This was our first cruise to celebrate both my wife's birthday and our anniversary. First, we spent some time reading the reviews of this ship and offerings and feel that the reviews are obviously sided to the perception of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise to celebrate both my wife's birthday and our anniversary. First, we spent some time reading the reviews of this ship and offerings and feel that the reviews are obviously sided to the perception of the reviewers. Those with bad experiences seem to have some sort of specific expectation that hasn't been met and they carried that displeasure to other aspects of the cruise.
For us, it was exceptional. We couldn't have asked for a better first time experience.
Embarkation was an absolute breeze. We were through security and check in and on the pool deck within about 30 minutes.
The weather first day was a little chilly but sunny and very vacation like so we had no issues not getting in the pool. Once we had a couple fruity drinks we easily found a couple chairs and enjoyed the music and initial ambiance.
At 3:30 or so we were pulled for the muster prep. This is mandatory and a little disorganized, but nothing that caused us to feel the cruise was going to be messy. Following the muster we went to our cabin.
CABIN - we had an inside state room. It was small but efficient for our needs. No need for lots of space or extras because we didnt plan on spending much time in there. Our cabin attendant, Daniel, was exceptional. Constantly addressing our needs before they even came up. One special note, I had recently injured my knee and was hobbled a bit and confined to a knee brace. On day one, as we were heading to our cabin to get something we forgot, he was in the hallway. He made mention that he saw me earlier in the day and felt like I would need ice for my knee from time to time (he was right) he had prepared my room with a cold bucket of ice and bags to use to ice when needed. For the entire tour I always had fresh ice and a bag so that I could take care of myself. There are other smaller examples of his exceptional service approach, but this was a biggie for us.
DINING - so the buffet is a buffet. You can't have exceptional expectations. However, I will note that many reviews were critical of wait time for tables. We never had this experience. We always found a place to sit for all meals that we enjoyed. Additionally, the food is not great, but it is passable for buffet food. One night we ate at My Fair Lady and again the service was exceptional. The meal was average, but again our expectations were not for James Beard Award winning dining. We consider ourselves foodies, but also understand that our expectations need to match the environment. I will say that one food item that I found was always exceptional was the mashed potatoes.
ENTERTAINMENT - we didn't do much of the on-ship entertainment. We went to the casino for a few minutes and had fun but gambling is not really our thing. We did however, see the juggling show which was exceptional. Funny, timely, entertaining. We really enjoyed that experience.
SHORE EXCURSIONS - we choose the snorkel trip in Nassau which was very fun. We were sent on a 1 hour catamaran tour of the area and then snorkeled for an hour at Rainbow Reef. It was really fantastic. We didn't particularly enjoy Nassau/Straw Market etc. But it was nice weather and enjoyable to walk around a bit.
COCO CAY - the excursion we choose at COCO CAY was Stingray City. All I can say is WOW. It was one of the coolest experiences I've had in my life. The water was a touch chilly, but you get over that quick. The be able to snorkel with stingrays for a couple hours was priceless. The guide, Nick was knowledgeable, funny, and very insightful. He made the experience even more fun. I find it hard to believe that we only had 6 other couples on the excursion with us. I can't believe that more people don't enjoy this experience.
The rest of the day on Coco Cay was simply exceptional. Again, the food was average, but you can't have extended expectations in this type of environment. The water was crystal clear, and perfect all day. The staff was exceptional. The entire experience is something I will remember the rest of my life.
VALUE FOR MONEY - overall this was a perfect first time for us. We were sad when it was over and wish we could have had another day or two. For us, we really didn't need the Nassau part of the tour, but were glad for the experience.
This as an exceptional trip. If you expect that every aspect of your trip is going to be 5 star then you have the wrong expectations. You need to take the buffet food for what it is worth... the staff on EOS was always friendly and helpful. The stateroom, although small, was perfect for us.
Enjoy this tour! Read Less