I took this cruise because of the reviews I found but now I know they were not accurate. This is definitely an older and smaller ship, than Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean; it offers a limited itinerary that is enjoyable. However, it is not meant to be compared to any other cruise. This is a two-day cruise that provides no activity for two days, just a lot of drinking.
The ship is well maintained and very clean. The staff is very good and the cabins do not look anything like the picture on the website, but it met our needs. Our cabin staff was outstanding. They took time to learn our names and were very friendly.
The pool is very small and the hot tubs were filled with people all the time. The food leaves you very confused. It took one entire day to find out what time meals were and which restaurant was serving food. The buffet by the pool was a sad display. I enjoy my meals on cruise ships but this one I felt rushed, they were constantly moving the food or closing one place and opening another. Pizza was a hit or miss thing, no times posted when they were open. The ice cream parlor has signs with prices on them so it took a day to figure out that the ice cream was free if you got it in a cup, you had to pay for the cone. Nothing posted to tell us this. On the second day I had guests tell me I knew more then the crew did as people including myself would ask questions but never get an answer to them. I agree with a comment made about the food "I think it could be improved, it was plentiful and certainly not bad. It just was not wonderful, more variety would be nice. The Rio was the best choice for dinning. At the Rio, the appetizers, and desserts are served buffet style; only the entree is plated. Rio also has servers who circle the room with skewers of meat which they carve table side for the guests. Breakfast and lunch buffets were served both days in the Rio but not sure of the times. Then it moves to pizza and pool side, confusing! The View showroom is very cold and you will need a coat or just don't bother going at all.
There is definitely a lack of organization. The entire ship was filled with upset vacationers. No one tells you that in order to eat in two of the restraints you have to wear formal clothing, nor do they tell you that you should save the space in you suit case and not pack the formal wear and just eat at the Rio, If I had to choose I would say it has better food then anywhere on the ship.
On day one we received a very loud announcement that said we had to attend a MANDATORY shore excursion meeting, about 900 people showed up, they told us that we were docking at a ship yard and the only way into town was to take a shore excursion or pay $65.00 for transportation. I went to the shore excursion desk after and asked if there was any other way into town, I was told NO! When we docked, I noticed two Carnival ships also docked there. We had many shops to choose from and did not even need to leave the port. We had a taxi driver stop us and tell us they would take us into town for $5.00 each way. The staff did a terrible job of informing us of thing going on. The activities offered on board and on shore were a waste. The Muster station/safety drill had about 50 people attend, this should have been MANDATORY!
Embarkation was easy IF you checked in on line. The staff was friendly and you can book everything before you even board the ship. You are forced to book your dinner reservations, before you board the ship so choose the Rio.. You are not allowed to go to your cabin before 2:00 so I recommend that you go have a nice lunch somewhere then come about 1:45 then you can go to your cabin.
The port of West Palm Beach is easy to park at $15.00 per day or call Go Shuttle they are the cheapest in and out from PBI.
All the elevators were not working, and the ones that were are small and very very slow we found it quicker and easier to just use the stairs.
There is only one gift shop but it has a nice verity of things.
Overall, it was an OK two-day getaway, BUT I will think twice before doing it again.
At the end I can now tell you THEY LIE TO YOU FROM DAY ONE! DON'T GO! Palm Beach Port is VERY slow at getting people through customs.