In my opinion it all begins with the Captain of the ship and this Captain was on top of everything. His presence was constant and he put an emphasis on the passenger’s well-being. This attitude flowed downward to his directors and crew…and, more importantly us. His mate when he wasn’t the Captain’s shadow, he insured the security of the ship and did a great job of handling the deck crew. His hotel managers, cruise director, and housekeeping took their cue from the Captain and provided outstanding service. They always went with the flow, remaining extremely flexible as we ran into several bouts of inclement weather. They and the stewards even make a lobster boil in the middle of a torrential rainstorm fun! It was a “lobster” cruise and every meal their executive chef found some way to bring lobster into the menu and it always was fantastic. He ran a very close second to the regional chef that we had on our New Orleans to New Orleans cruise over last New Year’s. I didn’t realize that having lobster three times a day wouldn’t get old. Having said that, I had several beef dishes, also great! The chef took personal pride in his position and visited the tables every evening. It was evident that the deckhands and stewards bought into the Captain’s professionalism; they were super. All in all, a fun cruise with old friends that came all the way from New Zealand and the opportunity to make new ones.