10/28/00 - 10/28/10 - WOW! and she's still going strong! They even had a 10 year birthday celebration complete with an oversized cake (approx. 4' x 3') and a party with the Captain and the Cruise Director, Chris Northey.
The ten day cruise (10/28/10-11/7/10) had ports in Labadee,Haiti, St. Thomas, Samana,DR, and St. Kitts.
Our Meet & Mingle had 189 participants with door prizes, a slot pull, a pub crawl, a cabin crawl and a gift exchange. It was so well organized. Thanks Mayor Ernie! We even had a logo (East Ghost Explorers) with a custom tee-shirt and stickers. Thanks Ed!
It was the friendliest set of strangers ever - they all knew each other even before the cruise started! There were easily over 4000 messages exchanged before cruising (and Mayor Ernie is too be held responsible for a whole lot of them - LOL).
The Halloween parade and party was awesome. The passengers really went all out with costumes - some were very impressive. Loved the group that dressed like the the Wizard of Oz cast - very well done. Also loved the Army bunch - this was a young group that was marched in cadence, etc. Very cool! There were a lot of creativity and a whole lot of pirates.
Embarkation went well - Cape Liberty, NJ still has some kinks to work out with traffic flow, but we got in at approx. 11am and it went smoothly enough.
Disembarkation also went well - we did the express walk off and although there was some waiting for buses - it also went smoothly enough. We were out of there by 8:30am.
Public rooms: The atrium and dining room are spectacular. Dizzy's is a nice place to overlook it all and we watched the pool games from there. The Promenade is a happening place with a nice atmosphere. With the camera overlooking it, you can actually identify people and because we were just a floor away - we could meet them down there. The Casino is a bit cramped - but they had special nights that were different and fun. The lounges and main show room are well taken care of.
Our balcony cabin - was fine. Generally in good repair. DH's side of the bed a bit saggy, but he didn't seem to notice. There was discoloration in the water one morning, but they said it was because they had been working on the pipes. It cleared after running it a bit. The following day, the toilets had a issue flushing but that also settled out soon - it also was shipwide so we heard. Our railing could have used some varnish and the rug on the balcony could have been replaced, but all in all - it looked darned good for the number of guests that have been serviced by the ship in those 10 years.
The production shows were well done and the entertainers were great - we enjoyed them all. We were surprised to see that the late seating's shows were before their dinner which actually kinda defeats the purpose of eating late - they still had to great dressed up to go to the show and then to dinner.
The ice show had a issue when they decided not to give out tickets - so the lines were long and the tempers were short. Probably not a good way to relax on a vacation. The girl that did the special highlight with the fabrics/somersaults was AWESOME! The best part of the ice show for sure.
The Windjammer had plenty of room for breakfast. There were lines for the omelets and fried eggs to order, but generally all went well.
We usually ate lunch in the MDR - love the Tutti salad bar!
Late into the cruise, we learned about the nachos at the Windjammer at 3:30pm and now we know why we gained those extra pounds!
We had first seating in the MDR for dinner and had a great table of companions. The waiter/asst waiter had a few issues to work out the first couple days - but when brought to the attention of the head waiter, everything went smoothly from then on.
Food in the MDR was very good/excellent. Always ask the waiter - he knows what's good... Our steaks (and lamb chops) were delicious and so tender.
Love the morning show on RCTV with Chris Northey and Val - they have a chemistry that works and Chris will answer all kinds of questions in the wee hours of the morning (they tape at 1-3am). He's a very good cruise director and knows how to run a show. Very enjoyable.
The trivia type/logo identification contests were cutthroat. Because there are so many repeat passengers, they really need new questions and new challenges. How many key chains and luggage tags do those "winners" need? ;)
We attended one Arts and Crafts session and it was not well done - they actually looked like they wanted you to just go away as they were not prepared. Disappointing, but we got the message and did not attend any others.
The Love and Marriage Show is too predictable if you have seen it before and Quest was interesting, but again too predictable.
The movie theatre was very nice and we enjoyed watching shows there.
The crew were very friendly and helpful. What a great set of people that enjoy doing what they do. It makes a great cruise experience even better!