Embarkation tedious and long lines, but guess that is to be expected. The ship itself is lovely. Food in the windjammer could be better...this is our third cruise, and the food quality has definitely gone down. The food in the dining room ... Read More
Embarkation tedious and long lines, but guess that is to be expected. The ship itself is lovely. Food in the windjammer could be better...this is our third cruise, and the food quality has definitely gone down. The food in the dining room is good, but very small portions. We frequently requested either double appetizers or entrees as we found ourselves leaving dinner and being hungry in an hour! Our waiter was not very friendly and rarely smiled or spoke. I don't think he appreciated our requests for the extra appetizers or entrees, There may have been a language barrier though...not really sure. His assistant continued to push the bread/rolls on us all week even though we always refused...thinking they wanted us to fill up on the bread instead! The strip steak was horrible. The salmon was good. The lamb was very good. Shrimp was ok, we missed the lobster night. The desserts were very average...not enough good chocolate in the dining room or windjammer. Everyone made a big deal out of the cherries jubilee, which to me tasted as though someone had thrown a can of pie cherries into the microwave and heated them up! Would like to see more cake or brownies offered. We really did enjoy having a carafe of coffee and breakfast brought to our room each morning...that was our alarm! The coffee is very good! We also ate breakfast in the windjammer, but enjoyed having coffee and a small breakfast to nibble on while dressing in the morning. The room "service" was excellent and always delivered within the time frame requested. We had requested a table for 8 for dinner, and ended up at a table for 4 but did enjoy their company, so no big deal. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants. Despite the average food offered on the ship, I did manage to gain weight that week!
The variety and quality of activities on the ship is excellent! There truly is something for everyone on this ship and we were never bored or lacking in an activity we wanted to participate in. Despite the number of people on the ship, it never felt crowded, and you could get away to a private quiet area if so desired. Pools and hot tubs very nice and not overly crowded. Solarium (or adult only pool) nice to get more quiet and out of the wind if need be. We only went to one show, he was a comedian and I cannot remember his name, but he was very funny and had me laughing the whole way through his show...he is very heavy, obese if that helps any!! We checked out the skating rink and it is tiny, so decided to forgo that show. Husband climbed the rock wall and enjoyed it. We had fun watching others try out the flowrider. The gym looked to be very well equipped with its own hot tub. We did try to walk a couple miles a day on the track and enjoyed that...nice to exercise and have an awesome view at the same time, although it does get a little crowded with non exercisers walking in your way. The nightclub was a lot of fun! The bars were fun as well, and many very good dancers to watch! We are not gamblers, but did enjoy having a few drinks at the casino bar, and it was very well attended! Looks to have been a gamblers dream as far as the available games, etc.
We had an inside cabin which was very well laid out and designed. It did not feel as cramped as previous inside cabins we have had although believe it was the same square footage...just very well designed. Large closet with plenty of hangers for both of us. Plenty of drawers for storage. Mattress was excellent and had no problem being rocked to sleep each night! :) It was very quiet as well, even during the day. Shower is very small and round, but I actually enjoyed it as I could stick my elbows out and steady myself if the ship was rocking! Adjustable height shower head very nice as well. We loved being on the 9th floor and would do it again as we could take the stairs up and 2 floors and be at the pools and windjammer within 45 seconds of leaving our room! Our room attendant was excellent and straightened up it seemed anytime we left the room, even re made beds after naps, and came back to turn down sheets during dinner. Kept bathroom neat and well stocked with fresh towels.
As far as ports, Falmouth, Jamaica was our first. The enclosed shopping area is ok, very commercial and touristy feel to it. We ventured out of the gates to see the real Falmouth, and fairly quickly re entered the port area. We were hounded by pushy locals trying to sell their goods and begging for money. It was dirty and smelly...thinking sanitation may be a problem. Lots of locals who appeared to be homeless and smelled as though they had not had a bath in quite a while. Not to be critical, but this is obviously a very impoverished area. I would do an organized excursion, or just stay on the ship next time.
Next stop..Grand Cayman. We tendered, but waited a couple hours to get off and had no problem getting off and didn't wait at all. We left the tender area, turned right and walked 10 minutes to Eden Rock which is a snorkel and dive facility, not an organized excursion. It was awesome and cannot recommend this place enough. We rented all snorkel equipment for $14.00 per person. a locker for $5.00. They have a bathroom where you can change. It is a rocky entrance so you climb down a ladder and must swim out about 100 yards to the reef, actually 2 reefs...devils grotto and eden rock. The reef is a good ways out so not really for swimmers who are not confident, although they do provide life vests. It was outstanding and I swam the length of both reefs 4 times it was so beautiful! It was not crowded at all and no lines. Saw plenty of parrotfish, black durgon, sergeant major, reef squid, tarpon, trumpet fish and rock beauty. This is supposedly the best shore snorkeling in Grand Cayman and I believe it!! Very inexpensive and a wonderful, easy activity!! It was fun to snorkel over the divers going in and out of the caves at devils grotto. They had some loungers so laid in the sun for a while to dry after rinsing in the outside shower, changed and went to lunch before getting back onto the ship. Grand Cayman is quite the opposite of Falmouth...very clean and lovely. Never felt intimidated at all.
Next stop Cozumel. We took a 16.00 cab to Nachi Cocum beach club and loved it. 55 per person for use of facility all day, all food and all you can drink included. Loungers under shade. Not crowded, only take 100 reservations and had plenty of space to ourselves. Pool, hot tub and swim up bar. White sand and turquoise water...lovely! Service was good, food was very good. Reserved this online directly with them before cruise. Great value and no hassle. Would do this again in a heartbeat!
We did the self express disembarkation...guess we got off quicker but not really sure...you take your own luggage down, still long line to go through customs. It was nice to have access to our luggage until the last minute versus putting it into the hallway the night before though and would do this again.
The cruise was a dream, loved every minute!