This is a complete breakdown of our cruise so its going to be long. We are 41 40 9 and 4 years old and we went with our family friends who also had children of the same age. We live in south Florida so we drove to Port Everglades and parked there which was a breeze. Embarkation was swift and we waited in the lounge area with our kids that had a play area and the kids had lots of fun for 30 mins.
The entertainment review: The first day we saw Hairspray which was Broadwayesque to my wife. I enjoyed the production value but did not like the story or music much. We went to the comedy show the second night and the two men Jim David and Kievy? Plus the MC were fantastic. We sat in the front row and of course i got picked on plus our whole crew. The next day we saw the Ice Skating Show which was lovely. I happen to be a strong critic in this area since my sister produces similar events. The rink was small but the production was extremely high and I appreciated the former world class skaters even though they were limited in their jumps and spins because of the size of the rink. The next night we saw the Oasis of Dreams or the Aqua Show which was beautiful but we had to fight to keep our seats since it was in such high demand. I didn't understand the story very well but the production was amazing. We then saw the headliner show called The Beatlemanicas. It was a real Beatles Concert which I fell in love with since they played songs you don't normally hear from Sir Paul. We then saw Come Fly with Me which was the a la Cirque Show. The kids loved it and we were all again very impressed with the production. Then we went to the Family Comedy Hour in the Theatre with the kids this time. Again we were in the front row and the kids got pick on this time, even going on stage. A true highlight for our kids.
Pool Area: Awesome. Plenty of room. Plenty of chairs. Plenty of whirlpools. The kids loved the children's pools as well.
Sports Court and Kids Review: The kids loved the basketball court even at 11 at night. The flow rider was great and it was a short wait time every day. The Zip line took time with the wait but the kids and adults loved it. The kids played anytime miniature golf even at midnight. One of the kids also rang the bell at the rock climbing wall. However, my 9 yr old's favorite moment was winning an I-Pad Mini in the arcade with just two dollars. Nice arcade....
Casino: Consistently my favorite location. 3 black jack tournaments and daily poker tournaments. There are some really entertaining dealers that make it fun just sitting at the table. The bar service and staff was great. It was also just nice to sit in the bar there just to relax.
Spa: My wife and two of my friends had spa treatments and they were very happy with the massages they received. However, I am not a fan of the food/drink court in the spa area. Don't bother getting a smoothie there.
Central Park: Fantastic Selection of restaurants and you really do feel like your not on a ship. We only ate at one specialty restaurant, Giovanni's. Our waiter and the service was fantastic and the food was by far the best we had on the ship. Parc Cafe for sandwiches was ok.
Quick important incident: While waiting in line for our sandwiches a young teenager passed out on the floor and my friend who is an MD was standing right there to help her. She was having a seizure. He helped her and she was finally back on her feet and she was helped to a seat. Security arrived within about 2-3 minutes. Asked her and my friend a few questions and they left. I was left wondering how bizarre it was that she was not escorted to the Ship doctor or why the ship doctor did not go to her. My friend happens to be a great doctor but they don't know that and it was a seizure......
Windjammer Buffet: The food was adequate and was certainly appropriate for the children. I was not thrilled with the variety since it seemed like the same food every day.
Solarium Buffet: This is the place to have breakfast at the front of the ship. More elegant and not crazy with healthier selections.
Sorrentinos: The Pizza is ok for a snack and tastes better after 11pm when almost everything else it closed.
Boardwalk: We ate breakfast at Johnny Rockets one morning which was nice. The carousel is a nice promotional piece but the kids only wanted to go on it once. The Ice Cream Parlor was very good. The view is outstanding. The candy shop is over priced but what isn't on a cruise.
Room Size: We had four people in one room with a pull out couch. I would have preferred a bunk bed like some of the other cruise ships. The room was tight to begin with and with the bed out it made it virtually impossible to walk around in the room. I am glad we had a balcony for this reason. The bathroom was just fine and the shower even though small it had great pressure. We also had the luxury of space for storing our bags under the bed. The TV and the channel selection was perfectly adequate and it always had programming for the kids.
Drinks: We purchased the new all-inclusive platinum drink package which includes all alcoholic drinks, soda, wine etc...exceptions were bottles and cans. It was great to have this package for $375 and I would purchase it again. I am a leisurely drinker with my wife but once a drink melted or if I didn't really enjoy it then I had no problem getting another. keep in mind the tips are included. At first the servers were not thrilled with seeing me have this but once I included a small dollar or two gratuity, they were at my beck and call.
Ports of Call:
Nassau; I was not happy at all that we were only in port until 1:30 pm. I didn't even bother getting off the ship. My wife and her friend went shopping for a few hours.
St. Thomas - Coki Beach: We got a driver and the ride itself which was terrifyinglyyy great through the mountains was almost as fun as snorkeling, scuba diving and wave running. We spent all day there and it was a blast for the kids.
St. Martaan-- We rented ATVS for all the adults and left the kids aboard. We had a Blast no pun intended at the airport and the beach which are on top of one another but the ride itself is breath taking. There is no better way to travel around St. Martaan unless you do it yourself. We just ran out of time and it started drizzling I wish they were in port longer then 4:30 pm.
My Time Dining: I am not a fan of it. We had a group of 13 people and we were lucky to get a table for all of us on the first night and we made reservations for 6pm every night so we could all sit together but the first night was tough and i know many other people had to wait up to 30 mins to sit. I recommend reservations and you will also get more consistent service. Once we had them, we had our favorite drinks & food already waiting for us and the kids at the table. We then felt like kings.
Adventure Ocean: My 4 year old loved it and had a blast. We never had a problem dropping him off. My 9 year old however, was not so happy with it. In fact he did not like it very much. He said that they played the same variety of games all the time and they only had Pizza for lunch. We gave him self sin in and self sign out and let him make his own choice. he had a walkie talkie so he would always let us know what he was doing. BTW the walkie talkies worked as good as possible on such a ship and it was very valuable to have.
Disembarkation: I have read many reviews that said it was very quick and organized. Unfortunatelyyy, mine was not. I was in line for 30 mins before we even got down the escalator and then hired a great porter to get our bags and waited in line for another 20 mins which was fine. He told me that because it was raining outside, unloading the bags off the ship took much longer which is what created the line in the first place. I wish RCL would have informed us. Its always better know what and why something is going on. From there it was all down hill and back to reality.