First the embarkation was a breeze and our cabin was actually ready for us when we boarded around 12:00. We had to stand in line a few times to get seapass pictures and the like but for the most part painless.
We had a Grand Suite 1560 and our cabin steward Brenda was a dream.. Always friendly when we saw her and very quick about getting the room done every morning.
For the most part all of the crew and staff were very friendly, especially Guissepie, the concierge. What a great kid who bent over backward for us including getting us a table for four at dinner after we requested one and then ended up at a 10 topper. I can't say enough good things about him. The bad news for the rest of you is that he was promoted on this sailing to a supervisor in guest relations and is moving to the Voyager.
Let me get the bad stuff out of the way first. All four of us found the food in windjammer and the dining room marginal..We ate in Portofinos 3 times because the dining room menu looked unappealing. The fillet we ate on day two ( in the dining room) was over cooked (as it usually is when your feeding 3000) Clam chowder with no clams, iceberg lettuce for all salads.. you get the picture. We ate in the dining room one morning and I ordered eggs benedict.. You could have played golf with the poached eggs. They were hard boiled and cold. The windjammer was usually crowded especially in the morning around the "Egg Harbor" I guess most peoplle found the fake eggs in the buffet line unappealing.
Portofinos on the other hand was fabulous!! Great service and great food.. I had the Halbut all three nights because it was sooooo good!! The rest in our party agreed.
Ports of Call:
We stayed on the boat at Belize because if you didn't go on a tour there wass really nothing to see or do. Plus it is a long tender ride. Guissepie recommended a tour or stay on board so thats what we did.
Costa Maya was fun... We went to the fishing village where the beach is located.. Plenty of little shops and vendor tables.. We found a place owned by a couple of retired Americans from San Jose California.. They were very friendly and had a great time shooting the bull and chugging down cerveza.
The port area at Costa Maya is very touristy and developed, but very nice.. All of the tp shops are there along with a dozen eateries.. There is even a big pool with a swim up bar.. Lawnchairs, sand shops drinks and food..A fun place to wrapup the day.
Cozumel was also fun.. We went to town first thing for a little shopping.. It had been a few years since we were there and the place is really built up..All kinds of new shopping malls and new hotels going up. We opted to spend the afternoon at Paradise Beach.. It's another place owned by Americans about 10 kilometors south of the pier.. $5 gets you a lawn chair, floating mat, and access to all of the water toys.. Beer and food were litle stiff but cheaper than the ship.. I would recommend this place if you want to spend the day sunning..
We took our only excursion in Nassau at Breezes, the all inclusive resort. Free food and drink and access to all of the facilities. The beach was pretty nasty with washed up seaweed everywhere but the pool area was good.. The excursion is $78 and a little over priced unless you can pound down enough drinks and gorge yourself at the buffet.. We sail Oosterdam in January and will head back to Nasau.. I think we'll try something else.
Back on the ship....
Entertainment in the lounges is really lacking.. We found one guy (a one man band) in the Ketle lounge who is very good and we frequented that establishment a few times.. The couple traveling with us went to the iceshow and said it was okay but nothing speciel.
The casino was fun but dead most nights.. I was expecting standing room only at the crap table but most nights there was no one playing.
The ship is a site to see.. The Royal Promenade is cool and you rarely felt like there were 3000 people on board.
Back to the dining room.. Our waitress Christine was great!! The best weve ever had on a cruise.. Her assistant Ronel was also very good..
Overall, a great trip.. Just don't expect gourmet and definetly book portifinos a couple of nights.. It's well worth it.