This cruise was our first time sailing with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed several times on Carnival and Norwegian. Carnival, we will never go back to and Norwegian was great. But I must say that this cruise was the best. We flew in from Atlanta to Orlando International the morning of the cruise. We had a local shuttle company take us to the port. They were a little behind but so was the airport with the luggage so it worked out. We reached the ship at 12:00 and were instantly able to board the ship. Getting on the ship was a breeze. It took approximately 15 minutes to get through all of the security checkpoints and get our cards for the ship. Once we were on we went to lunch at Windjammer and it was great. There was a variety of food and it was all fresh. There were several buffets set up so there were not any long lines to wait in. After eating, we went to our cabins which was around 1:30 and our luggage was there. The rooms were more spacious than on any other cruise we had been on especially Carnival. The beds were exceptionally comfortable. We had an inside cabin but we were hardly in the cabin so not having an oceanview did not matter.
I had three kids with me ages 7, 9, 10. There were plenty of activities for them to do. I signed them up for the kids adventure but they only went one time. The one time they went, they loved it. I did not think my son was going to like it because he would be away from his sister but he loved it. However, after that one day they were always in the arcade,or miniature golf, basketball, kids pool, movies or meeting characters. They loved the Ben and Jerry's (a lot) and being able to meet the characters from Madagascar as well as getting the airbrush tattoos.
We visited St. Thomas and St. Marteen. We did not do the excursions through the ship. We walked off the ship and found a shuttle to take us where we wanted to go in St. Thomas. ($20) a person.( there were twelve in our group) If you only want to shop in St. Thomas you really don't have to get a shuttle because when you walk off the ship there are several shops you can walk to. You can pretty much tell your shuttle person what you want to see and he will take you there. We also did not do an excursion in St. Marteen. It is a beautiful island. There are shops that you can go to when you get off the ship but they are mostly high end shops, jewelry and electronics. We took a shuttle here for $25.00 per person. We did a three hour tour of the island. It was great but I think we would have gotten more adventure doing an excursion through the ship.
As for dinner, we ate in the main dining room three days. The food was great. The waiters were excellent. We could not have asked for any better service. The other days we ate at windjammer or Sorrentos. Sorrentos was great. The pizza was always fresh and they always had a special of the day like ham and cheese sandwich, or salmon panini and always had some great desserts. The lines were long but moved fast and they were opened until three in the morning.
The casino was great. We did not have much luck but we had a lot of fun. The dealers were great. By the end of the cruise we knew almost all of the dealers by name. It was a great friendly atmosphere.
As for our cabin, it was great. It was spacious and our room steward kept it clean. He was amazing!! He was very friendly and polite. Being able to check our balance on the flat screen tv in our room was also great. The stations were much better than on other cruises we had been on. My husband could actually watch sports and I could actually watch movies.
My only complaint was leaving the ship. We docked at 4:00 in Orlando. We were scheduled to arrive at 6:00. We had a flight scheduled to leave at 11:22 a.m. W were suppose to be off the ship by 8:30. The ride from the port to Orlando International is approximately 50 minutes. We did not leave the ship until 9:47 a.m. which of course made us late for our flight. When i asked how long it would be before we left the ship they said that there was a problem in customs and it would be soon. We left and hour and 15 minutes after we were scheduled to leave. I would recommend express disembarkation where you can leave the ship carrying your luggage because missing your flight can be costly because we had to rent a car and drive back to Georgia.