Sail Date: December 01, 2010 Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 6 years ago
The ship itself was nice. Despite being older, I saw no signs of wear except on our balcony (it needed new paint on the floor). Everything looked updated and well decorated. Our stateroom (balcony, concierge class, deck 9) was roomy, had tons of storage, and had a nice bathroom. The linens were attractive and soft, though the beds were a bit firm.
The food was good. I wouldn't say great, but good. Lots of variety. We ate breakfast in the buffet (tons to choose from-the best was the made-to-order Eggs Benedict, worst were the previously frozen pancakes). We either ate lunch at the buffet or at the pool-side grill (great burgers). The lunch buffet too had a wide variety, though quality varied depending on what you chose. Dinner we ate freestyle in the main dining room. We never had to wait, were always given excellent service, and had plenty of choices for appetizers, soups and salads, entrees and desserts. Again the food varied. Some was absolutely delicious, others tasted like high end buffet food, but not like a fine restaurant. We had dinner the last night at the buffet as we were too full for another big meal, and we found the choices of sushi, Indian food, made-to-order pasta and other items just as good as the main restaurant. Room service was the only food disappointment. Not only was the selection quite small, but the service was slow and they always got something wrong. Our food almost always lacked something that had been in the description of it and usually was missing something major like salad dressing or a side of fruit. It was like playing roulette to see if would get what you ordered.
The embarkation/debarkation were always quick and smooth. We never had to wait in big lines getting on or off the ship. The excursions were nice and well-planned. The Dunns River Falls and Dolphin Swim was awesome and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Service on the ship was probably the best part. Everyone was friendly and eager to help. Our room steward wasn't overly present as they were on our previous cruise, but they did a good job of keeping the room up and meeting our needs.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
I would categorize the food as good, but not spectacular. We never did eat in the specialty restaurant, but both the buffet and main dining room varied widely as to the quality. I felt like the buffet was generally of a higher quality than the buffet on our Norwegian cruise, but not as good in the dining room as the several restaurants on our Norwegian cruise. The service and decor in the main restuarant, however, were wonderful.
1 out of 5
This is where this ship really lost points compared to our other cruise and compared to the descriptions of the other cruise lines we haven't been on. There was almost nothing to do in terms of built-in entertainment (rock walls, skating rinks, putting greens, etc.). Even the golf simulator they advertised was un-findable. We searched for it four or five times, even asked directions to it, but we could never find a door open or marked for it. So at-sea days really only had the option of sitting by the pool. We couldn't even find any shuffle board decks. As far as other entertainment, the guest comedian was excellent, but the broadway-ish numbers were like a high school production. And we never seemed to be able to find much else going on other than wine/food classes that costed a lot or lectures/classes about this and that boring thing. Nothing really entertaining . So with the last 2 days of the cruise too windy and cold for the pool, and the TV channels sparse, we were bored!!!
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
We had great service from our waiters in the main restaurant. Our room stewardess kept up on things and was very polite when we saw her, which was rare; she seemed to know when we were gone and always had things perfect by the time we got back. Every waiter or staff member in the hall said hello and smiled. We never had anyone be rude or discourteous. I think the concierge was a bit under-knowledgeable, but she was very eager to try to work things out after my husband's golf excursion got cancelled. The only really annoying staff members were the activities director and his right hand man, who dominated all the TV channels with commercials for onboard shopping and made tons of announcements but did very little actual activity directing as far as I could tell.
5 out of 5
Don't worry about this being an older ship. It didn't show. They've done a great job of updating it, from thes staterooms to the dining rooms, to the lounges. It looked wonderful. My only complaint about the ship was the toilets. They are poorly designed so that the toilet paper sticks to the bowl and never flushes down on its own. They put toilet wands (long-handled) next to every toilet on board, so you could give your TP a scoot to where the water would catch it, but it got tannoying having to do this EVERY time you went to the toilet, in your stateroom and in public restrooms, especially for me, a pregnant woman who had to go quite often!)
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We had a concierge class balcony room. It was pretty spacious, had tons of storage, had a good sized, updated bathroom with a nice shower head and lots of extas. The beds were a bit firm for my taste, but not rock hard. The pillows and linens were nice. The TV was a new flatscreen. The balcony was so-so. I might not consider paying extra for it next time as we used it a lot less than I thought I would and it was rather small. Overall, I think the room was the most impressive part of the cruise. I also really liked being on deck 9. It was nicely spaced between the pool at deck 11 and the restaurant/theater on deck 7. No public rooms above or below, so it stayed quiet. And being aft, we hardly felt any rocking.
Pros: The staterooms were spacious and attractive, good service throughout the ship
Cons: Very little to do onboard, food quality in the dining room wasn't as high as I'd hoped
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