Well some how I managed to get all the way on the cruise ship with my laptop but not the charging cord. So this will have to be quick from now on. Instead of composing off line, editing and a quick upload, I have to compose on line. Sorry for the typos and errors, I’ll have to got back when I return and make more corrections. Internet time is expensive, so I want to get the most for my money, $29 for an hour.
First I want to update my grade for check in process from a B to a C. I talked to several people who had to stand in line for 2 hours to make it through security and check in. Two reasons, Port of Tampa is small and they had many new people doing the check in. Even people who came after their staggered check in time had to wait, which is unusual.
Sunday was our first full day, and it went very well. We had a nice hot breakfast in the buffet, and then held our Catholic service in absences of priest, then had a sit down breakfast in the dining room. I just had some yogurt and fruit in the buffet and then smoked salmon in the dining room. Service was very good in dining room for this breakfast with an attentive waiter.
We had such a nice experience we decided to go to the dining room again for lunch. The poor waiter who had our table was in the weeds, perhaps with the host staff seating too many people in his area, so one of the officers, who had probably been a waiter at some point in his carreer, stepped up and served lunch to our table. He was did a fine job, and though we had to wait a while before someone realized that we needed to be waited on, it speaks well that the need was recognized and addressed.
Sunday was also formal night, with about 50% of the guest dressing up per the dress code. About 40% were nice casual but not with-in the letter of the dress code an about 10% were totally casual. All types of dress were admitted to the main dining room.
Lots of choices for dinner. I enjoyed a nice lobster bisque and some ravioli. Portions are small, but when you are having 4 or 5 coursces, it seems more appropriate than the large sizes we get at home and then have to stuggle to finish or take home in a box. Our dinner service has been excellent with a very professional and friendly waiter.
Monday was our first port day, Roatan Honduras. About 12 of us went on an excursion at the West Bay Canopy Tour (Will have to double check the name) for either and Eco Walk or Zip Line experience. A complete review will follow my return home with guest comments and pictures, but I will say here that everyone really enjoyed the experience, though there were lots of stairs involved, which was a challenge for many of the seniors. We then had about an hour at a beach club in West Bay. Half the group requested to skip the beach, and the driver graciously took them back to the ship. Then he returned an hour later to take the beach goers to the ship.
Back on board the ship we enjoyed the casual eveing with the welcome back party. There are something in the range of 600-800 returning passengers, which speaks well of the customer loyalty.
Officers were very friendly and I had a nice time meeting them and telling them that I was glad to be on my first Royal Caribbean cruise as a Diamond Guest, and they figured out “Oh, you’ve cruised with Celebrity haven’t you?”
And one final note, a big difference between brands is the wine service. No wine steward to be found, and when I ordered a pino noire to go with my Beef Burgandy, it did not come in a proper bowl shaped glass, but instead just a generic wine glass. A minor difference, and one that would not matter to non-wine people, but I was hoping to at least be able to the proper shaped glass.
Service has been so attentive and friendly that the staff is obviously well trained, but the little things like that are what differentiate the two brands.
More to come tomorrow, we are geting ready to start tendering to Belize City and got see Mayan ruins today.