After flying in to San Jose, CR we stayed overnight at Apartotel La Sabana (very nice/good value) and toured across CR with a tour that we had arranged with 3 other couples through Odyssey Tours (very nice). Got a great view of Poas volcano, lunch at Freddo Fresas (great place) and stopped at La Paz Gardens (OK). We boarded the Journey in Puerto Caldera. The boarding experience was routine. We very much enjoyed the small ship experience. Some of the ports visited were not the usual popular ones, but were a pleasant change. We took a great private tour from the Porto Quetzel Guatemala stop to Antigua, where we took the Elizabeth Bell Tour. Well worth the ride to get there.
The AzAmazing Evening was OK, but really needed some narration or written interpretation of their dance. There was plenty or food/drink, but we were way in the back so could not see very well. The regular evening entertainment on the ship was quite good. We especially enjoyed Erik, the Cruise Director, who also either performed or had a good joke about his "grandfather".
The newly refurbished ship still needed some tweaking, but all in all it was fine. The new common spaces were delightful. There was always plenty of comfortable seating available including around the pool. Food choices were good and we never waited for a table our group of 6 or 8. Service was always very pleasant, but could have been a little more efficient at times.
Discharge at LA was very quick and efficient. All in all, we would recommend the small ship experience if the premium over, say Celebrity, is not too great.
Our cabin was 7025. It was adequate. Bedding was excellent. Cabin only had one comfortable chair. Many rooms had a love seat, but this was an adjoining room so probably limited space due to the adjoining door. The shower size was small. We found it adequate but we are small. The room needed some punch list items completed, which we reported and they mostly repaired. The ship probably needed another week in dry dock. Laundry room was not in service since we heard that the new equipment was too tall to allow fire sprinkler system to operate properly. People who asked received free laundry service.
Tour to get to ship from San Jose to Caldera. Stops at Poas Volcano, Freddo Fresas for lunch, La Paz Gardens. God vehicle & guide. Perfect day to view Poas without clouds. Great lunch at Freddo Fresas. La Paz Gardends were OK.
Other passenger arranged transportation to Antigua with Antigua Tours/Elizabeth Bell.
Transportation was good and we saw one of the volcanoes spewing smoke/ash on the way to Antigua. Elizabeth Bell gave a great tour of the town. She is an American who has lived there since childhood, maybe 40 years. This excursion was well worth the time to get there and the cost, although a long ride (1-1/4 hrs each way). Had lunch in the restaurant in the building where she has her office. Very good and reasonable. Could have spent more time in this ancient city.
Cervando was our guide. A very good comprehensive tour of the area. Well worth it.
Saw lots of whales in a very large Zodiac type boat. Very stable with about seating for about 15 people. good narration. Recommend.
Did not take an excursion. Won't let me save my reviews without typing here.