My sister and I arrived at the parking garage at 10:30 AM. There was a bit of a wait as the previous cruise was still disembarking. Once we got inside the garage, it wasn't long before we were heading to the waiting room to board the ship.
Once on board, we headed to Lido Deck (deck 9) for lunch, which is where everyone else was headed because the cabins weren't ready until 1:30 PM. A waiter said that no one would bother our bags, so after waiting a while for my sister to get her lunch, I went ahead and got in line for mine. There were two serving lines, so it went smoothly. I had the Chicken Marsala with some veggies.
By the time we finished lunch, it was just about 1:30 so we went ahead to our assigned cabin and lo and behold, the door was open and ready for us to enter!
Our checked bags weren't though, and it was explained to us that they wouldn't arrive until later that afternoon (they finally did arrive shortly before it was time to go to dinner).
Our travel agent had arranged for our group to sit together at dinner, so there were familiar faces around the table.
The mornings of the first two sea days I spent in knitting classes, but the rest of the cruise, my sister and I pretty much did our own thing. She doesn't gamble or drink, so the casino and the bars weren't visited much. We did go into a couple of the gift shops, but her favorite activity was going to the live shows after dinner. She also liked to go to the afternoon teas on sea days. Those were a treat because the goodies were free! They're always at 3 PM on sea days, held in the upper level of one of the restaurants (in this case they were in the Paris dining room). We got to listen to live piano music while sipping on tea and eating gourmet pastries.
Since we had a balcony, we were able to go there for fresh air. No need to fight the crowd for a spot on deck.
We didn't book any shore excursions this trip. In Nassau, we got to take a horse & buggy tour for $15 each, which lasted all of about 30 min. In Freeport, we just walked around the small straw market that had been built for ship passengers. Downtown Freeport was 11 miles from the port, and since I'd already been there twice, I told her that she wasn't really missing anything since everything they had there was the same stuff as in the small straw market near the port.
Key West was my favorite stop, since neither of us had been there before. I enjoyed walking around and looking at the sights which were new to me. I wouldn't mind going back there, since there are some things we didn't get to see.
On board ship, it was really fun to come back after dinner each night to find another folded towel critter on one of the beds. On the last day of the cruise, they held a class for passengers to learn how to make a couple of animals using a large and a small towel. Large towel for the body, small towel for the head.
Neither of us had brought swim suits, so we didn't participate in any of the poolside activities. I didn't particularly feel like getting sunburned, and neither did my sister, although we did try out a couple of the deck chairs for a while. It was a bit windy then, so after a few minutes, we'd both had enough and found our way back inside.
When it was time to leave the ship, we decided to carry our own bags off the ship, so we headed down to deck 3 and we were off the ship by 10 AM.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and I hope to go on another cruise next year when the knitting group will try to get passage on other cruise ship.