Sail Date: April 01, 2013 Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 4 years ago
I had a great time on this cruise\, so as you read the comments below\, know that I wouldn't do it a second time\, but if I could go back a week and change my mind\, I'd still do this cruise. I truly believe this is the best value you will get for your money. There is no other Carribbean cruise with no sea days\, and it spends 3 full days in 3 different locations\, at a good price. If you are looking for luxury\, go with Celebrity\, but you'll pay twice as much. If you just want a good holiday at a good cost\, this is a good pick (and unlike Carnival the ship probably won't break). There are small things that will bug you\, but I am very happy with our trip overall\, it was fun\, relaxing\, and inexpensive!
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Freestyle cruising is great - there are no set dinner times\, so you eat when you're hungry and don't need reservations (except at the specialty restaurants). We ate at all the Specialty Restaurants. I recommend the Italian one (Il Adagio at $15 cover). I wouldn't do the other two again. The steak one was pretty good\, but not worth it in my opinion (Cagney's at $30 cover). The French Restaurant (Le Bistro) was horrible\, truly awful. They refunded our money entirely and I still feel ripped-off. You'd be better off having a bowl of cereal. Seriously skip this. Was the food on the cruise ship fantastic? No. But I wouldn't expect that at the cheap cost. If I did it again\, I'd skip the specialty restaurants. There was always something tasty enough to eat in the main sit down restaurants or buffet (always eat at the outdoor one\, the inside is cramped and the outdoor one serves the same stuff with no line and available seating).
3 out of 5
I would not want to spend a lot of sea days on this vessel (or even a full one really) but the itinerary is so great\, there's plenty to entertain yourself in the few hours in the evenings. The shows are cheesy and amateur (comedian was funny but dancing not impressive) and they insist on playing loud music everywhere (I mean loud\, the singers in some of the lounges are pretty good\, but often it's too loud to want to stay and listen). This wasn't a deal breaker for me though because we had such great days onshore (went ashore all day on each island but didn't do the organized tours\, we did our own).
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
As with anywhere\, there were some great staff and some duds. Stewards are wonderful and a few gems here and there\, other staff are uninterested or friendly but fairly useless. I wouldn't make my decision on this point\, most staff were nice and helpful.
3 out of 5
Small ship for a 'large cruise ship'. Pool is not large and neither are the 4 (tiny\, 6 person max) hot tubs. So if pools and hot tubs matter to you\, maybe not your best choice. We never used them but didn't care because we were always on shore. Note\, they allow smoking in the casino on deck 7\, and because of the open nature of the ship this floats into the atrium and contaminates that whole deck (and drifts up and down through the atrium). This was disgusting to me but workable (we avoided deck 7 entirely and would go up to 8 or down to 6\, cross the length of the ship\, then go back to 7 if we had to get somewhere on it). Obviously this meant we never used the casino. So if you like gambling\, but not smoking\, I would look elsewhere.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
I actually can't complain here. We had a cheap inside room on deck 9 (room 9315). Deck 9 is great because it's between two other 'stateroom floors' so you're not below the pool or a disco for example. Our room was immediately beside the elevator and I couldn't get over how quiet it was. I had brought earplugs expecting the worst\, but never used them and never heard a thing from our room. The beds were a bit hard for me\, but I slept great every night. Rooms are small and nothing fancy but clean and all that I needed. Bathrooms were clean and more spacious than many boats (non-cruise ships ) I've been on. The itinerary is so great\, you're never in your room\, so if you're looking to save some money\, I would get an inside cabin again without question.
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