We arrived at the Pier at 11:10 AM and after upgrading to the Royal Suite we were on the ship by 11:30. We did have E-docs and it didn't slow us down. As far as disembarking goes it was just as smooth. Off the ship at 7:25 AM and had no problem catching a 9:00 AM flight. If anybody wants more info on early disembarking let me know.
Food in general seemed better than the AOS four weeks earlier. The Sea view cafe is a nice alternative to Johnny Rockets. The deck chairs are much nicer because they don't have the straps and they have a padded head rest. The solarium pool area is stuffed with plants and trees, more than any other solarium pool that I have seen.
The captain gives good PA's and the sight seeing excursions of the Pitons out of St. Lucia and the day at sea of Montserrat, St. Kitts and Saba are great. Sometimes he would bring the ship in as close as a few hundred yards.
St. Thomas we just walked to town and just shopped. St. Marten we went to Orient beach and it's still as beautiful as ever. My 13 and 14 year old boys didn't mind a few topless women walking around. Antigua just rented a taxi and drove around the island. St. Lucia we did the 7 hour hike tour offered by the ship. It was good but you only hike about an hour or so and you spent a total of 2 1/2 to 3 hours on a bus. Barbados we did the 5 star cat and that was good. Saw big turtles and 5 foot tarpon. A Festival cruise ship was anchored just outside the sea wall that had just gone bankrupt and left a there passengers and employees stranded.
The Royal suite and all the perks you get both official and unofficial were definitely worth it to us. We had never done a suite before and then to get this one were your the top dog because nobody else can have one because there is only one truly makes you feel special. It's bigger than the Royal on both the Radiance and Brilliants so there is plenty of room. Six cabins below on deck 9 make up the width of the Royal suite. Marista the concierges is a delightful person and added to the wonderful experience and was worth her weight in gold. Kids loved the big plasma TV for DVD movies after dinner. We were invited to do a bridge tour while the ship was at sea and got pictures of the boys sitting in the star trek chairs.
You can't go wrong with the Serenade!!!!
Ocean Princess 10/00
Ocean Princess 12/00
Enchatment of the Seas 04/01
Dawn Princess 10/01
Dawn Princess 12/01 14 days
Explorer of the Seas 08/02
Adventure of the Seas 02/04
Serenade of the Seas 04/04