Perfect weekend getaway. If you just want to relax for the weekend and have a little fun as well, this is the ticket. We live in South Florida so it was pretty convenient to get to. Parking was $15.00 a day. I think if you live anywhere between Orlando and the upper keys it's worth the drive. Our cruise left on a Fri. afternoon and returned on Mon. morning. We were impressed by how organized the whole operation was. There are three styles of dining to choose from. There was one expensive restaurant (pay by the person), two standard cruise restaurant seatings, and one Italian buffet (open almost all the time). We didn't eat in the expensive one but we did eat in the other three. You have to choose a seating time with the two standard cruise restaurants. The Rio was sort of a Brazilian style restaurant. They come around with the meat skewer and slice you off small peices of meat as well as ordering from a menu. It was very good. The Crystal was a standard order-off-the-menu but the food was also very good and they both had vegetarian offerings. The Italian buffet was average but acceptable. Coffee, Ice tea and water were always available self-serve on the top deck but any other beverage, including soda, was extra. Some desserts were extra but they had an ice cream bar that was free! They seemed to have nice shore excursions; Jeep tours where you get to drive your own jeep, horse rides on the beach and Dolphin encounters which were reasonable, I suppose, but too much for our wallets so we took the "Our Lucaya" one. The ship docks at the Straw Market in Freeport and then they take you in buses to the Our Lucaya resort on the beach. There are beach chairs, swimming pools, hot tubs, towels, a tiki bar and of course the beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water. They feed you lunch for free; hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and a few other items buffet-style. Maybe we were lucky that it wasn't too crowded but we found a nice shady spot under four coconut palms to park ourselves for several hours. If you want to shop there is an outdoor shopping mall a little bit down the street from Our Lucaya. Another thing we noticed is the lack of women shouting "braid your hair, miss". (My wife has long hair!)They really cleaned up the whole scene. While there are vendors they only approach you if you pass by their stall and they stay in their stall, they don't follow you and bug you. So if there is a stall that braids hair (and there are a lot fewer than there used to be) they will ask if you pass, but only then. There was only one hair braider at the Our Lucaya who walked up and down the beach. She was a little persistent, but not too bad. All in all we had a great time for a reasonable price and I would highly recommend it!
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