I chose this cruise because I was looking for an inexpensive cruise option for first time cruise passengers as an Early Mother's Day gift for my mother and myself. Found the deal on Groupon for $249 for 2 with an "all inclusive stay aboard with an oceanview cabin room". After I did more research and found out about the governmental taxes and the gratuities and did my calculations which made it a little over $400, I was still on board. Made the purchase, contacted groupon to figure out how to redeem and book the cruise. After doing that, I was ready to go and very excited.
Fast forward to our cruise date: my mother doesn't fly on planes but we don't live too far away to drive so I didn't mind driving the 13 hours to arrive at the port. We get there, its beautiful and were ready to board and maybe get back off until we actually set sail and look around palm beach right? No.
We get waived into overnight parking and immediately get herded in like cattle. Rushed to the point that both of us were irritated and shouting "we've never done this before!" We were bewildered and just following the herding procedure they forced upon us. After getting inside and getting ready to go thru the metal detector and bag xray area, a ship employee in plain clothes who was apparently running late screams at me and my mother to put our bags on the conveyor belt and by this point my excitement was gone and I had had enough. After a stern look to the employee I apologized and asked if she wanted to go ahead. She said no smiled uncomfortably and asked us to put our bags on the conveyor belt again. We slammed our things thru and passed security and got upstairs to check in and receive our boarding pass card things. The attendant at the counter upstairs was a delight and very friendly and she eased our minds. We thought maybe we were just on edge from traveling and started to dismiss the rudeness from downstairs. After we received our room keys we went to board the ship and got harrassed at the hallway before the door about excursions, add on packages for alcohol, dining packages, photo packages, spa packages all very much priced out of our budget with an additional 18% gratuity.
Oh and not to mention it says ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE that we HAVE to have a card on file for them to charge if we want something while on the ship that automatically puts a $100 hold on...oh and this card? This is the one that the initial $13.95 per person/per night gratuities are taken from. Not when you pay for the cruise, which makes absolutely no sense. I don't have a credit card. My mother had to put her credit card on file or we were not going to be allowed to board the ship.
Once we board the ship we are told that the state rooms will NOT BE READY until 2pm and it was just now 11:30am. All I wanted to do was eat something and take a nap and allow myself to regroup and enjoy this experience which sucked so far. Were asked to go to the top deck where we are allowed to smoke cigarettes and purchase alcohol or we can go to the buffet area and get something to eat while we wait on our room. We go to the buffet which was ok, not the best but I have certainly seen worse at restaurants on land so I wasn't too disappointed. There were a lot of options available for picky eaters like myself. We sat down to eat and are asked in the 45 minute time frame that we are in the buffet area a total of 13 times all by different server/attendant people if we wanted to buy a $17 plastic cup that came with 2 alcoholic drinks of our choice. We declined so much that it was almost as if we were swatting them away like mosquitoes. They told us at 1pm that our rooms were ready so we made our way upstairs and only 1 of our 3 bags was in our room. The other 2 bags had mine and my mother's prescriptions as well as other important personal items and toiletries as well as most of our clothing and other items in them. We waited for about 30 minutes for the other bags to arrive and when they didn't, I stepped out and found and attendant who was bringing bags upstairs and I located our bags and brought them to our room. I changed clothes and fell asleep.
When i woke up, there was a blaring intercom announcement with an extremely thick accent that we couldn't understand telling us to go to a room for a safety demonstration. It took about 45 minutes of more extremely thick accents and life vest demonstration before I could return to my room. I went back to my room and went back to nap.
When I woke up it was raining and it never stopped. The entire time. Even when we arrived in the Bahamas, nothing. But. RAIN. All we were able to do was make 1 trip to the duty free shops and after going to a second souvenir type gift shop in the duty free area and the attendant argued about the price tag that was on the item and then refused us service. All we did was eat and sleep. The formal dining experience was lovely. Our waiters there were awesome. Food was wonderful. Live music was pretty good given that we didn't have many other choices for entertainment because it literally rained the entire time. Everything else was too expensive. The included amenities are fine if you're able to enjoy some time on the beach but I feel like if you get rained in, they should offer some other amenities that they normally charge for for free to build respect and confidence in the purchase. They didn't care about any of the passengers or whether or not they were enjoying themselves. We finally caved on the last day and bought a $17 cup each because there was literally nothing else to do so we figured let's drink right? No. The drinks were poorly mixed to where we couldn't even drink the whole drink each time we filled our cups. We had no idea where to find anything on the ship and what amenities were included with cruise fare. It was like a word search on the cruise itinerary to figure out what was included. This was so exhausting. I would've been more relaxed if I would've stayed home and my mother agreed.
It was an old cruise ship and it was evident. The attendants were literally only worried about their 18% gratuity and treated us like cash cows. They nickel and dimed us to DEATH. Worst vacation experience ever I will never ever use this cruise line again. Even if it was free. I'd rather pay 4 grand to a reputable cruise line than use this trash again. It ruined my mother's day gift to my mother and made the experience horrible.
Awkward bathroom but enough space for the 2 of us. Bed was comfortable enough to sleep on but could've been better. Temperature and linens were good. TV only had about 6 or 7 channels and 3 of them were about the cruise line and buying stuff on them. Room attendant was pleasant, thorough, and ensured that we always had clean bed linens, towels, and room. Our things were never messed with.