I love this ship and after taking a cruise with my husband in January 2010, I knew I wanted to take my daughter and two grandchildren. I have taken them, now, on 10 cruises. The first nine were all on Carnival, mainly because of the price and Kids always love Carnival.
We left from Miami on September 29, and returned on October 6. We had great weather, only a little rain on the 6th day in Cozumel (what is new, it always rains when I go there)
This was my 28th cruise in 12 years. I usually stay in the inside cabins because I do not spend much time in the room other than to bathe and sleep. We stayed in 7456, a large inside. It was smaller than Carnival and it showed. We had two beds and a queen sleeper sofa. I thought that would be better than having those bunks hanging off the walls. Not so. It gave about 6 inches between the vanity and bed to walk around to get to the twin beds (which make into a king if you travel with a mate). The bath was nice with the glass door rather than the shower curtain. It was small but efficient.
We departed on Saturday and had a sea day on Sunday, arriving in Haiti on Monday. Labadee is a nice island offering many things to do, but the zip line and coaster both had long lines and were a bit pricey. We chose a free beach. THe train takes you all around but you still have a good walk to each site. The crafts were good and the prices were fine, but this is a very poor area and you listened to a lot of begging and it was hard to pass them by. I bought more than usual because they needed the money and I have places to put the arts and crafts.
We then went to Falmouth, Jamica, and I was pleased with this port. I do not like Ochos Rios and have not gone there for several years because I always feel unsafe. Falmouth was much nicer, the people more friendly and not pushy. We took a bus tour which was very educational and intersting. It went to many beautiful places and my grandchildren, granddaughter 14 1/2 and grandson who turned 13 aboard ship, loved it. I have always taken them on the Eastern cruises or to Mexico. So, they had two new ports, Haiti and Falmouth. My daughter also enjoyed this port and questioned why I had dogged Jamica all these years.
We had a sea day on Wednesday, which was my 67th birthday. Our waiters were both excellent and also, the headwaiter, Jai, was also very attentive and they all sang to me. I think this was my best group of waiters in all the 28 cruises I have taken.
The food is not as good as it has been. All the lines are cutting back. It was decent and we did enjoy the appetizers more than the dinners. We usually got 2 or 3 appetizers and either skipped the dinner or only ate part. I hated wasting it but it was more like a Carnival dinner. We ate in the dining room for breakfast a couple times but it was not as good as Carnival or Princess. Took a long time to be served. We enjoyed the Windjammer a bit, but we are really not into a lot of buffet meals. We ate at Johnny Rockets and ate a lot of ice cream at the store. We also cut back in expenses so didn't use the dining rooms for charge. I always go to those with my husband but when we went two years ago, the food was so good in the dining room, we didn't really need those.
All in all, it was a great trip. I do have to say that for us older folks, this is NOT the best choice of ships. I just wanted the kids to experience the largest ship in the world. I recommend the Freedom of the Seas which has most everything this does except for the zip line and the Boardwalk.
By the way, the entertainment on this ship far exceeds that of all ships I have cruised. Hairspray was wonderful. The diving show was tremendous. The skating show was great and my kids go to be a part of it. The ariel act was amazing and the kids just loved it all. They did miss the clangy loud party atmosphere of Carnival and didn't really care for the characters and parade on this ship, but they are too old to be kids and too young to be adults so I understood that. I don't think the teen club is as good as Carnival.
Again, it is really a must to experience this ship if you cruise a lot, or even if you don't. But, if you hate walking a lot to get anywhere, skip this and take the Freedom. I clocked my days and we did about 10 miles per day. True, I need the excerise and none of us gained any weight. But, yesterday, I had foot surger (had it planned for a couple months) and I don't think the walking helped last week.
I love Royal Caribbean. I guess I am just too old for this ship. All said, it was a wonderful 67th birthday!!! Oh, and I had the very best massage ever! The hot stones, and I always get at least on on each cruise!