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Feb. 3rd 2005 3:30 a.m. Time to rise and shine and make our way to the airport. Myself<38> hubby<41>son<18>daughter<7>. The flights were uneventful flying American out of Bangor Maine. We arrived at 10:45 a.m. in Miami got our luggage and proceeded to get the shuttle to Alamo to pick-up the van for our 2 night pre-cruise stay at the Fontainbleu Hilton. When we arrived the line was long and many were complaining as they have many computers and no employees to service you. We were however warm and happy to be in Florida. We proceeded to the hotel Hubby is helping me write this and he reminds me how we got lost...ok very lost.
But heh we saw sights we never would have seen. The 18 year old didnt seem to mind as he was able to see the "ghetto" so to speak. We had an hour or 2 to waste anyhow. We arrived in time for check-in. I have read many reviews and was concerned about our stay at the Fontainbleu. Our TA got us a wonderful deal or we would not have stayed here.I certainly would NOT pay full price for a stay in this hotel. The room was as expected a basic hotel room nothing special. The 1st room we walked into was not satisfactory for the view so hubby called, complained and they moved us up and at least we had a decent view. All was well as how much time do you spend in your room.?. Food was excellent at the pool bar, service was great! Pool was magnificent as was the childrens play area and the boardwalk on the beach. Only complaint here was the hot tub hours was only till 6 and the childrens pool/play area closed at 5. Are children expected to sleep early on vacation??? We brought the van back to Alamo Sat. morn and waited for the shuttle to the pier. This seemed to take forever but we were still ahead of the time for boarding so no worries.
Boarding was painless altho patience was needed. As we boarded we were able to go straight to our cabin and our luggage was already there. Unpacked a bit/got organized and up we went. We had a "quad" cabin and to our suprise had "plenty" of space including closets and drawers. The shower/bathroom area had been improved greatly since we last cruised even with a handheld shower massager. Day 1 Miami to Nassau. We all went to dinner that evening as we choice late seating. We could tell right off the bat our waiter was dry and unenthusiastic. He remained this way thru-out the cruise. It was nice tho as the children never dined with us again we had a table to ourselves for the reast of the cruise. Day 2 Nassau, what a lovely suprise to walk on deck and see how they have improved the port. Altho I did miss seeing the "It's better in the Bahammas" written all over the buildings. Us girls got our hair braided and the boys roamed around. Just enough time for this as we went back to the ship and explored. We put the lil one in "Ocean Adventure" and we enjoyed some adult time. We used the program for the lil one quite a bit and as a Day Care provider myself I would say I was mildly disapointed. I really dont think there should be as much viewing of television for the children. I can see a "movie night" or here or there but it seemed to be used alot.
Altho she had ALOT of fun and they did many activities she enjoyed. More movement for the kids RCCL! We did however really appreciate this evening as it was Super Bowl Sunday! They set it up in Studio B with munchies and a good turn out. We won so no disapointment here..Day 3 at Sea...time to rest. Buckets of beer and poolside. We ended up making friends with a wonderful bartender and he made poolside fun! Son found friends by now and we hardly saw him. Casino was fun altho found it small and being non smokers that made it difficult. I was shocked there was only 1 casino on board. Either way I won alot and had fun DH and son took my winnings but Im sure they had fun also. By this time the weather was being a stinker. Sun was bright and warm but the wind got the best of us. The boat was rocking and wind was making it difficult to sit out on top deck or even walk up there.Day 4 St. Thomas. It speaks for itself a beautiful port I would love to visit again. We booked the beach taking an open bus/jeep ride there. It took alot longer to get there then was said but all in all it was worth it. A beautiful beach crowded non the less. Ive been there done that cant say as tho I would choose this again. Food and drink here were reasonable and yummy. Day 5 San Juan. Another pleasant suprise. We hads heard this was on everyones bottom of the list to visit.
We enjoyed just getting off for a few hours and doing a lil shopping. Beware tho...alot of imitation style stuff will get you!! You dont really think those $10.00 Oakleys or Ray Ban sunglasses are real do you?? Altho I was a sucker for the $20.00 Gucci bag as Hubby got himself a $25.00 rolex...okok so we will let him think it..lol..Day 6 Labbadee...If you Ever Ever get a chance to go to this island.....Just GO! Its a fabulous wonderful beautiful place. A perfect ending to a cruise. Bar b q was grand. Drinks< coco loco> yummy. Shopping fun altho the people can be rude. We won the family scavanger hunt and got ocean adventure tee shirts so we had a great time. Last day at Sea....Soak up the sun but beware of the wind. Still very VERY windy and rough.
Exhaustion set in. Preparing to come home stinks but all good things must come to an end. All in All we all had a great time. Highlights for the lil one was a circus and talent show, swimming and meeting new friends she says. 18 YO son enjoyed the casino, the girls and meeting new friends Hubbys highlights were the ports as a couple we have not been to. I agree with him. We would do these ports again BUT......not on RCCL. This was our 1st cruise with them and felt as tho it was lacking entertainment, excitement, energy, laughs and fun. I would however tell people to take this cruise if you are older or with small children. We prefer a more rowdy bunch so Carnival here we come. We lacked "great" service thru-out.
Shorted our Waiter a lil and gave it to the Assistant waiter as he did ALOT more work and spoke with us more often. We tipped many extras whom did make our vacation a lil more special as it should be. Chair hogs are chair hogs! Why bother grumping about it along with the trying to buffet serve 2500 people. We did feel as tho we had to"safe guard" the towels. Is there really a need to do this on RCCL?? The "Quest" is a MUST!! Pizza was awesome! Ports of call ...Awesome...Cruise Review for $30.00 a 25 minute dvd I did buy only because my daughter was in it. All week and only 25 minutes??? Customs went smooth as we were 1st called. Flight home...well yanno how that is.
Who really wants to go home no matter how bad the food or service was. P.S. hubby says........Was that really coffee they were serving?? ...Feel free to mail or ask us anything..By the Way..did I mention the ship was stunning! Johnny Rockets..can say I finially had a burger there..yeah been there done that no need to do it again...final note....Any day cruising is better then a day here in the cold........"Cheers as I mix a drink with my carribean rum" :-)