embarking day.. well we embarked without incident walked in to terminal checked our baggage an proceeded down the entry way to terminal check in whats this!! No LINES!!! I can hardly believe what I am seeing we will not be lead like a herd of cattle, awesome!!! we get our sail and sign card walk up the gangplank and onto the most sophisficated atmosphere, there is a trio playing on the platform and hardy anyone around about a dozen people sitting an enjoying the music we are directed to our cabin unfortunately sent the wrong way not much English is understood by our guides we finally ask some one and they pointed us to the correct location we reached our cabin, it is about the size of an inside cabin on carnival but we do have a balcony we arrived with 5 suitcases and managed to empty them and put ever thing away, alt-ho the drawers are awfully small and shallow but we managed, I bought my trusty shoe hanger so we can put the little items in it so as not to use up the drawer space, we decided to go have something to eat as it was dinner time when we boarded what no lines again, are we on the right ship!!! we ate dinner came back to cabin found out we missed the muster drill it was held while we were eating dinner, take mental note of where we are suppose to go Muster station, we got back to the cabin and unpacked and while unpacking knock on door, it was Brian from Canada who I had been in touch with on cruise critic introduced ourselves and we made arrangements to meet at 9 pm at the reception lobby,
we finished unpacking and pushed our suitcases under the beds so we would have more space, and then headed downstairs, we met Brian and then the 3 of us went on a tour of the ship to see where things were, Brian turned in early as he had been up since 5 am and we went to the front of ship and sat to wait to Leave NYC. about 1 am the ship backed out of its docking space and proceeded to pass the statue of Liberty no matter how many times we pass her coming in and going out its just something you have to see we went back to our cabin and we watched the verrazano bridge from our balcony it was pretty windy and cold out so it was a short time out there, then we came in and settled down for the nite as soon as my head hit the pillow I was done for.
Day 2 we had ordered room service for this morning very simple menu not much in the way of choices a little disappointed but that was ok for we would eventually get up to the breakfast buffet, just need coffee and something to tie us over as with 1 bathroom and two women it does take time to get ready, went to breakfast we wound up in dinning room at not the buffet it was very quiet in there not many people we were a bit surprised, we did some more exploring and wound up back in cabin to watch some TV.
Lunchtime came we went to buffet what NO lines no fighting for glasses, dishes, tables, where is everyone oh maybe they went to the dining room I suppose, so after lunch we went and listen to some music and waited around for Karaoke Brian joined us we have a 5:30 dinner seating so we went back to the cabin to get ready for dinner we met our waiters still can not pronounce his name but he remembered ours, brain got his tabled changed so he was sitting next to us at another table, Dinners I must say have been quite good and filling and not at all like the reviews I had previously read on the boards every thing was quite tasty and served hot and plenty of it, so I do not know what the posters were talking about as what ever we had was of good quality and service was very good!! and we had a nice couple from California and a second couple from NY at our table for 6.,
Day 3 well today is Halloween Anna and I decorated our cabin door and the inside of our cabin with decorations, our steward must think we are crazy heheh, we also asked him to divide our beds as they were queen size and we wanted more moving around space, when we came back form lunch he did but he just divided them in the middle so Anna and I decided to rearrange our cabin we moved our beds to each wall so now we can have a dance party in the center of room and not trip over each other, well we are getting ready for the costume party tonite we are going in costume to Dinner and the to the party afterwards, they decorated the zebra room with all Halloween themed decorations it was party cool to see that they would be celebrating Halloween, we went to Dinner I dressed as Cruella Deville and Anna as pirate wench, I think we were the only 2 dressed in costume for Dinner did not really look around much as every one was busy eating dinner, we found out today that the ship only had between 500 to 600 passengers on board they all got off in NYC and the rest were departing in FT Lauderdale the ones we picked up in NYC with ourselves were doing the Panama cruise and we were picking up about 1800 to 2000 in fort Lauderdale, we were on a ghost ship so it was such a great 3 days with no crowds and no waiting for anything. we went to the Halloween party there were about 20 people dressed in costume we did a parade through the zebra room and winner was picked Darn it not Me, and I worked so hard to do the make up and hair but the satisfaction of it all, was in all the clubs the waiters and waitress wanted pictures with us so it was a lot of fun posing with them and through out the nite the other pax said I should have won and I was a winner in their book which made me feel good, after 2 hours of putting on the make up and doing my hair in back and white dye, we had fun, we went to the show and the whole entertainment group who were also in costumes came over and applauded me and Anna and took pictures of us it was a fun nite.
day 4 Ft Lauder dale well we disembarked I had a altercation with the cab drivers I had an address to a UPS store as I wanted to ship the costumes home and not carry them back with us as My suitcase would be either over wieght or one to many to bring home, did not want to take the chance of extra charges now with the new baggage laws airline have, so I asked on cabbie if he knew where the address was and he acted like he did not understand so he took my paper to another cabbie next to him and he shook his head no now they are in a double Que and it was 3 deep and other passengers were getting into the cabs so I walked to the front of the que as the second driver pulled up the the next driver in Que, I asked the third driver to take us to ups store and then he played stupid and asked the second driver who we already had a problem with, that kept shaking his head no, So then I got really Mad and there was a sheriff's deputy standing there directing traffic next to the third driver so I walked up to her and told her I was trying to get a cab to UPS did she know where it was located and she turned and jump all over the 2 cab drivers and told them if one of them did not take us where we wanted to go they were out of the port area for the rest of the day boy she was like a Drill Sargent and they moved, the only thing is this jackass took Us the long way there and the fare ran 18.00 as we wound up taking the public bus back for 3.00 and its only a 10 minute ride and his was 20 minutes he took us the long way there!! I have found that the cab drivers in the port areas do not like to take fares unless they are going to the airports or hotels so they can pick up other fares to come back as this has happen to me in Miami a couple of times also. and another thing they learn to speak English real fast when an law enforcement person is called upon then they know where the place is you want to go, you need to be aware of the games they play!!. well we got back early and went back to the ship and just took the day easy my blood pressure was at its limit that day lolol.
day 5 sea day uneventful day just bummed around did the casino spent way to much money but was there for 3 hours, we met with the other people we had met on cruise critic to try and finalize any tour plans and to meet each other after chatting on cruise critic for the last 2 month, had Dinner at 5:30 went to the show then came back to Cabin to watch the election results.
day 6 Cozumel Anna and I choose to do a Beach Break everyone else went Shopping we went to the Cozumel Hotel and resort its a bout 3 miles from the cruise ship terminal it was 30.00 for day pass all you can drink and eat free wifi and the waiters were very friendly Anna and I were the only ones on their beach it is a scuba diver hotel mainly, but it looked to be a really nice quiet place to do week stay at we did not use the pool area we just laid under the palm trees and took in the Divers coming in from their adventures and had a Mexican buffet lunch a a few Margaritas and just relaxed I took a couple of pictures, then headed back to ship as we had to be back by 4:30 was a very short stay in Cozumel
Day 7 we decided to brave the pool deck, we found deck lounges without any trouble compared to other cruises we could never find an empty lounge chairs we sunbathed for about 40 minutes a little something nice about these loungers they have a sun visor attached which was pretty nice, we stayed till it was just to hot to sit out there so we decided to take showers and go to a late lunch, lunch was also a nice surprise we got a table quite easy and did not have to stand in buffet line, but that goes to say we were there 45 min before they closed it down we have found the buffet pretty good, I have been going to the salad bar nice selection and the buffet seemed to be a nice variety of salads and meats etc. they did serve Free ice tea for this cruise, as I have read in the other posts that they charge for ice teas they did not start serving the ice tea till the second day, do not know if complaints were made or what because on all the drink menus had Ice tea for 3.95. so do not know if this will be the norm for the American Itinerary, coffee and hot water and tea was ready available, But ice tea was not a charge with buffet do not know about the dining room as we drink water with our dinners I must also add that we have been to the dining room every nite and every thing that we ordered and ate was just wonderful good selections they had American fare and then signature Italian, and everyone plus myself and my friend we were happy with the food served and the wait staff who called us by our first names an remembered who drank coffee or tea or none at all, polite and eager to attend our wants and needs
day 8 puerto limon Costa Rico today was very overcast storm and rain through out the night no sun today and we went on our banana plantation tour which was a combination of canal boat ride and no SUN today so no beach stop, today we took some photos of animals we seen on canal not much to see! we had a nice day with Eduardo and his driver we were out for about 4.5 hours and saw some really nice views from top of a hill looking at the port area tomorrow is Panama stop, had a nice dinner with our companions and laughed alot, dinner was awesome we had a late lunch so was not very hungry, in for the night to watch a movie and get a good nites sleep, more tomorrow
day 9 Cristobal panama arrive to overcast day looks to be a dreary day and a storm coming in, Anna did some shopping and I found a wifi hotspot at the Radisson in port so did not have to travel far, This was a port I was not impressed by we could have passed it by and never missed a thing it will go on my list with Belize and Roatan been there done that will never do again, the port did have Casinos small ones, public bathrooms in casinos if in needed off the ship, not a port I would go to far away from other then ships tours
day 10 Cartagena Colombia had breakfast with our Canadian friends this morning in the dining room, I opted to stay on board , Anna went shopping with them in town, I pack some things this morning since we only have a few days left, going to the buffet for lunch will nothing happening on board very little activities, I think after being on board and watching everything I have decided this will most likely be my first and last cruise with this line, like other posters you really get tired of hearing every I mean every announcement done in 5 different languages there were over 144 nationalities on board and some were rude and nasty and pushed their way into Buffet lines and interrupted your conversations at the information desks when it was your turn and accounting desks, with out even a excuse me phase, or sorry, just plan RUDE
started packing my clothes I will not need for the next 4 days trying to get my bags compacted for flight home since I will have to pay for them on flight trying to get them down to one checked bag, got to work a miracle since I did not buy anything this trip I should be ok almost time for lunch so I will make my way to the buffet and add more later tonite.went to dinner and after dinner we went to the zebra lounge and watched the pax learn a line dance was pretty funny then went to the pigalle lounge and watched the animation entertainers do a slapstick comedy show people were standing in front of us so did not see to much left and came back to our cabin. decided to order room service for tomorrow morning menu limited hope the weather is nice so we can sun bathe tomorrow as it is a sea day
day 11 sea day started out with going to Bingo pretty reasonable charge, 3 cards for 20.00 they only play 2 games one straight Bingo and one black out, the straight paid 80.00 and black out was 1000.00 met Anna for lunch I almost died laughing I had to contain my composure for what we experienced at the lunch buffet the one day I did not carry my camera!! it was in deed a Kodak moment!! I found us a nice table by the window and placed our silverware and napkins and put my filled plate down, Anna was still in buffet line so I went to get our ice tea when I came back there was a European lady at our table in slippers, bathrobe and her hair all in curlers at our table, just what I wanted to look at while eating lunch, I could not believe she had the nerve to come to lunch dressed and looking like that and the buffet was completely full and we could not move anywhere else every time I looked at her I want to die of embarrassment, I did not want anyone to think she was with us!!! this cruise was 80 per cent seniors with alot of scooters, wheelchairs, walkers, the average age was about 75 so that explained why limited activities on board unlike NCL, Carnival this cruise line seems to be geared to the elderly generation which is great for them but not for me!! the ship rolled up the carpet at 11.00 pm and there is nothing going on anywhere but to go to bed or the disco and some of the younger folks said it was not a happening place either
debarking day we met the people we met here on cruise critic for breakfast in dining room had nice breakfast exchanged emails went our separate ways Anna and I went to the reception area to await our color codes to be called we left ship about 9:45 no line to get off we asked a transportation person about getting to air port which was the lesser fare shuttle or cab he suggested cab so we went to the Que again stood in line for our turn I ask the sheriff who directing the pax how much a cab would cost to airport, which is less then 4 miles away she told us it was 15.00 for trip no limit on people 1 to ever how many you can get in cab which would hold 4 people but we were 2, got loaded in cab and started out of port when we were on the road he asked us if we got a price for the cab and I told him we were told 15.00 he shook his head no and said 10.00 each I argued but got fed up up with his attitude and just wanted out of his cab the meter was running during the whole trip when we got to the airport the meter read 12.40 so I said to him oh so we only owe you that amount!! he started up with me again and said 20.00 I should have grab one of the airport police and turned him in I SUPPOSE, BUT WE WERE JUST TO AGGRAVATED TO FIGHT so I handed him the 20.00 and told him NO TIP!! good bye