The entertainment was fantastic (especially B B King Blues Club Band, Island Magic Steel Band and Dancing With the Stars) as was all the food.
Staff was always smiling, always helpful. I found the signage on the ship and the layout made it very easy to find our way around. To my taste this ship is just the right size, not too big, not too small and it looks like a ship, not like a floating box with amusement park/shopping mall interior.
The veranda stateroom was great to have- well designed with lots of storage, comfortable beds and was worth the upgrade.
The Pinnacle Grill dinner was delicious as was every meal we ate on the ship and "as you like" dining is more relaxing. Even though we never made reservations we never had to wait for a table. The beverage packages were nice to have as well-Mango Mojitos and Margaritas oh my!
Grand Turk was lots of fun as we took our own snorkel equipment with us and took underwater video and shots with iPhone. Half Moon Cay was beautiful. I hope Carnival Corp. doesn't develop it any more in the future than they have to this point. St Thomas Megan's Bay beach (our only purchased excursion with HAL), was overcrowded but okay. We didn't go downtown to shop and opted to just check out the shops at Crown Bay where we docked. I miss the old days when ships docked right near town and it was less crowded. In Puerto Rico we walked around Old San Juan and did some shopping. On HAL's recommendation we ate at Casa Cortez Chocobar on Calle San Francisco. Who would think a little cheddar cheese in hot chocolate could be so delicious-yum!
Half Moon Cay
Riverside Hotel on Las Olas is a great location! Thank you for the recommendation. We were able to check in when we got there in the morning and then took Carrie B boat ride tour that day after first having to take a cab to the Galleria Mall to buy new luggage after one of our pieces fell apart at the wheels at Cleveland Hopkins. We ended up being up for 33 hours that day after leaving for CLE at 3am.. It was a long day but we still had fun. Riverside is a nice hotel and the location was great but they seriously need better lighting throughout. Rooms, bathroom, restaurant are all dimly lit. I requested a better room for the second night's stay 1/10. It was a much larger room in the tower with a nice view of the river, nicer but still had poor lighting. I would stay there again, though, because of the location.
Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze, very organized and relaxed. Flights were on time and no lost luggage so all good there as well.
I have to say this was overall one of the best cruises I have take in recent years and this was my 15th cruise (12th cruise line). My first cruise was in 1969 on the RMS Franconia/ Cunard Line and I also cruised on the SS Nieuw Amsterdam in 1970 and QE2 the same trip returning to the US from Great Britain, along with various other cruise ships over the years. This was E's second cruise (first one was Royal Caribbean) and E enjoyed this ship as much as I did.
I thank all of you- Todd, Mustafa and staff at Palmer Travel who helped make this a very enjoyable and memorable vacation for us. I am grateful for your knowledgeable help and great personal service over the years.