Check in process is stellar, super efficient and organized. We left ft lauderdale airport at 10.30 am and were checked in and on the ship by noon. Can't access room until 1 pm, but at that time our luggage was already there and we unpacked and were in the pool by 2.30. The room is spacious, clean and bright. The boardwalk view allows for people watching on the 15 th deck, zip line view, view of the water from the stern of the ship and views of the aqua theatre and boardwalk. This is great during the day, but at night if there is an aqua theatre show it can be a little noisy or you can watch the show from your balcony. The beds are fairly comfortable and our daughters sofa bed when unfolded left little space to move around, but the room attendant was quick to fold it up and have it tidied when we went to breakfast.
We tried breakfast in the dining room, as it's good to sit down, relax and be served,but I was disappointed. The wait to get on was not long, but the food was average, the toast soggy and our order was wrong on more than 1 occasion, so we tried the windjammer instead. The selection was good, but finding a seat at times was a challenge and we were reminded overhead that once our meal was complete we should promptly leave to allow other guests to get a table. The park cafe was good for a quick, continental breakfast and the setting in central park was very pleasant. Dinner was also disappointing. I love indian quisine but the curry was flavorless, the pappadams soggy and the naan bread hard and crusty. Due to the volume of patrons I think food sits longer before it is served and the result is less than optimal. There was quite a variety of food, but nothing spectacular or very imaginative. The wait staff are lovely,friendly and somewhat attentive, but they may be over stretched due to patrol volume also. We waited a long time at times for water refills, sauces and garnishes for dishes etc. the only specialty restaurant we tried was Izumi the Japanese one. The sushi rolls were small and mediocre, the tables very close together and the service sporadic, so I would skip it considering there's a fee.
The shows were excellent, imaginative and broadway quality. The variety is great,with water, ice and stage shows, parades for kids and lots of music options to suit all tastes. The kids pool is wonderful for small kids but there is also an adults only solarium, so it caters to singles, couples and families. The kids club is well staffed and offers lots of open times for children of all ages. I loved the boardwalk, with it's carousel, hot dog and donut shops and kids games. They had parades with dream works characters, face painting and balloon artistry, which are free, but the ice cream store has a cost and they also have a build a bear type store and hello kitty merchandise, which we did not indulge in.
They have invested in their private island of labadee. It has developed considerably since our visit 5 years ago, with a whole water park, slide. Zip line and children's splash park. Falmouth Jamaicas port is basically an extension of royal Caribbean with duty free shops and eateries, but of you go out to the town you can see a more authentic Jamaica. The trolley tour is a good way to see the town, visit a church and bargain with locals if you wish to. We went to chukka beach which was$29 including transport and beach entrance with beach chair. The staff are friendly, the water is beautiful and the food an drinks are pretty good too. We have frequented Cozumel many times and always rent a car. We rented with executive car rentals, which was fine until we came back and the attendant pointed out scratches on the back of the car. Luckily my hubby had used his iPhone beforehand to take pictures of the car, so we could prove that the damage was there prior. GOOD IDEA to take pictures of you rental car before you drive it away. We went to MR Sanchos beach, which has also come a long way from our last trip there 5 years ago. They now have a pool with swim up bar, beach with chairs, bar and restaurant and aqua park. They off a $50 all inclusive package for food and drink, but beware the margaritas. I had 3 and had a pounding headache for the rest of the day as did my husband. I felt bad for those who stayed there all day drinking as I can't imagine how they must have felt. Clearly CHEAP tequila served, which is a pity as they tasted great and we have never had that experience in Mexico with margaritas before and we always go to smaller places rather than more commercial ones.
Disembarkation was a little disconcerting as we were told that we had to be out of our room by 8 am with all food service discontinuing at 8.30. We are used to taking our time to get off a cruise ship, but I suppose thats the only way that they ca have the ship ready so early for those embarking, so be warned and don't worry if you have an early flight home.
Overall I really enjoyed the cruis, but I'm not sure if it's worth spending so much more for than royal caribbeans other ships one class down, especially if you are a foodie. With over 6,000 passengers they do a remarkable job but it might just be a little too big for some people. I will cruise royal Caribbean again, but not necessarily the oasis/allure class.