We did not choose this cruise for ourselves. Our cruise-loving family chose it for us, then they cancelled at the last minute. We are so glad to have gone anyway!
We were probably the youngest people on the boat who weren't there with their parents or grandparents, and given that DH is a happy introvert, it was for the best. I was able to be my social butterfly self with all the other passengers and he was perfectly happy to sit off on his own. At the same time he got a chance to actually engage with our tablemates and other passengers in a meaningful way if he chose. LOVE this ship!
We were on a port-intensive, 14-day Cruise through the Southern Caribbean. Four of our ports were accessed by tender, and one of them was just too choppy for me to head out on.
My knee failed me on the third island, and the response was absolutely fantastic. I've never had to use ships medical before, but the team on our ship was attentive, and thorough. Thanks to the ease of navigating around the ship, and the next few ports, I was able to do everything I originally planned on doing while on crutches. It was amazing!!!!
The entertainment staff on this ship does dual duty as both the Cruise Director's staff and the singers and dancers, and they are fun! They put on a good show and then turn around and do some mean trivia. If you're into all of the wild bells and whistles found on so many other ships, this one doesn't have them. They have uncrowded spaces, elevators without lines, lots and lots of lounge chairs on the deck, the love boat vibe, and plenty of down time to relax.
There were two children on our cruise. They were sweet, and one was too young to notice that there was no entertainment for her. The other was well-entertained by his parents.
We said it many times on our cruise, and we'll say it here too: We're deathly afraid we've spoiled ourselves for the future cruises because we really enjoyed the small ship so much.
This was a porthole cabin, and experienced very little motion during the particularly nasty moments on the Atlantic. DH got seasick, so the lower we were in the ship, the better. He dove for cover a couple of nights during the evening entertainment. We had plenty of space for all of our things, our clothes were easy to wash in the sink and hang on the clothesline in the shower.
I did not like the shower, at all. It ran hot and cold without me touching the controls. We showered at the spa. Thankfully it was only five minutes from our room. Oh wait. Everything was five minutes from our room.
The mattress was divine, and air temperature in the room was always comfortable. The porthole rooms have a nifty shelf in front of the porthole that can be used if you choose. I really loved the room, and as long as we had a little bit of outside light, we were happy.
St. Barth's really doesn't like cruise ships. People are nice enough, but we really aren't their primary market. The island is SUPER expensive, and super trendy. I bought a swimsuit here because I needed one, and it fits better than anything I've ever owned in my life, and also cost more than a couple of my evening gowns did.
We were there on Christmas Day and the streets were nearly empty. The shops opened for a couple of hours and the restaurants on the way to Shell Beach were open. That was about it. Quiet and sleepy described the day. We went to Shell Beach and it was underwhelming, crowded, expensive, and not really all that worthwhile to us.
Back that the ship, I had a wonderful time "yacht-spotting" by finding all of the owners of all of the superyachts docked in the harbour and figuring out who was in St. Bart's already for NYE. It was a rather amusing way to pass the time.
Stingray City was cool!!!! We loved the snorkeling and stingrays to play with. The tour of the island was fascinating and well narrated.View All 194 Island Tour Reviews
Plan on renting a golf cart or e-bike if you want to go anywhere here. Any of the beaches require pretty difficult navigation on foot from the road, and should not be attempted by people with bad knees. I have them.
My knee dropped me in a doorway after we had walked all the way up and down the hill to the trailhead to Pain de Sucre. The island's medical team got me to the tender and the ship got me back aboard. I was grateful for their tremendous hospitality and the lovely shopkeeper at the Sucreier who called them for me. The island is beautiful and wild. Enjoy.
See above.View All 5 Fort-de-France Reviews
Martinique is very built up, and has a lovely infrastructure. We were able to get any number of provisions we needed right within walking distance of the cruise ship dock. We needed pain meds and a knee sock. We found both easily.
The tour was wonderful and covered lots of really great history. They took us through the rainforest, the ruins, the volcanology museum, and Fort De France. I loved it!View All 29 Rum Distillery Reviews
We booked with Viator and Glory Tours. They had a bit of a communication error related to when the tour was to start, and then wanted to hold us at the port until the last couple off of the late cruise ship arrived. We got our "included" drink in the way to the beach chairs before snorkeling, which wasn't really what I had in mind.
The snorkeling tour was fantastic. They did a great job and we got some fun time with the turtles and the shipwreck. They also did a good job with my husband as his snorkel wasn't working right. They managed to calm him down and get him comfy without his snorkel.
Once we returned, the beach was perfectly lovely but my husband and I discovered that he and are not beach-sitters. We headed back via cab at 1:30. Our cab driver told the Glory Tours people that we were headed back, but apparently they didn't relay the message to our driver and he was looking for us.View All 38 Shipwreck Snorkel Reviews
We were going to walk to Princess Margaret Beach, but there was one stretch of walkway that was treacherous and slick, so we turned back. Apparently we also wouldn't have fared well on the stairs and walkway to the beach itself given the earlier knee injury.
We turned back and ate lunch at the Frangipani Cafe, which would have been fine if it hadn't taken two hours to eat lunch. We sat down and waited for menus... then waited for someone to come take our order... then waited. and waited. and waited for food. Finally we went to ask about it and were informed that it was coming right out - the cook had been called off to the gallery next door. Um...
The island itself was quaint and special. If I had more time, I'd love to take three hours for lunch and meander the island. That simply wasn't in the cards.
Our snorkel tour took off from right down the walkway from the cruise ship. SO perfect! They took us out to the Champagne Reef and we snorkeled like crazy for two hours or so. Lots of things to see and fun experience all the way around.
On the way back, a bunch of friendly dolphins joined our boat for bow-surfing so they did some circles in that little bay and played with them. Totally memorable experience!!!View All 38 Snorkeling Reviews
SUPER choppy water that day. Apparently the island has been pretty ravaged by hurricanes and Britain hasn't done anything to help them. Spanishtown is pretty much nonexistent and the Baths were hard to get to and underwhelming. I couldn't get onto the tender because of my knee and the water, but everyone said I didn't miss much.