Hope you had a wonderful sailing. Is she as beautiful as she looks? I'm staying mid-ship, balcony on Deck 8. Have sailed the GRANDEUR (with balcony) and it has been heaven. Ports of call, what's the best beach wise? Tell all.
Share your experience. Are there a lot of good actvities? Whats the median age? I'm looking into booking a cruise on this ship & am hoping theres enough to do for a bunch of people in their late 20's early 30's. Details, details!
Sorry for the delay in replying. I was not online for a few days.
We had a mid-ship interior cabin, which suited our purposes. However, my parents had a room with a balcony and thoroughly enjoyed it. For the rather small difference in money, I would upgrade to the deluxe balcony room. Their standard balcony room was very tight.
The ship really is beautiful. Lots of wood detailing everywhere, even in the cabins hallways. I thought this ship had a much richer look than the Voyager-class ships.
And there is lots of artwork. Some of it a bit odd in my opinion, but interesting nonetheless. There is lots of glass giving you great views. I really liked the elevators that looked out over the water. Quite a pretty view.
I am not sure about the 3 card poker.
What kind of activities are you looking for?? All of the typical cruise-ship activities are available. If you like working out, they have a very nice gym -- well-equipped. The median age was old, although there were quite a few younger people. But keep in mind that I was on a Canada cruise. The Caribbean itinerary will definitely attract a younger crowd.
Someone also asked about ports of call, but I am assuming you are referring to the Southern Caribbean itinerary, not the New England/Canada itinerary we were on with Serenade. However, I did the Southern Caribbean itinerary earlier this year on Adventure and would be glad to provide some input...
St. Thomas - Magen's is a beautiful beach. Coki is great for snorkeling. However, I highly recommend taking a ferry over to St. John for the day. Absolutely beautiful and definitely my favorite island in the Caribbean. Usually my husband and I vacation there. Some nice beaches on St. John that are easily accessible from town: Trunk, Cinnamon and our favorite, Honeymoon. It is much smaller than the other two, but very pretty, intimate and has very good snorkeling.
St. Maarten/St. Martin - Orient Beach is beautiful, but keep in mind that it is clothing-optional. You can rent chairs and umbrellas, which kind of gives it a French Riviera feel to it. We rented a car and drove around the island, but did not get a chance to check out any other beaches.
Antigua - I don't recall the name of the beach, but we spent the day at the Sandals there. It was a great deal compared to the excursions.. We got a day pass and had full rights to the place: food, drinks, watersports. We loved it. Very nice beach. But overall did not like the island.
St. Lucia - This island does not have the best beaches. We did not do this, but a 4X4 jeep tour of the island is supposed to be great. Or a catamaran ride to the Pitons.
Barbados - beautiful island. Very nice beaches. We did the 5 Star Catamaran cruise through the cruise ship and had a great time. Only disappointment is that part of the trip involved snorkeling with turtles and the water was very cloudy (apparently unusual around there -- usually very clear) and not many people got to see the turtles clearly. I did, luckly. Also stopped at a pretty beach. And provided a very nice lunch/open bar.
Also, the Solarium was BEAUTIFUL on this ship. It had a Bali theme to it. Lots of tropical plants. Waterfalls. They had the retractable roof closed, so it was warm in there the whole week -- which was a good thing given our Northern itinerary!
One more thing re: activities:
The ship has these unbelievable pool tables in the Safari Club. They are called "gyro tables" and they regulate themselves at the speed of light. So when the ship is moving you can see the tables moving almost constantly but the pool balls do not budge. Really amazing!
Thank you for the input. My husband and I have an superior ocean view room, my daughter and her friend have an inside room.
As for your breakdown of excursions and beaches, thank you, I have heard a lot of nice things about St. John but I have to tell you St. Lucia is one of our favorite islands in the caribbean.
thanks for your info and if you can think of anything else please let us know.
I have only spoken to (via e-mail) one other couple who is traveling the same date as us and when I look at different sites in reference to cruising, actually to compare prices, I see that our trip is looking close to sold out.
Any tips about anything, tipping, food, bars, stuff that is on the ship let me know.
I was curious if you did any of the shore excurisions on the Canada cruise. I will be leaving on the 15th to Nova Scotia, Halifax, St. John. Would you recommend any of the shore excurisions or are they not worth the money? Thanks!
We were on the 9/1 sailing to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick. We had beautiful weather in Halifax, took a rickshaw for 2 1/2 hours in the morning. That's how a bunch of college students make money during the tourist season. We went all over town, and it was very interesting. $40.00 per person plus a tip, and the young man was very interesting and also very strong.
We took an excursion to Peggy's Cove in the afternoon, and booked that through the cruise line. Some people rented cars, as that was a bit more reasonable. We didn't feel like driving though.
We took a horse drawn carriage ride in a wagon with about 8 other people in Saint John, where it was drizzling and raining. Very nice also.
The ship is beautiful, and laid out very well. Never once got lost!
They do NOT have 3 card poker, as my husband was looking for that as well.
Hope that this answered some of your questions.
Happy Cruising, Ginnie
Julie...thanks so much for all the info. Especially the extra info on the Adventure ship since that was also one of the other ships I was looking into. Can you tell me what the median age on that ship is? You see...every now & then I get reminded by my friends of a Princess cruise I booked where there were a lot of older cruisers with activities (shows,clubs, bars, music) geared towards the older crowd. There was no lido deck festivities at night & everyone seemed to turn in by 9 or 10. I'd appreciate any extra input. Thanks in advance.
Will be cruising October 13 on Serenade - five day with ports at Bar Harbor and Halifax - after spending a few days in NY first. Thanks for all the wonderful information on this ship - I'm getting very anxious for my first cruise. Have a guaranteed balcony room, but hoping to get upgraded to deluxe. Has anyone had any luck with upgrades? Any recommendations on excursions at Bar Harbor?
For Bar Harbor, I think some sort of excursion involving Acadia National Park is a must.
My husband and I rented bikes and rode around part of the park. The park is very large. It would take days to see most of it. I have to say though that the biking is not easy.
There are also bus and car tours of the park. And the view from the top of Cadillac Mountain is supposed to be great.
There is a great spot in Acadia that I must share. It's called the Jordan Pond House. It is an indoor/outdoor restaurant on a hill overlooking Jordan Pond (which is more like a lake). Beautiful view. The menu looked great -- unfortunately, we did not get to have lunch there because the wait was too long. They serve popovers with all of the meals.
I think you can also do afternoon tea there.
FYI: Bar Harbor has free buses that take you all around Bar Harbor and Acadia. They are to encourage people to not use their cars and to help the environment. Great idea.