Late embarkation (6pm) was very smooth. Muster drill was organized and informative regarding safety procedures.
Meet & Greet at 8pm (aft Lido bar) was well attended, but the first night of Karaoke with Kim was lightly attended. Kim was very entertaining and personable all week - always with a smile. He was a little "off" during the Legends show on the last night, though.
Room stewards for cabin 8265 were VERY responsive and helpful all week. Tips were given daily for keeping the ice-bucket full and other extra services.
Someone needs to proofread the daily capers and ensure times are clearly readable. One day the times ran off the margin and it was guesswork as to what they should be.
For breakfast, depending on the time, the buffet lines could be very short or very long. The fare was somewhat the same each day but could be varied with prepared eggs or fresh-made omelets, or fresh fruits and cereals from the inside dining area at the Mediterranean Restaurant.
Most lunches were on-shore, but afternoon offerings were always pleasing, and varieties of pizza and ice-cream was always available (24-hours).
Dinners with servers Zoltan and Ziggy were especially enjoyable, as both were very personable, friendly and helpful with suggestions. We very much enjoyed Zoltan's personal stories and affable nature. All of our evening meals were just delightful, well-prepared, and presented. Zoltan always had a "plan B" if anything was not to our liking. Best table steward ever! And we always enjoyed and participated in the "show time" events by all the waiters after dinner.
Evening entertainment was fabulous with choices for movies on the big screen, theater shows, karaoke, various bands, and dancing choices. Only 1 day of windy weather made walking on the upper decks challenging, and hats were at risk.
The seas were swelling more than usual, which meant the ship was constantly swaying, sometimes enough to wake you up during the night. No bother to our party of four, though. Our mid-ship cabin minimized the sensation of swells, but our friends with an aft balcony felt it alot more.
The ship was clean and well-maintained. Some repair was being done to the deck near the pool, but the inconvenience only lasted two days.
The ships' captain was friendly and welcoming, and willing to spend time chatting with you.
Bar service for the loyalty gathering was quick, as waiters made their way through the room with ready-made drinks. The presentation was interesting and informative.
We enjoyed two formal nights and even succumbed to portraits as we don't often have the opportunity to get so well dressed-up.
Trying out for the Carnival Legends show was rewarding and it was thrilling get the most votes for the part of Frank Sinatra, then getting to meet and sing with all of the other members of the cast who were fellow cruisers. Hoever, the quality of filming, camera work, and editing for the shows' DVD was pretty poor. The vidoe ending was lopped off too soon, losing about the final 2 minutes, and the sound track was not so great. The segue routines (between cruise member songs) were a bit hokey - not crisp - almost like the cast was bored with the routines. Also, the show should have started earlier, like 9pm, and the attendance would have been higher. 10:15 was just too late for many folks, and the empty chairs showed it.
Debarkation on Sunday was smooth for us, as we simply waited until 95% of the boat was emptied before departing. We had an evening flight and not in a hurry to debark from such an enjoyable experience.
For our excursions during the week, we did walking and shopping tours and beaches on St. Thomas and Barbados.
On St Lucia, it was a bit overcast, but the day pass at Smuggler's Cove was a hit with our group, with plenty of relaxing and a great meal on the dock under cover during the hardest rain of the day.
Our BEST excursion of the week was the All-day catamaran adventure on St. Kitts. The bar was open from the moment we were on-board, after the safety talk, of course. Reggae music was playing, the snorkeling was great, the lunch was sufficient, and the dancing started big-time after re-boarding for the trip back from Nevis. This was a great excursion!
We enjoyed a drive around St. Martin, with a stop at two beaches (Orient and Happy Bay). Got a good start on a tan! We also bought some inexpensive rum to replenish the bar back home.
On Sunday, back in San Juan, we enjoyed lunch and had the benefit of storing our luggage at the Barrachina restaurant. Then we had an afternoon walk to "El Morro" which is the fort protecting the island bay inlet. It was a beautiful sunny, but not overly hot afternoon. There happened to be a dog show/event occurring in Old San Juan and we saw many breeds, as well as enjoyed a walking tour of the fort until we had to leave to check-in to the airport.
This was a GREAT cruise experience for us, and a wonderful way to take a break from the New England winter. With six ports in seven days, this itinerary is a bargain I would highly recommend to anyone considering it.
I hope your table waiter is Zoltan, because he's the best I've known in 5 cruises! Give that man a raise!!