there were the typical sales people you see in these little markets, but I still contributed to the local economy:) They do not have an open container law there so my vacation felt even more like a vacation! You could stay at the resort until 5, but the ship also had busses that would make trips back starting at 2 and running every hour until 5. I got tired and was ready to head back to my room around 3 so I went back before my friend. She took the last bus back and the crew on the ship surprised me by asking me if she was back when I went down to do some last minute shopping at 4. They showed concern for her not being back yet and that gave them a star in my book!
She made it back by 5 and we made it to our spa appts. We both decided to get our hair done and I added a full body massage. It was heaven and my stylist, Antonio was awesome! I loved my hair and his personality. Our dinner the second night was at the Rio, and I wish we had dined both nights at the Crystal or at the Rio the first night. It just wasn't as nice and they put you at tables with people you do not know. I know that is how they do it on some cruises but I didn't really care for it. The people we dined with were very nice and it was good to get to know new people but I would have preferred more private dining like the evening before.
After dinner we went and watched the show, and enjoyed it very much. After the show we enjoyed the Mardi Gras party and then headed to the room to pack and hit the sack for the night. The next morning I grabbed breakfast at the Tattoria and it was pretty good. Our disembarkation card said 10am but they announced at 945 that everyone was supposed to off the ship at that moment! I wish they had not given us a disembarkation time of 10am if they wanted us all off by 945.
Overall I would cruise with this ship again, however next time I will probably stay on the island for a couple days!