This cruise started off fine in Fort Lauderdale, as we went to Lester's diner, a Christmas Boat parade, and Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor. This was the beginning of a very long week I'm afraid.
DAY 1 EMBARKATION DAY... left the hotel at 10:30 and arrived at the terminal by 11:00. We sat un till 11:45 as they we still disembarking the previous guests. Got our sign and sail cards, walked past the photographers and were aboard at 12:10. We were told our room was ready, so off we went.. This started the problems. This was supposed to be a handicapped room.. Well needless to say 2 twin beds not put together and no 3rd bed in sight. Called the stateroom attendant who told me he was at lunch till noon. (Strike 1), okay on to Purser's desk.. no luck there as the entire ship is filled. Got a rollaway, we walked around, took pictures and had some lunch. Food is typical. Arrived back to unpack the suitcases and decorate our door. Muster drill, meeting up with More
friends and then to dinner. Food really good, service a little slow, but it's the first night. Back to room before the show.. Stateroom attendant told me I had to speak to his supervisor as my door decoration had to come down. This is a 12 x12 scrapbook paper that says "are we there yet"? With our itinerary on it. Well, according to Princess this is a "safety issue" Talked to the supervisor who still didn't give me an answer as to how a piece of paper is a safety/security issue so off to the purser's desk again.. Asked to speak to the Hotel Manager.. NOPE..(strike 2). Told them how can a piece of paper be of concern, when the rollaway is a fire hazard, blocking the door to the balcony that we paid for? "Sorry maam". Ok, so off to see a lame comedian and to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day at Princess Cay.. But after this.. It'll be Royal all the way.
Day 2.. No Princess Cay
The captain announced about 7 am that there was no way we could be tendered into princess Cay, so it was our first of 3 sea days. There wasn't a whole lot to do, but I spent the day reading a good book and watching "MUTS".. Movies under the stars. The food has improved and it's typical, but in the Horizon Court (aka windjammer} we had Matzo Ball soup. There were a lot of odd things like smoked eel, and other odd fish. For dinner I had spaghetti and meatballs, as there is a lot of shellfish on the menu. Dining room waiter is Laura and assistant is Jeff. Don't see much of him at all. As for our stateroom attendant.. We never see him, and it's a really good thing as I would have a few not polite words to share with him about good customer service. We went to the production show "Stardust" which again was typical. We were told to see this singer in the Crooners Lounge named Bert Stratton. This man has made the evening complete. We went at 9:15and back again at 11:15, a great combination of singing and comedy. Tomorrow's another day.
Day 3.. 2nd sea day
We are up and dressed and ready to go to a presentation about the Captain's circle. Similar to the RCCL program, and we will see if our Carnival points convert.
Rainy day, kind of cold, so it's day to read a good book. Formal day was great as mort people dressed up, plus they had a champagne waterfall which was really neat, but everything good seems to happen in the Piazza about 7pm which is right in the middle of 1st seat dining. After that it was on to watch Bert Stratton and then bed as tomorrow if St. Maarten.
DAY 4, St. Maartin
We arrived in St Maartin very early and disembarked by 7:30am. Nothing was open, but we got our pictures and spent the morning back on ship. Our tour was of the island with a beach break at Orient beach. We toured both the Dutch and French sides with our tour guide "Jimmy" who was very informative and warned us of placed that we should not go to for our safety. Orient Beach is a "clothing optional "beach, but we were not taken to that part of it. Disappointed to find out that the beach is in the Atlantic Ocean and NOT the Caribbean. Back on ship at 5:30 and time to get ready for dinner and then the Magician. Spent the night again listening to Bert Stratton and then off to bed.
DAY 5 St Thomas
The day started off cool and rainy, but that didn't last long, and then it was off for a tour of the island, with stopping for a picture stop at Drakes landing and overlook to Maegan's Bay. We had a 2 hour stop at the Bay for swimming and we found 2 Iguana's. We took the tour of Blackbeard's Castle and then shopping in downtown for 2 hours. Since I had nothing I really wanted to buy, this was a really boring 2 hours to wait for our water taxi. Back on ship for formal night, and then an early bed night since we were all exhausted. This was the New Years Eve party night, but did not go.
DAY 6 Grand Turk
We spent most of the morning taking last minute pictures of the ship as we didn't arrive in Grand Turk until 1PM. We did a tour of the island which was very informative, and then toured the small shops at the pier and Margaretville. The beach is right at the ship and is beautiful, but the beach into the water is extremely soft and you sink with no real feel to the bottom. We decided to go back to the ship and spent time in the pool. We waited for pool games which never happened due to "lack of participation" One of the things about this cruise is the lack of interest in the Cruise Director. We have only seen her on the first day, but the Deputy C.D. Tim is out there sometimes. We went and saw the comedienne and the Bert Stratton again. Tomorrow is a sea day and packing for home.
DAY 7.. Sea Day
COLD!! Not the weather that I like, so we will see. Did the galley tour, and the backstage tour. Bert Stratton at night, packed and ready to go home.
Never saw this, but our color was at 9:20. We waited and were off the ship at ten. Now.. You wait, get your entire luggage that you couldn't carry the night before and THEN go to customs with this entire luggage. Next time.. One carry one is good for us.
All in all, the cruise was ok... Not the worst, not the best, but it was a cruise. Less