First I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions to the board. It really helped in my preparation for the trip and gave my a lot of knowledge beforehand.
We left 5/15 from O'Hare without incident, grabbed a taxi and went to the Radisson Miami. We paid $40 per night and stayed two evenings. The employees were very hospitable and corner room on the 14th floor overlooked the bay. We went to Bayside the first night and had a drink and appetizer at Bubba Gump's. Mmmm, the spicy shrimp was delicious. Then we ate at Lombardi's. It was okay. I don't think I'd go back. The service wasn't that good and the food was lukewarm; but the view was awesome. We also did some shopping at the mall and listened to the live bands. A very enjoyable evening.
On Sunday we had breakfast at the News Cafe and went to South Beach for a few hours. Then over to the Lincoln Road Mall. We then went back to the hotel to shower and change and had the most fantastic dinner at Emeril's at the Lowe's Resort.
Finally, Monday cruise day had arrived. We took a cab to the port. Embarkation was not a hassle at all. We got on the ship around 11:45. We had lunch in the Windjammer and then went to our cabins at 1:15. My luggage was already there, but not my girlfriends. Her's came at 6:00 that evening.
We were late leaving port due to the channel being busy with other water traffic. Dinner was casual dress that night. We had first seating and were assigned to table 95. There were two very nice gentlemen from Mexico who were part of an insurance group on board. We only had the pleasure of dining with them that evening since they were really supposed to be at the second seating with their group. Our table sat 8, but no one else ever showed up. On the third night, Wilma the maitre'd moved us to table 137 and we met three nice couples.
Overall the food was average. The scallop rissoto appetizer, mahi, lamb, cajun chicken pasta and baked alaska were the better choices. Everyone at our table had cruised before..Princess, Carnival, Norwegian & Disney. We all felt the food was better on the other lines.
Our cabin was small, but had enough storage. I now understand what everyone says about the shower curtain. It does stick to everything. I'm hoping that the forcoming refurbishment is the reason that some of the cosmetic touches weren't there and the money will be put back into the ship. Both of our bedspreads had "patches" on them, the carpet was unraveling, the sink was cracked and the towels/sheets were a little worn and spotted.
The cruise director staff was awesome...full of energy and enthusiam. Most of the dining staff seemed less than enthusiastic about their work. The two nights of singing seemed a bit forced. Bartenders were very friendly.
The best port was Key West. Coco Cay and Nassau were okay. The art auction and Majesty
Quest were a blast. Disembarktion was a breeze too.
I'd be happy to answer any questions.
Every day is a journey,so make the most of it.
til 12/12/04 Mariner
11/03 Disney Wonder