Process was the worst ever using the older terminal in Ft.
Lauderdale. They gave out numbers to people as they arrived. As groups
arrived they were given earlier numbers - not a fair practice. No room
for all to sit in the terminal and terminal was filled with smoke.
Nice design, handled the seas well. My wife and I and party of 6
were very surprised no lifeboat drill until day 2 - thank god, nothing
happened on day 1!
Don't know why they put the restaurants right
above the propellers - some minor vibration felt and a lot of movement
on the one rougher than usual day at sea.
Very Italian, which is what I expected - fun crowd. Cabin staff a
restaurant staff excellent. Saw a lot of the captain (he had his
family on Board and was very approachable - spoke all 5 languages).
Never saw him at the door for the usual photos at the entrance to the
cocktail party. Cruise director (Ray Rouse)- we didn't leave with that
usual feeling that we would miss him. Appeared to take more of a back
seat. Assistant cruise director (Italian female - she was a blast)
should get his job.
Great job. Sure wish one of these cruise lines would better
organize finding photos. Do what they do a Disney World - give people
a card with the photo roll number and post by that number. I think
they will sell more photos. They do a great quality job. I would also
consider digital images - save the trees and only print what people
want. A few computer terminals, again stored by roll number would do
it. $xx to print each copy.
I can honestly say - the worst I had. Lobster tail - totally dry.
Green Minestrone soup - what's with that? Even the Italian couple at
our table (in US 20 years) did not like the food. Still put on a few
pounds. When we visited our travel agent after the trip, she could not
believe how many food complaints she received. She was going to
check on chef assignments since this complain, according to her, is
Buffet Area - well done - 1/2 of the ship was
non-smoking. Food here was not bad. I guess pizza was authentic
Italian style - looked like toaster pizza - tasted pretty good. No
soda machines - juice and coffee only. They do come around selling
drinks on a cart - pretty good idea.
OK - but just OK. The dancers did more screaming and yelling that
dancing. The talent show was done well (Roman Toga Caesar voting style
- a blast). They did bring in a couple of circus-type acrobatic acts
that were pretty good. The best night was Van Prestley of the Platters
- man, he can still sing great. Sang all the old Platters hits.
Opera singers - good, I wanted to hear some Andre Boccelli/Sarah
Days at Sea - could have done a lot more for
the passengers. They had a golf pro that did nothing - have some
classes. Have a table tennis tournament. Casino small and smoky. Why
don't these cruise lines get smart and make 1/2 of the Casino smoke
free. Bar entertainment very good.
Ports of Call
Same tours as everybody. I think people are getting smarter.
Consider not booking on ship - make your own arrangements in port Key
West - not enough time in port.
Cozummel - It's been about three years - man
did they fix that place up. Nice shopping areas.
Jamaica has really cleaned up their act and
don't get on your nerves. Catamaran ride to Dunn's river worth the
trip. What a party on the way back - bottomless rum punch drinks
helped! I did't want it to end - seas a little rough, but made the
ride more enjoyable. Didn't prevent us dancing with the female crew on
the front deck (it's the big Cool Running's cat)
Grand Cayman - absolutely my favorite place.
Bus tour operator was spectacular. Beach will be nothing but $2.5
million condos, so enjoy it while you can. I really went to Hell - so
when someone tells me to go there...
50 cents per minute. I was glad to be able to use it.
Not one document explained the real rules. $800 per person (even
their own paperwork said $400). They should explain the 2% (I think)
over the $1600 up to $3600 and the 6% on jewelry above the $3600 -
don't quote me on the accuracy of my numbers - but this is something
that should be explained and an example given to all in the
boarding pamphlets. I sweated out how much duty I would owe on
my new Rolex until I wrote the check to Customs.
At new terminal and done well. What a difference in terminals from
the beginning of the trip.
To make it here, they need to Americanize their trip. Staff need
to be able to give information in non-metric language (i.e., how long
is the walking track? or post it on the track). Every announcement was
in 5 languages - life vest demo in 5 languages. Why not give out
translation headsets. I will even settle for using one myself while in
a foreign country. Sorry, I guess that's the American in me. Food
needs total rework. Use the crew more to entertain the passengers with
things to do - not just after midnight in the bars.
I will take Costa off my list for now unless a
real cheap deal comes along. Carnival is still the best buy for the
buck - great food, great entertainment, great cruise directors -
always something to do on days at sea.