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From the moment you step on board you feel relaxed with the knowledge that everything has been well organised. The ship is easy to navigate and the balcony staterooms furnished and serviced to a high standard. The food on board is excellent with a varied menu and lots of choice. The brunch is not to be missed. The shore excursions were also well organised with the arrangements for disembarkation in the various ports speedy and stress free.
The theatre shows and other entertainment on board was above average.
We are just back to freezing Ireland from the Caribbean. Here's a report as promised.
Firstly; American airlines are an excellent company and their seats quite roomy and their food hot and acceptable. Going through Philly was probably foolish. We should have gone aer Lingus Dublin to Orlando - even if we had stayed in Orlando area. apparently there is an efficient train service between Orlando and the port cities. That was our decision and we enjoyed Ft Lauderdale - definitely how the other half used to live. those big yachts and fancy houses are available at knockdown prices all over the place.
Hilton Marina was a lovely hotel. great pool area and a good bedroom - not huge but acceptable. We were in the east wing and had a good view of the waterways. however in some of the rooms your view would be completely blocked by the 2 monstrosities of boats parked outside the windows. Pegasus 2 in particular could be a problem. Advise was to avoid breakfasts there. Yes it was expensive but first class and great service. The general ambience of the hotel was a bit cold and bar food was ridiculous. The water taxi stops in the hotel grounds - a big plus.They have a free bus to the beach but we walked it over the bridge and back - about 3/4 hour to the end of the beach area.
The cruise was excellent. Some days were rough and most days were choppy. We had a lot of cloudy days and even wet days. however we were still in shorts and tee shirts. I would probably go a little later in future although those experienced cruisers say one can get wet weather any time of the year. Food and service excellent. The formal nights were confusing. They certainly turned away those in casual wear but the men varied from full dress suit with dickey bow to casual suits withy open neck shirts. Women were either over dressed looking or just in their usual dinner wear.
We had a slow boarding of the ship as there was extra checks on it due to it having crossed the Atlantic and due to the situation with the Carnival ship that lost all its power the previous week. When our ship was powered down it wouldn't power up the computers for awhile so we all roasted in the terminal. But no one complained - obviously very few Irish about!