We arrived at the port of Bayonne, NJ about 11:00. Our luggage was immediately taken and we were directed to the "suite" check-in., This is the first time we've had a junior suite and I was really looking forward to having the extra space. The port facility was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The foundation and walls were fine because it is brick and cement but everything inside, gyproc walls and furniture has all been replaced. There was still no heat in the building and the workers were dressed in warm coats and gloves. It was about 38 degrees outside so it was quite chilly inside the building. We only waited about ten minutes when we were ready to board. We were among the first to board. We've been on this ship before and went to the Windjammer buffet for lunch. We got a nice table for two at the window which overlooked New York harbour.
We were delighted with our room. A bathtub, walk in closet and a vanity that was about 12 feet long. A chesterfield, two arm chairs and a nice coffee table. Lots of room for computers and a nice LCD TV complete with HDMI so we can view out pictures on the TV. We have a coffeemaker and a kettle. I thought coffeemakers were a fire hazard and not allowed? The balcony is huge.
The food has been disappointing to say the least. We were on the Allure in October and the food was good. The food on this ship is fair to poor! The only meal we enjoyed was the lobster. If you want decent orange juice it's an up charge! If you want a decent steak, it's another up charge. In other words any food that you would buy yourself is an extra charge on this cruise. We watched a lady at our table try to cut her steak. She gave up and left it! The prime rib was dry. It was medium rare and should have been juicy. I don't know what they do to make it dry. We went to Coco Cay which is their beach day. All the food was taken off the ship. Nothing was heated when it got to the island. Hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs were all served cold. Hubby asked me to take another rib for him as the plates were small and the one I picked up had about 1/2 inch of fat! Fat and cold, yummy. The drinks they served were all watered down. We got smart and would ask the guy to serve lemonade without ice. That way it was drinkable. It was still weak but at least you could taste the lemonade. When we were on the private island there was a red drink. Hubby was really happy as he thought it was fruit punch. It was red coloured water. No flavor whatsoever! The sorbet in the dining room was a different flavor every day. The first day they offered lemon. It was ice, no flavor at all. The next day it was orange, again it was white with no flavor. I figure they make their own and forget the flavoring. It was horrible! Hard to ruin sorbet! On the last day hubby again had ribs for lunch. After he got the fat off what was left was so tough it was hard to eat. He figured they were reheated. The food was a complete disappointment and the first time I've ever given it a "fair" rating. It would have been poor but a couple of the meals in the dining room were good. Vegetables were scarce. One night I got two pea pods, two thin julienne carrots about 1/8" and one button mushroom. The potato of choice was a tater tot. Sometimes you got one and other times you got two! I ordered the prime rib and got a baked potato. I ordered it on the second to last night and got two tater tots. The second prime rib was drier than the first. I should have stuck with the chicken. Once they served mashed potatoes and the rest of the potatoes were tater tots. I ordered a Caesar salad and it came with six leaves of romaine. The portions were small. Hubby ordered ravioli one night and got six small raviolis. That was dinner, not an appetizer. They asked him if he wanted another dinner, but it wasn't worth the risk. Escargot is no longer available, they blame Hurricane Sandy. They replaced escargot with two very tiny scallops. Served cold in butter sauce. You couldn't taste any garlic. All meals were served lukewarm!
The entertainment was excellent! There were two headliners both very good. Judy Kolba we've seen before and she is very entertaining. The singers and dancers did an excellent show. One of the shows was dancing and Louis Van Amstel from Dancing with the Stars did the choreography. The ice show was the best I've ever seen. One of the lead skaters was a guy from Calgary whose name escapes me. They said he was an Olympian but they didn't give his last name. He did two back flips! We went to the Crown and Anchor Appreciation show complete with complementary wine. It was a nice touch for past cruisers.
Our ports were Port Canaveral, Nassau and Coco Cay. At Port Canaveral we booked the VIP tour two months ago and it was cancelled so we took the regular tour. It was very good. We've been there quite a few times but not in the last fifteen years. There are a lot more displays and they have made it into an amusement park, not the working NASA facility we previously visited. In Nassau we took the Sea and See tour. We boarded a submarine type boat where you went down to the bottom deck and watched through the windows. We saw five reefs with lots of colourful fish. Then we went back to the city and did a bus tour. Coco Cay was a very well appointed beach. Everything was an up charge including snorkeling if you had your own gear. They made you purchase life vests! We didn't take our snorkeling gear on this cruise anyway and didn't want to snorkel. There were plenty of chairs in the shade. It was a nice day. We booked and paid for the New York Harbour cruise and tour for people with late flights. Our flight is 6:15 so it will be a nice way to spend our last day of vacation. We got a call that this tour has been cancelled. It's going to be a long wait at the airport! We've done eight cruises and RCCL and enjoyed everyone except this one.