As a soon to be retired married man we have traveled extensively in Europe/Scandinavia and even Russia, but I have never been on a cruise. My retired brother and his wife are old cruisers and convinced us to try a cruise. Flying has become such a hassle we decided to drive to Florida and make a side trip to see Mickey at Disney World. Then we met my brother in Ft Lauderdale at the Renaissance hotel for two nights before going to the embarkation point on the 13th. They had built a brand new terminal and had a very good check in system in place to handle the large volume of people that were going to be embarking and disembarking as the ship arrived at 7 that morning and was scheduled to start embarking at 2 that afternoon. The loading went quite well with very little crowding as they only allowed a limited amount of people on the gang plank at a time with no jam ups. (Trust me when I say they had a good system for you would not believe the jam ups I've been in at airports,bus terminal, and train stations.) There was a short wait to get to our cabins as this was a repositioning cruise and the ship had to go through customs and that slowed everything down. So we went and had a late lunch while we waited and in a short while our cabins were ready. So as not to belabor all of the things we did on this cruise I will take one point at a time. Our room stewards were exceptional they catered to our every need with only 1 hiccup which was not their fault. The cabin was more then I expected and I wish I could have gotten that bed in my suitcase. I've never slept so comfortably as in that bed. The bathroom was compact, the shower was quite roomy. The little perks that went with paying a little bit more were well worth the extra cost. (Hint) If you go cheap you get what you pay for and if you get a upgrade count your blessings
We ate dinner in three of the specialty restaurants, and the rest of the time we ate in the main dining room. All of the specialty restaurants had fabulous food and were well worth the extra cost. The main dining room was more formal and the food was exceptional except for the Lobster. The Ocean View Cafe was awesome the food variety was exceptional,and plentiful. the food was well prepared and very well presented. The whole cafe was kept spotlessly clean and everywhere you looked they were cleaning. The spa was very well run the staff was courteous, professional and well trained. We used their services and the spa like everything else was kept spotlessly clean. There were numerous activities and entertainment opportunities everyday if you were so inclined. Or you could just lay around one of three pools and eat eat eat. Or drink drink drink. We took tours in San Juan and St Martin. They were fun and informative so next time I can skip them and just do a little shopping and laying around in the sun. The on board shopping opportunities were numerous , Just ask my wife. She bought me something to. :) I think the days at sea were the most enjoyable, most people try to crowd everything into to little time and they lose the enjoyment of the moment. I have found that having worked almost every day for most of my adult life that these vacation moments are to be enjoyed,cherished to the fullest. So saying it simply what do I want to do on vacation, nothing, Lay in the sun read a book and do nothing. We took the early disembarking and it worked out well.To wrap it all up as I first mentioned I have traveled abroad a lot. I've flown in every size plane and even jumped out of some. Rode trains at 100mph and on trains that had wooden benches. Tour buses that had no air conditioning or died every time It had to stop.But I have never been so well treated or fed or pampered as I have on this cruise and I blame you people in the cruise industry, you have done such a good job doing what you do that everyone expects everything to be perfect. You are not perfect but you are very very close. We are going to Dustin Florida in spring, Spain in the summer and we have booked our next cruise on the Celebrity ship Equinox in the late fall. HAPPY CRUISEING
Our cabin was located on the Consier level and was quite spacious. The closet was adequate with plenty of hangers. The TV was great and the programing was good but where was the fox news.? The balcony was great with an awesome view and the noise level was very low even from the hallway.The bathroom
was compact and the shower was great the only thing wrong was the toilet paper dispenser. The bed was a winner I slept like a baby.
We took a tour of the Bacardi factory and I found it quite informative. I could skip the free drinks, but the booze was cheap. The shopping was fun but as in any such places let the buyer beware what you see is what you get. Don't be taken in by the claims of a good deal know what you are buying and buy from a reputable dealer.
The shopping was fun. The people were friendly it was a day best spent on the ship.
We took a tour around the island and had a great tour guide. the island has a great history and beautiful beaches and great shopping.