EMBARKATION - we had a 2:30pm check in time. We dropped our bags off earlier and went for a stroll around the rocks. Took approx an hour to board but did not seem that long.
DINING - we ate in the main dining room (my time) on all nights. My daughter and grandson are gluten intolerant and our waiter (Charlton) and head waiter (Jason) knocked themselves out to accommodate their needs - even to tomato sauce for the little one. Good variety and always delicious. The only issue we had with the dining room was other passengers being unhappy sharing a table with a child & ignoring any attempts at conversation on our part.
BREAKFAST/LUNCH- in the Windjammer all days except 1 (character breakfast in main dining room - where once again people complained about children being in there.
Plenty of variety for both meals.
We enjoyed the Royal Promenade Cafe who also went out of their way to provide gluten free foods.
We found all staff to be friendly and More
willing to do anything to assist.
POOL deck had plenty of space, lounges and chairs - loved that we could take our lunch from the Windjammer out onto the deck and eat it. The Great Aussie BBQ around the pool was a hit and that true BBQ spell was there. Loved that one pool was heated - for those of us who enjoy the warmer water. Mr 5 didn't want to get out most days - even the colder days.
Plenty of THINGS TO DO- we used the table tennis, putt putt, shuttle board and even joined in some Adventure Ocean scavenger activities. 3D movies, nightly shows and the ice show (don't miss out). Air hockey in the Arcade was a hit. Day tours were reasonably priced and offered variety of sights to see and lengths of time to be involved. Gordon and the meet and greet was fun.
Set sail parties, Captains welcome and 70's disco were all fun and enjoyable. Mr 5 took part in the Pirate parade on the Royal promenade and he enjoyed the characters making appearances in the kids club zone.
Characters around the ship were fabulous - the kids loved them (and the adults - especially Puss in Boots. Loved the breakfast with characters. Initially this was booked out - but they added one on and Mr 5 loved having Princess Fiona, Po and Skipper join him as he ate his yoghurt and fruit.
NEGATIVES - Unfortunately the same cannot be said for some passengers. I was ashamed to be an Australian when an elderly person pointed and grunted at the person serving in Windjammer and could not even say Thanks. Also saw an old lady drop her glasses and snap her fingers for someone to pick them up for her no please or thank you then either.
My daughter was informed by one passenger that she would never travel on RCI again as they had children on the ship - it was school holidays and a Dreamworks Experience cruise so don't know what she was expecting.
SMOKING - yes I am a smoker and paid for my cruise the same as everyone else. Taking the size of the ship into account the areas on decks 4 & 11 that allow smoking are a very small portion. I stayed out of the bars late at night because I do not like being around people who over indulge in alcohol.
ADVENTURE OCEAN - Merchandise was not available for sale - would have loved a t-shirt or jumper for Mr 5. The teaser was that in the kids club area they had a display cupboard with toys, towels, caps etc with the logo on it.
TASMANIA - We took a tour the first morning we docked and unfortunately the photographers were not at the tour gangway - so we missed out on the shore photo of us in Hobart.
All in all a great cruise, wonderful ship and her crew are a credit to RCI.
Pier is a long way from the city. The shuttle bus was good. Needs to be more information provided by RCI on the ticketing for public transport in Melbourne. You need to pre-pay and it is $14 per adult and $7 per child. This however was a new system (In place for less than weeks) Staff at pier selling tickets and handing out maps.