This cruise experience was nothing short of amazing. After having read many of the reviews I was a bit concerned that the experience would be akin to our Carnival experience...something no one should ever have to live through. But, we were pleasantly surprised. Our room was perfect, clean and comfortable, and our staff and crew members were kind, curious and always willing to assist. Dissimilar to some of the reviews I have read here, I never encountered any staff member gunning down the hallway with the intent to run over passengers. The only encounter I had with a hallway issue was a sweet, little old lady with her walker and oxygen tank. There was no way I could get around her, so I walked behind her until I could move past. We had a nice conversation about the cruise and the mileage that she got out of the tennis balls that were fitted to the bottom of her walker. She was a delight.
The food was good in the main dining rooms and the buffets, but it was AMAZING in Sabatini's and Crown Grill, as well as room service. We ate at Sabatini's 5 of the 7 nights and every day for breakfast, one night at Crown and the other evening was room service. Hands down--awesome.
The boat was well equipped and we loved it. With that...here are just some things that you should know when booking this cruise.
We had a suite on the Riviera Deck, number R404. The location was awesome, and the room was fantastic and comfortable. I think we spent more time in there than on any other part of the ship. From room service to full mini bar, we never needed to go anywhere else. I will stay in suites moving forward for all cruises.
This was a nice experience. We did not realise at the time of booking that we needed to take tenders from the main ship to the shore as the island did not have a dock. This was not a major issue, it's just that it creates a bottle neck when trying to get on and off the island. My recommendations are to: 1. Rent a villa in the Sanctuary portion of the island. The food service, and the beverage service are fantastic, and you have peace and quiet with an A/C cooled villa where you can eat your lunch.2. Get to the tenders, early to get on and off the island. If you are in a suite, use your fast pass, but remember it does not work on the way back from the island. When leaving the island be sure not to wait until the last minute to get in line. It will be hot, and there is very little shade while you stand in line to load the tenders to get back to the main ship.
What a fun little island, minus all of the firecrackers in the street going off every few minutes, scaring the poor tourists half to death. It's a custom on the island for New Year's Eve... We did not know that. The first few times we heard it, we thought we were being shot at--no joke.This was a very culturally diverse place. I'd go back.