I am writing this review to help others that were so helpful to me during my planning as well as to give RCCL a nice Thank you - we loved our trip. I hope the cruise lines read these reviews. This is my first attempt, so please bear with me. I will try to be fair - if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Stayed in New Orleans 2 nights at the Royal Sonesta - great hotel. I was given the name of Henry Lee
Tennessee for shuttling purposes that was so helpful. His email is: email@example.com He made our trips to and from the airport, hotel and port wonderful. He picked us up at the Royal Sonesta promptly at
11:00 am for the short trip to the port. His prices were the same as cabs but with a personal touch. Check in was effortless and easy - no lines - walked right on to the beautiful Navigator.
Cabins: We had the Royal Family Suite 9394 with six adults - DM, DF, DH, DD, SIL and myself. DD and SIL slept on the pull out couch and it was a queen size pullout - very nice size. Our room steward put bed toppers on the pull out couch and the bed in the second bedroom. We had breakfast on the balcony in the mornings - weather permitting. Breakfast was fabulous, eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, coffee, fruit, ect.
Other Suite perks that were enjoyed: eating lunch quietly in Portofino's (food from Windjammer),drinks in the Concierge Lounge (as well as special tender loving care from Concierge Ricardo - he was fabulous), having clothes pressed free formal nights and priority seating for the ice show - which was a nice.
I cannot say enough good things about this cabin. It was more than enough room for all 9 of us to gather. My DS, DIL and Granddaughter (18 months old) were in 9397 just around the corner. Her baby monitor worked from 9394 to 9397 which was nice when she was napping. Pack-N-Play fit nicely in the corner after moving the bed and couch down a little.
We celebrated New Years on the balcony together which was memorable. Never encountered any soot on our balcony, so it must have a lot to do with the wind. We did smell sewage on day 2 in the hallway aft but it was gone the next day. The balcony railing was safe for our granddaughter and she loved the room to play and walk around. Note: Nigel our room steward did a fabulous job with our suite. Our bathrooms were always sparkling, we always had plenty of towels, always plenty of ice for cocktails, and he always had a wonderful smile on his face.
Falmouth Jamaica - We shopped at the port then decided to explore outside the gates. We just didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling on the outside of the gates so we went back to the ship and enjoyed the empty pool on-board. It was a beautiful warm day.
Grand Cayman - the kids went to Seven Mile Beach and DH and I took our granddaughter shopping in town. We enjoyed the roosters walking around town and had Dairy Queen - doesn't take much to make an 18 month old happy.
Cozumel - did a beach excursion with RCCL - Playa Mia Beach Break. It included drinks (alcohol and non)all day and the use of all of their facilities. We ordered off the menu right from our beach chairs and the food was good. We did a cab to and from and it was $30.00 plus tip for 6 adults and child each way. We will do this beach break again when we are in Cozumel as it fit our family well. Children's pool and play area was so much fun for B but she also loved the sand and swimming in the ocean.
We did MTD. I think I didn't do enough research on this area. I thought that 5:30 was too early and 8:00 pm to late with our granddaughter so I went with MTD. I thought that we could get a 7:00 or 7:15pm but
that was not to be. They tried very hard to accommodate us and every night we had 6:15 or 6:30. Our granddaughter did very well in the dining room but we did bring an IPAD so she could watch her favorite video (low sound of course). We never had to wait for our table and as we left every night, we just schedule for the next night. Food was good. The first nights pork was terrible but the lobster night was great. We had shrimp cocktails every night and they were wonderful. The steak that was offered nightly was not great but one night they offered Filet of Beef and it was delicious. Overall, I think the food was a little better than Carnival but a little less than Princess. Note: Roxanne and Americo our table stewards were wonderful. Roxanne always had chicken tenders waiting for our granddaughter which was a huge help. Americo made sure my coke was never empty and knew which roll I wanted after the second night.
Just sweet, warm, gracious people working so very hard to make sure our vacation was wonderful.
We had pizza and cookies nightly after gambling which was fun. Carnival's pizza is much better. Breakfast on the balcony was fabulous. The food was always hot and delicious. They always called before delivering which we really liked, as we used that as a wake-up call. Coffee was very good but very strong. Toast was terrible - not sure where that bread comes from but the bagels were great.
We never found a crowd in the Windjammer and I thought the choices were great. Love the salad bar.
We had lunch at Johnny Rockets - the milkshake was wonderful.
We had level 2 for departure and it went smoothly. Wheelchairs were available for my parents and porters were easily available. My parents would have been fine without the wheelchairs but we just didn't know how long we would have to stand and wait. Henry Lee Tennessee was waiting for us and we were off to the airport.
We didn't get to have a Bridge Tour which was one of my parents special requests. Due to the Noro Virus that the NAV had been battling lately they were not offering them. We did not see or hear of anyone sick with the Noro so whatever they had been doing to combat that bug was working. My parents did receive a beautiful glass frame from RCCL/Ricardo for their 65th Wedding Anniversary. That was a lovely gift and they loved it.
I will be happy to answer any questions concerning babies, seniors, ect. This was the second cruise for our granddaughter - we took her last year on the Carnival Miracle when she was 6 months old. She has cruised both trips without any problems. We did not use the in-room babysitting or children's programs on either cruises due to her age. Both Carnival and RCCL were more than accommodating with our granddaughter.
We have been on Carnival 3 times, Princess 2 times and this was our first RCCL as well as our first suite experience. We will definitely cruise on RCCL again.