Sail Date: June 01, 2009 Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 7 years ago
I went as a chaperone for a small group of well-behaved 18-year-old girls who were celebrating their high school graduation -- this was a first cruise for all of us. There were lots of activities for the younger kids, but the older teenagers are a bit underserved -- the bars are basically uninteresting for them unless they happen to catch a performer they particularly like, the casino is off-limits. The shows on this particular cruise were only o.k., something to pass the time, but nothing to look forward to. They enjoyed the rock climbing wall a couple of times, the putt-putt course a couple of times (once they ejected an unsupervised little brat), and enjoyed sunning on the upper deck. The line for the surfboarding was always tremendously long. There were very few items for sale on-board in their price range -- they aren't really into diamonds and watches, yet, the make-up was far beyond their budget, and the clothes were too old for them -- even a souvenier t-shirt would have been very welcome, but was not available.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The main dining room was lovely, and our waiter was excellent. However, as the girls were under 21, we weren't ordering liquor, and we noticed that, as the week progressed, the attention by the assistant waiter became more and more cursory, in favor of the tables that were ordering wine and cocktails. By the last night, we had to serve ourselves additional glasses of water and hunt up a basket of rolls. The food in the main dining room always had something that a group of picky teenagers would eat. Breakfast was iin the Windjammer, and even though it was buffet, the service was generally excellent -- sometimes it was a bit difficult to find a table, though, especially at peak times, but it was mostly due to inconsiderate passengers. (Note: if you're only one person, don't spread out at a table for four!)
3 out of 5
For the teen/young adult crowd, it was challenging on board. We had great times at excursions at each of the ports, but evenings on-board were hard for them, as they weren't really the bar type, they were too old for the "teen" room, the casino was off-limits, and many of the activities, such as the climbing wall, surf simulator, etc., were closed in the evening. Most of the shows were geared towards adults.
1 out of 5
They weren't children (all were 18), but they were all under 21, and thus limited. No activities seemed to be geared to this age group.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
All of the staff were friendly, smiling and seemed eager to make sure you were comfortable and having a good time. The only problems we ran into were with the staff at the customer service desk, who needed several tries to straighten out billing on several of the girls' cards. Check-in was a nightmare, even though we had checked-in on-line. Our agent was totally inept, and required the assistance of several other agents, who were also busy with their own passengers. This was the result of ONE change on the check-in, where one of the girls changed her credit card for on-board charges. The agent mixed up the registrations, assigned the wrong cards to the wrong girls -- it took almost 45 minutes for us to check in, which left a sour taste that took us a few hours to shake for our first cruise.
5 out of 5
I have nothing to compare it to, since it was my first sailing -- but to our undiscerning eye, it was absolutely gorgeous.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Oceanview stateroom, twin beds. It was surprisingly spacious, compared to what I was expecting, but we certainly weren't going to be throwing any parties! The four girls shared an oceanview stateroom that had two bunkbeds that dropped from the ceiling. The girls in the upper bunks reported that there was a definite decrease in comfort, compared to the regular beds (thinner mattress, less linens, covers, pillows.).
Pros: Housekeeping was exquisite, dining room service overall excellent
Cons: Constant barrage of sales, lack of activities for the older teenagers
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