I had a great time on this trip. I was a little worried at first with so many sea days but we had great weather and there were so many activities available both inside and out on the deck that they passed quickly. I brought activities to keep myself occupied ie.--books,sudoku, crosswords ,cards but found myself rarely if ever using them. There was bingo, trivia games, dance lessons, language lessons, ice shows,a bellyflop competition,a sexy man competition, the "Quest",onboard movies,lectures about the ports of call and of famous artists, headliner shows,The love and marriage game,a talent show,2 parades on the promenade--one a pirates a parade and the other a 70's dance party, the casino and karaoke. --- I am sure there were other things available but these are the things that I either participated in or can remember.
My favorite was the ice show despite some falls. The best part of the show was the clowns ----- full of color and laughs both for kids and adults alike. The Quest was as always alot of crazy fun. If you have never been on an RCI cruise, the Quest is an ADULT(no kids allowed) audience participation game show. The audience is split into teams and asked to do different tasks or provide different items the team with the most points at the end wins. Some of the things asked for this trip were: 7 bras,first one to show a tattoo, a unique human skill--(a belly roll by a woman--LOL,double jointedness, a fart sound with an eye socket), a woman's hairpiece, a method of contraception,metal keys,men dressed as women dressed by their teams --what their stage names would be,had do a catwalk and give a sexy kiss to the camera. Two men skipping together. There were a few more too. Some of these activities were wrong on so many levels but none the less hilarious--one can see why children are not allowed due to the amount of therapy they would need to survive it all. The Headliner shows for the most part were good. There were singing and dancing acts, a ventriloquist act, a xylophone player,and a hypnotist. I and enjoyed most of the singing and dancing acts and surprisingly the ventriloquist act. However, walked out of the hypnotist and xylophone acts. The xylophone player could play great but his voice was so annoying I couldn't get past it--it was like listening to a trained parrot. The hypnotist --well lets just say --I stayed maybe 10 minutes for that show.The dance lessons were fun --but need to find a bigger dance floor--my suggestions would be either the outdoor basketball court, the main stage,studio B with the ice rink covered, the pool deck even --the dragons lair is a terrible choice due to space and lighting.The artist lectures were informative but wished the woman speaking would of been a little enthusiastic about it. I have never attended anything like this before so not sure if this is common but it was like attending a college class that you couldn't wait to be over--a monotone speaker. I was impressed by the artwork/artist but not the speaker. Won at bingo once. The Love and marriage game was a hoot. The other activities were fun too. Sometimes the time you have depends on the people you travel with too--this time there were a lot of great people looking to enjoy themselves. I spent a lot of time laughing.
The food wasn't as good as it usually is, but in all fairness it was a transatlantic and the ports of call weren't until the second part of the trip. I tend to be a bit of a picky eater--I have even been called a bit of a food snob at times.:0 I am not one who needs to be pampered but I do like good tasting food. If you wanted a good cup of coffee you had to pay for it at Starbucks-just an opinion but many felt the same way.I think alot of coffee drinkers became tea drinkers or decided to become alcoholics instead. Promenade Cafe--- for one thing don't put mayo on a salami sandwich or any sandwich for that matter unless asked to--just a suggestion. I enjoyed the Windjammer, that way I could pick more of what I wanted and less of what I didn't.And something about eating dinner overlooking the aft of the ship is so relaxing, not to mention seeing a pod of dolphin swimming in the Atlantic. The My Time dining is a good idea if you have a small party. If you have more than a party of four I would stick to the scheduled time dining-- I was part of a group of ten. We started with the my time dining but seating and service was so slow that it was taking 3-3.5 hrs for dinner even with a reservation. I didn't eat at Chops Grill but Giovanni's Table was very good. We ate there for the Mystery Dinner Show- I would recommend the steak over the shrimp for dinner. The menu is bigger, but if you go for the Mystery Dinner Show those were your choices. My sister and I went and she got one and I got the other and we both agreed the steak was fantastic--this coming from someone who rarely eats red meat.My favorite was the dessert a tarimisu mousse served in a dark/white chocolate cup with a few raspberries. I would of ate it every night or ate four that night if they would of let me.
My sister and I share a room overlooking the Promenade. Although we didn't spend much time in our room,it was a great place to people watch. If you are someone who likes to go to bed early or are a light sleeper these probably aren't the type of room for you. During the parades especially, it can be noisy. On the other hand, if you enjoy the parades without the crowd you get a pretty good view. We found the best place to watch the parade is in front of the Wig and Gavel --but you need to get there early to get a seat at least 30 minutes if not 45. Keep in mind though the parade only lasts for about 20-30 minutes-so you decide if it is worth it to you or not. Just know once you are there --you are there until it is over--anywhere on the Promenade deck.
All of the staff, we found to very friendly,helpful,and in good spirits. Never saw anyone without a smile on their face. The idea of not having to make beds empty garbage, wash towels or do dishes for two weeks was a bonus.
The ports of call were great too. In Tenerife, we went to the volcano El Teide , visited some of the historical sites in town, looked for and snapped pictures of the dragon trees, ate paella and tapas and drank Sangria. All were wonderful the only thing I could of done without was the shrimp that still had the head on it---made me want to go fishing rather than eat--just sayin:)~.
Mallorca was probably my favorite--by far the most beautiful in my opinion. The cathedral was amazing. The views overlooking the water were beyond compare. The streets were nice and quiet, some found it to be unnerving when the bus was winding through them because they were narrow. If they only realized what they were missing when they were looking at the edge of the road instead on the views. The train ride up the mountain. The never ending views olive and almond trees.The taste of the Mallorca pastry--yum yum. Some complained that they couldn't understand our guide because of his accent. I didn't have a problem understanding him, but I live in south Florida where everyone has an accent.
We didn't have a lot of time in Barcelona. We did a walking tour with Running Bean--a free tour with a tip to your guide. Our guide was informative and showed us alot in 2.5 hours--but in my opinion you get what you pay for I would of rather done one of those hop on hop off bus tours but was outvoted.I think we would of been able to cover more ground that way. I found Barcelona to be very over commercialized and pick pockets were present on Las Ramblas(the main street) especially. I am not sure if I liked it enough to go back, but if I ever do go back I will only go to see what I missed. Which I think may have been alot.
In villa France we did on our own-- hopped on the bus,went to Nice and Eze. Did some shopping, rode on a carousel.I couldn't get over that their beach was all rocks-thinking how comfortable can that be.Nice place but nothing extraordinary.
In Florence we used a tour company "All Around Italy".We liked it so much that we also used the same company for Rome. Fabrizio was our guide. He knew alot of history and catered our tour to what we asked for. We had a list of what we wanted to see and do--and were only unable to do one of them because of time constraints because we had specifically asked to do a tour of a winery and a wine tasting which was a bit out of the way. A lot of art and architecture in Florence to be seen.
In Rome we saw alot but we also spent three extra days there. My suggestion to you is to do your own research find out what it is you want to see and do. Cater it to what it is you like and do it -- you only live once. The ship excursions tend to be expensive. If you read through some of these reviews you can use reputable companies and have a great time for less money.And it doesn't hurt to learn some of the native language as well.