"Due to high winds. . ."
My best friends of 10 years wanted to take a little "mom-cation" and thought a cruise would be our best option for us. All three of us (27 years old) have cruised before, two of us on Royal Caribbean (I had gone on the Liberty, my friend on the Oasis), and this cruise lined up perfectly with our travel dates. Our overall goal was to spend time together and sleep (we all have wakeful babies) and I will say we managed to have a good time despite the cruise's efforts to thwart our plans. . .
We parked our rental car at Park N Cruise, and made it to the port around 12:45. Check-in was very smooth and quick. When we walked on the boat, we were told our rooms were ready for us and our luggage would arrive shortly after.
Before I go any further, I want to point out that buying things in advanced online (drink packages, internet, massages) is much more expensive than just waiting until you're on the ship. My friend booked her Royal Refereshment drink package for $22/day, and I waited until we were on the boat and only paid $19/day. Our massage was $150/person (a huge splurge for me, I never get massages) and they had all sorts of onboard specials for less than $99. We also splurged on internet one day to check in with our families. It was extremely spotty at best and sluggish. It seems so backwards to charge more when reserving things in advanced when that seems more convenient for them. Just thought I'd mention that.
We had an exterior "large" stateroom on deck 2 (room 2586). We are close friends so we didn't mind the tighter quarters. We found we had plenty of room to spare for all our luggage and clothing. We had a room with a pullman bed. We were hoping for one with a sofa bed as we had been told we'd get at the time we booked, but we didn't really mind that much.
BUT, we did find a pair of large, nasty women's underwear just behind one of the life vests. Needless to say we were grossed out of our minds, and tried to laugh it off as we called guest services. We played phone tag for a while and finally someone was able to come and remove the specimen and brought someone to sanitize the whole room again for us. Our room attendant Manny was a delight.
We headed straight to the Windjammer Cafe which was crowded as expected, but we were able to get our food and find a seat with ease. We then enjoyed a massage, but my friend ended up losing her seapass at some point. She was issued a new one at Guest Services which resulted in her dining table assignment being changed. At dinner, they corrected it with a sharpie on our cards and we ended up at an empty 10 person table (the 7 other guests were no-shows, which we were fine with). Our server Eduardo was the highlight of dinner, and was a genuinely awesome guy. All the dining staff was great.
Due to high winds, we weren't even allowed on deck 10 most of the time. It was very windy and cold. We were wearing sweaters most of the time. We tried hot tubbing the first night, but the winds made anything that wasn't in the water extra cold.
Nassau! I'll make some long stories short with bullet points.
-Our excursion tickets for Nassau were delivered to the wrong room. Luckily the person in the other room was kind enough to deliver them. No one seemed concerned that this happened.
-Due to high winds in Nassau (these were CRAZY high winds) our sting ray/beach excursion was cancelled. We were not informed of this prior to getting off the boat. We wandered around the pier confused, looking for our group, asking anyone we could for information. FINALLY someone told us it was cancelled, and that we received a message informing us of that. Obviously we didn't.
-Due to high winds, it seemed like everything was closed or unavailable. We walked to Junkanoo beach but the sand was literally cutting at our legs. So off we went to the Fish Fry!
-Spent the rest of the day/night on board. The boat was rocking very noticeably. While we were at the dance party on the pool deck, we were all swaying pretty dramatically. Darn those winds.
-We had a fun time at the karaoke and also at the main area with the live band.
-They woke us all up bright and early at 8 am with an in-cabin announcement that due to high winds, we would not be stopping at Cococay. They promised addition activities would be added to compensate, but still a huge bummer. There went any of our plans of laying on a beach this trip.
-We pretty much did everything you could do on the boat at this point; the trampolines were fun (we were the first of the day to go on them, but closed shortly after we went due to. . . high winds), rock climbing, Harry Potter trivia, food, etc.
-The boat was rocking so bad this night, I thought I was experiencing motion sickness for the first time in my life, but alas, it was definitely food poisoning. Another of my friends and I took turns in the bathroom that night, and I stayed up until 3:30 on that bathroom floor, getting a whopping 2 hours of sleep before we had to wake up at 7 to disembark.
We pulled into port early and we were eager to get off. A quick trip to the Windjammer (I was careful about what I ate there. . .) and we hopped right onto our shuttle to get our car.
Despite all our setbacks, sickness, and cancellations, we made sure to have a good time. We didn't want all these things to ruin our trip and it didn't. I still would say we had a great time, but that is despite the cruise. I knew I would have a blast with my friends no matter where we had gone because I was mostly excited to be with them, I only wish that we had had a better circumstances to enjoy one another's company. I will say all the staff was fantastic and really helped boost our moral. Maybe next time we'll opt for a newer boat (I had a fantastic time on the Liberty, and my friend really enjoyed the Oasis) and be sure to go in a much hotter season so we can actually wear our swimsuits this time.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
We really liked the beef sandwiches from the Park Cafe in the solarium.