April 2007 Destination:
Western Caribbean Embarkation:
Port Canaveral (Orlando)
Wow - this cruise reminded me of Las Vegas on the water! So having said that, if you like Vegas, then you might like cruising. If you don't well, try to stay open minded. Just returned from our 1st cruise yesterday, April 28th. We booked with a travel agent having no experience with cruises. I felt that she booked us nicely located staterooms. We had a balcony stateroom and our 2 teens had an inside room across the hall from us. I liked our fore position on the boat, but could often hear the music and cheers from the theater 1 floor below. The ship was very nice and well kept. I felt like the staff worked very hard. When I got home I had to look up their wages to see how well they weren't being paid - I was suspicious because there were so few American employees on the ship. Overall, the staff was very friendly and accommodating. We had early dining in the Golden Dining Room. Overall, the food was good - some meals better prepared (like the Mahi Mahi) and some very institutionalized More
tasting (the filet mignon). After our first full day at sea, I had had enough of the ship and was anxious to visit the different ports. I definitely would encourage people not to book your excursions thru the ship - they're very expensive and you can get more personal tours through smaller tour groups (I noticed other groups and followed to see what different tour groups they used.) Go to this website and read some of the reviews and suggestions or www.portreviews.com or www.cruisereviews.com. Often the prices are definitely less expensive and your not with a huge group, less impersonal tour. In Belize, I'd go with x-stream belize cave tubing. I think it's www.cave-tubing.com. Cozumel is still recovering from Hurricane Wilma 2005. We did the bike and snorkel tour and wished we could've gone a bit further on our bikes, but some elderly people had ignored that this activity was listed as a level 3 difficulty. We saw plenty of fish, but the reef is still trying to recover from the hurricane and there was very limited coral growth (this was in the national park Ch....?). In Costa Maya, we did the boat tour to Chacchoban. This was remarkable! Request Diana as a guide. She was the 1st tour guide for this site and her knowledge is quite impressive! Nassau, I could've passed. All in all, some of the shows we saw were pretty entertaining - magic and comedy. Overall, I'm not sure we'd do a cruise again. When we got the bill on Sat morning, we were quite surprised at the final bill. The ship really makes it very easy to spend extra money and we don't even drink or gamble. Seeing that I don't drink, it got old watching people imbibe and do rather sophomoric games night after night. Plus the contrast of the poverty on many of the destinations and watching people just throw their money around was a bit unsettling. Ultimately, we went to Australia for 3 weeks in 05 and that trip was cheaper per person to go on than this cruise-so if I had a choice--let me go down under again! Or maybe it could be done cheaper on the net or just going to the destinations?? I have no other cruises to compare it to. Less
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