ABOUT US: My wife and I (in our 50s) wanted to find a cruise on a smaller ship without the masses of people since this was our first cruise. We have heard nightmares from the larger cruise ships and wanted to avoid the "hairy chest contest" cruise lines. In all candor, I was not looking forward to the cruise since i am not accustom to being in a confined or crowded location. We have high quality expectations when it comes to food and hotels rooms; however, we are not in the "high brow" country club crowd.
SERVICE: From the moment boarding the ship all the way to departure, the service was impeccable. I asked our butler (who was a bit over attentive -- I really don't need help unpacking or packing, pouring wine or doing laundry) to keep water and beer in the room fridge and he delivered on that promise. The great thing is virtually everything is included on the ship: drinks, tips, etc. I kept waiting for a bill for something that I drank yet happily did not get it. WOW! Everyone on staff was amazing and very accommodating...way more than expected or needed for us.
DINING: During dinner, we asked for a different wine selection and they were able to meet our request with something we liked and kept the glasses full, and no extra charge! wow amazing. The food was incredible and a huge selection of items for the seafood lover, vegetarian or carnivore! The informal "hot rocks" (cooking steak on a hot rock) on the pool deck is the best kept "secret" when you want to get away from the formal dinners. The buffet lunch was by far the best and we noticed the chef would visit ports to get fresh food for the cruise. WOW!
PUBLIC AREAS: We did not feel crowded at all. There was plenty of public space to stretch out on the cruise without anyone around. On the "ship day", we sat in the observation deck and enjoyed watching the waves with very few folks around. Very quiet and nice. Even for the most 'popular' events, there was always a place to find a great seat and relax. The pool and deck area was never over crowded. I was impressed with the workout area...almost had the entire place to myself (they had 5 spin bikes and several treadmills, and other exercise equipment.
PEOPLE: This is definitely the over 65 crowd and it was obvious we were the youngest guests on the ship (in our 50s). This was a good thing! Everyone on the ship were very cordial, friendly and polite. We actually enjoyed this since everyone was so friendly and eager to chat and were great to visit with. By the end of the cruise, we felt like most everyone on the ship was our best friend.
ROOM: We expected to be in a cramped space and felt like we had enough room in our Veranda suite. We are tall people and were concerned that the bath shower would be too small...but the shower was bigger than many hotel room showers and baths. The room was clean, fresh and felt brand new. Rookie advice: Just bring tape to keep your drawers from slamming open and closed at night during rough seas (LOL).
Overall, we highly recommend this cruise line and ship for the seasoned cruiser or the newbie wanting a relaxing, high end and low key cruise line.
The room was excellent: clean, big enough, and felt brand new. Loved it!
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