We chose this cruise as it had several days at sea and it stopped at a private island. We wanted to be entertained by shows and eat great food.
We were pleasantly surprised with the size of our inside cabin and pleased with our room steward. The food in the specialty extra cost restaurants was very good. The teppanykai was a great time, the steak house was excellent and the french bistro was wonderful. The Vibe(extra charge)was a great way to unwind as most of the passengers aboard the Christmas cruise were families so they could not belong to it. The shows that were fee free were well done. The ice bar (extra charge) was a very unique experience.
The food in the main dining was poor and we named the buffet the 'trough' as the food was of low quality and overly carbohydrate laden.
We felt 'nickel and dimed' by all the extra costs while aboard the ship..shows, group exercise classes, many of the activities, etc. The upper decks were closed much of the time while 'at sea'. Though, curiously were opened after we complained to guest services. The smoking in the casino wafted throughout the other public areas. Smoking on the pool deck is in the middle thus spreading the smell around the area. We did not get to experience the private island as the tenders were not 'safe' that day as it was deemed too rough.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
The premium dining (paid extra for) was quite good, but dining in the main dining rooms left a lot to be desired. The food was often cold, the poached eggs (benedict) were rubbery and cold, the beef wellington's crust was soggy and the meat overdone. At the buffet, there was no thought to presentation. If you are trying to eat healthy do not expect to find many choices or much protein at the buffet. If you like chocolate, you had better bring your own. It costs extra to get ice cream or baked goods at the little shops. Room service costs extra. So many desserts were made with a gelatin base, including cheesecake. The teppanyaki restaurant was extremely good and very entertaining. Chef Alex was quite talented.
3 out of 5
The activities were satisfactory. BUT so many things cost extra. Expect to pay extra for a group exercise class, something I have never come across on any other ship.
3 out of 5
You could not get a'broadway' show every night unless you paid extra for the other show offerings. There was notary place for adults to listen to music and dance. All that was offered was a loud DJ playing pop music.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Service and staff are two separate categories. Our 'service' was quite good, the guest services was below par.
3 out of 5
The cleanliness was acceptable, but the design left a lot to be desired. The casino, which allows smoking, was midship with exposure to the next floor. The smoke from the casino just drifted up and onto the next level making the next floor a smokey smelly area. We did not go to anything but the ice bar in that area as we do not like smoke. Compared to other ships of similar size that we have been on, this one felt much more segmented and always felt crowded. The gym area was way to small and cramped. The Vibe was a great area that you pay extra for. The smoking area on the pool deck was on port midship so getting from bow to stern you had to pass the smoking. Why put this in the center and not aft so the wind would carry the smoke off the ship.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
The cabin was surprisingly larger than we expected. We comfortably fit three adults init. There was a king size bed and a pull down twin.
If you want to get away from the crowds of people and be amongst adults only, have cushions on your lounge chairs, 2 private hot tubs, a private bar, join the Vibe. You have to do this as soon as you board the ship at guest services as it is limited to 100 people.
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