We choose this cruise because of the beautiful ship, price and itinerary. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. We were able to board the ship at the time of our scheduled arrival. The disembarkation was amazing. We could stay in our rooms until 8:00am and then had access to a full buffet breakfast. We could also go anywhere on the ship until it was time to get off.
The ship was awesome. It was spotless and the crew was constantly cleaning it. Our cabin fit our family of four very well. Our children are 11 and 13 and they slept in the bunkbeds. The bunkbeds were awesome because each child used them as her designated space. We also had a balcony on the 11th floor. We loved it and used to to relax and play card games.
We ate in the Waves dining room for all but one dinner. The staff was outstanding. We had Christian as our main waiter and Nicole as the assistant waiter. They put sparkling water on the table for us each night, since our girls loved it. They knew our preferences and were amazing with our cocktail orders and dinner selections. We enjoyed the food. The portions were very reasonable and not overwhelming. I loved the variation in menus each night. Most of our table tried something from the local menu each night, but my 11 year old stuck with the pasta and ceasar salad most of the time. We did eat dinner in the buffet one night and ate outside, overlooking the water. Again, the food was great and the pizza was amazing.
The entertainment was good and there are some very talented people onboard. We liked the music and performers outside of the Broadway Theatre. Since there are so many people from so many different places, the big stage productions didn't include a lot of spoken word. They were a little cheesy and we left in the middle of two. There was a staff talent show during our trip and it was AMAZING. Staff from all over the ship performed and I've never seen anything like it. The ship butcher sang an Italian opera, two waiters sang outstanding show tunes, and one crew member even performed a standup routine. The highlight was when the Samoan firefighters performed their native dances. The show was a hightlight of our trip.
Gene the cruise director did a one man show one afternoon. It was amazing and a lot of fun. He shared some funny and touching stories. He does have an amazing voice. I suggest attending if he offers this on an upcoming cruise.
Our kids loved the kids club. It gave them a place to go and hang out with other young people. My 11 year old was allowed to go to the Young Club with her 13 year old sister. We just had to sign a waiver. They had a blast playing board games and doing activities with other teens and preteens. We also knew they were in a safe, supervised place while we enjoyed music in the pub or lounge.
We loved the Cirque show onboard the ship. We've seen a lot of them in Las Vegas and with a local troupe in Minnesota. The performers were very talented and the show was a lot of fun.
Service throughout the week was outstanding. We ate breakfast most mornings in the buffet and had the Easy Drink package. The morning buffet crew could make excellent cappucinos and fancy coffees. Breakfast was outstanding and had many selections from all over the world.
The Easy Drink package was great for our family. All of the wines were pretty good, but we are not super big winos. My husband seemed fine with the mixed drinks. Our children liked getting sodas and frozen drinks whenever they wanted them.
We loved our shore excursions. In Costa Maya we took a taxi to the little nearby town and went to 40 Cannons Beach Club. It was $40 a person for lunch, non-alcoholic drinks and a beach chair. We loved our Belize City trip to the Crystal Caverns and Ziplines with Peter from Chukka Excursions. We booked through the ship and the service was outstanding on that trip. In Roatan we rode horses on the beach and had some beach time. The service was very good and we booked through the ship for this activity as well. I suggest booking through the ship for Belize City and Roatan. Travel is pretty slow and if you are late, they have to wait for you if you booked through the cruiseline. If you were late on your own, you'd be stuck in that city.
Our kids loved the ship and we prepurchased a fun pass. We didn't get to go to Ocean Cay because of weather and the fun pass was a lifesaver! The virtual games, bowling and aviation ride were a big hit with our family. My 13 year old competed in the Junior Master Chef at Sea and it was awesome. She was technically too old for it, but lots of big kids from the kids club did it with her.
We received a big refund from the cancelled stop at Ocean Cay. We had to wait in line for two minutes to get the refund. They gave it to us in cash.
The crew kept us up to date on the weather and changes to our cruise, but they didn't yammer on and on over the intercom.
We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle. They made us feel very special and shared some good tips about how to best experience the ship.
We went to the casino a few times but didn't gamble. It can be very smoky.
The pools were fine, but we prefer to swim in the ocean so we didn't spend a lot of time there. We loved the Bamboo Pool and hot tubs best.
The kids loved the water park and ropes course. Even on the at sea days we didn't have long lines. We enjoyed spending time on the decks, but stayed away from the smokers' area. There is hardly any ventilation and the air is terrible for non-smokers.
Our room steward, John, was fabulous. He kept everything very neat and tidy and we barely saw him. He was very fast and efficient!
We are pretty easy going people and really loved this cruise. We liked MSC's ala carte way of business.We felt like we didn't ahve to pay for things we didn't use. We travel overseas a lot and enjoyed spending time with people from all over the world. I look forward to seeing the new MSC terminal in Miami in a few years!
We enjoyed the cabin and the bunk beds for our teen and tween kids. The balcony was big enough for us to spend time outdoors ad play card games. The steward, John, was very good. We barely saw him, but our room was always spotless and well stocked.We pre-ordered a few things to be delivered to the room and John was great about arranging them and keeping our ice bucket full.
Miami was fine. We didn't do a lot before our trip.
We took a taxi to the nearby town and went to 40 Cannons Beach Club.
We had Maria as a guide. The cave-tubing was a unique experience. She shared some very interesting stories about the history of the caves. Our teen and preteen enjoyed this trip.View All 375 Cave-Tubing Reviews
Peter the tour guide was fabulous. The team running the zipline was great and we felt very safe. They do the breaking for you, so we never felt like we were going to crash into anyone or anything.View All 70 Ziplining Reviews
We enjoyed this trip. The horseback riding itself was only about 30 minutes, but we enjoyed our time on the private beach.View All 35 Horseback Riding Reviews