February 2016 - Nieuw Amsterdam to Caribbean - Eastern
If I had not been on previous cruises, I would have thought this was very good. However, there were several downsides.
1. The Canneto specialty restaurant is not very good. First, it is barely separated from the noise and bustle of the buffet lines. The food was mediocre.
2. The house wines available ranged from the less than $35 a bottle undrinkable wine to drinkable but expensive. The Canneto red wine should be used for cooking not drinking.
3. Unless you were poolside before 7 am there were no chairs/lounges available for the entire day.
4. Food service in the main dining room was unbelievably slow. There were plenty of waiters but very few kitchen staff. One evening my wife and I had to wait almost an hour for the main course. One breakfast, it took 45 minutes to get two egg orders.
5. The noise level in the main dining room was over 85 db (I actually measured it.) They put no effort into sound dampening, so conversations across the table were either difficult or impossible.
6. Evidently, the ship is now docking at a "cheaper" slip in St. Thomas. So the dock is 2 1/2 miles from Charlotte Amelie. Sadly, the ship didn't change the maps they provided so that many people tried to walk.
7. This is minor but irritating. We had one very rough night at sea. However, there are no clasps on the drawers or closets. So we were kept up all night with drawers and closets slamming.
8. The entertainment (with the exception of BB kings blues club) was mediocre. A juggler for evening entertainment? Really?
9. There were language difficulties, especially when calling on the telephone. Room service orders would have to be repeated three times and in every delivery something was missing or wrong.
10. We had to beg to have two comfortable chairs on our veranda. The one straight back was impossible for my wife and myself. We really imposed on our steward who had to sneak one from a vacant room.
On the positive side:
Our room steward was efficient and very pleasant.
The rooms were cleaned twice a day and they were spotless.
The ship was clean and very well maintained.