January 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Westerdam
This was our first balcony experience as we'd been in the dark in an inside stateroom on our other two cruises and I loved the balcony. I loved watching the ship sail away, I loved opening the door at night and letting some fresh air in.
This was by far the roughest cruise I've been on. Some of our dinner mates said it was the worst of 7 or 8 cruises they'd been on. It was dangerous to let go of a bar in the shower for fear that you'd pitch yourself out of the bathtub/shower. I did not like that the food closed down often. On previous cruises I could eat less because I knew I could go back. I did not like that all of the rolls were very hard. I understand this is the Dutch style. We hardly ever got pie, just twice; The Buffet was more like a cafeteria line. On Royal Caribbean it was stations that you walked up to.
There was no water slide, nor rock wall, nor outdoor movie theater. The hot tub closed early. Some nights there was only one show instead of two, so it was hard to find seating. There was no food after the first show was over until 10::30 when you could get sub sandwiches. I wished they'd have had a closing night with the Captain and all the crew dressed up who paraded by. I was not particularly crazy about the Dancing with the Stars theme. I did like the magician and the African American former cop comedian. Our twin beds were comfortable enough and when I asked them to, the staff turned them opposite to where we rocked head to toe with the ship instead of back and forth. The room staff was very friendly. The spa was great. I loved the Microsoft classes and the steel drum lessons.
The excursions were fine. We took a round the island type tour in each of four places. I felt like Grand Turk was a very impoverished place. I loved the BBQ we had at Half Moon Cay, the ship's private island.
I realized today that of a 7 day vacation I spent less than 20 hours not in an air-conditioned ship, bus, or terminal. I spent less than 45 mins actually watching the surf on shore, although I could see the ocean all the time.
Going through Customs took over an hour of pushing and dragging all the suitcases every 30 seconds. Getting off the ship, however, was a breeze. Glad I went. Next time I'll just vacation on the beach and for go the cruise.