Embarked in Barbados after a 3-day visit to that pleasant but (to me) mildly dull island. Embarkation was so easy we weren't sure if we were done (!) and cabin was available immediately. Our butler Daniel has helped me understand the point of a butler on a cruise ship (on prior ships we never saw them, didn't see the point) - eg. he polished my husband's shoes without us asking and found him a tie when we realized it was the one thing he failed to pack. yay Daniel. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale was more formal (by colour group) but also went very smoothly.
Itinerary from Barbados to Fort Lauderdale was good, pretty islands and no big deal when we hit rough weather and went to St. Thomas rather than San Juan (captain made the right/safe decision). We did 3 shore excursions through the ship and all were good - no big bus tours, well-organized and fun. Our 4th planned excursion was cancelled though - apparently no one wanted to watch dolphins in Key West (?!!). I thought perhaps that with this small ship (388 passengers) we might have ports where we were the only ship, but NO. Caribbean is swamped with ships now and even small islands like Bequia had multiple in harbour (though our counterpart there was the lovely Sea Cloud).
Despite the small size, this is a miniature "full-size" cruise ship: it has a full show lounge (with great sightlines), a lounge with a decent dance floor, an all-day espresso cafe, etc. It has been recently refurbished and the decor is modern and attractive (except the main Restaurant which looks 1980's). I liked that there are (sort of) 5 dining venues, though we didn't really have any meals in the Arts Cafe (only very light food there). The Terrazzo restaurant is really special at night, actually much more attractive than the Restaurant and sitting outside there is magical. Pool grill is what you expect and the menu is very limited; Evening poolside menu is even more limited, so fun to try once but then we were kinda done with it. in the evening it becomes "Hot Rocks", a concept I do not embrace (they will cook your food and plate it on request, but somewhat reluctantly). We decided not to pay the big surcharge for La Dame as we found the cruise expensive to begin with, and the room is very blah (others on the ship enjoyed it, though).
Excellent, large with walk-in closet, comfy bed, veranda on the "nonsmoking" side of the ship (no smoking in cabins or verandas, but ship has extensive smoking areas along its starboard side); great location close to Arts Cafe for morning coffees, easy to disembark. Did not notice any noise in the cabin other than creaking in rough weather and anchor noise when anchoring
lovely safe but rather dull British-influenced island.
The perfect island to visit on a cruise ship - small and VERY expensive, fun to visit, you don't want to stay!! We walked across the island to St. Jean, interesting walk, great views, airport is fun to see; St.Jean beach and Eden Rock fun to see. There is a nice boardwalk around a small mangrove lake that is good for birding.
due to rough weather we went to St. Thomas instead
Fun to walk around, lots of history. Hemingway's house is worth visiting. Get away from Mallory Square which feels like a bad Disney World, and it gets much more interesting/charming elsewhere along the waterfront or inland.