This is a 19 year old ship that was cut in half and additional cabins placed in the middle. It sails out of Baltimore and is always filled since for many people the convenience is driving to the port and not flying. Because of the additional passengers a problem is the main restaurant, buffet and theater that were sized for a smaller passenger load and so there is crowding. To ensure getting a seat for a performance it is necessary to arrive 30 to 45 minutes early. The shows have improved since the last time we were on this ship 18 months ago. This was a much smaller problem with dining the last time we sailed on this ship. They opened additional cost dining places and took staff from the main dining, no additional cost, dining rooms. The staff cannot keep up with their responsibilities. There were sommelier or wine stewards and persons assigned to obtain bar drinks for seated guest in the past. Now it is left up to the assistant waiter. There were persons helping with delivering food from the kitchen to the serving areas and removing used dishes. Now it is the job of the waiters to get the food and scrape the dishes and stack the, all done in the dining room.
Most times you could look the length of the dining room and see 1 or 2 waiters. It is not their fault. Passengers are walking out of the dining room to go to bars to get drinks instead of waiting. We ordered 2 glasses of wine and the assistant waiter brought a bottle, opened it, had it tasted, poured it and tried to set the bottle down. When reminded it was for 2 glasses he removed the 2 glasses he poured from the table and the bottle and 15 minutes later returned with 2 glasses of a different wine. One night it took the intervention of a head waiter to obtain the discount for wine listed on the menu. Getting ice tea, water and bread served by waiters going the length of the dining room to the kitchen to get items became difficult to endure that I got up and served the bread I could clearly see, to not only my table but other tables when they asked for it. There was an effort after that to have water and ice tea on the table before we arrived.
The most telling was the night there was a parade of waiters. Instead of the 1 or 2 you could see at any given time there were a large number serving tables. This only lasted for 1 night.
On every past cruise we have been on there is conversation with the staff but there is no time for them to do that now. Even when assigning seats for the dining room there is utter confusion. Entering the dining room they pointed to the far side and said it is over in that direction. We were seated and a supervisor came over mid meal and asked to see our Seapass cards with table assignments with the intent to move us. They had no idea who was assigned at our table and it continued the next night when they sat someone and said there should be an extra empty seat and there was none. The time it took for ice cream to arrive at the table meant it was usually melted. That said the quality of the food was good even with the wait.
The shore trips we took were above average. The adult Sand Bar boat trip on Haiti was a pleasant boat ride to a small island with refreshments you could purchase. The staff did everything they could to cater to their guest. The 4x4 Jeep trip on Saint Martin was a caravan of Jeeps with walkie-talkie communication with the leader and informative narrative of the 2 parts of the island. One stop was at the bar at the end of the international airport to get a close up view of the planes landing. A longer stop to swim was at a perfect beach and bar. Both places had Wifi. Both trips were well worth the cost.
The ship remind passengers to store all valuables in safe but it is small and a laptop will not fit.
We ran into a problem between the travel agent and the cruise line. The documents from the travel agency stated a $100 ship board credit per person and the ship had it listed as per cabin. The ship representative called our travel agent at no cost to us to rectify the problem. In the future I will speak to the cruise line before departure and verify the information to avoid this problem.
The cabin attendant was very attentive and responsive to all of our needs.
Older cabin at the stern of the ship (the cabins in the newer section are obviously better). It is under the dining room and on the last night of the trip the noise from above kept us awake most of the night as preparations were being made to arrive at port.
Very nice trip. Crew was helpful beyond what I expected. Floats were available at the island we visited and drinks were reasonably priced.View All 22 Catamaran Tour Reviews
Tour guide was very informative and the drive around both sides of the island was an excellent overview for future visits.View All 36 4x4 Adventure Reviews