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We got to Miami the evening before we cruised, and found that the weather there was about the same as in Philly when we left. WE had a nice evening at Bayside, and went to sleep pretty early.
We arrived at the pier about 11AM and there was already a small line there. After about a 5 minute wait, the line moved and we were on the ship about 11:45. This was our first time on a Voyager Class ship, and when you finally get on-board, the Promanade is quite impressive. After dropping off our carry-ons, we went up top to survey the area. The EOS is a BIG ship. As far as we were concerned, she is quite beautiful and is holding up very well.
We had all of our breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer, and for the most part, the food was very good. The only problem we found that on a couple of occasions the food at breakfast could have been warmer. Other than that, the food was quite tasty, and there was enough variety for us. The first morning of the cruise, we had trouble finding a table, but never had that problem the rest of the cruise. Dinner was in the Columbus Dining Room and was excellent every night. We were quite fortunate to be sitting with 3 other couples that were all great. This was without doubt, the best dinner companions we ever had on a cruise. Our waiter, assistant waiter, and Asst. Head Waiter were all excellent. We could not find one thing to complain about.
There were lots of them. All were well behaved as far as I can tell. There were quite a few children on the cruise for being in April, but there was never a problem with unruliness. There were lines for many things, and everybody was quite well behaved in line (if you ask my wife, she'll probably tell you that everyone was well-behaved except for me). As is the usual, there were lots of chair hogs.
First stop was Belize. We did a Cave Tubing excursion there and had a good time. Being the end of the dry season, the river was a little low, but still had a good time. The country is pretty, but poor. THere doesn't seem to be too much to do there. You have to be tendered in from quite a ways out at sea. Luckily, the waters were nice and calm.
Next stop was Costa Maya. This is actually a port built for cruise ships, and is a work in progress. Not much there at all. We went to a Mayan ruins as our excursion. The tour was good, but it was very hot that day. The tour guide was very knowlegable about the Mayan people and gave us lots of facts.
Cozumel was next. We snorkelled there and went to a private beach where we just relaxed in a hammock. The snorkelling was very good there. Lots of colorful fish. The water was pretty rough where we were snorkelling and some people were afraid to get off the boat. Since the tour included an open bar (beer and Margaritas) noone seemed to care much. The alcohol really flowed on the way bak to the ship. Good shopping in Cozumel. This is a place to use your bargaining skills, and we did get some decent deals (at least that's what we think). The major problem there was that there were 9 ships in port that day, so everything ws quite crowded.
The last port was Grand Cayman. This is another tendered port, but the ship anchors much closer to the dock than in Belize. Unfortunately, the water was very rough and it was quite windy. Our excursion was supposed to be a Stingray City Swim & Snorkel. When we got to the dock, they told us that there was a strong swimmer alert, and you could cancel if you were not a strong swimmer. My wife is not a very strong swimmer, so we did cancel. We opted to tour the island instead. Hurricane Ivan last year really devistated the island. Most things were not opened yet and the trees around the island were mostly blown away. They say it will take 2-3 years to get back to normal. The shopping around the docks were all opened and we spent some time there.
Beautiful ship. Pretty well maintained. The crew all seem happy to be on board the EOS, and that translates to great service. The Captain was at quite a few of the special events, and had a great sense of humor (I wonder who was driving the ship). The entertainment was just so-so, but the ice show was tremendous. It does make for a unique shipboard experience. As all of the cruise lines do these days, there was lots of nickel and diming. The overhead announcements were not nearly as bad as some of the other cruise lines.
Over all, a very good cruise, and would recommend it to all. After reading bad reviews of RCCL, we were pleasantly surprised that we found non of the problems other people found. We would do RCCL again in the drop of a hat.