This was a spring break cruise for my 15 year old sister and I (32 years old). I've cruised 4 times before but it was my sister's first time. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Days Inn Civic Center in Miami (do not stay there, it was a TOTAL DUMP!) Went to Bubba Gump's at Bayside, overpriced but a fun place. Food was pretty good. Live music at Bayside was nice.
EMBARKATION: Got to pier at 10:30 by taxi, onboard at 11:30, went straight to Windjammer for lunch buffet as cabins were not open until 1 PM.
DINING: Windjammer buffets very good. Scrambled eggs were okay. Lots of variety. Dining room service very good, a bit slow at times. No sommelier but the assistant waiters do a fairly good job of providing all the drinks. NO LOBSTER TAILS on this cruise! Disappointed about that, heard it was only 5 night or higher cruises now that get lobster. There were only 2 midnight buffets but they were very nice. Room service was a limited menu but available 24/7.
ENTERTAINMENT: Very good shows, 2 dance shows and 2 comedian shows. Last night is farewell video and a singer/comedian.
CABIN: We had an inside cabin, it was very clean and well maintained though very small. Certainly big enough for 2 people though. Lots of hangers in closet and a few drawers in vanity desk. Very cozy little space. We hardly stayed in our cabin anyway, just shower and sleep. Next time will get an outside cabin though for the window. Got 2 towel animals, a swan and an elephant.
PORTS: Nassau is okay but we made the mistake of going to the Straw Market and were hassled A LOT! They are very aggressive and will start putting things on you (necklaces, hats, bracelets) and acting very offended if you do not buy. The hair braiders were persistent too. If you get your hair braided bring your own comb as I've heard the ones they use are not very clean. There are drivers who try to get you on a tour of the island in their cabs too, they are somewhat aggressive. We took the water taxi to Atlantis and it is a nice place. "The Dig" is nothing more than a large aquarium but it is pretty. Not sure it was worth the $29 a person though. There was a shore excursion available to the Breezes resort that probably would have been a better idea, $78 a person, but includes food and drinks and 4 hours at their pools and jacuzzis.
Coco Cay: WHAT A GORGEOUS PLACE!!!! The weather was perfect and the sea was very smooth. We did the jet skis, it was FABULOUS! The BBQ lunch they served was awesome! The whole place was all new buildings and amenities. Water was crystal clear. I could stay there for a week! The tendering went very well too. The whole trip was worth it just to stop here for a day. A lot of times the cruises do not make it there due to high waves so we were lucky. I think they are trying to dredge a channel so they can dock but looks like it will be a while before that is done.
Key West: Very hot but the ocean breezes are nice. Took the Ghost Tour and it was very interesting. Tried to rent bicycles but they were all taken. There were mopeds available. Tried to eat at Sloppy Joe's but it was very crowded so we went back to the ship for lunch. Docked at Mallory Square so not too bad of a walk to Duval St.
OVERALL: This was an excellent value for our money. Coco Cay is the best port in my opinion. Even though it was spring break the teens and children aboard were fairly well behaved. Karaoke was fun each night too. The ship is gorgeous, seemed like the carpet was in very good shape all over the ship. I really was surprised it was in such good condition for being 13 years old. Elevators all in working order though at times slow. Royal Caribbean is doing it right in my opinion, we had very good experiences with all staff and crew. They were all very friendly and helpful. Our waiter Ian was excellent and he worked very long shifts. I tipped a little extra because they all work so hard and so cheerfully! Hope you have a great cruise!