The Ship Is Continental: Even after a full renovation there is still an English country-house vibe to the ship — a look that is at odds with the ship’s sunny Caribbean location. The British-trained crew was also kept, meaning you’ll find a high level of service despite the relative newness of the line.
This Isn’t a Beach Trip: The Dominican Republic cruises only make one stop, spending four days docked at Amber Cove on the northern coast of the island. The port was created by Carnival to serve their ships, and it has a pool and waterslides — but no beach. If you aren’t doing one of the volunteer activities, you are better off arranging for transportation to the larger Puerto Plata, a 15-minute drive away.
The Food Isn’t Great: While the Ocean Grill specialty restaurant is worth the extra charge, the main dining room and buffet leave a lot to be desired. The attempts at Latin dishes were particularly disappointing on our sailing. (The arroz con pollo, for example, tasted more like tandoori chicken.)
The Line Is Still Working on Its Identity: The line is still making adjustments to hit the right marks for the audience — which varies greatly depending on the itinerary. While passengers to the Dominican Republic may bond over the volunteer activities, those on the Cuba cruises are more likely to be looking to relax and immerse themselves in a new culture. For the Cuba sailings, programming both onshore and on board is in flux. The line has already revamped onboard programming to include lighter yet informative activities, such as architecture bingo and presentations on Cuban coffee.