We just returned from my first, hubby's 2nd cruise and it was everything and more than I hoped it would be. We splurged and went with a suite (V25) so we had VIP check in as a result. Arrived at the port at about 11am and went straight to the VIP check in lounge where we were given our sail and sign cards and directed to the VIP check in line. Went through very quickly and walked up the "gangway to happiness" at about 11:45. We were greeted every step of the way with smiles and welcoming faces and directed to the Lido deck for lunch. A waite with a drink laden tray greeted us right away and I soon had a tall frothy drink with an umbrella in it, just the way I had visualized!!! YAY, I'm about to cruise, after my 3 month countdown!!!! We ate a light lunch from the buffet which was delicious and then proceeded to wander the ship a bit and explore. I have already now fallen in love with cruising. The ship was sparkly from top to bottom, and the crew were so friendly and helpful.
Once everyone else was aboard, and about 1:30 we were able to go to our stateroom. This was our anniversary cruise and I had preordered the decorations. When we stepped into our room we were blown away at how festive it looked. Sparkly streamers hung from all corners of the cabin, a fountain looking decoration by the bed and a happy anniversary banner on the wall. Champagne waiting in the fridge and my sister had prepaid for some drinks for us, coupons from the OceanPlayers for photos, free water and a beautiful anniversary cake from them too. The room was awesome. OMG, the bed and the pillows are so so comfy, you just melt into them. We had the best sleep in our stateroom, it was totally perfect.
Without going into detail on every day, suffice it to say that our entire cruise was awesome. I have nothing to complain about except that it went by too quickly. I am officially hooked. Can't understand the posts I've read that complain about the ship being dirty and dated. People were constantly cleaning everywhere we went, I guess some people are hard to please.
Things of note:
Catalina Island stop - cute little place, we rented golf carts for an hr ($40 with $40 cash deposit) and explored a bit, got lost as the map they provide is somewhat confusing, but still a nice little drive.
We did the Wild Dolphin adventure for 2 hrs in a zodiak raft and it was awesome, we saw so many dolphins that followed our boat the whole way. Captain was very informed and made it a great trip.
We booked the Chefs Table for our last night and were not disappointed in any way. Amazing 10 course meal with wine and champagne and tour of the galley. Make sure to bring your appetite. Started at 6:45 and went until almost 10pm. Amazing food.
Ensenada - didn't go ashore expect to the little shops right by the port where they sell souviners, booze, etc. My knee was too painful to go much further. Spent the day on the ship, in and out of the hot tub and reading and relaxing.
I loved this cruise, the food and service was impeccable, I had a blast in the casino, the stateroom was very comfortable and I higly recommend it for anyone wanting a nice little getaway.