Just back of Equinox July 9th Eastern Review
Upon arriving at the port about 9.15am we parked at the terminal parking which was very easy and hassle free. I know it is a little/lot more expensive but the convenience of being able to walk off the boat and be in your car at 7.15-7.20am upon embarkation made it worth it. It was also easy to find a porter despite all the people milling around from the previous cruise. We were ready to go through security at 9.45 but they didn't open security until 10am. However when we did we were through check in and had our sea pass cards by 10.05. We were then made sit in line until they opened the boat at 11am. Suites, aqua and concierge boarded first but we were on board by 11.15am with a glass of mimosa in hand
The ship is spectacular and very well maintained. We had lunch in the Oceanview cafe which throughout the entire cruise had a wide variety of delicious food. We had a class 2C cabin 6287. Staterooms were ready shortly after 1pm and our luggage was waiting for us when we got to our room which was amazing. This cabin on the port side is behind the last of the life boats so there is very little obstructed view but on the border of where the aft juts out at the back of the boat and there is a ladder just beyond the veranda. However, on port days they sometimes to maintenance right outside the cabin and if you are inside you can hear banging from the maintenance. There is no noise at night and overall I would definitely book this cabin again.
Our classic alcohol package was available for use as soon as we got on board. We found it to be perfectly ok for our needs with the exception of a few martinis in the martini bar one night and some craft beers from the gastro bar. However, the difference in price was between $1 and $3 each time. We did sail away from the sunset bar and the view as we left Miami was amazing but it is crowded up there. Our prime hangout on deck was mainly the mast bar.
Food and service was spectacular in the dining room. There is amazing different butters on the table every night. Even though we had select dining, I had made reservations long before the cruise for the same time every night and we had the same waiter, assistant and sommelier every night. We ate there every evening but one, when we ate in Murano. Murano was an experience onto itself and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We did room service twice for breakfast and that was relaxing as they brought our tray onto the veranda. Cafe al Bacio coffees were to die for and a staple throughout the cruise.
As for the ports, we just wandered around San Juan and bought a few knick knacks. We didn't spend long off the boat. In St Thomas, we booked the Champagne Catamaran cruise through Celebrity. This was amazing. We took a catamaran over to Honeymoon Bay on St John where we then snorkeled to get to the beach. I saw Rays and eels on the reef. Then after about an hour back to the cat, where we sailed back to the marina at a leisurely pace while being plied with rum/champagne punch and cheeses. Very relaxing and amazing experience. In St Maarten, we took the water taxi over to Philipsburg and rented to chairs and umbrellas for $20 in front of the Boardwalk restaurant/bar Lizzies. They had buckets of beer for $10 and the best jerk chicken ever. What was disconcerting about sitting on the beach was the amount of people looking to give you a massage or sell you something but after a while they kind of go away.
Entertainment was very good. We enjoyed the comedians and the broadway singers but usually dined at a time where we missed both of the 7 and 9pm production shows. I loved Rich Spacey the cruise director and his assistant Liam. Every morning during his announcements he would have a funny anecdote or saying. Then he would finish up by saying.."And another thing. I love you". It was quirky and funny.
My one negative experience on the cruise was on the last day when I went up to the pool deck on my own and after wondering around for a while I saw a lounger with just towels on it. I sat down and was there for about 20 minutes when some younger girl in her twenties told me I was in her seat and I had to get up. I said I was sorry but there was nothing to indicate it was her seat other than the towels. Her mother and another mother/daughter combo came over and started yelling at me telling me I was in the wrong. I didn't want to be spoken to in that manner so I told them to go get security and the pool butler. The girl went to talk to them while the mother proceeded to sit on my leg, flick her hair at me and tell me what an a**hole and bad person I was and called me other names both to my face and behind my back. Thankfully I didn't lose my cool. Security and the pool butler didn't make me move either which only served to piss them off more. Eventually they found 1-2 extra chairs somewhere else but I was told in no uncertain terms that if I moved my book and bag would be going in the pool. I waited for a while, continued to read and then moved after asking if my stuff was safe. I went straight to security and told them how I was harassed and assaulted and they helped find me another chair and told me to report the incident to guest relations which I did later in the day. However, they did nothing to address the bad behavior of the women who ganged up on me. Security hadn't even made an official report of the incident which obviously irritated the girl at guest relations. Moral of the story....beware of chair hogs who don't realize that if you move (at least for a long time) you lose!!!
I did see plenty of kids on board but they were very well behaved and it made us miss our own. We asked about young teen as well as 6-8 year old activities and were given a lot of information. Initially we were worried that there wouldn't be enough activities for them but seeing very happy children with the kids staff we were moved to book a christmas 2018 family cruise on the Infinity.
Ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer.