We sailed on the Repositioning cruise from Boston to Tampa Florida. On this cruise, my husband and I reached our Diamond status with the Crown and Anchor Society. We had 69 nights onboard when we sailed so we reach Diamond on the 11th ... Read More
We sailed on the Repositioning cruise from Boston to Tampa Florida. On this cruise, my husband and I reached our Diamond status with the Crown and Anchor Society. We had 69 nights onboard when we sailed so we reach Diamond on the 11th night of the 13 night cruise.
Embarkation in Boston was very easy. We were among the first to arrive at the terminal and check in went well. We waited until about 11:30 and, and after the Diamonds and above were ushered on, we boarded. We got to the Windjammer before the big crowds arrived and enjoyed out lunch outside in Rita's Cantina area. Rooms were ready on time at 1 PM. We dropped off our carryon bags and walked around the ship until muster drill and sail away. It was a cool sail away from Boston but that was expected at the end of October.
The first three days were days at sea to get to the southern Caribbean. Activities were limited unless you like to get involved in the Trivia challenges that ran throughout the entire cruise. Not our thing. There is a movie theater on the ship but the choice of movies for the entire 13 days was very poor. They had about 6 movies that they kept playing over and over. The titles included Antman, Furious 7, Jurassic Park, Lincoln, and Terminator and one more that I can't remember. I thought that was a VERY poor selection since it was a 13 day cruise and only 6 movies. Being at sea for three days in both directions, it would have been nice to have a better selection available. You could tell that there were no special attractions added for the 13 day cruise. There were movies on the TV in your staterooms but who wants to sit in your stateroom all the time.
We went on with $450 in OBC and I was wondering what I would do with all that credit. I played Bingo and that eats up $38 a time. Then about half way through the cruise, I had to make a trip to medical. That ate up $227 worth of my credit but I was glad to get the relief for my problem. So, in the end, there was no problem using up the credit.
We had My Time Dining and went to the Main Dining Room the second night of the cruise, the first Formal Night. We were given a table for two right next to the Hostess Desk and did not enjoy dinner at all. The hubbub of the waiters seating people, the passengers coming and going, the Hostess doing her job, and the busing station right across from our table did not make for a good dinner atmosphere. It was like eating in the middle of a tornado. After that night, we went to the Windjammer every night and enjoyed a much quieter and pleasant dining experience. They lower the lighting and it is really peaceful there. RCCI really needs to work on their My Time Dining program.
The passengers were largely Senior Citizens, as we are also being 71 and 75. There were only 19 children on the cruise. Many of the passengers were headed to their homes in Florida for the winter and used this cruise to get there. There were several repeaters who do this cruise every year. We had a very large Meet and Greet gathering with about 276 Cruise Critic members in attendance. We enjoyed a very active Roll Call before we sailed with over 2200 posts. No officers attended out Meet and Greet, which I thought was strange. The Food and Beverage Officer and the Hotel Officer did host a special luncheon for us on the way back to Florida which was a nice touch. The Roll Call group did a Slot Pull on Tuesday and we did pretty good. We each put in $21 and walked away with $18 each. That is pretty good. The last time I did the Slot Pull, we lost everything we put in.
Our stateroom attendant, Edwin, did a fine job. Our room was always neat and clean. We asked for some ice to cool our water and Sprite down that was part of our Emerald Welcome Back Gift. He got up the ice right away and kept ice in our room for the rest of the trip. He did towel animals almost every night. One was an alligator. I had never seen that one before. He called us by name every time he saw us in the hall and always asked if every thing was OK. He did a great job. We were in cabin 9623, an inside on deck 9. It was nice location for getting any where on the ship, up two for pool and Windjammer and down three or four for shopping, shows, walking, and entertainment. We use the stairs when we are onboard to help with some of the extra calories we consume. We always do inside cabins on our cruises. Have never had any regrets. Had a balcony once and hardly used it so the insides work just perfectly for us.
We enjoy each island we stopped at. Our ports were St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Aruba, Barbados, and Curacao. I made arrangements on each island for Island Tours from local guides. Each of them did a fine job. We got to see each island and learned some history and interesting facts about each one.
The three sea days back to Tampa seemed to drag a bit. Again, Trivia and Bingo were run each day but the same bad movie selection was played. The chair hogs around the pool had their towels out by 7 AM and there was rarely any place to be able to just sit on that deck. No one seemed to care that no one was using most of the deck chairs that had towels on them.
All in all, it was a pretty good cruise. We enjoyed our meals and really like to go to the Main Dining Room on sea days for the Salad Bar. No big shrimp this year. They use to have shrimp on there the size of your thumb. This time, they were just the small salad shrimp but still a great lunch salad.
My husband won't fly so we usually drive to the ports. This time, being a repo cruise, we had to be creative. We took the Greyhound bus to Boston the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Dorchester. They had a shuttle that took us to the pier on the morning of the cruise at no charge. When we landed in Florida, we rented a car and drove back to upstate NY. We did the trip in two twelve hour days. It was a long drive but we made it safe and sound.
We booked a cruise for next August while we were onboard. That will be our first Diamond cruise and we are excited to take advantage of the Diamond Crown and Anchor Benefits. Read Less