We choose this cruise as it was value for money (i.e. affordable!) - particularly for single cabins, and we were not disappointed overall. For those people looking for the cruise experience and luxury, this isn't the cruise for them. We treated this as a hotel that that parked in a different place every day, and were happy with the experience.
First, the good bits - definitely the friendly staff, who were always so willing to help. The food was fine overall (particularly afternoon tea and those mini sausage rolls), the all-inclusive package offered us more than enough choice (particularly if you like cocktails, which I do), and the ship itself is clean and comfy. Our fellow passengers were friendly and helpful, and we hardly noticed the children on-board because they were so well behaved. Embarkation was smooth and fast, and the excursions were generally well organised with none of the waiting around to be called that we have previously experienced.
On the downside, our cabins on deck 2 at the back were a bit noisy - but other noise was minimal and we were not disturbed overall. One of our 3 cabins had a smell at the beginning, but this was sorted - the annoying creaking noise was never identified!. The food was a bit variable - we always found something nice to eat in the Lido as there was a good choice but the food in the Meridian wasn't always what we expected although we enjoyed dining in the Meridian - the overall experience was nice. Potatoes were almost always a disappointment (roasties are meant to be crisp!). I didn't attend the evening entertainment - those that did were disappointed in the first week, but really enjoyed the second week.
Excursions - mostly very good, and well organised. The only poor trip was the one around St Martin - poor guide, and 30 minutes spent in a boring, overpriced ice-cream shop
Food - for those that need it, sugar free, GF and vegetarian options are offered as standard, and vegan diets are catered for on request
Our single cabin was clean and comfy, with plenty of space and storage. The bathroom was compact but functional. The main glitch was that suitcases didn't fit under the bed. These rooms don't have a mini-fridge or an easy chair.
Limited port offering, even before the hurricane damage - but we enjoyed visiting the prison (the story of the new cell floor alone is worth the $3 admission), a tour of the island by open bus/taxi ($20 pp from just outside the port), and the excursion to Virgin Gorda is superb - especially if you are fit enough to clamber between the rocksView All 248 Virgin Gorda Reviews
The port area is pleasant enough, with a few stalls for interest - and a short walk to the ferries around the bay. Walk to the other end of the promenade, and there is a small beach just under the fort which has the required sand and palm trees and is pleasant for swimming.
The scenic railway is a very pleasant way to see the island with a drink in your hand - although it includes the scenic scrapyard etc!. For the less abled, the view from downstairs was disappointing as the trees block most of their view.
The port itself has a range of shops, mostly aimed at a price point waaaaay over what we were intending to spend. The town itself has little to offer the touristView All 303 Scenic Railway Reviews
The Pitons cruise along the coast of St Lucia was a delight - beautiful scenery, and the chance to swim just off a lovely beach. Be aware - our cruise was on a smaller boat, but the excursion off one of the american monster ships was on a boat with row upon row of bench seating.
The port area itself is very pleasant, particularly if you can find the seating by the waterView All undefined undefined Reviews
We booked the best of Barbados tour, which included Sunbury house. The house itself it pleasant and interesting, and the visit included food and rum tasting. I am normally allergic to these things - but I and the group enjoyed it enormously. The humor came over as absolutely genuine, and the food and rum was generous (sit on the front row!)
The port itself is well run, with shuttle buses, plenty of shopping, and free wi-fi in the outside area as you leave the port.View All 26 Sunbury Plantation House Reviews
Those that visited the interior of the island seemed to enjoy themselves, but we stuck to the port and town. The small local market is just a short stroll from the port, and the next bay is easily reachable through the tunnel, although navigating the traffic wasn't fun . The bay is attractive as working ports go, but the nicest bit was the restaurant over the water (and the cocktails!). I also enjoyed the little land train ($15, only ran in the morning when we visited)
This is a very small port, visited by smaller ships and requiring a tender. Once there, you can walk to the beach or take a water taxi (neither suited to the less able-bodied), or take a short trip around the island. And that's it - that covers Bequia. The best thing to do - find a bar overlooking the bay, and sit with a drink in your hand watching the yachts bobbing up and down - absolute bliss.
Our tour to Shirley Heights and the Nelson dockyard was the most enjoyable excursion of our holiday - stunning scenery, interesting history, and a gorgeous dockyard to look around -our idea of a fabulous day out.
The port in Antigua was one of the nicer ports, with a short walk along the water between the two port areas. We were there on a Sunday, so some shops were closed. There was free wifi in a section of Heritage Quay, with outdoor seating to sit and read e-mails.View All 194 Island Tour Reviews