We wanted to experience the Panama Canal and go somewhere warm in January so we booked this cruise and had a fabulous time. We arrived in sunny Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott North for a couple of days Pre-Cruise. It is a nice Marriott and a good price since it isn’t on the beach. We took Uber to the port and it was very easy. We arrived at 11:30 and we were boarding soon after. The embarkation couldn’t have gone smoother. We are Platinum next cruise and will speed things along even faster. We had lunch in the DaVinci dining room and they announced the staterooms were open before 1:00 which was a nice surprise.
This was our third trip on the Emerald and she didn’t disappoint. We have had some fun cruises on the Emerald and the ship isn’t brand new anymore but still very pretty and in good shape. We always seem to have a good crew on this ship and the staff seems happy and eager to please.
We had a wonderful stateroom steward, probably one of the best we have ever had. He was friendly and anticipated our every need. We had traditional early seating at 5:15 which was a little early but the late seating is too late for us. My husband is on a very low sodium diet and the head waiter gave him the menu every night for the next night so he could Pre order and they prepared his meals low sodium. We ate in the dining room all but two nights and really enjoyed our waiter and assistant. We thought the food was good in the dining room. I always am amazed that people complain on these reviews about the food. If I don’t have to shop for it, cook it or clean up after then it is great for me. We certainly found something on the menu to eat every night and didn’t come home lighter! The buffet was good as were the hamburgers by the pool. We had escargot, lobster, beef tenderloin, steak, lots of shrimp and scallops and enjoyed every bite.
Inside cabin with extra berths. We did not like the cabin but the location aft Riviera made it doable.
We took a private tour with Macau which was a drive to Granada and lunch and walking tour including the chocolate museum which was fun. We had a great lunch in Granada and went to the edge of a volcano. Then we went on an hour boat ride on Lake Nicaragua. It was a great tour with a really good guide.
We didn’t take an excursion which was a mistake as there isn’t much to see at the port near the ship. There is a public beach right at the port but it was crowded.
We took a cab downtown to the Malecon and walked around, ate and shopped.