First a little background, I am a 49 year old male living in NY. My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary with this cruise. This is our third cruise, the first without the kids! We were on Explorer of the Seas in 2007, NCLís Dawn in 2008, both out of the local NY/NJ ports. This was our 1st cruise where we had to fly to port.
We flew into Fort Lauderdale on Thursday October 1, 2009 in the afternoon and stayed with friends overnight. Our friend drove us to the Miami port, we arrived at 10:15am Friday morning. There was a wedding getting ready to board, and the chaos combined with the happiness helped to pass the time. At 11:00 we were allowed through customs, and at 11:30 started to board the ship. By 12:05 we were poolside with drinks in hand. The windjammer was scheduled to open @ noon, but didnít open until 12:20. This is just an observation, not a complaint we were quite content poolside (did I mention we had drinks in hand?). The rooms were ready by 1:00 as stated, and the last of our luggage was in the room by 2:15. We had a Junior Suite, which is comparable to a balcony room on the bigger ships, although there was a full size tub! We spoke with the assistant Maitreíd at the main dining room regarding my wifeís gluten free diet. They were very accommodating and she picked out her meal for the evening.
Muster Drill at 4:15. Deck 7, no life jackets. I had read a lot of the posts about the muster drills and so we were in no rush to get there early. Well, we were trying to get there on time but wound up 6 minutes late. The drill only lasts about 8 minutes.
We left Miami promptly at 5pm. The casino opened at 5:40. Dinner was great, the gluten free meal (chicken and a baked potato) was good, and the service was good.
Saturday the boat was moored at Co-Co Cay, we stayed onboard, and chilled, sunbathing and I went to the fitness center (yes Iím one of those that exercise when Iím on vacation). The equipment was good, but no elliptical machines due to the low ceiling. Breakfast at the main dining room, my wifeís G/F pancakes came out right away, my omelet took a very long time and then it was wrong! The waiter was very apologetic. Lunch at the Windjammer because the main dining room was closed. Our headwaiter had preordered my wifeís lunch. Her lunch arrived before I was back from the buffet!
Sunday Nassau, we went to Atlantis ($4.00 cab ride pp each way, minimum of 4 people) we had honeymooned there when it was Merv Griffins Resort so it was very interesting to see what it had evolved into. Back on ship we tried out the rock wall, had a blast!
The stateroom attendant was good, but he never seemed to learn our names. Iím sure it tough working a ship that is on a 3 and 4 day rotation, but Iíve always been impressed when the staff seems to know your name on the 1st day.
Getting off was a breeze. When going from Miami port to Miami Airport, the best way seems to be a taxi. They charge $24.00 per carload and I saw that there were a lot of minivan taxis. The cab driver told us that a cab to Fort Lauderdale Airport would have been between $65 + $70. The customs line at the airport was about 45 minutes, so leave yourself plenty of time.
We had a great time and would recommend this cruise to anyone looking for a long weekend getaway. Life is Good! Hope this isnít too long.
RCCL Explorer of the Seas 2007 Bermuda
NCL Dawn 2008 Bermuda
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 2009 Bahamas