We had a fantastic 24 hours in Fort Lauderdale staying at the Hilton after a long flight. Having no idea what to expect as first time cruisers - when we arrived at the quayside it seemed a long queue snaking round the block - but hey maybe this was normal - seeing the luggage dumped all round the quayside looked like a shambles and we were amongst the last on board. There was no welcome and no access to the cabins. My suitcase arrived about 11.00pm.
However the dining room knocked your socks off and the food/service was great. More by luck than judgement we had booked a flexible eating time which I would definately recommend.
Sailing out of Fort Lauderdale at sunset was a memory that will stay with me forever.
As we relaxed we enjoyed the trip more. We only found out about the services available in the cabin from other diners who were experienced cruisers. The cabin was very comfortable and the shower v.good. Some good films available by chance on the TV. It was good to be able to see the state of your bar bill on screen - again a lucky chance hit on the remote control. The carpet was not hoovered all 7 days because of the deepcleanse the vacuum cleaners were out of commission. Speaking of which we had no notification of the novovirus prior to the trip. If there was a little bit of meet and greet - a welcome and a run through we would have got more out of it.
The breakfasts on Deck 14 were great. Fresh fruit, hot breakfasts if you like them. The staff looked worn out,and after reading previous reviews I can see why now. The ones who could speak very little english were under great pressure.
We enjoyed the shows, the theatre looked good and the seats were comfortable. The variety and quality of live music throughout the cruise was memorable and one reason I would think of booking again. The central part of the boat is a show stopper - great design and the addition of live music in the attrium gave an opportunity to sit down and enjoy it instead of simply walking past.
Did I mention the casino? This was a great eye opener to prim and proper Brits! we walked through every evening just to take it in. The daily newsletter printed how much had been paid out and by the end of the week I think it was around $140,000.00 - Wow!
The sunbeds and rows of bodies laid out on them looked deeply unpleasant - I only ever went along that deck to get to somewhere else. Much preferred the seating area and grass on Deck 14. It was the only time you were really aware of how many people were on the boat.
Megans Bay is a must swim destination. The pelicans were diving for fish around us - best swim I've ever had. It was a lot more choppy at St Martins - not in the same league. It might be a rich Island but not much wealth is perculating down to the people who live there. It felt very safe using the shared taxi's on both Islands.
Getting off the boat we had a day before a night flight so we went to the Art Deco District, Miami Beach. Great day out - can thoroughly recommend.