We are back from our June 11 Caribbean cruise. We'll send a longer trip report over the next few days but overall, the cruise was FANTASTIC. It surpassed every expectation. AND the captain was incredible. We had a immigration screwup in St. Thomas, a man overboard and a medical evacuation and he took it all in stride, informing guests each step of the way so everyone knew what was going on at all times...no guessing. He was GREAT.
There were some minor annoyances. For example, Todd English tacks on an additional $11 a day gratuity if you eat there. So you pay $60, your normal $11/day gratuity, whatever gratuity you give in cash (we did and regret it now), plus an additional gratuity for the wine steward. They tip you to death...but the service overall in the rest of the ship is worth it. The ship was immaculate...they were always cleaning it from top to bottom. They even cleaned out the individual air conditioning room vents daily!
The other wrinkle was the shore excursion we took on St. Marteen. The Go Dutch Go French shopping tour was terrible. An hour's drive in a non airconditioned bus to a cheesy mall (we passed all the good places on the way back but didn't stop for some reason), an hour to hang around in the mall -- and it was so early all the stores were closed -- and then an hour back. Beware of this tour!!!!
Other than that, we were pleased with absolutely everything. I am a vegan and the maitre d' gave me the next days menu so they could tweak recipes for me so i could eat. And the food was delicious. Portions were too small (laughably small, actually) the first few days and then for some reason they got bigger. But breakfast and lunch are eating orgies anyway, so maybe by dinner everyone is full.
The alcohol was dirt cheap. $4.75 for a huge frozen dacquiri or margarita, top shelf alcohol. The Chartroom was our favorite bar -- the bartenders there are great.
OH...and we paid for a C4 and were upgraded to a balcony B3 which was obstructed but it didn't matter really because the tenders were removed while we were at port so we had good viewing days there.
The planeterium is OK, worth seeing one show. The shows are....ok. Some are better than others, but they were all under an hour so that was perfect. Go see a movie...theatre is great.
The dress was pretty formal every night. Most people dressed up for dinner...but it was fun! I wore a sarong to the pool, which was fine.
I'll try to write more later, and I'm happy to answer any questions anyone has.