This was our first time on a cruise. We had never really considered taking one before but in looking for our "winter" break we thought that a trip through the Canal and up along the Costa Rican coast sounded like a fun adventure. We didn't have particularly high expectations (nor particularly low) but were somewhat ambivalent but figured - you have to try everything once. Well we were really incredibly surprised at how wonderful the experience was. Just about everything was beyond our expectations. The cruise is amazing - a special shout out to Noel, Kennedy and Apple who really made our trip wonderful and easy. The women who worked in the spa were also amazing. The food and service really were the highlights. We enjoyed the excursions and highly recommend the Sierpe river outing. Probably the biggest let down was that the water sports wasn't available the last two afternoons of the cruise. At a minimum a bit more communication on this front for planning purposes would have been helpful The only other "complaint" we have is that it is difficult to dry out swimming suits and the like - it would be good if the ship could provide some of the "spin" ringers for clothing/suits that you sometimes find at gyms. One comment of note, while we are in our mid 50s/early 60s we were on the young side for this cruise. I think the bulk of the passengers were mid 60s to 80s - this wasn't an issue for us but something to keep in mind. Finally, it may be worth splurging for the balcony - we didn't but I think being able to open the windows would have been nice.
Not easy to get to the ship if you are arranging for your own transfers