Before we went on this Cruise, we scoured the Web for different information sources for cruising...
We were quite at sea and a little trepiditious....went on a number of travel blogs and travel sites, including this one.
This review will focus on the overall cruise and ship itself.
First off, the ship was awesome and an engineering marvel..With a capacity for 8000+ people, it is a small township on the waters. It boasts off umpteen dining room options, entertainment venues and kids zones...All of which you can review off the RCI website. We have some in our party that are motion sick so equipped with Quell and Sea Bands(amazon-very good), we hardly felt anything at all due to the scale and layout.
What I want to share is the underlining aspects of Customer Service and Operations that went a very long way to make us feel comfortable and taken care.
What amazed us the most was the Operations were smooth from the get go. Every personnel is extremely well trained, smiling and willing to help. 65 countries are represented in the staffing and the feeling of being part of a global whole is a palpable one all around. Of particular kudos is to the entire Food and Beverage team the ship over, from the Main Dining Room, to the Windsurfer to the smaller outlets all through the Ship....Excellent, excellent all the way.
Food choices included lots of fresh fruits, salads, healthy choices all throughout....We are not the All You Can Eat folk, though and enjoyed the intelligent options laid out each time, every where.
Central Park is for the more discriminating with a more upmarket feel, fresh air and plants all around as well as the Vintage Bar. Now there, we ran into some bad weather with the young hostess lady who did not pay enough attention to the proper and correct priority seating at a wine tasting that could have gotten ugly at the table due to her very poor Hostessing skills.....We simply chose to leave the place to avoid a scene.
The Spa was also very well run but then here again, very low marks for them trying to upsell a treatment once you are in the massage room and then also, trying to sell you products which is in stark contrast to anything else on the ship and so, stands out very poorly.
Room Service is an option always, polite, timely and courteous, though a bit hurried on the phone. However, they seem to be over generous with dishing out Milk, Condiments etc, almost all of which we experienced and saw wasted along the corridors in trays later. That can be mitigated by a review of your order each time you place one.
Our teen and young kids were all over the place and enjoyed the amenities, the Teen Zone and the various options for them. We were a couple of families together and here, I want to say that More is Merrier especially for the Teens and Tweens where freedom reigns so bring as many in your family and friends group along for the ride. It will be more memorable for them then.
My suggestions for next time:
Do pack some munchie snacks that the family likes: Pita chips, Frito Lays, Gummie bears, granola bars etc.....Even with all the food choices on board, it is nice to have some in your back pak and in room.
Bring Magazines and reading material....They have a wonderful library on board and I read two books but they have no light reading like magazines etc..