Where to begin... this is our 10th cruise, 7th with RCCL.. first time from Bayonne. Boarding was easy. We arrived early (11:00am) no line to speak of... no problems with security or check in. It was cold the first evening but there were still sailaway activities on board and going under the Verrazano bridge was really cool.
The ship - a bit dated but clean. We had been on the Mariner and love that we knew where everything was. We had adjoining promenade staterooms. I highly recommend this for families. Having two bathrooms is such a plus! And so reasonable. Our cabin steward was great, his name was Jaya. One bathroom did have a urine smell but we told Jaya and it was gone by dinner. These rooms have two couches each and windows to see the promenade. We were on the 7th floor close to the guest relations end of the hall and it was not noisy with the exception of the two parades. We heard a lot about the sewage smell, but didn't really experience it at all.
The food was good. We had my time dining for the first time ever.. and when we were first seated at the first table as you walk into the dining room, I was weary, but it was great! Our waiter Venis and assistant waiter Euclid couldn't have been better. We requested to sit there every night.
We tried Portafino as well, not for "dinner" but for the mystery dinner theatre. It was fun. Kind of kooky.. but wine is included.. and we got to meet more people.. what more could you ask for?
Kids club - one daughter is 11 and I never saw her. She spent 10 hours a day with her friends. She loved the kids club. My other daughter is 15 and she hated it. I think it is more my daughter than the club however. She is shy and just turned 15, so she didn't really "fit in".
Matt Yee had an adult sing along in the Schooner bar each night and he was hysterical. Richard Spacey, the Cruise Director was missing the first few days but later proved how much fun he is. The farewell show was a hoot.
Overall a great trip. To be honest, we were bored a few days. This cruise had 4 days at sea.. I thought I'd like the relaxation...but reality is I like to be busy.
I missed the highlight of the cruise, but my 15yr old didn't. On the sea day coming back from Port Canaveral there was a gigantic pod of dolphins swimming with the ship... 100s of them. I saw a video.. bummed I missed it!
The worst part of the trip was arriving at Port Canaveral because we had to go through immigration before getting off the ship. So we had to be up at 5:45am. There was a line across the ship which went around and around. People were really upset. It would have been better if Port Canaveral had been the first stop so we didn't need to go through that. To make it worse, Quest was scheduled that night.. for those of you that don't know Quest on RCCL, it's a silly scavenger hunt/comedy evening for adults and it's a blast. Anyway, I was too tired after getting up at 5:45 to attend the 10:30 event. bummer.
Definitely would sail again. Got my monies worth.. hooked on RCCL