We are from Ohio so given uncertainty about the weather, we arrived Sat and stayed at the Hyatt Summerfield. Very nice hotel. They provided transportation to the port at $8.00pp. There was a shopping center across the street which we made use of Sun morning to pick up a few items. Check in was swift and once onboard I was surprised that we were able to go directly to our cabin! I had originally booked an obstructed view cabin (just so we would have an outside view and daylight) but was surprised just before sailing to have been upgraded to a veranda room! What a nice surprise! Our cabin stewards were Rachmat and Farley and they were both so nice and accommodating! I was less than thrilled to learn of no irons on the ship (safety reasons they said) so there was unlimited pressing for $28.00 which I used but just the one time. No coffee maker in room either so we quickly learned to fill out our breakfast snack sheet and put it out the night before. We would have coffee, yogurt, croissants, and fresh fruit and then go to the Lido for eggs benedict a little later!
We loved the meals and their quality especially the Rembrandt Dining Room (main dining). We chose the 5:30 seating and that worked well for us. The choices were the level of any 4 star restaurant in my opinion. We had our own formal night in the Pinnacle Grill the night they turned it into Le Cirque. This is a beautiful restaurant!
We went to the spa/gym for a drawing for free treatments and it was there that we learned of the Thermal Spa for a cost of $199 per couple. This was open to only 40 couples per cruise and consisted of heated ceramic lounges with tranquil music and running water(so relaxing!)steam room,dry sauna, and the hydrotherapy pool. We really enjoyed this. The casino was nice and it took some of our money! We had fun while losing though!
We stayed on the ship at Half Moon Cay, simply went shopping in Jamaica (didn't like the multiple badgering of taxi drivers)and finally took a small excursion in Grand Cayman. Just a simple open air trolley ride but really enjoyed the trip. What beautiful homes on Grand Cayman and no taxes there!
The time at sea was smooth until the last day until we got closer to Florida but it still was not objectionable. I asked my doctor for a patch prescription in case we needed it for seasickness but never needed it!
The only drawback was the size of their pools and decks. Always very busy except for port days. Difficult to find a lounge chair. Disembarkment was swift with us having priority and handling our own luggage. Our flight home was at 11:00 and we arrived at the airport in plenty of time.
I did my research before making our choice for Holland America, finding that the consensus was better food, nicer beds and bedding and slightly larger cabins. This all seemed to be true. We sailed on RCI 20 years ago so I cannot remember much and I did feel envious as the Allure of the Seas pulled out of port ahead of us (what a monster!) but after reading some of their reviews (so many people said it seemed like Black Friday at Wal-Mart)I am happy that I chose a smaller ship with care to detail and service.