This was my first cruise, and I am now hooked. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale one day before the cruise left. Our flight was on Spirit Airlines. Yes, it was cheap but was it worth saving $20, NO! The plane was tiny and the seats very uncomfortable. Next time we are not booking through them. We stayed at the Comfort Inn Airport in Ft Lauderdale. They had a free shuttle from the airport and to the cruise port, which was the deciding factor for this hotel. It was a descent hotel. The rooms were just OK at best; however the pool and the location were great. We were close to a shopping center and restaurants, we had dinner at Dave and Busters and played there for a couple hours. Monday morning the shuttle took us to the pier, the wait there was a little longer than I had heard about. We waited a good hour maybe even more before we got to the check in. Once on board we went to the Purser's desk, since both of us were using cash for our seapass card. That went very smoothly and quickly.
Oh by the way the ship was beautiful!!! We walked through the ramp on to the ship and were surprised by how nice it was. Everything was clean and sparkling. We walked around the ship trying to familiarize ourselves with the ship. After walking around we were hungry and made our way to the Windjammer. I have read that many people thought the food was just ok here, but I thought it was quit good. They had a huge variety to choose from. If you didn't like the meat of choice or the sides that were hot, they always had salad and fruit to choose from. We were very happy with lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around and taking pictures. The band played by the pool all afternoon (by the end of the trip I felt like I new all of their songs by heart). We checked our room to see if the luggage was there, it had arrived by 3 or 4.
The room was very small but it was enough room for 2 of us. Plenty of storage, which was good since we had a lot of luggage. The showers are tiny!! If you noticed we went on our cruise in Sept '04 then you probably remember all the hurricanes that month. We got the tail end of Hurricane Ivan, better know as Ivan the terrible on our ship. Since we had the late dinner we went to the Comedian Show at 7pm. The theater is at the front of the ship and the water was getting a little choppy. My cruise mate got a little sea sick. We went to dinner in the Fair Lady dinning room, it was beautiful, there are two stories and we were on the bottom floor. There were lots of choices; there was a list of appetizers, a list of salads, a list of main courses, a list of vegetables, and later a list of desserts. There was also always a server walking around with a basket of bread. The service was great our waiter new all our names by the second night (except mine – I said I’m Erica and he thought I said America so he called me America the whole trip and I didn’t have the heart to correct him). I thought the food over the whole trip was very good in the dinning room.
Our second day we were supposed to go to Key West, but do to the Hurricane we had to miss that port. We just had an extra day at sea. And boy was it a day at sea. We caught the tail end of Ivan. Just about everyone on the ship got sea sick even the crew. That was also formal night, you saw a lot of green faces in their formal attire.
Day 3 we stopped at Cozumel, I had decided not to do an excursion through the ship. We heard of Paradise Beach through the boards in C.C. We took a 10 minute taxi ride and loved it. It was beautiful; there were lounge chairs and bath mats for the water for free. They had waiters walking around you could order your lunch from them and eat it on the beach or go to their restaurant and get out of the sun. We ordered chicken quesadillas and chips and salsa, yummy! We spent several hours there then went to the city to shop. It was a really good day. That night on the ship was a game called the Quest, you have to go it is great. People do crazy things for a key chain. We also stayed at the Viking Crown lounge until it closed every night. They played a lot of the same music over and over. But usually tried to watch the crowd and see what kinda of music to play.
Thursday the 4th day was in Belize. Can you say hot, wow! We tendered there which wasn’t bad and met the Coral Breezes excursion at the flag pool. Just let me tell you, that trip was a little more intense then we thought it was going to be, but I enjoyed it. The gala buffet was that night and it was so impressive. They let us take pictures an hour before and I just couldn’t believe what you can make out of food. The chocolate was amazing also. I took a-to-go plate so I could leave it in the room and go back to the club and dance. It was a nice treat at 2:30 a.m.
The 5th day, the day at sea, was fun. They had entertainment by the pool all day and the sun was shinning. Bartenders walked around all day offering drinks and they weren’t kiddie drinks for sure!! They had bingo but we didn’t make it, bummer! That night was the adult karaoke competition it was fun, I was forced to sing but enjoyed my self. It was kinda sad to think of it as the last night, but we were tired and could use a vacation from our vacation. The next morning you have to be out of your room early, like 8 a.m. We had breakfast and waited for a color to be called. It wasn’t bad, we went the purser’s desk to close our seapass card and were surprised at how little we spent. Our color was called around 10 and we grabbed our luggage and taxi and headed back to the dreaded Spirit Air.
The trip was great, I could have done with out the hurricane, and I am ready to go on another Royal Caribbean ship. Next time it will be the Explorer of the Seas.