I opted for this cruise over the holidays to see the Panama Canal for the first time. I was also excited to visit Cartagena, Columbia and Costa Rica as well. We used the bidding system to upgrade from a balcony to a Club Class Mini-Suite. Given the length of the cruise and the number of sea days, we were very happy for the upgrade. Club Class allowed for us to board early, have a larger cabin and access to a private section of the dining room, where we received very personalized and gracious service.
This voyage had a number of unexpected issues outside of the crew's control. Enroute to Jamaica, the crew spotted a boat of Cuban refugees whose lives were endangered. They stopped the boat, rendered aid, took the refugees onboard and rendezvoused with the US Coast Guard to get the refugees to safety. This caused us to miss our stop in Jamaica, which drew mixed reactions from the passengers. I believe that human life is more precious that a beach day, but not everyone felt the same. We stopped in Grand Cayman, but the seas were too rough for all cruise ships to tender passengers ashore, so we missed this shop as well. The crew pivoted on both days to amend the activities on board to reflect sea days as opposed to port days, despite the disappointment of many passengers.
The entertainment onboard was hit and miss. The DJ Whitney, one of the comedians and the music were on point, where some of the shows were lackluster. The casino staff were friendly and welcoming, using the Medallions as your "bank" for slot machines and poker. The poker was all digital, with no live dealers, but the blackjack and roulette were typical.
The Mini-Suite was spacious, with a full bath tub, balcony, king bed, couch, two flat screen TVs and comfortable bedding. It was clean and had motion sensors under the bed and by the restroom. The balcony had two chairs and ottomans with one table. It was not shaded and did not have privacy from the rooms above. Overall, we were pleased with the size and comfort of the rooms.