Our boarding process was painless. We walked right up to the counter and into the ship.
As we boarded, a staff member greeted us and escorted us to our stateroom – number 9111.
The room is pleasant, but we certainly noticed the size difference between this and the superior ocean view stateroom that we had on the Monarch of the Seas.
We found plenty of space to store our belongings and an adequate amount of hangers in the closet. Too bad that our luggage wouldn’t arrive until later. As we had already eaten lunch, we decided to explore the ship, but first I checked out the bathroom. The toilet seat looked like it had been through several battles with claws. Perhaps a dog had inhabited this stateroom before us. Two of the floor tiles were scratched and cracked. Neither of these things bothered me as much as the dark hairs that covered the floor. I had read numerous times about the cleanliness of the ship. Maybe that only referred to the public areas. I called and requested that the floor be cleaned. Obviously, it wasn’t thoroughly cleaned after the previous occupants left. The housekeeping person assured me that it had been cleaned and that I was wrong, but would send somebody to look at it.
We went to the top of the ship hoping to find a suitable spot for walking. There is a jogging track, but you had better keep your elbows close to your body and watch out for all the others standing in the middle of the track. We don’t run, but enjoy walking and wish that all ships had a nice promenade deck, which this one lacked.
The gym, although small, comes equipped with decent equipment. It’s necessary to sign a release before you are allowed to use any of the equipment, a new concept to us. Right next to the gym is a relaxation room from which you can access a sauna and steam room. The spa is just outside the gym and consists of only five treatment rooms. Unlike other ships, there were no spa tours or drawings taking place.
Our tour was interrupted by the muster drill, which was done in five languages – English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. This takes place on Deck 6, which looks like it might have a promenade deck. Don’t be fooled. This deck stops at the stern and bow, so would only be good for doing short turn-around walks.
The ship itself is very pleasant with an understated, but elegant decor, which we found quite pleasing. The areas seemed well maintained and clean. We found the Lord Nelson’s Lounge quite overwhelming with a strong stench of tobacco smoke. After all, it is a designated smoking lounge, but it’s necessary to walk through it to get to the Broadway Theatre.
Next time: The Food on the Lirica