This cruise is great for getting back into cruising if you haven't in a while like us, and first timers as well. It wasn't too overwhelming, even though a large ship, was super easy to navigate and organize your days' itinerary. The ports were safe if you stayed with a group as we did. Watch out for all the extras because everything can add up in a hurry. What looks like a budget vacation when booking can turn into thousands if you are not careful. Overall is a good value for what you get and where you go. Have fun!
5 out of 5
The line went fast during embarkation, and all was fine. It was very organized with people giving instructions before you got up to the next point.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
We only dined in The Manhattan, Savor, Taste, O'Sheehan's and the Garden Cafe. We found all to be good to excellent food and service. No complaints and we saw no need to spend extra for specialty dining. We just aren't foodies I suppose. Portions are small in the main 3 dining rooms, but you can order as many as you want. We only ordered 1 of each at every sitting and still gained 3-5 lbs each from the cruise.
3 out of 5
We used the walking track and the lounge chairs only on decks 15 and 16. My complaint here is that with 4000 people onboard, they all "saved" a chair with a towel or other item and never came back to use them. This made it unpleasant for those of us wanting to actually sit in them around the pool to listen to the music, watch activities, etc. I think the ship crew should figure out a way to prohibit people from being able to save chairs when absent for that length of time.
5 out of 5
All of the comedy shows were excellent at Headliners and the Breakaway Theater. We also saw Burn The Floor, also excellent, and participated in Escape The Big Top, fun to try with others you don't know. Rock of Ages was canceled on our night's reservation due to illness of some of the cast. The Atrium activities were fun to watch when waiting for dinner or just wanting to lounge around. The daily planner lets you pick and choose what to do each day and you never get bored if you do this.
We had no children with us.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
All service and staff members were very friendly, helpful and seemed to really love working there.
5 out of 5
This ship was spotless. We loved the emphasis on hand washing, spraying, etc. The public restrooms are constantly being cleaned several times a day. They even have a sign asking you to open the door with a towel as to avoid germs. I like that they want a clean and germ-free environment. The ship's design was good except for having to walk through the casino to the theater. We don't judge those who smoke or gamble but just felt we should not have to walk through the smoke to get to our show.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
The layout was great, large closets with shelves and safe, makeup area with storage stool, large mirror, floorlength mirror, loveseat, queen bed was comfy although maybe not the best mattress. Bathroom was nice but we didn't find any outlets in there. The shower was nice with hot water and good pressure. You could even adjust the head up and down which I appreciated a lot. Our large suitcases slid underneath the bed just fine to get them out of the way. Under the TV was a cabinet that we put medicine, sunscreen, etc. Other cabinet near it held laptop, backpack, etc. so plenty of storage places.
GO TO DECK 7 early if you want to disembark with your own luggage! Skip breakfast or eat super early so you do not get stuck in the mass of people wanting to get off at the same time you do. Research you shore excursions carefully, read the reviews and find out how much time is spent getting to and from them before making decisions.
This was our first stop, and it had the best prices on shopping for gifts but I didn't know that until the end of course. We did the Mexican Cuisine Workshop and Tasting which was a lot of fun. We would have liked more time to explore the port on our own but didn't.
The Belize citizens were the friendliest and happiest people which made this a fun port. We did the Altun Ha Ruins and Old Belize River Tour. Again, lots of travel time on these excursions. The ruins was very interesting to hear about the Mayan people's traditions, etc.
We did the Spice Farm and Botanical Garden, highly recommended. Nice to see common spices being grown and the people who ran the farm were very nice. Greeted you with fresh squeezed orange juice from the Valencia Oranges grown there. Optional food purchase of chicken and rice after your tour, but we just bought a chocolate coffee bar to eat and wished we'd bought some more!
This port was nothing but a tourist trap in my opinion. All of the shops had mostly the same items, just different prices. We were not put off by the merchants asking for your business because it's expected. There were activities to sit and watch, have a Mexican beer or drink if you wanted to, so it wasn't all bad either.
3 out of 5
Disembarkation was chaos. We chose to carry off our luggage since we had a long drive home, but got trapped on elevators, wrong decks, etc for over an hour. Finally, we made it in the line of other passengers on deck 7, but it still took a long time to get off the ship. More organization was needed in keeping the elevators allowed for only those who are in each category during the process.
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