I am a first time cruiser so the thought of flying half way around the world to get on a ship for 17 days did NOT interest me at all but as this was to be a family reunion for my husbands family I nervously went along.
Wow ....that was my best decision ever.
From the moment we boarded until we disembarked we had the most enjoyable time.
As a family group of 15 in total we could catch up but then disappear and do our own thing.
The cabin ( cabin 6027 with a verandah , mid ship forward) was marvellous , a tad squishy but we had 4 suitcases and a carry on ...all eventually fitted nicely under our bed.
Themis our cabin steward was a legend keeping us in clean towels often as we are constant gym and jogging people.
The gym was adequate for our needs , clean and tidy.
The spa was expensive by any comparison but the salon side for hair and nails was great.
The food couldn't be faulted and we visited the 2 signature restaurants twice each and for the extra US $25 pp it was great value. Daniel and the boys, anoop, Lawrence , Henry and others are brilliant and made our meals and trip in general so memorable.
We loved this ship because of its size with only approx 670 passengers.... A few kids but they weren't too bad and I believe most were officers kids that were on the trip to spend Xmas with dad and 3 from our group.
We did do a tour in Mexico and one at our disembarkation port of Fort Lauderdale....both ok but we walked in Columbia and Aruba as we would rather do our own thing. Crew are good to ask about ports as well.
Good to note is that if you need to fly out later at night from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale the ship offers trips for the morning that will drop you at the air port ...your luggage stays on your bus and is cared for by the driver while you are sight seeing.
Miami airport also has a hotel that supplies day rooms so you can have either the full day or a half day for about $125us to rest and freshen up ...with asking travel agent or looking into your self.
We enjoyed this cruise so much we are booking other for the same time in 2017 this time either around Australia or to NZ.
Great cabin , compact but had room for suit cases under the bed, comfy bed, lounge to recline on to read and a verandah with an uninterrupted view.
The cabin was quiet with very little movement when we hit a rough patch.
Situated mid forward the lifts and stairs were 2 cabins and a corner away.
We used the laundry bags / dro cleaning service rather than the hassle of going to the laundromat on another deck.