just back from 10 days on a beautiful ship. Stayed at Cambria Suites 1 night before. The hotel is fine for before cruising, but be aware if you don't rent a car basically everything is quite a walk, $20 each way for a cab to the beach. Their food we found surprisingly good.
The cruise itself was wonderful. We were on the ship in 15 minutes. Disembarking was also fast. We were at the airport and thru security in 40 minutes. We carried our own luggage off.
The food in Blu was good altho selection is limited. It is so much quieter than the main dining room altho we ate there one night & quite enjoyed it. The 2nd formal night the lobster tails were the best tasting and largest ever on a cruise ship and that's tails plural, as in 2. Never missed the melted butter they were so good. Ate lunch in the main dining room when it was open, food & service was quite good. We enjoyed the shows, esp. the Cirque de Soleil-type show. The featured singer one show was Lindsay Hamilton, unbelievably good.
We enjoyed Aqua Class very much, altho we never used the relaxation & Persian Gardens. So nice to have canapes (altho they are truly little bites), iced tea & bottled water delivered. The stateroom attendant, Alvin, was excellent,always friendly & attentive.
A little disappointed. The cabin seemed smaller than usual. We always book a veranda. The deck size was nice, esp. enjoyed the chairs with a separate foot rest. Nice touch. The closet space was different. There were no shelves in it, just lots of hangers. First time ever we had trouble putting away our clothes, even ended up using the tiny space above the safe. Bring back the shelves! Bathroom a nice size
Booked with coolrunnings.com for a catamaran ride & snorkeling. Beautiful boat, great lunch, esp. the fried chicken. Crew was very attentive, esp. helpful with some disabled people on board. Got to snorkel with the sea turtles & over a sunken ship.
Went to South Friar's Beach. It's a nice beach, not too far from the port. Limited swimming area b/c of the reef, rocks & sea urchins. There's a woman selling Aloe massages. Get one!
Booked with natureisleexplorers.com. Saw the gorge (kinda scary ride up), sulphur springs, Trafalgar Falls, Champagne Reef. Make sure you wear closed toe sandals with excellent treads. I was SOOO happy I got a pair of Keenes before the trip. You'll be walking up slippery stairs, climbing over rocks. The guide Donaldson was most informed & helpful. We enjoyed "Big Mama" our driver too. If you snorkel Champagne Reef you'll need a water shoe to get out to where you'll see the most amazing fish, tons of them. Best snorkeling EVER.