A group of 9 elected to go on this ship due to the Murder Mystery Event being offered. We were able to drive to the port from our Ohio location. We stayed the night prior to sailing at the LaQuinta Hotel in Glen Burnie. They offered a parking and cruise package. This allowed us to leave our vehicles and we were transported to and from the ship at no additional charge. They also provided a free breakfast.
We arrived at the port early and had about an hour wait to begin check-in. Once the check in started we were moved swiftly onto the ship. You can gain access to your cabin around 1:30 until that time we just browsed around the ship and had lunch in the Windjammer.
Our cabin was an inside cabin this cruise as it was only a 5 day cruise and two of those days were to be in port. We don't spend much time in our cabin but found the storage space adequate. Showers are small and our cabin only had the shower curtain while some of the cabins have the rounded door that gives you more room. You can plan on having a very wet bathroom floor but not a problem. Our cabin was decorated nicely and kept very clean by our room attendant whom we never saw.
The staff on this ship in all areas were so nice and helpful. We didn't meet one who didn't appear to love their job.
A pleasant surprise was the activities on this ship were not all the same. As frequent cruisers we were getting tired of the same things cruise after cruise. Never changing much from 1976 when we took our first cruise. Triva was updated to be interactive. A lot more fun and eliminated cheating.
The shows were okay, the normal Singers and Dancers. This ship had pretty good singers so we enjoyed them. However on a 5 day cruise we only had the welcome show which is never all that great just a little of each of the entertainers. Two singing and dancing shows and a couple of comedians who were pretty funny while keeping it tasteful.
We were to be in Bermuda for 2 days but due to the Hurricane had to leave Bermuda early on the 2nd day. I love the sea days so it didn't effect us, however, those who had planned to get married there on the second day had to make alternative plans. The captain made the right call and we had beautiful weather the entire trip. The walk from the ship to the downtown area is quite a long one especially for those who may be disabled in some fashion. We did take the public bus system to Horseshoe Bay. There is another long walk down the hill to the beach. They do have a transport van that will take you down and back up for $3.00 or just up for $2.00.
Chair and umbrella rentals are available however be prepared to pay. $11.00 for each chair and $11.00 for each umbrella plus a $10.00 deposit that is refundable if you take the items back.
Three of our party took the power snorkel tour and loved it. I am not sure if they booked this thru the ship or not.
The casino on the ship is not open while in port. Several fun machines however weren't very good to me. One of our party did win a $500 payoff. Slot machine tournament was a blast due to the company. We had a great time cheering for participants. A cruise is what you make of it. One in the party and may I say she was the lucky one again came in 2nd and won a couple of hundred dollars.
Bingo is entirely too expensive. More time is spent selling cards then in the actual games. They do have one session where they give a cruise.
We did the optional murder mystery and had a great time dressing and taking part in the 4 day event.
We didn't have any problem finding chairs at the poolside. Didn't use the solarium as it was too hot inside.
Our dining room staff were great fun. they were having fun with our murder mystery too. Our assistant waiter had a smile at all times and we couldn't pronounce his name so he went along with us jut calling him Vinnie. They made our dining experience.
The food in the Windjammer was pretty good. You can always find something that you like or want. Even the eggs in the morning were actually cooked thoroughly not as the runny ones we have experienced on different ships. The orange juice was NOT watered down. Several beverages to choose from.
The dining room food was very good. One evening nothing appealed to my individual taste but ordered off the anytime menu and meal was fine. We never eat at the specialty restaurants as we aren't that picky about our food and again we couldn't ask for better service. Just an expense we don't find necessary.
I don't really have much negative to say. I don't like RC's towel policy. I liked it better when you got beach towels in your room and you could just exchange them as needed. In fact when we returned to the ship you still had to take your towels back up to the pool deck. It is much more convenient to have a pick up and drop off at the point of getting on or off the ship in port. This is just a small thing that I hope RC reconsiders. And where is my piece of chocolate on my pillow each night. Come on RC how much money are you saving for something that just adds a little to the whole experience. Carnival gives you little items in your bathrooms such as sample packets of toothpaste, soaps razors etc. That is just another little thing that sets a cruise ship off from the others.
Debarkation was a very simple process. All in all another great cruise, looking forward to January on the Freedom.